No plans to introduce 5,000 and 10,000 rupee notes: Govt

No plans to introduce 5,000 and 10,000 rupee notes: Govt

NEW DELHI: The government on Friday said it has no plans to come out with Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 banknotes.”The matter was examined in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India and it has not been fund suitable to introduce of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 note,” minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwalsaid in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He replied in negative when asked whether the government proposes to introduce Rs 5,000/10,000 denomination notes with a view to reduce the expenditure on printing of notes in future.

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The government had recently introduced Rs 2,000 note along with a new Rs 500 note following the demonetisation which scrapped 86 per cent of the currency in circulation on November 8.

 Economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das had last month said that the government has no plans to re-introduce 1,000 rupee notes.

source”times of india”

HIV, hepatitis combo drug norms eased

HIV, hepatitis combo drug norms eased
HIV, hepatitis combo drug norms eased
Aiming to make new combination drugs for patients with HIV or Hepatitis B & C available to them at the earliest, the government has decided to waive some regulatory processes to fast track approvals.

In a new order, the country’s top drug regulator said companies manufacturing combination drugs for HIV and Hepatitis B & C can seek early approval with a WHO recommendation, even if internationally the medicines are not approved as a combination but only individually .

“Many of these combination products, recommended in WHO guidelines for concomitant use, may not have been approved internationally in combination but may have been approved individually . However, given the risk-benefit and recommendations by WHO, the requirement of generated data may be waived based on the fact that the product has been recommended for concomitant use by WHO,” the notice by G N Singh, the drugs controller general of India said.

The move is expected to benefit many of the over 21 lakh people estimated to be living with HIV in India. Moreover, viral hepatitis has also been recognized as a serious public health problem in India by WHO, with a total of over 52 million people infected with chronic hepatitis in the country.

 The regulator has also allowed leeway to manufacturers to conduct clinical trials or bio-equivalence studies in India.
 The new norms allow companies to apply for such studies and product approvals simultaneously , whereas usually firms have to submit trial data first. In some cases, the regulator has suggested waiving clinical trials for urgent use. “Clinical trial waiver for such products recommended by WHO for concomitant use may be given, as being falling under the category of extreme urgency and under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules,” it said.
2% price rise likely for essential medicines.
 Prices of all essential medicines are likely to go up by nearly 2% from April 1. NPPA has asked companies to submit documents to avail the annual price hike based on wholesale price index (WPI). Under Drugs Price Control Order, the regulator revises prices annually based on the changes in WPI.
source”times of india”

Realty Sentiment Hits 3-Yr Low In December Quarter On Note Ban

Realty Sentiment Hits 3-Yr Low In December Quarter On Note Ban: Report

New Delhi: The real estate sentiment fell to a three-year low in the October-December period, indicating pessimism among developers and financial institutions which reeled under the demonetisation pressure, says a report.

However, property consultant Knight Frank India and industry body FICCI said in a joint report that developers, banks and private equity investors are optimistic that market situation would improve in the next six months.

“The demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 was the most sweeping change in recent history, which was a rude awakening for the Indian economy with the real estate sector being at the receiving end of this move,” the Knight Frank-FICCI joint report said.
Hit by demonetisation, total housing sales of the top eight cities fell by 40 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 as against the previous three-month period.

“Consequent to the major disruption during Q4 2016, the current sentiment score has seen a drastic fall to below the threshold mark of 50 to become the worst quarter in the last three years. This implies that stakeholders’ sentiments pertaining to Q4 2016 is pessimistic,” the report said.

The real estate sentiment index, based on a quarterly survey of key supply-side stakeholders, including developers, private equity funds, banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs), fell to 41 from 58 in the previous quarter.

“The respondents are of the opinion that the situation during the last quarter of 2016 was significantly worse compared to six months prior, reflecting the short-term adverse impact of demonetisation on the Indian real estate,” the report said.

However, the respondents welcomed the government’s steps to bring transparency into the sector through demonetisation move and the new real estate law as well as the Union Budget’s focus on making home purchases affordable.

“The future sentiment score of 62 is a good indicator of the robust optimism portended by the stakeholders for the real estate sector in the coming six months.

“The demonetisation move did infuse a high degree of uncertainty and confusion in the market but this impact seems to be transient in nature and the mid-to-long term impact is expected to be positive,” the report said.

Although the residential sector is going through a difficult phase, the stakeholders are quite optimistic for the future, especially with regards to sales volume.

“59 per cent of the stakeholders believe that residential sales will improve in the coming six months, as against only 12 per cent that believe to the contrary,” the report said.

“45 per cent of the respondents expect prices to remain stagnant while 26 per cent expect a downward pressure on price appreciation, during the same period,” it added.


Insider’s guide to… Asiatic Society Library

Asiatic Society Library

The lighting inside the Town Hall is perfect for a Jane Austen-esque ball(Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

When we first visited the Town Hall and Asiatic Society Library, at Horniman Circle, in 2011, there was a pile of newspapers stacked on a stage-like structure at one end of the reading hall. Newspapers as old as the Bombay Chronicle (1910 to 1959) with headlines about Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were carelessly strewn about. The hall was crowded with metal shelves, with dust-covered books. The library and the reading hall were dingy, with flickering tube lights.

Cut to March 2017. The shelves have been replaced with a series of tables and cane chairs. Cast iron columns with golden scaffolding at the top demarcate the foyer. Brass chandeliers with candle-shaped bulbs hang from the ceiling. The lighting is perfect for a Jane Austen-esque ball. “Without the bookshelves, one can actually see how big the hall is. Also, the weight of the books was damaging the wooden floors, and that made restoration necessary,” says Kruti Garg, an architect who worked on the restoration.

Completed in 1833, the Town Hall was the cultural centre of the fortified city of Bombay. The stage was used for official announcements and live performances for the British officers residing here at the time. The North wing of the structure was used as a library since its completion, and is run by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai (a literary society founded in 1804), and is open only to members. The South wing is used by the State Central Library, an open-to-all library.

The Asiatic Library and Town Hall, Fort (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Neo-classical: The Asiatic Library and Town Hall are the earliest example of neo-classical architecture in Mumbai. The style is characterised by iron pillars, a triangular roof on the facade, white paint, and a false ceiling in the main foyer. The architecture style was a revival of ancient Greek and Roman structures that are known for its elegance.

The inside the Town Hall are made of cast iron (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Imported iron: The inside the Town Hall are made of cast iron imported from England in the late 1820s. The flooring and the bookshelves inside the Asiatic Library section were built using Burma teak shipped from Myanmar.

A former governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Statues inside: In 1856, the then governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone, announced that the administration and control of the Bombay presidency was being passed from the East India Company to The Crown from the steps leading to the Town Hall. This was done as a result of the 1857 revolt, considered as a failure on EIC’s part. The Crown stepped in to maintain law and order. Elphinstone’s statue overlooks the reading hall.

The Asiatic Library houses close to 3.5 lakh books (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Ancient artefacts: The Asiatic Library houses close to 3.5lakh books. The highlights include the original manuscript of Dante’s 14th century poem, Divine Comedy, a 16th century Sanskrit manuscript of the Mahabharata, and coins issued by Shivaji. The digital versions of the manuscripts are online at

The structure houses three skylights, one each in the North and South wings, and one in the main foyer (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

Built before electricity: Since the structure was built before electricity had come to the Indian subcontinent, the Town Hall and library were built with skylights. The structure houses three skylights, one each in the North and South wings, and one in the main foyer.



Cholesterol Lowering Drugs May Put Older Women at Diabetes Risk

Older women, over 75, taking statins, which are cholesterol-lowering drugs, may be at 33 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study. The risk increased to over 50 per cent for women taking higher doses of statins, said researchers of the University of Queensland in Australia. Statins are prescribed to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes as well as reduce mortality. This study links its usage to the risk of diabetes, one of the most dangerous kinds of lifestyle diseases affecting millions across the globe.”The study showed that almost 50 per cent of women in their late seventies and eighties took statins, and five per cent were diagnosed with new-onset diabetes,” said Mark Jones from the University of Queensland.

“What’s most concerning was that we found a ‘dose effect’ where the risk of diabetes increased as the dosage of statins increased,” Jones added.

elderly 620

For the study, published in the journal Drugs and Ageing, the team included 8,372 Australian women born between 1921 and 1926. The results showed that elderly women should not be exposed to higher doses of statins. Elderly women currently taking statins should be carefully and regularly monitored for increased blood glucose to ensure early detection and appropriate management of this potential adverse effect, including consideration of de-prescribing, the researchers suggested.

“Those elderly women taking statins should be carefully and regularly monitored for increased blood glucose to ensure early detection and management of diabetes,” added Jones.


Hair-growth drugs may cause erectile dysfunction

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Hair-growth drugs may cause erectile dysfunctionMen who take drugs to treat hair loss or an enlarged prostate may experience erectile dysfunction, and the problem can persist long after they stop taking the medication, a new study has warned.

 Men with longer exposure to the drugs finasteride and dutasteride had a higher risk of getting persistent erectile dysfunction than those with less exposure, researchers from Northwestern University in the US said. The persistent erectile dysfunction continued despite stopping these drugs, in some cases for months or years.

Among young men, prolonged exposure to the drugs posed a greater risk of persistent erectile dysfunction (PED) than all other assessed risk factors.

 This means there is a stronger relationship between taking these drugs and having PED than having diabetes, hypertension or smoking, which are other risk factors. Erectile dysfunction is difficulty achieving and maintaining a sufficient erection to have sex. Persistent erectile dysfunction continued despite stopping the drug and continued despite taking sildenafil (Viagra) or similar drug.

China corporate debt levels excessively high, no quick fix: Central bank gov

A man looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Beijing, China, January 4, 2016.

China’s corporate debt levels are too high but it will take time to bring them down to more manageable levels, the head of the central bank said on Friday, underlining an uphill battle to put the world’s second-largest economy on a more sustainable footing.

Chinese leaders have pledged to contain debt and housing risks in 2017 after years of credit-fueled expansion, which has been propelled by the need to meet official economic growth targets.

But many analysts remain doubtful over the government’s commitment to follow through on potentially painful reforms, especially if growth falters.

“Non-financial corporate leverage is too high,” People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan told reporters at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual parliament session.

Efforts will be made to contain debt levels, including restructuring of firms with heavy debt burdens, alongside a push to reduce excess industrial capacity, he said.

Banks will withdraw support for financially unviable firms, he added, repeating pledges by other officials last year to drive such “zombie” firms out of the market.

“I personally think this process is relatively medium-term. It won’t have very obvious results in the short-term because the existing stock (of debt) is very large,” he said.

Measures by local governments to cool rising house prices will slow mortgage growth to some degree, but housing loans will continue to grow at a relatively rapid pace, Zhou said.

Amicable engagement

Zhou, 69, took control of the PBOC in 2002 and is the architect of China’s financial reforms.

Throughout the news conference, the jocular governor smiled and amicably engaging with the deputy governors beside him as well as the journalists. Unlike many government officials, Zhou did not refer to prepared material when responding to questions.

China’s corporate debt has soared to 169 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures from the Bank for International Settlements.

China needs to first stabilise its overall debt levels before gradually reducing them, deputy central bank governor Yi Gang said at the same briefing.

China’s debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 277 percent at the end of 2016 from 254 percent the previous year, with an increasing share of new credit being used to pay debt servicing costs, UBS analysts said in a note.

China’s credit growth has been “very fast” by global standards, and without a comprehensive strategy to tackle the overhang, there is a growing risk it will have a banking crisis or sharply slower growth or both, the International Monetary Fund warned late last year.

Prudent, neutral monetary policy

The central bank’s tilting towards a neutral stance would help with China’s supply-side reforms, Zhou said, reiterating that it would be “prudent” while reminding markets that the central bank has many policy tools at its disposal.

In recent months, the PBOC has cautiously moved to a modest tightening bias in a bid to cool explosive growth in debt and discourage speculative activity, though it is treading cautiously to avoid hurting economic growth.

It surprised financial markets by raising short-term interest rates in January and February by marginal amounts, and is expected to bump them higher in coming months, though an increase in its benchmark policy lending rate is seen as unlikely this year.

Beijing has set a more modest economic growth target of around 6.5 percent this year, easing from last year’s 6.5-7 percent range, ostensibly to give policymakers more room to focus on financial risks.

The economy ultimately expanded 6.7 percent last year, but much of the growth came from record lending by state banks and higher government spending on infrastructure, which has helped revived the long ailing and heavily indebted industrial sector.Bank lending this January was the second highest on record and it did not slow as much as expected in February.

“If there is too much money in the economy, in fact it is very harmful to the economy as it might lead to problems such as higher inflation and asset price bubbles,” Zhou said.

Yuan fluctuations are normal

Turning to the yuan currency, Zhou said market expectations of the yuan’s movements have shown “big changes” this year as China’s economy stabilizes.

Zhou said he expected the yuan to be basically stable this year, while conceding that some fluctuations are normal.

Despite repeated interventions by authorities last year, the yuan still fell 6.5 percent against the dollar.

It has steadied early this year as authorities moved to tighten controls on capital outflows and as the dollar’s rally lost steam.But it started to wilt again in recent sessions on growing expectations that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates as soon as next week, buoying the dollar.China burned through nearly $320 billion of reserves last year to shore up the yuan.In January, reserves fell below the closely watched $3 trillion level for the first time in nearly six years, but Zhou told reporters that markets should not overreact to such falls. The reserves unexpectedly rebounded above $3 trillion in February due to fund outflow curbs and a steadying yuan.Zhou also said that China will not deliberately seek to have its bonds included in global indexes used by investors.

China has opened its bond markets to foreigners in recent months as it tries to boost investment inflows to counter capital flight.


Every custom GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card revealed so far

Shocking: Zero Pollution and Clean Water May Increase Asthma Risk in Kids


Shocking: Zero Pollution and Clean Water May Increase Asthma Risk in KidsPollution has almost become a way of life, particularly in India. We are so used to it that we don’t think of it as a serious threat to our lives. The capital city New Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world, and the consequences of it are evident with cases of respiratory diseases going up rapidly over the years. It is a serious concern and we need to make a conscious effort to prevent its health risks. Perhaps packing our bags and heading to a hill top may prove to be ideal in such a situation, away from pollution. However, accordingly to a new study, zero pollution and clean water could actually do more harm to your kids. This is because you may deprive them of the good microbes that protect us against various illnesses.In a shocking revelation, Canadian researchers have found that children with access to clean drinking water may be at an increased risk of developing asthma in childhood than those who do not. They also suggested a link between the risk of asthma and a super clean environment (air).

“Those that had access to good, clean water had much higher asthma rates and we think it is because they were deprived of the beneficial microbes,” said Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada. “That was a surprise because we tend to think that clean is good but we realise that we actually need some dirt in the world to help protect you,” Finlay added.


The Study

The study also showed that while gut bacteria plays a role in preventing asthma, it was the presence of a microscopic fungus or yeast known as Pichia that was more strongly linked to the respiratory condition.

“Children with Pichia were much more at risk of asthma,” Finlay noted, adding “instead of helping to prevent asthma, its presence in those early days puts children at risk.”

The researcher said this while presenting the details at the 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston. The study may help in understanding the role of microscopic organisms in our overall health.


A 30-Minute Walk May Help Advanced Cancer Patients

A 30-Minute Walk May Help Advanced Cancer Patients

For good health, some amount of physical activity is imperative. Even something as basic as walking can help you in numerous ways. The hectic lives that we lead today, not all of us find the time to stay active or hit the gym. This is why sedentary lifestyle is now scarily becoming one of the leading causes of major diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, etc. Of course, one’s diet is another factor that plays a crucial role. But in you day-to-day life, if you want to start living healthy, step one is definitely to start walking, even if it is for 30 minutes.

Walking has various health benefits – from helping in blood circulation and pumping oxygen, to shedding those extra kilos and beautiful skin. According to a new research study, walking for at least 30 minutes thrice a week may help patients in advanced stages of cancer by boosting a positive attitude towards their illness and improve their quality of life.


Despite growing evidence of significant health benefits of exercise to cancer patients, physical activity commonly declines considerably during treatment and remains low afterwards. “Walking is a free and accessible form of physical activity, and patients reported that it made a real difference to their quality of life,” said lead researcher Jo Armes, a senior lecturer at London’s King’s College.

(Read: 6 Everyday Ayurvedic Herbs That May Protect You From the Risk of Cancer)

cancer 620x350

The study is a first step towards exploring how walking can help people living with advanced stages of cancer. The findings in the programme of group walk for cancer patients showed marked improvement both physically, emotionally and psychologically.


“The study shows that exercise is valued by, suitable for, and beneficial to people with advanced cancer,” said Emma Ream Professor at the University of Surrey in Britain.


Many participants noted that walking provided an improved positive attitude towards their illness and spoke of the social benefits of participating in group walks. It also increased their motivation to reduce weight by altering diet, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal BMJ Open.


For the study, the team included 42 cancer patients with advanced breast, prostate, gynaecological or haematological cancers. They measured patient outcome after assessing quality of life, activity, fatigue, mood and self-efficacy that were completed at baseline of six, 12 and 24 weeks.