Don’t Bother Your Prospect

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now If you don’t want to bother your prospect client then don’t bother them.But know that you are not bothering your client when, as your deal nears the end of the buying process, you follow up to ensure that they don’t still need something from you.Your Two ChoicesYou’re always faced with two choices of the salesperson.The first choice is to be self-oriented to check in with your client so that you can find out where your deal is or waste their time. Wasting time means that you are subtracting value.The other choice is to create value for your prospective client. You can still create value, even at the end of your prospect’s buying process, even when your prospect told you they need time, even when your prospect is going through the process of making the decision. Your clients have concerns they need help resolving. They need more information from you. Much of the time they won’t recognize they even need more information until they begin the process of making a decision.It is never right to ignore your clients their needs. You’re never bothering them when you attempt to create value.Make the Value Creating CallWhen you don’t have a plan to create value, the right answer isn’t to ignore your client or pretend that you will be bothering them by calling. The right answer is to find a reason to call that allows you to continue to create value.Call to make sure your prospective clients has all the information they need. Or call to share additional information that wasn’t available until your prospective clients reached this point of their process. Call because you’ve discovered some new way to improve upon the proposal you gave them.Too many deals failed to cross the finish line because sales people mistakenly believe they will be bothering their client by calling. It’s not the call that bothers buyers. It’s wasted time. Make the call to follow up—and make it a value creating call.last_img read more

Why I Won’t Call You a Loser

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now You are not defined by your current state. No matter where you are right now, no matter how poorly you are doing at this moment, it is not final. It is not a life sentence. Your past does not determine your future.You are not, nor can you ever be, a loser. Losing, like failure, is an event. It is something that you do, and because this is true, it is something that you can stop doing. Thankfully, it is not something that you are. You can fail before you learn to succeed. You can lose before you learn to win. You can make poor choices before you make better choices.If what you are doing is not creating the success that you want or need, then you are simply making poor or unhealthy choices. This does not make you a loser; it makes you a person who is not making good choices. Making poor choices is not a permanent state. It isn’t even a permanent trait, even if you have managed to persist at making poor choices for most of your life.Right now, you can make different choices. Healthier choices are available to you. Those healthier choices are available to you, and to everyone else who has made poor choices, discovered that those choices made their lives infinitely more difficult, and decided to step onto a different path, one that may not reveal itself very easily, and one that will not be easy.You can choose to eliminate negative belief systems that no longer serve you or that move you further from who you want to be. At any time, you can choose to make better decisions and take the actions that you have avoided up to this point. You can determine that the trajectory of your life needs to dramatically change, and you can take the first step towards your different future. You will not be the first person to have successfully done so.Right now, there are a good number of people who write and speak about success who describe people with certain beliefs and behaviors as losers. This is unfair. It is said with a conviction and that intimates a finality, and that makes it false.Today is day one. Who will you be?last_img read more

Chris Hays from Zoominfo on Sales Development – Episode #131

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Podcast: Play in new window | Download (59.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSlast_img read more

Women are exploited in tourism, says study

first_imgPanaji: The Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT) unveiled a study on women workforce in Goa’s tourism sector on Friday, which questioned the myth that tourism provides employment opportunities to women.The study was unveiled at a consultative session held by the Goa Church affiliated organisation. Father Savio Fernandes of CRT said, “The sense of the meeting was that the women are generally being commoditised as products in tourism.” He demanded that gender diversity must be part of a new tourism policy of the State and also questioned the present model of tourism development. The study revealed that in Goa, “Women pay a much bigger price, in terms of things like gambling, liquor and prostitution, instead of benefiting from the tourism.” I also rejected the perception that tourism opens doors of opportunities for women. “[Women] are exploited as cheap labour, or as objects of pleasure.”Several NGOs and women’s collectives participated in the consultative, where participants, led by lawyer and social activist Caroline Colaco, said the State has acquired a dubious name for being a centre for sex, drugs, cheap booze, and gambling.Father Ferddy Braganza, general secretary of CRT said, “Tourism policy of the State must be made inclusive, and the policies related to women in tourism must be mainstreamed.”last_img read more

UP govt to hold mass wedding of Muslim girls

first_imgThe Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is planning to organise mass wedding of poor girls belonging to religious minorities, in an apparent attempt by the Chief Minister to shed his Hindu hardline image. “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given his consent to mass wedding of poor girls belonging to minority communities and we have included it in the 100 days’ programme of the state government,” Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Mohsin Raza told PTI here on Thursday. Muslims account for nearly 20 per cent of the State’s population and a lion’s share of the benefits under the scheme will go to brides from that community. A proposal is being prepared, the Minister said. Besides extending monetary assistance of ₹ 20,000 to each bride, the government will bear other expenses for the mass wedding. He said the idea of mass wedding from minority communities, which would also include Sikhs and Christians, came from the Chief Minister himself. Giving details of the scheme, Mr. Raza said it will be run with Central assistance for which ‘sadbhavna mandaps’ will be set up by the Minorities Welfare Department. Around 100 weddings would be held in every district after selecting eligible candidates, he said. Initially, it will be a pilot project, and if it receives a good response, the government plans to make it a bi-annual affair, he said.last_img read more

Two Maoists killed in Sukma

first_imgThe police claimed to have killed two alleged members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) in an encounter in Sukma district of south Chhattisgarh during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. The encounter took place in Tokanpalli forest under Chintagufa police station limits of Sukma district when a joint team of the Sukma DRG (District Reserve Guard) and Chhattisgarh STF (Special Task Force) was carrying out an anti-Maoist operation. The deceased Maoists were identified as Sanni alias Kunjam Lakkhe and Nanda Gurdum. Sanni was working as the Local Operating Squad member of the CPI (Maoist) in Nagaram area and Nanda was working as the Maoists’ militia member. The joint police team also recovered two weapons from the spot of the encounter apart from other Maoist material. In a separate development, two police constables, posted under Polamapalli police station of Sukma, were suspended for allegedly beating up local villagers on Thursday. The suspension of the constables came after the villagers accused a police team of harassment in Gorgunda area of Sukma.last_img read more

Punjab govt. moves to insure MLAs against ‘office of profit’

first_imgThe Punjab government on Wednesday paved the way for legislators to hold several new categories of ‘office of profit’ by approving amendments to the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952.“The amendments will protect legislators from disqualification in certain additional cases of office of profit, apart from the ones included in the original Act,” said a statement issued after a Cabinet meeting here.Further amendments include incorporation of a new Section 1A to provide for the definitions of ‘compensatory allowance’, ‘statutory body’ and ‘non-statutory body’. Besides, insertions and additions have also been made to the categories of offices of profit under Section 2 of the disqualification Act.The State Cabinet also decided to extend to the State two ordinances recently promulgated by the Centre pertaining to the rape law and fugitive economic offenders.It approved republication of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, to make the rape law more stringent. Approval was also given to republish the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, recently promulgated by the Centre.Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years, the new ordinance amends the Indian Penal Code to provide for enhancement of minimum punishment for rape from the existing seven to 10 years.Stringent punishment“The minimum punishment for the offence of rape of a girl child under 16 years of age has been fixed at life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years of rigorous imprisonment, extendable to imprisonment for the rest of the convict’s life,” the official statement said.The statement added that as far as fugitive economic offenders are concerned, the ordinance empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders, such as loan defaulters, who flee the country.PSU disinvestmentIn another decision aimed at bridging revenue and fiscal deficits and raising funds for the cash-crunched State exchequer, the Cabinet approved disinvestment of three ailing public sector undertakings.“The process of divestment of the loss-making Punjab Communications Limited, Punjab Finance Corporation and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation will be carried out by a core group of officers to be set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary along with a transaction adviser,” the statement added.last_img read more

Cong. not involved in ’84 riots: Amarinder

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Monday said that the Congress was not connected with the 1984 riots and any involvement of a few party leaders could have been only at an individual level.Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) raised the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s recent statement on the 1984 riots in the House during the ongoing Assembly session, to which Capt. Amarinder was replying.Capt. Amarinder said he had personally visited camps in Delhi immediately after the riots and met people there. “People in the camps had named some individual Congress leaders, namely H.K.L. Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Arjan Das and Dharamdas Shastri, which I had subsequently revealed to the public,” said the Chief Minister.“I have been naming these people for the past almost 34 years,” said Capt. Amarinder, adding that he had named the people who were mentioned to him, and not out of any personal knowledge.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra wanted the names of the people who were not present in the House during the discussion to be expunged. However, Aam Aadmi Party leader H.S. Phoolka objected. The Chief Minister said there was no need to expunge the names as these members had been in public debate for the past 34 years. The Speaker allowed the names to be put on record.SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal talking to reporters said that Capt. Amarinder should offer himself as a witness in the anti-Sikh riot cases.Mr. Phoolka said that when the Congress gave plum positions to those who have been named by the Chief Minister, it clearly shows that the Congress was involved in the riots.last_img read more

NIA may take over J&K BJP leader’s murder case

first_imgThe National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over investigation into the killing of senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar by suspected militants in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir earlier this month, officials said on Sunday.A team of NIA experts visited Kishtwar town, 230 km from here, last week to assist the State police in the ongoing probe. It later sought permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs for taking over the case for a thorough investigation, the officials said.The Parihar brothers were shot at point-blank range outside their house on November 1 when they were returning home after closing their shop in the town. The officials said the Home Ministry was likely to give its nod to the NIA for taking over the probe from the Special Investigation Team set up by the government. The SIT has arrested some people, including the sister of a local militant who along with his Kashmiri associate is believed to have carried out the target killing in an attempt to revive militancy in the district bordering south Kashmir — the hotbed of militancy in the State. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav visited the bereaved family last week and said, “Right now our main challenge is to track down the terrorists (behind the killings) and neutralise them. That will be done very soon.” “That (neutralising of terrorists) is the important thing here. Of course, we will not allow these kinds of activities to create instability and violence in Kishtwar or Doda, the peaceful areas of Jammu region. That is our priority and we are focusing on that,” Mr. Madhav had said. On November 5, Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had said the accused in the killing of Parihar brothers have been identified and will soon be brought to book. “It has been proved that it was an incident of militancy,” he had said, adding that it “was an act of frustration on the part of militants and Pakistan”. The State government had constituted an SIT to probe the killings and directed it to submit its report as early as possible. The SIT has detained some persons in connection with the killings after questioning over 30 people, including the personal security officers of the BJP leader. The police investigation has so far revealed that the killings were carried out by a two-member squad of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.last_img read more

In south Kashmir, militants change tack to avoid detection

first_imgReflecting a change in strategy, militants this winter chose to dig up caverns to hide on the highlands in south Kashmir instead of going for the built-up areas “to avoid the human intelligence network of security agencies.”A senior police officer told The Hindu that the fourth such cavern was spotted on Wednesday at Awantipora in Pulwama. “The hideout was dug in the Badriwan forest range. However, the militants abandoned the hideout ahead of the raid,” he said. It is believed that Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Reyaz Naikoo and his aides were using the facility. “Naikoo is from a nearby village where the hideout was busted,” the police said. It was Naikoo who came up with a video on how to build a cavern in south Kashmir earlier this year. This came after 37 militants were killed in residential areas in November.Most of these hideouts had an underground latrine and two rooms, with polythene cover to keep the area warm. It had a tunnel-shaped entrance to maintain heat in the cold weather. Police sources said 13 militants were killed in four operations in south Kashmir where militants were hiding in such caverns. “Four were killed in a Shopian facility, nine in Pulwama in two separate encounters,” the police said. The security forces on Wednesday blasted a cavern where six militants linked to the Ghazwat-ul-Hind were killed on December 22 at Awantipora. The action was taken after locals visited the site in large numbers and video-graphed it and posted the videos on social media. The security agencies feared that the site might turn into a “place of reverence for militant supporters and could motivate more youths to join the ranks of militants.” The cavern had an indoor latrine and two rooms, with underground vents.Every winter, a large number of militants are pushed out of the upper passes because of heavy snowfall in Kashmir. In summer, militants stay out in dense forests to escape the security forces. The Army says over 250 militants are still active in Jammu and Kashmir.last_img read more

Bihar Cong. leader quits over demand for air strike proof

first_imgIn what could be seen as a jolt to the Bihar Congress ahead of the parliamentary elections, senior leader and spokesman Binod Sharma resigned on Saturday, contending that the party should not have demanded evidence of the Balakot air strike. In a letter addressed to party president Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Sharma said the party high command has hurt the sentiments of ground-level workers and the common people by raising questions over the “pre-emptive” strike on the terror camps in Balakot, days after the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy.He also said that he wrote to Mr. Gandhi several times in the last one month, apprising him of the sensibilities of the party workers in the State. Terming the repeated demands for proof of air strike as “shameful and childish”, he said, “I am resigning from the Congress with a heavy heart after serving it for 30 years. The party high command has hurt sentiments by breaking the Army’s morale, while boosting the spirits of terrorists.” Mr. Sharma alleged that some party leaders have “strayed from the path shown by party stalwarts such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi”. “Today, we (Congress members) are seen as Pakistani agents. I feel ashamed of being called a Congressman. Since the nation is above party, I am resigning from the Congress,” he stated in his letter.Mr. Sharma added he would join a party that puts nation ahead of “petty politics”.last_img read more

In Japan, Novartis Official Apologizes for Problematic Drug Trials, Promises Reforms

first_imgTOKYO—After a deep ritual bow while cameras clicked and flashed, David Epstein, division head of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, apologized for “the great concern and inconvenience experienced by patients, their families, and health care practitioners” as a result of flawed Japanese clinical trials involving one of the company’s drugs. Novartis employees participated in the trials of the hypertension drug Diovan, but the potential conflict was not reported by researchers. And a ministry of health panel reported earlier this week that there was data manipulation in scientific reports resulting from the trials, but could not conclude who did it or why.Diovan, known generically as valsartan, was approved to treat hypertension in Japan in 2000. Later clinical trials conducted at several universities sought to study whether the drug also helped prevent heart disease and stroke. Investigators found that a former Novartis employee helped two university research teams with data analysis, though that person’s link to the company was not disclosed in published papers.The various investigations have indicated that the university researchers turned to Novartis employees for help in the statistical analysis. “In retrospect, people did not have the skills in academia to conduct these trials, nor did we have the controls in place to ensure our people participated in an appropriate manner,” Epstein said. He said that he agreed with the interim finding of the health ministry panel that both Novartis and the universities involved shared blame.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)”We will correct what has been done and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Epstein said, explaining that the company has already taken corrective steps. He said the fact that the studies were controversial at the time they were published should have gotten more attention from the company. Their countermeasures include making sure that, in the future, published data are complete and proper.Regarding ongoing probes, including the possibility that the company violated drug marketing laws, Epstein said: “We are committed to cooperate with any government investigation.”last_img read more

Alcoholism Research Agency Names New Director

first_imgThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday that it has tapped neurobiologist George Koob of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, to direct the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), starting January 2014. The move signals the end of a long period of limbo for the agency, which has operated under an acting director for several years while NIH deliberated on whether to merge the agency with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).  “We are delighted with his appointment and how this reflects the breadth of what research into alcohol abuse and alcoholism means—to NIH, yes, but even more so for the importance of it for our nation’s public health,” says Alan Kraut, executive director of the Association for Psychological Science. Although APS was “open” to the idea of merging the two agencies, Kraut says that Koob, an expert in alcoholism who also specializes more generally in the neurobiology of addiction, will bring “exactly the right perspective, acknowledging that barriers between substantive areas of science are becoming fewer and fewer these days.’ ” Both alcohol researchers at NIAAA, who feared that their work would be subsumed by NIDA’s broader focus if the two agencies were joined, and researchers and administrators who hoped that such a marriage would foster more efficient and coordinated research are likely to be pleased by the selection, Kraut predicts.When NIH decided not to go forward with the merger last year, Director Francis Collins said that it would instead strive for “functional integration” of research between the two agencies. Koob jokes that he’d been “functionally integrating” long before that was considered an acceptable goal in addiction research. “Back in the day,” he says, one was expected to be “true” to one’s funding agency, and it was often considered “too ambitious” to venture beyond one’s silo—be it alcoholism or cocaine addiction. But, he notes, “I’ve always been funded by both NIDA and NIAAA.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)As a legal drug enjoyed by millions of people, alcohol has unique social and health impacts, which distinguish it from other addictive substances and which deserve to be examined in their own right, Koob says. Fetal alcohol syndrome, liver disease, and binge drinking, particularly among adolescents,  are just a few of the issues unique to alcohol that Koob looks forward to tackling as director.  At the same time, he says that his work in alcohol has always informed his research on other drugs and aspects of addiction, and vice versa. “It was some of our opiate work that first sensitized me—pun intended—to the idea that the [brain’s] reward system was compromised” in alcohol dependence, he says, “whereas it was the alcohol work that sensitized me to the idea that the stress system plays a key role in the development of dependence on non-alcohol drugs.” One of his goals as director of NIAAA’s $458 million annual budget will be to foster research that examines commonalities between different forms of addiction.Joining forces with other NIH agencies is important because “alcoholism is comorbid with everything you can think of,” from posttraumatic stress disorder to nicotine addiction, Koob says. He believes his long-standing scientific collaboration with NIDA Director Nora Volkow and good relationships with other NIH leaders will also make it easier to coordinate research.“Nora and I really share a lot of goals and ideas—it’s going to range from things that are already under way, such as training grants where both NIDA trainees and alcohol trainees are trained under the same program, to joint projects where perhaps one leg of a clinical trial can be a NIDA drug and the other leg can be alcoholism and another leg can be another substance dependence like nicotine. We’ll reap a double benefit of whether a treatment is working for both or only for one,” he says. “Those are the kinds of things I’m looking forward to.”last_img read more

Watch: Bones From a Watery ‘Black Hole’ Confirm First American Origins

first_imgMost researchers agree that the earliest Americans came over from Asia via the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska, beginning at least 15,000 years ago. But many have long puzzled over findings that some of the earliest known skeletons—with long skulls and prominent foreheads—do not resemble today’s Native Americans, who tend to have rounder skulls and flatter faces. Some have even suggested that at least two migrations into the Americas were involved, one earlier and one later. But the discovery of a nearly 13,000-year-old teenage girl in an underwater cave (narrated video above) in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula argues against that hypothesis. The find is reported in this week’s issue of Science, and a News article discusses its implications. The girl had the skull features of older skeletons, but the genetic profile of some of today’s Native Americans—suggesting that the anatomical differences were the result of evolutionary changes after the first Americans left Asia, rather than evidence of separate ancestry.last_img read more

Murky interstellar mystery mapped out?

first_imgFor almost a century, astronomers have wondered why light from distant stars reaches Earth with swatches of color missing. These “diffuse interstellar bands” (DIBs for short) block radiation across ranges of wavelengths fuzzier than, and typically different from, the single-wavelength “absorption lines” caused by light-intercepting atoms and molecules in space. Astronomers have identified at least 400 of them in the visible and infrared bands of wavelengths alone. Bewilderingly, whatever is absorbing the light does it more strongly in some directions than in others. Now, astronomers may have solved the mystery. Focusing on a DIB centered on the near-infrared wavelength of 862 nanometers, the team analyzed light from almost 500,000 stars within 9800 light-years of Earth, combining the light from neighboring stars when necessary to get a bright enough signal to analyze. Mapping the data in 3D, the team found that the light-blocking strength of whatever created this DIB generally matched known concentrations of interstellar dust, they report today in Science. The dust itself doesn’t directly absorb light within this particular band, the researchers believe. Instead, they suggest, the culprits are probably free-floating complex organic molecules within and near dust clouds (such as the famed Horsehead Nebula, shown, which lies about 1500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Orion). The new findings may guide other teams studying DIBs centered about other wavelengths.last_img read more

New York! New York!

first_imgPerhaps the greatest on-going show this side of the Atlantic is the city of New York. From sunrise to long after the stars come out, the curtain never falls on this effervescent, razzle-dazzle city. Like pieces of colored glass in a kaleidoscope, New York swirls and mutates into a hundred different patterns, juxtaposing many different worlds into the 24 sq mile island of Manhattan. First time Indian visitors experience a tinge of déjà vu, because New York has echoes of Bombay – its hustling crowds, its energy and street smarts. It, too, is a city by the sea where people come from all over to reinvent themselves, to start over and pursue their dreams. The “Indian” connection goes way back, because legend has it that the island of Manhattan was bought for just $24 in trinkets from the Leni Lenape Indians! Now Indians from India have invaded the city, manning its newsstands, its yellow cabs, its roadside dhabas – not to mention the garment and diamond district, Wall Street and the temples of higher learning, including Columbia and New York University. New York, with its frenetic energy and the neon lights of Times Square, may seem a very young city, but it has a long and distinguished history. Downtown Manhattan was the site of the nation’s first capital. It has always been the center of commerce, a bustling bazaar, which the writer O. Henry called “Little Baghdad on the Hudson.” Baghdad may have gone a different way, but New York remains a nerve center of commerce, drawing thousands on the dollar trail. The New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world, started in 1792 when 24 brokers met under a tree facing 68 Wall Street. As late as the 1840s, thousands of pigs roamed Wall Street foraging garbage – an early sanitation system. Under the Dutch, Wall Street – where there really was a wall – was the city limit.And the aura of wealth and power is complete when one realizes that the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank store more than one-quarter of the world’s gold bullion.New York has always attracted dreamers and wannabes, including a growing share of Indian immigrants. New York has the largest concentration of Indians of any city in America – more than 170,000 in the 2000 Census, nine times that of the next largest Indian concentration in San Jose, Calif.Indeed, fully a quarter of all Indians in the United States, over 450,000 in the 2000 Census, live in the New York CMSA (consolidated metropolitan statistical area) that stretches from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York to Philadelphia. Little India projects the current Indian American population of the New York CMSA at over 650,000. You cannot travel too far in New York City without encountering an Indian. Your taxi driver from JFK Airport will likely be a Punjabi as there are close to 10,000 South Asian cabbies in New York, the single largest ethnic group in the industry. You will likely buy your newspaper at an Indian newsstand, of which there are hundreds. And if you’re hungry, a dhaba offering comfort foods like daal makhni or dosa is only a phone call away throughout Manhattan.New York has something for everybody: the compulsive shopper, the history buff, the movie-addict, the fashionista, the theater-goer, the celebrity hunter. Manhattan, the soul of New York, is just 13.4 miles long and only 0.8 miles wide at its narrowest point. Yet its vibrancy and lust for living sets the whole city twirling.In 2005 nearly 41 million visitors trekked to New York to experience its many delights. It is a pulsating hub of more than 17,000 restaurants, hundreds of art galleries, museums and Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, and dance clubs and bars.New York is often called the Big Apple and for the curious, here is the explanation: in the 1920s and 1930s, jazz musicians who played around the country had a saying, “There are many apples on the tree, but to play in new York City is to play the Big time, the Big Apple!” Although the term was originally limited to jazz circles, an aggressive tourism campaign made the “Big Apple” and “I love NY” familiar slogans.Where do you begin in this action packed city? There are several bus tours, which allow you to hop on and off to see the various sights. First, the basics: almost all visitors stop to visit New York’s most famous immigrant – Lady Liberty, who at a height of 151 feet, is still the most stupendous figure in town. After you return by ferry from Liberty Island, take a stroll around South Street Seaport with its cobbled streets and upscale boutiques and restaurants. This is also the venue of the big Diwali Mela if you happen to visit during the Fall, with spicy street foods and a dramatic fireworks display. Resource Guide: Tourists can get the pocket-sized Official NYC Guide with details about hotels, sightseeing, neighborhood highlights and shopping, where to stay and more.Call 800-NYC-VISIT.(There’s a six-month calendar of events in the front and a map and coupons in the back. One guide is free of charge. Guides are sent via third class mail for delivery to most U.S. addresses within three weeks.)Visitor Information Counselors are also available at 212-484-1222 or you can drop in at the visitor’s center for free maps, guidebooks and assistance. You can also buy tickets for Gray Line New York Sightseeing double decker tours and City Passes, which give front of the line access to New York city’s top museums and attractions.New York City’s Official Visitor Information Center 810 Seventh Avenue, between 52nd & 53rd Streets Tel: 212-484-1222 Useful New York Travel Siteswww.nycvisit.comwww.newyorkcity.comwww.go-newyorkcity.comWall Street is close by and for most Indians it’s like a visit to the temple of success! Trips can be arranged to the New York Stock Exchange, and there are a handful of Indian restaurants in the neighborhood where you can get your chili-fix, including Salaam Bombay (319 Greenwich St, Tel: 212-226-9400) and Tandoor Palace (88 Fulton St. Tel: 212-349-7643) The twin towers of the World Trade Center are gone, but their absence looms over the city and many visitors make a pilgrimage to Ground Zero to muse about loss and longing for bygone, more innocent times.Midtown has that other towering building, the Empire State Building, which at 1454 feet is a sleek skyscraper of steel, limestone and aluminum and is rated as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Yes, there’s no King Kong clinging to its spire, but the building stands in the midst of a shopper’s paradise with bargain shops on 34th street and of course, Macy’s the world’s largest store which occupies a full city block.The Broadway wholesale district, where many Indians deal in electronics, perfumes and watches, is just a stone’s throw away. Indian immigrants have also made their mark in the garment district, which runs from 34th Street and Fifth Avenue to 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue, and many of the businesses here are Indian-owned. About ten city blocks away is the 47th Street diamond exchange where many Indians are major players in the wholesale diamond trade.If you’re looking for Indian food during your sightseeing, there are scores of Indian restaurants in Manhattan from the very upscale to basic dosa joints. For quick bites on the run you have Minar, Dimple, Yatra. You can even catch Indian food from a vendor’s cart, although be warned, the lines can be long at lunch time!Manhattan has its very own Little India on Lexington Avenue, also known as Curry Hill. Here you can pick up Indian groceries, spices, movie videos and CDs and eat every kind of street food, from bhel to Indian Chinese dishes.If you’re hungry for culture, New York is a feast. Lincoln Center offers opera, symphony, dance, theater, films and a comprehensive library of the performing arts. Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile has some of the most amazing museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. If you’re traveling with children and want to show them something about their Indian culture, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org) as well as Asia Society (www.asiasociety.org) on Park Avenue both have ongoing exhibits of Indian art. The New York theater attracts visitors in droves, from the long running Broadway shows like Phantom of the Opera to the latest and hottest. It is a city of actors and arc lamps, and hundreds of theaters sprout all over the city – in bars, churches, lofts and basements. Sometimes you can unearth real gems. If you’re on a shoestring budget, the half price ticket booth called TKTS on Broadway at 47th Street (www.tdf.org) is a real dollar saver. Here you can pick up day of performance tickets at half price for many Broadway and off-Broadway shows.New York has echoes of Bombay- its hustling crowds, its energy and street smartsCelebrate your love of food during Restaurant Week, a bi-annual dining promotion that offers great deals with bargain three-course prix fixe-lunches and dinners. This summer it falls on July 10-14 and July 17-21. More than 200 of New York City’s best eateries participate every year to showcase the variety of the city’s restaurants.If after dinner, you still want to paint the town red, New York is an obliging canvas. Nights spots, jazz clubs, wild discos are just flexing their muscles and getting ready for action. The city that doesn’t sleep doesn’t miss a beat either. It is possible to party all night until the wee hours of the morning. It is also the city of 24-hour delis, supermarkets and even all-night hair-dressers. Interestingly enough there are also some 24-hour Indian restaurants catering to taxi drivers, and in Queens, there are even 24-hour Indian supermarkets.Times Square, where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, is known to just about everyone. A stroll down the square is a must to capture its energy and color. In recent year, Times Square, which earlier had acquired a seedy reputation, has been cleaned up and sparkles with restaurants, hotels, stores like the Toys R US Times Square, which boasts an indoor 58-foot ferris wheel and a two story life-size Barbie dollhouse.New York’s neighborhoods are worlds within worlds and you can step into Koreatown, Little Italy or Chinatown. Take a bus or train to the Upper East Side, Soho or Harlem and you will find new worlds and new experiences in each area. Other boroughs such as Queens are home to thriving mini cultures, including enclaves of Greeks, Koreans, Jamaicans, Indians and South Americans, each bringing their own distinct heritage.If you’re into sports, Madison Square Garden, a huge indoor arena, and Yankee and Shea Stadiums all play host to popular sporting events. For speculators, there are Belmont and Aqueduct racetracks, which are a train ride away.Shopping is one of the pure delights of New York. From the elegant floodlit department stores to the hawker’s cart, the city brims with consumer goods. Besides the fabled shopping on chic Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, there are major department stores, boutiques and temples of designer goods. If you want something a little wild or out of the ordinary, SoHo won’t disappoint you for a plethora of unusual boutiques has sprouted up there. In fact, only a quarter of a square mile, SoHo has an estimated 250 art galleries, four museums, nearly 200 restaurants, and 100 stores!If you’re visiting in summer or winter, check out the city’s official seasonal promotions (Summer Breaks in summer, Paint the Town in winter) for great discounts.A little known secret is that discounted designer goods, linen, lamps and clothing are available on Delancy, Orchard and Grand Streets in Lower Manhattan, close to Chinatown. Those wanting to shop outlets will be surprised to know that Woodbury Commons, with its hundreds of stores with discounted merchandise, is just a short train ride away.For star-gazers, New York is the Hollywood of the East Coast. Besides bumping into celebrities in restaurants, one may even see movies in progress. Recently you could have caught Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta shooting on the streets of Manhattan, without causing a stir, leave alone a traffic jam.Yet, perhaps the best shows in New York are free. This city boasts live shows on every sidewalk. Like some lively souk out of a fairy tale, New York swarms with the rich, the not so rich, the homeless, the conmen and crooks. One hurtles through its traffic laden streets in a yellow cab or edges through its swarming crowds on the sidewalks, which are crammed with pedestrians and hawkers touting everything from counterfeit watches to umbrellas on rainy days.In summer the streets turn into a virtual street fair as mime artists, break dancers, sidewalk artists and souvlaki vendors turn the streets into an open air stage. Street fairs are dear to the heart of New Yorkers. Arts and crafts, books, junk jewelry and Made in China toys all spill onto the sidewalks. And New Yorkers love a parade. There are parades for any and every reason as Italians, Indians, Hispanics, Orientals and Irish, to name a few, take to the streets on their special days to celebrate their cultural heritage. India has its day in the sun with a huge parade down Fifth Avenue for the India Day Parade, which culminates in a samosa and kulfi laden street fair with bhangra music. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a massive event where hundreds of spectators join in and tap dance down the avenue and huge balloon effigies of celebrities like Snoopy and Elmo tower over the city as stage and screen personalities entertain the crowds.There are countless tour buses for sightseeing yet the cheapest way is to don a pair of sneakers and arm yourself with a street map. New York is built on a grid and is a city of walkers, so it’s possible to catch most sights simply by putting one foot in front of the other. Life is never dull in New York. Ever so often you hear the wail of a siren as a police car or an ambulance hurtles by. Yet this is the same city where you can be lost in the silence of eternity in a meditation center or the depth of millions of books, bursting with wars, vengeance, drama – yet not making a sound as they lie mutely on the shelves in the silent library. You can sit on the granite steps of the imposing New York Public Library next to Patience and Fortitude, the two stately granite lions at lunchtime along with countless other shoppers and office workers and watch the world go by.  The subway trains operate around the clock, connecting the city to the other boroughs with 490 stations and thousands of miles of tracks. Little India reported that an estimated 2,500 Indians work in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, making it perhaps the largest single employer of Indians in the United States. As long as you don’t come out of the subway, you can ride the trains all day for $2! This flat charge can take you to almost any part of New York City or the other boroughs. How would you like to take a trip around the countries of South Asia in less than a day? No airline tickets to buy – all you need is a Metrocard, for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are all in Queens.Queens is the most ethnically diverse 115 square miles on earth. The 7 subway line has been dubbed The International Express and has been designated a National Millennium Trail for its representation of the immigrant experience. Jackson Heights happens to be the microcosm, the very pulsating heart of South Asia. For most new immigrants Queens has been anchor and safe harbor. While many have settled in Corona, Elmhurst, Flushing, Richmond Hill and Astoria, Jackson Heights has been so popular that it’s jokingly called Jaikishan Heights.The main action is on 74th Street, although the South Asian area spreads from Roosevelt Avenue to 37th Avenue, from 70th to 78th Street. In fact, 74th Street itself has been renamed Kalpana Chawla Way as a tribute to the Indian American astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy.According to Shiv Dass, president of the Jackson Heights Merchants Association, there are over 200 Indian businesses in this one-mile stretch, including over 20 restaurants and 9 sweet shops. There are more than 30 jewelry stores with an inventory worth millions of dollars on this one street. Indeed, 74th Street is the mother of all bazaars, because it has almost a dozen grocery stores, which carry thousands of ethnic products from the sub-continent as well as UK, U.S. and Canada.Back in Manhattan, you can catch the new phenomenon of Indian owned art galleries, such as Bose Pacia Gallery, Sunderam Tagore Gallery, Talwar Gallery, Gallery Arts India and the Sepia Gallery. Here you can buy art from major Indian as well as Indian-American artists. Yes, it’s possible to go back from your trip with a M.F.Husain painting or a Souza under your arm, because New York is also the home of Christies and Sotheby auction houses, as well as dealers in South Asian art and antiquities.Want to catch a desi movie? While the suburbs have several theaters that screen only Indian movies, in Manhattan Hindi movies often screen at the Imaginasian Theater or the Virgin Cineplex on Times Square. It’s always a fun feeling to watch a Shahrukh Khan movie in the midst of the colorful chaos of Times Square.Each new day brings trade shows, conventions and social events to this bustling city. The city rushes on, its revolving stages showcasing the best in high finance, commerce, art, dance and drama. You can almost smell the excitement. Exhausted, you may want to put your feet up, but in New York, the glittering show goes on!SOUTH ASIA ON A   $4   METROCARD:Take the No. 7 line to 74th Street-Broadway. The underground Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights station is a major transfer point for the E, F, G, R and V subways.Where to shop on 74th Street – just a sampling of hundreds of stores.Groceries: Patel Brothers, Apna Bazar, Sabzi MandiRestaurants: Jackson Diner, Delhi Palace, Kabab King. Dosa DinerSweet and Snack Shops: Rajbhog Sweets, Shaheen Sweets, Alauddin Sweetmeats, Maharaja   Sweets and SnacksJewelry Stores and Boutiques: Alankar Jewelers, Sona Chandi, India Sari Palace and   Karishma BoutiqueEthnic Books, artifacts and furnishings: Butala EmporiumMusic Stores: Today’s Music, Music House, Sona Music and Bollywood MusicSOME FUN FACTS ABOUT NYCWhy Cabs Are YellowJohn Hertz, who founded the Yellow Cab Company in 1907, chose yellow because he had read a study conducted by the University of Chicago that indicated it was the easiest color to spot. A City of IslandsManhattan and Staten Island are islands; Queens and Brooklyn are on the western tip of Long Island. So, of New York City’s five boroughs, only the Bronx is part of the mainland. However, there is an island that’s part of the Bronx and yet feels like a New England fishing village: City Island, a marine-related community offering fishing, boating, and a wide range of restaurants and snack bars.It’s Gothic and it’s Big The world’s largest gothic cathedral is the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (212) 316-7540 – and it’s still under construction. Its first stone was laid in 1892.THE DESI FIXThe Asia Society  www.asiasoc.orgBosepacia Gallery www.bosepacia.comSundaram Tagore Gallery www.sundaramtagore.comGallery Artindia www.artsindia.comTalwar Gallery www.talwargallery.comSepia International www.sepia.orgTamarindArt Gallery www.tamarindart.comSaffronart Gallery www.saffronart.com Peter Louis Arts www.peterlouisarts.com EATSNew York boasts several Indian restaurants from the high priced to medium and the really cheap. Within Manhattan, there are two major concentrations of Indian restaurants.Curry Hill: Manhattan’s Little India is on Lexington Avenue between 28th to 30th streets. It has an array of reasonably priced Indian restaurants, grocery stores and music and video shops. East Village, 6th Street between First and Second Avenues has several low-priced Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants. Among the hottest (and most expensive)Amma 246 E. 51st Street  (212) 644-8330Devi8 E 18th Street  (212) 691-1300Tabla11 Madison Avenue  (212) 889-2363Tamarind41-43 E. 22nd Street  (212) 674-7400Vatan409 Third Avenue  (212) 689-5666Quick bites on the run in midtown ManhattanDimple11 W 30th Street  (212) 643-9464Minar5 W 31st Street  (212) 967-2727Sukhadia’s Gokul17 W. 45th Street  (212) 395-7300Yatra 32 W 31st Street  (212) 502-0552United NationsGuided walking tours of the United Nations on weekdays. Call 212-963-7539. The United Nations Plaza is on First Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets. Subway 4, 5, 6, 7 S to Grand Central/42nd StreetIndian SectionsLexington Avenue between 28th to 30th Streets. Subway 6 to 28 Street Jackson Heights on 74th Street. Subway E, F, R, V, G to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Flushing on Main Street, Subway 7 to last stop on Flushing/Main Street Related Itemslast_img read more

Medical Fee for NRIs to Go Up in Maharashtra

first_imgThe Fee Regulating Authority (FRA) has allowed private medical colleges in Maharashtra to charge higher fees for their institution quota and NRI seats while lowering fees for state quota seats, according to recent reports.As a result, MBBS tuition fees of KJ Somaiya Medical College fell from Rs 9.2 lakh for 2017 to Rs 7.5 lakh in 2018. The annual post graduate medical fees has been reduced from Rs 10.4 lakh for state quota students to Rs 8.2 lakh. Meanwhile, a fee of Rs 55 lakh was charged to students for NRI seats and institution quota.“While approving fees of health science courses, the authority has considered excess collection made by colleges from students in NRI and institution quota and accordingly approved a reasonable fee structure,” said the FRA’s directive, according to the Times of India.In 2017, the private colleges in Maharashtra had a fallout with the FRA over its decision to stop the three-tier fee structure. Also, the colleges charges NRI and institution quota students three to four times the fee charged from a merit-based student.During a meeting with the FRA on March 19, the fee structure of the NRI and institution quota students was approved while the fee for state quota student was lowered.“However, if fees for NRI seats will be charged at five times the state quota fee, it will lead to a dramatic 50-60 per cent reduction in fees of state quota students for next year,” said an FRA source.The colleges in Maharashtra claim an annual expenditure between Rs 30 crore and Rs 60 crore and an additional profit and inflation at 10 per cent each is permitted by the FRA. With these expenses and profit, the excess money coming in will be utilized to give subsidy to state quota students.“Colleges have appreciated the FRA’s decision and PG admission will start soon,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research.According to an earlier report, the inflated fee for the NRI quota was permitted only so that the fee for state quota students can be lowered. Earlier, the FRA had said that PG admission needs to be quota-blind, due to which the private colleges had stepped out of the PG admission process. The state government had to step in and direct the FRA to change its decision.Colleges have 50 per cent seats for merit quota, 35 per cent for institutional quota and 15 per cent NRI seats. Related ItemsacademicsMedicinelast_img read more

Norway’s Nanny State

first_imgFollowing extensive media coverage and Indian government intervention, Norway has agreed to release the children of an Indian couple who had been placed in foster care by its child protection agency to their uncle.The agency, Barnvernet, had seized Sagarika and Anurup Bhattacharya’s two children — three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya — in May 2011 on grounds of neglect and abuse, which the couple argued stemmed from cultural prejudice. The couple claimed that Barnvernet objected to the children sleeping in their bed and being fed by hand, which it equated to force-feeding.Under an agreement between the two countries, Anurup’s brother, Arunabhas Bhattacharya, will be granted custody of the children and allowed to bring them back to Kolkata, where they may be reunited with their parents, who plan to return to India. The arrangement allows Barnvernet the fig-leaf cover that its actions in separating the children from their parents were justified.For its part, Barnvernet refused to defend its rationale, citing confidentiality, but Gunnar Toresen, head of agency, said in a press release: “I most strongly deny that this case in any way is based on cultural prejudice or misinterpretation….. The Child Welfare Service has a responsibility to intervene if measures in the home are not sufficient to meet a child’s needs…. Examples are when a child is mistreated or subjected to other serious abuses at home, or when there is every probability that the child’s health or development may be seriously harmed because the parents are incapable of taking adequate responsibility for their child.”However, court records from the municipality of Stavanger detailed by the newspaper Ny Tid, document that the agency intervened because it felt the children had unsuitable clothes and toys, inadequate room to play in the house and because the couple did not have separate beds for the children or a diaper-changing table. The agency also argued that the parents’ feeding the children by hand was tantamount to force feeding and that the mother’s “sudden movements” while breast feeding were risky.The County Board, which heard an appeal from the parents soon after the children were placed in an emergency shelter in May 2011, was unpersuaded by one of the agency’s central concerns: “During the case, it became clear that the couple does not own a basinette/diaper-changing table. The child’s diapers are being changed on a bed, an arrangement much lower than a traditional Norwegian basinette/diaper-changing table. To this point, there have been no accidents while changing the diapers of the child.”However, overzealous agency officials appealed the order to a city court, which decided to remove the children from the family and place them in a foster home.The international exposure in the case has shone an unwelcome light on Norway’s out-of-control nanny state, which has one of the highest proportion of children in protective custody and foster care in the world. Statistics Norway data show that an incredible 3 percent of children under 18 in the country were in the protective custody of Barnvernet in 2010. In all, 49,781 of the country’s nearly 1.1 million children under 18 were receiving protective services, a growth of 62% in the past decade. Nearly a sixth of them (8,073) were in foster care — a 33% growth in a decade. Incredibly, half the 13,727 cases in which children were removed by the agency involved “domestic conditions” as opposed to child abuse.No doubt, much of what child protective agencies do is both admirable and necessary, but the Bhattacharya case points to the dangerous and tragic consequences of overzealousness and cultural ignorance even in the pursuit of lofty goals.The County Board of Stavanger got it right the first time when it rejected Barnvernet’s decision to remove the children from the family, noting: “There was no emergency in the home prior to the Child Welfare Services’ first visit in the family home. The problems occurred after representatives from the Child Welfare Services arrived in the home. The mother got scared when it dawned on her that the Child Welfare Services’ might place her children outside of their own home. That was a difficult situation, but the problems of this situation should have been solved in a different and more thought-out way, as opposed to deciding to send the children to an emergency shelter.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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