Friday, September 29, 2017

Serum Institute’s rotavirus vaccine found to be effective

Phase III trial of anti-diarrhoea drug was carried out in six sites in India

A rotavirus vaccine tested on children during a Phase III trial has been found to be safe and efficacious.
The vaccine (ROTASIL) manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India has nearly 39% efficacy in children with severe rotavirus cases and nearly 55% against the very severe form of rotavirus diarrhoea.

The vaccine targets all the five rotavirus serotypes.
In 2013, an estimated 47,000 rotavirus deaths occurred in India. India accounted for 22% of all rotavirus deaths in the world.
The Phase III trial was carried out at six sites in India.

Three doses of the vaccine were given at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age to 3,749 infants, while another group of 3,751 children was given a dummy.
Children were randomly assigned to receive either the vaccine or the dummy and neither the children and their parents nor those involved in vaccinating the children were aware who was receiving the vaccine and who was receiving the dummy.
The trial followed the vaccinated children till they turned two to study the safety of the vaccine. The results were published in the journal Vaccine .

Three doses
The three doses of the vaccine were given at 6, 10, and 14 weeks to coincide with the routine vaccination under India’s universal immunisation programme.
The vaccine used is a mixture (reassortment) of bovine and human rotavirus.
“We took five numbers of the single bovine rotavirus serotype and added one gene from each of the five human rotavirus serotypes to the bovine serotype. The bovine serotype acted as a backbone while the gene from the human rotavirus conferred protection.

“The bovine serotype does not cause diarrhoea in children. But as the bovine serotype carried the human antigen (gene) it helps the human body to develop antibodies against all the five human rotavirus serotypes,” says Dr. Prasad S. Kulkarni, Medical Director at Serum Institute, Pune.
Bharat Biotech launched a human rotavirus vaccine in 2015.
Unlike the Serum Institue vaccine, the one introduced by Bharat Biotech contains only one serotype. Even the rotavirus from GSK is a monovalent vaccine, while Merck’s vaccine contains all the five human rotavirus serotypes.

The international NGO PATH partnered with Serum Institute on evaluating the vaccine in the Phase III trial.

It helps the body to develop antibodies against all 5 human rotavirus serotypes

Source: THE HINDU-28th September,2017

Heritage bldgs to get QR code

The next time you are intrigued by a heritage structure in south Mumbai, all you will have to do is use your smartphone’s camera to find out more about it. The department of tourism is soon planning to equip all heritage structures in south Mumbai with a QR code that will provide detailed information and pictures of the structure on one’s phone.

State minister for tourism Jaykumar Rawal said that the technology will be handy for tourists. He added, “Since Mumbai has a number of heritage buildings with a rich history, there is a need to provide this information to tourists especially international tourists. Right from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Horniman Circle, there are many heritage structures in the area.”

Rawal took a heritage walk, organised by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), around the area to mark World Tourism Day on Wednesday. Minister of state for tourism Madan Yerawar accompanied Rawal.

Rawal added that the tourism department has started training guides to promote tourism. He said that 20 guides each from four cities — Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Sindhudurg — have been selected for training in the first phase. He also said that the government is planning to introduce battery-operated vehicles at tourist spots to curb pollution and provide job opportunities.

Source: DNA-28th September,2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO report confirms

20 SEPTEMBER 2017 | GENEVA - A report, Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis, launched by WHO shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. The report found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by WHO as posing the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250000 people each year.

"Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine," says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. "There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery."

In addition to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, WHO has identified 12 classes of priority pathogens – some of them causing common infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections – that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics and urgently in need of new treatments.
The report identifies 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development to treat priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens, as well as tuberculosis and the 
sometimes deadly diarrhoeal infection Clostridium difficile.

Among all these candidate medicines, however, only 8 are classed by WHO as innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal.
There is a serious lack of treatment options for multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant M. tuberculosis and gram-negative pathogens, including
 Acinetobacter and Enterobacteriaceae (such as Klebsiella and E.coliwhich can cause severe and often deadly infections that pose a particular threat in hospitals and nursing homes.

There are also very few oral antibiotics in the pipeline, yet these are essential formulations for treating infections outside hospitals or in resource-limited settings.

"Pharmaceutical companies and researchers must urgently focus on new antibiotics against certain types of extremely serious infections that can kill patients in a matter of days because we have no line of defence," says Dr Suzanne Hill, Director of the Department of Essential Medicines at WHO.

To counter this threat, WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) set up the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (known as GARDP). On 4 September 2017, Germany, Luxembourg, the 
Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Wellcome Trust pledged more than €56 million for this work.

"Research for tuberculosis is seriously underfunded, with only two new antibiotics 
for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis having reached the market in over 70 
years," says Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis 
Programme. "If we are to end tuberculosis, more than US$ 800 million per year is 
urgently needed to fund research for new antituberculosis medicines".

New treatments alone, however, will not be sufficient to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance. WHO works with countries and partners to improve infection prevention and control and to foster appropriate use of existing and future antibiotics. WHO is also developing guidance for the responsible use of antibiotics in the human, animal and agricultural sectors.

For more information, download the following reports:

·       The clinical pipeline analysis data can be explored in an interactive way through:

·         Source :

Thursday, September 21, 2017

IIT Roorkee to install quake detectors

New Delhi: In a first of its kind project, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee will install ‘early earthquake warning’ systems across major cities in north India.
The project, which is a part of the overall research being conducted by the institute in the field of Earthquake Engineering, is an extension of the existing pilot project being conducted in the Himalayan region. The location of the institute acts as an added advantage when it comes to working on seismology.
When the pilot project started in 2015, IIT Roorkee became the first institute to set up 84 sensors in the seismic gap region of Garhwal Himalaya with the help of the Ministry of Earth Sciences. These on-site sensors stream data in real-time to a computer server at the institute, using the networks of BSNL and SWAN ( network of Uttarakhand government).
“The data is being processed for issuing a warning for magnitude six and above earthquakes. Sirens, connected to the server, have been fitted within the campus of IIT Roorkee to warn of an impending high-magnitude earthquake in the region. This project was successfully completed in March 2017,” said an official of IIT Roorkee.
The Uttarakhand government sanctioned a project to IIT Roorkee to maintain the early earthquake warning systems, and install 100 additional sensors covering Kumaun region, besides installing sirens in State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOC) at Dehradun and all district headquarters of Uttarakhand, and another 100 sirens in Dehradun and Haldwani.

Source:DNA-12th September,2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

Paper Development Workshop_ IJGBC (December 14 - 16, 2017)

Goal: The International Journal of Global Business and Competitiveness (IJGBC) Paper Development Workshop
(PDW) will be held in Delhi School of Management, New Delhi , as part of the pre-conference workshop for the  GLOGIFT Annual Conference.
We invite you to participate in the same by submitting your paper following the guidelines of IJGBC
Conference: 17th Global Conference on Flexible Systems Management 2017 
Venue: Delhi School of Management, DTU, New Delhi, India 
Dates: December 14-16, 2017.

Project log:

You need to submit a paper to participate in this PDW adhering to the guidelines for IJGBC (
The same paper can also be submitted for presentation in the GLOGIFT 2017 conference. We would encourage you to discuss your structured abstract with the editorial team before writing the full paper.
Competitiveness at the firm level
"This is the level where real competitive business Olympics is played and medals are won. It is also the level where competitive strategies can be formulated, implemented and results can be analysed in finite time. Naturally, this is the level, which is of immense interest to many managers. Dynamics of competitiveness at this level is quite well understood and documented in books and journals on strategy. Indirect indicators can be found in annual rankings of business magazines such as Fortune, Business Today, Business India or newspapers such as Business Standard (BS1000, 1998).
Magazines like Asia Inc. use a more comprehensive approach; Asia’s Top 50 most competitive firms are selected based on a number of criteria. Awards such as Deming Prize, CII Quality Award can also be considered as indirect indicators of competitiveness. Some of the popular models for evaluation of quality, an important factor of competitiveness, of a firm can be used to enhance competitiveness on specific factors (Zairi, 1996):
• The Deming Prize (Japan)
• The Malcolm Balridge National Quality Award (USA)
• The European Quality Award
The Competitiveness Assets-Processes-Performance (APP) framework (Momaya, 1996, 1998) incorporates best of elements of such frameworks and has been tested in several contexts. "
Quoted from book: International competitiveness: Evaluation and enhancement, Chapter: Chapter 2: What is International Competitiveness? Select Views across Levels, Publisher: Hindustan Publishing Corporation, New Delhi
Participation at the PDW is limited. Participants will be invited based on the quality of their submitted work.Two types of submissions expected, full research papersand extended abstract.  Papers and extended abstract should be submitted on the email id: The deadline for submissions is September 25, 2017.
Research papers must be less than 10,000 words in length, and follow the IJGBC Style
Extended abstract must be no more than 2,500 words in length and include the key research questions, theoretical
framework, proposed research design and contribution. Please provide 6-8 keywords with both the submissions.
Participants will be notified about the acceptance of their submissions no later than October 10, 2010 and will need to register in the PDW by October 17, 2017.

There are two publishing opportunities:
1. Journal Publication
Select papers from the paper development workshop would be considered for journal publication (ABDC listed journals such as International Journal of Global Business and Competitiveness and Journal of Flexible Systems Management) after the peer review process.

2. Conference Proceedings
The Paper development submission can also be submitted parallely to the GLOGIFT conference
All accepted papers in the conference will be published in the Conference Proceedings.

* This unique workshop is intended to provide guidance to the promising young scholars and doctoral students on their research projects that are in early stages of development.
* Key objective is to encourage scholars to do quality research on topics contextually relevant for competitiveness and growth of firms from India.
* The workshop team would hand hold select papers from conceptualization to publishing stage in ABDC listed journals.
Momaya, K. (2001). International competitiveness: Evaluation and enhancement. New Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation.
Momaya, K. S. (2014). Break-out for Competitiveness of Indian firms: Context, need and opportunities. International  Journal of Global Business and Competitiveness9(1), iii-vii.
Ajitabh, A., & Momaya, K. S. (2003). Competitiveness of firms: review of theory, frameworks and models.
Chapter: Jan 2013: Driving the Economy through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Article: Apr 1998: Vikalpa
Article: Aug 2011: International Journal of Business Excellence

·          Source:

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How Ansar Shaikh became the youngest IAS officer at 21 Years

Story of how Ansar Shaikh became one of the youngest IAS officer of India

    The UPSC civil service exam is considered one of the toughest exams in the country. Lakhs of people take the exam and only a few hundred make the cut in the end. Only a proper combination of hard work, guidance and tenacity can help UPSC aspirants crack these exams.
    Many candidates, despite having all the comforts and coaching that money can buy, fail to clear the IAS exam. But some determined and zealously diligent candidates achieve success despite all odds stacked against them. One such inspiring person is Ansar Ahmad Shaikh, who cleared the UPSC civil services exam, 2015 in his very first attempt. He secured AIR 361and he was just 21; beating Roman Saini who was 22 when he became an IAS officer.
   Ansar is the son of Yonus Shaikh Ahmad, an autorickshaw driver from Jalna’s Shedgaon village in the Marathwada region of  Maharashtra. His mother worked in fields. His younger brother, Anees dropped out of school in standard VII. Anees worked in a garage to support the family and help his brother prepare for the IAS exam.
     Ansar worked 12 hours a day for three years to achieve his IAS dream. His success is especially commendable counting the fact that education wasn’t a priority in his family. In his own words Ansar describes his domestic situation, “Education has never been a watchword in my family. My father, a rickshaw driver, has three wives. My mother is the second wife. My younger brother dropped out of school and my two sisters were married off at an early age. When I told them that I had cleared the UPSC and in all likelihood will be an IAS officer,they were stunned shocked.” Ansar had been given West Bengal cadre.
     Even though Ansar’s large family struggled to make ends meet, he remained a bright student throughout. He had secured 91% in his X board exams (SSC Board). He has a degree in political science from Fergusson College, Pune.
    Ansar has said, “I was marginalized by three different categories. I am from a backward undeveloped region, I hail from a poor economic background and I belong to a minority community. I will tackle all these issues as an administrator since I have witnessed these issues at close quarters.”
    Ansar had attended a private coaching class for his UPSC civil services preparation. His family had to bear great expenses in this regard but were more than delighted when they got the result they all had awaited. He thanked Rahul Pandve, his 30-year-old teacher for giving him guidance and support. (Pandve had also cleared the UPSC civil services exam that year with AIR 200).
   Ansar said on his success “There is no alternative to hard work. During my struggle, my friends helped me a lot mentally and financially and even my coaching academy waived a portion of fees due to my poor financial condition”.
   Hard work, family and friends – played their part in leading Ansar to his dream job. But more than anything, it is attitude that sets him apart from others – the attitude to never back down and be steadfast in trying to achieve your dream.