Construction & Real Estate SHRI group to invest Rs 600 cr on new affordable housing project in Greater Noida

With rising demand for affordable homes, SHRI Group has decided to develop its third housing project in Greater Noida where the realty firm will develop 2,000 units at an investment of around Rs 600 crore. The company, which has executed about dozen projects in the Mathura region and Greater Noida (West), will sell flats in a price range of Rs 18-35 lakh in this 8-acre project, SHRI director Ram Agrawal said.

The project ‘SHRI Sky Park’ would be constructed as per the area norms laid down under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) so that the eligible buyers can claim subsidy from the government, he added.

Real estate sector is facing a multi-year demand slowdown. But, of late, the demand for affordable housing has improved on the back of several positive measures announced by the Centre. The affordable housing segment has been given infrastructure status enabling real estate developers to access finance at lower interest rates. That apart, the Centre is giving interest subsidy of around Rs 2.5 lakh to home buyers under the PMAY scheme.

“We have started construction of our third housing project in Greater Noida (West). We will build about 2,000 units in this project. Initially, We have opened 700 units for sale in a price bracket of Rs 18-35 lakh,” Agrawal said.

The project is registered with the real estate regulatory authority (RERA) and is expected to be completed in the next 4-5 years. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 600 crore and the same would be funded through internal accruals and bank loans, he said, adding that the company intends to raise Rs 100 crore to fund this project, he added.

This is the company’s third project in Greater Noida. The first project comprising 2,000 units is complete and being handed over to buyers for possession, while the second project having 1,000 units will be delivered next year, he added. SHRI Group has delivered 12 projects in and around Mathura region comprising 9,500 units and four are under construction with 1,200 flats. It has also constructed a small shopping mall.

Premium Australian Accessories maker, STM Goods Introduces Dux and Dux Plus Series of Ultra Protective Cases for Apple iPad in India

STM Goods, a worldwide leader in premium accessories for digital gear, has recently started expanding its footprint in the Indian market. The company, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, is looking at the growth of the consumption of high-end gadgets in India, especially Apple products.

STM has two unique product lines, under its umbrella. STM Goods creates high end stylish laptop bags, cases and accessories, while Element Case creates high end phone cases. Both STM Goods and Element Case follow the core fundamentals of style, quality and innovation.

STM Goods has now made its flagship product, the Dux line of ultra protective iPad cases, available in India.

The naming inspiration of this collection comes from the term “Dux”, which in Australia, is referred to for the best student in class, scoring the highest marks.

The Dux and Dux Plus Series of iPad Cases come with best-in-class Military Specification Protection for Apple devices. The hallmark of the Dux product line is its clear panel design, which makes it easy to scan tags or barcodes on a device with no need to remove the case. The rugged construction is designed to protect your device from the rigours of the work and school environment without added bulk. Dux cases also work with most charging carts.

Commenting on the product line, Srithar Balakrishnan, VP Sales, Asia, STM, said, “STM has been designing tech accessories for over 20 years and with the same legacy, we’ve introduced the Dux line of products to India. The STM Dux and Dux Plus Series are symbolic of strength with military grade protection drop tests, as well as of superiority in design and features for usage at work, in the classroom and on the move.”

Key features of the DUX for iPad

  • Mil-Standard drop protection
  • Super protective polycarbonate and rubberised TPU bracket
  • Patented magnetic closure
  • Clear back
  • Instant on/off cover
  • Water resistant

Key features of the DUX Plus for iPad

  • Mil-Standard drop protection
  • Patented magnetic closure-to-stand functionality
  • Super protective polycarbonate and rubberised TPU bracket
  • Clear back
  • Instant on/off cover
  • Water resistant
  • Apple Pencil storage and protection
  • STM’s Dux and Dux Plus for iPad are now available in India in multiple colours and iPad sizes, at most Apple Channel Partners and Amazon.

Kareena Kapoor Khan teams up with Lakmé, launches her own makeup line

Adding to the long list of celebrities that have their own clothing and make-up line, famous bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor Khan now has her very own makeup line! The actress launched her own make-up line ‘Kareena Kapoor Khan by Lakmé Absolute’ co-created with Lakmé this season.

“I have been a special face for Lakme, and it is extremely special to me and the audience. The fact is that makeup is a woman’s best friend. Every woman wears at least a kajal or a lipstick,” said Kareena during Lakme Fashion Week finale (LFW). She also walked the ramp for designer Monisha Jaising’s latest collection ‘Shades of a Diva’, at the grand finale of LFW.

“I remember I first tried makeup when I was only four-year-old. Now with Lakme Absolute, my fans can connect to a makeup line that is close to me. We have handpicked every shade and each mood has been captured. The colours are bold, chic and playful, much like my nature,” said the Veere Di Wedding star.

Talking about her show-stopper dress, the actress said, “I said yes because of the gown. For the first time, I felt like the ultimate thing, thanks to Monisha’s touch of glamour that can make a woman feel very sexy. All the gowns she has are amazing.”

Air pollution jeopardizes brain function, study reveals

The world’s top 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) database, are in developing countries. Almost all the cities in low- and middle-income countries with more than 1,00,000 residents fail to meet WHO air quality guidelines. A new study from China has said, long-term exposure to air pollution lowers brain function, which reflects in decreased verbal and mathematics scores, apart from causing heart disease and breathing problems.

The study retrospectively analysed data of nearly 32,000 people from two waves (2010 and 2014) of the China Family Panel Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey that looks at topics like economic activities, education outcome, family dynamics, relationships, and health.

“We speculate that the pollutant damage is most likely accumulating in the white matter of the brain which is mainly associated with the language functioning. The negative impact of three-year accumulative exposure to air pollution for men’s verbal test scores is 49% higher than that for women,” Zhang, who is also a senior research fellow with the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said.

“This could be because men have a much smaller amount of white matter activated during intelligence tests so their cognitive performance is more affected. Of course, more research is needed to test this out,” Zhang added.

Though the research was conducted in China, the researchers suggest that the implications would be true for all developing countries, including India.

“The findings should be applicable to India. In fact, the impact probably is greater given that the air pollution is more severe in Delhi than in Beijing and other Chinese cities,” said Zhang.

According to WHO, 4.2 million deaths were recorded globally in 2016, whereas  in 2015 around 25 lakh people died in India due to air pollution. The situation is alarming for India as 14 cities in the country are among the world’s 20 most polluted cities.

‘Things In Common’ New Feautre Enrolled In Facebook

Facebook is testing a new way to get people to make new connections on the social networking site. The company is testing a feature called ‘things in common’, and as the name suggests, it will highlight things that are common between you and a non-friend user. So, for example, if you have a colleague who you haven’t befriended yet on Facebook, the site will highlight that in an effort to persuade you to add them to your friend list.

So according to reports, Facebook is testing this label feature with a select group of people in the US, and there is no word on when it will roll out for everyone. This feature takes into consideration things like common city, common Facebook groups, common college, common workplace, and more such things. The report notes that only things that are made public by the user show up in the label.

When you’re browsing a product page, which typically has a lot of comments on it, users who have commented on the post will have labels depending on your commonality with them. So if a user, who is from the same work place as you comments on a thread, and you happen to scroll past it, you will see a label above that user’s name informing you that they are from the same workplace as you. This essentially lets you discover people with common interests who aren’t on your friend-list.

Facebook notes that this works only on public posts, and labels only pull information that has been made public by the user. “Knowing shared things in common helps people connect. We’re testing adding a ‘things in common’ label that will appear above comments from people who you’re not friends with but you might have something in common with,” Facebook spokesperson told the publication. This new feature will also help in combating fake accounts, and build actual civil connections.


3D Touch Disabled From iPhone X Third Gen & Second Gen iPhone X Plus

Apple’s upcoming iPhone models with OLED displays will reportedly won’t have the 3D Touch feature.According to a reports, Blayne Curtis said that it is ‘widely understood’ that 3D Touch will be removed from the rumoured third-gen iPhone X and second-gen iPhone X Plus 2019 models. This comes after Curtis travelled across Asia to visit several companies associated with Apple’s supply chain.

This move could be in line with Apple’s drive to reduce wastage of resources. Early this year, the company’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the hardware required to make a screen that supports 3D Touch is complex and needs a sizeable amount of time and investment.

Since the technology’s introduction, it has not caught on with Apple fans and most do not even know what it is or that it is there in the first place. Apple’s watches have found a more suitable use for the technology, while iPads are yet to receive it.

Curtis’s words echoed predictions made by KGI Securities’ analyst and Apple expert Ming-Chi Kuo, who said that the company would opt out of using the 3D Touch technology, and will instead adopt something he calls a ‘Cover Glass Sensor.’ This would relocate the iPhone’s touch module to the surface glass instead of the display panel, allowing for a lighter and stronger display.


Jet Airways posts loss in Q2, shares the recovery plan

After delaying the announcement of its quarterly results for 18 days, India’s oldest private airline, Jet Airways has incurred losses of Rs1,323 crore ($189.2 million) in the second consecutive quarter, mainly due to sharply rising fuel prices and a weak rupee.

“The rise in the price of brent fuel, a depreciating rupee, and a resulting mismatch between high fuel prices and low fares have adversely impacted the Indian aviation industry, including Jet Airways,” Vinay Dube, CEO, Jet Airways, said. The company’s fuel cost for the quarter rose 35% year-on-year to Rs2,332.49 crore.

Jet is not the only Indian airline badgered by macroeconomic factors.

Last month, IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, posted a 97% year-on-year decline in net profits for the June quarter as its fuel expenses rose by 54%. On Aug. 14, SpiceJet reported losses of Rs38.06 crore; its fuel costs had risen by 52%.

Recovery plan

Jet is reportedly going through an acute cash crunch because of which promoter Naresh Goyal is believed to be in talks to sell a part of his stake.

However, the company has now put in place a turnaround strategy for itself.

“The board also considered various cost-cutting measures, debt reduction, and funding options, including an infusion of capital and monetisation of assets, including the company’s stake in its loyalty programme,” said an Aug. 27 press release from Jet.

Here are the key decisions:

  • The cost-cutting: The company plans to save Rs2,000 crore over the next two years by cutting corners on maintenance, selling and distribution, fuel rate optimisation, debt and interest as well as enhancement of crew, and manpower productivity.
  • Fuel-efficient flights: Jet Airways will induct fuel and cost-efficient B737 MAX aircraft.
  • Asset monetisation: It plans to sell assets like its JetPrivilege loyalty and rewards plan that has about 8.5 million members.
  • Non-fuel costs and revenue: The airline will reduce its non-fuel costs by up to 15% in the next eight and 10 quarters. It will also aim to deliver a 3-4% growth in revenue per available seat through tactical and strategic initiatives around pricing, network, and sales.

Manish Sisodia’s Visit To Moscow For Education Reforms Blocked For Not Getting Centre’s Clearance

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia lashed out at the Narendra Modi government claiming that the Centre is blocking his visit to Moscow. The Delhi Deputy CM is scheduled to visit Moscow to speak at the World Education Conference on the education reforms in Delhi.In a series of tweets, Sisodia said: “I was invited to speak about Delhi Education reforms at the World Education Conference, Moscow. I was supposed to leave tonight but it’s unfortunate that Govt of India has not given permission. It’s pending ‘under process’ for last 10 days.”

“Delhi’s education reforms have been getting international press coverage in past few months. It’s unfortunate that PM Modi doesn’t want this to reach int. platforms. Sir! Delhi is also part of India! If our schools get international recognition, it’s a matter of pride for India,” he tweeted.The Delhi government has been taking a series of steps for the betterment of education in the national capital. Just recently, Sisodia, who also holds education portfolio, had said that all government schools would be free up to Class 12.

“Education in all govt schools would be100% free upto class 12th. Though there was no fee upto class 8th but still a nominal fee was being charged from class 9th onward. Today it was decided to scrap this fees also,” he had said.

He had also said that the Alumni Association of govt school students will be launched soon. Under the project the government will be inviting alumni to work for uplifting of schools.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also said that educational institutions in Delhi should strive to be among the top 10 institues of the world. He also assured that his government will provide the institutes with funds to achieve that aim.

“No Indian institute figures among the top 10 institues of the world. It is our dream that at least one college or university from delhi makes it to the top 10 list, he said.


Relief just a tweet away: Sushma Swaraj


Popular among Twitterati for rescuing Indians stranded in several places around the world, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj said today during her four day visit to Vietnam & Cambodia, “If a ‘Pravasi Bharatiya’ gets stuck anywhere in world, they are confident that the government will save them. Relief is just one tweet away.”

“What was never a priority in embassies, has become top priority now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made overseas Indians proud and the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) made them confident,” she added.

Ms Swaraj is extremely popular on social media for her prompt response to SOS posts from across the world, over problems ranging from passports and visas to crises in violence-hit nations. She is among the most followed women politicians on Twitter.

Ms Swaraj’s visit to Vietnam and Cambodia is part of New Delhi’s plan to “add dynamism to India’s Act East policy,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Last month, Ms Swaraj took note of a tweet from an Indian man saying he lost his passport days before his wedding. In September last year, a 32-year old Indian man’s SOS video with a tweet to Ms Swaraj made sure that he was rescued from his employer in Saudi Arabia and brought back home.