Friday, October 31, 2014

PM Modi Wants Number 50, But India Just Slipped to 142 on This List

India has notched up its worst-ever ranking in the "Ease of Doing Business" index compiled by the World Bank, slipping to 142 out of 189 countries. Just last month Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said he wants India to be among the top 50 countries on the list.

The rankings are based on 10 indicators such as how easy it is to start a business and sometimes form the basis of foreign investments in a country. The World Bank has clarified that the rankings are based on data available till May 2014 and do not take into account measures taken by the new government.
India's ranking originally stood at 134 last year, but has been now adjusted to 140 by the World Bank to account for fresh data. In 2006, when the index was launched, India ranked 116th.
According to the World Bank, India scored much higher than its overall ranking (142) in protecting minority investors (rank 7) and in ensuring credit (rank 36), but lagged behind in other parameters such as granting construction permits (184) and enforcing contracts (rank 186).
Overall, India scored above its rank in ensuring electricity (137), registering property (121), trading across borders (126) and resolving insolvency (137), but ranked poorly in starting a business (158) and paying taxes (156) weighed on the composite standing.
The fall in rankings illustrates the urgent need for action in categories that involve interface with the government such as paying taxes, construction permits, etc.
Analysts say the new government has taken up the challenge seriously. In a report published last week, global brokerage Nomura said the Modi government has made "commendable progress" in improving the ease of doing business in India.
"There has been a move towards faster processes and less regulation... and the government is considering an amendment to labour laws," said Nomura's Sonal Varma.
The positive sentiment was today echoed by World Bank officials too. To a question whether India will be able to climb the rankings quickly, Augusto Lopez-Claros said, "There is no reason, why not? There are many examples of countries who through focused efforts, through intelligently designed reforms have managed to make very substantial improvement."
If India is able to improve its credentials as a business-friendly destination, it will be able to attract the much-needed foreign direct investment, which according to Deutsche Bank has averaged less than 2 per cent of GDP over the past decade.
An improvement in ease of doing business will also ensure "a better regulatory framework for development, job creation and growth," said Kaushik Basu, chief economist of the World Bank.

10 Superfoods every pregnant women should include in her diet

What you eat during your pregnancy has a direct effect on the growth and development of your baby. So it is crucial that you include the healthiest and the best foods to boost your baby’s growth and to keep yourself healthy to face all the stress and strains of pregnancy and labour. Here are some pregnancy superfoods that you can’t afford to miss for the sake of your baby’s well-being.

Milk and dairy products
Adequate calcium intake during pregnancy is crucial. Apart from strengthening your bones and taking care of your teeth it also contributes towards the overall skeletal development of your baby. So gulp down that glass full of milk daily and make sure you also indulge in other dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese (paneer), yoghurt, buttermilk, etc., to meet your calcium requirements. Be regular with your calcium supplements too, as it could help you meet the required daily levels of the same in case your diet lacks in providing you with the requisite amount.

Spinach and fenugreek
Leafy green vegetables, especially spinach and fenugreek, are rich sources of folic acid or folate. Folic acid is an important nutrient for your unborn baby. It helps in fetal brain development and also saves your baby from birth defects like spina bifida a congenital disorder caused due to incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube. It also reduces risks of preterm labour and prevents preeclampsia in the mother. Apart from this, these leafy green vegetables also have traces of vital vitamins, minerals and calcium that can do you a great deal of good.

Till about a few years ago this vegetable was considered exotic. But now you can find broccoli in almost all the leading supermarkets. You have enough reasons to include it in your shopping cart, especially when you are pregnant. Broccoli is packed with an adequate amounts of calcium, manganese and potassium and contributes towards stronger bone development in the fetus.

Eggs and meat
Eggs are the best source of first class proteins, low in calories and packed with high-quality omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of folic acid, choline and iron and help to keep your amniotic membranes strong while preventing birth defects in the fetus. Remember to have your eggs with the yolk so that you don’t miss out on choline.

Meat, on the other hand, is rich in animal protein that helps in cell and muscle development in the baby. Having adequate quantity of protein through diet can also help an expectant mother fight pregnancy induced fatigue. Opt for lean meat as they are the best source of high-quality protein sans the fats.
Intake of fish during pregnancy has always been a bit controversial because of the high mercury content in them, especially the seawater ones. However, fish is packed with good quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids that contribute towards the brain and eye development of the baby. To be on the safer side limit your fish intake to twice-a-week. Make sure you cook your fish thoroughly before consuming it and avoid having raw fish as it can increase your chances of an infection and harm your baby.
Pulses and legumes
They are the best source of plant-based proteins, fibre and other nutrients like zinc, iron and folate. Sprouted beans, on the other hand, are also a rich source of vitamin B 12 that helps in brain and liver development of the baby and also the mother. Include a variety of pulses and legumes in your diet to reap their nutritional benefits.
Apart from being a rich source of calcium, tofu is also packed with iron, manganese vitamin A and K. It is also a rich source of folic acid and can be an excellent snack or a salad ingredient for an expectant mum.
Fruits and vegetables
Of course, you cannot miss eating them. But don’t limit your options when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Other than having the staple fruits like apple, banana and pear, opt for more colourful varieties. Ideally it is recommended that one should have five portions of fruits a day during pregnancy. Have foods rich in antioxidants like musk melons, strawberries, grapes, etc. Oranges are rich in vitamin C and would help in the absorption of iron while apples can help relieve constipation a common pregnancy woe, being fibre-rich. Eat more berries as they are packed with antioxidants that help to prevent birth defects and up the circulation. 
When it comes to vegetables, apply the same rule, more the colour the better. Shop for a variety of vegetables and ensure that you bring with you a vegetable basket that’s a riot of colours. Opt for bell peppers, pumpkins, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower along with your green vegetables to make your diet wholesome. The antioxidants, minerals and vitamins in them would do your baby a whole deal of good.  
You don’t need any explanation on why you should have water during pregnancy. This will not only help your body get rid of internal toxic build-up, but will also save you from urinary tract infections which are common during pregnancy. Sipping on coconut water or fresh orange juice would also help. 
Breakfast cereals and grains
They are a great source of carbohydrate and fibre and act as a storehouse of energy. Fibre in your diet will also help you from fighting constipation that is common during pregnancy. Including good carbs in your diet will ensure that you give each cell of your body adequate energy for proper functioning and maintain an overall healthy body to take on the stress of pregnancy and labour.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

This parasite keeps millions in poverty

One of the most debilitating medical conditions in sub-Saharan Africa isn't fatal. In fact, it's easily curable. The culprit is small, but its impact is big. The chigoe flea, more commonly known as a jigger, typically burrows itself into the feet and hands. It prevents millions of children from attending school, stops farmers from working their land, and makes walking all but unbearable.

Kenyan businessman Stanley Kamau had jiggers as a kid, and he remembers how he was stigmatized by his classmates, for in his school, the parasite singled you out as poor.

"I almost dropped out of primary school because of the effects, because I could not stand the way my classmates laughed at me and used to harass me. They would step on me, and I didn't have shoes," he recalls.

Luckily, Kamau's family owned cattle, and had a cattle dip -- a bath filled with insecticide -- which they used to treat the cows. Kamau cured himself by dipping his hands and feet in the water. He was able to continue his studies, and went on to attend university in India.

After successfully launching a number of businesses, Kamau returned to his home village in Murang'a, where he decided to give back to his community. At first, he simply donated food and clothes, but soon he realized the adverse effect jiggers was having on his fellow villagers.

"I was shocked when I visited some of the homes and saw that some kids had never gone to school, that men and women weren't going to their farms. They were disabled because of the jigger menace."

Kamau set up the Ahadi Kenya Trust, which treats victims of jiggers throughout Kenya. Originally, the trust signed up four families. Today, 2.6 million Kenyans are registered with the group.

The banana solution

Kamau saw how jiggers entrenches families deeper into poverty. As a solution, he set up a banana farm on a stretch of land donated by his aunt. Jigger survivors can join the farm, and are given free materials, from seeds to fertilizer, to enrich their land back home.

"Every member has to duplicate what we are doing on their own particular farm," he says. "We provide them with seedlings to plant in the communal farm, and give them seedlings to plant in their own individual farm... it's like a learning center where every member of the community can learn more on how to do bananas."

Kamau has expanded the entrepreneurial side of his trust to include chicken and rabbit farming, as well as bee keeping.

The rural ambulance

In his attempt to eradicate jiggers from his home country, Kamau realized how difficult it can be for many living in rural communities to seek medical attention. He heard stories of people brought to hospitals in sacks and wheelbarrows. He even heard about a boy who broke his back in a motorcycle accident while he was being transported to a medical facility for a fractured arm.

"The fact is, most people who live at the bottom of poverty don't have mobile phones, they don't have radios or TV sets, they have no channel of communication. They might not even know what kind of a dispensary or hospital is near them," he notes.

It was then that he developed the ambulance Mashinani -- or village ambulance. It's basically a detachable bed -- complete with a medical and maternity kit -- that hooks onto a motorbike.

"You can have a hospital, but are people able to visit? Are they able to walk? Are they able to call? Are they able to even have information on those types of facilities? Let's not have a very beautiful hospital where people are not able to get access."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here is India'a new Robin hood Army!

Every Sunday, at around 8.30 pm, a group of volunteers in green t-shirts heads out in different directions with packed food likevada pav, Khichdi and parathas to serve homeless people.

This service is the effort of two friends who have collaborated with different restaurants and eateries in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore to help feed the homeless through their "Robin Hood Army", a four-month-old initiative.

They hope to change this from a weekly service to a daily one.

"From the very beginning we were clear that we won't be serving these people waste food. We requested the eateries to give us leftovers," Anand Sinha, 27, told news agency IANS.

"Some of the eateries were so excited with this concept that they chose to prepare fresh meals for us," he added.

Gurgaon-based restaurant Kebab Xpress provides them 100 fresh vada pavs,
while late-night delivery service Midnight Munchies provides fresh khichdi and parathas.

After getting some restaurants on board, they launched a Facebook page and succeeded in attracting 40 volunteers to collect and distribute food packages.

They now have 120 volunteers in the five cities who feed an estimate 1,600 people every Sunday.

"We all are working people so it becomes very difficult to do this activity every day. But with the kind of support and encouragement people have shown through our Facebook page, we would like to organise a bit more and do it on a daily basis," said Mr Sinha.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Schedule

With the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup set to get underway in Australia and New Zealand in a few months’ time, the 14 participating teams have started preparing in full swing for the quadrennial event. The tournament kicks off with co-hosts New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka at Christchurch on February 14, 2015.
There are 42 group matches in all before we head to the business part of the tournament. The four quarter-finals will be played from March 18-21, after which there is a two-day break before the two semi-finals. The date of the all-important final is March 29, which will see the two top teams battling it out for the ultimate prize in front of 100,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne.
Here is the full schedule of the 2015 ICC World Cup:

Group matches         




Sat Feb 14 Match 1, Pool A – New Zealand v Sri LankaHagley Oval, Christchurch
Sat Feb 14Match 2, Pool A – Australia v EnglandMCG
Sun Feb 15Match 3, Pool B – South Africa v ZimbabweSeddon Park, Hamilton
Sun Feb 15Match 4, Pool B – India v PakistanAdelaide Oval
Mon Feb 16Match 5, Pool B – Ireland v West IndiesSaxton Oval, Nelson 
Tue Feb 17Match 6, Pool A – New Zealand v Scotland University Oval, Dunedin 
Wed Feb 18Match 7, Pool A – Afghanistan v BangladeshManuka Oval, Canberra
Thu Feb 19Match 8, Pool B – UAE v ZimbabweSaxton Oval, Nelson
Fri Feb 20Match 9, Pool A – New Zealand v EnglandWestpac Stadium, Wellington  
Sat Feb 21Match 10, Pool B – Pakistan v West IndiesHagley Oval, Christchurch
Sat Feb 21Match 11,  Pool A - Australia v BangladeshThe Gabba, Brisbane
Sun Feb 22Match 12, Pool A – Afghanistan v Sri LankaUniversity Oval, Dunedin 
Sun Feb 22Match 13, Pool B – India v South AfricaMCG
Mon Feb 23Match 14, Pool A – England v ScotlandHagley Oval, Christchurch
Tue Feb 24Match 15, Pool B – West Indies v ZimbabweManuka Oval, Canberra
Wed Feb 25Match 16, Pool B – Ireland v UAEThe Gabba, Brisbane
Thu Feb 26Match 17, Pool A – Afghanistan v Scotland University Oval, Dunedin 
Thu Feb 26Match 18, Pool A – Bangladesh v Sri Lanka MCG
Fri Feb 27Match 19, Pool B – South Africa v West Indies Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
Sat Feb 28Match 20, Pool B – India v UAEEden Park, Auckland 
Sat Feb 28Match 21, Pool A – New Zealand v AustraliaWACA, Perth
Sun Mar 1Match 22, Pool A – England v Sri Lanka Westpac Stadium, Wellington 
Sun Mar 1Match 23, Pool B – Pakistan v ZimbabweThe Gabba, Brisbane
Tue Mar 3Match 24, Pool B – Ireland v South AfricaManuka Oval, Canberra
Wed Mar 4Match 25, Pool B – Pakistan v UAEMcLean Park, Napier
Wed Mar 4Match 26, Pool A – Australia v AfghanistanWACA, Perth
Thu Mar 5Match 27, Pool A – Bangladesh v Scotland Saxton Oval, Nelson 
Fri Mar 6Match 28, Pool B – India v West IndiesWACA, Perth
Sat Mar 7Match 29, Pool B – Pakistan v South AfricaEden Park, Auckland 
Sat Mar 7Match 30, Pool B – Ireland v ZimbabweBellerive Oval, Hobart
Sun Mar 8Match 31, Pool A – New Zealand v AfghanistanMcLean Park, Napier
Sun Mar 8Match 32, Pool A – Australia v Sri Lanka SCG 
Mon Mar 9Match 33, Pool A – England v BangladeshAdelaide Oval
Tue Mar 10Match 34, Pool B – India v Ireland Seddon Park, Hamilton 
Wed Mar 11Match 35, Pool A – Scotland v Sri LankaBellerive Oval, Hobart
Thu Mar 12Match 36, Pool B – South Africa v UAEWestpac Stadium, Wellington 
Fri Mar 13Match 37, Pool A – New Zealand v BangladeshSeddon Park, Hamilton 
Fri Mar 13Match 38, Pool A – Afghanistan v England SCG
Sat Mar 14Match 39, Pool B – India v ZimbabweEden Park, Auckland 
Sat Mar 14Match 40, Pool A – Australia v ScotlandBellerive Oval, Hobart
Sun Mar 15 Match 41, Pool B – UAE v West IndiesMcLean Park, Napier
Sun Mar 15Match 42, Pool B – Ireland v Pakistan Adelaide Oval

   Quarter Finals (QF)




Wed Mar 18QF 1 – TBC v TBC (A1 v B4)SCG
Thu Mar 19QF 2 – TBC v TBC (A2 v B3)MCG
Fri Mar 20QF 3 – TBC v TBC (A3 v B2)Adelaide Oval
Sat Mar 21QF 4 – TBC v TBC (A4 v B1)Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Semi Finals (SF)




Tue Mar 24SF 1 – TBC v TBCEden Park, Auckland
Thu Mar 26SF 2 – TBC v TBCSCG





Sun Mar 29TBC v TBCMCG

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Allow a Rich Person to Explain How Awesome Rich People Are

Business Insidera well-funded news site about airplanes, trolls its own audience with relative regularity. A piece published last week, however, takes the form to bold new heights.
Business Insider Wonders: Are Women Too Lazy to Succeed at Goldman Sachs?
You may remember Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget from the time he cut-and-pasted an…
Steve Siebold is a self-described self-made multi-millionaire who has written books with titles like 77 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class and How Rich People Think. In a listicle entitled "What the Middle Class Doesn't Understand About Rich People," he explains what the middle class doesn't understand about rich people: that they are better, and braver, and harder-working than everyone else. Interesting take—let's dig in.

1. The wealthy are comfortable being uncomfortable.

The poor and the middle-class have been devastated by their own pernicious need for comfort. Why else would they all be on welfare? The great ones—the great ones!—see things differently:
The wealthy, on the other hand, learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn't easy, and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty. The great ones know there's a price to pay for getting rich, but if they have the mental toughness to endure temporary pain, they can reap the harvest of abundant wealth.

2. The wealthy dream about the future.

Monetization begins when you stop reminiscing and start remi-now-scing. Poor people are all like, "Remember the old timey days?", but rich people are like, "Let's innovate, baby."
Most of us grew up listening to stories of the good old days, when the world was a kinder, gentler place. The music was better, athletes were tougher, and business people were honest. This tradition of the masses is handed down from generation to generation while its purveyors have no idea how insidious and destructive it is. People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and they often struggle with happiness and depression.
The wealthy are future-oriented and optimistic about what lies ahead. They appreciate and learn from the past while living in the present and dreaming of the future.

3. The wealthy are more confident.

Believe in yourself. Wealth is a mindset. Think money, have money. Want what you have, and have what you want. Not arrogance: self-assuredness. You're cool, man, 'cause you're a cool man. And rich. Rich and cool. You couldn't even stop it if you wanted to. Surfs up!
The wealthy have an elevated and fearless consciousness that keeps them moving toward what they want, as opposed to moving away from what they don't want. This often doubles or triples their net worth quickly because of the new efficiency in their thinking. Eventually they begin to believe they can accomplish anything, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As they move from success to success, they create a psychological tidal wave of momentum that gets stronger every day, catapulting their confidence to a level so high it is often interpreted as arrogance.

4. The wealthy believe money is about freedom.

Wealthy people are wealthy because they understand that money isn't actually about paying rent, or buying food, or sending your kids to school. It's about freedom.
Rich people can afford to stand up and fight oppression. They can afford to buy their way out of unhealthy work environments, bad bosses, and other unpleasant situations. They have the means to enlist the best doctors when they get sick, and they are able to make themselves as comfortable as possible when they can't get well. When they want to raise money for business, politics, or charity, a few phone calls to their rich friends is all it takes. If they need more money, they throw a party or host an auction and charge $1,000 a ticket. The examples of how much money buys freedom are endless.
This is true, of course. When you're poor, you're beholden to many more forces beyond your control than you are when you're rich. But it isn't so much an illustration of the rich man's capacity for thinkfluencing himself out of any shitty situation as it is a reminder of the awfulness of income inequality. Why you gotta rub it in, Steve?
And finally,

5. The wealthy carefully monitor their associations.

Like attracts like, yet the wealthy are often criticized for having a closed inner circle that is almost impossible to break into unless you are rich. Successful people generally agree that consciousness is contagious, and that exposure to people who are more successful has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income. We become like the people we associate with, and that's why winners are attracted to winners.
Don't hate rich people for not associating with the filthy likes of you. Keeping you at arms length is just good business.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Amazing creatures: Quokka

The animal that is always happy. How cute is that!

The quokka the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like othermarsupials in the macropod family (such as the kangaroos and wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal. It can be found on some smaller islands off the coast of Western Australia, in particular on Rottnest Island just off Perth and Bald Island near Albany.

I came across this on the internet and I just couldnt help post it. Anyone up to adopt a pet, go to Australia.

Lets all be quokka Happy!