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Concept: Lok Sabha


Internet search rankings have a significant impact on consumer choices, mainly because users trust and choose higher-ranked results more than lower-ranked results. Given the apparent power of search rankings, we asked whether they could be manipulated to alter the preferences of undecided voters in democratic elections. Here we report the results of five relevant double-blind, randomized controlled experiments, using a total of 4,556 undecided voters representing diverse demographic characteristics of the voting populations of the United States and India. The fifth experiment is especially notable in that it was conducted with eligible voters throughout India in the midst of India’s 2014 Lok Sabha elections just before the final votes were cast. The results of these experiments demonstrate that (i) biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more, (ii) the shift can be much higher in some demographic groups, and (iii) search ranking bias can be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation. We call this type of influence, which might be applicable to a variety of attitudes and beliefs, the search engine manipulation effect. Given that many elections are won by small margins, our results suggest that a search engine company has the power to influence the results of a substantial number of elections with impunity. The impact of such manipulations would be especially large in countries dominated by a single search engine company.

Concepts: Voting system, Democracy, Election, Voter turnout, Elections, Lok Sabha, Search engine optimization, Voting


Abstracts from the 6th Annual Congress of the Association of Vascular Access and Interventional Renal Physicians (AVATAR) | July 21-22, 2017 | Goa, India.

Concepts: Sunshine pop, Lok Sabha, Indian National Congress, The Association, Mumbai, Chronic kidney disease


This equity focused evaluation analyses change in inter-district inequity of maternal health services (MHS) in Karnataka state between 2006-07 & 2012-13, alongside association of MHS inequity with distribution of maternal deaths.

Concepts: Western Ghats, States Reorganisation Act, Lok Sabha, Kannada language, Mathematical analysis, Medicine, Health care, Obstetrics


High out-of-pocket expenditures (OOPE) make delivery care difficult to access for a large proportion of India’s population. Given that home deliveries increase the risk of maternal mortality, in 2005 the Indian Government implemented the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) program to incentivize poor women to deliver in public health facilities by providing a cash transfer upon discharge. We study the OOPE among JSY beneficiaries and women who deliver at home, and predictors of OOPE in two districts of Madhya Pradesh.

Concepts: National parks of India, Health care, Madhya Pradesh, Lok Sabha, Maharashtra, States and territories of India, India, Childbirth


In 2005-06, only 39 % of Indian women delivered in a health facility. Given that deliveries at home increase the risk of maternal mortality, it was in this context in 2005, that the Indian Government implemented the Janani Suraksha Yojana program that incentivizes poor women to give birth in a health facility by providing them with a cash transfer upon discharge. JSY helped raise institutional delivery to 74 % in the eight years since its implementation. Despite the success of the JSY in raising institutional delivery proportions, the large number of beneficiaries (105 million), and the cost of the program, there have been few qualitative studies exploring why women participate (or not) in the program. The objective of this paper was to explore this.

Concepts: Madhya Pradesh, Lok Sabha, States and territories of India, Maharashtra, Explorer, Poverty, India, Childbirth


Government of India launched a social health protection program called Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) in the year 2008 to provide financial protection from catastrophic health expenses to below poverty line households (HHs). The objectives of the current paper are to assess the current status of RSBY in Maharashtra at each step of awareness, enrollment, and utilization. In addition, urban and rural areas were compared, and social, political, economic, and cultural (SPEC) factors responsible for the better or poor proportions, especially for the awareness of the scheme, were identified.

Concepts: Lok Sabha, Ecology, Healthcare reform, Government of India, Health economics, Sociology, Economics, Poverty


Access to emergency obstetric care by competent staff can reduce maternal mortality. India has launched the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) conditional cash transfer program to promote institutional births. During implementation of the JSY, India witnessed a steep increase in the proportion of institutional deliveries-from 40% in 2004 to 73% in 2012.However, maternal mortality reduction follows a secular trend. Competent management of complications, when women deliver in facilities under the JSY, is essential for reduction in maternal mortality and therefore to a successful program outcome. We investigate, using clinical vignettes, whether birth attendants at institutions under the program are competent at providing appropriate care for obstetric complications.

Concepts: Gujarat, National parks of India, Lok Sabha, Obstetrics, Madhya Pradesh, India, States and territories of India, Childbirth


In 2009 the state government of Madhya Pradesh, India launched an emergency obstetric transportation service, Janani Express Yojana (JEY), to support the cash transfer program that promotes institutional delivery. JEY, a large scale public private partnership, lowers geographical access barriers to facility based care. The state contracts and pays private agencies to provide emergency transportation at no cost to the user. The objective was to study (a) the utilization of JEY among women delivering in health facilities, (b) factors associated with usage, © the timeliness of the service.

Concepts: National parks of India, Lok Sabha, Federal government of the United States, Gujarat, India, Childbirth, Madhya Pradesh, States and territories of India


India launched JSY cash transfer programme to increase access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC) by incentivising in-facility births. This increased in-facility births from 30%in 2005 to 73% in 2012 however, decline in maternal mortality follows a secular trend. Dysfunctional referral services can contribute to poor programme impact on outcomes. We hence describe inter- facility referrals and study quality of referral services in JSY.

Concepts: Hindi, Gujarat, Lok Sabha, National parks of India, Madhya Pradesh, Childbirth, India, States and territories of India


BACKGROUND: High out-of-pocket-expenditure (OOPE) deters families from seeking skilled/institutional care. ‘Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), a conditional cash transfer programme launched in 2005 to mitigate OOPE and to promote institutional deliveries among the poor, is part of Government of India’s efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5. The objective of this study is to estimate variations in OOPE for normal/caesarean-section deliveries, JSY-programme use and delivery associated borrowings - by states and union territories, and socio-demographic profiling of families, in India. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data from the District Level Household Survey (DLHS-3), 2007–08. Mean and median OOPE, percentage use of JSY and percentage of families needing to borrow money to pay for delivery associated expenditure was estimated for institutional and home deliveries. RESULTS: Half (52%) of all deliveries in India occurred at home in 2007/08. OOPE for women having institutional deliveries remained high, with considerable variation between states and union territories. Mean OOPE (SD) of a normal delivery in public and private institution respectively in India were Rs.1,624 and Rs. 4,458 and for a caesarean-section was Rs. 5,935 and Rs.14,276 respectively. There was considerable state-level variation in use of the JSY programme for normal deliveries (15% nationally; ranging from 0% in Goa to 43% in Madhya Pradesh) and the percentage of families having to borrow money to pay for a caesarean-section in a private institution (47% nationally; ranging from 7% in Goa to 69% in Bihar). Increased literacy and wealth were associated with a higher likelihood of an institutional delivery, higher OOPE but no major variations in use of the JSY. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights the ongoing high OOPE and impoverishing impact of institutional care for deliveries in India. Supporting families in financial planning for maternity care, additional investment in the JSY programme and strengthening state level planning are required to increase the proportion of institutional deliveries.

Concepts: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Lok Sabha, Bihar, States and territories of India, Millennium Development Goals, Childbirth, India