It’s been more than a month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. During his speech he mentioned that this was done to weed out Black Money and Fake money from the market. It still remains a question whether those two objectives were met.
However, demonetisation has definitely given rise to one aspect – Cashless payments.
With Banks running out of cash, and people still standing in hours in front of ATMs to withdraw their own cash, making payments through instruments like Wallets, UPI and IMPS is now getting popular.
However, there are millions of Indians who do not have smartphones or are not versed (or don’t even have knowledge) with these new age payment methods. Government understands this – and now they have launched a 24X7 TV channel that will educate and inform people about various ways in which cashless payments can be made.
The newly launched DigiShala will help people understand the use of unified payments interface (UPI), USSD, aadhaar-enabled payments system, electronic wallets, debit and credit cards. Along with the DigiShala, Government has also launched Cashless India website (www.cashlessindia.gov.in) that will serve as a knowledgebase for all public and private cashless initiatives. The channel will primarily have talk shows and panel discussions all aimed at increasing digital modes of payments.
Both the TV channel as well as the website have been launched as a part of the ‘Digi Dhan Abhiyan’, a campaign conceptualized by the IT ministry to enable common citizens, small traders and merchant to adopt digital payments in their every day financial transactions.
Law and information technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the time of the launch, “All modes of digital payments are showing enormous rise at an average growth of 400-1000% since the last one month. These figures are without any formal digital education. With DigiShala being introduced we can only imagine the growth figures in the coming days”
The Digishala will be available freely as Doordarshan DTH channel and be available through GSAT15 (DD Direct DTH), 93.5 degree East, Receive frequency: 11590 Mhz.
In our opinion, Government should have taken these steps before demonetisation took place – In recent times, many steps have been taken to ensure people adopt cashless modes of payments. However, all these steps look like reactionary measures, an after-thought if you will, to the woes faced by common citizens.
Only if these steps were taken before demonetisation and were planned properly, the hardships faced by citizens in the last month would have reduced drastically. The adoption would also have been much higher than what we see now.
Having said that, we do welcome the launch of DigiShala and should help scores of citizen understand digital modes of payment!