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.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

11069 - BHIM, Aadhaar Pay misuse not possible: UIDAI CEO - Economic Times


By Surabhi Agarwal, ET Bureau | Updated: Apr 18, 2017, 09.39 AM IST
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The finance minister said that by September 2017 banks will enrol 20 lakh merchants on BHIMAadhaar Pay.

The BHIM-Aadhaar Pay system is more secure than any debit card or credit card network, said Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India, which issues the 12-digit identification Aadhaar number. In an interview to Surabhi Agarwal, he also spoke about the incentives that the government will offer to merchants accepting payment through Aadhaar and the plans for scaling up. Edited excerpts: 

What is the aim behind launching BHIM-Aadhaar? 
It is meant for those who cannot use other means of digital payment, particularly if they don’t have a mobile phone or they are financially illiterate to handle usernames, PINs, passwords. Such people can use their fingerprint and Aadhaar number for digital payments. Now the system is ready, more than 56 crore bank accounts are linked with Aadhaar and more than 75% Jan Dhan Yojana accounts have been seeded with Aadhaar. Even if bricks-andmortar banks are not there or business correspondents are not available, local kirana, medicine shops, hospitals or fertilizer shops or ration shops can start accepting payments through BHIM-Aadhaar Pay. It will provide great convenience to people. 

In terms of infrastructure, how many people accept payment through it at present? 
The finance minister said that by September 2017 banks will enrol 20 lakh merchants on BHIMAadhaar Pay. Now that the whole scheme has been launched, activity on this front will gather steam. The PDS (public distribution system) shop owners, the fertilizer shops or even common service centres will be the likely target merchants for it. Parallelly work will be done to enlist the merchants – such as kirana and medical shops. The good thing is that the merchants don’t have to pay any MDR (merchant discount rate); merchants will rather receive an incentive of 0.25% of the transaction value subject to certain caps, which will be prescribed. Customers will not be charged anything. And this is a very, very safe method of making a payment. 

How much has the government budgeted for the incentives to be given to merchants? 
The total amount is being still estimated. The government has already made the commitment. The ministry of IT is working on this; it is trying to estimate how much money will be required month-wise and then it will make the fund available. 

For how long will the incentives be given? 
Any incentive is always subject to some further review. You start with the incentive and then go on fine-tuning the old structure as you go along to make the scheme more effective. I don’t think any time period has been prescribed at this stage. 

How would you respond to concerns being expressed over the security of Aadhaar Pay? 
I would like to assure you that it is fully secure. The merchant will use an application which will be developed by the bank itself and then it will be security tested by the NPCI (National Payments Council of India) and also other appropriate security agencies. The bank’s software will make sure that any biometric will be encrypted at the time of capture and that it is not capable of any misuse. 

Supposing that some issues still happen, the money will go from, let’s say, my account to the merchant’s account. So the person who has misused will easily be identified. Here the merchant has been clearly identified and enrolled by the banks. Therefore, there is absolutely no possibility of a misuse and if any misuse happens then 100% the person will be caught and will have to face the consequences of the law. So the fears of security and misuse, as far as BHIM-Aadhaar Pay is concerned, are completely unjustified. 

What is the current scale of the merchants’ network for the payment system? 

It is around 1.75 lakh merchants. But I would like to reinforce that it is the most secure payment system. This is much more secure than any debit card or credit card platform. The merchant’s account is seeded with Aadhaar; it is validated with the bank accounts. It is not a case where on an Internet site you make a payment and the merchant is present in some foreign country island or something that we can’t trace it. On BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant is within the country, so wherever the money goes, it can be traced.