CBI absolves Dr Ketan Desai in disproportionate assets case

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As reported in The Times of India (Aug 17, 2012), Dr Ketan Desai, Former Chairman of Medical Council of India was cleared by the Central Bureau of Investigations in the disproportionate assets (DA) case pertaining to the allegations of a bribe of Rs 2 crore paid by a college in Punjab.

A closure report was filed by the CBI before the designated court in New Delhi, which is expected to give its verdict shortly. Dr Ketan Desai was also cleared by the CBI in cases filed against him at Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Dehradun and Chennai, owing to lack of proof against him.

At the time of filing the FIR, Dr Ketan Desai was shown to have assets worth 230% of his income. After a detailed investigation by the CBI, spanning almost 2 years, the CBI has now said that the value of shares and assets, which in fact did not exist had been inadvertently added. The 3.5 kg of gold that had been seized had been reported to the Income Tax department in 1997 and 2000.

In its report the CBI said that the said college had all the required facilities except for an auditorium. A high-level committee was set up three days after Dr Desai was arrested. The committee under the chairmanship of the additional secretary for health looked into the validity of MCI recommendation for the college in question. In its report submitted in May 2010, the committee stated that the existing facilities and faculty in the college seemed to be fully sufficient for undergraduate teaching and that the permission recommended by MCI was justified. The committee also noted the absence of an auditorium in its report. A copy of the report was marked to the Director of the CBI.

The Board of Governors, which replaced the dissolved MCI, reviewed the MCI report and took a final decision as was asked by the Health ministry. Their inspection also observed that college lacked an auditorium and granted permission for 4th batch in July 2010. According to the MCI officials, the auditorium is used for cultural programmes and convocation, and hence, as per rules, it is required only at the time of permission for the 5th batch.

An Aspirin a day Lowers Cancer Mortality, New Data Confirm

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As per Eric J. Jacobs, MD, from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia,
a recent analysis pooling results from existing randomized trials of daily aspirin for the prevention of vascular events found an estimated 37% reduction in cancer mortality among those using aspirin for 5 years or more.

The study was published online August 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.