Young e-cigarette users more likely to become tobacco users, says new study

The study also looked at other factors that influence smoking, including smoking susceptibility, having friends or family members who smoke, age, sex, family affluence, ethnic group and school.

A recent UK study suggests that teenagers who have tried an e-cigarette are more likely to go on to smoke tobacco cigarettes.

The study was led by the University of Stirling along with researchers from the Unversities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and ScotCen. The team looked at pupils at four Scottish secondary schools aged between 11 and 18 years old, surveying the participants in 2015 and then again 12 months later.

They found in the initial 2015 survey that among the 2,125 pupils who had never smoked a cigarette, 183 (8.6%) said that they had tried an e-cigarette and 1,942 had not.

In the 2016 survey, 74 (40.4%) of those who had tried an e-cigarette in the initial 2015 survey went on to smoke a cigarette in the following 12 months – compared to only 249 (12.8%) of young people who had not tried an e-cigarette.

The team found in the initial 2015 survey that among the 2,125 pupils who had never smoked a cigarette, 183 (8.6%) said that they had tried an e-cigarette and 1,942 had not. (Shutterstock)

The results remained statistically significant even after the team had taken into account other factors that influence smoking including smoking susceptibility, having friends or family members who smoke, age, sex, family affluence, ethnic group and school.

“Uniquely, we also found that e-cigarette use had a greater impact on the odds of cigarette experimentation in young never smokers who had a firm intention not to smoke and/or whose friends didn’t smoke. Traditionally, this is the group of young people least likely to take up smoking,” commented Dr Catherine Best, research fellow at the University of Stirling.

Sally Haw, professor of Public and Population Health at Stirling, also added that, “The greater impact of e-cigarette use on young people thought to be at lower risk of starting smoking is of particular concern” and now recommends further research to understand better how experimenting with e-cigarettes may influence smoking attitudes.

The findings can be found published online in the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control journal.

Hypertension and diabetes kill more people in Delhi than other diseases, says report

In 2015, 3,890 hypertension-related and 1,356 diabetes-related deaths were reported from hospitals and dispensaries run by the Delhi government and the municipal corporations.

Each year, more people die of hypertension and diabetes in Delhi than dengue or malaria, says a new report released on Wednesday.

The ‘State of Health of Delhi’ report was released by the NGO Praja Foundation.

In 2015, 3,890 hypertension-related and 1,356 diabetes-related deaths were reported from hospitals and dispensaries run by the Delhi government and the municipal corporations.

The year before, 1,962 hypertension-related deaths and 1,762 diabetes related deaths were recorded.

In the communicable diseases category, tuberculosis took the maximum toll, killing 3,635 people in 2015 and 4,350 the year before.

“In the same period, we found that the counsellors and the MLAs did not raise a single question regarding tuberculosis,” said Milind Mhaske, project director of Praja Foundation.

In the same period, dengue killed 486 during 2015, when Delhi had its worst ever outbreak, and 74 in 2014. Malaria killed 164 in 2015 and 160 in 2014, according to the report.

The data for the report was collected by the Praja Foundation through RTIs to various government institutions.

Diarrhoea affected more Delhiites than any of the other seven diseases for which data was collected. On an average, from 2014 to 2016, Delhi saw an average of almost six lakh cases annually and 41% of those who died of diarrhoea were under the age of four.

“During the last three years when Delhi saw an extremely high number of diarrhoea cases, the civic authorities received a high number of complaints about polluted water. Issues of water supply constituted 50% of all complaints on civic issues that were lodged in 2016,” said Anjali Shrivastava, assistant manager at Praja Foundation.

The zone-wise distribution of the data showed that between 2014 and 2016, Rohini was a hot spot for dengue (contributing 26% of all dengue cases), tuberculosis (33%) and typhoid (27%). Rural Narela contributed the highest number of diarrhoea cases (22%) and civil lines malaria cases (26%).

Through a sample survey of 24,000 households in Delhi in 2017, the report also found that only 24% of the people living in Delhi used the services of government dispensaries and hospitals.

This comes even as Delhi government has opened 100 mohalla or neighbourhood clinics and plans to open a total of thousand to bring in more people to the public healthcare system.

The poorest families in Delhi end up spending 11.5% of their family income on healthcare.

The report found that only 15% of Delhi families had at least one family member with some sort of health insurance to pay for their treatment.

The Delhi government also plans to start an insurance scheme for universal coverage which will work on cross-subsidy, meaning premiums of well-to-do people will discount the premiums of the poor.

NEET counselling 2017: Cheating and fraud in Punjab medical admissions, we’ll check candidates, says BFUHS VC

BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur.

The admission process for MBBS and BDS courses in the state has courted confusion and controversy this year. Questions over eligibility, students submitting fake NEET result cards and the release of —what students presumed were two merit lists — on June 29 and on July 17, have marred the process to an extent. There are reports of students planning to move court against Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, the nodal authority for these admissions, after the second list reportedly lowered ranks of some of them.

Ahead of the online allotment of MBBS and BDS seats on July 21, HT’s Nikhil Sharma interviewed BFUHS vice-chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur to bring clarity on the issue for all stakeholders.

What was the information that the varsity uploaded on its site on June 29, 2017 ?

After getting the NEET result from the Central government, we uploaded the result of candidates who had appeared in NEET 2017 and filled Punjab as their appearing state.

Did this list reflect on merit?

No, this list only gave a vague impression of the standing of candidates among those who had applied for the NEET with Punjab as their appearing State.

Who is an eligible candidate for a seat from the Punjab State?

All candidates who are bona fide residents of Punjab and have done Class 12 from the state are eligible.

Are other candidates also eligible for Punjab State admission in NEET 2017?

Candidates who have been exempted as per ‘Notification of Punjab NEET 2017’ shall also be eligible for competing seats, as mentioned in para number 11 and sub paras number (i) to (viii), including the special note mentioned there in the prospectus that the BFUHS has issued. Students should read the prospectus carefully.

Candidates have alleged significant discrepancies between the first and the second list?

There are candidates, who are ineligible, and yet have applied to the BFUHS. They reflect on the second list as it is difficult to ascertain if a candidate fulfils all eligibility criteria in an online application process. We will verify correct eligibility before allotment of seats.

What do you think caused the disparity/confusion about the two lists?

Candidates belonging to minority quotas viz Christian candidates as well as Sikh candidates are to be considered for admission based on All-India ranking. So, they are reflected on the second list. Also, as per the state’s notification, candidates for BDS from across the country, shall be considered after exhausting candidates from Punjab.

Why did the BFUHS do a physical verification of documents?

We are conducting the physical verification in the case of 11 categories where the number of seats are few. The eligibility of general candidates shall be verified on July 22 and 23. The verification of SC and BC candidates will be done on-the-spot at respective colleges as and when students join, between July 24-31.

 

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Image result for Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

Scared to go to US: Indian students worry about physical safety, says survey

Washington Indian students have a “high level of concern” about potential study in the US and a large number of them worry about their physical safety and about the feeling of being welcomed, says a new survey.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) suggested that the final outcome of the US Supreme Court order in June that temporarily upheld President Donald Trump’s executive order to restrict entry of nationals from six Muslim majority countries to America weighs on their mind.

With over a million international students pursuing higher education in the US and contributing more than $36 billion to the American economy, the stakes are high, it said.

Founded in 1919, the IIE is a US-based not-for-profit working to build peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. It focuses on International student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security.

The IIE said that the survey results indicate the highest level of institutional concern regarding enrolment of students from the Middle East, followed by India.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions surveyed in the US are concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, a survey has revealed.

Thirty-one per cent of institutions are very concerned that Middle Eastern students who have accepted offers of admissions may not arrive on campus in the fall, and 20% are very concerned that Indian students may not arrive on campus, it said.

“This uncertainty raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study,” it said.

“Securing and maintaining a visa is reported as the top concern among these students and was reported by 46 % of institutions, while feeling welcome in the United States was an almost equal concern, with 41% of institutions noting so from their conversations with students,” it added.

According to the IIE, survey findings suggest that Indian students “have a high level of concern about potential study in the United States, 80% of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students, while 31% of institutions indicated that feeling welcome was also a concern.”

“Although application totals appear to largely remain stable, yield rates and a concern about personal safety suggest the possibility that Indian students may not continue to grow as the second largest international group in US higher education,” IIE said.

“Their concerns may lead some Indian students to accept admissions offers from other leading host countries, especially from those that issue student visas more quickly.”

The IIE, however, said despite widespread concerns that international student interest in the US might be flagging, the evidence from this survey suggests that “this is not the case.”

It said that interest among international students in the US remains steady overall despite the current environment.

According to the study, modest drops in yield – the percentage of students that attend a college or university after having been offered admission – at some institutions may be offset by steady or increased yield at other schools.

Among the 112 colleges that provided data there was a 2% decline in the expected yield rate this year compared to last year.

Overall, international undergraduate yield has dipped slightly from 26 to 24% from fall 2016 to fall 2017.

The two percentage point decline is comparable to shifts in the domestic (US) student yield reported by institutional respondents, which fell from 30 to 28% over the same time period, it said.

According to the study, there is however little concern about students from Europe and Canada arriving on campus in the fall and only modest concern about students’ arrival from China and Latin America.

Dosa is India’s favourite breakfast, says survey

When you think of breakfast, which is the dish that comes to mind? One would imagine that it would differ depending on which part of the country you’re in. But it seems like the rather healthy option of the south Indian dish Dosa is a pan India favourite, as it recently emerged as the most preferred breakfast for Indians in metro cities across India.

According to reports quoting a recent survey by food ordering app Swiggy, dosa is listed as the top 3 most ordered breakfast dish across the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. The survey is apparently based on online breakfast orders in more than 12,000 restaurants across eight cities, according to a TOI report.

dosa, india favourite breakfast dosa, swiggy, india breakfast

The study also found that most Indian households still prefer traditional Indian breakfasts such as poha and parathas instead of their global counterparts.

According to reports based on the survey, Delhiites also liked chhole bhature and parathas, with dosa coming in at No. 3, Mumbaikars liked bun maska along with their masala and plain dosas, and Punekars chose the healthy sabudana khichdi and poha. Bengaluru, with the highest number of breakfast orders, clocked in masala dosa, idli-vada and poha as the top 3 most ordered dishes for morning meal.

The one city to buck the trend was Hyderabad, which registered bread lukmi, Spanish omlette and chicken sandwich as the three most ordered breakfast option.

The survey also found that breakfast orders peaked during weekends by aorund 30 per cent, while Monday and Tuesday saw the most orders during the working weekdays.

More medical colleges: Port hospitals to be teaching institutes, says Gadkari

New Delhi The government plans to convert existing hospitals at India’s major ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on PPP basis, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

“We will convert the existing hospitals at our ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on a PPP basis,” shipping, road transport and highways minister Gadkari told PTI.

He said that a committee appointed by the government, headed by Medical Council of India (MCI) member Ved Prakash Mishra had submitted its report in this regard.

The seats in such medical colleges would depend on capacity, he added.

Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government will convert existing hospitals at Indian ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on a PPP basis.

Citing an example, he said that the port hospital at Mumbai Port Trust would be converted into a 1,000-bed medical college while at some places it would be of 600 or 700 seats capacity, depending on the institute.

Gadkari said that a part of the funding would be met through the government while the rest will come from private players.

India has 12 major ports, namely Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 % of the country’s total cargo traffic.

Earlier, addressing an event at Assocham, he said the government had increased the length of National Highways from 96,000 km to 1.75 lakh km, upping its capacity to handle about 85%of the country’s total traffic.

He said the government was also focused on promoting alternative fuel to cut down on huge Rs 7 lakh crore import bills.

“We are going to bring in a policy to promote use of alternative fuel which is indigenous and pollution-free as it will help in saving lot of time, bring down logistics cost by 4 to 6%, which is currently about 14 to18% unlike in China where it is 10 to12% and in European countries where it is 12 to 14%,” he said.

 

More medical colleges: Port hospitals to be teaching institutes, says Gadkari

New Delhi The government plans to convert existing hospitals at India’s major ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on PPP basis, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

“We will convert the existing hospitals at our ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on a PPP basis,” shipping, road transport and highways minister Gadkari told PTI.

He said that a committee appointed by the government, headed by Medical Council of India (MCI) member Ved Prakash Mishra had submitted its report in this regard.

The seats in such medical colleges would depend on capacity, he added.

Citing an example, he said that the port hospital at Mumbai Port Trust would be converted into a 1,000-bed medical college while at some places it would be of 600 or 700 seats capacity, depending on the institute.

Gadkari said that a part of the funding would be met through the government while the rest will come from private players.

India has 12 major ports, namely Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 % of the country’s total cargo traffic.

Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government will convert existing hospitals at Indian ports into medical colleges and super speciality centres on a PPP basis.

Earlier, addressing an event at Assocham, he said the government had increased the length of National Highways from 96,000 km to 1.75 lakh km, upping its capacity to handle about 85%of the country’s total traffic.

He said the government was also focused on promoting alternative fuel to cut down on huge Rs 7 lakh crore import bills.

“We are going to bring in a policy to promote use of alternative fuel which is indigenous and pollution-free as it will help in saving lot of time, bring down logistics cost by 4 to 6%, which is currently about 14 to18% unlike in China where it is 10 to12% and in European countries where it is 12 to 14%,” he said.

 

Parent moves Madras HC, says TN Class 11 public exam to put extra burden on kids

Madurai A Madurai resident on Wednesday moved the Madras High Court challenging the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to hold “public examination” at Class 11 level akin to the CBSE-held class 10 and 12-level board examinations.

A Madurai bench of the high court posted the matter for detailed hearing on July 19 after a brief hearing on the issue.

Petitioner K K Ramesh submitted to the bench of justices S S Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan that the government’s move to bring Class 11 students under the ambit of public exams, would put an additional burden on the pupils who work hard to score high marks in Class 10 and, then again, in Class 12.

This would mean hard work for three years successively from Class 10 onwards, leading to sleepless nights and frustration, he said while pleading with the court to quash the government order.

A parent has pleaded that bringing Class 11 students under the ambit of public exams would put an additional burden on the pupils who work hard to score high marks in Class 10 and, then again, in Class 12.

To this, the government counsel submitted that under the present system of examination, the students end up focusing only on plus two syllabus (Class 12) in order to secure engineering and medical seats in reputed institutes, ignoring the plus one (Class 11) syllabus.

By not paying attention to the plus one syllabus, they feel the burden after getting admitted to engineering colleges like Anna University, he said.

He argued that an expert committee set up to analyse the performance of the students during the first year of engineering courses also came to the same conclusion.

Accordingly, the government has decided to hold “public examination” at Class 11 level.

The Tamil Nadu government had in May this year issued orders for conducting public examination for students of Class XI, and proposed to revise school education syllabus “on par with CBSE standards” in the coming years.

 

 

Relief for students: IIT-JEE counselling to resume, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court lifted on Monday the stay on admissions to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), NITs and other colleges, bringing relief to thousands of students who took the joint entrance examination.

The court had on Friday put on hold admissions to IITs, National Institutes of Technology and other colleges over the awarding of bonus marks in JEE, an all-India examination taken by aspiring engineers.

Dismissing petitions challenging the award of grace marks, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also directed the institutes to give an undertaking that such an error would not be repeated.

“IITs will have to give an undertaking and develop a mechanism that such mistakes will not recur and ensure that no such situation arises in which bonus marks will have to be awarded to all the students,” the bench said, adjourning the case for a hearing in October.

IIT-JEE

Bonus marks were awarded to all students who wrote the exam for admission to engineering colleges after printing errors were found in the question paper. In a petition, two students had sought a direction to IIT-Madras to revise the list of successful students without giving them bonus marks.

A 2005 Supreme Court verdict was cited when the bench had stayed the counselling that was underway then. However, on Monday the court said the ruling did not apply in the IIT case because only 10,000 students were involved in that case.

“In the present case there are 1.56 lakh students who have taken the examination,” the bench said. “On a careful study of that verdict we found there was no negative marking, while here there was negative marking for wrong questions attempted by the students.”

The top court restrained the high courts from entertaining petitions regarding counselling and admission through IIT-JEE (Advance) 2017.

Attorney General KK Venugopal assured the court that IITs will devise a mechanism to avoid a repeat of such a situation. The court was informed that 33,307 students had taken admission, deposited fees and attending classes. Only 31 seats of the general category were left and it was difficult to re-evaluate answer sheets, the bench was told.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for some candidates, argued students who attempted the question correctly were set to lose out vis-à-vis those who answered it incorrectly. “Those who attempted it wrongly are set to gain,” he said.

Sibal said if the rank list was not quashed, it would affect around 4,000 students who would be out of the highly competitive examination. The IITs denied any mala fide act. Bonus marks were awarded to students across the board after an experts’ body comprising representatives of various institutes met twice and took the decision.

Venugopal pointed out there was negative marking for every unsuccessful question. “There may be some students who opted not to answer the said vague questions fearing negative marking,” he said, justifying the grant of bonus marks.