Thursday, March 12, 2015

Oscar / Academy Awards 2015

87th Academy Award, popularly called Oscar Awards, was conferred on 22 February 2015. The award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The Oscar Awards for the year 2015 were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 24 categories.
The awards were produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony for the first time.
The list of winners of 87th Academy Awards
  • Best Picture: Birdman
  • Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
  • Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
  • Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons for Whiplash
  • Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Achievement in Costume Design: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Ida directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Best Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call
  • Best Documentary Short Subject: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Original Screenplay: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman
  • Achievement in Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley for Whiplash
  • Achievement in Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray Bub Asman for American Sniper
  • Achievement in Visual Effects: Ian Hunter, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley and Paul Franklin for Interstellar
  • Best Animated Short Film: Feast directed by Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
  • Best Animated Movie: Big Hero Six 6
  • Achievement in Production Design: Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Achievement in Cinematograph: Emannuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Achievement in Film Editing: Tom Cross for Whipalsh
  • Best Documentary Feature: Citizen Four directed by Laura Poitras
  • Best Original Song: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn for Glory
  • Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Swine Flue

What is Swine Influenza?
Swine Influenza is an infection which is caused by various type of swine influenza virus. Swine influenza virus, which is endemic in pigs, is any strain of influenza family of virus.
In 2009 it was found out that the Swine Influenza Virus strains contains influenza A and influenza C, which are two of the six viruses known. Out of the three viruses which cause human influenza (attack of virus of influenza family on humans) two are common with the viruses which attack pigs. Influenza A is very common in pigs while Influenza C being rare. Sub groups of Influenza A have been found in strains of swine influenza virus, which are H1N1, H1N2 and H2N3 to mention some.
How it is transferred?
Swine Influenza is easily transferred amongst pigs but rarely to human beings. People in regular exposure with the pigs are at high risk of infection. Influenza is quite common in pigs, with about half of breeding pigs having been exposed to the virus in the US. People who work with poultry and swine are at increased risk of zoonotic infection, and constitute a population of human hosts in which zoonosis can co-occur.
Zoonosis is infectious diseases of animals which are transferred to humans. Ebola, Swine Influenza is examples of zoonosis.
The 2009 H1N1 virus was not zoonotic swine flu, as it was not transmitted from pigs to humans, but from a human to human. Vaccination of these workers against influenza and surveillance for new influenza strains among this population may therefore be an important public health measure.
Direct transfer of influenza from pigs to humans is rare because since 1958 only 50 such cases have been reported. The transmission from swine to humans occurs mainly in swine farms, where farmers are in close contact with pigs.
Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing, which results in fellow humans coming in contact with the virus. The virus is not transmitted through food.
Recent global incidences of Swine influenza
The United States was attacked by the influenza in 1976. The outbreak is remembered for its mass immunization process that resulted in only one death.
In 2009, India along with US and Mexico faced swine flu pandemic due to the outbreak of H1N1 virus. Over 1800 deaths were reported due to the flu. In 2010, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that swine influenza pandemic was over.
How it can be prevented?
Prevention techniques usually recommended to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control, which includes frequent washing of hands, especially after being out in public.
Experts agree hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, including ordinary and the swine flu infections. Public health and other responsible authorities have action plans which may request or require social distancing actions, depending on the severity of the outbreak.
Farmers and veterinarians are encouraged to use face masks when dealing with infected animals. The use of vaccines on swine to prevent their infection is a major method of limiting swine-to-human transmission.
Vaccines to treat Swine Influenza
Vaccines are available for different kinds of swine flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses.
However, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drugs

World Bank released a report on Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development in Himachal Pradesh

World Bank on 28 January 2015 released a report titled Scaling the Heights: Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development in Himachal Pradesh.
It is the first report of its kind for Himachal Pradesh. It is a macro-social account of the state’s achievements over the past several decades. Simultaneously, it is an interdisciplinary attempt to understand the confluence of factors that allowed the state to move toward social inclusion and sustainable development.
Main highlights of the Report
    Per capita income in Himachal Pradesh is the second highest in the country – an impressive achievement given that more than 90 percent of its residents live in rural areas.
    Educational attainment is among the highest in the country, and the share of women in the workforce is larger than in most other states.
    Himachal Pradesh is the first state in the country to have banned the use of plastic bags.  The state is also a trail-blazer in sanitation and is the first among its north Indian neighbours to come close to becoming open defecation free.
    Cultural factors have also led to strong women’s participation in development programs, helping the state reach high levels of sanitation, immunization and school attendance.
    The policies adopted and the quality of their implementation is the foremost propeller of inclusive development in the State
    Poverty headcount is nearly one-third the national average. Rural poverty showed an impressive four-fold decline, falling from 36.8 percent in 1993–94 to 8.5 percent in 2011, benefitting all social groups in both rural and urban areas.
    Educational attainment is among the highest in the country, particularly among excluded groups. More members of SC and ST groups have completed secondary or higher levels of schooling, both in rural and urban areas compared to other states, including southern states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
    The big success story is in female labour force participation which stands second in the country after Sikkim. More than 60 percent women in rural areas were in the labor force in 2011–12, significantly higher than the all-India average of 27 percent
    Although fewer women worked in urban areas yet 28 percent of women in the State were in labour force. These levels were on par with Kerala and Tamil Nadu and double that of neighboring states.
    Urban areas in Himachal Pradesh lag behind rural areas in human development outcomes. Therefore, as urbanization levels increase, the state will have to ensure that urban growth is well-planned, enabling its residents to access key services and partake in the new economic opportunities that cities and towns have to offer.