The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

13417 - Quick guide to bank accounts for non-resident Indians (NRIs)

Quick guide to bank accounts for non-resident Indians (NRIs)
Here is a quick guide on bank account options for NRIs
Last Published: Mon, Apr 30 2018. 08 33 PM IST

                          Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

The rush to get Aadhaar linked to bank accounts, before the Supreme Court deferred its implementation, was an eye-opener to a lot of non-resident Indians ( NRIs) settled overseas. Emotions ranged from panic, as there were no plans to visit India and thus no way to get an Aadhaar, to the operational process for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts. We had a hard time explaining to NRIs that this does not apply to them at all. NRIs are not supposed to have an Aadhaar in the first place. After all, there is a declaration that needs to be signed to obtain an Aadhaar that you were resident in India for 182 days, in the preceding 12 months or more, which would not be true for NRIs.

While this may seem like an aberration, we find many NRIs, even though they have lived overseas for years, have questions on even the types of banking accounts that are allowed for them. This lack of understanding is a continuous cause of stress for them and their family members, who help them with their money management back home. So here is a quick guide to your bank account options as NRIs.

Non-resident ordinary ( NRO ) accounts:
Most NRIs, before they leave the country, have already got resident bank accounts. As they tend to be rather busy with their farewell dinners and multiple purchases and preparation to move overseas, personal finances tend to take a backseat, as it is in the important but not urgent category. Over a period of time, some of these bank accounts become dormant or some continue to be operated as resident accounts. This is not permitted as NRIs cannot hold resident accounts. Their resident accounts need to be converted to NRO accounts. NRO accounts are rupee accounts that allow credits from all sources, and are typically best used for money received locally like rentals or dividends. Money from a NRO account is non-repatriable in the normal course and is ideally used to support local spends. Interest earned on NRO accounts is subject to a tax deduction at source (TDS ) of 31.2%. You can choose to have either a NRO savings account for regular use, or a NRO fixed deposit in case you are seeking to lock in your money for a longer period at a better rate of return.

Non-resident external (NRE) accounts:
Repatriation of funds tends to be a critical need for many NRIs, especially those who have decided to settle overseas or are likely to do so. NRE accounts are ideally suited for this purpose as they permit outward remittances very efficiently. NRE accounts are denominated in rupees, but allow restricted sources of credit like overseas remittances or transfers from your NRE or foreign accounts. Thus, while money in NRE accounts is exposed to currency risk as they are maintained in rupees, the account is flexible to convert to foreign currency whenever desired. Interest earned on NRE accounts is tax free in India, though it may be taxable in the country in which the NRI lives. A lot of NRIs are unaware of this, as the bank they deal with is specifically referring to the tax free nature of NRE interest from an Indian tax perspective, and not considering the cross border tax implications of the same. NRE accounts can be both savings and fixed deposits.

Foreign currency non-resident (FCNR) accounts:
These are fixed deposits maintained in foreign currencies including US dollar, pound, euro, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, among other currencies. The interest earned on them is also in foreign currency and deposits are for periods ranging 1 to 5 years. Since these are maintained in foreign currency, there is no currency risk and funds are also easy to repatriate.

Resident foreign currency ( RFC) account:
These accounts are typically used by returning Indians/NRIs to park their foreign currency when they move back after living overseas. Since the money is held in a foreign currency, it is not exposed to foreign exchange risk. The money held in these accounts can be converted back to NRE/FCNR accounts if the individual becomes a NRI once again. The interest earned is also fully repatriable.

Vishal Dhawan is a certified financial planner, founder­CEO of Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors, and a SEBI­registered investment advisor