Tuesday, 17 March 2015

World Cup fever on, these bats are selling like hot cakes

Few can miss the sight of cricket bats arranged on the footpath of Dr. Nelson Mandela Road in Bannimantap, near the arch gate entrance to Bal Bhavan.

Many passers-by, particularly cricket-crazy youngsters, stop by, hold the bats by the rubber grip on the handle and swing them for the kick of it. For prices ranging from Rs. 50 to Rs. 250 depending on the size, these hand-made bats made out of locally-available wood are preferred by many youth for their light weight.

A group of artisans from Anand in Gujarat make their annual visit to the city to make and sell these bats to wannabe cricketers. “We make a trip once a year before the onset of summer and stay put for around five to six months to make and sell these bats,” said Rajesh, who was selling the bats on Sunday.

Though he dropped out of school after eighth standard, Rajesh is updated about the progress of matches at the ongoing Cricket World Cup. “On an average week, all of us put together manage to sell around 40 to 50 bats, which are made out of neem tree wood. During vacations, we may sell more,” he said.

Fellow artisan Ganga said her husband procures wood locally and makes the bats, while she and her mother Savitha, who was polishing the bats with a brush, sell them. “Back in Gujarat, we make tables, chairs and other furniture items,” she said.

The artisans, some accompanied by young children, are staying in sheds behind the highway to Bengaluru on a rent of Rs. 1,000 per month. Ganga said her son Deepak, who studies in a school in Gujarat, misses classes when they are here.

“The school-going children of artisans are generally left behind in Gujarat with their grandparents. But, if the grandparents also come, the children can’t be left behind. They will, however, resume classes on their return,” Rajesh added.

Meanwhile, the World Cup and approaching vacations appear to have spurred the sales of cricket bats. “I have been buying one bat a year from them for the last three years. It is lighter than the branded bats made in factories and sold in stores,” said Ahmed, a high school student.

“The bat I bought two years ago is still good enough to play. Only, I have grown taller. But, the bat I bought three years ago turned out to be made of hollow wood and broke within a week. I only hope this bat lasts long enough,” Ahmed added.
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Friday, 6 March 2015

China sets lowest growth target in two decades after reality check

BEIJING: China has set a growth target of 7 per cent for 2015, lowest in two decades. The lowered ambition reflects declining exports and foreign investments besides the government's fear of slipping into a "middle income trap" along with problems like industrial pollution.

"Downward pressure on China's economy has continued to mount, and we have faced an array of interwoven difficulties and challenges," Chinese premier Li Keqiang said while explaining why he chose a gross domestic product target that was even lower than the achievement of 7.4% in 2014.

China would end 2015 with the highest ever budget deficit of 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product against last year's 2.1 %, the premier said. The country has entered an era of low growth rates, which is the "new normal" he told the 3000-strong session of deputies at the National People's Congress, the parliament. The low target in the world's second biggest economy is bound to cause apprehensions in several national capitals because the Chinese economy has been driving economic growth in several countries. Chinese planners delivered an average growth of nearly 10% in the 35 years between 1978 and 2013.

The country's economic growth was 7.7 per cent in 2012 and 2013, and 7.4 per cent against a target of 7.5% last year.

"In order to defuse problems and risks, avoid falling into the 'middle income trap', and achieve modernization, China must rely on development, and development requires an appropriate growth rate," Li said justifying his decision.

The premier said the target "takes into consideration what is needed and what is possible". Even at this rate, it would be possible to meet Beijing's goal of building a "moderately prosperous society", Li said. He also promised to create 10 million new jobs.

"If China's economy can grow at this rate for a relatively long time, we will secure a more solid material foundation for modernization," he added. His government would continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and upgrading of shanty towns. An allocation of $130 billion will be spend in railway construction this year. "We will implement the 'Made in China 2025' strategy, seek innovation-driven development, apply smart technology, strengthen foundations, pursue green development and redouble our efforts to upgrade China from a manufacturer of quantity to one of quality," Li said reiterating his promise that sounds similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' program.

He also promised a greater role for private business in the economy, which he said would be further opened up by halving the number of industries in which foreign investment is restricted.
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Saturday, 20 December 2014


Google is soon going to make some new add-on and modifications in its Homepage. Now, users will be able to perform operations other than normal searches! This new featured homepage has been named as ‘Google Now’. Read more to know how it is different from the current Google homepage.

What is Google Now

Google Now is a smartly designed homepage that will collect the history and data of an individual user, and provide them search results based on their own priorities and interests. For instance, if you are a sports lover and usually come to Google for searching/reading on Cricket or any other sports, the ‘Google Now’ will now provide you more targeted search results for the stuff you search. It will provide you the latest scores of your favorite sports automatically. Also, this new homepage from Google will work as a news reader for you and will let you know all of the top and latest news about your search term and the most searched topics (by you) on homepage itself.

Google's logo

Not just that, ‘Google Now’ works as a fully packed GPS that tracks you place and location and lets you know about the temperature, latest/recent news ‘from your place’, the condition of traffic and shortcut ways/paths to dodge the traffic as well. You will be able to manually set your location, your office/home/current locations on Google Now, to make the best use of this featured all-in-one homepage.

Google Now is yet to come

The recent news from the Google’s ‘Google System’ says that their team is currently working on this smart homepage. Once, all the testing and examining of the new homepage will be done, Google will completely introduce its Google Now screen to the WWW. Google states, that the users will be able to use this feature on their Smartphone too.
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While other search engines are doing their best to win the race, Google Now from is another example from Google that simply says, Google was, is and will be the winner always. Let’s see, how longer we need to wait before we start making use of Google Now and the smart features that it provides.
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Friday, 30 March 2012


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