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State Bank of India to initiate process for selling 10 percent of its shares in its life insurance arm through IPO

The bank also said it would explore the possibility of diluting 8 percent of its stake in SBI Life Insurance through IPO offer, out of total 10 per cent offer for sale

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State Bank of India, Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Wikimedia

Mumbai, March 24, 2017: India’s largest lender, the State Bank of India on Friday said it would initiate the process for selling 10 percent of its shares in its life insurance arm through an initial public offering (IPO).

According to a regulatory filing, the executive committee of the SBI’s central board has accorded in-principle approval to “initiate process for offer for sale of 10 percent of shares through initial public offer”.

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The bank also said it would explore the possibility of diluting 8 percent of its stake in SBI Life Insurance through IPO offer, out of total 10 per cent offer for sale.

SBI owns 70.1 per cent of the life insurer while BNP Paribas Cardif owns 26 percent. (IANS)

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SBI reduces lending rates on home and vehicle loans

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Loans
SBI reduces lending rates on home and vehicle loans

India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday announced reduction of interest rates on home and automobile loans by five basis points (bps).

In a statement issued here the bank said, it has reduced home loan interest rates to 8.30 per cent. Similarly, automobile loan is now offered at a starting interest rate of 8.70 per cent per annum compared to earlier 8.75 per cent.

With this reduction, SBI’s offering in home loan is the lowest in the market. The new rates will be effective from November 01, the SBI claimed. The effective interest rate for all eligible salaried customers will be 8.30 per cent per annum for loans upto Rs 30 lakh.

Rates have been reduced by five bps in all the brackets. Over and above of 8.30 per cent rate, an eligible home loan customer can also avail of an interest subsidy of Rs 2.67 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.

For car loan customers, the loan amount ranges from 8.70 per cent per annum to 9.20 per cent per annum compared to earlier range of 8.75 per cent to 9.25 per cent. The exact rate depends on the amount of loan and the credit score of the individual.(IANS)

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A Step Towards Digital India- Google Launches Digital Payment App ‘Tez’ in India

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Google launched Tez app
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 20, 2017: A day after Google launched its new digital payment app “Tez” in India, the company’s Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday tweeted it will help India move closer to digital transformation.

“We hope that the launch of @TezByGoogle will help take India one step closer to your vision of @_DigitalIndia,” Pichai tweeted.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who launched the app here had said the idea of “Tez” was discussed by Pichai in January, just after demonetisation.

“Google saw a great potential in Indian economy and businesses,” Jaitley said, adding that Google’s new digital payments app over the next few months was likely to make major advances in digital transaction volumes.

Built on the Indian government-supported Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Tez allows users, free of charge, to make small or big payments straight from their bank accounts.

The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and available in English and seven Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu).

The app works in partnership with four Banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India — to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI-enabled banks.

According to D D Mishra, Research Director, Gartner, Tez provides promising features which are in-line with the requirements.

Also Read: Google, Twitter enable advertisers to reach racists: Reports 

“It is too early to say whether it can be a game changer as evolution in this business is going to continue, but yes it has the capabilities to bring some disruption as of now,” Mishra said in a statement.

Moreover, Google’s information about an individual’s preferences can play a good role in enabling the business to know their preferences and provide offers with interesting options.

“The mobile wallet industry too is evolving and we are at an interesting stage in this competition. Eventually, UPI payments will have an upper hand if it continues to remain free and provide better security, convenience and add more Value Added Services,” Mishra informed. (IANS)

 

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC