Headlines Digest

  • Microfinance: SKS Microfinance is getting serious about microinsurance, by partnering with Bajaj Allianz to provide coverage to its members. Also, ACCESS Development Services will be providing intensive capacity building support to MFIs in India, and access to loans from European cjompanies. The project is partially funded by the European commission [both stories via Microcapital]
  • Healthcare: iGovernment reports that Government of India has approved Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) – one per each district, in order to expand access to health-care in rural areas. Also, Marginal Revolution highlights that estimated ratio of real doctors to fake doctors practicing medicine in Delhi – 1:1
  • Technology: Pune based company called Remote Data Exchange has developed a device called ‘Jai Kisan’, using which farmers can remotely control motor pumps using mobile phones. Its just unbelievable you can do with a mobile phone these days (even eradicate Poverty!)
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Eradicating TB in India: Its up to you Ranbaxy

In what could be an interesting example of a Public-Private Partnership in the pharmaceutical sector, India’s largest drug-maker has entered into an agreement with the Department of Biotechnology to push for discovering new drugs to treat tuberculosis. The Department of Biotechnology will provide a three-year grant to Ranbaxy as per the agreement to conduct research and develop drugs [via iGovernment]

The agreement is an important step in tackling India’s TB epidemic. As we had reported in the space before, India is home to 20% of the world’s multiple drug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) patients, carrying one-third of the disease burden globally.

Evening Edition

For your reading pleasure:

  • Government and Inflation: After meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Prices, PM Manmohan Singh announced a multitude of measures to rein in inflation. In related news, rising prices could deal a significant blow to the US-India nuclear agreement due to the potential for political fallout.
  • Microfinance: VC Circle reports that Lok Capital, a micro-finance focused VC fund will be in investing $1.25 million in Delhi based MFI Satin Creditcare Network Ltd. Staying with Microfinance, Govt. of India is introducing a scheme called ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ (RSBY), which will provide cashless health insurance to families living below poverty line, using smart-card technology (via igovernment.in)
  • Higher Education: Economic Times reports that 29 Indian students from colleges across the country have been chosen to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program (GSGLP). They get a $3000 grant and a chance to participate in the Goldman Sachs Summer Leadership Institute.

Mid-Day News Feed

  • Oneworld South Asia highlights that India’s strategy to combat Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) might be failing to stop the spread of the disease. There are 2.2 million new cases of TB every year.
  • The CGAP Microfinance Technology Blog picked up a story from Business Standard on Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to provide rural pensions through the mobile phone network
  • iGovernment reports that BSNL, the state owned telecom provider, plans to roll-out broadband connectivity to Community Service Centres (CSCs) and other e-Governance locations in 25,000 villages across India