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Zerodha's Nikhil Kamath launches non-dilutive grant fund for young entrepreneurs

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New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Leading stock broker Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath on Monday launched a non-dilutive grant agnostic fund ‘WTFund’, dedicated to nurturing young, promising entrepreneurs aged 25 and under.

This initiative focuses on individuals who have the potential to revolutionise their industries through creative ideas and compelling visions.

“Today, young founders tend to create the most impact within entrepreneurship. At WTFund, our goal is to cultivate a culture that encourages young entrepreneurs to embrace risk by providing a comprehensive support system,” Kamath said in a statement.

The fund offers a comprehensive package including a non-dilutive grant of Rs 20 lakh, enabling founders to retain full equity in their ventures.

Additionally, the fund provides access to operator-first mentorship pods, a vibrant community through the WTFund ecosystem.

Forty young entrepreneurs will be selected for funding and mentorship over one year.

They will undergo a rigorous screening process and receive support until they secure their first institutional funding.

The WTFund is open to investing in all sectors. This initiative will provide a comprehensive growth platform for emerging founders, creators, makers, and dreamers, offering them financial support and a unique opportunity to engage with a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.

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–IANS

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South Korea's average export price of cars hits record high

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Seoul, July 14 (IANS) The average price of South Korean automobiles shipped overseas hit a new record high in the first half of 2024, data showed on Sunday, following the growing demand for premium models.

According to data compiled by the Korea Automobile & Mobility Association, the average price of car exports reached $25,224 over the January-June period, up 0.5 per cent from $25,079 recorded a year earlier.

The increase came amid growing demand for eco-friendly models, as well as SUVs and commercial cars, which typically come with higher price tags, reports Yonhap news agency.

The combined value of automobile exports, meanwhile, reached $37 billion in the first half of this year, up 3.9 per cent over the period.

South Korea’s exports of hybrid cars rose 19.5 per cent on-year in the first half, with those of commercial vehicles also increasing by 6 percent, according to separate data compiled by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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“Exports of commercial vehicles are showing signs of recovery from the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had affected public transportation usage, as well as from the rise of Chinese competitors with higher price competitiveness,” an industry watcher said.

–IANS

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Monsoon likely to trigger foot ulcers in diabetic patients: Experts

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Monsoon raises the risk of foot ulcers in people with diabetes due to increased moisture and humidity, said experts on Sunday, stating the urgent need for specialised care and awareness.

Diabetic foot is a severe complication of diabetes that takes a toll on the feet due to prolonged high blood sugar levels. It raises the risk of nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation, foot ulcers, infections, and amputation in severe cases.

An estimated 15 per cent of diabetics are likely to experience the foot problem. While the risk runs all year, increased humidity during monsoons worsens the condition, said experts.

“Diabetic foot cases are seen more often especially in hot and humid weather, though we see them across the year. More than 50 per cent of people with diabetes experience foot infections during monsoon. People in the age group 50-65 with uncontrolled diabetes tend to commonly suffer from foot infections,” Shashank Joshi, Endocrinologist, Lilavati Hospital Mumbai, told IANS.

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Diabetic foot ulcer patients with severe infection may even require amputation. It also accounts for a significant proportion of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, stressing the need for preventive care and timely intervention.

“Diabetic foot ulcers lead to serious infections, amputations, and decreased quality of life. With monsoon season raising the risk due to increased moisture and humidity, diabetic patients need to maintain foot hygiene, opt for regular check-ups, and wear appropriate footwear to prevent ulcers,” Jaisom Chopra, Vascular Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Delhi, told IANS.

According to a recent study by the Christian Medical College, Vellore, in India, more people with diabetes are having their toes or even feet removed due to sores than the former estimates. It also found that after one amputation, the chance of having another in the future is three times higher.

“The reason for this is lack of nerve sensation and blood supply, so awareness and regular foot care is crucial. This is preventable,” Shashank said.

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The key to good foot care is good sugar control, and care of nerves and vessels as well as regular feet check. Specialist diabetic footwear is also available and people living with diabetes should seek expert care.

He advised diabetics to “quit smoking to enhance circulation, dry your feet, not walk barefoot, trim nails regularly, choose good quality socks if you are wearing shoes, and to consult an expert in case of wounds, redness, blisters, or ulcers”.

–IANS

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India needs stronger policy & infra to enable healthier food choices: Expert

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India is ahead of neighbouring countries in the implementation of food environment policies, but needs stronger policies and infrastructure to enable healthier food choices to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases, according to an expert on Sunday.

In a recent study, an international team of researchers, including scientists from The George Institute for Global Health, mapped the food policies and supporting infrastructure in four South Asian countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The team assessed the level of implementation of these policies and identified priority actions for the primary prevention of diet-related NCDs.

Speaking to IANS, Elisa Pineda, Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, UK, said, “India was generally better than neighbouring countries in terms of implementation of food environment policies and infrastructure support related to food and health”.

“But it still needs improvement to prevent the rising incidence of diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

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The study, published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia, showed that NCDs are the leading cause of illness and death worldwide.

South Asians, in particular, face a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases compared to other populations. The prevalence of diabetes in South Asia is projected to be about 151 million by 2045, it noted.

While the causes of NCDs are complex, an unhealthy diet is a leading modifiable risk factor, Dr. Elisa said.

Evidence suggests that improving food environments and implementing effective food-related policies are key to achieving healthier diets and reducing the prevalence of NCDs.

“India showed moderate progress in food labelling and taxation — all packaged foods were labelled in line with Codex recommendations and the government has introduced health taxes and regulations on the content of salt, sugar, and fat in food products, fruits and vegetables are tax-free, and there is a “Fat Tax” on unhealthy foods,” the researcher said.

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“However, other areas like food composition, provision, trade policies, and promotion remained weak.

“Although the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt was prohibited in schools, regulation of the promotion of unhealthy foods in other settings is required,” Elisa said.

Further, the study showed that in terms of infrastructure support for healthier food environments, India performed relatively well in leadership, governance, monitoring, and funding compared to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

However, “areas like platforms and integrating health into all policies were still weak, as there were no processes to assess the health impacts during the development of other non-food-related policies and no formal platforms between the government, the commercial sector, and civil society on food policies for improving population health,” Elisa said.

“Overall, while India was ahead in certain aspects, significant efforts are needed to achieve stronger and more comprehensive implementation in both policy and infrastructure support to enable healthier food choices and prevent non-communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

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The study called for urgent action to expand food policies beyond hygiene and food security measures.

Key recommendations include enhancing food labelling to help consumers make healthier choices; introducing taxes on unhealthy foods and subsidies for healthy options to encourage better eating habits; implementing stricter regulations on the marketing of unhealthy foods, especially to children; and ensuring that school meals meet high nutritional standards to promote healthy eating habits from a young age.

–IANS

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Last decade saw Indian homebuyers' wait for possession reduce to 4.9 years: Report

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Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) The last decade has seen homebuyers’ wait for possession in large under-construction projects in the top cities reduce to 4.9 years, from 6.1 years in the 2010-2019 period, a report showed on Sunday.

The average time to complete residential projects of more than 500 units in the top seven cities came down to 4.9 years from the first half of 2014 to the first half of this year.

This can be seen as a combined effect of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), modernisation of construction technology, and the increasing market share of large and listed developers, according to the report by Anarock Group.

“The stringent rules imposed on project delays by the regulatory authorities have also been a key factor in reducing the completion time,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Group.

For all large projects launched and completed between 2014 and H1 2024, the average completion time was lowest in Chennai with 3.6 years, while Hyderabad and Bengaluru clocked in at 4.2 and 4.8 years, respectively.

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For most large projects in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), developers had purchased land outright, thereby compromising their overall financial health and delivery capability.

“On the other hand, most projects in the main southern cities are joint developments where landowners usually get a certain share of the developed units,” said Puri.

In NCR, extreme weather conditions and the statutory restrictions imposed on construction when the pollution levels rise also affect construction timelines in the region.

In Kolkata, large projects launched and completed between 2014 to H1 2024 took the longest average time to complete, at 5.7 years.

In MMR, it took an average of 4.7 years to complete small projects and around 5.2 years for large projects.

In Delhi-NCR, homebuyers waited an average of 4.7 years for small projects and 5.4 years for large ones, the report noted.

–IANS

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India needs economic growth that is relatable to every individual: Jagdeep Dhankhar

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) India has made significant economic growth in the last 10 years, and as per Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, now “we need economic growth that is relatable to every individual.”

Speaking at a cyber security conference organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council (GCTC) in the national capital, the Vice President said that “from slot number 11, we are at number 5, ahead of the UK, France, Canada, Brazil.”

He noted that in a matter of time, India will also be ahead of Japan and Germany.

However, we now need “economic growth that is relatable to every individual,” he said.

Dhankhar informed about the “banking inclusion of 500 million people” and that the country “accounts for nearly 50 per cent of global transactions.”

Citing that India’s Internet per capita consumption is more than that of the US and China taken together, he also called for ramping up cyber security.

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“What India has achieved in just six years is normally not achievable in four decades. And that being so, we have to be extremely well prepared to sustain our economic growth, to see the trajectories incrementally, so that people are not disheartened by the onslaught of cybercrimes so that they are not cheated,” Dhankhar said.

Further, he noted that the government is focussing on commercialisation of 6G. He also called on educational institutions, and people to brace up to live with and to get training in disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning, which is here to stay.

“We have decided for ourselves that in 2047, when we have the centennial celebration of our Independence, Bharat will be a developed nation,” he said, noting that India is “in a position to handhold other nations” as during the Covid pandemic.

Notably, India helped 100 countries with its Covaxin-Maitri programme.

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“We must build a cyber capacity building in the Global South that will promote a secure and inclusive cyberspace for sustainable development. Development is vital, but sustainable development is soothing, wholesome, relieves the pain of everyone,” said the Vice President.

–IANS

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