Reliance Jio would utilise dedicated fibre pair on Bharti’s i2i submarine cable between India and Singapore to get direct access and ultra-fast connectivity to major hubs across Asia Pacific region
Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has collaborated with Bharti Airtel to use the telecom services provider's submarine cable that connects India and Singapore.
“Reliance Jio will utilize a dedicated fibre pair on i2i. The high-speed link will enable Reliance Jio to extend its network and service reach to customers across Asia Pacific region. It will connect Reliance Jio directly to the world’s major business hubs and ISPs, thereby, helping the operator to meet the bandwidth demand and provide ultra-fast data experience to its customers,” the company said in a release.
i2i, the submarine cable owned by Bharti Airtel connects India to Singapore. The cable consists of eight fibre pairs using DWDM, capable of supporting multiple terabits of capacity per fibre pair. Its landing points are at Chennai in India and Tuas in Singapore.
Bharti's global footprint includes ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway (AAG), India Middle East & Western Europe (IMEWE), Unity, EIG (Europe India Gateway) and East Africa Submarine System (EASSy). It also has terrestrial express connectivity to neighbouring countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and China.
SBI would issue the State Bank Smart Payout Cards to blue collar employees, workers, contract labourers and its existing customers
State Bank of India (SBI), the county's largest lender, has launched “State Bank Smart Payout Card”, a prepaid card with a monthly cap of Rs25,000 for blue-collar employees, workers, contract labourers and as an add-on card for existing account holders on the VISA network.
“State Bank Smart Payout Card can be used for crediting salaries/wages and support funds, cash withdrawals from any bank ATM and transactions at point of sale (PoS) and e-Commerce transactions,” the lender said in a release.
Prepaid cards are beneficial to customers as there is no need to open bank account. Customer’s cash is safe in a card as it is protected by PIN which can be used anywhere in India to buy any goods and services and the card can easily be blocked and replaced if lost, damaged or stolen, SBI said.
The data loss in transmission from Mumbai to Bengaluru is just one of the incidents highlighting potential threat of Aadhaar. By creating a lucrative database under UID, we are creating the wrong incentives for various interets—from hackers to enemy nations
Maharashtra government has lost data of about three lakh people collected under the controversial Aadhaar scheme, mostly from Mumbai who enrolled into the number scheme.
According to a report in the Times of India, the data containing permanent account number (PAN) and biometric information was lost while being uploaded from Mumbai to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) server in Bengaluru. “While the transmission was in progress, the hard disk containing data crashed. When the data was downloaded in Bangalore, it could not be decrypted,” the newspaper report said quoting an official from Maharashtra information technology (IT) department, which is overseeing the enrolment of citizens.
Moneylife has been constantly raising questions about the authority of UIDAI, privacy concerns and security of data that is being collected by various 'interested' third parties or registrars from gullible people under the pretext of cash or subsidy benefits.
UIDAI is under heavy criticism for concerns like privacy issues, use of biometrics and the incentives being paid for enrolling more residents. Many voices have been raised against the forceful implementation of the UID project, with most objections focused on concerns over privacy. In addition, the incentive issue will certainly push government employees to enrol more residents by any means, when they do not know what the UID is and how it would affect their lives.
Just last month, the Bombay High Court directed the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI and Central government to decide within three months on a representation questioning the lack of safeguards in the Aadhaar and UID. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vickram Krishna, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Yogesh Pawar, Dr Nagarjuna G, and Prof R Ramkumar (TISS).
Advocate for the petitioners, Mihir Desai, told the court that there were severe concerns on the issue of safety systems, privacy and security of the people.
Coming back to the data loss, according to the newspaper report, the (data) loss came on top of thefts of laptops with UID data from Mumbai. “Though complaints were registered with the police, officials contended the crimes were not necessarily for the data. The information on laptops therefore, they said, might not have been misused,” the report says.
Data loss or theft?
Apart from the state using information (collected under the Aadhaar scheme) selectively against political opponents whether to buy votes in parliament, silence political opponents or power-mongering over citizens, corporates and global MNCs also have sufficient interest in prizing information of citizens.
An insurance service provider would be keen to get all personal information and then base its decision on them. Similarly, any marketer would love to obtain such information to do targeted marketing. Companies want it and when demand exists, through bribery or legal means, such information would be public. Even today, most civil/criminal cases in courts are fought on evidence of illegally obtained telephone bills, call records and bank/credit card details. Tomorrow there will be more and easier availability of proofs and a larger grey market trading in private information would emerge.
It is also argued with good reason that by having such a lucrative database, we are creating incentives for wrong interests—from hackers to enemy nations. Probability is low or high is a premature question and not of primary concern. But given the risks, it is enough to worry about.
It does not matter to all of us if Aadhaar is made most secure or that it is a harmless dot. What worries is that in whose hands the web of connected dots that nets all personal information by using Aadhaar would be. It is the government and therein lies the worry.