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Equity investors realised Rs 50,000 crore in profit in last 4 years: Zerodha CEO

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New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Equity investors at online stock brokerage firm Zerodha have realised Rs 50,000 crore in profit in the last four years or so, while a whopping Rs 1 lakh crore worth of money is left unrealised on the platform, its Co-founder and CEO Nithin Kamath said on Tuesday.

“Equity investors @zerodhaonline have realised a profit of Rs 50,000 crore over the last 4+ years and are sitting on unrealised profits of Rs 1,00,000 crore on an assets under management (AUM) of Rs 4,50,000 crore.

“By the way, most of the AUM was added in the last four years,” he announced.

On the Lok Sabha election results day, more than Rs 8,000 crore in funds was added on Zerodha’s Kite app.

Last week, Kamath hailed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for making the markets safer and investor-friendly.

The market watch dog’s latest regulation is around the direct payout of securities to investor demat accounts upon purchase.

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Since 2019, SEBI has brought in several changes to the market, according to Zerodha CEO.

Zerodha now allows investors to instantly withdraw up to Rs 1 lakh daily between 9 A.M. and 4 P.M. at no additional cost.

–IANS

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Doctors witness surge in 'lupus' cases in north India due to heat waves

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) As heat waves continue in north India, doctors are witnessing a surge in cases of ‘lupus’, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own system is targeted, leading to multiple organ affection and damage, a doctor said on Wednesday.

Heat waves are causing an increase in the prevalence of lupus that affects the skin, joints, and kidneys among other organs. People who have lupus frequently experience flare-ups and increased symptoms as the temperature rises.

Dr Lalit Duggal, Senior Consultant, Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, said on Wednesday that 6 to 10 cases of lupus have been reported due to the heat waves.

This disease primarily affects women, and that too in their childbearing age between 15 to 45 years.

“Unlike many other rheumatologic disorders, this disease can affect any system of the body, including the skin, joints, lungs, kidneys, gut, liver, heart, and brain. The patient may present just with an unrelenting fever,” Duggal said in a statement.

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“Therefore, a high index of suspicion and awareness of the complications should direct the physician to diagnose this problem early and initiate treatment,” he added.

As per the doctor, several environmental factors can be possible triggers of an underlying genetic background. The triggers may include sun exposure, smoking, oral contraceptive use, postmenopausal hormones, viral infections, etc. The most obvious recognisable lesions are red patches that are highly photosensitive over the cheeks and the nose resembling the marks of wolf bites from where it takes its name — lupus.

Ulcers in the mouth, nose, and genital area can also be features of lupus.

“More sinister affection of this disease may include kidney disease with loss of proteins in the urine and irreversible damage if not treated,” he cautioned.

According to him, treatment depends on the severity of the disease and the type of organ affected. For example, skin involvement can be treated with local application of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 per cent, and hydroxychloroquine with or without low-dose steroids. Aggressive immunosuppression would be required for more severe disease, including organ environment, such as kidneys, lungs, brain, etc.

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With good control of the disease, the patients can lead a normal healthy life, but they have to be under the close supervision of experts, Duggal noted.

–IANS

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CERT-In, Mastercard join hands to bolster cybersecurity for financial sector

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), under the IT Ministry, on Wednesday said it has joined hands with financial giant Mastercard to promote cooperation and information sharing in the area of cybersecurity related to the financial sector.

The two entities will leverage their shared expertise regarding the financial sector in the fields of cybersecurity incident response, capacity building, sharing cyber threat intelligence specific to the financial sector and advanced malware analysis.

“Cybersecurity is the need of the hour and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is committed to ensuring that people on digital platforms are secure, as this warfare is not on the ground but in cyberspace,” Minister of State of Commerce & Industry, and Electronics and IT Jitin Prasada said.

“I am confident that this is an important milestone that will benefit not only both entities but also the public at large,” he added.

Mastercard and CERT-In will hold training programmes and workshops for cyber-capacity building, the latest market trends, and best practices to enhance the cyber security of financial sector organisations. The two entities will also share relevant cyber threat trends, technical information, threat intelligence, and vulnerability reports to strengthen the financial sector information security in the country.

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“The company is delighted to collaborate with CERT-In to fortify India’s financial digital ecosystem, which has powered unprecedented growth in the country,” said Gautam Aggarwal, Division President, South Asia at Mastercard.

–IANS

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Ancient India wasn't just economic, cultural leader in world but also of science, tech: Ola founder

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Ola Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal on Wednesday expressed his joy over the inauguration of the new campus of Nalanda University by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar’s Rajgir, saying that ancient India was not just the “economic and cultural leader of the world, but also of science, technology and knowledge”.

He thanked PM Modi for inaugurating the campus envisioning the future of the country’s global thought leadership.

“Thank you PM @narendramodi ji for inaugurating the new Nalanda University campus and envisioning a future of India’s global thought leadership,” Aggarwal wrote on X.

“I had the opportunity to visit the new Nalanda University and the ancient ruins last year,” he added.

The foundation stone of Nalanda University was laid in 2016. It has 24 large buildings constructed for Rs 1,749 crore.

The new campus comprises two academic blocks with a total of 40 classrooms, providing seating for approximately 1,900 students.

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It also includes two auditoriums, each with a capacity of 300 seats, and a student hostel that can accommodate about 550 students.

Additionally, the campus offers various other facilities, including an international centre, an amphitheatre with a capacity of up to 2,000 individuals, a faculty club, and a sports complex.

–IANS

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28 pc GST on gaming firms triggered a cascade of repercussions: Report

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The 28 per cent GST on skill-based online games has triggered a cascade of repercussions, including funding constraints, reduced growth trajectories, job losses, and heightened uncertainty across the sector, a report said on Wednesday.

Since October last year, a uniform 28 per cent GST has been imposed on the full value of bets placed in online games, while the gaming companies seek to levy 28 per cent GST on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) that is earned by the industry.

A review of the levy may be discussed at the upcoming GST Council meeting on June 22 but nothing has been finalised yet.

A joint report by Ernst & Young (EY) and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) has shed fresh light on the profound challenges faced by India’s pay-to-play online skill gaming industry following the recent GST tax amendments levying 28 per cent on deposits.

The report highlighted the impact of the pay-to-play model that has been at the receiving end of the revised GST regime. The games are fantasy games, card games and casual games.

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According to the findings, since 2019, the Indian gaming sector has attracted FDI of $2.6 billion from domestic and global investors and 90 per cent of the FDI was attracted in the pay-to-play format of the online gaming sector.

“Since October 2023, some companies reported a complete withdrawal of global marque investors just at the onset of the new GST regime,” the report stated.

Before the amendment, the GST cost constituted 15.25 per cent of the revenue. However, since October 1, 2023, the GST cost has increased manifold, with GST now consuming 50-100 per cent of the revenue for 33 per cent of companies and even surpassing total revenue for startups.

“These startups now have to operate at a loss,” the report argued.

Notably, the impact of the GST also depends upon the formats. For instance, in the case of casual games, the exponential increase in GST is threatening the business viability.

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“Over half of the sector’s enterprises are either staring at stagnant revenues or shrinking topline, with 25 per cent experiencing growth declines of up to 50 per cent. This marks a stark departure from previous growth rates exceeding 100-200 per cent,” said the report.

Decreased margins due to increased GST (being absorbed by the companies) had a ripple-down effect in employee layoffs and a complete pause in hiring specialist skills such as technology, product, animation, and design.

“Most companies have reported impacted jobs in terms of no hiring, layoffs, and shutting down operations altogether. The new GST regime has created concerns around the viability of the sector and is keeping away the right talent from joining the workforce, further exacerbating the sector’s woes,” said the report.

The report recommended amending the valuation mechanism for online money games to levy GST from the current “full-face value of total deposits” to GGR/platform fees — the amount retained by online gaming platforms for operating a game.

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In October last year, the GST authorities issued show-cause notices demanding as much as Rs 1 lakh crore from online gaming companies for tax evasion.

–IANS

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How brain scans can give distorted readings in some people

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New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Some brain scans can give false readings as people tend to become more relaxed and sleepy and changes in breathing and heart rates alter blood oxygen levels in the brain — which are then falsely detected on the scan as normal neuronal activity, a new study showed on Wednesday.

The tendency of people’s arousal to wane over the course of brain scans has been distorting the brain connection maps produced by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), said investigators from McLean Hospital (a member of Mass General Brigham), Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Drug Abuse – Intramural Research Programme (NIDA-IRP) in the US.

“These arousal-dampening conditions create the illusion that people’s brain connection strengths continuously inflate throughout the scan to help better connect the ideas,” said Cole Korponay, a Research Fellow at the McLean Hospital Imaging Center, in the study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

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The fMRI scans are commonly used to non-invasively map brain connectivity in a variety of situations, including planning for surgery, understanding the impact of a stroke, and studying how mental illness affects neurological function.

However, since fMRI relies on changes in brain blood oxygen to indirectly measure neuronal activity, it is vulnerable to “noise” from other processes that can affect blood oxygen – such as changes in breathing and heart rates.

Since breathing and heart rate patterns are closely tied to arousal levels, changes in arousal can introduce significant noise into fMRI data.

In the study, the research team identified a specific blood flow signal that seemed to track both the decline in subject arousal levels and the illusory inflation of functional brain connection strengths.

This non-neuronal, physiological noise signal – termed the “systemic low frequency oscillation” (sLFO) signal – grew over time during scanning, that tightly matched the pattern of the connection strength increases.

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“By adopting this sLFO denoising procedure, future studies can mitigate the distortive effects of arousal changes during brain scans and enhance the validity and reliability of fMRI findings,” said Korponay.

–IANS

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