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Scientific awareness on Stem Cell Banking

Temjenkaba

Life Cell is India’s first and largest stem cell bank which was Established in 2004, and is India’s first and largest stem cell bank enjoying the trust of 1,00,000 parents who have banked their children’s stem cells with the company. With state­of­the­art laboratories at Chennai & Gurgaon and a network spread over 100n service centres in the country & footprints in GCC countries, Life Cell is also the most recommended stem cell bank by gynaecologists.

The company is also the most accredited stem cell bank with certifications from national and international organization, this was stated by Brig.(Dr) Paramjit Singh while addressing at Workshop on scientific awareness stem cell banking held at Hotel ACACIA at Diampur on 11th of February 2015th with resources person Brig.(DR) Paramjit Singh DHOT from Life cell international PVT Ltd Gurgaon to create awareness on the stem cell banking from which people can benefit by way of treatment of more than 80 medical conditions which was attended by senior doctors from Kohima and Diampur.

Brig. (Dr. Paramjitsingh DHO inform that Life Cell is also the only player in the industry providing comprehensive stem cell solutions including menstrual stem cell banking, R&D and point­of­care stem cell therapy for orthopaedic, vascular and cardiovascular specialties He added that Stem cells have the ability to divide for indefinite periods in culture and to give rise to specialized cells and are the best described in the context of normal human development. Human development begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg and creates a single cell that has the potential to form an entire organism and this fertilized is tot potent, meaning that its potential is total.

In the first hours after fertilization, this cell divides into identical tot potent cells which means that either one of these cells, if placed into a woman’s uterus, has the potential to develop into a foetus.  Paramjit Singh mentioned that Cells capable of giving rise to most tissues of an organism are called pluripotent and comprise the inner cell mass cells in an embryo. The pluripotent cells undergo further specialization into stem cells that are committed to give rise to cells that have a particular function.

The examples of stem cells include blood stem cells which give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells & platelets; skin stem cells which give rise too various types of skin cells; and these more specialized stem cells are called multi potent. The advantage of Cord Blood stem cells are that it is easily available; it is non­invasive collection procedure which is better tolerated across the HLA barrier and has a lower frequency of CMV infection.

As per information it is worth mentioning that Over 30.000 cord cell blood transplants have so far done globally and Clinical phase 111 trials are on­going for a number of diseases which will soon result into stem cell therapy in the clinics. Life cell international, first and most accredited private cord blood bank has over hundred collection centre in India and aboard stores over 1,27,000 cord blood units at –degree centigrade in liquid nitrogen with of life of 23.5years. It is the only cord blood bank in the world with a dual storage facility at Chennai and Manesar.

The first transplantation of Umbilical Cord Blood was successfully performed in October 1988 by Gluck man et al to treat a boy with Fanconi’s anaemia and he is alive, well and completely cured of the haematological and life threatening manifestation of his disease more than 25 years after the procedure.

The donor, the Gluck man et al was his new born sister was a perfect HLA match for her brother. The medical fraternity are excited by the current state of knowledge and the immense potential in the exponential development in this field. The major limitations of using HLA­ matched related sibling donors in HSCT emphasize on the facts that only 30% to 40% of recipients have a HLA­ matched related family donor hence the search for an alternative source of HSC.

New born Screening (NBS) is a simple test taken at birth to enable early detection of condition in babies. The conditions screened for are individually rare but collectively more common. ­1 in 300 are diagnosed in US based on population screening for 29 conditions. The purpose of new born screening is to enable early detection of pre­symptomatic babies, to enable early treatment, to improve health, to reduce anxiety caused by uncertainty over symptoms before clinical diagnosis is made.

NBS is a public health success story. It is mandated by almost all developed countries as it saves lives, prevents disability, and in fact saves money. The widespread implementation of NBS in the US led it to its recognition as the ‘Ten Great Public Health Achievements’ in the US, between 2001 – 2010 (CDC, May 2011). In the Philippines, the New­born Screening Act of 2004, Article 1 Section 3, states that “every new-born must be given access to new­born screening”.

Temjenkaba is based in Nagaland

Role play is important for experiential learning

Temjenkaba

Role play is an activity presenting a small spontaneous play which describes possible real life situations. In this activity participants imitate someone else's characters involved. Role play allows students to enact situations before they meet those in real life. It also gives them an opportunity practice in the application of life skills that are important for themselves to protect them from risky situations. As an educational activity it provides opportunities to students for a truly experiential learning.
       
School education aims at all-round development of the learners. It enables the students to acquire knowledge, develop concepts and inculcate attitudes, values and skills conducive to their intellectual development and also to their physical, psychological and social development. The achievement of these aims depends largely on the way the curriculum is transacted. And moreover adoption of appropriate instructional approaches for providing comprehensive learning experiences to pupils is required. The instructional approaches for curriculum transaction are generally categorized as curricular and co-curricular. The curricular approach which is popularly used by teachers in schools, is mainly cognitive and helps learners acquire knowledge, and at best, devise their own methods of learning, organizing and applying the knowledge which they gather or discover..

These objectives may be achieved more effectively with the application of instructional strategies that provide opportunities to learners for going beyond the process of passive listening and receiving information to that of thinking, reasoning, feeling and doing. In fact, "doing and discovering has been the natural and normal course through which the humankind has been able to gather, gradually to this
day, the vast fund of knowledge about, and control over, various facts and events. By following the same process as the teaching learning strategy it would be possible to make learning more absorbing, meaningful, experiential and stable.

Co-curricular activities belong to a category of transactional strategies that has abundant potential to influence the non-cognitive learning. These activities strengthen and clarify the content transacted through the curricular approach and provide a variety of learning experiences that help learners enrich themselves by not only acquiring knowledge but also developing better understanding, positive
attitude and the life skills.

Co-curricular approach may prove effective especially in an innovative area like adolescence education. Since adolescence education is a new curricular area and has culturally very sensitive, integration in the school syllabi and textbooks will take a rather long time. But in view of the urgent needs, it is felt that the teaching of this curricular concern may not be postponed further. In order to initiate the teaching in this curricular concern forthwith, therefore, co-curricular activities can prove very handy. Moreover, even though the desired integration of adolescence education is actualized, all its concerns may not be covered through textbooks of the subjects presently being taught at the school stage. Co-curricular activities will facilitate the coverage of entire content of adolescence
education.

Co-curricular approach has a special significance for this curricular area. One of the main aims of adolescence education is the development of life skills relating to adolescent reproductive and sexual health concerns among learners, besides making them aware of and developing in them positive attitudes towards these concerns. Co-curricular activities may be used as an effective pedagogical method to realize the objective of development of life skills among the learners.

Appropriately designed co-curricular activities aimed at skill development may provide opportunities to learners to participate in learning experiences on an individual basis or in groups. Since these activities lay special emphasis on experiential learning, learners will be engaged in a dynamic teaching-learning process, which will lead them to an active acquisition, processing and structuring of
experiences.

Under National Population Education Project, many co-curricular activities are being organized. Out of all co-curricular activities National Role Play Competition is an important one. It is found that all States/UTs, teachers, parents and students have a great interest towards this activity at every level. Interactive participation of student provides them opportunities for experiential learning for life skills development and also validating the strategies of the role play for development of ability to apply life skills in peer group situations. It also helps to create enabling environment for effective transaction of Adolescence Education in Schools.

This activity will be organized at five levels i.e. Schools, Block, Districts, States, Regional Level and National Level. However the number of levels from schools to district may be decided by the concerned implementing agency, keeping the expenditure into consideration. In States and UTs where the number of schools are limited, it can be organized less than five levels. For every level, only one team will be selected for sending to the next level.
Temjenkaba is working at the government information office in Kohima, Nagaland.

Security Challenges in Manipur and Tripura in NE

B.L.Vohra IPS (Retd.) - Northeast has always been a security challenge for India since Independence starting with Nagaland initially and continues to be so even today after 66 years. The latest challenge is the racial attacks on the youth of that region in Delhi in the beginning of 2014 though this challenge is of a different kind. Of the eight sisters (Sikkim has been added later), the situation is generally okay except Assam and Manipur. Assam has been having problems of ULFA, Bangladeshi illegal migrants, demands of Bodoland etc. Manipur, an erstwhile princely state is worst because it is a small area with much less population than Assam and yet the violence there has been going on unabated for decades except in the recent past. In sharp contrast in the region is Tripura, another erstwhile princely state with a small population, where the state government with a strong political will backed by the local police has tackled insurgency and the state is peacefully on road to development.

The people of Manipur have been facing violence for many decades now. Sometime back we read about bomb blasts close to the residence of the Chief Minister in Imphal, the state capital, and it was not for the first time. We can only imagine the situation in rest of the state. The people are suffering both at the hands of more than two dozen insurgent groups of Meities, Nagas and Kukis on the one hand and by the security forces on the other hand. Ambushes, murders, kidnappings, extortions etc have been going on for a long time though of late the violence is rather low. There is no economic development, in fact there are sufferings. . In the interiors there is not enough drinking water, electricity, roads; schools, dispensaries etc. and the poverty continues. Then there is economic blockade by the Nagas for long periods on the main highway from Dimapur to Imphal leading to more economic sufferings. There is no political will to tackle the situation in Manipur and this in turn is due to deep-rooted corruption in the state led by the politicians and followed by police, bureaucracy and others, of course with honourable exceptions. The central government is a milch cow and most of the money being sent by it is being pocketed in one form or the other.

A landlocked state with a valley in the middle and hills around it, is primarily inhabited by the Meities, mainly the Hindus, and Kukis in the valley and Nagas and Kuks in the hills. All three communities have their aspirations and all took to guns to fulfill these aspirations. Whereas the Naga insurgency is quite old, the main group now fighting for independence is NSCN (I-M). Both Issac and Muviah, after whom the faction is named, belong to the Ukhrul district of Manipur. There is a ceasefire of the central government with this group and negotiations have been going on for a long time on its demand of autonomy within the Indian Constitution (earlier they were demanding a separate country). They have also been wanting merger of the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur with Greater Nagaland which is not acceptable to Manipur. Then the Meities in the valley have also been demanding independence and have many underground groups starting with UNLF (United National Liberation Front), PLA (Peoples’ Liberation Army), PREPAK, KCP and many others. These days MPA (Manipur Peoples’ Army consisting both of UNLF and PLA) is strongest. These groups have been a force to reckon with by indulging in lot of violence like NSCN. Kukis are following the same path and have groups demanding a separate homeland though there is ceasefire with a few groups these days. But essentially most of these two dozen groups are extortionists and criminals. Since there are no economic opportunities in the state, this has created a serious security situation. With the international border with Myanmar, many of these groups have their camps on the other side and we have not been getting any help from that country due to its own problems.

Then China has been fishing in troubled waters by giving training and weapons earlier and now also may be involved. The police are under tremendous pressure all the time. Even though CRPF, Assam Rifles and Army are there for decades now, no real difference in the situation is there. People have been demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act). We have all heard of iron lady Irom Sharmila in Manipur who is on fast for more than a decade on this issue. It is a pity that such a wonderful state in the lap of nature with lovely people, which is also called the sports factory of India in the form of well known players in all disciplines playing all over the country for different teams (remember Mary Kom, the recent Olympic Bronze Winner boxer woman who incidentally now is SP in Manipur Police) is having this fate with no light anywhere on the horizon.

Tripura also had its violent insurgency from seventies of the last century onwards. It was the state of tribals. After the partition of India Hindus from Bangladesh came in large numbers to Tripura and became the majority population in the state. They captured the land of the tribals, trade, commerce, and politics and became the rulers. The tribals having been driven away took up arms demanding their own homeland wanting the migrants to be driven away. The insurgency there was fuelled earlier by Pakistan, from East Pakistan, and later by Bangladesh thorough their intelligence agencies. The Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh added to the problems. Even though Tripura played an important role in the liberation of Bangladesh, its long border with that country (it is surrounded by Bangladesh from three sides) has been more of a problem with most of the insurgents of Tripura and even others of northeast establishing camps there aided and abetted by that government. Violence, kidnappings, ambushes, murders, arson were the order of the day from mid seventies of the last century up to the year 2000 when the state took on the insurgents.

The state police backed by a strong political will took on the main insurgent groups of NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura), ATTF (All Tripura /Tribal Front of Tripura) and others with no help from the Army but backed by CRPF mainly. Today there is peace in the state. Of course there is normal crime there now with increase in rapes etc. but insurgency has withered away though there is a need of keeping a close watch. The state government there is giving its due to the entire population spread all over the state by running an honest and efficient administration with a tight control on money. The main reason for this success has been the political will of the honest Chief Minister Manik Sarkar of the CPM. And this trait of honesty follows in the police, bureaucracy and elsewhere generally. Because of this Sarkar last year won his fourth term as Chief Minister. Personally he is known to be the poorest Chief Minister in the country with only about Rupees Ten Thousand with him with no car, house or any other property and bank account. The people there are so happy with him that they elected CPM again against all odds even when it was washed away in West Bengal and Kerala where it had been ruling for a long time.

Reverting to Manipur since the state government has failed to show the results mainly due to lack of political will, logically the central government should have stepped in effectively. But Manipur is far too away from Delhi to merit any attention. Moreover it has just two MPs which count for nothing in a house of 543 members. So politics is responsible for the mess there. The institution of having an elected state government, which is applicable across the board in India based on the Constitution, has not paid dividends here.

Twice during informal meetings I asked Shri P. Chidambaram, when he was the Union Home Minister, as to why Manipur can’t be sorted out, he told me, “The Chief Minister there is a problem”. So they know here at the Centre also that the politicians are the main reason behind this situation there but can’t do or don’t want to do anything about it. I also told this twice to the Prime Minister, again during informal meetings. He knew the problem and asked me to suggest a solution. I told him to have President’s rule for a long time. Obviously that is not possible due to democratic system adopted by us across the board in the country. The tragedy is that everybody knows what is wrong there and yet nobody is doing anything about it or shall we say unable to do anything because of the democratic system that we have adopted. It is good to have elections, have representatives in the state assemblies, and the majority party ruling the state. But if it is no good for ages in any particular state of the country, should we not have a provision for a different set up in case of such a need?

One way could be to have President’s rule with the best of bureaucrats, serving or retired, from all over the country to work in the state in all areas of work. They should be given double the pay of the last pay drawn and surely the matters will improve. But according to the present constitutional provisions, President’s rule can be imposed in a state in certain circumstances of which the current ones as in Manipur are not included. Moreover President’s rule is only for a short period -generally for six months and sometimes up to one year. This period is not good enough for improvements situations like Manipur. And we can’t send honest efficient politicians from other states (though hardly any are available) on deputation to places like Manipur!

In my humble view there should be a constitutional amendment giving much more powers to the Governor to rule the state with an advisory council of the local people’s representatives, elected or otherwise. And this should be for a minimum period of five years to begin with. May be during that time the public is able to throw up good, honest and efficient politicians who can take up the reins of the state government. Meanwhile the central government has to make sincere efforts on all fronts including diplomatic with the bordering countries for a just and peaceful north-east along with the rest of India.

Let me also add that I am not holding any brief for CPM saying that it is a good party or saying that Congress is a bad party. It is the leadership in the states that matters. In Punjab it was the Congress Chief Minister Shri Beant Singh who showed the political will to tackle insurgency and even laid down his life. In Tripura it is the CPM which has succeeded.

A word about the functioning of the police would be in order here. It the same police all over India. It is competent and can deliver provided it is given the political backing and resources. Punjab, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh have been outstanding examples. How is it that the same policemen can deliver results in Tripura and not in Manipur? Of course the police leadership has also to rise to the occasion. 2014

The author has served as DGP Manipur and Tripura

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Earthen lamps on way to museum

T Chakraborty

Dewali, the festival of light is at the sight. After few days the whole country will observe this festival with lots of enthusiasm and fanfare. Ahead of this festival the picture of pottery locality is completely changed. The potters

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