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Prime Minister launches BHIM-Aadhaar platform

Prime Minister has launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform from Nagpur. BHIM-Aadhaar platform is the merchant interface of the BHIM App that has been launched for making digital payments using the Aadhaar platform. BHIM App was launched in December 2016 to provide a one-stop solution for all digital payments. The App created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads within four months since its launch.

the newly launched BHIM-Aadhaar platform will help people to pay digitally using their biometric data like thumb imprint on a merchant’s biometric enabled device like a smart phone or a biometric reader. The App needs to be installed only by merchants and they need to connect their smartphones to the biometric scan machine to accept the payments from customers. The customers who want to pay using this app needs to link Aadhaar number and biometic fingerprint to complete a transaction.

Significance

  • The most significant aspect of this BHIM-Aadhaar platform is that it enables all those citizens without access to smart phones, internet, debit/credit cards to make digital transactions.
  • It eliminates the need to pay the fee currently being charged by the private card companies such as ‘MasterCard’ and ‘Visa’.
  • For merchants, it would eliminate the need for long waiting period and hassle of procuring a new POS (Point of Sale) machine.
  • For customers, it eliminates the hassle of remembering passwords, account numbers, or setting up of virtual payment addresses and using USSD codes to transfer money.

Offer schemes

Prime Minister has also launched two new offers rewarding BHIM users. Both the schemes will be administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and implemented by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

BHIM – Referral Bonus Scheme

Under this scheme, both the existing BHIM users and the new users will get a cash bonus credited directly to their account. This scheme incentivizes the existing BHIM users to refer new users to BHIM. Upon completion of minimum 3 unique successful transactions amounting to Rs 50 to any 3 unique users, the bonus will be paid to both the referrer and the referee.

BHIM – Cash back Scheme

Under this scheme, merchants will get cash back on every transaction using BHIM. The merchants can get cashback of up to Rs 300 per month, with each merchant eligible to win up to Rs 1800 in 6 months.

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Union Government bans sharing of Aadhaar details

The Union Government has banned agencies in possession of Aadhaar number to publish or post the information publicly to ensure that the details are not misused.

In this regard, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued notification under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.

Key Facts

  • These agencies will have to ensure security and confidentiality of the 12-digit resident identification number under the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
  • The biometric information collected by UIDAI cannot be shared with anyone for any reason whatsoever.
  • These agencies will also have been mandated to inform Aadhaar holders the purpose for which their details will be used.
  • Any violation of the Aadhaar Act will constitute an offence and is punishable under the Act.
  • Under the Act, penalty has been prescribed for offences such as impersonation of the Aadhaar holder at time of enrolment, tampering with data and disclosing identity information.

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Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as CEO of UIDAI

Senior IAS officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

His appointment was confirmed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ajay Bhushan Pandey is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Maharashtra cadre. Prior to this appointment he was serving as Director General of the UIDAI since August 2015.

About Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

  • UIDAI is nodal statutory organization behind the Aadhaar, a 12 digit unique number.
  • It was founded under the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime in 2009. Former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani was its chairman from 2009 to 2014.
  • It was granted statutory status by Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
  • Aadhaar is linked with an individual’s demographic and biometric information, which serves as an authentication tool throughout India.
  • Using Aadhaar, Union and State Governments are trying to link many of their major development and subsidy schemes to reduce leakages and duplication.

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