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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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10341 - Rating agencies have a reason to improve India’s rating: Shaktikanta Das - Financial Express

With the clutch of reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi government (easing of foreign investment regulations and use of Aadhaar platform for delivery of subsidies) and the ones that will be put in place soon...

By: Prasanta Sahu | New Delhi | Updated: August 17, 2016 9:49 AM


The finance minister has said in his Budget speech if more capital is required, he will provide it. Banks have the choice of getting out of their non-core businesses. (Source: PTI)

With the clutch of reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi government (easing of foreign investment regulations and use of Aadhaar platform for delivery of subsidies) and the ones that will be put in place soon (like the goods & services tax and the bankruptcy code), the government strongly feels global rating agencies must consider improving their ratings and outlooks for the country. These agencies accord India the lowest investment grade. If they don’t factor in the recent spate of reforms, they will be missing out on the real India story, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das tells Prasanta Sahu in an interview. Excerpts:
Will the monetary policy committee (MPC) be in place by September 4 (when RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s term ends)?

There is a process involved (in the formation of MPC) and that is underway. It has nothing to do with departure of the current (RBI) governor or any such thing. The next (monetary policy) review is due only after two months. We expect that the next policy review will be done by the MPC.

Will a separate railway Budget be done away with from FY18?
The matter is under examination. Several operational aspects will have to be worked out (before putting an end to rail Budget and merging it with the general Budget). The government is yet to take a final decision. But, technically or legally, we don’t see any problem in merging the two budgets. Even today, the railway Budget is part of the annual financial statement attached to the general Budget and this is a constitutional requirement.

Don’t you think the rating agencies should review their India ratings, given the spate of reforms the government has undertaken and the growth forecasts?
We are very clear that international rating agencies should give due weight to India’s reform steps; they usually pay attention to such developments in the developed countries. I think they have to change their mindset and accept and recognise the measures we have taken on the reform front. Which country in the current context has taken as many reform measures as India has over the past year? No country has. If rating agencies don’t recognise these changes, they would indeed be missing out on the real India story. (Before the GST Bill was passed by Parliament recently, Fitch reaffirmed its BBB- rating for India).

The yield on G-secs has been declining. How much has the government saved in terms of interest cost?
We have not quantified the savings. What is important is coming close on the heels of Brexit and the steep volatility in the various global markets, this is reflective of investor confidence on the macro-economic story of India. The Budget has made an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore for public sector bank capitalisation in FY17, but the banks obviously need more.

Do you think these banks should try to monetise their non-core assets?
The finance minister has said in his Budget speech if more capital is required, he will provide it. Banks have the choice of getting out of their non-core businesses. They could also monetise various kinds of assets they are holding.

What is the progress on National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)?
Our interactions with various investors have shown that their interest is more in specific sectors, not in investing in an all-purpose mother fund. Therefore, we are now restructuring and creating some avenues for translating that kind of interest into investments. To begin with, there could be two or three sectoral funds such as on roads and non-conventional energy.