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CSC launches campaign to promote use of electric vehicles in rural areas

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20 (ANI): The government’s Common Services Centre (CSC) scheme has launched a rural e-mobility campaign urging people to switch to electric vehicles and preserve the environment by reducing carbon footprint.
The CSC scheme is a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and IT. It aims to set up more than one lakh IT-enabled access points under a public-private partnership model.
“The programme at 100 CSCs will enable people to acquire e-scooters and e-rickshaws in rural and semi-urban areas,” said CSC Managing Director Dinesh Tyagi.
“Various e-vehicles manufacturers and financial institutions have been roped in to offer loans on affordable interest rates,” he said adding efforts are also being made to set up charging infrastructure at CSCs.
The e-mobility programme will contribute to economic growth in rural areas and generate employment opportunities across the country, said Tyagi. (ANI)

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Global container shipping rates high but unsustainable: Fitch

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London [UK], February 26 (ANI): Global container shipping companies’ performance will be strong in 2021 after a profitable 2020, according to Fitch Ratings.
Spot freight rates will remain high in the short term which will flow through to contracted rates for 2021. However, Fitch said the current rates are unsustainable in the medium term as the sector is susceptible to rate volatility and risks of weak economic recovery and trade protectionism, requiring constant prudent capacity management.
A combination of rebounding demand for goods in 2H 2020, supply chain disruptions — like container box shortages and port congestion — and more strategic capacity management drove container freight rates up, especially on the routes from China to Europe and the United States.
Shipping one 40-foot container from China to Europe or the US West Coast now costs over 8,000 dollars and 4,000 dollars respectively from well below 2,000 dollars a year ago.
Trade volume recovery was fuelled by a change in consumer spending habits during the pandemic — ordering more manufactured goods while saving by spending less on services like leisure and restaurants. It was further supported by inventory re-stocking by businesses that faced acute supply chain disruptions and increased demand for personal protective equipment.
Total volumes shipped from Asia to North America exceeded 2019 levels by over 7 per cent in 2020. A decline in volumes on the Asia Europe route by about 5 per cent in 2020 indicates a growth potential in 2021 as demand recovers.
Container box shortages and port congestions due to pandemic-related operational disruptions have extended container ships’ turnaround times, further increasing freight rates. A usually quiet period during the Chinese New Year could have eased some congestion but demand remained strong as China maintained its production levels.
Fitch said the ongoing virus outbreaks in many regions and mobility restrictions are likely to keep freight rates abnormally high in the short term. These higher-than-usual spot rates will translate into higher contract freight rates in the ongoing spring contracting season.
“However, we view rate volatility as an inherent sector risk and we expect rates to reduce once supply disruptions related to the pandemic are addressed.”
Although container shipping companies performed strongly during the pandemic, Fitch said the current shipping rates are unsustainable and expect them to moderate in the medium term once supply chain disruptions ease as the industry is highly competitive.
The sector remains subject to risks of geopolitical tensions and trade protectionism, uncertainty about economic recovery paths in different regions, as well as ESG-driven initiatives like IMO 2020 and other emission regulations. (ANI)

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Masterpiece for the purist: The new BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler launched in India

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Gurugram (Haryana) [India], February 26 (ANI/BusinessWire India): BMW Motorrad India has launched the new BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler in India. Available as completely built-up units (CBU), the motorcycles can be booked at all BMW Motorrad India dealerships from today onwards.
“The new BMW R nineT and the new BMW R nineT Scrambler are an expression of a timeless motorcycling culture that celebrates pure riding, sportiness and yet absolutely stands apart in its design and appeal. Deriving its charm from the past, it delivers ultimate riding pleasure of today. We are delighted to add yet another exciting new facet to the BMW Motorrad heritage world of experience in India, one that inspires nostalgia among enthusiasts to this day,” said Vikram Pawah, President BMW Group India.
The new BMW R nineT is a classic roadster that embodies the passion and innovation of over 90 years of motorcycle design, with high-quality materials and careful workmanship in the smallest details. Its iconic boxer engine now blends in even better with the original proportions and unleashes power over the asphalt with its improved torque curve.
The new BMW R nineT Scrambler revives the Scrambler era in a very special way. It has everything that defines this motorcycle type, filled with a very distinct spirit. It is created for motorcycle fans who love things that are purist, reduced to the essentials and non-conformist combined with the technology and quality of a BMW.
The ex-showroom prices are as follows –
The new BMW R nineT- Rs 18,50,000
The new BMW R nineT Scrambler- Rs 16,75,000
Prices prevailing at the time of invoicing will be applicable. Delivery will be made ex-showroom. Ex-showroom price (inclusive of GST and compensation cess) as applicable but excludes Road Tax, RTO statutory taxes/fees, other local tax/cess levies and insurance. Prices and options are subject to change without prior notice. For further information, please contact your local authorized BMW Motorrad Dealer.
The new BMW R nineT will be available in the following colors: Blackstorm Metallic/Brushed Aluminium, Option 719 Aluminium, Mineral White Metallic/Aurum and Night Black Matt/Aluminium Matt.
The new BMW R nineT Scrambler will be available in the following colors: Granite Gray Metallic, Cosmic Blue Metallic/Light White, Black Storm Metallic/Racing Red and Kalamata Metallic Matt
The new BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler will be sold and serviced through the premium dealer network of BMW Motorrad that is present across important centres in India including Delhi (Lutyens Motorrad), Mumbai (Navnit Motors), Pune (Bavaria Motors), Chennai (KUN Motorrad), Bengaluru (Tusker Motorrad), Ahmedabad (Gallops Autohaus), Kochi (EVM Autokraft), Hyderabad (JSP Motorrad), Indore (Munich Motors), Lucknow (Speed Motors), Chandigarh (Krishna Automobiles), Jaipur (Pratap Motorrad), Raipur (Mandhan Motors), Cuttack (OSL Prestige) and Ranchi (Titanium Autos).
For complete peace of mind, BMW Motorrad bikes come with a standard warranty for ‘three years, unlimited kilometers. The warranty can be extended to fourth and fifth year at an additional cost. Road Side Assistance, a 24×7 365 days package further ensures prompt services in case of breakdown and towing situations.
An exclusive range of accessories and lifestyle merchandise for the new BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler can be purchased from BMW Motorrad dealerships.
The new BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler.
The design of the new BMW R nineT models follows the principle of reduction to the essentials. This classic approach used in designing the R nineT models unmistakably takes inspiration from motorsports heritage.
The classic appearance is complemented by the newly designed circular instrument with analogue speedometer display and integrated indicator lights, housed in a high-quality metal casing and bearing the BMW logo. The models now have state-of-the-art LED headlamp including daytime running light.
The BMW R nineT and BMW R nineT Scrambler enthrall riders with an unmistakable and authentic design, powerful torque and unique, throaty sound. They have a powerful 1,170 cc air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder four-stroke engine with DOHC cylinder head, four valves and two camshafts and shaft drive. With an output of 109 Hp at 7,520 rpm and a maximum torque of 119 Nm at 6,000 rpm, the engine is an ideal partner for dynamic riding pleasure. The motorcycles accelerate from 0 – 100 km/hr in just 3.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 200 km/hr.
The motorcycles feature two standard riding modes – ‘Rain’ and ‘Road’ to suit individual rider preferences. In ‘Rain’ mode, a gentle throttle response combined with sensitive control of the Automatic Stability Control (ASC) ensures increased safety when accelerating in slippery road conditions such as on a wet road surface. In the ‘Road’ riding mode, the throttle response is balanced, and ASC control is geared towards dry and non-slip road conditions.
Secure deceleration is ensured by 4-piston brake calipers at the front, along with floating ABS Pro including Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and a new suspension strut with travel-dependent damping (WAD) now comes as standard. ABS Pro in combination with DBC increases safety when braking – at banking angles as well as in difficult situations. Standard features also include a new shock absorber with WAD, providing enhanced suspension comfort and convenient adjustment of the spring preload via a hand wheel.
Internet: www.bmw-motorrad.in
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BMWMotorradIN/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BMWMotorrad_IN
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCz9St6Kvq2uk-BbaWV15mA
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmwmotorrad_IN/
To View the Specification Sheets Click on the Links Below:
BMW R nineT Specification Sheet- https://cms.businesswireindia.com/Uploads/news-multimedia/documents/BMWRnineTSpecificationSheet_71755.pdf
BMW R nineT Scrambler Specification Sheet- https://cms.businesswireindia.com/Uploads/news-multimedia/documents/BMWRnineTScramblerSpecificationSheet_71755.pdf
This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

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Sunrise Technical Education Promotional Society bags ASSOCHAM 14th National Education Award 2021

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI/BusinessWire India): ASSOCHAM, a 100-year-old leading, largest and Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India. It initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920.
Having in its fold more than 250 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving more than 4,50,000 members from all over India. It has witnessed upswings as well as upheavals of Indian Economy, and contributed significantly by playing a catalytic role in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country.
Today, ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the technology-driven cyber age of ‘Knowledge Based Economy’. ASSOCHAM is seen as a forceful, proactive, forward-looking institution equipping itself to meet the aspirations of the Indian Education Sector to make the Indian Institutions compete globally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at ASSOCHAM Foundation Week 2020.
Addressing the gathering the Prime Minister commended the business community for their contribution to nation-building. The prime minister said that now the industry has complete freedom to touch the sky and urged them to take full advantage of it, put their full strength in the coming years for a self-reliant India.
The New Education Policy 2020 has already instilled a lot of hopes among all stakeholders in the education sector for a turnaround. The academic organization and the industries must work in a mission mode to revamp the educational architecture in tune with the requirements of the 21st Century to make India a leading nation in the field of education.
In the light of above, ASSOCHAM Education Council had organized a Summit (virtual) from 18-20th February 2021. The Summit was inaugurated by honorable HRD Minister – Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank”. The Summit was attended by Senior Educationists, Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Principals, Deans, Directors and Promoters of many Government and Private Universities, Institutions, Colleges, Edtech startups and Students from across the Nation.
The ASSOCHAM 14th National Education Summit nurtured an atmosphere of excellence and quality in the institutions that groom future leaders and felicitated those who had significantly contributed for society in terms of Education. The winners were felicitated by Vinay Prabhakar Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament of India. He is also serving as National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party. A renowned political scholar, Sahasrabuddhe is currently the President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations by the President of India.
Sunrise Technical Education Promotional Society (STEPS) was awarded as “Excellence in Promoting Education for Social Cause”. Dr Nameesh Miglani, General Secretary – Sunrise Technical Education Promotional Society received the award on behalf of the Society.
Dr Miglani while receiving the coveted award reiterated that the accreditation process under the NEP shall be a blessing in disguise for promoting healthy competition amongst HEIs, open flood gates for national and international upgradation of quality education, ensure opening of foreign campuses, and above all, pave the way for India’s Atamnirbhar on several fronts.
In order to assist and guide the vast network of HEIs in holistic quality improvements, a group of educationists and researchers pooled their expertise and resources and formed Sunrise Technical Education Promotional Society (STEPS) in 2004. The No profit no loss Society is registered under Societies Registration Act. Having impanelled principal consultants, senior consultants and consultants from a host of reputed government institutions, departments, universities and industry.
STEPS provide mentorship to beneficiaries in matters:
* Curricular development
* Establishing new institutions
* Faculty development programs
* Research and development
* Accreditations and Ranking etc.
It has been deputing its expert teams to conduct SWOC analysis and groom the faculty to create an in-house facility for periodic analysis. One of its core strengths is in the field of curricular development in the formulation, execution and review of PEOs, Cos and PO attainments through different rubric methods. It has also been actively engaged in conducting FDPs and Workshops for the faculty in vast domains such as quality sensitization, pedagogical training, and outcome-based education etc. As regard R&D, it facilitates in organizing workshops to inculcate research culture, patent development and RIFD projects.
STEPs also mentors in the accreditation process by providing inputs in foolproof preparation of documents, reducing gaps to achieve comfortable scores and faculty training to face real-time peer team visit. Another inherent strength of the Society lies in assisting potential institutions to establish new institutes by guiding and assisting them in formation of society/trust/company thereby strictly complying with regulatory requirements. During last 16 years, there has been phenomenal progress of society.
STEPS presence is visible in more than 16 States. It has mentored more than 170 institutes in the accreditation process. It has facilitated in the formation of five new universities and 21 institutions. Besides, it has conducted more than 220 FDPs and workshops to about 25000 world-class faculty for competing onslaught of the market economy. To conclude, STEPs is committed in its mission of upholding quality enhancement standards and in turn has received greater acceptability and indelible impression of quality assurance from HEIs.
This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

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Hindustan Times Media Ventures buys minority stake as part of strategic investment in podcast company Hubhopper

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI/Hubhopper): Delhi-based podcast hosting, creation and distribution company Hubhopper has raised an undisclosed amount as strategic investment from Hindustan Times Media Ventures.
Earlier, Hubhopper had raised over USD 500k across several rounds of investment from angel investors and institutional investors, including ITI Growth Opportunities Fund, Unit-E Ventures, and more.
Hubhopper will use the funds to continue growing the podcast ecosystem in India by democratising and empowering Indian creators with tools and technologies to create, host, launch, distribute, analyze and monetize their podcasts and audio content.
Further, they will continue to grow their products and podcast distribution network of over 50 plus partners and integrations — currently including the likes of Samsung, Spotify, Gaana, Wynk, Paytm, PhonePe, Karbonn, Indus OS, and more.
The deal comes at a time when tech and media giants, both in India and globally, are doubling down to own a piece of India’s rapidly growing podcast market. Just earlier in November 2020, Tencent backed Pratilipi had acquired podcast firm IVM Podcasts — moving towards the consolidation of the podcast space in India, a first of many moves and alliances to come.
Globally, this alliance comes at a time of incredible fervour and activity across the podcast landscape that has been witnessed over the past 18 months, with events including audio streaming giant Spotify acquiring a host of podcast houses and platforms, including Gimlet Media, Parcast, Megaphone, and Anchor.
On the other hand, Amazon has placed its bets in the podcast market by purchasing 4-year-old podcast network Wondery and Sirius XM has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy podcasting companies Stitcher and Simplecast. Most recently social media giant Twitter has entered the fray, acquiring podcast platform Breaker.
“Audio is an incredibly special medium. It’s more language, literacy and capital agnostic than its contemporaries and has a special place in the hearts and lives Indian people. Hubhopper’s endeavor along with HT is to continue to champion this community and democratise podcasting for all. We have only scratched the tip of this ice-berg,” said Gautam Raj Anand – Founder, Hubhopper.
“Hubhopper has always endeavored to make audio creation and consumption accessible through robust and innovative technology platforms. This strategic partnership between HT Media and Hubhopper marks a turning point in the development of India’s podcast landscape. We look forward to together bringing this incredible medium of digital audio to every creator and consumer in India,” said Nishant Kumar – Head of Partnerships, Hubhopper.
This story is provided by Hubhopper. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/ Hubhopper)

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Aditya Birla Health Insurance introduces India’s first health insurance plan with up to 100 percent return on premium

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI/NewsVoir): Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Ltd. (ABHICL), the Health Insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, a significant non-banking financial services company, today announced an industry-first initiative of up to 100 per cent health insurance premium returns and other significant product offering upgrades.
The newly designed version of its flagship product ‘Activ Health’ will inspire customers to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The Activ Health policy is a feature-rich product that provides comprehensive health protection with extensive wellness benefits. Aditya Birla Health Insurance is the only insurance company offering up to 100 per cent premium returns, i.e. HealthReturnsTM, rewards and up to 100 per cent reload of Sum Insured through its enhanced version of ‘Activ Health’ policy.
The consumer is rewarded through a cash-equivalent which can be used for either health-related expenses like buying medicines, paying for diagnostic tests, day care treatment, out-patient expenses (OPD), and alternative treatments (which are traditionally excluded), or most importantly can be used towards the payment of future premium.
The plan allows the wellness ecosystem to be easily accessed by people without exclusivity. Going forth with the holistic health approach, Activ Health plan also offers coverage for mental illness counselling, unlimited Homeopathy telemedicine, day care treatments, modern and advance treatment methods, Day 1 coverage for chronic illnesses; for all customers, and more.
One can become their healthiest version by tracking their health, accessing the details of their health insurance, and availing health care services through the Activ Health app. Customers can also earn their HealthReturnsTM by working out with the workout videos available through the Activ Health app.
Key Features of enhanced Activ Health include
* India’s first health insurance plan rewarding consumers up to 100% of their health insurance premium as HealthReturnsTM – maximise earnings by leading a healthy life.
* Asia’s first ever health insurance plan offering mental illness counselling coverage.
* Industry-first plan to cover unlimited homeopathy telemedicine.
* For those who have a chronic condition or develop (automatic upgrade at no extra cost)
* Day 1 cover for Chronic illnesses like Asthma, High Blood Pressure, High cholesterol and Diabetes
* Get OPD benefits, doctor consultations and guidance from experts to improve health condition as part of the Chronic management program
* Double Sum Insured in 2 claim-free years – earn 50 per cent No Claim Bonus for every claim-free year – max up to 100 per cent of Sum insured.
* Access to an expert health coach for Medical, Nutritional, Mental & Fitness, Mental Counselling session, Homeopathy teleconsultation – this is a great benefit as it covers medical, nutrition, homeopathy, etc.
* In-Patient hospitalisation and Home treatment expenses will cover conditions like chemotherapy, Dengue, COVID-19 and more.
* Cover for modern and advanced treatment methods like stem cell therapy, oral chemotherapy and more, post hospitalisation expenses for physiotherapy, hospitalisation for mental illnesses, obesity treatment and dental consultations and investigations.
Optional features include
* International Coverage for Major Illnesses – cashless hospitalisation for critical illnesses for treatment abroad
* In-built international cashless treatment covered for up to Rs 3 to 6 crore
“As a pioneer of the wellness ecosystem in health insurance and an enabler of holistic healthcare choices, ABHI has consistently encouraged policyholders to stay active and healthy and taken efforts to provide comprehensive care to its customers. We have designed the ‘Activ Health’ policy to meet the evolving needs of the customers and to promote a sustainable healthy lifestyle. We are introducing, an industry-first initiative of up to 100 per cent HealthReturnsTM through our incentive based health and wellness program under Activ Health policy. The details of your Activ Health policy can be easily viewed on the Activ Health app along with earning your HealthReturnsTM. This offering is more than just a health insurance, it provides access to sustainable wellness practices while serving the ‘health anxious’ and the ‘health-conscious’ who want to venture beyond ‘reactive care’,” said Mayank Bathwal, CEO at Aditya Birla Health Insurance, while detailing the product features.
This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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India’s food-tech start-ups adding exciting new flavors to home-cooking business

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI/SRV Media): An entire section of working professionals, students and even senior citizens are dependent on home food service providers for their daily meals, more so in a post-pandemic world.
Open any community Facebook group and you would encounter requests seeking home-made meals on a regular basis. Ordering from restaurants has definitely been on an upward trend, but increasingly people are averse to eating from restaurants, majorly due to health and hygiene reasons, not to mention the hole it burns in your pocket!
This is where Happy Food Technologies, a Bengaluru based food-tech start-up, saw an opportunity. They created a network of home-chefs and brought them onto a digital marketplace called ‘MyKhaana’ (www.mykhaana.in) on which users can order home-cooked meals from any homechef and get home-delivery within 60 minutes.
“I moved from Mumbai to Bangalore and I wasn’t able to adjust to southern-style food served at my hostel. My pocket money wasn’t enough for me to order from Zomato or Swiggy on a daily basis. Discovering MyKhaana was a blessing. I now regularly order rajma chawal, aloo parantha and other authentic dishes from Punjabi homechefs. My parents are relieved that I am eating home-made food and not binging on junk!” said Aashna Malik, a student studying in Bangalore.
MyKhaana is making their mark as an everyday consumer brand, which everybody identifies with. This keeps their home chefs happy with orders and more importantly, with encouraging reviews that follow.
“MyKhaana takes away the entire hassle of managing a business, and the homechef can concentrate on cooking! We handle the listing, packaging, delivery and marketing on behalf of the homechef”, said Shriya Khanna, Co-Founder of Happy Food Technologies who quit her job after a decade long corporate stint with world’s largest FMCG company.
“It was my long-time dream to serve my special dishes to a wider audience, of course I did not have the resources, nor the business acumen to open my own restaurant or cloud kitchen. With MyKhaana I could realize a long-lost dream. I am not on MyKhaana for money. When I receive good feedback from a customer, I feel blessed”, said Sushma, who was one of the first KitchenStars to be onboarded with MyKhaana in Bangalore.
MyKhaana as a concept holds strong merit. Anywhere between Rs 10-20 lakh of capital is required to set up a cloud kitchen. With MyKhaana, you can start utilizing your home kitchen and the homechef can start earning immediately, with zero investment. Naturally, this cost benefit gets passed on to the end consumer.
“Cloud kitchens have flourished over the past few years but we realized that homechefs should be given a personality that resonates with the users. Users should get to know more about the person cooking food for them and the regional specialties that they can serve. Our home chefs are not just good chefs, for us they are KitchenStars, we give them a profile page and make them likeable. That is what users appreciate. Users are assured of the fact that homechefs will be cooking with the same ingredients they use for their family. This works like a quality assurance mechanism for us,” said Satej Salvi, the Co-Founder and business brain at Happy Food Technologies.
After an encouraging response in Bangalore which predominantly has a migrant population staying away from their home location, MyKhaana plans to launch its services across major cities in the country. Further, MyKhaana plans to expand into all things home-made. “We plan to get home made savories, bakery items, pickles and papads on MyKhaana. These products have been made at home for generations before they got commercialized, and we lost the authentic taste and charm. We aim to get back such flavors of India. What best to use the collective effort of home chefs who also would get recognition in the process. The quintessential ‘dadi ke haath ka khaana’ is never available in restaurants. We want to bring back that experience.”
India’s food-tech space was already heated up and companies like Happy Food Technologies are adding more flavors to the home-food market. Users can indeed look forward to new, richer food experiences, this time from talented home-chefs on platforms like MyKhaana (www.mykhaana.in).
This story is provided by SRV Media. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/SRV Media)

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