Premier League voices fears over proposed CL reforms

first_imgA tiered system involving relegation and promotion could see the top six teams of each group automatically qualify for the following year’s competition rather than through their domestic leagues, while UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin denied reports games could be played at weekends.“All 20 Premier League clubs today discussed their ‘significant concerns’ regarding reported proposals for changing the format and qualification criteria of UEFA club competitions from season 2024/25,” the Premier League said in a statement.“All clubs unanimously agreed it is inappropriate for European football bodies to create plans that would alter the structures, calendar and competitiveness of the domestic game and will work together to protect the Premier League.”The Premier League is one of the most competitive domestic competitions with its top six of Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham fighting for just four places in the Champions League every season.All six are still involved in European competition this season, with City, United, Liverpool and Tottenham in next week’s Champions League quarter-finals, and Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa League last eight.– Opposition –However, it is believed leading clubs on the continent are seeking change to combat the Premier League’s advantage over its European competitors from more lucrative TV rights deals.“In England, football plays an important role in our culture and everyday life,” the statement added.“Millions of fans attend matches across the country, with allegiances and local rivalries often passed down through generations. We have a fantastic combination of competitive football and committed fans that we will vigorously defend.”The Premier League are not alone in standing up to the proposals, with senior officials in the Spanish and German leagues also stating their disapproval.On Friday Lars-Christer Olsson, the president of the European Leagues body which represents domestic competitions across the continent, said that there was “unanimous” opposition to the reforms.“Our major objective is to safeguard the domestic competitions and protect them,” Olsson said at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Lisbon.“We have decided to invite all club members of our leagues to a meeting in Madrid on May 6-7, to discuss how they would like to see the development of professional club football in Europe.”On Wednesday multiple sources told AFP that Ceferin and Olsson would meet on May 8 to discuss the proposed changes that were reportedly put to UEFA last month by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, head of the European Club Association (ECA) which represents the continent’s biggest teams.The reforms are also set to be discussed by UEFA’s Club Competitions Committee on May 14.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid won the 2018 Champions League © AFP/File / GENYA SAVILOVLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 5 – The Premier League voiced “significant concerns” over potential reforms to the Champions League on Friday, saying the changes would damage the thriving domestic game.Reported reforms being put forward for further discussion include changing the current group stage from eight groups of four to four groups of eight, guaranteeing clubs far more Champions League games from 2024.last_img read more

BIG WEEK AHEAD FOR LYIT SOCCER TEAMS

first_imgBig Week ahead for LYIT Soccer Teams – Men go for National Cup Glory and Women Look to clinch Ulster League TitleThis coming week will be a massive one for the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Letterkenny IT.On Tuesday evening at 7.30pm the ladies will look to wrap up back to back Ulster League titles when they entertain neighbours North-West Regional College from Derry in their last home league game of the season knowing that nothing less than 3 points will suffice to land their 7th league crown in the past 8 seasons a quite remarkable record if achieved. LYIT Ladies captain is Claire McCafferty who plays her club football for Finn Valley Ladies and she is relishing the challenge.  “We are unbeaten this season so far and have gone to the likes of Queens and Jordanstown and come back with big results already this season so we are looking forward to this and are quietly confident we can get the 3 points necessary,” said the 3rd year Sports Coaching and Business student, speaking at the LYIT last Tuesday after picking up a scholarship at the conferring of sports awards at a ceremony on campus.On the men’s side the Port Road lads will head to the All Ireland final four tournaments for the 3rd time in as many years after having caused a major upset in the quarter-final stage of the competition.Carlow IT whom had recruited 30 League of Ireland players to their BA in Soccer, Sports and Exercise degree arrived at the LYIT campus as holders of both last year’s CFAI cup and also as recent winners of the Colleges & Universities Football League (CUFL) but were stunned by an 8th minute strike by LYIT’s ace marksman Oisin McMenamin who converted a penalty he had won himself to send Niall McGonagles team through to the final four tournament which will be staged this coming Wednesday and Thursday in Castlebar, Co Mayo.Letterkenny will square up with Dublin Institute of Technology at 3pm on Wednesday in one semi-final, while GMIT and Dundalk IT will lock horns in the other.  Both teams are coached and managed by Buncrana Hearts manager Niall McGonagle and he is assisted by Tommy Harkin of Fanad United. BIG WEEK AHEAD FOR LYIT SOCCER TEAMS was last modified: March 5th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

For love of print

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dan Armitage, host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio showI welcomed the editor of Outdoor Life magazine, Anthony Licata, on my radio show recently and we had a frank discussion about the role of print in today’s outdoors media. My favorite of the former Big Three outdoor publications that included Sports Afield and Field & Steam recently went quarterly, meaning subscribers now receive their copies of Outdoor Life four times each year instead of monthly. When I inquired why, the main reason was reader interest, said Licata. He revealed that readers were asking for more narratives, or “Me and Joe”-type articles that tell a tale and take longer (read that: more space) to tell. The new issues are 100-plus pages long, and will, he said, contain plenty of such content.“For example,” he said, “an angler who wants to learn how to tie a Clouser fly now goes to You Tube to learn how” and doesn’t rely on magazines to offer such content. “We had to change with the times,” he added. “And we think we’ve taken the right path.”I hope Licata is right. I like nothing more than sitting down in my favorite easy chair with a magazine or newspaper in my lap for a relaxing read. That’s especially true of outdoor magazines.As an aside, my first hope of ever becoming an outdoor writer came from the pages of Outdoor Life the summer of 1966 when, at age 12, I discovered in its hallowed pages an article on fishing in Ohio titled “My Panfish on Light Tackle Kick.” When I noted it had been penned by a writer named Erwin Bauer who lived one suburban neighborhood over from mine, it was a watershed moment for me. I realized I didn’t have to live in Montana, Maine or Florida to make a living writing about the outdoors. If he could do it, so could I.One of the benefits of being married to a librarian, my wife last Christmas presented me with an original copy of that Outdoor Life issue, a gift I cherish. I didn’t ask if she located it in the classified section of a print magazine or online. 419er Archers Celebrate RangeA new archery range is now open at Maumee Bay State Park, located at 1400 State Park Road, Oregon. The entrance to the range is just past the park office on Park Road 1. On the range, archers will find seven shooting lanes with a combination of static bag targets and 3D targets. Use of the range is free, and the hours of operation are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Shooters are reminded that only field points are allowed, no broadheads.The construction of the range was completed through a partnership between the ODNR Division of Wildlife and the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft and was funded by Ohio hunting and fishing license sales and monies generated by the Pittman-Robertson Act. The Pittman-Robertson Act was enacted by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 and puts an 11% federal excise tax on sporting arms, handguns, ammunitions, bows and arrows.For more information on Ohio’s shooting sports opportunities, or to find a range near you, visit wildohio.gov. Click on the “Hunting, Trapping and Shooting Sports” tab, then click on “Shooting Ranges.” Beaver and otter trapping drawings heldOhio trappers are invited to participate in special drawings Saturday, Oct. 13, for public land beaver and river otter trapping opportunities. A list of public land trapping opportunities available at the lottery is posted at wildohio.gov under “Controlled Hunting and Trapping Events.” Interested trappers will be required to come to one of the five wildlife district offices, where registration begins at 11 a.m. and the drawing to begin at 12 p.m. For more detailed information, visit http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/stay-informed/news-announcements/post/public-drawings-offered-for-beaver-and-otter-trapping-opportunities-on-state-owned-or-managed-properties-2018 Fall turkey hunting counties increaseThanks to three counties being added — Erie, Hancock and Lucas — Ohio hunters can pursue wild turkeys in a record 70 counties this autumn during a six-week season that opens Saturday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 25. Gobblers, poults and hens are legal game during the fall wild turkey season, but only one turkey of either sex may be harvested during the season. A valid Ohio hunting license and a fall turkey hunting permit are required to participate in the autumn opportunity that is open from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset daily. Shotguns using shot, as well as crossbows and longbows, are permitted, and turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested.Hunters must make their own game tag to attach to a turkey, and can use any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time, and county of the kill. Go to the Turkey Hunting Resources page at wildohio.gov for more information on changes to the game check process.Also, all successful hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system, which is available online and by phone seven days a week, including holidays. Hunters with a turkey permit have three options to complete the game check:Online at ohiogamecheck.com;Call 877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864); orVisit a license agent. A list of agents can be found at wildohio.gov or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and others not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the 877-TAG-ITOH option. Landowners and others not required to obtain a permit have the following game-check options:Online at ohiogamecheck.com;Visit a license agent; orCall 866-703-1928 for operator assisted landowner game-check (a convenience fee of $5.50 applies).The Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving, or moving through hunting areas to remain visible to others. The list of open counties and other details regarding fall wild turkey hunting can be found in the 2018-2019 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.Several Hunting Seasons Get UnderwayIn addition to fall turkey hunting opening on Oct. 13, the statewide youth waterfowl hunting season will be held Oct. 6 and 7, followed by the regular statewide woodcock (Oct 12) and grouse (October 13) hunting seasons. Oct. 13 also marks the start of waterfowl hunting in the popular Lake Erie Marsh Zone, when the season opens for geese, ducks, coots and mergansers. Visit wildohio.gov for details.last_img read more

Taken for Granted: The Effect of Traumatic Brain Injury on Sense of Identity and Family Relationships

first_imgmilitraryfamilimiliBy: David Lee Sexton, Jr.Pixabay [Brain Biology by Geralt , CC0]Not Just a Problem on the Football FieldAccording to Knock (2017), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury in which something impacts an individual’s head, which many may not inherently recognize as what is commonly known as a concussion. The difference in nomenclature between these two synonymous words may lead some to perceive a concussion as something far less serious than a TBI. However, Knock clarifies that a concussion is a TBI, and there are varying grades of TBI ranging from Grade One to Grade Three. Furthermore, 80% of TBI are considered Grade One, or mild, yet even a mild TBI can result in chronic problems. Interestingly, Knock points out that TBIs can manifest vastly different symptoms depending on the part of the brain which sustains the brunt of the impact.This phenomenon has been brought to public attention recently through the film, Concussion, which examines the discovery of the relationship between TBI and mental health problems in professional football players. However, athletes are not the only ones prone to a higher risk of sustaining TBI, as combat veterans are also at higher risk due to injuries, such as blast injuries that affect the brain through tearing of the axons at a microscopic level (Knock, 2017). These types of injuries are even more sinister, as they are often not detectable through common brain scanning measures, such as MRI (Knock, 2017).Loss of IdentityIn a brief anecdote, Knock (2017) demonstrates the insidiousness of TBI by relaying the story of one veteran’s struggle to accomplish something many of us take for granted: packing a lunch. After being caught in an IED, she suffered damage to her parietal lobe. This resulted in disturbances with her visual and spatial reasoning that made her unable to even select the right size container to hold a packed lunch. With the added struggle of completing tasks that were once effortless, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of self, which leaves one vulnerable to further struggles with chronic depression as new limitations are being discovered.Impact on FamiliesSome of the most profound limitations TBI can impose on an individual will be family-related. Depending on severity, TBI can change familial roles so drastically that one individual’s spouse may become a caregiver in an instant (Knock, 2017). In this case, feelings of loss and frustration will likely affect both individuals. Knock (2017) provides an example of how drastically family dynamic can change through the act of caring for children. After suffering a TBI, a parent may no longer be able to safely watch over his or her children, due to potential memory or attention problems. This not only represents an enormous loss for the parent suffering the TBI but may cause additional strain for his or her partner due to the new responsibility of caring for both children and spouse. Again, this brings to light the impact TBI can have on things that people often take for granted, and demonstrates the influence something like a “bump on the head” can have on a person’s life and well-being.Want to Learn More?To learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury and its effects on families, please take some time to watch the MFLN Family Development Team’s free, archived webinar presented by Heidi Knock, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Knock provides individual, marital, and group psychotherapy to Veterans and their families. She also treats individuals on the polytrauma unit and the inpatient rehabilitation unit who have a combination of complex mental and physical health issues, such as Traumatic Brain Injury, chronic pain, amputation, and posttraumatic stress disorder.Also, get social with us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about more great content, webinars, and free CEU opportunities in the future.ReferencesKnock, H. (2017). Gray Matters: Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury’s impact on families. MFLN Family Development. Retrieved from: https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/event/27283.This post was written by a member of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

How to Create Broadcast Graphics in After Effects

first_imgWhat is your approach to creating broadcast graphics? Share your tips in the comments. Learn how to design and create broadcast graphics and bumpers for TV shows in Adobe After Effects.In any creative field, there are usually many different ways to create a piece of work. This could not be more true for broadcast graphics — even the term itself has an extremely broad meaning.There are many graphics to create when designing a TV show’s motion graphics: lower thirds, bumpers, transitions, intros, schedule screens, and so much more. On top of all these, you have to decide on the style of the design and animation. It can be a lot of fun branding a full motion graphics pack for a show, but it is a huge responsibility.Let’s take a look.How to Create Broadcast GraphicsThis After Effects tutorial will show demonstrate how to create a small portion of a broadcast graphics pack. However, you will learn essential techniques that you need to design a full-screen graphic with a bumper. In the tutorial, we talk about branding consistency across all of the elements of a graphics package and how to direct your audience’s eyes.DOWNLOAD THE FREE PROJECT FILEWhat you’ll take away from this After Effects tutorial:Design the layout for a full-screen graphicAnimate each shape and text layer elementHow to easily replace text for future useEdit together the show bumper with your full-screen graphicAfter watching the tutorial, you’ll understand how to use animation and clever text positioning to draw attention to specific text elements. Another pivotal point that you will be able to apply in your own unique work is understanding consistency through animation and layer design.Great Broadcast Graphic AE TemplatesPressed for time to create a broadcast package for your show? Here are a couple of great broadcast graphics packs from RocketStock.com.NeonNeon is a full-show graphics pack that comes with an intro, bumper title, full-screen schedule graphics, a lower third, and more!PrimetimePrimetime is another full graphics package that has everything you need to brand a TV show.last_img read more

The Rise and Fall of the Account Manager

first_imgThe Account Manager is supposed to be responsible for making sure your client captures the value of using your products and services, and for helping to drive greater adoption. With that value recognized, the Account Manager can then introduce new offerings and create even greater value, bringing in the Account Executive to help create and capture these new opportunities. Well, in theory, this is what is supposed to happen.There is a reason that the Account Executive (supposed Hunter) is now the Account Manager (supposed Farmer) and the Account Manager is now Glorified Customer Service. The reason your Hunter isn’t hunting and your farmer isn’t farming is because each of them has taken one step down in responsibility. More accurately, they are pulled in that direction.When the customer service and operations teams can’t clean up the day-to-day challenges, maybe because the challenges are systemic, maybe because that team is disempowered, maybe because the Account Manager lacks trust in their operations team, maybe because the client has no trust in that team, or maybe because no one wants to engage in the conflict necessary to produce better results, the Account Manager steps in to solve those problems.Now, the Account Executive who ultimately owns the client, steps into their role of the Account Manager, trying to help the client with the existing problem and managing relationships without selling anything new, fearful of failing the client even further, and petrified of the pushback they expect from stakeholders who are already not happy.I’m just back from a day with the team at CEB, now Gartner, where they shared their latest research with me and a few other friends from the community. Their research shows that the strategies most companies believe will encourage revenue growth only end up causing members of the team that serves the client to do everything possible to retain the client–and nothing to actually grow the account.As I have written here and here, the best retention strategy is proactively creating greater value, from month to month, and quarter to quarter.Changing the Account Manager’s title to Client Success Manager (all the rage now) isn’t likely to clear up the lack of role clarity. It’s going to take a change in the overall strategy, and it’s going to require a clarity in roles–and a greater commitment to execution in each. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

29 girls go missing from Odisha residential school

first_imgTwenty-nine students of a residential high school for girls at Antarba in Odisha’s Gajapati district left their hostel on Saturday night and are missing since.Despite efforts of the school authorities as well as the administration, the girls had not been traced till Sunday evening. They have not even returned to their homes. Most of the girls are from Class IX. It is suspected that they escaped from the hostel to complain to the District Collector about the state of affairs in the hostel.Gajapati District Welfare Officer Santosh Kumar Rath is monitoring the search operation. According to Mr. Rath, the girls have left behind a handwritten letter mentioning some reasons for leaving the hostel.Speaking to newsmen, school headmaster Manoj Rath accepted that the girls had earlier expressed their resentment over some issue with their teachers. As per the headmaster, the issue had been resolved. He felt the same reason may have prompted them to leave the hostel.last_img read more

2010: The Year of Treasure Hunters

first_imgT he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and,T he first Indian to welcome US President Barack Obama at Mumbai airport on November 6 was then Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. He was sacked minutes after Obama left India because of his direct involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which flats meant for Kargil heroes and widows were virtually stolen by powerful politicians, bureaucrats and defence officers who abetted construction on disputed army land. Chavan’s relatives owned three flats in Adarsh. He was confident that his mentors-a guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, and Rahul Gandhi-would save him. Chavan was self-delusional. It was the judiciary that forced the political class to move. On December 22, a division bench of Justice B.H. Marlapalle and Justice U.D. Salvi hearing the case noted, “Everybody who was supposed to clear a file has been gifted (a flat in Adarsh).” Adarsh was not the only scandal in the Year of the Treasure Hunter. The total loot of the public exchequer in 2010 is estimated to exceed Rs 4 lakh crore. An analysisreveals that real estate is corruption’s biggest cash cow. According to realtors, 60 to 70 per cent of the price of property transactions in all major Indian cities is in cash. A finance ministry report of December 2009 states: “Of the Rs 4,500 crore seized in income tax raids, around Rs 2,000 crore involves land. Politicians are earning money per sq ft of the floor space index awarded to construct buildings. This is a result of commercialisation of politics,” says former Mumbai High Court Judge B.G. Kolse-Patil. The cbi discovered that it was Chavan, who as state revenue minister in 2000 cleared the society’s ownership conditions to admit civilians along with defence personnel, thereby opening up a real estate gold-mine. “The Congress is the fountainhead of corruption in the country,” says bjp leader Rajnath Singh.advertisementIn 2010, allegations of corruption-referred to by Wharton academic Jitendra Singh as “a kind of shadowy market”-were made against the spectrum of the national establishment. Politicians like Chavan, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Suresh Kalmadi and Mulayam Singh Yadav; senior army officers like former army chief General Deepak Kapoor and Major General R.K. Hooda stole the headlines of the year with a glittering cast of friends, mentors and hangers-on from the media and bureaucracy.Chavan’s personal assets run into hundreds of crores of rupees. In his hometown Nanded, Chavan Inc owns dealerships, real estate worth crores, sugar mills and educational institutions. He insists that his commercial ventures are legal and he has done nothing wrong. For a politician who declared his net worth as Rs 24.61 crore  in 2009, india today investigations revealed that the estimated worth of assets held by Chavan and his family amount to much more. “The politicians in the entire country are corrupt. Why talk only about Maharashtra?” says Kolse-Patil. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray says, “We are facing a challenge to cure the disease of corruption.” Chavan, however, is defiant. “The investigations will prove my innocence,” he says.   The country has got used to the idea of corrupt politicians. It was shocked to learn that officers of the rank of general and admiral were involved in Adarsh. “Here is a man whom we trusted, here is a person on whose orders we were ready to go to battle,â€? said Chief of Staff General V.K. Singh about his predecessor General Kapoor. In his application for a Rs 80-lakh apartment, General Kapoor lied that his annual income was Rs 2.8 lakh while when it was actually around Rs 7.2 lakh. When this application was turned down, the then Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh used his arbitrary powers to clear it. Adarsh is not the only example of Kapoor’s real estate adventures. The Haryana Government gave him a Gurgaon plot for Rs 36 lakh with a lock-in payment period of five years-a knockdown price for land valued at Rs 7.5 crore. In Sukna, West Bengal, army land was allegedly given to builders at throwaway prices. The military court indicted two army officers for this deal-one of them was Kapoor’s staff advisor Lt. General Avdesh Prakash. Kapoor reportedly used his clout to save Prakash from a court martial. The armed forces have earned the unsavoury nickname, the “Harmed Forces”.Real estate besmirched the reputation of Karnataka’s Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as well. In June 2010, Yeddyurappa was preparing for a spotlight moment, ordering a bespoke Italian suit from Bangalore fashion designer Prakash Lamba as a change from his usual white safari suit to preside over the two-day Global Investors Meet in Bangalore from which he expected to raise at least $66.3 billion as investments for Karnataka. In private, Yeddyurappa was taking decisions that would blow up in his face. On November 17, 2010, Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde announced there was enough evidence to establish a prima facie case against Yeddyurappa. The Opposition released documents-around 2,000 of them-alleging that Yeddyurappa flouted rules to get prime land worth Rs 500 crore allotted to family members; his sons bjp MP B.Y. Raghavendra and Vijayendra became beneficiaries of state largesse after their father became the Karnataka deputy chief minister in 2006. Raghavendra was allotted a government plot in Bangalore under the MP’s quota and paid Rs 10 lakh for the land whose market value was over Rs 2 crore. Yeddyurappa also denotified the Bangalore Development Authority (bda) land which his sons and son-in-law Sohan Kumar allegedly grabbed at throwaway prices. Yeddyurappa’s daughter Umadevi was allotted two acres of government land to set up a bpo. Some of his family members were allegedly allotted five acres in Shimoga to build a hospital, and two acres for a factory in Bangalore. In March 2010, 11 more acres in Bangalore worth crores were denotified in Vijayendra and Raghavendra’s favour against the advice of the bda and the Urban Development Department. Later, his kin returned the land following a judicial inquiry. Five previous chief ministers gave similar deals to their relatives including Dharam Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda’s son H.D. Kumaraswamy who is yet to return the land allotted to him.advertisement”The names of my family members are being dragged into imagined corruption cases to cover up their (Opposition’s) own misdeeds,” says Yeddyurappa, responding to the Opposition’s charges of corruption.The Opposition also alleges that the chief minister took a bribe of Rs 20 crore from the Bellary-based South West Mining Ltd; supporting documents claim that the money was allegedly deposited into the bank accounts of Raghavendra, Vijayendra and Sohan Kumar.If land was exploited by the corrupt, the skies were open to political plunder as well. On November 14, the dmk, unable to withstand the heat from a belligerent Opposition, a hostile Congress and an angry media, ordered Andimuthu Raja to resign as telecom minister. Raja was accused of favouring select telecom companies-Swan Telecom, Unitech, S-Tel, Datacom Solutions, Idea, Spice, Systema, Tata and Loop-in acquiring 2G spectrum licences in a valuation game which is estimated to have cost the country a notional Rs 1.76 lakh crore. “As a lawyer, I will abide by the law, not evade it,” Raja said. His slogan during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was “Oru kilo arisi oru rupa, oru hello 50 paisa” (One kg rice at one rupee, a hello on the phone at 50 paise). The Niira Radia tapes exposed how much his hellos cost the country. Veteran Congress leader of Tamil Nadu EVKS Elangovan says “Karunanidhi must’ve been aware of things.”In power, there is no free lunch. So what did the telecom companies give Raja and Radia in return of the favours? The CBI and the ed are investigating a money trail that leads to the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Mauritius. “Raja represents a front for a number of undesirable organisations. He is a front for anti-national agents,” says Subramanian Swamy, Janata Party president. There may be political exaggeration in the accusation.advertisementRaja stuck to his chair for 400 days after the scam surfaced. A CBI official claims that the minister used this time to manipulate or destroy evidence. No incriminating documents were found when the agency raided his house on December 8. According to one source, documents were also destroyed at Radia-owned Vaishnavi Communic- ations’s office in Delhi. Employees had burned thousands of documents to prevent them from falling into the hands of the CBI. “The Government should constitute an Integrity and Ethics Commission urgently to check corruption and initiate stringent action against corrupt practices,” says assocham President Dilip Modi.The climate of venality spawned a variety of hunters who sought to seize what they could. Public anger began to mount. When Suresh Kalmadi, the most visibly tainted face of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, walked into a Delhi restaurant on a late October weekend, he was surrounded and heckled by diners who called him a thief. The CBI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) estimate that the 66-year-old Congress Rajya Sabha MP caused a loss of Rs 5,000-8,000 crore of public money through financial and administrative malfeasance. In 2003, the Indian Olympic Association estimated the Games would cost the country Rs 1,620 crore. By 2010, the bill had risen to Rs 11,500 crore. With other additional expenditure, the Games expenditure was estimated to be around Rs 30,000 crore, making the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive sporting event ever. CBI sources says that of the Rs 665 crore spent on overlays, around Rs 200 crore was stolen. Following the CVC report on financial misdemeanors, the CBI raided the ioa offices and arrested close Kalmadi aides T.S. Darbari, Sanjay Mahindroo and treasurer Jayachandran.Some of the statistics are stunning. The infrastructure cost for the cwg was Rs 2,904 crore but Rs 5,503 crore was released. Where did the extra money go? The CVC investigated 16 Games-related projects totalling Rs 2,477 crore and found that corrupt officials and contractors tampered with initially discounted tenders. The organising committee inflated bills by at least 30 per cent. The CBI raided Kalmadi’s residences in Delhi and Pune. “I am innocent till proven guilty. I have not taken any decision alone,” Kalmadi says.Many more careers and reputations tumbled as other skeletons of corruption fell out of hidden closets. In Mumbai, private financier Rajesh Sharma, chief of Money Matters (India), and senior bank officials were arrested in a bribes-for-loans affair. The arrests have made corporate India uneasy. Though the licence raj has ostensibly ended, lobbyists are still needed for project clearances. “We need to be clear about what is defined as corruption. In an economy where competition and enterprise are driven by individual endeavours, and there is no strong government hand, these things flourish,” says P. Shankar Raman, executive v-p (finance), L&T. Following these arrests, the market value of lic Housing Finance shares plummeted from Rs 10,159 crore to Rs 2,365 crore. Investors lost Rs 2,300 crore in a day. “There are enough regulatory bodies in the country but they don’t have the teeth to enforce regulations,” says Richard Rekhy, ceo, KPMG, one of the largest of audit, tax and advisory services firms in the world   There was one unusual instance of corruption. While Adarsh, the cwg and other scams largely involved powerful cabals, Ketan Desai, president of the Medical Council of India, was the lone ranger of graft. His modus operandi was to ask for bribes in return of government recognition for private medical colleges. After the CBI arrested him for accepting Rs 2 crore as payola for one such deal, raids conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Ahmedabad revealed that Desai and his family owned 10 houses, two commercial properties in Mumbai and gold worth Rs 39 lakh.During the Adarsh hearing, Justices Marlapalle and Salvi asked, “Why has no fir been registered except the one on the missing files in the case? Don’t tell us committees will be formed to conduct inquiries. Committees are formed and dissolved, nothing happens.” Nothing happens because a corrupt system closes its ranks to protect its own. India remains stuck in the purgatory of corruption.with Nivedita Mukherjee, Kiran Tare and Nirmala Ravindranlast_img read more