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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Friday, November 20, 2015

9068 - India on cusp of 'Whatsapp moment in finance', says Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani - DNA

Monday, 16 November 2015 - 8:35am IST | Place: Bengaluru | Agency: dna | From the print edition

These game-changing milestones include the working of existing technologies that are enabling access to people and reducing procedure, paperwork and time

    Nandan Nilekani

    India can take the lead in putting tech to use to make billions of people financially independent and capable, says Nandan Nilekani, in his new book Rebooting India. The Infosys co-founder and Aadhar creator believes India is at the cusp of a big financial revolution if it were to follow the route to a cashless (therefore corruption-free) economy. "A number of things have been set in motion since we started our work on using Aadhaar for direct benefit transfers and social security payments, and we think all these trends can culminate in a game-changing way."

    These game-changing milestones include the working of existing technologies that are enabling access to people and reducing procedure, paperwork and time. "eKYC makes sure that anyone get a bank account without paperwork. The Jan Dhan scheme has opened bank accounts for millions of Indians in a big way. With Pahal, LPG subsidies are now credited into bank accounts of 120 million families. The microATM is deployed in thousands of villages providing banking facilities and remittances using Aadhaar and biometric authentication at the last mile without the presence of the bank."

    The ability of using financial tech towards 'digital inclusion' is what excites Nilekani the most. The man who was the inspiration behind Thomas Friedman's 'World is Flat' today believes that India could lead this potential global revolution. Only that the story has shifted from being a software provider to a tech user and enabler. Nilekani insists that a developing nation like India must look for Indian solutions to Indian problems. And that our population offer a serious 'scale' play. Finance tech, he believes, is the most obvious and untapped space to see innovation. "We file our income-tax returns online, and can authenticate our identities online through Aadhaar. There is no doubt in our minds that India is at the head of the technology curve," Nilekani asserts as he believes these are good foundations before other payment and consumption driven services wrap around fintech. "Certainly, fintech will be the next big tech story. The use of biometric ID and authentication to build a next generation of products also has huge potential."
    In India, we already have almost a billion people with Aadhaar who have digital ID and biometric authentication. "However, where we lag is in applications and adoption in the government and private sectors. We are sure that with the foundation now built, the rest will also happen as different ministries are speedily incorporating Aadhaar into their products." e-governance or putting websites is not sufficient, says the software visionary. Just like Uber and Ola redefined the taxi business, he believes the government can ride tech to fix systemic gaps. "We have outlined 12 such projects, of which two have been completed (Aadhaar and Pahal) and the ideas can be applied to 10 more projects eKYC, payments, health, education, justice, transparent government expenditure, etc." Nilekani does not put the onus of building everything on the government. He insists the country's vibrant start-up community should be included in this story. "Each of these projects can be implemented by start-ups within government with 10 teams of 10, working under the prime minister.
    Nilekani calls this a 'Whatsapp moment in finance' outlining how Indians, as a result of all these trends, are now poised to join the banking system at the same rate at which Whatsapp was adopted. "We leapfrogged wired telephony with mobile phones. For many millions of Indians, smartphone is likely to be the bank, and we will leapfrog the branch. We are likely to leapfrog traditional organised retail with e-commerce." That technology is the greatest equaliser of our times is no longer a debate. Through the use of technology we can achieve change at speed and at scale. "By understanding incentives, providing convenience, and understanding the power of markets, we can root out corruption from all aspects of our society. It will not happen by appointing more Lokpals and more policing and more laws. It will happen through a systematic redesign of our processes"