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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 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.
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

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

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

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%!”
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

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.
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.
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

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.
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
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

Venky Natarajan, Managing Partner at impact investment fund Lok Capital, speaks to BUSINESS TODAY about impact investing in India.
Wednesday, July 02, 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 02, 2014 — South Asia

Text and voice messages help close Bangladesh health gap

Source: IRIN News

DHAKA, 1 July 2014 (IRIN) - Bangladesh is moving to boost maternal health services in poorly-served rural areas by targeting voice and text messages at expectant and pregnant mothers and their families. The aim is to educate and support mothers in places where health services are weak.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — South Asia

HP Will Expand Its Cloud-enabled Rural Health Care Centres In India

Source: Business Insider India

HP's two day long summit is on in Mumbai, India. Today world's major technology and data solutions company, HP, revealed a lesser known fact.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — South Asia

Online facility for Diaspora doctors to serve in India opened by Health Minister

Source: India Education Diary

Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in a speech which was read out by the Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan last night to a gathering of US-based Indian medical professionals said that the aim of his government is to bring about a “complete transformation” of the health sector through research, innovation and the latest technology.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — South Asia

British Medical Journal article on graft in Indian healthcare creates stir

Source: Financial Express

A British Medical Journal (BMJ) article on corruption in Indian healthcare is creating a flutter in the medical community and policy experts. Written by Australian medical practitioner Dr David Berger who volunteered as a physician at a charitable hospital in the Himalayas, the article titled “Corruption ruins the doctor-patient relationship in India” highlights how “kickbacks and bribes oil every part of the healthcare machinery” and says there is a “lack of the will to reform these practices”.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — South Asia

iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 toilet sales in 2 years

Source: Sanitation Updates

iDE Cambodia has facilitated the sale of 100,000 Easy Latrines in two years through sanitation marketing, reaching an estimated 470,000 people, according to a June 14 press release.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India testing mobile-based payments system linked to Aadhaar national ID platform

Source: Business Standard

Despite uncertainty surrounding Aadhar's future, RBI is testing a mobile-based payments system linked to this platform
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

India’s microfinance sector set to rebound, says rating agency

Source: Moneylife

Crisil says, loan portfolios of microfinance companies to grow at a compounded annual rate of 35%, to touch Rs450 billion by March 2016
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

Why USAID is shifting maternal health funds toward Africa, Asia

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — The US Agency for International Development announced today that 26 countries have done so well at achieving maternal and child health goals that they’re now on their own. Their funding will instead go to 24 countries where mothers and children are still dying at alarming rates.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

Google announces ‘Android One’ standard for affordable devices, arriving first in India at under $100

Source: The Next Web

Google has revealed a new program called Android One which will specify a set of hardware and software guidelines for device makers to adhere to if they wish to attain official ‘Android One’ status.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — South Asia

Big tobacco snubs health warning law in Indonesia

Source: Yahoo! News

Tobacco companies have largely snubbed an Indonesian law requiring them to put graphic health warnings on all cigarette packs, another setback for anti-smoking efforts in a country that's home to the world's highest rate of male smokers and a wild, wild west of advertising.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — South Asia

The Slumdog Millionaire Architect

Source: The New York Times

The offices of Hafeez Contractor, India’s most commercially successful architect, are on Bank Street, just around the corner from the Mumbai Stock Exchange.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — South Asia

Inaugural CAMTech India 'Jugaad-a-thon' launched

Source: India Blooms

Kolkata, June 24 (IBNS): CAMTech India, a new United States Agency for International Development (USAID/India) funded public-private partnership to accelerate medical technology innovation for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) in India, announced its first medical technology hack-a-thon in Bangalore on July 18-20.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — South Asia

Save the Children and Ikea tie up to prevent child labour in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan

Source: Business Standard

The programme is aimed at protecting 790,000 children living in cotton communities in these states
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — South Asia

India likely to extend price caps to more drugs-sources

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - India is likely to raise the number of drugs deemed essential and therefore subject to price caps to improve affordability, said people directly involved in the process.
Monday, June 23, 2014 — South Asia

Cisco Investments announces $40 million fund for early-stage firms in India

Source: Economic Times India

BANGALORE: Cisco Investments has set aside $40 million (Rs 240.9 crore) to invest in early stage Indian startups focused primarily on three verticals--connected mobility, big data and internet of things.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — South Asia

KKR To Invest $200m In Ethiopian Flower Business

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – New-York based global private equity company; KKR & Co. has expressed interest in buying a percentage of leading Ethiopian flower company, Afriflora which grows about 730 million flowers for export yearly.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank to offer transition support of $3.5 billion to India for infrastructure, education initiatives

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The World Bank will continue its concessional lending meant for poorer countries to India and has also significantly upped the country's single-borrower limit, looking to provide a helping hand to the new government in taking forward its agenda on infrastructure, skilling, river cleaning and tourism.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 — South Asia

India gang rape case highlights lack of toilets

Source: Yahoo! News

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — The two teenage girls had walked out together at night, as they did every night, into the wild bamboo fields 10 or 15 minutes from their mud-and-straw huts to relieve themselves. Like millions of families across India, they had no toilet at home.