Free Personal Finance App from Army OneSource and Military Saves!

first_imgIf you’ve been having difficulty getting some service members excited about penciling out a spending plan, this new app form Army OneSource and Military Saves might just be the answer. The new Money Matters Mobile App is an ideal tool for PFMs to use with service members who are looking for an easy, accessible way to get financial information on the go.The app can be used on a wide variety of Smartphones, including iPhones, iPod Touch, Androids, and BlackBerrys that have the newest operating system (v5). The free Money Matters Mobile app links users with financial tips from the Military Saves’ Facebook page, savings tips, a debt repayment calculator (great for figuring out payment amounts before making big purchases), and contact from a Community Support Coordinator to learn about financial events in their area. Additionally, users are encouraged to take the Military Saves pledge, as well as to share the pledge with others.This new app is an ideal tool for tech-savvy people who rely heavily on gadgets and web-based information. Success oriented service members engaged in one-on-one financial counseling would appreciate the ease of access this app provides. The accessibility, literally, at the tips of their fingers, may encourage users to engage in financial planning online communities.Families will benefit from this app too. Encourage parents attending financial workshops to download the app not only on their own phones, but also on their spouse’s and teenage children’s phones as well. Parents will benefit from the useful tips and calculators while youngsters will be introduced to financial terms. Using the app as a family may serve as an springboard for family conversations about financial matters.last_img read more

Etiquette for Web Conferencing

first_imgMute your microphone when you are not talking so your breath, background noise, etc. is not being picked up. Clear your schedule for the entire webinar time frame.Let your coworkers know you are not to be disturbed. If possible, close your door and/or let your co-workers/family know that you will be unavailable.Turn off your cell phone. and remove any other potential distractions.Come prepared. Read any related material before the session starts.If calling into the session via phone, do not put your phone on hold if doing so plays music or a message.In most cases, headsets are best. If you are using your laptop’s built-in microphone, realize that any typing you do will be heard by everyone. It will also pick up your speakers and everyone but you will hear an echo of everything coming from your speakers. Some software does a much better job of noise cancellation than others.If you will have the opportunity to interact, a microphone is much better than typing in the chat window. If you don’t have a microphone, everyone has to wait for you to type.If it is a video conference, have a camera. If you are the only one without a camera, your input will have less impact and influence. It’s much easier to talk to a face than a blank screen.Connect early enough to configure your microphone and speakers. If this is the first time using the software, connect at least 20 minutes before the start of the conference. There may be software required for you to install. If it only takes you a few minutes to connect and get setup, feel free to do something else until the meeting starts. Just leave the conference window open.If someone else is in the conference early – ask them if your sound level is okay and to say something so you can verify your speakers volume level.During the session Over the last several years, I’ve taught hundreds of classes online and been a participant in many classes and other web conferencing sessions. Here are what I would consider some basic ‘rules of etiquette’ for participating in an online conference or webinar. There are times when it would be okay to break any of these rules, but be aware of the implications when you do.All of these rules could be summed up with one rule: “Act as you would in a face-to-face meeting”. If you were meeting with the others in a face-to-face meeting or attending a class, would you walk in late? Would you start balancing your checkbook? Would you take other calls? If it’s worth your time to attend, give it your attention. If you had to travel for this meeting, you would be away from your desk and work for a lot longer than just the length of the class or meeting.Guidelines for ParticipantsBefore the session starts Use the chat feature to ask questions or make comments without interrupting the speaker.Keep chats on topic. Remember that everyone can see the public chats. Give feedback. If you don’t have a camera on you, all the speaker knows is that you are signed in. They are assuming you are keeping up with them and understanding everything that is said. They can’t see you yawning, falling asleep or walking away from your computer or your body language. You have to let them know if they are going too fast or have lost you.If you have to leave early, type something in the chat window (private chat if possible) to let the speaker know why you left. Otherwise, they won’t know if you were mad, disinterested, confused or had an emergency.Stay engaged! Resist the temptation to check your email, surf the net, balance your checkbook, etc.Guidelines for Moderators, Presenters, and Discussion LeadersBefore the session startsKnow how to use the web conferencing software you will be using and how to configure your microphone, speakers, and how to use any features you will be using.Practice using the features of the software.Connect early to configure your mic and speakers and make sure everything is loaded properly.Connect early to help others with technical difficulties. If you don’t feel confident enough to answer basic technology questions invite someone  to help you.Change your screen resolution if you will be sharing your whole screen or resize the window to the smallest size that will show what you want to show if sharing just a window.Have the windows you will be sharing open and sized correctly.Turn off IM, auto email notifications, and any other possible interruptions – especially if you will be sharing your screenHave a helper who can alert you to problems such as audio or desktop resolution issues or chat questions/comments you may have missed.Welcome people as the join the session.At the start of the sessionStart and end on time (people usually don’t mind if you end early).Make sure the attendees can see your screen or slide before you start.Let everyone know if you are recording the session.Set the ground rules for the session. Explain how you want the participants to participate. Will you be taking questions via chat as they come in or at the end?Be aware that the participants may not have a screen with the same resolution as yours and they probably have only one monitor.During the sessionGo slow. Slower than normal, especially when showing content on your screen. Often there are latency issues that cause your audience to be a few seconds behind you.Keep an eye on the chat discussion.At the end of the sessionThank the participants for coming.Tell where the recording will be found if there is one.What ‘rules’ would you add? What are your pet peeves when attending or leading a conference?This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March7, 2013.last_img read more

Upcoming Webinar – TRICARE® Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

first_imgThis MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on June 10, 2016. Join the MFLN – Military Caregiving concentration on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern as we host our FREE online professional development webinar, TRICARE® Extended Care Health Option (ECHO).The webinar is part of a continual professional development opportunity to provide basic TRICARE® educational information for military service providers and families. The TRICARE® ECHO training will be geared to military helping professionals that work with exceptional families or individuals with special needs. Richard Hart, presenter and Senior Health Policy Analyst for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), will discuss a variety of ECHO services and resources offered beyond the basic TRICARE health benefits program. He will also be accompanied by two co-presenters: Theresa Hart, Nurse Consultant of Pediatrics and Special Medical Programs, and Dori Rogut, Senior Policy Analyst for Behavioral Health Benefits and Standards; both from DHA.To prepare for next month’s webinar, view our recent training on An Introduction to TRICARE® for an overview of TRICARE® benefits for service members and their families. The training included details about eligibility, program options, priority access to military hospitals and clinics, the TRICARE® Pharmacy Program, how Medicare affects TRICARE ® and the Affordable Care Act. Continuing Education CreditThe MFLN Military Caregiving concentration area has applied for 1.0 CE credit from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). A certificate of completion will also be available following the webinar.Interested in Joining the Webinar?To join the webinar, simply click on TRICARE® Extended Care Health Option. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense APAN system, but is open to the public.If you cannot connect to the APAN site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream. Mobile options for Ustream are available on all Apple and Android devices.last_img read more

Connecting the Dots Between Language and Literacy Learning: Part One

first_imgby Juliann Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLPImage from, CC0Recent research has reaffirmed the importance of language and literacy for children’s future academic success and has increasingly recognized the central importance of the family in the development of each.   Interactions that occur between a parent and child such as comforting them when they cry, repeating their babbling, or pointing at and naming pictures in a book all serve to strengthen the child’s communication and social skills while building neural connections that support future development.  Children learn from observing and imitating.  When families engage in language and literacy activities, children are not only learning through their participation but they are also learning that these types of activities are preferred and reinforced by their family.Many great resources were shared during the recent FD Early Intervention webinar on early literacy development.  Just as with communication development, literacy skills begin to develop early and include four components:Phonological Awareness – the ability to recognize that sounds have meanings and make up words (e.g., ball and book are both fun but are different toys)Print and Alphabet Awareness – the ability to understand that written symbols have meaning (i.e., a big M sign means McDonalds)Comprehension of Written and Spoken Language –the ability to derive meaning from written, spoken and signed language (e.g., hearing the word stop, seeing Mom put up her hand to signal stop, and seeing a stop sign have the same meaning)Expressive Language and Communication – the ability to use words and sentences to share thoughts and desires (e.g., learning new words and combining them into increasingly complex sentences)By breaking down the components, one can see how interrelated literacy and language are and how they support the child’s social and academic future.  It is also wonderful that the same types of interventions can be effective for teaching them through thoughtful planning.A primary goal is to ensure the frequency of opportunity is sufficient for child learning.  We can increase frequency by learning from families what activities they enjoy that they already do and then discuss how to increase the language and literacy opportunities available without interfering with the fun or flow of their day.  Starting with the family’s interests and talking about what is already supporting the child’s learning promotes the family’s sense of competence and feelings of accomplishment.  It says to the family, “I can do this because I already am doing a lot of it.  It isn’t brand new and more than I can manage.”A quick word of caution, early literacy intervention can bring out the summer camp persona in all of us.  Just writing this, is making me itch for my craft box.  I am not suggesting that projects are a bad thing for quick and fun activities that engage a child.  However, if they do not match the priorities and interests of the family, then they will not provide continuous learning opportunities that are led by the caregiver when you are not there.  Tomorrow, we will share a few basic but rich examples of how to support language and literacy development simultaneously within family activities that can be done with family members both near and afar.This post was edited by Robyn DiPietro-Wells of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube.last_img read more

Moments: A Unique Video Collage Project

first_imgDifferent video images shot at the same location, but at slightly different angles, are joined together to create a larger video collage – an inspiring project!A ‘photo joiner‘ is an artistic approach of combining multiple photographic viewpoints of a single subject.  First popularized by photographer David Hockney in the earlier 1980’s, joiner photography is a unique approach to photo collage.  Here’s one of Hockney’s photo joiners:So what if you applied this same photo collage style to video?  Inspired by Hockney’s photo work, Vimeo user Ian Gamester has just done that…and to impressive effect.  Chronicling different ‘moments’ of his life over several years, Gamester gathered enough footage to create a innovative series of video collages.  He explains the process, “I shoot 10 seconds of one shot. Stop recording, adjust the shot, shoot another ten seconds, repeat until you have enough shots to piece together the whole image.”This video project serves as creative inspiration for anyone interested in video production, post or photography.  Challenge your ways of thinking about the medium in which you work.  Break free of traditional approaches and create something great!Best watched full screen:To learn more about joiner photography and see examples of unique photo work, visit JoinerPhotography.comlast_img read more

Autodesk Smoke: 2D Histogram & 2D Transform Nodes

first_imgThe interface is pretty standard for histograms.  You can set overall Lift and Gain with the sliders in the upper left. This is processed before any other histogram adjustment. However, the real power and usefulness of the 2D Histogram is in the little triangle sliders.  You can move the top arrows, and compress the tonal range of the image.  Moving the black arrow in will increase the dark areas, making blacks blacker.  The more you move towards the center, the more of your image will be compressed and detail lost.  The same goes for the top white arrow. By moving it towards the center you are squeezing more of the tonal range and making more of the highlights whiter.The bottom arrows(triangles) will set the Output levels of your image.  You can raise the black levels making the blacks more gray, or lower the whites making them less bright and more grey.  The numeric values at the bottom give you the actual values for the pixel ranges based on bit depth:8bit=0-255, 10bit=0-4095, 16bit(fp)=0 to 1.This compressing of the tonal range can be quite useful in pulling a matte from an image to avoid more rotoscoping than is needed. This is why you will find the 2D histogram as part of all of the (Chroma)Keyers inside Smoke. It’s great for ‘clipping’ some rogue pixels in your chroma-key either in the blacks or whites to make your mattes cleaner.The side adjustments are for the users and allows for different ways to view the histogram.  You can view it in traditional Mono, or RGB, as well as view the Source levels in contrast to the Destination or result levels after you have moved the sliders. You can also Zoom the display to examine where all of those pixels are hiding along the spectrum.  And there is a RESET button to bring the node back to normal, although you can also right click and reset any node from the CFX schematic.2D TransformThe 2D Transform node is a great tool. It is a basic X, Y, Scale tool for repositioning your clips in 2D space. There are 2 transform types:Pan & Scan, which is only X, Y and ScalePerspective which activates Rotation and POV scale.Smoke defaults to the Perspective type, and honestly, I don’t know why you would ever need Pan and Scan, because you can do that in Perspective. There might be a speed increase in rendering,  but you’d be hard pressed to see it in practice.  Smoke artists used to use the RESIZE node for Pan and Scan in the past, but this is the tool to use now.There are 3 tabs to work with.  The AXIS tab will allow you to set keyframes for all of the various X,Y,Z, Scale, Shear values, and change the Axis Centre point. The next tab is Camera Shake.  You can activate the Camera Shake by highlighting the blue led in the tab.The settings will create a random movement along the X,Y,Z (rotation) and Scale of the image over the length of the CFX effect. The amount of movement in X, Y, Z(rotation) and Scale is measured in pixels and controlled by the sliders.  These are keyframeable as well, so you can ramp the intensity of the shake.  The Frequency sliders take a minute to wrap your head around. For the mathematicians and physicist, it’s easy… but for the rest of us it breakdowns like this.  The higher the value in the Frequency field the slower the shake will be.  You would think it would be faster as higher values usually means more, but in this case it’s the distance between each peak of the wave. Therefore, a larger number means more time between one wave and the next.  Bottom-line… low numbers=fast, high numbers=slow when it comes to frequency.  Phase will move the position of the frequency wave in time, giving you a subtle change in animation.You also have a Stabilizer/Tracker in the 2D Transform Node like in many of the nodes in Smoke 2013.  Once again, activate it with the blue LED on the tab. With the stabilizer you can track and stabilize a shot with 1 or 2 trackers and can track for rotation and scale. You also track in 1 2D transform node and then later on in your CFX schematic.  After you’ve done some other effects, copy the node and use the Invert Stabilization button to bring your footage back to normal.The order in which the transforms happen are Stabilize, then Shake, then Axis. So you can shake a shot, and while it’s shaking, further move it with the main Axis controls.There is a camera perspective FOV control even though there is no physical camera, but you could use this to link an expression from an Action Camera in a more elaborate setup.  You can change it here to create more extreme perspectives to your clip.  The Seed value will change the random start value in the Camera Shake to allow you to tweak the look of your shake animation. The shake animation will always be the same when you play the effect, so change the seed value to make a fresh animation.In the Texture settings you have various algorithms to adjust how your image is rendered based on the complexity of it’s pixels as it has been transformed.  But more important is the option to set the image to Mirror, Tile, or Repeat Last.  Mirror and Tile repeat are self-explanatory, Repeat Last will just take the edge pixels and repeat them, which will give you a pixel stretch look to the edges as the image moves from the frame.The great thing about the Smoke 2D transform node is that it has Motion Blur. This is something that the timeline AXIS effect does not. So if you need to move Text or an image with motion blur, then you need to use ConnectFX and 2D Transform over Timeline Axis.  There is also the option with Motion Blur to lock the transform but keep the blur. So by locking the movement, you can add motion blur to a still object.Another great and exploitable feature of Smoke’s 2D transform is the ability to change the canvas resolution. One reason to do this would be during stabilization, so that you don’t loose the edge information of your clip, in case you are going to invert the stabilization later on.  Another reason is to use it with the repeat modes to create a larger tiled image and still maintain the resolution of the original image.  This can be used with graphic elements as well to create large plates to use later in CFX with non-standard resolutions.Stay tuned for more in this series as Premiumbeat breaks down Autodesk Smoke 2013, node by node. Learn how to use each node inside ConnectFX for Smoke 2013.  In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the 2D Histogram & Transform Nodes.This is the first in a series of posts that will explain each of the nodes inside ConnectFX for Smoke 2013. Over the next few months, about as long as the Pre-Release Trial will be going on, I’ll breakdown each of the tools regarding their UI, functionality and uses. Some Smoke nodes are simple, some more complex, and some you can find very creative uses for.So let’s start at the beginning….2D HistogramWhat can you say about a Histogram?  It’s a very simple tool, yet it can do so much by quickly and easily adjusting the low and high ends of your clips.The Smoke 2013 2D Histogram node can show you how the pixels are distributed on your clip. The dark blacks of your image are shown on the left side and the bright whites are on the right.  Midtones are everything in the middle.last_img read more

Get Moving With Dolly Systems Under $500

first_imgAdding dolly movement to a film or video can really enhance your project. Let’s take a look at some dolly options that come in under $500.When you need movement in your work, a dolly system is a great asset to have in order to get those smooth motions. The only problem is most dolly systems can be extremely expensive. Let’s take a look at four options that won’t break the bank.1. DIY Tripod Dolly ShotThis method is for those who just don’t have the money to spend on any dolly system, but need to capture a quality dolly shot. The process is pretty simple and can be accomplished with a standard tripod. In the video below, Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly shows us how to mount our camera to the tripod and reduce the length of one of the legs, allowing the other two legs to work as pivots while keeping the tilt of the camera straight. If you’re in a pinch with little to no money, this will get the job done.Video via Film Riot2. Tripod Dolly SystemAnother way to capture a smooth dolly shot is by using a tripod dolly system. This system showcases a platform for your tripod to rest on, while the wheels underneath allow you to move it across a smooth surface. Options for this type of dolly aren’t too expensive, as you’ll see below. Luckily, Film Riot has another video that shows us how to make our own DIY tripod dolly for very little money.Davis & Sanford – $179Manfrotto – $319 Video via Film Riot3. Table Top Dolly SystemAnother very inexpensive solution for capturing a dolly shot is using a table top dolly. These small dolly systems allow users to mount a DSLR camera to a small plate that rests on wheels. This type of dolly system comes in really handy if you’re ever doing interviews and have access to a flat surface.While you have your main camera on a tripod capturing a static master image, you can place a secondary camera on the table top dolly in order to get cutaway footage. It’s a cheap solution and very effective. If you’ve paid attention to camera tech on Kickstarter, then you would have seen a really interesting table-top-style dolly system called the Hercules by Rollocam.ALM Mini – $67ePhotoInc – $100Hercules – TBD Video via Teknolife4. Dolly SliderThe last dolly system option is the slider. For many filmmakers and videographers, sliders can be extremely effective during narrative, commercial, or industrial work. Sliders are pretty robust, and many times will require more than one person to operate. Just be aware that sliders can range anywhere from $100 to roughly $1000 depending on the length and brand. However, once you use a slider, you’ll find that you can capture some amazing dutch or angle shots for your next project, as our very own Brent Pierce shows us in the video below.Benro – $250Kessler – $450Glidecam – $500center_img No matter your budget, you can add a really nice professional element to your visual work with dolly shots. This will not only make your work more impressive to fellow professionals, but it will keep your customers or producers coming back with more work.Do you use a dolly system for your productions? Are any of the options we mentioned a part of your visual arsenal? Are there any other cheap dolly shot solutions you can recommend? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below.last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: How Hustlers Stay Focused

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Because you are a hustler, a lot of people are going to come to you for help with their projects. They will offer you all sorts of compensation for your involvement, from paying you directly to giving you an ownership stake in their project.You will be flattered by these offers. You will be excited by some of them too. Your excitement over these offers stems from the fact that you know how to help these people with their projects, and because you know that you have the ability to create value. In many cases, you will know exactly how to help the person asking you succeed in their venture.But in something very close to 100% of the cases, you shouldn’t get involved in other people’s projects.Here is what you need to know:Anything that isn’t part of your mission is a distraction. You aren’t going to have enough time to do all the things that you want to do when it comes to your own projects. Helping other people with their projects will distract you from your own projects, and it will push the results you need further into the future—or kill them outright. Avoid distractions by learning to say no.The time you spend helping other people with their thing is the time you are taking away from your thing. You are supposed to be doing your own meaningful work. That takes a massive investment of time and energy. By saying “yes” to other people’s projects, you are stealing time from your highest priority. Invest your time in your hustle.There will always be more offers and more projects available to you than you have bandwidth. The more successful you are, the more people will ask for your help. The number of people who need your help with interesting projects will always exceed the time you have available. You are not missing out when you turn down the opportunity to help with their project; you are missing out on your project’s success.Your laser focus on the meaningful work you are here to do should dominate your time, your energy, and your investments. Nothing should take precedence over your mission. Anything that takes your focus from that work—and your projects—is a distraction. Hustle requires focus.You are kinder by saying “no” to the people who ask for your help with their projects than you are by saying “yes” and not giving their projects the time and attention that someone else could invest.Stay focused on your hustle.last_img read more

Gujarat Congress in damage-control mode; to repeat all sitting MLAs

first_imgAs a major group, led by the leader of the Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela, appears likely to join hands with the BJP, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki announced on Tuesday that all sitting MLAs of the party will be repeated in the elections to be held later this year.Mr. Solanki said the party high command had approved the proposal. “New appointments in the organisation will be announced when the State-in-charge Ashok Gehlot visits Gujarat on June 9,” he said.However, party insiders said the State party president’s announcement on repeating sitting MLAs was an attempt to reach out to some legislators who were reportedly in talks with the saffron party to cross over.Meanwhile, Mr. Vaghela, who has been skipping party meetings on election preparations, refused on Tuesday to comment on his possible return to the BJP. “Nothing today… but will tell you everything when the time comes,” he told media persons in Gandhinagar. Asked whether he would meet the State-in-charge Ashok Gehlot in Ahmedabad on June 9, he said he would meet anyone if he was called for a meeting.last_img read more

20 dead, 10 injured in M.P. fire

first_imgNearly two dozen workers were burnt alive when fire broke out at a cracker factory in Balaghat district on Wednesday afternoon.According to district collector Bharat Yadav, the incident took place in Kheri village, which is nearly 10 km from the district headquarters.“About 20 workers were killed and ten were injured in the incident. Eight of the injured persons have been sent to Nagpur for further treatment,” Mr. Yadav said.The reasons that caused the fire is net yet knownMeanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh each to the next kin of the deceased.last_img read more

Haryana to set up vegetable price stability fund

first_imgWith an aim to address the problem of seasonal fluctuation of vegetables prices, the Haryana government will soon set up a vegetable price stability fund.”Perishable vegetables like potato and tomato cannot be stored for long and farmers have no solution to this problem. The fund will be set up to provide assistance to farmers in the event of price fluctuation,” said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.1,000 daysHe was addressing a press conference to mark the completion of 1,000 days of the BJP government in the State.Mr. Khattar attacked the previous UPA-led central government for degrading the quality of education and stated that the BJP was committed to imparting quality education to make the youth more employable.”We have fixed a target of achieving 80% grade-level competency of students by the end of 2018. At present, the competency level is 60%. Quality education and employment pose a big challenge for the government,” he added.Mr. Khttar said that the UPA’s ‘no detention policy’ till Class VIII had adversely impacted the education system. “To improve education, we have started a monthly test programme for evaluation of students in government schools. Under this scheme, 22 lakh students are being appraised. The government will open 30 new colleges in the next two years. We have already opened 23 new colleges in the past two-and-a-half years,” he added.last_img read more

Not a happy new year for non-Goan patients

first_imgPanaji: From January 1, outstation patients from the neighbouring districts in Maharashtra and Karnataka will have to pay for treatment in state-owned hospitals here, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday. “We are primarily responsible for Goans, and will take care of them. The charges are very minimal,” Mr. Parrikar said. The outstation patients, however, will not be charged for emergency services. “The charges will be for very specific procedures which do not require immediate attention. These are fixed procedures for which only 20 per cent of the package charged is being levied,” Chief Minister said. Non-Goan patients will also be charged ₹50 per bed, per day in the four major government hospitals. On Friday, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane had said that a health card issued by the state government will be used for identifying locals and non-locals. Reiterating that, Mr. Parrikar said, “You should have a card… That card is issued after proper identity and Aadhar card is linked with it. So automatically, one who has a card he gets a priority.”Meanwhile, the Goa state committee of All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC) issued a press statement opposing the decision to charge fees. “The argument of the Health Minister that nearly 30 to 40% patients are from outside the state for treatment in State-run hospitals cannot be accepted. Every citizen of this country is guaranteed health care facilities and the same is enshrined in the constitution of India. It is the responsibility of every government to provide proper health care facilities to its citizens and Article 21 provides for right to life,” said a press note issued by Advocate Suhas Naik, secretary, AITUC, Goa.last_img read more

We have built airports in areas where previous govts. failed to build roads: Modi

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi claimed on Thursday that his government has built airports in areas where previous governments failed to construct roads.The Prime Minister was in Chhattisgarh on Thursday to dedicate the modernised Bhilai Steel Plant unit to the public and lay the foundation stone for a permanent campus of the country’s 23rd Indian Institute of Technology in Bhilai.Mr. Modi inaugurated an air service between Chhattisgarh capital Raipur and Jagdalpur, the district headquarters of the Maoist insurgency in the Bastar region of south Chhattisgarh. He also inaugurated the Unified Control and Command center in Naya Raipur area.IIT in BhilaiAt a rally in Bhilai, the Prime Minister said: “Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh tried hard to bring an IIT here during the last [UPA] government’s rule, but you know what kind of people ruled the country then. He tried for 10 years but achieved nothing. But when we came to power, with blessings from Chhattisgarh, we took an immediate decision [of sanctioning an IIT for Chhattisgarh]. ”The proposal for five new IITs, including one in Bhilai, was given the go-ahead. A modernised IIT campus, by spending hundreds of crores, will be set up here for talented students from Chhattisgarh and across India. ”The BJP government’s stress is on the technological enhancement which is why Digital India is being promoted. We are making airports in areas where previous governments’ couldn’t construct roads. ”My dream is to see a man, who is using ‘Hawaii Chappal,’ to fly by plane. Now the distance between Raipur and Jagdalpur has been reduced to 40 minutes from seven to eight hours.” This was the Prime Minister’s second visit to poll-bound Chhattisgarh in the last two months.“This area isn’t new to me. I used to travel on two-wheelers for organisation work here when this area was a part of Madhya Pradesh. In the last 25 years, I have visited Chhattisgarh almost every year and traveled to almost every district of this State,” he claimed.No mention of Opposition parties in speechMr. Modi, however, did not mention the Opposition parties, including the Congress party during his 35-minute lspeech. It was focused on development done by the Raman Singh government in the State and the BJP-led NDA government in the last four years.He claimed to have dedicated schemes worth ₹22,000 crore to the State people on Thursday that would create jobs and improve connectivity in the State, which has been battling Maoist insurgency for decades now..’Answer to violence is only development’He said:“Now, people are traveling more by air than by trains. There was a time when Raipur would witness hardly three flights in a day but now around 50 flights take off and land here. In the last four years, a large number of youths has joined the mainstream in Chhattisgarh and in other parts of the country. The answer to any form of violence is only development, development and development. Development can end all types of violence. We have tried to create an atmosphere of confidence by bringing development. “There was a time when Bastar would be associated with guns, bombs, and violence, but today Bastar is in news for an airport. This is Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision and Raman Singh has worked hard to take it forward. Every time I speak to him [Raman Singh], he comes up with a new scheme with enthusiasm. “The steel produced in the Bhilai Steel Plant had been used for constructing rail tracks across the country. Bhilai has not only made steel but made this country. This plant is the foundation of new India. The Nagarnar steel plant will also help the people of Bastar. We have made a big change in the law to make sure that mineral’s benefits are given to the local people which is why we set up District Mineral Corporations in every mining district. It has helped Chhattisgarh in getting ₹3,000 crore extra fund, which is being spent on development work. ”We are making sure that every villager gets a gas and electricity connection, a bank account, insurance, proper vaccination and LED bulbs. The Gram Suraj Abhiyan is a big medium of people’s participation. ”In Chhattisgarh, 1.30 crore accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana, 37 lakhs toilets constructed, 22 lakh gas connections have been provided under Ujjawala Yojna, 26 lakh people have been given Mudra loan, 60 lakh people have been provided with insurance and 13 lakh farmers have been given benefits of crop insurance scheme. A new chapter of development has opened here and this light has illuminated every house.” Mr. Modi pointed out that the Central and State government schemes were focused on building the future of poor and tribals, and claimed that the government was focusing on increasing tribal income.last_img read more

Maratha quota stir: Two more die

first_imgA day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterated his government’s commitment to granting quota for the Maratha community, two more personscommitted suicide allegedly over the issue on Friday.Umesh Atmaram Indait, 22, a resident Aurangabad’s Chikalthana area, allegedly hanged himself in his house in the city’s Choudhary Colony.In the second case, Dattatrey Tukaram Shinde, 34, a resident of Purandar in Pune district, reportedly threw himself in front of a train at the Daundaj railway station. Both had allegedly written suicide notes blaming the government’s ‘delay’ in granting reservation to the Maratha community.With these, the number of suicides attributed by the police , where the police have attributed the cause to be the reservation issue, has risen to six.Unemployment citedA suicide note allegedly written by Indait cites unemployment as the cause behind his taking the extreme step. “I could not fulfil the dreams of my parents. I am jobless even after completing my B.Sc.,” read the note.Meanwhile, speaking in Pune, prominent Maratha leader and Nationalist Congress Party MP from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosale lambasted the State government for dragging its feet over reservation to the Maratha community.“The government immediately ought to give reservation not only for the Marathas, but for the Muslim and Dhangar communities as well. Why have kept these issues on the back-burner for so long? It seems to have no willpower to resolve these pressing matters,” said the MP, who is a direct descendant of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji.Mr. Bhosale further exhorted the government to show the same alacrity in granting a quota for the Marathas as the Centre had done while pushing through the SC/ST Atrocities Act.‘Withdraw cases’“We are not demanding that the State scrap reservation for other deprived communities to accommodate us…but can the agitators [for the Maratha quota] be held responsible if their righteous anger boils over,” he said, demanding that cases against agitators be withdrawn lest there be more unrest in the State.Remarking that he was deeply grieved over the spate of suicides, Mr. Bhosale further said he would soon be holding a ‘Maratha Arakshan (Reservation) Parishad’ in which every district coordinator of the ‘Maratha Kranti Morcha’ would participate to decide on the future course of action to be taken by the agitators.Earlier this week, another youth Abhijit Deshmukh, 30, allegedly hanged himself from a tree outside his home in Beed’s Kaij tehsil.Days before, Pramod Hore-Patil (in his early 30s), took his life by jumping in front of a train in Aurangabad’s Mukundwadi area on the night of July 29. Patil claimed he was sacrificing his life for the ongoing Maratha quota agitation in a Facebook post he uploaded before his suicide.The trigger for suicide attempts for the cause of Maratha reservation began after 28-year-old Maratha reservation activist Kakasaheb Shinde plunged into the River Godavari in Aurangabad’s Gangapur tehsil on July 23, thereby intensifying the agitation. Meanwhile, in Ahmednagar’s Nevasa tehsil, a mixed group of agitators from the Maratha, Muslim and Dhangar communities staged a march demanding reservation while Morcha agitators blocked the Mumbai-Goa highway in Sindhudurg in the Konkan for several hours.last_img read more

New breastfeeding policy comes into effect in Rajasthan

first_imgA new breastfeeding policy has come into effect in Rajasthan for encouraging the rural communities to promote exclusive breastfeeding along with its early initiation. The initiative has been taken as part of the National Nutrition Mission-2022 on conclusion of the World Breastfeeding Week observed between August 1 and 7.Releasing the policy at Swasthya Bhavan here on Wednesday, Medical and Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf cited the figures of the National Family Health Survey-4, stating that the early initiation of breastfeeding in the State was only at 28.4%, while only 58% infants were able to exclusively breastfeed during the first six months of their lives.Mr. Saraf called upon the mothers, family members, medicos and paramedical staff to contribute for promotion of breastfeeding by adopting the methods laid down in the policy.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which has been working with the State government on the fronts of maternal and child health care, said the initiative should be utilised for reducing infant and neonatal mortality and improving children’s immunity towards infections. The policy is also expected to meet the nutritional needs of young children.UNICEF nutrition specialist Minakshi Singh expressed the hope that the policy, jointly developed by the Department of Women and Child Development and National Health Mission, would ensure “more intensive work” towards improving the current breastfeeding rates.Low percentageMs. Singh said while the State had made an impressive progress in institutional deliveries, which were currently at 86.6%, the early initiation of breastfeeding was low despite having doubled over the last 10 years. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months has also doubled during the last decade, as it was only 33.2% in NFHS-3.The new policy stipulates initiation of breastfeeding within an hour inside the labour room, supporting mothers to ensure the continued exclusive breastfeeding and counselling till two years of the child’s age.last_img read more

Plea for SIT probe into Hapur lynching case

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Uttar Pradesh police on a petition filed by the son of the victim in the 2018 Hapur lynching incident, seeking the probe to be transferred to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with officers from outside the State.A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna gave the direction on the plea of Mehtaab, eldest son of the deceased, Qasim Qureishi, invoking his right under the Constitution to a fair and impartial investigation into the “barbaric lynching” case.Mehtaab, a resident of Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh, has also sought compensation from the government. His plea said his father was “brutally thrashed to death in a dastardly case of mob lynching on June 18, 2018.” The plea said his father was the primary bread-winner of the family, who earned a living by buying and selling goats.“The police officers investigating the case from the outset tried to create a false version of the incident in order to shield the accused persons from Bajheda village,” the petition alleged.Mr. Mehtaab claimed the police have constructed a false chain of events to turn the lynching by cow vigilantes into an act of road rage. Thereafter, the police did not record the statement of the surviving, injured witness, Samayudeen.last_img read more

Saradha scam: The wait continues even after six long years

first_imgSushmita Talukdar, a 42-year-old home-maker, switches off the television whenever she comes across a news report on the investigation into the Saradha scam. She has lost all hope that justice will be done in the scam that tore her family apart. Sitting at her home in Sonarpur, Ms. Talukdar emphasises two dates — March 17, 2013 and March 21, 2018 — that changed her life forever.On the first, hundreds of people gathered in front of her house, demanding that the money her husband Pawan Talukdar had collected from them as an agent of the Saradha Group be returned to them. The couple had to flee their home with their son and remain in hiding to escape the wrath of locals. They returned almost a year later when there was a death in the family. On March 21, 2018, the body of her husband was found on the railway track near Sonarpur station.‘Changed forever’“Almost six years have passed. What are we to understand [about] who is guilty and who is not? My life has changed forever,” Ms. Talukdar said. Before the death of her husband, Ms. Talukdar was a home-maker and now runs a business of Ayurvedic products for a living.Also Read  Basudeb Mal, another agent of the Saradha Group living in the same locality, knew Pawan Talukdar well. Hundreds of agents in Baruipur and Sonarpur area of the State’s South 24 Parganas, who collected money for Saradha and other deposit-seeking companies, ended up like Pawan Talukdar, he said.“Some are dead, some remain in hiding and others are trying every means to repay the investors. What have we to do with the investigation or the Centre-State tussle that’s going on? All we want is to redeem ourselves of the sins of collecting money from people. We never knew that we would end up like this,” Mr. Mal said.Mr. Mal also repeats one date that he thinks has significance in his life. On April 16, 2013 he, along with hundreds of investors and agents of the Saradha Group from different parts of the State, reached the residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata and erupted into protest. “I remember carrying a poster: ‘Didi amader bachan (Didi save us)’.”18-page letterThe Saradha scam came to the fore in April 2013, when company chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen fled the State, leaving behind an 18-page letter. The letter had names of the then Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh and other political bigwigs. A flurry of political and administrative activity started from the third week of April 2013, with an inquiry commission headed by Justice (Retd.) Shyamal Sen and a Special Investigation Team by the West Bengal police, all being set up by the State. Sudipta Sen was arrested on April 23, 2013, from Kashmir, and Kunal Ghosh in November the same year. The collapse of the Saradha Group sent ripples across the neighbouring States of Odisha, Tripura and Assam, and in certain cases, the State governments handed the case over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).With the collapse of the Saradha Group, the operation of other deposit-seeking companies, including that of Rose Valley, which had allegedly raised about ₹15,000 crore (five times what the Saradha Group had raised) came under the scanner. On May 9, 2014, days before the State went to the Lok Sabha poll, the Supreme Court handed over the entire investigation into Saradha and other deposit-seeking companies that had raised money illegally from the market to the CBI.The investigating agency filed the first chargesheet in October of the same year, accusing Sudipta Sen, his close aide Debjani Mukherjee and suspended MP Kunal Ghosh. Since then, the agency has filed six more supplementary chargesheets, the last in January 2019 naming Nalini Chidambaram. Those arrested by the CBI in Saradha scam include former West Bengal Director General of Police and Trinamool Congress leader Rajat Majumder, former Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP and owner of a Bengali daily Srinjoy Bose, and the then Transport Minister of West Bengal Madan Mitra. All three are out on bail.After the CBI took over the probe, the Shyamal Sen Commission, set up by the West Bengal government to return money to the investors quickly, winded up its work. The State government has set up a corpus of ₹500 crore for returning money to the duped investors by imposing a tax on tobacco, but the commission could distribute little over ₹140 crore to duped investors.‘Return money’Subir Dey, convenor of the Amanatkari O Agent Suraksha Mancha, a platform of agents of different deposit-seeking companies, said the investigation in these scams, including Saradha, should be independent of returning money to those who have lost it. “The properties of Saradha and other chit fund companies are all there. The need of the hour is that both the Centre and the State governments should acquire these properties at the earliest and start the process of returning the money to the poor, who have lost their life’s savings,” Mr. Dey said. Scanning across documents at his office in Kolkata, Mr. Dey said that more than 200 people had committed suicide after being duped.Nira Naskar, 58, from Bariuipur Puranadarpaa village, made a living by doing odd jobs. He finds it difficult to recall the dates on which he invested the money but he is sure that he had put all his life savings of ₹2 lakh in the Saradha Group’s deposits. He now survives on what his two sons give him. Giving teeth to the serious fraud office  There are several stories like Mr. Naskar who have lost all their savings to the Saradha Group. Askar Mollaha, a vegetable vendor of Jalalabad in Canning, lost ₹40,000 and sees no hope of getting his money back.Tarak Dey, secretary of the Suraksha Mancha, said 20 lakh people are victims of the Saradha scam, and with all the deposit-seeking companies put together, the number could go up to crores. With the recent developments around the questioning of the Kolkata Police Commissioner by the CBI, representatives of the forum are going to step up their movement, demanding the return of money to all the duped investors. Nira Naskar , an investor at his home in Bariuipur  last_img read more

Sunita Biswal, daughter of former Odisha CM, joins BJD

first_imgSunita Biswal, daughter of former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Hemananda Biswal, joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) here on Saturday.Ms. Biswal was welcomed by Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik at his residence. Naba Kishore Das, former working president of Congress, who had joined the ruling party last month, accompanied her to Nabin Niwas, CM’s residence. “I am deeply impressed by the welfare programmes being implemented by Mr. Patnaik. He has been running a transparent government for years. My decision to join BJD is purely a personal one. I was not neglected in Congress. In fact, my candidature for an MLA seat was seriously being considered,” said Ms. Biswal.Reacting to the development, former CM Mr. Biswal said, “It was her own decision to join BJD. I have been associated with Congress for 60 years. My daughter’s decision has, however, saddened me. I want to make it clear that I am ready to shoulder whatever responsibility Congress would deem fit for me.”My daughter will work for her party while I am completely devoted to work for Congress. I cannot leave the grand-old party,” said the former CM.last_img read more

BJP, Congress face off over criminal cases

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress on Friday sparred over criminal cases, including that of the rape of a minor girl, pending against the Congress candidate for Panaji bypoll, Atanasio Monserrate.The BJP women’s wing alleged in a press conference that electing Mr. Monserrate, who has been chargesheeted for raping a minor girl last year, as an MLA would render the State capital unsafe for women. The Congress in response asked BJP as to how he had been appointed as a chairperson of a government authority by late chief minister Manohar Parrikar even after being booked for rape of a minor by Parrikar government’s own police. “The people of Panaji do not want a person accused of rape as an MLA. The State capital will be unsafe for women,” Goa BJP vice president Kunda Chodankar said at a press conference on Friday. Responding to the BJP charges, Congress, Goa president Girish Chodankar accused the BJP of doublespeak.last_img read more

Maharashtra a step closer to opening up data

first_imgA year after it unveiled a new public cloud policy, the Maharashtra Government has transferred 10 terabyte (tb) of data to the centres it leased from private service providers. Translating to near one-crore files and documents, about 20% of the total government data stored on government-maintained centralised data centres have now moved to warehouses maintained by cloud service providers (CSPs). Once the data from all departments has moved, access to citizens will be made available, senior officials said.Senior officials said so far, data from the school education, social justice and revenue departments have been transferred. These include caste certificates, revenue records and details of the social justice department’s schemes. “The government’s central data centre is now working at 80% of capacity, which was not the case. When 10 tb has moved to the CSPs, the modalities of how and when people will be given access will be complete soon,” said S.V.R. Srinivas, Secretary, Information Technology. “We will have the rest of the departments transferring their full data by the end of this month,” Mr. Srinivas said.Last year, the government empanelled five service providers to store about 1.25 lakh documents and files various State departments produced every day. The CSPs, as per the agreement, will look after the data for the next three years. The empanelment is in line with a cloud policy unveiled with the idea of giving citizens access to State data. The CSPs include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Net Magic, Control-S and M/s ESDS. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had formed a four-member committee under the secretary, Information Technology Department, to oversee implementation of the policy.The policy is compliant with the Union government’s National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, 2012, which mandates facilitation of access to government-owned shareable data in human-readable and machine-readable forms. The CSPs will provide the government with a fully-managed data warehouse to make it simple and cost-effective to analyse data using Standarised Query Language and Business Intelligence tools. The providers will also offer services that will allow the government to analyse and present data to citizens in a better way, senior officials said.last_img read more