National Seminar Rejects UID Number Project

Press Release

Participants Endorsed the Statement of Concern on UID Number Seeking Stoppage of the Scheme


Patna 21/2/2011: A National Seminar was organized jointly by A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (ANSISS), Patna, INSAF and Citizen’s Forum for Civil Liberties, New Delhi on “Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/ Aadhaar Project” on 21st Feb 2011 at ANSISS, Patna.

The chief guest Dr. Usha Ramanathan noted Jurist of Supreme Court, emphasized on the concept of UIDAI. The Unique Identification Authority of India is an agency of the Government of India responsible for implementing the envisioned Multipurpose National Identity Card or Unique Identification card (UID Card) project in India. It was established in February 2009, and will own and operate the Unique Identification Number database. The authority will aim at providing a unique number to all Indians. The authority would provide a database of residents containing very simple data in biometrics.

She focused on the issue and said that UID is basically a control of Identity through Technology. UID project is about Technology and application of Technology. But she also stressed that we should be able to control technology and neither the technology nor the people who control the technology should control us. This issue is now two years old and numbers of claims have been made on the UID by Mr. Nandan Nilekeni who started the project.

Most reports suggest that the plan is for each Indian citizen to have a unique identification number with associated identifying biometric data and photographs by 2011. However, other reports claim that obtaining a unique number would be voluntary, but those that opt to stay out of the system will find it very inconvenient: they will not have access to facilities that require you to cite your ID number. She gave an example of Mizoram where people refused to take UID numbers because for them the numbers are the mark of a devil.

Through this seminar she wanted to put the negative implications of the projects. There are many potential privacy fallouts of this project. Risks that arise from this include possible errors in the collection of information, recording of inaccurate data, corruption of data from anonymous sources, and unauthorized access to or disclosure of personal information. Other countries with national identification systems have confronted numerous problems with similar risks such as trading and selling of information, India is ill-equipped to deal with such problems. So, it is important to stop this project and for this public domain is important and people should know the real concept of UID.

Mr. Gopal Krishna, Citizen’s Forum for Civil Liberties, New Delhi, during his presentation mentioned about the emergence of UID and what UID number stands for. He said it a twelve digit ID consisting person’s photo, finger print and few more general information like age, sex etc. he also said that it not merely for the citizens but for the residence in which citizens’ will be in subset.

Mr. Anil Chaudhary from INSAF Delhi, during the session emphasized on this issue and said that this concept was first started by the corporate sector and later rest of them followed it. This programme or project is good for the rulling class but will not stand beneficial for the ruled. He also said that to establish a biometric machine number of things are required like: machine itself, computer, connector between both Internet facilities and the most important electricity. It is a revival plan of IT sector. In the capitalist regime this project will not become successful the only thing from this project will be collected and that is money.

Mr. Joe Athialy in the second session focused on World Bank in India and in UID.

The seminar was processed with the vibrant discussions. Participants in the seminar animously resolved to prepare a pamphlets and booklets in simple language for common people to make them aware for UID. Prof. Nil Ratan, Prof. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Ajit Hansda, from ANSISS, Vasudev jee, Mr. Ajit Kumar, Mr. Arun Kumar, Mr. Pushpraj, Mr. Naval Kishore and Mr. Uday Chandra all said that debate on this issue should be done. We should take feedback from the public for resolution on this.


Prof. D M Diwakar, Director of the Institute cordially welcomed and presented vote of thanks to the participants and speakers assembled at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, Bihar. He briefly explained the theme and highlighted the necessary aims and objectives of this seminar. Objective analysis is required for UID and its implications on common people. Question remains as how technology should reach to common people easily to solve their problems and protect their privacy and liberty.



Dr. Anuja

Member

Seminar Committee

A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (ANSISS),

Patna- 01


--
Gopal Krishna
Member
Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties
New Delhi
Mb: 07739308480, 09818089660
Skype id: witnesskrishna
E-mail: krishna2777@gmail.com

P.S: A detailed note on UID Number and why it should be scrapped in Hindi is attached. The same was circulated at the National Seminar. The participants at the seminar endorsed the statement of concern of eminent citizens available on
http://www.petitiononline.com/NO2UID/petition.html

List of signatories to the Statement on the UID :
Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Retired Judge, Supreme Court of India satgamaya@dataone.in
Prof Romila Thapar, Historian romila.thapar@gmail.com
K.G.Kannabiran, Senior Civil Liberties Lawyer kg.kannabiran@gmail.com
Kavita Srivastava, PUCL and Right to Food Campaign
Aruna Roy, MKKS, Rajasthan
Nikhil Dey, MKKS, Rajasthan
S.R.Sankaran, Retired Secretary, Government of India
Deep Joshi, Independent Consultant
Upendra Baxi, Jurist and ex-Vice Chancellor of Universities of Surat and Delhi BaxiUpendra@aol.com
Uma Chakravarthi, Historian
Shohini Ghosh, Teacher and Film Maker
Amar Kanwar, Film Maker
Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karamchari Andolan
Trilochan Sastry, IIMB, and Association for Democratic Reforms trilochans@iimb.ernet.in
Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar, ex- IIMA, and Association for Democratic Reforms
Justice A.P.Shah, Retired Chief Justice of High Court of Delhi ajitprakashshah@gmail.com

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