Yoga: A Plus Size Woman’s Answer to Body Shaming, Trolls

Image result for Yoga: A Plus Size Woman's Answer to Body Shaming, TrollsMumbai: A plus-sized Indian woman is challenging body stereotypes and defying internet trolls with a series of yoga videos that are proving a hit on social media.

Thirty-four-year-old Dolly Singh has gained something of a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves.

To say ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight,’ I don’t believe that,” Singh tells AFP after completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park.

Four years ago a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm), weighed almost 90 kilograms (198 pounds) at the time.

She got a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but grew bored of running so she signed up for something she’d never done before — yoga.

“The first class I was thinking ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’ After two or three class I realised people were looking at me and thinking ‘Oh my god she can do this’. My body had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.”

Singh, who works for a TV channel in India’s financial capital, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online.

“We all have different bodies and if my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she explains, laughing.

“I’m a big busted person and if the teacher isn’t how are they going to understand that when I’m doing a Halasana (plough pose) I’m almost choking to death!”

Singh started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips of her yoga poses on Instagram.


‘Online trolls’

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from foreigners at first but then from Indian women saying that Singh was an inspiration to them.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by some people saying they would feel alienated in a room full of perfect yoga bodies, how they would feel that everyone is watching them.

“There’s an idea of not showing your body if you’re big bodied. You’re supposed to hide everything because its not appealing or it’s not something people like to see but that’s just something that’s been sold to us,” she insists.

The response hasn’t all been positive however. Singh says she has been the victim of body shaming online.

“Indian men have not been encouraging at all. There are a lot of people who write very nasty comments. They would say something like ‘You’re just a fat blob, you look just like an elephant or bear, or you’re unfit or it’s because you’re eating so much food.

“I completely ignore these things. You can’t fight internet trolls. I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”

Singh, who currently weighs 73 kg, says she will continue trying to sell “a more positive body image” and “challenge notions of fitness and beauty”.

“I’m not aiming to have this thin figure but I am aiming to have a beautiful flow and make my body strong through yoga,” she says, smiling.


Delhi High Court dismisses plea challenging NEET 2016 answer keys

Delhi High Court dismisses plea challenging NEET 2016 answer keys

It seems like the confusions, paper leak and other issues will continue to hover over the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) conducted this year.

In a recent statement, while rejecting the a petition challenging the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) answer keys released on August 8, the High Court of Delhi said that it cannot review answer keys prepared by subject experts.

Who filed the petition?

  • The petition was filed by Sagar Sanjeev Dua challenging the answers of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to five questions of NEET
  • Students who appeared for the examination earlier pointed out three questions, two under the Chemistry section and one under the Biology section, that are allegedly marked wrongly in the answer key
  • While commenting on the answer keys, Rajesh Jain, from the Parents’ Association for Medical Students (PAMS), in recent HT report said, “A student is awarded four marks for every correct answer and a negative mark for every wrong one. Looking at the bulk of students who have pointed out the same mistakes, looks like CBSE will have to take this into consideration”
  • Students are hoping for a positive reaction from the authorities, Rajesh Jain added

Details of the judgment:

  • While speaking in this case, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that it cannot take over the task of correcting the answer set as they are prepared by independent subject experts
  • “In view of the above, I am not inclined to exercise powers under Article 226 of the Constitution and to examine the questions and the answer key set by the respondents (CBSE and others) and even to return a prima facie finding that the contention of the petitioner (that) the answers given by the petitioner are correct or the answers given by the respondents are incorrect,” Justice Sachdeva added
  • “The question paper is from physics, chemistry and biology. For a court to assess and examine even, prima facie, whether the answers are correct or incorrect, would be beyond the competence of a court, which may not be an expert in the said subjects,” the bench said

Further, the court said, the information bulletin for NEET-2016 also specified that there was no provision for rejecting or re-evaluating the answer sheets.

Not only this, the court also cited a judgement of the Supreme Court where it was mentioned that the court cannot take upon itself the task of statutory authorities and is not permitted to take upon itself the task of examiner and examine the discrepancies in the question paper and evaluation process.


370 teachers err in correcting Gujarat board exam answer sheets

Representational image

A shocking figure of 370 board evaluators, who purportedly marked the answer sheets of class 10 and 12 wrong, came into the knowledge of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).  Last year, 180 teachers were caught using flawed concept, however the number is double this year.

Precautions taken by GSHSEB:

  • Having deciphered 180 teachers with illicit manner of correction, the board refrained the 180 teachers from checking this year
  • But, despite keeping them barred and reforming the evaluation system this year, the board rectified double number of teachers repeating the same mistake
  • Also, the board has introduced another pattern to select the teachers for correction. Every teachers is scaled out of 100 points on the basis of her qualification and experience

For instance:

Per year teaching experience: one point

Graduation: 10 points

Post-graduation: five points

Graduate training: 10 points

MEd/MPhil: five points

Teachers must not have more 35 years of experience.
“The identification of such evaluators is almost complete. This will be followed by issuing notices to them for a hearing,” confirmed GSHSEB deputy chairman R R Thakkar.

Why are teachers taking the job lightly?

  • There is no stringent way to punish the mistake
  • A teacher will be penalized for about Rs 100 or 500 maximum for committing 10-mark errors in correction
  • The committee has been overlooking the following errors:
    • Totaling mistakes
    • Awarding marks
    • Wrong entry

“We have ignored a difference of one or two marks in tallying and data entry, but identified major blunders like answers or portions not evaluated, completely ignoring duplication of answers and awarding marks, wrong entry of marks reflecting major differences and even major discrepancies error in totaling,” revealed a senior board official.


RRB NTPC 2016 updated answer keys to out in September or October: Official report

RRB NTPC 2016 updated answer keys to out in September or October: Official report

he Railway Recruitment Board (RRB)-Allahabad has released an official notification regarding release of updated answer keys and response on the regional websites.

As per the notice, the same will be released in the month of September or October this year.

Also, the result will therefore, be declared in October only.

The Indian Railways will announce the RRB result 2016 in a region-wise break-up, while the marks will be displayed post-wise, even expected cutoff marks.

In December 2015, the Railway Recruitment Board released an advertisement for filling up 18,252 posts under Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC).

Approximately, 93 lakh candidates had applied for the vacancies out of which 56 lakh candidates were shortlisted for the online examination.

How to check the notice:

  • Log on to the official website
  • Click on the relevant link
  • Download the PDF
  • All the candidates are requested to take a printout of the same

Further, the Railway Recruitment Board will conduct the second stage i.e. Computer Based Test (CBT) for various NTPC (graduate) category.

Those candidates, who will qualified the first stage, that is, exams held from March 28 to May 3, 2016, will be called for the second examination.

However, the final selection of the candidates will be done on the basis of merit position that they have scored in the second stage CBT and/or result of aptitude test/ typing skill test wherever applicable.

The second stage CBT is likely to include questions pertaining to general awareness, arithmetic, general intelligence and reasoning. The duration of the second stage CBT will be of 90 minutes covering 120 multiple choice objective questions.

The dates of the second stage examination will be out only after the release of the answer keys and result.


RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims 2016: Official answer key released at

RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims 2016: Official answer key

The official answer key of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS/RTS) combined computer (Pre) examination 2016 has been released. All those candidates who have appeared for the same are required to check their results at the official website,  .

The exam was successfully conducted by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) on August 28, 2016 from 10 am to 1 pm. The commission had earlier invited applications for recruitment of 725 posts under state and subordinate services.

The selection of the candidates is done on the basis of these exams:

  • Preliminary exam
  • Mains exam

Only those candidates who have qualified in the preliminary exam will be appearing for the mains exam.

(Read: SBI Clerk Mains Results 2016: To be declared today at

Steps to check the answer key:

  • Log on to the official website:
  • Under the “News and Events” section, click on the link “Answer key for RAS/RTS Comb. Comp. (PRE) Exam – 2016”
  • On the new page the answer key will be displayed in a PDF format
  • Download the same and take a print out for future reference

In case, the candidates have any objections regarding the answers, they can raise their queries on the official website from August 31, 2016 to September 2, 2016 midnight.

About RPSC

The Public Service Commission (PSC), Rajasthan is an organisation that works under the government of Bihar to recruit staff for various posts in various ministries and departments, and in subordinate offices. The commission also conducts examinations for the recruitment in various departments of the state.


UPSC Civil Services prelims exam 2016: Check out the unofficial answer keys

Check out the unofficial answer keys of Civil Services prelims 2016

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had conducted the Civil Service (Preliminary exams) on August 7.

The exam consisting of two papers was held in two parts. Part I of the paper began at 9:30 am whereas, Part II commenced at 2:30 pm.

The answer key provided by the ETEN IAS KSG experts can be viewed below:

Answer Key (Paper I)

Answer Key (Paper II)


Paper pattern:

Paper I was based on general studies and Paper II was an aptitude test. Both the papers consisted of 200 objective type questions, carrying 1 mark each. The question papers were set both in English and Hindi.

Number of attempts:

Candidates belonging to general and OBC category will get only six attempts to clear the examination. However, for candidates belonging to Schedule Cast (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST), the number of attempts policy of the commission will not apply.

There are three levels of this exam, namely Preliminary exam, main exam and personality test or interview. Only after clearing all the three rounds, the candidates will be eligible for the posts of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and others.

When the results to be out?

The results are expected to be declared in the last week of October on the official website,

Date for Mains examination

The Union Public Service Commission is scheduled to conduct the Mains examination on December 3.

About UPSC:

Union Public Service Commission works under the government of India to recruit staff for various posts in the various ministries and departments of the Government of India and in subordinate offices. The commission also conducts examinations for the recruitment in various government departments of the country.

Source: The Answer Keys for the Civil services Prelims 2016  Exam -Paper 1  & Paper 2  have been developed by the renowned faculty of ETEN IAS KSG. ETEN IAS KSG is strategic alliance between ETEN IAS, Pearson India’s satellite technology based coaching network for Civil Services aspirants and the Khan Study Group (KSG).

[“source -cncb”]

Is your dividend plan on track? Answer these 4 questions

Dividend stocks tend to outperform when the stock market is uncertain. It’s been true historically, and it’s been the case again in 2016. There’s safety in stocks that have had strong balance sheets and reward shareholders with regular cash payments.

Case in point: The S&P 500 is down 6 percent this year, trailing by a wide margin the S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index (-1 percent) and S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, which is flat.

“It’s a very uncertain market, and you don’t know where returns will come from, but you can expect they will be lackluster,” said Neena Mishra, director of ETF research at Zacks Investment Research. “For sure, investors will be better off to get some dividends and high-quality companies with a history of cash on the balance sheet,” she said.


Zimmytws | Getty Images

The Federal Reserve may still talk about raising rates this year, but rates don’t seem likely to go up as far or as fast as the market once assumed. That means the argument that dividend-rich sectors would become less attractive relative to rates doesn’t have much weight behind it, especially since many classic dividend stock niches are also “flight to safety” sectors. Wondering why utility stocks are actually up 6 percent this year amid the stock market rout? There’s your answer.

When the markets are a mess, dividend stocks need to be on the radar of investors, experts said. And with global growth slowing, C-suites don’t have much to offer investors to get their stocks moving up beyond cash reward programs: Look at Apple’s recent bond offering, taking advantage of the low rates and ability to use bond proceeds to increase dividend payments.

“The market believes there will not be a rate hike or just one, and dividends have been outperforming based on that belief,” Mishra said.

Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar, said that these type of companies typically have strong, steady earnings and a clean balance sheet. “They’re profitable and healthy,” he said. “And they have a sustainable competitive advantage to keep competitors at bay.” It’s become apparent to investors that dividend investments, including ETFs, have been resilient in “what has been a brutal downdraft for equities.” He added: “This is their time to shine.”

If you’re already a dividend investor, it’s time to check that your approach is set correctly. If you’ve been neglecting dividends, it’s time to consider a plan.

Here are four questions to make sure you make the most of dividend investing.

1. Is it better to buy individual dividend-rich stocks or dividend funds and ETFs?

The best way to answer this question is by looking at the overall size of your investment portfolio, said Charles Sizemore, a financial advisor at Sizemore Capital Management in Dallas. “If your portfolio is a few tens of thousands of dollars, just buy an ETF or a few ETFs and be done,” he said. “ETFs will pay a decent yield, and the risk is so low. If you own a dividend stock or two and they blow up, it can sink your entire plan.”

Sizemore said only investors with several hundred thousands of dollars should be picking individual dividend stocks.

The ETFs are a low-cost, diversified way to own dividend-paying companies of all stripes, Morningstar’s Johnson said.

“For the vast majority of investors, one steady, high-quality, core low-cost U.S. equity income fund is more than sufficient,” he said.

Either way, it is important to remember that an ETF, even one with a high yield, is not a bond investment. “Dividend-growth ETFs can bounce around a lot,” Sizemore said. “These are stocks, not bonds.” But most of the ETFs in this category are focused on holdings that “have survived Armageddon. So they’re a valid way to play dividend growth,” he added.

2. What sets dividend stocks and funds apart is the yield, but is absolute yield the most important factor in selecting a dividend investment?

Yes, yield is what distinguishes dividend stocks, but the further an investor stretches for income through high-yield ETFs implies “a sacrifice of quality,” Johnson said.

The Morningstar ETF expert said it is important not to look at yield in isolation. “Yield is market-dependent,” he said, referring to the fact that as a stock declines in value, a yield will increase. But it’s more important to look at the stability of the cash-flow stream of a company. Consider the energy sector, where yields have been going up as stock prices go down, but cash flow is not safe, given the sector free fall amid low oil prices.

It is more important to see cash flow growing over time rather than yield in isolation, Johnson said. Investors do want to see a yield that is steadily growing at a pace that outstrips inflation.

Johnson also provides a handy study of maximum drawdown in dividend ETFs — it provides investors with a sense of what a worst-case scenario would look like for various ETFs if they had declining dividends.

“See how their dividend stocks performed in the last recession,” Sizemore said. “Yield by itself is relevant, but not the most relevant.”

The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) is a Morningstar favorite. It tracks an index composed mostly of large companies that have raised their dividends for at least 10 straight years. And most of the 179 holdings aren’t the usual dividend-heavy stocks, like REITs or utilities. Stocks include consumer goods and industrial stocks, which can plug into economic recovery. The expense ratio is only 0.10 percent.

“This Vanguard ETF has great dividend growth,” Sizemore said. “You’re buying a portfolio of bullet-proof companies that have increased dividends consistently.”

“The market believes there will not be a rate hike or just one, and dividends have been outperforming based on that belief.”-Neena Mishra, director of ETF research at Zacks Investment Research

3. Does the length of years a stock has been paying dividends, and maybe increasing them, matter in selecting a dividend investment?

Reliability of cash flow and dividends over a number of years is essential, but how many years, exactly? This could be the most important question when it comes to choosing a dividend ETF, specifically.

The Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD) is another favorite of ETF experts. It tracks companies that have raised dividends for at least a decade. It’s also a low-cost ETF, with a fee of only 0.07 percent. “The less fees you pay, the better,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ.

But more important in this case may be the fact that the Schwab ETF gets 20 percent of its exposure from the tech sector, Rosenbluth said. He owns stocks like Microsoft and Intel, while also holding more traditional dividend sectors, such as industrials.

Sizemore said S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index, the basis for a ProShares ETF (NOBL), only includes stocks with a 25-year history of raising dividends. While that means the dividends are “close to bulletproof,” the downside is investors don’t get the tech-sector names like Apple or even Microsoft, which have emerged as some of the fastest-growing dividend payers.

“You’re getting a core of old consumer staples and old industrials that have been around forever,” Sizemore said. “It’s not bad, but those stocks are kind of expensive.” In his view, with the stock market in the latter stages of a bull market run, sectors like consumer staples aren’t trading at prices that Sizemore sees as being a good entry point. “I don’t want to overload on these sectors,” he added. “They won’t have to cut dividends, but the problem is, the stock prices aren’t that compelling.”

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), which tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Index, tracks a benchmark that holds the highest-yielding companies that have increased their dividends for at least two decades. Nearly a quarter of the ETF’s 99 holdings are financial stocks, and it has much fewer technology stocks.

But length of years tracked can be deceiving: A shorter dividend history as a basis for an ETF doesn’t always mean more tech. The iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO) was just launched last year. Its benchmark index shoots for stocks with at least five years of straight dividend growth and high payout ratios. Top holdings include Microsoft and GE. But Sizemore said even though it’s limiting its holdings to the past five years of dividend history, “you’re not getting the fastest-growing companies.”

Tech represents 13 percent of this ETF. “The ETF has a low expense ratio of 0.12 percent, and it’s pretty diversified,” Mishra of Zacks Investment Research said.

Vanguard’s VIG ETF also has 13 percent exposure to tech and Microsoft as its top holding, but a 10-year requirement for dividend payment history.

Overall, “10 years is a nice round number,” Sizemore said. “As an investor, you can figure that in any 10-year window, the companies have seen one recession. Clearly, it takes a high-quality company with substantial staying power and cash flow to generate and grow a dividend over 25 years, but what an investor also might miss out on is emerging dividend players.”

Sizemore said for “gobs and gobs of cash flow being returned to shareholders, it’s been tech in the past five or so years.”

4. The energy sector has been great for dividends, yet more dividend cuts from energy companies are coming. Will it be a huge drag on dividend income indexes and funds that are benchmarked to them?

Energy is the most vulnerable sector to big dividend cuts. In the past week alone, two big U.S. oil and gas companies, ConocoPhillips andAnadarko Petroleum, slashed dividends.

Johnson said not all dividend ETFs are created equal, and energy-sector exposure is of particular concern, given the “meaningful cuts” to blue chips in the energy space. “Every eye is on ExxonMobil now,” he said.

But he added that most of the core dividend ETFs do not have enough sector exposure to energy for the cuts within the sector to be a serious red flag for ETF investors. Vanguard’s VIG has 1 percent exposure, while ProShares NOBL ETF has 3.8 percent exposure,

“If the energy sector is 1 percent of a high-quality dividend ETF, it won’t move the needle,” Johnson said. “And it would have to be much greater than 6 or 7 percent also.”
[“source -pcworld”]