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Digital Rupee: RBI to launch it’s first pilot today

Digital Rupee

Today marks the start of the first Digital Rupee pilot project in India.

Today, November 1, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will begin the pilot programme for a central bank-backed digital rupee for the wholesale sector.

In an announcement on the Operationalisation of Central Bank Digital Currency-Wholesale (e-W) Pilot, the RBI stated, “Soon commence pilot launches of Digital Rupee (ea,) for specific use cases. Accordingly, the first pilot in the Digital Rupee – Wholesale segment (ea,-W) shall commence on November 1, 2022.”

CBDC can be divided into two categories, The Retail (CBDC-R): Retail All individuals could potentially use CBDC and The Wholesale (CBDC-W): product is intended for a limited number of financial institutions.

The central bank further informed, “The first pilot in Digital Rupee – Retail segment (ea,-R) is planned for launch within a month in select locations in closed user groups comprising customers and merchants. The details regarding operationalisation of ea,-R pilot shall be communicated in due course.”

For the wholesale pilot project for the digital rupee, the RBI has chosen nine banks to take part. These include the Union Bank of India, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank, and HSBC.

The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would be introduced by the RBI this fiscal year, according to an announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on February 1.

CBDC is a central bank-issued digital version of currency notes. A sort of electronic money that can be used in contactless transactions is digital currency, or rupee.

A decentralised digital asset and medium of exchange based on blockchain technology is known as a cryptocurrency. It has, however, mostly generated controversy because of its decentralised character, which refers to its operation without the use of any middlemen like banks, financial organisations, or central governments.

On the other hand, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that would be accepted as legal cash online.

Founder and Director, Proassetz Exchange, Manoj Dalmia said explaining the difference between crypto currency and digital rupee, “The digital rupee will be different from Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies in the sense it will be backed by the government. Secondly, having an intrinsic value on account of government backing, the digital rupee will be equivalent to holding a physical rupee equivalent.”

A digitised currency will not only lower transaction costs but also make it simpler for governments to access all transactions taking place within authorised networks.

Explaining the benefits of digital rupee, CEO and Founder of ClearTax, Archit Gupta said, “It will become impossible to avoid the gaze of the government, thus subjecting every transaction to relevant laws within the country. Hence, the government will have better control over how money leaves and enters the country, which would allow them to create a space for better budgeting and economic plans for the future, and overall a much safer environment.”

The fact that digital cash is not physically harmed or destroyed is another advantage.

They cannot be physically misplaced either. In contrast to actual notes, “The lifeline of a digital money will be indefinite,” he continued.

According to a statement made earlier this month, the RBI has been weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a central bank digital currency for some time and is developing a plan to roll it out gradually.

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Governance

Job creation gets boost as 71,000 appointment letters issued by PM under Rozgar Mela

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PM Modi distributed about 71,000 appointment letters to newly inducted recruits under Rozgar Mela via video conferencing.

PM Modi

This is close on the heels of the 75k letters issued in October… At the monthly Rozgar Mela held on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributed about 71,000 appointment letters to newly inducted recruits under Rozgar Mela via video conferencing.

The Rozgar Mela is expected to act as a catalyst in furthering employment generation and providing meaningful opportunities to the youth for their empowerment as well as direct participation in national development. Earlier in October, 75,000 appointment letters were handed over to newly inducted appointees under Rozgar Mela.

PM Modi urged appointees to make the most of the new opportunities that are presented to them, highlighting that these appointment letters are only the entry point that opens up a world of growth for them.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said “The Rozgar Mela of today is proof that the central government is working in mission mode to provide employment opportunities to the youth of the country.” Throwing light on the Karmayogi Bharat technology platform that was launched, the Prime Minister informed the availability of many online courses for government officials.

He emphasised a special course designed for government employees called Karamyogi Prarambh and urged the new appointees to make the most out of it. Citing its benefits, the Prime Minister said that it will be a great source for their skill development as well as benefit them in the days to come. Urging appointees to share their experience of online training and provide constructive feedback to improve the Karmayogi Bharat platform, Modi said “We are already on our way to turning India into a developed country. Let’s take the resolve to move forward with this vision.”

What is the Rozgar Mela?

  • The Mela is step to accord the highest priority to employment generation.
  • The Mela works as catalyst to furthering employment generation and providing meaningful opportunities to the youth for their empowerment as well as direct participation in national development.
  • Physical copies of the appointment letters to the new appointees will be handed over at 45 locations across the country (except Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh).
  • In addition to the categories of posts filled earlier, posts of teachers, lecturers, nurses, nursing officers, doctors, pharmacists, radiographers and other technical and paramedical posts are also being filled.
  • A significant number of posts are being filled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
  • A recent addition is the Karmayogi Prarambh module, which is an online orientation course for all new appointees in various Government departments. They will also get an opportunity to explore other courses on igotkarmayogi.gov.in platform to enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies.

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Governance

Supreme Court upholds 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections

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Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section in education and public employment.

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Supreme Court upholds 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections; the Constitution Bench ruled 3:2 in favour of the #EWS Quota

In a judgement that was eagerly awaited and was telecast live, the apex court of India upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment., which introduced 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and public employment.

A 5-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala was set up for the same and ruled 3:2 in favour of the EWS quota with Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat dissenting. The apex court had reserved its order on the matter on September 27 after hearing over 20 counsels in seven days.

While pronouncing the operative part of the judgment, CJI read, “In view of the decision rendered by the majority, the challenge to the 103rd Amendment fails. The writ petition and other proceedings stands disposed of accordingly”.

Main points that were discussed:

  1. Did the 103rd Constitution Amendment breached the basic structure by permitting the State to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria?
  2. Did the amendment violate provisions by permitting the State to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions?
  3. Did the amendment exclude the Socially Economic Backward Classes (SEBCs)/Other Backward Classes (OBCs)/(Scheduled Class( SCs)/Scheduled Tribes(STs) from the scope of EWS reservation?

What the judges said, in brief:

Justice Maheshwari: Reservation is an instrument of affirmative action by the State. Reservation structured on economic criteria does not violate or damage the basis structure of the Constitution. (Holds 103rd Amendment to the Constitution, valid).

Justice Bela M Trivedi: Reservation cannot be held violative of Article 14. Unequals cannot be treated equally. Treating unequals equally violates the Basic structure of the Constitution. The dream of India to be a country of equals is incomplete even till the completion of 75 years of independence. Cannot blame age old discrimination on castes only. (Upholds validity of the 103rd Amendment.)

Justice Pardiwala: (in a concurring judgment) Reservation is not an end but a means. A means to secure social and economic equality. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s idea was for 10 years initially, but it still continues. A continuous scheme of reservation becomes a vested interest.

Justice Bhat: (in a dissenting judgment) If this Constitution is something, it is the Articles 15(1) 15(2) 16(1) 16(4) of the Constitution. New reservation introduced under Articles 15(6) and 16(6) is not valid and is incorrect. It strikes at the heart of the Constitution. The Sinho commission was set up to examine economically weaker sections. Report published in July 2012, was based on the 2001 census. Provides data on Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. Bulk under below poverty line was in the sections as described under Articles 15(4) and 16(4). Amendment is valid but for answering the 3rd question, it has to go. Breaching the 50% cap would result in compartmentalisation. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s idea of reservations to be seen as temporary and exceptional, should be observed at all times.

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Governance

Fadnavis announces set up of 297-acre Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon

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Devendra Fadnavis

The EMC is targeted to attract ₹2000 crore investment

Against the backdrop of a political slugfest over big ticket investment projects in Maharashtra, and their alleged “moving out” of the state, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis shared some good news.

In a series of tweets, he announced the set-up of a huge 297 acre Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon, Pune. Saying that this will create a robust electronics manufacturing ecosystem in Maharashtra, he thanked the Union MoS Rajeev Chandrashekhar for consideration of Maharashtra’s proposal and quick approval.

This Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Ranjangaon will be spread across 297.11 acre & and a whopping ₹ 492.85 crore will be spent on development, of which ₹207.98 crore will be the Centre’s contribution.

This EMC, which is slated to be ready in 32 months, is targeted to attract ₹2000 crore investment & to generate 5000 employment opportunities. The Deputy CM shared that Anchor client M/s IFB Refrigeration Ltd has already started its work with a projected investment of ₹450 crore. This EMC will target units of industrial electronics, consumer electronics, solar PV manufacturing, E-Mobility products/components etc.

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