2013 - You visit

Health Benefits of a Dates Fruit

Health Benefits of a Dates Fruit
Get Delicious on a date Whether you are looking for a sweet treat with natural goodness or a naturally packed snack to fight fatigue, dates easily qualify as the perfect choice for most health enthusiasts. High in carbohydrates and fibre, and rich in exotic taste and essential minerals dates can be a healthy addition to any diet.

Originally dates came from the Middle East and South Asia. It was prominently so around the Persian Gulf and river Nile. Today they are grown extensively in the warm climate zones across Africa, Europe and Asia. The date fruit belongs to the ‘drupe’ category having a fleshy outer layer and an inner hardened pit with a seed.

Date variants are available either as the sift ‘Medjool’ and ‘Khadrawy’, the semi dry ‘Deglet Noor’ or the dry form ‘Thoory’. The Popular and revered cultivars include ‘Medjool’, Khadrawy’, ‘Amer Haji’, ‘Khalasah’, ‘Kenta’ and Khajoor’.

A Weighty Affair!!!

Dates are cholesterol free and loaded with dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These energy-dense delicious fruits are rich in potassium (which helps to check hypertension), calcium (which is useful for skeletal and dental health), selenium (the immunity booster), magnesium and copper.

If the antioxidants in dates are chiefly the powerful carotenoids, the vitamins comprise the entire range of the B complex – B6, niacin, and folic acid. It is also rich in amino acids. About 100g of fresh dates provide 400 k cal approximately. So, the flip side is you must be careful about nibbling on too many dates!! It is especially so if you are trying to watch your weight.

Soak On Beauty

  • Being fairly dense in calories, simple sugars (glucose and fructose) and iron, dates are recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers and growing children. The energy released instantly and the body feels revitalized; they are precisely the reasons why dates are preferred to break day-long fasts during Ramzan.

  • The tannins present in dates exhibit anti-inflammatory and disease fighting properties. Dates contain considerable amount of Vitamin A (approximately 150 IU per 100 g) and is thus good for vision and healthy skin.
  • Consuming soaked dates with warm milk acts as a natural laxative and cuts down on ‘bad’ cholesterol absorption in the body. They also help in improving digestion and reducing intestinal and liver problems. Dates are considered beneficial for weight gain, regularizing menstrual woes, building stamina and reducing alcohol intoxication.
  • Upon consumption, dates leave an alkaline residue in the gut and aid in countering acidity.
  • Go for a face mask made of dates, cream and wheat germ oil to keep age spots and skin dryness at bay. Blend together dates, honey, cucumber juice and oat flakes for a face pack to enjoy blemish-free and nourished skin.
  • Soft dates can be eaten as snack as it is or by stuffing it with nuts, cheese, cream or spices. Fresh and died dates are enjoyed sprinkled over cereals, porridges, salads and milk shakes. Chopped dates find a place in many regional sweet and savory delicacies, ranging from date cakes, cookies, puddings and breads to date juice, date sugar, chutneys and traditional Jallab teas.

Date Pancakes


  • Dates ½ cup
  • Flour ½ cup
  • Buttermilk 1 cup
  • Salt ½ teaspoon
  • Melted Butter 1 tbsp
  • Microwave chopped dates with some water for 30 sec.
  • Stir in flour, buttermilk and salt and bring to pouring consistently.
  • Pour over and spread spoonfuls of batter on a heated skilled, cook on medium heat till both sides are done
  • Relish with honey, syrup or fresh fruits.

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National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad

National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad

Admission Notification for Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Rural Development Management (PGDRDM) 2014-15 in National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad.

 Important Dates   

Last date for receiving filled in application forms : 18.11.2013

Last date for receipt of applications from the students of North Eastern States 18.11.2013

Last date for receipt of applications from international students 18.11.2013

Admission Notification for Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Rural Development Management (PGDTDM) : 2014-15

The NIRD announces its fifth fully residential One Year ‘Post Graduate Diploma Programme in Rural Development Management (PGDRDM)’ with an aim to create a committed and competent cadre of Rural Development professionals in the country. While laying the theoretical foundations of rural development, the programme seeks to impart management techniques that will enhance the understanding of the paradigm and practice of rural development.


Graduation in any discipline from a recognised University. Students who are in the final year and expect to complete all the requirements of graduation before 1st January, 2014 may also apply. Some seats are reserved for the sponsored Indian in-service and international in-service candidates. Indian in-service candidates should possess at least two years of work experience in rural development and allied sectors, and are required to apply through their employers. The international candidates should apply through the Secretariats of AARDO and CIRDAP. The eligibility parameters for international students are placed on the NIRD’s website.


Selection of candidates including Indian in-service candidates will be made through a process of All-India Entrance Test which will test the verbal, quantitative and analytical competencies of the students including English Language. Group Discussion and Personal Interviews will be conducted for the short-listed candidates. However, a separate merit list will be prepared for the Indian and International in-service candidates.


(One year) August, 2014 to July, 2015

Entrance test: 

The Entrance Test will be conducted at the following centres:  Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Dimapur, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow, New Delhi, Patna, Pune and Thiruvanantapuram.. However, the NIRD reserves the right to cancel any of the centres or add new centres for any administrative reasons and assign any other centre to the applicants.

Total No. of Seats : 

50 (may undergo some change depending upon the availability of infrastructure. Of these, up to 15 seats may be allotted to the Indian and international in-service candidates).

Course Fee :  

Indian Students Rs. 1.50 lakh; International Students: US $ 7000

How to apply: 

Prospectus-cum-application form can be downloaded from the website. The filled in application form should be submitted along with the application fee of Rs.500 (Rs.300/- for SC/ST and PWD candidates) through an ‘Account Payee’ Demand Draft drawn in favour of NIRD, payable at Hyderabad. The filled in application form should be sent to the Admissions Coordinator, Centre for Post Graduate Studies (CPGS), National Institute of Rural Development, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500030 (A.P), India, so as to reach on or before 11.18.2013.

Applications received after the cut off date shall be rejected. NIRD reserves the right to make changes to the Diploma Programme, its design/content and the process of selection, depending upon the exigencies without assigning any reason whatsoever.

More details cane be obtained from the institute website.
Contact Details

Address      :     National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD)
Distance Education Cell
Rajendranagar, Hyderabad-500030

 Phone      :     040-24008585



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National Eligibility Test (NET) 2014

National Eligibility Test (NET) 2014

University Grants Commission National Eligibility Test (National Eligibility Test) 2014 : (NET)

Important Dates

Last date of applying online                                                           :     30 Oct  2013
Last date of submission of fee through online generated challan       :     2 Nov    2013
Last date of taking printout of application form                               :     5 Nov    2013
Last date of receiving printout of online application form                 :     9 Nov    2013
at the respective university
National Eligibility Test (NET)                                                        :     29 Dec  2014

The National Testing Bureau of University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, has invited applications for its National Eligibility Test, popularly known as NET in arts and humanities subjects to be held on December 29 for determining the eligibility for the award for lectureship in Indian universities and colleges.

The University Grants Commission announces holding of the National Eligibility Test (NET) on 29th December 2013 for determining the eligibility of Indian nationals for the Award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Eligibility for Lectureship in Indian universities and colleges. UGC will conduct NET in 95 subjects at 84 selected University Centres spread across the country.

The UGC will conduct NET in 95 arts and humanities subjects (including 'Bodo' as new subject) at 84 University Centres across the country. The candidates who qualify for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) examination are eligible to pursue research leading to Ph.D. One can apply either for JRF or lectureship or for both.

The test will be conducted in 95 subjects including : 
  1. Economics, 
  2. Political Science, 
  3. Philosophy, 
  4. Psychology, 
  5. Sociology, 
  6. History, 
  7. Anthropology, 
  8. Commerce, 
  9. Education, 
  10. Social Work,
  11. Defence and Strategic Studies, 
  12. Home Science, 
  13. Public Administration, 
  14. Population Studies, 
  15. Music, 
  16. Management, 
  17. Maithili, Bengali, Hindi, 
  18. Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, 
  19. Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, 
  20. Telugu, Urdu,Arabic, English, 
  21. Linguistics, Chinese, Dogri,Nepali, 
  22. ManipuriMAssamese, 
  23. Gujarati, Marathi, French, 
  24. Spanish, Russian, Persian, Rajasthani,
  25. German, Japanese, 
  26. Adult Education/ Continuing Education/ Andragogy/ Non Formal Education, 
  27. Physical Education, Arab Culture and Islamic Studies, 
  28. Indian Culture, 
  29. Labour Welfare/Personnel Management/Industrial Relations/ Labour and 
  30. Social Welfare/Human Resource Management, 
  31. Law, Library and Information Science, 
  32. Buddhist, Jaina, Gandhian and Peace Studies, 
  33. Comparative Study of Religions,Mass Communication and 
  34. Journalism, Performing Arts – Dance/Drama/Theatre, 
  35. Museology & Conservation, 
  36. Archaeology, Criminology, 
  37. Tribal and Regional Language/Literature, 
  38. Folk Literature, Comparative Literature,
  39. Sanskrit Traditional Subjects (including Jyotisha/Sidhanta Jyotisha/ Navya Vyakarna/ Vyakarna/ Mimamsa/ Navya Nyaya/ Sankhya Yoga/ Tulanatmaka Darsana/ Shukla Yajurveda/ Madhva Vedanta/ Dharma Sastra/ Sahitya/ Purana-itihasa/Agama/Advaita Vedanta),
  40. Women Studies, Visual Arts (including Drawing & Painting/Sculpture/ Graphics/Applied Art/History of Art),
  41. Geography, Social Medicine & Community Health, 
  42. Forensic Science, Pali, Kashmiri, Konkani, 
  43. Computer Science and Applications, 
  44. Electronic Science, Environmental Sciences, 
  45. International and Area Studies, Prakrit, 
  46. Human Rights and Duties,
  47. Tourism Administration and Management,
  48. Bodo,
  49. Santali.

Eligibility :

1) Candidates who have secured at least 55% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s Degree OR equivalent examination from universities/institutions recognised by UGC in Humanities (including languages) and Social Sciences, Computer Science & Applications, Electronic Science etc. are eligible for this Test. The Scheduled Caste (SC)/Scheduled Tribe (ST)/Physically Handicapped (PH)/Visually Handicapped (VH) category candidates who have secured at least 50% marks (without rounding off) in Master’s degree or equivalent examination are eligible for this Test.

2) Candidates who have appeared OR will be appearing at the qualifying Master’s degree (final year) examination and whose result is still awaited OR candidates whose qualifying examinations have been delayed may also apply for this Test. However, such candidates will be admitted provisionally and shall be considered eligible for award of JRF/Lectureship eligibility only after they have passed their Master’s degree examination or equivalent with at least 55% marks (50% marks in case of SC/ST/PH/VH category candidates). Such candidates must complete their P.G. degree examination within two years from the date of NET result with required percentage of marks, failing which they shall be treated as disqualified.

3) The Ph.D. degree holders whose Master’s level examination had been completed by 19th September, 1991 (irrespective of date of declaration of result) shall be eligible for a relaxation of 5% in aggregate marks (i.e., from 55% to 50%) for appearing in NET.

4) Candidates are advised to appear in the subject of their post-graduation only. The candidates whose post-graduation subject is not covered in the list of subjects in item No. 9, may appear in a related subject.

Age Limit

Not more than 28 years as on 01.12.2013. A relaxation upto 5 years is provided to the candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC/PH/VH categories and to women applicants. Relaxation will also be provided to the candidates having research experience, limited to the period spent on research in the relevant/related subject of post-graduation degree, subject to a maximum of 5 years, on production of a certificate from appropriate authority. Three years’ relaxation in age will be permissible to the candidates possessing L.L.M. Degree. Total age relaxation on the above ground(s) shall not exceed five years under any circumstances.

There is no upper age limit for lectureship.


The test will consist of three papers. All the three papers will be of objective type. There is no negative marking.

Paper-I shall be of general nature, intended to assess the teaching/research aptitude of the candidate. It will primarily be designed to test reasoning ability, comprehension, divergent thinking and general awareness of the candidate. Consist of 60 multiple choice questions of two marks each of which candidates have to answer any 50.

Paper-II shall consist of questions based on the subject selected by the candidate. Consist of 50 compulsory objective type questions of two marks each.

Paper-III will consist of 75 questions of 2 marks each based on the subject selected by the candidate, all of which are compulsory


i) Candidate seeking admission to the Test (UGC-NET, December,2013) must apply online (i.e. www.ugcnetonline.in OR through a link available on the UGC website: www.ugc.ac.in).

ii) Before applying Online, the candidates must possess the Scanned passport size photograph in JPEG format of less than 300 kb.

iii) After filling all the details for applying online for NET, the computer will automatically generate your ‘Bank Challan’ indicating your details therein A print out of this Bank Challan may be taken by the candidate for payment through cash, on the next working day (after generating the challan from www.ugcnetonline.in) at any branch of State Bank of India (SBI) alongwith bank charges (commission) of Rs.20/-

iv) Two days after the payment of fee at SBI through filled Bank Challan, the candidate is required to check the status of fee payment at UGC website ( www.ugcnetonline.in ) and if the status is ‘OK’ the candidate will be able to take the printout of online Application Form (one copy), Attendance Slip (one copy) and Admission Card (one copy) on separate A-4 size papers.

v) SC/ST/PH/VH candidates and candidates belonging to OBC (non-creamy layer) (as per the Central list of OBC available on website : www.ncbc.nic.in) must enclose the attested copy of certificate for the same.

vi) Candidates seeking age relaxation must enclose the certificate of educational qualification/research experience entitling the candidates for age relaxation.

vii) The Application (consisting of two copies of printout of online application form, one copy of Attendance Slip and one copy of Admission Card) alongwith required documents must reach the Registrar of the University (UGC Test Centre).

viii) Application received after 09.011.2013 at the NET coordinating universities will be rejected.

ix) Before applying Online candidates are advised to go through detailed notification available on UGC website. Please note that Fee submitted through any other mode like Money Order, Demand Draft, IPO etc. will be summarily rejected


xi) The candidates must affix their recent identical passport size photographs, at the places indicated, on the printout of Online Application Form and must sign across the photograph after it is affixed so that a part of the signature spreads over the Application Form beyond the photograph. Besides, it should be duly attested by the Head of the University Department/Principal of the College/Class-I Gazetted Officer.

xii) In order to avoid last minute rush, the candidates are advised to apply early enough. UGC will not be responsible for network problems or any other problem of this nature.

More details can be available from the UGC website.
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Vitamin D - Give me some sunshine

Vitamin D - Give me some sunshine
Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining normal calcium levels in the body and mineralization of bones. The past decade has seen a renewed interest in this vitamin called the ‘sunshine Vitamin’.

The renewed interest is attributed to the medical fraternity’s increasing realization that the benefits of Vitamin D extend far beyond healthy bones.
Some of its numerous effects have been observed under various clinical conditions and there have been epidemiological suggestions stating that children and adults with adequate or sufficient levels of Vitamin D are at lower risk for metabolic syndrome, hypertension and high blood sugar.

Vitamin D level in a person is assessed in terms of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentration (It is abbreviated as 25(OH)D and the test too is referred to as such).

How much of Vitamin D we need Daily?

Dietary intake of Vitamin D to maximize bone health and muscle function for patients at risk for Vitamin D deficiency is as follows:
1. Infants and children aged 0-1 year: at least 400 IU/day
2. Children aged 1-18: 600 IU/day
3. Adults aged 19-50: 600 IU/day
4. Adults aged 50-70 and above: 600 and 800 IU/day
5. Pregnant and lactating women: 600 IU/day
(IU is read as the standard International Unit. )
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced in the skin natural in response to ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight. In food it can be obtained from animal sources such as deep-sea fatty fish, egg yolks or liver or from dietary supplements.

Prevalence of Vitamin D

About 50 to 90 per cent of the Indian population reportedly shows Vitamin D deficiency of varying degrees. Australia, Middle East, Africa and South America are the other regions or populations know to be affected by Vitamin D deficiency. Of late, countries like the US, UK and Canada too have been contending with significant levels of Vitamin D deficiency in their elderly.
What has come to be the cause for alarm is the increasing prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in adolescents – an age group that is supposedly healthy and must be healthy as the immediate future’s working population of any society.
  • In the US, for example, more than 50 per cent of Hispanic and African-American adolescents (in Boston area) and 48 per cent white pre-adolescent girls in (Maine area) were found with 25 hydroxy-vitamin D concentration – 25(OH) D that is much below the cut-off level.
  • In a study of Vitamin D levels in 3,000 teenagers (both boys and girls), the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, found that those with low levels of Vitamin D were 2.36 times more likely to suffer from hypertension, 2.5 times more likely to have blood sugar levels and four times more likely to have Metabolic Syndrome.
  • Another trial involving girls aged between 12 and 14 years showed that those with lower Vitamin D levels had lesser muscle strength and weaker physical performance.

Deficiency in Adults and Children

Lack of Vitamin D typically presents with bone deformity (rickets) or low calcium levels in infancy and childhood.
In adults, it causes reduced bone mineral density, musculoskeletal pain and weakness. The elderly in particular have increased sway and frequent falls, and are at increased risk for fractures.
Of late, other health issues like cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, various forms of cancer, and auto-immune conditions too, have been linked to Vitamin D deficiency.
Tests for Vitamin D Status
Laboratory tests to assess 25(OH)D are available. The result classifies the person’s status as Vitamin D sufficient or insufficient or deficient.

Are dietary Solutions Available against Vitamin D Deficiency?

Few foods have substantial Vitamin D content. Outdoor sun exposure and intake of vitamin D supplements leads to higher serum Vitamin d. If sunlight exposure is adequate, the body can produce Vitamin D without the need for supplementation through diet.
In the US, Canada and parts of Europe, milk, cheese and fruit juices are supplemented with Vitamin D supplementation are practically nonexistent. It may be cost-effective to introduce food supplementation in India
The best source of Vitamin D
Without doubt, sensible exposure to sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D.

Who are at Risk for lack of Vitamin D?

Various contribute to Vitamin D deficiency and the risk groups too are varied.
  • Exclusively breast-fed infants and children.
  • Those aged over 65 years.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Fully-clothed individuals (like a burqua where hardly any part of the body is exposed to sunlight).
  • Home – bound people.
  • Institutional people.
  • Obese individuals
  • Vegetarians.
  • Alcoholics.
  • Users of sunscreens with high SPF (which block out UVA and UVB rays completely).
  • People living at high altitudes.
  • Dark skinned people, where skin pigmentation decreases the production of Vitamin D.
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