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.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

10068 - PM Modi's Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana mere teaser to entice people, is lax on delivery - First Post


S Murlidharan  May 30, 2016 11:33 IST

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) has completed its first anniversary.  It has indeed put life insurance on the nation’s consciousness with its hassle-free insurance procedure.  No health certificate, no age bar except that the insured should be between 18 and 50 years of age at the time of taking of the policy.  However, the policy can continue right up to the age of 55 if a start has been made at the right time, i.e. between the age of 18 and 50.  The icing on the cake is the affordable premium of Rs 330 per annum for Rs 2 lakh for the first two years irrespective of the insured’s age, with freedom to the insurer to review it thereafter.  So far so good.


A product’s or service’s success or usefulness is tested in a crunch situation.  An insurance product is tested not on its purchase but at the time of an unfortunate incident, be it death or accident or damage to property.  What is the feedback from the beneficiaries of the policies?  Well, there are disconcerting anecdotal reports from the field backed up by TV news channel reports, with ZEE TV in particular, known for its pro-BJP stance, reporting poor delivery in the crunch situation.  

The reports are the benighted beneficiaries especially in rural areas are either blissfully unaware of the policy left behind by the bank account holder or the banks not playing a sufficiently proactive role.

Indeed, banks are the lynchpin of the scheme, with the scheme being a follow-up action on Jan Dhan Yojana, the mass bank account opening initiative of the NDA II government at the center that has been a roaring success, finding a place in the fabled Guinness book of records.  The life insurance policies have been sold by banks to their deposit holders on the basis of their Aadhaar registration.  

Reports are that bank managers especially of banks with insurance subsidiaries who sold the policies with gusto to their account holders are not proactive enough in swinging into action on death of the policyholders.  For this of course they alone are not to blame because in the IT-enabled ecosystem, the trigger should come from the system itself ideally.  As it is, the beneficiary has to download the claim form or get it from the bank, fill it, attach a copy of the death certificate along with a cancelled cheque.  The bank then forwards the application to the insurer who settles the claim.

The following can be done to ensure proper delivery in the unfortunate event of the insured’s death:
  • The bank manager must supply the beneficiary with a copy of the insurance policy because in life insurance the insured is not alive to make a claim!
  • Wide publicity should be given to the life after death aspect of PMJJBY in media, both electronic and print especially the vernacular
  • Bank-insurer-hospital inter-face is a must. The hospital where the insured-patient is admitted must be mandated to collect the PMJJBY particulars so that it can intimate both the bank and the insurer in the unfortunate event of death.
While there are reports, albeit anecdotal, of benighted beneficiaries not getting the insurance amount either out of ignorance or inertia or both, there is an apprehension that public sector banks, the lynchpin of the scheme, may have to bear the brunt together with their insurance subsidiaries.

May be Rs 330 for Rs 2 lakh is just a teaser designed to hook people into the insurance habit, and the insurers may take a tougher call when the time comes for review after the second anniversary of the scheme in June 2017.  But an insurer wins his spur on the back of claims: settlement ratio.  While this figure for the first year is awaited, the story doing the rounds is many beneficiaries especially the financial illiterates are not bestirring in the first place to make the claim and the bank managers aren’t being very helpful.  Private sector banks have wisely stayed away by and large.