The writing on the wall in Odisha is for a big change: Dharmendra Pradhan

first_imgMinister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhanspeaks on issues pertaining to Odisha and Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal leader Naveen Patnaik’s ‘opportunistic’ politics.Looking back, was it politic to give such a build-up to the Bijepur Assembly byelection, seeing that the party lost?We will fight as hard as the Opposition is fighting the polls. In this bypoll, we were able to consolidate the party vote, we could measure our strength. Naveen Patnaik’s strength is brute power and misuse of government machinery. This will not be able to hold during the general elections as could be done in bypolls. The writing on the wall in Odisha is for a big change. That is very evident from the campaigns that we are running and the response of the public.Chief minister Naveen Patnaik says he is equidistant from the BJP and the Opposition; he has supported Prime Minister Modi on simultaneous polls but opposed him on Ayushman Bharat. How do you view his blow hot, blow cold vibe?Naveen Patnaik is one of the most opportunistic politicians of the country, in the way that he picks and chooses issues to oppose and support. He is not being equidistant but displaying equi-convenience. Odisha has had, since 2004, Assembly polls together with the general elections, so it costs him nothing to support the move for simultaneous polls. If you are so aligned to Prime Minister Modi’s thinking, then do see that his philosophy is to build Team India.Mr. Patnaik’s has objected to Central review of all major social sector projects, whether it is on the question of aspirational districts, health or even Swachh Bharat. He stood on the shoulders of Vajpayeejiand Advanijito stabilise himself. It has been his strategy to speak of equidistance and confuse everyone, and to manage the Opposition in this way. In 2009, he broke his alliance with us, and managed the Congress for four months and stayed in power. In 2014, he took the Leader of the Opposition to his side. So his so-called equidistance has nothing to do with ideology.You are supporting the demand to designate the song Bande Utkala Janani as the State anthem. Isn’t this a move to encourage sub-regional nationalism?In 1936, Odisha was the first State to be declared a linguistic one, after an agitation for a greater Odisha. We have been singing this song since then. Why did we raise this issue? Naveen Patnaik has a tendency to raise issues that he has nothing to do with or has no jurisdiction over, like registering hockey as the national game. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is a regional party. The Odisha Assembly had passed a resolution asking that it be made a State anthem, in 2006, under the BJD regime. Why wasn’t it done?You have attacked the BJP-led Chhattisgarh government over the Mahanadi dispute — does that make for a conflict of interest?Wasn’t there a conflict of interest over the dispute over Narmada water in the past? Won’t Karnataka BJP and Tamil Nadu BJP speak about the interests of their State unit when it comes to the Cauvery river dispute? Every State unit, regardless of the party, has a narrative and commitment to fulfil and reflect the aspirations of that State; for that we took a stand and we will not allow Odisha’s interests to be compromised.The BJD has failed on the irrigation front in Odisha. As Prime Minister Modi pointed out last month, the State hasn’t been able to save even one millimetre of water from running off into the sea. To hide this failure, the BJD government has picked a fight with Chhattisgarh, and the latter on its part did selective interpretations of the rules. They (Chhattisgarh) have made a few dams upriver and which they say are for irrigation purposes of under 2,000 hectares but are also being deployed for industrial use and do not therefore, have to go to the Central Water Commission (CWC). The law of the land is grey on what comes under the CWC and only deals with irrigation. We have protested that.BJD leader Baijayant Panda recently quit the party. Will he be joining the BJP?Any right-thinking person cannot stay with the BJD as it is functioning today. Anybody who believes in the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and the BJP ideology is welcome.What do you make of recent attempts at forging an Opposition unity against the BJP?Even in the 2014 polls the same forces were ranged against us. These parties want to polarise society and come to power but the mood in the country has changed. Polls since 2014 prove Prime Minister Modi’s popularity is undiminished.last_img read more

Gov’t Pursuing Public Safeguards Against Dog Attacks

first_imgIndustry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be lobbying Parliament’s support to strengthen legislation to safeguard the public against attacks by aggressive dogs.This, he says, includes measures to hold owners accountable for “the senseless attacks we have been seeing (in recent times)”.Mr. Shaw said while the governing laws, outlined in the Dogs Liability for Injury Act, 1877, fall under the purview of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, he will be working closely with Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, to address the matter.He was speaking with journalists after addressing the opening ceremony for the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation’s (IAAC) 23rd Annual General Assembly at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, St. James.Mr. Shaw said he is particularly concerned about reports of injuries and deaths resulting from dogs brutally attacking young children and the elderly, and emphasised that this can no longer be tolerated.“I want to say to all owners of dogs… please take responsibility for your animals. It is dangerous and irresponsible for any owner to allow these dangerous dogs to be loose. This is just simply unacceptable,” the Minister emphasised.Mr. Shaw maintained that “a number of attacks could have easily been prevented, if the owners of these aggressive animals [had] taken the time… to do what is right”.last_img read more

Yet another BASIC Bank forgery revealed

first_img-State-owned BASIC Bank, which earned notoreity for loan forgery involving billions of Taka in recent years, has lost Tk 760 million on the pretext of purchasing office space for the bank.This scam has been revealed by a finance ministry investigation that also found the bank’s controversial former chairman, Abdul Hye Bachchu, involved.For purchasing a building for the BASIC Bank head office, it paid Tk 760 million although the building was on a disputed plot of land, according to the investigation. Still, the bank has not been handed over a single floor of the building.Seven years ago, BASIC Bank had signed a deal with a certain Sinku Akramuzzaman for the purchase of 12 floors of a building opposite Bangladesh Bank and Sena Kalyan Sangshta for Tk 810 million. The bank paid money and construction begun accordingly.Now the finance ministry sees the deal has no legal bindings. Even the land on which the building has been constructed, is abandoned property. There is a case in court regarding the land, shows the record.According to the rules, permission must be taken from the president (presently the prime minister) for the construction of a new building for a state-owned bank or financial institution, or for the extension, renovation and maintenance of an old building for the purpose.The government issued directives twice in this regard, in 1985 and in 1998. But, as it is found, BASIC Bank did not comply with the procedure.After the meeting of the cabinet committee on purchase this Thursday, finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith was asked about this scam which took place during the tenure of Abdul Hye Bachchu.The finance minister said to Prothom Alo that all his (Abdul Hye Bachchu) dealings in BASIC Bank were sheer robbery. “And it is not just one incident,” he added.Secretary of the financial institutions division of the finance ministry Mohammed Yunus Rahman, while talking to Prothom Alo before Eid, also said, “We’re extremely concerned about this. It is unfortunate that the contract isn’t registered. I blame the authorities of the bank at that time for such a large sum of money going out of the bank.”This beginning of this underhand deal transpired three months after Abdul Hye Bachchu joined BASIC Bank as its chairman in September 2009. In the minutes signed by him of the 261st board meeting of the bank held on 13 December 2009, it was stated that he had expressed surprise at the meeting that the bank did not have its own building after 20 years. A decision was adopted at the meeting for the bank to have its own building.On 1 April 2010, BASIC Bank signed a contract with Sinku Akramuzzaman to purchase space of 51,500 square feet in Motijheel of the capital city Dhaka. This tripartite deal stated that BASIC Bank would give Tk 810 million to Akramuzzaman and he would construct a 15-storey building, of which 12 floors would be given to BASEC Bank. The building would be named Zaman BASIC Bank Tower.The finance ministry now finds that Akramuzzaman himself was two of the three parties involved in the deal. His company, Business Resources Limited, was constructing the building.Recent communication between BASIC Bank and the financial institutions division revealed that the bank paid Akramuzzaman Tk 400 million on the very day that the deal was signed. Then, in instalments, the bank paid him another Tk 360 million. In 2013 a structure of the building was somehow completed.Despite having paid Tk 760 million, not a single floor has been handed over to the bank as yet. As for Akramuzzaman, he has fled abroad.Akramuzzaman has purchased a home in Malaysia and has settled there with his family, according to persons in the bank who have knowledge of the matter. It was not possible to get him over the cell phone. He has not replied to repeated emails either.It was at the behest of Abdul Hye Bachchu that half the payment was handed over on the day that the deal was signed.Foul play is suspected here too.At the time, none of the board members spoke up. The bank’s managing director (MD) at the time, AKM Sajedur Rahman, was kept behind the scenes of the matter.In the meantime, in a spate of unprecedented irregularities between April 2012 and March 2013, the board under Abdul Hye Bachchu pilfered over Tk 34.93 billion through loans to various persons.Bangladesh Bank had investigated the matter and observed that it would not be possible to recover these loans. And indeed, the loans are yet to be recovered.The BASIC Bank officials point out that there are further complications pertaining to the building. For example, they say, Akramuzzaman constructed seven more floors on the building and has been pressuring the bank to purchase those too. He estimated the cost to be Tk 1.62 billion with the seven new floors and demanded an advance of another Tk 810 million. The bank did not agree.The financial institutions division on 7 August this year issued a letter to the present chairman of BASIC Bank, Khandakar Mohammed Iqbal, asking for a detailed explanation about the purchase of the building without government approval.The government in July 2012 dissolved the BASIC Bank’s board of directors due to rampant corruption and irregularities which had swamped the bank.But Abdul Hye Bachchu took the liberty to submit his resignation to the finance minister a day before the term of the board expired. The government then revamped the board and appointed the bank’s previous MD Alauddin A Majid as the chairman.The financial institutions division also wanted to know why there had been such a long delay in revealing the matter of this large financial involvement despite the board being in place for three years now. The division was not satisfied with the explanation submitted by the MD on 21 August.In his explanation, MD Khandakar Mohammed Iqbal said that the land was abandoned property since 1989. There was a case as to whether the government or Akramuzzaman was the proprietor of the land. Last year the verdict was passed in Akramuzzaman’s favour, but the problem remained unresolved due to his stubborn attitude.BASIC Bank chairman Alauddin A Majid told Prothom Alo this was just one incident in many. The present board is having to bear the brunt of this incident which took place seven years ago.During a recent visit to the site in Motijheel, this correspondent saw the structure of a 22-storey building, with a signboard, ‘Zaman BASIC Bank Tower Bhaban’.Along with Abdul Hye Bachchu, on the bank board at that time were the present vice chairman of the Export Development Bureau (EDP) and joint secretary at the time Bijoy Bhattacharya, former DG of the prime minister’s office Nilufar Ahmed, chairman of BSCIC chairman at the time Siddiqur Rahman, chairman at the time of Kushtia Islamic University’s accounting and information systems department Kazi Akhter Hossain and others.Though AKM Sajedur Rahman was the bank’s MD at the time, he had gone abroad on medical treatment. The acting MD was Sheikh Manzur Morshed. Bijoy Bhattacharya then left for Switzerland due to his job and the present commerce secretary Subhashish Basu took his stead.Bijoy Bhattacharya told Prothom Alo, he had stopped attending board meetings towards the end as he was fed up. Subhashish Basu said it was not possible for the board to verify the details of the land. That was basically the responsibility of the management.Several attempts to contact Abdul Hye Bachchu over phone have failed. He did not reply to any SMS either. The supervisor at his house in Banani DOHS said he was out and does not always stay at this house.The finance minister even in parliament had held Abdul Hye Bachchu responsible for the corruption in BASIC Bank.However, the Anti-Corruption Commission has done nothing in this regard. The finance minister has not lost hope and told Prothom Alo, “I think ACC is doing something about the matter.”According to Bangladesh Bank, BASIC Bank’s default loans stand at 53 per cent (Tk 73.9 billion), higher than the default loans of any other bank in the country.*The article, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabirlast_img read more

Making a career out of hobby

first_imgThe concepts of career and hobby are inextricably linked with the blessed phenomenon of leisure which in its own steed emerged from the amazing phenomenon of Surplus. As the traditional agriculturist society matured and achieved enough surpluses – it provided its members latitude for leisure which generated the cultural landscape of art and crafts. With enough surplus people could now have hobbies where they enjoyed certain activities primarily for pleasure. Many of these hobbies were quickly absorbed by the society as necessities and became full fledged careers in themselves such as carpentry, metallurgy, weaving etc and from this point onward began a most interesting interplay between technology, economy, career and hobbies with every age having its representative careers and so much so its representative hobbies. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAs the economy moved from barter to minted money as a mode of exchange- it brought in its wake new careers such as banking and accountancy and the use of paper and pen spawned new hobbies such as calligraphy and canvas art. The occupational skills now decided the career and therefore were being kept limited to its guild and thus the notion of career, from this point onward had begun to get iron clad stereotyped. The occupation became hereditary and career was now limited solely to the family occupation. The mobility between careers was almost impossible and so in this age the hobbies just kept to themselves. The career in army however -thanks to the method of conscription- has always been a class apart throughout ages. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWith the advent of Industrialisation- the occupational stereotypes were compromised as industrialised urban society provided a whole new set of careers open to all and that also with the momentous anonymity of the city dweller which could not even be imagined in a village or a small town. This strategic combination resulted in an extensive mobility between professions -the guild system collapsed and a festival of hobbies such as theatre, circus ensued which quickly became established professions.  “The information technology revolution further accelerated the pace of this transition and provided people enough technological competence and ultimate anonymity to transmute their hobbies into actual careers. People now have the privilege to learn all the new career skills which the technological growth required and also all the new hobbies which the technological growth provided,” explains Alexshendra Venus Bakshi, eminent author, novelist and poet. She further adds, that today hobbies have once again claimed an economic coefficient. The present economy provides enough surplus and technological latitude for a variety of hobbies to be easily converted into well defined careers. An illustrative example would be that of the hobby of photography. The hobby of photography has recently achieved the technological competence to be easily maintainable. Today one can make the hobby of photography as one’s career with relative ease. It can thus now be comfortably said that the stereotyped division between career and hobby has to a great extent permeated in present age. The technological growth has also helped ancient hobbies to transit in active careers. Let us take the example of an ancient hobby of wood carving. In today’s age of e-commerce, one who has a hobby of wood carving can easily have a market for her product and make her hobby a developed career. One may also consider the ancient hobby of playing a musical instrument such as flute. Today a good skill at playing a musical instrument can easily provide a career in the film and music industry through the social media itself. “The gradient of respect which is associated with the term career, is now slowly been achieved by the term hobby as well. The intrinsic emotional perspective difference between a career in the armed forces of the country and making a hobby a career in the music industry is still operative and it shall take some more time before this difference is dissolved but the stereotype of career as entirely different from the hobby has been no doubt, much compromised,” said Alexshendra Venus Bakshi. It shall also not be wrong to state that what one does passionately- one does perfectly and so if hobby becomes a career, the productivity level would truly be amazing. In not to distant a future- one can say that we will find enough technological and economic competence that we will discover the passion of the child and then make that passion a career for her rather than forcing her to follow something which is away from her interest and that shall be in my opinion- the true actualisation of human dignity.last_img read more

12 Live Streaming Video Tips to Build Your Brand and Business

first_img I operated a photographic supply business and camera store for more than 28 years. During that time, I witnessed the dramatic evolution in imaging technology. With still imaging, I have seen all the variants of silver halide films (Kodak, Fujifilm, color negative and transparency, etc.), plus Polaroid instant photography all the way to today’s digital photography. Video technology has taken a similar route from movie film (8mm, super 8, etc.) to digital — VHS tapes, DVDs, flash memory and now solid state drives.The internet and digital imaging have brought instant gratification to the way we share our experiences. Snap a picture and share it immediately with friends or strangers, or both. The effect of that is most greatly felt with live streaming video. It allows us to share exactly what is going on in our lives and maybe more significantly, our thoughts, in real time. There’s a reason Facebook has opened this feature to its 1.8 billion monthly active users.Related: Can Live-Streaming Video Help Me?I am a believer in building a strong personal brand. I have found a strong personal brand it to be at the heart of much of my professional success. In 2013, when Google announced live video was available in Hangouts, I immediately started using that technology to build my online presence and my business’ brand. We ran live video events from my store announcing new products, having panel discussions on technology and streaming photography education. It was free, it was relatively easy, and we could speak to the entire world over the internet. We set the trend for the entire photography industry.After selling my photography business in 2015, my attention and focus shifted towards building an even stronger personal brand. That brand includes my Man-Up Project, my photography, my speaking on social media and much more. And one of the most effective techniques I have used to do this is live streaming video. Today, I am also the U.S. CEO of a professional social network with 11 million worldwide users, and we allow all of them to stream live video. See some examples of successful live streaming videos — none of them had a paid boost — that I have done recently.Building on my own personal success, I want to share with you the 12 tips that will help make your live streaming videos a big success for you and help you build your brand and business:1. Camera on you.I am a big advocate of making videos very personal. People want to connect with and relate to the person speaking. So, start off with the camera on you and then turn to your subject, if there is one besides you. It’s much easier to stop watching a video of things or places than someone speaking to you.2. Introduce yourself and location.No matter what your video is about — whether it’s business, personal or just a rant — make sure that people know who you are and where you are. You don’t know who will be watching, so the best way to start is “Hi, it’s Don Clark here at the…”Related: 5 Steps to Make Livestreaming Part of Your Content Strategy3. Takeaway right away.You only have a few seconds to catch people’s attention, so make it count. Viewers today have short attention spans and many options, so to keep them engaged, tell them quickly what they are going to get out of watching you. If they see you rambling on about nothing or don’t understand what you are talking about they will click off. “I am going to show you something you absolutely need,” or you can be direct with, “Your takeaway from this video will be…”4. Be professional.I know you know this, but video lasts a lifetime. Say to yourself, “Am I the person someone would want to connect with, hire or buy something from?” This includes dressing properly, proper posture, no swaying side-to-side, looking into the camera, speaking knowledgeably about your subject and no repeating yourself over and over again.5. Be humorous.Remember that teacher we all had that was too serious about everything? Remember anything she said? I don’t. Appropriate humor connects you with your audience, keeps them watching, builds your personal brand and can make even the most boring subject enjoyable. Gentle self-deprecating humor works well because it reduces the narcissism factor. I, for instance, will ask my viewers if my hair looks good — I’m bald.6. Be natural, but be prepared.Never read a script on camera. Nothing turns people off faster than that. But having three to five bullet points you know and can deliver naturally is what you want to do. I like to write those down in advance and repeat them to myself a few times before I turn the camera on.7. Be authentic.The number one technique in building your brand and having people attracted to you is being yourself. When you try to be something you are not or say things you don’t believe, trust me, the audience will know it. And it’s ok to make a mistake on camera. If you handle it without turning beet red or panicking, it can turn into a positive.Related: 8 Signs You’re Live-streaming for the Wrong Reasons — and How to Overcome Them8. Be fast.Long videos don’t even get clicked on. It’s quality over quantity when it comes to length of your streaming video. Sometimes you must run longer because that’s what it takes. But always try to do it in the shortest possible time. Five minutes is a sweet spot for live stream videos. The longer it goes, the more entertaining you must be to keep your audience.9. Sound quality matters most.The biggest mistake technically you can make is having poor sound quality. If someone is watching you live or is replaying your video, and they can’t hear you, they immediately click off. Make sure you test your sound before you do it. Simply record a short test video to your smartphone or camera and replay it. If it sounds good, you are ready to go live.10. Build your audience in advance.You have platform choices for live streaming like Facebook, beBee, Snapchat, Periscope and YouTube. It makes sense to use a platform that’s easier to build a network on. Even if they can’t watch live, they can see the replay.11. But no one will watch live.Your biggest viewership will come from replays of the video. So, make sure you share and market your video afterwards. Every viral video I have done has started with a handful of live viewers who were moved to share and talk about what I did. Sometimes viewership doesn’t peak until the next day.12. Be live regularly.The more you live stream, the better you will get at doing it and the more your audience will come to expect it from you. They will look forward to seeing you on camera. You will notice people you meet in person mentioning they saw you on video. It’s a pillar of building a personal brand. I find that one or two live streams a week is perfect.Live streaming video has helped me stand out in crowded businesses, be a market leader and provide a cost-effective method communicate my message to thousands. It’s helped me build a personal brand that has led me to both personal and business successes.Do you want to be the entrepreneur people remember and think of when they want to connect with, hire or buy something from? Live streaming video, done the right way, is a great way to make that happen. December 16, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 7 min read Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Goway opens up sun destinations with new offers plus a Seychelles fam

first_imgGoway opens up sun destinations with new offers plus a Seychelles fam << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Goway Posted by TORONTO — Goway is offering savings worth up to $1,650 off the cost of a 12-day Seychelles vacation, including air, plus the company is putting together a limited edition Seychelles fam so agents can check out the beautiful destination for themselves.Eligible Seychelles departures for clients are available Nov. 1 –Dec. 22, 2019, and again Jan. 6 – March 31, 2019.Meanwhile Goway is inviting its travel agent partners to discover the islands for themselves with a FAM trip to Seychelles in October 2018. Spots are limited and agents are asked to sign up for pre-boarding at gowayagent.com.Goway is also promoting Moorea in 2019, with savings of up to $1,100 on the company’s popular eight-day Moorea vacation including airfare.Eligible departures run from February 16 to March 2, 2019.Fiji is another great option in the South Pacific, says Goway. Goway is offering a saving of $1,250 on this 10-day trip, with departures available Nov. 1 – Nov. 20, 2018, and January 21 – March 21, 2019.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthClients can also book the Maldives Escape including airfare. Globetrotters who book by Sept. 28 will receive big savings of $8,300 on this 11-day trip, with departures up until Sept. 28, 2018 and during May 2019.Closer to home Goway is also offering $800 off its 10-day Pride of America Cruise, a roundtrip itinerary from Honolulu that includes two nights’ accommodation in Honolulu, and a seven-night cruise, and departs Jan. 17, 2019.All savings are per couple, and eligible departures must be booked by Sept. 28, 2018, with the exception of the Fiji Escape including airfare which must be booked by Aug. 31, 2018.center_img Travelweek Group Share Thursday, August 23, 2018 last_img read more

Delta is the latest airline to raise checked bag fees

first_imgTags: Baggage, Delta Air Lines Share ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines is joining two rivals in raising fees to check a bag on a flight within the United States.Delta on Wednesday posted new fees of US$30 for checking a first bag and $40 for a second bag, increasing the previous fees by $5 each.The changes match increases recently imposed by United Airlines and JetBlue Airways. By midday, American Airlines had not increased bag fees.Southwest Airlines lets passengers check up to two bags free.Airlines have been pulling in more revenue from extra charges for several years. Last year, U.S. carriers raised $7.4 billion from fees on checked bags and ticket changes, led by American, Delta and United.Last month, both Air Canada and WestJet upped their fees for both the first checked bag (from $25 to $30) and the second checked bag (from $30 to $50). Air Canada’s fee hike kicks in on Oct. 5 while WestJet’s start Oct. 1.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckWith files from The Associated Press Posted by Delta is the latest airline to raise checked bag feescenter_img Thursday, September 20, 2018 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more