Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nutrino Project

INO project which has chosen Bodil hills On Stable rocks of Western Ghats has gained criticism and caused Inordinate delay since 2000. It would be Pertinent to Discuss under Concerns of Society , Scientific facts and Benefits to India from this project 
~Neutrino are sub atomic electrically neutral abundant , tiny non radioactive mass, formed by either Atmospheric Cosmic rays or by Neutrino factories .Such are fundamental particles .It is of three type electrons tau ,muon of which mass hierarchy is unknown as so is its conversion. Such low energy jhamrless passes every second and which is proposed to be evaluated by Iron magnetised calorimeter.
Concerns of Society/Petitioners
1 Such neutrino is being used for Nuclear weapons ,radioactivity ,
2 factory produced Neutrinos may be harmful Vis a vis to Atmopsheric neutrinos
3 Possibility of disaster and damage to people working at site due to high dosage of radiating
4Can damage acquifiers ,chemical presence in groundwater flows and Charnockite may get damaged due to it which is aquifers 
5It may harm rivers like periyar vaigai etc ,as it's source is such Acquifiers in Bodi hills 
6 Possibility of earth quake as happened due to Other labs 
7 High energy beam will be used 
Scientific facts 
1 Neutrinos are harmless and objective is to learn only neutrino through angle of Origin of universe . No strategic ,Nuclear, radioactivity purpose. Alternatively Neutrino may be potent tool to stop nuclear proliferation
2 Whether atmospheric or Factory made, will have same properties whites harmless its analogy can be taken as Photon produced from sun And bulb light are same and we use them both
3 100 trillion neutrinos passes every second from our body . Still for radiation purpose or High energy beam Of neutrinos adequate safeguards and experiment in remote areas is done .
4 Charnockinte is not aquifer but a rock mass . Also about their allegations/concerns MOEF also observed baseless, factually incorrect . Such usage of words may have intent to misled judge , or create doubt among community of civilians
5 Concerns of river also false as all 3 river are rained and no connection with acquire
6 Region selected is stable rock while Region with which comparison is made is techtonically active and also have karst region of limestone presence . Also wrong connection between Earthquake and Lab presence has been used 
7 high energy beam of photon is used as laser in everyday life , Despite it hazards Known. However Neutrino beam will be shielded [also it is harmless]
1 Can answer Universe origins , Neutrino oscillations [ one type of neutrino to morph in another type.tau to electron is not known while rest are known] . it is fundamental particle thus 
2 mass hierarchy question between 3 types of neutrinos will be known and further properties
Overall there is already much time wasted. Govt and authorities must develop consensus among people with FAQ , sheets ,seminars in order to hasten the Operations

Nano-drones may knock cholesterol out of bloodstream: study

Tiny nano-particles that act like miniature drones could deliver a knockout punch to plaque buildup in the arteries, according to an experimental approach described by US scientists on Wednesday.
So far the anti-cholesterol treatment has been tried only in lab mice, while the nano-particles themselves are in clinical trials for people with cancer. Many more safety tests lie ahead, but for now scientists are intrigued by the possibility of a new way to attack atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attacks and is a top killer in the United States and other developed nations.
The study led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center is published in the February 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine. “This is the first example of a targeted nanoparticle technology that reduces atherosclerosis in an animal model,” said co-author Omid Farokhzad, associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
“Years of research and collaboration have culminated in our ability to use nanotechnology to resolve inflammation, remodel and stabilize plaques in a model of advanced atherosclerosis.” For this study, targeted nanomedicines were engineered to carry an anti-inflammatory drug payload, which released therapeutic agents at the target sites where plaque had built up.
Using mice with advanced hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, researchers treated some for five weeks and compared them to untreated mice.
In those that received the nanomedicines, “damage to the arteries was significantly repaired and plaque was stabilised,” said the study.
But since mice do not have heart attacks, researchers will not know how effective the approach will be in humans until they try, and those trials could be years away.

Band-aid solutions for health problems

The Draft National Health Policy of 2015 released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, is a comprehensive document. So comprehensive, in fact, that it says too little by saying too much. A National Heath Policy is commonly read as a political statement which is meant to provide a vision to the long-term health strategy for the country. The latest health policy speaks about a wide variety of issues that plague our health-care system — low public health expenditure, inequity in access, and poor quality of care. It also suggests a variety of ways to address them, mainly focussed around increasing government spending on health and expanding the public delivery system. However, the health policy fails to tackle head-on the core problem of the Indian health system — its management, administration and overall governance structure, without which the measures it suggests are merely symptomatic treatments, akin to putting a “Band-aid on a corpse.”
The policy draft itself provides evidence for this malaise. Russia and South Africa both spend a significantly higher amount on public health than India. In fact their spending is even higher than the target set by the draft health policy, yet they have life expectancies that are worse, as in the case of South Africa, or only marginally better, as in the case of Russia. On the contrary, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are both countries that actually spend less on their healthcare (as a percentage of GDP) than India, yet both have better outcomes. Within India too, the draft policy notes that States with better capacity have utilised the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) funds more effectively, while States with poorer initial conditions have been left with worse outcomes. The fundamental difference lies in management and governance structures.
Criticality of administration
The evidence from the draft policy does not stand alone, and is, in fact, supported by a rich literature. Globally, research findings have highlighted the criticality of administration in improving health outcomes. Rajkumar and Swaroop in a 2008 study find that the effectiveness of public health spending in reducing child mortality depends on the level of perceived corruption. It is found that higher integrity is associated with reduced child mortality. Gupta et al in a 2000 paper show that corruption indicators (using Kaufman, Kraay and Zoido-Lobatón, 1999) are negatively correlated with child and infant survival, attended births, immunisation coverage and birth weight. These results are robust even after accounting for spending on public health, education, and urbanisation. In a study looking at the United Nations’s Millennium Development Goals, Wagstaff and Claeson in 2004 conducted an analysis which showed that across-the-board additions to government health spending have no significant effect on underweight children, maternal mortality, or tuberculosis mortality in poorly governed countries. They defined poorly governed countries as being one standard deviation below the mean score on the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) index. They estimated that for across-the-board spending to have a significant effect on outcomes such as malnutrition and tuberculosis mortality, the CPIA score for a country has to get above the population-weighted average of 3.5. India’s score in 2011 and 2012 was slightly below that threshold. Bannerjee and others in 2008 provided evidence from an experiment within India. They find that an incentive programme designed to increase nurse attendance in Rajasthan was initially successful but was eventually undermined by the local health administration and workers. They concluded that piecemeal attempts to improve health delivery would be ineffective until health system reform becomes a top priority for the stakeholders.
Governance structures
The weight of evidence clearly suggests that if we want our health outcomes to improve, the Indian health policy needs to focus on how its health system is governed and managed. While our people are among the best and brightest, long years of neglect and misgovernment have vitiated our public management systems with perverse incentives. It is easier and more sensible for people within the system to subvert their jobs — through chronic absenteeism, endemic corruption and private practice — than to actually do them. The draft policy mentions band-aids for a few of these problems, but it needs to prioritise and lay far greater focus on the critical issue of governance and management of the Indian health system.
Governance structures need to balance responsibility, flexibility and accountability (Feldman and Khademian, 2001) in order to carry out their functions. It is clear that our systems today, at best, fix responsibility, but do not provide flexibility and accountability — managers/bureaucrats need to do their jobs. A useful, and not entirely radical, model to consider would be the one pioneered in India by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation. It is a registered corporation set up by the Tamil Nadu government to procure drugs for the public health system. It is accountable to an independent board of directors which includes the health secretary. The corporation has an IAS officer as its managing director, and professionals and academics are hired or taken on deputation as deemed necessary. The model has proved so successful in improving drug supply in Tamil Nadu that several other States, including Kerala, have adopted it as the basis of their own governance structure.
A similar governance structure at the State level, albeit at a much larger scale, could be a suitable vehicle for the coming expansion of public delivery in primary and preventive healthcare in India. Present health workers and doctors who are employees of the government can be absorbed on deputation, while new hiring and capacity building can be carried out by the corporation. Thus, they will not be hampered by either restrictive government rules for employees, or the negative image that is associated with short-term contracts which became the favoured capacity building instrument for the NRHM. Internationally, this model is in fact already quite well established in the healthcare delivery space. The National Health Service of the U.K., one of the largest organisations in the world, already operates on a very similar model, with an executive board that is accountable to the secretary of health. Its mandate and targets are set by the government, but it operates as a largely independent entity. Finances are devolved to local health boards, which ‘purchase’ or contract NHS primary care providers and hospitals on a services rendered basis, ensuring accountability at the local as well as the highest levels.
Whether or not this specific type of model is adopted for healthcare delivery in India, the more fundamental point is that governance and management of any health system is a core determinant of its effectiveness. The National Health Policy of the Narendra Modi government should make it a prominent focus of reforms, thereby announcing a tectonic shift in India’s healthcare system.

(Shamika Ravi is Economist, Brookings Institution, India Center, and Rahul Ahluwalia is Research Associate, Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai.)

India Israel Relations

Starting from 1991 with the break-up of Soviet Union and end of Cold War, Indo-Israel relations have improved substantially.
1. Defence sector has been guiding light in the development of relations.
2. From Buyer-Seller relationship, today India and Israel are moving towards Joint production of defence equipment, which dove tails well into India's 'Make in India' initiative and attaining strategic independence in defence equipment.
3.Relations are diversified to also include agriculture, nano-technology, space research and a understanding on counter-terrorism.
The above reasons and huge good will that India generates among Israeli population makes one to call them 'Natural Allies'.
But India should continue it's Multi-vectored approach towards its diplomacy and build multiple alliances and resist the temptation to call Israel as its natural ally because of the following reasons.
1. Iran, the Israel's natural enemy is the only possible land route to india to reach the resource rich Central Asia in case the situations in Afghanistan goes against Indian interests.
2, The presence of huge Muslim population in India requires it to maintain good relations with Arab world, which opposes Israel.
3. India needs the help of Saudi Arabia as much as Israel to counter terrorism.
4. Human right violations of Israel in Gaza and west Bank might become a head ache for India, which is so far a principled supporter of Palestine cause.
so for the above reasons, India's national interest is better served by building multiple alliances and leverages than proclaiming Isreal as its natural ally.