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 27, 2016

9649 - Unified Payments Interface will be as transformational as Aadhaar - Blog Economic Times

March 23, 2016, 3:57 AM IST Economic Times in ET Commentary | Economy, India | ET

Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a new process in electronic funds transfer, will be inaugurated by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on April 11. Conceived and being implemented by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) under the guidance of former chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Nandan Nilekani, this mode of payment is likely to be as transformational as Aadhaar when it gets adopted by most banks.

Initially, 29 banks are likely to adopt it, and certification is already in progress for 12 banks. Other banks will join soon. The process will ride on the existing infrastructure of Immediate Payments Service (IMPS), which facilitates money transfer from any bank/wallet account to any other bank/wallet account as permitted by RBI “instantly” 24×7. UPI enhances the user experience of IMPS with some additional processes.

Firstly, UPI enables ‘instant collect’, which was not possible under IMPS. It addresses the current problem of about 30% decline in e-commerce payment transactions due to a complicated transaction flow. With UPI, the friction gets minimised and e-commerce market players can pull money from shoppers easily. Cash on delivery (COD) transactions can also be completed by the delivery staff by collecting money electronically while delivering the goods.

A biller can collect bills from consumers by automating the collection process on the due date, supplementing thereby the already existing ECS (debit)/NACH (debit) process. Clubs/schools can collect periodic fees. A daughter can now make a UPI request to her father’s account and the father, recognising that the request has come from a valid source, can authorise the transaction or even reject it.

The father can also “hold” the transaction for verifying the transaction before authorising it with a one-time password (OTP) or static PIN. The landlord can pull the money from the tenant. There can be multiple usage of such nature for online/face-to-face payments. Secondly, UPI has a facility to identify a bank customer with an email-like virtual address.
A customer can create a unique financial address in his/her bank linked with the bank account number at the backend. The customer will use only the virtual address while dealing with others without sharing the account details. For instance, a customer at State Bank of India (SBI) can create an address like shortname@ sbiormobilenumber@sbi.

Looking at the domain name sbi, NPCI will route the transaction to SBI and SBI will apply the credit/debit by resolving the virtual address to the account number. A customer can have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in multiple banks. There is no account number mapper anywhere other than the customer’s own bank to ensure privacy of customer data.

The advantage of such an approach is the customer can freely share the financial address to others. Thirdly, UPI will operate primarily on smartphones, leveraging their ever-increasing utilities. Though the current base of smartphones in India is about 300 million (December 2015), the number is likely to touch 400 million in two years. This will help customers to do a whole range of banking operations and shopping from the mobile itself.

Smartphones will also enable banks and their certified merchants to integrate the library being supplied by NPCI so that the process of capturing the authentication information is secure and uniform across banks similar to customers providing authentication information on ATMs irrespective of bank ownership. As mobile phones get Aadhaar-ready, biometric authentication would also be possible through them.
Fourthly, UPI will enable single-click two-factor authentication with mobile itself as the first-factor using the unique hardware identification of the smartphone, and OTP/static mobile PIN as the second. Banks will compete with each other to provide simple and user-friendly solutions without compromising on the regulatory guidelines on two-factor authentication. A few banks are enhancing the security without compromising simplicity.
For instance, the application can have a facility for the user to maintain a list of virtual addresses from which pull request would be permitted or to pre-register the beneficiaries. Banks can have applications with utilities to remind when bill payments are due. Customers can also generate various reports on transactions made.
In summary, UPI promises to be truly transformational. Let us watch how it shapes the future of payment systems in the country.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own