Users will be able to fly from the airport to Electronic City in 15 minutes, a journey that usually takes two hours by road.
Bengaluru’s helicopter taxi service is all set to take off on Monday with users able to fly from Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City in 15 minutes, a journey that usually takes two hours by road.
The heli-taxi service is being introduced in the city by Thumby Aviation, which will operate two Bell 407 helicopters, that can seat up to six people.
The service will operate in two shifts during peak business hours – from 6.30 to 9.30 am and from 3.00 to 6.15 pm. Currently the service is only available between Bengaluru airport and Electronic City, while HAL Airport will be added as an additional destination in the next two weeks.
Speaking to TNM, an airport spokesperson said, “The shuttle service will start from the airport to Electronic City. The city has close to 90 helipads awaiting DGCA approval. As some of those get cleared, then we will slowly expand the service to other areas. The process of schedules, identifying locations and programs will begin now.”
“We are starting off the service at Rs 3,500 plus GST while there is also an introductory offer of Rs 2,500 plus GST if you register with us as a corporate,” said Govind Nair, Head of Business Development, Thumby Aviation Private Ltd.
Thumby Aviation plans to start helicopter services to tourist places like Chikkamagaluru and Coorg as well.
“In addition to ferrying passengers to Electronic City and HAL, we will also have getaway packages to Coorg, Wayanad and Chikkamagaluru,” Govind Nair added.
On February 14, a few lucky couples in Bengaluru got an early chance to indulge in the heli-taxi experience through a Valentine’s Day themed competition on radio.
Although there seems to be no respite from Bengaluru’s traffic mess, getting home from the Kempegowda International Airport is going to get easier in the coming months – that is, if you are willing to shell out the money for it.
Reliance Big TV will provide Indians free of cost access to an extensive range of HD-quality entertainment channels
Reliance Big TV will provide Indians free of cost access to an extensive range of HD-quality entertainment channels. The company is set to roll digital entertainment with a HD HEVC set-top box free of cost, effectively.
"Reliance Big TV is going to mark the beginning of a new dawn in the way Indians have been accessing entertainment on their TV sets," director of Reliance Big TV, Vijender Singh, said in a statement.
"Starting from today (March-1), entertainment comes effectively free of cost, with the latest offer by Reliance Big TV. Now every Indian household can enjoy high quality home entertainment and students can have free of cost access to education content with latest HD HEVC set Top box."
The latest offer provides plethora of pay channels free for one year including HD channels and up to 500 FTA channels free of cost for five years. This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of digital India, the company said.
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It also comes with certain terms and conditions check below.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X, 500X Launched In India: Prices Start At Rs. 1.56 Lakh
The new Royal Enfield Thunderbird X models comes in both 350 cc and the 500 cc options, christened - Thunderbird 350X and 500X. The bikes come with new styling, and better features, but the engine options remain unchanged.
The new Royal Enfield Thunderbird X is a sportier version of the bike
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X gets dual tone colour & alloy wheels
Mechanically, the new Thunderbird X models will remain unchanged
Royal Enfield has launched the Thunderbird 350X in India at a price of Rs. 1.56 lakh and the Thunderbird 500X at a price of Rs. 1.98 lakh. Both bikes are based on the regular versions of the Thunderbird 350 and the Thunderbird 500 but get a host of cosmetic updates in order to keep the interest in the bike heightened and also target younger buyers as well. The Thunderbird 350X and the 500X get similar updates in the form of shorter handlebars, new 9-spoke alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, a single piece seat instead of the earlier split seats, blacked out fork covers and exhaust and a blacked out headlamp housing as well.
Apart from that, Royal Enfield will also be offering four new colours for the Thunderbird 350X and the Thunderbird 500X which are Drifter Blue, Getaway Orange, Roving Red and Whimsical White. Both bikes get LED daytime running lamp integrated into the headlamp and an LED tail lamp. The cycle parts remain the same as well, with both bikes carrying over the same suspension, brakes and of course, the same engine as well.
The 350X still gets the 346 cc single-cylinder engine which is air-cooled 19.8 bhp at 5,250 rpm and peak torque output of 28 Nm at 4,000 rpm and mated to a five-speed gearbox. The 500X too gets the same 499 cc single-cylinder engine making 27.2 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 41.3 Nm at 4,000 rpm, mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
The regular versions of the Thunderbird 350 and the Thunderbird 500 are priced at Rs. 1.48 lakh and Rs. 1.9 lakh (ex-showroom) and the Rs. 8000 premium charged by Royal Enfield sure does make it worthwhile to buy the 350X and the 500X.
Sridevi Dies At 54
Sridevi is no more. The lady superstar passed away in Dubai after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. #RIPSridevi
Actress Sridevi, 54, one of the most celebrated actresses of the Hindi film industry, and widely regarded as its first female superstar, has passed away.
According to sources, the English Vinglish actress had gone to Ras al Khaimah for Kapoor's nephew Mohit Marwaha's wedding. While her husband and daughter Khushi returned to Mumbai, Sridevi stayed back in Dubai, where she suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
Her elder daughter, Janhavi Kapoor, hadn't joined the family for the celebrations as she is shooting for her debut film, Dhadak, which is expected to release in July this year.
Incidentally, Boney Kapoor's first wife, Mona Kapoor, too had passed away, months before her son Arjun's film debut.
She made her debut in 1978 with "Solva Sawan". But it was only after five years, that she gained commercial success with Jeetendra-starrer "Himmatwala".
Sri Devi had worked in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, and Kannada. She was awarded with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2013.
After starring in home production "Judaai", she had taken a 15-year break from movies.
She had continued to remain a powerhouse of talent after her comeback with 2012's "English Vinglish". She stunned fans with her performance as a villainous queen in "Puli", which also marked her comeback to Tamil cinema after a gap of more than two decades. She described herself on Twitter as "Actor-MOM-Housewife-Actor Again!"
US Immigration officers could seek detailed documentation from companies to establish that they have specific assignments in a specialty occupation for the H-1B beneficiary
Trump administration has also made the process of extension of H-1B visas more difficult
The Donald Trump administration has just made it more difficult for companies and individuals to get H-1B work visas. And even if one gets it, it may not be for a full three years, as has been the practice. Indians and Indian IT companies will feel the impact the most because they are the biggest users of this visa. The shorter durations may even make the transition from H-1B to a Green Card next to impossible.
A policy memorandum issued by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services on February 22 said its officers could seek detailed documentation and more evidence from firms to establish that they have specific assignments in a specialty occupation for the H-1B beneficiary, and that they have these assignments for the entire time requested on the petition.
If the company is able to only demonstrate that the beneficiary will have the specified work for less than three years, the visa would be granted for that lesser period.
Currently, H-1Bs are issued for three years, and, for a long time, they were extended for three years with few questions asked. Over the past year, the administration has made the process of extension more difficult, compelling Indian IT firms to tell employees on H-1Bs that they may have to return earlier than anticipated. The new rules imply that one may not even now get the initial full three years.
IT association Nasscom’s president, R Chandrasekhar, said it would be complicated for an immigration officer to establish the connections between qualifications and tasks, and that in practice this would bring in an element of subjectivity. “The implication of this is there will be a lot more paperwork. A series of executive orders have been coming out. Each one by itself may not be much, but they have cumulatively added up to making it much more difficult and onerous for companies to use the H-1B route,” he said.
‘50% dip in number of Indian visa applicants’
Cyrus D Mehta, managing attorney and founder of New York-based law firm Cyrus D Mehta & Associates, said the new policy reinforces what employers of H-1B workers were already aware of—providing detailed documentation regarding proving the nature of the H-1B worker’s assignment at the client site.
“The new policy suggests, however, that additional evidence may also be needed, such as more details in the work orders or in letters from the end client regarding the beneficiaries’ work assignment. While all these issues in the new USCIS policy are already asked for in challenges to the H-1B petition known as Requests for Evidence, it provides more incentive for USCIS to ask for more evidence regarding the specific nature of the H-1B worker’s work,” he said.
A consolation is over the past two years, Indian IT’s dependence on H-1Bs has come down sharply, partly through efforts to hire more locals. All major IT companies have plans to scale up the local hires.
Nasscom vice-chairman Rishad Premji said that Indian IT firms use less than 20% of the 65,000 H-1Bs issued each year. Chandrasekhar said “in the last two years, the number of visa applications filed by Indian IT firms dropped by 50%”.
Chandrasekhar also noted that the US has a shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers and these measures on H-1B could end up hurting American firms that Indian IT companies serve.
Indian Bitcoin exchanges to create central repository of users, bring in self-regulation
The purchase data of buyers and sellers of the virtual currency can then be traced through either the Aadhaar ID or PAN of the user.
Even as cryptocurrency Bitcoin is coming under intense scrutiny worldwide after its prices went on a roller-coaster ride, the Indian currency exchanges handling Bitcoin trade are trying to stay on the right side of the law.
Finance Minister had made a mention in his last Budget speech in the Parliament that the Government considers cryptocurrencies illegal tender and will not recognize any payments or transactions made with them. At the same time the Finance Ministry has set up a committee to review the functioning of the cryptocurrency exchanges and proposes to setup a regulating body on the lines of the Stock Exchanges Board of India (SEBI). Now, the Bitcoin exchanges in India plan to create a central repository of clients and will ultimately put in place a self-regulatory mechanism to appear transparent.
This move comes amidst reports of the Income Tax authorities sending out notices to 100,000 investors in cryptocurrencies asking them if the amount they have invested have been reflected in their income statements and the corresponding taxes have been paid by them or not.
By this move by the Bitcoin exchanges, the details of the buyers and sellers of the digital currency through the exchange can be traced through their Aadhaar or PAN numbers. The repository will also hold information on the details of the transactions, including the frequency of the transactions and the pattern etc.
In fact, going one step ahead, the exchanges will submit the details of their proposed repository to the committee being setup by the Indian government, which is expected to submit its recommendations to the government before March 31. In the current scenario, though the individual cryptocurrency exchanges follow the normal KYC norms of registering the identity of the dealers on their exchanges, the overall information does not get shared among the exchanges.
As mentioned, the proposed move to create a central repository of information is meant to present to the government that they are self-regulating institutions and will not permit any illegality in their transactions, including money-laundering by the customers on their platforms. They intend on creating a “code of conduct” for their members and customers.
May be sign of a healthier political trend.
Setting a healthy political trend in Tamil Nadu, where the polity is deeply dominated by personality cult, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday received Opposition Leader M K Stalin at his chamber in the Secretariat. Stalin was being helpful towards the government to the extent of recommending a slew of steps to resolve the perennial crisis plaguing the transport sector.
Such meetings are rare in Tamil Nadu politics in which the rivalry among the head of the ruling party and those of the main opposition parties would be so intense. In fact, Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi, who alternatively ruled Tamil Nadu for a quarter of a century between 1991 and 2016 after Jaya became CM for the first time, never saw each other eye to eye. This is the first time that Stalin is meeting Palaniswami in his chamber while he has held discussions with the latter's predecessor O Panneerselvam when he was Chief Minister after J Jayalalithaa's death.
Armed with a report prepared by DMK leaders on how to reduce loses and restore the transport department to its old glory, Stalin led a delegation of senior leaders to Palaniswami and submitted the document to him. We will convene another all-party meeting and discuss our next course of action. The Chief Minister received the report, but he did not commit anything, Stalin was to say after the cordial enough meeting.
The DMK Working President has been opposing the recent hike in bus fares by the Tamil Nadu government and had even rallied the entire opposition to protest against the ruling party.
In the report submitted to Palaniswami, the DMK recommended removal of existing taxes on diesel like VAT and levy 10 per cent GST, which will result in an annual savings of Rs 1,600 crore for state-run transport corporations, revenue generation through advertisements and courier services by transport corporations, and attaching buses which ply beyond 200 kms to the State Express Transport Corporations.
The government should also upgrade its luxury buses on par with private bus operators who mint by flaunting their services and allot Rs 1,000 crore every year in the Budget for phasing out of old buses and replacing them with new hi-tech vehicles are some of the other recommendations made in the report.
A five-member panel headed by former Union Surface Transport and Shipping Minister T R Baalu prepared the report. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Stalin indicated that the government was non-committal on implementing recommendations made in his party’s report. The transport corporations suffer loses every day and have debts to the tune of `16,000 crore.
Delimination committee is in the final stage of compiling report.
The much-delayed elections to the local bodies across the state will not be conducted at least for the next three months. This is owed to issues created issues by the stakeholders of democracy.
They range from the State Election Commission (SEC), the AIADMK government and the opposition DMK, all of whom complicated the polls by approaching the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court, thereby ensuring their postponement.
According to sources, the issue dates back to October 2016. The court had also been entertaining the petitions and the affidavits filed by the stakeholders, thereby delaying the natural law of justice. “Justice delayed is justice denied and as per the constitutional mandate, the state deserves elected members in local bodies. But the civic councils have been held up due to bureaucratic delay and pending litigation”, said a former mayor from Western Tamil Nadu, who wished not to be named. The two political parties and the SEC have taken shelter claiming that they are now waiting for the final court orders, he added.
“The state is not in a mood to hold the elections and that’s the reason they are inventing problems and are working slowly on the orders passed by High Court”, said a state official conforming that no communication has been received in connection with the poll arrangements.
When contacted, state election commissioner Malick Feroze Khan said that poll work was very much underway. The delimitation exercise had been completed in all the districts except Chennai. So far seven zonal conferences on delimitation exercise had been completed and the delimitation committee is in the final stage of compiling the report. Once the report from Chennai Corporation is also received a final delimitation report will be sent to the state for its approval.
When all the issues pertaining to women reservation and delimitation are finalised, the SEC will announce the polls. “We have also adhered to Madras High court’s interim orders and another petition is also pending before the Supreme Court”, he said.
A Hyderabad-based youth group claimed that it hurt Muslim sentiment because it is about Prophet Muhammad and his wife.
Priya Prakash Varrier, basking in the glory of her newfound popularity, has been slammed with a complaint for the song Manikya Malaraya Poovi in Hyderabad by a youth group of Farooq Nagar.
It was her appearance in this song that made her instantly famous, including 6,06,000 followers within a day on instagram.
She is the third celebrity to gain such a mammoth number of followers in one day, with only American model -TV personality Kylie Jenner and legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of her.
The youth group from Hyderabad that filed the complaint against the song, claimed that it hurt Muslim sentiment because it is about Prophet Muhammad and his wife
However, they have submitted only a written complaint and no FIR has been filed against anyone yet.
"I tried to sing the song and when I checked the translation, it was about Prophet Mohammad. A girl and boy are romancing but linking background with religious sentiments," said complainant Muqueet Khan.
"I will not take back my complaint. I have checked on Youtube and then filed my complaint," he added.
The director of the film 'Omar Lulu' clarified that the lyrics are not meant to hurt anybody's sentiments.
"There is nothing against Islam or Muslims. It is a very old love song sung by all communities," he said.
For Kamal Haasan his friendship isn't the same as his political alliance with Rajinikanth
Ace actor Kamal Haasan talked about the alliance with veteran actor Rajinikanth and said that a tie-up seems unlikely as of now as latter has a "hue of saffron" in his politics.
"There is a hue of saffron in Rajni's politics. If that doesn't change, then I don't see an alliance with him," said Haasan, during the launch of his website, naalainamadhe.maiam.com at Harvard University.
"My politics will definitely not be saffron," he added.
The actor mentioned that both of them are good friends, but "politics is different".
Haasan also said, the reason for starting his own party is that he does not want to work with any of the existing parties.
Speaking about the website, the actor said that it has been designed in a manner wherein people from all sections can participate.
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