News in Numbers, Aug 29, 2016: Under-reporting of TB cases, ISRO’s scramjet engine test…

22 lakh

What is it? The number of patients that sought treatment from private doctors for tuberculosis in 2014, according to a study. Reporting TB cases by private doctors to the government is mandatory.

Why is it important? This indicates under-reporting by private doctors to the government about the number of TB cases. Private doctors reported just over a lakh of TB cases to the government in 2014. The patients who sought private care spent Rs 395 crore on drugs alone whereas the government offers free treatment in state-run hospitals.

Tell me more: The study was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal. The government’s National Strategic Plan (201-17) aims for a TB-free India. Its had targeted to include early detection and diagnosis of at least 90% of the estimated TB cases by 2015. In addition, it had also aimed to extend the state-run Revised National TB Control Program to those diagnosed and treated in the private sector.



What is it? The number of scramjet engines that were tested at the launch of ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle from Sriharikota on Sunday.

Why is it important? The technology used in this launch could bring down launch costs by up to 10-fold. Generally, rockets carry both fuel and oxidiser for combustion but in this case, the scramjet engines used oxygen from the atmosphere for combustion, which decreases their weight and increases their efficiency. India is the fourth countryto demonstrate the scramjet engines’ flight.

Tell me more: In addition to another current project that focuses ondevelopment of a reusable launch vehicle, this would help position ISRO as one of low-cost space transportation and exploration service providers.



What is it? The percentage of police officers in India that face mild to severe fatigue due to occupational hazards, according to a study.

Why is it important? This leads to poor concentration and judgment, reduced vigilance, eye-hand coordination and visual perception, impaired recollection of events and slow reaction times. The alarming percentage suggests that this could be one of the main but often-ignored reasons for the inefficient law enforcement system in the country. India ranked 59 among 102 countries on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2015. In terms of order and security(includes threats such as conventional crime, political violence, violence used as a means to redress personal grievances), it ranks 90 in the list.

Tell me more: The reasons for a majority of the police officers experiencing fatigue include irregular working hours, lack of proper sleep, inadequate or untimely food, inability to meet family members even after work hours, alcohol use, smoking and the non-availability of basic facilities (even bathing), according to the study sponsored by theBureau of Police Research and Development.


Rs 30 crore

What is it? The amount the Sports Ministry spent on athletes in the last eight months before the Rio Olympics.

Why is it important? This was a classic case of too little, too late. Sports training requires vigorous and long years of training. The ministry launched the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) only in February 2015. Besides, there needs to be a better mechanism to spot talent: of the 109 athletes supported by the ministry, less than a third (27.5%) qualified for Rio Olympics while over two-thirds of those funded under TOPS qualified them to compete in the Games.

Tell me more: India spends Rs 3,200 crore on youth affairs and sports (according to an analysis of sports budgets of six large states), a third of what the UK spends annually on sports training and infrastructure (Rs 9,000 crore).



What is it? Japan’s Alzheimer’s disease rate in 2008, up from 1% in 1985 due to the country moving from its traditional to the Western diet, according to a study.

Why is it important? The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, says that consumption of traditional foods of countries such as Japan, India and Nigeria lowers the risk of the disease when compared to consumption of a Western diet, which has higher meat content, sweets and high-fat dairy items. Globally, there are 47 million people who have dementia, of which there are 4.1 million people in India, according to a 2015 report.

Tell me more: Consumption of fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risks of this disease.

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