UPI helped India fight Covid-19 pandemic better than the world: PM Modi (IANS Interview)

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UPI helped India fight Covid-19 pandemic better than the world: PM Modi (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facility played a significant role in India's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, even as several prosperous countries faced problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told IANS on Monday.Many countries could not ensure the provision of money to their citizens due to the lack of a UPI-like service, which India had during those distressed times.

"If there was no UPI, can someone tell me how we would have fought the battle of Covid? Even the rich countries could not provide money to their people despite having sufficient funds. We gave it easily to the needy," PM Modi told IANS in an exclusive interaction.

"Today, we can send money to 11 crore farmers within 30 seconds. Now, UPI is user-friendly because of talented youth who create such world-class products that any common person can use," he said.

PM Modi also noted that internet data was made cheap in India during the Covid-induced lockdowns in the country in 2020 and 2021, which helped children and the youth bring about a change in their lives. He said that during the pandemic, he was worried about the life of "his now first-time voters, who were 14-15 years old at the time of Covid".

"So we made data very cheap. I was worried that if they remain stuck within the four walls of their homes, it will lead to the end of their childhood," the Prime Minister said.

The logic behind making data cheaper, said PM Modi, was that "I wanted them to use the Internet and look at a new world, and it happened. We have benefited from it".

According to data from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the cost of internet data in 2020 was reduced to Rs 10.55 per GB, enabling affordable internet access for millions of citizens. The inexpensive data has also helped the country create world-class solutions for the world, according to the Prime Minister.

These measures helped "India play a huge role in turning the problems of Covid into an opportunity", he said.

--IANS

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