When passion becomes profession

What began as passion for travel soon became a profession for Ritu Goyal Harish. She formally set up Ease India Travel, a bootstrapped start-up based in Pune in January. It specialises in curated holidays to Bhutan, paragliding trips in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra Valley, birding and hiking trips in Coorg, Karnataka, and temple tours across nine famous religious landmarks in Kerala and beyond.

The bone of contention called China

Barely a month has passed since India and China agreed to pull out troops from the disputed Doklam Plateau area of Bhutan near Sikkim, the focus is back on the region amidst report that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has strengthened its build up in the area.

The presence of Chinese troops in Chumbi valley overlooking the Doklam Pleateau was confirmed by Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa on Thursday signalling that another round of diplomatic effort would be required to diffuse the situation before it reaches the escalation point.

An exemplary life

Swapna James is an award winning farmer from a village 20 km from Palakkad town. The bus to Cherpaullasherry from Olavakode junction, goes near her village, Kulakattikurusi, an interior village, near  Kadampazhi-puram Hospital Junction. Journalists and government officials know her well, and her name goes out to the committees which look to honouring farmers for the work they do.  She has received the  Karshakatilakam award for best woman farmer, Akshayashree award,  and Desabhimani Award for organic farming.

The repo rate debate

Policy action: The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy committee (MPC) voted 5-1 in favour of leaving the policy repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent, in line with consensus and our expectations. The one dissenting member, Ravindra Dholakia, voted for a 25bp cut. The RBI also lowered the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 50bp from 20 per cent to 19.5 per cent, effective from October 14.

When iPhone dangles the dongle

Ever since the release of Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year, the tech enthusiasts have been divided into two sects. One that welcomes the omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack and other that advocates the ease of the 3.5mm headphone jack. But Apple has put a nail in the coffin with the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack in their next line of products. The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the much awaited iPhone X are spectacular devices which still do not have the 3.5mm headphone jack and most likely the jack is gone for good.

Get a move on, already

Dark clouds roll in and the heavens open up. That is the fear of people living in low lying areas. The fear of the known and unknown and the devastation that flash floods can do in the blink of an eye. Ever since the GDP print of 5.7 per cent has come in, panic has gripped policy mavens and perceptions about the nation’s economic well being have changed dramatically.

Device the mechanisms

Indian medical device industry is sitting on the cusp of transformation — from being a humble and often stressed provider of low end domestic healthcare equipments to aspiring of becoming a global supplier of high end devices of repute. The visionary Make in India programme as rolled out by our prime minister Modi and explicit support assured by various cabinet ministers who are stakeholders of medical device and healthcare sector has spelled the intent to transform the Indian manufacturing landscape and in turn spurred the medical device sector too.

It’s the tried & tested populism for Cong

After hitting prime minister Narendra Modi hard over issues like note ban and GST on the foreign soil, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is challenging the PM at his home turf, while making a strong attempt to counter the BJP’s charges against his party of being ‘anti-Hindu’ and ‘minority appeasers’ by paying obeisance in temples. Gandhi’s move to visit Hindu holy places in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat is being seen as a befitting reply to the hardline Hindutva of the BJP and RSS.

A risky proposition

Augmented reality, face recognition, driverless and electric cars are fast gaining mainstream momentum with companies like Apple, Tesla, Google, Ford and Lyft (among others) determined to embrace technological advantage to offer superior products and disrupt status quo.

Recently, Apple unveiled its new range of phones that bought augmented reality into the realms of actual reality by taking it mainstream and embedding it as an integral part of its product. A wide variety of the changes will not only drive consumption differently, it will also change the eco system around it.

The NPA Cheat sheet

Reserve Bank of India’s June edition of the financial stability report suggested that the gross bad loan ratio is expected to rise to a percentage between 10.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent of the total loan book in March 2018 as compared to 9.6 per cent in March 2017. For public sector banks, things can get uglier — the ratio may go up to 14.8 per cent in March 2018 from 11.4 per cent.