Monday, September 30, 2013

France won’t support Romania, Bulgaria joining Schengen zone

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 France is not in favor of allowing Romania and Bulgaria into Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone for now, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday. He cited concerns about border security amid fierce debate within France’s ruling coalition over the treatment of the Roma (Gypsy) population, Reuters reported. “If there is not a change in conditions, we won’t be in favor,” Fabius said of a forthcoming EU decision on whether to grant free movement to those states beginning January 1, 2014.

Turkey may remove headscarf ban in public institutions

Turkey may remove headscarf ban in public institutions as part of ‘democratization package’


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will reveal the details of a democratization package in Ankara on Monday. The package is expected to allow women with headscarves to provide public services, and men will also be granted more flexibility in their dress code and permission to grow beards, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Political parties would be able to campaign in languages other than Turkish. Private schools will be able to provide Kurdish and Arabic as elective courses to students upon demand. Letters such as “q,” “w” and “x” – which are used in Kurdish – will now be allowed in education and public services.
Mrs. R S Borah named as the first lady Director on OIL Board

New Delhi, 1st October’13: Mrs. Rupshikha Saikia Borah, today, has taken over as Director Finance of Oil India Ltd; Nation's second biggest state-owned exploration and production firm.

Mrs. Borah is the first ever lady functional director in the Board of this Navaratna company. She has to her credit over 27 years of rich experience in diverse fields of Financial Management, Audit, Treasury, Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning.


Mrs. Borah is a post graduate in Commerce from Delhi School of Economics and has the distinction of being the first lady Chartered Accountant from the North-East India. Her laurels include the prestigious Fulbright Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, USA.  She had been honored with the ‘Best CA Professional Woman Achiever Award’ by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and had also received a special commendation “Petrofed Woman Executive of Oil & Gas Industry Award” by Petrofed, India. 


Ajit Doval, Director
Vivekananda International Foundation  

cordially invites you to the launch of 

 Debating Culture

Authored by 
Dr. Anirban Ganguly
by
          Prof. Kapil Kapoor                  &                  Prof. Dilip Kr Chakrabarti
     (Former Pro Vice Chancellor,JNU)                     (Professor Emeritus, Cambridge University)


Date:  Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm 
 
Venue Vivekananda International Foundation
               
3, San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri
               New Delhi-110021
Please join us for tea at 5.30 pm.
(Formal Invitation Card attached)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Quake M6.7 - KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude6.7
Date-Time
  • 30 Sep 2013 05:55:54 UTC
  • 29 Sep 2013 17:55:54 near epicenter
  • 30 Sep 2013 09:55:54 standard time in your timezone
Location30.956S 178.244W
Depth34 km
Distances
  • 81 km (50 mi) NE of L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand
  • 870 km (539 mi) NE of Whangarei, New Zealand
  • 891 km (552 mi) NNE of Whakatane, New Zealand
  • 906 km (561 mi) NE of Tauranga, New Zealand
  • 1129 km (699 mi) SSW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
Location UncertaintyHorizontal: 0.0 km; Vertical 2.6 km
ParametersNph = 133; Dmin = 192.4 km; Rmss = 1.55 seconds; Gp = 22°
Version = 1

Coffin Maker, is all set for an Italian premiere

Coffin Maker, is all set for an Italian premiere at the 13th River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The Coffin Maker, is all set for an Italian premiere at the 13th River to River Florence Indian Film Festival the only festival in Italy thatⳠtotally devoted to films from and about India.

The film will be screened first at the Florence Fest that takes off on November 22, 2013 and in a new highlight will also visit Rome between November 29 and December 1, 2013. 

Directed by debutante Veena Bakshi, it will be competing in the feature film section for the River to River Bitebay Audience Award.
Yuvraj back in Team India, squad for Oz series announced
Yuvraj back in Team India, squad for Oz series announcedUpdated on : 30-09-2013 02:21 PM
In-form senior batsman Yuvraj Singh made a comeback but pacer Umesh Yadav was dropped from the 15-member Indian cricket team announced on Monday for the first Twenty20 International and three ODIs against Australia starting 10th October in Rajkot.


Yuvraj, who last played for India against England in an ODI in Dharamsala last January, was recalled after a string of fantastic scores for India A against West Indies A and a solid display for India Blue in the recently-concluded NKP Salve Challenger Series. 

Yuvraj scored 337 runs in five List A matches at an average of 67.40 with a highest score of 123 against the touring Caribbean side. He also scored a quickfire 52 against West Indies A in a T20 game in Bangalore. 

With his more than useful left-arm spin as back-up, Yuvraj is certain to play an important role in that Indian bowling line-up in the middle overs. 

Yuvraj replaced Dinesh Karthik, who didn't do much since his comeback save a lone half century in the Champions Trophy. 

Opener Murali Vijay, who hasn't set the limited overs stage on fire was also dropped from the squad announced by the selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil. 

One of the notable exclusions was pacer Umesh Yadav, who didn't do his case a world of good by performing poorly in the Challenger Series giving away 67 runs in 10 overs and a whopping 85 runs in 9 overs respectively in the two matches he played for India Red. 

Bengal speedster Mohammed Shami, seasoned Karnataka seamer Ranganath Vinay Kumar and promising Saurashtra left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat were retained from the pace attack that played its last international series in Zimbabwe. 

Haryana paceman Mohit Sharma was dropped from the squad while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma made a comeback after well deserved rest. Bhuvneshwar bowled India Blue to Challenger Series triumph with a four-wicket haul in the final. 

Young Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Perveez Rasool made way for senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while Amit Mishra held on to his place in the squad having taken 18 wickets in the last series against Zimbabwe. 

The reserve batsman's place in the squad was a battle between Ambati Rayudu and Ajinkya Rahane with very little to choose between them. In the end, Rayudu who now plays for Baroda in Ranji Trophy, got the nod ahead of the Mumbaikar. 

According to a reliable source, the names of senior pros Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir did not even come up for discussion but the selectors will be keenly following their performance in the four-day match against the West Indies A in Hubli, Karnataka from Wednesday. 

Squad (1 T20 International and first 3 ODIs):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu. 

Lalu Yadav in jail, faces disqualification as MP

Lalu Yadav in jail, faces disqualification as MP

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Fodder scam:
In a body blow to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) before next year’s Lok Sabha polls, its President Lalu Prasad Yadav has been convicted by a special CBI court in Ranchi in the fodder scam corruption case that disqualifies him from Parliament and renders him ineligible for contesting elections for at least six years. 
Another 44 accused, including former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra, six politicians and four IAS officers, were also convicted by court of Pravas Kumar Singh for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury. 
The court fixed October three for pronouncement of sentence against Yadav, Mishra and others.
The RJD chief faces immediate disqualification as Lok Sabha member under a recent Supreme Court order that an MP or MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more and under some other laws even without jail sentence. He would be the first MP to lose his Lok Sabha membership under the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The August judgement of the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the electoral law that provided protection to sitting MPs and MLAs by allowing them to continue in their posts if they appeal against a lower court conviction and secure a stay of the order. 
Earlier, Prasad arrived at the special CBI court before delivery of the verdict in the 17-year-old case. 
The court had on September 17 set Sunday’s date to pass orders in the case. Among others, IAS officers Mahesh Prasad, Phoolchand Singh, Beck Juleus, K Arumugam, Income Tax officer A C Choudhary, former AHD officials and fodder suppliers were also among the accused.
Prasad had begun arguments on September 9 and ended it on September 17 after the Supreme Court turned down his request to change the current special court to another court after he apprehended political conspiracy. 
Following the Animal Husbandry scam, popularly known as the Fodder Scam, Prasad had to resign as chief minister of Bihar. 
After installing his wife Rabri Devi as the chief minister, Yadav had surrendered to a court in Patna on July 31, 1997. Later, he came to Ranchi following a court order that Ranchi had the jurisdiction of the case. 
The Mecon Guest House was converted to a camp jail in Ranchi before he was shifted to the old Birsa Munda Jail at Circular road. 
After Jharkhand’s bifurcation on November 15, 2000, the litigations were brought before the Supreme Court whether the Patna High Court had the jurisdiction on the cases in this part of the undivided Bihar and trial was stayed till December 2000 to December 2001. 
The SC had said in November, 2001 that trial would be conducted by special courts in Ranchi. Trial in Ranchi began in March, 2002 by seven special courts. 
The case was posted for defence of Prasad from May 15 and Prasad’s counsel examined 29 witnesses in his defence. But when the defence continued to skip dates, the court fixed July 15 to deliver the judgement and asked the accused to complete arguments by July 1. 
Subsequently, Prasad moved the Supreme Court pleading shifting of his case from the court of Pravas Kumar Singh on the ground of political conspiracy, which the apex court struck down, paving the way for the first judgement against Prasad.

AirAsia is Business Traveller’s ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’

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SEPANG, 30 October 2013 – AirAsia was once again distinguished as the best in its class, when the airline was awarded with the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ award at the 2013 BusinessTraveller Asia-Pacific’s Awards ceremony, held at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong recently.
This is the second successive win for AirAsia, a nod to the airline’s growing power and its stature as the market leader in the low cost carrier segment.
AirAsia first won the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline’ award category last year, when it was first introduced by Business Traveller Asia Pacific in recognition to the growing force of budget carriers in the region.
AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes said, “This second ‘Best Low-Cost Carrier’ award win represents the unwavering support and belief from our guests towards our services and products. We thank them for choosing AirAsia as the airline of choice for their travels.

“We will continue to work hard to maintain our leadership spot and uphold our pledge to present our guests with unbeatable low fares and exceptional products and services. This win is also due to the collective contributions of our ‘AirAsia Allstars, whose hard work, passion, dedication and creativity made this recognition possible.
The Travel Awards ceremony is a premier annual event for over 20 years and a much awaited event by top players in travel and hospitality, to etch their names in the industry’s roll of honour.
AirAsia was chosen as the inaugural award winner through votes by Business Traveller readers, recognizing the airline as a service provider which has maintained impeccable standards and making journeys seamless and productive.
This comprehensive survey was conducted annually among Business Traveller subscribers, and the 2013 results are based on data collected between April and June this year.
For more than 20 years the awards have rewarded the excellence that its readers have experienced on their travels during the previous year.
AirAsia is a household name which has flown over 200 million guests since it was established nearly twelve years ago with a mission to democratize air travel in the region and has been operationally profitable from day one of its launch as a low-cost carrier. The airline now has operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, servicing the most extensive network with 85 destinations.
Business Traveller heads the portfolio of titles belonging to the international publishing house, Panacea Publishing, headquartered in London. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific is one of 10 titles around the world, including Business Traveller China.
Since its first issue in April 1982, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has provided a valuable resource for frequent travellers and served as a dynamic platform for their concerns.
Narendra Modi, opposition parties taken for a ride on illegal
biometric data collection

Now Gujarat & other States must withdraw from MoU signed with UIDAI

Illegitimate and illegal biometric identification of citizens like
prisoners should be stopped

Lawyers, students, citizens should boycott biometric identification
against bribing of voters

SEPTEMBER 28, 2013: After Statement of Concern by eminent citizens
like Justice V R Krishna Iyer , adverse report of the multi party
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, the judgment of the
Punjab & Haryana Court, the order of National Human Rights Commission
to the Union Home Secretary Affairs, the admission  of a complaint
regarding illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional subordinate
legislation for biometric Aadhhar/UID by Parliamentary Committee on
Subordinate Legislation, in a series of statements on Twitter,
Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP and Gujarat
Chief Minister has asked the Indian National Congress led Government,
“Were all states on board on Aadhaar?” in the aftermath of the Supreme
Court ‘s order of September 23 rebuking the Government for making it
mandatory.

Modi said, “When the SC raised these points, the PM must tell nation
that did all states and departments approve Aadhar? But you just spent
huge money. You need to answer nation for that. What the Supreme Court
said today, I raised the similar point three years ago. I told him to
convene a National Security Card meeting, consult Chief Ministers, but
he did nothing. Nation wants to know from the PM how much money was
spent on Aadhar card? Who gained from it? What about the questions the
SC raised?” As an immediate follow up, Gujarat Government must
withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it signed with
the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

In a letter dated Jun 25, 2011, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties
(CFCL) had written to Gujarat Chief Minister pointing out threats to
national security and civil leberties from the UID number. The letter
had urged him to withdraw from the attached MoU that was signed by
Shri V. N. Maira. IAS. Principal Secretary (Planning), General
Administration Department, Gujarat Government on June 9, 2010. CFCL
urges Government of Gujarat and all the State Governments, especially
the ones ruled by the non-Congress parties to withdraw from the MoUs
they have signed with UIDAI. So far they have failed to apply their
legal minds to it the way they did in the case of National Counter
Terrorism Centre (NCTC). They have failed to appreciate that UID, NPR,
NCTC and National Intelligence Grid is linked and is being linked with
Census and Voters’ database.

Unmindful of threat to federalism most States including Jharkhand,
Bihar, Odisha, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal  have signed a MoU
with UIDAI. Surprisingly, the States which were quite vocal about
threats to federal structure from Union Home Ministry‘s National
Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and National Intelligence Grid
(NATGRID) that integrates 21 sets of databases have been caught
unawares by the creation of UID’s Centralized Identities Data Register
(CIDR) disregarding the fact that Planning Commission’s CIDR and Home
Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) is going to be
converged. State Governments have chosen to listen to consultants who
are more interested in making a quick sale of their biometric,
identification and surveillance technology products.

In 1906, another Gujarati, Mahatma Gandhi had encountered a similar
Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance proposed by the Transvaal Government
in the August 22 issue of the Government Gazette required all Indians
in the Transvaal region of South Africa, eight years and older, to
report to the Registrar of Asiatics and obtain, upon the submission of
a complete set of fingerprints, a certificate which would then have to
be produced upon demand. Fingerprints were then demanded only from
criminals, and the subjection of women to such a requirement had no
other objective but the humiliation of Indians. Gandhi understood well
that the Ordinance effectively criminalized the entire community and
must be challenged. At a meeting held in Johannesburg, 3000 Indians
took an oath not to submit to a degrading and discriminatory piece of
legislation. This gave birth to Satyagraha. Gandhi later wrote that
the ordinance illustrated hatred towards Indians which, if passed,
“would spell absolute ruin for the Indians in South Africa.”

How is CIDR of Aadhaar and NPR which also generates Aadhaar 'number
different from the ‘register of Asiatics’ opposed by Mahatma Gandhi?
If Indians forget the lesson of this resistance movement it would
“spell absolute ruin for the Indians” of the present and future
generations.

A historic eight-year-long resistance campaign against biometric
identification happened from August 1906 to January 1914 in the
British colony of Natal, and Boer Republic of Transvaal, South Africa.
In August 1906, the Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance was signed into
law in the Transvaal. It was a humiliating and discriminating law
forcing Indians in the Transvaal to register with the ‘registrar of
Asiatics,’ submit to physical examinations, provide fingerprints, and
carry a registration certificate at all times. Otherwise, Indians and
other ‘Asiatics,’ as they were called, could be fined, imprisoned, or
deported. A delegation of Indians sailed to London to meet with
British Secretary of State Lord Elgin. In 1912, Gopal Krishna Gokhale
visited South Africa and expressed his support for the struggle
against biometric idnetification. In early 1914, an agreement was
reached with the protestors and the Black Act seeking biometric
identification was abolished.

Historians rightly say that all history is contemporary history. It
was reported on October 6, 20111 that Gujarat Chief Minister wrote to
the Prime Minister questioning the need for biometric data collection
for National Population Register (NPR) by Registrar General of India &
Census Commissioner, Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Gujarat stopped
collection of biometric data for creation of the NPR. In his letter to
the Prime Minister, Modi raised objections over both the Unique
Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is creating Unique
Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number and Registrar General of India,
which is creating the NPR, collecting biometric data. In his letter to
Manmohan Singh, Modi wrote, “there is no mention of capturing
biometrics in the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Rules 2009”. He
added, “In the absence of any provision in the Citizenship Act, 1955,
or rules for capturing biometrics, it is difficult to appreciate how
the capture of biometrics is a statutory requirement. Photography and
biometrics is only mentioned in the Manual of Instructions for filling
up the NPR household schedule and even in that there is no mention of
capturing the Iris”. After Gujarat stopped collection of biometric
data, the then Union Minister of Home Affairs, P Chidambaram sent a
letter to Modi in August 2011 pointing out that creation of the NPR
was a “statutory requirement” under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and
“once initialized, has to be necessarily completed”. The Union
Minister of Home Affairs had also requested the CM to instruct state
government officers to cooperate in creation of the NPR.
This was when the entire media, the citizens and the political class
was hoodwinked into believing that there was a rift between Nandan
Nilekani’s UIDAI under Planning Commission and Dr C Chandramouli’s NPR
under Union Minsitry of Home Affairs

But Modi chose to side with UIDAI in an apparent rebuff to
Chidambaram. Modi kicked off UID/Adhaar project in Gujarat on May 1,
2012 by giving his biometric information for his aadhaar/UID number
and enrolled under the UIDAI project. Strangely, Modi did not object
to his biometric identification under UID as he did with regard to
NPR. Modi did so despite the fact that Yashwant Sinha headed
Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance rejected the UID
project and the UID Bill in its report to the Parliament on December
13, 2011. However, it may be noted that one sentence of the PSC report
appears to endorse biometric NPR. Was it a case of Sinha trying to
side with Chidambaram and Modi trying to side with Nilekani? It
appears that Modi has been taken for ride with regard to the
UID/Aadhaar and Sinha with regard to NPR as they failed to see through
the ‘approved strategy’. Now it is clear that the staged rift that was
created between Home Ministry and Planning Commission’ UIDAI on UID
and NPR was motivated and was meant to take legislatures, citizens,
States and media for a ride. Both Modi and Sinha got misled because
Chidambram left the Home Ministry and became the Finance Minister.
Notably, the UIDAI was the proposed by the Ministry of Finance in
2009. Thus, both were outwitted by Chidambaram. Modi’s letter to the
Prime Minister objecting to the biometric data collection sought by
Chidamabram was made irrelevant. Modi’s biometric data is now the
property of UIDAI and because UIDAI and NPR data is to be collated ‘as
per approved strategy’ it is also the property of Registrar General of
India’s NPR to which he had objected.

The Terms of Reference No. 8 of Planning Commission’s notification
dated January 28, 2009 that created Unique Identification Authority of
India (UIDAI) in pursuance of the 4th meeting of the Empowered Group
of Ministers, states, “Take necessary steps to ensure collation of NPR
and UID (as per approved strategy)”.

A Prime Minister’s Office which has been promoting biometric data
collection purportedly to make delivery of social welfare programs
leak proof itself isn’t leak proof. Given a choice between leakage or
theft of citizens database of sensitive personal information and
leakage of public distribution system and delivery social welfare
services what would be be chosen and which can be plugged more easily.
Recently, database of Greece has been stolen as per Reuters and the
database of Pakistan and Egypt has been handed over to US as per the
diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks.

In UID/Aadhaar Enrolment Form, Column 9 reads: "I have no objection to
the UIDAI sharing information provided by me to the UIDAI with
agencies engaged in delivery of welfare services". In front of this
column, there is a "Yes" and "No" option. Irrespective of what option
residents of India exercise (which is being ticked automatically by
the enroler in any case as of now), the fact is this information being
collected for creating Centralized Identity Data Register (CIDR) and
NPR (column 7) will be handed over to biometric technology companies.
At a lecture on November 23, 2012, Nilekani ominously stated that if
you do not have the Aadhaar you will not get the right to rights. UID
is like a financial address for the people. The question is if Aadhaar
is only an identifier of residents of India how does it accord to
itself an inherent right to approve or disapprove rights of citizens
to have rights? Karnataka based groups have informed that the name
Aadhaar is linked to the NGO of Nilekani that worked in the matter of
Bangalore Agenda Task Force from 1999 to 2004.

All claims of benefits are highly suspect from biometric
identification as long as total cost is presented to the Parliament
and citizens. A World Bank paper of 2013 has revealed that linking
biometric identification with cash transfer influences voters’
behavior in favour of the ruling party which does so. After buying MPs
through MPLAD scheme initiated by Narshimha Rao Government to protect
his minority government, it is another attempt to bribe voters.
In the back drop of his phone being tapped by the Ministry of Home
Affairs, Arun Jaitley, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
wrote, “This incident throws up another legitimate fear. We are now
entering the era of the Adhaar number. The Government has recently
made the existence of the Adhaar number as a condition precedent for
undertaking several activities; from registering marriages to
execution of property documents. Will those who encroach upon the
affairs of others be able to get access to bank accounts and other
important details by breaking into the system? If this ever becomes
possible the consequences would be far messier.” It is evident that it
has become possible but the opposition party continues to implement it
in the states where it is the ruling party despite admitting gnawing
concerns. In fact all the opposition parties including from the left
and socialists are doing so either in collusion or due to their
gullibility.

When asked “whether or not you think by the year 2050 there could be a
global system … (which) would be a real influence on knocking down the
nation state, which I think needs knocking down.” Nilekani admitted at
a conference, “there is nothing technologically limiting for having
the whole population of the world on the system.” This poses a grave
threat to sovereignty of the citizens and the country. He and his
project appear quite complicit in the unconstitutional act of
surrendering country’s interest in favour of a global system led by
ungovernable and undemocratic business enterprises not by democratic
legislatures.

More than four years have passed; Nilekani has refused to reveal
whether or not he has himself enrolled for biometric unique
identification (UID)/aadhaar number. Can we expect him and his bosses,
Dr Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee and
cabinet ministers to enroll before his terms expires next year?  This
information has been denied under the RTI.

As per the communication from Unique Identification Authority of India
(UIDAI), an attached office of Planning Commission, Government of
India dated July 2, 2010, “The decision for appointment of Chairman
was conveyed by the Cabinet Secretariat”.

The Planning Commission’s notification dated July 2, 2009 reveals that
“the competent authority has approved the appointment of Nandan
Nilekani, Co-Chairman, INFOSYS as Chairperson, Unique Identification
Authority of India, in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister.
Nilekani will hold appointment for an initial tenure of five years”.
Nilekani joined Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not
in person but in his role as co-chairman of the board of directors of
Infosys Technologies Limited, which he co-founded in 1981 and served
as director on the company's board since its inception to July 2,
2009.  This appears manifestly incestuous. It was the Chairman,
Infosys Ltd, an artificial person who was asked to head UIDAI, and not
a natural citizen. The notification shows that a copy was marked to
Nilekani, CEO, President & MD, Infosys Technologies Ltd., Corporate
Headquarters besides the Secretary Generals of Secretariats of Lok
Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

While presenting the Union Budget 2009-10, the then Finance Minister,
Pranab Mukherjee announced the setting up of the UIDA to in “establish
an online data base with identity and biometric details of Indian
residence and provide enrolment and verification services across the
country” in paragraph no. 64 of his speech allocating 120 crores to
it. Coincidentally, immediately after this announcement, the then
Finance Minister underlined the need for “the modernization of police
force in the States” in paragraph 65 of the speech that dealt with
“National Security”. In this speech of July 6, 2009 the then Finance
Minister informed the Parliament about the arrival of Nilekani without
naming him saying, “This project is very close to my heart. I am happy
to note that this project also marks the beginning of an era where the
top private sector talent in India steps forward to take the
responsibility for implementing projects of vital national
importance.”

Notably, Yashwant Sinha headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on
Finance rejected The National Identification Authority of India Bill,
2010 meant to legalize and legitimize illegitimate and illegal UIDAI,
the sensitive biometric information collector. Despite this Gujarat,
Tripura, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and
other States continued to implement it. It is high time they desisted
from doing so the way Barack Obama and 25 States of USA opposed the
REAL ID Act, 2005 and UK, Australia, China, France and European Court
of Human Rights rejected indiscriminate collection of biometric data.

CFCL wants to know as to whether the opposition parties are too
helpless in the face of intelligence agencies to disassociate their
States from such initiatives? In UK, the opposition party did oppose
it and displaced Tony Blair government.

In the face of such assault on Parliament’s prerogative, State’s
autonomy, citizens’ rights and the emergence of a regime that is
making legislatures subservient to database and data mining companies,
the urgent intervention of the PSC, Parliament, States, political
parties and citizens cannot be postponed anymore.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL),
Mb: 09818089660, 08227816731, E-mail: gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com

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