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How 15th Finance Commission is trying to manage South India’s anger over tax division – and failing

No other country carries within it the diversity that India does. This trite-but-true dictum extends even to taxation, with different states having markedly different rates of prosperity. Karnataka, for example, has a per capita income that is almost five times that of Bihar. Expectedly, the manner in which India distributes the tax revenue it raises between the Union government and ... Read More »

Hero Xtreme 200S First Ride Review – Sportsbike Enough?

When we went to the launch of Xpulse 200 and 200T, Hero gave us a big surprise. It launched a third motorcycle out of nowhere, which again uses the same chassis and engine. Hero Xtreme 200S made its way in the Indian market as the fourth premium offering from the manufacturer. For your information, NO, it does not look like ... Read More »

DNA Edit: Voice assistant scare – Gadgets gaining popularity, but results could be disastrous

  Using a voice assistant like a Siri (iPhone users), Google Assistant (Android users) and Alexa (Amazon service users) is catching on, and there have been several embarrassing episodes for the users. One Alexa user was shocked to know her private conversations were emailed to her co-workers and family members. A recent report about how Amazon workers listen in to ... Read More »

Volvo XC90 Hybrid SUV gets cheaper by a MASSIVE Rs. 35 lakh – Here’s how

Yes, you read that right. The Volvo XC90 Hybrid has actually become affordable by as much as Rs 35 lakh. Actually, Volvo Auto India has come up with a new ‘Inscription’ variant of the XC90 Plug-in hybrid that has been priced at Rs 96.65 lakh (ex-showroom). In comparison, the Excellence variant in which this luxury Plug-in hybrid SUV was launched ... Read More »

Move over Dessert Cob – say hello to the Christmas Trifle Cob Loaf that you can make at home

When the ‘Dessert Cob Loaf’ came along, it very quickly went viral around Australia. It was so popular it even caught its creators, Ben Palmer and Elouise Hawkey, by surprise. Now it seems like everyone has jumped on the dessert cob loaf we think we have something new and very exciting to take to Christmas lunch or your work Christmas party. ... Read More »

‘I don’t have many gadgets – I’m not even sure I have a blender’: Stevie Parle

Stevie Parle in his kitchen in Kent, with Molly. Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Guardian About two years ago we left east London for Kent. We wanted something interesting and fun, and more space for our kids. And we found this house – it’s quite unusual. Set in a acre of land inside a nature reserve, it is low-impact and ... Read More »

Christmas: a Biography review – ‘a feast of illusions’

Christmas in the US in the 1950s. It is only recently that the season has become a celebration of domesticity. Photograph: H. Armstrong Roberts/Getty Images One Christmas Day in the 1780s a London woman was murdered. Her husband testified that he had not the smallest recollection of where he had been that day because “he was so much in liquor”. Nothing unusual ... Read More »

Renault Lodgy Stepway Test Drive Review – 3 Reasons to Buy/Not to Buy This MPV

  Renault Lodgy Stepaway is a successor to the Lodgy MPV. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com) The Indian MPV market has a vast array of products, starting right from the Maruti Suzuki Eeco, which is priced close to Rs 3 lakhs to the most sold MPV – Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, which is priced close to Rs 8 Lakhs and popular Toyota Innova ... Read More »

Shriram Transport Finance – green shoots in the distant horizon

For Shriram Transport Finance, the last five years have been harrowing. In FY17, the company ended the year with a profit of Rs 1257.3 crore – identical to the profit of Rs 1257.4 crore reported in FY12. Does the future look better? Perhaps yes, but the wait may be a bit longer. Difficult Past The weak performance over the past five ... Read More »

Game changers – engineering tomorrow’s sports

Artificial intelligence and robotics are combining with human skill to usher in a new era of sport. Sport is as intrinsic a part of our civilisation as the expression of art or the use of tools. Cave paintings dating from thousands of years ago, in places as far apart as France, Libya and Japan, depict humans engaged in competitive wrestling, swimming ... Read More »