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Best Practice

first_imgBest PracticeOn 21 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Personnel Today’s monthly series reveals how managers tackle business problems and enhance performance. In this issue, Chris Holroyde, learning and development manager at BASF, explains how career development workshops can unlock the true potential of your workforceBASF is an international chemical group, with offices and plants world-wide. We are dedicated to delivering innovative and reliable products and services to our customers and colleagues. We endeavour to offer an excellent working environment for BASF employees, in which learning is promoted and success is recognised and rewarded.BASF runs a successful programme of training and carries out regular company-wide appraisals, which help staff develop within their chosen fields. In the past, however, we were always concerned that there was no clear process of managing people’s careers at BASF. No one knew what career opportunities were available to them outside their own businesses or departments or what new skills they could acquire.It is difficult to manage careers in a large organisation. Even with the best careers information system, you are merely advertising jobs, not unlocking the potential of your workforce or allowing them to understand what they should or could be looking for in a career.Well preparedFollowing a merger, we were able to share training and development strategies with new colleagues. Sharon Pearson, who initiated the programme, set up Career Development Workshops that proved to be the ideal solution.Preparation is key to running successful workshops. The workshops are resource-intensive requiring one “observer” for every participant. We enlisted the services of the Anne Shaw Consultancy to train our company directors to become observers. BASF directors have been very supportive of the workshops. They recognise the value of having processes in place that assess an individual’s potential and key development needs. They understand that it is better to find employees the right position internally, rather than have them seek job satisfaction in alternative employment.Participants are selected either from senior management or junior management/senior professional levels. Initially, we ran the senior management workshops, then used trained participants from those sessions to act as observers for the junior sessions. Line managers recommend team members who had shown potential to develop within the company. It is not compulsory to attend; some people are happy in their positions, but most are keen to find out more about themselves and what they could achieve at BASF.Unlocking potentialThe workshops are run over two and a half days and are an intense learning period for all participants. During the course we run realistic business case studies to see how people respond to commercial issues. We also run a series of psychometric tests, which includes an Occupational Personality Questionnaire, as well as verbal and numerical testing. Participants also have one-to-one and group activities, dealing with case studies and situations in which they have to make decisions, alone and with the group.We have defined competency clusters to test participants. The different activities reveal an individual’s strengths in a particular competency, be it leadership skills, team working or thinking. This is not done to assess inability but to bring out an individual’s potential and to assess suitability for a better or different job from his/her current one.We have an average of eight people on each workshop, each with a trained observer to monitor and record their progress. The observers put together a complete picture of each individual and their key competencies. This enables the company and (more importantly) the individual to see exactly where they should be heading.Plan of actionFollowing the workshop, participants are presented with a Personal Development Plan that they will discuss with their observers and line managers. The structure of the plan is based on information gathered from the workshop. It details the path they should follow to realise their full potential. It might recommend gaining more experience, undertaking training, or even finding a different role within the company.Because our focus is on learning and not just training, we use creative ways to further people’s experience. For example, if the workshop highlights that an individual would benefit from leadership skills, we might find a project that needs running within the company, rather than recommending a course. In this way, the company benefits from the job being done and the individual gains real experience of leading a team. This would form part of their annual Development Plan, for future review. After six months, the observer meets with the participant again, as a mentor to see how the career plan has progressed. We find this keeps motivation levels up, as participants have a timeframe to stick to and a goal to work towards.  Learning to winOur main aim at BASF is to engender a learning culture throughout the company. We also produce self-development guides and set up learning resource centres. Development at BASF is a two way thing; with the company getting the best from employees and employees getting the best from the company.Our workshops are ongoing. We have run 18 workshops so far, an average of one per month, from a pool of nearly 2,000 employees in the UK. The programme is now being rolled out in our European businesses, which means we can soon look at moving staff across countries as well as departments.The workshops have given us an in-depth knowledge of the skills and competency levels at BASF. We also recognise the gaps in our skills base, and have the processes in place to address them. It has shown us that in business-critical areas it is essential to get career development right. If we’re not recruiting the right people and developing our existing staff, it can have a significant impact on the business.Career Development Workshops create a win-win situation for business. They motivate staff by helping them discover their true potential and the company knows it is getting the most out of its workforce.Starting a programme of workshops is not straightforward, but the rewards for all concerned make the effort more than worthwhile. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces $75 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects in 20 Counties

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces $75 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects in 20 Counties July 19, 2017 Environment,  Infrastructure,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the investment of $75 million for 23 drinking water, wastewater, storm water and non-point source projects across 20 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST).“PENNVEST initiated its new fiscal year of funding by approving loans and grants for a wide variety of water quality improvement projects in all corners of the Commonwealth”, said Governor Wolf. ”These projects and the environmental, economic development and public health benefits that they create will further our collective goal of a cleaner and safer place for our families to enjoy as well as my vision for a better Pennsylvania, both now and for years to come.”The funding comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants to PENNVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PENNVEST funding awards. Funds for the projects are disbursed after bills for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PENNVEST.For more information, visit www.pennvest.pa.gov or call 717-783-6798.MEDIA CONTACT:  Brion Johnson – 717-783-6798A list of project summaries follows.PENNVEST Drinking Water ProjectsBedford CountyBedford Township Municipal Authority received a $3,685,000 loan to eliminate the use of almost 100 drinking water wells, many of which are contaminated, and install four miles of distribution lines and a 522,000 gallon storage tank to provide clean and safe drinking water to the homes currently using these wells.**Clearfield and Jefferson CountiesFalls Creek Borough Municipal Authority received a $2,000,000 loan to construct more than two miles of drinking water transmission line in order to connect to the City of Dubois’ system and thereby provide the authority’s customers with a dependable supply of safe drinking water.**Erie CountyCorry City Municipal Authority received a $11,200,000 loan to construct more than five miles of new drinking water distribution lines and make a variety of other improvements as the first phase of its drinking water system renovation.**Indiana CountyIndiana County Municipal Services Authority received a $5,198,598 loan and a $4,760,402 grant to make a variety of improvements to five different drinking water systems that are operated by the authority in order to ensure the provision of safe drinking water to the residents served by these systems.**Lawrence CountyWampum Borough received a $460,000 loan to construct a supplemental drinking water filtration system that will improve the quality of the drinking water provided to residents, along with related monitoring equipment and a building to house that equipment.Mifflin CountyNewton Hamilton Borough received a $2,789,322 loan and a $1,386,678 grant to eliminate leaks and increase flow by replacing almost three miles of asbestos cement pipe distribution lines with new ten-inch ductile iron pipe as well as make other improvements to the borough’s distribution system.Northampton CountyHillendale on the Delaware, Inc. received a $310,000 loan to construct a building that will house an above ground water storage tank, a disinfection system and booster pumps, as well as make other improvements to its drinking water treatment and distribution system.Tioga CountyUpper Tioga River Regional Authority received a $6,463,664 loan and a $2,455,336 grant to construct a new drinking water distribution system to serve residents of Covington, Putnam and Richmond Townships.**PENNVEST Wastewater ProjectsBedford CountyBedford Township Municipal Authority received a $2,146,210 loan to construct almost four miles of new sewage collection lines as well as a pump station to eliminate malfunctioning on lot systems.**Cambria CountyFranklin Borough received a $668,682 loan and a $612,318 grant to replace about half a mile of deteriorated 100 year-old sewage collection pipe as well as replace 36 house lateral lines. Johnstown City received a $5,580,000 loan to replace more than four miles of sanitary sewer laterals in the Ohio Street and Moxham areas of the city in order to reduce infiltration and inflows of excess water into the city’s sanitary sewer system.  **Johnstown Redevelopment Authority received an $8,134,750 loan to rehabilitate or replace more than two miles of interceptor sewers in the Homerstown/Ohio Street area of Johnstown City. **Centre CountyPotter Township received a $1,677,623 loan and a $1,378,094 grant to construct a 14 thousand gallon per day sewage treatment plant, three and a half miles of new force mains as well as install fifty-seven new septic tanks.Huntingdon CountyMapleton Area Joint Municipal Authority received a $179,576 loan and a $164,440 grant to upgrade its existing sewage treatment system by installing a new clarifier to be used in conjunction with existing clarifiers and also to construct a new pump station.Montour CountyCooper Township Municipal Authority received a $3,146,493 loan and an $861,007 grant to construct more than nine miles of new sewage collection and transmission lines as well as a new pump station.Warren CountyNorth Warren Municipal Authority received a $4,250,000 loan to construct and install a variety of improvements to its existing sewage treatment facility in order to improve the treatment process and the quality of the water it discharges.**Washington CountyChartiers Township received an $875,000 loan to create a new gravity sewage collection system by constructing almost two miles of new collection lines.Wyoming CountyLemon Township & Tunkhannock Joint Municipal Authority received a $642,500 loan to design a new sewage collection and treatment system, including almost 10 miles of low pressure force mains, a 120 thousand gallons per-day treatment plant and other facilities to serve 382 residences in the township.Non-point Source Water Quality Improvement ProjectsClarion CountyArmstrong Conservation District received a $925,754 grant to install a variety of best management practices, including infiltration trenches, vegetated swales, revegetation and reforestation along trails as well as removal of coal refuse.  **Centre CountyTri-Municipal Park received a $107,891 loan and a $215,778 grant to construct vegetated swales, rain gardens and a detention/infiltration basin in order to eliminate storm water runoff into a sinkhole and a nearby stream. **Lancaster CountyChester County Conservation District and Elam King received a $394,520 grant to install a new manure storage structure, animal walkways, roof gutters and downspouts and other facilities in order to reduce storm water runoff and nutrients from entering the nearby stream. **Snyder CountyMiddleburg Borough received a $978,500 grant to construct almost a mile of new storm sewers, 32 storm sewer inlets, and 1,400 feet of drainage swales.York CountyYork County Rail Trail Authority received a $950,000 grant to construct a 1.2 mile section of new trail and an on-site infiltration system in order to enhance the naturally occurring riparian buffer on the adjacent portion of Codorus Creek. **** denotes funding is sourced from the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF) or Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF)# # # SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Nobel Prize Winner Malala Names Celebrity Edge

first_imgCelebrity Cruises hosted yesterday the naming ceremony for its brand new 117,000 gross ton cruise ship, Celebrity Edge.The vessel was named by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, a twenty-one-year old Pakistani activist, and the co-founder of Malala Fund, which campaigns for education of girls all around the world.Malala set up the fund after being shot by a Taliban masked gunman in October 2012, while on her way home from school, for advocating for girls to go to school.Celebrity Cruises has partnered up with Malala Fund to support its mission to facilitate 130 million school girls around the world who are out of school to get the 12 years of free, safe and quality education.“Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality. Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world,” Celebrity’s President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said.Celebrity Edge, with 1,377 crew members from 72 different countries, departed from Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazzaire, France, on November 6, heading for  T25 at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to prepare for its maiden voyage.The ship is 300 meters long, 38 meters wide and has the capability to carry 2,900 guests in 1,450 staterooms.One of the notable features of the ship is the so-called Magic Carpet, a 90-ton movable platform that is cantilevered over its side. This floating platform reaches a height of 13 stories above sea level. The ship also features a rooftop garden, dubbed the Eden.Celebrity Edge will begin its inaugural season sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries before heading for the Mediterranean in 2019. Sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Celebrity Edge will set sail on its maiden voyage on December 9, 2018.last_img read more

King Shaka Airport ready to take flight

first_imgThe airport will be replacing the existing Durban International Airport, which will see its last flight out of Durban on 30 April. King Shaka International is situated approximately 65 kilometres from Durban International. South Africa’s new international airport, the King Shaka International Airport situated outside Durban, came through a major trial exercise with flying colours on Thursday, the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) reports. The mass trial at the airport at La Mercy involved the participation of an estimated 800 “fake passengers” and 300 staff members as part of the last leg of rigorous checks to ensure its readiness ahead of its big day on 1 May, when it becomes operational. Last flight The trial marks the culmination of the operational readiness and transfer programme, and shows that the airport is fully functional ahead of its official opening ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™. Job creation “We are all excited about the move to King Shaka International Airport, and are all committed towards ensuring a seamless change-over to King Shaka International,” said Delomoney. “We urge passengers to access information about the move on our website and to be part of this historical moment.”center_img 16 April 2010 “This trial has shown that King Shaka International is more than ready on all operations at the airport from landing and passenger [and] luggage transfer, to safety and security, as well as road infrastructure, traffic around the airport, car rental and retail facilities and readiness of our personnel,” said airport GM Terence Delomoney. Acsa said the airport would contribute to the creation of between 165 000 and 260 000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 20 years. The new airport will be able to process 7.5-million passengers a year, and will alleviate pressure on the Durban-Johannesburg route by transporting more than 50 000 tons of manufactured goods produced in the region directly from the local airport. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Ohio’s top conservation farmers honored

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture today recognized five families as winners of the 2019 Conservation Farm Family Awards at the Farm Science Review in London. Ohio Farm Bureau is a sponsor of the awards.“It is one thing to talk about the importance of conservation on the farm, but it is quite another to practice it every day like these award-winning families,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda. “I am proud of each of them for being good neighbors, handling the land with care, and helping to responsibly keep food and agriculture a top-ranking industry in Ohio.”The five families honored were: Kurt Farms of Hardin County; Rick and Janice Brill of Lorain County; Doug and Beth McConnell of Muskingum County; Timothy and Lynn Miller of Logan County; and Fred and Kristy Walters of Hocking County.“Each of the five farm families we recognized operates in a different area of Ohio, with differing acreages, soils, and topography,” said Kirk Hines, chief of the department’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation. “What binds these families together is the commitment to conservation, and dedication to thinking of the next generation of farmers to come.”Since 1984, the Conservation Farm Family Awards program has recognized 186 Ohio farm families for their exemplary efforts conserving soil, water, woodland, wildlife and other natural resources on the land they farm. Conservation farm families also host a variety of educational programs, opening their farms to schools, scout groups, farm organizations and others.The families each receive $400 from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, are featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer magazine and receive plaques from ADS Hancor Inc. Ohio Farmer magazine has sponsored the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Awards since the program’s inception. Nominations are sought annually between January and May, and Ohio farming families are encouraged to apply. For more information or to apply, individuals can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).2019 Winner profilesArea 1 Winners — Kurt Farms has more than 470 acres in Hardin County, raising corn and soybeans. In 2014, Kurt Farms worked with the Hardin Soil and Water Conservation District and The Nature Conservancy to install a half-mile, two-stage ditch, which carries a normal flow of water, as well as a high flow on benches planted with vegetation. Through a partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ohio Farm Bureau, Kurt Farms became part of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network to educate on conservation practices. The farm has been the site of dozens of tours, trips, and demonstrations for farm and community groups, media, school and college groups, and political representatives. Kurt Farms was named the 2018 Hardin SWCD Cooperator of the year in 2018.Area 2 Winners — Rick and Janice Brill of Brill-View Farms have more 1,800 acres in Lorain County used for corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. They recently sold the milking cows and are now raising 200 calves and heifers. Brill-View Farms has been a cooperator with Lorain Soil and Water Conservation District since 1971. The Brills work with Sunrise Cooperative to adhere to the 4Rs with both fertilizer and manure applications. Brill-View Farms has hosted many farm tours for school groups and dairy groups through the Holstein Association. Rick is a member of the Lorain County Farm Bureau, Sunrise Cooperative board of directors, and Lorain County Dairy Auction Committee.Area 3 Winners — Doug and Beth McConnell farm 482 acres in Muskingum County, raising corn and soybeans. They also custom-raise Jersey heifers for a nearby dairy. They have transitioned to using rye cover crops on corn and soybean acres. Most of their property is considered highly erodible land, and they use no-till and cover crops to reduce erosion. They have also implemented rotational grazing for their cow/calf herd. The McConnell Family Farm won the Muskingum SWCD Resource Conservationist of the Year in 2018. They are Muskingum County Farm Bureau members.Area 4 Winners — Timothy and Lynn Miller have more than 2,400 acres in Logan County used for no-till corn and soybeans. Farm Bureau members, the Millers apply their own fertilizer, using variable rates based on field needs identified with grid soil sampling and yield monitoring.  Besides doing their own fertilizer application and spraying, the Millers install their own subsurface drainage as needed. The Miller family has hosted the Top of Ohio Ag tour to educate the non-ag community about agriculture. The Miller family was the Logan SWCD Cooperator of the year in 2015.Area 5 Winners — Fred and Kristy Walters farm 335 acres in Hocking County with 203 acres managed as a woodland. The farm also includes grasslands used for pasture, hay production, wildlife food plots, and pollinator habitat. They also maintain a cow-calf herd of registered Angus cows. The Walters are currently developing a tree farm that was previously clear-cut in the 1990s. Utilizing a Woodland Stewardship Management Plan by the Division of Forestry, they have become a certified American Tree Farm. In addition to the forests and grasslands, the Walters have planted pollinator plots and wildlife food plots. The plots help support deer, turkeys, and other wildlife on the farm. The Walters have been cooperators with Hocking SWCD for 39 years.Photo caption: Pictured are Kurt Farms of Hardin County; Rick and Janice Brill of Lorain County; Doug and Beth McConnell of Muskingum County; Timothy and Lynn Miller of Logan County; and Fred and Kristy Walters of Hocking County. Photo by Kelli Milligan Stammenlast_img read more

Video: Rapper Plies Was In USF’s Locker Room After Blowout Win Against FAMU, Co-Signed For Taggart

first_imgThe USF mascot raising its arms.TAMPA, FL – SEPTEMBER 22: The mascot from the University of South Florida Bulls entertains during play against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Raymond James Stadium on September 22, 2007 in Tampa, Florida. USF won 37-10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***After averaging just over 17 points a game last season, USF opened its 2015 campaign by splashing 51 points on the board against the FAMU rattlers on the way to a 51-3 victory. The Bulls only scored a combined 206 points all of last season, so there was reason to celebrate. But it’s not every day a team gets to celebrate in the locker room with a famous rapper.USF freshman defensive end Vincent Jackson posted a video to his Twitter account after the win of rapper Plies with his arm around head coach Willie Taggart, giving him the seal of approval. The homie @plies in the locker room after the W #GoBulls pic.twitter.com/ldcHhc2QuJ— Vincent Jackson Jr. (@VMJacksonJr) September 6, 2015Not exactly what you’d expect in the locker room after a season opening victory, but maybe the Bulls are on to something. Plies seems pretty confident that USF will be “bustin’ the scoreboard every Saturday,” but a much bigger challenge lies ahead in Tallahassee next weekend as the Bulls are set to face the Seminoles.last_img read more

DBJ Builds Capacity of Three University-Based Incubators

first_imgPRESS RELEASE – The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), through its Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCP), has announced that it is providing a programme of capacity building and technical assistance (CB-TC) to three university-based incubators over an 18-month period.The programme of intervention is multi-pronged and covers, a needs assessment, a ‘study tour’, the development of a strategic plan, and the provision of financial resources to implement the plan.“We are pleased to be embarking on this partnership with the three major local universities and their incubators – Morris Entrepreneurship Centre at Northern Caribbean University; Technology Innovation Centre at the University of Technology, Jamaica; and Mona BusinessSupport Services at the University of the West Indies. The records will show that worldwide, university incubators, and indeed business incubators, are geared at creating, nurturing and providing the necessary support services for startups/entrepreneurs and young businessesto grow and succeed,” confirms Milverton Reynolds, Managing Director at the DBJ.This capacity building and technical assistance programme forms part of the JVCP’s wider plan towards the building of a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jamaica.This includes a programme of intervention and capacity building to assist, not just the incubators on our university campuses, but also other business services providers in the wider Jamaican space.The DBJ has signed a memorandum of understanding with each university and will hold them to a number of deliverables, including: the provision of baseline information on the incubator and incubatees, the development of a long-term strategic plan focusing on governance, sustainable financing, incubation performance metrics, tracking and benchmarking.Audrey Richards, Project Coordinator, JVCP, states that; “We have undertaken a Needs Assessment jointly with each incubator. On June 19, we led a team of incubator managers and university administrators of the three universities on an intensive three-day ‘study tour’ to Canada to observe, first-hand, international best practices and to learn the different structures, programmes and activities that are offered by world-class incubators.”The ‘study tour’ saw participants visiting some seven locations in Canada; The DMZ at Ryerson University; the Centre for Social Innovation; Venture Lab; Wilfred Laurier’s LaunchPad; Communitech; the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto and Scotia Innovation Centre.“We (DBJ) are looking to the sustainability of the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry in Jamaica and, indeed, the Caribbean. The work, on which we are about to embark, with the university incubators, is critical to ensuring that there is a ‘pool’ of investment-ready businesses,” Richards continues.“The ‘study tour’ (was) a learning experience for the universities, and is expected to build on the existing knowledge and experiences in;incubation management, international best practices in corporate governance and operational structures and financial sustainability”.Terry-Ann Segree, Investment Manager, JVCP explains that; “the DBJ-JVCP has put in place a rigorous system of monitoring and evaluation, that will continue for 18 months, to which each university is expected to adhere and report on its progress. There are also a number of milestones and achievements that each incubator is expected to meet.It is anticipated that coming out of this intervention, the university incubators will be better equipped to develop programmes and activities that will attract, nurture and build the incubatees making them investment-ready”.The JVCP came out of the DBJ’s expanded focus on not only facilitating access to credit, but also providing access to equity. The DBJ serves as anchor investor in this emerging Venture Capital and Private Equity industry and plays a catalytic role alongside private sectorinvestors.In 2015, the DBJ, through its Investor Panel, comprising some of Jamaica’s major investment (corporate and institutional) companies, issued a ‘call for proposals’ from fund managers desirous of investing in Jamaican businesses. Eight companies – four local and fourinternational – responded to the ‘call’, and following a due diligence process, two funds became operational in 2016.To date the DBJ has invested approximately US$1.75 million in these two funds – Portland JSX Limited (a local limited partner aggregation vehicle created primarily to invest as a limited partner in Portland Caribbean Fund 11) and in Caribbean Mezzanine Fund 1 (CMF1) jointly managed by local fund managers, Eppley Limited and NCB Capital Markets Limited.In February 2016, the DBJ-JVCP entered Phase 2 (2016-2019) of its programme under a second Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the Inter-American Development Bank through its Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB-MIF) to support the continued development of the entrepreneurial and early stage ecosystem in Jamaica.This second TCA is a ‘follow on’ programme that builds on the previous TCA (2013), as the  focus continues to be on closing the gaps identified. Funding under this programme totals US$3.482M with the IDB-MIF contributing US$1.198M in technical grants and advice to be matched by DBJ counterpart funding of US$2.284M.last_img read more

Centre sets up tribunal to decide if JeI JK is an unlawful

first_imgNew Delhi: The Centre has constituted a tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as an unlawful association.The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 23 issued a notification which states that Justice Mukta Gupta would head the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Justice Gupta is presently heading another tribunal set up under UAPA to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The tribunal’s proceedings with regard to the ban on SIMI commenced on February 28 and is ongoing. As the proceedings against SIMI commenced, the same day, the Centre banned Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir for five years under the anti-terror law on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state. The government in its February 28 notification banning JeI said it was of the opinion that the Jamaat is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. It said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the union” and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose. The action came following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.last_img read more

Democracy Constitution under threat in BJP rule Gehlot

first_imgJaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Friday said the country’s Constitution and democracy were under threat in BJP’s rule. Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, Gehlot said the duo ruled the country for five years and people do not even know the names of most of the union ministers. “The Constitution and democracy is under threat and this is my duty to tell you this. BJP leaders talked about Congress-free India and those who criticise them are considered as anti-national,” Gehlot said at a public meeting in Pali. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “This is the situation prevailing in the country today. It is alarming and you should know this,” he added. The chief minister said Modi was a good actor and should have been in the film industry. “Several promises like bringing back black money were made by Modi during the last elections but not a single rupee was brought back,” he said. Gehlot also accused former chief minister Vasundhara Raje of stalling development projects and weakening welfare schemes launched during his earlier term. The chief minister was addressing the rally in support of the Congress candidate from Pali Lok Sabha seat Badriram Jakhar. Pali is among the 13 constituencies which will vote on April 29. Elections on the remaining 12 seats of the state will be held on May 9.last_img read more

Resentment among tribals may dim BJPs chances in land of Statue of

first_imgKevadiya/Bodeli (Guj): They got a helipad, a four-lane road and many headlines with the Statue of Unity’, billed as the world’s largest, but real development has bypassed them with water scarcity, unemployment and inadequate healthcare making life a daily struggle for survival, say many tribals here.Living under the shadow of the 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel near the Narmada dam, development dominates the concerns of the tribal population, comprising a majority in the Chhota Udaipur parliamentary constituency. Many tribals here said they are unhappy with the BJP-led government for its “failure” to fulfil promises. This may ultimately benefit the Congress in the elections being held on Tuesday. Chhota Udaipur, which has over 16 lakh voters, is a reserved seat for Scheduled Tribes. The BJP, which has dropped its sitting MP Ramsinh Rathwa, has fielded local leader Geeta Rathwa, who will be fighting her first major election, against Congress’ Ranjit Rathwa. The imposing statue of India’s first home minister, which attracts scores of tourists, has ironically become the focus of resentment with those living in the area saying they are yet to glimpse the development they were promised. Umang Tadvi, a 29-year-old farmer, standing on a piece of land marked as a helipad outside Kevadiya village, said, “This is what we have received. A helipad for VIP choppers.” Kevadiya village is part of Narmada district and falls in Chhota Udaipur Lok Sabha constituency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity on October 31 last year. At the time, some tribals held protests against the acquisition of their land for various developmental works near the statue. “Though local tribals were promised jobs at the Statue of Unity, very few were given employment. Instead of the government, outsourcing agencies are doing the recruitment. We are offered a monthly salary of Rs 7,000 to 9,000, which is a pittance. Further, we are asked to clean toilets, which no tribal will do. This development brought nothing for us,” Tadvi said. Another local, Ranjit Tadvi, agreed. There is no employment and many youths had migrated to Surat in search of work, he said. Though Kevadiya village is now world famous for the Statue of Unity, there are no roads or drinking water facility in our village. We were not benefited by this statue. I am now working as a mason in Surat,” he said. According to Ramkrishna Tadvi of nearby Gora village, tribals living near the statue will not vote for the BJP this time. “Over 7,000 voters living near the statue are not happy with the project, as several of them have lost their land for it. The BJP will have to suffer this time. Though we live near the (Narmada) dam, we are facing acute water shortage. We were not given jobs. Even I am working in a factory in Bharuch,” he said. Dr Praful Vasava, who has been leading a campaign against various projects coming up near the statue, said tribals from other parts of the constituency were also angry and would vote against the BJP in this election. “This four-lane road between Dabhoi and the Statue of Unity was built just for the tourists, not for us. Many people lost their land due to this road too. Tribals are feeling helpless. We believe a large number of tribals of other parts of Chhota Udaipur will also vote against BJP,” he said. In the chorus of disapproval, there are many who claimed tribals need to accept reality and adapt to a changing world. “Around 500 people from this area are earning well by selling food items and tea to tourists. Around 400 were given jobs as security guards or in housekeeping department. I am also working as a clerk at the tourist inquiry counter. Locals need to change their thinking,” said Mahesh Tadvi. People are also happy to see development in and around towns such as Tilakwada and Dabhoi. “The government has built wide roads here. You can earn Rs 500 to Rs 800 per day opening roadside eateries or tea stalls. Many people are getting good income due to the tourist inflow. Prices of land have also gone up,” said Arvind Sagar, who owns a small eatery on Dabhoi-Tilakwada road. According to Congress’ Rathwa, 53, the son of 10-time Congress MLA Mohansinh Rathwa, issues such as water scarcity, poor education and lack of jobs will be key issues in this election. “Though Narmada canal passes through Chhota Udaipur, a large part of this area is still deprived of water. Instead of building a road till Kevadiya, the government should have built a canal network. Unemployment is also rampant. Farmers are unhappy as they are not getting better MSP. I am confident people will put their trust on me this time,” he said. BJP’s Geeta Rathwa, 47, is equally confident. “I have been getting elected to Chhota Udaipur district panchayat since 1996. The rural population of this seat knows me very well. I am confident of winning,” she said. Ultimately, it is not just about parties but also deep-rooted cynicism. In Naswadi village, for instance, many said they have no hope from any of the parties. “Elections come and go,but our condition never improves. We are yet to see real development. We want proper roads, water for irrigation and health facilities. These are basic needs. But we wonder why no one pays attention on us,” said a villager who did not wish to be named. The Congress has won from Chhota Udaipur six times and BJP thrice, including in 2009 and 2014. Gujarat votes on Tuesday in the third round of the seven-phase elections. PTIlast_img read more