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

Friday, January 8, 2016

9202 - Digital India’s Promise And Potential For The Unbanked - Swarajya

Arvind Gupta (@buzzindelhi) is a Co-Founder of Digital India Foundation, Eisenhower Fellow for Innovation, currently heading the BJP’s Information and Technology Group. The views expressed are personal.
22 Dec, 2015

#DigitalIndia has brought India’s marginalised populace to the centre stage in the newer domains of technology and financial innovation.

India’s marginalised populace now appears to have assumed centre stage, even in the newer domains of technology and financial innovation.  This is largely owed to #DigitalIndia’s vision of empowering a billion Indians, most of whom live in villages across the country and speak languages other than English. The real push has come from combining the newly-created Jan Dhan accounts, the Aadhaar identity infrastructure and the ubiquitous penetration of mobile phone technology.
This new formidable vehicle for government reforms seems to have created new spheres of engagement for policy makers, the Reserve Bank of India, economists and technology innovators, all at once. At a recent discussion on Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM), participants spoke of the immense potential of these three pillars to render financial technology in the aid of the poor and excluded.

The winning combination of JAM with Digital India has kick-started a major disruption in banking and payments like never before. With Digital India, the unveiling of the promised revolution of a less cash-oriented society, financial inclusion and a savings culture may finally be at hand. A society that relies less and less on cash-oriented transactions, certainly bodes well for the economy in the long run.

To start with, a bank account for every household in this vast country is a means of pulling the financially excluded families into the mainstream. 99.7% of India’s households have already been granted access to banking accounts. This trend is only expected to grow with the regulatory innovation that has now unleashed 11 new payment banks to reach the people at the fringes of financial inclusion.

Coupled with the payments bridge that links each Aadhaar number with a bank account, an effective channel is fast emerging to route intended benefits to the poor and at the same time make many of these small accounts viable. Importantly, more firepower has been added to the inclusion drive as well by the move to grant licences to a set of small finance banks, who by virtue of their very licensing conditions are required to focus on the unbanked and poor.

These entities ensure a sustainable financial structure because their licenses have been granted based on their years of experience in creating viable business models centred around small-value transactions. In combination with the new connectivity solutions and smartphones, more and more people may well have a 24/7 bank in their pocket in the months and years to come. An under 35-age group that makes up over 65% of the population is the perfect demographic to make this technology-driven change widely accepted.

Among other spin-offs, the growing number of IT-driven governance systems under Digital India are set to deliver benefits in cash and kind in a a manner that cuts down the leakages as we saw in the past and puts more disposable income in the hands of the poor. In the process, the financially excluded may now see more reason to start giving attention to their bank accounts.

New-age airlines have been hailed for devising ways to incentivise passengers carrying no baggage and sharing the benefits of its operational efficiencies with the consumers. It is time banks and regulators learnt from these consumer-friendly practices and started adopting schemes to encourage a less-cash ecosystem. Instead of flagging tax payers who make aggregated credit card purchases of Rs 2,00,000 per year for potential scrutiny, regulators are thinking of providing incentives to those who actually spend a substantial portion of their income in cashless transactions. This change in approach can not only reap efficiency gains but also ensure transparency in monetary transactions between the state and citizens.

Arvind Gupta (@buzzindelhi) is a digital entrepreneur, Eisenhower Fellow for Innovation, currently heading the BJP’s Information & Technology cell.