Right to Information
9 Senate members of Mumbai University did not attend a single meeting
During 2013 to 2015, Senate members like Jitendra Awhad, Prakash Binsale, Praveen Darekar, Raj Shroff, Charan Singh Sapra and Shriram Dandekar have not even attended a single meeting, reveals a reply received under RTI
Mumbai University, one of the most prominent universities in India is being made to attempt a new record by none other than its nominated members in the Senate. Especially, many of the prominent absentees include political leaders and senior officials from the Education department, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
According to the reply received by activist Anil Galgali, under the RTI, there are 21 nominated members on the Mumbai University Senate. Since, the state government has postponed the elections of new members on the Senate, at present the administration has to be dependent on the current Senate members. Unfortunately, since many of them are not even attending Senate meetings, it is the University administration that must initiate action against such members.
During 2013 to 2015, Senate members like Jitendra Awhad, Prakash Binsale, Praveen Darekar, Raj Shroff, Charan Singh Sapra and Shriram Dandekar as well as the Joint Director of the Department of Higher Education in Mumbai, Joint Director of Technical Education and Director of Medical Education have not even attended a single meeting, the RTI reveals.
If any member remains absent from the Senate meetings for three consecutive times, then as per the Maharashtra University Act, the administration has to take action for cancelling their membership. But this is not happening in Mumbai University.
Galgali said, "Action should also be taken on Government officers who are responsible to see the working of the senate on day-to-day basis, or even those who are monitoring the Senate. Government should also take action against the government-nominated member under Service Rule & Regulation Act."
Maharashtra Government is planning to pass the New University Act during the upcoming Winter session of the Assembly. So it has postponed elections of Senate in all universities in the state till next year.  



M Muralidharan

1 year ago

We dont need ornaments to hang in the wall.... We want people who can contribute. If they dont have the time or inclination, they should leave such roles and give it to people who CAN. Once in 6 months, if the records show that one has not attended even one meeting, then they should be SACKED and new person elected.

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

When politicos enter such reputed institution it is bound to loose its international status due to their wasted interest.

Pulse Beat

Cancer & Power of Prayer

Arecent study examined data on more than 32,000 adults who had been diagnosed with a wide variety of cancers of various stages. The study found that the patients who scored higher on scales of spiritual or religious belief also reported having better overall health. People with a sense of being connected with a power above human power reported fewer symptoms from cancer as also fewer side-effects of cancer therapy.
“Cancer patients who reported higher meaning, purpose, and spiritual connection in life also reported better physical health, as did patients who reported more positive religious or spiritual explanations for the cancer,” said lead researcher Heather Jim, of the Moffitt Cancer Centre, in an interview.
John M Salsman, of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem (North Carolina), feels that spirituality and religiousness are multi-dimensional rather than a single defined trait. He had assessed that some spiritual and religious characteristics were more strongly associated with positive health outcomes. 

New Cholesterol-Lowering Drug

Amgen Inc has won the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for their new drug, Repatha (evolocumab), to lower the so-called artery-clogging cholesterol—without the side-effects. As of now, its price tag is too high and we are not aware its long-term side-effects, if any. FDA approved the drug recently for patients who are unable to control their cholesterol with existing drugs and treatments. The good news for India is that one of our own companies, Zydus Cadila, has discovered a new molecule—100% indigenous—which brings down your cholesterol levels without any short-term side-effects known to date. The snag, though, is that we do not know what happens in the long run. Compared to Repatha, the Zydus drug is very cheap. Both these news reports do not excite me as I do not believe in the fat theory, in the first place: I do not see cholesterol as a dangerous ghost. 

Sweet Potatoes Can Beat Cancer

The darker the colour of potatoes, the better the result: Indian sweet potato has that quality. The favourable gut bacteria like it, converting the potato contents into butyric acid which kills cancer cells and also the cancer predisposing substance in the colon. Of course, the researcher, Jairam Vanamala at Penn State University, did this work on rats and hopes to repeat it on humans. I will keep my fingers crossed until then, as rat is not man.

Garlic, As Always!

Imake it my daily routine, to eat garlic raw. A recent study, carried out by the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS) in India and published in Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Malaysia, found that garlic can also be an effective treatment for the antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria involved in many cases of urinary tract infection (UTI). This study showed that 82% of the antibiotic resistant strains of germs causing resistant UTI responded to garlic—without side-effects—and incapable of producing resistant strains like antibiotics do. This would be a boon to millions of women and men also who have recurrent UTI. 
The authors summarised their results thus: “The results of the present study support the use of natural products as affordable effective substitutes and/or additives for reducing the disease burden and overall cost of disease management.” Old is gold but rarely sold! 

Beware of Toothpaste
Your toothpaste might make your teeth look good and make your mouth feel fresh but it gradually damages the teeth enamel and also the gums. Most of our problems with the teeth and gums might have their beginning in the fancy toothpastes we use. Look out for any of the following ingredients in your toothpaste and, if they do contain them, buy something else: triclosan, sodium luryl sulphate, aspartame, saccharine, fluoride, propylene glycol, glycerine, diethanolamine and sorbitol. 
I use coconut oil to clean my mouth and teeth... 


Media Freedom under Threat?
Defamation threats gagging media investigation
The embarrassing media coverage of the sensational Sheena Bora murder has seen a rash of critical and introspective editorials and columns in mainstream newspapers. These include newspapers from the very group whose television arm conducted a kangaroo court at prime time with a gaggle of alleged friends of the victim and those who socialised with her mother Indrani Mukherjea and her various spouses. 
Reckless speculation, sweeping denouncements and meaningless trivia apparently being fed to the media by a highly indiscreet police force, were passed off as ‘Breaking News’ without any attempt to cross-check, or question, the leaks. The same drama is enacted when it comes to news about cinema stars, cricket or anything to do with Pakistan, with seemingly no questions or consequences. Powerful chief ministers and Union ministers have also remained helplessly silent against the media onslaught which included strident demands for their resignations and allegations of financial chicanery. 
But there has been a paradigm change where powerful corporates are concerned. In 2013-14, most corporates were fair game for fledgling political parties. They were learning the hard way that you cannot stifle all voices of dissent or criticism through large advertising budgets, event sponsorships, bilateral media treaties or PR (public relations). The growth of social media had amplified the voices of tiny media entities, niche magazines and net-based publications whose investigations and reports were not easy to suppress. 
They have found a solution in legal threats. A spate of defamation notices, or lawsuits, against the media, in recent times, seems to suggest that corporate India has hit upon a strategy of crushing investigation and criticism. It seems Rs100 crore is the minimum reputational damage claimed in these notices; some of these notices have been issued by entities with dubious reputations and are the subject of multiple government investigations and action. 
Here are a few notices that have actually translated into law suits:
  1. The Essar group has sought Rs250 crore as damages in a suit filed in Ahmedabad for an allegedly defamatory cover story filed by Caravan magazine. 
  2. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) sought Rs100 crore in damages for two of Moneylife’s articles (“Blowing the Whistle on Manipulation in NSE”, published on the website and “High-frequency Trading Needs a Detailed Probe” (issue dated 8 July 2015). On 9th September, the Bombay High Court dismissed NSE’s notice of motion and ordered the Exchange to pay Rs3 lakh in costs to us and donate Rs47 lakh to Tata Memorial Hospital and Masina Hospital, in two weeks. It remains to be seen what direction this litigation takes in the coming weeks. 
  3. The NSE has also filed a Rs100-crore suit against India Samvaad, an online portal, whose report had picked up and republished the whistleblower’s letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that is the subject matter of the case against Moneylife as well. 
  4. Almost every corporate defamation notice today pitches a demand for Rs100 crore and above. The Anil Ambani group seems to have taken this to a ludicrous level by seeking Rs5,000 crore as defamation in a notice sent to the Bennett Coleman group, the publisher of The Times of India. This is for a series of allegedly defamatory reports, based on a draft report of the comptroller & auditor general (CAG), on its electricity distribution business. Another corporate house is understood to have sought Rs400 crore in damages. 
In most cases, the gigantic defamation claim is aimed at intimidating small media houses with the threat of expensive, long-drawn and debilitating litigation. Most defamation notices do not translate into litigation. In many cases, tiny publications, or bloggers, simply cave in and remove the articles because the cost and effort of filing legal replies itself is a killer. In some cases, corporate houses do not proceed with the lawsuit when the publication decides to fight it out. This is usually due to the realisation that they, too, are answerable in a legal battle and in an arena that is not fully within their control. 
At a time when a panel of the Press Council of India has asked SEBI to control paid news by monitoring private treaties between companies and media houses, this trend of harassing serious journalists with the threat of defamation suits is something that we must think hard about. What is at stake is fair journalism and investigation into the performance and shenanigans of companies and regulators. Curiously, the Press Council has been silent, so far, on these intimidating tactics. 



Manoj Dhyani

1 year ago

Media Gagging can't be an acceptance in a free democracy...must be condemned by all!


1 year ago

Media Freedom under Threat?
Yes long-back if u have noticed KILLINGS of RTI activists and if u observe from news channels broadcasting actual happening from Maharastra and from UP/MP/BIHAR even a stone peters r casted in NEWS

Mahesh S Bhatt

1 year ago

Media is governed by Politicians/Businessmen/Global Media Moghuls.

Its double whammy,sham media which has its credibility at stake coupled with big guns killing true honest press & every thing seems doctored.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

I think it is time that the public questions what the Press Council of India is doing to earn its designation.

Is it there simply to rubber stamp anything that the media does?
Does it have a code of conduct that the media must follow in order to represent responsible journalism?

The explosion of TV channels and print media has allowed sensation seeking news to dominate and has devalued the information one gets from these channels.

If the news media were to follow the same meticulous methods followed by MoneyLife in its investigative reporting, then they would not worry about standing up in the court of law.

Unfortunately, TV with humongous money wants short cuts without investigative rigor. Then they must pay for it.


Mukund Rajamannar

In Reply to Meenal Mamdani 1 year ago

Fully agree.

Kinshuk Chandra

1 year ago

Sad to see this. Instead of penalizing presstitutes, the small comparatively honest media houses are targeted.

shanti Patel

1 year ago

I am also a victim of such a case running in to thousands of crores not hundred. People try to pressurize because the legal cost defend is very high and other people also get red signal.

I request Sucheta Dalal to form a free helpline for this type of cases also. I am sure there are lawyers who will com-forward and devote time and skill for good cause.

Shanti Patel
Joint Hon.Secretary-Bombay Shareholders Association

J Pinto

1 year ago

Who are the eminent members of the Press Council and how many have spine ?


Ravindra Shetye

In Reply to J Pinto 1 year ago

Maybe they are rewarded for their inactivity.

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