Raj Singh, Special Secretary in the Department of Justice of the Yogi Adityanath government, has written to the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Muzaffarnagar on January 5 on withdrawing, in “public interest”, riot-related cases filed in Muzaffarnagar against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.Some of the BJP leaders booked on charges of provoking the riots include former Union Minister and party MP from Muzaffarnagar Sanjiv Balyan, Bijnor MP Bhartendu Singh, Thana Bhawan MLA and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Sugar-cane Development, Sugar Mills, Industrial Development Suresh Rana, Budhana MLA Umesh Malik, and party leader Sadhvi Prachi. The letter sought information from the two senior officials on 13 points. The names of the leaders are not mentioned but the file numbers related to the riot cases against them are stated. Hate speechesThe BJP leaders were booked for inciting violence through their speeches in a mahapanchayat (public meeting) at Nagla Mandaur on August 30, 2013, ahead of riots that took place in the first week of September 2013. They were charged under Sections 188 (violating prohibitory orders), 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging their duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code. Nearly 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced in communal clashes that took place in the aftermath of retaliatory ‘mahapanchayats’ held in the area in August 2013. The BJP leaders have termed the hate-speech cases “politically motivated” and “vendetta politics” of the then government led by the Samajwadi Party (SP) .
How many such homes are there?Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma, whose husband too was accused of visiting the Muzaffarpur shelter home frequently, says there are 110 such shelter and short-stay homes in the State for girls and women, “but we’ve reports of irregularities at only five of them, while the rest are doing well.” However, the 100-page TISS report said officials had pointed out several discrepancies at over a dozen shelter and short-stay homes, including at Motihari, Chhapra, Sasaram, Bhabhua, Vaishali and other places.Will they be probed as well?Department Principal Secretary Atul Prasad said that in view of the TISS report, investigations were going on at all shelter and short-stay homes and suitable action would be taken, if discrepancies were found. If need be, girls and women would be shifted from there and the NGOs given the contract to run the homes would be blacklisted, he said. The Muzaffarpur home has already been sealed and girls have been shifted to shelter homes at Patna, Mokama and Madhubani. The NGO had also been blacklisted, he said.What happens next?The government has recommended a CBI inquiry into the Muzaffarpur case and the names of several bigwigs are expected to surface in the investigation. Mr. Prasad admitted that the TISS social audit report was an eye-opener and said the Department would consider a number of measures to prevent such incidents occurring again. Among some of the suggestions are installation of CCTV cameras and deputing transgenders as security guards at such shelter and short-stay homes. What happened?A social audit report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) found that at a State-run shelter home, Balika Grih, in Muzaffarpur, a north Bihar district, 34 of the 44 girls had been sexually exploited. Following the report of “physical and sexual violence” against girls at the home, the Opposition parties sought a High Court-monitored CBI probe. On Thursday, the State government recommended a CBI inquiry.How did it come about?In June 2017, the Social Welfare Department, which looks after shelter and short-stay homes in the State, asked the TISS to prepare a report on their condition. The report, submitted to the Department on April 26 this year, made startling revelations about “physical and sexual violations of girls,” especially at the Muzaffarpur home. On May 31, the Department filed an FIR at the women’s police station in Muzaffarpur, seeking “suitable action” on the plight of girls as mentioned on page 52 of the TISS report under the caption ‘Grave Concern.’ On June 2, the Muzaffarpur police arrested Brajesh Thakur, the man who was managing the NGO, Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, to which the Department had given a contract to run the home. Subsequently, nine other persons, seven of them women employees at the home, were arrested and sent to jail. A chargesheet was filed on July 26. One accused, Dilip Verma, is absconding.Why does it matter?The Muzaffarpur case has come as a huge embarrassment to the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government as Opposition leaders not only raised the issue strongly in and outside the State legislature but also accused the government of protecting Thakur. A local politician, Thakur is believed to have close relations with several BJP and JD(U) leaders. He had contested the Assembly election in 1995 and 2000 from Kudhani in Muzaffarpur as a candidate of the Bihar People’s Party, then an NDA ally, but lost. He also runs a vernacular newspaper Pratah Kamal from the same building in which the shelter home is located, and was in the State press accreditation committee too. His newspaper, despite having a very low circulation, was empanelled by the government’s Public Relations Department and has been the beneficiary of government advertisements worth crores of rupees.
After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Ram Kadam’s remarks, allegedly offering to “kidnap girls for spurned suitors”, a young woman from Pune issued “an open challenge” to the MLA, daring him to so much as touch her. Minakshi Ganesh Dimble-Patil, in her early 20s, who works with a finance consultancy in the city, posted a video on her Facebook account condemning Mr. Kadam’s remarks. “Mr. Ram Kadam, I challenge you. You call me to Mumbai, or I will come there… Just try and so much as touch me and then see what happens next. Your statement [about kidnapping girls for spurned suitors] is scandalous, crass and shameful… We live in Maharashtra which is the home of Shivraya [warrior King Shivaji]. In this State, a woman is respected as a goddess. So there is no place for your statements, which are in extremely poor taste,” said Ms. Dimble-Patil in her video, which is in Marathi. She further dared the BJP legislator for a face-to- face meeting with her.
The massed combined services band spells out ‘IX ASIAD ’82’ during the emotional closing ceremonyFor sixteen drama-filled days, it had occupied centre-stage in the vast Asian continent, dominating headlines in 33 countries and overshadowing the election of a prime minister (in Japan) and the state visit of the French President,The massed combined services band spells out ‘IX ASIAD ’82’ during the emotional closing ceremonyFor sixteen drama-filled days, it had occupied centre-stage in the vast Asian continent, dominating headlines in 33 countries and overshadowing the election of a prime minister (in Japan) and the state visit of the French President (to India). And finally, it was over. When the giant flame atop Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the heart of New Delhi flickered out for the last time, it was meant to symbolise the final curtain on Asiad ’82.But it also symbolised something much more – the end, and even perhaps the beginning, of a glorious chapter in Asian sport. Never had the Asiad flame burned brighter and never had the gap between Asian performances and that of the best in the world been narrower.If Asiad ’82 was a triumph for Indian crisis-management, it was overshadowed by the dramatic performance of the participants. In just 14 days of competition, an incredible 74 Asian Games and Asian records were shattered.If the pixie-like Chinese gymnast Wu Jiani was the centre-piece in the first week of Asiad, by the end of the second she had been dislodged from her perch of prominence by at least 10 other participants whose individual performances blazed a meteoric trail across the tartan tracks and synthetic surfaces of the New Delhi Games.India’s gold-medal grappler Satpal Singh in action during his final boutBut the history books will fail to record the real triumph of Asiad ’82. For, in the end, the New Delhi Games were not just another inter-continental sporting meet but a spectacular celebration: except for one ugly incident during the football tournament, never had the spirit of sport manifested itself so powerfully.Unforgettable Spectacle: At the emotion-charged closing ceremony, the sight of 5,000 athletes linking arms regardless of country or political ideology and waving gaily to the 70,000 spectators will not be easily forgotten.advertisementNor will the impulsive gesture of the smartly-clad Japanese athletes, who broke away from the crowd on the track to toss their white panama hats into the crowd as if in acknowledgement of their unrecorded contribution to the success of the Games.Heavyweight pugilist Kaur Singh, India’s solitary gold medallist in the boxing tournament, weaves away from his opponent in the finalAnd, as the sun slowly set on Asiad ’82, there were moments that reached out and touched even the stoniest of spectators. At the closing ceremony, when the Asiad high started coming down, there were at least two occasions that epitomised Asiad theatre at its most poignant. One was when the floral Appu, the lovable mascot of the Games, made his last bow and disappeared into the bowels of the stadium for the last time and the scoreboard flickered an electronic farewell.An object of much derision when the Games started owing to the needless controversy about a live mascot, by the time Asiad ended Appu had come to symbolise all that is still elevating about an event like this.The other was when the massed services bands played the hauntingly beautiful hymn Abide With Me. There could not have been a more appropriate and emotional end to the astonishingly successful Games than that one perfectly-rendered melody that lingered on in the mist-laden air long after the last member of the audience had left.Posterity, however, will record only the performances but even those were inspiring enough. Ironically enough, the most-coveted victor’s laurel wreath went to the sportsman who was the most advanced in age, at least on the athletic field Shigenobu Morofushi, at 38, was old enough to be considered a veteran, but his incredible performance set almost impossible standards for the rest.Built like a Sumo wrestler, the balding Japanese sports instructor created Asiad history when he continued his amazing gold streak by winning the hammer throw – for the fourth Asiad in succession.He had won in Bangkok (1970), Teheran (1974) Bangkok (1978) and now New Delhi. In fact, Morofushi was participating in his fifth Asiad, having settled for a silver at the 966 Bangkok Games at the age of 22. He obliterated his own previous Asian Games record of 68.26 m with his third effort which saw the spherical “hammer” hit the dust at an incredible 71.14m. The throw fetched him not just the gold medal but the cup for the best sportsman of the Games, a distinction that could only have gone to him.Either he is a surprisingly modest man or his string of victories have made him blase about the whole thing. Immediately after his record-breaking performance, he closeted himself with his Rumanian wife, Serafina, in their Village room for a private celebration.But there were obviously other Morofushis waiting in the wings, notably the highly intelligent long distance runner Masanari Shintaku. The talented Japanese ran a brilliantly-plotted race in the 5,000 m to canter home in 13:53.7 for a new Asian Games record.advertisementAthletics, in fact, set the competitive tone of the Games which, predictably enough, boiled down to the traditional battle for supremacy between Japan and China.Though in overall performance and drive there was very little to choose between the two, China’s medal-hungry athletes created history by toppling Japan from the top of the medals table for the first time. For the spectators, at least, the Japanese and Chinese national anthems eventually became as well-known as the Indian, so often were they played.China’s high jump stars Zhou Jianhua who just missed the world recordJapan’s early lead, established with its splurge of swimming medals, was gradually whittled down until it became obvious that the deciding factor lay in the track and field events.The China-Japan battle and that of the two Koreas who dogged their heels diligently, provided additional flavour for what always is the glamour event of an international sporting meet. The result was some outstanding performances which had the surprisingly knowledgeable Indian crowd glued to their fibre glass seats.Out of 39 events where new records were possible, no less than 27 Asian Games records were shattered as compared to a mere 12 in the last Asiad at Bangkok. There were at least three world class athletes on display and many more who would be by the time the 1984 Olympics came around.Zhong Dazhen’s gold medal high jumpChina’s star high jumper Zhou Jianhua had the entire 60,000-strong audience holding their collective breath as he made his go-for-broke bid to break the world record. He failed by the proverbial whisker but his mark of 2.33 m made a mockery of the old Games record of 2.21 m, eclipsed his own Asian best of 2.30 m set last year and was tantalisingly close to the world mark of 2.36 m.Great Effort: The real star performance at the Games came from the Indian athletics contingent, which picked up a total of 21 medals to finish third after Japan and China in the track and field tally.M.D. Valsamma’s record-breaking 400 m hurdles effort and the equally outstanding performance by 800 m gold medallist Charles Borromeo earned, of course, the pride of place but another outstanding performance was long jumper Mercy Mathew who picked up a surprise silver in the event with a best ever jump of 6.2 m.Crowd go delirious after India score firstIn fact, Mathew’s best jump was 6.43 m which would have beaten the eventual gold medal winner Liao Wenfen of China’s record mark of 6.42 m but was called a foul jump. Mathew, in fact, inexplicably fouled four of her six jumps and was understandably dejected after her performance. “Never in my life have I fouled four jumps,” she wailed, “it was just not my day.”Another surprise medal in the jumps came from S. Balasubramaniam who ignored the awesome reputation of Zhou Zhenxian to come up with a remarkable triple jump of 16.14 m to pick up the bronze. The jump not only won him a medal, but it also set a new national mark. He has never crossed 16 m before but graciously attributed his performance to crowd support. “Their cheering really gave me the added distance,” he said modestly.advertisementThe biggest upset in the jumps, however, was that of Japan’s Hisayo Fukimitsu who had beaten world record holder Sara Simeoni of Italy and holds the Asian record of 1.93 m in the women’s high jump. This time, however, she looked sadly out of form and was beaten to the gold by China’s Zheng Dazhen who established a new Asian Games record by clearing 1.89 m.India’s Negi helplessly watches another goal being scoredAs far as India was concerned, the spirit-dampening and humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the hockey finals (page 97) was more than offset by the overall performance of the Indian contingent which wound up with the largest number of medals ever won by the country in the Asian Games – 57, more than double their 1978 Bangkok tally of 28.Their 13 gold medals was also the highest recorded since the 1951 Asiad in which only six countries participated. In fact, in total medals won, India finished the Games in fourth position behind China, Japan and South Korea, but with North Korea having won more golds, was officially listed as fifth.In fact, India would have fared even better were it not for the fact that the medal hopes in the wrestling and boxing events failed to bring home the expected bacon. Apart from Kaur Singh who retained his heavyweight crown and grappler Satpal Singh who won India’s solitary wrestling gold, the other boxers and wrestlers were clearly outclassed, as they were in the weightlifting competition where nine new Asian Games records were established and one equalled in a total of 10 events.Marathon gold medallist yang Kon Kim of South Korea collapses in the arms of his coach after the race and Iraq’s wonderboy Falleh Jaralla storms into the final lap for his record-breaking 1,500 m runSimilarly, India lost a certain medal in the men’s 4 400 m relay when the last two runners in the Indian team, Pavittar Singh and Premachandran fumbled with the baton and finally dropped it at a crucial moment when India were well in the lead.The women’s relay team almost met the same fate when a similar fumble by the last two runners lost the lead that Valsamma’s fantastic lap had given them and wound up with the silver. Clearly, Asiad ’82 belonged to the women, at least as far as India was concerned. The euphoria at the gold medal performance by the women’s hockey team continued at the athletic stadium where the women bettered no less than six national records and bagged nine medals. Valsamma’s glorious 400 m hurdles run for a new Asian record made her the pick of the bunch and she picked up another silver in the 400 m relay.An elated Iraqi team after winning the football final against facied KuwaitAnother double-medal winner was Geeta Zutshi. the painfully shy middle-distance runner from Haryana. Zutshi failed narrowly to pick up golds in the 800 m and the 1,500 m but she rewrote the national record books with timings of 2:5.77 and 4:19.33 respectively in what appears to be her last Asian Games. P.T. Usha, the scrawny-looking sprint queen also picked up two medals in the 100 m and 200 m, clocking a personal best of 24.28 sees in the latter during the heats.The honours clearly belonged to the two giants, China and Japan, and the two Koreas an overt indication of the priority and care given to the development of sport in those countries.Equally encouraging was the obvious improvement in standards among the Middle East countries. Their dominance in the football tournament was absolute with Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia taking the three top spots, but their performance in other arenas was a clear indication that they will no longer settle for being also-rans.Easily the most outstanding individual performance from among the Middle East contingents was the breathtaking run by Iraq’s colourful middle-distance runner Faleh Jaralla.The fumble that cost India the gold in the 4 x 400 m relay for womenJaralla’s failure in the quarter-mile had virtually put him out of the reckoning for the 1,500 m finals but he ran a dream race, staying in the background till the last round and then powering his way through the final lap in an astonishing 55.4 sees to smash the Asian Games record with a time of 3:43.49.But the loudest cheer was raised for the marathon man, Kim Yang Kon of South Korea, who barely managed to finish the gruelling race before collapsing into the arms of his coach.Other Stars: Tragically, because of the glamour of the track and field events, the real stars of the Games were virtually unnoticed. One was Gil Man So, the North Korean marksman who picked up the highest number of individual gold medals – four – in the shooting competition.But for a man who won the most medals, So was also the most taciturn. When asked about his future plans, he put it in a single word: “Olympics”.The giant scoreboard flickers out its last messageSwimming, as usual, produced its own superstars, as would be expected considering that no less than 25 Asian Games records were demolished. Japan predictably ruled the pool while China took the diving honours but the swimming show was stolen by the two Choi sisters of South Korea, Youn Hee and Youn Jon who between them won seven medals out of the 12 won by their country’s swimming contingent. Youn Hee, in fact, proved the only swimmer to win three individual golds, a remarkable performance by any standards.There were other images that, as usual, will outlive the perishable statistics. There was the glamour girl of the Games. Lydia de Vega of the Philippines, the 100 m gold medallist, being mobbed by autograph hunters by day and boogeying away in the Village discotheque by night; and the indestructible Han Jian, China’s badminton gold medallist displaying nerves of steel to destroy the fancied Indonesian Liem Swie King.Surprisingly, host country India picked up most glory outside the athletics stadium, and registered dramatic improvements in almost every competition. On the badminton courts, minus star player Prakash Padukone, the Indians picked up five bronze medals which signifies their best-ever performance in the Asian Games.The volleyball team’s fourth placing was again nothing to be sneezed at, while the most creditable improvement came in swimming where, though the Indians failed to pick up a medal, they had swimmers in almost every final where their performances saw them smashing national records by unbelievable margins.Sanjiv Chakravorty clipped 1.33 secs off the national record in the 100 m freestyle finals with a time of 55.77 secs, Bula Choudhury sliced Anita Sood’s 100 m butterfly record by 0.86 secs.Glamour girl Lydia de Vega: 100 m winnerT.J. Jacob reduced his own national record for the 400 m individual medley by 3.02 secs while in the women’s event, Persis Madan fared even better by chopping the national record by a creditable 5.48 secs. Similarly, in the 200 m breaststroke, Gita Anand chopped 6.59 secs off the national record.But the most outstanding performance was by 200 m butterfly champions Khazan Singh and Bula Choudhury who reduced the national records by 8.43 secs and 11.64 secs respectively.Brigadier D.N. Devine-Jones, secretary of the Indian Boxing Federation, points to an equally improved performance by the Indian boxing team. In 1974, India won three silvers and two bronzes while in 1978 the tally was just one silver and two bronzes, This time, the final count was one gold, two silvers and three bronzes.Mantu Debnath, coach of the Indian gymnastics team, was quite content with the fifth position secured by the men’s team in the competition after China, Japan and the two Koreas. since it represents the best Asiad performance to date. In weight-lifting, the absence of any significant medal contribution was no indication of the vast improvement in performances. In fact, Indian lifters have bettered national records an incredible 69 times in 1982, a tribute to the planned training programme they have been on in recent months.Asiad athletes relaxing in the village disotheque during the GamesThe Counterpoint to the encouraging overall improvement of Indian sporting standards was the question that loomed large in the aftermath of the Games – how long will the tempo continue? Obviously, India’s performance stems from the build-up to the Asiad over the last two years where no expense was spared to get the best equipment and the best coaches available. But in international terms, there is still a long way to go looking at the manner in which other Asian countries are nurturing sport within a well-planned long-term perspective.The Philippines has one of the most interesting sports programmes going called Gintong Alay (Offering of Gold) with the ultimate objective of producing world-class athletes. Baguio City, a hill-station some 250 km north of Manila, is the hub of the national sports training programme which was started in December 1979. The money for the programme comes from a foundation set up by President Ferdinand Marcos with the equivalent of Rs 2,000 crore.Talent scouts travel the country looking for promising athletes in their early teens. They are brought to Baguio City where there are adequate educational facilities so that schooling is not disrupted. Says Gintong Alay’s Chief Coach, Australian Anthony Benson: “Everything is provided free and a small allowance given to the athletes. It is important to have them throughout the year so that training is continuous to build up endurance. This is how Filipino athletes have bettered national performances 70 times since the project started (Lydia de Vega is a Gintong Alay find). We have blueprinted our training schedule towards one goal – the 1984 Olympics.”Japan’s Kaori Yanase after her record-breaking spurt in the 100 m free style finalMassive Drive: In South Korea, which will host the 1988 Olympics as well as the 1986 Asiad, an even more ambitious project is in the works.Says Jong Yul Kim, chef de mission of the South Korean contingent to the New Delhi Games: “The task of preparing for the Olympics has already started. Six million children underwent an initial screening for fitness of whom 100,000 were selected. After some more tests, 10,000 children aged around 12 or 13 years have been selected. Next month, a final screening will take place and 5,000 children will be picked and they will form the core of the Korean challenge in the 1988 Olympics.”Similarly, China’s current success stems from the solid foundations laid down through the years. Wu Zhongyuan, one of the four deputy leaders of the Chinese contingent, revealed that there are three aspects to China’s sports programme: “The first is the state commission for physical culture and sports which is a government body charged with the finance, planning and development of sports and infrastructure. The second is the all-China sports federation to which are affiliated the various associations. This is an autonomous body that looks after coaching of both athletes and coaches. The third body is the Chinese Olympic Committee which organises all the major meets.”Zhongyuan also says that China has 13 sports institutes and about 3,000 gymnasiums, stadia and running tracks. There are also schools of physical culture all over the country which train youngsters between the ages of 15 and 18 years.There is one school for each province and 90 per cent of China’s athletes come from these schools. He also attributes China’s success to the fact that sports exchanges with other countries and participation in international meets has increased tremendously in recent years. Which, of course, throws up the crucial questions: can the sudden interest in sports in India be sustained and will the Government and the newly-formed Sports Ministry keep their promises of giving Indian sport the long-awaited boost?The fantastic interest generated all over the country by Asiad ’82 and the fabulous stadia and equipment conjured up for the Games means that there has never been a more opportune moment than now for giving Indian sport a massive boost. On current form, the signs are hardly optimistic. Says Gursewak Singh, chef de mission of the Indian contingent for the Delhi Asiad and treasurer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA): “If the Government is serious about proper usage of the facilities, a sports authority, similar to the Trade Fair Authority, will have to be created. The Sports Ministry does not have the experience to maintain the stadia. The federations have conducted the Games flawlessly and the authority, if it is created, must include people from them.”A dramatic moment in the wrestling competition at the Ambedkar StadiumGymnastics coach Debnath feels that it is unlikely that the progress made in the sport over the past few months will be maintained, unless a superhuman effort is made. “The cost is prohibitive,” he says. “Even Indian gymnastics sets, which are of poor quality, cost over Rs 50,000 and safety equipment is not available. Where can a learner practise? I think the Asian Games have done a lot for gymnastics in that people all over the country are suddenly aware of this sport. That is great but maximum benefit of this new awareness can only be got if new facilities are provided. Otherwise all will be lost.”Gautam Kaul, chief administrator of the Indraprastha Indoor Stadium, echoes Debnath’s views. “Indian gymnastics standards are on the rise,” he says, “but the main problem is the enormous lack of good coaches. There are states that have only one gymnastics coach and there are only about 50 for the whole country.”Doubts: At the most vital level, the actual participants, there is also a tangible air of distrust and apprehension of the future.Indu Puri, a member of the Indian table tennis team, says that the North Korean coach who trained the team for a year before the Asiad, helped them improve their technique a great deal but he will leave shortly and then they will be back to their old coaching system. Says she spiritedly: “In the leading sports nations, a player gets to the top as part of a larger programme. An Indian player is there only by virtue of his individual effort to get to the top. Secondly, their coaching starts much earlier than ours.”‘Puri goes on to say: “There is an enormous paucity of coaches. I have never been coached till now except by my father who was a club-level player and at the few coaching camps that are held. But the biggest problem is that of space to practise. We approach some schools but it is like begging.The one great advantage of Asiad would be if they let us have the Hall of States for practice – let’s see what happens.” Adds Eliza Nelson, captain of the victorious women’s hockey team: “It’s great to see the enthusiasm. But will it last?” Ultimately, it is that air of uncertainty that pervades the current post-Asiad atmosphere. Says Devine-Jones: “I am doubtful if financial and other pressures will ease after the Asiad. But with a Sports Ministry, there is reason for at least some optimism.” Rajiv Bali, manager of the Indian volleyball team, is equally cautious about the future: “We’ll have to wait and cross our fingers. It all depends on what is decided in the coming months.”Optimism: There lies the rub. So far, Sports Minister Buta Singh has been content to bask in the Asiad glory without making any concrete promises for the future. “We are working on a national sports policy,” he says. “Once that is finalised, we can go ahead with our plans.” But what exactly those plans are he is not willing to comment on just yet. Similarly, India’s ambitious plans to host international meets, including the 1992 Olympics, are mere straws in the wind as yet.The only certainty so far is next year’s Afro-Asian Games; the myriad world championships that were bid for during the Asiad euphoria are unlikely to materialise unless a major concentrated effort is made.However, Raja Bhalindra Singh, president of the IOA, is quite optimistic of India’s sporting future. “Delhi stands a good chance of getting the Olympics,” he says. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be meeting for the first time in March 1983, when it will decide whether to give India the Olympic Games.” Singh adds that what is needed is massive promotion of sports which can help in building up the sports industry so that high-quality equipment is available in India.But discussions with various federation heads, coaches and athletes reveal that in their opinion a huge gap has to be bridged before India can achieve results and take on the image of a leading sporting country:In a situation where the average age of athletes in every sport is gradually decreasing, it is of vital importance to introduce a ‘catch-them-young’ policy like East Germany has. This is the basic level where India loses out. Devine-Jones says that he gets boxers to train after they have joined the army, which gives them just a couple of years of international competition. In the sports-conscious countries, talent is picked up between the ages of nine and 13 and scholarships, free facilities and expert coaching combine to make them into world class prospects. In India, the lack of incentive or financial gain in sports means that the people who take to it seriously are sorely limited.The future of any sports programme rests in the broadness of the base that can be provided and this, again, is where India lags far behind. The lack of sports consciousness means that India’s base, from where future sportsmen can be nurtured, is tragically narrow. Even in schools, the emphasis is usually on educational distinction rather than sports. Rural India, with 75 per cent of the population, is virtually non-existent as far as sports facilities and sportsmen are concerned.Another major drawback is in the process of selection which all too often is riven by parochial conflicts and regional divisions. Eventually, the end result is hardly conducive to the betterment of sport.The lack of adequate competition is one of the most significant reasons for Indian sport being in limbo. It is impossible to improve performances if the competition is only as good as you are. Apart from cricket and hockey, the international exposure that Indian sportsmen are provided with is severely limited.Poor spectator response leads to poor finances. Apart from the glamour sports like cricket and in some places, football, the spectator turn-out at most sporting events hardly makes up the cost of staging the event. A professional approach to the selling of sport and the involvement of more private commercial houses could go a long way in increasing gate receipts at sporting fixtures.Lack of experienced and expert coaches is obviously one of the more serious defects in the system. Again, this requires more international exposure so that Indian coaches can keep up with modern developments. One of the main reasons that India fared so creditably in the Games was the unprecedented presence of a large number of expert foreign coaches who brought with them modern techniques and training methods.Finally, there are the facilities. If the Asiad facilities and stadia are going to be wrapped up in cocoons and only taken out of moth-balls for major international meets, that leaves Indian sportsmen still woefully short of practice facilities. Table tennis players have nowhere to practise, tennis players find balls too expensive, gymnasts have no proper equipment. There is also the related question of high-protein diets for the sportsmen – the lack of which has certainly contributed to the stunted growth of sport in India over the decades.By last fortnight, however, there were indications that the fate of the Asiad facilities had been settled. According to Shankaran Nair, secretary-general, soc, it has been tentatively decided to set up a sports corporation which will be an autonomous body charged with looking after the Asiad facilities, promotion of sports in India and also come up with proposals to use the available floorspace profitably.By the end of the year, the Government is expected to constitute a board which will draw up the blueprint for the sports corporation.The decision has not been welcomed in some quarters. Says Bhalindra Singh: “The Village is to be retained for international competitions, although this has upset the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) who had hoped to recover their money from the sale of the flats.” Meanwhile, the Government plans to lease the houses for intermediate durations so that they are available when required.But with the plans still in the melting pot, a number of alternative proposals have come up. One is to sell the houses to nonresident Indians while Mohammad Yunus, chairman of the Trade Fair Authority of India has his own proposal. “These houses could be used by public sector officials who are posted to Delhi and find it difficult to pay the exorbitant rents,” he says.Simultaneously, hoteliers have also submitted a proposal which would include the Village complex in a total package for tourists visiting New Delhi. They opine that a sports-cum-tourism body could better utilise the facilities. But the Government, according to available information, is in no great hurry to make a final decision and will only do so after the sports corporation Board is set up and their findings are presented.All these are encouraging signs but it is only the next few months that can really indicate which way the wind will blow for Indian sport: a gentle breeze or a gale of sufficient force to put India firmly on the international sporting map.
Mumbai: Indian junior boys Raegan Albuquerque and Yashansh Malik paired with Netherlands’ Lode Hulshof to win the bronze medal at the Serbia Junior and Cadet Table-Tennis Open.The team put up a big fight before going down 2-3 in the semi-finals to the Czech Republic trio of Radek Skala, Tomas Martinko and Ondrej Kveton. Starting the proceedings, Raegan lost 2-3 to Radek but Lode got them back into the tie, beating Martinko 3-2. Yashansh then increased the lead in his team’s favour and beat Ondrej 3-1. With just a win away from entering the final, Raegan and Lode went down by identical 0-3 margins to Tomas and Radek to end their campaign.Earlier, in the quarterfinals, the combination of India and Netherlands got the better of Spain and Slovakia 3-1. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. bronze medalIndiaJunior BoysSerbia Open First Published: September 29, 2019, 2:49 PM IST Kudos to the Junior Boys’ team for their exploits in Serbia. 😍🏓 pic.twitter.com/XF4RJqvjak— Table Tennis India (@TableTennisInd) September 28, 2019
Like millions of cricket fans in the country, Yuvraj Singh is a big admirer of the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar. On many occasions, the all-rounder has revealed how Tendulkar never ceases to amaze and inspire him. (Full Coverage|Points Table)On Sunday, when Tendulkar appeared on the big screen, the Visakhapatnam crowd went berserk and came up with the trademark ‘Sachin, Sachin’ chant. And Yuvraj, who was playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians at the latter’s new home ground in Visakhapatnam, went a step ahead to show his mark of respect by bending down and touching his idol’s feet after the match.Yuvraj though was stopped by Tendulkar before being embraced near the boundary line.Tendulkar, the mentor of the defending champions, was present in the dugout. Just when Tendulkar was on air, talking about how bat was dominating ball in modern-day cricket, SRH bowlers came up with a strong show and shot down Mumbai for 92 and sealed a 85-run win for their team. Yuvraj showed glimpses of his vintage self with a 23-ball 39.Yuvraj had similarly touched Tendulkar’s feet during the Lord’s Bicentenary celebration match in July 2014. Yuvraj hit a 132-ball 134 for Rest of the World against the Tendulkar-led Marylebone Cricket Club.
Ace wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt wants to bring the curtains down on his Olympic career by winning the gold medal at the upcoming Rio Games, and says he is not leaving any stone unturned in his endeavour to make his final outing an “unforgettable” experience.Appearing in his last Games, the London Olympics bronze medallist will be competing in men’s 65kg freestyle category at Rio de Janeiro.EYES GLORY IN LAST OLYMPICS”This is my fourth and last Olympics so I am toiling very hard to come back with a gold medal,” Yogeshwar said at the sidelines of the launch of Olympians Association of India.The 33-year-old wrestler from Gohana, Haryana, is aware of the expectations from him. The Indian contingent for the Rio Games met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and received good wishes from him.MEETING WITH PM WAS GREATOn the meeting with the PM before the sporting extravaganza in August, Yogeshwar said, “The meeting with Prime Minister was great, something like this has never happened, so it’s a great encouragement for all of us.”At the function held at the Manekshaw Centre, PM Modi interacted individually with the sportspersons and wished them luck for the August 5-21 Games.’SUSHIL FIASCO, A DISTRACTION’Asked about the long-drawn dispute between double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Rio aspirant Narsingh Yadav over Rio qualification in 74kg, Yogeshwar said it is “all about the country” even though it acted as a distraction.About his preparations, he said, “I am training for five to six hours a day including gym session. I want to make Rio an unforgettable experience.”advertisementThe Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist added, “I have had five operations so far, still I gave my best as far as preparations are concerned.”Pressure is there on all of us as the expectations are high, but we have to cope with it and be able to do well under pressure.”‘WILL COMPETE TILL 2018’Asked if he will retire after Rio, he did not rule out the possibility of continuing till at least 2018.”It depends on my fitness, if I am fit I will be competing till 2018.”He said he has “plans to open an wrestling academy near my village” in Haryana after retirement from the sport.FOUND MY WAY BACK: JITU RAIMeanwhile, World championship silver medallist and Asian Games gold winner Jitu Rai said he has found his way back after losing it for a while.”It was very important to win a medal in last World Cup. As far as certain things are concerned, I had lost my way a bit, but I have found it back with this medal,” the unassuming pistol shooter said.Jitu clinched the silver in air pistol at the last World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, before the Olympics.He added, “There is a lot of focus on mental training and physical as well. Pressure is there on me but the key is how to handle pressure.”
Jammu, Nov 18 (PTI) A cricket tournament of All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) and Police will commence in Jammu from November 20, aimed to inculcate a sense of healthier body and mind through sports amid the drug menace spreading fast among the younger generation across the nation. “A cricket tournament is being held at a mega level in Jammu from November 20 to December 25,” Vice President of AIKS, AK Raina told reporters here today. Flanked by former captain and chairman of selection committee of Jammu and Kashmir Ranji cricket team and former BCCI member, Ashwinder Koul and Chairman of Media Committee of J&K Cricket Association, Rajesh Dhar, Raina said that Advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and former Vice Chancellor Jammu University Professor Amitabh Mattoo will inaugurate the tournament. Ten teams will be participating in the league based matches for AIKS-ALCOBREW Championship Cup. The final will be played on December 25 with cash awards and attractive prizes for the winners and runner up teams, besides trophies and mementos to man of the matches, man of the tournament, best bowler and best fielder awards. PTI AB DK CM
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko let seven match points go begging before finally overcoming fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 7-6(6) to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday.The 20-year-old Latvian, who is now only three wins away from completing what would be astonishing grand slam double, had looked to be cruising when she led 5-2 in the second set.But she let five opportunities to close out the match pass her by before being broken twice to allow her Ukrainian opponent to serve for the second set.Svitolina failed to take her chance, however, and was immediately broken back, sending the set into a tiebreak which Ostapenko won when she converted her eighth match point as her opponent dumped a forehand into the net.
England coach Trevor Bayliss will step down from his post at the end of his current contract post 2019 season.Bayliss revealed that he had told England cricket director Andrew Strauss about his decision to leave after his contract expires in September 2019.”I told Andrew Strauss probably 12 months ago that September 2019 I’m contracted to and that would see me out,” Bayliss said.”I’ve never been anywhere more than four of five years. Whether you’re going well or not I’ve always felt that roundabout, that four-year mark is the time to change. A new voice, a slightly different approach slightly reinvigorates things. So I passed that on him 12 months ago,” he added.England handed over the Ashes urn to Australia after losing the series 4-0. The hosts decimated Joe Root’s team by an innings and 123 runs in the fifth and final Test in Sydney on Monday.Bayliss took over the job from Peter Moores as head coach in 2015. Under him the English team won 15 Tests and lost 18. Their away record in the last two years has been dismal to say the least after having lost the most number of away Tests among all the Test playing nations since January 2015.Since Bayliss took charge, England drew the Test series 1-1 in Bangladesh, lost 4-0 in India, beat South Africa 3-1 at home, defeated West Indies 2-1 at home before conceding the Ashes series 4-0 Down Under.”I think someone coming for the first time as captain, even with experience, it’s going to be a hard tour to be on,” Bayliss said.advertisement”I think he handled it pretty well. He is a young captain and I would expect in four years, when he comes back with another four years experience and an away Ashes under his belt, he’ll feel a lot more comfortable.”Despite the Ashes humiliation in Australia, Bayliss said the England squad won’t be making too many changes for the two-Test series in New Zealand in March.”I can’t see too many big changes. We’ve known for a couple of years we’ve been three or four performing players short of a very, very good team. We’ve had good performances at home in Test cricket but a lot of that’s been on the back of our big five or six players.”Trying to fill those last three of four spots so you’ve got that consistency in the team would help away from home. Malan has probably done enough, he’s probably cemented one of those spots we were after.”James Vince and Mark Stoneman have shown what they’re capable of but would be a little disappointed they weren’t able to capitalise on some of their good play.”If guys like that can capitalise on their starts and make big hundreds that gives us across out top seven players who are performing well,” Bayliss quipped.
Wondering how to access the photographs taken at the 2004 National 18 Years Championships? Photographs taken by Sporting Images can be accessed at www.sportingimages.com.au The first photographs will be downloaded to this site as soon as possible. Team photographs will be available for collection prior to the tournament conclusion.
Phil Lutzenkirchen FieldPhilip Lutzenkirchen, a former All-SEC tight end at Auburn, passed away last June in a single car crash near La Grange, Georgia. This summer, Lutzenkirchen’s high school, Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia, will unveil a new turf field installed in his honor. Thursday, the school board in Cobb County approved a $332,421.68 project (fully funded by the Lutzie 43 Foundation) to have the field completed by the end of July. Here’s more, via AL.com:Frank Filmann Stadium plays host to Lassiter High’s football games. The new field will be named “Lutzie 43 Field.” Lutzenkirchen’s family memorialized Philip inside the high school stadium three days following his shocking death in a single-vehicle accident outside La Grange, Georgia on June 29, 2014.The Lutzie 43 Foundation celebrated the decision by tweeting the news to its followers.#LutzieField is coming this fall! The @CobbSchools board passed it 7-0! pic.twitter.com/WKXWvJQT7Y— Lutzie 43 Foundation (@lutzie43) June 25, 2015[AL.com]
zoom The chairman of IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galán, met the President of Andalusia Regional Government, Susana Díaz, on the occasion of the Group’s management meeting taking place in Malaga for the first time.During the course of the meeting, Galán informed Díaz about the selection of Navantia shipyards in Puerto Real (Cadiz) as the preferred supplier to manufacture the foundations of the offshore substation for Wikinger, an offshore wind project being developed by Iberdrola in Germany.The nearly $95m contract will only be executed once sufficient grid capacity has been formally allocated by Germany’s regulator.Also, this contract will open future opportunities to Puerto Real shipyards for the construction of offshore wind farm projects being developed by IBERDROLA in the UK and other European countries.The Wikinger offshore wind project is being developed in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of the island of Rügen, where water depths range between 37 and 43 metres.The project covers an area of roughly 34km², within which 70 wind turbines, each with 5-megawatt (MW) unit capacity, and one offshore substation are planned to be installed.Once in operation, the 350-MW wind farm will produce electricity equivalent to the consumption of more than 350,000 German households and will avoid the emission of almost 600,000 tons of CO2/year.With an investment of almost $1.9bn, Wikinger will have a significant economic impact through the entire supply chain and will help create hundreds of new jobs.Also, the chairman of IBERDROLA announced to the Head of Andalusia’s Government a new purchase order for 100,000 smart meters placed with Malaga-based Sogecam, one of the Company’s regular suppliers.This new order brings total number of Sogecam smart meters acquired thus far to 600,000 with a combined value of some $28.5m.Both contracts have a high-innovative component and are in line with two of IBERDROLA Group’s future growth trends: smart grid development and offshore wind power.Galán reiterated the Company’s strong commitment to Andalusia, where activities between 2002 and 2013 have had a $5.5bn economic impact.In terms of purchases and services, the region has been escalating ranks among suppliers to IBERDROLA, totalling $1.42bn over the period.June 9, 2014
Becoming “smart” in the shipping industry has been a hot topic over the recent period as the rise of technology promises to unlock numerous benefits, ranging from cost cutting to improved productivity and effectiveness.Smart containers, smart ships, smart ports are the buzzwords being repeated on a daily basis. But the question is: how to make a smart decision when choosing the right technological solution for one’s fleet or business operation?To help answer that question, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued Guidance Notes on Smart Function Implementation to help owners use technology to achieve their operational targets.Smart technology is aimed at helping collect, process, and perform advanced data analytics, in order to allow the people using that technology to make more informed decisions.Image Courtesy: ABSCommenting on the launching of the guidance, Derek Novak, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, ABS, told World Maritime News that the key goal was to recognize “that the industry is embarking on a journey towards smart functionality, with more smart equipment and systems being installed on vessels every day.”The drivers from the industry that prompted drafting of the notes are twofold, according to Novak.“Owners and operators want guidance to enable them to truly take advantage of the technology on their vessels to improve operational performance, asset maintenance, or to have a less intrusive class experience. The driver from the equipment manufacturers, who are putting their products on board the vessels, is that they want recognition from class that allows for owners and operators to easily realize the benefits of the technology that they have placed on their assets,” he said.“If you are building ships or buying modern second-hand tonnage, then ABS can look at what you have on board and help you take advantage of that equipment. A big part of that is being able to adopt technology and have confidence in what it can do for you. It’s not expensive, certainly not to get started and this kind of technology is increasingly going to be found on ships coming out of yard as standard equipment.”Hence, smart functionality is not intended only for the big players. According to Novak, it’s more about the mindset of taking the technology you may already have and work out how to make that technology fit your goals.Main Concerns of Owners and OperatorsFor some owners, the use of new technology can be overwhelming and they don’t know where to get started, Novak continues.“We have seen a spectrum within the industry and there are many owners who are interested in using technology to their advantage and are trying to figure out how to get smart functions on board.“The process to implement these technologies needs to be flexible to allow for further advances, but to get the process started we suggest that the owners have a specific goal in mind, for example to improve operational efficiency, to make surveys less intrusive, or to improve performance of the asset overall.“We work with owners through a process one step at a time to leverage the technology; that’s our unique approach. What we provide is a well-designed framework that will let them set and achieve their goals.The idea of the guidance is to take owners to a place where they can leverage technology today to meet the defined goals of their businessIn addition to setting the goal you want to achieve and choosing the right equipment to do so, there are potential downsides to improper implementation of the technology. Basically, there is a risk that an owner will not get the benefit out of the technology they have bought.“It can happen, especially where systems are very complex. The main reason why we see this issue is companies not understanding what they want the technology to do for them; they do not have a goal in place. As we’ve said, just paying for technology is not going to help, when what they really need is a plan.“Nobody puts digital technology on a ship just because it’s interesting; we’re not in an environment where owners have that luxury. If one buys equipment with state-of-the-art technology they should expect to have it work in their favor. For us it’s a process of helping owners to set a goal, to use the technology to achieve that specific goal.”Is the Industry Ready to Embrace Smart Shipping?Novak believes that a considerable portion of the industry is ready to embrace smart shipping and for some straightforward reasons.“We are living in an era of increasingly demanding regulation and that is driving the collection and reporting of data that has a ‘smart’ element. Secondly, the industry increasingly understands how to use technology to find value and benefit to their operations, so they are moving in the right direction,” he pointed out.Over time, as the benefits of the technology become embedded, Novak believes flag states and regulators may recognize that having this information available could provide some equivalency to the way that requirements are being fulfilled now.“There will be early adopters who get in there first and pick up the opportunity more rapidly but in the long-term, smart functionality is a philosophy the industry will squarely get behind,” he added.As explained, smart functionality is part of the industry’s journey to autonomy.“Years ago most vessels were pretty basic in terms of data technology and humans made a majority of the decisions,” he said.“Now we’re at the stage of collecting and analyzing data so that humans can make better decisions: that’s ‘smart’. If you look at the world we are heading towards, the next step is semi-autonomous where the machines can take decisions with humans providing oversight and intervention.”The last step is full autonomy, and for that, “we are going to need a lot more information about operations and maintenance,” according to Novak.“To get down that path, you really need to take that step fully into smart before you can truly go towards autonomy.”Can BigData Live Up to the Hype Seen Over the Recent Period?“For us, avoiding the hype and gaining the benefit of big data is all about focusing on what you need to know. You can collect data from many different locations but it’s the value it provides and the information it delivers that contributes to better decisions,” Novak said.“If you don’t understand why you’re looking into operational data then yes, it could be a lot of hype. If you want certain questions answered and you want data to help you with those goals, that’s when big data can be a huge asset.“Let’s not forget we are in the era of IMO 2020 and looking ahead to the IMO’s requirements for carbon emissions reductions after 2030 and 2050. We are going to need to collect and analyse a lot of data – much more than we have now – on vessel operations if we are going to be able to meet a challenge on that scale.”Interview by Jasmina Ovcina Mandra
TORONTO – While stabilizing oil prices helped Canadian equities break out of their doldrums in the second half of 2017, investors expecting the Toronto Stock Exchange to catch up with its outperforming global peers in the new year should instead anticipate more modest returns with the add-on of greater market volatility.“Despite being flat in the early part of the year and then posting some gains here in the back half of the year, the swings in equity prices on the S&P/TSX composite index have been incredibly small by historical standards,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones. “And so I think the first thing we can expect from the TSX is much bigger swings in prices, much more volatility on a daily and weekly basis.”“All that said, I think there’s still more gas left in the tank for this bull market,” he added, referencing the eight-plus years of global gains since the dark days of 2009 in the wake of the last recession. “I think we can see positive returns again in 2018. I would expect them to be relatively muted so … Canadian equities, domestic equities, still underperform international markets.”After hitting a record high of 15,922.67 on Feb. 21, the TSX steadily declined to a low of 14,951.88 by Aug. 21, down 2.2 per cent on the year at the time. A resurgence in oil — which saw crude prices rally from a 2017 low of US$42.53 per barrel on June 21 to a barrier-breaking high of US$60.42 on the final trading day of the year — sparked a surge in energy shares that saw the TSX complete its first of many record closes in the latter half of 2017. By Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, the TSX closed at consecutive record highs of 16,203.13 and 16,221.95, respectively. It finished 2017 at 16,209.13, ahead 921.54 points or about six per cent on the year.By comparison, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index — the American equivalent to the TSX — gained 434.78 points or about 19 per cent in 2017. The Dow Jones industrial average added 4,956.62 points or about 25 per cent, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 1,520.27 points or about 28 per cent.One the most dominant themes in equity markets in 2017 was the trend toward stability from cyclicality in an otherwise uncertain political and geopolitical backdrop, said Candice Bangsund, vice president and portfolio manager at Fiera Capital. This saw the more defensive U.S. equity markets, which are heavily weighted towards technological growth, thrive last year. Meanwhile, the cyclically-based Canadian equity markets made up primarily of financial, energy and materials sectors were largely underappreciated.While oil is a key influence on the commodity-heavy TSX, economist Todd Mattina of Mackenzie Investments said he expects it to remain range-bound around its current level of US$50 to US$60 a barrel going into the new year — a level that will not really help the index in a meaningful way.“The TSX has benefited in recent months because of the strong rally in oil prices. But there’s a number of uncertainties going into 2018 that also cloud the outlook,” he said. “One of them is how much further can oil prices rally? … To the extent that higher oil prices since September have supported gains in the TSX, a risk factor in 2018 is that oil prices could run into resistance if U.S. shale producers increase production at today’s higher price levels.”Still, oil only touches upon one of several possible risks for the TSX in 2018, Mattina added. “The oil price outlook is not the driver of our bearish view of Canadian stocks. We are underweight the Canadian stock market because valuations are not highly attractive relative to other major stock markets and our indicators of investor sentiment look bearish.”He said that in addition to the policy uncertainty around ongoing NAFTA renegotiations, another factor weighing on the TSX is the perennial concern about very high levels of Canadian household debt and how that will affect consumer spending in the forthcoming years. Statistics Canada reported in December that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 171.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, up from 170.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means there was $1.71 in credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, for every dollar of household disposable income.While consumers were the dominant engine behind growth last year amid solid employment gains, Bangsund said she expects trade and business development to take the baton in 2018 as earlier fears of a U.S. and global economic slowdown have proven unfounded in 2017. That could see the cyclical segments of the market that favour Canadian equities regain leadership performance.“The TSX will be the main beneficiary if that scenario of stronger growth and rising commodity prices does continue into 2018 due to that cyclicality of the Canadian stock market,” she said.A 2018 global market outlook report by Russell Investments Canada Ltd. also supports higher Canadian equity prices due to late-cycle tailwinds while still cautioning that it also expects volatility to be higher over 2018 versus 2017 as markets start to consider the timing of the next recession. Given this uncertainty around the domestic equities, the Russell report concluded it’s “modestly positive on Canadian equities with a price target of 16,900 for year-end 2018 for the S&P/TSX composite index.”Should Canadian equity returns in 2018 mirror those of the prior 12 months, Fehr said investors should keep in mind that while that doesn’t stack up well against the juggernaut momentum seen in other global markets, they are still relatively healthy gains.“For the Canadian market by historical standards it’s certainly solid,” he said. “It’s underperformance but it’s positive performance, so it’s not terrible.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.
Chennai: It will be a battle of leadership styles of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin when Chennai Super Kings clash with Kings XI Punjab an IPL match here on Saturday. Dhoni’s ability to stay calm and keep his cool even in the trickiest of situations versus Ashwin’s aggressive approach and out-of-the-box decisions would certainly make for an interesting contest. The two teams have three wins each and both will try to outdo each other to take the upper hand. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhDefending champions CSK suffered their first defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their last match after three straight wins, and they would hoping to get back to winning ways as they return to their ‘den’. The two previous matches at MA Chidambaram Stadium have produced contrasting performances. While Royal Challengers Bangalore were shot out for 70, Rajasthan Royals made CSK sweat before going down by eight runs on a better surface for the batters. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe spin-heavy CSK will now be up against KXIP, which also have quality spinners in their line-up with Ashwin himself at the forefront apart from Mujeeb Ur Rahman, leggie M Ashwin and mystery bowler C V Varun. The home team’s bowlers will be wary of Chris Gayle’s power-hitting provided he plays after missing the game against Delhi Capitals on April 1. With Gayle sitting out in their last match, KXIP showed it is not about the hard-hitting West Indian alone as KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal put their hands up. And Punjab would hope that they continue to shine. CSK has relied on team effort to win their matches as different players have delivered the goods in the IPL so far. The only worry would be the form of opener Ambati Rayudu, who has struggled to get going after last year’s success, perhaps creating a chance for Murali Vijay at the top. There is uncertainty over the availability of star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for tomorrow’s game after he suffered a hamstring injury against Mumbai. His absence could open up a spot for the New Zealand pacer Scott Kuggeleijn. Dhoni will expect his bowlers to step up after the Mumbai batsmen went on the rampage during Wednesday’s match. In fact, CSK may opt for an extra spinner in place of either Mohit Sharma or Shardul Thakur. KXIP skipper Ashwin, who was part of CSK before the franchise let him go, would be looking to put his best foot forward against his former team.