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James Murdoch and Uday Shankar-led Bodhi Tree invests $600 million in test prep firm Allen

James Murdoch and Uday Shankar’s Bodhi Tree Systems platform announced a $ 600 million investment in the Kota-based Allen Career Institute on May 1. “Strategic partnerships” and investments, organizations say, will help Allen expand its offerings and accelerate physical and digital expansion in various Indian cities, a Allen spokesman said. The investment comes from Bodhi Tree Systems, a newly created platform between Earth Systems founder and CEO James Murdocch and Uday Shankar, former president of The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific and former chairman of Star and Disney India. The official announcement did not state how much the investment would receive. But a source says the three-decade-old Kota-based test training company, with a presence in 46 cities in India and the Gulf region, is worth more than $ 1 billion, and Allen is likely to further expand its base in the growing space. “We believe that education is at the height of the technological renaissance, which will fundamentally change the way education is delivered and increase its effectiveness … despite the aspirations of millions of students and parents in India and beyond,” Murdoch and Shankar said in a statement.  

“Education is a critical consumer need, driven by the deepest transformational impact on the lives and existence of consumers,” the duo added.

 Allen’s investment comes at a time when the test preparation market is in heavy action and traditional test preparation markets are being transformed through investments, mergers and acquisitions. Angkon While Aakash Education last year acquired BYJUs for nearly $ 1 billion, another leading brand of test training, T.I. ME won last month’s named edtech player Veranda Learning for Rs 287 million.

 Allen’s Bodhi Tree investment comes amid loud buzzing that leading edtech is seeking a large stake in Allen, but cannot push through due to a valuation issue.

 Founded in 1988, Allen is a leading test preparation brand that prepares students for technical entries such as IIT JEE Mains and JEE Advanced, NEET Medical Entry, Olympics and some other competition exams. “Our partnership with Bodhi Tree is a key component in continuing our mission to further strengthen Allen’s reach and influence. We are pleased and excited that the Bodhi Tree team also sees value in pooling their expertise from our educational experience,” said Rajesh Maheshwari, Founding CEO. Allen.

 Keshav Maheshwari, the second generation owner of the Maheshwari Allen family, said: “Our partnership with Bodhi Tree will not only help us expand our operations in India through technology, but will also inspire our growth path in the Middle East (Asia). .

Bodhi Tree Systems says it will use the shared records of its founders to build consumer-defining businesses to make Allen the first-class digital education company of the future. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar’s sovereign investment fund, is an investor in Bodhi Tree Systems.

The transaction is likely to close in two to three months, subject to regulatory approvals. EY Consulting is the sole financial advisor. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas provided legal advice and documentation support to Allen. EY also provides Bodhi Tree due diligence services. AZB & Partners is Bodhi Tree’s legal counsel.

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LS Clears CA Amendment Bill

Sitharaman said only ICAI had raised the objections, while other two institutes were fine with the amendments

On Wednesday, Lok Sabha passed a bill to reform the operation of chartered accountants, cost accounting officers and company secretaries, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying the changes – or not – affect the agencies’ autonomy and are designed in line with best practices in the world. to make these institutes more responsible.

 

The draft law on chartered accountants, cost and labor accountants and company secretaries (amendment) seeks to appoint a non-certified accountant (CA), a non-cost accountant and a non-business secretary as chairman of the disciplinary commissions of the relevant institutes. . greater transparency of their work.

 

Sitharaman, who is also the Minister of Business, said the changes would not jeopardize the autonomy of the three institutions. However, it will improve the quality of control and improve the investment climate in the country, he added.

 

According to him, the changes “will make the institutions more responsible and accountable” and encourage them to adopt the best practices of the world. All parties involved must have more confidence in the audit trail, he stressed.

“There is no proposal or intention to indicate the autonomy of the three institutions , they will continue in office,” Sitharaman said in response to a lower house debate.

 

A bill amending the Chartered Accountants Act of 1949, the Cost and Labor Accountants Act of 1959, and the Company Secretaries Act of 1980 was later approved by the Second Chamber after the amendments proposed by members of the opposition were rejected.

 

The bill envisages the establishment of a coordination committee headed by a secretary of the Ministry of Trade. It is represented by three institutes. The minister said the three constitutions had previously signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a coordination committee, but the proposal was not useful.

 

The commission will help manage the institutes’ resources, he said, adding that the IIM and the IIT also have coordination committees.

 

During the debate, opposition members accused the government of interfering in the functioning of autonomous bodies and controlling independent institutions such as the ICAI. The ICAI has also expressed concern about the changes.

 

Congressman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “Through this law, the government has cunningly and deliberately tried to consolidate power and usurp the independence of the institutions by abolishing the autonomous structure of the institution in question.”

 

NCP leader Supriya Sule said his main concern was the autonomy of the three accounting institutions. “You give examples of IIT and IIM. But these institutions are funded by the government when they are not. How can they be compared? Doesn’t that deprive these institutions of autonomy?” he asked.

Sitharaman said only the ICAI objected, while the other two institutions were good at making changes. “When we consulted with stakeholders, all institutions provided their individual input, ICSI and cost accountants had no objections,” Sitharaman said. The bill was first introduced in December last year, but was sent to the Standing Committee for further consultation. The commission, led by former Finance Minister Jayant Sinhou, submitted a report last week, approving the amendment and rejecting the ICAI’s objections.

IT Department conducts searches on a popular chain of educational institutes in Maharashtra

On March 14, 2022, the Income Tax Department inspected Educational Institutes

The search covered more than 25 areas in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. During the search, a lot of defamatory evidence was found and confiscated, including printed documents and digital data, which revealed that much of the funds had been withdrawn from the Trust for the personal benefit of the group’s promoters and their families, contrary to the facility. in connection with obtaining exemption from trusts under the Income Tax Act of 1961.The modus operandi of the trusts trusts involves debit mini-expenses to cover the purchase of goods / services from various fictitious companies and LLPs owned by the promoters, their family members and some of their trusted employees.

 

It was found that these entities did not / did not provide any goods / services and the staff confirmed the same on their deposit. The money raised was used to invest in acquiring Venetian real estate and dishonest payments.

During the search, evidence was found of about two dozen intangible properties in Maharashtra, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, which were also found in Benami properties or were not included in the relevant decrees. These properties are located below the temporary attachment.

The search also revealed evidence that Hundi’s loans were collected by Rs. 55 crore crowns and their cash payment in the form of released bills of exchange / bills of exchange that were found and confiscated. The search resulted in the confiscation of countless money for Rs. 27 lakh and jewelry worth Rs. 3.90 crore.

 

Further research is being carried out.

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Google To Invest Up To $1 Billion In Bharti Airtel As Part Of Its India Digitization Fund

The Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel and Google announced on Friday, January 28, 2022, that both parties have now signed a long-term cooperation agreement. Under the agreement, Google is now investing up to $ 1 billion in India’s second largest mobile operator. Thanks to a multi-year agreement, both companies are now working to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem.

Alphabet Inc., which owns the Google search engine, announced in an exchange auction that it will pay $ 700 million for a 1.28 percent stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd. plans to incorporate the tools created by these two technology giants. The agreement sees the partnership between the two companies in a race to offer cheap data and digital offerings in a single market of more than a billion people, which is still open to foreign companies.

The $ 1 billion Indian fund from the world’s second-largest mobile operator comes as part of Google’s $ 10 billion “Google for India Digitalization Fund.” The program was previously announced by Google CEO and Alphabet Sundar Pichai in 2020. According to the company, the project will include capital investment as well as a corpus for potential business agreements with agreed terms over the next five years. Google also announced in a statement that it will work with a telecommunications company based in Delhi to improve the situation in the Indian market.

According to the company, the focus of the partnership is the possibility of affordable access to smartphones in different price ranges and the possibility of jointly creating network domains specifically for India. The deal could also help the two companies build a 5G application and accelerate the cloud ecosystem for businesses in the developing world.

However, the deal is still ongoing and has not yet been approved by regulators. The investment deal comes just months after Airtel raised up to Rs 210 billion by selling shares to current shareholders. Meanwhile, Airtel shares rose slightly following the announcement, trading at around Rs.718 as of 1pm on Friday.

Crypto Traders Moving to More Stable Tokens

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have gained more trading volumes in recent days due to severe market volatility as many traders and investors liquidate some of the risks. tokens, they balanced their portfolios by moving stable currencies and also succumbed to opportunistic purchases up to the average. some portfolios.

During and after the weekend crash, ET negotiated with several stock exchanges to measure trading volumes – most recorded higher levels of transactions, but some also saw a decline. .

“We have seen an increase in numbers of almost 15%,” said Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO, ZebPay.

The chief executive officer said on condition of anonymity: “Over the weekend, we saw a sharp drop in trading volume as most investors tried to find out the cause and consequences of the current cryptocurrency decline.”

CoinSwitch, India’s largest crypto-trading platform, says it has doubled the number of users who have purchased the platform compared to its daily average, and that the best-selling coins for the week to January 23 are Bitcoin, Cardano, Shiba Inu. , Loopring and Doge coins. “Many users of our platform are long-term retail investors. They have seen similar decay and healing in the past. “They took the opportunity to expand their portfolio,” said Ashish Singhal, CEO, CoinSwitch Kuber, a crypto-brokerage firm operating several cryptobours in India.

“There has been great interest in larger declines in Cardano, Shiba Inu and Polygon, while sales pressure is high for Solana and Terra (Luna) with a sharp interest in Cosmos (ATOM) among new users,” Shivam said. Thakral, General Manager of BuyUcoin Cryptocurrency Exchange.

In times of falling prices and high volatility, traders and investors often move to more secure digital assets, such as stable currencies (such as the Tether pegged to the US dollar). “We have seen investors sell assets and convert them to USDT because the rate is approaching $ 82,583, which is very favorable at the moment,” said Shekhar ZebPay.

On Tuesday at 5 pm on Coinbase, bitcoin stood at 7.47% ($ 36,316), Ethereum 7.08% ($ 2,419), Binance Coin 3.88% ($ 35.30), Cardano 3.21% ( $ 1.03) and Solana 7.91% (3.91%).

Experts say that Indian investors are already used to cryptovolatility. Globally, the crypt market was disrupted by tighter monetary policy, growing geopolitical risks, confusion among regulators, wider sale of assets such as stocks, inflationary concerns and uncertainty related to Omicro

AP CM Wins Round 1 Against the Taxman

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has won the first round of the battle with the income-tax (I-T) authorities following a recent tribunal ruling that could have political implications as well as have a bearing on other legal feuds.

The I-T Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), a quasi-judicial authority, in its order on January 5, has struck down the contention of the I-T department that had questioned the genuineness of transactions and creditworthiness of investors who had subscribed to shares of Jagati Publications, the Reddy-promoted company owning the Telugu daily ‘Shakshi’, at a premium. The case pertains to assessment year 2008-09.

The Hyderabad office of the tax department had alleged that underlying these investments were quid pro quo deals and the new shareholders directly or indirectly benefited from their association with the firm controlled by the YSR Congress Party president. The taxman, which had questioned the two valuation reports by Jagdisan & Co and Deloitte that justified the shares premium, had presented the findings of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had conducted a search on Reddy’s group companies in August 2011.

Ruling that the ‘shares premium’ amount of Rs. 277 crore – which arose as shares of Rs. 10 each were sold at a premium of Rs. 350 apiece – was not taxable, the tribunal observed that the CBI charge sheet was irrelevant as ‘additional evidence’. “This ruling considers important factors in determining the production of additional evidence before the ITAT and it has been ultimately held that parties cannot claim a right to adduce additional evidence. Additional evidence will be admitted only if the tribunal is of the view that such evidence will be required by it in deciding the issues before it….The issues before the tribunal were restricted to whether the share premium received were  taxable under Section 56 or 68 of the Income-tax Act, 1961),” said Ashish Mehta, partner at law firm Khaitan & Co.

India will be over $10 trillion economy in next 25 yrs as per World Bank estimates

India will be an economy with a GDP of more than $ 10 trillion, as estimated by the World Bank, said Foreign Minister (Department of Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Affairs of India) Sanjay Bhattacharyya on January 9. Pravasi Conference Bhartiya Diwas almost said, “In 25 years we will celebrate our centenary; Preparations are under way for India’s Vision 2047 (Independence Day). According to the World Bank, India will be an economy with a GDP of $ 10 trillion. Youth has an important role to play. “

Foreign Minister (Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Affairs) Sanjay Bhattacharyya said India would have an economy of more than $ 10 trillion over the next 25 years, as estimated by the World Bank.

Sanjay Bhattacharyya spoke at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Conference 2022 on “The Role of Diaspora Youth in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – Innovation and New Technology” In 25 years, we will celebrate our 100th anniversary; Preparations for the vision of India 2047 (Independence Day) are continuing, “he said. Bhattacharyya

Federal Reserve’s Rate Hike Hint Sends Cryptos Crashing

Mumbai: Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Etherea, Solana, Cardano and Terra, fell sharply on Wednesday night after the US Federal Reserve issued a December meeting where the central bank indicated it would start raising interest rates to deal with high inflation.

Bitcoin fell 8.49% to $ 42,835 on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. She previously tested the $ 42,500 level, then the Fed released its records.

Bitcoin reached a very high of $ 68,749 on November 11, 2021 and outperformed all capital markets in terms of annual price growth in 2021 with a return of 60%.

Other alt-coins also reacted strongly to the news: Ethereum, Cardano, Solano, Shiba Inu, Cardano and Binance Coin all fell by 10% or more within 48 hours by Thursday night. At 5 p.m., the Coinbase tracker showed a 9.80% decline in the overall crypto market over the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin has been under pressure recently as large central banks suggest that they are moving away from low interest rates and that their bond-buying programs are slowly slowing down.

Experts say the decline is expected because the market has been tense and very fast in recent days.

“The market downturn is largely due to the US Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates this year to cope with rising inflation. As with any asset, cryptocurrencies will be affected by macroeconomic factors. Investors need to remember that risk and reward go hand in hand and that they need to do their own research before buying assets – not just cryptocurrencies, “said Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO of Coin Switch.

Experts say selling pressure is largely due to US and European investors reserving profits. “Correction is approaching, since December 16, the market has been tied up and is changing.

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