Cost-benefit analysis of UID necessary: IIM-A professor

"There had been serious debates in countries like Australia, Canada and UK about the viability national identity policy, given that the chances of misuse of data in a centralised system increase by leaps and bounds," the working paper written by Prof Rajnish Dass of IIM Ahmedabad says

Ahmedabad: A cost-benefit evaluation of the Unique Identification Project (UID), which aims to provide a unique 12-digit number to each of the 1.2 billion Indians, is necessary, considering difficulties in implementation and scope for misuse afterwards, reports PTI quoting a 'working paper' (WP) by a professor at Indian Institute of Management.

"There had been serious debates in countries like Australia, Canada and UK about the viability national identity policy, given that the chances of misuse of data in a centralised system increase by leaps and bounds," the WP written by Prof Rajnish Dass of IIM Ahmedabad says.

"It becomes a single point of failure," it adds.

The paper, titled 'Unique Identity Project in India: A Divine Dream or a Miscalculated Heroism?' tries to put the UID project in a perspective.

The government of India established Unique ID Authority of India (UIDAI) in January 2009 to execute this largest IT project in the world. The project, it is envisaged, would lay foundation for better delivery of public services and targeted subsidies. It aims to achieve financial inclusion of the poor.

Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI had claimed that 10 crore UIDs would be distributed by March 2011, and 60 crore by March 2014, the WP states.

However, as of 25 November 2010, only 1,53,791 UIDs were generated. This raises doubts about the "optimistic target", it says.

It would be a massive project for implementation, but there are still many technological challenges in creating and managing the database of such a huge population, it adds.

Around five megabytes of data will be required to store the compressed fingerprint images (of all the 10 fingers) of an individual, so the size of the entire database would be at least six petabytes (6,000 terabytes), making it amongst the world's largest databases, according to Professor Dass.

The government of India is expected to spend as much as $250 billion over five years on programmes aimed at the poor, including subsidies for food, diesel, fertiliser, and jobs.

But 40% of the benefits, as the system now stands, will go to the wrong people or "ghosts" with fake identification papers, according to a report by the brokerage firm, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, the WP states.

In view of the huge cost and effort, it becomes essential to put forward a detailed cost-benefit report before the people before initiating and executing such a mammoth task, given that there are other areas of priority, Mr Dass' paper concludes.


Share prices resist global weakness: Monday Closing Report

Uptrend to continue if Nifty stays above 5,550

The market, which opened lower on concerns about the pace of the global recovery, pushed itself into the positive in post-noon trade, on support from the IT, healthcare and banking sectors.

The Sensex opened 32 points lower at 18,344 and the Nifty was down 13 points at 5,504. The market was range-bound in negative territory, weighed down by auto, power and technology stocks and absence of cues from Asia, as most bourses were closed today for local holidays. The market fell to its intra-day low in the mid-morning session with the Sensex touching 18,258 and the Nifty falling to 5,480.

However, bargain hunting after two days of decline lifted the indices into the green. The indices touched their intra-day highs in the last hour with the Nifty at 5,543, adding 26 points to its previous close and the Sensex 83 points higher at 18,459.

The market closed near the day's high, snapping a two-day decline. At the end of trade, the Sensex added 44 points at 18,420 and the Nifty finished 15 points up at 5,532.

Although the market opened weak and the Nifty hit an intra-day low well below its first resistance of 5,550, it managed to make an intra-day high near that level. The Nifty should be able to maintain itself above this level to still see an uptrend. The Nifty should be in a position to sustain itself above the level of 5,435 to avoid the downtrend. The movement between 5,435 and 5,550 will be a range-bound movement.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 687:995.

However, the broader indices ended mixed, with the BSE Mid-cap index falling 0.25%, whereas the BSE Small-cap index gained 0.17%.

BSE IT (up 0.81%), BSE Healthcare (up 0.71%), BSE TECk (up 0.65%), BSE Capital Goods (up 0.60%) and BSE Bankex (up 0.55%) were the sectoral gainers. On the other hand, BSE Metal (down 0.68%), BSE Auto (down 0.55%), BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.36%) suffered losses.

Cipla (up 2.25%), HDFC (up 1.74%), HDFC Bank (up 1.09%), TCS (up 1.01%) and Infosys (up 0.89%) were the top performers on the Sensex, while Jaiprakash Associates (down 2.54%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.61%), Balaji Auto (down 1.53%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.51%) and ONGC (down 1.51%) ended at the bottom of the index list.

The top gainers on the NSE were Jenson & Nicholson, Marksans Pharma and Jai Balaji Industries while Omkar Speciality Chemicals, KDL Biotech and Paras Petrofils ended as the major losers.

Markets in Asia settled lower on global worries. Tepco, the nuclear power producer in Japan, plunged 28% on reports that the company is expected to post a net loss of around $7.1 billion for the fiscal ending March 2012. Volume was thin as markets in South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan closed for local holidays. However, investors were on watch for further tightening measures by China's central bank.

The Jakarta Composite declined 0.26%, the KLSE Composite fell by 0.49%, the Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.18% and the Straits Times slipped 1.02%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs445.26 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs355.51 crore.


Union Bank identifies with Moneylife on customer service

To strengthen new initiative through staff training programme across 250 branches starting this month

Union Bank of India plans to strengthen its customer service mechanism, according to AA Thakur, the bank's deputy general manager in Kolkata. "The bank is going to institute a training programme for its officials and create an intelligence unit for this," Mr Thakur said.

Mr Thakur was speaking at the Moneylife Foundation seminar, titled "Investor, Empower Yourself", in Kolkata, on Saturday, 4th June.

The new initiative marks the sequel to UBI's 'Nav Nirman' customer assistance programme. Branches will be revamped, call centre services made more efficient and the grievance redressal system made faster, said Mr Thakur.

"Beginning this month, these initiatives will be rolled out across about 250 branches over the next one year, and this will be scaled up to cover the rest of the organisation," Mr Thakur said.

He lauded the efforts by Moneylife towards achieving greater consumer satisfaction and spreading financial literacy. "Without consumer awareness, we cannot ask for consumer satisfaction. It is good that Moneylife has taken the responsibility to educate people on financial issues," Mr Thakur said.

Debashis Basu, editor, Moneylife, described simple investment principles that can lead to substantial wealth creation over a long period of time. He explained how to invest smartly in equity schemes and stocks, and pointed out the merits of compounded interest over a long term. The key, he said, was to start early and with modest expectations and hold on for a long term.

Mr Basu also warned investors about investing in portfolio management schemes. Citing historical data, he also showed what would be the ideal mutual funds and stocks to invest in. He said, "The market is full of names, but barring a few, none have yielded substantial returns over the long run. There are many schemes with fancy names, but one has to look at how they have performed over the years, and the margin by which they have beaten the market."

Sucheta Dalal, managing editor, Moneylife, and trustee of Moneylife Foundation, focused on scams in investment schemes and how to avoid them. She warned people against getting involved in chain-marketing schemes and to be alert about internet scams that have landed many people in trouble and cost them considerable money.

Ms Dalal also spoke on the importance of wills and basic house-keeping like updating nominations for bank deposits, capital market instruments and in cooperative and housing assets that could save a lot of hardship to heirs and relatives.



Nagesh KiniFCA

5 years ago

It was a sheer co-incidence that the Mahim West Branch of the Union Bank invited me to a Customer Meet on Saturday. An enlightened entrepreneur- corporate customer came up with a request for educating his employees on Financial Literacy.
Having just participated at a meet at the Money Life Foundation and its vision and successful track record at Financial Literacy I had no hesitation in handing over the Money Life Foundation membership application and asked him to get in touch with MLF. A good start.

shanti mn

5 years ago

Yes, hats off to Union Bank & moneylife.
This was not a bank training, but a truly non-partisan overview on a variety of issues and a new way of looking at investment opportunities - in fact it wasnt an investor literacy meet but one that covered issues faced by every single individual who earns and saves. Important to notice the difference because you get distilled information packed into a neat one-day session. AND it was FREE


5 years ago

Good coverage of basic but very essential aspects of personal finance by Mr.Debashis and Ms.Sucheta. Infact, if we get our basic rights, the rest would fall in place automatically.

I think it is Einstein who said that what you explain should be understandable by a 6 year old kid. Probably he was extending it too far. In personal finance and investments, if anything looks complex and beyond one’s comprehension, I feel that then it is most likely mis-selling or the seller himself has no clue about the product he is suggesting.


5 years ago

Congrats. It is UBI which is the gainer. I hope, the poorest in customer-satisfaction and the most customer-unfriendly bank in India-UCO should follow suit.


Tira T

In Reply to CJyoti 5 years ago

UCO Bank is a farce in the banking industry! I recently learnt that, in a case of HBA, the bank entered into a contract/agreement with the applicants for the loan and sanctioned the loan on the mortgage of a property worth several times the amount of loan. The bank, however, will issue the loans in installments only through cheques drawn in favour of the contractor engaged by the property-owner though the contractor IS NOT A PARTY TO THE AGREEMENT for the loan. The ways of business of UCO Bank and its business ethics are worth being looked into by the RBI and the CBI too. It is highly suggestive that the bank will disburse the loan amounts to one who is unknown to and has no locus standi in the bank or the loan agreement.

Govind Shanbhag

5 years ago

Sirs - this type of centralised training was initially started by ICICI Bank which was later adopted by SBI and Associates through their (1)Pariwartan (2) Citizen - two capsule programmes. In SBI group these programmes were attended by all employees of all cadres.

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