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, September 6, 2016

10369 - Financial inclusion, the cashless way - Live Mint

Last Modified: Mon, Aug 29 2016. 02 34 PM IST


It is now possible, as easily as messaging someone, to transfer funds 24x7 through our smartphones

Anil Padmanabhan

Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Last week, several banks launched app-based services, kicking off a revolution in the way we digitally transfer funds using smartphones.

It is now possible, as easily as messaging someone, to transfer funds 24x7 through our smartphones to not just pay utility bills, transfer to another bank account, but even move funds to each other (P2P or peer-to-peer)—all this without sharing personal details like a bank account or a credit card number.

And this is being made possible by employing the unified payments interface architecture launched by the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI)—the brainchild of the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks’ Association and serves as the umbrella organization for all retail payments systems in India.
There are an estimated 200 million smartphones in the country. So, this is the potential base for drawing the new highway of financial transactions; and this adds up to about half the size of the population of the US.
If this does not convince you about the sea change that is underway in the financial sector, then sample this nugget shared by Axis Bank Ltd in its latest quarterly earnings report—much before the launch of the new payments interface last week. According to it, the market share of Axis Bank in mobile transactions is 13%, significantly higher than their market share in overall deposits.
And then the kicker: “Mobile banking spends in first quarter reported a growth of 159% on a Y-o-Y basis. In terms of number of transactions, digital channels are outpacing every other channel by a wide margin,” and then adding, “Electronic channels, i.e. Digital and ATM, now contribute 88% of all customer induced transactions in our retail base.”
There are several ways to look at this change. For one, as already demonstrated, it empowers the user in an incredible way (previously, the ATM-inspired disintermediation led to the death of queues at the teller counter in banks). Second, it also benefits banks by reducing the cost of each transaction dramatically compared to moving money through a cheque or facilitating an ATM transaction. Third, it incentivises the transition to a cashless economy, which not only augurs efficiency but also establishes a much-needed audit trail to discourage black money creation.
Clearly, the disruption in Indian banking is underway. Last week, Mint carried an infographic , authored by Nandan Nilekani, the man who gave us Aadhaar, on the likely path of this transformation. In this presentation, he shares the fact that electronic clearing (NEFT, IMPS, etc) is growing annually by 50% and overtook cheques clearing in the first quarter of 2015.
All this has been made possible by a fundamental reset in the ecosystem of the financial economy. And the key enabler is JAM—the acronym which denotes Jan Dhan (no-frill bank accounts for all), Aadhaar and Mobile. It has reached a critical mass with nearly 240 million bank accounts opened as on 17 August, 1 billion Aadhaar numbers issued and over 1 billion mobile phones. Take the three together and what you have is a gigantic financial web on which you can undertake, without being physically present, cashless transactions.
In the process, what is happening, to quote Nilekani, is India is going from being “data poor to data rich”. What he means is that once an individual is part of this emerging financial architecture, their transaction data is accessible to all financial players. So, if a bank needed an individual’s credit history to take a call on extending a loan, it is available now; just as much as it brightens the prospects of an individual obtaining a loan based on the mining of their transactional data.
In a previous column , I had written how this is slowly enabling the informal economy to join the mainstream and avail of the benefits of the formal economy. If loans are given/denied based on an individual’s credit history as opposed to the discretion of a bank manager, it is undoubtedly a good thing. Also, at the cost of sounding repetitive, it is an important step in transitioning the country towards a rules-based regime; for most of the seven decades, India has relied on an exception-based regime with disastrous consequences.
Anil Padmanabhan is executive editor of Mint and writes every week on the intersection of politics and economics.
His Twitter handle is @capitalcalculus
Comments are welcome at capitalcalculus@livemint.com