Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Dr CNR Rao awarded Bharat Ratna
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, world class scientist Dr Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao was awarded the Bharat Ratna today. We had the great fortune to interview Dr Rao, exactly three years ago in Bangalore.

Dr CNR Rao, known in India as “Mr Science” has published more than 1500 research papers over the last five decades and has been conferred an astounding 40 honorary doctorates. Dr Rao, the world's foremost solid state and materials chemist, is currently the Linus Pauling Research Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore and Chairman of the Science Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister.
 
He has authored over 1500 research papers and edited or written 43 books in materials chemistry. There is hardly any academy that has not made him a fellow/member, including The Royal Society London, National Academy of Sciences, USA, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences and Japan Academy. There is a wide consensus that he would have easily won a Nobel Prize by now if he were working in a Western country. Dr Rao spoke to MoneyLIFE editors Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu about his career and his views on where Indian science is headed, given the way bright science students are sucked by the software sector. Read the whole interview here.
 
This interview was also published as part of Pathbreakers 2, a collection of interviews about top Indian achievers. You can buy the book here
 

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COMMENTS

nagesh kini

3 years ago

Dr. Rao very richly deserves the Bharat Ratna.
What he said of the politicians is absolutely apt and did not warrant any retraction!

ADR and Facebook to provide info about candidates through mobile
This feature will allow citizens to access information about candidates in the election more easily and enable them to make an informed choice
 
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said it partnered with Facebook to provide citizens the up-to-date candidates’ information for the upcoming State Assembly Elections and Lok Sabha Elections to help them make an informed choice. Voters will now be able to access election candidates’ criminal, financial, educational and professional information directly on their mobile via Facebook using USSD technology. USSD or unstructured supplementary service data is a global system for mobile (GSM) communication technology used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.
 
"This initiative with Facebook will allow us to expand our reach. Voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates -- their educational, criminal and financial information -- at their fingertips and choose wisely. Simply voting in an uninformed manner is not enough, citizens needed to make an informed choice,” said Prof Trilochan Sastry, founder and trustee of ADR.
 
Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India, said, “Over 82 million Indian citizens access Facebook regularly, and an increasing number of users access the platform on mobile. Our goal is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance."
 
How to access the information on election candidates for free-
Access to information has never been simpler, faster and cheaper -- all users have to do is dial *325# from their mobile to access Facebook and select the election menu (option 6) or directly dial *325*35# to access the election menu for no charge. 

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Banks facing legal hurdles while recovering bad loans
While the non-performing assets or bad loans of banks are reaching new highs, the lenders are finding loan recovery difficult due to legal and procedural hurdles
 
While the net non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, of banks are on the rise, bankers are facing several issues including legal and procedural hurdles while recovering their dues. Several bankers present at BANCON 2013 in Mumbai, however, assured that banks are paying a lot of attention for loan recovery from big and small defaulters.
 
"There are many challenges (in recovering dues) including legal ones. Even after using the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets & Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act), defaulters are found obtaining stays from any court, including labour courts. We then have to rush to that court and get the stay vacated. This is making recovery (of dues) difficult," said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson and managing director of State Bank of India (SBI).
 
Speaking earlier, finance minister P Chidambaram also asked bankers to deal firmly with wilful defaulters, but handhold those victims of circumstances who are reeling under the impact of the economic slowdown.  
 
The NPAs of 40 listed banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Union Bank of India jumped 38% or by around Rs35,424 crore during the first half of FY2014 due to high provisioning. Net NPAs of these lenders jumped to Rs1.3 lakh crore from Rs93,109 crore as on March 2013, says a study conducted by NPASource.com.
 
SS Mundra, chairman and managing director of Bank of Baroda said, banks use two options in case of bad debt, recover and restructure. "Recovery option is used when there is other choice left (for repayment of loan by the borrower) and there are several procedure involved in this process. Restructuring of loans is mostly used whenever possible," he said.
 
According to a research paper by McKinsey & Company, capital allocation by Indian banks is questionable. "In India, around 73% of total banking credit goes to non-retail customer segment and about 40% of this is channelled into sectors such as infrastructure, metals and mining, auto, textiles, durable and paper products that are currently not creating value," it said.
 
"On an incremental basis, 44% of corporate credit was channelled into these sectors. The level of credit allocation, especially for infrastructure, from the banking sector is significantly lower for other Asian economies such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. While a lot of the asset quality problems in the (Indian) banking industry today are a reflection of the macroeconomic situation, too much emphasis on just big ticket lending to build balance sheets will lead to concentration of lending to fewer companies and continued exclusion of small business, specialised and mass lending opportunities," McKinsey & Company added.
 
NPAsource.com said, Out of the total 40 listed banks, 14 banks have reported more than 50% jump in net NPAs during the first six months of FY14. According to analysis done by NPAsource.com, the share of the top ten banks in net NPAs has come down to 67.8% in September from 70% in March 2013. The analysis also shows that net NPA of seven banks was higher than 3.5% as on September 2013 as against none as of March 2013.

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COMMENTS

Satnam Singh Sidhu

2 years ago

Apart from above said reasons there is one more reason that need attention of bankers, financial institutions and public.

Borrowers may show fake assets to banks for securing loans to run their businesses.

Recently, a huge discrepancy in bank loan advanced to Pritpal Singh Arora s/o Bhagat Singh Arora 79A The Mall Amritsar have come to my limelight.

Mr Arora secured loan in 2008 against a property in Bala Chak, Amritsar from Bank of Baroda which is not in his possession. The loan amount financed by bank was way higher than the collector rate of the property.

How a loan amount higher than collector rate of land was secured is, still a mystery.

Even further the possession of land was shown to bank on a different property by Mr Arora which is situated in different village and that vacant property belongs to Punjab Government. Land physical location verification and land evaluation was performed by bank on that Government owned property.

Why bank failed to identify the actual physical location of land, the actual collector rate of the land, the real possession of the land is highly questionable!

But this is just part of the story. The blunder mistakes or fraud of bank and frauds of borrower are just the beginning.

The borrower failed to pay his loan payments promptly and Bank of Baroda, Partap Nagar, Amritsar issued public notice in first week of June 2014 for eAuction on July 10th 2014.

When one of the bidder approached the bank regarding details about the property, the bank chief manager, Sarabjit Singh provided them the required documents and also sent bank officer Mr Sharma and Recovery agent Mr Mangal Singh Sandhu with the bidder for site inspection.

Again the wrong property was shown by the bank officials to the potential bidder. I mean the government property situated in village Varpal, Amritsar.

The potential bidder firm, PIMC agent Gagan asked bank chief manager for the clarification for the discrepancy.

Chief manager refused to give any clarification. The MD of PIMC, Sahibjit Singh Sandhu, has asked for the clarification from the DGM, H S Sidhu of Bank of Baroda in Jallandar.

The last date for bid is July 8th 2014. So far Sahibjit Singh Sandhu have not received any clarification.

Question is how come a reputable bank such as Bank of Baroda can make such a big mistake of auctioning a government property.

Even though bank made a blunder mistake in their initial loan approval procedure by evaluating a wrong property but question arises who authorized the bank to auction the wrong property.

Isn't it bank misusing the power bestowed to them by SARFAESI ACT

For detailed documentary evidence contact at [email protected]

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