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.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

10747 - Govt, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: Arun Jaitley - Indian Express

Govt, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: Arun Jaitley

Less cash, he said, can be gradually substituted to the possible extent through digital transactions.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: December 15, 2016 6:54 pm

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (File Photo)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government and the Reserve Bank are taking measures to bring down the digital transaction cost with an aim to move towards a less-cash economy. Chairing the 5th Meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his ministry, Jaitley said digital transactions are a parallel mechanism, not a substitute, for cash transactions and “cashless economy is actually a less cash economy as no economy can be fully cashless”. He told the participating Members of Parliament (MPs) that the government is trying to encourage digitisation as much as possible because an excessive cash economy has its own social and economic costs and consequences.

Less cash, he said, can be gradually substituted to the possible extent through digital transactions. According to an official release, Jaitley said the Centre has announced various incentives to attract people to shift to digital mode of payment and the response is quite positive so far in this regard. Jaitley further said the government and the RBI have taken various steps to bring down the cost of digital transactions and specifically mentioned about MDR charges.


The Finance Minister added that 55 per cent petrol pumps in the country are accepting payment through digital means and with the government providing incentives, more people are switching to this mode. Jaitley further said the government is conscious of the need of cyber security of high level to secure digital payments.

He told the MPs that the government and RBI are fully aware of cyber security challenges and ensuring strong firewalls around the systems. As part of efforts to promote e-payments, the Finance Minister said the government is providing various incentives for digital transactions including on debit card use.

Regarding the availability of POS machines, he said POS machines are manufactured by two companies in China and the government has waived duties on them so that these machines become cheaper and reach the shopkeepers easily.

Expressing views, one MP cited the example of Bangladesh Bank heist and expressed the concern about cyber security if digitisation is done at such a fast pace. The issue of virtual currency, bitcoins was also raised as they are believed to be used by black money hoarders. Regarding connectivity and infrastructure issue in rural India, suggestions were made to strengthen the institution of business correspondents. Some members raised the concern that Aadhaar alone should not be basis for bank transactions and banks should keep their KYC norms strict along with Aadhaar.

Some members also requested the Finance Minister to relax conditions for Tamil Nadu in view of recent cyclone that caused major disruptions in supply of electricity and internet connectivity. Suggestions regarding infrastructure for having internet facility on continuous/permanent basis, without disruption, has to be ensured for making digital payments successful especially in sub-urban and rural areas were also made.

Some of them suggested that security measures are required both in case of hardware and software in order to secure the data and transactions made through digital mode. Jaitley assured the members of the Committee about cyber security measures being taken by the banks under RBI supervision. He said the government was trying its best to minimise common man’s pain.

MPs who attended the meeting include Baijayanta Jai Panda, Dilip Kumar Mansukhlal Gandhi, Ram Charitra Nishad, Subhash Chandra Baheria, Supriya Sadanand Sule, Poonam Mahajan, Sharadkumar Maruti Bansode and Shri Suresh Chanabassappa Angadi (all Members of Lok Sabha).

Digvijaya Singh, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ranvijay Singh Judev, Sanjay Seth, Satish Chandra Mishra and Kumari Selja were among the Rajya Sabha MPs.