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.


Monday, May 16, 2016

9987 - RBI gov Raghuram Rajan right on student education loans? - Financial Express

RBI gov Raghuram Rajan right on student education loans?
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has done well to caution students, at the Shiv Nadar University convocation last week, against taking on huge education loans—often from institutions which offer ‘useless degrees’

By: The Financial Express | Updated: May 14, 2016 9:50 AM

Rajan did not say as much, if reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic are to be sustained through education loans, then the fourth R—repayment—is equally critical. (Photo: Reuters)

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has done well to caution students, at the Shiv Nadar University convocation last week, against taking on huge education loans—often from institutions which offer ‘useless degrees’—which they cannot always repay. With education loans rising rapidly, from Rs 28,579 crore in FY09 to R63,320 crore in FY15, though Rajan did not say as much, if reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic are to be sustained through education loans, then the fourth R—repayment—is equally critical.
A report by CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services pointed out that NPA levels in education loans are up to a whopping 7% with nearly 10% of active loans being 90 days past due, as compared to an average 1.5% default rate in case of home and car loans.
While education loans have spiralled, thanks to the Model Education Loan policy—this allows loans for up to Rs 4 lakh to be taken without collateral—a lot of the loans have been advanced without collateral. Given that such high NPAs render the education loan business unviable, while the government needs to backstop the loans of students who are from modest backgrounds, banks will need to come up with some innovative solutions—with, if need be, the government’s help in fashioning requisite laws. Some banks are, for instance, tracking students on their LinkedIn accounts and sending them reminders— the implicit threat is that potential employers and their circle of professional contacts will get to know they have defaulted on an education loan. If all future loans are linked to an Aadhaar number, and this is mandatorily linked to all bank accounts and credit cards, it should be possible to keep track of all those with education loans and, within them, the defaulters. Credit information company CIBIL has already said it will start including education loans while scoring students and that will also be a big deterrent as far as loan delinquency is concerned—linking CIBIL accounts to Aadhaar numbers will make the process more foolproof. Though this will not apply to loans taken for overseas education, one possibility is to change the law to allow colleges/universities to tag degrees paid for through student loans and to un-tag them only when the loan is cleared—that’s much the same thing that happens with the registration certificate of a car which is bought through a bank financing scheme. Threatening to ‘out’ students who don’t pay their loans will also force them to start evaluating the worth of the degrees they are taking loans for and to take a good hard look at the possible returns this could fetch in the job market—the point the RBI Governor was trying to impress upon them.