Category Archives: current-topic-views

Pickford leaps to England’s rescue against Colombia

Against England, Mateus Uribe let fly a cracker of a shot from 25 yards away, and Jordan Pickford flung himself across the goal to make a superb finger-tip save, knowing little that more heroics were in store.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Football’s Top 10 or Flop 10?

Only three teams in the top team FIFA rankings have made it to the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Good to see Kuldeep Yadav always go for wickets: Mohinder Amarnath

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s maiden Twenty20 international five-wicket haul was instrumental in India’s eight-wicket victory over England at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Kuldeep Yadav’s hunger for wickets impresses Mohinder Amarnath

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s maiden Twenty20 international five-wicket haul was instrumental in India’s eight-wicket victory over England at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Thai official says boys may be taken out of cave in stages

MAE SAI: A Thai official overseeing the rescue operation of a soccer team trapped in a flooded cave said the 12 boys and their coach may not all be extracted at the same time depending on their health.

Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said Wednesday that “all 13 may not come out at the same time. If the condition is right and if that person is ready 100 per cent, he can come out.” He said authorities will evaluate their readiness each day and if there is any risk will not proceed.

The teammates and their coach were seen in latest video sitting with Thai navy SEALs in the dark cave, their skinny faces illuminated by a flashlight. The boys, many wrapped in foil warming blankets, take turns introducing themselves, pressing their hands together in a traditional Thai greeting and saying their names and that they are healthy.

Narongsak said that the boys have been practicing wearing diving masks and breathing, but he doesn’t believe they have attempted any practice dives.

The boys, aged 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach disappeared after they went exploring in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in northern Chiang Rai province after a soccer game June 23. The teammates, who were trapped inside when heavy rains flooded the cave, were found by rescue divers Monday night during a desperate search that drew assistance from experts around the globe.

Authorities said the boys, who had also been shown Tuesday in a video shot by the British diver who discovered them, were being looked after by seven members of the Thai navy SEALs, including medics, who were staying with them inside the cave. They were mostly in stable condition and have received high-protein drinks.

In all of the videos, the boys appeared in good spirits. In the most recent video, a navy SEAL is shown treating minor cuts on the feet and legs of the boys with antibiotic ointment. Several of the boys are seen smiling as they interact with the navy SEAL, who cracks jokes.

Seeing the boys has boosted the mood of their family members, and officials are working to install an internet cable to the cave so that parents can talk to their children.

Kian Kamluang, whose 16-year-old son, Pornchai, is in the cave, said she had thought there was a 50 percent chance that her son would be found.

“It’s like he has been given a new life,” she said, adding that she’ll never let her son go into a cave or near water again.

Those waiting for the boys to come out included a group of students who are friends with some of the boys trapped inside, who sang a song in front of the entrance to show their support.

Several religious figures have also shown up, the most popular being a famous Buddhist monk, Kruba Boonchum, who when he first visited the scene had predicted that the boys would be found this week.

NiMo fraud effect: PNB revamps lending ops

NEW DELHI: Hit by the Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi fraud, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has decided to restructure its lending operations and has designated 60 systemically important branches to undertake lending of over Rs 50 crore. The move is meant to ensure better checks over large accounts, apart from offering better services to clients.
“The bank is in the process of shifting most of the large accounts to systemically important branches. Apart from these, most of the bigger accounts will be operated from branches designated as large corporate branches (LCBs), while regular branches will concentrate on regular savings accounts and CASA (current account & savings bank account deposits),” the country’s second-largest public sector lender said.

PNB has been engaged in a major revamp after a Rs 14,000-crore fraud came to light at the start of the year, involving diamond merchants Modi and Choksi. The changes form part of the recommendations by the bank’s independent thinktank named ‘Mission Parivartan’ that has pushed for centralisation of critical functions.

As part of Mission Parivartan, the bank will establish centralised loan processing centres across the country in a phased manner for processing of loans above Rs 50 lakh. This is similar to the practice that has been followed in several banks for the last few years.

Currently, the bank has one central loan processing centre at its Connaught Place branch in the capital that enables qualitative credit assessment, segregates pre- and post-sanction responsibility. Earlier in June, the bank created a stressed asset vertical for recovery of bad loans.

Homebuyers can name rep to decide stressed co’s fate

NEW DELHI: Homebuyers and depositors in companies facing insolvency action will get to nominate their representative from a panel of three insolvency professionals to represent them on the committee of creditors (CoC) — the decision-making body that decides the fate of stressed companies.
The move follows an amendment to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in the wake of action against realtors such as Jaypee Infratech and Amrapali, with homebuyers now given a representation in the committee of creditors to have a say in deciding the fate of the stressed company. Earlier, the fear was that lenders who were the sole representatives will put together a deal that does not factor in the interests of other stakeholders.
The rules notified by the regulator Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) stipulate that every category of creditor — including depositor, security holder and homebuyer in case of a housing company — which has at least 10 entities or individuals will get to nominate its representative in CoC. “The insolvency professional, who is the choice of the highest number of creditors in the class, shall be appointed as the authorised representative of the creditors of the respective class,” it said in a statement.

IBBI has also given detailed norms for the resolution professional to decide the evaluation matrix, given that there have been accusations of favouritism in some of the cases that are currently being decided. “The request for resolution plans (RFRP) shall detail each step in the process, and the manner and purposes of interaction between the resolution professional and the prospective resolution applicant, along with corresponding timelines,” it said.

The resolution plan prepared by bidders will have to show how the reason for default is being addressed, whether it’s feasible and viable, provisions for its effective implementation and capability of the applicant to implement it, among other things.

As reported by TOI, the guidelines are seen to have come in the wake of the initial cases, especially the high-profile ones getting delayed, prompting the government to suggest that detailed norms should be issued, much like the Companies Act. It is also aimed at ensuring transparency in the process and protection to members of CoC. The rules have also provided a detailed timeline for each action to ensure that the whole process is completed within the 180-day deadline provided in the law.

E-hiring still needs reference checks

MUMBAI: Even as hiring has gone digital and companies are adopting new methods of assessing candidates, the good old tradition of reference checks continues to hold strong even today, with a majority of companies rejecting candidates whose reference checks did not meet expectations.

In a study of 200 HR managers/leaders by recruitment company Antal International, nearly 69% respondents said they would not hire a candidate whose reference check was not up to their expectations.

However, given the shortage of talent, the balance 31% said they would still go ahead and offer the job to the candidate under specific conditions such as lowering compensation than what was budgeted, or reducing the title that was previously negotiated with the candidate. Some said they would offer a lower scope of work than what was previously discussed.

E-hiring still needs reference checks

Antal International India managing director Joseph Devasia said, “In the age of AI and machine learning integrating with recruitment, this survey highlights the human element in the hiring process. In today’s world, with war for talent remaining unabated, our experiences suggest that employers still weigh the information obtained via reference checks to give themselves the extra validation they need before they make the hiring decision. It’s interesting to note that whereas sourcing and early screening process of recruitment are getting automated, the more critical stages of interview will continue to need human intervention. Bad hiring decisions cost companies a lot of money and it is to partially avoid such errors that reference checks can come in handy.”

Considering that hiring of mid to senior candidates is a tedious process — at times taking months to close — hiring a wrong candidate can cost companies an average of 30% of the first year’s potential earnings. Reference checks, said Antal, can help companies zero in on the right candidate. Up to 67% of respondents in the report, which was shared exclusively with TOI, said they rely on internal HR teams to conduct reference checks. A huge majority (93%) of respondents said they strongly support the practice of reference checks while hiring mid- and senior-level professionals. Of these, 58% said they would not roll out the offer without completing the reference check of a candidate.

Mahindra & Mahindra executive VP (group human capital & leadership development) Prince Augustin said, “Reference check is a valuable pre-hiring exercise that gives insights into background, fit and cultural dexterity of a person. These can be obtained through digital and one-on-one feedbacks, which together is a powerful input for making hiring decisions.”

FM to meet heads of banks to discuss NPA resolution structure

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Piyush Goyal will meet heads of banks on Thursday to discuss an inter-lender structure suggested under the ‘Project Sashakat’ that intends to speed up resolution of stressed assets in the banking system.

The meeting is likely to formalise the inter-creditor agreement structure as suggested in the five-pronged ‘Project Sashakat’, sources said.

The meeting has been organised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) and inter creditor agreement would be the framework under which the consortium would take up NPA cases.

The framework will authorise the lead bank to implement a resolution plan in 180 days and the leader would then prepare a resolution plan including empanelling turnaround specialists and other industry experts for operation turnaround of the assets within RBI’s stipulated timeframe of 180 days.

As part of the framework independent screening committee of eminent personalities would be appointed by IBA to validate due process within maximum 30 days and the resolution would proceed if lenders holding 66 per cent of debt give their nod in line with the NCLT process.

Once the resolution plan is approved, the lead bank would be responsible to execute the plan.

While accepting Sunil Mehta Committee recommendation earlier this week, the finance minister had said banks would set up independent asset management companies (AMCs) and steering committees for faster resolution of bad loans.

A panel, headed by PNB non-executive chairman Sunil Mehta, recommended an asset management company/alternative investment fund (AIF)-led resolution approach under the five-pronged strategy to deal with NPA cases of more than Rs 500 crore.

There are about 200 accounts, each of which owes more than Rs 500 crore to banks. Their total exposure is about Rs 3.1 lakh crore.

Giving details, Goyal had said under this approach, independent asset management companies would be set up. AIF would raise funds from institutional investors.

The AMC, to be set up under AIF framework, will become a market maker and thereby ensuring healthy competition, fair price and cash recovery, the minister had said.

PNB to concentrate processing of big loans to 60 designated branches

NEW DELHI: Fraud-hit PNB has decided to designate 60 systematically important branches (SIB) to carry out all lending operations of above Rs 50 crore to ensure better checks and balances over large accounts.

The bank will create these SIBs across the country as part of its credit restructuring exercise.

“The bank is in the process of shifting most of the large accounts to SIBs,” Punjab National Bank (PNB) said in a release on Wednesday.

The lender suffered huge losses on account of over $2 billion fraud perpetrated by diamond jeweller Nirav Modi in connivance with a few bank officials.

“PNB has embarked upon a credit restructuring exercise that will ensure that large accounts as well as lending operations are concentrated in a few specially designated branches.

“To ensure better accountability and operations the bank is shifting most of the borrowal accounts above Rs 50 crore to branches which will be designated Systemically Important Branches (SIBs),” the bank statement said.

The public sector lender said creation of these 60 SIBs across the country will ensure better checks and balances over large accounts.

Besides, most of the bigger accounts will be operated from branches designated as Large Corporate Branches (LCBs) and regular branches will concentrate on regular savings accounts and CASA (current account savings account).

For centres located in metropolitan cities, in addition to LCBs/MCBs/IBBs, two to three branches will be designated as SIBs depending upon geographical convenience.

“Contrary to false reports, PNB has no plans to close operations in branches like the Brady House branch in Mumbai. Reallocation of some of the accounts is part of the restructuring process aimed at centralisation of critical functions and large corporate accounts. Retail operations for PNB customers continue to operate from the branches like Brady House,” a senior PNB official clarified with regard to a news published yesterday.

As part of its Mission Parivartan, the bank said it will establish centralised loan processing centres across the country in a phased manner for processing of loans above Rs 50 lakh.

Presently, the bank has one central loan processing centre at its Connaught Place (New Delhi) branch that enables qualitative credit assessment, segregates pre and post sanction responsibility as well as shortens the turn-around time and facilitates efficient monitoring.

Earlier in June, the bank created a stressed asset vertical for recovery of bad loans.