Difference between revisions of "Facebook Expands Free Internet Service In India With Its Partner RCom"
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Latest revision as of 13:19, 14 July 2019
India is Facebook’s second-largest market next to the US. “We just took another step towards connecting India. As of today, everyone nationwide can access free internet services for health, education, jobs and communication through Internet.org’s Free Basics app on the Reliance network,” Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the social network. The expanded programme means that any RCom subscriber is eligible to use Free Basics, which includes access to popular websites on news, weather, health, and local government information without paying any charge. The new name Free Basics intends to drive home the point that Facebook supports Net Neutrality rules.
India is Facebook’s second-largest market next to the US. The country has more than eight lakh users under the Free Basics initiative. Facebook had launched the initiative in India with RCom to offer free access to about 32 apps and websites in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa. The number of such free apps and websites has now been increased to more than 80. Zuckerberg has defended the programme stating that Free Basics and Facebook are 100 per cent supportive of Net Neutrality. Citing the example of farmer Ganesh Nimbalkar and his wife Bharati from Maharashtra, he wrote that Free Basics has helped the family double crop yield, eradicate insect infestation and invest in new crops and livestock.
We went back to our tent. We had taken a hut too. Cost us 300 bucks. They let us pitch our tent for free. For 4 people, spending the night at a beach for 300 was still pretty much a steal. We had planned to watch the sun rise but we woke up much early than anticipated. It was 4. And the sky was still dark. We ended up roaming on the beach for half an hour until it became so cold that we were shivering. It was probably one of the only few times in my life I regretted being single. It would have been much more special if I had someone I loved walking besides me as we just took a lazy stroll in the beach, away from all the craziness of day to day life. Followed up sleeping together in the tent, under the open sky.
The next day we had breakfast and started moving towards Karwar. Goa. For goa beaches and me it was the end. Time to come back to Hyderabad. We continued with the other guys for some time and then took a bus to Hubli, from where we had our train. It was an amazing road trip full of memories. Dudhsagar and then back. P.S This was the last trip I did in 2013. I traveled to Kerala once this year for an extended weekend. Apart from that I have been really busy with the start up I am currently employed in, working most weekends. Also I lost most of the Travel snaps I had with me after my Hard Disk crashed (Physical failure). This post was in draft from the last few months. Hence the availability of the photos. I have big plans for the end of this year. Till then I guess there wont be many more posts from my side. I just hope Shewali Tiwari keeps this blog alive.
Seeking to further strengthen the Navy's capabilities, the defence ministry has cleared a proposal worth Rs 20,000 crore to buy four state-of-the-art warships equipped with the deadly BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. GSL chief rear admiral Shekhar Mittal said they have already started working in this direction and are ready for construction of such big warships. We are already working on the project as our shipyard was recently modified to undertake the construction and integration of such weapon intensive platforms,' Mittal told Mail Today over phone. Once the commercial and other related negotiations are done, the project will be sent across to the cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for final approval, sources said.
The vessels would be the follow-on warships of the Talwar class frigates, six of which are already in the Navy and are known as project 11356 in the Russian Navy. Once the project starts, the GSL would take four years to start delivering the ships. The six previous warships of the Talwar class are already serving in the Navy and equipped with potent anti-ship missiles including the Russian Klub and BrahMos. They are Talwar, Trishul, Tabar, Teg, Tarkash and Trikand. Built fully in Russia, the first three have the Klub as their main weapon, while the rest have BrahMos as its major anti-ship arsenal.
The locally-built warships will be manufactured by Goa Shipyard Ltd. Vasco Da Gama facility, while the Yantar shipyard, which has delivered similar vessels for the Indian Navy in the past too, will build the other two warships, defence sources said. The Yantar shipyard has faced some problems in manufacturing the warships as the engines are built in Ukraine, which is not in good terms with Moscow at the moment. Sources in the GSL said the major portion of the weapon-intensive platforms would be made in India and more than 50 per cent of it would be built here. Surface-to-air missiles, including Shtil-1, would be from Russia, but we are going to involve a lot of equipments such as electronic warfare components from India,' they said. Share 69 shares The Navy has also given its mine counter-measure vessels (MCMVs) project worth Rs 32,000 crore to GSL. It has tied up with South Korean shipyard Kangnam to build 12 such boats. Senior defence ministry sources said Parrikar was a bit hesitant to nominate GSL for the project, but it was the only public sector shipyard available for completing the project.
It’s “a good effort to eradicate loot”, claims one post. Ever since an online campaign called the Taxi Revolution in Goa launched its Facebook page in April, it has been flooded with demands for the state’s inefficient cab service to be regulated. As visitors to the state well know, taxis in Goa are plagued by arbitrary rates. Customers have to pay return fare even if they take a one-way journey. “Whenever I have to go to the airport, I have to rely on family and friends to drop me off since taxi rates are so exorbitant,” said Mahesh Bharve, who helps run the campaign. Since cabs are the main mode of transport for visitors, Goa’s tourism industry is especially keen that the system should be rationalised. At least two major state dailies are also supporting this demand.
But even as alternatives are being discussed, the state’s political parties are treading warily, eager to avoid angering the powerful tourist taxi unions. Taxi union leaders have sought the help of the powerful Goa Forward Party ministers in the coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Aam Aadmi Party has sounded support for the taximen, while Congress state chief Luizinho Faleiro said the government cannot take a unilateral decision without consulting all stakeholders. The BJP-led regime is not particularly keen on Ola and Uber operating in the state either. Instead, it is pushing for a local app-based system, to be run by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation. However, in its attempt to gain some leverage, it has threatened to allow Uber and Ola to operate in the state if the the unions refuse to submit to regulation.
Goa has 500-odd black and yellow cabs, about 4,500 auto-rickshaws and 1,340 black and yellow motorcycle taxis (called “pilots”), which are preferred by the residents. In the mid-1980s, as tourism boomed, tourist taxis were introduced to supplement the inadequate public transport, and give farmers and other people displaced by tourism projects a stake in the industry. Currently, there are nearly 13,500 tourist taxis, all privately owned. Indiscriminate granting of permits each year has led to oversaturation, with more drivers chasing fewer tourists. Goa’s tourist demographic has shifted in recent years with the more affluent West European visitors thinning out and East European and domestic tourists growing in number.
In 2014, the state’s transport department fixed taxi fares - Rs 14-Rs 22 per km for small cars, Rs 72-Rs 146 per km for luxury cars. But these rates do not reflect the reality that taxis charge return fare even for one-way journeys. For people living in Goa, their views of the taxi services are largely informed by their personal experiences. Many are non-committal on the subject because they no longer use the erratic, overcrowded public transport or the expensive cabs but drive their own two-wheelers and cars. “It is true that some taxis even charge Rs 250 for short distances,” said Gunjan Pandey, who runs Pandey Bar and Restaurant on Palolem beach in South Goa.
“It all depends on what you negotiate and is flexible. But engineer Avinash Tavares supports the introduction of an Uber-style car-pooling system. “Goa has to have a reliable taxi service that can be hailed on radio or by app,” he said. Roland Martins, an activist with Goa Consumer Rights, argued that the entire system needs to be fixed. “The lack of a functional public transport system is the crux of the problem,” he said. “Taxis are just a symptom. Taxi drivers, however, claim that their fares reflect the cost of operation. “People think tourist taxi owners make a lot of money,” said Ulhas Kerkar, 58, a taxi driver in Panaji.
“I have been driving my car for 25 years and I still live in a rented house. At best we can support a family on these earnings, nothing more. There is a lot of propaganda against us but who wants to know the truth? Goa’s taxis and auto-rickshaws do not have fare meters. Successive governments have tried to rectify this, to no avail. The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa has now gone to court to compel the government to implement the rules. The tourism trade body also wants taxis to use “modern app-based systems” for operations, arguing that the current “inefficient system” was harming the state’s tourism sector and hampering its growth. Taxi drivers said they are not opposed to meters as such. “But meter pulsing should reflect the variable rates for micro cabs and luxury AC sedans,” said Subodh Tari, a driver where. Adding to the licensed taxi drivers’ woes apparently are informal taxi services run by individuals from their homes “for co-villagers and outstation friends”. They must also compete with nearly 27,000 private scooters and motorcycles for hire. But more than anything, taxi drivers are opposed to cab aggregators. “We will not join a cab aggregator,” Kerkar said. “If they come in we will stop plying our cabs.
100 billion acquisition of London-listed rival SABMiller Plc in 2016 had for years fixed beer prices along with Denmark's Carlsberg and India's United Breweries, which is part-owned by Heineken NV, the sources said. AB InBev conducted an internal investigation in the first half of last year, after closing the SABMiller deal, and found that executives had discussed and agreed on their submission of ex-brewery beer production prices to Indian state governments. Those ex-brewery prices would include all the production and marketing costs, as well as a proposed profit margin, and were used by state governments to set a maximum retail price. Earlier this month the Competition Commission of India (CCI) raided the offices of all the three brewers and found e-mails that showed executives were allegedly violating Indian anti-trust laws, Reuters has previously reported.
According to the three sources, those raids came after AB InBev approached the anti-trust watchdog to make disclosures under a so-called "leniency programme" that provides a whistleblower-type protection for cartel members disclosing wrongdoing. Sudhir Mittal, chairman of the CCI, did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for AB InBev, whose Indian offerings include Budweiser and Corona, said "it would not be appropriate for us to comment" for this article. Carlsberg, which sells beer under its own-name brand and also owns Tuborg, said it was "committed to complying" with all relevant laws. United Breweries, which commands a 51 percent share of the Indian market and sells the Kingfisher and Heineken beer brands in India, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Heineken declined to comment.
Calls to Shalabh Seth, the managing director of SABMiller in India at the time of the AB InBev acquisition, went unanswered. He now works for United Breweries. After Reuters reported the CCI raids on Oct. 11, United Breweries told the Indian stock exchanges the company took its compliance obligations seriously and was reviewing its legal risks and potential implications. Belgium-based AB InBev has said it takes anti-trust compliance "very seriously". 272 million if they are found to have operated a cartel, the sources said. Any company executives found to have fixed prices could also be fined. AB InBev could escape some or all of its share of the fines for self-reporting the issue.
It was unclear how much the alleged price-fixing may have cost consumers. The investigation will cast a further shadow on an Indian beer business that already faces stringent compliance and state-level regulation, making it tougher for brewers to expand. Though a young and affluent population, better social acceptance towards drinking and a growing pub culture have spurred beer consumption, many Indian drinkers still prefer potent spirits, particularly whisky, especially in smaller towns and villages. Most states individually regulate alcohol pricing and the companies need to submit and get prices approved every year by the local authorities. There are also separate labelling, licensing and brand registration norms. The ex-brewery prices set by the companies are also the base on which alcohol taxes, a vital source of state government revenue, are imposed.
That results in wild variations in retail prices. 1.77) in the northern state of Haryana, a major industrial hub, according to India's largest beer chain, the Beer Cafe. As part of its investigation, the CCI secured permission from a Delhi district judge to conduct search and seizure operations at the brewers' offices, only the third such raids in the watchdog's near 10-year history. Over two days, senior company officials were questioned about pricing, their computer hard-disks copied and mobile phones cloned to analyse communications over WhatsApp. One source gave an example of an e-mail that showed the companies were exchanging notes on their successes on achieving better prices in a particular state, and how that model can be replicated.
The source described the communication as a "brazen" anti-trust violation. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the contents of any e-mails. The watchdog suspects price-fixing in at least four Indian states, one of the sources said. The CCI's investigation unit will further question company executives and analyse the seized evidence before making penalty recommendations in a report, which will be reviewed by commission members in a process that could take up to 12 months. The Indian probe is the latest anti-trust headache for global brewers. Last year, the European Commission accused AB InBev of abusing its market dominance in Belgium by impeding the flow of cheaper imports into the country.
In 2014, a German regulator fined Carlsberg and smaller brewers for colluding on prices. The brewers are already facing an uphill struggle in India. An executive who has formerly worked for a foreign brewer in India said local governments were reluctant to allow price increases, fearing they would impact consumer purchases and, in turn, their tax revenues. Beyond pricing issues, sudden policy changes can also hit brewers. In 2016, India's Supreme Court banned liquor sales within 500 meters of highways and the same year the eastern state of Bihar banned alcohol. Three other Indian states and one federally-controlled island territory also ban or restrict alcohol sales. For Carlsberg, the Bihar state ban came just two years after the company opened a new brewery there. Top brewers also face a challenge from the growing popularity of premium segment craft beers. Sequoia Capital-backed B9 Beverages' "Bira 91" brand and a start-up brand "Simba" have lured drinkers with quirky branding and lighter brews. 10.2 million last year and is targeting a doubling this year, but could have grown at a faster pace if not for the stringent and varied state government regulations, its founder Prabhtej Singh Bhatia told Reuters.
With the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle at the centre, France and India on Friday stepped up their biggest naval exercises as the Indian Ocean's strategic shipping lanes draw ever more envious eyes. Without naming the Asian giant, India and France worry about China's growing economic clout and its territorial claims that have caused tensions in the South China Sea. Rear Admiral Olivier Lebas, who commands the French fleet that includes its only aircraft carrier. The vast majority of trade between Asia and Europe and the Middle East -- particularly oil -- is carried across the ocean, while internet-communications cables straddle the seabed that is rich with its own oil and gas fields. The 42,000 tonne Charles de Gaulle is one of 12 warships and submarines -- six from each country -- taking part in the 17th annual exercises off the coast of the Indian resort state of Goa.
French authorities say they are the biggest ever since the exercises started in 2001. And the presence of the aircraft carrier, which has just undergone an 18-month refit, is no accident. Row after row of Rafale fighter jets were launched to deafening roars off the carrier's 261 metre (860 feet) runway. Indian Ocean, said Rear Admiral Didier Maleterre, the head of French maritime forces in the region. France annoyed China last month by sending a warship into the Taiwan Straits. The ship was intercepted by the Chinese navy and Beijing made an official protest, while France insisted it was exercising "freedom of navigation". French diplomats insist there is no link between that incident and the Indian Ocean exercises. The links between India and France "are certainly not a partnership aimed against any country in the region or any power in the world," said Alexandre Ziegler, French ambassador to India. The Charles de Gaulle is being used again as a projection of French power however. In March, it took part in international operations in the Mediterranean against the Islamic State group. From these exercises, the carrier is to go on to Singapore.
For the first time ever, an Indian University will be hosting Federation Internacional de Estudios Sobre America Latina y el Caribe “FIEALC”. The UGC Center for Latin American Studies at Goa University (GU) has won the bid to host the 20th edition of FIEALC in 2021; it was bidding against Chinese University, and the St Petersburg University of Russia. The bidding process took place at the recently concluded 19th FIEALC in Szeged, Hungary in July. Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Well, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK once again impressed the audiences by walking the unexplored path with Stree, which fell into the horror comedy genre. The duo is expected to start work on Go Goa Gone 2 but it seems that despite all being ready, the director Jodi is facing trouble due to logistics. The two of them are expected to return with the comedy, albeit with a new story line this time. While Saif Ali Khan and the rest of the actors are keen on coming on board, the film’s release may be pushed to 2020, according to recent reports. In these reports, director Raj Nidimoru stated that they are ready with the script and that the actors have already heard the same.
They have not only loved the concept but have also given a nod for the film. However, the dates are an issue. Explaining that the delay is due to logistics, Raj elaborated on the matter asserting that when a film has an ensemble cast and many partners, such issues do exist. He added that logistically it is difficult to get all of them together and for the film to go on floors. So keeping all the factors in mind, Raj and Krishna DK have decided that Go Goa Gone 2 will be going on floor sometime early next year. The initial plan was take the film on floor somewhere around mid-2019 which considering the current hectic schedule of the actors seems unlikely. Go Goa Gone 2 is expected to retain its earlier cast of Saif Ali Khan who plays an Indian-Russian mafia in the prequel. The zombie comedy aka zom-com also featured Kunal Kemmu, comedian turned actor Vir Das and Anand Tiwari who will be a part of the sequel too. The details of the actress are currently kept under wraps. The earlier film revolved around this trio trying to get away from island which has turned into a zombie land and they find an aide in none other than Saif.
Have you decided to party with your friends? What is the main thing that excites you? Of course, it should be beach vacation. Goa, Caribbean Islands, Florida and Miami are excellent beach destinations perfect for vacation. If you have planned to visit Goa, you need to remain alert to the nightlife, people, culture, crowd and everything around Goa. Ensure to follow these instructions to enjoy a safe beach vacation. You would have come to Goa to enjoy beaches and adventurous activities. It is not advisable to indulge in surfing during night times. Sometimes, you would find the entire beach dark or without lights.