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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Incofin floats ProPulse Fund to back microfinance cos, targets institutions

Source: VCCircle

Incofin has backed microfinance firms such as Annapurna, Fusion and Grameen Koota in India.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Manila Is Building Out A 100,000-Strong Network Of Electric Trikes

Source: Fast CoExist

Giving the city's three-wheeled taxi network an electric upgrade.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

India's battle against unneeded medical care finds World Bank support

Source: Reuters

India needs to curtail excessive medical care that leads to patient overspending as more people get health insurance, the World Bank said on Thursday, adding voice to a growing chorus against overtreatment in the country.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

How 500 Startups-backed SocialCops gets to the bottom of the pyramid with big data

Source: Tech in Asia

India, like most developing countries, struggles to bridge the gulf between authorities and the common man. Even the best of intentions come to naught when the benefits of welfare schemes don’t reach the people who need them the most — and those in high places can’t seem to figure out why.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts by August 15, 2018

Source: Economic Times India

The NDA government has drafted a new financial inclusion plan that aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts in rural and urban areas and extend financial services to all citizens by August 15, 2018.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India survey finds 47 percent of banking agents 'untraceable'

Source: The Financial Express

The success of the government’s thrust on financial inclusion, which largely hinges on the role played by business correspondents (BCs), is faced with a harsh reality check.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile wallet a distant dream in India

Source: Times of India

Despite a huge unbanked population and 700 million cellphone connections, the concept of mobile wallet will take some time to become popular in India as people are still unaware of its larger benefits like financial inclusion, even as the standards to make it functional are yet to be in place, experts maintain.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — South Asia

Taking financial inclusion beyond bank accounts in India

Source: The Financial Express

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the grand financial inclusion plan last week, which he is going to unveil on August 15.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — South Asia

Smartphones, apps reshaping the health sector

Source: Times of India

WASHINGTON: Your smartphone is not only your best friend, it's also become your personal trainer, coach, medical lab and maybe even your doctor.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — South Asia

Payment banks to be new revenue stream for India’s telcos

Source: Business Standard

Analysts expect all telcos to join the race; a liberal policy could boost revenues by 7-8% for the sector
Friday, July 25, 2014 — South Asia

Challenges lying ahead for impact investing

Source: Economic Times India

Having started as an impetus for microfinance nearly a decade ago, impact investing today influences a wide array of sectors and supports innovative business models.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — South Asia

From food aid to nutritious, locally produced food: A look at fortifying flour in Ethiopia

Source: Devex

Right now in Ethiopia, nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are stunted and anemic.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Lax antibiotic controls raise fears of killer disease

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: A pharmacist swiftly pulls white boxes of powerful antibiotics from neatly stacked shelves behind him, and hands them over the counter without asking for a doctor's prescription.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

CAMTech India's “Jugaad-a-thon” spurs promising innovations for maternal and child health

Source: Pharma Biz

CAMTech India along with Glocal Healthcare and GE Healthcare organised ‘Jugaad-a-thon’, an event to test creativity in medical design which brought to the table 34 new solutions ranging from new tools for antenatal care to disruptive technologies for newborn asphyxia.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

The Promise of 100% and Finding Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: Forbes

“100%, yes I am telling you…100%. The deal is ours. 100%!”
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank to provide $18 bn aid to India in three years

Source: Odisha Sun Times

The World Bank Wednesday said it will provide financial support of $15-18 billion to India over the next three years to help accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Chinese microcredit firms lend around USD $10 billion in first half of 2014

Source: Global Post

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Microcredit companies in China issued 61.8 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) of new loans in the first half of 2014, industry figures showed on Wednesday.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Social business shows way of development in Myanmar

Source: The Daily Star

Yunus discusses his concept with top ministers of Southeast Asian nation
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion within the Next Few Years?

Source: Huffington Post

The new Government of India has made financial inclusion one of the corner stones in its modernization aspirations for the country.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

iClinic Healthcare looks to raise Rs 25 cr to fund expansion

Source: Business Standard

Online healthcare provider iClinic Healthcare is in talks with investors to raise Rs 25 crore to fund its expansion in India.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

India's new government vows clampdown on healthcare graft

Source: Reuters

India's health minister called for tougher laws on Tuesday after a media report alleged that laboratories had offered kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to their diagnostic centres.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

A new kind of no-frills bank could kickstart India’s long-awaited mobile money revolution

Source: Quartz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is one of the few institutions Indians respect (paywall). India’s central bank is known for being clean, sensible, and well-run. It is also extremely cautious
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

The BRICS new development bank: A historic game-changer?

Source: Eurasia Review

Following two years of intense negotiations, the BRICS leaders agreed on 15 July 2014 in Fortaleza (Brazil) to launch the New Development Bank (NDB).
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Price caps on drugs hurt Indian units of global pharma firms

Source: Livemint

Widening of price controls adds pressure on the local units of global manufacturers to boost sales volumes
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India PM Modi to unveil comprehensive financial inclusion schemes on Aug. 15 - here’s a sneak peek

Source: FirstBiz

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to give a big boost to the ongoing financial inclusion drive by unveiling a comprehensive programme, to be announced at the Red Fort in his address to the nation on the Independence Day.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform

Source: MicroCapital

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform, Including to Boost Financial Inclusion
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Arun Jaitley says India needs to create productive environment for investors

Source: Business Standard

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, said here on Saturday thatIndia needs to create such a productive environment for investors, that makes them feel that doing business in India is profitable.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Norms on small banks fail to impress micro lenders

Source: Business Standard

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) draft guidelines for licensing of small banks has failed to impress microfinance companies.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's youngest bank Bandhan to empower women, rural folk

Source: Business Standard

Innovative microfinance company Bandhan will operate as a bank from October next year and focus on empowering women and rural people, says its chairman and managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Drug price cut of vital medicines a global phenomenon

Source: Economic Times India

MUMBAI: It is not the Indian regulator who is the only one after drug companies to cut prices. Across the world, pharmaceutical companies are coming under pressure to reduce prices as concerns over growing healthcare costs force governments to target drug makers.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — South Asia

India misses key health targets, but shows improvement

Source: Business Standard

India is lagging considerably behind its key human development index targets, including population control, infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MFR), according to figures given by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha today.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

Lessons from India for Africa’s healthcare entrepreneurs

Source: HowWeMadeItInAfrica

Access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare services is a big challenge in many African countries. There are few public hospitals in most areas and those available are often under-staffed, under-funded and lack basic facilities. Low-income earners and people residing in rural areas face even greater difficulties accessing the most basic care.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

RBI spells out draft norms to set up payments banks, small banks in India

Source: FirstBiz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday spelled out draft norms to set up payments banks and small banks in India that will give a major push for financial inclusion, or the process of spreading banking services in the un-banked segments, in Asia’s third largest economy.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government to set up credit guarantee fund to support Rs 40,000-crore Financial Inclusion Mission

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The government will set up a credit guarantee fund to support its over Rs 40,000-crore new Financial Inclusion Mission, which envisages to give a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility to around 8 crore new account holders.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — South Asia

Rollout strategy is key to battling India's TB epidemic, researchers find

Source: EurekAlert!

A new study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests that getting patients in India quickly evaluated by the right doctors can be just as effective at curbing tuberculosis (TB) as a new, highly accurate screening test.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Five reasons why Modi government’s grand financial inclusion plan won’t work

Source: FirstBiz

The Modi-government has somewhat bought the idea of universal bank accounts, something first proposed by the Nachiket Mor panel in January, 2014. The plan will finally come up with a little bit of 'Modi'-fication. Instead of one full service bank account for every adult citizen by January 2016—the idea proposed by the Mor panel—the government plans to offer two bank account for every household within the next year.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — South Asia

Medanta-The Medicity: World class health care, with a soul

Source: Forbes India

Dr Naresh Trehan's vision for his latest venture is to emulate the best-in-class health care facilities in the world
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — South Asia

IBM signes deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firm Janalakshmi Financial Services

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: International Business Machines (IBM) has signed a deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firmJanalakshmi Financial Services, according to people familiar with the discussions. IBM's consulting division, along with its Institute of Business Value, is leading the engagement, a person familiar with the transaction said.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — South Asia

BlackBerry Up on Plans for New Healthcare Platform in India

Source: Zacks.com

Finally, things are shaping up well for Canadian handset manufacturer BlackBerry Limited. According to a report in Economic Times, Blackberry is planning to introduce a novel service platform designed to cater to the needs of the health care sector.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — South Asia

Hewlett-Packard eyes Indonesia’s SMEs, public sector

Source: Jakarta Post

US-based information and communication technology (ICT) company Hewlett-Packard (HP) is targeting customers from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the public sector in Indonesia, considering these market segments to be the nation’s most robust.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Setting a High Bar for Poverty in India

Source: The New York Times

NEW DELHI — It is not uncommon for Indians to stand in a line to receive alms from a politician as he gives away clothes, pots and laptops that would make Apple laugh. This is a custom that has survived from a time when the theater of charity was enough to make the poor feel grateful. But they have since come to regard such alms as political buffoonery and now expect substantial assistance from the government.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Building Resilient Communities in the Philippines, Together

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Central Philippines, displacing entire communities in its path. The catastrophic destruction drew a tremendous outpouring of support from around the world, and immediate relief efforts ensued.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Social entrepreneur incubator launched in Taiwan

Source: Taiwan Today

A social entrepreneur incubation platform based on the U.K.’s UnLtd model was launched July 1 in Taiwan, according to program operator Social Enterprise Insights.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Rises Across the Globe

Source: eWEEK

Emerging countries such as China, India and Bangladesh witnessed significant growth in the past 12 months, the Juniper study found.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: India’s Sex-Ed Controversy

Source: The New York Times

India’s health minister, Harsh Vardhan, is on the defensive after he questioned the focus on condom use in the fight against the spread of H.I.V. Late last month, Dr. Vardhan, who is a surgeon by profession, defended a call on his website to ban sex education.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Bank accounts for all won’t bring financial inclusion to India

Source: First Post India

Financial inclusion, the buzzword that Manmohan Singh government used quite freely during his term in office, is likely to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lexicon as well. But the question is, how will he implement it?
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — South Asia

Impact Investing in India: Poised to Grow?

Source: CFA Institute

Impact investments are expected to increase globally this year, with South Asia and Southeast Asia among the top target regions, according to a recent survey by JPMorgan and Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). This could bode well, in particular, for India’s nascent impact investment sector, which is one of the most active in the region.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — South Asia

Adarsh Credit Co-op Reaches India's Rural Poor With Mobile Tech

Source: Forbes

Mobile phones are a key way to expand financial inclusion to rural areas across emerging markets, as M-Pesa has demonstrated in Kenya. In India, Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society reaches one million members through 800 branches and more than 100,000 financial advisors who travel through villages taking deposits or disbursing money by linking to the bank through their mobile phones.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — South Asia

Rural education firm Hippocampus raises $2.4M from ADB, Unitus, Khosla Impact

Source: VCCircle

Hippocampus operates 128 learning centres in Karnataka with a student base of over 7,500.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile money and digitized payments have few takers in India

Source: LiveMint

Lack of awareness and difficult access are the main hurdles
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — South Asia

Indonesia Receives Us$500 Million from World Bank in Support of Financial Sector Reform Policies

Source: Insurance News

WASHINGTON, July 1 -- World Bank issued the following news release: The World Bank'sBoard of Executive Directors approved today a US$500 millionFinancial Sector Reform and Modernization Development Policy Loan for the Government of Indonesia. The loan supports Indonesia's policies aimed at reinforcing the stability of the financial system, diversifying the financial sector, and expanding financial inclusion to reach the poor and other underserved groups.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — South Asia

Impact investor money chasing very few investible companies in India

Source: Business Today

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