Why You Need Targets

first_imgWithout targets, you have nothing to aim for.There is a reason you need to carefully and methodically select your dream clients: You need targets.Targets limit your focus. Not every prospect is right for your company, and your company isn’t right for every prospect. Some of what might look like prospective clients in your territory won’t perceive value in your solution. By selecting targets, you thoughtfully limit your focus to the prospective clients for whom you can create value, and who will perceive the value you create as something worth paying for.Targets provide a foundation for consistent action. Some salespeople complain that they don’t have enough leads. They gripe about not having a large enough list of prospective clients. Sometimes this is true, but more often than not the same salespeople do not have a list of targets (dream clients). If they had a list of dream clients, they would know who they needed to call on, even if these prospective clients are difficult to win. A list of targets allows for consistent action over time.Targets ensure you direct your activity towards something strategic. When a company or sales force doesn’t have target prospects, they call on anyone and everyone. They end up winning clients that are too small and divert their limited time and resources to outcomes that don’t make a difference. And they end up spending most of their time with receptive prospects instead of high-value, high visibility prospects. Having targets ensures you spend your time with prospects that help your business obtain its strategic objectives.If you don’t have a list of dream client prospects, make that list now. The more time you wait to focus on your dream client accounts, the longer it will take for you to create and win clients that matter–and for whom your work matters. The more you flail around with inconsistent and ineffective activity, the longer it will take you to develop the relationships you need to win your dream client accounts. The time you spend on smaller, irrelevant prospects is the time that you should spend on the most strategic accounts in your territory.Choose your targets. Narrow your focus. Win big. And make a difference. 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 Nowlast_img read more

James Muir on Closing the Sale – Episode #95

first_imgTweets you can use to share this episodeThe sales process equals conversations and commitmentsClick To TweetNo customer should ever feel they need to be defensive about the sales conversationClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below 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 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 35:48 — 32.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSClosing the sale is arguably one of the most difficult and most misunderstood parts of the sales process. It’s true for many reasons, including missed steps prior to the close and wrong assumptions about whether or not the prospect is actually ready to close the deal. In this conversation you’ll hear two veteran sales professionals, James Muir and Anthony Iannarino pick each other’s brains about what it takes to have a truly effective sales conversation, the places where most sales professionals miss the mark, and why asking for a commitment is such a hard thing – when it shouldn’t be.James Muir on Closing The Sale – Ep 95Click To TweetThe sales process equals conversations and commitments.Sales is intimidating to most people simply because they think of it in the wrong terms. It’s not about pushing or coercing people to do something they don’t want to do or can’t afford to do. It’s about helping people investigate their needs and discover the best solutions for them. That takes a conversation, or many of them, with the sales person being the one skilled at asking the right questions to make the needed discoveries. Sales is conversations followed by commitments, that’s it. In this conversation, James and Anthony chat about why asking for a commitment goes awry so often and what sales people can do to ensure their prospects are actually ready to make a commitment when the time comes.Before closing, you’ve got to lead the customer to see WHY they need to change.Most customers or prospects know they have problems that need solving. The sales professional wouldn’t be able to get a meeting with them in the first place if they didn’t know that. But the solutions that will solve those problems are going to require change on the part of many people within the company and that’s where people begin to resist in the sales process. The sales person needs to take the time, perhaps through many conversations, to help the prospect understand WHY they need to change, what’s at stake if they don’t. Anthony and his guest, James Muir chat about how a salesperson can effectively lead their customers to that realization and close the sale – on this episode.Before closing, you’ve got to lead the customer to see WHY they need to changeClick To TweetNo customer should ever feel they need to be defensive about the sales conversation.Defensiveness flows from a feeling or belief that another person is critical of you or the decisions you’ve made. It’s what you feel when you’re being pushed to do something you don’t want to do. Effective sales people come alongside their prospects instead of pushing them forward from behind. They consult, they help, they answer questions, and they ask plenty of insightful questions of their own. No customer should EVER feel the need to be defensive when a sales professional is doing their job the right way. Join Anthony as he and James Muir recount what they’ve learned about closing the sale, on this episode of In The Arena.Consultative selling is a collaborative, participatory process.No sales professional wants to be perceived as pushy or coercive. They know being perceived that way will kill their career. What’s the alternative? Being consultative, learning how to become the trusted expert customers can learn from as they seek to address the needs within their business. But consultative selling is about more than being an expert, it’s about being a partner with the customer, getting on the same side of the table to explore solutions together. When you can become a participant in the prospect’s exploration of a solution to their problems, you become the trusted advisor you really want and need to be.Consultative selling is a collaborative, participatory processClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction to his friend, James Muir. The things that changed that prompted James to write his book. Things sales people need to understand about what they are really doing when closing. The critical misunderstanding closers make. Underestimating the role of showing the customer how the sales process works. The sales closing process is not a linear process: why it’s important to know. Why sales people are horrified at the prospect of asking for a commitment from prospects. Not securing a commitment to change is where sales people begin to miss the mark. Consultative selling is a collaborative, participatory process. How you can get James’ audio book.Resources & Links mentioned in this episodeJames’ website: http://puremuir.com/www.PureMuir.com/TheLostArtOfClosing – get James’ audiobook for free069268910907352116980070511136The 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/iannarinolast_img read more

Jennifer Gluckow on 5 Questions that Will Result in Better Sales – Episode #115

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 34:00 — 27.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSAfter spending a lifetime in the industry, Jen Gluckow knows a thing or two about how to make better sales. She talks with Anthony on this episode of In the Arena about how you can own your career as a salesperson and how to connect better with your peers and leaders. She also answers 5 main questions that will help you become a better salesperson and ignite your career. All of these insights and more are included in Jen’s upcoming book, “Sales in a New York Minute,” available for pre-order now on Amazon and everywhere January 1. Be sure to check it out, and catch the full story on this podcast episode.After spending a lifetime in the #sales industry, @JENinaNYminute knows a thing or two about how to make better sales. She shares her invaluable insights on this episode of #InTheArena, and it’s a conversation you don’t want to miss. Listen now! @Iannarino Click To Tweet#1 – Why do you need to pursue your own leads as a sales leader?Most salespeople enter into the business wanting to make a difference, either in their own life or in the lives of others. Why is it, then, that so many salespeople sit back and seemingly wait for marketing to send them quality leads? You cannot afford to rely on others to make your career happen, and you have to be diligently working on securing your own top leads. Start talking with everyone you meet, and don’t hesitate to act because you’re waiting for the “perfect lead” to appear that simply doesn’t exist.#2 – What can you do to become a better networker?Networking can change your life if you let it, but great networking is not about quantity. The ultimate goal of networking should always be about making quality connections with people who can either send you business referrals or add value to your life. How can you make those types of connections? Start by being specific and targeted in the meetings and groups you pursue. Then, become a value-provider for the people you meet. You can’t expect quality results from new connections if you don’t first convince them you’re worth building a relationship with.Why do you need to pursue your own leads as a #SalesLeader? @JENinaNYminute shares her answer to this critical question, and so much more, on this episode of #InTheArena. Listen now! @IannarinoClick To Tweet#3 – How can you combat the temptation to make excuses for your work?No matter what market you’re involved in, the temptation to make excuses for poor performance is always present. Making better sales starts with taking responsibility for your action – and inaction. Both Jen and Anthony believe in the power of a great mindset and attitude when striving for selling success. Take 10 minutes and identify your top excuses that you tell yourself and your boss. Then, figure out ways to crush those excuses. The minute you stop making excuses is the minute you start making better sales.#4 – How can you become the CEO of your territory?If you aspire to become the CEO of your sales territory, you can’t spend all your time analyzing every decision. Company CEOs take action and implement strategies daily – they don’t overthink everything. Becoming a top sales leader is all about identifying your own style of leadership, committing to that method, and owning it.Excuses get you nowhere in #sales. Learn how to combat the temptation to become stagnant by listening to this episode of #InTheArena featuring @JENinaNYminute. You won’t be disappointed. @IannarinoClick To Tweet#5 – What’s the key to effectively following up with prospects and making better sales?No one enjoys getting those calls from salespeople that say, “Hey, I’m just checking in!” What that message actually conveys is a nagging need to know how the sale is coming along – not a desire to help the prospect make a good decision for their business. Jen encourages sales leaders to add value to their prospects’ lives instead. Send them interesting and relevant articles, connect them to professionals they need to know, etc. If you do that, you’ll not only make better sales but also grow a deeper network of industry peers.Outline of this great episode Jen Gluckow’s passion is helping others make better sales New York is different when it comes to sales, and it inspired Jen’s upcoming book #1 – Why do you need to pursue your own leads as a sales leader? #2 – What can you do to become a better networker? #3 – How can you combat the temptation to make excuses for your work? #4 – How can you become the CEO of your territory? #5 – What’s the key to effectively following up with prospects?Resources & Links mentioned in this episodeJen’s websiteFollow Jen on FacebookFollow Jen on TwitterFollow Jen on InstagramConnect with Jen on LinkedInJen’s upcoming book, “Sales in a New York Minute: 212 Pages of Real World and Easy to Implement Strategies to Make More Sales, Build Loyal Relationships, and Make More Money”The Iannarino Sales Accelerator – 833-426-6274The 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/iannarino Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeCompany #CEOs take action and implement strategies daily – they don’t overthink every decision. #SalesLeaders can learn from selling expert @JENinaNYminute all on this episode of #InTheArena. Listen now! @IannarinoClick To TweetWhat’s the key to effectively following up with #sales prospects? Discover proven methods for selling success all on this episode of #InTheArena featuring @JENinaNYminute @IannarinoClick To Tweetlast_img read more

Excellence is Raising Your Standards

first_imgWhen I was in Catholic grade school, the grades we received were different than the grades in public schools. Instead of getting an A, B, or C, we were given Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. In addition to those grades, we were also given a number grade that indicated our effort. The effort score of 1 meant you gave 100%, while the score of 4 meant you did nothing.I never got in trouble for getting a Good, the equivalent of a C in public schools. I got in trouble for getting a C4. In my house, it wasn’t the C that would get you in trouble, it was the 4. The fact that you could get a C without lifting a finger meant that you were capable of better and only received the low grade because you didn’t put forth the effort. Even when I received an A, I did so with the accompanying effort score of 2 or 3.Excellent results are better than great results. Great results are better than good results. There is no reason to write about anything less than good results, because anything less isn’t worth pursuing. The difference between excellent and great is the standard you set for yourself—and your team, if you are a leader.If the standard you set for yourself is to be good, your effort will match that standard. If you want to do good work, have good relationships, be in good health, and make a good living, your effort will match that outcome, likely a 3 or 4. If you want these areas of your life to be great, you will have to increase your effort level to something closer to 2. But in the areas where you want to be excellent—or even exceptional—your effort level is going to have to be a 1, the maximum effort, the best you have to give.For some of us, it will seem unfair that others can produce excellent or exceptional results with less effort. Each of us are born with different gifts and different deficiencies. But while some people produce excellent results in some area without a great deal of effort, they often struggle in others, areas where other people have an easier time producing excellent results.All of this is to remind you of what you already know: If you want a better result in some area of your life, the way to produce that results is to raise your standard, and that means increasing your effort. What standard do you need to raise? What does your effort need to be to produce that outcome? 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

Hotel sealed in Jaipur after rumours about beef cooking

first_imgA hotel operating near the Central Bus Stand in Jaipur was sealed and two of its staff were arrested following a rumour that beef being cooked there.Trouble started on Sunday evening when Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Sewa Mandal activists, led by Kamla Didi, stormed into Hotel Hayat Rabbani and thrashed a staff claiming that beef was cooked and served in the hotel.Huge crowd gathered on the spot raising slogans denouncing cow slaughter and demanded that the hotel’s owner hand himself over to them.The police promptly arrived at the scene and arrested Wasim and Qasim under Section 151 (preventive detention) of Criminal Procedure Code. Officers of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation, accompanied by Ward Councillor Nirmala Sharma, also reached the venue and sealed the hotel after asking all the guests staying there to leave.Hotel Hayat Rabbani, owned by Naeem Rabbani and functioning for several decades at Kanti Chandra Road near the Central Bus Stand here, largely caters to tourists and travellers from outside Jaipur. It has been getting awards for its services regularly from various hoteliers’ associations.This article has been corrected for a factual error.last_img read more

‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao failed in J&K’

first_imgPanaji: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Friday said the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme has failed to cut ice in Jammu and Kashmir, because “bringing daughters into the world is the last thing on the minds of people living in conflict-prone areas,” as they “fear [daughters] could be the first victims.”Speaking at an advertising festival here, Ms. Gandhi said the programme had also failed to take off in Bihar due to local administrative issues, “because nobody was willing to take any ownership of this campaign.”She said, “We failed in a few districts. We did not get a 100% success. We failed in Kashmir for instance. It didn’t make a jot of a difference [there], no matter what we did.”She said the programme had worked well due to multi-pronged initiatives in 100 districts, which had the poorest sex ratios, across the country. Ms. Gandhi said, “In one year, it [the ratio] went from 890, which was the worst, to 910 [per 1,000 males].”last_img read more

Sushil levels new charges against Lalu’s family

first_imgSenior Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi has levelled fresh allegation over yet another ‘land scam’ by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad’s family members.“Lalu Prasad’s family got prime land worth crores of rupees transferred to their name in lieu of favours done to a businessman who had set up a liquor company factory by the name of Iceberg Industries Pvt. Ltd at Bihta in Patna when Mr. Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi was the Chief Minister of the State from 2000-2005,” Mr. Modi said on Tuesday.Documents on dealsWhen asked, Mr. Modi said he has been receiving all the documents exposing the “dubious land deals” by Lalu Prasad’s family from those in the government.“I will also appeal to all those who know about any such dubious deals related with Lalu Prasad’s family to come to us… we will never reveal their name,” said Mr. Modi.“It is the same modus operandi by which Mr. Lalu Prasad opted to transfer two acres of prime land on which Bihar’s biggest shopping mall is coming up in Patna through Delight Marketing Pvt. Ltd., in lieu of giving two railway hotels to hotelier Harsh Kochar on lease,” alleged the BJP leader, who also demanded that an FIR be lodged for the misuse of the Chief Minister’s official residential address 1, Anne Marg by his daughter Chanda Yadav in 2014.last_img read more

Opposition in cahoots with ISI, says Tripura Governor

first_imgGovernor of Tripura Tathagata Roy on Friday accused the Opposition of “politicising” the alleged rape of minor girls in Kathua and Unnao by criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to the cases. He further alleged that the Opposition along with the “Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)”, a section of media and civil society have joined forces to put the blame for rapes on the Prime Minister. Even as he condemned the gang rapes, Mr. Roy asked how can a government “prevent” a rape. “The two incidents at Unnao and Kathua are despicable, regrettable and condemnable. Having said this, can you tell me how could the government prevented them? Is it possible to prevent a rape…What has the Prime Minister got to do with a rape that has taken place at Unnao or Kathua,” said Mr.Roy. The Governor was speaking to journalists in Kolkata on the sidelines of the launch of his book on Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He accused the Opposition parties of politicising the two rape cases to “despicable extent”.“In my personal opinion there is cabal consisting of ISI, number of the Lutyens’s Delhi journalists and the secular group who have joined (forces) to lay the blame for these rape murders at the door of the Prime Minister. Is this the first murder rape that has taken place in the country?” said Mr. Roy. Defends CMAs for his support of the Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s comment that Internet and satellites existed in the days of the Mahabharata, Mr.Roy argued that he did not say that there was Internet at that time.“I have not said that there was Internet at that time. I have merely said that this is a thing worth trying to find out. What I have said is unless there was a prototype of something of that sort (internet) it was not possible to conceive such a thing,” said Mr. Roy.last_img read more

Deploy Central forces: Amarinder

first_imgAhead of the Shahkot Assembly byelection in Punjab on May 28, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday welcomed the suggestion for deployment of paramilitary forces for the bypoll.Accusing Capt. Singh of violating the model code of conduct, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had on Friday demanded posting a senior officer to overlook the byelection, besides deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure a free and fair election.Responding to the Akali demand for paramilitary forces, Capt. Singh said, “It was ironical that the Akalis, who abused all the democratic systems during their own regime, using all possible tools to prevent the Congress from taking over the State’s reins, were now running to the Election Commission to seek paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polls. But he or the government and the Congress would oppose any decision by the EC to pull paramilitary forces into the Shahkot election security system,” said Capt. Amarinder.‘A habit of complaining’The Chief Minister said that the Akalis were in the habit of complaining of government interference and alleging violation of the model code of conduct before and after every election, particularly when they were staring at certain defeat.“SAD had resorted to similar tactics during Gurdaspur byeletion, which they lost,” he said.“The Akalis had been thoroughly exposed for their anti-people stance and their cheap tactics,” added Capt. Amarinder.He pointed out that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s brazen support for Mehtapur Station House Officer (Shahkot) was part of the Akali campaign to malign the Congress leadership and government ahead of the poll, which has been exposed.last_img read more

‘Hunkaar Rally’ raises chances of third front in Rajasthan

first_imgA massive ‘Hunkaar Rally’ organised by Independent MLA Hanuman Beniwal in Sikar on Sunday, in which the speakers accused the ruling BJP of failing to address agrarian crisis, has raised the possibility of a third front emerging in Rajasthan before this year’s Assembly elections.Mr. Beniwal, representing Khinvsar constituency of Nagaur district and considered the new face of Jat politics in the State, has termed the BJP government’s farm loan waiver scheme an eyewash and demanded complete waiver and free electricity for farmers. The participants in the rally rejected the partial and conditional waiving of only ₹50,000 each and demanded bigger relief for the peasants.Addressing the rally attended by thousands of Jats, farmers, cattle rearers and agricultural labourers, Mr. Beniwal raised the demands for complete crop loan waiver, making the State highways free of toll booths, doubling of minimum support prices for agricultural produce and jobs for local youths in the industrial units set up in the State.The independent legislator flayed Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s policy of “rolling out red carpet” for industrialists and said her actions were promoting caste tensions in the State. “The caste conflicts have increased in Rajasthan after 2003. No section of the population is happy with the government,” he said.Hinting at the formation of a third front, Mr. Beniwal said both the BJP and Congress had failed to fulfil people’s aspirations and the two parties had shielded each other in the formation of governments alternately. He said only a third front could bring succour to the farmers, Dalits and the poor who were looking for an alternative.Mr. Beniwal, who had won the 2008 Assembly election on a BJP ticket, was expelled from the party in 2011 following his controversial remarks against the top leadership. After winning the 2013 election as an Independent, he joined hands with Meena supremo Kirorilal Meena for the third front’s formation. Mr. Meena has since joined the BJP.The rally in Sikar was the fourth in a series, in which thousands of people took part following mass mobilisation, creating ripples in the Jat support base for both the major parties. The ‘Hunkaar Rallies’ were earlier organised in Nagaur, Bikaner and Barmer, while the fifth rally is proposed to be held in Jaipur, where the third front may be formally launched.last_img read more

Meghalaya man held for killing former wife’s baby

first_imgA man has been arrested in Meghalaya for allegedly killing his ex-wife’s son, barely three weeks old, from another man.The Shillong police said a masked man barged into a house in the Mission Compound area about 2.30 a.m. on Tuesday, assaulted the mother, snatched the baby boy from her and broke his limbs before drowning him in a bucket of cold water.“We arrested Clarence Jason Rajee, the assaulted woman’s ex-husband, on suspicion of murdering the baby. He was granted 10-day police custody,” Stephan A. Rynjah, SP( City), told The Hindu on Wednesday.The arrested man has a criminal record and was out on bail. He was arrested in 2017 in a kidnapping case.Police said the baby’s grandmother woke up by her groans and found her lying on the floor with blood on the face. She was weak after a complicated delivery.last_img read more

Priya Dutt removed as AICC secretary

first_imgSenior Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member Priya Dutt was on Monday relieved of her duties as secretary, All India Congress Committee (AICC). Ms. Dutt’s ouster led to speculation of her departure from the Congress, where she has been at loggerheads with Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam. She has accused him of sidelining party loyalists and old-timers. Ms. Dutt, however, rubbished speculation. Sources in the party said she was being wooed by the Shiv Sena, which had in the past supported her brother, Sanjay Dutt, during his brush with the law. “Want to clarify there is nothing to be upset about this letter, this is a process, I have been AICC secretary long enough, new and young people need to be brought into the organisation. If each one holds on to positions forever where will the other aspirants go,” she said, thanking the party high command for giving her the opportunity.last_img read more

Mother of missing Ganga activist Gopal Das begins fast in Rishikesh

first_imgMore than a week after the disappearance of Gopal Das, a Haryana-based hermit, who was on fast protesting against hydropower projects impeding the flow of the Ganga, his mother has embarked on a fast in Rishikesh, demanding that the Uttarakhand government disclose his whereabouts.Das, 40, who was on a fast since June 24, was admitted to the Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) in Dehradun on December 4. He was last seen on CCTV cameras leaving the premises of the medical college on December 6. He has been missing since then.“We suspect that he’s been killed because there’s no other motive for his disappearance,” said Swami Shivanand, head of Matri Sadan, a hermitage in Haridwar. Das was picked up from Matri Sadan by the Uttarakhand police and taken to the GDMC. Matri Sadan has been the site of serial fasts by several hermits, most notably G.D. Agrawal, an environmentalist-turned-hermit, who began a fast on June 22 and eventually died on the October 11. Following Agrawal’s fast and just days before his death, the government promulgated an ‘e-flow notification,’ on October 9 which requires hydropower projects upstream of the river to release sufficient water to ensure that a minimum flow is maintained through the year.Haridwar District Magistrate, Deepak Rawat, didn’t return multiple calls by The Hindu, for a comment on Das’ disappearance.“My son had undertaken these fasts for the welfare of the Ganga. I will continue it and we want the government to find out where he’s gone and bring into law the Ganga Act,” said Shakuntala Devi, 60, Das’ mother.The ‘Ganga Act,’ refers to the National River Ganga Bill that is now being mooted by the government to ensure that the river wasn’t polluted.The common thread linking all those fasting at Matri Sadan protests against the hydropower projects on the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini and Pindar rivers. All these rivers feed into the Ganga and several environmentalists have said the dams, necessitated by these projects, impede the natural flow of the river. Das has also previously undertaken fasts in Haryana for cow-protection.last_img read more

Tribal leaders oppose CM’s plan to support Dhangar case

first_imgMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s announcement to extend support to the Dhangar community in the ongoing court case on giving scheduled tribe (ST) status to Dhangars has not gone down well with the tribal community and ST leaders from Opposition parties.“We are not against extending economic benefits to the Dhangar community. The government must give them all possible aid and we are happy for it. But they should not be included in the tribal sub-plan. Secondly, the CM’s announcement to help the Dhangar community in the court case by filing an affidavit in the High Court to support the claim that Dhangar and Dhangad is same, is highly problematic,” Sanjay Dabhade of the Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) said.According to tribal leaders, the State government is claiming that Dhangad and Dhangar are the same to avoid the longer procedure of including a new tribe in the ST category, which requires permission of the Tribal Advisory Council and approval from Parliament. “If this gets accepted in the High Court, the route to include Dhangars in the ST category will be simpler. However there are several reports in the past that Dhangars are not ST and we will be opposing it,” he said.Congress MLA K.C. Padvi from Nandurbar said that despite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having four MPs and 12 MLAs from the ST community of Maharashtra, none of them have opposed the party’s move. “It shows that the BJP has nothing to do with tribal rights. We are not against any community and support financial benefits to them. But it should not be at the cost of tribals,” Mr. Padvi said.The AARM is contemplating organising protests all over the State against the government’s plan to dilute tribal rights.Election promiseThe ruling BJP in 2014 had promised the Dhangars that it would extend ST status to them in the first cabinet meeting after coming to power. But there was no progress for four-and-a-half years. The State had asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to look into the issue. The report has been submited to the government but has not been made public.last_img read more

Green panel orders inspection of Yamuna floodplain in Agra

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal on Monday asked the Director of Namami Gange and the Director General of National Institute of Hydrology to inspect the Yamuna floodplain in Agra and submit a report within four weeks on its demarcation. A Bench headed by Justice R.S. Rathore said certain reports obtained earlier were not only inconsistent but serious objections had been raised against them. “The Director, Namami Gange, as well as, the Director General, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee shall nominate officials, concerning with the subject, who after visiting the site they should file a report with regard to floodplain within the timeline, mentioned above. The report should clearly reflect the demarcation of river floodplain in Agra and the construction in it,” the tribunal said. The matter is posted for next hearing on April 12.The tribunal had earlier refused to vacate its 2015 order restraining construction and transfer of possession of flats on Yamuna floodplain in Agra after two builders sought lifting of the ban. ‘No entitlement’It had said that even if the builders have transferred the flat to the purchasers, it does not entitle them to file an application for vacating the interim order passed in 2015 as the matter is still pending.last_img read more

Ghanshyam’s associates rejoin BJP in Rajasthan

first_imgThe associates of former BJP leader with a strong RSS background, Ghanshyam Tiwari, who joined the Congress in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi here on Tuesday, are unconvinced by his move. About 100 members of the Bharat Vahini Party (BVP), floated by him before the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly election, have rejoined the BJP.Mr. Tiwari’s stand that he was joining Congress to protect democratic values in the country has apparently failed to cut ice with his colleagues. BVP Jaipur city president Vimal Agrawal, who went back to the BJP along with his supporters, said it was difficult for them to adjust to the Congress ideology and they had left the BJP in the past only because of differences with the party leadership. Mr. Tiwari, a former six-time BJP MLA with strong leanings to the RSS ideology, has not spoken to the BVP workers after he joined the Congress on Tuesday and is yet to reveal his future course of action.last_img read more

Call for poll boycott in Mizoram

first_imgAn umbrella organisation of major civil societies and students’ associations in Mizoram on Monday decided to boycott the April 11 election to the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat and organise a State-wide indefinite bandh from April 8, sources said. The NGO Coordination Committee said that a decision was taken earlier to boycott the parliamentary poll if special polling booths were established at the Mizoram-Tripura border Kanhmun village. “The NGOCC opposed the special polling stations for Bru refugees at Kanhmun,” an NGOCC statement said.last_img read more

Ensured national identity for Sultanpur, says Varun Gandhi

first_imgBJP leader Varun Gandhi claimed on Friday that he had ensured “national identity” for Sultanpur constituency of Uttar Pradesh, which, he said, was earlier known as Amethi’s neighbouring district. Amethi is currently represented by Varun Gandhi’s cousin, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. “I have ensured national identity for Sultanpur. It was earlier known as Amethi’s neighbouring district,” Mr. Varun Gandhi said at a rally here in support of his mother, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. Without taking any names, Mr. Varun Gandhi, who is the sitting MP from Sultanpur, urged the people to not vote for “gunde-mawali (hooligans)” and ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory. “If you feel poverty and it pinches, bear it. But if you elect a criminal, it will pinch more,” he said, claiming that he was the only MP who did not take any salary.Mr. Varun Gandhi is now contesting from Pilibhit, while Ms. Maneka Gandhi is the BJP candidate from Sultanpur.last_img read more

Diplomatic Flap Threatens E.U.-Israeli Research Ties

first_imgA diplomatic row between the European Union and the Israeli government could spell a sharp loss in funding for Israeli science as well as the end for countless collaborations with European scientists. At issue are 3 pages of guidelines issued by the European Commission on 19 July, which stipulate that starting in 2014, E.U. grants, prizes, and financial instruments may not support organizations or activities in areas not under Israel’s control before 1967—which include the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza strip, and the Golan Heights.In an angry response, the Israeli government said last week that it may forgo participation in Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €70 billion, 7-year research program. The two sides had a first round of talks about Horizon 2020 at the E.U. Delegation’s Tel Aviv office on 14 August and will continue discussions in Brussels in September. An Israeli withdrawal would put an end to 17 years of successful participation in E.U. science funding schemes.The European Union stresses that the new document is a clarification of existing policies whose effects will be minimal, as little research is going on in the territories. But to the Israeli government, the issue is bigger than that. “We will not accept any outside diktat about our borders,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month.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(*)At stake isn’t just grant money, but also “the contacts, the networks, the recognition,” says Nobel laureate Ada Yonath, a crystallographer at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot who last year bagged a €2.5 million grant from the European Research Council (ERC), funded by Horizon 2020’s predecessor, Framework Programme 7 (FP7). “Israel will be in a ghetto,” she says. Israel’s withdrawal would be “catastrophic for Israeli scientists and a big loss for Europe,” adds ERC President Helga Nowotny.Since 1996, Israel has taken part in E.U. research programs as an “associated country”—a status that allows a non-E.U. country to benefit from the European Union’s funding bonanzas in return for a fixed contribution based on gross domestic product. Israel paid €534 million into FP7, which spanned 2007 to 2013; in return, almost 1600 Israeli scientists will have received a total of €634 million in funding. They fared particularly well in the battle for ERC grants; on a per capita basis, Israel was bested only by Switzerland, also an associated country.European Commission spokesperson Michael Jennings says that the European Union banned funding for organizations established in the occupied territories all along, although it did not explicitly rule out supporting any research there. The only currently funded research that would no longer be eligible for E.U. grants is being done by a company called AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories, which produces skin care products from Dead Sea mud and salt at a West Bank facility.Still, at the Tel Aviv meeting last week, Israeli representatives told a delegation from the European Commission that without “positive understandings on the guidelines’ implementation … Israel will be unable to join the European R&D program,” according to an Israeli government statement. “If Israel is going to lose a few dollars, or euros, rather than accepting [the European Union] damaging national security interests, then we don’t have a choice,” says Paul Hirschson, a spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Other international funding schemes also exclude projects in the occupied territories, including the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, which has funded dozens of Nobel laureates, and a similar foundation aimed at fostering scientific friendships between Israel and Germany. Hirschson could not say whether those foundations are problematic as well. He says Israel also takes issue with the timing of the E.U. guidelines, just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had launched a new round of peace talks between Israel and Palestine. “They give the Palestinians the false sense that they can achieve anything without making any compromises,” he says.Not everyone is so gloomy about the damage a withdrawal from Horizon 2020 would cause. If Israel invests its contribution in domestic research instead, “it doesn’t have to be such a tragedy,” says Alex Lubotzky, a mathematician at Hebrew University of Jerusalem who co-founded a West Bank settlement called Efrat. Lubotzky, himself an ERC grant winner, adds that the European Union has every right to determine what is done with its money.It’s hard to predict whether either side will budge, says Jonathan Rosenhead, a professor emeritus at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He urges the European Commission to stick to its position. “They have drawn a line in the sand. They would look stupid if they back down now,” says Rosenhead, who chairs the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, an academic group that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.Israel, too, is likely to take a hard line, says Oded Beja, an environmental genomicist at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa who says that his €2 million ERC grant helped him “enter the big league” of his field. “It’s not that they want to move E.U. money into the occupied territories,” Beja says. “But by agreeing, they admit that something is wrong with the territories.”last_img read more

A Supporting Role for Science in Obama’s State of the Union Address

first_imgWhat will he say about science? That’s the question hardcore science policy watchers ask every year about the president’s annual State of the Union address.Chief executives often use the speech to roll out new policy proposals or signal their priorities for the coming year.  President Barack Obama declined to do the former in last night’s 65-minute speech, but he served up plenty of the latter. Specifically, he:Signaled the administration’s continued support for eliminating the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, which he says are hurting government investments in basic science. Pledged to use executive branch authority, and not to wait for Congress to act, to harness applied research in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He also wants to expand natural gas production as part of a broad push for energy independence. Asked Congress to support more private-public research partnerships aimed at improving the nation’s competitiveness in manufacturing.And while research advocates say they liked what they heard, most want Washington to do more. On climate change, for instance, Eileen Claussen, president of the nonprofit Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in Arlington, Virginia, said in a statement that “the president is right to move forward with the regulatory tools at his disposal,” because “there’s no prospect of Congress taking serious action anytime soon.”Matthew Stepp, an analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), another Washington-area think tank, was supportive but unsatisfied by Obama’s energy plan, especially its emphasis on using natural gas as a “bridge” to cleaner future energy supplies. “Natural gas, while marginally cleaner than coal, is no substitute for a transition to renewables, nuclear, carbon capture, biofuels, and electric vehicles,” according to Stepp. “The energy innovation challenges underpinning climate change require far more attention than these modest carbon reduction efforts.”Here are some highlights of research-related issues that Obama discussed, taken from a White House transcript of the speech:Science spending“China and Europe aren’t standing on the sidelines, and neither should we,” Obama warned in a paragraph that touched on the role of the federal government in supporting basic science. “We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow.  This is an edge America cannot surrender.  Federally funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones.  And that’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery.”Research advocates were pleased with that last line, which restated the White House’s opposition to spending restrictions imposed by sequestration, a budget mechanism designed to help reduce government deficits over the next decade. However, sticklers may want to point out that Congress has already restored most of the 2013 cuts, which amounted to 5% at most science agencies, as part of the 2014 spending bill that it passed 2 weeks ago. But most lobbyists think that Obama was also urging Congress to remove the threat of mandatory cuts in the coming years and replace it with what the administration calls a balanced package of increased revenues and reduced spending, including curbs on entitlements. Energy Obama spent some 4 minutes discussing energy policy, according to a tally in The Washington Post, starting with an emphasis on producing and using more natural gas.“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy,” Obama began. “The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades.”“One of the reasons why is natural gas — if extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.  Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas.  I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built and put folks to work, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.”As part of the natural gas push, the White House is drafting new rules for oil and gas drilling on public lands and promoting investments in what administration officials call “safe and responsible natural gas production.” It is also promoting tax incentives to build infrastructure that would allow drivers to replace the petroleum in their gas tanks with natural gas and other fuels. And the president’s Climate Action Plan, released last summer, calls for developing strategies to reduce emissions of methane associated with natural gas production. Many climate scientists see increased emissions of methane, a potent warming gas, as a highly problematic side effect of the recent gas boom.The president also made a nod to solar power, noting that: “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar, every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be outsourced.  Let’s continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don’t need it, so we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.”Finally, he issued a call for conservation: “[E]ven as we’ve increased energy production, we’ve partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities to reduce the energy we consume.  When we rescued our automakers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars.  In the coming months, I’ll build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.”Specifically, according to White House briefing documents, Obama “will propose new incentives for medium- and heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas or other alternative fuels and the infrastructure needed to run them.”Climate changeObama linked his energy proposals directly to climate change, which he called “a fact.” And his oratory was interrupted several times with applause—albeit almost entirely from Democratic members of Congress.He asserted that “our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet.  Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth.  But we have to act with more urgency — because a changing climate is already harming Western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods.  That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air. ”“The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require some tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled.   Climate change is a fact.  And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did. ”The proposed power plant rules—for new and existing plants—are controversial, and House of Representatives Republican leaders have vowed to block them. His claim that the United States has reduced its “total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth” is sure to spark debate. Although true by some measures, such as counting total tons of carbon avoided, it is sure to be challenged by climate advocates who say the United States could be doing much more to reduce its emissions per capita or per unit of economic growth.And although U.S. emissions did decline in recent years, Claussen noted in her statement that “U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are again on the rise, and much stronger efforts are needed to rein them in and achieve steep long-term reductions.” Still, she’s generally supportive of the White House’s approach: “The president has a credible and comprehensive plan to cut emissions, expand clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Now is the time to put it into action.”Much of Obama’s electoral base was also likely pleased by his suggestion that spending on infrastructure such as roads and power grids be linked to efforts to make communities more resilient to changes wrought by climate change, such as rising seas or shifting weather patterns. “Climate change is testing these systems every day,” said David Foster of the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of environmental, labor, and industry groups, in a statement. “[T]he best insurance policy against these threats is to face the challenges of climate change and our nation’s failing infrastructure simultaneously.” The push would also create jobs, he noted.Advanced manufacturing Obama made a pitch to expand a nascent system of advanced manufacturing hubs that link universities to industry to develop new technologies. “We also have the chance, right now, to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs,” he said.“My administration has launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh, North Carolina and Youngstown, Ohio, where we’ve connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.  Tonight, I’m announcing we’ll launch six more this year.  Bipartisan bills in both houses could double the number of these hubs and the jobs they create.  So get those bills to my desk; put more Americans back to work.”In a briefing document, White House officials wrote that Obama will “use his executive authority to launch four new manufacturing innovation institutes this year, a co-investment by the private sector and Federal agencies, led by the Departments of Defense and Energy. These new institutes will build on the success of the four that the President has already announced – including the pilot institute in Youngstown, Ohio [created in 2012] and the most recent institute launched in Raleigh, N.C. By the end of 2014, the President will have made it to the halfway point on his initial goal of 15 institutes, without Congress.”ITIF’s president, Robert Atkinson, says the think tank deserved credit for developing the idea. The effort “offers a tremendous opportunity to promote industry-university partnerships, improve technology transfer and promote manufacturing innovation nationally,” he said in a statement. He’d also like to see “Congress to pass bi-partisan legislation that would create a fully-funded, nation-wide … system.”PatentsObama touched briefly on Congress’s current efforts to pass legislation that would make it harder for some companies—known as patent trolls—to try to extract payments from patent holders by filing what experts say are often tenuous claims of infringement. The strategy has been fueled by quirks in current patent law, which lawmakers are now trying to change.Obama expressed general support for the idea. “There are entire industries to be built based on vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that’s stronger than steel,” Obama said. “And let’s pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly and needless litigation.”last_img read more