Monday, 4 April 2016

First historic fund released at Solan by KI-WIE

            



                        जितना कठिन संघर्ष होगा जीत उतनी
                       ही शानदार होगी





Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KI-WIE, today (4th April 2016) released its first historic fund of Rs.35000 to Kusum Lata for the cause of women empowerment at Solan, Himachal Pradesh!!!!


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Google looks to empower women in India, launches 'Help get women online' initiative

Google looks to empower women in India

The initiative aims to help 50 million additional women get online by end of 2014 by undertaking a variety of initiatives across India. To empower women even further, GoogleIndia has launched an initiative called'Helping women get online' that will encourage women in the country to use the online medium more effectively. 
At present, only one third of users who use the Internet are women.Google realises that lack of easy access to Internet, lack of knowledge on how to use the Internet and its relevance in their daily lives are some of the biggest barriers for women to get online.The initiative aims to help 50 million additional women get online by end of 2014 by undertaking a variety of initiatives across India. 
The initiative will focus on creating awareness about the benefits of Internet for women, educate women to use the Internet to improve their lives and work with partners to enable easy Internet access points for women in the country. 
In the first stage of the initiative, Google will launch a mass media campaign targeted at women and promote the specially designed website www.hwgo.com which will host content covering the very basics of Internet and special content that is relevant for women in India, available both in Hindi and English. 
Women can also call a toll free helpline number 1800 41 999 77 to get answers for any queries that they may have about the Internet. 
Yonca Brunini, the VP for Marketing Google was optimistic about this initiative. He felt that this initiative addressed humanity's greatest challenges. The initiative was piloted at a village in Bhilwara, Rajasthan. 
"With this project we successfully completed a digital literacy effort of training over 100,000 women in Bhilwara and trained them on how to use the basic applications on the Internet. The learnings from the pilot will help us to work on a framework which we will use to roll out in other parts of India. Internet as a medium can be extremely empowering for women and this is especially true for women in developing countries like India. We strongly believe that Internet can greatly benefit and transform the lives of women in India,” said Brunini. 
The program is also said to be supported by Intel, HUL and Axis Bank. Intel is also launching a mobile app called “Easy Step” for women which would be available on Android playstore.The date of release for this app has not been released. 
Google has also partnered with host of different companies who will create and share content relevant for Indian women on the www.hwgo.comhttp://www.hwgo.comwebsite. These partners include Johnson & Johnson, Indiatimes.com, Healthkart.com and Babyoye.com. 
IMRB has also come on board as the research partner for the initiative and will help track the impact of the initiative on women in India. 
The initiative could help a lot of Indian women, especially the housewives and the uneducated. With the Internet revolution underway and India's plans to overtake US in 2014 to become the second largest Internet market in the world, women empowerment through Internet is a noble and fresh idea. 
The digitally literate women can bring about a lot of change in culture, thinking and social welfare. 
To see some of the videos that speak about the changes this initiative has already managed to conquer, click here


Pilot Project in Bhilwara, Rajasthan: 

As part of the initiative, Google India concluded pilot program in the villages of Bhilwara in Rajasthan which covered girl students in the age group of 13 to 18, housewives and working women. Basic Internet training content was created in Hindi to help the women understand how they can use the Internet in their day to day lives. The activity panned across two and a half months covering over 300 educational institutes, 500 households, 50+ villages and the Bhilwara town. Women were trained on basic Internet applications such as search, videos and email. Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras which are government run Internet centers across Bhilwara were used for the purpose.




EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN INDIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN INDIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS  BY MAMTA MOKTA 

The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the state to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. ‘Empowerment’ may be described as a process which helps people to assert their control over the factors which affect their lives. Empowerment of women means developing them as more aware individuals, who are politically active, economically productive and independent and are able to make intelligent discussion in matters that affect them. Present article discusses about various initiatives taken by Government of India for empowering women by analysing position of India in Gender Inequality Index and Global Gender Gap Index of United Nations. Article concludes with the note that due recognition must be given to women and society should come forward to ensure equal status for women in all spheres of life.

‘EMPOWERMENT’ MAY be described as a process which helps people to assert their control over the factors which affect their lives. Empowerment of women means developing them as more aware individuals, who are politically active, economically productive and independent and are able to make intelligent discussion in matters that affect them.

1 Women empowerment as a concept was introduced at the International women Conference in 1985 at Nairobi, which defined it as redistribution of social power and control of resources in favour of women.

2 The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNDFW) includes the following factors in its definition of women empowerment:
• Acquiring knowledge and understanding of gender relations and the way in which these relations may be changed.
• Developing a sense of self-worth, a belief in one’s ability to secure desired changes and the right to control one’s life.

3 Batliwala (1974) defines empowerment as “the process of challenging existing power relation and of gaining greater control over the source of power”. Women’s’ empowerment is seen as the process and the result of the process of:
• Challenging the ideology of male domination and women’s subordinations.
• Enabling women to gain equal access to and control over the resources (material, human and intellectual).

4 EMPOWERED WOMEN’S CHARACTERISTICS 
(i) Empowered women define their attitude, values and behaviours in relation to their own real interest. They have autonomy because they claim their freedom from existing male hierarchies, whether they live in traditional societies or modern industrial societies.
(ii) Empowered women maintain equal mindedness. They act out roles that challenge male dominance. They respond as equals and co-operate to work towards the common good.
(iii) Empowered women use their talent to live fulfilling lives. They not only survive the harshness of their own subjugation but also transcend their subjugation.
(iv) Empowered women maintain their strength on the face of pressures from the religion and work and contribute towards the empowerment of all women.
(v) Empowered women define their values and formulate their beliefs themselves, they do not derive their sense of being from male authorities nor do they live vicariously through men.5 3 V.S. Ganeswamurthy,

5 Dimensions and Parameters of Women Empowerment 
The process of empowerment has five dimensions, viz. Cognitive, psychological, economic, political and physical:
(i) The cognitive dimension refers to women having an understanding of the conditions and causes of their subordination at the micro and macro levels. It involves making choices that may go against cultural expectations and norms;
(ii) The psychological dimension includes the belief that women can act at personal and societal levels to improve their individual realities and the society in which they live;
(iii) The economic component requires that women have access to, and control over, productive resources, thus ensuring some degree of financial autonomy. However she notes that changes in the economic balance of power do not necessarily alter traditional gender roles or norms;
(iv) The political element entails that women have the capability to analyse, organise and mobilise for social change; and
(v) There is a physical element of gaining control over one’s body and sexuality and the ability to protect oneself against sexual violence to the empowerment process.

6 The parameters of women empowerment are:
• Raising self-esteem and self-confidence of women.
• Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and girl child.
• Building and strengthening partnership with civil society particularly women’s organisations.
• Enforcement of constitutional and legal provisions and safeguarding rights of women.
• Building a positive image of women in the society and recognising their contributions in social, economic and political sphere.
• Developing ability among women to think critically.
• Fostering decision-making and collective action.
• Enabling women to make informed choices.
• Ensuring women’s participation in all walks of life.
• Providing information, knowledge, skills for self-employment.
• Elimination of discrimination against women’s participation in the areas of: – Access to food – Equal wages – Property rights – Family resources – Freedom of movement and travel – Access to credit – Control over savings, earnings and resources – Guardianship and custody of children and their maintenance
• Gender sensitisation training in schools, colleges and other professional institutions for bringing about institutional changes.

7 Women have to swim against the stream that requires mere strength. Such strength comes from the process of empowerment. The women empowerment can be done through providing proper education, health and nutrition facilities.

8 Indicators of Women Empowerment Beijing Conference 1995 had identified certain quantitative and qualitative indicators of women empowerment. These indicators are discussed below:
Qualitative Indicators:
(i) increase in self-esteem, individual and collective confidence;
(ii) increase in articulation, knowledge and awareness on health, nutrition reproductive rights, law and literacy;
(iii) increase in personal leisure time and time for child care;
(iv) increase on decrease of workloads in new programmes;
(v) change in roles and responsibility in family and community;
(vi) visible increase on decrease in violence on women and girls;
(vii) responses to, changes in social customs like child marriage, dowry, discrimination against widows;
(viii) visible changes in women’s participation level attending meetings, participating and demanding participation;
(ix) increase in bargaining and negotiating power at home, in community and the collective;
(x) increase access to and ability to gather information;
(xi) formation of women collectives;
(xii) positive changes in social attitudes;
(xiii) awareness and recognition of women’s economic contribution within and outside the household;
(xiv) women’s decision-making over her work and income.

Quantitative Indicators 
(a) demographic trends – maternal mortality rate – fertility rate – sex ratio – life expectancy at birth – average age of marriage
(b) Number of women participating in different development programmes;
(c) Greater access and control over community resources/ government schemes—creche, credit cooperative, non-formal education;
(d) Visible change in physical health status and nutritional level;
(e) Change in literacy and enrollment levels; and
(f) Participation levels of women in political process.

Components of Women Empowerment: Four components of women’s empowerment are identified:
(i) Acquiring knowledge and an understanding of gender/power relations and ways in which these relations may be changed;
(ii) Developing a sense of self-worth, a belief in one’s ability to secure desired changes and the right to control one’s life;
(iii) Gaining the ability to generate choices and thereby acquiring leverage and bargaining power; and
(iv) Developing the ability to generate, organise or influence the direction of social change to create more just social and economic orders nationally and internationally.

9 OBJECTIVES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT 
• To identify gaps in the empowerment of women, development of children and adolescents;
• Create a national network of pubic, private and NGO centres for delivering reproductive and child health services free to any client;
• To create an enabling environment through convergence with other programmes;
• To open more child care centres for working women and expand the availability of safe abortion care;
• To use energy saving devices to reduce drudgery of women;
• To identify the ways in which the effects of policies and programmatic interventions to promote women’s empowerment have been measured;
• To improve access to sanitation, drinking water, fuel, wood and fodder for women;
• To develop health management and health package at all levels;
• To improve accessibility and quality of maternal and child health care services;
• To identify the evidence on how women’s empowerment affects important development outcomes such as health, education, fertility behaviour, income levels, etc.
• Supporting community activities package for women;
• To improve and increase clinical and contraception delivery services;10
• To organise educational and empowerment programmes for girls and women;
• To train resource persons, animators and trainers for activities visualised;
• To conduct and promote experimentations and innovations and research in the problems and programmes of empowerment of rural women;
• To increase awareness in women, for their development to use their talent optimally not only for themselves, but also for the society as a whole;
• To develop the skills for self-decision- taking capabilities in women and to allow them to present their point of view effectively in society;
• To create awareness among women to be truly ambitious and to dream for betterment;
• To make efforts in organising the women for fighting against the problems and difficulties related to them; and
• To integrate socio-economic activities with concern for health and environment protection in the light of the rural women culture.

10 Women Empowerment in India The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and Programmes have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. From the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974- 78) onwards there has been a marked shift in the approach to women’s issues from welfare to development and then from Eighth Five Year Plan emphasis was shifted from development to empowerment. In recent years, the empowerment of women has been recognised as the central issue in determining the status of women. India has also ratified various International conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993. The National Commission for Women was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1990 to safeguard the rights and legal entitlements of women. The Cairo conference in 1994 organised by UN on Population and Development called attention to women’s empowerment as a central focus and UNDP developed the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) which focuses on the three variables that reflect women’s participation in society— political power or decision-making, education and health. 1995 UNDP report was devoted to women’s empowerment and it declared that if human development is not engendered it is endangered. The Government of India declared 2001 as the Year of Women’s Empowerment (Swashakti). The National Policy for the Empowerment of Women was passed in 2001.

Thus road map for women empowerment is there but still we have miles to go on this path of empowerment. We hope that in coming years ahead women empowerment will prove its worth. Women are an integral part of a society. They play an important role in determining the destiny of a nation. It has been rightly said by Swami Vivekanand, “The Best thermometer to the progress of nation is its treatment of women”. Therefore, due recognition to them in the society and their greater involvement in socio-economic and political affairs becomes all the more important. Every person should come forward to ensure equal status for women in all spheres of life.

"Woman is an incarnation of ‘Shakti’—the Goddess of Power. If she is bestowed with education, India’s strength will double. Let the campaign of ‘Kanya Kelavni’ be spread in every home; let the lamp of educating daughters be lit up in every heart" —Narendra Modi

New Indian Companies Act Of 2013, Towards Women Empowerment

India: Woman Directorship - A Laudable Initiative Of The New Indian Companies Act Of 2013, Towards Women Empowerment

Last Updated: 15 May 2014
Article by Hemant Goyal and Sandhya Aggarwal
One of the highly significant things and provisions introduced by the new Companies Act, 2013 of India, is mandatory inclusion of at least one woman director to the Board of every prescribed class of companies in India. This provision can be considered as being a highly elegant and revolutionary initiation by the Government of India, for the purposes of empowerment of women in the Indian corporate world, thereby strengthening and promoting contributions of women to the economic progress of the country.
Here, it may be mentioned that women have always supported men and the society, for achieving well-rounded development and progress, in every vital and most significant sphere of the domestic and social life. Again, in the occupational and professional domains, women have an ever-increasing participation in almost all fields of the broad economic sectors of business and commerce, professions, industries, and services, at the levels varying from lower to higher hierarchies. In some well-developed countries, where there are liberated outlooks and opulent facilities for quality higher education and disciplinary training, women have been emulating men, even in the fields of army and defense, aviation, and space exploration. Thus, women in general, certainly have great and admirable credit for contributing remarkably to the domestic progress and prosperity, social development, and economic progress and growth, in most of the fast progressive countries of the world, essentially including India. As India is one of the major and fast growing economies of the world, this initiative for empowerment of women in the giant and pivotal corporate world, is indeed, highly commendable. Thus, facilitating the lawful entry of woman to the Board of Directors of prescribed class of companies is surely a bright and prudent decision for enhancement of the cherished contributions of women in the economic progress and growth of the country.
The Board of Directors of a company is the vital governing body and directors are ultimately responsible for stable, highly efficient, and profitable running of the concerned company, safeguarding the interests & progress of the company and its stakeholders. This entry to the Board of Directors is now well-facilitated and secured through second proviso of sub-section 1 of Section 149 of the new Indian Companies Act 2013. Through promulgation of this innovative provision, the constantly changing and dynamic Indian corporate world is now intelligently enabled to widen its talent pool with inclusion of imaginative persons with diversified backgrounds and viewpoints.
As per the new Companies Rules of 2014, the following categories of companies are mandatorily compelled to appoint at least one woman director to their respective board of directors:
  1. Every listed Company
  2. Every Other Public Limited Company which has
  1. Paid-up Share Capital of One Hundred Crore Rupees or more; Or
  2. Turnover of Three Hundred Crore Rupees or more
A Company, which has been incorporated under this Act and is covered under provisions of second proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 149, shall comply with this provision of women directorship, within a period of six months, from the date of its incorporation. And any intermittent vacancy of a woman director shall be punctually filled-up by the concerned Board at the earliest, but not later than the immediate next Board Meeting or a period of three months from the date of such a vacancy, whichever is later.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana,Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojna

A large proportion of India’s population is without insurance of any kind, health, accidental or life. Worryingly, as our young population ages, it is also going to be pension-less. Encouraged by the success of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), I propose to work towards creating a universal social security system for all Indians that will ensure that no Indian citizen will have to worry about illness, accidents or penury in old age,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech on 1 Mar 2015.
Government announced  insurance schemes Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (for Accidental Death and Disability), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana  (for life insurance) and Atal PensionYojna (for pension). This article gives the highlights of these schemes. These schemes would be available around 1 June 2015.
The government plans to use technology to the extent possible to reach out to the beneficiaries, thereby plugging leakages in the system. The JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile) number trinity will allow government to transfer benefits in a leakage-proof, well-targeted and cashless manner

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

Highlights of the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (Pmsby – Scheme 1 – for Accidental Death Insurance) are
  • Eligibility: Available to people in age group 18 to 70 years with bank account.
  • Premium:  Rs 12 per annum.
  • Payment Mode: The premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscribers account. This is the only mode available.
  • Risk Coverage:  For accidental death and full disability – Rs 2 Lakh and for partial disability – Rs 1 Lakh.
  • Eligibility: Any person having a bank account and Aadhaar number linked to the bank account can give a simple form to the bank every year before 1st of June in order to join the scheme.  Name of nominee to be given in the form.
  • Terms of Risk Coverage: A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
  • Who will implement this Scheme?: The scheme will be offered by all Public Sector General Insurance Companies and all other insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.
  • The premium paid will be tax-free under section 80C and also the proceeds amount will get tax-exemption u/s 10(10D).But if the proceeds from insurance policy exceed Rs.1 lakh , TDS at the rate of 2% from the total proceeds if no Form 15G or Form 15H is submitted to the insurer

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana

Highlights of The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana  (PMJJBY – SCHEME 2 – FOR LIFE INSURANCE COVER)
  • Eligibility: Available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 and having a bank account. People who join the scheme before completing 50 years can, however, continue to have the risk of life cover up to the age of 55 years subject to payment of premium.
  • Premium:  Rs 330 per annum.  It will be auto-debited in one instalment.
  • Payment Mode:  The payment of premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscribers account.
  • Risk Coverage: Rs. 2 Lakh in case of death for any reason.
  • Terms of Risk Coverage: A person has to opt for the scheme every year.  He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing, in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
  • Who will implement this Scheme?: The scheme will be offered by Life Insurance Corporation and all other life insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.

Atal Pension Yojna (APY)

The scheme will be launched on June 1 2015 and focus is on the unorganised sector.  A pension provides people with a monthly income when they are no longer earning. A Subscriber receives pension based on accumulated contribution out of his current income.Under the  Atal Pension Yojna Scheme (APY), the subscribers ,under the age of 40, would receive the fixed monthly pension of  Rs. 1000 to Rs 5000 at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions.
To make the the pension scheme more attractive,  government would co-contribute 50 per cent of a subscriber’s contribution or Rs 1,000 per annum, whichever is lower to each eligible subscriber account for a period of of 5 years from 2015-16 to 2019-20The benefit of government’s co-contribution can be availed by those who subscribe to the scheme before December 31, 2015. 
Official Details of Atal Pension Yojna,including form, are now available athttp://financialservices.gov.in/APY.asp . 
Eligibility for APY:  Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.
Age of joining and contribution period:   The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. One needs to contribute till one attains 60 years of age.
Enrolment agencies:   All Points of Presence (Service Providers) and Aggregators under Swavalamban Scheme would enrol subscribers through setup  of National Pension System.  
The Table of contribution levels, fixed monthly pension to subscribers and his spouse and return of corpus to nominees of subscribers and the contribution period is given below.
  • if person joined Atal Pension Yojna at 35 years, he will contribute till age of 60 years ie 25 years.
    • If he wants monthly pension of Rs 1000 he would contribute Rs 181 a month. On his death his wife would get Rs 1000 per month and after her death the nominees will get 1.7 lakh.
    • If he wants monthly pension of Rs 3000 he would contribute Rs 543 a month. On his death his wife would get Rs 3000 per month and after her death the nominees will get 5.1 lakh.
  • If he joins at the age of 18 years to get a fixed monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 per month, the subscriber has to contribute on monthly basis Rs. 42 for Rs 5000 pension he has to contribute Rs. 210.
  • if he joins at the age of 40 years to get a fixed monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 per month, the subscriber has to contribute on monthly basis Rs. 291 and for Rs 5000 pension he has to contribute Rs. 1,454
Age of Joining
Years of Contribution
Indicative Monthly Contribution for Monthly Pension of Rs 1000 and Corpus of Rs 1.7 Lakh(in Rs.)
Indicative Monthly Contribution for Monthly Pension of Rs 2000and Corpus of  Rs 3.4 Lakh(in Rs.)
Indicative Monthly Contribution for Monthly Pension of Rs 3000 and and Corpus of Rs 5.1 Lakh(in Rs.)
Indicative Monthly Contribution for Monthly Pension of Rs 4000 and Corpus of Rs 6.8 Lakh(in Rs.)
Indicative Monthly Contribution for Monthly Pension of Rs 5000 and Corpus of  Rs 8.5 Lakh(in Rs.)
18
42
42
84
126
168
210
20
40
50
100
150
198
248
25
35
76
151
226
301
376
30
30
116
231
347
462
577
35
25
181
362
543
722
902
40
20
291
582
873
1164
1,454

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite

Atal Pension Yojana (APY), will replace the previous government’s Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite, which did not find much acceptance among people. The existing subscribers of Swavalamban Scheme would be automatically migrated to APY, unless they opt out. It is Government of India Scheme, which is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. The Institutional Architecture of NPS would be utilised to enrol subscribers under APY.
Our article National Pension Scheme covers NPS in detail including details of Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite . Quoting from it .
Swavalamban scheme or the NPS Lite :is the extension of the variant available to the government employees. The government contributes Rs 1,000 per year to the pension account in NPS Lite, making pension possible for the economically-disadvantaged. Under the scheme, Govt. will contribute Rs.1000 per year to each NPS account opened in the year 2010-11 and for the next three years, that is, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. As a special case and in recognition of their faith in the NPS, all NPS accounts opened in 2009-10 will be entitled to the benefit of Government contribution if they fulfil the eligibility criteria prescribed under these guidelines.
How to open Atal Pension Yojna Account
One has to Contact Bank branches under core banking platform and fill in the Atal Pension Yojana subscriber registration form  in English (pdf)  or  Hindi(pdf)
If one has a Bank Account
  • Submit the APY Form
  • Provide Aadhaar No and Mobile Number
  • Deposit the initial contribution according to the type of pension opted.
If one does not have a Bank Account
  • Provide KYC Documents and open a Bank account by providing KYC document and Aadhaar
  • Submit a signed APY proposal form
It’s Mandatory to provide
  • Savings Bank account details, mobile number and authorization letter to the bank for the monthly auto debit option for remittance of contribution. •
  • Spouse/Nominee details in APY form
Charges for not paying Monthly Contributions
In Atal Pension Yojna monthly contribution would automatically be deducted from Subscriber’s bank account. Subscriber should ensure that the Bank account to be funded enough for auto debit of contribution amount. If there is delay in contributions then Bank would levy penalty. The fixed amount of interest/penalty will remain as part of the pension corpus of the subscriber.
  • Rs 1 per month for contribution upto Rs. 100 per month.
  • Rs 2 per month for contribution upto Rs. 101 to 500 per month.
  • Rs 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501 to 1000 per month.
  • Rs 10 per month for contribution beyond Rs 1001 per month.
Discontinuation of payments of contribution amount shall lead to following:
  • After 6 months account will be frozen.
  • After 12 months account will be deactivated.
  • After 24 months account will be closed.
Exiting from Atal Pension Yojna
  • On attaining the age of 60 years: The exit from APY is permitted at the age with 100% annuitisation of pension wealth. On exit, pension would be available to the subscriber.
  •  In case of death of subscriber pension would be available to the spouse and on the death of both of them (subscriber and spouse), the pension corpus would be returned to his nominee.
  • Exit Before the age of 60 Years: Exit before 60 years of age is not permitted however it is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, i.e., in the event of the death of beneficiary or terminal disease.
Official FAQ  on Atal Pension Yojna in  English     Hindi

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs

Meena Bindra, Founder of India’s largest readymade ethnic-wear brand Biba, grew up in Delhi but lost her father at a young age. She married a naval officer as a result of which she moved around across India, and got into the garments business only after her children grew up. She started off with a local block printer, initial sales to Mumbai stores, and then her own company-owned outlets. Her sons joined the company for a while as trusted managers, then struck out on their own. 

Manju Bhatia, Founder of loan recovery company Vasuli, was born in a business family in Indore. She started off as a receptionist in a pharma company, then moved into the account recovery business from bank defaulters. Though in a male-dominated industry, she used her patience and diplomacy to learn the tricks of the trade and build a successful pan-India company. 

Rajni Bector, Founder of food empire Cremica, was born in Karachi and then moved to Delhi with her family. After her children went to boarding school, she noticed that there was huge demand for her desserts, which led her to launch food company Cremica in Ludhiana. Despite setbacks such as the violence in Punjab in the 1980s, she persevered and eventually got contracts from the likes of MacDonald’s for bread and ‘vegetarian’ mayonnaise. 

Nirmala Kandalgaonkar, Founder of vermi-composting tool provider Vivam AgroTech, grew up in small-town Maharashtra and decided to launch a rural venture after her children reached school age. She applied her science degree to develop controlled-environment products for soil engineering using earthworms. She had to travel extensively for promotion and training activities, and eventually got government support after a Pragati Maidan exhibition as well as a TiE award. The company now works with large corporate and self-help groups for bio-gas projects. 

Ranjana Naik, Founder of Swan Suites, grew up in a family of engineers, doctors and teachers, but became more interested in PR and telemarketing. Along with the IT boom, she leveraged her contacts to get into the serviced accommodation business, and aims to become the ‘Taj’ of serviced apartments. She connected with fellow entrepreneurs via online forums, and an ISB course taught her the importance of continuous market research; her husband also joined the company. 

Leela Bordia, Founder of pottery art firm Neerja International, grew up in Calcutta in a family which strongly supported social work. She decided to launch a social enterprise to help pottery artisans from her native Rajasthan. Exposure to buyers from France as well as a visit to artisan communities in Mexico revealed the importance of quality and process. She branched out into furniture, mural and accessories, and now promotes her work internationally. Her three sons also work in the enterprise. 

Han Qui Hua founded label accessories firm Guangzhou Guanyi Garments in China. Even as a teenager she would ride her bike to sell cakes in villages, and not stop till she sold the whole stock. She got into the label business along with her husband during the textile boom years, and doesn’t really plan to ‘retire.’ 

Premlata Agarwal from Jamshedpur became a mountaineer and climbed Mt. Everest at the age of 48 – the oldest Indian woman to have achieved this feat. She joined a gym while taking her daughters for tennis classes; she won a prize in a hiking competition and was mentored by mountaineer Bachendri Pal. Despite tough weather conditions, she scaled the peak and now wants to scale mountains in other ranges. 

Paru Jaykrishna, Founder of chemical giant Asahi Songwon, grew up in a Jain family in Ahmedabad. She lost her parents at a young age, and married the Patel son of a textile firm. She later moved into travel and construction, and then switched to chemicals. She expanded her dye business (resisting challenges of bribery and corruption), and struck good deals with Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese companies and investors. 

Patricia Narayan got into a love marriage at the age of 19, but her husband turned out to be an abusive alcoholic. Though she was a college dropout, she tapped her skills as a cook to become a caterer in Chennai. She got contracts from government offices in and around the city. “Once you start liking your work you don’t easily feel tired,” she says. Success came from a deal at National Institute of Port Management (NIPM). Despite a divorce and the sorrow of losing her daughter in a car accident, she expanded to run four brands of catering, and won a FICCI award. 

Sudeshma Banerjee began her career as a teacher in Calcutta but one day discovered that her husband was having an affair with her own friend. She moved out of the marriage and joined an AutoCAD training company, which she eventually took over to form DigiTech HR. She faced challenges in getting a flat as a single woman, and from male managers who did not treat her as an equal. Still, she moved on to get projects from Sri Lanka, Dubai and Australia. 

Jasu Shilpi, one of the few women sculptors in India, grew up in an entrepreneurial family in Ahmedabad, and had an artistic flair right from school. One day, she was inspired by a statue of the Rani of Jhansi in Gwalior. She fell in love with and married a Muslim artist, but her family disowned her. She pursued government tenders for statues, and after a good order she began to receive deals from all over Gujarat. Proud moments were completing statues of Shivaji and then Hanuman, as well as completing a tour of the US. 

Dipali Sikand, Founder of Les Concierges, grew up in Calcutta. She was active in politics, but then moved into HR. Her marriage unfortunately fell apart and she was left with a baby and no financial resources. Still she carried on with HR assignments in cities like Bangalore, and then discovered a need for personalised ‘concierge’ services for busy managers in IT companies. Customers such as Wipro and IBM paid well for these services, and Dipali also branched out to start music and dining venue Kyra in Indiranagar. The next stop for Les Concierges is Cairo. 

Binapani Talukdar, Founder of Assam handicraft trader Pansy Exports, grew up in Assam. She herself began to make decorative handicrafts, then studied garment design. She started an art and craft school also which she shut down later because of pressure from her husband to focus more on their kids. But she carried on with the handicrafts export company, learning the skills of quality standards and international pricing for clients in countries such as South Africa and Brazil. 

Ela Bhatt, Founder of SEWA which now has 1.7 million self-employed women, grew up in Surat and joined the Textile Labour Association (TLA). She married a textile worker’s son, which her family initially opposed. She organised networks for self-employed women in the informal sector, and was inspired by the international dimensions of these labour issues after overseas visits. She turned adversity into opportunity when political controversy over Dalit reservation led SEWA to leave TLA. SEWA regrouped and set up cooperatives and microfinance support. Ela Bhatt went on to win the Magsaysay Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. 

Shona McDonald, Founder of wheelchair company Shonaquip, grew up in South Africa. She unfortunately had a disabled child, which led her to design and develop special wheelchairs as a social enterprise. She had to struggle on the job to learn how to raise funds, run a business, and balance profit with social purpose. 

Nina Lekhi, Founder of bag retail brand Baggit, launched her venture when she was a student at Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai. Though she goofed off in her first year, she took design seriously in her second year, and also took up a part-time job in a rug store at the age of 18. ‘Baggit’ was meant to be ‘bags with attitude,’ also inspired by Michael Jackson’s Beat It! She started off with canvas and then synthetic leather; with one shop at Kemp’s Corner and then a nationwide chain featuring innovatively designed bags and accessories. 

Sangeeta Patni grew up in Nagpur, graduated from BITS Pilani, worked with HLL and Eicher, and then launched Extension Software, building on her engineering background and IT skills in ERP software. She blended design with enterprise tools, and cultivated a developer network. She moved to Bangalore, and finally found a way to balance children in the mix. 

Satya Vadlamani, Founder of Murti Krishan Pharma, grew up on the IIT Bombay campus, and started off in international chemicals marketing. Her father-in-law initially opposed the move, but later relented and supported her a great deal. Lack of family time led her to drop her job at Biochem Synergy, and she started her own venture. Painful lessons were learnt about the long regulatory process, corporate control issues from potential investors, and the upheavals of the 2008 recession.

Shikha Sharma, Founder of weight loss classes NutriHealth Systems, grew up in Delhi and studied medicine. She became interested in preventive healthcare and rehabilitation, a huge gap in India. Resisting family pressure to go abroad or get married, she struck out on her own and set up a weight loss clinic. It did not work out, so she tried again with a rental unit in a hospital – and this model succeeded. Eventually she could strike out again, and hired a team of nutritionists and embraced ayurvedic methods. A proud moment was to be one day invited to treat the Prime Minister.

Deepa Soman, Founder of Lumiere Business Solutions, started her career with Hindustan Lever in Mumbai. Her father was in the media, which gave her lots of exposure to reading, analysis and research. She worked in HLL, and then moved to Jamaica with her husband on account of his IT job. She then launched a market research company, which she continued on her return to India – this time powered largely by women working from home. Her husband later joined, bringing best practices from the IT world. 

Otara Gunewardene, Founder of Sri Lanka’s most famous department store chain Odel, grew up in Colombo and ultimately became the first woman entrepreneur in her country to take her company public. She was athletic, went to the US for a biology programme and returned to do some modelling. One day, a friend asked her to help get rid of excess garment stock from her factory – and this set her on the path to selling clothing, designing her own T-shirts and eventually launching Odel with her husband. 

Namrata Sharma, Founder of 3D animation studio Krayon Pictures, grew up in Pune. She was artistic and also became an engineering graduate, and learnt to blend both disciplines. She began with interface design, and then digital media when based in Hong Kong with her husband. She joined Megasoft as a business developer, but quit when she found her kids were missing her too much. Looking to strike out on her own, she came across Alok Kejriwal, CEO of Contests2Win, who helped set her on the path to 3D animation and launching Krayon in 2007, with titles such as Delhi Safari, Kamlu and Auli. 

Neeti Tah, Founder of social enterprise 36 Rang focusing on traditional tribal arts of Chattisgarh, grew up in Delhi. Though she became art director at J.Walter Thompson, she was restless and took a few months off. Travels across her home state of Chattisgarh led her to discover opportunities in promoting local art and handicrafts to urban markets in India and overseas. She roped in papier mache trainers and later even prison labour from a government scheme. The firm now makes saris, embroideries and gunmetal art. 

A. Ameena, Founder of industrial sawdust provider PJP Industries, grew up in Pondicherry. She was married at the age of 17, with her husband at a Gulf job. As her children were growing up, she joined the family chemicals business. Despite scepticism from those who thought a ‘burqa clad woman’ could not succeed in this domain, she entered the world of industrial sawdust, finding local suppliers as well as customers like Godrej for mosquito coil products. 

These are just brief vignettes of the entrepreneur stories; each chapter provides more details and insights. The featured women leaders also offer useful advice, tips and recommendations to aspiring women entrepreneurs, as described below. 

Do something you love and are passionate about and good at; if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like ‘work.’ Emotional drive will sustain your enterprise. Treat learning as lifelong. Learn from successful people also. Keep a diary to chronicle your personal and professional growth. 

Don’t just sit at home and be confined to the four walls, take on a job no matter how small. Don’t let house work consume you, and don’t get stuck in micro-management. Use gadgets and home helpers to simplify things. Getting support and advice from family and in-laws helps, especially in looking after kids; the Indian joint family system has some advantages here. Align family members with your dreams and objectives, bond with them, and show how they can also benefit. 

Some women entrepreneurs recommend starting ventures only after kids are sufficiently grown up; others believe there is no need to wait. Children may also learn from watching their mother at work and may even want to help or contribute where possible; don’t get into situations where you feel you are neglecting them. 

Society puts pressure on women to feel guilty if they succeed, as if success has come by overlooking family. It is certainly possible to strike out on your own, but family support helps greatly. Love from your spouse can sustain you even after their demise. But even if you don’t get this support or get abused instead, don’t just be a victim, don’t be defenceless – overcome obstacles, empower yourself and move on. Never feel useless, hopeless or purposeless. 

Many women entrepreneurs are naturally attracted to women-oriented product lines. Women leaders are good in people skills, multi-tasking, creativity and communication, but business success calls for attention to finance, legal and operations as well. 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or hire other experts, because as an entrepreneur you have to learn about all these things and know to how manage them. Reach out to mentors, coaches and fellow women entrepreneurs. 
  • Treat your work and profession very seriously, or you will bring a bad name to women in general. Take pride in what you do, don’t slip on quality. 
  • Build your own sense of instinct and gut feel, which will take you from something ordinary to something else extraordinary. 
  • Work hard and be patient, even those who initially oppose you may support you later. Keep a positive mind, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. 
  • Don’t be deterred by failure. Don’t believe that women are ‘less’ than a man: a woman is a womb plus a man! Value your integrity, and be honest to your customers and employees. 
  • Make ‘clean’ money rather than ‘tainted’ money. Honesty will give you good sleep. 
  • Stay healthy and fit. Be friendly, but being ‘too friendly’ is easily mis-interpreted by unscrupulous men. Give back to society, there is more to life than money. 
  • Work on your relationship with yourself. Keep mental and physical space for yourself to regularly think, plan, mediate and dream. 
  • Learn how to have different kinds of dreams – near term and long term. At the end of the day, keep your sense of humour! ...