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.


Monday, March 7, 2016

9408 - India Stack to bridge the digital divide in our country - Blogs.Economic Times


February 29, 2016, 2:45 AM IST 

By Kabir Kumar & Sanjay Jain
India’s digital startups have an analog problem. They face a kagaz ka pahad. Literally. Many of them are designing for the digital desh of Bunty, the 37-yearold Udaipur shoe-seller who gets 40% of his business on his smartphone. Or, Chaitanya Bharti, Guntur’s 30-year-old single-room school teacher who gets remittances on her basic phone.

But every time they collect and store paper records, scrutinise “wet signatures”, and handle lots of physical cash, they can’t grow as fast, be as affordable or innovate to create the digital desh Bunty aur Bharti aspire to.

Nowhere is this more visible than in financial services where the kagaz ka pahad unwittingly aids what Prime Minister Modi called “financial untouchability”.

There is good news. The JAM trinity — a basic account like Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobile phones — makes it possible for digital services to reach every Indian. JAM is much more than aslogan — it is the result of public policy and technology that made this foundation a reality. With that foundation in place, public policy can go further. It must go further.

We don’t just give digital pioneers wings, we strap on booster rockets to launch them well over and past that kagaz ka pahad.
India Stack is just that. It is a series of new-age digital infrastructure which, when used together, makes it easier for digital pioneers to run faster, reach more people.

The Stack has four layers: (1) a presence-less layer where a universal biometric digital identity allows people to participate in any service from anywhere in the country; (2) a paper-less layer where digital records move with an individual’s digital identity eliminating the kagaz ka pahad; (3) cashless layer where a single interface to all the country’s bank accounts and wallets democratises payments; and (4) a consent layer which allows data to move freely and securely to democratise the market for data.

Each layer has a specific technology — Aadhaar authentication and eKYC, eSign and Digilocker, Unified Payments Interface, and consent architecture — with corresponding public APIs, under India’s Open API policy.

The National Payments Corporation of India released APIs for the Unified Payments Interface and is now running a hackathon for businesses to experiment.

You can go to indiastack-.org to participate. Each layer is managed as a public good. This is important. This makes the India Stack not just new-age technology but a smart policy. Technology stacks are not new. Uber, the highest valued startup on the planet, rose to success on GPS, Google maps, electronic payments and more.

In Kenya, the mobile payment service of M-PESA is like the cashless layer enabling a whole slew of digital businesses. What is different about the India Stack is that it is designed to level the playing field for newer, smaller entrants.

There is no one company or a handful of companies controlling access, behaving like bottleneck monopolies.

India Stack sets a global precedent. It is of Indian origin but not India-specific. Bits and pieces exist elsewhere in the world but nowhere under such a common frame and vision. For example, globally, data has become a battleground for the future of business.

The consent architecture, arguably, is a breakthrough to democratise the market for data without compromising on security. The India Stack is designed to propel the digital world forward in India or anywhere.

(Kabir Kumar leads FinTech initiatives at CGAP. Sanjay Jain is a volunteer with iSPIRT Open API team)