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Bidi industry to participate in WHO FCTC COP7 Conference to highlight issue of counterfeit Bidi Trade in India

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of Parties (FCTC COP7) is being hosted by India in Noida from November 7-12 in 2016

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Beedi Factory in India, Wikimedia
New Delhi, October 7, 2016: The All India Bidi Industry Federation (AIBIF) on Friday sought permission from WHO and the government to participate in the upcoming WHO FCTC COP7 to highlight the issue of counterfeit bidi trade.
In a press statement here, the Federation said the growth of counterfeit trade in bidis in India has severely impacted the livelihood of millions of bidi workers and their families.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Conference of Parties (FCTC COP7) is being hosted by India in Noida from November 7-12, later this year. Various tobacco bodies, including farmers, have sought permission to participate in the global event.
The Federation also asserted that by keeping the tobacco farmers and the bidi industry out of the FCTC COP7, WHO and the Indian government are encouraging deterioration of social and economic condition of the tobacco industry-dependent families.

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“The government is not realising that our participation is extremely important to highlight the counterfeit trade in bidis in India,” said Rajnikant Patel, AIBIF President.

“We are deeply concerned about the vested interests of NGOs and anti-tobacco activists in India, who through their relentless and biased campaign are influencing the government’s tobacco control policy and promoting extreme regulations that are already hurting bidi industry and consequently employment of bidi workers and causing widespread growth of counterfeit trade in bidis,” added Patel. (IANS)

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Owning a Dog may help Older Adults to be more Active: Study

The study showed that dog owners aged 65 and over spent on average an additional 22 minutes walking

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Owning a dog may help older adults meet physical activity levels. Wikimedia
  • The study highlighted that pet ownership may help older people achieve higher levels of physical activity
  • The study showed that dog owners aged 65 and over spent on average an additional 22 minutes walking
  • Dog owners had fewer sedentary events in compared to non-dog owners

London June 9, 2017: Owning a dog may help older adults meet physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, researchers suggest.

The study showed that dog owners aged 65 and over spent on average an additional 22 minutes walking, taking an extra 2,760 steps per day when compared to people who didn’t own a dog.

“Over the course of a week this additional time spent walking may in itself be sufficient to meet WHO recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity,” said lead author Philippa Dall, doctoral student at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

Further, dog owners had fewer sedentary events — continuous periods of sitting down — than non-dog owners.

“Our results indicate that dog ownership may play an important role in encouraging older adults to walk more,” added Nancy Gee from WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition — a Britain-based research organisation.

For the study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, the team used data on patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in 43 dog owners and 43 controls, aged 65 years and over.

The researchers monitored the time spent walking moderately, time spent standing, total time spent sitting, as well as the number of times people sat down and how long they sat down for.

The study highlighted that pet ownership may help older people achieve higher levels of physical activity or maintain their physical activity levels for a longer period of time, which could improve their prospects for a better quality of life, improved or maintained cognition, and perhaps, even overall longevity. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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