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Moneylife » Life » UID/Aadhaar » Aadhaar: The number that makes a nation ‘Niradhaar’

Aadhaar: The number that makes a nation ‘Niradhaar’

Dr Anupam Saraph | 02/10/2013 04:37 PM | 

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

 

Additional References

1.     http://uidai.gov.in

2.     http://planningcommission.nic.in/sectors/index.php?sectors=dbt

3.     http://bargad.org/2012/03/17/budgetary-allocation-for-uid/

4.     http://openspace.org.in/UIDaadhaar

5.     http://www.aadhararticles.blogspot.in

6.     http://saynotoaadhaar.blogspot.in

7.     http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_ViewMasterCirculardetails.aspx

8.     http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_CircularIndexDisplay.aspx

9.     http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx

10.  http://identityproject.lse.ac.uk

11.  http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/5-problems-national-id-cards

 

(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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22 Comments
Sudhir Jatar

Sudhir Jatar 9 months ago

Another aspect has come up. I understand that the subsidy that is credited to the account is taxable. Hence, 20 to 30 % tax will be deducted, which would come to about Rs. 630 to Rs. 930 per year, depending on your tax bracket!

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Sudhir Jatar

Sudhir Jatar 9 months ago

In today's Marathi news paper, "Sakal", there is a letter to the Editor that direct bank transfer of subsidy portion is actually punishing the poor and is meant to benefit the rich. Here's how!
It is difficult for a 'poor' person to shell out Rs. 1000/- at one go for a cylinder and then wait (indefinitely?) for the subsidy to be credited to his or her account. The problem becomes acute if the cylinder comes at the end of the month because most are living a hand-to-mouth existence.
This is a very valid point, which has not been brought out so far.

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Ramani Venkatraman

Ramani Venkatraman 11 months ago

It is a stupid idea to link subsidy payments to accounts linked with the Aadhaar numbers..in all likelihood, it will lead to a scam of huge proportions. And why should the common man be made to run around to avail the subsidy which is part of what the Govt decides as legitimate to him.. more corruption in the offing with this facility. It fails anyone's comprehension as to what was wrong with the way subsidies were paid all these days..has this been only to accommodate scamsters who would innovate the way to pump money out of government coffers?

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Mayuresh

Mayuresh 11 months ago in reply to Ramani Venkatraman

Current systems involve issuance of subsidy by either cash or cheque via some Govt office where cash is to be distributed. In cases like LPG they are directly paid to the distributor.

Problem with cash/cheque subsidies given currently is, unless you give some "babu" a cut of it, he will make sure you won't get it.

For subsidies like LPG, people buying it at subsidised rates and selling in black or using it for commercial purposes are the problems.

These things can be drastically improved if Govt transfers various subsidies directly to the recipient.

True, there can be loopholes in this, but it is still far better than the current systems.

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Seshamani

Seshamani 1 year ago

Mr Saraph - your article on Aadhar is good, but may I suggest that the section on fallatious claims of UID should each have an explanation for each of the statements. It would make the matter clear to many people.

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Mayuresh

Mayuresh 1 year ago

Biometric uniqueness could be a misnomer. That doesn't necessarily make UID useless.

At any point of time non-matching bimetries outnumber matching ones by orders of magnitudes.

In other words, while biometry may not be enough to prove 2 persons identical, on great many occasions it proves two persons to be non identical.

Let us leave the uniqueness debate to theoreticians. I like to look at UID as an extension of the PAN notion. True, there could be implementation issues, which does not make the basic idea flawed.

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