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 Comfort: Real change requires that you move from comfort to discomfort. You have to purposely give up what you are comfortable with and do something that doesn’t necessarily feel good (at first, anyway). Real growth and real change always require that you take actions outside your comfort zone. Give up comfort.Security: What you know feels safe. What you don’t know feels uncertain and scary. Most of the time, what you feel is a false sense of security. You live on a small rock spinning at 80,000 MPH and circling a ball of fire. You have very little control. Change comes when you leave security for the unknown. Give up security.Beliefs: A lot of what you believe serves you well. A good bit of what you believe is the source of all of your problems. Your problem isn’t your problem; what you believe about it is your problem. Wherever you recognize a gap between where you are and where you want to be, some belief and the accompanying actions that result from that belief is what keeps you from having what you want. Give up beliefs that no longer serve you.Waiting: Waiting isn’t a strategy for being who you want to be, having what you want to have, and contributing what you want to contribute. Good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who take consistent action and persist. Give up waiting.Avoiding Conflict: Mostly we avoid conflict. But some conflict is necessary if you are going to produce breakthrough results. Avoiding the difficult decision doesn’t mean that the problem or challenge you are facing will go away. Avoiding a difficult conversation doesn’t resolve the problem; it mostly makes them worse. Problems don’t age well. Give up avoiding conflict. If you are going to give up, here is a list to get you started.
The client you have served faithfully for all these years will be gone someday. It’s likely it won’t be your fault. They will change the way they do business. A larger company will swallow them up. They’ll move the part of the operation that you serve to a location where you can’t reach them.Given long enough, you will lose your best clients.The contact with whom you’ve had the best and most productive relationship will someday be gone, no longer there to protect you from competitive threats. She’ll take a new job in another department. She’ll leave the company to start her own business. Or she’ll move to California.You will be friends with this client forever, but you will no longer have her business.The person who blocks you from even gaining a meeting with your dream client has been in his role forever. There is no way that he is letting you in. One day, without warning, he will be gone. He will be fired for reasons you may never know. He’ll go back to school to change careers. Maybe he’s tired and he’ll just retire.The person who prevents you from winning your dream client won’t be able to keep you out forever, provided you persist.The economy is perfect for you. You are selling more and at higher margins than ever. Quarter after quarter, the numbers only go up. And then, suddenly, they drop. Not much. Just a little.Lines that go up eventually retrace their steps. And lines that go down can also change directions.It is easy to perceive that something that has been the way it is now for a long time isn’t going to change. When a line is trending downwards, it looks like it will continue in that direction. The same is true when the trend is moving in a positive direction.Over time, things change. And people with the willingness to believe something different is possible, that change is inevitable, and who are willing to take the actions necessary to bring their vision to life, are the people who change things.Accept that change is inevitable. Then make the change you want to see. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Winning a new deal is complicated. Not only does it take time, but it also takes effort. If you don’t invest the time and effort, you are unlikely to win your dream client’s business. But you are not the only party that has to put forth the effort for you to successfully create an opportunity and a better outcome. The contacts within your dream client’s company also have to put forth the effort necessary, making your dream client’s effort as a measure of whether or not you will win their business—and whether you will be able to deliver.Are They Compelled to ChangeThere are contacts within your dream client’s company that understand the forces that are preventing them from producing the results they profess to need. They are well aware of the risks and threats to their business, yet they are unwilling to do anything about it now. The fact that they should be compelled to change is no indication that they are compelled to change. Some of these contacts are not willing to put forth the effort to do so, something that is often true even when the company is already suffering the negative impact.Imagine a company that is underinvesting in the results they need in some part of their business (this should be easy for you to imagine). This hypothetical company built a model around a particular set of assumptions, and they were profitable with that model up until one of their premises expired. The price of some input increases over time, and for the company to return to profitability, they need to raise the price they charge their clients or customers, but they are in a weak position to command a price increase. If the contacts are not willing to put forth the effort to change their pricing or change their model, their lack of energy around some change initiative is an indication they are not yet compelled to change.The lack of effort here is a signal that your effort is not likely to provide a return on the time you invest, or at least it won’t for some time.Are They Willing to Commit to the ProcessYou sell a meeting. You sell the processes. And then you sell your solution. You will find contacts who are more than willing to engage with you and explore change. They’ll give you their time, and they’ll share with you what they want and need. They’ll even accept a proposal and pricing. But what they will not do is commit to a process that would require them to put forth the energy necessary to change.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. An unwillingness to commit to meetings is a sign that your dream client either doesn’t recognize the value of the meeting, an outcome for which you are responsible, or they don’t want to put forth the effort. In larger, complex, business-to-business sales, contacts who refuse to meet to collaborate on the solution they need, to invite other stakeholders into the conversation, to engage a leadership sponsor, or to provide data or anything else that would be necessary to making a good decision and a better result, show an unwillingness to put forth effort. Skipping these conversations is sometimes an indication they believe what they are buying is a commodity and is transactional. In other cases, your dream client is unwilling to exert the effort to do what’s right.If you are reading this, it’s almost certain you have a sales process, guidance on what you need to accomplish to provide the best assistance possible in helping your dream client produce better results. Your process requires that you put forth the necessary effort to execute it. Your process is also likely to describe what you need from your prospective client to help them.Because no one can sell when there is no one buying, you need your client to put forth the necessary effort on their side. The likelihood of you winning a deal is often discovered by looking at the effort your contacts are willing to put forth in engaging in the process with you. The fact that they won’t engage with your process is not evidence that they aren’t engaged in someone else’s.Are They Willing to Do the WorkWhen you are young and naive, you believe that every failure to serve a client is your company’s fault. When you sold the deal and are accountable, you passionately think your company is in the wrong. As you mature into your role, you to start to recognize that many of your dream clients want better results, need better results, and pursue new suppliers to produce those results. However, they never achieve those results because they won’t put forth the effort.When determining whether or not you are going to be able to pursue successfully, win, and execute for a prospective client, your confidence in some part needs to factor in their willingness to put forth the effort throughout the sales conversation. An unwillingness to have the conversations and make and keep the required commitments is evidence that you may struggle to win their business and, having won it, difficulty executing your solution.None of this is to suggest that you give up, but rather, encouragement to have the difficult conversations that make one a trusted advisor and to do the work to sell well enough to increase their willingness. It’s much easier to sell and execute effectively with a client who is putting forth an effort that is equal to yours. 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 Now
Of late, technological inputs have died down as militants have stopped using cellphones frequently in south Kashmir. Human intelligence now remains the core of counter-insurgency grid, officials say.The Army and the police credit “well-knit overground human intelligence as the main source of a tip-off that led to the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdul Qayoom Najar, in an encounter along the LoC, north of Uri, on September 27. He was being infiltrated to take control of the Hizb. After trapping him in a cordon operation in a village in Shopian, the operation lasted 15 hours.The structure of command-control of LeT has district commanders and a small group at the lower level, followed by operational chief, overseeing all 11 districts in the Valley.“The job of the operational chief is to coordinate with handlers in Pakistan and identify potential targets and lay down logistical support requirements,” said the counter-insurgency official in Srinagar.Strong networkUnlike the LeT, the Hizb structure has a “strong network of overground workers, district-wise militants, district commanders, divisional commanders and operational commanders at the top”. A day earlier, the same bunch of terrorists had tried to block, in the same area, an Army patrol on an operation. They attacked a couple of Garud Commandos from the Air Force, who had been embedded with the unit for operational experience, and they died later in hospital.Replacements comingThe more terrorist “commanders” are killed, the more easily their replacements seem to spring forward. A top counter-insurgency official, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Militant handlers in Pakistan are using the twin routes of Poonch in Jammu and the Kupwara-Baramulla forest areas in the Valley to infiltrate commanders every time the LeT loses its commander.The official told The Hindu that “the passes in the higher reaches of Hafruda and Shambhari forest ranges close to the Line of Control (LoC) have also opened up”. “Snow has completely melted there as summer peaked this year, making it easy to infiltrate and find hideouts in crevices and foliage,” he said.The terrorist outfits, especially the LeT, tend to fill the top positions from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir “to uphold morale down the ranks, as soon as its commander gets killed in an operation”. It is difficult to find local people.Operational leaders hitSince the Army’s “Operation All-Out” aimed at flushing Jammu and Kashmir of terrorists was launched in May, as south Kashmir slipped into the hands of 250 militants dominated by local commanders, operational commanders Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail have been killed. Dujana was a prized target. He had taken over the mantle after Abu Qasin was killed on October 29, 2016.Dujana was suspected of masterminding the suicide attack at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in Pampore that led to a 56-hour standoff in February 2016.Dujana was cornered, along with Arif Lelhari, in a village in Pulwama before dawn. Hours later, an exchange of fire began.When he refused to surrender, the security forces blew up the house he was sheltering in. He had escaped a cordon-and-search operation five times before his luck ran out on August 1.He was placed on the A++ category with a reward of ₹15 lakh on his head.Mission All OutSince “Operation All Out” began, over 10 district commanders, including battle-hardened Arif Lelhari, Junaid Mattoo and Bashir Lashkari in south Kashmir, had been killed. Some 21 commanders, including Hizbul Mujahideen’s Sabzar Bhat, Shahbaz Shafi alias Rayees Kachroo and Commander Aijaz Mir, have been killed so far as well.In addition, over 150 militants have been killed in the encounters that erupted in the Valley this year. During the previous year, 165 were killed till December. | Photo Credit: The Hindu Abu Ismail, operational commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, had been elusive till he was shot and killed on a desolate stretch of road a mere 8 km from Srinagar, in the Aribagh area of Nowgam. He was in a truck with a fellow terrorist when it came to a security checkpoint in the afternoon. Ismail and his companion tried to run into a paddy field and head to a nearby residential area where they could have created a standoff.The encounter lasted only 10 minutes. At the end of it, the two terrorists lay dead. It was September 14, two months almost to the day that seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims had been shot at indiscriminately after their bus was waylaid. Ismail was held responsible for the killing of seven pilgrims.Soon after Ismail fell, B.S. Raju, General Officer Commanding, Victor Force, which has been spearheading counterinsurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, declared that he “expected a vacuum in the outfit’s top leadership”.Four days later, Mehmood Bhai, a foreigner, had emerged as his replacement, his footprints all over Bandipora in north Kashmir, when his men barged into the home of BSF constable Ramzan Parrey, dragged him out and killed him late in the evening. The constable had come on vacation. Jawans gather around the bodies of Abu Ismail and another militant after an encounter in Nowgam on September 14, 2017. Abu Ismail, an LeT operational commander who led the attack on Amarnath pilgrims. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement A militant attends the funeral of another. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu “As of now, the Hizb has no Valley-based operational commander after its top-ranking commanders were killed this year,” officials say.However, Hizb commanders like Saddam Paddar, alias Zaid, a district commander and an ‘A++’ category militant, has influence in Shopian and remains active since 2015.Reyaz Ahmad Naikoo, alias Zubair, active since December 2012, portrays himself as a Hizb ideologue and mainly recruits youth in south Kashmir.Despite encounter killings of militants, recruitment continues. In South Kashmir, out of 50, as many as 30 from in and around Pulwama have been recruited by the Hizb and Lashkar in the past five months. They are mostly overground workers or protesters who have been regularly converging at the funerals of those killed by the security forces.A splinter group of Zakir Rashid Bhatt alias Musa, once divisional commander of Hizb, has recruited people in small numbers, pushing youth towards a more hardline ideology, with al-Qaeda already declaring him in-charge of its affiliate in Kashmir.Jaish challengeMore than Hizb and LeT, security agencies say the resurfacing of Moulana Masood Azhar-founded Jaish-e-Muhammad poses a “more potent threat.”“Jaish believes in sensational attacks. We have to deal with them differently,” said Inspector-General of Police, Muneer Khan, after the recent sensational fidayeen attack on a BSF installation close to Srinagar airport.Security agencies say the killing of Jaish operational commander Khalid Bhai in Baramulla some days ago “cut the umbilical cord of its ranks with handlers across the border”.A small group of Jaish fidayeen still is a threat in and around Srinagar. However, Khalid’s killing has cut the link with the handlers, officials say. South Kashmir remained a battleground with the emergence of Burhan Wani in 2013, but militants are shifting base to north Kashmir “to make use of the forests in Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara”. Even after all the killing, the winter is set to be hot, with foreign militant numbers, according to Army figures, being as high as 70 in north Kashmir alone.“We fear local recruitment has picked up in north Kashmir, in Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora,” a police official said.
Congress candidates Sheela Bhavre and Vinay Patil-Girde on Wednesday were elected unopposed as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively of the Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation (NWMC). The party had retained control of the civic body in the recently held polls, winning 73 of the 81 seats. This was the first time in the history of the NWMC, which was formed in 1997, that the mayoral post was reserved for a female candidate from the Scheduled Caste (SC) category for the first two-and-a-half years. Ms. Bhavre has become the fourth woman to be elected as the first citizen of the NWMC.The elections were held during a special general body meeting chaired by Nanded District Collector.
The official emblem of West Bengal was unveiled by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on January 5. The emblem designed by Ms. Banerjee features the Ashoka Pillar.“We had to do this (create the State emblem) 70 years after Independence because it has never been thought of before. No one here thought that every State should have its individuality,” the Chief Minister said during the ceremony to unveil emblem at the State Secretariat Nabanna. She also said that the West Bengal government received the Centre’s approval for the emblem on January 3.Describing the occasion as “historic”, the Chief Minister said that henceforth the State emblem can be used in all the official work and documents of the State government. “We will use the emblem in all the official documents and work of the State government after issuing notification from today. But executing the process in all the departments will take some time,” Ms. Banerjee said.“Some States have their own emblem and some don’t. When it came to our notice, an expert committee was set up and the design was sent to the Centre for approval. It took quiet sometime but better late than never,” said Ms. Banerjee. The design was sent for Central approval in May 2017.As for changing the name of the State, the Chief Minister said that it will be announced as soon as the Centre approves it. “We have also sent a request to the Centre about changing the name of the State. Discussions are being held and as soon as we get the official approval we will announce it,” she said. Her Cabinet decided in September 2017 that the State’s name will be Bangla in all the languages.
The police have registered a case against a Major and his Army unit involved in the firing on protesters in Shopian’s Ganowpora village on Saturday afternoon that left two youths dead. The Kashmir Valley remained tense on Sunday over the incident.The FIR mentioned the Army’s 10 Garhwal unit and identified the Major as Aditya. The case was registered under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 336 (endangering life).The Army said it fired in self-defence when the protesters resorted to “intense pelting of stones, attempted to lynch an injured Junior Commissioned Officer and set Army vehicles on fire”.Mehbooba Mufti speaks to Defence MinisterChief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who ordered a magisterial inquiry and sought a report within 20 days, spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday evening.The State government spokesman said Ms Sitharaman assured the Chief Minister “that a detailed report will be prepared of the incident.” She also told Ms. Mufti that “field formations will be asked to set up mechanisms so that such incidents do not recur in the future”.ShutdownKashmir remained tense, with separatists’ organising a shutdown against the killings and the authorities imposing restrictions in parts of the Valley.District Magistrate, Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, has ordered restrictions under Section 144 “in territorial jurisdictions of Srinagar’s Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, Safakadal and M.R. Gunj police stations”. He said the restrictions have been imposed as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident.Train, Internet services suspendedTrain and Iinternet services were suspended in south Kashmir for the day. All shops and business centres remained closed in the Valley.Separatists leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had called for a Valley-wide shutdown over the killings.In Shopian, the victims were buried in Balpora and Ganowpora villages. Hundreds of mourners offered funeral prayers. There were reports of minor clashes after the funerals.Army action justified: BJP MLATerming the Army action “justified”, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina dismissed the possibility of a magisterial enquiry. “The Army enjoys impunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. It has its own court. The police FIRs don’t work [against Army]” he said.
When the Congress sidelined the ambitious Himanta Biswa Sarma in 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party, desperate to make Assam its base for expansion in the northeast, sniffed an opportunity. The BJP made him draw up the blueprint for ousting the Congress in the 2016 Assembly elections, besides forging an alliance with the Bodoland People’s Front, which had parted ways with the Congress in 2014, and the Asom Gana Parishad. The alliance won 86 seats — and the Assam election.How did he get a bigger role?Mr. Sarma, 49, got the Finance portfolio in the new government, and the BJP gave him a bigger role. He was made convener of the North East Development Alliance (NEDA), whose primary task was to bring disparate regional parties on board to fight the common enemy: the Congress. Mr. Sarma got going, first engineering the BJP’s takeover in Arunachal Pradesh from the Congress and helping to turn the tables on the Congress, the single largest party, in Manipur, cobbling up a BJP-led alliance government last year. His role in Tripura, where the BJP had a machinery in place, was limited but his ability to strike deals was vital in the installation of an alliance government in Meghalaya and dealing with a temporary crisis when the rival regional parties — the Naga People’s Front and the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party — fought to tie up with the BJP in Nagaland.How did he rise to power?In the 1990s, the former Assam Chief Minister, Hiteswar Saikia, considered the craftiest leader the Congress has produced in the northeast, had followed his instincts to invest in a young law graduate prone to inviting trouble. The impulsive youngster, Himanta, had cut his teeth in the All Assam Students’ Union that spearheaded the anti-foreigners’ agitation from 1979 to 1985. He became the “errand boy” of the agitation’s leader, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who went on to be the face of regionalism in Assam, and his associate Bhrigu Kumar Phukan. While Saikia died weeks before completing his term in 1996, the Congress earned dividends from his investment when Mr. Sarma wrested the Jalukbari Assembly seat from Mr. Phukan, one of his political mentors, in 2001. The Congress under Tarun Gogoi tweaked its policy of overlooking firsttimers to make Mr. Sarma a junior Minister in 2002. Why did he fall out with Gogoi?Mr. Sarma worked his way up to become one of Mr. Gogoi’s most trusted lieutenants. He established himself as a multi-tasker: nurturing his constituency and performing better than his colleagues in the Gogoi Ministry and taking care of niggles within the party. His acumen as a strategist came to the fore in the 2006 Assembly elections. He managed the Congress’s 2011 campaign too, helping the party win an unprecedented 78 seats. But Mr. Gogoi’s bid to project his son Gaurav, a parliamentarian now, upset Mr. Sarma, and he drifted away from the Congress. He had a camp of supporters and challenged Mr. Gogoi’s leadership. Some of his supporters switched over to Mr. Gogoi, who enjoyed the high command’s support. A sulking Mr. Sarma became a recluse before resurfacing in August 2015 as arguably the BJP’s biggest catch in Assam. A few weeks later, 10 Congress MLAs followed him to the BJP. Mr. Gogoi called it “good riddance,” but many Congress leaders sensed this could spell trouble for the party. However, Mr. Sarma had come to the BJP with a handicap — allegations of involvement in the Saradha chit fund scam and the Louis Berger bribery case — just as a couple of TADA cases, dismissed long ago, had preceded his joining the Congress.What lies ahead?The former Assam BJP president, Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, who had pushed for inducting Mr. Sarma into the party, wondered why the Congress was “letting go of an asset despite everything.” Though Mr. Sarma has proved himself, the real test would be to make the BJP a force to reckon with in the Christian-majority Mizoram, considered difficult to crack, where elections are due this year-end.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Tuesday gave in-principle approval for renaming the Gol Chowk as Samvidhan Chowk in Phagwara town. There was a clash between two groups here on April 13 over installing a flex-banner with Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s picture on it.Capt. Amarinder, who met a delegation of Dalit community here, including the families of the victims of the violence, said: “There is nothing wrong in naming the roundabout Samvidhan Chowk as our Constitution does not belong to any particular caste or creed and we all Indians are proud of it.” He directing the local administration to follow proper procedure for renaming the chowk. The Phagwara Muncipal Corporation had already moved a resolution for its renaming.Capt. Amarinder also directed DGP Suresh Arora to assess if provisions of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act can be invoked against the perpetrators of the April 13 violence.Appreciating the restraint shown by the Dalit community, the CM said harmony among people of different castes and religions was the basis of our social fabric and it needed to be strengthened. On the demand of the delegation regarding cancellation of FIRs registered by the police against Dalit youths, Capt. Amarinder directed the IGP, Jalandhar Range, to examine all such cases and submit a report to the DGP.
The Army on Sunday said the troops manning the Line of Control (LoC) in the Pir Panjal Valley’s Poonch district opened fire at a Pakistani helicopter, which was carrying Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, after it violated the airspace agreement signed by the two countries.“The air violation was noted around 12.10 p.m. and committed by a Pakistani helicopter in the Poonch sector. It was a white helicopter and was flying very high. The air sentries at the forward location engaged it with small arms,” said the Jammu-based defence spokesman Lt. Col. Devendra Anand.‘PM is safe’An aide of Mr. Haider was quoted by Pakistani media as saying that he was flying to Haveli on that side of the LoC for a condolence meeting at the house of PoK Minister Choudhary Aziz on his brother’s demise.Mr. Aziz hails from an area close to the LoC.“The bullets did not hit the helicopter and the PM is safe,” the official told local media.However, the incident was not confirmed by Pakistani High Commission officials.Sources said the Pakistani military helicopter flew for nearly five minutes within 250 m of the LoC and hovered over the Gulpur sector before turning back.“If it had been a green helicopter, the response would have been different,” said an Army official posted in Poonch.A video shot on a mobile phone, which went viral on social media, shows a white helicopter flying near a mountain ridge and being fired upon by the troops from the Indian side of the LoC. The Army has not confirmed the authenticity of the video.1 km limitHelicopters are barred from coming within 1 km on both the sides of the LoC as per the agreement.The incident comes a day after Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire on the LoC in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.“Infiltration attempt by militants and ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army in the Tangdhar sector was reported on Saturday evening. Our forces retaliated strongly and foiled the infiltration bid under covering fire by Pakistan Army. No damage, injury or casualty on our side,” said the Srinagar-based Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia.Meanwhile, Northern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh arrived in the Kashmir Valley on Sunday and reviewed the security situation in the wake of recent counter-terrorist operations, “which led to elimination of many militants.”
BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh, including Ministers and legislators, will tour villages and spend a night there in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election. In keeping with a decision of the party, they will hear villagers’ problems and spread the word about the “good work” done by the Central and State governments in recent times.“Party leaders will not just tour villages but will also stay there at night so as to build the momentum as the 2019 Lok Sabha election is inching close. We are just a few months away from the next election, and it is necessary for us to connect to the vast rural people, hear them out and tell them about the schemes of the Centre,” said a State leader of the BJP.Support baseThe party has had a strong presence in urban areas of the State and has grown in rural areas only since 2014. Party leaders from the large agrarian State believe a rural outreach is essential to perform well in Uttar Pradesh that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. The last Assembly election proved that the party’s appeal was intact, despite the jolt from demonetisation. Retaining the rural support is crucial for the party to return to power in 2019. The CSDS-Lokniti Mood of the Nation Survey 2018 suggested that the disenchantment with the Narendra Modi government was the highest among farmers.The BJP is also planning to organise village ‘chaupal’ and bring on board the beneficiaries of the government schemes so that they can create a positive image for the party.
Citing tight financial situation faced by the State, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought a special debt relief package from the 15th Finance Commission. The State needs funds to support the government’s efforts to revive fiscal health, along with a one-time package to enable payment of the entire debt of the distressed farmers of Punjab.At a meeting of the 15th Finance Commission here, Capt. Amarinder expressed concern over the permanent loss of revenue suffered by the State after the GST implementation. The compensation from the Centre will also end from July 1, 2022, resulting in a drastic fall in revenue in the range of ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 crore per annum, he pointed out. An official statement said that in view of the loss, the Chief Minister urged the Commission to recommend a graded compensation tapering formula to the Government of India for States like Punjab beyond June 30, 2022. The statement added that Capt. Amarinder sought a special package for the State due to its special problems such as highest SC population in percentage terms, long and thickly populated border with Pakistan, riverine and sub-mountainous areas and flight of industry due to concessions to neighbouring States.
A shutdown was observed in Kashmir on Sunday against the Centre’s ban on separatist JKLF, led by Yasin Malik.The strike call was issued by separatist amalgam, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mr. Malik, who remains behind the bar.The shutdown impacted the life in the Valley. All markets, petrol pumps and private offices remain closed. Traffic on the roads was skeletal. Train services were also suspended as a precautionary measure.The ban on JKLF comes less than a month of the ban on the socio-religious party Jamaat-e-Islami. “The Government of India’s decision of banning the JKLF is highly authoritarian, autocratic and pure political vendetta,” said a JRL spokesman. The spokesman said such moves “will neither break the resolve of people of Kashmir nor push the leadership into submission”. Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti termed the Centre’s decision “ironical”. “One one hand the Centre is claiming to have launched a rehabilitation scheme, by which the militants who lay down arms will be encouraged to join the mainstream and on the other hand, organisations like JeI and JKLF are banned, which have avowedly rejected violence as a method of achieving any goals and have distanced themselves from it,” said Ms. Mufti.She warned that such repressive measures will shrink the already limited space and “will only increase the level of alienation and frustration among the people”.A CPI(M) spokesman also warned that such a ban “doesn’t augur well in a democratic setup”. The decision to ban JKLF is politically motivated. Everyone has a right to dissent in a democratic system. Exclusion of the voices of dissent is against the spirit of a democratic polity,” said the spokesman in a statement.Injured soldier succumbsAn Army soldier, injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistan on the Line of Control in Poonch on Saturday, auccumbed to his injuries in Sunday morning.A Jammu-based Army spokesman said Grenadier Hari Bhakar had received grave injuries during ceasefire violation in Poonch Sector. “He was evacuated to nearest Field Hospital for immediate medical treatment but succumbed to his injuries,” said the Army. Bhakar was from Rajasthan.He said Pakistan started unprovoked firing on Saturday evening and used heavy caliber weapons and rockets. “Our troops retaliated in strong measure, inflicting adequate damage and casualties to Pakistan Army,” said the spokesman.
A team of Bihar anti-terrorist squad (ATS), aided by the Pune ATS, has arrested an alleged terror suspect from Pune’s Chakan industrial area in connection.According to sources, Shariat Anwarul-haq Mandal (19), alleged to be a resident of Nadia district in West Bengal, was detained by the Maharashtra ATS in Chakan and arrested by the Bihar ATS team.He is believed to be an associate of the two Bangladeshi terror suspects arrested earlier this week by the Bihar ATS in Patna.The Bihar ATS on Monday had arrested Khairul Mandal and Abu Sultan, two Bangladeshi residents of Khulna alleged to have affiliations with terror outfits like the banned Jama’at-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and the Islamic State in Bangladesh.Shariat Mandal, who was reportedly working as a construction worker in Chakan, was produced before the Sessions court here and was later taken to Bihar for further questioning on a transit remand.Khairul Mandal and Abu Sultan had allegedly entered the country illegally without valid documents, had travelled to a number of states in a bid to induct youth into proscribed terror outfits. Shariat Mandal’s whereabouts was revealed following their interrogation.
With a month left for the Southwest monsoon to hit Odisha, the State government on Monday said it would begin a door-to-door house damage survey from May 14 and issue work orders for the construction of houses on June 1 in cyclone-affected areas.11-member teamAn 11-member Central team, split into two groups led by Vivek Bharadwaj, Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ajay Kumar, Director in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, visited Puri and parts of Khurdha district.The Central team was apprised of the devastation wrought by Cyclone Fani by the Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, before going for a field visit. Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking him for the support rendered to Odisha by the Union government.‘Devastating experience’“While the people of the affected districts have gone through immense hardship, the loss of shelter has been a devastating experience The State government is undertaking a detailed house damage assessment which would be completed shortly. The exact number of houses damaged completely or substantially will be arrived at after the survey,” Mr. Patnaik noted in the letter.“However, according to preliminary estimation, about 5 lakh houses have been completely or substantially damaged across 14 districts with the major loss occurring in Puri district,” he observed.Mr. Modi had undertaken aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas during his visit to the State on May 6. ‘Dire need’“A presentation on the extent of damage was also made by the State administration, highlighting the dire need for building disaster resilient housing along the coastal belt of Odisha, vulnerable to cyclonic storms,” Mr. Patnaik said, requesting the Centre to sanction 5 lakh Prime Minister Awas Yojna (PMAY) houses initially. Emphasising the need for waiver of the Permanent Wait List (PWL) criterion for this particular allocation, Mr. Patnaik also urged Mr. Modi to consider a Centre-State fund sharing pattern of 90:10 as a special case.
Although no vaccine against HIV exists, advances in prevention and treatment have led to a growing conviction among researchers, public health officials, and politicians that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can be brought to a halt with existing tools. Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, a report released yesterday by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), spells out how this ambitious aim could be achieved. “HIV infections may not disappear in the foreseeable future, but the AIDS epidemic can be ended as a global health threat,” the report asserts.Fast-Track updates UNAIDS estimates about the epidemic today. Some 35 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2013, 2.1 million new infections occurred during that year, and AIDS-related deaths totaled 1.5 million. These were slight drops from 2012 and are mainly the result of a big jump in the number of people in low- and middle-income countries receiving antiretroviral treatment, which went from 9.7 million in 2012 to 13.6 million by June 2014. (Treatment both saves lives and makes infected people less likely to transmit the virus.) “It’s amazing the acceleration that happened,” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé told ScienceInsider. “In 3 years we’re doing what we used to do in 20 years.”But the report notes that if treatment and prevention efforts remain at 2013 levels, the epidemic will continue to grow and an estimated 41.5 million people will be living with HIV in 2030. Fast-Track sets the “visionary goal” of cutting that number to 29.3 million, which would avert some 28 million infections.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(*)Sidibé says a window of opportunity exists today that will not last. “We have 5 years to leverage and break the trajectory,” Sidibé says. UNAIDS says the key is to increase three things to 90% levels: people who know their HIV status, receive treatment, and adhere to the medication so that the amount of virus in their blood drops below detectable levels.Fast-Track explicitly recognizes that these ambitious targets will be difficult to hit, especially given funding limitations, but contends they have an inherent value. “As previous experience in the AIDS response has demonstrated, time-bound targets drive progress, promote accountability and unite diverse stakeholders in pushing towards common goals,” the report says.In a first, Fast-Track notes that 89% of all new HIV infections occur in 30 countries. It also breaks down by income status of these locales how much money will be required by 2020 to meet the 90-90-90 goals. Low-income countries will need $9.7 billion, lower-middle-income $8.7 billion, and upper-middle-income $17.2 billion. This is roughly double the amount invested today, but UNAIDS estimates that expenses will drop after a peak in 2020. “To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, the global community will need again to defy expectations,” the report states.Low-income countries will have to dip more into their own coffers: Fast-Track notes that only six governments in Africa have lived up to a commitment made in 2001 to devote 15% of their budgets to health. “We have failed in those countries to show that health is an investment,” Sidibé says. “It’s seen as a cost expenditure by the ministers of finance.” He says countries like China, India, and Brazil also can do more to help sub-Saharan Africa. “Emerging countries should start going beyond just the responsibility of taking care of themselves,” he says. “They need to start building the bridge with the most left-behind countries.”Only four high-income countries are contributing enough compared with their gross domestic products, the report contends. “There is an enormous gap in per capita contributions among donor countries—providing a significant opportunity for many donors to increase their contributions,” it concludes.
Late yesterday afternoon, as Washington, D.C., was readying to shut down for a snowstorm, National Cancer Institute (NCI) chief and Nobel Prize–winning cancer biologist Harold Varmus announced that he is stepping down at the end of this month. Although few even on his own staff were expecting the news, it was not a big surprise coming less than 2 years before the end of the Obama administration, when many presidential appointees leave for their next job.In a resignation letter to the research community, Varmus decried the harsh budget climate he has faced and pointed to a list of accomplishments, from creating an NCI center for global health to launching a project to find drugs targeting RAS, an important cell signaling pathway in cancer. “I think he’s done a wonderful job under difficult circumstances,” says cancer biologist Tyler Jacks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and chair of NCI’s main advisory board. “He brought tremendous scientific credibility to the position. And he managed to do some new and creative things.” NCI Deputy Director Douglas Lowy will serve as acting director.In a phone interview this morning as the first snowflakes began to fall, Varmus reflected on his time at NCI and what he will do when he returns full time to New York City. (He has been commuting from his home there to NCI in Bethesda, Maryland.) He will run a “modestly sized” lab at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, Varmus wrote in his letter, as well as serve as an adviser to its dean, and work with the New York Genome Center.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(*)Varmus told ScienceInsider he expected all along to stay at NCI about 5 years, which he would have reached in July. The recent announcement of President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which includes a $70 million cancer genomics and clinical trials effort at NCI, gave him a “sense of completion.” He takes pride not only in starting new initiatives, but also “keeping spirits up” in the extramural community by holding NCI grant numbers stable and being “transparent” about how the institute made funding decisions. “I think we did a pretty good job during this 5 years of fiscal stagnation and loss of keeping things going,” he says.Varmus also pushed for controversial changes he sees as necessary to help the research workforce “adjust” to budgets that aren’t expected to grow. Instead of having investigators sum up their record with a list of papers in their biosketch, he introduced a new section, a narrative describing one’s key accomplishments. That format has long been used by the biomedical research nonprofit Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The revised biosketch is now being phased in across NIH, despite howls of protest that it burdens grant reviewers and lets scientists inflate the importance of their work. Another effort copied from HHMI is a new 7-year NCI award based on an investigator’s track record rather than a particular project. That has brought criticism that it will favor older researchers.In his resignation letter, Varmus introduces a new award for staff scientists. He says the idea is to offer salary support and independence to scientists who hold less high-profile but essential jobs, such as managing a core facility or doing informatics within a principal investigator’s lab. Some research leaders have suggested that labs should rely more on staff scientists and less on the cheap labor of graduate students and postdocs. But Varmus says the award should start at a “small scale” because it is hard to anticipate how it will “change the structure” of a lab and its workforce. “Fixing the system is not simple. There are so many moving parts,” he says.Varmus says NCI is still “discussing” another possible new award that would allow senior scientists to wind down their labs. When the NIH director’s office recently floated the idea of such an “emeritus” award, it drew a slew of harsh comments; some called it an entitlement for aging scientists, and others viewed it as age discrimination.Giving some scientists “an incentive to finish up would be a good thing,” Varmus says. But the problem is not so much investigators over 65 or 70, but the dearth of those with independent labs in their 30s, he says. Moreover, NIH “can’t require people to quit,” he notes.His own situation illustrates why it doesn’t make sense to push older scientists out of the lab en masse, he adds. At 75, he plans to move his small lung cancer biology lab at NIH to New York City and expand its staff. Although Cornell is giving him startup funds, he expects to apply for grants. At NIH, his lab “just got reviewed and I did well,” Varmus says. “I don’t believe in making arithmetic judgments,” he adds. “I should be judged by what I do.” And in the future, he adds, “If things aren’t going well, I’ll quit.”*Correction, 6 March, 12:32 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Varmus introduced the NIH biosketch; instead he proposed a new section within the existing biosketch.
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The Odisha government is working to bring home the body of Kalpana Dash, the first woman from the State to summit the peak. She had first scaled the mountain in 2008. Ms. Dash had complained of breathlessness during the descent this year. “Kalpana Dash had repeatedly brought accolades to the State. We are committed to bring her mortal remains back to her State. It is reported to be at the Balcony, at an altitude of approximately 8,600 metres,” said Vishal K. Dev, Sports Secretary.