Flipkart’s Big Billion Days: Realme India sold over 1 million Smartphones

Realme smartphones have been well received in the indian market due to its aggressive pricing strategy. Last month, the company had revealed that it had hit the one million sales mark in just four months after it started selling Realme 1 and two weeks of Realme 2 launch.

The company, which started off as a sub-brand of Oppo and recently split from its parent company to operate as an independent brand, recently launched Realme 2 Pro and Realme C1. The devices were available for purchase in Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale, during which , the company claims to have sold over one million phones.

Along with that, the company also claims that it managed to sell 110,000 units of Realme C1 entry-level smartphone in just one second during Flipkart’s sale. With such sales record, the company claims to have become the number two smartphone brand during the sale, just behind Xiaomi.

During the Flipkart sale, two devices from Realme were made available for purchase — Realme 2 Pro and Realme C1. While the Realme 2 Pro takes on the likes of Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, Motorola One Power, Nokia 6.1 Plus, and Xiaomi Mi A2, among others, the Realme C1 competes against the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 6A.

The Realme C1 is priced at Rs. 6,999 that roughly converts to $95, while the pricing for Realme 2 Pro starts at Rs. 13,990 (approximately $189) for the base model that packs 4GB RAM. It is also available in two other variants, packing 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM, costing Rs. 15,990 (~$216) and Rs. 17,990 (~$243) respectively.

“No Mobile Number, No Internet Banking” Says SBI

The gigantic public sector money lender has rung the alarm of caution for those who are users of internet banking but still have not registered their mobile numbers with their respective SBI branches.

SBI’s dictate to cease all internet banking services to unregistered mobile number will come into effect from 1st December therefore the users have to get their mobile numbers registered before the deadline.

“Attention INB (internet banking) users, please register your mobile number with us immediately, if not already done, through Branch, failing which the Internet Banking facility may be blocked with effect from 01.12.2018,” SBI said on its website.

If your mobile number is not registered with SBI, you will be required to visit the home branch.

Last year, banking regulator, Reserve Bank of India or RBI had asked banks to ask their customers to mandatorily register for SMS alerts and wherever available register for email alerts, for electronic banking transactions. “The SMS alerts shall mandatorily be sent to the customers, while email alerts may be sent, wherever registered. The customers must be advised to notify their bank of any unauthorised electronic banking transaction at the earliest after the occurrence of such transaction, and informed that the longer the time taken to notify the bank, the higher will be the risk of loss to the bank/ customer,” said the RBI circular dated 6 July 2017.

Last month, SBI had also announced a change in the ATM withdrawal daily limit. SBI has lowered the daily cash withdrawal limit to Rs 20,000 from Rs 40,000, applicable on SBI Classic and Maestro debit cards. The new rules come into effect from 31 October.

Airtel launches Rs 389 Plan after Jio: Offers 105 GB data and More

Airtel has introduced Rs 398 prepaid recharge plan which is expected to take on Reliance Jio’s Rs. 398 and Rs. 349 prepaid recharge plans. It comes with benefits of 1.5GB daily data, unlimited voice calls to any network across the country and 90 SMS per day, not 100 SMSes. Same as Reliance Jio, Airtel’s also providing unlimited local, STD and national roaming calls within India and there’s no limit on how many calls you want to make.

Airtel is also offering a prepaid plan of Rs 399 which comes with a validity of 70 days and 84 days. It is also worth mentioning that while Airtel’s Rs 399 recharge pack is a segmented plan and is not available to all subscribers, Airtel Rs. 398 prepaid recharge plan is an open market plan which is valid across all the 22 telecom circles in India.

To recall, Airtel has also revised its pre-paid plan of Rs 289. In this pack, now 4 GB data will be provided, and the validity has been increased to 84 days. Earlier Airtel’s Rs 289 prepaid plan had a validity of 48 days, along with unlimited calling and free SMS. Under this new prepaid plan by Airtel, a user can get unlimited roaming, STD, and local voice calling without any FUP limit benefit, per day 100 free SMS benefit, and 4GB of data benefits for the entire validity of 84 days. The Rs.289 bundled prepaid plan is currently available only in the Kolkata circle.

Amazon sale: OnePlus 6, Redmi 6A top selling Smartphones

OnePlus 6 and Redmi 6A have emerged as the top selling smartphones on Amazon over a period of six days during the Great Indian Festival sale that ended yesterday. In the premium category, OnePlus 6 dominated sales while the affordable smartphone segment was led by Xiaomi’s Redmi 6A.

Both models were being sold exclusively on Amazon India during the festive sale. While OnePlus 6 was being sold for Rs 34,999 for its 128GB internal storage/8GB RAM variant, Redmi 6A was available for Rs 5,999 in 2GB RAM and 16GB storage version.

Xiaomi sold 1 million mobile phones on the first day of the Amazon sale itself while OnePlus phones worth Rs 400 crore were sold on Day 1.

Overall, Xiaomi phones on Amazon.in registered 200% growth over last year’s sales while the growth for OnePlus mobile phones was 100%.

Smartphone buyers also took advantage of no-cost EMIs as every second Amazon customer chose to buy iPhone X on EMI.

Besides discounts and zero-interest EMIs, Amazon was providing another offer of free 1-year screen protection insurance.

In the consumer electronics category, Amazon claims that it sold more headphones during the sale season than what the entire industry sells in two months. In the Bluetooth speaker category, too, Amazon claims to have scored over rivals by selling more than what the entire industry sells in 45 days.

Counterpoint Research had earlier estimated that during the e-commerce sale season, e-tailers would sell about $1 billion worth of smartphones.


Now the Exotic Flavor of Tourism Is Laid at Your Feet with the Emergence of Virtual Reality

The world of tourism has ostensibly broken all the shackles of traditional outings to a particular place with a load of suitcase saddled at your back and so on. The emergence of Virtual Reality has brought the entire experience of an outing at your feet.

Virtual reality not only offers alternative forms of access to threatened locations, it also recreates historical experiences and provides virtual access to remote locations you might not make it to otherwise.

Up to 6,000 people were visiting Maya Bay every day before it was closed to tourists.

VR can elicit these same feelings as the real world can. Virtual worlds use sensory stimulation and vivid imagery to generate authentic experiences. Immersion in these environments can lead to a deeper understanding of a place or event than simply reading about it or looking at pictures.

There is evidence virtual reality can create absorption, or a state of attention, leading to a sense of “presence” or “being there”.

Immersive videos of Australian holiday destinations created by Tourism Australia have been viewed more than 10.5 million times over the past two years. Research conducted by Tourism Australia shows that almost 20% of consumers have used VR to choose a holiday destination, while about 25% plan to use VR to choose a future destination. There is evidence VR can sometimes surpass reality, potentially leading the participant to choose an alternate destination.

In 2018, the Australian War Memorial brought the Battle of Hamel to virtual life using 3D and 360 degree video.

Audiences can immerse themselves in the key action fought on 4 July 1918 on the Western Front via VR.

Wildlife watching can elicit feelings of empathy, surprise, novelty, even fear. It can also generate excitement, stimulation, entertainment and learning. But government regulation, cost, remoteness and seasonality of migratory patterns may limit opportunities for people to encounter some of the awe-inspiring creatures on our planet. Virtual immersion can offer alternatives that support conservation goals and provide transformative visitor experiences.

VR tourism could also help to increase health and well-being. Long working hours can lead to anxiety and depression. Research demonstrates immersion in the outdoors encourages relaxation, rejuvenation, expectation, surprise, trust in oneself, and improved self-esteem that can contribute to reduced symptoms. Short breaks using tourism-based VR experiences can mirror these effects and improve health.

Tourists encounter whales in the wild and are treated to a spectacular display.

New possibilities for VR applications – both practical and pleasurable – are emerging as the technology evolves. And as travellers seek new and novel experiences, combining virtual with real world experiences may become a common feature of tourism in the future.

DMRC hit brakes to metro construction; Approval of Phase IV pending

January 1, 2019 may begin without one of Delhi’s most ubiquitous sights for the past two decades – Delhi Metro Rail Corp’s (DMRC) construction work.

DMRC is yet to receive approval for Phase IV from the Delhi government, which has not cleared it since 2015. After it receives the state government’s approval, DMRC will have to approach the Centre for its go-ahead. Given that it is already the middle of October, there’s little chance of that changing by the end of the year.

Senior DMRC officials said that by the end of December they will finish Phase III and also start operations. In an e-mail response, DMRC confirmed this and added that with no approval in sight , it will “ not be in a position to start the implementation of Phase IV”.

This is the first time since 1998 that Metro construction work will not take place in at least some part of the city.

Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government declined comment.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has on two occasions in the past few months — the inauguration of the Janakpuri West-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Magenta Line and the flagging off of the Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus-Lajpat Nagar corridor of the Pink Line — assured that the Phase IV proposal would be cleared “at the earliest” .

Union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday criticised the Kejriwal government for “holding up development projects in Delhi”. He said that the Phase IV proposal has been stuck with the Delhi government for almost three years now with no signs of progress.

“Whenever I meet the CM I remind him to expedite the Phase IV proposal but he keeps giving some excuse or the other. There is a pattern with this government. They are not allowing development projects to happen,” Puri said.

There are six routes proposed under phase IV.

In media statements in April this year, the Delhi government “rejected” the proposed 21.73km Rithala-Narela corridor and the 22km Tughlakabad-Terminal 1 section, citing “financial losses” . Senior Delhi government officials who asked not to be named said at the time that the other four corridors — Janakpuri West-RK Ashram (28.92km), Mukundpur-Maujpur (12.54km), Inderlok-Indraprastha (12.58km ) and Lajpat Nagar-Saket G Block (7.96km) — were cleared.

DMRC said on Monday that it has not received any official communication from the Delhi government rejecting these two routes or approving the other four routes. Anuj Dayal, executive director (corporate communications) at DMRC, said that the Delhi government had on January 29 intimated that two corridors (Rithala-Narela and Tughlakabad-Terminal 1) could be deferred for the time being.

This is the first time since DMRC started construction work in the city in 1998 that any proposed corridor of the Delhi Metro has been stuck in bureaucratic delays.

Virendra Kumar Sharma, transport economist and infrastructure planner, said that the reason of “financial viability” cited by the Delhi government should not stand in the case of large development projects such as the Metro.

“Properties develop on the pretext of Metro projects. Areas such as Dwarka, Mundka and Noida Extension have developed only after the announcement of Metro reaching there. The coming of the Metro makes a locality financially viably. Such infrastructure plans should be kept away from politics,” Sharma said.

Doomsday for Self- Styled Godman Rampal; Awarded Life Imprisonment in Two Murder Case

Last week he was found guilty of two murders by Haryana court and now the judgement has been delivered in this regard, awarding him a sentence of life imprisonment.

Rampal and 26 of his followers were convicted on October 11 by a sessions court in Hisar in two separate cases of murder and other offences. The court held Rampal and his followers guilty of two murders and other offences, including wrongful confinement of people at his Satlok Ashram in Hisar.

The cases were filed by two men who alleged that their wives were murdered inside Rampal’s ashram at Barwala village where they had been held captive by the self-styled godman and his followers

The conviction and sentencing come after a nearly four-year-long trial of the in a makeshift court inside the Hisar district jail, where 67-year-old Rampal and his followers have been lodged since their arrest in November 2014.

Rampal was arrested after his 12-acre ashram was stormed by policemen. His followers were armed with stones, batons and guns. The days-long siege included Rampal using devotees as human shields.

In August last year, he was found not guilty of illegally confining thousands of followers and obstructing officials in 2014 when they stormed his ashram. Six people were killed as his devotees turned into a private army to prevent his arrest; hundreds were injured.

Rampal heads a sect that worships the 15th-century poet and mystic Kabir, known for a message of tolerance that is followed by people of varied faiths.

Piyush Goyal: MCL can achieve coal output of 162.5 mt

Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said, while stressing on long-term mining planning to raise output and ensure supply to power plants, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has the potential to achieve its target of 162.5 million tonne coal for this fiscal.

The minister visited Odisha’s coal belt to inspect mining operations in both the Ib Valley and Talcher coalfields of MCL.

Goyal first inspected Samleshwari Open Cast Project in Ib Valley Coalfields where officers briefed him on coal mining and supply operations, MCL said in a release.

Emphasising the need for preparing long-term project planning, the minister favoured mines-wise detailed plan to be prepared for at least 20 years of operations to overcome bottlenecks and ensure adequate supplies to consumers.

“We need to conduct mine-wise review regarding their coal dispatch capability,” he said while stressing on ensuring adequate coal supply to power plants.

Taking note of mines low performance following delay in shifting of a siding, the minister directed both MCL and railways officials to take up this project on fast track basis so that production from mines is not hampered.

The minister, after his visit to Bhubneswari OCP and Ananta OCP under Jagannath Area in Talcher Coalfields, was hopeful of MCL achieving its ambitious coal production target of 162.5 million tonnes during this fiscal.

“I can see you have a potential to achieve, rather exceed, your target of 100 million tonne coal from Talcher coalfields alone,” Goyal said.

The minister, who was warmly welcomed by villagers and their representatives, including local MLA, assured them that increase in coal production from mines would directly benefit the district and also help the state to execute more developmental projects.

The minister was accompanied by Inderjit Singh, Coal secretary, A K Jha, chairman of Coal India, R R Mishra, CMD of MCL and other senior officers.

MCL, which had produced over 143 million tonne coal during 2017-18, plans to produce a record 100 million tonne from Talcher coalfields in Angul district and 62.5 million tonne from Ib Valley Coalfields in Jharsuguda and Sundergarh districts, a company official said

Reliance to Call the Shots for Hathway and DEN Network

Reliance groups of company’s prospects of holding a controlling stake in Hathway Cable and DEN Network is in the offing as the shares of both network companies accelerated to 7 percent intraday on Tuesday.

Reliance Industries (RIL) is likely to announce acquisition of Hathway Cable and Den Network on October 17.

RIL is likely to buy stake via fresh equity issuance, which is likely to trigger an open offer for both companies, it added.

The deal will help boost Reliance Jio’s GigaFiber services as it expands its subscriber base. This deal is going to add premium customers for Jio improving their ARPU.

A meeting of the board of directors of Hathway Cable and Den Networks is scheduled on October 17 to consider and approve proposal for raising of funds by issuance of equity shares through one or more methods including further public issue/ADR/GDR/qualified institutional placement /preferential issue subject to such regulatory and statutory approvals.

Hathway Cable was quoting at Rs 29.85, up 3.11 percent and Den Networks was quoting at Rs 76.30, up 0.86 percent.

GTPL Hathway was quoting at Rs 97.95, up Rs 16.3, while Reliance Industries was quoting at Rs 1,147.25, up 0.65 percent on the BSE.