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Paresh Dhokad Veenu Singh While effective governance and inclusive institutions are cornerstones of economic growth, poor state capacity can lead to inefficiencies in public service delivery. However, India stands out amongst emerging economies for unleashing digital transformation in the public sector. A major step in this direction is the recently launched e-RUPI digital payment instrument, which is being touted as the effective solution to end leakage and targeting woes. The e-RUPI, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, is a one-time contactless and cashless voucher-based mode of payment, with the redemption of a voucher restricted to a specific individual for an intended purpose The beneficiary can redeem vouchers at designated vendors and service providers in exchange for intended goods or services. So, what makes the e-RUPI a path-breaking initiative? While the DBT system necessitates the beneficiary to have a registered bank account linked to Aadhaar card, all that the e-RUPI requires is a basic phone, without the need for any card or app or internet connection. With the service provider Instantaneous transfer arrangement ensures service providers are paid immediately without having to submit claims, thereby enhancing the availability of working capital. The e-RUPI, being a real-time payment system, is expected to reduce logistics costs of public service delivery and improve the marginal value of public funds through increased efficiency and impact. Beginning of a revolution: Although piloted for health benefits, the e-RUPI can improve service delivery across sectors. As is the practice in the US, Sweden and Hong Kong, the government may use vouchers to provide scholarships to students in state schools, or issue skill vouchers that can be used to pay for vocational training at approved skill centres. Vouchers can also be employed to provide fertiliser subsidy using agri-vouchers, which eligible farmers can redeem at state-specified counters. Social vouchers could be a mechanism to deliver targeted public welfare to migrants and the marginalised, a need strongly felt during Covid-19. The e-RUPI payment system may be further extended to social security programmes Vouchers may even be used to reward income-tax payers; this has been proven to increase tax compliance. As in Japan and South Korea, the government may issue e-RUPI visit vouchers for archaeological monuments, national parks, heritage sites, and the like. These measures will nudge growth in allied sectors of the economy, in addition to bringing in increased tax revenues. The gains of the e-RUPI ecosystem are not restricted to public service delivery. The corporate sector, under CSR obligations, may choose to distribute food, shelter or medicine vouchers using the e-RUPI. Possibilities and challenges: The e-RUPI payment system can enable central and state governments in effective targeting of their social benefits schemes. The government can monitor utilisation levels of vouchers in real-time, and can cap the limit on the maximum number of transactions or maximum amount of redemption per individual. Along with potential use-cases, e-RUPI transactions can generate tonnes of geo-tagged consumption information, collected through redemption apps and devices of service providers. This data can provide feedback to policymakers to fine-tune policies and take corrective action, if any. Real-time data can be used to analyse consumption patterns of public services in remote areas, north-eastern states and Aspirational Districts to make evidence-informed decisions. Once the government pulls away from being directly involved in service delivery, it can focus more on achieving and monitoring outcomes of its interventions. As with any new tech-enabled framework, the implementation of the e-RUPI is riddled with challenges. The government should ensure the privacy of beneficiaries is not compromised and all information including personal identifiers is encrypted. A monitoring and analytics cell may be set up to concurrently analyse and evaluate the implementation and enhancement of the e-RUPI delivery architecture. Public service delivery in India is on the cusp of a digital revolution. The e-RUPI is a shift away from the Authors are consultants, NITI Aayog
By Malcolm Dsouza, The ongoing pandemic has pushed business leaders to rethink and rediscover their sense of purpose. With offices moving to home, HR teams had a huge onus to restructure existing-working strategies and ensure that employees stay connected, engaged, motivated and productive during the large-scale shift. While we are already aware of the By leveraging technologies, HR leaders have not only made this transition smooth and seamless for employees but also helped them stay safe, fit and result-oriented in their new home-office setup. Against this backdrop, here are some innovative HR practices that both new-age and established corporates have adopted to run successfully in the new world order: Look after your mental health! WFH has been the safest approach adopted by companies to continue their operations amidst the pandemic. However, in many cases, it has also led to increased stress as employees had to balance both office deadlines and home chores. Frequent burnouts have had an adverse effect on employees According to a survey, work-related stress from WFH has affected the personal lives of 59% of men and 56% of women. To address this problem, several companies have partnered with healthcare experts to provide employees with timely assistance if they are going through emotional traumas. All they have to do is connect with an expert via the EAP toll-free Helpline number and get instant help for free. Upskilling is the new necessity! One of the biggest pandemic repercussions so far is job layoffs salary reductions. While employees are struggling to prove their capabilities, numerous companies have come forward to reskill and upskill their workforce. The increasing adoption of mentorship programs by leaders for driving self-development and helping employees gain competitive skill-sets, as a measure to bridge the talent-skill gap is a testimony. These learning initiatives include both hard skills and soft skills such as leadership, communication, team management, problem-solving, and logical thinking, among others. Not only have these support programs helped employees upgrade their existing abilities in line with the evolving market demand but have also bolstered collaboration, diversity, equality and inclusion within the organization. Financial backing is equally important! The ongoing pandemic has also engendered financial hardships to a major part of the world population, making it difficult for people to manage even their daily expenses. Hence, to offer financial support during these hard times, various companies have created cash grants for employees that are based on specific events like loss of household income, housing damage, fire, illness, etc. For instance, Edwards Lifesciences has started providing employees in all their global locations with grants ranging from $500 to $4,000 through application depending on any adverse event and the employees Employers are also offering life insurance covers with corporate buffers to help employees with additional funds in case they exceed their insurance coverage limit. Other measures include vaccine reimbursement, bereavement leaves, ensuring no salary cuts, hiring more candidates, etc. Stay engaged, stay motivated! While the pandemic has put a full stop to our social lives, by restricting us to Zoom and MS Teams meetings, it has become essential for leaders to keep employees connected and engaged across all levels. Ensuring that the employee and employer remain intact and inclined towards a common goal, companies have come up with various engagement initiatives. For instance, organizing virtual contests around various topics such as fitness, talent, comedy, and much more. These programs play a pivotal role in building and strengthening the relationship between colleagues, and keeping them entertained as well as competitive at the same time. After all, healthy competition can genuinely motivate employees to perform better and excel in their respective domains. Summing up As we advance in the post-COVID era, companies must continue to focus on health, prevention, nutrition, community service, finance and education. These factors will decide whether a company would thrive or perish. Moreover, there is another aspect that leaders should keep in mind – women empowerment Supporting women employees to reach leadership positions should be a top priority in an organization These are some of the key takeaways that leaders must consider while ushering in the new normal, without which, they would be a thing of the past, sooner or later. (The author is Head – Human Resource, Edwards Lifesciences (India) Private Limited. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)
Markets regulator Sebi on Thursday came out with detailed modalities for implementation of the accredited investors framework, a move expected to open up a new channel of raising funds from sophisticated investors. The regulator has issued guidelines on eligibility criteria for accredited investors (AIs), procedure as well as validation for accreditation, procedure to avail benefits linked to accreditation and flexibility to investors to withdraw Sebi had earlier this month introduced the concept of A person will be identified as an accredited investor on the basis of net worth or income. Individuals, HUFs, family trusts, sole proprietorships, partnership firms, trusts and body corporates can get accreditation based on financial parameters specified by the regulator. Under the framework, AIs may avail flexibility in minimum investment amount (lower ticket size) or concessions from specific regulatory requirements applicable to investment products. This is subject to conditions applicable for specific products or services under the rules. The regulator said subsidiaries of depositories and stock exchanges will issue an accreditation certificate to such investors. It further said subsidiaries of recognised stock exchanges can carry out the accreditation process. This is subject to the condition that the stock exchange should have minimum 20 years of presence in the Indian securities market and should have a networth of at least Rs 200 crore. Among other criteria, the exchange needs to have nation-wide terminals and should have investor grievance redressal mechanisms in place, including arbitration and presence of Investor Service Centres (ISCs) in at least 20 cities. Accreditation agencies will be responsible for verification of documents submitted by applicants, timely processing of applications and issuance of accreditation certificate, maintaining data of accredited investors and verification of accreditation status. Eligible subsidiaries will have to make an application to Sebi through the concerned stock exchange or depository for recognition as an accreditation agency within three weeks. The accreditation agency will issue a certificate to the applicant as an AI. Each certificate will have a unique accreditation number, name of the accreditation agency, PAN of the applicant and validity of accreditation. In respect of validity of accreditation, Sebi said if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for accreditation for the preceding one year, the accreditation will be valid for a period of one year. With regard to eligibility criteria for AIs, Sebi said an individual, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), family trust or sole proprietorship can be an accredited investor if their annual income is at least Rs 2 crore or net worth is at least Rs 7.50 crore, with at least half of it in financial assets. Such entities with a combination of at least Rs 1 crore annual income and a net worth of Rs 5 crore, with at least half in financial assets, can also become an accredited investor. For trusts other than family trusts, a net worth of at least Rs 50 crore would be required to qualify as accredited investors. For corporates, a net worth of Rs 50 crore will be must. In case of a partnership firm, Sebi said each partner independently will have to meet the eligibility criteria for accreditation. Explaining the procedure to avail benefits linked to accreditation, Sebi said prospective investors will have to submit a copy of the accreditation certificate and an undertaking to the investment provider saying such investor has the ability to bear the financial risks associated with the investment. In the undertaking, it needs to be mentioned that such investor has the necessary knowledge and means to understand the features of the investment product, including the associated risks. Sebi said investors will have the flexibility to withdraw their consent and discontinue availing benefits of accreditation subject to certain conditions. If an investor who has availed concessions in the regulatory framework withdraws the consent furnished to the investment provider before the expiry of the client agreement, the investments already made shall be With effect from the date of withdrawal of consent, any further transaction will be in accordance with the applicable regulatory framework, the regulator noted. The client agreement will have to provide the modalities for withdrawal of consent and consequences of the investor withdrawing the consent.
Focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the postponement of several types of surgeries, and shortage of staff at hospitals were among the factors that affected patients in Maharashtra, as per a survey conducted recently. In a release issued on Saturday, the Jan Arogya Abhiyan, a non-profit public health campaign involving activists, experts and NGOs, which carried out the survey, said cesarean section procedures, trauma care etc took a hit, especially in rural parts of the state. The survey was carried out in July this year and covered 122 primary health centres (PHCs), 24 rural hospitals and 14 sub-district hospitals in 17 Maharashtra districts, namely Akola, Amravati, Ahmednagar, Osmanabad, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Thane, Nandurbar, Parbhani, Palghar, Pune, Beed, Yavatmal, Solapur and Hingoli, the JAA release informed. At least 11 hospitals that were surveyed did not treat accident cases due to the pandemic, 22 rural and sub-district hospitals stopped performing C-section procedures and and 12 did not perform a wide range of surgeries, forcing many to rush to private hospitals and bear the resultant high costs, it said, adding that cataract operations, minor surgeries and sterilisation procedures were also postponed. Highlighting the shortage of staff at health facilities, the survey report informed that only 51 per cent of the surveyed PHCs had one permanent medical officer, which meant only one doctor for around 30,000 people, and only 53 per cent had permanent nurses. Around 46 per cent rural hospitals and 30 per cent sub-districts hospitals do not have specialist doctors. As many as 81 per cent posts for psychiatrists, 63 per cent posts for surgeons, 47 per cent posts for anesthetists, 26 per cent posts for gynecologists, 23 per cent posts for pediatricians and 47 per cent posts for dentists are lying vacant in rural hospitals,? the report said. JAA activist Girish Bhave said poor rural health infrastructure was a matter of concern as people there are excessively depended on government facilities, while activist Shailaja Aralkar said the pandemic showed public sector health facilities are the mainstay of people, especially in rural and tribal areas, and these must be strengthened.
Bulls charged ahead on the first trading session of the week and helped benchmark indices scale fresh all-time highs once again on Monday. On the closing bell, SP BSE Sensex was at 56,889 while the NSE Nifty 50 sat at 16,931 – their highest ever closing levels. Broader markets mirrored the up-move with certain midcap and smallcap indices outperforming the benchmark indices. Bank Nifty managed to breach the 36,000 mark, gaining 2%. On Tuesday morning, however, SGX Nifty was down with losses, signalling some negative momentum ahead of the day Global cues were mixed after Wall Street ended mixed and Asian markets slipped. Among Asian markets, Shanghai Composite, Hang Seng, Nikkei 225, TOPIX, KOSPI, and KOSDAQ were down in the red. This is a positive indication and one may expect further upside in the short term, Levels to watch out for: Nifty is now just shy of 17,000 mark. On the flip side, markets may take a temporary pause near 17000-17050 levels due to an extended rally while intraday charts suggest the market is in an overbought situation, He added that while Nifty stays above 16,800, the uptrend formation could continue and below it markets may become vulnerable. FII and DII trades: On Monday, Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) turned net buyers of domestic stocks after 9 days of successive selling. FIIs pumped in Rs 1,202 crore into the market yesterday. Domestic Institutional Investors (DII) were also net buyers of stocks on Monday, for the third consecutive day. DIIs bought shares worth Rs 688 crore. Put open interest is the most at 16,700, followed by 16,800 strike.
The PMI reading of 52.3 for August, below the July print of 55. 3 and also lower than those for March and April, is a sobering reminder the economic recovery remains somewhat uneven. Even more sobering is the fact that unemployment in August rose to 8.32% from a four-month low of 6.95% in July, according to CMIE. In fact, the GDP numbers for the June quarter were a shade softer than consensus expectations, with the performance of both industry and services remaining well below the pre-pandemic levels of June 2019. Given the country For one, capital formation was down 17% over June 2019 levels. Even viewed sequentially, fixed investments contracted a little over 15 % quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) seasonally adjusted. Since the government New project announcements by the private sector for the June quarter according to CMIE data, were of the order of Rs 1.2 lakh crore4. lakh crore reached in the December 2019 quarter. The key services sector, the biggest part of the economy, grew at a very modest 11.4% y-o-y in the June quarter; this is a worry because the sector creates job opportunities. A key segment comprising trade, hotel, restaurants, etc, contracted a sharp 35% sequentially. Some loss in the sequential momentum was, no doubt, expected given the restricted lockdowns across the country for the three months to June, during the severe second wave of the pandemic. That the direct economic cost of the second wave in the June quarter3% q-o-q seasonally adjusted Private consumption, not surprisingly, was down 12% over June 2019 levels; even seen sequentially, it contracted by about 9% seasonally adjusted. At Rs 17.8 lakh crore, private consumption is the smallest in 15 quarters save for the June 2020 quarter when the country was under a total lockdown. To be sure, it is not all about demand being weak, but that restricted entry to malls, hotels, restaurants and shopping outlets has left consumers with limited opportunities to spend. Again, supply bottlenecks have hit sales of products As the festive season approaches and vaccination progresses, one expects the recovery to gather momentum. Also, government consumption turned out to be very subdued, contracting nearly 25% q-o-q seasonally adjusted, which economists attribute to the states not spending as expected. While exports turned in a superb show in Q1FY22, economists caution the global demand for goods could slow and that their contribution could, over a period, become smaller. To ensure the recovery sustains, the Centre must spend; despite robust revenues, the fiscal deficit for the April-July period was 21% of the budget estimates. This is critical for the informal sector where the recovery has been much weaker; real GVA for the economy grew at 18.8% in Q1FY22 while that for the corporate sector increased 48%. A big chunk of the 40% of the labour force, who are non-agricultural workers, in the informal sector could be stranded without work. The government must move quickly on implementing schemes like the PLI one. Job-creation must be top priority.
The country received 24 per cent less rainfall than normal in August, belying the IMDs predictions for the month, but according to the latest forecast it is expected to be above normal in September. Above normal rainfall to normal rainfall is likely over many parts of central India in September, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said on Wednesday. The IMD also updated the overall rainfall forecast for the season and it is now likely to be around the lower end of normal rainfall, he added. Monthly rainfall over the country as a whole during September is most likely to be above normal (over 110 per cent of the Long Period Average), the IMD said. The monsoon deficit now stands at nine per cent and this is expected to come down due to good rainfall during September, Mohapatra said. July had recorded seven per cent less rainfall, while June had recorded 10 per cent more rainfall, according the meteorological department. The country received 24 per cent less rainfall than normal in August, but rainfall is expected to be above normal in September, the IMD said in its forecast for the month. Mohapatra also said that normal to below rainfall is expected over north and northeast India, and southern parts of south India. He said the latest global model forecasts indicate that prevailing ENSO (El Nino) conditions are likely to continue over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and the negative Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are likely to continue over the Indian Ocean region during September. However, sea surface temperatures (SST) over the central and east equatorial Pacific Ocean are showing signs of cooling and there is an increased possibility of re-emergence of the La Nina conditions at the end of the monsoon season or thereafter, the IMD chief said. As SST conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans are known to have strong influence on the Indian monsoon, the IMD is carefully monitoring the evolution of sea surface conditions over these ocean basins,? Mohapatra said.
Technology will play a key role in global climate action. It has become imperative given the how fast the window for any meaningful efforts to keep warming to under 2oC from pre-industrial levels by 2100 is closing. As the International Energy Agency Some of the technologies that can help mankind in climate action are already here, some are emerging. Many companies have either developed or are working on carbon-capture technology, which can The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the worst climate culprit so far, has increased by close to half of what it was before industrialisation; so, the potential of carbon-capture is nothing to be sneezed at. Many other solutions are in the offing: while food scientists and companies like Impossible Foods are working on making meat-alternatives more meat-like, research in agriculture will also likely push the world towards cultivation of low-carbon crops. Solar Foods is using hydrogen from water and bacteria to create a flour-substitute (yet to be licensed for commercial purposes). There is talk of creating, using biological algorithms, milk-, fish- and egg-mimics that can lower the carbon footprint of these items. Solidia is developing cement through a process that cuts emissions by a third over the conventional process; throw in proposed curing using carbon dioxide, and the reduction could be a whopping 70%. The cement industry is a major emitter, and consumption is a gargantuan four gigatons annually; low-emission cement would be manna from heaven. UK-based Zelp is working on lowering methane emissions from cattle From hydrogen-fuelled ships that Scandinavian countries are collaborating on5% of global carbon dioxide emissions It could be true that the technology to make present levels of consumption The argument proffered is high-income nations will have to focus on economic stability at present levels rather than economic growth even as less-developed nations pursue poverty mitigation with an emissions trade-off. But, there is no denying that technology and innovation can only be enablers in the climate effort, as the UN Climate Change body It is heartening that corporates are committing to green action; Europe The need is now for developed countries to push adoption of climate-related tech in developing and poor nations, through more ambitious and committed funding than seen so far.
TikTok has again secured the top position in Kantar The video-sharing platform has emerged as the leading digital platform in the US market, while maintaining first or second position in nine of the 22 markets. However, it has been ranked as the number one overall platform in the Taiwan market only. Furthermore, the number of consumers exposed to ads on TikTok almost doubled from 19% last year to 37% this year. Although consumers find TikTok as the most innovative platform for ads, their most trusted environment for ads is Spotify, followed by Google and Amazon. Interestingly, marketers have increased investment in podcasts in 2021 and the spends will further go up in 2022. The report also found that Amazon has ranked second, globally, among consumers, topping the list in four markets including Brazil and Egypt. Instagram, Google, Twitter are other place holders in the top five media brands chart. In India, Google is the top ad equity performer amongst consumers. To create a balance, marketers favour channels and platforms that are trustworthy, as well as provide innovative advertising environments. According to the report, Instagram best manages this balancing act. YouTube, Google and Facebook remain as trusted platforms but consumers consider these platforms to some extent less innovative. Consumers do not differentiate between the way media is bought and hence it will no longer be offline vs online but a balance of reach vs receptivity and global vs local media partners to bridge the gap between what consumers prefer vs what advertisers perceive consumers prefer, According to Ranade, Indian consumers generally have more pronounced views on advertising compared to the global audience. As per the report, local, regional or localised versions of global media brands lead in 16 of the 23 markets surveyed. Moreover, news and magazine brands lead on ad equity in 10 of these 16 markets. While global media brands need to focus on localisation, local brands need to differentiate by showcasing their authenticity and cultural sensitivity, the report suggested. Marketers need to ensure their strategies respect those preferences alongside the benefits of scale delivered by global digital platforms, We have also seen the re-emergence of retail as a critical ad platform, both online and physically. Advertising strategies that seamlessly align with omnichannel retail strategies provide a great opportunity for marketers to deliver more popular campaigns The report also forecasts that the majority of global marketers plan to increase spend on online video, influencer content, and social media ads as digital media spend has been rising. Even traditional channels have started to digitise leading to a rise in digital out-of-home (OOH) spend. On the other hand, ad spends for print will continue to decline. Read Also: 22% of customers expect brands to send marketing emails every fortnight: Report Follow us onTwitter,Instagram,LinkedIn,Facebook
Periodicity Extension of Festival Special Trains: Indian Railways to extend periodicity of Festival Specials! In a bid to provide a comfortable and convenient travel experience to passengers, the national transporter has decided to extend the periodicity of several Festival Special train services. According to the Northern Railway zone, railway passengers can contact RailMadad Helpline Number 139 or visit the web portal of Indian Railways or NTES app for any kind of information. Also, all those who wish to travel must follow all Covid-19 related guidelines and protocols issued by the Centre and state governments. Here is the list of trains, which are being extended: Train Number 09027 Bandra Terminus – Jammu Tawi Festival Special Express, running on a weekly basis (Saturday), has been extended up to 4 September 2021 Train Number 09028 Jammu Tawi – Bandra Terminus Festival Special Express, running on a weekly basis (Monday), has been extended up to 6 September 2021 Train Number 09017 Bandra Terminus – Haridwar Superfast Festival Special Express, running on a weekly basis (Wednesday), has been extended up to 1 September 2021 Train Number 09018 Haridwar – Bandra Terminus Superfast Festival Special Express, running on a weekly basis (Thursday), has been extended up to 2 September 2021 Train Number 09313 Indore – Patna Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on bi-weekly basis (Monday, Wednesday), has been extended up to 1 September 2021 Train Number 09314 Patna – Indore Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on bi-weekly basis (Wednesday, Friday), has been extended up to 3 September 2021 Train Number 09321 Indore – Patna Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on a weekly basis (Saturday), has been extended up to 4 September 2021 Train Number 09322 Patna – Indore Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on a weekly basis (Monday), has been extended up to 3 September 2021 Train Number 09451 Gandhidham – Bhagalpur Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on a weekly basis (Friday), has been extended up to 3 September 2021 Train Number 09452 Bhagalpur – Gandhidham Festival Special Express (via Lucknow), running on a weekly basis (Monday), has been extended up to 6 September 2021