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Sidhu shows strength with 62 MLAs as tussle with Captain continues

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Newly-appointed PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday paid obeisance at Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Durgyana Mandir and Sri Ram Tirath, with around 62 MLAs (as claimed by the Sidhu camp), including working presidents Kuljit Singh Nagra, Narinder Singh Danny and Sangat Singh Gilzian. He also paid obeisance at Jallianwala Bagh from outside, as entry is banned there due to ongoing construction work.

The MLAs had started gathering at Sidhu’s residence in Amritsar since morning. Around 12.00 noon, MLAs, along with Sidhu, boarded two luxury buses and the road-show started. During this, a large number of Congress supporters, who were present outside Sidhu’s house since morning, were with his convoy. Wherever Navjot Sidhu’s convoy passed on the way to Sri Darbar Sahib, Sri Durgyana Mandir and Sri Ram Tirath, it was warmly welcomed.

Sidhu was also accompanied by outgoing PPCC president Sunil Jakhar and Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Singh Dhillon, along with four ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Charanjit Singh Channi.

Although Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s tussle with Sidhu is well-known, the absence of the remaining 11 ministers of the state cabinet remained a matter of discussion. How ever, at present, 80 out of the 117 MLAs in the Punjab Legislative Assembly are of Congress and four AAP MLAs have joined Congress in the past. In this way, out of the total 84 MLAs of this side, participation of 62 (including four ministers) MLAs as claimed in this event, is being seen as an important development. It is being considered as a show of strength of Sidhu.

The MLAs Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Inderbir Singh Bularia, Sunil Dutti, Tarsem Singh DC, Joginder Pal, Harminder Singh Gill, Gurkeerat Singh Kotli, Amarinder Singh Raja Wading, Kulbir Singh Jeera, Pargat Singh, Madan Lal Jalalpur, Inderbir Singh Bularia, Dr. Harjot Kamal, Pargat Singh etc. were part of this show.

Sidhu to take charge tomorrow

Sidhu will take over charge as PPCC president on Friday at Punjab Congress Bhawan in Chandigarh. Along with him, working president Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Narinder Singh Danny and Pawan Goyal will also take charge.

Giving this information, Nagra said that a function will be organised on Friday at 11.00 am. State Congress in-charge Harish Rawat and some other national leaders of the party are also likely to attend this event. However, suspense prevails whether the distance between the Captain and Sidhu would reduce by that time. Therefore, the Chief Minister’s presence in this programme is doubtful.

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VIBE, THE SKYBAR REOPENS AT GURUGRAM BAANI SQUARE

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True to its name, Vibe – The Sky Bar, a rooftop bar at DoubleTree by Hilton Gurugram Baani Square is back to serve its patrons.

Blessed with breathtaking city views and sparkling ambiance, this high-end rooftop bar is an ideal place to socialize with friends and family or for a corporate gathering. Wind down after a busy day in comfortable lounges while you enjoy the sophisticated bites and handcrafted concoctions to lift your spirits.

Enjoy an open-air dining experience in re-imagined spaces secured with stringent safety norms, where Mukesh Kumar, Executive Sous Chef has introduced an array of delectable choices in the eclectic menu which includes The Giant Chicken Wings, Kaffir Lime Gamberi, Kasundi Salmon, Crunchy Amritsari Fish Tots, Tenderloin Boti Popsicles, Raan, Ragi Chickpea Falafel, Mexican Tacos, Citrus Creme Brule, DoubleTree Cookie Pastry, and many more to choose from.

Timings: – 04:00 PM–12:00 AM

Average cost for two: INR 3500 plus taxes

For reservations: +91 9711216466

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LOGIC OR INSTINCT, WHICH DO WE FOLLOW?

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During the last days of 2004, as a giant tsunami-ravaged a dozen countries, killing almost two hundred thousand people, researchers noticed something odd at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. The park, home to several hundred species, hardly had any animal carcasses. National Geographic magazine quotes observers reporting strange behavior from animals before the tsunami hit. Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground, turtles changed paths, and dogs refused to go outdoors. What did the animals sense that humans didn’t?

The pinstriped world of Wall Street might seem far removed from the forests of Sri Lanka, yet the same animal instincts run deep. Billionaire investor George Soros said that the onset of back pain is, for him, often “a signal that there was something wrong in my portfolio”. In his son’s words, Soros often “changes his position on the market” because “his back is killing him”. A study by researcher John Coates observed that traders who were more aware of their body rhythms made more profitable trades and could sense when ‘something just felt right.

Does this mean that we should trust our ‘gut instinct’ more often?

The answer, unfortunately, is not that simple. Almost every trader or gambler who places a bet feels that ‘today is going to be my lucky day. A look at the ranks of failed gamblers tells us that blind reliance on instinct can lead to ruin. Examples abound not just of businesses but entire kingdoms which were destroyed because the leader chose to act on an impulse or a whim. Giving our instincts a free run is like letting an angry elephant loose in a bazaar.

Scaling up and running a large enterprise requires standardization, and standardization leaves little room for subjectivity. Not surprisingly, our professional worlds elevate logic over instinct. The parameters for business decision-making, whether at Board meetings or client presentations, prioritize measurable metrics and tangible calculations. For a firm to say that decisions are made based on ‘gut feelings’ of key executives would be comical.

And yet, something valuable is lost when we rely too much on logic. Logic is often just a way for us to rationalize and reduce dissonance with a decision that has already been made based on our emotions. One needs to look no further than debates on Twitter or WhatsApp groups to witness this. Data can often be tortured to spit out a conclusion that suits a particular viewpoint.

In the numerous Board or investment committee meetings that I have attended, I have noticed that if you peel beyond the veneer of logic, key decisions almost always rest on softer factors, such as trust in the management team. Great investors focus on qualitative factors, such as the drive, energy, or integrity of the founders, instead of relying on metrics alone.

Can we leverage this power of instinct in our lives? Experience has shown me that there is a way.

First, we need to build deep expertise in the field in question. Coates’ study was done on experienced traders. My involvement in the stock markets dates back twenty-five years. Over two-thirds of those were spent focusing on left-brain analysis, involving numbers, financials, strategy, metrics, and so on. But in the last eight years, I have been able to transcend these and understand the softer realms of temperament, awareness, subtler patterns, behavioral biases, and so on. Yet, the latter would not have been possible without the former. The logical parts need to be integrated into muscle memory for the instinct to be robust.

Second, we need to polish our antennae. Today, as we increasingly tune into digital noise, we have lost the connection to nature and to the cues that it gives us. We need to tune in to signals from our bodies, minds, and the environment. Coates found that successful traders exhibited greater self-awareness of their body rhythms, such as heart rates. My practice of mindfulness meditation forms the core of my creativity, as it enables me to tap into intuition and get ideas for my writing.

As we eliminate the dust and cobwebs from our antennae, we re-establish our connection with our inner compass and with activities that nourish us deeply. We are then able to tap into the vast primeval universal intelligence. This intelligence works through processes that transcend logic and opens us up to the true power of instinct and intuition.

S.Venkatesh is the bestselling author of AgniBaan and KaalKoot, a leadership coach and an investor who has held key positions with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Macquarie. He writes about mindfulness and its link to creativity, business and wealth.

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Amazon Smbhav announces launch of smart conferences

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The third edition of Amazon Smbhav, Amazon India, with the theme ‘Pragati’ discusses innovation and growth along with exploring ideas to drive India’s success towards development in terms of business. The summit has also announced the launch of Smart conferences, an initiative to transform local stores into Digital Dukaans. The initiative aims to digitalise 1 crore small businesses by 2025.

Announcing its launch, Amit Agarwal, SVP, India and Emerging Markets, Amazon said, “We are humbled by how neighbourhood stores from across India are taking advantage of our Local Shops on Amazon program to go online and grow their business, with over 1.5 lakh stores already selling on Amazon.in within two years of launch. Today, we are excited to launch Smart Commerce that will enable any store to truly become a digital dukaan, and serve customers with the best of Amazon no matter where they are in their physical store, directly through their own online storefront, or on Amazon.in. We are just getting started and remain committed to our pledge to digitize one crore small businesses by 2025.”

In the opening session, Manish Tiwary, Country Manager, India Consumer Business, said, “Over the last two years, we have invested significantly towards the pledges we announced at the inaugural Smbhav Summit in 2020. We are humbled to share that we have already digitized over 4 million small businesses and local stores, are on track to enable $5 billion in cumulative exports and have created over 1.16 million direct and indirect jobs in India including 135K new jobs added in the last year.” Many India-First innovations such as Seller Flex and Easy Ship have been implemented in global markets as well. Moreover, technology has been used to bring small businesses online. Moreover, most of the customer orders on Amazon are from tier 2 cities. Around 8 million local stores and businesses are using Amazon Pay, with 75% of the customers (tier 2 and tier 3 cities) using Amazon Pay UPI.

Similarly, Dave Clark also emphasised that Amazon has invested more than $18 billion in its selling partners’ success since 2020. Amazon has also digitized more than 4 million small businesses and enabled exports worth nearly $5 billion. To support the idea of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, also focused on using technology to create opportunities for youth. As post-COVID reshaped the value chain of products and services, the growth of small businesses and villages would make India Atmanirbhar.

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POLICE BUST INTER STATE DRUG CARTEL IN DELHI, HEROIN WORTH RS 20 CR RECOVERED

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A team of Special Cell/Northern Range, on Wednesday, successfully busted an interstate drug cartel after arresting one of its key members from Delhi. The team, led by Inspr. Vivekanand Pathak and Inspr. Kuldeep Singh was under the supervision of Shri Ved Parkash, ACP, and overall guidance of DCP/Spl Cell/NR & STF, Sh. Rajiv Ranjan Singh. The arrested member has been identified as Rajesh Gupta of Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar.

Five kilograms of high-grade heroin worth more than Rs. 20 crores in the international market have been recovered from the possession of arrested 47-year-old Gupta. One mobile handset and two SIM cards used in the drug trafficking activities have also been recovered from the detainee.

Rajesh Gupta has served 12 years in the Indian army, and was court-martialed and dismissed in 2006, after being found involved in a financial scam. Later, Gupta was put in civil jail in Kohima, where he came in contact with a person namely Sushil who lured him to work with him in drug trafficking. Thereafter, Gupta started supplying heroin after procuring it from drug suppliers of Manipur.

Special Cell in its continuous crusade against drug suppliers had busted many narcotic drug cartels in the past by arresting several drug suppliers and by recovering huge consignments of high-grade heroin. Sleuths of Special Cell of Northern Range were working on information that an Interstate narcotic drug cartel is active in the states of Manipur, UP, Delhi etc.

In a statement, police said: “Members of this cartel are involved in the supply of high-grade heroin in Delhi, NCR, UP, after procuring the same from suppliers from bordering areas. This information was further developed through technical as well as human surveillance.”

It took about 3 to 4 months of painstaking efforts to successfully investigate the case. During this process, members of this cartel were identified and their activities were kept under discreet surveillance, police statement added.

Arrested Rajesh Gupta was thoroughly interrogated, and after that, the accused person disclosed that he was part of an interstate narcotics syndicate.

The police statement said: “Rajesh Gupta disclosed that he is indulged in drug trafficking activities for the last five-six years. He used to transport heroin after taking delivery from one Limanthang resident of Manipur. Further investigation is in progress.”

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JAL JEEVAN MISSION: 21 VILLAGES IN LADAKH NOW 100% TAP CONNECTED

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Since Independence, nearly 21 villages are for the first time now fully tapped water connected. Work of Jal Jeevan Mission is in full swing in Ladakh in all villages and 21 villages so far have achieved ‘Har Ghar Jal’ status by providing 100% tap connections to all the households. Four blocks namely Thiksey (82%), Saspol (77%), Thaisuru (54.5%) and Drass (56%) are the leading blocks in providing tap connections and they are expected to achieve 100% target soon. The first 20 villages and 2 blocks would be provided reward funds of Rs 5 lakh and 25 lakh respectively on achieving 100% saturation. For that, the villages need to declare themselves 100% connected in a gram sabha meeting which is pending from many villages despite 100% coverage.

Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Chairman of the Executive Committee under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).

This was briefed in a meeting held by Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Commissioner/Secretary, PHE/I&FC, who is also the Chairman of the Executive Committee under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). He was reviewing the implementation of the JJM programme in the Union Territory of Ladakh. The vision of the JJM programme is for every rural household to have a drinking water supply in an adequate quantity of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis leading to improvement in living standards or rural communities. So far 34.61% households of Ladakh are provided tap water connection. Besides, all the schools and Anganwadi centres of Leh have also been provided with tap water connections. Work of providing tap water connections to schools/AWCs of Kargil is also at an advanced stage and expected to achieve 100% saturation soon.

The Commissioner/Secretary issued directions to both the DCs and the PHE officers to ensure providing 100% tap connections even to all the community halls, Gram Panchayat Buildings, and health institutions. Besides, a handwashing facility and tap connection to toilets in all schools are also required to be provided. Sahu also directed the concerned officials to expedite the installation of solar water heaters in all Schools so that a warm water supply is available for handwashing. He also asked the Technical Education, and Skill Development Department to conduct National Skill Development Council approved training programme for the PHE/I&FC Department’s daily wage workers in plumbing, electrician and pump operator skills.

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POOJA SINGHAL CASE: ‘MONEY LAUNDERING DONE THROUGH VARIOUS SHELL COMPANIES’

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Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday informed the Jharkhand High Court that the investigation by the agency against suspended Jharkhand mining secretary Pooja Singhal and others suggests that money laundering has been done through various shell companies.

The ED said that the MGNREGA scam in Khunti district and other related corruption cases may be referred to the CBI as there is sufficient evidence. ED also informed the court that the statement of Ravi Kejriwal indicates that many shell companies were used to launder the money and the involvement of one of the respondent is suspected.

Notably, Ravi Kejriwal was once very close to Chief Minister Hemant Soren and was serving as the treasurer of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) before being expelled from the party for alleged anti-party activities.

He was grilled by ED for hours on May 15 in connection with arrested mining secretary Pooja Singhal and shell companies.

As per highly placed sources in the agency, Ravi Kejriwal disclosed the links between Hemant Soren and shell companies during the interrogation.

The Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday heard petitions against Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s mining lease, alleged shell companies of Soren and others. The court was also hearing on ED’s investigation and raids in the MGNREGA scam by Mining Secretary Pooja Singhal. Now all these matters will be heard on May 19.

A special PMLA court in Ranchi on Monday sent Singhal and her Chartered Accountant Suman Kumar to another four-day remand of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to the alleged embezzlement of MGNREGA funds and other charges.

According to ED lawyer BMP Singh, the four-day remand began on Tuesday.

“Data has been collected from digital devices and they will be confronted with it. So, they have been taken under ED remand,” Singh told reporters here.

Singhal and her CA, Kumar, were produced before Count on Monday after their previous ED remand concluded.

Singhal was the secretary of the Department of Mines and Geology and the Managing Director of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Limited (JSMDC), who had served as the deputy commissioner of the state’s Khunti district between 2009 and 2010.

She was arrested by the ED on May 11 and got suspended by the Jharkhand government on May 12. After her arrest, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Ranchi sent Singhal to a five-day remand of the ED.

Earlier this month, ED had conducted raids at Ranchi’s Pulse Hospital, owned by her husband Abhishek Jha.

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