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

10724 - Thumbs up to cash oxygen - Biometric ATMs debut - Telegraph India

Our Correspondent

Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Poddar launches an Oxigen micro ATM, with a biometric appendage (circled), at Indraprastha Petrol Pump in Dhurwa, Ranchi, on Tuesday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, Dec. 13: 

Your bank is now at your fingertips. Literally so.
Oxigen Services, one of India's payment solutions providers, has launched biometric micro ATMs that allow people to withdraw small amounts of money from their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts by means of thumb impression.
The primary objective is to help people at the grassroots who may not have bank cards to swipe or aren't tech-savvy enough to use e-wallets on smartphones. To promote the facility in semi-urban settlements, the micro payment agency has also teamed up with Indian Oil Corporation so that fuel bunks can host these special point of sale machines.

Aslam Sher Khan, manager of Oxigen Services in Ranchi, said there were 22 business establishments in the capital and on its outskirts that had embraced biometric micro ATMs. "The IOC has tied up with us. Today, we launched a device at Indraprastha Petrol Pump in Dhurwa."
Using the biometric ATM is child's play, said Khan. "Suppose, you can't pay the grocer in cash and are not tech-savvy to use cards or e-wallets. What do you do? All you need is a bank account linked to your unique ID or Aadhaar number while the grocer should have one of our biometric machines. Give your thumb impression, choose your bank and account number, and you are done," he explained.
Sanjay Kumar, who owns a mobile accessories store at Kishoreganj Chowk, has installed an Oxigen micro ATM. "People can both pay through these machines or withdraw petty cash. Kishoreganj has a large working class population - people who do not have debit cards or smartphones. Their weekly need is Rs 200-300. They now come to my shop," he said.
Explaining how people are using the Oxigen device, Sanjay said, "A customer may need to recharge phone, pay bill or withdraw money. Most come to withdraw small amounts. Once the machine reads the thumb impression, the screen shows bank and account options linked to Aadhaar. The person transfers money to me online and I pay them hard cash."
Although the maximum daily withdrawal limit from micro ATMs is Rs 2,000, the shopkeeper said people who use the biometric system hardly demand more than Rs 500.
Oxigen Services is providing the biometric point of sale machines to traders at Rs 8,000 each. "A trader receive Re 1 as incentive per transaction from the associated bank. We are eyeing new clients in Nagri, where the state government is pushing for a cashless village. We may launch our service in Nagri as early as tomorrow," manager Khan added.
With the competition hotting up, e-wallet Paytm, which has over 9,000 users in Ranchi alone - from vegetable vendors at Daily Market to Kaveri Restaurant, is mulling its facilities for basic phones too.
"We understand that there are many people who do not have smartphones; so, the company will soon float a number that can be used by basic phone users to access our services," said Avinash Kumar, manager of Paytm in Ranchi.