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.


Search This Blog

Monday, May 16, 2016

9981 - The Aadhaar of inclusion - Financial Express

The govt must ensure that the JAM platform is not jammed by last-mile issues

By: Rana Kapoor | Updated: May 12, 2016 7:41 AM

Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) is turning out to be exactly like its namesake, the sweet and sticky accompaniment to bread. Since its launch in August 2014, JAM has proved to be the only credible tool for the transformative governance that India seeks to usher in inclusive growth, socio-economic development and transparent governance.

With 21.68 crore Jan-Dhan accounts opened till date—13.3 crore in rural India—the reverberations for financial equality are of great significance. It can be turned into a tool for advancing equitable growth. With 4.2% of GDP dedicated to subsidies, it is imperative to plug gaps and guarantee delivery to the targeted population in order to ensure greater impact. The JAM trinity has spurred the hope that plugging pipeline leakages and financially empowering the target population may just become possible.
Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that Aadhaar can’t be taken as a proof of citizenship, the finance minister, in Budget FY17, emphasised on developing the platform for social security platform and the government has accorded it statutory status.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, paved the way for direct transfer of benefits (DBT) through JAM, beyond the 15.38 crore customers who are already DBT (LPG) beneficiaries. JAM is now proposed to be used at over 3 lakh fair price shops and also for delivering fertiliser subsidies. Transfers like MGNREGA funds are also proposed to be tied to JAM. Though Aadhaar provides one of the largest digital identity infrastructure, the government realises that it must bridge the digital gap and has thus proposed the Digital Literacy Mission of Rural India covering 6 crore households.
The PM has said that JAM is about ‘Just Achieving Maximum’. For banks and financial institutions, there is the access to the unbanked population to consider. With R36,795.55 crore already in Jan Dhan accounts, the retail portfolio of these accounts will surely turn profitable with time.
Incidentally, formal finance’s penetration in India is abysmally low—according to the World Bank, only 35% of Indians have an account with a formal financial institution. The all-India Inclusix (financial inclusion index) score is relatively low at 40.1 as per rating agency Crisil. Only one in seven Indians has access to banking credit. Rural India constitutes nearly 70% of the country’s population but has only 40% of bank branches.
It is essential to recognise that financial inclusion is one of the steps for achieving the goal of inclusive growth and not the goal in itself. JAM moves us towards empowerment, but financial inclusion will need awareness, participation and an ecosystem of social infrastructure. Finalising beneficiary identification and dealing with distributor opposition will be a key challenge.
It will need allies like the Fertiliser Association of India who would have to synchronise their customer base with Aadhaar card data to make it a success. Involvement and positive mindset of third-parties is imperative in creating the enabling ecosystem for inclusion. As the Economic Survey points out, bank-beneficiary linkage still needs to be strengthened for JAM’s success.
The government has also proposed a digital depository for school leaving certificates and mark-sheets. The digital locker will be tagged onto Aadhaar. Going forward, syncing financial and social information with Aadhaar will make financial inclusion much easier.
As JAM and Aadhaar gain momentum, the government needs to ensure that the platform is not jammed by last-mile issues like grass-root financial linkages, digital access and basic infrastructure like power supply and skills to operate the same. JAM can help scale up banking transactions and make themcost-effective. Ubiquitous connectivity, cross-data correlation and digital identity may make sustainable business a real possibility. Financial inclusion will materialise only with responsible borrowing and lending practices and Aadhaar will empower future transaction decisions.

The author is MD & CEO, Yes Bank and chairman, Yes Institute