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.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8927 - Tech solutions set to disrupt Indian banking system - Business Standard

Tech solutions set to disrupt Indian banking system


Alnoor Peermohamed & Anita Babu | Bengaluru Oct 13, 2015 12:38 AM IST

Come January 2016, commuters on buses here can pay fares of as low as Rs 6, using bank-issued prepaid cards instead of cash, with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) seeking to improve commuter amenities.

BMTC's efforts, aimed at bringing electronic payments into people's daily lives, are part of a larger technology shift in Indian banking.

Other instances include kirana stores affiliated to Novopay, the payment start-up funded by Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla. At these stores, customers can pay digitally for groceries and vegetables or get cash in hand after authenticating with an Aadhaar-based biometric system at the stores.

Ezetap, a smart device-based mobile application, makes it easier for merchants such as Amazon to collect money from customers.

In India, millions already use mobile wallets such as Paytm, Freecharge and Mobikwik to recharge phones, buy goods from chosen vendors and pay for cab services such as those offered by Uber. State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank, as well mobile operators such as Airtel and Vodafone, also have their own wallets.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has added 185.4 million bank accounts, enabling people to receive government subsidies directly into their accounts. Each of these accountholders also has a RuPay card to withdraw cash from ATMs or pay for groceries.

By the year-end, when the unified payment interface, a technology standard to allow different wallets to connect with each other, goes online, users across the country can transfer or receive money at any time.

A combination of factors, aided by technology, is helping India leapfrog traditional banking models used in the West for cashless transactions. Mobile is the key platform for users, with Aadhaar authentication driving a massive shift. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s move to allow 21 more licences for small banks and payments banks is also likely to bring a massive change to banking in India.

"It is a unique moment for India. Many things are happening - a technology change, regulatory change, government push, Jan Dhan, Aadhaar - and the shift is happening as we speak," says Nandan Nilekani, founder of Infosys and former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India. He terms the change underway the "WhatsApp moment" in the Indian financial system. "Technology will allow us to scale to a billion banking accounts."

Data help capture this banking shift. In four years, the immediate payment service (IMPS), which allows money transfer to individuals on their mobiles, online, or ATMs, has overtaken the number of transactions through postal money orders. In July this year, the number of inter-bank IMPS transactions stood at 15.6 million, against 4.26 million in July last year.

Through the past few years, cheque clearances have fallen five-seven per cent a year to 1.1 billion a year, while digital transactions have been growing 40 per cent a year, according to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

"We have seen a lot of innovations in Silicon Valley. Similar and more innovations are happening in India right now," says A P Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI. "Consider Apple Pay; it can only be used with Apple products. Our Aadhaar-based payment transfer is equally powerful. And, it is in an open ecosystem."

Banks, both public and private, are investing in technology to reach out to customers across the country. As the sector grows, the number of branches will increase and there'll be a shift to more technology-focused and less people-intensive branches.

"In the West, people are decreasing the number of branches. Here, we are adding more branches and ATMs. But at SBI, we are looking at more self-service touch points such as ATMs, deposits and video conference for enquiries. There will be minimal staff at each of these branches," says Shiv Kumar Bhasin, chief technology officer, SBI.

"Core needs are fundamentally moving money. Remittances are the first, then savings, credit and insurance. Some of these can be better managed through technology, while some need more face-to-face interactions," says Shikha Sharma, managing director and chief executive of Axis Bank. "But purely, as far as payments and simple savings products are concerned, these are possible using technology."

"Technology is both a disruptor and an enabler, and banks will have to leverage it to their advantage," RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra had said on October 6. "The impact of disruptive technology is already evident in the form of competition from non-banks such as e-commerce companies, P2P lenders and crowd-funding, which is likely to intensify going forward."

(With inputs from Bibhu Ranjan Mishra and Raghu Krishnan)