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10 Awesome Pictures From Yesterday That Made Chandigarh Look Like Shimla

Winters in Chandigarh are a delight. Few days after the Christmas and New year’s eve, the entire city of Chandigarh was again seen in a festive mood. Almost everyone from kids to youngsters and from middle age people to older ones were excited as it snowed in Chandigarh. Well, if you still don’t believe that Chandigarh can get snowfall, then you need to go through these pictures below and relish them to actually believe that Chandigarh was painted white!

Snowfall in Chandigarh (Jan 2017)

It all started with heavy rainfall on 6th Jan, 2017 and a massive hailstorm soon followed. The hailstorm what we call “Ole” were cubicles of ice but they were soft as snow. Roads in the city were painted white and the soft balls of ice could be seen almost everywhere.

chandigarh snowfall

chandigarh snowfall

chandigarh snowfall

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chandigarh snowfall

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chandigarh snowfall

chandigarh snowfall

chandigarh snowfall

chandigarh snowfall

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Shimla, Manali cut off after snow, traffic hampered

Shimla, Manali cut off after snow, traffic hampered
Traffic to tourist destinations Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie were cut off from the rest of Himachal Pradesh on Saturday following heavy snowfall overnight, officials said.

Electricity supply was snapped here and Manali as power lines were damaged due to falling trees.

Traffic bound for Shimla was disrupted at Shogi, about 15 km from here, due to snowfall, an official told IANS.

Likewise, traffic on the National Highway-21 was blocked near Patlikuhl, 20 km before Manali.

This was the season’s first significant snowfall that froze the “Queen of Hills”, as Shimla was fondly called by the British.

The cold weather resulted in the freezing of taps. According to the Met office here, certain areas in Shimla like the Mall Road, the Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills got more than a foot of snow.
Director General of Police Somesh Goyal said it was after decades that Shimla received so much of snow.

“Bad thing is no electricity. Who cares! Going out for a walk with camera,” Goyal said on his Facebook account.

Rain lashed lower areas of Himachal Pradesh such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, bringing down the temperatures.

A government spokesperson said most of the internal roads in Shimla and Kinnaur districts were cut off due to snow.

Even traffic bound for towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kharapathar and Chopal have been disrupted.

The official advised tourists not to venture into remote areas as chances of heavy snow were high.
The weather forecast said western disturbances — storm systems originating from the Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — would remain active till Sunday with chances of more snow.
Director General of Police Somesh Goyal said it was after decades that Shimla received so much of snow.

“Bad thing is no electricity. Who cares! Going out for a walk with camera,” Goyal said on his Facebook account.

Rain lashed lower areas of Himachal Pradesh such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, bringing down the temperatures.

A government spokesperson said most of the internal roads in Shimla and Kinnaur districts were cut off due to snow.

Even traffic bound for towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kharapathar and Chopal have been disrupted.

The official advised tourists not to venture into remote areas as chances of heavy snow were high.
The weather forecast said western disturbances — storm systems originating from the Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — would remain active till Sunday with chances of more snow.

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Veteran Indian actor Om Puri dies aged 66

Veteran Indian actor Om Puri dies aged 66
Veteran Indian actor Om Puri, star of British hit East is East, has died aged 66, a family member told the BBC.
The actor suffered a heart attack at his residence in Mumbai early on Friday, reports say.
Om Puri, who acted in both mainstream and art films, was known for his gritty performances in a number of landmark Indian films in the 1980s.
He also appeared in a number of British films, including a cameo in Richard Attenborough’s epic on Mahatma Gandhi.
A versatile actor, Puri was known for his roles in Indian, Pakistani, British and Hollywood films. He was awarded an honorary OBE for his contribution to the British film industry in 2004.
He found international fame for his roles in American and British films, including the 1999 British comedy East is East about a Pakistani immigrant adjusting to life in the north of England.
Puri also worked in City of Joy, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and most recently in The Hundred-Foot Journey.
At home, Puri was best-known for his performances in critically acclaimed films like Ardh Satya, Sadgati, Paar and the satirical Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.

Puri was one of India’s truly successful crossover actors, doing films with stars such as Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks, says BBC’s Soutik Biswas.
His roles in Govind Nihalani’s Aakrosh as a tribal man falsely accused of murder and a policeman in Ardh Satya beaten back by the system remain among the finest performances on Indian screen, our correspondent says.

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Printing error? Gandhi’s image missing from ‘genuine’ Rs 2,000 notes

Printing error? Gandhi’s image missing from ‘genuine’ Rs 2,000 notes

The cash crunch has had an unlikely casualty; Mahatma Gandhi’s likeness on a batch of the new Rs 2,000 notes. The Times of India reported on Thursday that farmers in a village situated in Madhya Pradesh have received newly printed Rs 2,000 notes without the Bapu’s image printed on them and they are not fake.
According to the national daily, at first the farmers thought that the notes were counterfeit but bank officials soon dispelled any such doubts and declared them “genuine”. The officials cited a “printing error” as the cause behind the anomaly. Further, citing bank and police sources, the report said that many such notes were in circulation in that region.

Upon being notified, the State Bank of India branch from where the farmers had received the currency took back the notes. The notes, according to the report, were printed at the Bank Note Press in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.
Haste, overworked presses to blame?
As reported earlier by Business Standard, the country’s currency presses have been working 24×7 to produce an year’s output in just five months. The country has four such presses, located at Mysuru, Salboni, Dewas and Nashik.

Of the four presses, the one at Mysuru has the best printing lines. Till demonetisation, this press, along with the one at Salboni, printed the bulk of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Dewas and Nashik, with older machines, print Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, Rs 10, Rs 5 and Rs 2 notes. With the import of one machine line in 2015-16, some of the demand for the Rs 500 note can be met by the Dewas press.

An official had previously told the Business Standard: “Our problem is that the rejection rates of notes in the two facilities (Dewas and Nashik) are over 15 per cent. The rates in Mysuru and Salboni hardly ever cross one per cent.”

The RBI’s indent for printing of Rs 500 notes is 5.7 billion for the current year and that for Rs 1,000 notes was 2.2 billion. The latter has been scrapped and replaced with a demand for Rs 2,000 notes. In five months, the automated presses at Mysuru and Salboni, which can run 24 hours without a break, have to print the same number of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes earmarked for the earlier Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes over 12 months.

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BSNL has launched Rs 144 unlimited calling plan to take on Reliance Jio

BSNL has launched Rs 144 unlimited calling plan to take on Reliance Jio

Unlimited offerings is the new trend in the telecom space in India. Ever since Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio launched with the offer of free unlimited calls and data, other players have been scrambling to offer the same. The latest among the rivals to go the Jio way is BSNL with an offer of unlimited phone calls to any network for a jaw-dropping tariff of Rs 144 per month.

The Rs 144 plan being rolled by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be valid for six months. It comes with unlimited local and STD calls to any network. In addition, it comes with 300MB of data.
This is the third in a series of lucrative offers rolled out by BSNL to its subscribers. The new pack ensures calls are free and unlimited for both prepaid and postpaid customers. The previous plans launched as part of the Jio effect was for Rs 99 and Rs 399 where prepaid customers can also avail unlimited calls and free bundled data. Although, only BSNL to BSNL calls are unlimited in the previous two plans.
The company has also rolled out over 4,400 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country.
We have 4,400 Wi-Fi hotspots launched country wide. I think in Mahabalipuram near Chennai has a similar Wi-Fi hotspot. Our immediate strategy is to expand this. In next one year, we will be having around 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country,” BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Srivastava told a press gathering.
Reliance Jio launched with its ‘Welcome Offer’ in August last year which offered unlimited calls and 4GB of 4G data every day. The move shook up the industry with players like Airtel and Vodafone following up with similar plans. Airtel launched its ‘Infinity Plans’ that offer free 4G data along with included services like the Wynk music App, unlimited local and STD calls. Vodafone too stepped up its game and offered 10GB of data for the price of 1GB with three-month validity.

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Property Prices Will Not Crash, Good Time To Buy: HDFC

Property Prices Will Not Crash, Good Time To Buy: HDFC
Ms Karnad of HDFC says the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property still continues to be very good.
It is a good time to buy property if you are going to live in it – this is the message from Renu Sud Karnad, managing director of HDFC Ltd, the biggest housing finance company in India. In conversation with NDTV Profit, she said that the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property “continues to be very good”.
Here’s an edited transcript of the interaction:

How long do you expect the sector to recover from denomination?
Honestly, it is very difficult to say. I think the positive of it is that…you know, we get calls of people for loans, we get calls every month, we get people coming to our site… Nothing has changed there. As far as the interest of people to buy homes or locate a property still continues to be very good. Yes, definitely for the time being, there is a lull.
You must always know that whenever there is a talk of property prices or interest rates coming down, every buyer waits. I don’t think property prices are going to crash. At the high-end, yes, you might see some rationalisation. People are waiting for the interest rates to come down, but having said that, most of the loans today are on a variable rate basis. So, even if the rates do come down 2 or 3 months later, the customers get the benefit of it.

So, I think, it is a short-term phenomenon. Our need, our requirement, our (housing) shortage is so high that I don’t think people will wait more than 3-4 months before they start coming back to it.
If the RBI cuts interest rate, will banks pass on the benefit to customers?

I can talk about HDFC and I can say is that we have in the past – always whenever it was possible – passed any benefit that we were getting through interest rate rationalisation to the customer and we would certainly do that. It’s really dependent on your cost of funds. As the cost of funds comes down, we are able to pass it on and I think we will certainly continue to do that.

What is your message to home buyers who are uncertain after demonetisation?
If you are going to live in a property, I think there is no time better than today. I think if you look at India’s population…if you look at the rate at which urbanisation is happening, if you are going to be a real user of the property, I don’t think you should ever put back your decision by years… a couple of months maybe, but certainly not by years. And I’m very convinced that the middle income India and the low income India has a long way to go, and the sooner you buy the property the sooner you save your rent the better.

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017

New Year is always so magnificent time of our life, it’s when we celebrate the new upcoming year and say good bye to the previous year 2016. Let us all welcome the coming New Year 2017 with open hearts and remember all the moments in our lives that were memorable from the previous year.

New Year’s Day, which according to the Gregorian calendar falls on January 1, is one of the most popular occasions around the globe. Beyond religion, ethnicity, caste and creed it’s a common festivity enjoyed by all. The culmination of the long holiday season, it marks a new beginning, symbolising new hope and a fresh start.

With amazing parties and fanfare, we are all ready to welcome 2017 and leave behind the bygones. From sad memories to shocking incidents, from heartbreaks to failures – there’s a belief that we will slip into the coming year with replenished soul and vigour. To conquer the best and defeat the worst.

Around the world to mark the new year there are many unusual traditions that people follow. While in Latin American countries believes something as bizarre as the colour of your underwear may affect the coming year, British folklores believe sweeping your house of the New Year’s day will sweep away all the good luck out of the door! No matter what you choose to believe and follow, everyone just hopes the next year is always happier and better than the last one.So, to celebrate the coming new year, here are few messages and greeting to wish your loved ones and friends a very Happy New Year 2017.
* A Happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and laboured here,
And made of it a happy year.

* Nights will be dark
But days will be light,
wish your life to be always bright
Happy New Year 2017

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CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2017

CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2017

*1. ON EARNING:*
Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second chance.

*2. ON SPENDING:*
If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.

*3. ON SAVINGS:*
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.

*4. ON TAKING RISK:*
Never test the depth of a river with both feet.
*5. ON INVESTMENT:*
Do not put all eggs in one basket.

*6. ON EXPECTATIONS:*
Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.

*7. Past* is a waste paper, present is a newspaper, and future is a question paper. Come out of your past, control the present, and secure the future.
*8. When bad things happen* in your life, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.

*9. Our eyes are in the front* because it is more important to look ahead than to look backwards.

*10. We use pencil when we were young, but now we use pens. Do you know why? Because mistakes in childhood can easily be erased, unlike now.

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PM Narendra Modi set to face fallout from his 50-day cash promise to India

PM Narendra Modi set to face fallout from his 50-day cash promise to India
Short of a miracle, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi will fail to meet his own 50-day deadline to restore order to the country’s economy and ease the hardship faced by ordinary citizens following the chaos of his sudden currency ban.
In an emotional plea to citizens following the withdrawal of 86 percent of the currency in circulation in a bid to target corruption, Modi promised the inconvenience would all be over by December 30.

But demonetization’s trail of devastation — on farmers, workers, small shopkeepers, low-income households and businesses — is yet to ease. There continues to be queues spilling out of banks and newspapers are carrying daily stories of rural distress.

Credibility on the line
Although Modi’s credibility is at risk as his deadline passes, the jury is out on the long-term economic and political fallout. So far his public support remains strong, with some standing in queues waiting to access cash still voicing their approval of the prime minister’s decision to target unaccounted wealth.

Add to that, India’s fractured opposition has not been able to generate a backlash against the strife triggered by the world’s most sweeping currency policy change in decades.
Still, Modi faces the risk of stiff political opposition and losing state elections in coming weeks.

“Now people will ask him what is the gain after suffering so much pain?,” said Ajoy Bose, a Delhi-based author and political analyst. “He will try somehow to give a good spin to it. But he has to prove how the country is gaining. Otherwise he will be in trouble.”
The next real test of the cash shortage fallout will be held through the five assembly elections, including including most populous state Uttar Pradesh, expected by April. “If he loses the ability to win elections and fails to gain public trust, his ability to push hard reforms will be reduced,” said Bose.

Growth forecast slashed On the economic side, experts are slashing India’s growth forecast after the cash ban dented demand. The e conomy is projected to grow 6.5 percent in October-December instead of the 7.8 percent economists had predicted earlier.All eyes will be on the government’s forecast for the year through March — due January 6.

In Haryana, farmer Harpreet Singh had to destroy his coriander field and sow his wheat crop when price of the herb dropped to as low as one rupee per kilogram compared to about 20 rupees before Nov. 8, when Modi announced the banning of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

“There is a slump in demand,” said Singh, explaining he had suffered a loss of 12,000 rupees because the traders who usually bought his produce were unable to access enough cash for the purchase. “There was already a delay in wheat sowing and I didn’t want to waste further time.”

Another farmer, Charanjeet Singh, is nervous that he will not get a good price for his potato harvest. “The situation is grim and there is no hope of an early revival,” he said. Since the currency ban, many have found illegal ways to convert the so-called black money into genuine wealth. In response, the government has amended or clarified its rules more than 60 times to plug the loopholes. Of the 15.4 trillion rupees of junked currency, about 13 trillion rupees of bills have been deposited in banks, as of the first week of December.
Improvements to come
Seeking to reassure the public, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday the currency availability will improve in the coming weeks. Economists have warned it could be months before the situation stabilizes.

While defending his move as an important step in fighting against black money and corruption, Modi on Nov. 13 sought time from people to end their hardship.
“I have asked for just 50 days,” Modi said in his emotional speech. “If after December 30, there are shortcomings in my work or there are mistakes or bad intentions found in my work, I will be prepared for any punishment at any crossroad of the county that you decide for me.” Modi’s political rivals have stepped up the pressure against him. This demonetization move “is for 50 families and for the country’s one percent super rich,” said Rahul Gandhi, the vice president of the Congress party. “It is the poor, farmers, laborers, middle class and small shopkeepers who are being sacrificed.”
Modi is likely to speak about his road map after the demonetization period is over in his address to the nation on Dec. 31.

But as the hardships continue into the new year, “it is difficult to expect people not to respond negatively,” said Sandeep Shastri, an author and pro-vice chancellor at Jain University in Bengaluru.

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Betterment fee from April 1 if house prices are up

Betterment fee from April 1 if house prices are up
NEW DELHI: From the next financial year, you may have to shell out extra to municipal bodies or local development authorities if you are buying or selling a property or going for new construction.
The government plans to to collect special charges or “betterment fee”, if any major infrastructure project with public investment such as Metro rail, expressway, industrial corridor or special export zone has pushed property prices in that locality. Sources said this scheme known as Value Capture Finance (VCF) would be rolled out in 2017-18.

Though the Centre will come out with the scheme offering options of how betterment fee can be tapped, these will be collected by municipal or development authorities.
Already, the government levies a variety of cesses on petrol purchases to finance large projects apart from charging toll for highway construction and their maintenance. The government has justified these levies on the grounds that users need to pay a fee even if there are no toll-free options, which is the norm in developed countries.

The latest weapon for raising funds, the “betterment fee” or impact fee on land sale will be in addition to the stamp duty paid by buyers. The government has justified the proposal on the ground that infrastructure development results in increase in the value of land.
Officials claimed it would be a non-budgetary source to fund major infrastructure projects. “The value capture assessment for each city or urban body can be project specific or for an area. While preparing the feasibility of projects such as Metro, speed rail or a highway, the possible impact of that infrastructure on property prices will be assessed. A part of the fund for these projects can come from the additional charge that will be collected from property owners when they sell a property or seek construction permission,” a central government official said.