Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Anshu Nehra

13 Eu³⁺ Ions Doped-SnO₂ for Effective Degradation of Malachite Green Dye

Authors: Ritu Malik, Vijay K. Tomer, Satya P. Nehra, Anshu Nehra

Abstract:

Visible light sensitive Eu³⁺ doped-SnO₂ nanoparticles were successfully synthesized via the hydrothermal method and extensively characterized by a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and N₂ adsorption-desorption isotherms (BET). Their photocatalytic activities were evaluated using Malachite Green (MG) as decomposition objective by varying the concentration of Eu³⁺ in SnO₂. The XRD analysis showed that lanthanides phase was not observed on lower loadings of Eu³⁺ ions doped-SnO₂. Eu³⁺ ions can enhance the photocatalytic activity of SnO₂ to some extent as compared with pure SnO₂, and it was found that 3 wt% Eu³⁺ -doped SnO₂ is the most effective photocatalyst due to its lowest band gap, crystallite size and also the highest surface area. The photocatalytic tests indicate that at the optimum conditions, illumination time 40 min, pH 65, 0.3 g/L photocatalyst loading and 50 ppm dye concentration, the dye removal efficiency was 98%.

Keywords: Visible light, photocatalyst, lanthanide, SnO2

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12 Ordered Mesoporous WO₃-TiO₂ Nanocomposites for Enhanced Xylene Gas Detection

Authors: Vijay K. Tomer, Ritu Malik, Satya P. Nehra, Anshu Sharma

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Highly ordered mesoporous WO₃-TiO₂ nanohybrids with large intrinsic surface area and highly ordered pore channels were synthesized using mesoporous silica, KIT-6 as hard template using a nanocasting strategy. The nanohybrid samples were characterized by a variety of physico-chemical techniques including X-ray diffraction, Nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms, and high resolution transmission electron microscope. The nanohybrids were tested for detection of important indoor Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) including acetone, ethanol, n-butanol, toluene, and xylene. The sensing result illustrates that the nanocomposite sensor was highly responsive towards xylene gas at relatively lower operating temperature. A rapid response and recovery time, highly linear response and excellent stability in the concentration ranges from 1 to 100 ppm was observed for xylene gas. It is believed that the promising results of this study can be utilized in the synthesis of ordered mesoporous nanostructures which can extend its configuration for the development of new age e-nose type sensors with enhanced gas-sensing performance.

Keywords: Sensor, response, VOCs, nanohybrids, xylene

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11 Geographic Information System and Ecotourism Sites Identification of Jamui District, Bihar, India

Authors: Anshu Anshu

Abstract:

In the red corridor famed for the Left Wing Extremism, lies small district of Jamui in Bihar, India. The district lies at 24º20´ N latitude and 86º13´ E longitude, covering an area of 3,122.8 km2 The undulating topography, with widespread forests provides pristine environment for invigorating experience of tourists. Natural landscape in form of forests, wildlife, rivers, and cultural landscape dotted with historical and religious places is highly purposive for tourism. The study is primarily related to the identification of potential ecotourism sites, using Geographic Information System. Data preparation, analysis and finally identification of ecotourism sites is done. Secondary data used is Survey of India Topographical Sheets with R.F.1:50,000 covering the area of Jamui district. District Census Handbook, Census of India, 2011; ERDAS Imagine and Arc View is used for digitization and the creation of DEM’s (Digital Elevation Model) of the district, depicting the relief and topography and generate thematic maps. The thematic maps have been refined using the geo-processing tools. Buffer technique has been used for the accessibility analysis. Finally, all the maps, including the Buffer maps were overlaid to find out the areas which have potential for the development of ecotourism sites in the Jamui district. Spatial data - relief, slopes, settlements, transport network and forests of Jamui District were marked and identified, followed by Buffer Analysis that was used to find out the accessibility of features like roads, railway stations to the sites available for the development of ecotourism destinations. Buffer analysis is also carried out to get the spatial proximity of major river banks, lakes, and dam sites to be selected for promoting sustainable ecotourism. Overlay Analysis is conducted using the geo-processing tools. Digital Terrain Model (DEM) generated and relevant themes like roads, forest areas and settlements were draped on the DEM to make an assessment of the topography and other land uses of district to delineate potential zones of ecotourism development. Development of ecotourism in Jamui faces several challenges. The district lies in the portion of Bihar that is part of ‘red corridor’ of India. The hills and dense forests are the prominent hideouts and training ground for the extremists. It is well known that any kind of political instability, war, acts of violence directly influence the travel propensity and hinders all kind of non-essential travels to these areas. The development of ecotourism in the district can bring change and overall growth in this area with communities getting more involved in economically sustainable activities. It is a known fact that poverty and social exclusion are the main force that pushes people, resorting towards violence. All over the world tourism has been used as a tool to eradicate poverty and generate good will among people. Tourism, in sustainable form should be promoted in the district to integrate local communities in the development process and to distribute fruits of development with equity.

Keywords: Ecotourism, digital elevation model, buffer analysis, red corridor

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10 Role of Special Training Centers (STC) in Right to Education Act Challenges And Remedies

Authors: Anshu Radha Aggarwal

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As per the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009, every child in the age group of 6-14 years shall be admitted in a neighborhood school. All the Out of School Children identified have to be enrolled / mainstreamed in to age appropriate class and there-after be provided special training. This paper addresses issues emerging from provisions in the RTE Act that specifically refer to the enrolment of out-of school children into age appropriate classes and the requirement to provide special trainings that will enable this to take place. In the context of RTE Act, the Out-of-School Children are first enrolled in the formal school and then they are provided with Special Training through NRSTCs (Long Term / Short term basis). These centers are functioning in formal school campus itself. This paper specifies the role of special training centers (STC). It presents a re-envisioning of assessment that recognizes two principal functions of assessment, assessment for learning and assessment of learning, instead of the more familiar categories of formative, diagnostic, summative, and evaluative assessment. The use of these two functions of assessment highlights and emphasizes the role of special training centers (STC) to assess their level for giving them appropriate special training and to evaluate their improvement in learning level. Challenge of problem faced by teachers to do diagnostic assessment, including its place in the sequence of assessment procedures appropriate in identifying and addressing individual children’s learning difficulties are solved by special training centers (STC). It is important that assessment is used to identify children with learning difficulties at the earliest possible stage so that appropriate support and intervention can be put in place. So appropriate challenges with tools are presented here for their assessment at entry level and at completion level of primary children by special training centers (STC).

Keywords: Challenges, Assessment, Right to Education, out of school children

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9 A Study on Consumer Awareness, Safety Perceptions and Practices About Food Preservatives and Flavouring Agents Used in Packed / Canned Foods from South India

Authors: Harsha Kumar H. N., Anshu Kumar Jha, Khushboo Kamal Taneja, Krishan Kabra, Mohamed Hafeez Sadiq

Abstract:

Introduction: The increasing use of preservatives and flavouring agents has the potential to cause health problem among the people. There are no published studies from India exploring the awareness, safety perception, & practices about Food Preservatives (FPs) and Flavouring Agents (FAs). So this study was conducted with the objectives of assessing the awareness, safety perceptions & practices about Food Preservatives (FPs), Flavouring Agents (FAs) in commonly bought / purchased packed food items. Materials & method: This cross-sectional study was conducted in January 2012. Sample size of 126 was computed using the formula for infinite population. People who bought packed food items in malls were approached and requested to fill a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire explored awareness, safety perception & practices of FPs & FAs. Data was then analyzed using SPSS version 10.0. Chi-square test was used to know if the observed differences were statistically significant. ‘p’ value <0.05 was considered significant. Results: Totally 123 people (males- 48.8% and females-51.2%) participated (response rate of 97.6%) in the study. Majority of the people were aware about presence of ‘FPs’ (91.7%) and ‘FAs’ (84.9%) though their knowledge was inadequate. Breakup of the study subjects according to level of awareness about FPs was as follows (%): Good (37.4), Satisfactory (40.6), Poor (22) & FAs (%): Good (49.6), Satisfactory (36) & Poor (14). Distribution according to type of practices for FPs was as follows (%): Favourable (14), Unfavourable (86) & FAs (%): Favourable (30.5), Unfavourable (69.5). There was a gap between knowledge and practices. Conclusion: Though there was awareness, the knowledge was inadequate. Unfavourable practices were observed. The gaps in the knowledge and unhealthy practices need to be addressed by public awareness campaign.

Keywords: Food Preservatives, flavouring agents, knowledge and practices, general population

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8 Importance of Detecting Malingering Patients in Clinical Setting

Authors: Sakshi Chopra, Harsimarpreet Kaur, Ashima Nehra

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Objectives: Malingering is fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of secondary gains or motives, which may include financial compensation; avoiding work; getting lighter criminal sentences; or simply to attract attention or sympathy. Malingering is different from somatization disorder and factitious disorder. The prevalence of malingering is unknown and difficult to determine. In an estimated study in forensic population, it can reach up to 17% cases. But the accuracy of such estimates is questionable as successful malingerers are not detected and thus, not included. Methods: The case study of a 58 years old, right handed, graduate, pre-morbidly working in a national company with reported history of stroke leading to head injury; cerebral infarction/facial palsy and dementia. He was referred for disability certification so that his job position can be transferred to his son as he could not work anymore. A series of Neuropsychological tests were administered. Results: With a mental age of < 2.5 years; social adaptive functioning was overall < 20 showing profound Mental Retardation, less than 1 year social age in abilities of self-help, eating, dressing, locomotion, occupation, communication, self-direction, and socialization; severely impaired verbal and performance ability, 96% impairment in Activities of Daily Living, with an indication of very severe depression. With inconsistent and fluctuating medical findings and problem descriptions to different health professionals forming the board for his disability, it was concluded that this patient was malingering. Conclusions: Even though it can be easily defined, malingering can be very challenging to diagnosis. Cases of malingering impose a substantial economic burden on the health care system and false attribution of malingering imposes a substantial burden of suffering on a significant proportion of the patient population. Timely, tactful diagnosis and management can help ease this patient burden on the healthcare system. Malingering can be detected by only trained mental health professionals in the clinical setting.

Keywords: Disability, India, Neuropsychological Assessment, malingering

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7 Expression of Somatostatin and Neuropeptide Y in Dorsal Root Ganglia Following Hind Paw Incision in Rats

Authors: Anshu Bahl, Saroj Kaler, Shivani Gupta, S B Ray

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Background: Somatostatin is an endogenous regulatory neuropeptide. Somatostatin and its analogues play an important role in neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Neuropeptide Y is extensively distributed in the mammalian nervous system. NPY has an important role in blood pressure, circadian rhythm, obesity, appetite and memory. The purpose was to investigate somatostatin and NPY expression in dorsal root ganglia during pain. The plantar incision model in rats is similar to postoperative pain in humans. Methods: 24 adult male Sprague dawley rats were distributed randomly into two groups – Control (n=6) and incision (n=18) groups. Using Hargreaves apparatus, thermal hyperalgesia behavioural test for nociception was done under basal condition and after surgical incision in right hind paw at different time periods (day 1, 3 and 5). The plantar incision was performed as per standard protocol. Perfusion was done using 4% paraformaldehyde followed by extraction of dorsal root ganglia at L4 level. The tissue was processed for immunohistochemical localisation for somatostatin and neuropeptide Y. Results: Post incisional groups (day 1, 3 and 5) exhibited significant decrease of paw withdrawal latency as compared to control groups. Somatostatin expression was noted under basal conditions. It decreased on day 1, but again gradually increased on day 3 and further on day five post incision. The expression of Neuropeptide Y was noted in the cytoplasm of dorsal root ganglia under basal conditions. Compared to control group, expression of neuropeptide Y decreased on day one after incision, but again gradually increased on day 3. Maximum expression was noted on day five post incision. Conclusion: Decrease in paw withdrawal latency indicated nociception, particularly on day 1. In comparison to control, somatostatin and NPY expression was decreased on day one post incision. This could be correlated with increased axoplasmic flow towards the spinal cord. Somatostatin and NPY expression was maximum on day five post incision. This could be due to decreased migration from the site of synthesis towards the spinal cord.

Keywords: neuropeptide Y, dorsal root ganglia, postoperative pain, somatostatin

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6 Changing Pattern of Drug Abuse: An Outpatient Department Based Study from India

Authors: Anshu Gupta, Charu Gupta

Abstract:

Background: Punjab, a border state in India has achieved notoriety world over for its drug abuse problem. People right from school kids to elderly are hooked to drugs. This pattern of substance abuse is prevalent in both cities and villages alike. Excess of younger population in India has further aggravated the situation. It is feared that the benefits of India’s economic growth may well be negated by the rising substance abuse especially in this part of the country. It is quite evident that the pattern of substance abuse tends to change over time which is an impediment in the formulation of effective strategies to tackle this issue. Aim: Purpose of the study was to ascertain the change in the pattern of drug abuse for two consecutive years in the out patient department (OPD) population. Method: The study population comprised of all the patients reporting for deaddiction to the psychiatry outpatient department over a period of twelve months for two consecutive years. All the patients were evaluated by the International Classification of Diseases; 10 criteria for substance abuse/dependence. Results: A considerably high prevalence of substance abuse was present in the Indian population. In general, there was an increase in prevalence from first to the second year, especially among the female population. Increase in prevalence of substance abuse appeared to be more prominent among the younger age group of both the sexes. A significant increase in intravenous drug abuse was observed. Peer pressure and parental imitation were the major factors fueling substance abuse. Precipitation or fear of withdrawal symptoms was the major factor preventing abstinence. Substance abuse had a significant effect on the health and interpersonal relations of these patients. Summary/Conclusion: Drug abuse and addiction are on the rise throughout India. Changing cultural values, increasing economic stress and dwindling supportive bonds appear to be leading to initiation of substance abuse. Need of the hour is to formulate a comprehensive strategy to bring about an overall reduction in the use of drugs.

Keywords: peer pressure, deaddiction, parental imitation, substance abuse/dependance

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5 Effects of Different Load on Physiological, Hematological, Biochemical, Cytokines Indices of Zanskar Ponies at High Altitude

Authors: Prince Vivek, Vijay Kumar Bharti, Deepak Kumar, Rohit Kumar, Kapil Nehra, Dhananjay Singh, Om Prakash Chaurasia, Bhuvnesh Kumar

Abstract:

High altitude native people still rely heavily on animal transport for logistic support at eastern and northern Himalayas regions. The prevalent mountainous terrains and rugged region are not suitable for the motorized vehicle to use in logistic transport. Therefore, people required high endurance pack animals for load carrying and riding. So far to the best of our knowledge, no studies have been taken to evaluate the effect of loads on the physiology of ponies in high altitude region. So, in this view, we evaluated variation in physiological, hematological, biochemical, and cytokines indices of Zanskar ponies during load carrying at high altitude. Total twelve (12) of Zanskar ponies, mare, age 4-6 years selected for this study, Feed was offered at 2% of body weight, and water ad libitum. Ponies were divided into three groups; group-A (without load), group-B (60 kg), and group-C (80 kg) of backpack loads. The track was very narrow and slippery with gravel, uneven with a rocky surface and has a steep gradient of 4 km uphill at altitude 3291 to 3500m. When we evaluate these parameters, it is understood that the heart rate, pulse rate, and respiration rate was significantly increased in 80 kg group among the three groups. The hematology parameters viz. hemoglobin significantly increased in 80 kg group on 1st day after load carrying among the three groups which was followed by control and 60 kg whereas, PCV, lymphocytes, monocytes percentage significantly increased however, ESR and eosinophil % significantly decreased in 80 kg group after load carrying on 7th day after load carrying among the three groups which were followed by control and 60 kg group. In biochemical parameters viz. LA, LDH, TP, hexokinase (HK), cortisol (CORT), T3, GPx, FRAP and IL-6 significantly increased in 80 kg group on the 7th day after load carrying among the three groups which were followed by control and 60 kg group. The ALT, ALB, GLB, UR, and UA significantly increased in 80 kg group on the 7th day before and after load carrying among the three groups which were followed by control and 60 kg group. The CRT, AST, and CK-MB were significantly increased in 80 kg group on the 1st and 7th day after load carrying among the three groups which were followed by control and 60 kg group. It has been concluded that, heart rate, respiration rate, hematological indices like PCV, lymphocytes, monocytes, Hb and ESR, biochemical indices like lactic acid, LDH, TP, HK, CORT, T3, ALT, AST and CRT, ALB, GLB, UR, UA, GPx, FRAP and IL-6 are important biomarkers to assess effect of load on animal physiology and endurance. Further, this result has revealed the strong correlation of change in biomarkers level with performance in ponies during load carry. Hence, these parameters might be used for the performance of endurance of Zanskar ponies in the high mountain region.

Keywords: Biochemical, Endurance, load, high altitude, ponies

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4 Clostridium thermocellum DBT-IOC-C19, A Potential CBP Isolate for Ethanol Production

Authors: Nisha Singh, Munish Puri, Collin Barrow, Deepak Tuli, Anshu S. Mathur

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The biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol is a promising strategy to solve the present global crisis of exhausting fossil fuels. The existing bioethanol production technologies have cost constraints due to the involvement of mandate pretreatment and extensive enzyme production steps. A unique process configuration known as consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is believed to be a potential cost-effective process due to its efficient integration of enzyme production, saccharification, and fermentation into one step. Due to several favorable reasons like single step conversion, no need of adding exogenous enzymes and facilitated product recovery, CBP has gained the attention of researchers worldwide. However, there are several technical and economic barriers which need to be overcome for making consolidated bioprocessing a commercially viable process. Finding a natural candidate CBP organism is critically important and thermophilic anaerobes are preferred microorganisms. The thermophilic anaerobes that can represent CBP mainly belong to genus Clostridium, Caldicellulosiruptor, Thermoanaerobacter, Thermoanaero bacterium, and Geobacillus etc. Amongst them, Clostridium thermocellum has received increased attention as a high utility CBP candidate due to its highest growth rate on crystalline cellulose, the presence of highly efficient cellulosome system and ability to produce ethanol directly from cellulose. Recently with the availability of genetic and molecular tools aiding the metabolic engineering of Clostridium thermocellum have further facilitated the viability of commercial CBP process. With this view, we have specifically screened cellulolytic and xylanolytic thermophilic anaerobic ethanol producing bacteria, from unexplored hot spring/s in India. One of the isolates is a potential CBP organism identified as a new strain of Clostridium thermocellum. This strain has shown superior avicel and xylan degradation under unoptimized conditions compared to reported wild type strains of Clostridium thermocellum and produced more than 50 mM ethanol in 72 hours from 1 % avicel at 60°C. Besides, this strain shows good ethanol tolerance and growth on both hexose and pentose sugars. Hence, with further optimization this new strain could be developed as a potential CBP microbe.

Keywords: Ethanol, Clostridium thermocellum, consolidated bioprocessing, thermophilic anaerobes

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3 Strategies for Improving and Sustaining Quality in Higher Education

Authors: Anshu Radha Aggarwal

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Higher Education (HE) in the India has experienced a series of remarkable changes over the last fifteen years as successive governments have sought to make the sector more efficient and more accountable for investment of public funds. Rapid expansion in student numbers and pressures to widen Participation amongst non-traditional students are key challenges facing HE. Learning outcomes can act as a benchmark for assuring quality and efficiency in HE and they also enable universities to describe courses in an unambiguous way so as to demystify (and open up) education to a wider audience. This paper examines how learning outcomes are used in HE and evaluates the implications for curriculum design and student learning. There has been huge expansion in the field of higher education, both technical and non-technical, in India during the last two decades, and this trend is continuing. It is expected that another about 400 colleges and 300 universities will be created by the end of the 13th Plan Period. This has lead to many concerns about the quality of education and training of our students. Many studies have brought the issues ailing our curricula, delivery, monitoring and assessment. Govt. of India, (via MHRD, UGC, NBA,…) has initiated several steps to bring improvement in quality of higher education and training, such as National Skills Qualification Framework, making accreditation of institutions mandatory in order to receive Govt. grants, and so on. Moreover, Outcome-based Education and Training (OBET) has also been mandated and encouraged in the teaching/learning institutions. MHRD, UGC and NBAhas made accreditation of schools, colleges and universities mandatory w.e.f Jan 2014. Outcome-based Education and Training (OBET) approach is learner-centric, whereas the traditional approach has been teacher-centric. OBET is a process which involves the re-orientation/restructuring the curriculum, implementation, assessment/measurements of educational goals, and achievement of higher order learning, rather than merely clearing/passing the university examinations. OBET aims to bring about these desired changes within the students, by increasing knowledge, developing skills, influencing attitudes and creating social-connect mind-set. This approach has been adopted by several leading universities and institutions around the world in advanced countries. Objectives of this paper is to highlight the issues concerning quality in higher education and quality frameworks, to deliberate on the various education and training models, to explain the outcome-based education and assessment processes, to provide an understanding of the NAAC and outcome-based accreditation criteria and processes and to share best-practice outcomes-based accreditation system and process.

Keywords: pedagogy, Curriculum Development, learning outcomes, outcome based education

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2 Prevalence of Behavioral and Emotional Problems in School Going Adolescents in India

Authors: Anshu Gupta, Charu Gupta

Abstract:

Background: Adolescence is the transitional period between puberty and adulthood. It is marked by immense turmoil in emotional and behavioral spheres. Adolescents are at risk of an array of behavioral and emotional problems, resulting in social, academic and vocational function impairments. Conflicts in the family and inability of the parents to cope with the changing demands of an adolescent have a negative impact on the overall development of the child. This augers ill for the individual’s future, resulting in depression, delinquency and suicides among other problems. Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems in school going adolescents aged 13 to 15 years residing in Ludhiana city. Method: A total of 1380 school children in the age group of 13 to 15 years were assessed by the adolescent health screening questionnaire (FAPS) and Youth Self-Report (2001) questionnaire. Statistical significance was ascertained by t-test, chi-square test (x²) and ANOVA, as appropriate. Results: A considerably high prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems was found in school going adolescents (26.5%), more in girls (31.7%) than in boys (24.4%). In case of boys, the maximum problem was in the 13 year age group, i.e., 28.2%, followed by a significant decline by the age of 14 years, i.e., 24.2% and 15 years, i.e., 19.6%. In case of girls also, the maximum problem was in the 13 year age group, i.e., 32.4% followed by a marginal decline in the 14 years i.e., 31.8% and 15 year age group, i.e., 30.2%. Demographic factors were non contributory. Internalizing syndrome (22.4%) was the most common problem followed by the neither internalizing nor externalizing (17.6%) group. In internalizing group, most (26.5%) of the students were observed to be anxious/ depressed. Social problem was observed to be the most frequent (10.6%) among neither internalizing nor externalizing group. Aggressive behavior was the commonest (8.4%) among externalizing group. Internalizing problems, mainly anxiety and depression, were commoner in females (30.6%) than males (24.6%). More boys (16%) than girls (13.4%) were reported to suffer from externalizing disorders. A critical review of the data showed that most of the adolescents had poor knowledge about reproductive health. Almost 36% reported that the source of their information on sexual and reproductive health being friends and the electronic media. There was a high percentage of adolescents who reported being worried about sexual abuse (20.2%) with majority of them being girls (93.6%) reflecting poorly on the social setup in the country. About 41% of adolescents reported being concerned about body weight and most of them being girls (92.4%). Up to 14.5% reported having thoughts of using alcohol or drugs perhaps due to the easy availability of substances of abuse in this part of the country. 12.8% (mostly girls) reported suicidal thoughts. Summary/conclusion: There is a high prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems among school-going adolescents. Resolution of these problems during adolescence is essential for attaining a healthy adulthood. The need of the hour is to spread awareness among caregivers and formulation of effective management strategies including school mental health programme.

Keywords: Behavioral, adolescence, Emotional, internalizing problem

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1 Development & Standardization of a Literacy Free Cognitive Rehabilitation Program for Patients Post Traumatic Brain Injury

Authors: Sakshi Chopra, Ashima Nehra, Sumit Sinha, Harsimarpreet Kaur, Ravindra Mohan Pandey

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Background: Cognitive rehabilitation aims to retrain brain injured individuals with cognitive deficits to restore or compensate lost functions. As illiterates or people with low literacy levels represent a significant proportion of the world, specific rehabilitation modules for such populations are indispensable. Literacy is significantly associated with all neuropsychological measures and retraining programs widely use written or spoken techniques which essentially require the patient to read or write. So, the aim of the study was to develop and standardize a literacy free neuropsychological rehabilitation program for improving cognitive functioning in patients with mild and moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Several studies have pointed out to the impairments seen in memory, executive functioning, and attention and concentration post-TBI, so the rehabilitation program focussed on these domains. Visual item memorization, stick constructions, symbol cancellations, and colouring techniques were used to construct the retraining program. Methodology: The development of the program consisted of planning, preparing, analyzing, and revising the different modules. The construction focussed on areas of retraining immediate and delayed visual memory, planning ability, focused and divided attention, concentration, and response inhibition (to control irritability and aggression). A total of 98 home based retraining modules were prepared in the 4 domains (42 for memory, 42 for executive functioning, 7 for attention and concentration, and 7 for response inhibition). The standardization was done on 20 healthy controls to review, select and edit items. For each module, the time, errors made and errors per second were noted down, to establish the difficulty level of each module and were arranged in increasing level of difficulty over a period of 6 weeks. The retraining tasks were then administered on 11 brain injured individuals (5 after Mild TBI and 6 after Moderate TBI). These patients were referred from the Trauma Centre to Clinical Neuropsychology OPD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. Results: The time was taken, errors made and errors per second were analysed for all domains. Education levels were divided into illiterates, up to 10 years, 10 years to graduation and graduation and above. Mean and standard deviations were calculated. Between group and within group analysis was done using the t-test. The performance of 20 healthy controls was analyzed and only a significant difference was observed on the time taken for the attention tasks and all other domains had non-significant differences in performance between different education levels. Comparing the errors, time taken between patient and control group, there was a significant difference in all the domains at the 0.01 level except the errors made on executive functioning, indicating that the tool can successfully differentiate between healthy controls and patient groups. Conclusions: Apart from the time taken for symbol cancellations, the entire cognitive rehabilitation program is literacy free. As it taps the major areas of impairment post-TBI, it could be a useful tool to rehabilitate the patient population with low literacy levels across the world. The next step is already underway to test its efficacy in improving cognitive functioning in a randomized clinical controlled trial.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, India, cognitive rehabilitation, illiterates

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