“I no more need cash in my college. We pay through our ID cards everywhere within the campus” exclaimed Akankshya, a student pursuing B.Com in Lakshmibai College, as she flashed her new identity card which bears a bar code. In a step towards promoting digital transactions and encouraging Information and Communication Technology(ICT) based learning, Lakshmibai College has introduced new identity cards, through which students can make payments at all places within the campus. The identity cards that earlier used to be a gate pass for the college students, are now their food pass too!Provided they have money in their cards,of course.

Akanshya, student of Lakshmibai College
Kriti Thakur, a student of Lakshmibai College

The new cards can be used to make payments at the college library, canteen, photocopy shop and office. Students can load money in their ID cards through the website or the college’s android application. Then, they can use this money within the campus according to their own requirements. At all the points of payments, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is used which scans the bar code present in the card and deducts the amount from the card. This initiative was launched as a joint venture between the college and Bank of India, which also operates a branch within the college campus.

According to many teachers and students, this initiative is the brainchild of Dr. Pratyush Vatsala, the principal of the college, who has taken several initiatives towards improving the digital infrastructure of the college. She says, “We wanted to increase the utility of the card, and thought why not make it usable for payments within the campus, so we added the cashless payment option to it. We’re the first college in all of DU to have introduced such a move.”

The cards have been colour coded to signify the students’ year. The first year students have purple-and-white cards, the second year students have blue-and-white cards, and the third year students have maroon-and-white cards. Those who hold positions in college societies have tri-colour bands on the cards.

“Our college began this initiative much before the demonetization was announced by our Prime Minister,” said Dr. Sucheta Gauba, a faculty member from the college. Speaking about the new initiative she insisted that this could be an example for other colleges of Delhi University to go cashless. She also said about various other initiatives that the college has undertaken for increasing digitalization of the facilities. The college has developed an app through which teachers can post crucial updates regarding classes, distribute assignments and students can even order food from the college canteen.

As our country is trying to come to terms with the sudden push of GoI towards a digital economy, this unique initiative by Lakshmibai College authorities is an example for other colleges of Delhi University, which are figuring out ways to create cashless campus by 12th of January, 2017 to fulfill the new order issued by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry and promote a digital economy.

Srivedant Kar
[email protected]

Image Credits (both): hindustantimes.com