Citizens' Issues
Central government's receipts, payments to be electronic
All transactions, including receipts and payments, of the central government departments would be in electronic mode soon across the country, a top official said on Thursday.
 
"As part of the Digital India programme, all departments of the central government across the country will receive and make payments through the electronic mode," department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) additional secretary Ajay Kumar said at a tech event here.
 
With increasing computerisation and internet penetration through broadband network, citizens can transact with all departments from computers, laptops and mobile devices, using e-payment gateways and banks.
 
Key central ministries such as finance and commerce are already using e-payment gateway for transactions by citizens, companies and organisations across the country.
 
"As mobile devices like smart phones are used for public interface, all central departments will soon offer citizen services on mobile as in Karnataka, first state to launch mobile governance in the country," Kumar said at 'CeBIT India', a three-day IT event at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).
 
Electronic payments through computers or mobile devices will also minimise use of hard cash in transactions as in case of public utilities and business transactions using debit and credit cards.
 
"To make Digital India an inclusive programme and accessible to all, websites of all central departments will be in three languages - English, Hindi and an official language of each state across the country, with links to other languages having common script," Kumar told about 500 delegates participating in the second edition of the event.
 
The government will also make optimal use of Jan Dhan Yojana (financial inclusion scheme), Aadhaar biometric card and mobile subscriber base for interfacing with over a billion people through voice, short message service (SMS) and e-mail.
 
"About 900 million people are connected through mobile (feature or smart phones) and an equal number of people have Aaadhaar card, which can be used for multiple purposes, including government services, payments and receipts," Kumar added.
 
The government's Digital India initiative provides a huge opportunity to all stakeholders, including industry and academia to collaborate for providing seamless technologies, products (devices) and services.
 
"Digital India is a Rs.39,000 crore business opportunity for all stakeholders in terms of building the infrastructure, networks and making devices to run on various applications for citizen services and cashless transactions," Kumar added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Telecom regulator sticks to compensation order on call drops
The Indian telecom watchdog's decision to impose a penalty of Re.1 for dropped calls from January 1 next year will stand as of now, an official said on Thursday.
 
"We have given a clear message to the telecom companies that order on compensation will be effective from January 1, 2016," Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S. Sharma said after a meeting here between the watchdog and the service providers.
 
He asserted that the order on compensation was a valid one. The regulator and the telecom service providers have decided to meet every two weeks to iron out issues regarding call drops.
 
TRAI will conduct its next test drive to assess call drops in five locations -- Patna, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Surat and Indore. Earlier, test drives were conducted in Delhi and Mumbai.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India to develop 78 lighthouses as tourism beacons
 India has taken up an ambitious plan to develop 78 of its 189 lighthouses dotting the country's vast coastline as new tourism beacons, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Thursday.
 
"All over the world, lighthouses enthrall tourists with their scenic and serene surroundings and a rich maritime heritage. In India, there is a vast tourism potential which remains largely untapped," Gadkari said.
 
In this context, the Directorate-General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Noida, plans to develop 78 out of the total 189 lighthouses into tourist attractions on a public-private partnership model, he told an Investor Summit here on 'Development of Lighthouses as Beacons of Tourism'.
 
Some of the lighthouses identified for the purpose are in the coastal states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 
In Maharashtra, nine lighthouses are planned to be developed namely Sunk Rock, Kanhoji Island, Uttar Point, Korlai Fort, Jaigadh, Ratnagiri, Devgadh, Vengurla Rocks and Tolkeshwar Point, while there are two in Goa, at Fort Aguada and Sao George, the minister said.
 
The shipping ministry has already held road shows in Chennai, Kochi and Visakhapatnam and a whopping 236 potential investors in the lighthouse tourism project have come forth.
 
Gadkari admitted there would be some roadblocks like CRZ clearance, security aspects and subsidy from the Centre, but the government would adopt a positive attitude in tackling them.
 
"An Inter-Ministerial Group comprising representatives of various ministries and participating states will be set up to iron out any problems, while the Shipping Ministry has already consulted Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Environment for security and environmental clearances," Gadkari added.
 
Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships Captain A.M. Surez said four lighthouses -- in Chennai, Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Allepy and Kannur (Kerala) -- have already been developed as tourist attractions and are seeing substantial footfalls.
 
He added that the development of lighthouses would boost the local economy, generate more employment, and involve creating infrastructure like hotels or resorts, thematic restaurants, viewing galleries, museums and allied facilities.
 
South Korea, Scotland and South Africa pioneered the development of lighthouse tourism and, though a late starter, India hopes to catch up with them soon, the officials said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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