Public Interest   Exclusive
How Aadhaar linkage can destroy banks

Even if Aadhaar numbers were proof of identity, which it is not, its use to make money transfers make financial transfers un-auditable, propagate money laundering and financial fraud. There is no justification for introducing an unverified and un-audited number to allow payments and settlements


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is empowered by the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to regulate various payment systems in the country. About 59 organisations are authorised by the RBI under this Act for setting up and operating payment systems in India. In its vision document 2012-15 the RBI states its mission is “to ensure payment and settlement systems in the country are safe, efficient, interoperable, authorised, accessible, inclusive and compliant with international standards”. In compliance with international standards, therefore, all key systems should be secure (that is, have access controls, be equipped with adequate safeguards to prevent external intrusions, and provide audit trails), reliable, scalable and able to handle volume under stress conditions.

A payment can be effected through electronic funds transfers and includes point of sale transfers, ATM transactions, direct deposits or withdrawal of funds, transfers initiated by telephone, internet and, card payment.

When you use your banks online banking to transfer money from your account to a recipient you use a system called National Electronic Funds Transfer or NEFT. NEFT is RBI’s own electronic money transfer system. Your money is transferred to the recipient's account in the hourly schedules to settle the payables and receivables from each bank that result from all the NEFT transactions in the hour. In case, your transfer fails, your money is back in your account. If you make larger transfers, say Rs2 lakh and above, then you will have to use RBI’s Real Time Gross Settlement or RTGS system to make the transfer. In this case the gross amount is moved from your account to the recipient account directly. In case the transaction fails your money is reversed back to you.
 
You need to be logged into your bank account to initiate an NEFT or RTGS transfer. Only a valid bank account can receive funds making electronic transfers the bank. The transfers leave a permanent audit trail that inhibits money laundering.

NPCI’s electronic money transfer system

The National Payments Corp of India or NPCI, a section 25 company, also runs its own payment system. The Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System or AEPS, as it is called, facilitates the deposit of money to and withdrawal of money from Aadhaar-Enabled Bank Accounts (AEBA). AEBA accounts are bank accounts where an Aadhaar number is mapped to the bank account. This is done by a process called as “seeding” an Aadhaar number to a bank account with designated banks.

After receiving the Aadhaar number from the customer, the bank uploads such numbers’ into a “NPCI mapper” or a repository of Aadhaar numbers used for the purpose of routing transactions to the destination banks. The NPCI mapper contains Aadhaar number along with an Institution Identification Number or IIN, a unique 6-digit number issued by NPCI to the participating bank. If you or anyone else change the bank account associated with your Aadhaar number only the current banks’ IIN will be associated with the Aadhaar number.

Now you are all set to make deposits, withdraw money and even make money transfers from the Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account by providing the source and destination IIN and Aadhaar number.

Financial Inclusion?

Banks can appoint a “Business Correspondent” to provide access to basic banking services using a micro-ATM. These include the ability to take deposits, dispense cash for withdrawals, process funds transfers, or answer balance inquiries. The Banking Correspondent is the “last-mile” to replace the village money lender. The Banking Correspondent only collects money or hands it out from his own account with a parent bank. The Banking Correspondent may issue a receipt for the transaction. There is no passbook for AEBA. There are only receipts of transactions. The parent bank has nothing to do with payments to or from individual accounts. It only settles payable and receivable to the Banking Correspondent.

 

The UIDAI explains that “The resident would be allowed the option to either open a new bank account or link an existing bank account to Aadhaar at the time of enrolment. Also, the person can always approach the bank concerned for linking the existing bank account to Aadhaar”. Such accounts are not subject to the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Rules. The banks have been pushed to open AEBA accounts repeatedly by the RBI. Through its circular no 17015/14/2012/FI dated 06 February 2014 the UIDAI enabled the process of opening new bank accounts through micro ATMs or linkage of existing bank accounts with Aadhaar.

Rupay Cards

The Rupay card,  a pre-paid debit card, was launched as the Dhan Aadhaar card in December 2011. It has been co-branded with different financial institutions with differing operational requirements and fees . Some of these cards are branded as pre-paid cash cards and do not require a bank account. Since all Rupay cards would require the ABPS it is no surprise that all banks were pushed to enable biometrics and Aadhaar to enable the Rupay. When there was some resistance to burden all account holders with this new infrastructure pin-based Rupay have been introduced.

From the limited information available on the specifics the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana launched on 28 August 2014 promises an Aadhaar Enabled Bank Account (AEBA), a Rupay Debit Card and the Accident Insurance cover most banks were offering with the Rupay Debit card.

It is therefore surprising to learn that that 2.5 crore accounts have been opened without any website that details the eligibility, benefits and operational details; unless the procedure was no different from the Dhan Aadhaar card and AEBA of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) appears to have been misled completely.

The risks of Aadhar-enbaled Payment System (AEPS)

The AEPS is based on the following premises.

1. An existing account number and IFSC code that uniquely identifies a branch of any bank are not sufficient to do a legitimate transaction.
2. An account not linked with an Aadhaar number lacks the KYC or may be a fake account.
3. An account linked with an Aadhaar number is genuine and cannot be a fake one.
4. Auditability of Aadhaar number to Aadhaar number bank transfer is identical to an account number to account number transfer.
5. The costs of ABPS are less than the costs of NEFT or RTGS.

The RBI should close down RTGS and NEFT if assumption 1 is true. It is completely unclear why a third party number should be associated with a genuine account for identifying the account or the branch.

If assumption 2 holds and accounts not linked with Aadhaar are fake ones, or lack KYC, the RBI should be closed down for having enabled such accounts and money transfers within and between them in India. It is surprising that the Government of India does not trust these accounts when it comes to transferring any benefits when its Income Tax department has used them all along to assess income and even make refund payments.

Let us examine assumption 3. When the Aadhaar number is merely a 12-digit number assigned to demographic and biometric data submitted by private parties; it cannot be a proof of identity, address or even existence. There has been no verification or audit of the Aadhaar database and therefore it is very conceivable that, as was the case of Satyam, huge number of non-existent persons is assigned an Aadhaar number. There is no basis to regard any bank accounts linked to an Aadhaar number as belonging to genuine or even existing individuals.

Let us examine assumption 4. It is impossible to change the beneficiary in an account number to account number transfer. It is however possible to re-associate an account associated with an Aadhaar number. In fact it is possible to create different accounts and is link them to the same Aadhaar number at different times.

If you have the demographic and biometric details of various real persons, as you would, if you were an Aadhaar enrolment agency, it would not be impossible to create an account linked with their Aadhaar numbers without their knowledge. If you were a financial institution enrolling people it would not be impossible to open multiple accounts in different branches and link the same Aadhaar number with them at different times.

Why would one do that? Different accounts can “park” money at different times or even become conduits for laundering money. Considering that the RBI suspended the requirements of anti-money laundering rules to Aadhaar based bank accounts and enabled the opening of such accounts in the absence of a branch or an audit infrastructure makes this very plausible. Such accounts can also become conduits to claim undeserved benefits from Government that would never be traced once released. This is a recipe for embezzling government treasury with no complaints, no audit trail and no punishment.

Clearly Aadhaar number to Aadhaar number bank transfer is not identical to an account number to account number transfer. Since the NPCI maintains no log of the previous account numbers associated with an Aadhaar number it makes such transfers completely unauditable.

Let us examine the 5th assumption that transactions on ABPS cost less than other payment systems. In making such a claim the NPCI does not do an actual end-to-end cost comparison with any alternatives. The costs of ABPS that NPCI ignores are the cost of the Aadhaar infrastructure and maintenance. It ignores the costs of fraud and leakage. It ignores the cost of the infrastructure of micro ATMs and having banks switch to enabling their accounts for Aadhaar. These costs would ultimately be passed on to the customer.   

Even if Aadhaar numbers were proof of identity, which it is not, its use to make financial transfers, is the best way to make financial transfers unauditable, propagate money laundering and financial fraud. There is no rational justification for introducing an unverified and unaudited number to allow payments and settlements.

The way ahead

There is no doubt that the future may hold several disruptive business models for payments and settlements many of which may be enabled by technology. While encouraging innovation, it is the role of the regulator to ensure that these do not bring ruin to the nation’s financial system.

In an NYU paper titled ‘The Precautionary Principle: Fragility and Black Swans from Policy Actions’, Nassim Taleb argues that taking risks is necessary for the functioning and advancement of society. However, all risks are not equal. Taking into account the structure of randomness in a given system can have a dramatic effect on which kinds of actions are, or are not, justified.

With the help of probability theory, Taleb asserts that when impacts are not localized and non spreading, interdependence increases propagating impacts resulting in irreversible and widespread damage and the probability of devastation, ultimately to the point of certainty. The interdependence of the NPCI, IBA, RBI, UIDAI and the various government departments are engineered for what Taleb characterizes as “ruin”.

By enabling ABPS and Aadhaar linkages with bank accounts, the RBI has enabled fraud propagation across the entire banking industry that will result in widespread and irreversible damage. It is evident that the RBI has failed to protect the nation’s banking system from an increased probability of devastation.

In the interest of financial prudence the RBI governor, the IBA and the various banks must invoke the precautionary principle and immediately suspend all linkage of Aadhaar to any financial instrument. The RBI governor ought to declare a financial emergency and freeze all Aadhaar linked bank accounts and reverse these transactions.

The PMO must revisit the UPA projects that have been allowed to be carried forward. Given the multiple institutions involved, it would be fitting to set up an inquiry commission that will include voices that have raised caution in the interest of the nation and have a mandate to minimize the damage to the country and suggest the way ahead. In the meanwhile, it would only be prudent to suspend all linkages to the Aadhaar number.

The Supreme Court of India has several pending public interest litigations (PILs) on Aadhaar linkages and it would prudent to have a special court to issue a stay on all Aadhaar linkages till the cases are heard and at the same time hear the PILs expeditiously given the extent of financial ruin that Aadhaar can bring to India.

The banking system in India is becoming extremely complex. Complex systems increase risks disproportionately to the increase in complexity. If this investigation into a small part of the banking system - electronic money transfers - is not sufficient to make a prudent banker lose sleep, we may not have any prudent bankers left anymore. It is evident that our policy makers have neither the time nor inclination to apply themselves to the implications of their actions nor to seek counsel to protect the nation and its assets. Embroiling the unbanked into this mess is no financial inclusion - it is a debt warrant.
 

Some important Dates

Date

Particulars

Dec-08

Incorporation of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

28-Jan-09

Planning Commission of India Notifies the UIDAI with mandate to create a UID.

Apr-09

Certificate of Commencement of Business issued to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

14-Dec-09

NPCI takes over ATM switching service to banks in India through National Financial Switch from Institute of Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT)

Apr-2010

UIDAI whitepaper: From Exclusion to Inclusion with Micropayments

13-Dec-11

The Standing Committee on Finance and urged the government to reconsider and review the UID scheme and also the proposals contained in the Bill in all its ramifications.

27-Jan-11

RBI Notification RBI/2010-11/389 DBOD.AML.No. 77 /14.01.001/2010-11 making anti-money laundering rules applicable for bank accounts opened with Aadhaar.

28-Sep-11

RBI Notification 12/207DBOD.AML RBI/2011. BC. No. 36/14.01.001/2011-12 relaxing anti-money laundering rules for bank accounts opened with Aadhaar.

Dec-2011

Dhan Aadhaar Yojana launched

17-May-12

RBI Notification RBI/2011-12/566 DBOD. No. BL. BC. 105/22.01.009/2011-12 on financial inclusion and banking correspondents.

12-Mar-13

RBI Circular RBI / 2012-13 / 436 A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 89 on revised guidelines for money transfer schemes.

1-Jul-13

RBI Master Circular RBI/2013-14/1 Master Circular No.1 /2013-14 on money transfer service scheme.

1-Jul-13

RBI Notification RBI/ 2013-14/31 UBD.BPD. (PCB).MC.No.16 /12.05.001/2013-14 specifying obligations of the banks under the prevention of money laundering act of 2002.

6-Feb-14

UIDAI Notification 17015/14/2012/FI enabling opening new accounts through micro ATMs

28-Aug-14

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana launched


(Dr Anupam Saraph is a Professor, Future Designer, former governance and IT advisor to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the World Economic Forum)

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Klove

1 year ago

UIDI has rejected my aadhaar enrollment due to data processing​ error. And now it is mandatory to link Aadhaar with bank accounts. Now after 30 Dec, I can't go to a job because I won't have a bank account and no bank account because no Aadhaar card and no Aadhaar card for no fault of mine. Pathetic affairs management!

Sid

2 years ago

Well explained sir.

Damodardas Subodhdas Deshaabhimaani

2 years ago

Extremely dangerous proposition!

It is more dangerous than the demonetization!
The State in India has always been evil, because it does not belong to India or Indians!

It is A State set up by the British colonialism and imperialism and nurtured by subsequent joint neo colonialists and imperialists like Usa, France, Japan, Germany etc who inherited part of the British legacy.

This state is constantly working against the interests of the people of India.

That is why we see the disparity among people growing, compared to China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri lanka etc very less proportion of the GDP and tax revenue invested in health, education, rule of law, great and increasing promotion of corruption by the state and most political parties.

Many fools helped Adolf Hitler and Nazi party of Germany to siege power and complete control of the state.

Almost all industrialists of Germany helped them.

Even American rogue capitalists working through mercenaries like Allen foster Dulles and John foster Dulles helped the fascist German state during, before and even after the Second World War.

We too have enough such fools, anti people frogs in the well intellectuals etc.

People like Nandan Nelakani who are mad believers in technology and robotic vegetative life of people are a grave danger to Indian people.

Making a company like Infosys, making profits is an altogether different ball game from protecting the privacy, freedom and independence of people from oppressive and fascist States, working primarily for crony capitalists, Mafia contractors and corrupt officials that are in millions!

People like Nandan nelakani may be personally innocent of any political evil intentions!

But their ignorance, inexperience, gullibility, illiteracy of human history of the development of State, exploitation of the state by the rogue crony capitalists and Mafia contractors and millions of government employees extorting from ordinary innocent people day in and day out, makes them most useful tools of aspiring dictators and fascists!

there is a serious danger of cyber crime spilling into real life and serious emergence of gun wielding mafia, specially in rural india. in such places police are known to be hand in glove with mafia. so many mafia dons are known to run their extortion rackets operating from the luxory of high security indian prisons!

any person can be kidnapped or otherwise coerced to act under duress to put his thumb impression and show his eyes to the iris scan under threat of death, injury, rape, defamation and a hundred other coercive things.

the government and babus advising the government have gone mad!

there is no other country in the world where a system as stupid and as bad as an adhar identity are insisted upon.

it is a direct attack on the privacy, freedom and independence of people by a dictatorship.

it is only Adolf Hitler who implemented such draconian things as these that were not implemented anywhere else in a civilezed society!

now such things are happening or about to happen in india. dangerous things and dangerous times.

we have enough rogue elements in police.
young innocent girls have been arrested by shivasena sympathetic police goons in maharashtra that was then ruled by a congress governmnet.

how abominal?!

police may themselves run these extortion rackets or become partners with mafia.

people of india must realise the dangers and act.

satyameva jayathe!

REPLY

Sid

In Reply to Damodardas Subodhdas Deshaabhimaani 2 years ago

What is our supreme Court doing

K Venugopal Menon

2 years ago

I'm a PSU Banker, working at Syndicate Bank, & an expert in payment systems, I worked in initial stages of ECS , NEFT & RTGS.
I am well versed with both operational side of Banking & Technical side.
Though Dr Saraph has gone to great details but falters in its foundation premise itself. He says and I quote
" An account not linked with an Aadhaar Card is not a genuine account lacks KYC(norms sic!)"
A) There are specific norms for KYC or Know Your Customer, they are I) photo ID ii) address proof !
B) Aadhaar Card has not only both of the above, but also biometric data, all thumb prints as well as iris. The permutation of all the 4 above is pretty difficult to duplicate.
C) only ONE account can be linked to Aadhaar.
D) IIN+Aadhar+Bank Account number is a unique permutation which has zero chances of error.
E) Mr A P Hota, the CEO with whom I've interacted on regular basis during implementation of EFT is a seasoned payment expert who has worked on ECS, EFT & RTGS at the RBI Mumbai.
F) What NPCI has done is , nullified the use of IFSC & Account number (better because some Banks have 14/15 digit account numbers, hence length of data 14/15 is confusing)
G) All AEBAs have I) Aadhar number ii) Mobile number.
H) it is possible that one mobile number in one IIN may have multiple accounts, but ONLY one CASA account would be associated with one Aadhaar card. So for ONE IIN, a Aadhaar Card number would have only one CASA account, and the transaction would hit accurately the correct debit as well as credit accounts (remember there are two sides of transaction , initiator (debit) receiver (credit)
I) Dr Saraph may study UPI architecture as well as #99 payment system now operational , where an account holder of one AEBA can with his basic mobile, the number of which is registered in the AEBA can send money to another AEBA using the mobile number linked to recipients AEBA.
J the premise which Dr Saraph has used of non auditability is crying wolf.
K) There's a NPC switch & the recipients & senders bank account servers as well as account numbers.
L) a CISA systems auditor CAN audit data, forensic experts can trace transactions as well as track them on real time (only authorized ones as it requires encryption keys) a Normal Auditor can verify the physical account and get confirmation, whenever required from NPCI as well as recipients or senders Bank branch.
M) This is a payment system not used anywhere in the world and is a masterstroke by NPCI to develop a payment system, avoiding VISA/Maestro/CC Avenue/Paypal.
N) I wonder if Dr Saraph is batting for Chartered Accountants losing business, or VISA/Maestro/Western Union or PayTM(or some such e-wallets where there's no bleddy KYC!!!
O) Dr Saraph is making a mountain out of Molehill & these constant opposition by people about Aadhaar and anything related to Aadhaar.
I feel Aadhaar is the best thing that happened to India which has disintermediated aam aadmi from touts dalals & commission agents allowing DBTL & such subsidies as well as pensions with ease without leakages or hassles .
The entire west based payment system would be devoid of any Indian transactions once RuPay AEBA & #99 is fully functional.
I don't see any opposition to paytm oxygen free charge cashkaro, then why object AEBA payment system?
Vested interest lobby?

REPLY

Rahul

In Reply to K Venugopal Menon 10 months ago

Sir can u please help me as I want to know that..a froud anonymous person took my aadhar card number which is linked to my SBI account
Now I'm much worried about the safety of my money
Sir can u please tell me that linked if it's possible for that person to break my bank ....I'm too much worried about this

Anupam Saraph

In Reply to K Venugopal Menon 2 years ago

Thank you for your comments. Please see my para wise responses to your points. Please reread before you attribute statements to me that are the assumption of the designers of AEPS.

A) KYC norms are decided by the PMLA. These have been diluted by pressure from the RBI. Please read my other articles documenting this including http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/7100-pm-modi-must-protect-india-s-banking-system-hack-attack 

B) Please reread. I have explained 
“When the Aadhaar number is merely a 12-digit number assigned to demographic and biometric data submitted by private parties; it cannot be a proof of identity, address or even existence. There has been no verification or audit of the Aadhaar database and therefore it is very conceivable that, as was the case of Satyam, huge number of non-existent persons is assigned an Aadhaar number. There is no basis to regard any bank accounts linked to an Aadhaar number as belonging to genuine or even existing individuals.” Also please read  http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/7100-pm-modi-must-protect-india-s-banking-system-hack-attack 

C) I do not say so. I quote from the article for your benefit 
“it is possible to create different accounts and is link them to the same Aadhaar number at different times”

D) I have not argued about any errors associated with the IIN+Aadhaar+Bank Account Number. I have merely questioned the deviation from the time tested IFSC-Account Number way of identifying a destination for money transfers.

E) I have not questioned the expertise of anyone who may have worked on the project. Have you any involvement with the design that you want to declare? Also please recognise that no CEO has the bandwidth to design their products and services as they focus on the quarters bottom and top lines.

F) While NPCI is entitled to its own design for payment systems, the replacement of a time tested standard under government regulation by a non-government company raises several questions of public interest, propriety and conflict of interest. Further there is no public document that demonstrates that RBI has fulfilled its responsibility as the custodian of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 to ensure the payment system fulfils the ability to trace the path of every payment (or deposit) without any possibility of alteration at any time.

G) I do not claim anywhere that AEPS cannot transfer money to a targeted beneficiary.

H) I have not argued about the ability to transfer money to a destination. Please reread.

I) I have not questioned the ability to do transfers between two AEBAs. I have questioned the ability to trace all transfers without the possibility of alteration. I have also questioned the absence of responsibility of any party for protecting the trace, auditing the transfer and reversing embezzlement or laundering. It is precisely this that makes all apps including the UPI using the AEPS extremely high risk for not only customers but the entire banking system.

J) Payment systems that lack auditbility of tracing payments without any possibility of alteration are bad in design. I have merely examined  this for AEPS. There is no question of crying wolf as it fails this test of auditability.

K) Not clear what you say.

L) I have not examined a systems audit as in any case it does not ask the question of the fidelity of tracing any transfer of funds.

M) This is neither relevant to the assessment of the fidelity of the money transfers nor the subject of my article. 

N) Your comment is neither warranted nor in good taste. I have no affiliation to any payment system, accountancy firms or credit rating system nor are any of these the subject of the article. Every assumption is documented with a reference available in public domain and can be verified by any person who takes the trouble to read through each of them. Also you are in error clubbing those systems that merely provide information on the payees credit rating with those that transfer money.

O) If you are a banker, you will not dispute the essential feature of a payment system is to guarantee the trace of payments should not be alterable. The absence of this guarantee is not a molehill. It just changes the risk to those using the payment system to question its usability.


I do not share your conclusions about aadhaar, you can read my premises to question the public interest served by Aadhaar at http://www.moneylife.in/article/does-aadhaar-serve-any-public-interest/43653.html

NEFT and RTGS are RBI’s own payment systems that have been time tested. There is no reason to switch public payments to any other payment system, particularly one run by non-government private companies.

This article is not about opposition to any payment system. It is about evaluation of AEBA.

Your comment of vested interest is in bad taste. I have no affiliation to any payment systems or financial institutions. I have no consideration other than examining the protection of public interest in using the AEPS to transfer public funds and now to manage the Consolidated Fund of India.

bam

In Reply to K Venugopal Menon 2 years ago

Sir, I have a small question. From your answer I got the view that if a person is having multiple accounts in a same bank only one account can be tagged with Aadhaar. As per npci website, npci mapper overwrites existing record if any, with newly AEBA account. So my questions are as follows:

1) If incometax department wants to now, how many bank accounts a person with particular aadhaar number is having in different banks, linking only single a/c with aadhaar per bank defeats the purpose and helps people launder money in multiple accounts?
2) Recently read the news that government asking banks to link all savings bank accounts with Aadhaar. So now how multiple accounts in same bank can be linked. Is the centralised KYC that's coming up - is going to solve the above issue of identifying multiple banks accounts with Aadhaar.

Thanks.

Anupam Saraph

In Reply to bam 1 year ago

IT department could find out about your multiple bank accounts through PAN. It may be able to find out through Aadhaar by querying all banks for Aadhaar number linked with them. This may unearth bank accounts you did not open or control but are linked to your Aadhaar. What defence can you provide if they hold these are your accounts because your Aadhaar is linked to them?

A centralised KYC does not identify multiple bank accounts. It merely seeds the KYC information to multiple bank accounts. UIDAI has no record of the bank accounts opened with your eKYC.

Prabhakar V Hegde

4 years ago

Has this been brought to the attention of the PMO? It need to be done now. This government has an open mind, I aam sure he will do the needfull.

REPLY

Sudhir Jatar

In Reply to Prabhakar V Hegde 4 years ago

We have been informing the PM on his site Mygov. Please access the following sites to know more about fake Aadhaar cards and how these are 'officially' given:
You can go with fake documents or say you have none to your enrolment agency and just get a card made. Here is a sting that shows how this is done in Delhi (http://www.cobrapost.com/index.php/news-....
You may also like to read the following tip of the iceberg:
# http://daily.bhaskar.com/news/RAJ-JPR-sh...
# http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/...
# http://uidai.gov.in/parliament-questions... also how money transfers are enabling money parking, laundering and tax evasion: moneylife.in/article/how-aa… While the RBI is raising the same concern it is suggesting a solution that will only amplify fraud See: bit.ly/1AWKDYL!

Sudhir Jatar

4 years ago

I shall ask questions, which everyone would understand:
# Why does any one at all need to substitute IFSC numbers ​issued by RBI ​with IIN numbers​ issued by NPCI​ (a private company) & account numbers with UID numbers?
# The above indicates lack of confidence in RBI; why this lack of confidence?
# What is the way ISACA would audit transactions on ABPS and what would they certify?​​

REPLY

Sandeep

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

IIN is code for a Bank like SBI and IFSC is a code given to specify branch of Bank like local branch of SBI. Batch files are sent at bank level and not at single branch level. Also NPCI is under the wings of RBI only. ISaCA is international audit agency so just google it, there is tons of info about it.

Sudhir Jatar

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

I viewed on Times Now that a Khalistani was in possession of TWO Aadhaar cards with two different bank accounts!!
No further comments!

M S Prabhakar

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

Ha, ha, ha! I just saw the report http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXDDOSRMh...

Aadhaar is truly becoming the joke of our nation. I have a solution. If the government can't understand the technicalities of Aadhaar's pitfalls (neither could they understand schemes of Saradha, Sahara and Lehman Bros.) and leave it to some minions to defend, it would be wise of them to consider adding a disclaimer:

"Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS) are subject to biometric risks. Please read your palm (especially, fate line) or consult a palmist before enrolment."

Sandeep

In Reply to M S Prabhakar 4 years ago

You should appreciate the point that with Aadhaar in place, future of this guy is sealed for life and you can track this person's criminal history by CCTNS once those two Aadhaar card are verified in the system. That's where UID is different from paper IDs. He also had two passports which cannot be verified anywhere.

Bal krishna Gupta

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

How do you know that they were genuine Aadhar Cards? Did you verify them with his biometric indicators?
No further comments.(for those who believe Cursory seeing is believing!)

Sudhir Jatar

In Reply to Bal krishna Gupta 4 years ago

That is precisely the point. I am happy that you have grasped the essence.

sohan modak

4 years ago

I don't think any one is against a national Id card. The problem is that Aadhar is based on bad software, enrollment methodologies, execution and lack of audit. As simple as that. Nonauditability = fraud potential. PERIOD.

REPLY

Bal krishna Gupta

In Reply to sohan modak 4 years ago

Are Voter cards, Bank accounts, passports audited?
If so the CAs will become over busy and over rich!

Sandeep

In Reply to sohan modak 4 years ago

Constructive criticism is always good for any system/society. So any changes that you would like to propose for Aadhaar software, enrollment methodologies, execution and audit that can make it better?

Bal krishna Gupta

In Reply to Sandeep 4 years ago

Their role is only to criticise a system which will reduce misdirected subsidies by at least 80%.

Sudhir Jatar

4 years ago

Mr. Sandeep, Mr. Ananthram and Bal Krishna Gupta perhaps you need to make a disclosure of your affiliations as you are trolling the website and making baseless statements in defence of Aadhaar that is not even the subject of the article. You have even got personal, which shows that you do not have adequate reasoning to put across.
It is strange that you are willing to ignore the ruin of a banking system if the assumptions behind the Aaadhaar Based Payment System are as highlighted by the author.
You are advised to reread the article particularly the 5 specific assumptions in justifying Aadhaar Based Payment Systems reproduced here in case you have an open mind:

"The risks of Aadhar-enbaled Payment System (AEPS)
The AEPS is based on the following premises.
1. An existing account number and IFSC code that uniquely identifies a branch of any bank are not sufficient to do a legitimate transaction.
2. An account not linked with an Aadhaar number lacks the KYC or may be a fake account.
3. An account linked with an Aadhaar number is genuine and cannot be a fake one.
4. Auditability of Aadhaar number to Aadhaar number bank transfer is identical to an account number to account number transfer.
5. The costs of ABPS are less than the costs of NEFT or RTGS.

The RBI should close down the time-tested RTGS and NEFT if assumption 1 is true. It is completely unclear why a third party number should be associated with a genuine account for identifying the account or the branch.

If assumption 2 holds and accounts not linked with Aadhaar are fake ones, or lack KYC, the RBI should be closed down for having enabled such accounts and money transfers within and between them in India. It is surprising that the Government of India does not trust these accounts when it comes to transferring any benefits when its Income Tax department has used them all along to assess income and even make refund payments. In fact, these systems are put in place so that there is transparency and to curb corruption in IT Department.

Let us examine assumption 3. When the Aadhaar number is merely a 12-digit number assigned to demographic and biometric data submitted by private parties; it cannot be a proof of identity, address or even existence. There has been no verification or audit of the Aadhaar database and therefore it is very conceivable that, as was the case of Satyam, huge number of non-existent persons is assigned an Aadhaar number. There is no basis to regard any bank accounts linked to an Aadhaar number as belonging to genuine or even existing individuals. By proper audit, we mean audit carried out in terms of the guidelines issues by the various regulatory or other authorities e.g. Association of CAs for financial audits.

Let us examine assumption 4. It is impossible to change the beneficiary in an account number to account number transfer. It is however possible to re-associate an account associated with an Aadhaar number. In fact it is possible to create different accounts and link them to the same Aadhaar number at different times.

If you have the demographic and biometric details of various real persons, as you would, if you were an Aadhaar enrolment agency, it would not be impossible to create an account linked with their Aadhaar numbers without their knowledge. This has actually happened and widely reported in cases in Mumbai and Chennai. If you were a financial institution enrolling people it would not be impossible to open multiple accounts in different branches and link the same Aadhaar number with them at different times.

Why would one do that? Different accounts can “park” money at different times or even become conduits for laundering money. Considering that the RBI has suspended the requirements of anti-money laundering rules to Aadhaar based bank accounts and enabled the opening of such accounts in the absence of a branch or an audit infrastructure, makes this very plausible. Such accounts can also become conduits to claim undeserved benefits from Government that would never be traced once released. This is a recipe for embezzling government treasury with no complaints, no audit trail and no punishment.

Clearly Aadhaar number to Aadhaar number bank transfer is not identical to an account number to account number transfer. Since the NPCI maintains no log of the previous account numbers associated with an Aadhaar number it makes such transfers completely un-auditable.

Let us examine the 5th assumption that transactions on ABPS cost less than other payment systems. In making such a claim the NPCI does not do an actual end-to-end cost comparison with any alternatives. The costs of ABPS that NPCI ignores are the cost of the Aadhaar infrastructure and maintenance. It ignores the costs of fraud and leakage. It ignores the cost of the infrastructure of micro ATMs and having banks switch to enabling their accounts for Aadhaar. These costs would ultimately be passed on to the customer.

Even if Aadhaar numbers were proof of identity, which it is not, its use to make financial transfers, is the best way to make financial transfers unauditable, propagate money laundering and financial fraud. There is no rational justification for introducing an unverified and unaudited number to allow payments and settlements.”

It will be useful to hear if you have any arguments to justify these assumptions and the consequences of the failure of the banking system that follow rather than the hot air you have been emitting and making personal remarks, which expose your ignorance.

REPLY

Sandeep

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

I am no way linked to UID in any capacity but being a technocrat with international exposure I do understand the basics of need of Uniqueness identifier(i.e.UID/NPR) for a country as populous as India where fake/ghost/duplicate and middlemen beneficiary are looting the govt. system.

Every development oriented country(USA, Canada, UK, Australia, NZ etc.) you name it have some sort of uniqueness identifier to channelize the government benefits to common citizens.

My simple question to you/author is "A single UID can point to how many people in a government database if you combine the demographics"?

Also would you/author please share the source of AEPS premises quoted above or are they just made up by author?

Anand

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

Dear Mr Jatar

I think your arguments as are the arguments in this piece is making some basic logical flaws For Example:
.......................
2. An account not linked with an Aadhaar number lacks the KYC or may be a fake account.

From this you jump to

If assumption 2 holds and accounts not linked with Aadhaar are fake ones, or lack KYC, the RBI should be closed down for having enabled such accounts and money transfers within and between them in India.
...............................

Basically, you are jumping from Some = All, which is logical fallacy. Existence of Benami Accounts proves that KYC have failed.

Second, Chartered Accountants are not competent to do IT Audit, What you are suggesting and I have reasons to suspect, Chartered Accountants wants to corner a piece of cake that is not theirs. And I suspect......

Before, I am in no way whatsoever related to Aadhar Scheme but instead I know quite a few things about IT Audit.

Even if System Audit is required, it can and should be done by IT people. Chartered Accountants cant even do financial audit properly :)

Anand

In Reply to Anand 4 years ago

Before should read as Before you Ask...a little mix in para as well.

Apologies.

The main points stand though.

S Anantharam

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

Yes Mr Jatar - now start insinuations of affiliations etc now that you have run out of arguments and have to resort to replicating the arguments of the author of the original article!

It appears you have not either had the time to peruse or the ability to comprehend the arguments that have been put up all this while. All contrarian arguments are therefore hot air and why not - they need to be understood first!

Firstly there are no 'Riskless' systems in existence. All that can be done is to try and reduce the risks in any system to an acceptable level. Additionally the risks have to be balanced against the returns.
In the case of Govt benefits disbursal the risks of NOT having a system (which is current state wherein leakage is costing the country billions)far outweighs the risk of having a system like Aadhar which off course can be improved upon based on actual learning on the ground.
Secondly the cost of each day of delay in implementation is also horrendous and thus the argument is for not delaying any further.

Thirdly the argument that Dr Saraph's article is more researched and well founded to the extent that Aadhar needs to be scrapped essentially derides the competency of institutions like RBI besides off course the PM and all policy making bodies. The underlying charge that all these institutions beside being incompetent are also bent upon harming the national interests is also simply ridiculous.

Bal krishna Gupta

In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 4 years ago

My credentials are in public domain. ​http://in.linkedin.com/in/baalkee
I am an IITK graduate and have served a leading PSU Bank for 36 years. I have no direct/indirect; oblique/hidden link with anybody interest in the business of Aadhar at any micro/macro level.

As there are 100s of millions of non Aadhar Bank accounts also and will remain and would be used for financial transactions of bigger magnitude, NEFT and RTGS need not be and should not be closed down.
2. The transfers thru AAdhar based accounts will be only for Subsidies or by the marginal labourers who maintain accounts at banks at their place of work as well as at native places, for frauds to take place staff at both places should also collude with them that too for petty gains as the amounts transferred would be only a few thousand rupees.

3. Even now people have facility of transferring money anywhere through mobile phones or ATM Debit cards.

4. How money laundering would increase overnight is not understood.

5. As the scheme runs the experience gained and problems faced can be tackled and due precautions can be built viz maximum annual limit per Adhar Card or Aadhar Linked bank Account.

6. Money launderers dont do chindi transactions. They follow hawala/angadiya or courier routes to do their "business"

7. Please stop beating around the bush and come to the brass tacks.

8. Nilikeni came to the board much later. What axe he was to grind in tUIDAI I dont know or answer as I dont know the gentlemamn oither than the news about him in the public domain. 9.As far as finding fault is concerned, their are shortcomings in the Voter machines too, Voter cards and rations cards are also issued in wrong names. But such cases are not the reasons that VCs or ration card system should be ignored.

Why is the "Dr", "Professor" silent and not answering the criticism?

Bal krishna Gupta

In Reply to Bal krishna Gupta 4 years ago

The naysayers wanted disclosures and after disclosures they have started new sets of comments.
Bura jo dekhan main chala....

sohan modak

4 years ago

It is amazing to see the Classical Indian trait of idol worship pop up conveniently to defend Aadhar as is done by Anantharaman. Oh, Modi, who was against Aadhar, is now convinced otherwise and how can he make a mistake ? This is the kind of argument that produces no-brainers. Of course, Geeks have a vested interest in defending Aadhar that has been a huge baked (oops, cooked) bread and butter for them. Their trishuls (computers) cannot make mistakes nor can their programming be faulty, viz based on incomplete parameters! Wake up call is again due, come what Modi and his cohorts think. Nilekani's fraud is being owned by Modi?

REPLY

Sid

In Reply to sohan modak 2 years ago

Well said

S Anantharam

4 years ago

Despite seeing the writing on the wall obstinate closed minds will refuse to see and agree to any contrarian view point.
THE VERY FACT THAT THE ONCE OPPOSED BJP SAW IT FIT TO ALLOW THE UIDAI PROGRAMME TO CONTINUE - NAY HASTEN IMPLEMENTATION is also seen with surprise/suspicion!
I am confident a person of Mr Modi's calibre had no vested interest in allowing the continuance of UIDAI programme and in fact must have based his decision on the overall Merits of the case. However nit picking and endless debate is a truly Indian past-time and thus arguments on how this is not a 'perfect' system will rage on ad nauseum - as if the country can afford to wait for leakages of untold billions through current system of middlemen whilst a 'Perfect' system is being evolved!!!

sohan modak

4 years ago

Sandeep, No point in talking in vacuum.Please read again Dr. Saraph's article that suscitated this discussion. It is indeed surprising that BJP that was gainst Aadhar, made an about turn once Nilkani's pcture with Modi was flashed in the media.

sohan modak

4 years ago

Sadeep, your calculations may be right but misplaced and out of context. The issue is not just to save but to undertake and conduct a judicious and failsafe operation that has everlasting impact in terms of preserving national assets and security concerns.

REPLY

Sandeep

In Reply to sohan modak 4 years ago

Would you please share any specific example of so called security concern that may impact any normal law abiding common citizen? UID is no doubt a national asset that would help eliminating fake/ghost/duplicate and middlemen beneficiary in government system.

sohan modak

4 years ago

Here, in S Anantharam and Balakrishna Gupta are two digit handlers who lost their bytes., the problem that most geeks face when they inhabit the jungle of loops like the one created by Nilekani. looks like personal data security doesn't mean a bit or byte to justifiers of Aadhaar who say, Oh, a few mistakes here and there don't matter because at least we have made a beginning. At what cost, gentleman? And who paid for these mistakes? A nd who will correct these for data on millions already in the closets of US subcontractors including NSA?

REPLY

Sandeep

In Reply to sohan modak 4 years ago

You care for millions but you're fine with loosing billions? Every year government is spending 3 lakh crore in terms of welfare subsidy and we all know there fake/ghost/duplicate and middlemen beneficiary in government systems that are looting are 10-40% of these funds in different departments. Going by most conservative estimate, if Aadhaar saves 10% of this by fake/ghost/duplicate and middlemen beneficiary. Your net savings are 30k crore that's about 5 billion every year. So far money spent on aadhaar is about 5k crore which it has already paid by LPG savings through DBT.

S Anantharam

4 years ago

This is exactly the point that is not getting accepted by the 'naysayers'. They are looking for perfection in the new system of UIDAI instead of viewing it from the point of view of 'is this a marked improvement from the existing system'.
The debate will therefore be endless as perfection only exists with God!

Bal krishna Gupta

4 years ago

Bank accounts were earlier opened only on the basis of photo and signatures of the account holder. Now Aadhar provides additional recognition points in the form of iris and 10 finger prints and a unique number which make it almost fool proof.
Those deriding it are doing disservice to the mission and the consequent benefits which can potentially be derived from the UIDAI.

REPLY

sohan modak

In Reply to Bal krishna Gupta 4 years ago

Mr. Gupta, I am sure you really meant that Aadhar identity is FOOL PROOF, which is really the problem for geeks living in the realm of FULL-PROOF foolish belief that they can do no wrong. Mr. nilakani and his bunch have simply not understood how to make Ids and are still roaming in the realm of Y2K!

Is Narendra Modi right in going back to Aadhaar?
Both Barack Obama and David Cameron-Nick Clegg stood by their words and abandoned national ID schemes. Unfortunately, Narendra Modi and BJP, which promised to scrap biometric Aadhaar during their election campaign, have gone back on their words
 
The US’ Department of Homeland Security is creating a global biometric system of identification and economic control, so that biometrics becomes the common international denominator identifying us to governments and corporations. Such a system destroys national sovereignty, removing control of the people over their government. This system threatens religious freedom, privacy, states’ rights, the rights of representation and our ability to redress grievances, state sovereignty and national sovereignty. -Mark Lerner in Systematic Plan for a Single Global Biometric ID System
 
The national identity card scheme represents the worst of government. It is intrusive and bullying, ineffective and expensive. It is an assault on individual liberty which does not promise a greater good. The Bill is, therefore, partly symbolic. It sends a message that the Government is going to do business in a different way. We are the servants of the people, not their masters, and every action that we take must be considered in that context.
 
-Theresea May, Secretary of State for the Home Department, UK while introducing Identity Documents Bill to abolish ID cards and the national identity register that contained the biographic and biometric fingerprint data of cardholders and to destroy all information recorded in the national identity register on 9 June 2010
 
Every institution is becoming an "inspection regime" - recording, watching, gathering information and storing data…the shadow of the prison, which is no longer separated from society as an institution of total surveillance. Instead, it is increasingly the general condition of society as a whole. Everyone is living under a surveillance panoptican in which living means living as criminals. It is part of a "military metaphysics" - a complex of forces that includes corporations, defense industries, politicians, financial institutions and universities.-Henry A Giroux in The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
 
Businesses and governments exploit big data without regard for issues of legality, data quality, disparate data meanings, and process quality. This often results in poor decisions, with individuals bearing the greatest risk. - Marcus R. Wigan, University of Melbourne & Roger Clarke, Australian National University in "Big Data's Big Unintended Consequences," Computer, vol. 46
 
Heralding a hitherto unknown biometric- global economic system based on catalogued humanity, 28 January 2009 for India and 11 May 2005 for US has become one of the saddest days for civil rights due to the illegitimate advances of the State. On 28 January 2009, the Prime Minister headed Planning Commission issued a notification creating Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which failed to get Parliament’s endorsement despite repeated attempts. It functioned with Ram Sewak Sharma as its Director General from August 2009 to March 2013 under whose tenure Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat was biometrically profiled for Aadhaar in spite of the fact that he himself had categorically questioned the legality and legitimacy of biometric data collection by Dr Manmohan Singh-led government. After that Sharma was made the Chief Secretary of Jharkhand, where he implemented Aadhaar related civilian schemes in violation of the Supreme Court’s order with impunity. He was appointed Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology from 1 May 2014 ahead of Modi assuming office of Prime Minister on 26 May 2014. Now, he has been given the additional charge of Secretary, Department of Telecommunications for three months with effect from 1 July 2014 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.  
 
On 11 May 2005 in the US, the Real ID Act for a national ID was rushed through US Congress and the US Senate with utmost urgency as part of a bundle of legislations, a toxic legacy of George Bush years. Following people’s resistance Barack Obama opposed it during his presidential campaign as a candidate of the Democratic Party and during his tenure as US President Real ID was declared “dead on arrival DOA” by Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Department of Homeland Security in July 2009. At least 43 US states have submitted legislation to oppose Real ID nationwide. Some 24 States have nullified the Real ID Act after passing laws against its implementation so far. 
 
In recent times, it all started with the US Department of Defence using the tragic event of 11 September 2001 as an excuse to get the first post-September 11 anti-terrorism legislation passed through its legislature. Now it has reached India’s Ministry of Defence, besides all the agencies of the central government. A letter from Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India on the subject “Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) in Central Government offices dated 11 August 2014 has been sent to DGQA, DGAQA, Directorate of Standardisation, Directorate of P&C, Defence Exhibition Organisation, OFB, New Delhi Office and Local Office of DPSUs. This letter was sent in response to a letter dated 4 August 2014 from Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology addressed to Radha Krishna Mathur, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, and Union Ministry of Defence. In this regard an email dated 7 August 2014 was sent by Nandita Chaudhry, Deputy Director General, HOG, National Informatics Centre (NIC) Defence Informatics Division, and Government of India on subject of Aadhaar Based Biometric Attendance Monitoring System to concerned departments. 
 
The paragraph 5 of Ram Sewak Sharma’s letter reads, “I may add that the aforesaid attendance system has been in operation in the State of Jharkhand since 1 January 2014 and is being recently tried on Pilot Basis in the Department of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Communications & IT, New Delhi. You may like to visit the dashboard of the aforesaid system at attendance.jharkhand.gov.in and deity.gov.in/attendance respectively for familiarization.” It adds that the preparatory step be taken in this regard by 10 August 2014 “keeping in view the urgency of the matter”.  
         
In India, Prime Minister headed Planning Commission’s UIDAI consistently said that the 12-digit unique identification (UID) number branded as aadhaar is meant for civilian application not meant for defence application. Aaadhar has emerged as an exercise in breach of trust reposed in the government by the citizens. From the outset, aadhaar was promoted as being ‘voluntary’ identification exercise for usual residents of India. Going back on its promise, it was made mandatory. Supreme Court heard the matter and passed the order saying it cannot be made mandatory. The introduction of Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System for central government employees is an act, which is manifestly in contempt of court. 
 
It must be recalled that as per Biometrics Design Standards for UID Applications prepared by UIDAI Committee on Biometrics headed by Dr BK Gairola, Director General, NIC, “From the standpoint of the biometrics industry, the UID system is a civilian application of biometrics. Although the primary focus is the UID system, the Committee believes that the specifications should meet the needs of all civilian applications.” Notably, Ram Sewak Sharma as Director General,  UIDAI was the Member and Convener of the UIDAI Committee on Biometrics. Dr C. Chandramauli, Registrar General of India (RGI), Union Ministry of Home Affairs, responsible for biometric National Population Register (NPR), was also one of the 10 members of this committee. This committee of Government of India was set up on 29 September 2009 under the signature of Ram Sewak Sharma. 
 
The report of the Committee categorically states its scope and unequivocally underlines that the UID/ aadhaar system is a civilian application. Given the fact that Director General, NIC headed this committee comprising of Ram Sewak Sharma that limited the application of UID system to civilian application, the letters of Ram Sewak Sharma in his role as Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology addressed to Radha Krishna Mathur, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Union Ministry of Defence and the letter of Nandita Chaudhry, Deputy Director General, HOG, National Informatics Centre (NIC) seeking compliance with aadhaar based biometric attendance and monitoring is structurally problematic and constitutes serious dereliction of duty on their part.  This merits high level inquiry pending which the order seeking compliance with aadhaar based biometric attendance must be recalled in the interest of national security.     
 
It is a matter of record that the origins of the UID process within the US Department of Defense started under Michael Wynne, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) during 2003- 2005. They signaled the arrival the UID industry. Within NATO, two documents deal so far with unique identification of items. The first one is standardization agreement, which was ratified in 2010. The second one is a "How to guide for NATO members willing to enter in the UID business”.  Its aim is to undertake universal identity surveillance by adopting these technologies. They have an ulterior motive of merging biometric ID database with the internet amidst legal uncertainty about privacy rights in general and electronic privacy rights in particular.
 
But quite unlike Obama and Democratic Party, who stood by his words and abandoned Real ID Act in US, Narendra Modi and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) that promised to scrap biometric aadhaar identification number during the prime ministerial election campaign has gone back on their words in a glaring and historic act of somersault compromising their trustworthiness for good.    
 
As has been the case in US, in UK too, Tony Blair-led Labour Party got The Identity Cards Act 2006 (c 15) passed from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to provide National Identity Cards based on demographic and biometric details like fingerprints and iris scan.
 
This was cited as an example by companies like WIPRO who worked for the Planning Commission to argue for UID/ aadhaar identification system for Indian residents.   
 
The coalition of Conservative and Liberal Democrat party in UK announced that the biometric ID card scheme would be scrapped. The current David Cameron-Nick Clegg government stood by their promise unlike Modi and got The Identity Cards Act repealed by the Identity Documents Act 2010 on 21 January 2011. "This marks the final end of the identity card scheme: dead, buried and crushed," UK Home Office Minister Damian Green said. "What we are destroying today is the last elements of the national identity register, which was always the most objectionable part of the scheme." Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister who was in India to meet Modi recently had participated in the civil disobedience campaigns by refusing to register for the biometric ID card.  
 
The fact is that US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to create a “Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations.”
 
The release of the Cabinet titled ‘Digital India – A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy’ issued by Press Information Bureau (PIB) on 20 August 2014 fits into the scheme of US’ DHS. PIB presents it as a follow up of the key decisions taken on the design of the programme during the meeting of the Prime Minister on Digital India Programme on 7 August 2014. This programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and implemented by the entire government at an overall estimated cost of Rs1 lakh crore in ongoing schemes and Rs13,000 crore for new schemes and activities. The power point presentation on the subject of Digital India issued by the PIB states, “The weaving together makes the Mission transformative in totality”. It claims that “Digital India is a Programme to prepare India for a knowledge future.” It reveals that the Programme pulls together many existing schemes. These schemes will be restructured and re-focused. They will be implemented in a synchronized manner. It underlines that the common branding of programmes is being referred to as Digital India to highlight their transformative impact. 
 
Framing cradle to grave “digital identity” -unique, lifelong, online and authenticable as infrastructure utility for every citizen, it claims to provide “Shareable private space on a public cloud” and “Safe and secure Cyber-space.” Digital India entails “Seamlessly integrated across departments or jurisdictions”, availability of all citizen entitlements, documents/ certificates and portability of all entitlements on the cloud. 
 
As per DeitY’s proposed programme, Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Phones, Public Internet Access Programme,  E-Governance – Reforming government through Technology , eKranti – Electronic delivery of services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes are nine pillars of Digital India. The fourth pillar envisages “Government Business Process Re-engineering using IT to improve transactions” through use of online repositories e.g. school certificates, voter ID cards, etc., integration of services and platforms – UIDAI, Payment Gateway, Mobile Platform, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), an electronic communication system that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means and electronic databases – all databases and information to be electronic.  EDI was developed in 1996 by US National Institute of Standards and Technology.  By adhering to the same standard, two different companies in two different countries can electronically exchange documents. It underlines that it is to be implemented across government because it is “critical for transformation”. 
 
A Monitoring Committee on Digital India comprising of Prime Minister as the Chairman and Finance Minister, Minister of Communications & IT, Minister of Rural Development, Minister of Human Resource Development and Minister of Health as members and Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Expenditure, Planning, DoT and Posts as Special Invitees with Secretary, DeitY as the Convener has been set up.  
 
A Digital India Advisory Group chaired by Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) will supervise DeitY and an Apex Committee chaired by Cabinet Secretary will supervise the Line ministries and state governments along with DeitY.  
 
The words “transformation”, “digital identity”, “public cloud” and “secure cyber-space” used by Prime Minister headed Monitoring Committee on Digital India merit attention.
 
The word “transformation” is one of the latest conceptual weapons unleashed by World Bank through its e-Transform Initiative launched on 23 April 2010 at a World Bank Spring Meeting in collaboration with France, South Korea, Gemalto, IBM, L1, Microsoft, Pfizer and Intel attended by developing country ministers of finance and communications. The core idea is promote e-governance through e-identity to ensure convergence of private sector, public sector and citizens sector. Also, it will ensure 24 X 7 financial surveillance by the global institutions of imperial countries. The international financial and military institutions have initiated a transformational government project to which government seems to have subscribed unwittingly.  
 
The word “digital identity” is simply an echo of Bank’s e-identity, NATO’s unique identity, US Govt’s Real ID and INTERPOL’s proposed electronic identity card (e-ID) system. Notably, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K Noble emphasized the need for a globally verifiable electronic identity card (e-ID) system in April 2011 at the ID WORLD forum in the presence of Tariq Malik of Pakistan's National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), World Bank Integrity Vice-President Leonard McCarthy, European Commission Head of International Affairs, Directorate General Home Affairs, Luigi Soreca, the UAE’s Head of Identity Authority, Ali Al Khouri besides Pakistan's Minister of Interior Rehman Malik, who was later found to be a British citizen by the Pakistan Supreme Court. Wikileaks revealed that Rehman Malik handed over the database of Pakistani citizens collected by NADRA to US agencies
 
“Public cloud” refers to a form of cloud computing in which a company relies on a third-party cloud service provider for services such as servers, data storage and applications, which are delivered to the company through the Internet. A public cloud can free companies from the potentially expensive costs of having to purchase, manage and maintain on-premises hardware and software infrastructure. This means citizens’ biometric data (the way it has happened with electoral data) will be available online for Big Data corporations of all ilk for data mining. In effect, the proposal of the new Government to put citizen’s documents and entitlements on public cloud ignores the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Information Technology on Cyber Crime, Cyber Security and Right to Privacy made in February 2014 revealing how aadhaar number and NPR number compromise national security and citizens’ sovereignty for good. The database of these numbers is being stored on cloud which is beyond India’s jurisdiction. The servility of the previous regime towards agencies like NSA and their infantile reactions recorded in the report of the PSC in the face of evidence that the entire union cabinet was under NSA's surveillance must be remembered as one of the dark chapters of Indian history. In their abject meekness Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) did not hide even an iota of information from the NSA but it has been reluctant to share its correspondence with Nandan Nilekani under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. But the new government does not appear to have factored disclosures by whistleblowers like Wikileaks, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. 
 
As to “secure cyber-space”, one thing which guaranteed in the cyber world is that no online database is ever secure. Will aadhaar database be more secure than those of Pentagon and NSA? 
 
Isn’t Government of India simply imitating the proposals of US, NATO, World Bank, INTERPOL and the initiative of Pakistan without examining its far reaching strategic implications refusing to learn to from China, Australia, UK, France and US who have abandoned national ID projects?
 
In India, states, municipalities, organisations, schools and media organisations and companies are already using biometrics, like facial recognition, digital fingerprinting and iris recognition without realizing that it is a slow methodical filling databases with personal-biometric information for global enrollment process underway.
 
Our personal sensitive data is being mined and owned by entities with ulterior motives. In the era of data science, isn’t our personal data being misused to spy on us and bombard us with motivated advertisements of all ilk? “Dataclysm: Who We Are” (When We Think No One’s Looking) authored by Christian Rudder, a mathematician reveals that our personal sensitive information is being abused. 
 
Our legislatures and even informed citizens have not pondered over the implications of information asymmetry between the citizen, state, government and the business enterprise. Michel Foucault noted long back that the prison begins well before its doors. It begins as soon as you leave your house - and even before.
 
Richard Thomas, as UK’s Information Commissioner prophetically said, "My anxiety is that we don't sleepwalk into a surveillance society." In an act of ultimate betrayal of trust, the Modi-led Government has reneged on its electoral promise on biometric aadhaar and is bulldozing Indians into a global surveillance regime, which is beyond the overall might of Government of India at the behest of agents of the empire. 
 
You may also want to read…
 

 

Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I

 

Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II

 

Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III

 

Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV

 

History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V

 

UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI

 

Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII

 

Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII

 

Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX

 

Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X


 

Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI


 

Aadhaar and UPA govt's obsession for private sector benefits–Part XII

 

CIA-funded MongoDB partners with UIDAI to handle Aadhaar data –Part XIII


 

Are Indians being used as guinea pigs of biometric technology companies? -Part XIV

 

Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? Part XV

 

Aadhaar: The propaganda of transnational vested interests –Part XVI


 

Aadhaar: Pakistan handed over, India giving database on a platter– Part XVII

 

Engineered row in US-India relations, an attention diversion tactics of big brothers?—Part XVIII


 

Aadhaar: UIDAI and the ‘fifth column’ of Napoleon—Part XIX

 

Aadhaar: Turning citizens into subjects through social control technology companies –PartXX


 

Why Kejriwal govt in Delhi should abandon biometric Aadhaar?—Part XXI


 

Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII


 

Why Vasundhara Raje should immediately withdraw circulars making Aadhaar mandatory -Part XXIII


 

How Congress has been proven wrong on biometric Aadhaar and NPR -Part XXIV


 

Aadhaar, NPR, UN resolution and deafening silence of political parties –Part XXV

 

Is Congress converging UID numbers of EVMs and Indian voters? –Part XXVI


 

Is our political class trapped by economic hit men from database empires? -Part XXVII

 

Aadhaar & database risks: Will India evaporate to become nobody in our life time? –Part XXIX


 

How BJP’s Yashwant Sinha is wrong about ‘biometric’ National Population Register –Part XXX


 

Aadhaar: The lies of Nilekani and Congress over biometric profiling –Part XXXI


 

Why the PMO is hiding behind Election Commission on Nilekani’s resignation? -Part XXXII

 

Who allowed merger of voter database with the illegal Aadhaar? Part XXXIII



Has Nilekani followed Pakistan’s NADRA in creating, enforcing Aadhaar? –Part XXXIV

 

 

How biometric IDs can stir 'the Pot' and lead to civil war? -Part XXXV

 

 

Will Nandan Nilekani be held accountable for violating service conduct rules and citizens’ rights? Part XXXVI

 

 

(Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

MARVELLOUSRESEARCH

4 years ago

SARKAR SHRI BEFORE PARLIAMENT ELECTION AND AFTER ELECTION ? BEFORE OPPOSING UPA POLICIES NOW FOLLOWING THAT THERE IS NO OPTIOS FOR SARKAR SHRI.SAUCHALAYA AND SWACHH BHARAT-JAN DHAN BANKING ABHIYAN WILL PROVE GREAT BLLUNDER AND KING OF KAUBHAND IN FUTURE SARKAR SHRI UNBALE TO STOP THAT.

Mahesh S Bhatt

4 years ago

Also Nandan Nilekani lost in Bangalore MP seat to BJP so why is UIDAI being supported.

Nandan Nilekani lost by a margin of close to 2.3 lakh votes defeated by Ananth Kumar who is no where in Modi camp as he supported Advani.

Yippee IT so called expert hunts in Delhi for survival after failed Narayan Murthy's INFY second outing.

Job hunt simply for overqualified failed Public life servant rehab scheme may be.

Ye Modi aur hare huye Jaitley jisne Modi ko Godhra Riots se bachaya uska phal hai.

Yeh Jan Adesh ko di gayi Izzat Hai

Mahesh

Mahesh S Bhatt

4 years ago

In Mera Bharat Mahaan we have Online IT Tax return but no Online FIR logging capabilities.

We have Modi supporting Mukesh in Gas peice hike to $ 6 but not checking global rates where we would be No.2 after Brazil.

Our telecom networks are porous/our ministry's are bugged/our mails are on gmail/hotmail easy target for survelliance.

None of the Minister has been proven corrupt & Lokpal is diluted with few thousands ministers handsomely corrupt.

But beauty is Government wants common man clean.

Good news is Amma ( Jayalalita) has rejected UIDAI citing mass scale social unrest if implemented & drastic reduction in Center's assistance in key fundings for social upliftment.

Modi's MLA in Gujrat Govind Patel was proxy broker in corrupt land deal in Rajkot that's personal experience.

We have failed Loksabha MP given Finance ( in lieu of experienced Yashwant Sinha)& Defence portfolio who is Tech/Financially non qualified.

Undergrad Modi's aide Smriti Irani holding key HRD ministry.

Bihar by poll loss is beginning of Modi's failure to gauge the pulse of poor state of economy & inflation.

So better he works out there first.Amen Mahesh

P A

4 years ago

Biometric card is a national waste of resources and intrusion into one's privacy, and tool to discriminate people according to whatever parameters the rulers decide

Victor Raj

4 years ago

This PM of UPA III is getting directions from SG or MMS or US?

irfan ahmed

4 years ago

BJP Govt is in the process of handing over database of Indians biometric ID (Aadhaar) to US and its allied corporations and countries. It is following the path of govts of Hosni Mubarak and Zardari. People will not forgive BJP's betrayal.

M S Prabhakar

4 years ago

Nandan Nilekani's Aadhaar (UIDAI) is an unviable idea. When the scheme goes beyond data collection and enters the phase of implementation of real benefits, its true identity as the most NON-UNIQUE IDENTIFIER will emerge. See two excellently researched articles (not referenced in the section: "You may also want to read...")

1. India's ID card scheme – drowning in a sea of false positives, by David Moss (March 2011) [see http://dematerialisedid.com/BCSL/Drown.h... ]
2. How UIDAI goofed up pilot test results to press forward with UID scheme, by MONEYLIFE DIGITAL TEAM | 18/03/2011 [see http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-uida... ]

REPLY

Ram Das

In Reply to M S Prabhakar 4 years ago

In that case, you should also read response to Mr. Moss by Murali Chirala. Mr. Moss needs to learn basic statistics before multiplying random set of numbers. His analysis is simply mathematically wrong. Ask any qualified statistician.

M S Prabhakar

In Reply to Ram Das 4 years ago

Of course, I've read Murali Chirala's reply and the detailed technical rebuttals by David Moss and Mark Lerner. I am a well-qualified consultant on advanced technologies and in many situations, qualified statisticians and mathematicians also consult me. Next time when I get an opportunity, I'll take your advice and ask them, too. Not that I can never be wrong, but I generally do my homework well before I comment. In this case, I believe the conclusions on false positives by David Moss is correct and his fears are well justified.

This is not a forum for mathematical discussions, hence I'll desist from a giving technical justification. However, I do realize that our ex-PM fell for a suggestion by Nandan Nilekani in his book "Imagining India". I do not think whether Nandan had done enough research before he made this suggestion in his book. I strongly believe other reputations of Nandan's background influenced the creation of UIDAI. It was a self-imposed trap out of which Nandan could not extricate himself out. I would have expected Nandan Nilekani to give a detailed technical rebuttal to David Moss. He hasn't, and being a smart person (in hindsight, not in matters concerning technology), I guess he never would.

Incidentally, I took a keen interest on the only implementation of Aadhaar (LPG benefits registration) and found no biometrics being recorded before bank accounts were linked to LPG registration numbers. How would the much-touted "direct benefits transfer" be ensured that they go to the right persons, if the LPG linkage has by-passed all biometric authentications?

Please do not live in an imaginary universe where people with inflated reputations (like Manmohan Singh and Nandan Nilekani) can play havoc with our society just to preserve their egos.

Sandeep

In Reply to M S Prabhakar 4 years ago

Sir, with all due respect to your Math and Stats credentials, It is hard to digest your comment of "true identity as the most NON-UNIQUE IDENTIFIER will emerge" what is the possibility that a same Aadhaar no. may point to multiple person?

irfan ahmed

In Reply to Ram Das 4 years ago

The very basis of uniqueness of Biometric aadhaar is flawed. US studies have found biometrics to be inherently fallible. is there a part of human body which does not change with time.

Ravindra

4 years ago

NaMo is absolutely right in going back to AADHAR.
1 Every person in a developed country has an ID apart from the Passport since everybody need not and does not need a Passport. This ID is required at many places e.g. while boarding a Domestic flight, at restricted entry places etc etc. What do we have? Driving License for those who have it? Or Ration Card which does not carry even a Photograph of the person. Any ID First of all must carry the Photograph since it is the Primary Identity of a person. Fingerprints, Optical Identity (by looking in the camera) come later. Also the Magnetic Strip on the ID which contains Volumes of Information about the Person is an Important Part where scanning facilities are provided. So there no question about every Indian having an ID.
2 Now the question comes to AADHAR. In a typical INDIAN way for AADHAR we invented the wheel again. Like Chinese we should have just copied the American and German ID even askking for their Assistance and only added a few things to suit our conditions.
3 Now the question is who should carry out the work further. It should be again Nilekani who knows the ins and outs of the existing system and also the best person to know what went wrong, where. He may be assisted in the task by two other stalwarts, Vijay Bhatkar and Sam Pitroda. These people belong to INDIA and not Congress and the Government should have no hesitation in offering them the task and they hopefully will accept the Challenge.
4 This time we should not invent the wheel again and ask for the assistance of the American and the German Governments. It is not an insult to ask for assistance to make something better.

REPLY

Anand Doctor

In Reply to Ravindra 4 years ago

Mr. Ravindra,

1.While a photo Id is certainly important, it need not be bio-metric. You quote the example of developed countries but missed out on the fact that the same developed countries refused bio-metric ids.
2.As to who should handle it, the people who brought it so far have clearly defrauded the Indian public, acted without legal authorisation from the parliament and created huge security lapses and privacy violations. As for Mr. Nilekani, did he not fight elections on a Congress ticket? How can any prudent person trust these people?

Ram Das

In Reply to Anand Doctor 4 years ago

Let us get facts right
1. In the US, most states take fingerprints before issuing driver's license.
2. Every naturalized citizen of the US needs to provide fingerprints.
3. Most western countries require biometrics for issuing visa.
Two most populous countries beside india, China and Indonesia have biometric national ID cards.
Will facts change The author's views? No because the author's conclusions do not require facts, only blind faith in his own beliefs.

irfan ahmed

In Reply to Ram Das 4 years ago

Get your facts right about REAL ID Act of USA and abandonment of national register of citizens by China. Under Indian law collection of biometric data is illegal. It can be collected only under Identification of Prisoner Act with the permission of Magistrate. Even this has to be destroyed on acquittal. Do read the Act.

sohan modak

4 years ago

Narendra Modi is making a huge mistake by playing into the hands of UPA's and Nilekani's Aadhar that sold out every Indian citizen's privacy to US agencies/corporations with Nilkani and his supporters pocketing greenbacks.

REPLY

Ravindra

In Reply to sohan modak 4 years ago

Very childish and prejuduced.

santosh

4 years ago

Happy to join. Shall be sending you the money. Regards,

Will Nandan Nilekani be held accountable for violating service conduct rules and citizens’ rights? Part 35
Nandan Nilekani, who was Chairman of UIDAI till 13 March 2014 had joined Indian National Congress on 9 March 2014 thus violating the service rules for government servants

Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins in the eyes of most people is for a man to go about unlabelled.
 
-TH Huxeley, a British biologist and a prominent defender  of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
 
Supreme Court, in its order dated 28 April 2014, directed that the case filed by Justice KS Puttaswamy (retd), Major General Sudhir Vombatkere (retd) and others, against Planning Commission’s Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which has been given the mandate for labeling Indian residents with a 12-digit biometric identifier number be listed for hearing “in the month of July 2014.” It remains to be seen whether the new government will  bury the biometric identification schemes even before court hears the matter in July.  
 
Meanwhile, a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Nandan Nilekani, who was Chairman of UIDAI till 13 March 2014 had joined Indian National Congress on 9 March 2014. He sent his resignation on 13 March 2014 to the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, which was accepted on 18 March 2014 by the “competent authority” with retrospective effect from 13 March 2014. 
 
Now that Narendra Modi has taken the oath of office secrecy as the new Prime Minister of India, it must be recalled that Nilekani held the official position in the rank of a cabinet minister but he did not take any oath of office or secrecy.   
 
It is noteworthy that Nilekani’s candidature was announced by the Congress party on 8 March 2014, a day prior to his officially joining the party at the Congress office. After signing the Congress membership form in the presence of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwar at the party office in Bangalore on 9th March, Nilekani said “people want change and I am for the change. The Congress has existed for 130 years and let me assure you that the Congress will be there for the next 100 years. For the next 40 days, my focus will be on Bangalore South and I am here to win.” 
 
On his blog Nilekni states, “I am now officially announced as the Lok Sabha candidate for Bengaluru South from the Congress party” on 9th March itself. Admittedly, Nilekani resigned as the Chairman of UIDAI, three days after joining Congress. 
 
Given the fact that Nilekani was a government servant when he joined a political party, it is evident that he violated Rule 5 that deals with “Taking part in politics and elections” of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and Rule 5 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968. 
 
This Rule provides: "No Government servant shall be a member of nor be otherwise associated with any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics nor shall he take part in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or activity.” 
 
It also provides that “No Government servant shall canvass or otherwise interfere with, or use his influence in connection with or take part in an election to any legislature or local authority.”
 
According to the Rules, "government servant" means any person appointed by the government to any civil service or post in connection with the affairs of the Union and includes a civilian in a Defence Service. A government servant, whose services are placed at the disposal of a company, corporation, organisation or a local authority by the government shall, for the purpose of these rules, be deemed to be a government servant serving under the government notwithstanding that his salary is drawn from sources other than the Consolidated Fund of India.
 
In the matter of violation of this Rule as has been the case in the matter of Nilekani joining a political party, it is for his/ her immediate superior to “forward them through the normal channels to the authority competent to remove or dismiss him from service.
Except where such authority requires guidance or clarification from a higher authority, it shall consider the report and pass appropriate orders. If it is proposed to impose any penalty the procedure prescribed in the CCS (CCA) Rules, should be followed.” [MHA OM No. 25/40/55-Ests. (A), dated 22.02.1956]
 
Now the question is how will Nilekani be penalized for having violated these Rules? Since these violations happened after the commencement of election schedule on 5th March, the violation of the Rules merit the attention of the Election Commission of India as well.
 
He filed his nomination for the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency on 21 March 2014. On 17 May 2014 Nilekani wrote, “I want to thank the Congress Party, for their faith in me as a candidate. I joined the Congress on 9th March, and I was entirely new to electoral politics. Yet the Congress leaders were incredibly supportive, and the leaders were united in their efforts for this campaign” his blog
 
In his affidavit of Nilekani has made asset declaration but there is no mention of his bungalow in Conoor, Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu, which he admittedly owns and the same has been reported. This property which Nilekani bought once belonged to Sarah Stoney, mother of Alan Turing, British computer scientist. This asset was in the news ‘A House for Mr Nilekani’ as recently as in January 2014. It was reported by The Times of India. There are many reports about this house. In short, the property details, which is missing from Nilekani’s declaration is as under: Location: Walkers Road, Coonoor, Bunglow Name: The Gables.
 
Post elections, there is a need to examine the veracity of Nilekani’s affidavit dated 26 March 2014 and the violations of rules by Nilekani, the chairman of UIDAI, who became the a member of a political party and a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections.
 
Besides these violations, it is noteworthy that Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had reportedly petitioned electoral authorities against Nilekani because of his name and picture figuring with advertisements of Aadhaar, when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.
 
With regard to the RTI application seeking copies of all file documents and correspondence relating to Nilekani and right up to the resignation, S Mukherjee, director for administration at Planning Commission and assisstant CPIO replied, “Kindly indicate, specifically the documents and correspondence that are required by you.” On the face of it, the RTI application filed by Qaneez Sukhrani, a urban affairs researcher is quite specific.  
 
In the meantime, the notification dated 30 July 2009 signed by TKA Nair, the then principal secretary to the Prime Minister, setting up the Prime Minister’s Council of UIDAI comprising of 12 members including A Raja, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology reveals that the Council has the mandate to “give advice to UIDAI on the programme, methodology and implementation to ensure coordination between Ministries/ Departments, Stakeholders and Partners” under Dr Manmohan Singh as its Chairman. 
 
This Council, which was “serviced by Director General of UIDAI”, comprised of Finance Minister, Home Minister, Law Minister and the Foreign Minister among others to “identify specific milestones for early completion of the project” was clearly the guiding force. Therefore, it is evident that the charade of turf war between Finance Ministry’s UIDAI for biometric Aadhaar and Home Ministry’s biometric National Population Register (NPR) to claim bipartisan support from the latter had an ulterior motive to entrap BJP for good
 
One of the first few tasks the new BJP-led government is going to be confronted with is to decide whether or not they subscribe to Congress’s ideology of labelling, branding, profiling and zeroing in on the present and future generations of every Indian citizen. 
 
In a book ‘The Problem of Party Government’ published in 1974, its author Prof Richard Rose writes, “Office-holding is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of governing.” He added, “Where life of party politics does not affect government policy, the accession of a new party to office is little more significant than the accession of a new monarch; the party reigns but does not rule.” It is hoped that with change in regime, pre-existing orders too will change.   
 
BJP has defeated Nilekani and his party, which he joined as the chief of Aadhaar implementing authority. Nilekani lost by 2.29 lakh votes but he came second with 4.05 lakh votes. It is noteworthy that he polled these many votes due to misuse of official machinery and the unprecedented support of almost all the commercial czars, who unsuccessfully attempted to manufacture consent in his favour. His Aadhaar project was supported by some key leaders of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too.
 
Will the new regime be able to defeat Congress’s regressive ideology rooted in biometric determinism at the behest of foreign military and intelligence companies by abandoning both Aadhaar and NPR
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Babubhai Vaghela

4 years ago

(1) Fit case for criminal case on criminal conspiracy on UID by Nandan Nilekani, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, P Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh as also Ajit Seth Cabinet Secretary to Govt of India. (2) Infosys should confiscate shares of Nandan Nilekani - Founder Director of Infosys.

nilesh prabhu

4 years ago

nandan nilekani's is a minor offence.

there is one Mylarappa who resigned from government of karnataka contested the assembly post bjp ticket, lost and went to court asking for reinstatement, won in court,later appointed as VC

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)