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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Sunday, February 14, 2016

9359 - Plastic cards may soon go out of fashion - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, February 13, 2016


AP

The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) project was initiated last February by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Photo shows an Apple official demonstrating the company's Apple Pay mobile payment system.

Very soon, carrying multiple plastic cards may be unnecessary when you go shopping as your mobile phone would be all you need to transact. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and software product think tank ISpirt are ready for the technical launch of a new Unified Payment Interface, that would allow people to people or P2P transactions from any bank account to another, using a mobile phone app.

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who is now an advisor to the NPCI, told The Hindu that this inter-operable mobile payments system would revolutionise the way P2P payments are made.

"Think about it as introducing the equivalent of the roaming facility for mobile phones, for your bank account," Mr Nilekani said, adding that eventually the system would allow mobile to mobile payments (without any bank accounts involved) and payments to an Aadhaar number or a virtual address if people are not comfortable sharing their bank account details.

The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) project was initiated last February by Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, and over the past year, the application program interface (API) has been developed that allows payments from any bank account to another.

The technical launch of the interface, built on an open source framework, is in Bangalore on Saturday. Over 500 representatives from startups, banks, and venture capital funds keen on exploring possibilities it throws up for new applications, are likely to attend.

“The UPI is a new layer on top of the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) that has been used by banks for electronic fund transfers for about five years. This will allow seamless, inter-bank connection using a mobile app that can be used to pay merchants as well as make other ‘proximity payments’ on an offline basis,” said Mr Nilekani, who is the mastermind behind Aadhaar and was the first chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.

“There is a very simple API that would provide for both push and pull payments. So I can send money to you or you can send me a request to pay, as merchants may do if I buy something from them. I can approve the request on my phone,” Mr Nilekani explained.

“This is a big leap from the old system for credentials, where you give your card to the merchant and there is a security risk. In this model, everything happens through your own phone, your credentials are established and payment is approved,” he said, adding that many new phones come with biometric iris or fingerprint scanners so Aadhaar authentication is possible on these devices.

“A billion people can use this, it’s completely open so it is critical for India’s digital independence. We saw in the net neutrality debate that increasingly, you will end up with large players becoming gatekeepers. With an open stack, even a two-person startup in a garage can create a payment product as good as Apple Pay,” he stressed.

Mr Nilekani expects a billion people to have Aadhaar numbers by this March or April (from 970 million as of now) and said the entry of 21 new banks and the surge in smart phones and bank accounts offers the potential to build all sorts of apps.

“The UPI has a level playing field with no gatekeepers. We can use it to fundamentally change the way we do business or improve any government service or process,” adding that the UPI could do to P2P transactions what direct benefits transfer has done for government to people transactions.