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, July 18, 2016

10161 - ‘India’s economic growth will be driven by services and not manufacturing’ – Nandan Nilekani - Your Story

‘India’s economic growth will be driven by services and not manufacturing’ – Nandan Nilekani


23 JUNE 2016

Going by the conventional wisdom of people, India should be an export-led country and we have to grow like Japan, South Korea and China. But this is not the right vision. India’s growth will be funded by the domestic consumption and not by exports, and it will be led by small businesses. Domestic consumption, small businesses and services are the three important aspects for the country’s growth, said, Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of UIDAI at Think Next Summer 2016, Microsoft Accelerator’s flagship forum. He was there to speak on ‘An alternate view of the future: India in the age of technological disruption.’


Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of UIDAI at Think Next Summer 2016, Microsoft Accelerator’s flagship forum
He mentioned that the growth of the Indian economy will be driven by services with manufacturing and outsourcing starting to reverse given the rise of technologies like IoT, robotics and 3D printing.

According to Nilekani, the mobile phone is  the first universal electronic product with the sales number crossing 300 million per quarter. The internet penetration has also surged to 370 million users in India. The country is expected to have 700 million smartphone users by 2020 making it a bright spot in the international smartphone market.

Aadhaar – The largest digital infrastructure for identity

With one billion users in five and a half years, Aadhaar will likely become the world’s largest digital infrastructure for identity. Nilekani mentioned that though there are only 10 to 12 platform in the world with billion users including Microsoft (Office, Windows), Facebook, Google, Android and Youtube; Aadhaar is the fastest among all to reach the billion user mark. South Korean tech giant Samsung recently launched 7 inch Galaxy Tab Iris for Rs 13,499 to support digital authentication supporting an Iris scanner for biometric authentication.

Nandan averred that the digital payments are  going to take off in India with 270 million Aadhaar linked bank accounts. Currently, 77,000 in number, micro ATMs in India allow users to withdraw money from Aadhaar linked bank account..
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) which was launched five years ago, is facilitating 2000 crore transactions per year. To fuel financial inclusion, Narendra Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana on August 28, 2014 and within 21 months, over 220 million accounts were opened with Rs 38,000 crore deposited under the scheme.

Nilekani, who is an Advisor to National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), believes that in order to create a mass system, one need to reduce the on-boarding cost. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged a winner as it brings down the complexity levels and only your mobile number needs to be registered with your UPI compliant bank. With UPI, customers are no longer required to give their personal credentials like account details and security pins. Users can also make payments with Aadhaar authentication and m-pin.

Employment opportunities

According to Nilekani, platforms like Ola, Uber, Prcato and Flipkart have created thousands of jobs not only inside the companies but also in the ecosystem they have created. For example, Uber has only 6500 employees but it supports 1.5 million cars and drivers.

“The progress India has made in IT and entrepreneurship over the past four decades, has radically changed the landscape offering new entrepreneurs unmatched opportunities.,” said Ravi Narayan, Global Director, Microsoft Accelerator.


Ravi Narayan, Global Director, Microsoft Accelerator and Nagaraj Ijari, VP and Global Head – Hi-Tech Industry Solutions Unit, TCS
Microsoft Accelerator in India and TCS Co-Innovation Network (COIN) today announced a joint initiative to create a platform to boost the growth of Indian startup ecosystem. Under the collaboration, startups will get access to Microsoft and TCS’ networks and relationships across customers, investors, academia and industry, creating a strong value proposition in the enterprise marketplace.