Tushaar Kuthiala Monday, May 28th 2018
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming Singapore visit could see the launch of mutually acceptable digital wallets between Indian and Singaporean citizens, speculated experts.
Indian PM Narendra Modi (left) is set to have a bilateral meeting with Singapore premier Lee Hsien Loong during his upcoming visit to Singapore. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia
Capping year-long events celebrating 25 years of ASEAN-India partnership, the Singapore Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from January 6-7, 2018 and the New Delhi ASEAN-India Summit on January 25-26, 2018 both focused on fintech and developing new digital payment gateways across the region. Singapore’s rigorous system of cashless transactions ensured it was featured prominently in all discussions on the topic.
The transactions would be hosted by Indian government’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) — an umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India — with its RuPay cards and Singapore’s equivalent system, Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). Both governments envision that once the handshake between NPCI and NETS happen, Indians can carry out transactions in the island nation with RuPay cards. Similarly, a press release from NETS states Singapore shoppers will be able to pay for goods and services on popular Indian e-commerce websites via NETS-powered digital cards.
India and Singapore "Stepping into the Future",a business and community event will be held on 31 May 2018 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. All are welcome to share your experience on social media by using #MODISG2018 . We are listening! #MODISG2018
PM Modi is set to reach Singapore on May 31 for a three-day trip on the second leg of his two-nation tour. He arrives in Indonesia on May 29. He is scheduled to meet Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong during his visit to discuss issues to boost bilateral cooperation.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between NETS, floated by a consortium of Singapore-based banks but as privately-held company and state-owned NPCI is already in existence since September last year.
The issue of India’s cashless payment sector was prominently featured during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January. In a media briefing, Secretary (East) for the Indian government Preeti Saran stated that the leaders of the two nations had discussed expanding RuPay overseas in a bilateral meeting on the summit’s sidelines.
“You would be aware that our Prime Minister has been invited as the Chief Guest for the Shangri-La Dialogue which is the flagship event that takes place in Singapore,” Saran said.
“They did talk about fintech and RuPay. Two proposals regarding India’s RuPay and Singapore’s fintech and how these could decrease the cost of transactions and promote cashless economy, something that Singapore is also working towards,” she added.
A press release issued when the two organisation signed on the MoU sets “mid 2018” as the time to roll out the first phase of the partnership. It would enable an Nets powered digital cards system to become operational so that it can be accepted as a payment option on NPCI’s e-commerce merchants’ websites in India. Similarly “RuPay cards (will) be accepted via QR code payment at all NETS acceptance points in Singapore”.
For India, an acceptance of RuPay card by Singapore is a major stepping stone to the wider acceptance of the Rupee abroad. In the welter of competing digital payments practices sweeping through Asia, making RuPay an important player, is important. China is attempting s similar deal for the Yuan abroad and has the chance to do so on the back of the mega Chinese e-commerce companies.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (left) meets Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan as Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, (centre) looks on. Photo courtesy: MEA
Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in Delhi last year said his country is ready to become RuPay Card's first international partner while praising steps taken by the government such as the promotion of digital payments and use of Aadhaar.
"One area where we hope there will be more interaction between Singapore, ASEAN and India are in this digital arena. We already have commercial projects such as MAS Electronic Payment System (MEPS), an electronic payment system in Singapore similar to RuPay in India. Singapore can serve as RuPay's first overseas market. We can explore connecting our e-payment systems,” he said.
The launch of multiple mobile payment platforms in India by the government and private entities have laid the foundation to expand overseas. However, there are certain issues such as opening up the Aadhaar card system and providing currency exchange information in real-time, that need to be dealt with before putting such a system in place.
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
2) Issue fiats and point finger
3) Shoot messenger
4) Bury head in sand.
God Save India