Monday 25th September 2017

  • Affordable housing gets a boost; Fast tracking approval process need of the hour

    The government’s recent announcement of public private partnership policy to promote investment in affordable housing by giving incentives to private developers augers well with its mission to provide Housing for all 2022. The plan - segregated into eight models, entails extending central assistance of up to Rs 2.50 lakh per house to be built by private builders even on private lands. Read On ..

  • Why rejecting the modern world is a privileged fantasy!

    Romanticising the past is a common human compulsion, and may well have psychological benefits. But some people take it rather far, embracing millennia-old practices and lifestyles, like "paleo diets", or alternative medicines based on "ancient wisdom", and so on. Some even eschew as many of the trappings of modern life as possible. One such person is Mark Boyle, a man who rejects things like money, technology, electricity, etc, and is a much better person for it. Better than us, at any rate, judging by his books and regular Guardian columns. You might argue adopting an extreme back-to-nature lifestyle then crowing about it via a major website is slightly massively-hypocritical? You wouldn't be alone. More here

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  • Could India use Bollywood to improve literacy!

    For the 400 million "illiterate" citizens in India, TV has emerged as an educational tool. And for India, like many of the world's developing nations, literacy is crucial to fuelling economic success. There's little opportunity of reinforcing reading skills outside school. So to make functional readers out of the struggling ones, PlanetRead came up with a simple idea of adding "same language subtitling" (SLS) to film songs for the country's movie-hungry population. The subtitling is karaoke-style: words are highlighted as lyrics scroll by. Viewers read in the same language that they hear. (Ten of India's regional languages are available.) As most Indian film tracks have repetitive lyrics, audiences get a chance to practise reading the same words again and again. "The reading engagement takes place, not because the TV viewer is consciously trying to read along the songs, but because the brain automatically registers consistent associations between sound and text," says Brij Kothari, founder of PlanetRead. More here

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  • Are you an employee or a superhero?

    Honesty is underrated! Kids are underrated, because they are honest. We need to pay more attention to them! I watched the movie Sully last night, with my kids, and I think it's an underrated movie. A pilot can be an airplane employee or he/she can also be someone responsible for millions of lives over the years (as captain Sullenberger believes he has been). It's all perspective! What is life without some passion, some responsibility, some perspective! Bring your best to your job, bring some meaning to it and watch yourself transform from employee to superhero!

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  • The finance ministry holds the key to the rate of cruising growth in India

    With a 44% share of the global cruise market, Carnival PLC is now eyeing Indian shores. However, David Dingle, the company’s Chairman, says there are a number of fiscal challenges the government needs to fix before India can emerge as a competitive market for global cruise operators. Excerpts from a conversation as Tradebriefs caught up with him on his last visit to India in August, 2017. Read On ..

  • The consequences of agricultural loan waiver schemes

    Farm credit is a critical support for the country’s huge farm sector as the country’s agrarian economy is the source of around 15 per cent of GDP. The farm sector also contributes to 11 per cent of exports and provides livelihood to about half of India’s population. Outstanding bank advances to agriculture and allied activities have risen from about 13 per cent of GDP in 2000-01 to around 53 per cent in 2016-17. Much of this credit flow has been propelled by the policy thrust on expanding credit to agriculture, especially through priority sector lending (PSL) stipulations. Read On ..

  • This is how your fear and outrage are being sold for profit

    Every time you open your phone or your computer, your brain is walking onto a battleground. The aggressors are the architects of your digital world, and their weapons are the apps, news feeds, and notifications in your field of view every time you look at a screen. They are all attempting to capture your most scarce resource - your attention - and take it hostage for money. Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising and subscription revenue. To do this, they need to map the defensive lines of your brain - your willpower and desire to concentrate on other tasks - and figure out how to get through them. You will lose this battle. You have already. The average person loses it dozens of times per day. More here..

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  • Premature Scaling: Why It Kills Startups and How to Avoid It

     alt=The Startup Genome analysis, which investigated 650 Internet startups, found that "premature scaling is the most common reason for startups to perform poorly and lose the battle early on". Similarly, a complementary report on 3200 high growth startups revealed that "74% of high growth internet startups fail due to premature scaling". Premature scaling, thus, is a startup killer. But what, exactly, is premature scaling? And how can you prevent it from leading to the death of your company? This article provides detailed answers to these two questions as well as outlines various key strategies for successfully growing your business. More here..

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  • College textbooks are going the way of Netflix

    Silicon Valley loves coming in and wreaking havoc on traditional industries. But something weird is going on in the textbook industry: It's disrupting itself. For a while, Pearson had been offering digital versions of textbooks that were simply the same book, just in electronic form. Its new products are markedly different. Instead of buying a book, students pay for a semester-long subscription to software that can be consumed on any device - consumed, not read. The new textbook has fewer words, more interactive exercises, videos, and animation - which also means less reading. More here..

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  • How to scale Customer Service as your Startup grows!

    As your startup grows, what your customers expect from you will change and the volume of their requests will change. You'll shift from the reactive mode of supporting requests as they happen to the proactive mode of fixing issues before they ever become a problem. This HBR piece by Michael Redbord provides a framework for your customer service processes as your company grows from Founder stage (0-5 employees) to Mid stage (20-100 employees) to Growth stage (100-250 employees) to Scale up stage (250+ employees). More here..

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