UK Bribery Act may put additional pressure on some Indian companies

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Indian companies doing business in the UK will have to watch out the next time they take a bureaucrat out for a long liquid lunch or try to soften up a hard-nosed regulatory official. Someone could be watching them.
The UK Bribery Act, 2010, a draconian legislation that will come into force from next week, may put additional pressure on some of the companies, already grappling with corruption scandals, say experts. Indian business houses that run some of their activities in the UK will be exposed to potential criminal liability where bribes are paid by employees, agents and subsidiaries even if the relevant conduct happens in some other part of the world. Lawyers say that many Indian companies with business links in UK are consulting them to find ways to comply with the new law that becomes operational from July 1.
The Act introduces four new offences – offering, promising or giving of a bribe (which need not be in cash); requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a bribe, either in the UK or abroad, in public as well as private sectors; bribery of a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain business; and, inability of companies to prevent a bribe being paid by those who perform services for or on behalf of the organisation.

Quality of food affects weight loss

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A study has found that the best way to lose weight is to concentrate on the quality of food that we eat and not on the amount.

What you eat is said to have a greater impact on weight gain than other lifestyle factors such as exercise, a TV couch-potato existence or the amount of sleep you get each night.

Experts at Harvard School of Public Health in America revealed that small lifestyle changes can make all the difference to staying in shape rather than becoming overweight or obese.

But they said focusing on calories alone would not keep you slim. Instead, the best way to stay a healthy weight is eat nutritious and filling foods of good quality, especially when it comes to carbohydrates.

“An average adult gains about 1lb per year. Because the weight gain is so gradual and occurs over many years, it has been difficult for scientists and for individuals themselves to understand the specific factors that may be responsible,” the Daily Express quoted study co-author Dr Dariush Mozaffaria as saying.

“Small dietary and other lifestyle changes can together make a big difference – for bad or good. This makes it easy to gain weight unintentionally, but also demonstrates the tremendous opportunity for prevention.

A handful of the right lifestyle changes will go a long way,” Mozaffaria said.

The findings have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why low birth weight leads to obesity later ?

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A study involving an Indian-origin researcher has shed light on the link between low birth weights and obesity later in life.

Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center using fetal neural stem cells from animal models found that altering the levels of two common hormones, insulin and leptin, in the uterus changes the cellular development in the region of the brain that regulates appetite.

Leptin and insulin play a role in the body’s ability to regulate energy balance, with leptin serving as a long-term appetite regulator.

Importantly, these hormone levels are altered in infants of mothers with gestational diabetes, obesity or inadequate nutrition during pregnancy.

“By studying the ways in which leptin and insulin communicate with neural stem cells to divide and direct the cell fate, we may one day be able to come up with a new way to combat obesity,” said Mina Desai, PhD, a LA BioMed principal researcher and the corresponding author of the study.

The study has been published online by the journal Endocrinology.

New device ‘can improve success rate for knee surgery’

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Scientists have developed a new device which they claim can improve the success rate for surgery on a knee injury.

The rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee are common in sportspersons. Until now, it has been treated with screws that bind the damaged ligament to the bone but this method often fails as the screw slips out of place.

Now, a team at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has developed the device, known as GraftBolt, which could fix the problem — by squeezing the bone and ligament together and it is less likely to slip free.

The scientists say it increases the reliability of ACL reconstruction and reduces the need for follow-up procedures, ’The Scotsman’ reported.

Dr Bin Wang, who led the team, said: “GraftBolt aims to improve the patient’s quality of life by successfully repairing their injury first time and improving the quality of bonding of the graft to the bone.”

What Is A Dad?

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The Dad is a person who is mostly away, supposedly working at a place called office. While at home, he is mostly dormant and could be found lying on the lower bunk in the other bedroom. During the last Birthday, he gifted us a bunk bed with the ulterior intention of getting us banished from the Master Bedroom, but in turn got himself banished! Ha ha ha! Our Dad doesn’t snore; he roars. If he is not sleeping, one can find him on the computer playing games or socializing on FB. He is a mood spoiler, for as soon as he returns from work, he fiddles with the TV remote and changes channel to the boring news or cricket. He is also the person who drives us around the city and, using a plastic card pays for all the stuff that we shop. He does play football or basketball with us for some time during the weekends, but fakes to get tired and dozes off on the sofa in the living room. If he is awake, and roaming around the house, one should be vigilant and should constantly monitor his position, for one, you might have to jump in and rescue our mother from whom he might try steal a hug and a kiss, which rightfully belongs to us or even to vamoose away from that vicinity as he dissipates one of his slimy greasy ones. He is most active and animated during Saturday evenings, when he has this usual five hour skype chat with his best friend from across the globe, during which he downs a couple of drinks and display’s to them on camera what our mother has cooked. He then eats his food sitting in front of the computer looking into the webcam and intermittently commenting “Wow, it is tasty…. I need some more”.

Indian newlyweds offered cash to delay having children

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While countries like Japan, Canada and Australia hand out “baby bonuses” to encourage people to have children, couples in one part of India are getting cash to do just the opposite.

Maharashtrastate is paying newlyweds a so-called “honeymoon” bonus to delay starting a family, with the twin aims of slowing population growth and improving women’s health.

Rajia Sayad was 20 when she married her husband Shakil in 2007. The couple lives with his parents in Shendurjane village in Satara district, about 250 kilometres (155 miles) from the state capital, Mumbai.

Money is tight and not always regular. Rajia is an unpaid housewife and Shakil is a musician, earning 200 to 2,500 rupees ($4.40 to $55) a month during the wedding season. His father earns about 3,000 rupees a month selling fruit.

The young couple signed up for the scheme soon after they were married.

“We didn’t want a child so soon,” she told AFP. “Our circumstances weren’t so good. I was also feeling physically weak and I didn’t want any problems with the child in the future. That’s why we took the decision.”

Rajia and other women like her were attracted by the offer of 5,000 rupees in cash if they stayed childless for two years after their nuptials. If they hold out for another year, they receive an extra 2,500 rupees.

The scheme is voluntary: the only conditions being that the marriage has to be registered with the government and that participants sign a consent form confirming that they are taking part of their own free will.

Over the first two years, couples have to attend compulsory counselling and education classes every three months.

The sessions include family planning advice. Free condoms and the oral contraceptive pill are available. Even abortions can be arranged.

India’s population jumped to 1.21 billion in 2011 from 1.02 billion in 2001, according to provisional census figures released last month.

OnlyChina- with 1.34 billion – has more people, butIndiais set to surpass its Asian rival and neighbour by 2030.

The family remains the cornerstone of Indian society, particularly in more conservative rural areas, with children seen as a guarantee of future income and support where little or no state help exists.

Sanjay Gandhi, son of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, made attempts to control population growth in the 1970s, but his sterilisation scheme was so controversial that no serious nationwide project has been attempted since.

Doctors at the state health authority in Pune say four out of every 10 brides inMaharashtraare under 18 – the legal age of marrriage.

In Satara district, brides are typically aged 19 and more than 80 percent conceive within a year.

Dr Prakash Doke said schemes to encourage later conception were vital because of the impact of childbirth on young women.

“If the age of the girl is less than 18 or less than 20, the chances of maternal mortality and the new-born death rate are very high,” he said.

Thirty-one out of every 1,000 children born in Satara district die before their first birthday.

InIndiaas a whole, around 254 women died from pregnancy-related causes out of 100,000 live births in 2008, according to a study published last year in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Local midwife Ratnamala Jaganath Shelar says that changing traditional attitudes is tough.

“The in-laws don’t think that their daughter-in-law is still small, isn’t old enough and her body hasn’t fully developed yet. They don’t like all this (the scheme). They just want a child,” she said.

Nearly 4,300 couples, though, have challenged tradition and signed up for the “honeymoon” project since its inception in 2007. Close to 1,200 have completed the programme. Some 150 couples have dropped out.

The project is due to end next year but three other districts in Maharahstra are now looking to start their own. The initiative has also attracted interest from Madhya Pradesh in centralIndiaand Jharkhand in the east.

As for Rajia and Shakil, the couple still plans to have children at some point – ideally a boy and a girl – but only when the time is right.

“If you have a child you should be able to take care of it, right?” said Rajia.