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Exchange of up to Rs 4,500 in banned Indian Currency Notes to each Nepali national: RBI

The Indian proposal has sent waves of nervousness among the Nepali public as India had earlier allowed Nepali citizens to possess up to Indian Rs 25,000 each

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Kathmandu, March 26, 2017: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will allow an exchange of up to Rs 4,500 in banned Indian currency notes to each Nepali national, a visiting team of the Indian central bank in Kathmandu hinted on Sunday.

The Indian proposal has sent waves of nervousness among the Nepali public as India had earlier allowed Nepali citizens to possess up to Indian Rs 25,000 each.

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An RBI team led by Dipali Pant Joshi, executive director, RBI, held talks with a Nepali team, led by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Deputy Governor Chintamani Siwakoti, in Kathmandu and offered to provide exchange facilities up to INR 4,500 in banned Indian currency notes and gave one week’s window to complete the exchange formalities.

However, the Nepali side has been pushing to arrange facilities up to Indian Rs 25,000 which was earlier allowed to a Nepali citizen to hold legally.

If the Indian side remains adamant over the decision, many people who possess banned Indian rupee notes would suffer badly.

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After both sides stated their respective positions, the next meeting has been scheduled for Monday, said officials at Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal.

Similarly, the Nepali side has conveyed to the RBI team that it is also impossible to exchange banned Indian notes within a week as the Nepali side is yet to conduct inventory of banned Indian bills possessed by Nepalis.

In response, the RBI team said it was ready to exchange Indian notes held with Nepali banking and financial institutions immediately but currency notes held by individuals should be exchanged through the banking system.

The Indian delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to hold discussions on extending exchange facilities to Nepalis who are holding banned Indian banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.

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This is the second time that the Indian team has visited Nepal to hold talks on allowing exchange facilities to Nepalis holding demonetised Indian bank notes.

Earlier, the Indian team had expressed fears about Nepal being used as a “clearing house” to channel illegally amassed banknotes into the Indian financial system.

The Indian government’s November 8 move to demonetise Rs 500 and 1,000 bank notes has caused inconvenience to many Nepalis, especially daily-wage earners and labourers working in India, and those visiting the neighbouring country for medical treatment, studies and purchasing goods from Indian markets in border areas.

Nepal’s central bank has been claiming that its financial system is holding Indian Rs 33.6 million at various banks and financial institutions besides NRB itself.

But the actual stock of banned Indian notes is expected to be much higher because Nepalis were previously allowed to carry Indian bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations amounting to Indian Rs 25,000.

Also, those residing in areas bordering India usually keep Indian notes of higher denominations as they have to visit Indian markets frequently to buy essential commodities. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?