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MAGAZINE

Seasonal www.seasonalmagazine.com

Managing Editor Jason D Pavorattikaran Editor John Antony Director (Finance) Ceena Associate Editor Carl Jaison Senior Editorial Coordinator Jacob Deva Senior Correspondent Bina Menon Creative Visualizer Bijohns Varghese Photographer Anish Aloysious Office Assistant Alby CG Correspondents Bombay: Rashmi Prakash Delhi: Anurag Dixit Director (Technical) John Antony Publisher Jason D Pavorattikaran

Will digital technologies and start-ups save Indian job sector? It is estimated that China creates 35,000 jobs a day! It has to, as even at that pace, which is 13 million jobs annually, the demand for jobs is still higher, at around 15 million a year. But instead of learning from China, India has preferred to look at Silicon Valley and West, to lofty concepts like digital and start-ups. The reasons for this preference are complex than thought earlier. For one, India had spectacular success starting in the early 90s with Western technologies like IT and IT enabled services, which coincided with the economic liberalization by then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

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Of course, there were detractors for computerization way back in the 90s themselves, notably the Communist par ties of India. But their farsightedness didn’t deliver for them back then as the country even while embracing full-fledged computerisation, managed to create a huge numbers of jobs in the IT sector. Even in a problematic year like 2009, with the brunt of the global economic crisis, that is how India added 1 million new jobs. Then, what is the difference between that wave of Western technologies that empowered Indian job pool and the current wave of digital and startups?

Take India’s stronghold of services, for instance. Be it banking, retail, travel, trade, education, healthcare, or hospitality, we see that digital technologies employed by start-ups are basing their business model solely on automation.

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All Prime Ministers and their Cabinets since then including AB Vajpayee, Dr. Singh himself, and now Narendra Modi and his colleagues continued and still continues to believe that embracing the next wave of Western technologies like digital and start-ups would continue to deliver for India.

The simple answer is that while the first wave of computerization was aimed at empowering individuals by making their jobs more efficient, this current wave is all about using automation for eliminating working individuals in the guise of serving consumers faster and more efficiently.

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EDITORIAL

The massive push for digital transactions is ensuring that banks will need much less staff in the coming years. Further, the advent of cutting-edge fintech is seeing to it that jobs like insurance agents and brokers of financial products like loans, mutual funds, stocks etc are getting eliminated rapidly. The availability of tuition apps is eliminating the need for tuition teachers. The ease of e-commerce sites like Flipkart has already hit retail jobs like a tsunami. The travel and tourism industry has also taken a hit as the traditional role played by travel agents are now done by travel portals and aggregator apps.


Are any of these technologies bad? Of course not. Is it bad for India? Again, no. But should these be priorities for India? That is where the problem lies. China is far ahead of us in almost all these technologies, but there is a cardinal difference there. Our neighbour is not as dependent as us on the services sector, as it has one of the world’s most thriving manufacturing sectors. Secondly, it makes for the whole world by pushing its own brands, where India is content with serving the world through IT services etc. That is where our priorities should have been and not on pushing technologies like digital and initiatives like start-ups which thrive on automation and elimination of jobs in our only major sector of services. Take the case of the world’s most valuable start-up, Uber. Unlike many other start-ups in the banking, fintech, travel, e-commerce etc, the ground-breaking taxi-hailing service hasn’t caused loss of many jobs. But that is just for now. Uber’s eyes are solely set on the horizon of driverless cars. And it is racing closer to it than most consumers and governments imagine. Indeed, the acceleration in driverless car technologies is pushed not just by tech or auto companies but by direct beneficiaries, the giant

taxi-hailing services of the world like Uber. So, what will happen to all these drivers? Their jobs will get eliminated, first in the advanced markets like North America, Europe and Japan, and then in developing markets like in Asia and Africa. That is, if governments do nothing about it, and embrace that too as the next great wave of Western technology. There is also another angle to the mindlessness or senselessness with which start-ups like Uber will eliminate jobs if given a free run, which is a point many less aware governments miss. They are not your ancient entrepreneurial monopolies like Ford, Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Infosys where there was a dominant entrepreneur or co-promoters who took pride in huge tech workforces and out-of-this-world HR policies and stock options. Rather, the new breed of massive digital start-ups is characterized by owners that are some of the world’s largest institutional investors. An innovative entrepreneur just starts the game, and if it is disruptive enough to be scalable, cutthroat PE funds flock in and scale it beyond imagination, thereby taking down the entrepreneur’s equity and even full elimination of his role.

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Again, Uber is the classic example. A Canadian innovator named Garrett Camp who invented the once ambitious Google rival StumbleUpon comes up with a second brilliant idea – an automated taxi-hailing service. He and two other friends build the first prototype. They bring in another innovator, Travis Kalanick, founder of peer networks Scour and Red Swoosh as an advisor, who also happened to be sitting on significant cash due to successful sells of his start-ups. Co-founders Camp and Kalanick invested 2 million in seed money and the rest is history. Institutional investors of all hues started to flow in starting from Benchmark, Google Ventures, Baidu, Toyota, Saudi Arabia, Sequoia and finally the mother of all institutional investors now – Japanese major Softbank – which calls the shots now at the world’s most valuable start-up, valued at $72 billion now. An ugly fight for control between co-founder and then CEO Kalanick and early institutional investor Benchmark in 2017 resulted in his ouster as CEO, and emergence of Soft Bank as the largest investor with 18% stake. In contrast, Garrett Camp who continues as Chairman controls only 5% stake and Kalanick who continues as a Director controls only 7% in the company they founded. Including the stake of Softbank, institutional investors hold 88% of Uber’s equity. And it is no wonder, as Uber is yet to turn in a dollar as profit. In 2017, Uber had a staggering revenue of $7.5 billion, but a devastating loss of $4.5 billion, with growth in loss more than double of growth in revenue! And Uber has just 12,000 employees worldwide! That is each employee is responsible for generating $0.63 million a year in revenue! It is the dream of institutional investors, as such models drive in further investments at higher valuations until everything is offloaded to the public through an IPO. This is the best digital and start-up model available in

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the world. It is best because it has still not eliminated jobs on a large scale. Other models like e-commerce and fintech fare even worse in eliminating jobs through automation. And this is just automation. The hit from artificial intelligence is still to arrive. Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman recently warned India, “There is this concept called artificial intelligence that you should be wary of. In future, while diagnosis may be outsourced to a doctor in India, it could also go to a firm based on artificial intelligence. Things like this could be a cause for worry for Indian services sector." It is high time India decided what we should prioritize – foreign direct investments from the likes of Uber, Amazon etc or incentivizing job creation. Whether it should be GDP growth or jobs growth. The situation is that dire. Recently, Indian Railways called for ‘unglamorous’ and so-called blue-collar jobs like engine drivers, signalling staff, welders, porters, track maintenance workers, electricians and mechanics, with salaries starting from just Rs. 18,000 a month. There were 90,000 vacancies but the problem is that 2.5 crore youth applied, that is more than 277 times! And despite more than 62,000 of these jobs requiring only 10th grade pass, applicants were postgraduates, engineers and graduates! A recent study by KLEMS, in which India’s RBI participated for the country, showed that far from more jobs being created, employment has actually contracted during the previous two fiscals. Both Central and State Governments are cutting their new job creations, while nothing much is being done to spur private investment, as the main corporate financiers – the public sector banks – are reeling from NPAs. Any other nation, especially ones like China or US, would have long back ago solved the NPA crisis in a proactive, non-partisan way that rises above petty politics. But here only the slugfest and one-upmanship continue.


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CONTENTS

AMAZING WESTERN SOLIDARITY AGAINST ALLEGED RUSSIAN NERVE AGENT ATTACK

MALDIVES CRISIS: WILL INDIA TEST CHINA'S PATIENCE?

"IDEA OF DEMONETISATION CAME FROM RSS:" RAHUL GANDHI

British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for a “long-term response” by the West to the security threat from Russia as NATO followed member states in expelling Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a double agent in England.

The Congress President went on slamming RSS and said the idea of demonetisation came neither from RBI nor FM Arun Jaitley but RSS.

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EXERCISE IS BENEFICIAL, EVEN WHEN YOU REMAIN OVERWEIGHT

THE STRANGE CASE OF PALESTINIAN TEENAGER AHED TAMIMI

According to a latest study, physical activity may be equally and perhaps even more important than how much the person actually weighs.

Judge bans media from Israeli military court as trial of teenager filmed slapping and kicking soldiers starts.

TOYOTA’S AFFORDABLE SUV 'RUSH' COMING TO INDIA?

WHY ISN'T INDIA PROBING CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

JSS ACADEMY OF HIGHER EDUCATION & RESEARCH

Japanese automaker Toyota recently revealed the Yaris premium sedan in India at the Auto Expo 2018. Now, it looks like Toyota is readying another product for the Indian market.

There is no getting away from it now. In his deposition to the British House of Commons, Christopher Wylie, former employee of the data mining firm, Cambridge...

The crisis in Maldives can be best described as a power struggle between two contending factions, one belonging to the current President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen and the other his political opponents who have been jailed

FULLY EQUIPPED FOR FUTURE

When it comes to a modern or even next-generation university, excellence has gone beyond classrooms and labs. Today, higher education excellence rests


FLEMINGO TRAVEL RETAIL IPO

7 REASONS WHY FLEMINGO IPO CARRIES PROMISE

When one of the world’s largest duty-free chains goes for its IPO in India shortly, it will be the first opportunity for Indian investors to invest in the duty-free business with an international footprint. Running 308 duty-free shops in 119 locations across 26 countries, the Dubai headquartered Flemingo Group is today a truly international operation. But its India connection has dominated ever since Atul Ahuja was roped in to start its Indian operations in 2003 and when the country foray became so successful that by 2012 he bought out a majority stake in Flemingo. Leadership in Indian market has prompted the firm to go for its Rs. 2600 crore India IPO. Backed by institutional investors like Samena, Cartesian, Samara, Albright & CDIB, the firm has been growing at an explosive pace through acquisitions. Apart from at airports, it runs duty-free shops in seaports, cruise ships, in-flight, ferries and country borders.

DRIVING IN TIAGO, NEXON & TIGOR, TATA MOTORS BEATS HONDA IN NUMBERS After beating Honda in terms of sales for the last 10 months, Tata Motors is now firmly in 4th place in the Indian car market, behind Maruti, Hyundai and Mahindra. Tata has sold 149,284 cars in the last 10 months, beginning from April

NITTE UNIVERSITY

POISED TO BE FIRST AMONG EQUALS Nitte University and Nitte Educational Institutions of Karnataka are among the crème de la crème of private higher educational institutions in South

ALCOHOL AND AGGRESSION: WHAT IS THE TRIGGER? Do you tend to get aggressive just after a peg or two? It is because certain areas in the brain that temper aggression shuts off, researchers say.

KALASALINGAM ACADEMY OF RESEARCH AND EDUCATION (KARE)

CARING 360 DEGREES FOR ITS STUDENTS

Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, near Madurai, in Tamil Nadu, is taking care of their students in the most

PAKISTAN BIDS FAREWELL TO IT'S "MORAL COMPASS"

JIO FIBER MAY COME WITH 100MBPS FTTH BROADBAND, FREE FOR 3 MONTHS

Lawyers dressed in black blazers, politicians, intellectuals and activists joined citizens flooding Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, as mourners accompanied the body of Asma Jahangir with flowers and wreaths.

What is JioFiber? All questions about the 100Mbps FTTH broadband, free 3 months' service & more answered. After disrupting the Indian telecom industry, Reliance Jio is stepping into the broadband sector with its long-rumored JioFiber.

GALGOTIAS UNIVERSITY

THE FOCUS IS ON BETTER EMPLOYABILITY With the private university space maturing, more and more institutions are having similar facilities and even similar faculties. But the proof of the

VIT STUDENTS BEAT EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS AT NATIONAL LEVEL HACKATHON Utkarsh Kumar and Vansh Arora, the two VIT students who emerged triumphant at biggest national government hackathon, has also signed contract with the Rajasthan Government for a

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NEWS-IN-BRIEF YOU'LL HEAR ME SHOUT FROM ROOFTOPS IN CASE OF WEDDING: RANVEER

Addressing reports of him marrying rumoured girlfriend Deepika Padukone by the end of this year, Ranveer Singh said, "If there is any announcement in the future, you will be hearing me shouting from the rooftops." He further said, "Right now we are both extremely busy working. Besides, she is also recuperating from back problems... We are quite occupied and distracted."

IF I FIGHT AGAIN, IT WILL BE FOR UFC: FLOYD MAYWEATHER Retired undefeated boxer and world champion Floyd Mayweather has said if he ever fights again, it will be for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). "If we can get together with Dana White and the UFC to make a megafight happen, one fight, it could be against Conor McGregor", Mayweather said about his potential move to the mixed martial arts event.

SIKH GROUP SETS WORLD RECORD BY TYING 9,000 TURBANS IN US A Sikh organisation has set the Guinness World Record for the "most turbans tied in 8 hours" by tying over 9,000 turbans to celebrate annual Turban Day at Times Square, New York. The event was aimed at spreading awareness among Americans and other nationalities about the Sikh religion and its articles of faith, especially the turban.

Belgium's 23-year-old cyclist Michael Goolaerts passed away in a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Paris-Roubaix race on Sunday. Goolaerts was rushed to the hospital after he was given CPR treatment on the side of the road following a crash. Notably, Goolaerts is the third Belgian rider to die mid-race in recent years.

WOMEN BIKERS COMPLETE 17,000-KM JOURNEY ACROSS 6 COUNTRIES

RAHUL GANDHI OBSERVES DAY-LONG FAST FOR COMMUNAL HARMONY

The Telangana Tourism Department on Monday welcomed four women bikers who successfully completed a nearly 17,000-kilometre-long road trip covering six countries. The women, who embarked on their journey from Hyderabad on February 11 to promote Telangana tourism, covered Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. They were also supported by the Indian government in this initiative.

HAD WRITTEN TO CBI ABOUT ICICI FRAUD IN 2012: BJP MP BJP MP Udit Raj has revealed that he had written a letter regarding some fraudulent activities taking place in ICICI Bank to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2012. According to Raj, a weather-based crop insurance was launched in 2012 and ICICI Lombard was the middleman between beneficiaries and the government. However, around 13,000 fake beneficiaries were discovered in Rajasthan. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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23-YEAR-OLD CYCLIST SUFFERS CARDIAC ARREST DURING RACE, DIES

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, along with his party, observed a daylong fast between 11 am and 4 pm on Monday for communal harmony in the country. While Rahul observed the fast in front of VIP Gate, Gandhi Samadhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi, other party members held the protest against PM Narendra Modi-led Centre at state and district headquarters.


NEWS-IN-BRIEF IAS 2015 TOPPER MARRIES 2ND RANK HOLDER IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR

CHHATTISGARH VILLAGE GETS ELECTRICITY AFTER 15 YEARS

DJ WHO HEADBUTTED FORMER AUSTRALIAN PM GETS 6 MONTHS IN JAIL

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) 2015 topper Tina Dabi married the second rank holder Athar Aamir-ulShafi Khan in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The couple had met in 2016 during the felicitation ceremony at the Department of Personnel and Training in Delhi. According to reports, they had faced criticism for their relationship as they came from different religious backgrounds.

Chintalnar village in Chhattisgarh's Maoist-affected Sukma district has started getting electricity again after 15 years. The rebels had destroyed the power infrastructure in the village in an attempt to disrupt developmental activities in the area. "Electrification of this area is a major relief for all of us. It will be easier for children to study at night," a villager said.

A DJ who headbutted former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was sentenced to a maximum six-month jail term today. The assault had occurred in September, when Astro Labe had grabbed Abbott's hand and headbutted him, saying, "you f*cking deserved it." At the time, Abbott had claimed that he was assaulted for opposing same-sex marriage.

FERRARI F1 CAR RUNS OVER, BREAKS MECHANIC'S LEG AT PIT STOP

WOMAN ATHLETE RUNS TEA STALL IN TAMIL NADU TO MAKE A LIVING

MUSK SHARES PIC OF MAIN BODY TOOL OF SPACEX'S BIGGEST ROCKET

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's car ran over his team mechanic's leg during a pit stop at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Monday. The Ferrari pit system had accidentally shown a green light when the mechanic was still changing the left rear wheel. Ferrari have been fined •50,000 while the mechanic was taken to a hospital with a double leg fracture.

A Kalaimani, a 45-year-old athlete, has been forced to open and run a tea stall in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore to make a living. She has participated in state and national level Masters Athletics events and won four gold medals. "I earn 400-500 from the tea shop, run my family and manage my sports requirements," Kalaimani said.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has shared a picture of the main body tool of SpaceX's biggest rocket called BFR designed to take people to Mars. The 157-foot-long rocket will consist of a massive first-stage booster with 31 engines and is capable of carrying 150,000 kg of payload to Earth's orbit. The startup claims the BFR will be ready by 2022.

CANADIAN FIRM GETS RS77 LAKH TO MAKE EGG OF WOOD, LAVA, BRASS Canada-based Orijin Design Company has raised over Rs77 lakh to make an egg-shaped product called 'The Thinking Egg', priced at $10. The egg, which is 17 mm wide and 23.38 mm tall, is available in brass, pine, lava and howlite elements. The firm claims it is meant to remind people to slow things down and be present in the moment. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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FLEMINGO TRAVEL RETAIL IPO

7 REASONS WHY FLEMINGO IPO CARRIES PROMISE hen one of the world’s largest duty-free chains goes for its IPO in India shortly, it will be the first opportunity for Indian investors to invest in the duty-free business with an international footprint. Running 308 duty-free shops in 119 locations across 26 countries, the Dubai headquartered Flemingo Group is today a truly international operation. But its India connection has dominated ever since Atul Ahuja was roped in to start its Indian operations in 2003 and when

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the country foray became so successful that by 2012 he bought out a majority stake in Flemingo. Leadership in Indian market has prompted the firm to go for its Rs. 2600 crore India IPO. Backed by institutional investors like Samena, Cartesian, Samara, Albright & CDIB, the firm has been growing at an explosive pace through acquisitions. Apart from at airports, it runs duty-free shops in seaports, cruise ships, in-flight, ferries and country borders.

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When one of the world’s largest dutyfree chain groups goes for its IPO in India shortly, it will be the first opportunity for Indian investors to invest in the duty-free business with an international footprint. Flemingo Travel Retail runs 308 duty-free stores across 119 locations in 26 countries.

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UNIQUE BUSINESS TO BE LISTED Capital markets are always looking for companies in niche sectors to be bullish about. If they can’t find one, what they value next is sectors with few listed companies. The reason is simple enough to understand. Like in all businesses, in the investment business too, less competition means more prosperity. Flemingo Travel Retail Ltd operates in the niche field of duty free shops in airports. While Flemingo is no monopoly, it is the first time that a duty-free business is set to be listed in India. Even more importantly, it is highly unlikely that any of its competitors in India are at a size or scalability to go in for a listing in the near future. What this means is that if Flemingo is able to run its business profitably, market is going to value it with preference.

MARKET LEADERSHIP Flemingo runs 308 duty-free stores across the world having an aggregate area of 4.27 lakh sq feet. It is one of the world’s leading travel retailer with operations in 119 locations in 26 countries across the Indian subcontinent, the US, Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere. It is a marketleader in India and Sri Lanka. In India, Flemingo operates 28 duty-free stores across 11 of the top 20 international airports. Like a true leader in this business, it has direct tie-ups with the finest luxury brands, across its main product categories like liquor, tobacco products, watches, jewellery, cosmetics, toiletries, food, candies, apparel, accessories etc. Depending upon the location and airport it has a wide variety of store formats.

Flemingo is a duty-free market leader running 308 duty-free stores in 26 countries across the world.

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UTILIZATION OF FUNDS

GLOBAL, YET INDIAN Flemingo International was originally incorporated in Dubai, but its India connection has dominated ever since Atul Ahuja was roped in to start its Indian operations in 2003 and when this country foray became so successful by 2012 he bought out a majority stake in Flemingo. Leadership in Indian market has now prompted the firm to go for its Rs. 2600 crore IPO in India itself. Its market leadership in India and its global scale of operations has enabled the company to bid aggressively for duty-free shops in Indian airports, at rates that are difficult to match by other overseas chains based in Middle East, Far East, Europe and North America.

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Unlike many of the recent IPOs that hit Indian capital markets recently, both from the public and private sector, Flemingo’s IPO is dominated by a fresh issue of shares to raise money for the company. While this will cause significant dilution for the promoters, it shows a bullish company that is raising funds for consolidating its operations across various geographies and for getting ready for emerging opportunities for expansions. Flemingo’s IPO size is likely to be between Rs. 2500 to Rs. 2600 crores. Of this, the firm will issue fresh shares worth Rs 2,423 crore besides an offer for sale of nearly 1.13 million shares by one of its subsidiary firm Flemingo Duty Free Shop Mumbai Pvt. Ltd. The bulk of the proceeds is set to be used for buying back the company’s shares held by the original corporate promoter and to buy out its UK arm.


SOLID INVESTORS

Flemingo Travel Retail is backed by noted institutional investors like Samena Capital Group, Cartesian Group, Samara Capital, Albright Capital Management & CDIB Capital International. It was with such backing that the firm has been growing at an explosive pace through acquisitions. However, none of these institutional investors will be selling their shares in the upcoming Initial Public Offer.

Flemingo is a clear leader in Indian airports, operating 28 duty-free stores across 11 of the top 20 international airports in the country.

EYEING A TURNAROUND Over the years, Flemingo has been growing aggressively through the inorganic route too, by acquiring other smaller duty-free chains. This has cost the company its bottomline performance in recent years. Hence, Flemingo Travel Retail is unique in that it is currently not a profit-making entity even while it is going for its IPO. The company reported a loss of Rs 45.73 crore for the six months ended September 2017 on consolidated revenue from operations of Rs 325.16 crore. Its revenue from operations stood at Rs 599.56 crore for the year ended March 2017, while reporting a loss of Rs 114.26 crore. Due to this, additional SEBI regulations has kicked in, and Flemingo is required to reserved 75% of the issue for Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs). Due to this, not only will be the retail component very smaller than usual, but the valuations too are likely to be attractive.

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Flemingo also leads in the cruise segment running 186 duty-free stores on-board 60 luxury cruise ships.

EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES Flemingo also operates 23 stores at seaports, border-crossing points, downtown diplomatic or military duty-free locations, ferries and operates in-flight stores for 7 airlines.

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Unlike many other duty-free chains, Flemingo has been careful to diversify away from the primary focus of airport duty-free. Due to such rigorous efforts, it has already succeeded in opening up an alternative channel for duty-free sales, which has been the stores aboard cruise liners. Today, Flemingo has186 stores on-board 60 cruise ships. In addition, it also operates 23 stores at seaports, border-crossing points, downtown diplomatic or military duty-free locations. Flemingo also operates in-flight duty-free retail operations for seven airlines. The latest initiative from Flemingo has been duty-free retail stores on European ferries, which commenced operation in Poland, last year.


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HIGHER EDUCATION

JGU BECOMES YOUNGEST UNIVERSITY TO WIN UGC’S GRADED AUTONOMY SONIPAT, HARYANA BASED O.P. JINDAL GLOBAL UNIVERSITY HAS BECOME THE YOUNGEST UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY, AND ONLY ONE AMONG AROUND FIVE PRIVATE AND DEEMED VARSITIES TO HAVE ACHIEVED THIS REMARKABLE MILESTONE.

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By John Antony

W

hen India's University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex regulatory body for all the public and private universities in the country recently came out with a new initiative – Graded Autonomy - to select and grade only the crème-de-la-crème of universities, there were many expected names from the public sector. And almost all of them made the mark. These include names like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Benares Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jadavpur University, Panjab University, University of Madras and Osmania University. While there were a few noted misses from the public sector too, there were more expected hits. However, from the private and deemed universities sector, there were more misses than expected names. While venerable deemed universities like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and Narsee Monjee Institute of Studies made it to the list, almost none of the largest private and new-generation deemed universities made the list, except for Symbiosis International of Pune, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University of Gandhinagar. But then Symbiosis International was founded in 2002 and its history as a noted higher education college goes back to a few decades. Manipal based MAHE similarly has been a decades old leader from South India. Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University is a niche player without much competition,

founded in 2007. But there was a dark horse from the private sector that made it to the list – O.P. Jindal Global University or JGU as it is often called. Founded only in 2009, this achievement of Sonipat, Haryana based JGU within the first decade of its existence is surely turning heads in India’s higher education sector. Today, a major agitation is being carried out by teachers and students across North India, especially in Delhi University against the whole idea of Graded Autonomy. But nobody is really questioning the merits on which these premium institutions were granted autonomy. Neither are the institutions – either public or private – that didn’t get the status complaining of an unfair process of selection. Because, what the selection committee of UGC has done is a very transparent process that can’t be faulted much, except for the swiftness with which it was done

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which was really to pre-empt the kind of anti-autonomy agitation that we are seeing today and which would have prevented UGC from making such a decisive move. The achievement of the young Jindal Global University assumes significance when this transparent procedure is taken into account. Altogether, only 60 institutions have been selected by UGC for awarding Graded Autonomy. Of these 52 are universities and 8 were colleges. Out of the 52 universities, five are central universities, 21 are state universities, 24 are deemed universities and two are private universities. While the institutions were assessed on 11 core metrics, prime among them has been the grading obtained from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, commonly referred to as the NAAC Score. Universities or colleges with a NAAC Score of 3.51 or above out of 4 were placed in Category-I of Graded Autonomy, and a NAAC Score between 3.26 and 3.5 enabled institutions to be included in Category-II Graded Autonomy. All other institutions, having a NAAC Score of 3.25 or below were placed in a CategoryIII but given no additional autonomy for now. Institutions like JNU, HCU, NALSAR, Osmania University, Jadavpur University, Jammu University, TISS and National Law University, Delhi, among others, were parked in Category-I and they now are free to start a new course, department and school without UGC approval. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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They will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections and can collaborate with foreign educational institutions without the regulator’s permission. Their performance will be reviewed based on self-reporting. BHU, AMU, English and Foreign Languages University, Madras University, Mysore University, TERI School of Advanced Studies in Delhi, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and O.P. Jindal Global University, among others, were given autonomy under ‘Category II’. These institutions will also be exempt from UGC’s regular inspections, but will need UGC permission to sign MoUs with foreign universities and their performance will be reviewed by a peer group. Commending on the achievement, Naveen Jindal, founding chancellor of JGU said that "this feat reiterates JGUs commitment to shaping India’s aspirations of building world-class universities through comparative and international dimensions. We are grateful to MHRD and UGC who have appreciated our endeavour." Terming it a milestone in the university’s journey, C. Raj Kumar, founding vice chancellor, said: "This recognition initiates a major paradigm shift that will mark the future of Indian universities and encourage our pursuit of institutional excellence in higher education. This is a big milestone in JGUs journey and I wish to congratulate all its stake-holders, including faculty members, students, staff, alumni, parents and the State Government of Haryana, as well as the regulatory bodies, for their support.”


JGU BECOMES YOUNGEST UNIVERSITY TO WIN UGC’S GRADED AUTONOMY Opening up the higher education arena to the private sector has always been a bone of contention. For years, the major headache for the government was whether to liberalize higher education by removing the regulatory controls it imposed on centrally-run universities and provide greater autonomy to private institutions. Given the rampant neo-liberal institutionalization prevalent in our times, it was only going to be a matter of time before higher education would enmesh itself in autonomous regimes that have been a feature since the 1990s in India. The UGC’s ambitious plan to liberate educational institutions from regulatory control was first proposed by the NITI Aayog. Last year, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) appointed a committee headed by the former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, to suggest reforms in higher education. Granting of autonomous status to any institution, not just private, has met with stiff opposition from academic circles. Gradually, the endorsement of this policy would hinge on the quality of education that would be offered in these institutions. While the UGC regulations have had little operating constraints on private varsities (which still rely on state laws), the decision to grant greater autonomy to certain institutions have been backed up by the requisite quality checks and their relevance to industry needs.

This feat reiterates JGUs commitment to shaping India’s aspirations of building world-class universities through comparative and international dimensions. We are grateful to MHRD and UGC who have appreciated our endeavour.

Given its relatively recent formation (2009), it is a stupendous achievement for O.P Jindal Global University (JGU) to have received the autonomous status and one that would open the doors for other aspiring leaders to stake a claim. Consequently, the Haryana-based varsity has become the first private university to achieve this status, along with Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, Gujarat. To put things into perspective, for just the two topperforming private universities to be accorded this out of the 300 private universities in the country, it speaks volumes about their commitment to excellence. This has been reflected in the spirit of JGU ever since it began operations back in 2009. Under the UGC’s new regulation on graded autonomy (formally known as SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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Categorisation of Universities for Grant of Graded Autonomy Regulations, 2018), central, state, deemed, and private universities will be graded into three groups, with a different degree of autonomy for each category. The categorisation hinges on an institution’s performance in either reputed global rankings or the assessment done by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The NAAC assesses institutions on seven parameters curriculum, teaching-learning and evaluation, research, infrastructure, student support, governance and leadership, and institutional values and gives each a score out of four. An institution will be placed in CategoryI if it has been accredited by NAAC with a score of at least 3.51, or if it has received a grade/score from a reputed accreditation agency empanelled by the UGC, or if it has been ranked among the top 500 institutions by reputed world university ranking agencies such as Times Higher Education and QS. To be eligible for Category-II, universities should either have an NAAC accreditation score between 3.26 and

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3.50, or have received a corresponding grade/score from a reputed accreditation agency empanelled by the UGC. Even though these universities will be exempt from regular inspections, and can start new programmes, departments, schools, and centres in disciplines that are part of its existing academic framework without the regulator’s approval, they will be subject to stricter control in comparison to Category-I institutions. So, Category-II universities will need the UGC’s permission to sign MoUs with foreign universities. Their performance will be reviewed by a peer group. HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said the selected universities remain in the ambit of the University Grants Commission but will have the freedom to start new courses, off-campus centres, skill development courses, research parks and other new academic programmes. They will also be able to hire foreign faculty, enrol foreign students, provide incentive-based emoluments to faculty, enter into academic collaborations and run distance learning programmes. Their performance will be reviewed on the basis of self-reporting (for Category I) and

peer-review (for Category II). Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Madras University, Mysore University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and O.P. Jindal Global University are among those included in Category-II. Expressing gratitude to the HRD ministry, Naveen Jindal, founding chancellor of JGU said that "this feat reiterates JGUs commitment to shaping India’s aspirations of building worldclass universities through comparative and international dimensions. We are grateful to MHRD and UGC who have appreciated our endeavour." Terming it a milestone in the university’s journey, C. Raj Kumar, founding vice chancellor, said: "This recognition initiates a major paradigm shift that will mark the future of Indian universities and encourage our pursuit of institutional excellence in higher education. This is a big milestone in JGUs journey and I wish to congratulate all its stake-holders, including faculty members, students, staff, alumni, parents and the State Government of Haryana, as well as the


JGU BECOMES YOUNGEST UNIVERSITY TO WIN UGC’S GRADED AUTONOMY

This recognition initiates a major paradigm shift that will mark the

“ future of Indian universities and encourage our pursuit of

institutional excellence in higher education. This is a big milestone in JGUs journey and I wish to congratulate all its stake-holders.

regulatory bodies, for their support.” The autonomous stature means that JGU will have the freedom to introduce new courses and departments, and enter into collaborations with foreign educational institutions, however needing some degree of UGC permission. Apart from this, JGU will now be exempted from regular UGC inspections, with appraisals being obtained on the basis of peer-review. Besides, JGU will be allowed to hire global talent to strengthen the faculty and encourage more international students to pursue their higher education from the university. JGU has been accredited and awarded the highest rating ie; ‘A Grade’ by NAAC and is a distinguished member of many councils both in India and abroad including the Bar Council of India, International Association of Law Schools, International Development and Public Policy Alliance, Association of American Colleges and Universities. Moreover, the varsity has a decent ranking in the range of 251-300 among

the top universities in BRICS countries in the renowned QS World Rankings for 2018. JGU’ has a 5-star rating in several parameters including, employability, teaching, facilities etc. The facultystudent ratio is 44.3, while on the count of international faculty JGU projects a healthy 99.5. In 2017, JGU was ranked among the Top 10 Private Institutions in India by QS BRICS University Rankings and Top 300 in the BRICS countries. However, the autonomous tag will only add to its international standing and improved domestic perception of the university as it would not benefit them as much as it was touted to. This is because JGU is still a private university registered under a state Act. The real game-changer for the university would be when Central Governments can persuade state governments to bring about amendments for lesser regulations. O.P. Jindal University also bagged another milestone that would enhance their autonomous status. Recognizing

their commitment to academic excellence, JGU was awarded the Diamond Rating by QS I-Gauge, India’s first nationwide higher education rating system for Indian universities and colleges. The announcement was made in the presence of Former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Dr. Virander Chauhan, Chairman, National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC). Referring to the milestones that JGU covered, Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar said, "I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every member of the JGU family for being awarded with not one but two laurels on the same day. The autonomous status by the UGC and QS Diamond Rating are remarkable milestones, which will expedite our endeavour to underline India's exemplary contribution to the global higher education and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. Receiving the recognition from the Former President of India was indeed a matter of great honour for us." Recently, the university announced that SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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it would offer special concessions for children of war widows and serving army personnel. This was made during a distinguished public lecture on 'Indian Army in Nation Building', delivered by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat at JGU campus. One child of a war widow will get 100% concession on tuition fee while two will get 75% concession. And 11 children of war widows will get 50% concession on tuition fee. As regards serving army personnel, 50% fee concessions will be given to them for pursuing long-term academic programmes of one or twoyear duration. The Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences will also conduct free teacher training for Army School teachers. JGU's partnership with the armed forces began in 2009. Jindal Institute of Leadership Development and Executive Education (JILDEE) in particular has undertaken many training and capacity building programmes for the Indian Army. The three-week Mandarin Chinese course for Indian Army officers by native speakers is one of the key examples. The Macquarie University, one of the top 10 universities in Australia, signed an agreement with JGU focusing on exchange and research partnerships. The main focus of the partnership is to

develop closer ties between the business and management faculty at both institutions and bring them together to deliver joint lectures, conferences, short term programs and workshops. The MoU was signed in the presence of Professor Stephen Brammer, Executive Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University and Prof. C. Raj Kumar, Founding ViceChancellor, O.P. Jindal Global University. After the MoU signing, JGU and Macquarie University held a joint conference titled ‘Business, Law and Ethics: Conflict or Coherence’. JGU has also weighed in the strategic bilateral partnership between India and Israel, following the recent visit of Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu to India, by opening their own Israel studies centre. In another positive development for the university, two of its assistant professors from the Law school Avirup Bose (who was recognized as India’s first “Next Generation Antitrust Scholar”) and Natasha Nayak were awarded the 2018 Thomas Edison Innovation Fellowship award and JGLS is the only law school in Asia whose professors have been awarded the prestigious fellowship award. JGLS faculty members will join a series of invitation-only conferences over the

The dark horse from the private sector that made it to the list – O.P. Jindal Global University or JGU as it is often called was founded only in 2009. This achievement of Sonepat, Haryana based JGU within the first decade of its existence is surely turning heads in India’s higher education sector. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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JGU has been included amongst a select list of universities including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Benares Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jadavpur University, Panjab University, University of Madras, Symbiosis International, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Osmania University.

course of a year in which Edison Fellows study and discuss a structured curriculum, engage in roundtable discussions with expert senior scholars and industry representatives, and share, examine and collaborate on new areas of research on the moral and economic value of patented innovation. The year-long non-resident fellowship program brings together a group of scholars to develop research papers on patent law and policy and culminates in the production of substantial academic research papers that are published in law journals or other peer-reviewed academic journals. Both scholars went through an extensive application process prior to being selected for the fellowship from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George

Mason University School of Law, Virginia, USA. The Law school of JGU has reasons to cheer as it launched an exclusive and first of its kind interdisciplinary, Master of Business Laws Programme. The unique Master’s degree programme was launched on the side-lines of the seminar on 'How to Fill the Legal and Regulatory Knowledge Gap in Business and Industry' with distinguished panellists at the Jindal Global Educational & Professional Academy. The programme is JGU's initiative to address the needs arising from the unique dynamics of the current corporate environment, where business intersects with law, policy and dispute resolution. Today, corporate professionals - ranging from those involved with human resources, financial management, innovation

strategy, intellectual property management or business compliance - have to synchronise their managerial and professional skills with legal and regulatory strategy to ensure effective compliance and reduce their company's risk profile, while growing their business. The Master or Business Laws degree provides an allimportant bridge between the various disciplines and skills required by the modern business professional. JGU and Center for Ethics, Spirituality and Sustainability organized the twoday 15th International Conference on Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns titled 'Spirituality, Mysticism and Politics in the Age of Globality'. Such initiatives underscore the significance attributed to all-round development under the JGU curriculum. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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PRIVACY

WhatsApp Under Fire on Serious Privacy Issues EXPERTS CAST DOUBT ON PRIVACY FEATURES OF FACEBOOK-OWNED WHATSAPP, AS PEOPLE CAN BE ADDED TO GROUPS VIA PUBLIC LINKS OR DIRECTLY BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. acebook-owned WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging service with over 200million active users in India, might not be as secure as being claimed, with experts raising questions about certain provisions of the user agreement wherein most of its wrongdoings would go unremedied and un-challenged.

public links or directly by an administrator. Even though the group gives a notification of a new member, they may only have a phone number or name and not know who they are. Any member can record conversations from the time they enter the group. They have the phone numbers of people making comments, Wadhwa said.

by strangers because of what was discussed in that group," Wadhwa said.

WhatsApp, which has one billion users globally, is one of the most popular mediums of instant messaging in India. It was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

"A friend told me that he and his family had joined a group which became much larger over time and he worried that his children were being contacted

Noting that almost one-quarter or more of the world's population is using WhatsApp for free - services that cost the company money for

"One-to-one communication between users are encrypted and may be as secure as WhatsApp claims. But the metadata, information about the calls, is likely being mined by the company," Vivek Wadhwa, a top American technology entrepreneur and academic, told PTI. "WhatsApp has admitted that it is sharing information about identity and device information with Facebook, allowing it to do the dirty work in snooping on users. "What I found most worrisome is that WhatsApp's group chat feature allows any group member to mine data like Cambridge Analytica, and what is worse, they reveal mobile numbers. So people can be harassed off the platform," he said. Experts cast doubt on privacy features of Facebook-owned WhatsApp "WhatsApp users take the company at its word that 'Privacy and Security is in our DNA'. It clearly isn't. There are major design flaws in its chat features," he alleged. People can be added to groups via SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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On the question of saving information, he said WhatsApp is being two-faced. To Facebook, it provides sensitive device information. To the authorities, it claims that it can't decrypt conversations, he said.


paying for its employees, plants and IPRs production, eminent New Yorkbased attorney Ravi Batra said that it makes money by harvesting user data and using it in conjunction with others including Facebook. "There is an old saying: There is no free lunch. Yet, there is a new brave digital world - that is free to use, and the costs and profit of providing the free services must come from 'mining' the habits and data connected to each User. "Each human being is only born with a unique finger print, or other genetic material. But how a human being lives, works and plays - each step and act - is as unique as that fingerprint. That is why it's so profitable to mine user data, so those who wish to sell

FURTHER, USER GIVES WHATSAPP FREE USE OF USER'S PROPERTY AND INFORMATION, IN EXCHANGE FOR USING ITS MESSAGING SERVICE. anything to a user know what the user will want, when she will want it maybe even before the user does!" Batra said. Referring to the user agreement, Batra said the users of WhatsApp agree to waive a court of law, with a judge and jury, and instead, accept a decision by an arbitrator - who is not bound to follow the law.

“A friend told me that he and his family had joined a group which became much larger over time and he worried that his children were being contacted by strangers because of what was discussed in that group�

"Moreover, user agrees to dis-associate with any class action or group-based actions - which means that since most users will suffer a small monetary damage, the cost of seeking damages or vindication far exceeds the benefit of getting damages or vindication. Net result to user: it isn't worth fighting WhatsApp," Batra told PTI. Batra said WhatsApp is quite upfront that what belongs to the user - while still owned by user - can be freely and fully used by it without paying any fee.

sue in the federal or state court in the said county. Make sure to get a visa from the US Embassy and book a hotel for two-three years," he said, thus indicating that for all practical purposes an user in India cannot drag WhatsApp to court. According to the terms of the agreement, an user in India agrees that they will resolve any claim they have with WhatsApp "relating to, arising out of, or in any way in connection with our Terms, us, or our Services (each, a 'Dispute', and together, 'Disputes') exclusively in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California or a state court located in San Mateo county in California, and you agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purpose of litigating all such Disputes".

Further, user gives WhatsApp free use of user's property and information, in exchange for using its messaging service. According to him, by practically making the retention of lawyers economically impossible, most wrongs would go un-challenged and un-remedied.

"In order to operate and provide our services, you grant WhatsApp a worldwide, non-exclusive, royaltyfree, sublicensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works of, display, and perform the information that you upload, submit, store, send, or receive on or through our services," the user agreement says.

"If a user, not a resident of the US or Canada, is lucky not be subject to arbitration, then user agrees to travel to San Mateo county in California and

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, did not immediately respond to an email from PTI on the questions raised by these experts. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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TECH

Google Search Now Prioritises Mobile Google Search as we know it has moved on, adapts smartphone universe with mobile-first indexing. After carrying out tests and experiments over the past year and a half, Google has begun migrating websites that follow best practices towards a mobile-first indexing. fter 20 years and offering its life-changing services in 123 languages, Google Search has taken a symbolic, yet important step this week. According to an official post by Fan Zhang, a software engineer in the Google Search team, the world’s largest and most influential search service will be placing more emphasis on mobile search. Although this move SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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hasn’t really caught the online world by surprise, it’s worth noting that over the past year and half, Google has put great emphasis on mobile search queries. In November 2016, Google announced that it was looking at mobile-first as an important shift in indexing which it takes seriously. After carrying out tests and experiments over the past year and half, Google has begun migrating websites that follow best practices towards mobile-first indexing. Although desktop search continues, the post adds, “We are notifying sites that are migrating to mobile-first indexing via Search Console. Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot. Additionally, Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages.”

THE POST SUMMARIZES ITS UPDATE AS FOLLOWS: Mobile-indexing is rolling out more broadly. Being indexed this way has no

ranking advantage and operates independently from our mobilefriendly assessment. Having mobile-friendly content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better in mobile search results. Having fast-loading content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better for mobile and desktop users. As always, ranking uses many factors. We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, while they were studying at Stanford University. It was incorporated as a company by the same name on September 4 the same year. Since then, it has diversified into a vast range of services and products such as Android, Docs, YouTube, Chrome, Pixel (and Nexus hardware), among many more.


US-PAK RELATIONS FIND NEW LOW IN PAK PM'S FRISKING AT AIRPORT

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mid reports of Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi undergoing security check at an airport in US, hinting at further worsening of relations between Pakistan and US, Pakistan-based Geo News has suggested that he voluntarily followed the security procedures. Pointing that Abbasi was in US on a private visit, Geo News released a video wherein Pakistani PM could be seen at airport without any security protocol. The report further talked about Abbasi being popular for adhering to simplicity in his personal life, saying he was recently spotted travelling alone on a train during Britain visit. Geo News also referred to a recent photograph of the Pakistani Prime Minister wearing a simple shawl while

cutting his birthday cake. The picture reportedly went viral on social media in the country. This came even as reports said that Abbasi was frisked at an airport in US. The video in question showed Abbasi carrying a coat in one hand and a suitcase in the other as he walked towards security check area. A leading newspaper had reported that the “indignity” had angered the Pakistani media, citing reports of US President Donald Trump and his administration considering visa ban on Pakistani nationals. Abbasi had gone to US to reportedly meet his ailing sister. During the visit he also reportedly met US Vice President Mike Pence. This comes even as US has told Pakistan that the country needs to do more to tackle the menace of terrorism.

SYLVESTER STALLONE MISTAKES BOBBY FOR SALMAN wishes to very talented film hero SALMAN KHAN For his next film RACE 3 !@beingsalmankhan.” The Hollywood star was trolled for posting Bobby Deol’s picture and naming Salman in the post. Replying to Stallone’s post of Bobby Deol’s Race 3 poster, a user commented, “That’s a very good but He’s not a Salman Khan.” Stallone has now deleted his Instagram post.

RAMBO WANTS TO PROMOTE RACE 3 BUT ISN’T SURE WHO SALMAN KHAN IS. AFTER CONFUSING BOBBY DEOL WITH SALMAN KHAN, SYLVESTER STALLONE HAS SHARED A NEW RACE 3 POSTER AND SAID HE WOULD ‘GIVE UP’ IF HE GOT IT WRONG AGAIN.

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ll Sylvester Stallone wanted to do was wish good luck to “the very talented Salman Khan” and promote the upcoming Race 3 after the Bollywood actor shared his Creed 2 announcement . But unsure of who Salman is, Sylvester accidentally shared Bobby Deol’s character poster from the Remo D’Souza film. Well, to rectify his mistake, the Hollywood veteran tried once again and confessed that if he is wrong now, he is giving up. Sylvester posted a zoomed-in picture of

Salman from the latest poster of Race 3 and wrote, “OK, EVERYBODY let’s try this AGAIN , good luck to the very talented SALMAN KHAN on his upcoming new film RACE 3 ! ( if this is wrong I give up ! ) LOL.” Interestingly, the Rocky star is still not sure if it is the correct poster that he has shared. Last week, Stallone had shared a poster from the film featuring Bobby Deol. Posting the image on his Instagram account, Stallone wrote, “The very best

Salman, too, had shared a promotional video for Stallone’s upcoming film Creed 2. Directed by Remo D’Souza, Race 3 is the third film in the hit franchise Race and it also stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Saqib Saleem, Daisy Shah and Anil Kapoor, apart from Salman and Bobby. Abbas-Mustan directed the first two iterations of Race and both films had Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor in lead roles. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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START-UP

By Pete Jaison

WHY IS UBER EXITING FROM EVERY MAJOR FOREIGN MARKET?

Uber’s recent withdrawal from the Southeast Asian market, shortly followed by news that they are in talks with Indian taxi-aggregator, Ola for a similar exit strategy is quite baffling indeed. However, a thorough analysis of the global exit decisions Uber has made over the past 24+ months shows us a unique pattern that Uber is setting - start the trend, attract the competition and withdraw(with a large chunk of the country’s market!) ber’s talks with Ola, to sell its Indian business (Cabsharing as well as food delivery) should come as no surprise. If the deal does go through, it will be the fourth time in the last 2 years that Uber has exited a foreign market after securing a healthy steak of share in the closest domestic competitor. Firstly, it makes a whole lot of sense especially considering that all the involved companies have a mutual (and largest) shareholder – Japan’s Softbank. Secondly, this cease fire will end a war of attrition from another local rival just as it was when Uber exited China and the Southeast Asian market. Normally, an exit of this sorts is considered as a defeat - A company packing up its bags and running back home with its tail between its legs. But It’s extremely hard to write off Uber’s decisions as mere defeats in these markets. A closer look at the deals made by the San Francisco giant will testify for the win-win nature of these alliances and not the opposite. The exit of Uber from China in Aug 2016 raised some serious eyebrows all around. Initially, newscame out that the startup was burning cash at an alarming rate and spend an estimated $2 billion dollars in two years, whilst competing with local rival, DidiChuxing. This rapid cash burn could have been a major hindrance if ever the company decides to go public in the near future. The then CEO, Travis Kalanick stated shortly afterwards that achieving profitability was the only way to build a sustainable SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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business which can best serve the Chinese riders, drivers and cities in the long run. Despite the huge investment made in China, the total market share of Uber was less than 20% to Didi’s 80%. Competing with such a strong local rival would only drain Uber of more resources and it would ultimately turn out to be a battle they could not even remotely win. At least not in the short run. This, coupled with the notoriously inaccurate nature of Google maps in China (which Uber completely depends upon), was seen as the biggest disadvantages they faced. Uber had to bow out, but they did so on their terms. Uber’s Chinese business was sold to Didi, with the new combined business to be worth an estimated $35 billion and Uber walks away with a 20% share in it. Uber’s exit from Russia was a lot more predetermined than theirs in China. Uber merged its business in Russia and its neighboring ex-Soviet republic

countries with Yandex, a Russian techgiant popularly known as the ‘Google of Russia’. Uber invested a total of $225 million into the new venture while Yandex invested $100 million. The merger marks Uber’s expansion into Russia and was approved by the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, , (FAS), so long as the company didn’t bar its drivers from working for competing services. Uber walks away with a share of 36.6% of the newly combined business thus marking their second withdrawal from a global market. Their most recent exit from the Southeast Asian market, by selling

their operations to Singapore based rival, Grab was their third successful exit. Uber gets a 27.5% share in the new business while successfully leaving another money-bleeding country ahead of a potential planned IPO in 2019. The biggest winner in all of these deals are obviously Softbank Group Corp., who are majority stakeholders in Uber, Grab, DidiChuxing and Ola. According to Softbank officials, these companies provide close to 45 million rides a day! While, an Ola-Uber partnership looks inevitable in the coming months, much credit must be given to Uber’s chiefs for successfully brokering deals in markets where Uber could not take over and crown themselves as the market leaders. Uber can go back to focusing on markets where the playing field is level and prepare for their highly awaited IPO.


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BASKETBALL

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By Pete Jaison

NBA 2017-18:

THE MVP CANDIDATES With only a handful of games left in the season, Seasonal Magazine analyses the top 7 Most Valuable Player candidates’ performances this year and their run to the playoffs

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JAMES HARDEN (HOUSTON ROCKETS): This season’s front runner for the Most Valuable Player award needs no introduction. Harden a.k.a The Beard has taken the league by storm! Averaging close to31 points per game along with 9 assists and 6 rebounds, Houston’s star shooting guard along with the rest of the Rockets are destroying teams in the NBA. While they (obviously) boast of the best overall win-loss ratio in the league, the most eye-widening aspect of Rocket’s season is that, they are almost undefeated when their big 3 of Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capella are healthy! Two losses they suffered were to the resurgent Pelicans and to the (No.1 seed in the East) Raptors. That too in both the game’s last possessions! Although the loss in Toronto ended Houston’s 17-game SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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winning streak it showed that the Rockets will be extremely hard to contain over a 7-game playoff series. Houston has already beaten the defending champions – Golden state warriors, not once, but twice this season and why wouldn’t they bet their chances at this potential Western conference final match-up. While an MVP trophy will certainly be an improvement over Harden’s past few trophy less NBA seasons, He would be eyeing for the bigger price – a maiden NBA ring. After all, what is a No. 1 seed without a ring? “We haven’t done anything. “We don’t have time to relax. The No. 1 seed is cool and all, but we’ve got bigger things to worry about. We don’t have time to relax or take deep breaths.” said Harden.


LEBRON JAMES (CLEVELAND CAVALIERS): In his 15th year in the league, King James is putting up numbers that is beyond astounding. 27.4 points, 9.1 assists, 8.7 rebounds, for a 33 year old veteran in the league, is unheard of. But when doesn’t Lebron leave us mind-boggled? His extraordinary contributions to the game is just another ordinary day for the number 23. A former 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player winner, Lebron may be nearing the end of his career but,like wine, he is getting better with age.Although the same cannot be said of his wine and gold franchise – the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have had multiple team makeovers sessions this season but they still don’t look close to being a championship calibre team. The exit of Kyrie Irving hurt them more than they would like to admit, Kevin Love is as injury prone as ever, Isaiah Thomas looked like a square peg thrust in a round hole and they were better off fielding coach Ty Lue than D-Rose.

Even though, the Cavs look much better after the recent youth infused makeover, there is still work left to be done in the land. But If history has taught us anything, it’s that a Lebron-led team will always be the favouriteto make it to the finals.ALWAYS. Such has been Lebron’s dominance over the East (7 finals in the last 7 years) that it is really quite hard to look beyond Cleveland, this season as well. The MVP-esquenumbers that he is putting up whilst the squad is undergoing surgical changes should tell you something about the man. This year clearly poses a much sterner test to the ones he is used to but if Lebron continues to play at this MVP level, there is no saying what the Cavs are capable of. Hear that Skip Bayless?

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ANTHONY DAVIES (NEW ORLEANS PELICANS): My personal favourite for the MVP award. It is really quite unfortunate that we could not see how good THIS Pelicans team would have been in the playoffs. A season ending injury to DeMarcus Cousins took care of that. But what happenedthereafter was, Anthony Davies took notice. He’s scored 40 or more points five times this season, including a 53-point outing.There was also this game against the Jazz he finished with a whooping 10 blocks! An injury to his ankle did what no team could do this season – slow AD down. Davies is on the verge of making the jump from a good NBA player to a great NBA player. True, his playoffs record is dismal but so were all the teams he was(is) in. And there is enough evidence to tell us that this year, too, wont fare better for the Pelicans.

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The likes of Houston, Golden State and Oklahoma will easily beat them over a 7match series. But a healthy Pelicans team with a raring-to-go Boogie and THIS monster-version of Anthony Davies cannot be considered as a walkover. AD is averaging to 28 points, 11 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in his 6th year in the NBA and who, according to many, is easily the best two-way player in the league. The fact that he just celebrated his 25th birthday a few days back, shows you the level AD can elevate himself to in the not too distant future. Fun Fact : AD is only the second player in basketball history to rack up 9000 points and 9000 swats prior to his 25th birthday. The first player? The Great Shaquille O’ Neil.


KEVIN DURANT (GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS) : After his much-maligned switch from Oklahoma city to the Bay Area pre-season 2016, Kevin Durant finally had the last laugh after his starstudded Warriors team cruised to their 2nd championship in 3 years, courtesy of a mammoth KD clutch performance. THAT winning 3 pointer over Lebron James in Game 3 of last year’s finals is etched in the memory of every NBA fan. Although the 2014 Most Valuable Player and the Warriors are having a relatively quiet season by their standards, the whole league knows that come playoffs time, the Warriors will be as impregnable as ever. The Warriors along with the Cavaliers have been finalists 3 times in the last 3 seasons and, barring the black cloud that is the Houston Rockets, don’t be too surprised if

they make it a sweet 4 out of 4. Widely considered to be one of the best teams in modern basketball, the Warriors are loaded with 4 All-Stars who on their day can win matches with ease. Thus, standing out in this team over the course of a season is far from easy. Given the calibre of the current roster, with the likes of 2-time winner, Steph Curry, 2017 Defensive player of the year – Draymond Green and fellow sharpshooter Klay Thomson, KD’s numbers would need to be even more spectacular if he is to clinch the MVP award. KD is averaging 26.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists in a season considered to sub-par to his previous ones. Madness!

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DEMAR DEROZAN (TORONTO RAPTORS) : At the start of the season if you would have claimed that the Raptors will be perched on top of the Eastern Conference being the first team to book a playoff spot and DeRozan would have been an MVP candidate, you probably would have been scoffed at. Fast forward to today and it’s your turn to scoff. Demar DeRozan is lighting up Toronto in ways we can’t even imagine! Him and Kyle Lowry form a formidable duo and unlike the great NBA duos we’ve seen in the past, these two genuinely love playing with each other. DeRozan is averaging close to 24 points, 5 assists, 4rebounds in the midst of leading his franchise to the No. 1 seed in the East. But there is a LOT of credit to be given to head coach, Dwayne Casey’s intra-team dynamic change. They have modified their entire franchise outlook by embracing the 3-point shot and sharing the ball a lot more than before. It’s a massive shift from the way they’ve played before, but there is an even more elemental turn in the team’s dynamic: how their two stars, DeRozan and Lowry, function in the team’s system. In their first few years together, the duo could not complement each other’s game and they were always thought of as a single dimensional team. However that has changed this season. With DeRozan putting up MVP numbers and Lowry proving to be more than an able point guard, it would be a welcome surprise if the Raptors can topple the Cavs or the Celtics in the post season. Raptors in 5 ? SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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DAMIAN LILLARD (PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS) : It’s no surprise that the Portland Trailblazers sit right beneath Houston and Golden State in the Western Conference rankings. When Portland gets hot, they scorch! The West has become so fiercely competitive that even a 9-game winning stretch in the months of Feb and March won’t be enough to cement your place in the playoffs. But even if they do miss out on a conference final spots, there is no taking away what Lillard has done for the Trailblazers this season. He TAKESOVER games in a way similar to Kobe Bryant’s Mamba performancesat the death of a close-out game. Averaging 27.6 points along with 6.6 assists and4.5 rebounds per game, Portland finally have an MVP calibre player to adore. For a Trail Blazer, Lillard is making an enormous impact on league consciousness with his lateseason heroics. Even this slight MVP consideration is a step forward for his personal brand and the team’s profile. Following their second victoryover the Warriors last month, and with victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz on the previous streak, there’s no wonder why Portland are feeling confident when its Dame time.


STEPH CURRY (GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS): Although this candidate is a long shot to win the award we must acknowledge thatSteph Curry will go down as arguably the greatest shooter this game has ever seen. There is nobody who can drain 3s like this man. He’s finished the 2015-16 season with over 400 3-pointers. The second best record for 3s in a season? Fellow Warrior, Klay Thomson with 286. That is more than 100 3pointers less than Steph’s! His records speak for themselves but the importance of Curry to his franchise, was never addressed before. Especially since the arrival of fellow All-Star, Kevin Durant. Two losses in two Steph-less games was enough to send the most hard-core Warriors fan into worry. Steph’s importance to the team goes way beyond the numbers that he puts up or the countless half-court shots he’s made. He’s averaging 26.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while bossing another season with at least 200 3-pointers. This makes him the only player in the history of the sport to have 6 seasons with at least 200 3-pointers. While his recurring ankle issues might be a cause of concern for Dub Nation, once he’s back, GSW look more formidable. Expect a Curry shoot-fest in the playoffs and you won’t be disappointed. AlthoughKyrie Irving (Boston Celtics), last year’s MVP Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) are the other strong candidates for the MVP race, it is hard to see the trophy fall into anyone else’s hands other than our top 7.

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WORLD

AMAZING WESTERN SOLIDARITY AGAINST ALLEGED RUSSIAN NERVE AGENT ATTACK British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for a “long-term response” by the West to the security threat from Russia as NATO followed member states in expelling Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a double agent in England. the most sweeping such action against Moscow since the height of the Cold War, the United States and European Union members plan to expel scores of Russian diplomats in action against the Kremlin for the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter which they have blamed on Russia. Russia, which denies any part in the March 4 attack on the Skripals, says the West’s action is a “provocative gesture” and has said it will respond. The coordinated action among Western allies is seen as a huge diplomatic coup for May whose country is preparing to exit the EU bloc and may have had doubts about how much support she could count on. Speaking to senior cabinet members in London on Tuesday, May said countries had acted against Russia not just out of solidarity but because they recognized the threat it posed. “Yesterday was a significant moment in our response to this reckless act of aggression, but there is still more to be done as we work with international partners on a long-term response to the challenge posed by Russia,” her spokesman reported May as saying. The U.S.-led NATO alliance followed suit announcing on Tuesday it was expelling seven diplomats from Russia’s mission at alliance headquarters in Brussels and blocking the appointment of three others, thus cutting the size of

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the mission to 20 people from 30. “It sends a very clear message to Russia that it has costs,” NATO SecretaryGeneral Jens Stoltenberg said. EU member Ireland and Moldova on Tuesday joined the list of those countries expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal poisoning. The list includes 22 European countries including Britain itself which led the way by expelling 23 diplomats. In the toughest action that President Donald Trump has taken against Russia since coming to office, the United States has said it will expel 60 Russians, including 12 intelligence officers from Russia’s mission to the U.N. headquarters in New York. It is also closing the Russian consulate in Seattle. Trump discussed Russia in separate phone calls on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The leaders endorsed the Western response to Russia’s chemical weapons attack in Britain, including the expulsion of Russian diplomatic personnel, the White House said. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hailed the diplomatic expulsions as a statement to those who doubted the unity of NATO. “Russia has the potential to be a partner with Europe ... (but) I think right now we have to recognize that they have chosen to seek a different

relationship with the NATO nations,” he told reporters. In Prague, Paul Ryan, the Republican U.S. House Speaker, on Tuesday commended unity shown over the affair. “It is important that we work in solidarity with each other, free people in democracies to stop Russia and condemn Russia for this kind of belligerent activity,” Ryan said. Russia has not disclosed yet what retaliatory steps it will take. President Vladimir Putin was on Tuesday in the Siberian city of Kemerovo at the scene of a shopping mall fire which claimed many lives. He made no comment on the Skripal affair. Skripal’s poisoning, which Britain says was caused by use of the Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent Novichok, is the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War Two. The attack on the 66-year-old Skripal and Yulia Skripal, his 33-year-old daughter, took place in the English cathedral city of Salisbury where he had been living since being swapped in a spy exchange deal in 2010. They were found on March 4 unconscious on a public bench in the city and a British court says they may have suffered permanent brain damage in the attack. The Kremlin has accused Britain of whipping up an antiRussia campaign and sought to cast doubt on the British analysis that Moscow was responsible.


SOCIAL MEDIA

With Facebook, Your Friends' Idiocy, Can Affect You WHY THE FACEBOOK DATA LEAK IS LIKE PASSIVE SMOKING: THE BAD HABITS OF OTHERS CAN HURT YOU. BEING CAREFUL ABOUT ONE’S OWN PRIVACY IS FAR FROM ENOUGH.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, IN A NOTE THAT WAS SOME WAY SHORT OF THE CONTRITION ONE EXPECTED, INFORMED US THAT THE MANNER IN WHICH THE LEAK OCCURRED HAD BEEN PLUGGED A WHILE BACK. or a long time now, I’ve been bemused by Facebook friends who post results of quizzes or lifestyle questionnaires telling them what colour, fruit, historical figure, or fictional character they resemble. Why would they allow a random company to access photographs and other personal material they have placed on the site? Although not hugely tech savvy, I’ve taken basic steps to protect my privacy online. Following Mark Zuckerberg’s example, I put tape over my laptop camera and only remove it for Skype conversations. I use a VPN and incognito mode frequently while surfing the web, although the VPN slows

download speeds considerably. I allow smartphone apps only the basic permissions required to retain functionality. I have resisted the Aadhaar linkages the government’s trying to ram down our throats. Yet, revelations about the misuse of private data last week left me shaken, and feeling personally vulnerable. The political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, on the basis of a survey taken by just 270,000 Facebook members, harvested detailed personal information about of a mind-boggling 50 million Facebook members. The data breach showed that being careful about one’s own privacy, a difficult enough job, is

far from enough. Just as passive smoking can make one ill, and breakouts of infectious diseases can happen thanks to a few misguided parents refusing to vaccinate their children, one’s personal information can be leaked thanks to the bad habits of friends on a social network. Mark Zuckerberg, in a note that was some way short of the contrition one expected, informed us that the manner in which the leak occurred had been plugged a while back. He also claimed Cambridge Analytica has breached Facebook’s trust. Yet, since Facebook has taken no action beyond banning the organisation from the site despite knowing about the data breach for over SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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two years, one presumes it has no real power over the manner in which its partners handle information. The Facebook controversy led to a comical cascade of gaffes in India. First, Ravi Shankar Prasad threatened Facebook with legal action if there was evidence data leaks from the network influenced elections in India. Soon after, the French hacker who goes under the name Elliot Alderson revealed that the Narendra Modi app sent data without consent to a third party outside India. Riled by the media’s silence on the issue, Rahul Gandhi tweeted about it, only for Elliot Alderson to reveal flaws in the Congress party’s own Android app, which was sending unencrypted user data to its servers in Singapore. These revelations highlight two themes to which I have returned repeatedly in past columns. First, nationalist responses to issues like the Facebook leak are counterproductive. Whether it is the health sector, the consumer goods industry, or the Information Technology space, multinationals and foreign companies, for all their ruthlessness and lack of ethics, function within a sturdier regulatory framework than do Indian firms. The Facebook episode is outrageous, and the company deserves to pay a heavy price for its negligence. But it ought to be followed up in our minds with a question about how Indian apps on our smartphones are operating, in the absence of a national privacy law. How much information does the Jio app collect from users? Who does it share that information with? What conditions bind parties which receive data from Reliance Jio. We know precious little about these issues, but I suspect the answers will not be comforting. A small example of how local apps can be more intrusive than international ones: I have denied Uber any permissions aside from location and SMS, but Ola will not function unless it is allowed to use my phone. Data mining is an essential part of contemporary politics, and nothing Cambridge Analytica did would have been out of the ordinary had the information it used been legitimately gathered. The fact that it helped two causes extremely unpopular within the SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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American and British mainstream media, the election of Donald Trump and the decision of the British public to leave the European Union, has obviously given the story extra juice. But Indians ought to be asking questions relevant to our own situation. Why have more local techies not exposed data breaches in the manner of the prolific Elliot Alderson? Given the number of software engineers we produce, we ought to have a brigade of cyber watchdogs, but appear to have mustered less than a platoon. Following a frightening list made by web

Howard Hughes ought to reconcile themselves to the price paid for receiving the benefits offered by email, search engines, maps and social networks. I was far more concerned with what a government might do with that kind of information, and the ability to collect it in real time. That brings me to my second concern, which is not apps and social networks in themselves, or information used to boost profits, but the interface of these things with intrusive and potentially authoritarian governments. In a past

Data mining is an essential part of contemporary politics, and nothing Cambridge Analytica did would have been out of the ordinary had the information it used been legitimately gathered. developer Dylan Curran about all that Facebook and Google knew about him, I downloaded my own data files from those two organisations. I could only access one of two Google archives, because the second contained 13 GB worth of personal information, and since I’m travelling (Google knows exactly where I’ve been, where I am right now and, thanks to reservations I’ve made online, where I shall be two days hence), I didn’t have a fast enough connection to download it. Although it was discomfiting to see how much stuff about me was out there, I wasn’t massively worried about what Google or Facebook might do with it. Those with no intention of turning into virtual equivalents of the germophobe recluse

column, I used the metaphor of living in a glass house as a way to describe how we render our lives transparent through smartphones. Meanwhile, authoritarian governments, or authoritarian factions within governments, try to create Panopticons: buildings in which the state can see into our lives, but we cannot see into its functioning. The worst-case scenario is when our individual glass houses become part of a giant Panopticon, with governments using data gleaned from private sources to instil fear, smother dissent, and perpetuate their own power. The past week’s news about Cambridge Analytica and the Narendra Modi app are just two more bricks in the wall of the Panopticon to come. (By Girish Shahane for Scroll)


GADGET

MEET XIAOMI'S NEW FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONE:

THE MI MIX 2S

MI MIX 2S IS THE NEW XIAOMI FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONE, COMES WITH IMPROVED CAMERAS AND BEZEL-LESS DISPLAY. MI MIX 2S PRE-ORDERS ARE NOW OPEN IN CHINA. i MIX 2S has been unveiled as the new flagship smartphone of popular Chinese brand Xiaomi in its home market. As expected, the company has avoided the iPhone X-like notch with the Mi MIX 2S display, retaining the bottom panel position of the front camera, but has gone with the vertical dual rear camera design. The Mi MIX 2S sports a ceramic body, is curved on all four sides, and supports Qi wireless charging. It also comes with a fingerprint scanner on the rear panel, with Xiaomi clearly eschewing the in-display fingerprint sensor that fellow Chinese company Vivo recently brought to the masses with the X21 and X20 Plus UD smartphones. The company is also touting the use of AI features in the camera app, giving users such capabilities as 'dynamic Bokeh' and scene recognition. The smartphone also supports Google's ARCore. The smartphone also comes with its own voice assistant. Finally, another highlight feature is real-time translation of text including instant currency conversion. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S price starts at CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs. 34,200) for the 6GB RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage variant, going up to CNY 3,599 (roughly Rs. 37,300) for the 6GB RAM and 128GB inbuilt storage, and CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,400) for the top-end model with 8GB RAM and 256GB inbuilt storage. It will be available in Black and White colour variants. Of course, the Mi MIX 2S price in India is not yet known, and fans will have to wait for the handset's launch in the country to find that out. The top-end model will be bundled with a wireless charger. The wireless charger has been priced at CNY

99 (roughly Rs. 1,000). Pre-bookings open today, March 27, while the smartphone will go on sale from April 3. The dual-SIM (Nano) Mi MIX 2S runs MIUI 9, and bears a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160 pixels) in an 18:9 aspect ratio and with a pixel density of 403ppi. It supports the DCI-P3 colour gamut. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC coupled with the Adreno 630 GPU, and either 6GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. The smartphone bears a vertical dual rear camera setup in a design that looks very similar to the iPhone X, with the flash in between the two lenses. It has two 12-megapixel sensors with 1.4micron pixels, with one featuring a Sony IMX363 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, wideangle lens and four-axis OIS, while the other features an f/2.4 aperture and a telephoto lens with optical zoom. The AI-based scene recognition is said to recognise up to 206 scenes. Other AI features include dynamic Bokeh, smart artifact, business card recognition, face recognition, and more. The company is

touting the presence of dual core PDAF on the rear camera. Xiaomi is also boasting of receiving a 101 score on DxOMark Mobile rankings for photos, the same as the iPhone X. The Mi MIX 2S has a 5-megapixel front camera with HDR features and Face Unlock capabilities. Xiaomi is also touting AI-based beautification features. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), NFC, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ AGPS, and USB Type-C. The phone supports 6 network modes and 43 bands, giving it support for 226 regions across the world, Xiaomi says. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, digital compass, gyroscope, and an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The new Xiaomi smartphone sports a 3400mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging. As for Qi wireless charging, the brand says the smartphone supports 7.5W charging, which fully recharges the battery in 2 hours 40 minutes. It measures 150.86x 74.9x8.1mm and weighs 189 grams. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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HEALTHCARE

Beware of CT Scans NEED A CT SCAN? HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. WHILE THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY IS AWARE OF THE RADIATION RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CT SCANS, DOCTORS ADMIT THEY RARELY SPEND TIME BRIEFING PATIENTS ABOUT IT.

2001, two researchers from Columbia University in the United States published a paper that suggested that roughly one in 1,000 children exposed to radiation from computed tomography or CT scans would go on to develop cancer due to the exposure. This is a rate of cancer that is on average four times higher than those not exposed to radiation. The study triggered a debate about the safety and possible overuse of CT scans. A CT scan is generated by passing radiation through a specific part of the body to general a three-dimensional image. CT scans are life saving in trauma cases, especially those that involve injuries to the head. Cancer patients and those with TB also need regular CT scans to monitor their treatment. The radiation used in a CT scan is 100 times more than that in an X-ray. So while a CT scan can reveal abnormalities that an X-ray cannot pick up, it also increases the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure significantly. “Almost nothing in medicine is without risks,” said David Brenner, director of the

“Since 2011 the number of CT scans conducted annually, that was on a steep rise, has stabilised in the US as doctors grew more cautious,” SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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“SINCE 2011 THE NUMBER OF CT SCANS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY, THAT WAS ON A STEEP RISE, HAS STABILISED IN THE US AS DOCTORS GREW MORE CAUTIOUS,” Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University, who co-authored the paper, which was published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. “When a CT scan is medically justified then the risk-benefit balance changes dramatically in favor of conducting the scan.” This research was followed by more studies in both the United Kingdom and Australia, that confirmed increased risk of cancer due to exposure to radiation from CT scans, more so among children. The US Food and Drug Administration has since then asked doctors to explain the radiation risk to patients beforehand and order a scan only when needed. Two decades on, India still lacks both guidelines and adequate data on the subject. “Since 2011 the number of CT scans conducted annually, that was on a steep rise, has stabilised in the US as doctors grew more cautious,” Brenner said. Even as CT scans become more common in India’s public and private hospitals, there is no estimate of how many are essential and how many might be unnecessary. A CT of the abdomen, that lasts less than a minute, delivers up to 10 millisieverts of radiation that one would otherwise get only over a three-year time period from the environment. The dose adds up when a scan is repeated. A head CT carries the least risk, delivering a comparatively low 2 millisieverts of radiation. Brenner and Hall’s study says a dose about 35 millisieverts or more is statistically significant and enough to increase lifetime risk of cancer. As the US Food and Drug Administration points out, “If you combine the natural risk of a fatal cancer and the estimated risk from a 10 mSv CT scan, the total risk may increase from 400 chances in 2000 to 401 chances in 2000. Nevertheless, this small increase in radiation-associated cancer risk for an individual can become a public health

concern if large numbers of people undergo increased numbers of CT screening procedures of uncertain benefit.” Dr Norman Kleiman, radiation expert and researcher at the Mailman School of Public Health attached to Columbia University, said, “It is important to limit the number of CTs that are not essential. On a population level even a small rise in risk translates into huge numbers, making it a public health issue.” In India, the use of CT scans is increasing as the government pushes for better access to healthcare. In 2016 the Delhi government announced free CT and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans for the poor. The Assam government followed suit with a statelevel scheme in January 2018. The mechanism to check overuse of radiation diagnostics is absent. While a general practitioner orders a CT scan, it is the radiologist in a diagnostic lab that conducts it. “By warning a patient a radiologist might feel that he/ she is stepping on the general practitioner’s toes and so keeps mum,” said Ashank Bansal, a radiologist at the Lokmanya Tilak Medical General Hospital and Medical College in Mumbai. “Also, in the private set-up, if a patient is referred by the general practitioner, a radiologist in a lab doesn’t have the authority to say refuse a scan.” “For a patient undergoing the scan once, the risk is too small but those in the postoperative stage need to undergo multiple scans as doctors have to monitor their recovery,” explained Dr Hemant Deshmukh, head of radiology at KEM hospital in Mumbai. “All patients are asked to sign a consent form before a CT scan but the radiation bit is not emphasised.” According to Deshmukh, even though patients are given consent forms before CT procedures, doctors do not take the time to explain radiation risks to them. India’s largest tertiary cancer care centre

Tata Memorial Centre has developed a mechanism to check overuse of radiation diagnostics. “Our system informs us if the patient had been subjected to any imaging like CT scan in the past week to avoid repeated scans,” said Dr Subhash Desai, professor of radiodiagnosis at the hospital that receives close to 68,000 new patients every year. But for private diagnostic centres, profit-making is an incentive to keep pushing up the number of scans. “Physicians in some cases get 10% to 15% kickbacks from the diagnostic center for referring patients,” Bansal said. In September last year, a group of senior doctors got together and ran a campaign against such referrals calling it “cut practice”, asking lawmakers to take notice. “Someone from the physician’s end might accompany the patient to the diagnostic centre or there could be an in-person discussion with the radiologist so that there no paper trail is left behind,” said Dr KK Agarwal, former president of the Indian Medical Association, who was one of those who spoke out against such referrals. To patients, Brenner urges caution. “Hold the toes of your physician to the fire. Ask them questions about whether the scan is needed,” he said. “But when you need a CT scan, you should have one.” SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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ELECTION FRAUD

WHY ISN'T INDIA PROBING CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA? There is no getting away from it now. In his deposition to the British House of Commons, Christopher Wylie, former employee of the data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica, said it had “worked extensively in India” and that he believed “their client was Congress”. Wylie also mentioned that his predecessor had been working in India before he died under mysterious circumstances. Another expert giving evidence to the committee said Wylie’s predecessor had secretly been paid by an Indian billionaire who wanted the Congress to lose.

CHRISTOPHER WYLIE he firm, which harvested the data of millions of Facebook users to sway the outcomes of major political events like the American elections of 2016 and possibly the Brexit referendum, has been active in India as well. Given the regulatory wilderness that the firm would operate in here, there is no telling what breaches of privacy and what kind of manipulations took place. Needless to say, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has latched on to the fact that Wylie named the Congress and has demanded an apology from the opposition party. It crowns a week of mud slinging where both parties traded allegations that unethical means were used to win elections, especially the general elections of 2014. Question is, why has a formal investigation not been launched, as it has in other countries? Authorities in both Britain and America are probing the leak of personal data from Facebook. So are prosecutors in Brazil. In India, the government remains in Congress-bashing mode. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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The answer seems to lie in a culture and an institutional climate where privacy and data protection are not valued. This week also saw a furore over the Narendra Modi smartphone app, which has been accused of “spying” on citizens and of sending users’ data to a third party in America without their consent. This is a government which has argued before the court that privacy was not a fundamental right and that individuals did not have absolute autonomy over their bodies. It took the Supreme Court to uphold privacy as a fundamental right. These debates arose over Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identity number based on biometric data which the government has tried to make mandatory for a range of services, from getting food rations, to filing income tax returns to getting a

THE RULING BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY HAS LATCHED ON TO THE FACT THAT WYLIE NAMED THE CONGRESS AND HAS DEMANDED AN APOLOGY FROM THE OPPOSITION PARTY.

phone number and using a bank account. Serious doubts have been raised about the security of the massive Aadhaar data base, and whether data would be farmed out to private players for commercial use. While the government rages about the depredations of Facebook, it does not turn a hair about the potential threats of Aadhaar. There is a lack of basic institutional safeguards that protect an individual’s autonomy and privacy from encroachment by the state or by private players. And the fault does not lie with the Congress or the BJP alone. The AP Shah committee on data protection submitted its report in October 2012 but the privacy law it proposed was never enacted. The Sri Krishna Committee, set up last year, is expected to submit its report by the end of May. This time, it should translate into a law which adequately values privacy. Meanwhile, the Centre should rise above partisan squabbling, order an investigation on Cambridge Analytica’s operations in India and by come clean on Facebook’s involvement in government projects.


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NUTRITION

ALTERNATE SOURCES FOR CALCIUM Milk and milk products may not be your favorite foods or suitable for your health conditions. Here are your alternatives to dairy products for calcium.

ones are the support system of the body. It is needless to explain why you need to keep the bones in a good state of health. And with diseases like osteoporosis and rickets, it is even more important to look after bone health. When it comes to good bone health, there are mainly two nutrients you need; calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is what you need for stronger bones and vitamin D is important for calcium absorption by the bones, so these two go hand in hand. When bone health is taken into consideration, one simply can't miss mentioning dairy products. This calcium-rich source is very important for your bones. But dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are not the only foods which promote better bone health. There are many other foods which play an important role in keeping your bones in a good state of health and prevent them from breaking easily. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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1. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES These vegetables make it to every list. Amaranth, Arugula, kale, spinach, and watercress are some of the healthiest, calcium-rich veggies. A cup full of green salad including these vegetables can be your key to stronger bones throughout life.

2. SARDINES These little fish can be your daily dose of vitamin D and calcium, both of which are essential to good bone health. You can relish its flavor alos by adding it to salads and pastas.

When bone health is taken into consideration, one simply can't miss mentioning dairy products. This calciumrich source is very important for your bones.

3. SALMON Of all the natural sources of vitamin D, salmon surely is the best. This fatty fish offers 100% of your vitamin D requirement. It has softer and edible fish bones too which makes it a very rich source of calcium as well. So salmon is a superfood for healthier bones.

4. ALMONDS

Of all the tree nuts, almond is the richest source of calcium. You can also consume it in the form of almond butter. Almonds besides being a rich source of calcium, is also a rich source of protein with low fat and cholesterol levels. It also has many important micronutrients. So consuming this is a winwin situation for you.

5. TUNA Another fatty fish which is a rich source of vitamin D is tuna. Only three ounces of tuna offers 39% of your daily vitamin D requirement.


TELECOM

TRAI TAKES ON APPLE IN DND BATTLE APPLE AND TRAI ARE BATTLING IT OUT OVER DEVELOPMENT OF A DND APP ON IOS.

TRAI HAD INTRODUCED THE ANDROID VERSION OF ITS ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ APP IN 2016 AND IT REQUIRES USERS TO GRANT PERMISSIONS TO ACCESS CONTACTS AND VIEW TEXT MESSAGES WHEN THEY OPEN THE APP FOR THE FIRST TIME. pple and India’s telecom regulator TRAI are locking heads over the develo pment of a government anti-spam mobile appli cation. Apple had agreed to provide limited help to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to help build such an app by tapping in to new iOS features, which allow users to report unsolicited calls and text messages as spam. Now, Reuters reports that Apple and TRAI have not met since November and the Indian telecom regulator told the technology giant in January that it was still waiting for “basic clarifications” on what features the iOS version in its app can offer. Apple is finding itself in a sticky foot with the development of antispam app affecting the privacy of its users. Apple believes that allowing TRAI to distribute such an app could lead to privacy compromise. It contends that the app getting access to customers’ call and text logs violates user privacy.

Apple told Reuters last week that the government app “as envisioned violates the privacy policy” of its App Store. Apple has been maintaining a stance that it is working with government engineers and would help the regulator design an app that does not breach user privacy and also not violate the rules of its App Store. However, that statement has irked R.S. Sharma, the head of he Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), who now plans to consult a legal team and push Apple to develop the app more swiftly. “We will take appropriate legal action,” Sharma told Reuters in an interview. “This is unjust, it shows the approach and attitude of this company.” TRAI had introduced the Android version of its ‘Do Not Disturb’ app in 2016 and it requires users to grant permissions to access contacts and view text messages when they open the app for the first time. The app then allows its users to report calls or text messages

as spam. TRAI was initially planning to repackage its Android app for Apple’s iOS as well, but Apple said it would not allow any selective app to access contacts, see call logs or view text messages. It stated that giving such access would mean violation of user data, security and privacy. The tussle between Apple and TRAI comes at a crucial time as the Cupertinobased company tries to negotiate new ways to make inroads in the country. Apple, despite being the second largest smartphone brand globally, has little presence in the country. Apple is seeking to expand its local manufacturing and set up self-owned retail stores in India. While Apple is yet to offer comments on Sharma’s claim, the legal battle could jeopardize the image of the regulator and slow down Apple’s expansion plans. India is one of the fastest growing smartphone maker and Apple can ill afford to lose it. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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IPL 2018

WHO WILL LIFT

he biggest cricketing extravaganza is back in town as the league enters its 11th edition with the usual palpable excitement in the air. The Indian Premier League, in its previous seasons, has showcased some of the most breathtaking cricket ever played and unearthed talented stars who have gone on to represent their country in national colours.

There will be some big names missing this season, most notably Australian captain Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner, both of whom have been handed a one-year ban for their role in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket. Smith was touted to lead the Rajasthan Royals outfit, while Sunrisers Hyderabad will miss the services of Warner who led them to the crown in 2016.

This time around, the 8 teams, including the much anticipated comebacks of two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni and inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals will battle it out for the prized trophy with completely new-look squads barring a handful of retained players.

Every season, there are players who should be on the radar of every cricketing fan despite their allegiances because of the red-hot form they are in coming into the tournament. Indian captain Virat Kohli will once again hog much of the limelight after yet another scintillating season with the bat and his captaincy record is there for

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WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR EACH OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON?

IPL 2018?

all to see. He looks as determined as ever to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore to their first IPL trophy after reaching agonisingly close in 2016. Ben Stokes has been one of the most sought after players in the IPL and this season will be no different for the English all-rounder who was instrumental in getting his previous outfit, Rising Pune Supergiants, within touching distance of the trophy last year. The defending champions Mumbai Indians have in their ranks one of the most in-form batsmen in the last calendar year, Rohit Sharma. The Indian opener will try to break the jinx finally by winning consecutive trophies as their previous title victories have been followed by disappointing campaigns. They will be one of the toughest teams to beat, along with RCB and CSK.

Kings XI Punjab have an array of big hitters and could easily post huge totals given the players in their ranks, including Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch. Dinesh Karthik, who comes into the tournament in the backdrop of his heroics in the tri-series finals against Bangladesh, is set to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders while Gautam Gambhir will lead his hometown franchise Delhi Daredevils this season. Ravichandran Ashwin, surprisingly, will lead the Punjab outfit as he looks to make a comeback into the national team. Overall, all eight teams look poised to make a title challenge but only one will emerge victorious. Would this be one of the most open tournaments yet or will the usual contenders pocket the fortunes? SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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IPL 2018

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS (CSK)

The eye-catching spectre of fastpaced entertainment in a relatively shorter duration and massive potential for television revenue made it possible for the IPL to become more than just a bat and ball game. However, it would be wrong to say that T20 cricket simply caught the bug from a set of processes that had already been set in motion, which was showcased to the world through the successes of the much-acclaimed Barclays English Premier League and Spanish La Liga. Cricket was revolutionizing even before these 21st century advances had impacted it and the IPL was simply its logical culmination. The cricketing spectacle of IPL that was unleashed before the world showed that the gentleman’s game could be customized according to the needs of the time. The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League may or may not be remembered for what it offered to the game but its rippling effects would be felt in the subsequent years. In many ways, the IPL captures the flavour of the cricketing season and sets the tone for the upcoming cricketing calendar, something which other sports leagues seldom do to their respective sport. As the 11th edition gets underway, with franchisees having to completely alter their squads, Seasonal Magazine delves into the new strengths and weaknesses of each of the teams and their chances going into the tournament. SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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The men in yellow are back after a 2-year hiatus with a point to prove to its detractors. The franchise had been temporarily suspended for two years following the match-fixing scandal that broke out in the 2015 season. They will once again be led by former Indian skipper M S Dhoni, who has had a phenomenal impact on the side and the near-cult following garnered by the franchise has made it one of the most recognizable brands in the shortest format of the game. While the squads have been re-jigged for this season, CSK have retained some of their core squad members including the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis. Harbhajan Singh will don the yellow colors after a successful stint with Mumbai Indians since 2008 and the inclusion of Kedhar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu will bolster their batting line-up. The other foreign recruits include Sam Billings, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Shane Watson and Mark Wood. With an exciting bunch of all-rounders in their mix, CSK seems to have focused on playing a more balanced team. However, the lack of a pinch-hitter apart from Dhoni could be a cause of concern especially in the death overs.

SQUAD: M S Dhoni Š, M. Vijay, S Raina, F du Plessis, K Jadhav, S Watson, R Jadeja, D Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, S Thakur, L Ngidi, S Billings, D Chahar, Imran Tahir, M Santner, K Sharma, A Rayudu, M Wood, D Shorey, K Seth, M Kumar, Kshitiz Sharma, N Jagadeesan, C Bishnoi, KM Asif


WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR EACH OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON?

DELHI DAREDEVILS (DD) With the return of Gautam Gambhir to his hometown franchise, DD will hope that the former KKR skipper can prove to be the catalyst for the team’s fortunes in this season. Desperate to rid itself of the tag of perennial underachievers, DD will look for inspiration from Gambhir, who led his former outfit to two IPL crowns. The two-time IPL semifinalists have a bunch of players from the previous season including retained players Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Chris Morris. The other two of the former squad members who were released and later purchased in the auctions include Mohammad Shami and Kagiso Rabada. The team has invested heavily on young talent to take them across the line and they have an exciting crop of players including India’s victorious U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw and swashbuckling opener Manjot Kalra. The likes of Glenn Maxwell and Trent Boult add firepower to a more competitive-looking Delhi side. Apart from the youngsters, the team has a fair share of power-hitters like Jason Roy, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro, Chris Morris and Dan Christian. However, that could also potentially hurt them as they do not have sound grafters other than the skipper and might struggle to build partnerships when the situation demands so.

SQUAD: G Gambhir ©, A Sharma, Avesh Khan, T Boult, D Christian, S Ghosh, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, S Iyer, S Lamichhane, M Kalra, G Maxwell, A Mishra, M Shami, C Morris, C Munro, S Nadeem, N Ojha, R Pant, H Patel, K Rabada, J Roy, V Shankar, P Shaw, R Tewatia, J Yadav

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IPL 2018

KINGS XI PUNJAB (KXIP) The team from the North – Kings XI Punjab – has one of India’s most successful spinners from the South as their captain this season. Ravichandran Ashwin, who has struggled to retain his place in the national team, will be looking to impress the selectors and demonstrate why he is still the most sought-after off-spinner in the country. Acquiring the services of big-hitters like Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, David Miller and Yuvraj Singh have bolstered the batting lineup but their lack of consistency could add to their woes rather than solve them. Lokesh Rahul will be a much-needed addition to a squad that has struggled to have a suitable wicket-keeper batsman over the years. Manoj Tiwary has been successful in the IPL and will want to stake his claim in the national team at least in the shorter format. Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye and Axar Patel are their all-rounders, who can stabilize the middle-order. They have a decent bowling attack having the likes of Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Ankit Rajpoot, but the lack of a quality spinner might hurt their chances badly.

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SQUAD: R Ashwin, A Nath, M Agarwal, M Dagar, B Dwarshuis, A Finch, C Gayle, M Dar, D Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, K Nair, A Patel, L Rahul, A Rajpoot, P Sahu, M Sharma, B Sran, M Stoinis, M Tiwary, A Tye, Yuvraj Singh


WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR EACH OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON?

MUMBAI INDIANS (MI) The team from Mumbai have all the bragging rights when it comes to the distinction of being the most successful team in the history of the IPL – having won the trophy three times (2013, 2015, 2017). The defending champions have in their ranks the indomitable Rohit Sharma, who is in sublime form and will look to become the first team since Dhoni’s CSK to successfully defend the crown. Jasprit Bumrah, who is now a permanent player in the national team, will have the responsibility to lead the pace attack and he would be ably supported by New Zealand quickie Mitchell McClenaghan. However, their surprise package is sure to be Bangladeshi speedster Mustafizur Rahman, who has been successful in the shortest format of the game due to the multiple variations in his bowling arsenal. Keiron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya would continue to don the role of the all-rounders. MI has other all-rounder options like Ben Cutting, Pat Cummins, JP Duminy and Suryakumar Yadav. The team has a nice blend of youth and experience, but definitely seems to have gone in for a bowling heavy side. Although spinner options are limited, the team have a range of part-timers and bowling allrounders to do the job. However, their biggest handicap remains their overreliance on Rohit Sharma to give them a good start. If he has a bad day, MI look vulnerable in the first half of their batting innings.

SQUAD: Rohit S ©, J Bumrah, R Chahar, P Cummins, B Cutting, A Dananjaya, JP Duminy, I Kishan, S Lad, E Lewis, S Lumba, M Markande, M McClenaghan, M Khan, M Rahman, MD Nidheesh, H Pandya, K Pandya, K Pollard, A Roy, P Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, A Tare, S Tiwary, S Yadav, P Ojha

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IPL 2018

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS (KKR) For a team that has always had one of the strongest teams on paper, KKR had to wait for a long while to secure their first IPL crown under the leadership of Gambhir. However, the team will be led by Dinesh Kartik, fresh from having played that whirlwind knock that took India over the line in the recently concluded tri-series final against Bangladesh. The team easily has one of the best bowling line-ups in the league spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. However, they will sorely miss the services of Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc, who has been ruled out for the entire season and will be replaced by England all-rounder Tom Curran. Shubman Gill will hope to carry forward his scintillating form into the league after a successful U-19 WC campaign. The likes of Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn offer strong choices in the openers slot. Perhaps, their biggest trump card will be the rookie fast-bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who impressed everyone with his breathtaking speed in the U-19 WC. Kuldeep Yadav can form a potent pair along with Narine and continues their tradition of always fielding a bowling heavy side. However, the dearth of batsmen in the middle-order might prove to be the difference between victory and defeat. SQUAD: D Karthik Š, P Chawla, T Curran, C Delport, I Jaggi, M Johnson, K Yadav, C Lynn, K Nagarkoti, S Narine, N Rana, A Russell, J Searles, S Mavi, S Gill, Rinku Singh, M Starc, R Uthappa, V Kumar, A Wankhade

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WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR EACH OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON?

RAJASTHAN ROYALS (RR) Losing Steve Smith over the ball-tampering scandal came as a body blow to the outfit from Rajasthan, who also return to the IPL after a two-year gap. The mantle of leading the team has since been taken up Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Contrary to his slow batting rate in Test matches, Rahane has hit runs at a reasonably fast rate in the IPL and the team will bank on him to provide them with a flying start. Rahul Tripathi, who was a sensation for Rising Pune Supergiants last season, is likely to be his opening partner. Last year’s Most Valuable Player Ben Stokes will lend balance to the team with his power hitting and clever bowling strategies. RR has got the exciting Sri Lankan pacer Dushmantha Chameera, who will make his debut this season along with another rising star Jofra Archer. Jos Buttler will be the glovesman this season and his ability to play as a floater will help RR experiment with their line-up depending on the situation. They have some promising domestic players including the likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Jatin Saxena, Jaydev Unadkat etc. The team mainly comprises of players who have done well in the domestic circuit and they could suffer from the lack of experience in both the batting and bowling departments. The lack of a seasoned spinner will also affect their chances especially in turning wickets.

SQUAD: A Rahane Š, A Sharma, Anureet S, J Archer, S Binny, A Birla, J Buttler, D Chameera, P Chopra, S Gopal, K Gowtham, H Klaasen, D Kulkarni, B Laughlin, M Lomror, S Midhun, S Samson, J Saxena, D Short, B Stokes, R Tripathi, J Unadkat, Zahir Khan

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IPL 2018

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE (RCB) Despite having some big names in their squads over the years, RCB have often flattered to deceive. Their best chance of laying their hands on the trophy was when they finished runners-up in the 2016 edition. That season, Virat Kohli was at his phenomenal best as he plundered all the bowling attacks and almost single-handedly took his team to the finals. Even last year, Kohli was the lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Bangalore outfit in which they finished rock bottom. They shockingly collapsed against KKR last season being bowled out for a paltry 49. Coincidentally, RCB have managed to sign all the four bowlers who wreaked havoc against them in that game - Nathan Coulter Nile, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav and Colin de Grandhomme. However, Coulter-Nile has been

replaced by Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson as the former is out for the entire season with an injury. RCB have plenty of firepower in their batting department as well – AB De Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel and Manan Vohra – but the team might face selection headaches due to their strong bench strength. The spin department looks solid with Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Murugan Ashwin and Pawan Negi in the mix. The inclusion of Brendan McCullum will bolster their top order after they chose to release Chris Gayle. The likes of Tim Southee, Mohammad Siraj and Moeen Ali only add to the depth in their bowling department. Arguably, RCB looks the strongest team on paper, but whether they can go the extra mile remains to be seen.

SQUAD: V Kohli ©, M Ali, C Anderson, M Ashwin, Y Chahal, A Choudhary, C de Grandhomme, Q de Kock, P Deshpande, AB de Villiers, A Joshi, Sarfaraz Khan, K Khejroliya, B McCullum, Mandeep S, M Siraj, P Negi, P Patel, N Saini, T Southee, M Vohra, W Sundar, C Woakes, U Yadav

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WHAT ARE THE CHANCES FOR EACH OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON?

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD (SH)

SQUAD: K Williamson ©, T Agarwal, K Ahmed, B Thampi, R Bhui, B Sharma, C Brathwaite, S Dhawan, S Goswami, A Hales, M Hasan, D Hooda, C Jordan, S Kaul, B Kumar, M Nabi, T Natarajan, M Pandey, Y Pathan, Rashid Khan, S Baby, W Saha, S Sharma, S Al Hasan, B Stanlake

SRH will be without their talismanic skipper David Warner this season, but the outfit is more than capable of throwing a few challenges at their opponents. Kane Williamson has taken over the reins and was instrumental in SRH winning the title in 2016. Shikhar Dhawan will hope to continue his good run of form and especially provide his team with his characteristic flying starts. Alex Hales, who has replaced David Warner, could stake a claim in the team owing to his explosive hitting at the top of the order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the bowling attack and his international experience will help the youngsters improve their game. Manish Pandey, who has been a regular feature in the limited overs format for India, has improved many aspects of his game and will have to switch between playing the anchor’s role and playing cameos. Wriddhiman Saha, who recently smashed 102 off just 20 balls will keep wickets for the Hyderabad outfit. Rashid Khan, who has been a revelation in the previous season for the team, will hope to bring his international form into the IPL. The all-rounders in the squad include Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Nabi, Deepak Hooda and Carlos Brathwaite. The team has a strong bowling line-up, including last year’s Emerging Player Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma and Billy Stanlake. However, the team is lacking an overseas fast bowler who can lend balance to an attack that is otherwise more swing-friendly.

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AUTO

DRIVING THE NEW SMALLEST RANGE ROVER THE NEW 2.0L DIESEL ENGINE ON THE EVOQUE IS THE SAME AS ON THE JAGUAR F-PACE AND JAGUAR XF BUT WITH A MUCH BETTER-TUNED GEARBOX. THE NEW ENGINE IS LESS A BIT LESS POWERFUL THAN THE OLDER ONE BUT FEELS ONLY ON PAPER. IT MAKES 180 HP AND 430 NM OF TORQUE. many ways, Range Rover Evoque bought in a style statement in the luxury SUV space and wasn't a bad choice to drive it down during the chaotic auto expo days to and fro in the infamous Delhi/NCR traffic. Land Rover and Range Rover line-ups haven't been so good looking until the arrival of the Evoque in its line up. The SUV got a facelift in 2016 and in 2017 the company replaced the 2.2L engine with a new 2.0L four-cylinder engine from the Jaguar Land Rover 'Ingenium' family. The style got a much needed mechanical change but the luxury, and its offroading capabilities remain the same.

The new 2.0L diesel engine on the Evoque is the same as on the Jaguar FPace and Jaguar XF but with a much better-tuned gearbox. The new engine is less a bit less powerful than the older one but feels only on paper. It makes

Range Rover Evoque does not offer the sport feel but it wasn't built for that, however, at top-speed, the drive is sturdy and keeps asking for more. The new upgrade on the Evoque is worth that extra cost. At about Rs 50 lakh it is the best looking SUV to buy. But the SUV does not offer as much as space at that cost. The baby Range Rover has managed to delight its customers and has been reporting growth. The company bringing in the convertible RangeRover Evoque to India itself shows JLR India's confidence on Evoque SUV. Land Rover

WE GOT THE RANGE ROVER EVOQUE HSE TRIM AND THE STRONG INTIMIDATING DESIGN OF THE SUV MAKES A BOLD STATEMENT AND INCREASES THE DRIVERS' CONFIDENCE IMMEDIATELY.

We got the Range Rover Evoque HSE trim and the strong intimidating design of the SUV makes a bold statement and increases the drivers' confidence immediately. It is the smallest SUV in the Land Rover family but looks very proportionate and now brings in a better efficient engine along with the start-stop system to the popular Evoque.

180 hp and 430 Nm of torque. The SUV delivers enough power when required. However, the steering felt a bit on heavier side on low-speeds despite reduced engine weight. The pick-up is fast and the overall drive is silent. There is a lot of power at lower RPMs.

SUVs have traditionally been known for its large size and off-roading abilities, Range Rover in specific attract more luxurious features. However compact dimensions of Evoque and a well-tuned engine makes the smallest Range Rover big of driving fun.

Range Rover Evoque has been upgraded to the latest infotainment system that looks more compact and has been placed perfect position. The touchscreen

The nine-speed gearbox developed by ZF is fun but a bit disappointing at low speeds and misses that quick shift required and is about a second late.

Range Rover Evoque is certainly going to attract the young first time SUV buyer and the new upgrades will ensure smiles in this SUV even in traffic.

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is smooth and responsive and also supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The SUV now is better than before and provides a sense of comfort while driving. We drove the SUV for over 100kms for over 5 days in heavy traffic and smooth driving conditions and the Evoque was a delight.


START-UPS

HUDDLE KERALA SHOWCASES KERALA'S STARTUP POTENTIAL KERALA SUCCESSFULLY HOSTED ASIA'S LARGEST STARTUP CONCLAVE 'HUDDLE KERALA' THEREBY PROVIDING A PLATFORM TO HELP THE NEXT GENERATION OF BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS WITH WORLD-CONQUERING IDEAS AND INNOVATIONS. uddle Kerala, the State government’s ambitious initiative to give a leg-up to the start-up entrepreneur community concluded here recently with several potential investors expressing faith in Kerala’s technological advancements and promising to support the fledgling enterprises with investment and mentorship. Twelve investors, 40 start-ups from outside Kerala and 120 mentors participated in the inaugural edition of the conclave, organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IAMAI Startup Foundation. The two-day event also attracted some high networth individuals (HNIs), who showed their keenness to tap the potential of Kerala’s start-up ecosystem. Dianne Dain, head, United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL), who was the chief guest at the valedic-

tory session, said the organisation is planning to collaborate with the Kerala government and KSUM for resolving various issues connected with start-ups. State IT Secretary M. Sivasankar said the government planned to hold a larger event next year with the participation of more start-ups, experts and other stakeholders. Jithendra Singh Minhas, CEO, Internet and Mobile Association of India Startup Foundation, termed Kerala’s start-up ecosystem as one poised for growth thanks to the support being given by the State government. Anil Joshi, founder and managing partner, Unicorn India Ventures, one of the prime investors in Kerala Startups, said the company has already invested in four companies and would invest in two more start-ups ‘very soon’, possibly in two companies. Manoj Kumar Agarwal, CEO and co-founder, Sea Fund, said his company would also be investing in the Kerala-based start-ups in sectors such as health care, real estate, operation auto-

mation and robotics and hoped that the start-ups in the State would move outside and get into new markets. Out of the 50 start-ups that pitched their products at the conclave, 10 were shortlisted and three emerged winners. Clapresearch, Humble Innovations and SignNEXT won the first, second and third place, respectively. In the Huddle Kerala Hackathon held during the conclave, My Visual Passport, My Farm and Smart C bagged the first, second and third place. Rohin Malhotra's Nimble Labs won a grant of ?7 lakh in the national level pitching of start-ups held by the the Internet Mobile Association of India (IMAI) in the IoT platform while Spiqi, start-up by Jai Vikram, and Switch on, a company of Anirudha Banerjee, bagged the second and third prizes

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EMPLOYMENTS

EVEN AS NEW JOB REPORT IS PROMISING, GROUND SITUATION IS VASTLY DIFFERENT NO JOBS, NO VOTE, A RAJASTHAN TOWN HAS WARNED PM MODI AHEAD OF 2019 POLLS. MODI'S FAILURE TO CREATE TENS OF MILLIONS OF JOBS FOR THE COUNTRY'S YOUTH WOULD BE THE BIGGEST THREAT TO HIS BID FOR ANOTHER TERM. akesh Kumar has a postgraduate degree but works as a house painter in the small town of Kasba Bonli in northwestern India. The 31-year-old, the only one of eight siblings to attend university, said his attempts to get a salaried job had failed, and he blamed the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not creating employment opportunities as it had promised. "I voted for Modi last time," said Kumar, wearing a pink shirt and wrinkled, brown trousers that had droplets of paint on it. "He had promised jobs, and I was sure I would get something. I won't vote for him again." Modi's failure to create tens of millions of jobs for the country's youth - a promise which helped him secure the largest mandate in three decades in 2014 - would be the biggest threat to his bid for another term in a general election due by May, 2019, many political analysts say. That seems the case in Kasba Bonli, a market town in Rajasthan state on the edge of sprawling wheat fields, which voted overwhelmingly for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at assembly elections in 2013 and the general election in 2014. "My two sons are educated but unemployed," said Hanuman Prasad Meena, a farmers' leader in the town. "Many farmers voted in Modi's name earlier, but he has no support here now." When Reuters visited the town in late 2013, all the talk was about Modi and how his promised business-friendly SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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reforms would boost growth and provide jobs. But it doesn't seem to have quite worked. The unemployment rate in India, nearly two-thirds of whose 1.3 billion people are under 35 years old, hit its highest level in 16 months in March at 6.23 percent, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think-tank. The difficulty in getting a reasonable job is so great that more than 25 million people applied for less than 90,000 positions recently advertised by the state-run railways. Ram Vilas Paswan, a minister in Modi's cabinet, said the jobs data was worrying and that the government was working to address it. He also deflected some of the blame onto provincial authorities. "People expect only Narendra Modi to give them jobs; they have forgotten that even state governments have some role to play in creating jobs," Paswan said in an interview. "Still, the central government is worried about it. In elections, even small issues can become a factor. The government is aware of it," he said. Nevertheless, Modi is still the most popular politician in the country and at the moment it seems unlikely that he will be dislodged. Nearly nine out of 10 Indians held a favourable opinion of Modi and more than two-thirds were RAM VILAS PASWAN, A MINISTER IN MODI'S CABINET, SAID THE JOBS DATA WAS WORRYING AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS WORKING TO ADDRESS IT.

satisfied with the direction he was taking the country, according to a Pew survey in November. The BJP or its partners rule 21 out of 29 states, up from just seven in 2014. The once-mighty Congress party is in opposition in New Delhi and controls only three states. Before the Modi wave, handouts for farmers by Congress helped turn once-


deprived Kasba Bonli into a thriving retail centre, with shops there selling everything from glittery bangles to satellite dishes. But as some farmers prospered, they wanted their children to move away from agriculture. Modi's election pledge to create around 20 million jobs annually appealed to them, helping send a BJP lawmaker from the area to the Rajasthan assembly for only the second time since 1991. But Congress could now make a comeback, townspeople said. Sachin Pilot, a former central minister and the chief of the Congress party in Rajasthan, said BJP erred by raising expectations "even when they knew certain things were not possible". He added his party won't make "false promises" but would develop the "best

possible opportunity to create jobs". Hanumat Dixit, a local BJP leader in Rajasthan, acknowledged the party could suffer in the coming election because of the lack of jobs, but added Modi needed more time to deliver on his promises. Modi's government has quoted an independent study to say that around 7 million formal jobs were created in the fiscal year to March 31. That compares with an accumulated shortage of around 80 million jobs, according to CMIE, on top of near one million youth entering the market every month. "This is a macroeconomic problem, the economy needs to revive," CMIE Chief Executive Mahesh Vyas said. "What the government can do is may be expand fiscally and create

conditions for the private sector to invest aggressively so that employment is generated." He said the bigger issue was that a lot of young people stopped looking for jobs after Modi's shock move to ban high-value currency notes in late 2016 badly hurt India's cash-heavy economy. The move, widely known as demonetisation, also disrupted agricultural activity. The economy, which has also suffered from the bumpy roll-out of a unified tax, recovered in the OctoberDecember quarter to grow at 7.2 percent, still below the peak of more than 9 percent clocked between 2005 and 2008. Vyas said labour participation - the number of people either employed or actively looking for work - fell to 4142 percent of the labour pool after demonetisation from around 47 percent before. "This is very, very stressful in the sense that people stopped getting jobs and looking for jobs," Vyas said. "They will get anxious, they will get angry. The first thing they will do is they will demand jobs from the political system." Over the past three years, India has been hit by several protests by caste groups demanding that jobs be reserved for them (Read http://reut.rs/ 1K1lG8R). Back in Kasba Bonli, groups of young men loiter around the market during the day or sit on parked motorcycles. Still, there was no unrest or spike in crime, two local police officials said. Bablu Saini, 21, recently set up a teastall outside his father's mobile phonerepair shop. He has not studied beyond high school and stopped looking for jobs after a few attempts. "I have many friends who have returned from the cities jobless," said Saini, in between serving tea to customers. "There are no vacancies anywhere. No point waiting for jobs." (Credit: Reuters) SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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HEALTHCARE

Why CPR is So Critical in Cardiac Emergencies CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) HAS BEEN ONE OF THE WORST VICTIMS OF THE MISINFORMED AND CARELESS TREATMENT ON THE CELLULOID. IT IS SO OFTEN PORTRAYED WRONGLY THAT A FEW HARD-PRESSING ON THE CHEST AND A SINGLE ROUND OF MOUTH-TOMOUTH BRINGS THE VICTIM BACK TO LIFE, USUALLY COUGHING, BRINGING MUCH CHEER AND RELIEF TO THE PROTAGONISTS AND PEOPLE AROUND.

Mouth to mouth breathing is still recommended in the case of children. The bottom line is that hands-only CPR is an essential part of CPR and cannot be compromised with. When you see a person faint or become unconscious gasping for breath, the first thing is to check the pulse or beating of the heart. A person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest will not have a detectable pulse, which means he has only seconds to survive. The next step is to call emergency medical service immediately. Almost simultaneously, the person should begin performing CPR and enact the following steps:

CPR Steps: - Call out and see if the patient responds - Look at the breathing - Feel for the pulse in the neck if you know how to, with two fingers - Place the patient on his/her back. - Kneel beside the patient on your knees. The technique is used to save people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, which can be caused by multiple factors. A drowning person suffers from the lack of oxygen. The blood also undergoes physical changes as well. In salt water, osmosis makes the blood thicker by pulling water from the bloodstream into the lungs. In fresh water, something different happens, wherein osmosis acts in the opposing direction. As a result, the blood becomes diluted and thinner, red blood cells get destroyed, and electrical activity of the heart gets affected. Both the situations may trigger sudden cardiac arrest in the patients, causing the beating of the heart to stop, according to Dr Vanita Arora, Senior ConsultantCardiac Electrophysiologist & Interventional Cardiologist Max Super Speciality Hospital. For any person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, CPR is the most important first-aid step to undertake, till emergency medical service arrives. It is important to know that CPR may not

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bring people back to consciousness. The CPR is performed to pump blood and oxygen to the brain. If the heart is at standstill then to restart it one needs to administer an electric shock. "The key take away from these data is that we need to find better and more effective ways to educate the general public on the importance of providing bystander CPR, and the importance of being comfortable delivering it regardless of the factors like the gender, age, or even the weight of the person in need," said Benjamin Abella, senior author of a CPR study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2017. When a person has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, the key aspect is to hardpress the chest to keep the blood flowing and therefore keep the brain oxygenated. Breaking the rhythm to breathe-in oxygen will interrupt the flow of blood. In fact, the American Heart Association has removed mouth-to-mouth breathing as an essential part of CPR in adults.

- At the center of the chest, place the heel of your first hand. - The heel of your second hand should go on the top of the first hand, with fingers of top hand clasping the bottom. - While keeping your arms straight, adjust your body to ensure that the shoulders are directly over your hands and the body. - Start pushing hard and fast with your body weight to put pressure on the chest. Try that the compressions are about two inches deep. - Deliver 120 to 130 compressions per minute. - Don't let go till medical help arrives or you may see clear life signs, such as breathing You should not give up if you think you are unable to administer CPR perfectly. It should always be remembered that any form of CPR is better than no CPR. It is important that the center of the chest is compressed hard and fast, and till the same is being done, you are increasing the chances of saving someone's life.


AUTO

COMING, ELECTRIC MERCEDES S-CLASS Mercedes-Benz will introduce the EQS all-electric luxury sedan in 2020. The Mercedes-Benz EQS will a zero-emission equivalent of the top of the line S-Class. he EQS will not just be an electric S-Class, project head of Mercedes-Benz large cars Michael Kelz said. The Mercedes-Benz EQS electric sedan will sit at the top of the Mercedes EQ electric vehicle (EV) range which made its debut in 2016 with Concept EQ has since spawned three different concepts including the EQA hatchback, the EQC SUV, as well as the smart EQ fortwo and EQ forfour. The Mercedes EQS will be based on the new Mercedes-Benz MEA architecture, unlike the S-Class. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is underpinned by the MRA architecture which can only accommodate plugin

or hybrid powertrains, and not allelectric ones. Kelz further stated that overhangs would become shorter and wheelbases longer in the future to allow sleek low-riding sedan bodies. This would make them more capable of accepting electric powertrains. Exact details of the EQS powertrain and design remain scarce at the moment, but Kelz also confirmed that the EQS already exists in concept form. We can expect it to carry the same illuminated highlights and digital grille styling from the EQA and EQC concepts. Mercedes-Benz has grand plans for electrification and will have at least three EQ range models in production by 2020, and 10 by 2022.

Exact details of the EQS powertrain and design remain scarce at the moment, but Kelz also confirmed that the EQS already exists in concept form. We can expect it to carry the same illuminated highlights and digital grille styling from the EQA and EQC concepts.

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SPACE

A Luxury Hotel, 200 Miles Up THIS LUXURY HOTEL WILL BE 200 MILES UP AND $792,000 A NIGHT. IT’S NOT THAT FARFETCHED, BUT ONE ANALYST SAYS THE STARTUP’S AUDACIOUS PLAN MAY BE A TRIAL BALLOON TO SEE RESPONSE FIRST. urora Station, billed as the “first luxury hotel in space,” by Houston-based Orion Span Inc. hopes to launch the modular station in late 2021 and welcome its first guests the following year, with two crew members accompanying each excursion. The platform would orbit 200 miles above Earth, offering six guests 384 sunrises and sunsets as they race around the planet for 12 days at incredibly high speeds. Once, such a thing would have clearly been the stuff of fiction. Now, in the age of SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, the idea that a private company would launch an orbiting hotel seems almost pedestrian. “We want to get people into space because it’s the final frontier for our civilization,” said Orion Span’s founder and chief executive officer, Frank Bunger, a former software engineer. Orion Span’s offering won’t be for everyone, however: Launch and reentry are not for the faint of heart. “We’re not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-thebeach equivalent in space,” Bunger said. “We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut. You reckon that there are people who are willing to pay to have that experience.” Beyond the physical limitations to embarking, there are also the fiscal ones. The 12-day stay starts at $9.5 million per person, or about $791,666 a night. Aurora Station is planned as a 35-by14-foot module, or roughly the interior volume of a Gulfstream G550 private jet, according to Bunger. The station would accommodate as many as four guests, plus the two crew. The company

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requires an $80,000 deposit, which is fully refundable, and began accepting payments recently. Orion Span is assessing potential funding sources to get the endeavor off the ground, but won’t disclose how much it wants to raise for the project, a spokeswoman said. It reflects the type of commercial venture that’s become more common over the past decade, fueled by decreases in launch costs and an influx of venture capital. Since 2015, startup space companies have attracted $7.9 billion in investment, according to Bryce Space & Technology LLC, a consulting firm. “The commercialization of LEO (low Earth orbit) is an exciting prospect, but it will be an exercise in determining what ideas are more real than others,” said Phil Larson, a former space policy adviser to President Barack Obama who worked for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies Corp. He is now assistant dean and chief of staff at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. Orion Span has yet to contract with a launch provider, either for its initial flights to build the station or for customer flights. The startup’s aggressive four-year time frame may be a ploy, Larson said, to assess “what kind of market might be out there for this.” Van Espahbodi, managing partner of Starburst Accelerator LLC, a consulting and venture firm, added that the publicrelations push behind Orion Span may be an effective way to help the company attract funding, too. Orion Span’s chief architect and operating and chief technical officers are former NASA employees. The company


said it’s “developed proprietary technology to drive a full order of magnitude of cost out of the design and manufacture of a space station.” Bunger said the firm’s designs would work with most of the current launch configurations, such as Arianespace, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance. It could also partner with a government space agency, he said. One reason Orion Span can target a price of less than $10 million per person

is because of declining launch prices, Bunger said in an interview. “Everybody’s forecasting that they’re going to fall,” he said. “Almost every week there’s another rocket launch company that’s starting up with a new way to get to orbit cheaper, faster, better.” Indeed, Orion Span joins a growing list of entrepreneurial firms that see cheaper access to space leading to a demand for more real estate in low Earth orbit.

Bigelow Aerospace LLC, founded by lodging billionaire Robert Bigelow, deployed its 8-foot, 3,000-pound inflatable activity module on the ISS in May 2016. In October, NASA extended the two-year service period for the module - which is used for storage - to remain part of the space station until at least 2021. Axiom Space LLC, a Houston-based company also run by NASA veterans, said it plans to launch habitation modules to complement the ISS. Arizona-based World View Enterprises Inc. is developing a fleet of high-altitude platforms, called stratollites, carried by balloons to the edge of space. The stratollites are used for communications, surveillance, weather forecasting, atmospheric research, and other applications. Last week, World View said it had raised a total of $48.5 million. But the new world of commercial spaceflight has yet to launch a human into space, let alone civilians and leave them there for two weeks. Prior to launch, Aurora Station travelers would have three months of training, beginning with online courses to understand “basic spaceflight, orbital mechanics, and pressurized environments in space.” Hotel guests will also have required exercises on spacecraft systems and contingency training at the company’s Houston facility.

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GADGETS

The Battle of the Affordable Notch Phones Oppo F7 vs Vivo V9 and 6GB versions of the phone, both IF YOU WERE PLANNING ON GETTING A NEW ANDROID PHONE IN 2018, THEN BE PREPARED TO EMBRACE THE ‘NOTCH’. IN THE QUEST FOR USING UP MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF SCREEN SPACE, ANDROID MANUFACTURERS HAVE BEGUN IMPLEMENTING VARIATIONS OF APPLE’S DISPLAY CUT-OUT OF THE IPHONE X (REVIEW). THIS DOESN’T SEEM TO BE JUST A PASSING FAD EITHER AS THE NEXT VERSION OF ANDROID P WILL HAVE NATIVE SUPPORT FOR DIFFERENT DISPLAY CUT-OUT STYLES. he Vivo V9 is the first Android phone to launch in India with the notch and hot on its heels, Oppo has announced the notch-bearing F7 in India at a starting price of Rs. 21,990. This phone will soon replace the current Oppo F5 (Review) and like all F series smartphones, the primary focus here is the selfie camera. But more than just bump up the resolution, which is now a massive 25megapixels, the F7 boasts of real-time HDR capability, the second generation of AI Beauty and of course, AR stickers. We spent some time the new phone at Oppo’s launch event in Mumbai, and here’s our initial impressions of the new mid ranger. The Oppo F7 is available in a bright shade of red called Solar Red and a more sober version, called Moonlight Silver, if you opt for the version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Both colour versions have an acrylic back panel and not glass. The rest of the body is made up of plastic, which too, has a high gloss finish. The acrylic back does seem to be susceptible to dings and scratches though as we easily managed to create minor abrasions with the tip of a SIM ejector tool. This means leaving it in a bag with any sharp items could cause some unwanted damage, especially if you’re not using a case. The phone feels very light however and the display has a distinct black border above the main chassis, which separates it from the rest of the body. The 6.23-inch display adheres to the 19:9 aspect ratio and boasts of a FullHD+ resolution. There’s a screen guard SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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that comes pre-installed on the phone too. Brightness levels seem adequate and viewing angles are not too bad either, although we’re yet to see how it fares under direct sunlight. There’s no notification LED here as most of the upper bezel has been taken over by the display, leaving just a small rectangular cut out for the front camera and the earpiece. Button placement seems good but we’re a little disappointed to still see a Micro-USB port. Considering the price of the phone, we don't se any reason why this wasn't included. We only have a single camera at the back, which is interesting considering nearly everyone is going for a dual camera setup these days. Despite that, the phone still boasts of a ‘Portrait’ mode for the front and rear cameras. The F7 uses a MediaTek Helio P60 octa-core SoC, along with a combination of either 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter edition is only available in the Solar Red colour trim, while the Diamond Black option will be available in both 4GB and 6GB RAM variants. The Diamond Black version uses the acrylic to refract light, thus creating a diamondcut like effect. It’s a neat trick and will certainly grab a lot of attention. This reminds us of the design HTC tried way back when, with the HTC Diamond, only that had an actual 3D contoured surface. During our short time with both the 4GB

versions felt equally speedy. ColourOS 5.0 is based on Android 8.1 Oreo, which is nice to see, although we can’t say we’re big fans of the look and feel of the app icons. The notifications along with the toggle switches can be accessed with a swipe from the top of the display and screen recording is now baked into the OS. When you’re playing a game or watching a video in landscape mode, you can simply swipe in from on of the left of the display to access shortcuts for taking a screenshot, start screen recording or mute notifications. The main focus however, continues to be the front camera and Oppo says, there’s a lot of artificial intelligence (AI) woven into the new camera app. The real-time HDR features seems to work fairly quickly as there wasn’t a lot of delay from the time we hit the shutter button to when the picture was actually saved. The new AI Beauty 2.0 is said to scan 296 facial recognition points and now extends to your neck and shoulders too, in order to get a more realistic post-processed image. These are big claims from Oppo so we’ll leave our judgment to after we’ve spent enough time testing the F7. As usual, the rear camera gets fewer megapixels compared to the front but it does have a wider aperture of f/1.8, so it might do well in low light scenarios. We’ve only spent a little time with the F7 but so far, it seems like an aggressive push from Oppo considering they’ve managed to undercut the Vivo V9 by a thousand Rupees. Out of the three colours, the silver and the black are the ones we like as the red is just a little too in-your-face for our taste. We’re only just getting started with Android notches and these rectangular cut-outs are only a few of the designs that we've seen so far. Oppo themselves have secured patents for different types of notches like an inverted ellipse and an inverted triangle, so we could expect future Oppo phones to bear some of those styles too.


ECONOMY

WHAT IS AILING INDIA'S GST COLLECTIONS? After the GST collections dipped in February to Rs 85,174 crore from Rs 86,318 crore a month earlier, analysts caution that the figures reported so far are way below projections which will negatively impact the fiscal situation. fter the GST collections dipped in February to Rs 85,174 crore from Rs 86,318 crore a month earlier, analysts caution that the figures reported so far are way below projections which will negatively impact the fiscal situation. The Narendra Modi-led government has already raised the fiscal deficit target for the FY-19 to 3.3%, against the previous plan of limiting it to 3%. M S Mani, Partner, Deloitte India said that the reasons for non-filing of returns by over 2 million registered taxpayers would be an area of concern for the tax authorities. Further, he notes that while GST collections are now entering the stabilisation phase, the expected revenue garnering appears to be taking more time. Even as the tax collections come in

lower than expected, Kotak Securities says that the GST monthly run-rate for FY18 was Rs 917 billion for FY18. “Monthly run-rate of around Rs 1,000 crore and more will be required in FY19,” said the firm. As we come to the end of the financial year, Kotak notes that early buoyancy from compliance improvements is the key to achieve FY19 estimates. Further, the firm is cautious on the fiscal situation until the GST rate picks up. M S Mani noted that while the gradual increase in the percentage of GST return

As we come to the end of the financial year, Kotak notes that early buoyancy from compliance improvements is the key to achieve FY-19 estimates. Further, the firm is cautious on the fiscal situation until the GST rate picks up.

filers is encouraging, it is still quite low as it appears that 30% of taxpayers are not filing returns. Analysts are saying that lower-than-expected GST revenue for the first two months of 2018 might force the government to hasten the introduction of anti-evasion measures such as invoice-matching and reverse charge on transactions with unregistered dealers, besides the e-way bill, which is slated to be rolled out from April 1. A few analysts attributed the fall in collections to fewer working days in the month of February, leading to lower sales and lesser hence lower taxes. Notably, the collection are far below government’s estimates of average monthly collection of Rs 92,000 crore GST revenue every month.

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PRIVACY

FACEBOOK MESSENGER SEES YOUR CHAT PHOTOS, READS ALL YOUR PRIVATE MESSAGES FACEBOOK SCANS THE PHOTOS AND LINKS YOU SEND ON ITS MESSENGER APP. DONE WITH A DUBIOUS CLAIM OF DETECTING CONTENT THAT VIOLATES STANDARDS!

Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse there that it does on the social network more generally. All content must abide by the same "community standards." People can report posts or messages for violating those standards, which would prompt a review by the company’s “community operations” team. Automated tools can also do the work. “For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” a Facebook Messenger spokeswoman said in a statement. “Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform.” Messenger used to be part of Facebook’s main service, before it was spun off into a separate application in 2014. Facebook’s other major chat app, WhatsApp, encrypts both ends of its users’ communications, so that not even WhatsApp can see it -- a fact that’s made it more secure for users, and more difficult for lawmakers wanting information in investigations. Messenger also has an encrypted option, but users have to turn it on.

acebook Inc. scans the links and images that people send each other on Facebook Messenger, and reads chats when they’re flagged to moderators, making sure the content abides by the company’s rules. If it doesn’t, it gets blocked or taken down. The company confirmed the practice after an interview published earlier this week with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg raised questions about Messenger’s practices and privacy. Zuckerberg told Vox’s Ezra Klein a story about receiving a phone call related to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Facebook had detected people trying to send sensational messages through the Messenger app, he said. “In that case, our systems detect what’s going on,” Zuckerberg said. “We stop those messages from going through.”

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Some people reacted with concern on Twitter: Was Facebook reading messages more generally? Facebook has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over how it handles users’ private data and the revelation struck a nerve. Messenger doesn’t use the data from the scanned messages for advertising, the company said, but the policy may extend beyond what Messenger users expect. The company told Bloomberg that while

Facebook is on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent.

The company updated its data policy and proposed new terms of service on Wednesday to clarify that Messenger and Instagram use the same rules as Facebook. “We better explain how we combat abuse and investigate suspicious activity, including by analyzing the content people share,” Facebook said in a blog post. Facebook is on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent. Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before the House next week and is holding a conference call on Wednesday afternoon to discuss changes to Facebook privacy policies. The company is working to make its privacy policies clearer, but still ends up with gaps between what it says users have agreed to, and what users think they actually agreed to.


POLITICS

FORMER ALLY NAIDU SAYS INDIA WILL REJECT BJP

BJP will soon be rejected by the entire country, says former all and Andhra Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu.

DP president Chandrababu Naidu has asked the party's MPs to intensify their protest in New Delhi for special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

yesterday, Naidu said it was an example of the party's collusion politics.

In a tele-conference with TDP MPs, Naidu said, "BJP is running away by repeatedly adjourning the House for these many days. If Parliament is adjourned sine die, MPs must meet President. BJP is acting on the lines of divide and rule." Today was the last day of Parliament's second part of the Budget Session.

TDP MPs yesterday protested in Rajya Sabha chamber and refused to leave even after the house was adjourned for the day

"In the past, some natives used to collude with Britishers. In the same way, YSRCP is now colluding with Centre," he said in the statements.

at around 2.30pm. The members were in the night around 8.15 pm marshalled out along with the party's Lok Sabha MPs who held protests in the Central Hall in solidarity. The TDP parted ways with the NDA last month alleging failure in fulfilling the promises made in the State Reorganisation Act.

In Amaravati, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister led a cycle rally of his ministers and TDP legislators protesting the Centre's attitude towards the state, vis-a-vis the implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. "Already people of AP are not accepting BJP. Soon, there will be a day when the BJP will not be accepted by the entire country," Naidu said in a statement issued by his media cell. "We will not step back until assurances made in the Rajya Sabha including Special Category Status and provisions of AP Reorganisation Act are fulfilled," he said. Responding to YSR Congress MPs not taking part in a protest held by his party MPs in the Parliament complex

"WE WILL NOT STEP BACK UNTIL ASSURANCES MADE IN THE RAJYA SABHA INCLUDING SPECIAL CATEGORY STATUS AND PROVISIONS OF AP REORGANISATION ACT ARE FULFILLED,

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POLITICS

WHY INDIA SHOULD BE WARY ABOUT CHINA'S KRA CANAL IN THAILAND THAILAND'S KRA CANAL PROJECT IS CHINA'S MASTERPLAN TO SECURE BEIJING'S INTERESTS, ASSERT INFLUENCE IN ASEAN AND THE ENTIRE INDIAN OCEAN REGION.

hina's economic ambitions are once again giving rise to fears in India. The cause this time is the over 200-year-old plan to build the Thai Kra Canal cutting Thailand into two, which is seeing a resurgence in Thailand. According to reports, a national committee has been proposed by the Thail Canal Association to examine the feasibility of the $30 billion project. Led by former Thai army chief General Pongthep Thesprateep, the proposal is said to have been backed by several former military figures influential in the country's ruling junta. Noticeably, the project would cut the travel distance for ships moving between the Andaman Sea (India) and the South China Sea by some 1,200 kilometres. This should be a welcome news for not just India but every other

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economy whose ships currently ply through the crowded Strait of Malacca. This begs the question then: why are global economies worried about the Thai Kra Canal becoming a reality? The answer has everything to do with China's involvement in the Kra Canal. The first mention of the canal comes from during the reign of the Ayutthaya Period when Thailand was known as Siam, with proposals to link the two

AFTER INITIAL SURVEYS, ENGLISH ENGINEERS GAVE UP THE IDEA. BUT IT WAS BROUGHT BACK TO PUBLIC MEMORY WHEN THE FRENCH ASKED THAI KING RAMA IV FOR PERMISSION TO BUILD THE CANAL.

coasts in the south of Thailand. But the Kara Canal name comes from the Ratanakosin period (in the second half of the 19th century) when Britain asked Thailand's King Rama I for permission to construct the Kra Isthmus Canal at Ranog - Lung Suan, which is the narrowest part of Thailand. After initial surveys, English engineers gave up the idea. But it was brought back to public memory when the French asked Thai King Rama IV for permission to build the canal. The king, however, did not give permission for fear of losing the area on the Malay Peninsula side. In 1872, Britain conducted another survey during King Rama V’s reign and concluded that construction is possible. The project, however, didn't move beyond that. In 1882, the French asked for permission once again but were denied again.


Malacca and Straits. If constructed, the Kra Canal would eat a major chunk of the traffic currently flowing through the Strait of Malacca. While trade and reduced travel time are being portrayed as major reasons to push the Kra Canal, that it would help Chinese ships move without fearing any blockade from US allies that surround the Straits of Malacca, is hardly a coincidence. Thailand believes the Kra Canal would bring new economic opportunities to its shore, which includes more jobs during and after the construction as well as revenue from the movement of ships. But according to Indian diplomats, the Chinese stand to benefit the most, not just because it will be building but also controlling it. As a Business Standard article pointed out, Longhao, a Chinese construction company which is among several firms lobbying the Thai government to move forward on the Kra Canal is planning to bring over 30,000 Chinese workers to build the canal. That could impact Thailand's hopes for creating new jobs through the canal. Lognhao is the same company involved in the Chinese government’s controversial islandbuilding work in the South China Sea.

The Kra Canal is an important part of China's Maritime Silk Road, a constituent element of its ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative which aims to connect China with markets in the West Asia, Africa, and Europe via both road and sea route. Though China has been presenting it as a boon for the global economy, its selfish reasons can't be overlooked. For centuries, the Malacca Straits, which sees over 84,000 ships pass through it every year and accounts for 30 percent of global sea trade, have served as a gateway between the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean and as a route for economies to move goods between the two. Once built, the Kra Canal would not only cut both the distance as well as time for ships to move between the two seas, but also the dependency on Straits of

Though Longhao has proposed to build two offshore islands to serve as berths for ships, warehouses, and even entertainment hubs, China's personal gains from the project are too vital to be ignored, especially since it will also be financing the project through OBOR. Everyone knows how China's financial help turned out to be for Sri Lanka when mounting debts forced the country to hand over the Hambantota port to China.

FOR CENTURIES, THE MALACCA STRAITS, WHICH SEES OVER 84,000 SHIPS PASS THROUGH IT EVERY YEAR AND ACCOUNTS FOR 30 PERCENT OF GLOBAL SEA TRADE, HAVE SERVED AS A GATEWAY BETWEEN THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND THE INDIAN OCEAN AND AS A ROUTE FOR ECONOMIES TO MOVE GOODS BETWEEN THE TWO.

Thus that the project not only endangers Thailand's sovereignty — a worry that the Thai Canal Association has been underplaying — but also risks Bangkok's relations with Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, who stands to lose the most from it. As Stratfor argues, the canal is more likely to divide the revenue rather than bring additional revenue. Besides, a cost-benefit of the Kra Canal may not be as high as the Chinese and the Thai Canal Association has made it out to be. Analyst Gary Norman argued in this article that the "canal would require to generate $4.57 million in revenue per day to pay for itself within 20 years. This equates to an estimated price of $115,000 per passage, assuming a throughput of 40 ships per day." Considering passing through the Straits of Malacca costs nearly $1,20,000 (at the highest level) per ship, the saving doesn't appear very enticing for ships to take a China-controlled route. Thailand should also consider the environmental impact of the project and to its tourism industry, which generates around 3 trillion Thai Baht for the country annually and is ranked number three in the world, according to a report of the World Tourism Organisation. The proposed route will pass some tourist attractions in the South, including Phuket and Krabi, says Thailand's news portal, The Nation. China has been seeking support from other ASEAN countries in order to push for the construction of the plan. In fact, the project claims that it would open a new shorter route for them (ASEAN) to connect with markets in West Asia, Europe and Africa. But seeing how Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore stand to lose via this project, and reiterating the previous point, the Kra Canal is more of China safeguarding its interests than that of Thailand's or ASEAN. In the meanwhile, the Kra Canal also poses a security threat for India. When looked along with the other infrastructural projects that China has been developing in the Indian Ocean Region, the Kra Canal project translates to nothing but an assertive China whose reach to the Indian Ocean has been cut short by 1,100 kilometres.

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CONTROVERSY

FACEBOOK'S SECRET PLANS TO PROCURE AND MATCH USERS' MEDICAL RECORDS REVEALED As though the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal wasn't enough, a new report states that the social giant was also planning to gather medical information from a few hospitals. The mission also roped in a secret doctor. he company was in talks with top hospitals, about a proposal to share data about the social networks of their most vulnerable patients. Facebook has been reportedly talking to numerous health organisations, including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology, regarding the user-data-sharing agreement. As though the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal wasn't enough, a new report states that the social giant was also planning to gather medical information from a few hospitals. The mission also roped in a secret doctor. Facebook has been reportedly speaking with hospitals last year to gather information about users’ health data. Reported by CNBC, the aim is to collect the anonymized patient’s data and match it up with the user data it had collected. As part of a proposed research project, the anonymized data includes patient’s illnesses and the prescriptions allotted to them by their respective hospitals. However, the research project has taken a pause due to the ongoing Cambridge Analytica's data breach debacle. Since the debacle was about collecting users data and 'selling' it to the political gains, this other project might have halted for a while. "This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone's data," a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC. Facebook has been reportedly talking to numerous health organisations, including Stanford Medical School and American College of Cardiology,

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regarding the agreement.

user-data-sharing

The company claims the data shared would be anonymous that means not knowing any user/patient’s name or whatsoever. Using a proposed computer science technique named “hashing” the collected anonymous health data would match the user data set that the company has collected. Facebook says all this data would only be collected for medical community research only. As mentioned on CNBC, “For instance, if Facebook could determine that an elderly patient doesn't have many nearby close friends or much community support, the health system might decide to send over a nurse to check in after a major surgery.” With the ongoing scenario, this proposed project would have raised concerns amongst the users; since their data is being collected might be misused similar to the Cambridge’s data breach scandal. According to CNBC, this investigative effort of sharing medical data was led by an interventional cardiologist called Dr Freddy Abnousi and this proposal was under the purview of Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook’s “Building 8” program. Freddy's role on his LinkedIn account states that he is 'leading top-secret projects.' Facebook provided a quote from Cathleen Gates, the interim CEO of the American College of Cardiology, explaining the possible benefits of the plan: "For the first time in history, people are sharing information about themselves online in ways that may help determine how to improve their health. As part of

its mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health, the American College of Cardiology has been engaged in discussions with Facebook around the use of anonymized Facebook data, coupled with anonymized ACC data, to further scientific research on the ways social media can aid in the prevention and treatment of heart disease—the no. 1 cause of death in the world. This partnership is in the very early phases as we work on both sides to ensure privacy, transparency and scientific rigour. No data has been shared between any parties." On the other hand, health institutions are utterly careful on sharing patient’s


explore whether scientific research using anonymized Facebook data could help the medical community advance our understanding in this area. This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone's data."

data due to the stricter federal privacy and state laws. Keeping this mind, Facebook proposed to obscure personally identifiable information, such as names, in the data being shared by both sides. However, in early 2014, there have been reports that Facebook has manipulated thousands of several user's news feeds to apparently study whether certain types of content made people happier or sadder. Facebook later apologised for the study. Furthermore, the health policy experts have raised concerns about the privacy of the users, with this Facebook’s collecting health data initiative.

According to CNBC report, Facebook had issued a statement, when asked about the plans of the initiative, which states, "The medical industry has long understood that there are general health benefits to having a close-knit circle of family and friends. But deeper research into this link is needed to help medical professionals develop specific treatment and intervention plans that take social connection into account." "With this in mind, last year Facebook began discussions with leading medical institutions, including the American College of Cardiology and the Stanford University School of Medicine, to

"Last month we decided that we should pause these discussions so we can focus on other important work, including doing a better job of protecting people's data and being clearer with them about how that data is used in our products and services." Initially, this proposed collection of userhealth-data project’s primary focus was on cardiovascular health of the patients; however, people are still concerned about Facebook collecting their data and they still believe that the data might be in jeopardy. Facebook has recently admitted that information of up to 87 million people, mostly in the US, may have been improperly shared with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

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E-COMMERCE

WALMART VS AMAZON FOR FLIPKART: SUPERMARKET CHAIN OFFERS $12 BILLION FOR 51%

As US retail major completes due diligence, Amazon is likely to counter bid but face uphill task convincing competition regulator. he battle for acquiring a majority stake in ecommerce firm Flipkart is heating up with US retail major Walmart looking to shell out about $10 billion to $12 billion for purchasing a 51 per cent stake in the Indian firm. A stake in Flipkart would pit Walmart against Amazon.com in India and it was reported that the US e-commerce major is exploring a rival offer for Bengalurubased e-commerce player. Walmart completed a thorough due diligence process on the Indian ecommerce firm this week, according to a Reuters report, citing sources, as the US retail giant looks to take a controlling stake of 51 per cent or more in the Indian company. Walmart has already floated a shareholder agreement, or offer proposal. The US retail major’s offer would value Flipkart at roughly $20 billion, the report added. However, Amazon, which operates its

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own online marketplace in India, has also initiated talks to buy a majority stake in its Indian rival. Amazon may soon submit a bid for Flipkart. Flipkart, which is backed by the likes of SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, eBay, Accel Partners, Naspers, Tencent Holdings and Microsoft Corp, was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related) in 2007 as an online seller of books. Walmart, which was in talks to purchase a stake of over 40 per cent in Flipkart, is now seeking a bigger stake. A deal is far from finalised, however, and talks between the two parties and investors in Flipkart are ongoing. Flipkart and Amazon are fighting to grab a bigger piece of India’s online retail market which is worth around $200 billion in a decade. Walmart’s investment would give Flipkart not just additional funds to fight Amazon, but also arm it with a formidable ally with extensive experience in retailing, logistics and supply chain management.

Walmart will also aid Flipkart in developing its private label business, according to the Reuters report. For Walmart a deal would open up a vast market and another front to take on its biggest rival. Walmart is initially not expected to rock the boat and is likely to retain top management. It may, however, look to bring in some of its own people on the legal and finance teams at Flipkart. Walmart would also likely have a say in the appointment of a chief financial officer at Flipkart, if the deal is concluded, said another of the three sources. Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners and Naspers would likely sell their entire stakes in Flipkart to Walmart if a deal is reached, the report added quoting sources. Japan’s SoftBank, which has invested in Flipkart through its Vision Fund, may also consider selling a part of its roughly 20 percent stake if Walmart offers a good price. SoftBank last year invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart through prime and secondary share purchases.


BRAEAKTHROUGH

AS OLD GERM KILLERS FAIL, SCIIENTISTS DEVELOP NEW ANTIBIOTICS

A NEW CLASS OF ANTIBIOTICS, FROM AN UNCONVENTIONAL SOURCE WHICH HAS A DISTINCT WAY OF KILLING BACTERIA, HAS BEEN DISCOVERED WHICH MAY HELP COMBAT DRUG-RESISTANT OR HARD-TOTREAT BACTERIAL INFECTIONS, ACCORDING TO SCIENTISTS. According to the World Health Organisation, antibiotic resistant is one of the biggest threats to global health today and a significant contributor to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs, and increased mortality. The antibiotic called odilorhabdins, or ODLs, are produced by symbiotic bacteria found in soil-dwelling nematode worms that colonise insects for food. The bacteria help to kill the insect and, importantly, secretes the antibiotic to keep competing bacteria away, said researchers from the University of Illinois (UIC) at Chicago and Nosopharm, a France-based

biotechnology company. To identify the antibiotic, the team screened 80 cultured strains of the bacteria for antimicrobial activity. They found that ODLs act on the ribosome - the molecular machine of individual cells that makes the proteins it needs to function - of bacterial cells. "Like many clinically useful antibiotics, ODLs work by targeting the ribosome," said Yury Polikanov, Assistant Professor at the UIC. "But ODLs are unique because they bind to a place on the ribosome that has never been used by other known antibiotics," Polikanov added.

Further, the team found that when bound to the ribosome, the new antibiotic disrupts its ability to interpret and translate genetic code. "When ODLs are introduced to the bacterial cells, they impact the reading ability of the ribosome and cause the ribosome to make mistakes when it creates new proteins," said Alexander Mankin, Professor at the University. "The bactericidal mechanism of ODLs and the fact that they bind to a site on the ribosome, not exploited by any known antibiotic, are very strong indicators that ODLs have the potential to treat infections that are unresponsive to other antibiotics," Mankin noted.

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FITNESS

THE LATEST IN WEIGHT LOSS: TIME RESTRICTED FEEDING Our excess weight contributes to a variety of health problems. Despite enormous effort over decades, the problem has proved extremely difficult to solve. Biologist Satchin Panda thinks we're missing a key variable: Instead of focusing so much on what we eat, he says, we should pay more attention to when we eat. researcher at the Salk Institute in San Diego, Panda argues that eating within a certain time window each day can help people lose weight and may help prevent illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. In animal studies, he and others have shown that limiting food intake to a period of eight to 12 hours can boost cognitive and physical performance, and may even lengthen life span. Known as timerestricted feeding, or TRF, the approach is simple: Eat more or less what you want, but don't consume anything before or after the allotted time. Panda argues that humans' circadian

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rhythm is not designed for a world with 24-7 access to food. "If you're eating all the time, it messes up that pattern," he says. For many if not most Americans, that pattern is deeply out of whack, and many of us eat from early morning until late at night. It is not clear whether TRF works in humans the way it seems to work in lab mice. For one, mice and humans have very different circadian rhythms. Mice are nocturnal and sleep more than once a day. They also live for only two or three years. "It may be that for a mouse, a 16-hour fast is the equivalent of a twoor three-day fast for a human," says Courtney Peterson, a nutrition scientist

at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who is doing research on TRF in humans. In addition, Peterson and others say, some of the benefits of TRF may stem from decreased consumption due to the shortened eating window: It's not really surprising that cutting out the afterdinner drink and the late-night sundae is good for weight loss and overall health. And, in fact, studies in humans and animals have found that TRF helps both mice and people eat fewer calories. Panda first got interested in TRF 15 years ago, while studying the genetics of circadian rhythm. His research on mice revealed that over the course of a day,


hundreds of liver genes turn on and off cyclically. The liver plays a central role in metabolizing calories, and it turned out that most of these cyclic genes were involved in eating and digestion. This led him to ask whether mice - and humans, too - were programmed to eat according to a certain circadian schedule. In 2008, he began examining how mice responded to different feeding schedules; to his surprise, TRF had powerful health benefits. The researchers compared two groups of mice, both of which consumed the same number of calories. One group was limited to an eight-hour window, while the other could eat at any time. After four months, the eight-hour mice weighed 28 percent less than the anytime eaters. "When we saw the results, they were so unexpected," he says. "Even I didn't believe it."

He had his students independently repeat the experiment three times; all of the results were similar. Using the same model - two groups eating an equal number of calories, but on different feeding schedules - he found that TRF mice had normal blood sugar levels, while the unlimited-schedule animals developed Type 2 diabetes. Since then, he has shown that TRF can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition, mice restricted to an eight- or nine-hour eating window could run for twice as long as those that ate on a normal schedule. "TRF is an interesting and valuable idea, but it's not proven that it works in humans," says nutrition researcher David Allison, dean of the University of Indiana School of Public Health. "There is some evidence to suggest that it might be useful for some things. But it's

extraordinarily complex to actually nail this down." Overall, he says, the evidence indicates that eating most of your food earlier in the day is probably healthier than eating most of your food later in the day. He also notes that there are many complexities to the issue, including the fact that most people eat healthier food at breakfast (oatmeal or cereal, for instance) than they do at dinner (hamburger, fries and dessert). Some evidence from research involving humans indicates that TRF has benefits even when people don't eat any less. In a study that is soon to be published, Peterson examined eight men with prediabetes, a condition in which people are close to being diabetic but not quite there. Researchers prepared all food in the study, and the participants ate it

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under supervision. The men tried two schedules: eating all their meals between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Compared with the 12-hour schedule, the six-hour window significantly lowered blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity, the ability to process glucose. "We were really excited about the results," Peterson says. "It was a small study, but it was done extremely carefully." In a similar study, also not yet published, she looked at 11 overweight people who followed the same two regimens. Although those in the six-hour window did not increase the overall number of calories they burned, they did increase the amount of fat they burned and reduced levels of a key hunger hormone called ghrelin; these metabolic changes might make it easier to lose weight and body fat. "I think that within 10 years we will have some really clear guidelines for meal timing," Peterson says. "But we are in the early stages of this research. There is a lot more work we need to do." In 2015, Panda looked at the eating patterns of 156 adults; more than half spread food consumption over 15 hours or longer, while only 10 percent consistently ate within a 12-hour window. He followed up with eight of these people, who were overweight and typically ate for 14 hours or more a day. When the subjects were limited to a 10hour window for four months, with no other restrictions - they could eat whatever they wanted - they lost weight, slept better and had more energy. Panda is now starting a study that will eventually include thousands of adults worldwide. Using a custom smartphone app that allows people to take photos of what they eat and immediately send them to researchers, he will be able to more accurately track which foods people eat. Using this data, he will examine whether TRF can improve weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, joint pain, sleep, anxiety and inflammation. Panda says that mice and humans - and probably most organisms - are not built to simultaneously ingest food and metabolize it. "Everything cannot happen at once," Panda says. "The body SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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"Just by changing when we eat, we can have an effect on obesity and these related problems," Panda says. can't take in calories and break down calories at the same time." He and other circadian scientists say that many if not most animals have evolved to consume food according to the 24-hour solar cycle. For humans, this rhythm involves eating during the day and sleeping after sunset. With the advent of electric lights, refrigerators, microwaves and 7-Elevens, millions if not billions of us have jettisoned this pattern. But the circadian rhythm of our metabolism still expects us to stop eating at sundown. This mismatch between modern society and programmed biology can lead to myriad health problems, Panda and others say. It is not clear exactly how TRF works, but it seems to trigger several molecular changes. It increases the activity of mitochondria, which provide energy to cells throughout the body; it boosts levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the liver during fasting, which are a powerful source of energy and are especially useful to muscle and brain cells; it also raises production of brown fat, the "good" fat that helps the body burn more energy. Together, these mechanisms allow the body to generate more energy and metabolize calories more efficiently than unscheduled eating. TRF is just one of several approaches that involve fasting. Scientists are also looking at intermittent fasting, which typically involves eating every other day, or eating for five days and then fasting for two. Valter Longo, a gerontologist at the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, has focused on an approach in which people eat very little for five days at a time, several times a year. Other researchers are examining calorie restriction, which requires reducing calorie intake below normal levels, for months, years or longer, in

hopes of triggering a variety of beneficial physiological responses. Studies of animals and humans have found that these regimens can have benefits, including weight loss, lower rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and, in some animal studies, significantly longer life span. All of these strategies have some similarities to TRF, Panda says, with one major difference: They are much more difficult to follow. Whereas TRF involves relatively minor adjustments in how most people already eat, intermittent fasting and calorie restriction often require hunger and discipline for long periods. This, he says, is why TRF has potential as a public health strategy. In a society where Big Gulps and Big Macs are ubiquitous, unhealthy eating and obesity are very hard to avoid. TRF, Panda contends, offers a simple, relatively manageable alternative. "Just by changing when we eat, we can have an effect on obesity and these related problems," Panda says. "This can really move the needle." Panda himself has adopted TRF and says he's seen benefits: lower blood sugar, weight loss, better sleep and more energy. He now uses a modified version, in which he eats breakfast at 7 a.m., skips lunch and has dinner with his family at around 7 p.m. In essence, he has two long fasts a day, between meals and overnight. Others around him have adopted the classic TRF regimen, including his 15-year-old daughter, his mother and several graduate students in his lab. He says his mother had prediabetes before starting the diet; since then, her blood sugar has dropped significantly, to a healthy level. So far, TRF has not caught on widely. Peterson, the UAB scientist, is one of the early adopters. Five to seven days a week, she limits her consumption to a six- or seven-hour window, usually eating between 8 a.m. and 2 or 3 p.m. She says she has more energy, feels a bit calmer and doesn't feel particularly hungry in the afternoon or evening. "You have to adapt to it," she says. "When I first started trying this, I found 10 hours was hard. Now, six hours seems easy."


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CONTROVERSY

What is wrong with the Namo App? AS THE NARENDRA MODI APP FACES FIRE OVER THE FURTIVE NATURE OF ITS DATA USAGE, A FIVE-YEAROLD US-BASED STARTUP IS FACING THE HEAT, TOO.

n March 23, a French security researcher, who goes by the pseudonym Elliot Alderson, revealed that the Indian prime minister’s app sends user data name, email, mobile phone number, device information, location, and network carrier, among other things to California-based CleverTap without their consent.

recommendation engine Burrp, while Thomas spent nine years at Seattle-based internet search firm Infospace (now called Blucora). Kondamudi is an IITMadras alumnus with a background in mobile marketing.

given discount codes based on their past transactions. For something like the Narendra Modi app, CleverTap’s services could be used to provide personalised, localised, and relevant updates to users.

So far, CleverTap has raised $9.6 million from marquee investors like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners, among others.

However, experts also say that data sharing could be risky business.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that it uses CleverTap’s services solely for analytics, and not for remarketing, there is now heightened concern over what exactly happens with this data.

The firm works with over 4,000 brands across 100 countries, says its website, which lists the likes of Star, Sony, DC Comics, BookMyShow, Zomato, and others as its clients. It has offices in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

Founded in May 2013 by three Indians, Anand Jain, Sunil Thomas, and Suresh Kondamudi, CleverTap is a mobile marketing firm that provides real-time insights to marketers. Among other services, the company offers behavioral targeting. This means that it studies what users do with an app and this, in turn, helps the app creators tailor user experiences accordingly. Before launching CleverTap, the three co-founders had worked at media conglomerate Network 18. Jain had earlier co-founded restaurant SEASONAL MAGAZINE

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While the Congress party and Alderson claim that the BJP has been unlawfully sharing its data with CleverTap, cybersecurity experts told Quartz that the company is just one of many such service providers. It’s common for companies to use such third-party data analytics to improve user profiling, said Altaf Halde, global business head at cybersecurity services firm Network Intelligence. This micro-targeting is often seen in ecommerce apps where customers are

“It’s a game of cat and mouse. Organisations have to make their data security and privacy policies in an environment in flux—evolving legislations, evolving security practices and standards, emerging technologies, agile and flexible partnership models, new security risks and an increasingly capable and incentivised set of foes,” Rajesh Kamath, head of solutions & incubation at San Francisco-based technology services firm Incedo, told Quartz. The revelation about Modi’s app comes just days after the UK-based Cambridge Analytica (CA) voter manipulation fiasco came to light. In the CA scandal, though, the data of 50 million Facebook users were harvested without their knowledge. The BJP has denied any such leak. The data from the Narendra Modi app is reportedly stored in government-owned servers in Mumbai.

Seasonal Magazine April Issue Flemingo Cover Story  

Seasonal Magazine April Issue Flemingo Cover Story

Seasonal Magazine April Issue Flemingo Cover Story  

Seasonal Magazine April Issue Flemingo Cover Story

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