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Government saved $9 billion through Aadhaar, kept fraud under check, says Nandan Nilekani

The architect of the UIDAI programme said cashless transactions had brought down the costs for the government.

The Centre had managed to save $9 billion (more than Rs 58,000 crore) by eliminating fake and duplicate beneficiaries of government schemes through the Aadhaar programme, former Unique Identification Authority of India chief Nandan Nilekani said. Aadhaar now has a more than a billion people registered on its system, he added.

The architect of Aadhaar was speaking on digital economy at a World Bank panel discussion. “We have about half a billion people who have connected their ID directly to a bank account,” Nilekani said. “I am a big believer that if you build the right digital infrastructure then you can leapfrog.”

The non-executive chairman of IT giant Infosys said Aadhaar, which was launched by the previous United Progressive Alliance government, was supported by the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Carrying out cashless transactions through mobile phones has brought down the costs for the government, he added. “Once you bring cost down, automatically inclusion happens.”

Nilekani claimed that although the Supreme Court had declared privacy as a fundamental right, it has also allowed the government to make changes in order to achieve a state objective. “It says for national security, for prevention of crime, protection of revenue, or for social welfare,” Nilekani said. The question of whether Aadhaar violates this fundamental right is yet to be taken up by a five-judge Constitution bench.

On August 24, the Supreme Court had ruled that the right to privacy was a fundamental right protected under Article 21 of the Constitution, which upholds the right to life. However, fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution are subject to reasonable restrictions. In this case, Article 21 guarantees that no individual can be deprived of his life or personal liberty, except according to procedure established by law.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.