MCA launches databank of independent directors
The Ministry of Corporates Affairs (MCA) here on Monday launched the databank of independent directors with an aim to strengthen the institution of independent directors under the Companies Act.
 
The databank, launched by Injeti Srinivas, MCA Secretary, can be accessed at "www.mca.gov.in" or "www.independentdirectorsdatabank.in". 
 
According to an official statement, the initiative provides a platform for the registration of existing independent directors as well as individuals aspiring to become independent directors.
 
"Companies also may register themselves with the databank to search, select and connect with individuals who possess the right skills and attitude for being considered for appointment as independent directors as the databank is expected to become a comprehensive repository of both existing independent directors as well as individuals eligible and willing to be appointed as independent directors," it said.
 
It also provides for e-learning courses on various topics, including the Companies Act, securities laws, basic accountancy, board practices, board ethics and board effectiveness. 
 
A number of value-added services is expected to be rolled out through the portal for capacity building of independent directors. 
 
As per the notified rules, all existing independent directors are required to register themselves in the databank within three months, from December 1.
 
They are also required to pass a basic online proficiency self-assessment test, which will available from March 2020 within 12 months thereafter.
 
To provide sufficient practice to individuals, a number of online mock tests has been made available in the system. The real test can be taken online through a simple scheduling process. 
 
The real test would be remotely proctored, the MCA 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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    NDDB Asked to Share More Details on IndiaGen and Indian Immunologicals
    The central government has asked National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to share detailed information and statements about IndiaGen Ltd and Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) to examine the matter in consultation with the legal department. 
     
    Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, minister of state for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, provided information shared by NDDB on setting up subsidiary of its subsidiary, obtaining post-facto approval and further approval for acquiring entire shareholdings in IndiaGen from IIL and Cooperative Resources International Inc (CRI). He said, "NDDB has been asked to furnish further details of statements made by them as mentioned above to examine the matter further in consultation with department of legal affairs."
     
    While NDDB sought permission from the government for setting up IIL as wholly owned subsidiary of the Board in New Zealand, it did not seek any approval from the government for setting up IndiaGen as joint venture with CRI, the minister said.
     
    According to the minister, NDDB had informed that it was asked by the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries (DADF) to seek ex post-facto ratification from DADF regarding a subsidiary of NDDB forming further subsidiary companies. He said, "NDDB took the matter to its 84th Board meeting held on 24 October 2007 and the Board approved the proposal for seeking post-facto approval and further approved acquiring the entire shareholdings from IIL and CRI by NDDB at par considering the need for IndiaGen to carry out some of the development objectives of NDDB. Accordingly, NDDB acquired the entire shares of IndiaGen from IIL and CRI in March 2008 at par. As per NDDB’s information, this matter was informed to government on 26 March 2008 and it was requested to convey post-facto ratification for the formation of IndiaGen by NDDB."
     
    However, while replying to Moneylife, NDDB had claimed that it does not require permission to set up a stepdown subsidiary. “For an NDDB subsidiary to form another subsidiary, no prior Central government approval was taken as according to legal opinion this was not required,” it says, adding, "The DADF sought the views of the department of legal affairs, who were of the opinion that prior sanction of the government is required for subsidiaries to form other subsidiaries. It also stated that the views of the department of company affairs be taken. The department of company affairs were of the opinion that that the provisions of the Companies Act will apply. Since the memorandum and articles of association does not prohibit it, there is no legal bar on the floating of further subsidiaries." 
     
    While NDDB was expecting ex-post-facto approval for acquiring IndiaGen, it did not receive any such permission from the government. 
     
    "Talking about transfer of shares, NDDB, based on legal opinion obtained, had mentioned that as Indian Immunologicals is controlled by its object contained in its memoranda and the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, in the absence of any provisions under Section 43, or any other provision of the NDDB Act, requiring the approval of central government for a wholly owned subsidiary of NDDB to form its own subsidiary, no question of inconsistency with any provision of NDDB Act will arise," the written reply says.
     
    Accordingly, Dr Balyan says, "as per NDDB’s information the entire shares of IndiaGen were transferred at par to Indian Immunologicals by them in December 2008 and thus IndiaGen became the wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Immunologicals. Subsequently, IndiaGen got amalgamated with Indian Immunologicals in April 2010 in line with the amalagamation scheme approved by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh as per information received from NDDB. All the statements are based on NDDB’s reply," he concluded.
     
    Indian Immunologicals was set up as its wholly owned subsidiary by NDDB in New Zealand for production of bovine serum, which is a critical imported raw material used in the production of vaccine for foot and mouth disease (FMD) and rabies. 
     
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    Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea To Hike Pre-paid Tariffs by over 40%; Try To Compensate Customers with Data, Other Services
    Partially ending the free call regime, major telecom operators Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel have increased pre-paid tariff by more than 40% across the recharges. However, operators are trying to compensate customers with enhanced data and other services. While Jio has increased tariff by 40% without sharing the actual tariff, Airtel and Vodafone Idea have increased prices of their existing packages by as much as 50%. In addition, mobile companies have decided to charge six paise per minute for calls, after crossing limited calls under the fair usage policy (FUP).
     
    While the new tariff plan of Jio would be effective from 6th December, Airtel and Vodafone Idea customers will pay higher charges from 3rd December. There is no word on tariff for post-paid subscribers by any telecom company as of now.
     
    The hike in tariff comes after three years when majority of telcos are facing severe financial stress. Especially, the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) had hit Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel very hard. In fact, after making provision for the AGR, Vodafone Idea reported its highest quarterly loss of Rs50,922 crore for the September quarter.  
     
    Vodafone Idea announced that the 'on-net' voice calls would be billed at six paise per minute. The 'on-net' voice calls after the provided FUP limit will be charged 6 paise per minute, similar to Reliance Jio. It is also providing bundled 'on-net' minutes, whereas Jio will be charging customers for IUC 'top-up' vouchers.
     
    In a statement, Jio said, its new 'all-in-one' plans will be priced up to 40% higher, while providing up to 300% more benefits to its subscribers. Jio will be introducing new 'all-in-one' plans with unlimited voice and data. These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from 6th December," Jio said.
     
     
    (Current Plans offered by Jio, which would witness tariff going up after 6th December)
     
    Airtel's new tariff will be effective 3rd December, and its Rs129 pack for 28 days validity with unlimited calling, 300 SMS, and 2GB data would now cost Rs148. 
     
    In a statement, the telco says, "Airtel’s new plans, represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise per day to Rs2.85 a day and offer generous data and calling benefits. In addition, Airtel provides exclusive benefits as part of the Airtel Thanks platform, which enables access to premium content from Airtel Xstream of about 10,000 movies, exclusive shows, and 400 TV channels, Wynk Music, device protection, anti-virus protection and much more."
     
     
    Airtel's Rs998 plan with 336 days validity witnessed biggest hike of almost 50%. Its new plan (replacing the Rs998 plan) would now cost Rs1,498 and offers 24GB data and 365 days validity. Airtel has doubled the data, while increasing validity by 29 days in the new plan. 
     
    Airtel subscribers, who wish to go for the Rs1,699 plan would now have to pay Rs2,398, which is an increase of 41%. This plan would continue to offer unlimited calling, 100 SMS and 1.5GB data per day.
     
    Vodafone Idea's new tariff would be effective from 3rd December. It has launched 'first recharge packs' where the four first recharge packs will cost Rs97 with Rs45 talk time, 100MB data and voice calls charged at one paisa per second along with 28 days validity. Other three plans would cost Rs197, Rs297 and Rs647, which offer up to 1.5GB data a day and unlimited 'on-net' calling for 84 days.
     
    The company has removed the all-rounder packs and introduced two combo vouchers of Rs49 and Rs79 with 28-day validity. It has announced new prepaid plans with two days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity, and broadly compared with existing plans of similar nature. However, new plans are costlier by up to 42%.
     
    Vodafone Idea's unlimited packs with 28-day validity are—Rs149 plan with unlimited voice, including FUP of 1,000 minutes for off-net calls, 2GB data, and 300 SMS. Its new Rs249 plan would provide unlimited voice including FUP of 1,000 minutes for off-net calls, 1.5GB data, and 100 SMS per day.
     
     
    It's now expected that the State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) could also follow suit and hike its tariffs. The government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) have made it clear that there will be no floor rate for voice or data and the telcos would have to thrash out pricing among themselves to cover losses.  
     
    Almost nine years ago, in an article, I had predicted call-based tariff to give way for data-based tariff, which can be seen today by telcos preferring to give more data and limiting voice usage. “The telecom industry is going through an unprecedented phase of hyper-intensive competition resulting in a sharp fall in operating metrics, slowing down of revenue growth and declining profitability. However, one thing is sure. The rollout of 3G will put data-based services on a fast track. Looking at the way average revenue per user (ARPUs) have been falling across subscribers and given the present call rates, mobile service providers will soon have to explore other avenues in order to earn money. The possibility of massive increase in data-based services give operators an opportunity to create products and tariff plans with data-based services as base products instead of voice-based services, thus unlocking new revenue segments,” I wrote in May 2010.
     
    After nine years, everything remains the same, except that now telcos are charging subscribers for 4G while providing the same quality for calls, data and other allied services. Telcos increasing tariff for pre-paid would result in reduction in voice calls for few days. However, since all mobile companies are compensating tariff hike by providing more data, many users would go for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls or video calls. For example, WhatsApp calls, calls using Google Duo and so on.
     
    While telecom operators increasing tariff is a welcome step and would help them pare losses, hope they would use the money to upgrade customer experience and their services as well. Unless telcos provide services for which the subscribers have paid, no one would be able to make any profit or survive in the long run. 
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    COMMENTS

    Sundaram Iyer

    5 days ago

    These Telecoms are cheating India. And I tweeted to PM on this. Alas no response. I have an Airtel Fiber Broadband. I use rarely less than 7 GB in a month. But with 200 GB offer per month offer that is more than enough for mfirey life time use, I got an SMS alert on the first day of my billing circle, even before Sunrise or I woke up that I have used 50% allotted data! And in nextel five days, I get an alert, I have used 200 GB. Airtel meters run faster than an tampered Auto Riksha meter. But PMO will not reply or act.

    REPLY

    Hemant

    In Reply to Sundaram Iyer 3 days ago

    I am also using Airtel broadband , but never felt this issue. It seems you have not secured your net connection ,please see that it should be password protected ,so no one else except you can use that. Further for any problem in life we can't run to PM & expect resolution,it's impossible.

    Newme

    1 week ago

    Which ever Industry Ambani enters the public are affected. They entered petrol retail, price is ever increasing. They entered telecom, rate increased. Dear Ambani, please don\'t diversify anymore.

    Hemant

    1 week ago

    If Cement industry does,its called Cartel, but here its ok:)

    m.prabhu.shankar

    1 week ago

    What is TRAI doing ? Looks like that institution is also collapsing like every other institution under this government.

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    1 week ago

    I will anything for you

    REPLY

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    In Reply to Nakul Kumar Reddy 1 week ago

    I will do anything for you

    Ramesh Poapt

    1 week ago

    this addiction will be much more serious than any decease ...
    and.... costly too.. heat will be felt sooner than later.

    Aditya G

    1 week ago

    Much needed and welcome move.

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    1 week ago

    Atrocious ,at a stretch 40% .

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