Oppo R17 Pro to launch in India today: Specs, expected price and how to watch livestream

Oppo is all set to bring its premium R-series to India for the very first time today. The company is holding an event in Mumbai where it will announce the Oppo R17 Pro, a device that brings a premium design language complete with an edge-to-edge waterdrop display, all-glass body and an in-display fingerprint sensor, among other things. The R17 Pro is the first top-end smartphone launch for Oppo in India since the Find X. The Oppo R17 Pro also touts superior mid-range performance, championed by a Snapdragon 710 chipset, as well as SuperVOOC fast charging support.

The Oppo R17 Pro was first launched in China before it made its way to Europe a few weeks ago. The phone was launched at CNY 4,299 (approx Rs 43,800) in China, but you can expect the India pricing to be more competitive as the R17 Pro will compete against the OnePlus 6T, Samsung Galaxy A9 and the upcoming Nokia 8.1. So, a pricing of around Rs 30,000 would give the R17 Pro a good chance against the competition. Oppo may also launch the regular R17 today, but the spotlight will be on the Pro model. The Oppo R17 Pro is already up for pre-orders, but the company will be officially launching the product later today at 8pm IST. Oppo will be livestreaming the event via its YouTube channel.

The Oppo R17 Pro brings a 6.4-inch FHD+ waterdrop display with a 91.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. It also gets Gorilla Glass protection on the back along with a gradient colour scheme. It is powered by a powerful mid-range octa-core Snapdragon 710 chipset coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The R17 Pro also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The R17 Pro touts a triple camera system on the back. This includes a one 12MP sensor with variable aperture (f/1.5-2.4) and OIS, a 20MP secondary sensor with f/1.6 aperture and a third Time of Flight (TOF) 3D sensing camera that calculates depth information for 3D-like photos. The upcoming Oppo smartphone houses a 3,700mAH battery with a 40W SuperVOOC fast charging support which promises to charge the device from zero to 40 per cent in just 10 minutes.

[“source=indiatoday]

Is Your Open And Distance Programme Fake? Check UGC Recognised University List Here

Is Your Open And Distance Programme Fake? Check UGC Recognised University List Here

Several students who enrolled into distance education programmes offered by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai woke upto the news recently that their Institute no longer has the required recognition from the UGC, official government body responsible for the Open and Distance programmes run in the country. University Grants Commission (UGC)’s Distance Education Bureau on October 3, 2018 released a list of Higher Education Institutions or universities in India recognized by the commission for academic year 2018-19 and onwards to conduct programmes through the Open and Distance Learning Mode.

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

According to the list published by the UGC the some universities have their recognition to run the Open and Distance programmes till 2019-20 academic year, while some are allowed to run their courses till 2022-2023.

(Click here to know which courses are recognised by UGC)

Complete UGC Recognised University List

Check the complete list UGC recognised HEIs here (state-wise as on October 3, 2018):

ANDHRA PRADESH

1. ACHARYA NAGARJUNA UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

2. SRI PADMAVATI MAHILA VISHWAVIDYALAYAM (STATE UNIVERSITY)

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

3. RAJIV GANDHI UNIVERSITY

ASSAM

4. ASSAM DON BOSCO UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

5. KRISHNA KANTA HANDIQUE STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

6. GAUHATI UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

7. DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

8. TEZPUR UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

BIHAR

9. LALIT NARAYAN MITHILA UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

10. NALANDA OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

CHANDIGARH

11. PANJAB UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

UGC Urges Universities To Submit Social Science Research Proposal To IMPRESS

CHHATTISGARH

12. PT. SUNDARLAL SHARMA OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

13. C.V.RAMAN UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

DELHI

14. INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

15. UNIVERSITY OF DELHI (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

16. RASHTRIYA SANSKRIT SANSTHAN (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY)

GUJARAT

17. DR. BABASAHEB AMBEDKAR OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

HARYANA

18. CHAUDHARY DEVI LAL UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

19. MAHARISHI DAYANAND UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

20. GURU JAMBESHWAR UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

KARNATAKA

21. KARNATAKA STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

22. MANGALORE UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

23. BANGALORE UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

24. KUVEMPU UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

25. MYSORE UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

26. JAIN UNIVERSITY (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY)

New Approval Body For Journals In Social Sciences, Humanities: UGC

KERALA

27. UNIVERSITY OF KERALA (STATE UNIVERSITY)

28. CALICUT UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

29. KANNUR UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

MAHARASHTRA

30. MAHATMA GANDHI ANTARRASHTRIYA HINDI VISHWAVIDYALAYA (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

31. SHIVAJI UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

32. YASHWANTRAO CHAVAN MAHARASHTRA OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

33. SMT. NATHIBAI DAMODAR THACKERSEY WOMENS UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

MADHYA PRADESH

34. BARKATULLAH UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

35. M.P.BHOJ (OPEN) UNIVERSITY

36. MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI VEDIC VISHWAVIDYALAYA (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

37. DEVI AHILYA VISHWAVIDYALAYA (STATE UNIVERSITY)

38. M.G. CHITRAKOOT VISHWAVIDYALAYA (STATE UNIVERSITY)

ODISHA

39. FAKIR MOHAN UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

40. NORTH ORISSA UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

41. ORISSA STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

PUNJAB

42. PUNJABI UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

43. LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

PONDICHERRY

44. PONDICHERRY UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

RAJASTHAN

45. JAIPUR NATIONAL UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

46. SURESH GYAN VIHAR UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

47. JAGAN NATH UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

48. VARDHMAN MAHAVEER OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

49. JAYOTI VIDYAPEETH WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

TAMIL NADU

50. UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS (STATE UNIVERSITY)

51. ANNA UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

52. TAMIL NADU OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

53. TAMIL UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

54. SRM INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSITY)

TRIPURA

55. INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYSTS OF INDIA, AGARTALA (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

56. TRIPURA UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

TELANGANA

57. KAKATIYA UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

58. MAULANA AZAD NATIONAL URDU UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

59. DR. B.R. AMBEDKER OPEN UNIVERSITY, HYDERABAD (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

60. THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

UTTARAKHAND

61. UTTARAKHAND OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

62. UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM AND ENERGY STUDIES (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

UTTAR PRADESH

63. ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY (CENTRAL UNIVERSITY)

64. INTEGRAL UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

65. U.P. RAJARSHI TANDON OPEN UNIVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

66. SWAMI VIVEKANAND SUBHARTI UNIVERSITY (PRIVATE UNIVERSITY)

WEST BENGAL

67. BURDWAN UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

68. NETAJI SUBHASH OPEN UNVERSITY (STATE OPEN UNIVERSITY)

69. VIDYASAGAR UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

70. UNIVERSITY OF KALYANI (STATE UNIVERSITY)

71. RABINDRA BHARATI UNIVERSITY (STATE UNIVERSITY)

OTHERS

72. JAGADGURU SHRI SHIVARATHREESW ARA UNIVERSITY (KARNATAKA)

73. JAIN VISHWA BHARATI INSTITUTE (RAJASTHAN)

74. DAYALBAGH EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE (UTTAR PRADESH)

75. PADMASHREE DR. D.Y. PATIL VIDYAPEETH, MUMBAI (MAHARASHTRA)

[“source=cnbc”]

Podcast | Digging Deeper: Decoding the pre-election sops to MSMEs

Image result for Podcast | Digging Deeper: Decoding the pre-election sops to MSMEs

The frenetic election season will bring with it controversies, sops, slogans, rallies and a lot more and media platforms will as always struggle to keep up with it all.

From the time the government reached out to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with  overtures to boost their growth, analysts have tried to understand not just the reasons and the implications of the move but the fine print underscoring it.

In this Moneycontrol Deep Dive podcast. we examine whether the 59-minute loan sanction for small businesses  is a gimmick or a masterstroke.

On November 6, Debabrata Das, wrote a piece in Fortune India with this headline, ” With an eye on elections, government gives boost to MSME sector.”

The  article exhibited a pattern of inquiry that is essential to make sense of sweeping economic decisions. It is after all still hard to completely deconstruct the reasons and outcomes of demonetisation. Or successfully  evaluate the management of the goods and services tax (GST). Or even to foretell the impact of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) directives that are currently causing panic among ATM operators. But we must try, right?  If only,  because such complex ideas  have the potential of affecting citizenry in a far-reaching  manner.

And in retrospect, demonetisation and GST impositions did adversely impact  among other things, small and medium businesses.  And hence economic policy makers must think of not just the immediate returns of  a momentous announcement but also how it will  pan out in the future, in real time, when implemented.

And that is why it is important that the MSME goody bag is examined in its entirety. Especially because there has been an unprecedented tension between RBI  and the central government over the liquidity issues pertaining to easing credit availability to micro, small and medium enterprises. And as always there is that unavoidable question. Why now?

What about the timing?

 As Debabrata wrote in the Fortune piece, “At a time when the talk of a liquidity crunch in the Indian financial system is rife, it seems odd that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been promised that loans below Rs 1 crore would be sanctioned in less than an hour. But when you put it in the context of a general election next spring, the government’s efforts to pacify the MSME sector, which been through the wringer in the past two years, starts to make sense.

For nearly two years, the MSME sector has borne the brunt of the government’s policy measures. With demonetisation first and then the haphazard implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), the MSME sector had been left cash-strapped.” Unquote.

The author cites  MSME Pulse report from TransUnion CIBIL and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to report  how the percentage of non-performing assets in the loans given to the sector grew to 17.2 percent this June, from 14 percent in December 2016. According to the report, he says, the total credit exposure in India to the MSME sector is Rs 22.8 lakh crore.

Adding to the woes of the sector was the fact that loans were tough to come by. This was , says the author, because  11 of the 21 public sector banks are facing lending restrictions as they are under the Reserve Bank of India’s prompt corrective action (PCA) framework.

“With a financing requirement of nearly Rs 4.5 lakh crore over the next two year, it was assumed that the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) will step up into the space left vacant. However, in the aftermath of the meltdown of the biggest NBFC in the country, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), the entire industry is strapped for cash.”

A political decision?

 As expected , says the piece, traditional support base among MSMEs for the ruling party was getting increasingly antagonised but things took a swift turn when a large support package was announced for the sector.

As the piece elucidates, “Prime amongst the measures was the promise of loans of less than Rs 1 crore being sanctioned in less than an hour. These loans can be accessed through a link on the GST portal. Further, all GST-registered MSMEs would get a 2 percent interest subvention for fresh and incremental loans. And for exporters who receive loans in the pre-shipment and post-shipment period, there would be an increase in interest rebate to 5 percent from the existing 3 percent.

MSMEs with a turnover above Rs 500 crore would be brought on to the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS) where entrepreneurs would be able to access credit from banks based on their upcoming receivables.” Unquote.

Additionally,  as the piece informs, public sector companies have been asked to procure 25 percent  of their total purchases from MSMEs and of this 3 percent should be from MSMEs promoted by women entrepreneurs. We quote, “To improve the ease of doing business for MSMEs, clusters would be formed, initially for pharmaceutical sector MSMEs; regulations with regard to labour laws have been relaxed; inspections would be done through a computerised random allotment; and environmental clearance has been simplified.” Unquote.

Vinod Parmar, global head of sales and marketing at Vayana Network is cited and he opines that linking loan approvals to GST returns will encourage more and more MSMEs to become a part of the formalised economy. Besides, any platform which can reduce friction and give convenient access to finance to the MSMEs will see rapid adoption, according to him.

What will be the big gain?

 The bigger question is IF the growth of MSMEs will benefit from these measures. It goes without saying as the piece suggests, that the well-being of 65 million MSMEs in the country that employ  120 million people, will impact which way the election results swing in 2019. As the author says, “Disruption in credit to the sector could affect both jobs and the MSME entrepreneurs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a penchant for making mega announcements near the festival of Diwali. This year, the focus clearly is on the elections, which is why the traders who form the BJP’s traditional support base have a lot to cheer about.” Unquote.

The larger picture

 On November 6, Ravi Krishnan wrote a Moneycontrol  piece that also went beyond the optics of the sops to convey that an inordinate price should not be paid for a short -term gain. The central argument being, “It is important that MSMEs get access to credit, but it should not come at the cost of banking sector’s health.”

The piece concedes that access to formal credit is a serious issue for most micro, small and medium firms in India. And on the surface, it seems that the government is seeking to fill this gap with its 12-point programme announced on November 2.

The slip between the cup and lip as far as lending to this sector goes, can be attributed to the fact that about 97 per cent of MSMEs operate in the informal sector and without  formal documentation and records, loans are hard to come by.

We quote, “Bank credit has been slow in recent years. Although it picked up recently, banks have ceded space to NBFCs or  Non Banking Financial Companies who have doubled their share in MSME credit from 5.5 per cent in December 2015 to around 10 per cent by March 2018. That’s why when a liquidity crunch is feared to hit NBFC lending, the government has been pushing the central bank to open a special window for such firms and also be lenient in recognising MSME defaults.” Unquote.

But even good intentions must consider how much they will cost.

As the author says, “While an attempt to help out the MSME sector is commendable, sanctioning a loan of Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes looks like a gimmick that can have unintended consequences. It could mean subtly putting pressure on state-owned banks to lend to this sector. Public sector banks would do well not to relax their credit appraisal and assessment in a rush to meet this artificial deadline. As it is, in a sector that is reeling from demonetisation and  the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the level of delinquent loans is pretty high. According to SIDBI’s MSME Pulse, the non-performing assets ratio ranges from 8.7 percent to 19.5 percent depending on the size of the loan taken.” Unquote.

It is now an established fact that public sector banks have been hit badly with about 15. 2 percent of their MSME loans turned sour at the end of June 2018 compared to 5 percent for NBFCs and 3.9 percent for private banks.

Says the author, “Unbridled, forced lending to the sector could reverse the gains made by banks in recognizing and resolving their bad loans. Thus, the government would do well to take steps to help MSMEs beyond opening credit channels. Indeed, some of this has already been done. Asking companies with a turnover above Rs 500 crore to register themselves on the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) receivables platform will help MSMEs tackle cash flow problems and enhance their access to credit, since banks will have greater security (and documentation) in extending loans.

Indeed, the larger question policymakers should ask is why do MSMEs remain small and operate in the informal economy. The answer lies in complex regulations and lack of infrastructure. The GST, which is supposed to help ease the tax burden, is a case in point.” Unquote.

It is of course important to recognise the unrealised potential  of MSMEs as they contribute to a fifth of the country’s labour force, about 45 per cent of manufacturing output and 40 percent of India’s exports.

However, to help them thrive,  improving infrastructure and ease of doing business are a must. Some steps that have been announced must be lauded as checking unwarranted inspections of factories, simplifying penalties for minor offences under the Companies Act etc but as the piece points out, more such measures are needed rather than directed lending.

The pitfalls

 What could go wrong with populist measures like indiscriminate lending? Well, plenty.  The MSME package promises loan clearances in 59 minutes flat, disbursal within 10 days and concessional interest rates on borrowings. It was a great idea, but a flawed decision, says  consulting editor  RN Bhaskar   in a Moneycontrol piece on November 22. We quote, “The  Banks are already weakened by bad loans. Concessional interest rates and forcing them to increase their allocation of funds to MSMEs from the existing 20-25 percent is not a wise way of strengthening the banking sector. ” Unquote.

The article recognises the importance of the MSMEs in the organised sector work force and cites  The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ annual report for 2017-18 which pointed out that this sector accounted for Rs 39 lakh crore of gross value added (GVA), or about 31.6 percent of the country’s GVA.

And of the jobs they provide, about five crore  are in rural areas, making its support crucial during elections in states like Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for 14 percent of all MSMEs.

But the author points out that the only dark cloud is that the rate at which they have been growing has been declining consistently. We quote, “They grew by 15 percent in 2012-13, 12.3 percent in each of the two following years, and only 7.62 percent in 2015-16.

Clearly, they needed incentives and a bit of prodding to accelerate their growth rate. Demonetisation had hit them very hard and so did the Goods & Services Tax (GST). The latter has increased their need for working capital because GST must be paid at the time of invoicing, even before the money comes into their kitty.

[“source=designresearchcenter].

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

New Delhi: 

Several students who enrolled into distance education programme offered by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai have been sent in a lurch. The distance programme offered by University of Mumbai is no longer recognized by UGC. The Distance Education Bureau, UGC released the list of approved Distance Education Institutes and their corresponding courses for the academic year 2018-19 on October 3 this year.

By the time the list was released, several Open Universities and Distance Education departments had completed the admission process. Students who have taken admission into such programmes and institutes which are no longer recognized by UGC are now in a fix.

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the Mumbai University Distance Education Programme lost its recognition because of the University’s lack of a NAAC grade. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the University had completed admission process to the distance education courses on October 30, which poses the question as to why the University went ahead with the admission process when UGC had de-recognized its distance programmes.

Is Your Open And Distance Programme Fake? Check UGC Recognised University List Here

It’s not just IDOL, Mumbai University that has lost its recognition. As opposed to 118 Open Schools and Universities that were recognized by UGC in the list released in 2017, there are only 75 universities in the list released in 2018.

There is no word form UGC yet about the plight of these students and what steps could be taken to rectify the mistake and not allow one academic year to go into waste for these students.

[“source=ndtv”]

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

New Delhi: Several students who enrolled into distance education programme offered by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai have been sent in a lurch. The distance programme offered by University of Mumbai is no longer recognized by UGC. The Distance Education Bureau, UGC released the list of approved Distance Education Institutes and their corresponding courses for the academic year 2018-19 on October 3 this year.

By the time the list was released, several Open Universities and Distance Education departments had completed the admission process. Students who have taken admission into such programmes and institutes which are no longer recognized by UGC are now in a fix.

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the Mumbai University Distance Education Programme lost its recognition because of the University’s lack of a NAAC grade. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the University had completed admission process to the distance education courses on October 30, which poses the question as to why the University went ahead with the admission process when UGC had de-recognized its distance programmes.

Is Your Open And Distance Programme Fake? Check UGC Recognised University List Here

It’s not just IDOL, Mumbai University that has lost its recognition. As opposed to 118 Open Schools and Universities that were recognized by UGC in the list released in 2017, there are only 75 universities in the list released in 2018.

There is no word form UGC yet about the plight of these students and what steps could be taken to rectify the mistake and not allow one academic year to go into waste for these students.

[“source=gsmarena”]

4 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

4 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

High costs of college tuition and the growing abundance of online resources to learn about topics from computer science to blockchains have created an unprecedented opportunity for self-taught professionals and entrepreneurs. Consistently learning new skills and adapting to the evolving work environment is crucial to maintaining a fruitful career in today’s workforce.

Many college graduates do not even work in the field that they majored in, and instead, work in an area that they initially received a job in out of college or taught themselves how to excel in. Whether you’re looking to transition into another field or just want to learn some new skills as a hobby, the ability to do so has never been as convenient or powerful as it is now.

The increasing prominence of online education resources

In parallel to the proliferation of online educational resources is the explosive growth of freelancing. A 2017 study by Upwork revealed that freelancers are predicted to become the majority of the workforce within the decade. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs are self-taught, learning new skills on the fly out of a need to develop a professional talent or by meticulously studying a topic through online classes or reading.

Related: 15 of the Best and Most Unusual Online Courses for Entrepreneurs

The progression of the internet into its modern form has opened avenues for extensive, user-friendly, and affordable educational material for users of all levels of experience. Online resources for enhancing professional skills range from free university courses to standalone educational platforms that connect students and paid professionals. Some even offer informative games, impressive video tutorials and open-source frameworks for improving  content.

Here are four areas in which you develop skills and learn more about online.

1. Coding and software development

I taught myself the basics of computer programming in a prison cell by reading textbooks and using a number two pencil, without internet access. I know computer science can be intimidating for someone not familiar with the topic since it is often viewed as having an exceptionally high barrier to entry and robust prerequisite skills in mathematics. Thankfully, numerous educational materials are available for users of all experience levels to learn about how computers work and how to program.

These resources are not just relegated to proprietary online platforms either. MIT OpenCourseWare offers undergraduate and graduate courses on computer science — among other topics — online for free.

Platforms such as KhanAcademy, Coursera, and Udemy all provide their own courses on software development, computer science and other related topics. The material may be intimidating at first, but the classes are comprehensive and tailored to students of all talents with video tutorials, walk-through problems, projects and connections to top educators.

2. Languages

Learning new languages becomes more challenging as you get older, but the sheer amount of content and material available to learn new languages today is perhaps the best representation of online education’s progression. Services such as Rosetta Stone are established and popular among many people, but numerous other services have also arisen.  

Internet Polyglot offers courses on 21 different languages, Live Lingua is an entirely free full-immersion language course platform and mobile apps such as Duolingo and Busuu have skyrocketed to the top of the app download charts. The ability to speak multiple languages is not only helpful if you live in a foreign country or are traveling, but is a net positive for your resume that can even bolster your salary.

Related: Get Smarter About Business Cheaper With These 10 Free Online Courses

3. Healthcare and medicine

Similar to computer science, healthcare and medicine are primarily viewed through the prism of an exceedingly high barrier to entry. However, the notion that you can be successful in the medical industry solely with a doctorate is fading.

Online platforms such as Khan Academy and Coursera offer some in-depth material on life sciences, sports medicine and anatomy. Although they won’t provide the necessary material for becoming a doctor, they can help launch your career in the field or provide up-to-date content for you to refine your knowledge.

The prevalence of online education in fields including pharmaceutical medicine, healthcare project management and public health are also increasing. Once challenging areas of study to access are now widely available through platforms such as Class Central that aggregate resources from the top online universities in several fields. Subjects available in healthcare and medicine include clinical statistics and research, nutrition and epidemiology.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain and cryptocurrency exploded into the mainstream following the meteoric rise of the price of Bitcoin at the end of 2017. Despite the relative decline in prices over the past year, interest in the blossoming industry persists. Moreover, resources have transformed from obscure open-source Github repos to comprehensive courses on everything from understanding the underlying protocols to programming smart contracts. The demand for blockchain experts has officially exceeded supply, as reported by BTC Manager. That means, despite the volatility of the market, there’s still a huge market opportunity for anyone wanting to develop their skills.

Kingsland University – School of Blockchain was the winner of the 2018 Stevie Award in the Innovator of the Year category that offers a highly touted and extensive suite of blockchain programming curriculum. Programs like those provided by Kingsland University were few and far between in the early days of blockchain technology, but now are vital to onboarding new industry participants and facilitating the transition of many programmers to the blockchain space. With industry partnerships — such as their recent one with the Tezos Foundation — Kingsland will be creating the much-needed talent pool that will drive future innovation and growth. They’ve recognized the crucial role education plays and they are getting out into the community and providing scholarships for career building education, with a nearly guaranteed job at the end of the training.

Related: Why Your Business Assets Belong on the Blockchain

Other resources for learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrency are Blockchain at Berkley and Udacity’s Nanodegree program on blockchain development. With the technology still in its early stages and blockchain developer salaries among the highest out of any industry, the opportunity to earn a lucrative income has never been so widely available.

The internet has created unprecedented educational opportunities for anyone with an internet connection. Previously restricted and highly exclusive material is now available for free to virtually everyone. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, online resources are crucial to gaining professional insights and building a foundation to advance their careers. I dedicate one hour per day to learning something new and even have it as a calendar event on my schedule to make sure I hit my daily goal. It’s so much easier to learn now that all of my notes don’t have to be scribbled down in a notepad using a number two golf pencil.

[“source=forbes]

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

TS

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

MHRD accepts Justice Reddy Committee Recommendations on open, distance education programmes

New Delhi: 

The central government has accepted the Justice Reddy Committee recommendations regarding the Distance Education Programmes being run in the country by various universities. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a three members Committee after the Supreme Court directed it to constitute a three members Committee to examine the issues related to distance education in the country and also to suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues.

The court has ordered to constitute the committee comprising of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level.

Now, the Ministry has notified following instructions to all the stakeholders based on the recommendations of the Justice Reddy Committee on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Courses:

1. The list of approved courses offered under ODL mode, institution – wise every year is available on UGC website at www.ugc.ac.in/deb.

2. No course, other than the one that finds place in the list referred to above, would be recognized and a candidate who studies unrecognized courses cannot claim any benefit.

3. Under no circumstances, retrospective or ex-post facto recognition to any course through ODL mode shall be granted by UGC.

4. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are required to comply with all the provisions of the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments. If any deviation by the HEI is noticed, the same would entail not only withdrawal of permission/ recognition for such ODL courses but also for other courses offered by the institutions, on regular and conventional mode.

5. The UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 are applicable to all HEIs as given at Clause (3) of sub-regulation (1) of Part – I of UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017. It is further clarified that the private universities created under the State enactments shall be under obligation to strictly follow the requirements, stipulated by the UGC, issued from time to time including those under the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017.

[“source=forbes]

Before you pause your student loan payments, consider the risks

Silhouette Portrait of a graduate in cap and gown

 

Yet when your payments resume, they’re often higher because your debt has swelled, thanks to interest.

The Associated Press, citing a 2017 Department of Education audit, reported this week that Navient, one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies, steered tens of thousands of struggling borrowers into costly delays of their payments, known as “forbearances.”

Made conscious decision to focus on quality, not quantity of loans: SoFi CEO Anthony Noto   4:00 PM ET Tue, 23 Oct 2018 | 03:12

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that Navient added more than $4 billion in interest to borrowers’ debt through the misuse of forbearances between 2010 and 2015. Navient disputes the allegations in the audit and those by the CFPB.

Despite the fact that putting off payments increases their debt, nearly 70 percent of people who began repaying their student loans in 2013 had their debt in forbearance for some period, according to an April report by the Government Accountability Office.

What else can a borrower do?

Borrowers should first ask whether a deferment is available before they opt for a forbearance, said Bruce McClary, vice president of communications at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

That’s because interest does not accrue on subsidized student loans during an economic hardship deferment, for example, as it does with a forbearance. There are also deferments for cancer patients now.

If your difficulty repaying your student loans is unlikely to come to an end any time soon, you might want to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan, which caps your monthly payment at a percentage of your income. Some monthly bills wind up totaling nothing.

Is a forbearance ever a good idea?

Borrowers who find themselves in a short-term difficulty, such as a medical leave or temporary unemployment, might want to consider forbearance, said Mark Kantrowitz, an expert on financial aid and publisher of SavingForCollege.com.

A forbearance typically lasts a year, and borrowers can use the option up to three times.

If possible, however, people should request a partial forbearance and keep up with at least their interest payments during the break.

“This will prevent your loan from growing larger during the forbearance,” Kantrowitz said.

Can I trust my lender?

Given that student loan servicers might not always provide borrowers the best information, it helps to review your options with a nonprofit such as The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, an organization that offers free advice and dispute resolution.

[“source=cnbc”]

Top 5 must-knows for education loan tax deduction

Gaurav Aggarwal

Education plays a crucial role in the economic development of all societies. While there is a universal acknowledgement to the need for public funding of primary and secondary education, public funding of higher education in a developing country like India is not feasible.

Thus, recognising the importance of higher education and the role of institutional funding to deal with rising cost of higher education, the policymakers came out with tax deduction on education loans under Section 80E.

The objective was to relieve interest burden from education loan borrowers through tax incentives. However, to claim the tax deduction, the borrowers have to meet certain conditions.

Here is a list of ‘must-knows’ regarding tax deduction on education loans:

Principal component does not qualify for tax deduction:

Borrowers often misunderstand tax exemption provisions available on education loan. This stems from tax exemptions available on home loan where both principal and interest components of EMIs qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C and 24b, respectively.

[“source=marketingweek]

Liz Weston: How to ‘Death Clean’ Your Finances

FILE – This April 2017 file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File) The Associated Press

The phrase “death cleaning” may sound jarring to unaccustomed ears, but the concept makes sense. It’s about getting rid of excess rather than leaving a mess for your heirs to sort out.

“Death cleaning” is the literal translation of the Swedish word dostadning, which means an uncluttering process that begins as people age. It’s popularized in the new book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson.

Magnusson focuses on jettisoning stuff, but most older people’s finances could use a good death cleaning as well. Simplifying and organizing our financial lives can make things easier for us while we’re alive and for our survivors when we’re not.

This task becomes more urgent when we’re in our 50s. Our financial decision-making abilities generally peak around age 53, researchers have found, while rates of cognitive decline and dementia start to climb at age 60. As we age, we tend to become more vulnerable to fraud, scams, unethical advisers and bad judgment, says financial literacy expert Lewis Mandell, author of “What to Do When I Get Stupid.” Cleaning up our finances can help protect us.

Some steps to take:

CONSOLIDATE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS

Fewer accounts are easier to monitor for suspicious transactions and overlapping investments, plus you may save money on account fees. Your employer may allow you to transfer old 401(k) and IRA accounts into its plan, or you can consolidate them into one IRA. For simplicity, consider swapping individual stocks and bonds for professionally managed mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (but check with a tax pro before you sell any investments held outside retirement funds). Move scattered bank accounts under one roof, but keep in mind that FDIC insurance is generally limited to $250,000 per depositor per institution.

AUTOMATE PAYMENTS

Memory lapses can lead to missed payments, late fees and credit score damage, which can in turn drive up the cost of borrowing and insurance. You can set up regular recurring payments in your bank’s bill payment system, have other bills charged to a credit card and set up an automatic payment so the card balance is paid in full each month. Head off bounced-transaction fees with true overdraft protection, which taps a line of credit or a savings account to pay over-limit transactions.

PRUNE CREDIT CARDS

Certified financial planner Carolyn McClanahan in Jacksonville, Florida, recommends her older clients keep just two credit cards: one for everyday purchases and another for automatic bill payments. Closing accounts can hurt credit scores, though, so wait until you’re reasonably sure you won’t need to apply for a loan before you start dramatically pruning.

SET UP A WATCHDOG

Identify whom you want making decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. Use software or a lawyer to create two durable powers of attorney — one for finances, one for health care. You don’t have to name the same person in both, but do name backups in case your original choice can’t serve.

Consider naming someone younger, because someone your age or older could become impaired at the same time you do, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, an elder-law attorney in San Rafael, California, who runs AgingParents.com. Grant online access to your accounts, or at least talk about where your trusted person can find the information she’ll need, Rosenblatt recommends.

Also create “in case of emergency” files that your trusted person or heirs will need. These might include:

?Your will or living trust

?Medical directives, powers of attorney, living wills

?Birth, death and marriage certificates

?Military records

?Social Security cards

?Car titles, property deeds and other ownership documents

?Insurance policies

?A list of your financial accounts

?Contact information for your attorney, tax pro, financial adviser and insurance agent

?Photocopies of passports, driver’s licenses and credit cards

A safe deposit box is not the best repository, because your trusted person may need access outside bank hours. A fireproof safe bolted to a floor in your home, or at minimum a locked file cabinet, may be better, as long as you share the combination or key (or its location) with your trusted person. Scanning paperwork and keeping an encrypted copy in the cloud could help you or someone else recreate your financial life if the originals are lost or destroyed.

[“Source-usnews”]