Saturday, April 9, 2011

Aadhar Project Of India

Unique identification project of India (UID project of India) or Aadhar project of India is one of the most controversial projects of India. Aadhar is managed by Nandan Nilekani led unique identification authority of India (UIDAI). Despite the claims by UIDAI and Indian government, Aadhar project and UIDAI are big troubles. Not only they are troubles but both Aadhar project of India and UIDAI are unconstitutional as well.

The National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 was suggested by UIDAI and Nandan Nilekani as a fa├žade and to gain time and divert public attention from this illegal and unconstitutional project. Even the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance grilled Nandan Nilekani on certain basis issues that were remained unanswered by Nandan Nilekani. This shows that Nandan Nilekani is wrong regarding Aadhar project.

Unfortunately, India has been imposing projects and authorities without any legal framework and in active violation of the provisions of Indian Constitution. Both Aadhar project and UIDAI are operating in India without any legal sanction and Parliamentary oversight. Further, both Aadhar Project and UIDAI are using hard earned public money that also in an “Unconstitutional manner”, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India.

What is most surprising is the role of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in this entire episode. Aadhar project of India and UIDAI must be scrapped. However, PMO is supporting unconstitutional Aadhar project and even the Finance Ministry is issuing funds to UIDAI with active disregard of the Constitutional provisions.

Further, India is also not ready for Aadhar project itself. There is a lack of privacy laws, data protection laws and data security laws in India. Aadhar project is not supported by either proper legal frameworks or technical infrastructure.

Aadhar project and UIDAI should have been abolished till now. However, vested interests have kept them alive. This has been done even if it means violating the provisions of Indian Constitution with no regard to Fundamental Rights and civil liberties.

Indian government has recently issued a gazette notification forming joint drafting committee to draft proposed Lokpal Bill. Clearly, it is a step towards eradication of corruption rampant in India. However, who would eliminate the institutional corruption existing in India through projects like Aadhar and authorities like UIDAI is still to be seen. I wish both PMO and Finance Ministry took notice of this fact and act immediately.