• “The Arnold Schwarzenegger of Bengaluru”: Water Tanker Driver G Balakrishna Wins Mr. Asia Title

    In what seems like an incredible feat, G. Balakrishna, a 25-year-old water tanker driver from Bengaluru, was crowned Mr. Asia 2016 at the recently concluded 5th Phil-Asia Bodybuilding Championship in the Philippines. A gym instructor by profession, Balakrishna runs a water tanker business in Bengaluru to support his income and can often be spotted driving tankers. According to a report in The Hindu, this ardent fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger said on his win, “I am proud of my achievement and hope to repeat it more often with some financial support.” G Balakrishna, source: facebook Mr. Asia is not the first bodybuilding title for Balakrishna. While in 2013, Balakrishna won the Mr. Universe Under-24 title in Germany, the next year, he bagged the Mr. Universe title in the same category at the World Championship in Athens, Greece. Balakrishna trains for around six hours every day. Gym instructors Sangram Chougle from Mumbai and Munish Kumar from Punjab also train Balakrishna and help him with his workout. “I am maintaining my position with a rich daily diet that includes 750 g of chicken, 25 eggs, 300 g of rice, 200 g of vegetables along with fish for extra protein and fruits,” he told The Hindu. Weighing around 120 kg off-season, he maintains his weight at around 90kg during competitions. The sole breadwinner of the family, who lost his father at a young age, Balakrishna’s main worry is funds. With no support from the government, Balakrishna still struggles to participate in the championships abroad and keep up his training as well as diet. “I am proud of my achievement and hope to repeat it more often with some financial support. I owe it to my mother, Parvathamma, and brother Rajesh who have been my pillars of support,” he said. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!

    The Better India
  • Rohit Shetty: The Whole Kajol-Shah Rukh Khan Story Went Wrong In Dilwale!

    Rohit Shetty’s 2008 directorial Golmaal Returns was a blockbuster and it did well even at the box office. A part of Shetty’s successful comedy franchise, Golmaal starring Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor and Arshad Warsi, Shetty says he knew that it was a crap film. While speaking at a panel discussion at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, Shetty said that he can sense it when his film goes wrong.

    Business of Cinema
  • India's 'surgical strikes' in Kashmir: Truth or illusion?

    India made headlines in late September after carrying out "surgical strikes" on militants across the de-facto border in disputed Kashmir. Days earlier insurgents had attacked an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir, killing 18 soldiers. Tensions spiked as India blamed Pakistan. Supporters of the Indian government said the army's strikes had taught Pakistan a long-awaited lesson - but Islamabad dismissed the reports as an "illusion". The BBC's M Ilyas Khan visited the border area to find out what actually happened. What did Indian troops do? Despite the use of the term "surgical strikes", the Indians definitely did not airdrop commandos to hit "launching pads of militants" inside Pakistani-held

    BBC News q
  • How a 25-Year-Old Delhi Boy Is Creating Solar Entrepreneurs in Rural India

    Meet a young renewable energy-enthusiast from Delhi who is keen on equipping solar entrepreneurs with all the right tools required to run a business. Lakshey Sehgal, a 25-year-old resident of Delhi, always wanted to work in the field of solar energy generation. After finishing his Master’s in renewable energy technology from Pondicherry University, he worked in different companies in the same field for about three years. But his experiences during this time gave him a whole new idea. “I saw a lack of trained manpower when I joined this sector for the first time. There was a lack of awareness around using advanced technology and installing newer products. At the same time, there was a lot of push from the government’s side to increase the use of solar energy in rural and urban households. This led to an increase in demand. Now, many private entities are entering the field. They are putting in money and setting up businesses to install solar power panels or work in the sector in some way or the other. But many of them are doing it wrong,” he says. You may also like: These Engineers and Students Electrified Two Karnataka Villages in Less Than Two Months “I felt that if we want to work in this field, then the entrepreneurs should know what they are doing. They need better training,” says Lakshey. In July this year, he founded Spektron Solar Private Limited, a company that conducts development and training programmes for small-scale solar entrepreneurs “Being a solar entrepreneur can mean a lot of things,” says Lakshey adding, “It is a vast field. One can be anything from a manufacturer to an installer. The person can be someone who wants to install a solar manufacturing unit, or someone who is just selling solar TVs or lanterns. But the problem comes when you want to be a solar installer. The installer has to buy products from different companies and fit them in a proper way as a solar plant in someone’s house. A lot of things can go wrong during the installation.” With a team of four people, Spektron Solar organises training sessions for those aspiring to start a business in solar system installations. The workshops help them understand that this job requires special skills and knowledge. Two-day training sessions are conducted on rooftops with original systems. The entrepreneurs take part in practical activities to understand what can go wrong during the installation, the required orientation of panels, quality of products, problems to look out for, etc. This is done with the help of demonstrations, experiments, practical sessions, etc. The team uses animations and 3-D visuals during training, and entrepreneurs pay a fee of Rs. 5,000 -7,000 for the programme. This knowledge helps them save money and is beneficial in the long run. People usually come to know about the training programme through ads in local newspapers, Facebook posts, etc. Lakshey has conducted sessions in Dehradun, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Ranchi, Gandhinagar, and Delhi, training over 200 people up until now. The team piloted their programme in big cities to see how the model works and then started moving to smaller towns. You may also like: The World’s Largest Solar Oven Cooking Class Has Taught Over 25,000 Kids to Cook Using Solar Power Their long-term goal is to work in tier-two and tier-three cities and they will begin with Amritsar, Jalandhar, Guwahati, and Tripura. Spektron Solar's office is in Delhi and the company is collaborating with the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. Moving forward, Lakshey wants to start an online platform for Spektron Solar, for which he is currently trying to raise funds. “We provide entrepreneurs with many tools during the training, like giving them Excel sheet presentations, quick calculation tools, animations, etc. We plan to have an online platform where all this will be available. This way, even after the training is over, they can be in touch with us and ask for technical support,” he says. Even now, the team receives many calls from past participants asking for advice on making presentations and approaching customers; for help with sample proposals, pricing, laws and policies, etc. Lakshey feels that the impact is already visible. “Two months back, I conducted a programme in Dehradun. And one of the entrepreneurs from there is almost on the verge of starting his own solar manufacturing unit,” he says. Another participant from Haryana has been able to install solar systems providing about 100 KWp of solar energy to over 30 buildings. This shows that there is a lot of scope for development in this field and several people need help to understand the technology better. While working with a startup after finishing college, Lakshey used to train people on renewable energy. “When I was there, I saw that the government is providing grants and funding to different organizations to train technicians for free. But no one is training entrepreneurs who have to do a major chunk of the job. There are small scale training centres in bigger cities, but nothing specifically in tier-two and tier-three cities. We are working towards filling this gap,” he concludes. You can contact Lakshey by writing to him at  lakshey@spektronsolar.com. You may also like: How One School Used Solar Power to Go from Being an Electricity Consumer to Electricity Producer Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!

    The Better India
  • Depression forms over Bay of Bengal, cyclonic storm expected in next 24 hrs

    New Delhi [India], Oct. 24 (ANI): A deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal, named Kyant, is expected to become a cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and hit the Odisha coast. Bhubaneswar Met office has said the actual impact on the state can be stated only after the cyclonic storm recurves close to the Myanmar coast today. It added that the deep depression lay centred about 950 km east-southeast of Gopalpur, a place in Ganjam district of Odisha.

  • "Karan Johar should not have apologised" - Naseeruddin Shah

    While Bollywood has been divided between groups, for and against the ban of Pakistani artists, yet another actor who is miffed with the ban is none other than Naseeruddin Shah. He is one of those who believe that art and politics should not be mixed and hence has slammed MNS over the same. Reportedly, Naseeruddin Shah stated that film industry is an easy target for politicians to impose their decisions. He stressed on the point there has been no action taken on the diplomatic front of our relations with Pakistan neither are we in state of art nor have we sealed our borders. He also took to social media to add, “I’m no fan of Karan Johar, but I’ll definitely watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, because I

    Bollywood Hungama q
  • Batting at No 4 is more my need than team's: MS Dhoni

    India captain M S Dhoni today made it clear that a need to bat at No 4 is more out of compulsion as his game was getting affected lower down the order.

    English Pradesh18
  • The Fatal Mistake That Doomed Samsung’s Galaxy Note

    On the verge of challenging Apple’s global dominance in mobile phones, the South Korean company made a rushed decision, based on incomplete evidence, that would later force it to kill the model.

    WSJ q
  • Everything we know about the great Indian debit card hacking

    One of the biggest security breaches in the history of India’s banks was uncovered last week, placing millions of debit card users at risk. Customers of India’s biggest lenders, including the State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Yes Bank, were affected, with an estimated Rs1.3 crore already whisked off by hackers.…

    Quartz q
  • Jackie Shroff's real life house to be portrayed in Tiger Shroff's Munna Michael

    Looks like Tiger Shroff is all set to revive his father’s real life on the big screen by shooting at the iconic locations close to Jackie Shroff’s heart. Earlier we had reported that Tiger will play the role of a street dancer from Teen Batti, the gully where Jackie stayed once upon a time and now we hear that Tiger will also shoot in the house which once belonged to his father. From what we hear, Tiger Shroff will be shooting in the one room apartment where Jackie Shroff used to stay during his initial days. However, it is being said that a lot of stuff have to be moved and a large crew will be set up there before the shooting kick starts. On the other hand, there has been a tad bit of change

    Bollywood Hungama q
  • This Man Quit His Corporate Job to Drive Autos and Thinks It’s the ‘Best Job in the World’

    In Mumbai there is no dearth of people with ambitions higher than the buildings that dot the city's glittery skyline. But there are also many people who’ve grown tired of the usual 9-5 workday grind and feel they have no time to pursue their passions. The story of one such man, who left his job with Hindustan Unilever to drive an auto and pursue his passion for photography, was posted on the Facebook page of Humans of Bombay recently. It has been shared 2,000 times on social media over the past four days.   Aside from speaking about how confined he felt in his previous job, the auto driver goes on describe how liberating driving around and meeting new people feels. It has given him the freedom to set his own hours and pursue his passion for photography and travelling around the world, he says. Read the full text here: “I used to work at Hindustan Unilever, but the concept of a 9-5 job got too mechanical for me. There was nothing wrong with the company, but I hated the monotony to the point where I was unhappy. One morning, I woke up and quit. I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew I was passionate about a lot of things like meeting new people, photography and sketching. I didn’t want to be confined to a sp ace… I wanted to be free so I purchased this auto rickshaw a few months later because I knew I would be able to meet all kinds of people and have the time to stimulate my creativity. Of course I worked hard — sometimes I worked more than 12 hours a day but I was thrilled — I was getting to see so many new people and learnt photography from studios all over Bombay. That was 40 years ago, and to some this profession is demeaning but to me it’s the best job in the world. I’ve combined my passions in so many ways — I click photos of my passengers, I write and paint. I’ve travelled all over the world for my photography— London, Africa, Dubai and when they ask me what I do — I proudly say I drive an auto rickshaw in Bombay. After hearing that I’ve completed my MSC and speak fluent English, people often ask me why I continue to drive an auto and to that I’ll say only one thing. Happiness is something that no amount of money can ever buy, and once you know have that you’re the richest person in the world— and that’s how I feel. I feel on top of the world, every single day.” To read more stories from Humans of Bombay, click here. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. NEW: Click here to get positive news on Whatsapp!

    The Better India
  • After cheating on my wife and having twins out of wedlock, I face child support and alimony

    This husband wonders how his infidelity will be treated in divorce court.

    MarketWatch q
  • It's Not Mushkil For Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma To Steal Your Dil

    Filmmaker Karan Johar and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil's leading ladies Aishwarya Rai Bahchan and Anushka Sharma attended a panel discussion at ongoing Mumbai film festival on October 22.

    NDTVMovies.com q
  • Vivek Agnihotri slams spineless morally corrupt filmmakers

    With a new twist that follows the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – Pakistani artist ban controversy every day, a recent meeting between the politicians and the film world happen to arrive at an amicable solution that however was in favour of the political outrage that broke out post the Uri attacks. Karan Johar has agreed to a few conditions which includes putting a slide for Uri victims in his movie and donating Rs. 5 crores to the Army relief fund, this paving a smoother path for the release of his film. This however hasn’t gone down well with some filmmakers and celebrities who believe that art and politics should be dealt differently. While Naseeruddin Shah was disappointed in Karan Johar for apologizing

    Bollywood Hungama q
  • BJP Will Ruin Country: Arvind Kejriwal on Devendra Fadnavis' Role in ADHM Row

    New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday lashed out at the BJP over his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis' role in mediating talks between the MNS and filmmakers in ensuring release of 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. "BJP will ruin the country," Kejriwal tweeted, agreeing to another post that described the solutions arrived at as "extortionist". MNS chief Raj Thackeray has faced flak from various quarters, including the Army, over his conditions that filmmakers who worked with Pakistani actors have to comply with including a contribution of Rs 5 crore to the Army welfare fund. Fadnavis has also been facing criticism from the Opposition parties for

    News18 q
  • Delhi's Ritu Arora wins Rs 50 lakh for oats-based recipe

    New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Delhi-based Ritu Arora won Rs 50 lakh by creating oats-based recipes in Quaker Bring Your Tastiest Bowl contest. Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna curated the finale and adjudged the winner of the best recipe, read a statement. Of the 14, Khanna selected the top three dishes that took the contestants to the final round.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Mobile Diagnostic Device That Helps Pregnant Women in Rural India Receive Timely Medical Attention

    A six-page report published in September by the established UK medical journal Lancet provided some shocking figures about maternal mortality in India. It revealed that in 2015, there were more than 45,000 deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the country. This figure accounts for 15% of such casualties worldwide. A crippling lack of maternal health care services and skilled birth attendants has lead to India missing its millennium development goal of reducing the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters. Luckily, one organisation based in Mumbai has been working to help vulnerable mothers who don’t have access to immediate healthcare. A start-up called Care NX was launched in 2013 by an NGO called Science for Society. They noticed that high-risk pregnancies are the leading cause of maternal mortality in India. And early medical intervention could bring down this risk greatly. Malhar Khakaria, Head of Business Development at Care NX, told The Better India that their motto is, “early diagnosis, early intervention and early counselling.” Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni, who run Science for Society in Mumbai, started Care NX in 2013. Shantanu’s pregnant sister lived in a rural area and had to reach out to a friend studying to be a doctor in Mumbai city for all queries related to her pregnancy. From her experience, Shantanu realised that women in villages are more often than usual deprived of quality healthcare. Malhar says, “Three important things had to be done – the first was to bridge the access to standard health care, the second was to empower healthcare workers to reach pregnant mothers multiple times so that they could conduct tests, and the third was to detect high risk pregnancies during the first and second trimesters.” They developed a technology called CareMother, which comprises three different components – Medical Kit, Mobile Application and Web Application. The medical kit is made up of seven diagnostic devices, which include a digital stethoscope, blood pressure meter, urine analyser, glucometer, etc. The assigned health worker carries this medical kit so he/she can provide doorstep testing and diagnosis. The results of the test are entered directly into the mobile application, which alerts the health worker of high risk factors if they are present. Gynaecologists in a nearby health centre use the web application. Malhar says, “A gynaecologist/doctor needs to be associated with the health worker because in case there any major complications, it is not in the health worker's capacity to provide accurate consultation.” The CareMother kit is a lot less costly than standard tests, Malhar says. “A standard test in a hospital would cost you around Rs. 400 and this is not inclusive of the transportation cost. Another cost that people don’t take account for is that a woman has to take a day off from work to go to the lab and get these tests done. Regular checkups for women in remote areas, where the closest labs are more than 10-15 kilometres away, are extremely expensive and time consuming. Since we take our testing equipment to their doorsteps and provide antenatal care, we are able to cut many of these costs. The government mandates four tests per pregnancy but we conduct at least eight.” Since health workers are such an integral part of Care NX’s programmes, how do they reach out to them and train them? Malhar says, “Typically, we provide antenatal care to mothers by selling our software to health implementing agencies. These could be hospitals, clinics, NGOs, or even government bodies. These agencies have already trained these health workers and have an efficient task force in place.” Care NX’s target group is pregnant woman in dire need of medical counselling in rural areas. So how do the doctors counsel them or examine the test results in areas where there is no/limited internet connectivity? “The mobile app given to each health worker can work on offline mode; it does not require a steady internet connection. The data from the tests is transferred to the doctors automatically through Cloud from the health workers’ apps, whenever they can access any internet connection,” says Malhar. In the two years since Care NX was launched, it has managed to create a major impact on the health of pregnant women in the country. The organisation launched three projects in Maharashtra during its pilot run, and identified 55 % of the cases where mothers were likely to have high-risk pregnancies. In comparison, the public health system set in place by the state government was able to identify only 21% of such cases. Their first project was implemented in Mumbai in collaboration with Doctors for You, an organisation that extends medical support to marginalised sections of society, and UN Habitat. Malhar says the project was very successful: “We were approached by 793 mothers in the past year, whereas the public health system was able to reach only 120 mothers from 2014-2015; this tells us that if we just increase the outreach of these medical services, so many more people can benefit from them.” Their second pilot project was conducted in collaboration with the Hedgewar hospital based in Aurangabad. The hospital had mobile vans with expensive equipment reaching out to pregnant women, and the operation cost for this setup was very high. Their expenses were reduced by half when Care NX offered to help them by extending technological support. With an immense amount of dedication, this group of social workers, medical health professionals and business developers hope to reach out to at least one million pregnant women over the next year. If you want to help pregnant mothers in rural India receive timely medical attention and prevent deaths related to high risks - Unable to view the above button? Click here Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. NEW: Click here to get positive news on Whatsapp!

    The Better India
  • Kashmiris ready to sacrifice their lives, not motherland, says PoK leader

    Brussels [Belgium], Oct. 23 (ANI): Taking strong exception to the atrocities committed by the Pakistan authorities on the people of occupied Kashmir (PoK), United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) leader Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri has said Kashmiris could die but won't compromise on their motherland. Today is also a day to remember brave Kashmiri mujahids (people performing Jihad) Master Abdul Aziz and Maqbool Sherwani, who fought back Kabailis.

  • Oil prices fall as Iraq resists joining output cut

    Oil prices fell on Monday as Iraq said it wanted to be exempt from an OPEC deal to cut production, though losses were capped by Iran saying it would encourage other members to join an output freeze. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 37 cents at $50.48. Falah al-Amiri, head of Iraqi state oil marketer SOMO, added that Iraq's market share had been compromised by the wars it has fought since the 1980s.

  • Singapore Airlines launches its non-stop Singapore-San Francisco service

    New Delhi [India], Oct.24 (ANI): Singapore Airlines has launched its non-stop Singapore-San Francisco service that links Singapore with the US West Coast. The new flights will be operated daily using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The inaugural flight, SQ32, departed Singapore Changi Airport at 0925hrs local time yesterday and arrived at San Francisco Airport at approximately 0850hrs local time.