Centre for Internet & Society

A half day workshop on unique identity number and fundamental rights is being held on Friday, 16 April, 2010 at the Institute of Agricultural Technologists in Bangalore. The event is being co-organised by Citizen Action Forum, People's Union for Civil Liberties - Karnataka, Slum Janandolana – Karnataka, Alternative Law Forum and the Centre for Internet and Society.

In the past eight to ten months, there has been much talk about the introduction of the Unique Identification for all Indian residents, i.e., the UID. The scheme proceeds from the standpoint that solving the problem of identity will result in the fixing of many other social and economic problems. However, seen against the backdrop of work on a National Population Registry, the National Intelligence Grid and other schemes that focus on the collection of data on individuals, the potential dangers to privacy and other civil liberties need to be discussed along with the stated benefits of the UID project.  Given that the key laws relating to the project are not yet enacted, this is a timely exercise and an opportunity to influence change.

While the project has been hailed as a 'gamechanger' and a welfare measure, many have expressed growing concerns about the UID and its implications for ordinary citizens. Many questions are being asked about the nature, status and aims of the scheme and its implementing authority. Countries such as the UK, Australia and the USA have found similar measures unworkable with serious probability of abuse. The cost of the UID scheme is estimated at several thousand crores of rupees. Given the risks that plague identity schemes generally, we felt the need to engage the larger public in an open debate about the UID and its proposed scope, implementation, benefits and risks. The UID would affect every citizen. How it would affect each individual is something everyone should consider before deciding how to engage with the government on this issue. With the viewpoint of different panelists, we hope to provide as much information as is available now to you and take the debate  forward to make the spectrum of issues transparent. The organizers listed below would like to provide a platform to kickstart a healthy, open discussion about the potential benefits and pitfalls of the scheme.  This event has been jointly organized by the Citizen Action Forum, People's Union for Civil Liberties-Karnataka, the Alternative Law Forum, and the Centre for Internet and Society.




Social/Ethical Panel- 2:30-3:30 pm

Lead Presentation

Usha Ramanathan, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

Panelist 1

Ashok Kamat, Pratham Books

Panelist 2

Dr. Dominic, Bangalore University


Prof. Trilochan Sastry, IIM-B

Economics Panel- 3:30-4:30 pm

Lead Presentation

R. Ramakumar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Panelist 1

Mathew Thomas, Citizens Action Forum

Panelist 2

Nandana Reddy , Concerned for Working Children[*]


Rajeev Gowda, IIM-B

Legal Panel- 4:30-5:30 pm

Lead Presentation

B K Chandrashekar, former Minister of Information, INC

Panelist 1

AN Jayaram, Former Additional Solicitor General of India and Advocate General

Panelist 2

Malavika Jayaram, Centre for Internet & Society

Panelist 3

AR Nizamuddin, Former Director General of Police

5:30-6:00 pm- Wrap-up moderated by Vinay Sreenivasa and close with tea, coffee and snacks

[*] = To be confirmed

Please contact/RSVP at


Ajoy Kumar / Radha Rao

Centre for Internet and Society

No.194, 2nd 'C' Cross,

Domlur 2nd Stage,

Bangalore 560071

P: +91 80 25350955

W: www.cis-india.org

E: [email protected], [email protected]

M: +919845492122