It can be difficult to tell whether your prospects and dream clients are price-driven or results-driven. You want to spend your time with prospects that want you to capture part of the value that you create.Some of your prospective clients will lead you to believe that they want to pay for results, even though price will be their main consideration. Others may appear to be price shopping, and you will later discover that they are willing to pay for results.It’s sometimes difficult to tell how important price is to your prospects until you are engaged in your sales process. But there are some clues that allow you to make an educated guess.Look At Their Business ModelOne of the fastest ways to determine if your prospective client is going to be a price-driven buyer is to look at their business model. If your prospect is the low price leader in their space (a strategic choice called operational efficiency), their business model depends on acquiring what they buy at the lowest possible price. They pass the savings off to their clients. It’s a tough business model, and the companies that operate this model effectively are sophisticated buyers with a laser focus on price.If your prospective clients operate a different business model, like industry innovator (think Apple) or the customer intimacy model (think most of us in the service industries), they won’t necessarily have to buy on price alone. Their model allows them pay more so they can create and capture more value themselves.You can make some assumptions about your targets by looking at their business model. Just know it’s not a perfect method. If you can create enough value, even a prospect with the operational efficiency model can be a good prospect. And you are still going to be asked about your price by your dream clients operating some other strategic business model. But model is a good starting point.Look At What You Already KnowYou know some things about some of your prospects. If you know a prospect only buys based on lowest price, then there isn’t any reason to pretend otherwise. If you can’t acquire their business at a price that allows you to capture some of the value you create, your time is better spent elsewhere. You know these clients; you have called on them in the past and watched them chase the bottom.It’s just my experience, but I have found that even when most price-driven buyers reach the end of their rope and are finally willing to pay for results, they aren’t willing to pay much more. You can end up wasting a lot of time pursuing prospective clients who need the better results you can provide, but whose idea of paying more doesn’t come close to what you need in the way of pricing.Look At How Much Value You Can CreateYour price is going to be accepted (or rejected) based on the value that you create.The smaller and more easily solved your prospective client’s problems are, the less value you can create. The less value you create, the less you can charge your prospective client. This is why it is imperative for sales organizations and salespeople to climb the levels of value creation, becoming their client’s strategic partner. If you only provide a good product or service, you are going to have a tough time differentiating yourself and your offering.The larger, more complicated, and more strategic the problems you solve, the more value you can create. This is where higher profit margins are found. Targets with strategic level problems that you can solve aren’t price-driven; they are results-driven. They’ll happily pay for the results that need. And they’ll let you capture some of the value you create.It can be difficult to tell if your prospect or dream client is price-driven or results-driven, but you can make an educated guess. And when you aren’t sure, ask questions early enough in the process to get agreement on what the right investment needs to look like to return the results your prospects or dream clients need.QuestionsHow can you tell whether your prospective client is a price-driven or results-driven buyer?How much do business models drive pricing decisions?Do you know the prospects in your territory that have demonstrated that they will only buy the lowest price? What would need to change for them to be willing to pay more for greater results?Why is worth more to solve bigger, more strategic level problems? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Ideas are easy. Execution is difficult. Much of the time, extremely difficult. Whether you are trying to stand up a high-performing sales organization or an operation that serves clients, execution comes with a set of challenges of its own. Without structure and a few disciplines, you make performance difficult at best, impossible at worst. If you want flawless execution, these six pillars will provide you with structure and a guide to making improvements.Goals and OutcomesNo one can hit a target they can’t see. Execution starts with goals and outcomes. If you are a sales organization, performance might start with goals around acquiring your dream clients with a certain amount of revenue as the outcome. Without goals and outcomes, people give their attention to things that aren’t important or don’t contribute to your desired results.The first challenge of execution is clearly defining your goals and outcomes. This first pillar is what provides people with a sense of mission and direction. It guides their efforts towards the goals and outcomes. As a leader, every conversation is an opportunity to speak to your purpose, your goals, your results, and why they are essential.Operating Plans and DirectivesThere is always more than one way to do something. What’s most important is that you reach your goal and produce the outcomes that would rise to the level of flawless execution. Your goals and outcomes, however, will require that certain things are done in a specific manner for you to execute flawlessly.If you lead a sales organization, it’s vital that you acquire and win new opportunities, but it may matter very much how you approach that goal or outcome. If you are high trust, high value, and high caring, a transactional approach breaks your model. If you create a compelling, differentiated level of value as a way to flawlessly execute, you can’t also compete by having the lowest price.Your operating plans and directives provide guide rails for people to observe. In sales, your processes and methodologies provide operating procedures and directives. In the military, there is a concept called mission command. Mission command means the leader expresses their intent and establishes the operation plan and guidelines, providing guidance, but leaving room for people to improvise if necessary.KPIs and MetricsFlawless execution is impossible without key performance indicators and metrics. You must have a way to measure your results that provides both leading and lagging indicators. The mistake some leaders make is focusing on the lagging indicators, ignoring the leading indicators, eliminating the opportunity to make adjustments before they fail to execute.Leading indicators provide information about what your future holds. As a sales leader, you need key performance indicators and metrics that tell you how many new opportunities your team created, the value of those opportunities, and the likelihood of winning those opportunities. Even though it is out of fashion to look at activity, things like client meetings and proposals are still useful leading indicators.Lagging indicators provide you with a scorecard of how you are progressing towards your goals and outcomes. Leading indicators allow you to make adjustments that improve future lagging indicators.AccountabilityAll of the pillars here are critical to flawless execution, and most leaders are better on some than others. But if there were one you might point to as being most commonly breached and most detrimental to execution, you couldn’t do better than accountability. Where accountability is missing, execution is impossible.The leader is responsible for delivering their goals and outcomes. Those who work for that leader are responsible for their team’s portion of those goals and outcomes. The individuals that make up those teams are accountable for the results that deliver their contribution. If you would have flawless execution, there can be no breakdowns in this cascading chain of accountability.CommunicationTeams that execute flawlessly communicate. They talk to each other, sharing information and creating a feedback loop that allows them to make adjustments to what they are doing. Whether the communication is a stand up meeting each afternoon, a morning huddle, or a weekly review meeting, they communicate with each other and provide information.Without communication, execution suffers. In cultures that are not built on execution, people work without communicating with their teams. Because they don’t communicate, problems aren’t surfaced, failures up and downstream persist, and performance suffers. When conversations and challenges are difficult, people may want to avoid communicating, especially in political environments. But without communication, teamwork suffers—as does execution.Troubleshooting and AdjustingExecution isn’t easy, which is why flawless execution is so rare. Operating plans and directives rub up against a reality that pokes holes in your strategy and approach. Over time, things break down. Sometimes, one of the pillars on this page needs massive improvement. Whatever the case, you need to troubleshoot your approach and make adjustments. When something isn’t working, working harder isn’t the answer, unless the problem is that you need to work harder.Success in reaching your goals is never a straight line. It will be necessary that you look carefully at what you are doing that needs to change and make the adjustments that will allow you to produce the results you need. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
The Congress has accused the BJP of using the framework agreement between the Centre and the NSCN(IM) merely as an election tool with party MLA and spokesperson K. Joykishan saying, “The BJP is in no hurry to ink the final agreement since many elections are in the pipeline.”He said, “The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 and till date the final agreement is kept pending and it is fraught with many question marks.”Speaking to the The Hindu on Saturday, Mr. Joykishan said initially the Nagaland Chief Minister and the leaders of the NSCN(IM) welcomed it. “However, some NSCN(IM) leaders have threatened to go to China and the Nagaland Chief Minister has backed out. This is indicative of the fact that they seem to have realised the gameplan of the BJP.” “Nagaland and Manipur support it If the BJP leaders say that I am wrong, they should come out with a time table,” Mr. Joykishan said.
Nagpur: Despite the temperatures reaching 46.2 degrees Celsius in Chandrapur on Wednesday, the city recorded a 42% voter turnout till 5.30 p.m. for the election to its civic body.The poll to the Chandrapur Municipal Corporation is being considered as a battle of prestige for the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State, because the city is the hometown of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.Union Minister for State Hansraj Ahir, and Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also hail from Chandrapur.After winning the recently held zila parishad elections in the district, the BJP had fielded candidates for all 66 seats, covering 17 wards in the city, in the civic body. The party contested the election without any visible factionalism between the Ahir camp and the Maungantiwar camp.The Congress’s faction-ridden unit also put up a strong and united show during the election campaign. Chandrapur MP Naresh Pugalia was asked to lead the campaign by party high command after it suffered a major loss in the ZP polls under the leadership of former Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Vijay Wadettiwar. The party had fielded 64 candidates for the polls.The BJP’s ally Shiv Sena also contested the elections on its own strength by fielding 61 candidates. The Nationalist Congress Party also contested the polls with 43 candidates. The counting of votes will be held on April 21.
A crude bomb was on Thursday recovered from the Amritsar-—bound Akal Takth Express here by the Government Railway Police (GRP).The GRP stopped the train at Akbarganj Railway Station to check after it had received information about a bomb on the train, an official said.“ On checking a ‘sulti bomb’ (crude bomb) was found in a packet with two lighters and a letter in the train,” a police officer said.The train was going to Amritsar from Kolkata and was stopped after the GRP, Charbagh in Lucknow, got the information, the official said.The bomb was found on the train at 1.17 am and it was defused, after which the train left the Akbarganj Railway Station, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) B C Dubey said.The bomb has been sent for forensic examination and the matter is being investigated.
The Enforcement Directorate has arrested an alleged middleman, Gagan Dhawan, in connection with the money laundering case against Gujarat-based Sterling Biotech Limited and others for allegedly cheating PSU banks of ₹5,383 crore.Dhawan, said to have strong links with some influential bureaucrats and politicians, has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as some of the diverted funds purportedly went to him and was used for acquiring properties.The has been registered on a CBI FIR against Sterling Biotech, its directors, in-house chartered accountant and the then Andhra Bank director. It is alleged that the group companies availed themselves of credit facilities of more than ₹5,000 crore from an Andhra Bank-led consortium of PSU banks on the basis of manipulated records and diverted the funds to various entities in India and abroad.Another caseDhawan’s name had figured in another case recently registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Sterling Biotech, three senior IRS officials and others.According to that case, the Sandesara group, of which Sterling Biotech is a flagship company, had been acting as “a depository for receiving funds on behalf of persons, including public servants, and for further delivery to them at a place of convenience. The evidence collected by the Income Tax Department showed corruption of various public servants, including three senior IRS officers.”It is alleged that the funds received from corrupt bureaucrats were diverted through “middlemen” like Dhawan, who got them invested in properties.Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the ED had in August carried out searches against Dhawan and a former Delhi Congress leader Sumesh Shokeen, who is a property dealer.
A fast track court in Chandigarh on Thursday awarded life imprisonment to two men held guilty of raping their 10-year-old niece. The court also imposed a fine of ₹3,05,000 each. The victim delivered a baby girl in August this year, after her abortion plea was rejected by the Supreme Court. “The court has sentenced both the accused to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of ₹3,05,000 on each,” advocate Manjit Singh, representing one of the accused, told The Hindu. The court last Tuesday pronounced both the accused guilty of rape under Section 376 (2) (f) (i) (n) (for raping a minor) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5 (L) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. (POCSO).The minor girl delivered a baby girl in August this year, after her abortion plea was rejected by the Supreme Court on July 28. She was 32 weeks pregnant.The pregnancy of the victim was discovered when she complained of stomach ache in July and was taken to a hospital, where it was found that she was around 30 weeks pregnant.The victim, as per the complaint, was allegedly raped by her elder and younger uncles repeatedly since last year, both hailing from Nepal.Notably, one of the accused (elder uncle) was arrested on July 14 after an FIR was registered against him on the complaint of victim’s mother. However, when the DNA of the newly born didn’t match with the arrested accused, the Chandigarh police reinvestigated the matter. When the victim, during her counselling session, mentioned the name of the second accused (younger uncle) the police made another arrest.The second uncle’s DNA matched with the baby, following which he was made the main accused in the rape case.
The mystery behind the alleged kidnapping of four Tripura Gramin Bank (TGB) personnel deepened after the recovery of their vehicle on Sunday. Police said the Maruti Celerio car was found abandoned near office of the district magistrate at Ambassa, far from the spot where the incident occured at Taidu in south Tripura.Tanmoy Bhattacharjee, 31, branch manager of the bank at Taidu in the Gomati district; two assistant managers Raktim Bhowmik, 28, and Sujit Dey, 28; and office assistant Subrata Debbarma, 35, were kidnapped on their way back home after office hours on Friday last. Director General of Police A.K. Shukla and other senior officials visited Taidu and reviewed the search operation.The murder of two journalists over two months, followed by the disappearance bank personnel, has invited the ire of political and rights groups in the State. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a deadline of 5 p.m. tomorrow for the safe rescue of the officials. Prominent BJP leader Sudip Roy Barman alleged that Chief Minister Manik Sarkar had not yet made a statement to deplore the kidnapping.TGB is one of two State-run banks that have have banking operations even in remote areas of Tripura.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has sniffed a “devious game” in the National Investigation Agency’s summons to former Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang in a terror-funding case involving banned Naga extremist groups.Mr. Zeliang, seeking more time for appearing before the NIA in New Delhi, said the timing of the summons “is conspicuously odd” and politically motivated.The case relates to the arrest of four Nagaland government officials in October last year on charges of siphoning off funds to pay “taxes” to National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) and other groups. Confession by a senior NSCN-K member named Khetoshe Sumi in July 2016 had led to their arrest.“The NIA notice was served to Mr. Zeliang through fax belonging to the Chief Minister’s Office 15 minutes past midnight on March 12. A similar letter was served through the same fax at 10:05 am on the same day,” Azeu N. Hau, press secretary of NPF Legislature Party leader (Mr. Zeliang), said. Mr. Zeliang, he said, wrote to the NIA on Monday expressing his inability to appear in such a short notice.The NPF has found the timing of the notice fishy, more so as it had been routed through the CMO six days after Mr. Zeliang resigned as Chief Minister. The new government headed by his political rival Neiphiu Rio was sworn in on March 8.“On February 15 and 16, just before the state Assembly elections, NIA summoned three officials – OSD, Media Officer and Public Relations Officer of Mr. Zeliang – to Guwahati. On March 1, just before the election results were announced, another of his officers was summoned and interrogated for five days in Delhi. The latest summoning of the former CM comes before the Assembly session is scheduled from March 13-26,” Mr. Hau said.“What’s the urgency that a letter has to be dispatched at 00:15 hours? This whole development raises very serious questions as to whether a well-webbed political vendetta is being played out against a man who championed and was ready to sacrifice for the cause of Naga people and their seven-decade struggle,” the NPF said.Underground groups are known to run parallel governments in Nagaland and collect an array of taxes to run such governments. The groups also prepare budgets in March and fix tax rates.Last year, the Isak-Muivah faction of NSCN had halved the annual ‘income tax’ levied on state government employees from 24% to 12% in view of demonetisation-induced complications.
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav, who been handling the affairs of his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, since his father Lalu Prasad was sent to jail in December last year, has proved his mettle with the party winning the byelections in Jokihat and Araria. He speaks about the current political scenario and Opposition unity. Excerpts:RLSP leader and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha skipped the NDA dinner in Patna on Thursday. Is there any space for him in the RJD-Congress alliance?If you were to look at Upendra Kushwaha’s ideology, he should not be in the NDA at all. His place is here in our camp. He formed a human chain to protest against the education system in Bihar. We too feel strongly about it and we supported him. Mr. Kushwaha backs reservation, while BJP Minister Anant Hegde and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have publicly spoken against it. If he comes we will sit and talk. He has to take the first step.Do Nitish Kumar’s recent statements on demoneti-sation indicate that he is uncomfortable in the alliance with the BJP?He is very uncomfortable! This is his style to communicate his discomfort. The BJP does not include him in the decision-making process. There are many things the BJP does not like about Nitishji and that he doesn’t like about them. They are very selfish people. This is just a contrived arrangement that they arrived at to put the RJD out of power.If Nitish Kumar does walk out of the NDA, will you keep the door open for him?Why should we keep the door open for him? And what is the surety that even if somehow he does join our alliance that he won’t go back to the BJP? Look at his record. In the last four years, he has had four governments allying with all the major parties. He does not have a vote bank. People say inke chehre ka kamaal hai [his face pulls in the votes], but the bypolls prove this theory wrong. We were very sure that he would not go back to the BJP when we formed the mahagatbandhan, but he did. No one trusts him now. Even his own MLAs can never be sure on what his next move is going to be.Most of your tweets and statements are directed at Nitish Kumar? So who is the primary political enemy, the JD(U) or the BJP in Bihar?Nitish Kumar does not have any credibility. I only react to him when he says anything to me. The main problem in Bihar and all over the country is the BJP! If the BJP comes to power again in 2019, they will ruin our Constitution. If there is no peace, there can be no prosperity. With the BJP in power, there can be no peace. On the one hand, they create the Ambedkar Museum to say that they are with the BJP but when it comes to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, they strategically got it diluted. They don’t believe in Gandhi or Ambedkar, they only believe in Godse and Golwalkar.We have been hearing about a greater Opposition alliance against the BJP, but who will be the face of such an alliance?When UPA-I was formed were the voters told who will be the face? No! Why are these questions being asked right now? When the BJP can have alliance with 40 parties what is the harm in the Opposition parties coming together to counter it.And more importantly, none of the senior leaders are angling for the lead position. Yes, Rahul Gandhi, has said that if the Congress emerges as the single largest party, he is ready to take the Prime Minister’s position. It is but natural! Whichever party manages to be the single largest party would want its man to be the Prime Minister. The Congress is the largest Opposition party. It will be fighting pan-India. Now can the RJD fight beyond Bihar and Jharkhand? Or can Mamata Banerjee fight beyond West Bengal? Or Chandrababu Naidu beyond Andhra Pradesh? It is only practical that the Prime Minister should belong to the single largest party. The Congress in fact, has more responsibility, being the largest Opposition party. It needs to take everyone together.So can Rahul Gandhi lead such an alliance?Rahul Gandhi has now been a Parliamentarian for many terms. He has been vice-president and now the president of the country’s oldest party. Under his leadership the Congress gave a good fight in the BJP’s stronghold in Gujarat and more recently in Karnataka.Every alliance needs a person who acts as a pivot keeping everyone together. Like Comrade Surjeet was for UPA-I, who is playing that role now?Did anyone think that Mayawati and Akhilesh will come together? My father Lalu Prasad Yadav even before last year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections had advised everyone that Bihar’s mahagatbandhan should be repeated not just in U.P. but nationally. He spoke to both Mayawati ji and Akhilesh ji to convince them to come together. We are very happy to see that they did eventually come together for Phulpur, Gorakpur and Kairana bypolls. The BJP can only be defeated with Lalu-ism. My father’s dream of mahagatbandhan is now happening nationally. The BJP sees him as a threat and that is why it unleashed its alliance partners, the CBI, ED and IT departments, against our family.You were in government with Nitish Kumar when the prohibition law came. In retrospect do you feel it was a wrong decision?I agree that prohibition should be extended to the entire nation for the good of the people. In Bihar the implementation went awry. You are arresting the poor, but what about those who are smuggling in the liquor or the officers who are facilitating the smuggling. They are going scot-free! So many people who have been arrested under prohibition laws are poor and do not even have money for bail. At one point, Nitish ji was holding rallies in every State campaigning for prohibition. Now that he is in the NDA, why doesn’t he ask the neighbouring States, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, to impose it.
Days after the Uttar Pradesh SC/ST Commission served a notice on the Aligarh Muslim University for not implementing SC/ST quotas in admission and faculty recruitment – and National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Ramshankar Katheria asked the university to clarify its stand or risk losing Central funding – Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said these were “valid questions”.Asked about his view on the notice by the state SC/ST Commission, Mr. Javadekar said, “The Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Commission is a legal, statutory body and they have raised questions and very valid questions. So, let the university answer.”The UP SC/ST Commission had, in a six-page notice, disapproved of AMU’s stand of not providing SC/ST quotas and gave it time till August 8 to clear the air on why this has not been done.Mr. Katheria, on his part, told reporters in Aligarh that AMU did not offer quotas to SC/STs even before 1981, the year when the MHRD had given it a letter stating that it was a minority institution. He said that if the university did not take steps to implement quotas in a month, he would write to the MHRD to reconsider giving it grants.The turn of events is politically potent. It is being seen as an attempt on the part of the government to reach out to SCs, STs and OBCs and also potentially project a divergence of Muslim and Dalit/OBC interests at a time when there has been talk of a potential political alliance of sections of these groups in UP.The Allahabad High Court had held more than a decade back that the AMU is not a minority institution. The university and the UPA government had petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the High Court judgment. However, the Narendra Modi government in 2016 told the apex court that it wished to withdraw its petition and reversed the official line to say that AMU is not a minority institution. The case is pending in the Supreme Court, which has, in its pendency, permitted the AMU to function as a minority institution.
Three people, including a minor, were killed and three reported missing after incessant rainfall since Wednesday caused landslides and flash floods between Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar and satellite city Naharlagun.Officials of the State’s Disaster Management Department said the incident occurred at Modirijo and Donyi-Polo areas, about six km from Itanagar. Twenty houses were either washed away or partially damaged in the Midorijo area while nine houses were damaged by flood and landslides in the Donyi-Polo area.Many cars and two-wheelers were washed away or buried under debris, particularly between the Potin and Pangin stretch of National Highway 13 where landslides have been reported in several places.Two rescuedTwo people were rescued by a search and rescue team. “Six people were swept away along with 12 houses built very close to a hill stream about 4 a.m. We recovered two bodies while a woman who was rescued alive, succumbed to her injuries in the hospital,” M. Harshvardhan, Superintendent of Police of Capital Complex (comprising Itanagar and Naharlagun), told The Hindu.“Teams of National and State Disaster Response Force have joined the search and rescue operation, but constant heavy rainfall has slowed things down,” he said. Itanagar, on a higher altitude than Naharlagun, and the 15 km stretch in between have several streams that flow into the Dikrong river beyond.Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan said water supply lines to large parts of the twin cities have been affected.Condoling the death, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu directed the authorities concerned to evacuate people from vulnerable areas close to streams. He also announced immediate release of ex-gratia payment of ₹4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.The administration in Lakhimpur district, adjoining the flood-hit areas of Arunachal, has put out a high alert after North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd released water from its Ranganadi dam on Thursday. The hydroelectric project is at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh.Rising water levelsOfficials said about 20 villages under the Naoboicha revenue circle in Lakhimpur have been inundated by the overflowing Ranganadi. The water levels of Dikrong and Singra are also rising due to heavy rain in the district and Arunachal Pradesh beyond.Railway services between North Lakhimpur and Murkongselek were also disrupted on Friday due to rain-induced damage to the railway track, a Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson said.
The BJP has decided to take out rallies across West Bengal to protest against the Trinamool Congress government’s decision to deny permission to its rath yatra As part of its protest programme, the party organised a ‘Ganatantra Bachao (save democracy) Andolan’ in Arambagh area of Hooghly district on Monday. The BJP leaders have also threatened to organise a ‘civil disobedience’ campaign in the State if they were stopped from holding the protest rallies.‘Save democracy’ “We will take out rallies across Bengal against the State government’s decision. We will inform the masses about the undemocratic atmosphere in the State and the need for the ‘save democracy’ rally. If we are stopped or denied permission, then we will be forced to organise civil disobedience movement,” State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said at a press meet here. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was also present at the meet. “It seems that the State government is afraid to see the voices of democracy coming together to fight against the government,” she said.
Untimely rain accompanied by strong winds in the key wheat-growing States of Punjab and Haryana on Monday has left farmers worried as it could damage crops and delay harvesting.“Parts of Punjab and Haryana experienced rain and gusty winds this morning. There is a possibility of intermittent rain over the next two days,” said Surinder Pal, director at the India Meteorological Department, Chandigarh.Harvesting of wheat, the main rabi crop sown from late October to December, has already started in both the States but is yet to gain momentum as rain at regular intervals during the entire winter season has delayed harvesting. The wheat procurement season in Punjab and Haryana began on April 1.P.S. Rangi, an agriculture expert and former adviser to the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, said the current spell of rain would not have damaged the standing crop extensively. “However, the crop which has already been harvested and is lying in the fields may have been damaged,” he said, adding that if overcast conditions prevail and it continues to rain in the coming days, the wheat crop would absorb the moisture and harvesting could get delayed.Punjab is expecting a bumper wheat crop touching 180 lakh tonnes this year. Last year, the wheat output was 177 lakh tonnes, according to data from the State agriculture department.‘Crops flattened’Sanju Gudeyana, a farmer leader with the Bhartiya Kisan Union in Haryana’s Yamunanagar, said rain and strong winds lashed Bilaspur, Chahrauli, Sadora and Naraingarh regions in the morning, flattening standing crops and causing extensive damage. “Farmers are at the receiving end due to this untimely rain,” he said.
A 50-year-old conservation organization dedicated to preserving the biodiversity hotspot that inspired Charles Darwin is about to fall off a financial cliff and could close before the end of the year.The Charles Darwin Foundation, based in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, has helped control goats, blackberries, and other invasive species while working to restore populations of endangered species, notably giant tortoises and mangrove finches. It also helps review applications to the Galápagos National Park from researchers and handles logistics for the approved projects.Over the decades, however, it has struggled to make ends meet, and on Monday its general assembly may decide to shut its doors for lack of funding. “Our donors are generous when it comes to science but not in maintaining the institution,” explains Dennis Geist, a volcanologist at the University of Idaho in Moscow and chair of the foundation’s board of directors. “It has been in a precarious financial position for many, many years,” adds board member Judy Diamond, an ethologist and science educator of the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)One problem for the $3-million-a-year foundation is supporting a growth spike that occurred a decade ago, say Peter and Rosemary Grant, Princeton University evolutionary biologists who have spent their careers studying Darwin’s finches there. Its research station has lived hand to mouth, Geist says, and over time debts built up.Two potential solutions involved selling off parcels of land it owned and operating a gift shop for the 150,000 tourists who visit the Galápagos each year. The store “was the cornerstone of a long-term plan to create an income-generating facility that would provide ongoing support,” Diamond says, with revenue from the land sales paying off debt and providing operating expenses. Several parcels were sold, although one large deal fell through at the last minute.“We would have survived if that had been the only problem,” Geist says. But it wasn’t.The store, which opened in February, was on track to earn $400,000 annually. But the local Puerto Ayora authorities shut it down in July, presumably after local shop owners complained about the competition. The loss of income means no money for Internet service, electricity, and the salaries of the accounting department, Geist says.Swen Lorenz, the foundation’s executive director, believes that the national government should rescue the organization, but “I’m worried about the time it is taking.” Geist and Lorenz are hoping for a bailout from the foundation’s two largest supporters, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, based in New York City, and the Galapagos Conservancy, based in Fairfax, Virginia. But so far neither has committed itself to additional contributions. In May, the Helmsley Trust awarded a 3-year, $2 million grant for conservation. And the Galapagos Conservancy contributes more than $500,000 per year.The conservancy was actually formed about 20 years ago when the foundation wanted to invest endowment funds it had acquired. For several years almost all the money raised by the conservancy and a parallel organization called the Galapagos Conservation Trust in the United Kingdom went toward the foundation. But now, only about 30% does, Geist says. “They give us money when they want to” and donate the rest to other causes.Nicholas Mark Collins, chair of the board of the Galapagos Conservation Trust in London, says that the organization is more comfortable funding specific research projects. Having the foundation close “would be a very serious matter that will be regretted worldwide,” he said, but “we’re not sitting on a pile of money that we can pass along.”Foundation officials haven’t given up, launching a Web fundraising campaign and membership drive that would allow the organization to limp along into next year. If it doesn’t succeed, much would be lost. The foundation has a captive breeding program for mangrove finches that has recently produced offspring. It’s also home to the islands’ specimen collections and the archive of visiting scientists.“It could all vanish,” Lorenz says. Board member William Sutherland, a conservation biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, thinks that result “would clearly be a disaster for both fundamental research and conservation.”
Two Indian entrepreneurs, one behind an environmentally-friendly sweetener and the other who markets 100 per cent biodegradable sanitary napkins, today bagged USD 30,000 each as the finalists of the 2018 Cartier Women s Initiative Awards.Swati Pandey of Arboreal Agro Innovations, which oversees the production of an innovative, high-yielding variety of Stevia sweetener, and Kristin Kagetsu of Saathi Inc, which uses banana fibre to create sanitary napkins, were announced as the Asia-Pacific finalists for the awards set up to honour and support female entrepreneurs.Read it at NDTV Related Items
Film festivals have become major spectacles of our times. They affect the business, culture and commerce of films. As central occasions to embrace cinema, they thrive on the hunger of cinema-lovers to nurture their tastes and passion for films. By some accounts, there are 7,000 film festivals around the world, in virtually every corner, from Bedouin tents to the glossy beaches of the French Riviera, from your own neighborhood to major cities on all continents. I AmThe festivals influence the shaping of cultural identities, well beyond their role in forging connections between the filmmaking, marketing and finance communities. To some, that function of community building is as much a mirage as the goal of nurturing the love of cinema is overshadowed by the crass commercialism that parades at these spectacles. And yet, as major global phenomenon film festivals serve many functions: they shape how communities come together, how they reassert themselves and how they connect to their own heritage. For communities in diaspora, those attempting to find home away from home, film festivals offer spaces, opportunities for revelry, patronage of their own artists and moments of communion. This function is not unlike that served by religious or traditional festivals, which remind us who we are even in the midst of a life that rarely connects to traditional elements. Thus, in India, a film festival in Kerala celebrates films from around the world, but it also brings together the local film crowd in the name of cinema. There are film festivals in New Delhi and Mumbai, but also in Gauhati and Kanpur. Nearly every IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) has a cultural festival in which films play a major part. Robot/Endhiran Outside India, much like other diasporic communities around the world, we have film festivals in New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. dedicated to films from India. This ought to be a curious development. How in the age of the cheap DVDs available in grocery stores, the large repertoire of Indian films at Netflix, the ease of online streaming services and cable/satellite channels, can we still have film festivals that prompt us to get out of our homes and onto the streets for a couple of dozen films in the midst of a work week? The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), held from April 12-17, in Hollywood, just a few blocks from the tourist attractions of the Kodak Theater and the walk of fame had all the trimmings of film festivals — the red carpet, award, etc. It featured films you are not likely to find in your neighborhood Indian grocery store. That is the first distinguishing feature of this festival. Bollywood cinema did not figure into the festival, except in a strategic way. There was plentiful of it outside the event. A festival of Bollywood films would mean a lot less in this already crowded world of that cinema. For the most part, IFFLA is about independent cinema. Ganesh Boy WonderThis commitment to cinema that is different from the usual fare is a strategic contribution this film festival makes to our understanding of ourselves. Programming is at the heart of the identity of a film festival. Here, the programmers, six of them, each assigned to a separate category, from shorts to documentary to feature films, provide a direction to the festival that appears to be a strategic compromise between the need to highlight talented works outside the mainstream — “India-centric” films produced by North American as well as diasporic filmmakers — and the desire to attract a broader audience to what has become a major event for the Indian community on the West Coast. Thus, there is Bollywood by Night, a series of screenings late at night, past 9 p.m., showcasing the recent favorites from the native film making industry that has become a global phenomenon. Rajnikanth’s megabuster Robot/Endhiran festival had attendees wait in long lines and forced the organizers to add extra screenings. Kiran Rao-Amir Khan’s Dhobi Ghat/Mumbai Diaries and Maneesh Sharma’s Band Baaja Baaraat/The Wedding Planner in the Bollywood by Night program brought out second generation Indians, who also made a party out of the night. Two very rich programs of short films showcased a diverse selection of films from India, film students in the U.S., as well as filmmakers from Pakistan and Canada. The broad palette suggested that programming is a strategy rather than a clear commitment to themes. That Girl in Yellow BootsThe festival was a stage for remarkable documentary works: Phil Cox’s The Bengali Detective, Sonali Gulati’s I Am, Sweta Vohra’s Pink Chaddis, Kim Longinotto’s Pink Saris, Srinivas Krishna’s Ganesh Boy Wonder and Bill Bowles and Kenny Meehan’s Big in Bollywood. Together, the films demonstrated a mature growth of the documentary form.The festival’s core focus was represented by films like Murali Nair’s Laadli Laila (Virgin Goat), Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots, Aparna Sen’s An Unfinished Letter, Nila Madhab Panda’s I Am Kalam, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan and Onir’s I Am. By the time the final screening of Disney’s Zokkomon arrived, the festival had captured the diversity of the overseas Indian community, reflecting its abiding interest in knowing more about India, while exploring the talents, background and the realities back home and here. Christina Marouda, executive director and the founder of IFFLA, said in an interview that the intent of the festival was to provide exposure to films “that needed a platform.”Marouda sees this festival as establishing its own “niche,” and broadening its appeal in the South Asian community. Indeed, the program included a perceptive and thoughtful short film by a Pakistani filmmaker, Iram Parveen Bilal, titled Poshak/Façade that captured the search of the inner self in the midst of a culture that demanded everything from an artist. The Bengali DetectiveIFFLA, which Marouda claims is the “premier” Indian film festival in the U.S., maintains a strongly cosmopolitan outlook with feet firmly grounded in films from and about India. Marouda herself is a Greek immigrant, arriving in this country some 11 years ago, steering this festival for the past nine years. The other organizers of the festival are a multi-cultural bunch too; revealing how the centrality of the Indian films is nurtured and promoted by others in one of the major cities in the U.S. Marouda said the festival received nearly 400 film submissions this year, of which just 30 were included in the program. She said the festival gives “confidence that there is good quality film making in India,” the audience looks forward to the event each year and is “aided by a community-family of organizers” that is passionate about its mission. The festival’s deft programming and strategies marks it as an event that is situated in one world while speaking for many. Indian Americans aren’t all wedded to Bollywood and neither is India all about Bollywood. The diasporic community of Indians has been a vibrant component of world cinema. From Mira Nair to Gurinder Chadha and Deepa Mehta, there is a sizeable body of work by filmmakers outside of India, with their roots firmly in their home culture and their intersections with other cultures. It is by now a truism to say that there isn’t just one image of India (shining or otherwise!), but multiple images. We don’t know of any other diaspora as vibrant in cinema. In addition, Indian culture continues to form the center of artistic, cultural and political concern of filmmakers, diasporic or otherwise. IFFLA is a testimony that the community hungers for filmmakers outside Bollywood, despite all the glamor and money the industry attracts. I Am KalamThe audience for the event included the party-crowd that headed for frankies, dosas and biryanis from the trucks parked on Sunset Boulevard in the evenings. There is something about eating a heavy meal at that late hour, particularly outside the movie theater, that ought to remind one of home. The festival organizers kept alive a loyalty through Twitter and Facebook, with posts and updates about goings-about and last minute recommendations and impulses. A soundstage outside the theater kept the hum on music and dance. Inside, stars like Gulshan Grover and Anupam Kher hobnobbed with up and coming filmmakers. For the media and for the stars themselves, there is the red carpet on the opening and closing nights. An event on this scale and of this nature is always a mixed bag. One of the common laments in festival circles is that these festivals rarely focus on the filmgoer. Instead, the festivals have become marketing and finance extravaganzas and platforms to launch films. For an “ethnic” film festival held in the filmmaking capital of the world, it is hard to resist these temptations. Dhobi Ghat/ Mumbai Diaries Executive Director Marouda said that IFFLA has launched a film fund to “discover” and support talent with funding for their projects. It isn’t clear if this will instill a certain aesthetic that is diasporic or committed to the concerns of the community abroad. Many of the directors were introduced as “alumni” of IFFLA (Vikramaditya Motwane — Udaan and Geeta Malik — Troublemaker). If 400 filmmakers knocked on IFFLA’s door, it is clear that the choice in programming influenced the kind of films accepted here. The community needs to see this as a sign of possibilities to support good cinema that is not all song and dance and fights and bloody or sexual fantasies. The divide between the sensible or good cinema — the kind supported by film festivals and mainstream cinema — couldn’t be clearer in an encounter during a seminar organized as part of the event. Gulshan Grover, star of many Bollywood films and now in Nila Madhab Panda’s I Am Kalam, rose from the audience to ask questions of panelists that included Abhay Kumar, Nisha Ganatra and Vikramaditya Motwane. While Grover didn’t forget to emphasize his “generosity” in supporting an “alternative” film like I Am Kalam, he asked if the independent filmmakers always dream of casting a famous star in their films. His other question went further. He suggested, nonchalantly, that independent filmmakers usually have only one film in them and then burn out. Peepli LiveIt is hard to read the minds of the filmmakers who work by raising their own funds and making their own way in the industry. The panelists, successful and brilliant in their own work, seemed hesitant to answer his questions. It was an instructive moment. It is alarming that those who have found a way to make money in mainstream cinema harbor some distaste for art that does not correspond to their own and that good work must be pursued without much support for hiring scriptwriters or cinematographers, let alone publicity machinery to promote their films. They are not looking for glamor, because that isn’t the end for the creative world. They may have more in them, but they get exhausted begging and struggling for a place in a noisy world of ruthless competition. The questions reflect, unwittingly or otherwise, a filter through which the mainstream film industry looks at filmmakers who make meaningful films, pitifully and patronizingly at the same time. The final closing night featured a world premier of Zokkomon, a live-action Disney production that boasts the first superhero based in India. The film is about to be released in India and IFFLA was the prime venue to introduce it to the overseas Indian audience. Needless to say, the house was packed for the screening. The movie features a child superhero who acquires powers that are a cross between Iron Man and Batman, mentored by a wizard with a revenge to settle against a local bad man. The film opens in a Disney-like amusement park, with a song-and-dance routine that demonstrated how perfect the marriage between Bollywood and Hollywood has become. It was hard to discern they were two different, separate worlds. Band Baaja Baraat/ The Wedding Planner The film offers villains and side characters that belong to both soils at the same time, blending one into another. There’s that kicking-the-behind capacity of the superhero and the swift, dramatic resolution of evil deeds to assure us that we are watching a symbiosis of the two worlds. But that was the least disturbing feature of the evening and the film will no doubt do very well. The alarming aspect came in the introductory remarks by Jason Reed, executive vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios International Productions who announced that Disney would soon launch a new brand this summer called Disney World Cinema. Of course, Disney will do what Disney does best. But the idea that Disney will now produce films from around the world, reproducing heroes and formulas that have been established in the West and then market their own stories to people of different cultures is abnormal. No one can accuse Disney of being subtle. But the ease with which we subscribe to this idea and take pride in the claim that we are the first in making a native-planted superhero suggests that we have become so drunk by the attractions of the marketplace that native voices, independent expressions are likely to be drowned further by this coming juggernaut. The very term “Disney World Cinema” was chilling enough to warn us that cinema is about to go the same way as “world music,” catering and molding to the taste of the large markets in the West, suffocating original and native voices. It is hard to overstate the glee in Anupam Kher’s presence after the screening (he performs a dual role in the film, the hero’s mentor and the bad guy — the uncle of the child who becomes Zokkomon). It was equally hard to observe the wave of disappointment, one would guess, in the hearts of the many filmmakers in the audience, who had made meaningful films with such struggle. Related Items
With the growing number of Indians looking at foreign travel, more and more countries are trying to attract outbound tourists from the country. The latest in line is South Africa, which hopes that more than 1 lakh Indian visitors would travel to the country by the end of 2018.To make the destination more attractive to Indians, the country is being promoted as a destination for numerous activities that are suitable for all age groups. South Africa Tourism is organizing roadshows in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi and Ahmedabad this month to popularize the destination among Indians.“We have observed that Indians are fond of activities, even on a leisure trip. So this year we are focusing on promoting activities here, which are suitable for all age groups,” Alpa Jani of South Africa Tourism told PTI.“We want to offer an affordable, value for money destinations in our country so that we can get more visitors,” Hanneli Slabber, regional general manager, Asia, Middle East, South African tourism said during a media interaction at Bengaluru, the Deccan Herald reported. “We have some interesting offers, which includes no extra pay for the internal travel in South Africa. Even the ATM machines do not charge extra. If at all there is an extra charge, it must be from the banks here.”Most Indians visiting South Africa are families (multi-generation), honeymooners, millennials and participants in MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and events). India is the eighth largest source market for foreign tourist arrivals in the country, the top five being the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and France.Most Indians traveling between January and September 2017 visited South Africa for MICE (32.8 per cent) while 26.8 per cent were there for leisure holidays. There were 16.4 per cent business travelers, while VFR (visiting family and relatives) comprised 16 per cent of the total visitors from India, according to South Africa Tourism. There was an increase of 35 per cent in the number of millennial Indians traveling to South Africa during the first quarter, and it rose to 46 per cent in the second quarter.“This is encouraging in the light of the overall challenges faced by the Indian tourism industry which was recovering from the effects of demonetization and GST. In addition to visitor arrival numbers, in-destination spends remained stable while length of stay by Indians saw a positive spike,” she said.South Africa, which has a significant Indian population, is also battling issues like corruption at the highest levels, and a serious water crisis, especially in big cities like Cape Town.Among the travelers from India, 37 per cent came from Mumbai, white 22 per cent belonged to Delhi. The number comprised 11 per cent Gujaratis, 8 per cent Bangaloreans and 7 per cent Bengalis.During January-November 2017, 89,882 Indians visited South Africa, while the number was 95,377 in 2016. Related ItemsSouth AfricaTourism
A former pradhan considered close to newly elected Amethi MP Smriti Irani was shot dead by unidentified assailants, the police said on Sunday.Surendra Singh, the former pradhan of Bisauli village, had actively campaigned for Ms. Irani.His family members have alleged the murder could be motivated by political rivalry in the context of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and said he had no other personal animosity.Mr. Singh was shot dead while he was sleeping in the courtyard of his residence on Saturday night, police said. His son Abhay Pratap Singh said he was shot in the head. The victim was rushed to Jais but since there was no doctor to attend him he was then taken to Rae Bareli from where he was referred to the trauma centre in Lucknow where he was declared dead.Abhay Pratap said his father was active and “fearless” in the election campaign and suspects that “some Congress supporters, unruly elements” did not like him celebrating the victory of the BJP. “They had a grudge. We do suspect some people,” said Abhay Pratap.The village was one of the Adarsh Sansad Grams and after the victory the pradhan had taken out a vijay yatra. Uttar Pradesh DGP O.P. Singh said so far seven persons have been detained for questioning and some important clues have been found through electronic surveillance.“We are looking at all angles. We have come to know of some old animosity, if there is something political, we are trying to find out that,” said Mr. Singh.The top cop said three teams had been deployed and expressed confidence the case would be solved in 12 hours, a deadline issued by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.IG Lucknow was dispatched to the ground for monitoring. The State has deployed three companies of PAC to maintain law and order in the village. Ms. Irani flew down to Lucknow after which she drove down to Amethi to meet the family of the victim.She attended the funeral procession and even lent a shoulder. Keshav Prasad Maurya, UP deputy CM, said the victim was a ‘good worker’ of the BJP and assured the police would take fast and strict action against the culprits. Pramod Tiwari, former Congress MP, asked the BJP to introspect when it could not save its own worker, how would it protect the common people, despite having governments at the State and the Centre.
An elderly couple and their caretaker were found murdered in their flat in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar on Sunday morning. The bodies of Vishnu Mathur, 78, his wife Shashi, 75, and their caretaker Khushboo, 22, were found in their two-bedroom flat on the first floor of Vasant Apartments. Police said the couple had one stab wound each on their throats while Khusboo had at least five similar wounds around her neck.The entry to the flat was friendly and the assailants deliberately ransacked the house to make it look like robbery, the police said.DCP (South West) Devender Arya said Khusboo, hired through a placement agency, had been staying with the couple for the past six months as a nursing attendant. Police suspect that someone known to her is involved.Mr. Arya said they were informed about the incident at 8.50 a.m. by a neighbour. Babli, a domestic help who had come for household work at the flat, found the door open. On entering the flat, she found Khusboo lying on the floor in a pool of blood and the couple lying dead on a bed. She immediately alerted a neighbour.“We have questioned several people who were frequent visitors to the flat. The case will be worked out soon,” Mr. Arya said.The police said the couple is survived by a married daughter who lives in East of Kailash. She used to visit her parents regularly and talk to them daily through video calls.“We spoke to the couple’s daughter and her husband to know if any jewellery, cash or valuables were missing from the house. They claimed that the couple did not keep any such valuables with them,” said the officer.Vishnu had retired from the office of the Central Government Health Scheme and Shashi from a civic body in New Delhi. They had been living in Vasant Apartments for the past nearly 18 years.The couple had lost their son in a road accident in 1999.“Shashi was bedridden for the past few months as she had fractured her knee and underwent surgery. Khushboo was hired to take care of the couple as Vishnu had also stopped moving out of the flat due to ill health,” a police officer said.