ULFA(I) triggers blast at gas pipeline in Assam

first_imgSuspected anti-peace talk ULFA(I) militants triggered an explosion at a gas pipeline in Charaideo district, police said on Sunday.The explosion was triggered by the suspected militants at the pipeline of Assam Gas Company Ltd. at Teokghat, Additional Superintendent of Police L Das said.There was no injury or casualty reported in the blast, which took place at around 7.30 p.m. on Saturday, Mr. Das said.The pipeline, supplying gas to the tea gardens, power projects and domestic consumers in upper Assam, was being repaired, he said.last_img read more

My opposition to Modi is policy-based, for making false promises: Raj Thackeray

first_imgFollowing a bitter split from the Shiv Sena in 2006, Raj Thackeray founded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a political party aimed at “sons of the soil” and the “Marathi manus” (Marathi community). Despite occasional electoral wins since then, the MNS never became a political force in the State, unlike the original Sena that his uncle Bal Thackeray founded and his cousin, Uddhav Thackeray, now leads. The MNS suffered humiliating defeats in the 2014 general election as well as in the Assembly polls. Out of the 288 Assembly seats, it won just one. Its general election tally was zero. The downfall continued in the 2017 civic polls.  Stung by the 2014 defeats, Mr. Thackeray has remained silent for three years.In an exclusive interview, he says the MNS chief regrets endorsing Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the 2014 general election. For the first time, he has spoken openly against what he calls “BJP’s gimmicks”. He insists that forceful imposition of Hindi is wrong and that he admires the southern States for their stand on the Centre’s push for Hindi as a link language. He has also made a startling claim that wanted terrorist and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim wants to return to India in exchange for a deal with New Delhi.You have claimed Dawood Ibrahim wants to come back to India and is negotiating terms with the Centre. How do you back this claim?It was not out of nowhere. The Prime Minister performs such gimmicks to win elections. He invited the Japanese Prime Minister to Gujarat to inaugurate the bullet train project. This is to score in the Gujarat elections. As per my information, Dawood himself proposed the deal, and talks are on with New Delhi. Don’t expect me to reveal my source. Dawood is only a part of a grander scheme. I think they will not hesitate to wage war against Pakistan or incite communal riots. What else do they have in hand to win elections?But why would an elected government do this?To win elections. Why else? India has voted many times on emotional content. I ask you, what happened in Doklam? Does anyone know the outcome, and why it happened at the first place? Divert attention to such things, while you get to do what you want on the other side. The media gets busy, and the discourse shifts. Is there anything else (for the BJP) other than these issues to attract votes? There isn’t.In 2013, you spoke in favour of Mr. Modi. What went wrong in 2017 that you have changed your stance?I speak when I find things going wrong. I am doing the media’s job. Are reporters and editors speaking against the government? They can’t. Because the government holds the financial strings of their owners. I know editors and reporters who are desperate to expose the government, but they cannot. I had seen Mr Modi as a visionary Prime Minister. But to be frank, he is a leader who organises events. Be it yoga, cleanliness drives, Make In India, or something else. The government is working as an event management company. Are you saying your support of Mr. Modi was a mistake?When I supported his candidature, he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. But since then he has acted exactly the opposite. Prior to becoming the Prime Minister, he opposed GST and protested against Aadhaar. Now, he has implemented GST as well as forced Aadhaar down everybody’s throat. The grand promise of giving Rs 15 lakh to every Indian citizen was termed “jumla” (election gimmick) by (BJP president) Amit Shah. One feels Mr. Modi lied to voters to grab power, and now does not even feel ashamed of admitting it. Demonetisation was announced to unearth black money. If 99% of the cash is back in bank accounts, then where is the black money? Has corruption or terrorism stopped? Which black money hoarder is behind bars? If the BJP is against corruption, then where does all this money for advertising, election campaigning come from? BJP men are arrested with cash, but news reports are suppressed. The point is, it takes time to know the real face. I am saying it now, maybe others will express it later. I don’t oppose Mr. Modi as an individual, my opposition is policy-based.But he succeeded in the perception game with demonetisation and voters supported BJP in State polls.If you are talking about votes, then the electronic voting machine (EVM) is a big issue. The nation has never seen a bigger stage show than this. Never ever has the BJP had so many votes. Where did all these voters come from? I can understand one wave. But how can it be constant? In the traditional ballot box, the voter is certain that he or she has voted for a particular person. But what about these EVMs? How would one know? A number of people have approached courts. I am sure something positive will come out of it.  MNS suffered a major setback in 2014 and it is yet to regain lost ground. How do you see this period?Every party suffers from highs and lows. Unfortunately, we are in the latter phase. Then there are those who jump from one party to another. They are merely hawkers who peddle their loyalty. But it is not constant. Did the BJP look invincible four years ago? Politics is not a cricket match, where a player would get an opportunity within a few days. We have to wait for five years. Mr. Modi contested a strategic election where Rahul Gandhi (Congress vice-president) was no match. In addition, Mr. Modi had the financial support of the wealthy Gujarati and Marwari communities.You recently changed from being against the Hindi-speaking population to opposing Gujaratis. Do you fear this stand will affect MNS electorally?Let me be very clear. I have not jumped from Hindi to Gujarati. I am pro-Marathi, as always. People should respect the State they reside in. Everything cannot be acquired through money. If they have money power, my strength is my power on the streets. Is this country left for businessmen only? Tell me the need for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. What type of development are you talking about? And for whom? For Gujaratis of Gujarat and Mumbai? And we will spend ₹1.1 lakh crore on them. Don’t we understand the politics behind it? The pledge we take in school where we call all Indians brothers and sisters is a lie. Had it been the case, then we would not have seen colonies of particular communities with builders selling flats to select people. This was never the condition in Mumbai and Maharashtra until a few years ago.Do you oppose BJP’s idea of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan?Yes. India is more like Europe. Just like each country in Europe, every State in India has its own culture, language and traditions that need to be preserved. Like Europe, what binds us is currency. Take any language, be it Marathi or Tamil or any other, it has a history of thousands of years, unlike Hindi which is barely a few hundred years old. A conspiracy to claim every Indian as ‘Hindi Hindu’ is in progress. We cannot allow this. There could be Marathi Hindu or Tamil Hindu and so on; but one cannot make blanket imposition of Hindi on the entire country. All Hindus cannot be Hindi. Who are you to tell us to use Hindi? We will not follow your rules. If forceful action is taken to wipe off our distinct identities, then people are bound to hit the streets. This will result in chaos.Are you ready to join hands with organisations from others States on this issue?Of course. Every State language has to be preserved. Hindi is not our national language. English and Hindi are official languages for communication. That’s it. I am not opposed to any language, but any attempt to sideline my language by imposing another will not be tolerated. If there is a platform to oppose this, I am ready to be a part of it to save my language. My stand is clear from the start, and that is why people from Karnataka and Assam approached me recently. I extended my support.  Do you fear it will go against the national interest?I believe in India and I am patriotic as much as any other person. But isn’t it also our duty to protect the diversity of this country? If actors, players, authors from southern States hit the street on issues important to their State, why can’t our celebrities do the same? If you remember, I said in 2014 that Mr. Modi should concentrate on the development of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand for the next five years. A lot of problems would have been solved. If every State concentrates on individual development, it will help the country as a whole.How do you see present the BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra?Their divorce papers are already in the court, waiting to be signed. The State is witnessing these husband-wife fights every day. I don’t even need to comment on this. I see a vacuum of strong Opposition, which will be filled eventually. I will be that force. One may not agree now, but my claims have always proven right.last_img read more

IT engineer, wife and minor child found dead in Pune

first_imgA software engineer, along with his wife and four-year-old son were found dead in an apartment in Baner-Pashan area in Pune in a case of suspected suicide, said police on Friday.The bodies of Jayeshkumar Patel (34), his wife Bhumika (30) and son Akshay were found in their home on the Baner-Pashan link road, said the Chaturshringi police.Rope marks were discerned on the necks of the husband and wife, while the child appears to have been administered with poison, said the police.Patel worked with a reputed IT firm while his wife was a homemaker. According to sources, the victim’s house was locked from inside for past couple of days.“When the family did not answer repeated calls by anxious neighbours, they alerted the police late on Thursday evening. Patel’s apartment was broken into from the balcony of an adjacent building, only to find the family in a deceased state,” said the investigating officer from Chaturshringi police station.“Either the husband and wife hanged themselves after killing the child or the husband killed his wife and son before taking his own life. We are ascertaining what prompted Patel to take this extreme step and the time of the deaths,” said the officer.The bodies have been sent to the Sassoon Hospital for postmortem. Further investigations are on.Suicide spree in cityThe Pashan deaths add to a growing surge of suicides across Pune in the last 48 hours.On Thursday, a 17-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh were found dead in their room in the city’s Bhosari area. In another incident, the body of a 31-year-old nurse was found in a decaying condition in her hostel room at Bhosari on Thursday evening.last_img read more

Woman’s house burnt down for remarrying

first_imgA woman in matrilineal Meghalaya filed an FIR against her village elders on Friday for burning her house as a punishment for remarrying.The woman, a 36-year-old mother of four, had been a widow before she married a 40-year-old man from the same village – Warmawsaw, about 50 km from Nongpoh, headquarters of Ri-Bhoi district – a fortnight ago.The Warmawsaw Dorbar (traditional village council) did not approve of this marriage and asked her to pay a fine of ₹32,000 if she wanted to stay in the village. The village elders did not explain how they arrived at the amount.The woman could not pay, and representatives of almost 300 families in the village burnt her house down on April 26 after she left for Nongpoh to visit her daughter. Her husband, a daily-wager, had also gone to a nearby village that day in search of work. “The villagers threw away part of her belongings in a river while the rest is being kept at the village Dorbar hall. We advised her not to return to her village and lodge a complaint,” rights activist Agnes Kharshiing said.Probe launched “The in-charge of Patharkhmah police outpost (Warmawsaw is under its jurisdiction) has been asked to investigate and submit a report by Monday. The State Women’s Commission is also looking into the case and members of the panel will go with the police to the village tomorrow (Saturday),” Spill Thamar, Superintendent of Police, Ri-Bhoi district, told The Hindu.Crime against womenMeghalaya-based women’s rights activists said the Warmawsaw incident highlights the rise in atrocities against women in the State. Crime against women in the State came into focus after V. Shanmuganathan had to resign as Governor following a complaint of alleged sexual impropriety in 2017. Around the same time, Independent MLA Julius Kitbok Dorphang, an ex-militant, was arrested for raping a 14-year-old. That year, the police recorded 238 cases of rapes, including two gang rapes. There were 137 other cases too, including assault on women with intent to outrage their modesty and cruelty by husbands or relatives. 2017 also saw 298 cases registered under POCSO.Police officers said the graph of crimes against women has been increasing. The number of rape cases increased from 82 in 2007 to 190 in 2016. Similarly, the number of cases of assault on women and insult to their modesty increased from 46 to 85 during this period.last_img read more

Flyover collapse: Yogi directs harsh action against officials

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed “harsh punitive action” against seven officials after a preliminary probe observed several flaws in the construction work of the Varanasi flyover, a portion of which collapsed on Tuesday killing at least 15 persons.Over a dozen people were injured and at least seven vehicles, including a mini-bus and a tempo, were crushed when a girder of the Lehartara-Chauka Ghat flyover crashed during peak traffic hours. Action against ex-MD The three-member probe team of senior officials led by Commissioner of Agriculture Production Raj Pratap Singh noted several “irregularities” in the construction work of the flyover. The Chief Minister has directed action against seven officials, including the managing director of the U.P. State Bridge Corporation, Rajan Mittal, who was removed from his post on Thursday. “Appropriate” action has also been directed against chief project manager H.C. Tiwari, former project manager Gendalal, project manager K.R. Sudan, assistant project manager Rajendra Singh and junior project managers Lal Chand and Rajesh Pal.State Public Works Department Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has appointed J.K. Srivastava as the new MD of UPSBC. Mr. Maurya had already suspended four officials, including Mr. Sudan and Mr. Tiwari, hours after the incident, holding them “prima facie” responsible.According to Awanish Awasthi, principal secretary, information, the preliminary probe report found at least six irregularities in the construction of the flyover. The report noted that not only were “the drawings used in the construction not approved by a competent authority”, the “support beams put in between the columns were also not tied to the cross beams”.No recordsThe construction unit “did not maintain the record” of the batch mix plant which has made it tough to ascertain if cement, sand and stones used to construct the support beams were mixed in the right proportion as per laid-down standards. It is also not clear if they were being checked from time to time by competent authorities. The report notes that the construction unit did not have a checklist of the concrete mixture used at the site, nor did inspecting officers record their comments after the inspection.last_img read more

Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda resigns from Biju Janata Dal

first_imgLok Sabha MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara constituency, Baijayant Panda, resigned from the Biju Janata Dal on Monday.Mr. Panda, who is the vice-president of IMFA, a ferro alloy producer, was suspended from the primary membership of the BJD for “anti-party” activities on January 24.The dissident MP, who remained a Rajya Sabha member of the BJD from 2000 to 2006 and again from 2006 to 2009, had won from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency twice as a BJD nominee — first in 2009 elections and again in 2014.“It is with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the kind of politics into which our BJD has descended,” wrote Mr. Panda in his three-page resignation letter addressed to Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.“With the BJD and you yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right for me to dissociate from it,” said Mr. Panda.Mr. Panda said that he will be separately conveying his decision formally to the Lok Sabha Speaker to accept his resignation from the House.Mr. Panda’s father and noted industrialist Bansidhar Panda passed away in Bhubaneswar on May 22. Mr. Patnaik, who condoled the late industrialist’s demise, had not visited their house to pay his last respects.last_img read more

Indian Coast Guard apprehends a Pakistan fishing boat off Gujarat

first_imgIndian Coast Guard (ICG) apprehended a Pakistan fishing boat with nine persons on board for illegally fishing in Indian waters off Gujarat coast on late Saturday.The boat named “AL AISHA” and all the crew members were escorted to Okha port and have been handed over to local Marine Police for further investigation.As per details, the Indian Coast Guard Ship Meera Behn, a front line Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) of Indian Coast Guard Region (North West) while patrolling close to International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), noticed a Pakistani fishing boat towards Indian side. “The alert crew of the ship on confirmation, exercised a daring boarding operation in challenging sea conditions and subsequently apprehended her for illegally fishing in Indian waters,” a statement issued by the ICG stated.Lately, reports of fishing activity and presence of Pakistan entities have been reported by intelligence and security agencies. “The Indian Coast Guard has been observing a high security alert on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day. The afloat forces have intensified patrolling and surveillance in the sea areas,” the Coast Guard statement added.In addition, a round the clock presence of CG ships is being maintained and this surveillance regime is further augmented by Coast Guard aircrafts across the coastal regions.last_img read more

Congress leaders take out rally, held in Gujarat

first_imgMore than 250 Congress leaders, including legislators, were detained on Tuesday when they held a sit-in and tried to take out a march towards the Assembly to press their demand of loan waiver. The Congress held a farmers’ rally in the State capital on the first day of two-day Assembly session.State Congress president Amit Chavda and Gujarat Congress in-charge Rajiv Satav who led the farmers’ rally were detained outside the secretariat complex when they tried to enter the complex towards the Assembly.The opposition party workers and farmers were engaged in scuffle with policemen in which two policemen and as many Congress workers received minor injuries.The police tried to prevent their march stating that permission was not granted by the administration to hold the rally.The Opposition party has been mounting pressure on the State government to waive ₹ 65,000 crore farm loans in order to help thousands of farmers who are distressed due to poor monsoon and lower prices.Meanwhile, ruling BJP leaders hit out at the opposition party for their attempt to disturb the law and order situation. Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani said the Congress had never cared for farmers when it was in power for decades.“Instead of asking the BJP government to waive debts, the Congress should talk about what it did for farmers when it was in power,” Mr. Vaghani said.last_img read more

Woman stripped, assaulted in Assam

first_imgThe police in southern Assam’s Karimganj district arrested 19 people, including women, on Saturday for assaulting and stripping a woman and stuffing chilli powder in her private parts for allegedly selling illicit liquor and indulging in what they called “immoral activities”.The incident happened on September 10, but the victim approached a local court on Thursday after a video of the incident was circulated on social media. She did not name anyone in the complaint.“A police team raided Magura, a remote tribal village on the Assam-Mizoram border at 5 a.m. today (Saturday) and arrested the 19. They include three who appear prominently in the video and are directly involved,” Karimganj Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay told The Hindu.The victim and the arrested belong to the same village, he said.‘More arrests soon’“We are continuing our raids and more arrests are expected to be made soon. We are investigating into what led to the attack. The villagers said they had been warning the woman not to sell illegal brew. They also accused her of encouraging immoral activities,” Mr. Upadhyay said.Demanded moneyThe woman, however, told the court that six men barged into her house and demanded the ₹85,000 that she had received under the Centre’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. She said the men stripped and tortured her, besides tying up her father-in-law, when she refused to give the money.The men relented and left only after she promised to give them the money, she said, adding she did not go to the police as the six men had warned her of dire consequences.last_img read more

Goa police file FIR against two for raping niece

first_imgNorth Goa police have registered an FIR onWednesday against two persons for allegedly raping their niece for over 10 years. The victim, now aged 23, has accused her uncles of repeatedly assaulting her for nearly a decade.Police Inspector in-charge of Porvorim police station Paresh Naik told presspersons that the accused are residents of Verem in North Goa.“The girl claimed that the duo attempted to sexually assault her again recently after which she complained against them. We have registered the case and are trying to trace the accused duo who are in their 40s,” Mr. Naik said.last_img read more

Go Air flight reaches Jammu from Srinagar without passengers’ baggage

first_imgSeveral GoAir passengers from Srinagar to Jammu were left fuming on November 4 as their flight reached its destination without their baggage. “We reached Jammu from Srinagar by Go Air flight G8-213 but the airline staff had not loaded our luggage,” Abdul Hamid, one of the passengers, told PTI over phone from Jammu. He said initially several dozen passengers were asked to wait for their luggage.A GoAir staffer told passengers that their luggage would be brought to Jammu by another flight of some other airlines, scheduled to arrive later during the day from Srinagar, he added. “After waiting for more than an hour, we have just been told to come and collect our luggage tomorrow,” he added.Attempts to seek a comment from Go Air over phone and e-mail failed. An e-mail to the address listed on the official website of Go Air for media queries bounced back while an executive at the customer care call centre said he was not authorised to comment on the issue.last_img read more

LeT militant killed, jawan injured

first_imgA Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant was killed in an shoot-out and a CRPF jawan was injured in a grenade blast in separate incidents in south Kashmir on Wednesday.A Srinagar-based police spokesman said Irfan Ahmed Sheikh was killed when he and other militants fired at a joint patrolling party in his locality, Chakoora, in Pulwama.“He was affiliated with the LeT and was known as a district commander. Sheikh has a long history of terror crime records, for which several terror cases were registered against him,” the police said.The jawan, Shahu Ram, was injured when militants threw a grenade at a CRPF camp in Kulgam. A Class 7 student, who sustained splinter injuries in a grenade blast in Pulwama in in January, died in a Srinagar hospital.JKLF chief held The authorities on Wednesday detained JKLF chief Yasin Malik when he started a protest march to press for the release of “political prisoners”, in the Lal Chowk area here. “Putting voices of dissent in jails and claiming democracy are two opposite things,” Mr. Malik said.A call for the rally was issued by the Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, to highlight the plight of Kashmiri inmates in jails.last_img read more

German Bakery blast: charges framed against Yasin Bhatkal

first_imgAfter a delay of several years, charges were finally framed against alleged co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) Yasin Bhatkal in connection with the 2010 German Bakery blast case at a court in Pune on Monday.Bhatkal, also known as Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar, was brought from the Tihar jail in Delhi and produced before the court of additional sessions judge K. D. Vadane.The court read out the charges framed against him under the relevant Sections of the IPC, the Indian Explosives Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA).Bhatkal, however, rejected the charges and pleaded not guilty.This was the first time since his arrest in 2013 that he had been brought to the Pune court in connection with the blast.The blast, which ripped through the city’s popular German Bakery in the Koregaon Park area on February 13, 2010, left 17 persons dead and injured more than 50.Delhi Police’s requestSpecial Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said the Delhi Police had filed an application requesting that further hearing be conducted via video-conferencing, while submitting their inability to bring Bhatkal to Pune due to security reasons.The hearing of this application was scheduled for June 15.Bhatkal’s lawyer, Zahir Khan Pathan, opposed the Delhi Police’s request, stating that the accused must be present during the trial.Mr. Pathan submitted that it was the State’s responsibility to provide security and that Bhatkal could be lodged at Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail till his trial ended.In December 2016, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court sentenced Bhatkal and four others to death for orchestrating the 2013 Hyderabad blasts that killed 18 people and injured more than 130.Bhatkal had been named prime accused in coordinating or masterminding a string of terror attacks across the country. In August 2013, he and another IM operative Asadullah Akhtar were arrested from the Nepal border in Bihar’s Raxaul district.last_img read more

Up to 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year

first_imgHas the cull begun? New data show that after remaining more or less steady for a decade, the number of investigators with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding dropped sharply last year by at least 500 researchers and as many as 1000. Although not a big surprise—it came the same year that NIH’s budget took a 5% cut—the decline suggests that a long-anticipated contraction in the number of labs supported by NIH may have finally begun.Although NIH publicizes the number of grants it funds each year, it does not routinely disclose the number of principal investigators—the leaders of the labs these grants support. But in response to a request from ScienceInsider, NIH shared these data for two sets of grants: research project grants (RPGs), which include all research grants, and R01 equivalents, a slightly smaller category that includes the bread-and-butter R01 grants that support most independent labs.These data show that despite minimal budget growth at NIH since a 5-year doubling ended in 2003, the number of investigators with R01-equivalent grants has held steady at about 22,000. (That number does not necessarily include researchers who received funding from a $10 billion, one-time spending boost that NIH got as a result of stimulus programs designed to combat the recession.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But the numbers fell sharply last year when NIH’s budget plummeted $1.55 billion due to sequestration. As NIH has reported, new R01-equivalent awards fell by 534. The new data show that the number of investigators with these awards dropped in sync by 605, from 22,116 to 21,511 (raw data here). The decline for RPGs was 511. The loss was a staggering 1001 when all R grants are tallied, according to an analysis by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology President Jeremy Berg, a former director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), now at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. (Berg’s data include smaller grants such as R21s but not large ones such as P01s.)Regardless of which data you go with (Berg advised ScienceInsider to stick with the figures from NIH), the number of investigators fell by hundreds last year, or by 2.7% for R01 equivalents or 3.8% using Berg’s R grant data. That suggests that after years of propping up grant numbers by squeezing the size of existing grants, the agency could not avoid a tumble last year.These labs aren’t all necessarily shutting down. They could have bridge funding from their institution or be “surviving by other means,” such as foundation support, Berg says. Moreover, NIH’s budget rose 3.5% this year, so the number of investigators could rebound somewhat in 2014 or later years, as DrugMonkey notes.But the drop in investigators does suggest some contraction in labs. If so, Berg asks, “is this a wise culling of the herd, or is this a destructive loss of productive investigators and talent?” Some of the grants are probably R01s that the investigator has held for decades, Berg says. But others “are probably people in the prime of their careers.”NIH has been thinking about ways to avoid relatively random culling of experienced lab chiefs. One idea is to offer willing senior scientists enough funding to wind down their labs over a few years. That might encourage more to retire and free up money for younger scientists. It’s “a potentially reasonable idea,” Berg says.He thinks NIH should also come clean about a policy it put in place in 2012 to spread its money further—reviewers give extra scrutiny to applications from investigators who already receive more than $1 million in direct support from NIH. NIH has not revealed whether the policy has significantly affected grant decisions, Berg notes. And he’s concerned that most institutes look only at the funding that well-funded grantees receive from NIH, and not the total including other sources. (An exception is NIGMS, which looks at the whole picture.) For instance, scientists supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which lavishes their investigators with funding, usually have grants from NIH as well, Berg recently found.last_img read more

Almost-Earth Tantalizes Astronomers With Promise of Worlds to Come

first_imgEver since the first exoplanet was discovered in 1996, astronomers have been scanning the heavens for another Earth: a rocky planet orbiting its star at just the right distance for it to harbor liquid water and thus, potentially, life. Now, sifting through data collected by NASA’s Kepler orbiting observatory, they have discovered just such a planet, although it’s not quite Earth 2.0. Named Kepler-186f, the planet orbits a star that is less than half the size of the sun and much cooler.“Very exciting,” says James Kasting, an exoplanet researcher at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, who was not involved in the work. “This is probably the most potentially Earth-like planet yet.” David Charbonneau, an exoplanet researcher at Harvard University, calls it “one of the most significant discoveries from Kepler.”The new world is the outermost of five planets orbiting Kepler-186, a red dwarf star some 500 light-years from Earth. Such M stars typically have a fraction of the mass of the sun, burn more slowly, and are too faint to be seen with the naked eye. (Hotter sunlike stars are classified as type G.) Kepler detected the planet from a minuscule dimming of the star each time the planet transited, or crossed the face of the star.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(*)From the extent and timing of that dimming, the researchers calculated that the planet is almost the same size as Earth—just 10% bigger in diameter—and goes around its star once every 130 days. Although its mass is unknown, astronomers say its size almost guarantees that it is rocky like Earth. Its distance from its star—about as far from the star as Mercury is from the sun—puts it in the outer reaches of Kepler-186’s habitable zone.Planets previously found in the habitable zones of other stars have been substantially larger than Earth  and unlikely to have a rocky surface. But because it orbits a dwarf, “we consider this planet more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin,” says Elisa Quintana, a researcher at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and lead author of a paper announcing the discovery this week in Science. Small, faint stars like type Ms make up more than three-quarters of the billions of stars in the Milky Way, however, so the finding could open a wide new hunting ground for extraterrestrial life. “Our galaxy is probably littered with cousins of Kepler-186f,” Quintana says.Several factors could make such planets less promising abodes for life than planets circling sunlike stars. For one, their close-in habitable zones could leave them extra vulnerable to perils such as stellar flares. On the plus side, M stars keep burning billions of years longer than sunlike stars do. “That is good news for life, because there is a longer period of time for it to take hold on the surface of the planet,” says Stephen Kane, a co-author and researcher at San Francisco State University in California.Kepler-186f is a late bonus from Kepler, which monitored the brightness of some 150,000 stars from March 2009 to May 2013 in search of planets. Analyzing Kepler data, scientists have identified more than 3800 planetary candidates, of which 961 have been confirmed as planets. As the software to search Kepler’s data improves, scientists keep finding planets that they missed before.Researchers had detected Kepler-186’s four inner planets by the spring of 2013. Then, a routine analysis of all of Kepler’s light curves—a procedure that typically takes weeks of supercomputer time—flagged the possible existence of a small fifth planet. Quintana’s team conducted a series of checks to ensure that what the software had found was a genuine transit.To learn more about the planet, Quintana and colleagues had to learn more about the star. By taking spectra of Kepler-186 with ground-based telescopes, they nailed down its mass and size—information that helped them determine the planet’s radius. “I remember walking to Elisa’s office one afternoon, and she looked up at me and said, ‘The planet’s about the size of the Earth,’ ” says Steve Howell, project scientist for Kepler at NASA Ames and a co-author of the paper. Further analysis placed the planet in the outer reaches of the star’s habitable zone.“We are not saying that there’s water on the surface,” Howell says. “All we know is that the surface has the right temperature that water could exist there in a liquid state.” To support water, however, the planet would also need to have an atmosphere to protect it. It’s unclear from the available data whether the planet has an adequate atmospheric blanket.Even those key ingredients wouldn’t guarantee that Kepler-186f is habitable. If it orbited slightly closer in, Quintana says, gravitational interactions would leave the planet tidally locked: rotating so that one side always faced the star. Such two-faced planets—with the night side eternally frigid and the day side blistering hot—are considered long shots for life. But Quintana and her colleagues say Kepler-186f is far enough out that it might avoid that fate.Unfortunately, the planet is too far away from Earth for follow-up studies. However, researchers hope it heralds many similar worlds soon to come. “The biggest impact of this discovery is to know that there are planets that are the same size as Earth in the habitable zones of small stars,” Charbonneau says. He says the next step will be “to find a close example” so that upcoming instruments like the Giant Magellan Telescope and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope can “study the atmosphere of such planets and perhaps even deduce the presence of life on them.”last_img read more

Congress asks why CDC safety problems persist

first_imgA U.S. House of Representatives investigative committee today grilled Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden about an accident last month with anthrax and other biosafety problems with dangerous pathogens in his agency’s labs—including some revealed years ago that supposedly led to reforms. Frieden explained that his agency failed to see “the pattern” that the latest incidents have exposed.The hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigations subcommittee came in response to a June incident in which CDC scientists in Atlanta moved anthrax samples they mistakenly thought were inactivated from high-containment labs to less secure ones, potentially exposing dozens of workers. Last week, two more problems came to light: a recent CDC shipment of flu samples contaminated with the deadly H5N1 avian influenza and the discovery of smallpox vials from 1954 in a government lab at the National Institutes of Health. The incidents prompted Frieden to announce on Friday several actions to improve safety, including the closure of two CDC labs and a moratorium on shipping samples from the agency’s high-containment labs until new procedures are put in place.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(*)Legislators were also troubled by the findings in a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) branch that oversees CDC’s work with select agents, or pathogens that could potentially be used as bioweapons. The inspectors, from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), found additional problems, including expired disinfectant, anthrax stored in unsecure freezers and labs, samples stored in Ziploc bags, and a lack of preparation at CDC’s clinic for a large anthrax exposure.The incidents “have raised very serious questions about the CDC’s ability to safeguard properly select agents in its own labs,” said subcommittee chair Tim Murphy (R–PA), asking whether CDC’s description of them as a “wake-up call” is adequate. Several legislators noted similar incidents at CDC over the past decade and a long list of reports finding broad problems with biosafety at CDC from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general.CDC responded adequately to the earlier incidents, according to Frieden, but failed to appreciate the extent of the problem. “We recognize the pattern at CDC where we need to greatly improve the culture of safety, and I am overseeing sweeping measures to improve that culture of safety,” he said.Frieden said part of the problem is that scientists who have spent years studying deadly pathogens in nature can become “inured to that danger” in their own labs. Both he and an APHIS associate deputy administrator testified that the existing rules are adequate to deal with the problem and that no new legislation is needed.Lawmakers asked how the moratorium on shipments will affect CDC’s ongoing work. Frieden said the halt has raised concerns from researchers working on drug-resistant tuberculosis, the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and preparations for next season’s influenza vaccine. CDC has made it a priority to quickly resume shipments from labs involving patient health and public health emergencies, he said.Some members wondered if the proliferation of labs working on select agents not just at CDC but at other agencies and universities since the 2001 anthrax attacks has increased the risk of an accidental release. One witness, GAO researcher Nancy Kingsbury, noted that there is no single entity that overseas biosafety and biosecurity or decides how many labs are needed. “The more important issue is, … How many of these laboratories do we really need for what purpose against what threat?’ ” Congress may need to mandate a national strategy for these labs—although it is not clear which agency would conduct it, Kingsbury said.CDC’s internal anthrax investigation concluded that minimizing the number of labs and staff at CDC working with select agents would improve safety. Asked for his view of the growing overall number of U.S. biocontainment labs, Frieden responded that “this is a complicated topic. … But just logically, the more places where work with dangerous pathogens goes on, the more possibility there is of accidents or accidental releases.” Microbiologist Richard Ebright of Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, urged the panel to consider moving oversight of select agent labs from CDC and USDA to another agency that does not fund or conduct such work itself as a way to avoid conflicts of interest. Ebright has long pushed for reducing the number of U.S. labs doing select agent work, and he told the panel the number should be whittled from the current more than 1000 to fewer than 50.last_img read more

Pune-based ABIL Group Buys London Building For Close To £100 Million

first_imgIn a closely contested auction, Pune-based realty developer ABIL Group has acquired an eight-storey commercial building at Trafalgar Square in London for nearly £100 million, or Rs 900 crore, from American global investment management corporation Black-Rock. The deal value includes stamp duty of 5% and other charges that have been paid as the registration has been concluded. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Leadership in the Digital Age

first_imgHistory is full of great Commanders. The stories of General Patton commanding his troops before D-Day, Steve Ballmer yelling at his employees to “get on their feet” at a Microsoft event, and Jack Welch berating his people as he barked his orders “straight from his gut” are all well documented. These leaders accomplished great things and relied heavily on a “Command and Control” style of leadership. However, leadership preferences are evolving in parallel with a number of market and cultural shifts. Their successors, General Colin Powell, Jeff Immelt (GE) and Satya Nadella (Microsoft), as well as a host of other executives like Tony Hseigh of Zappos or Marc Benioff of salesforce.com, more often take on the role of Collaborator or Co-Creator, rather than Commander. And for good reason: These less autocratic leadership styles resonate with today’s empowered, connected and skeptical customers and employees — often leading to increased innovation, loyalty, profit and growth. TwitterSo what has changed in the last 20-30 years to require new ways of leading? Technological advancement has created a ripple effect that is transforming the market. Today’s digital technologies — social, cloud, big data analytics, mobile and the Internet of everything — have created new, intangible, sources of value, such as relationships and information that are delivered by new business models. Along with the new sources of value, customers and employees’ wants and needs have evolved as digital technologies have created new ways of interacting with businesses. Attracting, satisfying and retaining these connected and savvy stakeholders requires leaders to learn some new tricks — but there are rewards. Businesses and leaders that adapt to this new environment see economic payout with higher profit, growth and valuations, and more (see our earlier article in Knowledge@Wharton, Why Businesses Should Serve Consumers’ ‘Higher Needs’)New Leadership StylesSo what is a leader to do given this new digitally enabled and hyper-connected environment? Employees and freelancers (such as Apple’s developer community) want ownership, impact and recognition, rather than to follow instruction. Customers want to participate in the marketing and development process (witness how consumer/business relationships have grown on social media and the rise of crowdsourcing businesses like Victors and Spoils), rather than be told what they want and why. Leaders are finding that open and agile organizations are able to respond faster and more effectively to these developments than organizations where all insight and direction comes from the top. In short, the autocratic Commander, whether brilliant or misguided, just won’t cut it anymore. Leaders need a broader range of style options to match the broader range of assets companies are creating today.In our business model research, based on financial data from the S&P 500 companies, we found that Network Orchestrators — companies that invest in intangible assets, like relationships with customers and suppliers (Facebook, LinkedIn, Airbnb, TripAdvisor) have the highest Multipliers (price to revenue ratios) at an average of 8x (more details here). These value premiums result from rapid growth and low scaling cost, as noted by Jeremy Rifkin in The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Further, we identified that the different leadership styles complement some business models and detract from others because each business model leverages different types of assets, which perform best under different leadership styles.Since most companies are actually a composite of different asset classes and business types — for example, Nike manufactures shoes (physical), but also develops some software (intellectual) and is developing a network with Nike+ (network) — most leaders use several of the four leadership styles:The Commander sets the goal and tells others how to accomplish it. This works well with machinery, which happily does what it is told, and with direct subordinates who prefer to simply execute. It is less effective with employees and customers who want choice and participation. The result in today’s world is high marginal costs and little participation and buy-in. This style is most suited to the production of manufactured, commoditized goods as it is limited by the Commander’s vision and bandwidth.The Communicator also sets a vision and a plan, but communicates it in order to inspire and create buy-in. This works better with employees and customers who want to at least understand where “the firm is headed.” It enables them to take action in line with the leader’s vision (it scales effectively), but it does not encourage innovation. This style is suited to services firms where all employees must work to fulfill the mission.The Collaborator works hand-in-hand with customers and employees (be they full time, part time or independent) to achieve the organization’s goals. As a result, it is empowering and enabling. This style taps into the innovation of people and drives the creation of new intellectual capital. Great examples are open innovators such as Victors and Spoils, a collaborative ad agency and Merck with its crowd-sourcing competitions.The Co-Creator allows other stakeholders to pursue their individual goals in parallel with the goals of the organization. As a result, he or she drives both rapid scaling (due to the high level of participation) and innovation. This style is at the heart of network companies where value is shared by the company and the network participants, such as Airbnb, Uber and Innocentive.com.The four styles are differentiated in terms of scalability — how efficiently they enable growth — and innovation — whether controlled by the leader or shared with stakeholders. Most leaders are already able to employ several styles effectively (although co-creation is still a rarity). However, using leadership styles effectively, in the proportion required today, and in the right situations, is tricky. Let’s take a look at how these styles were used by a great leader. Steve Jobs isn’t often remembered for his collaborative, open leadership style, but a thoughtful review of his business choices and words reveals more flexibility:Commander: Jobs often had a specific vision for design that he would insist on.Communicator: Jobs’s inspiring keynote presentations are legendary.Collaborator: Jobs collaborated with others “to take music and sport to a new level.”Co-Creator: Jobs eventually built a developer network that is unprecedented.For Jobs, and for many leaders, co-creation can be uncomfortable. Given that network-based businesses are the most highly valued and profitable companies in today’s digital world, what does it take for a leader to co-create? Our answer: the ability to relinquish control and the willingness to share the value created with the crowd.When Jack Dorsey and his collaborators developed Twitter in 2006, employees of their startup used it internally. As co-founder Evan Williams described it, “There was this path of discovery…. Twitter actually changed from what we thought it was in the beginning.” They had no idea the role it would play in sociopolitical movements, pop culture and business until the network actually started using and forming it. Although it may be difficult for founders to allow the network to shape their creation, that is the path to creating the most valuable, and valued, tool.The same is true for companies like Airbnb, Etsy and Uber that actually share revenues with their partners. Their business models depend on the enthusiastic engagement of their partners (hosts, creators and drivers). But these multi-billion-dollar start-ups are not the only companies that use this new leadership style. So do established companies like Visa and MasterCard, stock exchanges and those that rely on open-source development, like Red Hat Software. These businesses survive and grow because of the participation, co-creation and co-ownership of their members.Generating Innovation, Growth and ProfitIf you are a leader of a traditional company or industry, you may be thinking that Co-Creators are great for digital start-ups, or even existing membership based businesses, but not really applicable to you.We disagree. Our research and others suggests that in the digital age there is much to be gained by increasing your leadership skillset to include Co-Creation, even if you aren’t a network company:Allowing partners to share in the value creation and provide resources greatly reduces your marginal costs of marketing, sales and distribution — for example, the way Uber avoids buying cars and hiring employees with its partner network;Employees and customers who are co-creators — for example, those using Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machines to custom-make their own drinks — are more loyal and thus less price sensitive or likely to defect, improving customer lifetime value;Co-creation leads to an influx of new ideas by opening the organization to the innovative capability of external sources (a great example is https://www.innocentive.com);Co-creation builds a flexible and organic system that can more quickly adapt to market changes and new technologies (for example, Apple’s developer network can quickly jump on new trends and needs); andCo-creative business models are growing at faster rates, are more profitable and more scalable than those that rely on proprietary, in-house solutions and people (see What Airbnb, Uber, and Alibaba Have in Common).In the end, the argument for leaders to co-create is an argument for profit, growth and value creation. Today, the most valuable assets are intangibles: relationships (with employees, customers and investors), knowledge (ideas) and people. The newest business model, Network Orchestration, taps into these “assets” at low or near-zero marginal cost of scaling, resulting in rapid growth, higher profit margins and, ultimately, greater investor returns.Remember that your firm already has dormant networks of customers, employees and partners that want to share in value creation, and are already doing so with other firms. They are an enormous asset, but one that cannot be tightly controlled, even by the best executives. Only leaders who are able to relinquish some control and share the rewards will be able to access the value that these groups have to offer.Building Digital Leadership StylesLeaders who wish to add co-creation to their playbook should be guided by the following four guidelines:Understand your innate preferences. Everyone is naturally inclined to a particular style of leadership. Assess your own capability with each of the four leadership styles.Find mentors to support your development. Seek out leaders with strengths in this new style of leadership. It is hard to change without support, and mentors provide external perspective and give practical ways to change your approach. Reverse mentoring, where younger employees advise the leadership, is also a great option for leaders coming up to speed on new digital technology and cultural shifts.Experiment with new business models: Dedicate yourself and your team to regular exercises and workshops that hone your co-creation skills. Begin to experiment with co-creative, network businesses by investing some of your capital into business initiatives that require co-creative leadership.Create measurable goals for co-creation. Successfully co-creating looks different than successfully commanding. Update your personal and leadership team objectives with appropriate indicators: customer or employee engagement, participation, loyalty and co-creation. It will keep you on the straight and narrow.Remember, every one of us possesses a “portfolio” of leadership styles and each one has its place. A surgeon may be a Commander in the operating room, a Communicator with patients and a Collaborator when performing research. However, the styles that created value for many leaders decades ago are less effective with today’s empowered stakeholders — and since 95% of companies are not Network Orchestrators, we suspect that most leaders lack strength at co-creation.The digital, cultural and asset revolution provides a fantastic opportunity for shared success — increased growth and profit for businesses, and increased value for customers — but creating network-based businesses will require openness, adaptation and the development of new leadership skills. Related Itemslast_img read more

Employees in Mumbai Work the Longest Hours in the World, Says Study

first_imgAn average employee in Mumbai works 3,315 hours a year against an average of 1,987 hours in the world, according to findings of the Swiss investment services firm, UBS, BloombergQuint reported. Mumbai residents work for the longest hours among 77 major cities in the world, the report says.The number of working hours in Mumbai is twice that in cities like Rome (1,581 hours) or Paris (1,662 hours). New Delhi is fourth on the list, with an average employee putting in 2,511.4 hours a year.In its Price and Earnings 2018 report, UBS assessed 77 cities on a number of parameters, such as average annual working hours, price levels, earning levels and purchasing power in these cities. It discovered that employees in Mumbai, Hanoi, Mexico City, New Delhi and Bogota worked the most number of hours in a year. Employees in Helsinki, Moscow, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome and Lagos worked the fewest hours.From January to April of this year, UBS collected over 75,000 data points from these 77 cities.Employees at Mumbai also took the least amount of vacation days, numbering at 10 days. Joining the club of least amount of vacation days are Los Angeles, Beijing, Hanoi and Lagos. The maximum amount of vacation days were taken by employees in Moscow, St Petersburg, Barcelona, Doha and Riyadh, where more than 30 vacation days were taken every year.In terms of purchasing power, an employee in Mumbai would have to work 900 hours to be able to afford an iPhone X, while in Delhi the corresponding number of hours stood at 800. Employees in Cairo have to work longer —  1,000 hours — while those in Zurich only need to work 38 hours to be able to afford an iPhone X. Workers in Geneva, Los Angeles, Miami and Nicosia needed to put in less than 100 hours of work for the latest Apple product. The report compared the hours it would take to afford an iPhone or an iPad as these devices featured top on the list of products that millennials wanted to buy.When it comes to hourly earnings, Geneva, Zurich and Luxemborg top the list. Mumbai does poorly, coming in second last at number 76. The city is ahead of Cairo but behind Nairobi and Laos, which rank higher on the average earnings table.According to the report, Zurich is still the most expensive city (including and excluding rent), along with Geneva, Oslo, Copenhagen and New York. Luxembourg takes the top honors for purchasing power (gross hourly pay). Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive cities, is also at the bottom when it comes to cost of goods that millennial aspire to buy. Related ItemsMumbaiUBSZurichlast_img read more