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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Thursday, September 8, 2016

10373 - Nandan Nilekani, Ratan Tata and Vijay Kelkar venture will be a force multiplier for lending to the poor - Financial Express


While the poor as a business opportunity was something that got firmly embedded in our consciousness only when FMCG firms started selling large volumes of shampoo in sachet packs, it wasn’t until Muhammad Yunus demonstrated this in Bangladesh that they were also seen as a viable group to lend to

By: Sunil Jain | Updated: August 30, 2016 1:45 PM




While the poor as a business opportunity was something that got firmly embedded in our consciousness only when FMCG firms started selling large volumes of shampoo in sachet packs, it wasn’t until Muhammad Yunus demonstrated this in Bangladesh that they were also seen as a viable group to lend to. 

Not surprisingly, while traditional banks weren’t able to crack the market in India, a host of well-funded micro-finance institutions (MFIs) managed to do very well – RBI’s decision to award the leading MFI Bandhan Financial Services a full-fledged banking license is recognition of its unique ability to build a different business model, probably around the poor and the semi-poor. Bandhan, the winner of the FE Best Banks Special Initiative category for 2014-15, accounts for a tenth of the all-India MFI portfolio of around Rs 1.1 lakh crore and, over a period of 15 years, rolled out a pan-India network of more than 2,000 branches, nearly twice as many as its closest competitor. 

At the other end of the spectrum, HDFC Bank’s managing director – the winner of FE Best Bank’s Lifetime Achievement award for 2014-15 – runs one of the country’s top-notch banks with a capital adequacy ratio of nearly 17%, an advances growth of nearly 21% and a return on net worth of 16.5%, and yet finds time to create a social business touching over 6 million households. Puri, whose target is 10 million by 2018, doesn’t do this as charity or CSR – it is a robust business model where the composite interest charged includes skilling borrowers, training them in accounting, helping them market and expand their businesses.

The newest entrants to this field of social business – Tata Group ex-head Ratan Tata, Aadhaar and Infosys’s founder Nandan Nilekani and former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar – come as a force multiplier since their mission statement is to create a ‘technology-enabled financial inclusion vehicle’. 

Along with running his empire, Tata has a history of successful social work, Kelkar has a rich history in public policy and applying free-market principles, and Nilekani brings a rich experience in disruptive technology, especially in the financial and education space. The Aadhaar-stack is essentially a bunch of apps built around Aadhaar authentication and NPCIL’s United Payment Interface that has just debuted – around the Aadhaar platform – is slated to change India’s payments landscape significantly. With the costs of acquiring clients for banks or mutual funds declining to just a few rupees thanks to Aadhaar authentication, lending to the non-rich or designing mutual fund/pension/insurance products for them suddenly becomes viable. Big data, such as that captured for vendors selling on various e-commerce platforms allows lenders to have a look at their transaction history, and by using algorithms which examine credit-worthiness, take quick decisions on whether or not to lend – even traditional banks are now using big data to take decisions on lending, but that is more focused on lending to higher-end customers for now. Once prime minister Narendra Modi is able to complete the transition of all social sector spending to JAM in a few years, and assuming the government moves to cash instead of physical rations/kerosene, that’s a few lakh crore rupees that can come into the Jan Dhan accounts of the poor every year – with a regular inflow of cash and the potential to build a rich transaction history, especially as state governments also follow suit and if wages are given directly to Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, that’s a big area for Tata/Kelkar/Nilekani to work in. With the Bandhans and HDFC Banks increasing their footprint, and others waiting to jump in, social business may just have come of age in the country.