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.

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

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.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

9291 - Digital payments set to take off this year: TRAI chief - Daily Kashmir

Digital payments set to take off this year: TRAI chief

Published on January 26, 2016

NEW DELHI, January 25: Banking should become as easy as making a mobile phone call and this year could see digital payments take off in India in a big way with the entry of telecom companies as payment banks, said R.S. Sharma, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

A low-cost model would attract even those at the bottom of the pyramid to digital payments and banking, Mr. Sharma said. “My belief is that if you can have banking at very low cost, similar to what you have for mobile top ups in the telecom space (for prepaid sim cards)…whose average value is Rs 10,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu.

This, he said, is now possible with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently issuing payment banks licenses to 11 companies, many of whom are telecom companies that have experience of handling transactions, which are low in value and large in volume.
 “The Prime Minister has also said on number of occasions that mobile should become a tool of empowerment and it is indeed a tool of empowerment. People can get government services and information…If someone needs to pay Rs 100 to their grocer, they should be able to just take out the phone and pay,” he added.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Industries and Sun Pharma promoter Dilip Shanghvi who is partnering Norwegian telecom player Telenor, are part of the eleven licencees approved by the central bank in August 2015. They have eighteen months to commence operations and many are expected to start this year.
Sharma, who had earlier worked with Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani at the Unique Identification Authority of India that is implementing the Aadhaar project, said banking would not become ubiquitous unless you drive down the cost and this can only be done through digital mobile banking, using Aadhar as a factor of authentication.
 “I am looking forward to every person being empowered by mobile handset in his hand to do all kinds of transactions from that mobile. Banking should become so ubiquitous….it should become as easy as making a phone call,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu.
Sharma said that the problem in the digital world is that of establishing an identity which can be solved by using Aadhar as it can help do a secure transaction at a very low cost.
 “RBI requires two-factor authentication for any transaction... either what you are (biometrics) and what you have (mobile phone, debit card) or what you know (user name and password) and what you have,” he said.
 “Mobile phone manufacturers are now putting iris authentication into the device…And I think UIDAI is doing proof of concept. This is basically mobile phone (what you have) and iris (what you are). So in single click you can do the transaction,” Mr. Sharma said.
Backing the government’s stated intent to promote cashless payments, which includes a mandate to switch all central government receipts and payments to paperless form by the end of 2016, Mr. Sharma said there could be some incentives for doing transactions on the Internet.
 “For example, in IRCTC (the Indian Railways’ booking website), when you make an online booking you pay Rs 20 more compared to when you go to a counter. This should be reversed actually,” he added.
 “Digital transactions must be promoted, which Finance Ministry and the RBI are doing… Regulators and stakeholders from the technology space, the ministries are all working in tandem. We are actually on the cusp of our real digital revolution in some sense,” Mr. Sharma said.
Asked if the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is working with the RBI to push forward the digital payment ecosystem, Mr. Sharma said both institutions will work in tandem wherever required.
The TRAI chief expressed confidence that the country’s telecom sector would get a big boost from the government’s Digital India program.
 “I will only say that I see great future of telecom sector in this country…with Digital India program where you have JAM — Jan Dhan Yojana (which provides financial inclusion), Aadhar (gives digital identity) and Mobile (provides means of communica tion as well as act as a proxy digital identity),” he said.