How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

MHRD accepts Justice Reddy Committee Recommendations on open, distance education programmes

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

New Delhi: The central government has accepted the Justice Reddy Committee recommendations regarding the Distance Education Programmes being run in the country by various universities. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a three members Committee after the Supreme Court directed it to constitute a three members Committee to examine the issues related to distance education in the country and also to suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues.

The court has ordered to constitute the committee comprising of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level.

Now, the Ministry has notified following instructions to all the stakeholders based on the recommendations of the Justice Reddy Committee on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Courses:

1. The list of approved courses offered under ODL mode, institution – wise every year is available on UGC website at

2. No course, other than the one that finds place in the list referred to above, would be recognized and a candidate who studies unrecognized courses cannot claim any benefit.

3. Under no circumstances, retrospective or ex-post facto recognition to any course through ODL mode shall be granted by UGC.

4. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are required to comply with all the provisions of the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments. If any deviation by the HEI is noticed, the same would entail not only withdrawal of permission/ recognition for such ODL courses but also for other courses offered by the institutions, on regular and conventional mode.

5. The UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 are applicable to all HEIs as given at Clause (3) of sub-regulation (1) of Part – I of UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017. It is further clarified that the private universities created under the State enactments shall be under obligation to strictly follow the requirements, stipulated by the UGC, issued from time to time including those under the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017.


India’s Heaviest Satellite Weighing 5,854 Kg To Be Launched, Will Boost Internet Speed

India is set to launch its heaviest satellite from the French Guiana by Europe’s Ariane-5 rocket early on Wednesday morning. The satellite weighing 5,854 kg would enhance the speed of the internet in the country.

The satellite was scheduled to be launched early this year but was suspecting some technical problems, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)) recalled the satellite in April as a precautionary measure after the Gsat-6A satellite failed around the same time. Gsat-6A satellite went out of control and signal from it was lost soon after its launch on March 29.

heaviest satellite

Gsat-11 is a high-throughput satellite that would carry 40 transponders in the Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies and is capable of  “providing high bandwidth connectivity” with up to 14 gigabits per second (GBPS) data transfer speed.

Isro chairman K Sivan recently told TOI that the “launch of four high-throughput satellites will provide the country broadband connectivity of over 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) by next year.” Of the four, two satellites Gsat-19 and Gsat-29 have already been launched. Gsat-11 will be launched on Wednesday and Gsat-20 launch has been scheduled next year. He said, “Together, all these satellites will provide high-speed internet connectivity in the country, especially in rural areas, and help bridge the digital divide.”


9 Things To Buy On Black Friday That Will Save You Money

Photo by rawpixel on UnsplashPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most of us are pretty irrational when it comes to our spending habits. We don’t think twice about small daily purchases — but if a price tag crosses a certain threshold, we start to feel uncomfortable about our buying decision.

This mindset is not good for your bank account. Small purchases are usually low-value and have a very short gratification period. Larger purchases, while a bigger investment, usually pay for themselves and continue to improve our lives over time.

With all of the holiday sales starting, now is a great time to start thinking harder about the things you buy.

This Black Friday I challenge you to rate purchases in terms of value and long-term return. Avoid picking up a bunch of cheap things just because they’re a “great deal” and go for items that will improve your life and save you money next year. Here are nine examples of purchases that check both boxes and are even better buys on Black Friday.

1) Restaurant Gift Cards

You probably don’t have every weekend planned out for 2019 but one thing I can guarantee you’ll do is eat at your favorite restaurant.

On Black Friday, many restaurants offer a bonus gift card when you purchase a certain denomination (you’ll see deals like buy a $100 gift card and get an extra $20). This is a great way to lower your food spend in 2019 without changing your eating habits. Just check the fine print as some “bonus” gift cards will need to be spent by a certain date.


2) Fitness Equipment with Live Classes

Fitness classes are a great way to stay in shape. But they can get expensive. A spin class costs $20 on average, and that price can be even higher at some studios. Attending class three times per week means you’re likely spending at least $250 per month or $3,000 per year on spin class.

If attending classes in person isn’t a priority for you, then purchasing an at-home solution can help you meet both your fitness and financial goals.

Fitness equipment with live classes, like a Peloton bike, are often viewed as fancy and expensive but when you break down the costs, they are usually much cheaper. Peloton’s 0% financing options currently allow you to pay $58 per month for their equipment and $39 per month for their membership. That means your all-in cost is about $100 per month — or less than half of what you’d pay at a studio.

3) Blender

That post-workout smoothie from the shop next to your gym might be great for your health but it’s destroying your food budget. Splurge on a fancy blender instead and make your own at home to seriously cut costs.

Even a top of the line blender like a Vitamix (starting at $289.95) will pay for itself in a few months if a smoothie stop is part of your regular routine. As a bonus, owning this new appliance may also inspire you to make your own almond milk or soups and further reduce your food spend in 2019.

4) Cooking Equipment and Meal Kits

Millennials are known for our love of dining out but while fast casual restaurants and delivery services are extremely convenient, they’re often not great for our health or wallets.

Learning how to cook a few of your favorite dishes well can save you tons of money and calories. Plus it’s a pretty useful life skill to have.

A great way to get started on your cooking journey is to opt into a meal-kit delivery service like Sunbasket or Blue Apron, both of which are currently offering $60 off. Their easy-to-follow recipes and home delivery make cooking a breeze for even the most novice of chefs. And if you need basic cooking equipment to get started, there are countless Black Friday deals you can take advantage of.

5) Wardrobe Staples

The avalanche of promotional Black Friday emails from retailers have already started. Most people open those emails, spot a few things they like, and make an impulse purchase. When the item arrives, they maybe wear it once or twice and then forget about it because it wasn’t practical or something that they even really wanted.

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it. (Repeat that three times.) Instead, take advantage of low prices by buying high quality wardrobe staples that will constantly be in rotation and can handle the wear.

An easy way to determine if an item is worth buying is its cost per use. Divide the cost by the number of times you think you’ll wear the outfit in a year.

6) Coffee or Espresso Machine

If you love your morning Starbucks run, this is not for you. But if you get annoyed every time you see a $5 latte listed on your credit card statement, then investing in a top quality coffee or espresso machine can save you a ton of money.

You can replicate exactly what the barista is doing at your favorite coffee shop, but for a fraction of the cost. And since you control the inputs, you can even get your daily brew to the point where it tastes exactly how you want it to.

7) Sports Equipment

Repeatedly renting sports equipment like a paddleboard or ice skates can get expensive. If there’s a hobby you enjoy that involves equipment rental, tally up how much you’ve spent on your rentals this year. Chances are that if you rent often, it may be cheaper to buy. And owning may incentivize you to indulge in your hobby even more than you already do which should make you happier.

8) Annual Park Passes

Paying an admission fee every time you want to visit one of your favorite places can add up. Getting a discounted annual pass to your local national park or theme park means you’ll always have a fun place to go and your cost per visit will go down


Ajith to Vijay: Chennai Super Kings star Harbhajan Singh puts up important tweet in Kollywood style

Ajith, Harbajan, Vijay

Actor Aith, CSK star Harbhajan Singh and actor Vijay (Photo | YouTube Screengrab and EPS)

By Online Desk

On Thursday it was revealed that IPL defending champs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has retained star cricketer Harbhajan Singh.

The veteran Indian cricketer took to Twitter and shared his excitement on being retained by one of the most successful teams in IPL history.

Harbhajan Singh put up a tweet in Tamil, announcing his continuity with the ‘Men in Yellow’. What made the fans go gaga over his tweet was the fact that it consisted of some memorable punch dialogues and song lyrics rendered by popular actors like Ajith and Vijay on the big screen.


Realme MediaTek Helio P70 Smartphone to Launch Under New ‘U’ Series Soon

Realme MediaTek Helio P70 Smartphone to Launch Under New 'U' Series Soon

MediaTek launched the Helio P70 SoC in October, and Realme soon after announced that it will be the first brand to launch a smartphone globally with the new processor integrated. The Helio P70 went into mass production last month itself, and was reported to be made available to clients in November. Now, Realme has again teased the arrival of the Helio P70 smartphone, and the company says that the MediaTek SoC will be integrated into a device that is a part of a completely new ‘U’ series.

Realme took to Twitter to announce that it will be introducing the world’s first MediaTek Helio P70 smartphone, under the company’s brand new ‘U’ series. With this, Realme confirms that it will be introducing a new ‘U’ series soon, expanding its portfolio further. Currently, the company offers the Realme 1 ₹ 10,490, Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro ₹ 13,990, and the Realme C1 ₹ 8,840 in the Indian market.

Unfortunately, the company hasn’t detailed on the exact date for the upcoming new ‘U’ series. Apart from the fact that the smartphone will be the first to be powered by the new MediaTek Helio P70 processor, other specifications, design, or pricing information of the upcoming device are not known yet. The Helio P70 features an enhanced AI engine, upgraded imaging and camera support, boosted gaming performance, as well as improved connectivity when compared with previous generations.

The MediaTek Helio P70 is an octa-core SoC that’s been built on TSMC’s 12nm FinFET process, and it is meant to power “full-featured smartphones at affordable price points.” It bears four ARM Cortex-A73 cores clocked at up to 2.1GHz, and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz. These are arranged in a big.LITTLE configuration, while the SoC also features an ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU that’s clocked up to 900MHz. The Helio P70 SoC comes with a multi-core APU clocked at up to 525MHz for better edge-AI processing.

It comes with a 4G LTE modem with up to 300Mbps peak download rates, and also supports dual 4G VoLTE. The SoC supports up to 32-megapixel single cameras, or 24+16-megapixel dual cameras, and comes with three independent image signal processors (ISPs) for reduced power consumption (up to 18 percent less compared to previous Helio dual-camera setups).


‘Alcohol Ads on Social Media Can Increase the Desire to Drink’

Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults’ desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users, according to a research.

The study showed that social media users who view alcohol ads are also more likely to “Like” or “Share” an ad when it has pro-drinking comments.

These pro-drinking comments coupled with high user engagement increased the desire to drink by 3.5 times, especially in those with alcohol problems.

“Heavy alcohol users and those who are alcohol dependent may be the most susceptible to the potential effects of pro-drinking comments,” said the researchers led by Jonathan Noel, from the University of Connecticut.

The ads, coupled with positive comments about drinking, may serve as alcohol cues “and an increased desire to drink after exposure to alcohol cues may predict relapse after treatment for alcoholism”.

With hundreds of corporate-sponsored alcohol ads on social media sites (with millions of Likes and Shares), plus millions of views of alcohol ads on YouTube, alcohol companies have expanded platforms to reach young consumers.

The Study

The study suggests that the industry needs to improve the voluntary self-regulatory system that governs its advertising, possibly by limiting or banning comments on social media advertising.

The study, appearing in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, involved 120 young adults, aged 21 to 24 years, living in the US who viewed four beer advertisements posted on Facebook.

The lowest desire to drink was found after participants were exposed to ads with anti-drinking comments plus a high “user engagement” (i.e., Likes/Shares/Comments).

Further, compared with the ads with anti-drinking comments, ads with pro-drinking comments left participants more than twice as likely to say they would Like or Share the ad.

“There is more information on social media than just a post or a message. We are exposed to how other users respond to a post, and it is those responses that can influence your desire to drink,” Noel said.


How To Buy This Chinese Social Media Leader For Less Than 6x EBIT

Weibo is China’s version of Twitter, except that it’s better managed and more profitable. This year, revenues and profits are expected to grow by more than 50% year-over-year; it’s a great business, with a long runway of growth ahead of it. Best of all, we have found a way to invest in Weibo at a 2019 EBIT multiple of less than 6x by purchasing shares of SINA Corporation.

Introducing SINA Corporation

SINA Corporation (“SINA”) is a Chinese technology company founded in 1998 as a web portal. Today, it is best-known for its investment in Weibo, which is one of China’s largest social networks.  Weibo’s business model is very similar to that of Twitter; money is made by placing ads and promoting feeds. Compared to Twitter, Weibo has 20%+ more monthly active users, those users spend more time on the platform per day, and Weibo is considerably more profitable. As a result, Weibo’s EBIT margins are currently between 35% and 40%, whereas Twitter, in comparison, is barely profitable.

Weibo EBIT margins are expected to remain above 35%.Appleseed Capital

Moreover, Weibo continues to grow at a rapid pace. Weibo’s revenues and operating profits are expected to increase by more than 50% in 2018 and by more than 30% in 2019. While investors are clearly and rightly concerned about a trade war between the United States and China and a related slowdown in China, Weibo revenues should continue to grow even through a global recession.

Weibo revenues are expected to increase by more than 50% in 2018.Appleseed Capital


The Weibo background is critical to understand because SINA Corporation owns a 46% stake in Weibo and is also the controlling shareholder in Weibo with 72% of all Weibo votes. While many investors who like Weibo’s business might choose to invest directly in Weibo shares, it seems to be a far more compelling proposition to invest in shares of SINA.

Why SINA Corporation Shares Are So Cheap

Thus far, emerging market stocks are in a bear market in 2018, and some investors would argue that emerging market stocks are currently a great buy. Both SINA and Weibo saw their stock prices plummet by 50% or more since their recent highs on U.S.-China trade war talk and the unexpected rise of Douyin, a Snapchat-like short-video platform that was launched in late-2016 and that has already reached 500 million monthly users.

The market seems to believe that Douyin’s massive early growth has come at Weibo’s expense. However, thus far, Weibo’s operating metrics have barely been influenced by the rise of Douyin; monthly users, daily users, and time spent share all continue to increase. Users appear to be using Weibo and Douyin for fundamentally different reasons, and it seems unlikely that Douyin will take market share from Weibo’s microblogging territory.

As a result of this considerable drop in price, Weibo is now trading at approximately 12.0x consensus FY2019 EBIT, which represents excellent value for a fast-growing, highly profitable business. That said, SINA’s shares represent an even more exciting investment opportunity.

SINA’s market cap currently stands at $4.4 billion. Of this, $1.8 billion is attributable to cash and investments not related to Weibo. Therefore, the market values SINA’s 46% stake in Weibo at $2.7 billion, even though Weibo’s current market cap is $12.7 billion.

While Weibo is likely undervalued, SINA’s stake in Weibo seems significantly undervalued. At the $2.7 billion value which Mr. Market ascribes to SINA’s stake in Weibo, investors are effectively buying shares of Weibo, through SINA, at a multiple of just 5.9x consensus FY 2019 EBIT.

Moreover, SINA’s stake in Weibo deserves a premium because SINA owns Class B shares of Weibo, each of which has three votes, compared to only one vote per every publicly-traded Class A share.

In summary, SINA Corporation investors should have two ways to generate an attractive return:

  1. Should the valuation gap between SINA and Weibo ever close, SINA’s share price should appreciate considerably, even if Weibo never recovers from the recent investor panic.
  2. Should Weibo get its growth-company multiple back and/or reach the median sell-side target price, SINA shareholders should be handsomely rewarded through its investment in Weibo.

Should neither happen, it seems likely that SINA management would buy back shares until the valuation gap disappeared.

SINA Corporation Management

Importantly, SINA’s CEO owns $500 million worth of SINA stock and has a track record of sound capital allocation and returning capital to shareholders. SINA repurchased $303 million of stock as part of a buyback program that expired in June 2018, which translated into a 5% reduction in shares outstanding at an average price of $89 per share. Given the valuation gap between SINA shares and Weibo shares, it seems likely that SINA will continue to repurchase shares at prices which should be accretive to SINA’s intrinsic value.


Given the 50% decline that SINA shares have already experienced, this is not a risk-free investment. Like many Chinese tech companies, SINA Corporation and Weibo are structured as variable interest entities to allow SINA and Weibo to raise capital in foreign markets. Investors in SINA are taking on business risk, technology risk, currency risk, and country risk. Given the attractive valuation of SINA shares, we believe Weibo’s risks have already been discounted.

The 2018 emerging market bargain hunt has begun, and I don’t know how long it will last.  It’s worth taking a look at SINA Corporation, and, while you’re at it, it’s worth taking a look at SK Telecom too.

Disclosure: Adam Strauss owns SINA Corporation and SK Telecom in some of his funds. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell a security.  The views are those of Adam Strauss as of the date of publication and are subject to change and to the disclaimers of Appleseed Capital.


Is LinkedIn Poised To Be The Next Big Social Network … For Brands?

LinkedIn has always been overshadowed by its rowdy younger siblings. Born way back in 2002 — before Instagram and Snapchat, even before Facebook and Twitter — the button-downed business platform has never attracted the drama or hype of other social networks. There’s no movie about its founder. It’s not in the crosshairs of Congressional investigations. And its “influencers” are more likely to be boring business leaders (myself included) than Kylie Jenner wannabes.

But quietly, in predictably business-like fashion, LinkedIn has emerged as a social force to be reckoned with. It now counts more than 500 million members. More than 100 million of those are monthly active users, meaning people who check in frequently to post and engage with followers, rather than just update their resume once or twice a year. Perhaps more to the point, these users are — by definition — business professionals. They’re generally upwardly mobile and turn to the network for serious engagement, not to share memes or launch into toxic rants.

As companies seek new ways to engage customers, employees and stakeholders, while also wrestling with the fallout from scandals on Facebook and Twitter, a surprising number are turning to LinkedIn. All of which raises the question: could LinkedIn be the next big thing for brands?

No-nonsense professionalism that’s strangely addictive

Yes, social media can (and should) be fun. But we’ve seen the consequence of too much of a good thing. The glut of memes and clickbait clogging feeds has forced Facebook and Twitter to radically recalibrate their algorithms in an effort to surface more relevant, useful content. Both networks have battled the proliferation of bots and contended with bad actors intent on either scraping data or manipulating users with fake content. Unless you’ve been asleep for the past two years, you know the consequences all too well.

LinkedIn has been mercifully spared most all of this controversy and confusion. It was never a place for viral videos or buzzworthy headlines. Posts have always skewed toward the courteous, the actionable and the insightful — something social media fans are increasingly hungry for today. Meanwhile, hardcore LinkedIn users know that there’s a certain warm professionalism that underlies many exchanges on the platform. In short, LinkedIn offers a kind of stability, civility and real value that’s sorely needed on some social platforms.


An employer brand no-brainer

Right now, the U.S. is experiencing the tightest labor market in recent memory. In this context, employer brand — a company’s reputation as a place to work, above and beyond whatever its brand reputation may be — has become a significant differentiator. Companies able to send the message that they’re a genuinely progressive, engaged and even fun place to work often have a real leg up over rivals. And LinkedIn — which is filled with nothing but professionals looking (or soon to be looking) for jobs —is the optimal place to convey that message.

I’ve seen this firsthand in the tech space, where the competition for recruits is notoriously tight. Not only does Hootsuite cultivate a presence through its LinkedIn Company page (which has grown to more than 200,000 followers), but for years I’ve also shared updates and blog posts as CEO from my own profile. By relaying stories about building culture, employee perks and leadership, we’ve been able to project Hootsuite’s employer brand and give a uniquely human face to the company.

The impact has been real and sustained. Posts receive dozens of likes and comments — thoughtful, insightful responses from professionals in tech and social media. And the trickle down effects can be dramatic. A recent LinkedIn blog post on how much we value our sales team and how hard it is to find great tech salespeople led to more than 1,000 visits to our career page and 100-plus applications.

Not just for B2B marketers any more  

For companies operating in the business-to-business space, the benefits of being active on LinkedIn are pretty obvious. An estimated 40 million business decision makers (i.e. the people who seal the deals and sign the contracts) spend their time on LinkedIn. It’s widely regarded as the number one social network for lead generation and, according to some sources, boasts a three times better conversion rate than Facebook or Twitter.

What’s easily overlooked, however, is that LinkedIn can also be an effective way to for brands to reach a general consumer audience. After all, the half-a-billion business professionals on the network are also consumers themselves. And they generally have disposable income to spare. More than half have a college degree and 44% make more than $75,000 per year. Plus, as other networks grow increasingly crowded with ads and clickbait, LinkedIn is proving attractive as not simply the “professional network” but the social network of choice for many users.

Importantly, it’s not just “boring business updates” that find an audience. In my experience, LinkedIn content that hits the sweet spot of personal-meets-professional garners the most engagement. (Think, pics of your latest team-building outing, not pdfs of your latest whitepaper.) Videos and photos — gold on other social platforms — perform equally well on LinkedIn. Adding topical hashtags and directly mentioning other users improves organic engagement. Meanwhile, having your own employees follow your company’s page, and interact with updates, can dramatically extend the reach of your LinkedIn posts.

Quietly committed to innovation (and integrations)

Perhaps the most exciting element of LinkedIn is its quiet, but absolutely relentless, pace of innovation. A few years ago, the network was just a place to post your resume. In 2015, they added blogging and now publish 100,000 articles a week. Last year, they unveiled native video, become a video publishing platform. This fall, they beefed up their Groups functionality, anticipating an industry-wide shift by social users to more intimate, member-only spaces. Plus, a host of new integrations with LinkedIn’s Company Pages — including one that enables users to post videos and respond to comments directly from Hootsuite — has made the platform more attractive than ever for brands. Other networks may steal the headlines, but LinkedIn has aggressively remade itself behind the scenes.

Then, there are the premium data analysis and targeting capabilities that many users never see. The detailed info provided by LinkedIn members means it’s possible to gain insight into exactly who’s viewing your profile and content — right down to current company and job title. While LinkedIn’s ad platform isn’t as widely used as Facebook’s, this same detailed demographic info allows for precision targeting. Not to mention, Microsoft’s recent acquisition means that LinkedIn data and profiles are now being integrated into the full range of Microsoft products, everything from consumer apps like Outlook and Word to enterprise CRM software like Dynamics 365.


101 Ways To Make More Money

101 ways to make more money.

What would you do if you could have a bit of extra income? Would you fund a hobby, or save for a trip? Or finally buy that dream house? Maybe you are one of the 15% who are using a side hustle to start a new business.

In any case, if you want to earn some extra cash, you aren’t alone. As the gig economy grows, so do opportunities to make a bit of money on the side. It’s just a matter of knowing what your options are.

This post includes 101 simple, actionable ways to make extra money. Whatever your situation, skills level or experience is, I’m sure you can find a couple ideas here that you can put to use immediately to earn that extra cash fast – and maybe regularly.

1. Ask for a raise

The simplest option comes first. If you already have a job, start there. Put together an ironclad case for demanding a raise. Then, present that case to your boss. It’s nearly always worth a try.

2. Get a second job

If plan A didn’t work out, look for opportunities outside your current employment. Consider picking up an extra shift or two each week at the local grocery store, shopping mall or restaurant. These places always need people. A hospitality career can be rather profitable in fact and help you earn into six figures.


3. Do micro tasks

“Subscribe to an Email List,” “Add a Comment to a Blog” – these are just a few examples of micro tasks. Sign up at or to make a bit of side money performing quick chores.

4. Rent out your car

If you’ve got a spare car, you can earn money through car sharing. The setup is quite simple. People often need cars for errands or one-time tasks and you can rent out yours for a fee.

5. Make and sell DIY things

Jewelry, prints, sculptures, fan art and more; if you are a skilled artist, you can turn your products into profits online on platforms like Etsy.

6. Scrap your old gold

That old jewelry you’ve got lying around could be worth more money than you know. Even if it’s tacky or broken, your local jewelry store may be willing to pay you for the metal itself.

7. Work as a handy person

Can you do small home repairs and remodeling jobs? Get some tools together and start a handy service. Charge a reasonable rate and you are sure to get plenty of business.

8. Get a delivery job

Use your car, bike or scooter to make deliveries. Small business owners and consumers alike would often rather pay an individual to make small deliveries than go through a major, corporate delivery service.

9. Become a mystery shopper

Mystery shoppers earn money by evaluating customer experiences for restaurants and stores. It’s a part-time role that can earn you a few extra hundreds per month.

10. Participate in medical research

Contribute to medical science and earn some cash. Find and sign up to participate in medical trials. Depending on the length and nature of the study, you could earn up to thousands of dollars.

11. Join focus groups

Sometimes companies need more information than what they would get from a simple survey. So, they gather consumers together into focus groups and pay for participation.

12. Sell your old clothes

If you have some staples in mint condition occupying space in your closet, consider selling them on Depop. If you own designer or vintage garments and accessories, you can make even more cash via Vestiaire Collective.

13. Set up a concierge vintage/luxury store

If sales go well and you run out of items to sell, consider sourcing more unique items from friends, acquaintances and local vintage stores or online through sites like Make sure that you have an eye for details though and always authenticate the luxury goods you plan to sell.

14. Flip property

You no longer need to be wealthy to dabble in the real estate market. Thanks to micro and crowdfunded real estate investing, you can get started with as little as $500.

15. Use rewards programs

Every time you buy groceries, coffee or fast food you could be earning cash and rewards. Sign up for the rewards programs at the places you visit most frequently. Then, use the resulting rewards for cash back, gift cards or future savings.

16. Participate in GPT sites

GPT means “Get Paid To’”. These are sites where you can take surveys, sign up for free samples, print coupons and perform other tasks to earn points. These points can be converted into gift cards or cash. Swagbucks, Earning Station and InstaGC are three of the most popular GPT sites.

17. Teach English to little kids

Palfish is an app that allows you to teach English to kids in China. It might be hard to believe, but you don’t even have to speak Chinese. Alternatively, you can always find local students for tutoring.

18. Rent out your space

Do you have a spare room or unused garage? Someone who needs living space or room for their stuff will be glad to pay you for it. Or if you are OK with catering to guests, sign up with Airbnb.

19. Give someone a ride

Check out Uber and Lyft to earn some extra cash with your car. There are also designated driver services that pay you to drive people home safely.

20. Sell your unwanted electronics

Get rid of those unused TVs, video game consoles, mobile phones and computers. Take them to your local video game seller or auction them on eBay. Walk away with cash.

21. Install a lock screen app

It’s simple. See an ad when you unlock your phone. Get paid. You won’t earn much, but those pennies can add up to something nice.

22. Invest spare change

A lot of mobile banking and investment apps will round up your spending to the nearest dollar and invest the change. It can be a nice way to get your feet wet in investing without much effort.

23. Provide moving help

Check the Craigslist labor gigs section and earn extra money helping people move and unpack.


How to get your home up and ready for the festive season

Close to the festive season, weekends are as precious as gold. With limited time at hand, the task of giving your space a much-needed facelift tops the priority list. Though it sounds daunting, the process can be a smooth ride if planned properly. So sit back and let this be your guide to a festive-ready home.


living room

As guests would spend most of their time in the living room, you need to make sure that space is nothing less than impressive. An entertainment unit with multi-storage options makes a great buy. Look for smart entertainment units in great shades and finishes. At Royaloak Furniture, you could pick from a glossy or matte finish, depending on the colour scheme of your living room. Add a bit a glamour to the space by bringing in a smart wine cabinet.
Buy Royaloak sofas here.

living room

Seating a number of people can get awkward sometimes. If you are fortunate enough to have a huge living room, it makes sense to invest in a Royaloak Ludo Sofa Cum Bed. This comfortable and fashionable sofa cum bed comes with exceptional contemporary design that blends perfect with the decor of your space. Or simply look for stylish and comfortable recliners as a smarter alternative in a more compact room. Royaloak Falcon Single Seater Manual Recliner in Air Leather that lends an elegant look to your living room is definitely worth a look.



Consider introducing a dining table into your living room. Something like the Royaloak Crystal 6 Seater Dining Set with Bench would work just fine. Looking to ring the changes? Substitute the dining chairs with long benches – they are extremely light to move and can accomodate more people compared to single chairs.
Buy Royaloak dining tables here. 



And, lastly, the bedroom. A lot people, especially the elderly, prefer to have some alone time after meals. Make sure your guest bedroom is ready to cater to their requirements. Invest in beds that are spacious and comfortable, something like the stylish, strong and durable Royaloak Daffodil King Size Bed With Hydraulic Storage and Reflective High Gloss Finish.

It is always a great idea to have bookshelves with some great books for people who would love to read their afternoons away. Smart dressing tables, full-sized mirrors and other accessories will make their stay in the bedroom a memorable experience.
Buy Royaloak beds here.



You’ll find guests scrutinising your kitchen as they walk in and out of it in search of food and wine. Make sure it has cabinets dedicated to cater to the various needs of your guests. It is important that these cabinets are installed at a decent height which makes access to crockery, glasses, food and other utilities extremely easy. Avoid cluttering your kitchen with furniture, gadgets, and accessories, as moving around might get extremely difficult.
Buy Royaloak crockery units here.



The festive season means entertaining a lot of guests, and often over a long period of time, so organising the entrance of your home is crucial. Invest in a well-sized shoe rack, like this one from Royaloak Furniture. You wouldn’t like a heap of shoes at the door when you welcome your guests, would you? You could even add a few smart furniture pieces like the Royaloak Ebony Chair 2S for a classic minimalistic look to your outdoor space.
Buy Royaloak shoeracks here.