Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Aveek Dasgupta

22 The Challenges of Scaling Agile to Large-Scale Distributed Development: An Overview of the Agile Factory Model

Authors: Bernard Doherty, Andrew Jelfs, Aveek Dasgupta, Patrick Holden

Abstract:

Many companies have moved to agile and hybrid agile methodologies where portions of the Software Design Life-cycle (SDLC) and Software Test Life-cycle (STLC) can be time boxed in order to enhance delivery speed, quality and to increase flexibility to changes in software requirements. Despite widespread proliferation of agile practices, implementation often fails due to lack of adequate project management support, decreased motivation or fear of increased interaction. Consequently, few organizations effectively adopt agile processes with tailoring often required to integrate agile methodology in large scale environments. This paper provides an overview of the challenges in implementing an innovative large-scale tailored realization of the agile methodology termed the Agile Factory Model (AFM), with the aim of comparing and contrasting issues of specific importance to organizations undertaking large scale agile development. The conclusions demonstrate that agile practices can be effectively translated to a globally distributed development environment.

Keywords: agile, agile factory model, globally distributed development, large-scale agile

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21 Similarity Based Retrieval in Case Based Reasoning for Analysis of Medical Images

Authors: M. Dasgupta, S. Banerjee

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Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) coupled with Case Based Reasoning (CBR) is a paradigm that is becoming increasingly popular in the diagnosis and therapy planning of medical ailments utilizing the digital content of medical images. This paper presents a survey of some of the promising approaches used in the detection of abnormalities in retina images as well in mammographic screening and detection of regions of interest in MRI scans of the brain. We also describe our proposed algorithm to detect hard exudates in fundus images of the retina of Diabetic Retinopathy patients.

Keywords: case based reasoning, exudates, retina image, similarity based retrieval

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20 An Improved VM Allocation Algorithm by Utilizing Combined Resource Allocation Mechanism and Released Resources in Cloud Environment

Authors: Md Habibul Ansary, Chandan Garai, Ranjan Dasgupta

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Utilization of resources is always a great challenge for any allocation problem, particularly when resource availability is dynamic in nature. In this work VM allocation mechanism has been augmented by providing resources in a combined manner. This approach has some inherent advantages in terms of reduction of wait state for the pending jobs of some users and better utilization of unused resources from the service providers’ point of view. Moreover the algorithm takes care of released resources from the finished jobs as soon as those become available. The proposed algorithm has been explained by suitable example to make the work complete.

Keywords: Bid ratio, cloud service, virtualization, VM allocation problem

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19 Sensor Data Analysis for a Large Mining Major

Authors: Sudipto Shanker Dasgupta

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One of the largest mining companies wanted to look at health analytics for their driverless trucks. These trucks were the key to their supply chain logistics. The automated trucks had multi-level sub-assemblies which would send out sensor information. The use case that was worked on was to capture the sensor signal from the truck subcomponents and analyze the health of the trucks from repair and replacement purview. Open source software was used to stream the data into a clustered Hadoop setup in Amazon Web Services cloud and Apache Spark SQL was used to analyze the data. All of this was achieved through a 10 node amazon 32 core, 64 GB RAM setup real-time analytics was achieved on ‘300 million records’. To check the scalability of the system, the cluster was increased to 100 node setup. This talk will highlight how Open Source software was used to achieve the above use case and the insights on the high data throughput on a cloud set up.

Keywords: streaming analytics, data science, big data, Hadoop, high throughput, sensor data

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18 Early Requirement Engineering for Design of Learner Centric Dynamic LMS

Authors: Kausik Halder, Nabendu Chaki, Ranjan Dasgupta

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We present a modelling framework that supports the engineering of early requirements specifications for design of learner centric dynamic Learning Management System. The framework is based on i* modelling tool and Means End Analysis, that adopts primitive concepts for modelling early requirements (such as actor, goal, and strategic dependency). We show how pedagogical and computational requirements for designing a learner centric Learning Management system can be adapted for the automatic early requirement engineering specifications. Finally, we presented a model on a Learner Quanta based adaptive Courseware. Our early requirement analysis shows that how means end analysis reveals gaps and inconsistencies in early requirements specifications that are by no means trivial to discover without the help of formal analysis tool.

Keywords: adaptive courseware, early requirement engineering, means end analysis, organizational modelling, requirement modelling

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17 Efficient Reduction of Organophosphate Pesticide from Fruits and Vegetables Using Cost Effective Neutralizer

Authors: Debjani Dasgupta, Aman Zalawadia, Anuj Thapa, Pranjali Sing, Ashish Dabade

Abstract:

Organophosphate group pesticides are common pesticide group, which gain entry into food product due to incomplete removal of pesticide residues. The current food industry raw material handling process is not sufficient to eliminate pesticide residues. A neutralizer was used to neutralize the residues of pesticide on Vitis vinifera (Grapes). The water based dilution of neutralizer was demonstrated on fruits like grapes. Analysis for pesticides in water wash and neutralizer wash was carried out using GCMS. Fruits washed with neutralizer exhibited 72.95% removal of pesticides compared with normal water wash method. An economical chemical neutralizer can be used to remove such residues in raw material handling at industrial scale with minor modification in process to achieve minimum pesticide entry into final food products.

Keywords: GCMS, organophosphate, raw material handling, Vitis vinifera, pesticide neutralizer

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16 Improved Acoustic Source Sensing and Localization Based On Robot Locomotion

Authors: V. Ramu Reddy, Parijat Deshpande, Ranjan Dasgupta

Abstract:

This paper presents different methodology for an acoustic source sensing and localization in an unknown environment. The developed methodology includes an acoustic based sensing and localization system, a converging target localization based on the recursive direction of arrival (DOA) error minimization, and a regressive obstacle avoidance function. Our method is able to augment the existing proven localization techniques and improve results incrementally by utilizing robot locomotion and is capable of converging to a position estimate with greater accuracy using fewer measurements. The results also evinced the DOA error minimization at each iteration, improvement in time for reaching the destination and the efficiency of this target localization method as gradually converging to the real target position. Initially, the system is tested using Kinect mounted on turntable with DOA markings which serve as a ground truth and then our approach is validated using a FireBird VI (FBVI) mobile robot on which Kinect is used to obtain bearing information.

Keywords: acoustic source localization, acoustic sensing, recursive direction of arrival, robot locomotion

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15 Chiral Diphosphine Ligands and Their Transition Metal Diphosphine Complexes in Asymmetric Catalysis

Authors: Shannen Lorraine, Paul Maragh, Tara Dasgupta, Kamaluddin Abdur-Rashid

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(R)-(4,4',6,6'-tetramethoxybiphenyl-2,2'-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphine) (R-Ph-Garphos), and (S)-(4,4',6,6'-tetramethoxybiphenyl-2,2'-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphine) (S-Ph-Garphos) are novel, nucleophilic, chiral atropisomeric ligands. The research explored the synthesis of chiral transition metal complexes containing these ligands and their applications in various asymmetric catalytic transformations. Herein, the transition metal complexes having ruthenium(II), rhodium(I) and iridium(I) metal centres will be discussed. These are air stable complexes and were characterized by CHN analysis, 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR spectroscopy, and polarimetry. Currently, there is an emphasis on 'greener' catalysts and the need for 'green' solvents in asymmetric catalysis. As such, the Ph-Garphos ligands were demethylated thereby introducing hydroxyl moieties unto the ligand scaffold. The facile tunability of the biaryl diphosphines led to the preparation of the (R)-(4,4',6,6'-tetrahydroxybiphenyl-2,2'-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphine) (R-Ph-Garphos-OH), and (S)-(4,4',6,6'-tetrahydroxybiphenyl-2,2'-diyl)bis(diphenylphosphine) (S-Ph-Garphos-OH) ligands. These were successfully characterized by CHN analysis, 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR spectroscopy, and polarimetry. The use of the Ph-Garphos and Ph-Garphos-OH ligands and their transition metal complexes in asymmetric hydrogenations will be reported. Additionally, the scope of the research will highlight the applicability of the Ph-Garphos-OH ligand and its transitional metal complexes as 'green' catalysts.

Keywords: catalysis, asymmetric hydrogenation, diphosphine transition metal complexes, Ph-Garphos ligands

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14 Chiral Ruthenium Aminophosphine and Phosphine Iminopyridine Complexes: Synthesis and Application to Asymmetric Hydrogenation and Transfer Hydrogenation

Authors: Littlelet N. Scarlet, Kamaluddin Abdur-Rashid, Paul T. Maragh, Tara Dasgupta

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Aminophosphines are a privileged class of ancillary ligands with emerging importance in homogeneous catalysis. The unique combination of soft phosphorus (P) and hard nitrogen (N) centres affords a variety of transition metal complexes as potential pre-catalysts for synthetically useful reactions. Herein three ligand systems will be reported; two bidentate ligands - (S)-8-(diphenyl-phosphino)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalen-1-amine, (S)THNANH2, and (Rc)-1-((Sp)-2-diphenylphosphino) ferrocenylethylamine, (RcSp)PPFNH2 - and a tridentate (Rc)-1-((Sp)-2-diphenylphosphino) ferrocenylimino-pyridine, (RcSp)PPFNNH2 ligand; the latter prepared from the condensation of selected ferrocene aminophosphines with pyridine-2-carboxaldehyde. Suitable combinations of these aminophosphine ligands with ruthenium precursors have afforded highly efficient systems for the asymmetric hydrogenation and transfer hydrogenation of selected ketones in 2-propanol. The Ru-(S)THNANH2 precatalyst was the most efficient in the asymmetric hydrogenation of selected ketones with 100% conversions within 4 hours at a catalyst loading of 0.1 mol%. The Ru-(RcSp)PPFNNH2 precatalyst was the most efficient in the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of the ketones with conversions as high as 98% with 0.1 mol% catalyst. However, the enantioselectivities were generally low.

Keywords: aminophosphine, asymmetric hydrogenation, homogeneous catalysis, ruthenium (II), transfer hydrogenation

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13 An Investigation of the Barriers to E-Business Implementation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Jeffrey Chang, Barun Dasgupta

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E-business technologies, whereby business transactions are conducted remotely using the Internet, present unique opportunities and challenges for business. E-business technologies are applicable to a wide range of organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no exception. There is an established body of literature about e-business, looking at definitions, concepts, benefits and challenges. In general, however, the research focus has been on larger organizations, not SMEs. In an attempt to redress the balance of research, this paper looks at e-business technologies specifically from a small business perspective. It seeks to identify the possible barriers that SMEs might face when considering adoption of the e-business concept and practice as part of their business process change initiatives and implementation. To facilitate analysis of these barriers a conceptual framework has been developed which outlines the key conceptual and practical challenges of e-business implementation in SMEs. This is developed following a literature survey comprised of three categories: characteristics of SMEs, issues of IS/IT use in SMEs and general e-business adoption and implementation issues. The framework is then empirically assessed against 7 SMEs who have yet to implement e-business or whose e-business efforts have been unsatisfactory. Conclusions from the case studies can be used to verify the framework, and set parameters for further larger scale empirical investigation.

Keywords: business process change, disruptive technologies, electronic business (e-Business), electronic commerce (e-Commerce), ICT adoption, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

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12 The Politics of Cinema: Representation of Rising Nationalism in Indian Cinema in the Election Year of 2019

Authors: Paawani Tewari, Oishik Dasgupta

Abstract:

Cinema and politics have often intertwined in India. Movies have become a mainstream method of communication with audiences and voters subliminally and directly. Indian film industry on average produces over a thousand films in a year, and during the election year of 2019, India witnessed the release of several highly political movies. Movies such as Uri: The Surgical Strike, Accidental Prime Minister, and PM Modi, et cetera, which are the sample of this study have tried to depict an ideal character of political stalwart leaders with the plausibility to inspire and aiming to change ideological orientations of viewers and the potent voters. This study tries to understand the major links between nationalism, its representation, and its manifestation in Indian cinema and how it is instrumental in shaping the character and orientations of its citizens towards nation, nationalism, and nationhood. Our work aims to highlight how nationalistic assumptions that are swaddled in the Hindi movies released during January 2019 – May 2019 affect the political mood of the nation and, in totality, the democratic system. The authors also try to throw light on how films being a powerful tool, are now being used to shape ideas, brainwashing and swaying opinions for political mileage. Hence it becomes essential for us to explore the dynamics between the quintessential definitions of what nationalism is for a common man in India versus of what has been represented in cinema, especially during the time of the elections.

Keywords: political governance and political analysis, political and public administration, election, public choice

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11 The Relation between Cognitive Fluency and Utterance Fluency in Second Language Spoken Fluency: Studying Fluency through a Psycholinguistic Lens

Authors: Tannistha Dasgupta

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This study explores the aspects of second language (L2) spoken fluency that are related to L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill. It draws on Levelt’s ‘blueprint’ of the L2 speaker which discusses the cognitive issues underlying the act of speaking. However, L2 speaking assessments have largely neglected the underlying mechanism involved in language production; emphasis is given on the relationship between subjective ratings of L2 speech sample and objectively measured aspects of fluency. Hence, in this study, the relation between L2 linguistic knowledge and processing skill i.e. Cognitive Fluency (CF), and objectively measurable aspects of L2 spoken fluency i.e. Utterance Fluency (UF) is examined. The participants of the study are L2 learners of English, studying at high school level in Hyderabad, India. 50 participants with intermediate level of proficiency in English performed several lexical retrieval tasks and attention-shifting tasks to measure CF, and 8 oral tasks to measure UF. Each aspect of UF (speed, pause, and repair) were measured against the scores of CF to find out those aspects of UF which are reliable indicators of CF. Quantitative analysis of the data shows that among the three aspects of UF; speed is the best predictor of CF, and pause is weakly related to CF. The study suggests that including the speed aspect of UF could make L2 fluency assessment more reliable, valid, and objective. Thus, incorporating the assessment of psycholinguistic mechanisms into L2 spoken fluency testing, could result in fairer evaluation.

Keywords: attention-shifting, cognitive fluency, lexical retrieval, utterance fluency

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10 Design of an Acoustic Imaging Sensor Array for Mobile Robots

Authors: Dibyendu Roy, V. Ramu Reddy, Parijat Deshpande, Ranjan Dasgupta

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Imaging of underwater objects is primarily conducted by acoustic imagery due to the severe attenuation of electro-magnetic waves in water. Acoustic imagery underwater has varied range of significant applications such as side-scan sonar, mine hunting sonar. It also finds utility in other domains such as imaging of body tissues via ultrasonography and non-destructive testing of objects. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of using active acoustic imagery in air and simulate phased array beamforming techniques available in literature for various array designs to achieve a suitable acoustic sensor array design for a portable mobile robot which can be applied to detect the presence/absence of anomalous objects in a room. The multi-path reflection effects especially in enclosed rooms and environmental noise factors are currently not simulated and will be dealt with during the experimental phase. The related hardware is designed with the same feasibility criterion that the developed system needs to be deployed on a portable mobile robot. There is a trade of between image resolution and range with the array size, number of elements and the imaging frequency and has to be iteratively simulated to achieve the desired acoustic sensor array design. The designed acoustic imaging array system is to be mounted on a portable mobile robot and targeted for use in surveillance missions for intruder alerts and imaging objects during dark and smoky scenarios where conventional optic based systems do not function well.

Keywords: acoustic sensor array, acoustic imagery, anomaly detection, phased array beamforming

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9 Short-Range and Long-Range Ferrimagnetic Order in Fe(Te₁.₅Se₀.₅)O₅Cl

Authors: E. S. Kozlyakova, A. A. Eliseev, A. V. Moskin, A. Y. Akhrorov, P. S. Berdonosov, V. A. Dolgikh, K. N. Denisova, P. Lemmens, B. Rahaman, S. Das, T. Saha-Dasgupta, A. N. Vasiliev, O. S. Volkova

Abstract:

Considerable attention has been paid recently to FeTe₂O₅Cl due to reduced dimensionality and frustration in the magnetic subsystem, succession of phase transitions, and multiferroicity. The efforts to grow its selenite sibling resulted in mixed halide compound, Fe(Te₁.₅Se₀.₅)O₅Cl, which was found crystallizing in a new structural type and possessing properties drastically different from those of a parent system. Hereby we report the studies of magnetization M and specific heat Cₚ, combined with Raman spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations in Fe(Te₁.₅Se₀.₅)O₅Cl. Its magnetic subsystem features weakly coupled Fe³⁺ - Fe³⁺ dimers showing the regime of short-range correlations at TM ~ 70 K and long-range order at TN = 22 K. In a magnetically ordered state, sizable spin-orbital interactions lead to a small canting of Fe³⁺ moments. The density functional theory calculations of leading exchange interactions were found in agreement with measurements of thermodynamic properties and Raman spectroscopy. Besides, because of the relatively large magnetic moment of the Fe³⁺ ion, we found that magnetic dipole-dipole interactions contribute significantly to experimentally observed orientation of magnetization easy axis in ac-plane. As a conclusion, we suggest a model of magnetic subsystem in magnetically ordered state of Fe(Te₁.₅Se₀.₅)O₅Cl based on a model of interacting dimers.

Keywords: dipole-dipole interactions, low dimensional magnetism, selenite, spin canting

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8 Exploring Paper Mill Sludge and Sugarcane Bagasse as Carrier Matrix in Solid State Fermentation for Carotenoid Pigment Production by Planococcus sp. TRC1

Authors: Subhasree Majumdar, Sovan Dey, Sayari Mukherjee, Sourav Dutta, Dalia Dasgupta Mandal

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Bacterial isolates from Planococcus genus are known for the production of yellowish orange pigment that belongs to the carotenoid family. These pigments are of immense pharmacological importance as antioxidant, anticancer, eye and liver protective agent, etc. The production of this pigment in a cost effective manner is a challenging task. The present study explored paper mill sludge (PMS), a solid lignocellulosic waste generated in large quantities from pulp and paper mill industry as a substrate for carotenoid pigment production by Planococcus sp. TRC1. PMS was compared in terms of efficacy with sugarcane bagasse, which is a highly explored substrate for valuable product generation via solid state fermentation. The results showed that both the biomasses yielded the highest carotenoid during 48 hours of incubation, 31.6 mg/gm and 42.1 mg/gm for PMS and bagasse respectively. Compositional alterations of both the biomasses showed reduction in lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose content by 41%, 15%, 1% for PMS and 38%, 25% and 6% for sugarcane bagasse after 72 hours of incubation. Structural changes in the biomasses were examined by FT-IR, FESEM, and XRD which further confirmed modification of solid biomasses by bacterial isolate. This study revealed the potential of PMS to act as cheap substrate for carotenoid pigment production by Planococcus sp. TRC1, as it showed a significant production in comparison to sugarcane bagasse which gave only 1.3 fold higher production than PMS. Delignification of PMS by TRC1 during pigment production is another important finding for the reuse of this waste from the paper industry.

Keywords: carotenoid, lignocellulosic, paper mill sludge, Planococcus sp. TRC1, solid state fermentation, sugarcane bagasse

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7 Exploring Simple Sequence Repeats within Conserved microRNA Precursors Identified from Tea Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) Database

Authors: Anjan Hazra, Nirjhar Dasgupta, Chandan Sengupta, Sauren Das

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Tea (Camellia sinensis) has received substantial attention from the scientific world time to time, not only for its commercial importance, but also for its demand to the health-conscious people across the world for its extensive use as potential sources of antioxidant supplement. These health-benefit traits primarily rely on some regulatory networks of different metabolic pathways. Development of microsatellite markers from the conserved genomic regions is being worthwhile for studying the genetic diversity of closely related species or self-pollinated species. Although several SSR markers have been reported, in tea the trait-specific Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) are yet to be identified, which can be used for marker assisted breeding technique. MicroRNAs are endogenous, noncoding, short RNAs directly involved in regulating gene expressions at the post-transcriptional level. It has been found that diversity in miRNA gene interferes the formation of its characteristic hair pin structure and the subsequent function. In the present study, the precursors of small regulatory RNAs (microRNAs) has been fished out from tea Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) database. Furthermore, the simple sequence repeat motifs within the putative miRNA precursor genes are also identified in order to experimentally validate their existence and function. It is already known that genic-SSR markers are very adept and breeder-friendly source for genetic diversity analysis. So, the potential outcome of this in-silico study would provide some novel clues in understanding the miRNA-triggered polymorphic genic expression controlling specific metabolic pathways, accountable for tea quality.

Keywords: micro RNA, simple sequence repeats, tea quality, trait specific marker

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6 Jute Based Biocomposites: The Future of Automobiles

Authors: D. P. Ray, L. Ammayappan, S. Debnath, R. K. Ghosh, D. Mondal, S. Dasgupta, S. Islam, S. Chakroborty, P. K. Ganguly, D. Nag

Abstract:

Nature being bountiful is generous enough to provide rich resources to mankind. These resources can be used as an alternative to synthetics, thereby reducing the chances of environmental pollution. Natural fibre based composites have emerged as a successful trend in recent automobile industry. Natural fibre based composites used in automobile industries not only reduces their fuel consumption but also do not pose any health hazards. In spite of the use of natural fibre based bio composite in automobile industries, its use is only being limited to interior products. However, its major drawbacks which contributed to limited scope in the field of industry are reduced durability and mechanical strength. Thereby, the use of natural fibre based bio composites as headliner in case of automobile industries is also not successfully deployed. Out of all the natural fibres available, jute can widely be used as automobile parts because of its easy availability, comparatively higher specific strength, lower density, low thermal conductivity and most importantly its non polluting and non abrasive nature. Various research outcomes in the field of jute based biocomposites for the use of automobile industries has not successfully being deployed due to certain inherent problem of the fibre. Jute being hydrophilic in nature is not readily adhered to the hydrophobic polyester resin. Therefore introduction of a chemical compatibilizer, in the preparation of jute based composites have been tested to enhance the mechanical and durable properties of the material to a greater extent. This present work therefore focuses on the synthesis of a suitable compatibilizer, acting as a chemical bridge between the polar jute fabric and the non polar resin matrix. This in turn results in imparting better interfacial bonding between the two, thereby inducing higher mechanical strength. These coupling treated fabrics are casted into composites and tested for their mechanical properties. The test reports show a remarkable change in all of its properties. The durability test was performed by soil burial test method.

Keywords: jute, automobile industry, biodegradability, chemical compatibilizer

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5 Graduate School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering/ YuanZe University

Authors: Sankhanil Das, Arunava Dasgupta, Keya Mitra

Abstract:

This paper investigates the relationship between natural ecological systems and modern urban morphology. Over years, ecological conditions represented by natural resources such as natural landforms, systems of water, urban geography and land covers have been a significant driving factor of how settlements have formed, expanded and functioned. These have played a pivotal role in formation of the community character and the cultural identity of the urban spaces, and have steered cultural behavior within these settings. Such cultural behaviors have been instrumental in transforming mere spaces to places with meaning and symbolism. The natural process of city formation is principally founded upon the idea of balance and harmony, mostly in a subconscious manner. Reimaging such processes of natural evolution, this paper systematically builds a development model that generates a balance between environment and development, with specific focus on the Urban-Rural fringe areas in the Temple Town of Puri, in Eastern India. Puri represents a unique cross section of ecological landscape, cultural practices and religious symbolism with a very rich history and a vibrant heritage. While the city centre gets more and more crowded by tourists and pilgrims to accommodate related businesses, the original residents of Puri relocate to move towards the urban peripheral areas for better living conditions, gradually converting agricultural lands into non agricultural uses. This rapid spread into the rural hinterland is devoid of any connection with the rich cultural identity of Puri. These past four decades of ‘development’ has been at the cost of 810 Hectares of ecological Lake systems in the region. Invaluable ecological resources at urban rural edges are often viewed as hindrances to development and conceptualized as taking away from the image of the city. This paper attempts to understand the language of development over years on existing natural resources through topo-analysis and proposes a sustainable approach of development using different planning tools, with ecological resources as the pivotal factor of development.

Keywords: livability, sustainable development, urbanization, urban-rural edge

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4 Effect of High Dose of Black Tea Extract on Physiological Parameters of Mother and Pups in Experimental Albino Rats

Authors: Avijit Dey, Antony Gomes, Subir Chandra Dasgupta

Abstract:

Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the most popular beverages in the world and is ranked second after the water. Tea has been considered as a health promoting beverage since ancient times due to its health-promoting activity. Recently, immunomodulatory, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, anticancer and cardioprotective activity of tea has been established. Very few studies have demonstrated the effect of high dose of black tea on health. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of low & high dose of Black Tea Extract (BTE) on the different physiological parameters of mother and pups during prenatal and postnatal developmental period in the experimental rodent. BTE was orally administered in LD (50mg BTE/kg/day) and HD (100mg BTE/kg/day) except control groups of rats (n=6/group) throughout the prenatal (day 0-21) and postnatal (day 21-42) periods. During prenatal period (0, 7th, 14th, 20th days) body weight, urinary calcium, magnesium, urea and creatinine was measured. In postnatal period physical (0, 10th, 21th days) parameters of pups like body weight, cranial length, cranial diameter, neck width, tail length, craniosacral length of pups were analyzed. Liver and lungs from pups and kidney spleen, etc. from mothers were collected on day 42 for histopathological studies. The comparative urine strip and morphology of RBC was also analyzed by SEM from mothers of different groups on day 42. The level of cytokines like IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-alpha were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) on day 0, day 20 and day 42. The body weight of LD and HD mothers were also significantly (P<0.05) less than control mothers at 20th day of pregnancy and there was also significant changes in urinary calcium, urea, creatinine. The bio morphometric analysis of pups showed significant alteration (P<0.05) in HD groups relative to control. Some histological alterations were also observed in pups and mothers. Comparative urine strip analysis and morphology of RBC showed significant changes in treated groups. LD and HD treated mothers showed an increase in proinflammatory cytokines like IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and decrease in anti-inflammatory cytokine-like IL-10 on day 20 compared to PC mothers. This study clearly indicated that high dose of BTE possesses detrimental effect on pregnant mother and the pup. Further studies are in progress to elucidate the molecular mechanism of actions. This project work has been sponsored by National Tea Research Foundation vide Project Sanction No.: 17 (305)/2013/4423 dated 11th March, 2014. All experimental protocols described in the study were approved by animal ethics committee.

Keywords: black tea extract, pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal development, inflammation

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3 Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement with E-Glass Fibre

Authors: Kanchan Maji, Debasmita Pani, Sudip Dasgupta

Abstract:

Calcium phosphate cement (CPC) due to its high bioactivity and optimum bioresorbability shows excellent bone regeneration capability. Despite it has limited applications as bone implant due to its macro-porous microstructure causing its poor mechanical strength. The reinforcement of apatitic CPCs with biocompatible fibre glass phase is an attractive area of research to improve its mechanical strength. Here we study the setting behaviour of Si-doped and un-doped alpha tri-calcium phosphate (α-TCP) based CPC and its reinforcement with the addition of E-glass fibre. Alpha tri-calcium phosphate powders were prepared by solid state sintering of CaCO3, CaHPO4 and tetra ethyl ortho silicate (TEOS) was used as silicon source to synthesise Si doped α-TCP powders. Alpha tri-calcium phosphate based CPC hydrolyzes to form hydroxyapatite (HA) crystals having excellent osteoconductivity and bone-replacement capability thus self-hardens through the entanglement of HA crystals. Setting time, phase composition, hydrolysis conversion rate, microstructure, and diametral tensile strength (DTS) of un-doped CPC and Si-doped CPC were studied and compared. Both initial and final setting time of the developed cement was delayed because of Si addition. Crystalline phases of HA (JCPDS 9-432), α-TCP (JCPDS 29-359) and β-TCP (JCPDS 9-169) were detected in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern after immersion of CPC in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 0 hours to 10 days. The intensities of the α-TCP peaks of (201) and (161) at 2θ of 22.2°and 24.1° decreased when the time of immersion of CPC in SBF increased from 0 hours to 10 days, due to its transformation into HA. As Si incorporation in the crystal lattice stabilised the TCP phase, Si doped CPC showed a little slower rate of conversion into HA phase as compared to un-doped CPC. The SEM image of the microstructure of hardened CPC showed lower grain size of HA in un-doped CPC because of premature setting and faster hydrolysis of un-doped CPC in SBF as compared that in Si-doped CPC. Premature setting caused generation of micro and macro porosity in un-doped CPC structure which resulted in its lower mechanical strength as compared to that in Si-doped CPC. This lower porosity and greater compactness in the microstructure attributes to greater DTS values observed in Si-doped CPC. E-glass fibres of the average diameter of 12 μm were cut into approximately 1 mm in length and immersed in SBF to deposit carbonated apatite on its surface. This was performed to promote HA crystal growth and entanglement along the fibre surface to promote stronger interface between dispersed E-glass fibre and CPC matrix. It was found that addition of 10 wt% of E-glass fibre into Si-doped α-TCP increased the average DTS of CPC from 8 MPa to 15 MPa as the fibres could resist the propagation of crack by deflecting the crack tip. Our study shows that biocompatible E-glass fibre in optimum proportion in CPC matrix can enhance the mechanical strength of CPC without affecting its bioactivity.

Keywords: Calcium phosphate cement, biocompatibility, e-glass fibre, diametral tensile strength

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2 Influence of Surface Fault Rupture on Dynamic Behavior of Cantilever Retaining Wall: A Numerical Study

Authors: Partha Sarathi Nayek, Abhiparna Dasgupta, Maheshreddy Gade

Abstract:

Earth retaining structure plays a vital role in stabilizing unstable road cuts and slopes in the mountainous region. The retaining structures located in seismically active regions like the Himalayas may experience moderate to severe earthquakes. An earthquake produces two kinds of ground motion: permanent quasi-static displacement (fault rapture) on the fault rupture plane and transient vibration, traveling a long distance. There has been extensive research work to understand the dynamic behavior of retaining structures subjected to transient ground motions. However, understanding the effect caused by fault rapture phenomena on retaining structures is limited. The presence of shallow crustal active faults and natural slopes in the Himalayan region further highlights the need to study the response of retaining structures subjected to fault rupture phenomena. In this paper, an attempt has been made to understand the dynamic response of the cantilever retaining wall subjected to surface fault rupture. For this purpose, a 2D finite element model consists of a retaining wall, backfill and foundation have been developed using Abaqus 6.14 software. The backfill and foundation material are modeled as per the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion, and the wall is modeled as linear elastic. In this present study, the interaction between backfill and wall is modeled as ‘surface-surface contact.’ The entire simulation process is divided into three steps, i.e., the initial step, gravity load step, fault rupture step. The interaction property between wall and soil and fixed boundary condition to all the boundary elements are applied in the initial step. In the next step, gravity load is applied, and the boundary elements are allowed to move in the vertical direction to incorporate the settlement of soil due to the gravity load. In the final step, surface fault rupture has been applied to the wall-backfill system. For this purpose, the foundation is divided into two blocks, namely, the hanging wall block and the footwall block. A finite fault rupture displacement is applied to the hanging wall part while the footwall bottom boundary is kept as fixed. Initially, a numerical analysis is performed considering the reverse fault mechanism with a dip angle of 45°. The simulated result is presented in terms of contour maps of permanent displacements of the wall-backfill system. These maps highlighted that surface fault rupture can induce permanent displacement in both horizontal and vertical directions, which can significantly influence the dynamic behavior of the wall-backfill system. Further, the influence of fault mechanism, dip angle, and surface fault rupture position is also investigated in this work.

Keywords: surface fault rupture, retaining wall, dynamic response, finite element analysis

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1 An Empirical Examination of Ethnic Differences in the Use and Experience of Child Healthcare Services in New Zealand

Authors: Terryann Clark, Kabir Dasgupta, Sonia Lewycka, Gail Pacheco, Alexander Plum

Abstract:

This paper focused on two main research aims using data from the Growing Up in New Zealand (GUINZ) birth cohort: 1. To examine ethnic differences in life-course trajectories in the use and experience of healthcare services in early childhood years (namely immunisation, dental checks and use of General Practitioners (GPs)) 2. To quantify the contribution of relevant explanatory factors to ethnic differences. Current policy in New Zealand indicates there should be, in terms of associated direct costs, equitable access by ethnicity for healthcare services. However, empirical evidence points to persistent ethnic gaps in several domains. For example, the data highlighted that Māori have the lowest immunisation rates, across a number of time points in early childhood – despite having a higher antenatal intention to immunise relative to NZ European. Further to that, NZ European are much more likely to have their first-choice lead maternity caregiver (LMC) and use child dental services compared to all ethnicities. Method: This research explored the underlying mechanisms behind ethnic differences in the use and experience of child healthcare services. First, a multivariate regression analysis was used to adjust raw ethnic gaps in child health care utilisation by relevant covariates. This included a range of factors, encompassing mobility, socio-economic status, mother and child characteristics, household characteristics and other social aspects. Second, a decomposition analysis was used to assess the proportion of each ethnic gap that can be explained, as well as the main drivers behind the explained component. The analysis for both econometric approaches was repeated for each data time point available, which included antenatal, 9 months, 2 years and 4 years post-birth. Results: The following findings emerged: There is consistent evidence that Asian and Pacific peoples have a higher likelihood of child immunisation relative to NZ Europeans and Māori. This was evident at all time points except one. Pacific peoples had a lower rate relative to NZ European for receiving all first-year immunisations on time. For a number of potential individual and household predictors of healthcare service utilisation, the association is time-variant across early childhood. For example, socio-economic status appears highly relevant for timely immunisations in a child’s first year, but is then insignificant for the 15 month immunisations and those at age 4. Social factors play a key role. This included discouragement or encouragement regarding child immunisation. When broken down by source, discouragement by family has the largest marginal effect, followed by health professionals; whereas for encouragement, medical professionals have the largest positive influence. Perceived ethnically motivated discrimination by a health professional was significant with respect to both reducing the likelihood of achieving first choice LMC, and also satisfaction levels with child’s GP. Some ethnic gaps were largely unexplained, despite the wealth of factors employed as independent variables in our analysis. This included understanding why Pacific mothers are much less likely to achieve their first choice LMC compared to NZ Europeans; and also the ethnic gaps for both Māori and Pacific peoples relative to NZ Europeans concerning dental service use.

Keywords: child health, cohort analysis, ethnic disparities, primary healthcare

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