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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his government’s DigiDhan scheme will become a global reference point, attracting international universities to do research on it. He added that the world was marvelling at the idea and seeking India’s help in catalysing the change. Modi called the Digital India programme a step in the direction of realising Babasaheb Ambedkar’s dream of empowering the most backward.
“Ambedkar suffered discrimination but nursed no ill feelings and revenge and gave us the Constitution that promises equality and inclusiveness. My government’s aim is to realise that dream,” Modi said while speaking at the prize distribution function of the month-long DigiDhan contest launched in December for users of the digital transaction mode.
Modi referred to Ambedkar several times in his 40-minute speech and added that his government was working to realise dreams and promises enshrined in the Constitution. He announced cashback and referral bonus incentive schemes for the BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app with an outlay of Rs 495 crore for six months. Under the referral scheme, existing users who refer BHIM and new users adopting the app would get cash bonuses credited directly to their accounts. Merchants will get cashback on every transaction using BHIM as per the cashback scheme.
“I invite young people to educate and train masses in using the BHIM app for digital transactions and get Rs 10 directly deposited in their accounts for each of those persons they get to use the app. This way our young people can easily earn enough during vacations to pay their own fees for the next academic session,” he said.
He said that traders would get Rs 25 cashback for each transaction. Modi added that the scheme has come into force from April 14, the day Ambedkar was born, and will end on October 14 when he embraced Buddhism.
Earlier, Modi visited Deekshabhoomi, where Ambedkar had embraced Buddhism along with his followers, to pay tributes to the Dalit icon as well as Lord Buddha. Modi released postage stamps on Deekshabhoomi, Buddha and Ambedkar at the DigiDhan program.
Modi likened DigiDhan to Swachh Bharat. “Here, the idea is to cleanse the system of corruption. The results have been wonderful with crores of people using the BHIM app to carry out transactions. The corrupt, however, could not sleep at night thinking that Modi will come and catch them. I appeal to you all to participate in this war on corruption by becoming the soldiers of less-cash economy.”
Modi said that global universities would come to do research on results of the digital transaction programme. “Even the advanced countries could not do this. I have got inquiries from African countries on whether India could help them do it. I am sure India can act as a catalytic agent.’’
Modi took a jibe at intellectuals. “They said so many things about the digital transaction campaign. They are entitled to it. But when I used to retire after the day’s work at night, their points served as good humour for me.”