Tuesday, 16 April 2019

M’rashtra tops in HIV-related deaths in ’18-19

National AIDS Control Organisation officials, however, said any increase in HIV deaths in Maharashtra should be viewed against the fact that it has the highest number of people living with HIV (PLHIV). “Andhra Pradesh used to have the highest number, but it has now split. It is not, hence, surprising that Maharashtra now has the largest numbers,” said NACO’s Dr Manish Bamrotiya. “We used to have 10.5 PLHIVs on medications until two years ago, but the number has increased to 13 lakh now,” he added.
In the last two years, NACO started Mission Sampark to locate PLHIVs who were lost. “We found out about deaths that had not been reported to the authorities. Some of these deaths were perhaps added to the overall numbers at a later date, leading to an increase in the number of deaths,” said a senior government official. He added the HMIS data is mainly drawn from hospitals and is primary. The data from AIDS Control Societies such as MSACS (Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society) and MDACS (Mumbai District AIDS Control Society) is more refined and studied.
Officials of Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), which oversees the implementation of HIV\AIDS control programme in the state, refuted the data. “We have spoken to HMIS officials about this data. The urban-rural divide seems incorrect as far as Maharashtra is concerned,’’ said MSACS joint programme director Dr Pramod Deoraj. Dr Srikala Achraya of MDACS said urban centres had testing centres and field reporting systems that helped early detection and reduced the chance of death.

Farm ponds that dot parched Marathwada may deplete groundwater in the long run

Filling From Wells Likely To Drain Precious Resource

A patchwork of brown fields is visible from the air as you fly into this drought-hit region in rural Maharashtra. But amid the dry land is a growing mosaic of blue and brown squares and rectangles.
These are farm ponds: Large earthen structures that have spread across rural Maharashtra in the past five years, thanks to a raft of central and state subsidies.
The ponds were conceived to catch and store rainwater, and are especially useful for fruits such as grapes that require year-round irrigation, But as they have proliferated on a large scale, and are often filled from wells, experts have become concerned about their long-term effect on groundwater levels.
“Farm ponds have some value for irrigation,” said Eshwar Kale of the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR). “But they can lead to privatization of water by a few and, on a large scale, these schemes take no account of the carrying capacity of the watershed.”
Pond numbers have shot up since 2016, when the state’s Farm Pond on Demand Scheme began offering up to Rs 50,000 reimbursement to eligible farmers. Close to 1.2 lakh ponds have been built under the scheme so far (more than three lakh farmers applied for it) at a cost of around Rs 540 crore.
Thousands more have been built under other schemes over the years, including the National Horticulture Mission and still more have been set up privately, for which there is no data. Near Aurangabad, for instance, a prosperous farmer with 12 acres along the highway has two plastic-lined full ponds—one that he funded himself and another with a government subsidy.
Studies from institutions such as the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics have found that while these ponds benefit individual farmers, allowing them to grow high-value crops, they also favour larger famers who have access to water, capital to invest, and adequate land; Maharashtra’s scheme requires farm sizes of at least 1.5 acres.
Many farmers also line their ponds with plastic and fill them from borewells, not rainfall runoff.
On a large scale, this may result in over-exploitation of groundwater resources, says C P Bhoyar, chief scientist at the Groundwater Survey & Development Agency. With 30% evaporation rates, storing water above the ground also results in huge water loss, he adds.
The agency considers farm ponds a supplementary irrigation tool and not a water conservation or ground recharge measure. “If you put a plastic lining, there is no percolation,” says Bhoyar.
Groundwater levels are depleting in central Maharashtra, with more than three metres decline seen in some parts of Marathwada in September compared with the previous five-year average.
On the ground, benefits of farm ponds are clear. Bharath Aher, a farmer in Aurangabad district, said his farm pond had helped him switch to high-value grapes a few years ago—and saved his crop despite the current drought. “With the water I’ve stored, I can at least break even,” he said.
And Kadvanchi, a muchcelebrated farm-pond village north of Jalna city, has prospered with grape farming.
Bungalows are sprouting in this hamlet of 650 ponds.
Yet, Kadvanchi’s green farms are an oasis in a desert of brown fields, highlighting the inequities of this district. Poorer villages in Jalna don’t have any ponds—they lack the money to front the cost of construction, let alone invest in drip irrigation, or they have insufficient land.
Kadvanchi has had other advantages too, including sustained help from the local Krishi Vignya Kendra. Its location near a ridge also makes it easier to trap rainfall runoff from the streams. By contrast, many farm ponds without good water sources are dry in this region.
Nearby villages complain Kadvanchi is capturing all the water, which the sarpanch denies. Some have started building their own ponds.
Competitive extraction is a real risk, says Pooja Prasad, a researcher at IIT-Bombay who studied the issue in Nashik. “Because you know that if you don’t extract and store the water, others will.”
In times of scarcity, ponds can also pit irrigation requirements against drinking water needs, she notes. Even with gleaming blue ponds in their midst, Kadvanchi and other villages are buying water tankers in March. Irrigation uses 85% of groundwater in the state.
A modelling exercise by Prasad and IIT-Bombay professor Milind Sohoni suggests that that farm ponds bring prosperity only as long as the numbers are limited in line with the hydrology of the region. “If farmers continue to build new farm ponds and grow orchards beyond this limit in an unregulated manner, it will create a vicious circle,” says their report.
Current incentives are likely to “drive farmers to invest in farm ponds even as the groundwater depletes to dangerous levels,” they write, calling for greater regulation.
“Market forces alone will not be sufficient to ensure that this threshold is respected,” says Prasad.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Swami Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship for Research in Social Sciences : Last Date 06/01/19

Swami Vivekananda was one of the great social thinker and pioneer in social reforms in India. He was chief disciple of Saint Ramakrishna Paramhansa. In a short life span of just 39 years, he introduced Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. Swamiji stressed on different aspects of religion, education character building and social issues pertaining to India. Swami Vivekananda believed that “Education is manifestation of perfection already in men”. To him education was not mere collection of information, but is more meaningful. He stressed that education should be man-making, life giving and Character building. Education is assimilation of noble ideas. He stressed to combine dynamic and scientific attitude of west with spirituality of our country. In women education he emphasizes on fearlessness. Swami Vivekananda considered women to be incarnation of power and asked men to respect them in every way. He believed that the nation can move forward only when the women of the country secure a respectable place. He considered men and women to be equal. He was of the view that women just like men should be allowed to enjoy freedom, independence and responsibility. Swamiji stressed upon the importance of women education and believed that the main reason behind various problems of women in our country was lack of proper education. He firmly believed that if women get proper education then they will solve their problems in their own ways. The main objective in his scheme of women education was to make them strong, fearless, and conscious of their dignity.
In our country like many other developing countries of the world, girl child is discriminated against from her birth, throughout her childhood and into her adulthood. It is very much evident from the skewed sex ratio in favor of men to women (men outnumber women) as sons are preferred over daughters. In many states the sex ratio is alarmingly low. The evil of female feticide is prevalent in most part of the country. The situation is not good for the society as this may further increase crime against women. The root cause of this discrimination is lack of education, indifferent attitude and practices of the society against girl child and status of women in our society. In such circumstances education of women needs to be used and effective means for their empowerment and education will prepare them to have a control over their lives. The Govt. of India declared elementary education as a basic human right of every child. The Union Government of India has taken various steps to uplift the status of women by implementing various schemes including free education for girls.
Promotion of women education is one of the main objectives of our education policy. It is observed that the dropout ratio at various levels of education for girls is much higher than that of boys. Therefore new initiatives have become necessary to give girl child equality and dignity. In order to achieve state governments, central governments and UGC have started special schemes/Fellowships for girls. The government of India is giving special benefits for families having single girl child. Promotion of single girl child in the family means promoting girls in the society, increase sex ration in favor of women and promotion of small family norm in the society.
Keeping Swami Vivekananda’s ideas of women education and to achieve and promote girls education, UGC has introduced Swami Vivekananda Fellowship for Single Girl Child for research in Social Sciences with an aim to compensate direct costs of higher education especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.

The objectives of the proposed scheme are :
a) To support higher education of single girl child in Social Sciences.
b) To recognize the value of observance of small family norm.
c)To recognize the norm of single girl child in society.
d)To propagate the concept of single girl child norm.
e)Promoting single girls in the society.
i) Any single girl child of her parents pursuing Ph.D. in Social Sciences in Universities/Colleges/ Institutes is eligible to apply under the scheme. In a family if one son and one daughter is available then girl child will not be considered for fellowship under the scheme. Proof of being single girl child has to be submitted on an affidavit of Rs.50/- Stamp paper from the fellow/parent duly attested by SDM/First Class Magistrate/Gazetted Officer (not below the rank of Tahsildar) as per the prescribed proforma (Annexure I) at the time of filling the online application.
ii) The scheme is applicable to such a single girl child who has registered herself in regular, fulltime Ph. D. program in Social Sciences in Indian Universities/Colleges/Institutes as indicated below:
A) Universities/Colleges/Institutes included under section 2(f) and 12(b) of UGC Act, 1956.
B) Deemed to be Universities under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 which are eligible to receive grant in aid from UGC.
C) Universities/Colleges/Institutes funded by Central/ State Govt.
D) Institutes of National Importance.
iii) Admission to Ph.D. Course in Distance education mode is not covered under the scheme.
iv) Girl students up to the age of 40 years for general category and 45 years for the reserved categories i.e. SC/ST/OBC and PWD (Persons with Disabilities) as on the last date of submission of online application are eligible
v) Transgender candidates are eligible to apply under the scheme as per the norms.

The number of slots for fellowship may be decided every year on the basis of eligible applications complete in all respects, received through online mode.
The financial assistance available under the scheme is as follows:
Fellowship@ Rs. 25,000/- p.m. for Initial two years
@ Rs. 28,000/- p.m. for remaining tenure
Contingency@ Rs. 10,000/- p.a. for initial two years
@ Rs. 20,500/- p.a. for remaining tenure
Escorts/Reader assistanceRs. 2,000/- p.m. in case of PWD candidates

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

‘Two-meals-a-day’ prof to drive diabetes fight

Dixit, head of the department of community medicine at Latur medical college, said his theory is based on the diet plan drafted by late Dr Shrikant Jichkar between 1997 and 2004. “Unfortunately Dr Jichkar is no more, but I decided to take his research further,” said Dixit. Since increase of insulin in blood, usually released after meals, triggers obesity, insulin-resistance and type-2 diabetes, Dixit advises restricting all eating during the day to just two meals.
“We appointed Dixit as brand ambassador after we found that his diet plan to tackle obesity and diabetes is yielding results,” said BJP leader Girish Mahajan, who heads the medical education department.

Diet can even reverse diabetes: Health ambassador
Dr Jagannath Dixit, who has been teaching for 26 years and has won several national and state awards, explained that if insulin level rises in blood, it can trigger many health hazards (see box). Once insulin level rises, the body uses glucose for energy; and if insulin level falls, the body uses fatty acids. As baseline insulin secretion cannot be controlled voluntarily, one option is to control the number of times insulin is secreted into the blood after every eating episode. As more or less the same amount of insulin is secreted every time, irrespective of the quantity of food consumed, reducing eating frequency can reduce the insulin level. So, Dixit’s advice is to eat twice when one is hungry; in between two meals, one can drink water, diluted, home-made buttermilk, green or black tea (without sugar), coconut water and one tomato.
Dixit claims the simple lifestyle modification is effective in losing weight as well as diabetes reversal. “If one follows the two-meal practice, I am sure there will not only be weight loss, but it will help in controlling diabetes. Reversal of diabetes is also possible,” said Dixit.
Since taking over as minister, Mahajan has taken a lead in organising medical camps, especially aimed at tackling obesity, diabetes and kidney ailments. After naming Dixit the ambassador to spread awareness about fighting lifestyle diseases that are proving to be a huge burden for India as well as the state (see box), Mahajan told TOI: “We have launched a campaign to tackle obesity and diabetes. Dr Dixit has done his own research on the diet plan, obesity and diabetes. He has delivered lectures across the state and international platforms, too, and has come to certain conclusions. We felt it will be appropriate if we appoint him our brand ambassador, it will go a long way in promoting the message to fight obesity and diabetes.”
Dixit has been a tireless campaigner for weight loss and reversal of diabetes for the last 10 years, spreading his message through 250 WhatsApp group and other social media platforms. He has more than 50,000 followers from 37 countries.

SOURCE:::: Times of India, (Mumbai Edition) 20.11.2018, p.01.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Qatar Digital Library - World can now access more than 1.5 million digitised pages, for free

DOHA: H E Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, has said that everyone in the world can now access more than 1.5 million digitised pages, for free, through Qatar Digital Library, bringing the Arab and Islamic cultural and intellectual legacy to the forefront of people’s studies and understanding.

“In the four years since the Qatar Digital Library was launched through a partnership between Qatar Foundation and the British Library, we have already seen how this important resource, managed by Qatar National Library, has added value to the world’s historians and researchers, as a unified platform for collections of material that aid scholars of Qatar and the Gulf, medieval Arab science and medicine, and other spheres of study,” H E Sheikha Hind said yesterday, while addressing a reception to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Qatar Digital Library at British Library, London.

For detail information please click the following link:  https://www.qdl.qa/en

Javadekar launches web portals for research-oriented schemes

The objective of Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS) is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on the governance and society. "It will provide an opportunity for social science researchers in any institution in the country which includes all universities (central and state) and also a few private institutions meeting the requirement," he said.
The scheme will be implemented at a total cost of Rs 414 crore till March, 2021. Under IMPRESS, 1,500 research projects will be awarded for two years to support social science research in the higher educational institutions.

Please click the following link for detail information. http://impress-icssr.res.in/

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

International Workshop on Design and Development of Library Website 
A One-day International Workshop on 'Design ancf Development of Library Website Using Wix Website Builder' was recently organized by Central Library, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Tuljaur Campus (Maharashtra). About fifty participants from various parts of the country participated in the workshop. The workshop was inaugurated by Keynote Speaker, Prof. Kathryn LaBarre, School of Information Science, University of Illinois, UAS. During Inaugural Session, Coordinator, Dr. Veeresh Hanchinal said that the primary objective of the workshop is to create awareness among the professionals to develop responsive library/institutes website using open sources such as Wix Website Builder. Dr. Satish Kanamadi, Librarian, TISS, Mumbai, in his special address emphasized how to meet the users1 requirements within and outside the campus by building responsive library website. Prof. Abdul Shaban, Deputy Director, TISS, Tuljapur campus, in his presidential remarks presented a brief account of genesis of TISS and how it has involved in providing justice to the oppressed, marginalized and backward community and how it has worked in rehabilitating people affected by natural calamities apart from engaging extensively in teaching, learning and research programmes. Further, he emphasized the significance of creation of one's own library/institutes website to provide information to the needy people and to enhance its image. Ms. Preeti Mendhe Ukunde proposed the vote of thanks.
Prof. Kathryn, in her special lecture described how University of Illinois library system is engaged with users by implementing world class cutting-edge technology. She has thrown light on how University of Illinois library is preserving rare material and providing easy access to the resources. Dr. Mallikaijun Angadi was the resource person who engaged theory and practical classes. He demonstrated to the participants live creation of website using Wix website builder online.

Prof. Bipin Das, in his valedictory address described how library and library staff plays a vital role in readers life and urged the library professionals to create conducive and user friendly environment in the libraiy and implement newer technology for the benefit of users/readers. Dr. Veeresh Hanchinal proposed the vote of thanks.

Source: UNIVERSITY NEWS, 56(08) FEBRUARY 19-25, 2018, 27 p.