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GOVT TO `LOOK EAST' TO OVERSEE EXPENDITURE

GOVT TO `LOOK EAST' TO OVERSEE EXPENDITURE | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
CAG-Like Evaluation Authority to Regulate Govt Spending The Telangana government will set up an independent body to oversee public expenditure and evaluate how much of a bang for the buck the state is delivering to its people. The Evaluation Authority of the State of Telangana (EAST) is expected to become operational this financial year. EAST is expected to function on the lines of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and keep an eye on how well the state is spending its funds. This is the first such state-level body to be set up by any state government in the country. The setting up of the evaluation authority was announced by finance minister Etela Rajender in a statement of fiscal policy presented to the Legislative Assembly as part of presenting the state budget for 2016-17. Rajender said that the government aims at redirecting expenditure away from less productive schemes towards investments that will result in lasting benefits for the people. The evaluation authority is expected to help the government on this front. The state government, over the past year, has relied several times on internal audits to check irregularities in spending. For instance, an audit of the farm loan waiver scheme found that in Medak district alone, Rs 35 crore was disbursed in violation of norms. These accounts were then made ineligible for the waiver programme, resulting in savings for the government.
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Town Hall turns 102

Town Hall turns 102 | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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The majestic edifice was constructed with public donations to mark the 40th birth anniversary of the Sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan.

 

The majestic edifice housing the Andhra Pradesh Assembly has completed more than acentury butnoneis aware of it. Not even the elected representatives who occupy it.

On Monday, a scion of the Nizam family, Sahabzada Nawab Mir Azmath Ali Khan, commemorated the 102 years of the Town Hall by releasing a card containing the sketch of the Assembly building.

An artist himself, Mr. Khan has used deft strokes to draw the imposing Town Hall built in 1913. It was constructed with public donations to mark the 40{+t}{+h}birth anniversary of the 6th Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. The latter laid the foundation stone in 1905 but it was eight years later that the building was completed during the reign of the 7th Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan. The grand structure is a fusion of both Persian and Rajasthani architecture and the all white scheme only adds to its aesthetic look.

For the last two years, the sexagenarian artist has been trying to celebrate the occasion but couldn’t get any support. This yeartoo hewanted to commemorate the event at the Assemblybuilding butnoneinthe government evinced interest, it is said. Mr. Khan observed the event by releasing a sketch card of the Town Hall at Chowmahalla Palace, a legacy of the Asif Jahi era. Of late Mr. Khan has been sketching in public places to create awareness about heritage structures.

He has compiled a book titled “Architectural Heritage of Hyderabad and Secunderabad” containing 150 sketches and 125colourphotographs of Asif Jahi monuments. But for want of money has not been able to publish it. At a small function, P. Anuradha Reddy,convenor, INTACH, released the pen and ink rendering of Mr. Khan, who has brought out the right tones and shadows in his sketch.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/town-hall-turns-102/article7026287.ece

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Twitter can predict heart disease risk

Twitter can predict heart disease risk | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Popular microblogging site Twitter can accurately predict a community's rate of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, researchers have found. Studies have identified many factors that contribute to the risk of heart disease: traditional ones, like low income or smoking and stress.

Twitter can capture more information about disease risk, as it also characterizes the psychological atmosphere of a community , said researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. They found that expressions of negative emotions such as anger, stress and fatigue in a US county's tweets were associated with higher heart disease risk.On the other hand, positive emo tions were associated with lower risk.

“The relationship between language and mortality is particularly surprising, since people tweeting angry words are in general not the ones dying of heart disease,“ said H Andrew Schwartz, a visiting assistant professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science's Department of Computer and Information Science. “But that means if many of your neighbours are angry , you are more likely to die of heart disease,“ he said.

Sneha Jha and Megha Agrawal of Computer and Information Science, besides Raina Merchant of Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, also contributed to the study.

 http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=Twitter-can-predict-heart-disease-risk-23012015011020

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India is the most affordable country: survey

India is the most affordable country: survey | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it

(Representational Image; Photo: PTI/File)

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Hyderabad: All the concerns that RBI had about soaring inflation might have been put to rest, if the governor had considered the conclusions of a survey done by a New York-based website.

According to the survey, India is the most affordable country in the world, with the lowest cost of living.

The website, Numbeo, claims that one could live in India by spending 73.73 per cent less than what he would have spent in New York.

With 26.27 points in the cost of living index, India has emerged as the most affordable country than most of the impoverished countries like Zimbabwe, Ethio-pia, Mozambique, etc.

In terms of affordability, India is followed by Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia and Algeria.

Switzerland is the costliest country to live in, followed by Norway, Venezuela, Iceland and Denmark. While the UK is 10th costliest,  France 14, Japan 21, and the US stands at the 24th rank, according to Numbeo.

As against other firms that compile cost of living indices, Numbeo collected data from user inputs, and also from sources such as websites of supermarkets, taxi websites, governmental institutions, etc

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150123/business-latest/article/india-most-affordable-country-survey

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US okays world's 1st device to fight obesity

Jan 19 2015 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)

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Curbs Appetite By Electrically Stimulating Stomach Nerves

A first-of-its-kind implant to treat obesity that curbs appetite by electrically stimulating stomach nerves has been approved in the US. The Maestro Rechargeable System is approved to treat patients aged 18 and above who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss programme, and who have a body mass index of 35 to 45 with at least one other obesity-linked condition, like type-2 diabetes.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the implant for certain obese adults, the first weight loss treatment device that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness. BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual's weight and height, is used to define obesity categories.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all US adults are obese. “Medical devices can help physicians and patients develop comprehensive obesity treatment plans,“ said William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist at FDA's Centre for Devices and Radiological Health. The system consists of a rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes implanted surgically into the abdomen. It works by sending intermittent electri cal pulses to the trunks in the abdominal vagus nerve, which is involved in regulating stomach emptying and signalling to the brain that the stomach feels empty or full. Although it is known that the electric stimulation blocks nerve activity between the brain and the stomach, the specific mechanisms for weight loss due to use of the device are unknown. The safety and effectiveness of the system were evaluated in a clinical trial that included 233 patients with a BMI of 35 or greater.

 

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=US-okays-worlds-1st-device-to-fight-obesity-19012015011005

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ICRISAT LAUNCHES LOW-COST ‘PHABLET’ FOR FARMERS

Metroindia.  02.01.2015

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Metro News / Hyderabad : A customised ‘low-cost’ phone-cum-tablet has been launched for farmers by Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). “The device will help farmers purchase inputs at lower prices, get a better price for their produce and link them to markets,” ICRISAT Director General William Dar said, while launching the device on Monday. The device, priced at $299, has been developed by ICRISAT’s Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovations for Agriculture in collaboration with NUNC Systems, a city-based company.

“This device acts like a mobile village knowledge centre or common service centre, enabling farmers to benefit from contemporary information and communication technologies and expanding Internet connectivity in remote rural areas,” Director of ICRISAT Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovations for Agriculture Dileep Kumar Guntuku said. Discussions are on to roll out the device across India and Africa, officials said. Apart from regular phone services, farmers would receive free messages about weather and pest problems while sharing the most competitive agricultural inputs and crop prices.

The method has proven successful in pilot tests, according to ICRISAT.
In its first six trial months of operation, the initiative saved food supplies while improving farm incomes through timely messages to 40,000 rural subscribers so far. “In 171 villages across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, farm incomes have gone up, since farmers can now compare prices of agricultural crops and inputs offered by both traditional local agents and the GreenSIM,” Guntuku said.

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India unlikely to meet Infan Mortality Rate target of 2015

India unlikely to meet Infan Mortality Rate target of 2015 | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Warangal, Amaravathi to Be Developed as Heritage Cities

Warangal, Amaravathi to Be Developed as Heritage Cities | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it

Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu speaking at a press conference in Hyderabad on Sunday. Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy is also seen | EXPRESS PHOTO

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HYDERABAD: It is official now. Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh and Warangal in Telangana will soon join the club of holy towns such as Varanasi, Mathura, Gaya, Ajmer, Amritsar, Kanchipuram and Velankanni for having the best infrastructure.

According to Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu, the Centre had decided to develop Amaravathi and Warangal as heritage cities along with 10 other cities across the country such as Varanasi, Mathura, Gaya, Ajmer, Amritsar, Kanchipuram and Velankanni, considering their ancient history.

As part of this Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme, the Centre will allot sufficient funds to each identified heritage city to enhance the quality of urban life in that city apart from improving its physical, social and economic structures.

In fact, it was reported earlier in these columns that Warangal was included in the HRIDAY scheme. Venkaiah Naidu, while addressing mediapersons here Sunday, disclosed that Amaravathi and Warangal are part of HRIDAY, including 10 other cities across India.

According to him, the `500 crore HRIDAY scheme would be launched by the ministry of urban development very soon.

‘’Amaravathi has rich history and it is close to the location where capital city of Andhra Pradesh will come up. Considering this, the government has decided to develop the city as tourist spot. Same is the case with Warangal, which is a historical city,” Naidu said.

Warangal was the capital of Kakatiya dynasty, while Amaravati, situated on the banks of river Krishna, was the capital of Satavahanas in the 2nd Century, besides being a major Buddhist centre.

He further stated that a meeting was convened with municipal commissioners and district collectors to discuss as to how to improve the city and conserve rich history of these two places. “The Central government will consider suggestions from the officials during the meeting and the scheme is contemplated to be started in January.”

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/Warangal-Amaravathi-to-Be-Developed-as-Heritage-Cities/2014/12/22/article2583235.ece

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Smart mice with half-human brains created

Smart mice with half-human brains created | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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It’s still a mouse brain, not a human brain. But all the non-neuronal cells are human: Steve Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

LONDON: Researchers have created mice whose brains are half-human, making the animals smarter than their peers.

The altered mice still have mouse neurons – the “thinking” cells that make up around half of all their brain cells but all the glial cells in their brains, the ones that support the neurons, are human, researchers said.

“It’s still a mouse brain, not a human brain. But all the non-neuronal cells are human,” said Steve Goldman of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Goldman’s team extracted immature glial cells from donated human fetuses. They injected them into mouse pups where they developed into astrocytes, a star-shaped type of glial cell.

Within a year, the mouse glial cells had been completely usurped by the human interlopers. The 300,000 human cells each mouse received multiplied until they numbered 12 million, displacing the native cells.

A battery of standard tests for mouse memory and cognition showed that the mice with human astrocytes are much smarter than their mousy peers, ‘New Scientist’ reported.

In another experiment, Goldman injected immature human glial cells into mouse pups that were poor at making myelin, the protein that insulates nerves.

Once inside the mouse brain, many of the human glial cells matured into oligodendrocytes, brain cells that specialise in making the insulating material, suggesting that the cells somehow detected and compensated for the defect.

This could be useful for treating diseases in which the myelin sheath is damaged, such as multiple sclerosis, said Goldman.

He has already applied for permission to treat MS patients with the glial progenitor cells, and hopes to start a trial in 12 to 15 months.

To explore further how the human astrocytes affect intelligence, memory and learning, Goldman is grafting the cells into rats, which are more intelligent than mice.

Goldman cautioned that the added cells do not provide the animals with additional capabilities that could in any way be ascribed or perceived as specifically human.

“Rather, the human cells are simply improving the efficiency of the mouse’s own neural networks. It’s still a mouse,” he said. — PTI

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Vikarabad likely to be declared protected zone

9th July 2014

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Having reemerged as a bio-diversity hub after several decades, Vikarabad is finally on its way to be marked as a conservation zone by the state government. Sources said the forest department has sent a proposal to the Telangana government on declaring Vikarabad a conservation zone.

“The government is keen on restoring Vikarabad's preeminence as a retreat for people seeking healthier climes, scenic beauty , trekking and experiencing nature in general,“ an official said on condition of anonymity .

Welcoming the proposed move, wildlife enthusiast Fazal Ali Adil said this would mean that the area would be awarded legally protected status to ensure that its natural features are safeguarded.
“The protection granted to it would be higher than that which covers a reserve forest. Wildlife sanctuary on the other hand is given greater protection than a conservation zone,“ he explained.

“Notifying an area as conservation zone would invite stricter scrutiny of any intervention, private or commercial. For instance irresponsible mining or construction of buildings cannot be undertaken in the area without clearance of the authority set up for the purpose,“ environmentalist J V Sharma said.

Chairing a meeting of forest officials last month, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao heaped praises on Vikarabad, said sources. He quoted an adage which he recalled from his childhood: “Vikarabad ki hawa, sau marz ki dawa (the air of Vikarabad is so good that it can treat 100 ailments).“

Vikarabad, located on the slopes of Anantagiri Hills, about 70 km on the west of Hyderabad, was known until about six decades ago for its lush forest, variety of wildlife and relatively cooler clime. Anantagiri is also the point of the origin of the river Musi. After facing governmental neglect, poaching, hunting and indiscriminate felling of trees, Vikarabad had almost lost its place of pride among better climatic zones around Hyderabad. In the last few years, however, introduction of a better monitoring system in the area gave way to an increase in green cover as well as the population of herbivorous animals.

Official sources said that Anantagiri, spread over 3,718 acres, was notified as a forest block in 1970. It also has a TB sanitarium over 368 acre.
Along with it some land around Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple, built by Qutub Shahi Sultans, will be brought under the proposed conservation zone. “The hilltop enclosure is about 600 m above sea level and provides pleasant weather in all seasons,“ the sources said.

Sources said Vikarabad could be developed as a hub for community tourism.
“There is an APTDC hotel atop the hill. The forest has several cart tracks which can be opened for public. In fact, in January last the forest department released 16 deer in this area and the numbers are now growing. People looking for weekend getaways would love to venture into forest to see animals and birds in their natural habitat,“ they said.

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1.4 million children aged 6 to 11 out of primary schools in India

1.4 million children aged 6 to 11 out of primary schools in India | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Achieving the goal of getting all children in school by 2015 is now clearly impossible. It has emerged that there are 57.8 million children who are out of primary school globally. And India, with 1.4 million children, ranks among the top five nations with kids aged six to 11 out of school.

These are some of the findings in Unesco’s Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report on out-ofschool populations. The report also details how Nepal overcame conflict and brought down the number of its out-of-school children to 1%, while Burundi, by doing away with school fees, achieved a 94% enrolment rate, up from 54% in 2005.

The report attributes India’s woeful performance to, among other things, the largest cuts in aid to basic education effected by any country. Its aid to the sector fell by a massive $278 million between 2010 and 2012.

The Unesco data shows little overall improvement in out-of-school figures since 2007. Pointing out that the EFA will miss its 2015 deadline for putting all children in school, Unesco directorgeneral Irina Bokova said, “Combined with the news from Unesco that aid to education has fallen yet again, the lack of progress in reducing out-of-school numbers confirms our fears — there is no chance whatsoever that countries will reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015.” “We cannot meet this news with further inertia.

We must sound the alarm and mobilize political will toensure that every child’s right to education is respected,” Bokova said.

The data shows that around 43% of those out of school globally — of whom 15 million are girls and 10 million boys – will probably never set foot in a classroom if current trends continue. India, Indonesia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan each have over a million children out of school.

India and Pakistan were the countries with the largest cuts in aid to basic education between 2010 to 2012, even though both are among the top five countries with the most children out of school. These cuts resulted in the South and West Asia emerging as the region with the largest decline in aid to basic education, with disbursements falling by 26% between 2010 and 2012.

The report also cited that in sub-Saharan Africa most of the 30 million out-of school children will never start school and those who do are at risk of dropping out before reaching the last grade of primary school.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=14-million-children-aged-6-to-11-out-07072014008049

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From rickshaw puller to guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan

From rickshaw puller to guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Twenty seven years ago a rickshaw puller operating in the Walled City would often visit Raisina Hills area to have a look at British-era buildings including Rashtrapati Bhavan without knowing that one day he would be one of the guests at the Presidential palace.

This is the story of 51-year-old Dharamveer Kamboj, a resident of Haryana, who is staying as a guest of President Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan - an honour bestowed on him for his innovation of a multi-purpose food processing machine which can extract juices or essence from herbs quickly.

Rickshaw puller Dharamveer Kambo. Illustration by Arya Praharaj

From being a rickshaw puller in Old Delhi to becoming an organic farming expert and an innovator, Kamboj's story seems straight out of a movie. After a verbal duel with his father in 1986, the then 23-year-old Kamboj left his native village in Yamuna Nagar in Haryana for Delhi where he ended up as a rickshaw puller ferrying traders in Khari Baoli area of old Delhi. It was here that the seeds of Kamboj's innovation were sowed. The traders he ferried to the Khari Baoli area of Old Delhi paid hefty amounts for herbs and an intrigued Kamboj soon gathered information about the income they could fetch.

Following an accident in 1987, Kamboj was forced to return to his home in Yamuna Nagar, where he joined a training programme in improving agricultural practices and organic farming techniques. In 1990, even as he became the first farmer in his area to cultivate hybrid tomatoes, the creative streak resulted in the development of devices like a battery-operated spraying machine using a tape-recorder motor, an insect trapping device and a farm implement customised for ploughing without disturbing the sugarcane crop.

Kamboj, who is one of the five innovators selected as guest of the President, said he developed the food processing machine which could extract pulp of over 200 kg tomatoes per hour.

"It took me 11 months to develop this machine. In 2008, officials from National Innovation Foundation visited me at my village Damla to see a demo of my machine. And then I got the idea of taking it to the masses," Kamboj, who is spending 20 days from July one in the President's House, said.



Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/from-rickshaw-puller-to-guest-at-rashtrapati-bhavan-dharamveer-kamboj/1/370282.html

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Stand by for weather report from a buoy

Stand by for weather report from a buoy | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
Centre for Good Governance's insight:
The Integrated Marine Surveillance System, a buoy fitted with three night-vision cameras, can transmit oceanographic and meteorological data on a real-time basis.NIOT’s device enables round-the-clock transmission of ocean data

Fishermen and seafarers need no longer depend on weather reports on television or radio before venturing out to sea. Thanks to the efforts of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), they now will be able to get a clear picture of the weather on a real-time basis round the clock.

The Integrated Marine Surveillance System, launched on May 28, enables comprehensive ocean observation along with oceanographic and meteorological data. The data is collected by cameras that have been fitted on a buoy floated out into the sea off the Goa coast. It can then be transmitted through a SIM card built into the unit and be observed at the NIOT office in Pallikaranai here.

According to R. Venkatesan, head of NIOT’s Ocean Observation Division, the buoy unit had three cameras each of which had a 120-degree scope so as to collectively obtain 360-degree pictures day and night. It also has an inbuilt automated identification system to record the movement of passing vessels, Dr. Venkatesan said.

Dr. Venkatesan said the IMSS enabled researchers to obtain visuals of diverse information that can be correlated for a complete analysis. The real-time data would also help the seafarers and fishermen get a clear idea about the condition of the sea, he said.

The IMSS uses conventional cameras modified to be compatible with the marine environment and measure sea-wave loading. A unique feature of this camera is that it automatically switches over to ‘night vision’ mode after dark.

The system functions with solar power and is hence ecologically-friendly.

According to Dr. Venkatesan, observation of sea using night-vision is unprecedented. The NIOT has obtained patent for the IMSS, he said.

Underwater observation

Dr. Venkatesan said the underwater camera could prove useful in monitoring the coral areas in the country too. Researchers could observe the movement of nocturnal underwater species, about which little is known.                                                 http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stand-by-for-weather-report-from-a-buoy/article6101912.ece

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Female genital tuberculosis on the rise

Mar 21, 2015, 07.01AM IST

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HYDERABAD: In what could be a new cause for concern, female genital tuberculosis (FGTB) is fast emergingas a major health issue that affects fertility levels in women. City researchers have found that about 60 per cent of women suffering from FGTB in India are infertile and incapable of reproduction. 

An eight-year-long research study on over two lakh women attending various fertility clinics across South India, including Hy derabad, has revealed that FGTB can be accurately diagnosed through multi-gene polymerase chain reaction (PCR). 

Tuberculosis, which normally infects the lungs, can also affectreproductive organs. "Fe s male genital tuberculosis is ani uncommon form of non-lung TB. Infertility is the most common symptom in FGTB. This type of TB represents 15 to 20 per cent of non-lung tuberculosis.It is emerging as a major health problem in the country," said fertility expert Dr Roya Rozati, who was one of the members of the research group, which included Venkanna Bhanothu, JP Theophilius, PK Reddy and A Vikram. 

hestudy was carried out by the department of zoology, Osmania University, Gandhi Medical College, department of tribal welfare, government of AP, and MHRT Hospital and Research Centre. The research covered 2.11lakhwomen, of whom 31,755 reported infertile. The team zeroed in on the women suffering from FGTB for the study.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Female-genital-tuberculosis-on-the-rise/articleshow/46641765.cms

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100 Indian women plan dive to record books in Australia

100 Indian women plan dive to record books in Australia | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it

Shital Mahajan will lead a team of 99 skydivers. Photo: Vivek Bendre

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Skydiver Shital Mahajan is not one to sit on her laurels. After over 600 jumps, 14 national and five international records and a Padmashri, she is now heading for Australia in April to set two world records. But unlike her solo attempts, this time she has company — 99 Indian women.

They will attempt to set the world record for the “most tandem skydiving jumps performed in one day by a group of 100 Indian women” and “most scuba diving performed in one day by a group of 100 Indian women.” “Since we planned to attempt the records in Australia, we thought why not combine it with some sightseeing, and hence a seven-day trip,” Shital told reporters here on Wednesday.

In tandem skydiving, the diver is attached to an instructor who is in full charge of releasing the parachutes and orchestrating the landing. 

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4-yr-old gets artificial pancreas

4-yr-old gets artificial pancreas | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
Centre for Good Governance's insight:

Boy Is World's First To Get The `Insulin Pump' To Treat Type I Diabetes

A four-year-old boy in Australia has become the first person in the world to be fitted with an artificial pancreas in a ground-breaking technology to treat Type I diabetes.

Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) developed an insulin pump which acts like an artificial pancreas to treat Xavier Hames' Type I diabetes. The new insulin pump system has been developed by specialist team at PMH as well as a network of hospitals across Australia funded by The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a non-profit organization.

“The technology mimics the biological function of the pan creas to predict low glucose levels and stop insulin delivery ,“ Western Australia's health department said in a statement.

“This in turn avoids the seri ous consequences of low glucose such as coma, seizure and potential death,“ it said.

Hames was diagnosed with diabetes when he was just 22 months old. He has been receiving regular treatment at PMH since his diagnosis and will be the first child, outside of the clinical trials, to use the new device, the department said.

Xavier's mother Naomi said that the pump system was a breakthrough in Xavier's care and for others suffering with the disease worldwide.

Dr Dorota Pawlak, the director of the JDRF Australian Type I Diabetes Clinical Research Network, said artificial pancreas systems can transform the lives of people with Type I diabetes by eliminating much of the burden of the daily management of the disease while improving glucose control.

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=4-yr-old-gets-artificial-pancreas-23012015011010

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Addl DGP Cycles from City to Nizamabad

Addl DGP Cycles from City to Nizamabad | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it

Additional DGP Rajiv Trivedi reaches Nizamabad police guest house after travelling from Hyderabad on cycle on Sunday | EXPRESS PHOTO

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NIZAMABAD: Telangana State Police Battalion Additional Director General Police (DGP) Rajiv Trivedi, a well-known sports personality in police department, came from Hyderabad by cycle to 7th Police Battalion at Dichpally in Nizamabad district.

Decided to send a clear message to all police personnel about cycling that protects health, he came along with two sons to Nizamabad on cycle and wants to go back in the same way.

The team led by the IPS officer took six hours to complete 162 km distance by using National Highway 44. He got a grand reception from officials and staff of the 7th police battalion and district police administration.

He said in coming days he would visit all the police battalions on cycle. He recalled that earlier he used cycle to visit Visakhapatnam from Hyderabad.

Speaking to media, he said the government is going to establish six other police battalions in the state.

The police department has already sent proposals to the government and the latter is likely to take a decision soon. He said the government is showing interest to provide facilities like housing, medical and education to police personnel, he added.

He also inspected Dichpally Battalion and held a meeting with officials.

SP S Chandrasekhar Reddy, Battalion Commandant Srinivasa Rao and other officials took part in the programme.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/Addl-DGP-Cycles-from-City-to-Nizamabad/2015/01/19/article2626099.ece

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A village waiting for electricity since 1947!

A village waiting for electricity since 1947! | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Boys Find It Tough To Get Brides As Nobody Wants To Come To A `Dark' Hamlet

Unbelievable as it may sound, Sadikpur, a village of about 3,000 people in Moradabad, has been without electricity since 1947.

So chronic is the problem that parents find it difficult to find a match for their sons as no one wants to come to this “dark village“. Refrigerators -though not a very popular dowry gift item -have been turned into almirahs and residents have to keep visiting the nearby villages to charge their mobile phones.

Ajay Kumar Singh, 26, said he's given up hope of seeing his village illuminated with electricity. “I have lived like this for as long as I can remember,“ he said. “We don't know how long we will have to wait.“ A graduate from Chandausi, Singh, who is the village development officer in Sadikpur, added, “The entire country has been promised development, but my village remained in darkness.There are a few affluent people who can afford to install solar panels in their homes. But that, too, can light up a single electric bulb.“

Lack of electricity , has plunged many lives into darkness here. Muzammil Chaud hary , a 26-year-old graduate from nearby Imlak, just a km away from Moradabad, said his village has been powerless for the last 20 years. “The village is plush with electric poles and wires, but they dangle uselessly. Since childhood I have studied in candlelight. There is rampant unemployment in the village as no technical appliances or machines are of any use here. Everything has to be done manually .“

Finding a match for village youth too has become a difficult task as parents don't want to ruin their daughters' lives.“My husband's family kept us in dark. They didn't tell my parents that there was no power supply here. I belong to a village near Rampur and I was used to the advantages of electricity. But after I came here, I came to know the reality . There were numerous fights but there was nothing I could do.Today , only parents from other villages with no electricity , like Devapur and Milad, marry their daughters here,“ said Parveen Jehan, who has been married here for 18 years.

Priyanka Singh, 24, from Meerut district, fell in love with Vineet Kumar Singh, 26, of Imlak. They got married and moved to the powerless village last year. Both husband and wife are preparing for the civil services but it's a struggle they can't even begin to explain. “Imagine studying in the light of earthen lamps,“ said Priyanka.

Chote Ali, a 47-year old shopkeeper from Imlak, has an interesting story to tell. “Officials had put up electric poles and wires in the village when I was a kid. Electricity came for a couple of years, but was suddenly cut off one day . It's been more than two decades now.“

Villagers claim they have made numerous trips to the electricity department, but to no avail. PK Goel, chief engineer, Paschimanchal Vidyut Visaran Nigam Ltd, said, “I took charge just 20 days ago and was updated about the situation only four days back. I have ordered a probe and will be able to say something concrete only after the reports come in.“

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31809&articlexml=A-village-waiting-for-electricity-since-1947-15012015010080

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NITI Aayog will set policy agenda

Mr. Modi had announced that the Planning Commission would be replaced by a new body. 

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PM Modi to head panel that will give strategic advice

On the first day of the New Year, the Modi Government set up NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) in place of the Planning Commission. The Prime Minister will head the new institution tasked with the role of formulating policies and direction for the Government. Its Governing Council will comprise State Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

The Prime Minister will appoint the Aayog’s Vice-Chairperson and CEO. Asian Development Bank’s Former Chief Economist Arvind Panagariya is tipped to be the first Vice Chairperson.

The Government plans to adopt a ‘Bharatiya’ approach to development, states the resolution of the Union Cabinet for setting up the Aayog. India needs an administration paradigm in which the government is an enabler rather than a provider of first and last resort, it states.

The Aayog will recommend a national agenda, including strategic and technical advice on elements of policy and economic matters. It will also develop mechanisms for village-level plans and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.

The institutions of governance and policy have to adapt to new challenges and must be built on the founding principles of the Constitution, the resolution states. On the planning process, it states that there was a need to separate the process from the strategy of governance.

Transforming India, it further states, would involve changes of two types — consequences of market forces and those that would be planned. “The maturing of our institutions and polity also entails a diminished role for centralised planning, which itself needs to be redefined.”

A state-of-the-art Resource Centre for good governance practices is also proposed.

The original Planning Commission was set up in March, 1950 through a Cabinet Resolution, which the Modi Government scrapped in August 2014.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Ministers and Governors of various States at the retreat at Race Course Road, following the meeting on Planning Commission revamp, in New Delhi on December 7, 2014. Photo: PTI

‘Bharatiya’ governance model unveiled

The Modi Government on Thursday unveiled its ‘Bharatiya’ governance model in the resolution for setting up the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.

The resolution, approved by the Cabinet, reaffirms that India is a diverse country with distinct languages, faiths and cultural ecosystems. “This diversity has enriched the totality of the Indian experience,” the resolution says.

Politically too, India has embraced a greater measure of pluralism which has reshaped the federal consensus, it says. “States do not want to be mere appendages of the Centre… They seek a decisive say in determining the architecture of economic growth and development.”

India no longer seeks the alleviation of poverty, states the resolution, but rather its elimination. “Poverty elimination remains one of the most important metrics by which alone we should measure our success as a nation.”

The essence of effective governance is defined to include pro-people agenda, citizens’ participation, all-round women empowerment, equality of opportunity to the youth and transparency. Inclusiveness with special attention to the socially and economically disadvantaged sections and minorities is also included in the scheme of effective governance.

Enabling legislation

The role of Government as a player in the industrial and service sectors is proposed to be reduced. “Instead, Government has to focus on enabling legislation, policy making and regulation.”

India’s middle class, including the neo-middle class, is unique in terms of its size and purchasing power, says the resolution. “Our continuing challenge is to ensure that this economically vibrant group remains engaged and its potential is fully realised.”

The resolution also says that the Non-Resident Indian community spread across more than 200 countries is a significant geo-economic and geo-political strength. “Future national policies must incorporate this strength in order to broaden their participation in the new India beyond just their financial support.”

Urbanisation has to be viewed as an opportunity to use modern technology to create a wholesome and secure habitat while reaping the economic benefits that it offers, states the resolution.

Policy-making must focus on providing necessary support to the more than 50 million small businesses, which are a major source of employment creation, in terms of skill and knowledge upgrades and access to financial capital and relevant technology

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/planning-commission-to-be-renamed-niti-ayog/article6744546.ece


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A memorable day for Dalits of Kolar village

22.12.2014

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Organised by the Dalitara Grihapravesha Rajya Samiti under the slogan ‘march towards untouchability-free India’, a large number of Scheduled Caste people entered the Sri Chowdeshwari temple under the Muzrai and Religious Endowment Department in the presence of officials, including Deputy Commissioner K.V. Trilokchandra.

Retired IAS officer P.N. Srinivasachary and former judge of High Court of Karnataka H.N. Nagamohan Das were present.

Narayanamma (75), who entered the village temple for the first time in her life, expressed happiness about the development. “With the Deputy Commissioner issuing an order, we are now able to have darshan of the deity,” she told The Hindu . Ms. Narayanamma, a bhajan and kolata artiste, however, said that providing entry to the temple alone cannot solve the problem. “We eke out a meagre living singing bhajans and performing kolata. The government should provide more facilities for poor artistes like us,” she said.

Delivering a special lecture on the occasion, Mr. Nagamohan Das regretted that despite great achievements in the field of science and the progress in several spheres, the curse of untouchability still persisted. Laws alone cannot eradicate social evils.

A change of heart among people is important to bring about social transformation, he said.

Education and scientific temperament are necessary to materialise the dreams of thinkers like Buddha and Basaveshwara, he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/a-memorable-day-for-dalits-of-kolar-village/article6714191.ece

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International Corruption December 9th

Dec 08 2014 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)

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HYDERABAD: Observing the International Corruption Day, which falls on December 9 every year, the Hyderabad Chapter of Anti Corruption Bureau is observing the week from December 3 to as the Anti Corruption Week.

As part of the awareness programme, the organisation has approached educational institutions to conduct theme-based elocution competitions.  “This is the first time we have launched this initiative in the city. The main motive is to promote awareness among the citizens about rising corruption,” said Chandrasekhar, DSP, ACB.

According to him, they had visited schools, junior, degree colleges, universities and professional colleges. “On the first day, we held rally with the students from MJ Market to Public Gardens involving students,” he said, adding, “We believe that moral principles have to be imparted to children through their curriculum.” ..

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/International-Corruption-Day-Today/2014/12/08/article2561187.ece

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City museum with rare coins world’s second largest

City museum with rare coins world’s second largest | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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Jaya Vellampalli/ Hyderabad The City of Nawabs now houses the world’s second largest collection of coins, after the British Museum, London! With approximately three lakh rare Indian coins; belonging to different eras, dynasties and denominations, the YSR State Museum at Public Gardens is going to be thrown open to the public soon. The fabulous collection in the museum includes coins dating back to the 16th century Mouryan period. Curiously, the coins in the collection belonging to the erstwhile Hyderabad region do not mention of any of the first two rulers of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The first coin bearing the insignia of the Qutb Shahis came out during the reign of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in 1550. Inscribed in the coins minted during the reign of the founder of Hyderabad and fifth Sultan of Qutb Shahis, Mohammed Quli, are legends in Persian, saying “God’s curse be on those who do not accept these coins”. Director of Archaeology and Museums B Srinivas observes: “These coins were part of the treasure troves of many dynasties which once ruled the Deccan region. This huge collection of coins showcases the richness and prosperity of various kingdoms and they truly reflect the belief that the Deccan was one of the richest regions.” The diverse collection includes coins from Mourya, Gupta and Satavahana dynasties of the distant past to those of Qutb Shahis, Asaf Jahis and British India. One interesting aspect of the collection is that there are over 20,000 gold coins, 65,000 silver coins and others in bronze. The collection belonging to the erstwhile Nizams include punch-marked silver coins in irregular shapes that were in use between sixth and second centuries BC. More on PYSR State Museum to be thrown open to public soon City’s renowned scholar and an expert in ancient coins D Raja Reddy says, “The outstanding ones among the collection are the coins belonging to the Satavahana dynasty. They throw light on the Satavahanas’ rule in the Telangana region. This collection, excavated from Kotilingalu in Karimnagar district, gives people proper understanding of the times of ancient rulers of the Deccan region.” Walking down memory lane, he says, the collection also includes about 4,000 coins belonging to the Paigah family, depicting the richness of Hyderabad. “Every coin has a story to tell about the rule.”
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New poverty line: 3 out of 10 in India are poor, says Rangarajan report

New poverty line: 3 out of 10 in India are poor, says Rangarajan report | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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New Delhi: The raging economic crisis appears to have hit the poor in India hard, as an expert group headed by former chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Dr C. Rangarajan, which submitted its report last week, revealed that the number of poor in the country is 7.5 per cent more than what was estimated earlier.

Sources in the government privy to the report revealed that the Rangarajan panel found that as of 2011-12, around 29.5 per cent of India’s population lived below the poverty line (BPL) as against the 21.9 per cent earlier estimated by the Planning Commission using the Tendulkar methodology.

On the controversial question of poverty line, the Rangarajan report says that any person who spent more than Rs 972 in rural areas and Rs 1,407 in urban areas in a month in 2011-12 has not been counted under the BPL category. If the monthly figures are calculated on a daily basis, they translate into a per capita expenditure of Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 46 in urban areas. The BPL benchmark according to the Tendulkar estimate for 2011-12 was Rs 816 in rural areas and Rs 1,000 in urban areas, which on a daily basis came to be Rs 27 in rural areas and Rs 33 in urban areas.
The Planning Comm-ission had constituted the expert group headed by Dr Rangarajan in the midst of a massive uproar over the “abnormally low” poverty line fixed by the then UPA government in May 2012.

Opposition parties and activists had alleged that it gave a false impression of the decline of poverty in the country. The expert group was mandated to revisit the methodology for the estimation of the BPL population and identification of poor.

Incidentally, the Rangarajan panel not only reviewed the existing methodology for estimating poverty, which was based on the suggestions made by the late noted economist Suresh Tendulkar, it also assessed whether poverty can be determined on any other criteria other than consumption basket.

The Rangarajan report also reviewed the divergence between the National Sample Survey Organisation estimates on consumption expenditure and those put up by the Central Statistical Organisation. Sources said that the current report has also suggested that poverty ratio should be disengaged from entitlements under various social security programmes of the government.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140707/nation-current-affairs/article/three-ten-indians-poor-says-panel

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Granville Austin, biographer of our statute, dead

Granville Austin, biographer of our statute, dead | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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NEW DELHI: In Washington DC for some research work, former law secretary T K Vishwanathan was to meet his old friend Granville Austin on Monday for few tips. Instead, he ended up at the memorial service of Red, as Austin was affectionately known among his friends. 

Vishwanathan, who first met Austin in 1991, had invited him last year to deliver Hiren Mukherjee memorial lecture in Parliament but the biographer of Indian Constitution declined. "I do not remember things. I will cut a sorry figure," Vishwanathan remembers Austin telling him. 

Part of the American generation that took interest in India in the 50s and 60s, Austin along with economist JK Galbraith worked on various aspects of Indian constitution, polity and society. The result was for all to see. It took an American, with a doctorate in modern Indian history from Oxford, to give the nation its finest accounts of the making and working of its Constitution. 

His two books, "The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation" (1966) and "Working a Democratic Constitution: The Indian Experience" (2000), have fed generations of students, jurists and historians. The first book was made possible when Nehru gave him access to Constituent Assembly debates as well as private papers of Maulana Azad, KM Munshi and others. He interviewed all the members of the Constituent Assembly, members of parliament and journalists for the first book. During the period he made India his home. 

In the early 1990s he was denied law ministry papers and Vishwanathan was entrusted the task of briefing him and struck deep friendship. In 2000, Ram Jethmalani gave him access to files. Second book brought to life the working of the constitution from 1950 to the nineties when the country was wracked by constitutional disputes over Mandal reservations, Babri Masjid demolition and the primacy assumed by the Supreme Court on appointment and transfer of judges. This book also traced the evolution of the constitutional law. 

Constitutional expert Upendra Baxi who would be regularly invited for "bed and bourbon" by Austin is overwhelmed with the loss. "Poor is the world of constitutional law and constitutionalism. They do not make man like Austin anymore," he says. Baxi and Austin go a long way. Baxi says his first legal article was 200 page review article on Austin's first book. Baxi sent his article, 'Little Done, the Vast Undone', to Austin at the behest of colleague Lotika Sarkar and did not hear from him till he came to India later.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Granville-Austin-biographer-of-our-statute-dead/articleshow/37988243.cms

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Smitha Sabarwal, IAS

Smitha Sabarwal, IAS | General  & Corruption | Scoop.it
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DC News 11.06.2014

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