7.5 Lakh Govt. Employees in Maharashtra Will Ranked Based On Their Performance!

Every year, in March and April, employees of the private sector gear up for their annual performance appraisals.

Performance appraisals are a periodic exercise in private organisations and are used to identify performers and non-performers, wherein the former get rewarded and promoted. However, this process is not followed in government departments.

This year, in a break from tradition, the Maharashtra government has decided to rank and grade its 7.5 lakh state employees on the basis of their performance and has formulated a new 100-point performance marking system for the purpose.

This marking system will take into account both subjective and objective evaluation of an employee’s performance during the year.

While the new reviewing system does not disincentivise average or the poor performers, it has proposed public recognition and rewards for ‘Sukarmis’ or good performers across ranks.

On the basis of the marking system, various state departments will be asked to identify 5 percent employees across cadres as the top performers at district, department, and state levels.

The state government has also planned to roll out cash rewards and perks for top performing employees besides giving them recognition, and upscaling their involvement in decision-making, the report adds.

In September last year, the General Administration Department (GAD) of Madhya Pradesh decided to complete a performance appraisal of all class III and class IV state employees who have completed 20 years of service or attained the age of 50 years.

GAD had sent a circular to all district collectors and department heads regarding the implementation of the appraisal exercise.

This decision will help government departments to become more efficient and will also incentivise the employees to work harder. Here’s hoping that other states follow suit!

Padmaavat Box Office Collection !

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat has taken the country by storm. Amid widespread protests around cinema halls by various fringe outfits in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, Padmaavat had released in the theaters on January 25 and it has collected Rs 19 crore on its opening day. Mired in controversy for its alleged “misrepresentations” and “distortion of facts,” the opulent period drama was supposed to hit the theaters on December 1 last year.

It was cleared with a U/A certificate by the CBFC but was later banned by some state governments including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Supreme Court later paved the way for its release by staying the state ban. But the vandalism around the theaters and multiplexs has only intensified in the past few days. From a children’s school bus being pelted by Karni Sena hooligans to state bandhs, the furor around Padmaavat has refused to die down.

So, will the period be able to attract audiences to the theaters? Trade analyst Taran Adarsh reports that the opening collection for Padmaavat stands at Rs 19 crore despite the widespread disturbance.

Talking about the paid preview shows on Wednesday, Taran had earlier tweeted the first box office figures, “Despite challenges and extremely limited preview shows [which commenced in evening], #Padmaavat collects ₹ 5 cr in previews screenings on Wed.”

Reportedly, 50-60 percent occupancy had been observed yesterday in cinema halls for Padmaavat shows. Film buffs had even expressed fear over coming to watch the period drama. On one hand, the screening of the film had altogether been refused in some pockets, on the other, some shows of the film were even going housefull in the metro cities.

Speaking about the same, trade analyst Girish Johar had said earlier, “At the end of the day, viewers are only looking to be entertained and they would avoid getting into a ruckus, as much as possible. Therefore, the advance bookings of Padmaavat have also been affected in that regard. While in some cities, the bookings are as strong as ever, there are also some pockets where people have showed little or no interest in the advance booking of the tickets. Mostly, people have found it wise to take a back seat currently and give the troublesome situation a day or two and then take a decision about watching the film in cinema halls.”

We Have Done Everything, It’s Now Time For People To Decide – Shahid Kapoor said on Padmaavat Release
Girish had also pointed out that if the situation had been normal, Padmaavat would have opened to a staggering Rs 20 crore at the box office. But presently, it is hard to decipher the situation.

Airtel offers 1000GB free broadband data for 8 months

The telecom sector in India is still at war, even after almost a year since the launch of disruptor, Reliance Jio. Airtel, being the biggest incumbent player in the industry is probably the only company that is equipped to tackle the onslaught of offers from Jio.

The data-wars were not limited to the telecom industry; months after the launch of Reliance Jio, the company launched JioFiber. JioFiber specifically targeted the broadband market of India. Though it hasn’t been launched commercially, it still introduced disruption in the broadband sector.

In response, Airtel launched broadband plans that sound too good to be true. The company is offering 1000GB of data with most of their high-end broadband plans. The plans were launched in May but are still keeping Airtel consumers from straying towards JioFiber.

According to Airtel, these are the best selling broadband plans. There are four plans (Rs 1099, Rs 1299, Rs 1499, Rs 1799) which can get you 1000 GB of bonus data, which will be valid till March 31, 2018. The lowest plan of Rs 899 will fetch the user 500 GB till March 31, 2018.

The offer cannot be combined with any other offer by Airtel and can only be availed by an online purchase. The offer is being provided by Airtel broadband to any customer who wishes to avail Airtel’s DSL services after 12th June 2017.

In order for a new customer to avail the Offer, the eligible customer must visit the page www.airtel.in/broadband and select base plan, enter mobile number and address to raise request for new broadband connection or contact customer care to apply for subscription to Airtel Broadband services.

Upon subscription to one of the select plans under the present offers, and upon expiry of a period of 7 days following the date of activation of their new connection, a customer shall, subject to feasibility at the point of connection, be able to enjoy additional data, in addition to the base plan chosen by them, which comes with the same speed as per chosen base plan.

Logan Official Trailer Hugh Jackman Wolverine Movie

Logan Trailer 1 (2017) Hugh Jackman Wolverine Movie HD

Rivigo raises $75 million funding from Warburg Pincus 

New Delhi: Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested $75 million (about Rs 500 crore) in surface transport logistics provider Rivigo Services for a minority stake, in one of the largest equity financing rounds raised by an Indian startup this year.

The investment, is the third transaction by the global PE firm in the country’s logistics sector, having already backed ecommerce-focused logistics solutions provider Ecom Express and third-party logistics company Stellar Value Chain Solutions over the past two years.

“This (funding) is going to be primarily utilized towards technology and hiring. We have to scale up our tech talent, investments in IoT, automation and data sciences a lot more. We also have to build our next level of leadership cadre, given the growth we’re seeing,” Deepak Garg, chief executive, Rivigo, told ET.

According to Garg, who co-founded the Gurgaon-based truck fleet operator with fellow McKinsey alumnus Gazal Kalra in 2014, the company is also poised to reap benefits of the recently-passed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which is expected to lead to faster turnaround times, create pull-based supply chains and help in the re-configuration of warehousing and distribution networks.

“The company is delivering a fundamentally superior proposition for customers and truck drivers by deploying a unique operating model, enabled by technology and analytics. The prospects are likely to be further enhanced upon implementation of GST,” said Viraj Sawhney, managing director, Warburg Pincus.

The investment is believed to have valued Rivigo, which competes with the likes of legacy operators such as GATI and Blue Dart, declined to share the specifics of the transaction.

The company, which serves sectors including ecommerce, frozen food, dairy, automotive and pharmaceuticals among others, has also developed algorithms and filed patents in the USA that deal with managing fuel efficiency and pilferage, availability of drivers in the relay system, and loading plans to help reduce damages to products carried by its trucks.

“We believe we can drive a lot of global innovation in trucking and logistics sector through what we are building at Rivigo,” Garg said, adding that the problems that Rivigo is solving are globally unsolved and a $2.5 to 3 trillion revenue market.

Sawhney will also join the Rivigo board, which also counts Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal as an independent director.

The company will continue to further build out its network of processing centres and pit stops across the country, as well as enhance its track fleet size to about 5,000 over the next 12 months. It currently operates currently about 1,500 vehicles, and employs about 3,000 drivers.


Big Shopping Days Sale in Flipkart

Bengaluru: Flipkart has announced its ‘Big Shopping Days’ sale from March 7 to 9, with the online marketplace offering discounts on smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets.

In addition to the offers, consumers shopping on Flipkart can also get an additional 10 percent extra discount on every purchase made via State Bank of India (SBI) debit and credit cards during the Big Shopping Days sale.

Some of the smartphones available under the new Flipkart offer are the Lenovo K3 Note which can be grabbed at Rs. 8,999 and it comes with an exchange offer that offers up to Rs. 6,000 discount for functional and display-intact devices; Motorola Moto X Play is currently available at Rs. 15,999 for the 16GB model after a flat Rs. 1,000 off and with an additional exchange offer of up to Rs. 9,000; the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL is priced at Rs. 8,999 after a flat Rs. 1,000 discount and has an additional exchange offer up to Rs. 6,000; the Motorola Moto G (Gen 3) 16GB model is available at Rs. 9,999 after a flat Rs. 1,000 off and also has an exchange offer of up to Rs. 6,000 off; the Nexus 6P is available at Rs. 34,999 after a flat Rs. 5,000 off and also comes with an exchange offer of up to 20,000; the iPhone 6s16GB model is available at Rs. 41,999 and comes with an exchange offer of up to Rs. 21,000; the Motorola Moto G Turbo Edition is priced at Rs. 11,299 after a flat Rs. 1,200 off and also has an exchange offer of up to Rs. 7,000; the Samsung Galaxy On7 is available at Rs. 10,190 and comes with an exchange offer of up to Rs. 6,000.

Some of the other handsets available under the Big Shopping Days sale include the Asus ZenFone 2(4GB of RAM) available at Rs. 12,999 after an extra Rs. 4,000 off and also has an exchange offer of up to Rs. 8,000; Xiaomi Mi 4 is available at Rs. 12,999 after a flat Rs. 2,000 off and an additional exchange offer of up to Rs. 8,000; the LG G4 is priced at Rs. 32,800 after a flat Rs. 2,000;

Consumers can also get discounts on smartwatches, tablets, laptops, cameras, televisions and headphones. The offers available on smartphones and other products are valid till stock lasts, according to Flipkart.



Heena Sidhu clinches gold and Deepak Kumar wins bronze in Commonwealth Shooting Championships

Heena Sidhu clinched the 10m air pistol gold medal to give India a perfect start at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships on Monday.

London Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang finished fourth in the same event, while Ravikumar ended fifth.

Narang shot 626.2 in the qualification to create a Commonwealth record.

Sidhu shot a combined score of 626.2 (386+240.8) to claim the top honours.

This was Sidhu’s second successive international gold after she, along with Jitu Rai, claimed the top position in the 10m air pistol mixed team event in the ISSF World Cup Finals in Delhi earlier this month.

Among other Indians in fray here, Deepak Kumar won a bronze medal in the 10m air rifle event.

Price details of the newly launched Maruti Suzuki IGNIS variant

Maruti Suzuki has launched a new Auto Gear Shift (AGS) variant of Ignis. The new Ignis lineup has been launched with an automatic gearbox. The Ignis was launched in January this year and has seen decent sales. About the newly launched variant, the Ignis Alpha AGS is the latest model to have a two-pedal technology in its portfolio.

R.S Kalsi, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, “Our premium urban compact vehicle IGNIS has been created for millennials, a none of a kind brand in the Indian market. Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) on the IGNIS, so far offered in the Delta and Zeta trims, has been widely appreciated by customers and accounts for 27 per cent of IGNIS sales. We are now offering AGS in the top trim as well – IGNIS Alpha. We expect this to strengthen brand IGNIS and enhance the popularity of AGS amongst millennials.”

The Ignis Alpha (AGS) petrol is available at a price of Rs 7.01 lakh, while Alpha (AGS) diesel is available at Rs 8.08 lakh(ex showroom across India). Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) posted a 20.6 per cent rise in total sales in July at 1,65,346 units as against 1,37,116 in the same month last year.

This is its highest-ever monthly sales. The previous best was in April this year when the company had sold 1,44,492 units. The company’s domestic sales increased 22.4 per cent during the month to 1,54,001 units as against 1,25,778 in July 2016.

Last month, sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, went up 20.7 per cent to 42,310 units, from 35,051 in the year-ago month, MSI said.

Keep second-hand toys away from your kids ; This is what happens !

Many second-hand toys could pose a risk to children’s health as the plastic may not meet the most up to date international safety guidelines, a study has found.

Scientists from the University of Plymouth in the UK analysed 200 used plastic toys which they found in homes, nurseries and charity shops. These included cars, trains, construction products, figures and puzzles, with all of them being of a size that could be chewed by young children.

They discovered high concentrations of hazardous elements including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium – which are chronically toxic to children at low levels over an extended period of time – in many building blocks, figures and items of jewellery that were typically either yellow, red or black.

Further tests showed that under simulated stomach conditions (involving extraction in dilute hydrochloric acid) several toys released quantities of bromine, cadmium or lead that exceeded limits set by the European Council’s Toy Safety Directive, with the release of cadmium exceeding its limit value by an order of magnitude in some cases.

For the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the researchers used x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry to analyse the presence of elements within individual toys.  “Second hand toys are an attractive option to families because they can be inherited directly from friends or relatives or obtained cheaply and readily from charity stores, flea markets and the internet,” said Andrew Turner, from the University of Plymouth.