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Why The World And India in The First Place Needs Distributed Ledger Economy

Editorial Views, I ll be posting at some later point of time:

Read the incidents of Ongoing scams in India under the nose of Authorities.

1.NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI: Both the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate moved the ministry of external affairs on Thursday to revoke the passport of billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi, accused of defraudingPunjab National Bank (PNB) of Rs 11,300 crore,+ even as doubts rose about whether he has citizenship or permanent resident status of some other country as well.
Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi all left the country in the first week of January. Modi was last seen in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum‘s annual meet in Davos (January 23-26). Ami is said to be an American citizen, while Nishal is a Belgian national. With his operations spread across the world, Modi is said to spend a lot of time in the US.

Some associates in the diamond trade claim to have seen him use a Belgian passport while travelling. They added that Modi used to frequently visit India, but had cut down on his visits in the last two years. “He often said there was little time to fly down to India. But he was quick to add that he was just a phone call away for friends who were never separated by distance,” said an associate.  SOURCE: TOI 

2. In 2016, Nirav paid Rs 48 crore in duty, penalty for smuggling

MUMBAI: Nirav Modi had to pay Rs 48 crore in 2016 towards duty and penalty for smuggling. In December 2014, DRI had intercepted eight export consignments by Firestar Diamond International and Firestar International at the air cargo complex at Sahar in Mumbai. Both firms, with Modi as chairman, are SEZ units in Surat and the exports were meant for countries including the US, Canada and Hong Kong.

DRI found that the value and description of goods were under-declared in six of the consignments. The cut and polished diamonds, which were imported duty-free and declared as studded in the jewellery being exported, were not found on the pieces.

DRI estimated that the value of the stock declared was less by Rs 1,000 crore, and the duty-free diamonds had been diverted into the market. After detailed investigation, it was revealed that the Firestar units, along with another Modi firm Radashir Jewellery Company, had substituted the imported diamonds with low quality cheaper ones.Two separate showcause notices were issued against the firms. Following adjudication, in 2016, the firms paid Rs 48.2 crore, including penalty of Rs 5.6 crore. DRI has gone on appeal in the customs, excise and service tax appellate tribunal, saying another fine has to be imposed on the firms.


3. Jug suraiya’s take: Call to account: How I became a Non Performing Asset for my bank 

The government is reportedly pumping in a whopping amount of money, going into many thousands of crores, to recapitalise state-run banks which have become ‘stressed’ because of non-performing assets, or NPAs, as they’re known to their buddies.

NPAs are accounts which are in the red, for one reason or another.  A common cause for an account to stop performing, like an out-of-work actor, is because people like Vijay Mallya become ‘willful defaulters’, by taking loans from a bank and then refusing to repay them.

But there are other types of NPAs, and i’m one of them.  No, i haven’t taken a loan from a bank and then done a moonlight flit, or a Mallya flit, to foreign parts to avoid repaying my loan.

The reason that i became an NPA was that nine years ago i tried to close my account with a particular bank. So i sent a letter addressed to the bank manager telling him that i’d like to close the account.

There was no reply to my letter, so i sent another letter. Still no reply. So i phoned the bank, and was told that to close my account i had to come to the bank in person, a highly inconvenient exercise as the bank is miles from where i live.

So i withdrew all the money from my account, leaving behind some odd paise or so. And i thought that was that. But it wasn’t, far from it.

Nine years later, i still get messages from my bank regarding what should long have been a non-existing account.

When you think of the cost of maintaining that account – all those employees, all those ledger and/ or computer entries devoted to it – you wonder why the bank won’t simply consider the account closed.

The reason is that it looks bad on the bank’s report card to the sarkar if accounts get closed. So many banks keep hundreds and thousands, maybe millions, of loss-making accounts going, at ruinous costs to themselves.

Defaulters are the main cause of banks’ NPAs. But banks themselves can often be their own NPAs: Non-performing Asses.

Source: Times of India

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Technology Makes Billions To a Few, Why Can’t Few Bucks to The Billions

The actual wordings of Leila Jana may be different from the title of this blog post. But if you can understand what the underlying sensibility is there, I am almost done.

Yes,  I am talking about Samasource and its founder Leila Jana. Read this excerpts from wikipedia: 

In 2008, Janah launched Samasource (then called Market for Change), an idea that was inspired by her time spent in Africa and her experience managing a call center in Mumbai.[5] Samasource is a not-for-profit business with the mission to reduce global poverty by giving dignified online work to people living in poverty. Samasource uses an internet based model called microwork to break down large digital projects into smaller, easily trainable tasks for workers to complete at delivery centers. Samasource offers five services, including machine learning, data verification and image annotation.[8] As of August, 2016, Samasource reports that it has impacted 32,265 people, which includes both direct Samasource workers and their dependents.[9] Samasource also reports that their workers increase their income by 3.7x over the course of four years.[9]

Janah got the capital to start Samasource from winning $14,000 in a business-plan competition at Stanford.[3] She raised an additional $30,000 in a European business plan competition.[3] In 2009, Samasource was selected to participate in fbFund, a $10m seed fund to support developers and entrepreneurs.[5] Janah got her first contract for Samasource with a company called Benetech, a non-profit social enterprise that provides technology solutions.[10] Samasource has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies”[5]and counts WalmartGoogle and eBay among its clients.

Details here:




4. Leila speaking at TEDx: Youtube Video

5. Leila’s Interview with Roxxane Varza published at Medium

When 10-year-olds are published authors

At an age when most kids need help to write their school essays, some precocious youngsters are writing books. And their parents are willing to pay to have them printed
Keshav Mohta has just spent a gruelling year writing about extra-planetary life. His novella- about humans seeking alternate habitation on Mars and Saturn- is now in search of a publisher. But unlike most first-time writers, Keshav isn’t the one chasing editors; his father is. Keshav is 11. He was 10 when he started writing The Red Rings of Friendship.

Neeha Gupta began writing her novel Different at 14. “I started it in the summer holidays last year and finished it nine months later,” says the 15-year-old, whose 55,000-word book, about an alien on earth, sells at Crossword stores and online.

Books by children aren’t really new. Alexander Pope’s An Ode on Solitude was written, he claimed, when he was 12, in the year 1700. Bangalore-based Samhita Arni’s The Mahabharatha: A Child’s View was written and illustrated a few years before it was published when she was 12. Most, however, don’t see the light of day. Now, thanks to options like self and paid publishing, they’re coming out of backpacks and reaching bookstores and Kindles.

IT professional Shubha Gupta spent between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh on each of her son’s last three titles, published at the Noida-based Parragon Publishing. Her 10-year-old, Akshat, has written six books in all, having begun at age 8. “Even if bigger publishers don’t pick up a book, there are now many other players in the market who offer publishing packages depending on whether you want their editing services, illustrations, and so on,” says Shubha.

Akshat has promoted his books (Tram of Trims, Zulebi, Good Things in Small Packs) at several schools and litfests in NCR, including the Gurgaon Children’s Literature Festival, where he was a panelist last year. “We have earned close to Rs 50,000 from sales, but all proceeds go to charity,” says Shubha.

For many parents like Shubha, it’s not about sales but the belief that their children’s talents ought to be appreciated by an audience wider than the family circle. They also believe that properly nurtured, their child may continue to write into adulthood, becoming an established author.

student 1

Neeha Gupta, 15, published a novel titled Different, about an alien on earth, in December. She began writing stories in blog, but decided a book was more “long-lasting and far-reaching”

Anup Jerajani, who heads The Write Place Publishing which is the paid publishing wing of bookstore chain Crossword, says 11 of the 68 books they’ve published were by authors aged 14 to 17, four of these in the last year. “When parents approach us, we are surprised to receive 40,000-word manuscripts,” he says. Seventy percent of the books published by The Write Place are paid for by the authors. “None of these parents are looking at their children making a career of writing at that age, as happens with child actors, and models. They know it’s expensive and their children’s books are not going to sell like an established author,” says Anup, who makes an interesting observation. “During August-September, when people start applying for international college admissions, that’s when many approach us. We figure the children are building a CV,” he muses.

Tanima Saha, editor at Rupa, says they too get a lot of queries from parents about books authored by their kids. “But content is king, irrespective of the author’s age,” she says. Vidhi Bhargava, senior editor at Scholastic India, says the craze to get one’s child published has reached another level. “We ask parents to be objective and realistic about their expectations of their child’s manuscript. We don’t market books by the age of an author but by the power of the story.” Yet, an exceptional author’s age might become a talking point at promotions. Scholastic’s annual anthology of children’s writing, For Kids By Kids, compiled from competition entries, manages middling sales of around 5,000 copies a year. Another anthology of children’s writing (and art), Chhote Haath Badi Baat, will see its 4th volume released at Jaipur Lit Fest this year.

Shabnam Minwalla, a children’s and young adult author, says only about 10% of the stories submitted at creative writing competitions are original in concept and well-written. “About 30% are derived or plagiarised, and 10% well-conceived but poorly written,” says Minwalla. Half don’t make the cut at all. This is not to nip any young writerly ambitions in the bud, but to suggest they go slow, to develop their own voice and style, and write not simply to have their name on a cover.