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BY RANJANA NARAYAN
In the midst of the global focus on Syria with Turkeys latest offensive putting a big question mark on when the war will end, India has been quietly doing its bit to help the Syrian people cope, and also laying the foundation for its bright future.
It’s not just with medicines and food supplies that India has been helping the war-wracked country, but now with education too.
India is providing scholarships to 1,000 Syrian students to study in Indian universities, in undergraduate, post-graduate courses and even PhD.
Behind the move to provide scholarships to students from Syria is a hope that it would in the near future replicate the success stories from the African continent — where several current or former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Vice Presidents have attended educational or training institutions in India.
Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas thinks so too, and is happy at the move by India.
“India supports Syria in many ways. They support Syrian people with medicine, with food, and this initiative has come from Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) for our students,” Abbas told IANS in an interview.
“Around 1,000 students have come to India to study in different universities and different courses – from Bachelors to Masters to PhD”
“Through this means India is assisting Syria by rebuilding the brain” – here he taps his head with a meaningful smile, “the brain of our people to plant education, science, and peace”.
According to Abbas, it is “the best thing to rebuild humanity and the people”.
Could these students one day become leaders in Syria too?
“Definitely they could become… They will come back to our homeland to rebuild Syria. And maybe they will be in the government in future. They will be like ambassadors of India to Syria and Arab countries,” he said.
Abbas said that all the Syrian students currently studying in India as part of the initiative “are satisfied by the nature of Indian people and the hospitality. They are happy in their universities, and are fully supported by the universities”.
The students are in 11 government and private universities across the country.
Abbas hopes the initiative will become a yearly feature. “I hope we make it every year, if it is possible.
“Because we look forward to enhancing our relationship with India, and we want all our students to get their certificates from India, because Indian education is of a higher level, compared to other countries — similar to the UK and US,” he added.
Another important factor is the students “feel at home” in India due to the cultural affinities.
“There are similar traditions between the two countries and because of this they feel at home.
“Most of our students will come back to our homeland to help their families, their people and to rebuild Syria,” he said.
Though the Western world sees Syria as badly battered and bruised, India sees Damascus as a strong country with a powerful military that has been able to determinedly push back the Islamic State militia, which a few years ago had threatened to overrun the country.
While a few years ago the West was loudly calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, today those voices have accepted his rule.
The Syrian envoy agrees. “Since a long time we have been fighting terrorism on behalf of the world. All terror groups came to Syria by Turkey’s support, they (Ankara) opened the border and facilitated their smuggling into Syria to kill our people and destroy our country.
“But now the last bit is left. We will defeat the terror groups on the ground, which get support from America. It is America which leads the army of mercenaries to fight against our army, and our army has defeated them. So now we are faced with the American army on the ground of Syria. This means that America’s project in the Middle East has failed, because of Syria,” the envoy told IANS.
“They (the West and the US in particular) declared in the past, ‘We will change the government of Syria, we will change the president, we will do like this and that’… It was only talking for talking’s sake. Only they destroyed the country, but they couldn’t achieve their aims to change the Syrian government, and Syrian policy.
“And we are proud of our relation with BRICS countries, and especially with India. We highly appreciate India’s position and the Indian people, and we pray for God to save this country and its people.”
On Syria-India relations, he said: “We have cordial relations with India, since the independence of both countries. Both have similar views in many cases in the international arena.”
He praised India’s stand on the Syrian issue – on support for a political solution in Syria put forward by the people themselves, help realise the aspirations of the Syrian people and stand against any external intervention in Syria.
“Because India has a strong voice in the international arena and many countries follow India’s position. And if all countries are like India, there would be no problem,” he added. (IANS)
Even at two metres distance, it takes less than five minutes for an unvaccinated person standing in the breath of a person with Covid-19 to become infected with almost 100 per cent certainty. But, if both are wearing well-fitting medical masks, the risk drops dramatically, finds a study.
In a comprehensive study, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gottingen showed that if both the infected and the non-infected person wear well-fitting masks, the maximum risk of infection after 20 minutes is hardly more than one per thousand, even at the shortest distance.
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If their masks fit poorly, the probability of infection increases to about four per cent. If both wear well-fitting medical masks, the virus is likely to be transmitted within 20 minutes with a maximum probability of ten per cent.
The study also confirms the intuitive assumption that for effective protection against infection, in particular. the infected person should wear a mask that filters as well as possible and fits tightly to the face.
"We would not have thought that at a distance of several metres it would take so little time for the infectious dose to be absorbed from the breath of a virus carrier," said Eberhard Bodenschatz, Director at the Max Planck.
breathing air has already spread in a cone shape in the airUnsplash
Also read: Are two mass better than one at preventing covid-19
At this distance, the breathing air has already spread in a cone shape in the air; the infectious particles are correspondingly diluted. In addition, the particularly large and thus virus-rich particles fall to the ground after only a short distance through the air.
"In our study we found that the risk of infection without wearing masks is enormously high after only a few minutes, even at a distance of three metres, if the infected persons have the high viral load of the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus," Bodenschatz said.
And such encounters are unavoidable in schools, restaurants, clubs or even outdoors.
The team also considered that droplets that people spread when they breathe or speak dry while in the air become lighter. This means that they remain in the air longer but also have an increased virus concentration as equal size droplets directly after release. When inhaled, the opposite happens: the particles take up water again, grow like a drop in the cloud and therefore deposit more easily in the respiratory tract.(IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Mask, Covid-19)
By Mohammed Shafeeq
Heart health of every person is in his hands and if people adopt good diet, healthy lifestyle, do some exercises and avoid smoking they can very well prevent a large number of heart diseases, says Cardiological Society of India (CSI) president Dr P.P. Mohanan.
As part of its efforts to create public awareness on how to prevent cardiovascular diseases, CSI at its 73rd conference in Hyderabad has released a video featuring India's former cricket captain Kapil Dev and a book about the common things in cardiology written by 150 cardiologists.
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For the first time, the CSI has roped in a celebrity to come out with a video, through which it is trying to project the importance of avoiding heart attack in youngsters.
"I hope it will be circulated in various forums so that people realise the importance of looking after their heart health, which is in their hands. If they adopt a good diet, lifestyle, do some good exercises and avoid smoking we can very well prevent a large number of heart diseases," the eminent cardiologist told IANS. He described the book as A to Z of cardiology.
"It's all about normal heart, heart diseases, how to prevent them and if you are unfortunately developing them how to treat them. The book is in English but I hope it will be translated in every possible language."
The CSI is adopting a two-pronged strategy -- public information and educating cardiologists. Stating that public awareness has been one of the fortes of CSI, he said they want to improve on it in every possible way.
With 5,000 members across the country, the CSI is working towards the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and the eradication of cardiovascular mortality to raise awareness among people about cardiovascular diseases and nutritious diets. It is making efforts to increase awareness about the correlation between cardiovascular diseases and the environment and lifestyle.
The four-day conclave of cardiologists, which ended Sunday, discussed issues like clinical cardiology, preventive cardiology, interventional cardiology, imaging cardiology and Artificial Intelligence and digital technology in practice of cardiology.Unsplash
CSI's president elect Dr P.S. Banerjee told IANS that prevention goes side by side with awareness. The cardiologists' body will be approaching the government in reaching out to people in remote areas.
"We will write to the government. If it takes our help we can send our representatives to organise small meetings in local languages on what to do to prevent heart attack or any heart disease," he said.
The four-day conclave of cardiologists, which ended Sunday, discussed issues like clinical cardiology, preventive cardiology, interventional cardiology, imaging cardiology and Artificial Intelligence and digital technology in practice of cardiology.
Dr Banerjee, who was the scientific chairperson of CSI2021, pointed out that the whole subject of cardiovascular medicine was covered. Speakers selected for sessions reputed in their sub-specialties like heart failure, preventive cardiology hypertension and diabetes. There were also joint sessions with American College of Cardiology, European Society of cardiology, European Society of Heart Failure, European heart journal for exchange of views.
Quit smoking to prevent a large number of cardiovascular diseases.Unsplash
The cardiologists met after a gap of two years. Dr Mohanon described it as a fantastic meeting where thrust was given to innovations happening. "Cardiology is one field where we embrace whatever innovations are happening for the benefit of patients," said the CSI president.
"We have been trying to reach out to healthcare professionals, cardiologists, physicians, teach them newer innovations in cardiology, new guidelines for medical treatment and how best to utilise them for better care."
Dr Mohanan said CSI had been trying to assimilate new innovations. "This time we have given more importance to digitization. Covid has taught us a lot of newer things. We learnt a lot of things and we unlearned a lot of things. We are trying to learn about newer things, how to incorporate every new knowledge available world over and improve cardiac care," he said.
Realising the key role the government has in public education and awareness, the cardiologists' body is looking to influence the policymakers like its counterparts in the United States.
"We have to advise them about the importance of physical activity and healthy diet."Unsplash
"We have to influence policy makers just like we did for the smoking ban. We have to advise them about the importance of physical activity and healthy diet. Policy makers have a huge say. We will try to influence them like what other associations are doing. The American Heart Association has a huge influence on their government. The CSI will try to emulate that and come out with a solid proposal on how to live a good healthy life so that you prevent heart diseases," the CSI president said.
Dr Banerjee said they have to depend on government assistance as the task of reaching out to a big population, especially in rural areas, is huge. "We need government assistance as society alone can't do it. This requires a lot of money," he said.
He proposed to set up small groups of young doctors who will go to remote areas and with the help of local authorities organise seminars. They will give demonstrations on aspects like CPR, lifestyle modification, benefits of physical exercise, good diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : heart, health, Kapil Dev, diet, lifestyle, exercises, awareness, cardiovascular, diseases, book, nutritious, prevention, physicians, Cardiological Society of India.)
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By Quaid NajmiMumbai
Set up in 1958 as the country's second IIT -- after IIT Kharagpur (IIT-KGP, 1950) -- in the list of 23 IITs currently, IIT-B enters the momentous diamond jubilee year of its historic first convocation held on December 22, 1962, when around 70 wide-eyed young men passed out of the institute.
Decades later, the golden jubilee convocation in 2012 was attended by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The institute has a little more than 12,005 students in 2021, as per the current annual report released by its Director, Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri.
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The groundwork for the first IIT-KGP was inspired and prepared well before Independence by the late Bengal academician Humayun Kabir, who later served as the Education and Civil Aviation Minister of India.
After the country achieved freedom in 1947, its first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru pushed the idea forward and even laid the foundation stone for IIT-B, according to the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (CIITs).
Nehru wanted science and technology to play a prominent role in modernising the new India and meeting the needs of its growing population, and envisioned that the IIT system would, over time, produce scientists and technologists of the highest calibre who would engage in research, design and development to help build the nation towards self-reliance in her technological needs.
"The institutions were to be designed with the necessary dynamism, flexibility of organisation and capacity to adapt in the light of expanding knowledge and changes in the socio-economic requirements of a modern society," says the CIIT.
The earliest IITs got the benefit of material assistance and academic cooperation from certain developed countries -- IIT-B from USSR, IIT-Madras from Germany, IIT-Kanpur from the US and IIT-Delhi from the UK.
Over the years, the IITs have created world-class educational platforms dynamically sustained through internationally recognised research, based on excellent infrastructural facilities.Wikipedia
Over the years, the IITs have created world-class educational platforms dynamically sustained through internationally recognised research, based on excellent infrastructural facilities.
The faculty and alumni of IITs have made a huge impact in all sectors of the society, both in India and abroad, and the IITs are globally recognised as 'centres of academic excellence', reputed for the outstanding calibre of the students graduating from them.
Over the years, even IIT-B grew in leaps and bounds and now ranks nationally and globally among the most renowned institutes of excellence in various fields of technology.
Compared to the first girl -- Tejaswini Saraf (1966 batch) -- who turned heads at IIT-B, being the lone female student among 300 boys, today the situation is different with 20-25 per cent female students on the campus.
View from Boat House, Powai Lakewikipedia
As the President of the IIT-B Alumni Association (IITBAA), Deepak Patil, says, at IITs, the mind is trained not only academically, but also to think deeply, rationally, to handle any problem, to go to the root and evolve a logical solution.
IITBAA Chairman Girish Nayak says IIT education makes the student sharper and analytical, trains them overall to solve any kind of problems, grapple any challenges in life without getting surprised or overwhelmed, and this is something that stays with them forever.
The duo feels that the IITs offer an excellent opportunity for personality development, total independence, no family support systems to shield them from any emotional problems, thrown together with total strangers from different parts of the country and learn to live together.
"It's here that we realise that there are many who are not only as brainy as you, probably more intelligent than you... There would be hot debates of high intellectual levels on practically any topic under the sun, from technology to politics. All of these adds to your personality and intellect and yet makes you humble," said Patil.
View of IIT hostelsWikipedia
Plus, the students here get the advantages of an outstanding faculty, staff, academic-industry connection, and the rich experiences of the trail-blazer alumni, which result in achievements that make global headlines.
A few of the many notables who have passed out of IIT-B over the past six decades are: BSE MD & CEO Ashish Chauhan, Syntel founder Bharat Desai, Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Twitter Inc. CEO Parag Agrawal, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, ex-BMC Commissioner Jairaj Phatak, ex-Union minister Jairam Ramesh, late Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, mathematician Ravindran Kannan, ex-Dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria, economist Ajit Ranade, and ex-President of Bell Labs Arun Netravali, among others. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : IIT Bombay, IIT. geniuses, convocation, science, technology, knowledge, dynamism, calibre, education, intelligent, student, debate, faculty, advantages, outstanding.)
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