Budget 2018: What Pranab, Chidambaram & Jaitley did & didn’t do in the past

Here are the key highlights of the Union Budgets from 1997 to 2017

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all set to present Budget 2018 on February 1. While Budget expectations and Budget wishlist have started coming from all quarters and sectors, what the finance minister will announce in his Budget speech is known only to a select few members of the Budget-making team of the finance ministry.

There is a view that Jaitley would deliver a populist Budget this time, given that it is the last full Budget of the Narendra Modi-led central government in its present term. However, this has been a fiscally difficult year for the government, and prudent economics would not allow him to give freebies.

There have been reports that Jaitley might even consider increasing the personal income tax exemption limit to benefit the middle class salaried people, who have been impacted lately by rising retail inflaion.

Business Standard takes a look at the past Budgets and the key highlights that took the centre stage and became a talking point.

Budget 1997-98

The Finance Minister P Chidambaram, announced lower Income Tax rates of 10, 20 and 30 per cent as against the then 15, 30 and 40 per cent. The rate was 10 per cent in the first slab of Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000, 20 per cent in the slab of Rs 60,000 to Rs 150,000 and 30 per cent for all incomes above Rs 150,000. Presenting the Second Budget of the United Front Government in the Lok Sabha today, the Finance Minister announced his intention to widen the tax net by amending the Income Tax Act. Under the new proposal residents of large metropolitan cities who satisfy certain economic criteria should voluntarily file the tax return as they would normally fall within the taxable slabs. P Chidambaram also introduced a new tax scheme for retailers having a total turnover of less than Rs 40 lakhs. The income will be estimated at 5 per cent of the total turnover. A Voluntary Disclosure Scheme to harness ‘black money’ for productive purposes was also announced. (more)


Simple Mistakes that Prevent Weight Loss

Mentioned below is overview of some common mistakes that prevent one from losing excess weight.

Losing weight can sometimes be a frustrating affair. One may believe that he or she has done what is required to lose weight yet the scale displays the same weight for weeks. Do not panic, there is always an explanation and also a solution. Mentioned below is overview of some common mistakes that prevent one from losing excess weight.

Not enough sleep – Most people do not sleep the recommended 7 to 8 hours required for an adult. Lack of sleep makes one fat; it is a proven fact now. Observational studies have shown that people who do not sleep enough especially less than 6 hours per 24 hours have a higher body mass index. It is also now known that disruptive sleep effects the production of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. Also individuals who sleep less secrete less leptin that calms hunger and lot of ghrelin that opens the appetite. As a result a person who doesn’t get enough sleep will eat too much, way beyond their energy needs.

Stress Management – Chronic stress is harmful for health and can promote weight gain. Stress hormones including cortisol promote the storage of fat. In today’s time stress is commonplace with hectic professional lives, various conflicts and health concerns. To overcome this problem one can use various simple techniques to calm down such as listening to music, taking a shower, spending time with loved ones, practice yoga and breathing exercises and much more.

Composition of Microbiota – Unique for every individual, the intestinal microbiota refers to all the microorganisms present in the digestive tract. Recent scientific studies have shed light on the composition and the link between unbalanced or undiversified microbiota and obesity. Trying to diversify one’s microbiota is also a way to lose weight and keep oneself healthy. For that, eat a varied and a high-fiber diet. Include servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses and nuts, oatmeal and food items rich in probiotics such as yogurts, fermented milks and supplements.

Calorie intake through liquids – Most people who wish to lose weight and diet are conscious about what they eat but often ignore what they drink. Calories gained through liquid intake are just as potent as calories that one gets from food. If one eats a pastry then one may feel satisfied and will have less appetite in the hours that follow. But, if someone drinks a glass of wine or soda then he or she won’t feel any different in terms of satiety and will eat just as much as he or she normally does. (more)

iPhones and children are a toxic pair, say two big apple investors

A leading activist investor and a pension fund are saying the smartphone maker needs to respond to what some see as a growing public-health crisis of youth phone addiction

Two activist shareholders want Apple to develop tools and research effects on young people of smartphone overuse and addiction

The iPhone has made Apple Inc. AAPL 1.14% and Wall Street hundreds of billions of dollars. Now some big shareholders are asking at what cost, in an unusual campaign to make the company more socially responsible.

A leading activist investor and a pension fund are saying the smartphone maker needs to respond to what some see as a growing public-health crisis of youth phone addiction.

Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or Calstrs, which control about $2 billion of Apple shares, sent a letter to Apple on Saturday urging it to develop new software tools that would help parents control and limit phone use more easily and to study the impact of overuse on mental health.

The Apple push is a preamble to a new several-billion-dollar fund Jana is seeking to raise this year to target companies it believes can be better corporate citizens. It is the first instance of a big Wall Street activist seeking to profit from the kind of social-responsibility campaign typically associated with a small fringe of investors.

Adding splash, rock star Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, will be on an advisory board along with Sister Patricia A. Daly, a nun who successfully fought Exxon Mobil Corp. over environmental disclosures, and Robert Eccles, an expert on sustainable investing.

The Apple campaign would be unusual for an activist like Jana, which normally urges companies to make financial changes. But the investors believe that Apple’s highflying stock could be hurt in coming decades if it faces a backlash and that proactive moves could generate goodwill and keep consumers loyal to Apple brands.

“Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do,” the shareholders wrote in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. (more)


Honor View10 review: A smartphone that aces the mid-tier flagship race

Priced Rs 29,999, the Honor View10, with the company’s latest Kirin 970 processor boasting a neural-processing unit for artificial intelligence wizardry, comes with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei unveiled the Mate 10-series, powered by its flagship artificial intelligence-based Kirin 970 system on chip, in its home country last year. Like the previous Mate-series devices, the Mate10-series phones were released in only a handful of markets – and the price-conscious Indian smartphone market was not one of them.

However, Huawei’s online sub-brand Honor has launched in India the View10, an affordable version designed on the footprints of the Mate 10-series, at Rs 29,999. The View10 is Honor’s third launch at this price – the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro were the previous two.

The Honor View10 features the company’s latest Kirin 970 processor, which boasts a neural-processing unit for artificial intelligence wizardry. The phone comes with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage packed inside a sturdy metallic body reminiscent of the Honor 8 Pro. The key attraction of the device is its dual-camera set-up on the back and the futuristic 18:9 aspect ratio screen.

Business Standard reviewed the View10 to test the phone’s hardware and software prowess, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Design and display

Despite a 5.99-inch screen, the View10 is narrower than the Honor 8 Pro, which had a 5.7-inch screen; in terms of height and thickness, it has retained the dimensions of the predecessor. The screen has been stretched to fit the 18:9 aspect ratio which leaves limited space for bezels. The screen resolution has been reduced from quadHD (1440 x 2560) in the Honor 8 Pro to fullHD+ (1080 x 2160) in the View10. That does affect the pixel counts of the otherwise capable display.

Talking of the overall design, the front is now dominated by the 18:9 aspect ratio screen and a fingerprint scanner embedded under the home key, which is placed on the limited bottom bezel space. While the front sees a major improvement and looks better, the back looks a tad bland, reminiscent of the Honor 8 Pro design. The protruding camera lenses, coupled with prominent antenna lines on top and bottom, temper the overall design theme.


Honor has a history of using dual-camera set-ups; it is among the first few smartphone manufacturers to introduce the concept in mobile phones. Besides, the company has a dedicated series of smartphones – the P-series – that boasts industry-first dual-camera set-up co-created in partnership with imaging experts ‘Leica’. (more)


Rajinikanth’s spiritual plank not for ‘Dravidian cradle’ Tamil Nadu: Stalin Edit

Asked if Rajinikanth sought the DMK’s support, he said such things could be decided only during elections

DMK working president M K Stalin has said Tamil Nadu was the cradle of the Dravidian movement, where there was no place for spiritual politics as enunciated by superstar Rajinikanth.

He made the remark just after the top star called on his father and DMK chief M Karunanidhi at his residence here, days after announcing his entry into politics.

Citing Rajinikanth’s assertion of “spiritual politics”, Stalin told reporters here yesterday that Tamil Nadu was the cradle of the Dravidian movement.

“Some are creating an impression that Rajinikanth is to launch a party at the instigation of people who intend to decimate the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu.

“Let me tell you this is the land of Periyar Anna (Dravidar Kazhagam founder E V Ramasamy Periyar) and Kalaignar (Karunanidhi)… such efforts in the past have ended in a fiasco,” he said.

Asked if Rajinikanth sought the DMK’s support, he said such things could be decided only during elections.

Announcing his political debut on December 31 last year, Rajinikanth batted for honesty in politics and good governance.

He said “everything needs to be changed” and declared that “spiritual politics” needs to be ushered in with transparency, sans shades of any caste or religion.

Stalin said the actor calling on Karunanidhi was nothing new and that he had called on the nonagenarian leader some months ago to enquire about his health.

Actor Vijayakanth too had called on Karunanidhi and sought his blessings before launching his party, the DMK leader said. (more)


UGC NET 2017: CBSE Declares Results. Simple Steps To Download

The UGC NET 2017 results have officially been announced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on January 2, 2018 (Tuesday).

The UGC NET 2017 results have officially been announced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on January 2, 2018 (Tuesday). The exam included General Awareness attempted by all the candidates and paper-II and III conducted out of 84 subjects chosen by the candidates. The National Eligibility Test (NET) 2017 was conducted on November 5, 2017 (Sunday). The University Grants Commission (UGC) had officially announced the detailed notification for the Test for Assistant Professorship or a Junior Research Fellowship. The CBSE had released the Admit Card for the Test to be downloaded from the official website (http://cbsenet.nic.in) along with the Image correction option till the date of the examination – November 5, 2017 (Sunday).

How To Check Results: On the Home Page of the official website of the UGC NET exam (http://cbsenet.nic.in), click on the notification for the results. Then provide your Roll Number and other required details for the same. Hit the Enter button and the results will be featured on the screen. Best to take out the print out of the same.

Facts & Figures: This year about 9.30 lakh candidates had registered for the exam which was organized in 91 cities at the exam centers amounting to 1700. It included 4, 09,439 male candidates and 5, 19,557 female candidates. It is also to be noted that three transgender candidates had also registered for the UGC NET exam.

About NET UGC 2017 Examination Details
UGC NET 2017 consisted of 3 papers (Paper I, Paper II and Paper III). Candidates had to attempt the 3 papers in three different sessions. Time duration for Paper I and Paper II was 1.25 hours each and for that of third paper was2.5 hours. All three papers consisted of objective type questions. The first paper was of 100 marks, had 50 questions all of which were compulsory. Similarly second paper too was of 100 marks, had 50 questions all of which were compulsory. The third paper was of 150 marks, had 75 compulsory questions.

About NET:
The National Eligibility Test (NET) is an exam to determine the eligibility for college and university level lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) for Indian nationals. (more)


Private doctors end strike as NMC Bill goes to Parliament panel

NMC Bill seeks to replace MCI and also proposes allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and Ayurveda, practise allopathy after completing a ‘bridge’

Private doctors called off a strike against the proposed National Medical Commission(NMC), after the government decided to refer the Bill in this regard to a parliamentary standing committee. Doctors argue the Bill does not allow representation of private doctors, doctors from states and students.

K K Aggarwal, immediate past president of the Indian Medical Association, says: “Issues of doctors working in the private sector are different from government doctors. Also, the government should not be part of this committee if it wants to make the NMC an autonomous body.”

Also Read : Modi, Tendulkar most popular parliamentarians on Facebook in 2017

The NMC Bill envisages a four-tier structure for the regulation of medical education, with a 20-member body at the top. The proposed NMC has five doctors; the others are to be government officials. The protesting doctors say they have been kept away from electing their own representatives on the body. And, that they’d be answerable to bureaucrats than those from their own profession.

Among the other things the doctors are protesting at is that they will have to pass a separate examination before being given a licence to practice.

The Niti Aayog recommended doing away with the Medical Council of India, replacing it with the NMC. This new committee was supposed to have representatives from states to look into medical education and practice. The government decided on the move on the argument that doctors guilty of breaches of law and so forth were flourishing despite complaints were not being addressed. There have been cases where doctors accused of corrupt practices were appearing at international medical fora.