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April 15th 2017 Science and Technology Current Affairs

Indian Prime Minister Launches 81 Cashless Towns

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hurled 81 cashless towns in 12 Indian States. The 81 cashless townships comprise – 56 from Gujarat, 25 from 12 States. The States are Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi and Maharashtra.
  • Based on the patronshipof National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC) had developed
  • The model of cashless/less cash township was developed by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC) across these States under the auspices of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
  • GNFC’s township at Bharuch (Gujarat) had become India’s first 100% cashless township after demonetization.
  •  It is expected that these 81 townships will deliver 2.5 lakh cashless transactions per day, translating into 9 crore cashless transactions in a year.
  • Cashless townships The townships for adopting GNFC’s model were selected based on a third-party assessment by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC).
  • The chosen 81 townships belonged to that of central public sector companies such as ONGC, Indian Oil, NTPC, SAIL, BHEL, NMDC, CRPF, BSF and Police Lines and also to private sector townships like Reliance, Essar, Adani, Birla Aditya, Welspun etc.
  • Criteria
  • The criteria for qualification of a township to a less cash township are: townships must have completed the payment acceptance infrastructure; all the families residing in the townships must have been covered under training programmes; 80% of total transactions during the review period should have been done through digital modes.
  • NITI Aayog has appreciated GNFC’s model and had advised Central ministries and CMDs of 300-plus central PSUs for quickly adopting to this model. Significance As per the study conducted by PWC on GNFC’s cashless initiative, following benefits have been identified:
  • It resulted in financial inclusion, cashlessness as a lifestyle, better parental control over child’s expenses, women’s empowerment, more convenience in performing transactions and social upliftment.
  • Over 96% of farmers during the assessment reported cost savings resulting from fewer trips to fertiliser shops and discounts on cashless transactions.
  • They have also reported better money management.
  • Niti Aayog 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.
  • 127th Birth Anniversary of Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar Celebrated April 14
  • 127th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R.Ambedkar was celebrated at the Parliament House complex. The President, Vice President and Prime Minister paid floral tributes to the statue of Ambedkar present inthe Parliament House Lawns.
  • The celebrations were organized by Dr. Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar Dr. B R Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ambedkar was elected as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. He is called as the father of the Indian Constitution.
  • Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha was the first organization formed by Dr. Ambedkar in 1924. Ambedkar was appointed as the first Law Minister of Independent India, but he resigned from the Cabinet on September 1951 due to differences with Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill.
  • Ambedkar got himself converted to Buddhism on October 14, 1956. He died on December 6, 1956 at Delhi due to severe diabetic neurosis.
  • After his death, his political party Scheduled Caste Federation was renamed as Republican Party of India in 1957 by his followers.
  • Some of his famous books are: ‘The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables’; ‘Buddha and His Dhamma’; ‘The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women‘, ‘Emancipation of Untouchables’, ‘The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India’; ‘Pakistan or Partition of India‘, ‘Thoughts on Linguistic States’, etc.

Dark Matter Web Captured by Scientists for the First Time

  • Scientists estimated that 25% of universe is filled with dark matter.
  • Till now there is no direct evidence of tis presence.
  • For the first-time Scientists have captured composite image of a dark matter bridge 
  • Connecting galaxies by using Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope
  • These bridges have been predicted for decades.

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