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NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday talked about the importance of fin-tech and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in his 81st monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat and said that 355 crore UPI transactions took place during August, with  2 trillion digital payments on an average happening through UPI. 


“The way building of toilets enhanced the dignity of poor, similarly economic cleanliness ensures rights of the poor; eases their life. You are aware of the campaign that the country started regarding Jandhan accounts. Today, because of this, the rightful money of the poor is getting credited directly into their accounts and because of this, obstacles like corruption have reduced very significantly. It is true that technology can help a lot in economic cleanliness," PM Modi said. 


This comes in the backdrop of India taking the lead in digital payment transactions with the union budget earlier this year announcing  1,500 crore for incentivising digital payments. 


"It is matter of delight for us that even in villages, the common person is getting connected in the direction of digital transactions through fin-tech UPI… its prevalence has begun increasing," he added.


Also, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which oversees the digital payments ecosystem in the country has launched e-RUPI, a voucher-based payments system to promote cashless transactions. PM Modi had earlier invalidated 500 and  1,000 currency notes, which made up 86% of the currency in circulation by value, as part of his government’s fight against black money, counterfeiting and terror finance.


“I will tell you a figure which will make you proud; during  last August, 355 crore UPI transactions took place in one month, that is more than nearly 350 crore transactions, that is, we can say that during the month of August UPI was used for digital transactions more than 350 crore times. Today, on average, digital payments of more than  2 trillion is happening through UPI. Through this the economy of the country is acquiring cleanliness and transparency, and we all know that now the importance of fin-tech is increasing a lot," Modi said. 


He also spoke about Namami Gange programme and the advances it is making. The government’ flagship 20,000 crore Namami Gange programme was approved by the union cabinet in 2014 for making river Ganga pollution free and conserving and restoring it.


“We can very well undertake the endeavour of cleaning rivers and freeing them of pollution with collective effort and support. The Namami Gange Mission too is making advances today…collective efforts of all, in a way, mass awareness; a mass movement has a major role to play in that," PM Modi said. 


In an indication of early success, Hilsa fish, also known as Ilish has been caught at Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Sahibganj (Jharkhand) after a gap of three decades, according to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the nodal body for cleaning river Ganga as reported by Mint earlier. 


"When Namami Gange is being referred to, one thing is certain to draw your attention…especially that of the youth. These days, a special E-auction is being held. This electronic auction pertains to gifts presented to me by people from time to time. The money that accrues through this E-auction is dedicated solely to the Namami Gange Campaign," he added.


He also added that non-resident Indians from 20 countries have expressed their wish to join Amrit Mahotsav. The country is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, commemorating 75 years of India’ independence. Freedom struggle, and ideas, achievements, actions and resolve at 75, are the five pillars of the 75 week-long celebrations.


“Friends, in this period of Amrit Mahotsav, a campaign to disseminate to everyone the untold stories of the history of freedom is also going on… and for this, upcoming writers, youth of the country and the world were called upon. For this more than 13 thousand people have registered till now and that too in 14 different languages. And for me a thing of joy also is that non-resident Indians from more than 20 countries have expressed their wish to join this campaign," PM Modi said.


There are dedicated weekly themes for each of the 75 weeks to celebrate the country’s achievements and development across various sectors since Independence. These programmes are focussing on social, cultural, scientific and technological high points in the country’s post-independence trajectory. They will also cover policy initiatives that have helped India grow not only domestically but also on the international stage.


PM Modi also reminded people to stay cautious about the coronavirus pandemic, even as India has been administering record number of  vaccine doses. This comes against the backdrop of Zydus’s covid-19 vaccine becoming the fifth to get Indian government approval after Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, and the Moderna vaccine.


“Like we were discussing, the time to come is of festivals. The whole country is also going to celebrate the festival of the victory over untruth by Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram. But during this festival we have to remember about one more fight - that is the country's fight against Corona. Team India is making new records everyday in this fight. With regards to Vaccination, the country has made many such records which are being talked about the world over," he said. 


With the second wave subsiding there has been a laxity in following Covid protocols. The government has been trying to expedite the vaccination programme.


“Every Indian has an important role in this fight. We have to get the vaccine administered when our turn comes, but we also have to take care that no one is left out of this circle of safety. Those around you who have not got vaccinated also have to be taken to the vaccine center. Even after getting vaccinated, the necessary protocol has to be followed," PM Modi added.

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