Farm income to fall by 20-25%, irrigation may counter impact: Economic Survey

The Economic Survey on Monday said climate change could reduceannual farm income by up to 20-25% in “unirrigated” areas in the country and called for urgent expansion of irrigation networks as a crucialadaptation measure to ward off the challenges of extreme weather events.

Analysing a trend of rising temperature and declining rainfall during 1970-2015, the survey also noted that the impact could reduce farmers’ income across the country by 15-18% in the medium term with areas without irrigation facilities facing the brunt. Asking the government to take “radical follow-up action” to achieve its objective of addressing agricultural stress and doubling farmers’ income, the survey suggested use of new technologies and better targeting of power and fertiliser subsidies.

“Minimising susceptibility to climate change requires drastically extending irrigation via efficient drip and sprinkler technologies and replacing untargeted subsidies in power and fertiliser by direct income support,” said the survey. It also called for review of cereal-centric policy where the government has over the years been focussed more on production and productivity of food-grains. Thereview may shift the focus to horticulture and agro-forestry. Besides raising concerns around climate change, the survey also noted ‘feminisation’ of theagriculture sector because of growing migration of men from rural to urban areas and called for gender-specific interventions to support women.

Noting that the contribution of women to food production cannot be ignored for sustainable development of agriculture and rural economy, the survey called for an inclusive transformative policy that should aim at gender-specific interventions to raise productivity of small farm holdings,integrate women as active agents in rural transformation, and engage men and women in extension services with gender expertise. Since agriculture is a state subject, the survey also strongly advocated a mechanism similar to the GST Council to bring more reforms in the agriculture sector and boost farmers’ income.

At present, about 45% of farm land is under irrigation. The Indo-Gangetic plain, and parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are well irrigated. But parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are still extremely vulnerable to climate change for not being well irrigated. Stating that climate change will increase farmer uncertainty, the survey called for effective crop insurance and use of technology to make farming resilient. “Building on the currentcrop insurance programme (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana), weatherbased models and technology (like use of drones) need to be used to determine losses and compensate farmers within weeks,” it said.

Source:-The Economic Times-Mumbai

Date:-30th Jan, 2018

‘Regulatory, operational concerns key risks for India Inc’

Regulatory compliance and operational concerns are the main risk areas for corporate India, says a research by ICICI Lombard General Insurance. The research elucidates Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) as a mechanism that combines culture, capabilities and practices with strategy setting and its execution to manage risks in   order to create, persevere and realise value.

“While the key risk areas perceived by India Inc include regulatory compliance (53 per cent) and operational concerns (50 per cent); 27 per cent of the respondents believe geopolitical uncertainty to be a risk factor,” said the study, adding that 23 per cent claim uncertain economic growth can lead to increasing risks. The research was conducted through online interviews with 130 C-suite risk officers to identify the risk practices adopted by Indian organization’s, the insurer said in a release.

“Interestingly, only 23 per cent respondents perceived information insecurity as a key risk, while 11 per cent believe technological disruption was a risk area,” it said, adding that this could be because of the limited risk exposures that companies would have experienced directly. The report states that 88 per cent organization’s claimed that supporting strategic business decisions has been one of the key drivers for ERM implementation.

It also states that 73 per cent of organization’s have been equipped with risk governance framework for more than three years, whereas 20 per cent have incorporated a risk governance mechanism in the last three years and only 7 per cent have introduced the same in the last year.

“With the emerging global uncertainties coupled with technological disruption, it is need of the hour for organization’s to equip themselves with a well-defined enterprise risk management framework,” said Bhargav Dasgupta, MD and CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Risk management is not limited to identifying the risk elements or risk indicators, but aligning them strategically with business decisions to maximise the security of the firm, he added.

 Source- Business Standard

Date- 23rd January 2018

76% of HR leaders say their onboarding processes go underutilized

  • More than two-thirds of HR leaders (76%) say onboarding processes are underutilized at their organization, according to a joint study from Kronos and the Human Capital Institute. Results also showed that a typical onboarding experience focuses heavily on administrative paperwork for new hires, rather than on development and training activities.
  • Although nearly two-thirds of respondents said the purpose of onboarding is to integrate new hires into the company culture, this aspect makes up only 30% of onboarding programs, on average. Another segment (24%) of organizations lack a strategy for “trans-boarding,” or managing an internal onboarding.
  • Fewer HR managers in the study rated strategic onboarding as important as other onboarding components like reviewing rules and regulations, presenting a company overview and teaching self-service processes. More than half of respondents said that a lack of bandwidth is a significant barrier to improving onboarding.

Dive Insight:

Apparently, onboarding is still functioning the way it was when it was called “new employee orientation.” But employers who want to improve their onboarding procedures must update their programs.

First impressions can be lasting impressions for new hires. Bogging them down with an overview of rules, workplace policies and benefits for two or three days isn’t as valuable as connecting them with teammates so they feel welcome. The goal is to retain, engage and develop new hires. Strategies such as laying out clear goals and providing coaching or mentoring shows them support.

Some other onboarding mistakes to avoid include not communicating with new hires after sending the job offer letter, failing to recognize them with a small celebration and overwhelming them with too much information.

Source: HR Dive

Date: 17th January 2018

IRDAI top post: Insurance sector CEOs, bureaucrats in the fray

Earlierin November, the committee had interviewed candidates to select two Members(life and finance) of the IRDAI.

A host of serving and former insurance sector CEOs and bureaucrats are in therace for the post of the chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The post will fall vacant on February 21 when present chairman TS Vijayan completes his term.

Among the insurers who have applied for the post are: VK Sharma, chairman, Life Insurance Corporation, G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance. The other applicants include: K Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance, Hemant Bhargava, MD, LIC, Sunita Sharma, MD, LIC, B Venugopal, MD, LIC and Rajesh Kandwal, CEO & MD, LIC, Bahrain. Nilesh Sathe, Member (life), IRDAI is also in the fray. Sources said several serving and retired bureaucrats includingAnjuly Chib Duggal, former secretary, Department of Financial Services and former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das are also strong contenders.

A notification issued by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, stipulates that an applicant should have at least 30 years of work experience, and he/she should have worked as secretary to the government of India or an equivalent position either at a Central or State level.

However, the ministry had amended the initial notification so that the CMDs of public sector insurers and MDs of LIC who are in the rank of additional secretary could apply. The post is also open to experts from theprivate sector.

Except Vijayan, all the chairmen of the IRDAI since 2000 have been retired bureaucrats. Vijayan was appointed in 2013 as the then financeminister P Chidambaram had strongly recommended an insurance professional over bureaucrats. This is the first time that the appointment will be done by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee.

Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha heads the committee while additional principal secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra, Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar and Department of Personnel and Training Secretary Ajay Mittal along with Bimal N Patel of the Gujarat National Law University are other members of the panel.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999, the chairperson of the authority will hold office for five years, and is entitled to a consolidated salary of Rs 4.5 lakh per month without housing and car facilities. The last date for applying for the post was December 27 and finance ministry sources said the interview for the post may happen during the third week of January.

Earlier in November, the committee had interviewed candidates to select two Members (life and finance) of the IRDAI.


Source-The Indian Express


IRDAI tells insurers to offer 3rd party motor cover online

Mumbai: In a major relief to owners of older cars, the insurance regulator has made it mandatory for non-life companies to offer the compulsory motor third-party insurance cover online. Hitherto, insurance companies were offering only the comprehensive cover online and it was largely the public sector insurers who were entertaining walk-in customers.

In a circular to all non-life companies, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said that insurance companies must ensure easy availability of motor third-party cover, including online, and under no circumstance should deny a request for third-party cover.

The IRDAI circular follows a directive from the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety requiring state governments to conduct checks of vehicle to ensure that all of them have the mandatory third-party insurance. The panel has said that in case a vehicle does not have third-party insurance, the vehicle should be detained until such time the third party insurance certificate is produced by the vehicle owner. At present, traffic authorities merely penalise the vehicle owner in case he is not able to produce a valid third party insurance cover.

The IRDAI said, “Several states have reported back that insurers have a cumbersome process that involves inspection of the vehicle concerned and that vehicle owners have complained that it is not an easy process to obtain insurance.”

According to non-life companies, they are exposed to moral hazard when they receive a proposal with a break in insurance. “Very often the proposer comes with an application after an accident and the recording of the time of the accident in the case of police complaints is not always accurate,” the official said.

Road accidents kill around 17 people every hour in India. The only compensation for these victims is the motor third-party insurance cover. The relative of the victims get relief after filing a claim in the motor accident claims tribunal. In a large number of cases where there is no insurance cover, the vehicle owner is liable. However, it is difficult to enforce a claim on individuals. Also, the victim gets a small compensation from a fund contributed to by insurance companies.

A total of 4,80,652 road accidents took place in India last year, resulting in loss of 1,50,785 lives and inflicting serious injuries on 4,94,624. This has resulted in motor insurance being an unprofitable portfolio for insurance companies. Although the regulator has taken measures to offset the losses, insurance companies do not go out to acquire this business as the administrative costs are high, particularly in the case of two-wheelers.


Source:-The Times of India.

Date:-2nd Jan,2018-Tuesday.