Social stock exchanges (SSEs)
SEBI’s technical group (TG) on social stock exchanges (SSEs) has submitted its report.
The expert panel was headed by Harsh Bhanwala, ex-Chairman, Nabard.
Key recommendations made:
Both for-profit (FP) and not-for-profit organisations (NPO) should be allowed to tap the SSE provided they are able to demonstrate that social intent and impact.
Corporate foundations, political and religious organisations should be made ineligible to raise funds using the SSE mechanism.
For NPOs, it shall be equity, zero coupon zero principal bond (ZCZP), development impact bonds, social impact fund, currently known as social venture fund (SVP) with 100 per cent grants-in grants out provision, and donations by investors through mutual funds.
For FP enterprises, it will be equity, debt, development impact bonds, and social venture funds.
Minimum corpus size for such funds be reduced from Rs 20 crore to Rs 5 crore and the minimum subscription amount be reduced from Rs 1 crore to Rs. 2 lakh.
It should have a corpus of Rs 100 crore. This fund should be housed under Nabard. Exchanges and other developmental agencies such as SIDBI should be asked to contribute towards this fund.
These include eradicating hunger, poverty malnutrition and inequality; promoting gender equality by empowerment of women and LGBTQIA+ communities; training to promote rural sports; and slum area development, affordable housing.
What is social stock exchange (SSE)?
It is a novel concept in India and such a bourse is meant to serve private and non-profit sector providers by channelling greater capital to them.
As per the proposal, SSE can be housed within the existing stock exchange such as the BSE and/or National Stock Exchange (NSE).
With this, Social welfare enterprises and non-profits could soon get to raise so-called social capital on a transparent electronic platform, aiding the process of rebuilding livelihoods ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
These recommendations, if implemented as a package, can result in a vibrant and supportive ecosystem, enabling the non-profit sector to realise its full potential for creating social impact.
Need for social capital:
India will need a significant amount of patient capital to repair and rebuild those livelihoods, which are the bedrock of her economy. Conventional capital that prioritises financial returns will not be able to carry such a burden all by itself.
Social capital, on the other hand, is more suited for this role. It is not only patient but its goal is precisely to support and fortify social structures that are in danger of collapsing because of COVID-19.
What is a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is a revenue-generating business. Its primary objective is to achieve a social objective, for example, providing healthcare or clean energy.
This in no way means that a social enterprise can’t be highly profitable. In fact, most social enterprises look and operate like traditional businesses. The only catch is that the profit these entities generate is not necessarily used for payouts to stakeholders, but reinvested into their social programmes.
Lumpy Skin Disease
The Bihar government sounded an alert and issued an advisory about the likely spread of the disease.
What is it?
Lumpy Skin Disease is a viral illness that causes prolonged morbidity in cattle and buffaloes.
Caused by the poxvirus Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV).
It appears as nodules of two to five centimetre diameter all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder (mammary gland of female cattle) and genitals. The lumps gradually open up like large and deep wounds.
It spreads through mosquitoes, flies and ticks and also through saliva and contaminated water and food.
LSD is endemic to Africa and parts of West Asia, where it was first discovered in 1929.
In Southeast Asia the first case of LSD was reported in Bangladesh in July 2019.
In India it was first reported from Mayurbhanj, Odisha in August 2019.
There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.
In India, which has the world’s highest 303 million heads of cattle, the disease has spread to 15 states within just 16 months.
This might have a devastating impact on the country, where most dairy farmers are either landless or marginal landholders and milk is among the cheapest protein sources.
SpaceX’s Starship landing
Serial number 15 (SN15), a prototype of the futuristic Starship rocket developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, was able to launch and successfully land on Wednesday, heralding a new era in space exploration for NASA.
The latest successful landing is a relief for NASA and SpaceX, as four previous prototypes of Starship had failed to do so, getting destroyed during or soon after touchdown at the southeastern tip of Texas, near Brownsville.
What is Starship?
It is a full-scale, stainless steel, bullet-shaped rocketship built by SpaceX.
The spacecraft has been described as a game-changer for space travel, being a fully reusable transportation system for crew and cargo to the Earth’s orbit, Moon and Mars.
SpaceX has described Starship as “the world’s most powerful launch vehicle” with an ability to carry over 100 metric tonnes to the Earth’s orbit.
Significance of the latest development:
Reusability is at the heart of making interplanetary travel accessible, SpaceX believes, since a majority of the launch cost is attributed to the expense of building a rocket that is ultimately designed to burn up during re-entry.
Starship can deliver satellites further and at lower marginal costs than Falcon vehicles and it can ferry both cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS).
Once developed, Starship is also expected to help carry large amounts of cargo to the Moon, for human spaceflight development and research.
Beyond the Moon, the spacecraft is being designed for carrying crew and cargo for interplanetary missions as well.
NASA’s Artemis mission:
Last month, NASA chose SpaceX to build a lander for its Artemis programme, which plans to send humans to the Moon in this decade.
The vehicle, which is based on Starship, will carry the next man and the first woman to land on the Moon.
With the Artemis programme, NASA aims to demonstrate new technologies, capabilities and business approaches that will ultimately be needed for the future exploration of Mars.