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Indian students need more varsities for higher education

10 Mar 16

The new education policy that is likely to be submitted this week could unveil a roadmap that may transform higher education institutes into centres of excellence. Having said that, as per media reports, every year 2,00,000 students take admissions in foreign universities for reasons which range from fewer seats at premier Indian institutes to substandard academic institutions in the country. The gap, between the entry point at primary level and those opting for higher education abroad is said to be lack of quality education at primary and middle-school level. Estimates show in the coming five years, the number of students opting to study in foreign land is expected to grow from 26 million to 40 million. Also, by 2020 India will need another 700 universities for 14 million students. This will be in addition to over 700 universities and 40,000 colleges we have, as of today. Educationists have time and again expressed concern over lack of funding and innovation in primary education in India. Even after being the backbone of higher education, it grimly remains a neglected sector. The situation is worse in villages and government schools where dropout rates are high and motivation to join school is low.The foundation has to be right and there should be adequate educational institutes in the country to stop these students from stepping out of the country.

IG International Brings Organic Apples to India

20 Mar 18

Although organic farming is a controversial concept in India, it has been saving many farmers' lives and gaining prominence with city dwellers. Recently, fresh fruit importer IG International has introduced organic apples from Wenatchee, USA. It is the first instance for India. The company has imported these organic apples in association with Stemlit Growers. Stemlit Growers is Northwest’s largest grower, packer and shipper of organic apples, pears and cherries.

The motive behind IG International’s move is to serve the present day’s health conscious consumers, who have their preference towards organic fruits and vegetables. Tarun Arora, Director, IG International Pvt. Ltd. stated that their aim is to convey that “fruits are the best snacks”. By giving the society organic apples, they have given them what they most wanted.

After bananas, apples are the most desired fruit. They are extremely beneficial for the fitness freaks. Now, with Organic Fruit consumption constituting of 52% of total organic food products in India, demand for Organic Apples have also increased. Organic farming is a type of farming system that focuses purely on improving soil fertility and biological diversity. It doesn’t promote or allow the use of synthetic substances. The organic apples from IG International will be available at retail outlets all over India.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/ig-international-introduces-organic-apples-in-india/articleshow/63268389.cms

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Tallest Mountains in The Solar System - Iapetus

19 Mar 18

The walnut-like shape of one of the icy moons of Saturn has been already mystifying scientists long since, specially its perfect ridge of mountains that are encircling most of its surface.

Its unusual shape and coloration is most likely believed by NASA to be due to the presence of remnants of organic compounds. This mountain range is spectacularly huge surrounded by around tallest mountains in the Solar System that rise up to 20 km above the plains.

After the Cassini spacecraft in 2004 discovered a ridge, there were much debate on the issue that may have been the underlying cause in the formation of unusual mountain range. It is held that the present Iapetus must have been formed by the remnants of a young Iapetus that rotated much faster than it is rotating at present and eventually must have cooled and freezed. Though a different study claims the  ridge to be formed due to a relict ring that must have fallen onto the moon's surface.

By another argument, it is also held that the ring system fell so close to the moon till it collided with the surface. The accumulation of material that piled up in due course formed one of the tallest and largest mountain ranges in the Solar System today.

By: Subrata Dey

Content: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/03/08/the-sky-is-falling-tallest-mountains-in-solar-system-may-be-formed-by-falling-ring/#7825008b60f3

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How Stress Changes Our Brain?

16 Mar 18

Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Just like physical disorders, stress and other mental disorders are equally fatal. In a recent research conducted by the Jaideep Bains, PhD, and his team at the Cumming School of Medicine's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), at the University of Calgary, it has been revealed that stress transmitted from one person to another can affect the brain just as real stress can. In the long run stress and emotions can be 'contagious'. The team of researchers conducted the study using pairs of male or female mice. During the process, they separated the two mice from each other and exposed one of them to mild stress before they again united. The team then examined the responses of certain specific cells known as the CRH neurons. The recorded responses of the pair of mice revealed that the networks of the brain of both the stressed mouse and its naïve partner have undergone same kind of change. They further used optogenetic approaches to engineer these neurons, making them capable of being turned on and off with light. The team then silenced the neurons during exposure to stress. As a result, the changes in the brain did not occur. Also, when the stressed partner interacted with the other partner, the transfer of stress did not happen. On the activation of these neurons with light, even in the absence of stress, the brains of both the partners underwent a change, just as happens in case of exposure to stress. The team further discovered that the activation of these CRH neurons leads to the release of a chemical signal, an 'alarm pheromone', from the mouse that alerts the partner. The team believes that this may be true for humans as well. The present research concludes that stress and social interactions are deeply connected and these have long lasting consequences.

By: Anuja Arora

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180308143212.htm

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Earth’s Vegetation and Global Warming.

15 Mar 18

The rapid deforestation can majorly effect the rising temperatures of the earth. Forest has a great role to play in regulating the surface temperature. A plant has a major role to play in climate change. There are several ways in which forest helps in altering the surface temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Plants use the energy from sun to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and process photosynthesis. As Carbon dioxide also happens to be abundantly available greenhouse gas, removal of carbon dioxide plays a very vital role in warming of earth as a whole. Plants sweat, a process known as transpiration. When the surrounding atmosphere gets heated plants transpire and release evaporated water into the atmosphere thus cooling themselves as well as the surrounding atmosphere. Areas covered with dense forest can note visible increase in water vapor in the atmosphere resulting in precipitation and cloud cover over that area.  

European Commission Joint Research Center had conducted a research based on data collected from satellite from 2000 to 2015 and links the changes to the surface balance of energy. The study also analyzed changes between different types of vegetation like evergreen forest, the savannas, shrub lands, Grass lands, crop lands and wetlands. It was noted that the removal of natural tropical green cover for farming and agriculture and urban development is mostly responsible for the rising temperatures in such areas. People living in these areas will be directly and immediately exposed to   escalating temperatures.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena

Content: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180220143516.htm

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A Noble Start To A Fit Tomorrow

14 Mar 18

You must have probably heard your grandparents recalling their day when they had to walk 5-7 miles for school or probably they could eat one full-sized hen. To some extent though these stories seems to be exaggerated but most of it are true.

Even sometimes back in the 20th-century, kids probably were unaware of kurkure, funflips, hullygully, chips, cheese balls, o-yes, kinder joy, nachos and the similar. I do agree that all these time pass snacks were gradually introduced in the late 90s. But kids of today are growing up with burgers, pizzas, pastries, hot dogs, maggi and various other carbonated drinks.

The outcome is heading towards an obese generation with India securing the second major country with obese children population. Children these days lead a morbid life and remain glued to the virtual world, be it smartphones, television or computers while the playgrounds are left vacant.

Parents find it difficult these days as children are not willing to go out and play and specially girls exempt from sports at a very tender age. Overweight and obesity predispose towards a sedentary adulthood triggering a zillion of lifestyle diseases.

In such a context, engaging children with co-curricular activities of their choice and giving their a plethora of options ranging between indoor and outdoor games along with a bouquet of art and craft activities to choose from would be perfect enough to keep them a busy bee.

By:  Subrata Dey

Content:  https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/6/1068/4677514

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