Nation
Trinamool protests speaker's decision on sting
New Delhi : The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday protested Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision to refer the issue of a sting operation allegedly involving party leaders to the Ethics Committee of the lower house.
 
"You have referred the matter to the Ethics Committee. We strongly protest this as you have taken a unilateral decision. Not even a formal motion was moved. This is injustice," senior Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy said in the Lok Sabha.
 
Roy maintained that the speaker's "unilateral" decision will set a "precedent".
 
"Anybody can do a sting and raise it in the house," the former union minister said.
 
Roy, a parliamentarian from Dum Dum in West Bengal, said he had high respect for the chair but had to register his protest.
 
In response, the speaker said, "Earlier also, such a decision (referring the matter to ethics panel) was taken."
 
The TMC leader, however, said that he had full faith in the Ethics Committee headed by BJP veteran L.K. Advani and exuded confidence that the panel will be fair to his party.
 
"I have full respect for Advaniji and hope the committee will be fair," Roy said.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, Speaker Mahajan referred the sting operation isssue to the Ethics Committee for investigation.
 
She made an announcement to this effect immediately after the question hour ended.
 
A sting operation by a news portal in West Bengal allegedly showed several TMC leaders accepting money in return for lobbying for a private firm.
 
The 15-member Ethics Committee headed by Advani includes Arjun Meghwal, Kariya Munda (both BJP), B. Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), Ninong Ering (Congress) and Akshay Yadav (Samajwadi Party).
 
The issue has snowballed into a major political row with the matter figuring in both houses of parliament.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Online application process for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra starts
New Delhi : The process for online application for this year's Kailash Manasarovar Yatra has begun, the ministry of external affairs announced on Wednesday.
 
The ministry said applicants should access the website http://kmy.gov.in to file their application online.
 
The 2016 Yatra is planned between June 12 and September 9 through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and Nathu La Pass in Sikkim, it said in a statement.
 
It said the route via Lipulekh Pass would involve extensive trekking of about 200 km costing about Rs.160,000 per person and will be conducted in 18 batches of 60 pilgrims each. 
 
The route through Nathu La pass, which is motorable, will cost about Rs.200,000 per person and will be conducted in seven batches of 50 pilgrims each.
 
“Age limit for applicants is between 18 and 70 years as on January 1, 2016,” the ministry statement said. 
 
“Applicants can opt for either of the routes. Senior citizens will have priority on the Nathu La route. First time applicants, senior citizens and medical doctors will be given priority.”
 
It said applicants for this Yatra would be selected and assigned routes and batches “through a fair, computer-generated, gender-balanced selection process”. 
 
Applicants can get information, and track the status of their application through the helpline number 011-24300655.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Dole out cash to workers if you want them fit
New York : Fit workers lead to better productivity and if you want your employees to be physically active, start rewarding them with financial incentives, a team of researchers including an Indian-origin scientist has said.
 
According to the researchers, the combined incentive scheme worked best at getting people to exercise more as providing individual rewards may be less effective because there is not enough social reinforcement from peers. 
 
"Better to try a combination of individual and team incentives," said Mitesh Patel from University of Pennsylvania.
 
"The findings provide a better understanding of how team-based models and financial incentives can be used to change people's behaviour towards better health and how physical activity interventions and wellness programs can be better designed," added Patel in the paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. 
 
For the study, the researchers challenged 304 employees from an organisation in Philadelphia and divided them into 76 four-member teams to take at least 7,000 steps a day. 
 
Participants received daily feedback on how well they fared. Smartphones were also found to be a hassle-free and more objective way to monitor a person's physical activity. 
 
The results showed that the combined incentive scheme worked best at getting people to exercise more. 
 
Participants in this group averaged 5,280 steps per day -- 1,446 steps more than the control group. 
 
People tend to be more engaged when they are offered variable rewards such as through a lottery or drawing than through a constant payment, the authors noted. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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