My Three Favorite New Productivity Tools

first_imgIt is rare that I ever write about technological solutions here, but there are three tools that I am using that are absolutely worth your time.Sanebox (affiliate link): I still have an enormous problem with my email. Email literally pours into my account. At some point, someone placed a curse on me and my inbox resulting in two emails appearing in for every email I archive or delete. I have prayed for help, but no mercy has yet been granted.Sanebox helps. It reviews your email to decide what’s important enough to be in your inbox, and then it sorts the rest into a folders (or labels) called @sanelater (which means you don’t need to see it right now), @sanebulk (spam and bacn), @sanenews (for newsletters), @sanenextweek (won’t pop up in your inbox until next Monday), @sanetomorrow, and @saneremindme (you tell it when you want to see the email again). You train Sanebox by dragging things into the folders where the belong, but it gets things mostly right without you doing anything.My favorite Sanebox folder is @saneblackhole. You drag the email into that folder, and you never see an email from that sender again.Evercontact: All of those emails come from contacts. Evercontact looks at the email, copies all of the contact information, and automatically adds the contacts to my Gmail accounts.I don’t want to have to add contacts to my contact database by hand. The value that I create is not as a data entry clerk, but it is all about relationships. This is a drop dead easy decision if you want to automate keeping your contact records updated at all times.Here’s the affiliate link.Contactually: I didn’t get it. Then I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to have to drag my clients into buckets. So I left Contactually. Then I came back. Then I left. Then I came back and spent enough time to set up my primary contact relationship categories (called buckets in Contactually).Contactually allows you to set reminders as to how often you need to communicate with different categories of relationships. I started with my little family (the big “why” in everything I do), then extended family, then friends, then acquaintances, and then clients and prospects. I sorted clients and prospects into some other buckets based on some relationship criteria (but that’s double top secret stuff).Every morning Contactually sends me a note as to the ten communications I need to make to deepen my relationships. Then it gives you a score (I have an A+). You can send emails from within Contactually, and you can log your communication there or on your mobile phone.Here is an affiliate link for Contactually. I highly recommend it! Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more



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Why the Failure to Choose a Competitive Strategy Prevents Survival

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Thomas Cook, the U.K. travel company, shuttered their operations this morning, leaving their clients and customers stranded, requiring the U.K. government’s help to get home. Whenever a business like this fails, there is always more than one factor to blame. There were financial deals that didn’t improve their competitive situation, but there is a more fundamental failure here, and one I have been pointing to for some time. Namely, the company failed to create enough value for their clients and their customers, either ignorant of their choices or negligent in choosing the one they believed would best allow them to compete.Two strategies are emerging in the internet age, and they could not be more different. The first is super-transactional, and the second is super-relational. In the first model, you remove the friction from the transaction, including the friction of price. In the second, you remove the friction that comes with the disappointment of not getting the outcomes you are paying for. In the first, you eliminate human interactions with the customer (never a client, in the super-transactional model). In the second, you increase the communication with the client (if you are working on strategic outcomes, it’s a client).In both models, you get what you pay for.Super-TransactionalIf you want to buy travel, you can go to any number of the many sites that provide airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages. Most of these websites compete on price, conflating travel to a commodity purchase. When all things are equal, there is no reason to pay more. Anyone with a computer and internet connection can very quickly take care of their travel arrangements, and many people prefer both booking their travel and paying as little as possible.Let’s call this strategy Super-Transactional. There is no human being on the other end of the transaction (and it is most certainly nothing more than a transaction). The internet is the most successful and ruthless technology ever imagined when it comes to disintermediation (cutting out the middle man). You don’t have to speak to anyone, and other than the data you leave in a company’s database, no one knows you. When no one knows you, no one cares about you (at the time of this writing, I have purchased no less than one-thousand, four hundred Kindle books from Amazon.com without so much as a thank you card from Mr. Bezos). The value Amazon creates isn’t personal; it’s transactional.It is hard to compete with a super-transactional approach. You are forced to compete with the lower price your competitor has created by eliminating the cost of genuine care. To compete, you have to remove the cost structures that allow you to create some compelling differentiation. It’s challenging to be better without the money necessary to deliver greater value.Super-RelationalI know I am out of step with the modern narrative about relationships no longer being meaningful in sales. Those who suggest such an idea are confused by the disruptive forces we are right now experiencing. While they are right that it is no longer enough to be liked, they miss the fact that relationships are even more important, requiring more from salespeople and sales organizations. While they believe the pull is towards super-transactional, it is towards super-relational.Some people require greater value. They want someone to care about them and their needs, help them explore their options, and give them the best advice as to what and how they should do something, and help them achieve the outcomes they are seeking. I have friends in the travel space who continue to grow while their competition shrinks. They have decided to use technology, but to provide exceptional care, more care than anyone else. When everyone zags, you should zig.There is some percentage of the population that wants to pay the lowest price (and many more who have no choice). They pay for “good enough,” because that is what they can afford. There are others, however, who have no interest in “good enough” seeking something more, something better. On the other end of the spectrum from “lowest price,” there are clients and customers who are more than willing to pay for greater value.The Muddy MiddleWhere salespeople and sales organizations get into real trouble is by chasing those who operate a super-transactional model when that is not their strategy. They try to straddle the two poles by offering competitive prices and creating more value, one of which always gives (Hint: It’s not the lower price). Because they can’t capture enough profit to invest in creating value, they step onto the slippery slope, and over time, they slide straight off the cliff.It’s critical to recognize that companies with the lowest price aren’t discounting or negotiating concessions; they are operating a business model. If you want to beat them, you have either play their game and adopt their model, or you have to reject their strategy by being better and charging a higher price for doing so.When you sit in the middle of these two strategies, you end up fighting a war on two fronts. On your left, you have lower-priced providers who chip away at those clients and customers who want or need a lower price. On your right, you have competitors who create more value and command a higher price, serving those to whom “good enough” isn’t nearly “good enough.”Picking SidesI have cast my lot with those who intend to create value and capture value by earning it with better, more strategic outcomes. As everything that can be has been reduced to clicks, and where human beings have been mostly removed, it is wiser to go the other direction, towards super-relational. If being super-relational seems difficult, try cutting your cost structure enough to compete with a transactional model.last_img read more



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Trap laid to catch leopard in Odisha

first_imgResidents of Haladi village in Odisha’s Nuapada district continue to live in fear even as Forest department personnel stepped up their efforts to trap a leopard that dragged a four-year-old boy into the forest last week. The boy was sleeping beside his parents when the tragic incident occurred. Most residents are spending sleepless nights ever since. Villagers spotted a leopard around the village temple on Saturday. After villagers alerted the forest department, traps and ‘goat bait’ are being used by the personnel.last_img



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SGPC takes back ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ award from Kuldeep Nayar

first_imgThe Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the body responsible for the management of Gurdwaras, has withdrawn the ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ award bestowed to senior journalist and writer Kuldeep Nayar, for his recent article against radical Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.The decision was taken at the executive meeting of the SGPC held at Fatehgarh Sahib.SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar told reporters that a recent article by Mr. Nayar has hurt Sikh sentiments and hence SGPC has decided to withdraw the title of ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ from him. It raised serious objection to a comparison between Bhindranwale and Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is currently imprisoned in two counts of rape of female followers. Bhindrawale, the spearhead of the Khalistan movement, was killed during ‘Operation Bluestar’ which Mr. Nayar had covered.The ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ award was conferred upon Mr. Nayar in 2006 by the SGPC at a function held to mark the anniversary of the founding of Akal Takht.Radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa had recently staged a protest against Mr. Nayar for his alleged comments against Bhindranwale in his article. Its spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh told The Hindu that Mr. Nayar had committed blunder by drawing a false and imaginary comparison between Ram Rahim and Bhindrawale.“The SGPC has rightly withdrawn the title of ‘Shiromani Patarkar’ from him,” he said.Mr. Singh added, “Mr. Nayar has misused his pen to defame and degrade Mr. Bhindranwale. He [Mr. Nayar] must tender apology to Sikh Panth. Otherwise he would face protests in Punjab whenever he comes.”last_img read more



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Bombay High Court refuses to order probe into former ATS chief Karkare’s death

first_imgThe Bombay High Court has refused to order a probe into the death of former state ATS chief Hemant Karkare and disposed of a petition alleging that his killing during the 26/11 terror attack was a conspiracy hatched by right-wing extremists. A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangri said nothing survives in the public interest litigation filed by Radhakant Yadav, a former MLA from Bihar, seeking setting up of a special investigation team to probe this angle. “The PIL is pending since 2010…nothing survives in it…we cannot direct investigation. The petition is disposed of,” the court said in a recent order. Mr. Yadav had approached the High Court in August 2010 claiming that Karkare was not killed by Pakistani terrorists Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail. The petition claimed that Karkare was, in fact, killed by right-wing extremists after the former Anti-Terrorism Squad chief arrested several members of the right-wing group Abhinav Bharat in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. The PIL relied on a book written by Maharashtra’s former Inspector General of Police S.M. Mushrif, titled ‘Who Killed Karkare.’ Karkare, along with senior police officials Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, were killed outside Cama Hospital in south Mumbai after Kasab and his partner Ismail opened fire at their police van during the terror attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.last_img read more



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Cooperative Election Authority soon in Haryana

first_imgThe Haryana government on Monday announced that a Cooperative Election Authority would be set up in the State for supervising the election process in cooperative bodies.Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, addressing the Assembly on the first day of the budget session, said that the government believes in strengthening the cooperative sector to enable people to capitalise on their collective strength.“The government has taken a historic step by approving establishment of a Cooperative Election Authority for superintendence, direction and control of the election process in the cooperative organisations,” he said. He said that during this year, cooperative banks had extended loans amounting to ₹5,414.01 crore to the State’s farmers up to January 2018; 1.23 million Kisan Credit Cards have also been issued till December 2017.Mr. Solanki said that the State government was giving final touches to a comprehensive State action plan on sexual and gender-based violence to address all major components of crime afflicting women and children in the State.“The action plan would clearly delineate the responsibilities of various stakeholders on the steps to be taken by them in a time-bound manner. The government is committed to empowering women so that they may live with dignity and contribute as equal partners in the development process in an environment free from violence and discrimination,” the Governor said.SYL canal issueOn the controversial issue of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, Mr. Solanki said the “concerted efforts” of the government have resulted in a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court on a presidential reference and since then has been vigorously pursuing the matter for initiation of the long-pending construction work on the remaining portion of the canal.last_img read more



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Molested, manhandled, claims Odia actress

first_imgAn Odia film and opera actress has claimed that she was manhandled and molested by three persons at Derang village in Odisha’s Angul district where she had gone for a performance. The actress lodged a complaint at the Kaniha police station, stating that while she and her managers were trying to reach the venue in her car to perform at an opera on Sunday night, a person used slangs and acted in an indecent manner. The police said that a man and his two sons allegedly manhandled the actress. “We talk of general women being safe… where a media figure like me is not safe… this man manhandled, bad mouthed me and tried to rip my clothes,” she said, adding, “I gave a good fight and saved myself”. She also claimed that later, while she was on stage, the man returned with a few others and stopped the performance, and it could only start an hour later after police intervention. DIG (northern range) Narasingha Bhol said investigation was on and action would be taken against the guilty.last_img read more



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Tension marks Friday prayers in Gurugram

first_imgSuhail Khan, a software engineer in Sector 39 of Gurugram, missed his regular namaz on Friday. The congregation was almost done with the prayers when the young man rushed to the open ground opposite the State Vigilance Bureau building, a few km away from his office at Unitech Cyber Park.But he was not alone. Chaos and confusion marked Friday afternoon in the Millennium City for namazis with the district administration deciding to restrict the public spaces for prayers to almost a fourth in view of opposition from right-wing organisations over the past few weeks. “I had been keeping track of it [the controversy over Namaz], but did not know about the merger of the spots. Earlier, I offered Namaz on the pavement just outside the office. It was so convenient, but it was not allowed today,” said Mr. Khan.What began as opposition to a Muslim prayer congregation at a public land in Sector 53 last month from a handful of young men from surrounding villages, soon snowballed into a full-fledged controversy. Disparate right-wing outfits in the city came together as the Sanyunkt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti and demanded a complete ban on prayers at open public spaces. Violence unleashedThe protests turned violent with the right-wing outfits disrupting the prayers at several places last Friday despite the presence of the police, saying that the congregations were “unlawful” and a “security threat”.President of the Indian Islamic Research Centre Matloob Ahmed, a DLF Phase-III resident, sees the protests as an attempt at polarisation in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “With the Modi government having failed on all fronts including job creation, [curbing] black money and Swachh Bharat, the only agenda left is the Hindu-Muslim divide. How else will you explain a non-issue being made into an issue,” asked Mr. Ahmed, a former journalist.Arshan, who has been part of the delegations for talks with the administration, said the controversy over offering of namaz in the open stemmed from the fact that the few mosques around were not able to accommodate all those who wanted to offer prayers. “No one wants to offer Namaz on the roads outside in the blistering heat. But where are the mosques,” asked Arshan.There are only nine mosques in the city. “In new Gurugram, there is only one mosque and that too under litigation,” said Aslam Khan, chairman, Anjuman Jama Masjid at New Gurugram’s Sector 57. With Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also saying that namaz be held inside mosques, the local administration is doing a fine balancing act. Despite the police seeking to reduce the sites for prayers this Friday at a meeting with the Muslim leaders, the civil administration deployed Duty Magistrates at all the existing 76 places on Friday to avoid the impression that they had acquiesced to the demands of the right-wing.last_img read more



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BJP backs NCP in Nashik

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has queered the pitch for the Shiv Sena in the Legislative Council elections, which were held for six seats in Maharashtra on Monday, by backing the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate in Nashik.According to sources in the BJP’s Nashik unit, the party decided to support NCP candidate Shivaji Sahane instead of the Sena’s Narendra Darode. The decision was reportedly taken at a late night meeting on Sunday under the district’s Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan and the BJP’s city unit chief Kishor Kalkar.The Nashik seat has a total of 644 voters and the Shiv Sena leads the party-wise representation with 207 voters, followed by the BJP with 167, the Congress with 100 and the NCP with 71. The voters of the other parties add up to 99. “A BJP-NCP alliance will make things difficult for the Sena candidate,” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity. BJP’s reported support for the NCP candidate comes on the heels of the Sena’s decision to field Shrinivas Wanga as its candidate for the Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll on May 28. The BJP has fielded ex-Congressman Rajendra Gavit.The shadow of Palghar is expected to be cast on polling in the Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat in Konkan region. The NCP has fielded Aniket Tatkare, who is backed by parties including Narayan Rane’s Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, the Congress and the Peasants and Workers Party.Meanwhile, rebel NCP leader Suresh Dhas, who is the BJP’s candidate for the Beed-Latur-Osmanabad seat, has expressed confidence in comfortably winning the seat. Mr. Dhas said, “I am confident of winning the seat by a margin of 100-150 votes. Our party has received a good response in the voting across these three districts in the State.”The Beed-Latur-Osmanabad seat is also a prestige battle between the two estranged Munde cousins: BJP leader and State Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. The seat has 1006 voters, with the NCP and the Congress represented by 527 voters, the BJP by 321, the Sena by 64 and other independents by 94.Corporators in civic bodies, municipal councillors, and members of the zilla parishad and the panchayat samiti are eligible to vote.last_img read more



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Kathua accused to stay in local jail

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday withdrew its application requesting that the seven accused in the Kathua rape-and-murder case be moved to a Pathankot jail after the Punjab government told the court that their prisons were overcrowded, officials said.The issue came up as daily hearing in the case of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community in Kathua resumed in the court of District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh after the weekend.The counsel for the Jammu and Kashmir police withdrew the application after the Punjab government made its submission before the court, said officials and lawyers privy to the in-camera hearing.The J&K police had moved an application on May 31 asking that the seven accused be transferred to jail in Pathankot, citing security issues during the movement from Kathua jail, about 30 km away.The court also heard arguments on an anticipatory bail application moved by R.P. Singh, chairman of the college where Vishal Jangotra, the son of Sanji Ram, the main accused in the case, was studying, officials said.Singh, who is also mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch, is alleged to have taken money to mislead investigating officers about the presence of Vishal.The prosecutor objected to the anticipatory bail saying this would go against the natural process of justice and Singh’s role needed to be examined thoroughly, officials said.The court is likely to give its decision on the bail application on Tuesday, they said.The court also allowed a team of private lawyers to represent the deceased victim after her family appeared in person and gave their consent before the court. The J&K police gave a list of six interpreters who would assist the court in understanding Urdu during the hearing in the high-profile case. read more



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Rhino poacher in Assam mortgages son for arms, held

first_imgNurjamal Rahman knew a rhino horn was worth thrice its weight in gold. The prospect was enough for him to mortgage his 12-year-old son for a .303 rifle and 10 rounds of ammunition to kill the endangered animal.Nurjamal was caught in Assam’s Orang National Park on Sunday along with Sadikul Islam and Niyamat Ali — all from No. 1 Borsimalu village on the eastern edge of the park straddling Darrang and Sonitpur districts on the bank of the Brahmaputra.Orang, about 110 km northeast of Guwahati, has an estimated 68 rhinos as per the last animal census in April this year. The arrest is part of a crackdown that has netted more than 330 poachers across four rhino habitats, including Kaziranga National Park since 2015. Nurjamal’s interrogation revealed the extent poachers are willing to go, forest officials said. Nurjamal told interrogators that he had struck a ₹3 lakh deal with the arms dealer, who wanted “security in human form” – his son in this case – to ensure the arms and unspent ammunition were returned. The money was to have been paid after selling the horn for at least ₹50 lakh to an animal body parts trader linked to the arms dealer. The plan to kill at least one rhino was hatched in far away Chennai, where Sadikul, who worked in the unorganised sector, met Iman Ali of Nagaon. “Ali had contacts with dealers in arms and rhino horn in (Nagaland’s) Dimapur,” Ramesh Gogoi, Orang’s Divisional Forest Officer, told The Hindu.When Sadikul returned to his village, he made a plan with Nurjamal and Niyamat, hired a car and left for Dimapur along with Nurjamal’s son. They picked up Iman en route.“They paid a token advance to the Dimapur arms dealer and mortgaged the minor for three months, by which time they hoped to kill a rhino,” Mr Gogoi said.Dimapur, Nagaland’s commercial hub and virtually controlled by extremists, is said to be the epicentre of wildlife trade. Everything from deer musk, bear bile, tiger bones and teeth, pangolin scales and of course, rhino horns are reportedly smuggled out through adjoining Myanmar via Dimapur. Mother gives son awayBut while Nurjamal staked his son for a “strike of a lifetime”, a woman from his village turned in her son to help police foil his plans. In a complaint to the police on June 13, Mursa Sulekha Khatoon said her son Idris Ali, a forest tracker had left home on June 8 with a group of rhino poachers. Two days later, forest officers reported a failed attempt to kill a rhino.Subhalakshmi Dutta, Sonitpur’s Deputy Superintendent of Police who led the operation against the trio, attributed the success to Ms. Khatoon’s FIR. The police caught Idris after he returned home. He spilled the beans about Nurjamal and his associates, but police and forest officials had to wait till their next strike on Sunday to arrest them.Prized hornThe last rhino census said Assam has more than 2,610 of the one-horned herbivore. Though made of keratin, the same type of protein found in human hair and fingernails, the horn is believed to be an aphrodisiac as well as a cure for cancer in China and southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam.Between 2015 and February this year, poachers have killed 74 rhinos in Assam. But stronger vigil has led to the killing or capture of many poachers during this phase.One of the biggest catches was Mohammad Yakub Ali, whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had charge-sheeted in 2014 for multiple cases of killing rhinos and smuggling horns. He was arrested in Guwahati on June 26, revealed a poaching-smuggling network across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and beyond, all the way to Yunan in southern China.“We have taken major steps for the protection of wild animals and their habitat despite the ease with which poachers and smugglers operate in Nagaland,” Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said.last_img read more



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Walk unravels Bharatpur’s splendour

first_imgA unique heritage conservation drive launched in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district has unravelled the unsung ingenuity, valour and splendour of the region and created awareness about its rich cultural inheritance reflected in its monuments. The drive has brought to light a new aspect of Bharatpur, which was earlier known only for the world-famous Keoladeo bird sanctuary.The Bharatpur Virasat Abhiyan has received support from activists, academicians, traders, tourist guides, hotel owners, merchant chambers, transporters, school children and government officials.Lohagarh fortAs part of the campaign, the heritage walks being organised every week have started exploring the historic Lohagarh Fort at the heart of Bharatpur town along with the artistic grandeur of as many as 353 heritage properties.The Centre for Advancement of Traditional Building Technology and Skills, which is the force behind the initiative, has set the focus on the region’s “built heritage” which needs to be popularised among both the residents and visitors. “We are creating awareness through heritage walks, mapping, documentaries, exhibitions and publications,” CATTS founding chairman and former Chief Secretary Arun Kumar said on Thursday.The heritage walks have been organised in collaboration with Lupin Foundation and with the support of district administration. In addition to the Lohagarh Fort, the walk explores artistic grandeur of the landmarks such as Chauburja, Ganga Mandir, Jama Masjid and Sarafa Bazaar.“The walk is unique in bringing a rustic fort experience coupled with exploring the historic bazaar along with live demonstration of handcrafted woodwork, jewellery, flower decor and metalware, and stimulating tastes and smells of an era slipping past,” CATTS secretary Urvashi Srivastava said.‘Lack of publicity’Lupin Foundation’s Executive Director Sita Ram Gupta said since the tourists visiting the region did not know about historical monuments because of lack of publicity, the heritage walks would connect the people with the history and help promote the palaces and old temples as tourist spots.The CATTS has also started an exercise for mapping of cultural heritage in several towns of Bharatpur district, which have a repository of ancient Rajput and medieval Mughal and Jat architecture.last_img read more



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BJP to go it alone in Mizoram: Madhav

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party would fight all the 40 Assembly seats in Mizoram alone, but might forge an alliance with like-minded parties in a post-poll scenario, general secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday. Mizoram is the only State under the Congress in the Northeast at present. The saffron party has been making concerted efforts to win the State, after having formed governments on its own or joining hands with allies in all other Northeastern States. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Madhav, who is in charge of the Northeast, said the BJP would field candidates in all the 40 Assembly seats in the State where elections are due in December.No BJP MLA In the 2013 Assembly polls, the Congress had won 34 seats and made Lal Thanhawala the Chief Minister, while the BJP has no MLA at present. On the Opposition calling the Mizo National Front (MNF) ‘proxy’ of the BJP, Mr. Madhav termed it ‘ridiculous’. The party would contest against the MNF and the National People’s Party in the polls, though they are constituents of North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Mr. Madhav said. The NEDA is a political coalition formed in 2016 by the BJP, along with Northeast regional parties like Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, People’s Party of Arunachal, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front.‘We respect Mizos’Mr. Madhav added that the BJP ‘respected’ the food habits, distinct cultural and customs of the Mizos and their religion. He accused the ruling Congress, headed by Mr. Thanhawla — in power for 10 years — of being corrupt and inefficient. The Thanhawla regime did not develop any basic infrastructure during the last decade though the Centre initiated and funded several developmental projects, the BJP leader said.Promises galore If voted to power, the BJP would construct a four-lane highway across the State, linking both Myanmar and Bangladesh, Mr. Madhav said. The proposed highway would ensure access to the international market and open the east-west corridor for trade. He added that engineering colleges would be established at Lunglei and Champhai districts if their BJP wins.last_img read more



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Maharashtra to distribute 30 lakh cloth bags among students

first_imgThe Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is planning to distribute 30 lakh cloth bags among school children to promote the State government’s plastic ban in Maharashtra and spread awareness about not using plastic bags. “We have given ₹5 crore to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for the manufacture of cloth bags. We plan to make 30 lakh bags and distribute them for free among school children across Maharashtra,” said Environment minister Ramdas Kadam. Mr. Kadam said the bags would help the government connect easily with the parents and the children’s family. “We are promoting the government’s ban on plastic and this is part of that campaign,” he said. The State government’s decision to ban plastic has also grabbed attention of others across the country. Apart from the central team which visited the State to review the decision and implementation, teams from Tamil Nadu, and Bihar have also been here while officials from Kerala are likely to visit in the next fortnight.On Tuesday, Mr. Kadam held a meeting with representatives of milk producers, and distributors regarding the ban on plastic milk bags which has not yet been implemented. “We have asked the industry to come up with a plan to ensure that no milk bag is seen on the road. They have to submit it within two months. If not, then we will move ahead with the ban,” he said. As per the present provision, the bag can be deposited back to the vendor upon which the user will get 50 paise. He said the government’s aim is to ensure no used plastic milk bag is seen on the road and if the industry comes up with a better idea, his department would be happy to implement it. Since the ban came into effect, the government has collected ₹3.5 crore in fines and confiscated 400 tonnes of banned plastic from across the State, Mr. Kadam added.last_img read more



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‘Every drop of pollution in Ganga is a matter of concern’

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal has pulled up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for not providing “concrete action plans” pertaining to the rejuvenation of the Ganga in stretches where the river crosses the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “The NMCG has not filed the precise information about the status of projects planned and executed between Kanpur to Ganga Sagar. Thus, the affidavit of NMCG is of no assistance. The counsel appearing for the NMCG is not ready and merely dependent on (the NMCG officer), who is also not competent to assist this tribunal.”Directing the NMCG to take remedial action to provide “assistance” to the tribunal, the Bench further added, “During the interaction, we find his approach to be that of the polluters instead of remedying the pollution which is the mandate of the law and the orders of this tribunal.”Highlighting urgency of the matter, the Bench said, “Every drop of pollution in the river Ganga is a matter of concern. The attitude of all the authorities has to be stringent and depict zero tolerance to pollution of river Ganga. No amount of wealth generation or commercial activities can get priority over cleanliness of Ganga.”last_img read more



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Bishnoi woman fills troughs of water for deer before wedding

first_imgA young woman of Rajasthan’s Bishnoi community, known for its beliefs associated with nature worship and wildlife conservation, turned her wedding into a unique event by filling the troughs dug up in agricultural fields with water for quenching the thirst of deer and blackbucks before the commencement of marriage rituals. Her initiative last week supported the community’s efforts to protect wild ungulates facing intense heat this summer.Bishnoi farmers in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of northern Rajasthan have dug up about 70 troughs, many of them in their own agricultural fields, in a 60-square km area and filled them up with water for antelopes foraging in the plains of the region. The animals were earlier losing their lives by drowning while trying to drink water at the two major canals.The Indira Gandhi Canal and Bhakra Canal irrigate the fields in the otherwise arid areas of the two districts. Blackbucks were earlier climbing up the canal banks trying to drink the flowing water, but ended up drowning as the canal edges have 45-degree slopes that the animals were unable to climb back over.About 30 deer were losing their lives every year while trying to drink water from the canals. If they approached water sources in villages, stray dogs pounced upon them. The crisis affected a population of about 10,000 deer and blackbucks with temperatures ranging between 40-45 degrees Centigrade.The villagers started digging small troughs two years ago and lined them with plastic sheets to prevent loss of water through seepage. These troughs are filled with water and replenished every 10 days.Shailja, 23, daughter of environmental activist Anil Bishnoi, went to the fields with her friends and relatives before her wedding at Pilibanga and filled several troughs with water. She appealed to the villagers to take care of wild ungulates and also to keep containers filled with water on rooftops for birds.The bride also presented saplings to the guests at her wedding, and asked them to plant them when they returned to their native places. Shailja has been helping her father in his environment protection work and has acted in a Kalyan Seervi-directed under-production Hindi film, “Saako-363 Amrita Ki Khejadi”, based on the story of legendary Amrita Devi who had fought with the rulers to protect trees in her village.Members of the Sri Jambheshwar Paryavaran Evum Jeevraksha Pradesh Sanstha, who were present on the occasion, praised Shailja’s initiative for providing drinking water to wild animals. Mr. Bishnoi, a recipient of the State-level Amrita Devi Environmental Award in 2009, said he had convinced the farmers of the region to dig waterholes and collected money for it.The villagers who are closest to the troughs fill them with water, which is fetched from the canals or the village water supply scheme. The villages falling in Padampura and Raisinghnagar tehsils of Sriganganagar district and Pilibanga and Suratgarh tehsils of Hanumangarh district have been a part of the initiative.last_img read more



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Wealth may have driven the rise of today’s religions

first_imgToday’s most popular religions all have one thing in common: a focus on morality. But the gods didn’t always care whether you are a bad person. Researchers have long puzzled over when and why religions moved away from a singular focus on ritual and began to encourage traits such as self-discipline, restraint, and asceticism. Now, a new study proposes that the key to the rise of so-called moralizing religions was, of all things, more wealth.The new study “is by far the most significant advance I’ve seen in a long time,” says Richard Sosis, an anthropologist who studies the evolution of religion at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. “They’re offering what I think is a really novel theory to address this long-standing problem in the study of religion.”Religion wasn’t always based on morality, explains Nicolas Baumard, a psychologist at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. For the first several thousand years of human recorded history, he notes, religions were based on rituals and short-term rewards. If you wanted rain or a good harvest, for example, you made the necessary sacrifices to the right gods. But between approximately 500 B.C.E. and 300 B.C.E., a radical change appeared all over Eurasia as new religions sprung up from Greece to India to China. All of these religions shared a focus on morality, self-discipline, and asceticism, Baumard says. Eventually these new religions, such as Stoicism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and their immediate successors, including Christianity and Islam, spread around the globe and became the world religions of today. Back in 1947, German philosopher Karl Jaspers dubbed the pivotal time when these new religions arose “the Axial Age.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)So what changed? Baumard and his colleagues propose one simple reason: People got rich. Psychologists have shown that when people have fewer resources at their disposal, prioritizing rewards in the here and now is the best strategy. Saving for the future—much less the afterlife—isn’t the best use of your time when you are trying to find enough to eat today. But when you become more affluent, thinking about the future starts to make sense, and people begin to forgo immediate rewards in order to prioritize long-term goals.Not coincidentally, the values fostered by affluence, such as self-discipline and short-term sacrifice, are exactly the ones promoted by moralizing religions, which emphasize selflessness and compassion, Baumard says. Once people’s worldly needs were met, religion could afford to shift its focus away from material rewards in the present and toward spiritual rewards in the afterlife. Perhaps once enough people in a given society had made the psychological shift to long-term planning, moralizing religions arose to reflect those new values. “Affluence changed people’s psychology and, in turn, it changed their religion,” Baumard says.To test that hypothesis, Baumard and his colleagues gathered historical and archaeological data on many different societies across Eurasia in the Axial Age and tracked when and where various moralizing religions emerged. Then they used that data to build a model that predicted how likely it was that a moralizing religion would appear in all sorts of different societies—big or small, rich or poor, primitive or politically complex.It turned out that one of the best predictors of the emergence of a moralizing religion was a measure of affluence known as “energy capture,” or the amount of calories available as food, fuel, and resources per day to each person in a given society. In cultures where people had access to fewer than 20,000 kilocalories a day, moralizing religions almost never emerged. But when societies crossed that 20,000 kilocalorie threshold, moralizing religions became much more likely, the team reports online today in Current Biology. “You need to have more in order to be able to want to have less,” Baumard says.Some religious studies scholars are skeptical, however. “It’s an interesting hypothesis” that deserves to be investigated, allows Edward Slingerland, a historian who studies religion in ancient China at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada. But when it comes to the transition from ritual religions to moralizing religions, the authors drew on outdated ideas, he says. For example, religion scholars now doubt that this change took place entirely during the narrow window of the Axial Age. “In early China, a lot of the moralizing stuff is arguably earlier than that,” whereas in the Arabian Peninsula it didn’t appear until about the 7th century C.E., Slingerland notes. He favors a hypothesis that has less to do with a certain fixed time period and more with the size and complexity of a given society; as people find themselves needing to cooperate with more and more strangers, belief in a high god encouraging morality helps smooth those new interactions and contributes to the overall success of the culture.But both the political complexity and affluence hypotheses suffer from a lack of recent statistical data on religion, Slingerland says. The new paper should be “a call to arms for people who want to study history from a scientific perspective to start developing the tools we would need to do that,” says Slingerland, who is part of a team working on a database that aims to catalog the key features of religions around the world. “We’re only at the very beginning of being able to approach cultural history with any kind of rigor.”last_img read more



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No Exception On Helmet Rules For Sikh Workers In Canada

first_imgThree Sikh truck drivers have been ordered to wear hard hats at work by a Canadian court which ruled that no exception can be made for them as the men lost a 10-year-long legal battle against religious discrimination. Related Itemslast_img



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58,000 Indians Issued Emigration Clearance for Gulf in 2 Years



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Misri Family to Represent India at USA Body Building Championship

first_imgBody building is my passion and it’s been 30 years from when I started it. Related Itemslast_img



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