Delhi – 200 ml bottle and pieces of candle were inserted into the private parts, of 5 year old #Vaw #WTF

Another rape: Anger rises, protests spread in Delhi as 5-year-old victim battles for life

IANS | Apr 19, 2013,

Delhi: Minor raped, kin asked not to raise voice

Delhi: Minor raped, kin asked not to raise voice
NEW DELHI: A 200 ml bottle and pieces of candle were inserted into the private parts of the five-year-old rape victim, a doctor said on Friday, adding that he had “never seen such a case”.

“Upon examination, we found a 200 ml bottle and two or three pieces of candle inserted into her private parts. This is the first time that I have seen such barbarism with a five-year-old,” RK Bansal, medical superintendent, Swami Dayanand Hospital, told reporters.

“There were injuries on her lips and cheeks and bruise marks on her neck, suggesting that attempts were made to strangle her. The blood pressure was way below normal, and she had fever when she was admitted,” the doctor said.

“The child’s condition is very critical. She is in ICU right now and will be under observation for the next 24-48 hours,” he said.

The girl was abducted on April 15 and kept hostage for two days without food and water in a flat owned by the attacker, said to be in his 30s. He lived on the ground floor of the building in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar, in which the victim’s family also stayed, police said.

The girl, who was raped repeatedly, was rescued when members of her family heard her screams on Wednesday evening, police said.

Meanwhile, family, neighbours and activists of the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) on Friday protested outside the hospital where she was admitted in a serious condition.

Protestors gathered outside the Swami Dayanand Hospital in Shahdara, east Delhi and raised slogans against Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police.

They demanded immediate arrest of the accused in the case and said the girl should be shifted to a better hospital like the All India Institute of Medical SciencesAIIMS).

“The police tried to suppress the matter and even offered Rs 2,000 to the family to keep quiet. On top of that, the child was admitted to a hospital which does not even have proper facilities and equipment,” AAP spokesperson Aswathi Muralidharan said.

“We want a better hospital and immediate arrest of the accused,” she said.

The girl’s father told reporters that he had earlier approached the police with a complaint that his daughter was missing, but they failed to register his complaint.

PRESS RELEASE-Delhi residents, unorganised & informal workers face biometric profiling by #Aadhaar #UID

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Press Release






Aadhaar/UID is an assault on privacy and citizens rights, it should be boycotted  




Sheila Dikshit’s budget speech ignores Punjab & Haryana High Court order, ongoing case in Supreme Court & Parliamentary Committee recommendations
New Delhi: Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Govt. of NCT of Delhi in her budget speech continues to promote biometric profiling by Aadhaar/Unique Identification (UID) number ignoring Punjab & Haryana High Court order, the ongoing case in Supreme Court, Parliamentary Committee recommendations, concerns of the National Human Rights Commission and protests by citizens. Delhi Government’s decision to make ‘voluntary’ 12 digit number Aadhaar/UID number mandatory   is an act of bullying which must be challenged, resisted and boycotted.


Seventeen eminent citizens including Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi and Justice VR Krishna Iyer, former judge, Supreme Court of India have asked for the halting of the Aadhaar/UID project. The entire government machinery is hiding the fact that fundamentally UID is not a proof of identity, it is an identifier contained in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of (UID)/Aadhaar Numbers.


The Aadhaar is unfolding through an undemocratic process and is primarily aimed at Surveillance, Profiling, Tracking and Convergence. The eminent citizen’s statement read: “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.”


In her speech, the Delhi Chief Minister said, “While like the rest of the country we launched Direct Benefit transfer, which has Aadhar linked bank accounts at its core, we have gone further by utilising it for Annshree and Kerosene-free city schemes.”


She added, “…we have succeeded in launching of new plan programmes of “Dilli Annshree Yojana”. 31,617 beneficiaries of this scheme have been covered till mid-March under this Direct Benefit Transfer Aadhar-linked bank account scheme. Cash @ `600 per month has already been transferred to these beneficiaries with effect from April, 2012. Since our technology platform was being rolled out as a pilot, we were not been able to enrol all the eligible in the time frame prescribed. Hence, my government has decided to extend the period up to July 31st 2013, so that all who are enrolled by then would get the benefit from April 2012.”


Referring to Dilli Swavalamban Yojana (DSY) for unorganised and informal sector in terms of numbers of workers and enterprises, a co-contributory pension scheme, in collaboration with the Swavalamban scheme of the Central Government, she said “We will make DSY Aadhar-linked and also ensure universal coverage.”


In two specific orders dated December 18, 2012 and December 20, 2012, Revenue Department of the Delhi government has made Aadhaar mandatory for all citizens who want to access government services like “SC/SC Certificate, OBC Certificate, Domicile Certificate, Income Certificate, Birth Order, Death Order, Surviving Member Certificate, Solvency Certificate, Nationality Certificate, Registration of Marriages under Hindu Marriage Act, Registration of Marriages under Special Marriage Act, Solemnization of Marriages, Registration of various documents in the Sub Registrar’s Office”.The orders are attached. It is noteworthy that the official website of UIDAI has clearly mentioned that, Aadhaar enrolment is voluntary The Aadhaar Enrollment Form which declares on the top of the form that it is voluntary is attached.


Opposition parties in Delhi appear complicit as they are not asking the glaring question: if Aadhaar is voluntary, why is government finding out ways and means to make it mandatory’?


Delhi citizens and opposition parties are being taken for ride. Congress-led Delhi government has asked the State Election Commission to have provisions for Aadhaar enrolments at the Voters’ Registration Centres (VRCs) across the city and all 70 VRCs across the city are to provide single-window service by enrolling people for Aadhaar from February 25, 2013. Opposition parties should pay heed to the ramifications of some 200 venues in Delhi where Delhi residents are being enrolled for Aadhaar/UID.


In a setback to such undemocratic efforts to bulldoze Aadhaar/UID and related schemes, following the direction issued to the Union of India and Union Territory of Chandigarh by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the matter of Civil Writ Petition 569 of 2013 filed in the High Court against Union of India and others, the Executive Order for making Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar mandatory has been withdrawn. In its order the bench of Justice A K Sikri, Chief Justice and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain dated February 19, 2013 had not noted that the petition “raises a pure question of law.” Since the Executive Order was withdrawn, the case too was disposed of March 2, 2013 with a two page order.  The Order observes, “In this writ petition filed as PIL, the petitioner has challenged the vires of notification issued by Union of India for making it compulsory to have UID Cards.”
It is further observed that “Second issue raised in this petition is that vide order dated 5.12.2012, respondent No.3 i.e. Deputy Commissioner, U.T., Chandigarh has given directions to the Branch In charge Registration-cum-Accountant, office of Registering & Licensing Authority, Chandigarh not to accept any application for registration of vehicle and grant of learner/regular driving licence without UID card.”  Union Territory of Chandigarh failed to inform the Court the UID is not a card but an identification number based on biometric data without any legal mandate. One of the prayers in the petition in Chandigarh had sought issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash Executive order dated 5.12.2012 passed by respondent no.3 passed in violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 vide which UID has been mandatory for the registration of vehicles and grant of learner/ regular driving licence.


In a significant development, P. Karunakaran, Chairperson, Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation has accepted the petition with regard biometric data collection related to Planning Commission’s Aadhaar/Unique Identification (UID) Number and Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) on March 18, 2013. The petition was submitted by Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which as earlier given testimony before the Parliamentary Committee that has rejected the UID Bill. The petition before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate legislation draws attention towards how all the residents and citizens of India are being made subordinate to prisoner’s status by the ongoing collection of their “biometric information” that includes finger prints, iris scan for permanent storage in a Centralized Identities Data Register (CIDR) and National Population Register (NPR). This is being done ‘as per an approved strategy” by Planning Commission and Union Ministry of Home Affairs without any legal mandate.
In a related development, in an order date December 27, 2012 addressed to Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has communicated human rights concerns regarding UID and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) submitted to it by CFCL. Earlier, NHRC had expressed its deep concerns and apprehensions about UID and “biometric information” in its submission before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.


In the matter of now rejected National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, 2010, “NHRC’s views on the NIAI Bill, 2010″ in the Human Rights Newsletter (Vol. 18 No.8, August 2011) reveals that UID/Aadhaar Number has dangerous ramifications is quite relevant in this regard. NHRC’s view was presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance. The PSC submitted its report to the Parliament on December 13, 2011 rejecting the UID Bill.


Echoing NHRC’s view on “need for protection of information” and “the possibility of tampering with stored biometric information” in paragraph 5 (page no. 7 of the NHRC newsletter) and “disclosure of information in the interest of national security” mentioned in paragraph 9 (page no.8 of the newsletter).
On UID Number, the Draft Paper on Privacy Bill stated, “Data privacy and the need to protect personal information is almost never a concern when data is stored in a decentralized manner. Data that is maintained in silos is largely useless outside that silo and consequently has a low likelihood of causing any damage. However, all this is likely to change with the implementation of the UID Project. One of the inevitable consequences of the UID Project will be that the UID Number will unify multiple databases. As more and more agencies of the government sign on to the UID Project, the UID Number will become the common thread that links all those databases together. Over time, private enterprise could also adopt the UID Number as an identifier for the purposes of the delivery of their services or even for enrolment as a customer.”
The Draft Paper on Privacy Bill discloses, “Once this happens, the separation of data that currently exists between multiple databases will vanish.” This poses a threat to the identity of citizens and the idea of residents of the state as private persons will be forever abandoned.


In view of NHRC’s observation that UID/Aadhaar number will lead to discrimination due to  its distinction between residents and citizens in the name of “delivery of various benefits and services” and “weaker sections of society” is quite stark and merits attention of Delhi residents in particular. It has already been admitted that “There is no data protection statute in the country”. In such a scenario gullible citizens are being made to submit their biometric information to illegal and illegitimate entities.


For Details: Gopal Krishna, Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), Mb: 9818089660, (Delhi), E-mail:




UID enrolment form Delhi Govt


Delhi Govt UID order Dec 18, 2012


Delhi Govt UID order Dec 20, 2012






#India – Amendments in slum policy of Delhi, will benefit lakhs of slumdwellers #goodnews


After a long & continued struggle, Delhi Government brought amendments in modified slum policy after getting pressurized from the slum dwellers of Delhi.


Delhi Government has accepted most of the demands of the Sangathan & amended policy has been notified on 25th ‘February’2013. The benefits of amended slum policy of Delhi will reach to the hundreds of slum clusters & lakhs of slum dwellers of Delhi.


Since last one decade thousands of poor families living in slum clusters of Delhi facing inhuman evictions by the Government agencies. The ongoing eviction was supported by the modified slum policy which was notified on 19.02.2010 by Delhi Government.


This modified policy had a number of conditions under its eligibility criteria for rehabilitation of slum dwellers. Most of the slum dwellers were unable to fulfill those conditions despite of living in slums since last twenty years. This could have resulted in mass evictions of slum dwellers, loss of shelter & livelihood, school drop outs of children, extreme poverty and malnutrition among women & children. As per previous policy/guidelines, around 80-85% slum dwellers were not eligible for rehabilitation. The settlement of slums has direct link with the livelihood of lakhs of construction & domestic workers, transport workers, vendors & contract workers living in slums.


Delhi Shramik Sangathan mobilized thousands of slum dwellers in hundreds of slums in Delhi against the threat of mass eviction due to such anti labor & anti poor policy. The slum dwellers across Delhi sent thousands of letters to CM office as well as office of the Urban Development Minister of Delhi Government and also marched to Parliament to lodge their protest demanding amendments in slum policy of Delhi on 27th Novenber’2012.


Delhi Shramik Sangathan also submitted memorandum to Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, UPA Chairperson, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, CM of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit and Minister of Urban Development, Government of Delhi, Sh Arvinder Singh Lovely demanding amendments in slum policy of Delhi.


These actions pressurized Delhi Government to change several conditions for eligibility for rehabilitation. The major amendments include:


  • The policy announced on 19.02.2010 had not only defined eligibility criteria for slum dwellers but it had also laid down eligibility conditions for slums; the slums which are situated near footpath, safety zone of railway, right of way, community areas were not eligible for rehabilitation; got removed from the policy.
  • The cut-off date for slum rehabilitation extended from 31st March’2007 to 4th June’2009.
  • As per the modified policy dated 19.02.2010; the slum dwellers had to present documents (Ration cards, Election identity card etc) of four periods that is of 1998, 2002,2007 and on the date of survey. The amendment has removed previous requirements of documents for eligibility condition; the name of the slum dwellers should be in electoral list on or before 04.06.2009 and in the year of survey.
  • The basis of income of slum dwellers as eligibility criteria for rehabilitation got removed from the policy.
  • With respect to ownership right; the flat to the eligible slum dweller will be allotted initially on lease hold basis for 15 years and converted to free hold thereafter.
  • Delhi government has shown intention in the court to withdraw their petition against the order of the honorable High Court of Delhi for rehabilitation of evicted families of New Sanjay Camp, Okhla through petition WP(C) 8904/2009.
  • This amendment will have impact on a number of cases pending in honorable High Court of Delhi for rehabilitation of slum dwellers.
  • The benefits of amended guidelines will also apply to those eight slums which were demolished as per previous modified policy dated 19.02.2010.
  • The procedures of Survey of slums have become more transparent than the earlier one. Now, the slum dwellers will be informed in advance about the survey and each family will be included in survey list whether it’s owner of the Jhuggi or tenant.


The amended policy is still silent on the issues of In-situ rehabilitation and actual cost of the flat under JNNURM.


In total, the amendments in the slum policy will bring relief to the lakhs of slum dwellers of Delhi who were under threat of inhuman eviction & fear of throwing away out of the city. The reality will be known after implementation of these policy guidelines.


Secretary General

Delhi Shramik Sangathan




#India – Delhigangrape accused Ram Singh’s death a security lapse: Home Minister

TNN | Mar 11, 2013,

Delhi gang-rape accused Ram Singh's death a security lapse: Shinde

Delhi gang-rape accused Ram Singh’s death a security lapse: Shinde
NEW DELHI: Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said that rape accused Ram Singh’s death under mysterious circumstances was a major security lapse but he refused to reveal further details as a magisterial probe is underway.”It is a major lapse in security, certainly it is not a small incident. Action will be taken,” home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told a press conference in the capital.

“I cannot come to the conclusion at this moment whether it is a suicide or not before inquiry, he said.

Earlier in the day, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit also met home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to discuss the incident.

Ram Singh, main accused in the horrific gang-rape case of 23-year-old physiotherapy student on December 16, 2012 which caused massive nationwide outrage, allegedly committed suicide in a high-security cell in Tihar Jail early on Monday morning, raising questions over monitoring of undertrials.

Significantly 33-year-old Ram Singh, who had a slight deformity in his right hand after an accident, hanged himself from the grill of his cell in jail No.3 using his clothes, jail officials said.

“Singh was not alone in the cell when he committed suicide. Other inmates were present and a guard was also posted. But nobody came to know about it. Around 5am, he was found hanging,” a senior jail official said.

Prone to violent behaviour and mood swings, he had suicidal tendencies and was under “suicide watch,” he said.

Singh, who was to be produced before court for its daily hearing, was rushed to the jail hospital where he was declared brought dead. His body was taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for post mortem.

The news of his death immediately triggered demands from his lawyers and family for a CBI probe. They alleged that he was murdered inside the jail and refused to believe that he could have committed suicide.

“There were no circumstances which could have led to Ram Singh committing suicide. There was no mental stress. He was very happy,” his lawyer VK Anand said. Lawyers for the defendants had previously accused police of beating confessions out of the men.


Dispelling the haze of #Aadhaar #UID #biometrics #mustread






That the lawmakers of the country have found themselves in a haze of incomprehension about the UID project, which is being promoted as a “game changer”, is deeply unsettling.


United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi presents an Aadhaar ATM card to a beneficiary at the launch of the Delhi Annashree Yojna in New Delhi on December 15, 2012. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit (left) and UIDAI Chairperson Nandan Nilekani are also seen. 

MANY Union Cabinet Ministers are confused about the government’s Unique Identity (UID), or Aadhaar, project. At a Cabinet meeting held on January 31, there was confusion regarding this issue, with some of them reportedly wanting to know whether the UID was a card or a number. This is an attempt to clarify some basic issues about the UID project.

Is the UID a card or a number?

The UID is a 12-digit number. It is not a card. What is sometimes mistaken for a “card” is only the intimation that the issuing authority, the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), sends to a person who has been allotted a number.

The enrolling agency collects a person’s demographic information —name, address, gender, age, and for children, details of parents/guardian—and captures the biometric information—prints of all 10 fingers, scans of both irises and the photograph of the face.

The UIDAI then has the data “de-duplicated” by cross-verifying them against its database to check whether the person is already enrolled and has been issued a number. Since a person could enrol multiple times with a changed name or address, the accuracy and usefulness of the system depend on biometrics.

The UID is, therefore, a number that is linked to a person’s fingerprints and iris scans on a database.

Do we know for sure that fingerprints and iris are unique and reliable metrics?

The truth is we do not. And this is an area of concern, especially as the UID project seeks to make these the key metrics of a person’s identity.

In February 2010, the UIDAI issued a “notice inviting applications for hiring a biometric consultant”, which contained this candid admission: “While NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology, the United States agency that studies biometrics technology in the context of its application to public policy] documents the fact that the accuracy of biometric matching is extremely dependent on demographics and environmental conditions, there is a lack of a sound study that documents the accuracy achievable on Indian demographics (i.e., larger percentage of rural population) and in Indian environmental conditions (i.e., extremely hot and humid climates and facilities without air-conditioning). In fact we do not find any credible study assessing the achievable accuracy in any of the developing countries” 1(emphasis added throughout).

Then, between March and June 2010, the UIDAI did a proof of concept (PoC) study of biometric enrolment. The report, uploaded in February 2011, concluded that it had “validated one hypothesis regarding biometric enrolment”—that iris enrolment was “not particularly difficult” and “dramatically improved” accuracy levels and the “accuracy levels necessary for the de-duplication of all residents of India are achievable”. But what sticks out is a paragraph in the report: “The goal of the PoC was to collect data representative of India and not necessarily to find difficult-to-use biometrics. Therefore, extremely remote rural areas, often with populations specialising in certain types of work (tea plantation workers, areca nut growers, etc.) were not chosen. This ensured that degradation of biometrics characteristics of such narrow groups was not over-represented in the sample data collected.” 2

In July 2010, it was reported that a 2005 paper by researchers at the Rajendra Prasad Ophthalmic Institute in Delhi estimated that there were six to eight million people in India with corneal blindness. It further identified the issue of cataract, which resulted from nutritional deficiencies and prolonged exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays, and corneal scars caused by injury or infection of the cornea.3These are clearly problems essentially pertaining to the labouring masses, the aged and the disabled.

In March 2012, the UIDAI readied its report, “Role of Biometric Technology in Aadhaar Authentication”. Authentication is the process by which a person’s biometric detail is used to establish or verify his or her identity.

The report dislodges the common assumption that the print of the thumb and the index finger can be used to identify a person. It appears that for 55 per cent of those tested, these fingers did not work as their “best finger”. The report recommends a “Best Finger Detection” process. “The best finger to be used for authentication depends on the intrinsic qualities of the finger (for example, ridge formation, how worn out they are, cracked, etc.) as well as the quality of images captured during enrolment process and the authentication transaction,” it says. The fingers are, therefore, to be labelled green, yellow or red, depending on their suitability for single-finger authentication. In addition, some residents could be determined to be “not suitable for reliable fingerprint authentication”. Those younger than 15 and, more especially, persons above 60 years of age had the highest rates of rejection. This is the shaky foundation on which authentication rests.

The report does not tell us how “biometric exemptions”—that is, people who do not have reliable fingerprints or irises that can be used in enrolment—will be treated. Nor does it spell out an alternative to help secure their identity. Nor, indeed, does it speak of spoofing.

On September 30, 2011, J.T. D’Souza, managing director of SPARC Systems Limited, who works with biometrics equipment and has been following the UID project closely and critically, demonstrated to officials in the Planning Commission how, using some Fevicol and candle wax, he could spoof a fingerprint and use it to authenticate someone else. Officials of the UIDAI said they would look into it, but there is no information on what steps they have taken. 4

What about authentication using iris as a biometric? The “Iris Authentication Accuracy Report” was published in September 2012. It starts with the assumption that “the iris does not get worn out with age, or with use. In addition, iris authentication is not impacted by change in the weather.” The report attributes these assumptions to “iris technology literature”. The part of the claim that requires validation is that there is a part of the human body that neither ages nor withers nor wears out. The fact is that this is a new field of inquiry and there is very little literature on the subject.

Perhaps, the first longitudinal study of the ageing iris as a biometric is found in a Notre Dame University study conducted by two professors, Samuel Fenker and Kevin Bowyer. They state: “Using a large data set of iris images acquired over a three-year period, we have analysed cohorts of irises with images acquired over one, two and three years. We find clear and conclusive evidence that template ageing does occur in iris biometric matching. Specifically, the experimental evidence indicates that the false non-match rate increases with increasing time between acquisition of enrolment image and the image to be recognised. In our results, the false non-match rate increases by greater than 50 per cent with two years of time lapse.” The remedy, they suggest, is to have regular “re-enrolment”. At the time of writing, the implications of re-enrolment are not known.

In the process of the UID project roll-out, it has been reported from Jharkhand that authentication failed in four out of every 10 persons. This is the evidence emerging from the field.

Is UID voluntary?

While marketing the idea, the UID was projected as voluntary and was sold as providing an identity to those who have no other. Since, unlike the ration card or the voter ID, the UID does not have any intrinsic value or purpose, there was little enthusiasm for enrolling for it. This led to a change in tactics. Persons without UID are now facing the threat of denial of services. The UIDAI has been involved in the process of making UID mandatory. There is a push to make UID essential for getting rations, accessing banking services and getting gas connections and refills; for school admissions in the economically weaker section (EWS) category, registration of marriages and property transactions; and for getting caste certificates. And, if the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra were to have his way, even making an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act would need the UID. This aggressive push seems to be based not on the usefulness of the UID to the system, but rather to drive the enrolment process.

The fact that the UID has such a low penetration even in the districts that have been selected for the roll-out of UID-linked cash transfers (in lieu of direct subsidies) must be understood in this context.

Is there a law that governs the UID project?

No. However, there is an executive order for the establishment of the UIDAI within the Planning Commission. On December 3, 2010, over two months after the project had begun to collect and process personal data, the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, was introduced in Parliament and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF). The SCF gave its report in December 2011. SCF members, cutting across party lines, found the Bill severely inadequate and recommended that the UID project be taken back to the drawing board.

The SCF found it “unethical and violative of Parliament’s privileges” to proceed with the project when lawmaking was still under way. It commented adversely on the conflation of the “resident” and the “citizen”. The UID scheme, it said, had “been conceptualised with no clarity of purpose… leaving many things to be sorted out during the course of its implementation” and “is being implemented in a directionless way with a lot of confusion”. The “collection of biometric information and its linkage with personal information of individuals” without amending the Citizenship Act and Rules “appears beyond the scope of subordinate legislation, which needs to be examined in detail by Parliament”.

It was scathing about the project, which “continues to be implemented in an overbearing manner without regard to legalities and other social consequences”. On voluntariness, it said: “Although the scheme claims that obtaining Aadhaar number is voluntary, an apprehension is found to have developed in the minds of people that in future, services/benefits, including food entitlements, would be denied in case they do not have Aadhaar number.”

It cited the United Kingdom’s experience with the National ID project regarding the huge cost; the complexity; the untested, unreliable and unsafe technology; and the possibilities of risk to the safety and security of citizens.

The SCF recognised that the UID project “facilitates the UIDAI and the registrars to create database of information of people of the country. Considering the huge database size and possibility of misuse of information”, it said, “…and in the absence of data protection legislation, it would be difficult to deal with the issues like access and misuse of personal information, surveillance, profiling, linking and matching of databases and securing confidentiality of information, etc”.

On September 28, 2010, seventeen eminent persons, including Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Romila Thapar, Justice A.P. Shah, S.R. Sankaran, Aruna Roy, K.G. Kannabiran and Bezwada Wilson, issued a statement in which they said that before the UIDAI went any further, it was imperative to do a feasibility study and a cost benefit analysis, engage experts to study its constitutionality, put a law of privacy in place, and have an informed public debate before any major changes are introduced. In the meantime, they said, the project should be halted. The SCF echoed these concerns.

The SCF found the UID project to be “full of uncertainty in technology as the complex scheme is built upon untested, unreliable technology and several assumptions. Further, despite adverse observations by the UIDAI Biometrics Standards Committee on error rates of biometrics, the UIDAI is collecting the biometric information.”

Relying on registrars to ensure that only genuine residents are enrolled, the SCF said, “may have far-reaching consequences for national security”.

There is still no law, and the UIDAI continues to function in a legal vacuum.

What is the link between the National Population Register (NPR) and the UID?

The NPR is under the Citizenship Act and is a prelude to creating a National Citizen’s Register. The Registrar General of India is responsible for carrying out this task. It is an attempt to establish who is a citizen and who is not and to control infiltration and the entry of illegal immigrants.

The 2003 Rules authorise the collection of only 15 fields of data, and fingerprinting and scanning of irises are not among them. This means that what has been done so far in the NPR process is in violation of the law. The NPR has not itself studied biometrics but has merely gone along with the UID.

The notification that set up the UIDAI within the Planning Commission gave it the mandate to “generate and assign UID” to “residents”, to maintain the database and to work on ways in which user/implementing agencies may use the UID, for instance, for the delivery of various services. It was also to “take necessary steps to ensure collation of NPR with UID (as per approved strategy)”. The expansion of its mandate happened at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the UID, which was constituted after Nandan Nilekani, former chief executive officer of Infosys, was appointed the UIDAI Chairperson. Nilekani was extended permission initially to enrol 10 crore people, which was later increased to 20 crore. It was increased further to 50 per cent of the population after the Home Ministry in January 2012 agreed on an information-sharing agreement with the UIDAI.

The duplication in what the NPR and the UIDAI are doing is one of the unresolved areas.

UID and outsourcing.

The UID project relies on a large number of enrollers who, in turn, are dependent on “introducers” and “verifiers” to help enrol those without IDs. And these have proved to be severely compromised. The issuance of a UID number to “Kothimeer [coriander], s/o Palav, Gongura tota, Mamidikaya vuru [raw mango village, in Telugu]” with the photograph of a mobile phone was only an extreme manifestation of the deficiencies that have shown up. 5

One criticism has been that every time a problem crops up with the technology, or despite it, it is sought to be overlaid with another layer of technology, adding to the costs and introducing one more experiment to the project. So, for instance, when fingerprints seemed an inadequate metric, iris scan was added as an additional metric; a Global Positioning System (GPS) was attached to enrolment equipment after an episode in Hyderabad revealed large-scale enrolment of non-existent people. The investigations in the case are still on.


Scanning for Biometric Information for the Aadhaar project in progress at the Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School in Thiruvallam, Kerala, on February 16, 2012. 

The NPR uses the method followed by the Census, where the enumerators have a responsibility to locate and reach persons to be enrolled.

The potential for exclusion is inherent in both processes.

Who holds the data collected?

The 2009 notification says that the UIDAI “shall own and operate UID database”. The standing committee cited the National Information Centre’s (NIC) concern that the “issues relating to privacy and security of UID data could be better handled by storing [them] in a government data centre”, indicating that it is not currently with the government but “owned” by the UIDAI.

In its Strategic Overview document (2010), the UIDAI had set out a revenue model by which it could become self-sufficient and begin to earn a reasonable profit through selling its authentication services, after which it would not be dependent on government resources. The report of the Technology Advisory Group on Unique Projects (TAG-UP, July 2011), chaired by Nilekani, promotes the idea of National Information Utilities (NIU). These will be “private companies” acting in the “public interest” and will be “profit-making” but not “profit maximising”. Data held by the government is to be handed over to these private companies, which will then use them for profit-making. The 2012-13 Budget adopted the NIU model of data management in relation to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The UIDAI, too, seems to be moving in that direction, where it will acquire the character of an NIU.

This is deeply disturbing, for it will mean that our data will become the property of a company, which may then do data mining and use data as an asset to make money.

Why have there been concerns about the companies involved in the project?

Since the early days of the project, alarm bells have been rung about the involvement of companies such as L-1 Identity Solutions and Accenture. These companies have a close relationship with the intelligence establishment in the United States. L-1 Identity Solutions has been doing a lot of work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It has even had George Tenet, an ex-CIA chief, on its board. Accenture has been partnering the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. in its Smart Borders Project. L-1 Identity Solutions has recently been bought by Safran, a French company in which the French government is a large shareholder.

In reply to an RTI query about these companies, the UIDAI said: “There are no means to verify whether the said companies/organisations are of U.S. origin or not. As per our contractual terms and conditions, only the companies/organisations who are registered can bid” (reproduced in an appendix to Mathew Thomas (ed.), UID is not yours, 2012).

These leave unanswered disturbing questions about the security and confidentiality of a population-wide database.

Has any other country got a project such as this?

No. In fact, the UIDAI prides itself that nowhere in the world is there such a project, on such a scale and on the basis of a biometric database. This, alongside the experimental stage in which biometric enrolment, de-duplication and authentication are at this point, has given rise to concerns that this is a massive experiment on the population of India.

None of the countries in the developed world has accepted biometric identity even as developing countries are encouraged to adopt it.

The George W. Bush administration considered a biometric database when it enacted the Real ID Act in 2005. But it realised the impracticalities of the project, especially in depending upon biometric stability and accuracy across the swathe of population, and across time, and so shelved it.

In Australia, an Access Card for health and welfare benefits was abandoned in 2007, two years after it was started, after protests that raised concerns about privacy, identity theft and disclosure of information.

In the U.K., when the David Cameron government jettisoned the biometric ID project, the Home Secretary explained that this was done because the government was the servant of the people and not their master, and that the project would constitute “intrusive bullying”.

What are the costs of the project?

The direct costs are expected to reach Rs.15,000 crore in this phase of the project. This does not include the cost to the enrollers, the registrars, the time and resources spent by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), administrators and the people enrolling, or the costs of authentication equipment. There is also the cost that is generated in shifting to the UID system, and the cost of failure, both to the individual and to the system. The savings are hypothetical and so far unsubstantiated.

Vijay Unni, former Registrar General of India, has asked why, when the complete Census exercise is carried out at a cost of about Rs.2,000 crore, the UID project cost, at many times that amount, is being borne without question.

Will the UID help in reducing leakage and reduce subsidies?

If de-duplication works, perhaps it will help eliminate duplicates and ghost entries in various databases. If there is a linking of databases and profiling of persons, those not entitled to subsidy may get identified.

But, as academics and activists advocating right to food have argued, given the rates of hunger and child malnourishment in India the country needs to worry about under-inclusion.

The only attempt at calculating the savings that the UID may effect can be found in a document produced for the Planning Commission by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). 6 The study, funded by the UIDAI, relies on patchy data since “the present state of knowledge does not permit precise quantification of the gains”. And “many of the gains from Aadhaar are difficult to quantify as they are intangible”.

In effect, we do not know the effect UID will have on subsidies and leakages.

What are the other anxieties that dog this project?

The convergence of databases and profiling of individuals is a serious concern, and the “seeding” of the UID number in various databases accentuates the problem.

A recent report says that Apollo Hospitals is spearheading an initiative to link the health records of patients with the Aadhaar identification system, raising questions about confidentiality of health data. Linking up the Socio-Economic and Caste Census and the voter ID to the UID will breach the protection that anonymity provides.

The rush into UID-linked cash transfer has given rise to the belief that this is only to help the UID quicken its pace of enrolment which, the UID website reveals, had slumped. And, the cost of failure has not even been considered.

That the lawmakers of the country have found themselves in a haze of incomprehension about a project that is being promoted as a “game changer” is deeply unsettling.

Usha Ramanathan works on the jurisprudence of law, poverty and rights.

END NOTES,curpg-2.cms

4 D’Souza’s demonstration at the Press Club Mumbai can be viewed at:


Delhi Govt Insults Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan by Naming Fish Market After Him #WTFnews

It is a matter of national shame that the insensitive authorities of
the Delhi Government have so recklessly renamed the fish market at
Ghazipur as Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Fish Market supposedly to honour
the memory of this great son of India and famed Urdu poet.

To set this right, we have created petition to the Chief Minister of Delhi and
requested her to rectify this horrendous faux pas ASAP.

This matter not only relates to the Urdu-speaking populace, freedom fighters
and concerned citizens, it is a  transgression on the sanctity of the
Indian nation which was formed from the blood and toil of such freedom
fighters and martyrs as Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan.

The petition states that if  Delhi Government has run out  of
ideas to constructively and judiciously commemorate our martyrs,  poets
and intellectuals, it should at least refrain from making a  mockery of
their sacrifices and dedication to the cause of the nation.

Below is text of petition and do sign at

Ms Sheila Dikshit
Chief Minister of Delhi
New Secretariat
IP Estate
New Delhi-110002

Dear Chief Minister,

On the behest of Anjuman  Taraqqi Urdu ( Hind)   I would like to bring to your notice an intriguing issue thatcan only be considered a matter of national shame as it not only shows an Urdu poet, and by corollary the entire Urdu community, in poor light but also runs the risk of provoking the ire of freedom fighters.

I am sure many concerned citizens like me would not like that the erstwhile
Murga Machli Market of the the Jama Masjid area (shifted to Ghazipur
area) should be named Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan Fish Market. The fact
that it is located right in front of the Murga market is double jeopardy
which even a student of class V will testify. This supposedly to honour
the memory of a great son of India and an eminent poet of Urdu, the
national language! There cannot be a more apt example of myopic policies
and bad taste. It is even more surprising as this atrocity has been
committed under the auspices of an urbanized chief minister such as you
who claims to be a Dilliwali! To drive home my point let me quote a few
lines on the sights and sounds of Delhi, with reference to this market,
described in one of Delhi’s premier magazines Time Out:

‘If you are up for a more pungent olfactory sensation, dive into
Shaheed Ashfaqulla Khan Fish Market, created in 1999 in the sahdow (sic)
of a landfill as a replacement for the famously filthy Jama Masjid fish
bazaar. Around 4am daily, the trucks roll in with catfish and crabs in
water tanks, lobsters, tuna, mackerel, kingfish, prawns and hilsa on
ice.(Time Out on August 31 2012 9.51am, Time Out website, emphasis

Do we want to pay homage to our national heroes with glowing
commemorations or shower them in a deluge of crabs, lobsters, tuna and
prawns? Is this the legacy we want to bequeath to our young generation?
This is surely nothing but a disservice to the memory of this brave
freedom fighter and martyr for the cause of the nation and also to Urdu
which has been a victim of linguistic genocide by the State in free

Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan should only be remembered as an Indian who was
an Urdu shayar par excellence, a brave freedom fighter and a martyr who
gave up his life for his country at the young age of 27. Therefore, it
will be a great service to his memory, if you rectified this grave faux
pas and reconsidered honouring his martyrdom in a more appropriate
manner befitting his stature.

I will be grateful if you could put right this bungle as soon as
possible and an acknowledgement of this note will be greatly



Justice Sachar alleges pvt water companies getting undue benefits

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 12, 2013

Continuing his attack on ‘privatisation’ of water supply in Delhi, Justice (retired) Rajinder Sachar has questioned the role of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in such policy decisions. He has also alleged that private companies were being given undue benefit in the name of 24×7 water supply programmes under public private participation (PPP) model.

A patron of water privatisation and commercialisation resistance committee, Justice Sachar had first written to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in November, raising pertinent issues vis-à-vis privatisation attempts by the DJB. However, instead of Dikshit, he received a reply from Jal board’s CEO Debashree Mukherjee. “Bureaucrats are not in the position to respond to constitutional and policy matters raised by me in the earlier letter,” Sachar has pointed out to Dikshit in another letter sent this week.

The DJB had in 2012 launched three pilot programmes for 24×7 water supply under the PPP model to improve the water distribution system in Malviya Nagar, Nangloi, Vasant Vihar and Mehrauli.

Sachar has pointed out that the DJB has referred to reduction of the non-revenue water (NRW) but the contract agreement signed by the Nangloi project shows that the private operator will not be required to reduce NRW for the first four years.

“This shows that the NRW is not an issue except for justifying privatisation,” he alleged.

Sachar also called for an independent tribunal, which will decide on the water tariffs and the changes required in them, with full public participation. “Despite an automatic 10 % hike incorporated in the cycle, the DJB has failed to guarantee that there would be no mid-term revision,” he alleged.

After the CM’s instructions, DJB has not affected its annual 10 % hike in tariff applicable from January 1. “We reassessed that the privatisation of water services will have serious ramifications for the people. I have drawn your attention to the latest anti-privatisation trends in the world (and), would like you to directly deal with the issue,” Sachar has appealed to the CM.

Despite repeated attempts, the CM remained unavailable for comments.


Include Aadhaar in degrees, birth certificates: Sheila Dikshit #UID


10th January 2013 05:30 PM

  • The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013. |PTi File photo
    The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013. |PTi File photo

Setting an April deadline for implementation of all nine central schemes through direct cash transfer, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit urged the union government to include Aadhaar numbers on degree and birth certificates.

The Delhi government launched four centrally-sponsored schemes through Aadhaar Enabled Direct Cash Transfer scheme in two of its districts Jan 1, when the scheme took off in 20 districts of the country.

The chief minister announced here that Delhi would achieve 95 percent Aadhaar enrolment by Feb 2013.

Dikshit also stated that each Aadhaar number is unique to an individual, and would remain valid for life.


#Delhigangrape victim’s body to be flown back to India today #RIP #Vaw

Saturday, December 29, 2012, 09:13

Zeenews Bureau

Singapore: The 23-year-old girl, who put up a brave battle for life after she was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a Delhi bus on December 16 that had created a nationwide outrage, died on Saturday morning in a hospital here.

The girl, who was admitted to the well-known multi-organ transplant facility Mount Elizabeth Hospital here on Thursday morning in an extremely critical condition, breathed her last at 4:45 am (2:15 am India time). She was earlier treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

  • Congress president Sonia Gandhi condoles death of Delhi gang-rape victim.
  • Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this morning: “Aren’t we all responsible for her death? Can we all now do something so that half of humanity starts feeling safe amongst us?…Her death is a matter of shame and sorrow for all of us. Let’s resolve that we will not let her death go in vain”.
  • Reports say that JNU students will take out a silent march following Delhi gang-rape victim’s death.
  • Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he was deeply saddened by the demise of the victim. “We tried our best to provide her the best possible health care…Government is committed to seek deterrent punishment for all the accused”.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee ‘deeply distressed by the unfortunate demise of the 23-year-old girl’.
  • Condoling the death of Delhi gang-rape victim, Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath appeals for calm, saying mindset of society needs change.
  • The body of the Delhi gang-rape victim, who died this morning, will be flown to India by a special chartered aircraft this afternoon, announced Indian High Commissioner to Singapore TCA Raghavan.
  • Delhi Police will invoke murder charges against the six men allegedly involved in the gang-rape and brutal assault of the girl in a moving bus after she died in a Singapore hospital 13 days after treatment.

    Reacting to the news of the death of the gang-rape victim, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said it was a shameful moment not just as the CM but also as a citizen of the country.

  • Ten Metro stations – Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Khan Market and Jorbagh – will remain closed.

  • Fearing large-scale protests following the death of the gang-rape victim, Delhi Police announced that India Gate and its surrounding areas that comprise the capital’s power centre would be out of bounds for the general public.

  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim and expressed the hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to make India a demonstrably safer place to live in.

  • The Singapore government condoled the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim, who breathed her last at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital this morning.

  • The 23-year-old girl, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted i


Delhi- Police harassment of peaceful women protesters at Jantar Mantar on Dec 25th

Dear all,
I am forwarding a mail I wrote to the CM Sheila Dikshit about the police harassment of 12 women participating in a peaceful gathering at Jantar Mantar on 25th Dec afternoon. The 12 of us (most people were meeting for the first time) were peacefully standing around discussing how to keep the momentum of pressure on the government going when 2 girls came running towards us with tears in their eyes saying that 3 of their female friends had been dragged away by cops to Parliament Street PS. We all went there to bring those women out but we were also violently pushed around and detained as well. Now the cops are denying we were detained at all… and threatening my daughter and me asking us to apologise for having shared our plight with the media outside, with tweets and smses and calls to media people and friends.
Dear ma’am,
My daughter Shambhavi and I and a colleague of mine Reema Ganguly went to Jantar Mantar today 25th Dec to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang-rape.
At around 4pm two girls came running upto us in tears and said that the police had dragged away 2 of their female friends to Parliament Street Police Station and theya sked us to help bring them back. The three of us joined 9 other women and we went to the police station. When we reached there we only saw male constables. We demanded to talk to a female senior officer and said that the 3 women must be released immediately. The policemen very rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those 3 women and so one male cop ordered some female cops standing in the courtyard to come in and arrest all of us.
All of us linked our arms and were being dragged away when I saw a female constable dragging a girl by her hair. My daughter Shambhavi ran to help her and before my eyes I saw a male cop and a female cop pulling my daughter’s hair and hitting her head against a wall I managed to extricate myself and ran towards the 2 young girls to protect them and we managed to get them away…we were then pushed into a small room where we found 4 other women detained earlier – they also recounted how they were slapped and their clothes torn while they were dragged here.
We were kept in that room for 3 hours with no reason being given and finally some woman from an NGO Deepjyoti she said came and said she will get us out if we apologise. We refused and when asked for our names and addresses and phone numbers we all collectively decided only to give other names because we were terrified of what the police would do with our contact information … the three of us – my daughter, my colleague and I gave our names as Divya, Geeta and Aastha.
While we were just about to leave, some cops came rushing out and demanded to know who ‘Shambhavi’ was, because some Shambhavi was informing the media that we were beaten up and detained (my daughter had been tweeting all that was happening) Terrified of what they would do to her, we pulled together and rushed out of there.
We reached home, terrified and hurting all over and now suddenly at 10.24pm, I receive a call from 01123361100 where a man said he was from the same NGO and if Shambhavi did not come and apologise to the SHO at Parliament Street, they would file an FIR against us and come and arrest us in the night itself.
Ma’am, please help.
A terrified mother,
Usha Saxena



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