Nation
'SC has no authority to ask Centre to set up Cauvery board'
The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has no jurisdiction to direct it to set-up the Cauvery Management Board as it was just a recommendation of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal and not binding on the government.
 
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi made the submission before the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit while mentioning the Centre's application for modification of the apex court's September 30 order that directed the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.
 
While fixing the hearing on the application on Tuesday at 2.00 p.m., the bench reminded the Attorney General that he had agreed on the last date of hearing that the Centre would constitute the Cauvery Management Board by October 4.
 
The Attorney General told the bench that he had made a mistake by committing to set up the Cauvery Management Board.
 
Even as the Centre tried to wriggle out of its commitment to set up the board, the bench questioned Karnataka why it has not released the water.
 
"Have you released some water? There can be a part compliance of our order. We can understand your difficulty," it said as senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said Karnataka has not released any water as directed by the court.
 
As Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to hear the Centre's application seeking modification of September 30 order, Naphade opposed it, asking what was the hurry as Karnataka was not complying with the court's order and will not comply at all.
 
Naphade told the court: "There is much more to it (Centre's application seeking modification of September 30 order) than what meets the eye. Have it on Thursday (When matter is listed for hearing) as it is their (Karnataka) is not giving water, come what may."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Jio: Why It’s Different
The entry of Reliance Jio in the Indian telecom segment is important for three reasons. One, it has created a buzz in the mobile market that was stagnating for quite some time. Second, it has forced other players to reduce tariffs and increase customer-care. Third, Jio operates only in fourth generation (4G) space. This means that, even if it wants to, it cannot offer to a subscriber 2G or 3G network. So, the subscriber is assured of minimum basic data speed for which she is paying. Add to this the free voice calls and you will understand why people are thronging to Jio stores.
 
In addition to the existing pan-India 2,300MHz spectrum and 1,800MHz in 14 circles, Jio has invested over Rs10,000 crore during this year’s auction to acquire 800MHz spectrum in 10 circles and 1,800MHz spectrum in six circles. Also, Jio’s 250,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables cover 18,000 cities and over 100,000 villages. With such high-scale infrastructure in place, Jio is better placed than incumbents in coverage as well as capacity. Moreover, all this is pure 4G with capacity to migrate to higher standards (5G & 6G) as and when required. 
 
The main difference between 4G and the previous standards, like 3G (denoted by H or HSPA+ or simply H+) and 2.5G (denoted by E), is the use of network nodes. Both, 3G and 2.5G, use packet-switched nodes for data services and circuit-switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G systems, the circuit-switched infrastructure is abandoned and only a packet-switched network is provided. Thus, in 4G, traditional voice calls are routed through Internet telephony, as data.
 
What does this mean to a common subscriber? The subscriber may get Jio’s 4G network across the country, well, most of the times. And there are no boundaries. The subscriber can use Jio across the country without worrying about roaming (exorbitant) charges. In addition, Jio has clarified that the data used for the voice calls will neither be charged nor deducted from the data balance of the subscriber. Nevertheless, keep in mind that a Jio subscriber may face difficulty while calling a subscriber from other networks due to inter-connectivity issues. Other operators are already up in arms against Jio, over this issue. 
 
This brings us to the tariff of Jio. Similar to other operators, Jio offers pre-paid and post-paid subscription, with plans ranging from Rs19 to Rs4,999 in pre-paid (28 days’ validity), and from Rs149 to Rs4,999 for post-paid monthly billing cycle. Subscribers are offered 100MB to 75GB data per month, in addition to almost double the data in Wi-Fi. Jio also offers unlimited data at night. However, the night, for Jio, lasts only for three hours, between 2am to 5am! 
 
So, can you simply buy a Jio SIM and start using this service? Yes, if you have a 4G-enabled handset capable of voice over LTE (Long Term Evolution). Handsets (even if you have bought a new one) that use 3G, cannot be used for Jio. Yes, if you are ready to stand in the long queues at Jio stores and have the patience for your SIM card activation. The company says that, with Aadhaar e-know your customer (e-KYC), it can activate a new connection faster—within 48 hours. However, according to feedback from several customers, this is not the case. I have met some customers who are waiting for activation for the past 20 days or more. This is for a new connection. Mobile number portability (MNP), although offered by Jio, may take even more time. 
 
If you want full value of your money, especially for data, then go for it. Voice calling to other networks is not really good, at present, and you may want to continue to use your current SIM. In any case, Jio is free up to 31 December 2016; so, no harm in testing it out, especially if you have a 4G handset. 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

5 months ago

Like millions across India, I too have tried to get a Jio SIM in recent weeks/days. However, there seems a scarcity of SIM Cards, which seems deliberate, as Jio probably wants to 'ration' its SIMs for now. That would prevent a sudden and huge spurt of subscribers on its network which could choke its network reducing data speeds for everyone. That would give it bad publicity on its tall claims of high speed network. Moreover, I feel most people who are opting for a Jio SIM now may not continue with it post Dec'16, else may use it as a secondary connection mainly for data access. The long queues are likely to reduce drastically once the free data usage offer gets over in Dec'16, so those who wish to use Jio in the long term may apply and get one. Also, there will be more clarity on tariffs and if Jio will start charging for Apps (which are currently Free) post free usage period.

Treating Heart: The Good, Bad and Ugly in Modern Medical Research
“Is the scientific paper a fraud?” asked Sir Peter B Medawar, Nobel Laureate in the Listener (12 Sep 1963), 377-78. 
 
W e claim that our research, which is based on the short-term randomised controlled trials (RCT), is very scientific and based on evidence. Is this premise right? Do our RCTs, even remotely, have anything to do with reality and science? I do not think so, especially in the realm of so-called killer lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cancer and coronary artery disease. 
 
Hypertension has been my research interest for more than four decades; I have had a feeling that we have been predicting the unpredictable future of our patients based on our short and ‘dirty’ experiments called RCTs where the researcher can manipulate one measure in the cohort as s/he wants. 
Long-term observational studies, on the other hand, allow one to study what happens to the subjects over a period of time where one cannot manipulate the measures. This apart, humans are not identical, like molecules in a laboratory, to be compared with others.
I had written about this in my book on hypertension, in 1993. In retrospect, three major very long-term observational studies have now proved me right. Multiple risk factor intervention trial (MRFIT) study is a very long-term observational study of a large cohort over a period of 25 long years. It has proved that both, hypertension and diabetes, are, at best, ONLY risk factors. MRFIT clearly showed that there have been NO RISK FACTORS that could lead to heart attacks and stroke. 
 
Even if one were to believe in the risk factor theory and modify those risk factors with outside interventions, the risk will still be the same! MRFIT clearly shows the hollowness of our thinking in this area. What is average for the general population may be an alarming disease for any given person when we treat averages as normal in our RCTs which give a distorted version and label many healthy people as sick needing unnecessary intervention (false positives); but the industry loves that.
 
“Longitudinal monitoring can look at trends as a function of age in the same person, starting with presumably healthy subjects,” feels Germaine Cornellissen, head of the Halberg Chronobiology Centre at the University of Minnesota. He feels that “Blood pressure and heart rate rise during the day and fall at night. The changes are under control of the brain’s master clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which orchestrates the body’s circadian rhythms. Some diagnosed cases of high blood pressure are accompanied by large swings; a daytime measure of high blood pressure may actually become low blood pressure at night, and there are some indications that this change may be a bigger concern than blood pressure itself.” 
 
I had been opposing the night doses of BP pills for this very reason; lest I should fall into the trap of disregarding primum non nocere (first do no harm)! 
 
Studying BP over a period in the same person would give us great insight into this enigma called hypertension, if it is a disease at all. Labelling hypertension with one or even many readings over a short period might have a specificity and sensitivity of less than 50% making it look like a roulette game—a big gamble. 
 
Of course, people have studied continuous BP monitoring over a period, may be for days at best; but that does not refine the diagnosis significantly. I tried it and stopped doing that when I realised the futility of that approach.  
 
I am reminded of what the German author, Jorg Blech, wrote in his book Disease Inventors about the early days of labelling hypertensives in those small cute WellMan clinic vans outside the churches and malls in Germany offering to check their BP for free! This is how it all started. He opposed it then; see how right he was in the light of new knowledge!  (Inventing Disease and Pushing Pills: Pharmaceutical Companies and the Medicalization of Normal Life, Routledge, 2006). The new findings suggest that these vascular variability disorders, called circadian over-swings, might be labelling healthy people as hypertensive when the measures of BP are checked at noon in the doctors’ clinics only. Some patients even have a shift in their timings where they peak at night and are low during the day, out of synch with the rest of their body.
 
Another large study, of more than 75 years’ longitudinal observation of a large cohort of healthy young men after the Second World War (The Grant and The Gluech studies), by a group of researchers from Harvard (going on to the third generation of researchers today) has thrown up some scientific surprises in this area; alcohol and smoking are the greatest killers. Love, compassion and strong relationships, including social support, came out as the leading causes of happiness and longevity. In short, as Dr George Vaillant put it “happiness and good health is love.”
 
A study at Tokyo Women’s Medical University tracked BP based on multiple readings (almost monitoring it) over a 48-hour period to separate simple raised pressures from those with vascular arhythmicity, either in the size of the change or in its timing. 
 
This, in itself, has thrown up some surprises; but the next six years’ follow-up showed that only 10% of those with genuine high BP had cardiovascular (CVS) events. Even in those with vascular problems, ONLY 29% had CVS problems. Surely 10% and 29% do not by themselves make BP a risk factor. However, in today’s world, even one raised reading, warrants chemical drugs which looks dangerous, to say the least. Of course, this is only a women’s study and has its shortcomings vis-à-vis men. 
 
RCTs, especially short ones, in small cohorts funded by the industry, have been a menace in the area of coronary interventions. Whereas there are no large-scale studies of either bypass surgery or angioplasty having any special benefit except pain relief, there are many small RCTs showing multiple benefits from angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). 
 
None of those, so-called, studies has observed the patient after intervention on a long-term basis, like the observational studies quoted above. Our experience of industry-funded studies, which are published selectively and suppresses negative studies, makes the scenario in this area doubtful. In practice, they have become a menace for poor patients. See this pathetic note from a patient’ son which I received recently: 
 
“Sir, yesterday evening my mother got heart attack, so we took her to… heart centre, and they (have) done angioplasty and placed 3 stents. They are saying that (the) cost will be around Rs6 lakh. I cannot afford this much sir. I spoke with (the) management. They (are) saying that if our chairman agrees, they will make it in lower cost. So I request you, if possible, please speak with Dr…. and make the bill subsidised, sir.”
Is it a stent or an unscientific stunt? 
 
“One of the most successful physicians I have ever known has assured me that he used more bread pills, drops of coloured water, and powders of hickory ashes, than of all other medicines put together. It was certainly a pious fraud.”— Thomas Jefferson

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COMMENTS

Pradish Moorkkth puttan vettil

5 months ago

if no angioplasty and CABG are required...then why are people dying of heart attacks

Ramesh Poapt

5 months ago

Great Dr. as usual !

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