Corporate Houses should allocate more of their CSR Funds towards Animal Welfare, says Ashish Rego

Ashish Rego, Somesh Mathur, Tinte Foundation, Animal Shelter,
Ashish Rego, Somesh Mathur and Animal Lovers of  Tinte Foundation

Bollywood's celebrated Background Music Creator Ashish Rego calls out to Indian companies to have a humane view towards animals, particularly on the state of the stray cats, dogs and other domesticated animals and birds in urban cities. 

Speaking at the inauguration of Tinté Foundation's Animal Care Centre in Madh area in Malad West, Mumbai can accommodate around 60 pets at a given time, Ashish Rego calls out to Corporates, "We would like to let the Corporates know that the way to help Humans is through animals. And if you can help animals, you indirectly help the Mankind, being humans. Animals give us the message of 'How to Give'. The Humanity within us is invoked by serving these animals and the amount of love and affection shown by animals towards Humans is just priceless."

CSR Activities in India

According to Company’s Act 2013, it is mandatory for every Indian Company to set aside a percentage of their annual profits for Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR activities.

Annually, over Rs 25,000 crores are set aside by all the listed Companies as CSR funds for activities ranging for upliftment to allocate more of their funds and resources for the Welfare activities such as eradicating hunger, poverty, promoting education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, ensuring environmental sustainability which includes improving the flora and fauna and the state of wild and domestic animals, etc. 

Statistics show that hardly 0.5% of the CSR Funding by the Corporate Houses is allocated towards animal welfare. Even if the Corporates just double that allocation towards animal welfare, though fractionally, but this would definitely make a big impact towards welfare of the stray cats and dogs. 


TINTE is an acronym of THIS IS NOT THE END. This is just the beginning of a new life of strays that are brought here.  

Tinte Foundation is spread across 2,400 square feet area in Madh area of Malad West. Presently they have facilities to provide care and help to 60 strays. With the setting up of this shelter which could be a role model, Ashish aims to create an awareness throughout the country to set up such shelters for furry strays.

Somesh Mathur the noted Bollywood singer pointed out that though the stray cats and animals aren't humans, they have a large heart. Therefore he has decided to support his friend Ashish Rego who has decided to dedicate time and efforts towards the Welfare of Animals. Presently the Foundation is self funded by Ashish Rego and other animal lovers. 

Ashish is supported by Dr Chirag Shah who has returned from the USA, having worked as a Vice President in an International Bank

"We often see many cats and dogs who are left helpless on the streets. I want the new generation to see us work towards the Welfare of Strays and learn from it. I am not doing it for me.... I am doing it for the Gen Next."

"This foundation was established a year ago with setting up a small centre in Amboli, Andheri where we received many cases and hence the need for a larger space which we have now provided for the service to stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals – mostly dogs and cats – that can be taken care of," he added.

Ambulance provided by Samasth Mahajan Sanstha
Paresh Shah of Samasth Mahajan Sanstha in the Foundation's Ambulance having Medical and OT facilities for the injured animals

To serve the Animals isn't only our 'Dharma'...  it is our Duty! 

The Bollywood duo Rego and Mathur particularly appreciated the support of philanthropist Paresh Shah who is appointed as a Honorary Animal Officer by the Maharashtra Government, and is a Trustee of Samasth Mahajan Sanstha that aims for the Welfare of Jal, Jungle, Janawar aur Jan (Water, forests, animals and Humankind) across the country. 

The Samasth Mahajan Sanstha provides justice whenever injustice is meted out towards animals, and carry out all efforts towards service to the Animals. The NGO has provided 12 Maharashtra Super Speciality Animal Ambulances that have Operation Theatre and other facilities for animals in Mumbai city and has 2 Veterinary clinics all services are provided Free of Cost around the year (no holidays). 

Dedicated Helpline for Animal Welfare

Samasth Mahajan Sanstha is an NGO that provided a new lease of life to over 58,000 injured or sick strays and animals in the last 2 years in Mumbai and surrounding areas. Paresh Shah is one of the Trustees of this Sanstha (foundation).

If any of the Universal Newsline readers witness any inhuman treatment meted out towards animals, they may call on 

Samasth Mahajan Sanstha's 24 hours Helpline 022 51995399, 022 51995699. 

This service is available across Mumbai (Walkeshwar to Virar, Colaba to Kalyan)

"Whenever any stray cat or dog is injured or if it needs medical attention it is brought to us. We have some pets who were facing inhuman treatment from the neighbourhood inhabitants. We have created a platform to provide medical assistance and support to these innocent furry animals," Paresh Shah informed the media persons adding that immediate medical help or even surgery can be performed in the Animal Ambulance which is provided with a Veterinary Doctor.

Maharashtra Governor applauds exporters for almost 6 percent growth in Exports at the Export Excellence Awards

Shri Ramesh Bais, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra presenting an award to an awardee during the event
Shri Ramesh Bais, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra presenting an award to an awardee during the event (Pic credit PIB)

Speaking at the Export Excellence Awards at Mumbai organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisations - FIEO (Western Region), Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra Shri Ramesh Bais appreciated the efforts of Exporters as the FIEO awards entered its 9th successful year while conferring awards to 56 Top Performing Exporters were felicitated during this 8th & 9th Set of Export Excellence Awards, across various categories like Highest Foreign Exchange Earner, Women Entrepreneur, Emerging Exporters, Banks & Financial Institutions and Service Providers.

Mumbai based Kevin Mehta of Kevin India Company who are manufactures and merchants traders of pigments and pigments powders, expressed his excitement on receiving the prestigious award from the Governor, "We are exporting to around 48 countries worldwide, though the Pandemic was a stumbling block, Kevin India has adhered to prompt services and shipments in time that has won the hearts of our clients. We export over 160 products like solvent dyes and basic dyes that are used in textiles, inks, leather and soap industries. We are entering the argo-chemical and pharmaceutical exports too this year."

Kevin Mehta of Kevin India Company
Kevin Mehta of Kevin India Company, recipient of Export Excellence Award by FIEO

Having exported pigments of over 100 crores the last year, Kevin's Company mainly exports to UK, US, Philippines and even to China where they ship Phthalocyanine pigments. They are setting up plants in Ankleshwar and Vapi in Gujarat having a capacity of 150 metric tonnes of green and 150 metric tonnes of blue. 

Amongst the Western Region Awardees of the Federation, it felicitated top performing exporters from the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The Exports Excellence Awards for the 8th & 9th Set were conferred by Shri Ramesh Bais, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra; Shri Deependra Singh Kushwah, Development Commissioner, Chairman (MAITRI) and Export Commissioner, Govt of Maharashtra; Shri Ashwani Kumar, President, FIEO and Shri Paresh Mehta, Regional Chairman, FIEO (WR) along with Dr Ajay Sahai, Director General & CEO, FIEO.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Ramesh Bais, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra stated, "Total exports of Goods and Services in the financial year 2024-25 started with a strong growth of 6.88%, which is estimated to be US$ 64.56 billion in April 2024, as against US$ 60.40 billion in April 2023.” The Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra, stated, “The state of Maharashtra is one of the largest contributors to India's exports and is continuously increasing its share in world trade through export promotion and trade facilitation initiatives. Maharashtra is the second highest exporting state from India with exports worth Rs 5,56,400.42 crore i.e. 15.37% in the financial year 2023-24.” He further mentioned the need of skill development in the field of Exports and stated the need of Universities and Education Institutes to develop educational programmes in this sector”.

Paresh Mehta, Regional Chairman (WR), FIEO mentioned, “Awards are always a great source of inspiration and motivation for a company irrespective of big or small," while FIEO President Ashwani Kumar stated in an optimistic note, “We have started this financial year on a positive note and it is a remarkable achievement looking into global headwinds flowing from Ukraine & Russia War, further Hamas-Israel conflict, crisis in the Red Sea and related logistics challenges and high interest.”

- Paresh B. Mehta

Photo Credit of Shri Ramesh Bais, Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra presenting an award to an awardee during the event -  PIB 

Pic credit of Kevin Mehta. Paresh B Mehta

Unfair trade practice of Drip Pricing pinches the consumer's pocket

Unfair trade practice of Drip pricing

Universal Newsline has found out that almost everyone has been a silent victim of this Unfair Trade Practice and shows you what is Drip Pricing? And ways and means to know how to protect yourself.

Just recently a prominent restaurant in Chowpatty area in South Mumbai has been penalized by the Consumer Court for following unfair trade practice of charging  'Service Charges of serving you the meal' which was over and above the mandatory CGST and SGST charges.

Have you ever come across entities that may be deliberately inflating prices to fleece customers. For example, the restaurant menu could mention the price of a delicacy as Rs X. But when you finally pay the bill, you are shocked to learn that apart from the mandatory government taxes, the establishment has charged you Rs X plus extra service charge plus some extra packing charge or some other extra fee that may not be mentioned in the menu card.  

While some forms of drip pricing could be aimed at fleecing customer, there are also cases where it may be unavoidable

Based on consumer feedback, it appears that governments across the globe have woken up to the malpractice of drip pricing. Recently, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had talked about taking action against drip pricing. In India, the Department of Consumer Affairs has asked customers to be careful about the practice of drip pricing. Let us take a look at what is drip pricing and how you can protect yourself from being fleeced.


What is drip pricing?

In simple words, drip pricing is a technique used by businesses to attract customers via an affordable initial price. Once the customer has committed to the purchase, additional fees and charges are added during the purchasing process. As a result, the consumer ends up paying a lot more than the original price that was advertised. While this may seem like a malpractice, it may not be the case in every situation. For example, some taxes and service charges are imposed by the government. These cannot be avoided by the business entity.


However, there are many cases where drip pricing can be used to extract a higher price from customers. Let us take a look at some examples to better understand the applicability of drip pricing.


Hotels and restaurant businesses - These entities are often accused of using drip pricing techniques. Customers may be asked to pay additional charges such as parking fees, Wi-Fi access, resort fee and charges for other amenities such as gym, spa, sauna, etc.


Airlines - Users may be charged extra amount for food and drinks, choosing the preferred seat, priority boarding, fees for checked baggage, etc.

Food delivery apps - Food prices are listed as quite affordable on food delivery apps. But the final payment amount includes additional charges such as packaging fees, handling charges, etc. The restaurant itself may not charge these amounts if you pick up the food directly from the restaurant.


Such charges make a strong case for the malpractice of drip pricing.


Online shopping - Here too, users have to pay additional amounts for handling charges, platform fee, etc. Many online e-commerce platforms also accept donations from users, which is added to the final bill.


Ticket sales - A wide variety of additional fees and charges are often applied for ticket sales. For example, customers may be asked to pay service fees, convenience charges, processing fees, venue charges, delivery fee, etc.


How to protect yourself from drip pricing?

The government is working to create awareness, so that consumers can be protected from such malpractices. The practice of drip pricing has been classified under 'unfair trade practices' as per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Guidelines to prevent such practices have been issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority.


Users who come across a case of drip pricing can approach the Consumer Affairs for help and assistance. They can dial 1915 or use the WhatsApp number 8800001915 to contact Consumer Affairs.   

This is a great initiative launched by the government to protect consumers from potential cases of drip pricing. It also serves as a warning to entities that may be deliberately inflating prices to fleece customers.


(With inputs from Pankaj Bansal, Founder at

Gen Z is looking for immediate gains with long term financial security

Investments for Gen Z

Universal Newsline explores some of the most popular investment platforms in India that are favourites with the Gen Z, each with its own strengths and ideal user profiles: 


Investing Made Easy: Smart, Accessible Platforms For Gen Z's to Look out For Investment Gen Z, a generation known for its adaptability and influence, faces a unique financial dilemma. 

A Deloitte survey reveals a concerning trend: 51% of Gen Z individuals worry about living paycheck to paycheck, highlighting a potential lack of financial stability. Intuit's Prosperity Index Study further emphasizes that 3 out of 4 Gen Z's prioritize quality of life experiences over saving for the future. While Gen Z's desire to embrace a fulfilling, self-driven lifestyle is admirable, navigating the balance between immediate enjoyment and long-term financial security is crucial. Could online investment platforms offer a solution that allows this generation to thrive today while building a solid foundation for tomorrow? 

1. Per Annum

Per Annum is tailored for investors seeking both security and diversity. Their focus on institutional-grade investment products with low entry barriers opens up a range of opportunities previously reserved for high-net-worth individuals. Their portfolio includes P2P debt investments, revenue-based financing, bonds, and SIPs – delivering the potential for consistent returns and the flexibility to tailor investments to your risk tolerance. Per Annum's impressive track record, with over 500,000 investors and an AUM of over Rs 2000 crores, makes it a compelling choice for those seeking a well-established platform.


2. Angel One

Angel One is a top choice for investors seeking a comprehensive trading and investment platform. With its low-cost brokerage structure, including zero brokerage for the first 30 days and no account maintenance fees in the first year, it's a cost-effective option. Angel One offers a wide range of investment options, including stocks, IPOs, F&O, commodities, mutual funds, and even US stocks. Traders and investors benefit from robust research tools, advisory services, and a user-friendly mobile app. Additionally, Angel One provides offline support through its network of branches and offers access to various trading segments, including commodities and forex.


3. Groww

Groww attracts investors with a global mindset. The platform's zero brokerage fees and free account opening for US stock market investments are major draws, allowing young investors to dip their toes into international markets. Their fixed fee per order model can be advantageous for certain trading styles, especially those who may not engage in frequent, high-volume trades. Groww is ideal for beginners and those seeking international diversification to expand their portfolios beyond Indian markets.


4. 5paisa

5paisa appeals to cost-conscious traders with its flat fee of Rs. 20 per order across various segments. Investors seeking control and personalization will appreciate features like add-on packs and APIs that enable a customized trading experience. 5paisa empowers active traders with its focus on value, comprehensive market resources, and the ability to build their own trading terminal.


5. LenDenClub

LenDenClub delivers a streamlined investment experience designed for ease and risk mitigation. Its completely digital process, zero opening fees, and emphasis on fund diversification make it an attractive option for those new to investing. The platform leverages data analysis to help investors make informed lending decisions, minimizing guesswork. LenDenClub is ideal for those seeking ease of use, minimal barriers to entry, and a commitment to risk mitigation through diversified lending. 


(Sponsored Feature. Universal Newsline is not responsible for the claim/s and commitments announced by respective portals. Due Diligence is recommended prior to arriving at your decision.)

Can you really make huge money by making YouTube Shorts?

Making Big money on YouTube Shorts

Universal Newsline has noted about the buzz around the globe is that of YouTubers making millions through their short videos. How much can you make? Within what time frame? In short lets see whether s Making YouTube Shorts is Profitable?

While YouTube Shorts may not make you an instant millionaire, it has various other benefits that cannot be overlooked,

With easy accessibility, high entertainment value and social sharing features, short video formats have become hugely popular. Some examples include TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and Snapchat. YouTube Shorts was launched to take on TikTok and the strategy seems to be working well. But the question arises - Is making YouTube Shorts profitable?  


To answer that, here are some important things to understand.


Monetizing YouTube Shorts 

Significantly lower earnings

As compared to standard long-form YouTube videos, earnings from YouTube Shorts are significantly less. In YouTube Shorts, there is no provision for pre-roll or mid-roll ads. Instead, the ads are randomly placed between various Shorts videos in the Shorts feed. The revenue thus generated is transferred to the creators’ pool. And creators are paid proportionately, as per their views and engagement.


Data revealed by some content creators shows that earnings from YouTube Shorts can be around $0.01 and $0.06 per thousand views. This is significantly lower in comparison to long-form video content, where earnings could be $1.25 to $2.5. As a result, one will need millions of views to generate decent revenue from YouTube Shorts videos.


YouTube Shorts - Benefits beyond monetization

Even though YouTube Shorts may not give you high profits, it can still be quite useful. Here is how.

Support for the main YouTube channel - A study by Tubular Labs showed that people who watch Shorts videos are likely to visit the creator's main YouTube channel. The percentage of such people can be up to 70%. Due to this, YouTube Shorts works as an effective traffic generator for long-form YouTube channels.


High virality 

The chances of a YouTube Shorts video going viral is significantly higher in comparison to standard long-form videos. As such, YouTube Shorts can be a great way to promote your main YouTube channel or your brand or services. It is quite common to see creators posting short versions of their long-form videos on YouTube Shorts. And the short versions often have a much higher visibility than the long-form videos. 

Brand collaborations  

If you have the ability to create viral content, YouTube Shorts can be a great way to increase your income via brand collaborations. Overall earnings will depend on the level of engagement and the size of the audience. Even micro-influencers with around 10k to 50k followers can easily make around $100 per sponsored YouTube Shorts. 

Affiliate marketing

When talking about any specific brand or services in your YouTube Shorts, you can think about harnessing income opportunities via affiliate marketing. You can collaborate with the brand and include their links in the video description. You can earn commission of around 5% through affiliate marketing via your YouTube Shorts videos.


As is evident, relying solely on YouTube Shorts will require millions of views to generate a decent income. It may be relevant in specific cases, when there is a high possibility of the short video going viral. But in general, YouTube Shorts can work better when used in combination with the brand's primary long-form YouTube channel. To get better results from YouTube Shorts, make sure you post regularly and actively engage with your audience via comments.

By Pankaj Bansal, Founder at

More Indians are now embarking on Spiritual journeys, weekend getaways and family holidays

Pilgrimage Tourism

Latest trends shaping the Travel and Hotel Industry indicate an increase in the holiday frequency of Backpackers and family travelers looking for spiritual serenity and affordable luxury not only in domestic destinations, but also in international travel. 

From Backpackers to Bon-Vivants – and everything in between – Indian travellers are not just reshaping the realm of domestic tourism but also commanding an increasingly important role in the ambit of international travel, leaving no corner of the globe too out of reach.  Taking insights from travel searches by its 100M+ annual active users, MakeMyTrip has put together some of the top behaviours of Indian travellers it the first edition of its India Travel Trends Report. 

Insights include where, when and how India travels, top trends from millions of journeys – both from a national and a region-wise perspective. Understanding the evolving travel behavior of Indian travelers is essential to help shape the future of tourism, both domestically and globally. Here are the highlights of India Travel Trends:  


As India emerges as a formidable force in the tourism sector, these insights can help bridge the demand and supply gaps in the travel and hospitality space. This means crafting policies, identifying destinations, and creating experiences that resonate with the traveller’s unique travel preferences and aspirations. Recognizing and catering to each traveller’s diverse behaviour will not only enhance travel experiences but also contribute significantly to the growth and development of the tourism industry.”

Some Key Insights from the report are as below – 


 Number of people taking more than 3 trips per year has grown by 25% in 2023 as compared to 2019.

 Tier-2 and tier-3 cities are embracing spiritual journeys, with searches for destinations with or

around religious spots growing 97% in the last two years.

 Searches for Ayodhya grew by 585%, Ujjain by 359% and Badrinath by 343% in 2023 as compared to


 Weekend getaways continue to curry favour with Indian travellers – Searches for Jim Corbett grew

by 131% in 2023 as compared to 2022; Ooty and Munnar are other favourites in this context.

 30% all international travel searches from India are for Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore while London,

Toronto and New York are the most searched long-haul destinations. 

 Searches for emerging international destinations grew by multi-fold in 2023 – hot favourites include

Hong Kong, Almaty, Paro, Baku, Da Nang and Tbilisi. 


 Family vs Solo - Family travel bookings surged by 64% in 2023 as compared to 2022, followed by solo

traveller booking growth at 23% for the same comparative period.

 Flight booking preferences –

o 50% of all domestic flyers pick flights between 9am and 6pm irrespective of destination or


o A significant portion of travel bookings in India are made spontaneously, with 46% of

domestic flights booked less than a week before the travel date. In contrast, about half of all

international bookings are made at least two weeks in advance.

o Only one-third of international bookings are made more than a month before the travel

date, suggesting a flexible approach to international travel planning among Indian travellers.

o Women prefer to pre-book window seats, while men pick aisle seats.

o Tomato Cucumber Cheese Lettuce Sandwich is the most ordered in-flight meal on domestic


 Accommodation booking preferences –

o 56% of domestic leisure hotel bookings on the platform are made less than a week before

the day of travel.

o 33% of international hotel bookings are made at least 30 days before the date of travel.

o Alternative accommodations on the platform recorded 24% growth in bookings in 2023

o For Hostels and Apartments, the preference is for those less than INR 2,500 per night but for

Villas, it is higher. 

o Close to 20% of family travellers searched for properties with tariffs over INR 10,000 per


 Payment Preference – UPI is the most preferred payment method for booking travel, making close

to 40% of all transaction types, followed by use of credit cards. Credit card is the most used payment

mode for high value transactions such as for booking international hotels and flights. This can be

attributed to the benefits associated with credit card payments.

 The gift of travel – Wedding gift cards in the denominations of INR 5000 and 10000 are the most

gifted. 1 out of 2 travel gift cards being purchased are being gifted as wedding shagun.

City-specific insights


- Rishikesh, Amritsar are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers prefer flights between 12 PM and 6PM

- Travellers over-indexed on booking domestic flights less than a week ahead of travel date

- Travellers showcase higher intent for pre-booking meals while traveling International

- Northern states have a higher preference for Hostels

- Almost half of all domestic travellers book a room with breakfast and a major meal



- Goa, Pune, are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers prefer flights between 12 PM and 6PM

- Travellers showcase higher intent for pre-booking meals while traveling International

- Maharashtra has the highest share of domestic hotel searches overall – highest preference for


- More than half of domestic hotel bookers book room with breakfast; internationally they prefer

room only


- Digha, Mandarmani are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers have a higher proclivity to book flights over 3 months in advance for both international

and domestic

- Travellers have a higher preference for booking in-flight meals for domestic

- Eastern states have a higher preference for Hotels

- Approximately half of travellers prefer room only for domestic hotel bookings

- 60% of international hotel bookers prefer room with breakfast


- Madurai, Pondicherry are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers prefer flights between 6PM to 12AM

- Travellers over indexed when it comes to booking international flights 30 days in advance

- Travellers most actively pre-select seats for domestic and international flights

- Travellers have a higher preference for booking in-flight meals for domestic

- Southern states have a higher preference for alternative accommodations

- Maximum preference for room only bookings for international hotels


- Mysore, Coorg, Mangalore are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers prefer flights between 12AM - 6AM

- Travellers most actively pre-select seats for international flights

- Travellers have a higher preference for booking in-flight meals for domestic

- Bangalore has a higher preference for villas while traveling domestically


- Vishakhapatnam, Tirupati are some of the most searched destinations

- Travellers prefer flights between 6AM and 3PM

- Travellers over-indexed on booking domestic flights in less than a week and international flights 30

days ahead of travel date

- Travellers most actively pre-select seats for domestic flights

- Southern states have a higher preference for alternative accommodations

- Approximately half of domestic travellers prefer room only

Ten most safest countries of the world

 Ten most safest countries in the world

Pictures of tranquil seafronts, families picnicking, celebrations of the society, sandy beaches, hills, mountains and other pics often seen in publicity materials of any country. The true fact is that these images or stories or features do not guarantee at least a safe lifestyle of an individual in that country.  

A number of parameters are used to define a country's safety, which can keep changing over a period of time. Writes Pankaj Bansal.

Among several other factors, the parameters used for this index such as internal and external conflict, political situation, criminal cases, incarceration rate, homicide rate, terror activities, military expenditure, violent demonstrations, etc. are taken into consideration. 

As humans fight for the earth's resources, crimes and conflicts are witnessed in various parts of the world. However, there are also locations that are relatively peaceful. For international travelers, it becomes important to know the facts about a location they are visiting. This may be even more relevant from a woman's perspective. Investors and people looking for a new home may also want to know about the safest places on the planet. To help you make informed decisions, here is a quick look at the top 10 safest countries in the world.

Iceland - As per the 2023 Global Peace Index, Iceland is rated as the most safest country in the world. Iceland has held this ranking since 2008. It had a score of 1.124 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. 

Ten most safest countries in the world

With a close-knit population of around 380,000 and strong social cohesion, Iceland has the most peaceful environment in the world. Iceland is a well-established democratic country.

Denmark - At number two in the list of safest countries in the world is Denmark. It has a score of 1.31 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. Danish people follow a unique lifestyle, which is centered around contentment and coziness. This has contributed immensely in making Denmark a safe place to live. Other supportive factors include generous social programs and a robust healthcare system. 

Ireland - The third safest country in the world is Ireland. It has a score of 1.312 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. People are friendly in Ireland and the country has a strong focus on social welfare programs. Crime rate in Ireland is one of the lowest in the world.

New Zealand - Fourth in the list of safest countries is New Zealand. It has a score of 1.313 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. With a small population of around 5 million and a strong sense of community, New Zealand is a haven for safety. With a robust legal system, the crime rate is quite low. 

Austria - At number five is Austria, with a score of 1.316 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. Located in the heart of Central Europe, Austria is known for its peaceful atmosphere and cultural richness. The country has a strong safety net for its residents and also a comprehensive healthcare system. It promotes a sense of well-being, which in turn fosters peace. 

Singapore - Placed at 6th position, Singapore has a score of 1.332 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. Strict enforcement of rules has helped achieve a low crime rate in Singapore. The homicide rate of 0.2 per every 100,000 people is one of the lowest in the world. 

Portugal - At number seven in the list is Portugal, with a score of 1.333 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. With stricter law reforms, the crime rate in Portugal has reduced significantly in recent years. The country has a welcoming culture that encourages peaceful living. Moreover, Portugal has a much lower cost of living in comparison to other European nations. 

Slovenia - The eighth safest country in the world is Slovenia. It has a score of 1.334 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. Slovenia has the charms of Central European countries and has a peaceful atmosphere. Citizens are attentive to community safety and there is a strong police presence.  

Japan - At number nine in the list is Japan. It has a score of 1.336 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. Japanese culture is centered around respect and social order. This has helped achieve a low crime rate. Japan has a robust legal system and a strong sense of community welfare. People are cooperative and give attention to minimizing conflict. 

Switzerland - The tenth safest country in the world is Switzerland. It has a score of 1.339 in the 2023 Global Peace Index. While known for its beautiful landscapes, Switzerland also has a strong reputation for safety. With a stable governance system and focus on political neutrality, Switzerland has remained peaceful for decades. The country also has a robust healthcare system.

(This feature is compiled by: Pankaj Bansal who is the founder at and does not reflect the views and opinions of

Unlock the opportunities in these Domain Skills that are in demand for freshers across industries

 Universal Newsline lists some of the top professional skills that could be in huge demand across the cities and industries. 

Blockchain Universal Newsline

In recent times, a palpable shift has emerged in the hiring landscape of India, signaling a positive change in the fresher hiring sentiment among employers. This transformation is attributed to several factors that collectively contribute to a more optimistic outlook for entry-level professionals in India, seeking employment. Among the plethora of skills sought after by employers, certain domains stand out as particularly crucial for freshers aiming to kickstart their careers. TeamLease EdTech, with its vision of ‘Making India Employable’, has come out with a forecast report to track the dynamics of the job market for freshers. Here is a rundown of the top 10 domain skills which are in demand for freshers according to the report - 

Data Science - Data Science has become an essential skill across various industries, transforming how organizations leverage data for valuable insights. By employing sophisticated statistical analysis, machine learning, and data visualization methods, Data Scientists reveal insights that inform strategic decisions and foster innovation. Whether predicting customer trends, streamlining operations, or guiding product enhancements, Data Science empowers businesses to remain competitive in the data-centric era

Blockchain - Blockchain has emerged as a revolutionary skill set, reshaping transactional processes and record-keeping practices across diverse sectors. Through its decentralized and transparent ledger system, Blockchain safeguards data integrity and security, minimizing the likelihood of fraudulent activities and unauthorized alterations. Beyond its association with cryptocurrencies, Blockchain finds applications in fields such as supply chain management, healthcare, finance, and electoral systems. 

Content Creation - In today's digital era, content creation has become an essential skill, driving engagement, brand recognition, and customer allegiance across multiple platforms. Whether through compelling blog entries, social media posts, captivating videos, or podcasts, content creators construct narratives that resonate with their intended audiences. Employing strategic storytelling, creative visuals, and effective communication, they convey brand messages, educate consumers, and prompt desired actions. Proficiency in content creation entails mastering diverse mediums, understanding audience preferences, and staying attuned to shifting trends to consistently deliver valuable and captivating content.

Metaverse -  Becoming adept in navigating the Metaverse is about grasping the intricate digital landscape of interconnected virtual worlds. With the rise of the Metaverse concept, individuals skilled in this area can engage in, explore, and shape immersive virtual environments across different platforms. Mastery of the Metaverse encompasses proficiency in various technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and blockchain-driven virtual realms. This includes skills such as 3D modeling, animation, game development, and digital asset creation. Additionally, understanding the social dynamics, economic impacts, and ethical considerations of the Metaverse is essential for utilizing its potential in gaming, entertainment, education, commerce, and social networking. 

Natural Processing Language - Proficiency in Natural Language Processing (NLP) is an essential skill set that lies at the intersection of linguistics, artificial intelligence, and computer science. Those skilled in NLP can comprehend, analyze, and generate human language data, extracting valuable insights from extensive textual resources. NLP applications span from sentiment analysis and language translation to chatbots and virtual assistants, enhancing communication, automation, and decision-making processes across various sectors. Becoming proficient in NLP necessitates mastery of machine learning algorithms, text mining techniques, and linguistic analysis, alongside familiarity with NLP libraries and tools such as NLTK, spaCy, and TensorFlow. 

Full Stack development  - Full Stack development is a versatile skill encompassing both front-end and back-end web development. Those proficient in Full Stack development can create entire web applications independently, covering tasks from user interface design to server-side logic and database management. Mastery in Full Stack development requires expertise in languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and frameworks such as React, Angular, Node.js, and Django. With the ability to handle all aspects of web development, Full Stack developers are highly valuable for organizations aiming to build dynamic, responsive, and scalable web applications. 

Robotic Process Automation - Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a crucial expertise area centered on automating repetitive and rule-based tasks through software robots or "bots." Proficiency in RPA entails designing, developing, and deploying these bots to streamline business processes, boost efficiency, and minimize human errors. RPA developers utilize tools like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism to craft workflows that replicate human actions, including data entry, extraction, and report generation. By eradicating manual involvement in mundane tasks, RPA empowers organizations to optimize resources, elevate productivity, and expedite digital transformation endeavors. Mastery in RPA also encompasses understanding business workflows, pinpointing automation potentials, and perpetually refining bot performance for optimal outcomes. 

Mobile App Development - Mobile app development is a fundamental expertise domain that covers the entire process of crafting, building, and launching applications tailored for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Proficiency in mobile app development requires adeptness in programming languages like Java, Kotlin (for Android), or Swift (for iOS), coupled with familiarity with frameworks like React Native or Flutter for cross-platform development. Mobile app developers utilize their skills to design intuitive user interfaces, integrate functionalities, and enhance performance across different platforms. Given the escalating reliance on mobile devices for communication, entertainment, commerce, and productivity, mastering mobile app development is imperative for meeting user demands and maintaining competitiveness in the contemporary digital environment

UI/UX Design - UI/UX Design stands as a crucial expertise domain concentrating on crafting user-friendly and captivating interfaces (UI) and experiences (UX) for digital products and services. Proficiency in UI/UX design entails grasping user needs, behaviors, and preferences to develop interfaces that are visually appealing, user-friendly, and efficient. UI designers employ tools like Adobe XD, Sketch, or Figma to create layouts, typography, and visual components, while UX designers concentrate on wireframing, prototyping, and user testing to refine the overall user journey and interaction flow. 

Internet of Things - The Internet of Things (IoT) is a crucial skill domain centered on linking physical devices and sensors to the internet for data gathering, monitoring, and management purposes. Proficiency in IoT entails designing, developing, and deploying interconnected systems that facilitate communication and interaction among devices, enabling automation, optimization, and insights across various fields. IoT developers utilize hardware platforms, communication protocols, and programming languages like C, Python, or JavaScript to construct IoT solutions tailored to specific applications such as smart homes, industrial automation, healthcare monitoring, and environmental sensing. By harnessing IoT technology, organizations can enhance operational efficiency, elevate decision-making processes, and introduce innovative products and services that generate value for both businesses and society.

Want to know how to Buy Goods from Customs Auction?

Buy Goods from Customs Auction

Goods once brought through Customs auction cannot be returned. Though this process has turned out lucrative for many buyers, this is the only drawback as the goods are on as is where is basis. Further one does get a chance to physically inspect the lot. 



While seized goods by customs authorities may be sold at cheap rates, there are neither any warranties nor any option to return the goods. 


There are various customs departments located in India in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai. Customs are also operational in various other smaller cities. With significant movement of goods inside the country and across the borders, a number of items are regularly seized by customs authorities. Seizure of goods can happen due to various reasons such as inadequate paperwork, evasion of duty and false declaration. 



Some of the most common items seized by customs authorities include imported cars and bikes, computers, laptops, electronic items and electronics accessories. Owners of these goods are provided adequate time to respond. If they want, they have the option to pay the fine and claim the goods. But if there is no response, such seized goods are put up for customs auctions. 



How to buy goods from a customs auction?

To streamline the process and improve transparency, customs auctions have been centralized. Customs auction is conducted via a single online platform, available at MSTC Limited is a central government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU). It operates an online auction of customs goods as well as various other items. On the MSTC website, there is a separate section for customs auctions. Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to buy goods from a customs auction.



Register on - On the home page, you have to select eAuction and then Indian Customs Auction. You will have to register as a bidder, providing all the details such as your name, bank account number, PAN details, address, etc. Once you have provided the information, you will be asked to pay the registration charges. If you plan to bid for only customs goods, the registration fee is Rs 5,000 + service tax and educational cess. You will also be required to submit all the documents in physical format at any of the MSTC offices. Once the paperwork is done, you will be assigned a photo identity card. You then become eligible to buy goods from customs auction. 



Physical inspection - You will be notified in advance when a customs auction will take place. You will be invited to carry out a physical inspection of the goods. This is an important step, as it will determine how much money you are planning to put into the bidding process. You will not be able to return any goods purchased, which is why the inspection process is very important. 



Online bidding - After physical inspection by prospective buyers, the next step is the online bidding process. Customs goods have a reserve price and you need to bid above that price. You can see the last few bids and accordingly raise your bid amount. Autobid option is also available, where the system automatically increases your bid, relative to the other nearest bidder. You can put an upper limit to your bid in the autobid system. 


Successful bid - If your bid is successful, you will be notified via email/SMS. You will have to make the required payment along with applicable taxes and other charges. Once the paperwork is complete, you can collect your customs goods from the notified office. If you fail to make the payment after a successful bid, you will be barred from customs auctions for a minimum period of 6 months. Your registration fees will also be forfeited. 



While buying goods from a customs auction could be profitable, there can be quality issues. It is important that you place your bids carefully. Also, consider factors such as taxes and charges and transportation costs (if any) before placing your bids.

By - Pankaj Bansal, Founder at

Film stars lend star power to Indian Street Premier League - ISPL

Inaugural Season of Indian Street Premier League - ISPL

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Ram Charan and other Bollywood and celebrities of the Corporate World  are backing the Indian Street Premier League which had a crackling Inaugural season that has ignited the #STREET2STADIUM revolution. 

The concept of #Street2Stadium has transcended mere imagination with the inaugural Indian Street Premier League (ISPL). The tournament, heralded as India’s pioneering tennis ball T10 cricket extravaganza played inside a stadium, was masterfully orchestrated by a distinguished Core Committee comprising legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ashish Shelar, Amol Kale, and Suraj Samat. The air crackled with anticipation as the ISPL unfolded its maiden spectacle, held amidst the pulsating ambiance of the Dadoji Konddev Stadium in Thane. Under the floodlights, cricket aficionados converged to witness the fusion of raw talent and electrifying passion.

Six formidable teams—Majhi Mumbai, KVN Bangalore Strikers, Srinagar Ke Veer, Chennai Singams, Falcon Risers Hyderabad, and Tiigers of Kolkata—battled fiercely for supremacy in the gripping 10-day showdown. The arena became a cauldron of unbridled excitement, with the very essence of the tennis ball cricket ecosystem pulsating through every moment.

The ISPL cast its enchanting spell, captivating the hearts of millions. Sony Pictures Network, the league’s official broadcasters, witnessed an unprecedented surge in viewership, with its overall reach (including TV and digital) soaring to a whopping *11 million. Meanwhile, the stands reverberated with the cheers of nearly 5 lakh fervent fans, igniting an atmosphere of pure cricketing euphoria.

Reflecting on the success, Suraj Samat, League Commissioner, ISPL, said, “The overwhelming response to the ISPL underscores the deep-rooted passion for our beloved gully cricket in our country. We are immensely proud to have provided a platform for street cricketers to showcase their talent and for fans to enjoy a new era of sport entertainment.”

Rajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer - Distribution & International Business and Head - Sports Business, SPNI, official broadcasters of the Indian Street Premier League, said, “The inaugural edition of the Indian Street Premier League highlights the immense talent pool for cricket in India. It has also showcased the passion for gully cricket in our country. Sony Sports Network is   proud of its  association with ISPL and looks forward to exploring new avenues to engage with sports fans in India”. 

The Indian Street Premier League, an unprecedented blend of cricketing prowess and star-studded entertainment, has set a new benchmark in sporting extravagance. With Bollywood celebrities taking the helm as team owners, the league radiated an irresistible charm, adding the much-needed glitz and glamour from the heart of B-Town and the celebrity sphere. Legends such as Amitabh Bachchan (Majhi Mumbai, co-owned by Neeti Agrawal’s PATH India Ltd.), Akshay Kumar (Srinagar Ke Veer), Hrithik Roshan (KVN Bangalore Strikers, co-owned by Venkat K Narayana’s KVN Enterprises LLP), Saif Ali and Kareena Kapoor Khan (Tiigers of Kolkata, co-owned by Aksha Kamboj’s Aspect Global Ventures Pvt. Ltd), Ram Charan (Falcon Riders Hyderabad, co-owned by Irfan Razack’s INR Holdings) and Suriya Sivakumar (Chennai Singams, co-owned by Rajdipkumar and Sandipkumar Gupta), lent their star power, ensuring the ISPL captured the imagination of diverse audience segments and demographics.

Enhancing its allure, the ISPL unveiled a spectacular opportunity: 101 scholarships unveiled by Amitabh Bachchan, each worth INR 1 lakh, empowering recipients to fuel their holistic growth and development. Adding to the excitement, every registered ISPL participant was gifted a digitally signed cricket bat bearing the legendary signature of Master Sachin Tendulkar himself. This gesture not only bolstered camaraderie within the community but also bestowed upon each member an ISPL family card, ushering in a new era of inclusivity and privilege for grassroots cricketers. Such initiatives have forged an elite fraternity, previously uncharted in the realm of cricket.

The ISPL’s magnificence was evident from its dazzling opening ceremony, which featured a riveting Exhibition Match between Masters’ XI led by ‘Bharat Ratna’ Sachin Tendulkar and Khiladi XI captained by Akshay Kumar. A galaxy of influential celebrities donned their cricketing attire, sharing the field with cricketing icons to create an unforgettable spectacle. The first ball of the tournament featured a heartwarming moment which saw Jammu and Kashmir para cricketer Amir Hussain Lone don Tendulkar’s jersey to get things underway.

On the field, the action lived up to its billing, with nail-biting encounters captivating audiences from all walks of life. Innovative features such as the ‘Tip Top’ toss, the 50/50 challenge, ‘Tape Ball Over’, and ‘9 Street Runs’ added an extra layer of excitement, enhancing the appeal of the tournament. Beyond the boundary, electrifying performances by artists like MC Stan, Honey Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, and many others kept viewers and fans enthralled throughout the tournament.

The grand finale and closing ceremony were nothing short of spectacular. Kiku Sharda and Krushna Abhishek’s uproarious comedy set the tone for the evening, while superstar DJ Chetas’ mesmerizing Xylo Band Show, a spectacle previously reserved for global acts like Coldplay, illuminated the packed stadium with its lights and sounds. It was the perfect culmination, leaving fans yearning for more. Dipak Chauhan’s role as President of Operations shone brightly as the seasoned professional leveraged his extensive expertise in tennis ball cricket, resulting in the seamless execution of the tournament.

As the inaugural season of ISPL draws to a close, it leaves behind a legacy of entertaining cricket and enduring camaraderie, epitomizing the spirit of the game and the allure of stardom ingrained in India’s cultural fabric.

The registration portal for Season 2, slated to kick off from January 31 to February 9, 2025, is now open, providing budding cricketers with a platform to shine on the big stage. Buoyed by the resounding success of its debut season in India, the ISPL is set to expand its horizons to the Middle East in November 2024.

Venture Cap Funds to bolster India's Sports and Tech Industry

Universal Newsline outlines some of the Venture Capital Funds that are focused to transform the Indian Sports and Technology industry. A dynamic fusion of sports and technology introduces a diverse range of innovations aimed at improving performance, interaction, and overall enjoyment in sports. From wearable devices tracking vital advanced analytics to platforms revolutionizing player assessments, the field is experiencing rapid evolution and creativity.  

Venture Cap Funds focused on Sports and Gaming industry


Investing in the sports-tech sector presents an enticing prospect where technology and sports intersect, promising substantial returns and societal influence. Opportunities abound, whether in supporting startups creating innovative fitness monitoring devices or backing enterprises reshaping fan interaction with virtual reality innovations. Across the sports tech spectrum, avenues for investment diversification are plentiful, offering potential for financial growth alongside contributions to the evolution of sports and entertainment experiences. 

Centre Court Capital - Centre Court Capital is a Venture Capital fund that has set its sights on bolstering India’s sports tech and gaming ecosystem. It will invest in sports tech, an evolving space that is bringing to life data that arms the sporting ecosystem with deeper and smarter insights - empowering athletes, engaging fans, and providing immersive viewership experiences that transform entertainment in sport. It looks to invest in the gaming and eSports space where innovations in technology are lowering the entry barriers to game development and making content more accessible globally. With a new age of entrepreneurs from India building in the space, Centre Court Capital looks to back game developers, creators, and game tech infrastructure companies. Centre Court Capital merges a rare combination of deep operating and investing experience for its sectors, enabling it to bring a level of depth and understanding that is unparalleled in the market.

Kalaari Capital - Kalaari is a $160 million venture capital fund with a strong advisory team in Bangalore investing in early-stage, technology-oriented companies in India. It is an early-stage, technology-focused venture capital firm. They invest across Seed and Series A startups and empower visionary entrepreneurs to build unique solutions that reshape the way Indians live, work, consume and transact. Kalaari Capital invests in the unknown Indian entrepreneur who is poised to become tomorrow’s global leader. They are India’s leading investor in early-stage businesses, nurturing them through every aspect of growth on the transformative journey toward success. 

Kae Capital -  Kae Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in technology startups across various sectors, including sports tech. They have backed companies such as Dream11, a fantasy sports platform, which has become one of India's most successful sports tech startups. Kae Capital is a pioneer of early-stage investing in India, focused on tech startups, and has been investing in India for 10+ years. Founded in 2012, and based out of Mumbai and Bengaluru, Kae is a sector-agnostic fund that invests in pre-seed to pre-series A stages. Kae partners with passionate founders and teams, building for Indian and global markets. Kae aims to be an all-weather partner to its portfolio founders, enabling them to build enduring companies.

SucSEED Indovation - SucSEED Indovation supports early-stage deep tech & tech driven startups providing solutions to the large scale needs of India and with potential to serve global emerging market needs too. With decades of experience building the venture capital ecosystem, they leverage their wide network to grow companies, build a solid foundation and help them with funding, strategic and operating support, providing critical connections, and securing growth. SucSEED Indovation offers access to capital for deep tech startups to scale and grow. SucSEED supports early-stage deep tech and tech-driven startups providing solutions to the large-scale needs of India and with the potential to serve global emerging market needs too.

Blume Ventures - Blume Ventures provides pre-series A and early stage funding to tech-focused/tech-enabled ventures. They are typically the first institutional investors in their portfolio companies and invest for about 8-10 years. They are proponents of a collaborative approach and like to co-invest with like-minded angels and seed funds. They then provide follow-on investments to their stellar portfolio companies. They partner with the founders at a very early stage, helping them achieve product-market fit and power through the first point of scale. Apart from bringing in capital and counsel, their strength is their conviction. 

Bal Raksha Bharat's remarkable achievement in prioritizing health, cultivating culture fostering well-being of children

Bal Raksha Bharat, a child welfare organization
Bal Raksha Bharat, a child welfare organization working across 15 states and three Union Territories

Positive results are visible in the efforts of Bal Raksha Bharat, a comprehensive child welfare organization in the fields of education, health, protection, and humanitarian needs of most deprived and marginalized children as efficiency of Nutrition cases surges to 98.11% in Uttar Pradesh’s Shravasti Dist. 

Bal Raksha Bharat in a concerted effort to enhance maternal and child health services, trained over 167 Anganwadi Workers, Asha Sanginis, and ANMs on the usage of Poshan Tracker, E-Kawach Application and documentation and Reporting of Triple Burden Cases. As a result of these capacity-building efforts, there has been a remarkable improvement in the measurement efficiency of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) cases. The efficiency rate surged from 92.77% in June 2023 to an impressive 98.11% by January 2024. Notably, 95 out of 177 Anganwadi Centers have achieved a commendable 100% measurement efficiency, reflecting the tangible impact of targeted training initiatives on healthcare service delivery.

The successful implementation of the 'Strengthening Aspirational Block Program' by Bal Raksha Bharat has directly benefited over 28,000 children. The project aims to extend access to government services and further improve nutritional outcomes in Jamunaha (NITI Aayog aspirational block) of Shravasti (Aspirational District) in Uttar Pradesh.

Congratulating on the impact made, Smt. Sarneet Kaur Broca, IAS, Director ICDS, Uttar Pradesh said, ‘In order to promote nutrition and healthy choices amongst children, we need to adopt a strategic approach. This involves educating and empowering women through informative videos that underscore the crucial role of overall child well-being. Instigating meaningful change begins with prioritizing health and cultivating a culture that fosters well-being. Bal Raksha Bharat has displayed remarkable dedication and effectiveness in driving and bringing this change, and by associating with them, we have witnessed a significant surge in measurement efficiency.’

Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Bal Raksha Bharat added, “Our mission with the ‘Strengthening Aspirational Block Program’ is to ensure that every child in the Jamunaha Block has access to adequate nutrition for a healthy and sustainable life. This initiative aims to streamline data management and ensure efficient monitoring of nutritional interventions. Furthermore, the frontline healthcare providers have also received training on documentation and reporting procedures for cases burdened by triple health challenges.”

He further said, “Strengthening Aspirational Block Program for Improved Nutritional Outcomes aligns with Bal Raksha Bharat's broader goal of ensuring that no child dies of preventable causes before their fifth birthday. Key achievements of the project include capacitating 167 Anganwadi Workers, Asha Sanginis, and ANMs on the usage of Poshan Tracker and E-Kawach Application, as well as documentation and reporting of triple burden cases.”

Bal Raksha Bharat aims in fostering the Government’s mission to strengthen the health & nutrition, and well-being of marginalised children and families. With the focus on this project, the organisation has addressed various factors contributing to illnesses and under nutrition among infants and young children. Through data-driven interventions and community engagement, the organization aims to continue to make strides toward achieving its vision of a future where every child can thrive.

Bal Raksha Bharat works across 15 states and three Union Territories of India on issues related to education, health, protection, and humanitarian/DRR needs of children, especially for those who are the most deprived and marginalized. 

For more information, visit

Facial Care during summer - Slugging: Understanding the science behind the overnight skincare trend

Slugging: Understanding the science behind the overnight skincare trend
Understanding the science behind the overnight skincare trend

Recommended by experts, Slugging is safe, affordable and effective method to restore skin moisture since it helps prevent water loss that is ideal for those with dry skin. However it may not be suitable for naturally oily, acne-prone skin as occlusives may clog the pores, leading to irritation and increased risk of breakout writes Priyanki Mehrotra.

Social media platforms are inundated with lifestyle and beauty advice. Now and then, a new trend emerges and takes the platform by storm. Slugging is one of those beauty trends that first emerged on some social media platforms and instantly became a part of many people’s nightly skincare routines.

Though the trend has gained immense traction in recent years, thanks to social media, the practice of slugging is not new. It is obvious to question the effectiveness since it is popularised through social media platforms, but the process of slugging does work for some. 

The viral trend, which comes from the South Korean beauty world, involves slathering the face with a thin layer of rich ointments like Vaseline or Aquaphor at the end of the nightly skincare routine. These occlusive products prevent water loss, thereby imparting a ‘slug-like’ sheen to the skin. It makes the face look dewy, plump and hydrated.

The skin generally appears dull or dry when its top layer, also called the skin barrier, lacks the balance of keratinocytes (skin cells) and lipids. When the skin barrier gets damaged due to sun exposure, pollution, over-exfoliation and other factors, the lipids or the glue that keeps the outer layer intact starts depleting. This leads to water loss, leaving the skin dry and flaky.

Occlusives, used for slugging, rest on the surface of the skin, acting as a shield to prevent trans-epidermal water loss. They eventually make the skin look fresh and hydrated. Occlusives have nothing to do with moisturising, as the skin cannot absorb petroleum. They simply lock in the water, helping the skin retain moisture. Considering the process helps prevent water loss, slugging is ideal for those with dry skin. But it may not be suitable for naturally oily or, acne-prone skin, as occlusives may clog the pores, leading to irritation and increased risk of breakout. This night time routine is extremely beneficial for older people as the problem of water loss spikes with age.

However, one must not overdo it and should listen to the skin when including this routine in their daily skincare regime. In winter months, the frequency can be increased as the skin loses water easily due to dry and harsh weather. In the summer and rainy months, the process should be limited to once or twice in a week. This is because in the hotter months, the skin naturally produces more oil, and the rainy season is often accompanied by extreme humidity, causing the skin to produce excessive oil.  

Above all, it should be done correctly for maximum effectiveness and to reduce the chances of any side-effects. The skin works harder at night time to repair itself, so slugging at night is the best way to get maximum output. One must start by cleaning the skin properly to avoid any dust or germs getting trapped in the outer layer. After that comes moisturising, followed by applying a thin layer of Vaseline or an occlusive of your choice. In the morning, cleanse the skin to remove any excess product and carry on with the normal daytime skincare routine.  Without proper moisturisation, slugging won’t be effective. In the case of sensitive skin, avoid slugging with retinoids as it may lead to irritation.

Slugging is safe and has been recommended by experts for decades. It is an affordable and effective method to restore skin moisture. The only thing one must consider is the type of occlusives used for slugging.

The author of this article is Priyanki Mehrotra, Deputy General Manager, Consumer Products Division, Ginni Filaments Ltd.

Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship awarded to New Delhi Student Sumaira Khan

Sumaira Khan awarded with Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship
Sumaira Khan awarded with Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship

The scholarship that is awarded to aspiring female researchers from India - Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship was today presented to a New Delhi student with a passion to improve health outcomes for vulnerable communities, to study in Australia.

La Trobe University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell presented Sumaira Khan in Delhi with the 2024 Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship, valued at more than $225,000 (AUD).

Sumaira was selected from a competitive field of applicants from across India for the four-year scholarship, which recognises the humanitarian and social justice achievements of Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). The PhD scholarship was made possible through La Trobe’s long-standing partnership with the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

Designed to support aspiring female Indian researchers who want to make a meaningful impact in the world, the scholarship enables Sumaira to undertake research at La Trobe’s state-of-the-art facilities in Melbourne, Australia.

Sumaira will work with medical anthropologists Dr Tarryn Phillips and Dr Catherine Trundle to identify ways to improve healthcare for South Asian migrant women in Australia with an elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes. The study seeks to understand the factors that shape and constrain the ability to practice self-care, and inform improved healthcare design, access and equity for healthcare programs in Australia and India.

“I’m very grateful to receive the Shah Rukh Khan scholarship. It’s life-changing for me and my family, and I’m excited to interact with La Trobe’s global community of researchers. It really is my proudest achievement,” Sumaira said.

Shah Rukh Khan said he was delighted to support the development of Indian women to pursue solutions to challenges affecting not just Indian communities, but global issues.

“Sumaira’s passion to improve health outcomes for vulnerable communities is inspiring, and her journey is a wonderful lesson to other Indian women who want to improve lives through scientific study,” Khan said.

“I am pleased to be able to support Sumaira’s ongoing development and education with this scholarship at La Trobe University in Melbourne.”

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, said the University was proud to continue the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship to a student, whose goal is to support some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“This ongoing scholarship is testament to the strong relationship and shared vision La Trobe has with Mr Khan to inspire positive change through education and find solutions for some of the most challenging issues facing the world,” said Professor Farrell.

Dispojekt single use syringes with safety needle propels India as a global powerhouse in medical devices


Dispojekt Safety Needle made in India
Dispojekt Safety Needle now made in India

Yet another efforts towards Atmanirbhar Bharat with the launch of first-of-its kind Dispojekt single use syringes with safety needle that is developed by Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices (HMD) that is nearly half the cost of safety single use syringes used in the USA and Europe.  


The launch aligns with India's efforts to become a self-reliant hub for medical device manufacturing and exporting. Dispojekt is expected to bring about a positive financial impact on the healthcare sector by reducing healthcare worker injuries and associated costs.

With the revolutionary Dispojekt safety syringes, HMD aims to reduce prevalence of accidental Needle Stick Injuries (NSIs) among health workers, reduction of infection control cost and that of disposal and training, offering a long term positive financial impact on the healthcare sector. Domestic manufactured, technologically advanced products will provide India a global edge in the realm of R&D and leapfrog indigenous players to meet the highly demanding global market for sharp injury prevention syringes. 

The use of safety needles in healthcare settings offer numerous cost benefits. They reduce healthcare worker injuries, lowering costs from potential disease treatment and potential long-term health issues. By minimizing needle stick injuries, they also decrease expenses for post-exposure prophylaxis and associated healthcare costs. Moreover, safety needles mitigate compensation claims, absenteeism, and can lead to lower health insurance premiums, while also reducing product and packaging footprints for cost and environmental savings. They assist in creating a safer and more reliable workplace environment for healthcare workers. 

“Equipped with a safety shield (SIP Shield), Dispojekt syringe addresses critical concerns of needle stick injuries and reaffirms our commitment as market leader towards excellence in healthcare. It is a great outcome of our Make in India resolve as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to realize the goal of Viksit Bharat,” said Rajiv Nath, Managing Director, HMD, adding that India is all poised to become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and exporting of medical devices in sync with the spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

There is significant headroom for innovation and growth in the medical devices industry and the future of healthcare technology rests on robust R&D. With the disposable syringe market size in India estimated to be over 5 billion units per year and 5-6 billion needles, 80 % of which are in the hands of private sector players. “We aim for 60-70 % market share in the next three years, thanks to our innovative Dispojekt,” informed the Executive Director, Sohail Nath.

“HMD believes in delivering the best at the most competitive costing. Dispojekt safety needle syringes are going to be the game changer in the Global fight against NSIs. We are aiming to initially produce 200 million syringes and needles per annum for which we have invested approximately Rs 70 cr in the first phase which is expected to increase to 300 million pieces annually in second phase,” revealed Mr Sohail.

As one of the most reputed medical device manufacturers with multiple state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Faridabad, Haryana, HMD produces over 4 billion injection needles per annum, catering to the needs of its primary markets comprising India, Europe, US, Middle East, and its secondary markets of South-East Asia and Africa.

Reflecting further, he said that Dispojekt safety needle syringes will not only further strengthen our position as market leader but will give a boost global collective efforts of WHO to check NSIs leading to transmission of blood borne disease, like Hepatitis B, C and HIV among healthcare personnel, betting on its quality, uniqueness and affordability.

“Dispojekt safety needle syringes have been designed to be affordable for the developing world including India and are nearly half the cost of safety single use syringes used in the USA and Europe where 100 percent usage is mandatory by legislation,” informed Sohail Nath.

According to research, the prevalence of NSIs among healthcare workers in India is between 57% and 73%. In fact, approximately 54% of NSIs are reported because of using hypodermic needles. Many instances of NSIs go unreported, making it a way more serious problem than it appears. To shield frontline healthcare workers from the dangers of NSIs, we at HMD have pioneered a single-use syringe with safety needle –Dispojekt.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, US, has estimated that only 10 % of NSIs injuries are reported. In developing countries, which have the highest global prevalence of HIV, the prevalence of needle stick injuries is also at the highest level. Studies report an annual of 100,000 injuries caused by sharp objects among nurses in the UK as well.

Asked about clinical studies conducted to affirm safety and efficacy of Dispojekt safety needle syringes, Rajiv Nath said, “Dispojekt syringes are a part of Safety Engineered Devices (SED). Numerous clinical studies and evaluations have been conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of syringes with safety needles. There are clinical trials which have proved that the use of SED has reduced the incidence of needle stick injuries in healthcare workers” and its usage is encouraged as best practices for Injection Safety in EU & USA and by WHO in the developing world. This initial design was field trialed in India, UK and USA and based on feedback received the product was re-engineered to be more cost effective and affordable and user friendly, by being a major improvement over existing commonly available safety syringes in the global market.

The launch of Dispojekt safety needle syringes, an innovative and cost-effective product from the R&D lab of the world’s largest manufacturer of Auto-Disable (AD) syringes, assumes significance in view of the monstrous magnitude of NSIs among the health workers.

International Baccalaureate (IB) high school track from Les Roches, Haut-Lac provides international immersive experience in Hospitality Management

Les Roches in Switzerland
Les Roches in Switzerland

Les Roches and Haut-Lac International Bilingual School Pioneer the Launch of a Hospitality Specialization Track in High School that equips students with an early introduction to the field of hotel management and networking opportunities with key industry players. 


Specializing in this field was previously only possible after high school, through a university degree. However, for the first time, the partnership between Haut-Lac School and Les Rochesenables young people aged 16 to 18 to complete an international immersive experience in the world of hospitality management in their last two years of high school.


The partnership between Les Roches and Haut-Lac International Bilingual School, two leading international academic institutions, marks a turning point in global youth high school education, offering students a wide range of opportunities that address their vocational aspirations and meet the needs of hospitality businesses.


With a 98% employability rate and a network of over 16,000 Alumni, Les Roches has established a unique and exclusive education model defined as a benchmark for quality and excellence in hospitality education.

Typically, high school students specialize in one of four areas, namely social sciences and humanities, technology and science, art, or general education. This new hospitality track, driven by two leading educational entities such as Haut-Lac School and Les Roches, represents a milestone in the hospitality & tourism and academic worlds. Training in hospitality has experienced steady growth in recent years, leading to an improvement in the quality of tourism and employment in a sector that previously lacked specialized professionals. Through this new IB high school program, future hospitality leaders can begin to immerse themselves in this industry at an earlier stage and learn about the social value of professions linked to the industry.

This International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme combines academic experience with practical training, a hallmark of Les Roches. It provides an early introduction to the field of hotel management, as well as access to networking opportunities with key industry players, including travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality and tourism organizations globally. In addition, students will acquire personal and communication skills and international analytical capabilities that are essential for pursuing university careers in tourism and hospitality management worldwide.

"It is crucial for the secondary education sector that students graduate well-prepared for pursuing their university careers. Therefore, we believe it is very beneficial for this high school news specialization track to exist so that, in a vocationally driven profession like hospitality, students can start immersing themselves in it as soon as possible. Forming this alliance with Haut-Lac will mark a turning point in global youth education, offering a wide range of opportunities that address their concerns and meet the needs of the industry. At Les Roches, we have been pioneers in hospitality and luxury tourism education for seven decades, but the last ten years, during which enrollments have increased by 65%, have brought about a paradigm shift. Specialized training in hospitality is gaining the recognition it truly deserves, and it has been noticeable in the classrooms. It is time to continue advancing and creating benchmarks; therefore, creating similar models to this new international high school program in the Spanish and international educational framework could mean the assured generation of talent in one of our most important industries," said Carlos Díez de la Lastra, CEO of Les Roches.

During the two-year IBCP program at Haut-Lac School, graduates will expand their knowledge and experience in hospitality by completing a research project during a 20-week online study period with Les Roches. They may then also choose to follow a two-week hotel immersion period on the Summer Program at the Les Roches campus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

"Embark on a transformative journey with Haut-Lac International Bilingual School and Les Roches Hotel Management School, where the two-year IB Career-Related Programme unfolds a world of opportunities for 16-year-old high school students. Beyond academics, we cultivate holistic development, preparing students for global success by seamlessly blending rigorous education with real-world skills in partnership with a renowned institution. Elevate your learning experience, foster bilingual proficiency, and embrace a pathway to excellence in both education and the thriving world of hotel management", said Rossella Cosso, Head of Secondary at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School.

Upon completion of the course, students wishing to continue studying in this field at university level, will have sufficient credits for direct access to the second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Global Hospitality Management at Les Roches.

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