Debutants’ Ball

first_imgI don’t know. I have no clue why it happens. “That’s 33-year-old Anupriya Patel’s reply when asked what her advice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb inflation would be. The first-time MP from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, has no pretensions of being a politician despite being Apna Dal founder,I don’t know. I have no clue why it happens. “That’s 33-year-old Anupriya Patel’s reply when asked what her advice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb inflation would be. The first-time MP from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, has no pretensions of being a politician despite being Apna Dal founder Sone Lal Patel’s daughter. Room no. 1401 at Delhi’s Ashok Hotel, where she is staying, is chock-a-block with supporters but that doesn’t stop Anupriya from admitting that she hates being surrounded by people 24×7. “If I become a minister tomorrow, this crowd will swell. I’ll have new-found relatives.” She also admires Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for his ability to remember every party worker’s name and face; this, despite regular tiffs with the government led by his son, Akhilesh Yadav.Apna Dal is a BJP ally but Anupriya says “these people are mad”, when asked about Sangh Parivar affiliates Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sene. She even claims she is against arranged marriages and supports live-in relationships, even if she herself took the traditional route. The psychology graduate from Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College, however, has her task cut out as an MP. “My two priorities are setting up a university and a super-specialty hospital. Then I want to provide housing, drinking water and sanitation to tribals in my constituency.”One of the 315 MPs who have entered the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2014, Anupriya represents a new breed of politicians who are ambitious, goal-oriented and outspoken. From Congress’s Sushmita Dev, who admits to having used money, political patronage and muscle power for electoral success, to Nationalist Congress Party’s Mohammad Faizal, who rubbishes the perception that Modi is anti-Muslim, to Babul Supriyo, who dismisses politician’s white kurta-pyjama as mere symbolism, the 16th Lok Sabha’s ‘freshers’ epitomise the young and restless India which believes in performance over posturing.advertisement”Today, people demand instant results,” says Lakshadweep MP Faizal, 38, who defeated Hamdullah Sayeed, son of veteran Congress leader P.M. Sayeed. Faizal, an MBA from Calicut University, is already working on a tourism promotion model aimed at generating employment in the 11 islands and plans to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lakshadweep to showcase its potential.For Nizamnagar MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, 36, daughter of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, representing a newborn state brings with it immense responsibility. During campaigning, she had released a personal manifesto for her constituency apart from the party manifesto. “I have to deli-ver everything I promised,” says the BTech graduate from Hyderabad’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Daughter of Assam Congress veteran Santosh Mohan Dev, Sushmita, 41, considers politics to be a means and not an end. “I will leave politics the day I feel I have failed in my job,” says the lawyer-turned politician, an alumnus of Miranda House in Delhi.Nearly half of the 60 newcomers under 40 belong to political families. But they aren’t ready to accept that fact as the primary catalyst for their success. “Political patronage perhaps helps in getting a ticket but to earn votes, you must work at the grassroots. I visited all 436 villages in my constituency while others could not touch even 200,” says Dushyant Chautala, 26, the youngest-ever Lok Sabha member. Dynasty Never DiesThe Indian National Lok Dal MP from Hisar, who is the grandson of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, has scripted a family revival of sorts with his win after his father Ajay Singh Chautala and grandfather were jailed last year on corruption charges. Dushyant points to the other MP from his party, Charanjeet Singh, who won from Sirsa, as an example of a rank outsider making it big in polls. “He doesn’t have a political background. He joined politics at 21 and worked his way up to become an MP at 36. “He finds support from TRS MP from Peddapalli, Suman Balka, 31, an Osmania University student, who was part of the long agitation for the creation of Telangana. “If you work for a cause, opportunities will come your way. I got a ticket for my commitment to the people,” says Balka, who ticked off a security guard in Parliament for asking if he belonged to Andhra Pradesh. “It’s Telangana.”Another dynast, Chirag Paswan, 32, son of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan, believes political patronage can at times be a liability. “There are several instances of those with money and patronage being pushed into oblivion,” he says. The BTech dropout decided to join politics in 2011 after seeing immigrants from Bihar “being subjected to humiliation in Mumbai, where he attempted-without much success-a foray into Bollywood as an actor. He is seen as one of the prime movers behind LJP’s coup in stitching an alliance with BJP and winning all the six Lok Sabha seats it contested-including Jamui, where Chirag defeated Speaker of the Bihar Assembly, Udai Narain Choudhary. BJP’s Nandurbar MP Heena Gavit, 26, a medical student who sat for her MD exams after the polls, says that being the daughter of Vijaykumar Gavit, who represented the constituency four times, certainly helped, but intent, a willingness to work for the poor and dedication were key to her success in unseating nine-time Congress MP Manikrao Gavit by a margin of over 1 lakh votes.advertisement Outsiders Get a Look-inOlympic gold medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, 44, feels joining politics was a natural progression from his military and sports background. The BJP Lok Sabha MP from Jaipur Rural says it’s important for good people to join the nation’s decision-making process. “If we don’t occupy them, others will.” Like Rathore, Priyanka Singh Rawat, who has an MA in political science from Rohilkhand University, Uttar Pradesh, entered politics because she believes educated people can serve society more responsibly and with greater impact. “I always wanted to do something for the country and realised politics is the best platform,” says the 28-year-old BJP MP who beat Congress stalwart P.L. Punia by a margin of more than 2 lakh votes in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.Dr. Dharam Vira Gandhi, 62, one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) four winning candidates from Punjab, attributes his success to the ability to connect with people. Of three-time MP Preneet Kaur, Union minister in the UPA regime, the Patiala physician says, “She failed to calculate the impact of my ground-level connect with people over the past decade.” Gandhi happily waives his consultation fee for the scores of brick kiln workers and hand-to-mouth farm labourers who queue up each day outside his modest clinic in Sukh Enclave, not far from Kaur’s plush address, the Moti Bagh Palace. He plans to keep working at the Gandhi Heart Clinic: “Parliament works for a maximum of three months each year. The rest will be for my patients and the people.”Most of the newcomers, cutting across party lines, feel that corruption cannot be weeded out by mere legislation. Several even blame the system for forcing politicians to turn corrupt. “The change must come from people and not politicians,” says Sushmita. Dushyant recounts how every village today demands money from politicians to hold various sports tournaments. Kavitha, however, believes that politicians have to play a bigger role in rooting out corruption. “We (TRS) don’t want our state to get into what India as a nation has been suffering for so many years. We as leaders have the responsibility to play the role of watchdogs,” says Kavitha.Sociologist Dipankar Gupta says AAP, despite its poor show at the hustings, has provided and model and structure for good people to join and succeed in politics. “AAP’s success was inspiring. The voter must support a candidate who promises development instead of one who offers free alcohol,” agrees Sushmita.advertisementBJP’s Karnataka MPs, Bhagavanta Khuba, 47, and Pratap Simha, 37, feel their victories represent the change Sushmita wants-both won without big money or political muscle. Now, they hope for a change in the culture of political parties. “Parties operate like the mafia. Most are fiercely clannish. As a result, even the brightest aspirants are kept out of politics,” says Simha, who has a master’s in journalism from Mangalore University.The new brigade is determined not to repeat the terrible performance of MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha: Over 74 bills were left pending as the House spent only 13 per cent of the allotted time in legislation, Parliament’s primary mandate. They also hope that uproarious scenes-from members coming to blows to pepper spray being brandished-which typified parliamentary proceedings in recent times are a thing of the past. “It will be our collective responsibility to see that such things don’t happen. We are here to discuss, debate and get our job done,” says Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo, 44, who secured on a BJP ticket from Asansol in West Bengal. Dushyant believes that unlike the last Lok Sabha, it’s not a divided house, so the Government will not face much trouble in passing legislation. “The challenge for the Government is to get the Opposition’s voice heard in the Lok Sabha and ensure bills are not stalled in Rajya Sabha.”Dipankar Gupta plays down the surfeit of young parliamentarians, pointing out that the 1980s saw resurgence of leaders such as Chandra Sekhar but there were no dramatic change to Indian politics. Gupta feels that the performance of first-time MPs, irrespective of party affiliation, will depend on the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. “He must bring in the changes as he has a clear and decisive mandate. The younger politicians will certainly follow. I see no reason why that can not happen,” he says. “I don’t have much hope from those who come from political families. But the self-made are often the most hard-working. Moreover, MPs from regional parties, despite their language barrier, try to articulate their views more often in Parliament than those from national parties,” says Nani Gopal Mahanta, who teaches political science at Gauhati University.Whether or not these ‘freshers’ usher in a new era in Parliament, what India wants is less talk, more action. “I don’t want to give a bhashan (lecture) on something I don’t know. I would rather focus on something I can do,” says Kavitha, as if on cue. She should. The nation will be watching.Follow the writer on Twitter @KDscribewith inputs from Santosh Kumar, Asit Jolly, Rajeev P.I., M.G. Arun, Amitabh Srivastavalast_img read more

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Tokyo Olympics: How about a marathon at 3 a.m.—or 5 a.m.?

first_imgSports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Becoming his own man Hamilton and drivers say F1 should be more eco-friendly Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! LATEST STORIES Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical MOST READ This jewelry designer is also an architectcenter_img Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Mori said he had talked with IOC member John Coates, the head of the inspection team. He said cost was a major issue in moving the marathon.“Our overall cost has become a humongous amount, so it would cause us pain if the cost is added to our bill,” Mori said. “So I mentioned that to Mr. Coates, and he said he will look into it. We won’t be able to pay if it’s a significant damage to our finances. I have reminded him of that.”A government audit report last year said Tokyo is spending about $25 billion to organize the Olympics, all of which is public money accept $5.6 billion from a privately financed operating budget.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Japanese news agency Kyodo, without citing sources, said the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was considering making the proposal, hoping to keep the marathon in Tokyo.It had initially been scheduled in Tokyo for 6 a.m., just an hour after sunrise.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceForecast temperatures in Sapporo are “five to six degrees centigrade (about 10 degrees F) cooler during the day than in Tokyo,” the IOC said.The IOC released a proposal a week ago to move the marathons and race walking events to Sapporo. The moved thrilled Sapporo, which is considering a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics. The change was announced quickly, apparently with scant consultation with local organizers or upset government officials.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said she was “very surprised” about the venue change, but also sided with IOC reasoning: that athletes will be safer in cooler temperatures.The trigger was probably the recent world track and field championships in Doha, Qatar, where 28 of 68 starters failed to finish the women’s marathon and 18 of 73 men failed to complete the course. The races started at midnight in 38 degree C (100 degree F) heat.Tokyo’s organizing committee president Toshiro Mori suggested last week it was a done deal. The changes are almost certain to be confirmed next week when IOC inspectors visit the Japanese capital.“Can we say no to the plan that the IOC and International Association of Athletics Federation already supported?” Mori said. “It’s not a question of good or bad, but we just have to accept it.”ADVERTISEMENT Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? FILE – In this Feb. 23, 2014, file photo, runners pass by Zojoji Buddhist temple during the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolitan Government was considering making a proposal, the start times at 3 a.m. or 5 a.m., hoping to keep the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon in Tokyo, Japanese news agency Kyodo News said on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. That could be proposed to Olympic organizers and the IOC, a move to keep the marathon from being moved out of Tokyo’s summer heat to cooler summer weather 800 kilometers (500 miles) further north in Sapporo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)TOKYO— How about running next year’s Tokyo Olympic marathon at 3 a.m. — or 5 a.m.?That may be proposed to Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee, a step to keep the marathon from being moved out of Tokyo’s summer heat to cooler weather 800 kilometers (500 miles) further north in Sapporo.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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TCI begins loan refinancing talks

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:cabinet meeting, re-financing Cabinet launches consultation drives Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 30 Sept 2015 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has already begun talks with lending institutions as the UK bail out loan nears its maturity date; this was revealed in the Cabinet minutes of last week.According to a Government press release from February, “It is the TCI’s intention to use the reserves held in its Sinking Fund to pay off approximately $100m of the bond, thus refinancing only the $70m balance.”In 2008, TCIG received a $260 million dollar loan guarantee endorsed by the UK government; the TCI owes a $170 million bond, which matures in February 2016.Meanwhile, Cabinet ministers also advised His Excellency the Governor to approve a third Supplementary Budget Appropriation for the financial year 2015/16 to meet, what were described as, “urgent transactions and unforeseen policy/regulation changes”; these will be forwarded to the UK Government for approval. These new financial needs for TCIG will eventually be brought to the House of Assembly. Bahamas to hold historic Cabinet Meeting outside of Capital PNP Administration to Meet the Press in Post Cabinet debriefinglast_img read more

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Debate delayed

first_img Related Items:hoa delayed Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, October 5, 2016 – House of Assembly was due to have met today into Friday, it is unclear if Government business in Parliament will resume tomorrow. last_img

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Measuring Your App Usage

first_imgWhat Gets Measured?Metrics are similar to what publishers have been tracking on the Web, plus a few extra unique to the mobile platform: unique users, unique sessions, type of device, OS version, as well as location-based metrics.There are three macro areas to focus on:Interaction Rate: This is the rate of people who have downloaded the app and actually use it. If your app produces a high volume of dynamic content, you’d want to see a corresponding interaction rate.Engagement Rate: The next step beyond interaction. What are users looking at and reading? You want to track what sections of content users are reading, how many stories within that section are getting read, and so on.Feedback: This, says Peterson, is what more publishers should be doing. “Have a feedback mechanism,” he says. “Let users have that conversation in the app and then measure the net negative and positive feedback.”There are plenty of ways to drill deeper—what’s getting read, which writers are the most read, and so on—but the platform is so new, publishers should for now be concentrating on what works and what doesn’t.Transparency and ParticipationSarah Ohrvall, who just swapped her leadership role at Bonnier’s Swedish R&D group to head up R&D for the U.S. division, has taken a dual approach to analytics. Ohrvall has spearheaded Bonnier’s development of the Mag+ platform, which Popular Science uses for its iPad edition and which also has its own analytics capabilities baked right in—a prescient move given the recent problems posed to developers by Apple which is currently, according to the language in its Developer Agreement for its upcoming 4.0 operating system, barring third-party in-app measurement software.Ohrvall says analytics can work to the benefit of the publisher and the consumer. She’s looking forward to a day where users can present a “media consumption profile.” In other words, the analytics that are collected on the back end to help drive content, usage and design decisions for the publisher can also be used to enhance user experience and identity, creating a social aspect around content consumption. “Creative publishers can display that data in an interesting way to the consumer,” she says. “We’re trying to find ways to collect analytics that will be a benefit to the user.”More Than Just MetricsMeasuring key interaction and engagement metrics is one thing, says Ohrvall, but those will only go so far. “Of course you need metrics, but [time spent] won’t give you all the right numbers. You can measure what they do, but you can’t see what they don’t do and want to do. This is completely new. We need to understand the behavior behind the numbers,” she says.In that sense, Ohrvall has set a priority to learn about behavior in a context outside of the device itself—in the inherently participatory Web. The transparency of Mag+ carries over to product development as well. Product videos have been posted to the Web. Bloggers are given a peek at production and encouraged to offer opinions and foster discussion. Meanwhile, Ohrvall is watching the Web conversation closely. “We’re getting lots of useful feedback,” she says. “We’re tapping into people’s understanding of the media and their reactions to using it.”On top of that are layered the quantitative tactics and focus groups. “The Web has evolved into a participatory culture and there are ways to use that,” says Ohrvall. Publishers developing apps for mobile and tablet devices have some choices among analytics service providers—as well as some strategic decisions about how that data will be used.Developers can embed third-party measurement software that is integrated and shipped with the app and tracks a variety of usage patterns. The landscape of service providers ranges from outfits like Omniture, WebTrends and Google Analytics, to smaller firms such as Flurry, Localytics and Motally.The bigger providers offer mobile measurement as an add-on to the Web-measurement services publishers may already be getting from them. “It basically prices the same as your fixed Internet,” says Eric Peterson, founder of Web analytics consulting firm Web Analytics Demystified. “You’re tracking events, pages views or clicks, but you basically pay the same rate for mobile apps.”The smaller firms, and Google Analytics, offer free measurement capabilities as well as more robust, fee-based enterprise versions. Localytics, for example, bases their enterprise pricing on the number of active users in any given month. This number can fluctuate, and publishers tend to begin with the free services to benchmark usage before upgrading to an enterprise-level service.last_img read more

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