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Action plan launched to bring down infant mortality in state

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HYDERABAD: With the aim of bringing down Telangana’s neonatal mortality rate (NMR) down to a single digit, the state health minister Dr C Laxma Reddy unveiled Telangana’s Newborn Action Plan (TNAP) at a workshop with health experts in the city on Tuesday .

In Telangana, the present NMR rate of 25 -defined as death of newborns between birth to 28 days of age per 1,000 live births in a given year -happens to be highest in South India, according to government data. The national NMR rate now stands at 28.

Under TNAP , the Centre has already sanctioned Rs 761 lakh to the state government for child health in 2015-16 to government hospitals to strengthen existing newborn care facilities and set up new ones.

“Our target is to bring down NMR rate to less than 10 by 2030. This we are going to achieve by ensuring that there are at least three Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs) in each district,” said Dr C Laxma Reddy , adding that Telangana is the first state in South India to implement an online monitoring system for all SNCUs. In fact, government officials said that the Telangana state is already showing improvement on the NMR front as against during undivided AP . The NMR rate used to be 27 but had come down to 25 now. However, despite a two-point drop in NMR rate, sources said that the last one year saw around 12,000 neonatal deaths in Telangana.

“These deaths were attributed to causes like pre maturity , birth asphyxia, neona tal sepsis, birth defects, home de liveries, delay in early initiation of breast feeding, lack of maternal education among others,” said Dr Gagan Gupta, health specialist, During the workshop, which was attended by top health officials of the state including principal secretary health Rajeshwar Tiwari, birth defect e-registry was launched by commissioner of health and family welfare, Telangana.

Said to be a first of its kind in India, sources that the the e-registry would identify all children with birth defects in Telangana by linking all hospitals in a phased manner so that corrective measures could be initiated.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Higher number of colleges, less number of graduates

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HYDERABAD: Despite housing the highest number of colleges in the country -for every one lakh people a meagre 22% of Telangana’s population has completed their graduation, reveal data on educational levels of cities collected as part of Census 2011.

According to the data, only 14 lakh people, from a total population of 68 lakh (above 15 years of age), have finished their three-year degree course in the state -most of them in technical streams such as engineering & technology . This figure, educationalists point out, is abysmally low considering that the Annual Status of Higher Education (ASHE) report released last month listed Telangana as the state with the highest number colleges in India. For every 1,818 people, the report stated, the state has one college.

Experts, while admitting to this demand-supply gap, attribute this to the widespread exploitation of the fee reimbursement scheme in troduced by the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government, which they say has led to a spurt in private colleges. “The fee reimbursement scheme -under which the government pays a student’s fee to the institution -is one of the major reasons why there has been an increase in private colleges. So, since last year, we stopped giving permissions to new colleges. In 2013, the AP government issued permissions to 300 colleges,” said Papi Reddy, chairman of the Telangana State Council of Higher Education.

Other educationalists couldn’t agree more. Reiterating how the fee reimbursement scheme has turned into a tool for colleges to “milk the government” they point out that the scheme has led to the mushrooming of private colleges in the state. Standing testimony to this is the ASHE report, which states that 82.2% of colleges in Telangana are private unaided institutions.

While Hyderabad is the educational hub, Karimnagar beats all other districts in the number of graduates it holds. Nearly 23.56% (52,034) of Karimnagar’s residents (total population 2.2 lakh) are graduates (or more) as compared to 22.62% (12 lakh) in Hyderabad (total population including Secunderabad area is 53 lakh). Neighbouring districts such as Nalgonda and Warangal also have better figures with 22.94% and 20% of its population to have completed their graduation respectively.

Although the Telangana government has now laid out stricter rules to issue affiliations to private colleges, the number of graduates being produced each raise serious questions about the quality of education being provided at higher education institutions, say experts. “Although there is a high number of private colleges in Telangana, the quality of education imparted remains a major concern. And this is reflected in the All India Council of Technical Education’s decision to suspend approvals of thousands of colleges last year, significant number from the southern region,” said Rohin Kapoor, director of Deloitte India, which authored the ASHE report in collaboration with the ministry of human resource development.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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Video-conference facility launched for city police

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HYDERABAD: Telangana director-general of police (DGP) Anurag Sharma launched a video-conferencing facility at the Hyderabad police commissionerate at Basheerbagh on Tuesday.The facility enables officials of various ranks to communicate (audio-video) with each other and also share real time data from wherever they are by just logging into a special software tool on their smart phone, tab or personal computer.

The software support for the initiative is being provided free of cost by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The Hyderabad police have already provided the cops in the city with required hardware like smartphones, tabs and computers with webcams along with wireless internet connection.

About 150 police personnel could login at a time and use the video-conferencing facility and each individual, for instance a DCP or an ACP or an inspector, can create hisher own group to communicate. Also, based on the necessity, multiple groups could communicate simultaneously.

“The facility enables a message given by a senior officer reach police personnel in the field directly in real time making it very effective.Similarly, police personnel, who are in the field, can show the situation on the ground to senior officials by pointing the cell phone ca mera,” Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy said.

DGP Anurag Sharma formally launched the facility by using the facility to talk to a few cops, including DCPs of the East and the South Zone, who were at their respective offices.

“It is a very good initiative. If this works well, then the facility will be extended to the entire state with the help of NIC as it does not involve any additional cost,” the DGP added.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the video-conferencing facility, the Hyderabad police commissioner spoke to Blue Colts and patrolling mobile teams of Narayanguda, Ramgopalpet and Amberpet police stations, who were on the roads.The police constables of the concerned teams were able to show live visuals of their surroundings while talking to the commissioner about the crime rate in the particular locality.

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Source: TOI-Hyd

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