Right to Information
33 out of 44 posts of teachers vacant at JJ School of Arts
In what may be called as a shocking revelation, Mumbai-based Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art, the oldest art institution in the city, is functioning with just about 25% of sanctioned strength of teachers. According to information procured by Anil Galgali under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, at present almost 33 out of 44 posts of professors and lecturers are lying vacant in the internationally renowned institute.
 
RTI activist Galgali had sought information about the total faculty positions and the status from Sir JJ School of Art. Replying to his query, the Public Information Officer and Registrar Alka Chavan informed that, seven out of the eight posts of the professors are lying vacant and 26 of the 36 posts for lecturers are also vacant. Similarly, six posts of ad-hoc lecturers and nine posts of contract lecturers are functional as interim arrangements. 
 
The position of ad-hoc Lecturers is functioning since 1993, but after a court order, these posts were regularised since 1997. On the query as to who is responsible for filling the vacant positions, Galgali was informed that the Director at the Directorate of Arts and Culture fills the post of professors and lecturers in Sir JJ School of Art.
 
Expressing surprise at the utter neglect shown by Directorate of Arts and Culture towards appointment of professors and lecturers, Galgali has demanded action against those responsible for the delay. Galgali, in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also demanded that the vacant posts at Sir JJ School of Art should be filled up urgently. "The neglect exhibited by the Director of Directorate of Arts and Culture is in contrast to the aims of the government for promotion of art and will have a negative impact on the aims of the government," he said.
 

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COMMENTS

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. The government should initiate proper steps, to attract the right talent in the teaching profession, by making it attractive. Many consider teaching among the noble professions, so as to ensure that in future we get talented youngsters as professionals.

Reliance Capital raises USD 300 mn via private placement
Reliance Capital, a part of the Anil-Ambani-led group, on Tuesday said it has raised USD 300 million through private placement of debentures with a tenure of 5 and 10 years.
 
"The issue size offered was $ 150 million with an option to retain oversubscription by way of a greenshoe option of up to $150 million). The issue was fully subscribed, including the greenshoe option, and will be listed," the company said in a regulatory filing.
 
"The funds will be used to refinance existing debt and grow our lending business. Our debt-equity remains at a conservative 1.7 -- among the lowest in the non-banking financial services sector," said Sam Ghosh, Executive Director and Group Chief Executive of Reliance Capital.
 
"We will continue to maintain a healthy asset liability mix, and provide optimally priced funds for our high growth lending businesses."
 
The secured redeemable non-convertible debentures have an annual coupon rate of 8.9 per cent for 5 years, and 9 per cent for 10 years.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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India's lifeline for stressed realty industry
The government's latest policy package to revive and boost the cash-strapped construction and realty sector by putting in place a mechanism to release funds that are stuck in arbitration is a significant move for the industry and the economy.
 
Under the new norms, 75 percent of the amount against guarantee will be released in cases where a given award has been contested by government authorities. This is a big relief for the sector that has around Rs 1 lakh crore under arbitration. The notable, related reform measure -- granting permanent residency status to foreign investors aimed at facilitating greater investment -- will further bolster liquidity.
 
The government's stimulus reflects its priority to the construction sector and is quite justified, considering that it contributes eight percent to the GDP and generates huge employment to revitalise the economy. That's precisely why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone on record as saying that the three-year period (2011-12 to 2013-14) of stagnation, with large number of stalled projects, had badly hit the economy.
 
The new policy is aimed at reducing the debt and meeting working capital requirements to revive stalled projects and start new ones. It has come as a big breather for construction companies, reflected in the immediate spurt in their stock prices. The positive impact can be gauged from the fact that big construction companies like HCC will be able to reduce their debt by half as revealed by its Chairman Ajit Gulabchand.
 
Industry experts like Sushil Mittal, Chairman of the Association of Certified Realtors of India, are also upbeat about the policy decision, saying that it is a win-win situation for infrastructure companies, financial institutions and the government.
 
The new policy measures are perfectly in line with the government's policy to push infrastructure and boost economic activity. As private investments are not forthcoming, the government is banking on public investment, with a spending target of Rs 7 lakh crore. Even in the national budget, the focus has been on infrastructure, as the total value of stalled projects stood at seven percent of GDP.
 
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) put stalled projects at Rs 11.36 lakh crore, with projects worth Rs 70,000 crore under arbitration. The government has an uphill task ahead to build 100 smart cities and 60 million new houses under its flagship 'Housing for All' programme. And the key to achieving all this is the good financial health of the construction and realty sector.
 
Anuj Puri, Chairman of global real estate advisory JLL India, believes that at a time when we are focusing on infrastructure creation and real estate boosting, the government's twin measures of providing continuous liquidity and switching over to the globally accepted EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) mode of contracts, promising higher degree of certainty in relation to cost and time, will result in infrastructure capacity-building by giving a fillip to private participation and investment.
 
Today, the biggest bane of the construction and realty sector is debt-ridden developers. That's why the whole focus of the new policy is to de-stress the developers while at the same time helping financial institutions to recover their loans on time to control bad debts so that they are in a position to not only restructure loans of stressed players but also offer them loans for new projects.
 
Industry statistics show that banks have an exposure of about 45 percent to the construction sector. The total loan outstanding of the real estate sector is Rs 9.60 lakh crore with 1.6 percent bad loans, amounting to Rs 16,000 crore. According to premier rating agency, Crisil, the debt of real estate developers for residential projects shot up to Rs 61,000 crore in 2014-15. It estimates that top real estate companies face the challenge of paying about Rs 30,000 crore of borrowings maturing in the immediate future.
 
It is in this backdrop that private equity entities have come to the rescue of developers of stressed projects. Piramal has recently funded Rs 15,000 crore to over half a dozen developers and has a target of disbursing Rs 1,500 crore of credit to realty companies every month. Big global private equities like KKR, Blackstone and Altico are also extending credit to stressed developers to finish stalled projects. That's also the reason why the Department of Financial Services under the Finance Ministry, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), have announced the need for a one-time scheme to address stressed bank loans in the real estate sector.
 
The new policy prescription also opens up opportunities for realty companies and developers to partner with construction companies and contractors to take up infrastructure projects like roads and highways. In a recent conference of Naredco (National Council of Real Estate Developers), Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had also suggested that real estate developers facing a slowdown should leverage massive opportunities of undertaking roads and highways projects by partnering with established infrastructure players.
 
In conclusion, the government's new progressive policy has a healthy prescription of short-term to long-term measures to revive the construction sector, especially as, going forward, it also seeks to bring changes in the bid documents and propose model contracts, besides focusing on greater conciliation to boost the sector.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. Hopefully, we hope that the future turns bright for the ailing infrastructure sector. But the government should also take steps, to set it's own house in order. At the recently held seminar, I had the privilege, of discussing with a former police official regarding CIDCO issuing a false occupancy Certificate, which he would not believe, until I told him that I have pursued the matter, submitting on each occasion a copy of the occupancy Certificate under the RTI Act 2005, which has not been contested by them, while providing the relevant information, admitting that water supply, electricity and drainage, roadwork in the sector is incomplete. The internal work in my flat at Ulwe, Navi Mumbai when I inspected lately was incomplete. I feel that the government should also initiate steps to set it's own organization in order, to ensure that the common man does not suffer, in this regard, and it's widely propagated ideals of good governance is also met.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments. Hopefully, we hope that the future turns bright for the ailing infrastructure sector. But the government should also take steps, to set it's own house in order. At the recently held seminar, I had the privilege, of discussing with a former police official regarding CIDCO issuing a false occupancy Certificate, which he would not believe, until I told him that I have pursued the matter, submitting on each occasion a copy of the occupancy Certificate under the RTI Act 2005, which has not been contested by them, while providing the relevant information, admitting that water supply, electricity and drainage, roadwork in the sector is incomplete. The internal work in my flat at Ulwe, Navi Mumbai when I inspected lately was incomplete. I feel that the government should also initiate steps to set it's own organization in order, to ensure that the common man does not suffer, in this regard, and it's widely propagated ideals of good governance is also met.

Deepak Narain

3 months ago

It is a government for and by industrialists, realters/builders, mine owners, and the like. It is working for their real benefit. All else is window-dressing

manoharlalsharma

3 months ago

why not takeover by leading bankers the entire stock by discounting the project cost and market by creating SPV?it will be the win-win situation as well security to consumer.

Abhishek Singh

3 months ago

I think the author is confusing infrastructure with real estate.
Best way the govt could help this sector is by not delaying the required approvals (by making it transparent, rule based and online)...

Rajan Vaswani

3 months ago

Where is the sale? No sale means no cash flow into the business and therefore, no outflow into completing projects. Common business sense and unable to fathom the win-win.

Vivek Naik

3 months ago

How this could be a win-win situation?

Vivek Naik

3 months ago

How this could be a win-win situation?

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