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ICICI Bank net up by 14 percent
Private sector ICICI Bank on Monday said it closed last fiscal logging 14 percent growth in net profit.
 
The company's board of directors declared a dividend of Rs.5 per equity share having a face value of Rs.2 each.
 
In a statement, ICICI Bank said its standalone after tax profit for the year ended March 31, 2015 grew by 14 percent to Rs.11,175 crore from Rs.9,810 crore logged during the previous fiscal.
 
The net interest income increased 16 percent to Rs.19,040 crore for the period under review up from Rs.16,475 crore earned during the previous fiscal.
 
The bank's non-interest income went up by 17 percent last fiscal to Rs.12,176 crore, while the provisions too went up Rs.3,900 crore last fiscal up from Rs.2,626 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year.
 
According to ICICI Bank, the total advances increased by 14 percent year-on-year to Rs. 387,522 crore at March 31, 2015 from Rs. 338,703 crore at March 31, 2014.
 
ICICI Bank's net non-performing assets (NPA) went up to Rs.6,325 crore as at March 31, 2015 from Rs.3,301 crore at the end of corresponding period previous year.
 
According to the bank, its total deposits increased by nine percent year-on-year to ` Rs.361,563 crore at March 31, 2015.
 

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Nepal quake: Virtual media drives 'real' rescue operations
Soon after the 7.9-magnitude temblor jolted Nepal and parts of India on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) started the twitter handle "@MEAcontrolroom" in order to inform people about latest rescue efforts and sharing helpline numbers
 
Considering the popularity and reach of social networking sites in the modern world, the Indian government is pro-actively using Twitter and Facebook to reach out to those affected in quake-ravaged Nepal.
 
From giving information about the missing ones to offering aid, the government and netizens have gone all out to utilise the power of social media, also known as virtual media, to offer a helping hand to the ones in need.
 
Soon after the 7.9-magnitude temblor jolted Nepal and parts of India on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) started the twitter handle "@MEAcontrolroom" in order to inform people about latest rescue efforts and sharing helpline numbers.
 
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj promptly swung into action by responding to queries of families and friends of those missing or stranded in the Himalayan country.
 
And this prompt response by the government is garnering praise from the twitterati.
 
"Well done Sushma Swaraj for making MEA cool and proactive! Huge Respect for @adgpi, @IAFIndia, NDRF and doctors," tweeted Amit Kumar, an IT consultant.
 
Desperate Amritansh Dash contacted the government seeking help to find a 78-year-old man by posting his image and details on Twitter, and in less than 20 minutes his post was acknowledged by MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
 
"Thank you for the information. We are communicating this to our officials on the ground," said Swarup.
 
People are using hashtags like #Nepalearthquake, #ThankyouPM, #OpMaitri, #NepalQuake, #IndiawithNepal to show solidarity and offer help to the people in quake-ravaged country.
 
"Sir/ma'am, me and my volunteers are ready to fulfill all the blood requirements for Nepal," posted BloodDonorsofIndore, a blood donors group, addressing the tweet to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
 
Similarly, another Twitter user, eager to help the people, came forward and said: "What's the site for donating money for earthquake victims?"
 
Apart from this, the government is also keeping the world updated through pictures about the aid it is sending to Nepal.
 
People also took to Facebook to share information helpful for those in crisis.
 
"Nurses in and around Bir hospital trauma centre. Please immediately report. Due to lack of assistance surgeries are on hold ! If you know anyone who is a nurse please pass this message," posted Max Dipesh Khatri from Bir Hospital, Kathmandu.

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Thirty-eight Indian cities in high risk earthquakes zones
The earthquake that devastated Nepal on saturday and jolted northern India, damaging buildings as far apart as Agra and Siliguri, was expected by geologists, who have warned of more Himalayan earthquakes
 
At least 38 Indian cities lie in high-risk seismic zones and nearly 60 percent of the subcontinental landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes. Barring rare exceptions, such as the Delhi Metro, India’s hastily-built cities are open to great damage from earthquakes.
 
The earthquake that devastated Nepal on saturday and jolted northern India, damaging buildings as far apart as Agra and Siliguri, was expected by geologists, who have warned of more Himalayan earthquakes caused by the growing pressures of the sub-continent grinding into the Asian mainland.
 
Very few buildings in India meet the standards prescribed in "Indian Standards Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design" - first published by the Bureau of Indian Standards in 1962, the latest revision being in 2005. These are not enforced, so almost no one knows such earthquake-resistant standards and guidelines for home-owners exist.
 
 
The Delhi Metro is one of the few Indian structures built to withstand a quake. Many of the houses built in Bhuj after the Gujarat quake of 2001 are now earthquake-resistant. The rare building and high-rise may be designed for quakes.
 
But nothing has changed since 1993, when a relatively milder earthquake of magnitude 6.4 in Maharashtra’s Latur district killed nearly 10,000 people in what was considered a non-seismic zone. Most died because shoddily constructed houses collapsed at the first major shake, as they did in Gujarat eight years later.
 
The government of India today lists 38 cities in moderate to high-risk seismic zones. “Typically, the majority of the constructions in these cities are not earthquake-resistant,” notes a 2006 report written by the United Nations for the ministry of home affairs. “Therefore in the event of an earthquake, one of these cities would become a major disaster.”
 
The earth’s landmasses ride like gigantic rafts on "plates", or sections of the earth’s outermost layer, the crust. These plates frequently slip and slide, causing earthquakes. We don’t feel the small ones. The big ones, literally, shake us up.
 
The Himalayas and north India are on particularly shaky ground. Sometime in the geological past, before humans, India broke off from an ancient supercontinent called Gondwana, a name still used for what is now Chhattisgarh.
 
The Indian plate skewed north, displaced an ancient sea, travelled more than 2,000 km - the fastest a plate has ever moved - and slammed into the Eurasian plate, creating the Himalayas.
 
India still grinds northeast into Asia at roughly 5 cm every year. The last significant - but not geologically significant - quake in this area was the 2005 temblor in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which sits directly atop the clashing Indian and Eurasian plates. Around 80,000 people died. 
 
About 60 percent of India is vulnerable to earthquakes caused by the great, northward grind of the Indian subcontinental landmass.
 
The only serious earthquake that modern India remembers is the temblor that killed about 20,000 in Gujarat in 2001. The 2004 tsunami, which resulted from the third-most most severe quake ever recorded, 9.3 on the Richter scale, occurred when the Indian plate slid with greater violence than it normally does under the neighbouring Burma plate, upon which rest the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
 
It caused a 100-km-long rupture in the crust, thrusting the seafloor upwards and pushing up masses of water, setting off tsunamis that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries.
 
No Indian metropolis has witnessed a serious earthquake, although Delhi lies in high-risk Seismic Zone 4. Srinagar and Guwahati are in the highest-risk Zone 5, and Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata lie in Zone 3. History serves a warning that a big one may come at any time. Those lessons come from Bihar in 1934 and Assam in 1950.
 
Although its epicentre was 10 km south of Mount Everest, the Bihar earthquake of 1934 was felt from Mumbai to Lhasa, flattening almost all major buildings in many Bihar districts and damaging many in Calcutta, now Kolkata. At 8.4 on the Richter scale, it was pretty severe, killing more than 8,100 (Mahatma Gandhi said it was punishment for the sin of untouchability).
 
The 1950 Assam earthquake may have geologically set the stage for a really big one in the Himalayas, according to geologists. Now that 65 years have passed, it may be time for a big one.

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COMMENTS

M S Prabhakar

2 years ago

"...Very few buildings in India meet the standards prescribed in "Indian Standards Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design" - first published by the Bureau of Indian Standards in 1962, the latest revision being in 2005. These are not enforced, so almost no one knows such earthquake-resistant standards and guidelines for home-owners exist..."

This is a very worrying statement and I wonder if the author(s) have any basis or done any research to substantiate. To my knowledge, every municipal corporation in India has to certify buildings and structures for conformance to "National Building Code of India, 2005", before they are certified as fit occupation or other use. If the author(s) are referring to unauthorized structures and buildings, it's a different story altogether.

In any case, if the general public want to know about this comprehensive standard -- not just for design against the effects of eathquake -- here's the link: http://goo.gl/87vLQo

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