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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Monday, January 16, 2017

10675 - Digital payments set to become the norm and cash the exception in India - Hindustan Times

ANALYSIS Updated: Dec 02, 2016 19:46 Ist


Arvind Gupta 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme is an attempt to create a digitally empowered society, with financial inclusion contributing to a robust formal economy. The main idea behind this vision is not just connectivity, but about how to leverage that connectivity in enabling consumers, small businesses, traders and farmers to harness technology to maximise efficiency and productivity.

The data exhaust that this digitisation will produce can be leveraged for a host of applications. The Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-mobile trinity and cashless initiatives are the backbone of the reforms and development agenda.

Demonetisation will give a much required push for consumption to be digitally driven and payments to go cashless. Banks can open new accounts using Aadhaar-linked e-KYC mechanisms. Consumers can make payments to merchants using the Unified Payments Interface.


Merchants will benefit from receiving payments digitally at the lowest costs possible. They can raise invoices with GST-enabled software and get appropriate tax credits in their bank accounts. Tax collections will increase and evasion will come down as electronic transactions grow. Small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs will have greater capacity to act as mini-multinationals in their own right reaching out to make transactions, offer services and interact with other parties in new forms of collaborations across traditional geographical boundaries along the supply chain.

The demonetisation of old currency is a bold move not only for economic and security reasons but for offering an inflection point to leapfrog a few generations into the future and take ownership of the digital industrial revolution.
The challenge that lies ahead for FinTech disruptors is to ensure that consumers use digital payments as comfortably as they have used cash.


The first few weeks after the demonetisation announcement saw a multifold increase in usage of cards, mobile wallets and mobile payments. Digital infrastructure is being rolled out faster than ever. For digital methods to be sustainable and as acceptable, pervasive and inclusive as cash, they need to be low cost, work in poor connectivity environments, on basic feature phones and offer the same level of trust as cash. With frugal innovation unleashed by the IndiaStack, is a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilise a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s hard problems, these challenges can be overcome by entrepreneurs.


India is heading towards a digitally empowered society where digital payments are set to become the norm and cash the exception.

Arvind Gupta heads the BJP’s Information & Technology cell.
The views expressed are personal.