Delhi’s Deli Boom

first_imgWhether it is expats or Indians, specialist farms and businesses are benefiting from customers with a global palate and a wallet to match. Related Itemslast_img

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White House Names Indian-American Solar Champion of Change

first_imgWhite House has named professor Rajendra Singh as one of ten “Solar Champions of Change” who are taking the initiative to spur solar deployment across America. Related Itemslast_img

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Mud Wrestling Out of Poverty in India

first_imgIndian wrestling, known as kushti, is an ancient skill that has been a major part of the country’s sporting life for around 3,000 years. Related Itemslast_img

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Economists Use Night Lights to Measure Income Divergence in India

first_imgEconomists Praveen Chakravarty and Vivek Dehejia have used data generated by an unusual method to measure the inequality and income divergence in India — night lights as shown by images grabbed by satellites from the U.S Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, the BBC reported.The satellites of U.S Defense Meteorological Satellite Program circle the earth 14 times a day, and record lights from earth’s surface at night with sensors. Chakravarty and Dehejia superimposed a map of India’s districts on the images taken from these satellites, which helped them develop a unique data set of luminosity values by district over time.They proceeded to study 387 of 640 districts in 12 Indian states, which account for 85 per cent of India’s population, 80 per cent of the country’s GDP and which house 87 per cent of parliamentary seats.According to the data they compiled, about 380 districts in 12 states were on average just a fifth as bright as the big cities of Mumbai and Bengaluru. Also, 90 per cent of all the districts are just a third as bright as the top 10 per cent of the districts — a ratio that progressively got worse from 1992 to 2013.The year 1992 was when India opened to the world. Before that, the trend was towards convergence of income between different states, while after 1992, the gap went on widening. The economists observed that in 2014, the average person in the three richest states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra — was three times as rich as the average person in the three poorest states — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.“What we find is that both across states and across districts with each state, this is a wide, and widening disparity in economic activity. No, it is not that the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, but that the poor are not getting richer fast enough to close the gap with the already rich,” Dehejia, a senior fellow at the Mumbai-based think tank, IDFC Institute, was quoted as saying by the publication. “This is a level of regional inequality unprecedented in large federal states in contemporary world economic history.”The disparity within India, even as the standard of living is going up, is a worrying trend, say Chakravarty and Dehejia. They attribute it to poor governance and lack of adequate skills for jobs.This disparity, they warn, could “easily lead to social disharmony as populous, poorer regions attempt to extract greater redistribution from less populous, richer regions – whether within or across states.”Chakravarty and Dehejia, however, admit that night lights have their own set of challenges, such as the phases of the moon, which vary the amount of light shining on earth; atmospheric effects due to aerosols, water vapor and ozone; and extraneous light sources such as solar illumination.Scientists are developing new software and algorithms to make night lights imagery more accurate and  available, with latest sensors on the satellites giving rich spatial details like detecting lit roads and dimly lit sources.Night lights have been used by researchers to gain an understanding of how cities expand, changes in land use, energy use during festive seasons, conditions in conflict affected areas, seasonal fluctuations in infectious diseases, carbon emission mapping and light pollution. Related ItemsdevelopmentEconomylast_img read more

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Fall of The American Empire

first_imgThe U.S. government is, as a matter of policy, ripping children from the arms of their parents and putting them in fenced enclosures (which officials insist aren’t cages, oh no). The U.S. president is demanding that law enforcement stop investigating his associates and go after his political enemies instead. He has been insulting democratic allies while praising murderous dictators. And a global trade war seems increasingly likely.What do these stories have in common? Obviously they’re all tied to the character of the man occupying the White House, surely the worst person ever to hold his position. But there’s also a larger context, and it’s not just about Donald Trump. What we’re witnessing is a systematic rejection of long-standing American values — the values that actually made America great.America has long been a powerful nation. In particular, we emerged from World War II with a level of both economic and military dominance not seen since the heyday of ancient Rome. But our role in the world was always about more than money and guns. It was also about ideals: America stood for something larger than itself — for freedom, human rights and the rule of law as universal principles.Of course, we often fell short of those ideals. But the ideals were real, and mattered. Many nations have pursued racist policies; but when Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal wrote his 1944 book about our “Negro problem,” he called it “An American Dilemma,” because he viewed us as a nation whose civilization had a “flavor of enlightenment” and whose citizens were aware at some level that our treatment of blacks was at odds with our principles.And his belief that there was a core of decency — maybe even goodness — to America was eventually vindicated by the rise and success, incomplete as it was, of the civil rights movement.But what does American goodness — all too often honored in the breach, but still real — have to do with American power, let alone world trade? The answer is that for 70 years, American goodness and American greatness went hand in hand. Our ideals, and the fact that other countries knew we held those ideals, made us a different kind of great power, one that inspired trust.Think about it. By the end of World War II, we and our British allies had in effect conquered a large part of the world. We could have become permanent occupiers, and/or installed subservient puppet governments, the way the Soviet Union did in Eastern Europe. And yes, we did do that in some developing countries; our history with, say, Iran is not at all pretty.But what we mainly did instead was help defeated enemies get back on their feet, establishing democratic regimes that shared our core values and became allies in protecting those values.The Pax Americana was a sort of empire; certainly America was for a long time very much first among equals. But it was by historical standards a remarkably benign empire, held together by soft power and respect rather than force. (There are actually some parallels with the ancient Pax Romana, but that’s another story.)And while you might be tempted to view international trade deals, which Trump says have turned us into a “piggy bank that everyone else is robbing,” as a completely separate story, they are anything but. Trade agreements were meant to (and did) make America richer, but they were also, from the beginning, about more than dollars and cents.In fact, the modern world trading system was largely the brainchild not of economists or business interests, but of Cordell Hull, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s long-serving secretary of state, who believed that “prosperous trade among nations” was an essential element in building an “enduring peace.” So you want to think of the postwar creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade as part of the same strategy that more or less simultaneously gave rise to the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO.So all the things happening now are of a piece. Committing atrocities at the border, attacking the domestic rule of law, insulting democratic leaders while praising thugs, and breaking up trade agreements are all about ending American exceptionalism, turning our back on the ideals that made us different from other powerful nations.And rejecting our ideals won’t make us stronger; it will make us weaker. We were the leader of the free world, a moral as well as financial and military force. But we’re throwing all that away.What’s more, it won’t even serve our self-interest. America isn’t nearly as dominant a power as it was 70 years ago; Trump is delusional if he thinks that other countries will back down in the face of his threats. And if we are heading for a full-blown trade war, which seems increasingly likely, both he and those who voted for him will be shocked at how it goes: Some industries will gain, but millions of workers will be displaced.So Trump isn’t making America great again; he’s trashing the things that made us great, turning us into just another bully — one whose bullying will be far less effective than he imagines.© 2018 New York Times News Service Related ItemsDonald TrumpUnited Stateslast_img read more

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Whose Fault

first_imgA veteran Edison police officer who berated a superior for refusing to help him rescue Indians in a car crash will not be disciplined for insubordination.Joseph Kenney accused his superior officer, Sgt. Alex Galinsky, of being “derelict” and “negligent” for refusing to assist in the crash, after Galinsky allegedly said, “there’s dirty … Indians in the car, and I’m not going in there.”Two Rutgers graduate students, Amarinder Cheema and Karan Bhandari, both 24, died, in the car crash.The Edison Police Department filed charges against Kenney for insubordination, when he told Galinsky, “You were derelict in your duties, not only as a sergeant, but as a human being by not trying to save those men.” At a hearing, the case was thrown out, because the complaint was filed too late.According to Edison Chief of Police Thomas Bryan, an investigation did not find any fault with Galinsky’s actions, but the Edison Police Benevolent Association said it has dismissed him from the union. Related Itemslast_img read more

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Dreams Lost and Found

first_imgThree recent books by overseas Indian writers, two fiction and one nonfiction, deal with the heartaches, trials and triumphs of emigration. The authors honestly and eloquently chronicle how leaving one’s past behind and starting over can result in loss, mourning and sacrifices. But it also changes the course of life. Ultimately, like rivers that flow from different directions to converge and join the ocean, they can lead to a whole new world.Chitra DivakaruniIn Chitra Divakaruni’s latest book, Before We Visit the Goddess, a character quotes a Bengali saying: “Good daughters are fortunate lamps, brightening the family name. Wicked daughters are firebrands, blackening the family name.” It is a dictum that locks girls into a life constrained by societal norms. But who gets to decide what is good and what is wicked? And can time blur the distinctions between the two? That is the question Divakaruni poses through her lyrical, masterful saga of three generations of women connected through ties of blood, but separated by time, place and their own convoluted sense of destiny.The book begins with Sabitri, an aging, lonely woman living out her retirement in her ancestral village. A sudden phone call from her estranged daughter Bela sends Sabitri into a tailspin of despair. Her granddaughter Tara is dropping out of college and Bela asks her mother to dissuade her. Sabitri sits down to write a letter to Tara, who she has only seen in photographs and in the process awakens memories of her own struggles to get an education. As the daughter of a poor, part-time priest, Sabitri burns to become a teacher, but the money her mother earns making delicious sweets is barely enough to keep the household running.A chance meeting with a rich woman who, on a whim, offers to educate and house Sabitri in her sprawling Kolkata home opens the door to a promising future. But a few months later, Sabitri’s heart betrays her, and she is ruthlessly thrown out of her benefactor’s house. Ashamed and angry at her own foolishness, Sabitri salvages her life by marrying her college professor. When she finds herself an impecunious widow with a young child to bring up, Sabitri, with ruthless determination, turns herself into a successful businesswoman. Ironically, she turns to making sweets, just like her mother. But Sabitri’s magic touch helps her build a thriving business, and she is able to give her daughter the education that she was denied.Bela, Sabitri’s daughter, grows up resenting her mother’s absence in her life. The sweet shop seems to swallow up all her attention and energy and Bela is often lonely. When she meets Sanjay, an orphan brought up by relatives who abused him, their common bond at the injustice of their lives grows into romance. Sabitri dislikes Sanjay, criticizing his political beliefs and lack of future prospects. It is perhaps inevitable that Bela, when forced to choose between the two, decides to leave her mother. She decamps for America, where Sanjay and his childhood friend have gone as political refugees, to marry him and begin life as one of the many Indian immigrants who flocked to the U.S. in the 1970s. In spite of their love, the marriage soon sours when Bela’s subterfuge to banish Sanjay’s friend from their lives results in a betrayal that prods him to divorce her. One might live in another country with miles of ocean separating them, but family roots run deep, at least when it comes to losing one’s moral footing, Divakaruni seems to say. Bela, now a single mother like Sabitri, turns to alcohol to ease the bitterness of being a failure.Tara, Bela’s daughter, drops out of her parents’ lives after the divorce. She cannot forgive her mother for betraying her father and she cannot forgive her father for breaking up their family. It is the 1990’s and Tara flounders through various low-level jobs as she attempts to find her own identity and purpose in life. Like many second- and third-generation Indian children, Tara cannot figure out her place in the world. At home, the food, the ambience and the culture is heavily Indian. In the world at large, the culture she encounters is American. Where is her true home? Where does she belong? Unable to come up with an answer, Tara views herself American and ignores her Indian heritage.But a chance visit to the Meenakshi temple in Texas forces her to realize that being born into an Indian family is part of her emotional DNA. Standing before the goddess, she is unable to give the priest her birth sign or her gotram thus making an archana impossible. Yet the scent of incense and flowers is a comforting, familiar sense of home and Tara yearns to belong. Hating her parents for letting her down, she begins to understand, have led to choices that are threatening to derail her life.Do the sins of the mother visit the daughter? Can love, flawed and complicated, ultimately redeem the loved one? Did Sabitri’s letter help to connect with her granddaughter? Will Bela forgive her mother for being too strong? Will Tara save herself from self-destruction? Divakaruni lays out her complex, multi-generation tale as a vivid mosaic across the ages.Somini Sengupta’s The End of Karma, Hope and Fury Among India’s Young, is a fierce, honest, and detailed encounter with a range of restive 21st century young people in the country. India currently has the youngest population in the world — more than 300 million Indians are believed to be between the ages of 18 and 24 — with another million turning 18 every month. This means that India has to come up with 10 million jobs a year to employ them. With an education system that is failing, and a world labor force tilting towards automation, what lies ahead for these young Indians? Their aspirations, struggles, and successes, says Sengupta, will be instrumental in determining the future of the country.Sengupta, who headed The New York Times Bureau in Delhi from 2005-2009, has deftly mixed personal stories with political histories and facts to create a compelling, compassionate picture of contemporary India, highlighting its strengths and its crippling weaknesses. With a journalist’s passion for figures and dates mixed with the gifted writer’s talent for the telling phrase, Sengupta names these young Indians as “noonday’s children,” as opposed to the “midnight’s children” of Salman Rushdie. Sengupta’s young men and women were born in the 1990s, more than 40 years after Jawaharlal Nehru proclaimed India’s awakening into freedom at the stroke of midnight. These young Indians, Sengupta says, implicitly believe that their future is not linked to their karma.Somini SenguptaSengupta uses the stories of seven young Indians to illustrate her point. Delving into the lives of ordinary young men and women she shows how, despite their differences in language, economics and birth, each in their own way aspires to push the boundaries. There is Mani, a young Adivasi from Jharkand, who catapults herself to a better life by joining hundreds of other migrant workers to become a housemaid in one of the luxury apartments in Gurgaon. Her wages help to send her younger siblings to school, to marry and to pay for upgrades in the family’s living conditions. Rakhi (an alias to protect her family), a young woman from a relatively comfortable home, runs away to join an underground Maoist group, hoping to bring justice to the oppressed. Twenty-seven-year-old Ankit, from an upper caste, middle class family in Patna, allows his admiration for Arvind Kerjriwal influence him to reject an offer to attend a college in the United States and instead become the Aam Aadmi Party’s social media chief, determined to fight the endemic corruption around him. And then there is 20-year-old Monica from a Gujjar family in Delhi who elopes with Kuldeep, the young son of a Rajput family. Their decision to marry has tragic consequences. Girls from the Gujjar community are not supposed to fall in love and choose their husbands, and certainly not from another caste. Her older brother punishes his erring sister by gunning both her and Kuldeep down.Easily one of the most memorable people in her book is Anupam Kumar, the son of an auto rickshaw driver in Patna, Bihar. He is 17 when Sengupta introduces him, and a 4th grade dropout who dreams about studying about life in space. Audaciously, Anupam wants to study at one of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), renowned among the world’s prestigious universities and perhaps the most difficult to enter. At nine, he rejected his public school, because his teacher is unable to read properly. Backed by Sudha, his mother, who makes it her life’s mission to help Anupam succeed, because “she looks to him to outrun his destiny — and take them all with him,” Anupam is enrolled in a coaching center, where he studies from 8 am to 8 pm, six days a week, cramming for the all-important 8th grade final exam. He goes to the state run public school once a month to maintain his name on the attendance roll.When Anupam’s scores are not good enough to get him into IIT in his first attempt, Sudha finds a local tutor whose rigorous training regularly gets students into the IITs. Anupam’s second effort succeeds so well that he is lauded all over the world and is trumpeted in the Indian press as “an icon of young India’s aspiration.” Triumphantly, he enters the IIT Kharagpur campus, intent on learning astronomy. Within a few months, Anupam begins to feel like a misfit. Social rather than academic challenges stymie him. The next year he transfers to the Indian School of Mines from where he graduates and goes on to acquire an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. Today he lives in Navi Mumbai with his parents and works for a financial state regulatory agency and both his younger siblings are studying to be engineers. Sengupta says he is one of many young Indians who turned their back on their past to say, “And why not me?”Anupam’s story ends well. He may not have become an expert on space, but he achieved his dream of lifting himself and his family from the gritty backstreets of Patna. But what if you are a young girl from a similar background with tall dreams? Varsha is 17 and the daughter of a dhobi in Gurgaon. She goes to school and helps her father in his business, ironing the expensive clothes of the people who live in the gated high rises around them. The recent spate of violence against girls has ignited in her a desire to become a policewoman. But unlike Anupam, Varsha’s mother is no cheerleader. Her father, while proud of her academic prowess, encourages Varsha to finish high school, only because it will help raise her prospects in the marriage market.While female literacy in India grew higher than that of men between 2000-2010, and the rapid growth of economy also opened up new job opportunities, paradoxically, the proportion of women in the work force actually declined in 2011. Varsha’s desire to stand on her own feet and be financially independent is pushed aside by her father, who thinks a daughter-in-law with a pistol will not be acceptable in a traditional family. Who’s going to win? In 2015, Varsha scores so well in her 12th grade exams that her father concedes a victory: she can go to college. Step by step, inch-by-inch, she is seems to gaining closer to her goal, and along with Sengupta, we can only hope that “stubborn, smart Varsha” will eventually fulfill her dream.These young men and women may be from the marginalized sections of Indian society, Sengupta says, but they too are part of the portrait that forms India. And while no single story can illustrate the life of a billion people, Sengupta hopes that by telling their stories she can also pinpoint where India needs to urgently focus: clean drinking water and electricity, immunization of infants and children, improved primary education, equal quality of education and jobs for girls and women, as well as better representation in the justice system, and taking on the challenge of closing the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor.Sunjeev Sahota’s new novel, The Year of the Runaways, seems to the fictional counterpart of Sengupta’s reportorial look at migrant lives. The one difference is that the young Indians in his novel, dissatisfied with the dead end lives that are their lot in India, come to Britain for better opportunities. Written in a quiet, conversational style, Sahota’s book takes you into the underbelly of illegal immigrant hell: the exploitation, the grinding boredom of their daily jobs, the cramped, dingy living conditions, and the constant fear of being picked up by police are detailed almost clinically, with a matter of fact preciseness that conveys poignancy more powerfully than a diatribe about the misery of their lives. But it also reveals the gumption, the resoluteness and the comradeship that sustain these workers. When going back home is not an option, succumbing to racism, the cruelty of their employers or the corruption that dodges their every step is also not a solution. The only way out is to grit your teeth and look to a better future.Sunjeev SahotaSahota’s book centers on three characters who come to Sheffield, England, in search of jobs: Tochi from Bihar pays a travel agent to smuggle him into France on a false passport and from there, hidden in a truck, he arrives in Britain. Haunted by the harrowing memory of the massacre of his family during a caste war, Tochi knows that being born as an “untouchable” means facing a constant stream of physical, emotional and mental abuse. Yet his will to live surmounts his sorrows and he comes to Britain determined to snatch a life, expecting no kindness or friendship, wrapped in the cocoon of his tragedies, and living an inner existence that is part prison and part fortress of his own making.Avtar sells a kidney and with the proceedings comes on a student visa, but rarely attends college. His shopkeeper father depends on the money he sends back home to keep the family afloat. He is also saving to marry the girl he loves. Her middle class family will never entertain the idea of him as a suitable husband without money to back his ardor.His friend Randeep has comes to Britain via a fake marriage to Narinder, a British Sikh. His father’s ill health has forced him to drop out of college to take on the job of supporting his parents and siblings. Randeep plans to scrounge around doing menial jobs for a year until his marriage is deemed genuine by authorities. Their approval will confer on him the legal right to remain in England and eventually gain citizenship, at which point he plans to bring his whole family over.Narinder is the enigma of the novel. She makes it clear from the beginning that she is not in it for the money. A reserved, pious young woman who fends off Randeep’s lame attempts to get close, she is also the book’s weakest link in some ways. Her motive for agreeing to the fake marriage is not very plausible — rebelling against an arranged marriage would have made more sense if Narinder had been portrayed as a headstrong, even an immature young woman. Instead, she is thoughtful and kind and retains a strong belief in her faith and in her determination change society through seva in the gurudwara and prayers. In the end, Sahota makes you care for her and wish a happy ending in her life.Sahota gives you elaborate backstories for each of his characters, switching back and forth in time to build a strong, composite portrait with a dexterity that makes them substantial rather than cardboard figures. Their world is neither beautiful nor inviting, but Sahota’s writing makes you realize that it is real and present. This is not the England of Shakespeare or Thomas Hardy or William Blake’s “green and pleasant land.” But these Sheffield roommates are heroes in their own right. And their stories need to be told.All three books seem to tell us that emigrating — whether it is from the confines of a village to the big city, or from the dingy backstreets of a city to an aerie in a high rise, or across oceans to a strange new land — comes with its own risks and rewards. Loneliness and a sense of rootlessness are inevitable. But there is also the satisfaction of hard won benefits for them and their families back home. Is it worth it? That is a question with no easy answer. As Sabitri says, “This was something I had achieved by myself, without having to depend on anyone.”Perhaps, ultimately, the courage to make that leap into the unknown is enough.   Related Itemslast_img read more

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West Bengal Govt. Issues Special Durga Puja Passes to Attract Foreign Tourists

first_imgIn a bid to make pandal visits a smooth affair for people, especially foreign tourists, the West Bengal government has for the first time come up with special passes for tourists so that they can visit all Durga Puja venues in and around the city.The government has issued the “Sharodotsav 2017 special guest passes” for the Puja and the Red Road carnival on Oct. 3, according to the state tourism department.Each pass, which features the face of Goddess Durga, will give the holder access to all pandals in Kolkata and the neighboring Salt Lake City and Howrah district, apart from the Red Road carnival. The pass will be valid until Oct. 3.“We want to publicize Durga Puja, which is the biggest festival in the world. We want to show to the world what Durga Puja is all about. And it is probably also the biggest food festival in the world. So for the first time we have planned to showcase it,” an official told NDTV.The tourism department has got in touch with all hotels, ranging from top five-star facilities to budget hotels, which are frequented by foreign tourists. Consulates in Kolkata have also been given these passes.The official added: “Foreign guests have shown immense interest in it and we are getting calls from hotel authorities for more passes. We are also getting requests from the consulates for more passes as they have a good number of guests visiting West Bengal at this time of the Durga Puja festival. We have adequate passes for them.”The tourism department has also set up counters at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport and is relying on the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches scheduled in the city for more traction.“Team members and officials will start arriving on the city from this weekend and early next week. We are planning to tap them at the airport. We will distribute passes to the FIFA officials. That will earn us a huge mileage,” the official said. Related ItemsDurga Puja KolkataDurga puja Salt Lake cityDurga puja tourismDurga Puja West BengalLittle Indialast_img read more

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Indian Cricket Fans Not Amused at Big Bang Theory Joke on Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

first_imgIndian cricket fans were left baffled when the popular American TV show Big Bang Theory threw shade at the game and three leading cricketers. The show revolves around four scientists, including an Indian character named Rajesh Koothrappali.Rajesh’s character is portrayed by Kunal Nayyar, who has also done a cameo for the hit show The Mindy Project where he played a potential groom for Mindy Kaling’s character.In the seventh episode of season 11 of the Big Bang Theory, Rajesh is at a bar with Howard Wolowitz (played by Simon Helberg). The two friends are seen watching a cricket match, a sport that is not popular in the United States. However, cricket grounds have started coming up in the country.In the episode, Wolowitz says, “I don’t get how you can enjoy cricket, it makes no sense!”“That’s Ravichandran Ashwin, he is amazing. He makes Hardik Pandya look like Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” replies Rajesh.“Whooa, whooa, whooa! Save syllables for the rest of us,” said Wolowitz.Indian fans of the show – as well as the sport — were clearly not amused and clarified that the comparison becomes null as all three have different bowling styles.Seriously @kunalnayyar you let them write “@ashwinravi99 Ravichandran Ashwin makes @hardikpandya7 look like @BhuviOfficial Bhuvneshwar Kumar”? Did you even watch the India New Zealand series? https://t.co/sv0SWCf3oM #BigBangTheory #Cricket— Sriram Venkitachalam (@SriramVenkit) November 10, 2017Watching @ashwinravi99 @hardikpandya7 @BhuviOfficial and @imVkohli being talked about on @bigbangtheory just made my day!!— S R (@SharanyaR1999) November 11, 2017Raj to Howard: That’s Ravichandran Ashwin, he’s amazing. He makes Hardik Pandya look like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar! 😂Sathya Nadella’s favourite cricketer features in #BigBangTheory today. @ashwinravi99 taps into the US market & fast becoming a global commodity! #AalaporanThamizhan pic.twitter.com/3t0vkHLYN7— Srini Mama 💲 (@SriniMama16) November 10, 2017Raj doesn’t make sense here but yay for ash! Just for the sake of setting up the syllable joke?— koushik sridar (@koushikmacho) November 10, 2017The @bigbangtheory is actually talking cricket. What? pic.twitter.com/ssHR6QciS1— Stephen Rooke (@srookejd) November 10, 2017 Related Itemsbhuvneshwar kumarbig bang theoryhardik pandyaindian cricketkunal nayyarMindy Kalingmindy projectr ashwinlast_img read more

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Richest 1% People Own 73% Wealth in India: Oxfam

first_imgThe richest 1 per cent people in India owned 73 per cent of the wealth generated in 2017 in India, according to Oxfam’s latest report on rising income inequality. In 2016, India’s 1 per cent population owned 58 per cent of the wealth generated that year.Globally, the richest 1 per cent of the world’s population generated 82 per cent of the wealth in 2017 while 3.7 billion people saw no increase in their wealth.People in India, the United States and the United Kingdom think that CEOs should take a 60 per cent pay cut. In India, it is believed that the ratio of top pay to ordinary workers’ salary is 63 and it should be 14. However, the actual ratio is 483.The increase in CEO pay is linked to share-based incentive systems, which focus on maximizing shareholder value. With executives and managers having stock options, their investment also increases. Moreover, the share of wages accrued by top 10 per cent is high and growing in developing economies like Brazil, India and South Africa, the report said.The poorest half of the country, 67 crore people, saw only 1 per cent increase in their income whereas the wealth of the richest 1 per cent grew by over Rs. 20.90 lakh crore during 2017, which is almost equal to the total budget of the central government in 2017-18, Oxfam India said.The report, titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth’, published ahead of the World Economic Forum meet in Davos, Switzerland, said, “2017 saw an unprecedented increase in the number of billionaires, at a rate of one every two days. Billionaire wealth has risen by an average of 13 per cent a year since 2010 — six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers, which have risen by a yearly average of just 2 per cent.”The multinational non-profit organization called on the Indian government to ensure that the income of the bottom 40 per cent population grows faster than that of the top 10 per cent. Oxfam suggests that if the government encourages labor-intensive sectors, invests in agriculture, and effectively implements the social protection schemes that exist the income divide can be bridged.“Seal the leaking wealth bucket by taking stringent measures against tax evasion and avoidance; taxing the super-rich by re-introducing inheritance tax, increasing wealth tax, reducing and eventually do away with corporate tax breaks; creating a more equal opportunity country by increasing public expenditure on health and education,” Oxfam India said in a statement.India added 17 new billionaires last year, raising the number to 101 billionaires. Indian billionaires’ wealth increased by Rs. 4,891 billion — from Rs. 15,778 billion to over Rs. 20,676 billion.India’s Garment SectorIn India and the Philippines, at least one in every two workers in the garment sector is paid below the minimum wage. During 2011-12, as much as 50.70 per cent workers in the garment sector in India were paid below the minimum wage. During the same period, among those earning less than minimum wage, 74 per cent were women while 45.3 per cent were men.On average, it takes a CEO from the top five garment companies a little more than four days to earn what an ordinary Bangladeshi woman garment worker earns in her whole lifetime.The report also said that more women are employed in the informal sector and receive the lowest of wages. In India’s garment sector, the workers are mostly women and teenage girls who are modern day slaves, according to a separate report. “Across the world, women consistently earn less than men and are concentrated in the lowest paid and least secure forms of work,” the report said. Related ItemsEconomyPovertylast_img read more

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NRIs Can Continue PPF Accounts Until Further Notice

first_imgNon-Resident Indians (NRIs) who had invested in Public Provident Fund (PPF) can continue their accounts for now, according to a new official announcement.According to the new office memorandum released by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) on Feb. 23, the earlier notification about closure of PPF accounts has been temporarily dismissed. “It has now been decided to keep the said notification in abeyance till the further order in this regard,” the office memorandum stated.The earlier notification was issued on Oct. 3, 2017 by the  DEA. The amendment to the Public Provident Fund Scheme, 1968, notified in the official gazette, “If a resident who opened an account under this scheme subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.”Interest will be paid at the rate applicable to Post Office savings accounts till the date the PPF account is closed. The  Post Office savings account fetch interest rate of 4 per cent, .which is almost half of that for PPF at present.For the PPF scheme, the period of maturity period is 15 years but the same can be extended for further five years and so on for Indian citizens. The scheme permits withdrawal every year from the seventh financial year from the year of opening account while the loan facility can be availed from the third financial year.The PPF is a tax-free savings tool that was created in 1968 by the Ministry of Finance.Before 2003, NRIs were not permitted to make any contributions into their existing PPF accounts — accounts opened before their residential status changed to Non-Resident Indian. In 2003, however, a new notification permitted NRIs to continue investing in their PPF accounts that existed until maturity.According to PPF rules, an investment of at least Rs 500 per financial year is required. The principal invested in PPF qualifies for deduction under Section 80C of the Income-tax Act, 1961, and the interest earned is also exempted from tax under Section 10.The account can be opened by cash or cheque, and in case of cheque, the date of realization of cheque in the government account is taken as the date of opening of account. The subscriber can open another account in the name of minors but subject to maximum investment limit by adding balance in all accounts. Related ItemsEconomylast_img read more

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Bank Of India Files Lawsuit Against Indian Jeweler in Hong Kong Court

first_imgThe Bank of India filed a lawsuit against diamond merchant Nirav Modi in Hong Kong court on May 7 for recovery of debt to the tune of $6.25 million that he allegedly got on the basis of illegally secured Letters of Undertaking, Business Today reported. The writ filed by the state-owned bank names Modi and four of his companies, including Firestar Diamonds and Firestar Diamonds International.Modi, who has been accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,700 crore, is suspected to be in Hong Kong, according to India Today. The billionaire allegedly used over 1,200 illegally secured LoUs since 2011, in what is called the biggest banking scam in India.The Indian government submitted a request to the Hong Kong authorities to arrest Modi on March 23, Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. (retd) VK Singh said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha in April.The Punjab National Bank had moved the Hong Kong court before the Bank of India against Modi for recovery of dues worth over $5 million. The bank moved the court after law enforcement agencies confirmed that Modi had left for Hong Kong, according to Business Today.The Bank of India filed the lawsuit after the central government gave it a go-ahead to explore all legal options to recover the dues and set an example by “pursuing the fraudster in any corner of the world,” top officials of the bank told the publication.To avoid the possibility of economic offenders fleeing the country, the Indian government said in March that banks would have the power to collect passport details of customers who seek loans above Rs 50 crore. The banks also released a list of borrowers who are “willful defaulters,” and action to impound their passports has been initiated to ensure that they don’t flee the country.Meanwhile, Indian American owned Parag Diamonds Inc won the bid for one of Nirav Modi’s companies, A Jaffe, in the auction that was held in New York City on May 3. The New York-based Parag Diamonds is headed by businessman Panna Jain, and the company also operates under the name Paramount Gems. The company has operations in the United States, Europe, and India.A Jaffe is a century-old jewelry brand founded in 1892 by Abraham Jaffe. The firm was acquired by Nirav Modi through Synergies Corporation, which held 95 per cent stake in the brand.The two other companies of Nirav Modi in the United States — Firestar Diamond and Fantasy Inc — are yet to face an auction, which has been delayed for an unspecified amount of time, India Today reported. Related ItemsBank of IndiaNirav ModiPunjab NAtional Banklast_img read more

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IPL 2018: RCB told me I will be retained but they never called back, reveals Chris Gayle

first_imgChris Gayle has been arguably the most destructive batsman in Indian Premier League’s (IPL) history.Across 10 seasons, Gayle has smashed 3,878 runs at a strike rate of over 150, which includes six centuries.The West Indian had the greatest time of his IPL career with Royal Challengers Bangalore where he spent seven successful seasons. Gayle’s power-hitting and brute force helped the franchise became one of the most followed IPL sides.However, his batting numbers dipped in 2017 and RCB decided to let go of the left-handed batsman. The franchise opted to retain youngster Sarfaraz Khan instead, ignoring their biggest match-winner.Chris Gayle is the greatest T20 batsman in the world: Shane WatsonThe Virat Kohli-led side also didn’t bid for the towering batsman in the auction as it looked like a team strategy to move on from Gayle.Gayle, however, revealed that RCB wanted to retain him as the franchise officials told him so, only for them to change their mind later.”I was their biggest draw. It was disappointing from that end, because they had called me,” Gayle told Times of India. “They wanted me in the team and I was told that I will be retained. But they never called back after that. So that gave me the impression that they didn’t want me and it’s fine.”As I said, I can’t fight with anyone. I think I had a wonderful CPL (Caribbean Premier League) and BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) – where I scored two centuries for my side Rangpur Riders. The stats don’t lie: 21 centuries, most number of sixes. If that doesn’t put a stamp on brand Chris Gayle, I don’t know what will.”advertisementVirender Sehwag not surprised with Chris Gayle fireworksThe veteran almost went unsold in the auction before Kings XI Punjab brought him on board at his base price of Rs 2 crore in the third round.Gayle expressed surprise at almost not being picked by any team in the auction but said he was destined to play for KXIP.”I’ll be honest in admitting that it was very surprising for me to not get picked by any team. I don’t know what went behind closed doors but I also understand that these things happen,” Gayle said”It’s just the way it is. But it’s fine. I’ve moved on from it. Like I said, it’s a great opportunity to be playing for King XI Punjab and so far I’ve had a great time. Perhaps it was supposed to happen, you know. King Gayle; destined to be playing for Kings XI Punjab.”Chris Gayle not worried about Orange Cap race after 3rd straight match-winning KnockGayle also added his next major goals are to win IPL 2018 for Punjab, and then the 2019 World Cup.”Just two things: winning the IPL this year and the World Cup for West Indies next year,” he offered. “I believe West Indies have a big chance of winning the World Cup in 2019. I know we struggled in the qualifiers but now that we’ve made it, our next aim is to win it. But right now it’s definitely the IPL. KXIP have never won it. Our owner Preity Zinta is so fantastic, so enthusiastic. The way she roots for her players is just amazing and I think she needs to lift the IPL trophy this year.”Gayle has made a brilliant start to the 2018 IPL, which is surely going to make RCB regret their decision. In four matches so far, the Jamaican has amassed 252 runs with a strike rate of 161.53 including two fifties and one century.Watch: Chris Gayle dances to Sapna Chaudhary’s hit Haryanvi songAfter his unbeaten 104 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gayle had had said that Virender Sehwag saved IPL by picking him.”A lot of people said ‘Chris has a point to prove.’ Virender Sehwag has saved the IPL by picking me. Sehwag said in an interview: If Chris wins you two games, we have our monies worth. I need to have a chat with him about that!,” Gayle said.After Gayle’s unbeaten 104 against Sunrisers, Sehwag had said that he wasn’t surprised as he was expecting fireworks from Gayle.”Isn’t it right? I saved the IPL – nobody is bigger than Gayle. I was expecting Gayle to do this,” Sehwag told India Today’s Boria Majumdar.last_img read more

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CFB Expert Releases Score Prediction For Georgia-Texas

first_imgA closeup of Kirby Smart in Georgia Bulldogs apparel.AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks the field prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)The Georgia-Texas Sugar Bowl matchup will feature two conference title game runner-ups seeking redemption.Georgia lost the SEC Championship Game to Alabama after blowing a fourth quarter lead, while Texas lost similarly blew a lead in the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma.However, some experts think that despite the similar manner in which they made it to this point, the Bulldogs have the upper hand.According to Associated Press writer Ralph D. Russo, the Georgia Bulldogs will win the Sugar Bowl handily.Why watch? The Bulldogs missed the playoff, but could still finish No. 2 in the country for a second straight season, depending on how the bowls go … GEORGIA 35-17.Georgia is the favorite in this game with Texas a +11.5-point underdog.The two sides have not faced each other since 1984, when Georgia won the Cotton Bowl Classic.Prior to 1984, Texas owned a 3-0 record against the Bulldogs, with two regular season wins and an Orange Bowl victory.last_img read more

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Xiaomi Redmi Go launch on March 19, it may end up killing Reliance JioPhone, JioPhone 2

first_img Next Sanket Vijayasarathy New DelhiMarch 16, 2019UPDATED: March 19, 2019 09:58 IST HIGHLIGHTSThe Redmi Go will launch in India on March 19 with an expected price of around Rs 4,000.The JioPhone 2 is a feature phone that is priced at Rs 3,000.Pricing of the Redmi Go will be key to attract feature phone users.Xiaomi has ruled the affordable smartphone market in India for a while now as the company has managed to introduce phones with incredible hardware and value, often at disruptive prices. This has mostly been the case with Redmi phones above Rs 5,000, but what about the sub Rs 5,000 market? Xiaomi could soon tap into the entry-level market as well with the launch of the Redmi Go Android Go smartphone in India on March 19. This could inevitably shake things up and challenge the dominance of Reliance’s JioPhone and JioPhone 2.A couple of reasons why the JioPhone and JioPhone 2 have done so well in India is because Reliance was able to offer feature phones with (some) smart features that provided just the right amount of convenience to entry-level phone users. Along with this, the company offered bundled plans with Jio data, bringing the “effective” price down and making it even more attractive for consumers.Redmi Go price in India will be keyThe Redmi Go, if priced right in India, could start a major wave that could see more feature phones users make the jump to smartphones. Xiaomi is perhaps more capable than any other brand to make this happen. Android Go has been designed by Google to enable low-cost smartphones to attract feature phone users.At this time, the Redmi Go is expected to launch in India at a price of around Rs 4,000, which would make it one of the cheapest Android Go smartphones in the market right now. So far, mainstream companies like HMD Global/ Nokia and Samsung have offered Android Go devices that come with slightly higher-than-expected prices, but the Redmi Go has the potential to launch well below Rs 5,000 if Xiaomi stays true to its “honest pricing” tag.advertisementCan Redmi Go take on JioPhone and JioPhone 2?The Redmi Go is an obvious challenger to other Android Go devices like the Nokia 1, Samsung Galaxy J2 Core and a few other phones from Lava and Micromax. But we are looking at the possibility of the Redmi Go competing against feature phones like the JioPhone or JioPhone 2 simply because it could be priced as much as or just a touch more than what these phones cost. The JioPhone costs Rs 1,500 while the JioPhone 2 is priced at Rs 3,000. Both feature phones run on KaiOS and offer basic hardware and 4G VoLTE support. The JioPhone 2, which was launched in July 2018, offers a QWERTY keyboard design along with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It gets a 2MP rear camera, a 0.3MP front camera, 2,000mAh battery and support for apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. These are some absolute bare-boned features that a consumer can use to get by, but the JioPhone cannot offer anything beyond this.The Redmi Go, on the other hand, is a full-fledged smartphone that sports a 5-inch HD touchscreen display and is powered by a Snapdragon 425 chipset with 1GB of RAM and up to 16GB of internal storage. You get an 8MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera, dual SIM support and a 3,000mAh battery that promises to deliver up to 10 days of standby time.But the USP is that the Redmi Go is that the phone runs on the Android Go platform and ships with Android Oreo (Go edition). This means the phone will come with Google Go apps like YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Maps Go and a whole catalogue of lightweight apps optimised to run smoothly by using less RAM and storage.The Redmi Go offers a smartphone experience at a possible price of Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. It offers more than enough reasons for feature phones users to make that jump to a smartphone and is clearly a better option compared to the JioPhone 2. It ultimately hinges on how aggressively Xiaomi can price the Redmi Go, and we will know that in just a few days from now.ALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Go India launch on March 19, may cost around Rs 4,000ALSO READ | Redmi Go launching on March 19: What all we know about this Xiaomi phoneGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanket Vijayasarathy Tags :Follow Redmi GoFollow JioPhoneFollow JioPhone 2 Xiaomi Redmi Go launch on March 19, it may end up killing Reliance JioPhone, JioPhone 2The Redmi Go Android Go smartphone is set to launch in India on March 19 with an expected price of around Rs 4,000. At this price, the Redmi Go offers some compelling features that could draw feature phone users away from the JioPhone and JioPhone 2.advertisementlast_img read more

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Police Arrest 2 Women for Document Forgery in Morocco

Rabat – Judicial police in Kenitra, north of Rabat, have arrested two women who were charging people for a fake opportunity to get a government job.The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said in a statement that two people who fell victim to the suspects showed up at the police school in Kenitra carrying fake “summonses” to take the police exam.After hearing their story, DGSN arrested on woman acting as an intermediary for fraud and forgery of official documents. The woman was found with financial transfer receipts. Read also: Morocco’s DGSN Seizes 400 Hashish Bags of 10 Tons in El JadidaAfter further investigation, police arrested the main suspect in Temara, a town south of Rabat. Police found a large number of false summonses to take exams of several public institutions and 13 forged summonses for police exams in the suspect’s house.The two women, aged 37 and 41, charged their victims MAD 40,000 to 80,000 in exchange for the summonses.DGSN said that the suspects are now in custody, and they are continuing to investigate to determine other members involved in the case. read more

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Report on impact of economic downturn hits City Hall

by 660 NEWS Staff Posted May 30, 2016 7:28 am MDT Last Updated May 30, 2016 at 8:33 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Taxes will be on the agenda at Calgary City council Monday.A report is going forward on the impact of the economic downturn on revenue for 2017.Administration is forecasting a shortfall for 2017 of $20-million, which would add up to an extra 1.3 per cent increase on Calgarians’ tax bills.The previously approved increase for next year is 4.7 per cent.The report looks at a number or ways to mitigate the losses, but because of the uncertainty about the economy, staff wants to put off discussion of the 2018 tax year until the spring of next year.Council will be getting together again June 29 for a strategic session on city finances. (Kaitlin Lee, 660 NEWS) Report on impact of economic downturn hits City Hall read more

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Prince Charles photobombs Kasabian in unlikely meeting at the pub

first_imgNot everyday you meet and shake hands with HRH Prince Charles on a walk on Ham Hill.— Andrew Sweet (@AndrewSweet4) February 14, 2017 Very interesting afternoon meeting HRH Prince Charles. A very charming man and extremely skilled at asking interesting questions.— Orchards Estates (@orchardsestates) February 14, 2017 Kasabian and Prince Charles like the same kind of drinking establishments, apparently Credit:Rex  Prince Charles had an unlikely encounter with Kasabian after appearing to photobomb the band at a pub in Somerset.Guitarist Sergio Pizzorno and co were enjoying some lunch at the aptly named Prince of Wales pub in Ham Hill, near Yeovil, when the royal guest wandered in. Show more “He was very generous with his time and it was just a brilliant day,” she said.“We knew he was coming but it was a lovely surprise for everyone else.“He poured a pint and his visit was just a huge boost for everybody and out invited guests.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Leicester band shared the photo on Instagram joking the royal visitor was in the “photobombing zone”.Landlady Nicki Holroyd told Somerset Live that Charles surprised locals when he got behind the counter to pull a pint. Pizzorno told the NME: “We did so much work really quickly that I took the summer off and did a bit of living.“It was great … then I just came back to it, added a few songs and they only took about ten minutes to write.”Kasabian will headline this summer’s Reading and Leeds Festivals, organisers announced in January. Kasabian new album  Charles joins Prince Harry and the Queen as the latest royal photobomber.Meanwhile, Kasabian were enjoying a relaxing trip to the pub after revealing they have just completed their new album.last_img read more

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PSG Handball complete VELUX EHF CL FINAL4 2016

The French champions PSG Handball are the fourth team at VELUX EHF CL Final 4 in Cologne. Tournament at Lanxess Arena on May 28 and 29 will give the new handball rulers since FC Barcelona lost against THW Kiel in quarter-final.The easiest job in second legs had French best team. Noka Serdarušić boys had +8 from Zagreb, so it was enough to play 32:32 against Croatian champions in routine battle.Right back Onufrienko netted seven goals for the home team, while Horvat scored eight for Zagreb. PSG Handball ← Previous Story SC Magdeburg win German Cup after 20 years! Next Story → 2016 Australian Open Club Championships in Geelong

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Thief sells stolen diamond ring at bargain price

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A man stole a $1 million diamond ring in a planned burglary and sold it for a bargain price of $300,000 in Thailand, a court has heard. George Georgiou, from Melbourne, snatched the 9.1 carat ring from the CBD jewellery store Hardy Brothers Jewellers in March 2009, before fleeing to Thailand and selling the stolen ring for $300,000. The Court heard Georgiou, a former Freemason, has a history of theft, and was also being charged for a previous offence. Prosecutor Raymond Elston SC told a county court in a committal hearing that Georgiou was charged for stealing a diamond ring worth $26,995 from a stall at Camberwell Market in 2008. Defence lawyer Janine Gleeson said while the Hardy Brothers heist was planned, stealing from the market stallholder, who Georgiou had forged a professional relationship with, was more opportunistic. Mr Elston called for the defendant to be jailed for a maximum of five to six years, with a non-parole period of three to four years. Georgiou will remain in custody as he awaits sentencing by Judge Margaret Rizkalla on October 31.last_img read more

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