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, January 20, 2017

10720 - Micro ATMs have fingerprint sensors to verify your identity through Aadhaar - Live Mint

Last Modified: Thu, Dec 15 2016. 08 02 AM IST

It is a slightly modified version of a point of sale (PoS) device, on which you swipe your credit or debit card to make payments to merchants

Uttaresh Venkateshwaran

Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Following the government’s move to scrap older currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000, long queues outside banks and ATMs have become a normal sight. One of the measures to deal with cash crunch was the deployment of micro ATMs to help customers withdraw cash. While these are not new, they have gained visibility in recent times.

A portable ATM
It is a slightly modified version of a point of sale (PoS) device, on which you swipe your credit or debit card to make payments to merchants. Micro ATMs also have facilities such as fingerprint sensors to verify your identity through Aadhaar-based biometric identification.

This PoS is connected to the bank’s core system, to extract information regarding a user. Such devices are portable and connect with the servers through GPRS, a mobile data technology. In some cases, micro ATMs also let you open a new savings account, using your Aadhaar details,
Apart from dispensing cash, they also let you check account balance, deposit cash and initiate fund transfers to other banks. While micro ATMs let you withdraw cash from the account of any bank, given the current cash crunch some of the lenders are limiting this facility only to their own customers.

How does it work?
Micro ATMs are operated by authorised agents known as business correspondents. The verification is done when you swipe your card and enter the PIN or do a biometric verification.
Once your verification is complete, the device will seek the agent’s PIN. After this, the agent will give you the cash.
Currently, there are no charges for using such ATMs.
Previously, a standard withdrawal charge of Rs20-25 per transaction was applicable, if you had used up the quota of free withdrawal transactions in a month.

Where to find them
In the urban areas, they can be found at retail outlets that banks have tied up with. For instance, State Bank of India (SBI) has teamed up with Big Bazaar for this. Banks are also tying up with cab aggregators to set up these machines inside the cabs.

While you are assured of a banking transaction, network-related issues have plagued these devices in some cases. Availability of cash with the correspondent can be an issue even if the device is functioning. Unlike larger ATMs, they may not be able to carry huge volumes of cash. As they need human intervention to give cash, they may not be available throughout the day, only during a certain time slot, say, 9 am to 5 pm.