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Vol 6 Issue No.71 Sept - Oct 2017

RBI’S MONETARY POLICY AND RATE CUTS Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.

TATA NEXON

SOUTH INDIA'S RETAIL KING Mr. Gopu Nandilath

Chairman, Nandilath Gmart Pvt. Ltd. Sep - Oct17

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Printed by: Ajit Ravi Published by: Ajit Ravi Owned by: Ajit Ravi Printed at: S T Reddiar P.B. No: 3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin Published at: Pegasus, L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamassery Ernakulam-682 033 e-mail: editor@uniquetimes.org uniquetimesindia@gmail.com Ph:0484 3242220, 6555533, 4025666 Mob:+91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 Editor Ajit Ravi Sub-Editor Vignesh Associate Editor Ravi Saini Editor-In-charge Jebitha Ajit Legal Advisor Latha Anand B.S.Krishnan Associates bskrishnanassociates@gmail.com Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Vivek Venugopal- Quarter Mile Amrutha V Kumar Karthika S Nair Marketing BAHRAIN PRESTIGE MARKETING Tel: +971 55 2000933 Email: gopal@prestigemarketing.in UAE Phygicart.com P.O. Box: 92546, Al Karama Dubai Mr. Anish K Joy Mob: +971528946999 info@phygicart.com Tamil Nadu Vice president Uma Riyas Khan chennai, Mob: 9841072955 Andhrapradesh & Karnataka PEGASUS Ph: 09288800999 Sunilkumar NN, Saneesh Ashok Your wing Director Shwetha Menon Photographer Ashique Hassan Creative Design PEGASUS Cover Photograph Mr. Gopu Nandilath Chairman, Nandilath Gmart Pvt. Ltd. 4

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Editorial

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erala is ready for another carnival of Onam. The festival, which is the harbinger of cheer, good luck, peace, and prosperity, is now celebrated globally. Let us indulge in the spirit of togetherness and joy. This special edition presents South India's retail king, Gopu Nandilath as the cover story. GopuNandilath G-Mart has now grown into a chain of 31 stores across Kerala and its outstanding leader, Gape Nandilath, the undisputed king of South India's home appliances market. V.P. Nandakumar, the Chairman & MD, Manappuram Finance, in his regular column asks a different question this time: why are banks reluctant to pass on the benefit of a rate cut to its borrowers who are clearly stressed by high-interest rates? Our special auto expert team introduces Nexon -the next big hottest compact SUV from Tata. It is interesting to read about the two unique island countries in the West Indies, the Saint Kitts and Nevis. Why? Read our Travel story. Here’s another fresh issue which is filled with varied articles on topics such as the stock market, gadgets, banking, movie review, and book review etc. Wish you a happy Onam and a still better feast of reading!


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CONTENTS

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RBI’s Monetary Policy and Rate Cuts Your ability to execute is the key to winning South India's Retail King Way Ahead through State Infra Debt Fund

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Gadgets

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Recipes

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Skincare routine for the night

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Expedition to smallest sovereign state in Western Hemisphere

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Tata Nexon

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UNIQUE DIARY

ECBC to turn buildings from ‘power consumers’ to ‘power producers’

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he adoption of the Energy Conservation Building Code is likely to reduce the power consumption of the buildings. The code was initially launched in the year 2007. But, unfortunately, it was not widely adopted during that time.When the updated version of the code has been introduced this year, it has secured more acceptance than before.At this moment, nearly twelve states have already ratified the code, which aims to transform the buildings from the ‘power consumer’ to ‘power producer’.The ECBC is not likely to impose any huge financial burden on those who adopt this code.

India to make ‘Chabahar Port’ operational soon

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!” Jonathan Winters

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he Indian government is set to make one of the most prestigious overseas infrastructural projects ‘Chabahar Port’ operational early next year- that is within twelve or fourteen months. The latest updates of the project have been publicised by Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari. The port is located in one of the strategical regions of the Persian Gulf: Sistan Baluchistan. In the near future, the port is likely to become the trade hub of India as the post is easily accessible from the country’s western coasts. The port is set to enable the country to create a direct trade link between India and Iran.

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UNSW researcher discovers largest single perovskite photovoltaics cell

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r Richard Corkish, the researcher of the University of New South Wales, has discovered the largest single perovskite photovoltaics cell. The new cell is nearly ten times bigger than the current highefficiency perovskite solar cell. The new discovery is likely to reduce the cost of the solar cell and thus is likely to encourage the people to purchase these kinds of cells. The disaster response, data charging and the electrification of the villages are the prime areas in which a positive momentum is likely to happen due to this development. For the last few years, the consistent decrement has been happening in the price of the solar cell.

Govt offers three-year tax holiday to oxygen nanobubble start-up

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs

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he inter-ministerial board for tax benefits has offered threeyear tax holiday to the Aodh Lifesciences, the Hyderabadbased start-up working on the business related to the development of the oxygen nanobubbles, which helps to develop an alternative to the conventional nasal route process. The intravenous process is a kind ofmedical process through which a patient is given oxygen intravenously in the form of the oxygen nanobubbles. Though it is a dangerous process as it can even lead to a stroke or heart attack, it is one of the effective method available to help the critical care patients. The information regarding this has been publicised by A Sivamallikarjuna Reddy, the co-founder and CEO of the company.

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UNIQUE DIARY

IBM develops technology to contain ‘data theft’

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ech-giant IBM, with the help of an Indian team, has developed a technology which helps to encrypt data at a large scale. The IBM Z (z14) is expected to help to make more than 12 billion encrypted transactions each day. It is clear that the tech-giant is considering the ‘data theft’ as a serious issue. The new technology is likely to help banks, health care companies and retailers. In this digital era, one of the important responsibilities of the companies is to keep the date of their customers safe. There is no doubt in the fact that the date is the fuel of the new generation.

GST Council meets to discuss the progress of new tax system

“Business has only two functions marketing and innovation.” Peter Drucker

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he Goods and Services Tac Council has organised a meeting to discuss the progress of the new tax system, which was implemented on July 1, 2017. The latest meeting has been the second such meeting that has happened since the implementation of the controversial tax regime. The council has discussed the rules and implementation of anti-profiteering provisions and e-waybills. The country has been witnessing several radical changes in the last few months. The latest among such changes is the implementation of the GST. The demonetisation of the highest denomination banknotes, such as the notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, has beenthe other majorchange that jolted the country lately.

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BUSINESS

Shri V.P.Nandakumar MD & CEO Manappuram Finance Ltd.

Recently, India’s monetary policy committee (MPC) met for its third bi-monthly Monetary Policy (MP) review on August 2, 2017 and reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) from 6.25 percent to 6 percent.

RBI’s Monetary Policy and Rate Cuts

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he objective of monetary policy in India is to maintain price stability while promoting economic growth. A stable price environment is actually a necessary precondition for sustainable growth. The historical experience across the world is clear; when inflation takes over, growth will eventually peter out. Given this objective, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is required to walk a tight rope with the limited instruments in hand. Recently, India’s monetary policy committee (MPC) met for its third bi-monthly Monetary Policy (MP) review on August 2, 2017 and reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) from 6.25 percent to 6 percent. This is the lowest the repo rate has been since 2010. (A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.) Although the rate cut was anticipated and discounted by the market, there was the usual anxiety among economists and market analysts about how deep the cut would be. After all, in recent years, the RBI has often been criticised for its hawkish stance of going

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slow with rate cuts (amid lower inflation) that some hold partially responsible for the slowdown in India’s economic growth over the last year. India’s economic growth rate measured in gross value added (GVA) at constant price for the year 2016-17 is estimated to have fallen to 6.6 percent as compared to 8 percent in 2015-16. The declining trend is particularly visible in the quarterly numbers where GVA fell to 7.3 percent in Q1 2016-17, to 6.7 percent in Q2 and Q3, and then to 5.6 percent in the last quarter of 2016-17. The slowdown in economic growth is mainly attributed to weak private sector investments, deceleration in industrial production, and the high cost of borrowing. It was compounded by the effect of the demonetisation exercise. Moreover, if one digs deeper into the GVA figures, it is seen that the bulk of growth was contributed by Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE), which increased from 3.3 percent in 2015-16 to 20.8 percent in 201617. Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) increased

marginally from 6.1 percent to 8.7 percent during this period. As a rule, any disproportionate increase in government spending results in the crowding out of private investments. The Index for Industrial Production (IIP) has been reporting a slowdown in growth since January 2017. A sharp contraction in capital goods production, pointing to the drying up of investments in large industries, is of particular concern. Capital goods output declined by 3.9 percent in May, compared to a 1.3 percent contraction in the previous month. Capital goods output shrank a further 6.8% in June. Growth of the manufacturing sector decelerated to 1.2 percent in May from a 2.6 percent growth in April. Thereafter, it deteriorated further and showed negative growth of -0.4% in June. The decline in IIP — manufacturing and capital goods are a proxy for investment demand — has eroded the private sector’s contribution to our GDP growth. The government has, predictably, been nudging RBI to cut


interest rates in a bid to increase private investment. Whereas RBI says the repo rate has been continuously declining since the peak of 8 percent in January 2014 to 7.25 percent in September 2015, then to 6.5 percent in September 2016, and now to 6 percent in August 2017, for a total reduction of 2 percent. Further, the RBI contends that the recent shift to neutral liquidity stance (from accommodative) has not impacted liquidity into the system. Surplus liquidity conditions persisted in the system helped by demonetisation and the front-loading of budgetary spending by the Government. Besides the domestic environment, the uncertainty in the global economy (where India is perceived as an island of relative stability) has helped us by way of capital flows. The healthy inflow of foreign portfolio investment, along with cash surplus domestic mutual funds, has led to the Sensex scaling new highs. The Sensex has appreciated by about 20 percent this year with foreign investors injecting $ 8.9 billion and $ 17.51 billion in local equity and debt market respectively as of July 2017. This flow of easy money can be put to risk if policy changes by the central banks of advanced economies results in tighter interest rates.

It is widely expected that the US Federal Reserve Bank will begin to unwind its US$ 4.5 trillion portfolio of predominantly government bonds that it accumulated following the financial crisis of 2007-08. It may be recalled that ever since the crisis the US Fed has bought bonds liberally to keep interest rates low and the economy stable. By buying up bonds, the Fed provided the demand that held government bond prices high and yields (or the effective interest rates) low. By increasing the size of its balance sheet, it helped prevent bonds from flooding into the market that would have surely driven yields higher and pushed up borrowing costs. Now, when the reverse is set to happen, interest rates will rise and money is likely to flow out of emerging markets and back to the US.

Coming back to India, the surplus liquidity through rate cuts has not been fully transmitted by the banks into the system. Recently the RBI expressed its dissatisfaction over banks not passing the full benefit of cuts in repo rate by appropriately lowering their lending rates. The implementation of marginal cost of funds-based lending rates (MCLRs) in April 2016, aimed at improving the monetary transmission, has not been entirely satisfactory even though it is an improvement over the base rate system. Base rate is the minimum rate below which banks are not allowed to lend to its customers. The rigidity of the base rate which prevents adjustment to the lower MCLR rate is a concern for effective transmission of monetary policy to the real economy. An internal study group has been set

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up to study various aspect of MCLR system with banks to improve the monetary transmission in the economy. The question may now be asked, why are banks reluctant to pass on the benefit of rate cut to its borrowers who are clearly stressed by high interest rates? An important reason for the slow transmission of monetary policy is the high effective real interest rate. Inflation has come down a lot but the interest paid on deposits continues to be on the higher side. Recently, State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced its savings bank interest rate by 0.5 percent for accounts with deposits of less than Rs.1 crore. This will help reduce the bank’s borrowing cost which can then be transmitted by lowering lending rate. Besides, high levels of nonperforming loans (NPL) due to stressed balance sheets of large corporate accounts is a burden on banks. Higher NPL results in high provisioning which further reduces lending capacity. It is

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estimated that banks are saddled with stressed assets worth around Rs.10 trillion. It has given rise to a risk averse attitude among banks that discourages further lending. In such a scenario, any further policy rate cut by RBI is unlikely to spur investment demand as long as companies are burdened with high debt and find themselves unable to repay banks loans. Of course, further policy rate cuts is still possible but it will be determined by the incoming data on inflation and inflationary expectation set against the backdrop of the wider macro economy. In this context, the MPC did make a note of the significant decline in inflation risk, thereby creating space for easing of rates. Accordingly the MPC decided to reduce repo rate by 25 bps in August. However, the inflation trajectory in the baseline projection is expected to rise from the current lows. The volatility in vegetable prices is a cause of discomfort for the MPC. The implementation of the pay commission by states is expected

to increase inflation by 100 bps if they follow the central government in scope and scale. The move towards farm loan waivers by some state governments appears to have further unnerved the MPC. The apprehension is that state governments will have to make up for the cost by cutting down budgetary expenditure on investment and capital goods. Finally, there’s no denying that the MPC’s current attitude to inflation has been shaped by the RBI’s slow response when dealing with the resurgence of inflation from 2009 onwards. The RBI was then widely blamed for being behind the curve when it came to raising interest rates to squeeze out inflation. Consequently, India went through a phase of very high inflation, especially food inflation, that lasted until early 2014. As the expression goes, once bitten, twice shy. From the point of view of the RBI and its monetary policy committee, the attitude is of extreme caution given that they wouldn’t want history to repeat itself, at least, not so soon 


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BUSINESS

Rajesh Nair, Director, Ernst & Young LLP Rajesh is also the President of the Kerala Chapter of TiE Global

Truth be told, some of the seminal frameworks and management literature in strategy has lent frame to modern management thought and some of them are still very fundamental to neglect

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n the last several years, a prominent word, perhaps also the most used, in management literature has been ‘strategy’- the ability to chart direction, the ability to plan over a time horizon, the ability to forecast economic macro and micro tendencies, the ability to articulate what the future looks like and et.al. Pundits often diminish the clout of other words and concepts and have put the strategy in a ‘pride of place’. This also meant the top dollar when to the strategists and while consulting firms globally have done stellar work in this space, there has also been the perennial spurt of advisors in this area. Every butcher, baker and the candlestick maker were staking claim to being strategists. Truth be told, some of the seminal frameworks and management literature in strategy has lent frame to modern management thought and some of them are still very fundamental to neglect.

The problem has never been the embellishment of strategy, but that we forgot to think through and take action when the ‘rubber hit the road’. No amount of preparation and pre-thought prepare you for what happens when you implement improvement and change initiatives. The tactical steps to implement strategy are often underrated and the work is left to ‘the lesser others’. These are not blunders or mistakes on the part of the able gurus who articulate strategy; nor are they the inefficiencies and the lack of capability of the resources who are implementing. It is the nature of the beast. At to the woes, the state of flux in our times keeps the ‘ground shifting’ always. The baseline is not constant anymore and even basic variables we had control over are subject to erratic behaviour. The other big variant, which makes long term strategy less potent, is technology. This is not an

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Your ability to execute is the key to winning

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IT industry phenomenon and how only the IT industry will be affected. The very classification of industries into IT and non-IT is not the right lens to look at the business. The dividing lines are extremely narrow; every traditional service is now embedded in technology and every product has an ounce of technology to make it perform better. An everyday example is money. The comfortable days when you went to your vault looked at the gold or peeped on the pile of notes in a locker or a plump leather wallet is gone. Today money is reduced to photons of energy moving at blitz speed through invisible some optical cable network. This has not changed the way we work, but also the basic human habits. This change adoption is coming at an alarming pace, as well. An interesting treatise which really brought forth the importance of execution was the book ‘Execution’ by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy which came close to a decade and a half ago. Of course, the context was more about the ethos of execution, the importance of project management and clear very articulated tenets on what to keep in mind when you manage complex projects and assignments. The subject of change management itself has been popular and has been written about forever. But, the concepts of transition, improvement, and implementation have become more urgent. This is due to the pace of at which variable are crowding in. In this context, it will be interesting to revisit another ‘4 P’ model, which is important to be managed to have seamless execution of ideas.

Priority

There is a need to narrow down on the exact changes you want to effect through execution. The questions to ponder are –what problems are you trying to solve, what are your immediate project

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goals or priorities, and what are the key things you want to give importance to. These questions cannot be part of a single mind but that of a collective resolve. A razor sharp focus on the intended output will also help you allocate time and resources to the core, which is keeping a roving eye on the desirables.

People

In most complex projects, the people buy in and the team which is implementing it is also a key success factor. With singularity of purpose and purity of heart, the principled attempt to deliver the best of their ability can do wonders in any endeavour. While you have an array of experts and subject matter connoisseurs, it is also important to have resources with an agile mindset to get on to tasks and a handful of creative’s who will draw on serendipity, keep abreast of what is going on around, create brand stories, align engagement to the initiatives and celebrate suc-


Time and resources have to be allocated to community engagement and, sometimes, appeasement. A civic community around your implementation, especially for public sector projects, is a huge fillip and perfect for risk mitigation.

cess.

Project management

Classic project management, critical path methods, PERTs, Gantt charts, hypothesis testing are hugely underrated and considered old school. These are great to frame tasks, prepare for scenarios, co-ordinate responses to events and articulate progress. Contingencies and obstacles are not surprises but are events you have to plan for. The negative scenarios are to be weighted and hypothetical events are more likely than ever today. The stakeholder management principles are paramount. Time and resources have to be allocated to community engagement and, sometimes, appeasement. A civic community around your implementation, especially for public sector projects, is a huge fillip and perfect for risk mitigation.

Politics

It may seem innocuous and at times churlish, but in large engagements which are to deliver a bounty of goodies, you will find a queue of bounty hunters lining up for a piece of the pie and another beeline to claim credit for the best. While

the hard-working invisible foot soldiers will be trooping in with purpose and passion, there will be the other force which will hover on and seek glory without the sweat and tears. There is no secret formula to avoid these incidentals, which are in no way supporters but can be sources of huge irritation and can throw a spanner into the works. It would be in best interest to map out such influences and chart a course to get the best out of them or at least mitigate the worst from them The ability to get things done is extremely important. It is also not a series of verbs but a mindset to be inculcated and instilled, and can in many junctures, make a difference between success and failure. An interesting quote from Jack Welch goes like this “You've got to eat while you dream. You've got to deliver on short-range commitments, while you develop a long-range strategy and vision and implement it. The success of doing both. Walking and chewing gum if you will.â€? A vision is not enough. You have to relentlessly follow it to completion and see when the plan meets action and fruition!

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SOUTH INDIA'S RETAIL KING Gopu Nandilath Group started its existence in 1984 at Kuruppam Road, Thrissur, as a humble beginning. Gopu Nandilath G-Mart, started expansion around 2005, when we incorporated almost all popularly sought after companies in the world, like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony etc.

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n this special edition of this auspicious occasion of Onam, we are extremely pleased to present to you Mr. GopuNandilath, Kerala’s own and one of the most popular, inspiring entrepreneurs in the country today, with more than three long decades of core strength in business, whose core expertise lies in entrepreneurship, consumer marketing, sales and distribution, business management and brand building. We were welcomed by a very pleasing smile that delightfully lingered on throughout our conversation. His persona is very much motivating, which gives us clues to his unparalleled success. We probed into this vastly successful empire he is determined to build which is steadily intensifying year after year. Gopu Nandilath Group started its existence in 1984 at Kuruppam Road, Thrissur, as a hum-

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ble beginning. Gopu Nandilath G-Mart, started expansion around 2005, when we incorporated almost all popularly sought after companies in the world, like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony etc. The Home appliance’s market in India is highly competitive with many international and domestic players actively intensifying their existence in this category. Under his outstanding leadership, the successful journey now has a roaring number of 31 stores in Kerala, from a very modest beginning. Nadilath has a good brand-visibility across Kerala, with showrooms in all major cities like Thrissur, Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Kannur, Kochi, Perinthalmanna, Kollam, Irinjalakuda, Vadanappally, Attingal, Karunagapally, Kottayam, Thodupuzha, Muvattupuzha, Alappuzha,Perumbavoor, Pathanamthitta, Pattambi, Pala, Nemom, Kottakkal, Thiruvalla, Mannarkadu, Koilandy, and


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People leave G-Mart showrooms with a happy heart and not-so-empty pocket. Gopu Nandilath G-Mart feasts a wide and unmatchable wide array of products in a state-of-the-art showroom space.

Vadakara. Outlets span around 20-30,000 sqft in area. With a long 34 years in experience, Gopu Nandilath G-Martis heading to be the No.1 in South India, bagging several of acclaimed positions including No.2 and No.3s for a single brand-selling in India. One most superior element that lifts G-Mart above everyone else is their trustworthiness among the people in the state and the impeccable after-sales service they provide to their customers.

What this inspiring entrepreneur thinks of the market and a promising empire he is building. People leave G-Mart showrooms with a happy heart and not-so-empty pocket. Gopu Nandilath G-Mart feasts a wide and unmatchable wide array of products in a stateof-the-art showroom space, where the customer can select from some of the best products in the world, can see them function, compare between the products and buy in a very economical & cost-effective manner. Keeping other mediators away from the scene, as G-Mart buys products from the respective companies directly, it enables them to sell those products at a least possible price. This in turn lets the customers to flock in more to their showrooms looking at the affordability factor, with much trust and service. Not many other companies can display all the brands available

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in the market; they try selling their products showing the catalogues and then fetch the product down. In contrary, Gopu Nandilath GMart has big spacious showrooms which has enough space to display all the brands, where customers can see the performance of each brand/model right when they walk in and choose what they really want at the same time, according to their preferences. Each customer is serviced and cared for individually, looking at the diverse behavioral and sales patterns. The whole team at the G-Mart is trained on treating a customer with utmost comfort and care. That is one of the reason why a customer runs back to Gopu Nandilath G-Mart and decides to stay loyal mutually. After-sales service is meticulously evaluated and is given across Kerala, despite of the region the product is bought from. There are zero percent finance schemes from different banks and finance institutions which helps the customer buy products on easy instalments, which is an added advantage.The strategy is to be more customer-centric.

Strategic Positioning of a very promising brand. Even when the market whines on the down turn on sales in the country, Gopu Nandilath G-Mart takes pride in being able to open 3 or 4 new showrooms every year, with its strategic sales plan

and flawless customer support. Mr. Gopu Nandilath does a close market study and derives on the strategic conclusions after assuring the progress that can occur in the target market. Extensive internal researches are done on the consumers to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. G-Mart easily achieves the target given by the factories and companies to them. The volume game helps them bring down the price, and customers flow in seeing the very attractive offers like Audi, BMW and apartments. So as to fetch best value for their money, Gopu Nandilath G-Mart focuses primarily on building their


brand equity with the best values in place.Company decides to share these offers from the profit they get from their sales. Company is undoubtedly growing than the market itself. Company’s growth is exponentially accelerated and is gaining a steady growth in the state. Mr. GopuNandilath is planning to invest more in the region, which includes investment in the brand, service and showroom space. Recognizing his contributions in the business sector, he has been conferred with numerous awards. He is the best award winning dealer of world famous home appliances brands every year.

How to handle challenges with a smile. Whatever you venture into, do it with utmost commitment, Mr. Gopu Nandilath says. Do not procrastinate things, nor delay or prolong something that you have to finish today. There can be unpredicted loss, struggles or unprecedented challenges that you may have to face in business, in a day today life. Overcoming those with courage and conviction is a winning attribute to a successful businessman, whatever it may be. He doesn’t believe in brooding onto what has passed; bygones are bygones. His advices to plan better

for future. He also believes in being up-todate with the current trends in the industry and technology. We need to pre-plan on what lies a 5 year ahead. Change with time. Competition is what helps you grow. If you need to grow exponentially, you need to have the burning desire to grow. They are proposing to start a vast online portal which he thinks will capture the future market in no time. There are five key elements, which act as the pillar stone of his business. They are ‘service after sales’, ‘customer satisfaction’, ‘hard work’, ‘safe stock’, and

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We have a very interesting man here who loves animals, birds and pets. His love for elephants is something to be specially noted here. He is a proud owner of five elephants.

‘diversification’. A new diversification is into a café and restaurant business, named Selfie Tea, which is already functioning in Dubai currently, and another branch coming up in Sobha Mall, Thrissur. Other ventures are in thought-pipeline which will be rolled out soon.

On what keeps him relaxed and interested, other than business.

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We have a very interesting man here who loves animals, birds and pets. His love for elephants is something to be specially noted here. He is a proud owner of five elephants. He loves travelling, voyaged scores of countries around the globe. Another passion and interest is into cars and gadgets. An interesting fact is that Mr. Gopu is a sports enthusiast. He loves football. Noteworthy, he was fortunate enough to witness nearly five consecutive finals of the most

prestigious football match in this world, the FIFA world cup football. His son, Arjun Nandilath has now finished his prestigious MBA from London and after returning he has joined hands with his father to grow this business to the next level of success. His other supports include his wife, Shiny Gopu and his daughter, Aiswarya Nandilath, who is married to Sujith and blessed with two kids


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The problem of inadequate debt resources is compounded by the lack of long term debt for financing infrastructure projects, which are financed mainly by the commercial banks. Ravi Saini

Way Ahead through State Infra Debt Fund

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ooperative Federalism is probably the easiest way to empower Rural India; the State Governments must act fast before it’s too late. Creation of world-class infrastructure has been recognized as a key priority and a necessary condition for sustaining the growth momentum of the economy. Since infrastructure projects have a long pay-back period, they require long-term financing in order to be sustainable and cost effective. However, debt financing for infrastructure projects has been largely confined to banks which have difficulty in providing long term debt due to their assetliability mismatch. Methodology to be adopted by States: State Govt to offer the bond backed by State Revenues Bond beneficiary to be an Indian Company

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A Nationalised bank to monetise the Bond and issue 10 time drafts of 90/180 days maturity in INR on the instructions of the beneficiary 10 Time drafts to be submitted with A nominated bank in India as per mutual acceptance. Equal amount of funds shall be given to the State Govt for development through that Nationalised Bank within 90 days of the project report submitted but the time drafts shall be returned by the custodian bank in India to the issuing bank15 days prior to the maturity of the time drafts and this should be all documented under an agreement so there is no risk at all to issuing bank. The issuing Bank that monetizes the State Bond and issues the time drafts should quote a very reasonable fee as there would be no risk posed to the bank.

A concept paper on the creation of a Debt fund for Infrastructure PPP projects was presented by Shri. Gajendra Haldea, Adviser to Deputy Chairman in a meeting of experts and stakeholders, held on May 12, 2010, under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission. The paper suggested the creation of the India Infrastructure Debt Fund that would raise low-cost long-term resources for refinancing infrastructure projects that are past the construction stage and associated risks. The problem of inadequate debt resources is compounded by the lack of long term debt for financing infrastructure projects, which are financed mainly by the commercial banks. Insurance and pension funds do not lend to project companies setting up Greenfield infrastructure projects and the bond market has not matured sufficiently for addressing the needs


of such projects. Commercial banks typically lend for the medium term as their asset-liability mismatch prevents them from undertaking long-term commitments. In the absence of long-term debt, the cost of projects increases significantly on account of the short payback period for debt, thereby imposing a greater burden on the users and the public exchequer. To overcome this bottleneck, the government had set up the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL) with the objective of providing long-term debt for infrastructure projects. However, its lending is restricted to about 30% of the project debt, thus leaving the balance 70% to be raised mainly from the commercial banks. It is suggested that UPA 2's India Infrastructure Debt Fund white paper should be reviewed by State CMs and similarly SIDF should be pushed without any problems as it will bring in infrastructure develop-

ment provided following steps are adopted: • IIDF will pave the ways for a real inclusive growth in India through Cooperative Federalism. • IIDF should only be used for providing principal protection guarantee for all the PPP projects through SPV. • No subsidies or VGF (Viability Gap Funding) • Govt. should nominate the IAS officer as Chairman of such SPV under PPP. • 5% (Sweat Equity) or more (on the case to case basis) equity for Govt. PSU under which the SPV to be formed • Only locally incorporated Indian entities should be allowed to invest in IIDF and returns offered should be not over 1% above the FD rates. • Income Tax exemption for 10 years for those who are ready to place investment with minimum 10 years lock-in period The following benefits will

accrue to the Govt: •Assured dividend income from free sweat equity or by diluting the sweat equity after projects executed •In spite of allowing the IT Exemptions, there won’t be any revenue loss and instead it would increase manifolds, the jobs and businesses thus created will be taxable as per prevailing norms and will hugely impact the sustainable growth in the country. The main areas of focus: •Organic Farming with animal husbandry through cooperative federalism where all the farmers are the stake holders. •Skill Development for the farmers. •Geothermal Energy •Nationalization of private educational institutions or the strict compliances to be adopted by the private schools or educational institutions whether they are aided or unaided

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• Desalination plants in coastal belts • Offshore Wind Farming • Coastal Development for logistics and tourism • Medical Tourism –Ayurveda, Indian System of Medicines (AYUSH),Hospitals nearmajor temple tourism places such as Tirupati, Rameshwaram, Vrindavan, Katra, Amritsar and Uttrakhand (around Char Dham) Since today's youth is getting very impatient and are full of energy and are raring to go but if their talents are not properly utilized, they will become very hostile in near future. They are looking for the visible growth, not the political promises. This move will empower the potential savers to put their money on IIDF instead on the banking system that still needs to take a giant stride on this. I have my personal experiences of hearing

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bankers saying that it has a huge surplus of funds and here it is imperative to mention that such huge pile of unused funds are in fact a great liability rather than an asset for the banks, simply because there are costs involved with these funds. Why doesn’t Govt. help themselves by using these funds for the stalled projects? It is time for Government to introspect and put the best foot forward as there are great economists in India that could lend their support on advising and correcting for the betterment of the prevailing system. We must rise to the occasion by acting through common sense and should be aware of our own rights and the duties of public servants. Every state Govt. can have their own State Infrastructure Debt Fund on the lines of IIDF thus eliminating the need of depending

too heavily on the central government for support. States such as Punjab and all others that are mainly Agro Based States, should cash on the opportunities in Biomassor ’Waste to Energy’, Solar Power and Hydroponics apart from Health Tourism. The proposed investment proposal being presented here will make the government in power to win hearts of the people that are always looking for better livelihood opportunities. It will pave the ways for impacting the lives of Rural India and simultaneously helping in decongesting the Metro Cities, when the main cities start becoming getting connected with the deeply seated villages– Empowered Village makes for an Empowered State and an Empowered Nation 


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In India, there are 'kaduva', katta', meeta', namkeen', and theeka'. Chilli, spicy and pepper is almost an essential part of Indian kitchen. The heat in taste is essential to Vinod Kumar

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itter gourd is something that people reject. But, why? In our brain, this bitter taste is registered as unpleasant. If only bitter gourd, the vegetable knew, if it could understand, then it is living a sad story. Would you survive, if you are the most rejected item in your genre? Bitter gourd is not even beautiful to look at. And yet, it survives. This vegetable is never going to be extinct. Even the bitter gourd will have its good times. Well, if you do not believe me, then ask the people with diabetics. Some wise people make such claims that the taste of bitter gourd can balance the excess glucose or sugar inside your body. We do not know for sure. But the bitter taste of this gourd also has takers. Sugar cane is lucky cane. This is sought after, because everybody is happy about this cane. It’s just sweet. Can you avoid sweet? The sugar cane is crushed and crushed and crushed again. Its essence and juice is extracted. Many people like to drink the juice of the sugar cane. This juice is processed, crystallized and powdered. The end product is mostly, served as sugar. Sugar sweetens everything. May be, sugar is the most desirable flavour in the world. Even a happy mood and mind, is considered as a sweet person. Sweet is produced and made available to people in numerous shapes and colours. Many varieties of edible items are flavoured with sugar and sweetness. Tamarind has a funny shape.

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The huge tamarind tree produces the brown colour tamarind. This taste is sour, and is an important flavour in food. Pickles and taste enhancers depend on the sour taste of tamarind. Available in plenty, tamarind taste is also available in citrus and other mediums. Salt is the contribution from our seas. As long as there are seas, we will never run out of salt. May be, salt is the competition to sugar, in, who is the taste champion. Nobody eats food without any salt. Until and unless, it is a sacrifice or austerity. Saltiness gives to food, its character and almost a definition. 'A pinch of salt' is a common phrase in English language. Mint is a welcome taste, associated with cooling. Many drinks are flavoured with mint taste. Astringent taste is a fizzy experience on the tongue. The peel of citrus fruits may get you an astringent experience. Like the zest in gooseberry. In India, there are 'kaduva', katta', meeta', namkeen', and theeka'. Chilli, spicy and pepper is almost an essential part of Indian kitchen. The heat in taste is essential to flavour the Indian masala and the curry. Too much of the chilly heat is unwelcome. Of course, too much of any taste is a reject. For food to become popular, then all these taste has to be used in strict balance. Management of people are also laced with many flavours. Our minds are also moving

through many diverse and variety of emotions, just like the variety of flavours and fragrances. Just like the tastes that were described, so is the relationship management. But then a full, complete and total meal will expose you to all flavours and tastes. So brace yourself to deal with all kinds of emotions in this journey of living. A good chef is essential to teach, the correct utility of each tastes. In the context of daily living, whether it is at home, or at work place, we cannot avoid people. But to make, good teachers we need coach. This coach will teach us to interact with each other. Communication and interface with people needs evolution. Discover the evolution coach to guide you through your journey. Intersperse your journey with all the flavours and tastes. In a food thali, there are many food items. Each item will be with its own colour and taste. But when a specific taste is too much strong or too high in quantity, that specific dish is not palatable. Then that exotic food item is too harsh. How to handle such extreme tastes? How to deal with difficult situation? Just like sometimes, your food is not palatable, so are your obstacles in living. A good evolution coach, will give guidance, on how to move on. The explanations on the tastes are indicators. No part of living is complete if it does not pass through all of the colours and tastes. So, get the mix right. Get the correct balance. Indulge in the


Tastes & Feast

favourite toppings. But ensure the foundation is steady and stable. In any which case, the taste in it is not the substance. Turn to meditation. Breathing techniques are like levellers. It is like that, you drink water to neutralize the extreme tastes. Just like you manage the tastes and flavours, learn to live through the

varieties in your daily living. Enjoy the Onam feast. You cannot avoid the colours, tastes, flavours, fragrances, variety of sights and the diverse sounds. All the words and sentences, which people utter to you, are here to stay. But how do you devise a method to navigate through all the noise in the world is the skill that you must learn.

Onam is the time that people, come together. Celebration and festivities become meaningful, if you and other people can all work together. In our society, can we stay together? Happiness and harmony comes in variety and diversity. Live taste fully. Togetherness is paramount. Unions and uniformity can be compromised. Do the spicy living 

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Adv Sherry Samuel Oommen is a practising lawyer at High Court of Kerala who specialises in tax and Corporate Laws. Presently he heads the tax and corporate law practice of Nash Capital Partners. Apart from being a qualified lawyer, he is also a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree and is reachable at sherryoommen@nashcp.com.

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nder any tax statute, the chargeability and collection of tax are the most important aspects apart from the aspects like administration, assessment, appeal, refund etc. In the same way, the GST law which has been divided into various chapter and sections; Chapter III covers the levy and collection of tax, and chapter X covers the payment of taxes. The reverse charge has been defined in Section 2(98) of the GST Act. It is opposite to the direct charge or the forward charge mechanism as is popularly known, where the supplier of service invoices GST on the supply of goods or service. In the reverse charge mechanism, the liability to pay tax is on the receiver of goods or services or both. The said liability could either be discharging the entire liability of tax or a partial liability, in which case, the supplier

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The natural corollary is on the registration also, as the value of supply of the goods or services or both on which the central tax has to be paid under the RCM is not be clubbed for the aggregate turnover, it is also not includible to count the threshold limit of the turnover to draw a liability to get registered under section 22 of the GST Act.

would be liable to pay tax on the balance.

The section 2(98) of the GST Act defines the reverse charge.

The reverse charge means that "liability to pay tax by the recipient of supply of goods or services or both instead of the supplier of such goods or services or both under subsection (3) or sub-section (4) of section 9, or under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 5 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act".

Thus, undoubtedly, the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) is an alternative method to collect the tax where the government think that collection of tax through the Direct Charge may be difficult or the person may be the supplied the goods or services belong to the unorganized sector where the identification and collection will not be easy. Since the RCM is applied on the receiver of the good or services or both supplied by the supplier of the good or services or both, the aggregate turnover defined under section 2(6) will not include the value of the supply received by supplier on which the receiver was liable to pay the tax through the RCM. As per the same logic, the turnover in a state or union territory as defined under section 2(112) of the GST Act will not include the value of supply of goods or services or both which were liable to be taxed under the RCM. Similarly, the output tax

as defined under 2(82) will not include the tax which is paid under the RCM. The natural corollary is on the registration also, as the value of supply of the goods or services or both on which the central tax has to be paid under the RCM is not be clubbed for the aggregate turnover, it is also not includible to count the threshold limit of the turnover to draw a liability to get registered under section 22 of the GST Act. However, it would be pertinent to note that any person required to pay tax on a reverse charge basis is compulsorily required to be registered. The provision in the GST related to the RCM is much wider than the erstwhile service tax law as under that law only a few of the services were liable for the RCM, whereas under the new law it is both the goods and services are covered. Further section 9(4) has a much wider implication which covers the RCM to be applied whenever there is a supply of goods or services or both from an unregistered person to a registered person. Section 9(3) & 9(4) are the two-important provisions of GST which discuss the payment of tax under reverse charge basis. Reverse Charge under section 9(3) of the GST Act.

The section is reproduced as below-


GST Reverse charge mechanism

"The Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, specify categories of supply of goods or services or both, the tax on which shall be paid on reverse charge basis by the recipient of such goods or services or both and all the provisions of this Act shall apply to such recipient as if he is the person liable for paying the tax in relation to the supply of such goods or services or both".

From above, it can be said that under this section the reverse charges are applicable only on those transactions which the government has after the recommendation of the council has notified. So, this section operates only when the government notifies certain services to be covered under the RCM. The goods or services liable to tax on a reverse charge basis have been notified under Noti-

fication 4/2017 and Notification 13/2017 dated 28.06.2017. Notably, some of the services liable to tax on a reverse charge basis include the following: a) Legal services rendered by an advocate or a senior advocate to a business entity. In such a scenario, on the assumption that the advocate charges a fee of INR 100,000; the recipient of the ser-

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vices, i.e. the business entity, would be liable to pay GST directly to the Government. In such an instance, the advocate would not collect any GST from the recipient of service. b) Services provided by way of sponsorship to a body corporate or partnership firm. In this specific instance, the recipient of the sponsorship services would be liable to pay tax akin to (a) above. c) Services supplied by a director of a company or a body corporate to the said company or the body corporate. In this case, the company would be liable to pay GST, as the recipient of the service. Is a provider of services, whose taxes are to be paid on a reverse charge basis, required to be registered? The Government in Notification 5/2017 dated 19.06.2017 has clarified that a person who is supplying only those goods or services or both, on which the recipient is liable to pay the tax under the RCM as per the provision of section 9(3), then, that supplier of the ‘goods or services’ has been exempted from the registration.

Another aspect of reverse charge

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In addition to the above, Section 9(4) of the Act provides that when goods or services are supplied by an unregistered person to a registered person, the recipient (i.e. the registered person) is liable to pay tax on a reverse charge basis. The term “registered person” has been defined as under section 2(94) of the Act as follows: "Registered Person" means a person who is registered under section 25 of the CGST Act but does not include a person having a Unique Identity Number". This is an effort to bring the unorganized sector into an organized sector. The registered person has to make the invoice and the payment voucher for each such unregistered purchase. In order to remove the complication of such invoicing as well payment voucher and payment of tax directly to the government and then take the credit, various companies have started modifying their procurement policy which limits transactions with an unregistered person. In the context of procurements from unregistered persons, the Government in Notification 8/2017 has exempted the recipient from the liability to pay GST on a reverse charge basis if the aggregate value

of such supplies of goods or service or both received by a registered person from any or all the suppliers, who is or are not registered, DOES NOT exceed INR 5,000 in a day. If the said purchases or procurements exceed INR 5,000 per day, GST would be payable on the entire value of the supply. For instance, if the value of procurements from an unregistered person is INR 6,000, the GST would be payable on the entire value of INR 6,000 and not on the difference of INR 1,000 (ie INR 6,000 less INR 5,000).

My concluding thoughts The concept of “reverse charge” has undergone a sea change from its coverage. While the tax paid on a “reverse charge” is indeed creditable (unless specifically held ineligible in law), tax payers would need to closely evaluate the impact of the related provision, rather than being exposed to interest or penalty. Indeed, while enforceability may not be a challenge, compliance would indeed turn a challenge, unless systemic changes are affected. This would include modifications to the ERP system which would prompt on the applicability of such taxes rather than being user driven 


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Dr. Arun Oommen renowned neurosurgeon at Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre, Kochi, India.

The fact that genes have a strong influence is well established. The variability in cognitive abilities among different individuals is due to the interaction of genetic and environmental factors.

Dr Arun Oommen

MBBS, MS ( Gen Surgery), Mch( Neurosurgery), MRCS Ed, MBA Consultant Neurosurgeon oommenarun@yahoo.co.in www.arunoommen.com

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he IQ of an individual is multifactorial and is determined by a multitude of factors (both genetic as well as non-genetic factors). Nature and nurture work together in determining human intelligence. Even though the genetic susceptibility plays a crucial role on the IQ of the individual, various modifiable environmental factors like education, premature birth, nutrition, pollution, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illnesses, and diseases can have an influence on an individual’s IQ. These modifiable factors can reinforce or weaken genetic susceptibility. The fact that genes have a strong influence is well established. The variability in cognitive abilities among different individuals is due to the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The environment is able to modify genetically determined cognitive abilities; an enriched environment can improve the performance. However, the role played by the genetics and environment does not remain the same during the entire lifetime. People with high IQ genotypes pick stimulating environments and

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end up with high IQ. When we’re kids the brain is still growing and developing so there’s the chance for the environment (mental stimulation, nutrition) to affect its development, but by the time we’re adults the brain has peaked, so the environment can no longer affect it very much. During the brain ageing, several environmental insults can produce neuronal damages by inducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Neurons protection and repair play a crucial role in order to prevent neuronal damage. These defence and repair processes are genetically determined.

Evidence of genetic influences in IQ

•Twin studies suggest that identical twins IQ's are more similar than those of fraternal twins •Siblings reared together in the same home have IQ's that are more similar than those of adopted children raised together in the same environment

Evidence of environmental influences in IQ

•Identical twins reared apart have IQ's that are less similar than identical twins reared in the same environment •School attendance has an impact on IQ scores •Children who are breastfed during the first three to five months of life score higher on IQ tests at

age 6 than same-age children who were not breastfed. The increase in heritability of IQ with age is presumably due to genes that somehow predispose people to gain intelligence via certain environmental factors. The environment can also limit genetic potential IQ. Therefore, the genetic and environmental components of IQ are not independent. In other words, some proportion of genetic influence can be considered environmental at the same time, and vice versa.

Genetic Factors that Affect IQ

Our genes do influence the intelligence and IQ. However, the percentage of that influence may range anywhere from 40 to 80 percent.

Our brain structure and functionality contribute to our level of the intelligence. Specific features that may affect the IQ include the size and shape of the frontal lobes, the amount of blood and chemical activity in the frontal lobes, the total amount of grey matter in the brain, the overall thickness of the cortex and the glucose metabolic rate. Well-functioning neuronal pathways correlate to better brain functioning, brain efficiency and information processing, which all point to better IQ scores. Autism is also correlated with brain size in ways that are likely


Factors Influencing Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of an Individual

controlled by the genes although there are, of course, many disturbed neuronal pathways in the autism.

2. Environmental factors

We may be genetically predisposed to a certain brain volume, structure and pathways -a certain level of intelligence set by our biology-but how much we achieve isn't based in biology alone. The type of life we lead also affects the intelligence. Researchers often study twins who've been separated at birth

to understand further the roles nature and nurture play in the human intelligence. They theorize that if the intelligence is purely biological, identical twins separated at birth should still have equal IQs. But, that's not always the case, they find. Genetic effects cause bright children to seek out more stimulating environments that further increase the IQ. Programs aiming to increase the IQ would be most likely to produce long-term IQ gains if they caused children to persist in seeking out cognitively demanding experiences. Recent studies have shown that training in

using one's working memory may increase the IQ. Improvements in nutritional policy have been implicated in the worldwide increase in the IQ. Prenatal and early nutrition are linked to brain structure, behaviour and, the intelligence. There is evidence that providing a high nutrient diet to very premature babies, particularly males, can help to reduce the loss of brain size and IQ often experienced by these babies. The greater nutrition in the foods we eat, especially for males in the weeks just after birth, the greater

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Researchers often study twins who've been separated at birth to understand further the roles nature and nurture play in the human intelligence.

the size of the caudate(that's the part of our brain that specializes in learning and memory) and the greater the verbal IQ scores. Zinc, Iron, folate, iodine, B12 and protein deficiencies can also result in low IQ. Another study found that breastfeeding had a positive effect on cognitive development at 24 months of age. And, the effects also seem to apply to babies whose prenatal diets were rich in longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When pregnant and lactating women have diets rich in these fatty acids, their offspring are more likely to score higher on the intelligence and achievement tests at ages 4 to7. Supplementation with creatine significantly increased intelligence in the elderly rather than young adults. It is claimed that with improvement in music skills, the improvements may transfer to other domains, like language and mathematics but needs more research tracking long-term outcomes. Moreover, people improved their performance because listening to music elevated their mood and leave them feeling more alert. In adults, there is a positive correlation between the musical training and IQ, but there is no evidence that the musical training has a positive effect on the emotional intelligence. Those kids, who got the music training, showed greater improvement in the finger motor skills and auditory discrimination skills. The musical training has been shown to positively influence the linguistic abilities. Listening to the classical music was reported to increase the IQ; specifically the spatial ability.

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Several factors can lead to significant cognitive impairment, particularly if they occur during the pregnancy and childhood when the brain is growing and the blood– brain barrier is less effective. It include pollutants (e.g. lead, mercury, and organ chlorides),alcohol, smoking and drugs (marijuana, cannabis, cocaine),head injuries, mental illnesses and excess physical or emotional stress.

3. Birth Order

First born children, on average, score three points higher on the IQ tests than their closest, nextborn siblings. Factors implicated included better care and concern during the pregnancy and infancy, better maternal health, better nutrition and educational support. Similarly, families with just one child may have more time and financial resources to put toward educating that child hence can cause improvement in the IQ.

Flynn effect

The Flynn effect is defined as the sustained increase in the raw intelligence of humans over time. The IQ test scores have been rising at an average rate of around three IQ points per decade. Attempted explanations have included improved nutrition, a trend toward smaller families, better education, greater environmental complexity, and heterocyst (the occurrence of genetically superior offspring from mixing the genes of its parents). Another proposition is the gradual spread of test-taking skills. The Flynn effect has been too rapid for genetic selection to be the cause Although the IQ attempts to measure some notion of the intelli-

gence, it may fail to act as an accurate measure of the "intelligence". The IQ tests only examine particular areas of the "intelligence", and fail to account for certain areas which are also associated with the "intelligence" such as the creativity or emotional intelligence. Mensa International is an international social organization, which gives membership to people who have scored as high as or higher than the 98th percentile in the IQ ď Ź


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Dr Vishwas Mehta IAS Resident Commissioner & Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, Kerala House New Delhi, e mail id is drvishwasmehta@gmail.com

Bharatvarsha – India, one of the oldest civilisations of the world, sprawls like a giant from the snowy heights of the Himalayas in the north to the mighty waves of the Indian ocean in the south, washing its coasts for thousands of kilometres from Bengal to Kutch, spreading as it does from an intricate maze of the Naga Hills in the east to the thirsty sands of the Thar desert in the west. All through the long history of its civilisation, the vast geographical expanse of Indian sub-continent not only provided a fertile ground for the germination and flowering of regional, ethnic and cultural diversities as a direct outcome of man-nature interaction, but also governed the destiny of its teeming millions – a destiny that in all its diverse cultural milieu, maintains a remarkable continuity defying time and still changing like the patterns in a kaleidoscope. India is known to the world as a mystic land – a land of snake charmers, the poor and the illiterate. The world at large is unaware of her vast and rich cultural heritage manifested in the form of diverse dialects and languages; myths and legends; customs and traditions; colours and costumes; food and habits; monuments and palaces, fairs and festivals besides the aesthetic and emotional sensitivities that have created an

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Today, India has vast lands relatively untouched by the vagaries of the modern developed world and lie largely unexplored by travellers from around the globe.

amazingly complex social mosaic. And yet the Indian people have, for millennia together, learnt to come to terms with such diversities and interacted together, learnt to come to terms with such diversities and interacted together, presenting a mysterious composite character that pervades every aspect of their lives, transcending all regional, lingual, ethnic, religious and economic barriers thereby creating strong bonds of cultural fusion – unparalleled and unseen in the rest of the world.

Perhaps that is why perhaps Max Muller remarked,

“If we were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty, which nature can bestow – in some parts a veritable paradise on earth – I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human kind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts – I should point to India.” Today, India has vast lands relatively untouched by the vagaries of the modern developed world and lie largely unexplored by travellers from around the globe. Yet it is ironical that not long ago, its glory, fame, cultural heritage and weal attracted invaders from all over the world. From Alexander onwards, the Parthians, the Kushanas, the Turks, the Moghuls, the Portugese,

the French, the Dutch and the British, all of them came to loot us, captured our lands but could not conquer the minds or alter the cultural fabric and social ethos of this country. A first time visitor to India landing at Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai may be appalled by the overcrowded cities, filth and garbage on the road and stray cattle on the streets. However, with the longer stay, repeated visits and a closer interaction with the locals, a foreign visitor with discerning eyes is able to fathom the ‘Real India,’ which exists beyond the filth and garbage, perceiving the spiritual values, human bondage, family ties, nonmaterialist attitude of people, the underlined love for tolerance and peace and religious harmony which is the “Real Ethos” of India. They can perceive better, why for centuries, the Indians have not grabbed other’s land, mutilated their culture, history or tried to enforce Indian way of life on others. Indians have not conquered anyone, except hearts through spiritualism, ethnic values, beliefs, customs, traditions and their way of life. It has to be clearly understood, that foreigners do not come to India for entertainment, since we cannot show them Casinos of Las Vegas, Joyrides of Disneyland, Samba Dances of Rio de Janeiro, Skyline of London and Paris or


even Nightlife of Bangkok. Most of the foreigners come to India to know about the culture of this ancient land, which means visiting monuments, palaces, forts, temples, fairs, festivals and experiencing cuisine, colours, customs, traditions, rituals, folk art, dance, music, handicrafts, artifacts and ancient art of Yoga and Ayurveda. One of the most mystical attractions of India is its ancient civilisation and culture, with a history of more than 5000 years. Like Egypt and China, India is one of the earliest cradles of civilisation and certainly the fountainhead of religion and philosophy. Karl Marx called it “the source of our languages, our religion.” In the modern world of material advancement and resultant tensions, India has much to offer by way of spiritual and mental rejuvenation. Thus, philosophy, meditation, yoga, ayurveda, physical and mental healing and contact with ancient traditions and systems, make India an outstandingly attractive destination. The main pull of India - the mysticism and history, will continue to fascinate visitors to this country.

It is the perceivable character of Indian culture, which made Mark Twain remark, “it (India) is one country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bonded and free and on land that all men desired to have seen and having seen once by even a glimpse would not give that glimpse for the shows lf all the world combined.” It is this mystique cultural Kaleidoscope of India reflecting the perceivable character of Indian culture that draws people from variety of backgrounds to visit this land. After Independence, even the British thought that a massive amalgamation of Princely States with diverse languages, ethnic groups, castes, creed and religion will make this country disintegrate, but we did not. In 1960, the world looked at India as a country with no hope. It was regarded as a nation of ridicule, full of misery, poverty and deprivation, not capable of feeding even a fraction of its teeming millions. In just 20 years short,

we became food surplus country thanks to the Green Revolution. Today, Population wise, India is one of the world’s Youngest nation with 54 crore (540 million) people below 25 years of age and 72 crore (720 million) below 35 years of age and the 7th largest country in the world occupying 2.3% earth’s land surface with every 5th person in the world being an Indian Our life expectancy has doubled since independence and our literacy has gone upto 65% from a mere 18% in 1950.Today we have 30 crore (300 million) urban people living in 5000 towns and cities and a majority of 75 crores (750 million) people living in 6.4 lakh villages of rural India. India is the largest functional democracy in the world with 3.2 million elected representatives at Panchayat level contributing in the local self government which is the largest anywhere in the world. The conduct of 15 general elections and 326 assembly elections involving more 700 million voters is perhaps the largest exercise of human beings conducted anywhere in the world. The preference of our

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founding fathers to have a democracy over unprepared capitalistic society has proved to be a more successful strategy for a better future of India. India is the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world and has 25 million Indians living abroad sending in 21 billion USD every year, which is one of the highest remittances in the world. After pledging our Gold in 1990s finally India opened its economy by abolishing licence raj and today our foreign exchange reserves are close to 300 billion USD. Instead of being a borrower, India has turned into lender country to the IMF investing 10 billion from RBI’s reserve in March 2010. Today we produce largest number of two wheelers in the world and every automobile produced in the world has at least one component made in India. We have the 2nd largest scientific manpower in the world with world’s largest railway and road net work. India today is among one of the top 5 producers of grains pulses, fruits, poultry, milk and vegetables. Today with 490 million Mobile phone subscribers we are second largest in the world with 5 million telephones added every month. Last 6 decades have seen the rise of India from poverty to prosperity and its present transformation from traditional to modernity. When the economic crisis swept across the globe, the inherent resilience of its economy proved its robustness due to its less dependence on international markets. But there are fault lines with differences at both extremities. While rich have become richer, the gap between the rich and poor has definitely become wider. Despite having 1.4 lakh Indian millionaires and 53 Indians billionaires in Forbes list, we still have 350 million people who are hungry and malnourished and surviving on less than one dollar per day which is the other side of the story. Today we have one fourth of our population totally dependent on monsoon fed agriculture in the vast rural

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country side of India. Despite all the advances we also have 300 million people (30 crores) illiterates which is one third of world’s illiterate population. Today our society is more polarised on caste lines then ever before. The regional disparities and socio-economic imbalances have encouraged the left wing extremists to unleash a trail of violence and destruction of public property. One out of 5 members of population elected to Indian Parliament has criminal charges against him. A survey by a Harvard Professor had found that 1 out of every 4 teachers in government primary school is absent. A World Bank study found that 1 out of 5 doctors do not show up at Primary Health Centres and that 65% of medicines are stolen. A cycle rickshaw puller in Kanpur routinely pays a fifth of his daily earnings in bribes to the Police. Why our teachers – once revered as Gurus and moral guides – fail their students. Political leaders, also had the duty to uphold the law, become law breakers? Abuse of power is a routine matter in the world’s largest democracy. But despite all the negative overtones and undercurrents, our socio-political-cultural heritage is far richer than what it appears. After all how many nations have withstood several waves of invasions like we did and yet survived despite all the ethnic multi-religious diversities. It is true that perversity has pervaded across all walks of life and so have disparities. But we cannot forget that today world looks at India with far more respect, awe and perhaps hope and wonder. Amidst all this chaos, it is amazing that India still marches ahead. That is because change is perhaps the only phenomenon in the world, which does not change. However, change is inevitable and challenges of change can be felt everywhere. Societies, culture, organisations, families and individuals – all encounter challenges of change and their response to change determines whether they

continue to survive or meet the fate of ‘Dinosaurs’. Those who choose to ignore the needs for change may ultimately become the victims of change. So India too is changing and it is happening very fast. It is a unique spectacle to see this country turning middle class alongside the most appalling governance. The huge middle class of 368 million people aspire for better standards of living and with surplus incomes they are willing to spend on consumer goods, cosmetics and purchase better cars and latest electronic items. The “Silent Revolution” by middle class is not easily visible to naked eye, which is more significant than the changing fortunes of the political parties and their leaders It is because of two India’s living in a single country – the India and Bharat. India is what drives the country’s high economic growth, but it is Bharat, where most of country lives in her 6.4 lakh villages. Any transformation in India cannot be complete without growth of her rural millions whose livelihood is intimately linked to the land and vagaries of nature. Let us recall our past and the place we were born and brought up. It no longer looks what it looked it a few decades ago. It is difficult to see our villages with dilapidated huts, cracked lands,


tigers or China, nor will we wipe out poverty or ignorance, yet we will continue to lumber ahead like an elephant with less speed but more stamina, less agility but better memory and more longevity. As long as the life exists, paradoxes will exist too because whole world is balanced on these two extremities of “the haves” and “the have nots.” The Paradox of our time in history is perhaps that we live in taller buildings and use wider free-ways but have shorter tempers and narrower view points. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgement. We spend more but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We live in bigger houses with smaller families and more conveniences but have less time to enjoy them. We talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. farmers in rugged clothes and naked malnourished children grazing cattle. Today, our Panchayat Sarpanch carries a mobile phone, farmers head to work on mopeds and stream of children throng to village schools. A recent survey in several states published how rural life styles have been transformed across the country with better incomes, revenue channels and more wealth in hands of farmers and villagers. A careful look reveals flowering of ambitions, enterprise with switchover to new crops, technology and services with better connectivity in our villages which are fast becoming signposts of our better future. Even India’s heart of darkness like Kalahandi district in Orissa which was a symbol of starvation deaths till last decade, have today 150 rice mills and cottage industry manufacturing washing powder. ASSOCHAM study says that rural per capita income is expected to increase to Rs.15,396 from Rs.7,335 in 1981 at a compounded growth rate of 2.5% per annum. It is projected that rural incomes will rise to 1300,000 crore in 2011 from

800,000 crore in 2001. Despite all the challenges of governance, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, Indians continue to grow and will soon re-write the history of rest of humanity. We are more likely to preserve Indian way of life and its civilization of diversity, tolerance and spirituality against the onslaught of global culture. Our ability to look at ourselves, constantly evaluate and criticize ourselves, we the “Argumentative Indians” will continue to survive because the fact remains that Indians never looked at money or power as their destination. The amazing myriad of our Spiritual ethos, cultural heritage, religious tolerance, non violence and spiritualism has made India known today as the land of Gautam Budha, Mahavir Jain, Swami Vivekanda and Mahatma Gandhi. Despite all the anarchy in the world, and chaos prevalent in this huge sub-continent, we are more likely to preserve the Indian way of life, its civilization, its diversity and spirituality against the continued onslaught of global culture. We may not grow as fast as Asian

We have conquered the outer space but not our inner soul. We have learnt how to make a living but not a life. We have added years to life but not life to years. We have been all the way to the moon and back but find it difficult to meet a sick neighbour living next door. These are days of fast food and slow digestion. These are days of big men with small character. Let me conclude with an Urdu couplet written by Dr. Prem Bhandari a close friend of mine which reflects my Indian faith in a secular humanity of Universal Brotherhood. “Parindo ne firka parasti ko nahi samajha, Kabhi mandir pe ja baithe, Kabhi masjid pe ja baithe” Ram Ho, Allah ho, Ya ho Isa, Agali Nasalo ko Bas ek hi Khuda Dena !!! (Birds have never understood/ recognized any borders or believed in religion whether it is Ram, Allah or Christ. They go and sit comfortably on domes of temples or minarates of masjids. Please give only GOD to coming generations)

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GADGETS

Moto G5S Plus

MRP: `22,990 (approximately)  Android v7.1 (Nougat) OS  13 MP Primary Camera  8 MP Secondary Camera  5.5 inches Display  3 GB RAM  16 GB Internal Memory  128 GB Expandable Memory  2.2 GHz Tru-Octa Core 64 bit processor

Lenovo P2 64 GB

MRP: `18,990 (approximately)  Android v6.0.1 (Marshmallow) OS  13 MP Primary Camera  5 MP Secondary Camera  5.5 inches Display  4 GB RAM  64 GB Internal Memory  128 GB Expandable Memory  2 GHz Tru-Octa Core Processor

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Moto G5S

MRP: `12,999 (approximately)  Android 7.0 Nougat OS  13 MP Primary Camera  5 MP Secondary Camera  5.2 inches Display  2 GB RAM  16 GB Internal Memory  Octa-Core Snapdragon 430 Processor  Rs. 12,999 (approximately)

Meizu Pro 7 Plus

MRP: `38,890 (approximately)  Android v7.0 (Nougat)  12 MP + 12 MP Dual Primary Cameras  16 MP Secondary Camera  5.7 inches Display  6 GB RAM  128 GB Internal Memory

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COOKERY

Toshma Biju

DATES PAYASAM

Ingredients

• • • • • • •

Dates......................................... 1 cup Milk......................................2 ¼ cups Water........................................2 cups Ghee.................................. 1 teaspoon Cashews.................................... 10-12 Raisins......................... 1/2 tablespoon Cardamom Powder......... 1/2 teaspoon

Method Pit dates and finely chop it. Bring milk to boil and simmer in slow flame until needed. In a pan take ghee and saute cashew nuts and raisins until it becomes golden brown; keep it aside. Then, add chopped dates and saute for a minute. Add water and cook dates until it gets fully mashed and the mixture becomes thick- around 8-10 minutes in medium to slow flame. Add boiled milk to dates mixture and bring it to good boil. Add dry fruits, cardamom powder and simmer for around 5 minutes in slow flame until it becomes thick.

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CONDENSED MILK PAYASAM

Ingredients

• • • • • •

Milk............................................................................ 1 litre Condensed milk............................................................ 1 tin Roasted vermicelli ......................................................1 cup Raisins..............................................................1 tablespoon Cardamom.........................................................4 (crushed) Ghee.................................................................2 tablespoon

Method In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add in the crushed cardamoms and vermicelli .Fry the mixture lightly. Add in the milk, put the flame on high. Once the milk boils reduce the flame to lowest. Don’t forget to stir. The milk will be slightly thick. Add the condensed milk and mix well. Stir on low flame for around2 minute.

CHOCOLATE PAYASAM Ingredients

• • • • • • • • • •

Milk........................................................................... 2 cups Sugar.............................................................. 4 tablespoons Roasted vermicelli............................................4 tablespoon Coco powder.....................................................2 tablespoon Chocolate chips.......................................................... 15nos Cardamom power............................................... 1 teaspoon Cashew Nuts.............................................................. 10nos Raisins ....................................................................... 10nos Ghee............................................................... 3 tablespoons Condensed Milk............................................. 4 tablespoons

Method Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast the cashews until they are light brown. Remove it from the flame and keep it aside. Roast raisins separately and keep it aside. Bring the milk to boil and add vermicelli as the vermicelli cooks, the milk became thickening. When the consistency is thicker, add sugar, coco powder and cardamom powder and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Now, add condensed milk and mix it well. Add cashews, raisins and mix well. Add chocolate chips.

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RICE PAYASAM

Ingredients

• • • • • •

Milk........................................................................... 4 cups Rice..........................................................................1/4 cup Jaggery syrup.......................................................... 1/4 cups Cardamom powder ......................................... 1/4 teaspoon Raisins............................................................ 2 tablespoons Cashew nuts................................................... 2 tablespoons

Method Soak rice for half an hour. Then, drain the water. Bring ghee to flame in a convenient pan and fry cashew nuts and raisins in it. Boil milk and add the soaked rice. Cook rice in the milk on low flames stirring it frequently so that it doesn't get burnt. When rice is cooked, mash it slightly with the ladle, then add jaggery syrup cardamom powder, cashew nuts and raisins.

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BEAUTY

Skincare

routine for the night

M

aintaining your skin should be a very systemic routine. Once you sleep, you are not doing anything physical for more than 6 hours. By that time, there could be a lot of changes on the surface of the skin. In the morning, you follow the washing up routine but treating the skin before going to sleep is very useful in terms of skin maintenance. It might not be very practical to do during day time as you have a lot of work. So, try to focus what you can before going to sleep. It takes only as long as you take to brush your teeth. Here are the important steps to take to care your skin. Cleanse: Wash your face with a good cleanser or natural products or oil. Wash with cool water and avoid hot water to do the same as hot water is harmful to the skin. Press your face with a towel; don't wipe the towel over the surface of the skin as

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it might lead to excess dryness. Do not use bathing soap for washing the face, instead use, face wash or oil. Eye cream: You may use natural products like lemon syrup, papaya or cucumber for the same. You will get a good eye cream for the reasonable price. Use a cool towel to press against the eyes to have a better effect. Treatment: Use rose oil, argon oil or a proper nourishment facial oil for the same. This is used for the sake of giving the skin a nightly moisturizing boost. Do this process every alternate night. Moisturising the skin will prevent dryness thus avoid cracking of the skin surface or development of wrinkles. So, do your duty for the night and your skin will glow for the rest of your day ď Ź


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It is one of the first islands in the Caribbean regain to be settled by the Europeans. Nearly 75 per cent of the country’s population is African descent, while the other groups such as the Afro-Europeans, mixed race, East Indians, Afro-East Indians, South Asian ethnic groups only constitute 25 per cent.

T

he Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis or the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a small two-island country. It is a sovereign, democratic and federal state. As per its constitution, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the state. The reality is that a democratically-elected Prime Minister rules the country with the help of the cabinet and the Governor-General, who is the representative of the Queen. Its economy is totally depended upon tourism, agriculture and light manufacturing industries. Saint Kitts and Nevis are the two islands which make

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this country. As per the data, there are 42, 696 inhabitants living in the country. Unfortunately, it is one of the countries which are experiencing a steady decrease in the population rate. English is the official language, though there are some indigenous languages. It is one of the first islands in the Caribbean regain to be settled by the Europeans. Nearly 75 per cent of the country’s population is African descent, while the other groups such as the Afro-Europeans, mixed race, East Indians, Afro-East Indians, South Asian ethnic groups only constitute 25 per cent. Anyway,


EXPEDITION TO SMALLEST SOVEREIGN STATE IN

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

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In the mid-20th century, these three islands tasted the sweetness of freedom slightly, when the islands were made an associated state. Unfortunately, the peace and happiness failed to last long. the preponderance of the inhabitants is Christians. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, this region was the land of Kalinago people. These people, who arrived from Africa, was either killed or captivated during the colonial regime. France, Spain and England established settlements on this island. The island witnessed the tug-of-war between these three European powers. Each of them exploited the resources extensively. The wealth was carried away to their respective countries. Kalinago people were the only victims of this wealth extraction and power struggle. If something the country

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gained from these centuries of subjugation, it was the Christianity and colonial ruins. No major infrastructure, healthcare and education facilities and economic development were created during the colonial rule. In the beginning of the 16th century, the Spain’s power slowly declined. Other Europeans powers such as France and England occupied the territory. After that, several times France and England fought each other for the supremacy in the island. In the beginning of the 18th century, France left this Island. Followed by that, the power exclusively went in the hands of England. The British authorities unified the two-island territory with another island,

named Anguilla. In the mid-20th century, these three islands tasted the sweetness of freedom slightly, when the islands were made an associated state. Unfortunately, the peace and happiness failed to last long. Within two or three years after the establishment of the associate state, Anguilla broke out. In the year 1983, that good day finally arrived (the island nation breathed freedom in that year). Since then the country has been maintaining the peace that they achieved after several years of exploitation, slavery and subjugation, though in the year 1998 the Nevis made a failed attempt to broke away from the country


(then, the referendum demanding the separation of Nevis from St Kitts failed to cross the two-third margin needed to pass it). There are beautiful colonial ruins, tropical rainforests, attractive rivers, stunning mountains and much more in this Volcano-Origin island nation. Saint Kitts, Nevis, Basseterre, Charlestown and Sandy Point are the popular tourist regions in the country. Saint Kitts is the land of ‘Rainforest Mountains’ and spectacular beaches. Of the two islands that make the country, his island is the largest. The peculiarity of the beaches situated here is their soil texture; some of them have grey sands and some other have white or black sand. The country has a good tourist infrastructure compared to similar islands located around the world, so there are all necessary facilities available in its tourist locations which can make the traveller happy, curious and relaxed. Nevis is popular for its white sandy beaches. Here is where the traveller needs to visit if they want to get the glimpses of the colonial ruins. There are many Georgian styled buildings and British colonial buildings here. There is a famous dive spot in this region: Booby High Shoals. This offshore dive site shelters sea turtles and stingrays. Basseterre is the capital of this two-island nation. There are many colonial buildings here also. Almost all major buildings and infrastructures here have some colonial features. Independence Square, circus traffic circle, national museum, Old Treasury buildings are the attractive architectures located here. The Victorian Berkeley Memorial Clock Tower is most popular architecture in this city. It attracts tens of thousands of travellers every month. Charlestown is also famous for

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The island is one of the first countries which offer the economic citizenship. The economic citizenship program offered by the country allows the foreigners to become members of this country.

its colonial buildings. Fort Charles and Fort Black Rocks are situated in two opposite ends of the city to protect it. It is the birth place of one of the founding fathers of United States, Alexander Hamilton. Sandy Point Town is the place where the British explorers initially landed. The Brimstone Hill Fortress, which has been categorised by the UNESCO under the World Heritage site, is the popular tourist location in the city. In the year 1998, a disastrous hurricane, named Hurricane Georges, inflicted serious damage on the country.

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The place is highly vulnerable to the natural calamities such as the earthquake, hurricane and much more.

the primitive stage, here there are some world class institutions and hospitals such as the Mount St John Hospital.

The island is one of the first countries which offer the economic citizenship. The economic citizenship program offered by the country allows the foreigners to become members of this country. Those foreigners who come forward to become the citizens are required to invest a certain amount of money in the country and have to undergo some legal procedures.

The travellers can get affordable housing and transport facility without much difficulty. For the travellers, the communication may not be abig issue. The people speak English and they are friendly and sociable.

Though the country’s education and health sector is still in

Book your ticket for this memorable expedition soon 

Goat Water Stew and Pelau is the most popular dish of this island nation.


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AUTO REVIEW

VIVEK VENUGOPAL

I

f there is one company that makes huge leaps and bounds in terms of product quality in the recent times, it is Tata Motors. Forget when they were learning to make cars two decades ago; today, they have a unique portfolio of products that can stand with the best the industry can throw at them. Enter Nexon -the next big thing from Tata. The styling is a bit of mixed bag but impresses for the most part. For one, it looks like a concept car and isn’t far removed the original concept that was shown

at the Auto Expo in 2014. Out on the road, it makes everything else around it look dated. That said, it is one step too far with the curved roof and too many elements thrown in. You can see it around the A and C pillars where it is a congregation of shut lines. The contrasting silver roof adds to the overall aesthetics. The front has a bold grille and headlamp give it a smiling face like most Tata cars, the roof line is more hatchback than SUV, and the rear is a quite unconventional. The sixteen-inch wheels could have a better design, but they

fill up the arches rather well. There is a strong waistline in the contrasting ceramic finish, but that is prone to get scratched. The interiors feel great. Everything feels nice to touch and has a quality vibe. The textured dash, the quilted roofline, the seats, the strip of silver that runs across the dash, the controls - all feel upmarket. You get the usual keyless entry, startstop functionality, automatic climate control etc, but the Tata offers more. You get a wrist band, like in the Jaguar F-Pace, which acts as the key

The interiors feel great. Everything feels nice to touch and has a quality vibe. The textured dash, the quilted roofline, the seats, the strip of silver that runs across the dash, the controls - all feel upmarket.

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Tata

Nexon and is perfect for outdoor activities. The central touch screen is the best we have seen in a reasonably priced car. It has Android Auto at the moment, the interface is excellent, there is good readability in sunlight and there is a myriad of apps to improve functionality. The rear view camera, however, is letdown by poor quality and the touch functionality of the system is a bit laggy. But, it sounds great with the Harman Kardon setup with 8 speakers. There are lots of cubby spaces inside, but most of them are rather poorly executed. For instance, the cup holders in the centre console don’t operate smoothly and the umbrella holders in the door are awkwardly

positioned to be of any real use. Front seats are set high and you don’t need too much effort to find a driving position that suits you. Although it is best suited for two at the rear, there is ample headroom than the sloping roofline suggests. The seats themselves have good cushioning and offer a good posture, although the high waistline has compromised outside view for rear seat passengers. The boot is sufficient at 350litres and the rear seat offers 60:40 split folding when you need additional boot space.

the Tiago and Tigor, but with a turbocharger and variable valve timing added. This engine produces 170Nm torque but it isn’t that impressive on the road. It needs a bit of revs to get the turbo spooling and once on the move too, you can tell the fuelling could have been better calibrated. It doesn’t enjoy being revved high and you are best of riding the midrange where it feels least perturbed. The clutch is light and the gearbox is reasonably smooth, which somehow save the day.

The Nexon gets two engines –a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel, both with an identical 110bhp. The petrol is the same engine as

The 1.5-litre diesel is also a derivative of the one in the Tiago and Tigor, but with an extra cylinder taking the total number to four.

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The Nexon gets two engines -a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel, both with an identical 110bhp. The petrol is the same engine as the Tiago and Tigor, but with a turbocharger and variable valve timing added.

The motor is very tractable around town and you can feel the 260Nm torque at play when pottering around town. Even on the highway, the addition of the sixth gear makes it feel relaxed at high speeds. The diesel engine is less clattery on idle, but you do feel some vibrations. That the Nexon weighs 1305kg - a 110kg more than the Brezza - and its engine doesn’t rev beyond 4500rpm imparts performance. Also, the power delivery is rather linear, it is best to drive this in a relaxed manner. The ride quality is where the Nexon shines. It isn’t overtly softer but rides very well over potholes and broken road surfaces. There is some firmness but not to the point where it gets disturbing. There is very little body roll and the steering feels pretty accurate. Grip from the tyres is decent and the brakes are quite reassuring too. It isn’t as good to drive fast as an Ecosport

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or Brezza though, but considering its target buyers, is up there with them. The Nexon, though it isn’t the complete car we expected, enters the hottest segment of compact SUVs, with a few strong points. The styling, the interiors, the equipment list and the exemplary ride quality are all going to be appreciated by Indian buyers. While the Hexa is actually a face lifted Aria and the Tiago and Tigor were built to meet a certain price point, the Nexon has to be the most flexible, no-expenses-spared, groundsup build in the Tata range. It has potential to put Tata back on top in the Indian car buyer’s radar and the huge waiting periods of Brezza should help things here. But, it all boils down to how they price it. And like I said before, Tata needs to work on its image and this is one way to do it 


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MOVIE REVIEW

Annabelle: Creation

I

t is a horror movie directed by David Sandberg. The movie tells the story of a mysterious doll. The storyline is that when a nun and six orphaned girls visits the house of a toy maker, one of the girl discovers the mysterious doll, which seems to have a life of its own. It is the latest movie of the Annabelle film series. Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia and Lulu Wilson appear in the lead roles. Joseph Bishara and Benjamin Wallfisch are the music directors of the movie. The choreographer and director deserve a special appreciation. The film is receiving positive response.

The Glass Castle

I

t is a beautiful drama directed by renowned filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton. The movie is the adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir, ‘The Glass Castle’. The director has managed to bring in the purity of the novel into the silver screen without losing its classiness. Brie Larson appears in the movie as Ms Walls. Apart from Ms Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield and Sarah Snook act in the movie. Almost all of them has delivered their best in this movie and deserve special appreciation for their effort. It is a low budget movie produced by Gil Netter and Erik Feig.

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Toilet: EkPrem Katha

I

t is a comedy movie which tells a socially relevant subject. The movie is directed by Shree Narayan Singh. Compared to other superstar movies appear in the Bollywood industry, the movie is a low budget film; only eighteen crores have been invested to create the movie. The film tells the story of a husband who tries to win back his wife who left the house on the first day of their marriage after discovering the disturbing fact that there is no toilet in the husband’s house. Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar, AnupamKher, Sana Khan and Divyendu Sharma appear in the movie.

Secret Superstar

I

t is a music drama directed by AdvaitChandan. The film is produced by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao under the banner ‘Aamir Khan Productions’. Mr Khan appears in a prominent role in the movie. The storyline of the film is that an aspiring young singer who faces a strong restriction from her conservative father enters into an exciting musical journey when she meets a talented musician. Apart from Mr Khan, MeherVij and ZairaWasim act in the prominent roles. Ms Wasim, who gives life to the character ‘the young singer’, deserves special appreciation for her outstanding performance in the movie. There are many amazing songs in the movie. Amit Trivedi is the music director of the film.

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BOOK REVIEW

India Transformed: 25 Years of Economic Reforms Author Price

: Rakesh Mohan : Rs 699

T

he book gives deep insight about the economic liberalisation that the country initiated in the year 1991. Renowned businessmen and economic experts such as MukeshA mbani, Narayana Murthy, Sunil Mittal, Shivshankara Menon, T N Ninan, Omkar Goswami and R Gopalakrishnan have contributed in developing the contents of this book. For those who still wonder how many reforms have the authorities implemented and what have been those reforms, this book gives the answer to them. Only problem the reader feel is that the book gives the capitalist’s version so it attempts to speak only for a particular section of the society.

Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory Author Price

T

: Aanchal Malhotra : Rs 559

he book is a first such attempt to revisit the disastrous partition through those materials carried across the border. Do you know the partition is one of the painful disasters that the country suffered? Have you ever thought that during that time the people were not the only element that undergone the displacement? It is a fact that several materials such as books, valuables and even kitchen utensils crossed the border during that time along with the people. Don’t you think that such materials also have stories? Yes, they have! The book is the perfect story of those silent remnants of partition.

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BOOK REVIEW

Men without Women Author Price

: Haruki Murakami : Rs 583

T

he book is a classic collection of short stories. There are seven stories in this collection. Just like what the name of the book denotes, the stories speak about the lonely men. Each story is different and is adequately treated with the magic of humour. All the stories tell about the contemporary world so the background is set in the modern times. It is evident that the writer has good observation skills and writing skills. Both these skills have been used adequately in developing these stories and in making it a classic book. The writer deserves special appreciation for his work.

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life Author Price

T

: Lilly Singh : Rs 513

he writer is a Canadian YouTube personality, comedian, writer and actress. Just like what the name of the book suggests, the book tells the reader ‘how to be a bawse’. Importantly, the term ‘Bawse’ is used to describe someone who conquers life. These is noting in the book which helps the reader to become a survivor of the life. The book is actually enriched with those things which help the reader conquer the life. These are many motivational stories in the book. Most of these stories have been taken from the writer’s life itself. So, the book can be categorised as an autobiography.

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DISTRIBUTION & ENQUIRIES 9846050283

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Printed On 01/ 09/ 2017

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RNI Reg No. KERENG/2011/42633

September 2017  
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