Here’s a quick “why didn’t I think of that!” tip for DSLR video shooters and still photographers: a beer koozie as a lens cover.Premiumbeat blog favorites Apartment Therapy & DIYPhotography.net recently shared a homemade solution for transporting your expensive DSLR lenses that was certainly worth sharing. Inexpensive drink koozies make for a great way to keep your lenses protected and secure. Especially for photographers and videographers they may not have a dedicated gear bag (with padded inserts), koozies can provide an extra layer of protection in any bag. Photography equipment is expensive. This is a great trick for keeping it safe.Plus, you’ll also have something to keep your drink cool when the shoot wraps. You certainly can’t go wrong with that.Do you have any DIY tips for hauling around your gear?We’d love to hear your own suggestions in the comments!Photo from Apartment Therapy
Hooked on NetFlix House Of Cards? Get the inside scoop on the creatives behind the hit show with this round up of the best of the web…House of Cards is now NetFlix most watched show and could hail the beginning of the next era for home entertainment where the best shows are only available online. Having stumped up $100 million for the first two seasons of the show, staring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher, Joel Schumacher and James Foley among others, NetFlix are more than putting their money where their mouth is. Satisfy your curiosity with this round up on the uber talented creatives behind House of Cards – a great real world case study for video editors and producers!Working with David FincherEvan Luzi’s fantastic blog The Black and Blue provides a great insiders view of what its like to work as a freelance camera assistant and in this great post he draws out 5 lessons of what its like to work with David Fincher (based on some House of Cards related interviews) and how to apply them to your own on-set creative career. A must read for any Fincher fan.Shooting The House of Cards Title SequenceIf you love watching the superb timelapse opening credit sequence for House of Cards then you’ll enjoy this technically detailed interview with DP Andrew Geraci who spent 6 months shooting the sequence for Fincher and generated nearly 6TB of imagery in the process. To find out what motion control rigs, lenses and cameras Andrew used and to watch the sequence a fresh jump over to Alexandros Marango’s blog.Creating the look of House of CardsIf getting behind the camera and crafting a visual style is more your thing then check out this revealing interview with House of Cards’ director of photography Eigil Bryld:“Bryld worked without a DIT on set, setting the look in the camera as much as possible. He usually adjusted the camera and lighting to a base of about 4,000° K. He used 6:1 compression (Fincher often opts for 5:1) because it allowed the use of secondary exposure, usually one stop under, which helped to achieve a more dramatic look.”What’s great about this interview is not only the technical detail but the insights into the creative decisions too. A great read from David Heuring on Creative Planet Network.House of Cards – Post Production PipelineAssistant editor Tyler Nelson and post production supervisor Peter Mavromate share their insights into how they created the post-production pipeline to manage the first seasons 13 episodes of RED EPIC footage using FotoKem’s nextLAB system. Thanks to the ever brilliant Creative Cow you can immerse yourself in plenty of post-production workflow detail:“Any data that that went into the nextLAB system would be manicured and passed along to PIX and our FileMaker codebook for later reference and use,” said Nelson, who notes that NextLAB also automatically populates files with a standard Scene/Take/Camera format that is easier to organize than the original RED file numbers.”Big Data- The Basis for NetFlix’s bold decisionWhat makes a company like Netflix pump $100 million into producing a political drama series directed by David Fincher and staring Kevin Spacey? The fact that their data tells them its a good idea.Netflix’s data indicated that the same subscribers who loved the original BBC production also gobbled down movies starring Kevin Spacey or directed by David Fincher. Therefore, concluded Netflix executives, a remake of the BBC drama with Spacey and Fincher attached was a no-brainer, to the point that the company committed $100 million for two 13-episode seasons.Staff Salon writer Andrew Leonard has written up a really interesting article on just how much data Netflix is tracking of your viewing habits and what that means for the creative content they will be producing in the coming years. Leondard questions whether basing creative decisions on user data will only serve to create a ‘feedback loop’ that will end up serving creatively draining re-hashes of the same old thing. (A bit like a whole summer of sequels, prequels and comic book movies.) Image from Newfangled.com’s post on Web Tracking.
10Add a light to the text. 4Add the Posterize Time effect to make it feel more like a time-lapse. 9Add in some text right above the cars. In this video tutorial you’ll learn how to create a realistic tilt-shift effect in Adobe After Effects.In this Premiumbeat exclusive video tutorial you’ll learn how to create a realistic tilt-shift effect in After Effects. Instead of buying a really expensive tilt-shift lens, you can get the sought after “miniature” look solely in post production.The technique is surprisingly simple. The video covers:What shots work best for time-lapseSimulating a timelapse/stop motion lookCreating luma mattesTilt-shift footage is not very difficult to create or produce but the secret to perfecting the effect is knowing when to use it and when to not use it.Don’t want to watch the video? Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. Click any image for larger view. 3Trim your comp and precompose the footage. 7Add a Camera Lens Blur effect to your footage layer and set the layer to “Matte”. 5Create a new black solid and add a light sweep. Add a Fast Blur and make a gradient using both effects. 6Precompose the black solid layer and name it “matte”. Then move it under the footage layer. 1Create a new composition and drag your stock footage into the new composition button. 8Add a feathered black shape using the pen tool in the background of the Matte Layer to enhance the depth of field. 2Go to layer>Time>Time Stretch set the stretch to 25. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, or if you have any quick tips for creating tilt-shift in After Effects, please comment below!
A thriller without suspense falls as flat as a comedy with no jokes. Crank up the tension and get the audience reaction you want with these tips.Top image of Alfred Hitchcock from Leva FilmWorksThere’s a very common thread among films in the thriller genre that don’t succeed: they sell the steak and not the sizzle. In other words, they’re so focused on the payoff of the idea and the delivery of the film’s premise, that the buildup and suspense of the whole piece falls short. A great thriller is far more concerned with the anticipation of an event than with the payoff moment, yet time after time directors seem to make poor choices when working in this genre. So if you’re gearing up to direct your next thriller, consider the three tips below for adding real suspense to your next film:1. Be Selective With the ActionImage: Cary Grant in North by Northwest via IMDbMany poorly executed thrillers wind up feeling more like action films once they eventually hit the screen. And the reason why often has to do with pacing above all else. Directors without a lot of experience in the genre are often fearful that their stories aren’t moving quickly enough, and wind up flooding their scripts with unnecessary action sequences that are designed to “thrill” the audience but really just take away from story’s pensiveness. Thrillers are all about anticipation, and when you take away an audience’s breathing room to bite their nails or sit on the edge of their seats, you’re left with an action film – not a thriller.2. Don’t Overdo the Music in the EditOn the opposite side of the coin, there are films that move far too slowly and don’t have genuine suspense built into them, which is equally problematic. In these cases, filmmakers will often overuse suspenseful music in order to compensate for a lack of true depth in their scenes. If you ever reach this point, I can assure you that laying the soundtrack on thickly isn’t what your film needs… chances are you need a re-shoot.In the above scene (via Fandango Movieclips) from Steven Spielberg’s 2005 sci-fi thriller War of the Worlds, you’ll find a great example of a sequence that successfully utilizes music and silence to create an atmosphere thick with tension and suspense.3. Focus on One Major Idea at a TimeImage: Jimmy Stewart from Rear Window via IMDbThis note applies equally to the writing phase of making a thriller as it does to editing one. Many directors attempt to force too many ideas into their thrillers as a means to keep their audience guessing. While their intentions are in the right place, in practice this just doesn’t work. By flooding your film with potential ideas, outcomes, and suspects, your audience will feel disoriented and disinterested pretty quickly. A far better approach would be to focus on a singular idea (or two at the most) at any given point, and then twist and turn only when absolutely necessary to ensure that you’re always staying ahead of your audience.What are some of your favorite moments of suspense in the world of film? Let us know in the comments below!
Edelkrone is at it again this week at NAB 2018. Meet their latest release, the Dolly Plus — an app-controlled dolly system.Top image via Cinema5D.You may remember last summer when Edelkrone released the Slider Plus, offering a fluid, motorized slider mount for anybody working with time-lapses or interviews. However, like most Edelkrone products, the price was hefty (to say the least). Well, this year at NAB, Edelkrone unveiled their next foray into the tracking game: the Dolly Plus. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to see. Cinema5D brings us an taste of the dolly with an interview and a demo.You control the dolly using an app, which allows you to determine the path and the movement. These movements include straight, curved, circle, and . . . square? The app lets you focus on your subject, and then the dolly will track the subject along whatever path you have selected. The head on the dolly can pan and tilt, and you can focus using the app.This piece of equipment is a must-own for the hundreds of filmmakers who simply refuse to push their dolly two feet forward — so they can breathe easier since they no longer need to exhaust themselves by pushing a dolly. Edelkrone is here to give your muscles a break — while depleting your bank account. The Dolly Plus will debut this summer, so pop an ice-cold La Croix, sit back, and let the Edelkrone app make a film for you.The prices is undetermined right now, but come on . . . it’s Edelkrone.Looking for more NAB 2018 announcements? Check these out.NAB 2018 Announcement: Manfrotto Gear Sets Filmmakers FreeNAB 2018: Aputure Upgrades Their Beloved 120d LEDNAB 2018 Announcement: Meet Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 Art LensNAB 2018: DJI Officially Introduces New Camera Control SystemsNAB 2018: Fujifilm’s X-H1 Camera Gets Put to the Test
Throwing your actor out of helicopter is just the beginning. Add more “oomph” to your stunt sequences and action scenes in post with Royalty-Free Music.Whether you’re capturing a choreographed fist fight, a high-speed car chase, or a fast-paced gun battle, planning and shooting stunt sequences and action scenes is an exciting endeavor. Of course, while an afternoon spent filming a brawl on a moving speedboat is sure to be a highlight of your production schedule, a lot of the real thrills are created in post. Obviously an airtight edit and some bone-crushing foley work are vital to a mind-blowing stunt sequence, but don’t sleep on the intensity and momentum offered by a killer soundtrack.Let’s take a look at two examples of how music (like the songs on the playlist below) can add energy, atmosphere, and intensity to action-packed stunt scenes.Atmospheric Action SoundtracksThe stunt-dense opening scene of Christopher Nolan’s revered The Dark Knight wouldn’t be nearly as, well, cool without Hans Zimmer’s score. The tension-rich composition creates undertones of dread that accentuate the moment-by-moment risks of the heist unfolding on screen.The score uses steady clock-like rhythms to speak to the precision required to pull off a bank robbery, but the music suggests more than a stopwatch. The song serves as an ominously ticking bomb timer that’s counting down to the Joker’s arrival as an explosively unstable new threat. This is the sound of time running out for Gotham City.With its urgent staccato pulse and discordant swells, Zimmer’s music builds drama in a familiar cinematic scenario — a bank robbery — while playing up the uncertainty that’s inherent when menaced by faceless gun-toting chaos-goons. It’s purposeful and motivated, but it’s still atmospheric.Lorne Balfe’s score for Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s rooftop chase, on the other hand, is present to the point of practically participating in the scene. The score is wound tightly around the Tom Cruise action on screen, matching it move for move.This music is about can-do characters and the million-dollar faces who play them. Accordingly, the human element is upfront from the very first measures of the score in the form of isolated, furiously pounded hand drums; the percussionists are working just as hard as the heroes.The music moves with the edit, bouncing between moods as the situation evolves and jumping between different themes that work together like the specialists on Ethan Hunt’s team. Each new seemingly impossible challenge Cruise’s crew encounters is accompanied by an appropriately intense stakes-raising shift in dynamics.Just like the scene In The Dark Knight — and like every good thriller, really — a ticking clock is in play in Fallout’s rooftop set piece. But unlike The Dark Knight’s “audio symbolism,” this is an actual race against time.Mission: Possible – Go Big with Action AssetsNow that you’ve checked out two blockbuster approaches to using music in action scenes and stunt sequences, make your next video project’s action-packed moments even more intense. Our pals at Shutterstock hired their very own Chuck-Norris-Adjacent professional stuntman to help them shoot a fight scene. Give it a watch above to pick up a few pointers, and then give a listen to the playlist below. The mix is packed with royalty-free tracks that were hand-picked to complement your most jaw-dropping action footage, and each is available in perpetuity with a simple $49 Standard License.Cover image via Mooshny.Header image via FrameStockFootages.Playlist header image via Stas Ponomarencko.Your search for the best royalty-free music ends here. Check out these additional playlists.Power Up Your Gaming Videos and Twitch Streams with Royalty-Free MusicFuel Your Audience’s Fears with Eerie Royalty-Free MusicKeep Your Customers Engaged with the Right Royalty-Free Hold MusicSaddle Up With This Royalty-Free Playlist for WesternsGet More Laughs With Royalty-Free Comedy Tracks
A few days ago, Gerhard and I were talking about the differences between B2B and B2C sales. I noted that one of the major differences is managing the complexity of different stakeholders with different needs. One reader sent me an email suggesting that building consensus isn’t that complex or complicated. I would that this were true.Building consensus is difficult. Here’s a real life example as to just how difficult it can be to build consensus.I’m married, and I have three children. One of the most dangerous questions I can ask in my house is “Where do you want to go for dinner?” The boy predominantly eats hamburgers, French fries, and pizza. At 14 years old, he’s 6’1″ and always hungry. Unless a restaurant serves the very few items that he eats, it won’t even make it onto his radar.My youngest twin daughter will likely choose Canes, some sort of awful, fast food chicken place. The oldest twin daughter, thankfully, will be grateful to be taken to any restaurant. But if she has her choice it’s going to be the Japanese steak house (or someplace even more expensive). My wife won’t want to be forced to decide. She won’t really even want to participate in a conversation about dinner plans. She’s happiest when I have already decided where we’re eating and have made the arrangements.And, I’m the economic buyer, so even though I want everyone to be happy, ultimately I get to cast the deciding vote. It’s also likely that I’m driving, and that counts for a lot, too.So how do you gain consensus? Even though everyone agrees that they want to eat, no one agrees on where or what we’re going to eat. If our house looks anything like yours, you spend as much trying to decide where to eat as you do actually dining.Your clients go through a similar exercise.Some group of stakeholders sees things one way, and another group sees things differently. What makes one group happy sometimes makes another group miserable. Sometimes you can find a middle ground, but even though both groups are content, neither group is really happy. Sometimes the economic buyer steps in and makes the decision because they’re the one with the checkbook.It’s easy to talk about consensus as if you’re always going to be to make everyone happy. In reality that isn’t likely. Nor is it easy to achieve. The more complex and complicated the deal, the more difficult it can be to build consensus. Sometimes even simple decisions can be made more complex by a small group of people who want something reasonably close to the same thing.QuestionsHow do you handle the differing needs of different groups of stakeholders?What do you do when those conflicting needs are in conflict?How much influence does an economic buyer have even when someone else has a greater stake in the outcome?How you help your clients manage this process?
Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now It is naïve to believe that there isn’t a massive–and growing–gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots. The gap has always existed, and religion, philosophy, governments, nor economic systems have ever eliminated this disparity. Western capitalism is the only thing that’s even put a dent in economic disparity (Cronyism isn’t capitalism, and that disease seems to infect all governments and all economic systems, not just ours).There are a lot of Haves that spend a lot of their time and money trying to help the Have Nots. And there are a lot of Haves that don’t. There are a lot of Have Nots that believe that they are owed something. And there many Have Nots who don’t believe they are owed a thing, but only need an opportunity.As interesting as all of this, it ends being politicized, and not much gets done. So let’s deal with it another way.Believers and DoersThere are some people who believe that they are capable of succeeding. They believe that they can become whatever they wish to become, that they can do whatever they want to do, and that they can have whatever they want to have.The Believers act on their beliefs and, eventually, their beliefs become their reality. Their beliefs drive their actions, actions that they wouldn’t take if they didn’t believe that they could eventually succeed.A lot of Believers and Doers were born Have Nots. For some, that adversity was itself enough to give them the beliefs and the intestinal fortitude to do something. Some Believers and Doers were fortunate enough to have a head start and a good example.Believe-Nots and Do-NotsThe Believe-Nots do not believe that they can succeed. They don’t believe that anything that they could dream could ever become their reality. They believe that someone would have to give them permission to try, that they somehow aren’t good enough, and some Believe-Nots think they don’t deserve success.Without the belief that they can succeed, the Do-Nots do nothing. This doesn’t mean that they couldn’t succeed, that they lack the talent, or that they aren’t deserving of something better. They’ve mostly been infected with a diseased mindset, mostly due to the circumstances of their birth.Making HavesWe don’t do very much to help the Have-Nots become Haves. Charity is important, and it helps people with too little survive. But it doesn’t make them Haves. Government aid also helps people to survive, but it has also never created a Have. Both have helped some people survive long enough to eventually catch fire and become a Have.To make Haves, you have to help infect someone with the belief that they can be more, do more, and have more. You have to help them obtain a bigger vision of themselves. You have to nurture the small spark until it becomes a roaring fire in their belly.As a hustler, you know that everything I have written here is true. You may even recognize yourself in part of this story. If you want to give back, if you want to make a contribution, help someone by infecting them with the beliefs that have served you, and inoculate them against what the world would infect them with.
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 Selling effectively still depends upon you being known, liked, and trusted. You want to be known for the value you create. You want to be trusted because of your character. And you want to be liked. That means you must be likeable.Presence: We underestimate the power of presence. “Being there” makes you more likeable. It allows a type of intimacy that is difficult to achieve otherwise. Showing up is a sign that you care, and caring about other people helps make you more likeable.Listening: There aren’t too many things that will make you more likeable than the ability to listen intently to what someone else is saying by giving them your full, undivided, phone-face-down-on-the-table attention. Listening is proof positive that you care. If you want the fastest route to likeability, listening is it.Engaging Conversationalist: You need to know things beyond your company, your product, and your solutions. You need to be well read. You need to be well versed in cultural references. Knowing what other people like and care about allows you to converse with people about the things that they want to talk about. You also have be interesting enough to engage people in conversations, allowing them open up.Sense of Humor: The great leveler. The ability to make people laugh makes you more likeable. Business is a serious game, and it helps to be able to bring some levity to conversations. If you present ideas, and you do just that if you sell, a sense of humor and comedic timing will make you more like able. A self-deprecating sense of humor is a sign that you can laugh at yourself, a key that unlocks many doors, likeability being one of them.Positive and Optimistic: The only people who like negative people are other negative people. They commiserate. They share their misery together. It is easy to like someone who is positive and optimistic. Positive people like to spend time with other positive people, and they especially like to work with them. Given the choice of working with a negative, cynical, pessimist or a positive, empowered, optimistic person, which would you find more like able.Respectful and Polite: Part of what makes you likeable is your polite and respectful disposition. Good manners will get you a lot further than you might believe. It displays character. It indicates a sense of class, refinement.Personable: This is about your appearance and your manners. Even if you want to wear a t-shirt and your ball cap backwards, or slant ways, or sideways, you are going to be judged by your appearance. Your appearance gives people an idea of who you are. It also suggests how successful you might be. How you present yourself is important to likeability.Collaborative: Inviting other people to contribute their ideas, regardless of whether it’s in a conversation or the design of a solution, makes you likeable. Collaboration proves that you care about what the other person wants, and that their ideas are important.Non-Judgmental: likeable people aren’t judgmental of other people. They don’t talk about them behind their backs, and they aren’t gossips. They also don’t assign blame to others. They assume others have good intentions and focus instead on finding solutions to challenges, regardless of the source.Your dream client is basing their decision to buy from you, in part, on what they believe you are going to be like to work with once hired. Being likeable tilts the playing field in your direction.
In a significant decision, indicating the possible line of succession in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), supremo Mayawati on Friday declared her brother Anand Kumar as the vice president of the party on condition that he would dedicate himself to the organisation and never contest polls or hold office of power.In a departure from her earlier strategy, Ms. Mayawati also expressed her openness to join hands with anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties. Ms. Mayawati made the announcements here on the birth anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar.In her address at the sprawling Ambedkar Park, Ms. Mayawati stressed she no longer had any reservations in “taking help of or joining hands with” other anti-BJP parties in her “struggle” against the issue of alleged EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) tampering, and the BJP in order to “save democracy in the country”.The BSP has suffered three back-to-back electoral setbacks and observers argue that if it needs to regain its position, it will need to change tack and join hands with other non-BJP parties,The change in posturing was evident in Ms. Mayawati’s tone. While she maintained a defiant stand on the issue of EVMs, saying her struggle against the alleged tampering of the machines would continue till her party “gets justice”, she said she was willing to work with other parties for the cause.“I want to inform the top leadership of the BJP that even if they try to harass me at all levels through misuse of both State and Central government machinery, to save democracy I will not step back,” Ms. Mayawati said to a loud applause.While entrusting Mr. Kumar with the “important responsibility” of vice-president, Ms. Mayawati said her brother would work for the party organisation in a “selfless” manner and not aspire to become an MLA, MP, minister or the chief minister. Mr. Kumar is a low-profile businessman based in Delhi, and is known to handle the BSP’s finances.Under the scannerOn the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (I-T) Department over his allegedly meteoric rise in fortune, the latter reportedly raided multiple locations linked to his business last week.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday arrested three persons, including a Slovenian, for their alleged involvement in a major gunrunning and wildlife smuggling racket, after raids at a national-level shooter’s house in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut led to a haul of arms and animal meat.Intercepted at airportThe accused were intercepted by officials of the DRI after their arrival at the IGI Airport here by a Turkish Airlines flight from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana via Istanbul on Saturday. They were carrying 25 illegally imported lethal weapons and other items worth about ₹4.5 crore with them, a senior DRI official said. Incorrect declarationThey had incorrectly declared the quantity and value of the arms and ammunition to the customs officials and tried to get these items cleared by misusing the scheme meant for renowned shooters, he said. Rules permit professional shooters to import a limited quantity of arms and ammunition for practice. The trio — Amit Goyal, Anil Kumar Langan and Boris Sobotic Mikolic — have been arrested for allegedly violating customs rules to evade payment of import duty, he said. The DRI officials also seized ₹1.04 crore in cash from them, the official said. The trio were were sent to 14 days in judicial custody. “The accused will be produced before the court on May 15,” said Satish Aggarwal, DRI’s counsel.The DRI had carried out searches at multiple places on Sunday including the house of the national-level shooter Prashant Bishnoi and seized over hundred illegally imported firearms, 117 kg of nilgai meat, horns and skins of leopards and blackbucks.
Destruction of Lenin, Periyar statues shows intolerant approach of BJP: Karat Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the Opposition parties in Tirpura to guide the “inexperienced” Biplab Kumar Deb with their “years of experience” in running the government. He also promised inclusiveness to those who did not vote for the BJP, in an oblique reference to CPI(M) that ruled the State for 25 years.The Prime Minister made his appeal after Mr. Deb was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tripura’s first BJP government in alliance with Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT).Governor Tathagata Roy administered the oath of office and secrecy to eight others, including BJP’s Jishnu Dev Varma as Deputy Chief Minister and octogenarian IPFT chief N.C. Debbarman.’This election has been historic’“This election has been historic and underlines the political significance of a small State like Tripura. The people here have scripted this victory, and it is our responsibility now to ensure that the lamp of development lit today brightens by the day,” Mr. Modi said.Also Read Mr. Modi began his speech with the tribal Kokborok language and ended it with Bengali.Tripura has strengthened party’s goal: Amit ShahBefore him, BJP president Amit Shah said Tripura had strengthened his party’s goal of ruling seven of the eight Northeast States. In Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland the BJP has governments of its own or in alliance.Assembly election in Mizoram, where the Congress has been ruling for almost 10 years, is scheduled later this year.“We will try to honour the verdict of the people of Tripura by ensuring development and peace in the State,” Mr. Shah said.Deb seeks cooperation of allAn emotional Mr. Deb, crediting the electoral victory to hard work put in by hundreds of party workers, sought the cooperation of the people in facing the challenge of adhering to the vision document the BJP had come out with before the polls.“Treat me as your son, brother, and not the Chief Minister. Don’t hesitate to pull me by the ears and put me on the right track if I err in fulfilling your aspirations,” he said. Mr. Modi said, “I assure you that this [BJP-IPFT] government is for all, for those who voted for us and for those who did not.”With former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, flanked by senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and M.M. Joshi, on the dais, Mr. Modi also urged the veteran CPI(M) legislators – 16 – to use their “long experience in running the government” and guide the “new, youthful and inexperienced” Mr. Deb and his team.He said his predecessors did not give adequate attention that the Northeast deserved since Independence. “I have come to the Northeast at least 25 times, more than all the Prime Ministers before me. This is not because of political mileage, but because we want the remotest regions to feel they belong to this country,” he added.Also Read Demolition of Lenin’s statue sparks off protest
When the lights went on in Birgaon for the first time on a chilly winter evening late last December, it allowed the government to announce in April this year that every village in India now had electricity. Every home in Birgaon actually has power, thanks to a solar microgrid set up in the village centre and wired into every home.By official definition, a village is electrified if 10% of its homes have a power connection. This means that while all its villages are officially electrified, 42% of Jharkhand households — the highest in the country — do not have power, yet. Now, the State government is mulling a new policy, encouraging solar microgrids, even in villages that are already connected to the traditional grid.Powering changeBirgaon is proof of change. This tiny tribal hamlet — home to about 100 people in 20 households — lies in the hilly Gumla District of Jharkhand. It is one of the 249 remote villages which got solar microgrids last year, thanks to a ₹110-crore project by the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Agency (JREDA), as part of the Centre’s Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana. Private solar provider Azure Power won the bid to build and maintain microgrids in 11 villages in Gumla and Hazaribagh districts.The 20 photovoltaic panels glint in the sun, out of place amid the old mud houses of Birgaon. Power lines snake out of a shed which stores the batteries and inverter. “We are on the elephant route to the Basa river and they rampage through the village, mostly before harvest,” says Srisai Kawar, the villager who donated the land on which the microgrid stands. A few street lights dot the common areas of the village, while each home has three LED bulbs and two power sockets. “We haven’t had any elephant attacks since the light came,” he adds.For most of the 25 children at the local primary school the arrival of electricity means they can occasionally watch films on the village’s only television. For Dahari Kawal, a Class 6 student, it allows her to study at night, leaving the day for other chores. She hopes to continue her education at a high school in a bigger village five km. away. “I want to become a teacher,” she says.With free power villagers save ₹200 to ₹300 per month otherwise spent on kerosene. They are willing to pay the nominal tariff of ₹30 per month. Only wayWhen Azure Power’s deputy manager Bikash Kumar first reached Birgaon after a 200-km journey from Ranchi, he was appalled by the last stretch. “I wasn’t sure how we would get the components of the grid over that bumpy track,” he says. To exacerbate, to reach Hisir, another project village, Azure was forced to build a five-km road through dense jungles and across three rivers. “These kinds of villages will be almost impossible to reach with regular transmission lines. Microgrids are the only way,” he says.JREDA director Niranjan Kumar has bigger plans. “We are coming out with a new solar microgrid policy in a month. People want quality, 24/7 power. If a microgrid can provide that, they are willing to pay,” Mr. Kumar adds. He cites a pilot project where 10 villages are paying up to ₹10 per unit for solar microgrids that power small enterprises: rice hullers, oil extractors, wheat mills and poultry farms.“When the government says that all villages are electrified, it’s not really true,” says Gabriel Pujur, pradhan of Galu, another electrified village. He points to Pakartoli, a village on the government’s “electrified” list, where only 21 out of the 114 households actually have power according to government data.
Stressing that a values-based education helped promote ethics in society, President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday called for the propagation of a culture of discussion, rather than dispute, to address thorny issues of caste, gender and other forms of discrimination.Remarking that Pune had long been a centre of education for Maharashtra and for the country, Mr. Kovind said, “the story of modern India owes much to the educational, reformist and progressive ideas that have flowed from this city and for which our nation is truly appreciative.”He observed that in their determined efforts to fight caste and gender discrimination and work for the weaker sections, Jyotiba and Savitribai Phule made education their chief weapon.“It was in Pune that in 1848 Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and his wife, Savitribai, opened what is believed to have been the first modern school in India exclusively for girls,” he said.Enumerating the contributions of Pune towards revolutionizing education in India, the President said the creation of the Deccan Education Society (DES) by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and his colleagues, and the contribution of Gopal Krishna Gokhale in setting up the ‘Servants of India Society’ has had an enduring legacy.“Each of these great men and women placed an emphasis on a culture of discussion rather than of dispute – and of addressing disagreements while being mindful of the other person’s dignity,” Mr. Kovind said.He noted that the Chief Architect of the Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, too, had a long relationship with Pune.“He [Dr. Ambedkar] too, had stressed on the importance of education as an instrument for social change and for building a just and egalitarian society,” said the President, while expressing satisfaction at the Maharashtra government’s decision to celebrate November 7 as ‘Students’ Day’.“This was the day [November 7], way back in the year 1900, when Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar enrolled in a school in Satara, and began his lifelong pursuit of academic excellence.”Exhorting children to imbibe strong values, he remarked that there were lessons of “culture, character, compassion and courage” that are perhaps not formally tested in a board examination.“But a child who internalizes these [values] will always be sensitive to world outside, to the underprivileged…these values will help in coping with change in a world evolving more rapidly than perhaps ever before,” he said.The President was in the city to inaugurate the Sadhu Vaswani International School which is coming up in the city’s Pradhikaran area. The function took place at the city’s Sadhu Vaswani Mission in the presence of Dada J.P. Vaswani – the 99-year-old spiritual leader and disciple of legendary educationist Sadhu T.L. Vaswani. “Sadhu Vaswani’s disciple Dada J.P. Vaswani has dedicated every moment to the cause of humanity. He has been an ambassador of Indian tradition and culture on countless platforms, within the country and abroad, including at the United Nations,” said the President.Also present on the occasion were veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani, Union Minister Prakash Javdekar and Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao.
Eight persons, including two minors, were injured after a two-storey building caved in at Pune’s Mundhwa area on Saturday noon.All injured were safely evacuated from the debris and are presently undergoing treatment at the city’s Sassoon General Hospital, police sources said.The mishap occurred at Mundhwa’s Keshavnagar area between 12 and 12.30 p.m. when the house, belonging to one Kailash Subhash Bhandwalkar (in his 50s), suddenly collapsed.Mr. Bhandwalkar, along with his wife Aruna, and his two daughters were living on the first floor, while the ground floor was inhabited by tenants.“While Fire Brigade officials rushed to the spot, alert passersby immediately alerted the 108 Ambulance (State Emergency Medical Services) which promptly dispatched three vehicles to transport those trapped to hospitals within an hour of the mishap. A police team, too, immediately joined in the rescue operations. All injured are out of danger,” said senior Police Inspector Anil Patrudkar of the Mundhwa police station, speaking to The Hindu.Mr. Patrudkar further said that a five-year-old child, who was trapped for a while, was safely brought out.It is believed that Mr. Bhandwalkar had a dairy business. The rescue teams are in the process of bringing out some of the animals trapped inside.Mr. Patrudkar further said the Pune Municipal Corporation had recently given a warning to the building’s occupants to evacuate the premises as the building was in a decrepit condition. “A notice issued by the PMC was apparently ignored by the inhabitants, who continued to reside despite the parlous condition of the building” he said.
While the ruling BJP is thinking of not giving ticket to between 70 and 80 of its MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is ready to renominate 42 of its 57 legislators.A Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that those MLAs had done satisfactory work. He said the final list of candidates had been submitted to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who would take a call on it.“Congress State chief Kamal Nath is not in favour of dropping sitting MLAs without a valid reason,” he said.
The Korean connection of Ayodhya will once again come under focus this Diwali.The First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, will be the chief guest at the Deepotsav event being organised in the temple town by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government on November 6.New memorialShe will also be present at the ground-breaking ceremony of a new memorial being constructed by the government dedicated to the legendary Queen Suriratna (Heo Hwang-ok).The Yogi Adityanath Cabinet on Tuesday approved the project and alloted funds of ₹24.66 crores for its construction near the Saryu River.As per Korean folklore, Queen Suriratna was a princess in ancient Ayodhya who travelled to Korea 2,000 years ago and married a king of the Kim community.“Kim people of Korea believe that around 2,000 years ago, a princess of Ayodhya had gone to South Korea, where she got married to a King Kim Suro,” a State government spokesperson said.According to the Ministry of External Affairs, princess Suriratna travelled to Korea in 48 CE, proving Ayodhya and Korea had “a deep historical connection.”“The First Lady’s participation in the festivities in Ayodhya will showcase our close links as well as the ongoing deepening engagement between our two countries,” the MEA said in a statement.The new memorial would come up near a park built in memory of Suriratna by members of the Krak Clan. Bouyed by this connection, in 2000, the Mayor of Kim-Hae city in South Korea even invited Ayodhya to sign a sister-city bond. This led to many research projects to substantiate the link between Ayodhya and Korea.Every year, Koreans in large numbers visit the park built in the name of the princess.
Empowering women: Prema Gopalan (left) with women farmers discussing the nutritional benefits of agri products in Osmanabad. A modest building in a bylane off Pune’s bustling Baner road is the unlikely nerve centre of empowering women at the grassroots by transforming them into social entrepreneurs.For the last two decades, Prema Gopalan, the founder of the Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) and her team of 70 dedicated persons from the social sector, has been rendering yeoman service to help women from India’s (and especially Maharashtra’s) rural hinterland break gender stereotypes and play a decisive role in adopting sustainable farming models.In recognition of her entrepreneurial vision, she was feted on October 14 with the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ award by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship — the sister organisation of the World Economic Forum and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. The award confirmed the durability and innovativeness of the SSP model and its role in revivifying rural economies in areas most vulnerable to climate change.Climate-resilient model The SSP model comprises four ventures: a federated network of 5,000 SHGs, a resilience fund for women-led businesses, a rural school of entrepreneurship and leadership for women, and a market aggregator that provides warehousing, branding, marketing and distribution services to last-mile business women.Spread across 16 rain-shadow districts in six Indian states, the SSP has, since 2009, helped over 1.45 lakh women and solved problems of their communities by launching them in rural micro-enterprises in sectors ranging from clean energy and basic health services to nutrition and agriculture.The SSP’s focus group is women in the climate-threatened community of small and medium farmers. Their model seeks to economically empower poor rural women as leaders and entrepreneurs, by providing them access to skills, finance and markets and increasing their economic resilience through sustainable agriculture and health-enhancing opportunities.“Our approach is to train women to recognise themselves as entrepreneurs and establish a cadre of mentors. It was after Maharashtra had bad rainfall years successively in 2012 and 2013 that small and marginal farmers began seeking alternatives,” says Ms. Gopalan. It was the women who influenced their male kin to adopt climate-resilient models to resolve the food security crisis. With drought stalking the land for two years and the water table steadily depleting, smaller cultivators in Marathwada faced bleak prospects in 2014. Many contemplated migrating to cities. Most of them had invested in water-guzzling cash crops like soya and cotton.“The women were very clear in their outlook. They said it was their duty to ensure that the men do not migrate to the cities and they were firm about not selling livestock and remaining rooted to their land,” said Ms. Gopalan.Over the past three years, she says that these women, following training imparted by Ms. Gopalan’s organisation, have transformed 30,000 acres of dry land across Maharashtra and other States into bio-farms. “Women shape the design and implementation of this model. It is they who convince the males to switch from cash to food crops, thus bringing down risks associated with the vagaries of nature and increasing savings in agriculture and consumption of food directly from their farms,” she said.The SSP initially trains a group of bright women designated as ‘Samwad Sahayaks’ (communication facilitators). These in turn are tasked with informing and empowering the others on how to channel government resources for rebuilding efforts.Obstacles to success“The elephant in the room was, and still is, that the land title is not in the woman’s name. The women are treated as mere labour on the farms,” Ms. Gopalan said.Prior to training, the women who had little or no formal education, seldom had access to capital and were therefore chary of venturing into businesses. Initially, Ms. Gopalan noted, the hard part was to convince the males and the patriarchs of the benefits. Gradually, after the drought years, as the men began to see the benefits of adopting an alternative approach, the women were allotted half to one acre of land for their ‘experiments’. “In training women to become social entrepreneurs, we observe that their concerns transcend immediate family needs and that they think in terms of communities. They do not think twice about giving back to society,” Ms. Gopalan said.The shift in agricultural focus from cash to food crops has resulted in annual savings of more than ₹35,000 in these households. Family incomes have increased by nearly 50% and over the last two years, more than 30,000 women have been launched as entrepreneurs, generating a cumulative income of ₹189 crore. “Owing to the shift in food crops, the families have begun to cut down on expenses generated by medical bills, eating better quality, chemical-free food and are less prone to illnesses,” Ms. Gopalan said.With growing evidence of the model’s success, more families in the State’s rural hinterland are recognising women as decision makers in the farm and the household. In a number of cases, this has led to men conferring cultivation or farm rights to the women. More than 45,000 women are now recognized as ‘farmers’.“The gradual acceptance of women as entrepreneurs in rural communities has resulted in them gaining access to hithero male-dominated areas like the Gram Sabhas, Panchayats, and block-level meetings. More than 500 women trained by us have fought and won Panchayat elections,” Ms, Gopalan said.In 2017, the SSP won the prestigious ‘Equator Prize’ awarded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Maharashtra government has selected the SSP for implementing the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana initiative, which will support over 25,000 women farmers adopt improved agriculture practices in 600 villages across the State. The mentors are chosen from the SSP’s cadres of experienced women agriculture leaders.“In a unique way, this model has created a larger awareness among the communities on linkages between climate change and natural resource management,” Ms. Gopalan said, observing that women farmers were now leading efforts on environment and natural resource protection through promotion of watershed structures and bio inputs. Spurred on by their success, the SSP aims to reach out to more than a million persons from ‘climate affected communities’ over the next few years, while trying to transform as many as 50,000 women into self-reliant entrepreneurs and farmers.
Nine people from two rival gangs were arrested by Margao police in South Goa on Monday following a clash between two gangs over installation of lights at Ghogol on Sunday night. Asked if the clash was over decoration of a religious float for a parade being readied for a public procession, South Goa Superintendent of Police Arvind Gawas told The Hindu on Monday that had nothing to do with religious float, but it was purely a gang clash.“Our police have gone and checked the rumours. In no way it can be linked to the religious float. The complainant was thrashed while he was working on the street lights,” said Mr. Gawas. He further said that they verified that no damage was done to the float-under-decoration. Mr. Gawas said that nine persons had been arrested from two separate groups and that complaints from both groups have been registered with the Fatorda police station and two FIRs registered. “It was a fight between two groups. It is not a communal issue. The fight started over a small misunderstanding over setting up lights for the procession. We have arrested nine persons from both groups,” Mr. Gawas reiterated. The official also said, that following a complaint filed by one Kiran Naik, four persons had been arrested under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (causing hurt), 504 (breach of peace), while after registering one more complaint from Rekha Borkar from the other group, under Sections 143 (unlawful assmebly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with weapon), 427 (mischief) read with 149 i (unlawful assembly guilty of offence) of the Indian Penal Code, four more were arrested.