The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 26-03-2023 | 01:45 pm
Exposure to road traffic noise could elevate the risk of developing hypertension, according to a new study.The risk was found, by researchers, to increase in tandem with the noise “dose”.These associations were found to be held true even when researchers adjusted for exposure to fine particles and nitrogen dioxide.The researchers at the American College of Cardiology, US, found this through a prospective study, conducted using UK Biobank data from more than 240,000 people, aged 40 to 69 years, without hypertension at baseline.Over a median period of 8.1 years, the scientists followed up the participants for data on how many people developed hypertension.They estimated road traffic noise based on the residential address and the Common Noise Assessment Method, a European modeling tool, they said in the study.The scientists also found that people who had high exposure to both traffic noise and air pollution had the highest hypertension risk, showing that air pollution may play a role as well.“We were a little surprised that the association between road traffic noise and hypertension was robust even after adjustment for air pollution,” said Jing Huang, lead author of the study.“It is essential to explore the independent effects of road traffic noise, rather than the total environment,” said Huang.The authors suggested policymaking that may alleviate the adverse impacts of road traffic noise, such as setting stricter noise guideline and enforcement, improving road conditions and urban design, and investing advanced technology on quieter vehicles.Studies to understand the pathophysiological means through which hypertension develops from road noise are underway.The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!
Three months after Dr Dharavath Preeti, a first-year MD Anesthesia resident at Warangal’s Kakatiya Medical College (KMC), took her own life, the Warangal police of Telangana have now filed a 970-page chargesheet before a local court holding batch senior Dr M A Saif as the lone accused. The investigators found that the first-year resident died by suicide allegedly owing to harassment from Dr Saif.Two days after Dr Preeti was found lying unconscious in the staff room at MGM Hospital, Warangal, while on duty, the police arrested 27-year-old Dr Saif on February 24 for the former’s suicide attempt. Meanwhile, Dr Preeti succumbed to multiple organ failures during her treatment at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad on February 26. The death of the 26-year-old doctor who belonged to the Lambada Scheduled Tribes (ST) community, had evoked widespread outrage at the time.In the chargesheet, the police have recorded statements from 70 witnesses, including the family members, friends, batchmates, seniors, teaching and non-teaching faculty, officials in the administration of MGM Hospital and KMC, besides technical, medical and forensic experts from the police department. The police have relied on the data retrieved from the cell phones used by Preeti, Saif, and their friends and pieces of technical evidence related to the case.In the days leading to her extreme decision, Preeti’s father Narender, an assistant sub-inspector in the Railway Protection Force, had raised the issue of harassment faced by his daughter to her Head of the Department (HOD) and others. The police found that Saif used to harass Preeti ever since she joined the department three months ago by invoking her tribal origin.After her death, the police had altered the FIR with additional sections 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code in addition to sections related to the prohibition of ragging and those under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the Matwada Police Station. The initial probe then found that Preeti felt “persistent targeted harassment” and “deliberate attempts to insult her” by Saif.Warangal Police Commissioner A V Ranganath told indianexpress.com that the police have concluded the investigation and found Saif as the lone accused in the case. According to him, the investigation did not find any role of the professors, head of the department or the administration of the KMC or MGM hospital even though the HoD of the Anesthesia department at KMC Dr K Nagarjuna Reddy was shunted out by the state government soon after Preethi’s suicide. Preeti’s father Narender and others had demanded action against the HoD for not acting on time even after being informed about the alleged harassment faced by Preeti by Saif.On why the teaching faculty was not booked, Ranganath said the official on receipt of the complaint had called both and counselled them and Preethi took her life in less than 24 hours. Meanwhile, the HoD had assured of looking into the case and give his decision after a preliminary inquiry the next day, the commissioner said.The police investigation also found no truth in the delay in providing medical support and treatment to Preeti at MGM Hospital. After Preethi was found lying unconscious at 8.10 am on February 22, the hospital started the treatment. A day later, she was shifted to NIMS Hyderabad as she suffered a multi-organ failure while under treatment at Warangal’s MGM Hospital. Her cardiac, pulmonary and kidney functions had failed and she continued on life support for four days till her death.“We have examined the line of treatment given to her and verified with the experts at Gandhi Hospital. They have found no issues in the treatment given to her,” the commissioner added.According to the investigation, Preethi, who joined the department in December 2022, felt harassed and targeted for the entire time she spent at the medical college. The initial ragging turned into harassment and continued for months because she retorted against all attempts to insult her, and Saif took it up as a personal offence.The commissioner said the messages, WhatsApp chats and photographs, retrieved from the phones of the deceased and the accused as well as from their friends are proof enough of the harassment and humiliation Preeti felt while at work. The investigation concluded that Preeti injected herself with fentanyl drug to end her life.
As the train pulls into the Karol Bagh Metro station, a young man inside one of the coaches jokes to his friend, “Come on, brother. Let’s become IAS officers.”The quip aptly sums up what the locality has come to represent over the last few decades. Starting from the name of the Metro station — Drishti IAS-Karol Bagh station, named after a popular coaching institute sponsoring it — to numerous hoardings promising “best UPSC preparation” and hordes of aspirants milling about, the area has become synonymous with the country’s fixation with the ultimate government job: The Indian Administrative Service. One Metro station away is Rajinder Nagar, another hub of UPSC coaching institutes.But not long ago, the twin areas in Central Delhi were largely semi-commercial, residential places known to be home to several Partition refugees.Professor Amar Farooqui, who used to teach History at Delhi University, says that around the 19th Century, Delhi’s suburbs began coming up in its west, in places like Paharganj. “Towards the end of the century, Karol Bagh came up. It’s a relatively older settlement unlike Rajinder Nagar, which is a proper Partition settlement colony,” he says.Karol Bagh had a fairly large Muslim population in the pre-Partition period, he says, and it was a relatively affluent suburb. A few educational institutes like Tibbia college (a 19th-Century Ayurvedic and Unani college) and later, the Khalsa College was established here over time.Among refugees, the slightly better-off settlers such as the Sindhis made this area their home. There was also a significant South Indian population too, particularly of Tamilians, Farooqui notes, with the establishment of Delhi as the British capital in 1911.Rajinder Nagar was one of the more planned colonies, he says, with the more affluent refugees getting 54 sq-yard plots from the government in the 1950s.Dr Rana Behal, former professor of History at DU’s Deshbandhu College, lived in the nearby area and came from Amritsar in 1965. He says, “Many new colonies in Delhi emerged initially as part of the settlement of displaced people who came from West Punjab. Slowly, they began to urbanise. Karol Bagh was a hub of new kinds of markets in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Rajinder Nagar was essentially a residential colony, where the newly arrived middle-class began to emerge as a more literate class than earlier, attending schools and colleges.”Coaching institutes here came along much later. Dr Behal believes the liberation of the Indian economy in 1991 also had a role to play, with growing personal incomes allowing more people to afford fees for institutes.One of the earliest entrants in the UPSC sector here was Vajiram and Ravi, whose lone centre in Delhi is in Old Rajinder Nagar.Elangovan Rajalingam, head of administration at Vajiram and Ravi, who has been associated with the institute for over 30 years, says that initially, the institute was situated close to the nearby Ajmal Khan Road but shifted to its current location in 1997 as that area became congested. “We were the first people in Rajinder Nagar (to come up with such an institute)… we thought we could go for this good, residential area compared to a commercial area,” he says.Before this, Ber Sarai in South Delhi, near JNU, and DU’s North Campus area were the centres for UPSC preparation, says Rajalingam.On how UPSC preparation has permeated all aspects of life in Rajinder Nagar and Karol Bagh, he remarks, “If you meet one bookshop owner, he knows more than the aspirant!”Meanwhile, the coaching hub boom has had a ripple effect on the areas’ economy. Rajalingam says the rent for a PG room, which used to be Rs 5,000 just a decade ago, is now close to Rs 20,000. Fees of coaching institutes have also spiralled, with some even charging Rs 1.5 lakh a year.One of the businesses that seems to have benefitted the most is that of photo-copying. Bhagwaan Singh, owner of Indian Copier Systems at Karol Bagh, who set up his shop in 2013, says his rent has shot up from Rs 20,000 per month to Rs 1 lakh over the years.“The transformation only happened when coaching institutes came up. Before that, there was nothing like this… not even markets, it was mostly a residential colony… Now nearly all of it is developed, both old and new Rajinder Nagar,” he adds.The development also attracted businessmen from other places. One such trader is Vishwadeep Parashar, owner of Tirupathi Book Centre, who has been in Karol Bagh since 2011.It was not business which brought Parashar to the city, though. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, he came to Delhi for college and then stayed back to give the exam. He set up a photocopying business and later started dealing in books. “Around that time, shops for exam-related books were rare, but there was a supply of study material from Ber Sarai to Central Delhi. This made me realise a new market was coming up,” he says. The advent of Delhi Metro to the area in the mid-2000s also contributed to its growing popularity.For students such as Harshitha, an engineering graduate from Karnataka, the expense is worth it. Staying here since her course began in June 2022, she says, “This area is full of students and the environment is all about UPSC preparation. It’s quite convenient for us… We come, complete the coaching and then decide if we want to continue staying here.”Moreover, Delhi’s popularity in terms of UPSC coaching has further increased with the number of recent exam toppers being from the city. Referring to Tina Dabi, who topped the 2015 exam, Sakshi Bharadwaj, manager at Vision IAS in Karol Bagh, says, “I think this area majorly developed after people like Dabi, who belongs to Delhi, did well.”She adds that her institute sees a greater inflow of people from states such as Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and the South.After Covid-19 struck, many institutes have shifted to online or hybrid methods of coaching.The economy adapted too. Singh’s photocopy business, for example, started online delivery via e-commerce services. But that model does not always work. “Online is not better at all, we have to pay more for pick-ups and sometimes customers read books and return them within seven days,” he says.Rajalingam believes that overall, benefits are reaching students from across communities thanks to online coaching. “It’s a good thing for those with jobs, students in colleges for whom attendance is a must, and for women as their parents might not be ready to send them to other states.” But still, he adds, 80% of people opt for offline classes.And what happens to those who don’t clear the exam? Parashar says over time, students get to know about other government exams, like one for the Combined Defence Services Examination conducted by UPSC for military positions. The subjects are fundamentally the same and only the level of difficulty changes, he says.“No one is a failure. It’s a big exam, and one among a million students make the cut,” he adds.
The mass movement of Kuki-Zomi people from Manipur’s valley areas to the hills, and vice-versa for the state’s Meitei residents, is being reflected in government services too, with employees seeking transfers and the state government acknowledging the demands.A Kuki employee of the central government’s revenue department, who had been posted in Imphal for the last two years, is set to take up work in Aizawl; a Meitei doctor who had been posted in Churachandpur District Hospital is now on duty in Bishnupur district in the valley; a Kuki sub-inspector with the Manipur police in Imphal is currently in a relief camp in Kangpokpi district in the hills; and a Meitei teacher at a government college in the border town of Moreh is hoping to be transferred to a college in Imphal.All of them spoke on condition of anonymity since they are still working with the government.The Kuki revenue department employee said that when he was first posted to Imphal two years ago, he was delighted. “I was so happy that after seven-eight years of service, I had finally been posted to my home state. But look how it turned out,” he said.After the violence broke out, he shifted to the relief camp at the 1st Battalion of the Manipur Rifles in Imphal, where he stayed for four days before flying out of the state to Kolkata. He eventually made his way back to his family’s home in Churachandpur on May 14 by flying to Aizawl and travelling to the town by road.“I spoke to my boss in Imphal and at the headquarters and told them I want to be relocated. I said that I prefer Aizawl because I will be able to have a direct connection by road to my family and won’t have to travel through Imphal,” he said, adding that he has now received a transfer order to Aizawl where he will shift next week.The Meitei doctor, who was posted at Churachandpur District Hospital for one-and-a-half years, also spent six days at a relief camp run by the Assam Rifles in the district.“After the violence broke out on May 3, we were taken to the hospital in an ambulance and evacuated from there by the Assam rifles. I finally reached Imphal six days later,” he said.With fresh incidents of violence in Bishnupur district since last week, he has been called to offer his services at the district hospital there.“I have informed my seniors at my hospital that I can’t travel to report for duty there because of the present crisis. I have many friends there but I have seen the violent mob and it will be very difficult for security forces to protect us. If possible, I will submit a transfer application but haven’t thought it’s appropriate to do so right now when everyone is so caught up,” he said.The Kuki SI with the Manipur police was evacuated from Imphal East, where he has been posted for the past 15 years, and taken to a relief camp in Kangpokpi district on May 7, where he has been ever since.“I haven’t even thought about my job because I’m just focused on making life more comfortable for my family in the relief camp. I have only reported to the SP Kangpokpi that I am present in the district… I was born and brought up in Imphal and I hope that I will be able to go back, but if things continue this way, I will not be able to,” he said.The Meitei teacher at Moreh College said she has worked there for around 20 years now but now hopes she can be posted to one of two government colleges near her family’s home in Imphal.“I don’t think the government will send us there, I have heard they will change our posting. Around 80% of the teachers in the college are from Imphal and most will fear going back,” she said.The question of the transfer of staff has also been taken up by government employee associations. For instance, the Manipur Government Higher Secondary Lecturer Welfare Association, an association of government school teachers, has submitted a memorandum to the state education department requesting at least a temporary transfer of teachers to schools close to where they are currently located, after the displacement caused by the violence.“If all teachers are posted in this way, it’s true that there will be a big gap. We would like to mix and be in harmony, but for the time being, for the security of the teachers and to start the academic session, we have requested that teachers posted in different areas be transferred to where they are most comfortable. Once the situation is normal, inter-district transfers can be done again,” said Herojit, general secretary of the association.State government spokesperson Sapam Ranjan Singh acknowledged the situation and said they will make arrangements for employees to work where they are comfortable until “total normalcy” returns and “mistrust is waived off”.“Some people have said to their departments that they want to be posted elsewhere. Maybe there will be temporary arrangements, this will be worked out at a high level because this is a huge task. We will have to do this in a proper, holistic way so that governance is not hampered,” he said.In the absence of formal orders, government departments are trying to work out “temporary arrangements” for their staff at their own level. A senior official at the headquarters of a state government department in Imphal said that while their nodal officer for Kakching district in the valley is Kuki, their nodal officer for Kangpokpi district in the hills is Meitei.“The nodal officer for Kakching is currently taking refuge in Delhi while the officer for Kangpokpi district is in Imphal and is too afraid to go back. We are trying to work out a temporary arrangement so that they can take up work in each other’s postings. One of our Kuki employees in Imphal sent an SMS requesting that he be transferred and has gone to Kangpokpi where he has rented a room. Since he is there, we have been giving him work to do there,” said the official.Amid the current divide, there is a sense of finality among some. “In my service life, I will never go to Imphal again. For us, it’s impossible,” said the revenue department employee.
The global academic landscape has widened its horizons providing international perspective to students across borders. The universities now-a-days emphasize a classroom with diversity allowing students to welcome and respect each other’s perspectives and cultural backgrounds. With a vision to change minds, shape ideas and ensure multidisciplinary learning, the ideals of diversity are defined with a unique purpose of bringing minds and personalities together under one roof.To make most of the possibilities and foster global learning, institutions like Manav Rachna have moved to ‘networking’ by forming global partnerships with the institutions abroad. Understanding that providing an international perspective to students is central to education in the 21st Century, Manav Rachna Educational Institutions have collaborated with more than 84 global institutions to provide relevant exposure to students and help them develop a global outlook.Bringing multiple perspectives to its classrooms, Manav Rachna aims to feature classroom discussions as the one, encompassing viewpoints of students from all walks of life, coming in with their beliefs and experiences. As Nishan Bhatta from Nepal, student of B.Tech CSE (Batch 2022), Manav Rachna puts it, “The diversity of students is one of the best things you find in this college. Students from different states and countries with their own identity are staying and getting knowledge here in a very helpful and peaceful manner.”From bringing significant transformations in the behavior, personality and creativity of the students, global partnerships come with a range of exclusive benefits for the students as well as faculty members which includes Joint Exchange Programmes, Student-Faculty Exchange Programmes, Credit Transfers to the University Abroad, Curriculum Development Support, and Lecture Delivery by International Experts.GLOBALLY RECOGNIZEDAs a unique hallmark of quality education, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies has been bestowed with the QS 5-Star rating for Teaching, Facilities, Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness. On the other hand, Manav Rachna University is the QS I-GAUGE overall Diamond Rated Institution. Both Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies (MRIIRS, formerly MRIU) and Manav Rachna University (MRU) are Founder members of the prestigious “College Board’s Indian Global Higher Education Alliance”.INTERNATIONAL LEADERS LEAD THE WAY AT MANAV RACHNAGiving a high dimension to research at Manav Rachna, The Institute of Open Innovation has been set up at Manav Rachna. The Institute of Open Innovation is headed by internationally renowned innovation expert, Prof. Solomon Darwin, Director, Haas Centre for Corporate Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, and International Dean at Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies. In addition to its focus on sustainability, the Institute of Open Innovation will also house the Centre for Health Innovation chaired by Prof. (Dr) Prashant Jha, Head of Affordable Medical Technologies at the School of BEIS at King’s College London, and Professor of MedTech Innovation and Entrepreneurship.BEGIN IN INDIA. GRADUATE ABROAD.Manav Rachna has collaborated with prestigious universities across the globe to enhance learning, research and study abroad opportunities for students. Faculty members and students get a chance to connect with leading experts and catalyse their learning and research. Students get an option to earn extra credits to have them transferred to the university abroad (associated with Manav Rachna) and complete last 2 years of their degree abroad. With these benefits in the basket, these associations are an alliance of ideas and goals.Some of the prominent collaborations include Western Sydney University, Australia for BA Media and Communication, Purdue University North West for B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering, Auckland University of Technology for B.Tech Civil Engineering, Nottingham Trent University and University of Waikato, New Zealand for BBA- International Business Management, University of Waikato, New Zealand for BBA-Banking and Financial Market, University of Winnipeg, Canada for MA Economics, Aston University, UK for Applied Psychology and Microbiology programmes, ISDE, Law Business School for Diploma in Sports Law Management, and Auckland Institute of Studies, New Zealand for BBA (Global) IB. The association makes international education affordable to Indian students as they can complete their first two years at Manav Rachna and the following years of their degree abroad with attractive scholarships.FIRST SPRINGER NATURE ACADEMIC RESEARCH LAB Springer Nature has launched its first Academic Research Lab in India at Manav Rachna Educational Institutions, Faridabad. This lab has been built on the tenets of innovation, science, research and technology and will be the source and hub of innovation, research and education. The lab aims to equip the bright young minds in our country with the latest information, research and technology which can propel their career and give them an edge in today’s fiercely competitive world.Sabyasachi Sarker from Bangladesh (MBA-Dual Specialization, Batch-2016; Ph.D Scholar, Management) shares his experience: “At Manav Rachna, I evolved as a professional with exceptional skills owing to its academic and corporate culture. The professors and the faculties here are exemplary in their teaching style. After 3 years of working experience in Bangladesh I decided to do my MBA from Manav Rachna. During my MBA, I got the opportunity to do my internship with Airtel. In 2018, I started my Ph.D from this institution. I am glad to be a part of Manav Rachna where you are valued as a student and a researcher.”SCHOLARSHIPS ON GLOBALLY ACCEPTED SCORESManav Rachna accepts Pearson and SAT Scores for its UG programmes and offers upto 100% scholarship on qualifying marks. Every year international students with outstanding achievements and academic caliber receive Manav Rachna Scholarship. The scholarship is taken forward to second year onwards on the basis of performance in the respective academic year.Manav Rachna ensures that You’ll learn and grow in ways you never expected!
As many as 38 medical colleges across the country have lost recognition, and another hundred or so have received notice from the country’s apex medical regulator to correct deficiencies.The colleges have been pulled up for issues ranging from staff not marking attendance on biometric system and colleges not being able to implement the new camera, biometric, and health management system-based monitoring to institutions reeling under a shortage of staff and doctors.An official from the National Medical Commission (NMC) said the numbers will keep changing as more hearings and appeals are taken up over the next two months.Counselling for the current MBBS batch is likely to start July onwards; NEET was conducted in the first week of May.The official said, “If a college is unable to correct the deficiencies, it will only impact their intake for the current year. Students already enrolled will not be affected.”The issue came to light after one of the oldest government medical institutions in Chennai — Stanley Medical College — and a couple of others from the state lost recognition. “This is part of an ongoing exercise. Colleges are routinely inspected every year to see whether they are complying with norms,” another NMC official said.The official said that unless the colleges have serious deficiencies — such as missing infrastructure or severe shortage of faculty — they are likely to be recognised again for the current session.The first official quoted said that some colleges that have been de-recognised, or sent notices, had a biometric attendance system in place but the staff had not started marking attendance every day after Covid-19 (all institutions were advised against using biometric attendance systems during the pandemic).With colleges coming under scrutiny ahead of counselling for MBBS courses, would it mean a loss of thousands of seats? Not necessarily. The colleges that have lost recognition will be able to appeal the decision upon correcting the deficiencies — once with the National Medical Commission and then twice with the Health Ministry. If they move quickly, and do it before counselling starts, they will be able to take in students, a National Medical Commission says.However, it also involved more serious problems. “Some of the older medical colleges had a shortage of faculty members and resident doctors. We can make some concessions for new colleges, but why should ones that have existed for years,” asked a third NMC official.Some infractions were egregious still. For example, a private medical college that has lost recognition in Punjab — Chintpurni Medical College — was recognised by NMC without a previous physical inspection by NMC, a senior Punjab government official said. “It was on the state government’s insistence that a physical inspection was carried out,” the official said. “Those who came to inspect found that no studies were going on (and) there were no patients. Many students get lured into enrolling in such institutes and are unable to receive proper education.”Several colleges from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, and West Bengal have either lost recognition or have been served notices to correct deficiencies. Colleges that are under the NMC scanner reportedly include Gauhati Medical College, Assam Medical College, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College, SCB Medical College, Stanley Medical College, Dharmapuri Medical College, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, KAP Viswanatham Medical College, and Chintpurni Medical College.