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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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

9614 - Aadhaar to have key role in cutting costs: Trai chairman R.S. Sharma - Live Mint

Sat, Mar 19 2016. 01 54 PM IST



Aadhaar will play an important role as India moves towards a cashless economy, said Trai chairman R.S. Sharma at EmTech India

Moulishree Srivastava and Ramya Nair


Sharma at EmTech India in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/ Mint

New Delhi: Aadhaar will play a key role in lowering transaction costs as India moves towards a cashless economy, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma said on Friday at EmTech India, organized by MIT Technology Review and Mint in New Delhi.

Aadhaar, the number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, is key for most of the government’s social security programmes as well as India’s transition to a cashless economy. With Parliament passing the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016, the project now has statutory backing, enabling it to become the cornerstone of India’s digital economy.

Sharma said India has become the first country to implement the cheapest online identification and authentication system on such a massive scale.

“The overall cost of Aadhaar has come out to be $1.5 billion over seven years. India will soon have 1 billion Aadhaar cards. That means, for registration, verification, authentication, execution and maintenance, the per person cost comes out to be $1.5,” he said. “This, when you benchmark against UK’s identity authentication programme which cost £135 per person, is revolutionary.”

Aadhaar, which has recently got legal backing, is a very powerful soft digital infrastructure that is just getting started in India, according to Sharma, who was associated with the UID programme since its inception along with Nandan Nilekani.

“Whenever a new technology comes out, there is always a time lag of two-three years before it can be fully adopted,” he said. “With Aadhaar, we have already started. The LPG subsidy transfer is just scratching the surface of it. There is an exponential potential to use Aadhaar in banking, financial inclusion and in the entire process of moving towards paperless transactions.”

Sharma explained: “The only way we can drive down the cost of transactions is using Aadhaar. For instance, an ATM transaction costs Rs.20 per transaction. Similar transaction of taking out money from a bank teller costs Rs.40 per transaction. A person living in a rural area has to travel till the ATM or the bank to take the money out, but with Aadhaar, the same thing can be possible on mobile through the online authentication process.”
Aadhaar is also expected to play a crucial role in addressing the credit problem for people at the bottom of the pyramid.
“Big banks have been reluctant to provide loans to those who are at the bottom of the pyramid due to the lack of credit history. Micro-financing companies charge very high interest when lending to the poor,” said Sharma. “Aadhaar solves that credit problem.”

“The digital transactions trail will help build credit history of the poor, which will improve their access to credit,” said Sharma. “Aadhaar can provide online KYC (know your customer) for people with little or no credit history to the institutions such as banks requesting for it, which makes opening bank accounts easy without any paper. It also facilitates easy cash withdrawals.”

He added: “Digital transactions can be authenticated using Aadhaar. From no identity, we have moved towards online identity.”

Industry experts feel that if the Indian economy has to go cashless, the cost of transactions has to come down.
“At this point of time, the country needs high-volume, low-value transactions to be handled at a low cost,” said D.B. Pathak, professor at the department of computer science and engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
According to a recent study conducted by MicroSave, an international financial inclusion consulting firm, if banks and telecom operators in India start using Aadhaar-enabled e-KYC process for customer acquisition (opening bank accounts and registering new customers), they can save an estimated Rs.10,000 crore over the next five years.