Friday, December 30, 2011

After Parl. Panel rejection of UID bill, activists require it to be stopped

A panel of eminent citizens, which includes jurists like Usha Ramanathan and Deep Joshi member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) among others, has called for the Unique Identification Number (UID) card project to be immediately stopped after the Parliamentary Standing Committee rejected the National Identification Authority of India (NIDAI) Bill, 2010. They also asked the government to also start a CBI enquiry and CAG audit of the scheme.

In its report which was presented to the Parliament on December13, 2011, the Parliamentary Standing Committee asked the government to stop the UID project. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is leading this project to issue UID cards to all the Indians

The Standing Committee which rejected the biometrics data based identification of Indians said that the UID project is “directionless” and has been “conceptualized with no clarity of purpose.” The Committee found the biometric technology ‘uncertain’ and ‘untested.’ There were several other reasons why the committee rejected the UID project. For instance, the Committee also noted that the government has “admitted that no committee has been constituted to study the financial implication of the UID scheme; and 9b0 comparative costs of the aadhar number (UID number) and various existing ID documents are also not available.”

Unique Identification Number later renamed as Aadhaar number, is an initiative of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) of the Indian government to create a unique ID for every Indian resident. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number, stored in a centralised database and linked to the basic demographics and biometric information – photograph, ten fingerprints and iris – of each individual.

Several leading activists have been opposing the UID card because of several serious reasons. For instance the UID project seeks to gather data of all the citizens of India at such a huge scale when there is no data protection law in place in the country. More importantly there have been several cases where the data collectors of the UID cards are anti-social elements, who have reportedly sold the data to local stakeholders.

Activists have been opposing the UID scheme also because it has the potential to become a tool for ‘exclusion’ particularly in the case of date misuse. For instance, if the date gets leaked, it can be misused to identify and target a particular group like religious or linguistic minorities. For instance in case of any communal riot, there are apprehensions that the data can be misused to identify and target a minority group.

Even though the government had recognized the need for a law to deal with security and confidentiality of information, imposition of obligation of disclosure of information in certain cases, impersonation at the time of enrolment, investigation of acts which constitute offenses and unauthorized disclosure of information, the Unique Identification (UID) project was allowed to march on without any such protection being put in place. This disdain for the law has been characterized by the Standing Committee as ‘unethical and violative of the Parliament’s prerogatives.’

That’s why the Standing Committee also noted that while the UIDAI was constituted on January 28, 2009 without parliamentary approval, and the UID numbers were began to be rolled out in September 2010, the Detailed project Report of the UID Scheme was done much later in April 2011.

The Parliamentary panel also noted that the government had no business going ahead with the UID cards when it didn’t have the legal as well as parliamentary mandate to do that, a fact which Chief Ministers of several states highlighted in their letters written to the Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Importantly according to the government and Nandan Nilekani, who is heading the UID project, the UID card promises to give the poor their identity, it is a tool for profiling the beneficiary in the PDS, streamlining payments to be made under the MGNREGS and enabling the achievement of targets under the Right to Education or any such government scheme. Service delivery is what it guarantees. But serious doubts have been raised about its being able to rationalise the PDS.

Another aspect being voiced in favor of the UID is its efficacy in streamlining direct cash transfer to the poor by effectively segmenting the poor and the needy. Nilekani has also been saying that the UID card will make all the other cards irrelevant and the citizens of India won’t have to be concerned about other cards. But leading activists and the entire civil society has been saying that there are several other issues like safety and security of the data and thereby the citizens of India among others which are too important to be ignored. At present Indian citizens have 15 cards including ration card, voter ID card, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.

But the Parliamentary Standing Committee and leading activists of the country like Aruna Roy and Jean Derez, want the project to be put on hold till a feasibility was done, a cost; benefit analysis undertaken, a law of privacy put in place, and various concerns of surveillance, tracking profiling, tagging and convergance of data be addressed. The Standing Committee asked the government that the project can’t carry on till all of the above mentioned issues are sorted out.

Interestingly the Parliamentary Committee also accepted the concerns expressed by the activists that the UID project authorities should acknowledge that several developed countries like UK, USA, China, Australia, and the Philippines have abandoned identity schemes like UIDAI. For instance studies on identity scheme were done in UK but were later withdrawn in May 2010 because of the reasons ranging from “(a) the huge cost involved and possible cost overturns (b) too complex (c) untested, reliable and unsafe technology (d) possibility of risks to the safety and security of the citizens.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Home Minister has demanded that the Unique Identification data collection should be done by his ministry

Delaying Aadhaar Card Due to Non-certified Centre Operators

If you are still waiting for your Aadhar or Unique Identification (UID) cards even after months of registering, you may have to re-register as the data might have been lost in transit.
Even as around 2.7 crore people in the state have registered for the Aadhar cards, as many as 1 crore people are yet to receive them, all due to non-certified operators/supervisors who worked at Aadhar registration centres and have now been sacked.
The state government has ordered non-certified supervisors at about 200 centres to stop working from December, said V Shankar Shastri, deputy director of Civil Supplies Department (CSD). "After the UIDAI officials clear the collected data of enrolled members in a couple of weeks, the process of generating ID cards will start in those centres," he said.
But some residents who enrolled as far back as 10 months ago may have to re-register as the collected data could not reach the main UIDAI's Aadhar enrolment centre in Bangalore, a senior CSD official said.
The government gave the contract of Aadhaar card registrations to nearly 11 private contractors in January this year. These private contractors distributed the work among 150 subcontractors, who then set up about 2,200 centres across the state. The guidelines state that the operators or supervisors recruited to run the centres have to clear a UIDAI test. But contractors managed to set up centres where only a few members had cleared the test.
Meanwhile, in a recent meeting, minister for food, civil supplies, legal metrology and consumer affairs, D Sridhar Babu said that Aadhar cards would be useful in future to receive government benefits and in other transactions.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Unique Identity arrangement runs into bone and confusion

 Sometimes, to lay the piped gas line, at others, to fix a adulterated electric cable. Barely is it repaired than the telecom administration address it up afresh while the baptize lath and carrion advisers delay for their about-face to burrow a afresh paved stretch. Allocation amid assorted agencies would anticipate absurd duplication of effort, and save money, too. But that is not how things assignment in India. 
Residents can analyze with the plight of the alley appropriate now. Booty the case of Durgavati Devi, an apprenticed casual to Delhi from Azamgarh, UP. The alone certificate she bedevilled was her aborigine card. When the UID affected was captivated in her locality, she rushed to get registered, assertive the new ‘pehchan patra' would be her admission to BPL rations, a host of added abundance aliment and, best importantly, authorize her as a Delhiite. But alike as she waits for the postman to bear the bewitched 12-digit Aadhar number, she has learnt that the demography men will ascendancy a National Population Register (NPR) affected soon, area she will acquire to abide her biometrics all over afresh for an character card. She is baffled, and so are abounding others.
The aldermanic continuing board on accounts afresh alone the government's National Character Ascendancy of India Bill, 2010, which was to accord acknowledged abetment to the ambitious, advancing UID project. The activity aims at registering up to 20 crore bodies by March 2012 and accouterment anniversary with a altered character number. To date, over 8.7 crore bodies acquire been registered by the UID and over 0500 crore spent. The board has now alone the bill for a host of reasons. 
A above argument was that no cost-benefit assay was done afore acknowledging such an big-ticket arrangement vis a vis added methods like hologram-enabled allowance cards to annihilate affected beneficiaries. Another point was the abridgement of allocation amid government departments. The accounts admiral itself has several agencies accession advice on residents, all with the ultimate aim of carrying abundance schemes to those who best crave them. Added issues with the bill were abundantly about aegis apropos over abusage of claimed data.
Where, then, does this development leave Nandan Nilekani's aggressive exercise? The accounts committee, while abnegation the present draft, asked the government to accompany alpha legislation afore Parliament. While this agency that no one is talking anon about auctioning the UID, it is not acceptable to get approved abetment anytime soon, either. This, in effect, takes the burnish off the 12-digit cardinal and additionally raises the affair over how the biometric actual calm so far will be adequate after a law in place. Of course, the chiffonier charge not acquire the committee's decision, but with 29 of 30 associates in the board adjoin the project, demography this attitude won't be easy, either. 
Nilekani maintains the UID is alive appear the March-end deadline. At a address in Delhi, he emphasised that the UID was not an I-card provider, but an electronical cardinal generator. It was up to assorted agencies in approaching to articulation the cardinal to facilitate commitment of services, he said, advertence a pilot activity in Jharkhand area NREGA payments were actuality fabricated anon to coffer accounts enabled by Aadhar. He added that agencies like the authorization appointment and Election Commission would acquire to run their own checks.
Does this beggarly that all the activity associated with the UID agenda was aloof that, a hoopla? Anil Swaroop of the RSBY affected aloft this affair at the aforementioned lecture, saying, “We called the UID to a position area it would break all problems. Yet, the aboriginal UID cardinal holders in Maharashtra are still aggravating to amount whether it will accomplish the Public Distribution Arrangement accessible to them.” He acquainted that unless some amount was anon imparted to the UID number, absorption in the UID would wane.
Meanwhile, the appointment of the Registrar General and Demography Abettor of India has fabricated abundant advance with the NPR. “The aboriginal appearance of the NPR was done forth with the domiciliary analysis of the 2011 Census. We acquire digitised over 32 crore entries and the biometric exercise is accepted in all the littoral states, Delhi, Manipur and Nagaland,” asserted C. Chandramouli, registrar-general and demography abettor of India. The biometrics of about 85 lakh bodies acquire already been grabbed, and 06,000 crore has been spent on the aboriginal phase. The borderline for commutual the NPR exercise is December 2012. The coasts are actuality covered aboriginal because column 26/11, the affair of littoral aegis was aloft and a charge for establishing character proofs actively felt.
How is the NPR altered from the UID, then, and which is added important? “The NPR has the approved abetment to affair an character card, the UID is aloof a number,” Chandramouli explained. It got acknowledged sanction in 2003. “The NPR allotment is a compulsatory exercise, the UID voluntary. The UID can be generated anywhere in India and is not absolutely a residential proof; the NPR gives residential information. It will be the aboriginal base on which aborigine analysis will eventually be done,” the abettor added. His appointment will activate arising NPR cards by mid-2012. The NPR card, too, won't acquire annihilation affiliated to it initially; it will be up to assorted agencies to use it to facilitate deliveries.
Why again was the UID activity launched? Chandramouli declared that because of the continued evolution of the NPR project, there was a charge to cycle out a quicker character bearing arrangement for bodies who best bare it. “The UID's authorization is alone 20 crore up to March 2012. Above that date and number, the NPR will booty over.” And how does this aggregation happen? This is article that no one is abiding of, or accommodating to analyze at this stage. In several states, the UID and NPR biometric recordings are absolutely activity on concomitantly. Nilekani said, “Let the chiffonier animadversion on the UID/NPR chaos.” He beforehand acclaimed that above his 20 crore mandate, the cardinal bearing would acquire to be taken by some added authority, if not the UID itself.
Observers feel that the UID will not appear to blank as it is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's pet activity and abnormally back the chiffonier has absent face with accepting to abjure several decisions. Unfortunately, the UID additionally seems to be bent in a altercate amid clashing factions of the government itself, with the home and accounts ministries not seeing eye to eye.
All this makes no faculty to the residents, who are alpha to catechism why they should booty allotment in any numeration exercise, biometric or otherwise. “What are we accepted to do, aloof accumulate accession numbers?” asked Ravi Sharma, a government officer. “First, we had to get the PAN number, again the UID, now the NPR. As a careful citizen, I got my absolute ancestors registered for the UID, the exercise took a few hours. Now we apprentice these may not alike abate red-tape or cardboard work, balloon carrying services. Now the actual actuality of UID is beneath a cloud. If this is a joke, it is a actual big-ticket one.”

Source : theweek

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Railways have decided to introduce the tatkal method for Duronto Express

The railways accept absitively to acquaint the tatkal arrangement for Duronto Express, which did not accept this facility. The railways accept additionally accustomed the Aadhar agenda to be acclimated as photo identification for affairs e-tickets or authoritative catch beneath the tatkal scheme. 

According to officials, "The railway lath has absitively to acquaint the tatkal arrangement for Duronto due to appeal from assorted quarters. The tatkal accuse will be on par with those applicative to mail/express trains alike admitting the book in Duronto is college back compared to accustomed trains." 

Duronto Express avalanche in the arch chic of trains alternation that run ceaseless amid the antecedent and final destination , with no average stoppages. These trains were alien in 2009 and ply amid important cities of altered states of the country.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Now Applying Ration Card in Online - Bangalore

State government's Food and Civil Supplies (FCS) department has been accepting online applications for new ration cards at here. Here are some details you will need to fill online application form:  Click Here

-Ward number, taluk, city and district name
-RR number and location code of your electricity connection (from BESCOM bills)
-Personal details like address, phone number, job, DOB, number of years you have been staying in the house etc
-Details of relatives members to be included in ration card
-Total annual income of the relatives
-Details of your LPG connection (agency name, consumer number, name of connection owner), if any. This knowledge will be cross checked with FCS's existing knowledge of valid LPG connections.
-Number of your elderly ration card, if any
-Aadhar number, PAN card details etc are asked, but are not compulsory.
No documents must be submitted online. On submitting knowledge, you will get an online acknowledgement form with a receipt number. Acknowledgement will even be SMSed to the mobile number that you had provided in the application form. There is no deadline for applying.
"The process is the same as the earlier LPG verification - if RR number matches, card is approved. For those with LPG connections, both RR number and LPG verification is mandatory before ration card is approved," says Gangadhar, Deputy Director (Bangalore Urban) at FCS.
General public are not allowed submit LPG verification details online directly anymore, but they can get it done through their respective LPG agencies. "Half of all ration card applications - about one.5 lakh - is from Bangalore Urban alone. They have not started issuing cards yet, it will take some time," says Gangadhar.
The department had suspended about 12 lakh ration cards in urban areas in the state in the coursework of its earlier LPG verification drive. In Bangalore, about 58,400 APL ration cards have been cancelled, 16,000 are under verification, and about 25,000 have been accepted as valid. "This is mostly because the correct RR number was not provided. These candidates can still get their gas agencies to enter the correct number and get their cards approved," says Gangadhar.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Aadhaar will facilitate absolute funding

Even as the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI grapples with the inter-ministerial altercate over its aggressive different character project, Congress accepted secretary Rahul Gandhi today affianced his hopes on Aadhar (unique character number) to boldness the commitment challenges accent by his ancestor and above prime abbot Rajiv Gandhi.

Addressing a acquisition of bodies from Bundelkhand actuality today, Rahul said that his ancestor had accurate his affair apropos alone 15 paise extensive the advised beneficiaries from Rs one doled out from the Centre.

He told the gathering, abounding of whom anecdotal tales of funds beneath the Bundelkhand amalgamation not extensive them, that UIDAI will boldness this as it would facilitate funds to ability anon to them.

‘Have you all heard about UID?" Rahul asked the gathering, which feebly responded about Aadhar but could not affix with UID. With Aadhar evoking some acknowledgment from the gathering, Rahul approved to explain them how it will comprise complication of character cards — BPL card, allowance card, job cards , etc. — into a distinct agenda that will facilitate absolute allotment alteration to them.

Source: indianexpress

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Aadhar Card Role In Delivering Healthcare

The unique identification card (UID) would open up a whole new dimension in healthcare in the country, according to Mr Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Mr Nilekani was speaking on the theme “Aadhar and its role in delivering universal healthcare” at the special plenary session on the first day of the 8th India Health Summit organised by Confederation of India Industries (CII) at New Delhi.
Explaining the applications of the UID, Mr Nilekani said most Indians do not have birth certificates or any other proof of identity and added to this is the problem of migration or mobility. This poses a problem for an individual in availing any facility or service. The UID system being put in place in India would help eliminate this problem, Mr Niilekani said. With internet facilitating accumulation and analysis of large volumes of data, these records can prove of immense use both for the individual as well as the medical practitioners, the UIDAI chairman said. Pointing out that 125 million persons have already been enrolled for UID and the figure going to grow by 600 million in the next two and a half years, Mr Nilekani said this would help keep and examine records.
Explaining, he said it would enable and streamline delivery of healthcare facilities like immunisation. At present it is often not known what all has a child been immunised for, especially if he travels elsewhere with his parents. The records stored under his UIID would eliminate this problem. At the same time, with large volumes of data records of people, it would be possible to see trends of diseases, building up of any epidemic and monitor functioning of health care operators in real time, Mr Nilekani pointed out. Thanking Mr Nilekani for opening up “a whole new stream”, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII National Committee on Healthcare, said in light of all this, the medical fraternity would need to make use of the opportunity provided by the Aadhar system, work with the government on this and make the necessary tie ups to put systems in place for making use of the opportunity.