The Aadhaar Card – What are the real intentions of the UPA ? #UID


DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 25JAN07 - Nandan M. Nilekan...

 

 

 

 

Berges Malu / Monday, DNA  February 18, 2013 0:38 IST

 

The UPA government operates by stealth these days, everything from passing IT laws (remember how the IT Law was passed without any opposition) to executing terrorists, all committed through stealth. It seems the government either doesn’t seem to have the guts or the wherewithal to be bold about the decisions it would like to take.

 

 

The latest stealth move by the current government, is to demand citizens have an Aadhar card for such regular things as buying cooking gas to demanding information under the Right to Information (RTI) act. This shows how the current government would like to turn India from a liberal democracy into a closely monitored police state cause let’s be honest, this government has no intention of taking care of the aam aadmi, if it did, it wouldn’t let lakhs of farmers commit suicide around the nation, displace thousands in the commonwealth games and let the economy slow down thus stifling the creation of new jobs for youth coming out of school every year. The UID is simply a method of surveillance, surveillance not to prevent rapes, thefts and murders, which this government has no intention of preventing, but instead to make the life of the common man a bigger struggle than it already is.

 

 

 

 

The Aadhar card was introduced by the PM along with Nandan Nilekani and his ‘dream team’ (which comprised of mostly NRI’s- an issue for another debate) as an optional card that wasn’t meant to be mandatory for all citizens. What started out as a simple identity card that would be provided to all Indians, turned into a card that would benefit the poor and now into a card mandatory for receiving all/any benefits from the government. Recently it was reported schools in Thane started demanding that parents provide an Aadhar card number or admission wouldn’t be granted to their children and in a separate move the chief secretary of Maharashtra JK Banthia sent out a circular saying one should provide their Aadhar card number to demand information under RTI. This deception by the government is unsurprising what with the massive scams we hear about daily.

 

 

 

The writing on the wall is thus clear, the government is slowly using stealth means to make the Aadhar card mandatory for all citizens. And oddly enough, the Aadhar card by itself is illegal, as Parliament has refused to pass a bill that was aimed to legalize the Aadhar card, and the government is pumping large amounts of money into the scheme, according to some estimates nearly Rs 150,000 crore. I won’t be surprised, if a scam turns up out of this too.

 

 

 

Besides there’s no clue where all that bio-metric data that the government plans on collecting may land up, as The Hindu recently had a story that mentioned that much of the data is being collected and collated by an American company that under US law would have to turn over data to the US government if asked for it.

 

 

 

Soon power will not be measure in how much money you acquire or who you know but the anonymity you possess.

 

 

“You don’t have a digital footprint… people with that kind of anonymity in this age, that’s true power” – Logan Pierce – Person of Interest

 

 

 

169 Aadhaar cards seized from a house #UID #WTFnews


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200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

DC | 24 min 55 sec ago

 

 

 

Nellore: Even as people are facing several ordeals to obtain Aadhar Cards, police have found 169 Aadhar cards in the residence of a former corporator Velpula Rajani at Ummareddygunta of Nellore on Saturday.

 

 

Police have raided the house along with revenue and civil supplies wing officials following a tip off over the sale of the cards by the husband of the corporator. The team led by V Town CI S.V. Rajasekhar Reddy was puzzled when they found 169 cards, which are ready for delivery, in the house.

 

 

They had no clue as to how they are lying in the house when they are supposed to be delivered to the applicants by the postal department. In addition to the cards, the team also noticed applications for Aadhar, ID cards and Aadhar data enrolment receipts at the house during the search. This led to suspicion over printing of fake Aadhar cards.

 

 

When contacted, Reddy said that Velpula Rajani or her husband Sagar were not at home when they searched the place.

 

 

He said that Aadhar cards are being printed at the regional printing centre in Hyderabad with the data transferred from Bengaluru and sent as bulk mail to Central Post Office in Hyderabad.

 

 

Thereafter the cards are sent to post offices concerned through speed post based on the pin number. He said that cards are distributed by postmen only after obtaining signature of the card holder or his family members in a sheet containing 100 names of recipients.

 

 

“We are obtaining the sheets from the post office concerned to verify further whether the cards are delivered to the former corporator by some erring postman,” Reddy said.

 

 

 

Migrant students face UID nightmare WTFnews


 

Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

Biometric scanning of fingerprints during the launch of UID enrolment at the General Post Office in Bangalore

DC | Sohini Guharoy |12feb, 2012
Bengaluru: Several migrant students and professionals are in a dilemma about enrolling for Aadhar. Since many often need to relocate for higher studies or jobs, it becomes difficult for them to go back to their home states every time for documents and follow up with the local offices.
Unaware of the exact rules, Sharmila Mukherjee, a student, was asked to apply for her Aadhar card in her hometown when she recently went to enrol in Bengaluru. She is a resident of Asansol who did her graduation in Kolkata and is now doing her Masters in Bengaluru. Her IDs show her permanent address and she was asked to get her Aadhar card made there. But such a rule doesn’t exist and she was unnecessarily harassed.
As per the rules, “Anybody can get their Aadhar cards made anywhere in India. It is on a national platform. Students or professionals can apply in whichever state they are currently residing. All they have to ensure is that there should be someone to collect their Aadhar cards at their permanent address when it is sent by mail, in case they are not there at that point of time.” said Ashok Dalwai, Deputy Director- General, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The process is the same for everyone, irrespective of the address their IDs have and where they are currently residing. They need to provide their identity proof and address proof while enrolling for their Aadhar card and their biometric authentication will be done at the location where the enrolment has been done. If the documents are authentic and verified, then there should be no problem for anybody to get their Aadhar card, Dalwai added.
He, however,pointed out that multiple enrolments should not be done as that would delay the process and every individual would get only one Aadhar card.

 

Aadhaar Card, Now Mandatory for School Students? #WTFnews #UID #illegal


Posted by Arun Prabhudesai on Jan 22, 2013, trak.in

While discussing with a friend in regards to the Aadhar poll that we posted yesterday on trak.in, I came across something quite interesting. It seems that some of the primary and secondary schools are making it mandatory for students to apply for a Aadhar card.

Here is one of the circulars that was released by the school on their website for parents informing them about applying for Aadhar cards for students.

Click to access AadharCardForStudents.pdf

uidpune

It includes schemes that involve payments to service providers providing supplies and services to consumers like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) program which promotes universal primary education for children; program covers funding for school infrastructure, teacher salaries,books, and uniforms.

So, essentially it is important to schools as they will henceforth receive SSA funding based on number of students that may be authenticated using Aadhar Cards.

Have you come across any other schools who are making Aadhar card mandatory?

PLEASE COMMENT WITH DETAILS

 

 

#Mumbai-Duo used fake documents to get AADHAAR, for clients #UID #WTFnews


While raiding the shop from where the brothers would operate, cops also found birth certificates, driving licences, ration cards, and 1,200 passport size photos

January 19, 2013
MUMBAI
Shiva Devnath, Midday

For three long years, two brothers used their computer skills to churn out hundreds of fake documents for clients who needed PAN, Aadhar, ration, voter identity cards in a jiffy. MHB police finally cracked down on the racket on Thursday night, arresting the two brothers from their home in Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar (West). The accused have been identified as Suresh Trinath Maharana (31), and Sanjay Trinath Maharana (28), who were produced before a local court yesterday.

Shiva
The police seized 100 fake Aadhar cards, 80 PAN cards, 13 birth certificates, 10 driving licences, 10-20 voter identity and ration cards from them, as well as 1,200 passport size photos. Suresh Trinath Maharana (31), and Sanjay Trinath Maharana (28) used to take passport size photographs from clients, fudge documents for them, and obtain the cards

Shiva

Running the con
According to the police, Suresh masterminded the racket, while Sanjay assisted his elder brother by bringing in new customers. Suresh is handicapped. The duo used to run a shop named Maa Saraswati Enterprises at Ganpat Patil Nagar, out of which they have been running the racket for the past three years, making bogus documents for these cards. The police seized 100 fake Aadhar cards, 80 PAN cards, 13 birth certificates, 10 driving licences, 10-20 voter identity and ration cards from them, as well as 1,200 passport size photos.

Modus operandi
The duo used to take passport size photographs from clients, fudge documents for them, and obtain the cards. Police officials said the accused also had letterheads with the names of local legislators that they used to dish out recommendation letters. Sanjay was proficient at the computer and together the duo churned out documents resembling originals. They charged Rs 200-500 for each job. They also helped people open bank accounts.
The police have found a list of 150 customers on the duo’s client list.

The accused have been booked under Sections 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) 420 (cheating) and
34 (common intention) of the IPC. Subhash Chandra, investigating officer of MHB police station said, “There is a chance that more people will be arrested, who assisted the accused. We are investigating to find out from where they got so many documents including letterheads with the names of local MLA and MPs.”

Rs 200-500
The amount that Suresh and Sanjay took for each job

 

No Aadhar card? You could be a suspect #UID #WTFnews


 

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Published: Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013, 8:00 IST

 

By Sanjeev Devasia | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

 

 

 

If you are among those who think that obtaining an Aadhar card is not important, then you could be a suspect to officials of the state carrying out the Aadhar card enrolment.

 

 

Also, officials at the collectorate level will soon match and collate data of voters, data of those availing the Public Distribution System (PDS), data of electricity connections and also those availing scholarships among other schemes with the Aadhar card data to cross-verify whether there is duplication or false information and, more importantly, find out whether they are falsely claiming benefits from any government scheme.

 

 

A senior official of the state government said, “With the collation of data, we are expecting a 10-15% saving for the government in the form of stopping leakages in the system due to false data provided by false beneficiaries.”

 

 

He added, “For example, if there is a 45-year-old man who is claiming the benefits of a senior citizen, then the truth will be out as the data of various agencies will be matched with the Aadhar data, which will have the person’s photograph and biometric identity.”

 

 

An official of the state IT department said “Officials of various collectorates will start the exercise of matching the data procured from various agencies and we will be providing with software to match the data. But this exercise will only start after maximum enrolment is carried out and only a few is remaining to be enrolled. If even after maximum enrolment is carried out and there are citizens who have not opted for an Aadhar card, then we will feel they have something to hide.”

 

 

However, the progress of enrolment for Aadhar cards has not been very fast in Mumbai. Of around 1.25 crore people, only 70 lakh have enrolled, while in districts such as Wardha and Amravati have registered about 90-100% enrolment.

 

 

“Aadhaar” of Direct Cash Transfer is more of assumptions, less of ground-level realities #UID #MUSTREAD


14 DEC, 2012,

The government announced that from January 2013, 51 districts of the country would be subjected to Aadhaar- based direct cash transfers (DCT). We need some basic answers before we get to term the initiative as a game-changer.<br />

The government announced that from January 2013, 51 districts of the country would be subjected to Aadhaar– based direct cash transfers (DCT). We need some basic answers before we get to term the initiative as a game-changer.
Quick-fix solutions?: The latest fix is through the new improved micro ATM architecture where BCs sort out the last mile. Technology provides a fix on authentication and transaction recording. This assumes that the physical connectivity between the branch and the customer through the intervention of a human being fixes the issue.But the cash has to be delivered physically. With 1,50,000 post offices, and postmen visiting all the habitations regularly, with an instrument of money order, we have not been able to sort out the problem of transferring the cash from the coffers to the beneficiaries.

The finance ministry has not convincingly established the business case for a BC. Do we have an idea how a BC would do it better? The answer would be in commissions and incentives. Agreed.

But where is the business case to the banking institutions if these costs are loaded? Does it work at scale?

Too much is loaded on to a single intervention, involving commercial institutions, without a strong business case.

The approach of the government is worrisome. It may be a part of the measures in the run up to the 2014 election is the simplicity with which the solutions are offered. That the entire country can take a single solution; that the solution can be offered through the banking system; that the only impending problem was establishing identity; and that Aadhaar will sort out issues much more than identity and fix leakages and petty corruption.

The commercial sector would have looked at this through the lens of segmentation, test marketing and local strategies. The government believes in standardisation and scale.

Even if Aadhaar number is subjected to multiple pilots in several locations, it is difficult to imagine how these pilots have informed this aggressive rollout of cash. This space is getting to be interesting and we need to watch for more action.

Is protesting at a public meeting curbing #FOE #FOS ?


Dec 8, 2012–A big hue and cry has been been rasied among activists after the walkout  from the Sixth Justice VM Tarkunde Memorial Lecture because Shri Nandan Manohar Nilekani was chosen to deliver it on November 23, 2012.
When the lecture was announced many of us were stunned at the fact that how could PUCL be associated with an event wherein Nandan Nilekani  has been given a platform to speak.  All human righst activists involved in say no to uid campaign, wrote individually to PUCL to cancel the event and PUCL  came up with the following a public statement which said
We had issued a statement where we made explicit that our opposition to UDIAI has not changed nor our continuing to oppose the UID project. We had also spoken to and followed by writing to the organisers informing our stand on UIDAI, that selection of a person like Mr. Nilekani is  contradictory to the very ideals that Justice Tarkunde’s  work and persona reflected, and therefore the demand for calling off the lecture as also that we did not want to be associated with the event. The organisers had also accepted our request and agreed not to associate PUCL with the event .
 As event was not cancelled, but PUCL had disassociated , the civil liberteis activists at the public meeting on Nov 23rd 2012 ,decided to walk out to show their protest the Read the report here
There after, there has been many email exchanges which are reproduced below
Clarification by PUCL
Dear friends,
I have been forwarded a news item “Why civil liberties activists walked out from Nandan Nilekani ‘s lecture” in which it is stated that those who walked out included “N.D.Pancholi, President, People’s Union For civil liberties (PUCL) Delhi” amongst others. It is entirely incorrect. I did not walk out in protest from the multipurpose hall where the lecture was being held. I had come out from the hall when I heard some noises outside and had some discussion with the protestors. I am one of the members of the Tarkunde Memorial Foundation. It is also not correct, as stated in the report, that “organisers rushed and tried to take back the papers”. It is also incorrect that the organisers termed the silent and peacerful distribution of the Statement as “trouble”. If some participants in the audience felt disturbed while the said activists were distributing statement, and made some remarks, organisers have nothing to do with it. Please make necessary corrections in your report and publish my clarification..
Thanking you,
N.D.Pancholi
Usha Ramanathan who was at the meeting and walked out responded

It is indeed true that Mr Pancholi did not walk out. He came out with the organisers who also anxiously came out of the hall because of the walk out.

As for the rest, it is indeed true that the orgainsers did take back the papers that had been quietly passed around. May be Mr Pancholi did not see it happening, but others amongst us did, and Mr Riain Karanjawala, who is among the organisers, did not deny it when he was confronted, by Vrinda Grover, with this illiberal act. It is also true that it was a member of the organisers’ team that termed what had happened as `trouble’. This too was hotly contested on the steps of the multipurpose hall where the meeeting was being held. And, as Vrinda pointed out, if what had happened could be termed trouble — viz., handing out papers that would set out the dangers of a project that was being promoted on the platform that had been provided to the one marketing the project; and the walk out that was intended to indicate that this is not a compliant citizenry which has no civil liberties consciousness –the that was what Justice Tarkunde had been doing all his life!

May be Mr Pancholi objects to the young props of the organisers who acted as if we posed a threat to the meeting as being thought of as part of the `organisers’. There is, however, no question that they were acting on behalf of the organisers. There is also no question that Mr Riain Karanjawala came out to take over from his young team. Mr Pancholi was there. Mr Pancholi may also recall that he said to us to give him the papers that we said was being confiscated in the room, and that he would ensure that they were distributed; and Mr Karanjawala silenced him with unwonted vigour. It is also a fact that Mr Karanjawala made disgruntled murmurs that he had never wanted PUCL as part of the Tarkunde lecture but that Justcie Sachar had prevailed on him, and, his tone made unmistakable, he, Mr Karanjawala regretted the error.

Mr Pancholi was part of the meeting that decided to invite Mr Nandan Nilekani. We know that Mr Pancholi is a member of the PUCL, and that he has been opposed to the UID project. However, it seems he may not have been fully cognisant of Mr Nilekani’s connection with the UID project. So, he ended up being a part of the inviting team. That he walked out of the hall of course does not mean that he was part of our walk out. He was walking out to see what was happening; and something certainly was, outside the hall, on the steps. And that included words exchanged about `trouble’, about PUCL, about taking back papers that had been circulated, about free expression, and about Justice Tarkunde not belonging to any particular set of people, not his family, not PUCL, but the wider community of people who have held him in high esteem through these years of his work and beyond.

The again on Dec 3rd 2012, Mr Pancholi responded
This is with reference to the comments made by Usha on my clarification which I sent in reply to a news item “Why civil liberties activists walked out from Nandan Nilekani’s lecture” published on a website ‘Kractivist’.
When I said to Vrinda to hand me over the pamphlets so that I could ensure that the same were properly distributed, she replied that she had no pamphlets as the same were distributed and were in turn snatched away from the participants by some youngmen. I told her that the civil liberties activists should have informed the organisers or me beforehand of their intentions of distributing the pamphlets. Had they disclosed such intention, some way could have been found out without disturbing the lecture. It is her misconception to say that Mr. Karanjwala silenced me.
Earlier Shri Sandeep Singh (of Citizens Forum For Civil Liberties) had come alongwith some activists at the auditorium almost one hour before the start of the lecture and on my enquiry he had assured me that to his knowledge there was no plan of making any protest or disturbing the lecture.
During the midst of the lecture when the audience is attentive to the speaker, if some activists, suddenly and without informing the organizers, start distributing the pamphlets, the same certainly cannot be called peaceful and silent distribution. It disturbs the speaker as well as the listeners. I stick to my statement made in my clarification that organizers of the lecture are not involved as alleged for taking back the said pamphlets or making any remark ‘trouble’ as alleged.
I am doubtful of UID project but I am not averse to listening opposite point of view. Listening other point s of views helps me in making my perceptions clearer, and enables me to correct myself if I am in error.
The moment Tarkunde Memorial Foundation announced the lecture, the demands were being made from a section of the civil liberties activists that lecture should be ‘called off’. This demand was continued to be made even after PUCL declared its non-association with the event. Statements made by Usha and PUCL also emphasized this demand. I am at a loss to understand as to how civil liberties activists can ask any other organization to call off the lecture simply because they do not agree with the views of the speaker! Is there any place in the ‘civil liberties consciousness’ for tolerance and to listen to opposite point of view peacefully?
The finaly reply by Usha Ramanathan and Vrinda Grover, both who were at the meeting, received today is below
There is little point that i can see in going round and round our memories of 23rd November. I think what had to be said has been said.
Except — Mr Pancholi now considers those who had a problem with Mr Nilekani being given a civil liberties platform undemocratic! That seems somewhat naive and ingenuous.
Since November 2009, we have been trying to get Mr Nilekani to answer some basic questions, and we have met with surliness as a response, each time. On 28 September, 2010, a statement issued by 17 eminent citizens raised questions that remain unanswered till today. (I am attaching the statement with this mail; this is the `pamphlet’ to which Mr Pancholi alludes.) Among the signatories are Kannabiran and Kavita and Aruna Roy, all members of PUCL. Kannabiran had also been advocating civil disobedience, if that was the only way to stop this project. The UID project, and its implications for civil liberties, was presented at the PUCL National Convention last year (2011), as was the problem with the sullen silence that had been the consistent response to our questions. Read the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on the Bill that was to give stautory status to the UIDAI, and it is peppered with evidence of recalcitrance on the part of Mr Nilekani and his team to answer questions. There has been overt hostility towards those raising the questions.
Mr Nilekani has had more than his share of talks and lectures where he has marketed the project. He has been heard — many times — and it is a consequence of this that we are now aware that the project projection is full of half-truths and lies.
We have no desire to storm around preventing Mr Nilekani from speaking; in fact, some of us have gone to hear him speak many times, seeking information, and clarity. That we have been disappointed each time is another matter; and that, needless to say, is an extreme understatement.
Our objection was to providing Mr Nilekani a civil liberties platform. After all, when someone is to be invited to speak at the Justice Tarkunde Memorial Lecture, the least we are entitled to expect is that the speaker should not be heading, and marketing, a project that poses a threat to civil liberties! I would have thought that we need to make sure that the platform is not used for promoting anti-civil liberties policies and action! If those inviting him had not studied the project, or had not heard him, or were not aware that he had anything to do with the project, it was, doubtless, irresponsibility on their part to have invited him in ignorance of his policy and his politics.
What made it worse was that this was a `lecture’. If it had been a debate, Mr Nilekani could have been asked to answer all those questions he has been sidestepping and refusing to answer through these three years. Of course, it can safely be hypothesised that Mr Nilekani may then have turned down the invitation, for he has not shown a penchant to being challenged.
This is a project that is not governed by law; and, literally, lawless. It is a project that was marketed as `voluntary’ and has now become mandatory, immediately for the poor to be extended over time to everyone. It is intended to converge data, facilitating tagging, tracking, profiling,and placing people under surveillance. It is a project that demands that that state and corporations be allowed to use biometrics as markers of identity; so, fingerprints and iris scans are to be the norm, and we are to be rendered choiceless in this use of the bosy as a marker. The individual is to be transparent to the state and to the corporation. Biometrics was used in the defence industry, but it was through its expansion into civilian spaces that its profit-through-proliferation is sought to be achieved. The companies involved in the project, including such ones as L1 Identity Solutions and Accenture have relationships with Homeland Security and the CIA. All this, and more, is known. Mr Nilekani’s task is to make this universal and ubiquitous. And he is to be given a civil liberties platform to sell the project, and those who object are undemocratic? These are strange times indeed.
The right to free expression does not require anyone to take permission to exercise the right. Isn’t that the civil liberties perspective? This was a silent and peacable passing around of a statement that would help people understand what the issues are. It is the snatching back of the papers that constitute an act of disruption, surely!!
Thanks for providing the space to have this exchange. With this, i rest my case. It is plain that what time there is needs to be dedicated to spreading understanding about the UID project. Clearly, what has been done has not been quite enough.
warm regards
 Usha ramanathan and Vrinda Grover
Cover photo
BELOW IS THE STATEMENT BY EMINENT PEOPLE ON WHY WE OPPOSE UID

STATEMENT

(issued by17 eminent persons (list appended) at a press conference held in Delhi on 28 September, 2010)

The project that proposes to give every resident  a `unique identity number’ is a  matter of great concern for those working on issues of food security, NREGA, migration, technology, decentralisation, constitutionalism, civil liberties and human rights. The process of setting up the Authority has resulted in very little, if any, discussion about this project and its effects and fallout. The documents on the UIDAI website, and a recent draft law (the National Identification Authority Bill, which is also on the website) do not provide answers to the many questions that are being raised in the public domain. This project is intended to collect demographic data about all residents in the country. It is said that it will impact on the PDS and NREGA programmes, and plug leakages and save the government large sums of money. It would, however, seem that even basic procedures have not been followed before launching on such a massive project.

Before it goes any further, we consider it imperative that the following be done:

  • Do a feasibility study: There are claims made in relation to the project, about what it can do for PDS and NREGA, for instance, which does not reflect any understanding of the situation of the situation on the ground.  The project documents do not say what other effects the project may have,  including its potential to be intrusive and violative of privacy, who may handle the data (there will be multiple persons involved in entering, maintaining and using the data), who may be able to have access to the data and similar other questions.
  • Do a cost-benefit analysis: It is reported that the UIDAI estimates the project will costs  Rs 45,000 crores to the exchequer in the next 4 years. This does not seem to include the costs that will be incurred by Registrars, Enrollers, internal systems costs that the PDs system will have to budget if it is to be able to use the UID, the estimated cost to the end user and to the number holder.
  • In a system such as this, a mere statement that the UIDAI will deal with the security of the data is obviously insufficient. How does the UIDAI propose to deal with data theft?  If this security cannot be reasonably guaranteed, the wisdom of holding such data in a central registry may need to be reviewed.
  • The involvement of firms such as Ernst & Young and Accenture raise further questions about who will have access to the data, and what that means to the people of India.
  • Constitutionality of this project, including in the matter of privacy, the relationship between the state and the people, security and other fundamental rights.

Questions have been raised which have not been addressed so far, including those about –

  • Undemocratic process: UIDAI was set-up via a GoI notification as an attached office of the Planning Commission without any discussion or debate in the Parliament or civil society. In the year and a half of its inception, the Authority has signed MoUs with virtually all states and UTs, LIC, Petroleum Ministry and many banks. In July, the Authority circulated the draft NIA Bill (to achieve statutory status); the window for public feedback was two weeks. Despite widespread feedback and calls for making all feedback public, the Authority has not made feedback available. Further in direct contravention to the process of public feedback, the NIA Bill was listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha 2010 monsoon session
  • Privacy (It is only now that the DoPT is said to be working on a draft of a privacy law, but nothing is out for discussion even yet)
  • Surveillance: where this technology, and the existence of the UID number, and its working, could result in increasing the potential for surveillance
  • Profiling
  • Tracking
  • Convergence, by which those with access to state power, as well as companies, could collate information about each individual with the help of the UID number.

National IDs have been abandoned in the US, Australia and the newly-elected British government. The reasons have predominantly been:  costs and privacy. If it is too expensive for the US with a population of 308 million, and the UK with 61 million people, and Australia with 21 million people, it is being asked why India thinks it can prioritise its spending in this direction. In the UK, the Home Secretary explained that they were abandoning the project because it would otherwise be `intrusive bullying’ by the state, and that the government intended to be the `servant’ of the people, and not their `master’. Is there a lesson in it for us? In the late nineties, the Supreme Court of Philippines struck down the President’s Executive Order A.O 308 which instituted a biometric based national ID system calling it unconstitutional on two grounds – the overreach of the executive over the legislative powers of the congress and invasion of privacy. The same is applicable in India – UIDAI has been constituted on the basis of a GoI notification and there is a fundamental risk to civil liberties with the convergence of UID, NATGRID etc.

The UIDAI is still at the stage of conducting pilot studies. The biometric pilot study has reportedly already thrown up problems especially among the poor whose fingerprints are not stable, and whose iris scans suffer from malnourishment related cataract and among whom the incidence of corneal scars is often found. The project is clearly still in its inception. The project should be halted before it goes any further and the prelude to the project be attended to, the public informed and consulted, and the wisdom of the project determined. The Draft Bill too needs to be publicly debated. This is a project that could change the status of the people in this country, with effects on our security and constitutional rights, and a consideration of all aspects of the project should be undertaken with this in mind.

We, therefore, ask that:

  • The project be halted
  • A feasibility study be done covering all aspects of this issue
  • Experts be tasked with studying its constitutionality
  • The law on privacy be urgently worked on (this will affect matters way beyond the UID project)
  • A cost : benefit analysis be done
  • A public, informed debate be conducted before any such major change be brought in.

This Statement was issued to the Press on 28th September, 2010 in New Delhi

List of signatories to the Statement on the UID

Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India    satgamaya@dataone.in

Prof Romila Thapar, Historian    romila.thapar@gmail.com

K.G.Kannabiran, Senior Civil Liberties Lawyer       kg.kannabiran@gmail.com

Kavita Srivastava, PUCL and Right to Food Campaign      <kavisriv@gmail.com>

Aruna Roy, MKKS, Rajasthan     <arunaroy@gmail.com>

Nikhil Dey, MKKS, Rajasthan     <nikhildey@gmail.com>

S.R.Sankaran, Retired Secretary, Government of India

Deep Joshi, Independent Consultant     <deepjoshi97@gmail.com>

Upendra Baxi, Jurist and ex-Vice Chancellor of Universities of Surat and Delhi   BaxiUpendra@aol.com

Uma Chakravarthi, Historian     <umafam@gmail.com>

Shohini Ghosh, Teacher and Film Maker   <shohini.ghosh@gmail.com>

Amar Kanwar, Film Maker    <amarkanwar@gmail.com>

Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karamchari Andolan     <skandolan@gmail.com>

Trilochan Sastry, IIMB, and Association for Democratic Reforms    trilochans@iimb.ernet.in

Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, ex- IIMA, and Association for Democratic Reforms     <jchhokar@gmail.com

Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD      <shabnamhashmi@gmail.com>

Justice A.P.Shah, Retired Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi     ajitprakashshah@gmail.com

Tripura Opposes Direct Cash Transfer #AAdhaar #UID


AGARTALA | DEC 07, 2012, Outlook
Tripura today opposed Centre’s plan for direct cash transfer to the bank accounts of the customers of fair price shop for giving subsidy on the plea that it would cripple the existing Public Distribution System (PDS).

“I have written a letter to the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister K V Thomas to withdraw the proposal for direct subsidy cash transfer and also clarify in detail how the new system would help the poor,” state Food and Civil Supply minister Manik De said.

The new system would be introduced in 51 districts of the country and the four districts of Tripura were also included among them.

De said the state government has received a communication from the Centre that all the card holders of ration shops should make their bank accounts for transferring the cash subsidy.

“It is difficult to get new bank accounts within January and also include their Aadhar (UID) numbers and send it to the Centre. In rural areas the banks are inadequate in number. The new system would leave us into inconveniences”, he told reporters.

FILED ON: DEC 07, 2012 20:29 IST

 

Draft Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-17 Planning Commission GOI, can be downloaded


DRAFT  Twelfth Five Year Plan 2012-17 Planning Commission  Government of India, you can download now
http://planningcommission.gov.in/plans/planrel/12thplan/welcome.html

NDC meeting on 12th plan on 27 Dec

Plan document says the govt’s cash transfer programme will be a major step towards improving efficiency
Kirthi Rao , livemint.com
First Published: Wed, Dec 05 2012. 

The government envisages ‘adoption of a target to move major subsidies and major beneficiary payments to a cash basis linked to Aadhar by the end of the 12th Plan period. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
The government envisages ‘adoption of a target to move major subsidies and major beneficiary payments to a cash basis linked to Aadhar by the end of the 12th Plan period. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: The 12th Plan document moved a step closer to approval by the apex decision-making authority of the country, the National Development Council (NDC), with the draft being posted on the plan panel’s website for discussion.
The NDC meeting is to be held on 27 December, the link on the plan panel website said. Media reports had earlier said the document would be discussed on 29 December.
The document targets 8.2% growth in the five years from 2012 to 2017 based on the direct cash transfer programme that the government espouses that “adoption of a target to move major subsidies and major beneficiary payments to a cash basis linked to Aadhar by the end of the 12th Plan period would be a major step towards improving efficiency.”
With the draft 12th plan document titled Faster, Inclusive and More Sustainable Growth put up for discussion on the plan panel’s website, it has moved a step closer to approval by the apex decision-making authority of the country, the National Development Council.
The NDC meeting is to be held on 27 December, the link on the plan panel website said. Media reports had earlier said the document, which targets 8.2% growth in the five years from 2012 to 2017, would be discussed on 29 December.
Total resources for the central plan are estimated to be Rs.43.33 trillion, down from the Rs.47.69 trillion estimated at the time of the Full Planning Commission meeting in September as the resources of Public Sector Enterprises turned out to beRs.4.3 trillion lower than estimated then.
The share of rural development and panchayati raj sectors in the centre’s gross budgetary support has been lowered from the 25.01% realised in the 11th Plan to a projected 18.86%. Projected share of health and child development sector, however, has been raised from the 7.09% realised in the 11th Plan to 11.45%.
On direct cash transfers for subsidies, the draft document suggests setting 2017 as a target for implementation all over the country.
“Adoption of a target to move major subsidies and major beneficiary payments to a cash basis linked to Aadhar by the end of the 12th Plan Period would be a major step towards improving efficiency,’ the document said.

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