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.

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


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


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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

9286 - Sebi issues clarity on E-KYC - Live Mint

Removes impediments for sale of mutual funds online

A file photo of Sebi office building in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in a late evening circular issued clarity on the paper less Know Your Client (KYC) or electronic KYC (E-KYC). This clarity would serve as removing the impediments for sale of mutual funds online and through e-commerce platforms.

Sebi has clarified that Aadhaar card can be used as valid document for KYC however, it would be on voluntary basis.
This circular by the regulator is post the Supreme Court order passed in October last year which had directed that the usage of the Aadhaar card as issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is voluntary.

“In view of the said orders, the usage of Aadhaar card is optional and purely on a voluntary basis, subject to the final judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the aforesaid petition,” said Sebi in the circular dated 22 January.

This circular has been issued post the deliberation of the Nandan Nilekani committee which was formed last year to digitize and streamline sale of mutual fund products.
Sebi chairman U.K. Sinha had taken up this project to enable investors to buy mutual fund products online.

“There are millions of potential investors in this country who are buying products online and this buying has gone up in an exponential way. But there is some difficulty for them to buy mutual funds products online. So what can be done to make the process easy? With Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other entities bringing in payments systems to be online, may be there is some problem with our KYC norms. We are looking at our KYC norms on how to make it simple and easy,” said UK Sinha last year on the sidelines of an event organized by an industry body.

Sinha added “In fact we are looking to ensure that there is no need for any in-person verification or vet signature. So everything should be done over the net. If that is possible, then may be new companies (e-commerce) will come.”

Sebi in the circular also removed the requirement of in-person verification (IPV) for investment upto Rs50,000.

“Sebi by way of this clarification has reduced the regulatory and KYC requirements for small retail investors. Additionally, the clarity on paper less KYC was much desired. Now Aadhaar card can be used as a valid KYC document on a voluntary basis,” said Jimmy Patel, CEO, Quantum Mutual Fund.

However, this circular may not lead to e-commerce companies selling mutual funds immediately as their sale model is yet to clarified.

“It is still not clear whether e-commerce players would act as a distributor or advisor. If they would need to obtain a registration number before they sell mutual fund units. This clarity is needed before Asset Management Companies (AMCs) will approach e-commerce platforms,” said an industry participant on condition of anonymity.