Chinese yuan to become international currency by 2020 Central Bank Governor

first_imgChina will deliver a slew of economic and financial reforms over the next five years, which will help the yuan become an international currency by 2020, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in an article.The reforms will also include improving central bank communications and guiding market expectations to enhance monetary policy, Zhou wrote in the Caixin article published on the magazine’s website.Zhou said the government will strengthen supervision of its financial system to prevent “systemic risk”, explaining China’s proposed 13th Five-Year economic plan for the years 2016 to 2020.The comments around policy priorities come amid growing doubts in global markets about China’s commitment to see through comprehensive financial reforms.Those doubts were sparked after Beijing intervened in the stock markets during a share price rout that started in June and saw the main Shanghai Composite Index plunge as much as 40 percent.Beijing has also intervened in its currency market after an abrupt devaluation by the central bank in August caused widespread worries over the yuan’s future value.Zhou said China will foster new mechanisms to promote financial liberalisation and development, as well as “enhance the efficiency of the financial system to serve the real economy.””It will effectively use and develop financial risk control tools, and reduce levels of leverage so as to prevent systemic risk,” he said.Zhou pledged to improve central bank communications on policy intentions, but didn’t offer details on whether policy makers will provide routine briefings to accompany rate announcements similar to other developed economies.last_img read more

Bill for Municipal Service Commission to recruit employees to be placed

first_imgKolkata: The state is moving towards recruiting employees in all the municipalities, municipal corporations, and development authorities in the state under a single umbrella.The West Bengal Municipal Service Commission (WBMSC) will carry out the recruitment process. A Bill in this regard is expected to be tabled in the state Assembly on Wednesday.A source in the state Municipal Affairs department said after implementation of this Bill, the recruitment in all the 8 municipal corporations, 115 municipalities and 18 development authorities across the state will be carried out by WBMSC. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe recruitment for the three notified areas and valuation boards that come under the aegis of the Municipal Affairs department will also be done by the Commission.Currently, the recruitment of the employees of Kolkata Municipal Corporation is done through the Commission and sometimes also for the municipal corporations. Earlier, the process of recruitment of the 115 municipalities, 18 development authorities, three notified areas and three industrial authorities among others was conducted by various agencies. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We are hopeful that this process will usher in transparency in the recruitment process and at the same time, allegations of political interference in the recruitment process can be done away with,” a senior official of the Municipal Affairs department said.Sources in the department said the Commission will have four to five members headed by a chairman. The Chairman will preferably be a retired IAS officer.It may be mentioned that the department has found that there has been a huge number of unnecessary recruitments in various municipal bodies that the department feels is beyond requirement. Political interference has also played a role in this. “There have been litigations in various courts alleging lack of transparency in the recruitment process. The state wants to have control over the recruitment process,” the official added.last_img read more

Kolkata Police STF busts illegal firearms factory at Ghola in North 24Parganas

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has busted an illegal firearms factory from Ghola area of North 24-Parganas and seized more than 90 firearms.The arms factory had been operating from a house in the area. Three persons, including the owner of the house, were held by the investigating agency for interrogation. The police had specific information that an illegal firearm manufacturing racket was operating from the house.A team of senior police officers raided the house on Wednesday morning and found the illegal factory in a ground floor room, which was used for stocking garments. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe owner of the house Kalachand Pal used to run a garment shop in the ground floor. A few months ago, he rented the floor to one Pappu Khan, who is suspected to be one of the main accused.The ground floor room had remained locked for some time. The police officers broke open the door and found some lathe machines inside the room. Various utensils related to the manufacturing of illegal firearms were also seized from the room.Khan has been absconding since the incident took place. Police are interrogating three persons, including the owner of the house. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprit. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice are trying to know if some other persons were involved in the incident.Police came to know the existence of the firearms factory after interrogating the accused, who were earlier arrested from Jagaddal in the same district in the last month.In the earlier incident, the STF had seized 60 semi-finished improvised firearms from an illegal arms factory in Jagaddal. Six persons were arrested with the semi-finished guns.Fake Indian currency notes (FICN) were also seized from Kolkata’s Maidan area during a raid last month.It may also be mentioned here that an illegal arms factory was busted from Ashokenagar area in North 24-Parganas by the district police and two persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the racket in January this year.last_img read more

Train services disrupted in Sealdah South section

first_imgKolkata: Train services were disrupted on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon in the Sealdah South section of Eastern Railway.On Monday, around 8:30 pm, one pantograph of Down Sealdah-Lakshmikantapur local broke after reaching Baruipur station. As a result, power services to the train was cut-off. Immediately engineers of Eastern Railway were informed. One tower van was also sent to repair the damaged pantograph. But, engineers were not able to repair it soon. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSome passengers allegedly ransacked the Baruipur station around 11:30 pm as the repair-work was taking time. Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) intervened and brought the situation under control. Repair work went on throughout the night and normal train services were resumed on Tuesday morning. After Monday night, train services were again hampered in the South Section on Tuesday afternoon due to road traffic congestion at Kakulia Gate near Ballygunge railway station. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to Eastern Railway authority, train services in Ballygunge – Sonarpur and Ballygunge – Budge Budge sections were delayed due to road traffic congestion at the Level Crossing (LC) Gate No. 5ST near Ballygunje, which popularly known as Kakulia Gate. The heavy rush of road traffic at this LC Gate since 3 pm caused delay in closing the gate and granting proceed signal to the trains. Situation turned normal in the evening. Eastern Railway authority has also informed that train services will be partially affected due to the maintenance work on down line between Chakdaha, S imurali and Madanpur stations in Naihati-Ranaghat section which will commence from May 2. It will continue till May 15 as traffic block will be implemented. Several trains will be cancelled and many more will be controlled enroute.last_img read more

How Bots Can Benefit Businesses According to Messengers Director of Global Partnerships

first_img 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Bots are the talk of the town, and Anand Chandrasekaran is helping to create the buzz. The former CPO of both SnapDeal and Bharti Airtel, the third largest mobile provider in the world, has plenty of experience with big ideas and global strategy. But he has really been stretching his wings as Global Director of Platforms and Product Partnerships for Messenger at Facebook. With the integration of open-API bots into Messenger, Facebook’s marketing strategy has changed considerably, and Chandrasekaran was kind enough to share some of those thoughts with me.In part two of a two-part, in-person interview, I asked Chandrasekaran about how businesses can best benefit from chatbot technology, and to share some of the use cases he’s seen that have stood out as the most innovative and successful.Newlands: How can businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from understanding how bots work with Messenger?Chandrasekaran: The bot can be the solution, but that’s after first defining what the problem is.If you’re a brand, entrepreneur or developer — using those words interchangeably — there are over 1.2 billion monthly users on Messenger, and they are using Messenger for a greater amount of time every day.If you’re an entrepreneur, this is a platform that you can’t afford to ignore. The way we think about it is, it’s your customers who are on that platform. Wherever you are on that spectrum, if you’re a developer, a brand, or selling a digital service, it’s your customers, fans and users who are on that platform. That is the main benefit for anyone who is looking at Messenger.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessNewlands: It seems that some bots struggle to be an effective and engaging experience – why is this? And what are solutions for that?Chandrasekaran: I wouldn’t necessarily define this notion as “struggling”, but I will say that when the purpose of the bot is not well-defined, it leaves the user with too many options. Like I said before, our best practices for developers is to always to start with a problem to solve, because when you define the problem very clearly, it becomes very obvious what part of makes sense to automate. That’s when AI functions very well.One of my favorite bots is called Brew the Way; they’ve had iterations of the the bot where it says, “Do you want to buy a coffee, or do you want to fool around?” The joke is that almost everyone who uses a bot wants to trick the bot into doing something silly — it’s everyone’s favorite trick. But what we find is when the goal is clearer, the bot does the fantastic job. So when the bot introduces an experience like, “If you want to order a coffee, here are three steps, but if you want to just play around, we can take you there.” Then they do fantastic job of setting expectations clearly and creating an experience of play that’s fun and engaging for the user, rather than making the bot completely open-ended.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingNewlands: What are some of the advantages that AI and bots provide for businesses? Chandrasekaran: AI allows people to solve basic problems. Sometimes people ask some very basic questions, many of them repetitive, and those are problems best suited for AI to solve. Especially where there is training data available, and there is a use case that is fairly repetitive on top of that training data; even something like, “Are you open right now?” That’s a fairly easy question for an automated system to answer without a human getting involved.One compelling success story is Globe Telecom in the Philippines. They have a hybrid bot called Gie that they’ve given a personality, a woman with a playful nature. When people ask the most obvious questions like, “Can you show me what my balance is,” or “What are your most popular plans,” those don’t necessary need to be escalated to a live person, because they will probably give the same answer. They’ve built an AI layer to respond to those questions promptly. Gie also has the ability to know when the question is a bit personalized or complicated, and can say, “Can you hold on a bit while I ask for a live person?” The question is passed thoughtfully to a human, and then the human can answer the question and pass control back to the bot. What we find is these kinds of purpose-built AI end up being super valuable for developers.You may know that about 15 or 16 months ago we acquired a NLP engine called wit.ai which we use for basic heuristics and basic NLP. It is doing extremely well, and powering a large chunk of AI and NLP today on top of Messenger.Related: 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing StrategyNewlands: What about sales?Chandrasekaran: With sales we try to narrow the definition of the problem even more. Sales for a developer is customer acquisition; sales for a commerce provider is revenue; sales for someone who tries to generate awareness is like someone coming back and re-engaging. What we try to do is, regardless of the size of partners or the entrepreneurs that we speak with, we try to sculpt the problem down to: What is the problem statement, and what does success look like? Because the more generic the problem, the harder it is to measure if the project was successful or not.Related: Social Media Marketing Strategies With ChatbotsNewlands: Where are customers engaging with Messenger and what are the business cases of engaging with Messenger? How do you see people do that?Chandrasekaran: If you look at the funnel of interacting with customers, they are engaging throughout that funnel, depending on where you slice it. On the top end of the funnel it’s just generating awareness. At Facebook, we talk about this “generating awareness” case study of Call of Duty. They created a Messenger experience when they launched the game where you answered a bunch of questions in character and in the same language as the game, and if you answered all those questions correctly, you got an unlock code to see the trailer of the next game. If you are Call of Duty fan, it’s awesome that you got an exclusive piece of content for engaging with the Messenger bot. It was purely awareness generation, just to create buzz for the game coming out, and they were able to see about 6 million messages within 24 hours of launching the game, purely with the bot from Messenger.Similarly, we have seen companies like Swelly and SnapTravel succeed on Messenger. They’ve gotten to a place where they are primarily focusing on Messenger as the only thing on which they spend developmental resources. This is, of course, music to our ears, because when you think about where you’re going to find your first five to 10 million users, you can’t put too many of your eggs in one basket or you get into an iteration cycle. It’s great that they choose Messenger, because consumers are there and they are looking for great experiences. These companies are getting a lot of success both in terms of user growth as well as revenue on the platform.The last use case I see towards the second half of the cycle is customer care. The comparison between calling a number, being on hold, and giving them a lot of context information and just pinging a business on Messenger to get a response back is incredible. The awesome thing is that messaging between two people doesn’t need to be synchronous. A customer can go and get dinner and come back to respond to the message, or the agent could look it up, take five minutes and respond. It’s not like they need to respond right away on the phone, so it plays with human nature a bit more and it’s also super convenient. From an agent or call center perspective, we have a couple case studies — like Rogers Telecom in Canada. They actually got a 65% increase in CSAT by using Messenger as a channel.If you look at awareness generation, enabling new functionality, acquiring customers, and well as customer care, those are the four top areas where businesses can really utilize Messenger. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global April 21, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more