India registered an increase of five years in life expectancy rate

India registered an increase of five years in life expectancy rate - Click to Download

India registered an increase of five years in life expectancy rate

India registered an increase of five years in the average life expectancy rate. The average life expectancy rate increased from 63.9 years in 2004 to 69.6 years in 2014. The increase in the life expectancy was the result of consistent investments in public health sector by the government.

Life expectancy is defined as the average number of years a person born in a given country would live if mortality rates at each age were to remain constant in the future.

As per the census of 2011, the life expectancy in India was 65.48 years as compared to the global average life expectancy of 67.88 years. Japan, Switzerland, San Marino are the countries with highest average life expectancy of 83 years. On the other hand, poor countries of Africa like Somalia, Lesotho have an average life expectancy of 50 years with Sierra Leone having the least life expectancy at 47 years.

Although India has improved its performance but it still has a life expectancy rate which is relatively very low in South Asia. For instance, Bhutan has the life expectancy of 65.79 years while Pakistan has managed to improve its overall Life expectancy to 67 years. China’s life expectancy rate is 72.90 years, Bangladesh has life expectancy of 70 years and Sri Lanka has life expectancy of 75 years.

Among the BRICS countries also India fares badly. For instance, Brazil’s life expectancy rate stands at 74 years, Russia’s life expectancy is 69 years and South Africa has a poor life expectancy of 58 years.

Indian doctors to be recruited by Britain

Indian doctors to be recruited by Britain - Click to Download

Indian doctors to be recruited by Britain

Britain on 15 January 2014 decided to change its tough immigration rules to recruit doctors from India. The plan has been made to fulfill the crisis of doctors in the emergency departments in the hospitals of the country.

As per the latest figures of the country one in five Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments has a shortage of senior doctors. The national shortfall of more than 300 consultants in Britain was reported by a weekly Asian Lite.

As per the figures, to fill the posts in the A&E departments trusts spend about 1500 pounds (150000 rupees) on temporary doctors. The Home Office earlier agreed to relax the rules on migration of the medical workers. The report also says that the officials of Senior National Health Services drawn up the plan to recruit 50 doctors from India in the first phase.

Earl Howe, the Health Minister of Britain said that the British Medical students prefer not to pursue a pressurised carrier in Accident and Emergency. They preferably opt for specialities in general medicine and pediatrics. The recruitment drive overseas was made after the ministers warned that NHS will buckle under the pressure without decisive action.



India Encouraging Oil Exploration Through Policies: PM

India Encouraging Oil Exploration Through Policies: PM - Click to Download

India is encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas through stable and enabling policies towards achieving its goal of self-sufficiency in hydrocarbons by 2030, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday.

He was inaugurating the 11th International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition “Petrotech-2014″ at the India Exposition Mart here, organised by state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. It will conclude Jan 15.

“We are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the framework of a stable and enabling policy environment,” Manmohan Singh said.

“We have made a number of changes in our energy policy regime in the past few months and I am sure you would be aware of them,” he added.

The government will offer at least 56 oil and gas blocks in the 10th round of bidding under its New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). This is the largest offering of blocks since the start of NELP in 1999 in an effort to attract more investments into the exploration and production sector.

Partnerships among various stakeholders were essential for meeting the emerging challenges of the oil and gas sector, he said.

“Such partnerships could result in outcomes like improved recovery from mature fields, exploitation of ultra-deep water energy reserves and progress in complex frontier areas. They could also help in exploitation of unconventional forms of energy, apart from addressing concerns about environmental degradation and climate change,” the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh said as a responsible member of the global community, India is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

“The challenge of achieving high economic growth and yet reducing emissions is a formidable one indeed, but we are determined to meet this challenge fully,” he said.

“This entails work in several areas like demand management, energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. It also requires focused research and development initiatives,” he added.

Indian firms biggest investors in Nepal, create 58,161 jobs

Indian firms biggest investors in Nepal, create 58,161 jobs - Click to Download

Kathmandu, Jan 12 (IANS) About 525 Indian companies engaged in a range of activities from manufacture to tourism have created 58,161 jobs in the Himalayan nation, and India is the biggest source of foreign investment, statistics from the government revealed.

Statistics provided by Nepal's Department of Industry (DoI) showed that the total project cost of these 525 Indian ventures stood at Rs.66,612.82 million, with total fixed cost of around Rs.54,603.67 million. The component of foreign direct investment was almost Rs.34,809.5 million up to the middle of the year 2013, the report said.

The Indian embassy also said that Indian firms were the biggest investors in Nepal, accounting for 47.5 percent of total FDI proposals approved. Direct investment of Indian Rs.42.53 billion (approx US $448 million) has flowed into Nepal.

The statistics also showed that since Indian companies started investing in Nepal decades ago, by mid-2013, 303 manufacturing firms, 125 service-related industries, 54 tourism-related ventures, seven agro-based industries, 17 construction firms, 13 energy based and six minerals-related industries, firms and companies have operated in Nepal.

The second largest investor in Nepal is China, whose 478 firms and industries have created 26,651 jobs in Nepal.

The trend of foreign investment in Nepal could change, as at least 575 Chinese companies have acquired approval for FDI, compared to 566 from India until mid-2013.

Though the Chinese commitments are higher than India's, in terms of FDI India is still the largest contributor. Until mid-2013, FDI from India stood at Rs.37.6 billion, compared to Rs.10.6 billion FDI from China.

The Chinese are mostly focused in tourism, hotel, telecom and some agro-based industries, with lesser diversification than Indian firms.

In just the one year, 2012-13, at least 24 new Indian companies ventured into Nepal. The total project cost of these is estimated at Rs.3,887.82 million, with Rs.3,485.03 million fixed cost. These brought Rs.2,298 million in foreign direct investment, and created 1,754 jobs.

Within the span of that time, one energy-related company, seven manufacturing companies, 13 service sector firms, and three new tourism-related companies were registered.

India, which has historically been the biggest FDI contributor to Nepal, had made a commitment of Rs.780 million in the first six months of 2013. In 2013, Indian investment marginally increased to Rs.2.50 billion from Rs.2.29 billion in the previous year.

Since a new political environment has been created with the election of the Constituent Assembly and with heightened hope of political stability, more Indian investment can be expected, an official in Nepal's department of industry said.

At a recent programme in Kathmandu, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae pointed out that given geographical proximity, more Indian investment should flow into Nepal, given that Indian businessmen have been acquiring companies and firms in Europe and the Americas.

Among the prominent Indian firms operating in Nepal are ITC, Dabur, Hindustan Unilever, VSNL, TCIL, MTNL, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Asian Paints, Tata projects and GMR India.

The Indian mission here has said that in recent years, the hydropower sector has emerged as an attractive sector for Indian investment.

Nepal has issued 28 survey licences for hydropower projects in Nepal, having generation capacity of 8,249 MW to Indian companies/joint venture, according to the embassy.

To boost Indian investment in Nepal, the two countries had signed a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) in Oct 2011.


Education In Tamil Nadu

Education In Tamil Nadu - Click to Download

The state has some premier educational institutes like Alagappa University (Sivanagar), Anna University, Annamalai University, Bharathidasan University (Tiruchi), Bharathiar University (Coimbatore),

Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute (Chennai), Gandhigram Rural University (Dindigul), Hindustan University (Chennai), Karunya University (Coimbatore), Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (Tirunelveli), National Institute of Technology (Tiruchirappalli),

Sathyabama University (Chennai), SRM University (Kancheepuram), Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute (Chennai), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore), University of Madras (Chennai), IIT Madras(Indian Institute of Technology Madras) and Vellore Institute of Technology among others.

The state education system comprises of eight years of elementary education, two years of secondary education and two years of higher secondary education. There after the university education starts.

The Tamil Nadu Education Introduced Uniform System Of School Education called Samacheer kalvi. This system was introduced for the purpose of Quality of education to all children without any discrimination based on their economic , This system of education was promoted 1 to 6th standards in the year of 2010.

The schools in the state are affiliated to Tamil Nadu State Board, CBSE and ICSE. Tamil Nadu produces the highest number of engineering graduates (around 1,75,000) in the country.

The state has 37 universities, 454 engineering colleges, 1150 arts colleges among other educational institutes. A new IIM was started at Tiruchy this year. It is the eleventh such institute in the country. ,

The University of Madras is one of the first three institutes established in the country by British East India. Tamil Nadu is a preferred destination for higher education due to the factors like too many educational institutions, committed teachers, better infrastructure facilities for professional education and others.,

Several good libraries are located in Chennai. Some of them are Connemara Public Library, Archaeological Survey of India Library, The Theosophical Society Library and Ramakrishna Math Library.

Tamil Nadu has the literacy rate of 80.3 % as per the figures of the census 2011.

Rangarajan Blames Delayed Projects For Growth Rate Decline

Rangarajan Blames Delayed Projects For Growth Rate Decline - Click to Download

C. Rangarajan, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the prime minister, Friday blamed failure to complete projects on time for the “steep decline” in the country’s economic growth.

“Economic growth has in fact declined much more steeply than what is warranted by the decline in investment. This might be because projects have not been completed in time or complimentary investments have not been forthcoming,” Rangarajan said at the 48th annual convocation of the Indian Statistical Institute here.

The EAC chairman pointed out non-availability of critical inputs like coal and power as one of the reasons for the delay.

Observing that constitution of Cabinet Committee on Investment should be beneficial to growth, Rangarajan said: “A return to higher level of savings and investment can take us back to the very high levels of growth which we had seen earlier.”

“Provided we take appropriate actions to speedily complete projects, even the existing level of investment rate should enable us to grow at 7.5 percent in the short run.

“Raising the savings rate through fiscal consolidation has become imperative. Besides improving the productivity of capital is the crux of the problem,” he said.

Rangarajan, also the ISI governing council chairperson, said the Indian economy made “swift and sharp” recovery from the global financial crisis and despite a relatively low growth rate, the structural changes in the economy over the past two decades have provided resilience to the economy.

Education key to India's next golden age: President

Education key to India's next golden age: President - Click to Download

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) Education is what will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world, President Pranab Mukherjee said here Thursday.

"I believe education is the alchemy that can bring India its next golden age," Mukherjee said in his address at the valedictory session of the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of the Indian diaspora.

"The success we achieve in educating our people will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world," he said.

Mukherjee said that if India has to attain a growth rate of nine percent per year, as has been envisaged during the 12th Five Year Plan period, "we must put in place enabling factors, most prominent of which is education".

He pointed out that no Indian from India has won the Nobel Prize since C.V. Raman in 1930, and said educational institutes in the country should focus more on research and development.

"I have been urging our educational institutions to invest more in research and development and to pursue greater international linkages by establishing collaborations with foreign universities and inviting the best of faculty from across the world to come and teach in our institutions," the president said.

He said the government has prioritised higher education and supported it with increased resources, and enrollment to higher education institutions in the country has increased from 1.39 crore in 2006-07 to 2.18 crore in 2011-12.

"India has today 659 degree-awarding institutions and 33,023 colleges," he said.

However, despite the rise in the number of higher education institutes, India has very few institutes of global standards, Mukherjee said.

"Time has now come for us to reclaim our leadership position in the world as far as higher education is concerned. Our effort to increase 'quantity' must be matched with commensurate efforts to improve 'quality'," Mukherjee said.

He said that in a world that is facing increasing constraints on natural resources, innovation was another key area India should focus on.

"China and the US are amongst the countries at the forefront of innovation with over five lakh (500,000) patent applications filed by each country in 2011," he said.

"In contrast to this, India filed only 42,000 patent applications, which is far behind these countries. As per an international survey, only three Indian companies are amongst the world's 100 most innovative companies."

He called on both the industry and higher education institutes to emphasise on research.

"We have only 119 researchers in R&D per million people, as compared to 715 in China and 468 in the US. Out of the total student strength of 71,000 in NITs, there are only 4,000 PhD students. In IITs, there are only around 3,000 PhD students in the total student strength of 60,000," the president said.

Stating that upgrading the standards of higher education in India should be accorded top priority, he said: "Overseas Indians such as all of you gathered here can play a major role in supporting and supplementing the efforts of the government to remedy this situation."

He said the Indian economy was more resilient than most other countries.

"I am sure you have (the) confidence in the inherent resilience of our people and the dynamism of our economy which has the ability to overcome temporary downturns," he said.

Pollution disrupts the economic growth

Pollution disrupts the economic growth - Click to Download

Pollution in India is high as compared to other nations and is a serious concern for the environmentalists in the country.

Pollution directly affects the health of people, leads to resource reduction and has dangerous consequences on the fiscal growth of the country.

Rapid Industrialization and urbanization has resulted in intense weakening of environmental condition of India. It has been observed that polluted environment affect the daily life of some people in India because they do not have access to clean water, air and sanitation.

Environment security is of high priority of nations like India because people are not aware of consequences of pollution. Pollution is steadily increasing and having adverse effect on the people’s life.

If pollution level is too high, climatic condition changes and natural disasters are surely to be frequent phenomena. There is a need to launch awareness campaign to educate people about pollution reduction to secure the future generation in the country.

In today’s situation, it is essential to formulate effective policies that can control pollution and improve the general environment. Pollution can be reduced through implementing various policies such as regulatory and market based economic instruments.

Regulatory instruments stipulate emission standards or waste matter limits. These require substantial information and administrative costs to implement and monitoring of project. Market based instruments comprise of taxes, subsidies, and trading instruments etc.

As compared to regulatory policies, market based instruments are more effective in controlling the costs of environmental safeguard through incentives.
Government is also planning to execute effective financial policies that support measures for energy preservation, renewable energy, soil conservation, forestation and affordable access to clean water to the public etc.

Numerous experts recognized the benefit of Green growth strategies to support sustainable growth and lessen the impact of environmental degradation and exhaustion of natural resources. Emission reductions can be accomplished through minimal cost to GDP.

It is an established fact that if pollution in India is not controlled, then it may have adverse impact on the growth of our economy. - Ragini Sinha

Beware Of Fake Profiles On Indian Mars Mission

Beware Of Fake Profiles On Indian Mars Mission - Click to Download

Beware Of Fake Profiles On Indian Mars Mission

The Indian space agency Monday cautioned people on forged profiles about its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“It has come to our notice that a number of pages in the social media are floating in our name, department of space and Mangalyaan (Mars), which have no authenticity,” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

The Mars spacecraft, launched Nov 5 from Sriharikota spaceport off the Bay of Bengal, about 80 km north east of Chennai, is cruising in the inter-planetary space through the 680-million km soar orbit to reach the red planet in September 2014.

A fortnight ahead of the maiden Mars mission, the space agency started an official page on Facebook Oct 22 titled ‘ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission’ ( to provide real time authentic information.

Asserting that it was not responsible for any content hosted on the forged pages, the space agency said the impersonation was a serious offence and warned of stern legal action against their administrators if they were not immediately shut.

Some of the fake sites on the social media are:, www.facebook/pages/ISRO-India-Space-Research-Organisation,, and

Scientists at ISRO’s Deep Space Network at Bylalu, about 40km from here, are monitoring the Orbiter’s odyssey and programming its computer for sending and receiving commands for its operations despite a 20-minute delay in the exercise due to the distance between earth and the deep space.

The Orbiter zoomed out Dec 4 of the earth’s sphere of influence, which extends up to 925,000km in the cosmic space and freed from its gravitational pull.

After a nine-month journey, the spacecraft will enter the Mars sphere of influence, which is around 573,473km from its surface, in a hyperbolic trajectory.

When the spacecraft is closest to the red planet, it will be captured into the Martian orbit through a crucial manoeuvre, which involves slowing its velocity.

India became the first Asian country and fourth nation in the world to leap into the interplanetary space with its Rs.450-crore exploratory mission to Mars, about 400-million km from earth.

Climate change not influenced by variations in heat from sun

Climate change not influenced by variations in heat from sun - Click to Download

‘Climate change not influenced by variations in heat from sun’

Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a scientific study has indicated.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh carried out the study using records of past temperatures constructed with data from tree rings and other historical sources. They compared this data record with computer-based models of past climate, featuring both significant and minor changes in the Sun.

The findings overturn a widely-held scientific view that lengthy periods of warm and cold weather might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity.

Research examining the causes of climate change in the northern hemisphere over the past 1000 years has shown that until 1800, the key driver of periodic changes in climate was volcanic eruptions. These tend to prevent sunlight reaching the Earth, causing cool, drier weather.

Since 1900, greenhouse gases have been the primary cause of climate change. The study, published in Nature GeoScience, was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council.

The findings show that periods of low Sun activity should not be expected to have a large impact on temperatures on Earth, and are expected to improve scientists’ understanding and help climate forecasting. They found that their model of weak changes in the Sun gave the best correlation with temperature records, indicating that solar activity has had a minimal impact on temperature in the past millennium.

Dr. Andrew Schurer of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “Until now, the influence of the Sun on past climate has been poorly understood. We hope that our discoveries will help improve our understanding of how temperatures have changed over the past few centuries, and improve predictions for how they might develop in future. Links between the Sun and anomalously cold winters in the U.K. are still being explored.’

Is working in a nuclear power plant risky?

Is working in a nuclear power plant risky? - Click to Download

Is working in a nuclear power plant risky?

Several studies of nuclear power plant workers have shown that work in a nuclear power plant is not a risky occupation

A 24-year-old man who was about to join the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and his parents were troubled by what they saw on a TV channel about the alleged damage to DNA by radiation. TV channels often go overboard and make unsubstantiated claims.

A 63-year-old person asked this writer whether the throat malignancy, which, his 33-year-old daughter was suffering from, was likely due to the possible radiation exposure he might have received while working in a nuclear power plant when he was 28 years old. The explanations offered appeared to have dispelled their doubts.

Is work in a nuclear power plant risky?

Several extensive epidemiological studies of nuclear power plant workers have shown that work in a nuclear power plant is not a risky occupation.

Radiation workers in nuclear industry like other radiation workers form a unique group. They are adult workers whose radiation doses received at work are regularly measured; these records are maintained.

Radiation protection specialists accept that ionising radiation at high dose levels can cause cancer. Nuclear power plant workers receive low doses of radiation.

Cancer induced by radiation is indistinguishable from those caused spontaneously or by other cancer-causing agents. Since there are no unique biomarkers for radiation-induced cancer, specialists depend on statistical methods to predict cancer incidence in a group of exposed workers.

Specialists have carried out long-term studies of these workers in many countries. Most of these studies have low statistical power.

To get statistically respectable population groups, specialists carried out a pooled study of radiation worker populations from 15 nations. The participants in this international collaborative study included 407,391 workers whose external radiation doses were individually monitored; the total follow up was about 5.2 million person-years.

The study published in Radiation Research in 2007 quite unexpectedly showed statistically significant increased risks per unit of occupational ionising radiation dose for mortality from solid cancer and from all cancers excluding leukaemia, compared to those of A-bomb survivors.

The observation that the radiation risk at low doses is more than that at high doses attracted wide attention. In the pooled analysis, Canadian workers had the highest cancer radiation risk estimates among the 15 countries. None of the other 14 country cohorts individually had significantly raised cancer mortality risk estimates. Exclusion of Canadian workers (4 per cent of the sample) from the pooled analysis changed the findings to statistically non-significant.

Critics questioned the data and the analytical validity of the study because of the apparent difference in the results between the Canadian and the 15-country studies.

A recent paper dispelled the disproportionate alarm caused by the pooled study.

A paper published on November 13, 2013 inthe British Journal of Cancer, indicated that the significantly increased risks for early AECL workers are most likely due to incomplete transfer of AECL dose records to the National Dose Registry.

Researchers reported that the analysis of the remainder of the Canadian nuclear workers (93.2 per cent) provided no evidence of increased risk; also the risk estimate was compatible with estimates that form the basis of radiation protection standards.

“Study findings suggest that the revised Canadian cohort, with the exclusion of early AECL workers, would likely have an important effect on the 15-country pooled risk estimate of radiation-related risks of all cancer excluding leukaemia by substantially reducing the size of the point estimate and its significance,” the researchers clarified.

Workers in nuclear power plants will receive some radiation dose. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has strict procedures in place to keep the doses to workers within the limits prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

The AERB Annual Report of 2012-2013 published at ( indicates that in 2012 no radiation worker in any nuclear power plant exceeded the dose limits prescribed by AERB.

The average radiation dose varied from 0.35 mSv to 2.84 mSv, a fraction of the AERB annual dose limit of 30 mSV. Conclusions were similar in earlier years. At these doses, radiation risks, if any, are insignificant.

Since the dose limits are based on conservative assumptions, it is inconsequential if anyone receives, occasionally, a dose above the limit.

Radiation protection standards are based on studies by scholarly bodies such as the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation Committee, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

They indicate that at low doses — similar to those received by nuclear power plant workers — radiation risks, if there are any, are negligibly small. Such risks are no risks at all. Work in a nuclear power plant is not a risky occupation.

K.S. PARTHASARATHY Former Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Teens alcohol consumption triples during Christmas, New Year

Teens alcohol consumption triples during Christmas, New Year - Click to Download


Teens alcohol consumption triples during Christmas, New Year - Delhiites teens in high spirits this new year!

Alcohol consumption among teenager’s triples during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve between ages of 14 to 19, especially in cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Chandigarh etc, reveals the ASSOCHAM survey conducted under its ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF).

More than birthdays and traditional weekends, December and January are the periods of greatest alcohol consumption of months, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest survey on “Consumption of alcohol during Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2013” points out that the average alcohol consumption of teenagers triples during the festive seasons, from age 28 in the 1985s, it has come down to age 14 now, adds the ASSSOCHAM survey.

“Reasons for rising liquor consumption among teens include easy money, availability of imported brands, absent parents and more spending power are some of the major reasons that contribute to the high consumption of alcohol among the teenagers”, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the survey.

The survey in which more than 1,500 teenagers (14 to 19) and 1,000 of age group of 20 to 29 conducted, a quarter of respondents reported shelling off between Rs.1,000 and Rs. 10,000 only on alcohol during Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations. One-third of Delhiites consume three times a week during the festive season, the survey found.

Almost half (69 per cent) of youngsters aged between 20 to 29 admitted binge drinking during the new year season, with men more likely to drink too much than women, reveals the survey.

The major cities in which respondents were interviewed include Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Kolkata, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Dehradun and interestingly it was observed that consumption of liquor is more in vogue is in Delhi-NCR, followed by Mumbai, Goa, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

“The peer pressure, plenty of pocket money and absentee parents mean the drinking age is dropping in metros. There has been a marked increase in alcohol consumption among teenagers and are strongly influenced by males in the family”, said Mr. Rawat.

With Christmas parties, end of year celebrations and upcoming new years, alcohol consumption is likely to increase more than 180% this season as against 105% per cent in the previous year, added Mr. Rawat.

In November 2011, ASSOCHAM survey found a 100% rise in drinking among the 15-18 age group in the last 10 years. The greater problem these days is not alcoholism but drinking problem, which affects 60 percent of users and makes them aggressive, said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Health Committee and Chairman Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The following statistics are sad and shocking, as per the government’s strict norms for underage drinking, Children as young as 13 have tried Bacardi Breezers or vodkas at stay-over nights with their friends. While responding, 52 percent teenagers said that having one drink at parties is something everyone does, for 72 percent being "cool" meant having three to four drinks. Drinking seems to be quite the normal thing among the 13-18 age group in the metropolitan cities, adds survey.

“More than 52% of teens who admitted drinking said they drink when they are upset; 8% said they drink alone; 2% said they drink when they are bored; and 47% said they drink to "get high", findings of the survey.

Majority of teens consume alcohol on the occasion of New Year, Christmas, birthdays, farewell and some other occasion. Teenage boys are much more likely than teenage girls to say they have tried alcohol. Fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages are particularly appealing to girls who often do not like the taste of alcohol, adds the ASSOCHAM findings. 

Usage of alcohol has also resulted in deliberate self-harm, high-risk sexual behaviour, HIV infection, tuberculosis, oesophageal cancer, liver disease, duodenal ulcer and many more, adds the paper.

Family history of substance abuse, prenatal exposure to alcohol, poor parent-child relationships and inadequate parent-child communication, conduct disorders, rebelliousness, depression, anxiety, academic problems, positive attitudes about alcohol, stress and poor coping skills all contribute to drink alcohol, disclosed the survey.

The survey further points out, “low pricing, a lack of standardized proof of age schemes and poor enforcement makes it easy for unscrupulous retailers to sell to underage kids, said Mr. Rawat. By introducing on-the-spot fines for selling drink during the Christmas/ New Year celebrations to under-19s, proof of age before purchasing, may reduce the consumption of alcohol at an early age.

Survey Findings:

  • Have tried alcohol 65%
  • Have not tried alcohol 20%
  • Have drunk fruit-flavoured alcoholic beverages 45%


Reasons are:

  • Lack of supervision 
  • Peer pressure 
  • Depression
  • Easy access to alcohol
  • Family or academic problems
  • Stress and poor coping skills

Long term effects:

  • Increased risk of cancer - especially breast, throat/mouth, oesophageal, liver, stomach
  • Increased risk of other diseases including cirrhosis, cognitive problems, obesity, hypertension, dementia, psychological conditions, damage to reproductive organs and others
  • Correlating concerns such as smoking and poor dietary behaviour
  • Nutritional deficiencies and related health concerns
  • Financial and legal implications
  • Occupational effects
  • Breakdown of family structures

Creative ways of sneaking in alcohol are trendy among the youth:

  • Cafes and fast-food restaurants serving beer, pubs and bars slating early evenings as cheaper Happy Hour, alcohol is within easy reach
  • There's also the hookah lounge in metros. The flavoured hookah often has alcohol as base, especially vodka or wine.

Online matrimony see significant growth

Online matrimony see significant growth - Click to Download

Online matrimony see significant growth; likely to touch Rs.1500 cr. by 2017: ASSOCHAM

Booming biz of online marriages!

Combination of convenient and economic factors, online matrimony industry threatens to traditional business and eating market share of newspaper matrimonial classified industry, the country’s online matrimony will acquire a market size of Rs 1,500 crore by 2017  from Rs 520 crore at present, reveals ASSOCHAM latest assessment.

In a recent study undertaken by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) reveals online matrimony is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 65% in the next two years. The main reasons that attribute to the increase in the demand for online matrimony include convenience, time-saving and efficient, adds the survey.

In the last fiscal, about 50-55 million online subscribers registered their profiles , 2.5 miliion uploaded their profiles per month to take advantage of this facility mainly on account of it being economical and less cumbersome, adds ASSOCHAM assessment.

The figures by ASSOCHAM on “Rising trends & popularity of online Jobs and Matrimonial Alliances”, reveal that jobs and matri alliance seeking through online has many more takers now because combination of convenient and economic factors. This is evident from the fact that between 2011-12 and 2012-13, business transacted through online advertisement for jobs and matrimonial alliances registered a growth of 56% and 52% respectively.

“Of the projected prospective job and match seekers through online, Jobs portals reported a year on year growth of 75 per cent in November 2013, when compared with the number of resume uploads in corresponding month last year.  However, the number of resumes uploaded in December 2013 increased to 3.15 million from 1.05 million in November 2012, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM, adding that projections are based on estimates made by various sites for job providers and enablers involved in matri sites.

The research also shows that the fastest growing age group is 21-35 years.  India has one of the youngest populations and the fourth largest Internet population in the world with 130 million online Indians today and all set to touch 120 million by 2012-13, adds the ASSOCHAM paper. 

Mr. Rawat further said, matrimonial websites are increasingly turning into a better option for the new generation in their search for potential mates and for the NRIs looking for Indian match for their sons and daughters. And the payoff is certainly big as it provides a global choice of lakhs of members cutting across age groups, professions, regions, religions, and communities.

He also said,  the interactivity, accessibility and hence effectiveness of the online medium make it a preferred medium for finding a life partner. These sites are proving to be a big draw for expatriates, living in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand & Middle East. The web sites offer a more personal, interactive and quick way of searching for good matches, highlights the paper.

The number of online job seekers was estimated close to 25 million in 2012-13 and in the following year, their numbers will increase to 50 million 2016-17. The paper however, has projected that the number of job explorers through online services will rise about 65 million in current fiscal. In the future to come, this number will witness a substantial hike because of convenient, easier and economic ways to access the job opportunities and their availability, said ASSOCHAM Secretary General.

The paper also found that junior, mid-level and senior executives accounted for more than 50% of online job seekers. In addition, in keeping with the overall pattern of Internet usage, among the states Maharashtra topped the list of online job seekers followed by Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal. Most of the time it was noticed that 43% of online job seekers fall between 26 to 35 age group with 72% male and reaming 28 % female, conclude the ASSOCHAM paper.

Mr. Rawat also said that online recruitment is gaining ground as a preferred medium of hiring in India. For job seekers, the Internet has opened up the world of job searching, turning it into a 24-hour-a-day marketplace. Internet is arguably the most immediate, convenient and comprehensive medium for employment seekers to research and prospect for jobs”.

Travel arrangement through online is another sector that showcased significant growth. A year-on-year growth of 25 per cent is witnessed in the online booking of railway tickets, with the tickets booked online in June 2013 reaching 6.81 million, as compared to 5.83 million in June 2012. The online bookings of air tickets witnessed an increase of 1.45 million bookings in 2012 to 1.70 million bookings in 2013.

Facts of Online Matrimonial Search:-

•    Market Size - FY 2012-2013 - Rs 520 crore

•    Estimated market size - FY 2016-2017 Rs 1500 crore

•    Online Matrimonial Search Subscribers: FY 2012-2013 – 50-55 million

•    Fastest growing age group is 25yrs - 34yrs

•    Male / Female ratio matches the current internet gender ratio is 69% / 31%

Fast facts of Online Job Search:

•    78% in the 26-35 age group

•    72% male and 28% female

Top 5 states:

•    32% Maharashtra

•    25% Delhi

•    20% Tamil Nadu

•    12%   Karnataka

•    11%   West Bengal

Researchers develop technique to reduce solar power cost

Researchers develop technique to reduce solar power cost - Click to Download

Drugs Prohibited/ Suspended in India

Drugs Prohibited/ Suspended in India - Click to Download

Drugs Prohibited/ Suspended in India

            The Government has suspended the manufacture for sale, sale and distribution of following drugs in 2013 as the use of these drugs was likely to involve risk to the human health:

1. Dextropropoxyphene and formulations containing Dextropropoxyphene for human use.

2. Analgin and all formulations containing analgin for human use.

3. Fixed Dose Combination of Flupenthixol+Melitracen for human use.

4. Pioglitazone and all formulations containing Pioglitazone for human use.

Apart from the above drugs suspended during the current year, the following drugs were prohibited / suspended during the last three years:

1. Rosiglitazone.

2. Nimesulide formulations in children below 12 years of age.

3. Cisapride and its formulations for human use.

4. Phenylpropanolamine and its formulations for human use.

5. Human Placental Extract and its formulations for human use except its

(i) Topical application for wound healing, and

(ii) Injection for pelvic inflammatory disease.

6. Sibutramine and its formulations for human use.

7. R-Sibutramine and its formulations for human use.

8. Gatifloxacin formulation for systemic use in human by any route including oral and injectable 9. Tegaserod and its formulations

10. Letrozole for induction of ovulation in anovulatory infertility.

11. Serodiagnostic test kits for diagnosis of tuberculosis.

The suspension of Pioglitazone and all formulations containing Pioglitazone for human use was revoked on the recommendation of Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB).

According to revised notification permitting the manufacturefor sale, sale and distribution of Pioglitazone and all formulations containing Pioglitazone for human use subject to the conditions as recommended by DTAB was published vide notification G.S.R. 520 (E) dated 31-07-2013.

The Government is already running the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India for keeping a continuous vigilance on the drugs causing health risks through monitoring, recording and reporting Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) in the country.

This was stated by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Saturday.


Will 2014 place ISRO in cryo club?

Will 2014 place ISRO in cryo club? - Click to Download

Will 2014 place ISRO in cryo club?

Will 2014 see a 20-year-old Indian space dream come true? January 5 should tell whether years of ISRO’s toil and tears will fructify and usher India into a select club of countries — those with their own cryogenic rocket engine technology, which can launch their communication satellites from their soil.

Space agency ISRO, flush from launching its Mars Orbiter Mission, will face its acid test on Sunday when it flies the GSLV-D5 launch vehicle with the indigenously built cryogenic upper third stage. To succeed, the launcher must place GSAT-14, a two-tonne-class satellite, in the planned orbit.

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told The Hindu that the GSLV flight with an indigenous cryogenic stage would be a priority mission for 2014.

The upcoming launch is said to be extremely vital for the organisation morally and operationally. The first such bid failed in April 2010. A second attempt was called off in August 2013, an hour before the launch, after a fuel leak was detected. In the last four or so months, the organisation had done everything to ready a “refurbished” vehicle, Dr. Radhakrishnan said. Significant changes were made, including new fuel tanks, systems and material, based on the recommendations of the K. Narayana committee that went into the August leak episode.

The teams started re-assembling the current vehicle on October 18, 2013. The three-stage GSLV rocket has a first stage (S139) propelled by solid fuel; its four strap-on (L40) boosters use liquid fuel. The second stage GS2 uses liquid propellants. The third cryo stage uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. While D5’s cryo stage was found healthy after August, ISRO had to work anew on the other two.

Dr. Radhakrishnan said: “We got a new S139 solid first stage. Its four liquid strap-on stages have a lot of avionics, so we refurbished them at Mahendragiri and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. We also made a new second stage. When the launch was called off in August, the liquid stage had to be drained of fuel and washed with much water. This might have affected the electronics systems, so we replaced them, too.”

More importantly, the fuel tank material has been changed, fully phasing out the traditional but corrosion-prone aluminium-zinc combine, called AFNOR 7020. The new alternative, aluminium-copper alloy called AA2219, is now the material for all PSLV and GSLV tanks.

India scraped 3600 crore rupees VVIP Chopper Deal with AgustaWestland.

India scraped 3600 crore rupees VVIP Chopper Deal with AgustaWestland -  Click to Download

India scraped 3600 crore rupees VVIP Chopper Deal with AgustaWestland.


India scrapped the 3600 crore rupees to supply 12 VVIP helicopter deal with the Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland on 1 January 2014. It was scrapped following the alleged payment of kickbacks to the tune of 360 crore rupees paid in the deal. It has been done nearly a year after the scam that surfaced creating a political storm in India.

The deal was scrapped on the grounds of the breach of the pre-contract Integrity Pact and the agreement with the firm. The bribes were paid to win the contract by two executives of AugustaWestland, a unit of Italian defence contractor Finmeccanica to supply a dozen AW101 helicopters, which will be used by Indian Air Force for carrying the VVIPs and ministers.

India’s agreement with AgustaWestland

India did a deal for supply of 12 VVIP helicopters with AgustaWestland in 2010. The company has already delivered three helicopters to India. The controversy came into existence after the arrest of two top officials of the company in February 2013.

AgustaWestland was pressing the Indian Government for arbitration, whereas the Indian Government viewed that arbitration is not a subject to be taken care of due to the issues related to integrity. But India decided to get into the arbitration following an advice by the Attorney General of India after scrapping the deal.


Justice BP Jeevan Reddy has been nominated as the arbitrator of India to safeguard the interests of the Government.

List of some defence scandals of India

Jeeps Scandal in 1948: It was alleged that irregularities happened in the acquisition of the jeeps from England, which was used as army jeeps. The deal was signed by VK Menon, the Indian High Commissioner in Britain at that time. He bypassed a protocol to sign a deal of 80 lakh rupees. The case was closed in 1955 as t5he judicial inquiry ignored the suggestion of the Inquiry Committee led by Ananthsayanam Ayyangar. It was first major corruption of Independent India.


Bofors Scandal in 1987: It is alleged that the Swedish arms maker, Bofors bribed to get the deal of the 155 mm Howitzers. Rajiv Gandi, the then Prime Minister of India was involved in the scandal, which was closed after 21 years of probe in 2011. It was signed between India and Swedish metals and armaments major to replace the old field guns and artillery available with Indian army. The government of India decided the induction of the Calibre 155 mm howitzers. AB bofors of Sweden manufactured the FH-77 gun, which was owned by Alfred Nobel one.

Scorpene Submarine Scandal of 2005: It alleges bribery of 500 crore rupees by Thales, a defence company of France to purchase the submarine of Scorpene for Indian Navy. No evidence was found by CBI in its preliminary enquiry. Pranab Mukherjee the then Union Defence Minister approved a deal worth 19000 crore rupees in October 2005. These submarines are being in India at present under a technology transfer agreement. The technology transfer agreement was a part of the agreement signed.

Barack Missiles Scandal in 2000: RK Jain, the treasurer of Samata Party was arrested and former Defence Minister of India George Fernandes was named for the allegations of bribery for acquisition of Barack missile by Israel. In 2006 a case was lodged by CBI and the case was closed in 2011.

Tatra Trucks Scandal of 2012: The former chief of Army General VK Singh alleged that he was offered a bribe to clear the purchase of these trucks. Questions were raised on the quality of the heavy duty trucks made by Tatra.


New device converts microwave signals into electricity

New device converts microwave signals into electricity - Click to Download

Union Cabinet approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013

Union Cabinet approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013 - Click to Download

Union Cabinet approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013

The Union Cabinet on 16 December 2013 approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013. The bill aimed to prevent and tackle the communal violence in the country and punish the perpetrators of the violence.

The Bill has been named as The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013.

The Bill has the provision of creating an institutional arrangement for speedy investigation, disposal of cases and for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of communal violence. It also seeks imposition of enhanced punishment on persons involved in communal violence.

The highlights of the Bill

• The Bill defines communal violence to include any act of series of acts, whether spontaneous or planned, resulting in injury or harm to the person or property knowingly directed against any person by virtue of his or her religious or linguistic identity.

• The Bill has proposed to punish organized communal violence with life imprisonment. Hate propaganda will be punished with up to three years imprisonment or fine or both. Funding of communal violence will be punished with up to three years or fine or both.

• Dereliction of duty will invite a punishment with imprisonment ranging from two years to five years and breach of command with imprisonment of up to 10 years.

• Earlier the power of intervention of the Centre in event of riots was unilateral, that is, central could send paramilitary forces without consulting the state governments. This has been amended and now the State governments will have discretion in deciding whether the assistance of the Centre is needed or not.

• The new bill makes bureaucrats and public servants accountable for any acts of commission and omission while handling communal violence. However bureaucrats who refuse to obey unlawful orders of their superiors during communal situations cannot be held responsible for willful neglect of duty.

• The Bill provide compensation of 7 lakh rupees to the next kin of those killed in communal violence, 5 lakh rupees  for rape, 3 lakh  rupees to 5 lakh rupees for disability and 2 lakh rupees for grievous injury.


Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2013 got assent of President Pranab Mukherjee

Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2013 got assent of President Pranab Mukherjee - Click to Download

Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2013 got assent of President Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India on 1 January 2014 gave his assent to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013. With this accent, the Bill has turned to be an Act. It provides creation of an anti-graft watchdog that will bring under its purview to even the office of the Prime Minister with certain safeguards.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during the winter session on 18 December 2013. Earlier, the amended Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 17 December 2013.

A copy of the Bill, which was signed by Meira Kumar, the Speaker of Lak Sabha was sent to the Law Ministry by the secretariat on 1 January 2014. Further, the same was forwarded for President’s assent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

After the signing by the President, the Bill has taken a shape of an Act following certain procedures. For publication of the Act in the official gazette, the Bill will be sent for signing to the Secretary of Legislative Department in the Law Ministry after the assent of the President.

The Bill aims to set-up an institution of Lokpal at Centre and Lokayuktas in the states by the law enacted by respective legislatures within one year from the date of its coming into effect.

Earlier in 2011, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during its winter session, but was debated in Rajya Sabha till the adjournment of its session before voting. Further, a select committee of Rajya Sabha suggested some changes in the Bill of which maximum were incorporated and approved by the Union Cabinet.

Important features of the Act are

• As per the Act a Lokpal will be at the centre level and Lokayukta’s will be at the states levels

• A Lokpal consist of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which 50 percent should be of judicial members

• The Act provides that 50 percent of the total members of the Lokpal should be from SC/ST/OBCs, minorities and women

• The Chairperson and members of the Lokpal will be selected through a selection committee, which include the Prime Minister of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, Lok Sabha’s leader of opposition, the Chief Justice of India or the Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice. Then the President of India will nominate the eminent Jurist on the basis of the recommendations of the first four members of the selection committee

• The Prime Minister has been brought under the purview of the Lokpal

• The jurisdiction of the Lokpal will cover all the categories of the public servant

• Under its also comes any/all entities, which will receive the donations from a foreign source in excess of 10 lakh rupees in context of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

• The Act will provide adequate protection to the honest and upright public servants

• The Act provide Lokpal the right to superintendence and direct any investigation agency including the CBI on the cases, which will be referred to them from the Lokpal itself

• The Director of the CBI will be recommended by the high power committee that will be chaired by the Prime Minister of India

• Director will control the Directorate of Prosecution that is headed by the Director of Prosecution

• The Central Vigilance Commission will recommend the Director of Prosecution, CBI for appointment

• Lokpal’s approval will be required for the transfer’s of the officers of CBI, who are investigating the cases referred by the Lokpal

• The Act gives the provisions to attach and confiscate the property that has been acquired by corrupt means even in the case that the prosecution of the case remains pending

• Clear time lines for preliminary enquiry and trial has been layed in the Act. It also mentions setting-up of special courts towards the end of the trial

• It mentions that a mandate for setting up the Lokayukta institution through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within 365 days from the date on which the Act was commenced.

India's Supercomputer, PARAM Yuva-II ranked 1 in India

India’s Supercomputer, PARAM Yuva-II ranked 1 in India  - Click to Download

India’s Supercomputer, PARAM Yuva-II ranked 1 in India

PARAM Yuva-II India’s supercomputer rated 1st in India, 9th in the Asia Pacific Region and 44th in the world among the most power efficient computer systems as per the Green500 List.

It was announced at the Super computer Conference (SC 2013) in Denver, Colorado, US. PARAM Yuva-II was developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

C-DAC is the second organization worldwide to have carried out the Level 3 measurement of Power versus Performance for the Green500 List
PARAM Yuva – II uses hybrid technology, processor, co-processor and hardware accelerators.

PARAM uses hybrid technology to provide the peak compute power of 520.4 Teraflop/s using 210 kilowatt power.

The interconnect network comprises of homegrown PARAMNet-III and Infiniband FDR System Area Network. This system is designed to solve large and complex computational problems. The system has 200 Terabytes of high performance storage, and requisite system software and utilities for parallel applications development. About Supercomputers

 • A Super computer is the fastest type of computers that is typically used for scientific and engineering applications which handles very large databases or does a great amount of computation or both.

• In general Supercomputers consume a lot of electrical power and produce much heat.

• To reduce heat, it requires elaborate cooling facilities, which increases the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a supercomputer.

• Green500 ranks computer systems in the world according to compute performance per watt and providing a world ranking based on energy efficiency.

• Energy consumed by supercomputers is measured at various Levels L1, L2, and L3.

There is disappointment that India has not realised its potential

There is disappointment that India has not realised its potential - Click to Download


There is disappointment that India has not realised its potential

Gita Gopinath professor of economics at Harvard University

There is a perception among international investors that a Modi government will be a good outcome for India, says Gita Gopinath, professor of economics at Harvard University. Chosen as one of the Yung Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 2011, Gita feels the US taper would not be as turbulent as last time and hopes finance minister P Chidambaram will deliver on his promise to keep fiscal deficit within budgeted levels. Edited excerpts from an interview with ET:

What are your views on the unwinding of the monetary stimulus by the US Fed?

There is a general belief that it would not be as disruptive this time... With the recent positive news on employment numbers, tapering of quantitative easing by the US Fed seems more likely. There are three reasons to expect that the actual easing will be less turbulent in terms of currency movements than what happened this past summer. First, this will be an anticipated move by the Fed so the markets may react little given that they already responded sharply in anticipation of a tapering. Second, India's current account deficit at 1.2% of GDP is certainly a very safe range to be in, unlike the summer when the deficit was closer to 5%. Third, the RBI has taken an aggressive stance on inflation with the recent interest rate increases. All of these three factors will help to insulate the Indian economy to some extent.


The setback in elections for the Congress has raised concerns that fiscal consolidation commitment may weaken. Would you agree with that?

I really hope the finance ministry sticks to the 4.8% target. The ministry does not have an impressive record with living up to its projections in recent years. At this point markets view these pronouncements with lot of scepticism. So, I think it is important that they are able to meet their target. That will also make it clear that India is serious about fiscal consolidation. And I hope that national interest will prevail above any kind of political consideration.

Is the upcoming national election is seen as a huge political risk, especially what has happened in the election and surprise emergence of a third party in Delhi?

Yes, there are multiple sources of uncertainty going into next year. On the one hand there is a lot of uncertainty expected in world markets with US Fed policy and the risk of euro zone stagnation. On the other hand, there are the elections in India that generates considerable uncertainty in the domestic market.  There are a lot of reasons to expect more complicated coalitions arising in the next election.

The markets clearly have been responding positively to any news that a Narendra Modi-led government will be at the Centre. A similar reaction exists in global markets. There is perception internationally that the main problem India faces is not the lack of an agenda, but the lack of political will to execute that agenda.

In India there is always talk of reforms when we mention growth. Are there some big-ticket reforms left apart from, say, labour, or do we simply need to do things better?

There are important reforms like labour and land reforms, but there is also a lot of lower hanging fruit. For instance, countries like China are now at the stage of development where growth through investment and capital accumulation is no longer sustainable. They need to raise productivity and shift the source of demand to consumers. India does not have this problem. They still need to raise the capital stock and undertake a lot of investment, especially in infrastructure. So, even without the difficult reforms being undertaken, there is sufficient space for high growth through investment.

GDP is a function of capital, labour and how productively you use both. The piece of that equation that is most easy to change is capital, and so building up your capital, which is what India still needs to do by leaps and bounds, can deliver strong growth.

Do you see monetary policy easing any time soon?

Dr Rajan has his eye on the numbers and I believe that as long as inflation rates stay high, he will not lower rates.

Government issued food safety guidelines for Integrated Child Development Services scheme

Government issued food safety guidelines for Integrated Child Development Services scheme - Click to Download

Government issued food safety guidelines for Integrated Child Development Services scheme


The Government of India on 31 December 2013 issued food safety and hygiene guidelines to prevent contamination of supplementary nutrition provided to pregnant women and children. The guidelines were issued under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. The guidelines were issued by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.


The issued guidelines have barred the anganwadi workers and helpers from wearing nail polish, and artificial nails. The anganwadi workers and helpers have been asked to trim their nails and should keep them clean while washing the hands. It has also banned them from wearing wrist watches and rings and bangles or any type of jewellery item, while cooking and serving food. These have been banned as these jewellery items may carry foreign bodied and compromise with the hygiene standard.


The Operational Guidelines for Food Safety and Hygiene of ICDS has also mentions that the workers and helpers should tie their hairs neatly and it should be covered. It also mentions that any type of glass should not be allowed in the cooking areas.


As per the issued guidelines, an adequate precaution for cleanliness has been issued for the staffs to prevent the food from getting contaminated during cleaning of rooms, utensils or any other equipment. It has also mentioned that before using any equipment, while cooking food should be washed with water.


It has also mentioned that toilets should be cleaned all the times to make safe disposal of stool and wastes. It has said that the activity rooms, should be well ventilated and also be spacious, which should be cleaned every day before the start of the functions in the morning.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme

Integrated Child Development Services scheme was launched on 2 October 1975. ICDS Scheme represents one of the world’s largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development. ICDS is the foremost symbol of India’s commitment to her children – India’s response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality, on the other.

Objectives: The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched in 1975 with the following objectives
• To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age group 0-6 years;

• To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;

• To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;

• To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
• To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education

Services: The above objectives are sought to be achieved through a package of services comprising

• Supplementary nutrition

• Immunization

• Health check-up

• Referral services

• Pre-school non-formal education

• Nutrition & health education

The concept of providing a package of services is based primarily on the consideration that the overall impact will be much larger if the different services develop in an integrated manner as the efficacy of a particular service depends upon the support it receives from related services.


National Sample Survey Office released survey on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene

National Sample Survey Office released survey on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene - Click to Download


National Sample Survey Office released survey on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) released the survey of the key indicators of drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and housing condition in India on 24 December 2013.

The Survey conducted from July 2012 to December 2012 by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

The objective of the NSS survey was to collect information on the different aspects of living conditions of Indian population necessary for decent and healthy living and to develop suitable indicators to assess the situation.

The improved sources of drinking water include bottled water, piped water into dwelling, piped water to yard, public tap, standpipe, tube well or bore well, protected well, protected spring and rain water collection.

Salient features of the NSSO Survey

Drinking water:

• Nearly 88.5 percent households in rural India and 95.3 percent households in urban India improved source of drinking water.

• In Kerala rural household are the worst hit with only 29.5 percent having access to safe drinking water whereas in Tamil Nadu it was 94 percent.

• Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are above national average, people having access to safe drinking water.

• Bihar with 97.6 percent of rural households and 99.7 percent of urban households improved source of drinking water and in Uttar Pradesh with 96.6 percent and 99.2 percent respectively.

• The availability of drinking water from the principal source was considered sufficient throughout the year if in each of the calendar months the availability of drinking water was sufficient.

• 85.8 percent of rural households and 89.6 percent of urban households in India had sufficient drinking water.

• 16 percent of Nagaland rural households have sufficient drinking water throughout year.

Sanitation & Housing Condition:

• Nearly 62.3 percent of rural household and 16.7 percent of urban households did not have any bathroom facility.

• 59.4 percent and 8.8 percent households in rural India and urban India respectively had no latrine facilities.

• The households having latrine facilities, 31.9 percent and 63.9 percent households in rural India and urban India respectively had access to its exclusive use.

• About 38.8 percent and 89.6 percent households in rural and urban India respectively had access to improved type of latrine.

• 80.0 percent of rural households and 97.9 percent of urban households had electricity for domestic use.

• 94.2 percent households in rural India and 71.3 percent in urban India had secured tenure in their dwelling.

• 65.8 percent of rural households and 93.6 percent of urban households lived in a house with pucca structure whereas 24.6 percent of rural households and 5.0 percent of urban households lived in a house with semi-pucca structure during 2012.

• Only 26.3 percent and 47.1 percent households in rural India and urban India respectively had dwelling units with good ventilation.

• 31.7 percent of rural households and 82.5 percent of urban households had improved drainage facility in the environment of their dwelling units

• 32 percent of rural households and 75.8 percent in urban household’s areas had some garbage disposal arrangement.

• Only 10.8 percent of urban dwelling units were situated in slum.

• The households living in slums/squatter settlements, percentage of households who tried to move out of slums/squatter settlements were 8.5 percent, 4.9 percent and 6.9 percent in case of notified slums, non-notified slums and squatter settlements respectively.

• At all-India level 70.8 percent of households had cited better accommodation as the main reason for which they thought to move out of the slum/squatter settlement whereas 11.7 percent households had identified proximity to place of work as the main reason.