How Much Ground Have You Covered?

first_img 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 Now The elevator door opened and I started to walk out when I noticed I had only gone from the 7th floor to the 6th floor. I had pushed the button to go to the lobby. This wasn’t one of those times when you are on an elevator and not paying attention. In this case, the building was old, as was the elevator. Enough time had passed that I should have been in the lobby, but the elevator didn’t move for some time after I pressed the button.Time and Ground CoveredThere is a certain amount of ground you can cover in a period. Call that ground a goal, a milestone, a quota, or a chapter. The time passes whether or not you cover the ground.Some people recognize that time relentlessly ticks away and feel the need to increase their progress toward their goals. Others don’t feel the same urgency, being more passive and complacent about time—even though they have no more time than those who act with purpose. Time is not a variable; it’s universal. It doesn’t treat anyone differently and offers no one a preference. It just relentlessly counts off its beats.The ground covered is a variable, and it is inside your control. There are two areas you need to consider: values-based decisions and effort. If you want to cover more ground faster, then you need to prioritize those things that move you forward further and more quickly. The decision as to what you do with your time is yours alone. You also have to do the work, putting the effort and energy into the work.Otherwise, you can look up and think you should have gone somewhere only to find yourself standing very close to where you started.last_img read more

Dry weather leads to drop in minimum temperature across Kashmir

first_imgLeh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in the state at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, as the minimum temperature across Kashmir division dropped by several degrees due to dry weather and clear sky.The night temperature in Leh dropped from the previous night’s low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the Meteorological Department here said.Along with Leh, the temperature at other places across Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, went down last night due to dry weather and clear sky.Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded minimum temperature of 0.9 degree Celsius down from the previous night’s 2.7 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.He said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir along Srinagar—Jammu national highway, registered a low of 0.4 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 0.2 degree Celsius.Kupwara town of north Kashmir had registered a minimum of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, a decrease of three degrees from 0.5 degree Celsius yesterday.The night temperature recorded at the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir was minus 6.6 degrees Celsius down about seven degrees from the previous night’s 0.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.He said Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, adding the resort had yesterday recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius.He said the resort was the coldest place in the Valley.The spokesman said the weather is likely to remain dry for a few days after which there is possibility of another wet spell from February 26.last_img read more

Heavy security as Goa gears up for D-day

first_imgThe North and South Goa district administration have made elaborate arrangements for counting of the Assembly election votes, which will be taken up on Saturday morning.Counting of votes for 19 North Goa constituencies will be taken up at Bal Bhavan, Campal. In South Goa, the counting will be done at Government College of Commerce and Economics, Borda, Margao. There will be 129 tables at the North Goa counting centre, and 100 in the South Goa centre.Goa Additional Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti told The Hindu on Friday that counting of votes will start at 8 a.m.He said, “Counting of postal ballots would be taken up first and would have to be finished in half an hour.”He added that the counting of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) votes will start at 8.30 a.m, even if the postal ballot counting is not finished. “However, the last result will not be declared till the postal ballot counting is completed.”The Postal Department has handed over the ballots to a nodal officer at the counting centres. Mr. Navti said there are 17,500 postal ballots in total.“Each round of counting will take at least seven minutes. There will be hardly four or five rounds. Within 40 minutes one constituency will be over. The results should be out by 11.30 a.m.,” he said.The counting centres are being manned by the Central Security Agencies and the State police.According to Nila Mohanan, North District Collector, 400 security officials would be deployed in North Goa. Officials added that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) would be imposed near the counting centres. The State has declared dry day on Saturday.Over 83% voter turnout was recorded in the polls. As many as 251 candidates are in fray in Goa’s 40 constituencies.The ruling BJP is engaged in a fierce fight with the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, and an alliance of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-Shiv Sena-Goa Suraksha Manch, for the 40-member House.Golden rules for VVPATThe Election Commission authorities said some “golden rules” have been prescribed for accepting any recounting requests.The first rule is that a Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) recounting can be asked for only in case of a booth and not the entire constituency.Mr. Navti said any decision pertaining to recounting will come into process only after the candidate’s written application is accepted by the Returning Officer (RO).The RO, in turn, will also apply “three golden rules” before granting permission: If there was a fault in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) or if the machine was replaced; if any error was documented by the VVPAT; the difference between votes obtained by the winner and the runner up are more or less equivalent to the votes polled on that booth.“The demand for VVPAT vote counting will be accepted provided it can influence the ultimate results of a constituency,” Mr. Navti said.When asked why recounting can not be done for an entire constituency, he said, “It is a thermal paper which is very difficult to separate. Then you will need creation of additional infrastructure like pigeon holes for all candidates, additional staff for counting.”Mr. Navti said recounting will be conducted only after the EVM vote counting process is over.The Election Commission has used the VVPAT machines for the first time in in the State.last_img read more

Marathi cinema hogs the spotlight

first_imgPune: The psychologically probing and uniquely textured films of the directing duo of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar shone once more as their recent offering Kaasav (Turtle) won the ‘Golden Lotus’ award at the 64th National Film Awards announced in Delhi on Friday.Marathi cinema, in general, fared well with the cream of the industry’s offerings being noticed and acknowledged at the awards. Dashakriya won the Best Marathi film award, while Rajesh Mapuskar, who directed Ventilator, was adjudged Best Director. The announcement is particularly gratifying for Ms. Bhave and Mr. Sukhtankar as it comes on the occasion of World Health Day at a time when the World Health Organisation (WHO) has selected ‘depression’ as this year’s theme.The much-acclaimed Kaasav (which is yet to be released) stars Alok Rajawade as Manav, a disturbed, alienated and suicidal boy, who is sheltered by a woman Janaki (superbly played by Irawati Harshe) battling loneliness.The film sensitively and intellectually portrays how patience and understanding can bring relief to people battling depression. More importantly, the film brings the malady of depression — often a taboo — into sharp relief and compels discussion on it rather than leave it lurking in the shadows Ms. Bhave and Mr. Sukhtankar are known for their psychological studies delving into the troubled recesses of the human mind in films like Astu (2015), starring Dr. Mohan Agashe, which dealt with Alzheimer’s and Devrai (2004), starring Atul Kulkarni, which tackled schizophrenia.Dr. Agashe, who produced Kaasav, observes that the film is a metaphor of a mother turtle which hatches her eggs and leaves before the young ones are born.The emotional slice-of-life drama Ventilator, produced by Priyanka Chopra (who also has a cameo in the film) bagged a clutch of awards including ‘Best Editing and Best Video Recording’ and ‘Best Sound Mixing.’The film, which marks an acting comeback for director-actor Ashutosh Govarikar, is seasoned with satire and laced with heavy doses of black comedy in chronicling two days in the life of the extremely large Kamerkar family, and the shenanigans that ensue when one of the family elders is admitted to the hospital and put on a ventilator.Veteran actor Manoj Joshi won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Dashakriya, while the film also bagged the Best Screenplay award (adapted) for Sanjay Krushnaji Patil.The film, directed by newcomer Sandip Bhalachandra Patil, stars Dilip Prabhavalkar and is a searing indictment of the evils of the caste system which it powerfully portrays through the odyssey of a young boy, Bhanudas.While 2016 began with a bang for Marathi cinema, with the Nagraj Manjule-directed Sairat becoming a wild box-office smash and Natsamrat featuring some powerful, heavy-duty acting by Nana Patekar, the majority of the year has produced middling fare. far away from the hallowed standards which one has come to expect from Marathi cinema post the award-winning Shwaas (2004).The three films feted at the National Film Awards roster have reclaimed the spotlight for Marathi cinema.last_img read more

No midday meal without Aadhaar in UP schools

first_imgStudents of government-run primary schools in Uttar Pradesh, who do not have an Aadhaar card, will not be able to get midday meal after June 30. List of studentsThe direction from the State government comes three months after the Union Human Resource Development Ministry made Aadhaar cards mandatory for midday meals and asked UP schools to make a list of students who possess the cards. “The government has directed the basic education officers in all the districts to ensure that every beneficiary of the midday meal has an Aadhaar card so that the scheme doesn’t get affected. If Aadhaar cards for all beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme are not made and their numbers not submitted to the State government, then the students without such cards will not be able to benefit from the different schemes of the government. And you will be held responsible for that,” warned a letter written by Director, Basic Education, Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh, addressed to primary education officers. The present rate of Aadhaar enrolment of students of primary schools in the State is extremely low. In Meerut for instance, of a total of 1.73 lakh students in 1,561 schools, only about 29,000 students have Aadhaar cards, which comes to less than 17 %. Schools puzzledThe direction has left the school authorities puzzled as schools have closed for vacation and will reopen only on July 1. The letter by Mr. Singh has asked all the primary education officers to submit a list of students who possess Aadhaar cards to the State government by May 30. Mr. Singh has sent a reminder to the primary education officers of Meerut, Hapur, Moradabad, Sambhal, Kannauj, Farrukhabad and Kanpur (rural) as they have not yet sent the list to the government. Officials helplessMost officials who handle the midday meal scheme have expressed their helpless in the face of the ultimatum. A coordinator for the midday meal scheme in Meerut said with primary schools closed for vacations, it would be almost impossible to follow the direction.‘Students out of town’ “Schools have closed for vacations and most children have gone out of town. Teachers can be asked to help the students get their Aadhaar cards made, but the challenge is how to make cards for students who are out of town,” he said.last_img read more

‘Tourists like fish more than beef’

first_imgGoa’s Minister for Tourism Manohar Ujgaonkar on Thursday said fish and not beef was the food preferred by tourists and the Centre’s notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter will have no impact on the flow of tourists to the State. Over six million tourists, both domestic and foreign, visit the State every year.Mr. Ajgaonkar said, “Just as Goa is known for its sun and sand, it is also known for its fish, curry and rice. Goan fish curry is a big draw for tourists who love authentic Goan xit kodi [fish curry] and sea food. Other non-vegetarian dishes are always the second choice. Goa therefore has not really been affected by the beef notification.”Mr. Ajgaonkar said there was no beef shortage in Goa, but tourism industry stakeholders and meat traders are worried the order banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets would badly hit sale of beef. Over 30% of the State’s population compirse of people of minority communities who consume beef regularly.Francisco Braganca, hotelier and former president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, said hoteliers worry that fears of beef shortage could lead traders hoarding stocks and creating articifical scarcity. He said, “I am told by many supermarket stores owners that there is no impact on the supply of beef as of now. Cattle continues to come in from Karnataka, but the beef is sold out instantly. People perceive a shortage and are hoarding beef.”He said tourists continue to flock to the State as it’s hotter in the other parts of the country.last_img read more

Mehsana custodial death: FIR filed, two arrested

first_imgA week after the custodial death of 26-year-old Ketan Patel in Gujarat’s Mehsana, the police have finally lodged an first information report (FIR) for murder against cops and others and arrested two persons in connection with the case that has pushed the district to the brink of violence. However, the family members have still not accepted the body of deceased, holding to their demand of arrest of all cops who had reportedly beaten to death after his arrest in a petty theft case. On Monday late night, the police lodged the FIR based on a complaint by Mahendra Patel, father of the victim, died in police custody on June 6. The case has been filed under Section 302 for murder and other sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC). According complainant, his son was beaten to death by the cops and even two autopsies conducted by a panel of doctors have revealed that the deceased died of multiple injuries due to excessive beating. “We are yet to get the CD of PM conducted at civil hospital in Mehsana as was promised by the government authorities,” a family member said, adding till they get the CD and all accused are arrested, dead body will not be accepted by the family. The incident has revived the Patidar agitation against the state BJP government, which has desperately trying to find a way out from the imbroglio that had pushed the state to the castes clashes and violence in 2015. “The custodial death of Ketan is a cold blooded murder of a Patidar youth by the police. This is the latest example of how the cops are committing murders of Patidars under the BJP government,” said Varun Patel, member of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) that spearheads the quota agitation in the state.Following the incident, tempers soared high in Mehsana, an epicentre of the Patidar quota agitation started in 2015. The Congress and Patidar groups had given North Gujarat bandh call resulting in violence, as protesters torched two buses and a portion of the Mehsaha civic body’s office.last_img read more

‘Those accusing Nitish of opportunism should question RJD’

first_imgAs Janata Dal (U) president Nitish Kumar is all set to take oath as Bihar Chief Minister with the help of the BJP, barely 14 hours after quitting from the post, JD(U)’s state unit president Bashishtha Narayan Singh dismissed all allegations of opportunism against him.”Nitish Kumar took this decision in consonance with the kind of politics he has always done which is good governance and zero tolerance for corruption. The first duty of any political leader is to ensue that governance is a priority,” he said.”Those accusing Nitish Kumar of opportunism should instead question RJD that prioritised family ties over continuing this alliance. After all, Nitish Kumar wanted Tejaswi Yadav to quit, not break the alliance. It was RJD that made it a deal breaker,” he said.He added that party MP Ali Anwar, who has declared that he does not want to stay in the JD(U) following the split in the Mahagathbandhan was ‘free to act according to his will.’”Everyone is free to act according to their own will but I must say that the first time Ali Anwarji became Rajya Sabha MP was when JD (U) was in the NDA,” he added.last_img read more

Donald Trump, Narendra Modi to get rakhis from women of a remote Haryana village

first_imgHe may have not heard of Rakhi, but the women and girls of a remote Muslim-majority village “symbolically” named by an NGO after US President Donald Trump will send him 1001 sacred threads on the Hindu festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond.The gesture by the residents of Marora village in the backward Mewat region represents the “wish of the people that ties are further strengthened between India and the US”, says the NGO which has adopted the village.The village had come into limelight after Sulabh International Social Service Organisation (SISSO) chief Bindeshwar Pathak had announced that it will be named ‘Trump’s village’The district administration had later said the move to rename the village was “illegal”, forcing the organisation members to remove boards mentioning the new name.They said signage boards and banners carrying the new name of the village and image of Trump had been removed by the organisation.The village, with a population of 1,800 people, lies under Punhana Tehshil, some 60 km from Gurgaon.“The NGO has been conducting many welfare programs for women and girls in the village,” Monica Jain, Vice President of the NGO, said.“These students have made 1001 rakhis with photos of Donald Trump and 501 rakhis for Narendra Modi. Women and girls of the village consider them their elder brothers,” she said.The consignment of rakhis was sent yesterday through cargo so that it reached the US president on Raksha Bandhan on August 7. The villagers are also sending invitations to the two leaders to visit the village.Widows of the village have also expressed a desire to meet Modi on Raksha Bandhan at his residence in the national capital and tie rakhis.“I have made 150 rakhis within three days for Trump bhaiyaa. I also written in a letter to be sent to the White House that the girls of your village want you to visit it with PM Modi,” said 15-year-old Rekha Rani, a resident of the village.Sulabh had recently constructed 95 toilets in Marora to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship program to make every village in the country open defecation free.The village has 140 houses and only 45 of them were equipped with toilet facility. Sulabh constructed the remaining 95 toilets, Jain said.last_img read more

Ahmednagar cop suspended for ‘anti-Modi’ WhatsApp post

first_imgPune: A policeman, who was serving as a bodyguard to senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat in Ahmednagar district, has been suspended after he allegedly penned an “objectionable” post against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shared it via social media, the police have said.According to sources, Ramesh Shinde was one of Mr. Thorat’s bodyguards at his residence in Sangamner, Ahmednagar.He allegedly criticised Mr. Modi in a WhatsApp post recently. The matter was taken seriously and an inquiry was ordered, the police said.Cyber cell inquiry“Action was taken against Mr. Shinde after a detailed inquiry by the district police’s cyber cell,” Ranjan Kumar Sharma, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar, said.‘Many other complaints’Mr. Sharma said there were many other complaints against Mr. Shinde, besides the WhatsApp post. “Hence we initiated disciplinary action by suspending him,” he said. He said the policeman was suspended on Thursday.“His behaviour as a government servant was inappropriate, with regards to forwarding the objectionable post. There are certain norms to be followed in government service and Mr. Shinde violated them,” Mr. Sharma said.Mr. Shinde shared the post, which allegedly took a dig at Prime Minister Modi, to various WhatsApp groups. The post subsequently went viral, which prompted an investigation into it by the cyber crime police, who traced it to Mr. Shinde. — With PTI inputslast_img read more

It’s Bach to the cemetery for a musical feast in Kolkata

first_imgCome Saturday, Kolkatans, both the living and the dead, can look forward to a grand musical feast as the South Park Street Cemetery, one of the city’s oldest cemeteries, will celebrate its 250th birthday by holding a concert on its premises. In a clearing amid small and giant sepulchres, ageing plaques, and 300 varieties of trees, its sprawling, leafy compound will host a performance by a string quartet and a pianist on January 6. The performances, according to the programme booklet, will mainly be of “17th and early 18th century Baroque composers” such as Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel. Some of the finest musicians of the city, including some who are based abroad, such as the violinist Prosanto Dutt, will perform. “He will also talk about the music,” said Ranajoy Bose, the architect of the two-hour show and a managing member of the Christian Burial Board, which manages the cemetery. The tickets are priced at a modest ₹20.On being asked about the low price of the tickets, Mr. Bose said, “This is a strange cemetery. For instance, there are no crosses here. Instead, the tomb designs carry the architectural imprint of many civilisations, including Greek, Roman, Turkish and Mughal influences, and some are even shaped liked Hindu temples. We would like school children to know something about these eclectic designs created by Indian masons, besides some Western classical music.”last_img read more

Jawan among three killed in Pak. shelling

first_imgThree people, including a jawan, were killed and six injured in firing by Pakistani troops along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu division for the third day on Saturday, the police said.Nine persons had been killed in ceasefire violations in three days, police officials said.The jawan was killed after being hit by a bullet during the cross-border firing in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district, the officials said.A Defence spokesman identified the soldier as sepoy Mandeep Singh, 23, a resident of Alampur village of Sangroor in Punjab.He said the Pakistani Army had launched unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms and automatic guns in the sector.The Army retaliated strongly and effectively, the spokesman said.The officials said two civilians — Gaura Ram, 17, of Kapur R.S. Pura, and Gour Singh, 45, of Abdullian — were killed and five injured in firing by the Pakistani Rangers along the IB in Jammu district.A BSF spokesman said heavy cross-border firing was under way in the area from Octroi to Chenab (Akhnoor) in the Suchetgarh sector of R.S. Pura from Saturday morning, leaving a jawan injured in the Pargwal sector.The BSF retaliated and the exchange of fire was under way till the last reports were received.A jawan of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) was injured in cross-border shelling in Jammu, officials said. The condition of constable Lallu Ram was said to be stable.The jawan, who belongs to the 14th Battalion, was deployed for law and order duties along with the Jammu and Kashmir police at the Kanachak police station, when he was hit by splinters of a mortar shell that landed in the area.The heavy firing had forced thousands of border residents to flee their homes, and the authorities announced closure of educational institutions for three days along the LoC and the IB.Between 8,000 and 9,000 people living along the IB had shifted to safer places, and most of them were living with relatives, officials said.Over 1,000 people had been housed in camps in the R.S. Pura, Samba and Kathua areas, they said.last_img read more

Bharat Bandh: Over a dozen injured in Bihar clash

first_imgOver a dozen of people were injured on Tuesday in a violent clash in Bihar during the “Bharat Bandh” called by various groups to protest against reservation policies, police said.Supporters, mostly upper castes youths, blocked roads and forcibly enforced the nationwide shut down in Ara town, Bhojpur district.“More than a dozen people were injured in the clash between supporters of the Bandh and a pro-reservation group comprising OBCs and Dalits,” a district police official said. Additional security have been deployed in Ara.According to reports, hundreds of youths opposing reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and supporting the Bandh, have blocked roads at several places, halted trains and forcibly closed markets in Patna, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Muzafffarpur, Bhojpur, Sheikhpura and Darbhanga districts.The clash comes a day after the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all states to take precautionary measures in view of calls on social media for the “Bharat Bandh” by various anti-reservation groups to protest clashes during the April 2 SC/ST shut down.The Bharat Bandh on April 2 by Dalit groups against the alleged dilution of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by a Supreme Court order had led to violence and arson in many parts of the country which claimed several lives and left hundreds of civilians and policemen injured.last_img read more

Oil refinery: Pawar to decide NCP stand after visit to Ratnagiri

first_imgMumbai: A day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said his party will not allow the proposed oil refinery to come up in Konkan’s Ratnagiri district, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Friday he will visit the project site on May 10 to understand the reasons behind local residents’ opposition to it.The villagers affected by the project will also meet Maharashtra Navanirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan to seek support. Two days ago, State-owned IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. The project, estimated to be worth ₹3 lakh crore, has been opposed by locals as a result of which, even joint measurement of the land has not been possible.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis whilesupporting the project, said, recently, “It is important for the development … It is also important that it should be set up on the west coast.” The Sena chief had labelled the MoU as a ‘betrayal’ of the promises Mr. Fadnavis had made to the locals. In reply, the CM said, “We are aware that the locals are in opposition to the project. We will not proceed if they do not want the project.”Mr. Pawar, on the other hand, said, “I will not say whether the project should be cancelled or not. Farmers have met me and told me their problems. Being the former CM of the State I know what the ground reality is. I will visit the project site and only then announce the party’s stand.”last_img read more

AAP CM candidate to contest from Bhopal

first_imgThe Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh will contest from the Bhopal (South-West) constituency in the coming Assembly elections in the State. The seat is considered a BJP stronghold.“Alok Agrawal will contest from Bhopal Dakshin-Pashchim Assembly seat,” party’s Rajya Sabha member Sushil Gupta announced in Bhopal on Sunday. Mr. Gupta was in the State capital to attend the party’s State Lok Sabha unit meeting.The former Narmada Bachao Andolan activist, Mr. Agrawal is an IIT-Kanpur alumnus who joined the AAP ahead of the 2014 elections. He was fielded as an AAP candidate for the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat, where he got 16,800 votes.Since 2008, the seat is represented by Madhya Pradesh Minister Uma Shankar Gupta. In the State, the Opposition Congress is in a direct face-off with the ruling BJP government, led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan.The party has decided to contest all the 230 Assembly seats in the State, he added. The AAP contested the Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa Assembly elections, but was unable to open its account. However, the party emerged as the second strongest party in Punjab’s 117-member Assembly. The party won 20 Assembly seats by contesting in 112 seats, under a tacit understanding with the ruling Congress in the State.last_img read more

BJP leader Anil Parihar, brother shot dead in Jammu and Kashmir

first_imgBJP’s Jammu and Kashmir secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet were shot dead at point-blank range by unknown gunmen at Kishtwar in Jammu division on Thursday evening. The authorities imposed an indefinite curfew on the town as a “precautionary measure.” An official said the attack took place at Tapal Gali, a narrow lane, close to the residence of the BJP leader.“A hunt has been launched to nab the assailants. We are investigating who are behind the killings,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Kishtwar, Rajinder Gupta said.Before joining the BJP, Mr. Anil had contested the 2008 Assembly elections on the J&K National Panthers Party ticket from the Kishtwar constituency. His brother was a government employee, who also owns a stationery shop. “The brothers after closing their shop were going home when the assailants opened fire. They took bullets in the upper body and the head. They were declared dead at the local hospital,” said a police official.The incident sparked massive protests in communally sensitive Kishtwar district. Two police officers were injured in clashes with the protesters. The police said they were probing “both militancy as well the local angle.” Deputy Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana, who decided to impose curfew on the town, warned the administration of “violent reaction endangering property and lives of locals.” The Internet service has been suspended in the region.The incident comes at a time when J&K is set to witness a nine-phase panchayat poll this month.Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah offered his condolences. “It’s sad news. My condolences to Anil and Ajit Parihar’s family and colleagues,” said Mr. Abdullah.last_img read more

BSP breaks electoral ties with INLD

first_imgThe Bahujan Samaj Party on Saturday announced that it was breaking its almost ten-month-old electoral alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal and will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, due this year, with the Loktantra Suraksha Party in Haryana.BSP Haryana in-charge Meghraj said that following the orders of BSP national president Mayawati, the party has decided to end the alliance.Rebel BJP MP“The BSP today ends its alliance with the INLD and has decided to tie-up with the Loktantra Suraksha Party,” Mr. Meghraj told journalists here. The LSP is the political outfit floated by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini. The candidate fielded by him in the Jind bypoll had put up a better performance than INLD’s Umed Singh Redhu.Mr. Meghraj added that the BSP and the LSP will jointly contest the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Haryana. Seat sharing“While the BSP will contest eight seats, the LSP would fight two parliamentary seats. As far as the Assembly elections are concerned, the BSP will contest 35 seats and the LSP will fight 55 seats,” he said.The INLD and the BSP had announced an electoral alliance in April last year for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. The alliance was under strain after the INLD was defeated in the recently held Jind bypoll.Mr. Meghraj added that the decision to snap ties was taken after considering the demand of the people of Haryana. “Our leader gave them a chance for staying united. When we entered into an alliance, the INLD was one party. But after the Chautala family split, we got a chance to judge them in the Jind bypoll,” he said.The BSP leader said the objective of ousting the BJP was unachievable with an alliance with the INLD.Meanwhile, INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said: “The INLD always respected BSP leaders and workers. Now, why the BSP has decided to end ties with the INLD, its for their (BSP) leaders to answer.”(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Maharashtra reels under drought as water reserves dry up

first_imgAs the water situation steadily worsens in the arid Marathwada region, districts in ‘water-abundant’ western Maharashtra, too, are feeling the lash of the drought.Rising mercury levels have resulted in the rapid depletion of water stocks in the 22 dams which are part of the Bhima river basin in western Maharashtra and are the potable water lifelines of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.Low water stockAt least five of these dams, including Dimbhe and Temghar, have 0% water stock currently, while the collective stock in seven other dams is less than 10% of their capacity. The remaining 10 have a collective reserve stock of a little over 20% .While Pune’s Guardian Minister Girish Bapat announced that Pune city would not face water cuts, sources in the Water Resources Department said that dams in the Pune region had barely 18% water stock available as on May 6, as compared to 38% at the same time last year.Pimpri-Chinchwad too is reeling under the onslaught of drought. The city receives water only once in two days with water levels of the Pavana dam rapidly depleting. Its water stock, which stood at 31% of total capacity at the beginning of the month, has now reduced to 26%.Crisis in SolapurAuthorities said more than 750 tankers were deployed to provide relief to the worst-afflicted districts in the Pune division which include Solapur, Mangalwedha, Satara and Maan. The situation in Solapur is grave as Ujjani dam currently has a water level of -34.98% (dead water stock).On Sunday, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar toured villages in Maan taluk, criticising the State government for its inadequate arrangements to combat drought.“Merely holding conference calls over phone with secretaries and other officials and taking a review will not help provide relief to the drought-afflicted public. It is important to know the precise condition of the livestock, their owners, the fodder camps, the crops and this can only be ascertained by field visits,” he said, taking a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.He further pointed out that the aid of ₹90 per animal announced by the government was insufficient for the farmer in this hour of crisis as fodder and water were expensive and scarce. “The per animal monetary aid for fodder must be raised to ₹120. Furthermore, while the government may have arranged for tankers, water supply through them was highly irregular at best,” Mr. Pawar said.‘Contaminated water’The NCP chief said that people had complained to him during his visit that the drinking water they received was of poor quality and often contaminated. “I am least interested in indulging in politics at this hour. But I urge the government to ensure that these problems are rapidly remedied and that employment opportunities be immediately created to prevent the increased migration of the rural populace,” he said.Meanwhile, in Marathwada, despite the relief packages announced by the government, the scenario on ground remains grim as ever. Residents in pockets of Parli town in Beed district are on a hunger strike in front of the municipal council protesting against the acute water shortage. The groundwater table has plummeted sharply in several villages in the district as in other parts of rural Marathwada. In Jalna, irate residents staged a rasta roko on Saturday protesting against the alleged mismanagement and theft of water.According to reports, the desperation of the people of Halsi village in Latur’s Nilanga taluk turned to bitter rage directed at their local representatives. The villagers had collected money to dig up three wells. But the sarpanch, citing the model code of conduct for the elections, refused its implementation, causing the citizens to manhandle him.last_img read more

Whales and dolphins squeal with delight

first_imgLike a dog wagging its tail in anticipation of treats to come, dolphins and belugas squeal with pleasure at the prospect of a fish snack, according to a new study. It’s the first direct demonstration of an excitement call in these animals, says Peter Madsen, a biologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who was not involved in the study. To hunt and communicate, dolphins and some whale species produce a symphony of clicks, whistles, squeaks, brays, and moans. Sam Ridgway, a longtime marine biologist with the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program, says he heard distinctive high-pitched squeals for the first time in May 1963 while training newly captured dolphins at the Navy’s facility in Point Mugu, California. “We were throwing fish in, and each time they would catch a fish, they would make this sound,” he says. He describes it as a high-pitched “eeee,” like a child squealing in delight.Ridgway and his collaborators didn’t think much of the sound until later in the 1960s, when dolphins trained to associate a whistle tone with a task or behavior also began making it. Trainers teach animals a task by rewarding them with a treat and coupling it with a special noise, like a click or a whistle. Eventually only the sound is used, letting the animal know it will get a treat later. The whistle was enough to provoke a victory squeal, Ridgway says. Meanwhile, beluga whales would squeal after diving more than 600 meters to switch off an underwater speaker broadcasting tones. “As soon as the tone went off, they would make this same sound,” Ridgway says, “despite the fact that they’re not going to get a reward for five minutes.” He also heard the squeal at marine parks in response to trainers’ whistles.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(*)Ridgway suspects the squeals are tied to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the reward centers of mammal brains. Since 1956, scientists have identified reward systems involving dopamine neurons in rats, dolphins, monkeys, and humans, among other mammals. Dopamine release can take about 100 to 200 milliseconds, so Ridgway pored over 4 decades of recordings made in open waters to time the animals’ responses. He found that the dolphins take an average of 151 milliseconds to make their squeals and belugas take about 250 milliseconds. Though Ridgway and colleagues didn’t directly measure dopamine in the brain, that’s enough time for dopamine to spark the sound, he and colleagues report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology.Ridgway, who is semiretired, says the victory squeals were never a specific research project, but he wanted to publish the results to tie together 52 years of observations.Marc Lammers, a biologist at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology in Kaneohe who studies cetacean communication and behavior, says dopamine release is a novel way to explain these emotive calls. But conditioned responses in captive, trained animals may not necessarily translate to involuntary pleasure sounds in wild animals, he adds. Wild belugas and dolphins emit bursts of these sounds in a variety of settings, from feeding sessions to aggression or courtship aimed at other animals. What’s more, squeals, squawks, or creaks sound differently to us than to cetaceans, which hear at a much higher resolution, Lammers says. “They’re our best attempt at putting a label on a certain type of sound, rather than describing the acoustic quality of the sounds themselves,” he says. “Just because that’s what it looks like or sounds like, or that’s the context—it’s hard for us to know what’s inside the animal’s head.”Wild dolphins and whales have been shown to produce mews, rasps, buzzes, and creaks to alert other animals when food is available. But this study doesn’t show that victory squeals are an intentional form of communication, either for food sharing or simply emotional sharing, says Paul Manger, a biologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. “To support the idea that somehow there’s a social context to it, they’d have to take the experiments further and show some intentionality; intention to share or deceive,” Manger says. Further work using two dolphins at a time could help clarify whether the calls have some social context, or are just involuntary cries of delight, he says.(Video courtesy of Sam Ridgway, National Marine Mammal Foundation)last_img read more

Scientists grow tiny human stomachs in lab dishes

first_imgThe colorful snakelike image above is actually fluorescently labeled tissue from a section of a stomach that’s smaller than a pea. But it’s not the stomach of an extraordinarily small animal; it’s a mini human stomach grown in a dish by scientists who hope to use it to study gastrointestinal diseases. Because the digestive systems of mice, flies, and other model organisms differ from those of humans, researchers have been hard-pressed to find a way to study the development of human gut maladies such as peptic ulcer disease. So several groups have turned to pluripotent stem cells—cells derived from human embryos or reprogrammed adult cells that can turn into any cell type in the body—to try to grow digestive organs in the lab. Last week, one group of researchers announced the creation of a lab-grown small intestine from stem cells. Today, a different team reports online in Nature that they’ve perfected the recipe of molecules needed to coax both types of stem cells to grow into small spheres that, despite their size, have all the properties of a functional stomach. When the researchers exposed the ministomachs to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, infections of which are blamed for many stomach ulcers and cancers, they saw the same molecular and cellular changes already known to occur in life-size stomachs.last_img read more