Thursday November 21, 2019
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PM Modi gives socio-economic gifts to Lanka; offers $318 million support for railways

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who reached Colombo today, made various important and supportive agreements with his Lankan counterpart.

The two nations have decided to set up a Joint Task Force to improve the Indian Ocean economy. India will also provide a fresh line of credit of up to  $318 million for the railways sector which will be used to procure rolling stock, and to restore and upgrade existing railway track.

Apart from this the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of  $1.5 billion which will help keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.

Narendra Modi also signed some social deals to improve connectivity, cooperation and tourism between the countries. Schemes like ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization’ will be extended to Sri Lankan citizens. Air India will also start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo soon. A  Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in youth affairs was also singed ‘ As an important long term investment in our relationship’ Modi said.

The prime minitser also discussed the issue of fishermen with the Sri Lankan President. He said it’s a complex issue concerning livelihood and  humanitarian concerns on both sides and require a long term solution. He added that the two governments can implement the mutually acceptable arrangement between the fishermen`s associations of India and Sri Lanka.

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)