Activities

(I) Activities with an emphasis on Human Resource Development

 

(A) 80th Annual Session and National Symposium on “Climate Change : Research, Awareness and Capacity Building”

 

 

Chief Guest, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Member of Parliament lighting the Lamp during the Inaugural Function

The Inaugural Function of the 80th Annual Session of the Academy & the Symposium on Climate Change, very well attended, was held in the Maharana Pratap Auditorium at Jaipur on December 2, 2010. Prof. K.L. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of the host Institution (Jaipur National University) extended a warm welcome to the Chief Guest, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Member of Parliament; Guests of Honour, Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Advisor, ISRO and Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO; Prof. Asis Datta, President, NASI and Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Past President, NASI & Convener of the Symposium; and to all other distinguished guests and participants.

 

 Prof. Asis Datta, President, NASI,  lighting the Lamp during the Inaugural Function

 

Prof Asis Datta, while delivering the Presidential Address, spoke about the Academy, its founders and co-founders; and emphasized that the National Academy of Sciences, India was the first of its kind in the country, which believed in disseminating the scientific knowledge by educating public opinion. Prof. Datta further dealt in detail about the Climate Change, its impact and the role of the Academy in spreading awareness for conserving the nature to curb the detrimental effects of climate change.

Guest of Honour, Prof. MGK Menon,Past President, NASI,  lighting the Lamp during the Inaugural Function

 

Prof. M.G.K. Menon delivered the theme lecture on Climate Change from an Indian perspective. Talking on the factors, which have been responsible for climatic change, Prof. Menon said, “If you could only see the earth patterns from the 1900s and compare them with now, you would realize how they have changed completely. Even the water system has changed. Warm periods have increased in the last decade. So, two things are clearly established, growth of temperature and growth of population. And most of the climatic changes have been brought about by the human beings, which are also known as Anthropogenic Climate Changes (ACC)”. He said that massive deforestation and change in land use pattern have adversely affected the climatic conditions, world over. It has resulted in the rise of global temperature by one to two degrees celsius. Overuse of carbon-based energy mainly coal and oil has resulted in large-scale generation of green house gases. There is a crying need to stop this degradation.

 

 

Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO, lighting the Lamp during the Inaugural Function

 

Dr. K. Radhakrishnan while delivering his Special Address on Role of Space Technologies in Climate Change, said “since space is a global common, the global community is working towards synergy in space.” He further emphasized the role of space technologies in detecting and predicting the adverse effect of climate change.

 

 

Distinguished Guests and other dignitaries during the Inaugural Function

 

Prof. M.S. Swaminathan started delivering the Inaugural Address on “Agriculture and Livelihood” in relation to the climatic change, specifically pointing out that wheat crop is largely affected by temperature change, so an increase of 1-2% mean temperature in earth atmosphere would mean a loss of about 400 kg per hectare of wheat. Therefore, what’s needed was, a scientific checkmating of climatic change.

 

In the end Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma described in brief about the technical sessions and the different issues to be discussed on climate change. Thereafter, an Award Presentation Ceremony followed by felicitation of the dignitaries on dais took place.

 

 Prof. Veena Tandon receiving Prof. Archana Sharma Memorial Lecture Award (2010) from Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma

 

Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Past President, NASI, presented Prof. Archana Sharma Memorial Lecture Award (2010) to Prof. (Mrs.) Veena Tandon. The Lecture Award carries a gold medal, citation and cash award of Rs. 50,000/-. The prestigious NASI-Reliance Platinum Jubilee Awards were also given to four distinguished scientists.

 

The Inaugural Function came to an end with the vote-of-thanks by Prof. H.N. Verma, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Jaipur National University & Local Organizing Secretary of the Session; and Prof. J.P. Khurana, General Secretary, NASI.

 

The Technical Sessions were on the broad themes, such as Agriculture, Energy, Ecosystem Dynamics, Health and Water; as per decision in the earlier meeting of the Advisory Committee, held under the Chairmanship of Prof. M.G.K. Menon for developing the programme of the Symposium on Climate Change. The following distinguished speakers delivered informative, interesting and illustrative talks concerned with different aspects of these themes - Dr. Ajay Kumar Parida, Dr. (Mrs.) Jyoti Parikh, Dr. V.S. Arunachalam, Dr. Rahul Tongia, Dr. Kailash Paliwal, Dr. S.R. Shetye, Dr. S.S. Samant, Dr. Krishna Achuta Rao, Dr. Manju Mohan, Prof. Saumitra Mukherjee, Dr. J.N. Pande, Dr. Saumitra Das, Dr. M. Prashanth and Dr. Alok Deb. The topics covered in the technical sessions were- Managing Indian Agriculture in an Era of Climate Change, Climate Negotiations and Role of New Energy Technologies, Towards Understanding the Processes and Consequences of Climate Change, Reality of Climate Change, Impact of Climate Change on Air Quality, Remote Sensing Applications in Groundwater Management in view of Climate Change, Adverse Effects of Climate Change on Health with particular reference to Infectious Diseases, Climate Change and Disasters, Climate Change and Diarrhoea with reference to Cholera; and so. The sessions were Chaired by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Prof. J.P. Mittal, Prof. (Mrs.) Kasturi Datta, Prof. V.P. Sharma & Dr. Amit Ghosh. After each session, discussions were held drawing some conclusions and making some recommendations.

 

During the concluding session, steered by Prof. M.G.K. Menon (Chair), Prof. Asis Datta, Prof. J.P. Mittal & Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, a categorical remark was made by Prof. Mittal - “Our own anthropogenic activities are indeed having a substantial & significantly verifiable effect on our climate and hence on our lives. There may still be some discussion about the quantitative nature i.e. whether its 1°C or 2°C rise in temperature and how this temperature rise would be disastrous? but, the changes are definite and quantifiable as was clear from many presentations during the last 2 days. This raises in my mind a very philosophical question? That with 8-9% GDP growth in economy and thus raising the expectations and aspirations of a vast majority of our population towards more & more consumption – larger & bigger vehicles SUV’s etc. is it not automatic that we will continue to be on a disastrous path of more & more carbon emissions? So what choice do we have? Should we deny the fruits of development to those who never had the opportunity and are just looking towards improvement in their quality of Life? or do we believe in the ingenuity of human brain and hope that very soon mankind will evolve some technological fixes, to take care of some of the seemingly unsurmuontable problems which we are facing now. We are already seeing the quite a bit successes in the use of alternative sources of energy other than based on coal & fossil fuels. Can we not make the use of Solar Energy more & more efficiently? It looks to me there is great hope if we take up the challenges posed in it, scientifically & technologically”.

 

Finally, after a long discussion, several important recommendations were finalized for future action.

 

Recommendations

1.         The Academy should spread the awareness for conserving the nature to curb the detrimental effects.

2.         There is urgent need to stop the degradation of forests and reduce to the extent possible the anthropogenic climate changes.

3.         Overuse of carbon-based energy mainly coal and oil resulting in large scale generation of green house gases has to be checked.

4.         Space technologies have a role in detecting and predicting adverse effect of climate change. These can be developed and trained human resources be generated for this.

5.         Urgent need to increase the agricultural production has been emphasized.

6.         Many studies have emphasized that Climate change scenarios will have serious implications on food production, availability and ensuring food and nutrition security. The challenge is how to achieve enhanced agriculture productivity without any associated ecological harm. Immediate research studies are needed in identifying climate resilience genotypes of major crop and wild relatives. It would be useful to establish Genetic Resources Centers for a warming planet and rising oceans, for assemblage of identified genotypes and their characterization and validation.

7.         There is a need for establishing Genetic Enhancement Centers, in leading institutions, for undertaking studies on identification of genes for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

8.         Development of climate resilience agriculture, based on soil factors as well as emerging threats of low water availability is a greater challenge in ensuring agriculture productivity. This calls for an integrated approach on application of technological interventions in the area of Biotechnology, space and information technology. Knowledge intensive agriculture practices, being followed at the grass roots level by the communities as an adaptation measure needs to be documented as well as scientifically validated.

9.         There is fundamental need for India to grow its energy, especially electricity, since the current consumption levels are one-third of the global average, and ensure rapid human development.

10.       For the foreseeable future, coal will continue to be needed for electricity production; and oil for transportation. The problem will be, to find scientific solutions, within these parameters, to reduce carbon footprint.

11.       A multi-pronged approach is needed for: energy efficiency; utilizing all fuels available; and expanding the use of sustainable fuels; and, in particular, the introduction of a smart grid system.

12.       There are large cost benefits attached to adaptation, particularly in urban areas, to deal with mitigation of expected possibilities. These include: storm water management; flood control; disaster management techniques for rural areas; and ensuring that farm value / net income is not significantly reduced. These aspects require more research work and need to evolve policy guidelines.

13.       Training and awareness campaigns are needed on the observed and predicted efforts of global warming on health and food production in India and remedial measures need to be taken. The academic activities of IGNOU have very good scope of undertaking training and awareness programmes.

14.       Modeling on the ecological variables on food productivity in India is essential.

15.       Studies on the climate change and their impact on water borne diseases in hotspots in the country are essential. In particular, understanding about the climate-diarrhea (or cholera) relationships has to be improved.

16.       Wherever possible, retrospective data should be checked for their uniformity in measurements (use of instruments, their precisions, unit of measurement) over the entire time period considered under the study. Data should be collected for sufficient time period to capture changes in climate factors.

17.       Changes in hospital catchment areas as well as people’s care seeking behavior might considerably affect number of diarrhea cases coming to the hospital; knowledge of such events would allow better interpretation of any changes in hospital data over time.

18.       Attempts should be made to verify the cause of any localized outbreaks, if indicated by the data, so that any outbreak unrelated to climate events (such as leakage in a water supply pipe) is not attributed to climate change. To facilitate the process, generic study protocols are now available for use in retrospective as well as prospective studies to evaluate climate-diarrhea associations; these protocols have been developed jointly by scientists from National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata and National Institute of Malaria Research, Delhi for the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office.

19.       Use satellite images of environmental changes to predict infectious diseases outbreak.

20.       Have more awareness programmes in which honestly and dispassionately the problems faced with climate changes, keeping in mind the need to have more and more Energy requirements for the economic uplift of masses are discussed.

21.       Have more Scientific and Technical Seminars and discussion meetings prioritizing the goals of getting the Scientific & technical answers to the well defined climate change problems.

22.       We need to enhance our capacity to respond to the negative health effects of climate change by generating reliable, relevant, and up-to-date information.

23.       Disease surveillance and rapid dissemination of information are important components of preparedness for adapting to climate change. Disaster management also needs to be strengthened.

24.       Strengthening informational, technological, and scientific capacity is crucial for the success of a public health movement to enhance adaptation. Weak capacity for climate research in poor countries is likely to deepen the social inequality in relation to health. Studies should be undertaken to assess the negative health effects of climate change in developing countries.

25.       To draw out a list of such diseases relevant for India.

26.       Develop cheap and effective diagnostic tools for early detection.

27.       Stockpile antibiotics (effective against these) for a quick response if needed.

28.       Develop vaccines as a long term measure.

29.       Establishment of long-term observational and monitoring network, in respect of meteorological and ecological data, for critical habitats, species and ecosystems in the Indian Himalayan Region (& elsewhere).

30.       Development of package of practices for maintenance and sustainable use of sensitive components of the ecosystems, and improvement/ value addition of bio-resource based livelihood options for the rural & indigenous communities is called for.

31.       Establishment and maintenance of a network of live repositories (on farm cultivation) of land races and lesser known crops of different agro-climatic zones across the IHR.

32.       Integration of biodiversity conservation programmes with water conservation.

33.       Involvement of local communities in adaptation and refinement of traditional cropping mechanisms, especially by adopting good practices in respect of climate change.

34.       Promotion of awareness and educational programmes on conservation and sustainable utilization of the bioresources, and for safe guarding the environment.

35.       There is an urgent need to launch a national action plan to take remedial action to clean up the estuaries. The action plan would involve two sets of actions. The first is gathering of data on the present status of the estuaries. The second is remedial actions for curbing of effluent flow into the estuaries (for data gathering and evolving policies for pollution free estuaries).

36.       Traditionally ocean sciences in India have focused on large-scale, open sea oceanography. In view of the problems that are arising in our estuaries, it is important to enhance our understanding of these systems through research. There is also a need to build capacity to address issues related to estuaries. It is therefore recommended to enhance infrastructure to take up research and education in estuaries studies. This would be best achieved by setting up an institution dedicated to estuarine science and education.

37.       Any action aimed at cleaning of estuaries of India would require gathering of data on their present status. The number of estuaries being large, and the required data gathering being laborious, India does not have government machinery to achieve this task. It is recommended that these data be gathered through institutions of higher learning (undergraduate and postgraduate colleges) located in the area. This will create awareness amongst the local population about the problem associated with the estuaries and their possible solutions. It will also help in capacity building for addressing issue of estuarine pollution.

38.       Urgent support is needed to generate local solutions to biodiversity loss. Sustaining biological diversity and ecosystem services are hence important both in our efforts to deal with climate change and to reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. Such measures are in other words both cost-effective and have the capacity to create many potential synergies.

39.       Reducing deforestation is a cost-effective way of reducing CO2 emissions. Tree plantations can contribute to CO2-sequestration, but may also have detrimental social consequences if, for example, local people’s user and access rights are disregarded and/or unclear.

40.       Land use changes leading to habitat and thus biodiversity losses can also boost greenhouse gas emissions. For instance forests, which are vital carbon sinks, release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere when cut down or burnt. Major studies on all these aspects are called for. Plantation forestry is essential.

41.       It must be recognized that human beings have integral relationship with the natural environment. The most effective way to adjust climate change to adopt the sustainable development pathway (optimum carrying capacity) is by shifting to environmentally sustainable technologies and promotion of energy efficiency, renewable energy, forest conservation, reforestation and water conservation.

42.       There is change in rainfall and vegetations due to global warming; an alternate approach like rainwater harvesting or artificial recharging by site selection and finally ground water exploration using the modern methods of remote sensing can tackle efficiently as per our need.

43.       Global warming, its deleterious effect on atmospheric processes, biodiversity and human health is apparent and knowledge has to be generated in almost all disciplines. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to combat the situation.

44.       The local chapters of NASI could take up a movement on Climate Literacy of local communities including school students.

45        The main concerned Ministries are: Science and Technology; Environment and Forests; Earth Sciences; Human Resource Development; Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Indian Council of Medical Research. There is need to involve the universities, colleges, research institutions, NGOs etc. in the implementation of various recommendations.

 

A view of the dais during Annual Session activities - (from L-R) Prof. A.K. Singh, Sectional President, Physical Sciences; Prof. J.P. Khurana, General Secretary (OS), NASI; Prof. Asis Datta, President, NASI and

Prof. (Mrs.) Paramjit Khurana, Sectional President, Biological Sciences

 

In the Annual Session activities, held on December 3-4, 2010, Prof. A.K. Singh & Prof. (Mrs.) Paramjit Khurana delivered the Presidential Addresses on “Bioorganic and excited state studies of retinal related photoactive molecules” and “Genes and genomics for tailoring crops for the changing climate” in Physical and Biological Sciences Sections, respectively. About 300 papers were read and presented by the young researchers during the scientific sessions. Annual General Meeting and Fellow’s Meeting were held on Dec.03, 2010; NASI-Reliance Awards, NASI-Young Scientists Awards and NASI-Swarna Jayanti Puraskars were also presented during the Annual Session. The shining feature of the Annual Session was the presence of a large number of students and young scientists.

 

(B) The establishment of Ganga-Gallery -

 

The river Ganges occupies an unique position in the cultural ethos of India. Legend says that the river has descended from Heaven to the earth as a result of the long and arduous prayers of King Bhagirath for the salvation of his deceased ancestors. From times immemorial, the Ganga has been India's river of faith, devotion and worship. But Ganga’s existence is under threat, due to enormously increasing load of pollution year by year. Therefore, during an important discussion held between Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan and Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, it was decided to adopt ways to make the people aware for the conservation and restoration of the holy river Ganges by establishing a Ganga-gallery with the following well defined objectives in order to highlight the religious, cultural, economic and scientific aspects of the holy river.

 

1.     To develop a Ganga-gallery with maps, large photographs and sculptures indicating different activities related to the holy river Ganges.

2.     To create 'The Ganga Model' in a large hall indicating different pollution sources from Gaumukh to Ganga Sagar and its impact on the water quality with the help of relevant data and photographs. The model will also include the flow directions, water carrying capacity, sand deposition etc.

3.     To establish a library with the literature on the origin; geological structure; geographical distribution; flow of water through different states; physico-chemical and biological properties; pollution sources & other degradational forces; biodiversity & endangered species; cultural, religious, economic, social and ecological significance of the holy river Ganges.

4.     To make audio visual presentation/light and sound program on the Ganga.

5.     To institute fellowships and start lecture series on the Ganga in different states specially where those the river flows.

6.     To prepare CDs and documentary films, arrange photography and essay competition on the Ganga and involve NGOs, Universities, Colleges, Schools, Electronic and Print Media etc. for public awareness and action programmes.

7.     To create a Web Site for wider publicity and disseminate the knowledge at global level about the Ganga.

8.     To encourage researchers of various disciplines and develop indigenous technologies for the treatment and recycling of waste waters to solve the problems of the Ganga Water Pollution.

9.     To develop trees, shrubs and grasses plantation strategy to control the impact of pollution, silt load and maintain the ecological integrity of the river ecosystem.

10.   To organize seminar, symposia, workshop and training programmes time to time on the issues related to the river Ganges.

 

With the consent of the Council of the Academy, and initial support money from MPLAD fund (generously given by Hon’ble Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi, M.P.) the construction work started; further the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, extended adequate financial grant with which the construction of an Annex Block to house the gallery, was completed.

 

After completion of the Annex Block, the Academy took the help of the National Council of Science Museum, Kolkata in the installation of the exhibits on socio-religious and scientific aspects of the river Ganges. The MOU was signed between NASI and NCSM, to actualize the dream.

 

 

 The MOU is being signed by NASI and NCSM officials in the presence of Prof. M.G.K. Menon

 

A Report on the Inauguration of the Ganga-gallery - On April 15th 2011, Union Science and Technology Minister Hon`ble Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the scientifically installed magnificent and aesthetic Ganga-gallery.

 

 Union Science and Technology Minister Hon`ble Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated the Ganga-gallery; in the presence of Prof. A.K. Sharma, President, NASI, Prof. M.G.K. Menon and other distinguished guests

 

Prof. A.K.Sharma, President, NASI welcomed the guests. He thanked for the efforts of Prof. Menon and Prof. (Mrs) Manju Sharma in establishing the gallery, the first of its kind in our country.

 

Prof. (Mrs) Sharma explained with beautiful illustration the attributes of Ganga-gallery equipped with landscapes and sculptures, animated models, multimedia graphics and designs, current hydro-biological data, information about the myths and legends connected to the origin and voyage of the holy river, and its traditional galore. She categorically emphasized gangetic ecosystem, climate change and its impact on the Ganga basin, soil characteristics, Gangetic-dolphins, Sunderbans, water properties and its monitoring, need and importance of sewage treatment plants in curbing the menace of pollution etc.

 

Further, Prof. Asis Datta, Immediate Past President, NASI, presented the salient features of the brochure on Ganga-gallery; which was later on released by the Chief Guest Hon’ble Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal.

 

Sri G.S.Rautela, Director-General of NCSM, Kolkata explained about the making of Ganga-Gallery and urged the Hon’ble Minister to extend his help in having a mobile van museum for NASI to further spread the message of gallery even in the remotest areas all along the course of river.

 

Former Union Minister of Science & Technology and Advisor, New Initiatives of NASI, Prof. MGK Menon recalling the words of Prof. Saha, Founder President-NASI, about the role of the Academy in spreading awareness for eradication of social evils to ensure the scientific development, exhorted the youth to come forward to preserve and maintain the ecological balance, especially for the Gangetic ecosystem. The CD of the Documentary Film on Ganga prepared by Prof. B.D.Tripathi was also released by Prof. MGK Menon.

 

Hon’ble Minister Shri Bansal, in his inaugural address highlighted the importance of the holy river Ganges, describing her as the life-line, a symbol of purity and virtue for millions of people, not only for those living on its banks but from all over the country because the Ganges represents their ethos, culture & identity in every form. The Ganges, like many rivers of world sustains a diverse flora & fauna, which not only help in maintaining the pristine purity of water, but also serve as a resource for more than 450 million people living in its basin. The water of river Ganges – Gangajal – does not putrefy, even after long periods of storage, whereas water from other sources begins to putrefy as lack of oxygen promotes the growth of anaerobic bacteria; but today these attributes are only the reminiscence of the great heritage. The present situation is unfortunately different. Due to indifference towards environment and diminishing ethical values, river Ganges and its basin have been treated by people as a huge reservoir for dumping the wastes; and this has been happening over several decades. Dumping of plastic bags, plastic containers, mineral water bottles, cans, rubbers & plastics, partly dissolved faeces, soaps and detergents, medical waste and several other articles in the river has defaced the Ganges. Industrial growth along the banks has generated enormous waste, which conveniently and thoughtlessly is discharged into the river. Such exogenic activities have robbed the river of its pristine glory and sacredness. A collective action from all the stakeholders, the people and the state is, therefore needed to bring “Ganga” to its original glory. Therefore, NASI has made a remarkable and laudable effort by establishing the Ganga Gallery- a unique endeavor, perhaps not seen for any other river in the world.

 

In the end of the session Prof. J P Khurana General Secretary (OS) felicitated the dignitaries on the dais and Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary (HQ) proposed the vote-of-thanks.

 

After the inauguration, more than 250 people including the Council Members, Fellows and Members, and others visited the gallery, interacting with the dynamic exhibits to learn many facts and figures; and finally they took oath to conserve the river before leaving the gallery.

 

(C) Collaborations with other Academies

 

National Science Academies' Joint Science Education Panel Programmes

 

Summer Research Fellowships

 

Total number of the applications received for the summer research fellowship programme in the year 2010 were – 11019; out of which 1008 students and teachers availed the Fellowship.

 

The announcement for the Summer Research Fellowship Programme 2011

appeared in the websites of all the three Academies in October 2010. Over

18000 posters were mailed to colleges, universities and other institutions all

over the country. The last date for submission of applications was 31 December 2010. A total of 14478 applications were received.

 

Six specially constituted Selection Committees drawn from the Fellowships of all the three academies met in January 2011 over 2-3 days in Bangalore to select candidates for the programme. Although over 1900 candidates were shortlisted by the selection committees, fellowships could be offered only to about 1550 candidates, due to inadequate number of guides particularly in engineering sciences.

 

Refresher Courses

 

Eighteen Refresher Courses (of two-week duration) were held in different parts of the country for the benefit of teachers to improve their teaching skills.

 

Refresher Course on Modern Biotechnological Techniques At Manipal

Life Sciences Centre, Manipal University, Manipal January 10 - 22,2011

 

Lecture Workshops

 

These are 2 or 3-day lecture programmes on carefully chosen topics held at

selected college and university departments in the country for the benefit of local students and teachers. During the period April 2010 to March 2011, 47 workshops were held. The workshops are presently concentrated mostly in the southern and western parts of the country despite our best efforts to spread this programme to unrepresented areas. Efforts will be intensified to hold more workshops in eastern and northern parts of the country in the coming years.

 

Prof. G. Marimuthu delivering a lecture at the Workshop on Biotechnology

At Srikaliswari College, Sivakasi, held on February 4 - 5, 2011

 

(D) Projects/Studies of Social Relevance –

The Academy has undertaken the following projects/studies of social relevance –

1.    Reducing macro and micro-nutrient malnutrition through popularization of functional food supplements adopting bio-village approach.

2.    Bio-technological approaches for food and nutritional security of the children.

3.    Issues of water-borne parasitic diseases.

4.    Climate change and its impact on health and agriculture.

5.    Natural resources awareness.

6.    Preparation of Monograph on the Development of Calculus in India.

7.    To study the impact of By-pass Desert Cooler on mosquitogenic conditions.

 

(E) Science Communication Activities and National Science Day Celebration- Like previous years, the Academy organized science communication activities to stimulate the students for cultivation of scientific temper and to opt science as a career. The activities organized during the year included Children Science Meet, workshop for the teachers, talent search, science extension lectures, science quiz, debate, oration, exhibition, scientific writing/painting contest, winter school and summer school. The national level scientific writing contest was also organized for the undergraduate students.

 

(i) Children Science Meet

 

The Meet was held just after the successful organization of the 80th Annual Session and the Symposium on ‘Climate Change’, on December 4, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Jaipur National University, Jaipur. The Meet was addressed by the eminent scientists like Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Prof. V.P. Sharma, Prof. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Prof. Amit Ghosh and Prof. H.N. Verma. It was attended by a large number of students from about 20 schools of Jaipur.

 

 

(ii) Interactive Workshops :

 

(a) Biological Workshop on Biodiversity on December 20-24, 2010 -The year 2010 was celebrated as the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB - 2010); therefore, the DNA Club, NASI, Allahabad under the project of Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India,  also organized a 5 days ‘Biological Sciences Workshop on Biodiversity’ from December 20-24, 2010; Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI & PI, DNA Club Project, welcomed the assembly of students and teachers of Intermediate Colleges of U.P., M.P. and Bihar on December 20, 2010. and presented a brief outline of the programme. Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme & Member, LAC, DNA Club, NASI, extended a formal welcome to the speakers, distinguished guests, teachers and students on this occasion.

 

              

 Prof. U. C. Srivastava, Convener, Biological Sciences     Prof. C.B.L. Srivastava, Formerly Head of Zoology

Workshop on Biodiversity, addressing the audience                   UoA delivering his key-note-address

 

Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Convener of the Animal Sciences Section and Council Member, NASI, delivered a thematic lecture. Prof. C.B.L. Srivastava (Former Head, Dept. of Zoology, University of Allahabad) delivered the key-note-address describing in detail the entire evolutionary sequence of biodiversity. He briefly discussed about the definition of biodiversity, origin & extinct of species, ecosystem, biodiversity loss and its factors, biodiversity hot spot, forest area and its impact, anthropogenic activities, global warming etc. Prof. G.K. Srivastava, Dr. Mohd. Masood, Sri Sanjay Srivastava and several others were also present on this occasion. Sri A.K. Srivastava (Deputy Executive Secretary), Sri B.P. Singh (AES, NASI) and Dr. Chitranjan Kumar provided their active support in organizing the inaugural function of this workshop.

 

After the lunch, in Technical Session I, Prof. U.C. Srivastava delivered an informative lecture on ‘Five and Six Animal Kingdom System’; and demonstrated experimentally the Barr- bodies and Mitochondrial studies. He also discussed about brain functioning and provided some valuable tips to the students for improving their learning and understanding capacity. In the concluding session of Animal Sciences, Dr. V. C. Srivastava, Formerly Head, Dept. of Zoology, CMP Degree College, Allahabad, delivered an informative lecture on ‘Evolutionary mechanisms leading to biodiversity’.

 

In the technical session II, Dr. Ranjan Dey, BITS Pilani, Goa Campus, while delivering his lecture on ‘Climate Change- Awareness and Capacity Building’ highlighted the present and future impact of Climate Change on global warming as well as on biodiversity.

 

On 21st December, 2010, the Plant Sciences Session was started with the lecture delivered by Prof. G.K. Srivastava, Managing Editor & Secretary, Allahabad Chapter, NASI, on ‘Telomere and Telomerase’. He highlighted the role of genomics in Medical Science, especially role of telomerase enzyme in curing cancer like diseases. Prof. L.C. Rai, Department of Botany, B.H.U. Varanasi delivered an informative lecture on ‘Microscopic biodiversity with reference to Cyanobacteria’. Highlighting the role of Cyanobacteria, in the evolution of life forms on the earth; he stressed that they play significant role in maintaining oxygen and chlorophyll balance in various ecosystems. Each of these lectures was followed by interactive session. The concluding lecture on the second day was delivered by Prof. D.K. Chauhan, Senior Professor, Dept. of Botany, University of Allahabad; and Member LAC, DNA Club, NASI, on ‘Significance of Biodiversity and Indian Plants’. He discussed in details about the recent techniques of propagation of plants including Bonsai, to conserve the endangered floral diversity.

 

In the afternoon of  21st December, 2010, the participants left for the diversity tour of Vindhya region and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve under the leadership of Dr. Niraj Kumar, PI, DNA Club Project, NASI.

 

On 22nd December, 2010, the diversity studies were conducted on the marshy vegetation of Rampur Plateau of Maihar zone after Holy Darshan of Maa Sharada. Further, collections of plant materials were done and herbarium were prepared. Again the students visited the Pass and  Valley in between the Hill and Plateau. In the evening the students made and submitted project report on the whole day activities.

 

The next day was full of thrill as 120 students and teachers went deep into the Forest Tiger Reserve searching the animal diversity as well as enjoying the free roam of endangered species like Chetal, Sambhar, Black Deer, Wild Boar etc.

 

On the last day (December 24, 2010), the joint valedictory function of Biological Sciences Workshop on Biodiversity and Workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics, was held in the auditorium of the Academy at 4:00pm having Prof. J.S. Singh, a world famous environmental scientist, as the Chief Guest. Welcome address was delivered by Prof. S.L. Srivastava. Prof. D.K. Chauhan gave a brief remark on the Biological Sciences Workshop on Biodiversity and its salient features as well as achievements. While on the other hand, Dr. Pankaj Srivastava explained the importance of Ramanujan’s Theory and the impact of workshop held in NASI.

In the end, vote-of –thanks was proposed by Prof. G.K. Srivastava.

 

         

 Dr. Ranjan Dey, BITS Pilani addressing the audience     Prof. J. S. Singh, BHU, Varanasi; addressing the

                      joint valedictory function

 

(b) Workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics December 22-24, 2010 - To commemorate the birth anniversary of the great Indian Mathematician Ramanujan, the Academy (NASI) organized a workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics. Eminent mathematicians, teachers, research scholars and students from across the country gathered here on this occasion. The programme began in the morning with brief introduction of speakers by Prof. Pankaj Srivastava, Convener of this workshop. It was followed by a welcome speech by Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme, NASI. He called upon the young scholars to attain and ultimately surpass the level of dedication shown by Ramanujan to mathematics and make India proud in the field of Mathematics. He asked the experts to be the harbinger of the change towards reducing the weight of the primary children’s school bags by changing the system of current school education. He also proposed the opinion among the experts to think about why not mathematics would be the only subject to be taught at primary level. He reminded that Ramanujan also learned only mathematics at primary level. After this Prof. P. K. Banerjee, Emeritus fellow, UGC, India & Ex-HOD Jodhpur University gave the keynote address on ‘Remembering Ramanujan’ and presented a brief Bibliography of life of Ramanujan. He told the assembly of eminent teachers, researchers and students, about the recent discovery that Ramanujan died of hepatic amoebiasis rather than tuberculosis as previously suspected. He also asked the delegates to walk down the path shown by Ramanujan. Prof. S.N Singh (renowned mathematician on Ramanujan’s work, Purvanchal University, Jaunpur) appreciated the approach of the Academy to celebrate Mathematics Day with a Workshop to inspire young scholars to learn more and more about Ramanujan’s contribution in the field of mathematical world. On this occasion, Prof. M.S. Naika, Bangalore University and Prof. Yashoverdhan Vyas, Sir Padampati Singhania University, Udaipur were also present. Sri A. K. Srivastava, Deputy Executive Secretary, NASI delivered the vote-of-thanks at the end of the programme.

 

After the inaugural function, the first lecture of the technical session was given by Prof. S.N. Singh on Hypergeometric  &  Basic Hypergeometric Functions and  their relations with Ramanujan’s work. He elaborated the proofs in a simplified manner for the benefit of scholars gathered there.  This was followed by a lecture on N-Theta functions & Ramanujan’s Theta functions by Prof. Naika. He told that whatever work would be done on N-Theta Functions would be new and path breaking. Prof. P.K. Banerjee delivered his talk on ‘Introduction of Fractional Calculus’. He presented the concepts in a very lucid manner. In the evening, Prof. R.Y. Denis, Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur, presented a talk on Hypergeometric Functions and Ramanujan’s Continued Fractions.

 

NASI organized a cultural extravaganza in the evening after the rigorous brain storming session throughout the Mathematics day (22nd December). It showcased a wide range of talents and left the audience spellbound. Ritvija Srivastava, a young budding dancer who had previously won at All India Kathak Competition, entertained the audience with her award winning performance. Himani Rawat (Bal Mahotsava prize winner) performed to beats of the famous song from the movie Bhool Bhoolaiya. Ritvija once again enthralled the audience with her rendition of a famous Madhuri Dixit number. Gaurav Dubey (Mahua Channel Fame) had the audience in splits with his mimicry of various films stars. Girish paid tribute to Goddess Saraswati by singing a melodious prayer. The star of the evening was R. K. Tiwari, aka Dukanji (Guinness Books Record Holder), who mesmerized the audience with a candle dance on his moustache, which earned him several accolades, previously also. All the performers were given prizes as a mark of appreciation. The entire programme was anchored by Astha Gupta.

 

          

        Prof. P. K. Banerjee, Emeritus Fellow, UGC &                             A view of the audience

         Ex-HOD Jodhpur University delivering the

                          Inaugural Address

 

On the second day (23rd December, 2010) of technical session of the workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics, first lecture was delivered by Prof. S.N. Singh. He delivered a very interesting talk on Hypergeometric function, generalized Hypergeometric function, confluent Hypergeometric function and contiguous relations of Hypergeometric function. Dr. Singh established results on transformation and summation formulae and the concept of well poised series. He introduced Bailey transform and its applications and informed the audience about the importance of Bailey’s transformation and quoted as a very powerful tool to develop Rogers- Ramanujan Type New Identities.

 

Second lecture was delivered by Prof. M.S. Naika, Bangalore University, on the Basic Hypergeometric function. In the lecture, he informed the audience that Ramanujan’s continued fractions were being used by NASA scientists like Prof. Murthy, a physicist to detect black holes in the space.

 

Third lecture was given by Dr. Yashoverdhan Vyas, Udaipur University. He introduced the audience about new developments in the field of Hypergeometric function and explained the concept of Elliptic Hypergeometric Function which started very recently in 1997. He said that elliptic Hypergeometric function was a new class of special function which didn’t emerge from scratch. He told that they were the result of long term development in theoretical Physics related with quantum and elliptic integrable system. It arose as elliptic solution of Yang- Baxteris equation and later while studying the Poda chain in Physics also. The final lecture was delivered by Prof. S.D. Adhikari, Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad on “Partition function congruences; some flowers and sweets from Ramanujan’s Garden”.

 

On the concluding day (24th December, 2010) of the Workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics, Prof. P.K. Banerjee, delivered a lecture on “Some problems of Fractional Calculus”. He gave some tips on effective paper writing to the scholars. He further said that supervisors were also a party to the blame for rejection of papers by editors because they fell short in guiding their students properly. All to him, supervisors could have guide properly only when they themselves had become a student. He noted that use of correct English grammar was also very important to convey any once work effectively.

 

Prof. S.N. Singh continued his talk on hypergeometric function, generalized hypergeometric function, confluent hypergeometric function, contiguous relations of hypergeometric function. Dr. Singh showed some of his established results on transformation and summation formulae and the concept of well poised series. He further developed the generalization of Bailey’s transformation.

 

Second lecture was delivered by Prof. M.S. Naika, who delivered talk on the ‘A Special Class of Invariants’. The penultimate lecture was given by Dr. Yashoverdhan Vyas, who introduced the audience about the important results elliptic Hypergeometric functions and established proof of a number of results of Warnar’s paper on elliptic Hypergeometric functions. He told that long term development in theoretical Physics was related with quantum and elliptic integrable system. It arose as elliptic solution of Yang-Baxteris equation and later while studying the Poda chain in Physics also.

 

Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme, congratulating the organisers

 

At last, during the open discussion session on Ramanujan’s Mathematics, a number of participants said that they learnt different facet of Ramanujan’s Mathematics with full satisfaction and the opportunity they availed through the workshop motivated them to do some thing new in the area of Ramanujan’s Mathematics. They requested the authorities of NASI to continue workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics as a regular event to celebrate birth anniversary of Ramanujan every year. Among the eminent personalities namely Prof. M.S. Naika and Prof. Yashoverdhan Vyas appreciated the approach of The National Academy of Sciences, India for organizing a thematic workshop on the occasion of Ramanujan’s Mathematics. They were of the view that participants, who had come from the different parts of the country, should have learnt more and more about Ramanujan’s Mathematics and urged to contribute path breaking results in the International arena of Ramanujan’s Mathematics, so that Indian could take a lead at international level. They were very grateful to the Academy for providing opportunity to deliver talks on Ramanujan’s Mathematics and urged that the Academy would continue to organize workshops on Ramanujan’s Mathematics in future. Prof. Pankaj Srivastava said that the workshop could motivate young scholars to develop new results in the area of Ramanujan’s Mathematics. Prof. S.L. Srivastava congratulated Prof. Pankaj Srivastava, Convenor, Workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics, for organizing a successful workshop; and appreciated the participants for their dedication throughout the entire programme.

 

At the joint valedictory function of Workshop on Ramanujan’s Mathematics and Biological Workshop on Biodiversity, participants shared their experience of these workshops. Addressing the joint gathering of the participants of both the workshops, Dr. Niraj Kumar concluded the positive outcomes of both these workshops and appreciated the efforts of the Conveners for the successful organization of these workshops. Prof. S.L. Srivastava appreciated the efforts of organizers to make these workshops a grand success. Prof. J.S. Singh, CAS in Botany, BHU, Varanasi called upon the youngsters to conserve the biodiversity and enrich the knowledge of species about the environment. He emphasized the importance of practical visits for better learning experience. Prof. D.K. Chauhan, Botany Department, University of Allahabad said that humans are most responsible for the destruction of biodiversity and further emphasized on the conservation of environment. He further said that enrichment of biodiversity can revolutionize the world scenario in every sphere of the environment. Prof. G.K. Srivastava proposed vote-of –thanks. In the end, Prof. S.L. Srivastava expressed wishes to meet the participants again in future.  The Organising Committee members namely Dr. Chitranjan Kumar, Amit Srivastava, Vivek Pandey, Kaushal Shukla, Neerja Sharma gave their active support to make this function a grand success.

 

(c) Workshop on Library and Information Science - The National Academy of Sciences, India organized a one day workshop on “Library and Information Science”, on Thursday 16 December 2010 in the Auditorium of the Academy at Allahabad. The workshop was the first of its kind, held in Allahabad; and the purpose was to make the students/teachers/library personnels aware about the advancements made in this field in last few years; and also to enthuse the students to opt career in this challenging area. Inaugural session of the workshop was started with the welcome address delivered by Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, General Secretary (H.Q.), NASI. She expressed her heartiest gratitude towards the eminent speakers, who spared time for their busy schedule to deliver lectures in the technical sessions of the workshop; as well as also thanked the participants for their warm response.

 

A view of the dais during the Inaugural Function ;( L to R) Dr. Niraj Kumar, Prof. U.C.  Srivastava, Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, Dr. V.D. Srivastava and Prof. G.K. Srivastava.

 

Prof. G.K. Srivastava gave a brief remark on the theme of workshop. Prof. U.C.Srivastava introduced the key note speaker Dr. V.D. Srivastava (Librarian, IIT, Kanpur), who delivered the Inaugural Lecture on “Management of Digital Library: an Overview”, focusing on the career/job opportunities in the field of library and information science.

 

Dr. V.D. Srivastava delivering the Inaugural                              Dr. V.R. Tiwari delivering a lecture

               Lecture during the Workshop

 

After a short tea break, in the Technical Session-I, Dr. Ratna Sanyal (IIIT, Allahabad) delivered an informative and illustrative lecture on “Techniques, Policies, Issues & Benefits to set up a Digital Library”; followed by another interesting lecture on “Bar coding and RFID Technology for Libraries” delivered by Dr. V.R. Tiwari (Librarian, H.R.I., Allahabad)

 

 A view of the audience

 

Dr. Tiwari explained the mechanism and benefits of this latest technology, useful in locating a particular book from the pile-up of thousands of library storage .After the lunch, Dr. Anjana Bhatnagar (Information Officer, IIT, Kanpur) presented the details on “Application of Web Technology in Document Delivery”. The workshop was attended by 200 students, teachers and professionals, who were also satisfied with the answers to their queries during the interactive session conducted by the experts and participants. The workshop was coordinated by Smt. Deepti Jaiswal, Office Assistant (Library), NASI.

 

In the end, Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI expressed a vote-of-thanks.

 

(d) Workshop on Characterization Techniques on Nanotechnology from February 12-13, 2011 - The two days Workshop on “Characterization Techniques on Nanotechnology” held at NASI Allahabad aroused the interest of several groups from various disciplines of science. Nearly 80 Participants including Faculty members, Young researchers, and PG & UG students from the different departments of University of Allahabad, constituent degree colleges, engineering colleges had gathered on this occasion.

 

The workshop was inaugurated by Prof G K Srivastava, (Chairman, Allahabad Chapter, NASI) and Prof A C Pandey (Prof.  & Head, Nanotechnology Application Centre, University of Allahabad).

 

On this occasion, Dr Niraj Kumar (Executive Secretary, NASI) welcomed all the faculty members of Allahabad University and other participants. Dr Niraj briefly described about the objectives and present activities of NASI & its Allahabad Chapter; and also the objective behind the workshop. This was followed by the welcome/thematic address of Prof Avinash C. Pandey; who discussed almost all the aspects of nanotechnology in day to day life. He emphasized the importance of these kinds of activities in the present academic scenario, and how the young researchers could be benefited by the workshop. The inaugural session ended with a vote of thanks by Sri A K Srivastava.

 

In his key note address-“Basics of Nanotechnology, Overview, Different Applications in Daily life”, Prof AC Pandey covered various aspects of nanotechnology and its applications. The importance of different material characterization tools was also discussed. He gave glimpses of different kind of nanomaterials including III-V, II-VI, metal nanoparticles, rare earth based luminescent magnetic nanoparticles for diverse applications such as solid state lightening, solar cells, large area high definition display panels, sensor, biomedical applications & environmental science.

 

Further, Mr. Raghvendra Singh Yadav introduced the basic theory and instrumentation of UV-Visible and Luminescence Spectroscopy to the audience. Furthermore, how one can calculate the band gap of nanomaterials or study the luminescence properties of nanomaterials was discussed in detail.

 

Mr. Prashant K. Sharma, Research Scientist at NAC-UoA, described about different material characterization tools, the properties that one can measure. He introduced the facilities available with Nanotechnology Application Centre, University of Allahabad. Then he provided a glimpse of the basics of electron microscopy, interaction of electrons with materials. He also gave some interesting history of electron microscope, principles of a transmission electron microscope (TEM), its illumination system, projection system, mode of operations along with the principles of scanning electron microscope (SEM). Then he introduced modern/advanced TEM and SEM installed at NAC and its capabilities/advantages. In the latter half of the talk, Mr. Sharma discussed variety of applications of an electron microscopy both in material science/nanotechnology and as well as in biological sciences. He explained how electron microscopy could be used to know the different kind of properties of any substance. For the case study Mr. Sharma explained the indexing steps of different kind of selected area electron diffraction patterns and the analysis of defects using TEM.

 

  

 FE-SEM (FEI Quanta 200 MK2 Series); and  TEM (FEI Tecnai G2),  at NAC, UoA, Allahabad

 

Dr. Manvendra Kumar introduced about the project “High Fluence Ion-Beam Facility (HFIBF)” sanctioned by Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi under the Nano Mission at Nanotechnology Application Centre, University of Allahabad. At the end of this talk, Dr. A C Pandey invited the faculty members for the use of this facility by orienting their research by writing proposals as coordinated research projects of DST. After this interaction, Prof AC Pandey also discussed about the X-ray crystallography techniques. He discussed the powder X-ray diffraction and small angle X-ray scattering techniques in detail. He described how XRD and SAXS techniques could be used in determining crystal structure, crystallite size, particle size, particle shape, particle size distribution. As an example he showed different steps in indexing of any given XRD pattern, steps for determining the lattice parameters, crystallite size and strain. For the interest of participants having biological background Prof. Pandey showed the analysis and crystal structure determination of double stranded DNA structure.

 

Ms Ranu K Dutta, Research Scientist at NAC-UoA, described the applications of nanotechnology in various aspects of life, focusing on biomedical applications. She started her talk giving an introduction about nanobiotechnology and differentiated it from bionanotechnology. She discussed about how nanoparticles could be synthesized easily through soft chemistry and discussed how nanoparticles could be synthesized from biological resources. Her emphasis was on bioinspired/biomimetic routes, describing the advantages of such routes of synthesis. She elaborated on the use of functionalized magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications such as for MRI contrast agents in the field of cancer diagnostics and purpose of targeted drug delivery. As a case study on breast cancer cells, emphasis was given on the effective use of the drug conjugated nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. Ms. Dutta also discussed in details about the effects of nanoparticles on human life and the environment making people aware of the hazards of nanoparticles as well. 

 

A visit to XRD, TEM, UV-Visible-PL and SEM facilities for Hands on training for operation and analysis was also made under the guidance of  Mr Prashant K Sharma and Mr Raghvendra S Yadav.

 

The valedictory function brought the two day workshop towards its end. A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof Pandey. Prof Srivastava congratulated all the speakers and participants for their dedicated participation leading to the success of the event. The participants expressed their views about their learning experiences through the lectures and the techniques discussed. Some students wanted that they should be given chances to attend such workshops more frequently. Prof Pandey assured them that NAC-UoA would conduct such events more frequently in upcoming time for maximum benefit to the undergraduate, post graduate students and young researchers including faculty members.

                                   

(e) Workshop on White LED’s (16-17, March, 2011) - A two days Workshop on White LEDs’ was organized under the joint auspices of The National Academy of Sciences, India (Allahabad) and Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya (M.G.C.G.V.), Chitrakoot, on 16-17th March, 2011. Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme, NASI was the Chief Guest; and Prof. Abhai Mansingh, Formerly Professor of Physics and Director, South Campus, Delhi University, Colonel Er. Ashok Mansingh, I.I.Sc., Bangalore and Prof. C.K. Dwivedi, Department of Electronics and Communication, J.K. Institute of Applied Physics, University of Allahabad were the invited distinguished speakers of the workshop. Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI conducted this programme on behalf of the Academy. Prof. S.L. Srivastava delivered key-note-address on Alternative Sources of Energy during the inaugural session; and urged the participants to find some innovative ideas other than that of ‘Faraday’s law of electricity & magnetism’. He emphasized on generating energy from solar system, wind mills, thunder storms etc. He informed the participants that Prof. Abhai Mansingh has termed Light Emitting Diode (LED) as Light Eliminating Darkness.  Prof. C. K. Dwivedi, while delivering his lecture on “Energy Efficiency”, explained the functioning of embedded white LEDs systems. He further dealt in detail about the micro control tracking system of the solar panels to increase its efficiency by almost 1.5 times and added that using proper reflectors, we may harness the solar energy and feed it to the grid system for the use of  the general mass, hopefully then the cost of solar electricity will be affordable.

 

            

 

    A view of the dais during the Inaugural Function ;                                      A view of the audience

  (L to R) Prof. Abhai Mansingh, Prof. S.L. Srivastava,

        Prof. K.B. Pandey and Prof. C.K. Dwivedi

 

The second session was focused on ‘Science and Technology in India’. Prof. Abhai Mansingh, demonstrated that the white LEDs are very energy efficient and if used on no profit no loss basis may even be cheaper than the kerosene lamps. Prof. Mansingh appealed that ‘we should opt for various alternatives for solving the energy-crisis’, otherwise, as we shall destroy our environment generating more and more of conventional energy in order to meet the requirement of modern civilization. It is, therefore, the duty of our budding scientists to make continuous efforts for conserving the nature.

 

On the second day Prof. Ashok Mansingh imparted training to about 80 selected participants comprising of Intermediate as well as B. Tech. students, for “Fabrication of White LED’s”. The students learnt several techniques on electronics including soldering of electrical goods.

 

 Students learning techniques on electronics including soldering of electrical goods

 

The experts summarized that much of that electricity is consumed by technologies that are outdated or inefficient. Light emitting diode (LED) technology holds the promise of replacing those technologies with a solid-state solution that is long lasting, more efficient and has a lower total cost of ownership. LEDs are emerging in the general illumination market in applications ranging from commercial down lights to outdoor street lamps. In parallel with this nascent market penetration, LED researchers continue to make significant technological breakthroughs that improve light output, quality and efficiency while reducing cost.

 

Prof. Dwivedi further said that awareness for measuring Lumen maintenance of LED Light Sources will enhance LED technology for market adoption. Additional standards are being developed by his own team at Department of Electronics and Communication, J.K. Institute of Applied Physics, University of Allahabad, which will further clarify and improve methods of measuring LED product performance and compatibility. Lighting through marketing campaigns, product labeling, quality marks, understanding lumen packages and some essential light quality issues will enable consumers to make appropriate, informed choices, with the objective of helping customers to recognize quality on the shelf. This will certainly educate the consumers and eliminate the darkness from greater parts of the rural India.

 

While concluding the valedictory session, the executives of NASI, Allahabad and M.G.C.G.V. Chitrakoot proposed to set up a “Rural Centre for Fabrication of White LEDs’ in M.G.C.G.V. Chitrakoot; which would be an important asset of “Gramodyog” for “Gramodaya”. While proposing vote-of-thanks, Prof. Krishna B. Pandeya, Vice-Chancellor of the rural University said that this University was founded by Nanasaheb Deshmukh for the rural upliftment of the people; and this workshop successively fulfilled one of the main objectives of this University.

 

(iii) National Technology Day (11th May 2011) on “Technological Advancement & Environmental Safety – A Challenge Ahead”

 

 

     Prof. U.C. Srivastava delivering lecture on NTD                                           A vew of the dais

 

Like every year, this year also, the Academy celebrated the National Technology Day. The technology day is celebrated in our beloved country on 11th May every year to recall and reaffirm our faith in the technological advancements, achieved so far; as well as spread the message among the students and general mass that how much technology is important for overall development of the science and society. A two days programme on May 11-12, 2011, was inaugurated at NASI in which about 200 students from 11 schools of the districts Allahabad, Kaushambi and Pratapgarh participated; they interacted with eminent technologists. The purpose of this programme was to enthuse the students about the India’s recent developments in the field of “Science & Technology”.

 

Prof. S.L. Srivastava (top left), Prof. C.B.L. Srivastava (top right), Prof. Nageshwar Rao (bottom left), and audience (bottom right) during the function of NTD

 

Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI welcomed the Chief-Guest and other distinguished persons present on this occasion. Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad, delivered the Inaugural speech on “National Technology Day”, in this programme. Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Formerly Head, Department of Physics, University of Allahabad, presided over the Inaugural function and delivered his lecture on “Some Advances in Technology”. The eminent technologists briefly discussed about energy sources, solar energy, nuclear energy, nuclear reactors of India, thermal power stations, hydropower plants, wind power plants, smart materials, robotics, remote sensing etc. Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor, U.P. Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Allahabad, addressed the audience as the invited Chief-Guest on the “National Technology Day”. Prof. C.B.L. Srivastava proposed a vote-of-thanks. Sri A.K. Srivastava, Deputy Executive Secretary, NASI, Sri B.P. Singh, AES, NASI, Dr. Santosh Shukla, AES, NASI, Ms. Pavitra Tandon, AES, NASI and Dr, Chitranjan, DNA Club Project, actively participated in this programme, along with other members of the staff as Sri R.P. Tripathi, Sri Mohd. Ajmal, Sri I.D. Shukla, Sri Milan Das and others. A quiz competition among the participated students was also held; and the winners were given prizes on May 12, 2011, during the valedictory function of the programme. In the Valedictory function Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary-HQ, NASI, delivered a lecture on “Green Chemistry”. Prof. G.K. Srivastava, Chairman, Allahabad Chapter, proposed vote-of-thanks in the end of the Valedictory function.

 

(iv) A Report on Summer School and Vacation Training Programme (2011) - The National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), like every year this year also jointly organized 21 days Summer School (under Science Communication Programme of NASI) and Vacation Training Programme (under DNA Club Project) from June 4-24, 2011. The theme of this year’s programme was ‘Advancements in Science & Technology and Study of the natural resources’.

 

The hot spot of the natural resources (Nainital, Uttarakhand) was, therefore, the ideal place to start with. The Inaugural Function was held at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital on June 5, 2011, Prof. V. P. Sharma, ICMR Chair Distinguished Professor, NASI, was the Chief Guest; and Prof. S. L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme, NASI presided over the function. Prof. Ram Sagar, Director, ARIES delivered the inaugural address. The other distinguished persons present on the occasion were Prof. U. C. Srivastava, Convener, Summer School, Dr. K.P. Singh, Dr. Sharda Sundaram, Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI, Dr. Santosh Shukla, AES, NASI, Dr. Hum Chand, Dr. Manish Naja, Dr. Abhisek Srivastava (Scientists from ARIES), the students and teachers participants and NASI officials. Before the Inaugural Function, the registration of the selected participants from 25 districts of U.P., M.P. and Bihar was done in the evening of 4th June, 2011 at Bareilly after a formal gathering in the Guest House of Sri Hari Mandir, Model Town, Bareilly. 110 teachers and students participated in the program.

 

During the Inaugural Function Prof. Ram Sagar informed that during this summer school programme at ARIES, Nainital, the participants are to be made aware of the atmospheric studies especially through the “Gangaes Valley Aerosol Experiments (GVAX)”. He emphasized that Gangetic Basin experiences a mixture of various aerosol types throughout the seasons; and these aerosols make different types of impact on the formation of clouds and energy transfer in the atmosphere. Data from GVAX will allow us to test hypotheses such as whether warming by black carbon aerosols will reduce cloud cover, and certain changes in atmospheric chemistry may hinder the ability of clouds to form on aerosol particles. Prof. V. P. Sharma while making his remarks on the theme of “Advancement in Science & Technology”, highlighted the aim of Summer School to provide advanced workshop training in the study of socio-scientific skills/techniques; and outlined the remarkable milestones achieved by NASI under its Science Communication Programme, which is providing a platform to the students to interact with a number of internationally renowned scholars from diversified fields in Science.

 

       

 Chief Guest Prof .V.P. Sharma addressing at ARIES                 Presidential address being delivered by

Prof S.L. Srivastava at ARIES

 

 Dr. Niraj Kumar, Prof.S.L. Srivastava, Prof. V.P. Sharma, Prof. Ram Sagar and Prof. U.C. Srivastava (Left to right) on the dais

 

Prof. S. L. Srivastava delivered his presidential address and emphasized that the increase in population, environmental pollution and over exploitation of natural resources are responsible for the global warming. He urged the participants to prepare projects how to reduce the demand of energy and increase the alternative eco-friendly energy sources.

 

Prof. U. C. Srivastava, Convener of the Summer School conducted the inaugural session and described in detail the 21 days activity map prepared for the school. He further expressed that the participating students and teachers have the opportunity to learn about the observational studies at ARIES, as well as about the Aquatic, Hill & Forest Biodiversity in and around Nainital.  Dr. Niraj Kumar, PI, DNA Club Project at NASI, expressed his deep gratitude towards Dr. Ram Sagar, Director, ARIES; and proposed a vote-of-thanks. After the inaugural session, the participants were divided into two groups; and parallel programmes for both the groups were organized from June 5-7, 2011.

 

On June 6, 2011; during the visit to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile facility Centre, participants were introduced to the US scientists and practically observed the instrumentation and data communications systems for climate studies. Students were also involved in space-launching of specifically designed balloon for data collection.

 Installation of ARM Mobile Facility at ARIES, Nainital

 

Launching of balloon carrying electronic gadget for atmospheric data collection

 

To improve the knowledge base and interest of the young talented students; and to attract them towards research in these areas, distinguished scientists of ARIES & NASI, delivered popular science lecture on the related topics.

 

The Night Time Sky Watching by the 104cm optical telescope, known as the Sampurnanand telescope was the centre of attraction for the participants for the photometric, spectrophotometric and polarimetric observations. It was equipped with modern instruments like cooled CCD camera, spectrophotometer and filters etc. There was also a 15cm Solar Tower Telescope equipped with Bernhard Halle Hα filter and fast CCD Camera, for the study of solar flares.

 

  

104 cm. Optical telescope observed by Prof. V.P. Sharma &  Summer School/ VTP students

 

 

15cm Solar Tower Telescope at ARIES; and Library being attended by Summer School/VTP students

 

Dr. Manish Naja (ARIES) delivered his talk on “Air Pollution, Green House Gases and Climate Change”. Dr Naja described the aerosols as suspended particulates in the atmosphere capable to modify the local climate through different mechanisms. He also explained how to measure the vertical distributions of ozone and meteorological parameters using balloon-borne sensors.

 

Prof. Ram Sagar also delivered a lecture on “Optical Telescope: An eye to sky since 1609”. Prof. Sagar introduced the participants about the journey from the conventional telescope to the modern telescope as well as its advantages in the studies in Optical Astrophysics; and informed that Ground based optical telescopes as big as ~ 40 meter are being designed and ~ 100 meter are under planning.

 

Dr. Hum Chand, Scientist, ARIES, delivered his lecture on “Stars. Galaxies and Cosmology: An Overview” and described the origin, birth, growth, maturity and death of stars very interestingly. During his lecture he highlighted the Stellar Nursery, Red Gaints, Supernova types of Galaxies, Universe expansion and its composition, Dark Matter and Dark Energy; and Carrier in Astronomy. This lecture was followed by an audio-visual show on ‘Magic Year (Jadueevars), A documentary film on A. Einstein’.

Dr. Abhishek Srivastava while delivering his talk on “Transient Phenomena and Magnetic Waves in the Sun and Sun-like Stars”, discussed the recent observational discoveries, modern data analysis techniques and theoretical modeling; and the future perspective in Astrophysics. Simultaneously, the demonstrations of Solar Observatory during the open sky in the day and night time were also regularly organized.

 

Prof. V. P. Sharma delivered a lecture on “Forest Malaria” and revealed that a significant effect of moon phase on light-trap catch of Anopheles species has been observed during an in depth study carried out in the forest belt of Madhya Pradesh, India, inhabited by tribal people. Thus, he highlighted the significance of regional biodiversity and further inspired the participants to study hill and forest biodiversity of the different stretches/climatic zones of India. A project of herbarium preparation on the theme of “Hill and Forest Biodiversity in and around Nainital” was assigned to the participants; and accordingly the participants studied the floral diversity and collected characteristic samples for their project work.

 

Prof. S. L. Srivastava delivered a talk on “Life in the Universe?”. While delivering his talk on “Antioxidant”, Prof. U. C. Srivastava mentioned the role of beta-carotene, lycopene, carotenoids, melatonin; and concluded that antioxidant nutrients are responsible for prevention of diseases and aging in human beings.

 

Dr. Sharda Sundaram of Ewing Christian College, Allahabad delivered her talk on “Chemical aspects of biodiversity” and expressed concern over the toxic discharges in terms of heavy metals, organic chemicals, and suspended sediments usually found in industrial and municipal effluents that are discharged directly into water-bodies, which can inversely impact the biota (living organisms) in an ecosystem by killing them, weakening them, or affecting their ability to carry out essential biological functions (feeding, reproducing).

 

After reaching Allahabad, the participants visited the Ganga-gallery, NASI Allahabad; and they were excited to get immense information on socio-scientific and cultural heritage of the Holy River Ganges, on 11th June, 2011. The theme of visit to “Ganga-gallery” was mainly “awareness, conservation and restoration of the river Ganges”. After completing the visit, the participants were assigned several topics to prepare environment related projects on the river Ganges. The topics were i) Social and religious importance of river Ganges, ii) Scientific analysis of the river water, iii) Socio-eco-cultural heritage of the river Ganges, iv) Ganga river and its ecosystem; and v) Pollution of Ganga river and its conservation.

 

In the second phase, basic concepts in Science & Technology were discussed, in order to equip the participants to understand the advancements in Science & Technology. Therefore, the group was divided into Physical & Biological Sciences streams during June 12-15, 2011.

 

Under the Mathematical session Prof. Sunder Lal, Vice-Chancellor, VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur delivered his lecture on “RSA numbers”. Prof. M.A. Pathan, AMU, Aligarh, Prof. P.G. Romeo (Cochin University), Prof. Rajiv Kumar Srivastava (HOD, Dr. BRA Agra University), Prof. I. Pandey (Dayalbagh University), Prof. Pankaj Srivastava (MNNIT, Allahabad) delivered their lectures on mathematical functions & its applications. The participants learnt mathematical modeling for better understanding of science.

 

  

Lecture on Maths by Prof. Sunder Lal VC ,Purvanchal University and Participants asking questions in the Mathematical workshop

 

In the Biological Sciences stream, several lectures were delivered by the experts of Plant Sciences as well as of Animal Sciences from June 13-15, 2011. Under Plant Sciences stream, lectures were delivered by Prof. J.S. Singh, CAS in Botany, BHU, Varanasi (on ‘Biodiversity: An Overview’), Prof. G. K. Srivastava, Ex Head, Dept. of Botany, University of Allahabad (UoA) (on ‘The Genetic Makeup-Genome and its Intricacies’), Prof. D. K. Chauhan, Dept. of Botany, UoA (on ‘Biodiversity & Hot spots’), Ms. Archana Pant, IASc Allahabad (on ‘Development of Fodder Products’).

 

Under Animal Sciences stream, lectures were delivered by Prof. U.C. Srivastava (on ‘Animal Biodiversity’), Prof. V. C. Srivastava (on ‘Insect Biodiversity’), Dr. Anis F. Rizvi, IASc, Allahabad (on ‘Fish Products’) and Dr P. P. Srivastava, National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow (on ‘Fish Biodiversity & Fish Feed’) from June 13-15, 2011. Prof. U. C. Srivastava also mentioned oncology, gene therapy, communicable diseases and antioxidants; and the participants learnt the staining, mounting and microscopic examination techniques in his laboratory at the Zoology Department, University of Allahabad.

 

    

Lecture on biodiversity by Prof. J.S. Singh (BHU) and Lecture on Genome by Prof. G.K. Srivastava (UoA)

 

Again after having the basic concepts in Physical and Biological Sciences, the group was merged on June 16, 2011; and lectures were organized on ‘Recent Developments in Physics’. Prof. Suresh Chandra, BHU, Varanasi delivered a talk on ‘Missing Electric Circuits Elements and Nano-materials’, Prof. S. L. Srivastava, on ‘Electromagnetic Radiation’, Dr. Ambarish Chandra, IIT, Kharagpur on ‘New Energy Generation & Storage Technology’,  Dr. Kailash Uttam, demonstrated and provided hand on practice on ‘Experiment on Spectrometer’ in Physics Department, UoA, Prof. C. K. Dwivedi, Department of Electronics and Communication, UoA gave a lecture on ‘White LEDs and its Efficiency’ and  Dr O. P. Gupta, Jamuna Christian College, Allahabad demonstrated  ‘Low cost experiments on Physics’ and explained the inherent concepts.

   

 Physics Workshop inaugurated by Prof. Suresh Chandra (BHU) and Lecture being delivered

by Prof. S.L. Srivastava (UoA)

 

    

 Physics (electronic) workshop by Prof. C.K. Dwivedi (UoA) and Workshop on experimental physics

by Dr. O.P. Gupta, Allahabad

 

In the evening of 16th June, 2011, a meeting on Science Story Writing/Telling was also held in the presence of Prof. Suresh Chandra, Prof. S. L. Srivastava, Prof. U. C. Srivastava, Prof. Krishna Misra, Dr. Ambrish Chandra, Dr. Sharda Sundaram, Dr. Niraj Kumar and other NASI officials, to devise and decide the modalities to organize such a program in the near future.

 

 On the evening of 17th June, 2011, the participants went on an educational tour for studying the simian diversity and medicinal plant diversity at Chitrakoot under the guidance of Dr. Niraj Kumar, PI, DNA Club Project and Dr. Ramesh Chandra, Head, Zoology Department; MGCGVV, Chitrakoot. The projects on “Biodiversity of Medicinal Plants in Aarogyadham, Chitrakoot” were assigned to the students. They came back in the night of June 19, 2011 after completing their project work on medicinal plants.

 

 On 20th June, 2011, addressing the first session of the Workshop on Biotechnology on the theme of ‘Recent Development in Biochemistry & Biotechnology’, Prof. Krishna Misra (Coordinator, Indo-Russian Centre for Biotechnology at IIIT, Allahabad; and General Secretary, NASI) delivered her lecture on “History of DNA”. Describing the hunger crisis in Asia, she further suggested that only biotechnology can help us for solving the problem of food scarcity; and the food crop productivity can be enhanced through the application of biotechnology. In the second session, Prof. Bechan Sharma (Former Head, Dept. of Biochemistry, UoA) delivered his lecture on “Transgenic Plants”. Prof. Sharma further highlighted the role and importance of transgenic plants in designing and development of disease, drought and pest resistant plants/crops with higher yield potential. Dr. Abhay Pandey (Dept. of Biochemistry, UoA) explained the ‘DNA Technology’ on the same day; and demonstrated the extraction of DNA practically from the cotyledons of gram and taught the participants to extract DNA without using sophisticated instruments. These lectures-cum-workshops were followed by the interactive sessions.

 

Lectures-cum-Workshop on Agriculture was conducted on 21st June, 2011 under the guidance of Prof. M. M. Verma (Ex Director, Sheila Dhar Institute of Soil Science, Dept. of Chemistry, UoA), Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kaushambi and Dr. Chitranjan Kumar. Experts delivered their lectures on Advancement in Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Vermicomposting, Soil Fertility & its Sustainability. The participants learnt simple techniques of preparing vermicompost & its applications in the agricultural fields/farms.

 

The Chemical Sciences workshop was conducted from June 21-22, 2011. Dr. Sharada Sundaram presented her lecture-cum-demonstration on ‘Air Pollution’. She imparted training to the students for testing air pollution caused by several automobiles; and the participants prepared assignments on air pollution. In the second session, Dr. Mohd Masood conducted the testing of food-adulteration in oil, ghee, milk, spices, sweets, khoya and tea leaves with the help of his food-adulteration testing kit; followed by water quality testing. His experiments were an eye-opener for all the participants, as the results warned them to use the food items and drinking water cautiously.

 

On the evening of 22nd June, 2011, all the participants visited Jawahar Planetarium, Anand Bhawan, Allahabad under the guidance of Sri Pramod Pande (Director, Jawahar Planetarium, Anand Bhawan). Sri Pande delivered an interactive lecture with the planetarium show. The planetarium virtually took the participants for a celestial trip; and the participants also measured their weight theoretically on Moon and Jupiter.

On 23rd June, 2011, the participants were exposed to interactive session with eminent experts like Prof. V. P. Sharma (Chief Guest), Dr. I.K. Patro, Dr. Nisha Patro, Prof. U. C. Srivastava, Dr. Sharda Sundaram, Dr. Pramod Pandey and Dr. Manvendra Tripathi. They interacted on several aspects of Health & Communicable Diseases, Disease Diagnostics & Control, Climate Change and its impact on Biodiversity as well as on Human health etc. Experts were of the opinion that vaccination at appropriate time is the need of hour to save against various diseases like chickengunia, Japanese encephalitis, polio, hepatitis etc. 

 

      

Prof.U.C. Srivastava, Prof. V.P. Sharma, Prof. I .Patro and Prof. Krishna Misra (L to R) on the dais during Interactive Session with the children

    

A book entitled “Paryavaran Pradushan Ke Khatre”, prepared by the DNA Club, Allahabad and published by the Global Green, Allahabad, was also released by Prof. V. P. Sharma on 23rd June, 2011; on the eve of Valedictory Function of the Summer School/ VTP.

 

 Prof. V.P. Sharma releasing a book prepared by DNA Club & Global Green, Allahabad

 

On 24th June, 2011, the valedictory session of the Summer School/ VTP was marked by an informative lecture by Prof. Kailash Chand Gupta, Director, IITR, Lucknow (Chief Guest) on ‘Uses and applications of multi-dimensional modern techniques of Nanotechnology’. Dr. Gupta explained that new instruments of nano dimensions are being prepared with the help of atomic studies, which will revolutionize various fields of medicine, defense research, optics and bio-energy. The valedictory session was chaired by Prof. V. P. Sharma; and Prof. S.L. Srivastava gave the concluding remarks. Before the onset of the Valedictory Function, Prof. Krishna Misra welcomed the guests in the last session of the Summer School/ VTP; and Prof. U. C. Srivastava proposed a vote-of-thanks in the end. The following students bagged prizes on the basis of their good work evaluated by the experts for the different projects.

 

Studies of Hill Biodiversity in & around Nainital (June 4-10, 2011):

Deeksha Singh (Umrao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad- Ist )

Shubham Kumar Sharma (Parkar Inter College, Moradabad-IInd)

Kuldeep Shukla (D.A.V. Inter College, Mehdawal, S K Nagar-IIIrd)

Annu Kumari (Umarao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad-IVth)

Saeed-ul-Islam (Parkar Inter College, Moradabad-Vth)

 

Projects on Ganga River (Natural Resources Contest) (June 11-17, 2011):

Deeksha Singh (Umrao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad- Ist)

Abhishek Agnihotri   C.P.V.N., Kamiganj, Farrukhabad- IInd)

Shantanu Das (Anglo Bengali Inter College, Allahabad- IIIrd)

Arushi Tripathi (Bishop Johnson School & College, Allahabad- IVth)

Shashiraj Singh (Central Academy Higher Secondary School, Shahdol- Vth)

 

Projects on Biodiversity at Aarogyadham, Chitrakoot (June 18-19, 2011):

Sandeep Kumar (Vishnu Inter College, Bareilly- Ist ),

Abhishek Agnihotri (C.P. Vidya Niketan Inter College, Kaimganj, Farrukhabad- IInd);

Air Pollution (Physical Sciences Contest (June 22, 2011)

Varun   Mishra (DAV Inter College, Mehdawal, Sant Kabir Nagar- Ist),

Vedika (Jagat Taran Golden Jubilee School, Allahabad- IInd),

Zainul Abdeen (Anglo Bengali Inter College, Allahabad- IIIrd),

Annu Kumari   (Umarao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad- IVth),

Mukesh Prajapati (D G I College, Pilibhit- Vth).

 

Sri. Prasanna Kumar Ghosh (Lecturer, ABIC, Allahabad) was adjudged the best teacher escort of the programme. The certificates of participation, pollution kit and food adulteration kit were distributed among the participant teachers of the schools. 

 

Valedictory function being addressed by Prof. V.P. Sharma

 

 Winners of the Summer School/ VTP 2011 along with distinguished guests of NASI

 

(v) Chaupals : (a) On ‘Health, Energy & their Alternatives’ (March 13-14, 2011) - A Chaupal on ‘Health, Energy & their Alternatives’ was organized in Ghaziabad village of Fatehpur district, Uttar Pradesh, on 13-14th March, 2011, to aware the local women and farmers to adopt and prepare white LEDs, solar lamps, wind mills, bio-fuels, biopesticides like neembine, pyrethrin, and organic farming, for their improved standard of their livelihood. Some basic primary health problems and services regarding symptoms of water-borne-diseases and doses of medicines were also discussed. Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator, Science Communication Programme, NASI, presided over the Chaupal and Prof. Abhai Mansingh, Formerly Professor of Physics and Director, South Campus, Delhi University, was the Chief Guest of the occasion. Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI, Dr. K.P. Singh, Zoology Department, University of Allahabad, Dr. A.F. Rizvi, The Institute of Applied Sciences (IASc), Allahabad and Mrs Archana Pant, IASc, were some other distinguished speakers of the occasion.  This Chaupal discussed a central point of knowledge dissemination and communication; consultancy, pharmacy services, good-quality affordable basic diagnostic services. The modern and popular secondary and tertiary healthcare like telemedicine services, that provides access to qualified doctors and specialists, were also discussed. The experts were of the opinion that through the telemedicine service, villagers would be able to interact directly with specialists using videoconference for curative purposes. They called upon the villagers to carry on their responsibilities for mobilizing the community, treating common ailments, conducting household surveys, monitoring health profiles, and improving public education and awareness of the local region; and learn/use information technology for preventive and curative health disorders; and their simple remedies for localized ailments.

 

Prof. Abhai Mansingh, discussed about white LEDs lamps and said that these are very energy efficient and if used on no profit no loss basis may even be cheaper than the kerosene lamps. He appealed that ‘we should opt for various alternatives for solving the energy-crisis’, otherwise, we shall destroy our environment generating more and more of conventional energy in order to meet the requirement of modern civilization.

 

(b) On ‘Pollution and Health’ (October 2-3, 2011) – Another Chaupal was held recently in the first week of October at Deoria, UP and its suburb focusing on pollution and health. The Chaupal was addressed by Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, Coordinator, Indo-Russian Centre for Biotechnology, Dr. Sharada Sundaram and Dr. Niraj Kumar.

The chaupal was organized by the Princiapls of Prestige Intermediate College, Deoria and Janta Intermediate College, Parsia, Deoria; and both the chaupals were coordinated by Dr. Santosh Shukla, Asstt. Executive Secretary, NASI.

 

(vi) Winter School of NASI (21-23rd January, 2011) at RSC, Lucknow - A three days programme- “Winter School of NASI” was inaugurated at Regional Science City, Lucknow, on January 21st, 2011, under the gracious presence of renowned chemists like Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary, NASI (Expert of Natural Products); Prof. C.L. Khetrapal, Director, CBMR, SGPGI, Lucknow; Prof. D.S. Bhakuni, CDRI, Lucknow (Expert of Supra-molecular Structure), Prof. P.C. Srivastava, University of Lucknow, Lucknow (Expert of Organo-metallic) and Dr. Alok Dhawan, Scientist, Developmental Toxicology Division, IITR, Lucknow, to celebrate the beginning of the year 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry (IYC-2011).

Dr. Alok Dhawan conducted the programme. Prof. C.L. Khetralpal delivered his talk on importance of Chemistry in daily life starting from a thermometer to NMR instrumentation. Prof. D.S. Bhakuni delivered his talk on Basic Structure of Food Items like Glucose and Fructose, highlighting the significance of understanding of Chemistry. He further discussed ‘Biosynthesis- how nature binds and breaks’ and thereby inculcated curiosity among the participants. He also said that nature is unlimited from curiosity point of view. While critically analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of drugs he said that Morphin, a pain reliever, may also create chance of addiction. Dr. Bhakuni also discussed about Bond breaking and Energy in an easily understandable manner. Prof. P.C. Srivastava started his lecture with hypothesis of ‘Chemidas’ (an ancient Chemist) to transform copper into gold. He discussed the periodic tables starting from Labosier’s 20 elements to the modern 114 elements; X-rays and curable diseases like TB. He further gave an example of  Alexander Fleming and Penicillin discovery to inspire the young scientists to contribute to the society.

 

Prof. Krishna Misra delivered her welcome address starting with her informative lecture on International Year of Chemistry-2011. She discussed about the role of chemistry in food, drug, cloth, brushing, soap, road, housing etc and said that nothing can be imagined without Chemistry. She briefly discussed about Proteomics & Genomics. The participants from 20 DNA club schools of NASI coming from U.P., M.P, and Bihar, prominently from DAV School Siwan, Golden Jubilee Allahabad, Bonanza Higher Secondary School Satna, asked several questions during the interactive session.

 

22nd January, 2011 : The theme of the second day of ‘Winter School of NASI’ was “Health and Alternative Medicine”. The panel of scientists comprised of- Prof. S.S. Agrawal, Former Director, SGPGI; Dr. Girish Gupta, Chief Consultant, Gaurang Medical Research, Centre for Homeopathy Research; Dr. Awadhesh Mishra, Vice-President, All India Nature Care Association; Prof. K.K. Pandey, Vice Principal, National Veterinary Aryurvedic Research Institute; Prof. B.N. Singh, Director, Directorate of Homeopathy; and Dr. Anand Akhila, Scientist, Centre Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow. Prof. Subramanium Churamani Gopal, Vice-Chancellor, CSSMU was the Chief Guest of the function. Dr. Akhila Anand conducted the whole programme on the second day. Sri Samarendra Kumar, Project Coordinator, RSC, Lucknow introduced Dr Anand Akhila (M. Sc. Gold Medalist from University of Lucknow; Ph. D., London; Scientist, CIMAP; CSIR Young Scientist Awardee; Member, Royal Association of London).  While conducting the Winter School, Dr. Anand introduced each of the aforesaid medical experts describing their expertise in-depth.

 

Prof. S.S. Agrawal started his lecture with the new definition of Health by WHO, as Health is a state of complete mental, physical, social and spiritual well being. He discussed about Dr. Haniman’s discovery of Homeopathy. He briefly described the diagnosis for diseases and personality. Prof. Agrawal further said that Promotive Medicine may be the future of Medical Science, which would be prescribed after the depiction of Genomic structure of particular human being.

 

Dr. B.N. Singh, discussed about Modern Medicine in Allopath as different medicine than that of past. He said that Hippocratic medicine (5th Century B.C.) originated the modern medicine and it’s development initiated from 13-14th Century. Then, understanding of Anatomy of Human Physiology evolved. The real revolution started after 19th Century. The total Genome of human became known by 2003. He further said that new discovery has no boundary; and it has openness and acceptance all over the world. The scope is beyond imagination for Nanotechnology and Medicine.

 

Dr. Awadhesh Mishra delivered his talk on ‘Nature Care: Naturopathy and Yoga’, and said that violation of nature is the primary cause of mental stress in human life. He also urged the students to opt for Bachelor in Naturopathy and Yoga Science (BNYS). For further information and awareness he suggested the participants to write to Natural Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune. Prof. K.K. Pandey delivered his lecture on Ayurvedic Science. He said that it is the science of age. He emphasized on inculcating and propagating Traditional Indian Medicine which is completely based on Nature. He highlighted that Vedas are actually not a religious book but a creation of special science. Prof. Subramanian (Vice-Chancellor, CSSMU, Lucknow) delivered her talk as a Chief Guest of the occasion. She remembered the dignity, knowledge and culture of the ancient India during the peak period of Takshashila and Nalanda University, She presented the comment of Huyensang with his experienced visit to India and quoted his views - “Every Indian is specialized worker with high moral character”. She said that it was Indian culture who forced WHO to include spirituality in the definition of health. After these lectures, “Face to Face Meet with Medical Scientists” - an interactive session, was followed. Answering the several queries of the participants like what is Aromatic, is there any drug to become immortal, what is biotechnology etc, the panel of experts satisfied their quench. These experts conclude that millions of molecules interact with each other to form the conditions of Health and Disease. The study of Molecular Medicine, beyond Molecular structure (Supra-molecular structure) and systemic biology contains huge scope in future. Dr. S. Majumdar, Curator, RSC proposed vote-of-thanks in the end.

 

In the evening Dr. Amita Kannaujiya, Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow delivered a lecture on “Vulture”. All the experts including Dr. Kannaujiya were welcomed through an innovative way by presenting potted medicinal plants (like Aloe vera, a moisturizing medicinal herb). She presented her research experience around the Bundelkhand region of U.P. She easily distinguished between the characters of the behaviour of Vulture, Eagle and Hawk. Pointing out the reasons for extinction of vultures she said that (a) Very slow rate of breeding (only one egg in one season) and (b) Use of Diclofenac (a drug given to livestock as pain killer, belong to non-steroidal anti inflammatory group of drugs or NSAIDS), are the main cause of concern. She further said that vulture is incinerators (nature’s disposal squad) and good bio-indicator. She informed that out of 22 kinds of vultures (15 old and 7 new), Gips vultures are highly susceptible. Her study also showed that high temperature during the summer season is also a cause of concern for their death. Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary, NASI proposed a vote-of-thanks to the eminent experts, local organizers, participants of DNA club schools and to the NASI officials, for making this ‘Winter School of NASI’ a remarkable moment for the participants and a grand success for the organizers.

 

The participants of Winter School of NASI watched Science Gallery and 3-D Show at Regional Science City, Lucknow, during January 21-22, 2011, under the guidance of Sri Samarendra Kumar and Sri S. Chatterjee. 

 

23rd January, 2011 : On the concluding day of ‘Winter School of NASI’, Dr. Brajesh Pandey, Assistant Professor, IIT Raibareily, conducted several experiments on physics (based on principles of siphon, centre of mass & gravity, match box coin experiments in mechanics, conservation of momentum, Bernoulli’s Theorem, velocity of rocket launching etc), at the Seminar Hall of Literacy House, Manas Nagar, Lucknow. Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Chief Conservationist, Govt.  of  U.P., was the  Chief  Guest  in  the  concluding  session.  He started his interesting talk on ‘Conservation of Biodiversity: Message through Stories’ with a popular Sanskrit slogan- “Prithwi Shanti, Antariksh Shanti, Banaspatayah Shanti”. He further said that the theme of Prithwi Shanti was nothing but the message for the conservation of biodiversity; because without conservation of biodiversity, ‘Prithwi Shanti’ cannot be imagined. He provided the scientific facts behind the biodiversity conservation through religious books; and described Manu, Noor and Noha, as the originator of biodiversity in the religious books of Hindus, Muslims and Christian, respectively. Dr. Sharma also focused on his recently ongoing projects especially on carbon sequestration by Bamboo trees. Dr. Niraj Kumar proposed heartiest gratitude towards Dr. Sharma, who delivered his lecture on the theme of the DNA Club Project and also for gracing the valedictory function of the “Winter School of NASI” as the Chief Guest.

 

(vii) National Science Day Celebrations; and related programmes - The National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) organized the Science week from February 24 – 28, 2011 in the Academy’s Auditorium at Allahabad. Prior to this, the District Level Science contests were also held in the second and third weeks of February 2011, to select the participants from Allahabad District for the State Level contests.

 

The Science week was inaugurated by Prof. Suresh Chandra, NASI-Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow & Formerly Professor in the  Physics Department, BHU, Varanasi, on 24th February, 2011 with more than 33 district level selected teams from Uttar Pradesh for participation in different contests, as Science Quiz, Debate, Oration and Exhibition.

 

The topics of debate, oration and exhibition were :

 

Ø Debate:  Science, per se is Ethical

Ø Oration: Water Management is the need of hour

Ø Working Model: Measurements in Science

Ø Non-working Model: Sewage Treatment

Ø Chart: Tele-Medicine

 

During the Science Week, a workshop on “Health” was also organized from February 25–27, 2011, inaugurated by Dr. Shobhit Chawla, Medical Director & Chief, Vitreoretinal Services, Prakash Netra Kendra, Lucknow. Dr. Chawla also delivered an illustrative lecture on “Science, Medicine & Mystery”.

 

National Level Scientific Writing Contest was held on 26th February,2011; the topic was “Ever Green Revolution”

 

National Science Day Function (28th February, 2011) was graced by Prof. Ashok Misra, Past President, NASI & Former Director, IIT, Bombay as the Chief Guest. Several prizes were given to the winners of the different State & National Level contests; and the NASI Science Teacher Awards were also given during the function on National Science Day.

 

NASI Science Teacher Awardees:

Dr. Shripal Rathi (M.G.Public School, Muzaffarnagar)

Dr. Naresh Kumar Giri (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ghaziabad)

 

Allahabad Region NASI Science Teacher Awardee:

(The Award has been instituted in the memory of Late Rama Shankar Misra)

Dr. Sharad Kumar Pandey (Tagore Public School, Allahabad)

 

Results of Science Communication Contests-2011

 

(A) National Level (for undergraduate students) –

·      National Level Scientific writing Contest

First-Siddharth Prabhar –University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

Second-Shalini Umrao- (C.M.P. Degree College, Allahabad)

Third-Ms.Tejasvi Sekar- Dr. M.G.R. University, Chennai

 (B) State Level (for upto +2 level students)

·      State Level Science Oration

First-Ms. Urvashi Vashist –Delhi Public School (Bulandshahar)

Second-Ms. Shivanuj Srivastava (Allahabad)

Second-Km. Gargi (Meerut)

 

·      State Level Science Debate

First-Ashish Kumar Mishra (Chitrakoot)

Second-Aarti Saxena (Meerut)

 

·      State Level Science Quiz

First-(Ambedkarnagar team)

      a. Avinash Pandey

      b. Shubham Mangalam Dubey

      c. Vivek Ranjan  

Second-(Etah team)

     a. Ajay Chauhan-J.N.V., Etah

     b. Adarsh Kashyap- Govt. Inter College

     c. Pavnesh Kumar-Govt. Inter College

·      State Level science Exhibition

(a) Working Model

First-    Nafees Ansari-(St. Thomas Inter College, Jaunpur)

            Satya Pal Gupta

    Second- Ashutosh Kumar Dubey (V.N. Govt. Inter College Gyanpur, Bhadohi)

                 Manas Singh- (D.P.S. Buladshahar)

 

(b) Non-Working Model

First-     Diksha Singh – (Umrao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad)

             Pratima Verma – (Umrao Singh Memorial School, Allahabad)

 

Second- Venkatesh Singh – (BNSD Shiksha Niketan Inter College,    Kanpur)

(c ) Chart

First- Km. Khushboo Gangal - (SKMG Inter College, Meerut)

Second- Meena Singh – (Allahabad)

Second-Zainub Siddiqui – (SVMPVPGirls Inter College-Hardoi)

 

(C) District Level (for +2 level students) -

Talent Search

 

Physical sciences & Computer Sciences

First- Ankur Jaiswal-( Jagat taran Golden Jubilee School)

Second- Somesh Pandey- (M.P.V.M., Gangagurukulam)

Third- Chandan Singh-(M.P.V.M.)

 

Biological Sciences

First- Azimuddin- (St. Joseph’s College)

Second-Kritank Mishra-(M.L. Convent)

Third-Agrima Bansal-(M.P.V.M., Allahabad)

 

Chemical Sciences

First- Utkarsh Srivastava-St. Joseph’s College, Allahabad)

Second- Chandan singh-(M.P.V.M., Allahabad)

Third- Sunny Jaiswal-(Bal Bharti School, Allahabad)

 

(viii) Interactive Sessions with Nobel Laureate (8-9th March, 2011) at School of Tele-medicine, SGPGIMS, Lucknow and NASI, Allahabad - The DNA Club, RRA, NASI, Allahabad organized a two days programme- “Interactive Sessions with Nobel Laureate”, inaugurated at School of Tele-medicine, SGPGIMS, Lucknow, on March 8, 2011, under the gracious presence of renowned Nobel Laureate (awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991) Prof. Richard Robert Ernst, Emeritus Professor, ETH Zurich; Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary-HQ, NASI (Expert of Natural Products and Biotechnology); Prof. C.L. Khetrapal, Director, CBMR, SGPGI, Lucknow, Formerly Vice-Chancellor, University of Allahabad; Prof. S.K. Mishra, Head, Department of Endocrine Surgery, Nodal Officer Telemedicine, SGPGIMS (Endocrine Surgeon); and many others distinguished Scientists, to celebrate the foundation eve of SGPGIMS. Prof. C.L. Khetrapal presided over the inaugural session and welcomed the Chief Guest, Prof. Ernst, other distinguished guests; and the participants of DNA Club Schools from U.P., M.P. and Bihar. He introduced the esteemed speaker Nobel Laureate Prof. Ernst; and outlined the activities of SGPGIMS. He quoted that “It is an Institute with tradition of excellence, have demonstrated abundantly that research enhances the vitality of teaching, teaching lifts the standards of service, and service opens new avenues of investigation, especially in the field of Tele-medicine.”

 

Prof. Ernst while speaking on “Passion and Responsibility” shared the experiences of research while working in collaboration with Indian scientists. He also elaborated the breakthrough of his life, how he chosen Chemistry as passion and a responsibility at the same time. He said that a scientist has great responsibility to make adequate research which would be beneficial for the general masses. He truly justified his great potential and wisdom by virtue of his vital stamina, great personality, broad knowledge & communication skills in every sphere of Science, Culture and Tradition throughout his informative, inspiring and thought provoking lecture lasting for three sessions. It’s why he has become an Ideal Role Model for millions of young minds across the globe. Prof. Ernst quoted that we need science for bright future, we must complete our responsibilities for bright present and we must learn from our glorious past.

 

Nobel Laureate Prof. Richard R. Ernst

 

On the second day (i.e. 9th March, 2011) of the interactive session, Prof. Krishna Misra, delivered an informative lecture on “Biotechnology and Bio-diversity”, at the Auditorium of NASI, Allahabad. She focused her lecture on ‘Sustainability for Biodiversity & Responsibility for Ourselves’. She said that biotechnology is an emerging area of science; and appealed that environmental protection (bio-safety) should be considered at global level. She informed that the transgenic crops, along with traditional breeding, molecular breeding and other innovative alternatives, should be used for sustainable agriculture to meet the increasing food, feed and fiber demand of the growing population of India. She also stressed the need for GM crops which are already in use and which are proposed to be introduced, should be continuously studied for environmental and health effects.

 

Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Senior Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad delivered realistic and appealing lecture on “antioxidants as boon to life” during the concluding session of the interactive programme with the DNA Club students. He informed that there are two types of radicals in human body, one is harmful chemical complexes known as free radicals which are also called oxidants; and another is beneficial and is known as antioxidants. We can prevent our stress condition and aging with proper use of antioxidants from the natural vegetative sources in our diet. Prof. Srivastava highlighted the significant role of vitamin C,  vitamin E, and mineral selenium etc. He also created awareness among the participants against the unhygienic conditions like pollution and poor sanitation. He advised to take nutritious fruits and green vegetables especially spinach, carrot, cauliflower, beans, potato, pumpkin, almond, lemon, water-melon, moringa etc. He was of the opinion that we can improve our quality of life-span and remain healthy by maintaining the metabolism of our body; and also, by keeping it free from harmful toxins.

 

A Pre-Meeting of VTP was also organized at NASI, Allahabad on March 9, 2011. It was proposed to hold a VTP during June 4-24, 2011, at NASI, Allahabad. The theme of the proposed VTP was “Science and Technology for Development”.

 

(ix) Science Extension Lectures

 

A Report on lectures delivered by Prof. V.P. Sharma, ICMR Chair Distinguished Professor of NASI - Two lectures (delivered by Prof. V.P. Sharma), both followed by interactive sessions, were held under the DNA Club programme of the Academy on 11th December at Pratapgarh and 13th December, 2010 at NASI, Allahabad.

 

On Saturday, December 11, 2010, Prof. V.P. Sharma delivered an informative lecture on ‘The Challenge of Sustainable Malaria Control’ at Prabhat Academy, Pratapgarh. Addressing the assembly of students and teachers Prof. Sharma said that global warming is responsible for mosquitogenic condition (favourable for mosquito breeding). Dr. Manvendra Tripathi (Malaria Division, U.P.) emphasized on preventive measures including Poster display and Prabhat rally in the Malaria-prone areas in U.P. to check the menace of diseases like malaria, chickengunya, filaria, Japanese encephalitis etc.

 

On Monday, December 13, 2010, a detailed lecture with an hour of Interactive Session was organized on the communicable diseases & related topics at 11 am in the Auditorium of the Academy at 5, Lajpatrai Road, Allahabad. The lecture was delivered by Prof. V.P. Sharma, focusing on the causes and spread of these dreaded diseases; as well as he also explained the preventive mechanisms by which we may safeguard ourselves from the fatal impact of this menace. Prof Sharma further emphasized the role of preventive measures and stressed on adopting By-pass Desert Coolers instead of conventional coolers to restrict the growth of mosquitoes, the vector for all above mentioned diseases. Before the lecture, Prof S.L. Srivastava, Coordinator of the Science Communication Programme of the Academy welcomed the students, teachers, Fellows, Members and other distinguished guests of the Academy. Prof Krishna Misra, General Secretary, NASI, introduced the speaker; and Dr. Niraj Kumar, Executive Secretary of the Academy, conducted the interactive Session. In the end, Prof U.C. Srivastava, Treasurer of the Academy expressed a vote-of-thanks. Among other prominent scientists attending the function were Prof C.B.L. Srivastava, Prof G.K. Srivastava, Dr. K.P. Singh, Dr. Manvendra Tripathi and Dr. Md. Masood. The function was coordinated by Sri A.K.. Srivastava (Dy. Executive Secretary) and Sri B.P. Singh (Asstt. Executive Secretary) of the Academy.

 

Picture 021 

 Prof. V.P. Sharma, Former Additional Director General, ICMR, New Delhi delivering a lecture at NASI, Allahabad; and a prototype of Bypass Desert Cooler, developed by himself.

 

 

Several other lectures were also delivered on interesting and popular scientific topics, a brief details is given below –

 

At NASI, Allahabad on April 6, 2011

Prof. USN Murty, Head, Biology Division, IICT, Hyderabad on ‘Vector and Community Control Measures’

 

At NASI, Allahabad on July 29, 2011

Mr. Michel Danino, Convener of International Forum for India’s Heritage, Coimbatore on ‘The Lost Sarasvati, from River to Goddess’

 

In Bal Bharti Public School, Allahabad on August 6, 2011

Prof. S.L. Srivastava on ‘Advancement in Science – Physical Sciences’

Prof. U.C. Srivastava on ‘Advancement in Science – Biological Sciences’

Dr. Niraj Kumar on ‘Advancements in Science : Capacity Building’

 

In NASI, Allahabad on August 8, 2011

Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra on ‘Chemistry Today & Tomorrow’

Dr. (Mrs.) Archana Pandey on ‘Natural Products as Drugs’

 

At Adarsh Inter College, Kaushambi on August 24, 2011

Dr. V.C. Srivastava on ‘Human being and their role in Environmental Degradation’

Dr. Mohd. Masood on ‘Habits to Maintain Good Health’

Dr. O.P. Gupta on ‘Physics Experiments & Demonstrations’

 

At Colonelganj Inter College, Allahabad on September 2, 2011

Dr. Abhay Pandey on ‘Nucleic Acid’

 

At MBS School Pratapgarh on September 15, 2011

Dr. Manvendra Tripahi on ‘Malaria’

 

At Saket Girls Degree College, Pratapgarh on September 15, 2011

Prof. U.C. Srivastava on ‘Scientific Methods of Teaching’

 

                  

 

 

At M.D. PG College, Pratapgarh on September 15, 2011

Dr. Sharda Sundaram on ‘Nanotechnology’

 

At Modern Science College, Pratapgarh on September 16, 2011

Prof. S.L. Srivastava on ‘Energy’

 

At Prabhat Academy, Pratapgarh on September 16, 2011

Shri Sanjay Srivastava on ‘Water Pollution and Testing’

 

At Bajrang Inter College, Bhadri, Pratapgarh on September 21, 2011

Prof. U.C. Srivastava on ‘Anti-oxidants’

 

At Tulsi Inter College, Babuganj, Pratapgarh on September 21, 2011

Prof. U.C. Srivastava on ‘Endocrine Regulation’

 

At S.P. Inter College, Kunda, Pratapgarh on September 21, 2011

Dr. Chitranjan Kumar on ‘Biodiversity’

 

At T.P. Inter College, Kunda, Pratapgarh on September 21, 2011

Dr. Chitranjan Kumar on ‘Forests & Environment’

 

At NASI, Allahabad on September 28, 2011

Prof. S.P. Vij, Punjab University, Chandigarh on ‘Orchids’

 

 

 

(x) The Academy in collaboration with the Department of Physics, University of Allahabad and Indian Association of Physics Teachers also jointly organized orientation lecture in the month of June 2011. The programme was coordinated by Prof. Indira Mehrotra, Head, Department of Physics, University of Allahabad.

 

(xi) As a Part of the celebration of International Year of Chemistry, the Academy in collaboration with the Vigyan Prasar, DST, New Delhi and Vigyan Parishad, Allahabad, jointly organized a training programme for the Chemistry Teachers on August 7, 2011 in the Academy at Allahabad. Er. Shri Anuj Sinha, Director, Vigyan Prasar, inaugurated the programme and the lectures/demonstrations were delivered/conducted by Prof.(Mrs.) Krishna Misra, Shri Kapil Tripathi, Noida, Dr. B.M. Sharma, Dehradun, Dr. Archana Pandey, Allahabad and others. The vote-of-thanks was given by Prof. Sheo Gopal Misra, GS, Vigyan Parishad.

 

Acknowledgments - The Academy is grateful to the following distinguished Resource Persons who contributed in organizing these Science Communication Programmes – Prof. V.P. Sharma (Past President, NASI), Prof. Krishna Mishra (General Secretary-HQ, NASI), Prof. S. L. Srivastava (Coordinator, Sci. Commun. Prog.), Prof. Suresh Chandra, Prof. J. S. Singh, Prof. C.B.L. Srivastava, Prof. G.K. Srivastava, Prof. R.S. Ambasht, Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Prof. S.P. Vij, Prof. Alok Dhawan, Prof. Archna Shukla, Prof. Abhaiman Singh, Prof. K.P. Misra, Prof. R.K. Srivastava, Prof. C.K. Dwivedi, Prof. Anita Gopesh, Prof. D.K. Chauhan, Dr. S. P. Misra, Prof. G.L. Tiwari, Prof. Satya Deo, Dr. V.C. Srivastava, Dr. Mamta Srivastava, Prof. A.K. Srivastava, Prof. I.K. Patro, Prof. Samir Bhattacharya, Prof. Neeraj Misra, Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Dr. C.M. Nautiyal, Dr. Ramesh Chandra, Dr. Suryakant Chaturvedi, Dr. Shivesh Pratap Singh, Dr. Brajesh Pandey, Dr. Pradeep Srivastava, Sri Samarendra Kumar, Dr. Ashok K. Srivastava, Dr. O.N. Srivastava, Dr. Niraj Kumar, Dr. Pankaj Srivastava, Mr. Manvendra Tripathi, Dr. S.P. Tiwari, Dr. Kartikeya Sharma, Dr. Ashish Tandon, Dr. B.P. Agrawal, Dr. Abhay Pandey, Prof. D.S. Bhakuni, Prof. P.C. Srivastava, Prof. S.S. Agrawal,  Prof. Subramanium C. Gopal, Dr. Awadhesh Mishra, Prof. K.K. Pandey, Prof. B.N. Singh, Dr. Anand Akhila, Dr. Alok Tandon, Dr. Sandeep, Dr. Amita Kannaujiya, Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Dr. Mohd. Masood, Dr. K.P. Singh, Dr. Ravindra Dhar, Dr. Sharda Sundaram, Dr. Pramod Kumar, Dr. Sonali Chaturvedi, Dr. Rajeev Srivastava, Er Ashok Mansingh, Dr. U.B. Tewari, Dr. V.Raghvendra, Dr. Peeyush Chandra, Dr. Debasis Kundu, Dr. Arvind K. Lal, Dr. A.F. Rizvi, Sri Brijesh Dixit, Dr. Chitranjan Kumar, Dr. A.K. Srivastava, Ms. Archana Pant and Sri Sanjay Srivastava.

 

(F) National Seminar on ‘Challenges of the Universities in the Knowledge Society’ on July 4, 2011 at Regional Science City, Lucknow, in collaboration with IIIT, Allahabad

 

The Seminar was organized to deliberate and sensitize the Universities of their additional responsibilities towards the society. In today’s environment the Universities have to undertake a self assessment to determine if they are aware of the needs of the society and if they are at all acting as linkers between the knowledge creators and end users of knowledge. The following main aspects were discussed in detail - 

·      Building knowledge societies

·      Knowledge creation; and

·      Knowledge transfer to the Society through academic and research collaborations.

 

The speakers included Prof. Nitya Anand, Formerly at CDRI, Lucknow, Dr. M.D. Tiwari, Director, IIIT, Allahabad, Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, GS, NASI, Prof. Satish K. Tripathi, President, State University of Newyork at Buffalo, Prof. Manoj K. Mishra, VC, Lucknow University, Prof. Bharat Bhasker, IIM, Lucknow, Prof. Kripa Shanker, VC, GBTU, Lucknow, Prof. C.L. Khetrapal, Director, CBMR, SGPGI, Lucknow and Prof. G.N. Pandey, IIIT, Allahabad. The seminar was attended by a large gathering of university students and teachers.

 

The discussion held during this seminar was fruitful in formulating useful and meaningful recommendations.

 

(G) Seminar on ‘Vigyan Sanchar Me Hindi Ke Bhumika’ & Celebration of ‘Hindi Diwas/Pakhwada’

 

The Academy celebrated ‘Hindi Pakhwada’ by organizing several contests and activities to enthuse the employees as well as students/teachers to use Hindi as much as possible in their official communications and dialect. A Seminar on ‘Vigyan Sanchar Me Hindi Ke Bhumika’ was held on September 27, 2011 in the premises of the Academy, in which several lectures were delivered by the eminent scientists and administrators as Prof. A.K. Bakshi, VC, R.T. Open University, Allahabad, Prof. Sheo Gopal Misra, Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Prof. Krishna Misra, Prof. S.P. Vij, Prof. S.L. Srivastava, Shri Rajeev Verma and others.

 

(H) Workshops on ‘Scientific Paper Writing’ held at BHU, Varanasi and NASI, Allahabad

 

(i) Workshop held at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi from June 10-11, 2011

 

Theme and Participation - A workshop on “Writing Research Papers” was organized by the National Academy of Sciences, India (Varanasi Chapter) from June 10-11, 2011 at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. A major goal of the workshop was to train young research scholars and faculty members for developing and improving technical skills for effective writing of scientific research papers. The theme of the workshop dealt with a highly sought after need of the young researchers. There was an overwhelming response and we received over 100 applications each from outstation and local participants. Initially, the workshop was planned for 60 students but in the final count, we increased the number to 85 to accommodate as many as logistically possible. Young researchers with at least 2 years of research experience were considered for selection. Care was taken that participants were equitably distributed in different streams of Basic, Agricultural, Biological and Medical Sciences. Outside participants were from different institutions of UP, MP, AP,WB, Rajasthan and Delhi. It was decided to see, as far as possible, that not more than one student under a supervisor was selected as participant to ensure wide based transmission of the message/ theme of the conference.

 

Technical Sessions - During the inaugural function on 10th June, Prof.Suresh Chandra, Coordinator of the Workshop, welcomed the guests and thanked NASI for taking a lead in organizing such a workshop and for sponsoring the first workshop at BHU. Prof J Ram, Head of Physics Dept, and Prof RC Yadav, Dean of Faculty of Science, welcomed the guests. Then Prof MK Thakur, Organizing Secretary, provided the details of the workshop and emphasized its importance. Prof BN Dhawan, Guest of Honor, highlighted the need of organizing such a workshop. Prof VP Sharma, Chief Guest, delivered the keynote address and mentioned the objectives of NASI including its leading role in promotion of science education and research in the country. Prof BD Singh, Rector, BHU, gave the presidential remarks and appreciated the organization of the workshop by NASI. At the end, Dr RK Singh, Organizing Secretary, presented vote of thanks.

 

In the first scientific session on “General Lectures” chaired by Prof PK Seth, Prof Suresh Chandra presented an overview on writing research papers and suggested basic practical hints for beginners. Prof BD Singh discussed in detail the issue of plagiarism in scientific papers and highlighted the necessity to avoid this while preparing the manuscripts for publication. Prof BN Dhawan emphatically stated that the article should be presented in a methodological way such that it should clearly represent the concept and conclusion, and advance knowledge in the field. While doing this, he highlighted the necessity to keep in mind the ethical issues related to scientific communications. Prof JS Singh explained elegantly how the mismatch between objectives and methodology leads to misinterpretation of results and writing of misleading research papers. Prof. Krishna Misra shared her experiences of writing and reviewing research papers. The post-lunch session was devoted to subject specific interactions between participants and expert members. For biological sciences, experts included Prof. Shelley Bhattacharya, Prof. GK Srivastava and  Prof. MK Thakur; for physical sciences – Prof. SL Srivastava, Prof. DS Pandey and Dr. RK Singh; and for multidisciplinary sciences- Prof. VP Sharma, Prof. Krishna Misra and Prof. PC Mishra. Participants raised several queries and mentioned about their difficulties in writing research papers. Expert members discussed the related issues at length and answered the queries satisfactorily. At the end, a panel discussion was held involving Dr. BN Dhawan and Dr. PK Seth as chairpersons and all fellows and members of NASI local chapter. Based on discussion, several recommendations were made.

 

The second day session started with general lectures chaired by Prof. PC Mishra and Prof. SL Srivastava. Initially, Prof. VP Sharma discussed the structure of a scientific research paper wherein he elaborated each section with examples. Prof. SC Lakhotia suggested how to choose a suitable journal for publication of research papers. He emphasized that the preferred journal should be a peer-reviewed journal having a wide circulation so that majority of scientists working in the field may come to know the research findings. Prof. Shelley Bhattacharya explained the basic elements of research leading to good publications. Prof. Suresh Chandra provided various suggestions for writing technical English for scientific research papers. He recollected his experiences of many years. In another lecture, Prof. Suresh Chandra provided various tips for dealing with “Referees Comments”. Prof. SB Deshpande elegantly elucidated with examples how results can be effectively presented in research papers. Dr. Amreesh Chandra stressed the importance of literature survey using various means. The post-lunch session was dedicated to subject specific interactions. For biological sciences, the experts were Prof. BN Singh, Prof. AK Tripathi and Prof. Kavita Shah; and for mathematical sciences- Prof. RS Pathak and Prof. AK Srivastava. At the end, participants frankly provided their feedback which was included in the recommendation. During the valedictory function, six participants who participated actively throughout the workshop were presented prizes and all participants were provided certificates.

 

Concluding Remarks/ Recommendations –

(A) From the participants’ feedback, queries and discussions, following important points emerged-

(1) Participants were unanimous in appreciating the conduct of the Workshop and said they were immensely benefitted. They felt the need of such training in their career and appreciated NASI for being alive to their needs.

(2) Participants wanted the duration of Workshop to be longer. Suggestions ranged from 3-7 days.

(3) Time permitting; they wanted ‘hand-on’ practice as well as one-to-one discussion with experts.

(4) Some felt that the scope of the future Workshop may be extended to other areas of their research activities such as Oral and Poster presentations, thesis writing, project report preparation and presentation, etc.

(5) All felt that these activities be repeated at B.H.U. as well as at different centres in the country.

(B) From the Panel Discussion, evaluation of Feedback, discussion amongst expert members present at the Workshop, the following recommendations emerged -

Workshop based on the present theme of “Writing of Scientific Research Papers” may be organized by NASI local chapters at regular intervals at different centres.

 

Future thematic 2-day Workshops on other topics such as “Effective Oral and Poster Presentation” and/or “Dealing with the problems of Thesis Writing” may also be initiated by NASI and prominent institutions like B.H.U. etc. may be requested to give the lead.

 

     

The participants; and the resource persons during the workshop at BHU, Varanasi

 

NASI-council may consider recommending to the Universities/ UGC/ AICTE etc to include Research Paper/ Thesis/ Technical Writing as a part of their pre-Ph.D. course requirement.

 

For the organizers and Varanasi Local Chapter of NASI, the organization of this event was a satisfying experience.

 

(ii) Workshop held at NASI, Allahabad from October 22-24, 2011

The second workshop on ‘Scientific Paper Writing’ was organized from October 22 - 24, 2011 at NASI, Allahabad. Prof V.P. Sharma, ICMR Chair Professor, CRDT, IIT Delhi; Past President, NASI, and also the Chairman of these workshops, inaugurated the Workshop on October 22, 2011 in the jam-packed auditorium of the Academy. He expressed that the Academy tries to reach the masses for addressing the social problems, especially those which could be solved with the scientific inputs and interference; it also publishes the reputed journals to encourage the scientists and researchers by giving them opportunities to express their ideas/views, and publish their research work. But it has been felt that several researchers could not express correctly/appropriately the findings of their research while submitting their articles for publication. Therefore, it was decided by the Council of the Academy that the National Academy of Sciences, India will organize a series of workshops to inspire and facilitate the young researchers/ scientists to understand the art of Scientific Paper Writing, so that they could properly present their research findings.

 

Prof. Suresh Chandra, NASI-Senior Scientist & a renowned physicist, while recalling the memories of the first workshop held with grand success at BHU, Varanasi under his Coordinatorship in the month of June, 2011 expressed that there is a dire need of organizing such practical workshops which could help the young researchers in properly presenting their research findings.

 

Before these distinguished guests, Prof. Krishna Misra, General Secretary (HQ), NASI; Co-coordinator, Indo-Russian Centre for Biotechnology, IIIT, Allahabad welcomed the guests and the participants (200), who have come from all the corners of the nation.  She also informed that the third such workshop has been planned at Lucknow, for which Prof. Wuethrich, Nobel Laureate has already given his kind consent to be the Chief Guest.

 

Prof U.C. Srivastava, Senior Professor in the Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad; Past President of Indian Science Congress Association (Animal Science Division) & Convener of the workshop gave a brief introduction about the programme to be held in these three days. In the end of the inaugural session, the vote-of-thanks was proposed by Prof. Satya Deo, Senior Professor of HRI, Allahabad and member of Advisory & Organizing Committee of this workshop.  The others present on this occasion were Prof. S.A.H. Abidi, Former Member, ASRB, ICAR, New Delhi, Prof. Anita Gopesh, Prof. Vinod Prakash, Dr. Niraj Kumar, Sri A.K. Srivastava, Sri B.P. Singh, Dr. Santosh Shukla, Dr. Pavitra Tandon, Sri R.P. Tripathi, Fellows, Members & Staff of the Academy.

 

In the Technical Session of the Workshop, Prof. V.P. Sharma delivered an illustrative and informative lecture on Understanding the process of the research paper publication; followed by very interesting interactive session which was presided over by Prof. Satya Deo.

 

The 2nd lecture of the Workshop was delivered by Prof. U.C. Srivastava on Concept & hypothesis development for writing a research paper, which was also followed by the interactive session presided over by Prof. Krishna Misra.

 

After the lunch, two more lectures, followed by long interactive sessions were delivered by Prof. Suresh Chandra on Language intricacies in writing a research paper; and by Prof. K. Satyanarayana, Addl. Director-General, ICMR, New Delhi on Scientometrics & Bibliometrics.

 

On the second day the lectures were delivered on ‘Role of Computer in Scientific Paper Writing’, ‘Interpretation of Data’, ‘Statistical Analysis’ and ‘Ethical Consideration in Scientific Paper Writing’ by Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, Prof. J.S. Singh, Prof. Anoop Chaturvedi, Dept. of Statistics, UoA and Prof. B.N. Dhawan, Former Director, CDRI, Lucknow, respectively; each lecture was followed by long hours of interactive sessions and discussions.

 

The last day was mainly left for Group Interactions and Technical Discussions; and in the end before the Valedictory Function Dr. R.C. Tripathi, IIIT, Allahabad delivered the Concluding Lecture on ‘Application of Computer and IT in Scientific Paper Writing’. In the Valedictory Function the researchers again interacted with other eminent scientists, as Prof. P.K. Seth, CEO, Biotech Park, Lucknow, Prof. Satya Deo, Prof. S.A.H. Abidi, Former Chairman, ASRB, ICAR, Prof. G.K. Srivastava, Former Head, DoB, UoA, Prof. U.C. Srivastava, Prof. V.P. Sharma and Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra. The certificates of participation were also given to the researchers. The technical sessions of the workshop were very much appreciated by the researchers (225), who participated in the workshop; and they found it fruitful in shaping their research initiatives and future programmes.

 

After the completion of both the workshops, it was the general verdict that ‘Such workshops be held regularly to show the right path to the young researchers so that they could make their work designed in accordance with their proposed theme and re-produce it effectively in black & white’.

 

      

 

       

 

A view of the speakers and participants during the workshop, at NASI, Allahabad
 

(II) Activities related to Scientific Research

 

(A) A brief report on the research contributions of Prof. J. P. Mittal, M.N. Saha Distinguished Professor, NASI during the period under report (From September 21, 2010)

 

During the above tenure, Prof. Mittal was involved in the following research themes:

 

  1. Understanding of the fundamental processes involved in the Laser induced Chemical rexns (Gas Phase Chemical Dynamics).

  2. Understanding of the processes involved in the reactions of transient reactive species such as    ē aq, H and OH free radicals (Radiation Chemistry)

  3. Chemical route for solar Energy conversion and storage. 

  4. Photocatalysis utilizing the nanoparticles of TiO2, Fe2O3 etc.

  5. Understanding the science behind the Antioxidants and Radioprotection.

  6. Delivering one dozen lectures at different universities, scientific Institutions & colleges, towards promotion of Research in Chemistry.  This activity was undertaken specially to celebrate the “International Year of Chemistry – 2011” IYC-2011.  Purpose was to excite and motivate the young minds of students to take up Chemistry as a subject of study and research for their careers by sharing with them the ‘Excitement in Chemistry”.

  7. Continued interaction with colleagues, peers from various countries through Scientific visits, exchanges and participating in various International & National conferences. 

 

Chemistry is a Science of great creativity.  The beauty that distinguishes it from other subjects involves its ability to create new molecules, the ability to understanding and to manipulate molecular at single molecule level.  Some of the results obtained during the period under the Theme-I understanding the fundamental processes involves in breaking & making new bonds:

 

Using pulsed H-atom Lymnan-a laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy along with a photolytic calibration approach, absolute H-atom product quantum yields of ØH.b13d = (0.32 ±0.04) and ØH.b12d = (0.36±0.04) were measured under collision-free conditions for the 193 nm gas-phase laser flash photolysis of buta-1,3 – and buta-1,2 diene at room temperature, which demonstrate that nascent H-atom formation is of comparable importance for both parent molecules.  Comparison of the available energy fraction, ¦T-b13d = (0.22 ± 0.03) and ¦T-b12d = (0.13 ±0.01), released as H + C4H5 product translations indicates that for both buta- 1,3 and 1,2 diene, H-atom formation is preceded by internal conversion to the respective electronic ground state (S0) potential energy surface.  In addition, values of sb-1.2-d-La = (4.4±0.2) × 10-17 cm2 for the previously unknown Lyman-a (121.6 nm) radiation photoabsorption cross sections of buta-1,3 and buta- 1,2 diene in the gas-phase were determined. 

 

Results are published:

Ultraviolet photochemistry of buta-1,3- and buta- 1,2 dienes: Laser spectroscopic absolute hydrogen atom quantum yield and translational energy distribution measurements.  The Journal of Chemical Physics, 133, 024308 (2010).

 

Progress under Theme 5.

It has recently become known that the Melanins protects micro-organisms against high doses of ionizing radiation.  However, the Physics & chemistry of melanin interaction with ionizing radiation is unknown.  Work has been initiated in some rationally designed melanins from 5-5-cysteinyl DOPA, L-Cysteine/L-Dopa with diverse structures their radiation protection ability is being studied.  Sulphur-containing melanins have higher predicted attenuation coefficients than non sulphur containing melanins.  A mechanism of this radio protection by melanins is being studied utilizing the technique of pulse radiolysis.

 

Progress under Theme 6:

Lectures were delivered at the following Institutions:

 

  1. Mithibhai College, Vile Parle, Andheri, Mumbai 17-19 Jan.2011

  2. Chemistry Dept., Allahabad University, 5-7 Feb. 2011

  3. University of Mumbai, Kalina, Mumbai Feb. 14-16, 2011

  4. Sagar University on National Science Day, Feb. 28, 2011

  5. National Institute of Teachers Training, Bhopal, Feb. 27, 2011

  6. Indian Association for Cultivation of Science, Kolkata – 14th March 2011

 

Progress under Theme 7.

  1. Participated & delivered the keynote Plenary Lecture at the National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences, NILES, Cairo, Egypt

  2. Participated as the Discussion Leader and the Chairperson at the Radiation & Radiation & Photochemistry Conference at Frankfurt (Oder) & Shbice, Poland.

 

(B) (i) A brief report on the research contributions of NASI Platinum Jubilee Chair Distinguished Professor - Professor S. K. Joshi, NPL, New Delhi

 

Electron Transport in Nanosystems:

A better understanding of transport of electrons in nanomaterials, where material dimensions become smaller than the mean free path of the electron, is essential. Because of incredible advances in miniaturization of transistors in a computer chip we need to know how current flows in them. We already have a 38nm chip in our computers, but we lack understanding of current transport. The conductance behaves in a very different manner from the macroscopic domain (where Ohm’s law is valid).

 

Confining electrons to dimensions of its wavelength, we have a discrete energy spectrum for the electrons. In a quantum dot of a semiconductor, this discreteness of energy has to be taken into account in calculating conductance of the dot. We have studied the electron transport in a double quantum dot system using the non-equilibrium Green’s function of Keldysh [Ref:  Sov. Phys JETP 20 (1965) 1018].

 

In a single walled metallic carbon nanotubes the conductance could be very high. We tried to calculate the conductance of a single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) structure with two kinks less than 100nm apart. This short nano system between the kinks acts as a quantum dot, and the remaining SWCNT on both the sides of the dot would work as a source and drain leads.

 

We have developed a formalism for calculating the conductance of the SWCNT system where the electrons in the dot, in the leads and tunneling of electrons between the CNT dot and leads is considered. We have calculated the density of states of the SWCNT dot. We are attempting to understand the conductance behaviour of the system. Only preliminary results are available.

 

We are also planning to investigate the effect of doping the dot in the above model system with different dopants. We also want to find out how the diameter of SWCNT influences the conductance.

 

(ii) A brief report on the research contributions of NASI Platinum Jubilee Chair Distinguished Professor - Prof. G. Padmanaban, IISc, Bangalore

 

There are two main interests

 

1. Study of the heme-biosynthetic pathway of the malarial parasite as a drug target.

 

2. Combination therapy of malaria using curcumin and artemisinin derivative, and study of the mechanism of action of curcumin.

 

A brief detail of both these aspects of investigation is given below –

 

The de novo heme-biosynthetic pathway in the malarial parasite was discovered in this laboratory over 15 years ago and has turned out to be a good drug target. The genome sequence of Plasmodium falciparum was published in 2002 and this contained the putative genes of the pathway. An unusual hybrid model was proposed for the biosynthesis of heme involving the mitochondrion, apicoplast and cytosol of the parasite, based on bioinformatics predictions. In this laboratory each gene of the pathway (seven of them) has been cloned, protein expressed and the properties of the enzymes studied. Antibodies were raised to the recombinant protein and localization of the enzymes in the parasite studied by immunofluorescence microscopy. During the period of this report the following enzymes have been studied: porphobilinogen deaminase (PfPBGD), uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (PfUROD), coproporphyrinogen III oxidase (PfCPO), protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase (PfPPO) and ferrochelatase (PfFC).

 

Publications

1. Nagaraj, V.A., Arumugam, R., Gopalakarishnan, B., Jyothsna, Y.S., Rangarajan, P.N., Padmanaban, G. (2008). Unique properties of Plasmodium falciparum porphobilinogen deaminase. J. BioI. Chem. 283, 437-444.

 

2. Nagaraj, V.A., Arumugam, R., Chandra, N.R., Prasad, D., Rangarajan, P.N., Padmanaban, G. (2009). Localization of Plasmodium falciparum uroporphyrinogen II decarboxylase of the heme-biosynthetic pathway in the apicoplast and characterization of its catalytic properties. Int. J. Parasitol. 39, 559-568.

 

3. Nagaraj, V.A., Prasad, D., Rangarajan, P.N., Padmanaban, G. (2009) Mitochondrial localization of functional ferrochelatase from Plasmodium falciparum. MoI. Biochem. Parasitol. 168, l09-112.

 

4. Nagaraj,V., Prasad, D., Arumugam, R, Rangarajan, P.N., Padmanaban, G. (2010) Characterization of coproporphyrinigen III oxidase in Plasmodium falciparum cytosol. Parasitol. Int. 59, 121-127.

 

5. Nagaraj, V., Arumugam, R., Prasad, D., Rangarajan, P.N., Padmanaban, G. (2010) Protoporphyrinogen IX oxidase from Plasmodium falciparum is anaerobic and is localized to the mitochondrion. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 10.1016/j.molbiopara.201 0.06.012.

 

 

(C) Scientific/Research Contributions of NASI Senior Scientists

 

(I) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. Suresh Chandra, BHU, Varanasi

 

Solid state ionic materials are fast emerging as important materials because of their potential application in devices like fuel cells, solid state batteries, sensors, actuators, dye sensitized solar cell, supercapacitors, electrochromic display devices etc. “Ionic liquid”, which is also known as low melting point salt, is the most recent development in the area because of some of their interesting properties like high ionic conductivity, low vapour pressure, a large electrochemical window, high thermal stability, high chemical stability, and a wide liquidus range and capability of dissolving various organic/inorganic materials. We have concentrated on developing novel “Ionogels” and Ion conducting polymers with enhanced conductivity using ionic liquids. The following work has been done in 2010:

 

  1. PEO: IL (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tosylate, EMIM-TY) polymer electrolyte films were prepared by solvent free hot-pressing and characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Complex Impedance Spectroscopy. The FTIR/DSC/XRD studies confirm the complexation of the ionic liquid cation (EMIM+) with the ether oxygen, i.e. C–O–C group of  PEO. The crystallinity of PEO+IL(EMIM-TY) electrolyte membranes has been found to decrease with ionic liquid EMIM-TY content in PEO up to a threshold weight ratio of ~20 wt.% and then the crystallinity tends to increase. The room temperature ionic conductivity is found to depend both on the ionic liquid, EMIM-TY content and degree of crystallinity. The temperature dependence of the ionic conductivity of pure ionic liquid EMIM-TY, and the same ionic liquid in PEO matrix is also studied and discussed. The FTIR, XRD, DSC and conductivity results suggest that the IL-cation (EMIM+) complexes with the ether oxygen of PEO [1].

  2. Polymer electrolytes, (PEO:LiClO4)+x IL (1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate) with varying concentration of IL; x= 0,5,10,15,20 wt % have been prepared by solution cast technique and characterized by X-Ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetery, FTIR, conductivity and dielectric relaxation measurements in the frequency range of 100 Hz–5 MHz.  It is shown that for (PEO:LiClO4)+x IL (x = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 wt %), system: (a) the degree of crystallinity changes with x and is lowest for x = 5 wt % and then shows a slight increase and then decreases monotonically. (b) The ether oxygen of PEO complexes both with salt cation Li+ and BMIM+ cation of IL. (c) the conductivity as well as the relaxation frequency first decrease with x (at T < Tm) and then increase. This cannot be explained fully on the basis of variation of degree of crystallinity. For explaining this, the concept of contact ion pair formation has been invoked. This has been confirmed by detailed deconvolution analysis of respective FTIR peaks [2].

  3. Polymer electrolyte films based on PEO containing ionic salt (LiClO4) and/or ionic liquid (1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate, BMIMPF6) have also been studied. These polymer electrolyte films have been characterized by Impedance spectroscopy and Laser Raman spectroscopic technique. The conductivities study of these films show that the conductivity first decreases with increasing amounts of ionic liquid and passes through a plateau and finally increases. The behaviour of conductivity has been explained on the basis of the presence of ion-ion association in these polymer electrolytes which controls the transport properties. It is also shown that both ionic liquid and ionic salt cation complexes with the polymer backbone [3].

  4. Synthesis of Ionogels and studies on ionic liquid confined in porous silica matrices prepared by hydrolytic as well as non-hydrolytic route have been done. Three ionic liquid have been studied viz, [BMIM][],[EMIM][OcSO4] and[EMIM][BF4]. The prepared ionogels have been characterized using BET, DSC, TGA, FTIR, XRD.  We have studied the effect of confinement of an IL [BMIM][OcSO4] (which has a large anion) in a nanoporous silica gel matrix. Upon confinement of the IL, a large shift is found in its vibrations related to the imidazolium ring, while significant changes are also observed in the C-H related vibrations of the aliphatic chain and the SO3 related vibrations. Apart from changes in vibrational frequencies of the IL upon confinement, we have also found significant changes in phase- transition temperatures. Particularly, the change in melting point (∆Tm) is very large as compared to that of confined ILs with smaller anions. A new explanation based on the liquid drop model given for melting of the nanocluster is proposed where the size of the “confined IL” enters implicitly [4].

  5. Ionogels by non-hydrolytic sol—gel route using Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) as metallic precursor and formic acid as catalyst were prepared. Interestingly, such gels were found to have density less than one. This is reported by us for the first time. These ionogels have been characterized by BET, DSC, TGA and FTIR. We found that on increasing the amount of ionic liquid [EMIM][BF4] the density of ionogels decreases and the pore parameters of ionogels also get affected. DSC results of low density ionogels show a change in phase transition temperatures upon confinement where as thermal stability is reduced in the confined geometry. The vibrational bands related to alkyl chain C-H vibration and imidazolium ring C-H vibration have been found to change on confinement [5].

 

Publications

[1] “Structural and transport studies on polymeric membranes of PEO containing ionic liquid, EMIM-TY: Evidence of complexation” S. K. Chaurasia, R. K. Singh, S. Chandra. Solid State Ionics 2011,183, 32–39   

[2] “Dielectric Relaxation and Conductivity Studies on (PEO:LiClO4) Polymer Electrolyte with Added Ionic Liquid [BMIM][PF6]: Evidence of Ion-Ion Interaction” S. K. Chaurasia, R. K. Singh, S. Chandra. Journal of Polymer Science: Part B: Polymer Physics. 2011, 49, 291–300

[3] “Ion-polymer and ion-ion interaction in PEO based polymer electrolytes having        complexing salt LiClO4 and/or ionic liquid, [BMIM][PF6]”  S.  K. Chaurasia,    R. K. Singh, S. Chandra. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 2011(In press)

[4] “Studies on Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids having a Large Anion Confined in a Nanoporous Silica Gel Matrix” M.P. Singh, R. K. Singh, S. Chandra. J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115, 7505–7514.

[5] “Synthesis and Characterization of low density silica ionogels using non-hydrolytic sol-gel method” A. K. Gupta, M. P. Singh, R. K. Singh, S. Chandra. (Under Preparation)

[6] “Properties of Ionic Liquid confined in porous silica matrix” M. P. Singh, R. K. Singh and S. Chandra. Chem. Phys. Chem. 2010, 11, 2036-2043.

[7] “Raman spectroscopic studies on polymer electrolyte polymer (poly-ethylene oxide) complexed with salt, LiClO4 and Ionic liquid, [BMIM][PF6]” S. K. Chaurasia, M P. Singh, R. K. Singh and S. Chandra. J. Raman Spectroscopy. (In press)

[8] “Dielectric relaxation and conductivity studies on PVA based polymer electrolytes films containing different amounts of ionic liquid [EMIM][EtSO4]” A. L. Saroj, R. K. Singh and S. Chandra.(In press)

 

(II) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Professor Partha (Sarathy) Ghose, SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata.

 

Research undertaken

Professor Ghose continues his long term collaboration with Professor Dipankar Home, Bose Institute, and Professor C.S. Unnikrishnan, TIFR in the area of the foundations of quantum mechanics. Recently he has proposed an ideal experiment to probe deeper into the nature of measurement by exploiting what are called "null result" or "negative result" measurements. The experimental group led by Professor Helmut Rauch. Arominstitut, Vienna University of Technology, is planning to test the idea using single neutron beams.

 

A new area of research in experimental cognitive science has been started in collaboration with WINGARD, a research organization pioneering studies in cognitive science and plasticity in humans. A paper is in preparation.

 

He also continues his research in the area of philosophy of science. Of late he has been concentrating on the nature of reality, causality and human cognition with special reference to the conversations between Rabindranath Tagore and Albert Einstein and also Werner Heisenberg. He is editing three books in this area to be published by Visva-Bharati in collaboration with Anima Viva multilingue, a publishing firm based in Andora, Europe.

 

School Level Science:

Professor Ghose conducted a number of workshops for school teachers and students organized by JBNSTS and the Modern Academy of Continuing Education, Kolkata.

 

Publications

1. "Measurement as Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, Non-Locality and Non-Boolean Holism”,. arXiv: 1008.2510 [quant-ph] 15 Aug. 2010.

2."Does Measurement Necessarily Destroy Coherence?" arXiv: 1103.6116vl [quant-ph] 31 March, 2011. to be published in Advanced Science Letters

3. "Science and Literature", to be published as Proceedings of the National Seminar on Society and Literature: Interdisciplinary Transactions; NEHU, Shillong, 16-18 March 2010.  

4. "Understanding Reality: Its Science and Aesthetics", to be published in Meaning and Understanding: Contexts of Human Sciences; Arts & Literature, eds Goutam Biswas & B. Neog, Philosophy Department, Assam University, Silchar

5, "What is Reality: A Philosophical Perspective on Tagore's and Einstein's Views On Reality and Causality", to be published in the Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research. Chief Ed Mrinal Miri. Guest Ed. Goutam Biswas.

 

Talks delivered:

1. "Science and Literature" at the National Seminar on Society and Literature: Interdisciplinary Transactions. NEHU, Shillong, 16-18 March. 2010; to be published in the Conference Proceedings

2. "Seeing in the Dark with Quantum Light", TIFR, Mumbai, May 2010

3. "Measurement as Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking. Non-Locality and Non-Boolean Holism", International Conference on Quantum Systems, Classical Measurements & Consequences, SVYASA, Bangalore, June 25-30, 2010

4. "Measurement as Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking, Non-Locality and Non-Boolean Holism». IISc, Bangalore, July 2, 2010

5. "The Phenomenon of Tagore" on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore at Assam University, Silchar, '1 August 2010

6. "Dialogue between Science and Philosophy" on International Philosophy Day in Assam University, Silchar, 29 November 2010

7. "Radical Tagore", Rabindra Darshan, organized by Moving Images & Kalakriti Art Gallery on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Banjara Hotel, Hyderabad, 13 November. 2010

8. "Cognitive Science", Special Assistance Programme, Department of Philosophy and the Centre for Cognitive and Neural Sciences. University of Hyderabad., 15-16 November, 2010

9. "Measurement as Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking. Non- Locality and Non-Boolean Holism", Physics Department, University of Hyderabad, 17 November. 2010

10. "Evidence of Gyrosonics Induced Brain Plasticity in Humans", International Conference on Science, Spirituality and Education, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, Sikkim, 20-23 December 2010

11. "Tagore and Einstein Plumb the Truth", International Conference on Character of Mind, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, 20 March, 2011

 

(III) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. Amit Ghosh, National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata

 

Mechanism of resistance to multiple drugs particularly questions and quinolones which are first line drugs for the treatment of diarrhoea were investigated in the entire pathogens V. fluviallis and Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), which in recent years are being isolated with increasing frequency from the diarrhoeal patients. Analysis of 17 ETEC strains from an outbreak in Ahmadabad and 12 V. fluviallis strains patients from a cyclone-hit area were carried out. Detailed examination revealed that QRDR mutations, Efflux system and integron-borne drug resistance genes, all contributed to making these bugs multi drug resistant.

 

Publications

1. Ghosh, A., and Ramamurthy, T. (2011). Integron-Mediated Antimicrobial resistance in V. cholerae in "Epidemiological and Molecular Aspects on Cholera". (Eds) T. Ramamurthy and S.K. Bhattacharya pp. 291-310. Springer, New York

2. Ghosh, A., and T. Ramamurthy. (2011). Antimicrobials & cholera: are we stranded? Indian J. Med. Res. 133:225-31.

3. Pazhani, GP, Chakrabarty, S, Fuji Hara, K., Yamasaki, S., Ghosh, A., Nair G. B. and Ramamurthy, T. (2011), QRDR Mutations, Efflux System and Antimicrobial Resistance Genes in Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) isolated from on outbreak of Diarrhoea in Ahmadabad, India. Indian J. Med. Res. (In the Press)

 

(IV) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. R.K. Varma, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmadabad

 

The following investigations have been carried since the start of the Fellowship on Jan 01, 2010:

 

Macro-scale matter wave generation in charged particle dynamics in a magnetic field, a consequence of quantum entanglement:

Matter wave interference effects on the macro-scale predicted by the author in charged particle dynamics in a magnetic field [R. K. Varma Phys. Rev. E 64, 036608 (2001)] and observed subsequently [R. K. Varma et al, Phys. Rev. E 65,026503 (2002), R. K. Varma and S. B. Banerjee Phys. Scripta 75,19 (2007)] have been shown here to be an interesting consequence of the inelastic scattering induced modulation of the de Broglie wave along the direction parallel to the magnetic field. Treating the problem in the framework of the inelastic scattering theory, it is shown that these macro-scale matter waves are generated in the 'parallel' degree of freedom as a modulation of the plane wave state of the particle along the field concomitantly with the excitation of Landau levels in the perpendicular degree of freedom in an inelastic scattering episode. We highlight here the role of quantum entanglement leading to the generation of this macro-scale quantum entity which has been shown to exhibit observable consequences. This case also exemplifies a situation exhibiting quantum entanglement on the macro-scale.

 

The paper has been presented in European Physical Journal and is under review.

 

Macro-scale observation of a curl-free vector potential, a manifestation of macro-scale matter waves:

Experimental results are obtained reporting the detection of a curl-free vector potential on the macro-scale as contrasted with the detection on the micro-scale 'a la Aharonov-Bohm. Such a detection is attributed to the "quantum modulation" of the plane wave state of the guiding centre motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field, which is generated concomitantly with the excitation of its Landau levels in a scattering episode, through the mechanism of quantum entanglement between the parallel and perpendicular degrees of freedom of the particle. Such a "quantum modulation" is also a matter wave, but on the macro-scale, and leads to the "sensing" of the curl-free vector potential on the macro-scale. Thus while the Aharonov-Bohm effect is attributed to the sensing of the curl-free vector potential by the de Broglie wave, its sensing on the macro-scale is attributed to the modulation of the de Broglie wave.

 

Work is also in progress on exploring the relationship between classical mechanics and quantum mechanics

A Hilbert space representation is being sought for what I have described as a Hamilton­ Jacobi flow, describing the dynamics of a 'family' represented by a solution of the Hamilton­Jacobi equation. This leads to a covering formalism which describes both classical and quantum mechanics as a probability amplitude formalism.

 

(V) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. S.N. Raina, Formerly Professor of Botany, New Delhi

 

The broad objectives are towards assessing the genomic changes, if any, at Cellular and Molecular level, of the newly synthesized autopolyploids vis-à-vis the corresponding diploid cytotypes. As a prelude, polyploids were for a long time considered to be evolutionary dead end. Recently, however, it has been established that newly synthesized (hybrid) allopolyploids with two or more different genomes exhibit considerable genomic reorganization including rapid and non random changes, sequence elimination and changes in gene expression. The information with regard to such changes, if any, in nonhybrid autopolyploids is totally lacking.

 

The chromosome complements of the diploid (2n=2x=24) and corresponding synthetic autotetraploid (2n=4x=28) Phlox drummondii karyotype as expected; the diploid P. drummondii chromosomes resolved into twelve pairs of homomorphic chromosomes. The autotetraploid P. drummondii chromosomes resolved into 12 groups, each group comprised of 4 chromosomes. Comparative chromosome morphology between the diploid and the autotetraploid chromosome complements did not reveal any discernible changes in the morphology from outside.

 

Molecular cytogenetic tools were utilized to find out changes, if any, internal to the chromosomes of autotetraploid P. drummondii vis-à-vis the diploid cytotype. The double target FISH distinguished two and four pairs of chromosomes by revealing two and four sites of both 5S and 18S-5.8S-26S rDNA gene loci in the diploid and tetraploid P. drummondii, respectively. No difference was observed in the relative position or the intensity of the signals on the chromosomes between the diploid and the autotetraploids in both ribosomal RNA gene families. When diploid chromosomes were probed with the diploid labelled total DNA without block and tetraploid chromosomes probed with the tetraploid total DNA without block, all chromosomes painted uniformly. When diploid chromosomes were probed with tetraploid labelled DNA and tetraploid chromosome preparations were probed with diploid labelled DNA without using any block, then also all the chromosomes be it diploid or tetraploid chromosome complements, painted uniformly. The diploid chromosomes blocked with total DNA of the tetraploid and probed with diploid labelled DNA and vice versa did not produce different results. The tetraploid chromosome preparations blocked with the diploid total DNA and probed with tetraploid labeled DNA and vice versa produced the same results, that is, no discrimination in chromosome painting either within the chromosomes or between the chromosomes. At the face of it’s, one can say that consequent upon the polyploidization of the diploid cytotype, no discernible changes could be seen internal to the chromosomes.

 

Twenty three out of 100 RAPD primers produced good amplification products in the DNA extracted from the diploid and autotetraploid (C0, C1, C2, C3) plants. Only seven showed polymorphism between the diploid and autotetraploid plants. A total 144 amplification products were produced by 23 primers. Novel bands discernible in the tetraploids were randomly distributed. The average polymorphism of novel bands found in C0, C1, C2 and C3 were 2.8, 1.6, 2.1 and 3.2%, respectively. Highest variation was found in C3 followed by C0, C2 and C1 tetraploids. Further work is in progress.

 

(VI) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. S.P. Vij, Panjab University, Chandigarh

 

Mycorrhization of In Vitro Propagated Orchids: A Strategy to Improve their Survival Frequency during Lab to Land Transfer

Orchid collection trips were undertaken in different parts of Panjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Himachal. The places frequently visited included Morni Hills, Nada Sahib (Haryana), Kansal, Sukhna Lake, Mullanpur (Chandigarh), Solan, Kasauli, Shimla, Kufri, Mashobhra (Himachal Pradesh), Nangal, Una (Panjab) and adjacent areas. Live plants in several species were collected along with their soil substratum and grown in Orchid house, Panjab University Chandigarh. Studies were accomplished in Goodyera repens. Some of the findings are briefly described as follows:

 

Goodyera repens (Linn.) Schltr

Ground growing and highly variable species of ornamentally significant and rhizomatous orchids. Rhizome creeping; stem erect, hairy (hairs glabrous and glandular); leaves elliptic, sub acute, dark green mottled with whitish green; spikes narrowly cylindrical, densely many flowers; flowers whitish flushed with brownish pink. This cool growing species is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. In India, it is distributed throughout the Himalayan range (1800-2,600m) where it grows in moist, humus rich and shady situations along the forest borders especially in the crevices of stony walls and road embankments. Grasses, ferns and some other herbaceous elements constitute its associated vegetation. Fairly common in Shimla hills (1800-2600m).

 

Flowers: June-August; Fruit: August-September

Besides its ornamental values as an indoor plant; the species is medicinally significant; a paste prepared from its crushed leaves is used as a blood purifier and to cure syphilis.

 

Live collections of Goodyera repens representing different stages of growth and development were made from (Chadabara) Himachal Pradesh, and maintained in the Orchid house, Panjab University Chandigarh to ensure ready availability of experimental material. The collections were screened for fungal endophytes, for which purpose different plant parts were excised, fixed for 4-5 days in FAA, and stored in 70% alcohol until use. Hand sections were cut at 12-15 11m and stained with cotton blue for locating the fungus therein. Fresh roots were used to isolate fugal endophytes: the soil particles sticking to the roots were carefully removed and the roots rinsed with running tap water prior to sequential surface sterilization using 70% alcohol (5 sec) and 0.07% mercuric chloride (3-4 min). The sterilized roots were washed thoroughly with distilled water, segmented into 8-10 mm long pieces and inoculated on H1 oat medium under aseptic conditions. The cultures were subsequently incubated in dark at 25°C until hyphae emerged out from the cut ends and grew onto the medium. The hyphae were repeatedly sub cultured to obtain pure cultures. The isolated fungus was identified using relevant literature. In what follows, some of the findings are briefly described.

 

Anatomical studies revealed that the roots were invariably infected with, an endophytic and intracellular fungus, whereas, the tubers and aerial plant parts were always free of fungal infection. The extent of infection however varied along the root length; the meristematic tip region lacked infection whereas the root hair zone supported maximum infection. Incidentally, the younger roots were more profusely infected than the mature ones.

 

The root tissues in a cross section comprised an outermost layer of epiblema cells which was followed by 8-10 layered cortex, an endoderm is and a vascular zone. The fungal infection extended all through the cortex except in the innermost 2-3 layers adjoining the endodermis; the vascular zone was infection free. The fungus gained entry into the roots mainly through the epiblema hairs. Once in the epiblema cells, it penetrated the cortical tissue through thin walled passage cells. The outer 2-3 cortical layers represented the host cell zone, where the fungus proliferated rapidly and formed a network of highly coiled hyphae - the pelotons within which the host cell nucleus was often enmeshed. The hyphae thinned out at the point of penetration in the cell wall and attained their normal diameter thereafter. The hyphae branched actively in the mid cortical zone and spread readily from cell to cell forming different sized pelotons; the size of pelotons was directly related to extent of fungal proliferation. The infected cells exhibited hypertrophy (a symptom associated with parasitism). Even their nuclei enlarged and showed signs of chromatopycnosis. Maximum growth of the fungus was seen in 4-5 layers of mid-cortical zone which ultimately function as the seat of tolypophagous fungus digestion.

 

During digestion the fungal hyphae disintegrated, coalesced and formed densely staining fungal knots which gradually lost in size and stainability. Digestive remains of the pelotons were seen as fungal clumps. These were ultimately represented by only the fungal cell wall material. The host cell nuclei, which were earlier enmeshed within the hyphal network, emerged out of the fungal clumps and assumed normal appearance. At times the fungal clumps in adjacent cells were interconnected by hyphal threads. The fungal clumps were relatively smaller in the outer cortex than those in the inner cortical cells.

 

The fungal endophyte was isolated from the infected root segments on Hloat medium (Clements et al., 1986, modified by Rasmussen et al., 1990) and its pure culture raised on PDA (Potato Dextrose Agar) medium. In the isolation medium, the hyphae emerged out from the cut ends of inoculated segments within a week, and multiplied profusely to form a thin fungal mat on the medium and along the walls of culture vessels.

 

In general, the mycelial growth followed a pattern of concentric rings. The extent of growth and branching was, however markedly influenced by the quality and quantity of nutrients in the culture medium.

 

On PDA medium the fungal growth was most pronounced. The least growth was observed on WA (Water Agar) medium. The hyphae were septate and branched along acute or right angle near the septa. The moniliform hyphae were compactly intertwined to form sclerotia that appeared as crystalline dots on mycelial mat and along the surface of culture vessel in 1 month old cultures. At maturity, the moniliform hyphae were thick walled and assumed chlamydosporous identity. No sexual reproductive organs were observed. The actively growing mycelia appeared non granular, branched, and with occasional clamp connections indicating basidiomycetes affinities. Based on these characters, the fungus isolated was identified as Rhizoctonia goodyera-repens Constantin and Dufour.

 

Seed Culture

Goodyera seed comprise a globular mass of embryonal cells substended by a suspensor and enclosed within a reticulately thickened testa. They were inoculated on Mitra et al. (1976, M) medium with and without growth additives [Peptone, 1g/l; auxins (IAA, IBA, NAA, 1mg/l; cytokinin (KN, 1mg/I)]. The time taken for onset of germination and various morphogenetic stages leading to seedling development varied with the nutritional combination used. In the basal medium, 75% seed germinated in 49 days. Hairy protocorms developed in 67 days. First leaf was differentiated in 110 day old cultures and root 30 days later. Seedlings complete with leaves, roots and tubers were obtained in 160 days. Additional use of Peptone in the medium proved beneficial in accelerating frequency and onset of germination. Incorporation of IAA/KN in the above combination proved ineffective whereas IBA in the medium impaired the germination frequency. NAA alone or with KN, proved inhibitory to germination. Experiments leading to mycorrhization of the neoformations are underway.

 

Annual action plan for 2010-2011

a. To undertake periodic field trips to Himachal Pradesh for collection of economically important and endangered orchids especially Cymbidium macrorhizon and Malaxis muscifera

b. To isolate and identify their fungal endophytes

c. To test the asymbiotic and symbiotic germination potential of Goodyera repens, Cymbidium macrorhizon and Malaxis muscifera seeds.

 

(VII) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. J.S. Singh, BHU, Varanasi.

 

Pattern of species diversity along forest-grassland continuum in relation to disturbance

 

Inter-relationships and intraseasonal variation in leaf traits of forest herbs

A range of leaf traits was measured for 17 herbaceous species fortnightly from   July to September for two years in a dry tropical forest. These species were classified into four life forms: annual grasses, perennial grasses, annual forbs and perennial forbs. The objectives of this study were (i) to assess the effect of life-form on leaf traits in the herbaceous flora of tropical dry deciduous forest of Vindhyan highlands, (ii) to measure the growing season variation in the traits, and (iii) to investigate the relationships between the leaf traits. The seasonal pattern in leaf traits, in general, was an early season peak in SLA, leaf nitrogen and leaf phosphorus, and a midseason peak in Gs and Aarea.  Annual forbs generally exhibited highest leaf trait values and the perennial grasses the lowest. Pearson correlation coefficients indicated significant positive relationship of SLA with all other leaf traits, between leaf N and leaf P and among chlorophyll, Gs and Aarea. The decline in leaf nitrogen and leaf phosphorus during the growing season   occurred due to the retranslocation of these elements from leaves into the storage or reproductive organs. The peaks in Gs and Aarea were associated with increase in soil moisture.

 

Landscape ecology and biodiversity

A review was completed to present the current experiences and, analyses in conjunction with international scenario and identifies future challenges of Indian landscape level biodiversity studies. Landscape ecology, inter alia, addresses the question as to how altered landscape patterns affect the distribution, persistence, and abundance of a species. Landscape ecology plays an important role in integrating the different scales of biodiversity from habitat patch to biome level. Satellite remote sensing technology with multi-sensor capabilities offer multi-scale information on landscape composition and configuration. Advances in geospatial analytical tools and spatial statistics have improved the capability to quantify spatial heterogeneity. Considering the vast extent, heterogeneity, and ecological and economic importance of forest landscapes, significant efforts have been made in India during the past decade to strengthen landscape level biodiversity characterization. The generic frame work of studies comprises preparation of national databases providing information on composition and configuration of different landscapes using multi-scale remote sensing techniques, understanding the landscape patterns using geospatial models to elicit disturbance and diversity patterns and application of this information for bioprospecting and conservation purposes. Studies on hierarchical linkage of multi-scale information to study the processes of change, landscape function, dynamics of habitat fragmentation, invasion, development of network of conservation areas based on the understanding of multi-species responses to landscape mosaics, macro-ecological studies to understand environment and species richness, habitat and species transitions and losses, landscape level solutions to adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change are a few of the future challenges.

 

Invasive flora of UP

A comprehensive inventory of the invasive alien flora of India’s fifth largest and most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, revealed 152 species from 109 genera and 44 families. Dicots represented 137 species and monocots 15 species. About 73% of these alien species were introduced from tropical America including South America, followed by tropical Africa (10.5%). Maximum number of species (30) were from the family Asteraceae, followed by Fabaceae (12 species), and then Amaranthaceae, Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae with eight species each. Herbs accounted for 128 species, shrubs 12 species, climbers 8 species, whereas trees and lianas 3 and 1 species respectively. People have found a large number of these alien species useful. The pathways or mechanisms that underlie the impacts of exotic plant invasions on community structure and ecosystem processes and why exotic plants impact only certain systems, and why only some invaders have large impacts are poorly understood.

 

Floristic diversity of Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve (AABR)

The floristic diversity of the AABR has been analyzed for the first time. The collections from the AABR area and their subsequent critical study have resulted in the documentation of 1011 species, distributed under 571 genera and 134 families of flowering plants. Out of these, 754 species under 432 genera and 104 families belong to dicots and the remaining 256 species under 139 genera and 30 families to monocots. Further analysis of data indicated that the family Poaceae is the most diverse and is represented by 112 species, followed by Fabaceae with 76 spp., Asteraceae with 72 spp., Cyperaceae with 40 spp., Acanthaceae with 36 spp. etc., At generic level, the genus Cyperus comprised maximum number of 15 species, followed by Ficus with 12 spp., Crotalaria with 12 spp., Ipomoea with 11 spp., Cassia with 11 spp., etc. A large number of species growing in this area are of medicinal and economic value and used by local inhabitants.

 

Leaf attributes and tree growth

Eight leaf attributes, specific leaf area (SLA); leaf carbon concentration (LCC); leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC); leaf phosphorus concentration (LPC); chlorophyll concentration (Chl), mass based stomatal conductance (Gsmass); mass based photosynthetic rate (Amass); intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) and relative growth rate (RGR), of six dominant tree species of a dry tropical forest on four sites were analysed for species, site and season effects over a two-year period. Step-wise multiple regression was performed for predicting RGR from mean values of SMC and leaf attributes. Path analysis was used to determine which leaf attributes influence RGR directly and which indirectly. Species differed significantly in terms of all leaf attributes and RGR. The response of species varied across sites and seasons. The attributes were positively inter-related except for WUEi which was negatively related with all other attributes. The positive correlation was strongest between Gsmass and Amass and the negative correlation was strongest between Gsmass and WUEi. Differences in RGR due to sites were not significant when soil moisture was controlled but the differences due to season remained significant. The attributes showed plasticity across moisture gradient, which differed among the attributes and species. Gsmass was the most plastic attribute. Among the six species, Terminalia tomentosa exhibited the greatest plasticity in six functional attributes. In the step-wise multiple regression, Amass, SLA and Chl among leaf attributes and SMC among environmental factors were found to influence the RGR of tree species. Path analysis indicated the importance of SLA, LNC, Chl and Amass in determining RGR.

 

In conclusion, Amass, SMC, SLA and Chl in combination can be used to predict RGR but could explain only about three-fourth of the variability in RGR, indicating that other traits/factors, not studied by us, are also important in modulating the growth of tropical trees. RGR of the tree species in the dry tropical environment is determined by soil moisture, whereas the response of mature trees of different species is modulated by alterations in key functional attributes such as SLA, LNC and Chl.

 

Publications

R. K. Chaturvedi, A. S. Raghubanshi & J. S. Singh. 2011. Leaf attributes and tree growth in a tropical dry forest. Journal of Vegetation Science Doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01299.x

Prajjwal Dubey, Gyan P. Sharma, A. S. Raghubanshi and J. S. Singh 2011. Leaf traits and herbivory as indicators of ecosystem function. Current Science 100 (3): 313-320

Prajjwal Dubey, A. S. Raghubanshi and J. S. Singh 2011 Intra-seasonal variation and relationship among leaf traits of different forest herbs in a dry tropical environment. Current Science 100 (1) 69-76.

Rashid I., A. A. Khuroo, G. P. Sharma, Z. A. Reshi and J. S. Singh 2010. Is it enough to have ‘green’ Common Wealth Games 2010? Current Science 99 (9): 1181-82

Singh, J. S., P. S. Roy, M. S. R. Murthy and C. S. Jha. 2010. Application of Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing for assessment, monitoring and conservation of biodiversity. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing 38 (3): 365-385

Chaturvedi, R. K., A. S. Raghubanshi and J. S. Singh. 2010. Non-destructive estimation of tree biomass by using wood specific gravity in the estimator. National Academy Science Letters 33 (5&6): 133-138

Singh, K. P., Achuta Nand Shukla and J. S. Singh. 2010. State-level inventory of invasive alien plants, their source regions and use potential. Current Science 99 (1): 107-114

 

(VIII) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Dr. D. J. Bagyaraj, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.

 

Development of Microbial Technology for Sustainable Cultivation of chilli

 

Preamble: Currently emphasis is on sustainable agriculture, which uses less of chemical inputs like fertilizers/pesticides having adverse effects on soil and environment. Use of organic inputs including microbial inoculants plays an important role in sustainable agriculture. chilli is one of the major commercial crops of the world. Different varieties are grown for vegetables, spices, condiments, sauces, pickles etc. Capsaicin extracted from chilli is used in cosmetics and medicine. India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilli. Fertilizer input and diseases are the major constraints in chilli production.

 

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi colonizing the roots of most crop plants help plant growth through uptake of diffusion limited nutrients, biological control, hormone production and drought resistance. They also have synergistic interaction with plant growth promoting rhizomicroorganisms (PGPRs). In the 1st year of the present project, it is proposed to screen different AM fungi for symbiotic response in order to select the efficient AM fungus that can be used for inoculating chilli.

 

Work done: A green house experiment was conducted to screen and select the best AM fungus for inoculating chilli. The soil used in the study was fine, kaolinitic, isohyperthermic, kanhaplustalfs. The soil had a pH of 5 and it contained 2.7 ppm available phosphorus. Polybags of the size 20 x 15cm. holding 1.5 kg soil was filled with the substrate. The substrate used was soil: sand: vermicompost mixture in 1:1:0.25 v/v/v ratio. The AM fungi multiplied on soilrite: perlite: vermiculite (1:1:1) v/v/v as the substrate and Rhodes grass as the host were used as the inoculum. Ten grams of different AM fungi were added to the planting hole before sowing the seeds as per the treatment. The AM fungi used were Acaulospora laevis, Gigaspora margarita, Glomus bagyarajii, G. etunicatum, G. fasciculatum, G. intraradices, G. leptotichum, G. macrocarpum, G. monosporum, G. mosseae, and Scutellospora calospora. Each treatment was replicated ten times. Tejashwini variety of chilli commonly grown in this area was used in the study. The plants are maintained in a green house and watered when necessary. The plants are around 50 days old at present. This experiment is underway.

 

The plant parameters to be studied are plant height, stem girth, shoot and root dry weights and P content of the plant. AM root colonization and spore numbers in the root zone soil will also be determined at harvest. Based on the results the best AM fungus for inoculating chilli will be determined for further experiments.

 

Work to be done: The interaction between the selected AM fungus and PGPRs will be studied in order to select the best microbial consortia for inoculating chilli. These two initial experiments will be done through pot culture trials. With the selected microbial consortia micro plot experiments and finally field evaluation will be done with different levels of fertilizers. Tracking down of introduced inoculants will be done using appropriate primers. The low input sustainable agriculture technology thus developed would not only reduce the cost of cultivation but also environmental pollution.

 

(IX) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. B.N. Mandal, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

 

The present research project aims at study of some water wave propagation problems assuming linear theory and associated mathematical techniques such as integral equations.

 

During the two years of tenure, further advanced mathematical work on water wave scattering problems and also work on some integral equations are being continued. Also the manuscript of an advanced level research monograph entitled "Applied Singular Integral Equations" has been prepared recently. The monograph will be published soon (March 2011). This book is devoted to varieties of linear singular integral equations with special emphasis on their method of solution and applications to physical problems arising mostly in the area of water waves.

 

Research Papers

1. Surface wave propagation over small undulations at the bottom of an ocean with surface discontinuity, MandaI, B. N. and De, Soumen, Geophys. & Astrophys. Fluid Dyn. 103 (2009) 19- 30.

2. Wave scattering by a circular cylinder half-immersed in water with an ice-cover, Das, Dilip and MandaI, B. N., Int. J. Engng. Sci. 47 (2009) 463 - 474.

3. Scattering of surface water waves by a floating elastic plate in two dimensions, Gayen, Rupanwita and MandaI, B. N., SIAM J. Appl. Math. 69 (2009) 1520 -1541.

4. Water wave scattering by two submerged plane vertical barriers - Abel integral equations approach, De, S., MandaI, B. N. and Chakrabarti, J. Engng. Math. 65 (2009) 75 - 87.

5. Wave scattering by undulating bed topography in a two-layer ocean, Maiti, Paramita, MandaI, B. N. and Basu, U., J. Marine Sci. Applic. 8 (2009) 183 - 195.

6. Wave radiation by a sphere submerged in a two-layer ocean with an ice-cover, Das, Dilip and MandaI, B. N., Appl. Ocean Res. 32 (2010) 358 - 366.

7. Use of Abel integral equations in water wave scattering by two surface-piercing barriers, De, S., MandaI, B. N. and Chakrabarti, A., Wave Motion 47 (2010) 279-288.

8. Numerical solution of an integral equation arising in the problem of cruciform crack, Bhattacharya, Subhra and MandaI, B. N., Int. J. Appl. Math. & Mech 6 (2010) 70 -77.

9. Numerical solution of some classes of logarithmically singular integral equations; Bhattacharya, Subhra and MandaI, B. N., J. Adv. Res. in Appl. Math. 2 (2010) 30 -38.

10. Wave scattering by a thin vertical barrier submerged beneath an ice-cover. Maiti,

Paramita and Mandal, B. N., Appl. Ocean Res. 32 (2010) 367 -373.

11. Construction of wave-free potentials in the linearised theory of water waves, Das,

Dilip and Mandal, B. N., J. Marine Sci. Applic. 9 (2010) 347-354.

12. Numerical solution of a system of generalized Abel integral equations using Bernstein polynomials. Pandey, R. K. and Mandal, B. N., J. Adv. Res. Sci. Comput. 2 (2010) 44 - 53.

13. Construction of wave-free potentials in the linearized theory of water waves in uniform finite depth. Mandal, B. N. and Das, Dilip, Rev. Bu. Cal. Math. Soc. 18 (2010) 173 -184.

14. Transmission of water waves through apertures in a pair of thin vertical barriers. De, S. and Mandal, B. N., 26th International Workshop on Water Waves and Floating Bodies(26IWWWFB), Athens, 17-20 April, 2011 (accepted).

15. The Cauchy Poisson problem for a sloping beach. Chakraborty, Rumpa and Mandal, B. N., communicated.

16. Numerical solution of some classes of integral equations by Sine method. Chakraborty, Rumpa and Mandal, B. N., communicated.

 

The papers [1] to [7], [10], [11], [13]- [15] involve water problems while the papers [8], [9], [12] and [16] involve integral equations.

 

Book

Applied Singular Integral Equations. Mandal, B. N. and Chakrabarti. A. Science Publishers / CRC Press, USA (in press) 2011

 

On the research papers

Water wave scattering by small bottom undulations in the presence of discontinuity in the surface boundary condition is investigated in [1]. The problem of scattering of water waves obliquely incident on a fixed long circular cylinder half-immersed in deep water with an ice-cover is investigated in [2]. A new method is developed in '[3] to, study the problem of water wave scattering by a thin elastic plate of arbitrary, width floating in deep water assuming linear theory.

 

The classical problem of surface water wave scattering by two identical thin vertical barriers submerged in deep water and extending infinitely downwards from the same depth below the mean free surface, is reinvestigated in [4] by an approach, leading to the problem of solving a system of Abel integral equations. The problem of wave scattering by undulating bed topography in a two-layer ocean is investigated in [5] on the basis of linear theory. Wave radiation (both heave and sway) by a sphere submerged in a two-layer ocean consisting of a layer of fresh water of finite depth with an ice-cover and an infinite layer of salt water is investigated in [6]. In [7] the complementary problem of water wave scattering considered in [4] by two partially immersed plane vertical barriers submerged in deep water up to the same depth is investigated. Water wave transmission through apertures in pair of thin vertical barriers is considered in [14] by the same technique. The problem of wave scattering by a thin vertical barrier submerged beneath an ice cover is investigated in [10] by using hypersingular integral equation formulation. In [11] and [13], a systematic method has been used to construct wave-free potentials in the linearised theory of water waves for deep water and uniform finite depth water respectively. In [15], the two-dimensional Cauchy Poisson problem for a beach sloping at an arbitrary angle is investigated. [8] is concerned with obtaining approximate numerical solution of an integral equation arising in the problem of cruciform crack in the theory of elasticity. In [9], two approximate numerical methods, one based on Bernstein polynomials and another based of Haar wavelets, are derived for solving some classes of Fredholm and Volterra integral equations with logarithmic singularities in their kernels. In [12], a system of generalized Abel integral equations have been solved numerically by using Bernstein polynomials. The paper [16] presents a Sinc-Collocation method to obtain approximate numerical solution of a singular integro-differential equation with Cauchy type kernel and a simple hypersingular integral equation.

 

On the book

The book is devoted to varieties of linear integral equations with special emphasis on

their methods of solution and applications in physical problems arising mostly in continuum mechanics, and helps in introducing the subject of singular integral equations and their applications to researchers as well as graduate students of this fascinating and growing branch of applied mathematics.

 

(X) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Dr. Vasant R. Choudhary, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.

 

Synthesis of fine chemicals using environmentally friendly novel solid catalysts

Extensive studies have been carried out on the synthesis of fine chemicals, using environmentally benign highly active/selective solid catalysts, which can be easily separated from the reaction mixture and also can be reused several times in the reaction.

 

Publications

  1. Solvent-free selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde by tert-butyl hydroperoxide over Au/U3O8 catalyst: Influence of catalyst preparation method, Au loading, catalyst calcination temperature and reaction conditions; Vasant R. Choudhary and Deepa K. Dumbre, Appl. Catal. A General 375 (2010) 252-257.

  2. Oxidative coupling of methane over La-promoted CaO catalysts: Influence of precursors and catalyst preparation method; V. H. Rane, S. T Choudhary and V. R. Choudhary, Journal of Natural Gas Chemistry 19 (2010) 25-30.

  3. A greener Ullmann coupling of aryl halides for preparing bi-aryls using reusable Pd/ZrO2 catalyst; Deepa K. Dumbre, Radhika D. Wakharkar and Vasant R. Choudhary, Synth. Commun., 41 (2010) 164-169.

  4. One-pot three-component Kabachnik-Fields Synthesis of α-aminophosphonates using H-beta zeolite catalyst; V. H. Tillu, D. K. Dumbre, R. D. Wakharkar and V. R. Choudhary, Tett. Lett., 52 (2011) 863-866.

 

 

(XI)  A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Dr. Uppeandra Dhar, SBI Apartment, Faridabad

 

Biodiversity of Himalayan Alpines - developing baseline to assess climate change impacts

 

Objectives

  • Develop and analyze baseline data on various aspects of Himalayan biodiversity research,

  • Identify genetic diversity pattern of selected accessions of Hedychium spicatum using RFLP,

  • Standardize DNA isolation protocols of selected high altitude medicinal plant species.

 

The work has been done as per aforesaid objectives; and the results have been communicated.

 

Papers Communicated (2010):

i) Bhatt ID, Dauthal P, Rawat S, Gaira KS, Jugran A, Rawal RS, U. Dhar 2010. Effect of growing sources, plant parts and drying condition on total phenols and Antioxidant properties of Valeriana wallichii DC. Phytochemistry (under review).

 

ii) Arun Jugran, Bhatt ID, Sandeep Rawat, Lalit Giri, Ranbeer S. Rawal, Uppeandra Dhar 2010. Genetic diversity and differentiation in Hedychium spicatum Buch. Ham. ex. D. Don - a high value medicinal plant of Indian Himalaya. Biochemical Genetics (under review)

 

iii) Sharat Kumar Palita, Aditya V. Ponkshe and Uppeandra Dhar. 2010. Habitat enrichment and its impact on avian diversity: A study at GBPIHED, Kosi, Katarmal, Uttarakhand. Current Science.

 

Objectives set for the year 2011:

  1. To further consolidate on baseline focusing on alpine/subalpine Himalayan biodiversity and sift utilizable information for application in policy research including climate change related issues.

 

  1. To identify alpine biodiversity components that warrant immediate conservation attention.

 

  1. To standardize the isolation and characterization of hedychenone from the rhizomes of Hedychium spicatum.

 

(XII) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. K.V.B.R. Tilak, Osmania University, Hyderabad

 

Interaction of rhizosphere microorganisms with Rhizobium on legumes grown under semi-arid soils

 

Associative effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and Bradyrhizobium sp. (Vigna) on symbiosis of mungbean (Vigna radiata (L)Wilczek)

 

The vast majority of plant associated microorganisms inhabit the rhizosphere, defined as the zone around roots in which the growth of microorganisms is stimulated by the release of nutrients. Within the rhizosphere, there is a continuous interaction between plant roots and rhizosphere organisms. These interactions can have an important influence on plant growth.

 

Although rhizosphere appears to be too complex to allow its manipulations, specific bacteria can be applied to seeds or roots, which cause an alteration in the rhizosphere composition. Such manipulations have an important and exciting implications not only to discourage soil-borne plant pathogens but also to promote the activity of beneficial microorganisms. Such syntrophic associations are of ecological importance with implied agricultural significance. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in the use of soil bacteria which when applied to seeds/tubers/roots, are able to colonize plant roots and stimulate growth and yield of plants. These have been termed "Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR)".

 

Legume-Rhizobium symbiosis is a highly integrated system and involves close association between a microsymbiont (Rhizobium/ Bradyrhizobium) and macrophyte (host). Attributes of Rhizobium, host and associated rhizospheric microflora influence the outcome of competition for nodulation sites. Besides indigenous rhizobia, other rhizospheric microorganisms also contribute to the competitive success of an inoculant strain.

 

The present report is concerned with the utility of this approach to promote mungbean-Rhizobium symbiosis.

 

(XIII) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. (Mrs.) Krishna Misra, IIIT, Allahabad.

 

"Designing, Synthesis, Characterization and in vitro testing of some novel herbal based prodrugs for combating multiresistance"

 

Rationale of the proposed work:

 

India is recognized all over the world for its rich wealth of spices and herbal drugs. Phytochemicals in spices are secondary metabolites, which are less toxic compared to synthetic drugs and considered as vitamins of the 21st century. Spices such as turmeric, mustard, ginger, clove and garlic as a part of diet, have holistic effects on human health by their wide variety of biofunctions and synergistic actions.

 

Traditionally, turmeric, a popular spice derived from the roots of Curcuma longa, is used for various ailments e.g. wound healing, gastrointestinal disorder, blood purification, rheumatic disorder, swelling rhinitis etc. Curcumin, present in 2-5% yield is the main curcuminoid of turmeric. It is a diarylheptanoid, polyphenolic compound. There are few thousand reports from the scientific world explaining its biological importance, multiple disease and molecular targets. Antiangiogenisis, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, cataract formation, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, HIV replication, gallstone formation, anticancer, arthritis, liver injuries are disease targets of curcumin. Growth factors and receptors, transcription factors, cytokines, enzymes and regulatory genes are some targets.

 

Despite having a plethora of multidrug targets there is no single drug profile and specificity for curcumin due to its poor water solubility, slow cellular uptake, fast metabolism resulting in low bioavailability. Therefore, regular repetitive oral doses are required in order to achieve significant concentration inside the cell for therapeutic activity. Very few reports are published in this direction.

 

In order to overcome the limitations associated with the application of curcumin as a drug, our group has previously synthesized many biodegradable conjugates of this lead molecule, like di-O-piperoyl curcumin, di-O-glycinoyl curcumin, di-O-b-D­glucopyranoside curcumin and di-O-glutamoyl curcumin etc. All these bio-conjugates having ester or ether covalent bonds act as prodrugs, since these get hydrolyzed in the system by degrading enzymes (esterases) and thus show good bioavailability profile. There are, transporter proteins tor some of the ligands, specifically amino acids, which can smuggle curcumin inside the cells. We have designed and also planned to synthesize some other bio-conjugates of curcumin with other biologically active amino acids.

 

Work done:

Extraction and purification of Curcuminoids:

So far majority of the reports on the therapeutic value of curcumin are actually of the mixture i.e. curcuminoids (demethoxycurcumin DMC, bisdemethoxycurcumin UDMC, cyclocurcumin). However, there are isolated reports on therapeutic activity of pure naturally occurring analogues of curcumin and its synthetic bioconjugates. It is essential to establish the role of each curcuminoids regarding its individual biological activity. In order to establish the pharmacokinetics of curcuminoids we have isolated all the four curcuminoids from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, through chromatographic techniques and characterized with different spectroscopic techniques like JR, MASS, and NMR spectroscopy. Due to close Rf values, it was difficult to separate pure curcuminoids and the yields were also very poor. So we adopted an alternate strategy, i.e. to synthesize curcuminoids.

 

Synthesis of Curcuminoids: We have synthesized curcumin starting with vanillin and acetyl acetone in good yield. Another curcuminoids, bisdemethoxy-curcumin is synthesized starting with 4-hydroxy benzaldehyde and following the same procedure as incase of synthetic curcumin. One analogue tetramethoxy-curcumin is synthesized by subjecting curcumin to complete methylation. These synthetic molecules have been purified and characterized by chromatographic and spectroscopic analysis. We have also designed the synthetic route for cyclocurcumin and demethoxycurcumin. This work is in progress.

 

(XIV) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. P.K. Gupta, CCS University, Meerut.

 

The research work carried out by Professor PK Gupta, NASI Senior Scientist (with a team of research workers, including another faculty member and 8 research scholars) included the following: (i) In wheat, marker-assisted selection was deployed for improvement of a number of quality traits including pre-harvest sprouting tolerance (PHST), grain protein content (GPC) and grain weight (GW) using the markers already known to be associated with these traits. Under this project, for transfer of these traits from suitable donors into two high yielding wheat varieties, necessary crosses were made in the past. Each F1 hybrid was backcrossed with the recipient parent to obtain BC1F1 population, which was subjected to foreground selection for the trait of interest, and background selection for restoring the genotype of the recipient parent. For continuing this work further and for speedy completion of the project, the material is being advanced using summer nursery at Keylong. (ii) In another research project on wheat, a student conducted transcriptome analysis of the host (wheat) after inoculation with rust fungus, and identified a number of genes that are differentially expressed after rust infection. (iii) Another program in wheat, which was initiated only during the current year in collaboration with Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) Karnal, involved development of wheat varieties carrying tolerance against drought and heat stresses. For this purpose, characterized and available tolerant genotypes were identified and crossed with high yielding susceptible wheat cultivars, and backcrosses were made in the current rabi season. This material is also being advanced in summer nursery for speedy progress. (iv) In Jute (an important fibre crop) involving both Corchorus capsularis and C. olitorius, a research program for improvement of fibre characteristics and lignin content was initiated four years ago. This program continued during the year under report and included development of a framework genetic map for a mapping population to be used for QTL analysis. Involving more than a hundred genotypes, association mapping was also carried out for the study of the genetics of fibre strength and lignin content. Under this program, more than >500 SSR markers, and  >1000 AFLP markers were developed and are being used for mapping of QTL for fibre strength and lignin content.

 

Publications

  1. Gupta, P.K, J. Kumar, R.R. Mir, A. Kumar (2010). Marker-assisted selection as a component of conventional plant breeding. Plant Breed. Reviews 33: 145-217.

  2. Gupta, P.K, P. Langridge and R.R Mir (2010). Marker-assisted wheat breeding: present status and future possibilities. Molecular Breeding 26: 145-161.

  3. Kumar, J., R.R. Mir, N. Kumar, A. Kumar, A. Mohan, K.V. Prabhu, H.S. Balyan and P. K. Gupta (2010). Marker-assisted selection for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance and leaf rust resistance in bread wheat. Plant Breeding, 129: 617-621

  4. Rakshit, A., S. Rakshit,  J. Singh,  S.K. Chopra, H.S. Balyan, P.K. Gupta and S. R. BHAT (2010) Association of AFLP and SSR markers with agronomic and fibre quality traits in Gossypium hirsutum L. J. Genetics 89: 155-162.

  5. Rakshit, A. S. Rakshit, V. Santhy, V.P. Gotmare, P. Mohan, V.V. Singh, S. Singh, J. Singh, H.S. Balyan, P.K. Gupta, S.R. Bhat (2010). Evaluation of SSR markers for the assessment of genetic diversity and fingerprinting of Gossypium hirsutum accessions. J. Plant Biochem. Biotech. 19: 153-160.

  6. Sablok, G., P.K. Gupta, J-M. Baek, F. Vazquez and X.J. Min (2011). Genome wide survey of alternative splicing in the grass Brachypodium distachyon: an emerging model biosystem for plant functional genomics. Biotechnol. Lett. 33: 629-636

  7. Gupta, P.K., H.S. Balyan, P.L. Kulwal and V. Gahlaut (2011). Phenotyping, genetic dissection, and breeding for drought and heat tolerance in common wheat: status and prospects. Plant Breed. Rev. (in press).

  8. Kumar, J., V. Jaiswal, A. Kumar, N. Kumar, R.R. Mir, S. Kumar, R. Dhariwal, S. Tyagi, K.V. Prabhu, R. Prasad, H.S. Balyan, P.K. Gupta (2011). Introgression of a major gene for high grain protein content in some Indian bread wheat cultivars. Field Crops Res (in press).

  9. Kulwal, P.L., R.R. Mir, S. Kumar and P.K. Gupta (2011). QTL analysis and molecular breeding for seed dormancy and pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in bread wheat. J. Plant Biol., Vol. 37: (in press).

  10. Das, M., S. Banerjee, N. Topdar, A. Kundu, D. Sarkar, M.K. Sarkar, H.S. Balyan and P.K. Gupta (2011). Development of large-scale AFLP markers in jute. J. Plant Biochem. Biotech. (in press).

  11. Gupta, P. K. (2010). Angiosperm taxonomy in the age of genomics and information technology. In Maiti, G.G & Mukherjee, S.K. (eds.). “Modern Trends and Techniques in Taxonomy” Proc. Intern’l Seminar “Multidisciplinary Approaches in Angiosperm Systematics”, Univ. of Kalyani (11th –13th October, 2008). Pp. 1-18 (in press).

  12. Mir, R.R., J. Kumar, H.S. Balyan and P.K. Gupta (2011). A study of genetic diversity among Indian bread wheat cultivars released during last 100 years. Genetic Resour. & Crop Evol. (submitted after revision).

  13. Mir, R.R., N. Kumar, N. Girdharwal, V. Jaiswal, M. Prasad, H.S. Balyan and P.K. Gupta (2011). Genetic dissection of grain weight (GW) in bread wheat through QTL interval and association mapping. Mol Breed. (under review).

  14. Tyagi, S. and P.K. Gupta (2011). Meta-analysis of QTLs involved in pre-harvest sprouting tolerance and dormancy in bread wheat. Theor. Appl. Genet.  (under review)

 

(XV) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. Aloknath Chakrabarti, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

 

Research work carried out:

 

A new method of solution of singular integral equations with logarithmically singular kernels has been developed and utilized in problems of fluid mechanics with special emphasis to scattering of surface water wave problems. A research paper, based on this work, has been accepted for publication (see the list below). A similar analysis and technique is expected to be utilized in mixed boundary value problems of Elasticity also. Further research in this direction is in progress.

 

A class of fluid flow-problems involving infinite channels with arbitrary bottom topography has been analyzed in the light of both linear as well as weakly nonlinear theory. A research paper involving this study has been accepted for publication ( see the list below). The fully nonlinear theory applied to this class of fluid flow problems gives rise to systems of singular integral equations involving unknown curves of integration. The mathematical problem of determination of solutions of integral equations involving unknown ranges of integration is under investigation presently.

 

Publications

[1] S. Banerjea, B. Datta and A Chakrabarti, "Solution of singular integral equations involving logarithmically singular kernels with application in water wave problem", (accepted), in ISRN Applied Mathematics, (2011).

[2] A Chakrabarti and S. C. Martha;" A review on the mathematical aspects of fluid flow problems in an infinite channel with arbitrary bottom topography" (accepted for publication) in Journal of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, JAMI, (2011).

 

Book Published:

“Applied Singular Integral Equations", By B.N. Mandal and A. Chakrabarti, Published by CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011.

 

A paper entitled "Solution of three-part Wiener-Hopf problems occurring in Scattering Theory”, By A. Chakrabarti, has been accepted to be presented as an invited talk in the conference entitled "Frontiers in Applied and Computational Mathematics", FACM-2011, to be held at NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Newark, NJ, USA; during the period: 9th to 11th June, 2011.

 

(XVI) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. K.A. Natarajan, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

 

Major objectives:

 

1. Microbially-induced flotation and flocculation of Indian sulfide ores and oxides ores

such as lead-zinc sulfides, iron ores, bauxite and clays.

 

2. Bioleaching to help Indian Mining Industries and Atomic minerals such as copper, zinc, gold and uranium. Efforts will be made to extend my work to suit field conditions through discussions with concerned Indian Mining Industries.

 

3. Bioremediation and environmental control with relevance to Indian Mines. Through expertise developed over 30 years of past research in my laboratories, efforts will now be made to transfer acquired knowledge to industries such as Hutti Gold Mines, Hindustan Copper Limited, Hindustan Zinc Limited and Uranium Corporation of India Limited.

 

4. Maintenance of bacterial culture bank developed at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. We have already developed an Industrial Collection of Mining Microorganisms containing various organisms such as Acidithiobacillus, Bacillus spp., Yeast and Sulfate Reducing Bacteria. All these organisms isolated from various Indian mines will be preserved, cultured and put to use in several applications such as Bioleaching, Biomineral beneficiation and Bioremediation.

 

The following are the major achievements under the above project

 

Bacterial culture bank:

 

Growth and preservation of mining microorganisms isolated from Indian mines are maintained. Maintenance of bacterial culture bank developed at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. We have developed an Industrial Collection of Mining Microorganisms containing various organisms such as Acidithiobacillus, Bacillus spp., Yeast and Sulfate Reducing Bacteria. All these organisms isolated from various Indian mines are preserved, cultured and put to use in several applications such as Bioleaching, Biomineral beneficiation and Bioremediation.

 

Delivered lectures and trained students and young researchers from Indian institutions:

 

  • Delivered lectures in various schools and colleges in Bangalore

  • Degree students from Colleges around Bangalore were allowed to take training in my Laboratories.

 

Microbially induced flotation and flocculation for iron ore beneficiation and environmental control through xanthate remediation

 

Selective separation of hematite from alumina and quartz / calcite was achieved through microbiologically induced flotation and flocculation in presence of Bacillus subtilis. Bacterial metabolites containing extracellular proteins were characterized from mineral-grown bacterial cell free extract.

 

Cells of B. subtilis exhibited higher affinity towards hematite when compared to quartz, calcite and alumina. Bacterial adhesion was observed to be significantly higher on hematite. Hematite could be effectively separated from quartz, calcite and corundum through microbially-induced selective flotation. Flotation recovery of quartz was around 90% and that of corundum and calcite was 70%. Extracellular protein (EP) exhibited higher affinity towards quartz compared to calcite and alumina and EP exhibited lower affinity towards hematite. Mineral-induced proteins were expressed when bacterial cells were grown in presence of quartz, calcite, alumina and hematite.

 

Bioremediation of flotation collector like xanthate was studied using Bacillus subtilis.

 

Bacterial utilization of the sodium isopropyl xanthate for metabolism and growth leads to their gradual degradation in the aqueous medium and this aspect is of great practical significance in the effective removal of flotation reagents from mineral processing effluents as a tool in environmental control. Bacillus subtilis was effectively used to degrade and remove residual flotation reagents from aqueous effluents.

 

(XVII) A brief report on the work done by NASI Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellow, Prof. B.P. Chatterjee, West Bengal University of Technology, Kolkata

 

It has been long been known that cellular glycosylation profiles change significantly during oncogenesis and other inflammatory disease. Hence search continues for tumor or liver secreted glycoproteins that can serve as biomarkers for differential diagnosis of viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

 

Attempts have already been made to capture glycoproteins from sera of liver disease including HCC using different lectins followed by 2D gel electrophoresis where up-regulation and down regulation of different serum glycoproteins with respect to normal individuals as control has been observed.

 

Protein identification by MALDI-TOF with Swissport data base search and complete N-glycan analysis by multidimensional HPLC with Glycan database search has been undertaken. Thus lectin capture strategies combined with mass spectrometry for the discovery of serum glycoprotein biomarker will be achieved.

   

To target cancer treatments specially to the tumor site, without damaging healthy tissue is the current demand. The answer to solving this challenge lies in the successful application of nanotechnology to cancer treatment. Due to its size, nanotechnology offers the potential to search out and destroys cancerous tissues by a variety of targeting methods employing potential drugs. The goal of this project is to synthesize lectin-quantum dot (QD) or lectin-nanoparticle (NP) conjugates to study non-malignant and malignant cell surface sugar architecture. This knowledge will help in drug targeting to the particular cancer cells through binding of specific sugar and finds application in biomedicine namely medical diagnosis, bionanosensor and drug delivery agent.

 

Synthesis of different lectin-QDs conjugate through chemical modification has been started to study different cell surface glycan structure to use them as nanobiosensors.