Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani took the nation by storm when he announced to launch Rs 1500 Jio Phone. But, now a report is doing the rounds that telecom giant Airtel is coming up with a Rs 1000 phone to take on rival Jio. According to a report in Phone Radar, Airtel is coming up with a 4G feature phone to give a competition to Reliance Jio 4G feature phone. Moreover, Phone Radar report claims that Airtel may join hands with Micromax or Intex for the manufacturing of the 4G feature phone. If this happens, it will be a win-win scenario for phone users as the fierce competition between the two telecom giants – Airtel and Jio – will eventually give users a big benefit as there will be no monopoly of any telecom provider. Mukesh Ambani on Friday had announced the launch of Jio Phone, offering life-long free voice calls bundled with 4G data streaming at an effective price of zero.
Jio phone, targeted at 50 crore feature phone users in the country, will be available for pre-booking from August 24 on payment of a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500. The JioPhone will be available for user testing in beta mode from August 15.
This deposit will be refunded after 36 months on return of the phone, Mukesh Ambani had said, adding that the price of the phone will be effective zero.
Reliance Jio, the fourth-generation telecom arm of Reliance Industries, will provide unlimited data on the phone for Rs 153 per month.
Ambani had taken the telecom sector by surprise with free voice calls and data last year. Jio already has 125 million users since its launch in September last year.
It’s tempting to stare at the sun during a solar eclipse, but if you try to do so without protection, you could damage your eyes. This image of a partial eclipse in 2012 was taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. (Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams)
On August 21, North America will experience the first total solar eclipse visible across the continent in nearly a century–and, while it may seem illogical, this period of semi-darkness is an important time to practice sun safety.
That’s because while during an eclipse, you won’t want to tear your eyes away from the show, staring directly at the sun can lead to solar retinopathy, a condition where light floods the eye’s retina. In 1999, 45 patients visited an eye clinic in Leicester, England, after viewing a solar eclipse without proper eyewear. About half of the patients suffered from eye pain; the others reported impaired vision. Although these eclipse watchers were not totally blinded, several incurred long-term damage.
The United States hasn’t experienced a total eclipse since 1979, and that one only passed over a small swath of the Northwest. This year, in contrast more than 500 million people in North America, plus parts of South America and northwestern Europe, will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. Those within a 70-mile wide pathbetween Oregon and South Carolina will witness a total eclipse.
A partial eclipse occurs when the moon blocks part of the sun from view. A total eclipse, in contrast, is when the moon completely blocks the sun. “Totality,” the part of the total eclipse when the sun is completely covered, lasts only around two minutes.
Most people in the continental United States live within a one- to two-day drive of the total eclipse’s path. Madhulika Guhathakurta, the lead program scientist for NASA’s “Living With a Star” initiative, says the breadth of the path makes the eclipse accessible to everyone. She says observing a total eclipse is transformative: “It’s akin to the way astronauts describe their first trip to space. You’re just so in awe of nature.”
To view the solar eclipse, you’ll need proper equipment. It may seem odd to don protection in the semi-darkness of a partial eclipse, but staring at the sun can cause retinal injury. The only time it’s safe to look at the sun without protection is during totality. Keep your equipment on hand, and put it back on when the sun starts to reappear.
Opt for gear featuring ISO-approved solar filters, which are about 100,000 times darker than everyday sunglasses. The American Astronomical Society’s website includes a list of manufacturers that have certified their products meet the ISO 12312-2 standard. If you purchase equipment from other outlets, double check that their merchandise meets ISO standards.
Whether you’re a stargazing neophyte or dedicated astronomer, this gear will help you make the most of a spectacular event.
Eclipse glasses and handheld viewers
Eclipse glasses look like hybrids of 3-D movie glasses and sunglasses. As Guhathakurta explains, these glasses have the added protection of a solar filter. Whereas sunglasses only block UV rays, eclipse glasses also cut off visible light.
If you’re a casual observer or part of a large group, you’ll like these glasses’ low prices and bulk packaging. You can buy a pack of five paper glasses from Rainbow Symphony for around $12. If you want a sturdier option, try these plastic glasses from American Paper Optics. And feel free to go for style: TSE17 has a $5.05 stars-and-stripes five-pack, and American Paper Optics features everything from Bill Nye glasses to astronaut-themed frames.
Looking for something between basic glasses and high-tech binoculars? Check out this handheld viewer from Celestron. For $9.95, you’ll receive two viewers with 2x magnification capabilities and a pocket eclipse guide.
Binoculars and telescopes
Binoculars and telescopes are pricier than eclipse glasses and handheld viewers but can be worth the investment. They feature a higher magnification, but higher magnification results in a shakier image––as power increases, the equipment becomes more sensitive to its holder’s small hand movements.
Binoculars are rated with two numbers. The first number is the magnification, the second is the aperture—the diameter of the front lens, measured in millimeters. If you’re buying a pair of binoculars and plan to use them for other astronomy viewing, the bigger the aperture, the better, but bigger lenses also mean heavier equipment.
The following options offer a range of viewing strengths. Celestron’s EclipSmart binoculars feature non-removable solar filters, so you’ll only be able to use them for solar viewing. A 10×25 pair (10x magnification and 25mm aperture) costs around $35, while a 10×42 pair costs just about twice as much. A cheaper option is Lunt’s mini SUNocular. A 6×30 pair costs $29.95.
If you prefer binoculars with removable solar filters, Meade has a $69.99 10×50 pair that works for both solar viewing and nighttime stargazing. Once you remove the solar filters, the binoculars will operate like a normal pair.
Telescopes offer some of the best eclipse views, but you’ll pay more for added detail if you want an advanced model. A basic lightweight option is the Explore Scientific Sun Catcher 70mm telescope. It costs $59.99 and can be used during both the day and night. A more advanced option is the $99.95 Celestron EclipSmart telescope. It offers 18x magnification, 50mm aperture and non-removable solar filters.
Another choice is the Meade EclipseView telescope. The cheapest model is a $79.99 82mm reflecting telescope designed for on-the-go use. A sturdier long-term bet is the 76mm reflecting telescope, which costs $129.99. Both models feature removable solar filters and are suitable for solar and nighttime use.
Add-on solar filters
Another category of eclipse viewing gear is add-on filters. These can be attached to binoculars, telescopes and cameras not originally designed for solar viewing and are mainly used by experienced observers. Similarly to eclipse-specific gear, add-on filters prevent retinal damage. They also protect your equipment’s optics from the heat of the sun, as the intensity of an eclipse can damage gear designed for nighttime observing.
Filters are typically made of metal on glass (sturdy but most expensive), aluminized polyester film (also known as Mylar) or black polymer (also used in eclipse glasses). Rainbow Symphony sells black polymer and silver Mylar filters starting at $19.95. Thousand Oaks Optical and Orion offer higher-end filters ranging in price from $22 to $150-plus.
If you want to view the eclipse without spending money on special equipment, you’re in luck. Stand with your back to the sun, and use your hands, a hole-punched index card or even a patch of leaves to create a tiny opening. As sunlight flows through the empty space, an image of the sun will project onto a nearby surface. For more detailed instructions, visit the American Astronomical Society’s pinhole projection page.
Guhathakurta’s final words of advice are simple: During the partial eclipse, “do not look at the sun without glasses on, but absolutely look at the total solar eclipse without glasses on. These are two binary events. When you wear glasses and you cannot see anything anymore, that’s totality.”
BORED WITH ROAD running? Hit the trails. Nothing reignites a runner’s soul like hopping rocks, dodging trees, and darting down mountainsides in calculated free-fall. Just don’t venture out unprepared. You’ll want tougher, shoes, sure—but you knew that already. Here’s everything else you’ll need to rouse yourself from that pavement-pounding stupor.
Weather on the trail can be capricious, so it’s always wise to pack protection. The Houdini Jacket ensures you pack light, as well. Patagonia’s minimalist ripstop shell weighs less than four ounces and stuffs down to the size of a bar of soap, yet deploys in an instant to shed rain and block wind when conditions turn wet and blustery. $99
Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
Your backpacking headlamp might be great for night hikes, but it’s probably too front-heavy for trail running, which involves more bobbing than your typical footslog. Black Diamond put the bulk of the Sprinter‘s (already featherweight) 3.75 ounces into its rear-mounted lithium-ion battery pack, which helps keep the front light from bouncing when you’re on the move. It’s also waterproof, rechargeable, and comes equipped with a red taillight strobe that’ll make you easy to spot on your late-night group runs. $75
Jaybird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones
Corded headphones will inevitably catch on bushes and brush, but even wireless buds aren’t immune from snags; slack in the line connecting your earpieces is basically a magnet for low-hanging branches. The cable management system on Jaybird’s svelte Freedom Wireless earbuds keeps the connecting wire wrapped closely and comfortably around your head’s occipital bone, completely eliminating cord dangle. The buds, too, are pleasantly low-profile (the fiveish-hour battery lives in the in-line remote), so you won’t have to worry about your beanie or jacket hood jostling them loose. $130
Outdoor Research Ultra Trail Gaiters
Even waterproof footwear takes on rocks, sand, and snow. To keep detritus out, protect your shoes’ ankle openings with a good pair of gaiters. Outdoor Researcher designed its Ultra Trail Gaiters to be lighter than traditional, knee-high varieties, and more breathable, too—but they’ll still keep debris and moisture from collecting in your kicks. $35-$40
Adventure Medical Ultralight/Watertight .3 First-Aid Kit
Sometimes you eat the trail, and sometimes the trail eats you (or your running buddy). When it does, be prepared to take care of yourself. Adventure Medical’s lightest first aid kit is perfect for single-day excursions, packing painkillers, bandages, antibiotic ointments, and moleskins into a waterproof pouch the size of a sandwich bag. The whole shebang weighs just 2.4 ounces, so there’s no excuse for leaving it at home. $9
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles
Trekking poles provide extra points of contact on steep, uneven terrain (something your back and ankles will thank you for on grueling mountain runs), and the Distance Carbon Zs do it at a best-in-class weight of just 10 ounces per pair. The shafts even separate into thirds with a push of a button, and fold like tent poles for efficient stowage. $160
Credit: BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT
Survive Outdoors Longer Emergency Blanket
Emergency blankets can shield you from chill winds while helping contain your body’s radiated heat, reducing your risk of hypothermia if you find yourself injured, lost, or stranded in the cold. They’re ridiculously light and inexpensive, to boot; a fancy one costs less than your lunch. $4
Salomon Advanced Skin 12Set Hydration Vest
By now you’ve realized that a safe day on the trails requires some extra kit. So where do you stow it all? In Salomon’s awkwardly named but impeccably designed hydration vest. It’s got room for everything on this list plus three liters of water, delivering the carrying capacity of a daypack in a deceptively low-profile package. Soft, stretchy materials allow the vest and its contents to move with you with minimal bounce, while an array of well-placed pockets grant you easy access to your stuff while you huff and puff up the mountain. $175
Jean-Pierre Helfer, former Dean, Paris-Sorbonne Business School, speaks at the inauguration of XIME, Chennai. Seated are: Hema Mani, a student of the first batch of XIME; J Alexander, Chairman, XIME, Kochi; B Santhanam, President, Saint Gobain; PC Cyriac, Chairman, XIME, Chennai; and Prof J Philip, Founder Dean, XIME
CHENNAI, JUNE 26:
The world of work has changed and today’s business school students need to be collaborative, creative, connected and driven by conscience, said B Santhanam, President & MD, South Asia, Saint Gobain Glass, delivering the inaugural address at the launch of the new Chennai campus of the Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepeneurship (XIME) in the manufacturing hub of Oragadam, about 30 km from the city.
Santhanam said that today, businesses can no longer operate on the age-old adage espoused by economist Milton Friedman, that the only social responsibility of businesses is to make profits for their stakeholders. “If you asked someone a few years ago, what is the most important characteristic that you must possess, in order to succeed in business, most would have said that to be competitive is at the heart of being successful,” he said. However, being narrowly competitive no longer guarantees success. The ability to collaborate is now an absolute necessity. The last and the most important dimension of change is that the world is suddenly beginning to wake up to its conscience. Capitalism is now focused on building trust, compassion, collaboration and value creation. “The era of conscious capitalism has just begun,” he added.
Santhanam proposed a framework to the students and faculty, which he called ‘i10 Leadership Traits’, drawn from success stories of many leaders, and if inculcated, will lead to increased impact.
The framework, he explained, has 10 interrelated traits that contribute to effective leadership: intelligence, not analytical but emotional and social; information through knowledge, framework, linkages; insight into markets, customer and industry trends; imagination in envisioning the future and being unconstrained by resources; intensity through passion, drive and involvement; inspiration to be a visionary, role model and get others to commit; influence through persuasion, consensus, team-work and collaboration; impact through clarity of communication, personality and connect with people; and independence by being autonomous, self-motivated, possessing edge and power balance.
Prof Jean-Pierre Helfer, former Dean, Paris-Sorbonne Business School, talked of three revolutions that are changing the face of business and will impact today’s management students. The first is the absolute necessity for companies to integrate CSR into their approach. Companies have also to be very agile. “The victorious companies are the ones that adapt, those who know how to innovate, how to change markets and those who know how to reinvent business models that lead them to blue oceans instead of staying in wild competition spaces,” he explained.
The second revolution, explained the professor, is that teachers of pure management are less important today. The managers of tomorrow, he says, need an openness towards the world, openness towards philosophy, art, geography. “Marketing remains useful, but sociology and psychology are essential. Finance cannot be ignored but the philosophy to better understand whom finance is serving is a priority. Our students want theatre classes to learn how to behave on the business scene; they want courses on art and culture,” he elaborated.
Lastly, referring to the third revolution, Prof Helfer said today, schools and universities can no longer live in a closed space of students and their families. The ecosystem is large and there are a multitude of stakeholders to satisfy today, from international accreditation bodies that come to audit schools, to journalists who want to rank and compare B-schools.
Prof J Philip, Founder and President, XIME, said the opening of the Chennai B-school, the third after Bengaluru and Kochi, is a dream come true for him. The first batch had commenced in Bengaluru in 1995. Philip said that since Oragadam is a manufacturing hub, the focus will be on manufacturing analytics, HR, supply chain management. “We hope to make a significant contribution to the ‘Make in India’ movement,” he said. Around 60 students make up the first batch of XIME in Chennai.
Others who spoke at the inaugural were PC Cyriac, Chairman, XIME, Chennai, and J Alexander, Chairman, XIME, Kochi, both senior, retired IAS offices.