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In this photograph taken on June 6, 2013 Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani poses as he arrives for the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai. India's 100 richest people are for the first time all billionaires, according to an annual Forbes survey released September 25, 2014, with the country's top earners worth a third more combined than last year. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani topped the list for an eighth straight year with a 23.6-billion dollar fortune, Forbes India said on its website. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE/FILES

As Asia gears up for the next wave of digital transformation to connect the next billion people online, infrastructural and affordability barriers are being broken in India by Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his initiatives, a new survey said on Friday.

According to the survey by Booking Holdings, the world’s leader in online travel, a growing affluence has lifted over a billion people out of poverty, creating a new middle class — in many countries for the first time — and driving a growth in consumer demand.


Asked which factors were driving, or were likely to drive, increased internet adoption, the respondents highlighted pull factors like the increased availability of high-quality infrastructure, improved affordability and better public understanding of the internet as factors that would drive increased uptake.

“This ties in neatly with the infrastructural — as opposed to the human — barriers, the removal of which our respondents identified as being key to unleashing the potential of the Next Billion.

“With projects such as the $35 billion investment in 4G by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, these barriers are quickly coming down in India,” the report emphasised.

As on March 31, the subscriber base of Reliance Jio stood at 306.7 million. The average data consumption per user per month was 10.9 GB and average voice consumption 823 minutes per user per month.

“We at Jio are truly overwhelmed and proud to now serve over 300 million subscribers. The growth in data and voice traffic at this scale has been unparalleled,” Mukesh Ambani had said.

For the survey, Booking Holdings surveyed tech experts and tech leaders in three markets — China, India and Indonesia.

Nearly 74 per cent respondents in India said internet access is a basic necessity.

One of the most heartening and economically significant impacts of the expansion of connectivity in Asia was the corresponding improvement in the lives of women and girls.


Mukesh Ambani. Source-conclave.intoday.in

Nearly 79 per cent of respondents said gender was not a barrier to internet adoption in their country.

“Nearly 86 per cent said that increased gender equality would drive adoption and 91 per cent said greater digital participation would also improve gender equality in their country,” the findings showed.

In India, according to a recent report, almost half of tech entrepreneurs are women.

By large majorities, the respondents expected their countrymen and women to benefit from digital inclusion in ways that would help them become more educated and more prosperous — allowing the connected to rise up the social ladder.

“This aspirational edge to gathering digital transformation of all three countries reveals a growing individualistic and entrepreneurial culture that would not be out of place in Silicon Valley,” the survey noted.

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According to Glenn Fogel, CEO, Booking Holdings, much of this explosion of commerce and entrepreneurship is due to the growing availability and ease of internet connectivity in Asia.

“In India, the e-commerce market is expected to quadruple in size between 2017 and 2022 to a value of $150 billion… Asians are going online to sell and to shop,” he said. (IANS)


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Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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