U.P. plans to digitise medical college records

first_imgCase histories of patients, and information related to hospital staff and stocks of medicines, could soon be available online in State-run medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is planning to start an ‘E-hospital’ facility at medical colleges. The six medical colleges of Kanpur, Jhansi, Agra, Meerut and Gorakhpur, and the Laxmipat Singhania Institute of Cardiology in Kanpur, have been picked for the implementation of the new facility under the first phase.The government’s decision to digitalise information on stock supply in government hospitals comes a few months after about 30 children died within 48 hours at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, allegedly due to shortage of oxygen supply.₹10 crore allocated“All information regarding medical education as well as patient care will be online,” U.P.’s Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said here on Monday.To set up the hospital management system, the government has already allotted a budget of ₹10 crore, he added.Apart from E-hospitals, the government has also formed a Medical Education Strategy Cell (MESC), the first of its kind in the State, to create a roadmap for phase-wise improvements in the medical education sector. The government has also initiated the process of upgrading five district hospitals in Basti, Faizabad, Firozabad, Shahjahanpur and Bahraich to the level of medical colleges, with the help of the Centre.last_img read more

U.P. civic polls: BJP launches manifesto

first_imgIn its manifesto for the municipal polls in Uttar Pradesh, the ruling BJP has promised to provide “world-class facilities” to urban residents.The BJP is the only party to release a centralised manifesto for the local body polls. Traditionally, candidates have issued constituency-based manifestos during campaign.Sankalp PatrChief Minister Yogi Adityanath released the 14-page “Sankalp Patr,” a document along the lines of the manifesto released by the party for the 2017 Assembly elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are displayed prominently on the top of the cover page.The document mentions 28 sankalps for urban Uttar Pradesh, covering basic facilities such as drinking water, health, housing, waste management, power supply, lighting, traffic, transportation and sanitation.Free tapsThe BJP has promised a free tap connection to every household, Rs. 20,000 for building private toilets in each house and LED street lights. The party assured that all faulty street lights would be repaired or replaced within 48 hours.The party also promised to build gaushalas in major cities along the lines of the ‘Kanha Upvan’ cow shelter in Lucknow, and build or repair ‘Kanji houses,’ temporary shelter homes for stray cattle.The BJP has said it will start air-conditioned bus services in all major cities, provide free Wi-Fi at major public places, build pink toilets for women at main market places, and link tourist sites in all six areas of the State with helicopter services.Mr. Adityanath said, “We enter every election like it is an examination. The Opposition is already running away from the field.”Mini governmentsTerming the municipal boards “chhoti sarkars” or mini governments, Mr. Adityanath said their coordination with the State government was essential for pushing development to the grass roots.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav criticised the BJP for releasing the manifesto, saying it was “part of a conspiracy to dissolve the impartiality of the municipal polls.”  Deceit, says YadavMr. Yadav termed the BJP’s document a “Chhal Patr,” where chhal stands for deceit. “The so-called Sankalp Patr has no credibility. The BJP also does not have any credibility. Voters of UP have not forgotten that the BJP has not fulfilled a single promise it made in the Vidhan Sabha polls eight months ago. Disorder and chaos have spread in the state under the BJP government,” said Mr. Yadav.  Going beyond the manifesto, Mr. Adityanath, who is himself expected to start campaigning for the municipal polls, starting from Ayodhya,  also said that his government was working to introduce the concept of “one district, one product,” under which the traditional and specialised products of each district would be promoted.  In the Sankalp Patr, the BJP has said it would nominate three best municipal corporations, five Nagar Palikas and 10 Nagar Panchayats each year for the “Deendayal Adarsh Nikai Puraskar,” judged on basic parameters of development. The best slums would be awarded the “Smart Shehri Basti” award, while an “Adarsh Nagar Panchayat” would be chosen from each district.  The BJP manifesto also says that it would repair old and damaged water pipelines within a year, put electric wires underground so that road widening can take place, introduce GPS facility for trolleys and e-rickshaws used for door-to-door waste collection, construct e-rickshaw and bicycle stands.    Polls would be held for over 650 posts, including 16 Mayors and 200 Nagar Palika Parishads, starting November 22 in three phases. Results will be declared on December 1.last_img read more

AAP demands probe into encroachment on forest land

first_imgAlleging that in recent years several cases of encroachment on forest and panchyat land under the Punjab government in areas surrounding Chandigarh have come to the fore, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded implementation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court-monitored Justice Kuldeep Singh interim report on the matter.Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu have alleged that in recent years multiple cases have been witnessed where powerful political people, bureaucrats and others have encroached on land, violating section 42(A) and The Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900.‘Without consent’Mr. Khaira and Mr. Sandhu pointed out that a case had emerged recently where the Kharar Sub-Divisional Magistrate had quashed an illegal girdawari of 458 kanals and two marla land in Seonk village that was transferred without the consent of the land owner.“There have been hundreds of similar cases in the area during the previous SAD-BJP regime, and illegal and forced encroachment is still going on. The Vidhan Sabha in 2007 had passed an order prohibiting the registration of land in the forest area, but even after that cases were witnessed where illegal registration was done by the officers in connivance with political leaders,” they alleged.Mr. Sandhu said a committee was formed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2012 under Justice Kuldeep Singh on the issue. He submitted his interim report in 2013. “Till now nothing has been done on the reports submitted by Justice Kuldeep Singh and no action was initiated against those violated the law,” he said. He demanded a judicial inquiry in the case.“All the registries and transfers that happened after 2013 must also probed. I urge the Punjab and Haryana High Court to take suo moto cognizance in the matter,” he added.last_img read more

INLD, BSP join hands for Assembly and LS polls

first_imgThe Indian National Lok Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party announced an electoral alliance on Wednesday for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls due next year.INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala and BSP leader Meghraj Singh, at a joint press conference, said they are laying the foundation of a “third front” in the country to prevent the BJP and Congress from winning.“We have agreed upon the broad contours and decided to project Ms. Mayawati, the BSP supremo, as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Both parties agreed that the country needed to be rid of both the BJP and the Congress,” said Mr. Chautala.He alleged that while the Congress has been responsible for spreading massive corruption in the country, the BJP has drifted the nation towards inter-community and inter-religious conflicts and polarised the society. “It was imperative that all those forces representing the downtrodden, suppressed, farming and the labouring classes join hands to oust and keep them away from power. Hence, we have come together,” said Mr. Chautala.“The foundation has been laid for a third front in the country,” he added.Mr. Singh said that the two parties would give a credible alternative to the nation and keep the BJP and Congress out of power in Haryana as well as at the Centre.The issue of the formula to share seats for the Lok Sabha and Assembly has been left open for the moment. Both parties will settle it when needed in a spirit of mutual accommodation, said Mr. Singh. “BSP will lend its wholehearted support to the ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation of the INLD that is slated to begin on May 1,” he added.The INLD has threatened to launch an agitation on May 1 if the Haryana government failed to start construction of the SYL canal by then.last_img read more

Goa Governor extends Cabinet committee tenure by another month

first_imgPanaji: Goa Governor Mridula Sinha on Monday extended the tenure of a three-member Cabinet Advisory Committee till May-end, belying recent indications by the Bharatiya Janata Party that ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar could return to Goa this month.This is the Governor’s second extension to the committee, whose term, following last month’s extension, was set to expire on Monday.A memo issued by the Governor’s office said, “The Chief Minister is pleased to direct that the arrangements made for the transaction of business of government in his absence on medical grounds shall be continued for a further period from May 1, 2018 to May 31, 2018 on the same terms.”Goa unit BJP president Vinay Tendulkar had earlier this month said Mr. Parrikar, undergoing treatment in a New York hospital, would return to Goa and assume charge in the third week of May.He had been hospitalised on three occasions, ever since he complained of stomach pain on February 15. Before he left for the US on March 8, Mr. Parrikar had designated the CAC comprising Francis D’Souza (BJP), Sudin Dhavalikar (MGP) and Vijai Sardesai (Goa Forward) to oversee the day-to-day administration in his absence.Initially, top BJP leaders in the State said the Chief Minister would return to Goa in April. So far, no official statement giving details of his ailment has been released by the State government.Opposition parties have demanded that the BJP and the Chief Minister’s Office make public the gravity of Mr. Parrikar’s medical condition, but the BJP has rejected the demand.Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena on Monday reiterated its demand that the people of Goa have the right to know the exact status of their Chief Minister’s health.last_img read more

A rejection of divisive politics: Akhilesh

first_imgSamajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Thursday that the BJP’s defeat in the Kairana and Noorpur bypolls was a victory of social goodwill, social justice and legacy of Chaudhary Charan Singh, and a rejection of the party’s divisive politics.Mr. Yadav said the farmers, the backward classes, the poor and the Dalits in the two constituencies had given a fitting reply to the BJP for cheating them with false promises. “This is the victory of the people who believe in peace and unity… and the beginning of the end of the arrogance of power,” he said.In Kairana, the RLD’s Tabassum Hasan with 4,81,182 votes (51.2%) defeated the BJP’s Mriganka Singh, who got 4,36,564 votes (46.51%), by a margin of 44,618. Ms. Hasan is the wife of Munawwar Hasan, who was MP from both Kairana and Muzaffarnagar seats in 1996 and 2004. He died in a road accident in 2008.In Noorpur, the SP’s Naim ul Hasan defeated the BJP’s Avani Singh by a thin margin of 5,662 votes. While Mr. Hasan got 94,875 votes (50.23%), Mr. Avani Singh polled 89,213 votes (47.23%).Talking to reporters here, Mr. Yadav said the successive defeats of the BJP in Gorakhpur and Phulpur earlier were a “political signal” to the rest of the country. The farmers and labourers had indicated to the BJP that they wanted elections to be based on basic issues that concern them like sugarcane prices, employment and poverty and not divisive politics. Asked about the role of the alliance behind the victory, Mr. Yadav said his party was playing the “same game” of social alliances that the BJP had played. He individually thanked all non-BJP parties for their support: the BSP, the RLD, the Congress, Nishad Party, AAP, Mahan Dal, the NCP, the Left parties and the Peace Party.Asked if the grand alliance in U.P. would be replicated at the national level, Mr. Yadav was circumspect. “We are with other parties who are making such attempts. Our party will work when it can and where it has its organisation,” he said.last_img read more

Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case: Assistant director of social welfare department suspended

first_imgThe assistant director of the State Social Welfare department, Divesh Kumar Sharma, was suspended on Saturday for the delay in taking action following the social audit report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) that had exposed sexual exploitation of 34 girls at a Muzaffarpur shelter home.Following the TISS report, Mr. Sharma had first lodged an FIR on May 31 at the women’s police station in Muzaffarpur.In the FIR, Mr. Sharma had mentioned page 52 of the 100-page TISS report which under “Grave Concerns”, had said that girls at the Muzaffarpur shelter home were “physically and sexually abused”.In a single-page FIR there was no named accused.It was while working on the FIR the district police shifted all 44 girls from there and on their statement arrested the main accused Brajesh Thakur, who was managing the NGO Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, that was running the affairs of the government-funded shelter home in a building adjacent to his residence.Later, nine other staff and officials, including seven women, were arrested in the case. However, one person, Dilip Kumar Verma, is still absconding. Police have also filed a charge sheet against them in the court.When the Opposition parties demanded a High Court-monitored CBI inquiry into the case, the State government on July 26 recommended it and on July 28 the CBI started its investigation.Recently, the CBI has seized several papers from the State social welfare department and quizzed officials about the fund given to the NGO managed by Thakur.Thakur’s NGOs have now been blacklisted by the department.Two months after the FIR being lodged in the case, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said “the Muzaffarpur incident is a heinous act and it has shamed us”. He also said he was ready for the High Court-monitored CBI probe and that “the guilty will not be spared”.On Saturday, Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Opposition parties had organized a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to condemn the incident and demanded “Supreme Court monitored CBI probe”.Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Left Party leaders Sitaram Yechuri and D. Raja and host of other opposition leaders were present at the protest.last_img read more

Assam minor forced to wed 60-year-old widow

first_imgVoices can be deceptive, a 15-year-old boy in Assam discovered to his chagrin after his telephonic romance with a 60-year-old widow sparked by a wrong number ended up in a ‘marriage’ neither wanted.The resident of western Assam’s Goalpara district, who had dialled the older woman’s number accidentally about a month ago, fell in love with the female voice that answered the call.After calling each other regularly, sometimes more than once a day, without ever disclosing their ages, the school dropout, who works as a mason, decided to visit the “girl with the voice to die for” and went to Sukhuwajhar village in Barpeta district across the Brahmaputra.His dream was shattered when the voice he had fallen in love with turned out to be that of a 60-year-old woman. The minor said the members of the woman’s family and her neighbours forced him to marry her, overriding both their objections.The woman said she had befriended the boy because she liked the way he spoke and had not wanted to get married to him. “We took note of the incident and asked the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) to take necessary action,” said Nirmal Deka, coordinator of Guwahati-based NGO Childline.A spokesperson for the SCPRC said they had taken suo motu cognisance. “If the boy is found to be a minor as reported, the people responsible can be charged with violation of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006,” he said.Goalpara district’s Deputy Commissioner Varnali Deka said there had been no official complaint about a forced marriage of a minor. “But the officials concerned have been asked to investigate,” she said.last_img read more

Arunachal, Assam on alert after landslip dams Tsangpo

first_imgAdministrative authorities in districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam through which the Siang and Brahmaputra rivers flow have advised riverbank residents to be on alert after a landslip blocked the Tsangpo, their main source in China.Ji Rong, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, said that Beijing had informed New Delhi soon after a landslip took place near Jiala village in Milin county in the lower ranges of the Yaluzangbu (Tsangpo) river in Tibet Autonomous Region of China on October 17.Barrier lakeThe river was blocked and a barrier lake formed as a result, he said. “The Chinese side will closely monitor the situation of the barrier lake, and continue to notify the Indian side the follow-up developments through bilaterally agreed channels timely,” he said. The Tsangpo flows into Arunachal Pradesh, where it is called the Siang. The Siang meets two other rivers – Lohit and Dibang – in Assam downstream to form the Brahmaputra.“We have received information from the gauge reading station at Pasighat (East Siang district headquarters) that the water level of the Siang is decreasing since Wednesday. We have cautioned people about a flash flood if the blockade in the Tsangpo bursts,” East Siang’s Deputy Commissioner Tamiyo Tatak said.“What the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh need is a regular update from China and advance warning if the barrier across the Tsangpo is close to bursting. There should also be an estimation of how much inundation could take place and where,” Assam-based hydrologist Partha Jyoti Das said.last_img read more

2 more journalists assaulted in Assam

first_imgThe Journalists’ Union of Assam has condemned the attack on two journalists in north-central Assam’s Sonitpur district and said a string of such assaults has underlined the lack of safety and security for members of the fourth estate.The JUA said Ashwini Bora and Parash Pal Bora of local TV channels Assam Talks and DY365 were brutally assaulted while collecting news at Bihaguri in the district on Thursday. “We demand an inquiry by the district administration and punishment of the miscreants,” JUA general secretary Dhanjit Das said.This was the fifth attack on journalists since March 22 when a restaurant owner and his employees stabbed Guwahati-based TV reporter Chakrapani Parashar when he tried to cover their argument with security guards of the building where the restaurant is located. On April 27, miscreants had attacked two other journalists — Rajen Deka, a reporter of Assamese daily Dainik Asom and Upasana Barua Goswami, a TV reporter of News18 — at Mukalmua in western Assam and Tinsukia in eastern Assam 540 km apart.The following day, DY365 reporter Rajib Bora was assaulted by a few youths in eastern Assam’s Jorhat town. A few arrests were made in these incidents.last_img read more

Deer spotted in cyclone-ravaged park

first_imgIn a major relief to forest officials and nature lovers, many spotted deer that went missing from Balukhand-Konark sanctuary during Cyclone Fani have been traced, an official said on Thursday.About 4,000 spotted deer were missing from the sanctuary located in Puri district of Odisha. Separate herds of spotted deer were noticed near waterbodies inside the sanctuary on Wednesday and their pictures have been captured on camera, said Divisional Forest Officer Harshvardhan Udgata. Efforts are on to trace all the other missing spotted deer, he said.The ‘extremely severe cyclone’ made landfall in Puri town on Odisha coast on May 3 and passed through the sanctuary with high-velocity winds with speed of over 200 kmph. A day after the cyclone, forest officials launched foot patrolling in the sanctuary but the spotted deer and other animals were nowhere to be found. Mentioning that officials have so far recovered only one carcass of a deer, Mr. Udgata said they suspect that most of the animals took shelter near cashew trees inside the sanctuary. The State government on Tuesday had decided to use drones to locate the missing spotted deer.The sanctuary, spread over an area of 72 sq km, is a known habitat of around 4,000 spotted deer apart from other animals. Nearly 55 lakh trees have been badly ravaged by the cyclone. The sanctuary, where antelopes and jackals are also found, is now closed to visitors. At least 64 people were killed and more than 5 lakh dwelling units damaged by Cyclone Fani in the State’s coastal districts.last_img read more

Prototype telescope grabs its first pics of southern sky

first_imgThe Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP), a precursor to the much larger Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which will begin construction later this decade, today released its first images of the southern sky. SKA aims to test relativity, study galaxy evolution, and peer back into the era of the very first stars and galaxies. It will incorporate thousands of radio telescope dishes across vast expanses of southern Africa and Australia, but to test out techniques, astronomers are building precursors in both host countries. Australia’s will eventually include 36 dishes, but the first results were produced by just six working together. Each one is fitted with a novel detector known as a phased array feed (visible at the focus of the dish), which is the radio astronomy version of the charge-coupled device in a digital camera. This helps astronomers survey the sky at high speed—one of SKA’s key tasks—because it can look in multiple directions at the same time. In one of ASKAP’s first images, it observed an area of the southern sky covering 10 square degrees (50 times the size of the full moon) by capturing nine overlapping zones simultaneously. It produced the image in 12 hours, twice the speed of any comparable telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. When all 36 dishes of ASKAP are operational, it will be 25 times faster still and will be the world’s top survey telescope at centimeter wavelengths.last_img read more

NIH rushes to spend a $150 million pediatric research windfall

first_imgThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) is scrambling this year to spend a windfall of more than $150 million on pediatric research. And things could get a little hairy, judging from an outside advisory panel’s reaction Friday to the agency’s initial public airing of its plans.“Given the diffuse nature of what you have described, and its complexity, I don’t want to use the word ‘nuts’, but it’s a daunting challenge,” Lila Gierasch of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told Principal Deputy NIH Director Lawrence Tabak after his presentation to a Council of Councils meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. “Thank you for changing ‘nuts’ to ‘challenging,’ ” Tabak replied, tongue-in-cheek. “We’re just trying to do what makes the most sense, and multiply the potential value of the resources available to us.”The situation is certainly unusual for the $30 billion agency, where a succession of flat budgets has meant plunging success rate on grant proposals. But NIH is just following orders from Congress regarding two separate research initiatives to help children.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Last spring, legislators passed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, authorizing NIH to spend $126 million over 10 years for pediatric research. In December, they gave NIH its first $12.6 million installment. Taken together, the authorization plus the appropriation represented a kind of belt-and-suspenders approach to making sure that NIH follows through on lawmakers’ interest in having the agency do more to understand and find cures for everything from pediatric cancer and juvenile arthritis to adolescent suicide and obesity.Simultaneously, NIH pulled the plug on its controversial National Children’s Study (NCS), which was supposed to monitor various environmental and psychosocial factors affecting a cohort of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21. So Congress ordered NIH to find other uses for the $165 million that lawmakers had already allocated in the final 2015 spending bill for the massive study. Some money will go to shutter the existing Vanguard study and related activities, leaving approximately $140 million for new initiatives.NIH officials have spent the past 6 weeks reacting to that whirlwind of legislative activity and plotting their next moves. Although the two pots of money are distinct, they hoped to use each to capitalize on the rash of new technologies that allow researchers to collect and analyze vast amounts of information. On Friday, they presented their preliminary plans to the council.Kids FirstThe money from the Kids First initiative is expected to help enrich any number of children’s studies already under way, said Elizabeth Wilder, head of the Common Fund, which coordinates trans-NIH research programs. “The goal is to mine the information across cohorts to address compelling questions in pediatric research,” she told the council. “We want to develop a rich resource for the pediatric community.”Some council members were put off, however, by such a generic description of the research plan. “I’m not as excited as I’d like to be,” said one. “I’m trying to imagine what I would do with this database.” Another council member characterized NIH’s plan as “‘we’ve got the capacity for Big Data, so let’s apply it to kids.’”Wilder admitted that the scope of the research to be covered has not been determined. “We do not have a Kids First definition of when childhood ends,” she said in response to a question on whether studies involving drug abuse and mental illness would be part of the initiative. (Miller, the law’s namesake, died of cancer at the age of 10, and sponsors of the legislation routinely refer to it as supporting research on pediatric cancer.) Another council member wanted to know if studies of adult outcomes of such disorders would also be fair game.But the initial uncertainty didn’t bother Marlene Belfort, a professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. “I think there is more enthusiasm for this project than I heard 25 years ago when we started to discuss the Human Genome Project,” she remarked. “And look at how much we learned from that.”The pediatric research initiative, like the genome project, is expected to be a multiyear effort. And the idea won broad, bipartisan support because it was touted as revenue-neutral: Its funding comes from ending federal support for political conventions for each party’s presidential candidate, now funded through a $3 checkoff on tax returns.Some $38 million from the election fund was set aside last spring for the NIH initiative, and Representative Tom Cole (R–OK) has introduced a bill to transfer another $88 million to NIH by completely eliminating the checkoff mechanism, which also funds presidential campaigns. However, Congress funds federal agencies on an annual basis, so the money for Kids First must be appropriated every year.Children’s study windfallBy contrast, the money from the canceled children’s study is a one-time windfall. It must be spent, or at least committed, before the 2015 fiscal year ends on 30 September. Congress also attached two strings to the money, Tabak told the council: NIH must “remain true to the original intent of the study, to examine questions at the intersection of pediatric health and the environment, and we must also do a better job of engaging underrepresented communities.”Moving quickly, a group of institute directors and senior NIH officials have cobbled together three options for spending the NCS money. As Tabak described them, the first would focus on developing and employing new tools, like biosensors, to track the impact of environmental factors on pediatric diseases. The second would study the “seeds” of future diseases by monitoring factors that affect children before and after birth. The third would broaden existing studies to include more environmental factors. The goal, Tabak explained, “is to develop tools and approaches that, if successful, could be applied to many existing cohort studies.”Tabak acknowledged that he was being vague, which prompted Gierasch’s comment about how much more work NIH needs to do in a very short amount of time. But Tabak said NIH faced an even greater challenge in 2009, when Congress bestowed $10 billion on the agency as part of the government’s stimulus package in the wake of the financial meltdown. “Did we get it perfect then? Maybe not,” he said. “But I think it worked out pretty well in the end.”Several council members suggested specific areas that NIH should consider in any future solicitation to spend the NCS money, leading Tabak to warn that “we need to strike a balance between trying to be all things to all people and delivering something useful.” He said the advantage of emphasizing the development of new tools is that “you can tailor them” to whatever studies NIH decides to fund down the road.Tabak didn’t offer a timeline for making decisions on how to distribute the NCS money. Wilder said that she hoped NIH leadership would decide “in early spring” how the first year of Kids First funds would be spent.last_img read more

Lego contraption allows scientists to safely handle insects

first_imgHandling insect specimens can be more precarious than lassoing a fly. Delicate antennae, legs, and wings break with the slightest blunder. Now, researchers have found a solution, and it’s built from Legos. Their contraption (several versions of which are shown above) can move and rotate insects every which way while keeping them stable and positioned under a microscope. The design improves on previous insect manipulators because it’s cheap, customizable, and easy to build, the researchers report online this week in ZooKeys. As natural history museums work on digitizing their voluminous collections—taking high-resolution photographs of each precious beetle, bee, and dragonfly in their possession—they have to handle insects repeatedly. Now the job will be easier on the entomologists, and more insect specimens will be able to hang on to their wings—all thanks to Legos.last_img

U.S. citizen’s allegation against archbishop

first_imgWhen contacted, the spokesperson for the diocese said the diocesan authorities would respond to the allegation later. Since the archbishop and the convent refused to return the property, I was compelled to file a suit before the Munsiff’s Court, Thiruvananthapuram,” he said. He said the archbishop had in gross violation of the terms of bequeath, transferred the property to the Obliges Welfare Society of the Sacred Heart Convent in Valiyakulam, near Kazhakuttam, and misappropriated the proceedings.Read it at Nyoooz Related Itemslast_img

Elderly Indo-Canadian Man From Surrey Goes Missing

first_imgSurrey RCMP is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing elderly Indo-Canadian man from Surrey.Mohan Sahota was last seen at approximately 1:00 pm on December 23rd, 2018 in the area of 152nd St., and 80th Ave. in Surrey. He has not been seen or heard from since.Read it at The Link Paper Related Itemslast_img

Indian Oil Corp Signs $ 1.5 Billion Deal For Import Of US Crude

first_imgIndian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, has signed its first annual deal to buy U.S. oil, paying about $1.5 billion for 60,000 barrels a day in the year to March 2020 to diversify its crude sources, its chairman said on Monday. IOC is the first Indian state refiner to buy U.S. oil under an annual contract, in a deal that will also help boost trade between New Delhi and Washington.Read it at Times Now Related Itemslast_img

Leopard electrocuted in Gurugram

first_imgIn a bizarre incident, a leopard was electrocuted at Mandawar village in Sohna here. The feline was spotted hanging from high-tension wires passing alongside a tree on Thursday.Divisional Forest Officer, Gurugram, Shyam Sunder said a call was received from the village Sarpanch around 8.30 a.m. informing the Forest Department Inspector about a leopard hanging from high-tension wires. “It is a clear case of electrocution. There is no foul play. It seems the feline came in contact with the wires while chasing prey, most probably a monkey. The face of the leopard is completely burnt,” said Mr. Sunder.He said the carcass was removed from the wires and sent for post-mortem. Mr. Sunder said the leopard appeared to be around two years old.Inhabiting the Aravalli mountains, leopards in the region often stray into the villages in search of food and water. The felines have been killed in accidents while crossing roads on a few occasions and sometimes beaten to death by villagers. In one such incident, a mob beat a leopard to death in Mandwar village in November 2016.The Aravalli hills, stretching from Asola Bhatti Sanctuary in New Delhi to Sariska National Park in Rajasthan, via Faridabad, Gurgaon and Mewat districts, is an important wildlife corridor. For a long time, environmentalists have been demanding that the Aravallis in Haryana be declared a sanctuary.last_img read more

Dalit man set ablaze in U.P. dies

first_imgA Dalit man, who was thrashed and set ablaze by locals in Barabanki district last week on suspicion of being a thief, succumbed to his injuries on Monday.Sujit Kumar, 25, died at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Civil Hospital in Lucknow early on Monday, said its chief medical superintendent Ashok Kumar Singh.The body had been sent for post-mortem and the exact cause of death would be known after that, Dr. Singh told The Hindu.The victim’s family members said late on Thursday night he was walking to his in-laws house, about 5 km away, when he was chased by stray dogs near Raghopur village under the Dewa police station.In panic, he entered a house to escape the dogs but its occupants allegedly mistook him for a thief and started thrashing him. The accused then poured petrol and set him afire, said Barabanki SP Akash Tomar.A doctor at the hospital said Sujit had suffered 25-30% burns.Rekha, Sujit’s sister, and her husband Alok Kumar, said Sujit gave his assaulters the phone number of his family and full residential address to prove his innocence, but in vain. “He gave our number to prove his innocence. But they did not listen to him and even after thrashing him were not satisfied, so they set him on fire,” said Alok.Sujit, who belongs to the Jatav community, worked as a painter and had left behind wife and two infants.Two persons were arrested and a search was on for the others booked in the FIR.last_img read more

Governor visits Buddhadeb, enquires about his health

first_imgBengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Wednesday called on former Chief Minister and veteran CPI(M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to inquire about his health. The visit, the Governor’s first public appearance outside Raj Bhavan, has left many in political circles intrigued. Mr. Dhankar, however, said it had nothing to do with politics.‘Enormous respect’“When you call on people, there can be no politics. It was just my enormous respect for the man who was the Chief Minister.” The Governor described the meeting at Mr. Bhattacharjee’s small apartment as “very inspirational”. He wished him a speedy recovery. Mr. Bhattacharjee (75) has been ailing for quite some time and his last public appearance was on February 3, 2019, during the Left parties’ rally at the Brigade Parade Ground. According to party sources, he suffers from acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and doctors have advised him to restrict his movement and speech. He is also suffering from dry eyes and cannot bear much light.A noted Supreme Court lawyer, Mr. Dhankar took office as Governor on July 28.last_img read more