Friday, 13 December 2019

[] : Some Interesting Facts About R & AW ...


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  • Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW or RAW) was created to fill the gaps in intelligence gathering undertaken by the Intelligence Bureau.
  • It was created after the Sino-Indian War 1962 and Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 . (on September 21, 1968; 46 years ago)
  • The primary function of R&AW is gathering foreign intelligence andcounter-terrorism..
  • It is also involved in the security of India's nuclear programme.
  • Its Motto is "धर्मो रक्षति रक्षित:" which means "The one not observing Dharma is destroyed while the one following it meticulously is protected."
  • R&AW started as a wing of the main Intelligence Bureau with 250 employees and an annual budget of 20 million(US$311,968.00).
  • Presently, the budget of R&AW is speculated to be as high as US$450 million
  • Other child agencies like The Radio Research Center and Electronics & Tech. Services were added to R&AW in the 1970s and 1990s. In the 1990s the Special Frontier Force became the paramilitary wing of R&AW, providing the requisite muscle for covert military operations.
  • In 2004 Government of India added yet another signal intelligence agency called the National Technical Facilities Organisation (NTFO), which was later renamed as National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). It is believed to be functioning under titular control of R&AW. Exact nature of the operations conducted by NTRO is "very" classified.
  • R&AW's legal status is unusual, in that it is not an "Agency", but a "Wing" of the Cabinet Secretariat. Hence, R&AW is not answerable to the Parliament of India on any issue, which keeps it out of reach of the Right to Information Act.
  • R&AW has been organised on the lines of the CIA. They also have the benefit of training in either the USA or the UK, and more recently in Israel.
  • R&AW personnel are called "Research Officers" instead of the traditional "agents". There is a sizeable number of female officers in R&AW even at the operational level.
  • In recent years, R&AW has shifted its primary focus from Pakistan to China and have started operating a separate desk for this purpose.
  • Most of the Directors/Secretaries of Research and Analysis Wing have been Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.
  • All the chiefs of RAW have been experts on China or Pakistan except for Ashok Chaturvedi, who is an expert on Nepal.
  • Initially, R&AW relied primarily on trained intelligence officers (From IB, military, IPS, or revenue department) who were recruited directly.  Later, R&AW began directly recruiting graduates from universities. 
  • Direct recruitment at Class I executive level is from Civil services officers undergoing Foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration. At the end of the course, R&AW conducts a campus interview. Based on a selection of psychological tests and the interview, candidates are inducted into R&AW for a lien period of one year. 
  • Officers can return to their parent cadre after serving a specific period in the agency if they wish to.
  • The candidates has to go under basic and advanced training before starting to work for RAW.
  • This is a ten-day phase in which the inductee is familiarised with the real world of intelligence and espionage, as opposed to the spies of fiction. Advance training will be a duration of 2 to 5 years. 
  • Activities and functions of R&AW are highly confidential and declassification of past operations are uncommon unlike agencies like CIA, MI6 and Mossad who have many of their activities declassified.
  • The primary mission of R&AW includes aggressive intelligence collection via espionage, psychological warfaresubversionsabotage and assassinations. R&AW maintains active collaboration with other secret services in various countries. Its contacts with FSB of Russia, NDS, the Afghan agency, Israel's Mossad, the CIA and MI6.
  • ELINT operations are aimed at China. After China tested its first nuclear weapons on 16 October 1964, at Lop NurXinjiang, India and the USA shared a common fear about the nuclear capabilities of China.the CIA in the late 1960s decided to launch an ELINT operation along with RAW and ARC to track China's nuclear tests and monitor its missile launches.
  • RAW had an important role in liberation of eastern Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.
  • Operation Smiling Buddha: Operation Smiling Buddha was the name given to India's nuclear programme. The task to keep it under tight wraps for security was given to RAW.
  • RAW had an important role in Amalgamation of Sikkim.
  • Kahuta is the site of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan's main nuclear weapons laboratory as well as an emerging center for long-range missile development. R&AW first confirmed Pakistan's nuclear programs by analyzing the hair samples snatched from the floor of barber shops near KRL; which showed that Pakistan had developed the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade quality. RAW agents knew of Kahuta Research Laboratories from at least early 1978, when the then Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, accidentally thwarted R&AW's operations on Pakistan's covert nuclear weapons program.
  • RAW started training the LTTE to keep a check on Sri Lanka, which had helped Pakistan in the Indo-Pak War by allowing Pakistani ships to refuel at Sri Lankan ports.
  • R&AW trained the intelligence officers of many independent African countries and assisted the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa and Namibia. Retired R&AW officers were deputed to work in training institutes of intelligence agencies of some African states.
  • About 2–6 months before 26/11 Mumbai attacks R&AW had intercepted several telephone calls through SIGINT which pointed at impending attacks on Mumbai Hotels by Pakistan-based terrorists.
  • There are claims that RAW was assisting the United States by providing intelligence on Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban's whereabouts.
  • Operation Leech and Operation Chanakya.
  • It was alleged by the Sri Lankan newspaper The Sunday Times, that R&AW had a played in role in uniting the opposition, to bring about the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Sri Lankan presidential election, 2015..
  • Operation Meghdootwas the code-name for the Indian Armed Forces operation to capture the Siachen Glacier in the disputed Kashmir region, precipitating the Siachen Conflict.  It was RAW who gave classified informations regarding Pakistan's plan to capture Saltoro Ridge in Siachen as part of their Operation Ababeel.
  • On 23 June 1985, Indian aircraft  Boeing 747-237B was blown up by a bomb at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9,400 m) near Ireland. The incident caused the death of 329 passengers. On the same day, with a gap of an hour, another explosion occurred Tokyo's Narita airport's transit baggage building where baggage was being transferred from Cathay Pacific Flight No CP 003 to Air India Flight 301, which was scheduled for Bangkok. Both aircraft were loaded with explosives from Canadian airports. This was a failure on RAW's part as they were responsible to counter Khalistan movements.
  • In the year 1988, India received international praise for the Operation Cactus. In November 1988, the People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), a militant Tamils invaded Maldives.
    The Indian Armed Forces, with assistance from R&AW, launched a military campaign to throw the mercenaries out of Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Hulhule and restored the government of the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom at Malé within hours.Swift operation by the military and precise intelligence by RAW quelled the insurgency.
  • After the rise of Pakistan and American backed Taliban in Afghanistan, India decided to side with the Northern Alliance (a resistance force against the Taliban government) and the Soviet Union.
  • By 1996, RAW had built a 25 bed military hospital at the Farkhor Air Base. India supplied the Northern Alliance high altitude warfare equipment worth around US$8–10 million.
    RAW was the first intelligence agency to determine the extent of the Kunduz airlift.
  • During Kargil war, RAW was successful in tapping a telephonic conversation between the then Pakistan army chief General Pervez Musharraf, who was in Beijing, and his chief of staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz in Islamabad. This tape was later published by India to prove Pakistani involvement in the Kargil incursion.


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[] : ] 6 Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


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6 Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (No. 3 is Best)

For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes..

It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems.

The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar.

It is claimed to lead to all sorts of beneficial effects… some of which are supported by science.

This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.

Here are 6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar, that are supported by scientific research.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar is High in Acetic Acid, Which Has Potent Biological Effects

Vinegar is made in a two-step process, related to how alcohol is made (1).

The first step exposes crushed apples (or apple cider) to yeast, which ferment the sugars and turn them into alcohol.

In the second step, bacteria are added to the alcohol solution, which further ferment the alcohol and turn it into acetic acid… the main active compound in vinegar.

In French, the word "vinegar" actually means "sour wine."

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) also contains "mother," strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance.

This is what it looks like:

Some people believe that the "mother" is responsible for most of the health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.

Apple cider vinegar only contains about 3 calories per tablespoon, which is very low.

There are not many vitamins or minerals in it, but it does contain a tiny amount of potassium. Quality apple cider vinegar also contains some amino acids and antioxidants.

Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar.

2. Acetic Acid is a Potent Antimicrobial and Can Kill Some Types of Bacteria

Vinegar can help kill pathogens, including bacteria (2).

It has traditionally been used for cleaning and disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections.

However, many of these applications have currently not been confirmed by research.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar for wound cleaning over two thousand years ago.

Vinegar has been used as a food preservative, and studies show that it inhibits bacteria (like E. coli) from growing in the food and spoiling it (3, 4, 5, 6).

If you're looking for a natural way to preserve your food… then apple cider vinegar could be highly useful.

There have also been anecdotal reports of diluted apple cider vinegar helping with acne when applied on the skin, but I didn't find any research to confirm this so take it with a grain of salt.

Bottom Line: The main substance in vinegar, acetic acid, can kill bacteria and/or prevent them from multiplying and reaching harmful levels. It has a history of use as a disinfectant and natural preservative.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar May Lower Blood Sugar Levels, Which is Very Useful For Diabetics

By far the most successful application of vinegar to date, is in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars, either in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

However, elevated blood sugar can also be a problem in people who don't have diabetes… it is believed to be a major cause of ageing and various chronic diseases.

So, pretty much everyone should benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable.

The most effective (and healthiest) way to do that is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a powerful effect.

Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:

  • Improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses (7).
  • Reduces blood sugar by 34% when eating 50 grams of white bread (8).
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugars by 4% (9).
  • Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.

If you're currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctor before increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar.

Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar has shown great promise in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.

4. There Are Some Studies Showing That Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help With Weight Loss

Given that vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.

Several human studies suggest that vinegar can increase satiety, help you eat fewer calories and even lead to actual pounds lost on the scale.

Vinegar along with high-carb meals can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (16, 17).

By reducing calorie intake, this should translate to reduced weight over time.

A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, waist circumference, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss (18):

  • 15mL (1 tablespoon): Lost 2.6 pounds, or 1.2 kilograms.
  • 30mL (2 tablespoons): Lost 3.7 pounds, or 1.7 kilograms.

However… keep in mind that this study went on for 12 weeks, so the true effects on body weight seem to be rather modest.

That being said, just adding/subtracting single foods or ingredients rarely has a noticeable effect on weight.

It's the entire diet/lifestyle that counts… you need to combine several effective methods to see results.

Overall, it seems like apple cider vinegar may be useful as a weight loss aid, mainly by promoting satiety and lowering glucose and insulin levels.

But it won't work any miracles on its own.

Bottom Line: Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar May Have Some Benefits For Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is currently the world's biggest cause of death (19).

It is known that several measurable biological factors are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Several of these "risk factors" have been shown to be improved by vinegar consumption… but all of the studies were done in rats.

These rat studies showed that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels (20, 21).

Apple cider vinegar may also contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process (22, 23).

There are also some studies showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure (a major risk factor) in rats (24, 25).

Unfortunately, what works in animals doesn't always work in humans.

The only human evidence is an observational study from Harvard showing that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease (26).

But this type of study can only show an association, it can not prove that the vinegar caused anything.

Bottom Line: Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.

6. Vinegar May be Protective Against Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.

There is a lot of hype online about the anti-cancer effects of apple cider vinegar.

Some studies have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors (27, 28, 29, 30)

However, all of the studies on this were done in isolated cells in test tubes, or rats, which proves nothing about what happens in a living, breathing human.

Additionally, most of the studies were done on rice vinegar, not apple cider vinegar.

That being said, some observational studies (which don't prove anything) have shown that vinegar ingestion is linked to decreased esophageal cancer in China, but increased bladder cancer in Serbia (31, 32).

Overall… it is possible that apple cider vinegar may help to prevent cancer, but it is definitely premature to make any recommendations based on the current research.

Bottom Line: Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Side Effects, Dosage and How to Use it

There are a lot of wild claims about apple cider vinegar on the internet.

Some say that it can increase energy levels and have all sorts of beneficial effects on health..

Unfortunately… many of these claims are not supported by science.

Of course, absence of proof isn't proof that something isn't happening and anecdote often ends up becoming supported by science down the line.

That being said, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for more studies, since research on natural health products like these are both few and far between.

From the little evidence available, I think that apple cider vinegar may be useful and is definitely a good candidate for some self-experimentation if you're interested in it.

At the very least, apple cider vinegar seems to be safe. There are no side effects noted with normal consumption.

The best way to incorporate it into your diet is to use it in your cooking… for salad dressings, mayonnaise and that sort of thing.

Some people also like to dilute it in water and drink it as a beverage. Common dosages range from 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) to 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mL) per day.

Definitely don't go above that, because excess consumption may have harmful effects.

It is also possible to take it in pill/tablet form, but I don't recommend that because a 2005 study showed that the true vinegar content of these supplements was highly questionable (33).

There is also a report of a woman having an apple cider vinegar tablet stuck in her throat, which led to esophageal burns.

It is recommended to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the "mother."

Bragg's seems to be the most popular option, which is available on Amazon with tons of interesting testimonials and reviews that are fun to browse through.

Apple cider vinegar also has various other non-health related uses like hair conditioning, skin care, dental care, pet use and as a cleaning agent (to name a few).

These can be highly useful for people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible.

At the end of the day, apple cider vinegar appears to be very healthy.

It's not a "miracle" or a "cure-all" like some people seem to believe, but it does clearly have some important health benefits, especially for blood sugar and weight control.


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[] Six Stretch Exercises for Sciatica Relief


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6 Stretches for Sciatica Relief

I always thought there wasn't much I could do when my sciatica flared up. But now that I've found the following routine, I know there's an answer. These 6 simple exercises help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, and can be performed from the comfort of your own bed.

Sciatica Stretches


Sciatica is an intense and searing pain, sometimes experienced as numbness or tingling, that can be felt around your lower back and shoots all the way down to your legs. This routine was developed at the University of Washington's Physical Therapy Department, by Jennifer Howe. It's especially designed to target herniated discs, bone degeneration and tight hip muscles, all of which cause sciatica. Even if you don't know which of the three factors is causing your pain, try all the stretches and see which one helps.

Tight hip muscles

The following stretches will loosen the muscles in your hips. They might be pressing on your sciatic nerve, causing your pain.

Knee to opposite shoulder

Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed. Raise your right leg and hold your hands behind your knee. Pull your right knee gently across your body until it reaches your left shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat once more. Switch to raise your left leg to your right shoulder. Hold this position twice.

Sciatica Stretches


The Figure-4 Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and place your feet flat on the bed. Cross your right ankle over your left knee forming a 4-shape, as seen in the photo below. Hold your hands behind your left knee and gently pull your legs towards your chest while pressing the right knee away from your chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat it another 3 times. Switch legs and repeat the exercise 4 times.

Sciatica Stretches


Stretches for bone degeneration

Create spaces between your vertebrae with these moves. These will help prevent them from pinching your sciatic nerve.

Knees to chest

Lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest, while allowing your lower back to curve. Hug your knees in this position for 30 seconds. If this stretch eases the pain in your legs, repeat this position another 3 times. 

Sciatica Stretches


Posterior pelvic tilt

Lie face up on your bed with your knees bent and your feet flat, and place your arms behind your head. Lower yourself until your entire lower back touches the bed, as you see in the photo. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to the start position. Repeat this exercise 10 times. 

Sciatica Stretches

Herniated disc

These two press-up stretches can help create distance between the bulging discs in your spine. This relieves the pressure on the sciatic nerve.


Lie on your stomach and position your elbows directly under your shoulders, placing your forearms flat on the bed parallel to each other. Lift your chest and stretch your spine from the tailbone to the top of your neck, slightly arching your back. Hold this position for 30 seconds while breathing deeply. If the pain in your leg subsides, repeat this exercise two more times. If you don't feel any relief, skip the press-up extension (the next and last exercise). 

Sciatica Stretches


Press-up extension

Once again, lie face down with your hands flat next to your shoulders. Press your palms into the bed while lifting your upper body, making sure to keep your hips and pelvis on the bed. Stretch your spine from your tailbone to your neck while slightly arching your back. If you feel pressure on your lower back, stop lifting your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to the start position. Repeat this exercise 10 times, making a set. Do 3 sets of this exercise in total. 

Sciatica Stretches


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