The dark art of getting press coverage | This Week in Business

first_imgBrendan SinclairManaging EditorFriday 19th February 2021Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareHere’s an awful lifehack for people looking to get media coverage for something that probably wouldn’t merit it on its own. I know I’m telling you this, but please don’t do this.First, you have to understand that virtually all media these days relies on attention. An outlet driven by ads needs eyeballs to sell to advertisers. An outlet driven by subscriptions needs to regularly provide those subscribers with stories they want to read.Attention is hard to get. A small handful of companies are big enough and influential enough that their every move gets attention. For everyone else, they need to make an argument that their thing is worth covering instead of everyone else’s. It has to stand out, maybe because it looks great, it’s from a beloved developer, or it’s part of a known franchise.While those are, to some extent, under a person’s direct control, it takes varying amounts of money, talent, and luck to have your project qualify for any of those reasons for coverage.It’s much easier, much cheaper, and much more within a person’s individual control, to make their project interesting instead. Maybe it has some shock value to it. Maybe the project is unbelievably absurd, or unabashedly ambitious. Maybe the premise is just so unworkable on the surface of it that people will check it out just to see how you’ll pull it off (or how spectacularly you’ll fail).But there’s another, more calculating way to generate attention, and that’s to pursue something you know people will object to. Team up with an influencer known for racist statements. Make a game about mass murder during an epidemic of mass shootings. Make Valve choose between its principles and basic human decency. Now you need to have thick skin for this approach, because it absolutely relies on people roasting you. Indeed, it works better the more thoroughly you get burned, the more zestfully people dunk on you. (Up to a point, anyway. If you’re too toxic for storefronts to even sell your game, you’ve gone a bit too far.) So go ahead and do some interviews about your game. Don’t worry about how flimsy or contradictory your arguments might be. Go ahead and say things you know will get people riled up.I’m not saying all press is good press. But I understand why people do this. If you don’t think good press is an option and you’re in a market crowded with offerings of all kinds, shapes, and sizes, you might decide that bad press is better no press.So aside from cynical motivations about getting page views, why would the press play along and enable this tactic? First of all, there are a lot of times we don’t, and you never hear about the project because it doesn’t get coverage. Or it gets covered on one site but not another, because everyone makes their own editorial decisions.Second, there’s something to be said for the press acting as part of the immune system for a healthy society (or in the case of games journalism, a healthy industry). The idea is that once something bad has been brought to light, other parties with more direct power and influence would then intervene, as Valve did in one of the above examples. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” as the saying goes.But as the last decade-plus has shown in games and in society as a whole, this is a deeply unreliable process. In many cases, the institutions with the power to hold people accountable are either unwilling or unable to use that power. As a result, accountability and genuine consequences for harmful actions are not only getting rarer, they’re getting less expected. In light of that, maybe it’s a good time for the press as a whole to re-evaluate some of our coverage decisions and adapt them to a world where immune systems don’t always work the way they should. But I digress. For now, let’s talk about an entirely unrelated assortment of quotes and stats from the week in gaming.QUOTE | “We can’t tell the story without telling the rest of it. We have to give players the context for why they’re in the city, why this battle exists.” – Victura CEO Peter Tamte explains how essential it is for the studio to provide players with proper context for the company’s upcoming Six Days in Fallujah.QUOTE | “We’re not asking players to commit atrocities in the game. Are we effectively sanitizing events by not doing that? I don’t think that we need to portray the atrocities in order for people to understand the human cost. We can do that without the atrocities.” – In the same interview, Tamte explains how he’ll be omitting some pretty key context with Six Days in Fallujah.QUOTE | “It’s like how many nukes have you got? If my biggest competitor was to sue me, there will almost certainly be something in their 15,000 patents that I probably arguably infringed. And probably more than one. But if I also have a load of patents in broadly a similar area, if they did that to me, I could probably find quite a few things they do in their software which probably arguably infringes a bunch of my patents. It’s a kind of mutually assured destruction.” – In a discussion on the GamesIndustry.biz podcast prompted by Warner Bros. being granted a patent for Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system, Kostya Lobov of law firm Harbottle & Lewis joins us to talk about the completely rational and not-at-all absurd world of software patents.QUOTE | “Bringing Star Wars: Hunters to the Nintendo Switch and its passionate fan-base marks an exciting milestone for Zynga. We… are excited to see Switch players embrace our foray into console gaming.” – In a press release for Star Wars: Hunters, Zynga president of publishing Bernard Kim talks up how happy the company is to announce its first console game.QUOTE | “I used to work on console and PC, and I’ll never go back.” – In a 2016 interview, Zynga CEO and former EA studios head Frank Gibeau talks up how happy he is to not be dealing with console games any more.QUOTE | “We have a pretty large cash balance to go after more companies. We remain aggressive and inquisitive around buying more game studios and tech companies that we believe can be added to Zynga.” – Zynga president of publishing Bernard Kim says the social game publisher is looking to continue its string of acquisitions like Gram Games, Small Giant, Peak Games, and Rollic.QUOTE | “While we can’t wait to gather in the halls of Moscone together again, and we did consider an in-person component this year, we have decided that it’s more important that our speakers, attendees and sponsors be able to plan ahead, to continue to be as safe as possible, and to spend our attention on delivering the best possible GDC.” – Game Developers Conference organizers this week pulled the plug on plans for a hybrid in-person/remote GDC in San Francisco in July.QUOTE | “To play for the first time is what’s magical, and the platform holders need to figure out how to deliver that experience to their fans during an E3-like digital experience. I think that would be huge.” – Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime gives his suggestion for what E3 needs to do this year with its own digital event.STAT | 50% – Thethrottling Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics cards will do on Ethereum cryptocurrency mining operations, in an attempt to stop cryptocurrency miners from snagging all the gaming graphics cards on the market and making them hard to find for actual players. QUOTE | “[Cryptocurrency Mining Processor] products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency.” – Nvidia’s global head of GeForce marketing Matt Weubbling reassures people that the company is not objecting to cryptocurrency mining, but instead launching a separate line of high-end cards specifically for people who leave their computers running for a living.Related JobsEnvironment Artists – New IP South East Creative AssemblyLead Sound Designer South East Creative AssemblyRemote Environment Artist Console Studio UK UK & Europe Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games QUOTE | “We’ve been working for more than a year on another gaming project, another horror IP, and we’re doing this with a very famous gaming publisher. I can’t tell you who. I can’t tell you what the project is, but I’m pretty sure when people realize we’re working on it, they will be very excited.” – Bloober Team CEO Peter Babieno teases something in an interview because he’s either working on a Silent Hill game or really enjoys playing with the emotions of that poor, poor fanbase. QUOTE | “No IDFA? No Problem.” – The name of an initiative from a group of mobile advertising companies who see Apple’s new requirement that iOS users opt-in to tracking in the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) program as such a non-problem that they felt collective action with their competitors was necessary to prepare them for a post-IDFA mobile industry.QUOTE | “The idea that I used social media to promote GameStop stock to unwitting investors is preposterous. I was abundantly clear that my channel was for educational purposes only, and that my aggressive style of investing was unlikely to be suitable for most folks checking out the channel.” – In prepared testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee regarding the recent GameStop stock surge, YouTube influencer Roaring Kitty insists he has no influence on his audience.last_img read more

Ben & Jerry’s new CEO wants to ‘double social impact’

first_imgBen & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc,by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine He even looks the part. Waterbury-based Ben & Jerry’s – the progressive ice cream maker known for its chunk-and-swirl-laden flavors, irreverent sense of humor, sometimes iffy puns and work as an aspiring social justice company – has named Matthew McCarthy its new Chief Executive Officer. McCarthy, a 21-year veteran at Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, took over July 1, 2018.The new CEO has wasted no time challenging the business to “double its social impact,” attesting it will also lead to continued performance in the marketplace and meeting Ben & Jerry’s triple bottom line focus on producing the world’s best ice cream, earning a fair profit, and giving back to the community. “We are delighted to welcome Matthew, who brings a wealth of commercial experience, along with rock-solid values and a courageous vision for the role businesses can and should play in the world,” said Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors Chairperson, Anuradha Mittal. “We look forward to working with him and to continuing our mission as a social justice company which just happens to make pretty good ice cream,” Mittal added.Ben & Jerry’s new Chief Executive Officer, Matthew McCarthyThe veteran marketing executive is not new to values-led business. At Unilever he has increased the social impact of a number of the company’s leading brands, including Hellmann’s, which has led the industry in using certified cage-free eggs in its mayonnaise. The project was executed three years ahead of plan and earned McCarthy and his team a Corporate Progress Award from the Humane Society of the US. The executive also committed Unilever’s Knorr brand to higher welfare standards for its chickens, in collaboration with the Global Animal Partnership and Compassion in World Farming NGOs.Most recently, McCarthy and his team created Growing Roots, Unilever’s first organic snacking brand with a mission to support urban farming in underserved communities. McCarthy also founded the Men’s Working Group for Gender Equality at Unilever.McCarthy earned his bachelor’s degree in politics and French from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his MBA in marketing from the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University.He replaces Jostein Solheim, a 25-plus year Unilever veteran who helmed the business for eight years. Solheim helped build and solidify the working relationship between Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever, while growing the business and its social impact. Solheim was promoted to Executive VP of Foods and Refreshments at Unilever in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.About Ben & Jerry’sBen & Jerry’s believes in a greater calling than simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, light ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. In 2015 the company completed its transition to using entirely non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients by source as well as to fully source Fairtrade-certified ingredients wherever possible, which benefits farmers in developing countries. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry’s became a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation) in 2012. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation’s employee-led grant programs totaled $2.7MM in 2017 to support grassroots organizing for social and environmental justice around the country.SOURCE BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Ben & Jerry’s www.benjerry.com(link is external)last_img read more

Mahadeo, Adonis disappointed but optimistic

first_imgGuyana’s CrossFit stars, Dillon Mahadeo and Delice Adonis expressed disappointment at being unable to compete at the Reebok CrossFit Games, but the pair is prepared to take all the steps necessary to return to the event next year. The CrossFit Games recently announced that National Champions will not be able to compete in this year’s Games due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as their qualification spots have been rescinded.Though disappointed, the pair is optimistic of the future.Said Mahadeo recently “I’m disappointed that CrossFit rescinded their invitation to the Games but I completely understand with everything going on in the world right now. However, looking at the bigger picture, I cannot complain, due to the unprecedented pandemic globally, persons are being affected immensely and are losing so much more, it’s fatal for some or for their loved ones. I count myself lucky that my family and I are safe from COVID-19 and this is of utmost importance currently.  For now, we need to stay optimistic and plan for the future, and come out of this pandemic stronger on the other side. My goal is to keep putting in the same hard work and discipline it takes to get to the next level and qualify and earn my spot to compete at the pinnacle of our sport in 2021, to represent my country to the best of my abilities so I can once again hoist the Golden Arrow Head proudly on the world stage.According to the Games’ website, the top 20 men and 20 women worldwide along with the athletes from Sanctionals will receive invites to the annual fixture which kicks off on July 7 in Aromas, California, USA. Adonis said the following “Obviously I’m disappointed that CrossFit rescinded their invitation to the Games but I completely understand. With everything going on in the world right now and especially the U.S which is proving to be the new epicenter of the pandemic, it’s probably in the best interest of the athletes. For me, this is effectively the end of my 2020 season. Preparations have now begun to fight to earn that invite again for 2021. I’ve been pushing my body quite a bit since last October so I’m actually a little happy to have a break where I can focus on properly  rehabbing my injury and on gaining strength and developing some of my skills without feeling like I’m jeopardizing my competition prep. I don’t know what the 2021 season is going to look like and I can’t make any assumptions this early on, but my hope is that the CrossFit season can return to normal by then. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSLast year, CrossFit Headquarters expanded the field of athletes in attendance at the Games to include the fittest athlete in every eligible country. In light of current constraints, it will not be possible to host the previously invited 239 national champions in Aromas. The national champion race will reset in 2021 with invites extended to champions who earn top placement in the upcoming CrossFit Open.2021  The changes above have been made in consideration of the current challenges globally. The CrossFit Games will reset for the 2021 season with the intent of returning to crowning national champions and including teams, age group athletes, and a deep field of individuals competing for the title of Fittest on Earth.last_img read more

Pitta’s status comes as no surprise entering training camp

first_imgAnyone surprised by the news of Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta’s status for the start of training camp shouldn’t be. Even before The Sun reported the 30-year-old is expected to be placed on the physically unable to perform list, all signs had pointed to that reality throughout the offseason and spring. The Ravens made no secret in preparing for life without Pitta by adding two tight ends — second-rounder Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle in the fifth round — in this year’s draft after they had selected Crockett Gillmore in the third round last year. And though Pitta had done some individual work — catching passes and running routes — during voluntary organized team activities in the spring, his full clearance never appeared imminent. Pitta will initially be placed on the active PUP list during training camp — which allows a player to return to practice at any point — before he could then be moved to the reserve PUP list for the start of the regular season. Reserve PUP allows a player not to count against the 53-man roster limit, but that player is ineligible to return until after the first six weeks of the regular season. Whether even that will happen remains to be seen after Pitta suffered two serious right hip injuries in a 14-month period, the second coming in Cleveland on Sept. 21, 2014. The innocent nature in which Pitta re-injured the hip — catching a short Joe Flacco pass and trying to turn upfield without being touched — immediately cast doubt over whether the 2010 fourth-round pick would ever play again. “He’s going to have to be cleared by the doctors, and No. 2, he’s going to have to decide he wants to play,” head coach John Harbaugh said during last month’s mandatory minicamp. “Obviously, there will be some risk involved. The first thing hasn’t happened yet. He hasn’t been cleared by the doctors. He has been going through — as you saw before — the individual part of [voluntary] practice. “In minicamp, unless you’re cleared, you can’t come out to practice. I don’t know if that’s a rule or a policy, but that’s the way it goes. Until he gets cleared by the doctors, he won’t be able to practice, and we’ll just have to see where that goes from here.”Because Pitta’s $4 million base salary is guaranteed for the 2015 season, the Ravens lose nothing by allowing him to continue strengthening the hip in hopes of an eventual return. Confident after Pitta returned late in the 2013 season from the first injury and receiving assurances from doctors that he was at no greater risk to hurt the hip again, general manager Ozzie Newsome signed Pitta to a five-year, $32 million contract with $16 million guaranteed last year. His $5 million base salary for 2016 is not guaranteed, meaning the Ravens could cut him after this season and would only have to deal with the dead money from the remaining prorated portion of his $11 signing bonus on the salary cap. This would leave $6.6 million in dead money on next year’s cap if he were to be released next offseason. With Pitta’s future remaining cloudy, Gillmore and Williams are expected to compete for the starting tight end job this summer. In his five-year career, Pitta has caught 138 passes for 1,369 yards and 11 touchdowns.last_img read more

SA’s new Antarctic research ship

first_imgThe new vessel will replace the 31-year-old South African Agulhas, due for retirement in 2012.   (Image: South African Agency for Scienceand Technology Advancement)   MEDIA CONTACTS • Zolile Nqyai Department of Environmental Affairs +27 21 402 3702 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • Big break for biotech in SA • New biosphere reserve for SA • South Africa protects its oceans • SA medics in Antarctic rescueNosimilo NdlovuThe South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Finnish shipbuilder STX Finland Oy have signed R1.3-billion (US$171-million) agreement to build a new Antarctic supply and research ship for the country.The department signed and announced the deal on 17 November at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, in the Western Cape province.The currently unnamed vessel will replace the 31-year-old SA Agulhas, which will retire in 2012.According to the department, the new vessel will be “one of a kind” designed to carry cargo, passengers, helicopters and fuel; while serving as a research base for the three South African stations on Marion Island, Gough Island and Antarctica.The three stations fall under the South African National Antarctic Programme (Sanap) which government has set up to carry out research in the area. They are managed by the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Antarctic and Islands directorate.“The new vessel is vital for South Africa to maintain its strategic presence in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica,” the department’s research chief, Dr Johan Augustyn, said at the announcement.“We are looking at our future role in researching climate change in the Southern and Indian oceans. We wanted a ship with more laboratories that can accommodate other branches of science. We are hoping to do marine biology research with the new vessel,” he said.The new vessel will enable scientists to lower sophisticated probes into the depths of the ocean to measure water temperature, depth, oxygen, light and the presence of phytoplankton. The equipment stores data so that it can be compared over a number of years, giving insight into temperature changes driven by climate change.Scientists aboard the new vessel will also be able to assess changes in the distribution of certain ocean plants and animals that depend on a particular temperature range for survival. A proliferation of tropical species and a decline of cold water ones could be an indication of global warming.Satellites and ocean buoys can collect similar data, but the advantage of a research vessel is that it is very flexible – it can move scientists around with ease, enabling them to use a far wider range of sensors and techniques.Mega-icebreakerThe new, 134m-long vessel will be built at the Rauma shipyard in Finland. Rauma director Timo Suistio said the design and engineering will start immediately and construction will begin in September 2010. “The ship will be delivered to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs in spring 2012,” he said.Suistio said it was the company’s first ship-building project for a South African client and part of its long-term strategy to break into the African market. “Our aim is to make this vessel an example of our ability and use it as a reference for future jobs,” he said.Augustyn said the new vessel will be able to break through thicker ice at higher speeds than South Africa’s current research ship. “It will be a more effective tool and not cost much more to maintain than the SA Agulhas, as it has three times as much power and is more fuel-efficient,” he said.The icebreaker will have shelter and a landing area for two Puma class helicopters, a gym, a library and a small hospital. It will accommodate 45 crew members and 100 passengers or researchers.The SA Agulhas currently carries cargo and passengers to the island of Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic Ocean around September each year. The ship drops off the tourists and then moves on to Gough island to deliver cargo and exchange research staff, giving the public an opportunity stay on Tristan for up to three weeks. It is expected that the new ship will offer a similar service.Greater capacityEquipped with 800 square metres of research space, the vessel will act as a mobile laboratory for scientists and be able to collect weather data for meteorological institutions around the world.It is hoped that the top-class facilities will attract foreign experts and help South Africa rebuild its deep sea research capacity, which has dwindled over the years due to a lack of infrastructure and shortage of scientists. Many have left to work overseas or moved into the private sector.“The new ship, apart from its supply function, will be a catalyst to rebuild the deep-sea oceanography capacity in South Africa,” said Henry Valentine, Antarctica and Islands director for the department.“This will also attract participation of international scientists and researchers, thus significantly contributing to research projects addressing new challenges and changing interests [such as climate change],” he said.Allocating this level of funding for the new vessel, despite current pressures, reflects the South African government’s commitment to the Sanap, said Valentine.last_img read more

It’s not Big Data; It’s Smart Data (or Thick Data or Small Data or…)

first_imgI’m amused by articles decrying the over-hyped nature of Big Data by coining a new over-hyped term. Months ago some were pushing the term Smart Data; arguing that the ‘big’ in Big Data was uncorrelated with value. Take this for example:     The difference between big data and smart data comes down to size versus application. Big data is a buzz word for “lots of data.”  However, what one does with all of that data isn’t entirely obvious from the term. Smart data, on the other hand, is what one does with their data—irrespective of size.The key phrase here is “what one does with their data.” But there is already  a definition for “what one does with their data”—it is analytics.One of the keys to Big Data is that it can store and process massive quantities of data cheaply. The primary reason Hadoop, MapReduce and the entire Big Data infrastructure was created was because there is a change in the value of the data when it reaches a certain size. Years ago it was standard for companies to send out surveys and use focus groups to try and understand their customers. The lessons learned were used to make modifications to products and services so that they better satisfied the average customer. Big Data can supercharge this effort. The ability to store and process more customer interactions has been a game changer in many industries; Google, Amazon, and Netflix are good examples. These companies don’t make changes for the average customer –they make changes for every customer.Conversely, I’m intrigued with the idea of Thick Data. I think the best definition of Thick Data is from Tricia Wang who defined it as: ethnographic approaches that uncover the meaning behind Big Data visualization and analysis (see: http://ethnographymatters.net/2013/05/13/big-data-needs-thick-data/) The emphasis of Tricia’s article is that ethnography should provide the stories behind the data. There are definitely situations where the combination of ethnography and Big Data is a powerful combination. Tricia provides many examples, but the one that resonated mostly with me is that of brand strategy and insight. These tasks require stories; stories that allow executives to understand how people feel about the brand and stories that motivate employees.I’ve heard and seen other terms as well, so below is a table with my own personal definitions. Please reach out to me if you’d like to add to the list. Analytics Thick Data Thin Data Definition Ethnography MichaelRead more blog posts by MichaelFollow Michael on Twitter Data with historical context Big Data Long Datacenter_img Smart Data “not too much data”; valuable data that is not big Big Data without Ethnography Small Data Personal quantified data Term Little Data Technologies for storing and retrieving data characterized by the  ‘3Vs’last_img read more

Franco Columbo, famous bodybuilder and actor passes away at 78

first_imgAdvertisementThe Italian bodybuilder who was closely associated with fellow bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger lost his life after drowning on the eastern coast of Sardinia. Columbo died on his way to the hospital in the helicopter.Image Courtesy: HeavyColumbo rose through the ranks by winning the Mr. Olympia titles twice in 1976 and 1981. He initially started his career as a boxer before transitioning himself into weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding.Schwarzenegger held a long-term friendship with Columbo after meeting him in 1965. The duo competed against each other and were encouraged to make their way to America later on. Columbo appeared in several of Schwarzenegger’s movies which include The Terminator, Conan The Barbarian and The Running Man. Their association knew no bounds with Columbo standing as his mate’s best man during his wedding.The demise of Columbo brought forward an emotional response by Schwarzenegger who proceeded to pay a tribute to his long-time pal. He said:“I love you, Franco, I will always remember the joy you brought to my life, the advices you gave me, and the twinkle in your eye that never disappeared.”Read Also:Boxing: India finishes with six medals as Lovlina and Neeraj claim gold Advertisementlast_img read more

TMC lawmakers meet PM on renaming of Bengal

first_imgNew Delhi: A delegation of Trinamool Congress lawmakers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum, urging him to take steps to change the name of West Bengal, a demand for which has been pending with the Centre.The 12-member delegation led by Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandopadhyay requested the prime minister to bring in a legislation to amend the name of West Bengal to “Bangla”. Earlier during the day, the government had announced that there was no proposal to make amendments in the Constitution to change the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’. “To change name of any state, constitutional amendment is required. There is no proposal to amend Constitution as of now,” Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said. He was replying to a query on why the Centre was rejecting the West Bengal government proposal to change the name of state to ‘Bangla’. Rai mentioned that name ‘Bangla’ has similarities to ‘Bangladesh”. On July 26 last year, the West Bengal Assembly had passed a unanimous resolution to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’ in the three most-spoken languages — Bengali, Hindi and English — and had sent the proposal to the Home Ministry. The delegation also submitted all the letters written by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the Centre over the renaming of the state. Rajya Sabha member Sukhendu Sekhar Ray raised the renaming issue during the zero hour on Wednesday. He said that “no geographical territory ever existed officially to be known as East Bengal”. “The word Bangla or the territory called Bangla is believed to have been derived from Banga, a Dravidian tribe that settled in the region 1000 BCE,” he added. The Home Ministry which is the arbitrator in the issue has not taken any step so far in accepting the assembly’s demand. Ray pointed out that after the Partition in 1947, following the award passed by the boundary commission, commonly known as Radcliffe Commission, the eastern districts of Bengal became east Pakistan which later became an independent country of Bangladesh. The delegation also raised the issue of disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings or PSUs, especially the Air India with prime minister and requested him to revert back the decision. Sources, however, said that the prime minister declined their demand in this regard. Last week, the government reconstituted a group of ministers tasked with working out the modalities for sale of Air India. The GoM, call the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism, will be headed by home minister Amit Shah and comprised three other ministers. The earlier panel had five members. The other ministers in the panel will be finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and railway minister Piyush Goyal and civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The other issue raked up during the meeting was corporatization of ordinance factories in the country’s defence sector. Trinamool supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter on Tuesday to PM Modi in this regard. She called the move “extremely sensitive and urgent issue”. The OFB consists of 41 factories, nine training institutes across the country and about 1.6 lakh officers and employees have often been called the fourth pillar of the Indian Defence apparatus which produces a vast range of arms and equipment for the armed forces, she wrote. TMC Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Abhishek Banerjee, Kalyan Banerjee, Mahua Moitra, Saugata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien, Sukhen Shekhar Roy, and other senior members were present in the meeting.last_img read more