Skype Lite Gets Brings Kannada Language Support, Skype for Linux Moves to Beta


Microsoft launched its Skype Lite app for low-end Android smartphones last month and with its latest update, the Redmond-based company has now added the support for Kannada language to the video-chatting application as well. Separately, the Linux version of the app has also moved from alpha to beta and has received some new features and bug fixes.

Talking first about the Lite version of the app, as it was developed in Hyderabad and was launched exclusively for India, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company has decided to add support for a popular regional language – Kannada to the app. The latest update can be downloaded from Google Play.Skype Lite Gets Brings Kannada Language Support, Skype for Linux Moves to Beta
Moving to the Linux version of the app, which has now moved into beta phase with release of version 5.0, Microsoft has added several new features to Skype for Linux. With version 5.0, the company has added the ability to place calls to mobiles and landlines with Skype credit. “One-to-one video calls can be made from Linux to Skype users on the latest versions of Skype for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac,” the company said in its blog post.

Skype for Linux will now be able to view shared screens from other Skype desktop clients (Windows 7.33 and above, Mac 7.46 and above), the company said. With the update, the Unity launcher now displays the number of unread conversations, and online contacts in contact list will now include Away and Do Not Disturb statuses, Microsoft added. You can download the Skype for Linux beta version 5.0 from company’s website.


Sleep on left side, drink water from copper vessel: How to fix indigestion naturally

Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process

Physical activity helps keep your digestive system working smoothly. But is important to take a nap after every meal to soothe your digestive system. While taking the nap, you should first sleep on the left side for some time and relax for 10 minutes before rushing for work, says an expert.

Pramod Kulkarni, swaryog expert and founder of SwarYog Foundation, Mumbai, lists some tips: Try these for your better digestive health.

1 Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process.

2 Having sweet or cold or frozen food dishes during activation of left nostril helps in harmonising the body fluids without disrupting the body temperature.indigestion

3 It is recommended to sleep on the left side at night because the longer the right nostril is active during this period, the better for digestion and, hence, for overall health.

 Sit in Padmasana pose for 10 minutes in morning. Concentrate on the Swadisthan Chakra — around navel. Do deep breathing through right nostril for 15 times. It helps in streamlining the digestion flow.

5 Drinking water from copper vessel is recommended as it helps your body maintain its temperature according to outside weather, thus, helping one to feel rejuvenated and energetic throughout the day.

6 One can practise this application daily after having lunch and dinner: Lie down straight on plain surface and breathe in normal breathing pattern for eight times, then turn around to right side and breathe for 16 times and then to left side and breathe for 32 times.

This application helps to make your digestive system stronger and spread out the food particles evenly throughout the system.


5 Easy Tips to Take Care of Your Skin After Playing Holi


Holi – the festival of colours is here! The time when you put all rules on hold and let the child within loose, playing with colours, dancing on paan banaras wala, and simply soaking up the sun as you gorge on gujias and gulp down the thandai. As you get ready to have all the fun, make sure that your skin is well protected, so that you do not suffer from any after effects like skin allergies or irritation after the game is over.

Traditionally, the festival was all about natural colours made from flowers and herbs. But these days there are many varieties of cheap and synthetic colours available in the market made from chemicals, and artificial dyes. They could also contain heavy metals, acids, mica, glass powder and dangerous alkalis. These chemicals can cause serious harm to the skin. It is a great idea to play with natural colours and herbs like tesu or genda flowers, rose petals, haldi and sandalwood that are actually good for your skin.

If you are going out and not sure about the colours others will use, make sure make sure that you oil your entire body with coconut oil. You can also use Olive oil or Vitamin E oil if you prefer. While oiling, make sure you do not forget places like behind the ear, between finger tips and near the finger nails where paint is bound to collect. You can oil your hair with mustard oil and tie it in a plait or pony. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with nail colour, here’s your chance to go wild. Paint your nails with the darkest shade possible to avoid the Holi colour from seeping inside the nail bed.

After you have had all the fun with colours and can hardly recognize yourself in the mirror, it is now time to get back to your normal self. If you are wondering how you will ever get rid of all those stubborn colours, worry not. Here are few tips to cleanse your skin and get back that glow safely.

1. Stand in running water for 5-10 minutes after playing Holi, and ensure that you do not scrub or scratch aggressively.


2. Apply liquid soap gently on the body. Still struggling? You can try home remedies thereafter, such as applying a mix of lemon juice, curd and sandalwood. You can also apply a mix of turmeric and white flour, and wash off after 15-20 minutes with milk. The trick with white flour works wonders for the face.

3. Be extra careful while removing the Holi colours from your face. It is ideal to use olive oil to remove the colour. Dab some, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash off.

olive oil

4. A concoction of fresh lemon juice, curd and a pinch of sandalwood powder is great to remove those stubborn traces of colour from your body and get back the glow.

5. However, if there are still some traces of colour, then remember to give it a couple of days to fade away naturally rather than scrubbing away aggressively and harming your skin in the process. It is advisable not to use body scrubs, exfoliators or bath salts for at least 48 hours after playing Holi, and try not to go out in the sun for too long.

Here’s wishing you all a happy, safe, and colourful Holi!


Neem for Dandruff: A Natural Remedy to Get Rid of It


If you have a very dry scalp, more often than not, you may have found yourself in an embarrassing situation where the collar of your shirt is covered with white flaky substances! Dandruff is not restricted to the scalp alone, even the skin on the face and the body is prone to dandruff. It is but natural to assume that dandruff is caused due to dryness. In opposition to this notion, research suggests that dandruff is actually due to cells of the skin that have a very short life, they grow and die with great rapidity.

A fungus known as Malassezia is responsible for dandruff. Certain weather conditions do facilitate the growth of dandruff, most commonly the winter season. It has the tendency to being stubborn and coming back again and again despite proper treatment. Contrary to popular belief, one effective way to get rid of dandruff is to shampoo daily, this prevents the growth of the cells that have a shortlife. An after effect of untreated dandruff is hair loss. Thus, it is best to catch the issue on time and follow a due course of treatment.

Nothing can be more convenient than using neem for dandruff, available almost everywhere and can also be easily grown at home! The properties possessed by the neem leaves are used to treat multiple skin and hair issues. It contains blood purifying as well as anti microbial elements. It is effectively known to be an antifungal and antiviral, in addition to being anti inflammatory. Here’s how to use neem in order to get rid of dandruff and get beautiful, shiny hair.

1. Chew the leaves: According to beauty experts, the easiest way to get rid of dandruff is to chew the neem leaves every morning. However, you may need some convincing for that as neem leaves taste a bit bitter. Mix them with honey and have or make a decoction by boiling neem leaves and drink the strained water.

2. Neem oil: Neem can be used in the form of an oil. This oil can be easily created at home by adding few neem leaves to coconut oil and bringing it to a boil and finally adding a few drops of lemon to it. Rub this oil gently on your scalp, leave it on overnight and then wash off in the morning.


3. Neem and curd: A combination of neem and curd is the ideal way to curb dandruff. Make a paste of neem leaves, add it to a bowl of curd and apply all over your scalp. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. The anti-fungal properties of neem in combination with the soothing and cool effect of curd does wonders in fighting dandruff.

4. Neem hair mask: A homemade neem back is the easiest remedy for dandruff. All you have to do is take some neem leaves, grind them in the mixer and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Once it becomes a thick paste, put it all over the scalp like a hair mask and allow it to stay for 20 minutes. Wash it when it is suitably dry and watch the wonders it does to your scalp.
(Hair Growth: 7 Natural Tips to Make Your Hair Grow Faster)


5. Neem as a hair conditioner: Take a few neem leaves and boil them, allow them to cool down. After shampooing your hair, rinse the hair with this mixture of neem and see the miracle. According to Ayurveda, the plethora of medicinal properties exhibited by neem are used for all hair ailments and show drastic effects upon regular use.

Now, there’s no reason to let dandruff dishearten you. Use these simple home remedies that work like magic.


Chandigarh: Panjab University hikes fee by up to Rs 82,000 a year

Panjab University, Chandigarh.(HT File Photo)

 A year after hiking the fee by 5%, Panjab University (PU) senate on Sunday approved an average of 12.5% fee hike for all courses of university departments and its regional centres for the session 2017-18, on Sunday. However, the fee for some courses has multiplied by several times.The decision means that from the new academic session starting July, the tuition fee will see a minimum increase of Rs 2,000 and a maximum increase of approximately Rs 82,000 depending on the course. Students of courses like BPharma, who were paying Rs 5,000, will now pay Rs 50,000.

A Bachelors in Arts or Commerce will pay Rs 10,000 against the Rs 2,200 now.

The MA in journalism has also become dearer by six times to Rs 30,000.

PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover justified the fee hike stating that it was nominal considering the financial condition of the varsity.


The fee hike was approved, in principle, with a sub-committee authorised to finalise the details as well as formulation of scheme of concession for students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) after the implementation of the fee hikePanjab University


The new fee structure shall be applicable only to the students admitted afresh in academic session 2017-18. For existing students, the existing fee structure would be applicable after allowing an increase of 5% on tuition fee.

This will also be subject to a minimum increase of Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1,200.

In the last syndicate meeting, the V-C had stated that the Think Tank committee formed to look into the financial concerns of the varsity had recommended enhancement in internal revenue by 20% in 2017-18


The varsity also approved a number of fee concession schemes for all courses (other than self-financed in which scheme of freeship is already there).

For instance, students who have studied and qualified their Class-12 examination from a government school or government aided school with annual family income up to Rs 5 lakh will be eligible for fee concessions up to 50% of the tuition fee.


How to Drink Wine, a Beginner’s Guide

It was a one-hour conversation with Steven Spurrier that completely altered my relationship with wine. For years, I was fighting hard not be a wine snob – the type you run into at wine clubs across India, who often makes wine so complicated and difficult to understand. It’s why many people end up opting for some other spirit, refusing to be drawn into discussions that often take away the pleasure of sipping a great glass of wine. I’ve always felt that wine should not be intimating and a snob drink; it was comforting that Steven Spurrier, one of the world’s best known wine experts shares the same philosophy.

Spurrier was instrumental in organising ‘The Judgement of Paris’ in 1976 an event that broke the hegemony of French wines. He assembled eleven of the finest wine tasters in France and asked them to rank a selection of wines. He did not reveal the identity of the wines nor did the aficionados realise that among the French wines were some emerging Californian wines. A 1973 Chardonnay from the Chateau Montelena, in California’s Napa Valley emerged the winner among the Whites. Another Wine from a brand new winery in California – The Stag’s Leap Cellar took top honours in the Red Wine Category with a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon. The event was immortalised in Bottle Shock, where Alan Rickman played Steven Spurrier. It also unleased the potential of the New world wines from regions like California. It’s places like California and Australia where I’ve always felt more relaxed with a glass of wine. Places where wine newbies are not ‘judged’.

wine generic

If you’re just about to begin your discovery of wine, you might find these tips quite handy:

Wine producing regions: France, Germany and Italy generally represent the ‘Old World’ wines. Terroir or the unique characteristics of the soil and climate have often played a big part on the identity of these wines. Over the last five decades, several wine regions from California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa produce high quality wine. Maharashtra (Nashik, Baramati) and Karnataka (Nandi Hills near Bengaluru) are India’s wine production hubs with mild winters and warm, dry summers; ideal for grape production.

Read the label: New world wines have simplified wine labels. Old world wines in the past would typically only list the region, the wine aficionado would automatically know the wine grape based on the region. New World wines keep it simple with the grape varietal, region, wine producer and the vintage (the year the wine was bottled). As a wine ages it improves the depth and character (also adds a mystique) of the wine. However the general thumb rule is red white gets better with age but younger white wines are better.

The glasses: wine glasses vary depending on the type of wine. Generally Red wine glasses tend to have a lager bowl and are taller to allow the flavours and aromas to emerge. There are broadly six types of wine glasses for full bodied and light bodied red wines, white wines, sparkling wine, rose and fortified or sweet wine.

wine 620

The grapes: begin your incredible journey by understanding the six grape varieties and their key characteristics: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These six major wine grape varieties make up about 80% of all wines made around the world. The key difference between wine tasting and drinking is paying attention.

How to serve and store wine: it’s equally common to find wine with bottle caps (instead of corks). It’s best to store your wines sideways (and not standing; especially wine bottles with a cork) in a cool place before the bottles are opened. Don’t keep an opened bottle of wine longer than a week in your refrigerator. Red wine is usually served at 12 to 18 degrees centigrade (Room temperature in some parts of the wold!), white wine at 8 to 12 degrees while sparkling and dessert wines are usually served at 5 to 7 degrees centigrade.

How to experience a glass of wine: even if you’re not a connoisseur it’s possible to enjoy wine with a few basic steps. First ensure you are not in a room full of other aromas and sounds that could distract you. As you pour the wine into a glass observe the colours (hold it to a light source) as you tilt it. Swirl the wine – easier to do when your glass is one thirds full. This action churns the liquid as it travels allowing it to draw oxygen from the air and intensify the smell. Sniff the wine – don’t bury your nose in the glass, just take short sniffs that allow you to take in the aromas. Sip the wine, don’t gulp it down and experience the flavours.


Wine Pairing: we’ve all heard about the basics from how salads and seafood work best with crisp white wines to how meat dishes work with complex red wines. Some wine experts overcomplicate wine pairing with the six basic flavour profiles – sweet, salt, fat, acidic, alcohol and bitter. It’s easier to keep it simple and look at whether you want flavours that are complimentary or contradictory. Ultimately I think it’s down to your personal choice; like Steven Spurrier told me – “I don’t think food should dictate what kind of Wine you drink. I believe in Drinking Wine for ‘Mood’ and not Food”.


Skill development ministry to set up separate education board for Industrial Training Institutes

The academic certificates issued to the ITI pass-outs would be acknowledged by all the UGC, AICTE, CBSE, NCERT, AIU and state education boards, and former would get admissions in their institutions.(PTI Representative Photo)

Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has accepted skill development ministry’s proposal of setting up a separate education board for the ITI pass-outs to offer them class X and XII certificates, the parliament was informed on Thursday.The academic certificates issued to the ITI pass-outs would be acknowledged by all the UGC, AICTE, CBSE, NCERT, AIU and state education boards, and former would get admissions in their institutions.With this, a matriculate ITI pass student having spent two years on a course, would not have to pursue 10+2 and will be able to get admission in the college in the first year of graduate programme.

Likewise, an 8th pass ITI student can get admission in 10th class in any of the recognized schools, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the skill development and entrepreneurship minister said.

National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) that has been authorized to conduct academic examinations for ITI pass-outs.

The decision is likely to benefit about 2.3 million students graduating from over 13,000 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) every year.HRD ministry

Rudy told HT on Wednesday that the proposal includes adding subjects like English, Hindi, Mathematics into the new ITI curriculum and students would have to clear those subjects as well.

Rudy said that the name of the proposed was yet to be finalized.

A high-level meeting of senior officials of various departments on February 16, it was decided that once the proposal is formalised, the National Council for Vocational Training will be authorised to conduct academic examination and certification for class X and XII for the ITI students.

Consequently, the UGC, CBSE, AICTE, NCERT, AIU (Association of Indian Universities) and state education Boards will be informed that the NCVT has been authorised to conduct academic examinations for ITI pass outs and award X and XII certificates which should be honoured by all educational institutions to provide further opportunities for higher studies.


FCC to vote to reform $45 billion business data market

The Republican head of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed easing regulatory requirements in the $45 billion business data services market, a win for companies like AT&T Inc, CenturyLink Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and others.

The proposal is a blow to companies like Sprint Corp and others that claim prices for business data are too high and backed a plan under President Barack Obama that would have cut prices but was never approved.

Small businesses, schools, libraries and others rely on business data services, or special-access lines, to transmit large amounts of data quickly, for instance connecting banks to ATM machines or gasoline pump credit card readers. Wireless carriers rely on them for the backhaul of mobile traffic. Reuters reported details of the proposal Wednesday.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a blog post the commission will vote April 20 to reform the rule that telecommunications experts say would deregulate the market in most of the country but would retain regulations in some places.

“Where this competition exists, we will relax unnecessary regulation, thereby creating greater incentives for the private sector to invest in next-generation networks. But where competition is still lacking, we’ll preserve regulations necessary to prevent anti-competitive price increases,” Pai said.

Consumer groups Public Knowledge and Consumer Federation of America called Pai’s proposal a “bonanza” for big telecommunications companies that “will drain consumer pocketbooks of tens of billions of dollars per year.”Ajit Pai, Chairman of U.S Federal Communications Commission, delivers his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Under President Barack Obama, then FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in April 2016 proposed a sweeping reform plan for business data services that aimed to reduce prices paid.

Wheeler had proposed maintaining and lowering lower price caps using legacy data systems with a one-time 11 percent reduction in prices phased in over three years.

Sprint, which backed Wheeler’s proposal, told the FCC in a March 22 letter that “thousands of large and small businesses across the country are paying far too much for broadband because of inadequate competition.”

Sprint argued “a small handful of companies are overcharging the very investors and employers that are critical to our economic growth and are using anticompetitive tactics to ensure that these businesses never have access to competitive alternatives.”

AT&T argued Wheeler’s plan was “little more than a wealth transfer to companies that have chosen not to invest in last mile fiber infrastructure.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


India, Malaysia set to sign 15 business pacts today

New Delhi: India and Malaysia are expected to sign around 15 business-to-business pacts on Monday aiming to deepen commercial linkages between Asia’s third-largest economy and its third-largest trading partner in the fast growing ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic grouping.

The pacts are to be signed in the presence of visiting Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in New Delhi. According to Indian officials, the total projects being considered by the two sides could amount to about $5 billion.

This is Razak’s third visit to India since taking office as prime minister in 2009. The Malaysian prime minister started his five-day India visit on Thursday in Chennai. On Sunday, the Malaysian prime minister visited Rajasthan, where Malaysian companies are engaged in road and other infrastructure projects estimated to be worth over $1 billion dollars.

In New Delhi on Saturday, talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi focussed on scaling up economic ties further in areas like infrastructure and building of smart cities, besides food security. This comes at a time when the US has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was stitched together by the US and aimed to ensure decreased dependency of these countries on trade with Asian giant China.Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: PTI

“All regional states are recalibrating their regional policies at a time when there is significant uncertainty about China’s future profile and American commitments to the region. Malaysia is no exception and is looking to New Delhi to play a larger regional role,” said Harsh V. Pant, professor of International Relations, Department of Defence Studies, at London’s King’s College, in an email.

Also noteworthy were India’s remarks on the South China Sea, large parts of which are claimed by China brushing aside protests from many Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia.

“Prime Minister Najib and I are also conscious of our role and responsibility in promoting economic prosperity, freedom of navigation, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, especially its Oceans,” Modi said after talks with Razak in New Delhi.

“India has been steadily making stronger statements on South China Sea. It can’t do much to change the maritime balance of power in the short term in the South China Sea waters. So it is making a normative argument about freedom of navigation so as to bolster its credibility amongst the regional powers,” Pant said.

Explaining the importance of Malaysia to India as a bilateral partner and as a key member of ASEAN, Pant said: “A multicultural Malaysia is a significant player in ASEAN at a time when some members are coming under Chinese sway. Indian diaspora is important in the country as well. India’s influence in the region can only increase if it builds strong bilateral ties with regional states.”

Malaysia is currently India’s third-largest trading partner in ASEAN after Singapore and Indonesia. Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India was at $12.8 billion in 2015-16 with the trade balance in favour of Malaysia. Both “prime ministers have expressed their aspiration to see this trade increase to $15 billion in the immediate future”, a statement from the India-Malaysia CEOs’ Forum that met in New Delhi on Saturday said.

“In terms of investment, there has been significant growth… The total investments from Malaysia stood at around $7 billion or more as against total investments of around $2.5 billion from the Indian side,” the statement said.

Malaysian companies have completed 53 highway and road projects in India worth $2.84 billion. In addition, there are seven projects valued at $ 0.34 billion that are still under construction. At present, there are around 120 Indian companies, including 61 Indian joint ventures, seven Indian public sector undertakings and 60 Indian IT companies operating in or from Malaysia.

Another reason for India to look at closer ties with Malaysia is the fact that it is seen as a moderate Muslim nation. Many in the government and the Indian strategic community agree that bilateral ties under former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammed, who was in power from 1981 to 2003, were far from satisfactory—mainly due to a perceived tilt towards India’s arch rival Pakistan. It was only after Razak—son of Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak and nephew of the third prime minister Hussein Onn—took over that relations seemingly turned the corner.

“Malaysia has been relatively successful in keeping radicalization under control though the threat is growing by the day. India and Malaysia can learn a lot from each other and also send a message out to the world as two states with significant Muslim population,” Pant added.


NASA’s Cassini Probe Set to End 20-Year Journey

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which was launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story this month.

On April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 2,400-kilometre gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale, NASA said.

“No spacecraft has ever gone through the unique region that we’ll attempt to boldly cross 22 times,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“What we learn from Cassini’s daring final orbits will further our understanding of how giant planets, and planetary systems everywhere, form and evolve. This is truly discovery in action to the very end,” Zurbuchen added.NASA's Cassini Probe Set to End 20-Year Journey

During its time at Saturn, Cassini has made numerous dramatic discoveries, including a global ocean that showed indications of hydrothermal activity within the icy moon Enceladus, and liquid methane seas on its moon Titan.

Now 20 years since launching from Earth, and after 13 years orbiting the ringed planet, Cassini is running low on fuel.
In 2010, NASA decided to end the mission with a purposeful plunge into Saturn in 2017.

Using expertise gained over the mission’s many years, Cassini engineers designed a flight plan that will maximise the scientific value of sending the spacecraft toward its fateful plunge into the planet on September 15.

Cassini will transition to its grand finale orbits, with a last close flyby of Saturn’s giant moon Titan, on April 22.

As it has many times over the course of the mission, Titan’s gravity will bend Cassini’s flight path.

Cassini’s orbit then will shrink so that instead of making its closest approach to Saturn just outside the rings, it will begin passing between the planet and the inner edge of its rings.

When Cassini makes its final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, it will send data from several instruments – most notably, data on the atmosphere’s composition – until its signal is lost, NASA said.