Toppers flunk: 50% Class­-10 merit students in Punjab fail talent test

Barely two months after chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed his displeasure at just 57% pass percentage in Class-10 exams in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), questions are being raised on the quality of toppers as well. Sample this: Only around half (50%) of Class-10 toppers (students with a score of 80% and above) who applied for a seat at 10 government-run Meritorious Schools in the state have cleared the entrance test for admission to Class-11 this year. WHAT ARE MERITORIOUS SCHOOLS A brainchild of former chief minister Parkash…

Read More

Exclusive: CBSE plans Class 10, 12 Board exams on same date in two shifts

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) proposes to hold the finals for classes 10 and 12 on same dates in two shifts, a move that will reduce the examination period and give teachers extra time to check answer-scripts more thoroughly. The new plan was designed after the board met principals of some of the top schools in New Delhi and its satellite cities. The CBSE, which has two panels committees to suggest ways to improve the system, will review the suggestions before a final decision is taken. The country’s…

Read More

No students in this school: Sanskrit institute with four teachers in dire straits

From a distance, this government-run Sanskrit school in Sikar district of Rajasthan appears like any other run-down school with the building in need of paint. But once you enter the premises, it becomes clear that something else is amiss. The school is erringly quiet – there are no children on the small playground or, for that matter, in the classrooms. The Government Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura village has six classrooms, four teachers — but not a single student. The teachers report for work at about 8am, water the…

Read More

Sugar intake in pregnancy ups allergy, asthma risk in baby

High intake of sugar during pregnancy may increase the risk of allergy and asthma in the baby, a study has found. While some research has reported an association between a high consumption of sugar-containing beverages and asthma in children, the relation between maternal sugar intake during pregnancy and allergy and asthma in the offspring has been little studied. Researchers from University of Bristol and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in the UK collected data from almost 9,000 mothers who were pregnant in the early 1990s and their offspring. The study, published…

Read More

Marijuana may up psychosis risk in teenagers: Study

Daily consumption of marijuana may increase an adolescent’s risk of having recurrent psychotic-like experiences by 159 per cent, according to a new study. The psychotic-like experiences include the experiences of perceptual aberration — for example feeling that something external is part of their body — and thinking that they have been unjustly badly treated. “Our findings confirm that becoming a more regular marijuana user during adolescence is, indeed, associated with a risk of psychotic symptoms,” said lead author Josiane Bourque, doctoral student at the Universite de Montreal (UdeM) in Canada.…

Read More

Having a purpose in life can help you sleep better : Research

Older adults who live with a purpose in life are more likely to have a good night sleep and less sleep apnoea as well as restless leg syndrome, a study has showed. Individuals have more sleep disturbances and insomnia as they get older. But, the findings demonstrated that people who felt their lives had meaning were 63 per cent less likely to have sleep apnoea — shallow breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep, several times per hour. Further, they were 52 per cent less likely to have restless leg…

Read More

Malaria medicine shows promise in reducing Zika virus transmission from mother to foetus

A drug already in use to treat malaria and certain autoimmune diseases in pregnant women has shown promise in reducing transmission of Zika virus from mothers to their foetuses, according to a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher. The drug, Hydroxychloroquine, works by inhibiting autophagy, a process by which cells remove toxins and recycle damaged components to generate energy. Researchers showed that Zika virus may manipulate this process in the placenta to infect the developing foetus. In a study published online in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the researchers,…

Read More

Restless legs syndrome may cut sleep quality in pregnancy: Research

Pregnant women with restless legs syndrome (RLS) are more likely to have poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness and poor daytime function, researchers say. RLS is a condition characterised by a nearly irresistible urge to move the legs, typically in the evenings. The results showed that 36 per cent of women in their third trimester experienced RLS, and half of the women with RLS had moderate to severe symptoms, at least four times per week. “While we expected that RLS would be relatively common in pregnant women, we were surprised…

Read More

X-rays, even in low dose, may harm your heart : Study

Even low exposure to ionising radiation, such as X-rays, may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a study has cautioned. The findings indicated that an individuals’ exposure to X-rays, even at around 0.5 Gy — which is equivalent to recurrent CT scan imaging — is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular damage, up to decades after exposure. Further, exposure to X-rays also caused several other permanent alterations in the human coronary artery endothelial cells that had the potential to adversely affect their essential functions. Endothelial cells, which form…

Read More

Yoga may protect against memory decline in old age : Research

Doing yoga for a long time could change the structure of your brain and protect it against cognitive decline in old age, suggests new research. When the researchers imaged elderly female yoga practitioners’ brains, they found that the “yoginis” have greater cortical thickness in the left prefrontal cortex, in brain areas associated with cognitive functions like attention and memory. As we age, the structure and functionality of our brains change and this often leads to cognitive decline, including impaired attention or memory. One such change in the brain involves the…

Read More