With the Union Cabinet directing a blanket ban on e-cigarettes in the country with complete suspension of their manufacturing, import, export, distribution and storage, physicians welcomed the step while e-cigarette traders expressed shock and anger over the decision.
“Although, e-cigarettes are little less lethal then the conventional cigarettes, we cannot shun away the fact that it contains harmful ingredients. These chemicals can potentially affect the lungs and overall health of the individual in the long run,” Rajesh Chawla, Senior Pulmonologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, told IANS.
Industry body TRENDS which represents importers, distributors and marketers of ENDS, or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems in India, termed the decision to ban e-cigarettes “ironic and erratic”.
“This ban on e-cigarettes on the basis of ‘selective sourcing of scientific and medical opinion’ and without holding a single stakeholder meeting is nothing short of a complete murder of democratic norms,” said Praveen Rikhy, Convenor, TRENDS (Trade Representatives of ENDS).
“All our representations sharing best practices from other countries – 70 developed countries have allowed regulated sale of e-cigarettes, have been completely ignored. We will now initiate a formal campaign to help MPs understand the issue, clarify misapprehensions and misinformation spread by lobby groups and support the farmer groups who see the growth of the e-cigarette sector as a global market opportunity for nicotine,” Rikhy said.
While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way for adults to quit conventional smoking, a recent outbreak of lung illness associated with use of vaping products in the US has raised concerns about the safety of these products.
The Donald Trump administration on September 12 said that it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes in the US following six deaths linked to vaping.
Health authorities have documented a total of 450 cases involving e-cigarettes, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued a health warning against vaping.
“I entirely support the idea of a ban on e-cigarettes; it is a step in the right direction,” Manoj Luthra, CEO, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.
“E-cigarettes have been projected as a means to help people to quit smoking tobacco and also being non-polluting. However, these have their own health hazards and are addictive as well. These contain nicotine and other chemical vapours which will certainly have ill effects on the heart and lung and other organs as well,” he said. (IANS)
Frequented by historians and art lovers seeking solace in its rich past, another transformation, albeit quietly, is taking place in the city of Burhanpur and this time, Cupertino-based tech giant Apple is empowering talented kids at the Macro Vision Academy (MVA) to find their place in the fast-changing world.
One of the handful schools in India that has employed iPads and Mac desktops for imparting education, the CBSE-affiliated, day-cum-residential school has customised Apple products to improve students’ results and rankings – thus earning the tag of ‘Apple Distinguished School’ (ADS) for the second time in a row.
Worldwide, there are 470 ADSs in 34 countries and four are in India. Apple Distinguished Schools share their achievements by collaborating with Apple teams to host on-site Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) visits. The educators showcase best practices for using iPad, Mac, apps, multi-touch books and other digital materials to create powerful learning experiences.
At the Academy which is touted as the complete Gurukul, students are creating world-class apps while teachers are busy imparting lessons via Apple TVs in classrooms as students deploy iPads at the same time to imbibe real-time learning, including music on iPad.
The benefits of learning on iPads – nearly all students at the Academy are equipped with iPads and the Academy has over 150 top-of-the-line iMacs at its fully-equipped iMac Lab — are numerous: Learn and revise on the go, lesser books to carry, analytical performance reports to improve and track the growth, digitised voice notes at a secured Wi-Fi campus, and much more.
Today, the MVA students are working at Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, Uber, IBM, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Infosys, Microsoft, Adobe, and several other top-notch firms. They have got admissions to prestigious universities like Penn State University, The State University of New York and all IITs.
According to Anand Prakash Chouksey, Director, MVA, iPads and iMacs are part of students’ everyday life at Macrovision.
“The devices help teachers connect with students in a seamless way. The digital approach has increased kids’ interest in studies and their confidence levels have gone up too. They think in a more creative manner while looking at the same old curriculum. This has increased parents’ confidence too,” Chouksey told IANS during the campus visit.
Apple School Manager at the premises is a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to manage people, devices, and content all from one place. There is a redesigned user interface, more powerful ways to manage bulk activities, and greater control over accounts and classes.
“With the help of Apple School Manager, installing, maintaining and integration of 2,500 iPads was simple and did not incur any extra cost. It also gave us the flexibility to customize and implement policies as per our school needs,” informed Vijay Sukhwani who takes care of the entire Apple ecosystem at the campus.
Apple Classroom app turns iPads and Macs into powerful teaching assistants. The app also makes it easy to share information and send and receive files with the entire class and individual students using AirDrop, or show student work on the big screen.
All Apple products are built with an integrated approach to privacy and security and providing schools with devices, apps, and services that keep students’ work and personal information secure.
With Managed Apple IDs, the school controls student information and can choose to enable or disable apps and services such as iMessage, FaceTime or student progress reporting with the Schoolwork app.
Jay Firke from the school who attended Apple’s annual flagship Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, last year is super excited.
“I have created an e-portfolio app wherein class teachers can fill the students’ report about their skills and educational topics. The app currently works on school Wi-Fi,” Firke told IANS.
“I have also worked on an iOS school app which is made with Swift 4.1. This app includes all our school details,” he added, as his team members showcased some of the apps they have built in the classroom.
Apple has also developed apps that help teachers at the Academy put the power of technology to work, bringing ideas into their lessons and productivity to their classrooms.
The ‘Schoolwork’ app makes it easy for teachers to share class materials, assign activities within apps and view students progress. Students have one place to see assignments, submit work and view their own progress.
Apple Teacher is a free online professional learning programme designed to support and celebrate the great work of teachers around the world.
“We are aiming for an all-round development of not only students but also teachers as true digital learning can only happen then”, said a beaming Chouksey. (IANS)