Two-thirds of elderly financially dependent on others, says study
According to a survey, 65 per cent of the elderly in India are dependent on others for their financial requirements and undergo financial crisis.
The nation-wide survey conducted by Agewell Foundation involved a random sample of 15,000 people across India aged 60 or above.
The study found that pension was the main source of income for 38 per cent of the respondents.
Further, 46.4 per cent of the elderly claimed that their net-worth value had increased remarkably in their old age, primarily due to a sharp increase in real estate prices over the last two decades.
More than four-fifths of the respondents said that their major problems were related to healthcare issues, where financial status plays a key role.
The report finds that senior citizens aged over 70 are marginalised and isolated to a large extent.
According to the report, the financially well-off older people do not wish to be dependent on government facilities for healthcare needs, as they prefer private institutions for better services.
Financially insecure old people expect social security, free health care and subsidies so that they can lead a comfortable and respectable life in old age. At the same time, older people with sound financial health look forward to risk-free investment schemes, so that they can earn good returns to meet financial needs in old age.
Finally, the Adivasis of Telangana get a sweet deal
It is a sweet deal for Telangana’s hard-working Adivasis, the Kolams of Adilabad, the Chenchus of Mahabubnagar and the tribals of Eturnagaram in Warangal.
They can now overcome the setback suffered after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, and get access to the State’s first honey processing and packaging plant at Nirmal, raising their income prospects.
Honey, that these tribals gather from the forests will be packaged for sale under the brand name of Girijan Cooperative Corporation (GCC Honey). The initiative is to be inaugurated on Gandhi Jayanthi.
After Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated, Telangana’s honey gatherers fell on hard times. Honey, which is classified as minor forest produce, was no longer sent to Chittoor or Rajamahendravaram for processing. That left the GCC in Telangana with a large volume, and about 400 quintals were stored in its godowns in Adilabad division.
The main aim is to encourage the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of Kolams and Chenchus to continue to collect honey. The activity will provide them good income.
Commodities trading may open to foreigners
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has initiated talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow foreign portfolio investors into the commodity derivatives market.
SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha said on the sidelines of an event on the completion of one year of merger of Forward Markets Commission (FMC) with SEBI. The FPI regulations emanated from FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and any kind of foreign money coming into the country has to have RBI approval.”
The regulator is also keen to allow other participants such as banks, mutual funds and insurance companies in the commodities market but will do so in a phased manner after talking to other regulatory bodies.
SEBI took over as the regulator of commodity derivatives market on 28th September 2015 and since then has initiated various measures like allowing option contracts, new commodities apart from releasing guidelines for warehouse service providers and online registration of brokers, among others.
The regulator plans to further develop the market but would do so in a “cautious manner.”
SEBI has already set up an advisory committee for commodity derivatives and the committee has further set up separate sub-groups to look into issues of spot polling of prices and how exchanges can rope in more hedgers.
The commodity derivatives market is dominated by two exchanges – Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) and the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).
Metals and energy contracts dominate the trading at MCX, which has more than 90 per cent of market share in the commodity derivatives space.
The SEBI chairman said that the regulator is also looking at the “unduly balanced” ratio of business between the existing commodity exchanges.
The regulator will soon give the go-ahead for options trading in one commodity each from the agri and non-agri segment.
On the recommendation of SEBI, the government has also allowed futures trading in new commodities like diamond, brass, pig iron, eggs, cocoa and tea.
Further, the advisory committee is also deliberating on issues such as improving the liquidity of the contracts.
About Commodity Derivatives:-
Commodity derivatives are investment tools that allow investors to profit from certain items without possessing them. This type of investing dates back to 1848 when the Chicago Board of Trade was established. Initially, the idea behind commodity derivatives was to provide a means of risk protection for farmers.
Modern commodity derivatives trading is most popular with people outside of the commodities industry. The majority of people who use this investment tool tend to be price speculators. These people usually focus on supply and demand and try to predict whether prices will go up or down. When the prices of a certain commodity move in their favor, they make money. If price moves in the opposite direction, then they lose money.
The buyer of a derivative contract buys the right to exchange a commodity for a certain price at a future date. Although this person is a contract buyer, he may be buying or selling the commodity. He does not have to pay the full value of amount of the commodity that he is investing in. He only needs to pay a small percentage, known as the margin price.
The contract seller is the person who accepts a margin. He agrees that on a certain date he will buy or sell the commodity stated in the contract at a certain price. Both parties are generally required to honor the agreement despite losses.
For example, an investor may buy a contract from the seller that gives him rights to one ton of coffee beans for $1000 US Dollars (USD) on July 1st. Although the value of the contract is $1000 USD, the buyer may only be required to pay $100 USD. On July 1st, the seller will transfer the rights of one ton of coffee beans to the buyer.If the current value of a ton of coffee beans on July 1st is $1,500 USD, the buyer can sell to the market and make a $500 USD profit. If the value of coffee beans on that day is only $800 USD, this person will have purchased at a loss. He can choose to take possession of the coffee beans, which is rare. He can sell to the market at a loss. In most cases, he will become the seller and attempt to find a buyer.
Commodity derivatives trading allows a person to use a small sum of money for the potential to earn substantial profits. This sort of investment, however, is considered high risk. When prices are not in an investor’s favor, he can suffer substantial losses. Commodities that are open to this type of investing include cotton, soybean, and rice. In some countries, although these commodities are available, this type of trading is illegal.
Merger of Sebi and FMC:-
What does the merger mean?
The Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA) stands repealed, and the regulation of the commodity derivatives market shifts to Sebi under the Securities Contracts Regulation Act (SCRA), 1956. SCRA is a stronger law, and gives more powers to Sebi than FCRA offered to FMC. Market players feel that commodity markets will now be better regulated, with more stringent processes — and will thus evoke greater confidence.
Why is Sebi seen to be better equipped to monitor commodities trading?
The FMC only regulated the exchanges, and had no direct control over brokers. Also, Sebi has a far superior surveillance, risk-monitoring and enforcement mechanism that market participants say will give more confidence to investors, and may help businesses grow. Among other powers, Sebi now also has the power to access call data records.
How can Sebi expand the scope of commodity trading?
While foreign institutional investors are allowed to invest in Indian equities and debt markets, they are currently restricted from participating in commodities trading at exchanges. According to sources, Sebi may allow FII participation in commodities trading going forward, which would provide more depth to the markets, and increase liquidity, investor participation and better price discovery.
Brokers also feel Sebi may introduce option contracts (call and put options) in commodities trading, thereby providing better hedging tools to investors. Sebi has said that it will oversee price determination of commodities. Price discovery has been a major issue in commodities trading, and if the regulator addresses that concern, it will be a big confidence-booster for participants.
Who proposed the merger?
The NSEL( National Spot Exchange Ltd) episode underlined the need for a better and stronger regulator to safeguard investor interest and restore confidence. The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) had earlier stressed on the need to move away from sector-wise regulation. It proposed a system in which RBI would regulate the banking and payments system, and a Unified Financial Agency (UFA) would subsume all other financial sector regulators such as SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and FMC, to regulate the rest of the financial markets.
‘Swachhagraha’ – an Adani Act initiative towards ‘Creating a Culture of Cleanliness’ has been launched at Ahmedabad recently. The initiative has been launched in association with the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) as its Knowledge and Implementation partner.
The programme plans to be rolled out in 250 schools across 6 cities in Gujarat, namely Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Anand, Rajkot and Bhuj-Mundra. It is envisioned that Swachhagraha will eventually be scaled up to covering more than 12 states across the country in the times to come.
‘Swachhagraha’ draws inspiration from the ‘Satyagraha’ movement, which catalyzed action through tremendous patience & perseverance, and united the entire nation to fight against a common enemy.
‘Swachhagraha’, similar to ‘Satyagraha’ aims at engaging people and bringing about a change, similar in scale to India’s freedom movement, where people get involved to take action for ‘Creating a culture of Cleanliness’.
Aligning with the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) announced by our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Swachhagraha’s mission is to kill the litterbug amongst all of us and transform the face of the nation beyond 2019 and forever.
Google to set up ‘Cloud Region’ in Mumbai, to go live in 2017
Google will open a new Google Cloud Region in Mumbai, that is expected to be live in 2017.
The India cloud region is aimed at offering Google Cloud Platform services to Indian developers and enterprise customers.
Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.
The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.
Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.
These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.
Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.
AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.
Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
Recommendation systems: Companies like Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend movies and products to their users based on their browsing and purchase history.
Efficiency: AI systems can work continuously without getting tired or making errors, which can save time and resources.
Personalization: AI can help provide personalized recommendations and experiences for users.
Automation: AI can automate repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex tasks.
Job loss: AI has the potential to automate jobs previously performed by humans, leading to job loss and economic disruption.
Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.