Even as low pressure continues to cause heavy rains and flooding in several regions of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted an aerial survey on Tuesday, announced a Rs 500-crore central assistance to the state disaster relief fund (SDRF).
PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of the Banaskantha district, the most affected region in the state, forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF), the national disaster relief force (NDRF) and other state agencies conduct rescue operations.
In the past 24 hours, districts of Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha in North Gujarat have seen at least 12 talukas receive over 200 mm of rainfall, as per the state emergency operations centre. At least three IAF helicopters were pressed into service for airlifting locals and the distribution of food packets in Banaskantha, apart from the Indian Army rescuing stranded people using boats.
North Gujarat has, so far, seen over 500,000 food packets being distributed in the affected areas.
Followed by the air survey, PM Modi was apprised of the rainfall and flooding situation across Gujarat by the state government officials in a meeting attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and READ MORE
As voting to elect India’s next president got underway today, the BJP exuded confidence that its candidate Ram Nath Kovind would win with a “comfortable” margin while the opposition CPI(M) asked the electoral college to vote thoughtfully and uphold the Constitution.
Kovind, the former Bihar governor, is contesting against the opposition’s joint candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.
“Kovind ji will win (the election) with a respectable and comfortable margin,” Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters ahead of the polling.
Naidu, however, refused to comment on the BJP parliamentary board’s meeting to pick the ruling alliance’s vice presidential candidate. Let the presidential poll get over first, he said.
The CPI(M), which is backing Meira Kumar, urged voters, comprising MPs and MLAs, to pick the “custodian of the Constitution” thoughtfully.
“Hope the Electoral College picks the custodian of India’s Constitution thoughtfully: Vote to uphold Constitutional Values of our Republic,” party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Twitter.
With both Kovind and Kumar belonging to the Dalit community, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati expressed satisfaction that a Dalit leader would occupy office of the president irrespective of who won the poll.
Mayawati also claimed it was because of her party that the NDA and the opposition had to read more
Implementation of the GST is a step towards corruption free nation and will end the shadow economy, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said today.
Meghwal was addressing representatives of various business organisations, central and state officials in an event on the Goods and Services Tax.
The Union government is committed to tax reforms and to speed up the economic growth, Meghwal said while assuring that the GST will benefit people from all sectors.
The central government has directed officials and ministers to tour to different parts of the country to educate people about GST and address problems post its implementation, the minister of state for finance said.
Change is the sign of development and the technical transformation is heading the country towards progress, Meghwal said, adding that India would soon be the country with strong economy in the world.
The minister also said that five petroleum products that are out of GST would also be put up in the GST Council to gradually bring those under the new tax regime, read more
Digital payments company MobiKwik has partnered Samsung Pay, under which consumers will be able to make payments with a single tap using select Samsung handsets.
As part of the tie-up, MobiKwik wallet is now integrated with Samsung Pay Mini to enable one-tap payments at more than 1.4 million MobiKwik-powered merchants across the country, the digital payments firm said in a statement.
MobiKwik’s mobile wallet will also be available soon to Samsung Pay users, it added.
“The future of digital payments in India will thrive only by collaborating with various ecosystem partners to drive acceptance. More than 55 million users and 1.4 million merchants will benefit from this association,” MobiKwik Head of Growth Daman Soni said.
There has been a massive growth in number of transactions using digital platforms in the country, especially after the government’s move to scrap high-denomination notes in November.
The government has also introduced a number of schemes to promote adoption of e-payment methods like mobile wallets, debit/credit cards and Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
Samsung Pay, the mobile payments service of the world’s largest handset maker, was launched in India in March this year.
It allows users to just tap and pay using the debit/credit cards and wallets stored on their mobile devices. Currently, Samsung Pay is available for users of devices like Samsung S8,Samsung S7 Edge, S7, J7 Max and J7 Pro among others.
Samsung had unveiled a ‘Mini’ version of the platform that integrates UPI and mobile wallets to work on mid-range priced smartphones. It, however, read more
Facebook users in India have crossed 240 million mark, becoming the largest audience country for the social media giant, according to a media report.
As of July 13, Facebook is reporting a total “potential audience” of 241 million active users in India, compared to 240 million in the US.
The change at the top of the platform’s country rankings comes just a few days after Facebook announced it has more than two billion monthly users around the world.
Facebook has achieved impressive growth in both the countries since the start of 2017, but these new figures suggest that active users in India are growing more than twice as fast as they are in the US, The Next Web reported.
Active users in India are up 27 per cent in the past six months alone (+50 million), compared to growth of 12 per cent (+26 million) in the US over the same period.
Despite these strong gains, social media penetration in India remains relatively low, with just 19 per cent of the country’s total population using Facebook in the past month.
That compares to 73 per cent penetration in the US, and a global average of around 42 per cent.
It is worth noting that the numbers Facebook reports to advertisers can change on a daily basis though, and the platform even reported a slight dip in global user numbers just before it announced its two billion active user milestone.
Men still represent three-quarters of the country’s active Facebook profiles, although it is read more