Ravena leads POC anti-doping seminar

first_img“We are happy that Kiefer has reached out and is more than willing to take part of this campaign,” Caballero said.The former Blue Eagle was found positive of Dimethylbutylamine, Methylhexaneamine, and Higenamine, substances included in the WADA ban list.READ: Remorseful Kiefer out of PBA for 18 months The 24-year-old was slapped with an 18-month suspension from FIBA that would last from February 25, 2018 to August 24, 2019. He was also banned from suiting up for the NLEX Road Warriors during the said period.The seminar will take place on the Philippine Sports Commission audio-visual room at Philsports Arena in Pasig City at 8 a.m.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Pacquiao ‘85% ready’ says trainer as Matthysse fight draws near Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Kiefer Ravena reduced to being a spectator in the PBA. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIn light of the suspension of PBA star Kiefer Ravena over banned substances, the Athletes’ Commission of the Philippine Olympic Committee will be hosting its first anti-doping seminar on July 6.POC deputy secretary-general Karen Caballero said in the Philippine Sportwriters’ Association forum at Tapa King in Cubao on Tuesday that the seminar’s goal is to raise awareness on anti-doping measures to the athletes.ADVERTISEMENT Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 View comments Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Those who will compete at the 2018 Asian Games at Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia are expected to participate in the seminar.READ: Fellow athletes, coaches rally behind embattled RavenaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Every year, the list of banned substances given by the World Anti-Doping Agency changes. While the coaches and the officials are the first line of defense, it is still the athletes who intake supplements in their bodies,” Caballero said in Filipino.Caballero added she expects Ravena to grace the event to encourage his fellow athletes to be open about the subject. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Dr. Jose Raul Canlas of St. Luke’s Medical Center’s orthopedic department and WADA’s anti-doping unit head Dr. Alex Pineda will be the resource speakers of the event. Ivan Ruiz L. SuingSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Taal victims get help from Kalayaan townlast_img read more

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Bert Bowes girls win zones

first_imgThe Bert Bowes girls volleyball team has won their zone championships.The Grade 9 zone championships were held over the weekend and the team went 5-0 in their pool.In the semi-final match the team played Prince George Secondary School and won three straight sets.- Advertisement -In the final, the team faced Dr. Kearney Senior Secondary and won in two straight sets 25-18 and 25-16.last_img

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Chelsea BLOW! PSG to offer Blues target Marco Verratti new bumper contract

first_img1 Paris Saint-Germain are lining up yet another pay rise for Italian star Marco Verratti, who remains on Chelsea’s radar.The all-action midfielder is a long-term target for the Blues and there have been fresh links given his former national team manager Antonio Conte has taken over at Stamford Bridge.Verratti missed Euro 2016 after undergoing groin injury but he had become a key member of Conte’s Italy team, as well as one of the leading lights in the star-studded PSG side.Amid links to Chelsea, the French club handed the 23-year-old fresh terms in February, which extended his contract until 2020.But now, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are ready to hand him a lucrative new deal which will keep him at the club until 2021.That news will come as a blow to Chelsea, and also Juventus, who had considered Verratti as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba, should he leave. Chelsea target Marco Verratti last_img read more

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Using Brand South Africa material

first_imgAny respectable website or publication that promotes South Africa – directly or indirectly – is free to use Brand South Africa material for non-commercial purposes, subject to a few conditions.Brand South Africa holds copyright in the website, including all content not owned by other parties.We cannot give permission for use of:Any images that aren’t ours – ie any images that we source elsewhere.Any articles we source elsewhere – ie any articles that do not carry the “Would you like to use this article?” message at the end.Except for the above, we gladly grant you permission to republish Brand South Africa articles and photos, provided that:You’ve read our terms and conditions of use.You let us know you’re using our material.You credit Brand South Africa as the source of the material.How to credit Brand South AfricaWhen giving credit to Brand South Africa online, ensure you link to the home page of this website: www.brandsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

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South Africa’s history of hope

first_img28 June 2010 Nearby the majestic Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg stands a museum that acts as a testament to the troubled history and amazing journey of reconciliation of the 2010 Fifa World Cup host nation. The Apartheid Museum is one of Johannesburg’s most important attractions, drawing large numbers of people to the images, artefacts and video that explains the reality of South Africa’s racially troubled past. Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation enforced in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed. “We are currently seeing a high number of visitors to the museum,” Wayde Davy, deputy director of the Apartheid Museum, said last week. “We were expecting between 2 000 and 2 500 visitors daily, and we have been averaging between 4 000 and 4 500.’ The 2010 Fifa World Cup has brought an extremely high number of tourists to the Johannesburg region, and the Apartheid Museum has featured prominently in the itineraries of fans. On 16 June, Youth Day, 6 300 people came and visited the museum.Emotional journey “People are shocked after visiting the museum,” said Davy. “The enormity of what they have seen coupled with the emotional journey means they leave exhausted. The question that often comes up is, how is South Africa now? “The museum shows people how South Africa was just a few years ago; they hear so many bad things about South Africa, but come here and see only good,” said Davy. “This World Cup has driven interaction, and there is a strong will among South Africans to stay as one. “I believe this particular World Cup has great marketing value for South Africa, for Johannesburg and for the museum; we just cannot quantify it.” Aside from the high number of visitors pouring through the museum, journalists have also been coming to document the museum and beam those images home. “We have had five or six camera crews a day here in the museum,” said Davy. “Which means more people around the world will come to appreciate how far we have come.” The museum has a number of additional exhibitions to coincide with the World Cup, ranging from art sculptures to a history of football in South Africa in the 1950s. “This exhibit talks about the fact that soccer was quite an integrated sport, with players leaving South Africa to play games in mixed teams,” said Davy.African visitors ‘can relate to the story’ The reality of the first Fifa World Cup in Africa also means that the museum is seeing an increase in its African visitors. “They have a different reaction and become more emotional,” said Davy. “They can relate to the story.” For Davy, it is moments like the World Cup that bring nations together. “I believe this interaction breeds an understanding. There is a camaraderie, a getting to know a people, and thereby eliminating stereotypes.” As one passes the exhibits, there are many faces glued to the images, words and videos. Many of these visitors never having realised the gravity of South Africa’s past. “I didn’t know this much about it,” said Marco Leite from Portugal. “To see this and then experience the atmosphere in the stadiums, with black and white together, it is amazing.”‘We are one nation’ Suzanne Naude is a white South African who has been drawn to the museum for the first time due to the importance of the World Cup. “It is a sad experience for me, to see where we have come from and what we are achieving now makes me proud. We are one nation.” For many visitors to the museum, the experience is difficult to digest. “I found the experience very disturbing, and can’t believe how long it went on for,” said Michelle Hansen from Denmark. For Hansen, the spirit she has experienced at games and the people she has met on the street offer hope for the host nation. “I am really hopeful, after seeing where South Africa has been and where it is now.” Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

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A Passivhaus Rebuttal: In Defense of the Standard

first_imgMisstep #7: The standard doesn’t distinguish between energy sourcesI agree up to a point, however PHPP does distinguish between energy sources for source energy (there are utilization factors for electricity/pellet/natural gas/etc) — it just doesn’t offer a “credit” for utilization of PV or wind. And again, this speaks more to the 120 kWh/m²a as a CO2 limit than anything else. By Mike EliasonTo preface: these thoughts are my own and draw from the Certified Passivhaus Consultant training, studying European Passivhaus projects (occasionally documented on our blog), modeling projects and dissecting PHPP with my brute force collaborative cohort, Aaron Yankauskas. They are in no way endorsed by PHIUS, PHnw, PHA or the PHI in Darmstadt…Martin gave the kickoff address for the 2nd Passive House Northwest (PHnw) Spring Event. Unlike most kickoff addresses, his pointed out missteps of the North American Passivhaus movement. Amazingly, instead of deflating all 170 attendees, reactions were varied — agreement, disagreement and probably even a little rage! Attendees were discussing aspects of his address well beyond the meeting — a testament to issues with which many have struggled. There was a brief question and answer period, but no one successfully challenged Martin.After the event, I was cornered by Martin to discuss my thoughts. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately…) my carpool was antsy to leave, so we weren’t able to get into as deep and fruitful a discussion as warranted. However, Martin has generously permitted me to address my thoughts on his thesis for the benefit of GBA. What follows are the central themes of his address and my own “musings of a design geek” for each. Like everyone at the meeting, I’ll probably be highly unsuccessful in challenging Martin, but appreciate the opportunity to expand the dialogue.Martin began his address with what he likes about Passivhaus: that it stands on the shoulders of North American giants, sets a high bar for airtightness and has created a significant buzz that “energy nerds” haven’t seen in a long time (or maybe ever). He then proceeded down his list… Misstep #1: “Passive” is a problematic term and the direct translation “Passive House” is confusingPassivhäuser (Passive Houses) employ active mechanical ventilation and require active heating components (albeit very small). If comfortable with a lower setpoint, throwing a dinner party or borrowing the neighborhood kids — it’s entirely possible to forgo any active heating and live in an entirely passively heated house. The term isn’t completely accurate, but at this point changing the terminology would only create additional problems.I abhor the direct translation of Passivhaus! Whenever I talk to someone about Passive House (Passivhaus) – it devolves into a discussion of something tried in the ’70s, or a semantic argument with passive solar house designers. Every Passivhaus consultant knows this story, and that alone should warrant reconsideration. In German, Haus is slightly more nuanced than House — and non-residential buildings offer greater energy savings than residential projects. Plus, we don’t call the Volkswagen the Public’s wagon (although we happily obliterate Köln as Cologne!). Fervent discussions continueIn the end, everyone was (is) discussing Martin’s address with fervor — and it was stimulating to talk to those that agreed or disagreed and determine why. A lot of the things Martin and others see as issues or missteps — I believe to be misconceptions. I think as we become more familiar with the nuances of PHPP, a lot of these issues will sort themselves out. And hopefully, Aaron and I will have the opportunity to show that in the near future. If we do, you’ll find it on our blog. Misstep #5: There is a lack of cost-effective feedback loops within PHPP, so Passivhaus designers just keep adding insulation — even if it’s beyond the cost of photovoltaicsYes, there are people building excessive assemblies. Strangely, they would rather add insulation to their PHPP model than evaluate if the form, windows, openings or orientation need to be adjusted – even if doing the latter optimizes their assemblies. I don’t think this is a Passivhaus misstep, but a user one – PHPP is simply a spreadsheet and adding additional pages is not difficult. We’ve already seen ‘control panels’ allowing rapid study of assemblies and form. Much like the proliferation of cell phone applications – I imagine (hope?) we’ll soon see PHApps (Passivhaus Applications) – PHPP add ons for rapid testing, cost analysis, etc. Additionally, any designer could do a quick takeoff and check against cost of photovoltaics at any point along the way if so motivated.Regarding insulation versus the cost of PVs — it seems PHPP doesn’t reward the use of grid-tied photovoltaics because this still leads to CO2 emissions through transmission losses over the course of the year. This can be seen in the energy utilization factors counted against the 120 kWh/m²a max. The specific primary energy demand is really a metric for reducing CO2 emissions of the building to levels agreed upon at the 1992 Earth Summit. To take this a step further — our interest lies in adding PVs that exceed net zero, resulting in carbon reducing/plusenergie buildings. Misstep #4: 15 kWh/m²a (4.75 kBTU/ft²a) is too difficult and arbitraryAs was relayed to me recently, the 15kWh/m²a heating limit is the point when traditional heating systems could be eliminated and the cost of implementing Passivhaus became affordable. This limit wasn’t arbitrary for central European climates at the creation of the Passivhaus standards, but that point on Dr. Feist’s graph may shift in North America. After dissecting PHPP — that limit could very well be lower compared to Europe.The argument that achieving the specific space heating demand is too difficult rings hollow. By keeping the standard difficult, it will push product innovation, designer innovation and maybe cause people to rethink whether building single family homes makes sense in certain climates. Who wants to wait 10 years for North American manufacturers to catch up to where E.U. manufacturers are now?!?Regarding the extreme R-values — there are only a handful of built Passivhäuser in North America, and several were shoehorned through PHPP after being designed, resulting in absurdly high R-values. Basing the difficulty of achieving the specific space heating demand on these first projects is a biased sample. One of the pursuits of brute force collaborative is the utilization of normalized wall assemblies to meet Passivhaus. This means compactness, glazing, orientation, opening sizes, etc. are constantly being tested to ensure R-100 assemblies are only needed in Fairbanks. Don’t ask me why other people don’t work this way – we just enjoy geeking out with PHPP.Over the last year, I’ve been combing European Passivhaus projects and have yet to find an envelope assembly greater than R-80 — even with climbing huts high in the Alps or smaller houses in regions that get little sun. PHPP consistently shows that it’s actually easier to achieve Passivhaus in the United States. Figure 2 (see below) shows the resulting specific space heat demand across different cities by HDD. The blue line is Katrin’s house modeled in CPHC training and migrated to North American cities; the red is Katrin’s house migrated through Europe. For comparative HDD ranges, the EU numbers trend significantly higher than North America.What this says to me is designers and consultants in North America need to get creative and test the limits of PHPP. European designers don’t seem to have this problem, even though they are at a solar disadvantage. To further illustrate my point, the Österrichhaus in Whistler, B.C. (HDD: 8,000+) has no envelope assembly higher than R-54. That speaks volumes on how an integrated and oft-tested approach makes a significant difference. Misstep #6: Small house penaltyOn the “difficult to achieve”-iness of really small homes: I believe Alex Boetzel summed it up best: the German mindset regarding the difficulty with small houses is maybe you should build a multifamily house instead. There is a lot of truth to that — and maintaining the difficult standard might force the owner to determine if that is really the most efficient use of resources. We already know that EUI (Energy Use Intensity) is a decent metric for comparative analysis of non-residential typologies and that it’s horrible for residential ones. Martin mentioned a preference for per person energy limits — which actually makes sense, but seems very difficult to enforce and may cause issues for growing families. In training, we were told that houses over 4,000 sf would get the Mantle treatment (*) — although on a certain level, I believe this should apply to second and/or rural homes as well, and maybe that asterisk should be closer to 3,200 sf. Misstep #3: Space heat delivered through ventilation ductThere is no requirement for space heating to be delivered through the ventilation duct – though this was the classic definition, which was apparently altered to appease the Scandinavians. If towel warmers, localized radiant heating or mini-splits are preferable to deliver space heating – they’re all acceptable forms. I’m not an engineer, but am really drawn to the decoupling of ventilation and heating as championed by Kiel Moe and Transsolar. Read Martin Holladay’s address: Are Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary? Misstep #2: Häuser ohne Heizung (houses without heating) is a false statementThere has been a lot of inconsistency in the way Passivhaus projects have been represented online and in print – though this isn’t the fault of the PHI, and I think there are other contributing factors. First, I believe this is another case where direct translation fails – Heizung could mean radiator and Passivhäuser simply don’t need them. Second, many Passivhaus owners just never utilize their heating systems. However, most require some degree of space heating, and it would certainly be better if consultants were honest about this and persistent in correcting media errors. Misstep #8: Change the standard for North America like was done in AustriaMartin stated the Austrian government changed the standard, although with my broken German it appears this is only partially correct. In Austria, there are two routes to Passivhaus certification, through the Passivhaus Institut, or through a state run program which appears slightly harder than the first route. For the state-run option, the project needs to meet 10 kWh/m²a based on bruttogrossflaeche (gross square footage) instead of the PHI’s 15 kWh/m²a, based on Treated Floor Area. I’ve yet to see a house with that large a difference between the two reference areas.Martin also advocates for climate specific standards – and when cornered, I jokingly stated, “the standards are climate specific – it just so happens that the standard is the same across all climates!” Semantics… Sure. But it’s also because I believe given the right orientation, envelope, designer, etc. – it is possible to achieve the specific space heating demand in Minneapolis, Vermont or Miami – without needing an assembly over R-70. The Bagley Nature Center in Duluth came pretty close with an R-85 roof. It even utilized North American windows and Cardinal 179’s triple pane — I would love to use this glass, Cardinal just needs to improve the U-value and SHGC by about 10%. Changing the standard to be easier in colder climates would effectively be a bonus for living in a location that requires more energy – and given our research, that’s not something I believe to be necessary.last_img read more

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If We Build It, Will They Come?

first_imgBuyers are focused on the short termIt takes only 30 seconds of very basic math to see the benefits of investing in LED lights, says Jin Kazama, but he’s been unable to convince anyone he knows to buy Cree LED fixtures. “As Martin pointed out, it is very hard to convince regular folks of anything more than the near future economics,” Kazama writes. “So, if an investment has a 10+ year payback period, most will chill out.“Right now,” he adds, “we are at a position where building costs need to get down first, then Passivhaus or some similar efficiency/performance standards will be much easier to push.”Dana Dorsett says he’d be thrilled if most new homes met code minimums, let alone the stringent Passivhaus standard. And while the average American may move every seven years, there are still plenty of people who stay in their houses far longer than that and would benefit mightily from higher energy efficiency.“Most home buyers are ignorant or apathetic (or both) about energy use, until there is a big round of energy price inflation, as happens from time to time,” Dorsett says. “Only a very small percentage (the accounting math-nerds and the energy nerds) run the net-present-value (NPV) analysis even on custom homes, let alone trying out the numbers on already built shoulda-been-code-minimum-but-probably-aren’t-really tract homes or ‘starter’ homes.”(For more information on payback calculations and net present value, see Payback Calculations for Energy-Efficiency Improvements.)“Short-termers are all about resale value,” Dorsett adds, “which given the purchaser behavior, puts a near-zero premium on efficiency.” RELATED ARTICLES Our expert’s opinionWe asked Peter Yost, GBA’s technical director, to wade into this not-so-technical discussion, and here’s what he had to say:In August 2008, a barrel of crude oil on the international market went for about $149. It sure seemed as though we had just about everyone’s attention for high-performance retrofits and new home construction… that month. But how long did it take for the price to drop to a mere $35 a barrel? Just another five months. This sort of price volatility is absolutely crazy; and with that much volatility, there is simply no way to build a market for the performance of long-term investments like retrofits and new homes.But it’s not just fuel price volatility that undermines high performance remodeling and new construction. It’s our fascination with, and I would argue, our inappropriate use of any type of payback analysis on long-term durable goods like homes. If the investment in performance does not evaporate with the sale of a home, and the value of your investments in the home transferred with the sale, you would make the investment in performance based on both operational cost savings and the added value of the home.Our problem is with the financial institutions, which do not know how to evaluate high performance attributes when properties are bought and sold. That includes real estate agents, appraisers, and lenders. If I install high performance windows in a home, it’s almost never worth it from a payback analysis point of view, but those windows stay with the home if and when it is sold, then the remaining value of that investment transfers to the new owner.Ideally, the buyers should be willing to pay for the added value of the home because the real estate agent lets them know the value of the high performance windows, the appraisers recognize the value in their assessment of the home’s value, and the bank originating the loan trusts the appraiser’s numbers.I have written on this topic before. The good news is that all three financial sectors — agents, appraisers, and lenders — now have the tools they need to make this happen. We just need to tease the early adopters out of the general population of agents, appraisers, and lenders and give them all the business they can handle to pull their industries into 21st century market realities.And by the way, if you think our construction industry may be stodgy and conservative, we are like adventurous pioneers compared to the financial institutions we need to drag kicking and screaming to make the high performance value proposition work in our industry. Is it a case of overblown expectations?To Malcolm Taylor, the cause of this inability to see long-term benefits “owes a bit more to the wider culture.“There is surely a bit of cognitive dissonance,” he writes, “when you are confronted by a city like Las Vegas or a weekend NASCAR event or the traffic streaming from any major city to far-flung suburbs and then your builder suggests you think about spending a bit more on low-e windows. It may be the right thing to do but it is at odds with so much else that we see around us.”According to Robert Swinburne, home buyers usually have a long list of features they hope to include in their dream home, but the cost of these features often exceeds the amount that they’ve been prequalified to borrow. That can lead to all sorts of problems. But in addition, the professional building community may not be much of a help, either.“If they still decide to try to build a high-quality home, their builder will tell them that double-stud construction will add $30,000 to the price of the (1,200 s.f.) home,” Swinburne says. “He will tell them that rainscreen siding details are too complicated and will add $12,000 to the cost of the home (after you explain to him what rainscreen siding details are). He will also tell them that you can’t build a home without a boiler. He won’t build a house with ‘that new-fangled cellulose.’ He will have never heard of Passive House or Pretty Good House or anything like that. He may not even be aware that his state has an energy code.” In the end, he says, it’s not so much about the Passivhaus standard as it about spending as little money up front as possible.OK, Lewendal replies, but how do we change that thought process?“If we can show a reasonable return on investment on efficiency measures, we should be able to convince [home buyers] to agree,” he says. “I have nothing against the Passive House Planning Package except that no one wants to use it. I can’t make the numbers work either.”center_img This Q&A Spotlight starts with a simple question from Anders Lewendal, a builder in Bozeman, Montana. If building to the Passivhaus standard is so cost-effective, Lewendal wants to know, why are only a handful of these houses getting built in the U.S. every year?“Either the cost of fuel is too low or the cost of a Passive House is too high,” Lewendal writes in a post at Green Building Advisor’s Q&A forum.The simple answer suggested by GBA senior editor Martin Holladay is there are plenty of things Americans could do to save money, such as buying compact fluorescent lamps instead of cheaper but less efficient incandescent light bulbs.But, Holladay adds, most people don’t think long-term. “Remember that the average American moves every seven years,” Holladay writes. “It’s hard to make a long-term investment if you know you’re going to move soon.” Make it about comfort and low fuel bills nowMaybe the number of Passivhaus designs adds up to a handful, says Bob Irving, but so what? It’s a start. “Actually, it’s a pretty good record for something that was completely unknown to the public only a few years ago,” he writes. “Lots of people are interested in ‘net zero,’ superinsulation and the like.”What the industry really needs now, he adds, is more high-efficiency houses that people can experience, as well as more builders and architects who understand the benefits. “We’re trying to change a very staid, very conservative industry,” Irving says, “and, yes, it is difficult and hard and takes some time. And it can’t be about NPV or ‘returns’ which will put most buyers to sleep. We have to be selling comfort, ease of living, low maintenance, low fuel bills — advantages they can see now, not 7 or 12 years from now.”The adoption of more stringent building codes will help, but Ron Keagle suggests that home buyers are really the ones holding the cards.“If you promote higher performance homes to the public, they will demand it,” Keagle says. “If they demand it, builders will compete with each other to provide ways to meet a variety of possible options at the lowest possible cost.“However, if you force higher performance through broad-bush mandates in the codes, there will be no competition between builders to keep the cost down because they all have to provide the same thing. It will be a uniform passed through cost at the highest possible price.” Passivhaus for Beginners Ten Misconceptions About the Passive House Standard Are Passivhaus Requirements Logical or Arbitrary? Passivhaus Homes are Extremely Tight and Energy-Efficientlast_img read more

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Himachal Assembly session from today

first_imgThe budget session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly would begin from Monday and last till February 18, Speaker Rajeev Bindal said on Sunday. The second budget session of the State’s 13th Assembly would commence with the Governor’s address on February 4, he said, adding that it would be followed by obituary references on the same day. He said the discussion on the Governor’s address would be held from February 5 to 7. Budget presentationThe Speaker said the Jai Ram Thakur government would present its budget for 2019-20 on February 9. The budget would be presented by Chief Minister Thakur, who also holds the Finance Ministry portfolio, he said, adding the discussion on the budget proposals would be held between February 11 and 13. Voting on Demands for Grants would be held on the last day of the session on February 18 at 4 p.m., he said. The session would have a a total of 13 sittings and it has been decided to hold sittings even on Saturdays, he said, adding February 8 and 14 have been earmarked as private members days. “Usually the budget session is convened from February-end to March-end or the first week of April. But this budget session has been convened earlier and cut short to 13 sittings due to the upcoming parliamentary elections,” he said.last_img read more

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McCarthyism Redux

first_imgIn scenes reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare of the 1950s, five right wing Republican members of Congress, led by Rep Michele Bachman, are orchestrating a campaign to root out so-called “Islamic fundamentalists” who, they allege, have infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government.Their most prominent target is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Muslim American deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. In a letter to the deputy inspector general of the Department of State, they, accuse Abedin of being a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, because “three family members — her late father, her mother and brother (are) connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” With her “routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making,” they assert, that the State Department has “taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests … which may even pose security risks for this nation, its people and interests.”The language and even the agencies targeted by Bachman & gang are eerily evocative of McCarthy, who became notorious for making reckless and unsubstantiated allegations against so-called Communist sympathizers and spies, famously alleging that “the State Department is infested with communists.” McCarthy amassed immense short-term political capital, but was ultimately censured by the United States Senate in 1954, a fate we hope will befall these crackpots as well.They have demanded a formal investigation “of the extent to which Muslim Brotherhood-tied individuals and entities have helped achieve the adoption of these State Department policies, or are involved in their execution.” Like McCarthy, who frequently challenged the patriotism and loyalty of people he targeted, they demand loyalty oaths of Muslim Americans, questioning whether “any individual associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, directly or indirectly — ever renounced the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”In a similar letter to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, they malign other Muslims, including Mohamed Magid, whose crime is that he is president of the Islamic Society of Northern America (ISNA), which is as mainstream a religious organization as any in the country, but which they dub as the “largest Muslim Brotherhood front in America.” They also accuse five Islamic members of a Working Group at Homeland Security of “appear(ing) to share their sympathy for Islamist causes.”Other letters raise alarms at the “Muslim Brotherhood (plans) to penetrate and subvert the American government as part of its civilization jihad” and pan the Director General of National Intelligence for outreach efforts through Muslim organizations, such as ISNA, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Muslim Advocates.The allegations have been roundly denounced, most famously by Sen. John McCain, who declared from the Senate floor, “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation.”All minorities and religious groups should be affronted and alarmed by these reckless and unfounded accusations against decent and honorable Americans who happen to be Muslims. They could as easily have been targeted against them. Indeed, they are in at least one “dangerous” example that “could prove detrimental to our national and homeland security,” the Congress members cite in their letter to the inspector general of the Department of Justice: “The priority accorded by the Department’s Civil Rights division under Assistant General Thomas Peres addressing to alleged ‘bias crimes against Muslims, Sikhs, and people of Arab and South Asian descent’ or those perceived to be. Such a priority plays into the narrative of victimhood promoted by Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, but is unsupported by the FBI’s data which shows that minorities (notably Jews) are subjected to a far larger number of ‘religious bias crimes’ (also known as ‘hate crimes’).”As the poet John Dunne famously wrote, “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Related Itemslast_img read more

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The trend setters

first_imgIn 1901, a grandfather decided to establish a Pathshala (primary school) to educate his grandchildren. The school was set up in their hometown, Pilani, a small village in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. The education paid off, making the family one of the biggest business houses in the country. Seth,In 1901, a grandfather decided to establish a Pathshala (primary school) to educate his grandchildren. The school was set up in their hometown, Pilani, a small village in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. The education paid off, making the family one of the biggest business houses in the country.Seth Shiv Narainji Birla sown the seeds for an education empire. His grandchildren, Rameshwar Das Birla and Ghanshyam Das Birla were sure to not let his hard work to go waste. By 1925, the school evolved into a high school and later morphed into an intermediate college. Before independence, three separate colleges of arts, science, commerce and pharmacy and engineering were established. They were formed under the Birla Education Trust (BET), which is the largest private sector educational trust in the country.In 1964, the three existing colleges culminated into an Indian University. This university was christened as the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, (BITS), which was simultaneously recognised as a deemed university under the UGC Act.Bijendra Nath JainBenefiting from the Ford Foundation grants and matching up to the expectations of the founder, Ghanshyam Das Birla, the university was developed in association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. In 1999, the university realised the shortage of quality technical education in the country and increased its student capacity from 2,500 to 4,000.The Pilani campus has been visited by many distinguished personalities over the years and students have been given a chance to interact with and learn from them. The long list of famous personalities includes Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Radhakrishnan, Dr R Venkataraman and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.Set up in the hometown of the Birla family, the primary objective behind BITS is to provide technical education to students admitted into the university on the bases of merit. While the university developed over the years, the town has also changed for the better. This small village has developed into a township with a population of over 26, 219 (according to the 2001 census).Pilani, famously associated with BITS, has developed into an education hub with a large number of schools and colleges being established in and around the town. The Birla group has established several schools in the area such as the Birla Public School, Birla Senior Secondary School and Birla Balika Vidyapeeth. They have also established over 500 schools in Rajasthan. Famous for its boarding schools, the town is home to a large number of students.Anurag JainA student town in its full meaning, most businesses in and around Pilani are student centric. The establishment of the area as an educational hub has provided many job opportunities for the local populance over the years. Over time other schools and colleges have also opened in the area, such as, the Jamuna Mishra academy, the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) and the Shridhar University. These educational institutes have attracted more students to this town.Though the town attracts a large number of students, Pilani is still a charming old city. The town has only one movie theatre and no state-of-the-art gymnasiums, restaurants or bars, things that have become synonymous with urban student life. The city of Pillani has, so far, had no safety and security problems.The interaction between the students from BITS and the local population has been very structured. Students believe in community development projects for the villagers and the nearby indigenous population.Raju ReddyOver the years, workshops, seminars and one-on-one interactions have been conducted between students and the local population. Here they discuss issues, such as, healthcare and increase awareness on important issues.Over the last 50 years, this small village 200 kms away from Jaipur has evolved into a buzzing student town. Ghanshyam Das Birla introduced a scientific institution in that remote desert village merely because it was his birthplace. The BITS campus has played a very important role in attracting students and their families from across India and has helped expand and develop Pilani. This town has no natural advantages and is fortunate to be found. “We provide consultancy on the city plans”Professor Bijendra Nath Jain, Vice Chancellor, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, discusses the relationship between the university and the town focusing on the development of the latter.Q. How has the university affected the surrounding township?A. Many community development projects, such as, water harvesting and increasing medical awareness have been undertaken by university students to educate the local population.Q. Has there been a change in the town infrastructure because of the university?A. Over the last 30 years a lot has changed. Pilani is now facing problems with the sewage system and the roads and the university is providing consultancy to improve the situation.Q. Does the town provide recreational activities and is it more youthful now?A. Pilani has only one movie theatre and does not have too many clubs and restaurants for the students. But the campus makes up for this. We have a hobby center, outdoor sports, shopping arcades, restaurants and screen movies on the weekends.Another brick in the wallTechno drive: BITS was developed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bringing world-class technical facilities to Pilani.Numero uno: The Practice School offered at BITS provides paid industry exposure to every student for seven and a half months.Local rules: Pilani was the chosen location for the university as it is the hometown of the founding chairperson Ghanshyam Das Birla.328 acres is the size of this campus situated on the outskirts of the city.Presently there are 309 faculty members teaching on campus.4,000 Students study at BITS and residential facilities are provided for all.The university offers 34 on campus courses ranging from bachelor’s to PhD.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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