Insurance
United India Insurance mulls listing of shares
Government owned non-life insurer United India Insurance Company Ltd has taken a preliminary decision to list its shares through an public offer raising around Rs1,500 crore, said top officials on Thursday.
 
"The Board has taken a view to list the shares and raise around Rs1,500 crore. This is the first step and not the final step. The owner - central government - has to take the final call on the matter," the officials told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
 
"We have not decided on the share capital and the premium at which the shares are to be listed," they added.
 
Presenting the 2016-17 budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "Public shareholding in government owned companies is a means of ensuring higher levels of transparency and accountability. To promote this objective, the general insurance companies owned by the government will be listed in the stock exchanges."
 
The central government owns seven general insurers - GIC Re, New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and Agriculture Insurance Company of India.
 
"Insurance Amendment Act 2015 amended General Insurance Business Nationalisation Act and introduced a new section 10B providing that GIC and the public sector general insurers may raise their capital for increasing their business in rural and social sectors, to meet solvency margin and such other purposes as the Central Government may empower," K.K. Srinivasan, former member, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), had earlier told IANS.
 
He said the amendment also clarified that the shareholding of the central government shall not be less than 51% anytime, thus setting the stage for partial divestment of GIC and other general insurers.
 
Srinivasan said, New India and United India may have relatively better valuations than Oriental, National and others, Srinivasan said.
 
According to reports, the board of New India has also given its nod for listing its shares.
 
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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Who can transfer an Information Commissioner under RTI, asks Bombay HC
Against the backdrop of Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad having ‘illegally’ issued transfer orders of information commissioners in 2012 and 2014 and the state government not questioning it, the Bombay High Court has now asked as to “just who is empowered to transfer an information commissioner?”
 
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vijay Kumbhar on 8 July 2016, the High Court asked the state government to file a fresh affidavit, as its earlier affidavit submitted on 5 March 2015, “reiterates the stand taken by the Secretary, State Information Commission. Let the stand of the state government be made clear as to who is empowered to transfer the State Information Commissioner.”
 
The stand taken in the earlier affidavit supported Gaikwad’s delegation of powers to himself for issuing transfer orders to information commissioners, when, as per the Right to Information (RTI) Act, he has no powers to even sanction a casual leave.
In what could turn out to be an embarrassment to the state government, the Bombay High Court has also asked it “to make available the records pertaining to appointment of the various state information commissioner and advertisements also” before 22 July 2016. Thanks to high handedness by Gaikwad, there is little chance of state government having made these appointments, transparent enough to publicise the vacancies.
 
RTI activist Kumbhar, before seeking the legal intervention, had made an official complaint to the Governor of Maharashtra, stating that the SCIC’s jurisdiction is confined only to matters pertaining to RTI Act and not appointments. He stated in his plea to the Governor, “…the SCIC does not have to consult any other law enforcing or public authority to issue an order pertaining to the RTI Act, but when it comes to the appointment of Information Commissioners, Governor is the final authority. The SCIC has no authority to sanction even a casual leave of any IC; it is the Governor’s prerogative. Therefore, Gaikwad has no authority to merely send a 'CC' of his order to the Governor, which he has done in the case of Rajendra Jadhav, who he transferred to Pune.”
 
“The State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) Ratnakar Gaikwad, while transferring three SIC's in 2014 had defied the legal opinion of Advocate General of Maharashtra (AG), that 'A State Information Commissioner cannot be transferred unless he resigns from his present posting.' This was revealed after an official copy of correspondence mentioning AG's report in a similar case few years back was obtained,” Kumbhar pointed out.
 
AG's report about the transfer clearly states that even if the High Power Committee (HPC) comprising the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha) decide to recommend to the Governor, to transfer a SIC, his resignation from his present posting is mandatory. Rues Kumbhar, “Even when this report was there in the records of general administration department (GAD) and State Information Commission, Gaikwad ordered transfers of SIC, MH Shah from Nasik to Pune, Bhaskar Patil from Amravati to Nagpur and PW Patil from Nagpur to Nasik in June 2012 within a week after taking over as SCIC. Since there is no power vested in SCIC for such transfers in RTI Act 2005, I had then written to the Governor to revoke these controversial transfers.”
 
RTI activist Anil Galgali from Mumbai also pursued this issue and expressed the same views, by quoting the example of SIC Vilas Patil. He says, “…the RTI Act 2005, has no provision for transfer of State ICs (SIC). The power to appoint, or remove SICs are vested the Governor. During 2007, Vilas Patil, the then SIC at Nagpur sought transfer to Nashik. A High Power Committee headed by the state Chief Minister (CM), with the deputy CM and leader of opposition as its members, recommended to the Governor the transfer of the SIC. The Governor sought opinion from the Ministry of Law and AG. The AG pointed out that as per Section 15 of RTI Act, the Governor can appoint an SIC on recommendations from the High Power Committee.” 
 
“After the AG's opinion, Vilas Patil first resigned as SIC at Nagpur, then the Committee recommended his name for appointment as SIC at Nashik. The Governor accepted the recommendation and issued order to appoint Vilas Patil as SIC at Nashik,” the activist pointed out.
 
You may also want to read…
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

vswami

5 months ago

To ADD:
AS IS SAID:
"AG's report about the transfer clearly states that even if the High Power Committee (HPC) comprising the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha) decide to recommend to the Governor, to transfer a SIC, his resignation from his present posting is mandatory."

Should that be so, is there not an unintended lacuna, crying loud for suitable amends to have been plugged in, on a timely basis, clearly providing for the power to transfer, in genuinely justifiable cases ?

vswami

5 months ago

IMPROMPTU
It must , by any standard, have been quite embarrassing, not only to the 'state government' but also everyone else who should be/ could be expected to be more concerned but left nonplussed !

Albeit having been given no positive clue, simply going by common sense thinking, it is to be believed that the empowered highest authority, who has been acting as the government's delegated officer, under whose official seal and signature 'the appointment' was originally made, need to have been empowered in all such related matters , including the incidental power to 'transfer'; unless there is some other not-so obvious hitch or impediment in his doing so ?!......

Over to law experts, if not simple social activists, who may be more knowledgeable and equipped to enlighten the common man !

Ethics, moral science must be taught in schools
In the recent past a theft of a camera, an iPod and cash took place in my younger daughter's house in rural Maharashtra. The finger of suspicion fell on a Class 8 student from a good local school. He lived nearby and came often to my daughter's house during her absence since his dog loved to play with my daughter's dog and the maid would allow him to play inside the house.
 
On questioning by police he admitted to the theft and then dropped a bombshell: Most students in his class regularly indulged in stealing electronic gadgets like smart phones and cameras and sold these to local shop owners. It was like a game for them and they would compare notes on who stole the best gadget. It turned out they also indulged in drinking and causing serious physical violence.
 
Such behavior is not unique to our small rural town. It is happening all over the country. What type of children are we raising in our society? These children, when they become adults, get into bigger crimes and mind you, these children were studying in a good school in our town of Phaltan.
 
This was extremely depressing and I started wondering about how we can create such conditions in schools that these kinds of traits don't develop in children.
 
I think in the race to make the children cram knowledge (and sometimes useless knowledge) we have lost the art of teaching moral science to them and have them imbibe ethical behavior.
 
If the children are taught ethics and morality as a part of all courses, then even 5-6 hours they spend in school may help in changing their character. This is true since very few parents have the time to spend with their children and feel that their work is over when the children are either sent to coaching classes or show that they are studying late doing their homework. The general discussion on what is right or wrong and ethics is rarely conducted. So they learn the risqué behavior mostly from their peers.
 
How can we mould these children for better behavior? Partly by making education very enjoyable. Today it is mostly rote learning and passing of examinations. If we engage the students thoroughly in the class with interesting hands-on work and experiments, then they will have less time to think about criminal things.
 
In some of the great schools all over the world, students make things through 3D printers and are engaged in other activities which not only occupy their time but also help them learn about physics, chemistry, mathematics and other subjects in an enjoyable way.
 
However, for this to happen we need great teachers who love to teach and inspire students. At present the whole teaching system in India is based upon the principle "Those who cannot - teach."
 
Even with very good pay for teachers we rarely get great teachers. I feel one can never hire teachers - they are born that way. The trick is to identify them in every walk of life and maybe induce them to join the teaching profession.
 
Since most people involved in teaching are doing so only for a living, it becomes very easy for them to focus only on curriculum and nothing else. This creates a regime which only emphasises on passing examinations.
 
Yet, with new technologies of 3D printing, reasonably priced materials and the internet et al, one can teach students in such a way that learning becomes enjoyable.
 
My daughter teaches English and science in Kamala Nimbkar Bal Bhavan in Phaltan. She teaches 7th and 8th grade students English through movie making. She has taught them to make short videos which they upload on YouTube. They have become so interested in making them that they spend a lot of time on the Internet searching for themes, music and the like. This creativity bug keeps them very busy and they don't spend much time chatting on social networks.
 
Another problem in India is that even if you want to teach and have a flair for it, you cannot do so till you have a B.Ed. degree. This is especially true for government-aided schools.
 
There is no problem in doing a B.Ed., but its course work is boring, horrible and hardly teaches anything - let alone how to become a good teacher. So, one can imagine what type of teachers we are producing. These are the teachers in schools in rural areas where the major portion of Indian population lives.
 
We should reduce the bureaucratic hold on the school system and allow innovation and creativity to flower. This may help in getting a large number of motivated and dedicated teachers.
 
Besides teaching the regular curriculum, we should make ethics and moral science a part of every grade. This continuous focus on morality (not religion) will help students raise their quality of thinking.
 
During my school days we had a moral science course in every grade. Though some of the material was Christian-oriented (it being a missionary school), one book that had a great impact on my young mind was on Nobel laureate Albert Schweitzer. His life in African jungles and his missionary work in treating the poorest had a great impact on me.
 
I am sure such inspiring stories of Indians and others will ignite the young minds. Alongside, the teaching of Indian classics will expose children to noble ideas-something the electronic or print media cannot provide.
 
The question is: Who will bell the cat?
 
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

Dipakkumar J Shah

4 months ago

If , if only you have carried our in spirit , ethically , in principle and morally principle. Let me take you to factual things about Justices in High Court of Gujarat. Oath is taken to abide constitution , law , impartial and much more. But I have observed it is not so in practice.

Bapoo Malcolm

4 months ago

We were taught Moral Science at school and college. Ethics followed naturally.

MG Warrier

5 months ago

I feel sad and depressed that even the elite readers of Moneylife are not sure whether efforts to teach good behaviour will work. Some of them feel that those in leadership positions and celebrities need to lead by example by behaving themselves. One cannot fault this argument. But, the emphasis of this article, as I understand is, about saving the future generation from getting spoiled. Here, any amount of ‘preaching’ about ethics and good behaviour should be encouraged. I believe, this decade in India will be special, as there is more awareness about the areas of governance, teaching and lifestyle where correction is overdue. Let us make a beginning by talking about the changes. There is no better place than our own homes and schools to make experiments for expediting such changes.

Dipakkumar J Shah

5 months ago

What are you talking about? When Justices Take Oath, to be free, frank ,impartial and much mpore.Are They ?I have seen them in last 25 years of experience. See One of them Gujarat High Court Company Petition No 17 of 1996. Wherein Fraud on record proved And Without any reasoning Approved Merger. Such Case of Fraud in accounts ,Like Satyam, Mini Satyam Never Happend in Last 150 years world over> A case of Dividend paid out of capital, illegal payment of dividend, from mere book entry of profit Against Companies Act1956!!!?? What ethicaland Moral Standards Can be expected From Justice Mr M S Shah and Also Advocate , who also practiced in this case a Chartered Accountant turned to Advocate. Noe Government pleader Mr Jayant Patel Now Justice Mr Jayant N Patel in Karnataka???

Raykumar

5 months ago

i remember when i used to study in my school in Mumbai there used to a class exclusively for Moral Science which includes a text book. On this period we were taught apart from how to cross the road all the other antiquities of life. This the period which has made me what i am or else i would have behaved rudely and would have become a vagabond, who knows?

c v manian

5 months ago

Home is the best place where moral values are inculcated by the children. The parents cannot wash their hands off their responsibilities. No other institution is a better teacher than observing one's own parents, who set the general standard for behaviour for children. We cannot expect school to teach moral standards, which are not followed at home. Schools are just an extension of home and hence as parents, let us be the flag bearers.

REPLY

Prakash Bhate

In Reply to c v manian 4 months ago

You have hit the nail on the head. No amount of Moral Science in schools will neutralize the effect of a parent coolly crossing a red light almost every morning while dropping a child to school, or opening the window of the car and throwing an empty bottle or other trash. We see this happening everyday.

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