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Sarah Baharudin, age 35, like many Malaysians has been leading an inactive lifestyle and eating unhealthy food for most of her life. VOA

By Dave Grunebaum

“1-2-3,” shouts Dr. Noradhiah Tumirin, a physician and fitness trainer. “You can do it,” she enthusiastically says as her client Sarah Baharudin is lying flat on her back and struggling to lift her legs from the ground to a 90-degree angle.


Baharudin, age 35, is breathing heavily throughout the workout. She’s 165 centimeters tall and weighs 110 kilograms.

“I eat traditional Malay food, yes and it’s high in fat and calorie,” Baharudin says while explaining how she became obese. “On top of that I was not active, not living an active lifestyle, did not exercise. So years after years of doing that it becomes obesity.”

Baharudin’s story is a common one across Malaysia. Approximately half of the country’s adults are overweight or obese and about thirty percent of the youth are.


Jom Kurus founder Kevin Zahri (seen jumping rope) says the goal is to get participants to lead healthy lifestyle long after the six-week program ends. VOA

Baharudin and her overweight husband, Nazrul Mohammad, are trying to change their lifestyles by exercising regularly and eating healthier food.

Tumirin, a retired Malaysian Army Major who’s 157 centimeters tall and a very fit 56 kilos, says the country’s obesity crisis is behind increasing rates of non-communicable diseases. “This obesity will lead to multiple illnesses such as hypertension, high cholesterol, heart illnesses and diabetes.” she says.

Kevin Zahri is one of Malaysia’s leading fitness influencers. He founded a local weight loss movement called Jom Kurus which translates to lets get thin or lets lose weight.


Every year thousands of Malaysians sign up for one of Jom Kurus’ six-week fitness programs for a healthy lifestyle across the country. VOA

Every year, thousands of overweight and obese Malaysians join six-week-long Jom Kurus fitness camps across the country. They meet several times a week for exercises and lessons on nutrition, plus there are social media support groups for constant encouragement. At one recent session, participants did leg lifts, push ups and stretches.

“The program is designed to help somebody not feel alone and jump on the bandwagon with a group of people who are of similar physical stature and similar objectives, goals and desires,” Zahri said. He says the average participant loses four to five kilos during the six week program. But the real goal is to get them to lead healthy lifestyles long after.

“We are hoping the six-week program can become the kick start in the longevity of their journey,” Zahri said.

Also Read- Exposure To High Levels of Air Pollution May Lead To Changes in Children’s Brain Structure

But while Jom Kurus and other programs are helping Malaysians change their lifestyles, it’s clear these fitness routines are just scratching the surface of this nation’s obesity crisis.

“All said and done the amount of people we’ve targeted in comparison to the number in the population which are obese is still very very small,” Zahri said. (VOA)


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In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Officials of the Indian space sector, both serving and retired, are of the view that the space sector's organisational structure is expected to mirror that of India's atomic energy sector.

They also said that senior officials of the Indian space agency should address the employees on what is happening in the sector and how it will pan out so that uncertainty and confusion are addressed.

In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is at the top, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is the sectoral regulator while the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (both power companies), the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd, the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, and IREL (India) Ltd are public sector units (PSU).

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The Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre (BARC), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) are the premier research and development (R&D) organizations and there are several DAE-aided organizations.

While the DAE is headed by a Secretary (normally from the R&D units) who is also the head of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the R&D centres and PSUs are headed by different persons.

Similarly, the government that has started the space sector reforms seems to be replicating the atomic energy model, several officials told IANS.

"The Central government's moves in the space sector seems to replicate the atomic energy model," an official told IANS.

Currently, the Department of Space (DOS) is at the top and below that, comes the private sector space regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with various R&D-cum-production (rockets, satellites and others) units.

The sector has two PSUs - Antrix Corporation Ltd and NewSpace India Ltd.

Unlike the atomic energy sector, the Secretary of the DOS and Chairman of the Space Commission is also the Chairman of the ISRO.

As part of the space sector reform measures, the government has set up IN-SPACe as a regulator for the private sector players.

"Ultimately there will be only one sectoral regulator. There cannot be two regulators - one for the private sector and other for the public sector. Who will be the regulator if there is a company that is floated in public-private partnership," an official asked.

"It is good that there is a separate sectoral regulator outside of the DOS and the ISRO," an official said.

The recently-formed PSU NewSpace India has been mandated to build, own satellites, rockets and also provide space based services and transfer ISRO-developed technologies to others.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary DOS K.Sivan has been saying that ISRO will focus on high end research.

As a result, the positions of Secretary, DOS and Chairman, ISRO may not be held by the same person.

"Looking forward, there are possibilities of the government coming out with a voluntary retirement scheme for ISRO officials and merging its various production centres with NewSpace to synergise its operations," a former senior official of ISRO told IANS.

"But there is one issue in this proposition. For ISRO, the production centres are also its R&D centre. Both production and R&D are interwoven. One has to see how both will be separated to be housed under ISRO and NewSpace India."

Meanwhile, the minds of ISRO officials are filled with uncertainty and confusion about their future which is linked to that of their organization.

ISRO Staff Association General Secretary G.R.Pramod had told IANS that there is "uncertainty all around about the future of about 17,300 employees of ISRO".

"The ISRO top management that includes the Chairman and the Heads of various centres should come out openly and address the employee concerns at the earliest," an official added.

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The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour

Twitter has announced to ban sharing of private media, such as photos and videos, without permission from the individuals that are shown in those images.

The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour under its policies, the expansion of the policy will allow the platform to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content, provided it's posted without the consent of the person depicted.

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"Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person's privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm," Twitter said in a blog post late on Tuesday.

"The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorised private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options," the company informed.

Under the existing policy, publishing other people's private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is already not allowed on Twitter.

This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivising others to do so.

"There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals," Twitter said.

When Twitter is notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, it removes it.

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India's IT spending is expected to reach $101.8 billion in 2022, up 7% from the previous year.

Driven by a surge in digital transformation owing to the pandemic, the IT spending in India is forecast to total $101.8 billion in 2022, an increase of 7 per cent from 2021, global market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

In 2022, all segments of IT spending in India are expected to grow, with software emerging as the highest growing segment.

Spending on software is forecast to total $10.5 billion in 2022, up 14.4 per cent from 2021.

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While experiencing a slower growth rate than 2021, spending on software in 2022 is forecast to be nearly double of what it was pre-pandemic.

"India has experienced one of the fastest recoveries despite being one of the worst hit regions in the second wave of the pandemic in early 2021," said Arup Roy, research vice president at Gartner.

As hybrid work adoption increases in the country, there will be an uptick in spending on devices in 2022, reaching $44 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent from 2021.

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