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China injects 50 bn yuan into market
China's central bank pumped 50 billion yuan ($7.85 billion) into the money market via reverse re-purchase agreement (repo) on Tuesday, the first cash injection this week.
 
The yield for the seven-day reverse repo stood at 2.35 percent, Xinhua news agency quoted the Bank of China's (PBOC) statement as saying.
 
Under a reverse repo, the central bank purchases securities from large banks and brokerages with the agreement to sell them in the future as an effective means to tackle short-term money shortages in the market.
 
The cash injection will offset the effects from earlier reverse repo due on Tuesday.
 
Given a stable renminbi (RMB), the money shortage was greatly eased in September and the PBOC's operations were smaller than those in August.
 
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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How Senate Hopefuls Keep Donors Secret From Voters Until It’s Too Late
US Senate campaign finance disclosures are still slow-walked on paper through a 40-year-old system. Is getting it fixed worth trading away another lid on political money? 
 
For nearly 15 years, voters have been able to click a mouse to view an up-to-date list of who’s contributed to candidates for the presidency and the U.S. House, and how those funds have been spent.
 
But the law still allows Senate candidates to file campaign reports on paper, making it nearly impossible to keep up with the flow of money.
 
Efforts to fix that imbalance have died over and over again in the Senate, regardless of which party controlled the chamber. Whether the latest attempt succeeds before the 2016 election may rest on a political horse trade – one that would loosen the reins on another part of campaign spending.
 
Since December 2000, presidential and House candidates have had to file campaign reports electronically to the Federal Election Commission, meaning the public, journalists and analysts can see donors and recipients within minutes. The language in the 2000 law, though, didn’t cover Senate candidates. 
 
As a result the Senate uses a paper system that hasn’t changed much since 1972: Filings are mailed, faxed or delivered by hand to the Secretary of the Senate. The paperwork, which can involve thousands of pages in a big race, is then passed to the FEC, which pays to have the documents scanned and posted online. The information in the reports is typed into a computer so the data can be published for researchers and journalists. The whole process costs the FEC up to $500,000 a year, the Congressional Budget Office has said.
 
The cumbersome process means information about fundraising and spending isn’t available for days or sometimes more than a week after the reports are due – and then in a format that isn’t easily searchable. In the final weeks before an election, voters may have only a few days to look through hundreds of pages of filings in key races. This isn’t new: a Campaign Finance Institute analysis in 2004 showed that “voters preparing to go to the polls last November did not know where a large amount of money to elect their Senators for the next six years was coming from.”
 
In most cases it’s a matter of delayed information that could be useful to undecided voters, rather than someone trying to hide an improper donation. This pattern has continued in recent elections, although the FEC has reduced the length of time voters would need to wait. For example, the final filing before the November 2014 election was due on Oct. 23. In Colorado, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall was locked in a tight re-election race that he eventually lost to Cory Gardner, a Republican congressman. Udall submitted his campaign filing to the Senate on Oct. 22. But images of the 1,029 pages did not get posted on the FEC site – where the public could examine them – until Oct. 28, six days later, according to the FEC. That filing included maximum contributions from… Continue Reading…
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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How the Andhra govt. killed the education system–2: Free ‘scholarship’
After success at the junior college and the primary education level, the government should have freed the engineering education. But in 2008, the Congress government introduced a free scheme, which turned out to be a disaster. This is concluding part of a two part series 
 
After experiencing relative success at the junior college and the primary education level, the next logical step should have been to free the engineering education from government control and let the competition prevail. Or at least not ruin it by further intervening. But what followed was a disaster. A perfect case-study for market distortion. 
 
In 2008, the congress government under YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), introduced a Fee reimbursement scheme for engineering students, which many say brought him back to the power in 2009 elections. Fee reimbursement scheme, in other words, was government-sponsored scholarships to buy votes. Since government was paying the fee, everyone started enrolling into engineering courses whether they were worthy of it or not. Because of this inflated demand, new colleges started cropping up just to encash this phenomenon without any real intention to provide education. Since there was a cap on the fees colleges can charge, existing colleges had no incentive to improve the quality. Even as the standards started to fall more and more engineers were coming out. This is what is reflecting in the Pearson’s survey. The bubble had to burst at some point, and it did. People started finding it difficult to get jobs for the poor quality of education. "Engineering degree would get you an IT job" had started slowly fading away. The demand came crashing down. Lakhs of seats were left vacant and colleges started shutting down.
 

Learning the wrong lesson

But the problem here is, people learn the wrong lesson. They think, increase in number of engineering colleges or lack of infrastructure is the problem. Hence, they call for more regulation in allotting the engineering colleges. The issue here is Government's intervention and distortion. Otherwise, abundance is something we must celebrate. Competition will take care of improving infrastructure and teaching standards. During Naidu’s regime too, number of colleges increased, but there was a genuine demand due to the industry coming in. Here in the YSR’s case the colleges started coming up to encash the government scholarships. One can compare it with another scenario. 
 
In early 2000s, with the services industry started coming in, there was a huge demand for "English medium" education even at the lower end of financial spectrum. As this report suggests, AP recorded 100% increase in English medium schools during 2003-06. Highest in the country. But this was a market driven phenomenon, hence we did not hear of schools shutting down until the Government passed a draconian law named "Right to Education" in 2010. A clause in the law, demands a certain minimum standards of physical infrastructure (number of classrooms, a playground, a library, etc.). As per one report, if strictly applied, 95% of schools in the country will not comply with these standards. And the above mentioned schools from the James Tooley's research, which have been educating the poor are now shutting down.
 

Where the government is absent

But interestingly, there is one area of education that escaped government's eye and is doing very well. Private tuition/coaching centres. They need no licences ...need not spend on any unnecessary infrastructure, they are at liberty to charge whatever they want... As a result, they can give more attention to the student to achieve better results. Unlike schools and colleges, there are no entry barriers here. Anybody can start a coaching/tuition centres. Once they gain some reputation and earn some money, they can use it to get licenses for schools and colleges. It is evident as one of the biggest educational institutes in AP, Narayana Group of Institutes, started as a coaching centre. I personally studied in a school which started as a tuition centre. From coaching 4-5 students for the 10th standard maths in a small verandah, it has emerged into a group of institutions and has now become the most popular brand in that area. 
 
However, what is the popular notion that imposing norms will improve standards. Far from it. When you impose infrastructural standards, you are denying those people with genuine talent and interest, but financially lacking to meet those standards. But then the Government is set out to destroy even this sector. Enter RTE. Each and every word of the act is destructive. Lot of articles have been written criticising it. But there is a clause that is relevant to the discussion, which did not get the attention it deserved. Clause 28: No teacher shall engage himself or herself in private tuition or private teaching. This is for any schoolteacher, private or public. This is a cruel violation of human rights. A punishment for taking up teaching profession. A move, if strictly implemented, will destroy tuition centres…and all the good that has been discussed above. This is what happens when government plans things.
 
And then, there are these software institutes, which are proving to be the lifelines of engineering education today. Since they are not confined to any particular curriculum, they can design their own courses. As a result, they are able to bridge the gap between the sluggish education system and the dynamic needs of the industry. There is a place called Ameerpet in Hyderabad, where the bulk of these institutes are located. Here is where the actual engineers are made. Even the industry has direct tie ups with some of these institutes and send their employees to get coached here. This report estimates that one-lakh students every year take advantage of institutes in Ameerpet alone. Clearly, sans regulation, this area has been able to inject the much needed sense of purpose to an otherwise lacklustre system.
 
You may also read:
 
 
(The author can be reached at twitter.com/ravithinkz)
 

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

The author's assertion that AP govt sponsored scholarships to engineering colleges as an election gimmick may be true but it was the lack of regulation and oversight that led to the proliferation of substandard colleges.
As for Right To Education, the biggest complaint of private schools has to do with the requirement that the schools must accept at least 20% students from economically weaker sections of society. The rest of the requirements such as library, playground, etc are not set in stone and hardly any schools are closed down for lack of such facilities.
Moreover, none of these problems are peculiar to Andhra Pradesh. They exist all over India.

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