Aadhaar: India’s Ambitious Unique Identification Mission

Aadhaar is India’s ambitious mission to provide 12-digit unique personal identification numbers (PIN) to all its citizens. But with a population of more than 1.2 billion people, this has become the world’s largest single IT project. Now the question is will the project succeed?

IT projects planned on a huge scale often run into complexities and render unsuccessful. The Indian Government’s attempt to provide unique PIN to all citizens faces a similar danger. Aadhaar means foundation. The government has been successful in issuing PIN to about 370 million citizens till July, 2013. It is slated to provide 600 million more PINs by 2014. But this number represents just a small section of the whole population.

The project is being handled by the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI). The organization has been collecting biometric information from the population of the country. The unique PINs will provide the poor and rural population with an official proof of their citizenship and their existence in the country, which many of them lack today. Aadhaar is slated to offer several advantages. The unique PIN will be an easy way to establish identity. This will allow users to avail public and private services that include bank accounts, government food and fuel subsidies, and mobile phone connections.

The PIN will provide identification that is not based on any caste, creed or religion. The PIN is designed to allow the government the opportunity to provide financial services to the poor, uneducated, rural population. As banks require proof of identity, this PIN can be an ideal solution.

Aadhaar will help the citizens to take advantage of Aadhaar-enabled micropayment system. This PIN, valid for a lifetime, will be instrumental in eliminating fake or duplicate identities in private and government records.

But the project also comes with its share of concerns and doubts. The government is far from completing the process of issuing cards to all the citizens. There is no plan to deal with the issues that will rise if an identity theft occurs. Banks are in confusion regarding how this scheme’s payment method will merge with the present systems.

Despite the challenges, the UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani is determined to complete the project. The only problem is that even he is not sure how long it will take for the project to complete.

The New iPhone 5S is to Offer the Users TouchID Fingerprint Sensor

The new iPhone 5S is to offer its users TouchID Fingerprint Sensor. The function can be used only to unlock the phone and authenticate the App store buying.  However, in future Apple may make the entire touch screen fingerprint sensor. We need to wait and see how Apple is going to take the new fingerprint sensor sensor to the next level.

The smartphone brand also wants to get a patent for the technology that enables the use the home button as a trackpad (like in a BlackBerry Curve phone). The home button can be also used as a fingerprint scanner.  This technology will enable users to go to menus and apps just by using the home button. Using the home button tracks which can be sued as finger print sensor  it looks like Apple is planning to offer finger print sensing  to applications that needs more security such as banking, email etc.

Microsoft Claims Internet Explorer 11 works for Windows 7

There are plenty of jokes about people who still use Internet Explorer to browse. Jokes apart, Microsoft claimed that   Internet Explorer 11 is all set to work on Windows 7 PCs.  The new version is already been a part of the Windows 8 which Microsoft released last year.

IE 8 is available online and users can download and use it. According to the company IE 11 is faster than IE 10 and is designed to offer better functionality and performance. The new version also allows 3D rendering. Despite the add on feature, we need to wait and see how many of the browsing population will be ready to embrace IE 11.

HDFC Bank Hikes Base Rate-EMIs Set to Rise

Followed by the Reserve Bank of India’s repo rateor  main lending rate hike, HDFC bank has increased its base rate -0.20 percent to 10 percent. The revised rate is in force from 2nd of this month and other banks will likely to hike base rates.

The hike in the base rate will result in in the rise of EMI (equated monthly installments). This could hit be a burden on the already struggling households with price hikes and infalation.

Destination Mars

To touch the land in Mars PSLV-C25 took off from Sriharikota yesterday.  “I am happy to announce that the Mars orbiter mission first phase is a success,” said Indian Space Research Organization chairman K Radhakrishnan.

Critics are of the opinion that the mission is not involved any new technology and the 460 crores spend for the mission could have been spend on GSLV which will help ISRO enhance its commercial worth. ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan said that all the criticisms are baseless and it will help ISRO enhance its brand value and credibility. He also pointed out that Chandrayan -1 , which faced criticism , was the first and only mission which found moisture in Moon’s polar region.

Diwali Trade- Gold Sparkles while Silver Loses its Shine

Gold prices remained steady in the especial trade.  The Gold price has finally become steady after displaying a 6 days continuous losing streak.  Unlike gold, silver could not really sparkle during the Muhurtha trade.
Sources report that a bullion trader said,  “Jewellery stockists and retail investors made token purchases of gold to mark the beginning of the new Hindu Samvat year 2070”
Lack of support from buyers and demand caused the fall in silver price. Here is closing gold price:
  • Standard gold- edged up by Rs 30 to finish at Rs 30,400 per 10 grams
  • Pure gold a end at Rs 30,550 per 10 grams from Rs 30,520

Govt Cuts Import Tariff on Gold, Hikes Silver

In line with global rates of gold and silver, the government yesterday cut down the import tariff value of gold to USD 440 per ten gram and hiked silver value to USD 738 per kg.  The import tariff value is base value at which custom duty is decided to avoid the under invoicing of these precious metals. Typically the value is raised fortnightly and the sudden move is to  cop with the volatility of the gold prices.

In addition to gold, the import value of imported brass scrap has also been cut down. Imported vegetable oils like RBD palm oil and crude soybean oil are also undergone a tariff value change.  According to the fluctuation in the global market , the tariff values of Gold and silver can be again changed.

Temporary Solution for Janayugom’s Layoff Issue

Janayugom, the Communist party’s official newspaper has put an end to the layoff issues. The newspaper is owned by CPI, a party that always stood firmly for the needs of laborers.  The trade union wing of CPI, AITUC has many times took stern stands against managements that did not give a heed to the right of their employees. A newspaper that is owned by a party with such a legacy posing illegal threat to its employees looks like an irony.

Since its inception the newspaper has been taking employees on a contract basis and recently when complaints arouse,  Janayugom made a few employees permanent. It is said that the newspaper is forcing its employees to enter in contracts that are not in line with the labor law of the country. However, according to the recent reports, dude to the intervention of Newspaper Employees Union, Janayugom withdrew its layoff threats and promised to solve the issue by the end of  November.

To study the problem of employees a committee is also formed which include K.P Rajendran, Adv. D.B Binu and P Raju. The Newspaper Employees Union welcomed the decision and the employees are of the opinion that its is a temporary solution and they are looking forward to a permanent one.