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Fully vaccinated travellers from 99 countries exempted from quarantine on arrival in India. Check full list
The decision has been made as a mark of reciprocation since these countries share mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates with India or allow quarantine-free entry to Indian nationals.

Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. (HT PHOTO)


Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 15, 2021 06:38 PM IST

By
hindustantimes.com| Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Travellers from 99 countries, who are fully-vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), have been exempted from mandatory quarantine on arrival in India, according to a recently updated notification by the Union government.

These countries, which include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Israel, among others, have been listed under ‘Category A’ in the government notification. Although travellers from these 99 nations have been exempted from mandatory quarantine, they will be required to follow certain norms that remain the same for all travellers.

Countries that feature in the ‘Category A’ list
As many as 99 nations are included in the ‘Category A’ list as mentioned in the notification by the central government. The United States, Great Britain, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium, Bangladesh, Finland, Croatia, Hungary, Russia, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey and Nepal are some of the countries that feature in the list.

Reason ‘Category A’ countries given Covid-19 relaxations
According to the Centre’s notification, India shares an agreement with some of the 99 nations on “mutual recognition of [Covid-19] vaccination certificates” of nationally recognised or the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised vaccines. On the other hand, some countries in the ‘Category A’ list though do not have a mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccine agreement with India, they permit quarantine-free entry in their land to fully vaccinated Indian nationals.
The decision to offer some relaxations to Covid-19 protocols for international travellers coming from the 99 countries have been made “on the basis of reciprocity”, the notification explained.

Covid-19 protocols that travellers from ‘Category A’ list need to follow
Travellers from the 99 nations must submit a self-declaration of their fully vaccinated status on Air Suvidha portal, and also produce a negative RT-PCR test report conducted within 72 hours before. The passengers also need to submit a declaration related to the authenticity of the RT-PCR report and “will be liable to criminal prosecution, if found otherwise,” the notification stated.

Fully vaccinated travellers from ‘Category A’ countries are exempted from compulsory quarantine. However, they must self-monitor their health for the 14 days starting from the date of arrival in India. If they develop signs and symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the infection on re-testing, “they will immediately self-isolate and report to their nearest health facility or call National helpline number (1075)/State Helpline Number,” the notification noted.
Travellers, who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated against Covid-19, must submit their sample for testing on arrival in India. They also need to undergo home quarantine for seven days, take a Covid-19 test again on the eighth day, and if found negative, “further self-monitor” their health for the next seven days.

Countries categorised as ‘Countries at-risk’ by India
As many as 10 countries feature in this list, including the South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Zimbabwe, Singapore, New Zealand, Mauritius, Bangladesh and the UK.

Guidelines for travellers from nations ‘Considered at-risk’ but feature in ‘Category A’ list
Singapore, Zimbabwe and the UK are three nations that are considered at risk by India and yet feature in the ‘Category A’ list. However, travellers from these countries will still be exempted from mandatory quarantine, and will be permitted to leave the airport on arrival in India, with the requirement to self-monitor their health for the next 14 days.

Duration Covid-19 relaxations effective for the 99 countries
According to the government notification, the relaxations have been effective since November 12 and will remain in place till further orders. However, on the basis of “risk assessment” the guidelines will be reviewed from “time to time.”



Fully vaccinated travellers from 99 countries exempted from quarantine on arrival in India. Check full list
 
'For digital lending, trust is important'
By Raghu Mohan
November 19, 2021 09:25 IST

'The digital trust level has drastically gone up due to Covid, not only in tier-I and II cities, but also in tier-III, IV and V geographies.'



Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Lendingkart has disbursed $1 billion in loans to micro, small and medium enterprises in six years of operations. Backed by Fullerton Financial Holding, Bertelsmann, Mayfield India, Saama Capital, and Sistema Asia, it has raised about Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) of equity so far.
"When per capita income goes beyond a certain level, more people will go online," Harshvardhan Lunia, the company's co-founder and CEO, tells Raghu Mohan.
The pandemic has shown that physical infrastructure is no longer an obstacle to lending. What are the lessons from this phase?
The meet-and-greet model set up by the large banks is a thing of the past. It has anyway come down drastically. Everything has moved online -- whether it is buying furniture, a car, or shopping for consumer durables.
But for digital lending, trust is important. We are now comfortable with buying things on Amazon or Flipkart, ordering through Swiggy and Zomato, and hailing Uber or Ola.

I think the next generation will only think digital and won't be interested much in using the physical route. The digital trust level has drastically gone up due to Covid, not only in tier-I and II cities, but also in tier-III, IV and V geographies.
People have accepted digital as a way of life. And when per capita income goes beyond a certain level, more people will go online.

The gap between legacy lenders and firms like yours will narrow over time. Where does that leave you?
We started off with the underserved segment. That's what we've been building upon. We are able to originate customers from the smaller cities, and we are leveraging this to a lot of other financial institutions as well.
Now, from 2020 to 2030, there will be many more players in retail -- be it Amazon, Google, Flipkart, Rupay, BharatPe, Cred, or a Navi. So, everyone at the bottom of the pyramid will have enough offers.
The legacy players will have to look at specialised business. If you have to compete in the digital space with Amazon, Google or Flipkart, or Cred, or Navi, it's not going to be that easy for legacy players. And that's where our platform comes into play.
A lot of legacy institutions have tied up on our platform and are working with us to deliver money. We are giving customers the experience a new-age company brings by collaborating with legacy players. They are better off this way, rather than building something on their own. It suits me as well. I can't compete with banks.


Does the approach to lending need to change?
The whole approach to credit appraisal and underwriting has to change. Take the Talwar Committee report -- it came out in the 1970s. Now cash is the collateral, and physical collateral may not be needed. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das also referred to it -- banks need to look at cash as collateral.

How have you addressed this issue?
We have Cred8 -- a cash flow-based lending system -- where the algorithm works on over 5,000-plus derived variables and is capable of advanced risk assessment and loan approval at a much larger scale and lower costs.
It is an alternate underwriting model and has reduced the credit risk with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning tested at scale -- over a million loan applications to small enterprises. Cred8 has enabled an increase in servicing from 500-plus cities in 2018 to 1,900 cities now. Cumulative loan sanctions have reached $1.6 billion this year.

How do you read the pain in lending to small enterprises?
The pandemic impacted both supply and demand, with the policy dilemma of 'lives versus livelihoods'. Our algorithms were consistently updated for simulation of these factors and multiple scenarios in its self-learning underwriting model. This has strengthened our risk-assessment capabilities and helped build robust early warning systems for such testing times.
Our Collec10 platform has a multi-pronged approach. The emphasis is on an omni channel engagement programme by leveraging it for flexible payment programmes, and discounts to non-moratorium customers who are non-delinquent and are ready to pay EMIs in advance.

Why did Lendingkart sign up with Amazon Web Services?
Lendingkart has always focussed on leveraging the available technological tools to build capabilities that will be required in scaling up operations.
The solutions provided by AWS have gone a long way for us to establish a stable and server-less architecture.
Since we are in the financial industry, security and compliance is our top priority, which AWS has catered to since day one.

'For digital lending, trust is important'
 
Vodafone Idea hikes call, data rates by 20-25%
Source: PTI
November 23, 2021 13:45 IST


Debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Tuesday announced an increase in mobile call and data tariffs across plans by 20-25 per cent.



The higher tariffs will be effective from November 25, it said in a statement.

The company has increased the minimum value of recharge by 25.31 per cent for 28 days period to Rs 99 from Rs 79.

In the popular unlimited category plans, Vodafone Idea has hiked the rates in the range of 20-23 per cent.
The lowest plan bundled with a per day 1 GB data limit with 28 days validity will cost Rs 269 from November 25 onwards.
Currently, it costs Rs 219.
Further, the price of 84 days validity plan with 1.5 GB per day data limit will cost Rs 719 instead of Rs 599.
The 365 days plan with 1.5 GB per day data limit will go up by 20.8 per cent to Rs 2,899.
Currently, it is priced at Rs 2,399.


The company has also increased the price of low value data top up by about 20 per cent.
The announcement from Vodafone Idea comes a day after Bharti Airtel announced hiking tariffs.

Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com


Vodafone Idea hikes call, data rates by 20-25%
 
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