Posted by: kushwahaji | April 26, 2015

RBI widens PSL coverage, small farmers to get more credit

The Reserve Bank has revised priority sector lending norms to ensure a phased increase in loans to small farmers, and also made it clear that smaller foreign banks will have to meet the 40 percent target over the next five years.
The RBI also said overdrafts of up to Rs 5,000 being extended by banks under the PM’s new financial inclusion drive will also be treated as priority sector lending (PSL), subject a cap on annual household income–which is Rs 1 lakh for rural and Rs 1.60 lakh for non-rural households.

Under the new guidelines, issued on Thursday, credit to small and marginal farmers will should be 8 percent of a bank’s total credit by March 2017.

rbiMedium enterprises, social infrastructure and renewable energy are new sectors which will qualify under the mandatory priority sector norms which aim at uplifting the weaker sections of the economy by increasing formal credit to them, the RBI said in a circular on Thursday evening.

Banks are asked to lend 40 percent of their credit to such sections, failing which money gets deposited into a low-yielding fund for rural development.

Free market advocates complain against the necessity of having such a requirement, saying it stifles banks’ growth.

For foreign banks, where the mandatory PSL has been a contentious issue, RBI said banks with less than 20 branches will have to gradually achieve the 40 percent target by March 2020.

Given the limitations of their networks, smaller foreign banks can book up to 32 percent of their annual loans to the export sector, it added.

Those with over 20 branches, which already have PSL targets and sub-targets for agriculture and weaker sections to be achieved by March 2018 under a previously announced plan, adding sub-targets for small and marginal farmers and micro-enterprises will be made applicable post-2018, after a review in 2017.

Dispensing away with the distinction between direct and indirect agriculture lending, the new guidelines set a target of 8 percent for small and marginal farmers to be achieved by March 2017.

The regulator has also set a target of 7.5 percent for lending to micro-enterprises, while retaining the 10 percent target for the weaker sections.

The RBI also said bank loans to food and agro processing units will form part of agriculture.

To all other banks, the mandated credit requirement for the export sector stands at 2 percent.

“The new additions are good and better aligned to the way the economy is expected to grow. The only concern I have is around the ability of these small and marginal farmers to absorb that level of credit,” leader for banking and capital markets at PwC India Shinjini Kumar said.

She further said, “I think it will require other social and physical infrastructure that empowers them to crate sustainable income from their farms, that may be beyond the capacity of commercial banks.”

In another significant move, the RBI has said the non-achievement will be assessed on quarterly average basis from 2016-17 onwards, instead of the present calculation on an annual basis, which leads to bunching up of PSL in the last quarter.

The definition of housing loans and microfinance loans qualifying under the PSL has also been revised, the RBI said, adding loans of up to Rs 28 lakh in the metros and Rs 20 lakh in non-metros will constitute PSL lending, it said.

Credit to MFIs extended for on-lending to individuals and groups can be classified as PSL under categories like agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises, and others, as indirect finance, “provided not less than 85 percent of total assets of MFI are in nature of qualifying assets”, it said.

For the newly introduced sectors, a medium enterprise loan will earn the PSL tag if the total investment in plant and machinery is between Rs 5 and 10 crore, while loans of up to Rs 5 crore to build schools, health care facilities, drinking water facilities and sanitation facilities in tier II to tier VI centres will qualify for PSL tag under social infrastructure, it said.

In case of renewable energy, a loan of up to Rs 15 crore for power generators from solar, biomass, wind, micro-hydel and non-conventional energy-based public utilities like street lighting systems, and remote village electrification will qualify for PSL.

Additionally, a special dispensation has been given for households wherein loans of up to Rs 10 lakh will qualify for PSL, it said.

Apart from this, buying inter-bank participation certificates and PSL certificates will also qualify for PSL.

Posted by: kushwahaji | July 18, 2012

Agni-1 with 700 KM strike range test fired

Giving a fillip to its missile capability, India on Friday successfully test fired the indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile with a strike range of 700 km as part of the Army’s user trial from a test range off Odisha coast.

The trial of Agni-I missile conducted from the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island was successful. It met the mission objectives,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.

The surface-to-surface single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test fired from a mobile launcher at about 10.10 AM from launch pad-4 of the ITR at Wheeler Island, about 100 KMs from Balasore, a defence scientist said.

Describing the launch as a routine users trial by the strategic force command of the Indian Army, he said the main objective was to train the user team to launch the missile.

“It was a practice drill. The user-team picked a missile at random from the production lot and fired it with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR,” he said.

Agni-I has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy. The trajectory of the missile, with an operational strike range of 700 km, was tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 KG, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

The last trial of the Agni-I missile was successfully carried out on December 1, 2011 from the same base.

Since the missile has already been inducted into the armed forces, it is important to conduct user trials to train defence personnel and improve their skills.

Posted by: kushwahaji | March 27, 2011

India successfully test-fires Dhanush, Prithvi-II missiles

In an exercise to further sharpen its missile teeth, India on Friday successfully test-fired two indigenously developed, nuclear capable ballistic missiles, both having a strike range of 350 kms, from separate locations off the Orissa coast.

While ‘Dhanush’ was flight tested from a naval ship in the Bay of Bengal at a spot between Paradip and Puri at 1005 hours, ‘Prithvi-II’ surface-to-surface ballistic missile was test-fired at around 11 hours from a mobile launcherat launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, 15 km from Balasore.

“It was a fantastic launch. Both the missions, carried out from different locations off Orissa coast, were fully successful,” ITR Director S P Dash told.

“Both the missiles are under production after successful completion of developmental trials and have been inducted into the Armed Forces,” said a scientist of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), maintaining that the launches on Friday morning were “part of regular training exercise”.

“The trajectory of both the missiles, with advanced navigation and guidance systems, were monitored by a widespread tracking network consisting of radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems spread over land and sea,” he said.

A similar training exercise, comprising both Dhanush and Prithvi-II were successfully conducted in a “salvo mode” off Orissa coast on 27th March, 2010.

Dhanush, which is also known as the naval version of Prithvi, is a liquid-propellant single-stage missile.

It has a pay load capacity of 500 kg and capable of carrying both nuclear as well as conventional warheads.

The missile can hit both sea and shore-based targets with pin-point accuracy.

It is 10 metres long, one metre in diameter and weighs six tonnes. Referring to Prithvi-II, a DRDO scientist said the test firing of the surface-to-surface missile, which has already been inducted into Armed Forces, was a routine trial conducted by the personnel of Strategic Force Command (SFC).

“The trial was conducted in the presence of senior officials as part of routine training exercises,” sources said.

Prithvi, the first missile developed under Indias prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), has proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier since the first trial conducted in 1988.

Posted by: kushwahaji | January 21, 2011

Centre committed to popularise Ayurveda globally: Azad

The Centre has said it has taken various steps to popularise and encourage Ayurveda as a system of medicine globally.

These steps include signing MoUs on Mutual recognition of systems of medicine and collaborative research with some nations,” Union Minister for Health and family welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Thrissur on Tuesday.

 “The government will ensure that AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy and Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) systems get the recognition they deserve…More stress would be laid on improving quality of education, drugs and research in those systems,” he said.

 Azad was in Thrissur to lay the foundation stone of public sector Pharmaceutical Corporation (IM) Kerala Limited Oushadhi’s Centre of Excellence for ayurvedic pharmaceuticals at Kuttanelloor.

 The constitution of AYUSH was to ensure quality heath services to the public under National Rural Health Mission.

Posted by: kushwahaji | October 30, 2010

New Treatments

In a discovery that could lead to new treatments to prevent relapse of cancer, scientists have claimed to have uncovered how a small number of cancer cells escape from chemotherapy by hiding in a protective shield.

In a study of mice, biologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge found that a few cancer cells hide inside the thymus, an organ where immune cells mature and escape the treatment.

While hiding there, they are bathed in growth factors that protect them from the drugs’ effects.

Those cells are likely the source of relapsed tumours, said Michael Hemann, MIT assistant professor of biology, who led the study.

Those drugs were originally developed to treat arthritis, and are now in clinical trials for that use.

According to the scientists, such a drug, when used in combination with traditional chemotherapy, can offer a one-two punch to eliminate residual cells and prevent cancer relapse.

“Successful cancer therapy needs to involve a component that kills tumour cells as well as a component that blocks pro-survival signals,” said Hemann.

“Current cancer therapies fail to target this survival response.”

The exact mechanism is not known, but the researchers believe that chemotherapy-induced DNA damage provokes those blood-vessel cells to launch a stress response that is normally intended to protect progenitor cells immature cells that can become different types of blood cells.

“In response to environmental stress, the hardwired response is to protect privileged cells in that area, that is progenitor cells,” said Hemann.

 “These pathways are being coopted by tumor cells, in response to the frontline cancer therapies that we use.”

The discovery marks the first time scientists have seen a protective signal evoked by chemotherapy in the area surrounding the tumour, known as the tumour microenvironment.

“It’s completely unexpected that drugs would promote a survival response,” said Hemann.

While the MIT researchers observed this protective effect only in the thymus, they believe there may be other protected areas where tumour cells hide, such as the bone marrow.

This finding could help explain why tumours that have spread to other parts of the body before detection are more resistant to frontline chemotherapy, they added.

Posted by: kushwahaji | October 30, 2010

Bollywood News

Saif Ali Khan meets Martin Scorcese, talks Sharmila

Saif Ali Khan was accosted by a stranger recently and it turned out to be none other than Academy award winning director Martin Scorcese.

The Bollywood heartthrob was in Marrakech when the acclaimed director came up to him to talk about his mother Sharmila Tagore. The ‘Raging Bull’ director, it turned out is a huge fan of Tagore’s work in Satyajit Ray films like ‘Devi’ and ‘Apur Sansar’.

“It was a surprise. He told me that he had grown up watching my mother in Satyajit Ray films and adores her. And that is amazing because he grew up in New York,” said Khan who was in the city to promote the Taj Enlighten Film Society.

But despite his pedigree, the actor, eldest child of the actress and legendary cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, says that Bollywood is a true democracy where only talent counts.

“If we all had to follow our parents calling, I should have been a cricketer. Our top star Shah Rukh Khan does not come from a filmy family, he is actually the first ever person in his family to become an actor. It’s talent that matters, not your blood line,” said the actor.

The 40-year-old actor who is currently shooting his home production ‘Agent Vinod’, a action thriller, said that he grew up watching mafia flicks, on a rented VCR at his home in Bhopal.

“I grew up between Bhopal and Pataudi and there was not much to do and those were the times when we only had Doordarshan. So I used to watch movies and I remember the genre of crime used to fascinate me, the mafia, the Sicilian clan. I used to love all that,” said Khan.

The actor says that his ultimate ambition is to restore the Pataudi Palace where he grew up ang grow old in it.

“The property is very dear to me. My grandmother is buried there. It has been rented out to a hotel chain right now, who in turn rent it out for film shoots. I dream of restoring it to it’s old glory and just grow old there,” said Khan.

Posted by: kushwahaji | October 30, 2010

BSE Sensex

BSE Sensex down 134 pts on profit-booking

Amidst high volatility, the BSE benchmark Sensex dropped 134 points due to profit-booking from investors following expiry of near-month October contracts and doubts over the quantum of quantitative easing by US Federal Reserve at a policy meeting in early November.

Realty, power, public sector units, IT and metal sectors were the major losers of the week on fresh selling pressure from operators.

Metal stocks were the worst hit on worries of the pace of global economic recovery.

However, buying was seen in consumer durable and auto stocks as investors seemed to be on a shopping spree ahead of the fast approaching Diwali festival.

But this was not enough to stem the decline in the key index.

Operators and investors were seen rolling over their long as well short positions following expiry of derivatives contracts on 28th October, leading to see-saw movements, a broker said.

The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 20,199.73 and hovered in a range of 20,452.30 and 19,768.96 before ending the week at 20,032.34, showing a net loss of 133.52 points or 0.66 per cent from its last weekend’s close.

Posted by: kushwahaji | August 15, 2010

Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games will be a proud moment for India

Asking people to treat the Commonwealth Games as a national festival, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday exuded confidence that the country will successfully host the October event, preparations for which have been plagued by controversies. “The Commonwealth Games will start in Delhi after about one-and-a-half months.

This will be a proud moment for the whole country and especially for Delhi,” Singh said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. “I am convinced that all our countrymen will treat the Games as a national festival and will leave no stone unturned to make them a success,” he said. The Prime Minister said a successful Delhi Games would also be a signal that India is rapidly marching ahead. “The successful organisation of Commonwealth Games would be another signal to the world that India is rapidly marching ahead with confidence,” he said. The preparations for Commonwealth Games have been marred by a spate of corruption charges and delay in construction works following which the Prime Minister stepped in and gave overriding powers to a committee of secretaries to supervise the event.

Observing that there have been slippages in time schedules and deficiencies, Singh yesterday directed thorough probes into complaints of procedural and other irregularities by the ministries concerned and said that those found guilty should face severe and exemplary punishment.

Posted by: kushwahaji | April 28, 2010

Travel Caribbean Countries

Travel to Caribbean Countries and Beautiful Beaches

There are several great ways to travel to Caribbean islands and one of the best ways is to book a long Caribbean cruise. You can book your travel to Caribbean ports with one of the top cruise lines online and save even more money. Travelzoo has a great promotion that they send out weekly to their email subscribers. It is called “‘This Week’s Top 20 for Travelzoo VIPs” and you need to go on their site and sign up for it. A typical special would be something like “$379 — Bermuda: Cruise 7 Nights This Spring w/$50 Credit” or “$1149 — 2-Week Panama Canal Cruise incl. $150 Credit & Air”. These and other fantastic special deals get sent directly to your email each week.

One of the best cruise lines you can take to travel to Caribbean island destinations is Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines royal caribbean but there are lots of cruise ship companies and some that are not as famous may be better values. You can get a lot more for your money if you travel to Caribbean destinations with a lesser known cruise line.

Once on the cruise ship you will be able to do most anything you would dream of doing at a land locked resort. There are different restaurants and buffets available at all hours and all the food you can eat is included in your cruise ticket. Most of these buffets are incredible with great food including lobster, shrimp and seafood prepared by some of the best chefs in the business.

There are many different ports of call when you travel to Caribbean countries via cruise ships. Some of the most popular are Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic), San Juan (Puerto Rico), St. John’s (Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), and Kingston (Jamaica). When you finally arrive you will either have signed up for a land tour with the ship or you can go off on your own, find your own taxi or rent-a-car and explore to your heart’s content. The only rule is that you have to be back at the ship at a certain hour or else you get left behind and that can cost you an arm and a leg.

St. Thomas has some great shops near the pier where all the cruise ships berth and you can walk around and shop ’til you drop. If you like rum, this is truly a paradise for you and you will find hundreds of rare bottles of rum including Rhum Babancourt and St. James Extra Old. You can pick up as many bottles as you want and not pay duty on them. This really makes them much more affordable and tempting to purchase. You can also get authentic Cuban cigars in St. Thomas as well as beautiful arts and crafts from the local artisans.

If you want to relax you can take a cab to a local beach and lay out and get a suntan. One of the best parts of travel to Caribbean ports of call is that they each have their own distinct character and unbelievable beaches.

All in all, a Caribbean cruise is a terrific and affordable way for families to explore travel to Caribbean countries and exotic beaches.