By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhDUniversity of Kentucky [Military Family Programs, 2015 Kentucky Military Family Camps]Wilderness and adventure therapy programs are typically used with adolescents dealing with a range of mental health problems as well as behavioral issues. Faculty from the University of Kentucky, partnered with Perdue University, adapted an existing curriculum (Blue to You; altered and titled Campfire Curriculum) for use with military families, and used existing wilderness and adventure therapy models to design a program aimed at helping teenage children and their service member parents reconnect.In wilderness and adventure therapy programs, action-oriented activities are used to elicit emotion and provide immediate feedback. Programming is specifically designed to encourage self-disclosure. In this camp model, family activities were developed to reconnect military parents and their teenage children through team-building exercises, cooperative problem-solving, utilization of creative coping strategies, communication, and teamwork. Activity facilitators used were from outside the military and held at least a Bachelor’s level degree in areas related to outdoor and experiential education. Mental health professionals with a marriage and family therapy background facilitated group discussions each evening at the end of the day’s activities.A total of 25 military parents and 3 spouses of military parents participated in the study. Ages of parents ranged from 34 to 52 years, and they were predominately married males. The total time in service ranged from 2.5 years to 26.0 years. The total time deployed ranged from 0 to 96 months.Surveys were distributed on the last day of the camp and included 3 open-ended questions/statements related to skills and knowledge gained during the camp experience, and potential application of the camp experience at home. Conventional content analysis techniques were used to analyze the surveys. In the analysis, 4 topics became apparent: (1) The role of communication; (2) Quality time together; (3) Working as a team; and, (4) Parenting.Over 80% of the participants noted that their communication had improved. Participants noted that the time gathered as a group provided members an opportunity to share ideas on how to communicate with family members. Participants also commented that by removing themselves from an environment with daily responsibilities, they were able to spend more time developing these important relationships. Less prevalent themes emerged around team building and how the family functioned better working as a team, as well as how to work with their teenagers. Some participants commented on how they learned about sharing feelings with their children rather than giving orders. Experiencing the difference between family relationships and military command relationships is apparent when the themes of teams and parenting are considered in the context of military families, and has implications for clinical practice. Military members are accustomed to a role of leadership in combat – a situation that requires clear objectives, roles and responsibilities. Teenage children, as they evolve into adults may appreciate a more collaborative role or a role of shared responsibilities as they develop. In practice, it is important to consider the service member’s leadership style in the family, whether working with families that are reintegrating following deployment or not. Furthermore, the curriculum utilized in this study appears to have had a positive impact on family communication and bonding, and wilderness adventure camps may serve as a helpful adjunct to reintegration efforts.References Ashurst, K., Smith, L., Little, C., Frey, L., Werner-Wilson, T., Stephenson, L., & Werner-Wilson, R. (2014). Perceived outcomes of military-extension adventure camps for military personnel and their teenage children. American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(2), 175-189. doi:10.1080/01926187.2013.799975This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.
By: Bari Sobelson and Hannah Hyde Are you trying to build capacity so that your organization can improve the lives of service members and their families?Perhaps you work on an installation trying to establish better collaboration with a local municipality, or are focusing on the geographically dispersed members of our armed services in the guard and reserve? Perhaps you want to better understand how your installation operates so you can connect your resources to the larger community and share what you have to offer? If this is the case then you are already taking your first steps to build capacity in your community, but doing so will require you to constantly adapt to CHANGE! Once your mission is aligned with those that need you the most, your impact will be much greater! Sounds good, right? But are you wondering what this has to do with you?If you are interested in learning how to adapt and grow with all of this change you may be experiencing with your efforts, you won’t want to miss this amazing opportunity! Join the Military Families Learning Network for a FREE four-day virtual conference all about managing change! This virtual learning and networking experience is designed for professionals working with military service members and their families. Throughout the conference, keynotes, interactive sessions, and activities will explore professional and organizational change, which relates to community capacity building from multiple angles. LEARN strategies for managing change, GROW your understanding of your capacity for change, and begin to THRIVE as you connect with colleagues facing similar challenges. To learn more information about this exciting opportunity, click here.This blog was written by Social Media Specialists Bari Sobelson of the MFLN Family Development Team and Hannah Hyde of the MFLN Military Caregiving Team. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Welcome to Learning through Change, the Military Families Learning Network’s virtual conference! We would like conference-goers to connect with and learn from each other as much as possible this week, and one way to do this is with daily conference conversations on our blog.Each morning of the conference, we will post a start to the day’s conference conversation. As you participate in sessions throughout the day, we invite you to share your observations, takeaways, questions, and resources as a comment to the daily posts. And please, feel free to respond to other commenters as well! We may be located all over the world, but we can still connect and chat with each other all week, at any time.After the conference, we’ll compile these conversations into a downloadable pdf and post it on our website. We hope you’ll participate in the co-creation of this invaluable conference resource!September 26: Keynote Speakers Set the StageToday’s keynote speakers set the stage for the many conversations we hope to have this week about personal, professional, and organizational change.Charles Figley is addressing coping strategies at work and at home to help us become stronger and more flexible during times of change and difficulty. Strategies for resilience and self-compassion and the importance of “battle buddies” are just a few insights he’ll share with us today.Dionardo Pizaña reminds us there are several connections to leverage as we navigate change: connections with ourselves and our emotions, connections with others, and connections with resources. He is also discussing how the recognition of our differences can have a positive impact on successful organizational change.What are you learning from today’s keynotes? Any connections across the sessions? Did you attend a breakout chat? What did you discuss? Do you have any resources related to today’s sessions that might be helpful to share with your colleagues?Please share your thoughts below as a comment! We look forward to hearing from you!– Brigitte ScottDirector of Program Development and Evaluation, MFLN
Join us Tuesday, August 28, 11 a.m. ET for the second webinar in the Family Finances series, Financial Planning for Life Events. RSVP here. By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, email@example.comPersonal Financial Management program staff often counsel military families about the financial implications of lifestyle transitions. This includes the decision by service members to get married and merge their financial life with a spouse. When a couple gets married, they usually commingle at least some of their personal finances.Some of the biggest challenges a couple will face include joint goal-setting, establishing accounts at financial institutions, deciding how to pay bills and manage money together, and filing income taxes as a married couple. Both spouses also need to review existing financial documents, such as life insurance policies, IRAs, and 401(k)s, and change the beneficiary designation to their spouse, if desired.Image via Pixabay.com/CC0Marriage is also a good time to draft legal documents such as a will, which stipulates how each spouse’s assets will be distributed. Older couples with substantial funds and/or children from a previous marriage may consider a prenuptial agreement to make decisions in advance about financial matters in the event of death or divorce.Below are six recommendations to share with service members who are about to get married:Set Joint Financial Goals- Make a list of short- and longer- term needs and wants. For example, one spouse may need a new car within a year and, together, a couple wants to buy a house within three years. Determine the cost of each goal and the amount that needs to be saved each month to achieve it on time. As an initial financial goal, plan to save at least 3 months living expenses for emergencies such as car repairs.Develop a Spending Plan– Prepare a spending plan (a.k.a., budget) that includes savings for financial goals. Review and revise it as needed. A simple spending plan includes monthly net income, fixed expenses, flexible expenses, and occasional expenses that are paid less frequently than monthly (e.g., quarterly insurance premiums, college tuition, and vacation expenses).Develop a Cash Management Plan– Decide if and how you want to merge financial accounts (e.g., savings and checking). Some couples prefer one joint account while others prefer two separate accounts or a combination of separate and joint accounts. There is no one “right” way for married couples to handle their finances. Factors to consider include convenience, a desire by each spouse for some personal “spending money,” and the minimum balances required by financial institutions to avoid fees.Develop a Payment Plan-Decide how to divide household expenses. If the incomes of two working spouses are fairly equal, bills can be split 50/50. If there is a substantial difference in earnings, bills can be pro-rated. For example, the spouse who earns 70% of household income would pay 70% of the couple’s expenses. The other spouse who earns 30% of total income would pay the remaining 30% of the bills.Come Clean About Credit– Review each other’s credit reports prior to marriage. If a spouse-to-be has a poor credit history, don’t apply for a joint loan (e.g., mortgage) or credit cards. Keep your credit histories separate until negative information drops off the poor credit report, usually in 7 years (10 years for bankruptcy). If one spouse co-signs a loan for the other, he or she becomes legally responsible. Similarly, if financial accounts are merged, assets of the spouse with a good credit history can be seized by creditors.Adjust Your Tax Withholding– Complete a new W-4 form (available from each spouse’s employer) to reflect your new marital status. Two-paycheck working couples may need to have more tax withheld to cover the higher taxes that may be due on their combined income. Instead of claiming one withholding allowance, one or both spouses may want to claim zero or even have an additional amount withheld so they don’t fall short of what they owe. Conversely, couples with one earner may experience a “tax bonus” as a result of marriage and need less tax withheld than before. This is because they will benefit from the higher dollar amounts on tax brackets for married couples versus singles.
Make your scene moody and atmospheric with low-key lighting.All images from ShutterstockWant to quickly add dramatic tones to your scene? Try turning off a light. In the following post we’ll look at low-key lighting and its cinematic potential.What is Low-Key Lighting?Low-key lighting is a lighting effect that uses a hard light source to enhance shadows in your scene. Unlike high-key lighting (in which shadows are minimized), low-key lighting is all about shadows and contrast. LightStalking puts it this way:A low-key image is one that contains predominantly dark tones and colours. Like high-key images, they convey atmosphere and mood. But where a high-key image feels airy and light, a low-key is usually dramatic and full of mystery.Low-key lighting is typically used when the director wants to either isolate a subject or convey drama. Just because a scene is shot with low-key lighting doesn’t necessarily mean it must be scary, but, if you want your audience to be uneasy, low-key lighting is a great place to start. low-key lighting helps to minimize distractions in your frame, so it really helps to guide your audiences eyes where you want them to be.Examples of Low-Key LightingLow-key lighting is easy to analyze… just look into the subject’s eyes. In the image below, the model was lit with a single softbox light source. A common theme in low-key lighting. Here’s another example of low-key lighting. In the image above you will notice that the actors face isn’t necessarily covered in a hard black shadow, but the overall tone of the scene is dark and contrasted. Now compare that to the same image with high-key lighting. The first image seems moody, emotive, and (best of all) cinematic. The second, on the other hand, looks more sterile. It’s not that one is worse than the other, each have their own advantages and disadvantages… but the low-key example feels more mysterious and interesting.How to Shoot Low Key LightingA typical low-key lighting setup consists of one large light, plus reflectors and diffusers as needed. Let’s take this picture for example: The above picture uses a single softbox light with little else. So it’s safe to say their lighting setup was something like this: It can be easy to overcomplicate your film set with too many lights. Low-key lighting is simple and effective. If you’re having lighting trouble on set, try simply turning off a light. A low-key lighting setup might be the way to go.Low-Key Camera ConsiderationsLow-key is all about shadows, so, just like with any dark shoot, you’ll need to take all of the normal low-light precautions.1. Invest in Good Lights It can be easy to spend your entire equipment budget on camera gear. Don’t make this mistake. A small investment in lights will go a long way. For most low-key lighting situations you’ll want to use a large soft source like a softbox.2. Use a Fast Lens Low-key lighting tends to be shot in darker locations, so you’ll want to make sure you have a fast lens nearby. Because of the whole camera noise problem, this tends to be a better decision than simply getting a camera that’s good in low-light.3. Monitor Your Levels When shooting low-key lighting, you’ll end up with some really funny looking histograms. This is normal, but be mindful of your pixel information. Even if your blacks are black, you want to make sure your subject isn’t underexposed or overexposed. You can always edit the color in post, but you can’t adjust pixel information if your subject has absolute black or white points.4. Use Negative Fills A negative fill is essentially a dark cloth or board used to absorb light. This is important for low-key lighting as you want to control any incidental light that hits your subject. For more information on this subject, check out our ‘Add Drama to Your Lighting Setup with Negative Fill‘ post.5. Shoot in RAWShooting a low-key scene is only the beginning. After your footage is captured, you’ll want to manipulate color levels while editing. For this reason, it’s best advised to shoot in RAW instead of a compressed format.Low-Key Lighting TutorialsThe good people at Film Riot have created a few tutorials showcasing low-key lighting in-action. Notice how simple each lighting setup is.And again, Film Riot brings us an entire tutorial featuring a single light source. All of the lighting setups in this tutorial would be considered low-key.ConclusionLow-key lighting isn’t something that has set-in-stone rules. Instead, low-key is really more of a theoretical concept used to convey a lighting style between film crew members. For more on this subject, check out a few of the following links:Add Drama to Your Lighting Setup with Negative FillLighting – High Key and Low Key – DIY PhotographyLow-Key Lighting – WikipediaHave any tips for shooting low-key lighting? Share in the comments below!
Learn how to creatively flatten cinematic images for your next video production by using profile framing.Top image: Batman via WarnerIn the visual medium of filmmaking, it’s often too easy to accidentally flatten the imagery and perspectives. After all, the end result will be projected, or viewed, on a flat screen. For this reason, filmmakers and videographers often fight against flat imagery by invoking depth and perspective shots in their work. But flattening your images can be done simply and creatively. Let’s consider a couple of approaches.Suppressed IdentityWhen it comes to staging and framing the human subjects of your movie, it’s often preferable to set your camera at an angle to the subject’s position. This not only allows the viewer to see the subject’s face in its full expressive capacity, but it also creates a sense of dimension in the facial features.One of the flattest ways to frame your subject is from the side, with the individual in profile. Framed in this way, the subject is suddenly imbued with a visual tension that can connect directly to the content of your film. In the George Lucas film, THX 1138 (both images above via Warner), the main character, played by Robert Duvall, is actively fighting against the flattened identity preferred by the repressive future society in which he resides.Hidden IdentityIn Hitchcock’s Vertigo, the character of Madeleine (as played by Kim Novak) is first glimpsed by Scottie (James Stewart) in profile (see above image via Paramount), lending a mystery to her actual identity.In The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, Slavoj Žižek identifies this perspective as Scottie’s fear of fully seeing Madeleine. This fear permits Scottie to fill in Madeleine’s partial identity with his own subjective fantasies. This partial identity enlists the audience into participating in the subjective character creation.Although this example from Hitchcock is clearly an example of Laura Mulvey’s concept of the male gaze in all three manifestations, the takeaway is how the profile shot can become a means for filmmakers and videographers to interrogate the identity of characters within the story world from both the perspective of the other characters and the eventual viewers of the finished film.Conjoined IdentitiesWhen another person is added to the profile shot, the effect becomes more complicated. A dual profile can be a way of joining characters together at their most flattened, as seen above in Minority Report (via 20th Century Fox), whereas staging one character in profile and the second character facing forward can both join and disconnect characters, depending on the context. As seen below, Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman made great use of profile framing throughout their work.Red Beard via CriterionPersona via CriterionThe Silence via CriterionThe dual profile can be used to clearly signify conflict and battling perspectives especially when conjuring the art associated with comics and graphic novels. As in the 1989 Batman (top image), character motivations, when rendered in profile, can become clearly oppositional, more direct, and less emotive. The result is a more animalistic and brutal depiction of onscreen characters.ConclusionThe ambiguity that results from profile framing can be used to build up to a visual release in the emotional states of the onscreen characters by less two dimensional means. Hitchcock reverses the flattened perspective of the profile shots when he employs a circular dolly shot late in Vertigo (via Paramount).There are plenty of other ways to cinematically flatten your image. High key lighting is a very common technique that tends to reduce the dimensionality of shadows and smooths out the facial features of your subjects.Telephoto lenses flatten perspective and can be used to visually reduce the proximity between subjects in the shot. Telephoto lenses can also make it seem like your character is on a road to nowhere.But when it comes to simple, dramatic flattening, profile framing can be used to great effect to veil the identities and emotions of your onscreen subjects.What are your favorite examples of profile framing? Share them in the comments below!
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The people with concerns tend to always have concerns. For them, it’s not you, or your company, or your solution that concerns them. They are concerned about almost everything.The people who are grouchy aren’t grouchy because you called them. They were grouchy before you called them, and they’ll be grouchy the next day, and the day after that. They are grouchy people.The people who are cheap aren’t just cheap when it comes from buying what you sell. They’re always cheap, refusing to believe that anything else equals value. When cheap things fail cheap people, they buy the next cheap thing. The thing that makes cheap people is that they are cheap.The people who are skeptical don’t believe what you are saying. They don’t believe what anyone says. To the skeptic, everything is suspect—and so is everyone. The skeptic doesn’t trust you because they don’t trust anyone.The people who already know everything can’t take on any new information. There is no room for new ideas, even if they are valuable. They don’t know everything about their business or your business or some other thing. They know everything about everything. This is what makes them the people who already know everything.The people who are fiercely loyal can always be counted on to be fiercely loyal. They’re not just loyal to your competitor. They’re loyal to all the people to whom they are loyal. You hope someday they are loyal to you.The people who don’t have time now never have time. It’s not that they don’t perceive value in what you are offering to trade for time. They don’t value anything more than being the people who don’t have time.The people who go dark to avoid conflict and fear being sold avoid having to tell people no and choose instead to disappear. You are not the first person they have avoided. They avoid everyone who might require they say yes or no.The people who are perpetually unsatisfied are never satisfied. That’s what makes the perpetually unsatisfied. If they could ever be satisfied, they wouldn’t be who they are.The people who refuse to change even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they need to change. They still have a fax machine next to their desk because it’s worked perfectly well for more than two decades. If they were willing to change, they would not be the people who refuse to change.It’s easy to believe that how a person appears to you is their response to you. But often, maybe most of the time, the person is who they are, and how they appear has nothing to do with you.
A ‘chaadar’ was on Saturday offered at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti here on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said the service of the Sufi saint to humanity will continue to inspire generations.Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered the ‘chaadar’ (shawl) on behalf of the PM and read out his message in which Modi greeted the followers of the saint in India and abroad on the occasion of the 805th annual Urs.“Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is a symbol of India’s great spiritual tradition,” the Prime Minister said in his message.He said the service of Garib Nawaz to humanity will continue to inspire generations. Chishti, a great 6th century Sufi saint, is also known as Gharib Nawaz (patron of the poor).Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Naqvi said that the country is an example of social and communal harmony for the entire world and the life of ‘Garib Nawaz’ inspires all to strengthen it.“This unity can defeat the forces which are engaged in a conspiracy to create divide and conflict in the society,” he said.The Minister said that development of the country and living up to the trust of the people is the only commitment of the NDA Government under the leadership of Mr. Modi.He said Chishti’s message of world peace is a strong weapon to protect human values and defeat the nefarious designs of terror forces.
Haryana’s main Opposition INLD on Wednesday held a demonstration to highlight the State of farmers in the country and condemned the killing of peasants at Mandsaur in M.P..The party also resolved not to meet Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar at his residence in the future to protest the alleged bad treatment of its leaders by security and other officials at the entrance of the premises on Wednesday.March to CM’s homeLed by Abhay Singh Chautala, all INLD MLAs and two party MPs — Charanjit Singh Rori and Ram Kumar Kashyap, besides its State unit chief Ashok Arora and youth leader Digvijay Chautala took part in the protest. After the party’s executive meeting, INLD members, including senior leaders Ramphal Majra and Jaswinder Sandhu started to march towards the CM’s residence, but they were stopped by the police who had set up barricades about 500 metre away.“We had prepared two memoranda on various issues. One was to be forwarded to the Prime Minister and another one had to be submitted to the CM. “However, we were stopped by the police and the Chief Minister’s principal secretary R.K. Khullar, who was present there, told us to come with a small team to meet the CM,” Mr. Arora said.
A joint team of the Army and Jammu and Kashmir police has seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including two AK assault rifles and explosives during an operation in Rajouri.During the ‘Operation Clean-up’, the security personnel searched the hills and natural caves in the Rajouri-Reasi belt with the help of sniffer dogs. The team of the Rashriya Rifles and police has seized a cache of arms, including one AK-47 rifle, one AK-56 rifle, a Chinese pistol, two RPG rounds, five hand grenades, two magazines and 639 rounds of ammunition in the Kalakote area of the district on Saturday, an officer said.
With 36 people killed in the violence triggered by supporters of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect, authorities are now establishing the identity of the dead and conducting post-mortems.“We have 17 bodies here; post-mortem examination is being carried out … We will inform the police once it is over. They will inform the families after identification is completed,” V.K. Bansal, chief medical officer at the civil hospital in Panchkula, told The Hindu.The Haryana government on Saturday said that no resident of Panchkula, the epicentre of the violence, had been reported missing, injured or killed.Also Read Take judge by air to Rohtak jail to pronounce jail term for Dera chief, orders HC High security in PunjabPunjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said the State had beefed up security at vital installations and was ready to enforce curfew in sensitive areas again, if needed. “It has also been decided to extend the ban on mobile data services in the State till Tuesday (August 29),” he said, adding that 19 potential trouble-makers had been taken into preventive custody and the crackdown would continue ahead of the sentencing. The main leaders of Dera Sacha Sauda, who are likely to instigate followers, are either being taken into confidence or arrested.Capt. Singh said the curfew had been lifted in three districts and relaxed in the other areas.He said that police officers had visited all the 98 ‘Naam Sacha Ghars’ of the Dera in the State and recovered lathis, pipes, rods, axes and petrol bombs. Director-General of Police, Haryana, B.S. Sandhu said that while 30 people were killed in Panchkula, six causalities were reported from Sirsa. “As many as 34 cases have been registered till now by the police in the entire episode, and 552 people have been arrested. Investigations are under way,” he said. “The process of identification [of the bodies] has started and so far, we have identified 13 bodies and their families are being informed.”Sedition casesHaryana Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi told presspersons that two cases of sedition had been registered against Dera followers and investigation was under way. “During the operation, the police recovered one AK 47 rifle and one Mauser rifle from the vehicle of a Dera follower, and two rifles and five pistols were recovered from another vehicle,” he said.He said peace was prevailing throughout the State and all security arrangements had been made for Monday, when the quantum of sentence would be decided.Also Read Dera head treated like any other convict: Rohtak Deputy Commissioner As many as 101 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the State, while the Army has been deployed in Panchkula and Sirsa. Curfew has been relaxed in Panchkula and Sirsa, he said. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said that the efficient action taken by the security forces to disperse the violent mob in about three-and-a-half hours had prevented the situation from worsening.Haryana Deputy Advocate-General Gurdass Singh Salwara was sacked as he was seen carrying the luggage of the Dera chief while the latter was taken to Rohtak.
Pune: Hundreds of activists, intellectuals, leaders of left parties and common citizens came together in Pune on Wednesday to condemn the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her Bengaluru home on Tuesday night.Carrying handmade posters bearing the legend ‘I am Gauri Lankesh’, the demonstrators gathered near S.P. College on Tilak Road. They blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for fostering a climate of “cultural terrorism”.The protesters also included activists from the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) founded by the late Narendra Dabholkar.During the two-hour protest, members of socialist parties and left-leaning outfits like Lokayat and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused the Modi government of deliberately stifling dissent and failing to prosecute agents of intolerance.“The BJP has come to power with the objective of subverting the Indian Constitution … anybody seen opposing the RSS thought and ideology is promptly hounded,” said eminent writer-editor and septuagenarian activist Vidya Bal, remarking that under the present government, women in the country were not safe, and women journalists even less so.Lankesh’s killing is not the murder of an individual, but a violent attack on democracy, said Sambhaji Brigade leader Santosh Shinde.The protesters said the murder echoed the killings of Dr. Dabholkar, veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare and scholar M.M. Kalburgi.“Radical right-wing elements and Hindutva fundamentalists are able to unleash a reign of terror under the Modi government,” alleged CPI (M) leader Ajit Abhyankar. He also accused the BJP government of deliberately dragging their feet in the investigations into the Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi murders.
The Satna district police have arrested a local member of the right-wing Bajrang Dal on charge of setting fire to a vehicle used by a priest and seminarians. The priest and seminarians were detained when they were on carol singing for the Christmas season on a complaint by Dharmendra Dohar, 21, a resident of Bhumkahar village, who alleged that some people were asking him to convert to Christianity.“We have produced a person before the magistrate in connection with the incident in which a car was set on fire in the Civil Lines police station area,” Kamlesh P., head constable, said over telephone.The police have lodged a case under Section 435 against unidentified persons who set a vehicle (MP 19 CB 6701), parked very close to the Civil Lines police station, on fire.According to the police, the arrested person, Vikas Shukla, is a resident of Khamu Khuja locality, who reportedly set the vehicle afire. Mr. Shukla was later released on bail. On Thursday, on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr. Dohar, Father M. George and a group of 30 seminarians were detained during the routine carol singing. In his complaint, Mr. Dohar alleged that some people were appealing him to convert. The police have registered a case against Father George and five others under Sections 153 (B), 295 (A). Eight priests who went to inquire about the detained priest and seminarians were also taken into custody. Later, a vehicle parked outside the police station was torched by unidentified people. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has strongly condemned the violent attack on priests and seminarians.On Friday, the Satna police produced Father George and the priests from St. Ephrem’s Theological College before the magistrate. Father George was released on bail the same day.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said there was an urgent need to focus on skill development to generate jobs.He said skill development centres should be set up across Maharashtra in colleges and universities. Mr. Fadnavis was speaking while inaugurating Symbiosis Skill Centre of Excellence at Kiwale on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Mr. Fadnavis said, “Youth constitute 60% of the country’s population today. The need of the hour is to equip our human resources with the right sort of skills.” He said skill development would pave the path to social and economic progress. Mr. Fadnavis said, “There are myriad ways in which the youth can contribute to the country’s progress. The State and the country are in dire need of more thinkers, innovators and doers who can put ideas into practice.” He said, “We need a speedy convergence of industry and the academic world to equip young people with necessary skills and hands-on experience.” Dr. S.B. Majumdar, founder, Symbiosis group of institutions, said, “Skill development can help redress large-scale unemployment.”
Pune: Eminent scientist and educationist Arvind Gupta and renowned physician-activist Dr. Anil Awachat, founder of the de-addiction Muktangan Centre, are among those to be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Foundation (America) award.The awards will be given at an event on January 13 at the city’s Annabhau Sathe Hall.The award, now in its 24th year, is instituted by members of the Maharashtrian community residing in the U.S. and is given to prominent individuals who have brought significant change in the fields of social service and literature through their work.This year, a total of nine awards — four each in the Social Service and Literature categories and one in memory of slain rationalist and thinker Dr. Narendra Dabholkar — are to be given to notable public personalities. Mr. Gupta is to be awarded the Narendra Dabholkar memorial award for his seminal contribution to popularising science and permeating scientific temper among the young by developing strikingly innovative, low-cost science-based teaching aids. The award carries a cash prize of ₹1 lakh along with a citation. “I am honoured to be receiving this award especially as it is in the memory of rationalist Dr. Dabholkar, a thinker who remained true to his principles till the very end. Pune has been a hub of social and educational reform exemplified through such stalwarts as Mahatma Phule, Tarabai Shinde and Hamid DalwaiDr. Dabholkar firmly belongs to this great liberal tradition,” said Mr. Gupta, speaking to The Hindu.Mr. Gupta is famous as a ‘toy inventor’ and for his many books helping to popularise science like the landmark Matchstick Models and other Science Experiments (1987), which has been translated into 13 Indian languages and has sold nearly a million copies till date. He has also translated more than 50 books into English and Hindi.The multi-faceted Dr. Awachat, who has been doing yeoman service to help addicts across India through his Muktangan de-addiction centre, is to be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ award which carries a cash prize of ₹2 lakh and a citation.Dr. Awachat is also noted for his incisive writings and contribution to literary journalism. In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985), on Dalit atrocities, and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.Nonagenarian freedom fighter from Marathwada, Gangaprasad Agrawal will also be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ prize. Other recipients of the Maharashtra Foundation awards include social activist Rubina Patel, noted filmmaker Sai Paranjpe (for her autobiographical writings), playwright Ajit Dalvi, author Kalpana Dudhal, and activists Chetana Gala-Sinha and Arun Jadhav.
Implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, free education for girls up to the graduation level, supply of purified drinking water to every household, free health insurance, one job for each family, free smartphones to students, regularisation of contractual staff and higher wages are the highlights of the BJP’s Vision Document for Tripura.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday released the 30-page Vision Document as party manifesto for the February 18 Assembly elections.Mr. Jaitley said the NDA government at the Centre would support the implementation of the promises if the alliance of the BJP and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura was voted to power. He said the Left Front government, during its long rule, had failed to implement any welfare programmes despite huge support from the Centre.“This is why we see a huge anti-incumbency feeling prevailing in the State. It’s like a revolt situation against the CPI(M),” he said.He said the CPI(M) would be left to fight for the third or fourth place in the elections. “The BJP has occupied the non-Left political space of the State to fulfil the wishes of the people,” he said.
The bypolls for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland and an Assembly seat in Meghalaya saw a high turnout of voters on Monday. At least 75% of 11,97,436 voters in Nagaland and 90.42% of 24,181 voters in Meghalaya’s Ampati seat cast their votes.Voting in Nagaland was peaceful barring a mob attack on the 13-Kubza polling station in Mokokchung district. “Seven persons were arrested after a large mob overpowered the polling personnel and vandalised the polling booth. Re-polling will be needed there,” the State’s chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said.“The final polling figure will be known tomorrow [Tuesday] morning after reports from remote areas come in. As of now, we recorded 75% polling,” he added.The Nagaland LS seat fell vacant in February after Neiphiu Rio resigned to contest the Assembly election as a candidate of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which formed an alliance with the BJP. He is now the Chief Minister. The contest for the Nagaland LS seat is between NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi and C. Apok Jamir of the Naga People’s Front, a former BJP ally now backed by long-time rival Congress.The bypoll for Ampati was necessitated by former Chief Minister Mukul M Sangma, who had won from two seats, vacating it and retaining the Songsak seat. His daughter Miani D Shira hopes to retain the seat for the Congress.
Admitting that its online connect with the people has not been “up to the mark”, the Bengal leadership of the Communist Party of India-Marxist has decided to ramp up the party’s presence on social media. The social media presence of the CPI(M) is so low that even expelled party MP Ritabrata Banerjee has more followers (34,007) than the party State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra (28,002) on microblogging site Twitter. The party is trying to correct it but not by spending a huge sum, party sources said.CPI(M) sources said that the State leadership is planning to set up social media teams at the area committee level and wants to reach out to at least 80% of the people in the State before the Lok Sabha elections using social media. Area committees have replaced the erstwhile local committees.“CPI(M)’s social media presence in Bengal has not been up to the mark. We have lagged far behind the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party in this regard,” a CPI(M) State committee member told The Hindu.He added that so far CPI(M)’s effort to set up social media teams at the area committee level has been limited to mainly district towns and Kolkata. “For instance in Kolkata out of the 53 area committees, social media teams have been set up only in about 13 area committees,” he said.Unlike the TMC and BJP, the CPI(M) has not been able to rope in information technology professionals to revamp its social media activity due to paucity of funds and is instead relying on tech-savvy young party members and sympathisers, the State committee member said.‘Can’t copy others’CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Md. Salim, who oversees the party’s social media operations in Bengal, said that the State leadership recently held detailed discussions over the issue.“We are aiming at enrolling more volunteers and providing them with proper training so that they can reach out to more people. However, we are facing some problems due to lack of funds,” said Mr. Salim. He also said that the party has been unable to provide any equipment such as computers and smartphones to its social media volunteers who have to depend on their own resources.Mr. Salim admitted that so far the party has been unable to conduct social media operations in a centralised manner and doesn’t even have a record of the number of social media volunteers for the CPI(M) in Bengal.Asked why several senior CPI(M) leaders such as Polit Bureau member Biman Basu are not on social media, Mr. Salim said “we work as a party and not as an individual”.“Why should Biman Basu copy Narendra Modi or Mamata Banerjee who only want publicity?” he saidParty sources said that the State leadership wants to counter the “false propaganda” of TMC and BJP on social media as well as highlight the party’s views on significant political developments in the State.
Former Goa tourism minister Dilip Parulekar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday appeared before the Mapusa Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Shantashri Kudchadkar in the Serula Comunidade cheating and land grab case. Mr. Parulekar and the two other accused — Peter Martins, the then attorney of Comunidade of Serula, and Irene Sequeira, then administrator of Comunidade of Bardez were released on a surety and bond of ₹10000, with the case adjourned to September 4.Comunidade is a village land commune inherited by Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese colony.Justice C.V. Bhadang of the Bombay High Court on June 22 had directed the trio to face trial for offences under Sections 119, 120, 420 read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.On a petition filed by Advocate Aires Rodrigues, the Mapusa JMFC on January 16, 2014 had directed the Porvorim Police in north Goa to register an FIR against Mr. Parulekar, Mr. Martins and Ms. Sequeira for the same.Mr. Rodrigues in his complaint had said that a prime land at Porvorim near here was given away to Mr. Parulekar without any auction and without following the procedure under the Code of Comunidade and that the whole intention was to fraudulently facilitate the doling out of prime Comunidade land to the then Minister.
The ailing Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, reached Goa on Sunday afternoon by an air ambulance after his discharge from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, where he had been under treatment for nearly a month.He was taken to his private residence near here in an ambulance from the Dabolim airport. An ambulance and a medical crew have been kept ready at his residence. He was admitted to the AIIMS on September 15. He has been in and out of hospitals for more than seven months.On Friday, Mr. Parrikar held a meeting of his Ministers and State BJP leaders at the AIIMS. Thereafter, his condition was said to have deteriorated.Also Read Parrikar to stay as Goa Chief Minister: Amit Shah Cong. seeks resignationThe Opposition Congress has been demanding his resignation because of his prolonged illness and absence from office.However, Union Minister Shripad Naik dismissed any possibility of dissolution of the Goa Assembly and expressed confidence that the government would complete its term.Mr. Naik said there was an improvement in Mr. Parrikar’s health but he needed to take rest.(With PTI inputs)