On Shaping the Battlefield

first_imgIt’s tough to win on a battlefield that has been shaped by your competitor. If your competitor has built the relationships, if they have a presence, and if they helped to develop the request for proposal, they have an enormous advantage. If you only discovered an opportunity by receiving a request for proposal or an inquiry, the prospect asking you to compete for their business is already deep into their buying process. And your competitor has likely already been chosen, even if it hasn’t yet been made official (and even if there is still going to be a contest).You are way behind in this sort of competition. Your competitor has already won the prospect’s hearts and minds. Your competitor has spent the time shaping your prospect’s needs through the discovery process, and much of the time the request you receive is only the buyer validating a decision they have already made.This is an impossibly difficult position from which to win an opportunity, mostly because you haven’t done the work to deserve to win.You Shape Future BattlefieldsYou are better off spending your time shaping future battlefields than trying to win battles that have already been decided.You shape the battlefields for future contests by getting there first and taking the high ground. You nurture the relationships, you make yourself known as a value creator, and you build trust. You win hearts and minds before there is every a contest, so that you can win the opportunity before there is ever a contest.You develop your client’s needs early in their buying process, helping them build the solution that will work for them. You don’t lose contests in which your competitor has shaped the battlefield because their solution is necessarily better than yours; you lose the contest because you weren’t there when it was developed.It’s critical that you get in front of opportunities. You do that by getting to your dream clients before they are dissatisfied, when they aren’t yet dissatisfied but should be, or when they are just recognizing their needs—not when they have just had the battlefield shaped by your competitor.Doing the difficult work of selling, getting their first and shaping the battlefield, makes the outcome of the contest all but inevitable. Believing that there is an easier way and avoiding the difficult work of selling also makes the outcome inevitable—just not in a positive way.QuestionsIn what stage of the sales cycle or buying cycle is the deal really won or lost? Why?How do you shape the battlefield in a way that allows you to win before there is a contest?What can you do to prevent your competitors from shaping the battlefields that are the hearts and minds of your dream clients? Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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The Value Creator’s Code

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 I am a value creator.I make a difference for my clients, and I make a difference for my business.I am worth hiring because I know how to create value now, and I am indefatigable in my effort to develop my ability to create even more value in the future.I am a force for positive change and positive results in every endeavor in which I invest my time and energy.I am determined to produce results. I persevere where others crack and abandon their efforts.I take initiative and bring my clients valuable, breakthrough-generating ideas. When I don’t have those ideas, I’m resourceful enough to go and find them.I care deeply about my clients. This is part of the value that I create.I own the outcomes that I sell. I make sure that I execute and that my clients achieve the better results they needed when they chose to buy me.QuestionsWhat do you believe belongs on your value creator’s code?last_img read more

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Start Being Honest With Yourself

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now If you want to make massive improvements in your results in business, in sales, and in life, the fastest way to get there is to be brutally honest with yourself. Start with this: If you are the source of your success why are you not also the source of your failures?We believe our successes come from all the things that we are. It’s the way you sell. It’s the product you created. It’s your education and experience. It’s your special ability to create rapport. When you succeed and win you can easily identify all of the things that you did that resulted in that success.But when we lose we don’t look inside. We look instead at external factors. It wasn’t anything that you did. It was some external force that was working against you, wasn’t it? It was your competitor’s price. It was the prospect not giving you a fair chance to compete. It was the fact that the prospect didn’t understand the value that you create or the ROI. When you lose (or fail) you can easily identify all of the external reasons you lost.If it was the manner in which you sold, the value created as a sales person that allowed you to win the opportunity, why isn’t it also the manner in which you sold, the value you didn’t create as a salesperson, that caused you to lose? We tend to take too much credit for our own successes and avoid responsibility for our failures.You know what this makes you? It makes you human. But the key to being a better, more effective human is to understand that you are responsible for your many successes (but that you likely had a a lot of good luck and a little help). You also take responsibility for your failures, your losses, and your shortcomings.You only make improvements when you take responsibility for losses and failures by owning them. Because as soon as you take responsibility for your failures, as soon as you believe that you are responsible, you are empowered to start making the changes that allow you to do better in the future.QuestionsAre you the source of your successes?Are you then also the source of your failures?Why do we look at external factors to explain away our failures?How do you own your failures and losses in a way that allows you to learn and avoid future losses?last_img read more

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More Alike Than Different

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now “I want to make sure you understand how our country is different.”No matter where on Earth I visit to speak, this statement about “cultural differences” is always one of the first statements I hear. I agree to listen and learn. But rarely do I hear anything that draw a bright line between the country I am visiting and the United States—or any other country.Now, don’t get me wrong. There are vast cultural differences, all of which matter greatly. I’ve seen dramatic differences, especially in Asia and parts of Europe, and especially when it comes to things like respect for authority (I have no idea how you might convince some sales forces in some countries to “challenge” anyone, and I am fearful of what might result from doing so).But these aren’t the “cultural” differences that are shared with me.I often hear that the host country’s economy has experienced a deep recession, their government spending is out of control, and everyone is price-driven. I am fairly certain we invented these “cultural” attributes here in the United States (and if we didn’t invent them, we clearly mastered them beyond anyone’s wildest imagination).Then I hear that decision-makers really don’t like to meet with salespeople. They’re too busy. They perceive time spent with salespeople as time wasted. Nobody is really buying right now. And all of the best prospects already have deep relationships with their current provider; you need to know someone. Respecting our great cultural differences, none of this sounds any different from what any salesperson might say anywhere in the world (even here in the United States, where selling is easy . . .)Finally, I hear that salespeople in other countries can’t ask for commitments. It’s too aggressive. They want to be a trusted advisor or a consultative salesperson. By asking for the commitments they need, they may be perceived as being a salesperson—and no one wants to be a salesperson! As strange as this cultural difference may sound, it has an oddly familiar ring, doesn’t it?Respecting the fact that there are real and vast cultural differences, I have found that we are more alike than we are different. The challenges we face in creating value for our clients and capturing some of that value seem to be true wherever on Earth you may happen to find yourself.And I haven’t yet been anywhere where trust and relationships don’t matter (and I hope I never find a place where they don’t).last_img read more

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Why BANT Stopped Working

first_imgFor decades BANT has served as a pretty good framework for qualifying opportunities. But it’s no longer the useful tool it once was.BUDGETUnless your dream client is already purchasing what you sell, they aren’t likely to have budget set aside for what you sell. This doesn’t mean they don’t have the money. It also doesn’t mean that they won’t spend the money.The companies you are calling on have the money they need for anything they believe is a priority. If it’s tied to their strategic objectives, they’ll find the money.How do you show your dream client that what you sell is what they need to achieve their goals and objectives?AUTHORITYThe idea of authority was used to help salespeople find the one person they need with the formal authority to bind their organization to a deal. This was useful before companies started buying on consensus. Now, there is no decision-maker. Instead, there are decision-makers. I’ve personally sat in a room with 14 stakeholders, all of whom could say no to a deal individually, none who could or would say yes individually.This doesn’t mean that you don’t need executive sponsorship. You do. You also need consensus.How do you find the stakeholders you need to build the consensus necessary so that the one person with the formal authority is willing to bind their organization to a contract?NEEDI’d love to tell you that your dream clients are desperately waiting for you to call on them. It would be wonderful if your dream client’s business would cease existing tomorrow without you and your solution. But your dream client will still exist tomorrow, with or without your solution.Many of your dream clients aren’t dissatisfied enough to change. This is why ideas like The Challenger Sale and Insight Selling are so sexy; they help you develop a need where none exists. Unless your dream client already buys what you sell, you need to create and develop the need.This is why you don’t like your leads. You now do the work of “need generation.”TIMEYou aren’t likely to find time as a factor. Your dream client can change today, but tomorrow works too. So does next quarter. Sure they’re leaving money on the table, but they’ve lived with their problems for so long they trust them more than they trust your solution. Your solution means change.Unless you tie what you sell to your dream client’s strategic objective, and unless your value proposition is compelling because the strategic goal is already compelling. The more you can prove that change is necessary and that sooner is better than later, the more urgency you create.last_img read more

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How To Work From Home

first_imgA lot of people now have jobs where they are not required to come into an office. These people will say that they “work from home.” Most people who work from home don’t “work” while they are home. It’s not easy to do.Eliminate DistractionsTo “work from home” you are going to need to eliminate distractions. For many people, this takes an extraordinary amount of discipline.First you are going to need a door that closes. If you have a spouse, children, pets, a mail person, or a UPS delivery person, you are going to be consistently interrupted. You’re going to have to make arrangements with your family so that they know when you are working. You are going to help not being interrupted.Second, and this one isn’t easy, you are going to have to close your browser. Listen, you are not going to “work” with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, ESPN, or US Weekly open. The Internet provides too many distractions.And then there is email. You’re going to have to close your email, too.You are going to have to develop the discipline to isolate yourself and work.A “Must Complete” Agenda For the DayWhen you are responsible for directing your own work, you need a “must complete” agenda for each day.You cannot be productive working from home if you are reactive. If you live in your inbox, waiting for interruptions that you can respond to, you will never be successful working from home. Instead, you need an agenda of three or four things that absolutely must get done come hell or high water.Your “must complete” agenda cannot be made up of things that you “should do” or that would be “nice to do if I have time.” If you work from home, the items on this agenda must be completed during the time you are working. If you are not completing these tasks, then you are not actually “working” from home.Staying ConnectedOne of the challenges that people have working from home is that they are so disconnected from their employer that it is difficult to be effective.If you work from home, you are not involved in the regular day-to-day conversations that occur in most workplaces. You don’t have the pop-up conversations that happen when you bump into your peers in the halls. You don’t capture a lot of the insights that would allow you to do your job better because you’re not there. You have to work hard to stay connected.You have to work hard to over-communicate what you are doing, how you are doing, and where you need help. You need to arrange conversations with your peers and with people in different departments so that you can exchange ideas, get updates about what’s going on, and share updates on how you are doing.When you can, you need to get face-to-face with the people you work with. Getting to know the people you work with personally allows you to do better work together. You know each other. You trust each other. And you have enough communication that you know how to act when you can’t communicate with each other.Stay connected virtually. And when you can make it into an office.It isn’t easy to “work” from home. But developing the discipline to eliminate distractions, complete the three or four “musts” on your task list each day, and working hard to communicate as if you were working at an office will make you more effective working from home.last_img read more

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The Leadership Playbook: What a Consultant Can’t Do For You

first_imgEven though a consultant can give you advice, show you where the pitfalls lie and help you see the trade-offs in the choices available to you, ultimately, you have to make a decision. Just because you paid someone for their advice in no way obliges you to take it, and following that advice just because you paid for it is a poor decision.The person who you trust as an advisor may provide you with the lenses through which to see new possibilities, but you are responsible for the vision. If you are not on fire for something different, for something better, for something bigger, bolder, and more meaningful, no one else is going to catch fire.A consultant cannot lead on your behalf. Even if they provide you with the ideas you need, you have to lead the execution of those ideas. Your team doesn’t work for the person that provides you counsel; you are responsible for leading them. If you aren’t willing to lead the change you want, you won’t have that change.A consultant cannot hold your people accountable for anything for which you are not willing to hold them accountable. If you are not willing to ensure that something is done, it won’t be done. Real change comes from the will to break from the past and insist on a certain future. You have to hold people accountable for new beliefs, new behaviors, and new outcomes.A consultant can provide you with new ideas, new possibilities, new strategies, new tactics, and the new beliefs you need to produce better results. The work to produce those results, from deciding to executing to making adjustments to producing new results belongs to you as a leader.Ultimately, you are responsible for the future you are building. 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 Nowlast_img read more

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Determination: The Ability to Persevere

first_imgTo be effective at sales, you need practice and perseverance. Selling is an effort to beat the odds of rejection, and to do so you have to stay determined and be okay with not closing every sale. The best sellers don’t have a 100% track record of closing, but they know how to keep going even when they are discouraged.What Does It Mean to Persevere?The definition of perseverance, to paraphrase Merriam-Webster, is to persist in a state of enterprise in spite of opposition or discouragement. It is one of the primary foundational attributes of sales effectiveness and is necessary to succeed. Let’s take a closer look at how it applies to sales and works with the other attributes.Perseverance follows the first attribute, self-discipline. Self-discipline provides the foundation for the ability to persevere. If you have a disciplined practice and are good at keeping yourself accountable, you will have the ability to keep trying even when things aren’t working. Show up on time every day and always think about how you can make changes to your practice and schedule in order to improve it.Optimism is the second attribute. It enables perseverance by allowing you to continue to try without being discouraged. Maintaining a positive mental attitude about being a professional salesperson will help you stay dedicated to your work even when times get tough.Perseverance stands on top of the third attribute, competitiveness. Engaging in a spirit of competition enables you to continue to fight and win in a tough contest. If you learn all you can about your competition and stay aware of what they are doing at all times, you will always be able to discuss why what you are offering is better.The fourth attribute, initiative, sustains the desire and the ability to be proactive. This means constantly being on the lookout for new opportunities and hunting them down instead of waiting for them to fall into your lap. Having initiative means you are not intimidated by challenges, rather, you thrive on them. You have to accept responsibility for getting what you want in life. By waiting, you cut yourself down and limit your chances of success.Perseverance also follows the fifth attribute, resourcefulness. While mediocre salespeople easily feel like they have done all they could, great salespeople tap out one resource and immediately go looking for another. Resourcefulness allows you to persevere until you finally find a way to succeed or until you make one. Flood your mind with positive input that helps you stay motivated and counteract negative experiences.“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United StatesPerseverance is the act of deciding on the desired outcome and taking action to achieve it. Perseverance is being resolute in purpose until you achieve your desired outcome. The ability to persevere is what allows one person to continue in their pursuit of an idea or a goal for as long as it takes for that goal to be achieved. You will experience setbacks, large and small, on your way to success. The weak of heart won’t be able to stick it out. Those with perseverance will. It is the ability to continue to chase a dream, even when all of the evidence indicates that it cannot or will not be realized.To persevere is the ability to continue to try. To persist. To press on.How to Persevere in SalesSuccess in sales requires perseverance, plain and simple.Perseverance and determination allow the salesperson to hear the word “no” and to continue to pursue their objective undeterred. Determination is what allows the salesperson to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again. It allows the salesperson to keep calling.Perseverance allows salespeople to continue to pursue their dream clients for years, never failing to nurture the relationship, even when there is no indication that the prospect will give them an opportunity. To others, this seems crazy! Why wouldn’t you just give up? That is what makes the difference between those who succeed and those who aren’t even willing to try.Perseverance allows the salesperson to believe that the contest is never over, even when the bell has rung. It allows the salesperson to remain engaged with their prospects, even after they choose a competitor. Those who have the ability to stick to their goals even in the face of discouragement and disappointment know that it’s never over – there is always one more round.This determination continues even after the deal has been won. Prospects and customers value perseverance, and they buy it because they know that it is this attribute that will ensure that the salesperson will help them achieve the outcome they have promised. As the old saying goes, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” When your clients see how fiercely you are chasing them, they will know you will apply that same ferocity to the work you do for them.When Perseverance is MissingWhen the ability to persevere is missing, the salesperson accepts “no” as a final answer. The lack of determination feels smart: “They said no, so I am moving on.” But this isn’t smart. The lack of perseverance is detrimental to their success.The best and most desirable clients always belong to your competitor. And they always start by saying no. You have to learn to expect it as your initial answer.When determination is missing, the salesperson floats from one “no” to the next, never putting in the time and effort to nurture the relationship. They never create the familiarity that later allows them to gain access to the prospect. The prospect tells every salesperson no, and all but the most persistent simply go away. They only remember the salesperson that perseveres. When there is an opportunity, the shortlist is made up of the few salespeople who were determined to be on that list.Their perseverance is what makes them worth talking to.ConclusionThe ability to persevere is an essential attribute of great salespeople, allowing them to succeed where others fail. It provides the salesperson with an immunity to the word “no.” Perseverance allows the professional salesperson to persist in their efforts to acquire new clients and to succeed in delivering the outcomes they have promised. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Questions Every Salesperson Needs to AskDo I too easily accept no as an answer?Do I fail in persisting to pursue the difficult but most desirable prospects because they belong to my competitor?Do I believe that “no” is final? Do I believe that things will always be the way they are now, not recognizing that my prospect’s needs are constantly changing?Am I trying to find an easier path instead of the path I really want to take?Is it ever right to stop pursuing something that you really desire? Is it ever right to quit or give up?Am I failing my dream clients by giving up on them, even though I can provide them with something better than they have now?Will I be the first person my dream prospect thinks of when their needs change? Why or why not?last_img read more

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Six-yr-old Muslim girl tops Bhagavad Gita recitation contest in Odisha

first_imgAt a time when a controversy is raging over 40 Muslim clerics taking exception to the singing by reality star Nahid Afrin in Assam, a six-year-old girl from the Muslim community has taken everyone by surprise with her immaculate recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita — a Hindu holy book — in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.Firdaus won the Srimad Bhagavad Gita chanting competition in a sub-junior group in Kendrapara this week. Showing exemplary courage, Arifa Bibi, mother of Firdaus, stood by her daughter throughout the competition held at a temple premises in Kendrapara.“When we came across news of the participation of a Muslim girl in the recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, considered a taboo in the minority community, we took precautions keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the issue. We sought the consent of her parents. To our utter surprise, Firdaus’ mother not only gave her consent, but also remained present all through the competition,” said Akshaya Pani, one of three judges.A total 46 children participated in the chanting of the Gita. The participants were judged on their ability to memorise slokas, presentation, audience preference, voice and involvement in the recital. “Firdaus scored 97.5 out of 100 in the competition,” said Mr. Pani.Part of prayer classFirdaus has been put up at Sobhaniya Sikshashrama, a residential school in Kendrapara town. Recital of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita was part of the prayer class. Urmila Kar, headmistress of the school, said the girl is a very bright student.“As a Standard I student, she cannot read slokas. But she has memorised the slokas chanted during prayer classes as we lay emphasise on moral education,” Ms Kar said.last_img read more

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4 held for locking up woman for 15 years

first_imgPANAJI: The Panaji women’s police station on Wednesday arrested four family members for unlawfully confining a 45-year-old woman, who was rescued after nearly 15 years on Tuesday from a locked room of her maternal house in Candolim village, North Goa. Sub-inspector Reema Naik of the women’s police station told The Hindu on Wednesday that a case was registered against the accused under Sections 344 and 346 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The victim’s two brothers, Mohandas and Ravindra Verlekar, and their wives, Anita and Amita, respectively, were arrested and released on personal bonds.The victim, Sunita Verlekar, has been shifted to a shelter run by the Institute Of Public Assistance (Provedoria), Ms. Naik said.During interrogation on Wednesday, the family produced a certificate issued by the State-owned Institute of Psychology and Human Behaviour (IPHB) in 2008, saying that Sunita suffered from undifferentiated schizophrenia-related moderate disabilities.Medical check-up todayThe Director of State, Provedoria, has arranged for a thorough check-up of the victim at the IPHB on Thursday, and the police have been requested to record her statement only after that.The police said that with the document produced by the family, a senior doctor at the IPHB will now trace her medical records and treat her accordingly.The woman was rescued with the help of activists from Bailancho Saad, a woman’s collective who were alerted about Sunita’s confinement by village activists.According to the police, the victim was locked in one room of a house, which belonged to her brothers. “One of the brothers, who lived in the same house with his family, would give her food through a slit in the door. But we found her without clothes in the room, which had no electricity. There was urine all around the place,” a woman police constable who was involved in the rescue operation had said on Tuesday.last_img read more

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Multi-mission aircraft hangar inaugurated

first_imgIndian Coast Guard Director-General Rajendra Singh inaugurated a multi-mission aircraft hangar at the Coast Guard Air Enclave here on Friday, giving a boost to the futuristic expansion of ICG’s air operation.The ICG’s air assets, including two Dornier aircraft, at Bhubaneswar will swiftly respond to maritime contingencies at extended ranges, ensuring the safety and security off the coast of Odisha, Mr. Singh said.The aircraft are regularly deployed extensively for maritime surveillance, search and rescue and disaster management along the Odisha and West Bengal coasts. It has been tasked with the responsibility of patrolling over 1.5 lakh sq. km of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Bay of Bengal. Besides, the aircraft were recently deployed for air-dropping of food packets during flash floods in Odisha’s Rayagada district.According to ICG, the Centre has approved a ₹32,000-crore plan that will give more teeth to the security agency. The Coast Guard aims to improve its force level to 175 ships and 110 aircraft by 2022.K.C. Pande, Additional D-G and Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard), and Kuldeep Singh Sheoran, I-G, were present on the occasion.last_img read more

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32 dead, many injured as boiler explodes in NTPC’s Unchahar plant in Rae Bareli

first_imgGoogle Maps image locates NTPC unit at Unnchar in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district.   At least 32 persons died and more than 97 were injured, many sustaining serious burns, after a boiler tube exploded at the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) unit in Unchahar in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.Workers and engineering staff were active at the 550 MW unit at the time of the accident, which left thick smoke billowing out of the plant.Rescue work is still on and district officials, police personnel and CISF jawans are trying to recover the bodies.The office of the Director-General of Police confirmed 20 deaths so far and the death toll, it is feared, could go up.According to U.P. ADGP Anand Kumar, around 22 victims with severe burn injuries have been referred to Lucknow, said he said adding, another 15 victims are in Rae Bareli hospital. Some victims were also sent to Allahabad.”Total number of casualties could go up once the blades of the Boiler are cut. NDRF Team are at site,” Mr. Kumar said.The identity of the victims is still not known. Most of them are believed to be workers. The NTPC management, which ordered a probe, said an abnormal sound was recorded at 3.30 p.m. in unit 6 of the plant.“There was a sudden abnormal sound at 20 mt. elevation and there was opening in corner no.2 from which hot flue gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area,” the NTPC said in a statement.Mr. Kumar said ‘prima facie’ the cause of the explosion appeared to be the pressure built up in the boiler due to gathering of ash.U.P. offers ex gratiaUP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is in Mauritius, directed Principal Secretary of the Home Department to oversee the rescue operations. Terming the accident as “extremely sad”, Mr. Adityanath announced an ex gratia compensation of ₹2 lakh each to the family of the dead, ₹50,000 to those grievously injured and ₹25,000 for other injured.  Senior officials have rushed to the spot. An NDRF team consisting of 32 personnel have left Lucknow for Unchahar.Nearby trauma centres and hospitals are on alert to give immediate relief to patients of the tragedy, said U.P. Health Minister Sidharthnath Singh.Mr. Kumar, the ADGP, said prima facie the boiler burst due to built up pressure caused by the gathering of ash. “Prima facie, what the NTPC management has told me, ash gathered in the furnace of the boiler, which should not have happened. Due to gathering of ash, pressure built up and the boiler burst. [As for] the reasons why it happened, this is a technical probe and NTPC officials will do it,” Mr. Kumar said. The boiler was installed just six months ago.Describing it as an “unfortunate accident,” the NTPC said: “In NTPC Unchahar, Unit No. 6 at around 1530 hrs on 01.11.2017 there was sudden abnormal sound at 20 mt. elevation and there was opening in corner no.2 from which hot flue gases and steam escaped affecting the people working around the area.””An enquiry has been set up by NTPC management to investigate the reasons for the accident. All possible measures are being taken to provide immediate relief to the families of affected people in close coordination with the district administration,” the firm said through a media statement.Expressing her condolences to the victims of the NTPC boiler accident, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a statement said, “In your hour of crisis, I stand by you and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. I wanted come  personally and share your grief but unable to do so as I am not well. I express my sympathies and condolences to the affected families.” She represents Rae Bareli in Lok Sabha.(With inputs from Sandeep Phukan and TCA Sharad Raghavan from New Delhi)last_img read more

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Policeman killed in Kulgam

first_imgA policeman was abducted and killed by suspected militants in Kulgam on Saturday. The body of constable Mohammad Saleem Shah of Mutalhama village, who was abducted on Friday night from his residence, was found in the Qaimoh area on Saturday afternoon. “He had come home a few days ago from Kathua, where he was undergoing training,” said the police.This is the third such killing in the past two months. Constable Javid Ahmad Dar was kidnapped and killed by militants in early July. On June 14, militants abducted an Army man, Aurangzeb, from Pulwama and killed him.Militants attacked a CRPF patrol in Anantnag and an Army convoy in Kulgam. Earlier in the day, the Army spotted a group of infiltrators near the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara’s Tanghdar sector.“The armed infiltrators were engaged in a gunfight in the dense forests of Balthedyan along the LoC, adjacent to Tony post. The operation is on in the area,” said a police official.last_img read more

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Former Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt arrested in 22-year-old narcotics case

first_imgThe Gujarat police on Wednesday arrested dismissed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with a 1996 narcotics case in which Rajasthan-based lawyer Sumer Singh Rajpurohit was allegedly framed by the Banaskantha police. Mr. Bhatt was Superintendent of Police (SP) in the North Gujarat district adjoining Rajasthan.In June, the Gujarat High Court directed the CID (Crime) to probe the two decades-old case in which the Banaskantha police allegedly implicated the lawyer at the behest of the then sitting judge of Gujarat High Court, Justice Ramanlal Jain.“The High Court directed us to probe the case. So we have arrested Mr. Sanjiv Bhatt after interrogation,” said chief of CID Ashish Bhatia.Besides Mr. Bhatt, several other policemen were also detained for interrogation by the agency.Justice J.B. Pardiwala of the High Court directed the CID to investigate the FIR lodged in Banaskantha against the lawyer for allegedly carrying 1.5 kg of narcotics.According to the case details, the contraband was recovered from a room of Lajwanti City Hotel in Palanpur and police arrested Mr. Rajpurohit for possession.However, it emerged subsequently that Mr. Rajpurohit was abducted from his home in Pali, Rajasthan, and the narcotics planted by the Banaskantha police in his room.Mr. Rajpurohit had accused the Gujarat police of abduction and implicating him in a false NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) case.As per the allegations, the police framed him to get a piece of disputed property occupied by him vacated because it allegedly belonged to a relative of the High Court Judge.Justice Pardiwala wrote in the judgement, “It was shockingly mentioned that if the said advocate vacates the property, the Palanpur police would release him from jail in the said narcotics case. In fact, within only three days of Sumer Singh Rajpurohit remaining in police custody, the property was vacated by his brother, and on vacating the property, the Palanpur police filed a report under Section 169 Cr.PC saying that the person occupying the room at Lajwanti City Hotel where 1.5 kg narcotics was found was not Rajpurohit and that he may be released.”last_img read more

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Kolkata Mayor Hakim hits another hurdle

first_imgWest Bengal Minister and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim’s bid to get elected as a corporator has hit another legal hurdle. CPI(M) councillor Bilkis Begum, whose petition challenging the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, was dismissed by the Calcutta High Court on January 4, has now filed an appeal against the Single Bench order. The amendment, which was passed by the West Bengal Assembly, paved the way for Mr. Hakim to be elected as the Mayor of Kolkata without being a councillor.Amended Act The amended Act enables a person, who is not an elected councillor, to be made a mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The person would have to get elected as a corporator within six months to continue in the post. Bypoll in ward number 82 of the KMC was held on Sunday, where Mr. Hakim is a candidate. Counting of votes will be held on Wednesday.Ms. Begum prayed for the nullification of the amendment claiming that it is unconstitutional. Justice Debangshu Basak had on January 4 dismissed the CPI(M) councillor’s petition observing that the impugned amendment is within the competence of the legislature. Challenging the Single Bench order, an appeal was filed and is likely to be taken up next week by a Division Bench, presided by Acting Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder, the councillor’s lawyer Shamim Ahmed said. Mr. Hakim, the State’s Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister, was elected the mayor of the KMC on December 3.TMC in majority The Trinamool Congress, which has a huge majority in the KMC with 122 seats out of a total 144, earlier elected Mr. Hakim as its leader in the civic body. The Left Front has 14, BJP five and the Congress two seats in the civic body, while one seat remains vacant.last_img read more

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Minister orders probe into “purification” ritual conducted where Parrikar’s body was kept

first_imgFollowing some social media posts that four Hindu priests performed a shuddhikaran (purification) ceremony at the government-run Kala Academy, where late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s mortal remains had been displayed for the public to pay respect, Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude ordered a probe into the matter on Saturday.In a Facebook post, Mr. Gaude said, “I have taken a strong note of some activities carried out in the Academy premises as rituals today. I have ordered an inquiry into it. We cannot promote or patronise unscientific activities inside government buildings.”Member Secretary, Goa Kala Academy, Gurudas Pilernekar said, it appears the priests had been called by a staffer of the Academy for chanting ‘Om’ mantra, and not a purification ceremony. He, however, could not explain why the chanting was conducted.Photos of the four priests chanting and walking about in the area, where Parrikar’s remains had been kept until the final rites, had surfaced on social media. Parrikar died on March 17, after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer.last_img read more

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Giriraj Singh surrenders in court in MCC violation case, gets bail

first_imgUnion minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday surrendered before a local court in a model code of conduct violation case for making controversial remarks against the Muslim community at an election rally in the state.The firebrand BJP leader surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Thakur Aman Kumar here. The CJM granted bail to Mr. Singh in the case lodged under relevant sections of the Representation of People’s Act and the Indian Penal Code.“Those who cannot say ‘Vande Mataram’ or cannot respect the motherland, the nation will never forgive them. My ancestors died at the Simaria Ghat and did not need a grave but you need three handspans of space,” he had said in Hindi for making the remarks at a poll meeting in Begusarai on April 24.Besides BJP president Amit Shah, the election meeting was attended by a number of other party leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.The court also asked Mr. Singh to furnish two bail bonds of ₹5,000 each. The Election Commission had also issued a show-cause notice to the minister for his remarks. The EC said, prima facie, Mr. Singh has violated provisions of the model code and directions of the Supreme Court, which had observed that religion cannot be used while making statements during campaigning. The veteran BJP leader is locked in a three-cornered contest with CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar and RJD’s Tanveer Hasan in the Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency, where voting took place on April 29 in the fourth phase.last_img read more

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Rhino poacher escapes from lock-up in Assam

first_imgAn alleged rhino poacher escaped from the lock-up of the Bagari Forest Division of the Kaziranga National Park four days after he was arrested.Kaziranga forest guards and the Jakhalabandha police in Nagaon district in Assam had in a joint operation caught Akhter Ali near the national park on May 9. He was brought to the forest division’s lock-up that has been in need of repairs.The 27-year-old Ali, wanted in a December 2018 poaching case, gave the guards the slip after seeking permission in the evening to go to the toilet outside the lock-up. “We became suspicious when he took a long time to emerge from the toilet. We found he had escaped,” an official said, adding that the police had been alerted. The accused used to reside at Bandardubi adjoining the national park before moving to Garubandha in Jakhalabandha more than two years ago. Poachers had killed 84 rhinos in Assam between 2008 and 2018. A majority of them were in Kaziranga, one of four rhino habitats in the State.In 2018, six rhinos were killed in Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a Tiger Reserve. The trend has been declining since 2016 when 14 rhinos were killed in the park by poachers.This period was marked by a spike in the number of arrest of poachers — 95 in 2016, 117 in 2017 and 104 last year. The rhino census carried out in the 430 sqkm Kaziranga in March 2018 had estimated the one-horned animal’s population at 2,413, marginally up from 2,401 during the previous census in 2015.last_img read more

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Mouse Impervious to Scorpion’s Sting

first_imgWho would win in a fight: a bark scorpion or a grasshopper mouse? It seems like an easy call. The bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) delivers one of the most painful stings in the animal kingdom—human victims have compared the experience to being branded. The 25-gram grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus) is, well, a mouse. But as you can see in the video above, grasshopper mice routinely kill and eat bark scorpions, blissfully munching away even as their prey sting them repeatedly (and sometimes right in the face). Now, scientists have discovered why the grasshopper mice don’t react to bark scorpion stings: They simply don’t feel them.Evolutionary neurobiologist Ashlee Rowe of Michigan State University in East Lansing has been studying the grasshopper mice’s apparent superpower since she was in graduate school. For the new study, she milked venom from nearly 500 bark scorpions and started experimenting. When she injected the venom into the hind paws of regular laboratory mice, the mice furiously licked the site for several minutes. But when she injected the same venom into grasshopper mice, they licked their paws for just a few seconds and then went about their business, apparently unfazed. In fact, the grasshopper mice appeared to be more irritated by injections of the saline solution Rowe used as a control.Rowe knew that grasshopper mice weren’t entirely impervious to pain—they reacted to injections of other painful chemicals such as formalin, just not the bark scorpion venom. To find out what was going on, she and her team decided to determine how the venom affects the grasshopper mouse’s nervous system, in particular the parts responsible for sensing pain.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(*)Luckily for Rowe’s team, feeling pain involves just a few of the body’s many possible chemical channels, so they were able to quickly zero in on two of them: Nav1.7 and Nav1.8, which work by moving sodium ions in and out of cells. In mammals, Nav1.7 initiates a pain signal, while Nav1.8 transmits that signal to the brain. Both channels need to be activated for something to hurt.In a petri dish, Rowe and colleagues could tell that the bark scorpion venom works by targeting Nav1.7 in cells from lab mice and grasshopper mice. But in grasshopper mice, Nav1.8 comes to the rescue with a neat trick: It shuts down in the presence of bark scorpion venom. “The [pain] signal might get generated by sodium channel 1.7, but it does not get sent to the brain by 1.8,” Rowe says. Her team reports its results online today in Science.“They’ve actually shown the molecular basis by which an animal has evolved [pain] resistance, and that’s very cool,” says Glenn King, a structural biologist at the University of Queensland in Australia who was not involved in the research. Pain resistance, even to specific stimuli like scorpion venom, is an unusual adaptation, Rowe says. Typically, pain “prompts us to take care of ourselves,” she says, alerting us to dangerous situations, like a nearby flame or a cut that could become infected, and teaching us to avoid them in the future. She speculates that grasshopper mice evolved their resistance to bark scorpion venom so that they could eat the arthropods, which are abundant in the Arizona desert where the mice live. Bark scorpions “represent a really valuable food resource” in an ecosystem where other prey is scarce, she says.Although grasshopper mice can usually feel other kinds of pain, Rowe observed that they seem to be temporarily insensitive to other painful stimuli after a dose of bark scorpion venom shuts down their Nav1.8 channels. She hopes this trick might be useful for engineering a new class of painkillers for humans. “The ideal painkiller is one that you take and your pain goes away but nothing else is affected,” says Ewan Smith, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom who was not involved in the current research. Because Nav1.7 and Nav1.8’s only jobs are to trigger pain, he says, a drug that targeted one or both of them as well as bark scorpion venom does would inhibit pain but let you keep other types of sensations (no more numb faces after a visit to the dentist). What’s more, it would have no side effects or risk of addiction because it would affect the pain pathways and nothing else, Smith says. Now that’s a superpower worth writing home about.*Correction, 28 October, 3:50 p.m.: Ashlee Rowe is now at Michigan State University, not the University of Texas, Austin, as was originally reported.last_img read more

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Giant ancient amphibian was bigger than a human

first_imgBefore dinosaurs came along, one of Earth’s top predators was a salamanderlike amphibian that lived in tropical areas of the supercontinent Pangaea. Fossils unearthed from a 30- to 40-centimeter-thick bone bed in southern Portugal suggest the creature was more than 2 meters long, weighed as much as 100 kilograms, and had a broad flat head the size and shape of a toilet seat. The newly described species (artist’s representation shown), which lived between 220 million and 230 million years ago, was one of the largest in a group of amphibians known as metoposaurs and is the first known in this region from well-preserved fossils, the researchers report online today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The species has been dubbed Metoposaurus algarvensis to honor the Algarve region of Portugal, where the fossils were unearthed. (Even though the genus name contains the Greek word saur, which translates as “lizard,” these creatures and their kin were amphibians.) The 4-square-meter area of the bone bed already excavated has yielded 10 skulls and hundreds of remains, suggesting that the creatures became concentrated in one area and then died when the lake they inhabited dried up, the researchers say. Because the beasts had spindly limbs probably insufficient to support their weight, they likely remained in the water most of the time, feeding on fish but possibly snacking on small ancestors of dinosaurs or mammals that wandered too near the waterside. Similar bone beds that include other species of metoposaurs have been found in what are now Africa, Europe, and North America—a hint that climate at the time was highly unpredictable and prone to lengthy droughts.*Correction, 24 March, 4:20 p.m.: The headline has been revised to reflect the fact that this creature was not a salamander but a salamanderlike amphibian, as described in the text.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(*)last_img read more

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