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 15, 2016

10439 - Poor account - Indian Express

Problem lies not with Jan Dhan, but the way the scheme is being pushed.

It is unfortunate to see bank officials in many parts of the country making one-rupee deposits in Jan-Dhan accounts simply with a view to hide their “zero-balance” status, as an investigation by this newspaper has revealed. The fact of the matter is that the opening of over 24 crore bank accounts, of which some 19 crore have been issued RuPay debit cards and over 50 per cent seeded with the unique Aadhaar identity number of the account-holders, is no mean achievement. That it has happened within a span of two years or so makes it all the more remarkable for a country, where nearly 40 per cent of the population till recently had no access to formal banking. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), moreover, aims to go further than just ensuring financial inclusion. It seeks to move to a system of making payments under various government programmes through direct transfers. Alongside reducing leakages in subsidies and other welfare expenditures, the goal is also to migrate to a cashless economy whose knock-on impact on growth cannot be underestimated.By: Editorial | Updated: September 14, 2016 12:31 am

That is precisely also the reason why the attempts at dressing up data is all the more deplorable. It is not clear whether the pressure for this has come from the top or simply acts by over-enthusiastic branch level officials. Either way, they violate basic banking principles — which rest on integrity, trust and transparency. The Indian Express investigation has shown that the account-holders were not even told about the Re one deposits when they were made. It obviously opens up the possibility of one’s account being similarly used to deposit slush funds without that person’s knowledge — and being withdrawn as well. An investigation is due and the officials involved are punished. At the end of day, there is nothing to be ashamed about zero-balance accounts. Financial inclusion is a necessary but not sufficient condition for money to be in accounts. The latter requires generation of jobs and incomes. Zero-balance accounts are a good indicator of that not happening. As a wise central banker once said, finance can facilitate but not lead.

There are critics of PMJDY who say the scheme should not have been implemented through fiat. The counter to that is if there was no push, banks would never have facilitated the opening of these accounts. Financial inclusion is an investment the returns from which are far higher than the ostensible costs imposed on the banking system. In this case, the problem lies not with the scheme, but in the spin doctors.