Manmohan is a wise leader: George Bush


The former U.S. President, George W. Bush, speaks at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday.

NEW DELHI: “I really like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister is a wise leader.”

This is what the former U.S. President, George W. Bush, had to say on Saturday about Dr. Singh, with whom he clinched a civil nuclear agreement that ended India’s 34-year isolation in nuclear trade.

Mr. Bush returned the compliment a day after Dr. Singh described him as a “great friend of India.”

At the HT Leadership Summit here, Mr. Bush described the liberalisation process, initiated in India in 1991 when Dr. Singh was the Finance Minister, as one of the two important events of that year that led to the transformation of the India-U.S. ties.

“Dazzled”

On his second visit to India since March 2006, Mr. Bush said he was “honoured” to be back here.

“Three years back, I and Laura came here and were dazzled by India. India is a vibrant and diverse nation based on civilisation. I was looking forward to coming back here to say ‘namaste’,” he said. — PTI

Jaipur oil depot fire rages on, toll 10

Fire in an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot continued to burn for the third day running Sunday in this Rajasthan capital with the toll rising to 10 after recovery of two more bodies, officials said.

The officials said they are waiting for the fuel in the tanks to burn out.

 

‘We are just waiting for the fuel to burn…we cannot do much till then and according our information kerosene in three of the tanks has completely burnt’, a district administration official said.

 

He said two tanks each of petrol and diesel are on fire and it may take some time for the stocks to burn out.

 

‘Though it is difficult to say but it may take another 12-24 hours more for these products to burn up,’ the official said.

 

The administration along with army has dug ditches around the premises so that the fuel spilling over from these melting tanks does not cross over to adjoining parts of the city and the fire is controlled.

 

The IOC officials believe it would take over a year to rebuild the depot which has been completely damaged.

 

‘We recovered two more charred bodies from the fire site today (Sunday),’ Pradeep Sen, state home secretary, told IANS.

 

Three bodies were found from the depot premises Saturday. The five bodies are believed to be of the IOC employees reported missing.

 

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan High Court on a public petition has issued notice to the state government asking for deatils of the efforts being made to extinguish the fire.

 

A dark cloud of smoke has covered the area, making breathing difficult. The state Pollution Control Board is monitoring the pollution level.

 

Sources in the IOC said of the 11 storage tanks that caught fire, four are burning while black smoke is coming out from the remaining eight. Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora visited the accident site Friday with Indian Oil chairman Sarthak Behuri and other senior company officials.

 

The depot had about 50,000 kilolitres of petroleum products, worth about Rs.150-200 crore.

 

People living in the radius of 5 km around the depot are complaining of difficulty in breathing and irritation in the eyes.

 

‘Since Friday night, I have been having problems in breathing… I complained to my doctor and he told me it is because of the smoke in the air,’ said Adesh Kumar, a resident of a nearby colony.

 

The state government has set up two committees to assess the damage to industrial units and nearby villages.

 

One of the committees will assess the damage caused to different units in terms of building, plant, machinery and raw materials, and will submit its report in seven days.

 

The association of Sitapura industrial area in the vicinity of the accident site has said that of 1,100 units, 500 have suffered losses.

 

‘Each unit must has suffered a loss of Rs.5-7 lakh due to the fire, and this figure does not include our production loss,’ said S.N. Kabra, president Sitapura Industrial Area.

Yeddyurappa gets a breather but dissidents want him out

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday came out in support of beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, his supporters said, but the dissidents continued to campaign for his removal.

Leaders of the rival BJP groups from Karnataka pursued their lobbying in New Delhi, meeting party leaders including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

Several legislators and MPs belonging to both the camps – one supporting Yeddyurappa and another favouring the Reddy brothers of Bellary – are in the capital.

Revealing the thinking in the highest echelons of the BJP, state party president Sadananda Gowda said that Yeddyurappa would remain the chief minister.

Yeddyurappa backers — former MP Dhananjay Kumar and state Home Minister VS Acharya — met Advani here Sunday and said they had been assured that there would be no leadership change. They also met BJP president Rajnath Singh.

Acharya and Kumar also called on RSS pointsman and BJP general secretary Ramlal earlier and claimed his support in favour of Yeddyurappa.

Legislators and MPs supporting Yeddyurappa are again to expected to meet Advani.

The chief minister’s supporters claimed that the RSS wanted Yeddyurappa should continue in his post. The chief minister’s removal is being sought by the powerful Reddy brothers of Bellary.

The Reddy brothers, both ministers in the state cabinet, are lobbying to appoint assembly Speaker Jagadish Shettar as the chief minister.

Shettar, 53, is close to the Bellary brothers – dissident ministers G Janardhana Reddy (Tourism) and elder brother G. Karunakara Reddy (Revenue).

Shettar also met central party leaders, including Jaitley.

A senior party leader close to the political developments told IANS that “everything is under control and the CM is Mr Yeddyurappa”. All issues would be sorted out in a couple of days, he said.

Asked whether the chief minister still enjoyed the support of the RSS and the BJP leadership, he said, “The Sangh is not against Yeddyurappa.”

Four-term legislator Shettar came to the BJP after being a member of the RSS and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The BJP government in Karnataka, the party’s first in the south, has been facing turmoil for days.

Posthumously, he becomes a role model

 


Ramkishor, a research scholar in the US, who died in an accident had pledged his organs when alive, inspiring others to do the same


 Invaluable gift

Invaluable gift: Ramkishor Sadhu, whose organs gave a fresh lease of life to five others.

VIJAYAWADA: Ramkishor Sadhu probably had very little idea of the giant stride he was taking when he casually checked the box against the question, “Do you want to be an organ donor?” in the application he made for a driving licence in the US.

But that simple action of this cellular and molecular biology researcher at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, who died in a road accident near Boston, Massachusetts on September 23, made him an icon of sorts in the American Telugu circles.

Ramkishor’s five vital organs – heart, lungs, liver and two kidneys – were harvested after he died on September 27, battling for life for four days. They were received by five different individuals who were waiting for long.

Ramkishor, whose parents belong to Srikakulam district, was driving a hired car along with his friends Sripal Reddy, Sankarsh Reddy and Sripal’s parents, when a momentary dozing off proved fatal. While Sripal’s parents died on the spot, Ramkishor was airlifted and treated at two hospitals before he succumbed to the severe injury to the brain.

After the authorities of Massachusetts General Hospital alerted the New England Organ Bank about the condition of Ramkishor and that he was an organ donor by consent, the bank’s officials coordinated with Telugu Association of North America secretary Mohan Nannapaneni in getting the consent of his parents.

Family’s consent

“Ramkishor’s father and sister were initially apprehensive feeling the hospital authorities may not extend the best treatment to him, so that they can take out his organs. But when I explained to them that there are several safeguards, they agreed and conveyed their consent,” Mr. Nannapaneni told this correspondent on phone from the US.

Mr. Nannapaneni, who ensured sufficient financial help to air transport the body to Hyderabad, said though Ramkishor’s gesture was not rare, it was well received by all Telugu families. It found a special mention in the Diwali meetings of the Telugu families. “It made many more Telugu people pledge their organs,” Mr. Nannapaneni said.

ODI tickets sale tomorrow

  HYDERABAD: Tickets for the India-Australia day and night international cricket match will be sold through some of the UCO Bank branches in State capital on November 2. The match is to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on November 5.

 While a chunk of tickets (23,000) would be sold through UCO Bank branches in Banjara Hills, Sanathnagar, Madhapur, Kukatpally, SD Road and Malakpet, some eSeva centres would be selling 5,245 tickets, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has decided on Friday. The stadium has a seating capacity of 39,000.

 The ticket denominations would be: Rs. 300, Rs. 600, Rs. 1,000, Rs.1,500 Rs. 2,000, Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 5,000. The tickets would be sold two per head on a first come first served basis.

 The HCA president and former Minister G. Vinod said the association would try to get an undertaking from the bank on the exact number of tickets to be sold at each branch. “The HCA officials have nothing to do with sale of tickets”, Mr. Vinod said. Like any other match, the issue of complementary tickets is turning out to be a headache for the HCA authorities. “The obligations to various Government departments, donors, corporate boxes and agencies involved in the construction of the stadium total 10,000,” Mr. Vinod conceded. On the exorbitant rates charged for snacks and drinking water during earlier matches, BCCI vice-president N. Shivlal Yadav said “We are planning to give the contracts to different people to keep a check. The parking on the stadium premises is totally free,” he said to a query.

 

WordPress for iPhone 2 comes to App Store

To offer rich mobile blogging experience, the new version of WordPress is now available for the iPhone. The new version called the WordPress for iPhone 2 brings several new features and usability enhancement.

It comes with a new user-friendly interface that allows users to efficiently switch between comments, posts and pages. The new user interface is refined and bugs encountered in the previous version are eliminated. The comments interface also displays Gravatars and author URL in the comment list.

When the new version is installed, it doesn’t overwrite the previous version. The older version can be easily removed from the device if not in use. WordPress for iPhone 2 automatically saves posts and restores them if the connection is lost while publishing.

It offers same features like the previous version that include support for multiple blogs, upload photo and post reviews, tags, categories and password protected posts. Passwords are stored in the keychain. Users can now manually enter the XMLRPC endpoint for non-standards setups with the new interface. The new version is improvised with rotation-related visual errors and malformed XML that prevented access to XMLRPC endpoint. Photos are displayed in the order they have been uploaded.

Like the previous version, WordPress for iPhone 2 is an Open Source app. The application’s source code  is available publicly. The new version is available at the App store.

 

Facebook outlines new privacy policy

 Facebook outlined changes to its privacy policy on Thursday and asked for feedback from the social network’s more than 300 million users.

The vice-president of communications and public policy, Elliot Schrage, in a post on the Facebook blog, said members will have until November 5 to send in their comments about the proposed changes.

“This is the next step in our ongoing effort to run Facebook in an open and transparent way,” he said. “After the comment period is over, we’ll review your feedback and update you on our next steps.”

Some of the changes to Facebook’s privacy policy are the result of pressure from Canada, whose privacy czar conducted an investigation into its handling of personal information.

“In this revision,” Mr Schrage said, “we’re fulfilling our commitment to the privacy commissioner of Canada to update our privacy policy to better describe a number of practices. Specifically, we’ve included sections that further explain the privacy setting you can choose to make your content viewable by everyone,” he said.

Mr Schrage said the changes also clarify the difference between deactivating and deleting an account and “the process of memorializing an account once we’ve received a report that the account holder is deceased.”

Facebook said it will save profile information such as friend lists and photos from a deactivated account in case a member decides to reactivate it later but the material will not be viewable by other users.

It said a deleted account is “permanently deleted.”
Facebook said information from a deleted account may still be viewable on the pages of other users if it was shared or copied and stored by them.

“However, your name will no longer be associated with that information on Facebook,” it said, and will be attributed to an “anonymous Facebook user.”

Facebook also stressed that personal data is not provided to advertisers. “The information we provide to advertisers is “anonymized,” meaning that it can’t be traced back to you as an individual in any way,” Mr Schrage said.

 

 

Free treatment for flood victims

  KURNOOL: G. Kullayappa, retired professor of chest diseases offered free treatment to flood victims at his clinic in Maddur Nagar in the city. Dr. Kullayappa said the incidence of respiratory infections; asthma, cough, soar throat and pneumonia were on the rise aftermath the floods in the city. According to him, the patients suffering from diseases caused by environmental changes went up by 50 per cent in the city.

 He asked public to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from infections by washing hands frequently soon after returning home, boiling water before consuming it and wearing facial masks covering mouth and nose. People need not insist upon medicated masks but a piece of cloth around mouth and nose would do.

 He suggested that children and the aged suffering from diabetes and asthma be vaccinated against influenza as they could not fight the infection easily. Dr. Kullayappa said 5,000 patients were treated for respiratory related diseases at his free camps in the city so far. The doctor maintained that he was not collecting any fee from the patients who introduced themselves as flood-affected. Medicines were also given free of cost to the extent available in his clinic.

 On Saturday, Dr. Kullayappa who conducted a free camp at Baba Sanjivaiah Nagar, devoted much of the time to educate the patients about the preventive aspects saying that prevention saved money as well as from suffering.

 K.E. Srinivasa Murthy of Art of Living Kurnool Chapter were present.

 

Job mela at Amara institute

 

GUNTUR: The Microland will recruit B.Tech (all branches) B.Sc., B.C.A., and MCA 2009 pass out graduates through Aryaan Solutions, pioneers in IT services. The interviews for the positions of Technical Supports and BPO in the company will be held on the premises of Amara Institute of Engineering and Technology from 9 a.m. on November 4. College correspondent A. Venkateswara Rao in a release on Saturday said all eligible students could participate in the walk-in interview.

 Good oratory and written communication skills, basics of computers including operating systems, hardware and internet are necessary. For further details college contact Nos. are: 98489-26576, 96769-64595, 9959437071.

 

 

 

Now, a psychic computer ‘that can read people’s minds’

 Nov 1: In a key breakthrough, scientists have developed a “psychic” computer which can read people’s minds by scanning their brain activity and reproducing images of what they are seeing or even remembering.

An international team has been able to convert into crude video footage the brain activity stimulated by what a person is watching or recalling — the research shows that it is possible to “decode” signals in the brain by moving scenes.

According to the scientists, the breakthrough raises the prospect of significant benefits, such as allowing people who are unable to speak to communicate via visualisation of their thoughts; recording people’s dreams; or allowing police to identify criminals by recalling the memories of a witness.

For their research, the scientists used the functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to scan the brains of two patients as they watched videos.

Subsequently, the computer, which was specially programmed, was used to search for links between configuration of shapes, colours and movements in the videos, and patterns of activity in the patients’ visual cortex.

It was later fed more than 200 days’ worth of YouTube Internet clips and asked to predict which areas of the brain the clips would stimulate if people were watching them.

Finally, the software was used to monitor the two patients’ brains as they watched a new film and to reproduce what they were seeing based on their neural activity alone, ‘The Sunday Times’ reported.

Remarkably, the so-called psychic computer was able to display continuous footage of the films they were watching — albeit with blurred images.

“Some scenes decode better than others. We can decode talking heads really well. But a camera panning quickly across a scene confuses the algorithm. You can use a device like this to do some pretty cool things,” said team leader Jack Gallant of California University.

He further said: “At the moment when you see something and want to describe it to someone you have to use words or draw it and it doesn’t work very well. You could use this technology to transmit the image to someone. It might be useful for artists or to allow you to recover an eyewitness’ memory of a crime.”

Certificates of JNTU get smart

Hyderabad, Oct. 31: The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) has decided to issue tamper-proof radio frequency identification (RFID) degree certificates to over three lakh students pursuing engineering courses in various colleges under the university to prevent fraud and fake certificates.

 JNTU on Saturday inked an memorandum of understanding with the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), that will take up the task of preparing the RFID-embedded certificates. The certificates will have a smart card embedded in them, which will have the thumb impression of the student, the marks secured by the student, digital signature of the controller of examinations and other details. Varsity authorities claim that the firms that hire the students and consulate offices can verify the authenticity of the certificates with the smart card in the certificate.

 “There have been cases of students being caught with fake certificates,” said Prof D.N. Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, JNTU. TCS has already been issuing RFID-based certificates for students of the University of Hyderabad. Moreover, with reports of students hacking into the university’s server, JNTU has requested TCS to conduct a detailed audit of practices being followed by the varsity in conducting examinations, probe security lapses and to strengthen the security system.

 “We have been hearing of students hacking into our portal. We have asked TCS to help us.” said Prof. Reddy

‘Cellphone waste, the next big threat to environment’

Nov. 1: (PTI) Sporting a new mobile phone may be fashionable in these well-connected times, but the discarded old handsets could poison the environment, as a whopping 8,000 tonnes of cellphone waste is estimated to burden the earth by 2012.

As per a whitepaper by global consultancy Deloitte, there is a growing need to better manage the rising cellphone waste, as it is posing a threat to the environment.

Replacement sales predict that more cellphones would be retired every year with rapid changes in technology and product designs discouraging mobile repairs and increasing demand for new mobiles and disposal of old ones.

“With the absence of a proper recycle and reuse program, about 8,000 tonnes of toxic cellphone components are estimated to be dumped in landfills by 2012. The resulting contamination will have far reaching consequences for the environment and all living beings,” said Parag Saigaonkar, Deloitte consulting India regional managing director.

The problem begins when retired handsets end up in landfill sites or if they are dumped illegally, leading to toxic substances seeping into the groundwater, making disposal of old cells a problem for the world, the report revealed.

“As India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world in terms of mobile phone subscribers, we need to be more aware of the threat, which these gadgets pose to the environment and strict government guidelines should be created to deal with it,” Mr Saigaonkar added.

The Deloitte report stated that mobile phone waste globally is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about nine per cent between 2008 and 2012, with more than 80 per cent of the cell phone waste being hazardous.

“Indian policymakers should also provide regulations in terms of curbing pollution of mobile phone waste and mandatory recycling of cell phones should be brought in to manage the burgeoning problem,” Mr Saigaonkar said.

The main contributors to cellphone waste are those who upgrade and replace their handsets regularly.

About 65 per cent of subscribers in Asia, Europe and the Americas replace their cellphones at least once in two years. This means every 2 years, about 100 million cellphones reach landfills if they are not recycled or reused, it added.

Elaborating on the ways to minimise the growing cellphone waste, the report stated that recycling and refurbishing of used cell phones is necessary.

Refurbishing extends the lifetime of used phones and recycling reduces the need for the raw materials used to make new products. The inclusion of recycling or refurbishing would change the traditional view of the cellphone life cycle.

“In this new life cycle model, every stakeholder will have to play a role in reducing the environmental footprint of cell phones,” it added.

 

Assam school girl develops gadget to make mobile charger redundant

Guwahati, — A schoolgirl in Guwahati has developed a gadget that could make mobile phone battery chargers history. Asmita Rekha Bora, a Class XI science student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Khanapara in Guwahati has come out with an auto-charger. This device absorbs the radiation emitted by a handset, converts it into heat and relays it as electrical energy back to the battery inside. The 16-year-old’s theoretical concept – backed by a somewhat crude model – won her the second prize at the 37th Jawaharlal Nehru Science Exhibition held in Chennai on October 13-14. The exhibition is KV Sangathan’s annual scientific do. A panel of judges from IIT Chennai, said Asmita’s Physics teacher Devangshu Dev, had labeled her discovery as something that could revolutionize the mobile phone industry. Dev had helped Asmita develop the model for a mere Rs 800. So what makes this gadget special? “I got the idea while surfing the Net for the ill-effects of microwave radiation on human health. I realized this radiation was going to waste and decided to tap it for converting to heat energy,” she told HT on Wednesday.

 

Asmita, daughter of Geological Survey of India officer Arup Bora and a resident of Hatigaon locality here, plans to fine-tune her model in the next few months. “My model has been selected for a major NCERT show in New Delhi in 2010. This will open the door for a bigger scientific show in Moscow.’

 A ticket to Moscow could make Asmita’s auto-charger ready for commercial use.

On a diet, and loving it

 diet_love_

Healthy and Colourful: The meals at Diet India

There’s the fruit diet. The high protein diet. No carbs. Low carbs. They have just one thing in common. They make you want to bite the next person who annoys you.

For those of you who don’t want to leave little tooth prints on colleagues, friends and family, Diet India is an option. Started about six months ago, the organisation — propelled by dieticians and chefs — formulates a healthy diet for each client, and then delivers it to homes and offices. Primarily aimed at diabetics and dieters, it’s slowly expanding to treat invalids too, since its focus is on healthy food that’s low on salt, oil and fat.

“Highly accomplished, educated people know surprisingly little about how to feed their bodies,” says head dietician Grace Jemima, at the company headquarters in Adyar. “There are doctors who skip breakfast to lose weight!” She talks of how a person should ideally eat five small meals a day to keep their metabolic rate high, and their body constantly fuelled.

In their spotless basement kitchen, which is buzzing with activity as chefs prepare lunch and dinner, watched carefully by the dieticians, head chef B Rajalingam talks about the challenges associated with cooking tasty, low-fat food.

Cut out the fat

To begin with, all the food is weighed carefully. It’s cooked primarily by steaming, baking and boiling. Rice bran oil and low-fat butter are used when needed. The milk is a skimmed variety imported from Saudi Arabia. “We inspect all the ingredients. We weigh and distribute them to the cooks. Especially, oil and salt,” says Jemima, adding with a laugh: “If they require a little extra salt, we don’t give it to them. Even if we have to lock the store.”

On a long table piled with cinnamon rolls and vegetable sandwiches, two dieticians sternly check each meal box that’s being packed against a client’s chart. Since the Diet India plan revolves around counting calories and portion control, quantities have to be exact. The breakfast, made at 6 a.m., is distributed by 8 a.m. Meanwhile, lunch and dinner are cooked by 10 a.m. so they reach clients by noon. Clients are instructed to refrigerate dinner, and reheat it when they’re ready to eat. As a result, there’s been considerable experimentation to find foods that travel well and stay reasonably fresh. Given the challenges, the menu offers an impressive variety, even if the food is not always wildly exciting.

Our Diet India lunch begins with a comfortingly hearty pea soup. There’s also a surprisingly creamy chickpea and banana soup on offer. It’s followed by a salad of sweet corn, which seems rather depressed from all the travelling. The coriander rice is dry but tasty. The vegetables for the day are okra and a mixed vegetable, both of which are quite bland. We end with rather doughy cinnamon rolls, which are actually meant for our mid-afternoon snack. They’re Spartan, but taste okay teamed with coffee. Most of Diet India’s clients seem quite happy with their food, particularly when they see results.

Remember, nothing beats learning how to feed yourself capably. Ideally, you should prepare your meals just before you eat them, because food is most nutritious when it’s fresh. However, for busy professionals and chronic fad dieters, this may be a good way to learn about eating well and losing weight, all the while — hopefully — improving your dietary habits for good.

Diet India charges Rs. 8,180 for a month on their premium plan. There’s also a plan for Rs. 5,180. They deliver to a 25-km radius around Adyar. Call 45966650 or log onto http://www.dietindia.in for more details.

Play safe with weights

WARM UP

WARM-UP: Increase weights gradually.

How do you avoid injuries? Those of you who have been training hard at the gym have possibly sustained some kind of minor injury – a sprain, spasm or sore muscle.

Weight training offers a multitude of health benefits as long as it is done in the right manner. It’s not that you can’t train hard and can only use one kg dumbbells – it only calls for applying your mind and following the right techniques.

Michael Yessis, well-known kinesiologist, has some simple suggestions to keep injuries at bay.

Assume that a person injures his shoulder muscle while performing the bench press. The trainee has to recollect where the barbell ‘stood’ at the moment of injury: was it up high or close to the chest?

Was he holding the barbell with an extremely wide grip; were his feet firmly placed on the ground; did he arch his lower back to an unnatural extent?

Yessis says that correcting such errors will prevent re-injury. Were the muscles well warmed-up before a heavy lift; were the trainees psychologically prepared for hard training; were they attempting to mindlessly ‘lift’ a weight that was too heavy for their current strength levels; were they trying to do countless number of repetitions; were the target muscles and whole body still sore from the previous workout?

Experts say that in nine out of 10 cases, one of these reasons alone can lead to injury.

Not eating the right kind of food, insufficient rest and trying to create records in lifting super-heavy weights at every workout can also inflict damage. Such training will not make you great at any sport or help achieve the look you desire. It will only slow down the body’s recovery rate and degrade your current looks. Your immune system will also take a beating.

Train under proper guidance and use tailor-made training programmes. Pay attention to warm-ups and do not stretch your muscles when they are cool.

Those of you who intend to sculpt your bodies may increase the weights in small increments, about five pounds (approximately two kg) every third or fourth workout.

Once the target muscle is strong enough to handle that weight, you may increase the load by another two to five pounds.

Your body will progressively get stronger and athletic, yet remain healthy.

Rules to rule your heart

HEART

HEART TALK: Always keep a check on the symptoms of heart disease

 The common stress test doesn’t tell the full story about your heart condition. Know what more needs to be done

This is a story worth listening to, more so if you have undergone a stress test on the treadmill to check your heart condition and have got a negative result. Senior cardiologist Dr. Balbir Singh of the Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi narrates, “This is about my professor at All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Some years ago, on feeling somewhat uncomfortable, the professor, a cardiologist, went for a stress test. Much to his relief, it turned out to be negative. But just two weeks after the test, he suffered a heart attack.”

Dr. Singh’s rationale is, “It ran in his family. So even if a stress test shows negative, you need to look at the symptoms too, such as your cholesterol level, your lifestyle, etc. and also whether there is a heart condition in the family.”

But five years after the American Heart Association established that stress tests may fail to identify irregularities of the heart in patients, and cardiologists worldwide are convinced the technique has serious limitations, few people here are aware of the limits of the test. Almost always, a negative stress test frees a patient of any fear of cardiac problems, and a positive result invariably triggers panic.

But Dr. Singh highlights, “A stress test can have false positive or false negative results.” He elaborates on when to worry: “A patient need not worry much about a negative stress test result only if he/she is asymptomatic — that is, if he/she shows no possible symptoms of a heart condition. But if they do, or have already had a heart attack, a negative stress test doesn’t mean they are safe. They still need to do an angiogram.”

This is particularly important in the case of women. “Many women, even after the ECG shows irregularities of the heart or otherwise, show negative during a stress test for non-specific causes. It is better to go for a stress echo.” During stress echo, a small prop is put on the patient while he/she runs on the treadmill to reap accurate results.

If an asymptomatic person shows the stress test as positive, he/she should ideally go for a stress echo or a stress thallin test before undergoing an angiogram straightaway to establish his/her heart condition. A stress thallin is a more expensive proposition but is far more accurate than a common stress test, as it uses radio-nuclear material.

For the layman, Dr. Singh explains how a stress test works. “A stress test puts the heart to stress as you start running on the treadmill. During the test, both blood pressure and heart rate go up, thus facilitating blood flow to the heart. But if there is an arterial blockage, then the blood flow will be less. But mind you, it picks up a blockage only if it is 75 per cent blocked.” However, an angiogram shows up even 55 per cent blockage of the artery.

If the stress test is not always accurate, why do doctors then ask patients to undergo one? He responds, “Like an ECG, it has its importance, particularly in asymptomatic persons. Also, since Indians are more prone to heart disease, we don’t recommend bypass surgery if the blockage is below 75 per cent.”

While a stress echo takes about an hour and costs Rs.4,000, a stress thallin test takes about five to six hours and is priced at Rs.8,000.

SRK adds magic touch to Delhi Half Marathon

Actor Shah Rukh Khan waves to the crowd during the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi.

PTI Actor Shah Rukh Khan waves to the crowd during the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in New Delhi.
Shah Rukh Khan cast a magic spell over the participants of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here Sunday morning as he mingled with them freely. Many of them even stopped running just to get a glimpse of the superstar who was there to lend support to the event.“This is the biggest moment of my life… I got to touch Shah Rukh Khan. I bunked my tuition to participate in the run just to meet him,” said Prem Kumar, a Class 12 student of Delhi Public School in R.K. Puram.

Said Samita Varma, an HR official: “I am here with my husband since six in the morning for an autograph of Shah Rukh… I just love him and would run the whole of the marathon if he runs with me even for a minute.”

Clad in a black T—shirt and jeans and sporting goggles, the actor was thrilled at the crowd’s response and energy. He, in fact, had to ask the participants to continue running once he was on stage with Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit at Vinay Marg.

“I am very happy to get this opportunity… Events like these bring you together. Sports is an important thing and people should come together and enjoy. I’ve run a 100 or 200 metre race, which was a short distance and I always used to win,” Shah Rukh told reporters.

“Though I could not run this time because of my shoulder and knee injury, I’ll try to be fit and run next year. Running is a spiritual experience,” he added.

Also present at the run were celebrities like Rahul Bose, Purab Kohli and Simi Garewal.

“We just show this kind of spirit only one day in a year and forget about it on the rest of the 364 days of the year. We should show the same zeal and energy everyday,” said Rahul.

Added Purab Kohli: “I ran the marathon for Friendicoes (SECA), Society for the Eradication of Cruelty to Animals, and completed 21 km in 1 hour, 51 minutes. I have already been preparing for the Mumbai marathon to be held in January and I have been running 18 km in two hours. It feels great to see so many people running together for a cause.”

Conjoined twins separated

Nurses attend on a one-day old baby boy after he was seperated from his conjoined twin during a surgery, in King george Hospital, Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Hindu Nurses attend on a one-day old baby boy after he was seperated from his conjoined twin during a surgery, in King george Hospital, Visakhapatnam on Saturday. Photo: Special Arrangement

One-day-old conjoined twins were separated in a surgery performed at King George Hospital here on Saturday. This was for the first time that such a surgery was performed in the more than 150-year-old history of the institution.

While one baby was fully formed, the other was not so. The twins were born to Varalakshmi of Kondakarla Aaava of Anakapalle mandal. Caesarian was performed on Friday morning on her and the surgery to separate the twins was conducted on Saturday morning, Chief of Gynaecology and Deputy Superintendent of KGH P. P. Srininvasa Murthy said. The surgery was performed by a team of doctors consisting of Chief of Paediatric Surgery K.V. Janardhana Rao, Associate Professor K. Kameswari and Assistant Professor L. Dasaradha Rao, and Chief Anaesthetist D. Vijaya Kumar Rao, Assistant Professors K. Kurmanath and T. Suryanarayana. It lasted two-and-a-half hours. Explaining the surgery, Dr. Janardhana Rao said there were some peculiarities in this case. The conjoined twins are attached to each other normally at one place but in this case, they were joined at two places, at the head and abdomen, though they were joined at the skin level. “It is a parasite twin and needed to be removed to save the other twin”, he said anaesthesia was given using a different gas and through glottis, unlike the usual way of through laryngeal airway

11 killed, over 20 hurt in train-truck smash in UP

Eleven people were killed after a train slammed into a truck at an unmanned railway crossing in northern India.

Police say nearly two dozen others were injured in Sunday’s accident.

Police official A. Padmaja says the truck was transporting Hindu pilgrims to participate in a religious festival in Uttar Pradesh.

The accident occurred in Gonda district, 95 miles (150 kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh India has one of the largest railroad networks in the world and carries more than 14 million passengers each day.

Meanwhile, railway has announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to kins of the 11 deceased in the accident, which occurred today, chief PRO of NER said at Gorakhpur.

He said that Rs one lakh each would be paid to seriously injured, while those with minor injuries will be paid Rs 10000 each.

The accident took place, when a truck rammed into Ayodhaya bound Mela Special Passenger train at 1322 hours leaving 11 persons dead, and 20 injured, chief PRO said.

 

Price rise: Bengal BJP calls for bandh on Nov. 30

The BJP on Sunday called a 12-hour bandh in West Bengal on November 30 to protest against rise in the prices of essential commodities.

“Prices of essential commodities are sky-rocketing and no political party except the BJP raised voice against it.

The party has given a call for a state-wide bandh on November 30,” newly-appointed state BJP president Rahul Sinha told reporters here.

He said that the BJP had embarked on a month-long agitation programme in the state against price hike from today, which would culminate into a state-wide bandh.

Mr. Sinha said that the BJP would write to all parties seeking support for the bandh except the CPI(M), which, he says, is responsible for the price rise.

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