Aadhaar: The number that makes a nation ‘Niradhaar’
Is UIDAI’s Aadhaar, the same thing that it claims to be? Here is a simple analysis of the UID project from Dr Anupam Saraph, who designed and implemented identity schemes for government and private organisations
"In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."
-Supreme Court Order in WP 494 of 2012 on September 23rd 2013
How safe is the UID?
1. Enrolment agencies, sub-registrars, registrars and UIDAI have no legal liability for any theft, fraud, crime, and compromise of your security or privacy that may be perpetuated through Aadhaar
2. The use of Aadhaar by various agencies will now expose all your IDs, information, properties, entitlements etc. to misuse in one go thus exposing you to unprecedented risk
3. You have neither control on who uses your Aadhaar nor any way to know or verify its use by anyone
4. Your entire data and biometric is handled by non-Indian companies
How safe is your money in the banking system with UID?
1. Banks have been directed to open accounts with Aadhaar numbers instantaneously—they can no longer verify if the number links to real and unique individuals
2. Money transfers from Aadhaar accounts will not be audited if there is less than Rs10 lakh transferred in a year. This means subsidy, bribes and black money may go to shell accounts that may never be traced!
3. Money can be moved from Aadhaar-to-Aadhaar electronically without your knowledge
How protected are your entitlements and rights with UID?
1. Aadhaar does not guarantee anything. It merely becomes yet another obstacle in obtaining services from the government
2. If your biometric verification fails, you will lose all benefits across the government till you re-establish your credentials. Re-establishing credentials may be at the mercy of netas and babus
How legal is the UID?
1. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Aadhaar card has rejected the Aadhaar exercise. There is no legal sanction or budgetary sanction
2. The Planning Commission has no mandate for such projects
3. The Executive order is bad law under the constitution as it violates fundamental right
4. Under the Citizenship Rules of 2003 it is the Registrar General of India who has to maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens and issue National ID cards
Some fallacious UID Premises
1. Each UID number corresponds to a unique real person
2. Each person can have only one UID
3. All issued UID numbers are genuine
4. No identity theft is possible with the UID
5. Existing identity databases are full of fraud and duplication
6. UID database made by the same agencies/documents has no fraud or duplication
7. Identity is the barrier to service
8. Cash transfer is more effective than the service it was meant to subsidize or deliver
9. Cash transfers will reach real beneficiary
10. Several trillion Rupees can be transferred directly without any scam
11. Financial inclusion is about having a bank account
12. 18,950 rural branches can service 593,731 villages or 31 villages to a branch or 40,000 persons per rural branch through UID
13. 38,592 branches can service 5,161 cities and towns or 7,500 persons per urban branch through UID
14. Corruption in India is because the common man fakes identity
15. UID will simplify the processes to access fundamental rights, entitlements and services
(Dr Anupam Saraph holds a PhD in designing sustainable systems from the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands. Dr Saraph has held CxO and ministerial level positions and served as an independent director on the boards of Public and Private Sector companies and NGOs. As a Professor of Systems, Governance and Decision Sciences, Environmental Systems and Business he mentors students and teaches systems, information systems, environmental systems and sustainable development at universities in Europe, Asia and the Americas.)
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