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


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


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.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

9626 - SEBI mulls allowing bank KYC for securities market - Hindu Businessline


The Securities and Exchange Board of India is mulling doing away with the requirement of a fresh KYC (Know Your Client) for opening of new accounts in securities market if the investor has got a bank account.
Under the proposed move that may take a couple of months to come into effect, the market intermediaries — be it brokerage firms, mutual funds or any other SEBI-registered entity — would rather be allowed to use KYC checks conducted by the bank with which the investor has got an account.
SEBI is currently discussing the proposal with the RBI and the government, and a final decision would depend on these consultations, as also on various regulatory aspects, a top official said, while adding that the central bank has in-principle agreed to the proposed move.
Since having a bank account is as such mandatory for all investors, except for a few exceptions in the mutual fund space, the proposed step would help do away with duplication of efforts and further ease the KYC procedures.
SEBI has already streamlined the KYC procedures for the securities market and a single KYC is sufficient for any kind of account with any of the market intermediary.
The regulator also expects the new Aadhaar law to provide a big leg-up to the KYC procedures, while the Unique Identification Number has already made it easier.
In-person verification of the client is not required anymore if verification with UIDAI is carried out through biometric authentication (fingerprint or iris scanning).
Verification in such cases is carried out through one time password (OTP) sent on the client’s mobile number or e-mail address registered with UIDAI, if the amount invested does not exceed Rs. 50,000 per mutual fund in a financial year and if this payment is made through electronic transfer from the client’s bank account registered with that mutual fund.
According to SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, the common KYC for the entire financial sector is also in works, but the regulator in the meantime is considering allowing banks’ KYC for the securities markets.
After SEBI’s recent board meeting here, the regulator has created KYC Registration Agency or KRA and now one KYC is enough for all intermediaries in the securities markets.
“Already, Aadhaar has made it very simple for KYC procedures to be conducted. Now, our next target is why can’t we use the banks’ KYC because all the transactions of securities market, except mutual fund transactions up to Rs. 50,000, have to take place through banks.
“Therefore, we can provide that since a person has a bank account that was opened after a KYC, there would not be any need for a fresh KYC to be done. We have taken up this matter with the RBI and with the government. RBI is also in-principle agreeable to it and I am hopeful that this will happen.
“This would mean that if a person has a bank account, he would not need to go through a fresh KYC for any securities market account. This may happen in a couple of months,” he added.
(This article was published on March 20, 2016)