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HEALTH

Fortis hospital to conduct trials on benefits
of almonds on humans
A. S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
The US Government has selected a Mohali-based medical institute, Fortis Heart and Multi Specialty Hospital, to conduct a trial study on the beneficial effects of almonds on humans along with diet and exercise.

The US Department of Agriculture will give a grant to Fortis to carry out the study on the high-risk population of North India who are prone to heart ailments due to rich food habits and sedentary lifestyle.

Disclosing this here today, Dr Achintya Moulick, Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the hospital, told TNS here today that the study would be carried out by his department along with the Department of Nutrition headed by Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Dr Moulick said that this was the first clinical trial in the country which would try and emulate the results of which had been demonstrated in the USA by various groups. The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) had gathered evidence based on clinical studies that nuts and almonds had sufficient quantities of mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and had a higher fibre content besides essential minerals and anti-oxidants such as calcium, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, dietary fibre etc.

These trials had been for small patient populations and not ethno-centric. Trial at Fortis would specifically focus on north Indian patients who for centuries had known the benefits of eating almonds but were confused about its true value.

Randomized trials would be conducted on patients with similar food habits who would be put on similar diet and exercise routine with one group given the diet of daily almonds. The quantity given would be about 30 gm a day.

Dr Moulick observed that by 2020, India would become the number one country in the world for cardiac ailments and Punjab would be one of the leading states which would be effected the most due to its preference for rich foods. The prolonged intake of rich foods caused many ailments primarily cardiac.

"Cardiac ailments are caused either by congenital disorders or due to lifestyle pattern. The former cannot be averted but the latter can definitely be. People are falling prey increasingly to the trend of fast foods. These fast foods increase the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol which clogs the arteries in the heart. Lifestyle cardiac ailments can be combated with either reactionary measure like cardiac operations or can be prevented with the help of a healthy diet," he said.

Almonds, Dr Moulick points out, have been part of the Indian culture and diet since ancient times. In fact, they have been an integral part of the Auyurvedic system of medicine through ages. But over the years, people have forgotten the health benefits of almonds and the correct manner of their consumption.

Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration, after careful research has issued a health claim that "a handful of almonds consumed five times a week may help in reducing heart ailments". Fortis study would try to verify this claim, by involving north Indians who have rich diet and therefore, more prone to heart diseases. If proved, this may be a shot in the arm for people who want to fight cardiac ailments without a complete overhauling of their diet consumption pattern.

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Chandigarh notch up second win
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, July 27
Chandigarh notched up their second win, trouncing Tamil Nadu 21-2 in the XXVII Junior National Handball Championship being played at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, and Government Model Senior Secondary, Sector 19, here today. For Chandigarh, Rakesh (8) and Hukum (7) were the star performers.

On the other hand, defending champions Chattisgarh and runners-up Punjab along with Delhi and Andhra Pradesh scored their third successive victories. Chattisgarh struggled to get past Uttaranchal in group A league in a evenly-contested match by a margin of four goals (25-21). They managed to win through the combined efforts of Irfan Ali (7), Gangadhar (6) and Radhey Shyam (5). Uttaranchal were well served by Himanshu Joshi (8) and Hira Lal (6). Chattisgarh had a wafer-thin 12-11 lead in the first session.

Punjab survived against Sports Authority of India (West) in their group ‘B’ league fixture as they were trailing by three goals (10-13) in the first half. Punjab just managed to pip their spirited rivals by 28-20. Charanjit (8), Manjit (8) and Akhtar (4) helped Punjab record their second successive win. SAI’s Shivnarain (7) and Sajid Parvez (5) gave Punjab a tough time.

Results: Group A: Assam (Rajiv Das 7, Manav Biswas 7, Laban Deka 5) bt Bihar (Subhash 5, Kanak 6) 31-19 (13-10).

Chattisgarh (Irfan Ali 7, Gangadhar 6, Radesh Shyam 4) bt Uttranchal (Himanshu Joshi 8, Hira Lal 6) 25-21 (12-11).

Mumbai HA (Yogesh 11, Sardar Patel 6, Jitin Varghese 3, Sarfraz Khan 3) bt Karnataka (Samartha P Shastri 10, Satyanaran 3, Syed Shamshuddin 3) 27-19 (14-12). Assam (Jayant Kalita 5, M Das 5, Laban Deka 5, Rajiv Das 5) bt Mumbai Academy (Sushil Kumar 4, Sardar Patil 4, Jithin Verghese 4, Yogesh 3, Sarfraz 3) 24-19 (10-9).

Chattisgarh (Dharamveer 6, Ganga Dhar 4, Satpal 4) bt Karnataka (Syed Saifuddin 5) 25-11 (14-8) Group B: Punjab (Charanjit 8, Mohinder 8, Akhtar Singh 4, Suprit 3, Jagjit 3) bt SAI West (Shivnarain 7, Sajid Parvez 5, Anil Kumar 4) 28-24 (10-13).

Maharashtra (R Jadhav 8, G Konde 8, V Khelukar 6) bt Orissa (Somsekhar Mishra 6, Pradhan M K 6, S Samuel 5) 36-26 (20-16).

Uttar Pradesh (Narendera 9, Jatindra 8, Manjit Singh 6, Randhra Rai 6) bt Jharkhand (Lalu Kumar Sharma 2, Sarfraz Ahmed 2) 38-7 (26-5).

Group B: Punjab (Avtar Singh 8, Jagjit 7, Suprit 6) bt Orissa (Pradosh 6, Ranjit 3) by 32-11 (13-11). SAI (West) (Harphul 8, Anil Kumar 7, Sayed Parvez 5, Md Imran 4) bt Uttar Pradesh (Jitender 4, Narinder 4, Randhir 4) 34-15 (15-10).

Group C: Chandigarh (Rakesh 8, Hukum 7, Bharat Bhushan 3) bt Tamil Nadu (G K Ashok 1, G S Chandersekhar 1) 21-2 (13-1).

Andhra Pradesh (N Dayakar 12, Vijay Kumar 5, Nizamuddin 4, Kannaiah 4) bt J-K (Gaurav 5, Nitish 2) 32-10 (23-6).

Rajasthan (Subhash 13, Ayush 7, Rahul 5, Prashant 5) bt Kerala (Shiva Prasad 5, P George 5, Mathew 5) 38-35 (19-20). Rajasthan (Subhash 15, Sandeep 4, Vinod 2) bt J-K (Gaurav 5, Nitish 4) 23-13 (16-8).

Kerala (Sivprasad 4, Shiv J V 4, Mathew 4, George 3) bt Tamil Nadu (GK Ashok 4) 20-4 (14-0).

Chandigarh (Viplan 16, Rakesh 11, Harish 16) bt Andhra Pradesh (D Dayakar 10, B Kannaaich 7) 44-23 (17-13).

Kerala (Mathew 4, Sivprasad 4, Shijvi 4, George 3) bt Tamil Nadu (Ashok 2) 20-4 (14-

Group D: MP (Arjun 11, Mandip 17, Sandeep 5, Anshul 5) bt West Bengal (Suman Dutta 10 Sauvik Bhattacharjee 8, Babu Mudi 5) 42-22 (21-15).

Delhi (Namit 9, Sunil 4, Jaipal Manu 3) bt Pondicherry 16-3 (12-1).

Delhi (Sunil 6, Jaipal 5, Namit 3) bt Goa (Albert 3, Freddy 2) 15-6 (9-3).

Haryana (Yashdeep 8, Anil 5, Avtar 2, Sunder 2) bt Pondicherry (Vinnarosan 2, Saktitivelue 2) 20-6 (13-3).

Haryana (Sunder 6, Pravesh 4, Avtar 4) bt Goa (Franus 3, Bonney 3, Sarilo 3) 26-15 (14-5). Delhi (Sunil 7, Tejinder 4) bt Gujarat (Munal 3) 19-4 (11-2).

Pondicherry (Viswanathan 8, Narainan 6, VIM Narayan 5) bt West Bengal (Souvik 11, Ambhav 2) 23-16 (13-8).

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St Stephen’s boys win in football
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, July 27
St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, got the better of Government Model High School, Sector 42, by 11-10 in the under-17 boys tie of the pre-Subroto Mukherjee Cup-2004 played here today at Government Model Senior Secondary School grounds, Sector 37. The half time score was 1-1.

In the under-14 section, Shishu Niketan Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, defeated Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, by six goals to nil. Rahul scored the first goal in the eight minute, followed by Nikhil (10th) and Ankit (15th and 34th). The fifth goal was scored by Sunny in the 50th minute while Vivek scored in the 58th minute.

In another under-14 tie, New Public School, Sector 18, downed St Xavier’s School, Sector 44, by two goals to one. For the winners, goals were scored by Karan in the 14th and 56th minutes. For losers, Vivek was the lone scorer.

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UT, IBM sign MoU on e-governance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27
In a move which will actually help in implementation of “e-governance” in Chandigarh, the Chandigarh Administration and the IT giant IBM India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Chandigarh will start its promised “e-governance” from August 16.

Under the MoU, IBM will set up an ‘IBM e-governance solution centre for linux’ for the Chandigarh Administration, an initiative that will help Chandigarh develop different “e-governance” applications using IBM’s frameworks.

IBM will set up a system to promote affordable, open standards based computing. The company will provide online support on Linux, train students and professionals of Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana on Linux and IBM software. This will help reduce costs of computing. This will be the first of its kind in the country that will have both support and skill set transfer options.

IBM will share its “e-governance” framework based on open standards outlined with the Chandigarh Administration to develop applications in a systematic manner. This will provide the Chandigarh Administration a proven platform to reduce the development time of building applications.

Under the terms of the MoU, the Chandigarh Administration will form a core team of professionals to work closely with IBM on Linux and application of IBM software in the projects undertaken by the Society for Promotion of IT (SPIC), which works under the aegis of Department of IT, Chandigarh Administration.

This will provide SPIC, access to services like support, training, referrals and consulting from the ‘IBM e-governance solution centre’.

Mr Karan Avtar Singh, IT Secretary, said, “Our decision to partner with IBM is aimed to be a participant in the IT revolution in the country.” According to R Dhamodaran, vice-president and country executive, IBM India, said the MoU would help the Chandigarh Administration in responding faster to citizens needs and promote an environment of “e-governance”.

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Birth certificates mandatory for admission
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 27
The Punjab Government has made it mandatory for parents to submit birth certificates of the children at the time of their admission in the schools of the state. This was disclosed by the Director Census, Punjab, Mr Inderjit Singh, while addressing a meeting of district officers held here yesterday to review the second phase of the campaign for the issuance of birth certificates.

He said the decision of the government would create awareness among the people about the need of birth certificates. As per the decision, the parents would be required to submit birth certificates of their children within 45 days of the admission.

Mr Inderjit Singh said a target of issuing 50 lakh certificates had been fixed during the second phase of the campaign in the state, of which 35.86 lakh had already been issued.

The Census Director said Punjab had achieved first position in the issuance of birth certificates in the entire country during the first phase while Ropar district got first position in Punjab in this regard.

He said the birth certificates prepared in the second phase would be distributed among the beneficiaries in September.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, said during the first phase of the campaign 82,000 certificates were prepared and lauded the efforts of all municipal councils, BDPOs, and CDPOs in this regard. She said the district administration had made arrangements for preparing the birth certificates on a large scale during the second phase too.

The Civil Surgeon, Ropar, Dr Harinder Rana, said a target of preparing 1.5 lakh birth certificates had been fixed for the second phase of the campaign, out of which 1.3 lakh birth certificates had already been prepared.

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