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, January 8, 2016

9225 - Address financial exclusion based on faith: RBI panel -TNN


TNN | Dec 29, 2015, 04.56 AM IST

MUMBAI: A Reserve Bank of India panel has recommended that banks open a separate window offering interest-free deposits and advances to address financial exclusion based on faith. This has once again brought to the fore the concept of Islamic banking, which former RBI governor D Subbarao had said was not possible since the concept of interest payment was ingrained in present regulations. 

The recommendation was one of the suggestions by the committee on 'Medium-term Path on Financial Inclusion', chaired by RBI executive director Deepak Mohanty. This is the first time that an RBI panel has gone way beyond the central bank's traditional domain. The RBI said that the panel was constituted taking inspiration from the remarks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during RBI's 80th anniversary celebrations this year. 

In recommending interest-free products, the committee has dipped into a 2008 report by present RBI governor Raghuram Rajan during his stint as chairman of the Financial Sector Reforms Committee. Rajan had then said that certain faiths prohibit the use of financial instruments that pay interest. "The non-availability of interest-free banking products results in some Indians, including those in the economically disadvantaged strata of society, not being able to access banking products and services due to reasons of faith. This non-availability also denies India access to substantial sources of savings from other countries in the region," the report said. 

In interest-free banking, not only does the bank not pay interest it also does not engage in lending as a purely financial activity. The funding takes place on the basis of profit and loss sharing (PLS) by engaging in equity and trade financing. "An interest-free window is simply a window within a conventional bank through which customers can conduct business utilizing only Shariah-compatible instruments. At the inception of the window, the products typically offered are safekeeping deposits and the money so raised is deployed in trade-finance products for small and medium companies. 

The panel has also suggested that the government launch 'Sukanya Shiksha', a special bank account for girls who enrol into middle school, and regularly credit funds into this account to curb dropouts. It has also called for doing away with subsidies on farm loans and use the money for a crop insurance scheme to prevent distress if there is a crop failure. 

An earlier panel on financial inclusion constituted by Rajan and headed by banking veteran Nachiket Mor had suggested universal bank accounts by January 2016 and the creation of payment banks. With these two objectives almost achieved, RBI now aims to give inclusion a bigger push by using bank account infrastructure for social schemes and building last mile access to make these accounts more useful. 

The Mohanty panel has reiterated the Mor committee's recommendation that a 'unique biometric identifier' such as Aadhaar be a prime driver for inclusion. Another radical suggestion is to allow cash withdrawal for those opening accounts with issuers of prepaid instruments. This recommendation will give a big boost for prepaid instrument companies like Oxigen, Citrus Pay, Itz Cash and others.

To improve availability of credit, the panel suggests that a transaction history of the account holders be used and Aadhaar-linked credit eligibility certificates be issued to the underprivileged such as landless farmers. 

On credit to small businesses, the panel has expressed concerns over the viability of the Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), was which introduced in 2000, stating that the fund has become 'highly leveraged'. As against a corpus of Rs 5000 crore, the guaranteed loans stand at Rs 1 lakh crore. To reduce further pressure on the CGTMSE, the panel has suggested creation of multiple agencies to guarantee loans.

In its recommendation, the panel said that it is of the view that with the digitization of land records, which secures ownership, cooperative farming should be encouraged at the local level by panchayats. This would enhance the use of mechanization and reduce input costs and prices.