Citizens' Issues
Centre launches Smart Mobility Card
To enable seamless travel by different metros and other transport systems besides retail shopping and purchases, the Centre launched a Smart National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) model on Tuesday.
 
The card will do away with the need to carry separate cards for banking and transit requirements.
 
"Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu has approved the 'EMV Open Loop Card with stored value' in this regard, the ministry said in a statement.
 
Following an unsuccessful effort in the past to come out with such an inter-operable mobility card, a committee was set up last year by the urban development ministry under the chairmanship of its additional secretary. 
 
The committee, after an extensive study of various models being followed across the world, has recommended the EMV Open Loop Card with stored value based model.
 
"This Smart Common Mobility Payment Card addresses the deficiencies associated with other cards being used in Singapore and other countries. This card meets travel needs based on stored value of money and can be used for travelling by any means of transport and also enables account based retail applications," the statement said.
 
The urban development ministry has decided to task the National Payments Corporation of India with indigenous development and management of clearing and settlement of payments, simulating cards, terminals and network, a support base of vendors for providing certified tools, cards, terminals and other services.
 
Naidu has directed the ministry officials to ensure time bound and coordinated progress in this regard by various agencies to ensure early introduction of Smart Mobility Cards. 
 
He has also asked that states be informed of this initiative for taking appropriate action for integration of other systems with the new smart card.

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Social media attacks against Modi critics not directed by us: BJP IT Cell chief

Arvind Gupta, who was responding to a charge that often BJP and RSS supporters attack people who oppose Modi or his polices, at times in offensive language

 

The frenzied reactions of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters on social media against anyone strongly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his policies are not organised by the party, says the cyber czar of BJP.
 
Arvind Gupta, BJP's IT cell chief, who is called an "innovation evangelist" by his office, says his job is to give out correct information. "How a particular person takes that information and communicates it is completely his or her own take. We can't control that," Gupta said in an interview to IANS.
 
Gupta, who was responding to a charge that often BJP and RSS supporters attack people who oppose Modi or his polices, at times in offensive language.
 
"Sometimes, misinformation campaigns are run by opponents and we need to counter that with correct information in real time. People have their own passion and communications styles," Gupta said, adding that "it's not possible to understand who is a member and who is not."
 
Gupta, who holds a B.Tech in electronics engineering from IIT-BHU and a masters in business & computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the US, says there are guidelines for the supporters and members to follow on social media.
 
"We always ask them to follow these," he said, adding: "The prime minister himself has asked everyone to follow a certain etiquette. Ignore negativities, take criticism positively and work with positive energy on social media," he asserted.
 
The party, he stated, always communicated through official handles, spokespersons and office bearers.
 
Gupta, who headed the digital and social media campaign for Modi during the 2014 elections, conceded that it was also difficult to control social media.
 
The party has often come under criticism for allowing vicious verbal attacks on critics by its supporters.
 
The BJP-led government has been on a social media overdrive since it assumed power in May 2014 and Gupta says "Digital First" is now in BJP's DNA as directed by Modi himself. Gupta has been looking at BJP's cyber interests since 2010.
 
"Led by the prime minister, the thought is not just to bring parity in information dissemination. It is also to look at the overall parity so that citizens, media and everybody gets information together." Gupta told IANS.
 
"It is digital democracy as well. It makes information available to all in real time and in the right manner. That's what we are seeing in our 'Digital India' programme," he said, adding that the government, the Prime Minister's Office and the party machinery are all in sync on this.
 
"It is not any one person's job. Everybody is playing their role. It is a job of the party to propagate the good policies of it to take it forward. It is the job of the government to ensure every citizen, every stakeholder gets the information," said Gupta, who has a team of about 20 people in Delhi. Various units in the states help to move information on the internet.
 
Gupta, who led the "Ab Ki Bar Modi Sarkar" campaign in the run-up to the April-May 2014 general election, said the transformational change in the past 15 months had also involved citizens in decision-making. The logos for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna and Swachh Bharat were all crowd sourced from the MyGov platform, he said as an example.
 
"The prime minister himself picks up messages from this platform."
 
He said the change is spreading out fast. "Every event is getting live-streamed. Many ministries in the last 15 months have come online and started giving their updates in real time," he said. The railway ministry, for example, is now taking complaints on its Twitter handle.
 
"This is something unique in this part of the world. This is the change in the DNA."
 
Speaking about the MyGov.in platform, which was made to build a partnership between citizens and the government, he said it has multifarious roles to play. "We will try to reach out to as many more people as possible. There is a big emphasis on villages and semi-urban areas."
 
On the interactive role that the BJP seeks through social media, Gupta said while some feedback was meaningful, sometimes it was not. "But even a small comment needs to be understood whether people are writing it in the correct spirit. Good feedback or criticism, both are welcome," he said.

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COMMENTS

Dahyabhai S Patel

1 year ago

J. Pinto forgot to mention Mutalik.
Nilesh does not know about Modi's Asarambhakti. Asaram should have been in Jail in 2007 itself for his deeds mentioned in the first comment herebelow , but as I mentioned, Modi becomes Mauneebaba whenever he sees himself trapped! He branded Manmohan Singh as MaunMohan Singh while he acts maunee more than MM Singh!!!!

Jyoti Dua

1 year ago

I wish to congratulate Arvind Gupta for this interview. BJP IT cell is doing an excellent work. Please keep it up. BJP information dissipation is quite wide. There would be critics. Gupta is right that all criticism should be taken positively. All the best Gupta ji.

J Pinto

1 year ago

After the killing of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and now MM Kalburgi will PM Modi and RSS Sarsangchalak speak out against the "Hindu Taliban" who wish to silence all erudite and reason backed criticism of retrograde practices ?

No chance because BJP = RSS = Hindutva = Political Hinduism

Reminds me of the failed attempts at Political Islam in Egypt.

Are the Indian Armed Forces on alert ?

REPLY

Nilesh KAMERKAR

In Reply to J Pinto 1 year ago

If you have the guts to face the truth ... please do a search for "Missionary Terror" on Google &/or Twitter

Nilesh KAMERKAR

In Reply to J Pinto 1 year ago

Do you have any evidence to support your baseless charges? or

Is it just a convenient narrative which suits some hidden agenda?

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

I have been critical of Modi's actions and have been verbally attacked by people who did not agree with my criticism.

That is perfectly fair. What is not OK is to use foul language, cuss words, and personal attacks.

The problem lies with the media that allows such comments to get past its moderators.

I have repeatedly requested Hindustan Times and Indian Express, where I often post comments, to state its policies at the beginning of comments section. Those who violate the policy should be given one warning. If they continue to ignore it, their comments should be blacked out.

Surely it is not difficult for moderators to use certain filters to capture such comments and delete them.

I get the feeling that just the way the owners of TV talk shows like shouting and mayhem as it brings more viewers, HT and IE may get greater traffic on their website because there is no moderation of comments.

REPLY

Jyoti Dua

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 year ago

I agree with Meenal Mamdani

Dahyabhai S Patel

1 year ago

For so many persons Modibhakti is like Asarambhakti!!!!! And Mr. Modi has never uttered a single word in consolation for deaths of two kids of Asaram Gurukul in 2007!!! Even no action was taken against Asaram knowing pretty well that there was something fishy in Asarams deeds!!

Food inflation
Combined food inflation was 2.15% for July 2015, compared to 5.48% recorded for June 2015. For rural and urban areas, food inflation was 2.83 % and 1.01 %, respectively, in July. Inflation in vegetable prices declined to 7.93% year-on-year in July due to a high base effect. Inflation in fruit prices was 1.45% in July, while pulses were dearer by 22.88% year-on-year. Inflation for cereals stood at 1.06% and inflation for milk products was 6.12%. Price rise of non-vegetarian items, such as meat and fish, was 7.02% in July compared to 6.99% in June 2015.

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