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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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

9746 - Unleashing technology to move money: Keep the rules simple - Economic Times


April 4, 2016, 1:38 AM IST Sugata Ghosh in Off the Beat | Economy |

In less than a fortnight, a new technology that neither banks nor their customers are fully prepared for will be tested.

A person with an account in one bank can download the app of another bank to send money to her friend having an account in a third bank and preferring to use the app of a fourth bank.

A shopkeeper can ‘pull’ money from buyers’ account — just as he swipes a credit or debit card after a purchase — by using his handheld device once the customer clicks ‘yes’; (today, buying a movie ticket or a book using mobile wallets are ‘push’ transactions that buyers initiate to move money to merchants’ accounts and not the other way round). Up to Rs 1 lakh of such fund transfers will be possible from a cell phone using Unified Payment Interface (UPI).

Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, UPI — the new technology — promises to transfer funds from one bank account to another with just a click on a mobile app. 

Anyone transferring funds will have to type in either the 12-digit Aadhaar number or a virtual address of the person to whom the money is being sent.

Similarly, the merchant pulling money from a customer’s bank account will have to ask for the Aadhaar number or the customer’s virtual address (provided by the banks). About 20 banks have agreed to participate on the UPI platform.
Many are unsure how this would turn out: whether banks with more attractive and user-friendly apps start poaching customers — surely, a bank whose app is downloaded would closely track customer expenditure and soon start luring them with offers and deals; whether shrinking float of banks would further shrivel; whether customers would find the mode of payment via UPI as simple as using mobile wallets (that have grown fiercely).

But the disruptive force that UPI promises would be fully unleashed if users have the choice to type in the mobile number instead of the Aadhaar number or the virtual address (like XYZ@SBI.com) that the bank offers.

Mobile numbers are easier to remember and many numbers would be stored in the contact list in the phone. The RBI has, however, disallowed the use of cell phone numbers to move money in UPI.

Since mobile numbers change, a large number of cell phone users have prepaid connections, and telcos often recycle a number once a user surrenders it, the regulator, perhaps, felt that Aadhaar or a virtual address would be a more secure and stable payment option.

Also, some buyers may be unwilling to share mobile number with merchants doing a pull transaction; it could also be intended to popularise Aadhaar. The regulator intends to allow the use of mobile numbers for UPI transactions at the later date. But this in some way could be limiting the scope of UPI.
No one remembers the Aadhaar number; even fishing it out from the wallet to either read out or key in the 12-digit number is cumbersome; on the other hand, the virtual address would only add to the long list of log-ins and passwords that have to be memorised.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why ‘Immediate Payment Service’ (or IMPS) — an instant, inter-bank, electronic fund transfer service has been slower to catch on. To use IMPS one has to remember a seven-digit number known as the mobile money identifier.

If NPCI and banks have to leverage on UPI’s potential, they would have to map the mobile phone numbers of customers and figure out ways sooner than later in allowing them for payments.

Stifling Basel rules on maintenance of minimum capital and unsettling new technologies have made life difficult for banks.
Things can only become tougher in the days to come. If digital money and mobile banking are the new games, it may be profitable to keep the rules simple and user-friendly.

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