How the Ford F-150 became king of vehicles

first_img Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Please enter your comment! UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. TAGSFord F-150the conversation.com Previous articleSteady rise in suicides will only drop if social ills are tackledNext articleLet not this difficulty pass from me Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom By M. Berk Talay, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Massachusetts Lowell and first published on theconversation.com.In April, Ford announced that it will be phasing out nearly all of its passenger cars in the United States.If all goes according to plan, 90 percent of Ford’s portfolio in North America will be trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Its F-150 – the most popular vehicle in America – is now poised to build on its stunning success.The model’s ascent is really part of a larger, decades-long trend of Americans’ eschewing sedans for trucks and SUVs.But why do Americans flock to the F-150 over the Tacoma or the Silverado?I study how innovation drives success in competitive markets, and Ford’s emphasis on original design – together with its frequent upgrades – have allowed the F-Series to gain an edge over its peers.A post-war truck boomBy the end of World War II, the car market in the United States, was, by and large, a seller’s market.From February 1942 to October 1945, the War Production Board froze automobile production for civilian use, which created pent-up demand for 5 to 9 million new cars by the time the war ended.In a race to cash in, U.S. automotive manufacturers capitalized on the expertise they had gained from manufacturing military trucks during the war and introduced trucks – in addition to cars – into the market.In the past, trucks had been marketed to farmers and business owners. These newer trucks, advertised as a more comfortable ride with larger cabins, were designed to also appeal to suburban buyers.In 1947 Chevrolet launched its Advance-Design trucks, while the now-defunct International Harvester launched its KB Series. The following year, Dodge released its B Series, and Ford introduced its F-Series.With its ‘Million Dollar Cab,’ Ford sought to gain an edge over its competitors. Ford Truck EnthusiastsWith design offerings that could appeal to a range of customers, the F-Series was an instant success. The F-Series line-up included eight models with varying sizes and cargo capacities, from the F-1, a light-truck with half-ton capacity, to the F-8, a 3-ton, heavy-duty truck.To appeal to a wider range of buyers, Ford designed a considerably more spacious and comfortable cabin. Dubbed the “Million Dollar Cab” to underscore the one million dollars the company spent on its design, this cab was wider, quieter and featured luxuries like a full interior trim, sun visors, an ashtray, and easy-to-read instrument panel.Staying ahead of the competitionSince the earliest days of the U.S. auto industry, innovation has been a critical element for sustained success. To keep up with the evolution of consumer demands and emergence of new technologies, automakers have to invest heavily on research and development. In 2017 alone, they spent more than $100 billion globally. Companies that fall behind in this innovation “arms race” tend to either go out of business or are acquired.Now in its 13th generation, the F-Series has been through more frequent upgrades and redesigns than its competitors and its innovation is a big reason for the line’s enduring popularity.We saw it in the early 1950s when Ford updated its Million Dollar Cab by designing a “Five Star Extra Cab,” which came with foam seat padding, twin horns, and improved soundproofing. We saw it in 1987 when the F-Series became the first pickup truck to introduce rear anti-lock brakes as a standard feature. And we saw this in 2014 when Ford invested US$3 billion to replace the truck’s steel body with an aluminum one, which shed, on average, 700 pounds and drastically improved the vehicle’s fuel economy.A 1987 print ad for the F-150 highlights the truck’s new anti-lock brakes. JOHN LLOYD, CC BYFor these cutting-edge upgrades, the company has been handsomely rewarded. In 2017, F-150 was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. – a title it has held for the last 36 years. More than 40 million F-Series trucks have been sold since 1948, making it one of the best-selling vehicles in history.The bigger the car, the bigger the profitJust how important is the F-Series to Ford’s bottom line?While Ford doesn’t disclose model-level profit data, it is estimated that each F-150 earns the company an operating profit of around $10,000 and generates around 90 percent of Ford’s global profits. In fact, the line of trucks is thought to be worth more than the entire company.In general, pickup trucks, and their less-rugged siblings, SUVs, generate more profit per unit than passenger cars. According to Bloomberg, the average price of a full-size pickup truck is around $45,000, with a profit margin of roughly 25 percent; the average price of a mid-size sedan, on the other hand, is around $22,000 with a 10 percent profit margin.This might explain why other car companies are also getting cold feet about their passenger cars. Fiat Chrysler has phased out the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 and announced that it will retool its factories in Michigan and Ohio in order to build a new pickup truck and two new SUVs. General Motors also reportedly plans to cut production of some of its passenger cars.Car sales as a percentage of total light vehicles sales has been in steady decline since the early 1980s. In May 2018, car sales made up only 32.1 percent of all light vehicles sales in the U.S., down from a 40-year high of 83.2 percent in October 1980. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, people are switching to SUVs and pickups because these vehicles offer greater general utility and better on-road 4×4 capabilities and are safer.Meanwhile, low gas prices, increasing wages, ongoing economic expansion and soaring consumer confidence could mean more Americans are willing to shell out extra cash for a truck or SUV.Together, these trends indicate that the F-150’s reign as king of trucks won’t end anytime soon.last_img read more

Enterprise IG to design identity for Dallaglio’s benefit year

first_imgDallaglio came to Enterprise IG because of Tutssel’s work for the Guinness Rugby World Cup in 1999, for which Glenn Tutssel designed the logo.The Dallaglio logo will first be seen on the publicity for the Dallaglio Benefit Year Dinner that will take place in Battersea Park in London on 10 December 2003. Tagged with: Consulting & Agencies Events Recruitment / people  33 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.center_img England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio has chosen international brand design agency Enterprise IG to create the identity for his Benefit Year.During Dallaglio’s Benefit Year there will be a host of special events and charity matches to raise money. The funds will be distributed to Cancer Research, Richard Longthorn Trust, Anthony Nolan Trust and the PRA Benefit Fund.Enterprise IG has created an identity using goal posts as the double L in Dallaglio’s name. Glenn Tutssel, director of Enterprise IG, will sit on the steering committee for the Benefit as the design advisor. Advertisement Enterprise IG to design identity for Dallaglio’s benefit year Howard Lake | 2 October 2003 | Newslast_img read more

Protests condemn U.S. for war on Syria

first_imgBy Frank Neisser and Howard RotmanBostonAnti-war activists and the public gathered and rallied at Boston’s Park Street Station for a speakout against the U.S. escalation of the war in Syria. Speakers protested the Sept. 17 U.S. bombing of the Syrian government’s army positions in the eastern city of Deir Ezzur, which killed between 60 and 90 Syrian troops and wounded over 100 more.The U.S. attack was a dangerous escalation in the five-year war that U.S. imperialism initiated to bring about the overturn of the legally elected and internationally recognized government of Syria.The protesters decried the U.S. government and its allies for their continued efforts to destabilize Syria and for continuing to arm and support terrorist groups like the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State group (IS) in an effort to defeat the Syrian government.The U.S. Sept. 17 airstrikes facilitated the advancement of IS by targeting Syrian government forces in a strategic location already surrounded by IS.The rally was co-chaired by Susan McLucas of the Committee for Peace and Human Rights; Frank Neisser of the International Action Center; and anti-imperialist activist Daniel Haiphong. Haiphong exposed the hypocrisy of Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and Washington’s war on the self-determination of the Syrian people.Pentagon sabotaged cease-fireNeisser said that the bombings ordered by the Pentagon, in defiance of the diplomatic path begun by the State Department and the president, deliberately sabotaged the Sept. 7 ceasefire agreement negotiated between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.A large delegation from the Syrian American Forum waved Syrian flags and repeatedly led chants of “Hands off Syria! U.S. out of Syria!” Several members of the delegation spoke, including Eyad Salloum, who thanked everyone for coming out and explaining how defense of the Syrian government and demanding the imperialists leave was the only way to preserve their secular, independent country.Other speakers included Bishop Filipe Teixeira, founder of the Franciscan Order of Saint Joseph Cupertino, who opened the rally; Charles Clemons of TOUCH 106.1 FM, the voice of the Black community; John McLoud and Joan Livingston, from the Committee for Peace and Human Rights; Al Johnson, from the Smedley Butler Brigade; Jeff Klein reporting on a recent delegation to Syria; Susan Massad, of the Women’s Fightback Network; and Nino Brown, of the Answer Coalition, who condemned the U.S. regime-change destruction of many countries in the Middle East.Also speaking were Phebe Eckfeldt, of the Moorehead-Lilly election campaign of Workers World Party, and Brian Shea, of the Disabled Caucus of the International Action Center. Shea contrasted the austerity war at home, which is cutting back personal care assistants for people with disabilities, with the billions spent on wars in Syria and around the globe.New York protestSyrian Americans from across the Northeast were joined by anti-war activists at a protest outside the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 21. They chanted “Hands off Syria!” and held a moment of silence for Syrian Arab Army troops massacred by Pentagon aircraft on Sept. 17. They also demanded an end to U.S.-NATO support for contra “rebels” and the Islamic State group.There was loud agreement from the crowd when International Action Center Co-Director Sara Flounders declared, “We need money for jobs, education and hospitals right here, not for war against Syria.”The action was organized by the Syrian American Will Association, the Syrian American Forum, Arab Americans for Syria and the IAC. It was endorsed by the Peace Council of New York and New Jersey, the People’s Organization for Progress, the United National Antiwar Coalition and Veterans for Peace Chapter 21-N.J.Greg Butterfield contributed to this article.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

15 Takeaways To Ace “Consumer Fora Litigation” In India

first_imgColumns15 Takeaways To Ace “Consumer Fora Litigation” In India Shivam Goel17 July 2020 9:37 PMShare This – xDetermination of compensation for the loss or injury suffered by a consumer on account of deficiency in service: In the matter of: Charan Singh V/s Healing Touch Hospital & Ors, (2000) 7 SCC 668, it was held that: “… While quantifying damages, Consumer Forums are required to make an attempt to serve the ends of justice so that compensation awarded, in an…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginDetermination of compensation for the loss or injury suffered by a consumer on account of deficiency in service: In the matter of: Charan Singh V/s Healing Touch Hospital & Ors, (2000) 7 SCC 668, it was held that: “… While quantifying damages, Consumer Forums are required to make an attempt to serve the ends of justice so that compensation awarded, in an established case, which not only serves the purpose of recompensing the individual, but which also at the same time, aims to bring about a qualitative change in the attitude of the service provider. Indeed, calculation of damages depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for universal application. While awarding compensation, a Consumer Forum has to take into account all relevant factors and assess compensation on the basis of accepted legal principles, on moderation. It is for the Consumer Forum to grant compensation to the extent it finds it reasonable, fair and proper in the facts and circumstances of a given case according to the established judicial standards where the claimant is able to establish his charge.” Similarly, the Hon’ble NCDRC in the matter of: Air France V/s O.P. Srivastava & Ors, First Appeal No. 310/ 2008 (Date of Decision: 22.03.2018) observed that: “… It is trite that in considering the quantification of compensation, a precise calculation is difficult, as no clear or straitjacketed principles can be designed for the said purpose. Hence, the exercise would invariably involve discretion and consideration of a plethora of variables, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Some broad factors that may be considered while scrutinizing claims for compensation/ damages include: Background of the parties, both the injured and the negligent or defaulting party;The degree of negligence or these [the] verity of the defaulting act that caused the injury to the complainants;The degree of proximity or causation of defaulting acts resulting in the injury; andConsideration of alternative modes of redressal of the Complainant’s grievance like restitution, general and specific damages, other means of non- monetary compensation, etc. Needless to add that the above parameters are only illustrative and not exhaustive.” Replies to consumer complaints cannot be filed beyond 45 days: In the matter of: New India Assurance Co. Ltd. V/s Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage (P) Ltd., 2020 SCC Online SC 287, it was held that: The District Forum has no power to extend the time for filing the response to the consumer complaint beyond the period of 15 days in addition to 30 days as is envisaged under Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.That the commencing point of limitation of 30 days under Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 would be from the date of receipt of the notice accompanied with the consumer complaint by the opposite party, and not mere receipt of the notice of the consumer complaint. Whether Consumer Forums have jurisdiction in cases concerning service rendered by statutory and/ or public authorities? In the matter of: Lucknow Development Authority V/s M.K. Gupta, (1994) 1 SCC 243, it was held that: “… 4. What is the meaning of the word ‘service’? Does it extend to deficiency in the building of a house or flat? Can a complaint be filed under the Act against the statutory authority or a builder or contractor for any deficiency in respect of such property. … It is in three parts. The main part is followed by inclusive clause and ends by exclusionary clause. The main clause itself is very wide. It applies to any service made available to potential users. The words ‘any’ and ‘potential’ are significant. Both are of wide amplitude. The word ‘any’ dictionarily means ‘one or some or all’. In Black’s Law Dictionary it is explained thus, “word ‘any’ has a diversity of meaning and may be employed to indicate ‘all’ or ‘every’ as well as ‘some’ or ‘one’ and its meaning in a given statute depends upon the context and the subject-matter of the statute”. The use of the word ‘any’ in the context it has been used in clause (o) indicates that it has been used in wider sense extending from one to all. … The legislative intention is thus clear to protect a consumer against services rendered even by statutory bodies. The test, therefore, is not if a person against whom complaint is made is a statutory body but whether the nature of the duty and function performed by it is service or even facility. … 5. … Truly speaking it would be a service to the society if such bodies instead of claiming exclusion subject themselves to the Act and let their acts and omissions be scrutinized as public accountability is necessary for healthy growth of society. … 6. … So any service except when it is free of charge or under a constraint of personal service is included in it [Section 2 (o) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986]. …” That following the ratio in the matter of Lucknow Development Authority (Supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, recently, in the matter of: Punjab Urban Planning & Development Authority V/s Vidya Chetal, SLP (C) No. 4272/ 2015 (Date of Decision: 16.09.2019) observed that: Power of the consumer forum extends to redressing any injustice rendered upon a consumer as well as over any mala fide, capricious or any oppressive act done by a statutory body. Consumer forums have jurisdiction to protect consumers against defective services rendered even by a statutory body.[1]Sovereign functions like judicial decision making, imposition of tax, policing etc., strictly understood, qualify for exemption from the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, but the welfare activities through economic adventures undertaken by the Government or statutory bodies are covered under the jurisdiction of the consumer forums. Even in departments discharging sovereign functions, if there are sub-units/ wings which are providing services/ supply goods for a consideration and they are severable, then they can be considered to come within the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.[2] If the statutory authority, other than the core sovereign duties, is providing service, which is encompassed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, then, unless any statute exempts, or provides for immunity, for deficiency in service, or specifically provides for an alternative forum, the Consumer Forums would continue to have the jurisdiction to deal with the same.There is distinction between statutory liability which arise generally such as a tax, and those that may arise out of a specific relationship such as that between a service provider and a consumer. A tax is a mandatory imposition by a public authority for public purpose enforceable by law; and is not imposed with respect to any special benefit conferred, as consideration, on the tax payer. There is no element of quid pro quo between the tax payer and the public authority. Exactions, like tax, and cess, levied as a part of common burden or for a specific purpose, generally may not be amenable to the jurisdiction of the consumer forum. However, those statutory fees, levied in lieu of service provided, may in the usual course be subject matter of consumer forum’s jurisdiction provided that there is a deficiency in service.The law is that the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has a wide reach and the consumer forums have jurisdiction even in cases of service rendered by statutory and public authorities. Such authorities become liable to compensate for misfeasance in public office, that is, an act which is oppressive or capricious or arbitrary or negligent provided loss or injury is suffered by a citizen. For the purpose of computing the pecuniary jurisdiction, the consumer forum has to take into account the value of the goods bought or services hired or availed plus compensation claimed by the complainant: That in the matter of: Ambrish Kumar Shukla & Ors V/s Ferrous Infrastructure (P) Ltd, CC No. 97/ 2016, NCDRC (Date of Decision: 07.10.2016) it was held as follows: “… It is evident from a bare perusal of Sections 21, 17 and 11 of the Consumer Protection Act that it’s the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed which determines the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum. The Act does not envisage determination of the pecuniary jurisdiction based upon the cost of removing the deficiencies in the goods purchased or the services to be rendered to the consumer. Therefore, the cost of removing the defects or deficiencies in the goods or the services would have no bearing on the determination of the pecuniary jurisdiction. If the aggregate of the value of the goods purchased or the services hired or availed of by a consumer, when added to the compensation, if any, claimed in the complaint by him, exceeds Rs. 1.00 crore, it is this Commission [NCDRC] alone which would have the pecuniary jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. For instance, if a person purchases a machine for more than Rs. 1.00 crore, a manufacturing defect is found in the machine and the cost of removing the said defect is Rs. 10.00 lacs, it is the aggregate of the sale consideration paid by the consumer for the machine and compensation, if any, claimed in the complaint which would determine the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum. Similarly, if for instance, a house is sold for more than Rs. 1.00 crore, certain defects are found in the house, and the cost of removing those defects is Rs. 5.00 lacs, the complaint would have to be filed before this Commission [NCDRC], the value of the services itself being more than Rs. 1.00 crore.” Territorial Jurisdiction & Exclusive Jurisdiction Clause: In the matter of: Munish Sahgal V/s DLF Home Developers Ltd., First Appeal No. 425/ 2010, NCDRC (Date of Decision: 09.02.2011), it was held that: An exclusive jurisdiction clause in an agreement conferring territorial jurisdiction exclusively to the courts of a particular State/ territory, cannot override the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.Any stipulation of an agreement which ousts the jurisdiction of District Forum from a place where the opposite party/ service provider has a branch office and the cause of action had also arisen, cannot be held to be a valid and/ or binding stipulation regard being had to the mandate contained in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.It need not be reiterated that it would defeat the very purpose and object of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, if the provisions of an agreement between a consumer and a service provider alone were to determine the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum.District Forum is not a “court” within the meaning of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Moreover, in the matter of: M/s. Sonic Surgical V/s National Insurance Co. Ltd., (2010) 1 SCC 135, while observing that “cause of action” determines the territorial jurisdiction as regards the place where consumer complaint is to be filed or preferred, to avoid the malice of “bench hunting”, it was held that: “… Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the respondent-insurance company has a branch office at Chandigarh and hence under the amended Section 17(2) the complaint could have been filed in Chandigarh. We regret, we cannot agree with the learned counsel for the appellant. In our opinion, an interpretation has to be given to the amended Section 17(2) (b) of the Act, which does not lead to an absurd consequence. If the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is accepted, it will mean that even if a cause of action has arisen in Ambala, then too the complainant can file a claim petition even in Tamil Nadu or Gauhati or anywhere in India where a branch office of the insurance company is situated. We cannot agree with this contention. It will lead to absurd consequences and lead to bench hunting. In our opinion, the expression ‘branch office’ in the amended Section 17(2)would mean the branch office where the cause of action has arisen. No doubt this would be departing from the plain and literal words of Section 17(2)(b) of the Act but such departure is sometimes necessary (as it is in this case) to avoid absurdity. [vide G.P. Singh’s Principles of Statutory Interpretation, Ninth Edition, 2004 P. 79] In the present case, since the cause of action arose at Ambala, the State Consumer Redressal Commission, Haryana alone will have jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.” Arbitration Clause in an agreement cannot oust the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum: Recently, in the matter of: M/s. Emaar MGF Land Ltd V/s Aftab Singh, Review Petition (C) No. 2629-2630/ 2018 in Civil Appeal No. 23512- 23513/ 2017, Supreme Court of India (Date of Decision: 10.12.2018), it was held that: Generally, and traditionally all disputes relating to rights in personam are considered to be amenable to arbitration; and all disputes relating to rights in rem are required to be adjudicated by courts and public tribunals, being unsuited for private arbitration. This is not however a rigid or inflexible rule. Disputes relating to subordinate rights in personam arising from rights in rem have always been considered to be arbitrable. In the matter of: Skypak Couriers Ltd V/s Tata Chemicals, (2000) 5 SCC 294, it was observed that: “Even if there exists an arbitration clause in an agreement and a complaint is made by the consumer, in relation to a certain deficiency of service, then the existence of an arbitration clause will not be a bar to the entertainment of the complaint by the Redressal Agency, constituted under the Consumer Protection Act, since the remedy provided under the Act is in addition to the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.” Ratio in the matter of Skypak Couriers Ltd (Supra) was upheld in the matter of M/s. Emaar MGF Land Ltd (Supra). In Para 25, in the matter of M/s. Emaar MGF Land Ltd (Supra), it was observed that: “… 25. This Court in the series of judgments as noticed above considered the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as well as Arbitration Act, 1996 and laid down that complaint under Consumer Protection Act being a special remedy, despite there being an arbitration agreement the proceedings before Consumer Forum have to go on and no error committed by Consumer Forum on rejecting the application [under Section 8 of the A&C Act]. There is reason for not interjecting proceedings under Consumer Protection Act on the strength [of] an arbitration agreement by Act, 1996. The remedy under Consumer Protection Act is a remedy provided to a consumer when there is a defect in any goods or services. The complaint means any allegation in writing made by a complainant has also been explained in Section 2(c) [Section 2 (1) (c)] of the Act. The remedy under the Consumer Protection Act is confined to complaint by consumer as defined under the Act for defect or deficiencies caused by a service provider, the cheap and a quick remedy has been provided to the consumer which is the object and purpose of the Act as noticed above.” The complaints filed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 can be proceeded with despite there being any arbitration agreement between the parties. Jurisdiction of consumer forum is not ousted on account of civil suit having been preferred by the service provider even if the subject matter is the same agreement on which later the consumer pitches his consumer complaint: In the matter of: Yashwant Rama Jadhav V/s Shaukat Hussain Shaikh & Anr, First Appeal No. 1229/ 2017, NCDRC (Date of Decision: 10.11.2017), it was held that: Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, to the extent it is relevant provides that the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 shall be in addition and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.The remedy available under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an additional remedy, which Parliament has made available to a consumer. Even if two remedies, one before the Civil Court and the other before the Consumer Forum are available, it is for the litigant to decide as to which remedy the litigant wants to avail.The jurisdiction of the consumer forum is not ousted on account of a civil suit having been instituted by the service provider, even if the subject matter of the said civil suit preferred by the service provider is the same agreement which is the foundation of the consumer complaint. Consumer forums do not have jurisdiction over educational institutions: In the matter of: Manu Solanki & Ors V/s Vinayaka Mission University, Consumer Case No. 261/ 2012, NCDRC (Date of Decision: 20.01.2020), it was held that: Students are not “consumers”, education is not a “commodity”, and education institutions are not “service providers”.Even if an institution imparting education does not have a proper affiliation in imparting education, it is not rendering any service and, therefore, will be out of the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.There may be instances where there may be defect/ deficiency of service in pre-admission stages by an educational institution but as educational institutions are not rendering any service by imparting education, such instances cannot give any right to a person to approach consumer fora under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.In Para 42 of the report, it was observed that: “… Another relevant issue which was raised during the course of arguments was with respect to any defect or deficiency in the transportation which is provided by the schools/ colleges. School buses are vehicles hired by the Institutions and in most schools is made compulsory with, the prescribed fees including the cost of transportation. Children come in their own vehicles also and we are of the view that any defect or deficiency in transporting the children to the school does fall within the definition of ‘imparting knowledge’ and, therefore, the Consumer Fora has no jurisdiction to entertain such Complaints arising out of these issues.” Coaching classes do not fall within the ambit of definition of “education” as defined by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of: P.A. Inamdar & Ors V/s State of Maharashtra & Ors, (2005) 6 SCC 537.Coaching Centres cannot be equated to regular schools or colleges which are regulated by a Regulatory Authority and also confer a Degree/ Diploma on the student who has passed in the examinations conducted as per the rules and norms specified in a particular statute and also by the concerned Universities. Coaching Centres do not fall within the definition of “educational institutions”.Any defect or deficiency or unfair trade practice pertaining to a service provider like “Coaching Centres” fall within the jurisdiction of the consumer forums.Institutions rendering education including vocational courses and activities undertaken during the process of pre-admission as well as post-admission and also imparting excursion tours, picnics, extra co-curricular activities, swimming, sport, etc. except coaching institutions, are not covered under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. What is “Commercial Purpose” is a question of fact to be decided in the facts of each case: The words “commercial purpose” have not been defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.A person who buys a typewriter or a car and uses them for his personal use is certainly a consumer but a person who buys a typewriter or a car for typing others’ work for consideration or for plying the car as a taxi can be said to be using the typewriter/car for a commercial purpose. If the commercial use is by the purchaser himself for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self- employment, such purchaser of goods is yet a ‘consumer’. Therefore, if the purchaser himself works on typewriter or plies the car as a taxi himself, he does not cease to be a consumer. In other words, if the buyer of goods uses them himself, i.e., by self- employment, for earning his livelihood, it would not be treated as a “commercial purpose” and he does not cease to be a consumer for the purposes of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.In the matter of: Sunil Kohli & Anr V/s M/s. Purearth Infrastructure Ltd., Civil Appeal No. 9004- 9005/ 2018, Supreme Court of India (Date of Decision: 01.10.2019), it was held that: “… As laid down by this Court in Laxmi Engineering Works, the explanation to Section 2(1)(d) of the Act clarifies that “in certain situations, purchase of goods for “commercial purpose” would not yet take the purchaser out of the definition of expression ‘consumer’. If the commercial use is by the purchaser himself for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self- employment, such purchaser of goods is yet a ‘consumer'”. This Court went on to observe that what is “Commercial Purpose” is a question of fact to be decided in the facts of each case.” Whether a complaint can be filed by a “Trust” under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986? In the matter of: Pratibha Pratisthan & Ors. V/s Manager, Canara Bank & Ors., Civil Appeal No. 3560/ 2008, Supreme Court of India (Date of Decision: 07.03.2017), it was held that: A reading of the definition of the words ‘complaint’, ‘complainant’ and ‘consumer’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 makes it clear that a “Trust” cannot invoke the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 in respect of any allegations on the basis of which a complaint could be made. To put this beyond any doubt, the word ‘person’ has also been defined under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by virtue of Section 2 (1) (m), which defines a person as to include: a firm whether registered or not; a Hindu undivided family; a co-operative society; and/ or, every other association of persons whether registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or not.Therefore, “Trust” does not qualify as “Person” under Section 2 (1) (m) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and as a necessary sequitur, it does not qualify as “Consumer” under Section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Homebuyers can approach Consumer Forum, RERA and NCLT simultaneously for redressal of their grievances: In the matter of: Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Ltd & Anr V/s Union of India & Ors, 2019 SCC Online SC 1005, it was held that: Remedies available to allottees of flat/ apartments are concurrent, and such allottees are in a position to avail of remedies under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, as well as trigger the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.The remedy under the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 by virtue of Section 71 (1), is not intended to be exclusive, but rather parallel to other remedies available before the Consumer Forum and the NCLT. Issue concerning “manufacturing defect” in a machinery used for commercial purpose falls within the jurisdiction of Consumer Forum, if the warranty period qua the machinery is still to lapse: The Hon’ble NCDRC in the matter of: East India Construction Co. V/s Modern Consultancy Services, (2006) CPJ 289 (NC), observed as follows: “… That the first issue has been answered by the Commission in the catena of judgments wherein it has been held that even though the machine/ equipment is used for commercial/ industrial purposes if any manufacturing defect occurs during the warranty period then, the issue is covered under the Act [The Consumer Protection Act, 1986] and for that purpose purchaser of the equipment is entitled to file a complaint under the Act…” Deficiency in service has to be distinguished from the tortious acts of the service provider: In the matter of: Ravneet Singh Bagga V/s KLM Royal Dutch Airlines & Anr, (2000) 1 SCC 66, it was held that: “… The deficiency in service cannot be alleged without attributing fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service. The burden of proving the deficiency in service is upon the person who alleges it. The complainant has on facts, been found to have not established any wilful fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the service of the respondent. The deficiency in service has to be distinguished from the tortious acts of the respondent. In the absence of deficiency in service the aggrieved person may have a remedy under the common law to file a suit for damages but cannot insist for grant of relief under the Act for the alleged acts of commission and omission attributable to the respondent which otherwise do not amount to deficiency in service. In case of bona fide disputes no wilful fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance in the service can be informed (sic). If on facts it is found that the person or authority rendering service had taken all precautions and considered all relevant facts and circumstances in the course of the transaction and that their action or the final decision was in good faith, it cannot be said that there had been any deficiency in service. If the action of the respondent is found to be in good faith, there is no deficiency of service entitling the aggrieved person to claim relief under the Act. The rendering of deficient service has to be considered and decided in each case according to the facts of that case for which no hard and fast rule can be laid down. Inefficiency, lack of due care, absence of bona fides, rashness, haste or omission and the like may be the factors to ascertain the deficiency in rendering the service.” (emphasis supplied) Consumer Forums are obliged to give reasoned orders: In the matter of: M/s. Kranti Associates (P) Ltd & Anr V/s Sh. Masood Ahmed Khan & Ors, (2010) 9 SCC 496, it was held that: An authority in making an order in exercise of its quasi-judicial function, must record reasons in support of the order it makes.The rule requiring reasons in support of a quasi- judicial order is as basic as following the principles of natural justice. And this rule needs to be observed in its proper spirit.In India, the judicial trend has always been to record reasons, even in administrative decisions, if such decisions affect anyone prejudicially.A quasi-judicial authority must record reasons in support of its conclusions.Insistence on recording of reasons is meant to serve the wider principle of justice that justice must not only be done it must also appear to be done as well.Recording of reasons also operates as a valid restraint on any possible arbitrary exercise of judicial and quasi-judicial or even administrative power.Reasons reassure that discretion has been exercised by the decision maker on relevant grounds and by disregarding extraneous considerations.Reasons have virtually become as indispensable a component of a decision making process as observing principles of natural justice by judicial, quasi-judicial and even by administrative bodies.The ongoing judicial trend in all countries committed to rule of law and constitutional governance is in favour of reasoned decisions based on relevant facts. This is virtually the life blood of judicial decision making justifying the principle that reason is the soul of justice. Judicial or even quasi-judicial opinions these days can be as different as the judges and authorities who deliver them. All these decisions serve one common purpose which is to demonstrate by reason that the relevant factors have been objectively considered. This is important for sustaining the litigants’ faith in the justice delivery system.Insistence on reason is a requirement for both judicial accountability and transparency. If a Judge or a quasi-judicial authority is not candid enough about his/her decision making process then it is impossible to know whether the person deciding is faithful to the doctrine of precedent or to principles of incrementalism. Reasons in support of decisions must be cogent, clear and succinct. A pretence of reasons or ‘rubber-stamp reasons’ is not to be equated with a valid decision making process.It cannot be doubted that transparency is the sine qua non, of restraint on abuse of judicial powers. Transparency in decision making not only makes the judges and decision makers less prone to errors but also makes them subject to broader scrutiny. In all common law jurisdictions judgments play a vital role in setting up precedents for the future. Therefore, for development of law, requirement of giving reasons for the decision is of the essence and is virtually a part of “Due Process”. Provision of Order I, Rule 8 of the CPC is applicable to consumer complaints filed under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986: In the matter of: Anjum Hussain V/s Intellicity Business Park (P) Ltd., Civil Appeal No. 1676/ 2019 (Date of Decision: 10.05.2019), the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, upheld the observations made in the matter of: Ambrish Kumar Shukla & Ors (Supra), where by it was observed that: “… The primary object behind permitting a class action such as a complaint under Section 12 (1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act being to facilitate the decision of a consumer dispute in which a large number of consumers are interested, without recourse to each of them filing an individual complaint, it is necessary that such a complaint is filed on behalf of or for the benefit of all the persons having such a community of interest. A complaint on behalf of only some of them therefore will not be maintainable. If for instance, 100 flat buyers/plot buyers in a project have a common grievance against the Builder/Developer and a complaint under Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act is filed on behalf of or for the benefit of say 10 of them, the primary purpose behind permitting a class action will not be achieved, since the remaining 90 aggrieved persons will be compelled either to file individual complaints or to file complaints on behalf of or for the benefit of the different group of purchasers in the same project. This, in our view, could not have been the Legislative intent. The term ‘persons so interested’ and ‘persons having the same interest’ used in Section 12 (1) (c) mean, the persons having a common grievance against the same service provider. The use of the words ‘all consumers so interested’ and “on behalf of or for the benefit of all consumers so interested”, in Section 12(1) (c) leaves no doubt that such a complaint must necessarily be filed on behalf of or for the benefit of all the persons having a common grievance, seeking a common relief and consequently having a community of interest against the same service provider.” (emphasis supplied) That in the matter of Anjum Hussain (Supra) it was categorically observed that: On plain language of Order I, Rule 8 of the CPC, the principal requirement to bring a suit within that rule is the sameness of interest of the numerous persons on whose behalf or for whose benefit the suit is instituted.The object for which this provision (Order I, Rule 8 of the CPC) is enacted is really to facilitate the decision of questions, in which a large number of persons are interested, without recourse to the ordinary procedure.The persons who may be represented in a suit under Order I, Rule 8 CPC need not have the same cause of action and all that is required is sameness of interest. The same principle is applicable in respect of class actions brought under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.The primary object behind permitting a class action such as a complaint under Section 12 (1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 being to facilitate the decision of a consumer dispute in which a large number of consumers are interested, without recourse to each of them filing an individual complaint, it is necessary that such a complaint is filed on behalf of or for the benefit of all the persons having such a community of interest. Views are personal only. [1] Ghaziabad Development Authority V/s Balbir Singh, (2004) 5 SCC 65 [2] Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. V/s Dr. B.N. Raman, (2006) 5 SCC 727 Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Lancashire Constabulary

first_img Comments are closed. It’s no secret that the police, frequently pilloried by the media, has recruitment problems, but Lancashire Constabulary’s recruitment and selection manager, Thelma Aye insists negative media coverage is not the reason for the force’s current recruitment crisis.Aye believes the blame should be placed firmly at the door of the police force’s recruitment policies. “We are simply not marketing the job properly,” she says.It is this approach, driven by a combination of targeted marketing techniques, honesty throughout the recruiting process and an underlying change of culture, which has seen an increase in the number of ethnic minority officers.Two years ago, the constabulary employed only 39 ethnic minority officers but needed 123 to proportionally represent the local population. In the last 18 months the constabulary has increased that number to 47. Yet to meet Home Office targets it will need to sustain this level of recruitment over the next nine years.Aye joined two years ago with a brief to bring the police force in line with government regulations and improve recruitment and retention of ethnic minority staff. The first thing she did was to appoint a minority ethnic community liaison officer, Mebs Ahmed, to work with students and the Lancashire community to promote her cause.In order to get its new message across, the constabulary launched a radio advertising and billboard campaign. A series of other changes have encouraged racial diversity. For instance the introduction of halal food to the canteen – a simple and cost-effective measure – has reaped unforeseen advantages when the Indian army decided to use the constabulary’s Hutton training centre to train its recruits.The constabulary has also introduced a multi-religion prayer room to accommodate different faiths and provides cut price aids such as Islamic prayer mats. Ethnic recruits are allowed to defer entry into the force until another ethnic training partner is found for them.Once ethnic recruits are on board they are given training and advice to ensure they have the opportunity to progress in their police careers. Training is structured through a competency-based performance and development appraisal system with a mentoring system providing support for ethnic recruits. More recently a working group has also been set up to look at recruitment, retention and progression of ethnic minority officers.The scheme has boosted the HR department’s profile with Lancashire being used as a best practice example to be followed by other forces across the country Company fact fileTeam Lancashire Constabulary Recruitment and Selection DepartmentTeam leader Thelma AyeNumber in HR team 15Number of employees responsible for 5,000Main achievements Increased intake of minority ethnic police officersPriorities for next 12 months To extend the policy to cover other minority areas such as gays and lesbians Judge’s Comment “The team has grown over time and work extremely well together. It can confidently say it has succeeded where other forces have failed, applying classic marketing techniques to the recruitment market. There is a lesson here for other HR functions to learn from” Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Lancashire ConstabularyOn 12 Sep 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Kearsarge ARG completes first east coast SWATT

first_img Share this article View post tag: US Navy View post tag: Kearsarge ARG The US Navy amphibious ready group led by Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) returned to homeport on June 28, after completing the Navy’s first East Coast ARG Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise.SWATT is led by mentors and warfare tactics instructors (WTI) from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) who develop and oversee the execution of ARG SWATTs, who provide at-sea mentoring to build more capable and tactically proficient surface forces.“SWATT provided us with the first opportunity for the ARG ships to operate as a warfighting team. SMWDC WTIs provided excellent training for warfare commanders, ships and watch standers,” said Capt. Daniel Blackburn, commodore of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6. “This week definitely prepared us and set the stage for the upcoming integrated training phase.”“We couldn’t have asked for a better first East Coast SWATT,” said Cmdr. Jeff Heames, director of operations and training for SMWDC who embarked USS Arlington (LPD 24) as one of the senior mentors during the exercise.“We have refined the ARG SWATT training syllabus as well as the exercise control methodology for both the East and West exercises. This ensures that surface ships across the fleet are able to receive the same level of advanced training, which will position them for a running start into the high-end integrated training phase. The advanced phase is a vital part of the overall training cycle that delivers ready, lethal and capable units to our fleet commanders.”“SWATT bridges the gap between the basic and integrated training phases,” said Lt. Mor Rosenberg, a SMWDC anti-submarine warfare/surface warfare (ASW/SUW) WTI who embarked Kearsarge during the exercise. “It is a crawl, walk and run methodology that supports units working together as a team.”Sailors completed air warfare exercises and live-fire exercises, and engaged simulated torpedo attacks. SMWDC mentoring and real-time feedback using replay tools rapidly improved the watch team’s performance each time they completed advanced training events.“Reps and sets,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Ryan Brown, who mans the anti-air warfare coordinator position, creating and managing the air picture for watch standers to view. “It really is an opportunity to accomplish the repetitions behind the consoles. The more often you do it, the better you get and the more capable, proficient and well-rounded you become.”Kearsarge ARG is preparing for an upcoming deployment, and the SWATT exercise provided the ARG a chance to synchronize their ARG warfighting and prepare for integrated phase training. During the integrated phase, the ARG will train with the Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) before receiving deployment certification.The Kearsarge ARG consists of PHIBRON 6, Kearsarge, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Arlington (LPD 24) and the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43). View post tag: USS Kearsarge Photo: USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) is underway during a SWATT live-fire weapons exercise. photo: US Navy View post tag: SWATTlast_img read more

Human Genetics Division Head

first_imgUMB is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Allqualified applicants will receive consideration for employmentwithout regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race,color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteranstatus, age, or any other characteristic protected by law orpolicy. The University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department ofPediatrics, Division of Genetics, is seeking a board-certifiedfull-time faculty member at the associate professor/professor levelto serve as Division Head . We are seeking a dynamic individual tolead an active clinical service with responsibilities for divisionadministration and active roles in clinical, research, and teachingarenas. The qualified candidate should have a broad interest inMedical Genetics and Genomics including experience/expertise indiagnosis and management of inborn errors of metabolism and aresearch focus with potential collaborations across campusincluding the Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine and theInstitute for Genome Sciences. The successful candidate should havean established track record of federal grant funding and currentNIH funding. The Division has a collaborative relationship with theUniversity of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and is a primary sitefor the Department’s Pediatric residency training program,participates in teaching students in the School of Medicine(UMSOM), and is directly involved in graduate student education inthe Master’s in Genetic Counseling Training Program and the HumanGenetics graduate program. The current clinical genetics servicesand resources include both general (pediatric and adult) andspecialty-focused (e.g. cardiogenetics) genetics services, withbiochemical genetics, cytogenetics and translational genomicslaboratories on site. The successful candidate will have a primaryappointment in Pediatrics, with secondary appointments in otherdepartments and programs, as appropriate. The academic rank andsalary of the candidate will be commensurate with experience andqualifications as evaluated by the UMSOM.Qualifications :The University of Maryland Medical Center is a major academictertiary care center serving Baltimore, the State of Maryland, andthe mid-Atlantic region. As the oldest public medical school in theUnited States, the University of Maryland School of Medicine has anestablished tradition of outstanding clinical care, education, andresearch. The Department of Pediatrics is deeply committed topromoting children’s health in the community and across the State,while supporting innovative clinical programs and expandingresearch initiatives.We are located in downtown Baltimore near the Inner Harbor, justone of Baltimore’s many outstanding attractions. From fine arts andorchestras to professional sports teams, first-class dining andshopping to a wealth of historical sites, our city offers a fullrange of recreational and cultural opportunities. Washington, D.C.,Philadelphia and even New York City are within easy reach, as wellas beaches to the east and mountains to the west. Educationalexcellence abounds, as do family-friendly neighbourhoods and urbanliving options. Visit us online at www.ummsphysician.jobs tolearn more.Interested candidates should apply online to this posting andrefer to position # 03-314-485.last_img read more

Wadham burglar sentenced

first_imgA man who broke into a tutor’s room in Wadham in February has been sentenced to four years in prison for burglary. Jason Callaghan was given a sentence of three and a half years for burglary and attempted theft, and six months for assault. Callaghan entered Giula Zanderighi’s room on February 10. Zanderighi, a Physics fellow, found him there at 7pm. When she discovered him he had moved a laptop and disconnected some cables. She escorted Callaghan out of the college at which point he began to run on to South Parks Road, where Zanderighi pursued him, calling for help. He was caught and pinned to the ground by two men, until the police arrived. In the course of the struggle, he assaulted one of the men, having informed them that he had a knife. Callaghan told police that he was “just using the toilet” and that “the door [of Zanderighi’s room] was open.” He claimed that the laptop had been knocked onto the floor after he had banged his head. Callaghan, who later pleaded guilty to the crime, has 29 previous convictions since 1990 for over 80 offences, mostly for theft or criminal damage. He was sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into a student’s bedroom in Lincoln College in October 2004, and 21 months for burglary of another college room in Wadham in November 2006. At the time of the latest offence he had been out of prison for two months. The defence attorney rejected the supposition that Jason Callaghan was a dangerous man. The assault, he claimed, was a futile attempt to ward off his pursuers who had, “forcibly confronted him”. Callaghan had been previously convicted of attempted robbery, but this was quashed. A pre-sentence report did not mention any risk of physical harm. The judge told Callaghan that his catalogue of offences made “depressing reading”. She said, “Until you sort yourself out, there’s really not much hope for you outside in the community.” The crime, she said, was “unpleasant” but “a daytime offence in premises that were unoccupied.” Callaghan’s offences are linked to a long-standing heroin addiction, and various psychological problems. The court gave Joseph Valentine, one of the men who restrained Callaghan, a £250 Community Award for courage shown in pursuing him.last_img read more

News story: Design and trial smart energy systems: apply for funding

first_imgDemonstrator projectsDemonstration projects must be based in a large UK location such as a medium-sized town. They should: the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 25 July 2018 projects can be led by a business, university, public sector organisation or a research and technology organisation working with others. They must include at least one SME, one academic organisation and a local authority or equivalent organisation you must carry out at least 90% of your project work in the UK and exploit the results here grant funding for each project is expected to be £13 million or higher, with total project costs between £26 million and £160 million. We expect them to last between 24 and 26 months business could attract up to 45% of their project costs a briefing event will be held on 15 May 2018 Find out more about the competition for demonstrators and apply. Concepts and designStudies into new smart, energy systems should show how they could improve future energy services in a UK location at least the size of a medium-sized town.They should show how implementation by the early 2020s could: Competition information optimise energy across a range of supplies, infrastructure and demands deliver lower costs, lower emissions and economic benefit intelligently link energy supply and demand develop processes and skills for designing, financing, building and operating smart local energy systems encourage private investment to replicate these impacts across the UK The best projects will be invited to develop their ideas further in a future competition.Competition informationcenter_img the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 25 July 2018 projects can be led by a business, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or local authority, research council institute or a research and technology organisation. At least one SME must be included you must carry out at least 90% of your project work in the UK and exploit the results here we expect total project costs to be between £100,000 and £200,000 and for projects to last up to 6 months businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs a briefing event will be held on 15 May 2018 Find out more about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. reduce energy bills by at least 25% and reduce carbon emissions in line with targets produce high-value local jobs and local and export business opportunities improve energy security and make the UK more resilient to environmental, technological, social and economic change improve energy efficiency and infrastructure productivity meet air quality targets create ways to test and scale new technologies and business, consumer and regulatory models to speed up industry growth Innovate UK has up to £41.5 million to invest in both the design and practical demonstration of new business models that intelligently link supply, storage and demand in heating, power and transport.There are 2 parts to this competition. Up to £40 million is available for 3 smart energy system demonstrators, while up to £1.5 million is available for studies into new, smarter approaches to local energy.Supporting the smart energy revolutionThe funding is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme, prospering from the energy revolution.Demand to meet carbon reduction targets and the emergence of new technologies including artificial intelligence, internet of things and sensing and machine learning are creating new opportunities for smart energy systems.This competition will help businesses to develop local energy approaches at scale that will create better outcomes for consumers and promote economic growth for the UK. By the early 2020s, it aims to prove that smarter local energy systems can deliver cleaner and cheaper energy services.Successful projects will be supported by an energy integration network including the Energy Systems Catapult leading researchers and government and independent regulatory bodies. Find out more about this competition for smart energy system studies and apply.last_img read more

Gaming the political arena

first_imgWhether reveling in the opening ceremony, cheering figure skaters from the stands during a team competition, or directing a massive army of police and military personnel to guard against a whiff of terrorism in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been an oddly ubiquitous, hands-on host during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.At a reported cost of nearly $50 billion, the Sochi games are widely believed to be the most expensive ever, seven times the cost of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. It’s a staggering investment by the Russian state, one that suggests, along with Putin’s constant, watchful presence at the Games, that the Kremlin hopes to recoup by leveraging the Olympics as a global rebranding opportunity for the country. Given the warm, golden glow cast on host countries during the two weeks of competition, not to mention the billions of eyes watching, it’s not hard to see why Putin would find the marketing potential of the Olympics so intoxicating and also want to seize the moment to burnish his own image as a rugged outdoorsman.“Events like the Olympics and the World Cup are capability statements: ‘Look what we can do, we’re stable and strong enough to build stadia, stable and strong enough to organize these events, we’re stable and strong enough to keep these athletes safe, therefore you should invest in our country, therefore you should trade with us,’ ” said Ken Shulman, M.P.A. ’04.A veteran print and radio journalist, Shulman spoke Tuesday at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School about how political regimes of all stripes have historically used sports as grand stages to market and push their ideologies and agendas.From Hitler’s attempt to exploit the 1936 Summer Olympics to consolidate his growing power and bolster his claim of Aryan superiority, as documented in Leni Riefenstahl’s film “Die Gotter des Stadions”; to Jackie Robinson’s integration of Major League Baseball in 1947, which laid the groundwork for the public’s eventual acceptance of desegregation; to President Richard M. Nixon’s historic talks with China following friendly relations between the United States and Chinese national pingpong teams in the early 1970s, sports have been instrumental not only in promoting political values and policies, but in bringing wide attention to global issues and galvanizing change, often more effectively than traditional protests and polemics.A former soccer reporter in Italy for the Associated Press, Shulman is a contributor to NPR’s “Only a Game” and executive producer and host of “Away Games,” a television and Web series in development for PBS. The show tells stories about initiatives from around the world that use sports to raise awareness and precipitate some solutions to an array of human-rights issues.Soccer and cricket are followed by billions of people around the world who share no common language, no common history or culture, and often hold opposing political views. Yet they come together and bond over their love of the game, Shulman said.“Sport has a communicative power even among uneducated people. What we’re trying to do with ‘Away Games’ and what I urge human-rights practitioners is to use this universal power of sport for something more important than selling Coca-Cola,” he said.During the wave of political uprisings known as the Arab Spring that started in late 2010, one of the first organized groups to occupy Tahrir Square in Cairo consisted of militant fans of the Al-Ahly soccer club, a team started by Egyptian nationalists in 1907.“In dictatorial regimes, particularly in the Muslim world, there are two places where large groups of people can legally assemble. One is the mosque; the other is the stadium. In South Africa during apartheid, the only place where black South Africans could gather and talk politics, albeit surreptitiously, was at the soccer stadium. Same thing in Egypt,” Shulman said.“So these [Al-Ahly fans], these people who were always the underdogs, the poor, the working class, who suffered under the [Hosni] Mubarak regime, they were the first people to man the barricades in Tahrir Square. And who were the first people to oppose them? The fans of Al-Zamalek, who are the New York Yankees of Egypt soccer. They are the team that’s allied with the military; they are the team that’s allied with the Mubarak regime.”Despite frequent calls by various groups to harness the extraordinary reach of worldwide athletic events by objecting to political actions or stances taken by leaders or sporting bodies through boycotts, such actions have done little historically to effect immediate and meaningful change, said Shulman.The Russian laws against homosexuality that led to widespread snubbing of the Olympics in Sochi by many world leaders are but one of many state-sponsored practices and human-rights violations that, while clearly objectionable, won’t be undone by athletes skipping competitions, Shulman said.“Discrimination in Russia is not limited to homosexuals; it is broad-spread, both institutionalized and popular. There are things you would see in the newspapers, there are things you would see on the streets that would be taken down and people would go to jail for here. Putin is trying to dress that up. That gesture he made to embrace the [Dutch] speed skater, he did that because he knew he had to. But they have not changed the laws,” Shulman said.“Almost every country that hosts these major events has something in the closet — if not in the closet, they have some sin right out front. Beijing’s human-rights offenses dwarf Russia’s, [yet] we didn’t have half the protests” during the 2008 Summer Olympics. “If we’re really going to limit these major events to countries that don’t have egregious human-rights violations, I can think of a handful of countries” that would qualify, he said.Shulman, who tutors high school students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, said he has seen firsthand how sports can provide an opening to learn and talk about difficult subjects that students and others might otherwise not pay attention to. In addition to airing stories, “Away Games” is developing curricula and learning modules to help foster broader and deeper engagement in the issues the show presents.“One of my great qualms about doing these stories, as a radio reporter and a print reporter, is … they’re very easy stories to do because the injustice is so glaring,” Shulman said. “You make a big splash, and then nothing happens. I’m very excited about developing this educational program because I think we can have a much bigger and more measurable impact than just calling attention to the disasters and distresses of the lives we’re featuring.”last_img read more