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.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden


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


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.

Friday, December 23, 2016

10587 - Cashless economy: Centre to implement 19 measures to facilitate transition - Economic Times

By Dheeraj Tiwari, ET Bureau | Nov 11, 2016, 07.03 AM IST

The government’s move on Tuesday to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to check black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing will also encourage digital transactions, officials said.

NEW DELHI: The government has identified 19 short-term measures to be implemented in the current financial year in keeping with its plan to move to a cashless economy

The national task force for promotion of payments through cards and digital means is facilitating coordination among different agencies to ensure speedy roll-out of initiatives including digital payments through ration shops, strengthening the network of business correspondents in rural areas and equipping all existing and future ATMs with Aadhaar authentication facility. 

“The government is committed to digital transactions infrastructure and putting in place the ecosystem where facility for transactions can be availed at doorstep by common man,” said Neeraj Kumar Gupta, secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam), who is also heading the national task force. 

The government’s move on Tuesday to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to check black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing will also encourage digital transactions, officials said. 

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had on Wednesday said that the government's decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will move the country towards a cashless economy. “It will take India towards a cashless economy, it doesn't merely push the country in that direction, but significantly pushes it,” he said. 

The government is also looking to provide micro ATMs to more than one lakh ration or fair price shops by March 2017 and banks have been advised to upgrade them as bank correspondents. “These points will be Aadhaar-enabled,” said a government official. 

There are nearly 5.5 lakh fair price shops across the country. National Payments Corporation of India has also been entrusted with the task of ensuring inter-operability between various banking systems. 

“All existing and future micro ATMs will be equipped with Aadhaar authentication technology, which will ensure cardless digital payments at all merchant locations,” Gupta said, adding that the need for carrying cards will be minimised. Aiming at last-mile connect, micro ATMs will be installed at all about 1.55 lakh post offices, which will be further strengthened with the opening of Post Bank. 

Banks have been asked to get separate contracts for charging merchant discount rate (MDR) against debit and credit card transactions. At present, MDR for transactions by debit card is up to 1% and for credit cards it is up to 3.75%. According to the RBI, the growth in acceptance infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth in cards. While debit cards registered a growth of 64% between October 2013 and October 2015, the number of ATMs grew about 43% while point-of-sale machines increased nearly 28%.