By Yogi Ashwini

Yog is a perfect and precise science practiced by the vedic seers for thousands of years and given to us in its pristine form, through the ancient practice of Guru-shishya parampara. The rules of yog stay the same even today despite the lifestyles of individuals undergoing a sea change.

Yog is not about rapid breathing exercises, or tying yourself in knots, it is a beautiful journey of the self.  The benefits of yog have been experienced by the practitioner when they have taken up the practice in its entirety. Just as a patient would benefit from the Doctor’s prescription if and only if the patient takes the medication in its entirety, similarly yog has to be seen as a divine prescription, which cannot be altered as per individual’s comfort for acceptance. Further to reap the benefits of these practices you have to practice them regularly because you cannot cure yourself of the disease just by reading the prescription, you need to take the medicine as well.

Yog simply put is union in, and union with, all spheres of life. One does not have to renounce this world and go to the mountains. A practitioner of yog can lead a life of a householder, executing all his or her responsibilities towards the family and the society.

We are starting a series on specific practices from Sanatan Kriya, which is Ashtang Yog in its unadulterated form, which sadhaks at Dhyan Foundation have  been practicing for years now and benefited on the physical, emotional, mental and the financial planes. These very practices have also been shared with hundreds of people across the country and those who are regular with their practice have also reported positive changes in them. It is important to note here that all these people are at responsible positions in the society with jobs or businesses and families to look after.

Let us start with the first step, abdominal breathing.

1.       Sit down with your spine absolutely straight on a firm but soft surface. Sit in a clean, well-ventilated but not windy or cold environment. Ensure that you’re sitting without any support to your back.

2.      Close your eyes and start breathing from your nose. Throughout the entire asan do not breathe from your mouth.

3.      Now take your awareness to your abdomen. Exhale very slowly and as you exhale pull your abdomen in without bending the back. Without holding your breath, start inhaling slowly and start expanding your abdomen as if the air was filling your abdominal cavity. Once you have inhaled to your abdomen’s full capacity, start exhaling again.

4.      Repeat this process of abdominal inhalation and exhalation for as long as possible with a straight spine and without straining yourself. Slowly reduce the speed of breathing and increase the depth of your breath.

In this stressed out life of today all of us are breathing at a fast pace. Physical, mental or emotional stress increases the metabolism of our body. Metabolism, simply put is the rate at which energy is being consumed by the cells of our body. This stress leads to a faster cell burnout. This simple breathing technique reduces the metabolism of the body thereby increasing the life span of the cell but most importantly without reducing the efficiency of the individual.

Next issue we will cover some basic asans which when done in conjunction with this abdominal breathing will help bring your metabolic rate to its optimal level.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. 

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By Yogi Ashwini

Yog is a beautiful journey into the physically manifested creation, enjoying the various aspects and then going beyond them into higher forms of pleasures and experiencing higher dimensions. It is the science of the Ultimate, often called the final frontier, a science that has been tried and time-tested for thousands of years, yielding hundred percent results. The various siddhis and manifestations of yog are for real and practically experienced by a sadhak as he walks the path under sanidhya of a guru.

Let us pick up a basic aspect of healing and health of human body.

For a basic experience of the power and efficacy of the Vedic sciences and their effect on the body, one may start with practice of Sanatan Kriya, which is simple to do and can be easily incorporated in modern lifestyle, and whose power is testified by leading doctors of the country.

Another tool which the vedic seers gave the human being is that of vedic yagyas. In a yagya it is important that the samidha (wood), ghrit (ghee from a cow whose calf has had its full), samagri, mantra and bhaav (thought) is pure and undiluted. Depending on the kind of yagya you want to perform and siddhis you are looking for, guru gives you the mantra, which is a siddha mantra, which the guru has done, otherwise the mantra becomes fruitless and the manifestation of your thought will not happen.

A clear-cut sign of success of yagya is the appearance of the dev purush (see picture). It can be in the form of om, a divine syllable or god or goddess or even form of your guru. When such manifestations happen and your havan is smokeless you will know that the yagya is successful.

At dhyan ashram we click pictures of yagyas and you will notice that the pictures of manifestation are unedited, as they were clicked. Also there is no smoke emitting from the fire. The divine manifestations in yagya can be used for good health or for purification of environment or for your upliftment through fulfilling the purpose that your guru chooses for you.

With the efforts of honorable Prime Minister, this phenomenal science has been reawakened and etched on the world calendar. In his speech last year the PM made two very important observations – yog is in stillness and stability and that the science should be kept away from commerce. Need of the hour is to practice yog in totality as laid down by the vedic masters.

Yog is a sadhna, not a business and the powers and siddhis of the subject can only be accessed through a guru, who is not tied in maya and does not charge you a fee. Such a guru exudes the glow and power of the science, his chants have the power to completely change the environment of a place, his gaze is energizing, his touch is healing, what he says happens, everything in the physical is at his beck and call and yet he desires nothing in the physical realm. When you come in the sanidhya of a guru, your thoughts begin to manifest, your body takes the shape you desire and experiences of the subtler worlds become real for you. That is an indication that you have found your guru and the journey of yog has begun for you.

Yogi Ashwiniji is the guiding light of Dhyan Foundation and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Dhan Singh

It is imperative that our country has to craft its foreign policy in such a way so as to meet the numerous challenges of the twenty-first century. The challenges that the foreign policy has to contend with include inter-continental terrorism, piracy over high seas, global gun-running syndicates and the looming threat to disruption of sea lanes of communication (SLOCs) and illegal exploitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) critical for the growth of the economy of our country.

Strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

India is strategically located in the centre of Asia and at the head of the Indian Ocean. By virtue of its geographical location, Andaman and Nicobar Islands enjoys a strategic location as the far south-easternmost part of India. Landfall Islands, the northern most island in the Andaman archipelago, is just about 20 km from Myanmar's Coco Island (which is reportedly under Chinese control) while Indira Point at the tip of Great Nicobar, the southernmost island in the Nicobar archipelago, lies about 80 km from the tip of Sumatra in Indonesia. Thus, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is located at the mouth of the Straits of Malacca which is a significant trade route through which majority of trade occurs amongst various countries over the seas.

Evolution of the Defence Architecture in Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

The evolution of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from being simply an outpost in the Indian defence architecture to becoming an important strategic base has indeed been a long-drawn one. The Indian Union set up the Indian naval base named INS Jarawa in late 1960s which had primarily amphibious ships and to protect the Islands post the Sino-Indian war of 1962.The INS Jarawa was renamed Fortress Andaman (FORTRAN) in 1981.The naval air component in the form of INS Utkrosh was established near INS Jarawa in 1985.

The paradigm shift in the defence architecture of Andaman and Nicobar Islands occurred when the first integrated theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces was set up in the form of ‘Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC)’ at Port Blair in 2001.But with the limited joint capability among the three armed forces, ANC, hitherto, has had mixed results. ANC definitely is a step forward for the eventual reorganization of armed forces of our country into integrated theatre commands which will be better suited to deal with the security challenges decisively in a holistic manner.

With the nature of warfare changing from being manpower-intensive (as during the World war periods and some decades thereafter) to more technology-centric, there is an urgent need to institute a Force Structure Commission with an aim to improve the tooth-to-tail ratio resulting in an agile and responsive defence force.

Role of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in furthering the national interests of India:

Since the foreign policy is guided by the national interests of India,viz.,securing a peaceful and an amicable external environment to ensure the sustainable development of India so as to pull out the remaining millions from poverty and to ensure equitable development inside the country. In order to achieve a conducive external and internal environment for our country’s inclusive development, securing national borders is as significant as securing the exclusive economic zones which are repository of natural resources of various kinds and protecting the SLOCs from disruption in coordination with other countries both in immediate and extended neighborhood of India.

About 90% of India’s trade and oil imports are moved by sea lanes of communications (SLOCs), the prominent one passing through the Straits of Malacca to which Andaman & Nicobar Islands have geographical proximity. As our country’s economy becomes more globally integrated, it would become more dependent on the oceans.

The re-emergence of China has led to renewed interest in the Indian Ocean. Indian Ocean has acquired a great salience not only because of the various trade routes that pass through it but also as a bridge to connect the various countries located in the Indian Ocean region through initiatives like ‘Project Mausam’ and with the help of multilateral organizations like Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). ‘Project Mausam’ (being coordinated by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts IGNCA, New Delhi) aims to revive the historic maritime, cultural and economic ties with the 39 Indian Ocean countries including China and Pakistan.

In order to secure the maritime interest of India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands acquires a significant place because it hosts the first tri-services command of our country (Andaman Nicobar Command) which aims to provide a holistic security solution to strengthen the strategic position of India in the vicinity of the all-important Malacca Strait.

Evaluation of the Security & Strategic Policy in relation to Andaman & Nicobar Islands:

In present times, jointness amongst the various arms of the defence forces is the essential component of the military doctrine of any country. This is evident in the recent reduction in the size of the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China which has gone in for organizational restructuring of its armed forces in favor of increasing jointness and has set up Theatre Commands (to have a holistic view of the war zone) in the place of separate commands of army, navy or air force.

Recently in March 2016, Indian Navy, Army and the Indian Air Force participated in joint war game named 'Jal Prahar' in Andaman & Nicobar Islands under the aegis of Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) where joint exercises in amphibious battlefield scenarios was practiced. Though such joint exercises which are being carried out at tactical levels are a step forward but for a leap forward in enhancing jointness amongst the three wings of Armed Forces and also the Coast Guard will happen only when there is jointness at strategic level amongst the various armed forces of our country.

The present obsession of the security establishment of our country with Pakistan has to give way to a more balanced approach to future security scenarios in which China should be given due importance in the long-term since China, the economic power that it is already, is also asserting itself militarily both in the South China sea and also in the various islands of the Indian ocean region. Andaman & Nicobar Islands becomes important because the maritime approach to South  

China Sea is through the Malacca Strait. Apart from being the storehouse of natural resources underneath the South China Sea, South China Sea is also important because more than 50% of India’s trade comes through the South China Sea if crude oil is excluded. Indian oil exploration companies like ONGC-Videsh has won contracts to prospect petroleum in blocks in South China Sea under the territorial jurisdiction of Vietnam. So, it would be prudent for our country to conduct joint exercises with Vietnam in the region of South China Sea (under the territorial jurisdiction of Vietnam) to protect mutual interests. India has rightly decided to stay put in Vietnam despite Chinese protests because ONGC-Videsh is prospecting in territories under the sovereign control of Vietnam from whom ONGC-Videsh had won a competitive contract. ONGC-Videsh should remain in Vietnam despite poor prospects of oil in order to maintain India's strategic interest in the South China Sea.

With the ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy of United States coming into play, US has deployed a large number of its forces and military equipment in the Asia-Pacific region which includes the Indian Ocean region. Moreover, in April 2016 US and India have concluded the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) vide which respective militaries of each country can access each other’s military bases for repair and refueling purposes. LEMOA is a step forward because it has formalized the existing arrangements of sharing of repair and refueling facilities between the militaries of US and India that had been existing earlier also. For China, it is important that India does not become the ally of US. Thus, India can use its strategic closeness to US as a bargaining chip with China to secure its national interests including an amicable settlement of the boundary dispute.

Since the trade routes converge in the Northern Indian Ocean, therefore China is primarily interested in the Northern Indian Ocean. The Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago located in the Northern Indian Ocean could thus be used as a ‘metal chain’ to block Chinese access to the Straits of Malacca, as argued by naval analyst Zhang Ming. While China is embarking on the grand plans of infrastructure development across the Indian Ocean region through its One Belt One Road (OBOR) that comprises the establishment of Maritime Silk Route through which it proposes to connect the various Indian ocean countries by developing ports (like Gwadar port in Pakistan, Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, Marau which is close to Male in Maldives), our country while being a part of the OBOR also needs to explore other strategic alternatives as it is attempting through Project Mausam by leveraging its core competencies, most notably its soft power and its age-old civilizational ties with the Indian Ocean countries. The Indian diaspora in Indian Ocean Region countries can be an added advantage that India enjoys unlike China, which is another important player in the Indian Ocean.

The way forward:

The stated policy of India is to become a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands by virtue of its strategic location is well suited to become the springboard using which our country and its military, most notably its navy (which is steadily developing its blue water capability) can project power deep inside the Indian Ocean and protect India’s national interests which extends from the strait of Hormuz in West Asia to the strait of Malacca in the East. To realize India’s full strategic potential in the Indian Ocean, Indian Navy needs to fast track its efforts in building maritime capacity especially in island states that occupy critical locations in the Indian Ocean and in these efforts Andaman and Nicobar Islands can become the winning ace. 

The author is presently a Research Scholar in Management department in IIT Kanpur. He is a Gold Medalist in MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He has graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kerala. His areas of interest are diverse, encompassing Strategic Management, Supply Chain Strategy, Social development, Decentralised Planning, Organisational development. He has several research papers to his credit. Before moving to academics, he has had a seven year stint in the INDIAN ARMY as a commissioned officer.

The World Veterinary Association (WVA) created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession which falls on every last Saturday of April month. The WVA is a worldwide non-profit organization originally established in 1863 in Hamburg, Germany that works in the best, long-term interest of veterinarians, clients, co-operative partners such as the FAO ( Food & Agricultural Organisation), WHO ( World Health Organisation) and OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and the world society. It is committed to unifying the veterinary profession worldwide and has members in about 100 countries. Livestock and human health are interlinked and disease prevention is one of the greatest challenges faced by veterinary as well as medical profession.  Diverse infectious animal diseases have been targeted by veterinarians to decrease the morbidity and mortality in livestock. The veterinary profession, through effective and efficient veterinary services, plays crucial role in prevention of animal diseases and protection of animal health. Numerous zoonotic diseases are on focus for veterinarians to protect the human health also. Strategies to prevent such diseases for protection of livestock and human health are need of the day. Veterinarians protect the health and welfare of animals, and thus also protect the health of humans. Early detection of zoonosis can prevent their transmission to humans or introduction of pathogens into the food chain. Therefore, veterinarians should be well trained to preserve animal health and welfare, as well as to tackle public health issues. Provided that the Veterinary profession and science are constantly evolving, continuing Education is essential for veterinarians to keep their knowledge updated with the latest developments, skills, and new technologies required to enable them to efficiently control health risks at their animal source. Therefore, this year, the WVD’s theme focuses on how veterinarians continue their education efforts to increase their expertise on One Health topics, such as zoonotic diseases, food safety or antimicrobial resistance, and how they collaborate with the human health sector to tackle these issues.

It has long been known that 60% of known human infectious diseases have their source in animals (whether domestic or wild), as do 75% of emerging human diseases and 80% of the pathogens that could potentially be used in bioterrorism. We also know that human populations need a regular diet of protein from milk, eggs or meat, and that a deficiency can also be a public health problem. Some estimates suggest that world production of food animals is reduced by more than 20% due to disease, which means that even animal diseases not transmissible to humans may lead to serious public health problems due to the shortages and deficiencies that can follow. The only way to prevent all these new hazards is to adapt the existing systems of health governance at world, regional and national levels in a harmonised and coordinated manner.

One Health has been defined as "the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines - working locally, nationally, and globally - to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment”. The synergism achieved will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care. When properly implemented, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generations.

Many emerging health issues are linked to increasing contact between humans and animals, intensification and integration of food production, and the expansion of international travel. As the number of new infectious diseases emerged in the 20th century, scientists began to recognize the challenges societies face regarding these threats that largely come from animals. It is estimated that five new emerging infectious human diseases appear each year, of which three are zoonotic. The recent Ebola epidemic as well as the too numerous human deaths caused each year by rabies, dreadfully remind us of the strong links existing between the health of people, animals and environment and consequently the need for multi-sectoral approaches illustrated through the ‘One Health’ concept. Of the 1,415 microbes that are known to infect humans, 61 percent come from animals. For example, rodents transmit plague and typhus to humans, and domestic livestock are the original source of crowd diseases such as measles, mumps, and pertussis. One important exception is Mycobacteria tuberculosis. Genetic evidence suggests that Mycobacteria tuberculosis originated in human populations and spread to animals. Chimpanzees were a reservoir host for the human immunodeficiency virus. Global trade of wildlife exacerbates the problem of disease emergence. The avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) epidemic that began in Hong Kong in 1997 forced the global community to recognize that animal health and human health are linked. The 1997 outbreak affected 18 people, killed 6, and provoked the culling of 1.5 million birds. The HPAI H5N1 virus resurfaced in isolated outbreaks between 1998–2003, but a widespread outbreak occurred in mid-2003 in South Korea. Delays in international reporting and weak response measures contributed to the spread of the virus across Southeast Asia. In recognition of the global threat that avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) and other emerging zoonotic diseases posed, the FAO, WHO and OIE developed a strategic framework, a tripartite agreement, to work more closely together to address the animal-human-ecosystem interface.

Urbanization, globalization, climate shift, and terrorism have brought the need for a more diverse public health workforce to the forefront of public planning. Changes in land use, creation and operation of large terrestrial and marine food production units, and microbial and chemical pollution of land and water sources have created new threats to the health of both animals and humans. For example, deforestation for agriculture can lead to the emergence of zoonotic diseases.

One Health is a unifying concept to bring together human health care practitioners, veterinarians, and public and environmental health professionals. By strengthening epidemiologic and laboratory investigations that assess the role of environmental influences, this partnership can help to develop and apply sustainable and effective community health interventions. The importance of One Health is promoted by scientists in many countries and supported by prominent organizations including the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organization for Animal Health and many other organisation worldwide.

In A & N Islands, the livestock and poultry are free from most of the dreaded diseases which are prevalent in the mainland. However, to protect and prevent our precious germpalsm it is important to do routine disease surveillance and vaccination against the prevalent diseases.  In the recent year, the Island has recorded the outbreak of FMD in 2005, however, due to effective vaccination programme the disease has now brought to under control. Similarly, the poultry diseases like Ranikhet disease, IBD, etc have been kept under control with effective vaccination. Apart from the livestock diseases we should be vigilant about the incidence and prevalence of some of the zoonotic diseases like leptospirosis, brucellosis, TB which may pose a serious threat to the livestock and human population.

Veterinarians have a significant role in human health and animal health. The future will most likely bring more collaborations of veterinarians from all fields with multiple professions such as public health, human medicine, bio-engineering, animal science, environmental science, and wildlife. On World Veterinary Day - 2016 veterinarians will celebrate their profession and with continuing to educate themselves will strive to become wiser and stronger to fight disease and foster animal and therefore human health. 

 By Dr. Jaisunder (M.V.Sc, Ph.D), Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair (The author is a registered member of the Andaman and Nicobar Union Territory Veterinary Council (ANUTVC)

World Consumers Rights Day (WCRD), on 15th March, is an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. The theme for World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March, 2016 will be “Antibiotics off the menu” and Consumers International will be campaigning with Members around the world for fast food companies to make a global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine. Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organisation has warned that, without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.

Growing antibiotic resistance is driven by over use of antibiotics.  Despite worldwide concern about the overuse of antibiotics, their use in agriculture is due to increase by two thirds by 2030. Consumers have an important role to play in persuading food companies to make the changes that are needed to stop this global public health threat and protect our medicines for the future. The widespread practice of routinely dosing farm animals with antibiotics is contributing to this threat. Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat the disease. Global restaurant chains can affect change faster than governments alone by using their purchasing power to hasten the phasing out of the practice of routinely administering farm animals with antibiotics used in human medicine. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. These resistant bacteria make many infections much harder to treat. Combined with a lack of new drugs, this constitutes a major public health risk this overuse is generating more antibiotic resistant bacteria. Resistant bacteria carried by farm animals can spread to humans through consumption of contaminated food, from direct contact with animals, or by environmental spread, for example in contaminated water or soil. The World Health Organization (WHO) is co-ordinating the international response through its Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. Along with addressing over consumption of antibiotics in human medicine and promoting the development of new drugs, changes in farming practices are on the agenda of policy makers everywhere. Government action alone however will not be enough. Business, civil society and consumers will need to play a role. Multinational food businesses with global supply chains are in a position to drive changes faster than legislation alone. This day is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices that undermine them. The fundamental aim of WCRD is to bring about important and needed benefits for consumers world wide. We intend to do so through inspiring and sensitising consumers on their basic consumer rights, which include:

•               Right to safety

•               Right to choose,

•               Right to be heard,

•               Right to healthy environment,

•               Right to be informed,

•               Right to consumer education

•               Right to redress.

Furthermore, we encourage consumers to get involved in questioning the safety of food (meat) produced from animals (including birds) administered high doses of antibiotics and gain knowledge on health implications on antibiotics resistance. Farmers also have an important role to play by giving fewer antibiotics to animals.

Let us work in solidarity to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria, which travels across national boundaries in myriad ways. The aim of this theme is to curb the widespread over-consumption of antibiotics in human medicine and the use of antibiotics in Agriculture to promote faster growth of livestock rather than as a veterinary treatment.  Indeed, about 50% of the world’s antibiotics is used in Agriculture, most of it to promote rapid growth and artificially quick fattening of chicken and other farm animals.

Many people are aware of the dangers of over-consumption of antibiotics in human medicine but few are aware that all the meats they consume at fast food outlets, as for example chicken, have been artificially grown and fattened by antibiotics and that when they eat such meats they are ingesting dangerous amounts of antibiotics resulting in their unwittingly developing resistance to antibiotics used medically.

It simply means that bacteria become resistant to the use of antibiotics. When antibiotics cannot act, simple infections such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis and gonorrhea become more difficult and sometimes impossible to treat.

If urgent action is not taken, we could be heading for a post-antibiotic era in which important medicines become ineffective and stop working.  It is one of the biggest public health crises the world is beginning to face. 

(Contributed by:- Dr. Dinesh, Member, State Commission , A&N Islands)