Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

links - UID and CWG

i consider both the Unique Identification (UID) project and the Commonwealth Games (CWG) as total waste of resources.

there is an Stop UID campaign which you could read as a justification. i dont need anything more than the budget - Rs 45000 crores - to scream blue murder.

and inspite of the super-duper opening ceremony (which had tons of people drooling), i agree with greatbong when he nails down the CWG costs as just unacceptable.
i just will buy the argument of national pride.

i would even go out on a limb here and call for scrapping of the olympic games. it is now well past its expiry date.


Anonymous said...

Some patience and also humility may be helpful to understand what the project entails now that UID has been launched.

Any such initiative is bound to have counter perspectives but respect for people who have initiated the idea (after knowing their credentials) is a basic first principle.

Or else draft a growth plan for the country. CSM instead of MSA for a change. What say?

csm said...

anon - credentials really do not appeal to me.
i will respect nandan as a person and co-resident. but being as the ex-CEO of infosys does not arouse my respect any more.

i think UID is valuable at a stage when we can afford 45K crores. not now.

i would put it on the same level as delhi getting water from HP when they can spend 1/100th of the cost in plugging their distribution leaks.

if you would consider coming out of the anon cloak, we could continue this discussion.

Mayank said...

Agree with the idea of the importance of plugging the gaps. UID is intended to plug the gap in delivery of public services. Its not a service per se.

When you say 45000 cr is high, are you saying the budget of plugging the gap is high. Do you have the breakup to say there is an alternative possible?

Or do you have an alternate low cost means to do that can be implemented at a level as complex as the nation and not a micro level initiative.

Secondly, the investment is being made and the impact is yet to be seen. Won't it be more useful to have an opinion after the results start emerging. [Patience]

May be looking at the minds behind this project, it may work. Nandan, PM, RBI Governor, Planning Commission.[Humility]

Prefer the debate on facts in support or against UID once they start emerging.

csm said...

dear mayank,
1. i say 45k crores is too astronomical. period.

i believe that the gram swaraj model of gandhi should be the way forward for india.
the key to this is 'decentralisation' and UID is absolutely in the opposite direction.

2. i feel that it is quite impossible that UID will gap-plug. technology cannot and will not correct our behaviour. so i prefer to be impatient and not watch all the money go down the drain.

3. you must be quite aware of my reservations towards the abilities of our PM and the planning commission via earlier posts.
so what you are telling me is not "humility" but "suspend belief".

4. when i am doubtful (as above), it will be too late to wait for the facts.

Anonymous said...

Patience, Humility and Patriotism are the need of the hour, so that people without identity can get their UID and queue up for benefits on their way to collective rapture. Independent-minded elites with fantasies of gram swaraj and decentralization have no place in this grand scheme.

Mayank said...

Will trust the project to explain its own rationale over a period of time.

The more i understand your angst, the more I realize that your anger is not with UID. It is with the modern economic and political context.

Very difficult to reverse it CSM. The country has taken an altogether different course post independence and majorly post liberalization from what you espouse through your posts.

Either we see how best to make this new course inclusive or feel angry at all these initiatives by GOI.

I really see no force other than a natural or political calamity of himalayan order to reverse the present forces as they stand.

csm said...

mayank - i too hope that this provides the much vaunted benefits.

i do not agree with your estimates on anger and angst.
this is a question of taking a stance on how your belief system is guiding you.

am sure that you oppose something done by somebody.
hence is your opposition = anger/angst?
your interpretation on this (you had made this point before too) does not convince me.
there is no denying that there is anger in each of us. the process of turning this into positive forces is what gets us to places like pR. this is how i am trying to reverse it.

i will also differ with you on the reversal. it can happen only through a collective of individual action.
that is Kalki :-)

the difference in PoVs is marginal. the deal is respect for each other.

Nandakumar V said...

@Mayank & Anon,

CSM's disapproval of UID is based on GOI's record since 1947.If we accept for the sake of arguement that we have to wait and watch (either because the gestation period is too long or because it is too complex and that it is big country- incidentally ,we did not get to know that it is a big country day before yesterday and what have we done about the magnitude and the complexity?-). True,the anger is not ( and can't be )against UID as an idea ,per se. But every idea, every initiative has to be seen in the context and this is where alternate ( or opponent) views are justified.In this country, politics can't be separated from any, more money was perhaps spent on laying the road to and beautifying the tribal village, in additionto the cost of 'the show'. Now you know what the 'inclusiveness' includes.The cost of the show perhaps would have got UID for three more villages, if not more!

csm said...

praful bidwai spares no words in his scathing attack on UID in this rediff article -

he points on the irrationality if UID from the security angle while mine is from the cost angle, but both are vey serious concerns which have not yet been addressed.

@nanda - thanks. welcome points.

Mayank said...

For any such project, it is important to do black hat thinking and I look at Bidwai's article in that light. He has raised concerns like -technology can fail. Not like 'technology cannot and will not correct our behaviour'.

Talking about cost without having the other side of the equation i.e benefit is pointless. So will wait for the action beyond the debate.