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     Around 150 patients underwent free angioplasty and stenting procedures at the ongoing angioplasty workshop conducted by Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research.

    The institute, in collaboration with Dr Govindaraju Subramani Heart Foundation and Medtronic Vascular Division, Santarosa, USA, gave away stents worth Rs 1.25 crore free of cost to all patients including farmers, labourers, vendors, autorickshaw drivers, senior citizens from Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and other states, since October 17, when the workshop began.

    Professor and HoD of cardiology and director, Jayadeva Institute, Dr C N Manjunath said the youngest patient at the workshop was a 38-year-old agricultural labourer and the oldest was 83.

    He said: “Heart ailments are no more a disease of the elite and elderly population, it also affects the younger age group, women and poor people.”

    Pre-discharge counselling sessions were also arranged during the workshop for the patients where doctors gave them suggestions on diet and lifestyle practices to be adopted to reduce health risks.

    Interviews rescheduled

    The Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research has said that the interviews to fill jobs reserved for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region that were postponed, will now be held on October 24 and 25.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> City / DHNS – Bengaluru, October 21st, 2016

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    She had served as Director-General of ATI Mysuru

    by Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, Founder & President, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement

    With communication being what it is nowadays, my day began with a piece of bad news arriving on WhatsApp. A friend had sent me a message that Anita Kaul (62), one of Karnataka’s finest IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers had passed away after a brief illness last night (Oct. 10). This news was hard to believe (as with many WhatsApp messages nowadays) and I called up another good friend and erstwhile colleague of hers to verify. He had just reached Delhi to be with her family and told me the inevitable. She leaves behind her husband Sanjay Kaul and son Rohan.

    Anita Kaul had retired from the IAS just more than a year ago after a long and distinguished service in the Karnataka Cadre. She was the Secretary to the Ministry of Law, Government of India, at the time of her retirement, and post-retirement had associated with a social sciences research organisation. I had first met her a few decades ago and was impressed with her efficiency and insightful thinking right from this first interaction. She was with the HRD Ministry of the Government of India and had come visiting to Karnataka to launch one of her favourite women empowerment programmes — Mahila Samakhya. What left me changed was the manner in which she accepted the prevailing realities of gender imbalance and was making suggestions that were practical, embedded in the context and implementable on a large scale. Her fiery passion for improving the lot of women was only matched with her sense of pragmatism.

    Her visit to our tribal school at Hosahalli when she was the head of the DPEP programme in Karnataka is still fresh in my memory. Her desire to know about all our educational experiments, her eye for detail and her constant questioning about the idea of the school’s architecture influencing the learning process was a learning exercise for all present. My closest interaction with her was when she was the Director-General of Administrative Training Institute (ATI) at Mysuru [9.1.2002 to 24.12.2004]. It was during her time that this Institute along with the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) reached its peak. The innovative programmes and the impactful training sessions that she personally designed needed to be seen to be believed. One could scarcely believe that this was a Government Institution and the professionalism that every member of ATI and SIRD demonstrated was a tribute to her leadership.

    The next location where she left her deep imprint was in the Ministry of Planning in the Government of Karnataka. She tried hard to bring in evidence-based policy-making and rigorous programme evaluations into the system but with limited success.

    Every person who came in contact with her will remember her not just for her administrative brilliance but also for her humaneness, her constant concern for the common man, her instinctive ‘people-centric’ thinking and her stubbornness. Yes, she was stubbornly honest and unwilling to deviate even slightly from the path of the high standards of ethics and morality that she subscribed to. She was also known to take thoughtful decisions, but once she had made them, would stubbornly resist changing it.

    Another endearing quality of hers was the freedom that she gave everyone around her to argue and challenge her. One could feel very comfortable criticising her, knowing fully well that soon she would be her caring motherly self again. Yet another dimension of her that people would hardly know was her concern for her aging in-law and mother. She was always trying to be by their side and care for them during their old age and infirmity.

    People like Anita Kaul come along very rarely. Bureaucrats like her are rarer. She set high standards not just for the IAS but for the entire development community. She was a unique combination of passion, compassion, integrity, hard work, discipline and concern for the last man on the street. We will all miss you Madam, we pray to the Lord to give your family the strength to bear with the loss. May your soul rest in peace.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / October 19th, 2016

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    Divya Nangaru Prabhakar with her parents, N.V. Prabhakar and T.M. Kusumavathi

    Divya Nangaru Prabhakar with her parents, N.V. Prabhakar and T.M. Kusumavathi

    We only hope that the State government or any sports organisation comes forward to help us and the girl realise her dreams T.M. Kusumavathi , Divya’s mother

    Divya Nangaru Prabhakar is a reserved teenager, but she packs a punch, literally.

    The 15-year-old city girl sheds her inhibition when she’s performing taekwondo. With little financial support but plenty of grit and determination, she won India a bronze at the Junior International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Championship three weeks ago.

    “My dream is to head to the Olympics next,” said Divya who competed in the 70-kg category. According to her coach Pradeep Janardhana, her “power kicks” give her an edge. “It took five years of rigorous practice for me to get used to punches, kicks, power blows and knocks with rapid spinning in Taekwondo. Bagging the bronze was exhilarating,” says Divya, a class 10 student of Nava Prajna Public School on Whitefield Airport Road.

    “It was rewarding to be there on the podium representing India. I owe this to my coach, school and my parents,” she said.

    But it’s been an uphill struggle for the family “My father, N.V. Prabhakar retired from the Army, while my mother, T.M. Kusumavathi is a staff nurse at Vani Vilas Hospital. With their income they have strived to see my dreams take shape,” she said.

    Taekwondo demands protein-rich food and daily practice. “This is something we provide Divya. For her practice sessions she has to travel 25 kilometres to Amruthahalli from Marathahalli at 5 a.m. regularly,” said Kusumavathi.

    “It cost us Rs.1.75 lakh to participate in the Taekwondo World Championships at Italy. We have to repay this loan. We only hope that the State government or any sports organisation comes forward to help us and the girl realise her dreams,” is Kusumavathi’s appeal.

    Divya has also won medals at the State and national level. “I am getting used to the punches. Sometimes I hurt my lips and they bleed, but that’s what martial arts is all about.”

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Ranjani Govind / Bengaluru – October 03rd, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    When PhD student Nishma Dahal  embarked on her first trip to east Sikkim, little did she know it would lead to a stunning discovery in the eastern Himalayas . The efforts of Nishma and other researchers from National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) have led to the identification of a new species of pika, a mammal which resembles a tailless rat.


    The new species, Ochotona sikimaria, is an important part of the ecosystem and is vulnerable to climate change. Members of the rabbit family, pikas have been in the news in North America for their sensitivity to increasing temperature, which has caused several populations to go extinct. Pikas live on high altitudes in mountianeous regions, which makes them more susceptible to habitat loss due to the increasing global temperature.

    The discovery was a great challenge for Nishma as most pika species closely resemble one another. She started her work by collecting pika pellets to extract the DNA and identify the species.

    Though the pellets are puny, Nishma was successful in amplifying the mammal’s DNA from them. When Nishma compared these DNA sequences to those of other pika species in the world, she found them to be quite different. But this was only the beginning of her mission.

    To prove it was indeed a new species, Nishma had to compare the Sikkim pika to its close relatives, which are found in China. It took Nishma and Uma Ramakrishnan, whose laboratory at NCBS led the study, two years to build collaborations with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zoological Museum of Moscow and Stanford University  to get detailed data on the sister species.

    The NCBS research reveals while Ochotona sikimaria appears similar to the Moupin pika (found in China), they are quite distinct from a genetic and ecological perspective. So far, the new species seems to be limited to Sikkim. The NCBS team searched for the Sikkim pika in other Himalayan regions, including  Arunachal Pradesh, central Nepal (Annapurna and Langtang), Ladakh and Spiti but to no avail.
    All is not well for this tiny mammal, says Nishma. “Unlike other mammalian species inhabiting such harsh environments, Pikas do not hibernate. They prepare for winter by collecting and storing hay piles. We must investigate their vulnerability to increasing global temperatures, and to do so we must better understand their ecology and population dynamics. Such information is lacking in the case of Asian Pikas,” she said.
    “The opportunity to work on Himalayan biodiversity has been amazing, and I have learned how little we know about our own species. Pikas are ecosystem engineers, and we must understand more about them to protect them,” said Uma. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City News> Bangalore / TNN / September 27th, 2016

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    Food trucks may not be new to Bengaluru but one run on women power alone is a novel and refreshing sight. Founder Archana Singh and CEO Praveena Nandu along with the all-women team of five launched the food truck in Bagmane Tech park on Monday. And it is already a hit with customers.

    After years of working in corporate communication, Archana left to pursue her two passions- children and food. Heading operations for a pre-school chain, she fulfilled the first. She had been playing with the idea of starting a food truck for two years before she founded the company, 7th Sin Hospitality Services in November last year.

    “When the remodelling of the truck delayed the launch, I got an offer from a corporate to run a bistro on their premises.” Archana said. With the bistro up and running, it was time for the truck to roll out. The ‘Glocal’ cuisine they serve at the bistro got the corporates interested.

    The food truck too serves the same food. One can find unusual items on their menu- malai tikka pasta, quesadillas with Chettinad chicken filling, paan cheesecake- essentially, global food with an Indian twist. “Since gluttony is the seventh sin, I thought this would be an appropriate name, Our portions are also large, in keeping with this,” Archana said.

    Having been independent all her life, she wanted women from all strata of society to be able to experience the same freedom. Most of the women she hires, be it at the bistro, the truck or the central kitchen in Mahadevapura, are from underprivileged families, often school dropouts and victims of domestic abuse. Archana wanted to empower such women to become financially independent and get a new lease of life.

    “I believe that with training, unskilled labour can be converted to talented workers.” she said.  Professional chefs in the company train the women and according to Archana, now they cook just as well as them.  Hemavathi, who studied till class 10, said: “This is my first job and I love the work. It is a new experience for me and it feels good to be earning.”

    The food truck will be open for business six days of the week, parking in colleges, IT parks, at events and even birthday parties. On Sundays, the truck will park in different parts of the city to provide free food to those in need of it.
    The truck is already grabbing attention of other states with people from Hyderabad and Chennai asking if franchises could be opened in those cities. Praveena Nandu, CEO, said, “It’s been less than a week but the response has been great. People are being drawn in by curiosity and we are being invited for many events.”
    DH News Service

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> City / by Meghana Chaukkar / Bengaluru – DHNS, August 30th, 2016

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    Dinesh Rajkumar, who got 31st rank in NEET, with his parents in Sri Channabasaveshwar Gurukul in Karadyal in Bhalki on Thursday

    Dinesh Rajkumar, who got 31st rank in NEET, with his parents in Sri Channabasaveshwar Gurukul in Karadyal in Bhalki on Thursday

    Dinesh studied in Kannada medium till SSLC, before joining Channabasaveshwar Gurukul for PUC.

    Dinesh Rajkumar, son of an autorickshaw driver from Enakur in Bhalki taluk, has earned the 31st rank in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

    A student of Sri Channabasaveshwar Gurukul in Karadyal in Bhalki, Dinesh has had the smart streak from his childhood. He scored 93 per cent in the SSLC exams and got 94 per cent marks in the pre-university exam. He stood 500th in the State in the CET medical rankings and had recently joined the MBBS course at Bangalore Medical College, said Basavaraj Molkeri, Gurukul principal.

    He studied in Kannada medium till SSLC, before joining the Gurukul for PUC.

    His father, Rajkumar, who drives an auto in Bhalki and surrounding villages, does not know much about NEET. He thinks that if Dinesh chooses to pick a seat in the national quota, he will have to leave Karnataka. “My son is already in a medical college in Bengaluru. It will be difficult to send him elsewhere, especially to cities like Delhi or Mumbai. Those cities may be costlier than Bengaluru for him to live in,” he said.

    Dinesh’s mother is a homemaker. She is just happy that her son is studying to be a doctor. She wants him to come back and heal the sick in her village.

    Dinesh, who came to see his teachers at the Gurukul on Thursday, said he wants to continue studying and pursue research. Teachers and staff were present at a felicitation organised for him and his successful batchmates.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bidar – August 19th, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    Teachers taking lessons out in the open, owing to dilapidated conditions of government school buildings, coupled with the constant fear of the fragile roof collapsing over their head, was a common sight across Karnataka and Maharashtra for a bunch of IT and other professionals, based in the US, seeking to improve the education system in India.

    One School At A Time (OSAAT), set out on a mission to improve schools in the country, where infrastructure translates to decaying walls, absent toilets, crumbling celing and lack of basic amenities. The organisation has been spearheading projects in the two states for more than a decade.

    OSAAT-USA was established in 2003 in San Jose bay area, when a group of like-minded IT professionals seeking to build a safe and healthy learning environment in India came together. Its India arm, OSAAT-India was incorporated in 2012, and is headquartered out of Bengaluru. The venture began when OSAAT’s management trustee, Vadiraj Bhatt visited his hometown, Bajagoli village in Karkala, Udupi on a vacation from the USA, around the same time when he and other IT professionals were looking for a specific area to invest their efforts.

    “My teacher informed me about a school where students were being taught under a tree. After that, we realised that there are many schools without a proper building. The idea was to embark on something that few or no one had touched in education,” said Bhatt.

    Upon returning to Bengaluru for good in 2005, he formed a team of nine equally passionate volunteers of mostly IT and retired professionals. In the space of a decade, OSAAT has rebuilt or completely renovated fifteen schools in Karnataka and rural Maharashtra.

    Bhatt pointed out that funds raised by OSAAT-USA account for nearly 90% of the finances for the project. “In India, we have partnered with organisations such as Rotary in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Bhadravathi and POWER in Bijapur, who have helped us get manpower and intelligent engineers, who ensure that the reconstruction of schools is achieved without loopholes,” he added.

    Monika Venkateshmurthy, who is championing the cause in the US, said that fund-raising for OSAAT projects in India had turned into an inclusive effort. A hardware engineer by profession, Monika said, “There are people in the city who want to donate but don’t have enough knowledge on how to go about it. When they asked, ‘Why should I spend money for a school 10,000 miles away,’ I explained the value of a single dollar in India.”

    Vadiraj’s elder brother, GK Bhatt, who retired as an assistant general manager at Vijaya Bank three years ago, joined his brother and is putting his experience as a banker to use as OSAAT-India’s treasurer, although he also enjoys working with volunteers in the field.

    “We have no clue about so many things, unless we see it for ourselves. In one of the schools we worked on recently in Yeshwanthpur, Malur, there was a cow shed adjacent to the school building. The children were exposed to the filth and mosquitoes, due to the poor maintenance of the cow shed,” GK Bhatt said.

    Speaking on the road ahead for OSAAT, he added, “We want to take it to the next level by partnering with corporates, who would want to take up such projects under their CSR initiatives. They could donate funds for the purpose and also participate actively in the process, while we rebuild a school.”

    ‘We want to create a template for the future’
    “We want to propose a model – the concept of working on a cluster of schools, like we did in Malur taluk with three schools – to the government. We are aiming at creating a template of work, based on our association with the revenue department, block education officers and panchayat, showing the authorities that this is how work must be taken up in the future. We want to create a blueprint for quality education by emphasising on the need for proper infrastructure.”
    – Vadiraj Bhatt | Management Trustee, OSAAT-India

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Deepika Burli / TNN / August 07th, 2016

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    A boy from Raichur was declared young scientist of the district for 2015-16 by the Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat. Pampana Gowda, 17, bagged the title for his idea of a machine for shifting trees and also devising fuel-saving technology.

    Pampana studies at the SVST High School, Kidiyoor, and represented Udupi district in the contest. Pamoana said people are aware of damage to the environment while cutting a tree for development. They also want to protect trees, but they don’t have the means to shift them.

    “This inspired me to come up with a model of a tree-shifting machine,” Pampana said. The teenager is sure his model will be an asset to protect the environment. “The project needs a crane and a blade. Depending on the size of the tree, a suitable blade will be used. The machine will lift not only the tree roots but also the mud surrounding the tree. The project cost will be around Rs 2 lakh,” he said.

    He also devised fuel-saving technology using two metal cylinders, one filled with petrol and the other with water. It’s a better option than a gas cylinder and environmentally-friendly too. “I’m working on an improved model. I want to be an engineer,” he added.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Mangalore / August 06th, 2016

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    But just two years ago, the Government Model Higher Primary School in Guluru was a crumbling edifice lacking basic infrastructure

    A 108-year-old government school at Guluru in Tumakuru taluk has embraced modernity gracefully and has become a model for others. Just two years ago, the Government Model Higher Primary School was a crumbling edifice lacking basic infrastructure. However, today it boasts of computer labs, airy classrooms, a library, science labs, separate toilets for boys and girls, and all other amenities offered by private schools that charge hefty tuition fees.

    “We proudly tell our friends who go to private schools that we work on computers,” says Nethravathi. V. G, an eighth standard student. Like his friends, he can’t get over the fact that till recently, their school was in a dilapidated state with broken tiles, leaky roofs and cracks in walls.

    Worried about the safety of their children, villagers approached MLA Suresh Gowda seeking a new school building. Mr. Gowda sanctioned Rs. 80 lakh from the MLA LAD (Local Area Development) funds.

    MLC Lehar Singh offered Rs. 10 lakh and former minister V. Somanna contributed Rs. 5 lakh towards construction of a new building. L&T, an Indian MNC, offered Rs. 10 lakh as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, which is being used to pay the salaries of LKG and UKG teachers, the computer teacher and a sweeper.

    “Earlier, our friends used to make fun and tease us, as we were studying in an old building. But now, we are happy to show them our new school,” said Vinutha N., a seventh standard student.

    The co-ed school, which has LKG, UKG and classes from I to VIII, has a total strength of 282. The pride of the school is the computer laboratory, which has 20 computers and Wi-Fi connection.

    Another student Akbar Khan adds, “Seeing us in such a nice building, now my friends want to join our school.”

    Headmistress N. Hemavathi says, “After the revamp, we have been getting applications from students of private schools nearby.”

    The school will be celebrating its 108th anniversary on Friday.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by S. B huvaneshwari / Bengaluru – August 05th, 2016

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    Dr Srivats Bharadwaj talks to children and teachers of Brindavan School in JP Nagar

    Dr Srivats Bharadwaj talks to children and teachers of Brindavan School in JP Nagar

    Bengaluru :

    A public-spirited dentist is taking oral health care to the doorsteps of people. Dr Srivats Bharadwaj and his team of 15 doctors are also on a mission to make people aware of the importance of paying attention to oral health.

    At Vatsalya – Centre for Oral Health, experts have been providing care to individuals with no access or awareness about the same. Over the years, the team has conducted campaigns, workshops and camps in the villages, towns and cities of Karnataka. Vatsalya focuses on three areas — home care, clinical care and community health.

    “We are on a mission to give world class treatment on a par with the West or even better,” explains Dr Srivats.

    Recently, the team treated 450 children at government schools in Bengaluru. Its community initiatives began at Chittadhama near Kabini in H D Kote, at a centre for the mentally ill, where patients needed urgent help in oral health care.

    . A girl at Government School in Manjunathnagar receives treatment | Express

    . A girl at Government School in Manjunathnagar receives treatment | Express

    The team carried a portable dental unit that fits into a suitcase and can do everything, including scanning and drilling. Similar camps took the team to Chikkamagaluru and Tumakuru, besides old age homes and orphanages in Bengaluru.

    In 2013, the team adopted Kudur village in Tumakuru district to run a regular oral health care programme. Socare, an organisation that looks after indigent children of convicts, roped the team for a camp.

    Dr Srivats has been treating children with cardiac problems for the past 5 years who need dental care, and the initiative is supported by ENR Foundation, Germany. The 41st group of children visited Vatsalya this month and over 25 children were treated before their heart surgery. More than 500 under privileged children have got a new lease of life under this initiative.

    “Oral health is a window to one’s overall health, and my idea is to drive home this point. Our focus is on prevention as tooth decay and other problems can lead to multiple organ failure and 120 other health conditions,” he explains.

    Drilling, filling and billing is what dentists do today, Dr Srivats says. “Dentists are seen in a poor light when they advocate procedures that are unnecessary and expensive. They don’t advise sealant medicine for children below 18 for the prevention of tooth decay. I am launching a Seal India prevention and interventional programme as it can keep the problem at bay for 20 years,” he adds.

    Vatsalya has two centres in Bengaluru and is opening the third in Rajajinagar. In the coming days, the team hopes to spread its activities to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

    “We are not aligning with venture funds but are definitely looking at contributors with a social commitment,” says Dr Srivats.

    The aim is to set up community health centres not funded by the government “We hope to make a huge difference in the coming years,” he says.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Meera Bharadwaj / July 31st, 2016

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