India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded young entrepreneur Harshita Arora, the developer of a cryptocurrency price tracking application, amid an ongoing battle in her home country over the status of cryptocurrency.
In a tweet on Jan. 24, Modi said that Arora’s “passion towards science, technology and human welfare are clearly visible.” She received the Bal Shakti Puraskar 2020: an award recognizing youth’s contributions in the fields of social service, innovation, bravery, sports, art and culture and scholastics.
Arora was born on Oct. 2, 2001, and “created an app to safeguard investors from scammers,” according to Modi’s tweet. Her app, Crypto Price Tracker, is a portfolio management and price tracking app.
She also worked on the “Food AI” application that identifies food in pictures, and another application that helps biologists count cells in microscope images — the aptly named “CellCount.”
The complicated situation of crypto in India
The fact that the prime minister issued an official award to a crypto-involved person is particularly interesting given the conditions for the cryptocurrency industry in the country.
As Cointelegraph recently reported, the Supreme Court of India this week listened to further hearings in the landmark case against the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses.
The case was brought to the highest court in the country by the Internet & Mobile Association of India after public and industry-led petitions against the RBI’s imposition of a blanket ban on banks’ services to crypto businesses back in April 2018, which came into effect in July of that year.
Furthermore, some lawmakers in the Indian parliament have drafted a bill that would ban cryptocurrencies in the country outright. In July 2019, a copy of a bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies ” leaked to the press.
The bill aims to ban any non-government digital assets and defines such assets as “any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value.”