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Tag Archives: Saurabh

Pakistan’s ISI spy agency has ‘militant links’ — Says US Military’s Top Officer

The US military’s top officer, Adm Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan’s spy agency of having links with militants targeting troops in Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had a “long-standing relationship” with a militant group run by Afghan insurgent Jalaluddin Haqqani.

Admiral Mike Mullen

USA Top Officer Adm Mike Mullen

The comments came as he held talks in Islamabad on Wednesday. Pakistani officials are also in the US for talks.

Pakistan routinely rejects charges of collusion with militants.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that US officials have in the past spoken anonymously or in circumspect terms about associations between the Pakistani establishment and insurgents.

But that with this blunt statement Adm Mullen has for the first time claimed a clear link between the two, our correspondent says.

“It’s fairly well known that the ISI has a long-standing relationship with the Haqqani network,” Adm Mullen told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

“Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

He said the spy agency’s support of the network remained at the “core … and the most difficult part of the relationship” and that he would take it up with Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani.

‘Negative propaganda’

But a senior Pakistani intelligence official told the Reuters news agency that the accusation was unfounded.

“If he means we’re providing them with protection, with help, that’s not correct,” the official, who wished to remain unnamed, told Reuters.

A statement from Gen Kayani, released after their meeting, rejected what it termed as “negative propaganda of Pakistan not doing enough”.

But the statement also said that the strategic relationship between the countries was important for their mutual security.

On Thursday Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir is scheduled to hold talks with US State Department officials in Washington, in what is being billed as an effort to improve relations.

US-Pakistan ties have struggled to recover following the row over CIA contractor Raymond Davis – who was arrested and later released after shooting dead two Pakistani men in Lahore. The case stoked anti-American feeling across Pakistan and led to angry demonstrations

Recent reports following a meeting between the heads of the countries’ spy agencies in Washington, suggested that Pakistan had demanded certain restrictions to the CIA’s activities in Pakistan.

Anti-US sentiment has also been exacerbated by US drone strikes targeting militants in the north-west of the country.

Drone anger

US drone attacks have escalated in north-west Pakistan since President Barack Obama took office. But they are hugely unpopular with the Pakistani public. Many militants, some of them senior, have been killed in the raids, but hundreds of civilians have also died.

The US does not routinely confirm it is conducting drone operations in Pakistan, but analysts say only American forces have the capacity to deploy such aircraft in the region.

Analysts believe that Haqqani’s insurgent network has been based in Pakistan since 2001, and that the ISI still exerts considerable influence over it.

The group has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks on foreign troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Though the Pakistani military has routinely rejected any ties with the militants operating in Afghanistan, many analysts believe collaboration between the two is an open secret, our correspondent says.

Indeed analysts argue that Pakistan has always maintained links with some militant groups in order to try to influence events in neighbouring Afghanistan..

The timing of these remarks, our correspondent adds, suggests that the US is stepping up pressure on Pakistan to relinquish any links with Afghan militants ahead of the US forces’ impending withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Source: BBC

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Happy Holi to All who by Design or Accident Visit this Page…suppoted by a small deliberation on ‘We’or ‘You’

HOW 2 CRE8 A NEW U THIS HOLI

Human Body in itself has a few limitations only but the opportunities possessed by it are numerous. Yet we find ourselves crowded with fears of sufferings, few of which are like wearing out of body [in language of accounting, the process is known as depreciation, i.e., loss in value of an asset due to wear and tear], aging [not in positive terms of learning by curiosity supported by experience leading to enlightenment but as increase in rate of catabolism over anabolism], sickness [as compared to not sending the vehicle to servicing when due] and fear [whereas it’s a clear fact that out of hundred per cent events that you fear may happen, out of them eighty per cent never happen in your life time Pareto’s law].

In all this we tend to forget on what should have been central to our existence, that is, our quest for creativity, curiosity, freedom, enlightenment and probably salvation. We get attached to what in real sense we cannot withhold due to being mortals.  At other times we are busy thinking that we happen to be CEO or this world [which itself is an Illusion] and have responsibility to solve all issues, except for which we are responsible and accountable. We are aware of all the mis-deeds committed by other and seem to be doing same when it’s our turn. Why do we want to correct all except us who happens to be at the pivot of all problematic issues.

Buy my words, and correct yourself, and I assure you of a better world that you will enter into, much better than the imagination that you might have about heaven. The elements of nature are here to provide a synergistic relationship, the moment you focus on changing yourself towards better. These elements make the life possible on earth. Never try to deceive them, as they individually have power, to make life extinct from the planet. These elements as per my limited awareness happen to be five as mentioned ahead: (i): Sky; (ii): Earth; (iii): Air; (iv): Water; and (v): Fire.

Think on facts and you can really be rewarded by not alone creating a new you but altogether a new world.  Remember that you are not mortal as soul, it your physical body that is mortal. You should be aware of the fact that, you may lose your mortal body by passage of time but not you. It’s simply like changing cloths, you are assured of getting a new mortal body, so keep on working towards good cause, not due to fear of being sent to hell but due to fact that within some time you will revisit the planet with new body. It’s just like going for a while to buy new cloths. What you have created will there when you come back [creation here means the contribution you made to this world where life exists]. While performing some task do not be attached with results basically material ones, may be they are there waiting for you when you revisit. In simple terms do remember that your body is nothing more than an illusion.

The fact that you are soul within your body and not the body itself should be remembered by you, even in most testing times. It is energy inside that makes life possible and not the physical body. If you start lacking energy or soul your body will not come to rescue.

If you are fearful of aging, please buy my words, time has never been enemy to anyone, irrespective of anything. It has been the directed efforts of individuals, societies, or nations [perhaps unknowingly] that made time their enemy. Time happens to be an artificial quantity. As we all believe or are made to believe that Supreme Power is eternal or resides in eternal plane, would anyone like to tell me that after how many tomorrows that eternal will come. Probably, eternity is never going to come even after infinite tomorrows. To me it seems that you need cross the boundary line that lies between temporal and non temporal world. So, how could an artificial thing be your enemy? You know that time could be suspended or at least manipulated.  Scientifically you would be aware of the fact that people in spacecraft age much slow as compared to their counterparts on the earth. On the other side we have learned the story of saints who used live for thousand years. Perhaps it was a result of their pious soul, will power and mental state that they were capable of suspending the time.

Remember that, as said in earlier paragraph, that it is the pious soul, will power and mental state of individual that can suspend time. On the other side if you get blocked in physical limits of your body and think that your body by itself is a physical object, then you are cooperating with destructive forces like ageing, feeling that change towards better can never happen, while at the same time on opposite extreme you develop a feeling as said earlier that you are eternal along with your body and it is you who is CEO of this world. How do you feel? Are these not the two opposite principle that you are trying to act upon? Take some time and think for and by yourself and let me how much on the wrong side I am.

If you still want to create a new you in you, then please do become conscious that you are not alone the body rather you should believe that body is very insignificant but important thing. Your intentions, thought, feeling which get transferred to brain are there to consequently impact all your cells in the body and also suck the energy out of you. Thus, the option is to have altruistic intentions, act towards minimizing the suffering of the humanity; believe that you are accountable for acts of yours and finally a new you can make a real and significant development on how the life on this planet shapes up. If you are working alone on self interested materialistic objectives alone, then please do not rate you self on the scale of human, lower order animals are much better at it than you. It is the intentions, acts, thought, and attributes like sacrifice, altruism etc that differentiate you from lower order animals.

 

ALWAYS YOURS — AS USUAL — SAURABH SINGH

THE JASMINE REVOLUTION — Part – I

At times, few events, though not very often noticed, normally not even thought worth being covered by national media, but when the acts happen to be of SUPREME SACRIFICE or same order, change course of not alone history but geography too. The attempt is not to dub an act of self immolation as an act of bravery, and normally hundreds of cases of self immolation and attempts of self immolation get reported in media every year, besides lot many which even fail to find space in news media in nearly all the corners of the world which without fuelling in a minor change in governance.

The name “Mohamed Bouazizi” is not a famous or well known name even today, and thus indirectly gives an impression that history in due course of time may even forget to contain any record of this name for reference of future generations. The act of self immolation by this Tunisian Street Vendor to protest against the corruption is an apt example of helplessness being faced by common men, irrespective of him being a citizen, subject, at mercy of any dictator, fascist or Junta or probably any other form of Structure of Governance.

Strange are ways things are destined, much beyond human vision and imagination, it seems if  21st Century were a Century of Convergence of Scale for nearly every sphere of human related activities. A Century standing witness to Convergence of Communication Technology and Tools, Convergence of Economies of Nations, Convergence of Trade, Convergence of Financial Governance, and perhaps even Convergence of Revolutions against Governance Structures across various nations and probably the list continue…s, neither can it be covered in this deliberation nor will it be attempted.

Till a couple of months back, the individual of the day was busy in himself thinking that all the problems could happen and will happen with others only, aptly defined selfish by Adam Smith and the league, was thinking of governance all around the globe being cool, calm and pleasant except the places messed up by United States of America. Perhaps still the individuals will remain individuals and will rarely form a society or nation; as people aware of history know very well that even the phenomenon or concept of nation is a gift of as recent as nineteenth century.

Connecting back, it was morning of December 17, 2010 when Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 years old street vendor of Tunisia immolated himself protesting against corruption, an event of the magnitude often not even noticed by world media, the Arab World has not remained the same as it was till hours before of this act on the same day. It has left whole geo-political area simmering and inhabitants rumbling.  It has initiated a chain reaction.

The chain reaction, that has already made twenty three years old rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, (in power since 1987) now a chapter in history of Tunisia. It did not stop here itself. It perhaps turned a torchbearer for other nations of geopolitical area often called as Gulf (British call it as Middle East), or as the author calls it, the Middle West. It did not stop at Tunisia. The next link in chain turned out to be Egypt. In Egypt, the war hero of Egypt Israel War of 1973 that made Egypt a power centre in Middle West and one time air force officer Hosni Mubarak was shown door after his thirty year rule. To world it may look a silent transition made success by people of Egypt but sources say that at least 300 people lost their life and another 3000 suffered injuries. Reality about real causalities is not known due to initial crack down on media and still no real transition to any new form of governance taking place. It is probably still another Hosni Mubarak just individual may differ, as no real transition to any form of governance has taken place, but junta in control.

“The phenomenon being deliberated, as on date, has come to be known as SIDI BOUZID REVOLT in Arab World and as JASMINE REVOLUTION elsewhere.”

Similar turmoil, protests against governments in place, in numerous other nations of gulf is being seen and also the ruthlessness and lack of human emotions with which they are being suppressed and retaliated by various governments in place. It is the same story today in Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and Yemen.

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

New World Order Imminent!- Anyone For A Game Of Ping Pong?

This vedio has been uploaded for my learned audiences, fans, students and scholars and rest others, who wish to understand issue of New World Order. I would top up the same by a commentry on Asian Environment Soon. Hope you find some value in it.Always Your—– As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Barak Obama and Economic Crisis

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

A CHILL DOWN THE SPINE & RESULTANT SHUDDERING CADENCE IN VOICE OF UNITED STATES ECONOMY: IS IT RECESSION KNOCKING AT THE DOORS…—–WELCOME TO ACT TWO…

A Chill down the Spine & resultant Shuddering Cadence in Voice of United States Economy: Is it recession knocking at the doors…

Recap of Act- 1 of the play……..just for linking the thread…..of continuum…to….Act-2 ….
Welcoming the audience to the play titled “Is it a spiral of recession knocking at the doors…”

The stage….United States of America….. & lead actor…..United States Economy…..it’s year 2007…midway…..

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EURO & TOMORROW

A small financial earthquake with Greece as its epicenter has suddenly exposed the vulnerability of EURO [€] which till now on all the positive sentiments and emotions was growing from strength to strength. The experts started murmuring as if ‘€’ was heading to replace US $ as a world currency. To utter surprise, these murmurings were not ensuing any sudden discovery of some hidden attribute of ‘€’ that made it invincible. Comprehending the reasons leading to such developments was not less than any enigma for people, save those experts. In absence of any rationale, the rationality was even in fix. Now it was turning extremely important and urgent to search the reasons behind it. Any rational individual can never be in rest having landed in a state of permanent disorientation.

Swapping the Position but Who? US Dollar with Euro or Euro with US Dollar

Swapping the Position -- Story of US Dollar and Euro

But then curiosity has its own merits. So if nothing positive was happening in euro zone and particularly with ‘€’ itself, then the next probable reason could be hunted in happening of something negative at a greater rate with any of its counterparts.


Search on these lines started yielding positive developments very soon. Probably it had much do with the sense of insecurity created as a consequence of turbulence, aftershocks created due to grounding of giants of US economy and resultant acceleration of volatility in market value of US Dollar.


The Greece debacle had proved the inability of ‘€’ zone in managing with, what is known as Sovereign Debt Crisis.


The symptoms hidden under the curtain and therefore out of site were of much more grave nature than those of U S economy. Any experienced hands could have easily felt that the Average – Debt – to- GDP ratio that was exhibited by Euro Zone to feel comfortable was not a homogenous outcome.


It was sheltering a great difference in the way of lack of any mechanism, when it comes to deal with a situation termed sovereign debt crisis. The feel of it alone was capable enough to cause a crack in smooth warm smile.


U S Dollar in Transition

U S Dollar in Transition

Here I stop myself to let you feel the second dip of recession. The actors and stage both have changed probably for the time being.

So, to remind you,

It’s being once again repeated that the

stage now happens to be Europe [€ Zone],

& the participating actors would be economies of nations forming € Zone.

We will meet once again after the end of this act to see how the story ends or is it unfolding of just another act.


So you are welcome to……the year…2010….spring…..

……………Always Yours……….As Usual……………….Saurabh Singh

Tribute to Late Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad

THOUGHTS AND PHILOSOPHIES ARE BLESSED WITH AN ATTRIBUTE TERMED IMMORTALITY & THIS IS HOW THEY DIFFER FROM INDIVIDUALS, INSTITUTIONS, SOCIETY, AND NATIONS

C. K. Prahalad was one of nine children born into a Madhva brahmin family in 1941. His father was a well-known Sanskrit scholar and judge in Chennai. At 19, he joined Union Carbide after obtaining a degree in Physics from Loyola College, Chennai. Prahalad called his Union Carbide experience a major inflection point in his life.

Prahalad is the author of a number of well known works in corporate strategy including ‘The Core Competence of the Corporation’ (Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1990). He has also authored several international bestsellers, including ‘Competing for the Future’ (with Gary Hamel), 1994, ‘The Future of Competition’, (with Venkat Ramaswamy), 2004 and ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits’, Wharton School Publishing, 2004. This last book transformed the Indian-born Prahalad from bestselling academic to global opinion former. His new book with co-author M. S. Krishnan is called The New Age of Innovation. His ideas are tackle the big issues of our times and make a difference.

He was co-founder of Praja Inc (“Praja” from a Sanskrit word “Praja” which means “citizen” or “common people”). He later became its chief executive officer.

The goals of the company ranged from allowing common people to access information without restriction (this theme is related to the “bottom of pyramid” or BOP philosophy), to providing a test bed for various management ideas. The company eventually laid off one third of its workforce and was sold to leading business integration and process management software company, TIBCO. He was also on the board of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs. At Harvard Business School, Prahalad wrote a doctoral thesis on multinational management in just two and a half years, graduating with a D.B.A. degree in 1975.

It was just a few weeks earlier, when I and some of my friends from different time zone had appointments with each other to deliberate and have a real learning of happenings in respective economy, markets and societies we were physically present. As per IST it was around 12:00 mid-night.

This serves two purposes, i.e., a small interaction for learning and updating on developments taking place in each other’s personal fronts and not professional. Something, probably an individual of present time may call wastage of time as it never provides RoI (as per them) or does not result in rupee, paisa, taka, dollar, franc, euro, pound or any currency for that matter.

Somehow during interactions the deliberations took a turn towards emerging countries and the type and size of markets they happen to be, and we somehow shifted to the concept of ‘BOTTOM OF PYRAMID’, which happened to be a concept developed by a thinker, who could be easily located as strategic advisor to people at TOP OF PYRAMID.

It was not easy for me to believe, when after a couple of days, i.e., on Friday (April 16, 2010), I learned that a great administrative thinker and philosopher lost his battle of life to his Lung Disease in California, USA, just at age of 68. I agreed to his philosophy or not is not a thing to be discussed at this moment.

What mattered to me was the way he viewed the things, events and future when seeing it with business goggles on.

I always appreciated him for his courage; which  I term as “Affording Luxury and Adventure to think, without any fear of having to pay any price for it, and also without any fear of society and rational individuals.”

I always found myself to be much behind to him when it came to fearlessness of society and its norms, his courage to say what he felt as needed, the style of thinking that, which I call as “Latro – Analytical thought process”,   and his uncanny knack of looking deep in embryo of time, which people have permanently christened ‘future’; till it’s not born.

I was a fan of him due to reasons of sharing a common beliefs, that what I in my terms call as “India is tomorrow of everyone’s today”. The late CKP used to call it as “Laboratory of Innovations”.

The void that has been created, due to him quitting the job, I doubt can be filled by cost or sacrifice. CKP was the first person, who made world believe in the innovativeness of Indian Companies, and future dominance of the same in global commerce too.

I will just say that I would always be missing this Administrative thinker, philosopher and visionary who envisioned India @75 and emphasized on it during his talks.


Always Yours  —-  As usual —  Saurabh Singh

War amongst two Organs of same Body: Did Somebody Say Cannibalization: Is it Suicidal?

Market regulator SEBI has barred 14 private life insurance companies from selling unit-linked insurance plans without its approval, giving a fresh twist to the turf war between SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA.

“We expect some companies to move the court” said the CEO of a life company. “It is unfortunate that this dispute has been allowed to reach this stage. It is time for the finance ministry to intervene” he added.

In an order signed by Prashant Sharn, wholetime director, SEBI, said, “I hereby direct the entities mentioned in this order not to issue any offer document, advertisement, brochure soliciting money from investors or raise money from investors by way of new and/or additional subscription for any product (including ULIPSs) having an investment component in the nature of mutual funds, till they obtain the requisite certificate of registration from SEBI.”

The 14 companies mentioned in this order include Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

A few months back, SEBI had questioned individual life companies why they were selling investment products without its approval. Companies had responded individually that insurance laws permit them to offer an investment component within a life insurance policy. They also said that they were regulated by SEBI who had cleared all these products. The life companies were supported by the market regulator, who reiterated the stand taken by life companies.

In its final order SEBI said, “I find that the entities by their own admission have stated that there are two components of ULIPSs – an insurance component where the risk on the life insurance portion vests with the insurer and the investment component where the risk lies with the investor. This establishes conclusively that ULIPSs are a combination product and the investment component need to be registered with and regulated by SEBI”

SEBI’s order has implications not only for the life insurance companies but also for their promoters who have sunk in over Rs 26,000 crore in the form paid up capital. According to analyst reports, a significant portion of the value of various companies including, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Nuvo, SBI Life and Bajaj Fin serve. Most of the business written by these companies is through ULIPSs. If these companies are barred from selling ULIPSs, their valuations are likely to be hit.

Atul Surana , Certified Financial Planner and MD of Catalyst Financial Planning, says, “Anybody will understand one clear partial stand of SEBI which has not included LIC’s name in the list of life insurance companies selling ULIPSs. Secondly, this sounds much like a war between IRDA and SEBI who are bent on proving their authorities. These two regulators could have sorted out the issue on regulatory process first and then issued the order!”

So far as the order’s negative implications are concerned, experts say that while they broadly agree with the concerns of the regulator, it is also important to look at some possible negative implications of this move.

For instance, this process of another regulatory approval might take away the sheen from these products. Insurance companies may not be inclined.  The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s latest order on ULIPSs is expected to have far-reaching implications for the concerned life insurance companies as well as investors. SEBI has issued a directive to all private life insurance companies not to issue any offer document or advertisement soliciting money from investors for a ULIPS or any product having an investment part in the nature of mutual funds, till they approve of the same.

This directive is the latest in a series of initiatives taken by the market regulator to put an end to all unfair market practices and make the process of investments simple, fair and cost efficient for an investor. While the immediate fallout will be negative for all the 14 private life insurance companies as ULIPSs form a major part of the new business written by these companies in the recent past, yet some financial experts feel that this is a welcome step as it puts an end to the unfair practice of pushing life insurance policies as investment products to gullible investors.

“In the current market practice investors end up paying very high charges for the investment part of these policies and are usually not aware of the expenses they are paying. This is because unlike a normal share or mutual fund investment there are usually a myriad of charges in a ULIPS product hidden behind numerous provisions and clauses which are sometimes not easy to comprehend even by insurance professionals,” says Ashish Kapur, CEO, Invest Shoppe India Ltd, adding, “hence common investors have very little chance of ever getting an accurate picture of the costs they are incurring on these insurance and investment combination products.”

Still all is not well with the SEBI order as it is believed to have some partiality besides having some negative implications to offer these products if the regulations are very tough and costly to comply with.

FRIENDLY FIRE: EXPECTED NUMBER OF CASUALTIES

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 upto February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

IRDA IS FIRST TO BLOW CONCH – DIN’T YOU HEAR THE WAR CRY

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.


“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 up to February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

POLICE DECIDES TO TURN SPECTOR

The finance ministry today kept a safe distance from the ongoing row between market regulator SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA over ULIPs, saying the two regulators have to resolve the issue.

“It’s a matter between regulators; so they have to decide,” finance secretary Ashok Chawla told when sought his comments on yesterday’s SEBI decision to ban 14 life insurers from raising any more money from the unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) in which a portion of the premium amount is invested in stock markets, a move opposed by the insurance regulator.

The SEBI decision was taken after the market regulator had sent notices to these companies asking them as to explain why they did not take its permission to launch these schemes.

Insurance regulator IRDA is understood to have stated in its reply that regulation of ULIPs by IRDA is well-laid down and that it does not agree with SEBI contention that insurers need a certificate of registration from the market regulator for dealing in ULIPs.

The issue was also taken up at the meeting of the inter-regulatory body, the High Level Coordination Committee (HLCC). It was decided at the meeting that the two regulators should settle the issue between themselves.

Chawla said the SEBI and IRDA have not so far been able to come to any resolution. “So, SEBI has taken a legal process. He was going to be silent spectator to see the fire power of both Regulators.

 

Always Yours   — As Usual — Saurabh Singh, India

[Thanks are expressed for too many peple]

President Obama Slipped But not Much

President Obama’s ratings on foreign policy have slipped, but not as much as in other areas

Foreign and Military Policy

Leery from the start about President Barack Obama’s military and foreign-policy experience, Americans still retain some of that skepticism about their president as the nation’s commander in chief one year into his term.

Yet after a year of bruising economic problems and domestic-policy debates, foreign policy actually has emerged as an area of comparative strength for Mr. Obama. By a 50%-to-37% margin, those surveyed in the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll give him a positive rating for his handling of foreign policy, higher than his overall job rating and his rating for handling the economy.

Moreover, the 13-point positive differential between the share who approve and the share who disapprove of his handling of foreign policy is the most positive reading in his job appraisal. By contrast, he enjoys just a five-point positive differential on his overall job approval and a six-point negative gap between approval and disapproval on his handling of the economy.

Safety a Priority

Perhaps because of the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner, national security is climbing Americans’ priority list. In the new survey, national security and terrorism jumped to second on the list of voters’ concerns, with 17% citing that area as a top priority for the government, behind only job creation and economic growth. In the summer, only 11% called national security a top priority, behind job creation, the deficit and government spending and health care.

Some 56% now say they are either very or fairly worried that the U.S. will experience another major terrorist attack, up from 42% in October.

Views of Mr. Obama’s handling of terrorism are split down the middle, with 45% approving of his handling, essentially even with the 44% who disapprove.

In addition to new terror scares, Mr. Obama’s first year in office has seen the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq and the commitment of tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan, both issues central to candidate Obama’s foreign-policy promises. Mr. Obama also won the Nobel Peace Prize and engaged in international travel designed explicitly to raise the nation’s popularity in the world.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod divided Mr. Obama’s first-year mission into three parts: stabilizing the economy; securing the president’s domestic priorities, which he believes will strengthen the nation’s economic future; and restoring U.S. standing in the world, along with international cooperation on issues from terrorism to Afghanistan.

Of those three, the foreign-policy component has been arguably the most successful, Mr. Alexrod maintained.

“It’s been a very productive year in terms of foreign policy,” Mr. Axelrod said in an interview.

Sharp Divisions

Still, in one critical area of foreign policy—as commander in chief of the armed forces—Americans rate the young president lower than they rate him as a person and an overall leader.

As Mr. Obama campaigned for president, he struggled to portray himself as the leader of the military. Running against a Vietnam war hero, Sen. John McCain, candidate Obama convinced only a third of Americans that he would be a good commander in chief in June 2008.

That figure soared amid the optimism that greeted his inauguration, when 55% said he would be a good or very good commander in chief.

After a year in the White House, Mr. Obama readings have dipped somewhat. Now, 49% give him a good rating as the commander in chief—compared with 72% who felt positively about the First Family, 64% who felt good about the president as a person and 54% who felt positively about Mr. Obama as a leader.

Gender, racial and ethnic backgrounds shaped opinions sharply. Only 42% of men felt positively about Mr. Obama as commander in chief, 38% of whites and 39% of those from small-town or rural areas. In contrast, 86% of African-Americans and 59% of Hispanics gave him positive mark

The Monograph “Global Trade in Herbal Medicines” is now available at amazon.com

This is just for sharing with my loving and learned audiences audiences the The Book which is also termed Technical Monograph authored by me, i.e. Saurabh Singh is now available at http://www.amazon.com for sales online. You can see and search by putting my name in author search or book title or related keywords search at http://www.amazon.com – the same bears a price tag of Euro 59/ US $ 85. Due to your wishes I would be having another book too on amazon but this time it would be related to Economy, Stock Markets, Macro Economic Variables and related. This one is being Co – authored with another gentleman but not from the workplace I am posted.

The Cover Page View of Book at Amazon URL: http://amazon.com

The Book by Author Name at Amazon – the World’s Largest Online Book Seller

Share your comments on it. I am uploading a few pictures of the amazon portal to let you have a glimpse of the page.

——————–Alway’s Yours as Usual —- Saurabh Singh, Pantnagar, INDIA

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