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IFFCO is a symbol of hope in India’s cooperative movement: Dr H R Bharadwaj

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Nov 19: Recognizing IFFCO’s contribution toward alleviating hunger in India, Karnataka and Kerala Governor H R Bharadwaj has said “IFFCO is striding on the same path and creating synergy between the cooperative and agricultural development much needed for alleviating hunger and poverty.”

Delivering the Silver Jubilee Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial IFFCO lecture here, Dr. Bharadwaj called IFFCO as the success story of Cooperatives in India and expressed his appreciation for IFFCO’s performance in various spheres of production, transportation, sales and energy consumption.

The Governor said that IFFCO is not only producing quality fertilizers but also helping in community development and in the improvement in the state of poor and marginal farmers in India. He admired IFFCO’s efforts for the development of Agriculture to bring about overall upliftment of living standards of the rural poor.

Appreciating the work done by IFFCO he said “Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited is a symbol of hope in India’s cooperative movement. True to its values, it has persistently remained committed to the needs of its members in particular and the Indian farmer across the country.”

Paying personal tributes to the Iffco Managing Director, Dr U S Awasthi, Governor Bhardwaj said Awasthiji’s achievements are outstanding.

Remembering Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and the father of Cooperatives in India, Dr Bhardwaj said “Pt. Nehru not only industrialized the country through democratic processes but also tried to maintain the unique features in Indian philosophy.”

Calling Panditji a true democrat and a pioneer, the Governor said “the glory of Indian democracy is a gift by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.” He also shed light on his tolerant attitude, his scholarly spirit and his passion of promoting education and peace in India.

Commenting on Nehru’s vision of cooperatives, Dr Bhardwaj said “he wanted to make the Cooperative Movement as the basic activity of India in every village as well as elsewhere and finally the need to make the Cooperative approach common thinking of India”.

The vision of Jawaharlal Nehru was to develop rural India and IFFCO has successfully taked this vision forward and bringing upliftment to the living of rural poor and farmers, he said.

Dr Bhardwaj said "IFFCO is not only producing quality fertilisers but also helping quality development and improving the state of poor and marginal farmers in India."

He said "we have huge population to feed and it can't be dealt with without developing resources and cooperatives. Cooperative and agricultural development are much needed for alleviating hunger and poverty."

Dr. Bharadwaj also called for making the Cooperatives relevant in the changing times and said that making the institutions conducive to the changing time and space is an urgent necessary. He went on to say that Information and communication technology also can be of immense help to strengthen the cooperative movement further.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. U. S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO, said “IFFCO is today an example of the collective strength of the Indian Farmer and today is a name to reckon with not only in India but all over the globe”.

Dr Awasthi said "whatever we do, we see whether it is benefiting the farmer. Our efforts have always taken the nation towards prosperity with the help of cooperative movement."

He added “What makes IFFCO unique is the blend of a professional, corporate-like functioning with a cooperative spirit.”

He also thanked Dr. Bharadwaj for agreeing to deliver the Silver Jubilee Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial IFFCO Lecture and said “I am immensely happy that our effort to keep the values of the cooperatives alive has reached such commanding heights that the IFFCO memorial lecture today is an event eagerly awaited by people involved in the cooperative sector.”

At the function, Governor Bharadwaj presented IFFCO Sahakarita Ratna Award to Binny Yanga, Cooperator and Social Reformer from Arunachal Pradesh, and IFFCO Sahakarita Bandhu Award to Sita Ram Chauhan, Educationalist and Cooperator from Himachal Pradesh for outstanding individual achievements in promoting the Cooperative movement.

IFFCO Chairman NP Patel, IFFCO Joint Managing Director Rakesh Kapur and Iffco-Tokio Chairman K Srinivasa Gowda were among others present on the occasion.

Mrs Binny Yanga is an enthusiastic cooperator, an entrepreneur and a social reformer from Arunachal Pradesh. Born in the family of social activists, MrsYanga founded a Welfare organisation namely “All Subansiri District Girls’ Welfare Association” to generate awareness among the Society and raised voice against child marriages, forced marriages and dowry system. She resigned from Police department and resgistered a small NGO namely Oju Welfare Association (OWA) in 1988.

Currently the NGO takes up various activities for destitute women and orphans such as orphanages, crèches, short stay homes, working women hostels, schools and vocational training centers. She has been associated with various prestigious organisations such as National Khadi and Village Industries, Arunachal Pradesh and State Commission for Women, Tribal federation (TRIFED). She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards namely and presently she owns Oju Craft Center in Naharlagun which has around 200 employees. She has been a friend- philosopher and guide for cooperatives in Arunachal Pradesh especially for the women and youth in the state.

Mr Sita Ram Chauhan is a renowned Cooperator from Himachal Pradesh and a keen educationist. He started his career as a teacher and his association with cooperatives started with Primary Agriculture Service Societies. He became Director of Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Development Federation in the year 1994 and soon after was elected as Chairman and headed the Federation for two terms. He has made intense efforts to uplift the economic conditions of the farmers, women and youths while heading the prestigious organizations and encouraged them to form Farmers Clubs, Mahila Clubs and Yuva Clubs. Widely traveled, Chauhan has visited almost every cooperative institution in India and tried to interact with cooperative leaders. He has held various coveted positions like Vice-Chairman of National Cooperative Union of India and Director, Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Bank. He has also been honored with “Bharat Jyoti Award” in 2006 for his commendable service to the cooperatives. Presently he is a Chairman of two Cooperative Education Field Projects of National Cooperative Union of India at Bilaspur and Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

Canara Bank celebrates Founder's Day

By Deepak Arora

BANGALORE, Nov 19: Canara Bank celebrated its 107th Founders day here on November 19 being the birth anniversary of its founder Shri Ammembal Subba Rao Pai , who set up the Bank in Mangalore in July’1906.

This important event was graced by Mr Namo Narain Meena, Union Minister
of State for Finance, Mr K H Muniyappa, Union Minister of State (Independent
Charge) for MSMEs, Mr R. Ashoka, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and various Heads of Financial Institutions and customers.

The Union Minister of State for Finance stressed the need for addressing
still persisting problems of inadequate outreach of institutional credit to the rural poor. He asked Canara Bank, which has been playing a lead role in furtherance of the financial inclusion movement in the country, to carry on this good work for the welfare of the weaker sections.

K H Muniyappa highlighted that the Banks need to make inclusive growth a reality today.

Mr R. Ashoka highlighted the important role of Canara Bank in contributing to the development pattern of the State. He cogently argued that there is a compelling need for the State Government and Canara Bank to work in unison as partners in development.

In her welcome address, Executive Director Archna S Bhargava said that Canara Bank stood as one of the truly major public sector banks in the country occupying the coveted 4th position amongst the nationalized banks.

She stressed that while meeting the banking requirements of all segments of the society, Canara Bank always maintained focus on the needs of the common man in line with the vision of its founder.

On this occasion, she also announced Canara Bank’s initiative to reduce 0.25% interest in rate of interest on loans to MSMEs upto Rs. 1 crore with effect from 19th November, 2012. This would benefit large number of micro and small enterprises in reducing their interest burden.

Further, she also declared open the dedicated Call Centre set up by Canara Bank, SLBC Convenor Bank, for the State of Kerala for urban financial inclusion. The Call Centre would provide necessary guidance and assistance in local language to the urban poor for opening accounts with banks.

The Bank had opened a record number of 343 branches in 2011-12 in various
States and the total number of branches reached 3600. It shall be opening
another 100 branches during the current year.

Canara Bank opened 168 new Financial inclusion branches during 2011-12 and garnered business of Rs.747 crores till September 2012 in 6.18 lac accounts. Holistic financial inclusion has been promoted by not only mobilizing no-frill accounts, sanctioning small credit and providing micro-insurance, but also has covered non-financial supports like Aadhaar enrollment and financial literacy and credit counseling activities.

Mrs Bhargava also highlighted various initiatives taken by the Bank on the
InfoTech front. Such initiatives included Mobile Banking, Funds Transfer through
NEFT and RTGS, SMS Alerts, IVRS based enquiry, MCommerce (Mobile top up)
through Mobile banking, Loan account Credit facility through RTGS, etc.

The function concluded with the vote of thanks by Executive Director A K Gupta.

UN body ranks IFFCO 95th in global list of 300 co-operatives

Dr U S AwasthiNEW DELHI, Nov 9: India's largest fertilizer cooperative, Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has been ranked 95th in terms of turnover in the global list of 300 co-operatives released by UN body International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) for this year.

"The report ranked IFFCO at the 95th position overall and at the 20th position in the Agriculture and Food Industries sector," according to a statement issued by IFFCO.

IFFCO is the only co-operative from India to be featured in the ICA rankings, it added.

This year the survey was done amongst 2,190 co-operatives in 61 countries and in terms of turnover IFFCO was ranked at the 95th position, it added.

The ICA Global 300 report was launched by ICA in 2006 in France and brings together economic information about the 300 largest co-operatives and mutuals in the world, it said.

The rankings are given to promote the visibility of the co-operatives and show the world that there is an alternative business model, it added.

"I think it's time that we take a cue from the rest of the world especially Europe and instill more professionalism in co-operatives in India to save them from oblivion," IFFCO Managing Director U S Awasthi said.



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