This is what makes Amitabh Bachchan the hot brand that he is, even at 75

Even as he turns 75 today, Amitabh Bachchan is one of the richest actors and one of the most in-demand endorsers in Bollywood


Everyone is looking for the Don — the original one in Bollywood. And that is with good reason. In the fickle business of stardom, Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 75 today, has managed to remain relevant, anchoring Kaun Banega Crorepati, starring in films, and endorsing products.

Currently, he is one of the busiest actors in the country. After he is done shooting for KBC for Sony TV, he will be on the sets of 102 Not Out — a feature film in which he plays Rishi Kapoor’s father. It is expected to hit the screens next year. According to the latest Forbes’ list of richest actors in the country, he is ranked nine, with earnings of $9 million. This puts him ahead of Ranbir Kapoor (earning $8.5 million). He is the only one on the list above 60 years of age.

While his last film Sarkar 3 (2017) bombed, producers believe he can still hit the jackpot if the content of a film is good, such as Piku (2015) or Pink (2016). That’s the reason he still commands an attractive fee of Rs 7-10 crore per film, according to analysts.

Age is no impediment to his work as an endorser, either. Bachchan is the first choice for many corporate brands and also for governments looking to push social messages. Currently, he endorses 10 brands — ranging from inner wear (Lux Cozi), mobile phones (One Plus), jewellery (Kalyan Jewellers), air conditioners (LLoyd), to e-commerce sites (Just Dial), to name a few.

Bachchan is also the brand ambassador for the goods and services tax.

Companies are happy to fork out Rs 2 crore a day (most companies generally hire him for three to five days), because they know his magic will work. So what makes him tick at 75, when most stars are content with a Lifetime Achievement Award? (He has already got the coveted Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.)

Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, one of the leading advertising firms in the country, said, “He (Bachchan) brings two key elements to the brand: Statesmanship and maturity through his iconic status, which no other cricket or Bollywood celebrity can match. He brings credibility to the brand. Read More


No firecrackers in Delhi-NCR this Diwali as SC bans sale until Nov 1

The bench said they wanted to see the impact of a cracker-free festivity at least in one Diwali

Photo: Shutterstock

Latest Current Affairs : The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that there will be no sale of firecrackers during Diwali, as it restored a November 2016 order banning the sale of firecrackers and stocking of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region.

A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, while restoring the order, said: “We should see at least in one Diwali the impact of a cracker-free festivity.”

However, the court said that the September 12, 2017 order lifting the ban on the sale and stocking of firecrackers in Delhi NCR will be back into effect from November 1.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie: A mid-range smartphone with good dual front cameras

Priced at Rs 14,999, the phone is superb for selfie lovers, but its overall performance and battery disappoint


The concept of front camera in phones dates back to the time when mobile phone makers were toying with the idea of internet-enabled devices with video call features. But the front camera’s journey has come a long way since: What used to be a video camera with pixelated output is now much more advanced and packed with robust features to meet millennials’ growing demand for tools that help them stay updated on social media platforms.

Taiwanese electronics giant Asus is among the smartphone makers that have taken the front camera game very seriously and are innovating to make it even better. With the announcement of the Zenfone 4 Selfie series, the company has brought to the table two smartphones with dual selfie cameras – the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro and Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (dual camera). Also announced recently was an entry-level smartphone with software-based enhancements for the front camera.

Business Standard reviewed the dual-front-camera variant of the Zenfone 4 Selfie to test its camera capabilities, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Row over Amit Shah’s son: Rs 100-cr defamation suit and 10 developments

The Congress, CPI(M), and the AAP have sought an inquiry into allegations against Jay Shah

A political storm hit the Narendra Modi-led government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a news website reported that a company run by party chief Amit Shah’s son, Jay Amit Shah, recorded a 16,000-times increase in turnover in only a year after Modi became the Prime Minister and the senior Shah the party president. In a statement that the BJP released on Sunday evening, Jay said he would be filing civil and criminal defamation cases against the news website’s owners, editor, and the author of the article in Ahmedabad, where he runs his business, and sue them for Rs 100 crore in damages.
The Congress, CPI-M, and the AAP on Sunday sought an inquiry into allegations against Jay Shah and a company linked to him. (Read all about the political storm kicked up by the report on Amit Shah’s son.
Responding to the article, the BJP rubbished the allegations and Jay Shah issued a statement saying the article carried by the website, The Wire, had made “false, derogatory and defamatory imputations” against him. (Read more about how BJP responded to the article)
These developments came over a report, written by Rohini Singh in The Wire, detailing the growth of Jay Shah’s company, Temple Enterprise Private Ltd, from revenues of Rs 50,000 in 2014-15 to Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16.
The controversy comes at a politically significant moment with election to the Gujarat Assembly barely 60 days away, and the winter session of Parliament scheduled to start in the first half of November.
Here are the top 10 developments
1) Shah Jr accuses website, author of defamation: Jay Shah on Sunday refuted the story alleging that his private business rose to an astronomical level after the BJP came to power at the Centre and called it “false and derogatory”. In a press statement issued hours after the website, The Wire, released the story, Jay Shah said: “The article makes false, derogatory and defamatory imputation against me by creating in the minds of right-thinking people an impression that my business owes its ‘success’ to my father Shri Amitbhai Shah’s political position.”

Are self-driving cars the future of mobility for disabled people?

Self-driving cars present fundamentally new ways to think about transportation and accessibility


Self Driving Cars could revolutionise how disabled people get around their communities and even travel far from home. People who can’t see well or with physical or mental difficulties that prevent them from driving safely often rely on others – or local government or nonprofit agencies – to help them get around.

Autonomous vehicle technology on its own is not enough to help these people become more independent, but simultaneous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can enable these vehicles to understand spoken instructions, observe nearby surroundings and communicate with people. Together, these technologies can provide independent mobility with practical assistance that is specialized for each user’s abilities and needs.

Also Read : Here’s what the Nobel Prize tells us about the state of economics

A lot of the necessary technology already exists, at least in preliminary forms. Google has asked a blind person to test its autonomous vehicles. And Microsoft recently released an app called “Seeing AI” that helps visually impaired people better sense and understand the world around them. “Seeing AI” uses machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision to understand the world and describe it in words to the user.

In the lab I run at Texas A&M, along with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, we are developing protocols and algorithms for people with and without disabilities and autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other in words, sound and on electronic displays. Our self-driving shuttle has given rides to 124 people, totaling 60 miles of travel. We are finding that this type of service would be more helpful than current transportation options for disabled people. Read More

Darjeeling unrest: Mob chases West Bengal BJP chief, beats up party workers

An angry Ghosh claimed that ‘goons were deployed’ to disturb the meeting

A day after the Jana Andolan Party activists protested against his visit in Kalimpong, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh was on Thursday heckled, his party workers were roughed up and his meeting had to be aborted midway in hill town Darjeeling.
An angry Ghosh claimed that “goons were deployed” to disturb the meeting, and blamed the Binoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for “roughing up” BJP activists. He also hinted that the instigation for the “attacks” could have come from “Kolkata” in an indication to the Mamata Banerjee government.
There were two incidents of protest against the BJP leader, who was first shown black flags and ‘go back’ posters by another hill-based outfit Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) on his way to Darjeeling.
Later, there were protests and demonstrations at the Bijoya Sammilani which he attanded in Darjeeling, forcing the organisers to cancel the function.
Television grab showed Ghosh being abused and heckled, BJP activists being beaten up amid shouts of “go back” on the road outside the function venue.
“Our meeting was attacked by goons who were drunk. Our people were beaten up. So we had to stop our meeting. On the road outside without any provocation, they chased our men and beat them up. Some of them (BJP activists) were bloodied. These are hired goons sent to create trouble. These are the same goons who have fomented unrest in the hills for three months,” said Ghosh….Read more

Forbes India rich list: Ambani richest with $38 bn net worth, Premji 2nd

Mukesh Ambani remains India’s wealthiest with a net worth of $38 bn, Azim Premji distant second


Latest Current Affairs : Indeed, even as the nation is confronting financial hiccups and the administration confronting reactions from different quarters over its treatment of the economy, the wealthiest individuals in India don’t appear to be influenced. Despite organizations confronting troubles in the consequence of the administration’s demonetisation of high-esteem cash last November and its rollout of the products and enterprises assess (GST) administration in July this year, India’s 100 wealthiest big shots have seen their joined total assets zooming to an incredible $479 billion, up 26 for each penny from $374 billion out of 2016.

As per the Forbes‘ yearly rundown of India’s 100 wealthiest big shots, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani remains the nation’s wealthiest, with a total assets of $38 billion, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji is a far off second on the rundown with precisely a large portion of the riches. His total assets remains at $19 billion.

Here are the top 10 richest Indians by net worth on Forbes annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons: