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Skill India mission will be youth’s war against poverty: PM Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Skill India Mission, terming it a war against poverty by training youth to earn their livelihood with honour and how the young population could do wonders with proper abilities.

Industry welcomed the endeavour as “need of the hour”, while the Congress however termed it yet another “relaunch” of a UPA government programme.

Launching the programme on the first World Youth Skills Day in presence of union ministers, chief ministers and leaders of industry, Modi said a large number of India’s population is young and could do wonders if trained well for various works and trades available in the world.

“A major part of our population is below the age of 35 years. They are young and need to be trained,” he said, adding that India would have to build on its strengths.

The prime minister said that the central government has launched a “war against poverty” by embarking on the mission to train Indian youth to earn his livelihood with honour.

“We have begun a war against poverty. Every poor is my soldier in this war and we have to win this war with their support,” Modi said.

“We have a large number of young people in the world, we just have to train and prepare them and I can assure you that India would provide largest workforce to the world in the decades to come,” he said.

The last century was of IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) in the country, but his government would want this century to be of ITIs (Industriamodi-main1l Training Institutes), he said.

India Inc expressed support for Modi’s vision to train the youth skillfully.

Terming the Skill India Mission “a renewed effort to capitalize on India’s demographic dividend and create a large pool of skilled workforce, which “is crucial to support growth across sectors and the economy at large”, Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said that a skills mission of this scale will make the training efforts more systematic and will ensure a workforce which is professionally skilled and meets industry needs.

The Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association welcomed the mission to harness the country’s “demographic dividend” through appropriate and large scale skill development effort, which in turn should make India a country of choice to address global skill shortage.

“This initiative in tandem with the ‘Make in India’ initiative should result in good diversity in skills and high employment outcome via a public-private partnership,” said its chairman Vinay Shenoy.

The Congress, however, said that Modi government was doing nothing new and just launching re-named UPA government programmes.

“Be it ‘Nirmal Bharat’, be it ‘Beti Bachao Yojana’, be it ‘Namami Gange’ that have been launched by the UPA and have been working successfully are being re-launched by the prime minister. Is this the achievement and the originality of thinking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims?” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told media persons, terming it a re-launch of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDP) launched in August 2010 under which 35 lakh people have already been trained. (IANS)

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Youth in polluted cities at increased risk of Alzheimer’s

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Climate Trends works on solutions to air pollution, while Co Media Lab is a community media lab.
Pollution can lead to Alzheimer's in youth. Wikimedia Commons

Children and young adults living in polluted megacities are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a debilitating brain disease characterised by memory loss, a new study has warned.

“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” said one of the researchers Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas from University of Montana in the US.

Air pollution can trigger Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“It is useless to take reactive actions decades later,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. The findings, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, indicate that Alzheimer’s starts in early childhood, and the disease progression relates to age, pollution exposure and status of Apolipoprotein E (APOE 4), a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The researchers studied 203 autopsies of Mexico City residents in the US ranging in age from 11 months to 40 years.

Metropolitan Mexico City is home to 24 million people exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone above US Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tracked two abnormal proteins that indicate development of Alzheimer’s, and they detected the early stages of the disease in babies less than a year old.

Also Read: Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

The scientists found heightened levels of the two abnormal proteins — hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid — in the brains of young urbanites with lifetime exposures to fine-particulate-matter pollution (PM2.5).

They also tracked APOE 4 as well as lifetime cumulative exposure to unhealthy levels of PM2.5 — particles which are at least 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and frequently cause the haze over urban areas. The researchers found hallmarks of the disease among 99.5 percent of the autopsies they examined in Mexico City. In addition, the findings showed that APOE 4 carriers had a higher risk of rapid progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s can cause depression too. Pixabay

The researchers believe the detrimental effects are caused by tiny pollution particles that enter the brain through the nose, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and these particles damage all barriers and travel everywhere in the body through the circulatory system.

The authors noted that ambient air pollution is a key modifiable risk for millions of people across the globe. “Neuroprotection measures ought to start very early, including the prenatal period and childhood,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. “Defining pediatric environmental, nutritional, metabolic and genetic risk-factor interactions are key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” she added. IANS