Saturday, March 30, 2024

Cleartrip Onboards A New Captain; Signs Up Mahendra Singh Dhoni As Brand Ambassador

* As part of this association, Cleartrip and Mahendra Singh Dhoni make an appeal for ClearChoice

Cleartrip, a Flipkart company, has onboarded the cricketing legend - Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its new brand ambassador. This collaboration marks a historic milestone for Cleartrip as it joins forces with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and advocates to make the right choices in travel. Under the bucket of "ClearChoice," the brand aims to inspire travellers to simplify decision-making and ensure seamless and anxiety-free travel experiences.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fondly known as Captain Cool, epitomizes the values of, Transparency, Optimism and Straightforwardness, making him the perfect embodiment of Cleartrip's ethos. Through this association, Cleartrip seeks to leverage Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s universal appeal that transcends generations and geographies and reinforce its position as a trusted travel partner for a diverse user base. This is in line with Cleartrip’s vision to make travel accessible, aggressively expand its customer base and drive its market presence.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Cleartrip Brand Ambassador said, “Throughout my career, travelling across continents, I have been a true globetrotter, and I discovered my love for travel. After so many years, travel has become something I look forward to. I couldn’t be more thrilled to come onboard Cleartrip, a brand that mirrors what travel should be like - fun, memorable and meaningful. In my career, I continue to make tough decisions every day, but with Cleartrip, decision-making is easy and straightforward. Their commitment to transparency simplifies choices and allows anyone to go on a journey of their dreams confidently.”

Speaking on the collaboration, Ayyappan R., CEO, Cleartrip, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the Cleartrip family. He is a revered sportsman who has inspired an entire generation - he is known for his values and is often associated with building trust and great leadership skills. Through our association with him, we hope to empower individuals to make the right choices in travel, seamlessly. As we continue to grow in scale, we hope to make travel an achievable aspiration for everyone, no matter where they are from. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni aboard, we aim to encourage a large demographic to step out and explore the world with confidence.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will mark his debut innings with Cleartrip with an entertaining ad film that will soon go live. 

Together, Cleartrip and Mahendra Singh Dhoni aspire to inspire travellers across the country to trust in ClearChoice and embark on journeys filled with clarity, confidence, and unforgettable experiences. Come onboard Cleartrip, follow the captain's lead and make the right choice.

About Cleartrip

Launched in July 2006, Cleartrip Pvt Ltd., a Flipkart company, has emerged as India’s fastest-growing online travel technology company. In April 2021, Flipkart acquired a majority stake in Cleartrip. Cleartrip recently emerged as the no. 2 OTA player as per a study by VIDEC. With an aggressive plan to emerge as a leading innovator in the industry, Cleartrip is on its way to building a differentiated value proposition for its customers looking for end-to-end travel solutions. With industry-first offerings such as ‘CT Flexmax, CT Flex, CT Upgrade and Cancel for No Reason’, Cleartrip has a clear vision to provide innovative solutions in the OTA segment. Combining intuitive products with a customer-centric approach and a wide selection of flights, hotels, and buses, Cleartrip brings a unique selling point to the market, offering its customers convenience, choice, competitive prices, and premium content.

Celebrate Ugadi With The Timeless Elegance of Platinum Jewellery

Ugadi, observed on the first day of Chaitra, the initial month in the traditional Hindu calendar, signifies the arrival of the spring season. The southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka celebrate the auspicious occasion of Ugadi, to mark the commencement of the Hindu New Year. It is the time for new beginnings and fresh starts. In the early hours of this special day, families partake in a traditional oil bath, and the surroundings come alive with the vibrant decor of flowers and mango leaves adorning the entrances of temples, homes, and shops.

Ugadi, a festival synonymous with fresh starts, calls for gifts that mirror the preciousness and timelessness of the occasion itself. What better way to convey this sentiment than with the gift of pure and precious platinum? This exceptional metal, believed to have celestial origins, is renowned for its resilience, maintaining its elegant white sheen and shape even through frequent wear.

With an unparalleled purity level of 95%, platinum jewellery emerges as the ideal choice for those seeking to purchase or gift jewellery during the festivities of Ugadi. The durability and versatility of platinum make it a symbol of enduring love and commitment. Whether it's an exquisite pendant, an elegant ring, or a sophisticated bracelet, the gift of platinum is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your loved ones.

This Ugadi, celebrate the beauty of new beginnings with the timeless elegance of platinum jewellery. Make a statement that echoes the enduring nature of your love and commitment. Embrace the traditions of the season with a gift as rare and precious as the metal itself – platinum.

Commenting on this auspicious occasion, Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director, Platinum Guild International-India said, “As we embrace the joyous occasion of Ugadi, there is a renewed sense of excitement and exuberance among consumers. A harbinger of prosperity and good fortune, Ugadi, is expected to further enhance the demand for platinum jewellery, leading to higher footfalls across all retail partners. With the upcoming festivities, we anticipate a positive trajectory in sales, paving the way for a flourishing quarter for our valued retail partners."

Mr G.R. ‘Anand’ Ananthapadmanabhan, Managing Director of GRT Jewellers, said, “Ugadi is a time filled with hope, positivity, and joy, symbolizing a fresh start and bringing families and loved ones together in celebration. Precious jewellery always holds a special significance during our festivities, and this Ugadi, we anticipate a preference for platinum jewellery among consumers. Rare and precious, platinum jewellery appeals to those seeking unique, statement pieces with distinctive designs that complement a variety of outfits, from traditional wear to western attire and daily casual wear. From minimalist kadas for men to bold pendants and rings, as well as elegant necklaces, delicate bracelets, and earrings for women, we are thrilled to present a diverse range of platinum jewellery collections and eagerly await the arrival of our patrons this Ugadi!”

Mr G. R. Radhakrishnan, Managing Director, GRT Jewellers, said, “Ugadi is time to embrace the new and is celebrated with much fanfare across the southern states. Consumers have already started buying precious jewellery for themselves and their loved ones as a symbol of prosperity to mark this auspicious occasion. Platinum jewellery for men, especially minimalistic platinum chains and charming platinum kadas, have emerged as favourites and we expect to see the trend only pick up further momentum with the upcoming festivities. We wish all our consumers a very happy and prosperous Ugadi, made brighter and shinier with our precious jewellery.”

Rajesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director of Kalyan Jewellers said, “Ugadi is a symbol of new beginnings and prosperity. Consumers have already begun indulging in purchasing jewellery for themselves as well as their loved ones. Over the years given the resilience of the metal and the brilliance of the designs and the value that it encapsulates, platinum jewellery has emerged as the preferred choice, for the younger audience. We are extremely optimistic that Ugadi will generate a positive momentum that will only grow further throughout the festive season, with platinum jewellery standing out as the quintessential symbol for meaningful celebrations."

Joy Alukkas, Chairman Joyalukkas Group said, “Ugadi signals the beginning of a new year and fresh starts. The joy and excitement is palpable in the air, with consumers seeking to purchase jewellery to mark this festival of prosperity and good fortune. We are already witnessing higher footfalls with a rise in demand for platinum jewellery. The rare and precious platinum with its many unique qualities such as superior resilience and the alluring white sheen that does not fade with time, has made quite an impact on our discerning consumers. We expect platinum jewellery interspersed with precious stones to take centre stage this Ugadi and continue to drive our footfalls and sales as the year progresses.”

Vedanta Debt To Be Divided Among Demerged Firms In Ratio Of Assets

Mining conglomerate Vedanta is on track for the demerger of its key businesses, including aluminium, into separate listed companies and allocation of debt across the demerged entities would be done in proportion to their assets, sources familiar with the matter said.

Vedanta is in advanced stages of engagement with its lenders on the issue, and the process has proceeded smoothly, they said.

There is clarity about the allocation of debt across entities after the demerger. "The debt will get divided amongst the resulting demerged entities in the ratio of assets getting allocated to them as per the prescribed rules and regulations," a senior company official said at a recently concluded investor event.

Citing the example of Vedanta Aluminium, the official said the debt that would get allocated to the company would be in direct proportion to the book value of the assets held by it. This is to ensure that the transaction is tax-neutral.

Vedanta had in September last year announced the creation of demerger of metals, power, aluminium, and oil and gas businesses to unlock potential value. After the exercise, six independent verticals - Vedanta Aluminium, Vedanta Oil & Gas, Vedanta Power, Vedanta Steel and Ferrous Materials, Vedanta Base Metals and Vedanta Limited - will be created. For every share of Vedanta, shareholders will receive one share of each of the five newly listed companies.

After the demerger, the businesses of Hindustan Zinc as well as the electronics business will remain with Vedanta Limited. Immediately after obtaining the NOCs, the application will be moved to NCLT.

SBICAPs has been onboard to represent lenders with respect to debt allocation and they are hopeful to obtain the NOCs at the earliest, sources said. In parallel to the demerger, Vedanta is also undertaking a deleveraging programme to cut debt at the group level by $3 billion in the next three years, taking its net debt level below $9 billion.

The deleveraging is expected to be funded largely by robust internal cash flows, further supported by proceeds of strategic asset sales and potential equity partnerships.

"The demerger is expected to simplify the Group's corporate structure with sector-focused independent businesses. Each of our businesses is at a global scale hence the board decided to go for a demerger. We intend to build a corporate structure with asset ownership and entrepreneurship mind-set, where each company would chart out its growth trajectory.

"The demerger will give global investors, including sovereign wealth funds, retail investors, and strategic investors, direct investment opportunities in dedicated pure-play companies. With listed equity and self-driven management teams, the demerger would also provide individual units a platform to pursue strategic agendas more freely and better align with customers, investment cycles, and end markets," Vedanta had said in its demerger announcement.

Friday, March 29, 2024

BMW India Is The Luxury Mobility Partner At Hero Indian Open

BMW India is the exclusive ‘Luxury Mobility Partner’ at the 2024 edition of Hero Indian Open held from 28 – 31 March 2024 at the DLF Golf & Country Club. Showcasing the symbol of forwardism, BMW India will exhibit the all-new BMW 7 Series and the first-ever fully electric BMW i7.

The pinnacle of luxury and innovation can be experienced at the Hero Indian Open, where a prestigious fleet of BMW i7 will grace the event, reflecting the perfect blend of elegance and cutting-edge technology. The BMW iX xDrive50 will be awarded as a Hole in One prize.

Mr. Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India said, “We're thrilled to further our commitment as the exclusive 'Luxury Mobility Partner' for the Hero India Open, bringing the unparalleled BMW experience closer to golf aficionados. With the fully electric BMW iX xDrive50 as the coveted 'Hole in One' award, we're excited to blend the spirit of innovation with the prestigious tradition of golf at the Hero Indian Open.”

The Hero Indian Open this year will be a part of the Asian Swing of the DP World Tour, bringing added benefits for the Swing Champion. The tournament will see 144 players compete for the trophy, with the winner receiving a handsome USD 382,500.


Born Electric: The BMW iX is the BMW Group’s new technology flagship. It is the first BMW without any numerals in its designation. ‘iX’ stands for the first BMW electric all-wheel drive vehicle (SAV – Sports Activity Vehicle). It effortlessly combines premium mobility with zero-emissions, sporting agility and a long operating range with luxurious spaciousness. The BMW iX is available as completely-built-up unit (CBU) in two variants - the BMW iX xDrive40 and BMW iX xDrive50 and can be booked through BMW dealerships across major metropolitan cities in India as well as

Characterised by sculptural and monolithic design, the iX represents a new face that makes mobility easier and comfortable while creating powerful presence. Interior is minimalist yet spacious with a feeling of ease and relaxation with freedom of movement giving it a lounge-like atmosphere. A host of BMW ConnectedDrive technologies continue to break the innovation barrier. The Fifth generation BMW eDrive technology features a highly integrated drive unit within a single housing that is powered by two electric motors (for front and rear axles), single-speed transmission and power electronics. The iX instantly accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers/hour in 6.1 seconds with an output of 326 hp. ‘My Modes’ switch changes driving character to Personal, Sport or Efficient. BMW IconicSounds Electric creates engaging driving sounds and pedestrian alerts. Two high-voltage batteries integrated in the floor have a combined capacity of 76.6 kWh and provide a range of up to 425 kilometers.

BMW i7

BMW i7 is a true all-electric luxury sedan that clearly demonstrates how an exclusive driving experience can be combined with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. BMW’s flagship luxury sedan with its enhanced level of comfort and the unique in-car entertainment system takes a pioneering route to maximising wellbeing inside the car. The i7 offers all-electric innovation, visionary design, and powerful driving dynamics so that you can make a striking impression everywhere you go.

"SecurEyes Urges Data Backup Vigilance On World Backup Day"

In today’s hyper-connected world, data is the kingmaker. As our lives become increasingly reliant on technology, World Backup Day on March 31st serves as an important reminder on the importance of protecting our valuable digital assets.

The primary goal of World Backup Day is to emphasize the significance of backing up data regularly to prevent data loss due to various reasons such as hardware failure, malware attacks, accidental deletion, or natural disasters.

The Day was first observed in 2011 by a group of Reddit (Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website)  users who wanted to promote the importance of data backup. Since then, it has gained recognition and support from individuals, businesses, and organizations worldwide.

From cherished family memories captured in photos to critical business documents, the reliance on digital data has never been greater. This year, as we observe World Backup Day, SecurEyes, a pure-play cybersecurity consulting services, and products company that also provides cybersecurity training and education, advises people to understand the importance of backing up their data, which can save them from potential consequences of a cyber crisisdisaster.

Emphasizing the importance of backup, Karmendra Kohli, CEO of SecurEyes, opines, “Any data today is more vulnerable than ever before. Implementing robust backup strategies acts as strong mitigation measure to safeguard against data loss due to cyber threats.”

Seemanta Patnaik, CTO of SecurEyes, says, “I hope this World Backup Day serves as a catalyst to prioritize data protection, data security and data resilience. It is important to practice regular backups to minimize risks and ensure uninterrupted operations.”

Risks and Challenges 

The explosion of digital data is staggering, with projections indicating that the global datasphere could reach a massive 180 zettabytes by 2025. This includes everything from social media posts and emails to financial records and professional presentations. With such an overwhelming volume of data being generated, the risk of data loss looms larger than ever before.

One of the most potent threats to our digital security is the rise of ransomware attacks. These malicious programs encrypt your data, essentially holding it hostage until a hefty ransom is paid. In 2023 alone, ransomware attacks increased by 66%, reportedly, highlighting the urgent need for robust backup solutions – which can act as the primary mitigation against such attacks.

While many turn to cloud storage for its convenience and accessibility, it’s essential to recognize that it’s not infallible. Accidental deletions, service outages, and even account breaches can result in data loss. 

Understanding the Consequences of Data Loss

The repercussions of data loss reach far beyond mere inconvenience and can have profound emotional and financial impacts. Losing irreplaceable photos, videos, and documents can be heartbreaking, while businesses that lose critical data face lost productivity, reputational damage, and potential legal issues.

Common causes of data loss include hardware failure, software corruption, cyberattacks, and accidental deletion. Each of these poses a significant risk, with potentially devastating consequences in terms of both personal attachment and financial loss.

Harnessing the Power of Backups

Fortunately, the power of backups offers a lifeline in the face of digital disaster. A backup is simply a copy of your information stored on a separate device or location, acting as a safety net that allows you to restore lost or corrupted data with minimal fuss. Different backup methods, such as local and cloud backups, offer varying advantages, from faster access and control to convenience and accessibility.

Local backups involve storing your data on an external hard drive or USB flash drive, providing a tangible sense of security and control. On the other hand, cloud backups utilize online storage services, offering convenience and accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection. Regardless of the method chosen, the key is to ensure redundancy and regularly test backups to verify their functionality.

“On World Backup Day, we urge individuals and businesses alike to take action and create a simple yet effective backup plan. Start by identifying critical data and understanding what is most important to you, whether it’s personal photos, financial records, or work documents,” added Mr. Patnaik.

Consider a combination of local and cloud backups to ensure redundancy, following the 3-2-1 backup strategy (three copies, two different media, one offsite location) for added redundancy, resilience and security (availability).

Benefits of a Strong Backup Plan

Peace of Mind and Reduced Stress: A recent study found that data loss can lead to significant stress and anxiety. Knowing your data is safeguarded allows you to relax and focus on what matters most. 

Increased Productivity and Efficiency: When disaster strikes and data loss occurs, the time spent recovering information can significantly disrupt your workflow. Having a readily available backup minimizes downtime and allows you to resume your activities quickly.

As per reports ( , a study estimates that data loss events can cost businesses an average of INR 28,13,434 per hour. Implementing backups helps minimize such financial losses.

KPIL Awarded New ORrders Includes T&D, Metro Rail Projects Of Rs 2,071 Crores

Kalpataru Projects International Limited (KPIL), one of the largest Engineering & Construction companies listed in India along with its Joint Ventures (JVs) and international subsidiaries have secured new orders/notification of awards of Rs 2,071 Crores.

The details of the aforesaid new orders are as follows:

·         Orders in the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) business in overseas markets

·         Order for design & construction of an underground metro rail project in India

Manish Mohnot, MD & CEO, KPIL, said, “We are happy with the new order wins, reinforcing our optimistic outlook for the T&D and Urban Infra business. The T&D orders in Brazil and underground metro rail-tunnelling order in India have significantly enhanced growth visibility for Fasttel and Urban Infra business going forward.

KPIL’s order intake (including LOAs/LOIs) in the current financial year stands at record high of ~?30,000 Crores including some large and strategic order wins in T&D, B&F, Oil & Gas and Urban Infra business. This landmark achievement has been on several counts - intensive efforts that we have been putting in over last several years on improving our geographical footprints in high growth EPC markets, developing strong client relationships and penetrate deeper into the focused businesses on back of our strong technical and execution capabilities. Our robust order book position and established execution capabilities gives us confidence to deliver good growth going forward. ”

About Kalpataru Projects International Limited (KPIL)

KPIL is one of the largest specialized EPC companies engaged in Power Transmission & Distribution, Buildings & Factories, Water Supply & Irrigation, Railways, Oil & Gas Pipelines, Urban Mobility (Flyovers & Metro Rail), Highways and Airports. KPIL is currently executing projects in over 30 countries and has a global footprint in over 70 countries. KPIL has maintained a leadership position in all its major businesses backed by strong organisational capabilities, superior technical know-how, and adherence to best-in-class sustainability standards.

Manipal Academy of Higher Education Manipal Unveiled A new Bio-LC Analytical System To Enhance esearch Output

In a significant stride towards enhancing research capabilities, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Manipal inaugurated a state-of-the-art Agilent Bio-LC Infinity II analytical system as a part of the MAHE Core Research Facility at Manipal Centre for Biotherapeutics Research. The Bio-LC system was unveiled by the honorable Vice Chancellor of MAHE Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M D Venkatesh and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences Dr. Sarath K Rao, marking a proud moment for the institution. Dr. Vadiraja Bhat, Business Development Manager of Agilent Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., and Dr. B S Satish Rao, Director, Directorate of Research, MAHE, graced the event as guests of honor.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M D Venkatesh urged scientists and Ph.D. scholars across disciplines to leverage this innovative facility to advance research in life sciences, health sciences, and technology. “May this cutting-edge facility not only aid our present endeavors but also lay a strong foundation for future research initiatives, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and enabling breakthroughs that will shape the landscape of science and technology for years to come”, he further added.

Dr. Sharath Rao emphasized MAHE’s continuous efforts in investing significantly in building new research infrastructure to establish “MAHE Research Park”soon. He said, “Through our relentless pursuit of research excellence and strategic investments in advanced facilities, we are dedicated to empowering our scholars to chart new frontiers in knowledge sharing, innovation, and societal impact”.

The newly installed system boasts of bio-inert operation, ensuring minimal interference from columns and tubing, particularly beneficial for analyzing sensitive biological samples such as oligonucleotides, peptides, neurotransmitters, metabolites, and pharmaceuticals, Dr. Vadiraja Bhat announced.

Heads of the institutions and faculty members from different health sciences and technology disciplines of MAHE attended this inaugural ceremony. Welcoming the gathering, Dr. Raviraja N S, Professor and Coordinator of MCBR, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the visionary leadership of MAHE that has led to the realization of this core facility as we celebrate the “Year of Research Excellence” at MAHE. He also acknowledged the unwavering support of the scientists and researchers of MAHE from various disciplines. Dr. Souvik Dey, the coordinator of this core facility emphasized the transformative impact of the ultra-HPLC system, highlighting its enhanced performance and efficiency over conventional HPLCs.

Dr. Raghavendra Upadhya, Assistant Professor, MCBR, MAHE, delivered the vote of thanks and Ms. Aditi Khamamkar anchored the program.

The inauguration marked a proud moment for MAHE and all its stakeholders, solidifying the institution's commitment to driving forward innovative research and setting a promising trajectory for a future of research excellence. 

Samsung Announces Roll Out Of Galaxy AI On More Flagship Devices; Democratising Mobile AI Experience

Samsung, India’s largest consumer electronics brand, today announced the roll out of Galaxy AI features on more Galaxy flagship devices engineered to further the democratization of mobile AI. The roll out is set to commence starting today and will be available across the Galaxy S23 series, S23 FE, Z Fold5, Z Flip5 and Tab S9 series. Aligning with the recently launched Galaxy S24 series, the update elevates the standard of users’ mobile AI experience.

With the roll out of the Galaxy AI features, users of Galaxy S23 series, S23 FE, Z Fold5, Z Flip5 and Tab S9 series will now be able to take advantage of several features including Circle to Search, Live Translate and Note Assist amongst others. The broader integration of Galaxy AI across the Galaxy ecosystem also enables a seamless user experience in day-to-day tasks on AI-supported models, driving new levels of efficiency.

Circle to Search with Google generates insightful, high-quality Google search results when you simply circle, highlight or tap any image on your display.

Live Translate produces two-way, real-time voice and text translations of phone calls, making it easier than ever to book reservations while traveling or chat with your grandparents in their native language.

Note Assist can create AI-generated summaries, pre-formatted templates and cover pages, elevating your day-to-day productivity. Chat Assist can help perfect conversational tones by generating context-aware suggestions to ensure communication sounds as it was intended, whether it is a polite message to a coworker or a short catchy phrase for a social media caption.

Interpreter can instantly translate live conversations through a user-friendly split-screen view, allowing people standing opposite each other to read a text translation of what the other person is saying. Transcript Assist uses AI and Speech-to-Text technology to transcribe, summarize and even translate voice recordings.  Browsing Assist helps you stay up to speed on what is happening around the world while saving time by generating concise summaries of news articles or web pages.

Generative Edit gives you even more creative freedom to resize position and align objects even after the photo is taken.  Edit Suggestion gives you your own personal photo editor that uses AI to suggest perfectly suitable tweaks for each photo.

Customers can purchase Galaxy S23 Ultra at an effective price of just INR 99999, which includes a HDFC Bank cashback of INR 5000 and an additional upgrade bonus of INR 5000. Galaxy S23 is available at an effective price of INR 55999 with INR 5000 HDFC Bank cashback and an additional upgrade bonus of INR 4000. Similarly, Galaxy S23 FE is now available at only INR 44999 after a HDFC Bank cash back of INR 5000 and an additional upgrade bonus of INR. 5000.

Galaxy Z Fold5 is available at an effective price of INR 138999, which includes an HDFC Bank cashback of INR 7000 and an additional upgrade bonus of INR 9000. Galaxy Flip5 can now be owned at an effective price of INR 85999 with an HDFC bank cash back of INR 7000 and an upgrade bonus of INR 7000.

Galaxy Tab S9 series is available at an effective starting price of INR 60999, which includes a HDFC Bank Cashback of INR 9000 and an additional upgrade bonus of INR 3000.

Consumers can now experience the Galaxy AI features at an EMI starting at just INR 2292 per month through Samsung Finance+ and all leading NBFC partners with No-cost EMI of up to 24 months.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, home appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions, and delivering a seamless connected experience through its SmartThings ecosystem and open collaboration with partners. For latest news on Samsung India, please visit Samsung India Newsroom at For Hindi, log on to Samsung Newsroom Bharat at You can also follow us on Twitter @SamsungNewsIN.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Global Waste Production Has Shown No Signs Of Slowing Down., Says Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach, Embassy Group

* A Collaborative Approach for a Greener Tomorrow by Embassy Group

Global waste production has shown no signs of slowing down., says Ms. Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach, Embassy Group on the occasion of International Day of Zero Waste Over and adds that two billion metric tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated annually worldwide, and this number is projected to rise by approximately 70 percent by 2050. While governments and international organisations need to take steps to address this issue, it is vital to build local awareness and encourage active grassroots involvement. Above all, the scale of the environmental challenge facing us requires a collaborative and multi-stakeholder strategy.

At Embassy Group, we have implemented various green practices that foster collaboration and a holistic approach to waste management, such as:

Embassy, through a partnership with The Anonymous Indian Charitable Trust (TAICT), has been working in the Bettahalasuru Panchayat in North Bengaluru since 2016 to address the issues of irresponsible disposal of waste and the depletion of soil and water. The panchayat suffered from air, water, and soil pollution, with around 53 metric tonnes of waste per month being dumped and burned. To increase community involvement and understanding of sustainable living methods, the partners launched the EcoGram programme. EcoGram aims to create an ecologically sound, replicable model gram panchayat.

To complement the solid waste management infrastructural solutions provided in the Bettahalasuru Panchayat, we have placed an emphasis on community engagement and awareness initiatives for women and children. Bolstered by the "Ecogram Shakti Programme," the initiative empowers over 50 women from these villages to drive environmental sustainability in their communities. 

What began as a pilot project in the Tarahunise village now encompasses ten villages in the Bettahalasuru Panchayat. In 2022, Embassy built EcoHub, an integrated solid waste management centre that benefits over 4,000 households.

On the occasion of the International Day of Zero Waste, it is important to recognise the role that citizen and local-led environmental movements can play. Involving local and key stakeholders greatly increases the effectiveness of engendering systemic change and increasing accountability. Harnessing the strength of our communities and partnerships ensures that we are laying a groundwork for continued and future change.

As champions of sustainable practices, we will continue our endeavours to reduce environmental degradation and create greener communities. Our agenda is to join hands with other corporate, government bodies, and NGOs to create a culture of collaboration and corporate sustainability said Shaina Ganapathy, Head of Community Outreach, Embassy Group on the occasion of International Day of Zero Waste.

A Guide To Effectively Manage Diabetes During This Festive Season

As the crescent moon signals the arrival of Ramadan, millions around the world will embark on a month-long journey of prayer and reflection. For those with diabetes, however, this sacred period brings forth a unique set of challenges. Balancing religious obligations with health considerations can be daunting, yet essential for maintaining well-being during this holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

Fasting from dawn until sunset is a fundamental pillar of Ramadan. However, for individuals managing diabetes, this abstinence from food and drink can cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels. To sustain energy levels and nourish the body, rituals include pre-dawn meals and evening feasts. However, for individuals with diabetes, these meals require careful consideration to prevent any sudden spikes or drops. Alongside a well-balanced nutritional plan, regular monitoring is important for people living with diabetes. Accurate and real-time blood glucose readings can be constantly tracked with the help of prick-free devices like continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). This combination of a balanced diet and regular monitoring is essential for those fasting during this time, ensuring effective management of blood glucose levels throughout the holy month.

Dr Anusha Handral, MD, DM – Endocrinology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, Bengaluru, said, “According to a recent ICMR study, 101 million people in India are living with diabetes, underscoring the importance of effective holistic management. Amidst the sacred observance of Ramadan, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) emerges as an ally for people living with diabetes. Through real-time tracking of blood sugar levels, CGM empowers individuals to identify and manage any glucose spikes associated with pre- and post-fast meals. By harnessing CGM insights, people can make informed diet decisions. This can help them navigate the portion sizes and meal timing along with making diabetes specific nutrition choices that can address their needs. The symbiotic relationship between CGM data and dietary decisions fosters both effective blood glucose management and sense of empowerment.”

Here are a few tips to manage your diabetes while you observe Ramadan this year:

Regularly monitor blood glucose levels: It is extremely important to consistently check your blood glucose levels. CGM devices support real-time glucose monitoring instead of capturing blood sugar levels at a particular point in time. The data is easily accessible on your smartphone, too, and can support easier decision-making related to food, physical activity, and therapy. Utilizing data from these devices can enable individuals to take corrective actions with the meal plan and maintain health during this period.

Properly recharge your body with nutrients during Iftar: According to tradition, the fast is broken with dates and fruits, which is followed by a proper balanced meal. Make sure to drink water and hydrate yourself well, and avoid highly caffeinated or sugary drinks like coffee, tea, and soft drinks. It is important to have a stable meal plan striking a balance between intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Have more nutrients and fiber-rich starchy foods like oats, multigrain breads, vegetables, lentils (dal), and proteins like fish, tofu, and nuts.

Additionally, you can have diabetes-specific oral nutritional supplements like Ensure Diabetes Care as an evening snack during Iftar (or even at the time of Sehri). Such scientifically formulated supplements, with high-quality protein and vital nutrients, have a slow-release energy system which helps manage one’s blood glucose, hunger, and energy levels. Consult your doctor to select the right solutions for your nutritional needs.

Keep your body moving: Physical activity is as important as proper diabetes nutrition, it also essential to maintain good health. In addition to eating right during fasting, staying fit through regular exercise is a great way to manage diabetes.[i] It's recommended to avoid overexertion and aggressive workouts (especially during the last few hours of fasting). Instead, just do simple workouts of around 30 minutes. This could include walking or yoga. 

Improve your sleep schedule: Ramadan often involves staying up late with friends and family. However, getting adequate hours of good-quality sleep is crucial in maintaining good health. It also helps people avoid sleep deprivation, which can negatively impact your hunger or craving levels. Also, sleep plays an important role in supporting immunity, metabolism, and regulating blood glucose levels, which is essential when managing diabetes.

There is never a challenge that cannot be managed with a dedicated action plan. These four simple steps can definitely help you feel healthy despite long hours of fasting.

Joy of Sustainable Mobility. Leap Welcomes 32 BMW iX In Its Exclusive Fleet

Leap, India's first sustainable luxury ground transportation provider has inducted 32 BMW iX electric vehicle into its exclusive fleet. This significant acquisition marks the largest single order of BMW iX for BMW India, underscoring its commitment towards fostering sustainable mobility. 

Mr. Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India handed over the cars to Mr. Robin Mann, Managing Director, Leap at a special ceremony held at BMW Group India Training Centre.

The BMW iX effortlessly combines premium mobility with zero-emissions, sporting agility and a long operating range with luxurious spaciousness. Reduction of carbon footprint is achieved throughout the value chain and all stages of lifecycle by making comprehensive use of natural and recyclable materials and production with 100% green electricity. The BMW iX remains India's top top selling Luxury Electric Vehicle.

Mr. Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India said, “The BMW iX, with its unmatched sales performance, solidifies its status as the leading electric luxury vehicle in India. This impressive achievement plays a crucial role in propelling BMW Group India to the forefront of the luxury electric vehicle segment. Today marks a significant milestone as we proudly deliver 32 BMW iX electric vehicles to Leap for induction into their all-electric fleet. This delivery is not just a fulfilment of the largest single order of BMW iX vehicles for BMW India, but it symbolizes our shared commitment to sustainable mobility and luxury. Leap's pioneering vision of an all-electric luxury ground transportation network in India perfectly aligns with BMW Group India’s dedication to innovation and environmental responsibility. We are thrilled to see our BMW iX vehicles become a cornerstone of Leap's fleet, propelling forward the transformation towards a greener, more sustainable future in luxury travel.”

Mr. Robin Mann, Managing Director, Leap said, “As India’s first luxury transport service dedicated to sustainability, Leap is setting a new standard in the industry. Embracing the BMW iX into our fleet is a milestone for Leap and a testament to our vision for a greener future. We are thrilled to offer our clients the ultimate in luxury electric mobility, and we believe that this addition will enhance their travel experience while contributing to environmental conservation. The company’s all-electric fleet represents the pinnacle of safety, luxury, and innovation, offering clients a unique opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint without compromising on comfort or style.”

About Leap.

Leap is India’s premier sustainable luxury ground transportation provider, offering an exceptional travel experience while fostering environmental responsibility. With a fleet of the latest all-electric luxury vehicles, Leap is dedicated to providing safe, quiet, and advanced transportation options for both retail and institutional clients.

BMW Group Electric Vehicles

BMW Group Electric Vehicles (EV) continued leadership in the luxury segment for second year in a row by registering a three-fold growth in 2023. The BMW iX remains the largest selling luxury electric vehicle in India. BMW Group continues to dominate the luxury electric market with the most versatile portfolio - BMW i7, BMW iX, BMW i4, BMW iX1 and MINI SE. Launch of the first-ever BMW i7 and first-ever BMW iX1 further elevated the enthusiasm. Robust charging infrastructure in premium segment at BMW Group dealer network in 35 cities played a vital role in ensuring user confidence. MINI 3 Door Cooper SE is the highest selling premium electric hatchback in the country.


Born Electric: The BMW iX is the BMW Group’s new technology flagship. It is the first BMW without any numerals in its designation. ‘iX’ stands for the first BMW electric all-wheel drive vehicle (SAV – Sports Activity Vehicle). It effortlessly combines premium mobility with zero-emissions, sporting agility and a long operating range with luxurious spaciousness. The BMW iX is available as completely-built-up unit (CBU) in two variants - the BMW iX xDrive40 and BMW iX xDrive50 and can be booked through BMW dealerships across major metropolitan cities in India as well as

Characterised by sculptural and monolithic design, the iX represents a new face that makes mobility easier and comfortable while creating powerful presence. Interior is minimalist yet spacious with a feeling of ease and relaxation with freedom of movement giving it a lounge-like atmosphere. A host of BMW ConnectedDrive technologies continue to break the innovation barrier. The Fifth generation BMW eDrive technology features a highly integrated drive unit within a single housing that is powered by two electric motors (for front and rear axles), single-speed transmission and power electronics. The iX instantly accelerates from 0 to 100 kilometers/hour in 6.1 seconds with an output of 326 hp. ‘My Modes’ switch changes driving character to Personal, Sport or Efficient. BMW IconicSounds Electric creates engaging driving sounds and pedestrian alerts. Two high-voltage batteries integrated in the floor have a combined capacity of 76.6 kWh and provide a range of up to 425 kilometers.

1,000+ Co-Living And Hostel Facilities In Karnataka And Tamil Nadu Onboards 'CRIB PLUS' Property Management App

CRIB Property Solutions, a pioneering startup based in Bengaluru, has successfully onboarded over 1,000 co-living spaces and hostels in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu onto their app. Nationally, CRIB's mobile app is utilized by over 1,000 landlords with 2,500+ properties, managing over 150,000 beds and generating a rental income of over Rs 2500 crores.

CRIB is spearheading a transformative shift in the operational dynamics of co-living spaces, hostels, and similar accommodations across the country, with a significant presence in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. With its robust and efficient solution, CRIB is not only benefiting property owners and operators but also proving to be invaluable for tenants.

CRIB's software applications are meticulously designed to optimize property management, offering a cost-effective, seamless, and expedited experience for all stakeholders. The CRIB app aids property owners in efficiently managing tenants, rent collection, vacancy monitoring, tenant communication, and other essential functions. Notably, the cost of managing per bed is less than Rs 100 per month and can further reduce to around Rs 50 per bed for larger setups, making it an economically attractive solution for property owners.

Sunny Garg, Co-founder of CRIB Property Solutions, emphasized, “CRIB is revolutionizing the operational landscape of co-living and hostels in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Our objective is to provide a comprehensive solution that not only streamlines property management but also enhances the living experience for tenants. The overwhelming response from businesses and property owners underscores the significant impact CRIB is making in this industry."

Property owners and operators are reaping substantial benefits from the CRIB app, as it not only modernizes property management but also proves to be cost-efficient and user-friendly.

Shashank Reddy, founder of Sugathi Hometel, which operates multiple co-living spaces and hostels with approximately 500 beds under management, expressed gratitude to CRIB for simplifying their work processes.

Reddy stated, “After using CRIB, our work has become remarkably simple and convenient. Everything we need is available in one app, such as monthly rent reminders, collection records, reports, and much more. This enables me to manage my properties with ease, and the app is very intuitive, making it easy for anyone to adapt to it with just a few days of training."

As the demand for improved living facilities and co-living setups continues to surge, CRIB is playing a pivotal role in assisting service providers in upgrading and aligning with the evolving expectations of tenants

About Crib:

Crib is a cutting-edge SaaS-based property management solution provider founded in 2022. The platform connects landlords and tenants, offering a digital ecosystem that simplifies and enhances the rental housing experience. With a focus on technology, automation, and transparency, Crib has become a leading player in the real estate sector, managing over 1.5 lakh beds in multiple cities and facilitating yearly rents exceeding Rs 2,500 crores.


How To Use MobiKwik Pocket UPI For Simplified UPI Payments

The fintech sector has rapidly evolved by leveraging technology to offer cutting-edge solutions that enable users to manage their finances more effectively and securely.

However, recent data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reveals that during the first half of FY24, over 14,000 banking-related scams took place. As these scams become more sophisticated, fintechs are proactively implementing solutions to strengthen the security and trust of their users.

MobiKwik, a fintech company is leveraging the power of UPI by enabling its users to make safe transactions with Pocket UPI - a powerful feature that enhances the functionality of its digital Wallet. Pocket UPI enables users to leverage their MobiKwik Wallet to make payments across all operators’ QRs and UPI IDs seamlessly, without directly linking the bank account.

Pocket UPI enhances security by reducing repetitive exposure to the bank account while making UPI payments. It is a convenient option to make UPI payments for minor and recurring expenses, as it consolidates minor and recurring expenses, decluttering bank statements for improved financial visibility. It works 24/7 even during bank downtimes.

How to get started with Pocket UPI? The process is easy:

First, scroll down on the MobiKwik app and select Pocket UPI. To create your Pocket UPI ID, you must first complete the KYC. 

Load your MobiKwik Wallet. You can add balance to your Wallet using UPI, debit cards and credit cards.

Once your balance is topped up, you can start making UPI payments through the Wallet to any QR code, contact, and UPI ID.

How to pay using Pocket UPI?

Tap on the scan icon.

Scan the recipient’s QR code or enter the name/phone number/UPI ID in the bottom bar.

Enter the desired amount.

Choose Pocket UPI from the drop-down menu.

Tap on confirm payment.

Once the payment is made, MobiKwik will send you an alert via text message to confirm the payment along with the remaining balance in your Wallet.

To learn more about how Pocket UPI works, please take a look at our blog. You can also check out this video to see Pocket UPI in action: Know how to use Pocket UPI.

About MobiKwik

MobiKwik is a fintech company that is a comprehensive provider of financial products and services. Our products range from payments to digital credit and investments, enabling our users to meet their financial needs.

Founded in 2008 by Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku, MobiKwik has grown to serve over 146.94 million registered users across India, with a merchant network of over 3.81 million as of September 30, 2023.

SBI Life & Lucknow Super Giants Unveil The Spectacular Larger-Than-Life ‘Helmet’ Installation At Ekana Cricket Stadium

* The enormously large helmet, prominently installed at the Ekana Cricket Stadium is symbolic of the importance of protection, both on and off-field

SBI Life Insurance, one of the most trusted private life insurers in the country, along with Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), inaugurated the spectacular ‘larger-than-life’ helmet installation at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, the team's home ground in Lucknow. The helmet installation, measuring an impressive 27 feet in height and 34 feet in width is prominently placed right at the main entrance of the stadium serving as a visual treat for the visiting cricket fans and also the larger populace around the city.

The objective behind this grand scale of the imposing helmet structure is to raise awareness around the need & importance of life insurance by spurring progressive conversation around the significance of protection on-field & off-field. Capturing the attention of cricket enthusiasts, the unique structure aims to convey that ‘Life Protection Se Bada Kuch Nahi’ to the locals of Lucknow city, emphasizing on protecting one’s life with necessary safeguard against uncertainties. 

Unveiling of the ‘larger-than-life’ helmet was graced by Mr. Ravindra Sharma, Chief of Brand, Corporate Communication & CSR, SBI Life Insurance, along with Mr. Salmantaj Jafer Taj Patil, DCP Traffic, Lucknow; Mr. Kamlesh Kumar Dixit, DCP Women Crime Safety, Lucknow; Mr. Rahul Rahi, Regional Director- Lucknow, SBI Life Insurance and Keshav Maharaj, LSG player in presence of other respected dignitaries.

Being the Official Lead Helmet Partner of Lucknow Super Giants, SBI Life aims to underscore the poignant parallel between the protective function of a helmet on the cricket field and the vital role of insurance in protecting the financial future of individuals & their loved ones off-the field. Just like a helmet protects the player from any potential setbacks on the field so that they can play confidently and achieve their team’s target without worrying about the risks. Similarly, life insurance plays the role of an enabler which allows individuals to confidently pursue their dreams & aspirations while simultaneously safeguarding the needs of their loved ones, in case of uncertain events.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Ravindra Sharma, Chief of Brand, Corporate Communication & CSR, SBI Life Insurance said, "Introducing the concept of protection to cricket enthusiasts, the monumental ‘larger-than-life’ helmet installation at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow serves as a powerful conversation starter. It epitomizes the message that  'Life Ki Protection Se Bada Kuch Nahi’, which echoes our brand purpose of liberating individuals to fulfil their dreams while taking care of familial responsibilities. Cricket is beyond a sport, it is an interplay of historical, cultural, economic & emotional factors, thus it provides an opportunity to connect with the larger fanbase of this amazing sport and spur meaningful conversations on the importance of protection, both on and off field. With the current rate of insurance penetration in India, it is crucial to continue our efforts about raising awareness around the need & importance of insurance to build a secured financial future. Our collaboration with LSG is an effort to foster meaningful engagement with the cricket enthusiasts across the country and liberate them to pursue their passion. " He further added, "We believe this association seamlessly illustrates the synergies between the importance of insurance and helmet, highlighting the significance of protection both on and off the field. We are thrilled about our journey with Lucknow Super Giants and anticipate a season filled with exhilarating performances. As we continue to promote insurance awareness across the country, we will hope that our efforts translate in actions taken by the cricket enthusiasts towards protecting the future of their loved ones through life insurance”.

The helmet, one of the most visible assets in cricket, offers an extraordinary opportunity for SBI Life to symbolically emphasize the commitment to championing protection and igniting positive change, especially for the cricket fans nationwide. Just as a helmet shields the player from on-field risks, life insurance provides financial security, empowering individuals to pursue their dreams without holding back.

About SBI Life Insurance

SBI Life Insurance (‘SBI Life’ / ‘The Company’), one of the most trusted life insurance companies in India, was incorporated in October 2000 and is registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in March 2001.

Serving millions of families across India, SBI Life’s diverse range of products caters to individuals as well as group customers through Protection, Pension, Savings and Health solutions.

Driven by ‘Customer-First’ approach, SBI Life places great emphasis on maintaining world class operating efficiency and providing hassle-free claim settlement experience to its customers by following high ethical standards of service. Additionally, SBI Life is committed to enhance digital experiences for its customers, distributors and employees alike.

SBI Life strives to make insurance accessible to all, with its extensive presence across the country through its 1,028 offices, 24,060 employees, a large and productive network of about 243,590 agents, 74 corporate agents and 14 bancassurance partners with more than 41,000 partner branches, 150 brokers and other insurance marketing firms.

In addition to doing what’s right for the customers, the company is also committed to provide a healthy and flexible work environment for its employees to excel personally and professionally.

SBI Life strongly encourages a culture of giving back to the society and has made substantial contribution in the areas of child education, healthcare, disaster relief and environmental upgrade. In 2022-23, the Company touched over 1.1 lakh direct beneficiaries through various CSR interventions.

Listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange ('BSE') and the National Stock Exchange ('NSE'), the company has an authorized capital of Rs. 20.0 billion and a paid-up capital of Rs. 10.0 billion. The AuM is Rs. 3,714.1 billion.

For more information, please visit our and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

(Numbers & data mentioned above are for the period ended December 31, 2023).

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Honoured With ‘Commendation For Significant Achievement’, Under Its CSR, AtTthe 18th CII-ITC Sustainability Awards

Recently, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) was recognised for its best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices under the category ‘Commendation for Significant Achievement’ presented at the 18th CII-ITC Sustainability Awards. This is a testament to the company’s relentless social efforts and the robust framework for CSR governance and its successful implementation. 

For this award, the TKM CSR activities were evaluated by the CII-ITC assessors under the defined parameters that included Learning & Innovation adopted across all its CSR projects. The company’s social initiatives demonstrated strong alignment with these parameters. Furthermore, as a part of its CSR implementation process, TKM conducts periodic internal assessment overseen by a board-level CSR committee, to actively monitor and comprehensively measure the impacts, ensuring objectivity, credibility, and commitment to compliance. Over the years, the company has implemented diverse assessment tools and systems to evaluate its performance and bolster community enhancement and environmental stewardship through sustained initiatives.

Notably, TKM's CSR strategy embodies a dual focus on "Empowering Communities" and "Enriching Environment". Driven by innovation and guided by the principle of Kaizen (continuous improvement), TKM's CSR projects are organized into six key pillars: Skill Development, Road Safety, Education, Environment, Health & Hygiene, and Disaster Management. Additionally, its sustainable CSR model emphasizes community ownership, unified interventions, behaviour change, and stakeholder engagement.

Sharing his thoughts, Mr. Vikram Gulati, Country Head and Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Governance, TKM, said, “At TKM, we are honoured to receive the 18th CII-ITC Sustainability Award. We firmly believe in the strong connect and the inclusivity that lies between business growth and societal progress. With a keen eye on enduring interventions, we are focused on catalysing positive behavioural changes especially through our child to community approach.  Our continuous efforts are to actively engage with communities, understand their unique needs, aspirations, and challenges and tailor well thought programs to address the specific issues faced by them with sustainability at the core.

TKM has been successful in attaining sustainability in CSR by incorporating long-term strategic planning, engaging stakeholders to collaborate & support, timely project executions, implementing effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track the project progressions, thereby aid the absolute community necessities.

This award reaffirms Toyota’s commitment to driving positive change and making a meaningful difference in the lives of people and the community. So far, we have achieved an outreach of over 2.3 million beneficiaries through our various social interventions. As we continue to evolve and adapt, we remain committed to optimal resource allocation and gauging effectiveness of all our CSR projects to enable stronger and meaningful interventions for the societal development.”

Rooted in Toyota's global vision, TKM's CSR programs are dedicated to fostering a resilient and sustainable society.

Simpl Expands Its Integration With Zomato; Goes Live On Zomato Gold, Intercity Legends And Zomato Everyday With Its 1-Tap Checkout

*       Expansion is to address the growing number of consumers seeking checkout convenience

*       Growth to be driven by increasing number of customers coming online and seeking convenience in checkouts

*       Simpl has recorded over 100 million checkouts during 2017-2023 on Zomato

India’s foremost Checkout Network, Simpl today announced an expansion of its partnership with food ordering and delivery platform Zomato, to integrate its 1-Tap Checkout with Zomato Gold, Intercity Legends and Zomato Everyday. This is intended to enhance convenience for millions of customers across the country while improving conversions, and increasing average order value apart from driving user retention among other areas on the platform.

This expansion is also in line with Zomato’s larger vision of bringing better food for customers, conveniently. Through these integrations, millions of new and existing customers are expected to use Simpl’s 1-Tap Checkout on Zomato to fulfil an array of needs, thereby expanding the serviceable user base for both companies.  This assumes significance as Simpl has crossed 100 million checkouts on Zomato in six years since 2017, indicating strong consumer preference for convenience at the checkout stage.

It will also be driven by a growing number of customers from tier-3 and beyond cities going online, along with increasing frequency of orders from customers in metro and tier-1,2 cities. Complemented by an increasing number of customers seeking convenience online with Simpl’s 1-Tap Checkout, both companies are expecting to significantly bolster their customer base over the next couple of years.

Commenting on the expansion of the partnership, Nitya Sharma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Simpl said, “Convenience is becoming a real differentiator in e-commerce today after selection and affordability, particularly with respect to food ordering and delivery, where customers transact more frequently than for any other category. This necessitates the need for a hassle free checkout solution which offers near zero transaction failures and a 1-Tap experience. These fundamentals have driven more than 100 million transactions on Zomato till date and we are excited to cater to a larger customer base with the Zomato Gold, Intercity Legends and Zomato Everyday, helping further deepen our presence in this space”.   

The checkout success rate via Simpl’s 1-Tap on Zomato stands at a staggering 99%, in a testament to customers’ willingness to increasingly use 1-Tap Checkout for added convenience. Simpl’s Checkout contribution on the platform has also grown significantly over the last five years, with spends per user via 1-Tap checkout growing by nearly 27x since 2018. The 2024 New Year's Eve saw the highest-ever single transaction of Rs 18,807 through Simpl’s 1-Tap Checkout on Zomato.

Rakesh Ranjan, Chief Executive Officer, Food Delivery, Zomato said, “Our endeavour is to deliver exceptional and convenient customer experience at all times. Simpl has been our long standing partner and the integration across offerings has allowed us to extend 1-Tap access to our customers, making their interaction with the platform seamless and hassle free".

Simpl’s 1-Tap Checkout, which is available across 26,000 merchants,  offers the convenience of a checkout in a single tap with near zero transaction failures and is preferred by millions of consumers. Currently, several large enterprises and emerging Direct-to-Customer (D2C) merchants in the food and hyperlocal delivery space offer Simpl’s 1-Tap Checkout to millions of their customers across the country.

About Simpl

Simpl is India’s foremost Merchant First Checkout Network, making payments invisible and money intelligent. Simpl is on a mission to empower merchants to build trusted relationships with customers, one transaction at a time. With more than 26,000 available merchants and millions of approved users pan-India, Simpl envisions creating a frictionless and inclusive digital payments experience for India that empowers and fosters trust between merchants and their customers.

Vistara Upgrades The Experience On Delhi-Bali Route With Its State-Of-The-Art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Encouraged by strong demand on the route and anticipated uptick in the upcoming summer season, Vistara - India’s finest full-service carrier and a joint venture of the Tata group and Singapore Airlines, today announced that it will be deploying its distinguished Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the Delhi – Bali route, effective 31 March 2024. Vistara launched daily, non-stop flights on this route in December 2023, operated thus far by its A321LR aircraft, and has been the only airline offering direct flights between the two cities.

Vistara’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering a spacious, three-class cabin configuration, is equipped with a cutting-edge in-flight entertainment system with live TV as well as in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity onboard. It also features lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration that gives direct aisle access to each customer.

Mr. Deepak Rajawat, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to announce the deployment of our state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for flights between Delhi and Bali. This strategic decision to increase capacity underscores Vistara's commitment to optimizing operations in response to the remarkable performance of the Delhi – Bali route and the constant surge in demand for direct connectivity between India and Indonesia. With top-notch amenities, enhanced comfort complemented with sumptuous inflight meals and exceptional service, we are confident that our customers will appreciate the choice of experiencing Vistara’s Dreamliner when flying on this route.”

Vistara accepts all eligible customers meeting visa/entry requirements in both countries, as specified by the respective government bodies. Vistara strongly encourages its customers to fully understand these guidelines before making their bookings. Bookings for the flights are open on all channels, including Vistara’s website, mobile app, and through travel agents.

Vistara is India’s highest-rated airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor, and it has been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, besides being lauded for world-class cabin cleanliness and upholding high safety standards. The only Indian carrier to feature amongst World’s Top 20 Airlines, Vistara has been named ‘16th Best Airline’ globally while also being recognised as the ‘Best Airline in India and South Asia’ for the third time in a row, ‘Best Airline Staff in India and South Asia’ for the fifth consecutive year, ‘Best Cabin Crew in India and South Asia’ for the third time in a row and ‘Best Business Class Airline in India and South Asia’ for the second time in a row at the coveted World Airline Awards 2023 by Skytrax. Vistara has also been recognised with World’s 4th Youngest Aircraft Fleet and Asia’s 2nd Youngest Aircraft Fleet awards in 2024 by ch-aviation.

About Vistara (TATA SIA Airlines Limited): TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons Private Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA). Vistara brings together Tata's and SIA's legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to offer India's finest full-service flying experience. Vistara commenced its commercial operations on 9 January 2015 to set new standards in the aviation industry in India, and it today connects destinations across India and abroad. The airline currently has a fleet of 69 aircraft, including 53 Airbus A320neo, 10 Airbus A321, and 6 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and has flown more than 50 million customers since starting operations.

For more information about Vistara, visit

The National Centre For The Performing Arts (NCPA) Has An Upcoming Festival NCPA@thePark In Bengaluru- At Freedom Park

You will be treated to an exciting blend of performances across music, dance & spoken word at Freedom Park in the heart of the city. With free entry on a first-come-first-served basis, what are you waiting for? Register now!         

The evening of 30th March begins with a performance by the country’s first and only professional orchestra—the Symphony Orchestra of India. You’ll hear works by Mozart, Johann Strauss and more, as well as some popular tunes you’re sure to recognise. Spoken word and music by UnErase Poetry will follow. Simar Singh, Priyanshi Bansal and Vanika Sangtani, accompanied by musician Abhin Joshi, will present stories about love, hope and life.    

31st March features Ratikant Mohapatra’s Srjan performing ‘Deesha - Navigating the journey of forging new horizons’, a neo-classical Odissi performance. Ending the weekend is a set by Darren Das & The Sixth Sense, who will have you grooving to the best of pop, retro, rock n roll and classic rock. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Israel Aerospace Industries Launches AeroSpace Services India (ASI), Furthering Its Presence In India

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a world-class aerospace and defense company, has opened AeroSpace Services India (ASI), its Indian subsidiary in New Delhi. The opening of ASI is a strong demonstration of IAI's strong collaboration with the Indian government’s 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'- MAKE IN INDIA vision. This also shows the commitment to the strong partnership between IAI and DRDO in developing and supporting advanced systems for the Indian armed forces.

ASI trades in Indian Rupees and is the sole authorized OEM’s Technical Representative for the entire Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) system. MRSAM is an advanced and innovative air and missile defense system that provides ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms. It is used by the Indian army, air force and navy. The system includes an advanced phased array radar, command and control, mobile launchers, and interceptors with advanced RF seeker. MRSAM is jointly developed by IAI and DRDO for the Indian forces.

IAI's President and CEO, Boaz Levy: “IAI proudly presents ASI as our first major milestone towards India’s ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT vision on self-reliance. INDIA & ISRAEL’s partnership has witnessed state-of-the-art achievement. This growth and development will create history when our two nations will foster IAI’s technology and India’s talent and expertise in the Defence sector. Together we will make Bharat ATMANIRBHAR”

“Over the past 30 years, IAI has worked closely with our Indian partners collaborating on some of the latest technologies. Our new ASI office will allow us to further that commitment,” said Danny Lauber, CEO Aerospace Services India (ASI). “We have a fabulous team of local professionals, and we are working together with our partners in the public and private sectors on the ground.”

ASI boasts a workforce of approximately 50 employees, with 97% being Indian nationals. Headquartered in Delhi, ASI's strategically located branches extend its services across the entirety of the Indian subcontinent, reaffirming its commitment to nationwide coverage and customer satisfaction.

With its new facilities on the ground, ASI can significantly reduce turnaround times for repairs and service operations, ensuring swift and efficient support to our esteemed customers. Additionally, by operating locally, ASI is committed to reducing the cost of services and repairs, thereby providing tangible benefits to its valued customers.

Photo Caption:  Mr. Oded Yaakobovitc Chairman of the Board Aerospace Services India (ASI), Mr. Boaz Levy President and CEO Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI) and  Mr. Danny Lauber, CEO Aerospace Services India (ASI).

BITS Pilani WILP To Host International Conference On “Work Integrated Learning” In Hyderabad

The Work Integrated Learning Programmes (WILP) division of Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani will be hosting International Conference on Work Integrated Learning (ICONWIL-2024) at its Hyderabad campus on April 15 and 16, 2024. With extensive focus on developing constructive directions for the future in the critical and specific domain of “work integrated learning,” the conference aims to bring together scholars, practitioners, and policymakers from across the globe. The aim is to provide a thought-provoking common platform, where they can exchange their research findings and innovative ideas, share best practices, experiences, and insights on diverse aspects, and discuss solutions for various practical challenges that are encountered by professionals in the field of teaching and learning.

Prof. (Dr.) T G Sitharam, the Chairman, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Government of India, has gracefully accepted BITS Pilani’s invitation to be the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony of the conference.

Engaging keynote speeches, panel discussions, and paper and case study presentations

The conference will have keynote speeches and panel discussions (on contemporary topics in work integrated learning space) by internationally acclaimed thought leaders from both academia and industry. Some of the prominent speakers who shall grace the conference are Prof. Manu Kapur, Professor, ETH Zurich, Prof. Daniel Jonathan Bernstein, Professor-Emeritus, University of Kansas, USA, Prof. Nelson Lacey, Professor-Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dr. Lakshminarayanan Samavedham, Associate Professor, University of Singapore, Dr. Edamana Prasad, Professor, IIT-Madras and Mr. P B Kotur, Global Head of Engineering Academy, L&T Technology Services Ltd. The conference will also have paper and case study presentations from researchers and practitioners on five engaging tracks i.e. perspectives on future directions for work integrated learning, pedagogical practices, assessment models, innovation and learning technologies, and industry-academia collaboration. 

Showcase of tech-powered innovative learning solutions and a hands-on workshop

A student competition, “EduForge,” focusing on tech-powered solutions for “work integrated learning” will also be held as part of the conference. The competition will challenge participants to conceptualize, design, develop, and present innovative technological solutions that can help enhance the learning experience of students. The participants will have opportunities to showcase their innovation in five different tracks i.e. AI-enabled work integrated learning, innovative solutions for experiential learning, tech-enabled student engagement and peer learning, tech-enabled assessment, and tech-enabled student support system. A hands-on workshop on leveraging Generative AI in teaching and learning (with specific focus on practical use cases in work integrated learning) will also be facilitated by Mr. Keshava Rangarajan, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Spanda AI, USA.

About Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

The Routledge International Handbook of Work Integrated Learning (2023) defines WIL as an educational approach involving three parties — the student, educational institution, and an external stakeholder (organisation) — consisting of authentic work-focused experiences as an intentional component of the curriculum. Students learn through active engagement in purposeful work tasks, which enable the integration of theory with meaningful practice that is relevant to the students' discipline of study and/or professional development.

Reflecting on the increasing need to focus more on the field of work integrated learning and its efficacy, Prof. G. Sundar, Director, Off-Campus Programmes & Industry Engagement, BITS Pilani, said, “In today’s dynamic world, where working professionals around the world are required to continuously learn and adapt to the ever-evolving requirements of their organisations and industry sectors, the work integrated learning serves as an appropriate model of education to update and upgrade their skills and knowledge, while helping them continue their professional career. BITS Pilani, one of the leading institutions in the work integrated learning space, has helped students and working professionals to do this and beyond for over 44 years now. ICONWIL-2024 is one of our initiatives to share our experience in offering the WIL model of education at scale in a sustainable way with the global practitioners, learn the best practices from them, and create a vibrant network to continuously build upon the knowledge.”

To know more about ICONWIL-2024 or to register (either as a national or international participant at the conference), please visit:

Tobacco Control - Here's An Alternative Agenda For India On Harm Reduction

In a recent submission, Lakshmi Ramamurthy, Hon. Trustee, Centre for Public Policy Research shared her thoughts on how tobacco harm can be curbed at a policy level in the country. She pointed out that India, in its act of imposing a ban on e-cigarettes in 2019, failed to make the distinction between the different classes of products. While in the finance bill of 2021, the government acknowledged the distinction between traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and HTP for taxation purposes, this distinction has not been applied in the context of the ban on e-cigarettes.

Panama hosted the Conference of the Parties tenth session (COP10) in February. COP10, under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), holds immense significance for the future of public health. The FCTC addressed three critical aspects of tobacco control — demand reduction, supply reduction, and harm reduction.

The Conference this time focused on forward-looking measures, exploring cutting-edge technology beyond FCTC, laying the groundwork for COP11. The discussions addressed tobacco's environmental impact, spanning from production and use to filter disposal, while emphasising the enforcement of civil and criminal laws against the tobacco industry. The COP10 declaration also reiterated the Parties' commitment to prioritising public health rights.

As an alternative to harm reduction especially to combustible tobacco used in cigarettes with proven public health impact, various countries across the world have embraced electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), such as vapes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). Research by different countries have concluded that e-cigarettes are less hazardous than combustible cigarettes.

A study conducted by Public Health England indicates that the risk of passive smoking associated with e-cigarettes is very low, as there is no combustible tobacco. Despite existing research and facts on e-cigarettes, the Finance Ministry of India announced a ban on e-cigarettes in 2019, following which manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage, and advertising related to e-cigarettes are prohibited. 

This prohibition instituted a comprehensive ban on e-cigarettes, encompassing all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), heated tobacco products (HTP), e-Hookahs, and similar devices. Although often grouped together as a single product class, these items constitute a diverse array with potentially significant disparities in toxicant production and nicotine delivery mechanisms.

However, the Indian Government, in its Act failed to make the distinction between these distinct classes of products. While in the finance bill of 2021, the government acknowledged the distinction between traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and HTP for taxation purposes, this distinction has not been applied in the context of the ban on e-cigarettes.

The decision to ban e-cigarettes, HTP, and similar products without a thorough examination of the scientific evidence may warrant reconsideration. The establishment of an effective regulatory framework can only be achieved when clear distinctions are made and informed by the scientific evidence regarding these products.

Despite two decades of global tobacco policy control measures, tobacco-related harm continues to inflict premature deaths and remains a leading cause of life-threatening diseases. India, a key member of FCTC, grapples with the challenge of having the world's second-largest number of smokers, approximately 100 million (GATS 2017). ICMR in its Cancer Registry Programme found that tobacco-related cancers accounted for nearly half (48.7%) of the country’s cancer burden in 2021.

India, which has predominantly concentrated on supply and demand reduction, has made notable progress in implementing measures like taxation, content regulation, and awareness campaigns. However, the outcomes of tobacco control have been only moderately successful. India will now have to prioritise scientific and fact-based solutions. A focus on harm reduction strategies that offer safer alternatives can play a pivotal role in reducing tobacco-related diseases and deaths among its vast population.

In India, tobacco consumption poses a grave and costly public health challenge. Approximately 5.3% of India’s healthcare expenditure is allocated to treating tobacco-related diseases, resulting in an annual cost of ?13,500 crore, and in 2023, tobacco-related healthcare expenditure accounted for 1.04% of the GDP. 

The widespread use, particularly in the form of smoking beedi and chewing tobacco, has raised significant concerns for public health in India. Over one million adults in India lose their lives annually due to tobacco use, representing 9.5% of the total mortality rate, making tobacco a leading preventable cause of death in the country. Despite the health risk, the quit rates in India, especially among men, remain low at just 20%. Efforts to combat the tobacco epidemic in India have primarily focused on raising awareness about the health risks of tobacco.

However, despite a high level of awareness, there is limited progress in reducing tobacco use or increasing cessation rates. Addressing these challenges necessitates strategies such as improving access to cessation support, addressing psychological barriers, and countering the influence of the tobacco industry to achieve a meaningful reduction in tobacco use.  

India’s current framework for tobacco control has yet to fully introduce harm reduction strategies, which involve exploring safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Countries like the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Japan, and Canada have embraced the concept of safer alternatives within their global tobacco control policies.

Harm reduction policies aim to assist smokers in quitting and, for those who do not, encourages them to make less harmful choices to improve public health. In the year 2022, Annual Population Survey of UK reported lowest smoking rates since 2011 with only 12.9% of adult population smoking cigarettes. The latest headlines for Tobacco Duty statistics say that total tobacco receipts for the financial year, 2022-23 were 3% lower than the previous year. Interestingly, 5.2% of the survey respondents stated that they were current users of an e-cigarette, an increase from 4.9% in 2021. 

For India, the key focus should be on scientific harm reduction strategies and further explore cutting edge technology with policymakers across the world. Rather than implementing a blanket ban, a risk-based approach, regulating products based on toxicants, should be considered. By integrating better and safer alternatives and prioritising the reduction of smoking prevalence, India can take steps toward achieving its goal of diminishing the burden of tobacco-related diseases and deaths.

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