This Mumbai High-Rise started composting their waste & created 100 Kg of Manure!

A few months ago, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that it would stop collecting garbage from housing societies and bulk waste generators, who produce more than 100kg of waste.

The corporation made it mandatory for them to segregate waste and wet compost waste in the premises, for which they set a deadline of October 2.

While other housing societies are still struggling with the deadline, a 32-storeyed high rise building in Mumbai’s Lower Parel has already started composting their waste.

The residents of Raheja Atlantis have begun producing manure for their 48,000 sq ft garden on the rooftop of the building.

“Earlier, we used to purchase 50kg of compost for our garden, but now in one month itself, we have generated 100kg of organic manure. The operational cost is just Rs. 18,000 every month, including the money paid to the workers,” said Sujata Sridhar, one of the residents of the housing society.

She also added that the residents had purchased an Organic Waste Composter (OWC) and a crusher machine for composting the wet waste.

The BMC had asked all housing societies to submit their plan of waste management before the deadline, after which they can get another three months to implement it.

While some still feel it is an obligatory duty of the BMC to collect waste and manage it, societies like Raheja Atlantis aren’t wasting time arguing the order. They are just going green.

Saudi Government : Lifting ban on Skype, WhatsApp, but will censor calls

The Saudi government is lifting a ban on calls made through online apps on Thursday but will monitor and censor them, a government spokesman said.

All online voice and video call services  like Microsoft’s Skype, Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger, and Rakuten’s Viber which satisfy regulatory requirements were set to become accessible overnight.

However, on Thursday morning, Messenger and Viber appeared to remain blocked inside the kingdom.

Adel Abu Hameed, spokesman for telecoms regulator CITC, said on Arabiya TV on Wednesday that new regulations were aimed mainly at protecting users’ personal information and blocking content that violated the kingdom’s laws.

Asked if the apps could be monitored by the authorities or companies, he said: “Under no circumstances can the user use an application for video or voice calling without monitoring and censorship by the Communications and Information Technology Commission, whether the application is global or local.”

Saudi Arabia, which introduced blocks to internet communications from 2013, along with its Gulf Arab neighbours have been wary that such services could be used by activists and militants.

Gulf Arab states, except the island kingdom of Bahrain, were mostly spared the “Arab Spring” mass protests often organised over the Internet which roiled much of the region in 2011.

Lifting the ban represents part of the Saudi government’s broad reforms to diversify the economy partly in response to low oil prices, which have hit the country’s finances.

Yet the policy reversal could squeeze Saudi Arabia’s three main telecoms operators – Saudi Telecom Co (STC), Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi – which earn revenue from international phone calls made by the millions of expatriates living in the kingdom.

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.

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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.

 

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S Sreesanth moves HC seeking its direction to the BCCI for NOC to play in Scotland

Cricketer S Sreesanth on Friday moved the Kerala High Court seeking its direction to the BCCI to grant a no objection certificate (NOC) to participate in Premier league matches of Glenrothes Cricket Club at Scotland. In a letter sent to the club on August 10, he said that he had sent a communication to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to issue NOC with immediate effect to enable him play for the club. Sreesanth has also shared his apprehension that he doesn’t think the BCCI will take a timely decision to grant him the NOC.

In his petition to the HC, the cricketer said, “Without intervention of this court by issuing necessary clarification this petitioner reasonably apprehends that the BCCI may not issue such NOC.”

The premier league will conclude on or before September 9, the petition states.

In a relief to Sreesanth, the Kerala High Court had on August 7 lifted the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.

In his order, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque had also set aside all proceedings against Sreesanth initiated by the BCCI.

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.

There Is A Shortage of Antibiotics: Here Are Immunity Boosting Foods for the Flu Season

A report released by World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated some shocking facts. According to it, antibiotics that are currently in clinical development are insufficient to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical phase are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. There are, however, very few potential treatment options. The growing resistant infections pose the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year.

There are also very few oral antibiotics in the pipeline, yet these are essential formulations for treating infections outside hospitals or in resource-limited settings, the report said.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardise progress in modern medicine,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery,” Ghebreyesus added.

Besides TB, the WHO has also identified 12 classes of priority pathogens – including common infections like pneumonia or urinary tract infections – that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics and urgently in need of new treatments.

Long term antibiotic usage will make the disease drug resistant; Photo Credit: iStock

Among the newly identified 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development, only eight are classed by WHO as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal, it said.

“Pharmaceutical companies and researchers must urgently focus on new antibiotics against certain types of extremely serious infections that can kill patients in a matter of days because we have no line of defence,” noted Suzanne Hill, Director of the Department of Essential Medicines at WHO.

To keep ourselves protected this flu season, what we can probably start doing is to boost our immunity with natural ingredients through our diet.

Here are some immunity boosting foods :

Broth-based soup: Chicken noodle soup can actually help soothe a cold and boost immunity. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration and fight inflammation in the throat.

Hot beverages: Warm liquids work wonders for sore throat and alleviate congestion, so drinks like freshly-green tea, which is rich in infection-fighting antioxidants and supports the immune system, or hot water with lemon are ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose.

Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits might not cure you completely, but the soft white layer of skin found on oranges, lemons, grapefruits and limes does contain flavonoids, which can help boost the immune system and are great for speeding recovery.

Spicy food items: They can make our noses runny and eyes watery, but they’re also effective natural decongestants. Eating chili peppers or horseradish can help relieve the symptoms of congestion.

Turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow coloured and warm spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma plant. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that helps boost immunity. Add it to your food or have haldi doodh every night.