The country’s youth have several reasons to cheer about the Budget, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sticking to Narendra Modi’s ambition of galvanising the large demographic group to push development of the country. India is said to have one of the largest youth population in the world, with two-thirds Indians below the age of 35 years.The Union Budget holds several schemes and promises that look set to bring the country’s youth to take charge in the future.From offering them skills training and giving them incentives to start businesses, to setting up sports facilities and premier educational institutes, the government’s Budget looks to capitalise on this age group.Skill India Programme: This national multi-skill programme announced by the government on Thursday is meant to train the youth in several professional skills. With an emphasis on employability and entrepreneurial skills, the government has set aside ₹100 crores for this programme. It will also provide training and support for traditional professions like that of welders, carpenters, cobblers, masons, blacksmiths, and weavers.Young Leaders Programme: “The youth of India are pragmatic, forward-looking and wish to be leaders in all fields. In order to promote leadership skills, I propose to set up Young Leaders Programme with an initial allocation of ₹100 crore,” the finance minister announced on Thursday. Jaitley allotted another ₹100 crore to promote village youth to take up entrepreneurship.Facilitating jobs: Jaitley said the government would work towards converting employment exchanges set up under the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 that primarily offer information on availability of jobs into career centres, where the youth will also be offered counselling on selecting jobs based on their aptitude and skills.₹10,000 crore assistance for start-ups – In order to help entrepreneurial youth in the country to start up their own businesses, the government has set aside a ₹10,000 crore fund to provide venture capital for the micro, small and medium enterprises. It also announced ₹200 crore for establishing a technology centre network to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.Five more IITs, IIMs: The Modi government has decided to take the number of IITs and IIMs, the most premier institutions in the country, up to 21 and 18 respectively. The government also announced that four medical instutions on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) will be set up in the country.National-level Sports Academies: The current state of sports in the country is much below the international standard, and the focus of the government was to ensure the youth of the country get good sports facilities. The government has assured that academies with international-level facilities for training of accomplished athletes and for nurturing talent at junior and sub-junior level will be set up for shooting, archery, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and various track and field events. Jaitley also announced ₹200 crore for upgrading the indoor and outdoor sports stadiums in Jammu and in Kashmir Valley to international standards.Sports University: The government has allotted ₹100 crore to set up a national sports university at Manipal.Amendment to Apprenticeship Act: Jaitley promised that the Apprenticeship Act will be suitably amended to meet the current needs of the industry as well as the youth. “Comparing the size of the Indian economy, the performance of the Apprenticeship Training Scheme is not satisfactory and a large number of training facilities in the industry are unutilised,” he said during his speech.
An HDFC Bank branch office in Mumbai, October 21, 2015Reuters fileUpdate:HDFC Bank shares were trading with gains of 1.44 percent at Rs 1,483 crore after the private sector lender reported 18.25 percent rise in March 2017 (Q4) net profit to Rs 3,990 crore from Rs 3,374.22 crore for the corresponding period last year. This despite the bank’s provisioning for bad loans spiking by more than 100 percent to Rs 1,262 crore during Q4 from Rs 662 crore in the fourth quarter last fiscal.The number of employees stood at 84,325 as of March 31, 2017, down 6,096 from 90,421 as of December 31, 2016. Net interest income grew 21.1 percent YoY to Rs 12,501 crore from Rs 10,319.2 crore in the year-ago period.Total income stood at Rs 21,560 crore, up 14.3 percent from Rs 18,862 crore, YoY. Other income (non-interest) increased 20.3 percent to Rs 3,446 crore.Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net NPAs stood at 1.05 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively, as of March 31, 2017, almost unchanged on a sequential basis but up from 0.94 percent and 0.28 percent, respectively, as of March 31, 2016.The HDFC Bank board recommended a dividend of Rs 11 per equity share, up from Rs 9.50 per share for fiscal 2016.Deposits stood at Rs As of March 31, 2017, the bank had 4,715 branches and 12,260 ATMs.Original story:HDFC Bank were trading with modest gains on Friday ahead of quarterly and full-year results. The scrip was up 0.48 percent at Rs 1,469 on the BSE at around 12.30 pm.The private sector lender’s provisioning for bad loans will be interesting in the context of two other private banks — Yes Bank and IndusInd Bank — earmarking a higher amount for non-perforning assets (NPAs), in line with the RBI’s asset quality review norms.As of December 31, 2016, HDFC Bank’s gross and net NPAs stood at 1.05 percent and 0.3 percent of total advances.Yes Bank, which reported its results recently, had to set aside an additional Rs 228 crore in anticipation of likely losses arising from its exposure to Jaiprakash Associates Ltd.”As of 31 March 2017, the impact of divergences overall is at Rs 1,040 crore on which we have made 25% provisioning. This includes one borrower exposure of Rs 911 crore towards a Delhi-based cement company. However, this is a performing asset which has been servicing interest regularly. We expect to recover the amount in the near term,” Rana Kapoor, MD and CEO of the bank said, without naming the company. The exposure to Jaiprakash Associates and the consequent increase in higher provisioning was also the case for IndusInd Bank. “Provisions were elevated at INR4.3b as they included one-off amount of INR1.22b on a bridge loan for a cement M&A transaction (account remains standard), where the receivable is in June (likely to get reversed in 1QFY18),” brokerage Motilal Oswal Securities said in a note.The optimism for both the banks stems from the fact that Jaiprakash Associates had signed a deal with Aditya Birla Group company Ultratech Cement valued at Rs 16,189 crore for sale of its cement assets.Here is the video clip of HDFC Bank’s concall post declaration of Q3 results:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shake hands with Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh. Photo: ReutersWashington’s new chief diplomat was to meet Saudi and Israeli leaders on Sunday to rally coordinated opposition to Tehran and brief them on President Donald Trump’s threat to end the Iran nuclear deal.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in Riyadh on Saturday shortly after Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen fired missiles across the kingdom’s border.US officials travelling with Pompeo told reporters the Huthi missiles had been supplied by Iran, and cited the attacks as evidence that regional powers should work together.Pompeo had dinner with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and on Sunday he was due to meet his father king Salman.Then he was due to fly on to Jerusalem to meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then on to Amman in Jordan, wrapping up a weekend of talks with some of Iran’s most fervent foes in the region.Trump is due to decide on 12 May whether to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran, putting in peril the landmark 2015 nuclear accord, which most world powers see as key to preventing Tehran from getting the bomb.But Trump and America’s Middle East allies argue the deal, approved by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, was too weak and needs to be replaced with a more permanent arrangement and supplemented by controls on Iran’s missile program.Pompeo set off on his first diplomatic trip within two hours of being sworn in on Thursday and on Friday—after talks with the NATO allies in Brussels—he appeared to suggest that Trump plans to nix the deal.“Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May,” Pompeo told reporters in at NATO headquarters.Perhaps the last chance to fix these supposed shortcomings came from talks between Washington and its European allies Britain, France and Germany on a supplemental agreement to sanction Iran’s missile program.But both President Emmanuel Macron of France and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel left Washington this week after talks with Trump having failed to secure any promise that he might keep the core deal alive.Air strikesThat may be music to the ears of the Saudi and Israeli leaders, who both support a tougher line on Iran.“This administration has made it a priority to address Iran’s missile programs,” a senior US official told reporters in Riyadh, condemning the latest Huthi volley of missiles, themselves in part a response to Saudi air strikes.“Iran supplies the missiles that the Huthis fire into Saudi Arabia, threatening civilians,” he said. “Today alone the Saudis shot down four Huthi missiles, the latest in a string of such attacks.”Earlier, a civil defense official had said that at least one Saudi had been killed by falling shrapnel as his government’s air defense batteries attempted to intercept the missiles near the Yemen border.A Saudi-led coalition air strike overnight Friday to Saturday killed dozens of Yemeni rebels including two commanders, state media said.Prince Salman and his father will welcome US solidarity against Iran—just as Israel will want to see greater US support for its efforts against Iranian influence in Syria and Lebanon—but Pompeo has come with requests too.According to US officials, while Riyadh has a right to self-defense, it must come to see that the solution to Yemen’s civil war will be a political one and its forces must not exacerbate the massive humanitarian crisis there.Washington also wants to see an end to the Gulf crisis that has seen Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates impose a diplomatic and trade embargo on fellow US regional ally Qatar.And, perhaps most importantly for Trump, Pompeo will urge Saudi Arabia to provide personnel and funding to help US efforts to stabilize northeastern Syria in the wake of the expected defeat of the Islamic State group.“The president has made clear that he wants to see meaningful participation from states in the region,” another senior US official travelling with Pompeo’s party said.“We want to see the kind of participation, for financial efforts, not just kinetic efforts that would match, parallel, would assist, the US role,” he said. The United States has more than 2,000 troops in Syria.On Qatar, the US officials said they do not blame one side or the other, but want Riyadh and Doha to sort out the stand-off themselves.Humanitarian tragedyAnd on Yemen, they warned the Saudi-led coalition not to again block or bomb ports that supply vital civilian aid, warning that there is no military solution to the crisis.“The humanitarian situation in this tragic country cannot be allowed to become worse. It needs to get better. And that means full and free access to humanitarian goods, to commercial goods, to fuel,” one said.Pompeo will conclude his first diplomatic trip on Monday after talks with senior Jordanian officials and then fly back to Washington to move in to his office in the State Department.
A court in Vietnam has handed out prison sentences to 15 protesters arrested during mass demonstrations last month against proposed special economic zones in the Southeast Asian country, state media reported on Tuesday.Despite sweeping reforms, communist-ruled Vietnam tolerates little dissent. The country’s constitution allows freedom of assembly, but protests are often broken up by police.At least 31 people have been jailed for taking part in the nationwide demonstrations, triggered by fears that investors from China would dominate the 99-year land leases up for development in the zones.In a trial which ended late on Monday, the People’s Court of Bien Hoa City, in the south of the country, sentenced the protesters to between eight to 18 months in prison.Five others were given 12- to 14-months probation on charges of “causing public disorder”, Voice of Vietnam Radio said.They were arrested when taking to the streets on 10 June and “caused traffic jams”, the report cited the indictment as saying.Their lawyers were not immediately available for comment.Earlier this month, 16 people were jailed under identical charges in Binh Thuan province. June’s protests had turned violent in the province, with protesters hurling bricks and petrol bombs at police.Monday’s trial came less than two weeks after a court in Ho Chi Minh City ordered the release and deportation of William Anh Nguyen, 32, an American man of Vietnamese descent who was also arrested for “causing public disorder” during the protests.”They have done nothing wrong,” Nguyen wrote on his twitter account after Monday’s sentencing. “The fight for justice and democracy continues”.
Image courtesy of UTHealthRendering of the UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health.Plans for a new psychiatric hospital in Houston were unveiled Friday.The name of the facility will be UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health. It is a joint project of the Texas State Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).The facility, which will be located in the Texas Medical Center, is greatly needed because one in 25 adults in Harris County has a serious mental illness and there aren’t enough beds for those requiring hospitalization.The campus was created with $125 million in state funds approved by the 2017 Legislative Budget Board and Gov. Greg Abbott to HHSC. It is part of a large initiative to improve behavioral health across the state.Once complete, the campus, which includes the new hospital and UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC), will become the largest academic psychiatric hospital in the United States.Stephen Glazier, chief operating officer of UTHealth’s Harris County Psychiatric Center, will oversee the new hospital. He said the hospital will hopefully take pressure off of facilities that aren’t able to meet demand — especially in crisis cases, which fall under acute care. “We absolutely need more acute care beds,” Glazier noted, “and this building is going to address that.”With an additional 240 beds arranged in 10 units, the new hospital will focus on reducing rapid readmissions and improving outcomes for super utilizers – those with four or more stays per year.The facility will also have subacute care units for patients who need a longer stay to heal.Glazier said they will break ground on the hospital this summer and hopefully complete construction by the end of 2021.Editor’s Note: Based on information provided by UTHealth’s Media Relations Department, the original version of this story incorrectly reported the UTHealth Continuum of Care Campus for Behavioral Health is the first psychiatric hospital built in Houston in the last 30 years. However, the Menninger Clinic opened a psychiatric hospital located near the Texas Medical Center in April 2012. This story has been updated. Share