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Mount Nalini, in honour of her Himalayan efforts

Veteran mountaineer Nalini Sengupta is set to become the first Puneite to have a Himalyan peak christened in her honour. Sexagenarian Sengupta, who has scaled several summits till now, was bestowed with his honour recently after trekkers of Giripremi, a noted mountaineering institute in the city, conquered peak 5260 in the Hamta pass region in Himalayas and decided to name it as “Mount Nalini”, to salute her persistent efforts to inculcate mountaineering in youngsters since 1970.

According to Umesh Zirpe, Co-ordinator of Giripremi Mountaineering Institute and leader of Giripremi’s Mount Everest expedition, “Generally, the first team who summits a new virgin peak is granted the honour to name it. Till today, many teams have explored and conquered new mountains. They have named them after their favourite gods, local deities and villages.”

“Pk 5260 in the Hamta pass region was a challenge in itself. We named this peak after Nalini Sengupta. Her devotion for mountaineering is nothing less than the altitude of Everest. She already has crossed barriers of lack of funds, equipment and encouragement too. She was literally in No Mans Land when she had started mountaineering in early 70s, when even mountaineering word was unfamiliar to Indians,” Zirpe said.

Elaborating on the efforts took by Nalini for promoting mountaineering, Zirpe said, “In 1970, Sengupta participated in the first Basic Mountaineering Course for women conducted at the National Institute of Mountaineering. Sengupta was selected as the coach for the adventure training programme from among 30 cadets. Since then, she has been spreading awareness about mountaineering. Her Vidya Valley High School also has a dedicated trekking club.”

Being an avid trekker and an adventure training coach, Sengupta was thrilled to hear the news. “When I heard this, first I felt very awkward but afterwards I enjoyed this title a lot. To salute this honour to me, I will soon go to the base camp. Now I cannot conquer the mountain which is named after me because of the age factor. But I will go to the base camp in Himalaya atleast,” Sengupta told media persons, adding “Mountaineering is in my blood.”

Source:The Indian Express

Magsaysay awards for Sanjiv Chaturvedi and Anshu Gupta

Whistleblower Indian forest officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who was removed from the post of Chief Vigilance officer at AIIMS, and founder of NGO Goonj Anshu Gupta are the two Indians selected for this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Three others who have been selected for the award include Kommaly Chanthavong from Laos, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa from Philippines and Kyaw Thu from Myanmar, the board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) announced.

Chaturvedi, who has been awarded for "Emergent Leadership", is currently the Deputy Secretary of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was removed in August last year from his post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner at AIIMS. He had alleged that he was transferred because he had detected irregularities at the institute.

The Foundation said that Chaturvedi is being recognised for "his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honourably serves the people of India."

Gupta, who left his corporate job to start Goonj in 1999, is being recognised for "his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor, and in reminding the world that true giving always respects and preserves human dignity."

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's highest honour.

Want to improve working memory? Climb a tree!

Climbing a tree and balancing on a beam can dramatically boost cognitive skills, according to a new study which found that working memory can be improved in just a couple of hours of these physical exercises.

Researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Florida are the first to show that proprioceptively dynamic activities, like climbing a tree, done over a short period of time have dramatic working memory benefits.

Working memory, the active processing of information, is linked to performance in a wide variety of contexts from grades to sports.

“Improving working memory can have a beneficial effect on so many areas in our life, and it’s exciting to see that proprioceptive activities can enhance it in such a short period of time,” said Tracy Alloway, an associate professor.

The aim of this study was to see if proprioceptive activities completed over a short period of time can enhance working memory performance.

Proprioception, the awareness of body positioning and orientation, is associated with working memory. It was also of interest whether an acute and highly intensive period of exercise would yield working memory gains.

The research was published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills.

Source: The Hindu

Two Indians among Booker long-list

Indian author Anuradha Roy and British-Indian Sunjeev Sahota are among 13 international authors long-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the prestigious literary prize committee announced here today.

Roy has been picked for her third novel, 'Sleeping on Jupiter', and Sahota for 'The Year of the Runaways', the committee said.

'Sleeping on Jupiter' has received glowing reviews for its attempt at exposing the hypocrisies of Indian society, while Sahota has been praised for his tale of Indian migrant workers living in Britain.

The judges were struck by the international spectrum of the novels, with the longlist also featuring British writers, American writers and writers from the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria and Jamaica.

The shortlist of six will be announced on September 15 at the Man Group offices in London and the 2015 winner will be declared at the annual gala ceremony at London's Guildhall on October 13.

Source: Source: The Economic Times

Drones to control man-animal conflicts

If things go according to plan, drones may soon come to the rescue of those caught in conflict with wild animals. Scientists at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun have decided to use drone technology as a tool to control the increasing cases of man-animal conflict in and around forest areas.

"Besides regular surveillance of our wildlife, we have found that drones can also be used for conflict resolution. We can fly these machines at short distances on the periphery of our forests to track if any large mammal like a tiger or elephant has strayed into the nearby villages," WII's wildlife scientist K Ramesh, in-charge of the project, told PTI.

In cases where the villagers notice that a wild animal is lurking dangerously close to human habitat, they can inform the forest department who can fly a drone fitted with GPS device and hi-resolution cameras in the area to find out the exact location of the animal.

"It would then be driven back to the forest by officials," Ramesh said.

Source: PTI

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