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Benefits of Buying Second Hand Laptops

In this era of computer recycling, it is a common sight to see people selling and buying the Second hand laptops. It is not always the damage caused to the laptop that forces the owner to sell it off. Sometimes, many people are in habit of possessing the goods that are in trend in the market or say the goods that are the latest entrants in the market. So what these people do, they buy the laptops and then use them till a new one enters the market and grabs their attention. They then take the back of the data and make use of Data wipe for laptops and offers them for sale in the market. This provides the opportunity to the ones who wish to possess he luxury of a laptop but cannot afford one, to grab the opportunity. Here are the benefits of buying second hand laptops.

Cost effective and no extra add ons

Buying second hand laptops is comparatively less expensive for two reasons. Firstly, there is obviously a huge difference in the selling cost and secondly because of the attractive sales marketing. When you go to purchase a new laptop, not only does the sales team sell you the laptop but they also sell other things as an add on to you. This implies that you end up spending for certain things that you do not even require or the ones that are actually useless. However, when you buy an old laptop you will get only what is actually required with no extra add ons. You can really save a lot by getting almost the same that you could have got at the original price.

Perfect Compatibility

The old and used laptops that you buy tend to be fully equipped with that software that you wish to run. Ha it not been compatible the initial user would not have used it for so long. Also, the new programmes that are built these days are based on the foundation so as to make them compatible not only with the current technology but also its immediate predecessors. As many people tend to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the consumer electronics, so the circulation speed of the gadgets that are new but sold second hand tends to be high. This implies that you get almost a new thing at the price of old.

Eco friendly

By buying a used laptop you are not only saving money but at the same time you are contributing in protecting the mother earth.

All in all, these are the benefits of buying second hand laptops. In case you need one then do not keep any second thoughts in your mind. Simply search the places from where you can get the decent deals and avail the opportunity quickly. Do not delay the purchase for any sort of ambiguity in mind regarding the worth of the second hand laptops.

Benefits of Thematic Investing

Thematic Investing is known as one of the most popular way of investing only in the stock markets that you opine can provide you wider opportunities. In others words it refers to making an investment in your preferred or current trends that too with no need of having to go in for the detailed fundamental as well as the technical research on any sort of individual stocks. Here you must have a certain know how about the Index Services also. In this article we will give you an insight into thematic investing. Also, we will highlight the benefits of thematic investing.

Insight into thematic investing

Having the constraint of the time as well as the expertise, majority of individuals lack effective equity portfolios despite possessing the right investment ideas. In such a case, the thematic investing comes to play and solves the issue. This type of an investment gives you an access to make an investment in over 100 diverse and uniquely specialized themes that has the calibre to provide you the concentrated exposure to your thought process.

Benefits of thematic investing

There is plethora of benefits of thematic investing. To begin with, thematic Investing provides you a powerful portfolio structure be letting you have an access to the compact themes which further gives you the concentrated exposure to the events, the government policies as well as to the ideas and current trend. In addition to this there is limited diversification that is optimal in comparison to the mutual funds. Here the chances of earning returns are much higher in comparison to the mutual funds. Also, making smart investment decisions is an easy process as themes can be simply customized on the basis of your preferences.

Basic benefits of thematic investing

You also must know that you can get 3 versions of each theme that depends on your risk profile, that is, high, medium or low and per theme you need to pay only ₹100 per theme. You cannot doubt this type if an investment as it is completely intuitive besides being a self-explanatory way of undertaking an investment. Last but not least it is sort of an educational experience because you can learn plethora of things about the business environment here.

All in all, these are the benefits of Thematic Investing. Using Thematic Investing as a platform you can make investment in the best effective way that is possible that too in the minimum amount of time available. With the ever changing business scenario, undergoing an investment in the ready-made themes provides you the firepower so as to focus on the greater ideas instead of delving into the minor ones that can slow down your progress process. By undergoing the thematic investing, you can make effective use not only of your time but also your energy so as to ensure that you can earn higher returns in comparison to the mutual funds. Therefore, all this proves that is tis presently one form of an investment that you must undertake.

The author is a person of vision and speculation who has an in depth knowledge about Thematic Investing in the investment market. The author tends to give all and sundry an insight into the same in order to make more and more people aware about the index services to enhance efficiency and growth.

Value of higher education

According to new figures released from Higher and higher, HSBC’s latest report in The Value of Education series, globalisation of higher education shows no sign of stalling. The study of over 8,000 parents across 15 countries and territories found that more than two-fifths (42 per cent) would consider sending their child to university abroad, compared to 35 per cent in 2016 – a seven percentage point (pp) increase.

Ambitious parents in Asia are boosting the trend: India (62% plus 15pp), Indonesia (61% plus 1pp), China (59% plus 15pp), Hong Kong (52% minus 2pp), Malaysia (51% plus 8pp), and Singapore (47% plus 4pp).

This echoes OECD data that highlights that Asian students account for 53% of all students studying abroad worldwide. According to HSBC’s partner, the Institute of International Education (IIE), China is the leading country of origin for international higher education students, sending an estimated 801,000 abroad, with India (1,82,000) and Malaysia (64,000) also exporting significant numbers.

  • Parents in Asia appear to be much more focused on the competitive advantage an overseas university can offer their child:
  • Parents in Malaysia are most likely to consider the quality of teaching on offer (67% vs only 30% in the UK, 27% in Australia and 19% in the USA)
  • Parents in Indonesia and Malaysia are most likely to consider the specific courses available for their child (both 61% vs 23% in Australia and the UK and 21% in the US)
  • Parents in Indonesia are also most likely to consider the ability of the university to open up job opportunities for their child (58% vs. 41% in the USA, 32% in Australia and 28% in the UK)

Despite a common idea that international students would stay in their host country after graduating, parents’ top expectation (35%) is that their child would search for full-time employment at home. Only 9% would like their child to search for full-time employment in the country where they have completed their university education.

Cost of education

The majority of parents (73%) considering university abroad for their child expect to make a significant financial contribution, and estimate the overall average cost of an undergraduate and postgraduate degree abroad to be USD 157,782 (USD 71,580 for UG and USD 86,202 for PG). Many parents (45%) would go further and consider buying a property in the country where their child is studying.

More generally, spending on education is particularly resilient in Asian countries. For 44% of parents in India and 42% in China, paying for their child’s education is their most important financial commitment.

Trista Sun, HSBC’s Global Head of International and Cross Border, said: “HSBC’s report shows that the number of parents, especially in Asia and UAE, who are ready to invest in an overseas university education for their child’s skills and employability continues to grow. With an undergraduate’s total cost expected to be around USD 72,000 on average, the investment is financially significant for parents. Additionally, 45% would consider buying a property in their child’s country of study. Parents need to plan ahead and look at all the implications of funding international education.

“With 39% of parents having specific universities abroad in mind for their child, their investment goes beyond financial. They spend a lot of time and energy to help their child build their academic profile and credentials for them to meet the entry requirements at prestigious universities.”

With the power of its global network, many banks support customers with their international financial needs in four of the top five destinations for higher education abroad. Whether it is setting up a bank account before they arrive in a new country, or welcoming them to settle in, banks offer a package of products and solutions to ease their journey abroad. In addition, banks are partnering with key players in the education ecosystem – education agencies, secondary schools, language schools, universities, visa services, students associations – to provide support to families beyond banking services.

Top Study abroad destinations

Parents see the main benefits of a university education abroad as being to help their child gain international work experience (49%), develop foreign language skills (49%) and to be exposed to new experiences, ideas and cultures (48%).

Overall, the USA is the most considered international destination by parents for their child’s university education (47%), ahead of Australia, the UK, Canada, Germany and France.

  • Parents in Taiwan and China are most likely to consider the USA (70% and 61% respectively)
  • Parents in Malaysia and Indonesia lean more towards Australia (67% and 65%)

Data from the Institute of International Education shows that alongside traditional destinations for international students such as the USA, the UK or Australia, destinations in Asia are becoming more popular.

Practical steps for parents

  • Consider the benefits of university education abroad: It can help your children to be independent and enhance their job prospects.
  • Be realistic about the costs: Make sure to plan for all the implications including higher tuition fees, international travel, accommodation, day-to-day expenditure and exchange rate fluctuations.
  • Start planning early: Early planning and saving for education can help your children fulfill their potential and limit the strain on family finances. Seeking professional advice can help you plan and make better-informed choices.
  • If buying property abroad: Choose a mortgage plan that is most suitable for your needs.
  • Consider the interest rate, repayment period, setting-up fees, early repayment flexibility and cancellation fees. Be aware of the tax and foreign exchange implications.

Practical steps for students

  • Learn about your new country, its culture and customs before you go.
  • Sign up to classes or training your university may offer to help you navigate your new surroundings.
  • Speak to recent graduates who studied aboard, their first-hand experience can help you adapt quickly.
  • Explore your new country and be open to making new friends.
  • Get involved in campus activities beyond academics, taking advantage of the many clubs, sports, interest groups and social events to mix with the diverse student population.

Key findings

More than two-fifths (42%) would consider sending their child to university abroad, compared to 35% in 2016 – a seven percentage point increase

Indian Parents’ are spending $ 18,909 on their child’s education

94% Indian parents would consider postgraduate education for their child

According to Indian parents, the top three destinations for university abroad are USA, Australia, UK

82% Indian parents would consider an online university degree

Value of higher education – According to new figures released from Higher and higher, HSBC’s latest report in The Value of Education series, globalisation of higher education shows no sign of stalling More info visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/

Skilling Students For Genx Jobs is Crucial

The year 2004-5 was when the McKinsey report came, saying that only 25 per cent of Indian graduates are employable. That was the first shock to the Indian education system. The main problem at that time was lack of job skills. We were good in programming, coding etc but were found lacking in team work, management jobs and skills. Immediately, the institutions and industry took corrective steps by strengthening and reinforcing curriculum. Industries started campus connect programmes.

The immediate concern, of course, is jobs being lost or jobs not being created. But the bigger worry is the kind of skills expected in the next generation jobs. And, we are not ready. The jobs that are now being talked about are data analytics, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. A lot of universities don’t have these courses. We anticipated this and started these courses. We have electives for our undergraduate students and have even started masters in some of these courses. We have masters in big data science, in cloud computing. We have identified technology jobs and given the right kind of mix to students. So, to an extent, we have insulated the gap between learning and careers.

We need to have the right training leading to jobs, design and creativity in product designs in engineering. That’s what we need to do. We work with Srishti School of Design, Bangalore. We need to look at how we can involve more such schools for starting design programmes.

What is the biggest challenge in education as far as private universities are concerned?

For an institute like Manipal, we have no problem. But I can’t say it is the same for every institute. You got to have professional development, find means of sending teachers back to industries every summer, just like students.

Why does India have such a small pool of teachers?

One is entry level, someone who is just out of college. Our own students join the faculty and sometimes teach for one or two years before they make up their minds about their future. To me, this is a tragedy. Our best students are satisfied with one university degree and at age 21 go and join a company they are lost to education forever. They are not pursuing their masters, not doing research and ceasing to be students. All they want is a good job. A good job means a well-paid job. Now, the ones who don’t get a job turn to teaching as a profession.

In the medical post-graduation, for example, a part of the assessment is how well you teach. Pedagogy is an assessment in medical school and not anywhere else. So, by inclination, medical students come back into teaching. In engineering, it is different. There is no mechanism of introducing them to the pleasure of teaching.

Retaining a good faculty is a challenge. Is it all about money?

Money is one aspect. If you look at a typical teacher’s mindset, what does he want? It is not always money. He wants a good place to work, he wants a caring employer, he wants a quality of life which is near-ideal, he wants certain protection against the fear of loss of job, he wants assurances about healthcare and his children’s education. Some of our best teachers are the ones who have stayed for 30 and 40 years.

Why do universities restrict themselves to teaching and producing graduates?

That is one of the least important for a university. For me, one of the most important things is research and the impact it can have on society. But, everybody can’t be a great research scholar nor can everybody be a great teacher. We have created a directorate of research, with a director for health sciences and a director for technical education. These take care of the research by creating awareness across the university on how to make use of researchers.

We have invested in research equipment, laboratories, people, data-based work and tools for analysis. We have incentivized research, depending on the impact factor and publication.

But years go into research…

It is a passion, not a problem. A good researcher is always the one who asks a good question and not the one who is looking for an answer. It is not always that positive research contributes to science. Even negative results do. So do copycat results. It is not necessary that it has to be cutting-edge research. Research that can contribute anything to the body of science is good enough.

Then why are there such few research papers?

In the last year, a dozen major publications have gone from the university. This is a small number but, we are improving. A decade back, we did not have a single paper, today we have 10 in a year. We want to grow that to international standards in terms of publications per faculty.

How difficult is it to get Government funding for research?

Funding is important. For private universities, there is a dual disadvantage. One is the scepticism that exists in people who decide on funding. That research is done only in public sector laboratories is a perception we have fought for the last 10 years and it is only now that it has become a level playing field. So much so that the chief of ICMR Dr Katoch gambled for the first time in funding a private institution and gave a small amount to Manipal University for setting up a virology centre. They set up 14 labs in the country, of them only one in the private sector.

We co-invested with that funding. One-and-a-half years later when he reviewed the centres, he asked the 13 others to visit Manipal. ‘They have done four times with one-fourth of the money that I have given you’, he told them. That was high praise, but more than that, an acknowledgement that private sector too can contribute significantly.

Why does India’s higher education lag so far behind countries like Canada and Finland?

Sadly, our interest in higher education has been a disjointed effort. There were always very good research labs in the country but doing very little teaching. You have great institutes in the country like IITs and NITs doing well in research. In India, there’s always been a disconnect between teaching and research. Outside, higher education is all the time connected to research. Take Canada. They have the University of Waterloo which is not as famous as, say, a University of British Columbia or Ottawa. Waterloo is much smaller too, but they produced a product, the BlackBerry, which became world famous. BlackBerry came out of a company which was incubated in the university by the research of engineering students in a company called Research in Motion (RIM). So you have research as foundation.

Students from India go for masters in technology and business administration to universities in America. Very rarely will you find students going for undergraduate engineering. This tells us that the focus on research, equipment and people needs a regulation which is conducive for research.

Today, the regulator in the country for higher education focuses on how many hours to be taught, how to teach. You don’t have a flexible approach to higher education. Mostly higher education is everyday assessment, it is not the end of term examination. I evaluate a student not merely on what he can do in examinations, but also on how sincere he is, how he has approached a problem, how he has written his thesis. Private universities have a problem because they don’t have enough money. Government universities have the equipment but don’t have the people to man it. So you do have this disjointed approach – great universities with little research but great teaching, great laboratories with good research but no teaching. When you bring them together, you will find a solution.

The University of Hyderabad, for example, has set up a biotechnology with Reddy’s lab which is the right thing to do. Get the

R&D people they will fund some and get state-of-the-art government labs connected to an existing university.

Skilling students for GenX jobs is crucial – Discuss issues around the higher education system on the sidelines of the university’s convocation ceremony. Excerpts How focussed is higher Education on the job market? Why this growing disconnect between education and careers? More info visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/

The road to recovery and banking reforms

The Rs 9.2 trillion package announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week is a major move to resuscitate the Indian economy. The route is through the banks (increased lending) and highways (infrastructure). The Rs 6.92 trillion proposed investment in highways and Rs 2.11 trillion bank recapitalisation would be a major turning point believes Jaitley. The farmer also had a gain as MSPs of wheat was upped by Rs 110 to Rs 1,735 a quintal and of pulses by Rs 200. These measures are expected to help improve credit flow to companies from banks weighed down by bad debts and boost public investment. The infrastructure spending to build 83,877 km roads through the Bharat Mala project in the next five years should spread an even money flow across the country; the building of roads as part of the project are expected to c rate 14 crore man days of work. The new focus on MSMEs and the planned direct benefit to them should help the struggling sector and boost employment. The overall gambit of the Finance Minister is clear – the direction should be to a new economy linked to growth and increased job opportunities.

The stock market immediately resonated with acceptance of the Government’s moves with a major 435 points rise. PSU banks were the star performers followed by capital goods and infrastructure stocks. The Government move added Rs 2 trillion of wealth in a day at the stock exchanges. The euphoria is fine, but stock indices should not be taken as a major indicator of recovery. The Finance Ministry made a detailed presentation on the state of the economy while announcing the Government’s moves, and as Jaitley said: “Our aim is to maintain a high growth economy.” Once again, the focus is correct.

However, spending on roads also has to be prudent. During the past few years, technically many kilometres of roads were built but a significant number like parts of the Delhi-Agra highway, Delhi-Ambala highway and NH 24 were literally re-dug and are being re-laid in the name of road widening. The Government has to be cautious on such re-investment. Most roads were functional and jam points were largely because of poor planning. The Agra highway is being rebuilt for years by digging up a fine road, ditto the Ambala highway and NH24.

The NH 24 between Nizamuddin Bridge and the UP border was widened to eight lanes over two years back. It was doing fine except three bottlenecks. These could have been redone with minimum investment. The entire stretch of an excellently built road should not have been re-dug and dumped with concrete, creating endless traffic snarls, increased journey time and cost. It is taking more time in digging than rebuilding. This is useless expenditure and possibly even the Government does not realise the money being looted by contractors. The need for additional lanes may certainly be felt at times but these should be constructed in a planned way without hampering traffic or creating dangerous stretches and destroying what has already been done. Before going for “rebuilding”, residents of the area should be consulted on how to save on expenditure and do a better job without everything going haywire as has happened on the three stretches mentioned above. Toll is being charged on stretches that are not drivable. The developed world spends prudently and keeps toll charges affordable. That is possibly why they are developed. They spend very sparingly spend on re-digging.

There is also a flipside to road network development as stretches in the fragile North-East have shown. Road construction has adversely affected the environment in the region but then development too must happen; a balance, however, is needed. The Delhi-Agra-Lucknow and most other expressways have gobbled up prime agricultural land and that too is problematic. The Government should do a detailed study and have discussions with all stakeholders before implementing its plans as development is essential but it has to be thoughtfully implemented and bureaucrats have to be made accountable.

Such a huge effort by the Government certainly needs a fund flow. That is why the recapitalisation of public sector banks has rightly become a priority. Public sector banks had accumulated a total of over Rs 12 lakh crore in NPAs between 2008 and 2014 which, Jaitley pointed out, had constricted banks from giving new loans. These included many for road projects across the country. The challenges for PSU banks are growing. They have to realise that their best capitalisation is through raising deposits. The policy on taxing deposits, lack of long-term deposit plans and charging bank accounts for transactions is the most imprudent approach.

This is driving away depositors, creating social anxiety and putting the economy at high risk. Banks are being recapitalised through budgetary support only to the extent of Rs 76,000 crore. The rest would be through bonds and dilution of Government stake in PSU banks. Many new stakeholders may be the defaulters themselves. Efforts to raise deposits, on the other hand, though a little time-consuming, will create strong fundamentals and would help banks make innovative plans, simplify account-opening procedures, incentivise deposits with higher rates, create competition and lead to an improvement in the overall health of the banks and the economy. PSU banks are not a just a Government resource, as Congress Ministers like P Chidambaram treated them. On the contrary, PSU banks must be treated as people’s benevolent custodians and be allowed freedom of commercial functioning. PSU banks have the business acumen to do well; they should be freed of red-tape. Let us rethink the proposal to dilute Government stake as well.

The Indian economy has the capacity to reinvent itself and the Government has done much to encourage it but much more needs to be done.

The road to recovery and banking reforms – The Indian economy has the capacity to reinvent itself and the Government has done much to encourage it but much more needs to be done.

Go for simultaneous elections

Holding Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls together will not only lighten the financial and administrative strain on the EC but the Government can also function smoothly without interruptions caused by the model code of conduct

Holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies has come into focus once again after the Election Commission favoured the idea but also said that all political parties should be brought on board before such an exercise is conducted. Election Commissioner OP Rawat said early this month that “The Election Commission has always been of the view that simultaneous elections will give enough time for incumbent Government to formulate policies and implement programmes continuously for a longer time without interruptions caused by imposition of model code of conduct.”

The EC had asked for funds to purchase new EVMs and VVPAT machines to meet the requirements and claimed that it would be logistically equipped by September 2018 to hold Parliamentary and Assembly polls together. The Commission would require 24 lakh each electronic voting machines and voter verifiable paper audit trail machines. Presently, according to constitutional and legal provisions, elections are to be held within six months ahead of the end of the term of a State Assembly or the Lok Sabha.

The framers of the Constitution had envisaged simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies and the practice continued till 1967 but it got derailed due to various factors including dissolution of some Assemblies after the liberal use of Article 356.

The idea to go back to conducting simultaneous polls has travelled over the years. BJP leader LK Advani had floated the idea in 2012 and the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee were also receptive to the idea. The BJP 2014 manifesto also promised that if it came to power it would evolve a method to hold simultaneous polls. In 2015, the report of the Standing Committee on Law held that it would save huge expenditure on elections and stop policy paralysis.

In February 2016, Modi pushed the idea while speaking in the Lok Sabha suggesting, “Political parties should not look at the idea through the narrow prism of politics.” In September 2016 Modi Government invited public views on the issue in the “Mygovt.”Portal. It raised questions including whether it was desirable to hold simultaneous polls and what happens to Assemblies whose tenure ends before or after the proposed date of holding simultaneous polls. It also raised the question whether the terms of the Lok Sabha and Assembly should be fixed and what happens if by-elections are necessitated or if the ruling party loses majority mid way.

The Niti Ayog has also favoured this step spelling out that a synchronised two phase polls from 2024 would be feasible in its “Three-year agenda, 2017-18 to 2018 -19, report”. It said that simultaneous polls would not only keep alive the enthusiasm of the voters but also lighten the financial and administrative strain on the Government and the Election Commission. It would also avoid repeated enforcement of Model code of conduct. In December 17 last year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law observed that several structural changes would need to be done in case a decision was made in this regard including constitutional amendments. Finally, on October 4, 2017 the Election Commission has favoured the idea but with some riders.

Is there a case for simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies? There is indeed a case because it will save a lot of money which could be utilised for developmental purposes. While the poll expenditure in 2009 was Rs 1,100 crores, in 2014 it shot up to Rs 4,000 crores and is expected to go up further in 2019. Secondly, the strain on the security forces would become less as the voters could cast two ballots in the same polling booth. Frequent elections also bring candidates to the voters more often resulting in the confusion of the illiterate voters. Thirdly, as SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, has remarked “…. elections have become the root cause of corruption in the country”. In fact it is during the elections that the black money is generated more.

At the same time the challenges are also huge to enforce simultaneous polls. First of all, the Government is yet to attempt the important task of finding a consensus. Creating a political consensus for simultaneous polls may be the biggest hurdle for the Modi Government. Key political parties such as Indian National Congress (INC), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India (CPI), All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) etc. in their submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee have expressed their reservations about the do-ability.

Secondly, stakeholders including the Government, Election Commission and political parties should find some agreeable principles for holding simultaneous polls.

Thirdly, while it might be easier to persuade the BJP-ruled States to curtail their Assembly terms, the Opposition-ruled States may or may not agree for this. The regional leaders like Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha and others may not agree. Even the NDA allies like the Shiv Sena and Akali Gal might not agree. Fourthly, The Representation of People Act 1951, which covers various modalities of conducting elections in the country, also needs to be amend and the Constitutional amendments require two-thirds majority and the BJP is nowhere near that.

Go for simultaneous elections – IN balance, holding simultaneous polls will be advantages on many counts including poll campaign, poll expenditure, Government funds and security arrangements. Politicians should give up their narrow political outlook and go for what is good for the country . When it was successful in the fifties and sixties then why not now?

Cutting back on firecrackers

Firecracker ban led to a quieter Diwali but it had less of an impact on air pollution

It began with a hesitant, quiet bang or two but as the evening wore on in the Capital on Diwali it was painfully and rather noisily obvious that the ban on sales of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) imposed by the Supreme Court had all but come a cropper. Anyone with their finger on the pulse of the popular mood in Delhi could have predicted that citizens would burst firecrackers on Diwali, in some cases with a vengeance, and by the evening under-the-table sales of firecrackers despite a police crackdown through the day had mushroomed.

The ban of sales on firecrackers in Delhi turned out exactly like prohibition in Gujarat. That is to say, near-impossible to implement. Whether the courts or even ‘enlightened’ members of the liberal classes like it or not, Diwali has become associated with firecrackers. While a lot of residents of the Capital understood that the ban on sales was promulgated in good faith by the Supreme Court, many chafed against a ban and the narrative that it was an attack on the joyous, celebratory aspects of the Hindu ethos went viral on social media, especially on messaging apps.

But the fact remains that firecrackers are extremely polluting, and the rampant usage of firecrackers should be actively discouraged. Regulations and control are the vital components in this effort. For one, just like cigarettes, firecrackers ought to be heavily taxed, their production and distribution needs to be better controlled and the easy availability of vast amounts of illegal firecrackers both those made in India and those imported by the container-load from China must be stopped.

The air quality in Delhi is hazardous to human health, the Air Quality Index which in Delhi is already above safe limits, has gone off the charts with readings above 999 and almost every single parameter from particulate matter to levels of Benzene are far too high for healthy living. In a sense, while residents of the Capital did cock a snook at the ban on firecracker sales, in doing so they effectively ended up committing seppuku. As this newspaper has been writing over the past ten days, there are many causes of air pollution in NCR and there are many rules governing the sources of pollution. It was almost inevitable that the firecracker ban would be flouted, which could be discerned from the ease with which citizens flout existing regulations. The problem is not of a lack of rules but one of enforcement and that is a failure of governance. Old diesel cars and commercial vehicles continue to ply on the roads, construction material is still dumped on the roadside and stubble burning continues. Delhi is one of the most polluted cities on earth, and the air is killing people due to pulmonary diseases and cancer. Any solution will have to involve citizens, better governance and most importantly require rigorous enforcement of the rules by the authorities.

Cutting back on firecrackers – Firecracker ban led to a quieter Diwali but it had less of an impact on air pollution. this Article is about Air pollution news more info visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists

The devil in diesel

The auto industry claims that cars are vilified, but they do not emit flower-scented pure air It is an abiding irony of modern life that we want our lives to be comfortable, breathe clean air and not worry too much about stuff like Global Warming yet it is these very creature comforts that we cannot do without which are usually the prime culprits in damaging our planet. And this brings us to one of the most remarkable inventions of the late nineteenth century, the internal combustion engine. Nikolaus Otto working with Gottleib Daimler invented the four-stroke engine. It was, however, Karl Benz who was the first to put into production such an engine and subsequently put it on four wheels in a rapidly industrialising Imperial Germany. Daimler and Benz never met, but the company that bears their names still produces cars today; we know it as Mercedes-Benz. The internal combustion engine changed everything and is one of the most important inventions in human history because it removed the tyranny of distance, on land, at sea and in the air. Until the gas turbine engine came along towards the end of World War II, the internal combustion engine powered both development and destruction.

Given their size and increasing efficiency as well as the ability to run on multiple fuel fractions from the crude refining process, internal combustion engines power almost every car, truck and ship on the planet. The fuel economy and power that we have managed to attain from an internal combustion engine is truly stunning. Volvo sells a car in India that produces 235 horsepower from a 1969 cubic centimetre engine while delivering close to 15 kilometres of range for every litre of diesel while hauling a two-tonne car around. This would have been impossible even a decade ago, but advanced computer controllers and software have managed to achieve what purely mechanical components could not. It is also true that modern engines, whether they run on petrol or diesel are not just more efficient but also pollute much less than their predecessors even from a decade ago. But it is also a fact that the number of cars, trucks and motorcycles on the streets have shot up in the preceding decade, particularly in India, despite the often punitive rates of taxation on vehicles. At the same time, some carmakers have been caught lying about the amount of pollutants their engines, particularly diesel engines, emit. People have also become more aware about the perils of climate change, not just because of images of polar bears sinking in the Arctic but because of extreme weather events across the world. While there are several causes for air pollution, such as the rising number of thermal power plants, rampant and uncontrolled construction, crop stubble burning and the like, there is no doubt that vehicular pollution plays an important role in increasing pollution. It is, therefore, contingent upon the auto industry across the world to address this problem, and India’s decision to move towards full electrification of vehicles is a welcome idea. However, in a country unable to provide reliable power to all her citizens today, that might remain a pipe dream. Without reliable personal and public transport and a means for cheap transportation of goods India will almost certainly come to a standstill. The solution, therefore, at least in the short-term, is to continue developing more efficient and cleaner engines and phasing out more polluting fuels like those used by large container ships.

The devil in diesel – we must continue to invest in safe, quick and eco-friendly modes of public transportation without which car and motorcycle sales will continue to climb. this Article is about diesel pollution for more visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/

A strategic engagement with the European Union

It may not be possible to characterise the relations between France and India as ‘higher than the mountains, deeper than the ocean, sweeter than honey’; it may never go into such superlatives, but since the past 30 years, the contacts have been based on ‘hard-rock’ foundation, formulated in the Strategic Partnership signed by former President Jacques Chirac in Delhi in 1998. The contacts are based on mutual trust and a common vision of the world.

On May 15, Emmanuel Macron officially took over from President Francois Hollande and the same day, he paid the traditional visit to the German Chancellor in Berlin; both leaders spoke of the importance of France-Germany relations for the European Union.

Between his investiture and his triumph in the legislative elections, the French President met the US President and hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the historic Palace of Versailles. Macron’s firm dealing in international issues could be seen for the first time, a radical change from the mild approach of his predecessor, the unpopular Hollande.

On June 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a short visit to Paris to congratulate and acquaint himself with the new French President. The talks were mainly centered around the Paris Conference on Environment as President Donald Trump had just announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris Accord.

The talks with the Indian Prime Minister at the Elysee Palace lasted for two hours. It was more than an ice-breaking exercise as the Indian Prime Minister had especially come back from Moscow to meet Macron. Speaking after the talks, Modi declared that the Paris climate deal reflects “our duty towards protecting the Mother Earth and our natural resources. For us, protection of environment is an article of faith.”

In this short time, something ‘passed’ between the two men, laying a firmer basis for future relations. During the second week of December, President Macron will pay his maiden visit to India. Apart from the solar alliance, in which both countries have invested energies and resources, the project of Smart Cities, dear to Prime Minister Modi, will be discussed and taken forward. France has already adopted three cities, Chandigarh, French Architect Le Corbusier’s township, Nagpur and Puducherry. Macron’s visit is perhaps the opportunity to go a step further.

On July 13, a day before the Bastille Day, during a Press conference jointly addressed by the French President and the German Chancellor in Paris, the two nations announced their intention to cooperate for the development of a future combat aircraft, which could one day replace the Rafale of Dassault Aviations and the Eurofighter/Typhoon. Macron spoke of ‘road maps’ for joint investment opportunities in 18 areas, including a fifth-generation fighter plane. Macron said, “It is a deep revolution – but we are not scared of revolutions when they are conducted peacefully.”

The French President sees this venture as part of a broader integration of several European partners for the development, deployment and export of combat equipment. Airbus Defence and Space, which works on the Eurofighter, welcomed the announcement “to jointly develop a next generation fighter jet”. A communique added: “Strengthening the Franco-German axis will help to safeguard critically needed European defence capabilities in the future.”

Soon after the World War II, a man had a revolutionary proposal: To unite the enemies of yesterday, France and Germany, by bringing them to work together. Jean Monnet, the father of Europe wrote: “The course of events must be altered. To do this, men’s attitudes must be changed. Words are not enough.” Monnet thought that since both Germany and France had to rebuild their industry, it was bound to revive the old rivalry. Monnet’s idea was to reverse the problem – what had been the seed of war must become the seed of unity – his proposal was, therefore, to create a high authority which could manage the resources in coal and steel for both nations. This was hhe embryo of the European Economic Community (EEC) and later the European Union.

Monet was a visionary; the world will be lead by multi-nation collaboration in the future. Take the example of the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) developed by Dassault Aviation of France as the prime contractor, as demonstrated this. The nEUROn drone project perfectly reflects the original European ‘spirit’ though ironically, Germany is not directly associated. Six European countries have decided to build an UCAV as a technology demonstrator.

This European programme has been designed to pool the skills and know-how of Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), Saab (Sweden), EADS-CASA (Spain), HAI (Greece), RUAG (Switzerland) and Thales (France) to produce the drone of the future. With a length of 10 metres, a wingspan of 12.5 metres and an empty weight of five tonnes, the aircraft is powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour engine. It was French President Jacques Chirac who unveiled the Dassault-led nEUROn project in June 2005; the project crossed a major milestone on December 2012 when the UCAV had its first successful flight from Istres airbase, near Marseille in South France.

Dassault Aviation is the master builder, responsible for the overall architecture and design, flight control system, global testing (static and flight), elements of stealth, final assembly, integration of systems and testing. NEUROn is undoubtedly an extraordinary technological challenge for the European companies involved.

Why could not India be involved in such like high-tech projects with France (and also the EU)? Let us come back to the development of a fifth-generation combat aircraft. India has tried to work with the Russians. The project is not doing well.

Franz-Stefan Gady wrote in The Diplomat: “India, Russia 5th Generation Fighter Jet Deal is Lost”: “The transfer of sensitive defence technology from Russia to India has been one of the most contentious issues between the two sides right from the start.”

Gady commented: “India wants a guarantee that it will be able to upgrade the fighter jet in the future without Russian support, which would require Moscow sharing source codes (sensitive computer code that controls the fighter jet’s various systems – the key to an aircraft’s electronic brains).”

Delays are said to have been caused because New Delhi and Moscow disagree on many fundamental aspects such as work and cost share, aircraft technology or numbers of aircraft to be ordered by India. Though presently theoretical, a question, could be raised, why can’t India join the Germano-French project? While Europe may not require hundreds of fifth generation aircrafts in the decades to come, India will need hundreds of planes, having to cope with two fronts.

Modi has developed an excellent rapport with Macron and Merkel; it would make economic and strategic sense for India to partner Europe. It could be good for the European industries as well, as they would get crucial financial support and a market. It is worth thinking about such a far-away possibility; it could be a win-win deal for India too as Delhi would be involved in the project from the conception.

A strategic engagement with the European Union – He is the author of several books on Tibet, China and India and a regularly contributor on Indo-French relations. this Article is about European Union news for more visit : http://www.dailypioneer.com/

4 Factors to Consider Before Exploring Used Computers for Sale

If you are planning to explore the used computers for sale, then there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. While buying things we tend to forget several factors that we must ensure. Keeping aside the others, here we are mentioning 4 factors to consider before exploring used computers for sale. These are as follows:

1. Generation of computer

Prior to buying the used system check the model and the generation to which it belongs. Assure that the generation and the model that you buy tends to satisfy your purpose of buying the same. In majority of cases used computers are either one or generation behind the recent ones.

2. Specs

See for yourself that what all apps are you planning to use on the system that you are going to buy. Check the compatibility of the software that you intend to use with the computer. Also, check whether the storage is enough for you or not.

3. Cost of Upgrades

Before buying a used system analyse how much will you need to spend on replacement battery or the spare AC adapter. Most of the used computers for sale have an almost deteriorated battery.

4. Price Comparison

Before you go in for purchasing the used computer as a cost cutting strategy, ensure that you compare the price of the used model with the equivalent new model. If the margin is not that high then going in for new is always a good option.

4 Easy Steps to Wipe Hard Drive

Now coming to the seller side, there is one must do, that is, wipe hard drive. Yes, prior to selling your used system, ensure to do the same. In order to get back the computer to its blank-slate state, there are certain things that you need to do. 4 easy steps to wipe hard drive are as follows:

1. Take the back up

When you buy the system you get a copy of operating system on USB drive or DVD. If not then you can download it and make sure that you have a OS version that is bootable.

2. Erase the drive

You need to do this using DBAN. Simply download the program and copy the same on different USB drive using USB/DVD tool.

3. Reformat the drive

With the help of drive that is plugged in restart the system. Follow the instructions you get.

4. Reinstall the operating system

Once you end up following the instructions, it will take hours for your system to get rid of all that is stored on it.

The process explained above is for the Windows 7. In case you have Windows 8, you simply need to visit the General section in the Change PC Settings. Then select Remove Everything followed by Reinstall Windows. All in all, these is one thing that you must ensure doing prior to selling your system. This ensures your privacy as well as the security.

The author is an expert at handling the Used computers for sale . Having an in depth information about the systems and the functioning the author tends to spend the spare time getting a more detailed insight into the features of the computer. Way to Wipe hard drive that is easy to follow remains the concern for which analyses is undertaken thoroughly.

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