Friday, May 4, 2012

Radiation from Mobile Phone Towers

The Government today informed that as per the self certifications submitted by telecom service providers, and sample checks conducted by the DoT, the existing level of electromagnetic radiation from mobile towers in the country is within the prescribed limits.

Further, based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on radiation, norms for exposure limit for the Radio Frequency Field (Base Station Emissions) has been reduced to 1/10th of the existing limits prescribed by ICNIRP. Effective date of these directions, which was initially 1st April 2012, has been extended to 01.09.2012.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2006 Fact Sheet on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Public Health had stated that “International exposure guidelines have been developed to provide protection against established effects from RF fields by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP, 1998) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE, 2005). It further said, national authorities should adopt international standards to protect their citizens against adverse levels of RF fields. They should restrict access to areas where exposure limits may be exceeded’. Based on the WHO recommendation, different countries have adopted their own EMF norms”.

Department of Telecommunications has adopted the International EMF norms in the year 2008 in respect of mobile towers prescribed by International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and licenses were accordingly amended. Most of the countries have adopted ICNIRP norms; however, some of the countries have adopted stricter norms.

Accordingly, all the Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS)/ Unified Access Service (UAS) licensees have been directed for compliance of the reference limits/ levels prescribed by ICNIRP by way of self certification of their Base Transmitting Station (BTS) for meeting the EMF radiations norms. At present, for 900 MHz, permissible Power Density is 4.5 Watt per Square meter, whereas for 1800 MHz permissible Power Density is 9 Watt per Square meter.

As per the existing policy for installation of towers, Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing of DoT issues siting clearance for installation of mobile towers for each and every site from the point of view of interference with other wireless users, aviation hazards and obstruction to any other existing microwave links.However, siting clearances of DoT are issued without prejudice to other applicable bylaws, rule and regulations of local bodies such as municipal corporation, Gram Panchayat etc. Accordingly, before installation of tower, the telecom service providers have to obtain necessary clearances from concerned local authorities/ State Government bodies also. Various local bodies/State Government have formulated their own policy regarding grant of such permissions for installation of mobile towers.

Further, based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, DoT has constituted an internal committee to formulate uniform guidelines at national level to enforce restrictions on establishment / setting up of BTS towers.

This information was provided by Sh Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology in Rajya Sabha today.

Russia:No chance to resolve islands’ dispute

A senior Russian official says Japan missed a historic opportunity to resolve a territorial dispute with Russia and that it must change its stance.Both Japan and Russia claim sovereignty over four Russian-held islands north of Japan.
Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency carried an interview with a top foreign policy adviser to President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
The adviser referred to a 1997 agreement between then Japanese prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Russian president Boris Yeltsin. They agreed to do their utmost to resolve the dispute and conclude a peace treaty by 2000.
The adviser called it a historic opportunity and said he doubts any Russian president would ever offer Japan such a compromise again.
Russia’s president-in-waiting, Vladimir Putin, told foreign correspondents in March that he hopes to resolve the territorial issue in a mutually acceptable manner, and put an end to the dispute.
The adviser apparently reiterated Russia’s position that the dispute cannot be resolved as long as Japan insists on confirming its sovereignty over all four islands.
Putin is due to take office on Monday. Arrangements are now being made for Putin to meet Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on the sidelines of the Group of 8 Summit in the United States in mid May.

WHO:Save lives: Clean your hands

4 May 2012 New Delhi: The World Health Organization today raised an alarm about the large number of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) acquired during medical or surgical procedures. These infections can result in prolonged hospital stay, long-term disability, increased resistance to antibiotics and sometimes, death. They substantially increase the financial burden on the patient and health systems. HCAI can be prevented and the burden reduced by as much as 50% or more through good hand hygiene. On 5 May, WHO’s initiative, “Save lives: Clean Your Hands”, will focus on the importance of hand hygiene in hospitals and health care facilities to reduce healthcare-associated infections.
“There is clear evidence that hundreds of millions of patients are infected every year worldwide by healthcare-associated infections. Low and middle-income countries bear a huge burden of these infections” said Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.  “There is an urgent need to establish reliable systems for surveillance of such infections to assess the actual burden. This must be treated as a priority patient safety issue” he added. 
The risk of HCAI is universal and pervades most healthcare facilities worldwide, but the true burden remains unknown particularly in developing countries. Risk factors for HCAI vary according to the type of healthcare facility and to the care area where the patient is admitted.  The most common factors associated with HCAI are: patients aged over 65 years; admission as an emergency and to the intensive care unit (ICU); hospital stay longer than seven days; placement of a central venous catheter, indwelling urinary catheter, or an endotracheal tube and undergoing surgery. Low and middle-income countries bear an additional burden due to poverty, lack of basic hygiene, limited resources, malnutrition, patient age under 1 year and low birth weight. General barriers to infection control practices are lack of financial support, inadequate numbers of trained personnel working in infection control, understaffed hospital units, and insufficient equipment and supplies.
Surgical site infection (SSI) is the most surveyed and most frequent type of infection in low and middle-income countries with incidence rates ranging from 1.2 to 23.6 per 100 surgical procedures.  By contrast, SSI rates vary between 1.2% and 5.2% in developed countries.
The risk of acquiring HCAI is significantly higher in intensive care units (ICUs). The incidence of ICU-acquired infection among adult patients in low and middle-income countries ranged from 4.4% up to 88.9% and averaged at 42.7 episodes per 1000 patient-days.
High frequency of infection is associated with the use of invasive devices, in particular central-lines (CL), urinary catheters, and ventilators. Newborns are also a high-risk population in developing countries and neonatal infection rates are three to 20 times higher than in industrialized countries.
Evaluation of the key determinants of HCAI is an important step to identify strategies and measures for improvement. Recommendations by national and international organizations need to be implemented and accompanied by performance monitoring in countries in South-East Asia. 
WHO’s South-East Asia Region comprises of the following 11 Member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Datawind:Multi- language support for Ubislate series tablets



Datawind announces multi- language support for Ubislate series tablets
Strategic alliance with Reverie Language Technologies to Offer world’s lowest cost tablet PCs in multiple languages
New Delhi, 4 May, 2012 – Users of Ubislate tablets will be able to use the tablet in English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Punjabi and various other languages of India and the world. Datawind has entered a strategic alliance with Reverie Language Technologies Pvt. Ltd. of Bangalore to ensure that the Ubislate series of tablets will offer an end user experience in all major local languages of India and the world.
Announcing the alliance Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind said, “We are very happy to have formed this strategic partnership with Reverie for supply of language solutions. We feel strongly that technology should reach every corner of the world and knowledge of English should not be a barrier. This language solution will benefit the users by offering a new world of services and products to a segment of world population that has been ignored for so long.”
Reverie Language Technologies CEO Arvind Pani said, “We are very excited to be part of Datawind family and getting a chance of making digital information available to the masses in their preferred language. We strongly believe that our alliance will go a long way in bridging the digital divide in the under-privileged communities across the world.”
An operating system level of integration will ensure that the complete user experience will be in the language of choice of the customer. UbiSlate tablets will have text- rendering technology capable of displaying all languages including complex scripts and keypads for all supported languages including transliteration technology.
Datawind will provide UbiSlate range of tablets and its services in all major local regional Indian and world languages. The language aware tablets will allow the information to be consumed and created in the preferred language of the user, freeing them from using English alone.
About Datawind
Datawind is a leading provider of wireless web access products and services. DataWind’s product range includes the PocketSurfer handheld internet device, UbiSurfer netbooks and UbiSlate tablet devices. Based on several international patents, Datawind’s breakthrough technologies solve the bandwidth limitations of cellular networks by accelerating content delivery by factors of 10x to 30x – resulting in a superior mobile web experience at a lower cost. Datawind has offices in Amritsar, London, Montreal, Dallas and New Delhi.
About Reverie Language Technologies
Reverie Language Technologies is a leading provider of language solutions for digital platforms. Reverie’s product range includes Text Rendering Engine, Fonts, Input Methods and Transliteration Engine, based on several pending patents and copyrights. Reverie’s world leading solutions help solve the issue of digital divide across the under-privileged communities globally. Reverie is based in Bangalore, India with representative offices in Virginia, USA

Netanyahu set for easy Israel election win: polls

Netanyahu set for easy Israel election win: polls
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to sail to an easy victory in early general elections likely to take place in September, a series of polls showed today.

The Israeli leader is riding high in the polls, with surveys putting him far ahead of his rivals for prime minister and showing his Likud party will increase their parliamentary standing to become the biggest party in the 120-seat Knesset.
The latest polls come after days of speculation about the prospect of early elections, which had been scheduled for October 2013.
The head of Netanyahu’s coalition said yesterday that consensus had been reached on a September 4 date.
A poll published in Haaretz newspaper showed 48 per cent of Israelis back Netanyahu’s re-election, giving him more support than all three of his rivals combined.
Labour party leader Shelly Yachimovich trails with 15 per cent support, while nine per cent of respondents thought Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the ultra- nationalist Israel Beitenu party, was the best candidate for premier.
Just six per cent backed Shaul Mofaz, the new chief of the once-powerful Kadima opposition party which has seen its fortunes decline since the last election and is slated to lose more than half its seats in the next vote.
A poll published in Jerusalem Post daily said Likud could win 31 seats, up from the 27 it now holds, with Labour increasing its standing to 17 seats from 13, but still trailing Netanyahu’s faction.
Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu stands to lose two seats, taking it to 13, while the newly-formed Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party would win 12 seats, the poll said. Kadima stands to be the biggest loser, with its 28 seats reduced to just 10.
A third poll, published by the Maariv daily, produced similar figures, putting Likud at 31 seats, Labour at 18, Israel Beitenu at 12, and Kadima and Yesh Atid at 11 seats each.
The Independence party formed by former Labour head and current Defence Minister Ehud Barak is forecast to win no seats, though analysts have suggested Netanyahu may seek to keep Barak on in his post, over Likud objections.
The shape of any future coalition remains unclear.
Labour, Kadima and Yesh Atid have expressed willingness to join a Netanyahu government, but he could also choose to bring in smaller, right-wing and religious parties.
Netanyahu, who is observing the traditional mourning period after the death of his father, is expected to make a formal announcement advancing the election at a Likud meeting on Sunday.

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