The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

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