November 21, 2018

Workshops on cashless payment sans Internet held

Delhi/India/Politics by

A group of men in their 70s try to read instructions on their phones as a teenaged volunteer guides them on how to use a phone for money transactions without the Internet during a workshop. “It’s much easier than I thought,” says Kumar Singhvi, during the workshop organised by the Ministry of Textiles.

The Ministry has been organising these workshops in several parts of Delhi, including Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, to teach people about digital transactions without the use of Internet. Friday was the second day of these workshops, which will be held for some more days.

Mobile Money Identifier (MMID), through which a person’s bank account is linked to their cellphone number, allows people to use the service on their phones without Internet, and the facility is fast becoming popular in the Capital.

“Net connectivity is a major problem in most parts in India. We are organising workshops in various parts of Delhi to teach people how the simplest of mobile phones can be used for money transactions without the use of Internet,” says Shankar Sahai, who is guiding people near the Palika Market.

“To transact through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), you need to call *99#. You would then be required to authenticate the call using details such as the first four letters of your bank’s India Financial System Code (IFSC). You will then receive menu options on your screen that would allow you to check your bank statement or transfer funds,” says Vijay Kumar, another volunteer.

“I don’t own a smartphone. In fact, most people in my age group cannot operate a smart phone. Now with this mode of payment, I can avoid the long queues to withdraw my pension,” says Krishan Das, 72, who participated in one such workshop.

Other platforms of transaction, such as prepaid wallets, debit and credit cards, Unified Payment Interface (UPI), and Aadhar-enabled payment system were also discussed during the workshops, but emphasis was on transactions without the use of Internet.

One man’s vision is changing the landscape of Sainik Farm

Delhi/India/Politics by

Since its establishment in 1964 as a cooperative society to house defence staff and their families, the posh Sainik Farm in the Capital has long been in news for its unauthorised structures. A man, however, is changing the talking point about the colony by gradually turning it into an eco-friendly, self-sustaining society.

Ramesh Dugar, 53, convener of the Residents Welfare Society, who moved to the area in 1994, has since been collecting funds from residents to save the thick green cover in the locality, which is flanked by protected forests, including the Tilpath Valley. The businessman who studied chartered accountancy even set up the Area Development Committee to undertake these green initiatives.

As part of Dugar’s initiative, residents of a colony with over 2,200 houses have had 74 km of road paved with grass-pavers. These bricks allow seepage of rainwater, preventing the soil from getting dry. They are also in the process of installing solar panels on every rooftop and are all set to develop their own eco-sewage system.

As per the plan, sewage from the colony will be diverted into a drain in the vicinity. This water will then be treated with microbes, and the treated water will be used to support the area’s green cover. The RWA has tied up with the government for the project.

“We are a bunch of nature lovers living here. The sewage plan aims to scientifically deal with the human excreta and treat the waste water for reuse. We will connect all houses in the area to a main sewage line and install a decentralised water treatment system. The waste water will be biologically treated using the Eco Bio Block technology. The technology is being successfully used in other parts of the globe, including Japan and Canada,” Dugar said.

The technology is effective in cleaning polluted water, including sewage and industrial waste. The treated water is safe enough to be let out in any major water system for horticultural or agricultural use. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Ministry of Urban Development have already approved the proposal but Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s nod is pending.

“All the initiatives being taken have been funded by residents. Initially, they were reluctant to contribute, but when they saw things actually taking shape and benefiting them, they came forward for all the projects,” Dugar said.

The RWA has also set up 67 rain water harvesting pits in the area, aimed at saving every drop of water and recharge the ground water table.

“The water table in the area has risen considerably over the last two years. We save and utilise rain water to recharge ground water. The government had set up 15 borewells in the area, all of which draw enough water now,” he said.

Two days after teen shot dead in Merc, accused held

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Two days after a 17-year-old girl was shot dead inside a Mercedes car in Najafgarh, prime accused in the case, Shubham Gupta, was arrested on Friday. Sources said Gupta was picked up from south Delhi from a relative’s house, where he was hiding with his family members.

The police also recovered Gupta’s mobile phone, which revealed the sequence of events on the day of the incident. After a brief perusal of the phone, the police recovered photos and videos that Gupta took of himself and Simran, the deceased, the entire day. According to the posts on social networking site Snapchat, Gupta and Simran took several selfies and were seen in a boisterous mood, listening to popular hindi track ‘Kala Chashma’.

The pictures were taken inside the car and at a bar in a Rajouri Garden mall. In one of the pictures, Gupta is seen brandishing a revolver in a holster, with the caption ‘Che ke che hain bhitar'(All six bullets are inside). Police said they may contemplate action against Yogesh who was driving the car, since the gun belonged to him and was carelessly kept near the hand-break instead of a safe location.

DCP south-west Surendra Kumar confirmed Shubham’s arrest. The police claimed that Gupta has confessed to the crime. He further said he was upset with Simran since she could not explain why Nitin, another friend, had been calling her the entire day. Gupta told police that when Simran’s mother called, she forced him to talk to her as Nitin, which made him suspicious about her intent.

Shubham also told police that he first came to know Simran around three months ago. “He said he was unaware of Simran’s relationship with Nitin. He claimed that she lied to him whenever she recieved a call from Nitin,” sources said.

10 Metro stations to go cashless from January 1

Delhi/India/Politics by

As many as 10 Delhi Metro stations will go completely cashless, starting January 1. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials said the decision is a part of the Union government’s effort towards a cashless economy.

Sources said the policy might be extended to other stations soon. “That decision will be taken based on the response from these 10 stations. We expect some hassles during the initial days and are prepared to counter them,” said DMRC Chief Mangu Singh.

Officials said the soon-to-be cashless stations are Rohini (E) and (W), M G Road, Mayur Vihar Phase-I, Nirman Vihar, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri (W), Noida Sector 15, Nehru Place, and Kailash Colony.

“At these stations, cashless transactions for token and smart card purchase or top up can be done through Paytm. The stations have been selected keeping in mind certain factors to ensure that commuters don’t face any issues,” a DMRC official said.

He added that 70 per cent or more of the commuters at these selected stations were smart card users, due to which cash transactions there were already less in number, compared to other stations.

“In order to implement the plan, DMRC’s station staff will be given adequate training and a committee of all departments concerned will be made to monitor the implementation. For exigencies, one counter with the option of cash transactions will also remain available initially. We will also have provisions of refund in place to cater to commuters,” a DMRC official said.

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