1. FormatsThe URSA Mini Pro 4.6k camera is rocking a Super 35mm CMOS sensor, offering users a plethora of recording options. The camera uses Cinema DNG Raw and Apple ProRes compressed codecs, and each codec has a variety of flavors. Supported codecs include the following:Cinema DNG RAW LosslessCinema DNG RAW 3:1Cinema DNG RAW 4:1ProRes XQ QuickTimeProRes 444 QuickTimeProRes HQ QuickTimeProRes 422 QuickTimeProRes LT QuickTimeProRes Proxy QuickTime 6. Touchscreen MenuSpeaking of the menu, this is one of my favorite features of this camera. The URSA Mini Pro 4.6k has a 4” flip out LCD touchscreen panel. The screen doesn’t flip all the way around, but I doubt you’re buying this camera to vlog. The internal menu is incredibly simple and intuitive, visible even in very bright conditions.There are six different pages for the menu, all of which are extremely simple to navigate — again with an intuitive layout. Navigate between record, monitor, audio, setup, presets, and LUT pages. You’ll never get lost in this menu like you can with many other camera models. Change any of the camera settings on the panel simply by clicking on them. Double-click on the screen to zoom in then click on the media cards to see more information — and even format the cards. You can record RAW with a compatible CFast card, and you can even choose to record across two cards at the same time. Frame rate is dependent on the resolution, and you can achieve a maximum of 60fps recording in 4.6k Lossless Raw. If you want to shoot at 120fps you’ll need to switch to 2k window sensor mode.2. Dynamic RangeThere are two different dynamic range settings for this camera: Film and Video. The Film option gives you 15 stops of dynamic range, which provides an insane amount of play when you’re performing a color grade. This workflow is especially nice if you edit and grade with Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve software.The Video setting is similar to the Rec 709 color standard for high definition. So if you’re doing any run-and-gun work that you need to edit and get out quickly, this option is great. If you’re shooting in raw with this camera, however, you only have the Film setting available.3. AccessoriesThis camera is very versatile. There is a plethora of accessories you can get, both from Blackmagic and from other companies, so you can customize the rig to function in any environment. These accessories include interchangeable lens mounts, professional viewfinders, media recorders, and microphone and shoulder mount kits. Check out a full list of accessories certified by Blackmagic here.I’m currently using a run-and-gun setup — I have Blackmagic’s viewfinder and shoulder mount kit. This is a perfect rig if you’re a documentarian or news shooter. I also have the optional V-mount battery plate, allowing me to use industry-standard batteries. To power the URSA, I’m using Duo C-98 batteries from IDX. To record, I’m using a custom match pack from Angelbird. This kit is designed specifically for the URSA Mini Pro 4.6k and includes two CFast and two SD media cards. Angelbird also makes a CFast dual card reader so you can quickly and easily copy footage over to an external drive. 4. ConnectionsThe reason this camera has so many accessories is due to the number of connections on the unit. On the rear of the camera, you’ll find four mounting points and a Molex connector behind a small cover for attaching battery plates. Both the top and the bottom of the camera have ¼ inch mounting ports, allowing you to hook up accessories such as the shoulder base plate or the top handle.This camera is broadcast-ready with 12G-SDI in and out ports, as well as a Reference and Timecode In port. You’ll also find a 12V+ power input and a headphone jack on the back of the body. There are two LANC ports for using remote controls, which supports record start/stop, as well as iris and focus control on compatible EF lenses. Two XLR ports are hidden underneath a rubber cover at the back end of the top.On the right side of the camera, you have a rosette-style mount for the side handle. There’s a 3G-SDI output for downconverted 1080HD output, as well +12V 4 pin XLR connector. I’m using both of these to power the optional viewfinder. This also powers the optional URSA studio viewfinder. Just below, you’ll see the 2.5mm LANC connector for the mini side handle.5. External ControlsAgain, shooting in a lot of run-and-gun scenarios will make you really appreciate quick access to controls. This camera has everything you need right on the body. Once you get your format setup, you shouldn’t need to go back in the menu while you’re shooting.You have really high-quality built-in ND filters, all of the camera controls and audio knobs, as well as function buttons. You can even instantly switch to high frame rate mode with the click of a button. Quickly turn on peaking, zebras, and other readouts, and view important information directly
While many debate the value of film school, let’s take a look at a few useful lessons you can definitely take away from the experience.The merits of film school is an ongoing debate in the film and video community. And while a college education is never anything to scoff at, it’s also very true that one can get just as much, if not more, knowledge through online websites, resources, and YouTube channels.But, as someone who did go to film school, there are several things you can actually learn there. It’s not always as direct or helpful as “This is how you make a film.” Instead, if one is truly engaged and interested, one can learn a thing or two about how filmmaking works and begin shaping your skills early, thus being slightly more prepared to dive into the industry once you graduate.So, let’s look at seven things you can actually learn from film school, and how to apply these lessons to your career in film and video.(Note: This article is on what you can take away from film school. If you’re looking for some free “assignments” to hone your craft, check out this article.)1. Watch (and Study) the ClassicsImage via 8155069152.While you can (and should) do this with or without film school, one of my favorite aspects of the program was the film history and theory classes. Not only did we get to read and discuss the early days of filmmaking, we also got to watch many of the early classics.When studying film classics on your own, it can be difficult to stay focused while working your way through certain eras or directors. But in film school, you have a class and assignments that help you maintain focus and power through.2. Discover Your Favorite FilmmakersFrom these film classes and textbooks, you can start to get an idea of your preferred styles — as well as your favorite directors. Do you feel connected to German expressionism, or perhaps more drawn to French New Wave? Do the subjects of Alfred Hitchcock or Sofia Coppola resonate with you as you read about their lives and filmographies?It’s in these early years that you can begin to discover just who your influences are and how to begin shaping your own filmmaking vision.3. Experiment and Realize Your Ideal JobImage via mrmohock.One of my favorite classes in film school involved trying out every role on set. In a group of about ten, we rotated from director to actor to DP to AD to boom operator, etc. for a bit of experience in each role.Obviously, the project we were working on didn’t look like much, but it did let us try on different hats, which gave us an idea as to which ones were the most comfortable. In the real world, it takes time to realize your true calling — and it can be challenging. But it’s helpful to start experimenting and consider your options early.4. Which Cameras Are Popular and How to Use ThemI can tell you one thing film school definitely didn’t teach me — how to use modern digital filmmaking cameras. For some of our first projects, we were assigned very outdated camcorders, which recorded to MiniDV. It was a technology that was pretty much irrelevant to the types of digital cameras you would most often find on set or in the industry at the time.However, one of the wonderful things that happens in film school is that you begin to make friends and work with them on weekends (more on that below). It was with these fellow students that I discovered which cameras were truly being used — and some beginner-friendly DSLR and mirrorless options.5. How to Find and Build a NetworkIt’s also among these classmates and friends that you begin to build your network. Some of your most valuable connections are going to come out of film school (especially if you stay in the same city or area after graduation). Not only will you be closely working with these people, project by project, but you’ll also begin to learn how to work together as a team, which will come in handy when you begin hopping into paid gigs together later.6. Editing TheorySimilar to working with outdated cameras on some of the early film assignments, we also edited on old versions of Final Cut, with slow, outdated computers and an antiquated textbook. The digital video editing industry is growing far too fast for many formal film schools to keep up. I definitely learned much more about editing by watching YouTube videos than simply working it out myself on Premiere Pro at night.However, there’s much you can learn about editing theory. Especially if you’re lucky enough to try out some projects cutting old celluloid film by hand. Tips for mastering jump-cuts or the nuances of matched action sequences can be valuable information you can learn from seasoned editors who just might not be privy to the latest technology.7. How to Handle Constructive CriticismProbably the greatest single thing I learned in film school was how to handle constructive feedback from professors and peer reviews. In many ways, it’s a great way to learn. It can also be terrifying
There have been 297 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States. Seventeen of these people were sentenced to die before DNA evidence proved their innocence. The average time served in prison by those exonerated has been 13 years.In many of these cases, these people were convicted by eyewitness testimony. They were convicted on the testimony of others, only later to be freed by scientific evidence. We prefer scientific evidence to witness testimony, and for good reason: witness testimony is unreliable and subject to personal prejudices.We Just Don’t KnowI am no schoolboy. I am in no way an Armstrong apologist. His statement wasn’t what most of us hoped to hear. And as impressed as I am with magnificent athletic feats, especially those involving endurance and suffering, I don’t have any heroes. Personally, I believe most professional athletes are doing whatever is necessary to compete at the highest levels of their sport.But I have no idea who is guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs. And neither do you.This We Do KnowHere is what we do know.We do know that Lance Armstrong is arguably the most tested athlete in sport. We know that he passed something near 500 drug tests during his career.We know that he passed all of his scheduled drug tests.We know that he always filed the paperwork making his whereabouts known to the drug testing agencies, and we know he passed each of the random tests they conducted.We know that he passed the blood and urine tests conducted after each of his Tour de France stage wins.We know that a lot of other athletes have failed these same tests.We also know that he has successfully defended all charges leveled against him, some of them in the courts.Now, we suspect that the USADA has testimony from his past teammates. We don’t know what they have, because we haven’t seen it. Allegedly, it outlines a wide-ranging conspiracy to win the Tour de France through the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It could quite conceivably be true (we’ll hear more soon).A Terrible Precedent and a Poor StandardBut to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France victories is to prefer witness testimony to physical, scientific evidence. To follow this standard is to eliminate the need to drug test athletes altogether. If witness testimony is to be preferred to actual blood tests, then blood tests are henceforth meaningless.There is always a game of cat and mouse being played. Sometimes cheaters get a little ahead of science and find ways to beat drug tests. Sometimes science gets ahead of the cheaters. But science is still the better standard, especially when compared to a precedent that suggests that witness testimony will trump physical evidence.If witness testimony is enough to change the results of past sporting events, then all of the results of past sporting events are now suspect: Passing the drug tests is no longer evidence that the participants were clean.This is why Lance Armstrong must be allowed to retain his Tour victories.QuestionsYou know we can’t leave here without making this about you and about sales, right?Have you ever performed well for a client only to have one contact testify that you are failing them against all evidence to the contrary?Have you ever had anecdotal evidence or witness testimony throw an account into jeopardy, even when you had the facts on your side?Which standard would you prefer if you were accused of some wrongdoing, scientific evidence or witness testimony? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
One gentleman from a very large, very well-recognized company posts content on his company’s internal blog. He leads an inside sales team and provides content to help them better perform in their roles. He’s been posting frequently, and a lot of people on his team like his ideas. But his strategy has a few problems.The first problem is that the content this sales leader is posting isn’t his. The content is actually mine, taken directly from this blog. That wouldn’t be a problem, except he has been publishing the content under his own name, making it look as if the content is his.The second problem with his strategy is that other people within his company read my work and subscribe to my newsletter. When this gentleman posts “his work,” his team immediately identifies it as mine. They continually email me to tell me that he has plagiarized my work.I emailed this gentleman on LinkedIn and thanked him for sharing my content, asking that he please attribute it to me, and explaining how helpful that was to me in allowing me to be known as a value creator in big companies like his. I also politely suggested he could also take it down, if he thought there were a better choice.When he didn’t reply to my first email on LinkedIn, I sent a second. Again he didn’t reply. So I sent a note to him directly to his work email, worried that his leaders would be told that he was plagiarizing my work and reprimand him–or worse. I didn’t want to see that happen.Finally, he removed my content rather than attribute it to me (which might have embarrassed him).A lot of sales managers and sales leaders use the content I post here to run their weekly meetings. Some of them also use my weekly newsletter as their Monday morning sales team meeting. And a bunch of people email posts to their whole teams.You don’t need my content (or anyone else’s for that matter) for your blog. You have your own ideas, thoughts, views, and experiences, all of which are every bit as valid as mine.You can take the idea from someone else’s post and write your own view of that same topic, giving it your own slant. Or, if you agree with everything they say . . .You can take a paragraph from someone else’s post, attribute it to them, and expand on it and make it your own.Plagiarizing makes you look bad. Citing other people’s work makes you look learned, smart even. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Prospecting is important. It is imperative that you put the time into actively making your calls, and taking all the other actions necessary to create new opportunities. Not researching, which is important, but actually prospecting.It’s critical that you build prospecting into your model sales week, lest you find yourself with an empty pipeline, and hoping for a miracle (here is a free 9-part video course on planning your model sales week). That said, your effectiveness at prospecting matter a great deal: better prospecting calls are better than more prospecting calls. If you aren’t making enough calls to produce the results you need, then you need to make more. But making better calls will produce better results faster.Better prospects are better than more prospects. A bunch of unqualified prospects who can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t buy from you may make you look busy, but that won’t help you succeed in sales. Quality counts. You need better prospects, not more prospects.Better sales calls with better prospects are better than more sales calls. Making poor sales calls doesn’t help you move the needle; better sales calls do. So plan your sales calls. The face-to-face meeting you have with your prospects need to create value for them while also creating a preference for you (here is a free 4-part video course on planning a sales call). .Having better relationships is better than having more relationships. Relationships are an investment of time, energy, and emotion. More neglected relationships aren’t better than fewer, seriously meaningful relationships. Deeper is better.More work isn’t better than better work. Work with meaning and purpose is better than more work that doesn’t meet your real needs. Money isn’t enough of a reason to do work that makes you feel bad about yourself.Quality is better than quantity when it comes to producing results and pursuing success. By focusing on quality, you lessen the need for quantity. Fewer and better is better than more. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
If you only listen to people with ideas you agree with, you are stunting your growth personally and professionally. Growth comes from shedding your current beliefs and trying on new, more empowering beliefs that offer greater returns on time and effort invested.
The single obstacle standing between you and your goals (or success, as you define it), is staring back at you in the mirror every morning. Unless and until you do something about that single obstacle, what you want will evade your grasp.There is a tendency to look at things that are external, the things beyond your control, as the reason you struggle to reach your goal or produce some results you believe you want. The things that are external have little to no impact on your results, being mostly your mind’s desire to protect your ego; you can’t be to blame, that would mean you are responsible for the failure, and you would somehow be something less than you want to believe you are.The things outside of your control are excuses, not reasons. The reason you didn’t reach your goal is different than your excuse. Maybe you didn’t reach your sales goal because your irrational competitors cheated and won on price. Or maybe you didn’t differentiate yourself and your offering or failed to justify the delta in some meaningful way. Maybe your relationships don’t work out the way you want them to, despite your trying repeatedly without success. The examples here are limitless, but if you are introspective and honest enough to face the truth, the one thing all your challenges and obstacles and unachieved goals have in common is you—as is true for everyone.Recently, a person in a workshop challenged me on the statement that “everything is your fault.” He suggested that this was a bridge too far, and surely, I didn’t mean “everything.” In his view, some failures had to be caused by something or someone else. He was looking for external forces for which to blame a failure to achieve a goal or an outcome. Were his belief true, it still wouldn’t serve you to hold that belief. It is disempowering in that it allows you to believe and behave as if there is nothing you can do, no difference you can make.When you hold this belief as true, it can creep into every area of your life, providing a defense for your ego, and allowing you to slip into the comfort of knowing you are not to blame for your results—that external forces dominate. Fortunately, this is not true. The results that you produce in your life are wholly within your control, and external events have little to do with you achieving what you want to achieve.Adopting the belief where you control the results you produce, and you are responsible for reaching your goals is empowering. It puts control in your hands, where it belongs. If you want to reach your goals and achieve your vision of success, you must do something about the one obstacle standing in your way. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday hinted at a pre-poll alliance with the Congress ahead of the Assembly polls in Gujarat and stressed that opposition unity a must to ensure a BJP defeat regionally and nationally.“We have had an alliance with the Congress in Maharashtra and nationally in the UPA,” said Mr. Pawar, who was in Ahmedabad to address a rally. “All parties should come together to fight the BJP.” In Gujarat, the NCP has two MLAs in the 182-member House.Slamming the State government, Mr. Pawar said the BJP’s over 15-year rule has resulted in neglect of farmers, agriculture sector, and small industries. “Farmers are distressed and so are small and medium enterprises, which once were the backbone of Gujarat’s industrial base.”According to him, the BJP government in the State faces a strong anti-incumbency wave and major communities like Patidars are disgruntled with the party.Mr. Pawar, before his rally, had a meeting with Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Shankersinh Vaghela, who termed it a curtsey meeting. “The Congress and the NCP were friends, and in future that friendship will remain,” Mr. Vaghela said after the meeting.Lately, the NCP has become active in the State, which goes to polls later this year. Before Mr. Pawar’s rally, NCP leader Praful Patel visited the State several times, and on Friday, he told media persons in Gandhinagar that the NCP is emerging a strong third face in the State.
A film on a differently-abled woman’s ‘will and zest for life’ bagged honours at the 64th National Film Awards.While the Amitabh Bachchan and Tapsee Pannu starrer Pink won t the best film award on a social issue, ‘I am Jeeja’, narratingthe life and struggles of a cerebral palsy activist Jeeja Ghosh,won the best film award on a social issue in the non-feature film category. The award citation of the film says that it is a “simply told story” and “a beautiful ode to life”. The film sharess the award with Sanath, a film by Vasant S. Sai about a victim of medical negligence and his life after that. Film director, Swati Chakraborty, teacher-turned-friend of Jeeja Ghosh, said she was overwhelmed by Jeeja’s courage who had been undeterred by her limitations.The 28-minute documentary produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust traces the journey of Jeeja Ghosh who shot into the limelight in 2012 when a private airline crew “pulled her out” of the plane at Kolkata airport merely because the captain felt she was a threat to the flight. In May 2016, the Supreme Court directed the private airline to pay Jeeja a compensation of Rs 10 lakh The film also deals with other intricate issues relating to her personal life, such as her achievements in terms of building a successful career as an disability activist and her marriage.The film shows Jeeja, who has cerebral palsy, tying the knot with Bappaditya Nag in 2013 and starting a normal conjugal relationship, “The film brings to the fore the issue of sexuality and relationship between a differently-abled person and a person without any disability,” the director told The Hindu., The film at one point shows Jeeja saying that a disabled person is considered an “object with no sexuality and gender”and yet such an individuals is vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence. There are even touches of humourwhen Jeeja hurls abuses at a few bikers jeering at her because she was taking her time while crossing the road.. “Firsta woman, that too disabled and going to office. Unimaginable!,” Jeeja says to the camera.“The story is a first person narration by Jeeja Ghosh herself. which may be a rare instance where the film uses the voice of a person with speech impairment. I did not use any voice over and wanted the viewers to hear Jeeja’s voice,” the director adds. For 46- year-old Jeeja Ghosh, the film shooting was an enjoyable experience. “She ( Swati Chakraborty) is a colleague and friend,” she said. The film will go a long way in establishing the rights of the disabled and treating them at par with normal individuals, she added. Before directing this film, Swati Chakraborty, who for the past three decades had been associated with the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, had made only a few documentaries. “I started working on the film in 2015 and completed it in 2016. The award will give me more conviction to carry my work for those who are deprived and are subject some of social discrimination,” Ms Chakraborty added.
South Gujarat, parts of Saurashtra and Ahmedabad received heavy rain on Tuesday, prompting the authorities to deploy 10 teams of the National Disaster Response Force as a precaution at various places.In Ahmedabad, the heavy downpour led to waterlogging in most low lying areas, roads, subways and streets, disrupting traffic and normal life. The civic administration asked people not to venture out unless necessary as more rain is expected in the next two days. “We have seen heavy rain on Tuesday and more is expected till August 31. The administration is fully equipped to deal with the situation,” Gujarat’s Princi- pal Secretary, Revenue, Pankaj Kumar said.The extremely heavy rainfall in south Gujarat has also disrupted rail traffic with tracks submerged at Vapi and other places. In Vapi, 22 people were shifted to safety, while five were rescued by NDRF members, the State government said.Surat and Valsad districts in south Gujarat, as well Junagadh, Botad, Morbi, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Mahuva in Saurashtra received heavy rainfall since Monday night.Surat received 108 mm of rainfall, while Valsad received 69 mm. Bhavnagar and Rajkot received 96 mm and 58.9 mm, respectively, the State’s Emergency Response Centre said. More than 70 dams and reservoirs in and around the city are overflowing. The State has received almost 96% of the season’s average rainfall till Tuesday.At least 39 dams in the State are overflowing, while another 31 have received 99 per cent of its storage. Seventeen dams are close to 90% of capacity, it said. “The weather department has predicted heavy rain in Surendranagar, Botad, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Kheda, Patan and Gandhinagar. We have alerted the respective district administrations, Mr. Kumar said.(With inputs from PTI)
As air quality in major cities of Uttar Pradesh hovers around “very poor” and “severe,” the State government has banned garbage burning in urban areas in a bid to reduce the pollution. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, after reviewing the scenario, has instructed municipal corporations in Uttar Pradesh to put an end to garbage burning. The State government has also sought technological assistance from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, to create artificial rain, a government spokesperson said.The government is considering a review of old vehicles. It could remove them from roads, if necessary, to reduce vehicular pollution.The Chief Minister has instructed District Collectors to prevent burning of crop stubble in rural areas. An awareness programme involving farmers would soon be initiated.Officials have been instructed to run an awareness campaign on garbage burning, stubble burning and vehicular pollution on FM and community radio till January 15, 2018.The Air Quality Index of major cities in Uttar radesh like Moradabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Varanasi and Noida has consistently been in the higher range of 400. It even touched 500 on a few days leaving the residents worried.
Six persons, including three women, died and five others were injured after an overloaded truck overturned and fell on two cars near Khander on Bah-Etawah road in the district on Friday, police said. The injured have been shifted to the emergency ward of S.N. Medical College. Two of the injured were in critical condition.“The deceased includes two women and four men,” a police official said. Eye witnesses told the police that the driver of overloaded truck lost balance due to dense fog and then fell over two cars.“One car was overtaking the overloaded truck while another rammed it from the back. A large number of villagers gathered and managed to extricate the bodies,” a bystander told the police. According to police, passengers in one car were going to attend engagement ceremony of a girl and the other car was headed towards Muzaffarnagar. A case has been registered.
The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal on Thursday asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take cue from his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu and “speak up now on special status for Bihar”. The party also warned that if he failed to raise the issue, the RJD is ready to launch an agitation.“We demand that Nitish Kumar should break his silence and speak up on the issue of special status for Bihar which he had earlier been raising time and again… he should take a cue from his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu,” said Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav. “For how long would he run his government in mortal fear of Prime Minister Narendra Modi? If he fails to raise the issue of special status for Bihar, he should resign and come out of the NDA on the call of his conscience,” the RJD leader added.Later, RJD party spokesperson Manoj Jha said, “We salute Chandrababu Naidu for showing the courage to stick to the stand he took on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh. Jharkhand too was bifurcated from Bihar in the year 2000 like Telangana was created out of Andhra Pradesh, but there appears to be a big difference between the Chief Ministers of the two States.”Mr. Kumar, also president of the ruling Janata Dal (United), has long been demanding special status for Bihar and even made it his poll plank during the last State Assembly elections in 2015.“Even after achieving double-digit growth rate during the last many years, we are still behind the national average on major developmental parameters — poverty line, per capita income, industrialisation, social and physical infrastructure,” he had written to the Prime Minister in support of the demand. He also sat on a protest in Patna demanding special status for Bihar.As far back as 2009, Mr. Kumar had — ahead of the results of the parliamentary elections that year — announced that he would support “any party which grants special category status to Bihar.”Mr. Jha alleged that in July 2017 the Chief Minister “betrayed” his party by joining hands with the BJP and “conveniently threw the special status issue in the trash bin.”
The Sarbananda Sonowal-led ministry in Assam would be expanded on Thursday after almost two years of suspense owing to differences between the Bharatiya Janata Party and its two regional allies over berth share.With 126 members in the Assembly, Assam can have 19 ministers. But the BJP-led coalition government has had 11 ministers since it was sworn in on May 24, 2016.Governor Jagdish Mukhi will swear in seven more ministers — five of BJP and one each of coalition partners Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front.The expansion had been put on hold because of a lack of consensus with AGP and BJP on the number of berths in the expanded cabinet. The two regional parties, currently with two berths each, had demanded two more.While the BJP has 61 seats, AGP had won 14 and the BJP 12 in the 2016 Assembly election.“The cabinet expansion was long overdue. We hope to improve our governance with the induction of the new faces,” said Chief Minister Sonowal.Except for Chandan Brahma of BPF and Phani Bhushan Choudhury of AGP, all the new ministers would be first-timers. They include BJP’s Guwahati East MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya, who had preceded Mr Sonowal as the president of the party’s State unit.“I am a fielder in the cricket field of governance. I will field anywhere the captain asks me to, whether in the slips, or gully, or mid-on, or third man,” said Mr. Bhattacharya.“I am thankful to our party’s State and Central leadership for giving me the responsibility,” said Tapan Kumar Gogoi, former All Assam Students’ Union leader and BJP’s legislator from Sonari.
The Maharashtra Public Health Department is now left with just three months’ stock of medicines as the Haffkine Institute, tasked with purchase of medicines for the government, lacks expertise, sources said.Every year, the state government purchases medicines worth ₹1000 crore for which it has appointed the state-owned Haffkine to facilitate the centralised purchase of medicines to be used by the Public Health Department and Medical Education Department. Last week, the state government hospitals and medical colleges at many places faced shortage of drugs as the new supply is running short.On Wednesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired a review meeting of the Health Department over the issue and sources said that the lack of expertise of the Haffkine in the purchase of drugs and medical equipment process was discussed. “The Chief Minister has directed the Haffkine Institute to hire workers on contractual basis, if needed, to speed up the tendering process of drug purchase. The Public Health Department was also directed to streamline the demand of medicines by clubbing all its requirements. The time for the tender process has also been cut short,” said an officer who attended the meeting. Haffkine had already placed tenders worth ₹128 crore but managed to deliver medicines worth ₹60-70 crore only, the officer said. “The Medical Education Department is running out of medicines and needs urgent intervention. Hence they have been permitted to purchase medicines locally,” said the officer, adding that the health department is likely to get around 7,000-8,000 extra staff in the upcoming mega recruitment of 72,000 government officers.The issue of lack of medical equipment was also discussed in the meeting, but put on hold since it did not require urgent intervention. Further, a decision of allowing one time purchase of medicines worth ₹1 lakh, from the earlier ₹5,000 limit, to heads of medical colleges was also cleared. The government will also be mapping availability of medical facilities in various parts of the State.
A joint operation by the Indian Navy and the NDRF to rescue the 15 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills since December 13, began on Monday around 10 a.m. “The Indian Navy will enter the main shaft to survey the bottom of the mine using UWROV or Under Water Remotely Operated Vehicle. The Navy requested the District Administration to assist in dewatering so that water level comes down to 30 meters or within safe diving limit then they will again commence diving. These safety measures are being undertaken to rule out decompression sickness,” the spokesperson for Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district administration said. Besides the NDRF, who are providing logistic and human resource support to the Navy, the Odisha Fire Service is also present to commence pumping with at least three machines in the nearby shafts.
The plaque at a railway overbridge here bearing the name of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was found defaced on Friday, triggering a protest by the BJP. The main Opposition party alleged the defacement was the handiwork of Congress workers, a charge denied by the ruling party. Unidentified persons threw paint over Mr. Chouhan’s name on the plaque at the Vir Savarkar Railway Overbridge, which was dedicated to the public in April 2016 when he was the Chief Minister, police said, citing a complaint filed by the BJP. BJP activists staged a protest at the bridge alleging Congress workers were involved in the act of defacement. “I submitted a complaint in the Habibganj Police Station after the protest at Savarkar Bridge. We have also cleaned the plaque. “We don’t believe in this kind of politics,” said Surendra Nath Singh, Bhopal district unit BJP president. Retaliation warningA police official said they are looking into the complaint. Mr. Singh, a former MLA, blamed the Congress for the incident and warned of a retaliation.
An Election Commission of India (ECI) team that included Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Tuesday said all political parties were “seeking early elections” in J&K and stressed that “the commission was attaching prime importance to ensuring conducive environment”.“The ECI is committed to deliver free, fair, peaceful, transparent, ethical and inclusive elections,” the CEC who was accompanied by Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, said. “It attaches prime importance to ensuring conducive environment for conducting elections in the State, keeping in view the specific concerns of the State. Effective mechanism is being fine tuned for smooth conduct of the electoral process,” he added. The ECI “will look into due security arrangements while deciding on the timing and phasing of the elections,” said the poll panel’s members.
A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier went on a shooting spree at a security facility in north Tripura on Friday night. He shot bullets at his colleagues critically wounding two.BSF officials refused to share details of the incident before completion of investigation. Arun Kumar Verma, a senior official of Tripura Frontier of BSF, on Saturday said probe launched into the ‘unfortunate incident’. He said Constable P.D. Rao who opened fire inside a BSF campus died.Numerous shooting incidents have occurred in BSF campuses in Tripura over the years. A BSF soldier went on berserk and shot dead three colleagues before shooting self at a border camp in Kailashahar of Unakoti district on May 7 last year.On March 14 this year a BSF Sub-Inspector died at a border post in Sonamura of Sepahijala district.
The BJP’s Gurugram candidate and Union Minister of State for Planning (Independent charge) Rao Inderjit Singh on Friday said that his party was indeed seeking votes for Balakot air strikes, adding that it was for the first time that “we had entered the house of the enemies and hit them”.Speaking at a public meeting ahead of filing his nomination papers, Mr. Singh said the Opposition accused them of seeking votes on the basis of the Balakot air strikes and One Rank One Pension issues and acknowledged that it’s true, but went on to justify it. He said there were no two ways about the fact that for the first time since Independence, India has had a government and a Prime Minister willing to “enter the house of the enemy to hit them and kept our self-respect intact”.He said the UPA government had only paid lip service to the cause of OROP by allocating ₹100 crore in its last budget, but the NDA earmarked ₹8,500 crore to implement it in 2016.He said Haryana is the only the third State after Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh where the Central government has sanctioned two AIIMS projects.