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.

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

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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

9854 - Beyond Payments: How the Unified Payments Interface Will Evolve - NDTV


Gopal Sathe , 18 April 2016


There's been a lot of buzz around the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which was launched last week. The system has 19 banks on board, including well known names such as Axis, ICICI, and HDFC, and many more are expected to sign on over the course of this year, according to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) MD and CEO AP Hota.
As we've explained before, the UPI is a major innovation in banking that helps solve a lot of the same problems that a debit card was fixing earlier. It users your mobile as a way to authenticate your identity, essentially turning the phone into a debit card that you can use anywhere.
In a sentence, UPI allows you to instantly transfer money to someone else using the IMPS payment framework, without having to know their bank account number or IFSC code. All you need is their virtual identity, which could be gopal@icici (just as an example), or 1234567890@axis (just replace 1234567890 with your phone number here).
The system would instantly verify the payment requests on your phone, so it's as secure as existing methods, and this means that you could easily make a payment online without having to jump through the various hoops that net banking, or even card payments, put you through.
But apart from that, it's also important to remember that the UPI is not the final stopping point that the NPCI has been looking at. In a 107 page document detailing the technical specications fo the UPI, the NPCI talks about various features that have barely been discussed in public at this stage.


The Aadhaar has been mentioned as supporting infrastructure for the UPI, and the document outlines two services - AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payments System) and APB (Aadhaar Payments Bridge) - that sound interesting.

The AEPS would allow Aadhaar biometric information to be used to authenticate payments from your linked bank account - in other words, you could see companies replacing card reader POS terminals with fingerprint readers, to bill you. Of course, the benefits of this are going to be limited in the retail sector - one of the big problems that retailers cite with card readers is the cost required to install and replace the machines.

On the other hand, biometric authentication could be useful in some scenarios, such as when the POS machine is online, but the person who is making the payment doesn't need to be in order to complete the transaction. For example, a bank could use this as a secure method to complete payments at branches, without requiring you to pull out your phone to authorise payment. There could be other institutional uses where this kind of technology could be put to use.

APB meanwhile allows remittances to be made to an Aadhaar number, without providing any other details. This means that instead of sharing your phone number with someone in order to get a remittance, you can see this done with just your Aadhaar number. Apart from that, there are obvious benefits to having this kind of a system in place for government remittances of subsidies and direct benefits, which would use the Aadhaar to identify the recipients in any case.

Interestingly, the same document also talks about Micro-ATMs, where you don't need a card to withdraw money. Instead, using the technologies described above, the payment could be carried out using your Aadhaar number and biometric information as authentication, with the payments being handled by a Business Correspondent i.e. a representative of the financial institution.
In the sample use cases, the document outlines some scenarios such as using the Aadhaar for e-KYC to set up accounts, and then using the UPI and Aadhaar to carry out a remittance; or splitting a bill with a friend by sending a collect request using the UPI API; or shopping on an e-commerce site. The system can also be used to set up ECS payments quite easily.

Looking at this documentation, it's clear that the UPI is going to be used as more than a replacement for mobile wallets - we rather believe that mobile wallets could find it a useful tool that makes them reach a wider audience than before, and allows them to focus on their differentiating factors; whether that's adding new features and use cases, or gamifying payments.

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