While Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of UIDAI, is busy fighting his election, he has left behind a dubious record of keeping the Aadhaar holders in the dark regarding access to their biometrics and other personal details by any private or public agency
Now, it is from the horse’s mouth. The office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has admitted that information regarding biometrics and other personal details of Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification (UID) number, to any outside agency cannot be revealed to the holder unless it is requested by the government. In addition, once you have been allocated the UID number, there is no way to delete or cancel it, which means you cannot opt out of it. More shocking is that Aadhaar was never used to authenticate subsidies for the LPG cylinder. It was just used as an identifier for the bank.
The second appeal was heard In a Central Information Commission (CIC) Sharat Sabharwal’s office on 13 March, 2014, wherein he stated that although the RTI applicant, CJ Karira had filed a requisition under Section 7 of the RTI Act, which requires the PIO to give information within 48 hours; the requisition does not specifically come under this section. However, his order stated: “…we took this appeal up for consideration out of turn as the answers of the public authority to the queries of the Appellant in the instant case may be of interest to a large number of UID card holders, who may have similar apprehensions as the Appellant regarding sharing of the data provided by them to the UIDAI for obtaining a UID card.”
Karira, co-convener of India Against Corruption (IAC) filed a RTI application on 27 September 2013 seeking information regarding sharing of his Aadhaar data to outside agencies. He also asked for certified copies of the agencies with whom the data has been shared and procedure to delete one’s name from the UID register.
Not having received a reply from the CPIO, he filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority (FAA) on 13 November, 2013. The FAA did not conduct any hearing or pass any order. On 23 December 2013, the CPIO gave him partial and wrong information, particularly regarding the query of whether details of his UID number was shared with any agency.
Karira stated to the FAA that the “information provided by the CPIO vide his letter dated 23 December 2013, was ‘incomplete and incorrect’, because HPCL and the State Bank of Mysore had his UID number and got the same authenticated through UIDAI, while the CPIO had stated in his reply that his data had not been shared with any entity outside the UIDAI.”
Karira again asked for “complete and correct information free of charge; imposition of penalty on the CPIO under section 20(1) of the RTI Act for the delay in provision of information; a warning to the FAA to dispose of appeals to him within the stipulated time limits under the RTI Act; departmental action against the CPIO and the FAA under the relevant rules and regulations and; a direction to the public authority to arrange training on RTI matters for its concerned officials.”
Having failed to get the required information and to request action against delay of information, Karira went in second appeal with the CIC on 15 January 2014.
The CIC order observes during the hearing on 13 March, 2014, “… it is seen that three of his queries related to the requests… for authentication/ confirmation/ matching of any of his data held by the UIDAI, the details of the persons or entities asking for such authentication etc. and certified copies of requests for such authentication and replies by the UIDAI..”
“The CPIO had stated in his reply dated 23 December 2013 that Karira’s data had not been shared with any entity outside the UIDAI. Karira has submitted that this information was misleading, because he had given his UID number to his gas agency and bank in connection with provision of subsidy on supply of cooking gas cylinders.”
“UIDAI stated that the use of the UID number, provided by the Appellant to his gas agency and bank, was for the limited purpose of ensuring that the person being provided the gas cylinders and subsidy was the same. It did not involve authentication/ matching by those agencies with the data held by them.”
The shocker is about the procedure to surrender one’s Aadhaar number. The order observes: “Two of the queries related to the procedure by which a UID number holder could surrender his UID number and card and get his data erased from the data base of the UIDAI. The CPIO informed the Appellant vide his letter dated 13th and 16 January 2014 that as on date, there was no such procedure adopted by the UIDAI to delete the UID number from the UID database.
The last query in the RTI application sought information regarding the non-UIDAI entities/ persons, who have access to his personal/ demographic/ biometric data held by UIDAI or with whom UIDAI has shared such data.
“…The CPIO stated that data would be shared only on a formal request by the State concerned through the Nodal Departments for the delivery of welfare and public services and schemes of the Government. Karira submitted during the hearing that a declaration in the application for UID number obtains the consent of the applicant for such sharing of data. The Respondents stated that such consent is not mandatory, but optional.’’
The CIC also ordered that UIDAI should have adequate number of CPIOs and FAAs to ensure that all applications are disposed off within the relevant time frame. According to CIC, “…there had been a surge in the RTI applications to the UIDAI through the online RTI portal since August-September 2013, and as many as 480 applications were received between August & November 2013…We are surprised that a public authority such as the UIDAI, with widespread public dealings, should have thought it fit to have only one CPIO until recently.”
Reacting on the CIC order, RTI activist Maj Gen SCN Jatar (retd) said, “It is shocking to note that Aadhaar is not used to authenticate LPG gas subsidies. It is only an identifier for a bank and the OMC to ‘match’ the number; there is no way to delete an UID number once allocated; there is no way to delete the biometric and other details of a citizen who wants to "opt out" of Aadhaar; there is no record maintained of who Aadhaar data is shared with and; there is no record maintained of who Aadhaar data is shared with!’’
Here is the order from the CIC…
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
If studies are accurate, more than a million patients in the US are harmed a year by the medical care they thought would heal them. Here are six recommended steps the sufferer can take
This post, originally published on Sept. 18, 2012, has been updated.
I often speak to people who have become victims of patient harm. They, or maybe a loved one, went to the hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office and suffered a preventable injury, infection or medical error. Many times they’re seriously disabled. Or they’re calling me because their family member or loved one was killed.
If studies are accurate, more than a million patients are harmed a year by the medical care they thought would heal them. When it happens, many patients and their family members don’t know where to turn for answers and accountability.
To provide some guidance I spoke to Helen Haskell, founder of Mothers Against Medical Error. She recommends they take six steps.
1. Get a copy of medical records. Every patient has a right to his or her medical records under federal law. These records can provide important information about what happened – and what might have gone wrong.
What to do: As soon as possible after the incident, contact your doctor’s office or go to the hospital’s medical records department and ask for a complete copy, including doctor and nursing notes, lab results and copies of diagnostic images. (Warning: There may be significant charges for copying, and records can sometimes be altered.)
2. Make sure the incident is reported internally. Accredited hospitals are required to conduct internal investigations of serious medical incidents. And they’re supposed to have procedures in place to deal with incidents that lead to patient harm or could lead to patient harm.
What to do: Ask to be part of the investigation, or to at least have your version of events on record as part of the analysis.
3. If the patient has died, order a forensic autopsy, which includes toxicology tests. Autopsies — though not always 100 percent accurate — are the most reliable means of finding out what happened in an unexpected death. Hospitals do not routinely conduct autopsies, but the family has the right to get one.
What to do: In some situations, the local coroner or medical examiner is supposed to be called if a patient dies in a medical facility. If the authorities decline to take the case, the family may have to pay for a forensic autopsy. In that case, ask the coroner or medical examiner’s office for a referral to an independent pathologist.
4. Consider calling an attorney. Be aware that the standards for proving medical malpractice are much higher than most patients expect. Attorneys take few cases because they’re expensive to pursue and difficult to win. Even if an attorney does not take your case, however, he or she may help you deal with the hospital or other providers.
What to do: Ask friends or lawyers you know for the name of an experienced malpractice attorney. Or find one online.
5. Meet with the doctor and hospital officials. Ask them how they will prevent future harm to other patients. If the patient has suffered damages or died, you can also negotiate directly with the providers to waive medical bills or agree on an amount for compensation. You may wish to bring an attorney to help ensure that any agreement you make is in your best interest.
What to do: The Assertive Patient has some tips.
6. Report the incident to regulators, who can investigate. While regulatory action is often much milder than patients assume is warranted, it creates a paper trail. Providers may be cited or fined and required to create a program for improvement.
What to do: It’s necessary to report to the correct agency:
The Indian benchmark indices may give up some gains to make a fresh move up
The Indian market opened Wednesday higher and stayed in a range until around 1.00pm, after which it started giving up the gains. However, after trading in the negative for a little while, the market managed to come back in the green. The NSE 50-share Nifty closed in the positive for the fifth consecutive session.
The BSE 30-share Sensex opened at 22,135 while the Nifty opened at 6,616. Both the indices hit their all time high at 22,172 and 6,627, respectively. The indices hit a low of 22,021 and 6,581 during the day. Sensex closed at 22,095 (up 40 points or 0.18%) while Nifty closed at 6,601 (up 12 points or 0.18%). The NSE recorded a volume of 78.34 crore shares.
Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were Metal (2.64%); Commodities (1.47%); PSU Bank (1.44%); CPSE (1.40%) and MNC (1.27%). The top five losers were Pharma (2.07%); Media (1.96%); IT (0.84%); FMCG (0.69%) and Service (0.11%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 28 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Sesa Sterlite (3.94%), Hindalco (3.60%), Jindal Steel (3.28%), IDFC (3.04%) and Bank of Baroda (2.58%). The top five losers were Dr Reddy (3.32%), Lupin (2.43%), Jaiprakash Associates (2.25%), Sun Pharma (2.18%), TCS (2.17%).
Of the 1,552 companies on the NSE, 665 companies closed in the green, 794 companies in the red while 93 closed flat.
March 2014 Futures & Options (F&O) contracts will expire on Thursday.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday made investments in India easier for foreign investors by allowing them to open special rupee as well as foreign currency accounts with local banks. For this purpose, RBI clubbed foreign institutional investors and qualified foreign investors under one category called “Registered Foreign Portfolio Investor” (RFPI).
Tata Motors, one of the Sensex stocks, was among the top five gainers in the pack of 30. The stock was in news for its price hike in April. Tata Motors rose 2.70% to close at Rs 401.25 on the BSE.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to release the Sahara chief Subrata Roy on bail subject to a deposit Rs5,000 crore to the securities regulator as well as provide bank guarantees for another Rs5,000 crore. It agreed to defreeze bank accounts of Sahara companies to raise the Rs10,000 crore. The court adjourned the case to tomorrow, asking Sahara to give details of the bank accounts that are to be defreezed. Sahara One Media & Entertainment rose 5% to close Rs59.85 on the BSE.
Tata Steel today sold its 25-acre Borivali land parcel in Mumbai for Rs1,155 crore to Oberoi Realty through e-auction. The site measuring roughly 25 acres is located at the junction of Western Express Highway and Dattapada road in Borivali (E), Mumbai, and is abutting both these roads. Oberoi Realty was among the top two gainers in the ‘A’ group of BSE. The stock rose 9.69% to close at Rs217.95 on the BSE.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has inked a pact with a leading Saudi Arabian lender - National Commercial Bank - to implement a new core banking software platform that is likely to "transform" its customer service delivery system. TCS was among the losers in the Sensex 30 stocks. TCS fell 2.21% to close at Rs2,098.35 on the BSE.
US indices closed in the green on Tuesday. US consumer confidence jumped in March 2014 to the highest level in more than six years. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its gauge of consumer confidence reached 82.3 in March — the highest level since January 2008 — compared with an upwardly revised 78.3 in February. US home prices slipped in January for a third straight month after a particularly harsh winter, according to data released Tuesday, as strong year-over-year appreciation showed signs of moderating. New US homes sold at an annual rate of 440,000 in February, down 3.3% from January's one-year high, the government said Tuesday.
Except for Shanghai Composite (0.18%) and NZSE 50 (0.11%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Straits Times (1.26%) was the top gainer. European indices were trading in the green. US premarket futures too were trading higher.