In no particular order, but expect sleepless nights, followed by chest pain, followed by massive anxiety, and a visit to someone who is a good listener with a couch you can lay back on.The Skills Gap: The skills that one once needed to succeed in sales are no longer sufficient. The bar on what value creation is has been raised, and it is not going to be found in your product, service, or solution alone; a large part of it is going to be found in the person you have sitting in front of your prospective clients. The skills are business acumen, the ability to lead change, the ability to control the process, and to behave like a peer and a leader.Role Clarity and Reduction: Hunters are supposed to hunt. Opportunity creation is being given a back seat to account management tasks and duties. The line as to where growth ends and retention starts is no longer visible, but the lack of opportunity creation is. If this is true, you are not going to grow revenue.Distractions and Lack of Priorities: If everything is important, nothing is important. Priority is singular. Much of what shows up in a salesperson’s email inbox or on their smartphone is actual work. It is not, however, the real work of sales and selling. All kinds of distractions dominate their day, from emails from their teammates, to requests for information, to client questions that should be handled by someone else. There is little time to be a salesperson when you have to do the ancillary, non-revenue generating work of being a salesperson.Lack of Purpose, Meaning, and Swagger: There is a lack of swagger. There is a lack of confidence in the role of salesperson. It used to mean something to be the person that went into white space and created opportunities. It meant something when new clients were won. It was celebrated, praised, and rewarded. Now, in many companies, it is treated as if it is necessary, but not all that interesting.Shifting Strategies: Over the last few years, it was insight-based selling, followed by social selling and inbound marketing, followed by buyer personas and buying journeys, followed closely by account-based sales and marketing. Each new year brings a new theme, a new shiny object, and a whipsawing of the sales force. Every fashion has it’s 15 minutes of fame, and the principles and fundamentals are forgotten. The theme for your next ten kickoffs should be Executing, Finally.Sales Managers Who Have Rarely Seen Their Reps: The reps work from home, despite the fact that they lack the discipline to do so, and regardless of the more troubling fact that they aren’t gaining the knowledge they would if they worked with and around more senior salespeople. Their managers work from home, too, and they spend more time reporting the minuscule and minute changes in the forecast than they do coaching their team.Your Linear Sales Process is Broken: The sales process is important. It wasn’t designed to answer every challenge that one faces as they pursue a deal. But in a world where the buyers are experiencing the kind of friction that Clausewitz described in warfare, the lack of information, the misinterpretation of information, and external events outside of their control, the linear process is no longer enough. Without new methodologies, you are leaving the sales force ill-equipped for the task you have given them.You Value Opportunity Capture and Not Opportunity Creation: There is no opportunity capture until there is opportunity creation. No one prospects anymore. I’ll repeat this here for effect (I hope): No one prospects anymore. I am not kidding. There are no targets, nor are their call blocks. Nor are their pipeline meeting where the salesperson reports on the opportunities they created.You Gave Them a SME Instead of Making Them One: Some reps now suffer under the belief that they need a subject matter expert for the most routine of all discovery calls. They rely on them to their detriment. How can one be a trusted advisor if one lacks the advice? They need to have a working knowledge and be conversational about whatever the SME knows. Let’s call it 57 percent SME, with the technical person or engineer picking up the other 43 percent.It’s bad. And it is getting worse. Only we can change it. 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
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now At some point, you will be an overnight success. But the work it takes to position yourself to be an overnight success may take a little longer. Between the day when you are successful and today, there are some things that you need to do to position yourself and make success possible.First, you have to do the quiet work, the work you do when everyone else is asleep. The work you do when there is no immediate reward for having done so; the work that no one recognizes and very few will ever see. This is the work that builds your skill set and sets you up to produce better work over time. It is the foundational work that all success is built on.The second part of your plan is to persist over time. This is one part pigheadedness, one part intestinal fortitude, one part ignorance, and one part a love for what it is that you do. The pigheadedness is what allows you to be stubborn enough to keep moving towards success. The intestinal fortitude is the willingness to persist when almost anything else would be easier. The ignorance is there to prevent you from recognizing that you have no business doing what you are doing or believing that you will succeed (a highly underrated attribute of the successful). The love for what you do is there to sustain you while you do the work.The third part of your plan is to be extraordinarily lucky. Luck is a big part of the formula, but it doesn’t work unless you are doing the quiet work and persisting. If you are doing these things, from time to time, luck will smile upon you and provide you with some opportunity. That opportunity won’t be overnight success, but it will move you one step closer. The next opportunity won’t be what brings you the success you need either, moving you only slightly closer. Between the opportunities that show up through serendipity and chance, there are long periods on the plateau.These are the rules for becoming an overnight success, a process that takes decades. If you don’t follow the rules, success will not find you, it being a shrewd auditor, always making sure you pay in full before giving you the reward you seek. If you try to short success so much as one thin dime, you will find it to be infinitely elusive.
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The value of your solution was enough to win your dream client’s business and their loyalty. But value is sometimes subject to entropy, or deterioration in effectiveness over time.Solving the Last Problem Doesn’t Solve the NextWhen you won your dream client’s business, they had a challenge, and they needed someone to help them create better results. The value you created through the sales conversations and the value of your solution together solved their problem perfectly. That solution, however, only addressed the last challenge, and has so far been impotent when it comes to dealing with new issues.The reason the value you create degrades over time is that it was designed to solve one set of problems or challenges and is now confronted with new ones, ones for which it was not intended—and opening you up to being competitively displaced.The Changing Environment Creates Challenges That Aren’t Quickly PerceivedThe changing environment continues to provide new realities, some of which aren’t very quickly perceived, creating a disruption that limits the value of what was once considered value.At the JFK airport in New York City, there are two lines of cars at baggage claim. One row of cars is made up of traditional taxis; the other line is black cars from Uber or some other ride-sharing service. As you walk by the taxis, most of whom have been watching the Uber line zip by them as they wait for a fare, you will notice each car has a sign in the window to inform you they have an app you can install on your phone.A taxi cab was once the standard in value as it pertains to getting around in New York City. The threat of Uber was not perceived fast enough, and the value of the taxi was massively degraded. The displacement here was through the disintermediation of the model.Advances In Technology, Processes, and SystemsThe Blackberry was better than the cellular phone, as it allowed for email messaging and the use of a calendar. As crude and monochrome as it was, the technology allowed for more than what came before it. The iPhone was to the Blackberry what the Blackberry was to the flip phone; the technology and its capabilities evolved.The process of buying the products you find in retail stores shifted from a trip to the mall to a trip to Amazon.com, some other website, or a click on the same smartphone described above. It’s not the same experience as browsing through a book store, and so the value in one category is lessened, only to be increased in the availability of almost anything you can imagine and search.Over time, what was once perceived as value is replaced by something of greater value. The key to retention is new value.
Panaji: The Goa State Election Commission (GSEC) filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court at Goa on Friday stating it would be convenient to hold elections to 185 State panchayats on May 21.The affidavit was filed by the secretary of the GSEC, Darshana Narulkar, in reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) by a Rohan Shirodkar.The State government had asked the GSEC to conduct the election on June 25, but subsequently asked it to change the date to June 17. The five-year term of 185 village panchayats, out of the total 186, expires on May 27.The GSEC said in the affidavit that May 21 is a Sunday, and holding polls on that day would cause minimum inconvenience to industry and private establishments, and would facilitate the constitution of the elected bodies within time.
As summer sets in, the Jammu and Kashmir government is all set to start functioning from Srinagar for the next six months. For the last six months, however, the government was working from its winter capital Jammu, as part of the pre-independence bi-annual ‘Darbar Move’ practice.Darbar Move is a century-old practice in which the government functions for six months each in the two capitals of the State, Srinagar and Jammu. The practice was reportedly started in the late 19th century by Ranbir Singh, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, who used to shift his capital between Srinagar in the summer and Jammu in the winter to escape extreme weather conditions in these places. The government will function in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, till late October and then move to Jammu, the winter capital, in the first week of November. Security measures and other arrangements have been made to ensure smooth functioning of the offices in Kashmir Valley, which has witnessed a spurt in militant activities in the last few months.Ahead of the Darbar Move, Srinagar usually receives a facelift every year. Roads around and leading to the Civil Secretariat, the seat of the government, are being renovated now. Besides, the government offices and quarters have been renovated and the streetlights restored, officials said.While most of the Kashmir-based government employees associated with the Civil Secretariat and other departments arrived in the Valley on April 29 and 30, Jammu-based employees have started arriving in Srinagar already, they said. The Jammu and Kashmir High court also moves from Jammu to Srinagar in summers and vice versa in winters.Hundreds of trucks are usually plied to carry furniture, office files, computers, and other records to the capital. Over the years, there have been voices raised against the century-old practice which involves heavy funding towards ensuring the smooth conduct of the move.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Sunday announced five names for nomination to Rajya Sabha.Rajya Sabha MP and party national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien, MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and MP Dola Sen have been re-nominated to the Upper House.The two other nominations are former Congress leader Manas Ranjan Bhuniya, who recently joined the TMC and Santa Chettri, a former MLA from Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) from the hills who joined the TMC.The nomination of Dr. Bhunia and Ms. Chettri is being considered as a fine balancing act by Ms. Banerjee in the political circles.On the one hand it is a message to the people in Darjeeling that the TMC is nominating a representative from the hills. On the other, it gives a clear indication that those joining TMC from other parties will be rewarded as per their merit.Debabrata Bandhopadhyay, a retired IAS officer who was nominated by the party in 2011 to the Rajya Sabha, has not been considered while Srinjoy Bose, another member nominated by the TMC in 2011 has left the party.Elections to six seats from West Bengal will be held in August. The TMC which won 211 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls, can nominate five members. The Congress and Left Parties can send one member to the Upper House if they join hands. In 2011, the Left parties had nominated CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress’s Pradip Bhattacharya and their terms will expire in August 2017. The name of the sixth candidate is a matter of much speculation after Mr. Yechury had decided not to seek nomination to the Upper House.
In fresh trouble for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case against him and his family members in a railway hotels allotment corruption case dating back to the United Progressive Alliance tenure, officials said on Thursday.The case was registered under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED has taken cognisance of a CBI FIR in this regard to initiate the move.Earlier this month, the CBI registered a criminal FIR and conducted multiple searches against the former Bihar Chief Minister and others.The ED will investigate the alleged “proceeds of crime” generated by the accused, purportedly through shell companies, the officials said.Mr. Prasad’s wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav, and others will be probed by the agency under charges filed in the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR.The case dates back to the time when Mr. Prasad was the Railway Minister in the UPA government.Others named in the CBI FIR include Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company (now known as Lara Projects) and former IRCTC managing director P K Goel.The CBI FIR alleges that Mr. Prasad, as Railway Minister, handed over the maintenance of two IRCTC hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a ‘benami’ company owned by Sarla Gupta.The FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with favours allegedly extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as ‘quid pro quo’The ED, under the PMLA, has powers to attach and confiscate tainted assets and it is expected that the agency will initiate such a move once it makes progress in the case.
Eight elephants had been killed by poisoning in the State this year, State Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma informed the Assembly on Thursday while presenting the data on man-elephant conflict.This was six more than the number of elephants killed in 2016-17, according to the Minister.Patches of paddy fields drenched with common pesticides claimed 26 jumbos in Sonitpur district in 2002 – but wildlife activists have found a fairly new method of killing the animals by poisoning rice beer or fermented rice for producing liquor.Many villages in Assam use rice to make liquor, for which the State government wants geographical indication tag. Elephants that raid villages are known to develop a taste for this liquor.Official numbersReplying to a question by BJP legislator Ranoj Pegu, the Minister said elephants had since 2016 claimed 149 human lives, damaged 3,546 houses and destroyed crops on 1,880.7 hectares. Rs. 2.35-crore was paid as compensation to the survivors of the victims, she added. She did not provide data on elephant casualty, which including train-hits, that was estimated to be at least 45 since April 2016.“Mass poisoning of elephants was localised, mainly in Sonitpur district earlier. But this has spread to most areas of Assam where people have encroached upon elephant corridors,” Bhaskar Choudhury of Wildlife Trust of India told The Hindu.“Apart from using live wires on tracks used by elephants, villagers are poisoning crop with organochlorine group of chemicals as well as lacing fermented rice or liquor with odourless, tasteless and soluble toxins,” he said.Assam has an estimated elephant population of 5,700, the second highest after Karnataka.Hope for river dolphinsReplying to a question on ‘sihu’ or Gangetic river dolphin by Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed, Ms. Brahma said parts of river Brahmaputra adjoining Kaziranga National Park and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park have been conserved for the aquatic animal.The Brahmaputra and tributaries such as Kulsi near Chhaygaon, about 50km west of Guwahati, sustain less than 1,000 river dolphins categorised as a Schedule 1 animal under Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.Ms. Brahma admitted sand-mining in smaller rivers are a threat to the sihus. “The river dolphins prefer deeper stretches for nesting. As such, we have allowed mining of sand only in stretches that are 3-5 ft deep,” she said.Sand mining is governed by Assam Minor Mineral Concession Rule of 2013.Environmentalists say illegal machines used to extract sand pose a threat to the river dolphins, though the animal is mostly killed by fishermen for its oil used as fish bait.
In Jodhpur, a tableau on Mohammed Afrazul’s alleged killer Shambu Lal Raigar Three persons have died and several others have been injured over the past two days in clashes over Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal. The incidents took place in Raniganj in Paschim Bardhaman district, Kankinara in North 24 Parganas district and Beldi in Purulia district. Clashes also took place in Murshidabad district.The latest incident took place in Raniganj town on Monday when a Ram Navami procession was passing through the neighbourhood of Rajabandh.One person died in the clash and more than 30 people, including six police officials, were injured. Nineteen people have been arrested so far. Seven of them were remanded to police custody by a local court for seven days and 12 were sent to jail for 14 days.Also Read Stones and bombs“The situation turned violent following a heated exchange of words between the two communities when one of them objected to the music being played by the participants in the rally. They pelted stones and hurled bombs at each other,” a resident of Raniganj told The Hindu.He also said that a section of the mob attacked the police and hurled stones and bombs at them. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) of the Asansol-Durgapur Police Comisssionarate, Arindam Dutta Chpwdhury, suffered serious injuries on his hand in a blast. Five other policemen were also injured in the clash. At least 40 shops were vandalised.But another resident said: “Clashes started when the participants in the rally made provocative remarks against members of another community.”“One person, Mahesh Mandal, 55, was killed in a clash between two groups during a Ram Navami rally in Raniganj on Sunday,” a senior district official told The Hindu. Locals said that Mr. Mondal, a rickshaw puller, was killed by a mob when he was passing through the area.“Mr. Mondal had nothing to do with the clashes,” locals said.Curfew imposed“Section 144 has been imposed in the area and a large police contingent has been deployed. The situation is under control now,” Proloy Roychowdhury , Sub-Divisional Officer of Asansol, told The Hindu.Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Babul Supriyo made a series of posts on Twitter regarding the clashes in Raniganj.The Union Minister also posted several photos detailing the clashes between the two communities.
Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini on Saturday echoed the views expressed by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and demanded that rapists of children below 12 years must be “hanged to death”.On Friday, Ms. Maneka said that she had asked her department to work on a proposal to amend the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to bring in the provision of death penalty for the rape of a minor below the age of 12 years. Taking to Twitter, Ms. Malini called for a national movement against “animals who don’t spare even babies” and said media should also support the cause.“Daily newspaper reports of rape happening in every part of our country! Kathua, Unnao are [nothing] but two of the long list of shame. Can these mindless rapists even be classified as human beings? They are beasts on the rampage & should be hanged to death for their heinous crimes,” Ms. Malini, who is the BJP MP from Mathura, tweeted.“There should be a national uprising with strong support from the media, against these animals who don’t spare even babies & toddlers! I agree with Manekaji that death penalty should be instantaneous once proven guilty & there should be no bail or pardon, juveniles included, for all rapes,” she added.In the present POCSO law, there is no provision for capital punishment, with the maximum sentence being life imprisonment for penetrative sexual assault as well aggravated penetrative sexual assault. In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community had gone missing from near her house on January 10 and a week later, her body was found in the same area. In the Unnao case, a 17-year-old girl has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar at his residence on June 4 last year.
A Central government scheme that saw the Dalmia Bharat Group adopt the Red Fort in New Delhi has triggered protests in Assam where four sites have been chosen to be handed over to the corporate sector as part of the plan.Members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU),Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and other organisations on Wednesday protested against the’Adopt a Heritage’ scheme, a collaboration among the Tourism and Culture Ministers, the Archaeological Survey of India and the State government.Four sites The four sites chosen in Assam include the KazirangaNational Park, Rangghar, Asia’s oldest amphitheatre,Kareng Ghar, a palace and Shiva Dol, a temple – all inSivasagar district built during the 600-year reign of theAhom dynasty before the British took control of theNortheast in 1826.“The four sites selected are the pride of Assam. We will not let them be handed over to any private party for maintenance. The Centre should instead hand them over to the local people if it cannot maintain them,” KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said.The AASU, in a statement, said officers of the ASI should be punished for failing to maintain the monuments entrusted to them.The Opposition Congress too slammed the Centre. “This is condemnable,” State Congress president Ripun Borasaid.Move defendedThe Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government, however, defended the move saying it has been misconstrued. “There is a misconception that the four heritage sites are being privatised. Private parties will, under corporate social responsibility, develop and maintain tourist facilities such as toilets, parking and cafeteria on the periphery of the area covered by the historic monuments,” said Jayanta Malla Barua, chairman, Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDCL).In the case of Kaziranga, he said, private firms would work only on the periphery and not in the core area managed by the Forest Department.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday praised Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar for his work on rural development by calling Baramati “an exemplar of rural development”.“Anyone who wants to understand rural development must visit Baramati. I urge all MPs to do so,” said Mr. Naidu, during a half-day visit at Mr. Pawar’s bastion.“Even if our political ideologies differ, his [Sharad Pawar’s] passion for agricultural issues and his sage and practical outlook have led to an enduring friendship between us,” said Mr. Naidu, adding that being in different parties had never come in his way of forming a strong personal bond with Mr. Pawar.The Vice-President further lauded Mr. Pawar’s vision in transforming Baramati under his leadership over a span of four decades.Following his arrival at the Baramati airport, Mr. Naidu, who was received by MP Supriya Sule and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, was taken on an extensive tour of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra.The Vice-President, with the NCP supremo by his side, visited the farmers training centre at the Kendra and interacted with members of the centre’s Agriculture Development Trust.“The transformation wrought by the Vidya Pratishthan and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the lives of ordinary people is truly impressive,” he said.NCP leaders boycotted Pune functionIncidentally, Ajit Pawar and local NCP leaders had boycotted Mr. Naidu’s event in Pune on Thursday when the Vice-President inaugurated the new administration building of the Pune civic body.The NCP had abstained from the function after accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to “stifle the voice of the opposition”.‘Non-political’ visitsFollowing the BJP’s political ascendancy in the State and at the Centre after the 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections, seemingly innocuous “non-political” visits to Mr. Pawar’s Baramati by top BJP brass has been read as a stratagem to keep the ruling party’s restive saffron partner, the Shiv Sena, in check.In February 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mr. Pawar, heaping praise on the ‘Baramati model of development’.That same year – in October and November – Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis followed suit with their respective visits to Baramati, paying fulsome tributes to Mr. Pawar’s “commitment to development”.On each occasion, the visits, ostensibly to discuss agriculture-related issues, were timed when relations between the BJP and the Sena had hit a new low.While both NCP and BJP leaders have downplayed the significance of these “non-political” visits, analysts have read a veiled message for the Sena on such occasions.After October 2014 Assembly election, the NCP, weighed down under a cloud of corruption, had eagerly offered unsolicited outside support to the then minority BJP government while its traditional ally, the Sena had vacillated.Prior to the State election, intrigue between the BJP and the NCP had resulted in the crumbling of the hitherto unbroken polar alliances in Maharashtra, the Sena-BJP (since 1989) and the Congress-NCP (since 1999).
Patidar leader Hardik Patel has approached the Gujarat government seeking permission and a venue to hold his hunger strike in Gandhinagar after he was denied the same in Ahmedabad.Mr. Patel announced that he would go on strike from August 25 in order to press for his demand for quota for the Patidar community in education and government jobs. “Holding peaceful protest or agitation is my constitutional right but the BJP government in Gujarat has denied me permission to hold the agitation anywhere in Ahmedabad,” he said. A delegation of Congress MLAs on Tuesday called on Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel demanding permission to allow Mr. Patel to hold the protest.“It is very unfortunate that the state government is denying him permission for holding the indefinite fast. As per our Constitution, every citizen is entitled to hold protest in peaceful manner,” senior Congress MLA Virji Thummar told reporters after the delegation met the Deputy CM.
Two fringe political parties on Monday joined hands and launched a front with the sole objective of ousting the ruling BJD from power in the coming twin elections in Odisha.Samata Kranti Dal, headed by former MP Braja Kishore Tripathy, and Utkal Bharat, led by former MP Kharavel Swain, announced the formation of the Odisha Democratic Front. The two ex-MPs said that the new front aimed at defeating the BJD in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections and announced to field candidates in all the 147 Assembly seats in the State.‘An alternative’ Claiming that the BJD government has made the State poor during its 18-year rule, they said the Odisha Democratic Front will emerge as an alternative. They alleged that a large number of people are migrating to other States in search of jobs and the State government has failed to create employment opportunities for the local youths.‘Govt. has failed’ The Front leaders also criticised the State government and the Chief Minister alleging that the administration failed in all sectors including like health, education and agriculture. Both Mr. Tripathy and Mr. Swain were hopeful that all the anti-BJD leaders will come forward and fight together to defeat the Naveen government.Mr. Tripathy had been elected MP twice and was a Cabinet Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre after being elected on the BJD ticket from Puri Lok Sabha seat in 1999. He had resigned from the BJD in 2009 and joined the BJP before launching his own party, Samata Kranti Dal, in 2013.Mr. Swain was also elected MP twice, including once from Balasore on a BJP ticket.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also wished the couple, while sharing the wedding pictures on social media. “A destination wedding with a difference. Nice to see some of the wedding party on skis. 30 years since the last one, Gulmarg’s historic church plays host to another wedding,” he tweeted.Nazir Ahmad, a tour operator, said the viral pictures of the wedding had come as a shot in the arm for the tourism industry, which has suffered due to militancy in the Valley. “From 13 lakh tourists in 2012, the footfall has dropped by an alarming 35%,” said a tourism official. The wedding of an Australian couple at snow-filled Gulmarg has lifted the spirits of the flagging tourism industry in Kashmir, where tourists’ footfall has recently seen an unprecedented decline. The pictures of the couple went viral on the Internet on Saturday, putting the spotlight back on the destination, just 55 km from Srinagar.Tim Robertson and Kate Hamilton described their wedding as “nothing less than a fairy tale”, after the pictures shot at the snow-bound 100-year-old St. Mary’s Church on Thursday were widely shared by local residents. The couple chose to wear Indian attire on the day of the wedding. However, they had to settle for snow boots to reach the church. Most guests arrived on skis and kept warm with the kangri, a pot of hot embers. The temperature in Gulmarg has been minus 10° Celsius at night. “A local gifted me a scarf on the occasion. It was very touching,” said Ms. Hamilton.Local cuisineKashmiri music and local cuisine were highlights of the wedding. Mr. Robertson said they had been planning a “white wedding” in the mountains. “I am glad we decided to have it in Gulmarg. The place has spectacular mountains and the warmest people,” he said.
The Pakistan Army on Friday shelled heavily areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, leaving a woman injured, officials said.This is the eight consecutive day Pakistan is violating the ceasefire.An Army official said, “Pakistani troops resorted to firing and mortar shelling along the LOC in Krishnagati sector of Poonch district and it ended around 0130 hours”.The night-long firing and mortar shelling continued in several sectors of Poonch and Rajouri districts, he said.“The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively”, the official said.A woman identified as Naseem Akhtar was injured in the firing in Mankote area of Poonch, officials said.They said Pakistan troops used heavy guns, including Howitzer 105 mm, in shelling the civilian areas in Poonch district.On Thursday, a woman was killed and a jawan was injured when the Pakistan Army heavily shelled civilian areas and forward posts in six sectors along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts, drawing retaliation from the Indian Army.The Pakistan Army has violated the ceasefire for over 60 times during the last one week by targeting over 70 civilian and forward areas along the LoC in Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and Baramulla districts, in which one woman was killed and 9 persons were injured.Temporary closure of educational institutionsIn view of the prevailing situation, the authorities have ordered a temporary closure of educational institutions in a 5-km radius along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts.They have asked all border-dwellers to remain inside their homes.Amid high tension along the LoC, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh accompanied by White Knight Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Paramjit Singh visited forward posts in Rajouri Sector to review the operational preparedness on Thursday.2018 witnessed the highest number of ceasefire violation, numbering 2,936 by Pakistan troops, in the last 15 years along the border.Pakistan continues to violate the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the pact during flag meetings between the two sides.
The National People’s Party, which aims to be the alternative to the Congress and ally Bharatiya Janata Party in the northeast, launched its unit in Assam on Wednesday with the plan to contest all 14 Lok Sabha seats in the State.The launch coincided with the completion of a year of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government in Meghalaya, where the BJP is a minor partner.“We are ready to contest 25 seats (across the eight Northeastern States). Being with the National Democratic Alliance does not stop us from contesting elections,” NPP president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said after inaugurating the party office in Guwahati.6th N-E StateAssam is the sixth Northastern State where the NPP has entered. The party has 20 MLAs in Meghalaya, five in Arunachal Pradesh, four in Manipur, and two in Nagaland. It is a minor ruling partner of BJP in Manipur and Nagaland.The NPP’s entry in Assam follows the decision of BJP’s ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Tripura. In Assam, the Asom Gana Parishad had walked out of the BJP-led alliance government in January following differences on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.However, the NPP stole the thunder from AGP by mobilising support against the Bill with Mr. Sangma cashing in on popular sentiments to emerge as the “tallest leader” of the Northeast.“What the region needs is a party that can bring all the people together on a common platform and make their voices strong enough for Delhi not to ignore. NPP was formed with this goal, and in the last four years, we have spread to all corners of the region,” Mr. Sangma said.He took a dig at the BJP’s ‘Act East Policy’ and its earlier avatar ‘Look East Policy’ during the Congress rule. “Whether it is ‘Look or Act’, we will have to help ourselves. No one else will ‘Look or Act’ for us,” he said.The Assam unit of National People’s Party is headed by retired IPS officer Dilip Kumar Bora.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Australian space scientists are lamenting news that up to 30 astronomy jobs will be eliminated at the national research body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The $21-million-a-year CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) program is being reduced by 15% in the wake of an austerity budget announced in May by the country’s conservative government.CSIRO’s current budget of roughly $700 million is being trimmed by $27 million in this fiscal year and a total of $115 million over the next 4 years. That reduction could lead to as many as 420 fewer jobs across the agency. But those cuts are not spread equally across the agency’s portfolio: Some areas are relatively unaffected, while the space science program is being hit especially hard.“We’ve been forced into a completely reactive mode,” says CASS head Lewis Ball. In addition to the size of the cuts, Ball is unhappy with what he sees as the frequent changes in government policy toward research and the lack of stable funding for the country’s shared major research facilities. The current ad hoc approach, he says, “barely stops us from dropping off the edge of the cliff each year.”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(*)CSIRO did not respond to questions from ScienceInsider about how it selected certain programs for funding cuts or elimination and spared others. But last week, scientists attending the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia learned a few more details about how the overall cuts would affect their discipline.Roughly two-thirds of the personnel cuts will be achieved by not filling vacant or term positions when they come to an end, Ball says. But there will “certainly” be some layoffs at the Parkes radio observatory, he adds. Cuts to support services, he says, will require scientists to operate the Narrabri radio observatory remotely, either from CASS headquarters or their home institutions.The program’s shrinking budget will also take a toll on Australia’s participation in the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The position of CSIRO chief scientist for Australia’s participation in the world’s largest radio telescope, set to begin in 2018 in western Australia and South Africa, will remain vacant, and the Australian government has not committed funding for SKA beyond 2017. “We will aim to fill this role as best we can from within the existing, significantly reduced, astronomy staff in CASS,” says Ball, who calls the cuts to radio astronomy “very shortsighted.”
A male peacock’s tail may help him attract mates, but does it also make him an easy meal? Scientists have long believed that these birds had to sacrifice some mobility in order to sport such dramatic decorative plumage, which accounts for 60% of their length. Now, a team of researchers has finally put this idea to the test by measuring peacocks’ ability to make a quick escape—with and without their tails. Working with five Indian peacocks (pictured above), the scientists set up a flight arena where they could film the birds taking off with high-speed 3D video cameras. Rattling a stick to prompt the birds to fly to a higher perch, they measured the peacocks’ velocity at takeoff and at the end of their second wingstroke. Flight performance was assessed in terms of the amount of power used to accelerate and increase the body’s height off the ground—the things that matter most when a bird is trying evade a predator. Later, the researchers removed the birds’ tail feathers (simulating the natural molting that occurs after the breeding season) and filmed them again. After analyzing the video, they found that there was no statistically significant difference in flight performance of peacocks with intact tail feathers and those without, they report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. This research complicates the common assumption in evolutionary biology that elaborate sexual ornaments must come at a cost to the animal. But although peacocks’ elaborate feather trains don’t impede speedy takeoffs, the researchers note that they may pose other burdens to the birds, such as compromising their flight control, stability, and ground running performance.
Every so often, the fossil record shows, ecological disasters wipe large numbers of species off the face of Earth. These mass extinctions occur roughly every 26 million to 30 million years—about the same interval at which our solar system passes through the plane of the Milky Way. Putting two and two together, some researchers have proposed that clouds of dust and gas in the galactic plane might disrupt the orbits of far-flung comets and trigger planet-smacking collisions. A new study suggests an additional culprit may lie behind those times of woe: dark matter.Some of Earth’s past mass extinctions have been caused by the impacts of extraterrestrial objects, such as the asteroid that struck near Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and wiped out the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. Others have occurred during extended periods of geological disruption that include region-smothering volcanic eruptions. Both kinds of catastrophes seem to occur on a cycle of about 30 million years, notes Michael Rampino, a geoscientist at New York University in New York City. “It’s always been a mystery as to how extraterrestrial impacts could cause these long-lived geological effects,” he says. But invisible dark matter, he proposes, could trigger both extraterrestrial impacts and geological upheavals in one fell swoop.Scientists still don’t know what dark matter is, but its gravitational pull on other objects in space shows that there’s a lot of it out there. Researchers estimate that in the plane of the galaxy, each square light-year contains about one solar mass of dark matter. Like the clouds of dust and gas that astronomers can see, clouds of dark matter may be perturbing the orbits of distant comets, causing them to fall into the inner solar system where they can strike Earth.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(*)But those clouds could directly affect Earth as well, Rampino says. As the solar system passes through this purported haze of particles clogging the galactic plane, some get trapped by Earth’s gravity, Rampino suggests. These particles orbit Earth’s core and eventually fall to the center of the planet, where they interact with normal matter or one another, releasing energy that gets transformed into heat.In the time it takes for the solar system to cross the galactic plane, interactions with dark matter could raise the temperature of Earth’s core by hundreds of degrees Celsius, Rampino reported online this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Then, over millions of years, that heat could be carried to Earth’s surface via massive plumes of hot buoyant rock that, in turn, create volcanic hot spots or slowly rip apart continents—possibly altering global climate or making huge swaths of the planet so inhospitable that millions of species perish.The idea that dark matter might cause both extraterrestrial impacts and geological upheavals “is intriguing,” says Dennis Kent, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. “One of those sources of environmental disruption might be tolerable,” he notes, but together they might pack a one-two punch that is too much for many ecosystems to bear. Indeed, he adds, some rather large impacts that weren’t accompanied by widespread geological devastation—such as an object that slammed into what is now the Chesapeake Bay nearly 35 million years ago, leaving a now-buried crater—don’t seem to have caused significant ecological damage.