Many of us aren’t comfortable talking about our incomes with our children, but now is a time to disclose. Your child needs to know how much you saved, what assets you have, and how much you can afford to or want to spend. Fill out the FAFSA forms together, and when offers come in, discuss the reality of each one and what it will mean to your student. Help them get their first checking account and their first credit card At this age, the concept of making loan payments for years may be vague and theoretical. Lay out in detail what they can probably expect to be paid at a first job, what expenses might be, and what a monthly loan payment could look like. Make sure they know that there are only a few circumstances in which you can defer or be excused from paying loans, and that serious consequences exist for those who default. Have your student read accounts from young adults living with loans of various sizes. Hopefully, parents started early with this key financial life lesson, but it’s not too late. Talk to children about the basics of budgeting. How much money do they have coming in (from whatever source) every month? How much do they have to spend on fixed costs like rent and cell phone bill? What’s left over? When does the money come in from various sources, and how will they ensure they have enough?Encourage your child to roughly track expenses. He or she isn’t likely to want do this using pen and paper and receipts, but fun and easy-to-use budgeting apps make it simple and allow him or her to categorize spending and find out where the money goes. Talk about your child’s financial future Who is looking into scholarships and grants and what are your expectations there? (There are many for children of service members.) Do you expect your child to get a job? How many hours? What about summers: do you expect him or her to get a paying job, or will unpaid internships be a possibility? How much money is he or she expected to contribute overall? Are you willing to take on any loans, or is he or she expected to be the primary loan-bearer? If school is nearby, can your child live at home rent-free?Research suggest that students may work harder and take school more seriously when they have a little “skin in the game”—that is, when they work to help pay for school. Students who have a completely free ride may tend to party more and study less. However, experts also caution that working too many hours can make it hard to do well and finish a degree. By Carol ChurchIn part 1 of this series, we talked about how tricky it can be to navigate the costs of higher education today with young adults. Today we’ll list some concrete suggestions that can help families work through the “money issue” while students are in school. Photospin/MonkeyBusiness ImagesBefore selecting a school: Talk about what you can afford and what your child will need to cover. Talk about where the money is coming from Your child is probably just starting out with a credit score, a number that will follow them forever. Make sure they understand that employers, landlords, credit card companies, banks, and all kinds of other people will have access to and will use this number, and that it can take a long time to fix mistakes. Have your child visit MyFICO or this basic page from Indiana University to learn more. Yes, they still need a checkbook, though they will probably prefer to do their banking online. With that in mind, though they may appear sophisticated, don’t forget to go over the importance of secure passwords and how to avoid phishing. Remind them never to share financial information or a debit card with anyone.New laws prevent young people under 21 from opening their own credit cards, though they can be an authorized user on your account or use a prepaid credit card. The authorized user approach may be a good set of credit card “training wheels,” since parents can check the balance, but they also need to learn to handle it on their own. Teach your child how to budget If you are still largely or partly supporting your college student, you have every right to set spending limits and to make your expectations clear about the amount he or she can spend on incidentals. There are various ways to work this out, from prepaid credit cards to new prepaid ID card systems on campus to the simple route of periodically depositing set amounts into your child’s checking account, which you monitor. Don’t obsessively monitor spending, since he or she won’t learn much about how to control temptation if you call every day to scold. But at the end of the month, if the money’s gone, it’s gone. Teach your child about credit scores Sit down with your student and write out all the expenses he or she will likely encounter. Consider all factors: tuition, room and board (if using campus housing), rent and food (if living and eating off campus), books, car, gas, insurance, health insurance, going out, clothes, and incidentals. (This list will be long!) Discuss who will be responsible for paying for what. Communicate limits Help your child understand what a student loan truly means Discuss who pays for what It can be easy to get stuck on worrying about the “here and now” of college costs, but don’t forget the bigger financial picture. Talk to students about the long term: making and reaching financial goals. One of the most important things a young adult needs to learn is to start saving early. Thanks to the power of compound interest, putting money away starting young can make a huge difference to his or her future, even if it’s just a small amount. Students should start with a small emergency fund as soon as they’re on their own and graduate to putting money into savings every month, even while paying off loans.College is a major life milestone for parents and students both, and it can be intimidating. However, higher education is the key to so many amazing opportunities. With help, parents can help their students gain the understanding they need to graduate from college with a firm financial footing.References:Chatz, J. (2014). How to talk money before they go off to college. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2014/08/25/how-to-talk-money-before-they-go-off-to-college/Daugherty, G. (2016). How to Keep Your College Kid Out of Money Trouble. Retrieved from http://time.com/money/4406466/how-to-keep-your-college-kid-out-of-money-trouble/Gilkay, G. (2016). Time to talk about money with your college student. Retrieved from https://www.fisc-cccs.org/time-to-talk-about-money-with-your-college-student/Grabmeier, G. (2015). 70 percent of college students stressed about finances. Retrieved from https://news.osu.edu/news/2015/07/01/financial-wellness/Padilla-Walker, L. M., Nelson, L. J., Carroll, J. S. (2012). Affording emerging adulthood: parental financial assistance of their college-aged children. Journal of Adult Development, 19, 50-58. doi: 10.1007/s10804-011-9134-y360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. (n.d.) Teaching Your College-Age Child About Money. Retrieved from http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Family-Financial-Planning/How-to-Talk-to-Your-Children-About-Money/Teaching-your-college-age-child-about-money
UPDATE: THE CONTEST HAS NOW ENDED. Thanks to all who entered. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for info on future giveaways!Take your media projects to the next level with quality royalty free music from Premiumbeat.com. One lucky winner will receive $500 worth of credit to spend on royalty free music and sound effects.Premiumbeat.com is a curated royalty free music website that provides high-quality music tracks and sound effects for use in new and traditional media projects. With thousands of tracks in more than 30 music styles, Premiumbeat music is ideal for websites, online videos, mobile apps, television, radio, feature films and other professional applications.
Visual effects should be so subtle that you think they’re real.Top image via Roy Peker.This must-watch video from Roy Peker is a great example of the power of VFX. Honestly, you just have to watch — and then watch it again.You’ll notice how Peker and the many artists who worked on the video used compositing techniques like rotoscoping and matte paintings to create realistic 3D environments — so well done, many may have missed the VFX from the beginning of the video.Image via Roy Peker.Within the last decade, the term VFX has become a negative buzzword. Each year, grandiose summer blockbusters unveil more and more computer-generated characters and locations. We’ve gone from supplementary, computer-generated animals to a full-scale army of CGI apes. In the ’90s, vehicles often got digital facelifts for sci-fi features, and now tools like The Mill’s Blackbird can create any car at any time.The reason why we think CGI is bad is because we only see bad CGI. —Freddie WongWhen you hear negative opinions about visual effects, it’s because the effects are too obvious. They ruin the suspension of disbelief and pull you out of the film.The Hobbit received intense criticism for overusing VFX. This may be because mythical creatures are inherently fantastical and will always look surreal. However, I was thoroughly surprised to learn that K-2SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a full CG character. Azog from The Hobbit on the other hand? Well, I was looking for a video game controller to defeat him with.Images via LucasFilm and New Line Cinema.Recently, fans of Blade Runner rejoiced over the news that the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was going to rely on practical effects first, only resorting to computer-generated effects if necessary. Blade Runner works so well with retro “futuristic” art direction and props and set design that paradoxically look outdated. CGI doesn’t work well in this manner. The online reaction to the lack of VFX was overwhelmingly positive — as many believe VFX ruins movies. But that’s certainly not the case.If you have ever felt like VFX is killing modern cinema, I encourage you to at least watch this video essay from the team at RocketJump Film School. Freddie Wong and crew explain that there are plenty of good VFX — we just don’t see them. What are your thoughts on VFX? Love ’em or hate them? Let us know in the comments below.
Directing your first scene? Before you get bogged down in the technical details, take the time to plan out and rehearse your blocking.Blocking is the movement of the actors on screen, and subsequently how the camera and crew move with them. It’s the same as dance or fight choreography in the sense that it plots out the physical movement of your characters in a three-dimensional space, and at times, it can be as simple as hand movements and body language. Blocking is a key element in directing a scene.Blocking is important because it not only makes a film feel more natural, it also directs the audience’s attention. When the script calls for the characters to walk or run from point A to point B — or take some other specific action — the blocking comes a bit more easily. The narrative has explicitly laid out a motive for movement. However, in dialogue scenes, figuring out the blocking can be a little trickier. A trap new directors may fall into when blocking dialogue scenes is simply having the characters talk — with little movement or action. But if you take the time to think of the context of the scene, you can find ways to motivate your characters movements or body language.Take this scene from James Cameron’s Terminator. While this part of the scene is filmed in the shot-reverse shot formula, notice the characters’ movements and body language throughout.Cameron could have taken the easy route and just had Sarah and Kyle hide in an alley, talk for a few minutes, and then step back into the action. But by keeping them in the action (hiding from the police, loading his gun, hot-wiring the car, etc.) the scene flows better, is more interesting, and motivates the characters’ movements. It brings the characters to life.Of course, not every dialogue scene will be about running from a future murder robot and calling for one of the characters to hot-wire a car while explaining the seemingly impossible. Still. There are ways to keep the blocking active and avoid turning your actors into talking heads. Naturally, a more experienced actor will use their own movements and body language if left undirected, but for amateur actors (or even non-actors) this direction is critical. Let’s take a look at a scene from Tarantino’s Django Unchained.Serving himself and Django a pint does many things, but if nothing else, it creates a more natural and interesting scene. In actual conversations, people rarely just sit around and only talk. They move, they get up to grab a snack or drink, they use gestures to communicate, and so on.Imagine Christoph Waltz’s character moving about the saloon without ever using the taps or serving Django the beer . . . but still hitting those positions. Yes, his blocking would certainly be interesting, but it would ultimately be confusing, and he’d look like a crazy person. Blocking needs motivation, even if it’s just to make the scene more visually interesting — it still needs to make sense.Blocking can also add subtext to a scene. It can show the relationship between characters. It can convey skills and personality traits.Refer to the scenes above. Through the blocking, we learn that Kyle Reese is cautious, trained, and skilled. In the Django Unchained scene, we see the carefree nature of Dr. King Schultz and the reserved nature of Django. We literally see how Dr. Schultz is in control of the situation.If you’re directing a scene, dialogic or otherwise, explore the different ways your characters can move about. Experiment with what feels most natural and what may elevate the underlying message. There’s no one way to go about this because every scene is different, and what feels natural will depend on the context. All in all, give your actors motivation and get the characters moving.Cover image via The Terminator (Orion).Looking for more filmmaking tips and tricks? Check out these articles.DaVinci Resolve: THE Total Guide to the Best Free Video EditorThe 3 Easiest Ways to Cut Clips in Adobe Premiere Pro CCHow to Cut an Effective Trailer for Your Next Film or VideoHow to Overcome the 5 Biggest Obstacles in Writing Your ScreenplayCinematography Tips: Four Ways to Use a Low-Angle Shot
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:25 — 19.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSSales itself has been around almost forever. But the way the sales process is carried out and the way sales are actually made has to change repeatedly. Why? Because the culture changes – which means the people you are selling to change as well – in their thinking, their needs, their fears, and their areas of risk aversion. Linda Richardson is one of the pioneers in what is being called “insight selling” and “consultative selling” and on this episode of In The Arena she’s talking with Anthony about her new book, “Changing the Sales Conversation” which outlines the changes that are happening in society that impact the way we do sales. If you’re not familiar with these concepts this episode is a great primer. Even if you are familiar with the concepts, you’ll still get tons of value from the conversation.What is consultative selling? You get to hear it from an expert, Linda Richardson, on this episodeClick To TweetWhy is insight so important in sales and how does a salesperson develop it?“Insight” in any realm is essentially having sight into a person or situation: it’s understanding and wisdom about what you are dealing with. Salespeople have to be able to develop a type of insight that reveals unspoken nuances and dynamics that are going on in the sales conversation. Linda Richardson says that it’s a skill that can’t be taught, only learned by experience. Anthony gets Linda to unpack the idea of how this sort of insight is learned through coaching and mentoring on this episode, so be sure you listen.The sales manager has to teach his/her salespeople what it means to have insight.And it’s not done in a classroom, through a sales presentation or slide deck, or by telling them lots of concepts. It comes through demonstration in real life scenarios. That means sales managers have to be out in the field alongside salespeople, selling together, talking about situations, pointing out observations in the appointment they just left that the Jr. salesperson likely missed. That’s how sales managers do their best at equipping new salespeople to do their jobs well. It’s called coaching, and it’s the sales manager’s job. Find out more about effective sales coaching on this episode of In The Arena.You can’t install insight into an individual. How can #salespeople develop it? On this episodeClick To TweetConsultative selling is what works today.Imagine yourself with a physical condition that has you worried. What would you do? 9 times out of 10, you’ll make an appointment to see your physician. The doc is seen as an expert, someone who has specialized in the area of physical health. THAT is the idea behind consultative selling. The salesperson is serving the potential customer as a consultant, and expert in the area of need they have. It’s not high pressure and it’s not scary. It’s a sales professional sincerely caring for the needs of another person and offering solutions to help them address their need. You can hear Linda Richardson, author of “Changing the Sales Conversation” define and discuss consultative selling on this episode.Why resolving risk is a greater concern than ever for salespeople.We live in very interesting times. On one hand we are more prosperous than ever. But we’re also coming off some very turbulent times in the business world. Customers have become leery both because the corporate climate has changed and because the recent past has convinced them that there is a great deal of risk involved in many of the choices available today. How is a salesperson to address the risk aversion that many of their prospects have today? Linda Richardson and Anthony Iannarino, both sales pros in their own right, discuss the issue together on this episode.Customers are more comfortable with their fears than they are with the value you provide ~ Anthony IannarinoClick To TweetOutline of this great episode How Anthony became familiar with Linda Richardson. What is insight for sales people? How can salespeople develop insight that helps in their sales career? How sales managers can serve new salespeople with providing experiences. Why do we need consultative selling now? The difficulty of applying concepts and skills to particular companies. The new skills that salespeople need. How resolving risk is a greater challenge than it’s ever been. Why Anthony loves Linda’s book and why you should grab it (below).Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.Richardson.com – Linda’s sales training company0071823654 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeInsight is a big, big part of the new #selling ~ Linda RichardsonClick To TweetResearch shows the reason alone does not change a person’s mind. We need relationship ~ Linda RichardsonClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below
Tonight, I did something I rarely do. I stepped foot in an office supply store. My daughter wanted a fancy planner, and I needed some new highlighters for books I am reading and documents I need to review. Naturally, I only like one pen, some sort of Uni-Ball gel pen, so I picked up a pack of those and a pack of assorted colors (even though I have no idea when I will ever use them.)My daughter couldn’t find an acceptable planner, but she did find Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (which upon reflection, might have been more important to her).As we were checking out, the nice gentleman behind the counter asked me if I had a rewards card. I said that I did not and, naturally, he pitched me. Did I know that I could save on every transaction? Did I know that I could collect points that can be redeemed for merchandise in the store?I explained that I visit an office supply store on the same frequency of occurrence as Haley’s Comet passing Earth.Undeterred, the cashier, acting as salesman, adjusted his approach. Was I aware that their program was free? Had anyone informed me that there was no card necessary; I could simply register with my phone number? Politely, I told him that I understood, but I wouldn’t find any value in the program. As what he tried thus far hadn’t worked, he went to time as my likely objection. Did I know it only takes a minute to sign up?This is a mistake that salespeople make, but in this case, the cashier was trained to pursue an enrollment, and he did his best. But as my daughter was with me, I continued to say no to teach her an important lesson. No matter how persistent someone is, you do not have to agree to what they ask you to do. No matter how polite they seem, you have no obligation to agree to what they ask of you to be polite. If someone refuses to take no for an answer, they are not being polite, and you can stick to your no with no apologies.And here is a lesson for at least 14 salespeople who have communicated with me through email and LinkedIn over the past two weeks. Not everyone is your prospect. A pulse and blinking eyes are not enough to make someone a prospect. What makes someone a prospect is the fact that you can create value for them—and that they will perceive what you sell as value, even if they say no.There is no reason to assume that a LinkedIn profile is an indication that one needs a mobile application, a responsive website, better SEO, Oracle Java developers, or lead generation services (all of which I have been offered in the last two weeks). If you sell consulting services, pitching me and sending me a link whereby I can schedule time on your Calendly or TimeTrade link is to misunderstand prospecting altogether.I may not be your prospect. You may not be mine either.
The J&K government on Thursday embarked on the path to digital payments at government hospitals with the inauguration of the State’s first-ever public hospital in south Kashmir for cashless transactions.POS machinesThe Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK), has started the service by installing point-of-sale (POS) machines at the district hospital in Pulwama.“We are extending the service to other sub-district hospitals. This move is aimed at making district-level hospitals cashless,” said Muneer-ul-Islam, Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama. The move is expected to go a long way in easing money transactions at hospitals in the Valley. “It will definitely improve the financial transparency, and such initiatives will go a long way in making various hospital services patient-friendly,” said Dr. Saleem ur Rehman, Director, Health Services, Kashmir.Lessen inconvenienceDr. Rehman said the authorities were replicating the initiative across other hospitals run by the directorate. “It will remarkably lessen the inconvenience faced by attendants and reduce the time spent by them at the payment counters,” he said.
Villagers of Bharala in the Neem ka Thana region of the Sikar district found a novel way of registering their protest against the mine operators in the area by burning their banners in the customary pyre of Holi festivities. While celebrating Holi, residents of the village gave vent to their anger and narrated the hardships faced by them due to mining activities.The Neem ka Thana region has witnessed confrontations between villagers and mine operators over the years, with the latter allegedly attacking the local residents and activists. Activists allege that the accused are politically connected.On Sunday, villagers decorated the Holi pyre with banners containing the pledge to fight against the mine operators. As the pyre of wood and cow dung cakes caught fire, villagers raised slogans such as ‘Avaidh khanan murdabad’ (‘down with illegal mining’), ‘Prashasan maun kyon?’ (‘why is the administration silent’) and ‘Hamara pani hamara adhikaar’ (‘our water is our right’).“For too long, we have been facing paucity of water due to mining, houses developed cracks because of blasts, and dust particles from stone crushers affect our health. It was time to make the mining mafia realise their mistakes,” Kailash Meena, an activist in the forefront of agitation, told The Hindu.After burning the Holi pyre, villagers celebrated the festival of colours on Monday with the pledge to fight out for their rights. Mr. Meena said a posse of policemen was deployed in Bharala to control any trouble, but the residents of the village had already declared that they wanted to stage a peaceful protest.Fight for rightsOnly recently, a villager Mahesh Saini was threatened by the operators of mines, while noted environmental activist Radheyshyam Shuklawas sustained head injuries in a violent attack on him in the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board office in Jaipur on February 2.In November 2014, local anti-mining activist Shankar Lal Meena was attacked and the police did not take any action in the case despite a series of demonstrations by the villagers.While pointing out it was their right to get clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and irrigate crops and pasture land for their cattle, activists have been demanding expeditious action against stone crushers and mines operating in defiance of the government orders. Mr. Meena said the demand for a probe by a retired High Court judge to find out the impact on people’s health, environment and agriculture was also pending.
Gular fig trees with luxuriant foliage are in trouble in parts of Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the pruning of the trees along the route of the upcoming Kanwar Yatra because they are considered ‘inauspicious’.The instructions were given by Mr. Adityanath himself on Thursday, during a high-level meeting with officials.The Yatra commences in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan (second week of July) coinciding with the monsoon, during which devotees of Shiva walk miles to collect Ganga water, in Varanasi and other places. The Chief Minister ordered the “pruning of trees like Gular [fig] considered apavitra [inauspicious] by the Kanwariyas,” a government spokesperson said. The Yatra review was the first at the chief ministerial level in UP, and Uttarakhand officials were also present.The pruning instructions baffled environmentalists who termed it superstitious. Chitrakoot-based environmentalist Gunjan Mishra said, “the tree is the best example of symbiosis of culture. How can it be inauspicious? Since olden days, the trees have given shade and places to rest for those travelling long distances like the Kanwariyas or for the ill.”The gular is also well-known for attracting birds as it has plenty of fruit and is evergreen, said Vallabhacharya Pandey, an environmental activist in Varanasi. He also said that at a time when trees were being chopped for highway expansion, the “annual tradition” would only cause harm.Prateek Mishrapuri, an astrologer from Haridwar who runs the Bharti Prachya Vidya Society said the tree had high ritual status in Hinduism, but the Nirnay Sindhu shastra indicated why it may be considered inauspicious.“If the pilgrims pass under it or perform religious acts under it, the ‘satvik punya’ earned through the yatra got reduced,” he contended.Traditionally, the Kanwariyas simply bypassed the tree, and pilgrims did the same during the Mansarovar Yatra. Yet, the gular in Hinduism falls under the ‘panch pallav’, or the five holy puja leaves. “The shashtras say cutting down the tree without cause increases lawlessness and crimes against women, Mr. Mishrapuri claimed.Professor Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, mahant of the famous Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi, said the government was linking ‘unscientific beliefs to the environment.’Pilgrims and plasticHe said what needed to be changed during the Yatra was use of plastic bottles which polluted the river.Mr. Adityanath has asked officials to inform the Kanwariyas of do’s and don’ts, including adherence to noise level limits as per Supreme Court norms.” Officials have been asked to install CCTV on the Yatra’s route.
Gorakhpur encephalitis deaths: Myriad factors plague communities He also raised questions if financial irregularities in the hospital were behind the “missing” cylinders.A note circulated by Meenu Walia, the HR manager of the firm, said the company maintained supply of liquid oxygen to the BRD hospital “irrespective of overdue payment.”“First supply for the month of August was made on August 4. The next intimation of refilling request from BRD medical college was given on August 11, which was also made available on August 12 by Pushpa Sales,” said Ms. Walia.While the DM’s report talks about the interruption of oxygen supply in the hospital, blaming the firm as well as senior hospital management, it remains silent on the cause of death of the children.Audit recommendedRaising suspicions of irregularities, DM Rautela also found “over-writing” in the stock book of the hospital.The report said anomalies in the hospital log book of oxygen cylinders, instances of “over-writing” in the stock book and the failure of the management to maintain a “serial-wise and date-wise” payment of bills to the private firm “prima facie” indicated “financial irregularities.”It recommended that an audit be conducted and that a high-level probe be held by the medical education department.Doctor faultedThe DM indicted Satish Kumar, HoD of anaesthesia ward, and Gajanan Jaiswal, chief pharmacist of the medical college, for laxity in executing their duty of maintaining the oxygen cylinder log book and stock book. “They did not maintain their records well and over-writing was found in the stock book,” the two-page report said. Mr. Kumar was also held “guilty of not discharging his duties” as he was in-charge of the log book as well maintaining the supply of liquid oxygen. Private firm Pushpa Sales Private Limited on Thursday refuted a magisterial report, which held it “responsible” for interrupting the supply of liquid oxygen to Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.It claimed that it did not stop supply though it put pressure on the hospital to receive its overdue payment.Manish Bhandari, the owner of the firm, said he was willing to submit “evidence” before the government to prove his stand.“If they have submitted it [DM report] we will give our evidence when the government asks. We have said that we have not stopped [the supply of oxygen]. We will prove it,” Mr. Bhandari told The Hindu.In his report submitted to the Uttar Pradesh government, District Magistrate of Gorakhpur Rajeev Rautela said Pushpa Sales should not have cut the supply of oxygen as the firm was in the business of “life-saving.”Mr. Bhandari shifted blame on to the hospital authorities, saying it was their responsibility to maintain the stock of oxygen cylinders and also said that the contract to supply cylinders was with another firm.“Maintaining stock of cylinders is not my responsibility,” Mr. Bhandari said.Also Read
For the third consecutive day, Opposition parties created a ruckus in the Bihar Assembly on Wednesday over the “deteriorating law and order situation, corruption and scams hitting the State every other day”. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s tweet taking dig at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad also invited a series of tweets against Mr. Kumar while Leader of Opposition Tejaswi Yadav exchanged a war of words with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi inside the House.The pandemonium began in the House after Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhury rejected notice of an adjournment motion by RJD MLA Lalit Yadav and Congress leaders Ramdeo Rai and Vijay Shanker Dubey, saying the House had important business to transact. Leader of Opposition Tejaswi Yadav requested the Speaker to admit the motion since it concerned an important issue but when the Speaker did not relent, Opposition legislators trooped into the well of the House and created a ruckus. Later, the protesting MLAs staged a walkout.
An FIR (First Information Report) was lodged against personnel of the Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation (UPSBC) on Wednesday, following the collapse of a portion of an under-construction flyover in Varanasi on Tuesday. The incident led to 18 deaths.Although the FIR lodged at the Sigra Police Station does not name anyone, it lists among the accused supervisory officials, contractors and staff appointed by the UPSBC for various tasks.Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and Section 427 (mischief) of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked. Sections 3 and 4 of the Public Property Damage Prevention Act 1984 are also mentioned in the FIR.In its complaint, the police said UPSBC officials had carried out the construction work at a time when traffic in the area was at its peak. Officials have been accused of working “without proper safety measures” as required by the “project standard”, the FIR states.Rules floutedOfficials, staff, contractors and supervisors went ahead with the construction work even when they were fully aware that there was high public mobility in the area at the time and that any minor lapse could lead to heavy loss of life and property, the FIR said.A three-member team of senior officials led by Commissioner of Agricultural Production Raj Pratap Singh started its probe and inspected the site of the collapse in Varanasi’s Cantonment area.Around a dozen persons were also injured and at least seven vehicles, including a mini-bus and a tempo, crushed under the girder which fell on the traffic near the Railway Station in Varanasi’s Cantonment area.Rajan Mittal, Managing Director of the UPSBC, estimated that the accident could have taken place due to the dislodging of the beam bearing, possibly due to the recent thunderstorm that hit parts of the State as the beams were not cast together.“The beam bearing might have got dislodged a bit. It could be one of the reasons. The beams were resting there for 2.5 months and could have inclined a bit gradually, shifting slightly out of the centre,” Mr. Mittal told The Hindu. The cross beams should have been cast, he pointed out.The police on Wednesday also arrested a sweeper after he allegedly demanded money from the kin of the dead for the post-mortem.State Public Works Department Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya late on Tuesday suspended four officials and engineers, including Chief Project Manager H.C. Tiwari and Project Manager K.R. Sudan, holding them “prima facie” responsible for the incident.Another probeU.P. Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said the under-construction bridge from the Lehartara to Chaukaghat area was 56% complete and the span that fell was laid as recently as February. A second probe team is expected to submit a technical report on the accident within 15 days, while the three-member team was given 48 hours by CM Yogi Adityanath.
An eight-month-old infant was killed and six civilians were injured as Pakistani troops resorted to fresh firing and mortar shelling on BSF posts on the International Border (IB) and Army posts on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu through Sunday night and Monday morning. Two security personnel were also injured in the ceasefire violations that came just hours after Pakistani Rangers sought a truce.“The Pakistani Army started mortar firing in the general area of Arnia Sector on Monday around 7 a.m.. The border outposts of the BSF, especially Vikram, Chinaz and Jabowal, were affected by the Pakistani firing,” a BSF spokesman said.Eight-month-old Nitin Kumar was sleeping with his family outside their home in Pallanwala sector along the LoC when he was killed in the heavy mortar shelling in the Arnia and R.S. Pura sectors along the IB. One Special Police Officer (SPO) also sustained injuries in Arnia.“The BSF gave a befitting reply to Pakistan’s shelling and heavy cross-border shelling continued till Monday noon,” said the spokesman.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who visited R.S. Pura in Jammu, condemned the firing.“The Centre’s move of halting security operations has generated a hope among people who expect positive reciprocation to it by all stakeholders to let people of the State come out of the zero-sum game of killings and uncertainty,” Ms. Mufti said.“The way North and South Korea decided to walk on peaceful engagement is an encouraging signal to the entire world that issues, no matter how complex these might be, can only be settled through negotiations peacefully as violence only kills, both humans and spirits as well,” she said.Ten border outposts and over 12 villages were targeted by Pakistani forces. As a precautionary measure, schools within a radius of 5 km have been ordered closed in the affected areas, said Additional Deputy Commissioner Arun Manhas. One jawan was also injured in the Nowshera sector.
The historic 624-year-old Jamia Masjid here has stopped prayers to clean the blood spilt on its floor during clashes on Friday afternoon, which left over 30 civilians and dozens of security personnel injured. The Old City here observed a shutdown on Saturday in protest.“Unnecessary presence of security forces on Friday outside the mosque was the cause of confrontation. Scores of protesters were hit in the eyes with pellets. The police fired pellets through the gaps in the closed doors of the mosque,” said Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Valley’s head priest who delivers sermons from the grand mosque’s pulpit. Denying allegations of excessive use of force, the police said the clashes erupted when youth started waving anti-national flags and throwing stones after the prayers.“Dozens of CRPF and police personnel were injured. Two police officers and one CRPF head constable were among the injured. The security forces showed utmost restraint, and minimal munition was used to disperse the miscreants to control the situation,” a police spokesman said.Video goes viralA video of the clash went viral online, showing women worshippers suffocating after security forces fired pepper gas shells, blood on the floor and youth raising slogans inside the mosque. “We have decided to close the mosque for prayers till an ablution is done to clean the mosque,” a caretaker said.“If the government fails to stop its ploys to damage the sanctity and sacredness of the grand masjid, a sustained campaign will be started and the entire responsibility will then lie on the ruling dispensation,” a joint statement by separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik, said.The video evoked condemnation from civil society too. “It’s condemnable to use force on worshippers. One fails to understand why forces are deployed at a place of worship,” said Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Javid Ahmad Tenga.Local people alleged that shells landed on the wooden roof of the mosque, endangering the architectural marvel. The mosque, spread over 1.4 lakh square feet, houses 348 wooden columns, each 44 feet in height and 5 feet in girth. The structure can accommodate 33,333 faithful inside.The mosque is central to Kashmir’s political upheavals and has been frequently witnessing protests in the past three decades. “Keeping in view the past experiences, it’s difficult to act on the suggestions of the Mirwaiz. It’s easy to talk than to act in dealing with violent situations,” Director-General of Police Sheesh Paul Vaid said.
Palghar: The Palghar Lok Sabha constituency turned out to be the only saving grace for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday with its candidate Rajendra Gavit polling 2,72,782 votes against Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanga who received 2,43,210 votes. In the afternoon, the Sena raised some objections over counting in a few rounds and demanded a recount, resulting in some delays. Mr. Gavit was declared winner after the recount.The BJP’s victory is however far from satisfactory as its votes fell from 5,33,201 in 2014 general election to 2,72,782 in 2018 by-poll, which was necessitated following death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanga. The margin this time was 29,572 votes.With Sena fielding Chintaman Wanga’s son Shrinivas, a disappointed BJP put up Rajendra Gavit, a former Congressman. Mr. Gavit, in a conversation with The Hindu, said, “I quit Congress and joined BJP not for power but for development of the region. Now that I am a winner, I assure that I will fulfil each and every promise made to the people.” The decision to quit Congress, he added, was the culmination of many things. “I also wanted to take ahead the developmental works in the region under the leadership of Narendra Modi,” he said.How the votes wentA look at the results indicates how division of votes among anti-BJP parties helped it snatch a victory in Palghar. Local Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) led by MLA Hitendra Thakur got 2,22,838 votes while Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate got 71,887 votes, surpassing Congress’s 47,714 votes.Of the six Assembly constituencies in Palghar, four are Scheduled Tribe (ST) dominated reserved seats. Out of Dahanu, Vikramgad, Palghar and Boisar, BJP emerged as largest party in three except Boisar. While Sena emerged as the largest party in Boisar polling 49,991 votes, the BJP got 49,181, 56,518 and 56,215 votes in first three seats respectively. At the two urban seats of Nalasopara and Vasai however the BVA won by huge margin of 79,134 and 64,478 votes respectively.The only party which has kept its vote bank intact in comparison to 2014 general polls is the CPI (M).Congress emerged as the biggest loser in Palghar with Damu Shingda mustering 47,714 votes, to finish at number five. The Hindu had reported earlier that a fall of 3,25,083 votes from 2014 general election to 2014 Assembly polls could be a cause of worry for the BJP. Thursday’s result shows it has barely been able to bridge the gap and had it not been for division of votes, the BJP would have found it extremely difficult to retain the seat. One of the key BJP leaders who was tasked with the responsibility of the bypoll, party MLA and minister of state Ravindra Chavan, said the party will not celebrate the victory due to the death of Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar. When asked about future of relationship with Sena, Mr. Chavan said the parliamentary board will take a decision on this. “We are ready to contest anywhere we are told. Let the decision come from top, we will obey,” he said.
Panaji: After much dilly dallying, the Goa unit of Bharatiya Janata Party has now admitted that Vasudev Parab — holder of an industrial plot in State-owned industrial estate in North Goa, where a raid by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence(DRI) last week had unearthed a ketamine manufacturing base — was a member of the party.However the State unit BJP president Vinay Tendulkar, told presspersons here late on Tuesday that Parab was not even “0.1 per cent” involved in ketamine manufacturing. “Parab does not have 1%, even 0.1% involvement in it. He has not committed a crime. The only crime he has committed is that he had put the plot on rent without informing the GIDC (State-owned Goa Industrial Development Corporation). This is his only crime. We have full faith in Vasudev Parab, that he is not involved in such things,” Mr. Tendulkar said two days after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar ruled out a probe by State government into the racket, which the DRI has claimed was one of the biggest ever raids on drug manufacturing operations.Earlier, a BJP spokesperson, while responding to allegations by the main Opposition Congress on BJP’s links with ketamine manufacturers, had said that Mr. Parab, an office-bearer of North Goa district BJP had no links with drug manufacturers. Mr. Tendulkar said that Mr. Parab’s only fault was he had rented the industrial plot allotted to him by the GIDC to a third party, which is against the rules and the GIDC has issued a show cause notice to him. “His unit was not functioning well. He was running losses. It had shut down. Somebody had taken it on rent. Mr. Parab would never even go there. He was getting a rent of ₹75,000,” Mr. Tendulkar tried to explain.The Congress, on the other hand, increased its pressure and demanded that the Chief Minister launch an independent probe into the case. Raw material used for manufacturing drugs, was also found at the industrial unit which was being used by an NRI Jimi Sandhu to manufacture ketamine. Ketamine is a common party drug which is also referred to as a date-rape drug.
A member of Parliament from Assam has said that the Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and Ministers should be barred from campaigning during elections to protect the interest of smaller political parties and Independent candidates.Rajya Sabha member Biswajit Daimary of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) said he had urged the Election Commission of India on Monday to ensure a level playing field for all parties. This, he said, can be done by treating the PM, CMs and Ministers as government employees who cannot work for any political party.The BPF is one of two regional allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam. The other one is the Asom Gana Parishad.“I argued that the PM, CMs and ministers provide services like government servants…Since government employees cannot campaign for any political party in any election, the same should apply to the PM, CMs and ministers,” Mr. Daimary said.“They hold an advantage because of their official posts, and as such smaller parties are denied a level playing field. I have also suggested a check on hefty spending by bigger political parties. Their money power virtually throws smaller parties and Independent candidates out of the competition,” Mr. Daimary added.The MP had earlier said that Assam was never free from the influence of Islam, and as such, nobody should have any qualms about a Muslim becoming the State’s Chief Minister. Assam has had only one Muslim CM – Anwara Taimur, who reigned for less than seven months during the Assam Agitation of 1979-1985.“There are debates that Assam will have a Muslim CM by 2026 because of demographic changes. Assam has always been a pluralistic society, with Muslims dominating many of the 126 Assembly constituencies, so anybody can become the CM of the State,” he said.
The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday suspended the life sentence awarded to two persons convicted for their role in the bomb blast in the Ajmer dargah in 2007, in which three persons were killed. Both the convicts owed allegiance to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the past.A Division Bench of the High Court passed the order on an application moved by the convicts, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta, who challenged their life imprisonment through an appeal against the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court’s judgment of March 22, 2017.The Bench, comprising Justices Manish Bhandari and D.C. Somani, observed that the hearing and disposal of appeals filed by the two convicts would take time. The sentence of the convicts could be suspended during the pendency of appeals, said the Court.UAPA chargeThe NIA Special Court here had awarded life imprisonment to Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta, holding them guilty under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code. This was the first-ever conviction and sentencing of the RSS cadre in a terror case.The third convict, Sunil Joshi, who was an RSS pracharak, was murdered in suspicious circumstances in December 2007. The court had acquitted seven others, including self-styled monk and former RSS activist Aseemanand, in the case.Bhavesh Patel was an RSS activist at his hometown Bharuch in Gujarat, while Devendra Gupta, a resident of Ajmer, worked for RSS in Jharkhand and M.P.Both the convicts had contended in their appeals that they had been sentenced on the basis of conjectures and without any tangible evidence.While Bhavesh was arrested only because his mobile phone was switched off when the blasts occurred, Devendra was implicated in the case after the recovery of a SIM card issued on the basis of his fake driving licence, according to the appeals.The explosion in the dargah on October 11, 2007, during Ramzan, had left three dead and 17 injured. About 5,000 devotees were present at the time of the blast.
The Meghalaya High Court on Thursday directed the State government to provide security to RTI activists Agnes Kharshiing and Amita R. Sangma who were assaulted by alleged coal mafia on November 8. The court also instructed the government to bear the expenditure of their treatment at the super-speciality North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences on the outskirts of Shillong.Hearing a petition by Ms. Sangma and others, Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir said that the “threat perception looms large as they [petitioners] have the apprehension of being eliminated by people who had attacked them”. ‘Extra caution needed’Asking the State government to provide adequate security, the court noted that “keeping in view the magnitude of attack and injuries suffered”, extra caution is necessary to eliminate scope for any person to cause harm to the duo at NEIGRIHMS.Ms. Kharshiing, hit on the head, was in a more critical condition than Ms. Sangma. On Wednesday, the ventilators were taken off Ms. Kharshiing and her condition was said to be stable.The court said the two activists were attacked “while espousing social cause”, and directed the officer investigating their case to file the latest status of the probe.