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UPI for Feature Phones from RBI



On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced UPI123Pay, a new digital payment option for feature phones based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The UPI system has so far been restricted to smartphones with internet access. India’s mobile phone population is estimated to be at 180 million. 78 crore of these people have smartphones, while the remaining 78 crores have feature phones. Due to the phone they use, tens of thousands of users have been unable to do UPI transactions. The central bank of India introduced this new payment mechanism to incorporate all such users and bring them into the mainstream of digital payments.

“UPI123Pay would enable NPCI to accomplish its goal of a billion or more daily UPI transactions,” said Biswamohan Mahapatra, head of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the country’s umbrella organization for retail digital payments.

Working of UPI on Feature Phones?

Users will be able to conduct UPI transactions on feature phones using UPI 123Pay. Except for the scan and pay UPI option available for smartphones, consumers will be able to use all other functionalities. Transactions with the new digital payment mode don’t require an internet connection. To utilize the UPI 123Pay service, people must link their bank accounts to their feature phones. People with feature phones can now use the UPI 123Pay option for a variety of payments, from person to person to the merchant. UPI 123Pay would employ Hindi and English as their primary languages at first.

“We feel that the novel functions available on feature phones would give UPI a boost in many geographies across the country, transforming the way payments are perceived,” Mahapatra said.

UPI: India’s Most Popular Payment Method

In recent years, UPI has become one of India’s most popular payment methods. UPI is the country’s single largest retail payment system in terms of transaction volume.

“A substantial portion of digitalization is limited to people with smartphones, notwithstanding our tremendous growth in digital payments.” “About 40 crore feature phone users had limited access to digital payments,” said T Rabi Sankar, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He stated that the goal is to attract a significant number of feature phone users into the UPI payment system.

“To further popularise the usage of digital payments, a framework for retail offline payments across the country has been proposed.” This announcement has its roots in a series of successful pilot studies. The results of these experiments strongly suggest that there is more leeway for digital payment-related solutions, particularly in rural areas. According to Nitin Mathur, CEO of Tavaga Advisory Services, “the RBI is enthusiastic about expanding the ease of doing business in India as well as more innovative fintech prospects to capitalize on” as a result of this development.

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Marriott Hotel Faces Wrath from Shiv Sena Following Removal of Marathi Workers from Employment



On Thursday, Shiv Sena activists staged a demonstration at the Marriott Hotel in Turbhe MIDC protesting the abrupt termination of Marathi staff, which led to an increase in tensions. Prominent individuals like as Kamgar Sena MP Arvind Sawant, Working President Ajit Salvi, General Secretary Sachin Ahir, and Bharatiya Kamgar Sena Secretary Sandeep Raut spearheaded the movement, which led to the hotel’s management agreeing to bring back the impacted workers.

Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks descended at the Marriott Hotel to challenge its management after the Indian Workers’ Party became enraged about the decision to fire Marathi staff. The delegation from Shiv Sena demanded justice for the dismissed workers and stressed that the workers should not be fired even if the contractor changes. The movement featured prominent figures such as Vitthal More, Navi Mumbai Zilla Pramukh, Somnath Vaskar, Somnath Pawar, Kashinath Pawar, Pakash Chikane, Deputy City Chief, and many other Shiv Sainiks.

Speaking on the matter, Bharatiya Kamgar Sena secretary Sandeep Raut criticized the layoffs as unfair and demanded that the affected workers be immediately hired again. He warned the hotel management that if they did not make the necessary corrections, Shiv Sena will stage a violent protest.

The impacted workers expressed their appreciation for Shiv Sena’s prompt intervention in addressing the injustice committed by the hotel management, as well as their thanks for the help they got. Under pressure from Shiv Sena, the Marriott Hotel management promised to make the necessary corrections so that the impacted employees would not have to suffer any more.

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What to do and what not to do on Mauni Amavasya – Astrohealer Prammit Sinha



Mauni Amavasya is a significant Hindu festival celebrated on the new moon day, or Amavasya, during the Hindu month of Magha (January-February).

In detail

Astrohealer Shree Prammit Sinha says, Mauni Amavasya is considered a significant day in Hinduism, and it is believed to have special spiritual significance. It usually falls in the month of Magha in the Hindu calendar.

The term “Mauni” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Mauna,” which means silence. On this day, devotees observe silence or practice Mauna (keeping silent) as a form of spiritual discipline. It is believed that silence helps individuals turn their focus inward, aiding in introspection and meditation.

While there may be variations in traditions and practices among different communities, here are some general suggestions on what to do and what not to do on Mauni Amavasya:

What to do:

  1. Taking a bath in sacred rivers, especially the Ganges, Yamuna, or other significant water bodies, is believed to purify the soul.
  2. Making donations or offering charity on this day is considered auspicious. It could include giving food, clothing, or other essentials to the less fortunate.
  3. Devote time to meditation, prayer, and spiritual practices to connect with the divine and attain inner peace.
  4. Reading or reciting religious texts, particularly those associated with the lunar cycle, is considered beneficial.

What Not to do:

  1. Mauni Amavasya is traditionally associated with silence. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from unnecessary speech and gossip.
  2. Many people choose to follow a vegetarian diet on this day as a part of their spiritual observance.
  3. Try to maintain a positive and peaceful state of mind. Avoid engaging in negative thoughts, words, or actions.
  4. Try to minimize exposure to loud music, bright lights, and other forms of excessive sensory stimulation. This helps create a conducive environment for spiritual reflection.

It’s important to note that these suggestions are general guidelines, and specific traditions and customs may vary. Individuals

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Renowned Thief Associated With Multiple Bike Thefts Was Arrested By The Nerul Police



A identified thief who has been linked to several bike thefts and chain snatchings in Thane, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai has been nabbed by Nerul police. The offender, identified as Sarfaraz alias Lala Umar Qureshi (20), has been connected to ten criminal occurrences in all, including five chain snatchings, four car thefts, and one house burglary, together with his accomplices.

The operation started when the local police conducted a thorough investigation into a recent two-wheeler theft incident in the Nerul region. With the help of Assistant Police Inspectors Sachin Daghe and Nilesh Shewale, as well as Senior Police Inspector Tanaji Bhagat, the police collected CCTV video from many points across the robber’s journey, which included Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

The cops were able to locate the suspect’s home in Govandi Shivaji Nagar after further technological examination. Nerul police kept a watch and managed to capture Qureshi close to the Vashi train station. During questioning, Qureshi admitted to being involved in chain snatchings and bike thefts around the area.

Following the arrest, two stolen motorcycles and a gold chain estimated to be worth Rs. 1 lakh were found by law enforcement personnel. Among the things taken into custody were a Suzuki Access bike, a Bajaj Pulsar, and eight grams of gold chain.

The defendant tried a number of strategies to avoid being discovered, such as donning a helmet when participating in chain-snatching episodes. In spite of these obstacles, Qureshi was identified by Nerul police after they carefully examined more than 200 hours of CCTV. In the end, officials were able to locate and capture the offender thanks to a critical sighting that did not involve a helmet.

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