GST to put a few organised used-car dealers out of business

 

Goods and Services Tax (GST) may have made new cars more affordable but it will increase the prices of used cars, boost the unorganised market and wipe out smaller players from the organised segment.

According to used car operators GST on used cars is the same as new cars which is 28 percent and this is several times higher than the value added tax (VAT) during the pre-GST days.

Nagendra Palle, Chief Executive and Managing Director, Mahindra First Choice Wheels said, “There is no differentiation made under GST with regards to new or used cars. Like VAT GST is applied on the margins earned by the dealer and because of the high tax slab it makes the business unviable for the dealer”.

VAT was a state-levied tax and thus is not uniform in nature. While some states charged VAT in absolute terms others charge it on a percentage basis. Through the unorganised route several transactions happen in cash and, therefore, will slip out of the tax net.

Mohan Mariwala, Founder and Managing Director, Auto Hangar, said, “Many of the small players in the organized market will have to shut shop because of the adverse impact of GST. This will give rise to sales through the unorganized route”.GST to put a few organised used-car dealers out of business

Auto Hangar, which runs the authorized dealerships for Mercedes-Benz and Honda, also has a used-car channel for Mercedes cars. Mahindra First Choice with more than 1000 sales outlets is the largest organised multi-brand player in the country.

Organised players form 12 percent of the total used-car market, which is 3.3 million or 1.2 times the new car market. With the average used-car costing between Rs 2.5-3 lakh, India’s used car industry generates a turnover of more than Rs 80,000 crore.

In addition, GST will also impact the supply of cars into the second hand car market as the rates offered at ‘trade-ins’ will be lower than what were offered earlier. More than one-fourths of car buyers exchange their older cars for a new car which is called a trade-in.

“The used-car industry is bigger than the new car market and growing at a good pace. But it depends on the new car market for survival. Around 27 percent of new car buyers exchange their existing car for a new one. This, too, will get impacted. But we hope that the government will take a note of this and take corrective steps,” added Palle.

The used-car industry has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 15 percent during the last five years despite a lull in demand for new cars during the past 2-3 years. The availability of quality used cars at under Rs 3.5 lakh had led to stagnation of growth of entry-level cars priced in the same bracket.

GST, which was rolled out on July 1, has led to a fall of 2.4-14 percent on new cars, sports utility vehicles and other vehicles.

Here’s the first real, production Tesla Model 3

The first production Tesla Model 3 is built and ready to roll, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday. Musk shared pictures of the car, the company’s first mass-market electric vehicle, on Twitter.

This particular Model 3 belongs to Musk, who teased photos of the car earlier Saturday afternoon: “Production unit 1 of Model 3 is now built and going through final checkout. Pics soon.”

The customer who placed the first deposit on the Model 3 apparently gave his spot to Musk, the CEO said on Twitter: “Ira Ehrenpreis had rights to 1st car as he was 1st to place a full deposit, but gave those rights to me as my 46th bday present. Tks Ira!”Image result for Here's the first real, production Tesla Model 3

About 30 Model 3s will be delivered to customers on July 28. Tesla said it would produce another 1,500 cars in September, and grow to about 20,000 cars per month by December.

Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in March last year and began taking $1,000 deposits for the car shortly after. Within a week, the electric-car company had racked up 325,000 pre-orders. At the time, Tesla said the aggregate value of the pre-orders equaled about $14 billion in future sales. The company has taken some 400,000 pre-orders since then.

 

New Smart Gloves to Monitor Parkinson’s Disease

New Smart Gloves to Monitor Parkinson's Disease

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed smart gloves that measure tremors and rigidity in fingers – common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – allowing doctors to monitor patients using smartphones.

The gloves are connected to smartphones, which process the data and deliver it to neurologists in their offices.

This way, doctors can manage the treatment plan of the patient day-to-day, ensuring that medication is working properly and eliminating the need for patients to make stressful clinical visits, researchers said.

Kunal Mankodiya, director of University of Rhode Island’s Wearable Biosensing Laboratory, said he is researching how to transform gloves, socks, clothing and even shoes into high-tech items that will make people healthier and improve their lives.

“Patients with Parkinson’s face many mobility issues – driving and even walking long distances,”Mankodiya said.

“The glove will give patients the option of receiving health care while remaining at home, and it also reduces the risk of falls and other accidents,” he said.

Mankodiya is also working on high-tech socks for people who have suffered strokes.

Sensors woven into the fabric relay information about a patient’s gait to doctors and physical therapists so they can tailor rehabilitation therapy to each patient.

“The socks examine the walking stride. They can quantify movements of the knee and ankle joints to find subtle irregularities that require therapy,” Mankodiya said.

 

Nasa Delays Plan to Put Juno Closer to Jupiter

Nasa Delays Plan to Put Juno Closer to Jupiter

Mission managers for Juno probe to Jupiter have decided to delay the upcoming burn of its main rocket motor – designed to put the spacecraft closer to the largest planet in our solar system – until December, the US space agency said on Saturday.

The decision was made in order to further study the performance of a set of valves that are part of the spacecraft’s fuel pressurisation system.

 

This burn, originally scheduled for October 19, called the period reduction manoeuvre (PRM), was to reduce Juno’s orbital period around Jupiter from 53.4 to 14 days.

“It is important to note that the orbital period does not affect the quality of the science that takes place during one of Juno’s close flybys of Jupiter,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

“The mission is very flexible that way. The data we collected during our first flyby on August 27th was a revelation, and I fully anticipate a similar result from Juno’s October 19th flyby,” Bolton noted.

The most efficient time to perform such a burn is when the spacecraft is at the part of its orbit which is closest to the planet.

The next opportunity for the burn would be during its close flyby of Jupiter on December 11, Nasa said.

Mission designers had originally planned to limit the number of science instruments on during Juno’s October 19 close flyby of Jupiter.

 

Now, with the period reduction manoeuvre postponed, all of the spacecraft’s science instruments will be gathering data during the upcoming flyby.

The Juno spacecraft launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

 

The Design of the PowerPoint Slide

A PowerPoint slide can get across a message during a presentation that you might not be able to explain. Each slide in the presentation has just enough information to captivate the audience while ensuring that viewers understand the topics discussed.

Only use the number of slides that you will need to get your points across. If there are too many slides, then the information can be lost, and the audience could get confused about what you’re trying to say. There isn’t a strict number of slides that must be used, but 10 to 15 is about average. When creating the PowerPoint slide designs, don’t use paragraphs. Use bullet points and basic facts, steering away from sentences as you want the audience to easily be able to read the information.

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When you begin adding the words to the slides, make sure you’re font is large enough to see without taking up too much of the screen. Don’t use fonts that have a narrow design or those that tend to make the letters run together when words are typed. You should also pay attention to the font size. One-inch letters can usually be seen from about 10 feet away. Each increase that you have by an inch in the font size increases the distance that the words can be seen by about 10 feet.

Keep the presentation as simple as possible. Make short statements that don’t wrap to the next line. The PowerPoint should be something that backs up your research. You are talking to the audience and using the slides as ways to stay on track with the report instead of basing what you say off of the presentation.

Graphics are ideal for getting points across. Use pictures and graphs that relate to what you’re saying. Statistics are also a good idea. As you’re presenting, use the statistics to back up the numbers that you are talking about, add include resources that are used as well, especially those that are from medical or government sites that offer more credibility than others. Use a template or a consistent theme in the presentation so that there aren’t numerous colors and shapes on each slide.

Google’s Self Driving Car Project Gets A New CEO

Self driving cars

Google has announced the appointment of a new CEO for its self driving car project, former Hyundai CEO John Krafcik will take over as the CEO of Google’s project.

Chris Urmson who was previously the head of the project will continue as the head of technical development.

“This is a great opportunity to help Google develop the enormous potential of self-driving cars,” Mr. Krafcik said in an emailed statement from Google. “This technology can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today. I can’t wait to get started.”

The new appointment is part of Google’s restructuring under their new parent company Alphabet, which has been done to separate projects like their self driving cars and other projects from their main business.

It will be interesting to see how the company’s new CEO will be able to develop the company and the project from a prototype into a car that is being used by people every day.

Google have been working on their autonomous vehicles for the last few years, there are also an number of other companies, including car makers working on similar projects.

Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic is Up for Pre-orders in Canada

Gear S2

Samsung announced its round Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic smartwatch earlier this month at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Canadian residents, if you’re thinking about getting your hands on the Samsung Gear S2 or the Gear S2 Classic, you’ll be glad to find out that Best Buy Canada is now taking pre-orders of the smartwatches.

The simple Gear S2 is going to set you back by CAD 400 ($301) while the Gear S2 Classic carries a CAD 430 price tag. The retailer expects to ship the pre-orders of both smartwatches from October 2nd, which isn’t too far off.

As far as the specifications are concerned, the Gear S2 features a 1.2-inch circular Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels with a 302 ppi pixel density, a 1GHz dual-core Exynos processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB internal storage, a 250 mAh battery and ships with Tizen as its operating system out of the box. Other features include IP68 certification making the device dust and water-resistant, Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi and NFC connectivity.

Let us know if you’re planning to, or already pre-ordered, the Samsung Gear S2 or S2 Classic smartwatch.

Indian Railways to Tie-Up With Isro to Improve Efficiency, Safety

Indian Railways will join hands with Isro to get online satellite images for improving safety and enhancing efficiency.

“We will undertake a massive exercise of GIS mapping of the entire rail route and assets including buildings, land, workshops and other facilities in the network using geo-spatial technology,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with GIS mapping project.

Geo-spatial technology involves GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing).

The official said geo-spatial services will be available from satellite-assisted navigational support through the GPS aided geo augmented navigation (GAGAN) system of Isro.

“We will sign an MoU with Isro shortly to avail the online satellite images to create a GIS platform,” said the official.

The MoU will facilitate getting images and communications through the satellite system. While the images will help in mapping the area, communications will enable the introduction of Wi-Fi service in trains in a larger way.

The technology will come in handy at the time of accidents when it can be used to ascertain the exact location of trains and the topography.

Besides, it will also help railways in developing solutions for safety at unmanned level crossings with remote sensing facility.

Safety at unmanned level crossings is a cause of serious concern for railways and the public transporter is exploring various ways to address the issue.

Remote sensing system can be used to warn road users by activating the hooters before the arrival of trains at unmanned level crossings, he said.

The satellite images will also be used for geo-fencing of stations for paperless ticketing system.

Geo-fencing is a virtual barrier which uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries.

Railways have started the paperless tickets in unreserved segment for suburban services in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

As per the plan, railways have decided to go paperless with regard to monthly season tickets and platform tickets.

Geo-fencing of stations is a must for going paperless and the tie-up with Isro will enable railways in getting the required back-up from satellite, he said.

The technology is also expected to be used for tracking trains for disseminating information about their movement on real time basis which will be a great help to passengers.

Google, Sanofi Team Up to Improve Diabetes Care

Google Inc and French drugmaker Sanofi SA said they will partner to develop tools to improve the management and treatment of diabetes.

Sanofi will work with Google’s Life Sciences team to collect, analyse and understand information impacting diabetes, which is expected to affect 592 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

Sanofi’s diabetes product line raked in sales of EUR 1.9 billion (roughly Rs. 14,120 crores), contributing about 20 percent to the company’s total sales in the second quarter.

Sales in this strategic unit have been hurt by continued pricing pressure in the United States.

Google’s life sciences unit is already collaborating with Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG to develop contact lenses to help diabetics track blood glucose levels or restore the eye’s ability to focus.

It has also tied up with DexCom Inc, a maker of continuous glucose-monitoring (CGM) devices, to develop a CGM device the size of a band-aid that can be worn on the skin.

The company is also working with Biogen Inc to study the progression of multiple sclerosis.

The life sciences division is part of Google X labs, which is testing self-driving cars.

The DexCom partnership will see the two companies jointly develop smaller and affordable CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) products. The products made by the duo would initially focus on reducing the cost and size of CGM components. Under the deal, DexCom has retained the rights to sell and distribute the disposable CGM products. In addition, the healthcare firm would make an initial upfront payment of $35 million (roughly Rs. 228 crores) and R&D milestone payments up to $65 million (roughly Rs. 424 crores) either in cash or stock to Google. The firm would also pay the revenue royalties between five to nine percent after the CGM products have been launched and have generated some revenue.

Google is not new to creating wearables that focus on the user’s health. The Life Sciences team in July said it was working on a medical-grade health-tracking wristband that is much more accurate than regular wearables available in the market.

Nasa, USAID Launch Environmental Information Hub

Nasa and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a joint project to strengthen regional environmental monitoring in five countries in the lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia.

Called SERVIR-Mekong, the project is housed at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

It joins a growing global community of scientists and decision-makers using publicly available data from space assets to address critical regional issues, the US space agency said in a statement.

“Today, Nasa demonstrates the human impact of its science mission here on Earth and our commitment to protecting the resources, the environment and millions of people living, working and raising new generations of pioneers and innovators across the region,” said Nasa administrator Charles Bolden.

Nasa, USAID and their partners operate SERVIR hubs in Kathmandu, Nepal and in Nairobi, Kenya, serving eastern and southern Africa.

Researchers draw on a continuous stream of space-based climate, weather and other Earth observation data from Nasa and its partners, sharing timely information with governments and researchers in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

They addressed issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction and management of natural resources.

The SERVIR program helps governments and development stakeholders incorporate Earth observations and geospatial technologies into natural disaster response, improve food security, safeguard human health, and manage water and natural resources.

Hubs in each region focus on issues and needs most critical to local populations.

“Under SERVIR-Mekong, we are tapping into the best available science and technology to help protect this region’s vital ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society,” noted Beth Paige, director of USAID’s regional development mission for Asia.

“Already, Asian scientists, Nasa scientists and others are beginning to develop tools to build resilience and contribute to tackling some of the region’s most pressing challenges,” he said.

SERVIR was developed in coordination with the Group on Earth Observations, an alliance of more than 90 nations and organisations collaborating to build a global Earth-observing system to benefit society’s needs.