The very premise of Aadhar is flawed.
The very premise of Aadhar is flawed.
Its a certification that those who claim to think on behalf of India or its underprivileged understand it so differently from the beneficiaries they think of.
In a nutshell, Aadhar will not bring about any of the benefits that are intended for its intended beneficiaries. Because that will be solving a problem of governance by adding another layer that is imaginary and unnecessary.
To call it "technological leadership" is as removed from reality as calling a reader a writer of the book. At best it will mean that we can take a technology and ram it down the throat of the poor while other nations with stronger democratic roots and respect for citizens have not been able to do so for reasons of building consensus.
"Aadhar" is like dropping a car by helicopter in a village where there is no road and hope every villager can reach wherever they may want to go.
For anyone willing to think, Aadhar is a reflection of the huge disconnect that India has from both the world of the under privileged and the rest of the world.
Please think through before supporting UID/ Aadhaar, so you do not regret your decision.
Emphasising the need for separation of powers, James Madison bluntly observed in his essay, Federalist 51. "Because men are not angels," they need government to prevent them, by force when necessary, from invading the lives, property, and liberty of their fellow citizens. He also noted that the same non-angelic men can wield the government’s coercive machinery to use it tyrannically—even in a democracy.
"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Jaswant Singh, Sept 2012
Friday, November 15, 2013
The Petroleum Ministry is mulling over the use of other substitutes such as ration card, voter ID card or driving licence to provide cash subsidy to LPG beneficiaries, but it is still unsure about ways to make them authentic.
“There are several other documents, and ration card may be one,” a senior government official told Deccan Herald but expressed concerns that no other document “can provide the foolproof authenticity” as Aadhaar.
The Central government has planned to link the Aadhaar card number to all social sector schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act job card, scholarships, pension ID and others. But currently only LPG is largely linked to Aadhaar.
Aadhaar provides a resident a 12-digit unique number after recording bio metric information like fingerprints and iris. Its authenticity is considered close to perfect. The government has planned to use this unique identification card for its cash transfer scheme for various subsidies to ensure the benefits reach the right person.
The Aadhaar platform, which also seeks to eliminate diversions and plug leakages, is already being used for transfer of LPG subsidy in cash to bank accounts of beneficiaries in 97 districts of the country. The government had planned to extend it to almost 265 districts by January 1, 2014.
Direct cash transfer for LPG began on June 1 in 19 districts. The government gave a three-month grace period to enable consumers to get the Aadhaar card and link it with their bank accounts.
After the expiry of this period, according to the government, cash subsidy may be provided only to consumers who had Aadhaar cards.
But the Supreme Court recently issued an order that Aadhaar could not be made mandatory for people to get government services and nobody should be deprived of facilities for want of the card. It also rejected the review petition filed by the government on this issue.
After the court’s order, Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily had said Aadhaar would not be mandatory for availing LPG subsidy till it was cleared by the Supreme Court or through legislative authorisation. However, in those districts where the three-month grace period has lapsed, the consumers are being charged at the open market rate even for their subsidised LPG refills, the official said.
The Supreme Court will hear the argument in Aadhaar case again on Tuesday.
Over three years and hundreds of consultations later, several drafts of the proposed Bill were written and rejected, and at least two committees have given recommendations. However, the law has not seen the light of day. Meanwhile, citizen data digitisation is moving at a pace like never before in the country.
Business Standard had reported on October 28 about how an investigation revealed that several states and central departments might be, unwittingly, following a bare-it-all approach in posting citizen data online in order to push the government's agenda of greater transparency and accountability. While the Centre's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme puts out full bank account numbers of its beneficiaries, government website of Uttar Pradesh has put out full details of ration card holders, including annual income along with address and information about members of the family. By putting such sensitive information online, the government could be jeopardising the privacy of its 1.2 billion citizens, who stand exposed to a variety of risks, including those of 360-degree profiling and financial frauds. (INFORMATION DELUGE)
According to government officials, the department of personnel and training has finished compiling the final draft of the privacy legislation, now awaiting approval from the prime minister; the department is under him.
"In the absence of a privacy Bill, the only data protection, pseudo, is through Section 43A of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Unfortunately, that is not a data protection law; it is only a data security provision," said Sunil Abraham, executive director of the Centre for Internet and Society.
Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court lawyer and cyber security expert, said India needs more security while collecting data and "currently a lot of these websites don't have these security layers". Take for instance, the website of the chief electoral officer of New Delhi. Type a person's first or last name and select the constituency - the website throws up the details of all people with this name, along with all the details such as address and voter identity number. According to officials of the Election Commission, the searchability feature helps in easy access of voter details by people themselves or by interested political parties. "There has been no evidence to prove its use otherwise," an official of the EC told Business Standard.
However, experts said otherwise. Abraham said the electronic version of the electoral roll has a unique identifier, the voter ID number. "And, if there are other databases with the same identifier, a comprehensive profile of a citizen can be created." He added, at the moment, we are saved from 360-degree profiling to some extent, since there is no common identifier.
Once a privacy law comes into being, the government or a private agency will have to adequately inform citizens before collecting data, stating the reasons and only collecting as much information as is necessary for the purpose. It will also have to clearly define the time period for which the data will be stored and the security measures taken to protect it from misuse. The law also lays down the penalties in case of a breach.
Though in a less detailed manner, the current IT Act also addresses some of these issues. It defines anything which reveals financial information, biometric, health and medical records, etc, as sensitive financial information which cannot be put in the public domain.
However, experts said the government is lax in even enforcing the existing laws. To be fair, some states and departments have started being prudent about the data they put online. For instance, the state government of Chhattisgarh, a trend setter in effectively implementing the Public Distribution System, doesn't reveal much in terms of citizen information that can identify a person or can be termed as a breach of privacy. Similarly, Odisha and some northeastern states have put in a layer of security which creates some deterrents while using common keywords to search the electoral roll and create a profile of residents in a particular locality.
However, for now, most departments stuck in the tradeoff between privacy and transparency find solace in pointing fingers at contemporaries who might have also put "more sensitive and dangerous" citizen details online. The blame game doesn't end.
Recommendations of the A P Shah Committee*
* A data controller to give notice before collecting personal information, state its purposes, whether it would be disclosed to third parties and the security measures taken
CHOICE AND CONSENT
* Individuals to get choice as to what information can be shared, empowering them to approve and authorise collection and usage
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
* Personal information would not be disclosed to third parties without notice
* Only necessary data required for the purpose would be collected; reduces possibilities of misuse
* Data collected should be adequate and relevant to the purposes for which these are processed
* Ensure personal information is retained only as long as it is necessary
* Reasonable security safeguards against any reasonably foreseeable risks, including unauthorised access
Thursday, November 14, 2013
4935 - National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2013 to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament - Governance Now
The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 3rd December. The Speaker, Lok Sabha in consultation with the Chairman, Rajya Sabha referred the Bill to the Standing Committee on Finance. The Standing Committee presented the Report to the Lok Sabha and laid it in Rajya Sabha on 13th December 2011.
The UIDAI has been functioning under an executive order issued by the Government in January 2009, establishing UIDAI as an Attached Office of the Planning Commission. The Bill proposes to constitute a statutory authority to be called the National Identification Authority of India and lay down the powers and functions of the Authority, the framework for issuing Aadhaar numbers, defines offences and penalties and matters incidental thereto through an Act of Parliament.
The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, inter alia, seeks to provide, among other things, specific details of the demographic information and biometric information for enrolment for Aadhaar and the processes for their collection and verification. It also aims to provide accurate details of these data collection agencies and ministries, said the release.
The release also stated the issuance of Aadhaar was based on the opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the opinion of the Attorney General of India who had stated that the UIDAI can continue to function under the executive order issued by the Government and there is nothing in the law, or otherwise, which prevents the Authority from functioning under the executive authorization.
The release said that with respect to the concern of the Standing Committee on unauthorised access and misuse of personal information, provisions have been made in the Bill for protection of information.
As regards the apprehension that service/benefits might be denied to individual who do not have Aadhaar, it has been clarified that Aadhaar number is an enabler, with a purpose of effective delivery and benefits by establishing identity of the resident, said the release.
The actual requirement and the use of Aadhaar will be determined by the implementing ministries/agencies.
Among the procedural issues raised against Aadhaar are untested and unreliable technology; global experience of identity projects; high cost; absence of study on financial implication; duplication of effort with National Population Register exercise; and inability to in covering full or near full the marginalised sections. These issues have been answered by planning commission which has said in the release that cost projections for the UIDAI project were approved by the Government of India for total amount of Rs 12,398.22 crore as compared to Rs. 150,000 crore according to some media reports.
The total cumulative expenditure incurred by UIDAI, since inception of the project, is Rs. 3490 crore as on 30th September 2013, said the release.
It pointed out that a Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aadhaar Project conducted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) shows that the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), in real terms, generated by Aadhaar would be 52.85%.
In January 2012, it was decided with the approval of the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI, that NPR and UIDAI enrolments should proceed simultaneously.
HYDERABAD: Even as a majority of LPG consumers are brimming with grievances ever since the Centre decided to link the supply of gas and subsidy to the Aadhaar card, three oil companies have made it clear they cannot pay the subsidy with retrospective effect.
4932 - Mangalore: Union Minister Veerappa Moily asserts Aadhaar Card not Mandatory citing SC Ruling - Bellevision
The marketing of 5 kilograms LPG cylinders are already begun in filling stations with good response, added minister Moily.
‘I have been travelling in trains and public transport since the past 2 months to save energy costs. It has indeed saved huge money. If the countrymen do the same, the nation will save Rs 28,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore in energy costs. It will in turn lead to slash in prices of petroleum products. The educating the public in this regard is the need of the hour,’ said minister Moily.
No need worry over anti-superstition Bill
Nothing has been decided on introducing anti-superstition Bill; as CM Siddaramaiah has not officially stated in this regard. The state administration will not introduce the Bill that will hinder the belief of masses. The people need not worry over the issue, said minister Moily.
Modi acting like Hitler
Narendra Modi is a liar, acts like Hitler. He boasts about stalwarts Vallabhabai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, but does not know their struggle in unifying the states and treading the nation during upheavals. He wants to make a life size statue of Vallabhabai Patel, which will not make Modi a great man indeed. He is crazy for publicity and speaks whatever pleases to satiate his ego, criticized minister Moily.
- RICHA MISHRA
- SIDDHARTHA P. SAIKIA
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Calcutta, Nov. 4: The Left Front today said not possessing Aadhaar cards could not be a ground for denying subsidy on LPG to domestic consumers, a stand Mamata Banerjee has taken.
Realising that the chief minister had beaten them again in taking up an issue that will affect the common man, the Left Front today decided to protest the UPA II government’s move.
After a meeting at Alimuddin Street this afternoon, CPM state secretary and Front chairman Biman Bose said: “It seems that the issuance of Aadhaar cards is enveloped in aandhaar (darkness). The Centre should throw light on this. The Left Front is strongly protesting the Centre’s move to link the Aadhaar card to the availability of subsidy on domestic LPG. In no way can the Centre deny such benefits to the consumers.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory for getting subsidy.
Mamata’s outburst against the Centre came on Friday, the day the Aadhaar-linked direct benefit transfer scheme on domestic LPG came into effect in Calcutta, Howrah and Cooch Behar.
Sources said the chief minister was unhappy because the majority of the people in Bengal was yet to get Aadhaar cards. Those who have got the cards are yet to get their bank accounts linked with them.
Bose today wondered what would happen to those who did not have bank accounts and so wouldn’t be eligible for central subsidy.
“The Centre should clarify all these,” he said.