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Showing posts from 2015

50 companies poised to make big gains in 2016: Bloomberg team

For some companies, 2016 is shaping up to be a momentous year. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, who track the fortunes of thousands of businesses were asked to identify those that face tough challenges, or are poised to make big gains, in the year ahead. Here are 50 companies to watch.

2 students commit suicide each month in the Indian city Kota ! Is career worth it?

Kota is a city where there are a lot of residential coaching institutes drawing students for preparation of medical and engineering entrance examinations.

"HAMARA AGAR selection nahin hua toh hum aap logon se nazrein nahi mila payenge. I am sorry. Mein apni marzi se aaj apni life khatam karti hoon (I cannot face you if I am not selected. I am ending my life)." On the night of October 31, eight days before she was to reach home for Diwali, Anjali Anand scribbled these lines on a sheet of paper before hanging herself from the window of her hostel room at Rajiv Gandhi Nagar in Kota. This 18-year-old had arrived here just 18 months ago after her Class 12 from Moradabad to become one among the 77,000 students at Allen Career Institute and chase her dream of cracking the medical entrance examination.

Investigating the deaths, The Indian Express accessed police records and interviewed over 50 stakeholders, including students, institute representatives, parents and doctors, to find…

Home loan: track all these factors before you go for loan

Use Mortgage as an Overdraft Account

This is one of the least used options available in the market. Outside India, the product is generally called as an Offset mortgage. In India, the product is sold by State Bank of India by the name Max Gain.  In this type of mortgage account, if you have surplus funds, you can deposit the funds in your bank / mortgage account and interest shall be computed on the balance mortgage loan. You are free to withdraw the deposit and the interest shall levied on the remaining balance. Hence, when ever you have surplus funds, you reduce your interest payouts. If you find an investment opportunity, you can withdraw the funds from your mortgage to fund your investments. By this way, you tend to get a good mix of putting surplus funds into work (by reducing interest payouts) and at the same time having the flexibility to get the funds back when needed. It is important to note that any deposits made in such an account do not end up reducing your mortgage balance…

Home loan pains: prepayment should be from your own money !

Below information is true as of 2011. Please check for revised rule. RBI was pushing to relax prepayment rules.
Prepayment limitsIf you have recently taken a home loan, you may not be eligible for prepayment. Most lenders have a time frame, usually six months after taking the loan, within which you cannot prepay.IDBI Banklevies a 2-3% charge on prepayment of loans if it's done within six months.If you are not faced with this restriction, check whether the penalty is applicable for complete or partial prepayment. HSBC does not levy a penalty if you prepay up to 25% of the sanctioned loan amount, but will be charged 3% if you cross this limit. In the case of HDFC, the 25% limit is calculated on the opening balance (that is, the remaining loan) in a financial year. Some lenders, such as Axis Bank, do not levy any prepayment charge.Some banks do not levy a penalty on partial prepayments, but this will depend on when you foreclose the loan. If the loan is partially paid within one year …

Chinese preschool kids training to be top coders for the future

Wu Pei, a 35-year-old former computer programmer with Foxconn Technology Group is tapping growing demand from parents intent on preparing their preschoolers for a world in which Oxford University researchers predict half the jobs in some countries may be eliminated by robots and computers.

Similar classes are taking off across China. Reynold Ren has taught about 150 primary school-age children in Beijing to use Scratch, a project developed by the MIT Media Lab and Arduino, which enables users to create interactive objects such as robots. In Hong Kong, about 2,500 students have taken courses that Michelle Sun runs at her First Code Academy.

"Teaching the next generation coding is something that should be elevated to a strategical national importance," said Wang Jiulin, the Xi'an-based creator of, a website that shares free information and courses. "Even today, the majority of programmers in China can only perform very basic-level tasks and there's huge …

Do you think Islam is the problem?

1. The First World War 17 million dead
(caused by non-Muslims)
2. The Second World War 50-55 million dead
(caused by non-Muslims)
3. Nagasaki atomic bombs 200,000 dead
(caused by non-Muslims)
4. The war in Vietnam over 5 million dead
(caused by non-Muslims)
5. The war in Bosnia / Kosovo over 500,000
dead (caused non-Muslims)
6. War in Iraq (so far) 1,200,000 deaths
(caused non-Muslims)
7. Afghanistan, Burma etc. (caused by Non-
You still think that Islam is the problem?!
And when it is said to them, "Do not cause violence on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers." Al-Quran (2:11)

How to live upto 150 years

Click on the image to enlarge

What an Indian need to know about FATCA/CRS -Why is your Mutual Fund co.,stock broker or bank asking about details on Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or Common Reporting Standards (CRS)

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) - is a legislation introduced by the United States (US) Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prevent US persons from using non-US accounts and non-US businesses to avoid US taxation on income generated from such wealth and assets. Similar to FATCA, the purpose of CRS is to aid automatic exchange of information between bilateral treaty partner countries about accountholders/investors maintaining accounts in foreign jurisdictions. FATCA / CRS obliges banks and financial institutions to report information about such account holders having accounts with them. You are therefore requested to provide the required confirmation and comply.

If you have a citizenship of a country other than india or have dual citizenship,  then you need to talk to your bank/stockbrocker co./bank to provide some details.

Reporting requirement under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standards (CRS) can be found o…

Why I don't buy a newly launched device. Better wait for a year till these issues get noticed.

1. Issue with iPhone6

iPhone 6s users report 'too hot to touch' Home Button

Freelance designer Jonnie Hallman took to Twitter on Monday (5 October) to report that his iPhone 6s had shut off with 50% battery still remaining, claiming that the Home Button became so hot that he couldn't touch it. When asked by another Twitter user whether the smartphone had been exposed to hot weather or sunlight, Hallman replied that the device had been in his pocket all day.


2. Issue wiith Surface Book

PCWorld: New Surface Book owners complain of unexpected freezes, other bugs.

Although Microsoft's Surface Book is officially just a few days old, the "ultimate laptop" is being hit by a wave of unexpected lockup problems that has concerned new users.

A thread on Microsoft's support forums has begun to gain steam, with users reporting similar symptoms: The notebook just suddenly stops working, and…

Britain's child slaves: They started at 4am, lived off acorns and had nails put through their ears for shoddy work.

The tunnel was narrow, and a mere 16in high in places. The workers could barely kneel in it, let alone stand. Thick,choking coal dust filled their lungs as they crawled through the darkness, their knees scraping on the rough surface and their muscles contracting with pain.
A single 'hurrier' pulled the heavy cart of coal, weighing as much as 500lb, attached by a chain to a belt worn around the waist, while one or more 'thrusters' pushed from behind. Acrid water dripped from the tunnel ceiling, soaking their ragged clothes.
Many would die from lung cancer and other diseases before they reached 25. For, shockingly, these human beasts of burden were children, some only five years old.
Robert North, who worked in a coal mine in Yorkshire, told an inspector: 'I went into the pit at seven years of age. When I drew by the girdle and chain, my skin was broken and the blood ran down … If we said anything, they would beat us.'  Impoverished: Chil…

China to abandon the One child policy- a big mistake?

It may be a mistake for China to abandon the One child policy. There may be increasing number of millionaires but the Average quality of life has not really moved to a good level. China ranks 67 in the 2015 Human Capital Index rankings as can be seen here:

The Human Capital Index is compiled by : 'The World Economic Forum' (WEF) which is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. It defines itself an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic developmental activities.

China's ruling Communist Party will abandon the one-child policy introduced in the late 1970s to defuse a demographic time bomb that threatens to choke growth in the world's second biggest economy.

The party's decision-making Central Committee approved plans to allow all couples in China to have two children, the official Xinhua News Agency said T…

Synthetic biology: Cant be without invasion of privacy

This is Change Log — my weekly observations and links on the intersection of tech, commerce, health, culture and markets.Free of its past penchant for frugality and utilitarian design, the new Google launched a slew of beautifully polished products last week. The new Google is talking the talk but sales will prove if it can walk. … The new name for the parent company, Alphabet, takes effect this week. For a spell at least. …. Apple execs seem to be passionate about blocking ads and trackers but it's clear they have no defense for Facebook and that's a big problem because just three mobile apps now account for 80 percent of media consumption on mobile devices…  Blackberry waited until its own operating system was completely obliterated before finally working with Google to build an Android powered device.  Canadians, sometimes to their detriment, are so darned polite…  Few expected the first big beneficiary of the Internet of Things (IoT) to be cars that com…

Do you really need to own it to be the top one to sell it? In fact, you should avoid owning it !

How to calculate the fare value of a house

Housing economists have long used a home price/rent ratio as one way to gauge whether or not home prices are inflated or undervalued.Moreover, on a very practical level, relating home prices to rents can give you a more detailed view of whether there's a financial payoff to homeowning, says Gary Smith, Pomona College professor and co-author of "Houseonomics."A housing P/EThe use of a price/rent ratio is analogous to employing a price/earnings ratio for stocks. When a stock price is high, and its earnings per share relatively low, the P/E is high. A high P/E often indicates that the stock is too expensive, and the share price is headed for a drop.What someone is willing to pay to rent a place is that home's "earnings." And, just as in the stock market, a high home price related to the rental earnings mean homes values will probably drop.For a specific look at how a home's P/E is determined, let's consider a home that is listed for either rent or sale…

UK: the disbalanced economy

London generates 22% of UK GDP despite accounting for only 12.5% of the UK population. According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, it makes a net contribution to the Exchequer of an astonishing £34bn.

Inner London's GDP per head was 328% of the European Union average in 2010, compared with 70% in west Wales - the biggest gap in any EU state, said the European Commission's statistics agency Eurostat. Among the next eight largest UK cities, only one other, Bristol, has a GDP that is above the national average.

In 2013 it was estimated that in property terms London's top 10 boroughs were worth more than all of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined. London's housing stock is worth as much as Brazil's annual GDP, estate agents Savills reported in January 2015.

A cul-de-sac comprising a score of 1930s semi-detached homes in Ilford or Hounslow might easily be worth £10m.

Compare this with Germany, where the political capital Berlin is balanced by a fin…

Why can't Indian companies Infosys, Wipro, etc, lead Digital India campaign? Make in India should apply to Digital revolution also !

Indian FM ready to cut government stake, thus cut control, on state owned Banks- could be disastrous for the poor.

Govt may consider cutting stake in state-run banks - Arun JaitleyMon Sep 28, 2015 2:03pm IST
REUTERS - The government may consider reducing its stake in state-run lenders to 52 percent, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.The government would also consider other issues including problems tied to distressed state power providers, Jaitley said while speaking at a banking conference.

Top Ten Programming Languages of 2015

What are the most popular programming languages? The only honest answer: It depends. Are you trying to land a job at a hot mobile app startup, model electricity flows across a continent, or create an electronic art project? Languages are tools, and what’s a “must have” in one domain can be a “whatever” in another. So for the second year in a row, IEEE Spectrum has teamed up with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos to give you a popularity ranking that you can adjust to meet your own needs.
Our ranking system is driven by weighting and combining 12 metrics from 10 data sources. We believe these sources—such as the IEEE Xplore digital library, GitHub, and CareerBuilder—are good proxies for the popularity of 48 languages along a number of different dimensions. The weighting of these sources can be adjusted in our interactive Web app to give, say, more importance to languages that have turned up in job ads. Filters can be applied so that you can see only languages relev…

6 Core Reasons Why Instagram Grew So Quickly

1. A Unique Visual Storytelling Application Stories have been around for thousands of years. As human beings we’re wired to live and tell stories. The change that has fueled the growth of Instagram is that we’ve become a society of visual storytellers. The primary mode of telling stories is through pictures. Americans love watching movies, annually fueling Hollywood’s billion-dollar industry.
While yesteryear had humans using the oral tradition to pass down stories, today sees pictorial storytelling outstripping audio and even print narratives as the primary way the world tells and shares stories. The modern age beckons the earth’s inhabitants to constantly live life faster. As a consequence the time to read life evaporates quickly, leaving only the mere snatches of time to look at pictures, allowing our modern minds to fill in the necessary words of the narrative between the pictures.
2. Facebook Piggyback The Facebook phenomenon has changed the size of the world. Never b…

Facebook is working on a novel way to track you

Facebook and Google seem like they’re in a contest to see which can come up with the creepiest ways to keep track of its user base has spotted a new patent that was awarded to Facebook earlier this year that describes technology that can identify individual users’ phones based on unique camera lens defects that show up on the pictures they upload onto the web.

How is Facebook pulling this off, you’re wondering? By taking a deep look at things such as “faulty pixel positions in the camera, lens scratches, dust on lens, camera artifacts” and other characteristics that will let it identify individual cameras. Facebook thinks it can pair these characteristics with more traditional metrics like location data to correctly identify the camera being used. Now for the bigger question: Why is Facebook doing this? In its patent filing, the company says that this technology can be used to determine “fake, fraudulent, or additional accounts” that its users set up so it can s…

2.3 million families are close to homelessness in USA

1-in-4 US renters spend half their pay on rent and utilities

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one in four U.S. renters have to use at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities.

That's the finding of an analysis of Census data by Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps finance affordable housing. The number of such households has jumped 26 percent to 11.25 million since 2007.

Since the end of 2010, rental prices have surged at nearly twice the pace of average hourly wages, according to data from the real estate firm Zillow and the Labor Department.

"It means making really difficult trade-offs," said Angela Boyd, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners. "There are daily financial dilemmas about making their rent or buying groceries."


Russia's tech and finance professionals flee abroad more than before

For most of the last decade, Igor Gladkoborodov worked his way up in Moscow's vibrant high-tech scene, going from web developer to co-founder of an online-video startup that drew $3.5 million in local funding.

Last month, he abandoned Moscow for Menlo Park, California, joining a growing flow of professionals leaving Russia amid recession, deepening international isolation and tightening regulation of the Internet.

"Five years ago, there was still hope that things would change for the better," says Gladkoborodov, 32, who moved with his wife and two young sons. "Now it's clear that Russia is facing a long systemic crisis," he adds. In Silicon Valley, he says he regularly meets others from Moscow who've left.

Official statistics show the number of Russian citizens leaving permanently or for more than nine months reached 53,235 in 2014, up 11 percent and the highest in nine years. Germany, the U.S. and Israel all report increases in the numbers of applications…

What are the QS World University Rankings? What have IIT-Delhi and IISc Bengaluru done to make the cut?

What criteria are followed to determine the rankings? Six key indicators, of different weights, cumulatively determine an institution's overall score. The academic reputation of the university carries the maximum weight of 40 per cent, citations per faculty and student-to-faculty ratio carry 20 per cent weights each, employer reputation accounts for 10 per cent weightage, and international faculty ratio and international student ratio account for 5 per cent each.

How has IIT-D improved its ranking? IIT-D's own assessment is that the improvement is "primarily based on the quality of faculty and the research output" over the past five years. An indication of this is the fact that IIT-D has secured the 36th rank based on 'globally based citations per faculty'. It, has, however, fared poorly in criteria such as the faculty-student ratio, international faculty, and international students. What about IISc, Bengaluru? The absence of undergraduate courses had thus far…

Getting the best of debt instruments -PPF NSC etc

For risk-averse investors, there is a choice of a wide range of debt products. Each of the products has its own utility, depending on your goal and investment horizon. Debt products may not be as aggressive as equity, when it comes to return on investment. For the risk-averse, though, these combine safety, returns and tax-efficiency.

Debt funds are more liquid and tax-efficient compared to bank deposits. They invest in easily saleable fixed-income securities such as banks' certificate of deposits and highly credit-rated companies' commercial papers maturing in 91 days. They offer investment flexibility, unlike fixed deposits. The interest earned on short-term funds is added to your income and taxed as per slab.

If you have slightly less than a year in hand, opt for the dividend option (where dividend distribution tax of 14.16 per cent is paid by the fund house). You can thus enjoy higher post-tax returns, especially if you fall in the higher tax bracket (30 per cent). Even for t…

Going Hyperlocal - Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm already there before you know what it means.

Bengaluru/New Delhi:Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm, India's top e-commerce firms, are preparing for entry into so-called hyperlocal delivery and considering investments in such start-ups, potentially heralding a much-awaited consolidation of the nascent but increasingly crowded business.Hyperlocal start-ups connect customers with supermarkets and restaurants through apps and deliver products on demand, in a few hours or even quicker.Flipkart is testing a separate ordering app called Nearby in Bengaluru to deliver groceries, electronics, clothes and other products, three people familiar with the matter said.The company has been working on its hyperlocal push for at least a year and plans to launch it over the next two months, the people said. It plans to offer delivery of products within a few hours of an order being placed, they said, requesting anonymity.Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, is planning to expand into hyperlocal primarily through acquisitions and financial inv…

An easy way to find tourist hotspots in any corner of the world !

World's hottest tourist attractions: Interactive 'heat map' reveals top 10 most photographed travel destinations across the globe.Anyone who has visited New York will have whipped out their camera to take an obligatory shot of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. And a visit to Paris or Rome isn’t complete without a smartphone selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower or Spanish Steps respectively. But which tourist sights are the world’s most iconic? An interactive 'heat map' has revealed the top 10 photographed cities in the world - along with which tourist attraction is the most snapped in each location.

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Is the governemnt hiding the poverty levels? How to Read India’s Poverty Stats

In the year ending 2012 there were 269.3 million people (21.9% of the population) living below the poverty line, the Planning Commission, the government’s think-tank, said Tuesday.
For sure, that’s a huge number, but it’s far lower than the 407.1 million people under the poverty line in the year ending 2005, when the Planning Commission estimated that 37.2% of the population were living in poverty.
And the latest estimates also showed a significant decrease from almost two decades ago when in the year ending 1994, there were 403.7 million people, or 45.3% of the population in poverty.
Local newspaper headlines celebrated the fall. “Now, only 22% of Indians below poverty line, Planning Commission” said the Economic Times.
“Poverty shrunk under UPA govt: Planning Commission,” was the headline in the Hindu.
But how accurate are these most recent estimates and do they stand up to economic scrutiny?
Some experts have questioned the government’s definition of poverty and arg…