CAT 2017 notification: Exam on November 26, apply from August 9

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IIM Lucknow has announced Common Admission Test (CAT) 2017 will be conducted on November 26, 2017 in two sessions. Aspiring management students can apply from August 9, 2017. CAT is held for admissions into the prestigious IIMs and other management schools. The last date to submit the duly filled form is by September 20. The candidates can check detailed notification at iimcat.ac.in.

The exam will be conducted in test centres spread across approximately 140 Test Cities. A maximum of four test centres can be selected in order of preference. The duration of the test will be 180 minutes. There will be three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability. View | CAT 2017: Apply from August 9, five things you need to know, click here

Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. The tutorial to understand the format of the test will be available on the CAT website from October 18, 2017

Important dates for CAT 2017

Registration begins: August 9

Registration close: September 20

Admit card download: October 18 to November 26

Exam date: Nov 26

Result declaration: Second week of January 2018

Exam fees: Rs 900 for SC, ST and PwD. For general category, it is Rs 1800

Those who clear the exam will be eligible for admission to management courses, including PGP, PGDM, PGPEM, EPGP, PGPBM, PGPEX, at various IIMs across the country.

UGC NET 2017: CBSE to release notification on August 4 at cbsenet.nic.in

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will activate the National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) 2017 application form link on August 11 while the exam will be held on November 5, 2017. The detailed notification will release at cbsenet.nic.in on August 4. The last date to apply online is September 11, while the fee can be paid until September 12.

From this year, CBSE has made Aadhaar card mandatory to apply for the NET. However, these provisions are not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya. CBSE has notified that the candidates from these state need to enter the passport number, ration card number, bank account number or any other valid government identity number provided they should select the city of examination in these states only.

On behalf of the University Grants Commission, the CBSE conducts the exam twice a year in July and December, but this year’s UGC exam has been postponed to November. Candidates who clear UGC NET will be eligible for Junior Research Fellowship and Assistant Professorship at various government approved higher educational institutions in the country.

As per reports, the CBSE has proposed that UGC NET should be conducted once a year as only 17 per cent of registered candidates appear for the exam of whom only four per cent clear the paper.

MU results delay: Pressure builds on V-C Sanjay Deshmukh to tender resignation

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Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh continued to face the heat Tuesday as demands for his resignation got louder after the University of Mumbai missed the July 31 deadline set by Governor and Chancellor Ch Vidyasagar Rao for declaration of all final year results. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) joined the chorus of the Yuva Sena and the students’ wing of Nationalist Congress PartyTuesday, protesting against the delay in declaring results and seeking the V-C’s resignation.

Education Minister Vinod Tawde has assured the ABVP that their demand would be conveyed to Rao. The delay in declaration of results caused much uproar in the ongoing monsoon session of the state legislature Tuesday, with Opposition parties too gunning for Deshmukh’s resignation. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Legislative Assembly: “The delay in results is a serious matter. The online paper evaluation should have been done in phases. It would have avoided the delay. Out of 17.5 lakh papers, 14 lakh papers have been checked.” He said Governor Rao had taken a serious note and set strict deadlines to ensure students appearing for competitive exams or seeking admissions were not affected.

If the V-C failed to resign voluntarily, the state government should ask for his resignation, demanded the ABVP members protesting outside the Legislative Assembly. The ABVP also demanded that an IAS officer be posted as the director of examinations at the university to streamline the process of assessment and declaration of results. Yuva Sena, the student wing of Shiv Sena, protested outside the Kalina campus.

The governor had on July 4 asked the university administration to declare results by July 31. On Monday, the MU said it needed five more days to assess answersheets and that all results would be declared by August 5. On Tuesday, results of ten subjects were declared, taking the total number to 183. With this, 2.98 lakh papers are yet to be assessed and 1.08 lakh to be moderated.

Blue Whale challenge: Did Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why trigger online search on suicide?

A still from the show 13 Reasons Why

While the world is debating how the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game, has triggered a wave of suicides in Russia and other parts of the world, here’s a new study that says online searches about suicide and suicidal methods soared in the weeks following the release of controversial Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why. The show is about a teenage girl who killed herself. While the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine did not examine whether the number of actual suicides rose following the popular show’s release, researchers called for the series to be removed from Netflix’s site until it can be made safer.

Overall, suicide-related queries were 19% higher than expected following the show, said the research letter in JAMA. “There were between 9,00,000 and 15,00,000 more suicide-related searches than expected during the 19 days following the series’ release,” said study co-author Mark Dredze, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University.

Phrases like how to commit suicide rose 26%, commit suicide was up 18% and how to kill yourself increased nine percent. On the flip side, searches for phrases like suicide hotline were up 12%, and suicide prevention rose 23%. “While it’s heartening that the series’ release concurred with increased awareness of suicide and suicide prevention, like those searching for suicide prevention, our results back up the worst fears of the show’s critics,” said lead author John Ayers, research professor at San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health.

“The show may have inspired many to act on their suicidal thoughts by seeking out information on how to commit suicide,” added Ayers.

 

A controversial show

Supporters have praised the drama — in which a friend listens to a series of 13 audio-cassette journals left behind by the deceased girl — for its frank portrayal of adolescent struggles. Critics, however, say the show did not provide enough referrals to suicide prevention resources for people who may be at risk, and depicted a suicide in graphic detail during the final episode.

Researchers analysed Google trends for searches originating inside the United States between March 31, 2017 — the day the series was released — and April 18. They stopped their analysis then because former National Football League player Aaron Hernandez’s suicide on April 19 might have influenced the trends. For comparison, researchers used the period between January to March, prior to the show’s release, to determine the typically expected volumes for these words and phrases.

Previous research has shown that “suicide search trends are correlated with actual suicides,” and that “media coverage of suicides concur with increased suicide attempts,” said the report in JAMA. “We are calling on Netflix to remove the show and edit its content to align with World Health Organization standards before reposting,” Ayers said. He suggested that suicide prevention hotline numbers be added to old episodes and scenes depicting suicide be removed.

A tough subject

Netflix said it was pressing on with the show’s second season, which is currently in production. “We always believed this show would increase discussion around this tough subject matter. This is an interesting quasi-experimental study that confirms this,” Netflix said in a statement sent to US media.

“We are looking forward to more research and taking everything we learn to heart as we prepare for season 2.” The show’s official Twitter account includes a link to 13reasonswhy.info, which provides information about suicide hotlines and prevention around the world. An accompanying editorial in JAMA pointed out that it is impossible to know whether the searches were made by people with idle curiosity, or people who intended to kill themselves.

Still, given that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, researchers said the “producers of the series should have taken steps… as encouraged by suicide prevention specialists,” said the editorial by Kimberly McManama O’Brien of Boston Children’s Hospital and John Knight and Sion Harris of Harvard Medical School. Such shows, which are typically binge-watched, can have an outsize effect of teenagers and their developing brains, the editorial said.

SSC CGL admit card released for all regions, exam begins on Aug 5

The Staff Selection Commission has released the admit card for candidates appearing in the Combined Graduate Level Tier 1  examination.

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has released the admit card for candidates appearing in the Combined Graduate Level Tier 1 (CGL Tier 1) examination 2017 from all the regions.

Candidates can download the admit card for CGL tier 1 examination from SSC’s official website. Click on the link for admit card on the top nav bar of the home page. Click on the link for the region from which you have applied. This will take you to the regional websites of SSC from where you can download your admit card. Key in the required details and your admit card will be displayed on the screen. Take a printout and keep the admit card safely.

Or

Click on the links given below to go to the login page of the regional websites for downloading the admit card:

Eastern Region:Admit card

Western region (Mumbai): Admit card

Madhya Pradesh Region:Admit card

Central Region:Admit card

North Western region:Admit card

Kerala Karnataka region:Admit card

North Eastern region:Admit card

Southern Region:Admit card

Northern Region:Admit card

The SSC CGL Tier 1 exam will be held from August 5 to August 24 this year. The exam is being conducted to fill up different categories of posts in various ministries, departments, and organisations in the government.

The exam will comprise a computer based examination for Tier-I and Tier-II (Paper-I, Paper-II, Paper-III, and Paper- IV), written descriptive exam for Tier-III and CPT/DEST/document verification for Tier-IV.

Questions in Paper-I will be of Class 10 level, Paper-II of Class 12 level and Paper-III of graduation level.

Candidates selected for appointment are liable to serve anywhere in India.

Note: Visit the official website of the SSC regularly for latest updates.

On The Menu: Controversies, tragedy and demonetisation

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Culinary Controversies
Following on the heels of 2015’s beef ban debate, 2016 had its own share of scandals. A fine-dining restaurant in Kolkata came under heavy fire for not allowing the driver of a patron to dine on its premises; apparently everyone forgot the sign that says “Right of Admission Reserved” on the front. On the other end of the country, in Mumbai, a Christian group in the city filed a complaint against a popular dining venue in Goregaon, citing their “blasphemous and offensive interior decor”, which includes illustrations of Moses holding a computer tablet and
St Anthony sporting glasses. There’s no pleasing some people.

Swiss Tragedy
The world’s best chef, according to French Foreign Ministry’s La Liste, Benoît Violier committed suicide on January 31. Chef-owner of the three Michelin-starred Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Switzerland, Violier did not leave a note behind but was allegedly the victim of a million-dollar wine scam, according to later reports. The culinary world reacted with shock, even as the late Violier’s establishment retained its three stars, which are considered the highest accolade in the restaurant business, this year.

Where’s My Money?
In the nationwide scramble that followed the introduction of demonetisation on November 8, one major casualty was the restaurant employee. Even as people were reluctant to spend cash earned after long waits in queues and resorted to eating out less or paying only by cards, the tips earned by waiters and their colleagues dipped heavily in restaurants across the country. While most places have a service charge, which in theory at least, is disbursed among the staff, employees also depend on the largesse of patrons and their tips in cash to supplement their income.

Planning a weight-loss surgery? Don’t wait till you put on some more kilos

Bariatric surgery can be misunderstood by physicians and patients alike.

Can you be too fat for a weight-loss surgery? Yes, say researchers. A large new study from the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health System showed that only one in three patients who have the operation succeed in getting their body-mass index (BMI) below 30, the cut-off for obesity, in the first year.

But the odds of achieving this goal were much higher for those who had their weight-loss operation while they were still below the “morbid obesity” BMI level of 40. On the other end of the spectrum, less than 9% of those who went into surgery with a BMI above 50 got down to 30 or below in the first year.

Getting down to a BMI under 30 also brought patients much better odds of escaping weight-related health risks. Those who hit this level were much more likely to report that they’d stopped taking medication to control high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, and achieved remission of an obesity-linked breathing condition called sleep apnea. In all, 92% of those who hit a BMI under 30 in the first year said they were highly satisfied with their decision to have surgery, compared with 78% of those who didn’t get to that level.

Watch your Body Mass Index levels before you opt for a weight-loss surgery. (iStock)

The findings could help surgical teams counsel prospective patients about realistic expectations and the best timing for surgery. The authors also say their results also have implications for how insurers cover weight-loss surgery, including requirements that patients fail to achieve a specific BMI under medically supervised non-surgical options before plans will approve coverage for surgery. “Despite its proven safety and efficacy, bariatric surgery remains highly regulated and can be misunderstood by referring physicians and patients alike,” said lead author Oliver Varban. “This study provides additional data to help counsel patients appropriately about weight-loss expectations after bariatric surgery.”

The study included about half of all patients who had bariatric surgery under the direction of one of 70 surgeons based at the 38 participating programs in hospitals of different sizes and types. Only those who had at least one year’s worth of weight data and did not undergo a second operation to revise their first were included. Many also took a survey about health-related issues. On average, the patients had a BMI of 48 before their operation, and got down to 33 by the end of the first year. Just over 9,700 patients, or 36 percent, achieved a BMI under 30.

The type of bariatric surgery patients had mattered too. Those whose surgeons chose to perform a sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass or duodenal switch operation were more likely to achieve a BMI under 30 than those who had adjustable gastric bands placed around their stomachs. The two groups didn’t differ in terms of overall surgical complication rates, or rates of serious complications. The study is published in JAMA Surgery.

Munch on: Here are 7 healthy yet delicious snacks for each day of the week

Baked potato chips are healthier than fried chips.

There’s a common perception that diet food is boring. But that’s not true. You can eat healthy without compromising on taste, and yes, that includes low calorie desserts too. Diet food contains fewer calories, and serves as a healthier alternative to conventional snacks such as potato chips, burgers and other fast food. Some diet foods are full of antioxidants, essential nutrients. Experts at salebhai.com list some of the healthy diet snacks and food that could be consumed on different days of the week.

* Mondays: Diet chivda is a mixed snack popular across India and served with hot beverages. It is made of ingredients such as flattened rice, dried peas, raisins, and so on. Available in different combinations, diet chivda is an excellent healthy treat as most of the ingredients are either dried or baked, and contain little to no oil or fat.

* Tuesdays: While fried potato chips top the list of unhealthy foods in the world, its diet version is the opposite, without compromising on taste. Diet potato chips are mostly baked and use little to no oil, and make for a yummy snack between meals.

* Wednesdays: Chira (flattened rice) is the main ingredient in poha. When lightly roasted, it can be mixed with various spices and consumed as a healthy snack throughout the day.

Granola bars are loved by gym-goers. (Shutterstock)

* Thursdays: A container of masala chickpeas packs several vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and protein, keeping one fuller for longer.

* Fridays: Quinoa has become popular over the years both as a superfood and a versatile ingredient. Native to South America, it is prepared by being boiled in water. The nutrient-rich grain is mostly consumed as part of a salad, but there are treats such as quinoa puffs that are equally healthy and delicious.

* Saturdays: A favourite among gym goers and fitness aficionados, muesli or granola bars are the perfect choice that also boost metabolism. A great alternative to candy bars, they can satiate anyone’s sweet tooth or sudden cravings without any adverse effects to health. Muesli bars are made up of refined flour, hazelnut, cashew, almond, dark chocolate, honey, oats, butter, and sugar.

* Sunday: Although a new entrant in the list of healthiest foods, kale chips have quickly become one of the most tried new ingredients in the global food market. A close cousin of the cabbage family, kale has a high fibre content and low calories, making it a great diet food.

AIIMS MBBS entrance paper leak: HC asks Centre to reply on plea for probe

The Delhi HC has sought response of the Centre, AIIMS and the CBI on a plea seeking a probe into alleged illegalities and irregularities during the AIIMS MBBS entrance 2017.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response of the Centre, AIIMS and the CBI on a plea seeking a court-monitored probe into alleged illegalities and irregularities during the AIIMS MBBS entrance examination held this year.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar specifically directed the CBI to place before it the agency’s status report within a week on the plea which also sought directions to AIIMS to quash the result declared on June 15 for the exam held on May 28.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Dr Anand Rai, submitted that the results be only quashed if investigation “reveals that the entrance examination has been entirely and irreversibly vitiated.”

Taking note of the counsel’s submission, the bench listed the matter for August 16.

Rai, who claims to be a whistleblower in the Vyapam scam case, moved the high court also seeking direction to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to produce before the court the finding of the institute’s committee which was constituted for conducting inquiry into the complaints regarding the conduct of the examination.

Rai had on May 31 alleged that the question papers of this year’s entrance exam for MBBS course of the AIIMS were leaked.

He had in a series of tweets posted images of question papers of the entrance examination which was held across the country on May 28 and said he had received the snapshots from a source who claimed these were leaked from a college in Lucknow when the online test was on.

In his petition filed through advocate Harsh Parashar, Rai, who had also alleged that AIIMS MBBS seats were being “sold”, has sought direction to AIIMS to conduct fresh entrance examination for admission to the MBBS course for the academic session 2017, if the exam is found to be entirely and irreversibly vitiated after investigations.

It said that unfair and unlawful practices were carried out during the online Computer Based Test (CBT) entrance at the behest of some people who were able to obtain unlawful access to exam centres and take screen shots/ photographs of the questions from the computer screen.

“The questions obtained through such unlawful means were subsequently solved by solvers present outside the examination centres and the answer key was circulated throughout India to the beneficiary candidates while during the examination,” the plea said.

“The petitioner was informed of the use of such illegal means through his own network of informers, whereby he was able to obtain more than 50 questions that were asked in the evening shift of the entrance examination held on May 28, 2017,” it said.

As per Rai, the exam was held in two shifts- from 9am to 12.30pm and 3pm to 6.30pm.

 

Bill to start exams in Classes 5 and 8 on anvil: Javadekar

The government is likely to bring a bill in Parliament to start examinations in Classes 5 and 8 following the recommendation of 24 states at a meeting of CABE to hold such tests.

The government is likely to bring a bill in Parliament to start examinations in Classes 5 and 8 following the recommendation of 24 states at a meeting of CABE to hold such tests.

“We are bringing a bill to have examinations for classes 5 and 8 and I hope you will give your support to this bill,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told members in the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

He said the proposed bill will have scope for giving a repeat chance to all students who fail in March. They will be allowed to take the test again in May.

The Minister, however, clarified that the central law, once brought, will not be made compulsory on the states and it will be left to the states whether they wanted to hold such examination for students of class 5 and 8, even though 24 states already want the test.

In reply to a question, he admitted that the dropout rate in government schools was almost double than that in the private schools.

“Yes, the truth is that there is a fall in the levels of government schools and the people have started getting attracted towards private schools,” he said.

In his written reply to the question, he said, “the dropout rate of students is higher in government than in private schools. The dropout rate is nearly half in private schools in comparison to the government schools.”

Javadekar also said that there was no separate study to find out the reason for higher dropout rate in government schools as compared to private schools.

He said the real problem was in Class 9 as currently, no examination is held in classes 1 to 8 and no child fails.

He said three to four years ago, the enrolment in government schools was declining by 4% while that of private schools was rising by 8%.

“Both issues are a matter of concern and it is important to improve the standard of education in government schools and a number of steps are being taken in this regard,” he said.

Javadekar cited many states like Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh where efforts have been made to help check dropouts by making education informative and entertaining.

Asked whether there was a proposal to hand over government schools to the private sector to help improve their standards in education, the Minister replied in the negative.

“There is no proposal of handing over government schools to private players,” he said.