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, March 6, 2016

9392 - Jandhan, Aadhaar, Mobile: For better implementation of Direct Benefit Transfers - New Kerala

26-02-2016 IBNS


New Delhi, Feb 26 : The Economic Survey 2015-16 presented on Friday in the Parliament by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that the three methods, Jandhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile (JAM or JAM Trinity as mentioned during the presentation) can help the government to implement large-scale, technology-enabled and real-time Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) to improve economic lives of India's poor

The Survey said that PAHAL, the scheme of transferring LPG subsidies via DBT has reduced leakages by 24 per cent.

The Economic Survey suggested that while deciding where next to apply JAM, policy makers should consider the challenges of beneficiary identification, distributor opposition and beneficiary financial inclusion. Spreading JAM to other areas will reduce leakages and provide more fiscal space to the government.

JAM components:

Economic Survey divides JAM into three components-

1. Identification or First-Mile: Identification of beneficiaries by government

2. Transfer or Middle-Mile: Transfer of fund to beneficiaries by government

3. Access or Last-Mile: Access of fund by beneficiaries

Identification:

First-mile deals with identification of beneficiary. This layer has issues of ghost and duplicate names due to administrative and political discretion and use of pre-Aadhaar database. It is easier to implement the JAM for universal schemes than targeted ones as identification will be easier. Identification of household-individual connection is important to note here as some schemes target at household level like JDY and some at individual level like Aadhaar. Aadhaar can help in better identification of the beneficiaries.

Transfer:

Middle-mile deals with the challenges of payment where government transfer benefits to the banks. But lack of bank accounts and its information with government hinders the middle-layer connectivity. Main issue in this layer is of within-government coordination and dealing with supply chain interest groups. Jandhan can help beneficiaries to have bank accounts.

Access:

Last-mile layer faces issues of lesser bank penetration, mostly in rural areas. It deals with actual transfer of money from Bank to Beneficiary accounts. It also deals with issues of exclusion of genuine beneficiaries. Mobile can inform about benefits and also allow easier fund transfer.

Where next?

Economic Survey said that policy makers should decide where to apply JAM based on two considerations:

1. Amount of leakages 

2. Control of the central government.

If the leakage amount in a given scheme/area is huge, then it can be the next target for introduction of JAM as subsidies with higher leakages will have larger returns from introducing JAM.

Similarly control of central government will reduce administrative challenges of co-ordination and political challenges of opposition by interest groups.

Based on these two criteria- leakages and central government control-Survey suggested that fertilizer subsidies and within-government transfers as two most promising areas for introduction of the JAM. 

JAM Preparedness Index:

The Economic Survey has formulated JAM-Preparedness Indices for Urban and Rural areas in each state. It uses Aadhaar penetration, basic bank account penetration and Banking Correspondents (BC) density as indicators for the indices.

It has also prepared Biometrically Authenticated Physical Update or BAPU-Preparedness Index, using Aadhaar penetration and Point of Sale machines as indicators, for each state and has compared Rural-JAM Preparedness Index with BAPU-Preparedness Index.

The Survey has found that many states are having higher scores in BAPU-Preparedness Index as compared to Rural JAM-Preparedness Index. Thus it suggests use of BAPU as short-term solution to reduce the leakages in these states, till states are well prepared for introduction of the JAM.

The Economic Survey concluded that introduction of DBT in LPG and MGNREGS have proved that use of JAM can considerably reduce leakages, reduce idle funds, lower corruption and improve ease of doing business with the government.

Despite huge improvements in financial inclusion due to Jandhan, JAM Preparedness indicators suggest that there is still a long way to go.

Center can invest in last-mile financial inclusion via further improving BC networks and promoting the spread of the mobile money. In the meantime models like BAPU can be used as an alternative to reduce the leakages.