HUMAN RESOURCE Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar has written to 36,000 educational institutions across the country and “requested” them to ask their students to download the BHIM app for financial transactions. The minister also stated that the institutions should “mandatorily” adopt digital payment methods, and that he will “personally monitor” the process from time to time.
Sources in the ministry said the letter was sent to institutions that were deemed to be “not performing up to the mark, or did not participate” in the government’s digitisation process in the aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetisation of high-value currency in November last year.
Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University colleges such as St Stephen’s and Hindu are among institutions that have received Javadekar’s communique. Another 2,400 institutions have been sent a letter commending them for successfully carrying out digitisation on their campus.
At JNU, the letter was sent to all students through a mass mailing list by the university’s Communication and Information Services. In the undated letter, Javadekar pointed out the success of the “historic” VISAKA — or Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan, the financial literacy campaign that took place between December 2016 and February 2017 in the aftermath of demonetisation.
The letter states: “The one of its kind campaign saw about 4.5 lakh college students from across the country enrolling themselves as volunteers… However, I found that your college has missed out of the historic VISAKA campaign. It is better late than never and I request you to embark on this mission forthwith.”
On B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14, Javadekar wrote, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked students to popularise the use of BHIM app and get rewarded in the process. For this, they would have to “educate a merchant or vendor or family member on making transactions through the BHIM app and that person would make three transactions using BHIM”. A student would earn Rs 10 per person he/she trains, up to a maximum of Rs 200 per day, it was pointed out.
Those making the transactions would also get Rs 25 after three transactions, and this concept of ‘earn while you learn’ will help build a Digital India, the minister wrote. “I therefore request your institution to communicate to all your students to install and learn using the BHIM app first, and encourage them to help in installing BHIM in the mobiles of their family/relatives and friends during the summer holidays,” Javadekar’s letter states. “The performance of students in the summer holidays could be monitored and the best performing students could be awarded by the institution on their return to the campuses in August.”
Javadekar wrote: “You are also urged to adopt mandatorily digital payment methods, including online transactions, for all receipts and payments done by your institution. You may also take steps to popularise use of BHIM app in college canteens, stores and such other commercial establishments existing within your campus so that your campus switches over to digital financial mode completely when it reopens after the summer holidays. I will personally monitor this project from time to time and hope to see your institution performing well on this front and join the movement called ‘New India’.”
JNU had undertaken digitisation workshops and training sessions in December last year. The university’s rector, Chintamani Mahapatra, said JNU would look into various ways in which the process could be undertaken.