Twin earthquakes expose Mexico’s deep inequality

Early in the morning on Sept. 16, 1810, priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his church in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico. His parishioners gathered round, and he urged them to revolt against Spain’s two-year-old Napoleonic government.

Hidalgo’s call to arms, which later became known later as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), triggered the Mexican War of Independence. Every September 15, the president of Mexico takes to the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City to reenact it.

This year, just a week before Independence Day, a historic earthquake struck Mexico’s southern coast, killing nearly 100 people. So President Enrique Peña Nieto added a poignant element to his Grito by including in the incantation a reference to the impoverished states that were most devastated by read more


Cheque books, IFSC codes of 6 subsidiary banks invalid from Sept 30: SBI

The State Bank of India on Thursday notified its customers that cheque books and India Financial System (IFS) code of six of its subsidiary banks would be invalid from September 30 and asked them to submit new applications.
These banks are — Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Raipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad and Bhartiya Mahila Bank.
Earlier in April, these banks had merged with SBI, which put SBI among the top 50 banks in the world, reported Money Control.
The bank is also examining customer feedback over the charges for non-maintenance of monthly balance in their accounts, reported Business Today.
Earlier in April, SBI had retrieved charges for non-maintenance of monthly average balance (MAB) after five years.
“We have received feedback from our customers on the issue and we are reviewing those. The bank will read more

Demonetisation made our shampoo, soaps, biscuits unavailable at stores: ITC

The ITC on Friday said that the government’s demonetisation drive had led to disruptions in the wholesale trade channels for the company’s FMCG products.
“In the recent past, there had been disturbances in the wholesale channels due to demonetisation which led to unavailability of ITC’s FMCG products in many stores”, CEO of the company Sanjiv Puri said while replying to shareholders’ at the AGM here.
The shareholders expressed grievances that ITC’s FMCG products were difficult to locate at super stores. The company manufactures a plethora of FMCG (non-cigarette) ranging from shampoo, soaps, biscuits, perfumes, packaged foods and read more

Mastercard’s global index ranks India high on digital payments’ front

In what could give a bit of boost to the Modi government’s digital drive, India has been categorised as a country with a high potential in terms of digital payments in a global index of 60 countries.

The country has been clubbed under the ‘Break Out’ segment, according to the Digital Evolution Index 2017 that was unveiled on Thursday by The Fletcher School at Tufts University in the United States (US) in partnership with Mastercard.

The ‘Break Out’ segment refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential.

The Digital Evolution Index tracks the progress countries have made in developing their digital economies and integrating connectivity into the lives of READ MORE

Medical visas: No restrictions on foreign patients except Pak, says govt

India has not imposed any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients but in case of those from Pakistan, a recommendation letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs is required for obtaining a visa, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said the government has issued more than a lakh of medical visas so far in this year.


The government has not put any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients, and requests for such visas for urgent medical cases are expeditiously processed and issued on the same day, he said.
“However, in case of Pakistan, we ask for recommendations letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, to process genuine and urgent cases,” Singh read more

Drinking alcohol may improve your memory, claims study

Drinking alcohol just after learning something new may help better retain the information in our memory, a study has claimed.
Researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK gave 88 social drinkers a word-learning task.
Participants were then split in two groups at random and told either to drink as much as they liked (the average was four units) or not to drink at all.
The next day, they all did the same task again – and those who had drunk alcohol remembered more of what they had learned.
The researchers stressed that this limited positive effect should be considered alongside the well-established negative effects of excessive alcohol on memory and mental and physical health.
“Our research not only showed that those who drank alcohol did better when repeating the word-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more,” said Celia Morgan, professor at the University of Exeter.
“The causes of this effect are not fully understood, but the leading explanation is that alcohol blocks the learning of new information and therefore the brain has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory,” said READ MORE

Nifty makes history, hits 10,000: The bull run decoded

It’s been a dream run for the world markets and specifically the Indian markets since the last seven months, especially post the Union Budget on 1st February 2017.  India seems to have all the ingredients for a multi-year bull run since the elections of 2014 – whether it’s the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the various policy measures taken up by the government from time to time, the excellent and unprecedented PR exercise internationally that possibly has projected India as the most favoured destination.
The pushing through of GST Bill, which was in the works for more than a decade, could be the single biggest achievement of the government as it needed a lot of prodding and ‘buy in’ by the various stakeholders, most of them occupying the opposition benches. The ability of the Mr. Modi to take risks and travel in unchartered territory also seems to have worked well with the public at large. The demonetisation hardships were converted into an advantage by the ruling party shows that they have a PR solution for every adversity.
The global liquidity normally finds it way into the outperforming emerging markets and India seemed to be a like a ‘text book solution’ for absorbing a part of this. Interestingly the new found domestic liquidity which lately realized that there are hardly any other asset classes providing the returns the equity markets are, have started pouring in larger quantum into the hitherto forbidden asset class. The mutual funds have made it easier for the lower end of the pyramid to partake in the India growth story instead of parking their funds in chit funds read more