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MediaNama Daily: The Perfect Pitch Session?

Right to Information queries, Fintech regulations, OpenAI’s latest GPT-4 AI model, Meta’s second round of layoffs, and more

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For most startups, the online discussion with India’s IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar was to air their concerns about the Silicon Valley Bank crisis and seek government support. But, for some, it was the perfect pitch session. Use our neobank to wire money to the US, one fintech company pitched.

Coming back to the discussion, it appears to have revolved largely around why startups are not using the services of Indian banks, and startups had some excellent points to make here. Hopefully, these are taken to heart and we can come up with policies that give startups more reasons to stay in India rather than set up shop abroad.  

When all was said and done, the IT Minister returned to an advice he made a few days earlier: trust the Indian banking system more. Read this 3-minute story here.

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🎟 We’re excited to see you at our event!

Can user verification prevent scams? How can we protect our sensitive data while undergoing government verification? Can verification prevent harm to children? We will be raising and discussing these, and more such questions, at our hybrid roundtable on ‘Exploring User Verification’ at The Claridges in New Delhi on March 23, 2023. Want to join? Register here. Need to know more? Read here.

🗓 Your Tech Policy Agenda

  • AI and Health: National Symposium on Health Data and Artificial Intelligence is being held at Christian Medical College, Vellore, to discuss development of patient centric AI in India on March 17-18, 2023. Find registration details here.
  • Women+Tech: FemTechConf is holding its Global Women in Tech Q1 Summit from March 24-25, 2023, to connect over 75,000 professionals in the tech domain. Request your ticket to the summit here
  • Digital Solutions: Convergence India Expo, 2023, has carefully curated co-located expos—IoT India, Embedded Tech India, Mobile India, Fintech India & Digital Gaming India. To experience the entire gamut of digital solutions, book your tickets to be at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 27-29 March. Pre-register here.

🚨Today’s Top Stories


We choose what to answer: Government entities ace the skill of ignoring queries on any issue that highlights their failure. India’s unique ID authority just did that with our Right to Information queries on a critical nation-wide cybercrime related to the Aadhaar-based transaction system. The body conveniently chose to ignore multiple questions on the nature of these complaints and provided the safest possible answer. [Read 🔒, 3 minutes]  

Beyond the smokescreen: The recent G20 meeting with central banks’ governors and finance ministers ended without a joint statement on the economic issues outlined. As the media breathlessly reported, that was because some countries refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or decry the use of nuclear weapons. But, the 20 countries actually agreed on the need to focus on some key tech policy issues—like global regulatory standards for crypto, and using digital public infrastructure to improve financial inclusion. We break down the four tech policy issues worth keeping an eye on. [Read 🔒, 3 minutes]

Don’t share your mobile number with retailers: The Indian government has confirmed that there is no reason for a retailer to ask for your mobile number unless it is absolutely necessary. The clarification came at the right time because it is high time someone put a stop to this intrusive practice which serves no purpose and only risks data privacy of Indians. [Read 🔒, 2 minutes]    


Should OTT companies pay telcos: It seems like the European Union moved a step closer in its efforts to get OTT companies to pay telcos for using their infrastructure. The European Commission issued an exploratory consultation which can pave the way for the regulatory framework in the future. The move has come under a lot of criticism as it is likely to affect net neutrality, among other things. [Read 🔒, 6 minutes]      


Fintech regulations 101: Starting or running a fintech company is no easy task. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is navigating the regulatory landscape. An even bigger challenge is foreseeing what new regulations might emerge. So it helps to have an idea of how the RBI is approaching this industry. RBI Deputy Governor MK Jain in a speech lays out the central bank’s overarching approach to fintech regulations, and we’ve summarised the same for you. [Read 🔒, 5 minutes]


New mobile security rules? The day before yesterday Reuters came out with a report claiming that the Indian government wants to screen smartphone OS updates and crackdown on pre-installed apps for national security reasons. Yesterday, the IT Minister and another senior government official both rubbished the report as incorrect. Now who do we believe? A government that is not always known for its honesty or a news report based on unnamed sources. We don’t know, so we have summarised both sides for you, and also highlighted our concerns with the “proposed” rules. [Read 🔒, 2 minutes]


Introducing GPT-4: OpenAI has come up with its latest GPT-4 AI model. This version claims improved reliability, creativity and nuanced handling of instructions but it is not without its flaws. For one thing, OpenAI has said that there are reasoning errors. Then there’s the fact that this version has information only until September 2021. Not a deal breaker but considering the waves ChatGPT is causing, here’s our summary on what this new version can and cannot do. [Read, 2 minutes

🌏 Tech Policy from Around the World

‘A Huge Disruption’: Startups Worldwide Gird for Life After SVB [Read] (Lizette Chapman, Hannah Miller, Priya Anand/Bloomberg)

Meta to cut 10,000 jobs in second round of layoffs [Read] (Katie Paul and Nivedita Balu/Reuters)

Reddit is back after being down for hours [Read] (Jay Peters/The Verge)

TikTok May Split With China-Based ByteDance To Avoid U.S. Ban, Report Says [Read] (Nicholas Reimann/Forbes)

Tech start-ups assess damage caused by Silicon Valley Bank collapse [Read] (Richard Waters, Elaine Moore, Ian Johnston, Tim Bradshaw/Financial Times)

UAE Spy Chief’s Firm Buys Into ByteDance at $220 Billion Value [Read] (Manuel Baigorri, Ben Bartenstein, Dong Cao/Bloomberg)

Nigeria launches $672 million tech fund for young investors [Read] (MacDonald Dzirutwe/Reuters)

Meta gives up on NFTs for Facebook and Instagram [Read] (Jay Peters/The Verge)

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MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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