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, August 12, 2017

11748 - Interview | Digital economy can grow to $2 trillion in the next five years: Ravi Shankar Prasad - DNA

Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad


MANSI TANEJA | Tue, 8 Aug 2017-07:45am , New Delhi , DNA

Interview with Minister for Electronics and IT

In an interview with Mansi Taneja, Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad talks about how e-governance through Aadhaar helped save Rs 57,000 crore in subsidies and why the rise of domestic manufacturing in India is a great cause for cheer

How much will the digital economy grow in the next five years?
We expect India's digital economy to achieve $1 trillion in the next five to seven years. This can be achieved easily. In fact, India's digital economy has the potential to grow to $2 trillion besides creating 40-70 lakh jobs in employment over this period. Government programmes such as Make in India, Skill India, Start-up India and Smart Cities will help reach the targets, and sectors such as IT and IT-enabled services, electronic manufacturing, e-commerce, digital payments and cyber security will be crucial in reaching these targets.

How will you achieve this?
It is achievable because the communication industry stands at $150 billion, IT and IT-enabled services stand up to $50 billion, both totalling to $300 billion. Electronic manufacturing in India is worth $100 billion, e-commerce $35 billion. Without including digital payments, the entire digital economy currently has a worth of more than $400 billion. Digital payments will become a $500 billion economy by 2020.

How have you improved governance through digital India?
India must come up with technology which is affordable, inclusive and developmental. We have done that through the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan-Yojana programme. For example, we created 28 crore Jan Dhan accounts of the poor that link to Aadhaar. Today, we have 68 crore bank accounts linked with Aadhaar. We have directly started sending subsidies — gas, ration, MNREGA — to bank accounts. Through this, we have saved about Rs 57,000 crore, which used to be pocketed by the middleman. In the Modi government, Rs 100 is being sent and Rs 100 is reaching the villages. Digital governance is good governance, digital delivery is faster delivery.
There have been concerns over websites publishing Aadhaar data. How are you addressing that?
Aadhaar as a platform is completely safe, secure and respects the privacy of all Indians. That is entirely inbuilt in the Aadhaar Act passed by the Parliament. About 113 crore Indians have Aadhaar and 99 per cent of the adult population of India is on Aadhaar. There is also a robust mechanism under sections 29,30,31 of the law where nobody can share their biometrics for unauthorised use, with due regard to privacy and data concerns. Anybody who tinkers with it will land in jail.
A key component of India's digital economy dream is domestic mobile phone market. How much has this grown?
India has come up well in the domestic mobile phone market. Manufacturing of mobile phones which was only six crore units in 2014-15 has reached an estimated 22 crore in 2016-17. In terms of value, there has been 183 per cent jump. In 2014-15, mobile phones worth Rs 19,000 crore were made in India and today an estimated Rs 90,000 crore in 2016-17. About 72 new mobile manufacturing units have come up which has created one lakh new direct jobs and over three lakh indirect jobs.
Under your electronic manufacturing policy, it seems only mobile manufacturing has gained momentum?
Not true. There are various other schemes which are going on under our ministry such as MSIPs (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) and electronics manufacturing clusters. Under MSIPs, we are offering financial incentives to attract investments. About 269 investment proposals worth Rs 1,56,729 crore (till April 2017) have been received under MSPIs compared to only Rs11,198 crore in May 2014.