When Your Business Strategy Means You Do Not Win Deals

first_imgWhen you lose a deal, you own that loss. You have to believe that you could have done something different, something that would have turned the tables in your favor. Most of the time, there is something that you could have done that would have helped you win the business. But, not always.Your business strategy can preclude you from winning deals. In fact, if you sell constantly with your company’s overall business strategy, you will lose deals because your business strategy is designed to ensure you lose.The Price Is WrongIf you work for a company that has made the decision to compete by creating compelling, differentiated value, that choice is going to preclude your ability to win by having the lowest price—or even by matching a competitor’s price.You will have prospective clients who have the exact set of problems, challenges, or opportunities for which your value proposition is an exact match. Your prospect wants and needs precisely what you sell.You and your prospective clients have excellent meetings. They are deeply engaged, providing information, and all the stakeholders believe you are the right choice. However, your price is too high. They are unwilling to make the necessary investment to produce the results your solutions provides.Without the right investment, you cannot provide the solution. The investment they can make won’t get them what they want, and you can’t profitably provide the solution for what they can invest.You are right. Your solution is right. Your price is wrong.Your Constraints and Their ConstraintsYou can’t change the investment required to produce the results your prospect needs. This is the constraint imposed on you by the choice of your business strategy. Changing the investment means you are breaking your business strategy. That strategy requires that you capture the value necessary to provide compelling, differentiated value.Your prospective client can’t—or won’t—change the constraint that is the investment they are capable of making. Wanting what your solution provides and being able to afford that solution are two different things.There are times when you fail because you are unable to convince your prospective client that your higher price is worth paying. When that happens, there is a lesson available to you, and there are adjustments you might make.Sometimes, however, your prospective client purchases a lower price, a lower value solution, because their constraint is real and difficult to overcome. In this case, your business strategy protects you from taking business that doesn’t allow you to deliver the value intended because you can’t afford to deliver it at a lower price.These losses come with the choice of strategy. This doesn’t mean you’re wrong, and it doesn’t mean that your strategy is wrong. It means that you are not selling a one size fits all offering.last_img read more

The Difference Between Awareness and Distraction

first_imgThe world isn’t a very complicated place for the lion or the gazelle. They are born with the instincts they need to survive, and things haven’t changed much on the plains for tens of thousands of years. If you are a lion, you need to hunt. If you are a gazelle, you need to run faster than a lion.The world is, was, and always will be a complicated place for human beings. To successfully navigate this world—especially in this Disruptive Age—you need more knowledge, more insight, and more wisdom. You need awareness, yes, but you need to understand the difference between awareness and distraction.It’s the Economy, StupidIf you monitor economic conditions, things like the stock market indexes, production, labor, and trade, that information can provide you with knowledge. If you have the experience that gives rise to knowing how to make decisions based on what you see, you may have insight. If you know when and why you should act, you may have wisdom.But if you obsess over economics and allow the media narratives to drive your behavior, you have moved from awareness to distraction. You have massive control over your personal economy and none over the general economic conditions.Not Changing MindsIt’s good to keep an eye on the political happenings where you live. You need to know what the issues are, and you need to know who you believe you can trust to govern, who you can trust to lead. It is your right to vote, and many would suggest that it is your responsibility as a citizen, and that means you need to stay informed, so you have the knowledge and wisdom to choose wisely.But, if you spend your time obsessing over politics and arguing with people on social media because they don’t share your politics, you have moved from awareness to distraction. Your power ends at the voting booth unless you support your candidate enough to join their campaign and work for them. You aren’t changing minds, nor are you likely to have yours changed, regardless of the argument.Be More Anti-SocialThe social channels are a wonderful source of information, entertainment, and community engagement. People you know and trust can curate and synthesize information for you, pointing you at what deserves your time and attention. Your friends, connections, and followers can also point you at entertaining content, all of which can keep you up-to-date with popular culture, something that can make you more interesting and a better conversationalist, even if the content doesn’t rise to knowledge, insight, or wisdom.The time you spend on the social channels can quickly take you from awareness to distraction by leading you down a rabbit hole of never-ending novelties.The time you spend in distraction is time that you have stolen from your highest priorities. Your single, finite, non-renewable resource is your most important resource, and you must treat it as such. To do less is to squander this gift. 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 Nowlast_img read more

Leaving Room for Your Client to Discover Something About Themselves

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The very idea of discovery has changed over the last decade. As discovery was trained and taught in the past, the outcome was to uncover the client’s pain or dissatisfaction. While that is still good and useful, it’s now equally—or in many cases, more important—to help the client discover something about themselves, their company, and their future. One of the ways to help them discover something about themselves is to share insights and ideas that make that discovery possible. Another way is to give them room to explore.In The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, I wrote about the importance of listening in a chapter on communication. I described a process of learning to give people more space by waiting four beats before responding to some bit of information the person provides. Later, after I realized that the longer the pause, the more time the person has to reflect on what they’ve just said. By pausing the person has time to adjust, modify, and add context to what they’ve just heard themselves say out loud—maybe for the first time.Leaving More Space to ExploreThe more room you provide the person speaking without interruption, the more room they have to explore their thoughts. The more patient you are, the more confidence the person speaking will have that you are interested in what they have to say, and the more they will continue to talk. The more you provide space for your client to think through things for themselves, the more likely they are to discover something about themselves—especially as it pertains to what they think, feel, and believe they need to do.Going Slow is How You Speed UpOne of the downside risks to leading with insights is that it’s easy to go from idea to implications to recommendations at a pace that exceeds your prospective client’s ability to follow. You know what the right answer is, you know what works, and you know where your dream client needs to go. But they don’t know where you are taking them, and they need more time to understand what you are sharing, what the implications may be for them, and what it might mean to their business.When you leave room for your dream client to explore things for themselves, they have a chance to work through why they need to change for themselves, with you there to facilitate and serve them by helping them think things through. Not only will your client learn something about themselves, but you’ll also learn how best to help them produce better results.last_img read more

Your Personal Growth and Fighting the Drift

first_imgScientists believe that every one of the 37 trillion cells in our body is replaced every seven years, with our bones being replaced every ten or so years. This is not including the 38 trillion or so bacteria contained within your body. I am not a scientist, but I like this as a metaphor for the incredible human capacity to change and intentionally evolve. Even though there is no evidence, I like to imagine that the new cells have different experiences than the cells they replace, which might explain our fantastic capacity to grow and intentionally evolve.So you are born with a complicated genetic inheritance of your two parents, the blueprint for making you. After that, however, you are faced with the choice of becoming what you choose or allowing yourself to become what the world might make of you.Expectations and DriftYour parents have expectations. Your culture has expectations. Your peers have expectations of you, as well, and for some part of your life, these are the most pernicious, especially if you are on a different growth trajectory. Many of the expectations others have for you will be out of line with what you would choose for yourself. You must decide for yourself, even when it is necessary to disappoint other people and to act in opposition, expectations be damned.When I was a kid playing rock-n-roll, I noticed that there was a particular variety of teenage boy who was shy and awkward who would lock themselves in their bedroom for 5 or 6 years with nothing but a stack of records and guitar. They would show up later with longish hair and the ability to shred. They became shredders.I have seen adults enroll in an MBA program or Law School and return as a business manager or leader or lawyer. They made a decision to become something different, and in a couple years, and consistent effort, willed themselves into a different—and sometimes—better version of themselves. I don’t if there was a change at the cellular level, but I know at the level of their identity, they were different.Fighting the DriftAll of this is to remind you of what you already know, but can sometimes forget: You can easily fall prey to the drift, letting go of your intention and letting up on the effort necessary to be more, do more, have more, and contribute more.If you are going to avoid the drift, you are going to have to fight the currents that are working against you, the ones that pull most people in a direction that is not of their choosing.Do good work this week, especially the work of becoming. 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

Time Does Not Kill Deals. These Things Do.

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Experts will tell you that time kills deals. But time doesn’t kill deals, especially if you are engaged in a complex sales, where your buyer doesn’t make the decision frequently enough to know how to make a good decision, and where the decision is vital to their future (i.e., strategic). When time passes and deals die, this is what kills them:No Commitment to ChangeYou are going to engage with prospective clients who are more than willing to explore change with you, the second of the ten commitments you will find in The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales. The reason prospects are willing to engage in exploring change is because they aren’t required to commit to taking action. Instead, they get to discuss their challenges and opportunities so they can start to understand what they might need to do and what kind of changes may be necessary.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. The mistake many salespeople and their managers make is believing that they have an opportunity before the client has agreed they want to move forward with a conversation about change. At some point in a conversation where you are exploring change, you have to ask whether it makes sense to do something now and if your contact is ready to move forward. When you haven’t had a conversation about moving forward, you didn’t lose the deal because of time. Setting aside the fact that you weren’t really working a deal, the reason you don’t have a deal is that your dream client didn’t commit to change.No Commitment to the Next StepWhen it feels like time is killing a deal, time is not to blame. Instead, you are the reason the deal is dying a slow, painful death.Time isn’t the problem; a lack of a client commitment to move forward with whatever comes next in the process is the real culprit. It isn’t time; it is the lack of activity. Time is going to pass whether or not you are taking action, and while you can’t do anything about time (it will pass no matter what), you can do something about the activity. If you don’t want potential deals to die as time goes by, you need to acquire a commitment to take the next step—and your prospective client needs to keep that commitment.The way to keep deals from stalling out and dying is by keeping the momentum by controlling the process, linking together the necessary commitments that allow you to keep the momentum. To do that, you must control the process.Controlling the ProcessDisclaimer: When I write “control the process,” I am not suggesting you try to control the client or control the outcome. Controlling the process doesn’t require that you use a hard sell or pressure them. If you have to pressure other people to take the action you believe will benefit them, you are not a good salesperson. The way we think about controlling the process is by recommending what comes next and ensuring the client understands how they benefit from taking the next step.There is a rule that makes it easier to control the process. It’s called the Trading Value Rule. This rule is that you have to share the reason and the value proposition for the next meeting. If you can’t clearly make a compelling case for what comes next, you can’t expect your dream client to agree to the meeting or keep the commitment if they do agree. You must be able to convey how your prospective client benefits from taking the step. Because you help your clients produce better results, you know better than your client what should come next for companies that succeed in creating new and better outcomes. You struggle when you lose control.Managing NonlinearityIn The Lost Art, I wrote about nonlinearity. The methods described in that book assume that your deal may not take as straight and certain a path as your sales process suggests, or your theory about your client’s buying journey might suggest.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. A framework like the one in The Lost Art is a map providing you with the everyday conversations and commitments a prospect generally makes, but with the caveat that you may not follow the order they appear in the book (time, explore, change, collaborate, consensus, invest, review, resolve concerns, decide, and execute). Even though the list of commitments is useful, there are commitments you may need to gain in order to keep the momentum that doesn’t appear here. You may need to obtain the commitment to provide you with the data you need to assess your client’s current state. I would bundle that under the commitment, “collaborate,” but it may come earlier or later in a particular deal, for reasons that may only make sense in that specific deal.Nobody’s Fault but YoursThe recognition that it is not time that kills deals, but a lack of activity is critical. The time only passes without movement for a couple of reasons, starting with the idea that you have an opportunity before your contacts agree they want to move forward to do something to improve their results.If you leave meetings without acquiring the commitment to what comes next, you have created the circumstances that increase the odds that you have to chase your dream client across time and space, badgering them over voicemail and email. You have also created a gap between one meeting and the next, increasing the time between meetings, should you ever acquire another one with that particular client. The time isn’t a problem you can solve; you can only solve the problem of obtaining the next commitments.If you don’t recognize the need to control the process or the necessity of trading enough value to justify the next meeting, you will likely see time as the obstacle, when in fact, you are the obstacle.If you want to make time your ally, then link together the necessary commitments and spend more time with your contacts engaged in the process of change. The more time you spend with your client, the greater the likelihood you win their business. Time face to face is a competitive advantage. Time without any communication and with no real commitments will cause you to lose deals.last_img read more

How To Start Becoming A Better Version Of Yourself

first_imgThe most significant barrier to producing the results you want stares back at you from your mirror when you are brushing your teeth.Because we are running headlong into a new decade, my focus is on the next ten years. It will be ten years ago on December 28th that I decided to write and post daily here. I had every intention of creating specific results in my life, and I began the serious work of pursuing my written goals. Because most people fail to succeed in achieving their New Year’s Resolutions, I never start anything on January 1st.I have used the following device in prior work here, some you may have read, others may have escaped your attention. But it does such a good job shifting your focus and providing clarity, we need it here.Future YouFuture You is the person you want to be, say, ten years from now. It’s the version of you that you are becoming, and every decision you take between now and ten years from now is going to determine who you are when this time has passed. The best way to think about what you must do now is to look back from the view of Future You. Future You provides better guidance on the decisions you make than Present You.Present You wants to hit the snooze button three times when your alarm alerts you that it’s time to get up and get moving. Present You seeks comfort. Future You wants you to exercise the self-discipline to get up and start your day in a way that prepares you to be productive with your time.Present You seeks the novelty and escapism you find on the social sites, the screens, and your smartphone (an inaccurate description of the device). Future You believes you should be working on the most important outcomes you want in your life. Future You thinks, as focused as you are on your work, you need to be even more intentional about your relationships outside of work, the ones that matter most.Present Me wanted to watch college football all day. Present Me loves college football. Future Me compromised and allowed me to watch one game with Cher before we went to dinner. Future Me was uncompromising as it pertained to my writing, ensuring that I wrote just over 3,000 words of what will be book number four.The Next DecadeYesterday, people on Facebook were posting a picture of themselves from ten years ago and today as part of some kind “challenge” (a challenge that is probably training Facebook’s algorithm to recognize faces over time). As you might imagine, the subjects of these pictures have changed over the last decade. The physical changes are visible, but what and how the person changed on the inside is invisible.The next ten years are going to pass faster than you would want them to, and at some point, you are going to meet Future You. What is the Future You going to look like? In what ways will you have grown? What will you have accomplished over that decade? What will your life look like ten years from now?Let other people make New Year’s Resolutions. Let others allow Present Them to break their resolutions on January 4th. You spend time with Future You writing down and making plans for who you are going to become and what you are going to accomplish over the next decade. 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

Scuffle erupts in Gujarat Assembly, three injured

first_imgThe Gujarat Assembly on Thursday witnessed ugly scenes as members of the Opposition and the ruling party exchanged blows, leaving three injured. They also hurled abuses at each other.Two Congress MLAs, including Baldevji Thakor, and BJP MLA and junior minister Nirmala Vadhwani received minor injuries when members rushed to the Well of the House and started exchanging blows. Congress MLA Baldevji Thakor being administered first aid.   Following the clashes, Speaker Ramanlal Vora adjourned the House for some time.The trouble arose when Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani asked about the reasons for farmers’ suicides in Amreli district and heated arguments followed, culminating in the fracas.Senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil termed the incident “black day” for democracy and accused the ruling party members of attacking the Opposition members.After the House was reconvened, the Speaker suspended two Congress MLAs for starting the clashes.Mr. Thakor said he would file a police complaint against BJP MLAs for the attack on him.Watch the video here:last_img read more

Cuttack ATM looters held in U.P.

first_imgThe City police have cracked a cyber crime involving economic offence and have arrested two youths from Uttar Pradesh in this connection. The police have seized over ₹2 lakh in cash and several fake ATM cards, PAN cards, press cards, voter identity cards and Aadhaar cards from them.The Cantonment police here last month received a complaint from a cash dispensing agency that manages several ATM kiosks in the city, alleging that about ₹1.7 lakh cash went missing in two city ATMs on February 5 evening during a short interruption of power supply.After examining the CCTV footages and bank transactions, the city police zeroed in on one Gafur Malik and his accomplice Sonu Malik of Ghaziabad district in UP. “Both had earlier worked as ATM operators,” said city DCP Sanjib Arora.last_img read more

J&K Houses adopt GST resolution

first_imgBoth the Houses of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature on Wednesday passed a resolution adopting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) through a presidential order. Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said GST would be implemented “under the ambit of Article 370, ensuring adequate safeguards for special status.”He said the State would bring the GST Council under Article 370 to protect the State’s fiscal autonomy.“We are proposing that Article 370 shall not be compromised in any way through the presidential order. The GST Council should not be a way to subvert the process and enough safeguards are built to empower the constituents of J&K in the Council. Besides, the exclusive powers of the State to tax and the consolidated fund of J&K shall not be impaired,” said Mr. Drabu.He said Article 370, which gives special status to the State, should be “used for development and empowerment.” “Instead, the issue is being used as a tool to whip up passions and draw political mileage. It is being used for creating fake controversies,” he said. Addressing fears raised by the business community here, he said, “Industry exemptions and tax remissions will continue both from the Centre and the State Government under the new tax regime.”Rejecting the opposition Congress and National Conference’s (NC) demand “to pass [J&K’s] own GST Bill” and “seek changes to the 101st amendment of the Constitution of India” to safeguard J&K’s fiscal autonomy, Mr. Drabu said: “Section 5 of the Constitution of J&K, which gives it special taxation powers, will not be amended under any circumstances. It will open a Pandora’s Box that will have implications on J&K’s special constitutional position.”Describing the GST Council as a “truly federal institution”, Mr. Drabu said, “India is moving from coercive to cooperative federalism.”Both the houses passed the GST resolution with a voice vote. It was followed by the procedural meeting of the State Cabinet in Srinagar.The NC and Congress were seen raising slogans in protest against the passage of the GST resolution.Curbs in SrinagarRestrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar as several anti-GST trade bodies’ leaders remained under lock-up since Tuesday.Concertina wires were placed on all routes in areas connecting seven politicians in the city. Security forces disallowed movement of people or vehicles.A shutdown call, issued by traders against the government clampdown on business leaders, saw many major markets closed in Kashmir. Meanwhile, separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik described the GST as the “latest assault on J&K.”The separatist leaders have asked the J&K Coordination Committee, a body of traders, “to look into the issue and safeguard any further dilution of the special status, which in turn affects the disputed nature of the Kashmir issue.”last_img read more

Big test for Adityanath on Sunday

first_imgThe prestige of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is at stake as Gorakhpur and Phulpur go to vote on Sunday in the Lok Sabha bypolls.While the BJP, which rules UP with an overwhelming majority, has all to lose, the stakes are also high for the Opposition after BSP chief Mayawati went out of character and announced support to the Samajwadi Party (SP). The compatibility of the SP and BSP working together will be assessed on March 14, when results are declared.Prestige, caste equationsThe contest will not only determine the popularity of Mr. Adityanath and assess the ground situation of his colleague Keshav Prasad Maurya but also test the experiment of caste equations by both sides, in particularly Akhilesh Yadav, who has tried to stitch together a rainbow of castes.In Gorakhpur, the BJP has fielded its regional office-bearer Upendra Shukla, a Brahmin, in what appears to be an attempt to calm the Brahmin-Thakur tensions that surfaced in the constituency after Mr. Adityanath’s rise to Lucknow.Besides, Mr. Shukla, if he wins, will become the first MP in Gorakhpur since 1989 to not belong to the Gorakhnath temple. The SP has also attempted a social experiment in Gorakhpur by nominating an outsider, Praveen Nishad as its candidate. Mr. Praveen Nishad, an engineer by profession, belongs to the Nishad Party of which his father Sanjay Nishad is president.Nishads have a good presence in the rural pockets of Gorakhpur and in the 2017 Assembly elections the Nishad Party secured over 60,000 votes in the three Assembly segments it contested in Gorakhpur. The community, an OBC, is associated with riverine life and counts bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi among their icons. Picking a Nishad is also an attempt by Akhilesh Yadav to cast a wider net of caste equation and bridge the gap between the SP’s core social base of Yadavs and other major OBC communities, the conflict between whom the BJP exploited last year.Old rivalryAdd to that Ms. Mayawati’s core Jatav Dalit voters and Muslims, it becomes a formidable proposition, at least on paper. However, the incompatibility of Yadavs and Jatavs due to prolonged SP-BSP rivalry could prove to be a spoiler.In Phulpur, both the SP and BJP have fielded Kurmis, who are arithmetically dominant in the constituency. The BJP won the seat for the first time in 2014 under the Modi wave and will consider it the tougher of the two contests. The seat also has a good number of Yadavs and Muslims and three rural segments where the SP and BSP alliance will be tested.The SP’s Nagendra Patel will take on the BJP’s Kaushalendra Patel while the Congress is also in the fray with Manish Mishra. The equation in Phulpur turned complicated for the SP as its rebel Atiq Ahmed, a jailed former MP, filed nomination. Not only does Atiq have the potential to cut into Muslim votes but also turn the contest into a polarised fight, which will suit the BJP.In 2014, the BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya won the seat by over 3 lakh votes, securing over 50% votes. In Gorakhpur too, the party crossed the halfway mark, winning by over 3 lakh votes.Akhilesh’s roadshowOn the eve of the voting, Akhilesh Yadav shared pictures of his roadshow in Phulpur on Twitter and said the people were “restless to vote the cycle” and give a fitting reply to the BJP for its “disruptive politics,” false promises, looting of banks and woes of farmers, traders and unemployed youths.Over 39 lakh voters will decide the fate of 32 candidates in the two constituencies. Among them are only three women, including the Congress’ Surhita Karim in Gorakhpur.The UP Chief Election Officer’s office said 4,728 EVM control units, 7,098 ballot units and 4,728 VVPATS have been deployed for the polls. “VVPAT facility will be available at all voting centres,” it said in a statement.last_img read more

Din in Odisha Assembly over Mahanadi dispute

first_imgThe dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi water dominated the Odisha Assembly proceedings when the second phase of the budget session began here on Wednesday.The House witnessed noisy scenes as the legislators of the ruling Biju Janata Dal stood up on their seats as soon as the Question Hour began and raised slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing it of conspiring to deprive Odisha of its share of the Mahanadi water.The BJD legislators demanded that concrete measures be initiated by the Centre for functioning of the tribunal set up to resolve the Mahanadi dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.When Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the proceedings, the BJD members staged a dharna near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi inside the Assembly premises.The ruling party lawmakers accused the Centre of being partial towards Chhattisgarh in the Mahanadi issue. They claimed that the river had dried up in Odisha because of a conspiracy.Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra blamed the BJD for creating a ruckus in the House leading to adjournment.The Mahanadi issue is likely to remain in focus as the BJD has announced to organise a conference of people’s representatives from 15 districts on April 15 to decide the future course of action to get adequate water of the river for Odisha.last_img read more

Quarries near Kaziranga National Park come under scanner

first_imgAssam’s Director General of Police has asked the Karbi Anglong district police chief to submit an action taken report on a complaint against illegal stone quarrying and mining within 10 km of the boundary of the Kaziranga National Park.On April 20 the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had asked the Assam government to immediately stop all mining, quarrying and stone crushing activities in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape. The 884 sq. km. Kaziranga, home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinos, is also a major tiger habitat.The quarries are lined along the hills of Karbi Anglong beyond the southern edge of the National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of these are in the corridors animals use to escape when Kaziranga is flooded.“You are requested to enquire (into) the issue (and) take necessary action as per law and submit an action taken report to this headquarters for the perusal of the director general of police, at the earliest,” the August 7 order from the DGP’s office to the superintendent of police of Karbi Anglong district said.The order was “in view of the complaint” environmental activist Rohit Choudhury had filed with the Assam Chief Secretary on July 20 in violation of the Supreme Court (SC)’s order in December 4, 2006.“In spite of repeated written complaints to various authorities with regard to illegal mining in Karbi Anglong hills adjoining the Kaziranga Naitonal Park and Tiger Reserve, the stone mafia in connivance with local political leaders and government officials are running the stone mines non-stop, destroying all elephant habitats and animal corridors,” Mr. Choudhury said.“I hope the CM will take action to stop the stone mining syndicate and implement the SC’s 2006 order,” he said.last_img read more

Aligarh ‘encounter’: 10 booked for abducting kin of deceased

first_imgThe controversy over the alleged fake encounter of two suspected criminals here took a new twist on Friday with the police booking 10 activists, including Aligarh Muslim University and Jawaharlal Nehru University student leaders, saying they had abducted family members of one of the deceased.The case was registered at Atrauli police station on Thursday on the basis of a complaint filed by the wife of Mustaqeem (22), one of the suspected criminals shot dead in the encounter, Hina, SHO Pervaish Rana said.The activists have been charged with abducting Mustaqeem’s mother and grandmother.The group of activists included JNU student leader Umar Khalid, but he has not been named in the complaint.Those named in the complaint include activists of “United Against Hate” forum, including former presidents of AMU Students’ Union Masqoor Usmani and Faizul Hasan, Mr. Rana said.According to Mr. Hasan, the activists visited Mustaqeem’s residence on Thursday and assured his family members of all possible legal aid in their quest for justice.The group then visited Atrauli police station and raised the issue of alleged harassment of Mustaqeem’s family members by police.Mr. Hasan claimed that while the group was talking to the SHO, some local right-wing activists came and tried to browbeat them into leaving the place. An argument ensued and the police had to intervene.Mustaqeem’s mother, Shabana, and grandmother, Rafiquan, then left with the activists, who were apparently going to Delhi. Following this, the police registered the abduction complaint.On September 20, Mustaqeem and another alleged criminal Naushad, who carried a bounty of ₹25,000 each on their heads, were killed in an encounter with police in Harduaganj here.Police had claimed that the two, who were riding a motorcycle, opened fire at policemen when they tried to stop them at a checkpost.A chase and exchange of fire ensued in which Mustaqeem and Naushad were grievously injured; they later succumbed to injuries.Before they died on the way to a hospital, they confessed to their involvement in the killing of two sadhus earlier this month, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahani had said.However, Naushad’s mother had refuted the charges and claimed that the two did not have any criminal record.last_img read more

Can you give Goa CM’s health report in sealed cover: HC

first_imgThe High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday asked the State government if a medical report specifying the health condition of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar could be presented to court in sealed cover.Hearing a petition filed by a local politician Trajano D’Mello, who has sought to know the health status of Mr. Parrikar, Justice R.M. Borde also asked the government consul whether the Chief Secretary could argue for the right to privacy of behalf of the Chief Minister of a State, and also whether he had consulted Mr. Parrikar before filing the affidavit last week. The petitioner has said that Mr. Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, has not attended any official meeting outside his private residence for more than a month now, bringing the entire administration to a grinding halt.Advocate General Dattaprasad Lawande is expected to appear before the court on Wednesday and argue on the observations made by the High Court on the petition.In his affidavit, the Chief Secretary said the petition was political in nature and the health status of Mr. Parrikar could not be disclosed on grounds of privacy.last_img read more

Astronomers measure precise distance to controversial star cluster

first_imgVisible to the naked eye and a stunning sight through binoculars, the Pleiades star cluster seems an unlikely place for controversy. Yet for 2 decades debate has raged over how far the cluster is from Earth. Now, radio astronomers claim they have determined a definitive distance, but their result contradicts a European satellite whose chief mission was measuring stellar distances—and illustrates how a newly launched spacecraft may soon provoke controversy itself.Distance is crucial in astronomy. Without knowing a star’s distance, you don’t know how powerful it is. If a star is twice as far as you had thought, it emits four times more light than you thought. The Pleiades cluster is young and nearby, so it gives astronomers the chance to study stars that are just starting their lives. But the stars’ luminosities, diameters, and ages are elusive without knowing the cluster’s distance.The platinum standard for measuring stellar distance is parallax. This is the small apparent movement a star exhibits each year because observers view it from slightly different perspectives as Earth circles the sun. The farther the star, the smaller is the parallax.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(*)Parallax is so vital that in 1989 the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the Hipparcos satellite, which measured parallaxes of more than 100,000 stars. Unfortunately, a booster aboard the satellite failed to fire, leaving the satellite in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth and complicating analysis of the data. The Pleiades controversy erupted in 1997, when Hipparcos scientists released the parallax data and said the cluster was much closer to us than had been thought, implying that its stars were much less luminous and that stellar models were incorrect.Now, radio astronomers have joined the controversy. Carl Melis of the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues linked 13 radio telescopes into an intercontinental array that yielded views so sharp they surpass the Hubble Space Telescope. As the scientists report online today in Science, they measured parallaxes of four Pleiads whose average distance turned out to be 444 light-years with an uncertainty of just 4 light-years—a far greater distance than the figure of 392 light-years that Hipparcos scientists favor.”They don’t really have a leg to stand on anymore,” Melis says. “This should be the end of it.”Not so, counters Floor van Leeuwen of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the astronomer who has defended the Hipparcos result for the last 17 years. “I don’t think it resolves anything,” he says. “They’ve got four stars,” whereas Hipparcos used 53. But Melis says his parallaxes are much more precise than those from Hipparcos and agree with other non-Hipparcos parallaxes.Astronomer Marc Pinsonneault of Ohio State University, Columbus, has no connection to Hipparcos or the radio astronomers who did the new research. “I think this is actually a very nice piece of work,” he says. “It’s an independent technique, and one that is quite precise.” Pinsonneault suspects Hipparcos erred because of its unfortunate orbit; although scientists tried to correct for this problem, he says the Pleiades lies in a part of the sky where the correction was difficult to measure. Also, the cluster is sufficiently distant that its parallax is small, making it hard to measure as well.All three scientists agree on what it will take to resolve the controversy: Gaia, a powerful new spacecraft that ESA launched last December, will measure parallaxes of a billion stars—including hundreds in the Pleiades—so that by the end of the decade we should finally know how far the cluster is from Earth. Whatever the final outcome, however, the ongoing debate over the Pleiades suggests that Gaia itself may provoke controversy when it measures distances to stars at the far end of its vision, if the findings contradict what astronomers thought they knew.last_img read more

Photo gallery: The oldest known insect parasite

first_imgIn what may be the oldest known example of one insect parasitizing another, researchers have unearthed a 52-million-year-old fossil of a beetle that takes advantage of an ant. This unusual specimen has many of the same traits as modern beetle parasites (see photo above) and is shedding new light on when and why ants first started welcoming strangers into their nests.These parasites are quite odd-looking as beetles go. So-called myrmecophilous (ant-loving) insects, they have evolved special brushes on their backs that secrete a substance the ants adore. This love potion makes the ant feed the beetle mouth to mouth and treat it like kin (as in the video below). Parker and Grimaldi, Specialized Myrmecophily at the Ecological Dawn of Modern Ants, CurrentBiology (2014), //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.068 Paleoentomologist David Grimaldi of the American Museum of Natural History first found the fossil beetle (see below) while analyzing the insects in 52-million-year-old amber in India. When he showed it to entomologist Joseph Parker of Columbia University, “my jaw hit the floor,” Parker recalls, because he didn’t think the ant-beetle relationship could be so old. The fossil beetle, dubbed Protoclaviger, is a missing link; it looks like its modern relatives, except that the head still has reduced mouthparts reminiscent of a nonparasitic existence when the mouthparts were used to catch prey, and abdomen is still segmented as in most insects, they report online today in Current Biology. The duo thinks the beetle evolved about 73 million years ago and spent the next 10 million years adapting to life among the ants, which were not very common at the time. In this 52-million-year-old amber from India, ants represent 6% of the insects, but in 20-million-year-old amber, they make up about 36%, having really taken off. Protoclaviger gave rise to rove beetles called Clavigeritae, which include more than 369 ant-loving species. Finding that these parasites predate the ants’ ascent indicates that these beetles diversified in parallel to the diversification of ants and not afterward, as many scientists have thought.center_img Parker and Grimaldi, Specialized Myrmecophily at the Ecological Dawn of Modern Ants, CurrentBiology (2014), //dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.068 The ants carry the beetle, dropping it off in the brood chamber, where it eats eggs and larvae. The beetles can’t survive on their own as they are quite specialized, with a head that’s basically a straw for taking liquid from the ants’ mouth and a much reduced, nonsegmented abdomen that toughens their bodies to withstand rough handling by the ants (seen in the picture below).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

Drones don’t faze birds

first_imgIf you’re worried about the increasing number of drones that fill the skies, perhaps you should just chill out like birds do. In an effort to establish ethical guidelines for observing our feathered friends, scientists approached mallards, flamingos, and greenshanks with a quadcopter drone more than 200 times and watched for signs of disturbance. The researchers varied the color of the drone from black to blue to white; they approached at speeds of 2, 4, 6, and 8 m/s; and they approached at angles of 20°, 30°, 60°, and 90°. According to the results published online today in Biology Letters, the drone’s speed and color had no effect on whether the birds were bothered by the drone. The only variable that perturbed any of the three species was the angle of approach: When the drone dropped down on the birds from directly overhead (90°), all three species showed signs of disturbance such as moving away from the drone or flying away entirely. No other approach angles appeared to irk the avians at all. Although this is encouraging for the future of drone observation, scientists point out that the birds may be experiencing stresses that aren’t obvious to observers, such as increased heart rate or adrenaline flux. And although flamingos and greenshanks are known for their high sensitivity to disturbance, they’re not representative of all birds. In particular, the researchers point out the wealth of Internet videos depicting birds of prey attacking drones.last_img read more

The Second Most Powerful Person in India After Narendra Modi, According to Forbes

first_imgOther than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the only other Indian who features in “The World’s Most Powerful People” list released by Forbes is Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. The richest Indian with a net worth of $41.2 billion is ranked 32nd in the list. On Ambani, Forbes said the billionaire industrialist’s Reliance sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio in 2016.Read it at Financial Express Related Itemslast_img read more