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


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.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

9017 - Digital highways for MFIs - Financial Express

MFIs are benefiting from increased and better use of sophisticated data management tools

By: P Satish | November 2, 2015 12:16 AM

Technology and innovation have become the key drivers of economic growth today. A broad scan across any industry shows that much of the economic growth in the last few years have been facilitated by technology platforms, and microfinance doesn’t remain untouched.

The India growth story has grabbed headlines across the world and has brought in greater personal wealth to many Indians. However, a vast majority still remain financially excluded with no access to formal financial institutions.

The launch of Bandhan Bank and RBI’s in-principle approval for payments banks and small finance banks are part of the government’s efforts to ensure universal financial inclusion and in the long-run, to transform the landscape of the Indian banking and financial sector. MFIs have been a big source of relief for the poor in the under-banked areas of the country and have played a critical role in promoting livelihood promotion activities in the country.

According to a report by Sa-Dhan, an industry association of community development-focused finance institutions, MFIs’ total loan portfolio has grown by a staggering 46.89%, to Rs 48,882 crore in 2015. The sector has also seen the average loan per borrower go up to Rs 13,162 from the previous year’s Rs 10,079.

Technology has played a crucial role in ensuring financial assistance reaches its target audience. With the simple linkage of the Aadhaar number to the bank account, whether the subsidies are reaching those it is meant for at the grassroot level can be tracked. As more applications with enhanced mobile technology improvements come in, social welfare and government subsidies like those for kerosene, fertilisers, LPG, etc, will flow more efficiently to the poor using mobile technology payments systems.

Aadhaar is also helping micro-lending institutions identify their target audience and offer loans to micro-enterprises. The introduction of Aadhaar has also made it easier for micro-lenders to assess the risk involved with lending to specific individuals.

However, it is not restricted to just Aadhaar. App developers across the country are now actively engaged with social development entities to design new solutions to ensure that the benefits reach those it is meant for and that there is accountability.

Armed with a simple machine, MFIs are tracking transactions on real-time basis and digitalising physical records. This has not only brought in higher levels of transparency but can now allow MFIs to scale-up business as they have a better risk assessment and understanding of their portfolio.

Several MFIs have made a successful foray into mobile technology for their operations and have benefited through better tracking of transactions on real-time basis, digitalisation of huge physical records, bringing higher levels of transparency in operations, time-saving & process efficiency and greater scalability.

Clients have also benefited from much faster turnaround time of loan processing and approval, and a safe and secure way of repayment of loans through mobile wallets, thus minimising physical time and effort at collection and dropping of money and significantly reducing incidence of carrying cash.
MFIs are also benefiting from increased and better use of sophisticated data management tools, to track their operational and financial performance and also analyse their customer complaints. They can drill down to the geographical blocks and PIN codes of their customers to monitor lending and repayment  and  track the credit history of their clients and link seamlessly with credit bureaus’ own databases.
Add to that PM Narendra Modi’s Digital India dream, whose magnitude is set to scale-up at a fast  pace. The programme envisions allowing more entrepreneurs to come up from the remotest part of the country. As a result, these “small business units” will play a significant role in growth and employment generation and MFIs can play a crucial role in making this dream a reality.
A number of changes in the regulatory and operational framework have encouraged MFIs to expand the scope of their product offerings and diversify towards a ‘credit-plus’ approach. However, the road ahead will not be easy. The management and utilisation of data will be only more pronounced for MFIs. Collecting money from scattered, remote clients, cost of service delivery for transactions at the  “last mile” and effective growth management are just some of the challenges confronting MFIs.
This is where microfinance institutions can leverage technology to speed up the flow of information and capital, automate transactions, control and analyse data. It will also improve customer experience; reduce transaction costs; and increase efficiency and customer outreach for them. Convergence of digital platform in financial inclusion will be beneficial to MFIs and clients alike.
The author is executive director, Sa-Dhan
First Published on November 02, 2015 12:16 am