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Byju’s moves Karnataka HC against NCLT order restraining it from 2nd rights issue

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Byju’s moves Karnataka HC against NCLT order restraining it from 2nd rights issue

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Edtech company Byju’s, mired in several controversies amid a cash crunch, has moved the Karnataka High Court against the order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which restrained it from going ahead with its second rights issue.

The second rights issue commenced on May 13 and was expected to end on June 13.

The edtech company has been restrained from utilising any funds from the second rights issue by the NCLT.

The company’s fresh plea in the Karnataka High Court is likely to come up for hearing on Monday, according to sources.

Byju’s is exploring out-of-court settlements with two of its creditors, Teleperformance and Surfer Technologies.

The NCLT had adjourned the cases to June 26.

The company is facing multiple headwinds, in India as well as in the US against its subsidiary.

Once valued at $22 billion, the edtech company is now worth zero, according to a recent research note by the financial firm HSBC.

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HSBC assigned zero value to investment company Prosus’ nearly 10 per cent stake (or about $500 million) in Byju’s.

“We assign zero value to Byju’s stake amid multiple legal cases and funding crunch,” according to the note.

Earlier this month, a group of lenders petitioned against new entities, tied to the US subsidiary of Byju’s, into bankruptcy in a US court, alleging that these entities were not paying their debts.

In February 2024, Byju’s Alpha had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

The company managed to process the employee salaries for May from monthly “collections”.

–IANS

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Agricultural pesticide may pose cancer risk as bad as smoking: Study

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Agricultural pesticide may pose cancer risk as bad as smoking: Study

Agricultural pesticide may pose cancer risk as bad as smoking: Study

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) While pesticides are essential for ensuring high crop yields and food security, they also increase the risk of cancer akin to smoking, finds a study.

The research published in the journal Frontiers in Cancer Control and Society found that even non-farmers living in areas with heavy agricultural activity are exposed to many pesticides.

The study revealed that in such environments, the impact of pesticide use on cancer incidence rivalled that of smoking, particularly for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia, and bladder cancer.

“In our study, we found that for some cancers, the effect of agricultural pesticide usage is comparable in magnitude to the effect of smoking,” Isain Zapata, associate professor at the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Colorado, US.

“We present a list of major pesticide contributors for some specific cancers, but we highlight strongly that it is the combination of all of them and not just a single one that matters,” Zapata emphasised.

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The study included data on 69 pesticides from the US Geological Survey, acknowledging that people are generally exposed to a “cocktail” of pesticides rather than just one.

This comprehensive evaluation marks the first large-scale study to assess cancer risk from a population-based perspective, comparing it with a well-established risk factor like smoking.

Zapata noted the importance of considering the broader impact of pesticide use, including geographic factors. For example, regions like the Midwest, known for corn production, showed more pronounced associations between pesticide exposure and cancer incidence.

The study aims to raise awareness of the risks posed by pesticide use, even for those not directly involved in agriculture.

–IANS

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Doctors perform complex, rare heart surgery on man with dwarfism

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Doctors perform complex, rare heart surgery on man with dwarfism

Doctors perform complex, rare heart surgery on man with dwarfism

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) In a remarkable medical achievement, doctors have successfully performed a complex and rare aortic valve replacement surgery on a 39-year-old patient with achondroplasia – the most common type of dwarfism.

Kapil Gala, born with achondroplasia, had already undergone eight surgeries to correct leg deformities and was living independently while managing a career in finance.

However, a sudden onset of paraplegia — leg paralysis — last year threatened his mobility and independence.

When Gala was admitted to Jaslok Hospital, he was initially scheduled for spinal surgery but was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis — a type of heart valve disease — during pre-operative assessments.

His bicuspid aortic valve — a type of abnormality in the aortic valve in the heart — required urgent intervention before any spinal procedure could be performed.

A team of doctors from Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre in Mumbai decided on an open-heart surgery.

They noted that implanting a mechanical valve was the safest option due to anatomical and procedural constraints.

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“Our main concern was ensuring the patient’s safety and long-term health. Given the challenges, open-heart surgery was the optimal choice,” said Nihar Mehta, Associate Director of the Structural Heart Department at Jaslok Hospital.

Kapil’s swift recovery was impressive; he was off life support within 12 hours and is doing well now, according to the doctors. Expressing his gratitude, stating, Kapil thanked the doctors for giving him a new lease of life.

–IANS

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South Korea weighs legal measure as some professors move to boycott training of junior doctors

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South Korea weighs legal measure as some professors move to boycott training of junior doctors

South Korea weighs legal measure as some professors move to boycott training of junior doctors

Seoul, July 25 (IANS) The South Korean government said on Thursday that it has been considering taking legal action against some medical professors who threaten to boycott training programmes for junior doctors.

Some medical professors have vowed to boycott training programmes for junior doctors in protest of the government’s push for accepting the resignations of striking trainees and the medical school admission quota hikes, Yonhap news agency reported.

“We have been reviewing several possible legal measures against the boycott,” Director General for Healthcare Policy Kim Kook-il told reporters.

Hospitals have started hiring about 7,700 trainee doctors for the training programme set to begin in September, as they accepted resignations from 7,648 trainees at the request of the government, to allow striking doctors to find new jobs while ending the prolonged walkout.

More than 90 per cent of around 13,000 junior doctors walked off their jobs in February in the form of resignations, protesting the government’s medical reform plan.

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The government has already finalized an admissions quota hike of approximately 1,500 students for medical schools next year in an effort to address problems stemming from the shortage of doctors.

–IANS

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Study debunks previous research, confirms no amount of drinking alcohol safe

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Study debunks previous research, confirms no amount of drinking
 alcohol safe

Study debunks previous research, confirms no amount of drinking
 alcohol safe

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The conventional wisdom that a daily glass of wine is beneficial for health is based on years of flawed scientific research, revealed a study on Thursday.

“There is simply no completely ‘safe’ level of drinking,” said lead researcher Tim Stockwell from the University of Victoria in Canada.

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, debunks the previous studies, which stated that moderate drinkers live longer and have lower risks of heart disease than abstainers.

The main issue is that these studies often include older adults without accounting for their lifetime drinking habits,

Consequently, moderate drinkers are compared to “abstainer” groups, which may include individuals who quit drinking due to health issues, making the moderate drinkers appear healthier by comparison.

Stockwell and his team reviewed 107 studies that examined the relationship between drinking habits and longevity. Initially, the data suggested that light to moderate drinkers had a 14 per cent lower risk of dying during the study period compared to abstainers.

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However, this changed upon closer inspection. Higher quality studies, which involved younger participants (under 55) and excluded former and occasional drinkers from the abstainer category, found no link between moderate drinking and longer life.

It was the lower-quality studies that showed a positive correlation between moderate drinking and longevity.

Stockwell highlighted the long-standing belief in the health benefits of moderate drinking, exemplified by the “French paradox” theory from the 1990s, which credited red wine for the low heart disease rates in France despite a high-fat diet.

This perception remains popular, though the reality is that moderate drinking likely does not extend life and may increase the risk of certain cancers. No major health organisation endorses a risk-free level of alcohol consumption.

–IANS

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Edelweiss Mutual Fund raises over Rs 1,800 crore via NFO

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Edelweiss Mutual Fund raises over Rs 1,800 crore via NFO

Edelweiss Mutual Fund raises over Rs 1,800 crore via NFO

Mumbai, July 25 (IANS) Edelweiss Mutual Fund on Thursday announced it has raised over Rs 1,800 crore after successfully concluding the new fund offer (NFO) for the Edelweiss Business Cycle Fund.

According to one of the country’s fastest-growing asset management companies, the new open-ended equity scheme, which was open for subscription between July 9 and July 23, closed its issue with over 90,000 applications amounting to over Rs 1,800 crore.

“We are delighted by the overwhelming response to the Edelweiss Business Cycle Fund NFO, and we thank our distribution partners and investors for their trust and faith in the brand Edelweiss MF,” said Radhika Gupta, MD and CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Fund.

“This reaffirms our stakeholders’ confidence in our 15-year track record of managing factor-based investing strategies and strengthening our position as one of the largest asset managers in this space,” she added.

Investing across various sectors and market caps, the fund offers a robust solution for core allocation with a long-term focus.

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The fund deploys a factor investing approach to create three baskets representing quality, growth and value stocks, said the company.

By diversifying across these baskets, the fund minimises the cyclicality of any single factor. Within each basket, the fund selects the highest momentum stocks, resulting in a diversified portfolio of 50-60 stocks.

This was an open-ended equity scheme following the business cycles-based investing theme. This product was suitable for investors seeking capital appreciation over the long term.

Gupta said earlier this week that the concept of indexation has gone away from mutual funds (MFs).

–IANS

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