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Showing posts from December 23, 2016

New passport application rules add options for single parents, sadhus(Livemint)

Sadhus/sanyasis (Hindu ascetics) can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru in lieu of their biological parents.
 New Delhi: Acknowledging a changing social milieu and its reflection in paperwork, the ministry of external affairs on Friday unveiled a series of changes in the passport application process.

The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of only one parent as opposed to both in order to enable those with single parents to apply for passports.

This comes on the heel of reports over the past two years of passport offices insisting on the father’s name in the form even if the mother is a single parent.

“A three-member committee comprising of officials of the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of women and child development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications. These pertain to single parents, parents with adopted children and instances where they did not want the in…

IIM autonomy should not be fettered: Kumar Mangalam Birla (livemint)

Ahmedabad: Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, who is chairman of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), said on Friday that the autonomy of the IIMs should be preserved by a law that will govern the elite business schools.

“I haven’t seen the draft bill yet as I am new to this world. But I would only like to say that autonomy of institutes like IIM-A should not be fettered to even the slightest extent,” the chairman of Aditya Birla Group said after attending his first meeting of the IIM-A board. Birla was appointed chairman of the institute in October.

The proposed Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2015, has raised some concerns that it may erode the autonomy of the premier schools. The selection of IIM board chairmen, composition of the boards and fee structure are some of the areas of concern raised by the institutes with the human resource development (HRD) ministry.

“These institutes (IIMs) have their own DNA and have grown up in a certain way where they have b…

Back to Class X Board exams (The Hindu)

The excellence of a school education system must be assessed by the creative individuals it produces. That principle can be the only meaningful guide for the Central Board of Secondary Education, as it once again tweaks its testing system to make the Class X Board examination compulsory for all students from 2018. It is wrong to believe that students in the CBSE system are not being assessed with sufficient rigour: the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) method that it follows is aimed at identifying learning difficulties periodically and instituting remedial measures, rather than raising stress with a make-or-break public examination at the secondary level. This philosophy helps students master various topics and discover their aptitude in the course of a year, eliminating the chances of a single rote-learning test that could produce an aberrant result. The gains of such a system should not be thrown away in the quest to bring about ‘uniformity’ in the Class X education pa…

Cardiac stents to cost less (the hindu )

Cap on pricing will help patients facing cardiac emergency

With the government notifying all categories of cardiac stents under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) of 2013, heart patients going in for angioplasty could be spared of “exploitative” pricing.

The notification issued by the Department of Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority will now result in a new pricing regime for cardiac stents that will bring in a cap on the maximum retail price of cardiac devices. Bare metal stents, drug-eluting stents and bio-resorbable vascular scaffold or what is known as biodegradable stents would be brought under the DPCO.

The move would bring down the price of stents to less that Rs.15,000 for bare metal stents (BMS) and possibly between Rs.20,000 and Rs.25,000 for drug-eluting stents (DES), said Harikrishnan S., professor of Cardiology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Techno
The government had notified the price of stents for the Centr…

The real life science of deep space travel ( the hindu)

From Aliens to Interstellar , Hollywood has long used suspended animation to overcome the difficulties of deep space travel, but the once-fanciful sci-fi staple is becoming scientific fact. The theory is that a hibernating crew could stay alive over vast cosmic distances, requiring little food, hydration or living space, potentially slashing the costs of interstellar missions and eradicating the boredom of space travel.

But the technology has always been unattainable outside the fertile imaginations of film-makers from Woody Allen and Ridley Scott to James Cameron and Christopher Nolan — until now.

Atlanta-based Spaceworks Enterprises is using a $500,000 grant from NASA to leverage techniques used on brain trauma and heart attack patients to develop “low metabolic stasis” for missions to Mars.

“It takes about six months to get out to Mars... There are a lot of demands, a lot of support equipment required to keep people alive even during that period,” said SpaceWorks CEO John Bradford…

NGT bans open waste burning(the hindu )

Announces a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places and announced a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.

“We direct that there shall be complete prohibition on open burning of waste on lands, including at landfill sites.

“For each such incident, violators, including project proponent, concessionaire, any person or body responsible for such burning, shall be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs. 5,000 in case of simple burning, while Rs. 25,000 in case of bulk waste burning,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

Ban on PVC

While directing every State and Union Territory to enforce and implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the green panel also asked the Environment Ministry and all States to pass appropriate directions in relation to the ban on short-life Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and chlorinated plas…