If What You Are Doing Was Working

first_imgIf your dream client could produce the results they need without your help, they’d already be producing those results.If your competitor, the company and people serving them now, could help them produce those results, they’d have already done so.If the financial investment your dream client was making was enough for them to be completely satisfied, that financial investment would be the right amount.If continuing to do things the way they’ve always done was going get them where they wanted to go, you wouldn’t have found your dream client where you found them.No doubt, you agree with these ideas. Your experience tells you that they are true. You know that if your dream client really wants what they want, they’re going to need to change, and maybe more than they think.What’s harder to see is, however, is how much we are like our clients.Take a Look At YourselfIf what you are doing right now was producing the results you want, you’d already be producing those results, wouldn’t you?If your client acquisition efforts were enough to get you the clients you need, you’d have those clients. If what you are doing here isn’t getting you those clients, what do you need to change?If the way you sell was enough to command the investment you require, you’d have no trouble acquiring that investment. If how you sell isn’t working to allow you to capture the appropriate share of the value you create, you need to change the way you sell.If you want to be a change agent, then you first have to be able to make changes yourself. When you recognize how difficult this is for you, you’ll know why it’s so difficult for your clients.Your potential exceeds anything you can imagine, and it’s your job to reach that potential, an impossible feat, but one worth pursuing. What do you have to change to get closer to your full potential?last_img read more

Have You Tried This?

first_imgWould you put green tomatoes in your dessert? How about basil or coriander? If you’re cringing, you’ve got to meet Jehangir Mehta, the pastry wizard who’s created quite a buzz in Manhattan. As pastry chef at Aix where the noted French chef Didier Virot holds court, Mehta has turned the concept of dessert on its head. No namby pamby, wishy-washy vanilla scoops with chocolate sauce for him. This Bombay native takes diners where they’ve never been before, on a wild ride full of new taste sensations, adding a whole spectrum of unlikely spices and ingredients that leaves them clamoring for more.And sometimes not! In fact, he’s been nicknamed “the sadist” and some of his desserts have been called “plain weird.” Mehta’s adventurous dessert recipes have generated reams of press, some favorable, some not. Moira Hodgson of The New York Observer proclaimed, “One of the most daring and original pastry chefs I have come across in New York. His creations are unexpected, but with coherence and personality.”Salty Caramel Tapioca Tart – the name itself can turn some people off, but the food critics loved it. The same with Green Tomatoes Salad with candied celery and a mint sorbet. Recalls Mehta: “It was a risk, but people loved it and we got tons and tons of press on it and it became a big thing. And on the other hand, licorice panna cotta with star anise powder and oranges – it got thrashed completely! People said it tasted like tar!”Yet food critic Eric Asimov loved it: “Take a bite of the citrus and it stops the licorice flavor short; alternate bites and you have a captivating tennis match in the mouth.”Indeed, that is the special skill of Mehta, orchestrating unlikely pairings and creating a taste that is vibrant and refreshing, something that didn’t exist before. If it’s springtime, you’re likely to even find fresh flowers in his light and airy desserts.Mehta has been a pastry chef in some of the most talked about restaurants in New York City, including Jean Georges, Union Pacific, Virot, Compass and Aix. He also runs Partistry, a bakery where the selection includes the Kama Sutra chocolates that are flavored with four different aphrodisiacs – fennel, jasmine, papal and beetle nut.“When you say there is something in your dish, put it in your dish, so the person can get it,” says Mehta. “If he’s expecting violets in his dish, let him get the full flavor, not just a faint taste of it.”But he cautions: you also need to know when to stop. For instance in one dessert he mixed almond biscuit with pistachios and nougat, so that there are several different nuts in it and added candied celery and violet flowers to give it a whiff of summer. This Violet Celery Nougat Parfait could have become overwhelming, but says Mehta, “Since I don’t like anything too sweet, I made a grapefruit marmalade that is so tart that it cut the sweetness of the dessert.”Would he add mustard and curry leaves to dessert? He laughs, “I’ve not tried that yet, but I did do a mustard cake once. Today I’m doing a basil cake for the party.”His pet peeve? People who eat elaborate seven course meals and when it comes to dessert, settle for a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce! COOL SUMMER SALAD BY JEHANGIR MEHTA A dessert with green mango, carrots, beet and basil…Cantaloupe1 piece cantaloupe Slice cantaloupe as thin as possible Green Mango 1 Green Mango 1/3 Cup Sugar SaltDice 1 green mango and marinate in 1/3 cup of sugar and pinch of saltBasil Seeds Basil Seeds – 1/2 cup Water – 1 1/2 cup Sugar – 2 Tblsp Basil – 1 BunchBoil water and sugar add basil steep 10 mins and strain To this syrup soak basil seedsBeet SorbetBeets – 4 Sugar – 1/2 cup In a juicer, juice 4 beets Add 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk till dissolved In a sorbet/ice-machine churn the sorbet FreezeCarrot ReductionCarrots – 6pcs Sugar – 1/2 cup Ginger – 1 small piece In a juicer, juice carrots In a small sauce pan add sugar, ginger and juice and simmer till thick PlatingPlace 2 slices of 1/2 moon shaped slices of melons to make a circle. Make 3 such ones on a plate In a small bowl mix the basil seeds with the green mango. In the cavities of the 3 circles put the basil seeds and green mango mixture. Drizzle the carrot reduction around Scoop 3 scoops of beet sorbet on each pile respectively Related Itemslast_img read more

Forget The Car Keys Again

first_imgWhen 36-year-old Latha could not any more take the embarrassment of daily episodes of forgetfulness — recalling where she kept her money or forgot to pick up children from school — she finally decided to visit a good neurologist.Blamed by her family for being irritable and short tempered at times, she was later diagnosed with early signs of dementia — a chronic syndrome characterised by a slow decline in memory, personality and overall functioning of an individual and on the rise among young Indians.“There is a definitive surge in the number of young Indians diagnosed with dementia at an early age. Depression is setting at a young age in Indians which results in less interest in work and disturbance in the food and sleep patterns leading to memory decline,” says Dr. Mohinish Bhatjiwale, director (neurosurgery and neurosciences) at Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital in Mumbai.Dr. Atul Prasad, director and senior consultant (neurology) at BLK Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi, agreed: “Yes there is a surge in young patients, both men and women with memory-related problems.”Latha, who often complained about fatigue, poor memory and feeling low, was prescribed a small mood stabiliser dose by Dr Prasad along with some lifestyle changes.Within weeks, her mood swings improved and in a span of six months, there were no further complaints of memory disturbances.According to Dr. Sunil Mittal, director at Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences (CIMBS), in New Delhi, many factors contribute towards dementia, some being genetic, others environmental.“While we have little control over our genetic predisposition, what we certainly can do is to make the best of what we have in our hands,” Mittal said.A recent US study found that women who reported problems with their memory were 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia decades later.Normal memory problems include taking several minutes to recall where the car is parked, forgetting to call a friend back, putting things down and being unable to find them soon after or forgetting the name of someone you have just met.“Stress, grief and lack of sleep can also affect memory, as can trying to do too many things at once,” said the authors in the journal Neurology.Dementia, however, is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of such cases.If you have symptoms like finding multi-tasking increasingly difficult, problems negotiating familiar places, such as you regularly can’t find your vehicle in the car park, forgetting the names of close relatives and friends or problem in recognizing faces, colours, shapes and the like, it needs to be attended.“It is important to detect early signs of mild cognitive impairment which can be a red flag for onset of dementia. Once detected, to prevent progression of dementia is also important,” Mittal noted.Keeping the mind active with attention enhancing tasks and cognitive tasks goes a long way in preventing dementia.Leading a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet, moderate exercise and healthy coping with stress can go a long way in preventing dementia.“Certain other medical conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke can also be risk factors for dementia,” Mittal stressed, adding: “Therefore, it is extremely important to keep them under check with regular follow-up and proper treatment.”“After all, a healthy mind and healthy body go hand-in-hand,” he said.“Children are affected more owing to parental conflict at home and emotional disturbance which renders them emotionally dry. It is extremely important to have a mix of positive environment, emotions and lifestyle to develop a strong and long-lasting memory,” Bhatjiwale says.Can singing improve memory in youngsters already diagnosed with early stages of dementia?“Participating in musical activities can help individuals with dementia boost their self esteem and prevent social isolation. Musical tasks can be a healthy exercise for the mind while being a pleasant and enjoyable experience at the same time,” Dr. Shobhana Mittal, a consultant psychiatrist at CIMBS explained.The mind is like your body and it is up to you how much you make it work. “Playing Sudoku, Bridge and other such mind-related games helps sharpen your mind and memory,” says Dr. Rajshekhar Reddi, a leading neurologist from Max Hospitals.Dementia can be avoided by having a positive attitude towards life, living in a natural environment with less pollution and more exposure to oxygen.“A well-balanced lifestyle with regular practice of yoga and proper hydration can also go a long way in avoiding dementia. Happier people have a better memory, after all,” concludes Bhatjiwale. Related Itemslast_img read more

Lord Krishna-themed Coin to be Released by Chad on Janmashtami

first_imgA silver coin embossed with Lord Krishna’s image will be released on August 15 on the occasion of Janmashtami by the Republic of Chad. The coin, weighing 100 gm, is made from pure silver.More than 250 pieces on sale “There will be 251 pieces made available for sale in the Indian market out of a total of 501. The price has been kept at Rs 25,555 per coin with free shipping within India,” the designer of the coin, numismatist Alok K Goyal, said, IANS reported.Not the first timeThe introduction of the coin is being seen as an acknowledgment of the popularity of Indian art and culture in the African country. In a similar initiative, Ivory Coast released a Lord Ganesha-themed coin in 2013. The following year, a Lord Venkateswara coin was minted by Palau, located in the western Pacific region.In 2015,  Cook Islands also came up with a Bhagwan Adinath coin. Last month, Tuvalu Island located in the Australian Pacific Ocean designed a coin with Goddess Laxmi on it.The news agency quoted officials as saying that the coin, which is being released by Chad, will be 65 mm in diameter and 40 mm in height. A 3D figure of baby Krishna on a leaf is featured on the coin and it will be decorated with more than 50 pieces of Swarovski crystals.Celebrating the Hindu GodArtisans from a small village of Malda in West Bengal have also designed a special container made of bamboo for the coin. The coin is made in Switzerland, packed in an airtight capsule shaped like a dome and carries a partially enamel hue. The coin comes with a booklet narrating the Hindu mythology of Lord Krishna. Related Itemslast_img read more

Indian Woman Denied Visa to UK as Her English is Too Advanced: Report

first_imgA pregnant Indian woman has been denied visa to join her Scottish husband because her language qualification for entry to the United Kingdom is too advanced. Alexandria Rintoul, a 22-year-old musician with an English degree, took an International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) on the advice of her immigration lawyer. The Home Office requires an IELTS pass for immigration — but not the more advanced one she cleared.Rintoul was shocked when her visa to join her husband, Bobby Rintoul, in St Andrews, Fife, was refused. The Home Office said she could apply again for the £2,000 visa.“We were told the visa process is difficult so we should hire an immigration lawyer to help us, which we did,” Bobby, 33, told BBC Scotland. “They told Alexandria to do the higher test and we submitted all the evidence requested of us.”He added: “However, we have now received a rejection letter on the basis she has over qualified herself with a more technical test than required. It says she should do a lower one so she can be entitled to be here and that she did the higher one unnecessarily.”Calling it a “money making outfit,” Bobby told the news website that the Home Office asked them to apply again, but it costs £2,000 for each application.“They could have used some discretion and accepted the higher qualification,” he said.The Home Office spokeswoman was quoted by BBC News saying that for some applicants to settle in the United Kingdom, they need to “pass an English language test at an approved centre that is specified in the immigration rules.”She said: “Mrs Rintoul failed to do this and also failed to submit the necessary supporting evidence for her application. It is open to her to reapply under the Priority Visa Service.”Alexandria, who hails from Meghalaya, has been staying in hotels in Bengaluru waiting for her second application to get a go-ahead. “I’m supposed to be spending money on my baby, my house, my new family and here I am paying bills for this money sucking visa refused because they aren’t satisfied I come from a country that speaks English,” she told the Scottish Sun. “We learn in English, fight in English, write and practice law in English.”The couple met when Bobby spent a year and a half in India as part of his work in oil and gas industry. They moved to Dubai before Bobby returned home. Their baby is due on May 2, the Scottish Sun reported. Related ItemsUnited Kingdomlast_img read more

Immigrants Carry Saving Habits of Their Origin Country in UK: Study

first_imgMigrants and their children and grandchildren in the United Kingdom share the same savings habits as their country of origin, according to a new study by the London School of Economics (LSE).The study, titled “The cultural origin of saving behavior,” published in PLOS journal and funded by the LSE, found that immigrants coming from countries with high saving rates also tend to save more in the United Kingdom and that the savings culture plays an important role until the third generation.“(The) likelihood that Indian origin people report to have saved at the end of the month is roughly 30% for all generations, which closely matches with their home country savings,” study co-author Berkay Ozcan was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.The study found that UK-born children of immigrants from countries with a culture of high savings, such as India and China, had the habit of saving more. On the other hand, children and grandchildren born to people from countries with a culture of saving less had the habit of saving less.This is because there’s a vast difference on the importance of savings across cultures and this gets percolated down into the behavior of people born outside their country of origin, the authors said, adding that the impact seems to be declining across generations.“This study is important because it contributes to understanding the determinants of saving behavior…Our research shows that culture is an important determinant and should be taken into account when designing incentives and policies for saving behavior,” Ozcan said.For the study, researchers looked at the saving behavior of three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom and used data from the Understanding Society Survey, the largest UK household longitudinal survey. They studied the cultural determinants of savings from factors like tax code, social security system and any institutional and economic factors.“Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. The accepted view in economics so far is that culture does not have any effect on savings,” the report said about the study, which was conducted using a novel dataset to examine the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom.“Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations,” it said.The United Kingdom was chosen for the study because it has one of the largest immigrant populations, with a large variation in the country of origin, of up to three generations of immigrants. This made it easy for the authors to get the right kind of data on the savings culture. Related Itemsculturelast_img read more

Sam’s Trip

first_imgIt all began with an election-year TV commercial.“What the Congress Party couldn’t do in 50 years, we did in five,” gloated India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which heads the coalition currently at the helm in New Delhi. The simple, pithy and hard-hitting tagline blankets the party’s print and other media campaigns as well.But inadvertently, the BJP image-builders and spin-doctors stepped on the tail of a dormant tiger. In faraway Chicago – far away from New Delhi, that is – a non-resident Indian read the line, put down his coffee mug and took furious umbrage. Telecom guru Sam Pitroda, who had all but forsaken India and its slow bureaucratic ways after a brief and intense involvement in the country’s affairs as Chief Technology Advisor during the late Rajiv Gandhi’s regime in the mid 1980s, thought this was just too much. “To say that nothing was done in the last 50 years before the BJP came to power is not only an untruth, it’s also an insult to the Indian people,” he fumed, and promptly packed his bags for a month-long trip to India. He would join the Congress party, campaign against the BJP, and try – at the very least – to set the record straight.So, Pitroda has been jetting across the heat and dust of a country caught in the throes of a blazing summer as well as the fever of a five-yearly general election. He has spared himself the sweat and the grime of election rallies, and has confined himself to small, intimate tete-a-tetes with the urban elites and intellectuals, students and professionals. Pitroda is too smart a man not to know that this is but a microscopic constituency, a mere drop in the polling ocean compared to the teeming masses who will ultimately decide the election outcome. But he is also pragmatic enough to realize that this indeed is the only constituency he can hope to influence in this election. He and his work are known primarily to the India’s literate urban middle-class. Sadly though, this class – although it’s growing in numbers – is notorious for its political apathy, for using the polling-day holiday as just another opportunity to escape to a picnic spot.Pitroda however is unfazed. As he strides in for our meeting at Mumbai’s Press Club, his goatee dyed jet black to contrast with his white flowing mane of hair, you marvel at the zest and energy of a man who at 62 seems fit enough to run a marathon. But you can bet his doting wife Anu won’t let him risk it. As part of Pitroda’s entourage, she follows him at every pit-stop to ensure that he’s had his periodic cocktail of medicines. She was there at the Club too, with their daughter Rajal and doctor-friend (Chicago-based radiologist Piyush Vyas) in tow, to remind him that he had missed taking a tablet earlier that afternoon. And also to remind us, as Pitroda dutifully swallowed the pill, that her husband has gone through five major surgeries in recent years, including a quadruple bypass and a stent. He doesn’t look any worse for it, but we assure the good lady that we’ll go easy on her man.So, what does Sam Pitroda realistically expect to accomplish in this election campaign? “I want to bring to the fore the various accomplishments of the earlier regimes,” he says, “accomplishments on which the present BJP plans a free piggyback ride to victory. The same people who, till a few years ago, tried to ridicule us as computer cowboys, are now taking the sole credit for the nation’s progress in the field of information technology.” There is of course, no doubt that Pitroda, with Rajic Gandhi’s backing, shepherded the country’s telecommunication sector to its present state-of-the-art status. Few will dispute that the IT boom in India was triggered by policy decisions that technocrat Pitroda pushed through during the Congress administration under Rajiv Gandhi.Also, if a considerable portion of India is “shining” – as the BJP would have us believe through its poll propaganda – the light comes in no small part from the advancements the country has made and the wealth it has created (in material as well as in brain-power) in the field of IT and related sectors. India’s foreign-exchange reserves recently crossed the $100-billion mark.To an extent, of course, this was an idea that was waiting to happen in the inexorable march of history. As early as the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Third World development scholars had foreseen that the smarter developing countries would eschew the road taken by the industrialized western nations which involved huge capital investment in technological infrastructure, and would leapfrog the costly intermediate phases into relatively low-cost modern technologies. This has become most apparent in the Indian IT industry. A telling example: there are more cell phones than land-line phones in Mumbai today.Pitroda’s critics would no doubt gloss over the individual’s role in this IT revolution, but it must be conceded that although he may have found himself in the right place at the right time, he also pressed the right buttons to bring the revolution’s benefits to the masses. It was C-DOT, the technology center set up in 1984 by Pitroda, that pioneered the ringing out of archaic phone systems countrywide and that paved the way for street-corner telephone booths mushrooming in the smallest towns.For a man who was born to a poor Gujarati family in Titlagarh (a small hamlet in tribal Orissa state), and who never used a telephone before he joined the Illinois Institute of Technology for a master’s degree in electrical engineering, Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda’s 50-plus global patents and his appointment as chief of World Tel (a UN agency for spreading telecommunication technology in poor countries) must rank as an example of supreme irony.But for all his jet-setting and hitech image, Pitroda has an endearing down-to-earth attitude toward technology – probably a legacy of his hardy Gujarati ancestors. He believes that any technology must have a very powerful utility value for the common man, and should be discouraged if it does not contribute handsomely to problem-solving for wide-ranging social issues. “Indians trained in hitech have a moral choice, symbolically speaking, do you want to work for your poor farmer or for Citibank?”Pitroda, as part of Rajiv Gandhi’s inner circle, had initiated welfare schemes in water-harvesting, sanitation, women’s health, and infant mortality.“We had recognized that India’s growing population was its biggest problem, but we couldn’t tackle it head-on because of the fear that hard, direct measures would result in another Emergency fiasco,” he says, recalling that during the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi during 1975-77, Sanjay Gandhi’s over-zealous efforts at population control had boomeranged. “It’s a political reality that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.” Another political reality he accepts is the era of globalization and the dominance of the USA in major world forums. Pitroda has an interesting albeit long-winded definition of globalization.“Globalization means an Orissa-born Baroda University graduate like me listening to Dandiya music while driving on a highway near New York City in a car that’s assembled in California with Taiwan-made components, that’s marketed internationally by a company headquartered in Germany, and that’s retailed by a Sardarji in a Chicago suburb,” he remarks, tongue in cheek. “Globalization also means that India has to realize that it cannot afford to isolate itself from western-dominated institutions like the IMF and the World Bank,” he adds.But negotiating with them does not mean that Indians should allow the multinationals to walk all over them in their own country. “The key is to beat them at their own game, by making products that are world-class,” Pitroda points out. In any case, the multinational companies are interested only in a few high-profit consumer-goods sectors, so in sectors concerned with social welfare and development, issues which make a real difference to the life of ordinary Indians, there is no foreign competition, according to him.Talking about how Indian brains are making a difference at the international level, Pitroda backtracks a bit on the population question. Over the years, he has come to view the problem rather differently. “If we assume that a certain percentage of any population is born smart, India naturally ends up producing the largest number of high-quality brains,” he reasons. Add to this the comparative cost advantage, and it’s no wonder that the multinationals love to outsource to countries like India.Pitroda dismisses the current furore over the outsourcing. “It’s become a high-profile issue for two reasons. First, the timing. It’s the election year in America, so any small issue becomes a political football and tends to get bigger than it really is. Second, the Indians themselves need to be blamed for thumping their chests and proclaiming they are the chosen ones. Outsourcing would not have been so noticeable to the American public if we had shut our traps.”Pitroda believes that the whole matter will blow over once the U.S. presidential election runs its course, because outsourcing in terms of the actual revenue involved is such a pittance in the larger context of the American economy and also because every dollar that goes out in outsourcing, returns to the US with an ultimate profit of three dollars, he says.And who does he think will win that election? “It’s going to be close, but I have a hunch that Bush will win in the end,” the dyed-in-the-wool Democrat shrugs. The matter-of-factness of his statement indicates clearly that while, like any other responsible world citizen, Pitroda is interested and curious about the American elections upto a point, his heart lies in what’s happening in India.At the same time though, Pitroda is non-committal and seemingly detached about the Indian election results as well. He gives the distinct impression that at the end of the day he is willing to rise beyond petty short-term party considerations when it comes to national issues like development. His larger concerns, to indulge in a little Yankee-speak, are “bipartisan.” For instance, his fine-print agenda for coming to India this time is to usher in the second telecom revolution in this country. The 800,000-odd PCOs which grew out of the first revolution of the 1980s have, according to Pitroda, fallen behind the times. “Their profitability has been eroded drastically by the advent of cell (mobile) phones and by the low long-distance rates,” he points out. Pitroda’s second revolution aims at making these PCOs profitable once again, besides taking the country closer to the global concept of e-money.The plan entails equipping the PCOs with a Mobile Digital Wallet, a palm-sized gadget that will connect users to their bank accounts, obviating the need to trudge to the branch for depositing or withdrawing money. Additionally, the Wallets in the PCO cubicles can be used for financial transactions where people can pay their electricity and phone bills with their secret individual code. The booth operators, in turn, would be paid for the number of transactions carried out. Using the patented Secure Wireless Application Platform (SWAP) technology, the Java-enabled mobile phone user can store all the personal data, including the credit/debit cards, ID cards and other security information into the mobile phone. While his hand-picked experts are working at a technology development center in Baroda, Pitroda meanwhile has met with top officials in India’s Communication and Information Technology ministry, and the plan is expected to take off in another couple of years. The gadget has already been launched successfully in Japan, and Pitroda is now targeting the Scandinavian and Middle Eastern markets.Similarly, on the issue of a uniform civil code which has been a potentially thorny issue involving the Muslims and which the BJP had advocated till it decided to drop it as an election issue, Pitroda is surprisingly pro-BJP. “Rajiv [Gandhi] had once told me that in the long run, a society cannot reach its developmental goals without such a code,” he reveals. But the question is whether the Indian society is ready for it, he asks, caressing his goatee. If only Rajiv had the will, Pitroda might have been speaking to us in a society with a uniform civil code, we remind him. Pitroda stops caressing his goatee, holds his earlobes in mock-submission, smiles sheepishly and agrees. Surely Pitroda has fond memories of working with Rajiv Gandhi who allowed him a free rein on crucial policy matters, which in turn allowed him to make a long-term contribution to a vital sector in India’s developing economy. But does that nostalgia spill over beyond a productive friendship that grew on mutual trust and admiration?After all, what really is Sam Pitroda’s Congress Party connection? Post Rajiv, Pitroda has not been the force he once was. True, he admires Sonia Gandhi for single-handedly holding the party together, and Rahul Gandhi for his mature understanding of issues. But he hardly knows any of the Congress Party candidates for whom he’s indirectly canvassing, and wasn’t really a typical Congress-wallah even in his heyday. Hardly surprising therefore, that Pitroda, bereft of the political skills needed to survive in successive administrations, just about survived a heart attack during the Narasimha Rao regime that governed India soon after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.Pitroda recounts, as an aside, that the 1992 bypass cost him about $5,000 in a New Delhi hospital. The Indian government thoughtfully offered to foot part of the bill, but Pitroda hrefused on the ground that his U.S. insurance company would take care of it.“The company came back to me after I’d submitted the bills, saying there was a mistake – a zero was missing – because a bypass surgery in the U.S. costs nothing less than $50,000.They were so thrilled at my small claim, that they half-joked about sending American heart patients to India for the procedure.” Another potential area for outsourcing, Pitroda grins. More seriously, Pitroda rules out any direct involvement in the hustle-bustle of Indian politics. “I’m not here for any nominated position like a Rajya Sabha seat,” he says. It’s not that the flesh isn’t keeping up with a more-than-willing spirit, but more a realization that it’s about time a newer, younger generation took charge with its own fresh ideas. “More than half the country is in the below-35 age group, and several of them will be voting for the first time. I’m looking forward to seeing them take on challenges,” he says, warmly patting his 20-plus daughter Rajal’s head.While Pitroda’s son Salil is doing a Harvard MBA, Rajal spent the last two years in India working with the lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry in their Entertainment Division, exploring ways and means to finance the country’s film sector which has earned industry status. Rajal is now writing an autobiographical novel about her experiences as an NRI woman living in Mumbai.As the shadows lengthen across the club lawns, Pitroda and his entourage get ready to catch a flight for the Gujarat leg of their itinerary. The soft evening glow has a curious effect on Pitroda’s face – he now looks even more like a Viking setting out for battle. He pumps our hand with astonishing vigor, and as he leads his entourage to a waiting car at the club gate we can’t help thinking that the man, despite all his protestations, is straining at the leash to make a difference in the governance of his mother-country. Sambhai Pitroda may never have read Plato in the original. But he doubtless embodies the spirit of what the Greek philosopher once said: One of the penalties for hrefusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.PITRODA-SPEAKON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: The other day, I saw a cartoon which said, “Honey, will you answer the television, I am watching the telephone.” That sums up where we are. As a social leveler, Information Technology ranks second only to Death. ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN INDIA: IT is not only about software exports or Internet access but a whole new way of doing things. I would like the IT revolution to change India’s work culture and work values. IT has the potential to bring about openness, democratization and decentralization. It can bring about a change in our political system, our bureaucracy, judiciary, banking systems and make the very functioning of our country open and user-friendly. If I need to set up a business, I should be able to do it in an hour with a computer and Internet connection at my disposal. All approvals and processes should be done online. Why should I wait for some babu to be available to get things rolling? Why should he be a gatekeeper? I want IT to question fundamentals in India. It is a historic opportunity for a nation to leave behind all that has held back rapid development so far. I want IT to throw out all that and create a new India. Technology in India today is urban, elitist, exotic, intimidating and sexy whereas it should reach the rural masses.ON THE INDIAN PEOPLE: We can do it. We will do it. If we do not, who else will? A country of a billion people should be focused on the priorities of a nation going forward and not on petty politics. I would like technology to be the focus instead of going back to religion and history. I am happy to be a Hindu, but I don’t want religion to be an issue. Indians are capable of doing anything. Don’t underestimate them. My father who was fourth-grade educated was smarter than I am. I can assure you of that. Our frustration is that things are not happening fast enough. Many of our systems are stuck in the time of the British Raj. When I finish lunch and go out on the street and see a beggar, it hurts.I once went to a bank in India to open an account, and I was told to get introductions from two people. I said I am going to keep my money with you, why should I get introductions from people, I should be asking you for them. When I was in the water department, we wanted to spread some information on how to repair water pumps. We decided to print 100,000 booklets. But this is India, you pay for 100,000, you get only 50,000. Then the secretary decides to keep some 5,000 out of them, saying I might need it for some emergency. Then it goes down to the district level and every person decides to keep a little bit of it. Ultimately the person who needs the booklet does not get it.Self-esteem seems to be very fragile in India. People get hurt very easily. Sometimes I find everybody is waiting to be hurt. You say hello to him, not to me, I will not talk to you for 3 days!ON RAJIV GANDHI’S TENURE: It was during Rajiv’s tenure that many seeds were planted, seeds that flowered to give India strength and confidence. But more than science and technology, it is respect for secular values, respect for India’s social diversity that lies at the core of what Rajiv and other Congress leaders have stood for. The Indian diaspora in the US and the professional classes in India are the prime beneficiaries of Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision and unparalleled commitment to institution-building, a commitment that was taken forward by Rajiv.ON RAHUL GANDHI: He has worked under Michael Porter at Harvard for four years. I have known Rahul to be methodical, analytical, humble, mature and sincere. I talk to him often. He is a good listener, low-key, speaks very little but very well. A very good human being. He is also extremely intelligent and at ease with cyber technology. In fact I like him as an individual and he’s gradually getting the right grounding in politics.ºRahul stands for the next generation of India’s young leadership with a different style in politics that will hopefully transform India. We can no longer afford to be ruled by 70-year-old men. Rajiv had many dreams for India, which were deferred…delayed. Rahul is the one who can fulfil his father’s unfinished agenda. I was around when someone asked him if he planned to follow in his family’s footsteps and join politics. Rahul pondered for a few seconds, then slowly said: “I saw my father die for the country. If I don’t at least try, how can I ever live with myself?” That really said a lot about the kind of person he is. He’s very different from his sister Priyanka who is more outgoing, a people person. But I’m sure Rahul can grow into a people person, and Priyanka can be analytical too.ON DOTCOMS: The market had overreacted to the emergence of the dotcom companies. Today, the scene is more realistic. I do not think that the dotcoms have gone away, it is only the hype that has vanished. At the end of the day, the reality is that you are in the business to make money. Now people are now more concerned about cash flow and profit projection. Dotcoms will be around. Electronic money is a reality, and so are electronic banking and electronic shopping.ON HIMSELF: I came from a poor background, did something interesting, but always felt guilty about leaving so many of my kin behind. I was neither the best student nor the smartest in my class. There are other people who are equally capable, given an opportunity. I have repeatedly proved that I can do well for myself. I have done it thrice. I cannot be a billionaire but can live comfortably. The next question is whether I can do it for a large number of people like me. That makes for building more wealth than any bank. That is the joy of building a different kind of wealth. So many times, people have come up to me to thank me for what I have done. This really warms my heart. Once, when I was travelling from Baroda to Ahmedabad, near Kheda, there was a PCO where 30 girls in brand new dresses, were all lined up. I could not understand it for some time. We drove ahead, and then we realised that these girls were waiting to call their brothers in New Jersey because it was Raksha Bandhan.I am someone who looks at disruptive technology. I am not a guy who takes something that is small. If there’s a technology that will shake up everything, I am interested. But I’m better at starting things. I lose interest in running day-to-day stuff. I do not find it creative. That’s something I have learnt about myself after so many years.I never go to temples, have never worshipped. I believe in the karma of doing things. That’s my religion.ON HIS KIDS: My kids are my biggest achievement. I have two of the most gorgeous kids in the world. My son has studied at MIT and Harvard, and looks like an actor. Shabana Azmi is crazy about him. My daughter came to India for six days… it’s been two years and she’s still here, writing a book. Money can buy everything, but it can’t buy you great kids. Related Itemslast_img read more

Saudi’s Nitaqat Scheme to Hit Indian Migrant Workers Hard

first_imgWith the slump in oil prices, Saudi Arabia has been looking to diversify its economy and lower its dependence on oil and energy sector.  The revised Nitaqat scheme is part of the government’s plan t to push the  “Saudi First” policy more aggressively. From September 1, only  a handful of organisations with high grades will be able to apply for new block visas for migrant employees. The high grades for organisations — Platinum and High Green — have specific set of criteria, one of them being the number of Saudi nationals employed by them.Sectors such as construction and hospitality, which have large Indian workforce, are likely to be hit badly. “Others can obtain visas for expat employees only through a transfer of sponsorship. In other words, these organisations will be limited to hiring expat workers who are already in Saudi Arabia and have a work visa with another employer,” according to an immigration alert from EY, a global professional services entity. A majority of Indian workers are blue collar workers.Organisations employing construction contractors or restaurants are not likely to fall in Platinum and High Green category.  According to Saudi daily Okaz, there are 3 million Indians, 2.5 million Pakistanis, 2.2 million Egyptians, 1.4 million Yemenis and 1.2 Bengalis in the Saudi kingdom. Indians form a majority of the foreign workforce, with the highest number of them coming from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and West Bengal.What is Nitaqat Category?Introduced in 2011 by Saudi Ministry of Labour, Nitaqat scheme was put in place to encourage employment of Saudi nationals. Under this, employers are divided into four categories — Platinum, Green (with three sub categories of high, medium and low), Yellow and Red. Forty per cent of Platinum organisations have Saudi employees.The Nitaqat category of an organisation is seen through the following parameters: size and business activity; percentage of Saudi employees and average salary of such employees; retention rate of Saudi employees and percentage of Saudi national employees with high salaries. The last parameter is given much weightage.The Saudi government has also started sector-specific rules in the recent years. For instance, departmental stores can only hire locals and not migrant workers. According to Saudi media, it will release 20,000 jobs for the Saudi Arabian population as opposed to migrants. Related ItemsIndians in GulfIndians in SaudiLittle Indiamigrant workers GulfNitaqatNitaqat 2011NRI GulfSaudi Ministry of LabourSaudizationlast_img read more

Spoken Word Artiste Nupur Saraswat Is Here to Make a Scene

first_imgWriting about Nupur Saraswat, a spoken word artiste from Singapore, is a struggle. She refuses to get pigeonholed in any narrative, and makes her own.Saraswat, 22, first came into media spotlight in India in June, after being denied a hotel room in Hyderabad for being a “single woman traveler”. Her furious online post that questioned the hotel, which had told her that the “area is not in the right place for women”, for refusing her a room that she had already paid for while having no qualms about putting her out in the very same streets they deemed not safe, went viral. The single woman traveler reclaiming public spaces then became a part of social media conversation.She went on to start a petition to the Hotels Association of India to end the discriminatory practice. Her petition says: “Today it is me, tomorrow it could be any one of us. These regressive policies affect all of us and have large scale implications. It could mean a domestic violence survivor running away from an abusive home will not be given shelter in a cheap hotel just because she is alone or maybe because she is a local resident. Women’s safety cannot be only about eve teasing, molestation or rape. It is also about making spaces safe and available.”A month later, Saraswat, along with her friend and collaborator Kate Black Regan, showcased their hour-long show called Two Sanskari Girls that addressed the everyday, often invisible microaggressions women face in their lives: domestic violence, toxic relationships, body autonomy, body image, sexism.The Two ‘Sanskari’ Girls“At the time of its conception, I had been in India for about 5 months and there was an accumulation of emotions that had to be channeled about my everyday encounters with Sanskars,” Saraswat told Little India. “So I sat down with three of the most brilliant women I knew on the scene at the time — Kate, Karunya, and Shilok — and wrote, directed, and choreographed an hour long non-linear show that didn’t mince any words. What came out of it was pure magic.”Regan is a theatre artiste, while Bharatanatyam dancer Karunya, and poet and trans rights activist Shilok were featured as cameos. The debut performance of Two Sanskari Girls in Bengaluru was attended by 400 people in the age group of 5 to 85 years.“Personally I think that day spoken word transcended beyond it ever had in the city,” Saraswat said. Then she and Regan — the titular Sanskari girls — took the show to Mumbai, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. And realized that the conversation surrounding feminism is universal.Wordly WiseSince she was born on 15th August in a government hospital in Jaipur, her grandmother wanted to name her Azaadi. “I wonder what that would have been like,” Saraswat quips. She moved to Singapore at the age of 15 for education and currently works as a spoken word artiste, a writer, an environmental engineer and a recruitment consultant.As a spoken word artiste with an electric stage presence, Saraswat keeps you glued to her words by emphasizing them with her gestures and movement. Insightful, cutting and often funny, she came on the spoken word scene two years ago.“I have been writing my whole life and I cannot find another way to express myself the way writing does,” she says. “As a debater growing up, spoken word came very naturally to me. I usually talk about how I saw one video on button poetry, quite like most Indian spoken word artistes, and just knew that I was meant to do that. So my introduction to spoken word was pretty traditional and now I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.”Saraswat recently did a video where she performed her piece To The Girls Who Go Out at Night to shine light on the petition she had started for Hotels Association of India. However, for a poet whose work draws from her personal experience, a schedule as packed as this one is a challenge.She says: “I don’t get much of free time, I make space to be consciously idle. The importance of it is magnanimous in my head.” So she prefers to travel to new cities as part of her work, and takes the time to roam the streets, visit bars, and take time to do nothing at all. “And accept the things that hurt me,” she adds. “Also, recognize the things that empower me, be grateful for things that support me — not write about it, just think about it. I find that I have been able to find myself in most cities I have got lost in.”The Spoken Word SceneHer poetry talks of gender roles, body image, and privilege and identity as a brown woman. As a member of a minority community in Singapore, her experience is often dismissed in India because she has lived abroad. “The color of my skin has pushed me back and forth,” Saraswat observes.The spoken word artistes she admires are Deborah Emmanuel from Singapore, and Rochelle D’Silva from Mumbai. “Amazing, strong, biting women and even better artistes,” she says about them. “I am a sucker for poets who are versatile enough to make you feel like a lover one minute and a fighter the next, all in a 30-minute set.” Related ItemsDeborah ImmanuelKate Black ReganLittle IndiaNupur SaraswatRochelle D’Silvaspoken word Indiaspoken word poetryspoken word poetry Bangalorespoken word SingaporeTwo Sanskari Girlslast_img read more

The World On My Canvas

first_imgNot long after Sedunath Prabhakar’s works were exhibited at the Victoria Parliament in Australia, the painter is now showing his creations in Oman to commemorate the bilateral relations between India and the Gulf nation. The exhibition, being held by the Indian Embassy in Muscat to honor Oman’s 47th National Day, included portraits and paintings of the two countries.Prabhakar strongly feels there is a need to build bridges between different countries and cultures, and seeks to do his bit through his art. While his works displayed in Australia earlier this year drew from the common British heritage of both the countries, the current show in Oman is inspired from its ancient relationship with India, of sharing handicrafts, clothes and ornaments. “As an artist, the bonding with similar nature and human history inspired me,” the 43-year-old Melbourne-based painter tells Little India.“India and Australia were British colonies. I feel that BR Ambedkar in India and Eddie Mabo in Australia could have shared the same feelings in their personal life as well as in their social political interpretation,” he adds, talking about his exhibition for the Victoria Parliament, which included paintings of 50 famous Australians like Donald Bradman, first woman Prime Minister Julia Gillard, explorer Captain James Cook, John Monash (Army Commander who took part in the First World War), Nobel Prize winning writer Patrick White, aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye, swimmer Ian Thorpe, and footballer Tim Cahill.Prabhakar, who moved to Melbourne in 2008, has come a long way from his days as an aspiring artist born in a conservative family in Kerala. He was interested in art since the age of 4 but his family was not familiar with the arena and did not encourage him to pursue his passion. Even though he belonged to a middle class family he worked part-time to be able to study art, and participated in exhibitions in Gujarat, Delhi and Kerala.He moved to Australia without any contacts in the fraternity, and no clue about where to begin his creative journey. During the first two years of his stay in the country, no art gallery accepted his work. “It is the hardest part in the journey of every artist who is from a country like India,” says the artist whose preferred medium is oil on canvas. “It means there still is discrimination going on against people of color or if you are from a third world country.”Then he met Sister Rosmina, an Australian nun and artist.“She was so impressed with my work,” Prabhakar recalls. “She gave me all of her art properties and motivated me all the time. One day, I presented her a portrait that I made. She received it but gave it back and told me to keep it.” Prabhakar didn’t know then that she was terminally ill with cancer. “Her colleague told me that during her last breath she uttered my name,” he says. “Now, I am planning to establish an international gallery in her name in Australia.”Prabhakar, who is also a writer and singer, runs six centers for art and Carnatic music in Australia, the first of which came up in 2010. Over 150 people now come to the institute, a sign, he says, of the interest people have in multicultural activities in Australia.“I encourage my students to participate in multicultural programs rather than their own community programs. It helps them open a wide door to the world,” he adds, talking about how people are generally multi-talented. “Most people, in their attempt to become obedient citizens, lock up their talents,” he explains, saying that he feels no distinction between his works of art, classical music, writing and martial arts. “When we distinguish and touch the inner thread of art, we are free to play with them. That is why I feel free to approach any art form.”Prabhakar also believes that artists are involved with society only indirectly. “They extract from the absolute nature of an object or thought. Look at Guernica by Picasso. He did not use any primary colors. Instead, he used the color of ash and the painting has come an anti-war symbol forever,” he says, about an artist’s need to look within. “There is only one way to overcome a block, try to be more of what you are. I take my brush, sing a raga…and that is enough.”(Sedunath Prabhakar’s artworks are at display at the Omani Society for Fine Arts at Muscat from Nov. 7 to 13) Related ItemsIndia oman national dayindian australian artistindian australian painterIndian embassy MuscatNRI kerala painterNRI painter victoria parliamentsedunath prabhakarlast_img read more

Phoenix coach Alas finally wins over son Kevin

first_imgAlab Pilipinas posts 3rd straight win, downs Singapore in OT BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq MOST READ Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLouie Alas finally got the monkey off of his back as he won one over his son Kevin after Phoenix beat NLEX, 102-95, on Sunday.“I haven’t won against him,” the affable mentor said of his head-to-head record against  Kevin dating back to his days as an assistant coach in Alaska. “This is the first time I won and at least, I was able to get back at him.”ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities The Alas patriarch had been vocal about how excited he was over the clash ever since the Fuel Masters’ last game two weeks ago, going as far as playing mindgames with his son and saying that he’ll pressure him from the parking lot.“Kevin really has a difficulty with the trap. I’m really saying this out loud so they have to think about it,” he said then. “Half-court, full-court, we will trap. Now, even up to the parking lot, we will trap him.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderAnd on Sunday, it seems that Louie stayed true to his word as Kevin was limited to just six points, three assists, and two rebounds in his 16 minutes of play against his dad.But with the game over and done with, there’s no hard feelings in the Alas household. LATEST STORIES View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ “It’s a good thing that we won. But actually, I miss him because we haven’t seen each other in eight days since the turn of the year, ,” said coach Louie. “Every after the game, he comes home to us in Las Piñas. But now, he’s concentrating on NLEX and he’s not coming home. I just told him that we can have dinner after the game.” Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

Even without Williams, Aussie Open women’s field still tough

first_imgRead Next United States’ Sloane Stephens smiles during a press conference at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — With no Serena Williams in the draw at the Australian Open, there’s certainly an opportunity for another women’s player to go on a surprising run and emerge as a first-time Grand Slam champion, as Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko did last year.Just don’t describe the first Grand Slam of the year as “more open” than usual.ADVERTISEMENT 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Indeed, any number of women could be holding the trophy at Melbourne Park in two weeks. The No. 1-ranking changed seven times in 2017, with five different women assuming top spot — three for the first time.One of those women, Simona Halep, is looking to finally break through and win her first major after twice finishing runner-up. She won the season-opening Shenzhen Open in China, but has had mixed previous results at Melbourne Park, losing in the first round the last two years.“I don’t feel pressure. I feel OK. I feel fit. I feel ready to start,” she said. “I have one more goal: to win a Grand Slam.”Stephens came out of nowhere to win the U.S. Open last year after a lengthy time out with an injury to her left foot. She’s struggled to adjust to the sudden stardom that’s come with being a Grand Slam champion — she’s lost seven straight matches since September — but believes she can find her game again in Melbourne.“I think it’s always a tough transition when you go from not playing tennis for 11 months to winning a Grand Slam,” she said. “I like to just stay in my own little bubble and do my own thing. … It’s kind of been what I’m trying to do.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments “Whenever I get asked that question, it always comes across in really kind of an almost negative way instead of acknowledging how many great players we have,” Johanna Konta, who reached the semifinals of Wimbledon last year, said in her pre-tournament news conference Saturday.“The depth in women’s tennis I really do believe in the last few years has gotten so strong,” she added. “There’s no straight sailing to the quarters or semis. It doesn’t exist.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutStephens agrees the Australian Open field is still extremely tough, even with Serena Williams, the defending champion and 23-time major winner, skipping the tournament as she continues her recovery from a complicated childbirth in September.“There’s a lot of great players,” she said. “It’s up for grabs.” Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa North Korea offers talk on art troupe’s visit to Olympics Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed There are plenty of other contenders, too. Ostapenko has rocketed up the rankings after her stunning win at last year’s French Open. Venus Williams is a threat again at 37 years old, and 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber is playing well after a subpar year, capturing the Sydney International title on Saturday.Garbine Muguruza is the reigning Wimbledon champion, though her health has been in question at the start of the new year. Caroline Wozniacki had a career-reviving season in 2017 and could return to the No. 1 ranking for the first time in six years with a strong showing in Melbourne.And then there’s Elina Svitolina, who just captured her 10th tour-level title last week at the Brisbane International and has a shot at No. 1 herself at the Australian Open.“I had a great week in Brisbane. Of course, I’m confident,” she said.But she added this alone isn’t enough in today’s constantly shifting, ultra-competitive women’s game.“Everyone wants to win a Grand Slam. … So, I try to find my way, what can help me to be there, to be ready for the fight. Just one match at a time.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venueslast_img read more

PBA: Ginebra overcomes slow start to beat NLEX, nail playoff berth

first_imgBarangay Ginebra weathered a bout of food poisoning and bucked a lethargic start to pull the rug from under NLEX, 105-96, and clinch a playoff spot in the PBA Philippine Cup Saturday at Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center in Pampanga.ADVERTISEMENT Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag “We had a real bad case of food poisoning. The hardest hit was Mark Caguioa. Sol (Mercado) was hit hard, I was hit hard. We had about 8 or nine players suffering from [it],” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said in a streaming post-game interview.“It was real hard to get ourselves up and get ready for this. I wasn’t sure if Sol was gonna play or Mark. But we found a way,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsLeading the charge was Japeth Aguilar, who delighted the hometown crowd with 27 points and nine rebounds. LA Tenorio pumped in 17 while Greg Slaughter and Kevin Ferrer each tallied 14 more to help Ginebra close in on the No. 2 spot currently held by Rain or Shine.“Slowly we caught up, got ahead and was able to hold on,” Cone added. “We had to adjust our defense so we could battle that a little bit more. I felt we played a really good second quarter defensively and that gave us kind of a blueprint for the rest of the game.” MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Mark Nonoy takes spotlight, leads Hustle past Heart in NBTC All-Stars Google Philippines names new country director Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving The victory hiked the Gin Kings’ record to 6-3, putting them just behind 7-3 TNT KaTropa who are also in the running for the last twice-to-beat bonus.NLEX unloaded eight triples for a fiery start, but was unable to sustain that hot shooting during the middle quarters.Poy Erram and JR Quiñahan had 16 and 15 points respectively in the losing effort, which still drew praises from Cone.“NLEX is playing really well. You look at them, they’re a whole lot of a no-names on that team, but they’re all playing like superstars.”Cone, whose squad has two more teams left to play, said that their biggest drive is to avoid the heavyweights in the first round of the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT “I think you want to really avoid top teams like San Miguel, TNT and of course, Phoenix and Rain or Shine —you want to avoid them in the first round,” he said. “So if you get to the Top 2, you get that chance [to do just that].”But he is also aware that a sweep is required to pull off such task, and two teams stand in Ginebra’s way.“I’m trying to win us as many games as we can. And stay with right what’s ahead of us. And right now, that’s Meralco,” he said.“They’re not out by any means … and it’s always hard to go against a desperate team,” Cone said of the Bolts who they face this Wednesday at the Big Dome.Ginebra’s last assignment is NorthPort, which it will face on April 3 after the All-Star break.The scores:Ginebra 105 – Aguilar 27, Tenorio 17, Thompson 14, Ferrer 14, Slaughter 14, Chan 7, Dela Cruz 7, Mariano 4, Mercado 1, Caperal 0.NLEX 96 – Erram 16, Quinahan 15, Tiongson 12, Galanza 12, Paniamogan 8, Ighalo 8, Tallo 8, Magat 6, Lao 5, Soyud 3, Taulava 3, Baguio 0.Quarters: 30-19, 51-46, 72-74, 96-105. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View commentslast_img read more

OSU gets commitment from top 50 defensive tackle

first_imgScreen Shot 2014-10-28 at 10.00.35 AMAfter Todd Mays committed on Monday afternoon OSU got another commitment late on Monday night on the defensive side of the ball.Vaimoe Sekona also took to twitter to announce he was also committing to the Cowboys.https://twitter.com/moe_sekona/status/526939802114203648 Sekona is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals and the 50th best defensive tackle in the country.He is the first commit OSU has landed in this class from California.Sekona is a two way lineman, playing both defensive tackle and offensive guard and holds offers from many large programs. USC, OSU, Oregon State, UCLA, Miami, and Texas Tech were all pursuing Sekona.Sekona becomes the third defensive tackle to commit in the 2015 class, and the 8th defensive commitment in the class. At 6’4, 285 pounds, Sekona may be able to contribute early to an already stacked defensive line.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

first_imgEverton Twitter Leicester players appear distracted, concedes embattled Claude Puel Pinterest Share on WhatsApp 7) Burnley fans’ treatment of BongFootball is as good a vehicle as we have for the discharge of inclinations that are best kept out of real life. But sometimes football is real life, at which point the rules change. Though it was not proven that West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez had racially abused Brighton’s Gaëtan Bong, Bong did nothing wrong in reporting what he believed he heard; on the contrary, he was brave to speak up. So for some Burnley supporters to jeer him during this 0-0 draw out of “loyalty” to Rodriguez, who was born in the town and started his career at the club, is not part of football’s charm and edge. Chris Hughton said: “I would have to say that I thought the reaction of the Burnley supporters towards Gaëtan every time he got the ball was shameful, I really do.” The Brighton manager added: “I certainly didn’t expect it here.” Daniel Harris• Match report: Burnley 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion8) Foster asks for Moore at West BromDarren Moore has taken eight points from four games since succeeding Alan Pardew. Although he almost certainly became caretaker too late to rescue West Brom from relegation, Ben Foster is impressed. “Darren’s brought unity back to the team,” the Albion goalkeeper said. “He’s got us working for each other, it’s about respecting your team-mates.” The Black Country consensus is that Moore will not get the job next season but Foster hopes he might. “I’d like him as manager. He’s dead honest.” As Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey watches his hopes of a late England World Cup call wane, Albion’s Jake Livermore’s own claims for inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Russia are waxing. Newcastle’s Islam Slimani, meanwhile, borrowed from Leicester City, could face a retrospective three‑game ban for a petulant kick on Craig Dawson. Louise Taylor• Match report: Newcastle 0-1 West Bromwich Albion Facebook Share on Messenger Pinterest Read more Crystal Palace Twitter Burnley 9) Lambert right to bemoan lack of firepower“If we had a little bit more at the top end of the pitch, and I’m not just talking about strikers, I’m talking about wingers as well, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in,” said Paul Lambert after watching his Stoke side frustrate Liverpool with a gutsy display to take his own personal record to six on the bounce unbeaten at Anfield. He has a point. Stoke have the second-worst defensive record in the league but that they have ended up finishing the season with 37-year-old Peter Crouch up front indicates the neglect shown towards an attack that only three years ago was one of the most exciting in the league. The sale of the combustible Marko Arnautovic was perhaps understandable but a failure to land a suitable replacement will be a major factor if the club, as expected, goes down.• Match report: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City10) Time for Carvalhal to release the handbrake?Six league games without a win and Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea’s revival has hit the buffers at the worst possible time. It is worth pointing out (as Carvalhal did after the Chelsea defeat) that Swansea are in a far better position now than they were when he took over in December. Carvalhal deserves credit for getting the club into a position where their fate is in their own hands with three fixtures remaining. Yet, judging from recent performances, the tactical system that helped start the turnaround – a three-man central defence – may not be the solution to get them over the line. Swansea, joint-lowest scorers in the Premier League, only threatened against Chelsea after Carvalhal released the handbrake in the final 20 minutes. Will the Portuguese be bold enough to do the same against Bournemouth, Southampton and Stoke from the start? Stuart James• Match report: Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea Facebook Share on Pinterest Ten talking points from the weekend football 1) Guardiola’s men could establish dynastyOn they go, refusing even to the consider the possibility of lowering their untouchable standards. Manchester City were at their elegant best against West Ham and the way they have performed since being confirmed as champions a fortnight ago must bode well for next season’s title defence. Nobody has successfully defended the trophy since Manchester United won three in a row a decade ago, but City seem to be developing the killer mentality that allowed Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams to rule English football for so long. Good teams win one trophy. But the great sides leave lasting legacies and Pep Guardiola’s quest for perfection means there is unlikely to be a repeat of the slumps City experienced after their titles in 2012 and 2014. “We didn’t celebrate the moment we were champions,” City’s manager said. “We celebrated over 10 months. Just being happy when you lift a title makes no sense.” Jacob Steinberg• Match report: West Ham United 1-4 Manchester City2) Trio in doubt for Liverpool in RomeJürgen Klopp’s first port of call after Stoke City held Liverpool at Anfield was the medical department, where he was informed it would be a case of “wait and see” on Jordan Henderson (ankle), Joe Gomez (ankle) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (dead leg) before the Champions League semi‑final in Rome on Wednesday. Coming moments after Erik Pieters had escaped with handling Georginio Wijnaldum’s cross inside his penalty area, it was therefore no surprise to find the Liverpool manager in irascible form on Saturday afternoon. Liverpool require three points from two league games to seal a top-four finish, by virtue of a vastly superior goal difference to Chelsea, who they face at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but Klopp is not expecting any help with penalty decisions. “There have been 10 or 11 situations when people have said afterwards we might have had a penalty but there’s always a reason to explain why not.” Andy Hunter• Match report: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke Citycenter_img Share via Email Huddersfield Share on LinkedIn Leicester City Premier League Mamadou Sakho congratulates Christian Benteke after the Belgian scored his first goal at Selhurst Park in a year. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters Darren Moore has overseen a big improvement in West Brom since taking over from Alan Pardew. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Topics Brighton & Hove Albion Sign up for The Fiver and get our daily email on the world of football. features Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 3) Benteke and Palace need to talkChristian Benteke will meet the Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish at the end of the season to discuss his future after a difficult campaign at Selhurst Park. The Belgium striker, a club record £27m signing, was ushered forward by his team-mates and coaching staff to convert a stoppage-time penalty in the 5-0 thrashing of Leicester City on Saturday, which should ensure top-flight survival, and register a first home goal in almost a year. “I’ve been through hard times this season – it’s the first time since coming to England where I haven’t scored like I wanted to – so I thought: ‘It won’t get worse, just go and take it,’” he said. “I’m under contract until 2020, I want to stay here, and I’m going to speak to the chairman and the club about what they want to do with me. Every end of the season you have to speak, to see the plan for the next season.” Dominic Fifield• Match report: Crystal Palace 5-0 Leicester City 4) Huddersfield must spring one last surpriseLast summer, as they prepared for Premier League life, Huddersfield spent over 10 times more than they had ever spent in a single transfer window, but their total outlay was still less than Chelsea spent on Tiémoué Bakayoko, Arsenal splurged on Alexandre Lacazette or Manchester City forked out for a substitute, Bernardo Silva. There is a chasm between Huddersfield and the elite clubs that cannot be bridged in a year, if at all. But Huddersfield will probably have to beat one of those clubs, or at least scrounge a draw, in a torrid final week of the season if they are to avoid falling into the relegation zone at exactly the wrong time. David Wagner’s men have excelled to stay above the bottom three so far and although they looked dejected after this home defeat by Everton, one last mighty performance against the odds is not beyond them. Paul Doyle• Match report: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Everton5) Hughes hopes to party like it’s 1999Mark Hughes still remembers that mad May in 1999 when Southampton won their final three games to stay, in the end, comfortably afloat in the Premier League. The club’s former striker, and now manager, knows his team may need to discover similar form and harness the same kind of spirit if they are to avoid dropping into the Championship for the first time since 2012. “My memory of that time was that everyone was together,” Hughes said. “Everyone knew we were in a difficult situation and everybody stuck together – players, staff and fans most importantly, and that is what got us over the line then and let’s hope we can do it the same this time.” Trips to Swansea City and Everton will likely define which division they are playing in next season but their fate may yet go down to the final day of the season, at home against another former Hughes club, Manchester City. Ben Fisher• Match report: Southampton 2-1 Bournemouth6) Granit looks a soft touchThere are many problems for Arsène Wenger’s successor to grapple with over the summer but the current manager has a shorter‑term matter with which to grapple: how to concoct a happy ending to his time in charge, starting with defeating Atlético Madrid on Thursday and reaching the Europa League final. Granit Xhaka, who is likely to start in the Spanish capital, once again demonstrated what a liability he can be in a vital position. The midfielder tracked back but then needlessly went to ground as Manchester United scored their first, was booked, and then could have been sent off, all before half‑time. That sort of performance has been typical of his time at the club, leading to doubt over his future at the Emirates Stadium. More of the same in Spain and Wenger can forget the dream send-off. Conrad Leach• Match report: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal Reuse this contentlast_img read more

National Training Camp

first_imgThe three day camp put the six National Youth Squads (NYS) and three National Training Squads (NTS) to the test as they endured intense sessions including fitness, skills, nutrition, patterns, physiology, psychology and video analysis.It was the first time that the NYS and NTS attended the same camp and the integration proved very beneficial. Combined sessions between Open and Youth teams allowed younger players to be mentored by leading Open coaches and players. Open players including Jason Stanton and Gavin Shuker showed their future coaching pedigree by holding sessions with the junior players who were keen to absorb as much information as possible by two of Australia’s leading players. Having joint sessions added in the competitiveness with some of the younger players to surely push for selection for the 2011 World Cup in Scotland.The NTS looked sensational in their new KooGa training gear as well as Body Science compression garments.Also enjoying the fantastic facilities at the Narrabeen New South Wales Academy of Sport were some of Australia’s leading referees. Under the guidance of National Referee Panel members, Lou Tompkins and Chris Dolahenty, referees undertook similar sessions to players including officiating in practice matches between the teams. Being able to be coached without the pressure of tournament conditions or official assessments proved to be positive and an ideal lead-up to upcoming tournaments including State of Origin, National Youth Championships, and the 2009 Youth World Cup.Combined with the National Training Camp was a Women’s Leadership Coaching Workshop. Individuals came from all across the country to observe national coaches with many aspiring to hold similar positions in the future.Much credit must go to the players and officials for giving their time up to attend the event with special mention to TFA High Performance Coordinator, Wayne Grant, who was responsible for the running of the camp.Footage from the camp will be available shortly on SportingPulse TV.For further information about TFA’s High Performance Program, please visit http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=3780&pID=14last_img read more

CeCe Jefferson, Who Waffled On Signing With Florida, Now Has A Gators Tattoo

first_imgAn interior view of the Florida Gators football stadium.GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: A view from the end-zone as the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 15, 2007 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Tennessee 59-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)This past February, five-star defensive end recruit CeCe Jefferson put Florida fans through the wringer by waiting a number of days to sign his official Letter of Intent to play for the Gators. Well, it looks like Jefferson, who cited coaching changes as the reason for his holdout back then, is all-in on Florida now. Friday night, he got a tattoo of his school and his class – the #UF19 hashtag that Florida freshmen-to-be have been using.Newest ink pic.twitter.com/XDt2kJd44A— C (@cecejeferson7) March 14, 2015Jefferson is considered one of the most promising recruits in the entire 2015 class. We have a feeling that UF fans will forget all about National Signing Day if he turns out to be as advertised.last_img read more

Clarendon Municipal Corporation Launches Second Youth in Business Project

first_img Speaking at the launch held on January 31 in May Pen, Mayor, Councillor Winston Maragh, said the Corporation is paying particular attention to the youth to assist them in becoming successful entrepreneurs. Story Highlights The Clarendon Municipal Corporation has launched its second Youth in Business (CYIB2) project, with a $2.4-million grant for 20 residents of the parish. Under the initiative, the beneficiaries will participate in a three-month certificate course and an 18-month diploma programme spearheaded by the HEART Trust/NTA, and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC). The Clarendon Municipal Corporation has launched its second Youth in Business (CYIB2) project, with a $2.4-million grant for 20 residents of the parish.Under the initiative, the beneficiaries will participate in a three-month certificate course and an 18-month diploma programme spearheaded by the HEART Trust/NTA, and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).The project is seeking to build the capacity of existing small businesses in several communities across the parish.The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), which has contributed $400,000 to the project, will be the coordinating agency through its Community Renewal Programme (CRP).Speaking at the launch held on January 31 in May Pen, Mayor, Councillor Winston Maragh, said the Corporation is paying particular attention to the youth to assist them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.He told the gathering that 50 applicants have expressed interest in participating, and a selection committee will “meticulously” assess them, and based on the strength of their proposals, they will be accorded places in the training, and then receive the grants.The Mayor said focus will be on garment manufacturing, baking, agro-processing, agriculture, cosmetology, and food preparation.Mr. Maragh said the training is geared at ensuring that the awardees can provide good management of the ventures, “and will eventually become successful business operators and contribute to improving the economy, and provide employment for the youth”.Meanwhile, Director General of the PIOJ, Dr. Wayne Henry, said he is looking forward to the initiative becoming an example of the types of partnerships that will “flow from our ongoing collaboration with the inter-agency network”.He encouraged the participants to develop viable business plans and ensure that these are comprehensive and long-term.The programme was first implemented in 2016, with support for 19 youth businesses, of which 18 are still operating.last_img read more

Diana Shipping Extends One Inks Another Charter Deal

first_imgzoom Athens-based dry bulk owner Diana Shipping has extended the existing time charter contract with Cargill International, Geneva, for its Capesize vessel and entered into a time charter deal with Noble Resources International, Singapore, for a Panamax ship.The M/V Baltimore was hired for an additional period of minimum thirteen to maximum sixteen months.The new charter period is expected to commence on February 3, 2017, with the gross charter rate of USD 11,300 per day, according to the company.The 177,243 dwt Baltimore was built at Japan’s Namura shipyard in 2005.Furthermore, Diana Shipping decided to charter out its Panamax bulker, the M/V Arethusa. The gross charter rate is USD 7,200 per day for a period of minimum ten to maximum fourteen months. The charter began on January 23, 2017.The 73,593 dwt Arethusa was built by Chinese shipbuilder Jiangnan Shanghai Changxing Heavy Industry in 2007.“The employment extension of Baltimore as well as the employment of Arethusa are anticipated to generate approximately USD 6.57 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charters,” Diana Shipping said.Diana Shipping’s fleet is currently comprised of 48 dry bulk vessels. As of January 25, 2017, the combined carrying capacity of the company’s fleet is around 5.7 million dwt with a weighted average age of 7.65 years.last_img read more