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7th March 2023 (7 Topics)

Digital villages programme


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a programme to adopt 75 villages and convert them into ‘digital payment enabled’ villages.

Details of the programme:

  • The programme has been launched as ‘Har Payment Digital’ mission amid the ‘Digital Payments Awareness Week (DPAW) 2023.’
  • Under the initiative, payment system operators (PSOs) will adopt these villages across the country and conduct two camps in each of these villages with an aim to improve awareness and on-board merchants for digital payments.
  • To initiate a 75 Digital Villages programme through adoption of 75 villages there will also be involvement of village level entrepreneurs.

Policy Initiatives to promote Digital Payments

  • Ministry of Finance has taken a major initiative in drafting a Bill for amendment of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, as envisaged in the Report of the Committee on Digital Payments 2016
  • RBI has taken four major policy initiatives:
    • National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system – Settlement at half-hourly intervals
    • Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs)
    • Rationalisation of Merchant Discount Rate
    • Storage of Payment System Data

How digital ecosystem is changing India?

  • Jan-Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity: Ensuring delivery of government schemes to its beneficiaries without leakage or misuse.
  • SVAMITVA Yojana: Provided digital land records to the rightful owners by leveraging the power of drones and GIS technologies.
  • Bharat Net:provided high-speed broadband to the entire village.
  • Common Service Centers (CSCs):offering banking, insurance, state and central government services, passport and PAN card services, digital literacy, rural eCommerce services and pre-litigation advice etc.
  • Digital payments revolution: UPI and Aadhaar-Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS), AEPS-based micro-ATM at CSCs and post offices.

Recent Government measures for regulating the sector:

  • In 2022 itself, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced the
    • draft amendment to the IT Rules 2021 (June 2022)
    • the draft India Data Accessibility and Use Policy (February 2022)
    • National Data Governance Framework Policy (May 2022)
    • the New cyber security directions (April 2022)

India is also working on a complete overhaul of its technology policies and is expected to soon come out with a replacement of its IT Act, 2000, which is expected to look at ensuring net neutrality and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms, among other things.


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