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View: How the government can truly make India’s state-run banks efficient just like their private sector peers

View: How the government can truly make India’s state-run banks efficient just like their private sector peers

Finance
Budget 2021 has finally made long-awaited policy pronouncements of a reformist nature in the banking and financial sector. Governments are prone to make announcements that catch headlines, but soon fade away with only half-hearted implementation. One says this with the hindsight of the declaration of divestment of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) in 2015 and later of Air India. But genuine enthusiasm arises from the fact that after declaring that GoI would privatise public sector banks (PSBs), set up an asset reconstruction company (ARC) and establish a development finance institution (DFI) among others, the administration has started to take steps to implement these. It is encouraging that the finance ministry has already sought timelines from ministries on getting the deci...
Study: Children who use touchscreens more easily distracted than peers

Study: Children who use touchscreens more easily distracted than peers

Health
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Young children who use touchscreens extensively are more easily distracted than peers who engage less with the technology, a study published Tuesday by Scientific Reports found. Children aged 12 months, 18 months and 42 months whose parents reported high touchscreen use at home were more quick to look at new objects in their field of vision while engaged in computer tasks than their peers who used touchscreens less or not at all, the researchers said. Advertisement Similarly, these children were less able to ignore distractions during experiments than others, according to the researchers. "The use of smartphones and tablets by babies and toddlers has accelerated rapidly in recent years," study co-author Tim Smith said in a statement. "The first few years of life are crit...
Orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than their peers with living moms

Orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than their peers with living moms

Science
Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The benefits of the nurturing presence of a mom, beyond simply a source of food, are well documented among humans. Time spent with mom is associated with cognitive, social and emotional development. The benefits moms offer juvenile chimpanzees, after they've weaned, are less well understood, but a new study, published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology, suggests orphaned chimps develop less muscle mass than chimps with living mothers. "We assessed the muscle mass of 70 offspring from 41 mothers by means of urinary creatinine concentrations, a by-product of metabolic activity in muscles," Tobias Deschner, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said in a news release. The analysis showed, unsurprisingly, that muscle mas...
Larger public sector banks may acquire smaller peers

Larger public sector banks may acquire smaller peers

Finance
NEW DELHI: The government has resumed discussions on public sector bank consolidation with some of the "larger and stronger" players such as Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank and Union Bank of India seen as potential candidates with which the smaller ones can be merged. Sources said that lenders such as IDBI Bank and Dena Bank are among those on the radar for a possible merger with some of the discussions in the banks having already started. "There are various options that are being explored but nothing has been finalised so far," said an official source, who did not wish to be identified. While the Narendra Modi government has been discussing the possibility of consolidation, it has failed to move beyond the merger of State Bank of India's (SBI's) associate banks with the parent. In addi...