Friday, March 25, 2011

295 - 759 - What This Criticism of UID Reveals - The Acorn

10.21.2010 · Posted in Economy, Public Policy
To oppose the UID project on the grounds that it makes government services efficient is bizarre

Over in the op-ed pages of The Hindu there’s a surreal op-ed by R Ramakumar that argues that Aadhaar, India’s new Unique Identification (UID) project will lead to an invasive state security-wise and a retreating one development-wise. Now reasonable people can debate whether or not UID will lead to these outcomes, and whether these outcomes are desirable or not. But reasonable people cannot argue that the government must spend money indiscriminately. That, however, is exactly what Mr Ramakumar argues! The UID project, he alleges aims “to keep benefits restricted to the so-called “targeted” sections, ensure targeting with precision and thereby, limit the government’s expenditure commitments.”

How will UID lead to human rights violations? Mr Ramakumar’s argument is “Because Amartya Sen says so.” Appealing to authority is not quite the most persuasive way to make such an argument. The fact that the UID is not compulsory and the fact more than 500 million Indians have mobile phones—it’ll takes years before that many people get their Aadhaar—that are already capable of being tracked and profiled is ignored.

Go to Main link to read all comments