Press Invite: National Seminar on Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/Aadhaar

Press Invite

National Seminar on Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/Aadhaar

Dear Madam/Sir,

This is to invite you to attend and cover the first National Seminar on Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/ Aadhaar Project on 21st February, 2011 at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna from 9.30 AM to 4 PM

The Seminar will deliberate on Bihar Government’s agreement with UIDAI which was signed on 20 August 2010 along with related issues.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Finance got a ‘Preliminary briefing by the representatives of the Ministry of Planning / Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on the `National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, 2010' on 11th February, 2011 for the second time. So far UIDAI has failed to satisfy the Parliamentary Committee.

This seminar will examine the constitution of UIDAI which was set up by Government of India in January, 2009 as an attached office of the Planning Commission. Prime Minister’s Council on UID Authority was constituted on 30th July, 2009 and its first meeting was held on 12th August, 2009. Subsequently, the Government constituted a Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues (which included A Raja as well).

The NIAI Bill is related with other proposed Bills and programs in the offing such as Draft Land Titling Bill, 2010, Draft Paper on Privacy Bill, 2010, Draft DNA Profiling Act, 2007 and Public Information Infrastructure (PII) for a National Knowledge Network. Besides this although National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid), meant to integrate existing 21 databases with Central and state government agencies and other organisations, and National Population Register (which is quite different from Census) are related but it has not been disclosed by the Government to the States, Parliament and the citizens.

It may be recalled that Government of India through a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release dated May 18, 2010 has stated that 'the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) related issues …approved in principle the adoption of the approach outlined by UIDAI for collection of demographic and biometric attributes of residents (face, all ten fingerprints and iris) for the UID project. It was also decided to include data of the iris for children in the age group of 5 to 15 years. The same standards and processes would be adhered to by the Registrar General of India for the NPR exercise and all other registrars in the UID system.' A technical sub-group was also formed by UIDAI that collected over 250,000 fingerprint images from 25,000 persons sourced from districts of Delhi, UP, Bihar and Orissa for analysing Indian fingerprints.

The UID is a project that has been called a `game changer'. The implications of the project have not been fully understood as yet. In recent months, many eminent intellectuals and other civil society actors have been asking investigating the claims being made about the project. Various concerns, including issues of civil liberty, privacy, constitutionality, exclusion and personal, data and national security have been raised, which call for a public debate.

It appears that a global technology based social control regime is emerging. This entails universal identification architecture with potential threats to civil liberties and natural resources. This merits examination in a historical context.

This seminar is being organised jointly by A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, INSAF and Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties. Eminent scholars, experts and activists have kindly consented to participate in deliberations. The seminar will begin with a keynote address by Dr Usha Ramanathan, noted jurist.

A tentative programme is given below for your perusal.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Citizen Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), Mb: 7739308480

Tentative Agenda

National Seminar on Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/ Aadhaar Project
21 February, 2011
A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, Bihar

9.30 AM-4.00 PM
9.30 -10.AM: Registration
10.00 AM- 10.20 AM Welcome Address– Prof. D M Diwakar

10-.20-10.30 Introducing UID Number & Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) –Mr Gopal Krishna

Session I: Evaluation of Unique Identification (UID) number/ Aadhaar & National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, 2010 10.30 -1.00 PM

Keynote Address: E-governance, State, Citizenship & Private Sector 10.30 AM-11.00 AM
-Dr Usha Ramanathan, noted jurist

11.00 AM-11.20 AM: Question & Answer
11.20-11.40 AM: Tea

Role of Civil Society, Academia, Media & the Idea of UID Number- Mr Anil Chaudhury
11.40 AM-12.00 AM

12.00-12.20 PM: Question & Answer

12.20-1.00 PM Panel Discussion on Ramifications of Bihar Government's MOU with UIDAI & Impact on Federal Structure of the country

Prof D M Diwakar
Dr Usha Ramanathan
Mr Anil Chaudhary
1.00-1.30 PM: Lunch

Session II: International Financial Institutions, Technologies & UID Number 2.00 PM-4.00 PM

2.00 PM-2.20 PM: International Financial Institutions & Infrastructure Projects –Mr Joe Athialy

2.20-2.30 PM: Historical Context of Numbering Human Beings & UID Number- Mr Gopal Krishna

2.30-3.30 Panel Discussion on NIAI Bill, the Role of Political Parties & Resolution

Mr Joe Athialy
Dr Usha Ramanathan
Prof D M Diwakar
Mr Anil Chaudhury
Mr Gopal Krishna

3.30-3.50 PM: Question & Answer
3.50-4.00 PM: Vote of Thanks
4.00 PM: Tea

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