UIDAI & RGI to share citizens database with US like Pakistan's NADRA

To

Shri L K Advani
Chairman
National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
New Delhi
Date: October 29, 2012


Subject-Aadhaar-UID number creating Memory Bank for state and non-state actors, threatens state's autonomy, national security & civil liberties for possible espionage 

Sir,
With due respect this is with reference to the creation of a 18 member National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers using Aadhaar- UID by the Prime Minister on October 25, 2012 in contempt of Parliament, federalism and citizens' rights. 
I submit that with this we are entering into an era of rampant identity frauds through multiple UIDs and industrial and corporate espionage. US Federal Trade Commission statistics reveals more than 2,79,000 instances of identity theft in 2011, up from 2,51,100 a year earlier.
I submit that as part of its e-governance initiative Indian National Congress led United Progressive Government's UIDAI has been misleading the residents, citizens and the media about the UID Number scheme being voluntary, the ‘Legal Framework For Mandatory Electronic Delivery of Services’ of Union Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, refers to “UIDAI – UID based authentication for services” as an enabler, thus making it compulsory. 
I submit that the UID proposal is located in e-governance program that was launched in 1975 with the setting up of National Informatics Centre. The UID Number project is deceptively linked to Multipurpose National Identification Card (MNIC) project proposed in 2002 to a engineer a bipartisan support and suppress the fact that its origins in India lie in the controversial year of 1975.  
I submit that it appears to be linked to Islamabad  based National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) was established in March 2000 to provide integrated homeland security solutions in Pakistan. Earlier, it was established as National Database Organization (NDO), an attached department under the Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan in  1998. On 10 March, 2000, NDO & Directorate General of Registration (DGR) merged to form NADRA, an independent corporate body with requisite autonomy to operate independently and facilitate good governance. With the mandate of developing a system for re-registering 150 million citizens, NADRA launched the Multi-Biometric National Identity Card project developed in conformance with international security documentation issuance practices in the year 2000. The program replaced the paper based Personal Identity System of Pakistan that had been in use since 1971. To date over 96 Million citizens in Pakistan and abroad have utilized the system and its allied services to receive tamper resistant ISO standard Identification Documents. NADRA has developed solutions based on Biometrics and RFID technology and has the largest IT infrastructure in Pakistan with highly qualified technical and managerial resources enabling NADRA to provide customized solutions to any country. Is there any development indicator that suggests that citizens or residents in Pakistan have benefited from  UID version (Multi-Biometric National Identity Card project) there. 
I submit that heads of NADRA and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) like Shri Tariq Malik and Shri Nandan Monohar Nilekani have been awarded by ID WORLD International Congress, the Global Summit on Automatic Identification in Milan, Italy. This coincidence merits parliamentary scrutiny.    
I submit that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has informed Imran Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf in an exclusive interview that "we discovered a cable in 2009 for the Islamabad Embassy. Prime Minister Gillani and and Interior Minister (Rahman) Malik were in the embassy and offered to share NADRA, that is, the voting record system of all voters in pakistan. And a front company was setup in United Kingdom (UK), International Idenntity Services, which was hired as the consultant for NADRA to scroll out NADRA data of all of Pakistan. It seems to me that is a theft of some national treasure of Pakistan the entire Pakistani Database registry of its people." It is noteworthy that WikiLeaks divulged an alleged leaked diplomatic cable. Pakistan’s NADRA like India's UIDAI and Census Commissioner & Registrar General of India of National Population Register (NPR) which holds the personal record of the country’s citizens.
I submit that there is something inexplicable about following multiple identities of Shri Nilekani:
1) He is head of Technology Advisory Group on Unqiue Projects (TAGUP) that proposes "private company with public purpose" and with "profit making as the motive but not profit maximising".
2) He is head of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which is functioning without legislative approval either at the centre or in the states and has signed contracts with US companies like L1 Identities Solution that works with US Intelligence agencies.
3) He is head of Committee on Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology for use on National Highways that proposes Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). 
4) He is head of Inter-ministerial task force to streamline the subsidy distribution mechanism 
5) He is head of Government of India's IT Task Force for Power Sector
6) He is member of National Knowledge Commission
7) He is member of Review Committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
8) He is member of National Advisory Group on e-Governance
9) He is member of Subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that dealt with issues related to insider trading
10) He is member of Reserve Bank of India's Advisory Group on corporate governance
11) He is member of Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development 
12) He is member of Prime Minister headed National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers
13) He is an invitee to the Cabinet Committee on UID related matters
The list is not exhaustive. Shri Nilekani has many more identities as a shareholder and as a former head of a corporation. 
I submit that threat of discontinuance of services for those citizens who do not have UID-Aadhaar has been castigated by Shri Yashwant Sinha headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance while examining and rejecting the National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill, 2010.
The NIAI Bill read: NIAI is “to provide for the establishment of the National Identification Authority of India for the purpose of issuing identification numbers to individuals residing in India and to certain other classes of individuals and manner of authentication of such individuals to facilitate access to benefits and services to such individuals to which they are entitled and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” 
This did not reveal its true motives of the proposal. Two of his motives have been underlined by Shri Nilekani in his book “Imagining India” where he argues that a National ID can create a common land market which can alleviate poverty and undo the constitutional amendment that abolished right to property as fundamental right in 1978. 
It must be noted that land and water co-exist. Therefore, there is a need to re-examine the role of Arghyam, an Indian public charitable foundation and its Project Grants, the India Water Portal and the Urban Water Initiative with an endowment from Smt Rohini Nilekani, Shri Nilekani’s wife. Unless, Arghyam takes position against Special Economic Zones, common land/water market, corporatisation of land/water and transfer of water from rural to urban areas, its motives might appear questionable. 
Together with UID Number, National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) Chief has proposed to create “private territorial armies” to safeguard security of commercial empires. This would erode the autonomy of the states as envisaged in our Constitution. 
It appears quite sad that the State Government is implementing the UID Number without taking sound legal advice and without acknowledging that this project has just been abandoned in UK and other countries. 
I submit that on its website Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) continues to claim that UID-Aadhhar is ‘voluntary’ and not ‘mandatory’. The billion dollar question is: how can Aadhaar be deemed ‘voluntary’ if service delivery is being made dependent on it. This is a grave breach of public trust. This is a deliberate exercise in deception.  The proposed ‘electronic transfers of benefits and entitlements’ through ‘Aadhaar-linked bank accounts of the beneficiaries’ is crafted to make it mandatory. 
I submit that a "Citizens Declaration Against UID Number" adopted at a meeting organised by Sahari Adhikar Manch and Indo Global Social Service Society in New Delhi sought abandonment of the UID project. 
I submit that a meeting "to learn from ongoing struggles, discuss Legislative Oversight on IFIs and strategise towards Policy Standards for National/Private financial institutions in India" held in Kolkatta some 70 organisations called for the scrapping of the UID Number project. This meeting was organised by National Alliance of People’s Movements, Bank Information Center, National Hawkers Federation and Delhi Forum.
I submit that a National Seminar organized jointly by A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (ANSISS), Patna, Indian Social Action Forum and Citizen’s Forum for Civil Liberties on “Idea of Unique Identification (UID) Number/ Aadhaar Project” on 21st February, 2011 in Patna also sought stoppage of the project.
This is with specific reference to the harmful ramifications of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between gullible State Governments and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in 2010 prior to the introduction of The National Identification Authority of India, Bill 2011 in December 2010 which has since been rejected by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance. The MoU is linked to several other related programs and proposed legislations which has not been revealed so far. It has emerged from academic research on the subject that there are inherent dangers of Unique Identity (UID) Number/Aadhaar Number. 
I wish to draw your attention towards what Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India and in charge of Prime Minister's Council of UIDAI Authority of India that was set up on 30 July 2009 said when he met the five "chosen" editors on June 29, 2011 to discuss Black Money etc.
I submit that the message he gave to them in the context of Back Money was "If the project Nandan Nilankani has promised to design, if the UIDAI can give unique ID numbers to all our residents we would have discovered a new pathway to eliminate the scope for corruption..."  
The fact is that the government is promoting UID Number as a 'magic number', "magic wand" and as a "solutions architecture" mentioned in the Report of the Shri Nilekani headed Technology Advisory Group (TAGUP) for Unique Projects dated January 31, 2011 presented to Union Ministry of Finance recommends setting up of National Information Utilities (NIU) to deal with complex Information Technology (IT) systems and projects like  Goods and Services Tax (GST), Tax Information Network (TIN),  Expenditure Information Network (EIN), National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and New Pension System (NPS). The TAGUP was mentioned in the Union Budget 2010 and 2011.It proposes NIUs as "private companies with a public purpose:profit-making, but not profit maximizing." This is indeed an startling proposition.
I submit that this is quite disturbing because there has not been any debate on the UID Number and related proposals and legislations either in the state legislature or in the central legislature although “these systems would be in active use for centuries” to facilitate unprecedented surveillance by the government and its favourite commercial czars.
The National Identification Authority of India Bill (NIAI), 2010 which has been introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 3, 2010 after the constitution of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and appointment of Shri Nandan Nilekani as its Chairman in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister. So far he has not taken any oath of secrecy. The Bill seeks to provide statutory status to the UIDAI which has been functioning without backing of law since January 2009. This Bill is linked to the Land Titling Bill, 2010, Privacy Bill, 2010, DNA Profiling Bill, 2010 and Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations (PIII) for a National Knowledge Network besides National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid), World Bank's eTransform Initiative, Census and National Population Register (NPR) besides World Bank's eTransform Initiative and NATO's UID policy.
It is an acknowledged fact that we already have at least 15 identity proofs including Voter I card. Did Parliament or State Assembly ever feel itself to be illegitimate because voters/citizens legitimise it with these very identity proofs? Which international financial institution or transnational influence has compelled the government to bulldoze a sixteenth identity proof for residents of India? Dalai Lama has been enrolled. Are all the diplomats and their embassies being asked to enrol as well?
This project is unfolding without legislative approval in manifest contempt of Parliament. There is a Bill pertaining to the UID Number that was introduced in December 2010 after the launch of the UID Number in Rajasthan in September 2010 the Rajya Sabha. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance examined the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 which proposed to take legislative consent for granted as per its Section 57. The central government agencies and State Governments ought to apply its rigorous legal mind before proceeding with this proposal because it subverts India federal structure beyond repair.
I am attaching the Statement of Concern issued by citizens like Justice VR Krishna Iyer, former Judge, Supreme Court of India and sixteen other eminent citizens seeking abandonment of UID Number project meant for Indian 'residents' because it is a anti-citizen project. It also poses a threat to national security.
It relevant to note that Shri Nilekani is the Chairman of: 1) Technology Advisory Group on Unqiue Projects (TAGUP), 2) Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), 3) Committee on Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology for use on National Highways, 4) Inter-ministerial task force to streamline the subsidy distribution mechanism and  5) Government of India’s IT Task Force for Power Sector.
Besides the above Shri Nilekani is a member of 1) National Knowledge Commission, 2) Review Committee of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, 3) National Advisory Group on e-Governance, 4) Subcommittee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that dealt with issues related to insider trading and 5) Reserve Bank of India’s Advisory Group on corporate governance. The Union Budget of 2009, 2010 and 2011 also refer to Shri Nilekani.
I submit that a “Strategic Vision on the UIDAI Project” document was prepared and submitted to Processes Committee of the Planning Commission (set up in July 2006) by M/S Wipro Ltd (Consultant for the design phase and program management phase of the Pilot UIDAI project). This Vision document is missing. Another 15 page document of WIPRO’s titled “Does India need a Unique Identity Number?” cited example of UK’s Identity Cards Act, 2006 on page 6 to advance the argument of UID Number in India. Now UK’s Government has abandoned its National Identity Cards Scheme.
I wish to draw your attention towards UK’s new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's speech in British House of Commons wherein, he said: “This government will end the culture of spying on its citizens. It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop. So there will be no ID card scheme. No national identity register, a halt to second generation biometric passports. We won’t hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so. Britain must not be a country where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they accept it without question. Schools will not take children’s fingerprints without even asking their parent’s consent. This will be a government that is proud when British citizens stand up against illegitimate advances of the state.” Full text available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8691753.stm
May I ask, is it the case that when UK implements National Identity Cards Scheme, it should be cited as an example when it abandons the programme, it becomes irrelevant and illogical? Why is WIPRO and UIDAI silent about their UK example?
May I ask, is it not conflict of interest that after submitting the “Strategic Vision on the UIDAI Project” (which is missing now), WIPRO has been getting contracts from UIDAI for “Deployment of 7 Project Managers, Supply, Installation, Commissioning for Hardware & Software for Data Centre at Bengaluru & NCR, Deployment of 32 Resource Personnel and Monitoring Tools and Hiring of Data Centre Space (2000 sqft) & Facilities for UIDAI at Delhi/NCR.” From December 2010 till May 2011, it has got four contracts amidst reports of irregularities?.
I submit that Dr Manmohan Singh has rightly said to the editors on 29th June, 2011 that "Parliamentary Committee"  and the "Comptroller and Auditor General" of India "have a lot more facts which were not available to those who took the decision."
I submit that Dr Singh might not be aware that even Mahatma Gandhi had opposed a law similar to UID as a Black Act in South Africa from 1906 to 1914 saying, “…I have never known legislation of this nature being directed against free men in any part of the world. I know that indentured Indians in Natal are subject to a drastic system of passes, but these poor fellows can hardly be classed as free men” and “…giving of finger prints, required by the Ordinance, was quite a novelty in South Africa. With a view to seeing some literature on the subject, I read a volume on finger impressions by Mr Henry, a police officer, from which I gathered that finger prints were required by law only from criminals.” So there is a history to attempt by the state to number human beings by the imperialist powers as well. It is akin to imposing Salt Tax despite knowing that Mahatma Gandhi had opposed it.
I wish to know from you as to what is the meaning of a legislative exercise like NIAI Bill if the executive both at the centre and in the states implement the UID Number. Either the legislative exercise is illegitimate or the implementation of the project by the government? The Citizens Declaration Against UID Number has underlined that UID Number project is unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic both for the present and future generations.
I wish to draw your attention towards 'A Passion Play', the sixth studio album by Jethro Tull which was released in 1973. In one place in the play it says: 
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play.
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.)
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you."

In view of the above, there is a compelling reason to re-visit the assumptions of UID Number project along with related proposals like NATGRID and legislations like Land Titling Bill that propose Unique Property Identification Number for creating a common land market in the name of alleviating poverty. 
I will be happy to share more information. 

Warm Regards
Gopal Krishna
Member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
New Delhi
Mb:09818089660
E-mail:krishna2777@gmail.com

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