According to the Greek history, the first Olympic Games in the Greek Antiquity can be traced back to the 776 BC. The games were dedicated to the 12 Olympian Gods and were hosted on the ancient green plains of Olympia...


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The winter season can freeze out your automobile along with you. It is advisable and appropriate to keep your vehicle...

If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side.

This warming winter soup is high in fibre, low in fat and can be frozen for ultimate convenience...

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According to the Greek history, the first Olympic Games in the Greek Antiquity can be traced back to the 776 BC. The games were dedicated to the 12 Olympian Gods and were hosted on the ancient green plains of Olympia, the place was famous for its magnificent great temples of the two gods Zeus and his wife Hera. The games initially had a very religious character combined by a number of ancient sport events, which many of those were based on the ancient Greek mythology.

The ancient Olympic Games had an important position in the life of the Ancient Greeks. The Olympiad it was a time of union, with a four-year interval. The participants came from every corner of the Greek world to compete for the ultimate prize, the olive wreath and the return to their city-states as heroes. But the Olympic values apart from the victory, it was themselves which had the special meaning in the Games, the noble competition and effort to combine the body, mind, and will in a balanced whole.

As the Olympic Games developed, so did develop the procedures such as the standard schedule of the events and the Olympic Truce. They Games continued for almost 12 centuries, until the Roman Emperor Theodosius banned them, in 393 AD, acussing them as pagan cults.

The Olympics is a sporting event for many different sports that is every four years. The original Olympic Games were held in the ancient Greek city of Olympia that since the 10th century BC was a religious and political meeting place. The first recorded celebration of the Games at Olympia was in 776 BC. It is almost certain that this was not the first time that the Games were held. Then the Games were only local and had only one race, the race of the stadium.

Although the Olympics were originally held on the fields around the temple of Zeus, with the growth of the Games increased also the buildings of the Stadium. Finally Olympia had a stadium that offered enough space to 40,000 spectators. The Olympic Games which were held every four years, were one of the four Pan-Hellenic Games. The purpose of Olympic Games was for young men to show their physical qualities and to enforce the relationship between the various Greek cities. Only Greek men were allowed to participate in the Olympics but not women.

From 776 BC the Olympic Games, became more important in the ancient Greece reaching the height of their fame in the 5th and 6th century BC. The Olympics also had religious significance since there were dedicated to Zeus, whose huge statue was standing in Olympia. The number of sports was twenty and the celebrations were held for several days. The winners of the games were admired and immortalised through poems and statues. The prize for the winner was a crown of olive branches.

The Games gradually lost their importance when the Romans conquered Greece and when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The Games were regarded more as a pagan celebration, and in 393 AD, the Emperor Theodosius banned them completely. So ended a period of one thousand years during which the Olympics were to be conducted every four years thereafter.

The Olympic games revived by the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin in the late 19 th century. The Games of the Olympiad, also known as Summer Olympics, taking place every four years since 1896 onwards, with the exception of the years during the World Wars. In 1924 began the Winter Olympics, for winter sports. Since 1994, the Winter Games are not held the same year with the Summer Olympics.

Olympic Symbols

Olympic Rings & Flag
Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, created the Olympic Games' symbol. The symbol consisted of five interlaced rings with colours - blue, yellow, black, green, red. The five rings represent the five continents and symbolise passion, faith, victory, work ethic and sportsmanship. These colours were also chosen because at least one colour appears on the flag of every country in the world. The Olympic symbol first made its appearance in the French magazine, Le Bon Marche, in 1913 and was approved by the Olympic Congress which met in 1914. Olympic flag was hoisted for the first time at the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920, and the five intertwined rings were then recognised as the official Olympic symbol. The Olympic rings were featured on the Olympic medals for the first time in the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. However, they appeared for the first time on Olympic medals at the Winter Olympic Games in 1928.

Olympic Flame and Torch Relay
The Olympic Flame is the second most easily recognisable symbol of the Olympic Games. The tradition of lighting the Olympic Flame has been practised since ancient Olympics, which were held in Olympia. During those times, the flame was lit to symbolize the death and rebirth of Olympic heroes. However, the flame did not feature in the earlier modern Olympic Games. The lighting up of the Olympic Flame was reinstated during the 1928 Amsterdam Games. The Olympic Torch Relay, though, was for the first time introduced during the 1936 Berlin Games by Dr Carl Diem, who was a German sports administrator and the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee of the Berlin Olympic Games. On a visit to Olympia, Dr Carl Diem and Theodor Lewald envisioned a new symbolic ritual wherein a lit Olympic flame would be transported from Greece to Berlin by a relay of torch-bearers. The first flame was ignited in Olympia, Greece, on June 30, 1936, in the vestiges of the Temple of Hera by 15 white-robed maidens posing as 'priestesses', using a parabolic mirror focusing the sun's rays. The ritual was enacted under the supervision of a 'high priestess'. The torch was then relayed 3,422 kilometres from Athens to the Olympic stadium in Berlin by young runners, each of whom carried the flame for a single kilometre. This tradition has continued till this day, albeit with interesting variations. In the 1976 Games, the sacred flame took the ethereal route, when an electronic pulse extracted from the actual burning flame at Athens was propagated through a satellite to Montreal, where a laser beam was used to ignite the cauldron. In another path-breaking instance, the torch took an undersea route when Wendy Craig-Duncan, a Marine Biologist on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, carried the Olympic torch underwater on day 20 of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Torch Relay at Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef. Cutting-edge technology is used while manufacturing the torch, taking into consideration the comfort and safety of the torch-bearer and its protection from environmental factors such as wind and rain. A mixture of 65% butane (cigarette lighter fuel) and 35% propane (LP gas) has been established as fuel for the torch.

Olympic Emblem/Logo
Each edition of the Olympic Games brings its own unique expectations, flavour and allure, and these aspects are aesthetically infused into the Olympic emblem. A lot of effort and creativity goes into the creation of the Olympic emblem or logo, which combines the Olympic rings with distinctive contemporary elements. The Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) of the host country designs and proposes the emblem to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for approval. Although the Olympic emblem is the property of the IOC, they can be used to merchandise products by sponsors of the Olympics and on the uniforms of every Olympic athlete.

Olympic Medals
The tradition of presenting medals to winners began with the start of the modern Olympics. In 1896, only silver medals were awarded to winners. It was in 1904 at the St. Louis Games that gold replaced silver as the medal bestowed to the top achievers. The medals presented in today's Olympic Games are made up of high-quality silver, gilded with pure gold. The obverse of each Olympic medal from 1928 to 2000 features Nike, the Greek goddess, with a palm in her left hand and a winner's crown in her right. The official name and year of the Olympiad and the name of the host city are also included, along with the coliseum of ancient Athens, a vase, the Olympic rings and a horse-drawn chariot. However, since the 2004 Olympics, the medals have depicted Nike flying into the Panathenic stadium. This picture makes a definitive reference to the Greek character of the Games. Also, each host city is allowed to design the reverse of the medal. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing represented Chinese culture with a ring of jade inlay.

Olympic Anthem
An acclaimed opera composer, Spyridon Samaras, composed the Olympic Anthem, and the lyrics were written by Kostis Palamas. The anthem has been sung in many different languages, depending on the preference of the hosting nation. Since the lyrics have to be created in order to follow the music, the translations in different languages vary slightly.

London 2012

In 2005, the IOC awarded the 2012 Games to London. Relive the official announcement by IOC President Jacques Rogge!
The Olympic Games start on 27 July 2012 and run until 12 August 2012.

he Paralympic Games begin on 29 August 2012 and close on 9 September 2012.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad or "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012. London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948.

London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris after four rounds of voting. The successful bid was headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe.

The Olympics prompted a redevelopment of many of the areas of London in which the games are to be held – particularly themed towards sustainability. While the budgetary considerations have generated some criticism, the Games will make use of many venues which were already in place before the bid, including Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena, Wimbledon All England Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, The O2 Arena, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, and the Excel Centre.

How busy will London be during the Olympics?

London & Partners: There are no definitive numbers on the amount of visitors we expect during the Games period in 2012, although there are ‘best estimates’ based on previous Games. An independent report by Oxford Economics estimates the number of visitors to London for the 2012 Games will be approximately 450,000 staying visitors, taking into account displacement. In addition, we estimate that 5.5. million day visitors will also come to the capital over the Games period. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will not only be held in the Olympic Park in Stratford East London; parks, major sports venues, entertainment arenas and exhibition spaces across London will also be used for events so you should expect to encounter the Games everywhere.

How is the city preparing for all these visitors?

London & Partners: London is gearing up to prepare for 2012 – the ‘halo effect’ around the Games can already be felt city-wide. The developments cover a huge range of facilities including improved and new transport links such as the East London line extension, the upgraded DLR (Docklands Light Rail) and new cycle tracks and walkways. Among the largest and most exciting development projects that are or will be taking place in London are King’s Cross, Stratford City, Canary Wharf transport extensions and the creation of the 2012 Olympic Park. Numerous new hotels are opening at the moment, and the new urban park being developed in Stratford, East London, is one of the biggest to be constructed in Europe for more than 150 years.

Will I be able to get tickets for theatre shows, festivals, cultural events and so on?

There’s no doubt that demand for theatre shows, West End musicals, temporary exhibitions and the like will be high during the Olympics so if there’s something you’re set on seeing it’s best to try to arrange this in advance. Most attractions now allow you to book online or over the phone in advance so investigate these options. Otherwise there’ll still be plenty of free museums and galleries you can visit as and when you wish - although you should expect to encounter crowds - and special events like the London 2012 Festival will give you further opportunities to remain occupied.

To find out how you can apply for Olympic Games tickets, please visit the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) ticketing website.

London Olympic Venues

The 26 sports of the London Olympics will take place in 28 venues.

Where are the Games being held?
A large majority of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in the Old Park in Stratford in East London. Events will also be held in other venues across London and the UK (England, Scotland and Wales).

Olympic Park Venues

Aquatics Centre
Sports - Swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, modern pentathlon (swimming) and water polo.

Basketball Arena
Sports - Basketball, handball finals

Eton Manor
Sports - Aquatics training, wheelchair tennis
Facts - A new 130m-high wind turbine will also be located at Eton Manor. It will help provide power to the park during and after the Games, generating energy for the equivalent of 1,000 homes.

Handball Arena
Sports - Handball, goalball, modern pentathlon (fencing)

Hockey Centre
Sports - Hockey

Olympic Stadium
Sports - Athletics, opening and closing ceremonies.

Sports - Cycling Track, Cycling BMX

London Olympic Venues

Earls Court is in West London
Sport: Volleyball
About Earls Court - From exhibitions and conferences to live music, Earls Court holds hundreds of events each year attended by visitors from around the world.

ExCeL London - is situated near London City Airport in east London's Royal Victoria Dock.Sport: Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Boccia, Paralympic Table Tennis, Paralympic Judo, Paralympic Powerlifting, Volleyball (Sitting), Wheelchair Fencing

Greenwich Park on the south bank of the River Thames in south east London. Sport: Equestrian events - Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, Paralympic Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon About Greenwich Park - Includes the Old Royal Naval College and National Maritime Museum, which, together with Greenwich Park, are part of a World Heritage Site. It is London's oldest Royal Park, dating back to 1433. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1997. Within the park is The Royal Observatory and the home of Greenwich Mean Time at Longitude 0°.

Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, the political centre of the UK. Sport: Beach Volleyball About Horse Guards Parade - Dates from 1745 and takes its name from the soldiers who have provided protection for the monarch since the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The parade ground lies at the heart of London's ceremonial life, and hosts the Trooping of the Colour event that takes place on the Queen's official birthday each year.

Hyde Park in London's West End Sport: Triathlon, 10k Open Water Swim About Hyde Park - The largest of London's Royal Parks, Hyde Park has been open to the public since 1637. The park is home to a number of grassroots sports clubs, including the Serpentine Swimming Club, whose members swim in the Serpentine Lake whatever the weather - even on Christmas Day.

Lord’s Cricket Ground
Sport: Archery

Millennium Dome: The O2 in Greenwich - on the point of the Greenwich peninsula
Arena 1- Sport: Artistic Gymnastics, Trampoline, Basketball, Wheelchair Basketball
Arena 2 Sport: Badminton, Rhythmic Gymnastics

Regents Park
Sport: Road cycling
About Regents Park - One of London's famous Royal Parks, the Regent's Park has been open to the public since 1845. As well as being home to London Zoo and the Open Air Theatre, the park is a much-loved sports venue for thousands of Londoners.

The Royal Artillery Barracks on Woolwich Common in south east London Sport: Shooting, Paralympic Shooting, Paralympic Archery About the Royal Artillery Barracks - The London port of Woolwich has a long military history and the construction of the current Royal Artillery Barracks buildings began in 1776.

Wembley Stadium in north west London, around six miles from the city centre.
Sport: Football
About Wembley - The new stadium's arch soars over 130m into the sky, more than four times the height of the towers of the old Wembley Stadium.

Wimbledon in south west London
Sport: Tennis
About Wimbledon - Home of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the setting for the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament since 1877. It is the only remaining major grass-court Tennis venue in the world.

Out of London Olympic Games venues

The Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre in Hertfordshire
Sport: Canoe Slalom
Location - 30km north of the Olympic Park, on the edge of the 1,000-acre River Lee Country Park which is part of the 26-mile long, 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park in Hertfordshire.

Eton Dorney near Windsor
Sport: Rowing, Paralympic Rowing, Canoe Sprint
About Eton Dorney - The venue is a 2,200m, eight lane rowing course with a separate return lane constructed to international standards. It is set in a 400-acre park with a nature conservation area.

Hadleigh Farmis to the east of London, in Essex.
Sport: Mountain Bike

Hampden Park in Glasgow is Scotland's national stadium.
Sport: Football

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is Wales' national stadium.
Sport: Football

Old Trafford in Manchester is home to Manchester United Football Club.
Sport: Football

St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north east of England
Sport: Football

Villa Park in the West Midlands
Sport: Football

Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour in Dorset on England's south coast.
Sport: Sailing, Paralympic Sailing

Olympic sport competition schedule

Please use this schedule to help you plan your Olympic Games experience.

All competition schedules on this website and on the ticketing website are subject to change at any time.

Source :

Acorn Squash Soup
Acorn Squash Soup is a very popular winter soup.


Onion 1 small
Celery (chopped) 1/4 cup
Butter or Margarine 2 tbsp
All-purpose Flour 2 tbsp
Chicken Bouillon Granules 1 tsp
Dill Weed 1/2 tsp
Curry Powder 1/4 tsp
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Chicken Broth 2 cups
Evaporated Milk 12 ounce
Acorn Squash (mashed and cooked) 3 cups
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bacon Strips (cooked and crumbled) 5

How to make Acorn Squash Soup:
  1. Sauté the onion and celery in butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the flour, bouillon, dill, curry and cayenne pepper and stir thoroughly until well blended.
  3. Then add the broth and milk slowly.
  4. Bring to a boil and then cook for 2 minutes while stirring.
  5. Now add the squash, salt and pepper and heat.
  6. Process the soup until smooth in a blender.
  7. Pour into a bowl and garnish with bacon.


Adrak Navratan Recipe
Adrak Navratan is a digestive lemonade.


Tender Ginger 100 gm
Raisins ½ cup
Lemon Juice ¼ cup
Green Chilies 5-6
Dried Dates 10-12
Salt to taste

How to make Adrak Navratan:
  1. Wash, peel and cut the ginger into julienne.
  2. Wash and pat dry raisins. Deseed and finely slice dried dates lengthwise.
  3. Remove the stems, wash and cut the green chilies into two halves.
  4. Combine all the ingredients and put into a wide mouth glass jar.
  5. Shake well and serve when the juice turns pink.


Indian winter soup
This warming winter soup is high in fibre, low in fat and can be frozen for ultimate convenience

How to make Indian winter soup :
  1. Rinse the pearl barley and cook following pack instructions. When it is tender, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chillies, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric until fragrant and the seeds start to crackle. Tip in the onion and garlic, then cook for 5-8 mins until soft. Stir in the parsnip, butternut and sweet potato and mix thoroughly, making sure the vegetables are fully coated with the oil and spices. Sprinkle in the paprika, ground coriander and seasoning, and stir again.
  2. Add the lentils, pearl barley, tomatoes and 1.7 litres water. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer until the vegetables are tender. When the lentils are almost cooked, stir in the chopped coriander, ginger and lemon juice.


Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam is a very popular recipe


Tomatoes 1 kg
Chilli Powder 1/2 tablespoon
Asafoetida 1/4 tablespoon
Tamarind Water 3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder 2 Pinches
Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Make spices powder of:
  1. 1-1/2 tablespoon Coriander seed
  2. 1 tablespoon Cumin seed
  3. 8 Peppercorns
  4. Roast the peppercorns, coriander seed and cumin seed for a minute.
  5. Grind them into a spices powder.
  6. Chop the tomatoes into halves and put in 8 glasses of boiling water.
  7. Mix the left over ingredients and spices powder.
  8. Boil again for 10 minutes.
  9. Squeeze the tomatoes with the help of a spoon.
  10. Boil for some other 10 minutes.
  11. Tomato Rasam is ready. Garnish it with chopped up coriander.


Mahindra XUV500 - a class apart

Designed and developed entirely in-house by Mahindra, at the world class research and development facility, Mahindra Research Valley, Chennai, the XUV500 is Mahindra's first in a series of next-generation global SUVs, with significant inputs in styling and development from customers across the globe.

All research and development activities for this global SUV were aligned with global standards of quality, technology, testing norms, regulations and emissions from the very start.

The new Mahindra XUV500 is unmatched in terms of style, performance, technology, safety and comfort, providing customers a truly complete driving experience


MHawk EngineThe 2.2 litre mHawk140 engine delivers an impressive output of 140bhp and a torque of 330Nm. It sports the 5th generation variable geometry turbocharger, which ensures instantaneous acceleration, taking the XUV500 from 0-60kmph in a mere 5.4 seconds. Just step on the pedal and watch the scenery blur. Despite all this power, the XUV500 gives you an excellent efficiency of 15.1kmpl (ARAI)

6-speed transmission and self-adjusting clutch

The XUV500 hosts the first 6 speed transmission fully developed and tested in India. The 6 speeds enable two overdrives, which help in optimum engine torque and speed resulting better fuel economy and acceleration. The self-adjusting clutch ensures that the pedal effort of a brand new and fully worn out clutch remains the same, giving a pleasurable drive over the life of the clutch.

All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Interactive Torque Management (ITM)

The All-Wheel-Drive system enables better drivability in off-road conditions by distributing power between the front and rear wheels, as and when required. ITM monitors wheel speed, steering position and acceleration pedal position and distributes torque accordingly. If a wheel begins to slip, torque is automatically directed to the wheels with traction. The vehicle transitions seamlessly from 2WD to AWD mode without any driver intervention gives you a level of handling prowess unmatched by conventional vehicles.

Monocoque construction

This is the essence of the XUV500's uncompromised driving dynamics. The monocoque construction is found only in the most modern SUVs around the world. Here, the XUV500's body and platform are integrated into a single unit. The result is an excellent power-to-weight ratio, dream-like handling and undiluted driving pleasure. The XUV500 is also the country's first indigenously developed monocoque SUV with the first transverse engine offering from Mahindra.


The XUV500's sporty roots are complimented by its sporty suspension setup that delivers excellent ride and handling. The XUV500 has a McPherson strut suspension at the front and an independent multi-link suspension at the rear, which has been tuned in collaboration with Lotus, one of the world's most renowned names in motor sports.


Engine mHawk140, Direct injection diesel engine5th generation Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT)
Cubic Capacity 2179 cc
Max Gross Power 140 Bhp(103kW) @ 3750 rpm
Max Gross Torque 330 Nm @1600-2800rpm
Gear Box 6 speed synchromesh manual
Ground Clearance 200 mm
Tyres P235/65 R17, Radial Tubeless
Suspension Independent Suspension
Front McPherson type with anti-roll bar
Rear Multilink type with anti-roll bar
Brakes All Disc brakes
Rear Disk & Caliper type
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 Litres
Turning Circle Radius 5.6 m
Gross Vehicle Weight 2450 Kg
Vehicle Dimensions  
Wheelbase, mm 2700
Overall width, mm 1890
Overall length, mm 4585
Overall height, mm 1785


Portable Design

The GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus boasts an enviably small form factor – it's the size of a paperback book but possesses the computing power of a laptop. The 345g lightweight and compact tablet can be operated with a single hand - ideal when you're on the go.

Android 3.2 Honeycomb Platform

The Honeycomb platform has been refined to offer the ultimate user experience on a wider range of tablet devices. The new compatibility zoom mode optimizes application that are not designed to run on larger screen sizes, so they fit on the entire screen without distortion. Also, media files can be loaded directly from the MicroSD card.

Powerful Performance

Powered by a mighty 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor, the GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus allows seamless multitasking, faster webpage loading, smoother UI transitions and ultra-fast power-up.


Some quick tax saving tips

  • When we pay health insurance premiums, we get tax deduction under Section 80D.
  • Our life insurance premiums get tax deductions under Section 80C.
  • If there are medical expenses on ourselves or dependents for certain major illness, deductions can be claimed under Section 80DDB.
    After protecting our health and life, our next need is housing. Under housing, there are several sections to look at.
  • If staying in a rented house, we get tax benefit under Section 80GG.
  • If there is a housing loan, the principal repayment of loan is deducted under Section 80C.
  • Interest paid on housing loan has tax benefit up to Rs 1.50 lakh under Section 24.
  • There is benefit on capital gains when we sell one house and purchase another under Section 54.
  • Under Section 54F, if we are purchasing house and there has been long-term capital gains on any asset, the same is exempt to the extent of the price of the new house.
    For children’s education, there are various tax benefits.
  • When we pay school fees, we get tax deduction under Section 80C.
  • In case funds are borrowed for higher education, there is tax advantage under Section 80E.>

Retirement planning also gets benefits under different sections. Saving for retirement also has tax benefit under Sections 80C and 80CCC. Initially, there was separate limit set under Section 80CCC. However, now there is a combined limit of Rs 1 lakh for Sections 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD.

Over and above these, tax deduction is also available for investments in debt as well as equity-based instruments. Equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) is a mutual fund product. Investing in ELSS entitles tax benefit under Section 80C. Similarly, investments in debt-based instruments such as National Savings Certificate (NSC), Public Provident Fund (PPF) and certain fixed deposit of banks also attract deductions under Section 80C. Therefore, whether we invest to achieve our long-term goals in equity or near-term goals in debt, we get tax benefits.

During the months of February and March, the maximum number of life insurance policies are sold (for saving taxes). As we approach financial year-end, taxpayers will be bombarded with a variety of tax-saving instruments. Accountants will want us to invest in tax-saving instruments.

More India business stories

While it is definitely prudent to take advantage of legitimate tax-saving schemes, the focus should always be on our financial goals. Remember that we save money not to save tax, but to ensure that we have sufficient funds for our future responsibilities. Therefore, focus on future responsibilities, tax saving will follow on its own.


15 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

Introducing Kids to Money
Money gives people -- both young and old -- decision-making opportunities. Educating, motivating, and empowering children to become regular savers and investors will enable them to keep more of the money they earn and do more with the money they spend. Everyday spending decisions can have a far more negative impact on children's financial futures than any investment decisions they may ever make. Here are 15 simple ways to help educate children about personal finance and managing money:

  1. As soon as children can count, introduce them to money. Take an active role in providing them with information. Observation and repetition are two important ways children learn.
  2. Communicate with children as they grow about your values concerning money --- how to save it, how to make it grow, and most importantly, how to spend it wisely.
  3. Help children learn the differences between needs, wants, and wishes. This will prepare them for making good spending decisions in the future.
  4. Setting goals is fundamental to learning the value of money and saving. Young or old, people rarely reach goals they haven't set. Nearly every toy or other item children ask their parents to buy them can become the object of a goal-setting session. Such goal-setting helps children learn to become responsible for themselves.
  5. Introduce children to the value of saving versus spending. Explain and demonstrate the concept of earning interest income on savings. Consider paying interest on money children save at home; children can help calculate the interest and see how fast money accumulates through the power of compound interest. Later on, they also will realize that the quickest way to a good credit rating is a history of regular, successful savings. Some parents even offer to match what children save on their own.

    Allowance and Spending Decisions
  6. When giving children an allowance, give them the money in denominations that encourage saving. If the amount is 500, give them 5-100 Rs notes and encourage that at least one 100 Rs be set aside in savings.
  7. Take children to a credit union or bank to open their own savings accounts. Beginning the regular savings habit early is one of the keys to savings success. Remember, don't refuse them when they want to withdraw a portion of their savings for a purchase--This may discourage them from saving at all. You can also introduce children to savings bonds. Bonds are still a good value, costing one-half their face value and earning interest that in some instances will be tax-free if used for a college education. Perhaps more importantly, when given as a gift, bonds will not be spent immediately, reinforcing saving and goal-setting lessons.
  8. Keeping good records of money saved, invested, or spent is another important skill young people must learn. To make it easy, use 12 envelopes, 1 for each month, with a larger envelope to hold all the envelopes for the year. Establish this system for each child. Encourage children to place receipts from all purchases in the envelopes and keep notes on what they do with their money.
  9. Use regular shopping trips as opportunities to teach children the value of money. Going to the grocery store is often a child's first spending experience. About a third of our take-home pay is spent on grocery and household items. Spending smarter at the grocery store (using coupons, shopping sales, comparing unit prices) can save more than Rs. 95,000 a year for a family of four. To help young people understand this lesson, demonstrate how to plan economical meals, avoid waste, and use leftovers efficiently. When you take children to other kinds of stores, explain how to plan purchases in advance and make unit-price comparisons. Show them how to check for value, quality, repairability, warranty, and other consumer concerns. Spending money can be fun and very productive when spending is well-planned. Unplanned spending, as a rule, usually results in 20-30 percent of our money being wasted because we obtain poor value with our purchases.
  10. Allow young people to make spending decisions. Whether good or poor, they will learn from their spending choices. You can then initiate an open discussion of spending pros and cons before more spending takes place. Encourage them to use common sense when buying. This means doing research before making major purchases, waiting for the right time to buy, and using the "spending-by-choice" technique. This technique involves selecting at least three other things the money could be spent on setting aside money for one of the items, and then making a choice of which item to purchase.

    Buying Smart
  11. Show children how to evaluate TV, radio, and print ads for products. Will a product really perform and do what the commercials say? Is a price offered truly a sale price? Are alternative products available that will do a better job, perhaps for less cost, or offer better value? Remind them that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  12. Alert children to the dangers of borrowing and paying interest. If you charge interest on small loans you make to them, they will learn quickly how expensive it is to rent someone else's money for a specified period of time.
  13. When using a credit card at a restaurant, take the opportunity to teach children about how credit cards work. Explain to children how to verify the charges, how to calculate the tip, and how to guard against credit card fraud.
  14. Be cautious about making credit cards available to young people, even when they are entering college. Credit cards have a message: "spend!" Some students report using the cards for cash advances and also to meet everyday needs, instead of for emergencies (as originally planned). Many of those same students find themselves having to cut back on classes to fit in part-time jobs just to pay for their credit card purchases.
  15. 15. Establish a regular schedule for family discussions about finances. This is especially helpful to younger children--it can be the time when they tote up their savings and receive interest. Other discussion topics should include the difference between cash, checks, and credit cards; wise spending habits; how to avoid the use of credit; and the advantages of saving and investment growth. With teenagers, it's also useful to discuss what's happening with the national and local economies, how to economize at home, and alternatives to spending money. All of this information will be important as they take on more responsibility for their own financial well-being.


The winter season can freeze out your automobile along with you. It is advisable and appropriate to keep your vehicle and its components warm and keep them going. The battery, fuel tank, coolant and oil can all go “cold” in the extreme temperatures that the vehicle is put through.


  1. During extreme temperatures, the strength or the amperage capacity of the battery can be dwindled to half its output

    TO DO - On extremely cold nights, you could place a battery charger onto your battery. Use the trickle charge option only in order to make sure you do not overcharge your battery, which isn't good either.

  2. The fuel lines shut down after the engine stops, condensation can begin to form inside the fuel lines. If they reach the throttle before the actual fuel, the vehicle will not be able to turn over.

    TO DO - Using the correct dry gas in your fuel lines will help prevent condensation from forming. Also check with your dealer or your owner’s manual before dumping any old dry-gas product down the tank.

  3. Because of the extreme differences between a cold engine and a running engine, it doesn't take long for a cold engine to heat up because of the coolant. If the temperature of the antifreeze is not correct, the engine block can quite easily crack.

    TO DO -Install a block heater inside the engine compartment near the engine block. the electricity, from the plugged in electrical plug using the AC, will help keep the engine oil and the coolant inside the block of the engine warm until demand is called upon it for start up.

  4. The tires on many cars begin to harden due to the cold temperatures and lose their ability to grip the road surface properly.

    TO DO - Replace your vehicle tires with the winter weather tires that perform better as they contain more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds which reduce the hardening process and improve grip in cold, damp conditions.

  5. If the vehicle is parked outside in inclement weather, the flywheel and starter wheel can become frozen.

    TO DO -Park the automobiles in a closed garage, away from the harsh wind and chilly weather conditions.

  6. Besides the above mentioned, the following precautions are also advisable.

    TO DO - Regular the car check ups will go a long way in preventing the problem of “no-starts” in this harsh and brutal winter.


50 Interesting Facts

  1. If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on your right side. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.
  2. If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. For when a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
  3. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
  4. Your tongue is germ free only if it is pink. If it is white there is a thin film of bacteria on it.
  5. The Mercedes-Benz motto is “Das Beste oder Nichts” meaning “the best or nothing”.
  6. The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal.
  7. The pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing.
  8. The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.
  9. Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.
  10. The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
  11. Dalmatians are born without spots.
  12. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.
  13. The ‘v’ in the name of a court case does not stand for ‘versus’, but for ‘and’ (in civil proceedings) or ‘against’ (in criminal proceedings).
  14. Men’s shirts have the buttons on the right, but women’s shirts have the buttons on the left.
  15. The owl is the only bird to drop its upper eyelid to wink. All other birds raise their lower eyelids.
  16. The reason honey is so easy to digest is that it’s already been digested by a bee.
  17. Roosters cannot crow if they cannot extend their necks.
  18. The color blue has a calming effect. It causes the brain to release calming hormones.
  19. Every time you sneeze some of your brain cells die.
  20. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.
  21. The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
  22. When you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red.
  23. When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.
  24. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.
  25. The lion that roars in the MGM logo is named Volney.
  26. Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros.
  27. Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.
  28. It cost 7 million dollars to build the Titanic and 200 million to make a film about it.
  29. The attachment of the human skin to muscles is what causes dimples.
  30. There are 1,792 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
  31. The sound you hear when you crack your knuckles is actually the sound of nitrogen gas bubbles bursting.
  32. Human hair and fingernails continue to grow after death.
  33. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle the whole body.
  34. The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
  35. Most soccer players run 7 miles in a game.
  36. The only part of the body that has no blood supply is the cornea in the eye. It takes in oxygen directly from the air.
  37. Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die.
  38. In most watch advertisements the time displayed on the watch is 10:10 because then the arms frame the brand of the watch (and make it look like it is smiling).
  39. Colgate faced big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command “go hang yourself.”
  40. The only 2 animals that can see behind itself without turning its head are the rabbit and the parrot.
  41. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  42. The average person laughs 13 times a day.
  43. Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are:Mizaru(See no evil), Mikazaru(Hear no evil), and Mazaru(Speak no evil)
  44. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
  45. German Shepherds bite humans more than any other breed of dog.
  46. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
  47. Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound.
  48. Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence and stampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death.
  49. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause.
  50. The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!


Project CUBE (Customer Understanding for Business Excellence)

For any modern business to succeed it is very important for it to understand the needs of its customers. Normally the practice is to lump all customers for a given product or service together regardless of their individual identity or location. A superficial knowledge of the customer may sometimes pass off as expertise but this knowledge will not be sufficient enough to win over a new customer or retain the existing ones. In an organization that has a pan India presence the needs of the customer will vary from place to place. It is very important for the business to identify these needs and work on them so as to provide the best service possible. There is strong evidence that customer satisfaction is one of the few reliable indicators of a business’ future profitability. Customer satisfaction will mean that the customers are happy with the range of services and products being offered. Customer perception both good and bad should serve as effective stimuli to better performance for the products and services that the business has to offer hence it is very clear that the voice of the customer would be a major driver for continuous improvement in dealings with them.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) over the last few years has initiated and carried through many aggressive and successful programs. As a marketing company, our focus has always been the ‘Customer’. This was the primary purpose of Project CUSECS (Customer Service Customer Satisfaction) which led to re-structuring of the entire organization.

Today, Indian customers are evolving in their buying behavior and looking for propositions that are customized to their requirements. Therefore, going forward, understanding our customers better would be a distinctive competitive capability and a critical enabler of BPCL’s success. As the country embarks on its journey of economic growth and development, the entire population of “Customers” can no longer be treated as one. From a farmer to a college student, a housewife to a top executive in a firm, an auto rickshaw to an airline, a tea stall to a five star hotel – all are our customers in one way or the other.

Customer centricity is now a necessity and has the potential to unleash an enormous amount of energy in the organization. It has, thus, been imbibed as a core Culture Value by BPCL.

As knowing our customer has become the need of the hour, BPCL has undertaken wide ranging Customer Centric initiatives – CUBE (Customer Understanding for Business Excellence) with the following objective:

Project CUBE will build Value, Recognition & Loyalty across Customers, Partners & the Corporation.

While the term “customers” refer to the end consumers, the term “partners” refers to all our Channel Partners viz RO Dealers, LPG Distributors, Lube Distributors (PLDs), Lube Business Associates, I&C Distributors etc.

To enhance our understanding, an internal team, along with a team of consultants, is working on the following deliverables:

  • Shared understanding of BPCL’s vision for customer centricity
  • Innovative, customer focused initiatives with well defined, robust business cases and implementation plans
  • Customer related data collection framework and analytics to generate insights and integrate them with business operations
  • IT platform and related infrastructure required to support the initiatives
  • Ensuring sustained execution
  • Processes to align the interests of the entire Corporation and the channel partners
  • Supporting organization, structure and processes as a long term capability

CUBE is highly participative and decentralized in nature. During the Conceptual Design Phase, the innovation process will be driven through 6 Innovation Councils (based at Indore, Surat, Bangalore, Lucknow, Jaipur & Patna), each comprising of 5-7 frontline sales team members as well as customers and channel partners.

As of now, intense Customer Immersion activities (e.g. Focused Group Discussions, surveys, interviews) are being conducted to identify improvement initiatives by these teams. Business cases and detailed implementation plans will then be chalked out, primarily aiming at long term sustenance and scalability of these ideas. Selected initiatives will be taken up for Proof of Concept implementation by the local teams.