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COVER STORY

PASSLINE

March 31 - April 30, 2013


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From the Editor

Let there be malls for all classes

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Editor & Publisher

Varghese Paul

Thiruvananthapuram Prasanth 8907665366 Kannur Nazar 9895205200 Kasaragod Subash 9447488528 Chennai Augustine Joseph Ph: 09381000534 Bangalore Jayachandran 0988699331 Manager-Marketing Sajan K 09895344485 Keethara Publications Pvt Ltd 38/125 1st Floor, Narakathara Road, Kochi-682 035, Kerala, India. Phone

: +91 484 4027002

Editorial : +91 484 3043572 Marketing : +91 484 4010075

484 3043325

Marketing Office: G-238, K C Joseph Road,

ith the biggest mall in the country having opened in Kochi and the tremendous response it has created among the people all over the state, Kerala seems to be warmly embracing the mall culture. People even from across the borders of the state are said to be trekking to Lulu Mall at Edappally to enjoy the hi-tech shopping and entertainment experience it provides for adults and kids alike. The traffic jams on the roads leading to the mall are choking the city, which is already gasping for breath. Kochi is not the first or only city in Kerala to have malls. Other cities and towns like Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Kollam, Thrissur, Kannur, Thalassery and Palakkad are either having them or will have them soon. At present, 12 are operating within the state and another 25 will be ready by mid-2014. Moreover, as many as 50 malls will become operational in Kerala over the next three years without leaving out small towns and cities. Although the Central Government has allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, Kerala has assured its traders that it will keep FDI at bay in the state. But small traders complain that the swadeshi onslaught has already forced many of them to close down. Whether it is swadeshi or videshi bigwigs, the impact is the same. Undoubtedly malls can provide thousands of jobs for natives, many point out, but at the same time they can also throw thousands out of their avocations, most of them traditional or hereditary. Even before the mall culture emerged, there were in Kerala what came to be known as ‘margin-free’ shops which also threatened the existence of many neighbourhood retailers. Highly paid jobs, huge foreign remittances to homes in the state and easy mobility with vehicles and mobile phones make people welcome the new shopping culture in a cosy ambience. No wonder malls have become or are going to become a favourite rendezvous for adults, children and teens. Even with disapproval from expert panels or resentment by the trading community there is no doubt the mall culture and shopping extravaganza will continue. A report on the impact of organized retail on unorganized retailers, prepared by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, has said that unorganized retailers in the vicinity of organized retailers have experienced a decline in their volume in the initial years. The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) and the Kerala Samsthana Vyapari Vyavasayi Samithi (KSVVS), two prominent organizations of traders, have opposed the entry of big players in the retail segment fearing that it will mark the end of thousands of unorganized retailers. The associations of traders and merchants may think of a mall culture to be developed among themselves, as is being tried in Palakkad, where an experiment in the form of Jobys Mall is proving successful. This mall, observers say, stands apart as a common man’s mall. Its 60 shops including food courts, entertainment zone and branded outlets are run by members of the KVVES. Also, the mall will soon introduce a twin-screen miniplex with 100 seats each. Malls are certainly an attraction for people of disposable income and have come to stay, having already become part of Keralites’ everyday life. What the traders’ organizations can do is to change the mall culture to a different pattern by attracting the upper, middle and lower-income groups.

Panampilly Nagar, Kochi-682 036 Marketing : +91 484 4010075 e-mail : passline.com@gmail.com

Varghese Paul March 31 - April 30, 2013

PASSLINE


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IN BOX

`Bank’ing English

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e have different categories of banks, termed nationalized banks, new-generation banks, scheduled commercial banks, gramin banks and cooperative banks. Each type of banks vies with another to serve the customers faster and better. In their bid to attract more business, bankers often think of good schemes and good rates, let alone good English. To expedite the service and to direct the customers they put up some notice/sign/display boards. I was a little bit confused when I noticed such a pair of boards in a nationalized bank branch in Thrissur recently. When I went up to the counters to remit some money I saw two boards with the words `Cash Receipts’ at one counter, while the adjacent one read `Cash Payments’. On enquiry I came to know that the words meant the deeds of the bank, not what the customer should do. I suggested to the bank that it rewrite `Cash Receipts’ as `Cash Remittance’ or `Cash Deposit’. The other one could be `Cash Dispense’ or `Cash Disbursal’ which may clear the ambiguity. In another bank the directive to the customer read, `Please Introduce the Person Well Known to You’ instead of `Introduce the Person Known Well to You’. Of course, what is in the words when the deeds are right? The confusion, however, gets confounded when the customer approaches the counter for the first time. During the second time, one will be wary of `the counter practice’ of the bank though a little care may avert the starting trouble.

NEWS BUSTERS

Prince Charles, Dubai

Charity pledge

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person `without a mobile phone` may be news. If there is one without a set he/she may be a baby of toys. We are living in a SIM age. Even a child can live without its parents, but not without a mobile phone. It has become as good as a limb of human beings. Telecom providers vie with one another to widen their business net with newer models having new features and soft applications. The SMS facility serves customers faster than a telegram monopolized by the Postal Department. Recently, the telecom regulator put a curb on the unlimited use (or misuse) of SMSs. Still they pester unwary users with unwanted messages. It is high time the mobile operators (public or private) took note of the gender, especially the age, of the user while giving a connection to censor the SMSs sent to him/her. Nowadays a request to deactivate such `message numbers’ takes almost a week to materialize. A senior citizen, Kochi

Capt Krishnan Nair now ‘Chairman Emeritus’

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iving more to philanthropy, IT czar Azim Premji has become the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, an undertaking by large-hearted billionaires to dedicate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. The Giving Pledge organization has Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as prime movers. A couple of days after he reaffirmed his commitment to philanthropy, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji transferred shares worth about Rs 12,300 crore to his philanthropic arm, the Azim Premji Trust. This is the largest philanthropic transfer by any individual in the country. In 2010, he donated 8.7% from his personal stockholding (valued around Rs 8,846 crore at that time) to the cause of education. The Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index estimates Premji’s wealth at $16 billion, or about Rs 87,000 crore, making him the 50th richest man in the world and the third richest Indian after Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries and Lakshmi Mittal of Arcelor Mittal

Unique Pope

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enedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus XVI), born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; on April 16, 1927, is Pope Emeritus of the Catholic Church. He served as the 265th Pope from 2005 to 2013. In that role he was both the leader of the Catholic Church and the Sovereign of the Vatican City State. Benedict was elected on April 19, 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on April 24, 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St John Lateran, on May 7, 2005. He resigned as Pope recently and his resignation became effective on February 28, 2013. A native of Bavaria, he has both German and Vatican citizenship. The German, who in 2005, was the oldest man to be elected Pope at 78, in almost 300 years, has become the first Pope to resign his position since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to have done so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294. The new Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Francis I), 76, is the first Pope from Latin America, and the first from outside Europe for 1,000 years

PASSLINE

Censor SMSs

March 31 - April 30, 2013

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aptain C P Krishnan Nair, 91, the grand old man of the Indian hospitality industry, recently stepped down as Chairman of Hotel Leelaventure, the company he founded in the name of his wife in 1981. Considering his invaluable contribution to the company the board of directors has honoured Capt Nair by appointing him as `Chairman Emeritus’. Mr Vivek Nair, Capt Nair’s eldest son, currently Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, has been made Chairman and Managing Director. The board has also approved the appointment of Capt Nair’s younger son, Dinesh Nair, as Co-Chairman and Joint Managing Director. Hotel Leelaventure currently has six operating hotels and five hotels in the development. Born in an agricultural family in

a village near Kannur in North Kerala, Capt Chittarath Poovakkatt Krishnan Nair began his career with the Indian Army in the Maratha Light Infantry (post-independence). Years later, he married the daughter of a handloom businessman. With the support of his in-laws, he started his first business as a textile exporter from Madras with the brand name Leela Scottish Lace. He sold this unit in 2007. By this time he had become a multimillionaire. Krishnan Nair bought 11 acres of land near his house in Sahar, Mumbai, to build his first hotel, The Leela Mumbai, in 1986. It was the first luxury hotel near the present Sahar International Airport. The Leela Group opened its second resort, The Leela Kovalam, in 2005 in Thiruvananthapuram

Reader’s Digest files bankruptcy cover RDA Holding Co, publisher of the 91-year-old Reader’s Digest magazine and more than two dozen affiliates, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in less than four years, saying it needs to cut its debt so it can keep restructuring. The New York company says that it plans to cut its debt load of $534 million by 80% during the restructuring, leaving it with about $100 million in debt. A group of its creditors have supplied $45 million in new financing to help Reader’s Digest go through the process as part of a $105-million loan to repay existing bank debt. Reader’s Digest, founded by DeWitt and Lila Wallace, went public in 1990. An investor group led by private-equity firm Rippplewood Holdings bought it in 2007 for $1.6 billion and the assumption of about $800 million in debt. The company also filed for bankruptcy in August 2009. RDA Holding Co says it will keep publishing the magazine during the bankruptcy, and aims to be out of Chapter 11 within six months. The circulation of Reader’s Digest has declined because of competition from the internet—shrinking by nearly two-thirds since 1995—but it is still one of the world’s most-read magazines. Reader’s Digest paid circulation fell 0.6% to 5.5 million at the end of last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. That was about where it stood after cutting its guaranteed circulation in 2009. But in 1995, Reader’s Digest had circulation of more than 15 million


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COVER STORY

Union budgets: Kerala

with a begging bowl

Dr Mary George

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he railway budget 2013-14 provided a deadly shock to Kerala by neglecting time-tested high-priority demands placed by the state before the Railway Ministry. Even when the Southern Railway got a better deal, Kerala’s interests were relegated to the background. Keralites who travel `with tickets’ and the state which lives

Union—representatives in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the Union Ministry. Right now, Kerala is represented by 21 parliamentarians (20 elected and one Anglo-Indian nominee), nine Rajya Sabha members and eight Union ministers. This period is supposed to be a golden era for Kerala. In spite of all this, it is the most disappointing budget

Right now Kerala is represented in Parliament by 21 Lok Sabha members, including one Anglo-Indian nominee and nine Rajya Sabha members. Eight of them are Union ministers. This period is supposed to be a golden era for the state. In spite of all this, it is the most disappointing budget for it compared with the budgets during the last one decade. Now the moot question is: What are these representatives in various capacities busy with in Delhi? on goods imported from other states contribute immensely to the railway revenues. Hence the state has every right to expect a fair deal in the railway budget. Before the after-shocks of the railway budget were over, the next fatal blow came in the form of the Union budget. In a federal set-up, every budget should be based on the principle of equity with a view to limiting regional imbalances in growth to a minimum.

for Kerala compared with the budgets during the last one decade. Now the moot question is, what are these representatives in various capacities busy with in Delhi? We do not want them to be parochial, but we want them to be pragmatic in approach.

Unfortunately, Indian budgets from 1948 0nwards have been infected by inequity in resource apportioning and accounted for lopsided development of the economy. However one cannot find fault with the Union Government alone. Equally responsible are those who represent each constituency in the Indian

Look at the Chidambaram magic! He bagged Thuthukkudy Outer Terminal at Rs 7,500 crore risking Vizhinjam of Kerala, Tamil Nadu-Bangalore industrial corridor and Bangalore-Mumbai industrial corridor which cannot but pass through Tamil Nadu! Many more infrastructure projects among others are in his kitty. The downpour of resources to the textile sector is yet another achievement of Chidambaram for his state. Thus, when other ministers exhibit parochial interests, Kerala has to satisfy with what is doled out to it. Given in brackets are percentage changes in the year over the previous year. When the major budget indicators in the table are examined, serious observations emerge. One is the violent fluctuations noticed in the tax and non-tax revenue growth. This trend will definitely influence the quantity and quality of budgetary expenditure. This is clear from the trend in Plan and non-Plan expenditure. Plan and nonPlan expenditures during 2010-11 over 2009-10 were more or less high because of the incentive packages provided to combat the recessionary conditions. In the following year we observe sharp cuts in both Plan and non-Plan expenditures.

Proposal for women’s bank

This macro-economic policy has contributed to the slowdown in the economy in 2012-13. Since the slowdown had its seeds sown in the 2011-12 budget, the 2012-13 budget (pro-corporate)

with substantial increase in Plan expenditure could not make a dent in industrial slowdown. Budget 2013-14 provides only a marginal increase in Plan expenditure. Therefore, industrial and economic recovery is beyond the control of this year’s budget. The medium-term fiscal policy announced in the budget aims at bringing down fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP and revenue deficit to 1.5% of GDP by 2016-17. This goal may be attained through improved revenue mobilization and better targeting of subsidies provided the economy makes a comeback. Inflation hooking: Many critics argue that there is no measure for hooking inflation. But when one penetrates into the budget, strong steps to bridle inflation may be detected. In the recent times economists and policymakers alike have argued that supply side constraints are the major factors causing inflation. Inclusive programmes like Bharat Nirman, MNREGP etc launched by UPA 1 and UPA 2 Governments raised the income levels of the BPL and lower middle-income groups of people, while pay revisions and the IT revolution raised the income levels of the salaried sections. Those who are not benefited are the small-farmer class. The BPL and lower-middle income groups spend almost all their earnings on consumption. Since major food items (rice and wheat) are available at highly subsidized prices, most of their income is spent on other consumer items. Hence effective demand surged in the recent years. On the other hand, as a result of a) ripple effect of global recession on the Indian economy (b) pressure of increasing import, especially petroleum

Major fiscal indicators in the budget ( 2009-10 to 2013-14) In crore SLNo:

Revenue receipts

Year

Tax Revenue

Non-Tax revenue

1

2009-10

575458

2

2010-11

788471(37.0)

3

2011-12

4

2012-13*

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2013-14**

751437 (-4.7) 8 7 1 8 2 8 742115 (17.8) 129713 (6.6) (16.02) 8 8 4 0 7 8 1056331(21.2) 172252 (32.7) (19.13)

* Re-estimate

459444 116014 5 6 9 8 6 9 218602 (88.4) (24.03) 629765 (10.5) 121672 (-44.3)

1018526

302199

716327

Revenue Fiscal Deficit (% Deficit (% of GDP) of GDP) 6.3 5.1

1197328 (17.55)

379029 (25.4)

818299 (14.2)

4.8

3.2

1304365 (8.9)

412375 (8.8)

891990 (9.0)

5.7

4.4

1430825 (9.7)

521025 (26.35)

969900 (8.73)

5.2

3.9

1665297 (16.38)

555322 (6.5)

1109975 (14.4)

4.8

3.3

Total Expenditure

Plan Expenditure

Non-Plan Expenditure

** Budget estimate March 31 - April 30, 2013

PASSLINE


6 products and gold, on current account deficit (CAD) (c) slowdown in the industrial and agricultural production etc accounted for supply side constraints. It is this mismatch between supply and demand which bolstered inflation. Therefore in order to bridle inflation, one has to enhance production especially industrial production, since food (agri-based most demanded) is highly subsidized in India. It is to ensure an industrial comeback that industrial corridors and massive skill development programmes are envisaged. Investments in infrastructure and industry are taken together and massive investments are promised. The infrastructure tax-free bond of Rs 50,000 crore allowed to industries is an attempt to tap black money for productive investment in the country. A Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has been constituted. Companies investing Rs 100 crore or more in plant and machinery are ‘insensitized’ by sanctioning an investment allowance of 15% of the investment during this financial year. The textile sector is promised to get Rs 30,200 crore for technology up-gradation alone during 2013-14. There are many steps to invigorate

stalled companies and to start new ones. Micro, small and medium enterprises are also encouraged by raising the refinancing capacity of SIDBI to Rs 10,000 crore. The Micro Finance Equity Fund (Rs 100 crore) and the Credit Guarantee Fund (Rs 500 crore) are a few of the budget commitments on micro, small and medium enterprises. Supply-side constraints may also be overcome partly by investment in agriculture. The Eastern India Green Revolution Programme (Rs 1,000 crore), the Crop Diversification Scheme (Rs 500 crore), the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and the National Food Security Mission (Rs 9,954 crore and Rs 2,250 crore each), the Integrated Watershed Programme (Rs 5,387 crore) etc are all meant to revamp agriculture. The total amount allotted to agriculture shows 22% increase over what was provided in last year’s budget. Another Rs 7,00,000 crore is earmarked for agricultural credit. Steps are taken to promote rural non-farm activities with a view to creating gainful, ’decent’ employment and agro-based products.

PASSLINE

Thus industrial and agricultural policies pursued in the budget are capable of augmenting industrial and agricultural production. This way one can prove that macro-economic policies underlying budget 2013-14 can influence inflation. However, inflation targeting is not done to safeguard immediate short-run goals. Since the direct cash transfer system of subsidy has failed and petroleum product pricing is left to the market forces, inflation may aggravate and aam aadmi may be put to suffer further in the days to come. The wrong fuel policy followed from 2003 onwards has culminated in a crisis situation of petroleum price rise-led product price rise. Wrong budgetary policy this year will give bad political results next year, if left unheeded. Fiscal conservatism and inclusion: The Economic Survey 2012-13 highlights that to contain fiscal and revenue deficits, a drastic cut in Plan and non-Plan expenditure was made. The Finance Ministry may be forced to repeat this during this fiscal too. Chidambaram could undertake rigorous revenue mobilization measures instead of going for cuts in Plan and non-Plan expenditures risking the day-today life of a population that fights with poverty, illiteracy and deprivation. International rating agencies mainly examine whether corporate and stock market sentiments are hurt by the budget and whether the interests of foreign institutional and direct investors are affected adversely. Since the budget tried to protect the interests of these categories, it could satisfy these agencies. But the budget lost its balancing character and became less inclusive. Gender-sensitive: It was in the 1996-97 budget that gender budgeting was introduced in India by Chidambaram. This year’s budget is gendersensitive in many ways. A government which undertakes reform measures on a fast-track basis, deregulates public sector banks little by little, is launching a public sector bank for women with a Rs 1,000-crore allocation. This is a pro-women policy in the right direction. Women who work in self-help groups like Kudumbasree, Janasree etc are the bread-winners of low-income families in India. If the promised bank becomes a reality and if it pursues women-friendly policies, women can get loans at reasonable rates of interest which will boost the morale of the micro-finance-based women self-help groups and the women in India. At present micro-enterprises like lease land farming undertaken by self-help groups get bank loans at 10% to 13% rate of interest ,as these micro-enterprises are included in the ‘industrial category’. The Nirbhaya programme, another milestone in women’s advancement, is

March 31 - April 30, 2013

given Rs 1,000 crore. Minute details of this programme are yet to be drawn. In addition to the above-mentioned fields of women-specific investments, Rs 97,134 crore is earmarked for other women-specific developments, which comes to about 5.8% of the total budgetary expenditure and 17.5% of the Plan expenditure for the period 2013-14. In addition to this, programmes like MGNREGYP, of which 90% of the beneficiaries are women, are given Rs 33,000 crore and ICDS Rs 17,700 crore which also benefits pre- and post-natal mothers along with children. When drinking water and sanitation get Rs 15,260 crore, rural development bags Rs 80,194 crore. All these schemes benefit women more. Revenue mobilization: On the revenue mobilization front the budget keeps volumes of silence. The base income tax rate is kept untouched for fear of revenue loss though tax credit of Rs 2,000 to every person up to Rs 5,00,000 is provided. The Finance Minister expects a high rate of revenue in 2013-14. But the rate above highlights high volatility in the growth of both tax and non-tax revenues between 2009-10 and 201213. Hence a high rate of growth of revenue to meet increasing expenditures may become a belied expectation. Kerala and the Union budget: Kerala has placed a Rs 7888-crore worth of drought relief proposal before the Central Government. However the budget did not mention it at all. The Petroleum Minister promised to provide a Rs 100crore plant for processing and storage of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Kochi as an alternative fuel for the KSRTC. We demanded funds for the Metro Rail, Thiruvananthapuram-

Kasargod super-highway, Vizhinjam Terminal and many more. The Economic Survey report underlines that Kerala has the highest rate of unemployment among states. No package is given to the state for employment-targeted skill creation. In short Kerala got an infinitesimally small share of the Central budget. Is it because Chidambaram undermined the small state or is it because our ministers and other representatives are

indifferent to the pressing demands of the state? In short, Union budget 2013-14 places plan expenditure for 2013-14 at Rs 5,55,322 crore out of a total expenditure of Rs 16,65,291 crore which is 29% more that of the revised estimate for the current year. While the budget provides fairly good allocations to flagship programmes, new welfare programmes targeted at the youth, SCs and STs, minorities as well as women and children, are also enhanced substantially. Since supplyside bottlenecks account for economic slowdown, in order to overcome that the budget focuses on infrastructure, FII and FDI. Corporates are allowed to issue tax-free bonds to satisfy additional capital requirements. FII and FDI are re-defined to fit the international interests. Fiscal and revenue deficits are

budgeted at 4.8% and 3.3% of GDP, respectively. The Finance Minister is pragmatic in some areas while he plays corporate gimmicks in others for which the party/ruling front may have to give a heavy price in the coming election. (Dr Mary George, a former Professor of Economics, is presently Member, Expenditure Committee, Kerala Government, and Associate Professor, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram)


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BUDGET 2013-14 The direct and indirect tax rates remain broadly unaltered; there has been only some tweaking here and there. The additional resource mobilization targeted for FY 2014 is only Rs 18,000 crore, of which Rs 13,300 crore is expected from direct taxes and Rs 4,700 crore from indirect taxes. An important tax proposal was the surcharge of 10% on the super-rich with an annual income in excess of Rs 10 million. The surcharge on corporates with a taxable income above Rs 10 crore has been increased from 5% to 10%.

A

Dr V K Vijayakumar

fter the presentation of the Economic Survey in Parliament on February 27, Mr Raghuram Rajan,Chief Economic Adviser to Finance Minister P Chidambaram, explained to the media the economic challenges being faced by the country and the Government’s responses to them. He used a metaphor from cricket to describe the economic scenario and the Government’s responses. He said: “We are batting on a sticky wicket; but the sun is shining and the pitch will improve soon. This is not the time for flashy strokes over the head. This is the time for measured responses to the emerging situation.” True to his adviser’s diagnosis, Mr Chidambaram presented a business-like budget without any big-bang announcements. There were no sixers and boundaries; only cheek singles and twos. Will the UPA win this game? Will India win the series? Slowdown in the economy: The economy which grew by 8.5 % during 2005-11 suddenly decelerated to 6.2% in 2011-12. In 2012-13, according to the advanced estimates of the

Good batting on a difficult wicket Budget highlights

Macroeconomic indicators

Rs 10 million and above annually •

Fiscal deficit contained at 5.2% in 2012-13 and projected at 4.8% for 2013-14

Surcharge on corporates with taxable income in excess of Rs 10 crore raised from 5% to 10%

Road map to bring the fiscal and revenue deficits to 3% and 2% respectively by 2016-17

Tax credit of Rs 2,000 for those in the Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh income category

Additional Rs 1.5 lakh interest deduction for first homebuyers of sub-40 lakh value

Investment allowance of 15% on investment of more than Rs 100 crore in plant and machinery

The economy expected to grow at 5% during 2011-12; target for 2013-14 pegged at 6.5%

• •

Direct taxes •

Personal income tax slabs and rates remain unchanged

Surcharge of 10% on the super-rich earning

Central Statistical Organization (CSO), the growth rate is expected to be a mere 5%. This will be a 10-year low. The decline in the growth rates has adversely impacted revenue collections leading to deterioration in the crucial macroeconomic indicators like fiscal deficit (FD) and current account deficit (CAD). India’s FD and CAD at more than 5% of the GDP are flashing red. If not corrected immediately, it may invite a credit rating downgrade with terrible consequences. Fiscal consoli- dation: The deteriorating macro-fundamentals necessitated fast and credible fiscal consolidation. The FM rose to the occasion and through some savage cuts in spending contained the fiscal deficit at 5.2% of the GDP for FY 2013 and has projected a fiscal deficit of 4.8% for FY 2014. He has also laid a road map for fiscal consolidation with a FD target of 3% for 2016-17. Aam admi spared: The direct and indirect tax rates remain broadly unaltered; there has been only some tweaking here and there. The additional resource mobilization targeted for FY 2014 is only Rs 18,000 crore, of which Rs 13,300 crore is expected from direct taxes and Rs 4,700 crore from indirect taxes. Super-rich tax: An important tax proposal was Other highlights

• Rs 1000 crore for setting up an exclusive women’s bank • Rs 1,000 crore allocated for establishing Nirbhaya Fund • Preliminary work begun on Bangalore-Mumbai industrial corridor • Seven new cities identified along Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor

Indirect taxes •

No change in basic excise, customs and service taxes

Taxes on SUVs raised from 27% to 30%

Duty on luxury imported cars, yachts, motorbikes, increased from 75% to 100%

Excise duty on cigarettes raised to 18%

Service tax on all AC restaurants

Duty-free gold limit increased to Rs 50,000 for males and Rs 1 lakh for females

TDS of 1% on transfer of immovable assets where consideration is in excess of Rs 50 lakh

Capital market •

Scope of RGESS extended: tax relief available for three years, income limit for RGESS eligibility raised from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh

Distinction between FDI and FPI: investment up to Rs 10 lakh is FPI, above Rs 10 lakh is FDI

DDT on debt funds doubled to 25%

SMEs can list on the SME exchange without IPOs

CTT of 0.01% on non-farm commodities trading. STT on stock futures reduced to 0.01%.

Inflation-indexed bonds to be introduced in consultation with RBI

Capital receipts targeted at Rs 55,000 crore (Rs 40,000 crore from disinvestment)

the surcharge of 10% on the super-rich with an annual income in excess of Rs 10 million. The surcharge on corporates with a taxable income above Rs 10 crore has been increased from 5% to 10%. Other important proposals and highlights are given in separate boxes. (Dr Vijayakumar is Investment Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas) March 31 - April 30, 2013

PASSLINE


8

Balanced budget aimed at state’s growth

The Government’s vision of the Cochin Muziris Biennale–II and the Seaplane project were truly game changers and would transform the tourism landscape of the state.

Mr K M Mani, Finance Minister, presented the state budget for 2013-14 on March 15. Mr Mani was pleased with the rate of growth of Kerala‘s GDP at 9.51% and said this was a very promising sign of good things to come for Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had organized a live budget viewing session in its new office at Abad Nucleus Mall, Maradu, Kochi. The session was attended by top Industrialists of the state who expressed their views C J George on the budget. The budget is aimed at facilitating holistic development of the state. Industry overall welcomed it terming it a very balanced budget focused on the future growth path of the state, said Mr C J George, Chairman, CII Kerala and Managing Director, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. He also appreciated the growth rate of the state and said that Kerala’s achievements as a state were commendable compared with those of more developed states in the country. Mr George also praised many of the initiatives planned by the Government including the proposal for mobility hubs across all districts in the state. He also hailed the Government’s proposal to promote the use of solar energy and said this was a step taken keeping the future of the state in mind. Mr K K M Kutty, Managing Director, Sealings & Jointings

S

Ltd, termed the budget commendable and congratulated the State Government on it. He spoke highly of the Finance Minister’s initiatives and vision of transforming Kerala into a developed and progressing state. He said the Government was trying to reK K M Kutty write and rebrand the Kerala success story with the proposal of this year’s budget.

Mr Jose Dominic, Managing Director, CGH Earth, said the budget was encouraging from the tourism sector’s perspective and commended the proposal to introduce flagship projects promoting innovations and skills development. With reference to the recently concluded Emerging Kerala, Mr Dominic stressed the importance of tourism and Jose Dominic the role it played in boosting the GDP and growth rate of the state. He said the Government’s vision of the Cochin Muziris Biennale–II and the Seaplane project were truly game changers and would transform the tourism landscape of the state. The only disappointment was that the state was not taking adequate measures to promote responsible tourism and he urged the Government to look in that direction as well. Mr Shivdas B Menon, Managing Director, Sterling Farms Researches & Services Pvt Ltd, said the budget was a blessing for the agricultural sector of the state. He praised the Finance Minister for being lavish in his allocation

for the state’s primary resource, that is, agriculture. He also said that the Government through this year’s budget was aiming more at value addition and welcomed the proposals for setting up 1,000 greenhouses and for introducing fish malls and promoting High-tech agriculture. To develop the agricultural sector, the latest advancement in technology must be implemented and utilized, he said. Mr Menon also appreciated the Finance Minister’s gesture of Shivdas B Menon complete waiver of interest on agricultural loans and spoke highly of the proposal for setting up an Agricultural Complex at Thrissur which, he said, would be an ideal platform for promoting indigenous products of Kerala such as coir, rubber etc. Mr Gigo Joseph, Chief Executive Officer, Infopark Kochi, called the budget “very balanced and calculative in terms of the IT sector of the state”. Mr Gigo was pleased at the allocation of Rs 125 crore for funding IT parks. He also appreciated the Government’s vision of setting up an ‘Innovation Zone’ which would act as a comGigo Joseph mon umbrella for various sectors promoting innovation and said that this truly was a revolutionary concept. Mr Joseph also welcomed the initiative of opening various IT parks across the districts in the state

Tobacco taxes not matching health imperatives

ocially committed public personalities from different walks of life in Kerala have expressed dismay over the Government’s continuing decision to keep bidis taxes at bay, and over the token increase in value-added tax of cigarettes in the Kerala budget 2013-14, even in the face of increasing evidence of tobacco-induced diseases in the state.

They point out that the proposed tax increase on cigarettes from 15% to 20% is far below the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation

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of taxing tobacco products at 65%- tant public health issue when it comes to taxing tobacco products. 70% of retail prices. WHO Exempting bidi from taxes best practices also have it to safeguard the interest that tax rates should be the of the poor does not hold same across all tobacco merit, as poor bidi smokers products (cigarettes, bidis could lead a healthy and and smokeless) to prevent longer productive life if they crossover. K Narayana Kurup can reduce consumption, Mr Justice K Narayana brought out through tax-inKurup, former Kerala High duced price increases.” Court judge who was behind the smok“Our neighbouring Tamil Nadu is ing ban in Kerala in 1999, says, “It pains me to see that the Government taxing bidis at 14.5%. Why can’t Kerhas given low priority to an all-impor- ala do the same?”, Mr Justice Kurup,

March 31 - April 30, 2013

also founder, Anti Tobacco Foundation, Kochi, asks. “The tax increase on cigarette is also disappointing in a state which prides itself on its public health initiatives,” he says. Rajasthan with a literacy rate of 67.06%, far below the national average of 74.04%, has raised taxes on all tobacco products from 50% to 65% in its 2013-14 budget. Mr A Sampath, MP, says, “Tobacco use is high in Kerala and controlling it is vital for prevention of non-communi(To next page.....)


9

TALENT HUNT

A

‘Kerala budget a push to youth for startup revolution’

bunch of youngsters who set up India’s first telecom incubator has inspired the Kerala Government to announce a slew of sops in the budget for creating a vibrant and complete startup eco-system, what seasoned experts describe as a pioneering initiative to usher in a startup revolution in the country.

Through the just presented budget, Kerala has set the tone for the startup revolution by announcing incentives that are designed to take care of every single component of the startup ecosystem, right from broaching an idea to positioning it as a leader of the pack. IT experts have also hailed the approach of the Government, saying it can set a new model for other states also. More importantly, these pro-student incentives are perhaps the only point on which there is consensus among both the Leftist and rightist parties in Kerala. “The Kerala Government is further boosting the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state through this budget. I am sure all these efforts will help us create a Kris Gopalakrishnan few product companies out of Kerala and inspire some spirited youths to become job creators rather than job seekers,” says Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. Mr Sharad Sharma, ex-Yahoo India R&D CEO and co-founder and Gov(From previous page)

cable diseases. The use of tobacco reflects in the growing health risks among our people. I hope that the Kerala Government will wake up to this worrisome factor and initiate measures to curb its use by levying higher taxes on all tobacco products.” Dr Tiny Nair, Head, Department of Cardiology, PRS Hospital, says, “Taxing tobacco products is a proven way to reduce consumption, as WHO studies have shown. There are 1.6 million bidi smokers in Kerala, most of them belonging to the poorest socio-economic backgrounds. Taxing bidis, which are among the world’s most harmful smoking products, will contribute to bringing

Sharad Sharma

erning Council member of iSPIRT, feels that Kerala’s bottoms-up model will have multiplier effects across the country.

“Entrepreneurship is striking roots across the country and young entrepreneurs are forming self-help communities to improve their odds of success. Kerala’s self-help community has become an example for everybody to follow,” he says and adds: “I’m delighted to see the enthusiastic support that they have received from the Kerala Government.” Kerala is witnessing a new wave of entrepreneurship by the present generation combining innovation and technical professionalism very well, says Dr Thomas Issac, former Finance Minister and ace economist, while terming Startup Village the reflection of Thomas Issac the new-wave entrepreneurship. “Their competitive confidence stems from true professionalism in the science and technology, not from the ancestral property or the money from the Gulf. This social phenomenon is a key driver for Kerala to achieve double-digit economic growth and link this growth with manufacturing sectors,” he says. Mr Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman of Kochi-based Startup Village, is also exuberant. “More than the amount of down use among bidi smokers. Irreplaceable lives can be safeguarded from untimely morbidity and mortality.” Dr Nair adds that any reduced consumption brought out through increased tobacco taxes will also save non-smokers from the negative effects of passive smoking. “Passive smoking is not some third-person singular number any more; it affects each one of us. The particles in the unfiltered smoke that drifts from burning cigarettes are finer and more concentrated, thus increasing their capacity to penetrate deeper and stay longer in the lungs of a passive smoker than the actual smoker. Revenues raised from higher taxes on tobacco products can finance

Rs 75 crore that comes through various schemes for the startups, what is promising is the farsighted approach of the Government by paying due attention to all required aspects that will turn an Sanjay Vijayakumar idea into a milliondollar company,” he says.

The huge success of Startup Village, India’s first incubator on the PPP model, initially made the Government announce an entrepreneurs policy for the students. Now it has realized that the knowledge industry and startups would be the future drivers of Kerala’s growth. Startup Village, which was recently chosen as a showcase project by the National Innovation Council under the PMO, now boasts innovation zones set up by global giants like Blackberry (RIM), Oracle, Cisco and IBM. It will provide opportunities to youngsters to become entrepreneurs while working with these telecom and IT majors. “The Government has woken up to the huge possibilities emerging in the knowledge sector, including IT, telecom and electronic segments, and the budget comes as a major push to youth, innovation and entrepreneurship in Kerala,” Mr Vijayakumar says. The budget proposals include Rs 8 crore for the placement cells in educational institutions which will primarily aim at identifying talent. There is a

further allocation of Rs 7 crore for the career development mission in each district. The electronic fab labs, modelled after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and coming up at Technopark and Startup Village, will be the real exciting grooming centres for the startups, Mr Vijayakumar says. “There will be assistance through the Kerala Financial Corporation to finance the pilot projects and patenting the products and Rs 10 crore is set apart for this. Rs 5 crore is for setting up technology incubators. In addition, Rs 1 lakh awards for innovation groups on social networks, innovation zone worth Rs 15 crore, electronic hub worth Rs 20 crore, and Rs 2 crore for startup subsidy will clear all possible hurdles for a young student to emerge as a successful entrepreneur,” he says. Endorsing Mr Vijayakumar’s views, Startup Village CEO Sijo Kuruvilla says, “During the last 11 months of our existence, we got 700 applications. Sijo Kuruvilla On average, we get 20 applications a week, showing the growing interest among youngsters. Construction is going on to provide one lakh sq metre space for the startups. We have already kindled a spark.”

Sony Joy

Mr Sony Joy, coCEO of MobME, says that the budget contains a number of incentives for prospective entrepreneurs

large-scale tobacco cessation measures.”

This is possible only by raising taxes on these products.”

Magician Gopinath Muthukkad who spreads anti-tobacco messages through magic says, “A man smoking in his house is in fact passing on unseen hardships to his family including children. WHO figures show that worldwide 1,65,000 children have lost their lives to passive smoking. Even though Indian tobacco control legislation COTPA has banned smoking in public places, it is poorly implemented. What we need to do is to make cigarettes and bidis unaffordable to the poor who bear the higher brunt of diseases that cripple their life and make them unproductive to eke out a living.

“The courage shown by the Government to ban gutkha and paan masala in the state was praiseworthy. A similar people-oriented commitment is found missing in this budget when it comes to taxing bidis and cigarettes,” Muthukkad adds. The current smoking prevalence of 27.9% among Kerala men is significantly higher than 24.3% for the whole of India, according to Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2009-10. More than 45% cancers in Kerala are born from tobacco use and over 55% of diabetes patients are tobacco users

March 31 - April 30, 2013

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10

TOURISM FAIRS

Abin K I

All festivals have become great attractions for tourists and create harmony and tolerance among all people. Cultural exchanges are one of the major outcomes of festival tourism. Special interest tourists (SITs) are interested in witnessing rural festivals and fairs. Many tour operators are now including these unique events in their tour packages to offer a novel experience for the tourists.

K

erala, blessed with spectacular natural beauty offering diverse and exotic tourism products, is also famous for its unique festivals held in different parts almost throughout the year. These festivals reflect its diverse religious and cultural traditions and attract massive domestic and foreign tourists. With the summer heat advancing, the tourism sector is shifting its focus on popular temple festivals. Visits to temple premises and the vast fields surrounding them during festival nights are thrilling experiences for tourists. The spectacular temple festivals like poorams, velas, kettukazhchas etc are celebrated by all Keralites. Some of the more famous ones which attract thousands of tourists are: Aattukal Pongala: The two-day festival falling in February-March (Malayalam months of Makaram-Kumbham) every year is celebrated annually at the Attukal Devi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Pongala is a special offering (naivedyam) by women to the Devi. The Guinness Book of World Records has rated this festival as the world’s largest annual gathering of women at a specific place on a single day irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Nilambur Pattulsavam: This provides the residents of Nilambur with an opportunity to cherish the old memories of the Nilambur Kovilakam. Presently Nilambur Pattu is being promoted as a tourism festival-cum-cultural event and it is celebrated with great pomp and pageantry. People belonging to

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all religions from all over participate in this cultural extravaganza, helping promote religious tolerance and harmony. Nilambur Pattulsavam has been conducted by Nilambur Municipality in coordination with Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi and Nilambur Merchants Association from 2005 onwards. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) of Malappuram is also promoting it. Chettikkulangara Kettukazhcha: Held every year on Bharani day in Kumbham month, it is an amazing spectacle taking place at the Nooranad Padanilam Parabrahma Temple. The Onattukara region spread over Kayamkulam and Mavelikkara comes alive during the Kettukazhcha season. The festivities reach their zenith with the Chettikulangara Kumbha Bharani festival held in February and the pageantry in connection with the Kettukazhcha festival, attracting large numbers of tourists. Vazhalikkavu Vela: Celebrated every year in Kumbham on Aswathy day, the birthday of the Devi and her daughter, the vela lasts for a week. All villagers take part in it irrespective of religion. Both the temple deities have equal importance in the vela. This year it was celebrated on February 15 with great pomp and the grove was beautifully illuminated. Caparisoned elephants add charm to the festival. The kaavadiyattam, ezhunnallippu, panchavadyam, para vela and the fireworks are fabulous and colourful. At the Koothumaadam located in the centre of the paddy

March 31 - April 30, 2013

fields, Nizhalppaavakkoothu (shadow puppet play) is also performed. Uthralikkavu Pooram: Uthralikkavu Devi Temple at Akamala near Wadakkanchery in Thrissur district is famous for its annual pooram festival held during the Kumbham month. Uthralikkavu Pooram was earlier known as Uthralikkavu Vela and the change from ‘vela’ to ‘pooram’ was gradual. The festival is known for its massive fireworks. The pomp and gaiety of this occasion is matched only by the fireworks of the Thrissur Pooram or Nemmara-Vallangi Vela. The procession of caparisoned elephants along with Panchavadyam and Pandimelam is awesome. The cultural fairs during the festival include temple and folk art performances like pootham, thira, nayadi, kummatti etc which provide magical spectacles to the viewers including tourists. Nemmara-Vallangi Vela: The festival is the occasion for reunion for the people of the two villages, Nemmara and Vallangi. The vela is celebrated on a grand scale equalling the famed Thrissur Pooram. According to folklore, the festival is in honour of the birthday of the presiding deity of the village temple or in memory of the killing of a demon by the Goddess. The vela falls on the 20th day of Malayalam month Meenam (April 2 or 3 every year). The villages Nemmara and Vallangi have their own temples and a common temple known as the Nellikkulangara Bhagavathy Temple where the two groups can meet and interact. The festivities begin 10 days before the actual day

of the vela with the hoisting of a flag, known as ‘Kodiyettam’, in the respective temples. The natives are not supposed to leave the village limits once the flags have been raised. Fireworks are the highlight of Nemmara-Vallangi Vela and are rated as the biggest in the state. Thrissur Pooram: Known as the pooram of poorams, it is an annual festival celebrated on the Pooram day in the Malayalam month of Medam (April or May) in front of the Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur. Thrissur Pooram is essentially a display of elephant processions in between huge assemblies of people in rhythm with display of fireworks. ‘Kudamattam’ is the highlight of this festival which offers a great treat to the eyes and ears of spectators. Malabar region’s own unique festivals such as Malabar Mahotsavam, Theyyam and Thira are also huge attractions. All festivals have become great attractions for tourists and create harmony and tolerance among all people. Cultural exchanges are one of the major outcomes of festival tourism. Special interest tourists (SITs) are interested in witnessing rural festivals and fairs. Many tour operators are now including these unique events in their tour packages to offer a novel experience for the tourists. The Department of Tourism is promoting the state’s festivals, a majority of which are listed on the website of the state’s tourism calendar. Festival tourism also provides a boost to the local economies opening up new markets for their products such as handicrafts among the tourists. (The writer is Lecturer in Tourism, School of Tourism Studies, M G University, Kottayam)


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RETAILING

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ulu Mall, one of India’s largest malls, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at Edappally, Kochi, on March 10, is a 2.5million (25 lakh) sq ft complex in 17 acres of land and spread over three levels. The mall is complete with a full line of amenities and facilities which include the best of international brands of luxury and lifestyle, a well-appointed food court that serves international cuisine, coffee shops, money exchanges, dine-in outlets, 22,000 sq ft of entertainment zone, 5,000 sq ft of Ice Rink that is the first of its kind in South India, prayer halls and baby-care centres among other facilities. Built at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore, the mall is expected to become the family shopping destination of choice for residents and tourists as well. The architecturally excellent mall designed by W S Atkins, UKbased consultants, has a parking capacity for 3,000 cars with easy access from all the main roads. Well-placed escalators, elevators, travelators and walkways make it easy for shoppers, diners and fun-lovers to get from one point to another. Located at the intersection of three important highways of Kerala—NH 47, NH 17 and the Kochi bypass—the mall is within easy reach of almost all landmarks and prominent facilities covering health centres and accommodation options. Further, almost all transport facilities,

including the Cochin International Airport and railway stations, are near at hand. Within the mall’s expansive campus is the The Marriott, a magnificent 300-room hotel, which fulfils the unique accommodation needs of visitors and tourists to Kerala. In addition, and in true tradition of Lulu stores across the Gulf, the mall will feature the widest choice of world-class brands at the fairest prices and also offers a whole world of shopping with a good selection of brands and product lines under one roof. A Kerala touch to the mall has been provided with a special area to promote the state’s products and handicrafts. The mall will generate

8,000 direct jobs and more than 20,000 indirect job opportunities. Lulu’s winning formula of value-for-money quality shopping will be a matter of delight for the residents who will cherish the pleasurable shopping experience and the economy it offers. Lulu Hypermarket, Lulu Celebrate, Lulu Connect, Westside and PVR Cinemas are the anchor stores of the mall.

Nine cinema screens with a total capacity of 2,250 seats will be opened in the mall by early April. The food court inside the mall has a capacity for 3,500 people and 18 food counters. The first McDonalds Restaurant in Kerala has been opened. The mall will have a 5-D cinema hall, bowling alleys, water rides and electronic games. The other facilities include ATM, money exchange, pharmacy, travel and holiday’s desk and a Federal Bank branch. The opening function was a glittering one. The Chief Minister also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion. Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan was the chief guest of the event which was attended by Union Minister Vayalar Ravi, Shaikh Abdulla Al Saleh, UAE Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Union Minister K V Thomas, state minister P K Kunhalikutty, Mr K A Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister, leaders of various political parties, Government officials and a huge crowd. Lulu Group Managing Director Yusuff Ali M A welcomed the gathering and Executive Director Ashraf Ali M A proposed a vote of thanks. All the dignitaries, who toured the various sections of the mall, congratulated Mr Yusuff Ali on the successful completion of the mall March 31 - April 30, 2013

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12

Education: Where, What

Higher education

Scope and challenges Higher education statistics show that there are some 1.9 crore students enrolled in various higher education streams in the country, including business management. Despite the large number of students, say academics, there has not been any major shift in the productivity, as skills and talents are deficient to support economic activities and, hence, there is a serious concern about employability of this educated lot. A Special Correspondent

H

igher education, which mainly encompasses management, engineering and medicine, has a vital role to play in imparting knowledge, values and skills, while increasing the growth and productivity of the nation. As the Government alone cannot meet the cost of establishing higher education centres, we can see large numbers of such institutions in the private sector.

Demographic studies also indicate that the average Indian will be only 29 years old in 2020 as against 37 for China and the US, 45 for West Europe and 48 for Japan. The future global profile, therefore, will lead to shortage of productive workmen globally whereas India will experience a surplus. But this advantage for us will not be automatically transformed into higher economic growth. Strategic institutions and foresight in terms of encouraging investments in education and skills development by policymakers are needed to reap maximum benefits out of the trends in population growth. According to data available for 2010-11, the Government spent around Rs 15,440 crore on education, mostly higher education. Between 1999 and 2009, this spending jumped by 378% in rural and 345% in urban areas. Spending on children’s education sharply rose by 63% in rural and 73% in urban families. However, the expenses on education as a percentage of our GDP (gross domestic product) were lower than those in some developed/ developing nations.

Expenditure on education Country

Educational institutions face great challenges with today’s innovations and technological developments. So investment in them should be viewed as an investment for economic prosperity. According to a recent count, India has about 27,000 higher education institutions, the largest in the world. In 2010, the US had only 6,706 and China just 4,000. It is imperative for India, therefore, that these institutions should target to bring more students to them. Population studies show that by 2016, about 50% of our total population will be in the age group of 15-25 years and that a vast number will enter the working age group in the next 14-15 years, leading to increase in production activities and also saving rates as witnessed in Japan in the 1950s and China in the 1980s. This means that there will be a tremendous rise in the number of employable people in the job market which will require commensurate investment in education.

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March 31 - April 30, 2013

Switzerland US France UK Malaysia Mexico S Africa Thailand Chile Brazil India Russia

Spending on education as a percentage of GDP 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.3 8.1 5.3 5.3 5.2 4.2 4.2 4.1 3.8

The gap in investments can perhaps be filled by the private sector playing a crucial role. Higher education statistics show that there are some 1.9 crore students enrolled in various higher education streams in the country, including business management. Despite the large number of students, say academics, there has not been any major shift in the productivity, as skills and talents are deficient to support economic activities and, hence, there is a serious concern about employability of this edu-

cated lot. The enrolment level varies across states and our level is far below several other countries. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) is 23% for China, 34% for Brazil, 57% for the UK, 77% for Australia and Russia and 83% for the US, whereas it is just 12% for India. So the attempt by the Government to increase the number of students by 2020 to reach a GER of 30% is going to be a big challenge. The launch of certain quality institutions and some initiatives to encourage states in setting up/expanding colleges to achieve a target of one lakh student enrolment and schemes for launching model colleges in regions which are below the national average of the GER are a positive step. Improving the capacity utilization is also necessary to strengthen our education system. Capacity utilization for MBA is about 57% in Maharashtra and 72% in Haryana. In certain states, there are a lot of unfulfilled seats in institutions. There are two aspects to this situation: one is that we are to improve our GER and two, higher education institutions should fully utilize their capacity. One reason why capacity utilization is low is the institutions’ inability to provide the necessary physical infrastructure to run them. These facilities include buildings, space, state-of-the-art classrooms, library, hostels, furniture, sports facilities, transport etc. This is where the need for private-sector participation in the establishment of institutions for providing quality infrastructure is felt. Of course, the Government is striving to improve the education system in areas like GER, quality investments, infrastructure etc. But it has constraints. The private sector has started playing an active role in improving the situation. The possibility of public-private partnership (PPP) can be thought of. This will not only ease the burden of the Government from incurring high costs of providing basic infrastructure but also lead to construction of state-of the-art buildings, labs, libraries, hostels etc. Besides, the collaborative efforts between universities/colleges and corporates would help in organizing joint research and development, students getting exposure to industrial activities like internship, corporate training etc thus facilitating image-building and branding of institutions and making the students more job-worthy. Improving the student-teacher ratio is very important. In India this ratio is very high. In developed countries this stands at 11.4 whereas in India it is


13

Education: Where, What as high as 22. This requires recruitment of quality teachers needed for handling classes. We can also think of employing students as part-time teachers as in developed countries. They can handle lower-level classes so that they can meet part of their education expenses.

but unemployable candidates.

A solution suggested by experts is introduction of proper rating and ranking of universities and colleges. Today it is not compulsory for institutions to get accreditation in the country, though the Government is planning to introduce it. In a recent ranking of business colleges/universities by a foreign newspaper, India’s record was very Research needs upgrade poor, even China comWhile there are investments—some on large scales—taking place in the ing much ahead of it. Our country’s higher education system, we are yet to establish world-class reinstitutions have highly search facilities. One reason for this drawback is that our universities, colqualified and efficient facleges and research institutions hardly recruit eminent academics to sustain ulty members, many of and give a lead to others. Countries such as China, Singapore and South them of world standards: Korea are moving fast in investing in the education system. only our institutions have to be developed into exIt is time we realized that our educational institutions were equipped cellent centres. with the desired quality and standards which are essential to transform the young workforce into productive ones. Focus on use of technology for effecAnother reason why tive learning by students should also be encouraged to compete successhigher education fails to fully in today’s globalized world. take deep roots in India is that despite our having the largest number of institutions, the number of students pursuing higher To improve the skills and talent of our people, education abroad continues to be on the rise. the quality and standards of our education system should be raised. It is well known that many of our According to a report, 1.23 lakh students opted professionals—engineers, doctors and managers— for higher education abroad in 2006, 76,000 choosremain unemployed despite a lot of opportunities ing the US, followed by the UK, Canada and Ausopen to them. A recent report says that only 10% of tria. In 2010-11, those who got admission in the US our MBAs now get jobs as soon as they graduate, alone went up to 1.03 lakh. There were correspondas against 54% in 2008! One reason for this is the ing increases in other countries. lack of quality education when there are qualified Why do so many of our parents choose foreign countries for their children’s higher education? There are several reasons—quality of education, increasing prosperity and aspirations, social prestige, exposure and experience gained. This trend should be reversed. Banks have a pivotal role in strengthening the education system. The Reserve Bank of India, in order to bring more students under the category of education loans, has allowed banks to provide up to Rs 10 lakh for studies in India and Rs 20 lakh for studies abroad under the ‘priority sector’. ‘Infrastructure lending’ has also been expanded to include construction of educational institutions, meaning schools and colleges can get finance for improving their infrastructure. The RBI has also been liberalizing foreign exchange rules for acquiring foreign education. A student can draw foreign exchange equivalent to $10,000 under private visit quota at the time of going abroad. The limit of education abroad on declaration basis is now $1,00,000. In addition, a student can also draw foreign exchange equivalent of $2,00,000 for education purposes before leaving the country, ie before the student gains the status of a non-resident. Students can also get loans from a bank abroad for study purposes on the basis of a counter-guarantee given by an Indian bank under approval route. The Indian Banks Association’s model scheme would facilitate economically weaker sections to get education loans from scheduled banks with modified easier norms. In recent years there has been a remarkable spurt in the disbursal of education loans by commercial banks. Such loans outstanding amounted to Rs42,808 crore as at the end of March 31, 2011; it was Rs 27,709 crore as at the

end of March 2009. Education loans of commercial banks March March Particulars March 11 09 10 Amount outstanding 27,709.5 36,359.7 42,808.1 (in crore) Number of ac16.3 19.7 22.8 counts (in lakh) Meeting the challenge of educating millions of young people requires the scaling up of our educational efforts in a big way. We should create many institutes of global standards. The students should also realize that they should become successful, create value in society and contribute back to the institutions they studied in. Another major challenge

Bright but poor students must get aid An important factor that we seem to forget is that many deserving poor students are not encouraged to continue their studies because they cannot afford it. Though the fee structure in Government-owned or Government-sponsored institutions is inexpensive, in some private institutions, which have the freedom to follow their own fee structure, the fees are beyond the capacity of poor but deserving students. The fee structure, experts say, should vary for such economically backward students. Such institutions and the Government should ensure that education should not become prohibitively expensive for the poor but deserving students and they should ensure that no deserving candidate is denied admission just because she or he does not have the money for it. facing our institutions is the obsolete curriculum which does not equip the students with the necessary skills or the latest knowledge. A student coming out of an institution after passing a course should be employable. This however is not happening as many of our candidates for jobs are found wanting in the needed skills and technical prowess. To address this issue we will have to strengthen the vocational streams in schools and colleges. Universities and colleges should involve experts in all fields so that the curriculum can lead to knowledge development. Teachers’ role in a knowledge society needs no overemphasis. Their knowledge and skills not only enhance the quality and efficacy of education but also improve the potential for research and innovation. Given the higher level of GER to be achieved by 2020, large numbers of teachers will be required to educate the growing young population. Teaching methods also need improvement for us to be able to compete globally. We should study and evaluate models implemented elsewhere and try to adopt the best ones in our system. Finally, everyone should recognize that the knowledge, skills and productivity of our growing young and dynamic workforce form the backbone of our economy. To provide these we should implement reforms in the education system. In short we should become a ‘knowledge economy’ to promote inclusive growth March 31 - April 30, 2013

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T

Education: Where, What

TIST nurturing job creators

oc H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) is blessed with state-of-the-art infrastructure and a clean and green environment providing the right ambience conducive to the growth and development of the young minds. TIST provides holistic education for nurturing job creators under the Society for Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Creative Talents (SPECTA) and encourages entrepreneurial talents and rural development projects.

and as one among the top engineering colleges in India (Survey by E4U and Dalal Street) for two consecutive years. The only college under Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) with National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditation leading to BTech, MTech and MBA degrees. It is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and also has ISO 90012008 certification. TIST understands the importance of multidisciplinary research and has taken initiatives to apply the technologies to rural development. Examples are greenhouse technology and mushroom cultivation.

TIST is the only engineering college in Kerala with a vibrant Department of Applied Psychology and Counselling for emotional support and timely menK Varghese toring and the first engineering college in Kerala having extensive research programme The blended learning programmes facility. incorporate a simulated corporate setting, Wi-Fi-enabled multimediaTIST offers the following BTech, campus, equipped classrooms, MTech and MBA programmes: unique high-end pedagogy based on Revised • Electronics & Communication Engineering Bloom’s Taxonomy and (ECE) Creative Learning Process and fully computer• Computer Science & Engineering ized and digital libraries • Information Technology (IT) accredited as EXCELLENT by NAAC with • Electrical & Electronics Engineering (EEE) accessibility off and on campus: all are accord• Mechanical Engineering (ME) ing to meticulous and • Civil Engineering (CE) competitive international standards. • Safety & Fire Engineering Endowed with nation• MBA al and international collaborations in teaching, • MTech in VLSI & Embedded Systems learning and research, TIST has a research • MTech in Electronics (Wireless Technology) wing named ‘JC Bose • MTech in Computer Science with SpecializaCentre for Research and tion in Data Security Advanced Studies’ to foster research culture • MTech in Power Electronics among students and faculty. This is an approved research centre for Anna University, Chennai, having research It has committed itself towards improjects under BRNS, DRDO and DST plementing renewable energy projects and ongoing research programmes on campus and has launched many funded by national agencies. energy conservation initiatives including biogas plant, rainwater harvesting, TIST has four well-defined reasons CFL and LED lighting etc. The institute for its existence: provide value-based has installed a solar power plant for the education to serve the weaker sections first time in Kerala on campus and has of society, spark innovation among won the `Energy Conservation Award’ the young, nurture job creators rather three times. than job seekers and make learning TIST is also rated as EXCELLENT by the National Institute of Technology Calicut Alumni Association (NITCAA)

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an enjoyable process. To uphold its social commitment, scholarships are awarded to the needy under the Toc H

March 31 - April 30, 2013

Foundation for Economically Backward Rural Students (TIFERS).

TIST has completed glorious 10 years focusing on a vision of its own through the dedicated efforts of its founding fathers. Today it not only recalls its great deeds of courage and humaneness but also rededicates itself to the noble cause of technical education. P J Joseph

The consistently high

standards maintained by the college in curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular activities speak volumes for the devotion, missionary zeal and dedication of its management, Director, Principal, faculty and students. Dr K Varghese is Founder-Director-Manager and Prof P J Joseph President of the institute. TIST has named it `The Meeting Place of Innovative Minds’, and its mottos are “Service is the rent we pay for our room on earth” and “We don’t do different things, we do things differently.”


15

Education: Where, What

SRIBS to foster research in basic science, maths T

he Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute for Basic Sciences (SRIBS), which Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the other day, is Kerala’s pioneering attempt to foster education and research in basic science and mathematics. It is a higher-level capacity building initiative by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) in connection with the 125th birth centenary year of the great mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan (18871920).

across the globe and students/scholars will be among the other activities of the institute.

ment would give maximum thrust to science and technology in all its developmental activities. This researchcentric institution came into being at a time when the state was witnessing an `upsurge of interest’ in science education, he said. “We need to look at the future, provide facilities for worldclass research and implement globally accepted quality parameters,” he said.

Housed on the Rajiv Gan“Scientific dhi Institute for Technology knowledge merits campus at Kottayam, the inapplication in arstitute will offer training and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating the Institute eas such as pubclasses in the frontier areas lic health, develof sciences, through winter/ opment of drugs, farming and food Noting that Kerala had made nosummer schools. Webinars and webproduction, besides management of table strides in the higher education based interaction between eminent waste and protecting our green belt,” field, Mr Chandy said the Governscientists in different areas of science

the Chief Minister said.Mr Chandy also opened a national colloquium on crystallography, as the first academic activity by the institute. Technical sessions led by experts were held as part of the three-day colloquium in connection with 100 years of crystallography which began with the G N Ramachandran Memorial Lecture delivered by the Nobel laureate, Prof Ada Yonath of Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Executive Vice-President of KSCSTE, welcomed the gathering. Prof M Vijayan, INSA Albert Einstein Professor, IISc, Bangalore, applauded the resurgence of KSCSTE and its ways of unleashing scientific creativity in Kerala. He also acknowledged the full support and patronage of the Government of Kerala

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Where, What Education: Where, What

The IES route to real education

he IES institutions aim at the holistic development of their students and the creation of upright citizens who are kind, understanding, sincere and real human beings. IES tries to create musicians and singers, painters and dancers as much as it honours academic excellence. This talent hunting and encouragement starts from the very primary section. Students, even of KG classes, involve themselves actively in assembly and various other programmes. Passline News Service

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hittilappilly in Adat Grama Panchayat lies on the ThrissurGuruvayur route, away from the din and bustle of Thrissur city but close to modern facilities. Accessible today by all modes of transport, it houses an ideal campus, spread on 40 acres of land, which is the abode of a Public School, a College of Engineering, a Training College (BEd College) and a College of Architecture, some of the best in their categories anywhere, all run by Ideal Educational Society (IES). IES was registered in 1991 under the Charitable Act of 1860. The 16-

The wonderful campus and the elegant buildings thereon are the effort of 87 dedicated and far-sighted people and their investment. Middle East Educational Services (MES) of Doha, Qatar, started by Malayalees especially for expatriate Indians’ children, was the precursor to IES. When many Keralites left Qatar in the 1980s at the height of the Iran-Iraq war MES had to be wound up. It was to enable their children to continue their studies back home that they, along with some local people, started IES. The founders had no motive other than helping society behind their starting the school.

Principal Mrs Beena S Nair, aims at the holistic development of a child and the creation of upright citizens who are kind, understanding, sincere and real human beings. IES tries to create musicians and singers, painters and dancers as much as it honours academic excellence. This talent hunting and encouragement starts from the very primary section. The school also tries to nurture a strong teacher-student relationship. Students, even of KG classes, involve themselves actively in assembly and various other programmes. Emphasis on spoken English has led to very en-

which enables the child to learn by itself through the use of didactic materials. IES Public School has as its motto ‘Serve One Another’—to explore, to aim higher and forge new paths to reach the ultimate goal of life. Its mission is to harmonize its aims with the principles of universal brotherhood, the aspiration of its students and needs of the nation. The school follows the CBSE pattern of education and the medium of instruction is English. Besides English, Hindi, Malayalam and Arabic are the languages taught. There are classes

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sitting (from left): R V Hassanmon (Vice-President); A M Abuty (Treasurer); Musamil Al Ali (Senior Vice-President); K P Abdul Hameed (President); K M Aboobacker (General Secretary); K P Abdul Rasheed (Secretary); A V Kunhimon (Joint Secretary). Standing (from left): N M Aboobacker; T K Nabeel; T K Khalid; K V Mohammed Ashraf; K T Mohammed Usman; Mohammed Rafeeq; M T Mohamed; C Alikutty (all Directors). member Executive Committee of the society is elected every two years, its President being the Manager of the school. Mr K P Abdul Hameed and Mr K M Aboobacker are the present IES President and General Secretary, respectively.

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Around 3,500 students flock to the institutions’ campus on weekdays (the strength of the Public School alone is about 2,500) to pursue their studies from kindergarten to MTech. The Public School, the Principal of which is Mr V J Joseph and the Vice-

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couraging results. Mrs Daly John is the Headmistress of the primary section. LKG and UKG have five divisions each with 165 students, and the Playschool has 20 kids. Mrs Usha Kuttan is the KG Coordinator. The KG division merges the Montessori system into it

from LKG to Standard XI and XII (senior secondary stage). A residential and coeducational senior secondary school, it is an ISO (9001: 2008)-certified institution. Mrs Raji O A is the Headmistress (Secondary). ( To next page )


17

Education: Where, What

SNGCE: providing world-class facilities for budding technocrats

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ree Narayana Gurukulam College of Engineering (SNGCE) is designed to educate the next generation of engineering leaders to analyse and solve complex problems of importance to society.

for Technical Education (AICTE), the college is affiliated to M G University. It has separate hostels for gents and ladies. The ladies’ hostel is located on campus.

SNGCE enhanced the number of MBA seats SNGCE was established from 60 to 120 in 2011 in 2002 by the Kunnathunadu and added one more SNDP Union, headquartered MBA batch. It has inat Perumbavoor, to accomplish ducted MTech courses in the ideals of Sree Narayana three streams. In 2011, Guru, the great philosopher and 228 students got employfamous scholar. The functionment by placement sering of the institution is steered T A Vijayan vice and 2012 witnessed by the Sree Narayana Guruku158 students getting jobs lam Trust which is committed to providing world-class facilities to through the same facility. the up-and-coming technocrats. The The college envisages more coursmembers of the es in computer science and electrical trust hail from engineering in future, says Mr T A Vivarious profesjayan, Executive Director. sional fields, and they have a Recently SNGCE conducted a twoset objective of day National Conference on Emerging opening avenues Trends in Computer Science and Apto the youth in plications named SAPIENCE-13. The world-class high- conference focused on bringing together education in er academics, researchers, engineers, engineering and IT people, industrialists and students technology and in allied disciplines. to share and discuss both theoretical Approved by the All-India Council (From previous page)

The campus of the College of Engineering includes the main multi-storey college building with 12,800 sq metres of built-up area. Dr M K Veeran Kutty, Vice-Principal, is in charge of the college today. The college offers six BTech degree courses and the MTech course. The BTech courses are in Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electronics and Communication Engineering; Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The MTech is in Geotechnical Engineering. According to the management, new PG courses are in the offing and efforts are on to secure autonomous status for the college and to develop it into a centre of academic excellence. Its departments also undertake consultancy work which promotes interactive cohabitation with local industries. Approved by the AICTE, the college is affiliated to Calicut University. The student intake for the courses is 60 each. There are separate hostels for men and women. The canteen provides hygienic vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Being a centre of excellence for consultancy, the college has a Micro-

vations in Computer Science and its applications. All the above-category people around the world presented their outstanding and valuable original research articles and review papers at this leading national conference. The aim of SAPIENCE-13 was to encourage students to take an active interest in the emerging and exciting world of Computer Science and Applications and motivate researchers so as to increase India’s pool of technical and research manpower. A team of MBA students from SNGCE represented by Arun Kurian, Avanish M R, Renjith Padmanabhan

and Divya K Joy had won the Third Best Overall Award at The Young Indians (Yi) National Innovation RunRoad 2 Ideas held from November 1-4, 2012. The Innovation Run passed through four states that have over the years demonstrated entrepreneurship and excellence. Twelve teams from various colleges across the country took part in this run wherein they got an opportunity to meet 12 innovators from Indore, Vadodara, Pune and Goa. Two teams from SNGCE and Toc H Institute of Science and Technology had participated from Kochi

and practical knowledge about innosoft campus agreement programme. Though an engineering college, it imparts professional ethics and valuebased and character development programmes. There is a full-time placement and career guidance division. The pass percentage is 70%-80%. The college is 12th in university ranking in Kerala and will soon have National Board of Accreditation. There is no college in Thrissur which has this recognition. Such companies as Infosys and Sobha Developers have employed its students. The Training College (BED College) was started in 2005 and is growing into one of the best-known institutions for teacher training education in Kerala. Dr D Sugatha Kumar is its Principal. The BArch (Bachelor of Architecture) programme has Prof Baby Paul K as its Principal. The college, being just started, offers a five-year course approved by the Council of Architecture. It is affiliated to Calicut University. The minimum qualification for applying is plus two with 50% marks. The students should have studied mathematics with physics and chemistry in their 10+2. The aspirants should qualify in the NATA Entrance Test

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Education: Where, What

News

GCC, where quality education is imparted with passion W

hen Dr Joseph V G, Chairman, Garden City Group of Institutions, Bangalore, started the institution a few years ago, he insisted on shaping GCC (Garden City College) into an institution that instils in every young mind, who has spent a few years at the institution, all ingredients that make him/her a success in every facet of life.

GCC’s principles laid down by him, with ‘Emphasis on Life’, have made it one of the most-sought-after institutions for higher learning. In the last two and a half decades Dr Joseph has crossed several milestones in the arena of education and has stood witness to the immense growth of the Garden City Group, becoming its major inspiration.

It was a thought to establish an institution that would serve The institution has, in Dr Joseph V G mankind for hundreds of years that crossed his mind during the past more than a de1985 which sowed the seed for cade, brought about innovations that strengthen and build the beginning of Garden City Educaan ambience for learning. GCC has tion Trust. The trust was established in always striven to stand apart, and be 1992 with the intention of establishing counted among the trendsetters in the institutions of global standards. field of education in the country. Every Garden City College was the first effort is made at GCC to ensure that institution that had shaped up from his quality education is imparted with pasvision to serve the needy with quality sion. education. His intention was to elimiAs the young ones take their stride nate unemployment to the maximum along this journey of life, GCC holds extent and thus introduce job-oriented their hands and becomes a facilitator courses. His emphasis was always on in their journey to success. As they quality education and hence, in 1995, march along the present, it apprises GCC witnessed the introduction of them of the possibilities that the future highly acclaimed courses in Science holds. It inspires them to aim higher and Management Studies with new and imbibe in them the skill to capture combinations that are apt for industry and a new syllabus has seen light aftheir dreams. ter a long gap. Today GCC has carved a niche for GCC offers the following courses: itself by providing quality education in India and has students from 70 coun- BSc: Genetics, Microbiology and tries and from all the states and Union Chemistry—3 yrs, BSc: BiotechnolTerritories of India who have made it ogy, Biochemistry and Genetics—3 their home for knowledge. The reason yrs; is that Dr Joseph, the visionary geBSc: Fashion & Apparel Denius, has implemented highly efficient sign—3 yrs; BSc: Nursing—4 yrs; BA: academic practices. Journalism, Psychology, English—3

yrs; BA— Tourism, History, Journalism—3 yrs; BBM: Bachelor of Business Management—3 yrs; BCA: Bachelor of Computer Application—3 yrs; BCom: Bachelor of Commerce—3 yrs; BHM: Bachelor of Hotel Management—4 yrs; BPT: Bachelor of Physiotherapy—4 1/2 yrs.

MBA: Master of Business Administration— 2 yrs; MCA—Master of Computer Application—3 yrs; MTA—Master of Tourism Administration—2 yrs; MSc—Biotechnology—2 yrs; MSc: Microbiology—2 yrs; MSc: Biochemistry—2 yrs; MSc: Applied Genetics—2 yrs; MS: Communication—2 yrs; MSc: Electronic Media—2 yrs; MPT: Master of Physiotherapy—2 yrs; MSc: Nursing—2 yrs. The library at GCC offers one access to printed items across all subjects and several periodicals, an extensive and rapidly expanding collection of electronic resources including thousands of electronic journals and material in audio-visual formats. The library, a modern state-of-theart building on campus, comprises collections in all subjects. There are large collections of print and electronic reference material. The GCC hostel for students is a home away from home. The basket of nine hostels addresses the insecurity by completely understanding the fears of the students and parents. GCC has taken sincere efforts to bring the best of facilities to their hostellers with the provision for storing valuables in their individual lockers.

ATMs are present for quick access to cash. The hostels cater to the needs of students, both in terms of board and lodging. Laundry facilities are available. Hot showers are a given, with Bangalore having cool temperatures for the greater part of the year. The GCC Hospital, a unit of Grden City College of Physiotherapy, which has been functioning for more than a decade, not only caters to the 4,500 students of the GCC Group but also serves the socio-economically weaker sections of people hailing from an area of 5-km radius around the institution. The hospital is not confined to local services alone, it has also extended services and help to people affected by natural calamities in other states. A fleet of well-kept buses ply to and fro and to all GCC hostels from different parts of Bangalore. These buses are also available for all academicrelated work. The placement cell holds workshops for the final-year students to zero in on their skills and aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses, fine-tune presentation techniques and network with the GCC alumni and the leaders in industry to provide them with the opportunity to find a suitable placement. The annual festival of Garden City College, Gardenia, always lives up to its promise as the biggest fest on the college calendar of Bangalore. Colleges across India take part in the events with students coming from farflung places giving the fest a national outlook

Skill development partner of NSDC S

B Global Educational Resources P Ltd has become the first company based in Kerala to be approved as a skill development partner of NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). “We are excited to take up the challenge of skilling/upskilling over 1,00,000+ people for increased employability across Kerala over the next 10 years,” says Mr R Balachandran, Chairman and Managing Director of SB Global. “It is gratifying to be the first company approved from Kerala after a long and detailed due diligence process of over eight months. We are honoured to be a catalyst and play an important part in the growth and development of Kerala and India, as the need for a skilled workforce becomes

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critical in almost every sector,” says Mr Balachandran.

skill development mission to fulfil the growing need in India for skilled manpower across sectors and narrow the existing gap between the demand and supply of skills. NSDC is a first-ofits-kind public-private partnership (PPP) in India set up with the mission of of skilling/ upskilling 500 million people by 2022.

NSDC has been set up by the Ministry of Finance under Section 25 of the Companies Act as part of a national

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SB Global though its centres across K e r a l a — K a n n u r, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kochi, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram—would be involved in

skilling and upskilling for sectors like IT-ITES, airlines, airports, travel and tourism, hospitality , transportation/ logistics/warehousing and packaging, organized retail, healthcare (non-medical), banking and insurance, accountancy, school teacher empowerment, train the trainers, self-employment, unorganized sectors and more. All the programmes in these segments would be short-duration, intensive, practicaloriented and leading to internships/ placements. SB Global is open to and would be working with specific industry segments to develop customized pre-hire training programmes based on their needs and respective job profiles so that the employers spend less time on training, after hiring


19

Education: Where, What

Holy Grace—committed to God and country

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ith a difference’ is the slogan of the Holy Grace Group of Educational Institutions. The courses offered range from primary classes to the postgraduate level. Apart from eyeing rank-holders Holy Grace strives for the overall development of the pupil. Judiciously connecting curriculum and the abilities of the pupil, the institution

diversified into the engineering stream with the inauguration of the BTech course for women in August 2011. The Holy Grace Group was founded in 1999 under the banner of Holy Grace Foundation, a registered charitable and educational society, and the visionary leadership of educational entrepreneur Raju Davis Perepadan, an advocate. With the slogan ‘Committed to God and the Country’, it imparts education conforming to international standards.

after pupils from faraway places came to study there realizing its uniqueness. The school has classes from LKG to XII, and there are about 3,000 pupils.

Government Hospital at Mala. Food is being regularly supplied at noon and night for the last two years. The MBA students serve the food.

The institution offers foundation courses for IIT and IAS from Standard IV onwards, and 30 per cent of the time has been set apart for co-curricular ac-

Accolades for Raju Davis: Raju Davis is a winner of the Swami Vivekananda National Award for his contribution to innovation in the academic field.

tivities. Its Plus-Two course has been integrated with entrance coaching that is conducted during class time itself so that the students are not put to undue stress. Seminars are held by students after each chapter.

He received the award in 2007. He is also the recipient of the Nehru Award and the Gandhian Award for his novel ideas in the education sector. Recently, he got a doctorate in HR (Human Resources).

A former President of Mala panchayat, Raju Davis has done a lot of study and research, including in more than one dozen foreign countries, about the changing trends in the education sector. Son of Davis Perepadan, former AICC member, Raju Davis had his schooling at Don Bosco, Irinjalakuda. He graduated from Christ College, Bangalore, and then joined the Law College, Thiruvananathapuram. He became a busy lawyer at the Irinjalakuda court just before turning a full-time politician. A member of the governing board of a number of educational institutions such as BEd college, schools and colleges, he had also served as a member of the Senate of Kerala University in his student days and is the VicePresident of the Kerala State CBSE School Management Association. May Mol, his wife, is a homemaker. They have three daughters— Mariya, Theresa and Anna—all of whom have been frequent winners in English recitation at CBSE State festivals

MBA College: The MBA School has been ranked the 45th best MBA college in the country by Dainik Bhaskar, the largest-circulated Hindi daily in India. The school has also been ranked as one among the best 100 colleges in the country in various ratings—by AIMA 2009, 10, 11; BusiThe BTech course for ness India 2009, 10, women, affiliated to Cali11 and Indian Managecut University and apment 2009, 10, 11. It also proved by the AICTE, is boasts an unbeatable rea complete industry-encord of placement, which dorsed package, with the includes one which is the university syllabus at its highest in India, with an core, and all the industry annual pay of Rs 1 crore, needs are strategically in 2007. The companies wrapped around as super-competency add-on Raju Davis Perepadan that hire students include Thomas Cook, ITC, Asian modules. Paints, Toyota, Wipro, The exceptional feaSamsung, HCL, PepsiCo, Techl Link tures or ‘differences’ in the institution (UAE), Geojit Gulf operation, Cipla and are an ATM on campus, executive- the Tata Group. The college is affiliated level physical and psychological nur- to Calicut University and is approved turing facilities like billiards, tennis, by the AICTE. horse-riding and yoga, as well as a fullLearning Disability Research Cenfledged gymnasium and a swimming pool. The institution also imparts soft- tre: Another remarkable service that skills training to the pupils to enhance Holy Grace offers is the Learning Distheir overall development. There is a ability Research Centre. Run by 12 well-equipped communicative English experienced people, including a psylab. Regular communicative English chiatrist and a psychologist, the centre classes are there throughout the four- provides regular training to those pupils who have difficulty in learning. year BTech course. Public school: Trendsetter in nextgeneration education, Holy Grace’s ‘child-friendly’ CBSE School and ‘BSchool with a difference’ are both the first of their kind in India. Grace Public School has now gained wide attention

Social commitment: Raju Davis is the President of Sevanagiri Sevanalaya, an orphanage, having 50 inmates. Holy Grace conducts many charitable activities, including daily food supply to economically weaker patients in the March 31 - April 30, 2013

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ACADEME

M G varsity

Convergence of expertise By Prof Abdul Rahiman

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ducation holds the key to India’s growth and socioeconomic development. This has assumed great importance over the last decade with India positioning itself as a knowledge economy in a rapidly globalizing world. An educated population not only drives economic growth, but also has a positive impact on health, nutrition and well-being of society. Well-balanced education is also essential to building a just and democratic society. Thus, it is indeed critical for India, having a large young population and being low on human development indicators, to fast-track access to quality education. But higher education in India faces the triple challenge of `expansion, inclusion and excellence’. The Indian higher education sector is faced with the daunting question of ensuring inclusive and quality education to all in an emerging regime of constrained budgetary allocation for higher education, particularly by state governments, coupled with increasing private-sector participation. Further, even though increasing globalization has opened up opportunities in the higher education field, it has also compounded the severity of the challenges. Overcoming these obstacles is also critical to ensuring that India attains a sharper competitive edge in the emerging global knowledge economy. However, there is a considerable degree of overlap among the set of identified challenges, ie expansion, inclusion and excellence, which needs to be studied in a holistic manner. The higher education system needs a major overhaul to provide greater autonomy with accountability and strengthening of governance as well as enforcement of regulation. The need is for flexibility, diversity, different approaches and models. Mahatma Gandhi University’s academic growth during the past decade has been phenomenal in terms of the number of new academic initiatives launched, curricular revisions undertaken, research grants received, research collaborations entered into, extension activities organized, research papers published, national and international seminars hosted, student support programmes conduct-

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ed, quality enhancement measures initiated, infrastructure support generated, resource mobilization done and distinctions and achievements acquired. The university is top in the state in bringing the highest amount of money by way of project grants. One of the most important features of the university’s growth in the recent past has been establishment of several Inter-University Centres and University Centres (IUCs/UCs) as a platform for the convergence of expertise from within Kerala as well as from outside the state and even from outside the country. The university is prominently on the national academic map. India Today has ranked it first in the state, third in South India and 13th in the whole country by CSIR in terms of the intellectual productivity of the faculty. The National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS) under the aegis of the Central Government has ranked the university 19th in terms of the h-Index of the science faculty. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has ranked the university eighth among the 29 universities with DST recognition under PURSE in the country. The university is top in bringing Nobel laureates as scholars-in-residence under the Government-sponsored ERUDITE scheme. It gained international acclaim through the first-ever Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative Award. Out of the four universities selected, three are Central universities and ours is the only state university to get this most prestigious award. But we have to move ahead to enter the international league in terms of the quality of knowledge production and dissemination. Centre of Human Values and Ethics: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the universities to sensitize students to the human rights issue and human values. This comes as part of an initiative to stop radicalization of youth. In view of the above we are establishing this centre which would stress the importance of human values. The integration of human value and ethics as well as the inculcation of tolerance and respect of pluralistic ethos in the mainstream of education is an

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absolute imperative today. The centre focuses on creating awareness of and commitment to values, ethics and rights particularly among the youth for enrichment of social and human wellbeing. Priyadarshini Women’s Help Desk Taking into account the plight of the visiting girl students and women on campus for various academic purposes and also for empowering the neighbourhood women of the campus it has been decided to introduce Priyadarshini Women’s Help Desk. This attempt is a pioneering one in the universities of our state. The Help Desk shall function with the cooperation of the National Service Scheme of the Campus Unit and shall run with a woman security officer. The Help Desk shall deal the grievances of visiting girl students and shall conduct awareness camps to

Prof Abdul Rahiman is Convener of the Syndicate Sub-committee on Finance, Mahatma Gandhi University, and member of the Executive Council of the Kerala State Higher Education Council and Syndicate of M G University. He is also an Expert Member of the Working Group on Technical Education for the 12th Five-year Plan (2012-2017), Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. General Secretary of the Federation of Associations of Management of Unaided Professional Educational Institutions in India (FAMPEI), Prof Abdul Rahiman is Director of KMEA Engineering College, Kuzhivelippady, Edathala, Kochi. empower the women. The Help Desk shall act as a watchdog against atrocities against women


21

ECONOMIC INDICATOR

Stock markets in a tizzy over political issues

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talking about the next Lok Sabha election. And when it is going to happen and what its outcome will be.

he Indian economy is largely influenced by the political developments in the country. This is because the support of the coalition partners has a bearing on Government policies. Any policy decision that the Government takes can be executed only with the cooperation of the constituent parties. So every move of the Government should be cautious with the sword of Damocles hanging over it threatening it with withdrawal of support. Examples of Mamata’s Trinamool Congress’ threat to withdraw support in the wake of the rail fare increase in the railway budget and now the uncertainty created by the withdrawal of DMK’s withdrawal of its ministers from the ministry are fresh in our mind. All this reinforces the fact that the economy is always at the mercy of the decisions of the ruling coalition. Now the economy is going downhill. The Government cannot rein in inflation despite the Reserve Bank of India’s quarterly review meeting on cutting repo rates. The GDP is also not at an appreciable level. The same is the case with the stock market.

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This may be the reason why even at the time of Indian independence some British diplomats forecast: “India is a functioning anarchy.” After 60 years of Independence and 20 years of economic reforms, our political system, especially the coalition politics at the Centre, gives us a picture of anarchy. After the DMK withdrew support for the UPA Government all the financial dailies and TV channels are engaged more in political analyses than financial analyses. People have started

As on March 21, the Nifty closed at 5,656 points. The major concern for the market is that neither the Congress nor the BJP may get 200 seats in the next Lok Sabha election and Mamata, Mulayam, Jayalalithaa and Niteesh will win a majority of seats in their respective states and the socalled national parties will become less relevant. So the political situation is going haywire threatening the very existence of the coalition Government. The stock market even after the Union budget was going on a confident note and investor mood was gaining momentum. The Nifty was trading at the level of 6,000. Even the Sensex was hovering around 19,000 before the budget. There was optimism in the market. Interest rates started coming down. Gold is in a corrective mood. Real estate is in a dull phase. Interna-

Pepper awards 7th edition

he Advertising Club Cochin and Pepper Creative Awards Trust have announced the seventh edition of Pepper Creative Awards, the largest creative awards in South India and the second largest in India, according to a release. Calls for entries have been sent to all ad agencies in South India and a panel of

“The four have proven credentials in heading juries of similar nature at national and international levels”, according to Mr Oommen Kurian, Chairman, Pepper Creative Awards Trust.

tional markets are taking new highs. Though our GDP growth is at its 15quarter low, it may take a U-turn if the political parties show refrain and grant much time for the UPA Government to bring the economy back on track. So macro-situations are favourable. All these bad pieces of news are always a chance for genuine investors and smart traders to buy good stocks and take good positions. But investors should be concerned about their money first. They should take only reasonable load. Watch the national political situation closely. If the Congress or the BJP gets more than 200 seats in the coming elections markets will rally again. Keep your cash ready. You may get an investment chance once in five years to buy good-quality stocks at much discounted prices. Markets will always be there and will go on fluctuating. Don’t get too panicky or greedy. Encash opportunities. However, this is, of course, a good chance for genuine and small traders to buy shares and take good positions

CII Southern Council

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B Santhanam is Chairman, Navas Meeran Dy Chairman

r B Santhanam, Managing Director, SaintGobain Glass India Ltd, Chennai, has been elected Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Southern Region for 2013-14. Mr Navas Meeran, Chairman, Eastern Treads Ltd, Kochi, is the Deputy Chairman. The names were announced at the first meeting of the reconstituted Southern Regional Council held in Hyderabad the other day.

Mr Oommen Kurien, Pepper Trust Chairman, handing over the Pepper 2013 mailer to Mr Sandeep Nayar, President, Advertising Club Cochin. Advertising Club executive committee members Rajeev Menon, U S Kutty, T Vinay Kumar, Chitraprakash, P K Natesh and K Venugopal are also seen. eminent personalities from India’s creative world will evaluate the entries for Pepper2013, says the release. The last date for the receipt of entries is March 15, 2013. Mr Prathap Suthan, Ms Priti Nair, Mr Raj Nair and Mr Rajiv Rao will be the members of the jury.

“We expect more than 2,000 entries”, says Mr Sandeep Nayar, President, Advertising Club Cochin. The awards function will be held at Le Meridien Cochin Space Frame on April 12, 2013

M r S a n thanam has been closely B Santhanam associated with CII and was the Deputy Chairman of CII- Southern Region for 201213. A member of the CII National Council, he was the Chairman of the CII National Committee on Skills and Human Resources during 2006-2010. He was also the Chairman of the Skills and

Employability Sub-committee of CII Southern Region during 2011-12. He had been selected as ‘CEO of the Year’ in 2008, a bi-annual award by National Human Resource Development Network (NHRDN). In 2005, he got the ‘Les Arches de la Croissance’ (Arches of Growth) Award, a global recognition from the Saint Gobain Group, for Navas Meeran innovation and growth. Mr Navas Meeran, an active member of CII, was the Chairman of CII Kerala State Council during 2006-07. He is a member of the CII Southern Region Council, the Regional Advisory Committee (SSI Sector) of the Collectorate of Central Excise and Customs, Kerala, and Young Presidents’ Organization, Kerala Chapter

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WASTE MANAGEMENT

K Vijayachandran tinking garbage plants are a favourite topic of public debate in Kerala today. The Cochin Corporation has been seeking a solution to this vexed problem for long—right from the mid-1970s. Several mayors and members of the corporation council had travelled far and wide, and visited even metros like London, Paris and New York, in search of solutions to the garbage problem. People get thrilled by news reports on the possibilities of large-scale production of organic manure or the prospects of power generation from garbage burning. However, problems were getting more and more complicated every year, thanks to the ill-conceived plant on the one hand and the totally unplanned urban development on the other.

S

During the 1970s, as I remember, heavy cradle- or ladle-like steel structures were procured and installed at strategic locations in Kochi city, so that people could deposit their domestic wastes. Trucks equipped with sophisticated handling gears were expected to clear these wastes on a daily or biweekly basis, and to transport them to nearby less populated neighbourhoods, for leaching in the open or for dumping as land-fill. Mechanical handling of the smelly garbage by robotic hands untouched by humans, and such labour-saving devices were paraded as the chief merit of the system. But it never worked and the dozens (may be a few hundreds!) of steel cradles and the few trucks equipped with automatic grabbing gears were sold out as scrap. Clearing the city garbage and keeping the streets clean were seen as the primary duty of the health officer of the corporation who was a doctor. He was assisted by an army of supervisors, contingency workers and sweepers. However, their number had remained stagnant for long years at

PASSLINE

a few hundred, despite the spectacular increases in city population and expansion of the city, during the past three or four decades. People were, thus, under compulsion to develop their own waste-disposal methods and technologies out of the sheer necessity of urban living, but the unplanned urban growth and rapid expansion of population were creating all sorts of complications. The garbage problem of Kochi remains unresolved even today and the Government has sought a solution by showcasing it in the recently held event of Emerging Kerala. In the late 1990s, the Kochi local centre of the Institution of Engineers (India) had organized a series of seminars on the growth problems of the emerging metro. I had presided over the technical seminar on solid waste disposal. The most basic finding by this seminar was that there was no technical team or department within the corporation to address the waste disposal problems of the rapidly expanding city. This was true even at the state level. This seminar had recommended in 1998 that an autonomous public health engineering department (PHED) that is competent to manage these issues should be established for this purpose, at the state and corporation levels. However, there were no takers for this at the political or bureaucratic level. They were all, at that time, getting committed to the theory of smaller and smaller governments! In the good old days, public health engineering, specializing in water supply, waste management, environment protection etc, was seen as a noble engineering profession, and looked upon as an integral part of the civil engineering discipline. All these started changing with the mindless transformation of Kerala PHED into Kerala Water and Waste Water Authority, which was later rechristened Kerala Water Authority (KWA), and a separate State Pollution Control Board was set up as the custodian of the environment. These half-cooked reform measures and the large-scale re-organization of the Public Works Department had rendered

March 31 - April 30, 2013

the state PHED a virtually extinct entity. Even more, the unhealthy controversy over the Silent Valley power project in the early 1980s had created a popular tendency to rubbish engineering departments and the works contract system managed by them. They were simply branded as profitseekers and enemies of the people and the environment. The so-called popular science movement advocated by Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishath (KSSP) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that were mushrooming in the state under the guise of environmental protection gained credibility over hard-core engineering professions and government departments. All sorts of operators and corrupt bureaucrats had rallied behind this unhealthy cultural shift, with the involvement and support of opportunist politicians. Most of the garbage processing plants, built in the state in recent years, were conceived and engineered by NGOs which had little grounding in the rigours of scientific research and they were mostly ignorant about sound engineering practices and standards. Each one of these contracts was a fraud on the people: loss of life and property as a result of such illegal constructions is not uncommon and these are being hushed up by the politicianbureaucrat nexus. Three and a half years ago, PASSLINE had reported the details of a garbage plant accident in Ernakulam district: “Four people were killed and half a dozen injured last month when a large gobar-gas plant exploded in Edathala panchayat, near Aluva. The accident occurred when the plant was undergoing trial operations after loading the reactor with 20 truckloads of animal dung and other waste materials. The gas accumulating over a couple of days formed an explosive mixture, ready to be ignited while heating up some vent pipe on the gas plant reactor: There were no explosion doors for safety fitted on to the reactor”. (2009

October issue). The report w a s prepared based on a visit to the accident site on behalf of the Institution of Engineers (India) and sent to the State Government along with its recommendations. The Edathala gas plant had been under construction for a year or more, a massive brick and concrete affair built underground and covered with RCC slab as roof. Solid waste collection systems, yet to be implemented, for the Aluva municipality as well and the four neighbouring panchayats of Edathala, Choornikara, Vazhakulam and Keezhmadu, were supposed to deliver sufficient quantities of waste materials for running the plant which was built on the initiative of local politicians and environmental activists using plan funds, possibly under the people’s planning programme. Nevertheless it was conceived and projected as a commercial venture for bottling and marketing cooking gas in the neighbourhood. Police had registered a case but the owners and builders of the plant simply vanished into thin air, and even clean-up was organized by local panchayats, possibly at public expense. The accident was seen as an act of God and not as the result of a criminal act of negligence by a group of profit-seekers. Under media pressure, families of the deceased and other victims were liberally compensated by the State Government. Of course, the police registered a criminal case on the accident and consequent loss of life. However, there is no news about the culprits being booked or the accident-prone laws and regulations being amended. Accidents as in Edathala as well as slow poisoning of the neighbourhoods are not uncommon. Poor performances of garbage plants mostly go unreported and people are carried away by the apparently noble intentions behind the ill-conceived and poorly engineered garbage projects. The stiff resistance put up by the people ( To page 29)


23

GLOBAL FINANCE

Robbing the poor countries By Jaya Ramachandran

C

rime, corruption and tax evasion recorded near-historic highs in 2010, with illicit financial outflows costing the developing world US$859 billion in 2010, just below the all-time high of $871.3 b in 2008, the year preceding the global financial crisis. Besides, nearly $6 trillion was stolen from poor countries in the decade between 2001 and 2010, says a new report and urges world leaders to increase transparency in the international financial system. “Astronomical sums of dirty money continue to flow out of the developing world and into offshore tax havens and developed country banks,” says Raymond Baker, Director of the Washington-based advocacy organization, Global Financial Integrity (GFI). “Regardless of the methodology, it’s clear: developing economies are haemorrhaging more and more money at a time when rich and poor nations alike are struggling to spur economic growth. This report should be a wakeup call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflow,” he adds. Co-authored by GFI’s lead economist Dr Dev Kar and economist Sarah Freitas, the study, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2001- 2010 points out that as developing countries begin to relax capital controls, the possibility exists that the methodology utilized in previous GFI reports—known as the World Bank Residual Plus Trade Mispricing method—could increasingly pick up some licit capital flows. The methodology introduced in this report—the Hot Money Narrow Plus Trade Mispricing method—ensures that all flow estimates are strictly illicit moving forward, but may omit some illicit financial flows detected in the previous methodology, the study’s authors say. “The estimates provided...are still likely to be extremely conservative as they do not include trade mispricing in

services, same-invoice trade mispricing hawala transactions and dealings conducted in bulk cash,” explains Dr Kar, who previously served as a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This means that much of the proceeds of drug trafficking, human smuggling and other criminal activities, which are often settled in cash, are not included in these estimates,” he adds. The study, released on December 17, 2012, finds that the $858.8 b of illicit outflows lost in 2010 is “a significant uptick” from 2009, which saw de-

Developing countries experienced an outflow of nearly US$6 trillion in funds between 2001 and 2010—a historical high. veloping countries lose $776.0 b under the new methodology. It estimates the developing world lost a total of $5.86 trillion over the decade spanning 2001 through 2010. “This has very big consequences for developing economies,” explains the report’s co-author Freitas. “Poor countries lost nearly a trillion dollars that could have been used to invest in healthcare, education and infrastructure. It’s nearly a trillion dollar that could have been used to pull people out of poverty and save lives.” The authors’ research tracks the amount of illegal capital flowing out of 150 different developing countries from 2001 through 2010, and it ranks the countries by magnitude of illicit outflows. According to the report, among the 20 biggest exporters of illicit financial flows over the decade are: China recording unlawful outflows of $274 b average ($2.74 trillion cumulative); Mexico ($47.6 b avg and $476 b cum): Malaysia ($28.5 b avg and

$285 b cum): Saudi Arabia ($21.0 b avg and $210 b cum); Russia ($15.2 b avg and $152 b cum); the Philippines ($13.8 b avg and $138 b cum); Nigeria ($12.9 b avg and $129 b cum); India ($12.3 b avg and $123 b cum); Indonesia ($10.9 b avg and $109 b cum) and the United Arab Emirates ($10.7 b avg and $107 b cum). Others include Iraq ($10.6 b avg and $63.6 b cum); South Africa ($8.39 b avg and $83.9 b cum);Thailand ($6.43 b avg and $64.3 b cum); Costa Rica ($6.37 b avg and $63.7 b cum); Qatar ($5.61 b avg and $56.1 b cum); Serbia ($5.14 b avg and $51.4 b cum); Poland ($4.08 b avg and $40.8 b cum); Panama ($3.99 b avg and 39.9 b cum); Venezuela ($3.79 b avg and $37.9 b cum); and Brunei ($3.70 b avg and $37.0 b cum). The report funded by the Ford Foundation, also reveals the top exporters of illegal capital in 2010: China ($420.36 b); Malaysia ($64.38 b); Mexico ($51.17 b); Russia ($43.64 b); Saudi Arabia ($38.30 b); Iraq ($22.21 b); Nigeria ($19.66 b); Costa Rica ($17.51 b); the Philippines ($16.62 b); Thailand ($12.37 b); Qatar (12.36 b); Poland ($10.46 b); Sudan ($8.58 b); the UAE ($7.60 b); Ethiopia ($5.64 b); Panama ($5.34 b); Indonesia ($5.21 b); Dominican Republic ($5.03 b); Trinidad and Tobago ($4.33 b) and Brazil (4.29 b). China, the largest cumulative exporter of illegal capital flight as well as the largest victim in 2010, was the topic of an October 2012 country-specific report by Dr Kar and Freitas. Using the older methodology, Illicit Financial Flows from China and the Role of Trade Misinvoicing found that the Chinese economy suffered $3.79 trillion in illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2011. “Our reports continue to demonstrate that the Chinese economy is a ticking time bomb,” said Dr Kar. “The social, political and economic order in that country is not sustainable in the long run given such massive illicit outflows.” Mexico, the second-largest cumu-

lative exporter of illicit capital over the decade, was also the topic of a January 2011 GFI report by Dr Kar. The study ‘Mexico: Illicit Financial Flows, Macroeconomic Imbalances and the Underground Economy’, found that the country lost a total of $872 billion in illicit financial flows over the 41-year period from1970 to 2010. Furthermore, illicit outflows were found to drive Mexico’s domestic underground economy, which includes— among other things—drug smuggling, arms trafficking and human trafficking. Global Financial Integrity report urges world leaders to increase the transparency in the international financial system as a means to curtail the illicit flow of money highlighted by the organization’s research. In particular it stresses the need for addressing the problems posed by anonymous shell companies, foundations and trusts by requiring confirmation of beneficial ownership in all banking and securities accounts, and demanding that information on the true, human owner of all corporations, trusts and foundations be disclosed upon formation and be available to law enforcement. The report also calls for reforming customs and trade protocols to detect and curtail trade mispricing: requiring the country-by-country reporting of sales, profits and taxes paid by multinational corporations; requiring the automatic cross-border exchange of tax information on personal and business accounts; harmonizing predicate offences under anti-money laundering laws across all Financial Action Task Force cooperating countries and ensuring that the anti-money laundering regulations already on the books are strongly enforced. — Third World Network Features

March 31 - April 30, 2013

PASSLINE


24

GREENING

I

Geojit becomes role model for green buildings

magine a multistorey office working in broad daylight without any electric lights on. This modus operandi is adopted by Geojit BNP Paribas’ new ‘green’ head office at Padivattom, near Kakkanad, in Kochi. The green concept has proved to be of great benefit to the environment and a cost-saver for the company. Now fully functional and accommodating nearly 600 members of staff, the building with a built-up area of 1.05 lakh sq ft consumes 25% less energy and over 40% less water than conventional buildings. The head office of Geojit BNP Paribas is built to match the exacting standards set by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and it aims to be the first LEED ‘Gold’ standard building in Kochi city. The building can accommodate a staff of 850 and has 18 meeting rooms plus three training rooms with a total seating capacity for 130 people and parking facility for 57 cars and 200 two-wheelers. About the benefits of its new office, the company’s Managing Director, Mr C J George, says, “We put our trust in the green building concept and invested over Rs 40 crore in our building. Today, at a time when we are facing an energy and water crisis, I can confidently say that Geojit is doing its bit to conserve the world’s precious resources.” He adds: “I believe that going green is the way forward for all and I wish more companies will follow our example and invest in green buildings to conserve our environment.” The landmark building is constructed keeping in mind the environmental health, sustainability and the comfort of the occupants. It focuses on efficient energy management, low water consumption and will generate less waste materials, thus creating a space for a healthy environment.” ``It incorporates several energy-efficient features that include: spectrally selected high-performance windows, porotherm clay bricks, efficient air-conditioning equipment, low energy-consuming lighting fixtures and more. Water sustainability too is an area that was focused on. The new head office has rainwater harvesting facility, low-flow dual-flush toilets and other water-efficient fixtures,” says Mr Dominique Mechery, Administration Head. The windows, which are few in numbers, are carefully positioned so that they provide ample daytime light in the perimeter areas and at the same time re-

PASSLINE

March 31 - April 30, 2013

duce the total heat gain in the building. The use of efficient water-cooled chillers in the building helps reduce the energy load on air-conditioning.

The ventilation system is designed to provide 30% more fresh air than ASHARE 62.1:2004 standards, thus improving the indoor environment quality and occupant well-being. All air-handling units are equipped with variable speed drives (VSD) and MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) that is relative to the air filter’s efficiency, set at 13, which is a high standard to maintain fresh air quality. To save on energy consumption, the building is fitted with occupancy sensors in non-regularly occupied areas and has an average LPD (lighting power density) of 0.65 watts/sq ft. In the building interior, all light fixtures are LED-based. The building does not use any lighting for façade and uses only full cut-off lamps for exterior illumination. In addition, all computers are energy-efficient and TFT monitors are used. A Balakrishnan, Chief Technology Officer, says the company will be using solar energy for lighting and functioning signage. Also installed are treated fresh air (TFA) units with heat recovery wheel, which will enable the building to maintain the desired fresh air quantity as well as reduce its energy consumption. The TFA system is based on demand control ventilation that regulates the amount of fresh air admitted to each occupied place, depending on CO2 level sensed through CO2 sensors placed in all occupied areas. This leads to greater energy conservation and efficient management of the TFA. To ensure the good environmental quality and to safeguard the building occupants’ health, only low-emitting materials are used, like low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants and all engineered wood free from urea formaldehyde resins. The LEED green building rating system is one of the popular rating systems in the world and it’s being adopted in several countries, including the US, Japan, Australia, France, Canada, China and India. LEED rating system rates green buildings (new construction) for 69 points and seven prerequisites. Geojit BNP Paribas met all the seven points of prerequisites to apply for the rating under various categories like sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. The LEED documentation submission to IGBC for the new Geojit BNP Paribas head office has been carried out and at present the evaluation process is going on

Sharad Sharma ED-Operations

G

eojit BNP Paribas has appointed Mr Sharad Sharma as Executive Director to oversee the company’s operations, while Mr Satish Menon, Executive Director, will be responsible for all business lines. Both Executive Directors will report to Mr C J George, Managing Director. Mr Sharma has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector covering liability management, retail banking, forex treasury, corporate banking, operations and wealth management in State Bank of India and BNP Paribas. Mr Sharma, who holds a Master’s in Financial Management, had been with BNP Paribas since 1989 in various senior management positions and was the member of the Executive Management Committee of BNP Paribas, India. Since 2001 to his present position, he had been heading BNP Paribas’ private banking business as Country Head– Wealth Management. Currently, Mr Sharma is a Member on the Board of BNP Paribas Investment Services (India) Pvt Ltd, Financial Planning Standards Board India and Financial Planning Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd

75% interim dividend

G

eojit BNP Paribas has announced an interim dividend of Rs 0.75 (75 paise) per equity share of Re 1 each. The dividend will be paid to all eligible shareholders whose names appear in the register of members of the company and in the records of the depositories as beneficial owners of the shares as on the close of business hours on Thursday, March 21, 2013, the record date


25

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

KFC sets record in non-IT startups

T

he success stories of startups in the non-IT sector make news. Kerala State Entrepreneur Development Mission (KSEDM) is emerging with such a scheme. Promoted by the State Government, under the aegis of Finance Minister K M Mani, with Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) as the nodal agency, the mission aims to provide opportunities for starting industries with emphasis on manufacturing, which forms the basis for other service industries. The scheme also aims to reduce unemployment by inculcating entrepreneurship among educated youth. It has crossed its first milestone of putting 50 successful units into commercial operation across the state and now aims to make 135 more units to start commercial operation before the end of the current financial year. The scheme, first of its kind in the country, aims to provide startup opportunities to around 10,000 enterprises in a holistic manner. Unlike the startups in the IT sector, where the incubation facilities are limited to office space, PCs, internet connectivity and venture capital, this scheme provides the startup of brick and mortar units by selecting young entrepreneurs who have the passion and drive for innovation. They may not be professionally qualified or educated as their peers in the IT industry. The basic requirement is that he or she should have completed +2 education. All it matters is that the selected youngsters should have the will and passion to succeed.

T

The support includes free entrepreneurial training in reputed Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) run by lead banks and interestfree funding up to Rs 20 lakh. Besides imparting field experience, handholding facilities like followup for licences, permission from Government departments, techno-economic studies, creation of market for products etc are also provided. Though it was a Herculean task, KFC took the challenge and modelled a training programme which had a mix of management contents, financial components, field visits and presentations. The selection of proposed entrepreneurs is after rigorous scrutiny by a committee comprising the General Manager of the District Industries Centre, Lead District Manager, Director of RSETI, local industry representative, KFC Branch Manager and representatives from the Finance and Local Self-Government Department. As the scheme envisages interestfree loans up to Rs 20 lakh to the enterprises and that too in the non-IT sector, most of the financial institutions were initially reluctant to cooperate with the scheme. However, the continuous efforts of KFC through presentations made to the state-level Bankers’ Committee and individual banks, more and more banks are now coming forward to provide assistance to these enterprises at their base rate. Within a year of its launch, 852 entrepreneurs associated with 346 en-

terprises have already been imparted training. This is expected to cross the 1,000 mark very soon. Fresh registrations for 140 more units have been received and meetings of the selection committees are being organized in different districts to select good projects promoted by youngsters with ideas, drive, passion and determination. Considering the huge response, the scheme is now open to technocrats like CAs, ICWAs, MBA holders, doctors, engineers etc for setting up their units. The scheme is also witnessing good response from the fresh graduates of professional colleges to start up their own ventures. Necessary publicity is given for the scheme through campus recruitment cells in the colleges to be a job provider rather than a job seeker. The enterprises have been set up in fields ranging from biogas plants, energy saving devices, water treatment solutions, electronic products, food products, readymade garments, construction materials, ancillary items, value-added rubber-based products and providing services like printing, vehicle maintenance, office automation and medical clinics. Most of the entrepreneurs come from the lower segment of society. Some of them find difficulty in getting even a clerical job and could never have thought of starting their own business because of lack of resources and high interest rates charged by banks. How-

ever, under the present scheme they have been extended loans up to Rs 20 lakh absolutely interest-free. They are also being given hand-holding support for getting requisite permission from various agencies like local bodies, the Pollution Control Board, KSEB etc. Unlike the IT sector, starting a unit in the manufacturing/service sector requires a number of permissions and licences and larger investments and has in-built uncertainties associated with them. But with the new culture brought in by the facilities and the training given, more and more unemployed youth from the poorer segments of society have come forward to start their dream enterprises. Including the people starting their own enterprises, the mission has already provided direct employment to about 500 people and indirect employment to another 2,000. Such creation of large numbers of startups in the non-IT sector is a global record of sort and is likely to take Kerala from a state with lack of entrepreneurship to a state with high entrepreneurship. ``This game-changing scheme of the Government of Kerala is likely to change the entire perspective and mindset of the unemployed youth of the state towards a new developed Kerala,” says Mr Yogesh Gupta , Chairman and Managing Director, KFC

KFC-funded units bag COSIDICI awards

wo units financed by Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC)—CML Biotech Private Lim-

ited, Kochi, and Sagara Beach Resorts, Kovalam— have received the COSIDICI (Council of State Industrial Development and Investment Corporations of India) awards for outstanding entrepreneurs. COSIDICI is a national federation of state-level financial corporations. CML Managing Director Paulose Jacob and Sagara Managing Partner R Sisupalan received the awards from Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena at a function held recently in New Delhi. Started in 2000, CML Biotech makes laboratory instruments and Sagara,incepted in 1996, is an ayurvedic beach resort.

CML Managing Director Paulose Jacob and Sagara Managing Partner R Sisupalan receiving the awards from Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena at a function held recently in New Delhi. March 31 - April 30, 2013

PASSLINE


26

GROWTH COMPANIES-V

SBT: helping Kerala’s development S

Passline News Service

BT’s book value is Rs 773.3 (as on March 31, 2012). Its present market capitalization is Rs 28,95,00,00,000 and FV is Rs 10. The bank has been continuously declaring dividends for the last 16 years. That means the company has already given the investors around Rs 128.2 (dividend) returns repaid to the investors who invested Rs 10 in 1997 or Rs 128.2 (dividend) returns repaid to the investors who invested Rs 10 in 1997. Frankly speaking the original shareholders’ investment is free as they have already received their original investment in SBT by around two times through dividend. State Bank of Travancore was established in 1945 as the Travancore Bank Ltd, at the initiative of C P Ramaswamy Iyer, the then Divan of Travancore. Following violent resentment against the dictatorial rule of Ramaswamy Iyer, the bank no longer acknowledges his role; instead, it now credits the Maharaja of Travancore with being the founder, though the Raja had little to do with its establishment. Although the Travancore Government put up only 25% of the capital, the bank undertook Government treasury work and foreign exchange business, apart from its general banking business. Its registered office was at Madras. In 1960, it became a subsidiary of State Bank of India (SBI) under the SBI Subsidiary Banks Act, 1959, enacted by Parliament. With its registered office/head office at Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram 695 012, SBT offers a wide array of banking products with a special focus on Kerala and its people and is equipped with fully computerized core banking solutions (CBS). SBT posted a net profit of Rs 132 crore in the third quarter of FY P Nandakumaran 2012-13, reflecting a 31% jump compared to the net profit of Rs 101 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. On a year-on-year basis, the profit grew by 25% from Rs 357 crore in the first nine months of the previous year to Rs 449 crore in the corresponding period this FY. “Growth in advances resulting in a higher net interest income helped

Between 1959 and 1965, SBT acquired numerous small, private banks in the state. 1959: Acquired the assets and liabilities of Indo-Mercantile Bank, which Popatlal Goverdhan Lalan had helped found in Cochin in 1937. 1961: Acquired Travancore Forward Bank, Kottayam Orient Bank and Bank of New India (established in 1944) after the Reserve Bank of India put the banks under moratorium. 1963: Acquired Vasudeva Vilasom Bank. 1964: Acquired Cochin Nayar Bank (established in 1929) and Latin Christian Bank after the RBI put the banks under moratorium. SBT also acquired Champakulam Catholic Bank. 1965: Bank of Alwaye (established in 1942) and Chaldean Syrian Bank, which several leading families of Syrian Christian origin had founded in 1918, were acquired. 1985: 3,00,000 equity shares issued at par to State Bank of India. 1991 : 16,00,000 equity shares issued to State Bank of India. 1995: 15,00,000 equity shares issued on rights basis at a premium of Rs 450 per share. 1996 : The bank’s rights issue of equity shares of Rs 100 each at a premium of Rs 450 per share totalling Rs 82.50 crore opened for subscription on February 7, 1996 and closed on March 7. 1997 : 15,00,000 equity shares of Rs 100 issued through a prospectus at a premium of Rs 500 per share. Of these 3,46,000 shares were issued and allotted to SBI. Balance 11,54,000 shares issued to the public. 2008: The company splits the face value of the shares from Rs 100 to Rs 10. the bank to achieve growth in the net profit,” according to Mr P Nandakumaran, Managing Director of the bank. The net interest income moved up from Rs 1,325 crore to Rs 1,511 crore, a year-on-year growth rate of 14.04%. Net interest margin (NIM) stood at 2.50% as at the end of Q3. As at the end of the third quarter of the fiscal, the net operating income rose from Rs 1,799 crore to Rs 1,975 crore, a growth rate of 9.75%, on year-on-year basis. The capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) stood at 11.40% (under Basel II framework) as at the end of the third quarter of the fiscal. The regulatory minimum prescribed by the RBI is 9%. Gross NPAs increased to 3.04% from 2.82% as at the end of corresponding last year and net NPAs stood at 1.83% against 1.64% as of the third quarter previous year. Results during and up to the third quarter of FY

Journey through the decades Rs in crore unless otherwise specified

1.Paid-up capital & reserves 2. Deposits 3. Advances 4.Gross investment 5.Priority sector lendings 6.Export finance 7.Net profit 8.No.of branches 9.Number of employees

PASSLINE

Dec 1962

Dec 1972

Dec 1982

Mar 1992

Mar 2002

Mar 2012

1.36

1.58

3.34

40.37

7 610.14

3866.16

19 7 7

0.09 94

76 54 21 13 4 0.08 253

609 357 192 130 12 0.28 496

2736 1496 969 616 80 5.09 614

13460 7436 6388 2260 396 120.93 674

71469.83 55345.95 22472.81 20287.35 1506.39 510.46 879

1570

3866

8884

12258

12137

12597

.. ..

March 31 - April 30, 2013

2012-13 were taken on record at a meeting of the Board of Directors held on January 28, 2013. The total business crossed Rs 1,45,000 crore and stood at Rs 1,45,603 crore as at the end of December 2012. The deposits increased by 21% to touch Rs 80,043 crore against Rs 66,079 crore a year ago. NRI deposits have shown impressive growth of Rs 4,518 crore (year-on-year 32%). The gross advances rose by

Quarterly results Sales Other income Gross profit Provisions made Depreciation Taxation Net profit/loss Equity capital

Dec 12

Sep 12

Jun 12

2,139.75 157.41 324.18 124.28 0.00 67.91 131.99 50.00

2,075.84 128.08 301.66 117.61 0.00 48.42 135.63 50.00

2,062.89 179.09 339.77 103.64 0.00 54.69 181.44 50.00

Balance sheet Share capital Reserve & surplus Deposits Borrowings by bank Other liability and provision Cash and bank balance Net block

Mar 12

Mar 11

Mar 10

50.00

50.00

50.00

3,816.16

3,413.55

2,790.58

71,469.83 58,157.92 50,883.39 7,607.32

5,726.50

3,250.15

3,006.04

3,628.78

2,480.59

4,776.65

4,709.57

3,468.04

243.27

221.37

202.82

17% year-on-year to Rs 65,560 crore as at the end of December 2012. Priority-sector lending’s percentage to ANBC is 41% against the benchmark of 40%. Agricultural lending grew by 16.84% on a year-onyear basis and the level stood at Rs 8,581 crore as at the end of the third quarter of the fiscal. (Information provided by Mr Babu Vettoor. Contact No: 9895356723)


27

NEWS

Corporation Bank launches SB Super, SB Signature

M

r Ajai Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank, one of the country’s largest banks, launched two new savings account variants—SB Super and SB Signature—at an NRI meet organized by the bank in Dubai on February 2. Mr K Ramamurthy and Mr C G Pinto, General Managers, Dr Kurian P Abraham, Deputy General Manager, and Mr Ashok Chandra, Chief Representative, Representative Office, Dubai, were present on the occasion. A customer should maintain a minimum quarterly average balance (QAB) of Rs 15,000 for SB Super and Rs 1,00,000 for SB Signature. A bouquet of A M M G Nair features and add‐ons have been integrated together to make the savings schemes unique and attractive. The primary account holders will get a free personal accident cover of Rs 10 lakh in SB Signature and Rs 5 lakh in SB Super. To encourage the customers to use the debit cards, free Visa Signature Debit Card is provided to SB Signature customers and Visa Platinum Debit Card to SB Super customers. Both the cards offer the following unique features, among others: Visa Signature Debit Card for SB Signature offers higher limits at ATMs (Rs 1 lakh) and at point of sale terminals (POS) Rs 5 lakh, discounts on flight tickets, hotel bookings, dining and shopping (facilities offered by Visa), Rs 50-lakh air accident insurance cover and unlimited free access to Visa

ATMs. Signature cards will be issued with the photo of the cardholder.

Visa Platinum Debit Card for SB Super offers higher limits at ATMs (Rs 1 lakh) and at point of sale terminals Rs 2 lakh, discounts on flight tickets, hotel bookings, dining and shopping (facilities offered by Visa).

national seminar on ‘Foreign Direct Investment in Indian Retail Sector and its Impact on Kerala Economy’ was organized by the Department of Commerce and Management of Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi, recently. The seminar was inaugurated by Mr S Ramakrishnan, Secretary, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Swamy Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, blessed the function. Mr M Muraleedharan, Zonal Head, Dhanlaxmi Bank, gave the keynote address and Dr U Krishnakumar,

mentum high. Being a pioneer in administering corporate awards for core performers among branch heads, the bank has been successfully administering the corporate award schemes continuously for the last 30 years.

The membership of the For both SB clubs has been devised Super and SB with selection parameters Signature, cusbroadly premised on the tomers’ preferfollowing parameters— ential loan proaverage deposits, average cessing will be advances, clientele expanoffered by affixsion, agricultural advances, ing ‘Priority’ seal priority-sector advances, by the branch retail advances, recovery, while forwardnon-interest income, rating loan applicaings in qualitative aspects tions. Bundled on risk-based audit with demat and tradprescribed weightages ing accounts are tuned to corporate goals also offered for and priorities of the year both variants inand differential threshold cluding a waiver Mr Ajai Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, launching SB Su- in overall performance of annual main- per and SB Signature at the NRI meet in Dubai on February 2. Also seen levels. Branch heads who tenance charges are Mr K Ramamurthy and Mr C G Pinto, General Managers, Dr Kurian P marginally miss Chairfor the first year. Abraham, Deputy General Manager, and Mr Ashok Chandra, Chief Rep- man’s Club selection are Free monthly e- resentative, Representative Office, Dubai. inducted to the Executive mail statements Directors’ Club. Selection will be sent to to both corporate awards the customers. SB Signature customExcellence honoured: To recognize is envisaged on performance in same ers will be given a specially designed the performance of employees, the key parameters. pouch to hold the cheque book, card bank awarded Chairman and ManagCorporate awards were given to and cash and a Relationship Manager ing Director Club and Executive Direcwill be provided to service the custom- tor Club membership to 37 outstanding 37 branch heads, out of whom 23 ers who maintain a QAB of Rs 5 lakh. branch heads who excelled in various were selected to Chairman’s Club and 14 to Executive Directors’ Club. The Free offers and concessions in areas of operation during the last fis- membership offers attractive incentive service charges for both the variants cal at the Corporate Award Ceremony packages. include: free NEFT, SMS banking and in Kochi on January 1. CMD Ajai KuMr H S Saini, General Manager, 25% concession in bank charges for mar inducted the performing branch PAD and HR, welcomed the guests gold coins. For SB Super, there will heads. be free RTGS up to two transactions a month, 50% concession in service charges for demand draft/PO, free personalized cheque leaves (60 a year)

Seminar on FDI impact A

and 25% concession on first-year locker rent. For SB Signature, there will be free RTGS up to five transactions a month, no service charges for demand draft/PO, free personalized cheque leaves (100 a year), no service charges for stop-payment instructions and priority locker allotment.

The bank has been following the twin approach of developing human capital and aligning human resources to business to keep the growth mo-

and awardees and Mr A M M G Nair, Deputy General Manager and Zonal Head of Kochi Zone, proposed a vote of thanks

Director, offered felicitations. Dr M V Kamalakshi, Head of the Department of Commerce and Management, and Mrs K V Vijay Lakshmy, Assistant Professor, were also present. Experts from various fields including Mr Girish, DGM, Federal Bank, Mr P Ravindranath, Principal Consultant, R K Swamy BBDO, Mr S R Nair, Managing Director, Teamfrontline Ltd, and Dr Francis Cherunilam of MACFAST, presented papers.

Mr S Ramakrishnan, Secretary, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, inaugurating the seminar in the presence of Swamy Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary, Mata Amritanandamayi Math, who blessed the function March 31 - April 30, 2013

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Kochi cheers India’s first Bourn Hall baby

A reception was held recently in honour of the first baby born out of Bourn Hall Clinic, Kochi, and its family. The function was held at the clinic in Ravipuram.

Mr Ganesh Lakshman, Regional Business Director, Bourn Hall, said, “Over the past year hundreds of couples have gained successful IVF treat-

Mr T K Ashraf, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health of the Corporation of Cochin, who was the chief guest, commended the meritorious service of Bourn Hall Clinic to Kerala`s health sector. “It is praiseworthy that Bourn Hall brings international-standard infertility treatment to Kochi for childless couples,” Mr Ashraf said.

ment from Kochi’s Bourn Hall Clinic. World-famous IVF specialist doctors and embryologists, an expert Dr Ernest Suchanek, nursing team and a EuropeBourn Hall Clinic UK`s chief an-standard Clean Room IVF embryologist, who delivlab, all contribute to making ered the keynote address, Bourn Hall Clinic gain the said whatever the infertility number one status in infertilproblem faced by couples, ity treatment success rate”. Bourn Hall`s IVF treatment “Infertility is caused by lifewould be a successful style practices, tension and choice for them. ``Over 4.5 million babies have been Ganesh Lakshman other life-related problems. Nearly one out of six couples born worldwide through IVF is childless in the world and infertility treatment, which they opt for other systems of treatis an ultramodern infertility treatment ments after the normal wait, even IVF method. As the founders of the UK’s fatreatments at other centres,” he said. mous Bourn Hall Clinic, who introduced IVF treatment to the world, we are quite proud about this achievement,” said Dr Suchanek.

Dr Rajan George, Secretary, Kerala Management Association, was also present

Global mentors share tips with young guns

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elecom incubator Startup Village recently hosted a team from ‘Unreasonable at Sea’, a unique seafaring group of select entrepreneurs, mentors, educators and students who are travelling around the world fast-tracking the development of technological solutions to modern-day challenges. The group held a video conference with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who told them about the State Government’s various initiatives to boost entrepreneurship. Around 50 entrepreneurs selected by Startup Village interacted with the visiting team. Mr Freeman Murray, a legendary entrepreneur, angel investor and mentor from the US, also joined the discussions.

Mr Daniel Epstein, the founder of Unreasonable at Sea, noted that a number of US companies had shown interest in investing in the technology sector in India. He said the team would work to connect these potential investors to young people with innovative ideas and concepts. Mr Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village, said the interaction was essentially a platform for entrepreneurs at the incubator to take their ideas global. Unreasonable at Sea handpicked entrepreneurs from 11 companies around the world for a chance to sail, live, learn from, and be mentored by 20 of the world’s most prominent innovators and entrepreneurs. The sole

Indian representation on the team is Mr Deepak Ravindran, the CEO of Innoz, a company closely associated with Startup Village. Mr Epstein said he hoped the interaction would pave the way for more

Indian technology entrepreneurs to join the ‘Unreasonable at Sea’ voyage next year. In October this year Kochi will host the prestigious INK conference, an annual conference featuring some of the world’s foremost thinkers and achievers designed to fuel technological innovation, its host and curator, Mrs Lakshmi Prathuri, said . Mr Ravi Gururaj and Mr Raj Chinai, co-chairs and co-founders of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Angels-India Chapter, and Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO of Startup Village, also spoke. The group comprises teams from 10 countries and five continents. Their expertise ranges from astrophysics to artificial intelligence, from biological, mechanical, software, medical and electrical engineers to graphic designers, industrial designers, scientists, doctors, and operational masterminds

Diabridge: addressing service gaps in healthcare

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iabridge Pharmacy, a subsidiary of Diabridge Health Management Systems, is an initiative that attempts to address certain service gaps in the healthcare sector. The company proposes to create `health hubs’ in various neighbourhoods to provide convenient and cost-effective healthcare to those patients who are in need long-term monitoring and care. People registered with the `health hubs` need not run to a hospital for every small healthcare need. The longterm monitoring and care provided by the `health hubs’ would reduce their health risks and costs. The modern methods of community health management system employed by Diabridge have become important in the context of the growing number of

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people affected by chronic diseases. In addition, there are many elderly individuals living alone with health problems that require long-term medi-

cation and monitoring. A full-fledged pharmacy managed by a community pharmacist backed by a state-of-theart computer system registers these patients with the help of a data card that tracks the medicines used by the patients. Once they are registered, their medicine supply is monitored and before the stock is over the medicine is

March 31 - April 30, 2013

made available to them at their doorstep.Diabridge has a full-time general physician for consultations who take care of primary ailments of individuals in the community environment. Care

is also provided for patients who have been discharged from hospitals and need help and medical attention at home. Diabridge has introduced the concept of the community pharmacist who will act as a personal pharmacist and address all issues with respect to med-

ication for the members. Diabridge has a health kiosk for members where they can check their blood sugar, blood pressure and weight etc free of cost. Individuals who are registered as members have all the above-mentioned benefits in addition to receiving their medication and health products at discounted rates in the comfort of their homes. Lab investigations for all members are also provided at discounted rates. ``We intend to introduce extended home monitoring and care services in the communities that we serve. In the first stage we intend to open five such centres over a period of six months,’’ says Dr Arif Ponnambath, CEO, Diabridge Health Management Systems


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Awards presented for organ donations

t a time when Keralites were hesitant to donate eyes it was people from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) who resolutely donated their eyes,” said Fisheries, Ports and Excise Minister K Babu before presenting the first organ donation awards of K Chittilappilly Foundation to 11 donors from various districts in the state recently.

tuted with the object of spreading awareness among the people and promoting voluntary organ donations. He lamented that because of fear and ignorance, people were not coming forward to voluntarily donate their organs and many lives, which could be saved, were being lost. “The media should help promote voluntary organ donations and facilitate human organ transplantation,” he said.

The awards with cash were given to those who had donated their organs voluntarily and those who had facilitated organ donations by their relatives on brain death. A total Rs 37 lakh in awards ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh was disMr Benny Behanan, MLA, and Dr K tributed at the function held at the IMA Hall, Kaloor, Ajay Kumar, former IMA President and Rotary Incoming Governor, also spoke. Kochi. Mr V Satyanarayanan, senior partner, The Min- Varma & Varma, Chartered Accountants, ister com- proposed a vote of thanks. mended the The voluntary donors are: Anil B, initiatives taken by Fr Kannanalloor, Kollam; Raghunath R, Davis Chira- Kanjoor, Ernakulam; Sundaran, PiKochouseph Chittilappilly mel, Chair- lathara, Kannur; Ajith Kumar N P, Viyyur, man, Kidney Thrissur; Jose Edison, Gothuruth, ErFederation nakulam. of India, and Mr Kochouseph ChittilapPost-death donors: Arun George, Kopilly, founder of K Chittilappilly Foundaodaranhi, Kozhikode; Shajan T, Nellivila, tion and Chairman of V-Guard IndusThiruvananthapuram; Jayachandran A tries, who have become the` living idols’ S, Vazhappally, Changanassery; Raju of organ donation, having voluntarily doK L, Chempanoda, Kozhikode; Krishnanated their kidneys to non-relatives. kumar V A, Edappally, Ernakulam; M V Mr Kochouseph, in his welcome ad- Cheriyan, Meenangadi, Wayanad dress, said the awards had been insti-

V-Guard Q3 revenues, profit up

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he revenues of V-Guard Industries Ltd for the third quarter ending December 31 during the fiscal year 2012-13 increased to Rs 349 crore, up by 42% over the corresponding period during the last financial year (Rs 246.60 crore). Profit after tax touched Rs 15.35 crore, an increase of 23% (Rs 12.45 crore). Mithun K Chittilappilly The increase in the advertisement spend by 141% resulted in reduction in margins during the quarter. Revenues for the first nine months of the 2012-13 financial year increased by 42% over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year to Rs 981.31 crore.

The company’s new products, switch gears and induction cooktops, have been well accepted in South India. Digital UPS, electric and solar water heaters and wires performed exceptionally well, contributing to 56% of the company’s total revenue. “We intend to continue to grow our business across all product verticals to maintain the momentum this year as well, and stabilizers, wires, pumps and digital UPS are expected to perform well in the fourth quarter of the fiscal. The company is planning to launch mixer grinders during the first quarter of the next fiscal. Switch gears and induction cooktops will be launched in the other markets in a phased manner,” says Mr Mithun K Chittilappilly, Managing Director.

‘Moods’ now comes as deo too “We plan to project the product as the catalyst that rejuvenates and strengthens confidence by helping them overcome all challenges and turning them desirable,” said Dr M Ayyappan, Chairman and Managing Director of the Thiruvananthapurambased HLL, while launching the deodorant range the other day. As for the USP of the product in the deodorant market which has more than 350 brands, Dr Ayyappan said, “It is round-the-clock confidence with fragrances developed by renowned perfumers and inspired by global trends.”

through an extensive consumer research programme in the country.

Each of the four variants has a distinct fragrance. “Moods Deo is refreshing and distinct from other products in the market. Like the phenomenal success of Moods condom,

The company’s growing portfolio of products and services includes contraceptives, hospital products, pharmaceuticals, ayurvedic and personal hygiene products and di-

HLL, which aggregated a record business of Rs 1,112 crore during the fiscal 2011- 2012, has set a sales target of Rs 4.19 crore from Moods deodorant during the current financial year. Starting as a single-product company, HLL (formerly Hindustan Latex Ltd) has now turned into a total contraceptive and holistic healthcare solution provider. It has emerged as the market leader in contraceptives and ranks amongst the top manufacturers globally.

Dr M Ayyappan (third from the right), CMD of HLL Lifecare Ltd, presenting Moods Deo for Men to one of the leading distributors to mark the launch of the product in the market. we are expecting a good demand for Moods Deo as well,” the CMD said. The four variants, developed by S H Kelkar, Symrise (Germany) and Robertet (Italy), were chosen (From page 22)

of Vilavancode under the leadership of their elected panchayat samithi against the garbage treatment plant of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation should have served as an eye-opener: People were genuinely concerned about the indifferent performance of the garbage processing facility. It was a case of total systemic failure— constitutional, legal, procedural and technological. More or less the same trend was evident in the long-abandoned Brahmapuram garbage plant of Cochin Corporation. It has been stinking on summer, winter and rainy days, and then there was a big devastating fire a few days ago on its plastic heap. The entire firefighting force of the district had to be called in for containing it. The Local Bodies Minister has managed to contain the agitation

agnostic kits. Its portfolio of services includes diagnostics services infrastructure development, procurement consultancy and facility management threats by the people and leaders of nearby panchayats for the time being. But there are several unresolved issues with legal, technological and financial implications that cannot be concealed for long or simply wished over. There are other garbage plants waiting in the queue from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod and in almost every district. There are skeletons in the cupboards everywhere. It is time that the State Government engaged a high-level expert body to study the complex issue and sought long-term structural solutions. Firefighting and the usual fund allocation exercise will not suffice. There is an urgent need for capacity building at the state and municipal levels in what was once known and practised as public health engineering

March 31 - April 30, 2013

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Kovalam beach gets Outlook Traveller Awards

Kerala wins tourism’s Oscar again R

iding on its latest campaign theme of Ayurveda, Kerala Tourism has won yet another international laurel, silver prize, again at the ITB Golden City Gate Awards that are billed as Oscars of tourism.

Kerala Tourism picked up the Das Goldene Stattdor (Golden City Gate) award in the print campaign category for its ongoing ayurveda campaign. The awards, given every year at the prestigious ITB Berlin fair, are

considered to be the ultimate recognition for tourism communications. Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar, who was heading the State delegation to the festival recently, and State Tourism Secretary Suman Billa received the award. This is the fifth time in the last decade that Kerala is netting an award at Berlin. Last year also, Kerala had won the same award for its campaign, `Your Moment is Waiting.’

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa recieving Outlook Traveller awards for Kerala at a function in New Delhi. Also seen are (L-R) Ms Nayantara Patel, Editor, Outlook Traveller; Mr Tariq Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries; and Mr Vinod Mehta, Editorial Chairman,Outlook Group.

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erala Tourism has won the top prize in two categories at the annual Outlook Traveller Awards for 2012—the Favourite Winter Destination Prize and the Favourite Beach Destination Award for Kovalam. Kerala Tourism was the only state tourism board other than Jammu and Kashmir Tourism to pick up two awards at a function held in New Delhi recently at which Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa received the awards on behalf of the state. The prestigious Outlook Traveller Awards, in its sixth year, are a coveted recognition of excellence in the travel industry in India. The awards, given on the basis of a survey of preferred travel destinations and services among the readers, are an authoritative benchmark of consumer preferences in travel and tourism. The survey for 2012,

conducted by IPSOS Private Limited Company, polled readers through the magazine and the Outlook Traveller website. “It is a huge honour for Kerala to win the highest two prizes of the prestigious Outlook Traveller Awards,” said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar. Kerala Tourism Director Rani George also spoke. In December 2012, Kerala had won the Conde Nast Travel Award in the ‘Excellence in Taking Brand India Global’ category. In the same month, it had also edged out the Taj Mahal to become the number one travel destination in the Google’s search trends for India in 2012. Kerala’s hill destination Munnar was on the list of top 10 Indian destinations on Google’s Zeitgiest site showing search trends from around the world

Ladli media award for Shiny Jacob Benjamin

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ocumentary director Shiny Jacob Benjamin has bagged last year’s Ladli National Media Award in the visual media section for the documentary Ottayaal directed by her. The award distribution function was held in Mumbai in early February.

The theme of the documentary is an interpretation of the life of Daya Bai who fights for human rights of the Gond tribe at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. Ottayaal had earlier been selected for national/state awards. The award has been instituted by `Population First’ which works for the rights of children and women

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March 31 - April 30, 2013

Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar and Tourism Secretary Suman Billa receiving the award.

Western Ghats enthral visitors at Spanish fair

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erala Tourism themed its stand at the prestigious International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, capital of Spain, held between January 30 and February 3 on the breathtaking Western Ghats and drew a huge crowd of visitors. Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi visited the Kerala pavilion. The Kerala Tourism delegation was led by state Tourism Secretary Suman Billa. Staging its 33rd edition this year, FITUR is one of the most influential tourism trade fairs in the world, attracting business participants and travel media from around the globe besides the general public. Last year, Kerala Tourism had won the best stand award at FITUR.

Built on a 56 square metre area, the Kerala Tourism stand saw a stream of visitors, who were attracted by the de-

piction of the beautiful flora and fauna of the majestic Western Ghats, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stand offered free ayurvedic face and hand massage to the visitors in a bid to promote Kerala’s ayurveda in the Spanish market. “The Spanish market is very important for Kerala Tourism and we have seen an increase in awareness about Kerala in this market,” Mr Suman Billa said referring to the good response to the Kerala stand. Kerala had witnessed an increase of 6.95% in the arrival of tourists from Spain in 2011 over the previous year. The trade partners of Kerala Tourism at FITUR this year were CGH Earth, Amla Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre, Carnoustie Beach Resort, Vythiri Resort and Intersight Tours and Travels


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Sami Labs bags Nutra-Excellence Award S

ami Labs, a leading global player in the nutraceutical and biotech segments, has won the `NutraExcellence Award’ for its outstanding achievements in the nutra sector, fetching the Bangalore-based company its latest recognition in a profile spanning 22 years.

ceuticals and dietary supplements to connect with the global marketplace”.

The award is given in connection with the Nutra India Summit 2013, organized jointly by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and International Society for Nutraceuticals, Nutritionals and Naturals (ISNNaN), in collaboration with a host of industry bodies.

The summit, the biggest of the kind in the sector, was held from March 13 to 16 at Vivanta by Taj President, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. The award was presented to Sami Labs on March 14 in the presence of a gathering of over 360 delegates consisting of industry captains, policymakers and the scientific fraternity.

Sami Labs, which has massive presence across Europe, the United States and Australia besides China and Japan, was chosen for the award for “its role in promoting the sectors of ayurceuticals, herbal products, nutra-

Dr Muhammad Majeed, Sami Labs Managing Director, who received the award on behalf of the company he founded in 1991, said, “The honour comes amid

the company’s plans to come out with several exciting and pioneering products in the nutraceutical segment.” SamiDirect CEO Rajesh Kumar said the direct selling arm of the company is planning to introduce a series of nutraceutical products in tune with the Sami Group’s continued thrust and efforts in R&D and clinical research. “The products, including ready-todrink beverages, will be delivered in various forms in the future. We are also working on introducing excipients-free nutraceutical products into the market,” he added

C J George is CII Kerala Chairman

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r C J George, Managing Director, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, has been elected Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Kerala State Council for 2013-14. Mr George was the Vice-Chairman and Convener of the membership services panel of the Kerala State Council for 2012-13 and was involved in many activities and initiaC J George tives of CII. Mr Shyam Srinivasan, Managing Director and CEO, Federal Bank, is Vice-Chairman of the State Council.

Startup Village unit selected for Microsoft programme

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Microsoft. The programme is designed to help a technology startup achieve the right product-market fit, a robust go-to-market strategy, strong branding and deep connection with customers, partners and investors.

rofoundis Labs, a Startup Village company that provides a wide spectrum of business optimization solutions to enterprises, has been selected for the prestigious Microsoft Accelerator Programme. Profoundis is one of the 13 technology startups shortlisted from over 350 applicants across the globe and the first one from Kerala to ever enter the MS accelerator programme, which provides tremendous global market exposure and extensive

technological support from the world’s biggest software company. “This is quite a feat considering that there were more than 350 applicants. What is equally satisfying to us is that

Profoundis was founded by Mr Arjun Pillai, Mr Jofin Joseph, Mr Anoop Thomas Mathew and Mr Nithin Sam, who did their engineering together at the College of Engineering, Chengannur. They worked with different companies, including Infosys, for two years before starting their firm. we have become the first startup from Kerala to get accepted into this prestigious programme,” says Profoundis co-founder and CEO Arjun R Pillai. Starting in March, the selected

startups will be hosted in the stateof-the-art Accelerator facility in Microsoft’s office in Bangalore, where they will undergo a four-month deep immersion programme under the guidance of elite mentors from the industry and

Profoundis’ latest product is a reader interaction tool for websites ‘Sense’ (sense.profoundis.com). It is a free tool that analzses the reader sentiments in a blog or website and provides intelligent suggestions

Saheli comes nearer to women

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aheli, the world’s first non-steroidal oral contraceptive pill and India’s safest bet for reversible contraception, will now be only a click away. In a fitting tribute to Indian womanhood on Women’s Day, mini-ratna public sector undertaking HLL Lifecare Ltd launched the popular OCP across the leading ecommerce portals so that women can have easier access to it. “It marks the freedom of women. They can make the rightful choice to safe and reversible contraception in the easiest way, from the comforts of their homes or workplaces,” said Dr M Ayyappan, HLL Chairman and Managing Director.

By going online, Saheli will now be available in leading shopping portals such as Indiatimes, Homeshop18, Healthshoppe, Indiaplaza, Ebay, Healthkart and Healthgenie, he added

Mr Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO of Unreasonable at Sea, speaks at an interactive session at Startup Village. Also seen (from left) are Mr Deepak Ravindran, Co-founder and CEO Innoz Technologies; Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, Startup Village; Ms Lakshmi Praturi, host and curator, INK Conference; and Mr Ravi Gururaj and Raj Chinai, co-chairs and co-founders of Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Angels-India Chapter. March 31 - April 30, 2013

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March 31 - April 30, 2013

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Printed and Edited by Varghese Paul for Keethara Publications Pvt Ltd. 6802, Convent Road, Kochi-35 Tel 3043572 Email:passline.com@gmail.com and Printed at Ayodhya Printers Pvt Ltd., Cochin-26 Design by Unnikrishnan

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