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.

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

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.


Monday, January 16, 2017

10674 - Cashless economy: UPI apps provide ease of use and freedom to transact - First Post


Sanjay Pandey Dec, 03 2016 11:28:18 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message in the latest Mann Ki Baat program on All India Radio was loud and clear. He exhorted the nation to start transitioning from less cash to cash less economy. This sounded like a big boost to the cards and digital wallet industry. In fact, this may not be true. India may soon not only be moving to cashless economy but might be moving towards card less economy. Digital wallets tied to specific banks or provided by specific merchants too may soon be history.

Dealing a deadly body blow to the card industry and proprietary digital wallet industry are two indigenous innovations. One is the purported move to have Aadhar chip embedded in smart phones which support Iris scans. And the other is the launching of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
In current scenario, when a purchase is made using a card it is swiped on the point of sale machine and a pin is entered to authenticate the card. This affects money transfer from the customer’s bank to the account of the merchant. In cases where money has to be transferred using a digital wallet, it is done using the digital wallet app. Money from one digital wallet can be transferred to another digital wallet provided they subscribe to the same provider ie PayTm, HDFC Chillr etc. This scenario is now set to change.

Iris scan supported Aadhar card enabled smart phones provide for authentication through the mobile phone. Process is simple. If a transaction has to be made once the Iris is scanned, Aadhaar chip embedded in the phone will communicate with Aadhaar servers and provide instant authentication. Once the authentication is done, money transactions can be done. There will be no need of either a point of sale machine or a card for the purposes of transaction.
Alongside proposed Aadhaar enabled mobile phones, UPI, launched by NPCI with Reserve Bank of India is revolutionising the way digital wallets get used and transactions are made. Using UPI app, people can create their digital wallets and have a virtual private address. This virtual private address could either be the Aadhaar card number of just the mobile phone number of the person.
In case of any transfer to be affected, it can be done from one VPA to another without the restriction of these digital wallets being of the same bank or the same provider. Money in case of UPI enabled wallets always remains with the banks and transactions involving transfers are free. This is unlike the current digital wallets where money gets out of the banking system and in case money has to be sent to the bank there are charges for the same. With this ease of use and freedom to transact across participating banks it’s only a matter of time that UPI enabled apps will replace proprietary digital wallets.
UPI is also enabling person to person (P2P) transactions besides person to merchant (P2M) transactions. In P2P,  people transact among themselves using UPI enabled digital wallets. Once this happens even the 2.1 lakh ATMs may become redundant. Each mobile will become a payment device both accepting and making payments.
Making this a reality, are the current 371 million mobile internet users (35 percent of the population as of June 2016) in India, and approximately 108 crore Aadhaar card holders (as per UIDAI). These numbers coupled with an estimate 50 Million internet users getting added each year; Narendra Modi's wish for a cashless economy may well get realised much sooner than anticipated.

The author is Currently Additional Director General Home guards, Mumbai and former Controller, Legal Metrology, Maharashtra.