Aimed at bridging the learning gap in education, Google launched a new app ‘Bolo’ that parents can download to help primary grade children improve their Hindi & English reading skills. The beta version of Bolo, launched in India first, is optimized for native Hindi speakers, and uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology. It comes with a built-in fun and helpful reading buddy, ‘Diya’, that encourages, aids, explains, and corrects the child, as they read aloud. Designed to work offline, Bolo is available on the Google Play Store, in India, for all smartphones running Android 4.4 [Kit Kat] and higher.

As per the annual ASER 2018 report, of all students enrolled in grade 5 in rural India, only about half of them can confidently read a grade 2 level textbook. Lack of reading ability can significantly impact further education, and ultimately children’s ability to realize their full potential. While the reasons behind the lag in learning levels are varied and complex, limited access to quality material, under-resourced infrastructure, and barriers to learning outside the classroom, are amongst the primary ones.

Nitin Kashyap, Product Manager, Google India said

Bolo is designed as a reading-tutor app that helps primary grade students to improve their reading anytime, anywhere. With Bolo, we aim to encourage and engage kids so their love for reading grows and it becomes a daily habit. We believe that technology can be a powerful enabler, and we want to ensure that students, parents, teachers and the education ecosystem, benefit from it. We have been piloting Bolo in 200 villages, and the early results are very encouraging.  We are now actively working with a number of nonprofit partners to take it to more people across the country who could benefit from it.

Zohair Hyder, Engineering lead for Bolo said

We all have our own personal experience and know that reading aloud with someone giving 1:1 feedback helps improve reading skills.  Many children, especially those in rural India don’t have this support. With Bolo we wanted to bring a similar experience to anyone who needs it, via their smartphone.

Bolo helps children in many ways, as mentioned below

  • Read all by themselvesJust like a personalized reading tutor, the app assists them at every step, giving both positive and corrective feedback.
  • Choose from a large variety of engaging stories – All the reading material on the app is completely free and the initial catalogue from Storyweaver includes 50 stories in Hindi & 40 in English; with more being added soon.
  • Enjoy as they learn – Children can also play interesting word games and earn in-app rewards and badges, helping reading become both fun, and a daily habit.
  • Improve at their own pace – Multiple children can use the same app, and track their progress separately. Over time the difficulty level of recommended stories adjusts to their reading skills.
  • Understand English better – Diya: the reading buddy in the app can not only read out the text to your child, but also explain the meaning of English text in Hindi.
  • Read without distractions [and without data too] – The app works even when offline, so children can just focus on reading, and is completely ads free.
  • Stay safe and secure – The app has been designed with children’s safety and security in mind and all personal information always stays on device.

Google has been piloting Bolo with over 900 children in 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh, India, with the help of ASER Centre. The results are very encouraging, with 64% of children showing an improvement in reading proficiency in just 3 months. You can read more about the pilot results here.

Google will be working closely with four non-profit partners including Pratham Education FoundationRoom to Read, Saajha and Kaivalya Education Foundation – a Piramal Initiative, who have extensive experience of working in this space to take Bolo to more children, and further expand their efforts across India. More partners can also join in.

Find out more about Bolo here

Life is uncertain and one never knows when an emergency can strike. In such situations, covering for medical expenses can sometimes be tough and may even go out of one’s budget. Hence, buying a health insurance policy at an early stage in life is absolutely critical and necessary.

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People often think that health insurance covers only those expenses that they incur during their stay in the hospital. However, in reality, this is not always the case.  The insurance also covers the expenses incurred prior to getting hospitalized as well as post discharge.

There is no wonder that you will be at peace if you have a shield in the veil of a health insurance plan.  In fact, you can stay care-free about the pre Hospitalization and post Hospitalization expenses!

What are pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses?

Pre-hospitalization expenses typically include costs incurred before a patient is moved into the hospital for treatment. On the other hand, post-hospitalization expenses, also known as recuperation expenses, are costs incurred by the insured to get back to his/her pre-illness state of being.

To get a better understanding of both these phases, take a look at the benefits covered under each phase.

Pre hospitalization Benefits Cover

Before you buy health insurance policy, understand what pre Hospitalization benefits cover.

  • To claim the benefits, person needs to undergo hospitalization.
  • The insurance will cover the expenditure of only those ailments for which a person will be hospitalized.
  • The expenses include doctor’s consultation fee, diagnostic charges [such as blood test, urine test and x-ray] and medicine cost that you incurred a month before you getting hospitalized.

Post Hospitalization Benefits Cover

Post Hospitalization benefits cover bills related to the diseases for which one was hospitalized. The benefits under this phase cover the following.

  • It is mandatory that you have undergone hospitalization to claim this benefit.
  • All the bills related to disease, for which you were hospitalized, are payable under this policy.
  • It will also cover the expenses like doctor’s fees, diagnostic bills [blood test and more] and medicine costs incurred after 30 to 60 days you were discharged.

Keep in mind that pre and post Hospitalization benefits will not cover the medications that are unrelated to the ailments for which you have been hospitalized.

Health insurance has become an important part of one’s life.  To avail the maximum benefits, you must ensure that you carefully check the included and excluded costs of health insurance under pre and post Hospitalization.  In fact, there are a lot of factors that one should take into consideration – the nature of policy to the benefits that it covers, everything should be scrutinized thoroughly.

If your Hospitalization claim is accepted by the insurance that you have chosen, then what are you waiting for? Now, claim the health insurance online and save life, save time!  Don’t forget to buy health insurance coverage for your loved ones too!

ACT Fibernet, India’s largest fiber broadband provider and Netflix, world’s leading internet entertainment service, announced a strategic partnership. As part of this partnership, ACT Fibernet’s existing and new customers who select from the newly launched 6-month and 12-month ‘Entertainment’ plan variants will be able to seamlessly pay for their monthly Netflix subscription through their ACT Fibernet bill. This will also enable customers to receive an assured cashback of up to INR 350 per month on their ACT bills, which will be added to their ACT accounts.  The offer will be available for ACT Fibernet customers from March 6, 2019 across Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and will be subsequently expanded to other markets.

Speaking on the partnership, Ravi Karthik, Marketing Head, Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd. said

In line with our brand philosophy  Feel the Advantage, we are excited to partner with Netflix, one of the most preferred choice of entertainment for our customers, and provide exceptional benefits and convenience to our users who will now be able to stream and enjoy the best of 4K and HD content seamlessly.

Further, under our advantage entertainment promise, we are delighted to launch a unique assured cashback program for all our customers who choose to subscribe for Netflix via ACT.

Speaking on the partnership, Abhishek Nag, Director – Business Development, Netflix India said

Rising video consumption is at the heart of the growing broadband internet ecosystem in India. We are delighted to partner with ACT Fibernet to enable their customers to pay seamlessly for their Netflix subscription as part of their ACT bill and enjoy our incredible catalogue of content on any internet-connected screen.

In Bengaluru, the ACT Entertainment variants are available on ACT Storm, ACT Lightning, ACT Incredible and ACT GIGA broadband plans. Likewise, in Hyderabad, ACT Entertainment variants are available on A Max-1050, A Max-1299, ACT Incredible and ACT GIGA. In Chennai, the ACT Entertainment variants are available on ACT Blast Promo, ACT Storm, ACT Lightning, ACT Thunder, ACT Incredible and ACT GIGA. Similarly, in Delhi, the ACT Entertainment variants are available on ACT Platinum Promo, and ACT Diamond broadband plans.

Are you planning to retire? Well! If you do, you must have known by now that retirement has not been a cakewalk for you. You’ve had to undergo a lot of responsible planning. And, those that are far from retiring now must know the importance of responsible planning right at this moment!

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You must know how much to save for retirement in order to secure your life at old age. Retirement means no cash flow from our place of employment. Hence, the only source of income comes from your investment instruments. For instance, if you have had mutual funds investment in place, you can spend your old age reading your favorite novels at home or traveling to places day in and day out. So, needless to say, the best investment plan, i.e. mutual funds investment, can help you keep your financial flows steady even after retirement.

Why is it important to look for better investment plans/opportunities for attaining good returns on your retirement investment?

You must remember that your retirement funds comprise of what you invest and what you earn as a result of the investment. It is extremely crucial as it forms the base of most of your decisions post retirement. However, as far as investments and savings are concerned, you should start early, even when it comes to your retirement period. This is mainly because if you start early, you will reach a stage when your earnings from those investments will exceed the total amount of investments simultaneously.

This is what your goal should be. A lot of you might think that the interest received on mutual funds investment is not even as high as 10 per cent so how is it even possible for the returns to exceed the invested amount? That is when the power of compounding comes to play. Even when you start small, over the years, the returns keep accumulating and start getting more weightage when compared to the principal fund. That is also when your investment itself starts saving for you. That is the place you want to reach but it is only possible when your time horizon exceeds 10-15 years. But again, this break-even point depends on various factors like the rate of return applicable in the said situation, your income growth trajectory, your life cycle and how diligently you stick by your saving plan.

People who are serious about investing their funds might also be confused about where they should park their funds. Here’s what you should do so as to invest in mutual fund based on risk parameters

  1. For people with low risk profile, invest [100 per cent ~ 15 per cent – your age] per cent of your funds in equity and the rest in fixed income instruments.
  2. For people who have a medium risk profile, the best option for them is to invest [100 per cent – their age] per cent of their funds in equity and the rest in fixed income avenues.
  3. For people who are okay to be associated with high risk instruments, invest [100 per cent + 10 per cent – age] percent in equity and the rest in fixed income avenues.

These fixed instruments can be Senior Citizen Saving Scheme, PMVVY Pension Scheme, Ultra Short Term Debt Mutual Fund or Fixed Income Debt Mutual Funds.

How and why should one consider mutual fund investment as an avenue for retirement planning?

Now, there are quite a few people who are confused as to how they should start investing in Mutual Funds. Keep the following things in mind while looking for the best mutual funds to invest in.

  1. Start investing at an early age. Do not wait to turn 35 years. Start when you reach 25~26 years of age. This will help you reach the breakeven point early.
  2. Understand various things like your expectation, your risk temperament, your income trajectory etc. before you narrow down on the funds.
  3. Diverse funds help as they help in spreading the risks over a variety of market instruments. Not only that, because different instruments react differently to the ups and downs of the market, it is advised to have a diversified portfolio of top mutual funds.
  4. Understand that re-balancing your portfolio must be done or even considered only when there are major changes taking place. These changes can be in terms of fund mandate alterations, asset management company acquisition etc. Hence, do try and understand the market scenarios once in a while.

Even though retirement can be a major phase of your life, you can make it a peaceful one by planning well in advance. If you’re not sure yet, you can also seek assistance from an online retirement calculator, and get an idea about how much to save for your retirement. Lastly, Mutual Funds are a definite option that you must consider when you are looking for a profitable investment avenue. Explore the best mutual funds offered by IndiaBulls without any further delay!

As per the legal norms, every two-wheeler must be insured against the third party liability. In India, the majority of the population are preferring two-wheelers for commuting due to the increased efficiency of the vehicles, low cost of maintenance and the convenience they provide. Along with the third party insurance, also vehicle owners should opt for comprehensive insurance so as to have full coverage of the driver and the pillion as well.

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Now, with the increasing Insurance companies and stringency for laws, awareness among people for buying a two-wheeler insurance policy is also increasing. The process of purchasing insurance policies has also become convenient. People can sit at home, compare two wheeler insurance policies of different companies and buy two wheeler insurance online without any hassle.

Sometimes, it happens that people are ignorant about the rates of premium and taxes etc. resulting in high expenditure while purchasing insurances and also at the time of their renewal. Mostly this happens in case of bike insurance. Bike Insurance is usually done by the young masses in our country and since they are inexperienced they sometimes fall prey to expensive insurance. It is always better to buy two wheeler insurance online to ensure you buy a good policy.

Reasons for expensive two-wheeler Insurance

  • Inexperienced vehicle riders – This happens in the case of bike insurance. Youngsters are inexperienced and hence insurers do not find them trustworthy for insurance. Hence, the cost of insurance rises for the bike riders.
  • Unsatisfactory driving records – If you are having not so good driving records, then the Insurance Companies charge more from you.
  • Wrong selection of vehicle – If you are ensuring an exotic vehicle with a very complex machine, then it implies very exotic Insurance rates as well.
  • Paying for unwanted coveragesSometimes, you are unaware or not so clear about your needs and end up taking additional coverages and add-ons. These bring a rise in Insurance premium as well.

Seven easy tips to bring down the cost of two-wheeler insurance

  1. Preference for an annual payment of premiumInstead of going for monthly installments for paying a premium, the vehicle owners should opt for annual payment of premium. If opting to pay annually, you might be offered with certain discounts and offers which in turn reduces your insurance cost.
  2. Small claims should be avoidedEvery Insurance company provides the offer to claim the NCB i.e. No-claim bonus only when no claims have been made throughout the year. So, by avoiding small claims throughout the year you can claim a lucrative bonus at the end of the year.
  3. Wise purchase of add-onsSelection of add-ons should be made wisely. Comprehensive Insurance policy offers along with it several add-ons like the Personal accident cover, Roadside assistance coverage, Daily cash allowance cover etc. So, it is advisable that instead of purchasing all the add-ons that are available you should select the ones which you need.
  4. Selection of the right coverage typeSelection of the right coverage type is essential in order to bring down the Insurance cost. Third party coverage or the comprehensive policy, you can choose according to your requirements. If you are a regular rider then you can opt for a comprehensive policy which offers full coverage. On the contrary, if you are an occasional rider then third-party coverage will be adequate for you.
  5. Comparison of plans before buyingWith all the Insurance policy activities happening online i.e. from the purchase of policies to renewal, claims etc. it has become a convenient affair. Before purchasing, you can compare two-wheeler insurance online and then depending upon the benefits, offers, your requirements etc. you can select the policy. This will avoid the high cost of insurance.
  6. On-time policy renewalYour insurance policy should not lapse. It needs timely renewal. You should remember the dates of renewal and accordingly, complete the renewal process. Renewal procedure has been made easier by online methods nowadays and can be done easily without any inconvenience. If the policy lapses then all acquired benefits will also go with it.
  7. Multi-year Renewal policyYou can choose Multi-year insurance renewal policy over Annual renewal policy because it does not have the limitation of remembering the renewal dates, once renewed the vehicle is secured for 3 years. Since it’s a long term payment you tend to get discounts and also avoid the annual hike on premium.

Hence, if you compare two-wheeler insurance online and do proper research before purchasing your policies then definitely you will be able to get economic two-wheeler Insurance policies.

Talking about urgent monetary requirements, personal loans are the best fit for you. However, there might be moments when the getting personal loans become difficult because of the documentations required for the same. A fastest personal loan lender might as well take 5~10 days in the approval of the loan.

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In that case, what if your monetary requirements are urgent and you do not have the time to wait for the loan to get approved by the lender? Loans on credit card can be the solution for the existing trouble of finances on urgent terms. These loans are similar to personal loans but without any kind of documentation and delay as in the case of personal loans. There are many credit card issuing banks who offer loans on credit card.

Interest rate for loans on credit cards

If you are thinking that these loans are just similar to the cash withdrawal facility that your credit card provides then you are wrong. Different from the credit card withdrawal facility, you can get a loan on your credit card for the interest rate that is higher than a personal loan. While a personal loan charges an interest rate between 18%~22% from the borrowers, these cash withdrawal on your credit will charge you the interest rate ranging between, 25%~40%.

Further, loans on credit card are not available to anyone. Those who possess a credit card with high rate of credit can get these loans. So, if you have been using your credit card from quite some time now and are regular in paying off your credit card debts, then it might easy for you to avail these loans.

Loan on credit cards

Many of the banks like HDFC, ICICI and Standard Chartered bank offer loans on credit card to their customers. If you are in a dire need for money with no adequate time to indulge the cumbersome process of documentation, you can opt to apply for these types of loans. For the first step, you should get in touch with your credit card issuing bank about whether it offers the facility of loan on credit card.

If your bank offers the facility, the next step involves that whether you are eligible for the loan or not. In case your bank tells you that you are eligible to avail the loan, you must next ask for what might be the maximum amount of money that you can take home if you get approved for the same. The amount that you can take out will be depending on your credit history, credit card and type of card that you currently have.

While taking out this type of loan, your bank will conduct a strict check on your repayment transactions as undertaken by you in order to finally approve you as the appropriate borrower.

Jio Cricket Play Along initiative has won the ‘Best Use of Mobile Marketing‘ award at the prestigious Global Mobile [GLOMO] Awards 2019 at MWC19 Barcelona. The other nominees for this award included Buyapowa and SMARTY for SMARTY, Dialog Axiata for Dialog Mega Run Mobile Marketing Platform, China Mobile Yunnan & Huawei for Yunnan Touring by One Mobile Phone, and Voyager Innovations for Freenet’s Freeniversaya.

Jio Cricket Play Along is an experiential marketing campaign that let users experience cricket on TV and Mobile simultaneously in a real time and interactive manner. The GLOMO Awards recognize and celebrate the best of the best, highlighting the technologies, products, companies and individuals that are pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and innovation to create a better future.

Speaking about the award to Jio Cricket Play Along, the judges said

This checked all the boxes to qualify for extreme success through a mobile marketing and advertising initiative. When you add up all the intelligent planning and execution, it is no wonder that millions played and 19 advertisers enjoyed the benefits of this progressive and fun platform.

Jio Cricket Play Along brought people together to celebrate the most loved sport in the country by turning spectators into participants, getting India closer to Cricket, their favourite teams and players. This award is testimony to the success of the highly engaging experience that this initiative presented for cricket fans on their mobile phones.

The concept to blend cricket which is the most popular game in India with an interactive and immersive mobile application was well embraced by Indian viewers with over 100 million unique participation and millions of hours of engagement on the platform.

Trading today is a lot faster than it used to be. Back in the day, you would actually have to reach out to a person, talk to him or her, and place your trade. Needless to say, this process took a fair bit of time. This was pretty much the only way to trade back in those days. Now however, things have changed. Because of advancements in technology, you have access to platforms that have resulted in immense ease when it comes to trading. Gone are the days when you would have to pick up the phone, and actually call someone to place a trade. These days, most of it is done online!

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While many facets of technology have resulted in the world of trading becoming easier and more accessible to large number of people, perhaps the biggest game-changer has been the ability to trade using a mobile phone. Mobile phones have truly changed our world – they have paved the way for us to track news instantaneously, stay connected with someone pretty much anywhere in the world, and even help us from remote locations. It is this mobility and access that has also paved the way for us to trade on the go with the help of apps made specifically for that very purpose. While there are indeed a plethora of apps available, one of the apps that is very popular with traders these days is the trading app by Edelweiss Wealth Management called ‘Edelweiss Mobile Trader.’

Why Edelweiss Mobile Trader

The first thing is that it is free – there’s no catch here folks, you don’t actually pay for using the app, per se. Yes, there is commission or brokerage charges involved only if you trade, but these are minimal and not something you would hear anyone complain about. In addition to trading, you can check live news, i.e., news about the market and all things related to it in real time. That is something that will help you keep an eye on the major developments faster than you can track the same on TV!

You can also get details on the best performing mutual funds and information about the global markets in addition to in depth analysis of equity and commodity markets through detailed insights. Some of these insights include items such as like 52-week high stocks, 52-week low stocks, FII DII flow, top gainers & top losers in the stock market, etc. You also get access to a dedicated research calls section that provides list of stocks that you can invest in. These research calls are based on thorough analysis done by the experts at Edelweiss who have extensive experience in evaluating investments. It also provides recommendations concerning stock picks, mutual funds, and a ton of other investment avenues.

In many ways, this app has pretty much all that anyone in the world of investing would want. The rich feature set and the ease of use of the app means that anyone using it can control all his or her investments or trades from the tips of their fingers! What more do you want!

App is available on Android & iOS. Download the app by clicking here