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.


Search This Blog

Thursday, March 17, 2016

9536 - How to kickstart the economy - TNN Blogs

March 15, 2016, 6:59 AM IST 

Beyond creating a modern welfare state, Aadhaar can also be leveraged to democratise credit

In July 1969 the Lok Sabha was told that nationalisation of 14 banks “was needed to ensure that the needs of the productive sectors of the economy and in particular those of farmers, small-scale industrialists and self-employed professional groups are met in increasing measure“. This is not how things have worked out; India’s credit bloodstream has been poisoned by what the economic survey called the “twin balance sheet problem“ created by a small number of large borrowers and large lenders.

The traditional banking system has struggled to make credit democratic and wounded balance sheets have become a major impediment to private investment, and thereby to a full-fledged economic recovery . But India has a unique opportunity to create a new and alternative credit infrastructure that can provide easy access to credit for millions of businesses and individuals, arising from the convergence of Aadhaar’s recent legislative legitimacy with regulatory innovation, technology and digitisation.

Lok Sabha’s passing of the Aadhaar Bill lays the foundation for an efficient, effective and modern welfare state. The reform of India’s subsidy regime will now be taken beyond LPG to include kerosene, fertiliser, food, water, electricity, interest subvention, cash support to farmers instead of the distortionary minimum support prices and much else.

Aadhaar will not only deliver minimum consumption levels to those who need it but make resources available from the subsidy saved from misdirection and fraud. However, there is another equally large and immediate opportunity that has now presented itself thanks to the future of Aadhaar being unequivocally settled; the use of the Aadhaar platform to revive credit and kickstart the Indian economy .

India currently faces a prolonged nuclear winter of lending. The institutional infrastructure for resolving this situation is inadequate or non-existent. Under the combined gaze of the Supreme Court, CBI and TV anchors, PSU bank leadership is like deer caught in a headlight. No one will resolve a loan, because it will involve the bank taking a haircut. Since we are incapable of judging whether the decision to settle was a business decision or malfeasance, the best strategy for a manager will be to do nothing.

I am afraid this will take many years to get resolved. It is also becoming clear that this hesitancy has infected forums like Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR), Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR), Joint Lenders Forum (JLF) and declaring willful defaulters. The new bankruptcy code is important and overdue but will not, in and of itself, resolve the nonperforming asset problem of the banking sector. Combined with weak sentiment in the capital markets, a shallow domestic bond market, and the currency risk of international borrowing, many Indian businesses will be starved of capital for growth. This mess cannot be fixed by tweaking fiscal and monetary policy .
Could there be a plan B? As mentioned, India has the unique opportunity due to a policy and technology window to build a completely new and alternative credit architecture to provide access to credit to millions of businesses and individuals.The JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) enables the creation of an India stack (digital interfaces for all aspects of finance like documentation, payments, consent for information, etc) for India’s 21 new bank licensees (this is more than new bank licenses issued in the last 50 years).

Combine these with more new “on tap“ banking licences, well capitalised NBFCs and healthy incumbents, and we have a multitude of institutions that can address the supply side of credit. Fresh capital for lending will come to all these institutions. In addition, the MUDRA refinance channel can be digitally plugged into this system.

On the demand side, there are millions of businesses and consumers starved for credit. With JAM becoming ubiquitous, the distribution channel is in place for borrowers to access credit and transact on their smartphones. The India stack will enable paperless, presence-less and cashless transactions. Most importantly with so many digital data sources coming online ­ payment activity , social media, taxes, bill payments, etc ­ the electronic consent architecture of the India Stack would enable borrowers to harness their own data to demonstrate their track record to get a loan.

This combined with the latest machine learning algorithms will be able to make high quality lending decisions which are fully auditable. This could scale quickly; the last decade has shown us that network effects of rapid growth kick in once you combine a streamlined digital platform with aligned incentives; smartphones, Aadhaar, WhatsApp or YouTube all reached a billion users in a few years.

The principle behind bank nationalisation was democratisation of credit.And as Gandhiji said in 1939, “a principle is a principle and in no case can it be watered down because of our incapacity to live it in practice. We have to strive to achieve it, and the striving should be conscious, deliberate and hard“.

An immediate consequence of the new Aadhaar Bill is the ability to create a digital lending architecture that would act as a strategic alternative to the traditional banking system, de-risk the country from a potential prolonged stasis, and democratise credit. With a lash of ambition and a little bit of work, Indian finance will never be the same again.


DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.