Aadhaar: Private ownership of UID data- Part I

As per the report of the TAG-UP Committee headed by Nandan Nilekani, government data and databases would be privatised through the creation of NIUs, which will then ‘own’ the data and the government would become a ‘customer’ to whoever controls the data!

It is no secret that data is the new property. The potential for evolving technologies to record, collate, converge, retrieve, mine, share, profile and otherwise conjure with data has given life to this form of property, and to spiralling ambitions around it. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was set up with its push to enrol the entire Indian resident population, and with Nandan Nilekani as both its chairman and as chair of committees set up by Dr Manmohan Singh’s government. In this set-up, we are witnessing the emergence of an information infrastructure, which the government helps—by financing and facilitating the ‘start-up’, and by the use of coercion to get people on to the database—which it will then hand over to corporate interests when it reaches a ‘steady state’.

 

Since Mr Nilekani was appointed the chairperson of the UIDAI, in the rank of a Cabinet minister, he has chaired multiple committees, each of which pushes for the collection of data and the creation of databases, and steers the government to become a customer of whoever controls the database. Several reports on e-governance as part of the report of the National Knowledge Commission: Report to the Nation 2006-2009 as well as Report of the Committee for Unified Toll Collection Technology (June 2010), the National e-governance plan (November 2011, Background Papers), Interim Report of the Task Force on direct transfer of subsidies on kerosene (June 2011), LPG and fertiliser’ Report of the Task Force on IT Strategy and an implementable solution for the direct transfer of subsidy for food and kerosene (October 2011: Final report), Report of the Task Force on an Aadhaar-enabled unified payment infrastructure (February 2012), and, of course, the TAG-UP report, are testimony to how Mr Nilekani has been used to promote a set of database-related ambitions.

 

It was in the January 2011 report of the Nilekani-chaired Technology Advisory Group on Unique Projects (TAG-UP) that the framework for the private ownership of databases was elaborated and explained. These were about databases constructed out of data that is given to the government to hold in a fiduciary capacity, and expected to be used for specified, and limited, purposes. The Nilekani Committee report directly dealt with five projects—Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), Tax Information Network (TIN), Expenditure Information Network (EIN), National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and the New Pension System (NPS). It recommended that the suggested framework “be more generally applicable to the complex IT-intensive systems, which are increasingly coming to prominence in the craft of Indian public administration”.

 

As the Nilekani Committee understood it, the government has two major tasks: policymaking and implementation. Implementation is fettered by absence of leadership and active ownership of projects, outdated recruitment processes and methodology, inability to pay market salaries for specialised skills, lack of avenues for continued enhancement of professional skills and career growth, non-conducive work environment, outdated performance evaluation and preference for seniority over merit, and untimely transfer of officers. Rather than expend time on finding correctives to the system, the Nilekani committee found in this an opportunity for private business interest. Without further ado, and without considering, for instance the capacities and deficiencies in privatising databases, and what this means for citizens and residents, the Nilekani committee found its answer in National Information Utilities (NIUs).

 

“NIUs would be private companies with a public purpose: profit-making, not-profit maximising”. The government would have “strategic control”, that is, it would be focussed on how it would achieve the objectives and outcomes, leaving the NIU ‘flexible’ in its functioning. Total private ownership should be at least 51%. The government should have at least 26% share. Once it reaches a steady state, the government would be a “paying customer” and, as a paying customer, “the government would be free to take its business to another NIU”. Except, of course, given the “large upfront sunk-cost, economies of scale, and network externalities from a surrounding ecosystem (and what this means is not explained any further), NIUs are ... essentially set up as natural monopolies”.

 

The Nilekani Committee evinces a deep disinterest in the various rungs of government. It asks for the “total support and involvement of the top management within the government” -- words reflecting the UIDAI’s experience, with the Prime Minister and Montek Singh Ahluwalia being its staunch supporters, and much of the rest of the administration seemingly unclear about what the project entails. To get a buy-in from the bureaucracy, “in-service officers” are to be deployed in the NIUs and are to be given an allowance of 30% of their remuneration.

 

“Once the rollout is completed,” the Nilekani committee says, “the government’s role shifts to that of a customer.”

 

On the question of open source, the Nilekani committee “recognises the intellectual property of the NIU”, but considers that it may be counterproductive to the business planning and profitability of the NIU to release all source as open source.

 

The report is littered with references to the UIDAI, and suggests that the way the UIDAI has been functioning is what an NIU should use as its model.

 

What emerges is this:

Governmental data and databases are to be privatised through the creation of NIUs, which will then `own’ the data;

NIUs will be natural monopolies;

NIUs will use the data and the database to be profit-making and not profit-maximising, and the definition of these terms may, of course, vary;

Government will support the NIUs through funding them till they reach a steady state, and by doing what is needed to gather the data and create the database using governmental authority;

Once the NIU reaches steady state, the government will reappear as the customer of the NIU;

Government officers will be deployed in NIUs and be paid 30% over their salaries, which, even if the report does not say it explicitly, is expected to forge loyalties and vested interests;

The notion of holding citizens’ data in a fiduciary capacity cedes place to the vesting of ownership over citizens’ data in an entity which will then have the government as their customer.

 

This notion of private companies owning our data has not been discussed with state governments, nor with people from whom information is being collected. This might have been treated as another report without a future; except, in the budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister in March 2012, he announced that the “GSTN (Goods and Sales Tax Network) will be set up as a National Information Utility”.

 

The NIU was not explained to Parliament, and no one seems to have raised any questions about what it is. This, then, is the story of how the ownership of governmental data by private entities is silently slipping into the system.

 

(Dr Usha Ramanathan is an independent law researcher on jurisprudence, poverty and rights.)

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    COMMENTS

    Yugal Singhal

    2 years ago

    The Government of the day needs to wake up to the reality and work for the people in an ever changing landscape. UIDAI should owned by the government rather than private entities. we cannot allow foreign based companies to have access to biometric data as it will lead to surveillance of people.

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    To be very frank of all things UPA has made a mockery of the country. Looks as if they have no love for the country.

    At such an age RAHUL GANDHI IS NOT DISCLOSING his marriage and our great media is silent. Any other plans?

    Dayananda Kamath k

    6 years ago

    is it a scheme to bailout infosys as it is loosing its credibility.

    REPLY

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 6 years ago

    Feel so, because what I feel Mr Murty is very powerful and there was a talk of his becoming PREZ but before .............became so might be a quid pro for the same.

    p s d

    6 years ago

    This is a preposterous preposition indeed! In US and many other countries in the western world, citizen ID card has been opposed since it compromises the personal identity. These countries oppose this move even the information is to be owned by a democratic state. Now Nilekani and company want to own it privately. Even in communist China Hukou personal ID card, that is issued only in a place where you are born, is a hated document since state uses it to divide the people. In this commercial world driven by businesses such personal information has unparalleled value. America trained Nilekani will be, knowingly or unknowingly, give this vital classified information into private hands. God save India!!
    PSD

    REPLY

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to p s d 6 years ago

    ONLY GOD IS SAVING OUR COUNTRY, OTHERWISE THESE POLITICIANS MIGHT HAVE TAKEN IT TO DOCS......?

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to p s d 6 years ago

    Do agree

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    If you look at the contracts INFOSYS has bagged MCA from TCS and debated on this forum.(Regarding non working of MCA)

    Mandar Kulkarni

    6 years ago

    We cannot expect UPA government to do anything good for our country. So they will push for this dangerous UID Aadhaar scheme illegally. But what is more disturbing is that entire opposition is absolutely quiet on UID and not taking any efforts to scrap this project and stop wastage of tax payer's money.

    REPLY

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to Mandar Kulkarni 6 years ago

    Who said they will do good for the country, Bas desh ko baksh de wahi bahut hai.

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to Mandar Kulkarni 6 years ago

    Why not come out the in the open against Aadhar card in particular and against the opposition to wake them up from the slumber they are in.

    Krishnan

    6 years ago

    What happened to the suit filed in HC / SC in this regard.
    N.Krishnan

    Anil Kumar

    6 years ago

    Not sure, how Infosys has executed state of the art projects under the leadership of NN. Looking at interaction with UID programme at operating level and the quality of people who are running it,I have serious doubts about execution capabilities of NN.

    Would NN and/or Govt consider supporting my business till it comes in 'steady state' and assuring a perpetual market too by becoming a customer?

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    Ms Usha-Does the present dispensation want to clean the country high and dry.

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    WHY IS MMSINGH/PC CHIDAMBARAM G's feel respect is earned by their action and lost through deed, feel they have lost G's which they should try to earn by their positive actions

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    6 years ago

    Yet one more view that differs somewhat from ManmohanG Singh Saheb, Tiru.Da.Chidambaram G, and others.

    MOHAN SIROYA

    6 years ago

    Entire "Aadhaar Card" scheme appears to be turning into another RACKET of the Government, this time directly involving the innocent Indian individuals.
    Besides , the open ends of mis use and unofficial money making loop- holes, it has stopped being useful even as an ID proof. To save cost, the job of Bio-metric and other data entry at the time of Enrollment is entrusted to the private agencies who employ, almost illiterate but only who has learnt a PC operation.
    Take for instance my own case.
    In Feb. I had received my Aadhaar Card wherein my 'Gender' is shown wrongly as "F" instead of "M". I was unable to rectify ONLINE,as was tomtommed , so I sent my request with relvant documentary proof for change to the Regional Office at Mumbai.
    The office itself is big HOAX. All the contact nos. or EIDs, Fax nos are dysfunctional.My received request is simply pending unacknowledged or un-acted for last two months. ONLINE Feedback of UIDAI.Gov.in has also been in vain.

    REPLY

    Vinay Joshi

    In Reply to MOHAN SIROYA 6 years ago

    You're lucky, you were not shown as tree or dog or other inanimate object as has happened in thousands of cases & tens of thousands cards could not be delivered on bogus address.

    Regards,

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to MOHAN SIROYA 6 years ago

    Told before also it is a very big scam with top guns involved of Industry and POLITICS

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    I have heard that UID is having unofficial HO at Infosys (though I have yet to verify)

    REPLY

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    In Reply to CA PRADEEP AGARWAL 6 years ago

    I feel the best person to answer is the author of this article/or Editors of MLF.

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    Dear Mr Basu/Dalal,

    Hurry might not be there to gobble funds which I suppose might see the end of the road for Congress politicians.

    Regards

    CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

    6 years ago

    I feel next fight will be on DATA and that is before fight for water.

    Bailouts for Crooks

    With the WB government bailing out Saradha, we have set a dangerous precedent and reached a new low in accountability

    In mid-April, the Saradha group, a Ponzi scheme in Kolkata, went down, taking the savings of poor people from across the state. This will not be a surprise to readers of Moneylife. Our regular readers know that we have been badgering various authorities—from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the prime minister’s office (PMO) to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) to do something about multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) and Ponzis. We have pointed out that:

        Unregulated chit funds, pyramid/Ponzi or MLM companies are able to lure people to part with several thousand crore rupees each without any regulation, investigation or supervision.
        A massive group, like Sahara, with its logo emblazoned on the shirts of cricketers in a cricket-worshipping nation, operates almost entirely outside any formal regulation. It flaunts its cosy equation with politicians across the spectrum, sports stars, film stars, media stars, judges, god-men, bureaucrats and sundry fixers. Nobody questions its business arithmetic and no one can tell us which of its businesses earns it the kind of post-tax returns that allow for mega-sponsorship deals or Subrata Roy’s lavish lifestyle. Details of taxes paid by the group in the past 10 years are unknown. Yet, according to its own advertisements, it has raised and repaid a mind-boggling Rs73,000 crore as deposits in a residuary non-banking finance company supervised by RBI.

        Multinational MLMs, registered abroad such as Amway, Herbalife, Tupperware and more dubious ones such as QNet, are known to be in violation of the Prize Chits & Money Circulation Act, but the government makes no effort to act against them. They are big sponsors of television programmes with top sporting stars as their endorsers.

        Whether SpeakaAsia, Saradha, Rose Valley or MPS Greenery—the business model has a pattern—media support through advertisements or by setting up television channels and newspapers and cosy relationship with regional political parties. Moneylife’s website has many articles on these.

        In May 2011, Moneylife Foundation wrote to the prime minister about the need to act against SpeakAsia and other MLM schemes. Moneylife has repeatedly reported that over 10,000 Ponzi companies and dubious chit funds (as collective investment or chain schemes masquerading as chit funds) operate in every Indian state. The big ones raise upwards of Rs1,000 crore in a matter of months by handing out returns in excess of 100%, which are tied to luring new investors into the scheme.

        In July 2012, former union secretary, EAS Sarma, at our request, wrote to the prime minster, revenue secretary, MCA and the RBI governor about the dangerous proliferation of MLM/pyramid or money circulation schemes that “swindle the unwary public by offering them misleading inducements and depriving them of their hard-earned savings.” He called them a ‘scourge on society’ and asked that they be dealt with an iron hand. Mr Sarma also pointed to their political links. Nothing happened.


    This is the India that we live in. Yet, as soon as a big collective scheme blows up, intellectuals and columnists clamber on to a high moral platform to berate people for their greed and gullibility in falling for the promise of extraordinarily high returns offered by these Ponzis. My question is the opposite. Why should an ordinary person assume that a company that owns IPL teams, or whose founder shares the stage at public events with top political leaders, be anything but law-abiding? And, if this is untrue, why shouldn’t the buck stop at the very top?

    Every politician who protected and helped legitimise the dubious Saradha group, Rose Valley and MPS Greenery in West Bengal—to name just a few—should be held accountable for its collapse. Would a group like Saradha have been allowed to start a newspaper and a television channel if union ministries had questioned and scrutinised its source of funds?

    It is time we, the people, began to ask these questions. Over the past two decades of a liberalised economy, we have allowed policy-makers, regulators and ministers (Union ministers and state governments are equally culpable) to obliterate the distance that used to be maintained between government and the businesses that it regulates. Now, many of the shadiest businessmen are inside parliament and involved in policy-making. Meanwhile, each new scam is buried after some perfunctory noise in parliament largely to empty benches. Even joint parliamentary committee (JPC) reports have only served to delay investigation until public anger cools down.

    Independent regulators are all IAS officers who owe their jobs to being compliant or their willingness to act as hatchet persons for politicians (barring the singular exception of Vinod Rai as comptroller & auditor general, CAG). Nobody in the system is under pressure to prevent wrongdoing; hence, no regulator, bank chairman or union minister has lost his job in the past 20 years, despite the sharp increase in the size and number of scams. If this is true of massive scams and misappropriation of funds unearthed by the CAG (2G, coalgate, irrigation, aviation, mining, defence procurement, disbursement of government subsidies, etc), where is the question of holding anyone accountable for failing to go after MLMs, Ponzis and chit funds?

    Even in the Saradha case, West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee is only containing the political fallout of a situation where some distraught investors committed suicide. But her hasty action sets a dangerous new precedent. Mamata Banerjee has created a Rs500-crore ‘relief fund’ to be raised through a 10% tax on tobacco and tobacco products; this will be supplemented by proceeds of the seizure and auction of Saradha group’s property. A commission will ensure that ‘most ordinary and small investors’ are taken care of. She is mum about the fact that Trinamool nominee to the Rajya Sabha, Kunal Ghosh, headed the now shuttered media business of Saradha.

    It is ironic that the former FICCI general secretary, Amit Mitra, will rubber-stamp this desperate idea of his financially illiterate chief minister, which is likely to be emulated by corrupt state governments across the country in future Ponzi failures. Consider the consequences.

    West Bengal came up with a tax on tobacco companies, probably because ITC Ltd is headquartered there. Other state governments may tax alcohol or automobiles, depending on their presence in the state. Some may come up with a populist tax on multinational company products—especially if a global Ponzi goes bust. Where does it stop? Can taxes be raised to pay for losses caused by the failure of Ponzi schemes?
    Mamata Banerjee’s bailout for Saradha investors signals that the gullible will be protected if the Ponzi collapse is big enough to have political consequences. Those who avoid such schemes, opting for safe, taxable and bank fixed deposits with lower returns, will feel foolish and end up paying the bailout tax. Does the government really want to signal that it is stupid to be prudent and careful? Do we really want to allow politicians to start a new bailout tax or scam tax to pay for the financial scandals caused by their inaction or complicity?

    We are, indeed, in a strange situation. Regulators and tax authorities will harass and hound legitimate businesses over compliances, taxes and permissions, while the most dubious businesses will be allowed to lure people and destroy their wealth with impunity. We have now moved to yet another level of lunacy, when the exchequer will foot the bill for such private scams. We need to do something to stop this madness now.

    Sucheta Dalal is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor of Moneylife. She can be reached at [email protected]

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    COMMENTS

    Vinay Joshi

    6 years ago

    Hello Ms. Sucheta,

    Well articulated post after a long time under your byline. Hope you read my comments with due diligence & respond.

    Is it not that the fourth estate & third estate predominantly safeguarding falling democracy?

    Modi’s Govt. on May1, released full page ads in print media in Mumbai, including English dailies about its highlights.

    None, by the Maharashtra state Govt. [possibly it had nothing to state OR things are taken for granted.]

    All were busy on April 30, to launch the ‘MARATHI’ channel ‘Jay Maharashtra’ of ‘SAHANA’ group, politicians of all hues, glitterati of stars & bigwigs attended the inauguration in the five star hotel. The Charman & MD of ‘SAHANA’ is Sudhakar M. Shetty. The said channel aired since May 1.

    The said promoter of the channel, erstwhile owner of dancing bar ‘Deepa Bar’, in western suburb was raided arrested & the dancer worth 100K, history sheeter.

    The function was attended by Sushilkumar Shinde [MoHA] whose ministry clearance is most important.

    So as Manish Tewari vehemently claims that ‘permission[s] is granted to co’s not individuals. His IB ministry gives all clear to air the channels. [actually he was speaking on ‘chitgate’ as Cong. spokesperson.]

    Further, May 1, paying homage to ‘Hutatmas’ at Hutatma Chowk, certain Shahirs wanted to sing in praise, WERE NOT ALLOWED as being silent zone!? It was just one hour programme. No soul around at the HC or other functional banks or any residency in the vicinity – so as to coz any disturbance.

    But within a km radius i.e Churchgate & Marine lines – ‘DECLARED SILENT ZONE AS PER HC ORDER’, gala wedding receptions & parties can be had with blaring music DISTURBING the residents UP TO past midnight. So the might & BLATANT SUPPRESSION by the mighty.
    Now ‘F’ & ‘D’ road citizens are bound to approach the court.

    The above out of the context as in finance products essentially meant to highlight the might.

    In KP scenario Advani prevailed to bail out A’bad coop bank. [Mercantile.] WHY?

    The kingpin of HM scam is yet not got, unknown. HM was to be an Economic Minister at the center. You have written books on him. Yet KP is trading. [now SEBI desires lo-co access to retail investors!?]

    What has happened to Telgi scam?

    WHY NO PONZI SCHEME – after Charles Ponzi, 1929- in US have taken place?

    I’m prepared to debate the biggest PONZI in US of 2008, ‘quants & algos’, but not in the shade of gullible poor looted in small town & cities of India including metros.

    When poor get cheated we talk about easing financial inclusion. See the dichotomy – KYC not adhered to results in massive – so called – ‘money laundering’.

    Again allowing ‘non banks’ into inter bank card payment system [as announced in annual rate policy] IS REQUIRED TO BE VETTED!!?

    As regards Sahara all things will now fall in place. The aspects are under the apex court scrutiny, the designated retd.Judge & the staff has to submit its report on verification in the warehouses of SHCIL & other. This exercise is at a cost of 80CR, to be recovered from Sahara.

    U.K Sinha is not a person to leave it. [What about RIL? Insider trading!]

    Ms. Sucheta, we require first amend the laws to ‘PROSECUTE’ the culprits, put the ‘EXACT’ violation & ‘breach’ of ‘financial system’ as in place.

    The Achilles heel in respect of WB adopted law – empowering the state to seize properties, no formal complaint required. Well, GOOD!!?

    Can such a law entail to ‘override’ mortgages & seize assets from banks? Mortgaged assets!
    The banks are likely to petition the courts.

    Further the laws [proposed] does not prohibit ‘FIRMS’, in accepting public deposits.

    Ms. Sucheta, I’m prepared to file a petition in SC against Amway & Tupperware – PROVIDED – you highlight the ‘LEGAL VIOLATIONS’ in accordance to the laws & rules & regulations.
    [so read my earlier para re amend laws.]

    When gullible believe in ‘tantriks & mantriks’, [no law[s] have been curbing it] so how you think ‘financial tantriks’ will not swindle?

    In which manner you thought that writing to PMO including PM or otherwise a corrective action will be taken?

    WHY you didn’t approach – straight away – LS & RS filling up the respective form[s] & documentation? Mr. E.A.S Sarma new the politicians but didn’t advise you the course of action to ‘NAIL’ them.

    WHY STILL NOT TAKE IT? Of course today spilling the beans will be of no use as it will be futile an exercise. [what can the soft talking headmistress [contemplating to contest from Punjab, learning Punjabi] & the Principal of the school do with students abandoning classes with impunity? Got it.

    Why it took 22 mnths for the scam to surface perpetrated earlier? Any idea?

    We the ‘people’, is just a preamble, none know the definition of the ‘Republic’, least of all the politicians.

    We the people want Ashwani Kumar & Pawan Bansal to be ousted! What can we do?

    All JPC’s & PAC’s is a farce for the intelligent just as ‘chit funds’ is for the gullible, DUPED!

    Mercurial Didi is no subject matter, is she a CM or activist. Her only fame was that while in Cong, she won against the stalwart Somnath Chateerjee, in the wave of 1984. Nothing else!?
    In which manner she will curb rampant smuggling of tobacco products from neighbouring states? More than 30KCR is the amount in her state.

    Why you talk of Amit Mitra & not Derek O’Brien? Amit Mitra should come out & state that Singur people are most affected in this ponzi, coz of political bosses.

    WE NEED TO GET 49[O] MANDATED IN EVM’s – ‘none of the above’, instead of exercising it individually – ‘which is not’ secret ballot as per constitutional provisions. First past the post should be abolished.

    Russell’s Paradox.

    Regards,







    anantha ramdas

    6 years ago

    Instead of taking to task her own partymen, Mamata Banerjee wants people to smoke more so that she can collect additional taxes to cover the disaster that Saradha has caused.

    She may have helped in changing the communist rule in the state but, in the process, all that she has done so far is putting tantrums at will. It is very doubtful if TMC will ever come back to power considering the catastrophies of hospital fire, cash going up the smoke thru Saradha. And we do not know what else is in store for the poor affected people of Bengal.

    Thanks, Sucheta, once again for writing about this.

    Str

    6 years ago

    Sucheta & co are right on the nail. No surprise there.

    This insanity is just another example of the fortune-at-the-bottom-of-the-pyramid. Steal 10 bucks a month from each of a billion Indians, and you can easily live a life of luxury.

    The problem here lies in enforcing the separation between the fence and the raiders. If they're the same, the crop is kaput.

    Funnily enough, the current descent of capitalism is echoed across the globe: witness the US Supreme Court's decision allowing PACs in.

    Hard to say where this will lead us all.

    DEEPAK KHEMANI

    6 years ago

    Payback for the paintings he bought of didi!
    On a serious note this says well start a ponzi scheme, loot millions of innocent investors, bring on some political heavy weights and they will see to it that no harm comes to the bosses.

    Harish

    6 years ago

    Bang on target, Bull's Eye.Salutes to the author.

    nagesh kini

    6 years ago

    In humans "multi-organ failure" leads to death". What we are facing to day is a classic case of "Multi-Regulatory Failures". Why any of these money multiplying schemes do not within the Regulatory ambit of either MCA, RBI, SEBI or ITDA beats logic. Now all of them have woken out of their slumber. Each investigator wanting to guard its own turf will seize some records and it will be a Satyam repeat. The AP Police were also in the game!

    In the current scenario Saharadha is only the tip of the iceberg, there are other time bombs waiting to happen.

    Gaurang Shah

    6 years ago

    Can this order of WBG challenged in a court of law?

    Vinayak Bhimarao Mudholkar

    6 years ago

    Hats off to Sucheta & her team!!!

    Gaurang Shah

    6 years ago

    Please refer to my emails to you on Empower Network, USA which is a cousin of SpeakAsia and now being promoted in India.
    ML is the only magazine crusading against fake MLMs and IDSA needs to be more active in order to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Arun Mehta

    6 years ago

    All other scams pale in comparison to SAHARA ,a PONZI scheme promoted nurtured by a master con with a veneeer of a true "Son of Bharat maata" and any one pointing a finger at him is a"True enemy of Bharata Maata" and an "evil' force.

    One has to recall his mastery of control of politicians of all hue by an ad published during the times of VPSingh as an FM where he reproduced an full page ad ,which was nothing but a true copy of letter from IT Office listing out names of leading politicians(all parties covered) except the left,who have/had deposited funds with his outfit and the asking for details there of.The fate of the IT officer can be imagined as that the last one heard from the Govt of the day then.
    The "Mango" people can only hope for Apex court(thro the current SEBI matter pending with SC) to expose this "Mother of all funding Scams" and expose the politicians nexus once for all(perhaps, too much to hope for).The Apex court is the only body ,the noble son of "Bharat Maata" is scared of.The others he has 'taken care of'.

    Chinese invasion: Can India put an embargo on trade?

    India will not command respect if we keep towing the line of least resistance. It is time to put up a firm stand on these matters and consider an embargo on trade until such time China realizes that it can not fool us all the time

    India is planning to extend a red carpet (how appropriate!) treatment to the new Chinese Premier, Li Kiqiang, when he arrives next month for a summit meeting with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh. It is his first overseas trip, and Li Kiqiang will attempt to show how serious and sincere China is in dealing with India. He will emphasise the great importance it attaches to this relationship, at least outwardly!

     

    There have been reports of consultation between the giant neighbours on counter-terrorism and the first ever dialogue on Afghanistan.

     

    Across the eastern Ladakh border, however, Chinese troops have moved some 10 km inside the Indian territory and both sides are facing each other at the Line of Actual Control.  Fortunately, no clash has taken place so far, and no injury or death reported, on either side. Flag meetings are said to be in progress.

     

    Apparently, their move was met with no resistance, and Indians were taken by surprise.  This unexpected move by the People's Liberation Army and the flag meetings are expected to produce the stale result of both sides claiming for “status quo”, as the perception of Line of Actual Control would differ.

     

    On the TV news channels, however, it was reported that the Chinese have demanded that Indian troops to dismantle the structures built by them (how long ago, we do not know) as a precondition for talks to resolve the issue amicably!

     

    Foreign ministries on either side are in touch to ensure that this border incursion does not dampen the ensuing visit of the Chinese premier and want to play it down.

     

    In the last few years, ever since the Chinese became a financial super-power house, it has relentlessly attempted to expand its overseas activities, in all fields. Without declaring a war it is at loggerheads with its ASEAN neighbours. It has its navy patrolling the South China and Japanese Seas and has threatened everyone on the Spartleys Island, where it is involved in some construction activities. Other claimants, whether it is the Philippines, Indonesia Malaysia and others have not been able to do anything.

     

    Japan, though has the US support, does not feel as safe as it was before. And China is obviously using its proxy of North Korea to threaten South Korea. It is also eyeing at the possibility of entering Afghanistan when US troops are withdrawn. This is more likely to be a move engineered by Pakistan which is averse to Indian influence in that country.

     

    It must be borne in mind that China is already building an all-weather port in Baluchistan and is fully entrenched in Myanmar. The Chinese expansion policy is slowly, but firmly, enlarging in our neighbourhood, ably and silently supported by Pakistan.

     

    All these are not new.  We watch these moves every day but remain silent spectators.  Should we continue to call Chini-Hindi bhai-bhai or has the time come for boldly saying Hindi-Chini-bye-bye?

     

    According to Oxford English dictionary, Chinese Checkers is a game for two to six players, who try to move the playing pieces from one corner to the opposite corner of the board, which is shaped like a Star. In a similar version, the board is identical to a chess board, where, the coins (similar to carrom coins), are moved, jumping over the opponent's, when he/she leaves an empty square!  This is precisely what the Chinese are up to in their political games. Just look up for the other players involved...

     

    Chinese influence in Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and attempts to break-through in Afghanistan with financial assistance are increasing. It made inroads in Nepal and possibly considers Bhutan as a harmless spectator.

     

    Yes, trade with China, or for that matter, with any country is welcome and necessary for survival.  But it is absolutely foolish to encourage and expand trade with China and make large investments there, at the cost of Indian industry.

     

    India will not command respect if we keep towing the line of least resistance. It is time to put up a firm stand on these matters and consider an embargo on trade until such time China realizes that it can not fool us all the time.

     

    (AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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    COMMENTS

    Saccha Bhartiya

    6 years ago

    Army rule needs to be in India to protect If President was A.K than President rule would have helped too, but current President is also Congress oh Sorry Gandhi family's puppet.. People what are you doing you keep on opposing Congress on Web.. but put this into real life and throw the wholw Gandhian akkka Congress dynasty away.. they dont deserve to be here. We dont want Italian rulers.. do we..

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    6 years ago

    Solomon the Cursed is right. India is NO pushover. You cannot pushover somebody who is grovelling. Please note that it takes a minimum of 10 attackers to dislodge one entrenched soldier. It will now take India one Infantry Brigade to dislodge the Chinese Platoon. These are things that India’s Neta-Babus studiously ignore in their pursuit of the Nehruvian madness that 1962 represents. ITBP (and the Ladakh Scouts) is officially a para military force in a country where the regular armed forces have already been degraded to the equivalent of a paramilitary force. Just one example: The Indian Army asked for high altitude helicopters after Kargil. Typically, this got altered into low altitude VIP helicopters for transporting India’s ruling scum in the name of the Army at the expense of the defense budget, resulting in the now infamous Augusta Westland deal. The Indian Army has no helicopters to access this theater. Solomon the Cursed is right. India is NO pushover. You cannot pushover a country that is already grovelling. While India can never even hope or dream of challenging Chinese military superiority in Asia, it would be good if India's ruling scum got off their Nehruvian Hobby-Horses and formed a military alliance with Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea and sacrificed some of their personal lust and greed to allow India a military force that can and will defend India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. (I am entitled to dream, am I not? That countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan would trust a nation of criminals like India and that India's scum would ever give up a single privilege or opportunity to loot for the betterment of India or Indians?)The whole World knows what China is and how it goes about its business. Had the Japanese ASDF and MSDF not mobilized, there would be a Chinese flag flying on Shenkaku. What is going on is a typical Shenkaku or Bay of Pigs event with China pushing the envelope to test India's resolve and ability. India is lost in Nehruvian polemics. There can be no diplomacy without adequate military force. China has intelligence, military force and and border infrastructure. India has no such extravagance. India's ruling scum have wealth in safe havens and are always ready to flee and make room for the next comer at the Pagoda Tree. Sovereignty and corruption are incompatible.Corruption is nothing but treason. Will Mir Neta Ji and Mir Babu Saheb receive Chinese pensions?(But. India could always deploy the Admiral Gorshkov and HMS Hermes equipped with indigenous LCA on Pangong Lake with the proven expertise of CSIR/DRDO?)

    p s d

    6 years ago

    Read about China to understand it. Indians learn about China from US press and briefings. Read McGraw Hills recent book Cinasthana Today. Google it for more.
    We do not need Chinese to hurt our manufacturing our policy makers are masters at it. In India manufacturing died due to our corrupt government, politicians and sarkari babus

    REPLY

    BHALACHANDRA SINGDE

    In Reply to p s d 6 years ago

    Our government's policy is too meek. Do you remember 'Not a blade of grass grows there'? Now 'It is an acne and not a matter of worry'. Power at Centre is a sole motive of politicians.

    anantha ramdas

    6 years ago

    Cheap chinese goods are flooding the market. No doubt it is Indian traders who import all these for resale. It is not they do not produce goods that are not value for money, but buyers will have to learn and realize that by buying all sorts of goods, because they are "cheap" indirectly are closing down small scale industries and increasing our unemployment.

    Yes, large scale embargo is not a solution; but, like we did a few months ago, on heavy electrical equipments, after serious protests from industry, the government was forced to raise the duty tariff. We need to exercise some restraint and follow Gandhijis boycott policy.

    WE need to give a preferential treatment to Indian products and services and buy outside or foreign products when similar items are not available or in short supply.

    So far, the Ministry of Defence has mentioned about "flag meetings" Peace with honour is good, but why don't they publicly announce when the structures were built by India?

    We have to be firm in our dealings and in our stand on such issues.

    p s d

    6 years ago

    Chinese will keep us guessing but they need peace with India for their surviving...I say this with some confidence but that does not mean we stop getting stronger, militarily and economically. We just talk, gossip, spread fear rather than nation building with focus and zeal.

    PRABHAT

    6 years ago

    INDIA MUST TAKE ALL STANDS FIRMLY, WHETHER FINANCIAL / BUSINESS / TRADE / POLITICAL AND EVEN MILITARY , ONCE FOR ALL . SELF RESPECT IS MOST IMPORTANT EVEN IF CHINA HAS AN UPPER HAND . 1962 SHOULD NOT BE TOLRATED AT ANY COST.

    PUBLIC OPINION SHOULD BE SOUGHT .

    Kamal Kant Mishra

    6 years ago

    The Himalayan Range if full of minerals. Gold found in Tibet was the reason why China expanded to Tibet. The Gold reserves found at Tibet mines although undisclosed made the Chinese open mines & in which there was downplayed & we allow these incursions without a slight protest. I agree 100% that we should put in a BLOCKADE on all Imports from China immediately. Please check the hyperlinks
    1) http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option...
    2) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-01...

    p s d

    6 years ago

    There some basic questions about the border dispute between India and China.
    China was a unified nation for many centuries. India, however, was a cluster of many kingdoms and got a shape as a nation primarily under the British Rule. That is when British decided what Indian Territory is and what our national boundaries are. During the 19th century British had occupied part of China by defeating the Emperor for trading rights and opium war was a part of it. British ruled in the north-east India including Nepal, Tibet etc. They then arbitrarily drew a border along McMahon Line.
    Chinese dispute McMahon line’s sanctity as a border. India rightly claims that current boundary of India is as per the McMahon line. So is the dispute. What is agreed between the two countries is not to use military force to settle the dispute and do it only through negotiations and discussion. That process is on. What is agreed also is not to create any camps within a few km from the line. It is clear that this will get settled after some fact finding. We need to leave it to the governments and not get unduly perturbed.
    One must be vigilant about our border, whether with Pakistan or China and do so with some strength. China is getting militarily stronger and they say that it is all for self-defence. How much we are investing in time, imagination and innovation to make us militarily strong for self-defence like China? We govern ourselves so pathetically that only mercy of God saves us. Wisdom tell me that friendship with China is vital and more important than friendship with USA. Current diplomatic positioning is therefore appropriate and use this time benefit from China. India could have been in a similar state as China is if our governments were truly committed to building a strong nation.
    P. S. Deodhar

    M G WARRIER

    6 years ago

    We are going through a tough transition phase. Delhi has to rise to the occasion and restore domestic (first) and international credibility. Time was, when governments at national level could pursue a policy of ‘wait and see’ and many issues could be swept under carpet, as time passed. These days, thanks to faster communication, better overall awareness and many stakeholders being not very much concerned about ‘history’ quick responses, quicker solutions are needed. We should learn from countries like Japan which have lived through more agonizing relationship issues with countries and learnt to face each issue on merits. We too should handle trade, relationship issues including border disputes and cultural and social interactions without too much mix-up.

    pravin varma

    6 years ago

    this embargo on trade business is funny.the people who benefit by trade with china are INDIANS.it is like slapping your child because your neighbor is misbehaving with you.one can always try and persuade people to purchase less value for money stuff from other sources.no harm in going that route.ofcourse it will fail.
    all trade 'retaliation' is nothing but cutting your nose to spite the face.
    how about diplomatic and military solution? too difficult to try that? we have so many babus in the foreign service.why not put them to work?

    Ramesh Iyer

    6 years ago

    Since the Indo-China war in 1962, which China won hands down, the relations between these two countries has never been cordial. Even the Hindi-Chini bhai bhai slogan had little meaning in real world (ask troops on both sides of Indo-China border). Yet, India has encouraged Chinese "economic incursion" allowing cheap, often substandard products, flooding indian markets. I reckon if anything apart from the milk and vegetables we consume daily doesn't carry the Made in China tag. Such a policy killed India's manufacturing sector, as even large Indian companies preferred to setup manufacturing bases in China rather than expand in India, thanks to more conducive business environment in China, assuring greater profitability to Indian MNCs. Hence, India has always had double-standards in its economic and foreign policies, and not exactly protecting India's interests in either aspects. Reminds me the old saying in Hindi - haathi ke daanth khane ke aur, dikhane ke aur !

    REPLY

    Hemant

    In Reply to Ramesh Iyer 6 years ago

    I fully agree with you & may be some people don't understand what you want to convey, hence suggesting you with some weird ideas.

    pravin varma

    In Reply to Ramesh Iyer 6 years ago

    what is an 'economic incursion'? you allow the milkman and the paperwalla and the subziwalla and the tailor and the butcher ad infinitum to 'intrude' into your economic life.would it not be grand if you rather banished these fellows and did it all yourself? that is clearly the road to prosperity.

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