More money to keep children active and healthy, increased support for education, health care and infrastructure, and a fourth-consecutive balanced budget are the highlights of the spring session of the provincial legislature. The House of Assembly concluded Thursday, May 19, after passing 25 new government bills and six opposition bills into law thanks to the co-operation of all parties. “Passage of what is a very positive budget for Nova Scotians was only accomplished thanks to the continued co-operation of all MLAs,” said Premier John Hamm. “It is another example of how our government and the opposition are keeping our collective commitment to make minority government work for this province.” Budget 2005 also invests more money to strengthen the Nova Scotia economy, help struggling families make ends meet, and help seniors and people with disabilities live more independently. The budget contains no new taxes and will mean the year ends with a $63.3-million surplus. In a measure called for by both businesses and municipalities, legislation passed this session will axe the business occupancy tax, with a phase-in of April 2006. Law and order measures include a change to clamp down on some teenagers who use vehicles to break the law. This means 16- and 17-year-olds will be treated as adults in court if charged under the Motor Vehicle Act. Changes were also adopted to assist cross-border policing efforts and to enact a law that allows responsible drivers to have unopened liquor in a motor vehicle. “Although I am disappointed that an important act regarding the crucial issue of involuntary psychiatric treatment was unable to proceed, we remain committed to advancing this in the fall session,” the premier said. “This mental health reform speaks for those citizens without the ability to make their own treatment decisions.” Other highlights of the spring session include a change to the Public Utilities Act to ensure Nova Scotians have a voice to represent them at major utility hearings; legislation to provide government with all necessary powers, including full regulation, to protect consumers at the gas pump; a bill officially setting up the new Office of Immigration as the province moves toward doubling the number of immigrants moving to Nova Scotia; a new Paramedics Act to ensure safer patient care by regulating the practice of paramedicine; a Special Places Act so that Nova Scotians will be enjoying more new nature reserves sooner and; a new law to allow children in permanent care to be adopted, but still continue contact with birth parents or other relatives. The 2005 Financial Measures Act touches on some of the key priorities of the budget this year, ranging from raising healthy children to promoting good fiscal management with an updated debt management plan. Bills that passed after being brought forward by opposition include changes to ensure that funds flowing from the federal government further assist post-secondary education students with their debt loads, an act to recognize one-time Nova Scotia resident Alexander Graham Bell Day (March 7), and a bill to enhance the self-managed attendant-support program. All members of the legislature held a special ceremony at Province House to mark what is both the Year of the Veteran and the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Veterans were present for the announcement that the province would honour them with new certificates of recognition and a book of remembrance to commend them for their contributions and sacrifices. “The legislature is an important and appropriate place to recall those sacrifices, because it is thanks to our veterans that we are able to enjoy our democratic freedoms,” Premier Hamm said. Nova Scotians will also benefit from other legislation passed this spring, including: changes to the Elections Act to solve former difficulties for voters with the electoral list; a bill to provide increased protection and improved enforcement under proposed amendments to the Nova Scotia Securities Act; a bill that gives municipalities the ability to establish a policy providing for the reduction of municipal taxes in the 2005-06 year; and a change to allow the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission to provide its MACPASS technology to other authorities and improve its service.
-30- Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 KINGS COUNTY: Ira Bill Road The Ira Bill Road in Billtown, Kings Co. is closed because of a culvert failure from Wednesday, March 12 until Wednesday, April 30. Detour routes are available on Steadman Road, Route 221 and Rockwell Mountain Road.
Premier Darrell Dexter was in Stellarton today, Aug. 16, to offer congratulations and support on behalf of the the province at the groundbreaking of the new head office building for Sobeys Inc. “I am pleased that Sobeys has chosen Stellarton as the site of its new head office, the same town where Sobeys got its start more than 100 years ago,” said Premier Dexter. “Congratulations to the company and all of its employees for a century of creating good jobs, growing Nova Scotia’s economy and supporting our local industries.” Since 1907, Sobeys has grown from a family-owned business into a $15.2-billion national grocery chain that operates 1,300 stores across Canada, including locations in 30 Nova Scotia communities. The head office on King Street will house a number of the company’s senior executives, as well as national finance, human resources, legal and loss prevention personnel. Construction will begin next month and it is expected to be completed by September 2011.
In addition to making memories, young athletes from the 2011 Canada Games are gaining a better understanding of what it takes to compete nationally. On hand at a news conference today, Feb. 24, were current Canada Games athletes Dylan Landry (judo) from Nova Scotia, Colin Adams (boxing) from British Columbia and Alex Starker (alpine skiing) from Alberta. The athletes said their experience in Halifax has helped them to further understand what makes this competition so unique to Canada. “I’ve learned a lot here. Working with different coaches has been really good. They are really supportive and have helped me out a lot, so I have learned how to work with different coaches which is real good,” said Colin. “My dad came to the Canada Games when he was about my age. I really wanted to beat him.” Also in attendance were AthletesCAN Ambassadors, made up of Olympians and Canada Games alumni who passed along advice and inspiration to the 2011 competitors. Gina Kingsbury, a two-time Olympic Champion in women’s hockey, and 2006 Olympic figure skater Craig Buntin, joined 2010 Olympic Silver medalist Mike Robertson (snowboard cross) and Olympians Anna Rice (badminton) and Catherine Roberge (judo), to share their stories. “The presence of AthletesCAN at the Canada Games is unique as it focuses on the leadership development and mentorship of the provincial and territorial athletes,” said Jasmine Northcott, AthletesCAN executive director. “Through a variety of athlete-focused events, our athlete ambassadors are able to guide and support these young athletes through a tough competition and important career decisions and to encourage them to continue on in high performance sport after the Games.” “I’m so pleased to have been asked to attend the 2011 Canada Winter Games as an ambassador for AthletesCAN. This week, I have not only been given the opportunity to see some amazing performances, but I’ve also been able to share some of my experiences at both Canada Games and the Olympics with Canada’s future champions,” said Mr. Buntin. “My story is unique in that I truly underperformed at the Canada Games. That loss, however, fanned the flame that would eventually drive me through the senior ranks and on to the Olympic stage.” “It’s a true honour to be an AthletesCAN Ambassador at these Games,” said Ms. Kingsbury, two-time Olympic Champion. “As an athlete, the Canada Winter Games remains one of my favourite sport experiences. It was the 1995 and 1999 Games that solidified my dream of one day becoming an Olympian and I hope that the 2011 Games will inspire the next generation of athletes to pursue a career in their respective sport as well.” Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international, Olympic and Paralympic champions.The lasting legacies of the Games continue to be the catalyst for the growth of sport and recreation across the country. As the voice of Canadian national team athletes, AthletesCAN ensures an athlete-centered sport system by developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.
A Dartmouth-based electronic voting system company will get a competitive edge through increased production capacity with investments in new hardware and software. Intelivote Systems Inc. will use $85,000 from the Productivity Investment Program (PIP) to invest in new software additions to its own e-voting technology. The modifications will allow Intelivote Systems to meet high international electronic security standards. “This investment will help open new markets around the world for Intelivote Systems, making them more competitive,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Marilyn More on behalf of Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “That’s exactly what jobsHere is about; helping businesses become globally competitive and innovative.” Intelivote Systems Inc. is a premiere Canadian electronic voting system company that integrates traditional polling station voting with electronic voting by telephone, wireless and Internet. The system also addresses the data collection and reporting requirements for corporate surveys, opinion polls, and other activities that require mass participation. “The funding received from the PIP program will allow us to enhance our international standards for e-voting,” said Bill Parsons, chief executive officer for Intelivote Systems Inc. “This will help tremendously in securing larger international contracts.” The PIP program provides financial incentives to encourage businesses to become more productive, innovative and globally competitive by supporting capital investments through the Capital Investment Incentive stream, as well as workplace training and certification through the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive stream. For more information on jobsHere and the PIP program, visit gov.ns.ca/jobsHere.
Nova Scotia’s International Baccalaureate graduates are some of the strongest academic performers in the world, according to examination results released today, Oct. 4. The results show that Nova Scotia public school IB students outperformed North American IB students in all 29 subjects and World IB students in 26 of 29 subjects. “This achievement belongs to the students, their dedicated teachers and their families who supported them through this challenging program,” said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. “I am proud to see so many of our students succeed not only by earning their diploma, but also by showcasing to the rest of the world how we are putting kids and learning first in Nova Scotia.” Two-hundred-and-forty students graduated from the Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organization this year. Eighty-seven-point-four per cent of Nova Scotia IB students passed the program, compared to 70.3 per cent in North America and 77.7 per cent worldwide. Graduates of the program were awarded $3.3 million in scholarships and bursaries from universities, independent foundations and government. Halifax West graduate Saba Balvardi scored a record-tying 44 out of a possible 45 points to earn her diploma. This is only the second score of 44 in the history of IB in the province. After receiving multiple scholarship offers, Saba decided to attend McGill University in Montreal. “IB taught me how to manage my time, keep up with a full course load, how to critique and analyze work, and, most importantly, it taught me about life outside of the class room,” said Ms. Balvardi. “I was able to spend time with people who shared the same passion as me and I was able to make lifelong friendships.” The International Baccalaureate offers high quality programs of international education to worldwide community of schools. There are more than 900,000 students in over 140 countries.
HANTS COUNTY: Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook Bridges The Glen Brook and MacInnis Brook bridges, on Route 202 in West Gore, have a 24-tonne weight restriction until further notice. -30-
HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Exit 13, Highway 118 Open Exit 13, from Highway 118 into Burnside Industrial Park on Akerley Boulevard, now has one lane open for inbound traffic. The second lane is expected to remain closed until dark. Both outbound lanes are open. The closure was necessary for clean up after a tractor trailer overturned. -30-
Vulnerable youth and their families on the South Shore will soon have better access to more family services. The Department of Community Services is partnering with Family Service of Western Nova Scotia to link families to more health, education and residential supports. The new service will replace a residential program known as Empire House, which was the only shelter in the province being run by government instead of a community provider. “Community-run organizations are best positioned to provide families with the services they need,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard today, April 17. “This change will allow us to focus on our job to make sure our resources are being spent wisely to support healthy communities and keep kids safe. “I look forward to working with the board to complete the next steps.” The program will link youth and their families with health providers, school, housing, employment and other social and community supports. The new service model will begin in July to allow four youth at the shelter to complete the school year. “This represents a very positive step forward in the province’s capacity to meet the needs of all Nova Scotians,” said Art Fisher, executive director of Family Service of Western Nova Scotia. “Transitioning this work to an intensively collaborative, community-based outreach model significantly increases our capacity in Nova Scotia to meet the needs of our most vulnerable youth, adults and families.” Ms. Bernard praised staff at Empire House. Youth workers will be re-assigned within the department. “Staff have been doing their best to serve youth since government inherited the shelter in 2007,” she said. “But now it’s time to let the community take over. They will be able to deliver more services more efficiently, and we will re-assign our four staff, putting their valuable skills to work in the department to support more young people in the community.”
Une suite d’applications bien connues facilitera l’accès à l’éducation et la collaboration pour les élèves et les éducateurs. La suite Google Apps for Education, qui comprend des applications comme Gmail et Google Drive, sera mise à l’essai dans les conseils scolaires de la province en appui au Plan d’action en matière d’éducation de la Nouvelle-Écosse. La suite d’applications permettra aux élèves de collaborer, d’échanger des fichiers et d’avoir accès à ces fichiers partout et en tout temps, sur n’importe quel appareil branché à Internet, et ce par le truchement du stockage en nuage. « La suite Google Apps for Education offre aux élèves un milieu d’apprentissage ultramoderne qui met l’accent sur les besoins des élèves, indique la ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance, Karen Casey. À mesure que l’utilisation de la suite se répandra, peu importe où ils sont ou quel appareil ils utilisent, les élèves auront accès à ces outils, et ce sans frais supplémentaires pour eux ou pour leurs parents. « Voilà un exemple de la manière dont nous pouvons faire nôtres les nouvelles tendances en matière de technologie et nous en servir pour soutenir notre plan d’action destiné à créer un meilleur système d’éducation en Nouvelle-Écosse. » « Nous voulons que les éducateurs et les élèves qui utilisent la suite Google Apps for Education puissent se concentrer sur l’expérience d’apprentissage et non pas sur la technologie qui l’alimente, indique Jaime Casap, évangéliste, Éducation mondiale, chez Google. Le ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance de la Nouvelle-Écosse a très bien compris cette notion et nous sommes ravis qu’il se joigne aux plus de 40 millions d’utilisateurs de par le monde qui utilisent déjà Google App for Education. L’utilisation des applications Gmail, Drive (Documents, Feuilles de calcul, Présentations, Formulaires et Dessin), Sites, Agenda, Contacts et Groupes a été approuvée et tous les conseils scolaires de la province se serviront de ces applications. Chaque conseil scolaire déterminera quand et comment les applications seront mises à la disposition des élèves, des éducateurs et du personnel du conseil scolaire.« Je suis très enthousiasmé par Google Apps for Education, de dire Brad MacNeil, chef de projet au conseil scolaire régional Cape Breton-Victoria. Les possibilités d’échange et de collaboration changeront la donne dans nos salles de classe. C’est là un grand pas en avant. » Environ 40 écoles participent au projet pilote, qui a démarré ce mois-ci et qui se poursuivra sur une période de 30 à 90 jours, tout dépendant des réactions et des plans de mise en œuvre des conseils scolaires. Le système scolaire public de la Nouvelle-Écosse aura son propre domaine pour bien administrer les utilisateurs et s’occuper des questions de sécurité et de protection des renseignements personnels.
On rappelle aux automobilistes de faire preuve de prudence lorsqu’ils passent près des équipes responsables du traçage des lignes sur les autoroutes de la Nouvelle-Écosse. En raison du temps ensoleillé et chaud, les équipes sont en mesure de repeindre les lignes jaunes et blanches sur les routes. Bien que plusieurs mesures de sécurité mises à jour servant à aviser et diriger les automobilistes soient en place, les véhicules d’entretien routier ont déjà été frappés par derrière. « Les lignes et les marques constituent des aspects essentiels de la sécurité sur nos routes, et le traçage de ces lignes au printemps est une priorité, a dit Geoff MacLellan, ministre des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure. Nous demandons aux automobilistes de faire attention et de faire preuve de prudence pendant le déroulement de ces importants travaux. » Pour tracer les lignes, les employés du ministère utilisent une série de véhicules, que l’on appelle un train, incluant un camion de peinture, un véhicule de queue qui comprend une remorque destinée à absorber l’énergie d’une collision et un panneau à flèche électronique, ainsi qu’un deuxième véhicule de queue muni d’un panneau à message électronique. Les automobilistes doivent obéir aux directives apparaissant sur les panneaux électroniques jusqu’à ce qu’ils aient dépassé le train au complet. Il y a quatre équipes de traçage des lignes sur les routes par temps sec. L’objectif est de terminer le traçage des lignes sur toutes les routes de la province d’ici la mi-octobre.
Government met with 51 partners today, Nov. 23, to begin the overhaul of the employment services system that helps Nova Scotians find jobs. “Government wants to better support people looking for jobs, youth making career decisions, and employers who need skilled workers,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. “We currently have a $23-million system that isn’t meeting the needs of Nova Scotians as it should. Status quo isn’t good enough. We need to make real changes to meet our workforce needs.” As part of the re-design, employment service organizations will work together to develop a new service delivery structure that will meet the needs of their individual communities. Changes will send more money to front-line services and client benefits, not administration and infrastructure. It will also mean better career advice and information for young people and their parents, and improved support for employers who have jobs to fill. “We need a system that better connects businesses with skilled workers,” said Cape Breton Partnership CEO Keith MacDonald. “Right now, there is a disconnect. We have people without jobs, and jobs without people.” “In the current structure Nova Scotians, particularly those with specialized and diverse needs, have not had consistent access to the services they need,” said Ms. Regan. “The new system will be inclusive and integrated with services delivered by certified practitioners.” It will also feature a Centre for Employment Innovation and Excellence that will improve the connection between government and employment services organizations as well as provide leadership, best practices and research, and support in the delivery of quality employment services. The system re-design is expected to be complete by July 1, 2016. More career information is available at http://careers.novascotia.ca/ . Government has committed to better supporting the attraction and retention of young people in Nova Scotia. This includes the recently announced Experience Through Opportunity which provides young people with improved access to public service positions. For more information visit http://makeithere.novascotia.ca
Nova Scotia’s young people will soon have more access to online counselling support through Kids Help Phone. Halifax Chebucto MLA Joachim Stroink announced a $150,000 grant to Kids Help Phone today, Nov. 7, on behalf of Leo Glavine, Minister of Health and Wellness. The grant will give access to 1,600 online counselling sessions for kids, youth and young adults from Nova Scotia through Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat counselling service for the next two years. It will also ensure that kids connecting with Kids Help Phone, by phone or online, are referred to local addiction and mental health resources in Nova Scotia. “Being a child or a teenager comes with a lot of unique challenges,” said Mr. Stroink. “It’s great to have a trusted resource like Kids Help Phone supporting kids where they are comfortable online. If we can help connect more kids to the help they need, when they need it, then this is a great investment for youth, families and our communities.” Kids Help Phone has been offering 24/7 professional counselling and information to children and youth in Nova Scotia since 1989. Live Chat online counselling is available at www.kidshelpphone.ca between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. “Live chat allows us to reach a new group of young people who wouldn’t otherwise reach out,” said Shelley Richardson, director of the Atlantic Provinces for Kids Help Phone. “We’ve heard from many kids that they feel more comfortable communicating through chat than actually speaking on the phone.” This grant is one of a series of community mental health and addictions grants provided by the provincial government. In total, the province will award more than $600,000 worth of community mental health and addictions grants this year. All grants were awarded for specific projects for a one-year period. Grants greater than $30,000 were evaluated by independent peer reviewers, then by an expert review board outside government. For more information about Kids Help Phone, visit kidshelpphone.ca. FOR BROADCAST USE Kids Help Phone will get a one hundred fifty thousand dollar Grant from the provincial government to offer more online live chats to Nova Scotia children and teens. Halifax Chebucto MLA Joachim Stroink announced the grant today (November 7th) on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. Children and teens can get help by visiting the Kids Help Phone website. The province will award more than six hundred thousand dollars worth of community mental health and addictions grants this year. -30-
New Delhi: Cricketers, current and former, shared New Zealand’s pain on losing the World Cup title on boundary countback with tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma asking for a “serious look” into the rule, which was slammed as “absurd” by several former players. In a pulsating encounter on Sunday night at the Lord’s, England was adjudged the winners of the World Cup on the basis of their superior boundary count – 22 fours and two sixes — to New Zealand’s 16 after the epic final, and also the ensuing Super Over, ended in a tie. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day”Some rules in cricket definitely needs (sic) a serious look in,” tweeted Rohit on Monday. Rohit amassed 648 runs in the tournament, including five centuries, before India were knocked out in the semifinal stage. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is now a parliamentarian, lambasted the ICC for the “ridiculous” rule. Gambhir’s former teammate Yuvraj Singh also disagreed with the rule. Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris called the ICC a joke. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty”Nice work @ICC … you are a joke!!!,” he wrote. Indian spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi was also scathing in his criticism of the ICC rules. Former Australian pacer Brett Lee called for a change in the rule. “I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change,” he tweeted. Former Black Caps all-rounder Dion Nash said he felt cheated after the finals. “The Cricket World Cup final with 22 heroes and no winner”, read a headline as media in New Zealand commended the team and condemned the rules that “robbed” the Black Caps of a maiden title triumph. “Cricket World Cup final: Boundary countback robs Black Caps of victory”, read the headline of an article in the stuff.co.nz. The headline of the top sports story of ‘New Zealand Herald’ read: “Any Given Monday: The Cricket World Cup final with 22 heroes and no winner.” “Should England have got five, not six runs for overthrows?” questioned another piece in the newspaper.
Lucknow: Shia cleric and Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind General Secretary Maulana Kalbe Jawwad on Monday withdrew a call for the nationwide camps to help Muslims, Dalits and tribals fill up forms for arms licenses. The announcement came after a controversy ensued over camp organiser and Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha’s statement at a press conference in New Delhi on July 11 in which he reportedly asked Muslims, Dalits and tribals to sell their property and jewellery to buy weapons. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “These communities are being targeted in incidents of mob lynching and have the right to take the path of violence to protect themselves,” he was quoted as having said at the press conference held to announce a series of camps across India to fill up forms for arms licenses. The movement was to commence from Lucknow, where the first camp was to be organised on July 26 on the invitation Maulana Kalbe Jawwad. Pracha had said that the camps would be organised in at least 12 cities, including six in Uttar Pradesh, where Muslims, Dalits and tribals are under threat and need legal help. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Maulana Kalbe Jawwad had earlier said: “The SC/ST and minorities have been pushed to the edge by the government, which is soft on perpetrators of mob violence. In such a scenario, there is no option left, but self-defence. Many from these communities face discrimination and they will avail of our legal expertise to fill forms and apply for arms licence.” The Maulana, on Monday, said: “In view of the controversy and keeping in view the manner in which our statements have been distorted, the camp is being called off. Our intention was to empower the weaker sections but we did not intend to train them for violence. We merely wanted to equip them for self-defence.” He said the camp would have ensured keeping out applicants with criminal antecedents or those with political or business interests. “This campaign was not for the Shia community, in particular, but for all minorities who feel threatened. We would have also acted against those who misused their licences,” he said. “If the government had taken strong steps against perpetrators of hate crime, we would not have had to take up such a measure. There are tough laws in the Constitution and Indian Penal Code (IPC) which the government should invoke. The draft bill on lynching is a mere eyewash,” he added.
Colombo: Sri Lanka will introduce new laws to prevent terrorism as the existing ones are not adequate to deal with terror attacks like the massive Easter Sunday bombings, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. Recalling that three months have passed after the country’s worst terror attacks that killed 258 people at three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo on April 21, Wickremesinghe said after the suicide bombings, everyone feared that the country would collapse. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”There was a great fear among people. That’s why we first decided to detain all terrorists by police and prosecute them. Secondly, we need to bring a new system to ensure the country’s security so that this does not happen again,” he was quoted as saying by the ColomboPage. Speaking at an event held in Matara to mark the 97th International Cooperative Day, the premier said even before two months after the attacks, for which police have blamed a local jihadi group, all the living suspects linked to the terrorist attacks including the ones living abroad have been arrested. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSri Lankan police have detained about 200 suspects in connection with supporting the local National Thowheed Jama’ath group to carry out the bombings and are investigating them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and it is only the first step, the prime minister said. “Till now we faced LTTE terrorism. But this is different. Capturing the group connected to Easter Sunday’s attacks will not end this kind of terrorism. We cannot face the ISIS terrorism by looking at the LTTE terrorism. We need to think a new strategy. New laws are needed and these laws need to be changed,” he said. Pointing out that in England the laws dealing with terrorism had been amended 15 times between 2001 and 2019, the prime minister said the existing laws in Sri Lanka are not adequate to deal with this kind of terrorism. He said the laws will be brought requiring the Customs, Immigration and Emigration Department, Motor Vehicle Department and number of other departments to work together and the government is working on drafting laws necessary to prevent terrorism and getting them passed.
New Delhi: Around 12.66 lakh jobs were created in May, a tad higher than 11.15 lakh jobs in April this year, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) payroll data showed. Gross enrolments of new subscribers with the ESIC were 1.49 crore during 2018-19, a report released by National Statistical Office (NSO) stated. The NSO report is based on the payroll data of new subscribers of various social security schemes run by ESIC, retirement fund body EPFO and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe NSO has been releasing the payroll data or new subscribers data of these three bodies since April 2018 covering a period starting from September 2017. The report showed that gross new enrolments with the ESIC during September 2017 to March 2018 were 83.32 lakh. It showed that a net 9.86 lakh new enrolments with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) were recorded during the month of May which was slightly lower than 10.15 lakh in April this year. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostDuring 2018-19, 61.12 lakh new subscribers on a net basis joined the social security schemes run by the EPFO. Similarly the net new enrolments were 15.52 lakh during September 2017 to March 2018. It said that since the numbers of subscribers are from various sources, there are elements of overlap and the estimates are not additive. The NSO said in the report that the present report gives different perspectives on the levels of employment in the formal sector and does not measure employment at a holistic level.
Mumbai: Vikramaditya Motwane had a fanboy moment at actor Abhishek Bachchan’s eighth birthday party, when he met megastar Amitabh Bachchan. He said it made his life. A user on social media on Twitter had asked about the most memorable celebrity encounter. To which, Motwane replied: “I was 8, briefly in the same school as Abhishek Bachchan, and was lucky enough to get invited to his birthday party. “Spent the whole evening looking for HIM. HE came to the party late, straight from shoot, probably ‘Mard’. I remember his boots. He nodded at me. Made my life.” Motwane made directorial debut in 2010 with “Udaan”, which was selected to compete in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. His second film was “Lootera”. He then worked in films like “Trapped” and “Bhavesh Joshi”. He currently awaits the premier of “Sacred Games 2” which will premiere on August 15.
Mumbai: Popular actor Achint Kaur says with time she has often changed her mindset and evolved as an actor to stay relevant. Moving from weekly to daily soaps, Achint said for her it was initially difficult to find her footing in the television industry. She has been part of shows like “Banegi Apni Baat”, “Swabhimaan”, “Saaya”, “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”, “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii”, “Jamai Raja” and others. “I am from the weekly era where the content was very intelligent. Then when daily soaps came in, it took me a year to understand how will I fit in. In TV I got lost (initially). During the weekly era, no one would offer me negative parts when I watched daily soaps I never saw myself fit into positive roles. I got to experiment with daily soaps. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “As actors, we get into our comfort zone and don’t push ourselves and then we start seeing the negative in the outside world but the fear is within us. I have realised this and put an end to this. I have always got good roles to play that have been impactful be it positive or negative or grey,” Achint told PTI. The actor said as an artiste she makes sure to learn about her craft as much as possible. “I am with the time, I change myself, I work on myself. I keep changing my performance abilities, I keep working on them. I take a lot of workshops. I do a lot of theatre to learn how to perform differently.” Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna The noted actor also has been part of films like “Om Jai Jagdish”, “Guzaarish”, “2 States” and “Kalank” among others. She is thankful to filmmakers for giving her the opportunity to present herself in a different avatar on the big screen. “Till date, people think they can only offer me a western character, I am stuck on that. Then ‘2 States’, ‘Kalank’ happened I am glad they (makers) saw me as a performer and not as Achint. These things will also keep happening,” she adds. According to Achint, the entertainment industry has become more acceptable towards older actors then it was during her initial days in television. “Roles are not changing but times are changing. There is work for every age group, every genre, for everybody because now canvas is large and you cater to a lot of people. Earlier people would not write for 60-year-old but today there are. “Today with content available on mobile, laptop, there is no boundary. Times are changing. I am confident that I can be ambitious now,” she added. The 41-year-old actor, who has been part of the industry for 25 years, said she is always looking for something that serves her creative hunger. “There is no destination as to what I want to play next if there is then I will again have to look for something that is new and different every time. Every day is a new path and I want to capture it as much as we can. I am clear, monotony is not what I want.” The hugely popular Zee TV show “Jamai Raja” starring Ravi Dubey, Nia Sharma and Achint in lead roles is back with season 2 – “Jamai 2.0” but it will now stream online on OTT platform ZEE5 from September 10. “It (web) is a brilliant platform, we can experiment a lot. The canvas is huge here. I want to do a lot of web. I am hungry. I am pushing for web, meeting people and calling people.” Talking about “Jamai 2.0”, Achint said, “There is no connection between the TV and web show. Only the word ‘Jamai’ is the same, the perspective is different. It is not a quintessential type. It (‘Jamai 2.0’) is a thriller, there are a lot of sub-plots, there is a lot of layering, there is realism and honesty.” In the show, the actor plays the role of a businesswoman, who is shrewd, opportunist.
An exhibition titled Likhiya, showcasing rare artworks of the Mithila painting tradition will be held at the Indira Gandhi Natinal Centre of the Arts (IGNCA), Twin Art Gallery, New Delhi, from September 6 – 22, 11 am – 7 pm.In Mithila, painting is writing and is called Likhiya, from where the exhibition gets the title. The mythological origin of Mithila paintings date back to the time of the Ramayana, where Mithila nagari was decorated with wall paintings for the wedding of Princess Sita to Lord Rama. This painting style is one of the oldest traditions evolved, practised, and preserved by women, and passed on orally from one generation to another. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainWomen in the villages of Bihar, with remarkable skills, have been painting walls in form of bhitti-chitras and floors in form of aripan for centuries. All the rituals, paintings and songs developed when group of women from the villages sat together to paint walls for a wedding, sacred thread ceremony and other local festivals. Mithila painting has always been a group activity which involved women of all ages: the oldest ahibati would put a dot in centre of the wall, middle-aged women would make a sketch and the younger generation would fill the forms. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThere are three styles of Mithila paintings namely, Bharni or coloured paintings, practised by Brahmin women, Kachni or line paintings, practised by Kayastha women, Goidana (tattoo) paintings, practised by Dalit women. Today, all the three styles have merged; the Likhiya exhibition comprises all these three styles. IGNCA has been exploring the creative world of women and their contribution in the making of Indian civilization through various programmes and research projects, field studies and documentation. The IGNCA, between the years 2006-2011, initiated several projects documenting the oral traditions of women of Mithila. While some of these projects were brain child of Professor Madhu Khanna, the then Head of Narivada Programme at the IGNCA, the other two projects documenting the living traditions of the Ramayana and Mahabharata were carried out at the Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA, with Professor Molly Kaushal as the Principal Investigator and Project Head. Under these projects, the Kala aur Katha workshop brought together sixty women artists from different villages of Bihar on the occasion of Madhushravani Parva. The festival was documented along with its fifteen narratives, songs and rituals associated with the festival, and at the same time these were visually created on canvas in the form of large Mithila paintings for the first time ever. The workshop Gunavati Nari celebrated feminine power, produced paintings of women characters, both mythological and historical. The workshop on Rishikas depicted Vedic deities and women scholars such as Vac, Apala, Indrani and Shradhha. The Mithila Ramayan workshop was called Sitayan in which the ten scrolls were painted from the perspectives of women of Mithila. The Sitayan scrolls depict wedding rituals and Kohbar images in details. Along with it, fifty women artists from different villages of Bihar, painted episodes from Mahabharata, popular in the Mithila region. The Likhiya exhibition displaying rare and unique artworks from the archives of the Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA, and personal collection of Madhubani artist Manisha Jha is divided into six parts. The first section starts with the artworks of the Mithila painting artists from late 50’s to 80’s era, and depicts the journey of the younger generation of artists as well. The rest five sections display selected Mithila paintings from the above-mentioned workshops held at the IGNCA, where the oldest participant was of seventy-five years, while the youngest was eighteen year old. These workshops produced paintings which were of 22′ by 7′ size, which is a remarkable achievement in itself. The exhibition displays artworks of five Padma Shri Mithila painting artists – Jagdumba Devi, Mahasundari Devi, Sita Devi, Godavari Dutt and Baua Devi, and several National Awardees artists such as Manisha Jha, Leela Dutt, Urmila Devi, Jamuna Devi, Bharti Dayal, Ambika Devi and several others. Interviews of the women Mithila artists would also be shown at the exhibition, adding a unique dimension to it. A unique installation of the Madhushravani aripan will be installed at the exhibition, along with live demonstration of Mithila painting by artists. A catalogue with detailed information about the journey of the Mithila art along with images will be accessible at the exhibition through sale.