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New Delhi, 30th July (IANS): SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya has said that there is no reason for the bank employees to be apprehensive of the upcoming mergers as there will be no losses of jobs or salaries in the process.

“There are no losses of jobs or salary. There only might be a few transfers, that's it. There is no reason for strike,” Bhattarcharya told IANS on Friday evening.

"They are apprehensive of change,” she added.

Even as bank employees struck work on Friday on the issue, Bhattacharya said the process of the merger of five associate banks and Bhartiya Mahila Bank with the SBI should be over by next March.

"Timeline (for the merger) is around by the end of the financial year," she said.

Banking operations across the country were hit on Friday as nearly a million employees of private and state-run banks struck work for a day to protest the proposed merger with SBI and the privatisation of the IDBI Bank.

The unions are opposed to the government's decision to merge the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad with the SBI.

The merger will create a giant entity with an asset base of Rs 37 lakh crore.

On being asked if Rs 7,575 crore earmarked for the country's largest lender, SBI, by the Finance Ministry for re-capitalisation was enough, she told IANS, "All capital depends upon growth, profitability, provision requirements, which change from quarter to quarter. There are several scenarios. We have discussed with the financial services department our requirement."

The Finance Ministry on July 19 had announced the much-awaited capital infusion of Rs 22,915 crore towards the recapitalisation of 13 public sector banks during 2016-17.

The capital infusion exercise for the current year is based on an assessment of need as calculated from the compounded annual growth rate of credit for the last five years, banks' projections of credit growth and an objective assessment of the growth potential of each public sector bank.

Following this assessment, 75 per cent of the amount collected for each bank is being released now to provide liquidity support for lending operations as also to enable banks to raise funds from the market, the Finance Ministry had said.

The remaining amount, to be released later, is linked to performance, with particular reference to greater efficiency, growth of both credit and deposits and reduction in the cost of operations, the Ministry added.

Bhattacharya said that two of the five criteria linked to performance for the 25 per cent funds have already been achieved. The remaining criteria are also quite achievable, she added.

Bengaluru, 28th July (IANS): The cost of data breach for companies has gone up from Rs 88 million to Rs 97.3 million in 2016 in India and if they do not opt for top-of-the-line protection now, the companies will bear significant losses in the near future, a new study has revealed.

Software giant IBM and US-based Ponemon Institute cunducted the study to quantify the losses suffered by enterprises and clients due to cyberattacks and hacks.

The findings showed cyber security incidents continue to grow in both volume and sophistication, with 64 per cent more security incidents reported in 2015 than in 2014.

The study that examined both direct and indirect costs to companies in dealing with a single data breach incident, found that companies lose up to Rs 3,704 per compromised record and breaches in financial institutions had a per capita cost of Rs 5,544.

"Third party involvement in the cause of the data breach increased the average cost to as much as Rs 4,622," the study noted.

The incident response teams can expedite and streamline the process of responding to a breach.

"These teams address all aspects of the security operations and response lifecycle, from helping resolve the incident, to satisfying key industry concerns and regulatory mandates. Additionally, incident response technologies can automate this process to further speed efficiency and response time," the report noted.

Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute, said that "data breaches are now a consistent 'cost of doing business' in the cybercrime era."

"The evidence shows that this is a permanent cost organisations need to be prepared to deal with and incorporate in their data protection strategies," Ponemon added.

The study also found the longer it takes to detect and contain a data breach, the more costly it becomes to resolve.

"While breaches that were identified in less than 100 days cost companies an average of Rs 89.4 million, breaches that were found after the 100 day mark the average cost rose significantly to Rs 105.6 million," the report added.

"...while the risk is inevitable, having a coordinated and automated incident response plan, as well as access to the right resources and skills, can make or break how much a company is impacted by a security event," Ted Julian, Vice President, Resilient an IBM Company, noted.

New Delhi, 25th July (IANS): Software giant IBM on Monday announced a partnership with business solutions provider ITC Infotech for deploying a comprehensive recruitment system that will automate all the recruitment processes at ITC Infotech.

IBM's "Kenexa BrassRing on Cloud" solution will help the company boost business productivity by reducing the hiring cost while saving cycle time from requisition to deployment of its employees.

"The 'Kenexa BrassRing on Cloud' software features best in class rules automation manager function that automates repeatable recruitment and business processes. In addition, BrassRing's Talent Gateway application helps standardize application process, employment branding on career portal and allowing for accessibility over a range of devices," Glenn Dittrich, Director (Smarter Workforce), IBM, told IANS.

Other aspects of the solution includes "Social Media Integration" to increase brand recognition and social advertising.

"The implementation will help us enhance employee experience. This will create visibility in social media and provide real time data and dashboards. We hope that this will also help us improve recruitment efficiency in terms of cost, productivity and time to fulfill," added Anand Talwar, Chief Human Resource Officer, ITC Infotech.

The system will also include an agency management portal for sharing jobs with agencies, payment tracking etc.

New Delhi, 24th July (IANS): President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday hailed the Narendra Modi government's initiatives like Digital India, Swachh Bharat and Skill India as "transformative in nature".

"President of India President Mukherjee believes these programmes are transformative in nature and their successful implementation will alter the landscape of the country," said a reply on Facebook live chat from the President's page, where a question and answer session was organised on the eve of his four years in office.

The replies were made by Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the President.

Mukherjee urged Indians to dedicate themselves to the service of the nation.

"Citizens of India should dedicate themselves to the cause of the nation and society through constructive contribution to these programmes in every possible manner," he said in reply to one question.

The President also stressed the importance of teachers, saying: "Teachers are like the soft and skillful hands of a potter. They mould the destiny of thousands of students, in turn shaping the future of a nation."

In another reply, it was said that he "loves teaching and remembers his days as a teacher fondly".

Mukherjee was a teacher in Suri Vidyasagar Collage of West Bengal before joining politics.

However, the live chat evoked a lukewarm response from some net-savvy citizens who said very casual and "easy" kinds of questions were asked.

At one point, Bengaluru-based Lokesh Sharma complained: "You are answering only easy and useless questions."

Many questions related to Rashtrapati Bhavan and how can visitors go to President's estate.

One question was: "What is being done to document the unique features of Rashtrapati Bhavan", to which the reply was: "Since President Mukherjee assumed office in 2012, comprehensive documentation of all aspects of Rashtrapati Bhavan is underway."

Five books titled "A Work of Beauty: The Architecture and Landscape of Rashtrapati Bhavan", "First Garden of the Republic: Nature in the President’s Estate", "Around India’s First Table: Dining and Entertaining at Rashtrapati Bhavan, "The Arts and Interiors of Rashtrapati Bhavan: Lutyens and Beyond", and "Discover the Magnificent World of Rashtrapati Bhavan" and three portfolios of paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan will be released on Monday, it said.

One questioner who asked: "Can I bring along my classmates to see the Rashtrapati Bhavan and its museums and will we be able to interact with the president on such occasions?" was told: "Your classmates and you are most welcome to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President is normally very busy and able to interact personally only with limited number of people."

To another question on cultural programmes held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, the answer said Mukherjee "appreciates and encourages all forms of art and culture. This is a programme called Indradhanush under which eminent dancers, musicians, etc perform for the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium every month. Screening of films are also held from time to time".

Some one who wanted to know the President's interests and what does he enjoy doing when he is not performing his duties as head of state was told that: "President Mukherjee loves reading and is passionate about books. He reads whenever he has free time. He also enjoys morning walks in the Mughal Gardens."

To a question on what has been his views on natural calamity in Uttarakhand, President said he had to K.K. Paul, the Governor of Uttarakhand conveying his condolences on the loss of lives due to cloudburst and heavy rains.

At the end of the hour-long live chat, Rajamony, in a voice message, said he could answer 51 questions on wide range of issues.

"We would like to do such interactions in the future also," he said.

New Delhi, 23rd July (IANS): Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday called for a massive effort to enhance skill development in the Indian maritime sector.

According to the minister, a large number of employment opportunities are expected to be generated from the shipping and allied sectors in the coming years.

Gadkari was speaking at the 129th meeting of the National Shipping Board (NSB) which was held here.

Addressing the meet, the minister informed about the need to expedite necessary reforms needed for the institutions to impart training in a wide range of disciplines in the Indian maritime sector.

"The prestigious Sagarmala Programme itself is expected to throw up about one crore jobs," Gadkari pointed out.

"Twelve major ports are being modernised and mechanised, three new ports are coming up soon, 111 inland waterways are being developed across the country and coastal shipping is also poised for major growth. All this will open up many employment avenues, so we need to train our youth so that they can take advantage of the job opportunities."

Further, Gadkari called for the expansion of training modules to enable Indian seafarers to go in for multi-tasking as well as making them the preferred choice for companies in the sector to hire.

Data furnished by the NSB showed that India ranks poorly in terms of the number of seafarers it supplies to the sector. The board explained that one of the main reasons for this was the inability of Indian seafarers to do multi-tasking.

Emphasising on the need to promote ease of doing business, Gadkari urged the members of the NSB to study the best practices in the maritime sector from across the world.

"Look at successful experiments and administrative reforms, be in constant dialogue with stakeholders and then come out with recommendations for an integrated development of the maritime sector," the minister elaborated.

"Suggest ways to improve policies, remove obstacles and bring about administrative changes through cost effective and eco-friendly means."

On the occasion, Gadkari released the logo of the NSB. This was Gadakri's first meeting with the NSB after he took charge of the shipping portfolio.

The NSB is the highest advisory body on matters related to Indian shipping and matters arising out of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The board was established on March 1, 1959.