Insurance
IRDAI's e-commerce proposal to boost online insurance sales
Insurance companies on Saturday said the proposed guidelines on selling and servicing of policies through e-commerce platform are expected to boost online sales of insurance products.
 
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued a proposed draft on Tuesday for promotion of e-commerce in insurance space and suggested introduction of an Insurance Self-Network Platform, a technology platform.
 
"We expect this (Insurance Self-Network Platform) will help in penetrating of insurance products. It is a revolutionary thing. The technology platform will induce lot of benefits to the customers in terms of accessibility of products that are not encouraged by agents due to lack of adequate remuneration for them," said Bajaj Capital group's CEO and Director Anil Kumar Chopra.
 
"The Insurance Self-Network Platform will undertake insurance e-commerce activities in India such as selling and servicing of insurance products," the draft said.
 
Chopra said the country's cumulative number of issued polices is about 12.5 crore which is abysmally low as compared to India's population. A single person should ideally have multiple policies for different covers like health, motor and life.
 
the state-run National Insurance Company is also exploring e-commerce selling and servicing.
 
"Online selling was there but it lacked proper guidelines. In online space, customers should be able to judge products not only on price point but also on the features and services offered by the company," said the company's Chairman and Managing Director K Sanath Kumar on the sidelines of the Insurance Summit organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
 
"The online sales of policy without any requirement of physical signature process with an authentication process will help customers to buy property insurance and other term policies online at ease and they would not be influenced by agents," he said.
 
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

PRABAL BISWAS

8 months ago

I am just waiting for the day when swimming would be taught through e-commerce.
Doing insurance would lead tons of policies getting time barred as normally the nominee is not aware of the policies taken either of the spouse. Person who could be intelligent will never go through e commerce. Who processes his nominees on claim on death? Employees of e-commerce site? I would always prefer to go online with the insurance co and his representative . Tall talks in the regulatory world is a fashion. Wait and see....

Once called 'orphan crops', pulses and millets are new stars
Once relegated to the status of "orphan crops", pulses and millets are currently a subject of tremendous interest among the global community. Pulse crops, millets and a host of other local cereals, vegetables, and fruits are of vital importance to the world's poor.
 
It is no surprise, therefore, that development agencies working in the area of agriculture -- like mine -- have moved beyond the traditional "stars" of food research - grains such as wheat, rice, and corn - and expanded the scope of its research around agriculture to include pulses and millets.
 
Remarkable progress has been made in decreasing the proportion of poor and hungry people globally over the past decade. However, feeding an estimated nine billion people with safe and nutritious food by the year 2050 remains a significant challenge for agricultural research, development, and policies -- especially given the obstacles of climate change, increased demand, and volatile prices.
 
To increase the sector's productivity and gradual transition towards economically viable small and medium-scale farming, particularly in South Asia and Africa, there is a great need to develop and scale up innovations specifically suited for the nearly 800 million small-scale farming families globally.
 
Food security is achieved, in part, through focussed and practical research. There is clear evidence that science and research can increase food supply and play a key role in the fight against poverty. According to the World Bank, agricultural growth is twice as effective at reducing poverty as non-agricultural growth because most of the world's poor live in rural areas.
 
This means that millets, including pulses, cannot be overlooked as these are part of the traditional diet of several developing regions of the world.
 
Over the past few months, at a number of conferences supported during the International Year of Pulses, the point has been brought home time and time again. In Canada, pulses were once a crop with low production and relatively minimal research attention. No longer. Advances in agricultural sciences and a vibrant international market have turned the Canadian pulse sector into a major world player.
 
Pulses are staple foods in many regions of the world. They diversify income and food sources for the poor in developing countries -- they are rich in micronutrients and serve as the key source of protein that is far more affordable than animal protein.
 
Many pulse crops grow well in dry conditions and can provide a hedge against the negative effects of climate change, a major concern in India and throughout South Asia. Pulses therefore have a relatively low "water footprint".
 
Despite the clear benefits of pulses, production remains stagnant. In some countries, including the ones where the population is growing fastest, and where pulses are consumed in the greatest quantities, pulse production is actually declining.
 
India has been the largest producer of pulses in the world. However, what is of concern is that India's per hectare yield has not increased in the past two decades. This is a key challenge for the pulse sector.
 
What is preventing farmers, especially small-holders growing crops on one-two hectares of land, from expanding production? What will it take to see voluntary uptake of these crops? How can the private sector become more involved? And where can research help?
 
At this juncture, a convergence between the academic world and the real world is the need of the hour. It is imperative to harness the power of both scientific and farmer-based knowledge in order to develop the right crops, tools, techniques and expertise for smallholder farmers and their communities.
 
Many smallholder farmers already have extensive knowledge of crop production as they have vast inherited knowledge. In many cases they simply need a boost to supplement their ongoing efforts -- this could include access to affordable technologies, to new techniques that have been proven in similar circumstances, or to markets and information.
 
Regrettably, there remains little plant research targeted to pulse crops in many Asian countries. This often results in farmers having difficulty finding good quality seed, coping with crop diseases and dealing with numerous challenges to maintain productivity.
 
The multi-pronged strategy to deal with this would need investment in research and on-the-ground solutions. One of the most critical needs is to find the fastest and most effective ways of taking research products to scale.
 
The challenge is great, but the opportunities are enormous. Most importantly, pulses are no longer orphan crops -- they have been adopted by the global community and it will not be long before results appear.
 
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

Anil Kulkarni

8 months ago

Traditional pulses were grown because they suited the climate and soil of the region. We Indians have been forced to adopt alien crops like wheat into a soil and climate that is not really suited for it. Its good to see that we are going back to food that suits our region.

Nifty, Sensex may struggle to go up – Weekly closing report
We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might shed some gains. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were moving sideways through the week and made small losses at the end of the week. The trends of the major indices in the course of the week’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
On Monday, the latest official data showed India was one of the world's fastest growing economies in the March quarter, with GDP growing at a rate of 7.9%. On the other hand, making the case for a rate cut, growth in India's private sector output declined in May as manufacturing and service sectors lost momentum in conditions of softer domestic demand, while services slowed sharply to a six-month low, a business survey on performance of the services sector showed on Friday. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index released on Thursday rose marginally to 50.7 in May from 50.5 in April.
 
The Indian rupee on Monday strengthened by 37 paise against US dollar during the morning trade. Opening at 66.91 to a US dollar, the Indian rupee reached a high of Rs66.88 per US dollar. On Friday, the rupee closed at Rs67.25. Experts were of the view that the rupee would further strengthen against the US dollar in the wake of poor US job data. 
 
The accommodating monetary policy stance of the Reserve Bank of India despite a status quo on lending rates lifted the investors' mood and boosted key equity market indices on Tuesday. The RBI on Tuesday left its key policy rates and reserve ratios unchanged, concerned over the slight rise in inflation and some domestic and global upside risks that have sprung up since April. Almost all the sectors were trading in the green. Good buying was observed in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), metal, basic materials and realty sectors. On Tuesday, the major indices of the Indian stock markets rallied and closed with gains of upto 0.87% over Monday’s close. Bank Nifty, in particular, closed 1.57% higher than Monday’s close.
 
To deal with any market disruption from outflows of up to $20 billion by redemption of foreign currency non-resident (FCNR) deposits, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would provide dollar and rupee liquidity if needed, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Tuesday. "To the extent that people have borrowed to invest in FCNR deposits that leveraged portion may not be renewed. Therefore, there could be outflows of the order of $20 billion or so," Rajan said, while announcing the Reserve Bank of India's second monetary policy review of the fiscal, leaving key interest rates unchanged. "This is something we will monitor. We will supply dollars in case of extreme volatility, but no one should take this for granted. But for sure, we have plenty of dollars that we can supply if necessary," Rajan said.
 
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) not altering policy rates, it will be only the transmission of monetary policy that would influence India's economic development and credit profile, credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service said. In a statement Moody's said the transmission will depend on a range of factors like the effectiveness of the monetary policy framework in maintaining inflation at moderate levels could be tested this year. 
 
Key Indian equity market indices were trading in the green during the afternoon session on Wednesday. Good buying was observed in capital goods, telecom and power sectors, while selling pressure was seen in IT sector. With interest rates likely to remain at the same level until the next review, the major indices have not found the fresh impetus to turn the stock market bullish. A good monsoon and rising rural purchasing power may be the only favourable factor for the next few months.
 
Assuring continuity in reforms and predictable tax policies, but with a firm hand against evasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited USA Inc to invest in his country to forge a win-win partnership between American innovation and Indian human resource. Speaking at a gala hosted by the US-India Business Council in USA, he also called upon rich nations to open up their economies to goods and services from emerging countries like India as they seek to make world-class merchandise not just for themselves but also for the entire globe. "India is the future human resource powerhouse of the world with a young hard-working population. In my vision, a partnership between American capital and innovation, and Indian human resource and entrepreneurship can be very powerful," Modi said. "I am convinced we can strengthen both our economies through such a partnership," said the prime minister to a packed audience that included the top brass of companies like PepsiCo, Master Card, Warburg Pincus, Lockheeed Martin, Boeing, Westinghouse, Intelsat, Emerson and 8Minute Energy.
 
Key Indian equity market indices were trading in the red during the afternoon session on Thursday, as technology related stocks plunged, following a negative guidance by Infosys. Good buying was observed in metal and oil and gas sectors. Selling pressure was seen in IT and technology, media and entertainment (TECK). Cues from Asian markets were in the negative and the major indices of the Indian stock markets also fell accordingly. 
 
The US dollar dropped against most major currencies as investors lowered expectations for an interest-rate hike as early as June. In late New York trading on Wednesday, the euro rose to $1.1400 from $1.1365 of the previous session, and the British pound decreased to $1.4508 from $1.4564. The Australian dollar went up to $0.7472 from $0.7455. The dollar bought 106.86 Japanese yen, lower than 107.29 yen of the previous session. The dollar fell to 0.9587 Swiss francs from 0.9650 Swiss francs, and it inched down to 1.2711 Canadian dollars from 1.2767 Canadian dollars. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday that further US interest rate-hikes are likely on the way, but did not mention the timing of the hikes. She did not give a time-frame for raising interest rates like she did in May, which was interpreted by many market observers as "dovish".
 
On Thursday, the Indian rupee did not benefit from the troubles of the US dollar vis-à-vis other currencies. The US dollar was at Rs66.7755, up 0.45% in the afternoon on Thursday. Exporting companies in India are likely to come under revenue pressure. Overall, interest rates and currency markets are likely to have a bearing on FII (foreign institutional investors) investments in Indian stock markets rather than just corporate performance.
 
On Friday, the major indices of the Indian stock markets fell by about 0.50% or less. The markets were bearish, but buying resistance was there, as it was the last day of trading this week. Good buying was observed in power sector, while selling pressure was seen in auto and consumer durables sectors. NSE turnover was as high as 108.22 crore on Friday, and the trends of the indices were truly indicative. Overall, the share prices are still high, but the bulls are unable to force their way higher. There may be more clarity in next week’s trading when the volumes are high.

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