Times of India | 3 months ago | 13-02-2023 | 11:07 am
NAGPUR: The Nashik-based Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the data science department of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, for developing a search portal on diseases and their patterns.This year, the plan is to create a search-portal using 12B2 analytical tool developed by Harvard Medical School which will be made available to MUHS and teaching hospitals free of cost. “We will conduct joint training programmes for capacity building at Nashik Civil Hospital, and workshops to train our faculty students and staff to use the portal. Projects for health-quality improvement and research, using the portal, will also be undertaken,” Dr Madhuri Kanitkar, vice-chancellor, MUHS, said.Four faculty members from the US-based hospital had flown down to Nashik on Friday for conducting a training workshop. All stakeholders, including medical education and drugs department (MeDD), directorate of medical education and research (DMER), deans of medical colleges and IT departments and professionals participated in the workshop.“All those handling clinical workload got training on analyzing and utilizing patient data. The MGH will help us know how to develop an online platform for seamless data availability. We often face this situation where we come across complaints on poor maintenance of health records. Without sharing our patient data with MGH, we shall learn how to make proper use of it,” said Dr Kanitkar.She said that the project has already been implemented in Nashik General Hospital. “Data from around four departments of the hospital is now being processed,” she said.“The portal will make it easy for faculty to quickly find the number of patients with particular diseases, and to study the seasonal trend of the disease. It will help students develop an understanding of the indigenous patterns of disease, rather than rely on text-book content from western countries. The portal will also be helpful for municipal and government officials to rapidly monitor public health related issues, like caseloads during an epidemic, utilization of medications etc. Overall, the portal will allow healthcare service providers to understand and address the local population needs apart from increasing the cost-efficiency of the system,” Dr Kanitkar said.
Written by Kairvi PunjChandigarh Bhavan Vidyalaya concluded ‘Maitree 2023,’ a cyclothon meant to mark World Bicycle Day, on June 8, and was welcomed by their school chairman, principal and other staff membersThe cycling contingent of seventeen students and five teachers began the 1,300-km journey from Chandigarh to Kathmandu on May 27. They cycled through Haridwar, Kashipur, Sitarganj, Kapilvastu, Bharatpur, and other locations.The main objective of this Indo-Nepal Cyclothon was to foster India-Nepal ties.Themed ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ the cyclothon was flagged off by R K Saboo, Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Chandigarh Kendra. Siddhartha English Boarding Secondary School, Butwal, and Daffodil Boarding School, Kathmandu hosted the cycling contingent in Nepal. The students were also invited to interact with the staff of the Indian Embassy in Nepal.Greeting the participants on completion of the trip, Vineeta Arora, Director Education and Senior Principal, appreciated the young cyclists’ passion for taking on this journey.The Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, had organised this fifth expedition following their other successful ventures in the past. After the successful culmination of the Maitree 2023 Cyclothon, the students returned to the BVC campus.
One of the major challenges for new parents is to teach their child to potty train. Every child is unique, their development is different, and their habits vary. As such, not every child can be potty trained in the same ways, with the same drills. If you have read books, watched guides, and asked friends and family for help and it still is not working out for you, there is nothing to worry about. Potty training might be a hard task, but it is not impossible, and your child will certainly learn it.Dr Mona, pediatrician and toddler mom, has some tips and tricks in an Instagram post she shared about busting potty-training misconceptions. A post shared by Dr. Mona | Baby+Toddler Health✨Development✨Parenting (@pedsdoctalk) First and foremost, she says that there is not one single age where a child can get ready for potty training, and it is important for the child to be ready. While you can start reading up on it and discussing it with your kid from 18 months to two years old, if the process starts later or takes longer, it is absolutely normal. Sometimes, if your child is not taking to the training as you might have expected, you might want to ruminate on whether they are still too young for it, or if they need a different method.The biggest myth, the doctor says, is that every child can be potty trained in three days. Though she agrees that this might work on some kids, it is a stressful method, and it is not uncommon for kids to take longer. Ideally, it can take from three days to two weeks and parents should not allow the three days drill to backfire on them. Additionally, Dr Mona suggests that contrary to popular belief, rewards systems can actually help with the potty-training process. People believe that the reward system might make the child dependent on a reward to use the toilet; however, the expert says that it can instead, help with getting the ball rolling. However, she also says that if you use this system, you must phase it out. “It is important to understand your child’s vibe to know if a reward system is right for them (and for you).”Commenting on the method of training children during nights as well as days, Dr Mona says that it might not be such a good idea. “Many children don’t have the bladder maturity to stay dry overnight until five years of age. So, if you’re training a child younger than this, you can focus on days first and then nights.” She says that it is easier to potty train a child who is awake than a child who is half asleep.Finally, she goes to the most questionable myth: once potty trained, there will be no accidents. She strongly suggests that there can, and it is absolutely normal for that to happen. She says that accidents or regressions for any toddler is normal, and something all parents should expect rather than be surprised by. “Accidents can happen if they are occupied or distracted…regressions can happen with major life changes.” Dr Mona says that both are common and can be corrected with positive reinforcement and consistency.Dr Kanchan S Channawar, Senior Pediatrician & Pediatric Intensivist, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad while agreeing to all of the above, also said that establishing a routine with your child might further help the process. She said, “Establish a consistent routine around using the potty. Encourage your child to sit on the potty at regular intervals, such as after meals or upon waking from naps.”While dealing with accidents, she suggested that parents’ response is very important for the method to be successful. “Respond calmly and avoid scolding or shaming your child. Instead, guide them in understanding what happened and reinforce the proper use of the potty.”For all the latest Parenting News, download Indian Express App.
May 23, 2023: “The all-around work to transform the railways began only after 2014. Everyone was clueless before this. So how could they even think about high-speed trains?” — The Prime Minister of India.June 3, 2023: 288 families grieve the loss of their loved ones. 1,000 families traumatised.Telangana, 2014, 20 dead. Rae Bareli, 2015, 32 dead. Kanpur, 2016, 150 dead. Andhra Pradesh, 2017, 40 people dead. In an answer given to Parliament in July 2022, the Ministry of Railways stated that there were a total of 244 “consequential” train accidents between 2017 and 2022.Balasore was an accident waiting to happen.The self-indulgent photo-ops for Vande Bharat train inaugurations have not aged well. Sadly, India’s passenger trains are still neglected and remain mobile mortuaries. On the floor of Parliament, members from Opposition parties have often red-flagged these serious issues and offered constructive suggestions. No one listened, because PR (public relations) was being prioritised over PS (passenger safety).Let’s begin by sharing a paragraph written in this column that was published last fortnight, days before the tragic accident. “In 2017, another precedent was set aside by the BJP. For the first time, the Railway Budget was subsumed into the Union Budget. This had never happened before. The (separate) Railway Budget on the floor of Parliament has now been consigned to the dustbin” (‘A house of dubious firsts’, IE, May 26). Red flag.Infra at the cost of safety and maintenance: Here is what I said in the Rajya Sabha last year: “Your outlook is different from the outlook of the Opposition and many other parties. For us, the Railways constitute the infrastructure for the fundamental right of every Indian citizen to move from point A to point B. It is the fundamental right for transport. You may look at it differently. That bullet train is your vanity project.” Red flag.No one is opposed to the idea of the bullet train. But what is of concern is the Union government’s list of priorities. The cost of one bullet train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is over Rs one lakh crore. Compare this to the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh, a fund created specifically for critical safety-related works in the Railways. The five-year budget for this fund is Rs one lakh crore! Red flag.Some more. When railway sets were imported from Europe, was proper sequencing done? Was safety blindsided by reckless infrastructure push? Was maintenance jeopardised because it was a service dog, not a show dog? A scathing report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) opined that non-priority projects got precedence over maintaining safety standards. Over 50 per cent of the compulsory track safety inspections were not done. Three out of four consequential accidents in the last four years were due to derailment. The Ministry admitted in Parliament that over three lakh positions in the Railways (gazetted and non-gazetted) are still vacant. Red flag.Slow roll-out of anti-collision device: In 2022, the Ministry of Railways told the Rajya Sabha that “Safety is accorded the highest priority. Indian Railways has indigenously developed an automatic train protection system rechristened as ‘Kavach’ (Train Collision Avoidance System), to prevent accidents due to human error resulting in signal passing at danger and over-speeding”. (The Ministry used the term “rechristened”! Basically admitting that they had pinched an idea from 2009 and were only packaging it differently.) Of the total railway route of over one lakh kilometres across the country, Kavach has been installed on only 1,445 kilometres so far.Let me give you another example. The South-Eastern Railway division, the route where the Balasore tragedy took place, has not spent a rupee on anti-collision devices in the last three years, even though an amount of Rs 943 crore was sanctioned.On February 15, Indian Railways tweeted that, “Indian Railways production units have ramped up LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) coach production by manufacturing 4,175 LHB coaches in FY 2022–2023, till 31 January”. LHB coaches were deemed to be safer with anti-collision technology, disc-brakes, and centre buffer coupling system (absorbing high impacts and preventing flipping of coaches post impact). Both the express trains involved in the tragedy were equipped with LHBs.Ignored Vision Document 2020: In 2009, the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, had tabled the Vision 2020 document in Parliament. Let me quote from Section 6.2 of the document “Safety: Zero tolerance for accidents. In 10 years, Indian Railways would target to banish accidents from its operations. This would be achieved through a combination of technological and HR interventions. Advanced signalling technology (such as automatic verification of train movement and line occupation through track circuiting/axle counters, train protection systems and anti-collision devices) would be used in combination with training of station and running staff to eliminate collisions”. Little done this past decade. Some grim questions to answer.P.S. Since 1940, senior government inspectors of Railways have been placed under the administrative control of “some authority of the Government of India other than the Railway Board.” Guess who the Commission of Railway Safety will submit the report of the Balasore accident to? The Ministry of Civil Aviation.The writer is Member of Parliament and Leader, All India Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party (Rajya Sabha). Additional Research by Ayashman Dey
Newspaper adverts announcing the birth of the Coromandel Express in 1977 to the world gave all indications that it was a star product even before it started operations. “Instead of 32.35 hours taken by the Madras Mail, this train will take 25 hours to complete its journey,” the advert Yugantar, a Bengali newspaper, announced.“The train is totally vestibuled to enable serving of meals from the pantry car,” it said, as a USP of the new train, telling the world about the “first inter-city bi-weekly train” that started on March 6, 1977 from Madras and March 7 from Howrah.Long before the word was coined, the Coromandel Express was already pegged as an “overnighter”, offering the latest in comfort and speed that Indian Railways — still trying to graduate from its Colonial legacy of steam engines — had to offer. By 1977, the Rajdhani was running successfully between, say, Howrah and Delhi. The Coromandel was all but the “Rajdhani” of the coastal route, minus the name. For starters, the train had a library.“My parents were pleasantly surprised to find a library as part of the bouquet of facilities aboard the new train,” says Souroshankha Maji, a researcher and rail heritage enthusiast whose lecturer parents, Saroj and Debani, were among the first batch of passengers on the Coromandel Express in 1977.The dining car served delectable dishes, although not as part of the ticket, like the Rajdhani. Over time, the AC coaches also started showing movies on board through video cassettes.“Before the Coromandel, there was no premium product other than the Rajdhani. So everything about it was designed to be one — the timings, the speed, the amenities, everything,” says Sanjoy Mookerjee, a 1978-batch officer of the Indian Railway Accounts Service, who retired as Financial Commissioner of the Railway Board in 2016.Starting around the evening from Howrah, the train would reach Vizag early in the morning, so that people working in industrial hubs like the Vizag Steel Plant and Visakhapatnam Port could use it as a viable transport option from Calcutta. Medical tourists and those who wanted to go to Bangalore from Madras were its target customers. People from Bengal going to Tamil Nadu for treatment were also target customers. Aspirants of engineering seats through the KCET were also targeted and so on.The train would reach Madras in the evening, so that people on the way to Kerala, Karnataka and other parts of Tamil Nadu did not have to wait too long for a connecting train. The Coromandel was designed like that. In fact, trains like the Yesvantpur-Howrah Superfast came to fill the vacuum later on as bi-weeklies, so that people could travel between the two cities directly.“These trains were launched as new-age products of Railways, as alternatives to the popular trains of the Colonial era. On that route, the Coromandel was an alternative to the Madras Mail. Around the same time, the Gitanjali Express was launched as a new, faster alternative to the Bombay Mail between Bombay and Howrah,” says Shri Prakash, a 1971-batch officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service, who retired as Railway Board Member (Traffic) in 2009.The train, which was supposed to only make an operations/technical halt in Kharagpur, was eventually made to halt there as a commercial stoppage. “Students from IIT started boarding and deboarding there, giving zonal railways the idea that this was a major catchment area,” says Mookerjee.The birth and evolution of trains like the Coromandel Express tell the story of the evolution of Indian Railways and in a way, how India travels.Such was the popularity of the Coromandel Express, or “Coro” as it was popularly called, that two railway zones — Eastern and South Eastern — started fighting for its earnings in Kharagpur. “The stop in Kharagpur was formalised after that,” he says. Somewhere down the line, it also became a daily train, which it remains to this day. And that is how the train remained. A cash cow and a star product of South Eastern Railway.“When Lalu Yadav started the Tatkal scheme, the Coromandel was the only train in India which had a Tatkal coach attached for every class. Because the demand justified it,” says Trayambak Ojha of the Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFC), the largest global collective of India’s rail enthusiasts.“By the time I started taking the train around 25 years ago, to travel between my college in Chennai and home in Kolkata, the library had been replaced by a Railway official carrying a trunk full of books which you could borrow to read on the train. It was its hallmark,” he says. “The popularity was such that for its departure at 5 pm or so, general class passengers would start crowding platform number 14 of Howrah since morning.”Old-timers recall how the train changed with time, but not its appeal. “By the beginning of the millennium, the dining car was gone, but its food was still a hit. The pantry served a very popular fried rice-chilli chicken combo. During the bird flu scare around 2000, they replaced the chilli chicken with chilli fish, and it was still a hit,” Ojha says.The Coromandel started becoming like just other popular trains when the Railways started standardisation of rakes. There were to be only three types of trains — the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi and everything else, like the Coromandel.Its popularity forced the Railways to increase its halts at Bhadrak, Balasore, Khurda Road, Brahmapur. This increased its run time by three hours. A few years ago, it was taken off Howrah platforms and made to run to and from the nearby Shalimar station. And that is how it remained, as it lay in Odisha. Just another train, derailed.
Keeping in line with global norms and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the country’s higher education regulator is poised to introduce a new range of college degree names, including a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in disciplines like arts, humanities, management and commerce.Currently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) permits universities to offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in arts, humanities and social sciences, and the Bachelor of Science (more commonly abbreviated in India as BSc) degree is typically for science subjects.However, with the NEP 2020 advocating a restructuring of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, a committee set up by the UGC to review degree nomenclatures has recommended that the new four-year undergraduate honours (or honours with research) degree programme, irrespective of the discipline, can also be offered as a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.Similarly, universities can adopt the Master of Science (MS) nomenclature for both the one and two-year postgraduate programmes, even for disciplines such as arts, humanities, management, and commerce.Although the committee has recommended using BS nomenclature for degrees across disciplines, it hasn’t permitted the use of BA and MA for science programmes.The UGC, The Indian Express has learnt, will soon share the five-member committee’s recommendations in the public domain for feedback, following which the Commission will notify the fresh set of degree nomenclatures.The use of BA and BS for undergraduate programmes across disciplines is a prevalent practice abroad, where universities often offer, say, BA and BS degrees in Psychology or Economics. In such a case, the programme curriculum sets the BA degree apart from the BS. While a BS degree gives a student a more specialised education in the subject, a BA degree (in the same subject) provides more flexibility. The latter is designed with a broader choice of courses allowing the student to tailor his/her education to his/her interests.SECTION 22 of the UGC Act empowers the Commission to notify degree nomenclature. The decision, which offers more flexibility to students, is in line with global norms and the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.For instance, Harvard University offers both a BA and BS degree in engineering sciences. The BA engineering student is required to earn fewer credits than the BS student and has greater flexibility to pursue her interests outside of engineering. The BS degree, on the other hand, provides greater technical depth in the chosen engineering area.The committee’s report was discussed during the UGC meeting held in the last week of May. After discussions, the Commission decided to publicly disclose its recommendations for feedback before finalising the new degree names.The formation of the five-member panel was a direct response to the NEP 2020, which proposed the introduction of a four-year undergraduate degree programme offering flexible entry and exit options, along with a one-year master’s degree. Currently, undergraduate programmes, except for professional degrees such as engineering and medicine, typically are of three years, while master’s programmes extend over two years.The committee has also made the following recommendations:* The four-year undergraduate honours degree programme will include ‘Hons’ in brackets, such as BA (Hons), BCom (Hons), or BS (Hons). Additionally, a four-year honours programme with research components will have ‘Hons with Research’ in parentheses, like BA (Hons with Research) and BCom (Hons with Research).* The notification of new degree nomenclatures will be an ongoing process. Universities can propose new degree names that are relevant to contemporary and emerging societal needs to the UGC. Upon approval, the higher education regulator will notify the new degree nomenclature.* The committee recommends discontinuing the nomenclature of the ‘MPhil’ degree, as per the NEP 2020’s recommendation to scrap the MPhil programme.* If a student has earned all the required credits for a programme, she can be considered for the award of a qualification (such as a certificate, diploma or degree) even before the completion of the programme’s duration. For example, if a student has earned all the required credits for a four-year programme in 3.5 years, she should be eligible to receive her degree.However, the committee clarifies that the new degree names will only apply prospectively, and the old degree names will continue to be used even after the introduction of the new terminology. Therefore, the current three-year honours degree programme will continue alongside the four-year honours degree programme.