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.


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

10212 - How advanced payment ecosystem is helping small businesses transition online - First Post




By Sirish Kumar

Money, and the way we access it is undergoing massive overhaul currently. Helping India transition to becoming a digital and cashless economy, these payment solution providers are accelerating India’s stride towards standing at part with the leading economies across the globe. While at macro level we have India transitioning towards the digital economy, at a micro level we can witness the same shift happening across small scale businesses.

There are currently, more than 1.3 million SMEs in India, with the number growing ever week. The figure takes further prominence as these SMEs have employed over 40% of Indian work force, especially at a low skill level and contributes 45% to total manufacturing output of India. However, the productivity of these enterprises is still low, owing to their lack of technical affluence. With e-Commerce industry slated to touch $38 billion mark in 2016 itself, as per ASSOCHAM reports, it is a huge loss of potential opportunities, by not registering an online presence.
Last year, Google India targeted at giving online presence to 20 million SMEs in India, while launching its Google My Business app. But the story doesn’t end there! After realizing the potential in the market, various payment solution providers (PSPs) are now working in close tandem with MSMEs, helping them transition online. The one thing all PSPs have in common, along with providing highly digital and secured systems for carrying our monetary transactions, is their efforts in educating the user base. Today, digital payments and e-money is poised towards enjoying a cult status and a significant amount of credit goes to payment solutions providers, for undertaking massive awareness drives, advertisements and digital campaigns.
And yet, the role of payment solutions providers isn’t limited to only creating awareness amongst the users. It is often a part of their business models to help new users transition online. Several key players are working closely with the banks and utilize the best of technological innovation to streamline, fast track and automate the on-boarding processes. Typically, these efforts have played a pivotal role in reducing the paperwork, addressing concerns and getting more small scale sellers and merchants online. In fact, several payment solution providers have automated the on-boarding process to be concluded within 100 minutes straight.

The technological innovation isn’t reduced to speeding up the on-boarding process. To further extend their services and empower small scale businesses, several payment solutions have a template or a Business API which can be integrated with the existing models utilized by small businesses. These unified APIs and other tools immediately allow businesses to transition online and start accepting and managing payments digitally. The initiatives such as UPI, Aadhaar and mobile based authentication will enable more unbanked population to be part of the formal economy.

These APIs have evolved over the years, withstanding cyber threats to data security and hence also offer an evolved anti-fraud and secure solution. Furthermore, understanding how the digital world is evolving, payment solutions also assists small business owners in kick-starting their venture in the online world, increasing the outreach in the digital domain, social media and otherwise.

In fact, owing to the unique business models focused at solving problems, different companies working within the ambits of digitalizing payments, have also come to extend support to the unbanked sections of population. A lot of small scale businesses, especially the ones hailing from rural India, tier II and III cities do not have bank accounts for various reasons. However, there are now solutions available that enable unbanked SMEs in riding on the wave of digitalization regardless. The opportunities have further swelled after the introduction of UPI by the Government. Now, any user possessing Aadhaar Card or mobile phone can perform the online transactions, without much ado.

Since transitioning to the digital domain can be critical for the new users, several payment solutions providers have come up with integrated models, unifying offline and online transactions. In fact, several players are present at different retail touch-points to be accessible by remote users and assist them in making the transition.

Lastly, there is another unique way in which payment solution providers are helping SMEs, not only transition online, but also grow and expand their services. Several payment solution providers have entered into close association with money lenders, hence facilitating easy loan disbursement to SMEs. As the business grows and expands over time, especially after transitioning online, this line of credit plays a pivotal role in ensuring the potential of SMEs to meet the increasing demand. This builds a trust network between SME and such ecosystem of electronic payments and lending. These payment providers should partner with banks and schemes such as Mastercard, Visa and RuPay to lower transaction costs.

While top-notch payment solutions providers are doing their bit in developing an entire ecosystem and helping small businesses transition online, we also need to acknowledge the steps taken by the government in leveling the playing field and introducing an array of policies favoring the same. While the Make in India campaign positioned India as the leading destination for manufactures products, the Digital India campaign was instrumental in shifting frames of rural India, especially when it came to viewing the technology. Central bank and the government has worked in tandem to bring more than a billion users on Aadhaar cards, a key step for many people to join the formal or organized economy . This will allow all individuals or entrepreneurs with a phone and Aadhaar card to make or receive payment seamlessly in the near future. This is more revolutionary than Apple Pay launch.

Today, the merchants and small business owners in the tier II and III cities are not only digitally more aware, but also are more ambitious. Since sky is the limit, they no longer shy from transition on-cloud, not only to touch the limits, but to push it further. Given the age of disruption that the startups have introduced in Indian economy, what remains to be seen is the extent to which the ecosystem would further solidify itself in times to come.

The author is CEO and Co-Founder, Telr.com