Higher education in India gets a Rs 8,000 crore boost

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion. Photo: HT

New Delhi: To increase investment in higher educational institutions, the Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) by expanding its capital base to Rs 10,000 crore and tasking it to mobilise Rs 1 trillion by 2022.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government wants to increase investments in higher education, for which an announcement was made in the last budget and HEFA was established.

“At that time its authorised capital was Rs 2,000 crore and now it has been increased to Rs 10,000 crore,” Prasad said, adding that earlier central government universities and other new varsities didn’t get advantage of HEFA but in today’s cabinet meeting, it was decided that they can utilise this fund.

In his Union Budget 2018, the then finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced a new initiative of the government—‘‘Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE)”—to step up investments in research and related infrastructure in premier educational institutions, including health institutions. HEFA, a joint venture company of Canara Bank and Ministry of Human Resource Development which provides financial assistance for creation of educational infrastructure and R&D in India’s premier higher educational Institutions, was tasked to fund this initiative.

Government’s estimated schematic budgetary expenditure on health, education and social protection for 2018-19 is Rs 1.38 trillion against estimated expenditure of Rs 1.22 trillion in 2017-18.

[“Source-livemint”]

TeamLease acquires 40% stake in Schoolguru for Rs13 crore

The purchase of additional stake by TeamLease is linked to Schoolguru’s future performance and meeting its milestones.

The purchase of additional stake by TeamLease is linked to Schoolguru’s future performance and meeting its milestones.

New Delhi: Staffing services firm TeamLease Services on Wednesday said it has acquired 40% stake in online learning company Schoolguru Eduserve Pvt Ltd for Rs13.53 crore, a move that will accelerate TeamLease’s employability strategy.

Both the companies have signed a definitive agreement to this effect. “TeamLease’s infusion of Rs13.53 crore into the company (Schoolguru) will be primarily used to expand its business into new geographies, strengthen existing technology and content library, and innovate in new forms of delivery,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

The transaction involves purchase of both primary as well as secondary shares of the company through a structured deal. The purchase of additional stake by TeamLease is linked to the company’s future performance and meeting its milestones, it added.

“We began talks to be a customer for TeamLease Skills University but quickly realised that with some investments Schoolguru could emerge as important platform to accelerate our employability strategy,” TeamLease Services Managing Director Ashok Reddy said.

The transaction will be subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close before the end of November 2017. Schoolguru will continue to operate as a separate and independent entity.

“This partnership with TeamLease helps us in two ways; one is pursuing our vision of technology enabled employable education and second is creating new forms of blended learning that combine our platform with on-thejob-learning,” Schoolguru CEO Shantanu Rooj said.

Schoolguru was founded in 2012 by Shantanu Rooj, Ravi Rangan and Anil Bhat. The company partners 18 Indian universities to help them provide premium online and virtual courses for their students. It services 70,000 students. The company has a library of 45 undergraduate courses and 30 masters courses with a total of over 5,00,000 minutes of video content.

[“Source-livemint”]

Norms Eased In Cheque Dishonour Cases Of Rs 1 Crore And Above

Norms Eased In Cheque Dishonour Cases Of Rs 1 Crore And Above
Mumbai: Relaxing cheque book norms, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday left it to the lender’s discretion on whether to issue fresh cheque books or not in cases of dishonour of Rs 1 crore and above.

As per the existing directive, banks are not allowed to issue fresh cheque books in the event of cheque dishonor valuing Rs 1 crore and above on four occasions during a financial year for want of sufficient funds.

Also, in such cases the bank may consider closing the current account at its discretion.

x

The RBI said it has reviewed these instructions and it will be now up to the discretion of banks how to respond in such cases.

“Banks should put in place an appropriate policy approved by the board or its committee taking into consideration the need to prevent misuse of cheque drawing facility and avoid penalising customers for unintended dishonour of cheques,” the RBI said in a notification.

The RBI also asked the banks to make this policy transparent and bring it to the knowledge of the customers.

Rs. 1.23 Lakh Crore Of Income Tax Refund Pending: Government

Rs 1.23 Lakh Crore Of Income Tax Refund Pending: Government
New Delhi: Refund claims worth Rs. 1.23 lakh crore are pending with the Income Tax Department as on March 31, the government on Friday said.

“As on March 31, 2016, refund claims of above Rs. 10 lakh are pending only in 57,783 cases for various assessment years, involving a total amount of Rs. 1,23,335 crore,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Out of this, he said refunds of Rs. 97,825 crore are pending due to proceedings for scrutiny assessment. Some claims of refunds of large amounts are pending with the department for various statutory and administrative reasons, he said.

x

With a view to providing relief to small taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has authorised the Centralised Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru, and the assessing officers to issue refunds up to Rs. 5,000 and refunds in cases where outstanding arrear is up to Rs.5,000 expeditiously without any adjustment of outstanding demands, he said.

“During the current year, till August 1, refunds of up to Rs. 5,000 have already been issued in 11,91,598 cases involving a total amount of Rs. 244 crore,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)