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Monday, June 27, 2016

Beautiful dance on the water

By: Shuvo Paul On: 5:26 AM
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  • Monday, June 6, 2016

    Published On: Fri, Jun 3rd, 2016 Current Affairs / Headlines / Legal / Real Estate News | By Nimisha Gupta An Overview of Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act, 2016

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 1:42 AM
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    There are full-page advertisements about the projects of the Builders with pictures and description surpassing one’s imagination.  The flat purchasers approach the builder and are told the price to be computed on the basis of super built up area. One does not know how it is worked out and unwillingly has to pay for it even if most of it is not his property. The agent explains the project in a glorious manner explains the type of construction, the specifications, the furnishing, and the amenities and tells that the necessary approvals are in place. Impressed, the innocent buyer without any technical and legal knowledge pays 10 % amount or any other amount fixed as payable on booking simply filing a contract form. Then comes the stage of execution of the agreement. A set format of agreement is placed before the purchaser without any option to change a word out of it. Having paid part consideration, the purchasers are left with no other option but to sign on the dotted lines. Clauses are incorporated relating to unreasonable period of completion and handing over possession with liberal grace period. Even this period is not adhered to. Strict consequences are provided for delay in payment and other defaults by the purchaser without laying any corresponding obligation on the Builder / Promoter.
    In short, the purchasers are caught in a one side beneficial situation under which a builder/ promoter keeps delaying the project with impunity.  The purchasers are not only denied the pleasure of owning their house but are obliged to keep paying the EMI and rent inspite of having made the substantial payment. All this happens because the buyer being involved in the purchase of only small part of the project is in no position to have a meaningful negotiation with the builder and is always in a do or die position.
    Everyone is aware of the ills of the real estate sector. There are approximately 76000 enterprises working in the sector. Nearly 10 lakh people buy flats every year which involve the investment of more than 13 lakh Crores. Strangely enough, inspite of big role played by this sector and enormity of the problems being faced by the innocent buyers, the sector remained unregulated.
     Realising the need for regulating the builders’ / promoters’ activities and safeguarding the interest of flat purchasers, the Government of Maharashtra took the lead by enacting Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Regulation of Promotion, Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1963 and Maharashtra Apartments Ownership Act, 1970.
    Other States like Karnataka, Andhra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal also enacted the similar Acts.
    Realizing that MOFA was not able to control malpractices in the building industry because of lack of an implementing arm and other deficiencies, the Government of Maharashtra passed Maharashtra Housing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2012.  As per Section 56 of that Act, MOFA was to stand repealed on and from the date of notification for such repeal.  The Act was to come in force from the date to be notified.
    The Government of India also felt concerned by the prevailing abuses and malpractices in the real estate sector and decided to have a Central Act to introduce fairness and transparency in the real estate transactions in the whole of India.  A Bill was introduced by the then UPA Government in 2013 which was referred to the select committee of Rajya Sabha.  On the basis of select committee report several amendments were approved and finally the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 10th March, 2016 and by the Lok Sabha on 15th March, 2016. It became the Act known as Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 after getting President’s assent on 26th March, 2016. The Act will come into force after a notification is published in the government gazette. Within six months of date of publication of notification, the State Governments and/or appropriate governments will have to frame the Rules in accordance with the Act and within one year constitute Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Real Estate Appellate Tribunal.  Within three months of its establishment, the Regulatory Authority will frame regulations so that provisions of Act and Rules can be implemented.
    The passing of the RERD Act by the Central Government is likely to have a significant effect in the States which have their own regulatory legislation particularly Maharashtra which had enacted the Maharashtra Housing Act in 2014.  The Section 92 of Central Act has repealed the Maharashtra Housing Act.  The Maharashtra Housing Act 2014 itself having been repealed, MOFA will continue to operate. State Act MOFA and Central Real Estate Act both will be enforceable simultaneously in the State of Maharashtra and might open up an area of judicial intervention in reconciling the provisions of the two Acts.
    There are some provisions in the Central Act, which are not found in MOFA.  Similarly, there are certain provisions in MOFA which do not exist in Central Act. Both the Acts may have provisions dealing with a particular matter but their approach may not be similar. As per section 89 of Real Estate Act, if there is inconsistency between the two Acts, the provision of Central Act shall prevail.
    Scope of the Real Estate Act
    From the definitions of “Real Estate Project” and the “Promoters” it becomes very clear that Central Act has much wider scope than MOFA. Whereas MOFA regulated construction and sale of Flats only i.e. set of premises to be used for residential and commercial purposes, the RERD Act governs buildings, apartments and even plots developed for sale.  The RERD Act takes within its fold projects of even State Authorities viz. MHADA, CIDCO etc.
    Setting up of a Housing Regulatory Authority and Obligations to get the project registered with it and display on its website;
    Registration of Project -
    The Act requires the respective State Governments or Union Territories to constitute an Authority, referred to as Real Estate Regulatory Authority, to act as effective implementing arm for the Act and ensure that legal provisions are not violated without consequences provided under the Act.  The Authority is to be constituted by the State Government within one year of the Act coming into force.
     Information to be furnished -
    In order to get the registration, the Promoter / Builder has to submit an application containing information about promoter’s enterprise; brief details of the projects launched by it in past five years with their current status; authenticated copy of approvals; commencement certificate; sanctioned plan; plan of development work and proposed facilities; location details with clear demarcation of land; proforma of allotment letter; agreement of sale and conveyance deed; number, type and carpet area of apartments and garage; name of real estate agents, contractors, architects etc.  The promoter also has to make a declaration supported by affidavit certifying his title to the land, details of encumbrances, if any, and the time period within which the project is to be completed.
    Display on website:
    The State Government shall establish Regulatory Authority and within a period of one year from its establishment the said Authority shall create web-based online system for receiving applications from promoters for registration of their project. After the project is registered, the promoter will be given Registration Number, Login ID and Password to access the website. The promoter shall be bound to display the project details and the approvals granted by the Competent Authority on the website of the Authority, so that every interested buyer can obtain the required information making it difficult for the promoters to go back on their promise.
    Revocation of registration:
    The registration granted to the project is to be valid upto the time stated in the registration application for completion of the project.  The Act provides for extension as well as revocation of the registration by the Authority.  Revocation can be done by the Authority suo-moto or on the complaint, if the promoter makes any default under the Act or, violates any terms or condition of approval or, is involved in any kind of unfair practice.
     Consequences of revocation:
    On the expiry of the term of registration, the web page of the promoter will be deleted and on the revocation thereof, the promoter shall be debarred from accessing its website.  The Authority will, in that case, specify his name as a defaulter, show his photograph on the website and inform the regulatory authorities of all other States about it. The Authority is also empowered to facilitate the remaining development work, by such action as it may consider proper which will include the remaining work to be carried out by the Competent Authority or by the association of allottees.  On the revocation of the registration the Authority will invite the association of allotees to complete the unfinished work.
    No advertisement without registration:
    Registration of the project is a necessary before a promoter can advertise, market, book, sell, offer for sale or invite anyone to purchase. Doing so without registration will entail penalty upto 10% of the project cost.  Even after getting the penalty order for violation, if the promoter continues his activities then in case of continued default the promoter can be imprisoned upto three years or he can be fined upto further 10% of the cost or both.
    Projects exempted from registration:
    The mandatory registration with the Regulator is not applicable to the promoter carrying on the following projects:
    a)  Where the area of the land does not exceed 500 sq. mtrs. Or the number of apartments does not exceed eight included in all phases.  State Government, have, however, been enabled to reduce these limits (not increase);
    b)  Where the promoter has received completion certificate prior to commencement of the Act;
    c)  Where the project is for renovation or repair or redevelopment which does not involve selling or new allotment of apartment / plot or building.

    Obligation of promoter regarding Accuracy of advertisement :
    Where any person makes an advance or deposit on the faith of any information contained in any advertisement or on the basis of any model apartment, plot or building and sustains loss or damage by reason of any false statement, the promoter will be liable to compensate that person.  The affected person will also have the right to withdraw from the project in which case he will be entitled to refund of entire amount paid along with interest at the prescribed rate and also the compensation as may be decided by the Adjudicating Officer appointed by the Authority.

    Prohibition to accept more than 10% of cost without execution of agreement  
    Promoter is debarred from accepting more than 10% of the cost of the apartment, plot or building as advance or application fees without first entering into a written agreement of sale and registering the same under the Indian Registration Act. The Agreement of Sale is to be in the form as may be prescribed and shall contain all important particulars including internal and external development works, schedule of payment, date of giving possession as well as the rate of interest payable by allottee and the promoter in case of their respective defaults.

    The promoter is to adhere to the sanctioned plans, lay out plans and project specifications  
    A very common issue is departure by the promoters from the sanctioned plan and disclosed specifications about internal and external development, amenities to be provided and material to be used.  The Act takes care of such practices by putting an obligation on the promoter to develop and complete the construction in accordance with sanctioned plans, layout and specifications as approved by the Competent Authorities.  Even when there is a contrary stipulation, the promoter cannot make any addition or alteration from the sanctioned plan and specifications in respect of the apartment, plot or building without the previous consent of the buyer.
    The Act further provides that in case any structural defect or any defect in workmanship, quality or provision of services is brought to the notice of the promoter within five years from the date of handing over of possession, the promoter will be bound to rectify such defects, free of any charge, within 30 days and in the event of his failure to do so, the allottee will be entitled to receive appropriate compensation.

    Promoter not to shift the money received to any other project:
    The Act takes care of such practices and obliges the promoter to deposit atleast 70% of the amount realized from the allottees of a project in a separate account with a scheduled bank which can be used only to cover the cost of construction and the cost of the land relating to that very project.  The promoter can withdraw amount from such separate account in proportion to the percentage of the completion of the project.  He is also required to get his accounts audited within six months after the end of every financial year and produce a statement of account.

    Promoter not to transfer the project to third party
    The Promoter is debarred from transferring or assigning his majority rights to a third party without obtaining prior written consent from two-third allottees and without the prior written approval of the Authority.

    Promoter to complete the project in time
    In case the promoter fails to complete and give possession in accordance with the terms of the agreement by the agreed due date for any reason including discontinuance of business on account of suspension or revocation of registration, the allottee will have the option to withdraw from the project and will get the refund of amount paid with interest at the prescribed rate and compensation.  This will be without prejudice to other remedies available to him.  In case he decides not to withdraw, he will be entitled to interest on the amount paid by him for every month of delay at the prescribed rate which, as stated by the Minister on the floor of the house, is likely to be at par with the interest that he would have been liable in case of default in payment by him.
    The Promoter has the responsibility, to obtain the completion certificate or the occupancy certificate or both as per local laws and make it available to the allottee or their association.

    Promoter to enable the formation of Society of allottees  
    After majority of allottees have booked their plot / apartment / building, the promoter is to enable the formation of an association or society or co-operative society of the allottees or a federation, as per the applicable laws.  In the absence of any applicable law, such association should be formed within three months of such booking. The responsibility to enable the formation of society etc. might be interpreted as responsibility of extending cooperation with the actual formation remaining with the allottees.
    One thing that the Act has not provided for is the unilateral formation of association in case the promoter fails to act in the matter.  Such a provision exists in MOFA. In my opinion State Government may frame rules in exercise of power vested under Sec. 84 of Real Estate Act paving the way for unilateral registration of the society.

    Promoter to transfer title of land to the association of allottees
    The Act makes the promoter bound to execute registered conveyance deed of the apartment/building/plot in favour of the allottees and of undivided proportionate title in the common areas to their association and hand over physical possession thereof to the allottees and the association.  This is an unique provision where a composite property is divided into building and undivided proportionate share in common area with provision to convey each part to different person/entity. How will it work out in practice will remain an area needing clarification.
    There is no direct provision for Deemed Conveyance in the Real Estate.  However, since MOFA will remain in the statute book simultaneously with RERD Act, the provision of deemed conveyance will remain in force as there is nothing repugnant to it in the central legislation. A discussion about it is therefore made in a separate article.

    Obligation of promoter to get the project insured
    The Promoter is bound to obtain all such insurance policies as may be notified by the appropriate government and pay the premium and charges in respect of it before transferring the insurance policies to the association of allottees.

    Establishing Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Sec. 43 to 58)
    Any relief mentioned in the legislation is meaningless until the same can be enforced within a reasonable time. MOFA provides for obligations on the promoter but the aggrieved allottee had only to approach the civil courts or the consumer forums for redressal of his grievance. The Maharashtra Housing Act (which has been repealed) appreciated this problem and provided for setting up of a special Tribunal referred to as Housing Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against the orders and directions of the Housing Regulatory Authority. The Central Act has also provided for setting up of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal to be established by the respective State Governments or the Union Territory within a period of one year from the date of coming into force of the Act.
    •  The Tribunal will function in benches and each bench shall consist of one judicial member and one Technical or Administrative member. The chairperson will be a sitting or retired judge of a High Court and shall be appointed in consultation with the Chief Justice or his nominee. The Judicial/Technical or Administrative members are to be appointed on the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of the Chief Justice or his nominee, the Housing Secretary and the Law Secretary.
    •   The aggrieved party including the appropriate Government or the Competent Authority (MHADA, CIDCO, and DDA) and Local Authority can prefer appeal against the order of the Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer. The appeal has to be filed within sixty days and is expected to be disposed of within sixty days. In case it is not disposed of within sixty days the Tribunal will have to record reasons for not disposing of within time.
    •  It is provided that after the Tribunal is established, all pending matters with the designated Tribunal shall stand transferred to this Tribunal and shall be heard from the stage, at which the appeal is transferred.
    • It is also provided that in case the appeal is filed by the promoter against any penalty ordered by the Authority, it will be entertained only after he deposits with the Tribunal atleast 30% of the penalty imposed or such higher amount as may be determined by the Tribunal. In case the appeal is against any amount payable to the allottee including the interest and compensation, the appeal can be entertained only after the total amount is so deposited by the promoter.
    • Every order of the Tribunal shall be executable as a decree of the civil court and therefore, it will have all the powers of a civil court in respect of summoning any person, discovery and production of accounts, receiving evidence on affidavits, issuing commission, reviewing the orders dismissing matters ex-parte. All proceedings before it will be judicial proceedings. The Tribunal has also the power to transmit any of his order to a civil court to be executed as if it is an order of the court. Further appeal from the orders of the Tribunal shall lie to the High Court.
    • The Tribunal will not be bound by the procedure laid down in the Civil Procedure code but shall be guided by principle of natural justice. It shall also not be bound by the rules of evidence in Indian Evidence Act.

    Adjudication of Compensation 
    The Act provides for compensation to be paid by the Promoters in the following situations:-
    i)  Where person making advance or deposit suffers loss as a result of incorrect information in advertisement.
    ii) Where defects or deficiencies brought to the notice of the promoter are not rectified.
    iii) Where the promoter fails to complete or is unable to give possession within time specified in the Agreement or on account of revocation of registration under this Act or discontinuance of business of a developer.
    For determining the amount of compensation, the Authority shall appoint in consultation with the appropriate government one or more judicial officers who is a working or retired District judge, as the Adjudicating officer for holding enquiry and adjudicating compensation. Further, the Adjudicating officer will be empowered to adjudicate on complaints received from any aggrieved person in respect of violation or contravention of the provisions of this Act. The adjudicating officer is expected to dispose of the matter within sixty days. In case the aggrieved person has already approached the Consumer Dispute Redressal forums, he can withdraw the complaint and file application before the Adjudicating officer.
    •  Appeal lies against the orders of the adjudicating officer to the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal

    Rights and duties of allottees
    The rights of the allottees are-
    i) To obtain information relating to sanctioned plan, layout plan alongwith specifications
    ii) To know stage-wise time schedule of completion of the project.
    iii) To claim possession of apartment, plot or building. The association of allottees will be entitled to claim possession of common areas
    iv) To claim refund alongwith interest and compensation from the promoter in the event of his failing to hand over possession
    v) To receive the necessary documents and plans after receiving of possession from the promoter

    The duties and responsibilities of the allottee are –
    i) To make necessary payment at the proper time and pay all charges and dues
    ii) To pay interest at prescribed rate for delay in payment
    iii) To participate towards the formation of association of allottees or the Federation
    iv)To take physical possession within two months of the issue of the occupancy certificate
    v) To participate towards registration of conveyance deed.

    Regulation of real estate agents
    The Act seeks to regulate not only the conduct of the promoters and the allottees but also that of real estate agents who facilitate the sale or purchase of the apartment etc in a registered project. For this purpose it prohibits any person to act as agent without obtaining registration from the Authority. For the purpose of registration as an agent he has to make an application in the prescribed form.
    -          The Authority is to take decision on the application within the prescribed time. In case of not taking decision within time, the registration will be deemed to have been granted. The registration will be valid for the period as may be prescribed and can be renewed.
    -          The registration can be revoked if the agent commits breach of any condition of registration or of any terms or conditions under the Act, or where the Authority is satisfied that registration has been obtained through misrepresentation or fraud.
    -          The registered agent shall quote the registration number in every sale made through him. He is prohibited from arranging any sale in any planning area which is not registered with the Authority. He is not to involve himself in any unfair practice which include making any statement which falsely represents the services as of a particular standard or grade or, representing false approval or affiliation of himself or the promoter or, permitting publication of false advertisement or, making a false or misleading representation concerning the services. He is also obliged to facilitate possession of all information and documents which the allottee is entitled to.

    Saturday, May 14, 2016

    SSC CGL 2016 exam dates out; read the eligibility criteria, registration details

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 12:38 AM
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  • New Delhi: The Staff Service Commission (SSC) will conduct the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) examination for various positions in ministries, departments and organisations, which will be held across the country between May 8 and May 22, 2016.
    The last date to fill the application form is March 14, 2016. Interested candidates are required to regular visit the SSC website for latest update on the same.
    Staff Service Commission is conducting the examination for vacancies in the following departments/ ministries:
    Group B
    Assistant
    Inspector (Central Excise)
    Inspector (Preventive Officer)
    Inspector (Examiner)
    Assistant Enforcement Officer
    Inspector of Posts
    Sub Inspector (CBI)
    Statistical Investigator Gr.II
    Group C
    Inspector of Income Tax
    Divisional Accountant
    Inspector
    Auditors
    UDCs
    Tax Assistants
    Compiler
    Junior Accountant & Accountant
    Sub-Inspector
    Candidates applying for the post should hold a Bachelors degree from any recognised institution with a percentage mentioned in the notification. The age of the candidates should be between 18 to 27 years as on January 1, 2016. reed more

    CD Palencia: Anatomy kit design puts Tercera Division side in focus

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 12:29 AM
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  • We've all heard players say they are willing to put their bodies on the line, but one Spanish team have gone as far as putting them on the front of their shirts.
    CD Palencia will try to win promotion from Spain's fourth tier wearing a bizarre new kit that looks like something out of a biology textbook.
    The Tercera Division side's strip is a detailed look at the human anatomy, with abdominals, pectorals and biceps on show.
    CD Palencia - only founded in 2011 - will wear the kit for the end-of-season play-offs. reeg more

    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    Social Media Strategy: where to begin?

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:46 AM
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  • how to determine a social media strategySocial media are a necessary part of any marketing strategy, but they should also be a part of your SEO strategy. As social media become more popular, Google and other search engines can’t ignore them any longer. Tweets and Facebook posts don’t get the highest rankings in Google, but Facebook pages and profiles for sure do. But how do you know which social media to use? In this post, I’ll walk you through the first steps of determining a social media strategy: finding the social media that suits both your business and your audience best.

    Which social media suit your business?

    The first step in determining a social media strategy is whether that social medium is one that you’d want to be found on. In other words, does the social medium suit the message and branding of your company? And on top of that: does this social medium offer the options and reach you’re looking for?
    Social media like Facebook and Twitter offer a lot of ways to advertise and make your brand and company known beyond the scope of your followers. With other social media, this can be more difficult and would require a lot of hard work to get the same results. Make sure to think about what presence on the considered social media would mean for your company. Make sure that this aligns with how you want your business to be branded.

    If God Is Just, Why All This Suffering?

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:31 AM
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  •  A million girls and boys trafficked for sex each year.
    Millions of widows facing violence and destitution at the hands of their own family and neighbors.
    Tens of millions of slaves locked in crushing labor.
    Hundreds of millions of girls raped.
    How do we hold in tension the truth of God’s goodness and love for justice with the reality of pandemic suffering? There are countless stories of people all over our world—people created by God for a life of wholeness and flourishing but who instead undergo a living nightmare of injustice. How do we open our eyes and see the dire needs of our neighbors while holding fast to hope in a God who rescues, heals, and restores?
    Derailment in the face of suffering is far too often the norm rather than the exception. Even those of us launching forth with the deepest passion for justice and conviction of God’s goodness can lose heart and fail to persevere over the long haul. Everyone is vulnerable to derailment; injustice can breed disillusionment and doubt. Suffering can drive cynicism or, even worse, despair.
    But God invites us to come to him—not in spite of doubt and derailment but in the midst of it. Woven throughout Scripture is an unguarded type of prayer known as lament. To lament is to ask “Why?” and “Why not?” as well as “What are you doing God?” and “Where are you?” To lament is to pour out our hearts, holding nothing back. It is to pray without trying to be more full of faith than we actually are. Lament is prayer that honors the honesty of pain and anger while also honoring the truth that God is the one who reigns and whose hesed love never fails. Lament holds in tension all the suffering that seems to make no sense with a determination to believe that God is just. Lament draws us near to God when we are tempted to turn away. Lament enables us to keep moving forward with perseverance in the justice calling; it is a way to remain deeply connected to the God who loves us and loves justice even when injustice makes us ask the hardest questions of God.

    The Heart of Lament

    Lament is a gift. In the midst of everything going wrong around us—whether in the world at large or in the lives of people whose names and faces we know and hold dear—lament is a gift given to help us hold fast to God. God invites lament because he knows our temptation to turn away rather than toward him in the heat of hardship. Some of us turn away by not talking to God when we experience pain in our lives or see the suffering and evil of oppression at work in the world. Others turn away by pretending they can simply press on with their lives and shelter themselves from the pain they feel or see, seeking to avoid the tension of wrestling with a good God who reigns over a world that is festering in grief. Lament is only the beginning of our journey toward God in hope, but it is a beginning that we can hardly plumb too deeply. Even as we station ourselves to wait upon the Lord and determine to rejoice in the midst of trembling, in the face of injustice we need to return again and again to lament  (read more)
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    Hope on the Refugee Highway: A Special Report on Christians in Iraq and Greece

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:23 AM
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  •  Just beyond the still-under-construction ring road on the outer edge of Erbil, a group interview turns into a mutiny.
    “You already understand why we are here,” says one of the 15 displaced Christians and Muslims who have gathered at a World Vision food distribution site in the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region. “Everyone in America should know about our crisis by now: ISIS.”
    This group is weary of telling NGOs and journalists why they fled their homes, and how hard and fragile life is among Erbil’s abandoned buildings.
    They are especially weary because this will be their second winter of displacement. Meanwhile, food aid has decreased from $25 to $16 to now $10 per month. Most refuse to give interviews, despite the fact that their stories could spur Westerners to send more aid. If their current visitors are not there to increase food vouchers, then, they say, everyone is wasting their time.
    Some in the group fidget with 11 oz. bottles of water bearing blue caps and the word life spelled in red. The i is an upside-down exclamation point, a marketer’s attempt at fun in a sad setting.
    But such a mark fittingly punctuates the refugee crisis. The numbers—1 million refugees entering Europe by the end of 2015—surpassed comprehension long ago. The question is whether they have now also surpassed compassion.
    The world now has more displaced people than during World War II. Beyond Europe, another 2.5 million refugees are in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, while 4.5 million people remain displaced within Syria and Iraq, where ISIS is most active.
    As winter approached, Christianity Today traveled to Iraq and Greece to witness how Christian leaders are working along the “refugee ...(read more)

    Indian student wins Noor Inayat Khan Prize

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:11 AM
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  •  Geetakshi Arora, a PG student of the South Asia Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, won the £1,000 prize.

    An Indian student is the winner of the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize for 2016, the London-based Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced on Saturday.
    Geetakshi Arora, a post-graduate student of the South Asia Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, won the prize — which consists of £1,000 and a certificate — for her dissertation on “Goddess Myths in Graphic Novels: Reimagining Indian Feminity”.
    The Trust awards the annual prize to a post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history.
    Ms. Arora said that she was “humbled” by the award. “Noor has always inspired me to stand up for the values of peace, education and respect for all individuals irrespective of race, gender and religion. I will always try to live up to her legacy,” she told The Hindu.
    Of Indian descent, Noor Inayat was a secret agent in the Second World War, who was sent to Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943 from where she worked as a wireless operative sending intelligence reports to the Allies. Though betrayed to the Gestapo, tortured and ultimately killed at the Dachau concentration camp, she defied her captors to the very end.
    “We hope the annual award keeps the memory of Noor Inayat Khan alive in the student community. We felt that SOAS was the natural choice to locate this prize given its long tradition of promoting South Asian culture and history” said Shrabani Basu, founder and chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, and author of the biography of Noor Inayat, The Spy Princess.
    A campaign by the Noor Trust resulted in the unveiling by Princess Anne in 2012 of a bust of Noor Inayat in Gordon Square, a tranquil lung space close to a cluster of institutions including SOAS.

    5 Tips for Killing It at SXSW and Other Conferences

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:07 AM
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  • The spring conference season is about to hit full swing.

    Austin, Texas, will be abuzz March 11-20 for SXSW. This year’s featured speakers include renowned director J.J. Abrams; Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media; and Biz Stone, co-founder of Medium, Twitter and Jelly.

    Thousands of business professionals in industries from venture capital to advertising to software development are expected to attend, and if previous attendance figures hold true, about 23 percent of SXSW Interactive attendees in executive positions will be CEOs.

    If SXSW isn’t your style, don’t fret. March is jam-packed with the Adobe Summit, MarTech, CRM 2016, Build 2016 and 4A’s Transformation conference.



    Related: The 10 Best Worldwide Conferences for Entrepreneurs

    With so many conferences coming up, don’t forget to brush up on your networking skills. To maximize your next conference experience, follow these tips:

    1. Focus on helping others.
    I once made a complete fool of myself at a conference by approaching a speaker only to blast him with every detail I could about my company and my product. In less than two minutes, I’d quashed what could have been a great relationship by acting like a self-promotional robot.

    When you meet someone, instead of blasting him with your accomplishments, ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do for this person?” The law of reciprocity is a powerful tool in business, and the person to whom you offer help is much more likely to remember you in a positive light. Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, once told me, “Every time you meet someone new, ask yourself, ‘Are they going to be a domino or a linchpin in my success story?’”

    Related: 9 Networking Blunders That Undermine Your Reputation

    2. Aim for quality over quantity.
    When I began building my company, I devoured every business-building book I could get my hands on. But one networking book offered me terrible advice -- it urged me to go out there, shake hands and collect as many business cards as possible at every event. Unfortunately, desperately collecting contact information is annoying at best and creepy at worst.

    Instead, focus on making three genuine connections at an event. Ignore the pressure to “work the room”; instead, engage in deep, enjoyable conversations. Relationships are the foundation of networking, so dig in and move past surface-level chatter. Fellow entrepreneur Sue Olsta Crockett Mason, owner and gynecological surgeon at Virtuosa Gyn, encourages conference-goers to build trust by showing vulnerability through sharing their personal stories. Let others into your life, and they’ll let you into theirs.

    3. Ask for what you want.
    A dear friend and fellow entrepreneur Shuly Oletzky impressed me with her ability to take initiative at conferences.

    Shuly recently attended the GrowCo Conference. After the CEO of Spark City, Lisa Hendrickson, spoke about pricing strategies at a recent conference, Oletzky approached Hendrickson, thanking her for the valuable session. Oletzky asked whether Hendrickson would be willing to discuss a few of the topics in greater depth, and the two quickly bonded. Then, after the conference was over, Oletzky reached out to Hendrickson, and so began their tight-knit relationship.

    4. Take initiative.
    Think in advance about how you’ll demonstrate leadership, foresight and generosity at the conference. For example, a colleague of mine impressed me by making a 10-person advanced dinner reservation for the evening of the conference.

    As she met interesting people during the day, she invited them to dinner. At the meal, she worked to break the ice with her fun personality. Her dinner company left with full stomachs, an appreciation for her leadership and new connections of their own.

    Related: Become a Networking Beast by Following This 5-Step Plan

    5. Don’t hide your personality.
    Sue Kallamadi, owner of Trunk Up, likes to start her conference prep with her suitcase. She chooses bright colors or fun patterns to complement her vibrant personality. According to Kallamadi, a well-thought-out wardrobe shows people you’re confident and true to yourself, making them feel more comfortable networking with you. Design unique business cards or bring a few samples of your product to be both on-brand and on-style.

    Forging meaningful connections with strangers is scary, and I’ve felt more than a few nervous butterflies at big conferences. But you didn’t attend the conference just to collect a few new business cards. If a speaker piques your interest, don’t be afraid to approach her, and be sure to stay connected after the conference. Take the initiative to improve your skills, and make 2016 the year you master conference networking.

    116 people affected by Zika in the U.S.

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 2:06 AM
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  • Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

    The mosquito-borne Zika virus has infected at least 116 people, including an infant who was born with a severe brain development disorder, in the U.S., according to a leading American public health institute.
    “During January 1, 2015-February 26, 2016, a total of 116 residents of 33 U.S. States and the District of Columbia had laboratory evidence of recent Zika virus infection based on testing performed at CDC,” the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest report.
    The CDC said among those who tested positive was an infant. “Cases include one congenital infection and 115 persons who reported recent travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission or sexual contact with such a traveller.” Zika has become an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean since last fall. CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said that the most frequently reported countries with active Zika virus transmission visited by the patients were Haiti, El Salvador, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala.
    Also, the World Health Organisation said on Friday it is sending a team to Cape Verde to evaluate case of the neurological disorder microcephaly — its first case in Africa — thought to be linked to the Zika virus, in the island nation off West Africa.

    Saturday, March 19, 2016

    Top High PR 9 - PR 0 Dofollow Forum Posting Site List

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 10:55 PM
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  • Forum post will get high quality Dofollow Backlink. Today I want to share some tips about backlink. Not purchase backlinks for your website or blog site because Google hate purchase backlinks. Most powerful search engine Google ignore purchase backlink like No Follow backlink.

    Take your website or blog site to the top page of search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. There are many ways to optimize your website or blog site such as Blog Comment. Forum posting is the most powerful way for dofollow backlinks. I am going to provide huge list of high PR forum posting sites list.


    High PR 9 Dofollow Forum List

     1. Mysql.com
     2. Sba.Gov/Community

    High PR 8 Dofollow Forum List

     1. http://www.awasu.com
     2. http://www.bbpress.org
     3. http://www.chronicle.com
     4. http://www.careerbuilder.com
     5. http://www.ckeditor.com
     6. http://www.claroline.net
     7. http://flagcounter.boardhost.com
     8. http://www.gardenweb.com
     9. https://www.myspace.com
    10. http://pkp.sfu.ca/support/forum
    11. http://answers.microsoft.com
    12. http://online.wsj.com
    13. http://forum.joomla.org
    14. http://forum.siteground.com

    High PR 7 Dofollow Forum List

     1. http://www.accessifyforum.com
     2. http://www.bookforum.com
     3. http://www.chronicle.com
     4. http://www.freewebsitetemplates.com
     5. http://www.mathforum.org
     6. http://www.000webhost.com
     7. http://kinder.univie.ac.at/forum
     8. http://forums.cnet.com
     9. http://forums.cpanel.net
    10. http://forum.claroline.net
    11. https://forum.filezilla-project.org
    12. http://forums.hostgator.com
    13. http://forums.phpbb-fr.com
    14. http://forum.parallels.com
    15. http://forum.statcounter.com
    16. http://forum.videolan.org

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    Women see little improvement in world of work - ILO

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 1:43 AM
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  • Women have seen only "marginal improvements" in the world of work in the past 20 years, according to a global study.
    The International Labour Organization (ILO) said the difference in the employment rate between men and women had decreased by 0.6% since 1995.
    In countries where women access work more easily, the quality of their jobs "remains a matter of concern".
    The findings come as events take place to mark International Women's Day.
    'SIGNIFICANT OBSTACLES’
    Launching the report, ILO chief Guy Ryder said it showed "the enormous challenges women continue to face in finding and keeping decent jobs".
    "Throughout their working lives, women continue to face significant obstacles in gaining access to decent jobs," the UN agency said.
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    "Only marginal improvements have been achieved since... 1995."
    The report looked at data from 178 countries and found that rate of women's participation in the workforce was 25.5% lower than men's participation in 2015 - a gap only 0.6% smaller than 20 years earlier.
    In many regions of the world, women were more likely to stay unemployed - 6.2% of women are jobless across the world compared to 5.5% of men - and often had to accept lower quality jobs.
    The distribution of unpaid care and household work remains unequal in both high and lower income countries, the report said, although this gap has reduced.
    Women, however, continue to work longer hours per day than men when both paid work and unpaid work are taken into consideration. "Progress in surmounting these obstacles has been slow and is limited to a few regions across the world," the authors said.
    The report is one of a number of studies released ahead of International Women's Day, which highlights gender inequalities around the world.
    Research by US-based audit and tax firm Grant Thornton found the rate of women in senior roles around the world had risen 3% in the past five years, to stand at 24%.

    Russia once again topped the ranking of countries with the highest percentage of women in senior business roles, followed by the Philippines and Lithuania, the report said.
    Japan, where only 7% of senior leadership roles are held by women, remained at the bottom of the list.

    Millennial Entrepreneurs Make More Money Than Their Older Peers

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 1:25 AM
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  • Millennial entrepreneurs earn more money than their older peers, and are also more motivated by an effort to find their purpose and give back to society, according to a new report.
    “The new generation of millennial entrepreneurs are revolutionizing the nature of entrepreneurship,” says Nick Levitt, head of Global Solutions Group at HSBC Private Bank, in a statement announcing the release of a report outlining these findings. “These entrepreneurs are building bigger businesses and creating more jobs.”
    Millennial entrepreneurs were considered those under the age of 35 for the HSBC research, called the Essence of Enterprise report.
    Those millennial entrepreneurs surveyed by HSBC had businesses with annual revenues of $11.5 million, nearly one and a half times the $4.8 million average annual revenue of all the entrepreneurs surveyed for the report.
    Millennial entrepreneurs have more employees, too. The main business holding of an entrepreneur under the age of 35 included in this survey has 123 employees, compared with 58 employees in the main business holding of entrepreneurs over the age of 35.
    Related: 'Success Is Not a Number,' So Don't Chase Goals That Leave You Unsatisfied
    For the research, HSBC surveyed 2,834 entrepreneurs throughout the world. Entrepreneurs were tracked both by age and location. All of the entrepreneurs had a net worth between $250,000 and $20 million. To be included in the report, individuals had to be a major shareholder, manager, executive or strategic investor in a privately held business.

    Your Tech Conference Can't Succeed Unless You Get Production Right

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 1:22 AM
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  • Have you been to a conference where the slides are difficult to read? What about an event where there aren’t enough charging stations to resuscitate your iPhone? Production -- the audio/visual, lighting, staging, live streaming, etc. -- is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of planning a tech conference.
    Production makes the content of your conference come to life, but beyond that, it creates the atmosphere and aesthetic of your event that is rooted in your brand elements. Get this part right, and almost all other details of conference planning are forgivable.
    I sat down with JT Naughton, president of Four Moon Productions to learn more about how to make your next tech conference an A/V slam-dunk.
    You've produced some of the largest tech conferences in the industry. What are some of the key elements during the planning process that help separate the good conferences from the best ones?  
    Let the creative ideas flow. No matter how far out and whacky they may seem, the creative process is the most fun part of the entire event. For example, here is this empty venue that can be turned into almost any desired vision. Eventually ideas stick, and tangible plans start to form.
    Second, embrace the fact that everyone has a powerful device in their pockets called a smartphone. It can take pictures, record videos and instantly share those elements and opinions with the world. Make sure you provide the branding, the lighting, and the “wow” factor that your attendees can share (for the right reasons). If free advertising is the best kind, make sure your logo is somewhere in that advertisement.
    Lastly, as much as your attendees are there to learn, they also want to be entertained. Put smiles on their faces through sound and vision. Give them that bass and those moving lights, and they will walk away with a well-rounded experience that they’ll be sure to rave about.
    Related: Live Conferences Still Trump Online. Here's How to Maximize Them.
    Walk us through the planning process from the production side. How early should event marketers and planners bring you in?  
    The earlier the better. We prefer to be part of the site selection process. This can help our clients realize what they are up against. Is it a union property, and if so, what are the rules/policies? Are the bones of the property able to support rigging? Do the chandeliers hang eight feet off of the ground? Can we move the column that lives in the middle of the room? Is the dock three miles away?
    There are so many little details that can affect the look and feel of the conference and budget. It is best to be armed with as much knowledge as possible before pulling the trigger on a venue.
    There's always pressure to get speaker slides submitted weeks before the show, when we all know in reality, getting a CEO to send her deck over anything less than day-of is probably unlikely. What’s the reality behind deck submission deadlines and why does it matter?  
    You’ll have more success herding cats. Collecting speaker slides is the most common challenge our clients face. From our perspective, having presentations in hand, before we walk on site, is a rare dream come true. We are then able to preview the presentations and make sure they are legible, contain no spelling errors, and are formatted correctly. A presenter can then walk on stage with confidence, knowing the slides will be ready to go.
    The reality is that we typically get the slides on the day of, or minutes before the presenter walks on stage. When this happens, we typically find errors and are scrambling to correct these errors before presenters walk on stage. It can get pretty chaotic. It’s paramount that our graphics technician is a person who strives in stressful situations. The graphics position, alongside audio, is one of the hottest seats in the room, and the most visible from an attendee perspective.
    In the end, our goal is to plan for the worse and avoid it at all costs. Getting slides early is a giant step in the right direction.
    Related: Conferences Are Good for Networking but Great for Marketing
    Production is one of the biggest line items in the conference budget.  What are some key considerations that can help mitigate unnecessary spend and get the most value out of our investment?  
    The more communication, the better. This is where getting the production company in on the planning process early will help mitigate preventable risks. Get them to the venue. I would also suggest running dates by the production company. Working on a holiday can really hurt from a budget perspective. We also recommend avoiding Sundays, for the same reason.
    Change is inevitable, but to give another example, the sooner an agenda is developed, or a scenic concept is realized, the better chance we have of controlling numbers. As the conference approaches, the less resources are available, driving demand and in turn, cost.
    Finally, provide the production company with a budget number, early on. This will give an idea, from the beginning, if the budget and the vision are on the same page. Then plan on adjusting accordingly.
    We've all been to conferences with audio/visual issues. Sound engineering is more art than science as different presenters have different styles and require different equipment to support. What are some of the things to think about when it comes to ensuring our speakers are comfortable and everyone in the audience is engaged to the content being presented? 
    Similar to the graphics position, the audio position takes a special kind of person to make audio sing. There are so many challenges from frequency hits, to mic placement, and nervous presenters… the list goes on and on.
    A lead audio technician’s best friend is his audio assistant and the stage manager. The audio assistant is responsible for placing mics in the best possible position on a presenter’s shirt/blouse/blazer. Speaking of which, it is never a bad idea to address recommended clothing with presenters before they show up on site. Buttoned shirts are our favorites if we are using lavalier mics. Bonus clothing comment: we recommend that presenters not wear dresses or skirts if they are sitting.
    The stage manager is also a key ally, and is the last person a presenter talks to before he/she walks on stage. The stage manager explains the layout of the stage, what to expect once on stage, and how to speak so that all can hear. He/she should also have a bit of a calming effect, as naturally most people are nervous before they walk on stage. Once a presenter realizes that the entire audience is in their underwear, they calm down a bit.
    Audio is funny in that, for presentation purposes, if your audience doesn’t notice audio, it is working well.

    5 Reasons In-Person Meetings Still Matter

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 1:18 AM
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  •  Join us live at Entrepreneur's Accelerate Your Business event series in Chicago or Denver. Secure your spot »
    Being in the event planning industry, salespeople are constantly trying to sell me the newest virtual technologies to make events more easily accessible from a wider audience.
    One memorable experience I will always remember is when a salesman came into my office to pitch his virtual event product and at the end of the meeting I asked, “If this product is so great, why are you sitting here in person?” After a few moments of silence, he said, “It’s more effective to sell in-person than through a computer.”
    Meeting over.
    Related: 'Owning' a Room, Even When You Don't Feel That You Can
    According to a recent Meeting Professional International survey, virtual attendance is projected to grow at twice the rate of live attendance. This rise is the biggest change in how meetings are run since the introduction of PowerPoint.
    However, while I believe that virtual meetings can be useful in certain circumstances (when time is short or distance is too far), there are many reasons why in-person events are more effective for businesses, large and small.
    Here are five:

    1.Reduced distractions

    How many times have you attended a virtual meeting only to be sidetracked by incoming emails from your colleagues or boss?  I am guilty; we all are. It is simply unavoidable.
    A recent InterCall survey found that of the 340 marketers surveyed, only 62 percent said they would log on from their office. Yet, more than a quarter of respondents were attending from bed (14 percent), their car (9 percent) or from the beach or swimming pool (5 percent)!When attending an in-person event those innate virtual distractions are removed for participants. Also, it may sound odd, but the peer pressure of the other attendees in the room helps to keep attention on speakers.

    2.Beyond the content

    When event-goers pony up cash, invest time and take a flight to attend; they’re committed. And these attendees are more likely to take part in breakout sessions, post-event dinners and other networking events, leading to a more involved and complete experience.
    Related: These 5 Mistakes Make Meetings a Huge Time Waste

    When meetings are held in-person, there is a unique opportunity to get creative and leave a lasting impression about your brand and company culture. A live experience means that attendees can engage multiple senses that just cannot be duplicated with a computer.

    3.Comfort zone eliminated

    There is something invigorating about being in a room full of people who are as excited to talk about the same topic as you are. It can renew attendees’ excitement and focus about the topic of discussion.

    Attendees are physically in a room with others that have the same learning goal but different backgrounds. This allows for meaningful relationships to grow beyond their industries.

    4. Networking hurdles removed

    Behind the screen is a not an effective place to meet people. The hurried nature of online events may help attendees “meet” a larger number of people, but the virtual world allows for less quality time to interact with others.

    An article, which recently appeared in Psychology Today, suggests that too much time behind a screen could hinder people’s ability to recognize emotions -- a vital tool for building successful social relationships.

    5. Let’s keep this 'off the record'

    When attending an in-person event, there is an opportunity to speak more freely in one-on-one situations. There is also a heightened sense of trust when meeting with someone in person vs. just speaking online -- and less of a chance something will be taken out of context.The next time you consider whether there is enough room on the budget to meet in person, consider these points. While the time and cost is a greater investment, it is worth exploring to reach the goals your organization is looking to achieve.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

    JAPAN TSUNAMI 2011

    By: Shuvo Paul On: 3:31 AM
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