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.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

10735 - India has a billion phones and will technologically leapfrog in coming days: Amitabh Kant - Economic Times


By ET Now | Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 05.17 PM IST

In a chat with ET Now, Amitabh Kant,, CEO, NITI Aayog, says UPIs, e-wallets have all grown by leaps and bounds since 8th November and expects a quantum jump, a huge fillip to digital payments. 

Edited excerpts: 

The measures that have been taken by the government to give a boost as far as cashless ecosystem is concerned, in your assessment, how effective will they be? 

The government has taken a series of measures to give digital payment economy a big boost. In addition to that, it is doing a lot of work in field. It is mobilising the district collectors. It is mobilising the education department. It is mobilising the food department. It is mobilising the rural development department. We are trying to convert this into a very big mass movement, a national movement where people move from cash to digital and find it easy and simple to do the transaction. There is a mental barrier because all of our life we have been dealing with cash but we are trying to break that barrier and I am quite sure that we will succeed because the poor people have got used to computers. They have got used to debit, credit cards. They got used to ATMs. They are very used to mobile phones. 

But the mobile payment gateway system in India is very much at it nascent stage right now. In your assessment what could be the top two or three things the government must do to really give a push to the payment gateway? 

How do you say it is at a nascent stage? Have you tried the Aadhaar-enabled payment system? It is one of the easiest systems anywhere in the world. You just need your Aadhaar number which I think everyone does. 99.1% of the people in India, adult population have an Aadhaar account and therefore you just remember your Aadhaar number. You used your thumb. You just put your bank, you do not need to remember your account number, just say your bank, state bank, it takes you straight into your account. Once you are in your account, you just do debit-credit. It is the easiest for debit or credit system. It is the easiest. 

It is the easiest but in terms of numbers… 

No, it will grow and expand. India is very fortunate. It has a billion Aadhaar cards. It has a billion phones and therefore it will technologically leapfrog in the coming days. India will be a very big disruptionist in this. Actually what Aadhaar system will do and what UPI system will do will be to ensure that India bypasses many steps in this technological innovation. It will bypass debit card. It will bypass credit cards. It will bypass ATMs and enable you to do open interoperable systems straight away. 

What is your back of the envelope calculations in the next six months? This whole thrust has really been given by the government. What could be the kind of numbers in terms of growth that you will see for transactions and maybe also any calculations on the value of these transactions? 

So I gave you the figures. Our UPIs, our wallets, have all grown by leaps and bounds since 8th November. We expect a quantum jump. We expect a huge fillip to digital payment. We expect that people will adopt this. People will give it a big thrust. 

Any numbers that you can share with us by April 2017 when this scheme ends what could be the kind of numbers that we talk? 

No it will be premature for me to talk about numbers but we expect a very major quantum jump.