educationAre you heading overseas for higher studies in the coming academic year? If you have been granted admission to one of the many foreign institutions, you might also be seeking a loan to finance your studies since foreign education can be quite expensive.

Education loans are not difficult to get as many lenders are vying to offer finance to students. “Any person of Indian origin, between the ages of 16-35 years and pursuing a degree in India or abroad can apply for an education loan,” Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar said.

But there are things you should be aware of before heading to the lender with your application. Firstly, education loans can be expensive and hence you should assess your future repayment capacity before signing the deal.

“Education loan interest rates are not low. In addition, it is compound interest, which means that your dues multiple phenomenally,” says Shetty. PSU banks usually charge 0.5-3% over the 1-year MCLR for education loans. This would work out to an interest rate of over 11 per cent at the higher end. The actual rate depends on the type of educational institution and the quantum of loan. Thus, loans for students joining premier institutions are much lower than a lesser ranked universities. Women applicants get a 0.05% rebate on the interest.

You must also assess your repayment capacity. “Defaulting on loans would increase your loan burden substantially. In case you actually end being unable to pay your education loan, you will be starting your career with a poor credit record and would be ineligible for further loans. Not just you but your family, who are your guarantor, could be held responsible and their assets will be used to clear your liabilities. So it is best to begin repaying your loan as soon as possible without utilizing the moratorium period to keep the interest rates to the minimum,” says Shetty.

Lenders provide a substantial period as a moratorium before the borrower starts making repayments. You do not need to start your repayments during your entire course span as well as for some more time post that. The Moratorium or waiver period varies from bank to bank and you should check with your bank about the waiver period before planning your education loan repayment. Shetty points out that banks start charging the interest on education loans immediately and not wait until the waiver period ends. So the longer you wait to begin the repayments, the higher interest you would be paying.

However, this should not deter you from approaching a lender if you need a loan. But before you head to a lender, you need to be prepared with all the necessary documents to get quick approval of your loan request.

“It is essential to have all required documents ready before applying for the loan. Students will be required to provide identity proof, age proof, and address proof and co applicant’s document which includes relationship proof, address proof, income document. They should also submit the admission letter with a fee structure. In a case of foreign bound students, they need to submit visa approval papers, Travel papers, GMAT /GRE Score etc,” says Amit Gainda, CEO, Avanse Financial Services Limited.

Published in World
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 12:25

Twitter Adds Zero New Users in Quarter 2

twitterTwitter has added zero users since the first quarter, posting $574 million in revenue in the second quarter this year which is a decrease of five percent YoY (year on year). Twitter now has 328 million monthly active users (MAUs) the same number it reported in the first quarter of 2017. On the contrary, Facebook has over two billion users, WhatsApp now reports over one billion daily users and Instagram 'Stories' has over 250 million users. The not so good results brought Twitter's stock down almost 12 per cent in trading on Thursday.

"Monthly active users (MAU) increased five percent YoY and daily active users (DAU) increased 12 percent YoY, marking the third consecutive quarter of double digit growth," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, in a statement. Last quarter, the micro blogging platform had daily active user growth of 14 percent YoY. Twitter's net income in the second quarter was $56 million, or eight cents per share.

"We're strengthening our execution, which gives us confidence that our product improvements will continue to contribute to meaningful increases in daily active users," Dorsey added. "We continue to invest in revenue products and services that leverage Twitter's unique value proposition and are delivering more value to advertisers than ever, with double digit growth in daily active users, improvements in ad relevance and better pricing," added Anthony Noto, Twitter's COO. Twitter was now more focused towards video streaming on its platform.

"We're proud of our strong growth in video, which remained our largest and fastest growing ad format, and we received a positive response from advertisers around the live premium video content debuted at Twitter's Digital Content NewFronts," Noto said. Despite stalled user growth, Twitter was now exploring new revenue streams and ways of innovation. When it comes to "Promoted" tweets, the number of brands using Twitter for advertising has been on the rise. Globally, in the first quarter of 2017, Twitter streamed more than 800 hours of live premium video from content partners across over 450 events, reaching 45 million unique viewers an increase of 31 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

Published in Technology

gstMillions of companies in India are still not ready to file their first returns under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) ahead of an August 20 deadline, a top official told Reuters, urging them not to leave things to the eleventh hour.

Navin Kumar, chairman of the GST Network, also said barely half of the 34 service providers accredited to help firms bulk-file invoices online had received approval to go live.

Yet he gave an assurance that the huge IT back end that is designed to crunch up to 3 billion invoices a month and calculate companies' taxes would be stable, even if there is a last minute rush to file.

"It will not crash," he told Reuters in an interview. "We are working on the assumption that 50 percent of the people will come on the last day."

Billed as India's biggest-ever tax reform, the GST has replaced a slew of federal and state levies. It has also cleared barriers between India's 29 states, uniting its 1.3 billion people into a common market for the first time.

Yet the complexity of the tax which has main rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent and multiple exceptions has raised concerns that companies will struggle to comply and file their monthly returns on time.

Even before the GST filings kick in, business surveys showed both the services and manufacturing sectors contracting at their fastest rate in years, heralding a likely dip in indirect tax revenues.

The government has allowed firms to file simplified, self-assessed GST returns by Aug. 20 for the month of July, when the tax was launched.

They will have to file complete returns in early September that itemize and reconcile every single sales invoice under a regime that, by comparison with other countries, is labor and data intensive.

More than 7 million existing taxpayers have activated accounts on the GST's portal although around a third have yet to complete the form-filling required to file a full tax return, Kumar said.

Another 1.3 million new firms have registered to pay GST.

He waved away concerns that companies would not be able to cope, saying that those used to paying value-added tax now abolished were used to online filing.

Although companies can upload invoices directly into the GST portal, big businesses will rely on a new breed of the service provider whose applications can format, reconcile and upload invoices in bulk.
Of the first batch of 34 services providers that have been accredited, only 18 have received permission to go live. "I have been urging them to speed up their work," Kumar said.

Published in Economics

shutterstock-pregnantDon’t eat meat, say no to sex after conception, avoid bad company, have spiritual thoughts and hang some good and beautiful pictures in your room to have a healthy baby.

This is the ministry of Ayush’s prescription for pregnant women in India, where 26 million babies are born each year.

Put together by the government-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (PDF,159 KB), whose website describes yoga and naturopathy as “the good old Indian traditional systems of health care having the history of centuries”, the recommendations are part of a booklet called Mother and Child Care. The booklet was released by minister of state for Ayush Shripad Naik in the run up to International Day for Yoga on June 21.

Naik could not be reached for comments. Both his mobile phones were switched off.At least this advice comes free. Last month, the Jamnagar based Garbhvigyan Anusandhan Kendra made news for charging couples to conceive the “best progeny” through purification (shuddhikaran), having sex on auspicious days and abstinence after conception.

“The advice is unscientific. Protein deficiency malnutrition and anaemia are health concerns for pregnant women and meats are a great source of both protein and iron, which is better absorbed from animal sources than plant sources,” says senior gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Malavika Sabharwal with Jeewan Mala Hospital and Nova Specialty Hospitals of the Apollo Healthcare Group.

As for sex, if the pregnancy is normal, there is no need for abstinence as the baby in the womb is protected by the amniotic fluid and the uterus muscles.

“Caution is advised during the first trimester when the placenta is low lying and for complicated pregnancies, where there is a miscarriage risk,” says Dr. Suneeta Mittal, director of the obstetrics and gynecology at Fortis Gurgaon.

Some studies show that the mother’s stress, anxiety, and depression may affect the baby’s development.

“Pregnant women need to be happy and instead of being prescriptive about what they should think and do to be happy, we must urge them to do things they enjoy and strongly advise the family be too supportive,” says Sabharwal.

New source: hindustantimes

Published in Health

health mediIndia added 450 million people over the 25 years to 2016, a period during which the proportion of people living in poverty fell by half. This period of rising prosperity has been marked by a "dual - disease burden", a continuing rise in communicable diseases and a spurt in non - communicable or "lifestyle" diseases, which accounted for half of all deaths in 2015, up from 42 per cent in 2001-03.

The result of this disease burden on a growing and aging population, economic development and increasing health awareness is a healthcare industry that has grown to $81.3 billion (Rs 54,086 lakh crore) in 2013 and is now projected to grow at 17 per cent by 2020, up from 11 per cent in 1990.

As that happens, in rural areas, mobile technology and improved data services are expected to play a critical role in improving healthcare delivery. Although limited, some companies are also investing in innovative services and creating lucrative yet low - cost digital and device solutions, an example of which would be GE Healthcare's Lullaby Baby Warmer.

However, despite some advances, India's healthcare sector must deal with a plethora of challenges.

With the lowest government spend and public spend, as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), and the lowest per capita health spend China spends 5.6 times more, the US 125 times more Indmet more than 62 per cent of their health expenses from their personal savings, called "out - of - pocket expenses", compared with 13.4 per cent in the US, 10 per cent in the UK and 54 per cent in China.

India's existing infrastructure is just not enough to cater to the growing demand.

While the private sector dominates healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line (BPL) the ability to spend Rs 47 per day in urban areas, Rs 32 per day in rural areas continues to rely on the under - financed and short staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which these remain unmet.

Moreover, the majority of healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated around urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved.

India meets the global average in a number of physicians, but 74 per cent of its doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to a KPMG report.

India compares unfavourably with China and the US in a number of hospital beds and nurses. The country is 81 per cent short of specialists at rural community health centres (CHCs), and the private sector accounts for 63 per cent of hospital beds, according to government health and family welfare statistics.

New source: health news

Published in Health
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 10:12

Eat vegetables, nuts to shed weight

food

New York, June 13 (IANS) Want to shed those extra kilos? Go vegetarian. According to new research, eating vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, and nuts may be almost twice as effective in reducing body weight as conventional low-calorie diets.  

The vegetarian diet led to reduction in muscle fat which helped improve glucose and lipid metabolism as well as an average loss of 6.2 kg compared to 3.2 kg for the conventional diet, researchers said.

"The finding is important for people  who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or Type 2 diabetes. It is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy," said lead author Hana Kahleova from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC.

For the small yet significant study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the team randomly assigned 74 people to follow either a vegetarian or a conventional diet.  

Both diets were restricted by 500 kilocalories per day compared to an isocaloric intake for each individual. Both vegetarian and conventional diets caused a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat - fat under the skin.

Subfascial fat on the surface of muscles was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet. Intramuscular fat - fat inside muscles was more greatly reduced by the vegetarian diet.   

"This is important as increased subfascial fat in patients with Type 2 diabetes has been associated with insulin resistance while reducing intramuscular fat could help improve muscular strength and mobility, particularly in older people with diabetes," the researchers noted.  

"Vegetarian diets proved to be the most effective for weight loss. However, we also showed that a vegetarian diet is much more effective at reducing muscle fat, thus improving metabolism," Kahleova said. 

Published in Health

SaravananjpgA day after two MLAs belonging to the rival factions of the AIADMK were caught on tape claiming that money and gold were offered to party legislators to support the Sasikala’s camp in February and their subsequent denial, the DMK on Tuesday approached the Madras High Court seeking a probe by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate into the allegations.

Making an urgent mention before the First Bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, DMK senior counsel R. Shanmugasundaram urged the court to immediately order a probe by the CBI. Claiming that the money involved could be ‘black money’, he sought an ED probe.

To this, the Bench said that the plea would be taken up for hearing on Friday if the contentions are filed as a proper petition.

On Monday, two television channels aired video recordings of what they claimed to be a sting operation involving the Madurai South MLA S.S. Saravanan and Sulur MLA R. Kanagaraj.

News Source: The Hindu News

Published in Politics

karnan 650x400 51490942526Calcutta High Court judge Justice CS Karnan, who was sentenced to six months by the Supreme Court for contempt, retired today. He has not been seen in public since the Supreme Court order. A customary farewell by the high court administration to a retiring judge could not be held as Justice Karnan was not present, a court official said.

"A farewell given by the administration is held, which is attended by judges and senior lawyers and speeches are given as per custom. This was not held as he was not present," Calcutta High Court Registrar General Sugato Majumdar said.

Asked about clearance of Justice Karnan's dues on retirement, Mr Majumdar said "all formalities will be completed as per law".

A retiring judge is also given a farewell by lawyers, though not mandatory."Had Justice Karnan been here, the bar would have considered. There is a procedure by which invitation is sent to a retiring judge and if he accepts, necessary arrangements are made," Additional Advocate General Abhratosh Chowdhury said. "Since we do not know where he is, the question does not arise", he said.

"Owing to the unprecedented condition prevailing after the Supreme Court order and owing to his absence, a farewell could not be considered," Calcutta High Court Bar Association President Suranjan Dasgupta said.

On May 9, a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had sentenced Justice Karnan to six months for contempt of court and ordered the West Bengal Police to take him into custody.

Justice Karnan has not been arrested yet. A representation was made to the president on behalf of Justice Karnan on May 21, seeking suspension of the Supreme Court order, according to a lawyer representing him.

The lawyers took the ground in the application that Justice Karnan will be unable to exercise any remedy if he is arrested.

News Source: NDTV News

Published in Politics
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