Citizens' Issues
Facebook user base soars to five crore in India

Facebook said most of its subscribers from India use mobile phone to access its portal and this has prompted the company to rethink its business model

 
Hyderabad: Facebook has said its user base in India has grown from 80 lakh (8 million) in 2010 to five crore (50 million) now and most of the people access the site through mobile phones, prompting it to rethink its business model, reports PTI.
 
While for other countries it was the desktop which was first used to get in to the portal, in case of India it was the mobile phone, said Kirthiga Reddy, Facebook Director - online operations and head of office - India.
 
Most of the people in the US started on desktop and moved to mobile, she said, adding that India is causing the company to rethink its model.
 
"Because many people are going to Facebook first on mobile and they might never go to desktop again," Reddy said.
 
The situation has prompted Facebook to come out with many innovations so that the site can be accessed through any mobile phone, she added.
 
"Facebook had a user-base of 8 million when it started its office in India in 2010. It has grown to 50 million users since then," Reddy said, adding that currently translation in India is available in eight languages.
 
"Globally, we have many users that contributed for translation of local languages. Translate tool is open for a few other languages," she said.
 
Replying to a query, she said as per studies children below 13 tend to access Facebook when their parents are using the site.
 
"Our policy is that children below 13 years of age are not allowed...we have taken that very seriously. Anytime someone is being reported being under 13 (of age), we immediately look into that and take action. There is a lot of education and initiatives we engage in," she added.
 
According to the information available in Facebook official site, it had 901 million active users at the end of March 2012, and approximately 80% of these monthly active users were outside the US and Canada.
 
Facebook is available in more than 70 languages.
 

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FDI inflows witness sharp dip in May to $1.3 billion from $4.7 billion

Experts have attributed the contraction in inflows to global and domestic economic problems and suggested the government to push big-ticket reforms to restore the confidence of global investors

 
New Delhi: Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India declined sharply for the second month in a row in May with inflows slipping to $1.32 billion from $4.66 billion in the year-ago period, reflecting the impact of slowing global economy, reports PTI.
 
Experts have attributed the contraction in inflows to global and domestic economic problems and suggested the government to push big-ticket reforms to restore the confidence of global investors.
 
"Decisions like allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and permitting foreign airlines to buy stake in domestic carriers would help in attracting more and more FDI," FICCI Secretary General Rajiv Kumar said.
 
The decline in FDI comes at a time when India's economic growth slipped to nine-year low of 6.5% in 2011-12. The growth in the January-March quarter was merely 5.3%.
 
Recently, Standard and Poor's and Fitch had lowered India's credit outlook to negative from stable citing reasons such as high inflation and inadequate reforms.
 
During April-May 2012 too, FDI in India declined by 59% year-on-year to $3.18 billion, a senior official in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) told PTI.
 
Foreign inflows in April dipped to $1.85 billion from $3.12 billion in April 2011.
 
Contraction in FDI will keep the balance of payments under pressure and could also impact the rupee. If the prices of commodity and oil increases globally, a weaker domestic currency will add to inflationary pressures. .
 
The sectors which received large FDI inflows in May include services ($754 million), pharmaceuticals ($401 million), construction ($181 million) and power ($100 million).
 
In May 2012, India received the highest FDI from Mauritius ($1.12 billion million) followed by the Netherlands ($409 million), the UK ($378 million), Singapore ($231 million) and Cyprus ($177 million), the official added.
 
The inflows had aggregated to $36.50 billion in 2011-12 against $19.42 billion in 2010-11 and $25.83 billion in 2009-10.
 

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Now just log on to EPFO website to check your monthly balance

Active subscribers would have to register themselves on the EPFO portal by furnishing their account details to obtain an e-passbook of their fund

 
New Delhi: Over five crore subscribers of the retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) can obtain e-passbook along with details of their updated accounts online from Wednesday, reports PTI.
 
"The EPFO subscribers can get their statement of accounts online from today," Central Provident Fund Commissioner RC Mishra said while addressing a seminar on Employees' Provident Fund Act by the PHDCCI in the capital.
 
In order to avail this facility, the active subscribers would have to register themselves on the EPFO portal by furnishing their account details.
 
The facility to obtain e-passbook will be available only for active members of the EPFO and would not be extended to those whose accounts are inoperative, settled or have negative balance.
 
The members of exempted provident fund trusts regulated by the EPFO, too will too not be entitled for this facility through its portal.
 
The e-passbook will also have additional information like name, date of birth and account number.
 
Mishra also informed that the EPFO is in the process of introducing the facility of online settlement of provident fund claims in a couple of months.
 
At present, the subscribers who are either superannuated or applied for withdrawals, can apply only manually and is time consuming.
 
As per the EPFO citizen charter, such claims should be settled within a month, though it takes longer than that.
 
Mishra said in order to provide the facility of online application of claims, EPFO would require a central database. At present, all regional EPFO offices maintain their database separately.
 
"These works including fund transfers, settlement of PF accounts and withdrawals constitute over 80% of our work," he said, adding online claim settlement will save time and improve efficiency.
 

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