What is the best way to banish under-eye bags? / Getty/iStockphoto

A build-up of late nights, early mornings and constant use of smartphones has left many of us with burdened by the appearance of dark under-eye circles but just how do you get rid of them?

Something we all struggle with, you’ve no doubt Googled the best way to banish your bags but a regular routine of seven to eight hours sleep and not drinking any alcohol before bed just isn’t always feasible.

Alas, it’s time hit refresh on tired peepers with a little help from some well-versed beauty heroes.

Aside from getting more kip, staying hydrated is key because when the body is starved of water, it responds by retaining as much as it can, thus causing puffy under-eye circles. As such, opt for a hydrating, gentle cleanser or make-up remover so not to cause any trauma or irritation which could cause inflammation.

Alternatively, there are a slew of topical treatments that can help you on your way. The first of which is retinoids which help to stimulate the production of collagen, making the skin less thin while recovering volume and firmness.

A word of warning here though, this ingredient when used in its purest form is rather potent and as such, can irritate the sensitive skin around the eye area. Instead, opt for a cream that contains a lower dose of retinol and work from there.

When it comes to applying said eye creams, other key ingredients to look out for include hyaluronic acid and glycerin. For best results, apply at night so the skin around your eyes doesn’t become irritated or inflamed and again in the morning.

If you feel like your moisturiser could do with a boost, using an eye massager like Foreo’s IRIS will do the trick. Known to promote blood flow to the area, regular use of a beauty tool like this will prevent blood from pooling in the capillaries under the eyes and increase product absorption.

When all else fails, remember you’ve still got makeup and a hardworking concealer will work wonders while you’re attempting to improve your eye bags.

Here, look to the beauty world’s obsession with colour correcting and opt for a cover-up that will counteract dark circles. If yours err towards a bluish purple tone then a yellow concealer is best while any redness should be tackled with a green-tones product to help camouflage it.


Your eyes will fry under normal sunglasses during 2017 eclipse, here’s why

A solar eclipse seen from space.

The nation is preparing for the Aug. 21 “Great American” total solar eclipse, which is the first in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast.

That means buying special eclipse glasses because normal sun glasses – even those with the darkest lenses – aren’t enough to protect eyes from damaging rays.

It’s not that the sun is any stronger during an eclipse, but where you would squint, blink and turn away from the full sun, it can be more comfortable to look at the sun as the moon moves over the bright disk.

That doesn’t mean it’s safe. You can damage your eyes without immediately realizing it if you don’t wear eclipse glasses or look through a special eclipse viewer.

Related: Best places to see the 2017 solar eclipse.

Credit: NASA

Rick Fienberg, the press officer for the American Astronomical Society, said ordinary sun glasses transmit 10 to 20 percent of the light that falls on them.

This makes the landscape on a bright sunny day easier to look at without squinting, and cuts down on glare.

Eclipse glasses allow just 0.0001 percent of the light that falls on them through.

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“That’s at least 100,000 times darker than ordinary sunglasses,” Fienberg said. “Nothing can get through such glasses except the sun itself – just enough to be comfortable for viewing.”

The only time it’s safe to look at the eclipse is if you are in the path of totality and the fleeting moments when the sun is completely covered by the moon.

Related: Check your eclipse forecast.

About 12 million people live in the path of totality for the Aug. 21 eclipse. Millions more will travel to get into the path.

“The sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye only during the few brief seconds or minutes of a total solar eclipse,” NASA says on its eclipse website. “Do not attempt to observe the partial or annular phases of any eclipse with the naked eye.”

It is only safe to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye when you are in the path of totality and the moon completely covers the sun. Credits: © 2005 Miloslav Druckmüller (used by NASA with permission)

Proper eclipse glasses are marked with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and 12312-2.

Some older solar-viewing glasses may meet previous standards for eye protection, but not the new international standard, Fienberg said.

NASA recommends glasses from Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical and TSE 17.

Download the Palm Beach Post WeatherPlus app here.

Ralph Chou, professor emeritus at the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told that he has seen patients with crescents burned into the back of their eyes after watching an eclipse without protection.

“Lifetime exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation is an established contributor to accelerated aging of the outer layers of the eye and skin and the development of cataracts,” Chou wrote in a Sky and Telescope article. “But more immediate damage takes place from directly observing the Sun with inadequate eye protection.”


IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam from 2018

The ministry has decided to conduct single engineering entrance test every year and it will be designed in a way that the linguistic diversity of the country is taken into consideration

IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam

IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam

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On the lines of NEET-examination, a single engineering entrance examinations will be conducted for admission into engineering colleges from the academic year 2018-19.

It is learnt that the coveted IITs, for which a nationwide competitive examinations are held, may also be brought in under the ambit of the new test.

HRD sets stage for one engineering entrance exam:

The HRD ministry has recently asked the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to explain and mention suitable norms for holding such an exercise.

The HRD ministry has told the AICTE that the proposal is in line with the government’s policy and it could incorporate suitable regulations to enable the holding of such a test, sources said.

The AICTE, oversees the aspects related to technical education in the country, had discussed at a recent meeting proposal for having a single entrance test for engineering colleges for undergraduate courses

Single Engineering Entrance Exam to be conducted multiple times every year:

The ministry has taken this decision to bring in greater transparency, maintain higher standards and also try to ensure that students are saved from the burden of taking too many tests, the sources said. The ministry is also in favour of seeking constructive suggestions from states and Deemed Universities for the successful holding of such a test, they added.

It has also been decided that the single entrance test would be conducted multiple times every year and it will be designed in a way that the linguistic diversity of the country is taken into consideration, the sources said.

A common NEET exam for admission to medical colleges already exists, but there are a number of exams for entrance into engineering colleges.



Punjab University has submitted its report to the HRD Ministry to introduce distance courses to bring in more revenue.

Punjab University

Punjab University
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Following the implementation of 7th pay commission, the already bankrupt Punjab University will have to bear 30 per cent of the fiscal liability owing to the revision of employee’s pay scales.

The move comes after the Union Finance Ministry, in a letter, informed the university that the ministry will provide only 70 per cent of the revised pay scales and asked the university to bear the remaining 30 per cent, which is around Rs 150 crore.

The university, intimidated by the figures and its severed financial stance, expressed concerns over the ministry direction fearing the university will face irreparable financial crisis.

“If the government is saying that the university should pay 30 per cent of the fiscal liability and also generate money to clear its deficit, then PU will be in severe fiscal crisis and it will be hard to overcome the situation. It is a double harassment. Secondly, the autonomy of the institution should not be punctured, as being done by the government and MHRD. The PU is only autonomous by name now and there is no free hand in taking decisions,” said former president of Punjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), Mohammed Khalid, as reported in the Indian Express.

Fees hike in various courses

The university has, of late, mulled a hike in its tuition fees in various courses due to the revision of pay scales wherein the university was asked to bear 30 per cent of fiscal liability. It is decided that the university will hold a discussion at its syndicate meeting on January 21 regarding the proposal to increase fee structure to incur for the revised 7th pay commission.

It is speculated that there will be 12 to 13 per cent fees hike in the self-financed courses while 5 to 6 per cent will be hike in traditional courses, according to the proposal submitted by a committee
Fees for diploma courses will be increased to Rs 15,000 from the previous Rs 2,000
However, the committee has proposed to reduce fees for pharmaceutical courses from Rs 50,000 to Rs 25,000
Fees in law courses are proposed to decrease from Rs 25,000 to Rs 20,000, while fees for educational technology and vocational education will be reduced from Rs 43,000 to Rs 32,000
Distance courses to garner revenue

The university, in order to incur more revenue, has submitted it’s report to the HRD Ministry seeking permission to introduce distance education and online education in various courses. The university believed that introduction of distance education will bring more revenue.


Professor under probe for supplying drugs to students: Maharashtra

The drug officer pointed out that there are Drug Trade Organisations (DTOs), which, in order to avoid being exposed to anti-narcotic agencies, are hiring freelance chemists to prepare meth.

Systhesis Drugs

Systhesis Drugs

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A college professor in Mumbai has come under a strict scanner with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) probing him for alleged supply of drugs to students. According to sources, most of the professors have a chemistry background which renders an upper hand for them to create synthetic drugs like meth and cocaine at ease.

Several chemistry professors in the past have been probed by  the NCB and ANC.

“During investigations, it has come to light that students from several educational institutes, mainly colleges located in western Indian states like Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat have been getting their supply of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine from their college professors,” told one senior officer to The Indian Express.

“This is a surprising and disturbing trend that we learnt about during interrogation of several persons related to the trade,” the officer added.

How are drug peddlers working around educational institutes?

  • According to sources, drug peddlers have created a network within the periphery of educational institutes
  • Anti-drug agencies are keeping a close eye to crack down these networks
  • The officials also said that it becomes more easier for professors to peddle synthesis drugs, famously known as ‘smartness drugs’ among the students, owing to direct contacts with the students
  • “For professors, it becomes far more easier since they already have a direct line of communication with these students, who form a major chunk of the consumers. All they have to do is find out who among them is involved in taking drugs. Most of these are professors with a chemistry background,” the officer said. “Our investigations are in progress and depending on the evidence we get at hand, we could make some arrests,” the officer added
  • The drug officer pointed out that there are Drug Trade Organisations (DTOs), which, in order to avoid being exposed to anti-narcotic agencies, are hiring freelance chemists to prepare meth.

“Hence there has been a demand for people from a chemistry background who can help cook the drug as well. Everything else like managing basic supplies and the place to cook is handled by other members of the DTO’s. We are checking if these professors are involved in cooking meth as well,” the officer said.

Organic drugs are substituted by synthetic ones:

As per the officer’s statement, the demand for organic narcotics like ganja and charas has been substituted by synthesis drugs significantly in the last few years. It is said that synthesis drugs like meth have a far greater impact on health. “This is a worrying trend because synthetic drugs can cause much more damage of a permanent nature than organic drugs,” said one officer.

“Meth has been in high demand over the past few years since it is much cheaper and easily available than semi-synthetic drugs like cocaine,” the officer added.

Synthesis drugs like Methamphetamine, also known by its various aliases-


Worries and uncertainty cloud outlook for digital privacy under President Trump

Some legal experts are worried Trump could abuse the NSA’s surveillance powers, but we just don’t know

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Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 31, 2016. Credit: Gage Skidmore
When President-elect Donald Trump officially takes office, he’ll inherit a powerful U.S. surveillance apparatus, including the National Security Agency, that’s already been accused of trampling over privacy rights.

This has some legal experts worried, but like almost every other aspect of a Trump presidency, there are more questions than clarity over what exactly he plans to do.

Over the course of his presidential campaign, Trump has only offered snapshots on his views about various U.S. privacy matters, but they suggest a pro-government surveillance stance.

For instance, Trump showed support for the NSA’s bulk telephone data collection, which ended last year. “I err on the side of security,” he said at the time. And on Apple’s refusal to provide the FBI access to an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter: the public should boycott the company until it complies, he said.

This doesn’t bode well for privacy advocates looking for government reform on surveillance. Republicans typically show little sympathy on the matter, said Timothy Edgar, a director of law at Brown University who previously served in the Obama administration.

“I would say pretty much any attempts to reform will come to a screeching halt, and maybe it will go backwards,” he said.

Abuse of surveillance programs also worry some, who think a crafty White House legal team can find ways to bend the checks and balances already in place.

“To think that we have made the NSA Trump-proof or tyrant-proof, we are deluding ourselves,” said Edgar. “Some people have argued that we need to have stronger controls over the NSA because you are never going to be sure who is going to be elected.”

And privacy fears also stem from controversial stances he took during his campaign, such as speaking favorably on “profiling” Muslims and advocating for a change to libel laws so he can sue news organizations.

Susan Freiwald, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, said it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine a Trump presidency using the FBI to collect information on opponents. She’s particularly worried about the private communications of both media critics and political figures.

“While the rules of law should not permit that, it is not clear that oversight mechanisms will be sufficient to stop it,” she said in an email.

But how much those comments will translate into actual policy is unclear.

“Nobody knows what he’ll do,” said Jay Edelson, an attorney and CEO of law firm Edelson PC. “I don’t know if his past statements should be taken as gospel or if it’s more about emotions.”

When it comes to privacy, President Obama’s administration hardly has stellar record, having come under criticism for the NSA’s mass surveillance activities that were disclosed by Edward Snowden.

“The Democratic administration has been pretty bad. So has the previous Republican administration,” Edelson said. “I don’t think it will be any worse under a Trump administration.”

However, Edelson is concerned that Trump’s pro-business stances will strip away cybersecurity and data privacy regulations meant to protect consumers. “Nobody in my industry views Trump as pro-regulator. We think he has more of a pro-business agenda,” he said.

It’s also possible that political issues involving privacy and cybersecurity will take a backseat during a Trump presidency. His campaign never made those matters a priority, said John Dickson, a principal at security provider Denim Group and a former U.S. Air Force officer.

“I think he’ll have a real learning curve,” Dickson said, adding that Trump may also have to repair relationships in the U.S. intelligence community. During his campaign, he questioned whether Russia was truly behind several high-profile hacks on Democratic targets, which U.S. intelligence agencies had publicly blamed on the Kremlin.

“He’s not the biggest expert in this policy area,” Dickson said. However, once Trump begins appointing members of his cabinet, the public will gain a better idea of the incoming president’s approach, he said.


DIET organises teacher training programme in Leh under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

Representational image

The District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) recently organised a training programme in Leh under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, stressing on why having a well-trained teacher is mandatory for quality education. The training’s main objective was to provide practical training to the teachers in order to help them reach their full potential.

Main objective of the programme:

The main focus of this programme was preparing lesson plans for the academic year. This plays a major role in assisting teachers in planning ahead of time to encourage learning among students rather than being focused on finishing the syllabus. The DIET trains five to six master trainers at each training centre who work as a resource person and further training is being provided to other teachers.

The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, which administers Leh, has given an assurance that the syllabus will be modified to suit modern day requirements and promised more transparency in the transfer policy.

(Read: Pakistan’s ‘Death Adders Crew’ hack websites of Mumbai and Gandhinagar college websites: Hoists flag, leaves messages for Indians)

K Angmo, the principal of DIET said, “We were focusing on giving individual attention to each teacher. Almost 100 per cent of teachers were covered under this 5-day programme which focuses on techniques and methodology of teaching. I fully believe that this training module is unique, child-friendly and is easy to train the teachers in.”

Making learning meaningful:

“This five-day training was very effective for us. The most important things that we learnt here were about classroom culture, classroom management and how to invest in children. I think that learning how to make a lesson plan would be very helpful for us and we will definitely implement this in our school in the future,” said Raman Baley, a government school teacher.

There is definitely a scope that the quality of education, being provided in government schools, can be improved and such commendable initiatives by the government will definitely go a long way in raising the standard of education.


HRD Ministry to appoint teachers at IIMs and IITs under quota system


The issues revolving over the appointment of teachers in the premier IIMs under the quota system for reserved candidates has once again come to attention. It is speculated that the HRD Ministry would table the issue of reservation over the appointments of teachers with the IIM representatives on September 20.

Former HRD Minister Arjun Singh, during the tenure of Manmohon Singh as the PM, upheld the Reservation Bill for teacher appointments at the IIMs.

Issues revolving over appointment:

  • The issue of IIM’s autonomy hit headlines during the tenure of Smriti Irani as the HRD Ministry when she upheld the introduction of reservation system in appointments of teachers at premier institutes in the country. The former HRD Minister had also rendered her concerns in April this year, to learn whether or not the IIMs are abiding by the reservation policy
  • The IIM fraternity had severely objected the policy fearing the downgrade of educational quality of premier institutes
  • Ashok Thakur, the higher education secretary, issued a notification to the IIMs in 2013, asking them to abide by the reservation policy since the IIM fraternity was refusing to appoint teachers under the reservation policy
  • The IIM fraternity deviated from the reservation policy placing the 1975 order, which made the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture immune to the reservation policy
  • Before the proposed reservation bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the bill was lapsed following the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha

What’s in the agenda? 

  • The union government set provisions for the recruitment of teachers in the IITs, IIMs, and all the centrally-aided institutes under the quota system specified for the Dalits, SC/ST and OBCs in 2008
  • Reserved students from the SC/ST category in the IIMs would be duly provided with loans and scholarships
  • Loans and scholarships would also be provided for the economically backward candidates

In the September 20 meeting, the incumbent HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar sought a report regarding the status of faculty appointment in the IIMs.

According to HT report, the IIM-Ahmedabad refused to comment when contacted regarding the prevailing issue.


Admission to medical, dental courses under NEET from 2017: Parliament gives approval

Admission to medical, dental courses under NEET

On Monday, August 1, the Parliament gave approval to two important bills regarding the conduction of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). Once the bills are passed, the admission to medical and dental courses all over the country will be done through a single common entrance test from next year. The government said that NEET is designed to curb corruption by bringing in transparency, checking multiplicity of exams and to stop exploitation of students in counselling.

Almost all the parties supported the government’s consent for NEET,  except AIADMK, which opposed it and staged a walkout, arguing that it will affect the rural students who do not study CBSE syllabus.

(Read: NEET Phase II 2016: Kashmir govt establishes special facilitation centers, admit cards to be curfew passes)

More clarification on NEET:

Health Minister JP Nadda gave the following clarifications, while responding to contention by some members that it will benefit private institutions:

  • Under the new system, exams to private colleges will also be conducted under NEET
  • National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is intended to check multiplicity of exams, to bring transparency to curb corruption and to stop the exploitation of students during counselling
  • Earlier, students would have to travel long distances to appear for several medical entrance examinations but the new legislation will bring this to an end
  • The exam will be held on the basis of NCERT syllabus and the under-graduate exam will be taken up by CBSE and post-graduation by the national board of examination
  • The health ministry has written to all the states seeking details about the number of students who appeared in local languages in the last three years so that the Centre can make plans accordingly
  • “In the syllabus, we bring parity. Concerns of the state governments will be addressed. We will do standardisation of syllabus so that rural students can also be taken care of,” said the minister

The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2016, approved by the Lok Sabha earlier, were passed by the Rajya Sabha through voice vote.