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, May 26, 2017

11469 - BHIM-Aadhaar: With just 10,000 daily transactions project off to a poor start - Financil Express

The government’s Bhim-AadhaAr initiative, rolled out on April 14, is off to a slow start with very few transactions taking place.

By: Shritama Bose | Mumbai | Published: May 25, 2017 7:02 AM

The government is understood to have laid down targets for cashless transactions though this could not be immediately confirmed. (PTI)

The government’s Bhim-AadhaAr initiative, rolled out on April 14, is off to a slow start with very few transactions taking place. The initiative was aimed at encouraging merchants to accept digital payments using customers’ biometric authentification or Aadhaar. However, sources told FE merchants are still waiting for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to specify the exact features which the biometric authentication devices need to have.

While the government had put out a number of seven lakh merchants as having been acquired across 27 banks, there have been no further updates on either merchant acquisition or transaction volumes.

“The smartphone app that merchants need to download is ready. But they are waiting for the specifications of the plug-in device that will enable the payments before they can start,” an executive with a public-sector bank said.

The government is understood to have laid down targets for cashless transactions though this could not be immediately confirmed. Sources said, by end September, banks are to acquire 30 merchants per branch, who transact digitally, irrespective of the size of the bank or branch.

Traction at even the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, is believed to be limited, with fewer than one lakh merchants on-boarded for Aadhaar-based payments. Moreover, the number of daily transactions ranges between 10,000 and 20,000, sources said.

The cost of the authentication device—between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000—may be deterring small merchants from getting on to the Aadhaar-based payments network.

Besides, the most inexpensive smartphone is priced at around Rs 4,000. This puts the cost of installation at par with that of a point-of-sale (PoS) terminal, which costs anywhere between Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000.

“AadhaarPay is mainly for rural merchants and they are currently not on the payment system,” another banking executive told FE.

Dilip Asbe, COO, at National Payments Corporation of India, said the merchant discount rate (MDR) for Aadhaar-based transactions may be reimbursed by the government. “There is some discussion that the MDR, for Aadhar Payments, would be reimbursed by the government for a certain period of time since this is essentially for assisted mode and rural market. The MDR, or the charge that a merchant pays its respective acquiring bank, is 25 basis points (bps), or 0.25%, Asbe said.