Service delivery innovators awarded

first_img3 November 2014Innovations in the delivery of services, healthcare, education, nutrition and voting rights to South Africans were recognised at the 12th annual Public Sector Innovation Awards, held in Kempton Park, Gauteng, on Friday.The overall winner was the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport, which walked away with the Innovator of the Year Award, winning a trophy and cash prize of R60 000. Their invention, spearheaded by chief artisan and head of the Modimolle Mechanic Workshop Jacobus Potgieter, was a Jojo Diesel Tank that helped the department reduce costs and improve service delivery.The tank was designed and fitted to eight utility trucks with diesel pumps and gauges that reduced around R2-million in running costs and eliminated diesel spillages. One bakkie was able to service three graders, carrying 600 litres of diesel. Recycled material was used to build a support structure for the frames securing the tanks.“I’m excited and did not expect us to win in this tough category,” Potgieter said. He added that it was an innovation departments across the country should implement. “This is a good innovation and I think it will save the department a lot of money. It should be rolled out in other places.”Speaking at the ceremony, minister of public service and administration Collins Chabane said the awards showed that public officials could be forward-thinking and inventive.“The public service has been branded as un-innovative and this event tells a different story,” he said. “Your innovations are important in modernising the public service and improving service delivery. The quality of the projects here bears the high level of creativity in the public service. They will lay a crucial part in making the National Development Plan a reality.”Other award-winning inventions included a digital pen for mental health, an atlas of agricultural potential in Gauteng, a smartphone app for the national elections held in May, a nutrition scheme for creches, and a hospital pharmacy automation system.The awards were held in four categories: information and communication technology, service delivery institutions, improvements to internal systems of government, and innovative partnerships to deliver services.The full line-up of winners:Innovative use of ICT for effective service deliveryWinner: Digital Pen for Mental Health by the Department of Health in KwaZulu-NatalFirst runner- up: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-NatalSecond runner-up: Gauteng Agriculture Potential AtlasThird runner-up: Elections Mobile Application from the Independent Electoral CommissionInnovative service delivery institutionsWinner: Jojo Diesel Tanks by the Department of Roads and Transport, LimpopoFirst runner-up: RAF on the Road by the Road Accident FundSecond runner-up: Safe Anaesthesia for Africa Project, Ngwelezane Hospital, KwaZulu-NatalThird runner-up: Dietetics Creche Outing: Malnutrition Kicked Out, Department of Health, LimpopoInnovative enhancements of internal systems of governmentWinner: Case Management and Community Empowerment, Tembisa Hospital, GautengFirst runner-up: Pharmacy Automation, Helen Joseph Hospital, GautengSecond runner-up: Extra School Support Programme, Department of Education, GautengThird runner-up: Open Development Engine, Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs, LimpopoInnovative partnership in service deliveryWinner: The Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Department of Health, KwaZulu-NatalJoint first runner-up: Learn-not-to-Burn Programme, Department of Education, Gauteng and Community Food Production Units, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentSecond runner-up: Lego Project, Tshwane South District in partnership with Hands on TechnologySouthAfrica.info reporter and SANews.govlast_img read more

Measuring corn growth

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest What are the critical stages in the life of a corn plant? Actually, corn needs a lot of tender loving care throughout the growing season. The growth of corn is pretty consistent and is driven by heat units or Growing Degree Days (GDDs).• How do you calculate GDDs? Calculate average daily temperatures by adding the highest and lowest temperatures of each day and divide by 2. Subtract 50 from the average daily temperature to get the GDDs for each day with the limitation that if the low falls below 50 degrees F, we use 50 as low and if the temperature goes above 86 degrees F, we use 86 as the high for that day. This allows us to make some adjustments in the formula.• If we add the GDDs of each day from emergence to physiologic maturity (Black layer), we will have the total GDDs needed for the hybrid to mature. We need 2400 to 2800 GDDs from emergence to physiologic maturity of 105 to 115 day relative maturity hybrids.• According to Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension Corn Specialist, after seedling emergence, with moisture, nutrients and normal sunlight availability, corn growth is pretty consistent. From emergence to V10 leaf stage, about waist-high corn; it takes an average of 82 GDDs for each leaf added. After V10 stage, corn picks up speed and adds a new leaf every 50 GDDs. Now you can almost see the corn plants grow!• At V6-V8 stage, be sure to side-dress with nitrogen before the plants are too tall, if you are going to apply additional nitrogen. Check for deficiency of nutrients like sulfur, zinc, magnesium and other micronutrients.• Pollination is the next most critical stage. Make sure that insects like Japanese beetles, western corn rootworm beetles are not clipping the silks. Use insecticides if needed to control these pests.last_img read more

Archers bang on target to snap up 2 gold medals

first_imgIndia swept the individual recurve events at the Commonwealth Games at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Sunday to cap a brilliant run at the nineteenth edition of the event.Rahul Banerjee and Deepika Kumari snatched the men’s and women’s individual recurve gold to take India’s overall tally in archery (compound and recurve) to three gold, one silver and four bronze.Deepika beat England’s Alison Williamson in three straight sets (6-0), while Rahul dug deep to win his quarter-final, semi-final and final via a shoot-off after tying in all three matches. In the final, he beat Canada’s Jason Lyon 6-5.Earlier in the day, the women’s recurve final was supposed to be veteran Dola Banerjee’s pet event, but 16-year-old Deepika stole the show. She beat Australia’s Alexandra Fenney in the quarter-finals in straight sets.In the semi-finals, she overpowered Anbarasi Subramaniam of Malaysia seven set points to one, with an overall score of 108-89 to set a final date with England’s Alison. Interestingly, Alison’s last arrow in the women’s team recurve final fell short of the required nine to hand India gold.In the final, Deepika once again blew away the competition, registering a straight sets win. The blistering conditions were a handful for all the archers, but Deepika held her own despite having started playing the game just three years ago. “I am delighted with the win.The conditions were tough. I am not used to such windy conditions and the bow was shaking a lot,” Deepika said. She dedicated the gold medal to her parents.advertisement”This medal is dedicated to my parents and my coaches. I grew up in Ranchi and not many knew about archery there. It was my cousin who introduced me to the game and my parents were surprised at my decision to turn into an archer. But my father encouraged me and I am glad they reposed theirfaith in me.”Dola, on the other hand, had to settle for bronze. She beat Anbarasi 6-2 in the play-off match. In the men’s section, Rahul and Jayanta Talukdar were in the fray. Jayanta beat England’s Simon Terry 6-2 to make it to the semi-finals, where he lost to Canada’s Lyon in straight sets.However, in the bronze medal play off, he overcame Matthew Gray of Australia 6-4, after tying the last set. Rahul showed a lot of grit and nerves as all his matches on Sunday went into a shoot off. In the quarter-finals, the deciding set saw both Rahul and Matthew Masonwells tied at four set points each.Needing nine to win, Matthew hit an eight. In the ensuing shoot-off, Rahul’s perfect 10 gave him an entry into the semis. Thereafter, he beat Matthew Gray in the semis in similar style, with his eight in the shoot off, beating Gray’s attempt of seven.The final was another closely contested affair with Canada’s Lyon in top form. The wind had picked up considerably but both the archers kept up the pressure. At one point, Rahul was trailing five set points to one at the start of the third set. Needing two set wins to tie the match, he did so and took the match into shoot off.Jason hit an eight and Rahul then hit a nine to seal the gold. “I am glad I came out on top in all the shoot offs. Things fell in place perfectly today,” Rahul said.last_img read more

It was a satisfying win: Shane Warne

first_imgRelieved to snap their losing streak, Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne on Sunday expressed satisfaction at the intensity and character showed by his team during their comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Kochi Tuskers Kerala in Jaipur.Talking to reporters after Rajasthan’s third victory, the Australian spin legend said the past week was very tough on them and the losses really hurt the team.”We had to play four matches in seven days and that in far corners. We also played pretty disappointing cricket but I am happy with the way the boys have come and responded,” Warne told reporters at the post-match press conference.”After three dismal losses we sat together and had honest chats among us. The sessions with trainer Jeremy Snape too helped us a lot. We were back at the drawing board and came up good. The losses had hurt us and I am happy we have responded well with intensity,” he said.Asked if today’s opening line up with Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson at the top would be maintained, Warne said the playing eleven is chosen keeping in view the opposition.”Tait took three for 23 but could not find a place today because pitch seemed to be low. I feel we need more pace in our attack. Watson and Siddharta (Trivedi) are doing well but still we need more pace in our attack,” he said.”We are happy to be back home and if we win remaining four here we can be among top four. But anything can happen in 20-20. See we beat Kochi easily but they had beaten top teams like Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata in their previous three matches,” he added.advertisementWarne also felt the toss didn’t play a role on Sunday.”The toss was not really that important. See how easily we chased,” he added.- With PTI inputslast_img read more