Closing End of Year Business

first_imgIdentify all opportunities. If you have to close business before the end of the year, the first thing to do is to make sure you have a full accounting of all open, real sales opportunities. Make sure that no stone is left unturned, and that you include even early sales cycle opportunities in your review.Verify all opportunities against your sales process. If you are going to move some of these opportunities across the line before the end of the year, you’re going to need to make sure that the stage in which they exist in your sales process is accurate. Inspect each opportunity and make sure that all of the necessary outcomes in each stage have been accomplished. Also make certain that you know–and your salesperson knows–exactly what the next outcome is that will move that opportunity forward.Identify prospective clients with a compelling reason to change. Your prospective clients move faster when they have a compelling reason to change. Some of the opportunities in your pipeline may be real, but they may also be opportunities where your prospective client doesn’t have the most compelling reason to change. Without a compelling reason to change, your prospective client won’t feel any urgency to move forward now. Because you have limited time, you need to focus specifically on opportunities that have a compelling reason to change because they are most likely to give you Inc. before the end of the year.Ensure that the next action you need to take is on the calendar and that the client has committed. You will have opportunities in your pipeline where the next action has not yet been scheduled. You’ll also have opportunities where the customer has not made a commitment to take that next action. In either case, whether the salesperson hasn’t taken action, or where the prospect hasn’t committed, you need these actions and commitments taken now.Explore potential meetings with multiple stakeholders at multiple levels. If the opportunity is real, and the prospective customer has a real compelling reason to change, you can help them move faster, by engaging with different stakeholders at different levels. Make sure that your leadership team has met with their leadership team, and that they are getting what they want and recognize your company’s total commitment to helping them. If their technical team has questions, make sure your technical team is answering their questions. A lot of times stakeholders who you overlook or avoid will do everything in their power to stall your deal. Make sure you take care of them.Increase the value of your opportunity. Please note that I did not write to drop your price or offer a special discount. That is what you do when you have no additional value that you can create. Get a small group of smart people together from your team and figure out how to increase the value of the opportunity. What can you add to make the offer more compelling? What can you do to meet some of your prospective clients needs in a way that makes your solution more enticing to them. When you have this list, schedule a meeting with key stakeholders and present your ideas.Work backwards from December 31. If you are not in the habit of asking your prospective client what date would be the best “go live” date for them, it’s a little late to start. But, you can lay out the start date of January 1, and you can work backwards to identify all the milestones necessary to make the data a reality for your prospective client. Sometimes showing them the steps can help them to move faster. If you can show them an ROI based on that start date, all the better. It may be compelling. If you need to close business at the end of the year, you already have a problem. The challenges with “closing business” that you need to make your number at the end of the year are exactly the same challenges you have losing weight fast or getting rich quick: it’s too late, and you don’t have enough time.But that said, doing nothing isn’t an option. You have to take action and try to close end of year business. 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

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What You Resist Is What Most Needs Done

first_imgThere is work you need to do, but you resist that work. You know you need to do this work, how to do this work, the importance of doing it, and when it needs to be done. Yet, that work sits, not yet started and nowhere near finished, the source of your procrastination unknown and unresolved.There are a number of sources of procrastination that, once identified, can be overcome.Comfort: It is easy to seek comfort over work. Work requires that you lean in, giving what needs to be done your focus and energy. Comfort doesn’t require the same focus or energy. Comfort allows you to lean back, to be still and passive instead of creating movement and proactivity. Comfort is warm, easy, and seductive. Unless you give yourself over to it, your work may not be any of these.Entertaining Distractions: You live in an age of infinite distractions, the smallest and largest of which lives in your left hand or your pocket. In any case, it is never more than a few feet away from you. You have news, television, radio, movies, magazines, video games, the internet, cameras, video cameras, online shopping, and countless other distractions vying for your attention. Then there are text messages, phone calls, and notifications. Distractions provide entertainment and escapism, making them something easier than work.Conflict: You may avoid some of the work that you need to do because you have conflicts around that work. Is it the right work for you to do? Is it something that you should have said no to when asked? Is it something you believe should not be done or should be done some other way? These conflicts can be the root cause of procrastination.Fear: When work is creative in nature and opens you up to being judged by others, the fear of that judgment can be the source of your procrastination. If the work is great, some may still be critical. If the work is poor, some will still find it valuable. Procrastination prevents you from acting and sharing your gift with the world, making the unattainable goal of perfection so far out of reach so as to make it difficult to start.For whatever reason, by allowing what most needs to be done to go undone, you move the results you need to produce further away from you, shorten the time you have to do the work, and increase the stress—and the eventual negative consequences of not having done it.What most needs done is what you most resist. Understand why you resist and do the work that most needs done right 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 Nowlast_img read more

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Gujarat Rajya Sabha poll: papers accepted

first_imgOverruling written objections seeking cancellation of nomination papers, election authorities on Tuesday accepted nominations of BJP and Congress nominees for four Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. The nomination of an independent candidate was rejected as it did not have the support of required number of legislators as per the rule.“We have accepted nomination papers of all candidates except one after scrutiny,” a top official involved in the scrutiny process told The Hindu. For four seats, the BJP has three candidates, the Congress has two while one independent candidate backed by the Congress is in the fray.last_img read more

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CPI(M)-BJP join hands at grassroot level to fight TMC

first_imgArch-rivals BJP and the CPI(M) have joined hands at the grassroot level in Nadia district to defeat the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the upcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal.Describing it as a “formal seat-sharing adjustment”, CPI(M) Nadia district secretary and state committee member Sumit De leader said that the party had to opt for seat adjustment in many seats as several villagers wanted a one-to-one fight against the TMC.It has nothing to do with the party’s policy, he added.The BJP’s north Nadia district unit president termed the development as an “isolated incident.”The bonhomie first came to light in the last week of April when both parties organised a joint protest rally in Karimpur-Ranaghat area of Nadia district against the alleged violence of the TMC during the panchayat poll process.Cadre of both parties carried their respective flags during the protest.Senior CPI(M) leader and state committee member Rama Biswas, who was present at the joint rally of the BJP and CPI(M), admitted that a rally had been taken out by villagers against the violence of the TMC.West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh too admitted that supporters of the BJP and the CPI(M) were present at the rally “I have received information that we had called a rally against the violence of the TMC. CPI(M) workers also came and joined our protest rally as they too were attacked,” Mr. Ghosh told PTI.A senior state BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, said in areas where the BJP could not field a candidate “it has given enough hints to the voters and party cadres to counter the TMC which has unleashed violence.”Agreeing that such “isolated incidents” had taken place, the BJP north Nadia district president Mahadeb Sarkar said, “In some seats where we could not field candidates, our workers at the grassroot level have extended support to independent candidates“.“In most cases, these independent candidates are actually CPI(M) workers”, he said.In several gram panchayat seats of Nadia-Karimpur area, BJP candidates were asked to withdraw their nominations so that the CPI(M) could fight against the TMC and vice-versa, a district BJP leader said.In those seats, the party (either CPI(M) or BJP) which has not fielded any candidate is campaigning for the other one to defeat the TMC, the BJP leader of Nadia’s Karimpur area, who did not wish to be named, said.CPI(M) central committee leader Sujan Chakraborty said few “isolated incidents” should not to used to judge the CPI(M)’s political line against BJP.“We are the only party in India which has the most clear approach against BJP and its communal policies. We are not like the TMC which is not serious about fighting BJP. Our policies should not be judged based on isolated incidents. In panchayat polls, such isolated incidents do happen. You will find it in other parties also”, Mr. Chakraborty said.The TMC claimed that the political development in Nadia only proves that the BJP and the CPI(M) are having a “tacit understanding in Bengal.”“We are not surprised as we were aware of such developments in various districts. Only the TMC is serious about fighting the BJP and its anti-people policies,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.According to West Bengal SEC (State Election Commission) sources, of the 48,650 seats in 3,358 gram panchayats, 16,814 were uncontested and of the 9,217 seats in 341 panchayat samitis, 3,059 were uncontested.In the 20 zilla parishads, 203 of the 825 seats were uncontested, they said.last_img read more

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Punjab govt. submits report on STF probe

first_imgThe Punjab government on Wednesday submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court a report of the committee that was constituted to look into the report prepared by Special Task Force of Punjab Police on the alleged role of former Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a drugs trade case.Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda said that the court had directed the government to submit its opinion on the STF report. The STF had submitted its report to the High Court on February 1.“After court’s direction the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had set-up a committee of Home Secretary N.S Kalsi and DGP Suresh Arora. Today, we have submitted the report in a sealed cover to the court,” he said.last_img read more

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Ara hooch tragedy: life term for 14

first_imgA local court in Ara of Bihar’s Bhojpur district on Saturday, awarded life imprisonment to 14 persons, and 10-year jail term to one person, in the December 2012 hooch tragedy case in which 21 people died.Additional District and Sessions Judge-1 Ramesh Chandra Dwivedi, had on July 24 held all the 15 accused guilty, under various sections of the IPC, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Excise Act. Out of the 15 accused, five are women. The court was to pronounce the quantum of sentence against them on July 26, but it was postponed to Saturday.Twenty one people from the Mahadalit community of Mushari Tola of Anaith village under Nawada police station of Ara in Bhojpur district had died in a span of three days, after consuming illegal country-made liquor in 2012, sparking widespread protests.last_img read more

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Farmers’ plight comes to the fore

first_imgMore issues of distress to farmers and the government’s alleged indifference to their plight have come up during the ongoing ‘Khet Bachao Kisan Bachao’ (save farms, save farmers) yatra, which started from Nindar village, near here, on July 11 to highlight their sufferings. One of the issues identified in the villages relates to the agricultural power bills.Yatra’s convenor Nagendra Singh Shekhawat said here on Monday that the march had so far covered more than 150 villages and found that the farmers were being forced to pay bills for agricultural power on a monthly basis. “This is an additional burden on farmers who are not getting fair prices for their crops,” Mr. Shekhawat said.Farmers’ leaders participating in the yatra demanded that the bills for agricultural electricity connections be issued once in six months, coinciding with the crop cycle. Mr. Shekhawat said if the State government did not resolve the issue by August 20, the farmers would launch an agitation. The farmers were not only being denied remunerative prices for their crops, vegetables and dairy products, but their land was also being acquired without consent, said Mr. Shekhawat. Moreover, there was no scheme for supply of water for irrigation in the entire Jaipur district which falls in the dark zone with a low groundwater level, he said.“This is deliberately being done in order to convert agricultural farms into barren land, which may later be acquired for industrial units,” said Mr. Shekhawat.last_img read more

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Poor turnout in second phase of Jammu and Kashmir municipal polls

first_imgKashmir Valley’s voter turnout for the second phase of urban local body elections on Wednesday recorded lowest turnout of 3.4% in contrast to Jammu region’s 78.6%, taking the average turnout to just 31.3%.“In Jammu division, 78.6% polling was witnessed in 214 wards, while Kashmir division witnessed average 3.4% polling in 49 wards with Bandipora recording the highest, 35.6%. In Jammu, highest turnout of 84.4% was recorded in Reasi,” said Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra.The first phase of polls in the Kashmir Valley had witnessed 8.3% turnout. “The combined percentage remains 8.3% in Kashmir division for the two phases,” said Mr. Kabra.Sixty-five wards have already been won uncontested for the second phase.Summer capital Srinagar recorded just 2.24% turnout in 20 wards, with just 4,169 voters casting their vote out of 1,86,085.The images of a civilian from Srinagar’s Chattabal area, Adil Ahmad Yadoo, being mowed down by a police vehicle on May 5 this year is still vivid in the memory of voters here. Of the 8,740 voters, none came out to vote in Chattabal ward.“We have witnessed a bloody year so far. These polls are being projected as a sign of normalcy in Kashmir. The voting percentage in my area is the peaceful way to put across our anger and frustration over the Kashmir issue,” said Majid Khan, a neighbour of deceased Yadoo.In the volatile Tankipora area of the city, only eight came out to vote out of 10,369 voters. Most wards in Srinagar registered less than 100 votes all day. The poor voter turnout emboldens the chances of the BJP and the Congress candidates to win the wards for the first time in J&K’s electoral history as both regional parties, the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, are boycotting the polls.In south Kashmir’s Anantnag, five of the nine wards witnessed no polling all day. Witness to many encounters and street protests this year, Anantnag witnessed the lowest, less than 2% voting. Only 374 (1.13 per cent) votes were cast in 16 wards, comprising 32,904 voters.The boycott means Kashmiri migrant Pandit Sheila Koul Handoo, 62, a BJP candidate from Cheeni Chowk, has won. “Over 450 migrant votes have been polled in my favour. I am the winner from the ward,” said Ms. Handoo, whose husband Shadi Lal Bhat is contesting from another municipal ward and hoping to win it too. The BJP has fielded 30 migrant Pandit candidates and six have already won uncontested in south Kashmir.All five districts of Kashmir Valley — Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara and Srinagar — witnessed the impact of the boycott and the turnout stayed under 5%, except for Bandipora, which recorded 32% turnout. There were long queues at many booths in Bandipora, where is home town of rebel Peoples Democratic Party MLC Yasir Reshi and sitting Congress MLA Usman Majeed.“We have come to vote to dislodge the monopoly of the NC and PDP, both run by families. It’s a vote for change,” said a voter at Inderkote Sumbal on the condition of anonymity.Day passes off peacefullyNo violence was reported during the second phase of polling. Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said security forces managed the polls peacefully “because of their coordination”. “We are hopeful that the two coming phases will be equally peaceful,” said DGP Singh.Anti-militancy operations came down in the state during the run-up to the pollsK. No major operation was carried out this month.last_img read more

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Prashant Kishor gets down to business

first_imgA week after being appointed national vice president of the ruling Janata Dal (United), Prashant Kishor has got down to doing what he does best — craft election strategies. Over the past two days, he met hundreds of youngsters with the aim of putting together a “youth brigade” that will publicise the achievements of the Nitish Kumar-led government across the State.Open invitation Mr. Kishor had extended his invitation through a Facebook page announcement, in which youngsters keen on meeting him were asked to fill up a form with detailed information about themselves, ranging from name, contact numbers and occupation to their parliamentary constituency, gram panchayat, voter ID number, etc. His team then scrutinised the forms and 260 youngsters were invited for a meeting with Mr. Kishor on Sunday at the Chief Minister’s second official bungalow, 7, Circular Road. The marathon meeting lasted from noon to 4 p.m. On Monday, as many as 250 young JD(U) leaders and workers and members of the party’s student wing were invited for another meeting which also went on for hours.Some of those who attended the Monday meeting told The Hindu that Mr. Kishor gave them tips on how to highlight the work done by Nitish Kumar-led governments in the past 13 years. “It happened both ways, an interactive meeting peppered with questions and answers,” said one of them, Rajiv Kumar. “He also told us how to use social media for publicity and how to help people differentiate between the Nitish Kumar government and the previous RJD [Rashtriya Janata Dal] regime,” said another attendee.Booth to State levelPeople close to Mr. Kishor said his planned youth brigade would work from booth to the State level during the upcoming parliamentary and State Assembly elections.A month after he joined the JD(U), Mr. Kishor was appointed the party’s national vice president on October 16. His entry into the party and quick elevation — on top of the Chief Minister’s earlier comments that Mr. Kishor was its “future” — has called heartburn among some senior party leaders. “Nitish Kumar, in fact, wanted to clip the wings of some of his senior party leaders, so he brought in Prashant Kishor,” claimed a senior party leader.The Opposition RJD, however, appears unfazed. “It seems Nitish Kumar has lost faith in his party leaders, so he brought in a professional to run the party,” senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari said. Party MLA and spokesperson Bhai Birendra said, “Whatever he (Kishor) does, whether he meets youngsters or others, nothing will work this time. People have made up their mind to dethrone Nitish Kumar.” The Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leaders said Mr. Kishor’s formula will prove a damp squib in the upcoming elections.last_img read more

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TMC factional feud comes out in open

first_imgThe factional feud in the Trinamool Congress has come out in the open with the killings of three of its supporters at Joynagar in the State’s South 24 Parganas district on Thursday.Supporters of the TMC created a ruckus outside the Joynagar police station on Friday. TMC district president Subhasish Chakraborty also faced protests when he went to hold a political meeting in the district. Three persons who were travelling in the vehicle of local MLA Biswanath Das were shot dead at a petrol pump late on Thursday evening. The MLA had got off the vehicle a few minutes before the attack. Mr. Das said that his supporters were upset after the attack and that resulted in the protests. TMC supporters were publicly seen beating up a person outside the police station, accusing him of being involved in the attack. Some party supporters were seen saying that were being used as cannon fodder in the rivalry between two factions of the party.Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department of the West Bengal police took over the case on Friday. Since Thursday evening, 11 people have been arrested in connection with the murders. The police are looking at CCTV footage at the petrol pump to identify the accused who fired on the TMC MLA’s vehicle. The vehicle has been impounded and will be sent for forensic examination. The police seized bombs from the site.last_img read more

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‘J&K’s silent majority unheard’

first_imgSome newly elected panchayat members of Jammu and Kashmir who were in New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that isolated incidents of stone throwing were being turned into prime-time debates on television channels while the voice of the “silent majority” went unheard.A delegation of 48 members was here to meet the Prime Minister.The previous panchayat elections were held in April-May 2011 with a 80% voter turnout. J&K has 4,130 sarpanches (village headmen) and 29,719 panches (panchayat members). The voter turnout was 74% this time, with the Kashmir Valley recording 41%.“Not only separatists but mainstream political parties had also boycotted the elections; despite this there was a 74% turnout, this means people are pro-democracy,” said Shafiq Mir, who was representing All J&K Panchayat Conference, a conglomerate of 54 representatives from the State. The members addressed a press conference in New Delhi.On reports that some elected members were still put up in hotels in Srinagar due to security concerns, Mr. Mir said, “Those are isolated cases. We are apolitical and are here for community work.”Low voter turnoutOn being asked about the low turnout in the Kashmir Valley, which has seen protests and violence, Mr. Mir said, “The kind of situation that persists there, we should be grateful even if there was 10% polling in Kashmir.”Another panchayat member from Pulwama in South Kashmir said on condition of anonymity that people who acted as informers of police need to fear.“I am from Pulwama, it’s a backward area. We have been elected to serve the people but the salary for panches is merely ₹1,000 per month and for sarpanch it’s ₹2,000. The government should increase it to ₹25,000 at least. We will see when death comes, but currently we are here for development,” said Jaan Mohammad, another panch. Tashi, a panchayat member from Leh, said the issues of his area were sidelined as the entire focus was on some districts in the Kashmir Valley. “We have been demanding a University in Leh for decades, our children go to Delhi and Chandigarh for higher studies. When Mehbooba Mufti was the Chief Minister, she didn’t okay the proposal saying Leh was not a divisional office.”last_img read more

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65 cos. of CAPF for LS poll in Haryana

first_imgThe Haryana Police will deploy 64,000 security personnel, including 4,680 drawn from the central forces, on election duty in the State to ensure free and fair polls on May 12, officials said on Monday.Additional Director General of Police Navdeep Singh Virk said that 65 companies of Central Armed Police Forces, comprising 4,680 personnel, will be deployed for security purposes for the election in the State. Of these, five companies have already arrived and were conducting flag marches along with the State police in the districts to build a sense of security and confidence among the voters.last_img read more

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Marching to the Beat of Two Different Drummers

first_imgAlmost all organisms, from bacteria to mammals, have a circadian clock—a mechanism in their cells which keeps them in sync with Earth’s day-and-night cycle. But many organisms follow other rhythms as well: the tides, the months, or the seasons. Although researchers have documented these behaviors, no one has been sure whether these nondaily cycles use the same components as the circadian clock, or if they have their own clocks.Two papers published today present the first evidence for clocks independent of the circadian one: a sea louse whose swimming patterns sync up with the tides, and a marine worm that matures and spawns in concert with the phases of the moon. The discoveries, by groups working independently, suggest that noncircadian clocks might be common and could explain a variety of biological rhythms.On the northern coast of Wales lives a tiny crustacean called the speckled sea louse—Eurydice pulchra. Less than a centimeter long, the creature swims and feeds during high tide, which comes every 12.4 hours, but buries itself in the sand during low tide. It also swims more vigorously during daytime high tides than nighttime high tides. The black spots on its shell spread out during the day as a sort of sunscreen but form discrete spots at night. Charalambos Kyriacou, a molecular geneticist at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, marine biologist Simon Webster at Bangor University in the United Kingdom, and their colleagues wanted to find out if those two rhythms—the 24-hour cycle of spots and vigorous swimming and the 12.4-hour cycle of activity or resting in the sand—were driven by the same molecular clock.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(*)After painstaking work to pull out the known circadian clock genes (discovered in flies, mice, and other model animals) from the crustacean, the researchers tested whether they could manipulate the two rhythms independently. First, they kept the animals in constant darkness in the lab for more than a month, so that both the swimming and the shell patterns became arrhythmic. By vibrating the animals’ test tubes for 10 minutes every 12.4 hours, the researchers were able to reestablish the animals’ tidal swimming patterns, though there was no difference between day-and-night “high tides.” When they interfered with some of the circadian clock genes, wiping out the animals’ daily patterns, the tidal swimming rhythms were unaffected. “We can completely disrupt the circadian clock, and nothing happens to tidal clock,” Kyriacou says. The creature’s tidal clock must be an independent mechanism, the group reports online today in Current Biology.The marine worm Platynereis dumerilii gained a bit of notoriety a decade ago when it helped researchers to unravel the evolutionary ancestry of the vertebrate eye. The animals have light-sensitive cells, called photoreceptors, in their brains that are not connected to their eyes, but are surprisingly similar to human photoreceptors. Kristin Tessmar-Raible, a neurobiologist at the University of Vienna who helped lead the molecular genetics studies of the photoreceptors, wondered what the worm actually used them for. In decades-old literature, she found that lunar cycles govern the worms’ maturation and spawning patterns—they spawn on nights around the new moon. “I thought it was a joke,” she says. “It sounds like some fairy tale.” In conversations with marine biologists, however, she learned that patterns of behavior in sync with the moon are not uncommon. Still, it wasn’t clear whether the patterns were connected to circadian clocks.By exposing animals in the lab to different amounts of dim light at night, Tessmar-Raible and her colleagues were able to artificially shift the worms’ lunar-based rhythms. These rhythms in turn affected the animals’ patterns of day-and-night behavior. But, as they explain online today in Cell Reports, interrupting the animals’ circadian clock with a drug didn’t seem to affect the lunar cycles—demonstrating that the lunar clock is a separate one. (The lunar clock affects the animals’ circadian clock, but not vice versa.)The work in both papers is “really solid,” says chronobiologist Martha Merrow at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and definitively answers the question of whether independent, noncircadian clocks exist. The discoveries will prompt other researchers to look for new clocks, she says. “It breathes new life into questions about all these seasonal rhythms, such as the fact that reproduction can be so regulated to specific times of year.” Other still-unexplained cycles such as human menstruation and 17-year cicada emergence might be explained in part by circadian-independent clocks, she says, and a recent paper suggests that human sleep might also be affected by lunar cycles. Tessmar-Raible and her colleagues are now looking for molecular components of the worm’s lunar clock, in part to see if they can find them in other organisms.last_img read more

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Senate bill backs NSF’s practices and calls for big funding boost

first_imgPeer review: The Senate bill tells NSF to continue using its twin criteria—intellectual merit and broader impacts—to judge the merit of proposed research. In contrast, the House bill would add another step to the peer-review process by requiring NSF officials to certify that the grant to be awarded addresses an area of importance to the nation. Most scientists agree with Rockefeller that imposing such a requirement gives politicians too large a voice in the process.   Taking issue with its counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives, a Senate panel has embraced how the National Science Foundation (NSF) does its business in a bill that sets policies and recommends funding levels for NSF over the next 5 years.The proposed legislation, released Friday afternoon in draft form by the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, calls on Congress to increase NSF’s budget by nearly 40%, to $9.9 billion, by 2019. It also endorses NSF’s current policies for reviewing grant proposals and—in sharp contrast to a House bill—emphasizes the importance of the social sciences as part of a balanced research portfolio.“[T]he Federal science agencies should receive sustained and steady growth in funding for research and development activities, including basic research, across a wide range of disciplines, including … [the] social, behavioral, and economic sciences,” declares the 146-page Senate bill, titled the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014. The legislation, which sets policies affecting research programs at NSF and the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as science education activities across the federal government, would replace the 2010 America COMPETES Act, which expired last 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(*)The Senate language strikes a much more supportive tone than a bill passed in May by the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. That bill questions how NSF manages its research grants and takes an especially dim view of the social and behavioral sciences. The House bill, called the FIRST Act, has been denounced by the U.S. academic community and leading scientific organizations.The chair of the commerce committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D–WV) didn’t mince words in explaining why he felt his bill was better for science—and the country—than what was moving through the House. “We’ve seen proposals that would let Congress decide what research projects are worthwhile,” he said in opening a hearing Thursday. “Having served on this committee and worked with the Senate Science and Technology Caucus, I know that scientists through grant competitions and peer review are best able to make those decisions.”As is his habit, Rockefeller then dipped into history. “On his deathbed in 1969, former President Dwight Eisenhower told a friend that, in his experience, scientists ‘were one of the few groups in Washington who seemed to be there to help the country and not help themselves.’ Our House colleagues who would substitute their own opinions for those of the scientific community would be wise to remember President Eisenhower’s words.”Here are some key provisions of the Senate bill, which is expected to be introduced shortly.Funding: NSF’s current budget of $7.17 billion would grow by 6.7% each year, reaching $9.9 billion in 2019. In contrast, the House bill extends only to 2015 and proposes spending $7.27 billion in that year. The Senate bill would also leave it up to NSF officials to allocate those funds across the agency’s six research directorates. The House bill, in contrast, sets specific targets for each directorate—an approach that most scientists view as micromanaging the agency—and would shrink the social, behavioral, and economic sciences directorate from $256 million this year to $150 million in 2015. Science education: Both the Senate and House bills urge the federal government to do a better job of coordinating and assessing its $3 billion investment in programs that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education from grade school through graduate school. The bills also emphasize the value of having mission agencies like NASA continue to support training and public outreach activities—a jab at last year’s failed attempt by the Obama administration to designate NSF, the Department of Education, and the Smithsonian Institution as the three lead agencies for STEM education.In addition, the Senate bill would give the Education Department, working with NSF, the authority to fund states that want to create so-called STEM secondary schools.Commercialization: Both the Senate and House bills laud NSF’s 3-year-old Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which teaches researchers how to take a basic research discovery to market. The Senate bill invites the NSF director to work with other federal research agencies to give researchers they fund access to the I-Corps program. The National Institutes of Health has recently launched its own version of the I-Corps curriculum.Given the short and crowded legislative calendar in both bodies, few observers expect the Senate or House to complete action on their reauthorization bills before the November election. That means it won’t be until a lame-duck session, or next year, before the two bodies have a chance to reconcile their conflicting visions for NSF.last_img read more

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AMD plans to raise $200 million India-focused tech fund

first_imgAMD Ventures, the venture capital arm of US-based chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), is raising an India-focused technology fund with a targeted corpus of close to $200 million, said two people directly aware of the development , on the condition of anonymity.The India-focused fund will be an offshore entity and will operate from either Singapore or Amsterdam. The fund will follow the foreign direct investment (FDI) route to invest in technology-focused companies in India. AMD is understood to have hired law firm AZB Partners as legal advisers in India for the new fund.Read it at Live Mint Related Itemslast_img read more

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Indian IT Firms’ Lobbying Spends Jump Nearly 40% in Donald Trump Era

first_imgThe Indian IT industry’s lobbying spends have increased sharply from the time Donald Trump became US President. It rose by nearly 40% in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2018, compared to the same period in the previous year. The spends are largely going toward dealing with immigration issues, including the higher rejection of H-1B visa applications. Read it at Economic TImes Related Itemslast_img

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The Unsuitable Girls Grow Up

first_imgWhat happens to the people one writes about? Are they still there, confined within the pages, or do they move on? Journalists rarely get a chance to return to a story and pick up the threads of lives they reported on. A decade ago Little India covered the “unsuitable girls,” young artists who had come together in an organization called the South Asian Women’s Collective, with the intention of finding a space of their own, making art and breaking a few stereotypes, like subversives in a shop of delicate china.So a decade later, they are still creating a ruckus.One had only to visit “Sultana’s Dream,” the recent exhibit of over 30 artists of South Asian origin at Exit Art, a gallery in Manhattan, to realize that SAWCC, which you pronounce as SAUCY – and that’s no coincidence – is alive and well, and certainly kicking. It showed the work of noted artists like Shahzia Sikander and Chitra Ganesh, along with many other South Asian women artists, chosen from an open call for submissions. All the works are collaborations between two or more artists.The title of the exhibition, “Sultana’s Dream” hrefers to the classic short story of the same name by Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain in which the Islamic custom of keeping women in purdah is reversed, and it is the men who are relegated to the private sphere while women take on the world. The artists in this show all have something vital to say – and they say it through their art. Swati Khurana has created a series of trophies that celebrate their reluctant, disheveled, unproper selves.    Photo: Anjali BhargavaIn Index of the Disappeared, artists Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani suspend neon signs and applied vinyl lettering in English, Urdu, Arabic and Hindi painted on the walls – and these words and phrases are all taken from official documents after 9/11, evoking censorship and data blackouts that have jeopardized lives in immigrant communities.When Jaishri Abichandani, an emerging photographer in New York, founded SAWCC in 1997, it was quite a leap in the dark, not knowing whether it would take off. While there were other South Asian arts and culture movements in the UK, Toronto, and the Bay Area, New York City, in spite of a large activist community, had none.“There was no support structure for local South Asian artists, as the few galleries around exhibited only artists from India,” recalls Abichandani. “Inspired by Desh Pardesh in Toronto, I envisioned SAWCC as a democratic collective space for art and dialogue that was free of patriarchal constraints.”  Unsuitable GirlsAbout 13 women turned up for that first meeting and slowly the space for women artists was created. According to Abichandani, there are currently 1,100 members on the SAWCC listserv; some 80 women have served on the volunteer board of directors since 1998, and there are still monthly meetings and public events, which continue to attract new faces and new talents into the community.Prerana Reddy had just moved from San Francisco to New York in the 1990’s and didn’t really know how to find other South Asians, particularly women in the creative fields. She found her way to the basement in the East Village where the meeting was being held, little knowing what to expect. She was impressed by the critical discourse around the art works presented, as well as by the spirit of generosity that the space provided.“I think SAWCC was really pioneering in that way, it allowed women to find collaborators, exhibition spaces, supplies, and of course a nurturing yet challenging environment,” she recalls. Soon after it became an official non-profit, she joined the board and learned first hand what it meant to run an arts organization, yet work in a collective space. The Beehive by Asma Ahmad Shikoh“This experience helped me and other SAWCC women to go on and start their own organizations centered on their specific interest and mediums. Now there are several South Asian film festivals, as well as dance and theatre companies,” she says.While she still does some documentary video work, Reddy has developed into an arts administrator and curator, and is currently director of public events at the Queens Museum of Art. She believes that SAWCC really helped educate her on South Asian contemporary art and gave her the access she needed to start 3rd I NY, a South Asian film/video collective.“I definitely think SAWCC is a hrefuge for unsuitable girls of all types, but that doesn’t mean that none of us get married, become professionals, or care about what our families think of us,” she says.“Nor do we all espouse the same philosophy or politics, as anyone who has witnessed the discussions on our listserv can attest! I think what unites us is that we are invested in challenging patriarchy – battling both systematic oppression that keeps us out places of power as well as heterocentric gender norms. This in itself is definitely ‘unsuitable’ in 2007.”  Performance by Shazia Sikander and Sharmia DesaiIndeed, the role for the organization has changed over the years. As Abichandani points out, “When we started, we were really needed as the only feminist South Asian Arts space. We had to cater to every discipline, and many of us were learning skills as we went along. There was no local precedent for this kind of space, and women were eager to connect. I think that many of the members have come a long way since then in terms of professionalizing their practices.”The monthly meetings and the listserv have now come to represent a community portal through which South Asian women can connect to various parts of the diasporic community.“However, the original artists who founded the collective have now developed personal and professional relationships that go far beyond SAWCC,” says Abichandani. “In order to keep SAWCC relevant to them, we will have to carve a new path, one is still supportive of emerging women artists of various disciplines, but understand the needs of those who are actively exhibiting and participating in local and international art worlds. While it is great to serve as a community portal, we have to stay true to our mission of being an arts organization.”Swati Khurana, an artist who joined the group in 1997, is one of those who have gone on to publish books or gain gallery representation. She says, “Yet, many still come to SAWCC to read or exhibit their work publicly for the first time. The organization has shifted to meet the needs of members who need more critical feedback and professional networking.”The monthly meetings still are a catalyst for emerging artists to share their work in a supportive context and it seeks out new submissions. Says Khurana: “With the literary festivals, we plan readings and panels with established writers, and always have a venue for emerging writers to share their work.”Asked if the members are still “unsuitable girls” who raise inconvenient issues or have they become decorous and mature, Jaishri Abichandani laughs: “Internally, we still raise a ruckus about what is wrong in the world and spend days debating it furiously. I think we have now learnt to express that anger publicly in more formally polished ways, but it still burns bright. A tribute to Lala Deen Dayal by Farima Alam“The spirit of subversiveness that fueled the collective’s beginnings is still kept alive by members, old and new. We still appreciate the positive value of the often suppressed anger of women. It can have an honest and transformative effect.”While that suppressed anger is almost a part of their work, the original members of SAWCC have developed as artists. Many have worked toward graduate degrees and engaged in a broader dialogue among other artists.Says Abichandani, “Many have matured into wonderfully thought provoking and successful artists. There is an understanding of what is going on in the New York art world and a desire to participate completely in both spheres – the South Asian and contemporary art worlds.”Abichandani herself has evolved as a conceptual artist with exhibitions coming up in Austin, Texas, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and in Zurich, Switzerland. “My work explores the relationships between individual and collective selves and their effect on society. My dual practices of art and cultural production manifest as images, objects, videos, performances and exhibitions.”For three years she served as director of public events at Queens Museum of Art. She is currently curating an exhibition of South Asian diasporic artists to be held in Florida next year entitled “Exploding the Lotus.” Abichandani, who acquired a masters in visual arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2005, also started a women’s collective there.Sa’dia Rehman’s sound installation “Lotah Stories” takes on the South Asian use of the lota – a water vessel, which is used in toilet ablutions in South Asia, but tends to become an object of shame and embarrassment in the West.Rehman joined SAWCC in 1998, and remembers it as a place to meet South Asian women artists and share her work with them. Her work is now showcased at prestigious venues and to a wider audience.Is she still an “unsuitable girl”? She says, “As long as I’m an artist, I will always be an unsuitable girl. I have always had a very calm and quiet demeanor and I don’t make work to purposely cause a ruckus. I make my work because I have fun making it and if it causes a ruckus or if it decorates the world, then fine.”How has she developed as an artist in the intervening decade? Says Rehman: “Now I take myself and my art seriously. At first I used to secretly believe my parents’ discouragement, but now it goes in one ear and out the other. I have a fixed studio time during the week and I dedicate half my room to studio space.“I focus on social customs constructed by my cultural identity as a PakistaniAmerican woman. I use humor to criticize serious subjects that I experienced like arranged marriage, cultural assimilation, and the division of gender roles in my family.”Childhood demons are going to be a part of her next work, a series of drawings that explore images of hell based on the stories told to her by parents, uncles and aunts and she later hopes to turn these into installation art.Khurana’s work touches upon gender and popular culture, and she has had solo exhibition in Miami at the Diaspora Vibe Gallery and at Safari Gardens in Fajara, Gambia. She also has received a travel grant from the Jerome Foundation and served as artist in residence at the Kartong Village Development Committee in Gambia, and has participated in group shows. She started with film and video and now incorporates drawing, printmaking and digital collage into her work.At the Exit Art show, Khurana commemorated the UnSuitability of these South Asian women artists by creating a series of trophies with engraved text that celebrate “our reluctant, disheveled, unproper selves,” which were captured by Anjali Bhargava.There is Meenakshi Thrukade, sitting in a shockingly, gloriously messy room, with her award for “Most Reluctant Housekeeper”! Which young South Asian woman has not been upbraided by parents for this serious flaw in the suitable girl syndrome?Khurana perhaps speaks for many of the artists when she says, “I think as I grow older, I grow more unsuitable, perhaps because I grow more comfortable in my own skin. At a certain point, I realized that my unsuitability was less of a form of rebellion, but more of a position I embraced as an adult. And what makes me so happy is that there are so many of us, who are so unsuitable, so I am not alone.”Adds Khurana, “We have been girls who seek love, desire and adventure from often other unsuitable girls and boys. We take risks, we never play dumb, we have strong opinions, we use fighting words, and we stay up late, we love our families while challenging them to accept us and the communities and families we create. Some of us even have the audacity to believe we can change the world.”Looks like we’ll be hearing a lot more from the feisty Unsuitable Girls in the future. Like fine wine, they will probably only get more intense, more flavorful with age! Related Itemslast_img read more

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