I’m troubled when anyone really complains about their customers. I am mortified when that person occupies a leadership role. A fish rots from the head, and rot it will.When a prospect presents you with a challenging business problem or a need that is difficult to serve, you see it as an opportunity to create value and win business. In fact, you seek out these issues as a way to help make the case for change.But once the prospect becomes a client, their demands are perceived very differently by some. I’ve heard clients described as “needy,” “high maintenance,” and “a complete and total pain in the ass” for requiring something new, something different, or something difficult.I’ve heard leaders say, “If it wasn’t for customers and employees, business would be great.”There is no doubt that serving your clients is challenging. There is no doubt that some of them are truly more needy than they should be, seriously high maintenance, and some are a complete pain. There are some client contacts who are adversarial and occupy the wrong end of the maturity continuum.It’s a mathematical certainty that your clients will change their minds, change what they need, and make difficult and unreasonable demands. As long as you have clients, you will be faced with these challenges and more.But how you feel about these challenges matters a great deal, especially if you are in leadership. Your neediest and most high maintenance clients are very often your best references, especially if you invest time in the relationship. The clients who have new needs are fertile ground for figuring out how to deliver something new and different to your other clients and your dream clients. Have you ever done something different to serve a client and then immediately presented it to another client only to be praised for being proactive? If you haven’t, try it now.If you are in a leadership role, your employees will share your feelings about your clients. They will look to you for how to define the challenges they face in serving them. If you have negative feelings about your customers, believing that they are the problem, you will soon be be faced with the problem of no longer having them.
As much as we have come to describe the sales conversation (or buying process) as linear, it is nonlinear. Our slide decks that show pictures of boxes that start on the left side with target, finishing on the right with the sale complete. Deals do not often proceed as such, many times going forward only to later retrace ground you have already covered.Because this is true, managing the process is critical, and that outcome allows for an agile, dynamic process for an equally dynamic conversation.Go Backwards to Go ForwardA new entrant to the conversation shows up after you have done good discovery work with the contracts with whom you have been working. This new stakeholder has missed out on the entire discovery process, and even though you asked who else might need to be part of this process, no one mentioned this person’s name. But now they are involved.Depriving this person of the chance to participate in discovery opens up the genuine possibility that you will leave out of your solution the very thing they need to agree to move forward. To go forward, you are going to go backward first. Even though you believe this is going to take more time, the investment of time here is better than a faster path to a loss.Serve Stakeholders Where They Are without Giving Up CommitmentsSome salespeople refuse to even discuss pricing without first doing the deep discovery work they believe allows them to create enough value to justify the investment they require. Others refuse to talk about solutions, resisting answering questions until they gain context. But one size fits all approaches to sales aren’t as useful as being able to focus on winning the right commitments while being flexible in your approach.You will find prospects further ahead in the process than you wish they were. They may buy what you sell frequently enough to have definite ideas of what they need, what they want, and what they need from a potential partner. You may have been taught to qualify prospects without ever being informed that they are sometimes qualifying you.You take clients where you find them, which is to say, you may have to answer questions before you earn the right to go back and pick up some of the commitments you still need your prospect to make and keep, like collaborating, building consensus, and reviewing potential solutions.Proposing Next Steps That Advance the InitiativeManaging the process will almost invariably require you to propose what next steps are necessary for you and your prospect to do your best work together. There are some who would tell you that you must follow your prospective client’s lead, fearing that doing anything other being compliant puts the opportunity you are pursuing at risk—even though your obligation to your client is to do what’s right, even if it means you have to deal with some small conflict, and even if it makes you and your client uncomfortable.If you want to be consultative, you have to do what is right, not what is easy. You need to do your best to control the process, at least as it pertains to doing all the things necessary to succeed in helping your client—and in doing so, winning their business. Even if it isn’t a straight line, you need key moving forward, even if not in the optimal order.The process may be nonlinear, but that doesn’t mean you should give up doing what’s right. It means you need to more flexible in your approach, more aware of what you still need to do for and with your clients and to propose next steps that move you both forward together. 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
Haryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu on Monday presented the state budget in which no fresh taxes were proposed and the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was expected to grow at 9% in 2017-18.Capt. Abhimanyu proposed a budget of ₹1,02,329.35 crore for 2017-18, an increase of Rs 9,041.59 (13.18 per cent) over the last budget. He said on the pattern of the union government initiative, Haryana has also decided to dispense with the plan and non-plan classification of expenditure and present the budget in terms of revenue and capital classification.“Significant strides”“Haryana has made significant strides in all key parameters that constitute the economic and fiscal space. Be it GSDP growth, per capita income, fiscal deficit, debt-to-GSDP ratio or total revenue as a ratio of GSDP – things have improved,” Capt Abhimanyu said as he presented his third consecutive budget. “GSDP which is estimated to have logged a growth rate of 8.7% in 2016-17 is poised to touch 9% in 2017-18,” he said, adding that the present government, by following prudent fiscal management policies, had been able to reverse the increasing trend in deficit parameters witnessed during the previous regime.“This is clear from the fact that in 2014-15, the revenue deficit, which was 1.90% of GSDP, had declined to 1.6% in 2015-16, and in 2016-17, it is likely to be 1.33%. For fiscal 2017-18, I have targeted to bring it further down to less than 1% and by the end of 2019-20, my target is to bring it down to zero,” he added.Expressing commitment towards the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Capt. Abhimanyu announced to allocate ₹100 crore especially for this purpose in 2017-18. “I assure the august House that for construction of the SYL even if ₹1,000 crore is required, we will provide the same”, he said.Rural areas get priority Capt. Abhimanyu said that bulk of the allocation made for agriculture, panchayats and irrigation departments in the budget are meant for rural areas. “It is expected that in the next financial year, the allocation for rural areas will get a further boost,” he added.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on his campaign tour in Gujarat said the Congress party, if voted to power in Gujarat assembly polls, will waive off entire debts of Gujarat farmers and enhance Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agriculture produce.On the last day of this three day Navsarjan Yatra in poll-bound Gujarat, the Congress leader toured in tribal areas like Chhota Udepur, Limkheda, Devgadh Baria, Godhara and Phagvel in Kheda district.In Devgadh Baria, addressing a meeting of tribals, Mr Gandhi said that the Gujarat government was working only for a handful of industrial groups while neglecting tribals, farmers and other marginalised sections of society.He also accused the Gujarat government of diverting Narmada water from farmers to some industrial groups. “Tribals were displaced to build the dam but now the water is being provided to industries instead of farmers and tribals,” Mr Gandhi said, referring to a few changes the Gujarat government has enacted to divert Narmada water to cater to some industrial clusters in the state.“In Gujarat, the government is concerned about and working for a only a few industrialists, so the small and medium enterprises, real backbone of the industrial base in the state, remained neglected. Today, as many as three million youth in Gujarat is jobless,” Mr Gandhi said, addressing another rally during his campaign tour.He stressed his contention that jobs are generated by small and medium enterprises while big industrial units are highly automated.Interacting with students, Mr Gandhi said that education has become expensive but there are no jobs even after pending lakhs in acquiring degrees.In his community outreach attempts, Mr Gandhi while on campaign tour has been interacting with small group of students, women or party workers, farmers or tribals, visiting temples and religious places in Gujarat.
The United Jehad Council (UJC), a PoK-based conglomerate of militants, said on Thursday that it will support Hurriyat on the dialogue process with New Delhi.“They [the militants] are with the Kashmir leadership if they start a dialogue process. Since India is not sincere, we have decided to lay down three conditions,” UJC chief Syed Salahuddin told a press conference in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The three conditions were that India should declare Jammu and Kashmir a disputed territory; acknowledge that there are three parties to the dispute; and accept that Kashmir issue will be resolved in the light of the United Nations resolutions in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiris.He alleged that India, in the name of dialogue, had always committed fraud. “When there were no options, the youth of Kashmir took to arms. Under the present circumstances, armed struggle remains the only way out as India is eager to change the Muslim demography of J&K,” he said. The statement is significant as the Hurriyat is finding the going tough in the wake of the Centre appointing Dineshwar Sharma as its interlocutor’s for J&K. Mr. Sharma is visiting Kashmir next week. NIA raidsMeanwhile, sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday raided the houses of the Salahuddin’s sons in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.An NIA official said it carried out searches in the house of Shahid Yousuf, who remains in the NIA’s custody in Soibugh in central Kashmir. “The NIA seized five mobiles, two hard discs, one laptop, incriminating documents and some electronic devices,” said the official. Shah was sent on a seven-day NIA custody by a court in New Delhi on Wednesday. A police official said the premises of another son of the Hizb chief were also searched.
The Supreme Court has fixed February 8, 2018 as the date for hearing the civil appeals in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute.It commenced final hearing in the dispute on Tuesday, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of medieval-era structure.A specially constituted Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer are hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits.The High Court had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acre area at Ayodhya among the parties — the All India Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.A sect of Muslims, under the banner of Shia Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh, had approached the court, offering a solution that a mosque could be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a “reasonable distance” from the disputed site in Ayodhya.Sunni Waqf Board’s oppositionHowever, its intervention was opposed by the Sunni Waqf Board. It claimed that judicial adjudication between the two sects was done in 1946 by declaring the mosque, which was demolished on December 6, 1992, as one which belongs to the Sunnis.Recently a group of civil rights activists also moved the apex court, seeking intervention in the dispute and urged it to consider the issue, saying it is not just a dispute over property but has several other aspects that would have far-reaching effects on the “secular fabric of the country.”In pursuance to the apex court’s earlier direction, the Yogi Adityanath government has submitted English translation of exhibits and documents likely to be relied upon, as these were in eight different languages.A battery of high profile lawyers, including senior advocates K. Parasaran and C.S. Vaidyanathan and advocate Saurabh Shamsheri, will appear for Lord Ram Lalla, the deity. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will represent the Uttar Pradesh government.Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Anoop George Chaudhari, Rajeev Dhavan and Sushil Jain will represent other parties, including the Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara.BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, an intervenor in the matter, had attempted to raise the issue of fundamental right of religion of the Hindus under Article 25 of the Constitution.Many of the original plantiffs and defendants in the matter, including Mohd Hashim, who was the first person to take the matter to the apex court, have died.
Noted historian and writer Ramchandra Guha said on Thursday that history has taught us that there are no permanent winners or losers, but the wheel turns. Delivering a keynote address on ‘History beyond chauvinism’ at the inaugural session of the 8th edition of the Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) on Thursday evening, Mr. Guha said there were four types of chauvinisms that regulated history — discipline, source material, ideology and nationality.Explaining the chauvinism of discipline, Mr. Guha cited his own research work on the Chipko movement and said that history was a good blend of social science and literature and was never one dimensional. For the chauvinism of source material, he said historians must stop restricting themselves to government documents alone and instead study, among other sources, newspapers, which according to him, provided a wealth of social history as “people speak through them”.“Historians cannot have political or religious leanings,” Mr. Guha warned while explaining the chauvinism of ideology. He cited the example of how a Marxist historian is not a real historian because of his/her political ideology.He advised historians to guard against arrogance, and opined that history is a conversation in which a historian must be prepared to know that person coming after her\him will write better, be more reliable and less chauvinistic.Earlier, Mini Krishnan, Editor, Translations, at the Oxford University Press in her keynote address on ‘The hinge of integration — translation’ argued that greater integration was possible through translations in a diverse country like India. .
The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the CBI’s SIT, probing alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters by Army, Assam Rifles and the police in Manipur, for not registering the required number of FIRs as directed by it earlier.The court. while putting searching questions to the Special Investigation Team over the issue, directed it to lodge 30 more FIRs on or before January 31, after the team said it has lodged 12 FIRs till date.The apex court is hearing a PIL seeking probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.“FIRs have to be registered in every single case. It is the investigation that has to be carried out by you (SIT).After the investigation, you decide whether you will file the charge sheets or closure reports,” a bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit said.The top court asked the SIT to complete its investigation in the 12 matters in which FIRs have already been registered, by February 28 this year.“We make it clear that on or before January 31, 2018, all FIRs must be registered in respect of the remaining 30 cases as mentioned in the three tables that we have mentioned in the judgement dated July 14, 2017,” the bench said.The court had on July 14 last year constituted an SIT comprising five CBI officers and ordered registration of FIRs and probe the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur.The bench, which perused the first status report filed by the SIT, had directed that all subsequent reports to be filed before it, should have the approval of the CBI director.The bench also asked the CBI director to monitor the progress in the investigation and posted the matter for further hearing on March 12.At the outset, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for the CBI, placed before the bench the status report of SIT.Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the petitioners, raised the question that CBI has not yet lodged the FIRs as directed by the court earlier and statement of witnesses have not been recorded so far.The ASG referred to the contents of the status report and said that out of 48 such incidents, the SIT has not received the documents related to six cases.However, the bench asked the CBI’s DIG, who is in-charge of the SIT probe and was present in the court, as to why all the FIRs were not registered yet despite ordering the team to do so by December 31 last year.“You (SIT) do not need forensic reports to register an FIR. For registering an FIR, you do not need site visit. There are orders of the Gauhati High Court and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). You can register FIRs in respect of these cases and then carry out investigation,” the bench said.When the DIG said they have to examine the voluminous records of each case before lodging FIRs and see whether a case was made out or not, the bench shot back, “that is for the courts to see if cases are made out or not. The Gauhati High Court has said about unnatural deaths. You cannot say that judgement of high court is wrong.”Meanwhile, the ASG told the bench that SIT has received the documents related to these cases in tranches.The bench told the DIG that the apex court has asked the SIT to first investigate the cases which have already been dealt with by the high court, NHRC and a commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Santosh Hegde.“Why did we picked up these cases? Because there are some foundational analysis by some judicial authorities in these matters,” the court said, adding, “you were expected to carry out investigation from there onwards“.Regarding the arguments advanced by Gonsalves, the ASG said that process of recording statement of witnesses have already began.The apex court had on January 8 said it appeared that the matter relating to probe into these cases was not being taken up seriously by the SIT.
Pune: Three youths from the Kanjarbhat community were beaten by members of their community’s ‘caste panchayat’ in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area of the city on Sunday night for speaking out against the practice of conducting a bridal ‘virginity test’.An FIR under Sections 143, 147, 149 (pertaining to rioting and unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against 40 persons at the Pimpri police station on Monday. Two persons have been arrested so far.The police acted on the complaint of Prashant Indrekar, who along with his cousin Saurabh Machhle and Prashant Tamchikar, was roughed up for opposing the panchayat’s practices.Assembly of eldersAccording to the police, the incident occurred around 11.30 p.m. on Sunday night. “A caste tribunal of the Kanjarbhat community assembled after a community marriage on Sunday night, where the ‘elders’ decreed that the bride had to take a virginity test. A number of panchayat members also vented their ire against Indrekar and his friends, who were present, for their campaign on social media speaking out against such practices,” said a senior official at the Pimpri police station.As the argument heated up some 40 people swooped down on the three youths and hit them using fists and other blunt objects.“They panchayat members demanded to know why we were bent upon ‘violating’ the tradition of the community by speaking on television and social media, against long-standing customs” said Mr. Indrekar.In December last year, several progressive youngsters of the community, including Mr. Indrekar, created a WhatsApp group ‘Stop the V-Ritual’ which elicited enthusiastic response.Mr. Tamchikar, student of TISS in Mumbai, is a co-creator of the group. The move has been strongly backed by Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS).The regressive practice of a bridal ‘virginity test’ is rife within the Kanjarbhat community and is forcibly imposed through the diktats of illegal caste tribunals.In it, a newly-married couple is generally taken to a hotel room and the groom is given a white bed-sheet and asked to use it during consummation.If the groom displays a bedsheet with blood stains on it, the bride is believed to have ‘passed’ the test. If the bedsheet has no blood stains, the bride is accused by the tribunal of physical relationships in the past.“In many instances, caste panchayat members actually sit outside the room during the act of sexual intercourse on the wedding night. It is to put an end to this degrading and demeaning practice and to preserve our dignity that we began the WhatsAppgroup,” said Mr. Indrekar.Last year, on November 25, Siddhant Indrekar (21), a resident of Kanjarbhat Nagar in Yerwada, had lodged a complaint against the caste panchayat at the Vishrantwadi police station.“Police are tardy in taking action in such cases despite ample proof against the caste panchayats, including demanding money for various rituals. But they often do not register such cases under the Social Boycott Act. How long must progressive members within such communities pay with their life and security before cases are lodged under the new law,” asked Nandini Jadhav of the MANS.In 2015, former Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Kavichand Bhat was arrested by the Aurangabad police for extorting money from a woman in lieu for withdrawing a social boycott call against her.Mr. Bhat was an ‘elder’ of an illicit caste panchayat of the Kanjarbhat community and was notorious for his complicity in several social boycott cases.
Two security force personnel were killed and six others were injured as Maoists went on the rampage in various parts of Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh on Monday.The increased Maoist activities in Bijapur have exacerbated the problems of the security establishment in the State even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the district on April 14 for a function. Immediate impactThe Maoists triggered an IED (Improvised Explosives Device) blast near Tumla village on Kutaru road of Bijapur, targeting a bus in which some District Reserve Guard (Chhattisgarh police’s special anti-Maoist unit) jawans were travelling.Constable Lakhan Gawade, who was driving the bus, and head constable Anand Rao, were killed in this blast. ASI Bhojraj Morya and four DRG constables — Monaj Wacham, Sukhram Mandavi, Masaram Madiyam, Payaku Alam — suffered injuries in the blast.In a separate incident, the Maoists triggered two disparate IED blasts in Mahadev Ghat area of Bijapur when a team of the Central Reserve Police Force was carrying out a search operation in the area.
A video uploaded on YouTube by a Mumbai-based street photographer has helped a family in Manipur capital Imphal locate a member who had disappeared 40 years ago.Khomdram Kulachandra, a daily wager, is scheduled to fly to Mumbai on Tuesday to bring back his elder brother Khomdram Gambhir. A couple of Manipur police officers will accompany him.“We have been coordinating with our counterparts in Bandra West area of Mumbai ever since Gambhir’s identity was established. Our team should be able to reunite him with his family here within two-three days,” Themthing Ngashangva, senior superintendent of police of Imphal West district, told The Hindu on Monday.Mr. Gambhir, members of his family said, had retired voluntarily after serving in Manipur Rifles for seven years. He was believed to have gone into a depression after a disastrous marriage.Mr. Kulachandra said his brother, the eldest of six siblings, left their home in Imphal’s Khumbom Mamang locality in 1978. He was believed to have surfaced in Mizoram a year later, but a search had proved futile.Accidental viewingA Mumbai-based photographer named Feroze had uploaded a video of Gambhir on October 17 last year. An assistant professor of North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology in Arunachal Pradesh saw the video accidentally while browsing through YouTube a few days ago.“He informed one of our friends about the video featuring a person in his mid-sixties with Manipuri features singing and begging on the streets of Mumbai. The video, circulated through social media, reached his family two days ago,” Atom Samarendra, a Central government employee, said.“I could not believe my eyes when one of my nephews showed me the video footage. We had lost all hope of seeing him alive again,” Mr. Kulachandra said.Mr. Samarendra said the local people raised money for Mr. Kulachandra’s flight to Mumbai to bring back his brother. “They have to fly because the Bandra West police cannot keep Gambhir for long,” he said.
Mumbai: The stage is set for a five-corner contest in Palghar with allies Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena naming separate candidates for the May 28 Lok Sabha byelections. The Shiv Sena announced on Tuesday that the late BJP MP Chintaman Wanga’s son Shrinivas Wanga, would be their candidate for the bypoll. Upset over Sena’s decision Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said later in the day that his party had not expected this from an ally. “Come what may, BJP will win the byelection,” he added.The bypoll has been necessitated following the death of BJP’s sitting MP Chintaman Wanga this year.BJP’s dilemmaUnable to find a suitable candidate, the BJP named former Congress MLA and minister Rajendra Gavit as their candidate. While Congress has declared former MP Damodar Shingda as its candidate, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has named youth leader Kiran Gahla. The Hitendra Takur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) is likely to declare their candidate on May 10.“What has happened is extremely unfortunate. Shiv Sena should not have acted in the manner it did. Sena was aware that we were going to field a family member of late Chintaman Wanga. The seat is with the BJP and it should remain with us,” said Mr. Fadnavis. He said people like Wanga ensured the growth of the party in this tribal belt, and a BJP victory would be a true tribute to him.Asked why the party could not find a single candidate from among their own cadre, Mr. Fadnavis said that BJP prefers taking in all those work for the betterment of the society. “Rajendra Gavit was in our touch since 2014 and he has played a major role in the formation of Plaghar district. He will work for the development of the district,” he said. ‘A traitor’Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, meanwhile, said, “The people of Palghar will teach the traitor a lesson. BJP can gloat over Rajendra Gavit’s inclusion in the party, but we are happy that the traitor is with them. The CM who himself has initiated the process of giving turncoats a ticket for elections, should not blame others for snatching their people.” Meanwhile, Mr. Shrinivas Wanga filed his nomination papers today. Last week, the family had met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray alleging neglect by the BJP. Mr. Fadnavis refuted the allegation saying he did reply and asked them to come for a meeting. “We are aware of who influenced the family, but will reveal the names only after the election,” he said.
More than 40 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were left out of the complete draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published on Monday. The five year exercise was completed at a cost of ₹1,220 crore.The draft NRC was released in Guwahati by Registrar General of India Sailesh and NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela in the presence of Joint Director (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Satyendra Garg.While the publication of the list triggered a political row in Parliament, the situation in Assam remained largely peaceful, with thousands lining up at NRC Nagarik Seva Kendras (NSKs) to check their status.Soon after the list was released, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre, accusing it of resorting to “vote bank politics”. “This divide and rule policy will finish the country,” she said at a press conference in Kolkata.Including first listAs many as 3,29,91,384 people had applied and the applications of 2,89,83,677 were accepted, said Mr. Sailesh.The final draft included the names of 1.9 crore applicants who were listed in the first draft published on December 31, 2017.“The remaining 40,007,707 applicants, whose names didn’t figure in the list will be given ample opportunity through a process of claims and objections till September 28, and their citizenship status will not be questioned till the final, error-free draft is prepared,” Mr. Sailesh said.Mr. Sailesh and Mr. Hajela, however, did not specify when the final draft would be prepared. But they indicated the period for claims and objections could be extended by a month.Those not on the list include 2.48 lakh Doubtful-voters (D-voters) and their siblings and descendants.‘List not final’“The process has been completely transparent, fair, objective and meticulously carried out,” Mr. Sailesh said.Reiterating that the list released was only a draft and not the final one, he said, “Those not in the draft will get ample opportunity with adequate time to establish their citizenship claim. People who lack knowledge will be provided assistance. Full justice will be meted to all.”Names of those left out not to be revealedNRC State Coordinator for Assam Prateek Hajela said the names of around 40 lakh applicants left out of the final list published on Monday would not be revealed to protect their privacy. Speaking at the release of the final draft in Guwahati along with Director (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Satyendra Garg and Mr. Hajela, Registrar General of India Sailesh said, “We cannot provide a district-wise breakup of these 40 lakh for the same reason,” adding that the total expenditure on the NRC exercise since September 2013 was ₹1,220 crore.To a question on whether those left out in the draft NRC would be intimated, Mr. Hajela said: “We consider them as applicants. Each of them will be sent letters individually for the next step. We are trying to tell them they might have missed out because of some reasons such as unsubstantiated documents.”Mr. Garg said there would be no penal action against those rejected until their cases were sorted out. “We want law and order to be maintained, and no one will be allowed to create trouble.”
Security forces gunned down 14 alleged members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) in an encounter in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh on Monday.The incident took place near Nukaltung area under Konta block around 7 a.m., Sukma District Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena said.South Sukma is considered a Maoist stronghold.The security forces also managed to recover 16 weapons and four IEDs (improvised explosive device) from the encounter spot.Search operation was on in the area.Special Director General of Police D.M. Awasthi is expected to address a press conference in Raipur.
Supreme Court judge Justice D.Y. Chandrachud in a dissenting opinion said that the Additional Solicitor General had stated that there was no basis to the Maharashtra government’s theory linking the five activists arrested by the Pune Police to a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister.In his opinion, Justice Chandrachud said, “Such an allegation is indeed of a serious order. Such allegations require responsible attention and cannot be bandied about by police officers in media briefings. But during the course of the present hearing, no effort has been made by the ASG to submit that any such investigation is being conducted in regard to the five individuals.”He further pointed out, “On the contrary, he [ASG] fairly stated that there was no basis to link the five arrested individuals to any such alleged plot against the Prime Minister. Nor does the counter affidavit makes any averment to that effect.”His opinion dissenting with the majority view of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar raises questions over the claims made by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the day of the judgment and by the Maharashtra Police in a press conference held last month.The Supreme Court Bench had heard the petition filed by historian Romila Thapar and four others alleging that the arrest of poet Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj and activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha were made under questionable circumstances.Mr. Fadnavis, in his hurriedly called press conference on Friday morning after the apex court’s judgment, had welcomed the order and claimed that his government possessed “large number of evidences against these individuals who are conspiring against the nation, plotting the assassination of the country’s Prime Minister and pitting castes against each other”.The Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Maharashtra, in his press conference last month had said that the activists arrested were all working to further the designs of banned organisations that were plotting to carry out a ‘Rajiv Gandhi-like’ assassination to end ‘Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) Raj’.Justice Chandrachud has also raised questions over the impartiality and independence of the Maharashtra Police. His judgment read, “All this has certainly a bearing on the basic question as to whether the Maharashtra Police can now be trusted to carry out an independent and impartial investigation.”
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday accused the Congress government of “misusing” the Special Investigation Team probing the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents to “settle political scores”.“In the light of this brazen politicisation by the Congress government, we demand that the probe be handed over either to a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or to an independent investigating agency. Only then can a fair probe be conducted into these incidents,” Mr. Badal said in a statement. He said the real motive of the State government was to weaken the Akali Dal and Sikh institutions, something that the Congress has been “conspiring unsuccessfully to do for a very long time”. Mr. Badal alleged that Akali leader Mantar Singh Brar was being harassed by the SIT under “political instructions”.“Mantar was only an MLA at that time  and had no role whatsoever in the matter. The Congress party’s game plan to implicate the Akali leadership in the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan [police firing] incidents was clear from the beginning. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar had held the Akalis responsible for both the incidents even before any inquiry was instituted into the cases,” said Mr. Badal.‘SIT party tool’ “The SIT has become a tool of the Congress party to indulge in vendetta politics. Its officers are openly being directed by the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues to implicate the Akali leaders in the tragic firing incidents. Only a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or an independent investigating agency can bring the truth out,” added Mr. Badal.
The return of Mayawati to campaigning after the Election Commission of India’s censure with a rally alongside Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri on Friday, is one more example of how the Bahujan Samaj Party chief’s strident approach has given way to a more inclusive, layered pitch, keeping in mind the complex caste and religious realities of the region. Combating the BJP’s poaching of her traditional vote bank and adjusting to the demands of alliance partners, Ms. Mayawati, in her speeches, has come a long way from the days of tilak, taraju aur talwar, inko maro joote chaar, where she attacked the symbols of high castes in a crude language. Words like ‘Manuwadi’, which were once a staple in her speeches, are disappearing. And she does not hesitate in invoking the names of Chaudhary Charan Singh and Ram Manohar Lohia with B.R. Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram. Ms. Mayawati’s attempt at social engineering is not exactly new. But in the past, it was largely limited to giving a toehold to Brahmins and Thakurs in the party in return for ‘resources’. On stage, they had to sit behind her, barefoot. The compulsions of the alliance have ensured that Ms. Mayawati has to give equal space to Jat leaders. At the Meerut rally recently, one throne-like seat on stage had to be replaced by two when Rashtriya Lok Dal workers sulked and demanded equal status for party vice-president Jayant Chaudhary in the farmers’ belt. In return, her alliance partners had to acknowledge the presence of her nephew Akash Anand, who has emerged as a force in the BSP during these elections. “It is a very unlikely alliance. One of the groups that oppresses the Dalits the most is the OBCs, even more than the higher castes. To make the alliance politically viable, she obviously has to undermine her Dalit card,” says Ajai Gudavarthy, assistant professor at the Centre of Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.Core vote bankBe it an attempt to appropriate Bajrangbali or talking of keeping upvas (fast) on voting day, she seems to be apprehensive that like in 2014, a section of her so-called core vote bank may continue to vote as Hindus.The Jatavs are behind her but the Valmikis and lower OBCs seem iffy for they feel the fruits of BSP rule in Uttar Pradesh did not reach them.In Agra, the Valmikis remind about how she never fielded any candidate from their community from the reserved constituency. Perhaps, that is why her acolytes have to tell the crowd: “Kya Behenji Hindu nahin hain?” (Is Mayawati not a Hindu?)“Unlike Maharashtra, there was no actual conversion of Dalits and OBCs in north India. The moment anti-Muslim rhetoric goes up, a section of Dalits and OBCs start identifying themselves as Hindus. There is a certain appeal of the RSS and the BJP when they identify themselves as Hindus. They feel more included when the gaze shifts to the Muslims. Suddenly they feel empowered that there is somebody more vulnerable than them,” reasons Dr. Gudavarthy.It is important for the BSP to neutralise this advantage and it is doing it by whipping up Ms. Mayawati’s Hindu identity.“As the BJP doesn’t give seats to Muslims, there are extra seats available to accommodate the OBC candidates. This was on display during the Assembly elections in 2017 when Mayawati offered 100 seats to Muslims. That advantage has to be neutralised which I think is a good strategy for the time being,” adds Dr. Gudavarthy. She is playing the Muslim card with caution. In Deoband, she addressed Muslims because the Congress has fielded a strong candidate in Imran Masood against BSP’s Fazalur Rehman. In Meerut, she did not, for the Congress has fielded Harendra Agrawal who is expected to cut votes of BJP’s Rajendra Agarwal. In Budaun, where the Congress has fielded Salim Shervani, she again cited the Sachar Committee report to underline the miserable condition of Muslims during the Congress rule.Social chemistry The social chemistry at the top is yet to percolate to the ground. In Deoband, the high-caste Muslims didn’t seem to be in favour of Ms. Mayawati being projected as a prime ministerial candidate by the alliance partners. In Aligarh, where the BSP candidate, Ajit Baliyan, a Jat, is in the fray, the local SP leader could be seen vacating the seat for the BSP worker at the party office as it is “their” seat. But in Iglas, which is part of the Hathras reserved constituency, Jats say they will vote for the BJP candidate because he adheres to the social hierarchy. “This alliance has been possible because of Yogi Adityanath, a casteist leader who has brought back the old varna system. It doesn’t mean there is a permanent social arrangement between the OBCs and Dalits. One of the concerns for the Mahagathbandan is the transfer of votes. To ensure that social prejudices are not triggered, the political rhetoric has to be carefully crafted,” says Dr. Gudavarthy.
Every year, more than 3000 children in the United States visit the emergency room after swallowing button batteries, which power anything from toys to calculators. Once inside the throat, the flat, round power sources release caustic chemicals that can severely burn the esophagus, causing internal bleeding and even death. Now, scientists have found a simple solution: an armor that renders these batteries harmless inside the gut. When a battery is ingested, it reacts with intestinal fluids to generate an electrical current and release hydroxide, a caustic ion that can severely damage gut tissue within just a few hours. So bioengineers took advantage of the fact that batteries experience a gentle pressure inside their housing, but not so much inside the digestive tract. They coated button batteries with a quantum tunneling composite, a rubberlike material made of silicone embedded with metal particles. Normally, the metal particles are too far apart to conduct electricity. But when the particles are compressed within a few nanometers of one another, the electrons burrow through the silicone through a process called quantum tunneling, turning the composite from an insulator into a conductor. The researchers calibrated the coating such that an armored button battery would function normally inside devices, but lose its conductivity inside the digestive tract. To test their design, the scientists placed a conventional button battery and a coated one inside a living pig’s esophagus. In vitro monitoring revealed that the conventional battery immediately began releasing hydroxide, as shown in the video, whereas the coated battery remained intact, leaving no trace of damage. Because the coating is waterproof, it could also be used to make weather-resistant batteries suited for outdoor use, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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