Procurement officers undergo tender evaluation training

first_imgGiven the importance of continuous evaluator training, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was solicited to facilitate a two-day training session that will equip local procurement officers with the necessary best practice skills and knowledge of tender evaluation.This workshop, which commenced on Wednesday, will complement ongoing training sessions done annually by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).According to Chairman of NPTAB, Berkley Wickham, evaluators find themselves in the spotlight of scrutiny over their recommendations now more than ever, especially with the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC)International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laskiwhich allows contractors to protest bids coupled by public audit.To this end, Wickham told the evaluators that such training will prepare them for what is to come as Guyana moves towards attaining 21st Century Public Financial Management, of which Public Procurement is a principal business area.“… The Procurement Act and its regulations in Guyana will soon be changed. In fact, the recommendations for change is already with us; and among other areas, there will be new methods of procurement. An evaluation criteria will become more specific and perhaps little more complicated… [This] is not intended to scare you but in the real world of Guyana, you will find that while in the past the evaluation process may not have been challenged, you should never confuse poor but untested past practice with proper practice,” the NPTAB Chairman posited.Meanwhile, IDB Procurement Specialist, Ivan Gaviria, emphasised the need for increased training for local evaluators ahead of the impending changes to economic conditions.“With everything that is upcoming in the country – big changes, looking towards the future and also just ensuring that public procurement and the processes therein, evaluations etc, are maintained with the principles of fairness, impartiality and transparency, I think the workshop is going to be very beneficial,” Gaviria asserted.The two-day workshop, which is being held at the Marriott Hotel, is being facilitated by International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laski, who will be looking intoA section of the participants at the IDB Tenders Evaluation Workshop at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesdayvarious best practices in tender evaluation to improve the participants’ capabilities.He emphasised that the training session will serve as a learning environment where the participants will get to see mistakes so as to not repeat them in executing their duties.While there has been much controversies over years surrounding the local procurement process, these were heightened in recent time following the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.According to the Procurement Act, among the key functions of the Commission are to monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with the law, and monitor the performance of procurement bodies with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works.Back in August, based on a report filed by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, the PPC found that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson breached procurement laws with the award of a consultancy contract to Dutch firm LievenseCSO for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River crossing.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) recently submitted the findings of the PPC to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for criminal investigations to be carried out. It was reported that Minister Patterson was questioned on the matter during a visit to SOCU’s Headquarters on Monday.last_img read more

Net-Zero-Energy Buildings Open on a California Campus

first_imgIn August 2009, construction began at the University of California at Davis West Village, amid proclamations that the project would become one of the nation’s largest and most ambitious university developments designed to operate at net zero energy.Certainly its scale suggests it will live up to the first part of that promise. West Village’s plans include 662 apartments and 343 single-family homes (enough housing for about 3,000 people), 42,500 sq. ft. of commercial space, and several on-site renewable-energy installations, including a 4-megawatt photovoltaic system – all on about 205 acres.Last month, the school celebrated the completion of Phase I, a $300 million, 130-acre segment of the project that includes 315 apartments, the commercial facilities, and a 15,000-sq.-ft. recreation center.According to UC Davis, net zero energy performance will be achieved due to design and construction details such as added exterior-wall insulation, solar-reflective roofing, radiant barrier roof sheathing, energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, carefully designed roof overhangs, and window sunshades.A giant NZE lab experimentAlthough two of West Village’s apartment complexes are newly occupied – about 800 students have already moved in – and are being monitored for energy use, it is too early to tell how they’re likely to perform. The project’s designers estimate that the energy-efficiency features of these buildings will reduce electricity use by 50% compared to buildings of comparable size built to code. Similar energy efficiency is expected for the single-family homes.The 4-megawatt photovoltaic installation and a biodigester – based on technology developed at UC Davis for converting organic waste into energy – are planned for West Village’s remaining build-out, Phase II, which is expected to be completed in 2013. Because West Village is so large, it’s not yet clear if its planned renewable-energy infrastructure will be adequate or whether it will have to be expanded to accommodate the community once it is fully populated.UC Davis notes that the project is a giant laboratory for large-scale net-zero-energy applications and energy-efficiency research.By Davis housing standards, it also is not cheap to live there. Student apartments rent for about $745 per bed per month, including utilities and unlimited broadband service. Single-family homes, the school says, will be available for sale to full-time faculty and staff not already owning a home in the Davis Joint Unified School District.The neighborhood master plan for West Village also includes another, 94-acre phase that would add another 882 student beds and 132 single-family homes, but the school says that no timeline has been set for that portion of the project.last_img read more

DaVinci Resolve Tutorial: Extreme Color Looks

first_imgHighly-stylized extreme color looks are easy to nail down through heavy color tinting. Achieve radical color grades with this DaVinci Resolve tutorial.In a two-part post here and here last month, I took a look at recreating several Instagram-style looks in DaVinci Resolve. These discussions led us to analyze looks that were certainly stylized, but not all that extreme. One day, you may come across a project where your client is open to a more extreme approach. If you do, hug that client and work with them again. Let’s explore some of these looks.Approaching the GradeOne way to achieve radical grades is by employing heavy color tinting. To encourage a bit of an unrefined look, adjust the control surface sensitivity in the preferences beforehand. A higher sensitivity number will make the trackballs and dials slide around quicker, allowing you to dial in extreme looks fast.Try setting the RGB balance sensitivities to around 80 and watch the colors get thrown out of whack with the slightest push. It’s like coloring with a fat marker as opposed to a thin pencil. It’s going to get a little messy.Click the gear icon on the bottom left in Resolve’s interface and select the Control Panel preferences. To see dramatic changes, alter the RGB sensitivities for the lift, gamma and gain to somewhere around 80, out of a maximum value of 100. Just for today, throw realism out the window. Let’s abandon natural skin tones in favor of a color treatment that imposes itself on the image. The challenge will still be to make our images look visually interesting.Executing the LooksHere’s the image we’ll be working on. I picked it because it is fairly neutral, but mainly because this lady looks awesome. She’s the perfect canvas for some extreme grades.As always, perform an initial balance on the image, then create a new node for screwing with the colors. Here are some looks I came up with, along with the color wheel “answer keys.”Depending on the type of image you choose, the colors will react quite differently at the outer limits, but since we’re thinking outside the box, there are really no wrong answers. At such extremes, adjusting the saturation by a smidgen will lead to another look itself, so try that too. Trust your eyes and visual acumen to guide you to what looks good. Pushing the Concept FurtherWhile we’re not touching the luminance values too much for the purposes of this tutorial, it can be helpful to use luminance to qualify sections of the image in the interest of processing them separately. First, pull just a luminance key on half of the image. To do this, increase luminance Low Clip or decrease luminance High Clip.When about half of the image appears in the qualification, soften the corresponding Softness control. This will ensure that extreme corrections will still have a smooth falloff in the extreme color ranges.I’ve pulled the High Clip down on just the luminance, then increased the High Soft enough to gradually recede the correction. Then I created an Outside Node to color the values outside the first node. On the newly keyed portion of the image, go crazy with one of the trackballs. When you’ve destroyed the image to your liking, create an Outside Node to invert the qualification and tint that part of the image.This creates a more controlled look that can be tuned in greater detail. Now that both sides of the shot are tinted, experiment with the qualification point in the original node. The image changes as values are included or excluded.   To further complicate our look, create another node and qualify a different section of the luminance, maybe this time from the bottom third of the image. Tint that with a different color altogether. Maybe this node could even be desaturated. Now you’ve got a bunch of colors playing against each other in psychedelic glory.In addition to the luminance split above, I’ve added a third node that selects a more narrow range of luminance values. Then I went wild on everything for a different look altogether. Dial it BackNow that we’ve got a bunch of insane looks, let’s see if we can make them more usable for a traditional job. If you balanced your shot in a separate node at the beginning, you can mix it with the extreme node(s) to bring the look closer to normalcy. To do this, select the Key tab in the lower-middle section of the screen and adjust the Gain parameter underneath the Output heading.A value of less than one will essentially lower the opacity of the node correction to mix it with the base correction node. Increasing the value of Gain more than one won’t accomplish anything.Setting the Output Gain to 50% pulls one of our extreme looks back into a more commercial realm. When you’re destructing your image, keep track of digital degradations. It’s up to you to determine if these are acceptable for your grungy look. If not, consider dialing back your look, as colors in the vectorscope can also clip out. Alternately, try using noise reduction or soft clipping to limit the amount or severity of artifacts.Yikes! This is what clipped colors in the vectorscope look like. Yeah, you can slice colors too, just like whites are sawed off on an overexposed image. Sure, we’re going for something extreme, but you may want to avoid this. Going ExtremeExperiment with how different colors and the image ranges play off each other. This will actually inform traditional grading approaches for more conventional jobs. Taking colors too far can be instructive. See what kind of crazy results you can come up with, then dial them back into the realm of acceptability.Here’s our palette of nine looks. Hopefully you can see the huge range of possibilities in color grading, no matter how extreme your client wants to go.If you’re feeling gutsy, why not try some of these out on your next commercial job? Your client may think you’re insane, but maybe they’ll be into a unique style that makes their commercial stand out from every other ad. As colorists it can become easy to color each project in a similar manner, and playing around with images in an extreme way can help things from getting stale. Have fun and check out these additional DaVinci Resolve tutorials:Color Grading: Bleach Bypass Looks in DaVinci ResolveSunkissed and Sepia Looks in DaVinci ResolveThe Isolated Color Look in DaVinci ResolveDid this DaVinci Resolve help you see color grading in radical new ways? Got any examples of extreme looks you’d like to share? See you in the comment section!last_img read more

Sourav Ganguly at Youth Summit: “I want to coach Indian team”

first_imgFormer India captain Sourav Ganguly has said on Saturday that he would like to be the coach of the Indian team, if such an opportunity comes his way. “Though it’s not my immediate goal, I will like to coach the national team. It will be a great honour,” Ganguly said on Saturday while addressing the India Today Youth Summit in Delhi. He will, however, like to do things differently from former India coach Greg Chappell because of which he had to lose his captaincy and later his place in the team. “I think the captain is the boss of the team, the coach should remain backstage,” he said.In the session Going For Broke chaired by Headlines Today Executive Editor Rahul Kanwal, Ganguly said his coaching will revolve around five central rules: friendly relations with media, no use of media to sideline a player, being honest with players, work with the players, gaining their confidence and staying at the backstage. On being asked what keeps him going, the Bengal Tiger said that the love for the game inspired him to make several comebacks. “After I was dropped from the team in 2006, even my father thought I would not get any chance. But I had faith in myself. I still get high when I score runs,” he said. He admitted cricket was not his first choice. Like most Bengali teenagers, his first love was football. But injuries forced him to give up football and he turned to the game he would rule when he was in Class IX. “My elder brother played cricket, so I started going out with him to play. That’s how it began,” said Ganguly. He also said that his cricketing journey, filled with so many ups and downs, has moulded his character. It has taught him that winning was not always everything. “Of course people expect you to win every time, and you can’t move ahead if you don’t deliver, but the most important part is the amount of struggle you go through to achieve your goal.” he said, “There are more bad days in sports than good ones. But people remember the good days only.” He said that failures have made him a better person. On being asked how it felt to sit out of the team, Ganguly said that it was like a punch to his face. “When I was out of the team, the newspapers made me feel like everything I had done for Team India was wrong. Then I got picked up after six months and suddenly people said there was none better than me. That’s when I realised winning is not everything,” he said adding that “it’s not important how many times you fall, but how you get up every time”. He advised youngsters not to worry much about winning as that adds pressure.  “If you are honest to you profession, some day you will surely win.” The southpaw also praised the efforts of boxer Mary Kom who despite several hardships and obstacles has brought glory to the country by becoming World Woman Boxing Champion five times in a row. The most successful Indian captain ever, Ganguly attributed his success to his teammates. “A team-mate is as good as his team. I had so many talented players in the team and they delivered. We must remember cricket is a team game.” Among all the captains he played under he singles out Tendulkar as the best. “Everyone, including my father, points to Tendulkar’s captaincy record when I say this, but I really blossomed as a cricketer under Sachin,” he said. Ganguly, who opened in ODIs with Tendulkar, said that he considered the 60-plus partnerships with the master blaster as the most memorable in his career. “After we lost to Australia in the World Cup 2003, there was a huge public reaction against our dismal performance. Our next match was against Zimbabwe and I was very tense. Tendulkar came up to me and said that it was the most crucial game of his life and we must win it. It was a small partnership, but it changed our course in the World Cup and we reached the final,” he said. On being asked if he could do something differently in the 2003 World Cup final, he said, “I wish we could bowl better. Every time I asked Zaheer to bowl a particular delivery, he did the opposite.” He also admitted that his tactic of keeping former Australian captain Steve Waugh waiting for him during the toss was a deliberate one. “It was my way of being at the same level as they were.” He also recounted his encounter with Steve Waugh the very next year at Brisbane where Waugh had asked him, “Could you be on time for the toss this time?” “Only if you stop writing,” replied Ganguly. Clearly in a mood to interact with the youngsters present at the summit, Ganguly was at his wittiest best. “Was hitting sixes against leg spinners your success mantra,” asked one delegate to which Ganguly replied, “It was my way of venting out my frustration after facing the fire from the Pollocks and Bret Lees.” On being asked how he had felt after taking off his shirt at the Lord balcony after India had won the NatWest series against England, he said, “I felt cold as it was very cold in London.” He also said that he might take off his shirt again if Kolkata Knight Riders win the IPL. Ganguly believes that Indian cricketers are not involved in match-fixing. He however refused to agree that it’s not about Pakistani players only. “The bookies know who to approach. They observe the players, their behaviours and how they speak to the press or on TV.” On being asked how he dealt with the match fixing crisis after he took over the reigns of Team India in 2000, he said, “Almost all the players were new. So we made a fresh beginning. We did not talk about it. I did not have to deal with it much.” Ganguly also sees no wrong in politicians managing sports. “If their intentions are right, anyone can manage sports. But it’s better if administration is managed by politicians and the sports aspect by players,” he said. The former India captain believes that the Commonwealth Games in India will pass off successfully. “India has the huge ability of surviving disasters. It’s not okay to blame one person for what is happening. If it fails, all are to be blamed.”advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Ranji Trophy: Ageless Wasim Jaffer completes Perfect 10 after Vidarbha lifeline

first_imgIt was all but over for Wasim Jaffer, one of the greatest servants of Indian cricket when he suffered a knee injury during the 2016-17 season. He had missed quite a lot of domestic cricket and when he returned from the injury, not many were willing to give the then 38-year-old an opportunity to represent their state.Jaffer had revealed that his employers Indian Oil felt there was not much cricket left in him and suggested he sit in the office and do the mundane desk work. However, Jaffer got an opportunity to play for Vidarbha, whom he had joined for the first time in the 2015-16 season after leaving Mumbai for whom he played for 18 years and won eight titles.Cut to February 2019, Jaffer was holding the Ranji Trophy for the 10th time in his career and the second straight time with Vidarbha. The 40-year-old batsman was one of Vidarbha’s key campaigners in their successful title defense in the recently-completed 2018-19 season. Jaffer has now won 10 Ranji Trophy titles in as many finals he has played in the country’s premier domestic tournament.Jaffer did not fire in the final against Saurashtra as he was dismissed for 23 and 11 in Vidarbha’s 78-run win but the veteran finished as the highest run-scorer for the eventual title winners.Vidarbha defeat Saurashtra by 78 runs in the Ranji Trophy finalLift back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles pic.twitter.com/km0LASmN4SBCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) February 7, 2019Jaffer ended up with 1037 runs at an average of 69.13 from 11 matches. He scored four centuries and the 206 he had scored in the quarter-final against Uttarakhand sealed a semi-final berth for Vidarbha. Jaffer became the first batsman to score 1000 runs in a Ranji Trophy season twice.advertisementThe 40-year-old Jaffer had scored 1260 runs from 16 innings at an average of 84 for Mumbai in 2008-09.An elated Jaffer conceded that he never thought he would another Ranji Trophy final when he left Mumbai in 2018 and thanked Vidarbha’s coach and former India cricketer Chandrakant Pandit for trusting him.”Didn’t think I would play another Ranji Trophy final when I left Mumbai. Two in two is unbelievable. When I came back from injury, Chandrakant Pandit became the coach and brought me in. I don’t want to let it go. Playing in a winning team motivates you,” Jaffer was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo after the Ranji Trophy win on Thursday.Vidarbha rode on 29-year-old left-arm spinner, Aditya Sarwate’s maiden 11-wicket haul to outclass Saurashtra. Sarwate dismissed India’s star Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in both the innings cheaply (1 and 0) in the final to set up his team’s historic win.Also Read | Unreal feeling: Faiz Fazal after Vidarbha defend Ranji Trophy titleAlso Read | People did not know where Vidarbha was but it won’t be so after Ranji triumph: Umesh YadavAlso See:last_img read more

Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq accused of having multiple affairs

first_imgPakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has landed in controversy after a slew of leaked messages were out on social media allegedly of him having multiple affairs and cheating on girls.According to reports, a Twitter user has leaked some WhatApp chats and accused Imam of exploiting women.Imam’s WhatsApp chats with four women has been leaked on social media.Imam was an integral part of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign and scored a 100 against Bangladesh at Lord’s helping his team win by 94 runs. But Pakistan, in the end, fell short on net run rate and could not make the semifinals finishing fifth behind eventual runners-up New Zealand.Also Read | England collapse against Ireland ’embarrassing’, says Michael VaughanAlso Read | 127 minutes, Tim Murtagh’s heroics and other stats as Ireland bundle England for 85Also See:last_img read more