Horoscope Today: January 24, 2022 | Vogue India




See what the stars have in store for your sign.






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It’s been a long and lonely road, Scorpio. A long and lonely road of meeting and greeting your shadows. But, you managed to power through it all and transmute your wounds into wisdom. What the cards want you to know is that you’ve made it to the other side of the turbulence, and are on your way to feeling whole and complete again. Gemini, when our schedules get demanding as they usually do, it’s always self-care that goes out of the window first. Could this be true in your case too? Are you struggling to maintain that work-life balance that everybody talks about? Today, the cards are advising you to start small and keep it simple. Incorporate a 30-45 minute workout to begin with. Virgo, the retrograde season has been all kinds of chaotic for you. It’s made you question your sanity too. But, that’s only because you have been resisting what the Universe has been trying to show you. So, drop your defences, beautiful. Become one with the rhythm and flow. Once you start dancing the dance of life, you’ll find that everything begins to flow towards you.

 





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Spending Tips For Consumers In 2022 – Forbes Advisor INDIA


2020 was an unforgettable chapter of uncertainty and 2021 became the year of change for businesses and consumers. Today, consumers are more hesitant and cautious about their spending habits but are also ready to move on and adjust according to the changing times.

In any crisis, consumer spending shifts to value and essentials. 2020 witnessed a catastrophic cut back on spending habits, but 2022 may tell you a different story.

Economic pundits have predicted that Indian consumers will spend more in 2022. The International Monetary Fund has projected 9.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for India this fiscal year. In its most recent macro outlook 2022 note, Goldman Sachs revised its projection upwards for the GDP to 9.1%, from an earlier estimate of 8%. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Quarterly Industry Review states India’s GDP is set to grow by 8.5% in 2022.

Here are trends that are set to dictate consumer spending in 2022 and tips to help you make your experience better.

Travel Less, But Travel Better

Despite the uncertainty, the travel and hospitality industry is buzzing with confidence. The sector is trying to stay positive by drawing inspiration from returning tourists and backpackers.

This season, people who might have restricted themselves from going out due to the pandemic can visit restaurants, pubs, and shopping malls. But they will be cautious and prioritise their safety while engaging with outdoor experiences. The brave traveller will be more aware and doesn’t mind paying extra for new experiences.

The tip here is to make sure you are getting the maximum joy when you do choose an experience for yourself and your friends or family. Make sure it’s an adventure. Make sure it gives you more peace and more life experience all rolled in one.

Choose Durable Goods: Quality Over Quantity

The shift in lifestyle during and after the lockdown, increasing product awareness and digital access are directly responsible for the surge in demand for consumer durables like electronics and appliances.

People today are choosing technologically-advanced and intelligent products that positively impact their lives and allow them to multi-task. Surprisingly, the demand for premium products is not limited to metro cities. Tier-II and Tier-III cities contributed more to fuel this growth. Not to forget, the global semiconductor crisis is still ongoing. Prices of durable goods are high and might increase further.

People from metros are also migrating back to their hometowns to work-from-home and they want technology that can help them stay connected, keep them entertained, and engaged.

Most importantly, consumers will spend money to solve problems as they look for better, faster, and innovative ways to complete their daily tasks and buy products to do so regardless of the price tag.

If you are one of those cautious consumers who doesn’t mind going premium then the tip for you would be to do your research and make sure you are buying a high quality product that meets your needs, even if it’s going to be slightly above the budget now, to save up on servicing costs during the appliances life.

Turn to Uplifting Products and Experiences

According to a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India survey, Indians are focused on saving for the future and want to spend on experiences and goods or physical possessions. Robust vaccination drives and an uptick in positive consumer sentiments are the primary reasons for this shift.

Workplaces are opening up, multiplexes are seeing increasing footfall, and people are moving outdoors to abandon their virtual life. New consumers armed with new behaviours will be more willing to experiment with new experiences.

Forrester predicts that in 2022 consumers will turn to uplifting, pleasing products and experiences that offer a reprieve from the fatigue of ongoing uncertainty. Consumers are upgrading their in-home technology and have higher expectations of their digital experiences.

The pandemic also encouraged more people to shop online and stay credit-prepared, directly pushing the demand for Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services. Easy instalments, quick loan disbursal, and zero interest attracted more consumers to the BNPL services. Consumers with tight finances also welcomed BNPL services for fulfilling their daily spends and instantaneous experiences.

The tip here is that you must do your research for experiences at locations nearest to you. Start small, and then start to plan big. Find pleasing experiences like a pottery class or a class to learn how to invest in stocks.

Prioritize Personal Mobility

According to a recent MX survey, transport expenses have increased significantly for individuals in the post-Covid era due to intermittent yet consistent increases in fuel costs and rising cab fares. However, this had a negligible impact on consumption and usage.

Today, Indians are more concerned about their health and safety. People are more aware of products and more interested in advanced features. The same applies to personal vehicles too.

Car consumers in India are keener about features that will keep them safe while driving. Technologies like Hill Assist and Traction Control are a few sought after requirements of an average Indian customer. We are moving beyond the age-old question: What is the mileage?

In the meantime, increasing demand and supply constraints for vehicles have given rise to the used vehicle sector. This sector is powered by the daily value-conscious commuter who wants to avoid the ownership costs or doesn’t like the long waiting period.

It’s safe to say that consumers are adapting to the changing times, but they also want their needs to be fulfilled immediately. The changing times dictate that we are moving slowly to sustainable means of travel as well.

The tip here is to prioritize personal mobility that is green and works to progress our collective being as a responsible society.

Adopt Subscription Models

Do you remember the number of apps you subscribed to during the lockdown? How many do you still use today? A lot of people don’t revisit the apps after the first few weeks of downloading it. Subscriptions are often associated with over the top (OTT) platforms, but today, many subscription models can take care of your travel, groceries, daily needs, health, among others.

According to a report by Bain & Company, the e-retail market is expected to grow to $120–140 billion by FY26, increasing at approximately 25-30 per cent per annum over the next five years.

We as a race have now spent a lot of time indoors during the lockdown and constantly were looking for services or phone apps to keep us busy, upskilled, and provide us with necessities. People of all ages grew to prefer convenience, customisation, and a curated experience. These factors pushed the demand for subscription-based services, and here we are, still looking for more.

According to a global report by EY, ownership no longer confers status. There’s growing interest in products and services that can be kept in circulation longer through rental, subscription, or resale.

Our tip is to make sure you clean your phone regularly, try and see what is relevant to you every month and see whether there are any new ways to upskill using the platforms of your choice.

Choose Health and Wellness

A recent report by NITI Aayog said that India’s healthcare sector is expected to reach $372 billion in 2022, registering a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 22% since 2016, more so with the pandemic opening up several opportunities.

Indian consumers are now open to virtual consultations and ordering medicines online without hesitation. Of course, since Covid-19 has already changed attitudes towards personal health, hygiene, insurance, and fitness. The average conscious Indian is going to spend to counter unexpected pandemic-type situations.

The tip here is that you must invest in healthy food options, one step at a time. Buying supplements for everyday use and natural remedies are much better to overall health and wellness than only taking action when you are sick. Choosing to really observe and find the right place to get your groceries and food will help in the long run as well.

Bottom Line

The year 2022 is set to help people revive their hopes and be optimistic. A direct implication of this would be consumer interest in travelling, dining at restaurants and spending on durable goods, thus paving the road to an economic recovery.

Smart ways of spending could help you use your money wisely and also explore ways to maintain a financial corpus for emergency use during unexpected events.



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Horoscope Today: January 21, 2022 | Vogue India




See what the stars have in store for your sign






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Reality is so goddamn boring. Today, you’re in the mood for some interdimensional travel. You’re feeling inspired to jump through portals and discover magical realms. Having a vivid imagination will prove to be a gift at this time, Taurus. If you’re waiting for somebody to tell you that you deserve to shine, that you deserve to dream big and own your place under the spotlight, you’re going to be waiting a long time, Aries. You’re being called to affirm your own power and potential. To remind yourself that you are capable of achieving the impossible. Scorpio, there’s no perfect time to book a one-way ticket, make a grand declaration, sign up for a course you love, change your style or make a bold decision that will affect the course of the rest of your life. You just have to trust your instinct and jump right in. Something tells us you’re in the mood to make radical changes and that no force in the world can hold you back at this moment!

 





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COVID-19: An India travel in the time of Omicron


denver
A lone traveller waits with his baggage in the terminal of Denver International Airport on December 24, 2021. More than 200 flights were cancelled by carriers out of Denver International because COVID-19 issues have created a shortage of workers.
Image Credit: AP

Blues gloves! That caught my attention. I looked up and saw a green mask. An N95 mask, and it sat atop a pale blue surgical mask on a tired face. The passenger who sat across the aisle was fully geared for the flight in the time of Omicron. A bit too overcautious, I thought.

I wouldn’t blame him for being too vigilant. Especially given the rapid pace at which Omicron, the newest coronavirus variant, has been spreading COVID-19 infections worldwide.

While the number of cases has spiked alarmingly, experts tell us that the severity of Omicron infections has been mild. Hospitalisations have been few — only for people with underlying health conditions — and deaths rare.

Masks: N95, K95 or a cloth mask

So I felt secure behind my K95 mask. I wore surgical masks throughout my two-week trip to India and only slipped into the K95 mask at the airport. That’s because airports are enclosed spaces teeming with people, and I was travelling at a peak holiday season. A surgical mask would suffice, but a K95 was my way of upping the safety precautions.

Cloth masks, in fancy styles and bright colours, are popular in India. But I avoided them simply because surgical masks do a better job of keeping out the virus. Pointy N95 masks in various hues also seemed popular in Kerala, but I wasn’t sure of their efficacy because they looked very different from the N95s I’ve seen. Are they genuine N95 masks? I wondered. Anyway, I would leave the N95s to the medical professionals. They need them the most.

Two years after COVID-19 disrupted our lives, we seemed to have learned to live with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus. The holiday season was perhaps the best indicator of how we overcame our travel fears. And it was my first trip since 2019.

Negotiating RT-PCT tests

True, there were inconveniences. But much of these stemmed from the measures to ensure the safety of travellers. So no complaints.

A lingering COVID threat meant RT-PCR tests were mandatory. Flying out of the UAE was easy with one test, but I went through three tests in 48 hours while returning. My nostrils might be a bit sore, but I’m relieved to have returned without an infection.

I have had several tests in the UAE last year and have even developed a PCR test routine to reduce the discomfort. But none of that prepared me for the tests ahead of my return. A throat swab was followed by samples from my nostrils; it felt like the technician was keen to find that elusive virus. It was awkward, but I understand that these frontline workers are leaving nothing to chance. It’s their diligence that gives us the confidence to travel.

Travelling in the new year is always tricky. Airports are packed with travellers, and flights are often delayed. With several delayed flights arriving around the same time, the scramble at the baggage carousel is scary.

I was lucky. At least I got home. Never mind the five-hour wait to catch the flight and two hours to pick up the bags. Think of the people who were booked on the 3,800 flights cancelled on Sunday (January 2).That’s travel in the time of Omicron.

We have seen off most of the variants, so Omicron too shall pass. Let’s mask up and follow the safety protocols. Go ahead and wear blue gloves if it makes you feel safe. After all, our safety is in our hands. Safe travels.



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Horoscope Today: December 27, 2021 | Vogue India




See what the stars have in store for your sign






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Oh, what a year it has been! What a year it has been, Virgo! Today, you’re being called to look into the rearview mirror and gauge your progress. Take a moment to understand the methods that have and haven’t worked, because making the same mistake twice does *not* look good on you. Monday finds you getting your groove on, hustling hard, and calling all the right opportunities into your yard, Scorpio. It’s true that there have been some losses lately. It’s also true that not everything is going as per your plan. But, with ‘lemons to lemonade’ as your mantra, you managed to pull through *and* experience some breakthroughs too! 





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Singapore and India resume two-way air vaccinated travel lane


On 30 November, Singapore was put on a list of territories considered by India to be at high risk of Covid-19 infections, which meant travellers flying from Singapore to India had to take Covid-19 tests and serve a seven-day quarantine after arriving in India from 1 December.

On 9 December, India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) removed Singapore from the list. After resuming the two-way air vaccinated travel lane (VTL), travellers from Singapore to India must still monitor their health after their arrival. Additionally, a random sample of 2% of travellers must undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival in India, according to MOHFW guidance (1-page / 374KB PDF).

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, said: “Travellers should be alert and keep themselves updated on changes to the travel requirements of the relevant countries.”

The VTL arrangements allow travellers who are fully vaccinated to enter Singapore without quarantine, provided that they undergo Covid-19 testing before departure and upon arrival at Changi airport. From 6 December, travellers must take supervised daily antigen rapid tests (ART) for a week after they arrive in Singapore.

Singapore launched its VTL with India on 29 November. There are currently six designated VTL flights to Singapore daily from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.



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India Travel Restrictions: Indian states that have imposed travel restrictions amid Omicron scare


Indian states that have imposed travel restrictions amid Omicron scare

Indian states that have imposed travel restrictions amid Omicron scare

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 has triggered waves of fear all across the world. It’s not only numerous countries that have implemented new travel rules, but several Indian states have also annou…





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Nepal Travel Restrictions: Nepal not to allow third country nationals to travel to India via rail


Nepal not to allow third country nationals to travel to India via rail

As per the latest news reports, Nepal will not be allowing people from third countries to travel to India by rail via the Kurtha-Jayanagar railroad. This move comes after Indian officials expressed security concerns, which was also confirmed by a senior official of the Department of Railways.

Referring to this, the Director General of the Department of Railways Deepak Kumar Bhattarai stated, “This was agreed while finalising the Standard Operating Procedure (SPA) for cross-border railway operation.” The SPA is a document that outlines the procedures that are to be adopted while operating the railway service. Reports have it that India and Nepal signed the SPA in New Delhi last month.

As per the Director General of the Department of Railways, India’s security concern was one of the reasons why it took so long to finalise the SPA. Reportedly, with India and Nepal sharing a porous border, India has always been cautious about the possibility of miscreants using the porous border to cause harm to India. And reportedly, both sides have suffered a lot from cross-border crimes over the last several years.

Further, Bhattarai added that Nepal will now notify India regarding passengers on board to make sure that the security is cleared at the border point. He added that based on the ticket issued, they will then send details of passengers travelling to India.

However, although the SPA has already been finalised, it is still not clear when the railway service will start, as the Nepal Government is yet to introduce a law on railway service and the Nepal Railway Company is yet to hire staff to operate the service.





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India issues travel advisory for international travellers under the age of 5 years


India issues travel advisory for international travellers under the age of 5 years

India has now issued fresh guidelines for international travellers. As per the latest travel update, children under 5 years of age will be exempted from both pre-and-post-arrival testing.

However, as per the reports, if anyone found symptomatic for COVID-19 during home quarantine period or on arrival, they will have to undergo treatment and testing as per the protocol.

As per the COVID-19 protocols that are laid out by the Indian Government, all passengers will have to wear masks properly, and cover their mouth and nose, throughout the travel. And if anybody found violating the protocols inside the aircraft, will be deboarded and will not be allowed to travel.

Referring to this, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar stated that the government is working towards the resumption of scheduled flights.

While addressing the media, India’s External Affairs Minister added that they are moving towards resumption of scheduled flights. Reports have it that earlier this week, India also sent out a request to the UAE to end mandatory rapid PCR testing requirements for entry.

The India’s Ministry of Home Affairs further held a meeting recently to discuss the removal of mandatory rapid PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers going to countries in the Middle East, especially the UAE. As per the travel rules in place, travellers are required to take a rapid PCR test six hours before their departure from any Indian airport.

The UAE has put this rule in place for passengers from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Nigeria.





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IndiGo, MakeMyTrip Launch Air Charter Services From India to Phuket Starting THIS Month


New Delhi: Online travel major MakeMyTrip and India’s largest airlines IndiGo have launched air charter holiday services to Phuket, Thailand, reports the livemint. Together, the two said they plan to make travelling to the holiday island easier since Phuket continues to remain closed for direct flyers from India.Also Read – International Travel: Foreign Citizens of THESE Countries Seek US-Approved Covid Vaccines as Borders Reopen From Monday

MakeMyTrip said this will be an industry-first and will be available to book starting early December 2021 for selected dates. The charter holiday packages will offer end-to-end travel services, including airport transfers, Thailand Pass application assistance (a web-based system for travellers to fill in their travel, and health information); early check-in and check-out at premium properties, travel insurance, and return RT-PCR assistance, the company added. Also Read – Domestic Flights: IndiGo to Start Ahmedabad-Ranchi Flights From Nov 10; Check Details Here

“Over the past few quarters our focus has been to build product and services that help make travel during the pandemic easy, safe and convenient. Indian travellers have been waiting to travel to popular south Asian leisure destinations. We want to bring more destinations within reach,” Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer, MakeMyTrip, was quoted as saying by the mint.  The packages would start at about ₹40,000, he said. Also Read – Australia Safe to Travel to as The Country Fully Inoculates 80 Percent of Adult Population

“We have witnessed an increased demand for leisure travel and this will offer a unique opportunity for Indian travellers to celebrate the festivities in style,” Sanjay Kumar, chief commercial and strategy officer at IndiGo added. Almost two million Indians visited Thailand in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the mint report.





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