Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 66

Search results for: Assam

66 Displacement Due to Natural Disasters Vis-à-Vis Policy Framework: Case Study of Mising Community of Majuli, Assam

Authors: Mausumi Chetia


One of the main causes of impoverishment of the rural areas of Assam has been the recurrent floods and riverbank erosion. One of the life-changing consequences is displacement. This results not only in a loss of livelihoods but also has wide-reaching socio-economic and cultural effects. Thus, due to such disasters, not only families but communities too are being displaced at large. This compels them to find temporary shelter and begin life from scratch. The role of the state has been highly negligible, with a displacement not being perceived as an ‘issue’ to be addressed. A more holistic approach is thus needed to take socio-economic, cultural, political as well as ecological considerations into account.

Keywords: displacement, policy-framework, human-induced disasters, marginalised communities, India, Assam

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65 Geographical Indication (Gi) as a Means of Protecting Traditional Right of Muga Silk (Antheria Assamensis) of Assam-India

Authors: Niranjan Das


‘Geographical indication’ is a sign which is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Geographical Indication is primarily granted to agricultural, natural, manufactured, handicrafts originating from a definite geographical territory. It is defined in Article 22(1) of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 1995 Agreement on ‘Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)’. Assam is literally a ‘Silk country’ where silk culture is rooted in the rural life and culture of Assamese people. This is the only state in India and the world where Muga silk (Antheraea assamensis) is grown. Out of the total production of India’s Muga silk, Assam has the credit of being the sole producer of this 100 percent output, and thus occupies a unique position in the sericulture map of the world. Muga production has been an effective means for generating gainful employment in rural Assam and it has enormous potential in the context of building the rural economy and generating livelihood of this region. Muga, the unique golden-yellow silk of Assam was granted the ‘Geographical Indication (GI)’ registration in 2007. It is the first item from the state of Assam to obtain the GI tag. Besides manufacturing of Muga Silk cloths, the industry is also giving employment to thousands of people, and the silk industry is playing a leading role in the economy of the state. As Brahmaputra Valley is also known for tourist destination, tourists are visiting the valley every year and now the Muga Silk has reached each corner of the country and also in the other parts of the world. This paper tries to emphasizes how the Geographical Indication tag is protecting the traditional right of the Muga Silk of Assam as it has been practised by the Assamese people since times immemorial.

Keywords: Geographical Indication, environment, Muga silk, traditional right and livelihood

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64 Trafficking of Women in Assam: The Untold Violation of Women's Human Rights

Authors: Mridula Devi


Trafficking of women is a slur on human dignity and a shameful act to human civilization and development. Trafficking of women is one of worst brazen abuses which violate the women’s human rights. In India, more particularly in Assam, human trafficking and infringement of human rights of individual includes mainly the women and girl child of the State. Trafficking in North East region of India, more particularly in Assam occurs in two different ways – one is the internal trafficking of women and girl child from conflict affected rural areas of Assam for domestic work and prostitution. Secondly, there is trafficking of women to other south-East Asiatic countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bangkok, Myanmar (Burma) for various purposes such as drug trafficking, labor, bar girl and prostitution.Historically, trafficking in human beings is associated with slavery and bonded or forced labor. Since the period of Roman Civilization, there was the practice of traffic in persons in the form of slave trade among the nations. With the rise of new imperialism, slavery had become an integral part of the colonial system of European Countries. With time, it almost became synonymous with prostitution or commercial sexual exploitation. Finally, the United Nation adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Prostitution of others, 1949 by the G.A.Res.No.-317(iv). The Convention totally denounces the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution. However, it is important to note that, now a days trafficking is not confined to commercial sexual exploitation of women and children alone. It has myriad forms and the number of victims has been steadily on the rise over the past few decades. In Assam, it takes place through and for marriage, sexual exploitation, begging, organ trading, militancy conflicts, drug padding and smuggling, labour, adoption, entertainment, and sports. In this paper, empirical methodology has been used. The study is based on primary and secondary sources. Data’s are collected from different books, publications, newspaper, journals etc. For empirical analysis, some random samples are collected and systematized for better result. India suffers from the ignominy of being one of the biggest hubs of women trafficking in the world. Over the years, Assam: the north east part of India has been bearing the brunt of the rapidly rising evil of trafficking of women which threaten the life, dignity and human rights of women. Though different laws are adopted at international and national level to restore trafficking, still the menace of trafficking of women in Assam is not decreased, rather it increased. This causes a serious violation of women’s human right in Assam. Human trafficking or women’s trafficking is a serious crime against society. To curb this in Assam it is required to take some effective and dedicated measure at state level as well as national and international level.

Keywords: Assam, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, India

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63 Fraud in the Higher Educational Institutions in Assam, India: Issues and Challenges

Authors: Kalidas Sarma


Fraud is a social problem changing with social change and it has a regional and global impact. Introduction of private domain in higher education along with public institutions has led to commercialization of higher education which encourages unprecedented mushrooming of private institutions resulting in fraudulent activities in higher educational institutions in Assam, India. Presently, fraud has been noticed in in-service promotion, fake entry qualification by teachers in different levels of work-place by using fake master degrees, master of philosophy and doctor of philosophy degree certificates. The aim and objective of the study are to identify grey areas in maintenance of quality in higher educational institutions in Assam and also to draw the contour for planning and implementation. This study is based on both primary and secondary data collected through questionnaire and seeking information through Right to Information Act 2005. In Assam, there are 301 undergraduate and graduate colleges distributed in 27 (Twenty seven) administrative districts with 11000 (Eleven thousand) college teachers. Total 421 (Four hundred twenty one) college teachers from the 14 respondent colleges have been taken for analysis. Data collected has been analyzed by using 'Hypertext Pre-processor' (PhP) application with My Sequel Structure Query Language (MySQL) and Google Map Application Programming Interface (APIs). Graph has been generated by using open source tool Chart.js. Spatial distribution maps have been generated with the help of geo-references of the colleges. The result shows: (i) the violation of University Grants Commission's (UGCs) Regulation for the awards of M. Phil/Ph.D. clearly exhibits. (ii) There is a gap between apex regulatory bodies of higher education at national and as well as state level to check fraud. (iii) Mala fide 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) issued by the Government of Assam have played pivotal role in the occurrence of fraudulent practices in higher educational institutions of Assam. (iv) Violation of verdict of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India regarding territorial jurisdiction of Universities for the awards of Ph.D. and M. Phil degrees in distance mode/study centre is also a responsible factor for the spread of these academic frauds in Assam and other states. The challenges and mitigation of these issues have been discussed.

Keywords: Assam, fraud, higher education, mitigation

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62 Gut Metabolite Profiling of the Ethnic Groups from Assam, India

Authors: Madhusmita Dehingia, Supriyo Sen, Bhuwan Bhaskar, Tulsi Joishy, Mojibur R. Khan


Human gut microbes and their metabolites are important for maintaining homeostasis in the gut and are responsible for many metabolic and immune mediated diseases. In the present study, we determined the profiles of the gut metabolites of five different ethnic groups (Bodo, Tai-Phake, Karbi, Tea tribe and Tai-Aiton) of Assam. Fecal metabolite profiling of the 39 individuals belonging to the ethnic groups was carried out using Gas chromatography – Mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and comparison was performed among the tribes for common and unique metabolites produced within their gut. Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) of the metabolites suggested that the individuals grouped according to their ethnicity. Among the 66 abundant metabolites, 12 metabolites were found to be common among the five ethnic groups. Additionally, ethnicity wise some unique metabolites were also detected. For example, the tea tribe of Assam contained the tea components, Aniline and Benzoate more in their gut in comparison to others. Metabolites of microbial origin were also correlated with the already published metagenomic data of the same ethnic group and functional analysis were carried out based on human metabolome database.

Keywords: ethnicity, gut microbiota, GC-MS, metabolites

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61 Bilingualism: A Case Study of Assamese and Bodo Classifiers

Authors: Samhita Bharadwaj


This is an empirical study of classifiers in Assamese and Bodo, two genetically unrelated languages of India. The objective of the paper is to address the language contact between Assamese and Bodo as reflected in classifiers. The data has been collected through fieldwork in Bodo recording narratives and folk tales and eliciting specific data from the speakers. The data for Assamese is self-produced as native speaker of the language. Assamese is the easternmost New-Indo-Aryan (henceforth NIA) language mainly spoken in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam and some other north-eastern states of India. It is the lingua franca of Assam and is creolised in the neighbouring state of Nagaland. Bodo, on the other hand, is a Tibeto-Burman (henceforth TB) language of the Bodo-Garo group. It has the highest number of speakers among the TB languages of Assam. However, compared to Assamese, it is still a lesser documented language and due to the prestige of Assamese, all the Bodo speakers are fluent bi-lingual in Assamese, though the opposite isn’t the case. With this context, classifiers, a characteristic phenomenon of TB languages, but not so much of NIA languages, presents an interesting case study on language contact caused by bilingualism. Assamese, as a result of its language contact with the TB languages which are rich in classifiers; has developed the richest classifier system among the IA languages in India. Yet, as a part of rampant borrowing of Assamese words and patterns into Bodo; Bodo is seen to borrow even Assamese classifiers into its system. This paper analyses the borrowed classifiers of Bodo and finds the route of this borrowing phenomenon in the number system of the languages. As the Bodo speakers start replacing the higher numbers from five with Assamese ones, they also choose the Assamese classifiers to attach to these numbers. Thus, the partial loss of number in Bodo as a result of language contact and bilingualism in Assamese is found to be the reason behind the borrowing of classifiers in Bodo. The significance of the study lies in exploring an interesting aspect of language contact in Assam. It is hoped that this will attract further research on bilingualism and classifiers in Assam.

Keywords: Assamese, bi-lingual, Bodo, borrowing, classifier, language contact

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60 Higher Education and Empowerment of Women in Assam (India): An Empirical Analysis

Authors: Anupam Deka, Indira Bardoloi


Gender discrimination has been considered as a major obstacle in granting equal opportunity for women in higher education as education plays a pivotal role in a country’s socioeconomic development. To examine the empowerment of women in the higher education field of Assam, a case study has been carried out. In the first stage, an overview of enrollment of students in different courses has been made by considering the whole state. In the second stage, a study has been conducted regarding the enrollment of students in various degree and postgraduate courses for the period 2000-2007 at Gauhati University (one of the four universities of Assam), and the relevant data has been collected. It has been found that though the enrollment of students in the degree levels has been constantly increasing, but the enrollment of girls are not proportionately increasing, especially in commerce and law. On the other hand, in the postgraduate level, these proportions are higher in almost all subjects (except some subjects like M. COM., L.L.M, M. C. A., Mathematics, etc.), indicating that compared to boys, a higher number of girls are being admitted in postgraduate courses.

Keywords: field study, enrollment of girls in degree and postgratudate levels, regression lines, chi square test, diagrams, statistical tables

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59 Religion and Social Mobility: A Historical Study of Neovaishnavism of Srimanta Shankardeva

Authors: Satyajit Kalita


Assam from an early period has gone through various religious transformations and has witnessed its impact in different period. One of such epoch is the epoch of Srimanta Shankardeva. Srimanta Shankareva is regarded, as the greatest religious preacher and social reformer in the history of Assam. It was Shankardeva, who brought the faith of vaisnavite movement that prevailed in other parts of India. Before and during his time, the people of Assam were followers of Sakta worship, the worshipping of different gods and goddesses. People worshiped idols and offered sacrifices. Srimanta Shankardeva under the faith neo-vaishnavism and propagated the Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharm, through which spread the splendor of one and only Lord Vishnu or Krishna and abolished offering sacrifices. With the help of Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma, Srimanta Shankardeva tries to vanish the superstitious beliefs and irrational practices of Assamese society. The NeoVaishnavite faith developed a democratic outlook which permeates the entire teachings and practices in Assamese people. His contributions not only made the foundations of Assamese literature, culture, and social structure but also established the super structures the upon. It is understood that all contributions of Srimanta Shankardeva bear his marks distinctively. Religion is said to be biggest and the most influential aspect in bringing about change in the society. In Assam, with the essence of neo-vaishnavism by Shankardeva and the emergence of the Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma came into a huge Change to the region. The movement of religion brought about a social mobility to all sections of society. This paper is a mere initiative to look into the organizational structure of Srimanta Shankardeva Sangha and its maintenance of the ideology and principles without failure. It is aimed to examine the assimilation of different groups and communities of people under the fold of Srimanta Shankardeva Sangha.

Keywords: Neo-Vaishnavism, Srimanta Shankardeva, Srimanta Shankardeva Shangha, Eka-Saran-Naam-Dharma

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58 The Jury System in the Courts in Nineteenth Century Assam: Power Negotiations and Politics in an Institutional Rubric of a Colonial Regime

Authors: Jahnu Bharadwaj


In the third decade of the 19th century, the political landscape of the Brahmaputra valley changed at many levels. The establishment of East India Company’s authority in ‘Assam’ was complete with the Treaty of Yandaboo. The whole phenomenon of the annexation of Assam into the British Indian Empire led to several administrative reorganizations and reforms under the new regime. British colonial rule was distinguished by new systems and institutions of governance. This paper broadly looks at the historical proceedings of the introduction of the Rule of Law and a new legal structure in the region of ‘Assam’. With numerous archival data, this paper seeks to chiefly examine the trajectory of an important element in the new legal apparatus, i.e. the jury in the British criminal courts introduced in the newly annexed region. Right from the beginning of colonial legal innovations with the establishment of the panchayats and the parallel courts in Assam, the jury became an important element in the structure of the judicial system. In both civil and criminal courts, the jury was to be formed from the learned members of the ‘native’ society. In the working of the criminal court, the jury became significantly powerful and influential. The structure meant that the judge or the British authority eventually had no compulsion to obey the verdict of the jury. However, the structure also provided that the jury had a considerable say in matters of the court proceedings, and their verdict had significant weight. This study seeks to look at certain important criminal cases pertaining to the nineteenth century and the functioning of the jury in those cases. The power play at display between the British officials, judges and the members of the jury would be helpful in highlighting the important deliberations and politics that were in place in the functioning of the British criminal legal apparatus in colonial Assam. The working and the politics of the members of the jury in many cases exerted considerable influence in the court proceedings. The interesting negotiations of the British officials or judges also present us with vital insights. By reflecting on the difficulty that the British officials and judges felt with the considerable space for opinion and difference that was provided to important members of the local society, this paper seeks to locate, with evidence, the racial politics at play within the official formulations of the legal apparatus in the colonial rule in Assam. This study seeks to argue that despite the rhetorical claims of legal equality within the Empire, racial consideration and racial politics was a reality even in the making of the structure itself. This in a way helps to enrich our ideas about the racial elements at work in numerous layers sustaining the colonial regime.

Keywords: criminal courts, colonial regime, jury, race

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57 The Development of the Kamakhya Temple as a Historical Landmark in the Present State of Assam, India

Authors: Priyanka Tamta, Sukanya Sharma


The Kamakhya Temple in Assam plays a very important role in the development of Assam as not only a historical place but also as an archaeologically important site. Temple building activity on the site began in 5th century AD when a cave temple dedicated to Lord Balabhadraswami was constructed here by King Maharajadhiraja Sri Surendra Varman. In the history of Assam, the name of this king is not found and neither the name of this form of Vishnu is known in this region. But this inscription sanctified the place as it recorded the first ever temple building activity in this region. The fifteen hundred years habitation history of the Kamakhya temple sites shows a gradual progression of the site from a religious site to an archaeological site and finally as a historical landmark. Here, in this paper, our main objective is to understand the evolution of Kamakhya temple site as a historical landscape and as an important landmark in the history of Assam. The central theme of the paper is the gradual development of the religious site to a historical landmark. From epigraphical records, it is known that the site received patronage from all ruling dynasties of Assam and its adjoining regions. Royal households of Kashmir, Nepal, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, etc. have left their footprints on the site. According to records they donated wealth, constructed or renovated temples and participated in the overall maintenance of the deity. This made Kamakhya temple a ground of interaction of faiths, communities, and royalties of the region. Since the 5th century AD, there was a continuous struggle between different beliefs, faiths, and power on the site to become the dominant authority of the site. In the process, powerful beliefs system subsumed minor ones into a larger doctrine of beliefs. This can be seen in the case of the evolution of the Kamakhya temple site as one of the important Shakta temples in India. Today, it is cultural identity marker of the state of Assam within which it is located. Its diverse faiths and beliefs have been appropriated by powerful legends to the dominant faith of the land. The temple has evolved from a cave temple to a complex of seventeen temples. The faith has evolved from the worship of water, an element of nature to the worship of the ten different forms of the goddess with their five male consorts or Bhairavas. Today, it represents and symbolizes the relationship of power and control out of which it has emerged. During different periods of occupation certain architectural and iconographical characters developed which indicated diffusion and cultural adaptation. Using this as sources and the epigraphical records this paper will analyze the interactive and dynamic processes which operated in the building of this cultural marker, the archaeological site of Kamakhya.

Keywords: cultural adaptation and diffusion, cultural and historical landscape, Kamakhya, Saktism, temple art and architecture, historiography

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56 Phytoextraction of Heavy Metals in a Contaminated Site in Assam, India Using Indian Pennywort and Fenugreek: An Experimental Study

Authors: Chinumani Choudhury


Heavy metal contamination is an alarming problem, which poses a serious risk to human health and the surrounding geology. Soils get contaminated with heavy metals due to the un-regularized industrial discharge of the toxic metal-rich effluents. Under such a condition, the remediation of the contaminated sites becomes imperative for a sustainable, safe, and healthy environment. Phytoextraction, which involves the removal of heavy metals from the soil through root absorption and uptake, is a viable remediation technique, which ensures extraction of the toxic inorganic compound available in the soil even at low concentrations. The soil present in the Silghat Region of Assam, India, is mostly contaminated with Zinc (Zn) and Lead (Pb), having concentrations as high as to cause a serious environmental problem if proper measures are not taken. In the present study, an extensive experimental study was carried out to understand the effectiveness of two commonly planted trees in Assam, namely, i) Indian Pennywort and ii) Fenugreek, in the removal of heavy metals from the contaminated soil. The basic characterization of the soil in the contaminated site of the Silghat region was performed and the field concentration of Zn and Pb was recorded. Various long-term laboratory pot tests were carried out by sowing the seeds of Indian Pennywort and Fenugreek in a soil, which was spiked, with a very high dosage of Zn and Pb. The tests were carried out for different concentration of a particular heavy metal and the individual effectiveness in the absorption of the heavy metal by the plants were studied. The concentration of the soil was monitored regularly to assess the rate of depletion and the simultaneous uptake of the heavy metal from the soil to the plant. The amount of heavy metal uptake by the plant was also quantified by analyzing the plant sample at the end of the testing period. Finally, the study throws light on the applicability of the studied plants in the field for effective remediation of the contaminated sites of Assam.

Keywords: phytoextraction, heavy-metals, Indian pennywort, fenugreek

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55 Performing Marginality and Contestation of Ethnic Identity: Dynamics of Identity Politics in Assam, India

Authors: Hare Krishna Doley


Drawing upon empirical data, this paper tries to examine how ethnic groups like Ahom, Moran, Motok, and Chutia creates and recreates ethnic boundaries while making claims for recognition as Scheduled Tribes (STs) under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, in the state of Assam. Underlying such claim is the distinct identity consciousness amongst these groups as they assert themselves originally as tribe drawing upon primordial elements. For them, tribal identity promises social justice and give credence to their claims of indigeneity while preserving their exclusivity within the multifarious society of Assam. Having complex inter-group relationships, these groups under study displays distinct as well as overlapping identities, which demonstrate fluidity of identities across groups while making claims for recognition. In this process, the binary of ‘us’ and ‘them’ are often constructed amongst these groups, which are in turn difficult to grasp as they share common historical linkages. This paper attempts to grapple with such complex relationships the studied groups and their assertion as distinct cultural entities while making ethnic boundaries on the basis of socio-cultural identities. Such claims also involve frequent negotiation with the Sate as well as with other ethnic groups, which further creates strife among indigenous groups for tribal identity. The paper argues that identity consciousnesses amongst groups have persisted since the introduction of resource distribution on ethnic lines; therefore, issues of exclusive ethnic identity in the state of Assam can be contextualised within the colonial and post-colonial politics of redrawing ethnic and spatial boundaries. Narrative of the ethnic leaders who are in the forefront of struggle for ST status revealed that it is not merely to secure preferential treatment, but it also encompasses entitlement to land and their socio-cultural identity as aboriginal. While noting the genesis of struggle by the ethnic associations for ST status, this paper will also delineate the interactions among ethnic groups and how the identity of tribe is being performed by them to be included in the official categories of ST.

Keywords: ethnic, identity, sixth schedule, tribe

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54 Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Brahmaputra River Basin: A Water Quality Assessment in Jorhat (Assam), India

Authors: Kruti Jaruriya


Distribution of arsenic (As) and its compound and related toxicology are serious concerns. This is particularly so since millions worldwide are suffering from toxicity due to drinking of As-contaminated groundwater. The Bengal delta plain, formed by the Ganga– Padma–Meghna–Brahmaputra river basin, covering several districts of West Bengal, India and Bangladesh is considered as the worst As affected alluvial basin. However, some equally affected, if not more, areas are emerging in upper Brahmaputra plains. The present study was carried out to examine As contamination trends in the worst affected part of Assam, India. Arsenic (As) mobilization to the groundwater of Brahmaputra floodplains was investigated in Titabor, Jorhat District, located in the North Eastern part of India. The groundwater and the aquifer geochemistry were characterized. The groundwater is characterized by high dissolved Fe, Mn, and HCO-3 and low concentrations of NO-3 and SO2-4 indicating anoxic conditions prevailing in the groundwater. Fifty groundwater samples collected from shallow and deep tubewells of Titabor, Jorhat district (Assam) were examined. Along with total As, examination of concentration levels of other key parameters, viz., pH, EC, Fe, Mn , Mg2+, Ca2+, Na+, K+, PO43- , HCO-3 , NO3- ,Cl - and SO42- was also carried out. In respect to the permissible guideline of World Health Organization (WHO: As 0.01 ppm, Fe 1.0 ppm, and Mn 0.3 ppm for potable water), the range of As concentration in the groundwater varied from 0.014 to 0.604 mg/L with mean concentration 0.184 mg/L. The present study showed that out of the 50 groundwater samples,100%, 54%, and 42% were found contaminated with higher metal contents (for total As, Fe, and Mn, respectively). The results of hydrogeochemical study revealed that the reductive dissolution of MnOOH and FeOOH represents an important mechanism of arsenic release in the study area along with major cations playing an important role in leaching of As into the groundwater. Arsenic released by oxidation of pyrite, as water levels are drawn down and air enters the aquifer, contributes negligibly to the problem of As pollution. Identification of the mechanism of As release to groundwater helps to provide a framework to guide the placement of new water wells so that they will have acceptable concentrations of As.

Keywords: arsenic, assam, brahmaputra floodplain, groundwater, hydrogeochemistry

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53 Making Social Accountability Initiatives Work in the Performance of Local Self-Governing Institutions: District-Level Analysis in Rural Assam, India

Authors: Pankaj Kumar Kalita


Ineffectiveness of formal institutional mechanisms such as official audit to improve public service delivery has been a serious concern to scholars working on governance reforms in developing countries. Scholars argue that public service delivery in local self-governing institutions can be improved through application of informal mechanisms such as social accountability. Social accountability has been reinforced with the engagement of citizens and civic organizations in the process of service delivery to reduce the governance gap in developing countries. However, there are challenges that may impede the scope of establishing social accountability initiatives in the performance of local self-governing institutions. This study makes an attempt to investigate the factors that may impede the scope of establishing social accountability, particularly in culturally heterogeneous societies like India. While analyzing the implementation of two rural development schemes by Panchayats, the local self-governing institutions functioning in rural Assam in India, this study argues that the scope of establishing social accountability in the performance of local self-governing institutions, particularly in culturally heterogeneous societies in developing countries will be impeded by the absence of inter-caste and inter-religion networks. Data has been collected from five selected districts of Assam using in-depth interview method and survey method. The study further contributes to the debates on 'good governance' and citizen-centric approaches in developing countries.

Keywords: citizen engagement, local self-governing institutions, networks, social accountability

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52 Revival and Protection of Traditional Jewellery Motifs of Assam (India), over Eri Silk by Innovative Techniques

Authors: Ratna Sharma, Kaveri Dutta


Assam (India), the gate way to the Northeast India is mainly known for its exquisite silks, the art and craft. The state has a rich collection of traditional jewellery which is unique and exclusive to the state. These jewelleries hold a special place in the heart of the Assamese women. Similarly handloom industry of Assam is basically silk oriented. Among the wild silk, Eri silk fabric has remained as “the poor man’s silk” but it is closely attached to the assamese society, dress for it's warm quality. In view of the changing market trends, fashion and consumer demands, Silk is emerging as a fashion fabric both in India and abroad. In case of Eri silk fabric it has limited use in clothing and accessories. Hence the restructured and redesigned traditional jewellery motifs of Assam (India) over Eri silk products will have greater potential in reviving the decline of art, generate revenue, self employment towards craftsmen and also recognition of the art. The information incorporated in the paper is primary and the data have been collected by purposive sampling method. This work of art was expressed on Eri silk fabric in the form of traditional hand embroidery as it is closely connected with the era of the individual in history of mankind and reflects the personal expression of an entity. For this study selected traditional motifs of Assamese ornaments was used. Some of the popular traditional Assamese jewellery include earrings with exquisite Lokaparo, Keru, Thuriya, Jangphai, etc. An array of necklaces including Golpata, Satsori, Jon biri, Bena, Gejera, Dhol biri, Doog doogi, Biri Moni, Mukuta Moni, Poalmoni, Silikha Moni and Magardana and diversified rings including Senpata, Horinsakua, Jethinejia, bakharpata and others. Selected two motifs each from necklace, earring and finger ring designs. Selected motifs were further developed into 3 categories- the border, the main motif and all over butta followed by placement of developed patterns on products. Products developed were stoles, scarf’s, purses, brooch pins, skirts for women and ties, handkerchief, jackets for men. The developed products were surveyed by selected respondents. From the present study it can be observed that the embellished traditional jewellery motifs resulted in fresh and colourful pattern on developed Eri silk products. Moreover the motifs which were gradually fading among the community itself showed a very good recognition towards art. The embroidered Eri silk fabric also created a huge change in a positive way among craftsman.

Keywords: Art and craft of Assam, eri silk, hand embroidery, traditional Assamese jewellery motifs

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51 Horizontal Stress Magnitudes Using Poroelastic Model in Upper Assam Basin, India

Authors: Jenifer Alam, Rima Chatterjee


Upper Assam sedimentary basin is one of the oldest commercially producing basins of India. Being in a tectonically active zone, estimation of tectonic strain and stress magnitudes has vast application in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. This East North East –West South West trending shelf-slope basin encompasses the Bramhaputra valley extending from Mikir Hills in the southwest to the Naga foothills in the northeast. Assam Shelf lying between the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Naga Thrust area is comparatively free from thrust tectonics and depicts normal faulting mechanism. The study area is bounded by the MBT and Main Central Thrust in the northwest. The Belt of Schuppen in the southeast, is bordered by Naga and Disang thrust marking the lower limit of the study area. The entire Assam basin shows low-level seismicity compared to other regions of northeast India. Pore pressure (PP), vertical stress magnitude (SV) and horizontal stress magnitudes have been estimated from two wells - N1 and T1 located in Upper Assam. N1 is located in the Assam gap below the Bramhaputra river while T1, lies in the Belt of Schuppen. N1 penetrates geological formations from top Alluvial through Dhekiajuli, Girujan, Tipam, Barail, Kopili, Sylhet and Langpur to the granitic basement while T1 in trusted zone crosses through Girujan Suprathrust, Tipam Suprathrust, Barail Suprathrust to reach Naga Thrust. Normal compaction trend is drawn through shale points through both wells for estimation of PP using the conventional Eaton sonic equation with an exponent of 1.0 which is validated with Modular Dynamic Tester and mud weight. Observed pore pressure gradient ranges from 10.3 MPa/km to 11.1 MPa/km. The SV has a gradient from 22.20 to 23.80 MPa/km. Minimum and maximum horizontal principal stress (Sh and SH) magnitudes under isotropic conditions are determined using poroelastic model. This approach determines biaxial tectonic strain utilizing static Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s Ratio, SV, PP, leak off test (LOT) and SH derived from breakouts using prior information on unconfined compressive strength. Breakout derived SH information is used for obtaining tectonic strain due to lack of measured SH data from minifrac or hydrofracturing. Tectonic strain varies from 0.00055 to 0.00096 along x direction and from -0.0010 to 0.00042 along y direction. After obtaining tectonic strains at each well, the principal horizontal stress magnitudes are calculated from linear poroelastic model. The magnitude of Sh and SH gradient in normal faulting region are 12.5 and 16.0 MPa/km while in thrust faulted region the gradients are 17.4 and 20.2 MPa/km respectively. Model predicted Sh and SH matches well with the LOT data and breakout derived SH data in both wells. It is observed from this study that the stresses SV>SH>Sh prevailing in the shelf region while near the Naga foothills the regime changes to SH≈SV>Sh area corresponds to normal faulting regime. Hence this model is a reliable tool for predicting stress magnitudes from well logs under active tectonic regime in Upper Assam Basin.

Keywords: Eaton, strain, stress, poroelastic model

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50 Enrichment of the Antioxidant Activity of Decaffeinated Assam Green Tea by Herbal Plant: A Synergistic Effect

Authors: Abhijit Das, Runu Chakraborty


Tea is the most widely consumed beverage aside from water; it is grown in about 30 countries with a per capita worldwide consumption of approximately 0.12 liter per year. Green tea is of growing importance with its antioxidant contents associated with its health benefits. The various extraction methods can influence the polyphenol concentrations of green tea. The purpose of the study was to quantify the polyphenols, flavonoid and antioxidant activity of both caffeinated and decaffeinated form of tea manufactured commercially in Assam, North Eastern part of India. The results display that phenolic/flavonoid content well correlated with antioxidant activity which was performed by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and FRAP (Ferric reducing ability of plasma) assay. After decaffeination there is a decrease in the polyphenols concentration which also affects the antioxidant activity of green tea. For the enrichment of antioxidant activity of decaffeinated tea a herbal plant extract is used which shows a synergistic effect between green tea and herbal plant phenolic compounds.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, decaffeination, green tea, flavonoid content, phenolic content, plant extract

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49 The Study of Power as a Pertinent Motive among Tribal College Students of Assam

Authors: K. P. Gogoi


The current research study investigates the motivational pattern viz Power motivation among the tribal college students of Assam. The sample consisted of 240 college students (120 tribal and 120 non-tribal) ranging from 18-24 years, 60 males and 60 females for both tribal’s and non-tribal’s. Attempts were made to include all the prominent tribes of Assam viz. Thematic Apperception Test, Power motive Scale and a semi structured interview schedule were used to gather information about their family types, parental deprivation, parental relations, social and political belongingness. Mean, Standard Deviation, and t-test were the statistical measures adopted in this 2x2 factorial design study. In addition to this discriminant analysis has been worked out to strengthen the predictive validity of the obtained data. TAT scores reveal significant difference between the tribal’s and non-tribal on power motivation. However results obtained on gender difference indicates similar scores among both the cultures. Cross validation of the TAT results was done by using the power motive scale by T. S. Dapola which confirms the results on need for power through TAT scores. Power motivation has been studied in three directions i.e. coercion, inducement and restraint. An interesting finding is that on coercion tribal’s score high showing significant difference whereas in inducement or seduction the non-tribal’s scored high showing significant difference. On the other hand on restraint no difference exists between both cultures. Discriminant analysis has been worked out between the variables n-power, coercion, inducement and restraint. Results indicated that inducement or seduction (.502) is the dependent measure which has the most discriminating power between these two cultures.

Keywords: power motivation, tribal, social, political, predictive validity, cross validation, coercion, inducement, restraint

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48 Higher Education and Empowerment of Women: A Case Study

Authors: Anupam Deka


Gender discrimination has been considered as a major obstacle in granting equal opportunity for woman in Higher education as education plays a pivotal role in a country’s socio-economic development. To examine the empowerment of women in the higher education field of Assam, a case study has been carried out. In the first stage, an overview of enrolment of students in different courses has been made by considering the whole state. In the second stage a study has been conducted regarding the enrolment of students in various degree and P-G courses for the period 2000-2007 under Gauhati University (which is one of the four universities of Assam) and the relevant data has been collected. It has been found that though the enrolment of students in the degree levels has been constantly increasing, but the enrolment of girls are not proportionately increasing, specially in commerce and law. On the other hand, in the post-graduate level, these proportions are higher in almost all the subjects (except some subjects like M. COM., L.L.M, M. C. A., Mathematics, etc.), indicating that more number of girls than boys are taking admission in the P-G courses.

Keywords: field study, enrolment of girls in degree and P G levels, regression lines, Chi Square test, diagrams and statistical tables

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47 Reduplication in Dhiyan: An Indo-Aryan Language of Assam

Authors: S. Sulochana Singha


Dhiyan or Dehan is the name of the community and language spoken by the Koch-Rajbangshi people of Barak Valley of Assam. Ethnically, they are Mongoloids, and their language belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family. However, Dhiyan is absent in any classification of Indo-Aryan languages. So the classification of Dhiyan language under the Indo-Aryan language family is completely based on the shared typological features of the other Indo-Aryan languages. Typologically, Dhiyan is an agglutinating language, and it shares many features of Indo-Aryan languages like presence of aspirated voiced stops, non-tonal, verb-person agreement, adjectives as different word class, prominent tense and subject object verb word order. Reduplication is a productive word-formation process in Dhiyan. Besides it also expresses plurality, intensification, and distributive. Generally, reduplication in Dhiyan can be at the morphological or lexical level. Morphological reduplication in Dhiyan involves expressives which includes onomatopoeias, sound symbolism, idiophones, and imitatives. Lexical reduplication in the language can be formed by echo formations and word reduplication. Echo formation in Dhiyan is formed by partial repetition from the base word which can be either consonant alternation or vowel alternation. The consonant alternation is basically found in onset position while the alternation of vowel is basically found in open syllable particularly in final syllable. Word reduplication involves reduplication of nouns, interrogatives, adjectives, and numerals which further can be class changing or class maintaining reduplication. The process of reduplication can be partial or complete whether it is lexical or morphological. The present paper is an attempt to describe some aspects of the formation, function, and usage of reduplications in Dhiyan which is mainly spoken in ten villages in the Eastern part of Barak River in the Cachar District of Assam.

Keywords: Barak-Valley, Dhiyan, Indo-Aryan, reduplication

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46 Molecular Detection of Tuberculosis in Dogs in the Three North-Eastern States Assam, Mizoram and Nagaland of India

Authors: A. G. Barua, Uttam Rajkhowa, Pranjal Moni Nath, Nur Abdul Kadir


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is one of the most closely-related intracellular bacterial pathogens, grouped as the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC). MTB, the primary agent of human tuberculosis (TB), can develop clinical TB in animals as 75 percent of canine mycobacterial infection is caused by close contact with an infected human being. In the present study, molecular detection of TB in dogs in three North-eastern states of India, Assam Mizoram, and Nagaland was carried out. So far, there has been a lack of systematic study in these regions, hampered by slow diagnostic methods and poor infrastructure. In an attempt to rectify this situation, molecular epidemiology was carried out for nine months to detect canine TB in a sample of 340 dogs. Isolation of DNA was done with swabs (throat/nasal), nodules of lungs and fluids from 100 suspected dogs and the molecular study were carried out with the help of conventional and real-time PCR. Post-mortem study was also carried out. Our results showed that the prevalence of clinical TB in dogs from a high-risk setting was 1 percent. However, the prevalence of immunological sensitization to M. tuberculosis antigen in dogs living in contact with sputum smeared positive TB cases was almost 50 percent. The latter setting had the maximum impact in terms of TB transmission. During the study period, a survey with a standard questionnaire was carried out in the TB hospitals to study reverse zoonosis. It was observed that an infected human being was one of the major risk factors for dogs to contract the infection. This observation was drawn by examining the probable airborne transmission from humans to their pets or strays. The present study helped to discover the nuances of TB transmission more clearly and systematically as compared to other sporadic tests to detect MTB in canine.

Keywords: Assam and Nagaland, canine TB, India, molecular detection, tuberculosis

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45 Flood Monitoring Using Active Microwave Remote Sensed Synthetic Aperture Radar Data

Authors: Bikramjit Goswami, Manoranjan Kalita


Active microwave remote sensing is useful in remote sensing applications in cloud-covered regions in the world. Because of high spatial resolution, the spatial variations of land cover can be monitored in greater detail using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Inundation is studied using the SAR images obtained from Sentinel-1A in both VH and VV polarizations in the present experimental study. The temporal variation of the SAR scattering coefficient values for the area gives a good indication of flood and its boundary. The study area is the district of Morigaon in the state of Assam in India. The period of flood monitoring study is the monsoon season of the year 2017, during which high flood occurred in the state of Assam. The variation of microwave scattering value shows a distinctive indication of flood from the non-flooded period. Frequent monitoring of flood in a large area (10 km x 10 km) using passive microwave sensing and pin-pointing the actual flooded portions (5 m x 5 m) within the flooded area using active microwave sensing, can be a highly useful combination, as revealed by the present experimental results.

Keywords: active remote sensing, flood monitoring, microwave remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar

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44 Definite Article Errors and Effect of L1 Transfer

Authors: Bimrisha Mali


The present study investigates the type of errors English as a second language (ESL) learners produce using the definite article ‘the’. The participants were provided a questionnaire on the learner's ability test. The questionnaire consists of three cloze tests and two free composition tests. Each participant's response was received in the form of written data. A total of 78 participants from three government schools participated in the study. The participants are high-school students from Rural Assam. Assam is a north-eastern state of India. Their age ranged between 14-15. The medium of instruction and the communication among the students take place in the local language, i.e., Assamese. Pit Corder’s steps for conducting error analysis have been followed for the analysis procedure. Four types of errors were found (1) deletion of the definite article, (2) use of the definite article as modifiers as adjectives, (3) incorrect use of the definite article with singular proper nouns, (4) substitution of the definite article by the indefinite article ‘a’. Classifiers in Assamese that express definiteness is used with nouns, adjectives, and numerals. It is found that native language (L1) transfer plays a pivotal role in the learners’ errors. The analysis reveals the learners' inability to acquire the semantic connotation of definiteness in English due to native language (L1) interference.

Keywords: definite article error, l1 transfer, error analysis, ESL

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43 Folk Media and Political Movement: A Case Study on the Bodos of North East India

Authors: Faguna Barmahalia


Politics of ethnic identity in the north-east India is well-known phenomenon. The ethnic assertion in this region is mostly linguistic and cultural in nature. Most of the ethnic groups in the north-east region have been demanding either autonomous or separate state to maintain their socio-cultural identity. After the Indian Independence, the ethnic groups of people think that they have not developed till. Despite having many natural resources, North East India remained backward in terms of economic, education as well as politics. In this scenario, many educated and middle-class elite people have involved in working for the all-round development of their community. The Bodos are one of the major tribes in North Eeast India. In Assam, the Bodos are assumed by themselves to be exploited and suppressed by the Assamese Hindu society. Consequently, the socio-cultural identity movement has emerged among the Bodos.The main aims of my study are: i. to focus on how the Bodos of Assam are using the folk media in their political movement and iii. To analyse the role of folklore towards serving the ethnic unity and nationalism among the Bodos. Methodology: The study is based on the primary and secondary sources. Interview and observation method was conducted for collecting the primary data. For secondary source, some printed books, magazines and others materials published by the distinguished publishers and websites have been used.

Keywords: media, culture, nationalism, politics

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42 Impact of a Locally-Prepared Fermented Alcoholic Beverage from Jaggery on the Gut Bacterial Profile of the Tea-Tribal Populations of Assam, India

Authors: Rupamoni Thakur, Madhusmita Dehingia, Narayan C. Talukdar, Mojibur R. Khan


The human gut is an extremely active fermentation site and is inhabited by diverse bacterial species. Consumption of alcoholic beverages has been shown to substantially modulate the human gut bacterial profile (GBP) of an individual. Assam, a major north-eastern state of India, is home to a number of tribal populations of which the tea-tribes form a major community. These tea-tribal communities are known to prepare and consume a locally-prepared alcoholic beverage from fermented jaggery, whose chemical composition is unknown. In this study, we demonstrate the effect of daily intake of the locally-prepared alcoholic beverage on the GBP of the tea-tribal communities and correlate it with the changes in the biochemical biomarkers of the population. The fecal bacterial diversity of 40 drinkers and 35 non-drinking healthy individuals were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results suggested that the GBP was significantly modulated in the fermented-beverage consuming subjects. Significant difference was also observed in the serum biochemical parameters such as triglyceride, total cholesterol and the liver marker enzymes (ASAT/ALAT and GGT). Further studies to identify the GBP of drinkers vs non-drinkers through Next-generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis and to correlate the changes with the biochemical biomarkers of the population is underway.

Keywords: alcoholic beverage, gut bacterial profile, PCR-DGGE analysis, tea-tribes of India

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41 Development of IDF Curves for Precipitation in Western Watershed of Guwahati, Assam

Authors: Rajarshi Sharma, Rashidul Alam, Visavino Seleyi, Yuvila Sangtam


The Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) relationship of rainfall amounts is one of the most commonly used tools in water resources engineering for planning, design and operation of water resources project, or for various engineering projects against design floods. The establishment of such relationships was reported as early as in 1932 (Bernard). Since then many sets of relationships have been constructed for several parts of the globe. The objective of this research is to derive IDF relationship of rainfall for western watershed of Guwahati, Assam. These relationships are useful in the design of urban drainage works, e.g. storm sewers, culverts and other hydraulic structures. In the study, rainfall depth for 10 years viz. 2001 to 2010 has been collected from the Regional Meteorological Centre Borjhar, Guwahati. Firstly, the data has been used to construct the mass curve for duration of more than 7 hours rainfall to calculate the maximum intensity and to form the intensity duration curves. Gumbel’s frequency analysis technique has been used to calculate the probable maximum rainfall intensities for a period of 2 yr, 5 yr, 10 yr, 50 yr, 100 yr from the maximum intensity. Finally, regression analysis has been used to develop the intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curve. Thus, from the analysis the values for the constants ‘a’,‘b’ &‘c’ have been found out. The values of ‘a’ for which the sum of the squared deviation is minimum has been found out to be 40 and when the corresponding value of ‘c’ and ‘b’ for the minimum squared deviation of ‘a’ are 0.744 and 1981.527 respectively. The results obtained showed that in all the cases the correlation coefficient is very high indicating the goodness of fit of the formulae to estimate IDF curves in the region of interest.

Keywords: intensity-duration-frequency relationship, mass curve, regression analysis, correlation coefficient

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40 Application of Multilinear Regression Analysis for Prediction of Synthetic Shear Wave Velocity Logs in Upper Assam Basin

Authors: Triveni Gogoi, Rima Chatterjee


Shear wave velocity (Vs) estimation is an important approach in the seismic exploration and characterization of a hydrocarbon reservoir. There are varying methods for prediction of S-wave velocity, if recorded S-wave log is not available. But all the available methods for Vs prediction are empirical mathematical models. Shear wave velocity can be estimated using P-wave velocity by applying Castagna’s equation, which is the most common approach. The constants used in Castagna’s equation vary for different lithologies and geological set-ups. In this study, multiple regression analysis has been used for estimation of S-wave velocity. The EMERGE module from Hampson-Russel software has been used here for generation of S-wave log. Both single attribute and multi attributes analysis have been carried out for generation of synthetic S-wave log in Upper Assam basin. Upper Assam basin situated in North Eastern India is one of the most important petroleum provinces of India. The present study was carried out using four wells of the study area. Out of these wells, S-wave velocity was available for three wells. The main objective of the present study is a prediction of shear wave velocities for wells where S-wave velocity information is not available. The three wells having S-wave velocity were first used to test the reliability of the method and the generated S-wave log was compared with actual S-wave log. Single attribute analysis has been carried out for these three wells within the depth range 1700-2100m, which corresponds to Barail group of Oligocene age. The Barail Group is the main target zone in this study, which is the primary producing reservoir of the basin. A system generated list of attributes with varying degrees of correlation appeared and the attribute with the highest correlation was concerned for the single attribute analysis. Crossplot between the attributes shows the variation of points from line of best fit. The final result of the analysis was compared with the available S-wave log, which shows a good visual fit with a correlation of 72%. Next multi-attribute analysis has been carried out for the same data using all the wells within the same analysis window. A high correlation of 85% has been observed between the output log from the analysis and the recorded S-wave. The almost perfect fit between the synthetic S-wave and the recorded S-wave log validates the reliability of the method. For further authentication, the generated S-wave data from the wells have been tied to the seismic and correlated them. Synthetic share wave log has been generated for the well M2 where S-wave is not available and it shows a good correlation with the seismic. Neutron porosity, density, AI and P-wave velocity are proved to be the most significant variables in this statistical method for S-wave generation. Multilinear regression method thus can be considered as a reliable technique for generation of shear wave velocity log in this study.

Keywords: Castagna's equation, multi linear regression, multi attribute analysis, shear wave logs

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39 Actinomycetes from Protected Forest Ecosystems of Assam, India: Diversity and Antagonistic Activity

Authors: Priyanka Sharma, Ranjita Das, Mohan C. Kalita, Debajit Thakur


Background: Actinomycetes are the richest source of novel bioactive secondary metabolites such as antibiotics, enzymes and other therapeutically useful metabolites with diverse biological activities. The present study aims at the antimicrobial potential and genetic diversity of culturable Actinomycetes isolated from protected forest ecosystems of Assam which includes Kaziranga National Park (26°30˝-26°45˝N and 93°08˝-93°36˝E), Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (26º12˝-26º16˝N and 91º58˝-92º05˝E) and Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary (26˚40˝-26˚45˝N and 94˚20˝-94˚25˝E) which are located in the North-eastern part of India. Northeast India is a part of the Indo-Burma mega biodiversity hotspot and most of the protected forests of this region are still unexplored for the isolation of effective antibiotic-producing Actinomycetes. Thus, there is tremendous possibility that these virgin forests could be a potential storehouse of novel microorganisms, particularly Actinomycetes, exhibiting diverse biological properties. Methodology: Soil samples were collected from different ecological niches of the protected forest ecosystems of Assam and Actinomycetes were isolated by serial dilution spread plate technique using five selective isolation media. Preliminary screening of Actinomycetes for an antimicrobial activity was done by spot inoculation method and the secondary screening by disc diffusion method against several test pathogens, including multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The strains were further screened for the presence of antibiotic synthetic genes such as type I polyketide synthases (PKS-I), type II polyketide synthases (PKS-II) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) genes. Genetic diversity of the Actinomycetes producing antimicrobial metabolites was analyzed through 16S rDNA-RFLP using Hinf1 restriction endonuclease. Results: Based on the phenotypic characterization, a total of 172 morphologically distinct Actinomycetes were isolated and screened for antimicrobial activity by spot inoculation method on agar medium. Among the strains tested, 102 (59.3%) strains showed activity against Gram-positive bacteria, 98 (56.97%) against Gram-negative bacteria, 92 (53.48%) against Candida albicans MTCC 227 and 130 (75.58%) strains showed activity against at least one of the test pathogens. Twelve Actinomycetes exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in the secondary screening. The taxonomic identification of these twelve strains by 16S rDNA sequencing revealed that Streptomyces was found to be the predominant genus. The PKS-I, PKS-II and NRPS genes detection indicated diverse bioactive products of these twelve Actinomycetes. Genetic diversity by 16S rDNA-RFLP indicated that Streptomyces was the dominant genus amongst the antimicrobial metabolite producing Actinomycetes. Conclusion: These findings imply that Actinomycetes from the protected forest ecosystems of Assam, India, are a potential source of bioactive secondary metabolites. These areas are as yet poorly studied and represent diverse and largely unscreened ecosystem for the isolation of potent Actinomycetes producing antimicrobial secondary metabolites. Detailed characterization of the bioactive Actinomycetes as well as purification and structure elucidation of the bioactive compounds from the potent Actinomycetes is the subject of ongoing investigation. Thus, to exploit Actinomycetes from such unexplored forest ecosystems is a way to develop bioactive products.

Keywords: Actinomycetes, antimicrobial activity, forest ecosystems, RFLP

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38 Antibacterial Activity and Kinetic Parameters of the Essential Oils of Drypetes Gossweileri S.Moore, Ocimun Gratissimum L. and Cymbopogon Citratus DC Stapf on 5 Multidrug-Resistant Strains of Shigella

Authors: Elsa Makue Nguuffo, Esther Del Florence Moni Ndedi, Jacky Njiki Bikoï, Jean Paul Assam Assam, Maximilienne Ascension Nyegue


Aims: The present study aims to evaluate the kinetic parameters of essential oils (EOs) and combinations fromDrypetes gossweileri Stem Bark, Ocimum gratissimum leaves, Cymbopogon citratusleaves after evaluation of their antibacterial activityonmultidrug-resistant strains ofShigella. Material and Methods:fiveclinical strains of Shigellaisolated from patients with diarrhoeaincluding Shigella flexneri, and 4 otherstrains of Shigella sppwere selected. Their antibiotic profile was established using agar test diffusion with seven antibiotics belonging to seven classes.EOs were extracted from each plant using hydrodistillation process. The activity of Ciprofloxacin®, OEs, and their combination formulatedinthe followingratios(w/w/w): C1: 1/1/1; C2: 2/1/1; C3: 1/2/1, C4:1/1/2 was evaluated microdilution assay. The various interactions of OEs in the different combinations were determined then the OE and the most active combination were retained to determine their kinetic parameters on S. flexneri. Results: Antibiotic susceptibility tests revealed that most Shigella isolates (n = 4) were resistant to six antibiotics tested. Ciprofloxacin (40%), Nalidixic acid (60%), Tetracycline (80%), Amoxicillin (100%), Cefotaxime (80%), Erythromycin (100%), and Cotrimoxazole (80%) were the profiles found in the different strains of Shigella. About the antibacterial activity of OEs, Drypetes gossweileriOE and C2 combination had shown a higher Shigellicide property with a Minimal Inhibitory Concentration(MIC) respectivelyranging from 0.078 mg/mL to 0.312 mg/mL and 0.012 to 1.562 mg/mL. Combinations of OEs showed various interactions whose synergistic effects were mostly encountered. The best deactivation was obtained by the combination C2 at 16 MIC withb= 1.962. Conclusion: the susceptibility of Shigella to OEs and their combinations justifies their use in traditional medicine in the treatment of shigellosis.

Keywords: shigella, multidrug-resistant, EOs, kinetic

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37 Land Tenure and Erosion as Determinants of Guerrilla Violence in Assam, India: An Ethnographic and Remote Sensing Approach

Authors: Kevin T. Inks


India’s Brahmaputra River Valley has, since independence, experienced consistent low-intensity guerrilla warfare between ethnic and religious groups. These groups are often organized around perceived ethnic territoriality, and target civilians, communities, and especially migrants belonging to other ethnic and religious groups. Intense flooding and erosion have led to widespread displacement, and disaster relief funds are largely tied to legal land tenure. Displaced residents of informal settlements receive little or no resettlement aid, and their subsequent migration strategies and risk from guerrilla violence are poorly understood. Semi-structured interviews and comprehensive surveys focused on perceptions of risk, efficacy of disaster relief, and migration and adaptation strategies were conducted with households identified as being ‘at-risk’ of catastrophic flooding and erosion in Majuli District, Assam. Interviews with policymakers and government workers were conducted to assess disaster relief efforts in informal settlements, and remote sensing methods were used to identify informal settlement and hydrogeomorphic change. The results show that various ethnic and religious groups have differential strategies and preferences for resettlement. However, these varying strategies are likely to lead to differential levels of risk from guerrilla violence. Members of certain ethnic groups residing in informal settlements, in the absence of resettlement assistance, are more likely to seek out unofficial settlement on land far from the protection of the state and experience greater risk of becoming victims of political violence. As climate change and deforestation are likely to increase the severity of the displacement crisis in the Brahmaputra River Valley, more comprehensive disaster relief and surveying efforts are vital for limiting migration and informal settlement in potential sites of guerrilla warfare.

Keywords: climate, displacement, flooding, India, violence

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