No One Cares

first_imgNo one cares what year your company was founded.No one cares about the map of all your locations.No one cares about the clients you serve.No one cares about the awards your company has won.No one cares about what you believe makes you great.No one cares about your product. No one cares about your service. No one cares about your solutions.No one cares about you.Some People Will CarePeople do care that you have a successful business that is stable and doesn’t put them at risk.People do care that you will take care of them and that you are the present when your presence is necessary.People do care that you know how to help them get results and that you have the experience to deal with the issues prevent them from getting the results they need.People do care that your product, your service, or your solution can help them get the better results that they’re struggling to achieve without you.People do care that you’re the kind of person that they can trust with their business.You get to decide whether or not you deliver your value proposition in a way that gives your dream clients a reason to care.last_img read more

Tilting Downstream: Differentiating Your Sales Approach With Customer Risk In Mind with Niraj Dawar – Episode 42

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:37 — 22.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSSales is the act of helping people solve problems. It only makes sense that the best salespeople are the ones who are able to best solve the problems their customers have. But how exactly do you determining if you or your competitors is doing the “best” job at that? On this episode of In the Arena you’re going to get one of the most significant parts of the equation explained to you clearly from Niraj Dawar, author of the powerful sales book, “Tilt.” Anthony digs into the concepts of differentiation and customer risk in this conversation, two concepts that can literally transform the way you do sales and the success you experience. You’ve got to hear this one.Are you asking the questions that enable you to differentiate your sales process?Click To TweetWhat are “upstream” and “downstream” activities in the sales process?Niraj Dawar makes a clear distinction between what he calls the “upstream” and “downstream” activities involved in the sales cycle because he believes that clearly seeing and understanding the difference is one of the main ways that salespeople are able to focus more on customer needs and bring the features and benefits of their products to bear on those needs. Anthony and Niraj unpack that idea in their conversation on this episode, showing you how a focus on the “downstream” side of sales (the part that’s aimed at understanding customer needs and risks) to amplify your sales presentations and approach.Why competing on price and cutting cost can only go so far.We’ve all seen the “race to the bottom” that happens when two companies with identical products or services begin to compete on price. For the sake of getting new business each begins to cut costs wherever they can, lowering the price as an enticement to the customer to purchase from them. There’s nothing that makes one company stand out over the other except the issue of pricing. How do you get out of that cycle and make your offer stand out even if the price you’re asking is higher? It’s by differentiating yourself in ways specific to the needs of the customer. On this episode you’re going to learn the key questions you need to ask in order to do that.The most important sales book of 2015, with Niraj Dawar on this episode of In The ArenaClick To TweetWhy understanding and addressing customer risk can increase your sales.Your customers have a job to do and they are looking to your product or service to help them get that job done. But whether or not they tap you as the one to provide what they need depends on many things beyond price. They’ve got specific risks or costs inherent to the project at hand and the better you understand what those are, the better able you will be to position your product in a way that addresses those risks effectively, resulting in the sale – and the confidence of your customers over the long haul. Find out how to move your sales process in that direction on this episode of In The Arena with Anthony Iannarino. How Hyundai increased sales during a dramatic period of economic recession.One of the stories that Niraj Dawar recounts in his book, “Tilt” is the story of how Hyundai made some dramatic decisions during a steep economic downturn that actually increased their sales when the rest of the competition experienced serious losses. The approach they took is an example of what Niraj points to as the key in making your sales offerings stand out among the competition even when financial consideration for the prospective customer are at a very serious level. You’ll learn a lot from this episode, so be sure to listen.Increasing sales even in the midst of a recession, on this episode of In The ArenaClick To TweetOutline of this great episode  Anthony’s introduction of Niraj Dawar and the conversation on this episode. Why Anthony felt the concepts of the book were powerfully relevant for salespeople. The difference between “upstream” and “downstream” activities in sales. Why a cost cutting effect can only go so far. Why you have to create greater value for customers in light of their risks. Questions to ask yourself to drill into customer risks and concerns. Rethinking the real value you offer to your customers for greater sales potential. Differentiating your product based on risk reduction for the customer. A story of increased sales during a recession.Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.StrategyTilt.com – Niraj’s websiteFollow Niraj on Twitter1422187179 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 episodeDesigning a risk reduction strategy that increases sales dramatically, on this episodeClick To TweetThe important questions you need to be asking about your customer’s real needs, on this episodeClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

The Only Two Hiring Strategies

first_imgThere are only two choices of hiring strategies.Acquire the Talent You NeedThe first strategy is to hire the talent that you need.You can find people who already have the skills and experience to deliver the results you need. This likely means you pay more to acquire new hires. When people have the skills and experience, they demand higher wages. And, you usually have to identify and hire passive candidates, because the people you want to hire are already working.This seems like the best strategy. It seems like hiring people with the talent you need is the fastest and surest way to build your team, but it isn’t always true. There is another choice that works as well, and sometimes better.Build the Talent You NeedThe second strategy is to build the talent you need.This strategy depends entirely on your ability to find people with the right mindset and teach, train, coach, and develop them in the roles that you need them to play.If you are going to build them, you are going to have to find people who can and will grow quickly, or you have to have a set of roles which they can pass through to acquire the skills they need on their way into greater roles.ChoicesYou have to make the choice to execute one or both of these strategies.There is no effective hiring strategy that is built on hiring people without the skills and experience without a development plan to help them acquire those skills.You can choose to acquire the talent you need. You can choose to build the talent you need. Or you can choose to both acquire and develop the talent you need. But you can’t choose not to have a hiring strategy. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

1 Comes Before 2

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Transformation is incremental. You can decide to change in two seconds. You can begin taking the actions necessary to begin your transformation. But that transformation isn’t going to happen overnight. If you want success today, you needed to start some time ago. Likely years ago.Progress doesn’t come fast. It takes more time than you wish it would to start getting results. Much of the time, it feels like nothing is happening at all. Even though you have changed what you believe and changed your behaviors, the results are slow coming.You don’t notice the changes. You don’t recognize the distance you’re covering because it is small. Almost imperceptible. It is there, nonetheless. And it is accumulating. You are making forward progress, even though you aren’t moving as fast as you would like to.One comes before two. Two comes before three. Three comes long before twenty-seven. And twenty-seven comes before two hundred eleven.You can’t transform by jumping straight to two-hundred eleven. You have to start at one. Everyone starts at one. You pass through two before you get to three. You won’t notice these small changes. Even though it doesn’t matter, other people will start noticing the transformation. They’ll comment on the differences, even though to you they are infinitesimal—and maybe even disappointing.Transformation is a process. It’s through the process that you achieve the transformation, even if you live in a culture that tells you that you should instantly have whatever it is you want simply because you want it. The more you honor the process, passing through the smallest of improvements on your way to transformation, you will achieve it. Eventually. Just not today.Today you are at 1. Take one step forward tomorrow, and you will be at number 2.last_img read more

Is Your “Why” Helping Your Clients

first_imgI attended an event last week, and the subject was social media marketing and personal branding. As the representatives of the host company shared their frameworks around messaging, a branding person immediately asked the question, “Where is the ‘why’?” He went straight to the idea that a brand is built on some big idea, some big “why?”Inevitably, someone mentioned Steve Jobs, “Put a dent in the Universe” quote, which defies any explanation or quantification (it was just Jobs being Jobs). Sinek’s explanation is far better.In marketing, the “why” is overplayed.It’s Not About YouI know that explaining your “why” is better than showing your prospective client a deck that starts with your logo, moves onto the ultra-compelling content that is your company history, followed by your locations, your board members, and the logos of the clients you serve. Your values are certainly more compelling then a lot of what’s in your deck.That said, are you trying to create a preference for you, your solution, and your company? If so, you demonstrate you are someone worth doing business with when you begin the conversation about what your prospective client wants.Mind-share Precedes Wallet ShareWhen I speak to companies about Level 4 Value Creation, I ask them to share their marketing material with me. The vast majority of their material is about their company, their products or services, features and benefits, and technical specs. This content is devoid of any real insight or values. It’s Level 1.A smaller amount of their marketing material is Level 2. It speaks to the experience of the client or customer. That stack of marketing collateral is much smaller than the Level 1 content.Then, we get to Level 3 content, or tangible business results. Almost everyone has a few case studies and white papers. More sophisticated content creators have some tools, like cost calculators.If there is anything that is Level 4, it’s not much. Almost nothing speaks to the strategic challenges the client is having, the reason they are having those challenges, why they should change now, and what changes are going to be necessary to avoid risks and capitalize on opportunities—all of the things a trusted advisor would provide. There is almost nothing that expresses a strong point of view about what is right and what is wrong.Your point of view is better than your “why” because it is focused on what your dream clients needs, why they need it, what they should do now, and what the right answer looks like. Your “why” is helping your clients, isn’t it? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

GJM stir escalates in Darjeeling, Tamang removed from post

first_imgAfter an apparent calm for about a fortnight, protests erupted in Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills in north Bengal since Thursday night following an announcement to call off nearly 80 day strike in the hills.The supporters of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha [GJM] and residents of Darjeeling took to the streets at night. Mnay of them were seen marching on roads or organising demonstrations in the town on Friday morning.GJM assistant general secretary, Binoy Tamang, who was recently appointed as the Coordinator of GJM, was removed from the post of Coordinator, said Roshan Giri, party’s general secretary.“We will be having a central committee meeting little later in the day where it will be decided through a resolution if Tamang and Anek Thapa [a senior leader] will be expelled from the party,” said Mr. Giri.Mr. Tamang led a team of GJM to an all-hill party meeting with the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on August 29.Following the meeting Mr. Tamang gave a call to postpone the ongoing strike to September 12, which has reportedly irked the party President Bimal Gurung. I was stopped in check-posts manned by GJM supporters, women and men. This pass was issued by GJM and was given to the driver, who came from Kalimpong. There were 12 check posts and not a single police man outside Darjeeling town. “The biggest challenge is distribution of food to tea gardens and forest villages in far-flung areas,” says Roshan Rai, who runs an NGO, DLR Prerna, and has worked on issues of fair trade in tea plantations. In the meeting, pictured above, it was decided to draw a food distribution plan so that available material can be equitably distributed across the hills. One of the most picturesque hill stations, acquired by the British in 1835 as a health resort, is shut for the last two-and-a-half months following a movement for a separate Gorkha homeland led by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which was founded in 2007. Dhanmaiya Tamang, 68, is in jail for supporting the Gorkhaland movement. Many have been arrested and nearly a dozen have lost their lives since the movement started. “Unthinkable human rights abuse is perpetrated by the State government to counter a peaceful movement,” says Ms Tamang’s son, Umesh Tamang, a taxi driver. The State government officials did not comment. In many parts of the town, women could be seen cooking and selling momos. “The money is then used to buy food stuff and distribute it,” says Sashi Yanzon [in red jacket] of Mani Trust, an NGO that set up this make-shift momo shop near the Mall. They are doing good business, she says. One of the most picturesque hill stations, acquired by the British in 1835 as a health resort, is shut for the last two-and-a-half months following a movement for a separate Gorkha homeland led by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which was founded in 2007. Dhanmaiya Tamang, 68, is in jail for supporting the Gorkhaland movement. Many have been arrested and nearly a dozen have lost their lives since the movement started. “Unthinkable human rights abuse is perpetrated by the State government to counter a peaceful movement,” says Ms Tamang’s son, Umesh Tamang, a taxi driver. The State government officials did not comment. I was stopped in check-posts manned by GJM supporters, women and men. This pass was issued by GJM and was given to the driver, who came from Kalimpong. There were 12 check posts and not a single police man outside Darjeeling town. Near the famous Mall, below the Mahakal temple, however, many could be seen fiddling with their mobile phones. This is the point where the phones receive signals, as it is in a higher altitude. “The Internet is shut over two months and there are two points in town where we may have occasional signals,” says Pema, a physiotherapist. “We need to check the messages at least twice a day as we are distributing food in packets of 10 and 5 kg,” she says. The first obstacle was access to Darjeeling. It was virtually impossible to enter the hill station from either Siliguri in the plains or Gangtok in Sikkim. Finally, I was ‘smuggled’ in an ambulance from Rangpo bridge, about 60 km east of Darjeeling. The driver refused to enter the frame. “I am in a government job,” he says. GJM supporters checking the pass before allowing entry into Darjeeling. The pass, issued by GJM leadership, is a clear indicator that the West Bengal government has no control over the hill district in north Bengal, outside the main town of Darjeeling, little over 2,000 meters above sea level. The man carrying the umbrella is Dambar Prasad Shiwakoti, senior master of Darjeeling’s elite Turnbull High Secondary School. “The tenth standard [final] examination is approaching. Students of elite institutions are attending private classes in Siliguri. But what about those who are not from the elite schools?” he asks. Realising this, Shiwakoti, with the help of a local club, started a make-shift school which now has 275 students from a dozen local schools. Mid-days are however different. For a few hours, the residents of Darjeeling take control of the streets. They form human chains – like this one – and organise various rallies. “We are inventing new forms of peaceful protest every day,” says Suraj Thapa, a SIM-card salesman. The first obstacle was access to Darjeeling. It was virtually impossible to enter the hill station from either Siliguri in the plains or Gangtok in Sikkim. Finally, I was ‘smuggled’ in an ambulance from Rangpo bridge, about 60 km east of Darjeeling. The driver refused to enter the frame. “I am in a government job,” he says. With the movement not showing much signs of slowing down, there are huge expectations around Tuesday’s [August 29] meeting between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the GJM leadership. A five-member delegation of the hill party, led by assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang, will join the meeting in Kolkata. “But we do not want them to return empty-handed,” says Umesh Tamang, son of Dhanmaiya Tamang. Near the famous Mall, below the Mahakal temple, however, many could be seen fiddling with their mobile phones. This is the point where the phones receive signals, as it is in a higher altitude. “The Internet is shut over two months and there are two points in town where we may have occasional signals,” says Pema, a physiotherapist. “We need to check the messages at least twice a day as we are distributing food in packets of 10 and 5 kg,” she says. With the movement not showing much signs of slowing down, there are huge expectations around Tuesday’s [August 29] meeting between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the GJM leadership. A five-member delegation of the hill party, led by assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang, will join the meeting in Kolkata. “But we do not want them to return empty-handed,” says Umesh Tamang, son of Dhanmaiya Tamang. In many parts of the town, women could be seen cooking and selling momos. “The money is then used to buy food stuff and distribute it,” says Sashi Yanzon [in red jacket] of Mani Trust, an NGO that set up this make-shift momo shop near the Mall. They are doing good business, she says. Littered with burnt vehicles, Darjeeling looks eerie. Streets are empty. Residents rarely come out of their houses other than to occasionally pick up daily consumables. The weather is damp and the tourist season is over. GJM supporters checking the pass before allowing entry into Darjeeling. The pass, issued by GJM leadership, is a clear indicator that the West Bengal government has no control over the hill district in north Bengal, outside the main town of Darjeeling, little over 2,000 meters above sea level. Littered with burnt vehicles, Darjeeling looks eerie. Streets are empty. Residents rarely come out of their houses other than to occasionally pick up daily consumables. The weather is damp and the tourist season is over. The man carrying the umbrella is Dambar Prasad Shiwakoti, senior master of Darjeeling’s elite Turnbull High Secondary School. “The tenth standard [final] examination is approaching. Students of elite institutions are attending private classes in Siliguri. But what about those who are not from the elite schools?” he asks. Realising this, Shiwakoti, with the help of a local club, started a make-shift school which now has 275 students from a dozen local schools. Mid-days are however different. For a few hours, the residents of Darjeeling take control of the streets. They form human chains – like this one – and organise various rallies. “We are inventing new forms of peaceful protest every day,” says Suraj Thapa, a SIM-card salesman. “The biggest challenge is distribution of food to tea gardens and forest villages in far-flung areas,” says Roshan Rai, who runs an NGO, DLR Prerna, and has worked on issues of fair trade in tea plantations. In the meeting, pictured above, it was decided to draw a food distribution plan so that available material can be equitably distributed across the hills. In many parts of the town, women could be seen cooking and selling momos. “The money is then used to buy food stuff and distribute it,” says Sashi Yanzon [in red jacket] of Mani Trust, an NGO that set up this make-shift momo shop near the Mall. They are doing good business, she says.  GJM claimed that a section of their party leaders “have shaken hands with Bengal government and have worked to derail [the] movement” and thus the party chief Gurung issued strongly-worded statement claiming that as long as people wish to continue with the struggle for a Gorkha homeland GJM will not vacillate.“They [section of the leaders led by Tamang] went to Nabanna [State Secretariat in Kolkata] and sat for a meeting with Mamata Banerjee without consulting me,” Mr. Gurung alleged.Following the developments, it is likely that Mr. Tamang and his followers would be expelled from the party on Friday which may escalate tension in the hills.The police have said that they are closely monitoring the situation and would “strongly” deal with any attempt to influence the law and order in the hills.“So far the meetings and protests are peaceful and democratic and we have no reason to use force,” said DIG, Darjeeling Range, Humayun Kabir.last_img read more

Talks offer a ploy for a hard bargain, say separatists

first_imgHardening their position in their first formal response to the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the Government of India (GoI) representative on J&K, the separatists on Tuesday described the offer for dialogue as “futile and a ploy to strike a hard bargain” despite New Delhi’s “informal” attempts to persuade them.“In principle, the [separatist] leadership advocates and supports sincere and productive dialogue as a means of conflict resolution. It entails all participants to acknowledge that there is a dispute. However, the GoI continuously refuses to accept this basic premise,” said separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik in a joint statement. Taking exception to the recent remarks of Mr. Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) director, the separatists said his assertions “limit the scope of any engagement with him and makes it an exercise in futility.”They said Mr. Sharma’s remarks that he will come to Kashmir to “prevent it from becoming Syria is misleading.” “Comparing the internationally recognised 70-year-old political and humanitarian issue of Kashmir to sectarian war and power struggle in Syria is deception and propaganda. There is no correlation,” they said.The leaders described the appointment of the interlocutor as “a tactic to buy time adopted under international pressures, regional compulsions and due to the abysmal failure of the policy of military repression.”“Unless the Kashmir dispute is understood and addressed in its historical context and in the background of international commitments made over it, lasting peace can neither be achieved in J&K nor in the subcontinent,” they said.The Hurriyat leaders opposed engagement by any other group with Mr. Sharma, who arrives in Srinagar later this week. The leaders also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain his earlier outright dismissal of former UPA Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s suggestion of restoration of autonomy for J&K.“If the GoI even rejects the demand of its co-political party for restoration of autonomy guaranteed by its own constitution, calling it a betrayal with soldiers and hence unacceptable, how will such a dispensation in New Delhi address or engage with the Kashmiri people’s political will and aspiration of self-determination,” the separatists asked.They said that to talk of peace and dialogue was also a ploy by the GoI “to strike a hard bargain, to which the people of Kashmir and leadership will never succumb to.”Sources said the GoI, through an “informal” engagement, did try to persuade Hurriyat leaders for an engagement. Sources said there were “continuous efforts” to break the ice, adding that Mr. Sharma was scheduled to meet representatives of youth, besides the civil society groups, as he formally begins his Kashmir visit later this week.last_img read more

Restrictions in Kashmir to prevent separatist-called protests

first_imgAuthorities imposed restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir Valley on Friday to prevent separatist-called protests on the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru.Afzal was hanged inside the Tihar Jail in Delhi on February 9, 2013, for his role the in 2001 attack.The protest was called to observe his death anniversary and to reiterate the family’s demand for his mortal remains. Afzal was buried inside the jail premises.According to the police, the restrictions were imposed in old city areas of Srinagar, the uptown area of Maisuma and in some north and south Kashmir areas.Senior separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq continue to remain under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik has been lodged in the Central Jail.Muzaffarabad-based umbrella of militant groups called the United Jihad Council (UJC) headed by Syed Sallauddin has supported the protest shutdown.Contingents of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear have been deployed in the restriction imposed areas.Train services between north Kashmir’s Baramulla town and Bannihal town in the Jammu region have been suspended as a precautionary measure.last_img read more

Kathua court fixes hearing for juvenile accused in gang rape and murder on May 22

first_imgA court on Monday posted for May 22 the hearing in the case of the juvenile accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) A.S. Langeh fixed the hearing for May 22. Earlier on April 25, the juvenile presented himself before the court amid heavy security. CJM Langeh had then asked the juvenile whether he had received copies of the charge sheet from the crime branch, to which he replied in the affirmative. The CJM court had dismissed the bail plea of the accused juvenile. The counsel for the accused had moved the court for his bail soon after the crime branch had filed its chargesheet against him and seven others allegedly involved in the rape and murder case. The juvenile accused had sought bail on the grounds of his age. The Supreme Court is likely to hear on Monday the Kathua gang rape-and-murder case along with the petitions seeking shifting of the trial to Chandigarh and handing over the investigation to the CBI. According to the Crime Branch charge sheet, the juvenile had allegedly played a key role in the crime. A sub-inspector and a head constable too have been apprehended on charges of destroying crucial evidence in the case to save the culprits. The body of the girl was recovered from a forest on January 17, a week after she had gone missing in the forest area. The Jammu and Kashmir government had handed over the case to the crime branch, which had formed a special investigation team to probe the rape-cum-murder. The crime branch subsequently filed two separate charge sheets in the case, one against the seven adult accused on April 9 and the second against the juvenile accused on April 10.last_img read more

Floods delay release of NRC draft

first_imgThe final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be released on June 30 as scheduled, owing to the heavy floods in the Barak Valley, NRC State coordinator Prateek Hajela said here on Thursday.He added that a petition was filed in the Supreme Court last week, seeking more time to prepare the draft. The apex court has fixed the date of hearing on July 2. The NRC is being updated under the Supreme Court supervision to weed out illegal immigrants.Meanwhile, security across the State has been stepped up ahead of the publication of the draft to prevent any untoward incident. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the names of all “genuine Indians” would be incorporated in the list.The first NRC draft was released on January 1, in which the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were included. Assam, which faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only State with an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.last_img read more

Amarinder flays Badal for remarks on Gandhis

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday hit out at former Deputy Chief Minister and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, accusing him of trying to drag the “innocent Gandhi family” into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.Capt. Amarinder said Mr. Badal was by his recent remarks on Gandhi family attempting to undermine Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, under whom the Congress has recently won Assembly elections in three major States.‘Move will backfire’“Misusing religion for political gains will not yield any dividends for the SAD and would backfire on the party in the Lok Sabha elections, as it had done in the 2017 Assembly polls,” said Capt. Amarinder, adding that Mr. Badal should stop politicising such a sensitive issue.The Chief Minister said that while individuals who had any role to play in mayhem against the Sikh community deserved to be punished, it was irrational to try and drag the Congress party as a whole, or the Gandhis, into the case.“It was up to the judiciary, however, to nail and award punishment to the culprits, and neither Mr. Badal nor any other Akali or BJP leader had any locus standi in the matter,” said Capt. Amarinder, asking the SAD president to stop trying to take political mileage out of the issue.He hailed the High Court for sentencing former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar to life term, and expressed confidence that others guilty of the heinous crime will also be “paid back in the same coin”.Reacting to the court verdict convicting Sajjan Kumar, SAD chief Badal had said the Congress’s hand in the “massacre” of innocent Sikhs in the 1984 “genocide” had been proven beyond doubt with the Delhi High Court convicting (former) senior Congress leader and Gandhi family’s “right hand man” in the anti-Sikh riots case.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

ST demand for dominant groups fuels campaign in Assam, Manipur

first_imgAssam and Manipur have something in common ahead of the first phase of Lok Sabha election on April 11 — the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for some dominant communities.The Centre’s decision to grant ST status to six communities in Assam coincided with the move to get the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in Parliament in January. The anger over the latter somewhat overshadowed the reaction to the former in the State, although some groups doubted the BJP’s intention.After a brief lull, the ST status issue has resurfaced with both the BJP and the Congress claiming to be more sincere to the cause.The six communities — Adivasi, Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran, and Tai-Ahom — are currently in the OBC list. Together, they form a sizeable chunk of voters in at least nine of Assam’s 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.‘Congress brainchild’ “ST status is a Congress brainchild. It was taken forward on our recommendation, but the BJP cheated the six communities with no clarity on how they will be accommodated beyond the existing quota,” State Congress president Ripun Bora said.Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who heads a panel for settling the ST issue, said only the BJP can be true to the promise. “We have cleared the deck with the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes giving the nod to the proposal. We shall take it to a logical conclusion if voted back to power,” he said.Mr. Sarma and Mr. Bora have been campaigning extensively for their respective parties.Tribal groups, however, fear that the six communities – three of them used to rule large swathes of Assam and beyond until the advent of the British in the 1820s – would take away a major chunk of benefits if granted the ST status. The Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations has asked the voters to be wary of any party that backs the move.Hagrama Mohilary, chief of BJP’s ruling ally Bodoland People’s Front, said his party has no problem with the ST status issue. “We support it,” he said. His party is dominated by the Bodos, the largest plains tribe of the Northeast.Meitei as tribe?The demand for ST status for the Meitei community has gained currency in Inner Manipur, one of two Lok Sabha constituencies in the State where voting is scheduled for April 18, since the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee imposed a 30-hour shutdown across Imphal Valley to drive home the point.Apart from a few Scheduled Castes, the largely Hindu Meiteis belong to the general category. They dominate the Imphal Valley that covers less than 20% of Manipur’s total land.The State’s former Chief Secretary and Congress candidate O. Nabakishore Singh said the Meiteis deserve the ST status, which many feel would pave the way for safeguards that the Constitution provides to tribal-dominated areas of Manipur – the hills around Imphal Valley.“We cannot ignore the people’s sentiments, as the Meiteis are becoming a minority. Even if not ST status, we are supporting constitutional protection for landownership and greater political representation,” BJP candidate R.K. Ranjan told The Hindu.The United Tribal People Council of Manipur, however, sees in the push for ST status for Meiteis a design that could push Nagas, Kukis and other tribes to the brink. “Meiteis are one of the most advanced communities in the Northeast and do not qualify to be tribals,” the council’s president S. Azar said.last_img read more

The True Cost of Becoming an Academician in China?

first_imgFailed candidate. Zhang Shuguang stood trial on corruption charges in a Beijing court last week. Revelations of government corruption hardly raise eyebrows in China these days. But Zhang Shuguang’s exploits have managed to shock a jaded populace. The “father” of China’s high-speed rail system, standing trial on corruption charges in Beijing last week, testified that he solicited bribes from businessmen because he needed money—a whopping 23 million yuan (about $3.8 million)—to burnish his credentials and influence votes in the biannual elections for membership in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2007 and 2009. It turned out to be money ill spent, in more ways than one: Zhang failed to get elected not once, but twice.   Becoming a CAS academician, or yuanshi, is considered one of the highest honors for a scientist in China. But unlike academy memberships in many other countries, the yuanshi title bestows more than respect: It comes with a host of privileges as well. For example, academicians can keep their jobs as long they wish; everyone else in government service, from China’s president on down, face mandatory retirement. Academicians help set the nation’s science policy, influence funding decisions, and some of them control large sums of research money.The railway ministry, which was broken up in March during an ongoing government crackdown on corruption, wanted its very own academician. According to an investigative report published in December 2011 in the Chinese business newsmagazine Century Weekly, then-minister Liu Zhijun picked Zhang, a deputy chief engineer, to be the ministry’s nominated candidate for CAS membership in the 2007 elections. (In July, Liu received a death sentence, with a 2-year reprieve, after he was convicted of graft and abuse of power by a Beijing court.)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(*)According to Century Weekly, businessmen seeking ministry contracts learned of Zhang’s nomination and offered to help. That year, the magazine detailed, Zhang, using a slush fund provided by the businessmen, cloistered 30 experts from mostly ministry-affiliated universities and research institutes in a hotel for 2 months, during which time they churned out three books on high-speed rail technology that were credited to Zhang. That burst of authorship didn’t quite put Zhang over the top in the elections: His bid failed by seven votes.Two years later, Zhang pursued CAS membership with a much larger war chest, according to his court testimony. He hired ghostwriters to produce more volumes on his behalf and invited voting-eligible CAS members on all-expenses-paid tours of the high-speed rail system, lavishing them with gifts, according to Century Weekly. Zhang nearly pulled it off that time: He fell one vote shy of election. A source tells ScienceInsider that Zhang’s membership might have succeeded if not for an impassioned speech by an influential academician who derided Zhang’s credentials just before the final round of voting. In court last week, official state media reported, Zhang pleaded guilty to taking bribes, almost half of which were for his CAS membership bids.Zhang’s admission has touched off a firestorm in China, where many commentators are questioning CAS members’ integrity and calling for curbs on the perks of being a yuanshi. The government’s Xinhua News Agency on 11 September ran an article demanding to know whom Zhang bribed. CAS issued a statement on the same day saying that it had not received any complaints against its members for bribe-taking, but vowed to investigate if complaints are lodged.Candidates like Zhang who have both money and power at their disposal are rare, says an expert on history of CAS membership who asked for anonymity because he’s involved in an effort to overhaul the yuanshi system. A more common problem, the source says, is lobbying by organizations on behalf of candidates. With Zhang’s case getting so much attention, CAS will be under immense pressure to hold squeaky clean elections this November. Xinhua last_img read more

An affordable price tag for saving Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest

first_imgSaving biodiversity is a noble goal, but how much will it cost? And where should the money be spent? These are difficult questions for policymakers. An innovative analysis, published in this week’s issue of Science, lays out a plan for Brazil’s diverse and endangered Atlantic Forest.“The most important message is that restoration can be targeted in a way that minimizes costs and has a greater likelihood of delivering lasting environmental benefits,” says Toby Gardner, an ecologist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, who was not involved in the new research.South America’s Atlantic rainforest is a good case study for the challenges of conservation policy. With a great variety of environmental conditions, life has evolved into incredible diversity. But farming, ranching, and urban development have destroyed much of the forest. Less than 8% remains of its original 1.43 million square kilometers that spanned Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Over the years, conservationists have made mostly small-scale attempts to restore the forest.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(*)A group of researchers wanted to figure out how much forest is needed to maintain the integrity of biological communities and their ecological functions. They studied the abundances of 43 species of mammals, 140 species of birds, and 29 species of amphibians in 79 landscapes that ranged from nearly deforested to fully intact.The team identified an important ecological threshold. When the amount of forest drops below 28.5% of the landscape, the communities started to change. For example, generalist species, such as the opossum Micoreus paraguayanus, which prefer disturbed environments, begin to take over from forest specialists. “It’s a very strong conclusion,” Gardner says. The threshold for maintaining existing community integrity is likely to be different in other places, the authors say. It is likely to be higher in the Amazon and lower in Europe and other developed landscapes where sensitive species have already disappeared.The researchers say it won’t be feasible to restore all 88% of the 143 million hectares of the Atlantic Forest that has been deforested below the threshold; that goal would require 32 million hectares of replanting, most of it on private land.The smart approach, they say, would be to focus on restoring landscapes that are still at least 20% forested. Working in landscapes with any less forest cover would become prohibitively expensive and risky, involving translocation of endangered species. But planting trees on 424,000 priority hectares would ensure community integrity in 37,000 landscapes throughout the Atlantic Forest, providing ecosystems services such as pollination of nearby crops and pest control. The amount of land with at least 30% forest cover would increase by 46%. Preventing extinction of species such as the jaguar will require larger protected areas, they note.By extrapolating from existing forest restoration projects in Brazil, the researchers estimated that restoration of these priority areas would cost about $198 million a year for 3 years. The cost would then decline, as less watering and other work is required. “We can make farmers happy and preserve biodiversity all within a reasonable budget,” says Cristina Banks-Leite, an ecologist at Imperial College London, Silwood Park. Gardner suspects the cost would end up lower, given economies of scale.“The results are very exciting,” says Bernardo Strassburg, an economist and environmental scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, who was not involved in the research. “This is one of the first papers to narrow down the effort to the most effective regions and show where they are.”  Banks-Leite and Strassburg both say there’s political will to boost restoration. An existing effort by more than 250 nongovernmental organizations, companies, and government agencies has a target of 15 million hectares restored by 2050. And the federal government is expected to launch a national restoration strategy in a few months.  Pedro Brancalion, a restoration ecologist at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, says it will be important to make sure that turning pasture back to forest doesn’t encourage cattle ranchers to cut down forest elsewhere. “We have to integrate agricultural intensification,” he says. “If we have minimum input of technology, we could save millions of hectares.”See here for more on conservation science.last_img read more

Guess Why Indian Millenials Like to Visit Italy, Singapore, United States

first_imgFood plays a major role while deciding holidays for Indian millennials, and Italy, Singapore and United States has topped the list of foodie destinations, according to a report. Two-thirds of Indian millennials (67 per cent) admitted a destination’s cuisine is the biggest deciding factor when picking where to holiday, accoring to ‘Tasty Travels’ research from Hotels.com.Read it at Financial Express Related Itemslast_img