Regulations
Listing, fund raising norms for start-ups relaxed
While reducing the IPO listing time to six days, SEBI also allowed a larger number of start-ups to tap the fast-track route for raising funds. The market regulator also made it mandatory for all investors to use ASBA for public issues
 
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday reduced the listing time to six days from 12 days from the date of public offering, while allowing technological start-ups and other companies to use fast-track route for raising funds.
 
"Initial public offering (IPO) process streamlined to reduce time period for listing of issues to T+6 days from T+12 days to increase reach of retail investors to access the IPO and reduce the cost of public issues. With this, issuers will have faster access to the capital raised and investors will have early liquidity," the market regulator said in a release after SEBI Board meeting.
 
The shorter period that would come into force from 1st January would also help reduce the costs associated with the public offering, SEBI Chairman UK Sinha said after the Board meeting.
 
At present, companies are required to list their shares on the stock exchanges within 12 days of the last date of the IPO process, thus keeping the funds locked in for a longer period.
 
SEBI Board also decided to make it mandatory for all investors to make applications through application supported by blocked amount (ASBA). SEBI said, "Presently more than 99.5 % applications are received from centres where ASBA facility is available. Based on an analysis of a few public issues, in terms of amount, ASBA applications account for 99.90% of the total bid amount received from all investors. Considering the reach and advantages of ASBA, it shall now be mandatory for all investors to make ASBA applications."
 
Amongst many other significant advantages, ASBA enables investors to give the mandate for payment of application money in the application form itself without suffering loss of interest for the intervening period. It also obviates the hassle of refund of money by the issuer as per the difference in application amount and the amount for which shares are finally allotted, the release said. 
 
The SEBI board also decided to allow a larger number of companies to raise funds through a 'fast-track' process. A company with public shareholding worth Rs1,000 crore can raise funds through follow-on public offering (FPO) under fast-track mode, down from Rs3,000 crore requirement earlier.
 
For rights issues, the fast-track route can be availed by companies with public shareholding worth as low as Rs250 crore.
 

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Ayurvedic science shows way for new diabetic drug
Research inspired by the unique ayurvedic metallic preparations known as 'bhasmas' has led Indian researchers to propose a novel nano-particle-based drug for diabetes.
 
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune claim to have successfully used this nano-medicine to treat both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in rats.
 
Oral administration of zinc oxide nano-particles (ZON) resulted in significant reduction of blood glucose levels and increased insulin levels, they claim in a report published in a recent issue of the journal "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine".
 
"These results, reported for the first time, warrant further investigation for the development of ZON as an anti-diabetic agent," Kishore Paknikar, director of ARI and one of the authors, told IANS.
 
In Ayurveda, metals that go through a purification and incineration process that turns them into ash are called 'bhasmas', which literally means ash. They are indicated for the treatment of several diseases. For instance, zinc-based bhasma (Jasada bhasma) is mentioned in ayurveda as the treatment of choice for diabetes.
 
To verify this, the ARI researchers synthesized Jasada bhasma using traditional method and carried out a study to evaluate its efficacy in treating rats in whom diabetes was induced chemically.
 
In case of Type-1 diabetic rats, Jasada bhasma treatment showed reduction of blood glucose levels comparable to the drug glibenclamide, Paknikar said. 
 
In the case of Type-2 diabetic rats, treatment with Jasada bhasma was found to be comparable to the widely used drug pioglitazone.
 
While the study confirmed the anti-diabetic effect of Jasada bhasma, its synthesis involves laborious and time consuming procedures, Paknikar said. Therefore, the researchers decided to look at the composition of Jasada bhasma.
 
Using modern physico-chemical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy, the researchers found that the traditionally prepared Jasada bhasma consisted of zinc oxide in the form of nano-particles of the size 200-500 nanometre (one nanometre is one billionth of a metre).
 
"Since our studies clearly demonstrated the presence of ZON in Jasada bhasma, we hypothesized that ZON should also be able to exert anti-diabetic effects," Paknikar said. 
 
"An elaborate study was therefore undertaken to investigate this possibility."
 
For this study, zinc oxide nano-particles, of less than 10 nanometres in size, were procured from a company in the US.
 
Oral administration of ZON, after four weeks of treatment, resulted in improved glucose tolerance, higher serum insulin, reduced blood glucose and reduced triglycerides in diabetic rats, the researchers reported.
 
Most of the currently available drugs for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes are used in combination with each other or with insulin, increasing the treatment cost. None of them is free from adverse effects, Paknikar said. 
 
"A single, cost-effective, oral, anti-diabetic treatment with minimal side effects is the need of the day."
 
According to Paknikar, it is evident from the rat studies that ZON can elicit potent anti-diabetic activity. 
 
Administration of ZON resulted in sustained release of zinc up to 24 hours -- which is a desirable pharmacokinetics profile -- and was found non-toxic up to 100 times the efficacy dose, he added.
 
The researchers said that on the basis of their findings they were proposing "a new chemical entity -- zinc oxide nano-particles -- as a promising anti-diabetic agent warranting further studies".
 
The report further said that the bhasma-inspired drug discovery approach followed by them to identify a diabetic drug could also be used to develop metal based nano-medicines for several other diseases.
 
"Once the active ingredients of bhasmas are identified, these metal oxides can be synthesized and evaluated as a new chemical entity in modern drug discovery."

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

2 years ago

So far except insulin injections and metformin tablets, not many effective medicines against diabetes is found.
Zinc oxide nano particle therapy needs more investigation, before it is widely used for diabetic patients.

'Housing for All scheme will fail without release of land'
The Narendra Modi government's 'Housing for All' scheme will remain unrealised without massive efforts to unlock non-essential lands being held by state-run units, speeding up approvals and financial empowerment of the poor, US real estate services firm JLL's Indian arm said on Tuesday.
 
"This will require massive efforts to recognise and delineate the non-essential lands currently being held by large government bodies such as Indian Railways, ministry of public enterprises, port trusts and department of heavy industries," JLL India chairman Anuj Puri said in a statement here, indicating the need to build 20 million homes to achieve the scheme by 2022.
 
"Unlocking such lands while speeding up the approval process and creating incentives for private sector participation are all needed as part of a large, coordinated effort if we are to realise the vision of Housing for All by 2022," he said.
 
"To create housing for these urban poor, the only solution lies in the unlocking of land in the urban areas. The kind of housing supply that the government is targeting seems out of the question if appropriate lands are not made available," he added.
 
Under the scheme, the government seeks to make the houses in urban areas, mainly to service the urban poor.
 
"This scheme aims to provide the urban poor with the financial muscle to buy affordable houses. By providing an interest subvention/subsidy scheme, the government is allowing access to cheaper structured finance to such low-income categories," said JLL India.
 
Puri also pointed out that though the scheme provides homes to slum-dwellers at no cost through a public-private partnership (PPP) slum rehabilitation project, it offers no concrete solutions for the urban poor not residing in a slum and who want to own a house in a metro city.
 
"Though the loan amounts have been increased, his income levels may not qualify him for the loan disbursal amount that is high enough for him to buy a house in the current scenario, when housing prices are high," he said.

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

2 years ago

Even if land is released, infrastructure to build the houses is inexistant.
In Mumbai, to build houses to some 30 lakh family, our roads, water and drainage system is not sufficiently enough to cater all the houses of just 300 sq.ft.carpet area.
There is no accountability in allocation of houses to homeless people. In the year, 1987, on the occassion of centenary of Indian National Congress, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi Announced Rs100 crores for redeveloipment of slums from Dahravi. Those who got their new houses, soon after their allottment sold them to others, ans again shifted to new slums in Dahrvi itself.
Several MHADA's houses which were allotted to mill workers, after they were allotted to them, they sold their houses and continued to stay in rental dwellings til their retirement (or till mill strike in year 1982), and left for their native place.
So long as there is no accountability in allotment of houses, our honourable PM cannot get his scheme of houses to all by year 2022 can be fulfilled.

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