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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Commemorative Stamp on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar released

A Commemorative Stamp on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was released jointly by the Minister Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Union Minister for Communication & Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad here today. This was part of 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations.

The Prime Minister chaired the first meeting of the National Committee on Nationwide Celebration of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the 23rd July 2015. The objective of year long celebrations is to make the world aware about the life and the work of Dr. Babasaheb Ambekdar as a champion of the underprivileged.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shir Thaawar Chand Gehlot said that the Government has taken up a number of programmes and is organizing various activities on the 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations wherein a tableau on Dr. Ambedkar would be part of the 26th January celebration, 100 students will be sent to Columbia University and London School of Economics for study tour, Dr. Ambedkar Memorial at 26 Alipur Road, Delhi will be developed in a befitting manner. The village Ambadve in Ratnagiri District (Maharashtra), to which the parents of Dr. Ambedkar belonged will be developed as a Model Village under PMAGY Scheme (Adarsh Gram). He further added that the life and works of Dr. Ambedkar is an inspiration to the millions.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communication & Information Technology said Dr. Ambedkar was the chief architect our constitution and was in 1990 bestowed with Bharat Ratna. The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on this occasion. He was also a champion of fundamental rights.

Present on the occasion were Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, MoS, SJE, Shri Vijay Sampla, MoS, SJE, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Shri Lov Verma, Addl. Secretary, SJE Shri Arun Kumar and Member (Planning), Department of Post Shri S.K. Sinha and other officials / officers of the Ministry and Ambedkar Foundation. 


Rate cut: Government to take a fresh look at small savings interest

The government has decided to review the small savings rates, which remain sticky at 8.4-8.5%, limiting banks' ability to lower deposit rates and slowing down the transmission of Reserve Bank of India's softer monetary policy decisions.

"It has been decided that with regard to the transmission of the rates, the government will undertake a review of the small savings rate also," economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said."Small savings is a decision the government has taken in response to the policy rate announced by the RBI," he said.

The decision to cut small savings rates is a tricky one since no ruling party wishes to become unpopular to the vote bank they depend upon. However, lowering of the small savings rates is directly linked to the rates at which companies borrow from banks. "There is no time limit. We will do it in due course," finance minister Arun Jaitley said. RBI governorRaghuram Rajan surprised all by a 50 basis points repo rate reduction but doubts prevail on how banks across the spectrum transmit the easy policy rate into lowering of lending rates unless they manage to soften deposit rates. RBI has reduced repo rates by 125 bps since January, yet the transmission of the rate cuts into the real economy has been relatively weak.

Rajan indicated that there would be a shift in focus from policy rates to greater transmission of these rates. Banks reduced deposit rates aggressively over the last three quarters with some lowering term deposit rates by 50-75 bps but matching cuts in lending rates come with a lag. But they have time and again whined that high interest rates on small savings such as public provident fund or post office monthly income schemes are stopping them from lowering deposit rates beyond a point and this inability prevents them from making loans cheaper.

Senior citizens get 9.3% from post offices, 100-130 bps higher than what they get from most state-run banks. "A major part of small savings comes from the risk averse segments and for them it is the means of subsistence. It (lowering small savings rate) is easier said than done," said India Ratings managing director Ananda Bhowmik. "So, the transmission of policy rate will continue to be an issue. Historically, monetary transmission remains limited to 25-40% of policy rate cuts. It may increase a bit but not beyond 50% due to the structural bottlenecks," he said. The country's largest bank, State Bank of India, cut deposit rates by 25 bps across maturities effective from October 5.

Its medium-term deposit rate is 7.75% at present while small savers enjoy 8.4% rate for deposits below five years from post offices and for the popular monthly income scheme. Public provident fund offers 8.7% rate a year.

Source:-The Economic Times

Scheme for Promotion of Adventure Sports & similar activities amongst Central Government Employees

To view please Click Here.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Government forms expert panel to review civil services exam pattern

An expert committee has been formed by the government to examine various issues related to age relaxation, eligibility, syllabus and pattern of civil services examination to select IAS and IPS officers. 

"The committee has been formed to look into all aspects of civil services examination," Union Minister Jitendra Singh said today. 

Based on the report of the committee, further changes in the civil services exam pattern will be contemplated with the primary objective of providing a level-playing field to aspirants from diverse streams of curriculum like mathematics, engineeringmedicine or humanities, he said. 

Till such time as the recommendations of the committee are received and the government subsequently takes a decision on the same, Singh said that the General Studies Paper-II (also known as CSAT) in the civil services preliminary examination will remain a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33 per cent. 

Meanwhile, the government's decision taken last year to exclude the English portion consisting of 22 marks in the General Studies Paper-II of the civil services preliminary examination from tabulation also continues to remain in force, he told PTI here. 

The panel has been formed as follow-up to the decision taken by the government in May this year to form such a committee, said Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said. 

The panel will be headed by former Chhattisgarh-cadre IAS officer B S Baswan and consist of leading academicians, technocrats and senior bureaucrats, officials said.

Source:-The Economic Times

Government proposes panel to decide MPs' pay and perks

Amid demands that MPs should not be allowed to decide their salaries, the government has proposed to set up a three-member panel to recommend pay and perks of lawmakers. 

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has proposed a 3-member independent Emoluments Commission to recommend salaries and other allowances for the Members of Parliament. The proposal is part of the agenda notes prepared for the two-day All India Whips' Conference to be held at Visakhapatnam, next week. 

"The setting up of an independent Emoluments Commission for recommending the salaries and allowances of the Members of Parliament will not only put to rest the public outcry and media criticism over MPs themselves deciding their salaries, it will also provide an appropriate opportunity to take into consideration the huge responsibilities and the important role they play in our representative democracy. 

"It would ensure that recommendations on Parliamentary salary are reached in a fair, transparent and equitable way. Once there is consensus on setting up of the Commission, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act,1954 will be suitably amended," it said. 

The general principles suggested by the Ministry for determination of salary are: that it should not be so low as to deter suitable candidates or so high as to make pay the primary attraction for the job. It says the salary should reflect the level of responsibility and those with outside interests should not be deterred from entering Parliament. 

One of the principles suggested is that those who choose to make Parliament a full-time career should be adequately rewarded to reflect their responsibilities. 

As per Article 106 of the Constitution, salaries of MPs are determined by an Act of 1954, amended from time to time. The last revision in salary of MPs was made in 2010 during UPA II rule and the lawmakers at present get a basic salary of Rs 50,000 per month. Salaries of Members of State Legislatures are decided as per Article 195 of the Constitution. 

As per a comparative analysis of Members of Parliament in 37 developing and developed countries, basic salary of MPs are in the range of a meagre Rs 7,952 in Tunisia to a high of Rs 6,16,675 per month in Israel. MPs of only in six countries -- Tunisia, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Haiti and Panama are drawing salary less than that of Indian MPs. 

According to a survey conducted by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) of 138 chambers from 104 Parliaments, 69 chambers indicated that it is Parliament which determines the salaries of members. 31 of these stated that MPs' salaries are determined in reference to the Civil Service salary scale. In case of Bhutan, Namibia and the UK House of Commons, salaries are determined by independent bodies. 
An MP in India gets a salary of Rs 50,000 per month. In addition, Rs 2,000 per day is paid as daily allowance when the MP signs the register while attending Parliament sessions or House committee meetings. The MP is entitled to Rs 45,000 constituency allowance every month -- Rs 15,000 for stationery and Rs 30,000 to employ secretarial assistance staff. 

MPs are also entitled for a government accommodation, air travel and train travel facilities, besides three landline and two mobile phones. 

They also get a loan of Rs 4 lakh to buy a vehicle.

Source:-The Economic Times

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Entry to Nearly 200 Monuments Free on World Tourism Day

The World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27th September every year. The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture are organising various activities for celebrating the World Tourism Day tomorrow. The Ministry of Culture has announced free entry for tourists to nearly 200 ticketed monuments and museums across India except Bihar as a part of the World Tourism day’s celebration on Sunday. The Minister of State for Culture (Independent charge), Tourism (Independent Charge ) & Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma has said that the government is taking various measures to reach out to tourists and that the Centre is determined to attract more Internationals Tourist from across the world. 

The monuments which will be free for entry include 116 National monuments like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, 35 Museum sites under the ASI (like Buddhist sites includes Sanchi and others) along with Museums under the control of the Ministry of Culture. 

The foundation stone laying ceremony of Parytan Bhawan will also be held on 27th September in New Delhi. The Ministry of Tourism will organize various tourism promotion activities tomorrow like Street Play on Swachch Bharat theme by Students of IHM at Delhi Haat, INA and Seminar with Panel Discussion on the theme of “ One Billion Tourist One Billion Opportunities” in New Delhi. 


PM Narendra Modi agrees to write to Barack Obama on Diwali stamp

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to a request to write to US President Barack Obama on issuing of postage stamp on Diwali by the US Postal Service, an individual behind the years long campaign has said.

The request in this regard was made by an Indian-American couple from New York - Ranju and Ravi Batra - who met Modi at the UN General Assembly yesterday when the Prime Minister went there to address the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda Summit.

Ranju, as chair of Diwali Stamp Project, updated Modi on her multi-years' Diwali Stamp efforts along with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a media release said.

During the brief encounter, Ranju urged the Prime Minister to write a letter to Obama in support of the Diwali Stamp being issued by US Postal Service.

"The Prime Minister agreed to do so and said, 'I will write (to) President Obama (for) supporting the Diwali Stamp' and took the note as a reminder," a media release said.

The US Postal Service has issued stamps on all major religions of the world excluding Hinduism.

Obama is the first US president to personally celebrate Diwali in the White House.

For more than a decade now several efforts have been made towards issuing of a postal stamp on Diwali by the US Postal Service.

Dozens of US lawmakers have written in this regard to the US Postal Service, which has also received thousands of signed letters from Indian-Americans.

Congressional resolutions have also been passed in this regard, but the efforts have not been successful.

Source:-The Times of India

Friday, September 25, 2015

Program for Swachh Bharat Mission in Department of Posts

1. 25th to 27th Sept 2015- Special cleanliness drive for all Departmental Post Office and administrative office buildings.

2. 28th to 30th September 2015- Special cleanliness drive for all Departmental Post Office and administrative office campuses.

3. 1st to 5th October 2015- Special cleanliness drive for all Branch Post Offices.

4. 6th to 10th October 2015- Weeding out of old record, unserviceable items as well as carrying out minor maintenance of departmental buildings.

5. 11th October 2015- Special cleanliness drive organized by all Postal employees and officers to clean public places in the immediate vicinity of Post Offices; attempt should be made to involve local self Government bodies and district administration.

Google under US antitrust scanner for Android operating system

The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Google Inc stifled competitors' access to its Android mobile-operating system, Bloomberg reported. 

FTC officials have met with representatives of technology companies who said Google gives priority to its own services on the Android platform, while restricting others, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. 

Reuters reported in April that some technology companies had complained to the Department of Justice that the Android mobile operating system is anti-competitive, urging the US antitrust enforcers to investigate allegations that Google unfairly uses its Android system to win online advertising. 

The FTC and the DoJ have reached an agreement for the FTC to spearhead the investigation into Google's Android business, the Bloomberg report said. The inquiry is in its early stages and could end without a case against the company, the news agency said. 

Reuters could not immediately reach the FTC and Google for comment outside regular US business hours.

Source:-The Economic Times

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Roles & Responsibilities of various officials & officers on implementation of 'Core Insurance Solution' and set-up of 'Central Processing Centre' for PLI & RPLI'

To view Directorate of Postal Life Insurance Letter No.29-34/2012-LI (Vol-II) dated 24-09-2015 please Click Here.

Now, your Income Tax forms will be pre-filled to ease e-filing

As part of efforts to popularise the electronic mode of filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs), the CBDT is planning to provide "pre-filled" return forms to filers which will have an automatic upload of data on income and other vitals of a taxpayer. 

The apex policy-making body of the I-T department is actively working to ensure that this customer-friendly measure can be launched for taxpayers from the next financial year. 

The move comes in the backdrop of the new e-filing system, put in place in August, which allows online verification of an ITR by using either the Aadhaar number, Internet banking, ATM among others. 

Small taxpayers with income less than Rs 5 lakh and without claims of refund can generate an electronic verification code from the e-filing website of the tax department which is later sent to their registered email to e-verify the return. 

"We are looking at a possibility of making more entries for a pre-filled form so that it becomes more easier for the taxpayer to file an e-return. We want to ensure that when technology moves, we can always bring in better facilities to make the life (of taxpayers) even easier," CBDT Chairperson Anita Kapur told PTI. 

She said these technology upgrades are proposed to be initially started for small taxpayers who file the one-page ITR (ITR 1) and the thinking in the department is that when the data of income as per previous records is automatically uploaded then the taxpayer can file their ITRs quickly and wherever there are any amendments or changes, those can be corrected by the taxpayer himself. 

"We want to give the taxpayers the right to change or correct their figures (in the new system) and help them file their ITR as quickly and easily as possible," she said. 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is particularly bolstered on this front by the latest figures which recently reported that the tax department received 2.06 crore returns on its e-filing portal as on September 7 (last date for ITR filing), which is an increase of 26.12 per cent over the last year, when 1.63 crore returns were filed online.

Source:-The Economic Times


To view please Click Here.

Payment of Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees - Revised Rates effective from 01.07.2015

To view the order of Ministry of Finance please Click Here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

'Notification on OROP may take another month'

New Delhi, Sep 23 (PTI) A government notification implementing 'One Rank One Pension' scheme may take another month, top defence sources said today.

"It can take 2-4 weeks more easily because it is quite an extensive issue," the sources said.

Asked if the government will have to wait till the Bihar Assembly polls get over, they said the announcement has already been made and what is now expected is just a formal notification.

The government had announced the OROP scheme earlier this month and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had said a notification could be expected in a month.

However, some of the veterans have objected to the scheme.

They claim that the government has created avoidable confusion by including VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) in their announcement as it does not exist in the defence forces and those who have taken premature retirement must come under OROP.

The ex-servicemen have also objected to the government's taking of the calendar year 2013 instead of financial year 2013-14 for fixing the base.

They are also against the formation of a one-man judicial commission and demanded that it should consist three ex-servicemen, one serving officer and a bureaucrat.

Processing of files referred to DOPT for advice/clarification - procedure to be followed.

To view please Click Here.

Microsoft Office 2016 is here: 9 top features

Office 2016 isn't just about new Microsoft Word and PowerPoint layouts. The new productivity suite has a ton of amazing new tricks and features that are designed to make your work (and play) a lot easier.

If you still think of Office as something you tinkered with to write terms papers back on Windows 95, well you're in for a treat. Download the new Office 2016 and you'll get access to tools that automatically separate important and unimportant emails, connect to your social media accounts to help you plan your weekend, and help you plan group trips and activities.

For the business user, there are a ton of new Office features that help you better communicate, collaborate and create. Here are nine of these features and how you can use them to improve your Office 2016 experience.

Skype integration

Microsoft has made cloud document collaboration possible (years and years after Google.) Now, you and a friend can edit a Microsoft Word document simultaneously without having to save and share the document via email.

Unfortunately, not all of our friends are tech-savvy (or task-oriented), and sometimes you just need to hop onto a call with them to explain things (or gossip). With Office 2016 you can jump onto a Skype call from within Microsoft Word and Outlook.

This means you'll never have to launch a second application to begin your video call. You can simply press a button, select a chat partner and start chatting, or, collaborating.

mart Lookup

You know how you can look up words in Microsoft Office to find out whether you're spelling them correctly? Now you can use a feature called Smart Lookup in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook to find information on almost anything on the web.

You simply highlight a word or phrase, right-click and select Smart Lookup. A sidebar will open with search results that fit your criteria. Want to learn more about Alaskan Klee Kais? Just type in the phrase, highlight it, right click on Smart Lookup and boom, you'll get tons of information about these cuddly little puppies.

Yes, Apple has a similar feature in El Capitan. No, this isn't revolutionary. But, boy is this a useful tool, especially for people who create tons of content and don't have time to open and close separate apps for every query.


This new/old app allows you to create interactive to-do lists that can be shared with family, friends and co-workers. Want to assign people tasks? Want to monitor everyone's progress? Wunderlist can help you get everything organized and tracked.

Is there a slacker among your group of friends that always forgets to do his/her tasks? Wunderlist sends reminders, allows you to comment on other people's tasks and set due dates, just in case you need to micromanage your pals.

Technically, Wunderlist was created in 2009, but Microsoft acquired the company in June and added it to Office 2016. So those of you who solely rely on Office apps to ensure productivity will be pleased to see this new tool added to your suite.


A similar, though unique, feature exists for enterprise Office users. Planner allows managers to create a dashboard for group tasks. Managers can assign projects, track progress and rearrange responsibilities directly from the dashboard.

Instead of your boss sending a group email telling everyone what their new assignments are, your boss can simply drag and drop a responsibility from your column to your colleague's.

The best part: You don't have to keep your eyes on the dashboard all day. Whenever someone makes a strategic change, group members receive a notification.

Sunrise Calendar

Want a calendar app that provides a bit more kick than your standard Outlook application? Microsoft has finally added its side project, Sunrise Calendar, to the Office suite.

With Sunrise, you can connect your calendar to applications like Facebook, Foursquare and TripIt to help you make plans. Every time one of your friends or colleagues enters an event into social media, Sunrise adds it to your calendar. So if you want to stay up to date on this week's concerts and films, just check Sunrise to see if anyone added an event to Facebook or Foursquare.

Sunrise was originally developed as an iPhone app in 2013. But Microsoft acquired the company in February and added the tool to the Office 2016 suite.

Tell Me

Simple Office tasks can sometimes be tedious. Hate bolding text? Hate formatting documents? With Tell Me you can simply enter a text command and Office will immediately locate and make the fix for you.

Want to change your font to Times New Roman? Enter "change font to Times New Roman" and click on the corresponding command in the Tell Me search bar.

It's been rumored that voice commands will be recognized by Tell Me, but it's immediately unclear if this feature will be available when Office 2016 goes live.

Office Lens

Similar to Adobe Cloud Connect, Office Lens lets you take a camera phone image of a document and then turn that image into an editable Office document.

Let's say you want to file a hotel receipt with your Accounts Payable department, but you don't want them to see that nightcap you accidentally charged to your room. You can take a photo of your receipt, run it through Office Lens, redact the line item you'd like to avoid showing and send the document to your company for processing.

You no longer need to scan items, save them to your PC and then make edits. You can just snap, edit and send.


Most companies create so much data that it's impossible to keep track of it all. Want to find a brilliant presentation one of your colleagues created at some point two years ago? Rather than search through thousands of emails in your inbox, you can access your company's Delve repository.

Available for enterprise Office clients, Delve is a hub for all Office documents and creations. Think of it as Pinterest for work.

You can organize each item based on subject matter, content type and date. You can search the hub to find relevant content that applies to the work you're doing. You can start a board to encourage your coworkers to share content that you might find useful.

Inbox Clutter

Our spam folders are amazing. They collect emails from retailers and businesses with whom we don't want to have any contact whatsoever. But what about that uncle you just can't stand? Or that annoying coworker who constantly asks you to go to lunch?

With Clutter for Outlook, your email usage signals whether or not emails should actually enter your inbox. For example: if you never, ever open your uncle's emails, Clutter will automatically send those incoming messages to a folder where they will land alongside your annoying coworker's lunch requests. You can access this folder anytime and move messages back to the normal old inbox.

If you're worried you'll miss something important, don't fret. Clutter sends you a weekly digest that tells you exactly what was hidden. You can then command Clutter to never pull in that type of content again.

Source:-The Times of India

Payment banks: Why enterprise and valuations will leave small players nursing their wounds

By Pratik Bhakta & Arka Bhattacharya, ET Bureau

Anyone wondering what the 11 payments banks and 10 small banks will do, need not go far. All one has to do is read what the chairman of the biggest lender, State Bank of India, and the Reserve Bank of India governor had to say on them.

"Do you think the Indian banking system has matured enough to take on the onslaught from payment banks? Does the RBI see this as a first step towards some of the payments banks evolving into universal banks?" is what SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya asked the RBI governor the day after payments banks licences were given out.

On what is in store, governor Rajan had this to say, "The (RBI) board took the view that it was hard to forecast what would happen in the payment space." He added, "Given the fact that we did not know what could succeed, the board chose to license a variety of players — some tech companies, finance companies, some bank-mobile combines. Now, let's see how the game develops."

While Bhattacharya's question reflects the potential threat from these nimbler financial companies, Governor Rajan's view shows that many of them may not survive — as with the first round of bank licences in the 1990s where many players failed and were merged with their bigger counterparts.

The differentiated banks hold out hope for millions who have remained isolated from financial services for years, and open up business opportunities.

"We believe epayments will help to soften lending rates and support growth over time," say Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts led bySachin Salgaonkar. "The spread of rural banking after the bank nationalisation of 1969 helped to shift rural India to cash-based transactions from barter. This led to a fall in the currency held by the public and a corresponding rise in bank deposits. Epayments will cut shoe leather costs of going to the bank, reduce cash holding, push up deposit growth and help pull down lending rates."

India's payments market is at Rs 15.5 lakh crore in fiscal 2015 and is likely to grow 12 per cent annually. The share of mobiles — at less than 0.1 per cent — may rise to 10 per cent in seven years; with the value of mobile banking rising 200 times to $3.5 trillion, says Merrill.

The fact that branch banking is on the decline and internet penetration is gaining, should sound sweet to the ears of the bank licence winners. Branch-based transactions have gone down by 7 per cent and the number of transactions per ATM are slowing down, says BCG, a consultant.

Furthermore, the expansion of internet services could make digital banking soar. Digital banking customers may reach 230 million by 2020; they could touch 300 million with payments banks in operation, it says. It is this potential to make big bucks that has left some of the more than 50 applicants who did not make the cut, sulking. Although RBI depended on external committees to choose, some say the process has been inconsistent.

"The list of names who were given payments bank licences indicate the RBI was looking at mostly people with deep pockets who could invest loads of cash and undertake heavy investment," says Ketan Doshi, MD, Pay Point India Network.

"Corporates who were not even in the payments space have been given licences which indicate that deep pockets were the more important criterion for RBI."

The RBI has made financial inclusion the cornerstone of its new bank licensing policy. It had provided a full-fledged bank licence to micro finance company Bandhan, while it ignored SKS Microfinance for even a small bank licence.

In fact, its licensing of the Reliance Industries and State Bank of India joint venture, and Sun Pharmaceuticals founder Dilip Shanghvi, has surprised many as the first doesn't need a special licence while the second does not have any banking experience.

"We are disappointed because out of 10, eight are MFIs," said PH Ravikumar, non-executive chairman of SKS Microfinance — one of the only listed MFIs. Similar was the disappointment at many companies which have been growing in technology, but do not have big backers like Alibaba.

"If you look at the list you can see that they have given licences to two people — the first are the financially super strong and the second, somebody who has a place of default in the banking ecosystem," says B Amrish Rau, MD, Citrus Payment Solutions. "There is a Dilip Sanghvi, who has nothing to do with payments but has deep pockets and there is a Vijay Shekhar, who has become a possible point of default in the banking ecosystem and has Rs 110 crore of public money. RBI did not give payment bank licences on the basis of technology, it has got nothing to do with technology."

The RBI has said though, that it intends to move to an 'on tap' licensing regime, opening up the possibility for those who missed the bus this time to hop on whenever the regulator resumes. And for some, continuation as a non-banking finance company, or just a wallet services provider, may even be a blessing in disguise.

"Now that we have not got the licence we can roll out our financial services products in the way we want to," says Doshi of Pay Point. "We could not have entered the credit business if we would have become a payments bank. But now we can give credit, loans and investment products by tying up with few banks and NBFCs. "We do get much more freedom to operate now that we do not have to follow the strict guidelines of payments banks."

Part of the race to be among the payments bank or a small bank system is the potential market valuation that some of these companies receive.

Internationally, Alibaba, a company with dominant market share in the Chinese payments system, created a record with a $25-billion IPO this year. Although its stock has slid since peaking at $120 a share, Indian startups such as Paytm, one of the companies with a payments bank licence, is valued at $2.3 billion. "We do not expect to see an Alipay equivalent behemoth wallet company in India as RBI rules would not allow an arbitrage opportunity for mobile wallets to gain at the expense of banks," Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Rajeev Varma says in a report. "On the contrary, we think that restrictor KYC norms may limit the money stored in a wallet by consumers."

With a huge war chest and private equity investors chasing the next Alibaba, companies are on the move.

"There are Alibaba teams working with us to get the correct piece of technology, correct piece of product in place," says Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, backed by Alibaba. "Alibaba is the energy that is infused within us, the energy that is allowing us to continue to dominate the marketplace. It is not just money, the capability of the system. Paytm is being powered in the marketplace, every nook and corner by Alibaba."

For the moment, it is the enterprise that's powering businesses, and investors are queueing up for a share of the pie. The human instinct of greed and fear are at play and as governor Rajan admitted, it is anybody's guess on what would be left in this battlefield once the dust settles.

Source:-The Economic Times

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.