MeitY Current Affairs

Northeast India’s largest IT hub opens in Tripura

Northeast’s sixth and largest hub for information technology has been inaugurated in Agartala. The hub has been set up at a cost of Rs 50 crore to boost employment and e-governance besides export of software technology. The hub is expected to create more employment opportunities for the youths and extend the e-governance to cover all the people of the region. This would facilitate famous IT companies to set off their business and services and boost export of software technology. This will be the largest hub in the region.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), under the union Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, helped the state government in setting up of the hub by sharing the technological knowledge. In the new IT hub, ready-to-use incubation space will be made available that can be used by the start-up companies, aspiring entrepreneurs, Indian and multi-national companies as per their needs and requirements.

Last year, Tripura got an award for its performance in IT and e-governance from the central government. The state has already extended many e-governance based facilities and services up to the level of gram panchayats. The e-district scheme in the state helps people in getting various certificates and documents from their concerned panchayats or blocks. It is estimated that the state’s 80 percent of the state’s 37 lakh population have begun to use mobile phones leading to an IT boom.

Significance

Tripura has a vast pool of skilled English speaking IT manpower. Thousands of these professionals are currently working in cities like Bengaluru or Hyderabad. Opening up of IT hub offers a new opportunity for not only Tripura but the whole of northeast India. With India’s recent agreement with Bangladesh over the purchase of surplus bandwidth and its close proximity to Bangladesh, Tripura can act as a “backyard” of the fledgling IT industry of Bangladesh. It can make use of Bangladesh’s plans to double its IT exports by 2017.

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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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