Game of Phones- Jio’s Prime plan is coming

As Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea indulge in shooting each other’s high price with the bullets of tariffs, new data weapons are coming up in the tele-war zone. Amidst the tariff war, the users struggle in choice making as they enjoy the war.

Since September, Reliance Jio has taken over the telecom market with its floored prices and offers in just six months. The telecom companies might incur further loss as Reliance Jio announced its ‘Jio Prime Plan’ to hold on to the users. As the Happy New Year offer by Jio will end on March 31, Reliance Jio promoted its new plans luring Airtel, Vodafone and Idea customers starting from April 1, 2017. With an attractive Rs 99 plan, Jio gives 1GB of data per day with a monthly charge of Rs 303. Comparing the price of 30GB data with other networks, a shifting of users is expected. The Jio existing subscribers will enjoy the New Year offer benefits for one more year until 31 March 2018. Another shot by Jio of 56GB of 4G data came along with free incoming and outgoing calls, free messages and unlimited data at lowered speed.

Jio analysed that the biggest selling point in India is ‘Anything free’ and thus captured the market. According TRAI, the Jio download speed January was 8.3mbps, which is less than half of little over 18mbps that it clocked in December. Despite discrepancies in services and fluctuating connectivity, low prices are always a winner in India.

Joining the race by matching the tariff, existing mobile operators have dropped their tariff price to compete the growing popularity of Jio.  Bharti Airtel announced the abolishing of national roaming charges and reduces international roaming charges by up to 90 per cent. There will be no additional data charges on national roaming and the home data packs will work without state roaming barriers. But all this majorly affected the internationally traveling users or overseas subscribers and not the basics. As a counter attack to the Jio wave, Bharti Airtel announced to evolve to 5G services in partnership with Nokia.

The war also sprung in the home broadband market, called as fibre-to-the-home (FTTH). Jio and Vodafone are entering the FTTH market challenging the current dominance of BSNL and Bharti Airtel who control more than 66% of the market.

During the third quarter of 2016-17, Idea Cellular reported a net loss of Rs 384 crore whereas Bharti Airtel saw a 54 percent drop in consolidated net profit at Rs 503.70 crore due to disruptions caused by Reliance Jio’s entry.

The battle ground not only saw tariff war but also regulatory issues as Telecom Commission expressed concerns as Jio dented government revenues in the current fiscal.

DEMOCRAZY behind Educational Walls

How democratic and academic freedom is strangled by the politicised nationalism hooliganism.

The educational walls in India again saw stones of nationalism pelting on their students and teachers as they raised their voice just to debate and discuss. Educational institutes are handcuffed by the chains of violence and are tug-of-warred between students and teachers on one side and the student political groups on the other.

From Hyderabad University to Jadavpur University to Jawaharlal Nehru University, hooliganism disguised as nationalism has trapped the entire Delhi University too. Recently Ramjas College became a target of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) prowl. The English department invited JNU student, Umar Khalid for a seminar called “Cultures of Protest”. Apoplectic over the invitation, the right wing thugs of the ABVP not just thwarted the event but ran amok, assaulting students. Not only they hindered the Freedom of Speech and Expression, the hooliganism within the college premises threatened the freedom of life too.

To fight for their democracy, students from different colleges peacefully marched a protest in North Campus but it soon turned into violent as ABVP activists started mishandling the crowd, rape threatening women, beating teachers and did not even spare journalists. Many of those who participated in the protest were taken to hospital while the police remained a mute spectator of the mayhem.  The police is accused of connivance as they neither could save the silent protestors from the frenzied mob nor accepted FIRs filed against junior Sanghis. Online protests started on Facebook as #StudentsAgainstABVP started trending after Lady Shri Ram College student Gurmehar Kaur posted her support through placards. But ABVP again muted her by giving rape threats.

As a matter of fact, with the coming of Modi in power, Acche din have somewhere disappeared from the educational books as all time the students are busy in protesting for their rights, their voice. Flashback to last year’s JNU controversy, bring out a similar pattern of rampage and violence after the students organised a debate on Awzal Guru’s hanging. Even then the ABVP goons created ruckus over a debate, slogans, march and branded JNU, the most liberal of all Indian universities as ‘a hub of Anti-nationalists’. The anti-national slogans misleadingly raised in JNU reached Jadavpur University too. Protests for ‘Azaadi’ were called anti-national as ABVP again infringed in the student’s screenings and protests. Rohith Vemula’s suicide and the casteist controversy intermingled with student politics cannot be erased from the history of campus violence. The ‘anti-national’ witch-hunt reached the campus of Jodhpur University too, where English Professor Dr. Rajshree Ranawat has been accused and suspended for of inviting JNU professor Nivedita Menon.

The country is witnessing the democracy of educational institutes being hindered by the student soldiers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. They are trying to paint the educational walls in saffron with the brush of Hindutva. Students are being beaten with the stick of hooliganism for even debating or discussing. Protests are becoming a culture of our universities. They have lost their voice, their choice, their democracy and all they are left with is- Democrazy.

The 233 m Fall

Imagine seeing the world from a height of 233 m and you jump off but it is not a suicide. Being an adventure obsessed, Macau is the most beautiful place for me. Seeing through the eyes of an adventurous person, the tower to jump off and the Venetian resort to relax gives you the time of your life. These places are surely a blend of luxury with adventure.

The long tower in Macau is a treat to your eye. The Shopping arena on the ground floor is pretty nice but the excitement to go up on the tower makes you ignore everything. The super fast lift which transfers you from ground floor to the sixty-first floor in just 10 seconds astonishes you. The wide view from the 61st floor of the tower is so beautiful with building spread all over till infinity it seems. Every point of the observatory will give you a different view of either sea or buildings. Also, the very famous Venetian Hotel was visible clearly from the tower.

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I saw a hoarding with various activities written on them. Bungee jumping, sky fall, sky- walk were the most exciting one as per the views of the visitors. I read about all the activities and decided to go for Bungee jumping. I saw a hoarding with Bungee jumping, sky fall, sky walk mentioned. Macau Tower holds the title of highest bungee jumping in the world. But the twist I the tale came when I checked the price for the same-1080 Hong Kong Dollars. That was approximately Thirty-Five Thousand Indian Rupees. I wanted to take this adventure, but then I could not insist my parents for spending this huge amount on just a jump. My father sensed my eagerness and got me a ticket to jump. I started hopping all around in the place which was supposedly a silent observatory top muse over the view of the city.  Indeed the view was too beautiful to stop staring. Instead of walls, the observatory had glass walls so that the visitors can look around. As I went near the wall, you could sense the fear of falling and move a step backward. The busy highways running down on the ground seemed like thick lines. The cars speeding on the roads exactly looked like toy cars and the people walking were even smaller than baby ants.

My name was announced for the Pre – jump preparation. The thought of the thrill gave me chills. The professional trainer gave me the jumping suit to wear and instructed me by performing a drill. Then I was made to sign a conditional death certificate in order to take the responsibility of any mishap if occurs. Later I was taken to the Suicide Point. I could feel the adrenaline rush in my body. The professionals tied me with harness and safety ropes. I could feel the cool wind giving me goose bumps. Chance by chance I could see adventurers either jumping or being thrown off the tower and their loud shout echoed in the area. The television cameras telecasted the jump and expressions of the jumper.

It was then my turn. My heart throbbed at a very high rate. They tied a single rope on the apparatus on my feet. I was made to stand on the edge of the plank from where I had to jump. With the count of three I had to jump off or else they will kick me off. So I gathered the courage and “aaaaaaaaaaaaa……….

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I was in the air and the gravity was pulling me towards itself. The whole of my life was played in a flash of time. I could see traffic on the roads and feared of death. But the view around of the buildings and the sea make you cherish the time you are in the air. For me, beauty lies in the life which is out of your comfort zone. The life which makes you recall the slow paced moments of your life in a flash of second; which give you chills down your spine. I can say I practically say I played with the clouds; swam in the waves of wind; flew in the sky. Well reminds me of the song, “Aaj main upar, asamaan neeche, aaj main aage zamana hai peechee”. Okay, sorry for diverting! Let us fly back to Macau.

The Venetian Macau Resort was yet another brilliant piece in Macau. This luxury building is the seventh largest building in the world area-wise. The huge hotel incorporates the biggest Casino of the world is seen with money flowing all around. Gambling is very much loved by the Chinese people and Casino for them is their second home. Hundreds of Casino tables lay down in the whole of the ground floor. Then from restaurants and cafes to gaming and swimming arena spread over two floors. Let us come to the favourite zone of all- shopping. From LV to Gucci, Prada, Furla, Omega, Dior and what not! Venetian’s three floors were nothing less than a ‘Shoparadise’. Then from seventh to thirty-first floor, three thousand suites became a sojourn for the tourists. Gondola ride which goes inside the hotel is a famous Venetian feature. Regular shows in auditoriums add to the entertainment and make the resort a city in itself.

The ruins of St. Paul Church take you back in the ancient time. We saw brides dressed in wedding gowns getting their pre-wedding photo shoot. Also, the light and bubble show, the diamond show with laser lights and music adds on to the beauty and luxury essence of the place. Finally, I had to part away with the beautiful Macau.

Lone But not lonely

The locked land of Lavasa hidden behind its colorful walls, conceal a number of stories of corruption. The private planned property became a medium of false promises when the politicians tried to fill their pockets. This place lost its colours. Amidst the widespread lake, the red, yellow, orange buildings and greenery, the best thing that you’ll find here is peace. Weaved with the threads of the hidden stories and seclusion, the serenity of the place gives you ‘Me time’.

Photo credits: Poorvi Agarwal

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