African youth prone to saving, advancing education: Barclays report

first_img31 October 2014African youth are more likely to invest surplus cash to achieve their long-terms goals, rather than spend money on luxury items, according to a report released recently by Barclays Africa Group Limited.A result of a survey conducted among 7 052 young Africans from 11 countries, the report states that 49% of all respondents said they would invest or save an extra US$100 if they had the money.Of the total number of respondents, 14.7% said they would use the extra US$100 for education and skills-related expenses and 13.2% would use it to pay off their debt, indicating good saving intentions and a readiness to make sacrifices for education and training as a strategy for prosperity, the report notes.Young South Africans less likely to investCompared to the overall score, Ghanaians (62%) and Kenyans (63%) came out tops as the most likely nations to invest additional funds. However, South Africans were less likely to invest (27%) and were only slightly more inclined to pay off debt (31%).Entitled “Africa Prospers: Future Youth Drivers of the African Economy’, the purpose of the survey was to gauge how Africans defined “prosperity” and how they are investing for their future. Respondents from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe took part in the survey from April to August this year.What it means to prosper to young AfricansYoung Africans mostly agreed that to prosper means to be successful, to thrive and to be fortunate in not only finances but also in health, career satisfaction and happiness.“The survey showed that there is a new understanding of prosperity – one that transcends the confines of traditional family or community structures,” according to the report.Of note, 30% of respondents said they would buy a computer if they had extra cash and 24% said they would purchase books in order to prosper. Education cropped up quite frequently in the survey, an indication of the zeal for knowledge among the youth.“Both the internet and new and developing mobile phone technology are increasing the importance of this generation as agents of social transformation and wealth creation in different sub-regions of Africa,’ the report notes.Lack of financeHowever, 68.9% of the participants said the major impediment to “prosperity’ was lack of finance. Half of the participants indicated there was general lack of opportunity to prosper and 26.2% said they needed financial advice.Commenting on the findings in the executive summary of the report, independent analysts Professor Monde Makiwane of the Human Sciences Research Council and Dr Golda Chimere-Dan of Africa Strategic Research Corporation (Pty) Ltd said the survey “captures the prosperity perspectives, experiences and life strategies of Africa’s growing and young emerging middle-class, who holds the key to accelerated economic growth and transformation in Africa’.“It addresses critical issues of financial behaviour and prosperity that have either been missed or poorly measured by previous social and financial surveys in Africa. Although some results from the report confirm findings from other location- specific studies, this is the first survey of its kind to collect this specific set of information in a comparative study of 11 African countries.’Findings key to attracting investment in AfricaMakiwane and Chimere-Dan said the findings will have profound implications on how economic development and financial services are packaged and presented to people in Africa in years to come.“Africa constitutes a sizeable portion of the global market with its share of general and unique risks and opportunities. Even though regional economic growth is vulnerable to the fluctuations in the global markets, many analysts remain optimistic about the economic prospects for sub Saharan Africa,’ the two analysts noted, adding that a combination of demographic and social dynamics has given rise to two notable patterns that attract regional and global attention to the African market.The first pattern shows that the current phase of the demographic transition in Africa is contributing to a growing sub-group of young, economically active Africans who are better educated and not as digitally disadvantaged as the generations that preceded them.Recent studies by demographers and economists have identified this new generation as the potential vanguard for accelerated economic growth and human development in Africa, a phenomenon is referred to as the African “youth bulge’.African youth bulgeThe second pattern relates to Africa following Asia’s saving boom. Makiwane and Chimere-Dan said several decades ago, Asia experienced a similar “youth bulge’.“Asia capitalised on this by creating employment opportunities and mobilising the youth to save, thereby boosting per capita savings. Encouragingly, one of the most significant findings from the Barclays Africa Prosper Report is the high level of savings and investments reported by participants. As many as 50% of respondents would save or invest to help them prosper financially. This needs encouragement,’ Makiwane and Chimere-Dan noted.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Jeremy Goyings, Nov. 7

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We finished corn about a week go. We finished all of the double-crop beans but 160 acres. We got rained out last week and we haven’t been able to get back into them.The corn was kind of like we expected. It had about the highest variability we’ve ever had on our corn crop. We did finish a couple of fields — the farthest southeast farm and the farthest north farm — where we got out of the dry belt where we had a 185 and a 180. So at least a little bit of extra moisture helped. It was the same way with the beans.The driest stretch was almost centered on the vast majority of our acres. Only a few tenths of rain made a difference. We normally think about a farm getting two or three inches more that made up for the differences in yields, but this year it was 20 bushels different with just two or three tenths. It was so starved for water just a little bit made a difference.Everything stood excellent. I was worried towards the end we’d run into some stalk issues, but the late rains seemed to keep the later corn a little healthier.The double-crops were excellent for our area.  A lot of times you celebrate if you can get your money back that you put into it. This year the vast majority of them have come off in the low 30s. We even had a 44-bushel yield on one field.We tried to get them in right after the combine after the straw was baled. We’ll try that again next year so we can try to take advantage of that bonus check at the end of the year.last_img read more

Marketing on what is known

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCPractically everyone in the grain trading world is saying “I didn’t see that coming” after a 70-cent corn price drop over the last 30 days and a $2 per bushel drop in soybeans. I know I’m not the only one disappointed that prices are back to levels last seen in January. At least the market has come off of its lows and is only down 50 cents in corn and $1.50 for beans.While I wish I would have sold more futures during this last rally, knowing what I know now, I’m glad I sold what I did above $4.25. At the time I sold those bushels I was worried $4.50 to $5 may be possible and that those sales would turn out to be a mistake.It’s easy when negative and unpredictable things happen to fall into the “if only” trap, but there’s too much uncertainty to spend significant time dwelling on what should have been done. No one knows what’s going to happen, and certainly no one can predict the weather, the biggest driver of prices. We only know current conditions and 30 days ago we knew….Corn was planted one to two weeks later than usualNormal yields with average rainfall would likely mean that for the 2018/19 marketing year there would be: a decreased world stock level by 20%; the lowest corn carryout in the U.S. in 5 years; and the tightest “Stock To Use Ratio” in 40 years.Weather forecasts indicated: increased dryness throughout the southern plains; Memorial Day Weekend would be hot, 100 degrees throughout the Corn Belt; June would likely continue to be hot; and there were global dryness concerns outside the U.S.There were potential trade concerns, but the market had responded well after a couple days with each announcement up to that point.Trendline yields around 174 bushels per acre would have likely meant $4 Dec corn by Thanksgiving. What do we know today?Crop conditions are off to a great start, maybe the best ever, with widespread timely rains and warm weather. Even with the delayed planting, the intense heat has help speed up the growth of the corn and pollination will likely happen during the normal time period. It is unlikely that there will be many prevent plant acres and that corn could actually see an increase in planted acres. If fantastic weather continues, the national yield averages could hit 180 or 182, which would mean carryout exceeding 2 billion up from 1.6 billion only 2 months ago. This could set up the market for a situation similar to last year.Each bushel per acre increase over the 174 national yield average would likely mean 10 cents off a $4 Dec corn price. So, an average 180-bushel national yield would mean Dec corn probably trading $3.40. What don’t we know today?Will Good weather continue through pollination and grain fill?Will the last half of July and August be hot, or will there be cool nights?Will too much rain be a factor? That has only happened once in the last 30 years, so it’s probably a long shot.Trade/tariff issues have received a lot of press recently, but they too are impossible to predict. The U.S. produces 30% of the world’s grain, so there isn’t enough global supply to support the world’s needs without the U.S. supply. In the short term, headlines can make some market shifts, but like weather, no one knows what will happen. Market Action — July options expired — CornTrade 1 — Sold callWhen the market was moving toward its low for the year last season on 8/31/17, I sold a $4 July call for 19 cents (5% ’17 production)What does this mean?If July corn is above $4 on 6/22 I have to sell corn for $4 and keep 19 cents ($4.19 total).If July corn is below $4 on 6/22 I keep the 19 cents to use on another trade in the future.I hope corn rallies above $4 before July, but it’s unlikely knowing what I know today. Therefore, getting an additional 19 cent premium to add to a later trade will be helpful in maintaining profitability if prices don’t increase.What happened?Corn closed below $4 and I just collected the 19 cents. Trade 2 — StraddleOn 2/26/18 when July corn was $3.82:Sold a $3.90 straddle (where I sell both the put and call for the same strike price)Bought a $3.60 put to minimize downside risk in this tradeCollected a total of 28 cents premium for the trade.What does this mean?If corn is below $3.62 on 6/22/18, I don’t get to sell any corn and I could lose up to 2 cents max.If corn is above $4.18 on 6/22/18, I have to sell 10% of my 2017 production for $3.90 plus the 28 cents from the sale of the options, so I would get $4.18 total.If corn is between $3.62 and $4.18, I will make some premium on this trade but no sale has to be made. The closer July corn is to $3.90, the more of the 28 cents premium I get to keep.Worst case scenario — prices fall below $3.62 and I lose 2 cents. I think this is unlikely, but I’m prepared if it happens. Any price above $3.62 and I’ll be pleased the results.What happened? Corn closed at $3.57. I lost 2 cents and didn’t sell any grain. Trade 3 — StraddleOn 4/17/18 when July corn was around $3.88, I sold a July $4.10 straddle (sold both the put and the call) and collected 34 cents total on 10% of my production.What does this mean?If July corn is $4.10 on 6/22/18 I keep all of the 34 cents.Every penny corn is below $4.10 I get less premium until $3.76.If corn is $3.76 or lower I will have to remove a sale by buying back futures.For every penny higher than $4.10 I get less premium until $4.44.At $4.44 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $4.10 against July futures, but I still get to keep the 34 cents so it’s like selling $4.44As with all straddles, this trade is most profitable if corn stays sideways. And while I think corn has upside potential, I don’t think it’s likely to rally higher than the top of this straddle’s range (but I’ll obviously be happy if it does). The biggest concern of this trade is the downside. Corn demand will have to stay strong and a weather scare would help.I think there is a good chance corn will be between $3.76 to $4.44 at the end of June, with what I know today. Even last week May corn didn’t drop below the lower limits of this trade. And since I sold 20% of my corn the previous week, buying back some of this sale (worst case scenario) is acceptable risk, given the potential reward of the trade.What happened? Unfortunately, the market collapsed the last 4 weeks and we finished below $3.76. Perfect rains and tariff issues were too much for the market to bear. It turns out I was too aggressive with my plan for higher prices.I didn’t want to buy any of my previous sales back as I stated in my original plan back in April when I placed the trade. Instead I bought back the put portion of this trade for 55 cents before it expired. If I had left the put I originally had sold in place it would have caused me to buy corn back at $4.10 July futures. I’m very uncertain of where the market will go next so I choose to take my loss and look for other opportunities down the road.I let the $4.10 call portion of the straddle I sold for a premium expire worthless because the market was below that strike price.After the 34 cents I collected from selling the straddle originally, I have a 21-cent net loss (34 – 55 = -21) on 10% of my ’17 production that will be subtracted from my pot of premium I’ve been collecting all year long. The results of using straddles this past yearIn the last year I’ve had a lot of success using straddles to collect extra premium during a long-term unprofitable sideways market. Along the way I have shared the results of those trades in these newsletters, both the winners and the losers. Here is a quick recap of the results:Since 6/20/17 I’ve placed 14 different straddle trades, with 11 of the 14 being profitable.11 Trades each on just 10% of my ’17 production added to my pot of premium +1.89 cents total (+18, +8, +12, +37, +7, +14, +5, +38 +18, +7, & +25)3 Trades each on just 10% of my ’17 production removed from my pot of premium – 37 cents total (-14, -2 & -21)My net premium from trading straddles is +1.52/bu on 10% of production or 15.2 cents on every bushel I raised this past year.While overall the last year, I’ve had many successes, I’m disappointed the two straddles above were losses (specifically trade #3). In hindsight I had too much faith the market would remain strong through July 4 and should have bought a put for downside protection, which would have limited my loss to 5 cents only. But with delayed plantings in April, and a potential big drop in carryout next year it seemed unlikely there would be perfect crop conditions in June. Back then I feared the market was going to go way up and selling too low, then I was with the market going down.With an 80% success rate selling straddles on the ’17 crop and overall profit, I’m probably not going to stop using them. But the straddle trades that just expired are an important reminder that the market is unpredictable and even when it seems impossible that the market could go down, it still can. So, it’s important to always understand all possible outcomes for each trade and be willing to accept them all. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more

Passive House is Looking for a Few Good Men (and Women)

first_imgUsing energy modeling, hygrothermal analysis, and cost data, the study identified U curves showing the cost/benefit analysis of energy efficiency improvements for the home in each location.PHIUS is seeking comments and intends to implement the new standard in the PHIUS certification protocol in early 2015.As my success in fully understanding the details in the paper was limited, I will leave it to the super geeks who troll this site to dig in deeper and criticize me for my ignorance. The U CurveThe U curve cost/benefit plots included in the paper show fairly consistent results in most locations: specifically, that energy improvements are cost-effective until you reach about 55% to 60% site energy savings. Above those levels, the hard costs of increased energy savings trends higher, suggesting that the bottom of the U curve is the point at which adding renewable energy systems is a more appropriate investment.One interesting observation, further reinforcing the value of adjusting the program for the U.S., was that in Europe typical HVAC systems are hydronic, powered by expensive boilers. When building envelope improvements can eliminate the need for an expensive HVAC system, they are appropriate investments. In the much of the U.S., however, HVAC systems are significantly less expensive than in Europe, making it far more challenging to realize significant savings by eliminating those systems through efficiency measures, a common practice in Passivhaus projects.One interesting observation was that in states with high electric costs, almost every energy upgrade was affordable. Conversely, where energy is cheap, few of the energy upgrades proved affordable. The paper concluded that regional differences in energy costs are much greater than differences in construction costs, suggesting that many decisions on efficiency improvements may be determined primarily based on local utility costs. Same core concepts, with some key changesAlthough the paper proposes some changes in Passive House requirements, it does not change the core concept, or “three pillars,” of the program – limit on space conditioning loads, limit on total source energy, and building airtightness standards. What the paper does propose is adapting the first two pillars to criteria more appropriate to the range of U.S. climate zones. It leaves building airtightness standards to others.One important change from the current standard being recommended is for maximum energy use to be calculated based on both building size and occupancy, rather than by size alone. It also suggests a different calculation of floor area, using the interior dimensions instead of calculating to the outside surface of the walls per the ANSI Z765 standard used by RESNET. The paper also recommends increasing allowances for plug loads, recognizing that the current allowances in the Passivhaus standard have been determined to be low when compared to actual use during occupancy.Regarding source versus site energy, the paper recommends changing the source energy factor for grid electricity from 2.7 to 3.1, roughly the average for the U.S. electric grid. In addition, source energy maximum allowances should be based on occupancy rather than building size, assuming an occupancy count of the number of bedrooms plus 1. Increasing adoption, but still a small market shareOne graph included in the paper shows annual and total Passive House projects in the U.S., with a projected total of 129 certified projects through 2014. It is amazing to me how much influence and press PHIUS gets for relatively little traction in marketplace.One interesting question in the online comment form asks for opinions on the current pass/fail system versus a potential tiered system of certification. The level names they suggest are quite amusing: Emerald, Gold, Plastic, and Coal. Everyone should go for the coal.I have known about Passive House for quite a while and follow most of the intrigues and developments in the program. The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) offers several individual designations, including Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), Certified Builder, and PHIUS+ Rater. I completed the Rater training in 2014, and although I have yet to work on a project, I look forward to the opportunity to do so in the future. Anyone with the interest and time should read the paper and give their opinions on it to PHIUS. I make no claim to being an expert on Passive House, but ignorance has never stopped me from expressing my opinion before. Among the major complaints about the Passive House standard is that it has inflexible energy use requirements, and the European-designed program does not effectively address the wide range of U.S. climate zones. This inflexibility often leads those who pursue this certification to install enormous quantities of insulation, particularly under slabs, which raises a variety of questions and concerns about the usefulness of this practice.The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) has heard these concerns and has recently released a paper, completed in conjunction with Building Science Corporation (BSC), which includes recommendations on altering the program to be better suited to U.S. climate zones. Succinctly titled “Climate-Specific Passive Building Standards,” this 72-page paper reports on energy and economic models created for a typical three-bedroom home in 111 different locations throughout the U.S. RELATED ARTICLES Redefining PassivhausNew Passive Building Standards for North AmericaA New Passivhaus Standard for North AmericaPossible Relaxation of Passivhaus Standard Stirs Debate A Petition Strives to Defend a Certain Definition of ‘Passive House’ A Proposed Passivhaus Amendment for New EnglandPHIUS PHloggingBuilding Science Corp. and PHIUS to CollaborateA Passivhaus Conference in GermanyA Post-Passivhaus Paradigm for Energy-Efficient Design Joseph Lstiburek Surprises Passive House Conference Attendeeslast_img read more

Top 10 Latin American IoT Startups to Watch

first_imgTags:#Internet of Things#IoT#IoT startups#Latin America China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Nora LearyCo-Founder Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Follow the Puck IoT is taking the world by storm and rapidly gaining ground. In 2015, there were about 15.4 billion connected devices. IHS says this number will grow to 30.7 billion in 2020, and 75.4 billion by 2025.As the demand for connected device technology increases, so does the number of emerging IoT startups. But it’s not just US startups that are dominating the IoT market; there are many international IoT companies making waves. Latin America, in particular, is a region to watch.Micromarket Monitor predicts that the IoT sector in Latin America will increase from US$14.2 billion in 2013 to US$44.4 billion in 2019. As Latin American startups ramp up IoT efforts, here are ten IoT startups to watch now.IoT is disruptive around the globe in all testing areas. Even mobile apps are becoming the norm for IoT.Disruptive Latin American IoT startups1. Higia detects early symptoms of cancer.According to the World Cancer Research Fund, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women worldwide, contributing 25.4% of the total number of new cases diagnosed in 2018. Mexican company Higia helps women detect early symptoms of cancer with non-invasive biosensors that use thermal sensing and artificial intelligence to identify abnormal temperatures in the breast that can correlate to tumor growth. If the device detects an abnormality, the app recommends follow-up steps for further screening with a healthcare professional.Forbes Magazine Mexico named Higia one of “30 Most Promising Businesses of 2018,” and the company has raised a total of US$5.1M in funding. As of August 2018, Higia plans to enter the US market and begin clinical trials with Stanford Medicine X.2. Jooycar creates a connected car experience.Chile-based Jooycar provides connected car technology via a device that plugs into automobiles and syncs to a mobile app. The device turns vehicles into smart cars, delivering data about the driver and the vehicle, such as driving patterns, route optimization, and maintenance reporting. This information allows insurance companies to serve their clients better.Jooycar’s usage-based insurance platform has incentivized many to subscribe to car insurance for the first time. The insurtech startup has achieved 400% annual growth and processed nearly 40 million kilometers on its platform by 2018, in Chile alone. Jooycar recently secured US$3 million in funding that will allow the company to expand internationally to the US.3. Chipus Microelectronics saves power and extends battery life.Headquartered in Brazil, Chipus Microelectronics is a semiconductor company offering power management products, data converters, sensors, and actuators as well as customized IC design services. Chipus serves IDMs, play foundries, and semiconductor companies worldwide, including the US, Europe, and Asia. The company has raised a total of US$2.5M in seed funding.Chipus partnered with SiFive, a key player in the semiconductor industry, to customize technology making it easier for customers to save power and extend the battery life of IoT edge devices.4. SensorBox offers a complete remote monitoring solution.Brazil-based SensorBox helps reduce business losses caused by blackouts through cloud-based monitoring that predicts and reports problems with power sources. When SensorBox detects unusual activity, such as a temperature spike in a hospital, it sends an alert and allows users to control equipment remotely. It helps reduce losses for companies such as Internet providers, healthcare facilities, data centers, and restaurants.5. Ubidots builds IoT applications.Born in Colombia, Ubidots expanded quickly to global markets. The company offers an intuitive IoT application and cloud development platform. Ubidots started in Latin America but soon after launch joined the Boston MassChallenge Accelerator in 2014, which pivoted the business into a global product-based cloud IoT startup.6. Agrosmart reimagines agribusiness.Agrosmart is a Brazilian company that monitors environmental conditions in real-time through sensors, meteorological data, and image processing to help farmers manage their agribusiness better. Its technology also reduces irrigation costs and increases efficiency.Agrosmart’s digital platform is helping companies, and farmers in Brazil, the US, Israel, and Latin America make data-driven decisions.7. Citysense enables smart cities.Based in Santiago, Citysense offers a shared infrastructure platform that helps fast-growing cities improve their quality of life. The company developed a network of sensors, located across cities that use IoT technology to communicate about specific city data. Its products can show a city’s air quality, track crime, and help companies understand potential markets through crowd counting.Citysense raised US$1.7M in seed funding in December 2018. The startup has ambitious plans to increase the number of sensors in Chile from 140 to 1,000 by mid-2019, while also installing 1,500 across Mexico City by the end of 2019.8. Tecrea develops IoT solutions.Tecrea is the first Colombian company to develop certified IoT devices to transmit on the Sigfox network. The company created ibutton, which has multiple uses, including an ibutton animal. This tool gives real-time alerts and GPS locator of livestock, and its batteries recharge through a solar panel.9. Fracttal is an asset management platform for IoT.Also based in Santiago, Fracttal specializes in predictive maintenance for a wide range of industries. Its cloud-based software captures real-time information to predict and respond to possible failures.After having served companies in 22 countries, the firm raised US$2.1M that will help it consolidate its presence in Latin America and expand into the US and Europe. Fracttal also partnered with Microsoft to access a database solution that will support its exponential growth.10. WeTechnologies offers remote industrial equipment operation.Accenture predicts that industrial IoT devices will add US$14T to the global economy by 2030. For industrial operations, monitoring and controlling equipment remotely can be challenging. We Technologies is a Chilean company that makes it easy for users to operate and automate industrial equipment remotely. Its platform helps businesses decrease operating times and save on energy costs. In 2018, the company raised US$2M in funding from HSC Capital Partners, the same investor that backed Jooycar.Latin American IoT startups are solving real issues through innovative solutions. The global IoT market is expected to increase from US$157 billion in 2016 to US$457 billion in 2020, and Latin American companies will no doubt add to this market value.More and more valuable will be the tech of safety and security in the new era of IoT and IoT devices. Companies who want to be at the forefront of tech — will also have to give us a way to protect our data. Related Posts Nora Leary is the co-founder of Launchway Media, a digital marketing firm that works with startups and SMEs in high-tech industries. last_img read more

NGT to take up stubble burning case on October 30

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal on Tuesday said it would consider later this month the steps taken by the Centre and Punjab and Haryana governments to check burning of crop residue by farmers to curb air pollution. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar deferred the matter for hearing on October 30 after lawyers appearing for both the parties sought adjournment of the case.The green panel had earlier said “we expect no individual, body, department, panchayat, associations to directly or indirectly recommend or promote burning of crop residues in Punjab, UP and Haryana.” On the last date of hearing, the green panel had said the “serious” issue of stubble burning by farmers was still going on and had sought the response of the Centre as well as the Punjab and Haryana governments on the issue. It had earlier asked for names and details of all power houses and biomass-based energy plants that can use crop residue for power generation and had directed Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments to provide a detailed strategy of how happy seeders (machines to sow wheat without burning of paddy crop residue) or balers can be given to farmers. The tribunal had also sought a reply from the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) as to why it cannot take the stubble from the farmers under its corporate social responsibility programme for the “general cause of environment”.The NGT had on October 11 directed Punjab to produce the farmers after the State said it had provided assistance to some of them to encourage them not to burn crop residue.The tribunal had taken exception to the fact that even after more than two years, nothing substantial has been done with regard to stubble burning. The Punjab government had earlier said it had taken Kalar Majri village in Nabha Tehsil of Patiala district as a model project for implementing the directions of the NGT and to sensitise the farmers. Earlier, the NGT had also asked Punjab to look into the problems faced by the farmers and directed its counsel to seek instructions on whether compensation could be provided to them for disposing their agricultural residue while giving them liberty to engage any agency of their choice. It had warned the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan that it would stop the payment of salaries of government officials if they failed to come up with an action plan to prevent stubble burning, which triggers heavy pollution in Delhi-NCR.last_img read more

Chandu Chavan hasn’t been court-martialled: minister

first_imgPune: Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Sunday denied that Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan, who strayed over the LoC during the surgical strikes last year, had been court-martialled, saying instead that “disciplinary action” had been initiated against the soldier.“One must understand that there has been no court martial in the first place … There is nothing wrong with him (Mr. Chavan) as a soldier … he is a good lad. But he committed three mistakes. I will not reveal in what condition he crossed the LoC as it would not be fair to the Army or to Chavan,” the Minister said, speaking in Dhule district.Mr. Chavan’s first mistake, said Dr. Bhamre, was that he left camp without informing superiors. “His second mistake was that he took his weapons with him, and his third was to cross the LoC.”Mr. Bhamre said the punishment following a court-martial cannot be a mere two-three months in jail, but is much more severe than that. He said media reports had distorted events of the proceedings against Mr. Chavan.“Furthermore, his job in the Army is secure and he has not been thrown in any jail,” the minister said, stressing again that the Indian Armed Forces had merely taken disciplinary action against him.Mr. Chavan, who hails from Dhule district’s Borvihir village, was handed over by Pakistan in January as a ‘goodwill gesture’. The Pakistan armed forces’ media wing had claimed that Mr. Chavan had wilfully crossed the LoC on September 29, 2016, and surrendered himself to the Pakistan army.Last week, the Indian Army court sentenced Mr. Chavan, serving with the 37 Rashtriya Rifles, to two months’ imprisonment and forfeiture of two years’ pension as penalty, after the soldier pleaded guilty of deserting his post without permission.Mr. Chavan’s grandmother had suffered cardiac arrest and had passed away after hearing that he was in the captivity of Pakistan’s armed forces. His family has said that he has already suffered enough during his time in Pakistan.last_img read more

Impressive five-gold haul helps India regain no. 2 spot

first_imgWinning 15 medals in sports ranging from archery to athletics, which included five yellow metals, Commonwealth Games hosts India produced yet another scintillating display to get back to the second spot grabbed last evening by England.Teenager Deepika Kumari and Rahul Banerjee won gold medals in individual recurve events on the last day of the competition to help India end their campaign in archery with three golds, one silver and four bronze medals.India’s Prajusha Maliakkal celebrates after winning the silver in the women’s long jump event of the Commonwealth Games at Jawharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTIBesides these two titles, India also bagged two bronze medals in archery through senior pros Dola Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar in the individual recurve event.World freestyle wrestling champion Sushil Kumar and boxing pin-up boy Vijender Singh came up with thundering displays that fetched them a gold and a spot in the semi final respectively.Pistol shooter Harpreet Singh and tennis player Somdev Devvarman were the others to fetch gold medals for India to boost the overall tally to 29, just one short of their record tally of 30 won eight years ago at Manchester.There were also two silver medals from athletics during the day, a discipline in which India have never won more than one medal at any single Games in the past and now have claimed four here.Field athletes Vikas Gowda, in men’s discus, and Malliakal Prajusha, in women’s long jump, won the two silver medals.India’s Sarvanjit Singh (L) celebrates after scoring a goal against Pakistan in men’s hockey preliminaries of the Commonwealth games at the Major Dhyanchand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTITo cap a great day, the Indian men’s hockey team shed their nerves when faced with a do-or-die situation and hammered arch-rivals Pakistan 7-4 to qualify for the semi finals.Barring Akhil Kumar, who was knocked out in the quarter finals, most other medal contenders in the boxing ring took their places in the semis with Vijender’s knock-out of his Elias Nashivela in just over a minute being the most impressive one.advertisementWorld freestyle wrestling champion Sushil Kumar too produced a superb display to win the 66kg class to add lustre to a splendid Indian show on the mat that fetched India their tenth gold from the mat.India’s tally of 29-22-22 kept them ahead of England’s 26-45-30 while Australia were speeding ahead of the rest with a total haul of 61-36-37.–with PTI inputslast_img read more

Karl-Anthony Towns out with concussion for 1st missed game of his career

first_imgLATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Patriots owner Robert Kraft denies charges of soliciting prostitute Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Coach Ryan Saunders said the streak was never discussed when he talked with Towns earlier Friday, and there was no hope of extending it once Towns entered the concussion protocol. A player can only return then once he has passed a battery of tests and been symptom free.“I’d just like to have him out there because he’s a pretty good player,” Saunders said. “So the streak, I think that is something that everybody should definitely take note of with Karl’s durability and his toughness and how he approaches the game, but from a coach’s viewpoint you’d like to have like Karl on the floor whenever you can.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesTowns had played in his second consecutive All-Star game before he was involved in a car accident on his way to the airport. He was cleared to fly and arrived in New York and originally ruled questionable, but after further examination he was placed in the concussion protocol.Towns had started every game since being the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, the longest streak to begin a career since 1970-71. The New Jersey product would have been playing close to home Friday. It wasn’t immediately clear where the accident occurred. Minneapolis police said they didn’t handle any incident involving Towns and Saunders had no other details before the game.Saunders didn’t know if Towns would travel with the team for its game Saturday in Milwaukee, or return to Minnesota.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 02: Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on at TD Garden on January 02, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — Karl-Anthony Towns is missing a game for the first time in his career, unable to play for Minnesota against the Knicks on Friday night following a car accident.The All-Star forward was placed in the concussion protocol earlier in the day, ending his streak of 303 consecutive games started.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more