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Reliance Jio's sub Rs1500 4G VoLTE phones can be disruptive

In September 2016, Reliance disrupted the telecom space by launching 'Jio' with super affordable 4G tariffs. The company seems to be geared to continue its disruptive streak by launching super affordable feature phones that, apparently, will do away with the need for smartphones.

Reliance Jio is working with domestic manufacturers like Lava to manufacture these phones. Also,
the phones will be partly subsidised to keep the price within the range of Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,500. These phones will carry both Jio and Lava branding. The VoLTE feature phones will have a keypad, front-facing and rear cameras and will run on the Android operating system. These devices will be equipped with Jio’s content applications such as Jio Chat, Live TV and video on demand. Jio will push its digital wallet service, Jio Money Wallet, through these feature phones.

Reliance Industries recently announced that it will spend another Rs 30,000 crore to enhance the network coverage and capacity of Reliance Jio Infocomm, taking the total investment in the telecoms venture to more than Rs 2 lakh crore.

It seems Jio wants to tap all the segments in the country and sees huge potential in the rural areas, which it now aims to tap with VoLTE feature phones. Jio’s VoLTE feature phones could increase the rate of migration within the feature phone category while lowering that of feature phones to smartphones.

Five Important Apps by Government of India

Digital India program has been to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy the government has in fact introduced or developed various apps for the citizens who can now make use of their smartphones to connect with the government. Below I have listed the best five android apps by the Government of India, which I feel is a must have for all Indian citizens.

1. myGov :  This app gives the Indian citizens an option to voice their opinions regarding any issue that would lead to the betterment of the government functioning. So through the app, any citizen can send their suggestions or opinions to the government and also to the organizations associated with the government to improve the services. The sent suggestions and opinions will be taken into consideration, and effective action will be taken accordingly.

2. mPassportSeva : Indian citizens looking to apply for a passport can now download this app. This central government app provides all the information regarding the various steps involved in applying and obtaining a Passport. This app comes with a feature that will help users locate the nearest "Passport Seva Kendra" Center. In addition, the mPassportSeva app even helps the user in tracking the Passport Application status.

3. MEAIndia (Ministry of External Affairs-Government of India) : This app is completely developed keeping users in mind and looks very interactive and intuitive with smart visuals and graphics. While the app deals with the Ministry of External Affairs it acts as a single window source for the information related to the citizen centric services and outreaches the activities. Download

4. PMO India : Official App of the Indian Prime Minister’s Office. It shows you all of the latest information, news updates & other content related to the PMO. Download the app and stay updated with the PMO anywhere, anytime. Its currently available in 10 languages.

5. MyGov MOVE : MyGov app which laid the foundation for participatory governance bringing citizens onboard in the process of policy formulation and decision making by engaging them in a dialogue with the government and its representative bodies. MyGov has envisioned a bouquet of applications which would assist stakeholder ministries and bodies to engage with users in on-ground execution of tasks and activities. MyGov Move is one of the offerings for the citizens to actively contribute in Nation Building by rendering volunteering services to various initiatives. MyGov Move app helps the citizens to engage with the government and deliver volunteering services to various government initiatives that would be highlighted in the app. 

Few Simple Steps to use the BHIM app

The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) was rolled out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an initiative to enable fast, secure and reliable cashless payments through mobile phones. Here is how you can use the BHIM app.

Step 1: Open the play store app and search for “Bhim“, or click on the link. The developer of the application is the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and the developer has no other listed applications. Install the application, it is a download that is less than 2 MB.

Step 2: The application automatically pairs with the device, and sends an sms for verification. Grant permissions to the app for accessing the sms on the phone. Set up the passcode for unlocking the application. There is a toggle to hide or view the passcode.

Step 3: Select a bank from the list. 31 banks are supported as of now, and there are plans to add more banks to the list. The phone number you are using has to be linked to the bank account, and mobile banking has to be enabled on the bank account. The application automatically retrieves the account information in a secure way, and it is a feature of UPI.

Step 4: Set up a payment address. The default address generated for you is your phone number @UPI. Tap on the add payment address in the Profile section to configure an additional payment address. There is a list of generated suggestions provided by the application, but users can feed in their own text strings. Multiple UPI addresses can be generated for a single user. Users can choose one of the UPI addresses as their primary UPI address.

Step 5: The profile page also has the QR code automatically generated. This QR code can be saved to the file, shared directly through applications, or printed out. The feature is particularly useful for merchants. The scan and pay option to transfer money can be used by customers to scan the QR code and make payments. Every UPI address has its own unique QR code.
Step 6: Transactions can also be conducted using a secure QR code, which is different from the QR code linked to the account. This QR code is meant for one time transactions. The amount has to be entered, along with details on what the money is for. This QR code can be sent over electronic means, or even printed. Anyone who scans the QR code, gets the money credited to his or her account.
Step 7: For making transactions using IFSC, there is an interface available in the top right corner of the payment menu. Users have to fill in details such as beneficiary name, their account number and the IFSC code.

State sponsored 500 Wi-Fi-enabled locations in Mumbai soon

The Maharashtra state government plans to quickly roll out, over Rs 100-crore project in the next few weeks. Its racing  against time before the model code of conduct for the municipal corporation polls is imposed.

State government will soon unveil 500 Wi-Fi-enabled locations in Mumbai and then another 700 is to follow. This was the Chief Ministers's pet project and was to be launched in December 2016, but got delayed due to ‘some issues’ with procurement of hardware, said officials.

Larsen and Toubro is in charge of the project and they have identified 500 locations across the city, including popular tourist sites like the Gateway of India, Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu beach, and slum clusters.

The average speed will be 20Mbps and Wi-Fi will be free for the first 30 minutes for a maximum data of 100 MB; then the user has to pay. The charges will be cheaper than of other data providers that charge Rs 26-28 per 100MB.

In Phase-II, which is expected to begin in February, 700 sites will be identified across the state, including schools, colleges and hospitals. It is expected to be completed by March 

Indian Government launches digital payment helpline toll free number

The government, in collaboration with telecom and IT industry, has launched a toll-free helpline. This helpline number will address issues regarding Bharat Interface For Money (BHIM), UPI, e-wallets and AEPS.

The helpline number is ’14444′ and is available in North as well as Eastern part of the country in English and Hindi and will soon be extended pan India and in other languages.

The helpline has been launched jointly by Department of Telecom in collaboration with NASSCOM, telecom industry as well as the IT industry. The cost of the project is initially being borne by the industry.

After a few weeks, the government is likely to take a decision on financial support for the initiative after taking into account the emerging call traffic patterns.

This is a very good initiative by the Government because ever since demonization, people started to adopt cashless payment options. But, not everyone could transition easily. There are people who are still struggling to adopt cashless ways of payments. There are many options but they are useless if people can’t use them.

This toll free helpline will help such people to get started. Also, people will be able to get assistance whenever needed.

Snapdeal to start delivering Reliance Jio SIM to home

Riding on the free voice and data offers, Reliance Jio Infocomm's subscriber base is on a continious rise, infact there are reports stating it may touch 100 million subscriber base by March 2017. Launched in September'16, Jio was offering its customers free voice and data till December 31 2016, which it has now extended till March 31 2017.

What has also made a big difference is the ease of securing a Jio SIM card and getting it quickly activated, and this was very unlike from any other service provider.

In 2017, Reliance Jio is planning to take this service to the next level by making the Reliance Jio SIM delivered to your home. Infact, Snapdeal will soon start delivering Reliance Jio SIM cards to customers’ homes. The SIM cards delivered by Snapdeal will come with Jio’s Happy New Year Offer, under which the telecom service provider is offering free 4G data, voice calls, SMSes, and subscription to Jio apps for free till March 31.

The SIM card will be activated by Snapdeal. Those who opt for Snapdeal’s Jio SIM home delivery service will be sent an SMS with the scheduled delivery time and the promocode. They will have to share their Aadhaar number and the promocode received in the SMS with the Snapdeal delivery executive, who will activate their Reliance Jio SIM immediately. As simple as that. 

Indian Drone Startup ideaForge Raises $10M in Series A Funding

The Global drone market is all set to heat up, with companies like Facebook already planning to enter the drone market, even new companies are venturing in to this new segment. Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics company had recently released its product in the market under the Mi Drone brand.

India is taking a que from all this and some very positive developments has been reported recently. A Mumbai based startup ideaForge, which focuses on building drones has secured an amount of $10 million in Series A investment round from some of the top names like Infosys, WRV Capital and IndusAge Partners. Infosys has invested an undisclosed amount in the company, through its $500 million Innovation Fund.

ideaForge is a pioneer in research, development, production and operation of compact, cost effective and user friendly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in India.

Ankit Mehta, co-founder and CEO at ideaForge, said that the backing from Infosys will help the company in playing an important role in its industrial expansion to address a wide variety of data acquisition and analysis needs. 

Now use Paytm without Internet

From the time the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, various wallet companies has ramped up their infrastructure to meet the need of the hour. Various wallet companies and also Government's UPI were available to rescue the common man and help people go digital and cashless.

Paytm wallet is one such service which has become one of the most widely used wallets in India. Since Paytm can also be used to transfer money to the bank account, it quickly became the first choice of the people.

The company has also added thousands of merchants in the recent months which again is helping the cause to go digital. While the company focused to provide the service via its apps, it was also exploring on how to on-board people who do not regularly use internet on their mobiles. And now they have a solution.

Paytm has recently launched a new toll-free number that will enable feature phone and non-internet users to go cashless with Paytm. This move will offer millions of consumers and merchants across India access to mobile payments. They can now dial 1800 1800 1234 and pay any Paytm customer without an active internet connection.

This service is for existing Paytm Users. As a first step, Paytm customers and merchants must set their 4 Digit Paytm PIN on call. They can then enter the recipient’s mobile number, amount and their Paytm PIN to successfully transfer the money from their Paytm wallet to another Paytm wallet.

To initiate this service, You will have to call this Toll Free number 1800 1800 1234 from your mobile number registered with Paytm and set the 4 digit pin.

The Pirate Bay uploader gets jail time

A man named Wayne Evan from Everton has been jailed for a year for uploading the UK’s top 40
singles to various torrent sites, including The Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, and KickassTorrents each week.

In October 2016, the 39-year-old appeared before Liverpool Crown Court, pleading guilty to two counts of distributing an article infringing copyright and one of possessing or controlling an article for use in fraud.

Despite having no previous convictions, Evans was jailed for 12 months yesterday, a sentence the Judge believed would act as a “deterrent” to others.

The judge in his statement said "“Today’s sentencing will suggest to others that illegally distributing music is not without its consequences. Evans caused significant loss to the music industry, and his actions will have affected jobs across the music industry,” 

How to Transfer Money From Paytm to Bank Account

Lately Paytm has become one most widely used wallets in India. The company has added thousands of merchants to its platform within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of scrapping Rs. 1000 and old Rs. 500 currency notes.

In order to transfer money from your Paytm wallet to a bank account, you need the name, account number, and IFSC code of the bank account holder. However, there is a Rs. 20,000 limit on transactions (Rs. 50,000 for merchants).

How to transfer money from Paytm to any bank account using Paytm app

1. Open the Paytm app on your smartphone and tap the Passbook icon
2. Here, select the Send Money to Bank option
3. Tap on Transfer
4. Enter the amount, account holder’s name, bank account number, and IFSC code
5. Hit the Send button

Transferring money from your Paytm Wallet to bank account will be free of charge till December 31 for merchants who have done KYC. To do a KYC find a Paytm KYC centre close to you, and provide the relevant RBI-approved documents (Aadhar card, passport, voted ID card, driving license, or NREGA job card). You can also type in your Aadhaar number, and then request a visit at your address.