uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden

Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

8901 - The coming disruption in the banking sector

Fri, Oct 09 2015. 01 11 AM IST

The coming disruption in the banking sector

A cashless economy is gradually taking shape; counter-intuitively, this is more inclusive than the cash (and plastic) economy was

The current mindset at RBI isn’t just in favour of mobile payments but also telcos performing some of the roles of banks. Photo: Bloomberg

When the history of Indian banking is written, 2015 will be mentioned as a tipping point.

One reason for that is the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) change of mind (or change of approach). There was a time a few years ago when the Indian banking regulator didn’t appear very keen on mobile payments. The current mindset at RBI isn’t just in favour of mobile payments but also telecom companies performing some of the role of banks.

Earlier this year, RBI issued payment banks licences—some to telcos, others to so-called electronic wallets, and still others to other companies that operate in the broader so-called fin-tech (financial technology) space. Indeed, along with the so-called food-tech companies, these have become magnets for venture capital and private equity investors.

RBI also issued small finance bank licences this year. And governor Raghuram Rajan has talked about all licences—small finance banks, payment banks, even commercial banks (two new banks opened for business this year)—eventually being on tap.

The second reason has to do with e-commerce (and here, the term is broadly defined to include services such as those offered by cab-hailing apps). Indians continue to be hesitant to use credit cards online (although less so than they used to be), but cash-on-delivery, the silver bullet that saw e-commerce take off in India, is slowly but surely being supplanted by wallets. The ATM economy (and ATMs did change consumer behaviour in so far as cash management was concerned) has been replaced by the Paytm economy (Paytm, for those who don’t know, is a popular electronic wallet service that has since expanded into e-commerce; it is owned by One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, whose promoter has received a payments bank licence).

Big commercial banks are worried about the new entrants and scrambling to launch their own wallets or partnering with people who have payment bank licences to ensure they do not lose ground (or customers).

And amidst all this, a cashless economy is gradually taking shape; counter-intuitively, this is more inclusive than the cash (and plastic) economy was. All you need is a mobile phone; some unique identification number (such as Aadhaar); and a linked bank account. There are around 650 million people with phone connections in India and 920 million people with Aadhaar numbers.