Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Lambodar Behera

17 Comparative Transcriptome Profiling of Low Light Tolerant and Sensitive Rice Varieties Induced by Low Light Stress at Active Tillering Stage

Authors: Darshan Panda, Lambodar Behera, M. J. Baig, Sudhanshu Sekhar

Abstract:

Low light intensity is a significant limitation for grain yield and quality in rice. However, yield is not significantly reduced in low-light tolerant rice varieties. The work, therefore, planned for comparative transcriptome profiling under low light stress to decipher the genes involved and molecular mechanism of low light tolerance in rice. At the active tillering stage, 50% low light exposure for one day, three days, and five days were given to Swarnaprabha (low light tolerant) and IR8 (low light sensitive) rice varieties. Illumina (HiSeq) platform was used for transcriptome sequencing. A total of 6,652 and 12,042 genes were differentially expressed due to low light intensity in Swarnaprabha and IR8, respectively, as compared to control. CAB, LRP, SBPase, MT15, TF PCL1, and Photosystem I & II complex related gene expressions were mostly increased in Swarnaprabha upon the longer duration of low light exposure, which was not found in IR8 as compared to control. Their expressions were validated by qRT-PCR. The overall study suggested that the maintenance of grain yield in the tolerant variety under low light might be the result of accelerated expression of the genes, which enable the plant to keep the photosynthetic processes moving at the same pace even under low light.

Keywords: rice, low light, photosynthesis, yield

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16 Investigation of Polar Atmospheric Response to the Intense Geo-Space Activities

Authors: Jayanta K. Behera, Ashwini K. Sinha

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The study has pointed out the relationship of energetic particle precipitation (EPP) during high speed solar wind streams (HSS) to the ionization characteristics and subsequent NOx production in the polar atmosphere. Over the last few decades, it has been shown that production of NOx in the mesosphere region during the precipitation of charged particles (with energy range >30 KeV to 1 MeV) is directly related to the ozone loss in the polar middle atmosphere, extending from mesosphere to upper stratosphere. This study has dealt with the analysis of the interplanetary parameters such as interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), solar wind velocity (Vs), charged particle density (Ns), convection field enhancement (Ec) during such HSS events and their link to the rate of production of NOx in the mesosphere. Moreover, the analysis will be used to validate or, to modify the current ion-chemistry models which describe the ionization rate and NOx production in the polar atmosphere due to EPP.

Keywords: energetic particle precipitation (EPP), NOx, ozone depletion, polar vortex

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15 Estimation of Soil Erosion and Sediment Yield for ONG River Using GIS

Authors: Sanjay Kumar Behera, Kanhu Charan Patra

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A GIS-based method has been applied for the determination of soil erosion and sediment yield in a small watershed in Ong River basin, Odisha, India. The method involves spatial disintegration of the catchment into homogenous grid cells to capture the catchment heterogeneity. The gross soil erosion in each cell was calculated using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) by carefully determining its various parameters. The concept of sediment delivery ratio is used to route surface erosion from each of the discretized cells to the catchment outlet. The process of sediment delivery from grid cells to the catchment outlet is represented by the topographical characteristics of the cells. The effect of DEM resolution on sediment yield is analyzed using two different resolutions of DEM. The spatial discretization of the catchment and derivation of the physical parameters related to erosion in the cell are performed through GIS techniques.

Keywords: DEM, GIS, sediment delivery ratio, sediment yield, soil erosion

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14 Eliminating Injury in the Work Place and Realizing Vision Zero Using Accident Investigation and Analysis as Method: A Case Study

Authors: Ramesh Kumar Behera, Md. Izhar Hassan

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Accident investigation and analysis are useful to identify deficiencies in plant, process, and management practices and formulate preventive strategies for injury elimination. In India and other parts of the world, industrial accidents are investigated to know the causes and also to fulfill legal compliances. However, findings of investigation are seldom used appropriately to strengthen Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in expected lines. The mineral rich state of Odisha in eastern coast of India; known as a hub for Iron and Steel industries, witnessed frequent accidents during 2005-2009. This article based on study of 982 fatal ‘factory-accidents’ occurred in Odisha during the period 2001-2016, discusses the ‘turnaround-story’ resulting in reduction of fatal accident from 122 in 2009 to 45 in 2016. This paper examines various factors causing incidents; accident pattern in steel and chemical sector; role of climate and harsh weather conditions on accident causation. Software such as R, SQL, MS-Excel and Tableau were used for analysis of data. It is found that maximum fatality is caused due to ‘fall from height’ (24%); steel industries are relatively more accident prone; harsh weather conditions of summer increase chances of accident by 20%. Further, the study suggests that enforcement of partial work-restriction around lunch time during peak summer, screening and training of employees reduce accidents due to fall from height. The study indicates that learning from accident investigation and analysis can be used as a method to reduce work related accidents in the journey towards ‘Vision Zero’.

Keywords: accident investigation and analysis, fatal accidents in India, fall from height, vision zero

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13 Groundwater Recharge Pattern in East and West Coast of India: Evidence of Dissimilar Moisture Sources

Authors: Ajit Kumar Behera, Saranya P., Sudhir Kumar, Krishnakumar A

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The stable isotope (δ¹⁸ O and δ²H) composition of groundwater of the coastal areas of Periyar and Mahanadi basins falling along East and West coast of India during North-East (NE) monsoon season have been studied. The east and west coast regions are surrounded by the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea respectively, which are considered to be the primary sources for precipitation over India. The major difference between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea is that a number of large rivers feed the Bay of Bengal, whereas the Arabian Sea is fed by very few small rivers, resulting in enriched stable isotopic composition of the Arabian Sea than the Bay of Bengal. Previous studies have reported depleted ratios of stable isotopes during Northeast monsoon along East and West coasts due to the influence of the Bay of Bengal moisture source. The isotopic composition of groundwater of the Mahanadi delta in the east coast region varies from -6.87 ‰ to -3.40 ‰ for δ¹⁸ O and -45.42 ‰ to -22.43‰ for δ²H. However, the groundwater of the Periyar basin in the west coast has enriched stable isotope value varying from -4.3‰ to -2.5 ‰ for δ¹⁸ O and for δ²H from -23.7 to -6.4 ‰ which is a characteristic of South-West monsoon season. This suggests the groundwater system of the Mahanadi delta and the Periyar basins are influenced by dissimilar moisture sources. The δ¹⁸ O and δ² H relationship (δ²H= 6.513 δ¹⁸ O - 1.39) and d-excess value (< 10) in the east coast region indicates the influence of NE monsoon implying the quick groundwater recharge after precipitation with significant amount of evaporation. In contrast, the δ¹⁸ O and δ²H regression line (δ²H= 8.408 δ¹⁸ O + 11.71) with high d-excess value (>10) in the west coast region implies delayed recharge due to SW monsoon. The observed isotopic enrichment in west coast suggests that NE winter monsoon rainfall does not replenish groundwater quick enough to produce isotopic depletion during the season.

Keywords: Arabian sea, bay of Bengal, groundwater, monsoon, stable isotope

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12 Formation of in-situ Ceramic Phase in N220 Nano Carbon Containing Low Carbon Mgo-C Refractory

Authors: Satyananda Behera, Ritwik Sarkar

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In iron and steel industries, MgO–C refractories are widely used in basic oxygen furnaces, electric arc furnaces and steel ladles due to their excellent corrosion resistance, thermal shock resistance, and other excellent hot properties. Conventionally magnesia carbon refractories contain about 8-20 wt% of carbon but the use of carbon is also associate with disadvantages like oxidation, low fracture strength, high heat loss and higher carbon pick up in steel. So, MgO-C refractory having low carbon content without compromising the beneficial properties is the challenge. Nano carbon, having finer particles, can mix and distribute within the entire matrix uniformly and can result in improved mechanical, thermo-mechanical, corrosion and other refractory properties. Previous experiences with the use of nano carbon in low carbon MgO-C refractory have indicated an optimum range of use of nano carbon around 1 wt%. This optimum nano carbon content was used in MgO-C compositions with flaky graphite followed by aluminum and silicon metal powder as an anti-oxidant. These low carbon MgO-C refractory compositions were prepared by conventional manufacturing techniques. At the same time 16 wt. % flaky graphite containing conventional MgO-C refractory was also prepared parallel under similar conditions. The developed products were characterized for various refractory related properties. Nano carbon containing compositions showed better mechanical, thermo-mechanical properties, and oxidation resistance compared to that of conventional composition. Improvement in the properties is associated with the formation of in-situ ceramic phase-like aluminum carbide, silicon carbide, and magnesium aluminum spinel. Higher surface area and higher reactivity of N220 nano carbon black resulted in greater formation in-situ ceramic phases, even at a much lower amount. Nano carbon containing compositions were found to have improved properties in MgO-C refractories compared to that of the conventional ones at much lower total carbon content.

Keywords: N220nano carbon black, refractory properties, conventionally manufacturing techniques, conventional magnesia carbon refractories

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11 Effect of Calving Season on the Economic and Production Efficiency of Dairy Production Breeds

Authors: Eman. K. Ramadan, Abdelgawad. S. El-Tahawy

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of calving season on the production and economic efficiency of dairy farms in Egypt. Our study was performed at dairy production farms in the Alexandria, Behera, and Kafr El-Sheikh provinces of Egypt from summer 2010 to winter 2013. The randomly selected dairy farms had herds consisting of Baladi, Holstein-Friesian, or cross-bred (Baladi × Holstein-Friesian) cows. The data were collected from production records and responses to a structured questionnaire. The average total return differed significantly (P < 0.05) between the different cattle breeds and calving seasons. The average total return was highest for the Holstein-Friesian cows that calved in the winter (29106.42 EGP/cow/year), and it was lowest for Baladi cows that calved in the summer (12489.79 EGP/cow/year). Differences in total returns between the cows that calved in the winter or summer or between the foreign and native breeds, as well as variations in calf prices, might have contributed to the differences in milk yield. The average net profit per cow differed significantly (P < 0.05) between the cattle breeds and calving seasons. The average net profit values for the Baladi cows that calved in the winter or summer were 2413 and 2994.96 EGP/cow/year, respectively, and those for the Holstein-Friesian cows were 10744.17 and 7860.56 EGP/cow/year, respectively, whereas those for the cross-bred cows were 10174.86 and 7571.33 EGP/cow/year, respectively. The variations in net profit might have resulted from variation in the availability or price of feed materials, milk prices, or sales volumes. Our results show that the breed and calving season of dairy cows significantly affected the economic efficiency of dairy farms in Egypt. The cows that calved in the winter produced more milk than those that calved in the summer, which may have been the result of seasonal influences, such as temperature, humidity, management practices, and the type of feed or green fodder available.

Keywords: calving season, economic, production, efficiency, dairy

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10 Discrimination of Bio-Analytes by Using Two-Dimensional Nano Sensor Array

Authors: P. Behera, K. K. Singh, D. K. Saini, M. De

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Implementation of 2D materials in the detection of bio analytes is highly advantageous in the field of sensing because of its high surface to volume ratio. We have designed our sensor array with different cationic two-dimensional MoS₂, where surface modification was achieved by cationic thiol ligands with different functionality. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) was chosen as signal transducers for its biocompatibility and anionic nature, which can bind to the cationic MoS₂ surface easily, followed by fluorescence quenching. The addition of bio-analyte to the sensor can decomplex the cationic MoS₂ and GFP conjugates, followed by the regeneration of GFP fluorescence. The fluorescence response pattern belongs to various analytes collected and transformed to linear discriminant analysis (LDA) for classification. At first, 15 different proteins having wide range of molecular weight and isoelectric points were successfully discriminated at 50 nM with detection limit of 1 nM. The sensor system was also executed in biofluids such as serum, where 10 different proteins at 2.5 μM were well separated. After successful discrimination of protein analytes, the sensor array was implemented for bacteria sensing. Six different bacteria were successfully classified at OD = 0.05 with a detection limit corresponding to OD = 0.005. The optimized sensor array was able to classify uropathogens from non-uropathogens in urine medium. Further, the technique was applied for discrimination of bacteria possessing resistance to different types and amounts of drugs. We found out the mechanism of sensing through optical and electrodynamic studies, which indicates the interaction between bacteria with the sensor system was mainly due to electrostatic force of interactions, but the separation of native bacteria from their drug resistant variant was due to Van der Waals forces. There are two ways bacteria can be detected, i.e., through bacterial cells and lysates. The bacterial lysates contain intracellular information and also safe to analysis as it does not contain live cells. Lysates of different drug resistant bacteria were patterned effectively from the native strain. From unknown sample analysis, we found that discrimination of bacterial cells is more sensitive than that of lysates. But the analyst can prefer bacterial lysates over live cells for safer analysis.

Keywords: array-based sensing, drug resistant bacteria, linear discriminant analysis, two-dimensional MoS₂

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9 Energy Security and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Prospects

Authors: Abhimanyu Behera

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Over the past few years, energy security and sustainable development have moved rapidly into the global agenda. There are two main reasons: first, the impact of high and often volatile energy prices; second, concerns over environmental sustainability particularly about the global climate. Both issues are critically important in which impressive economic growth has boosted the demand for energy and put corresponding strains on the environment. Energy security is a broad concept that focuses on energy availability and pricing. Specifically, it refers to the ability of the energy supply system i.e. suppliers, transporters, distributors and regulatory, financial and R&D institutions to deliver the amount of competitively priced energy that customers demand, within accepted standards of reliability, timeliness, quality, safety. Traditionally, energy security has been defined in the context of the geopolitical risks to external oil supplies but today it is encompassing all energy forms, all the external and internal links bringing the energy to the final consumer, and all the many ways energy supplies can be disrupted including equipment malfunctions, system design flaws, operator errors, malicious computer activities, deficient market and regulatory frameworks, corporate financial problems, labour actions, severe weather and natural events, aggressive acts (e.g. war, terrorism and sabotage), and geopolitical disruptions. In practice, the most challenging disruptions are those linked to: 1) extreme weather events; 2) mismatched electricity supply and demand; 3) regulatory failures; and 4) concentration of oil and gas resources in certain regions of the world. However, insecure energy supplies inhibit development by raising energy costs and imposing expensive cuts in services when disruptions actually occur. The energy supply sector can best advance sustainable development by producing and delivering secure and environmentally-friendly sources of energy and by increasing the efficiency of energy use. With this objective, this paper seeks to highlight the significance of energy security and sustainable development in today’s world. Moreover, it critically overhauls the major challenges towards sustainability of energy security and what are the major policies are taken to overcome these challenges by Government is lucidly explicated in this paper.

Keywords: energy, policies, security, sustainability

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8 Understanding Magnetic Properties of Cd1-xSnxCr2Se4 Using Local Structure Probes

Authors: P. Suchismita Behera, V. G. Sathe, A. K. Nigam, P. A. Bhobe

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Co-existence of long-range ferromagnetism and semi-conductivity with correlated behavior of structural, magnetic, optical and electrical properties in various sites doping at CdCr2Se4 makes it a most promising candidate for spin-based electronic applications and magnetic devices. It orders ferromagnetically below TC = 130 K with a direct band gap of ~ 1.5 eV. The magnetic ordering is believed to result from strong competition between the direct antiferromagnetic Cr-Cr spin couplings and the ferromagnetic Cr-Se-Cr exchange interactions. With an aim of understanding the influence of crystal structure on its magnetic properties without disturbing the magnetic site, we investigated four compositions with 3%, 5%, 7% and 10% of Sn-substitution at Cd-site. Partial substitution of Cd2+ (0.78Å) by small sized nonmagnetic ion, Sn4+ (0.55Å), is expected to bring about local lattice distortion as well as a change in electronic charge distribution. The structural disorder would affect the Cd/Sn – Se bonds thus affecting the Cr-Cr and Cr-Se-Cr bonds. Whereas, the charge imbalance created due to Sn4+ substitution at Cd2+ leads to the possibility of Cr mixed valence state. Our investigation of the local crystal structure using the EXAFS, Raman spectroscopy and magnetic properties using SQUID magnetometry of the Cd1-xSnxCr2Se4 series reflects this premise. All compositions maintain the Fd3m cubic symmetry with tetrahedral distribution of Sn at Cd-site, as confirmed by XRD analysis. Lattice parameters were determined from the Rietveld refinement technique of the XRD data and further confirmed from the EXAFS spectra recorded at Cr K-edge. Presence of five Raman-active phonon vibrational modes viz. (T2g (1), T2g (2), T2g (3), Eg, A1g) in the Raman spectra further confirms the crystal symmetry. Temperature dependence of the Raman data provides interesting insight to the spin– phonon coupling, known to dominate the magneto-capacitive properties in the parent compound. Below the magnetic ordering temperature, the longitudinal damping of Eg mode associated with Se-Cd/Sn-Se bending and T2g (2) mode associated to Cr-Se-Cr interaction, show interesting deviations with respect to increase in Sn substitution. Besides providing the estimate of TC, the magnetic measurements recorded as a function of field provide the values of total magnetic moment for all the studied compositions indicative of formation of multiple Cr valences.

Keywords: exchange interactions, EXAFS, ferromagnetism, Raman spectroscopy, spinel chalcogenides

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7 Strengthening Functional Community-Provider Linkages: Lessons from the Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities Program in Indore, India

Authors: Sabyasachi Behera, Shiv Kumar, Pramod Gautam, Anisur Rahman, Pawan Pathak, Rahul Bhadouria

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Background: The increasing proportion of population especially urban poor and vulnerable groups or groups with specific needs, with health indicators worse than their rural counterparts in India face various issues related with availability and quality of health care. The reasons are myriad, starting from information and awareness of the community, especially, in a scenario wherein the needs and challenges of floating and migrant urban populations remain poorly understood. Weak linkages between health care facilities and slum dwellers and vulnerable populations hinder the improvement of health services for urban poor. Method: To address this issue, TCIHC program is helping health department of Indore city of Madhya Pradesh to establish a referral mechanism with a dual approach: at both community and facility level. The former is based on the premise of ‘building social capital’, i.e. norms and networks within a community facilitating collective action, helps improve the demand and supply of health services at appropriate levels of care (Minus 2: Accredited Social Health Activist and Community Health Groups; Minus 1: Urban Health Nutrition Days; Zero: Urban Primary Health Center; Plus 1: secondary facility with BEmONC services; Plus 2: secondary facilities with CEmONC services; Plus 3: tertiary level facility) for the urban poor. The latter focuses on encouraging the provision of all services at various levels of service delivery points and stakeholders to function in a coordinated manner to ensure better health service availability and coverage in underserved slum areas. Results: This initiative has enhanced the utilization of community based, primary and secondary level services through defined referral pathways that are clearly known to a community dweller. Conclusion: An ideal referral mechanism should begin with referral at the community level wherein services of a frontline health care provider are accessed by them at their door-step, causing no delay in both understanding and decision on the health issues faced by them.

Keywords: levels of care, linkages, referral mechanism, service delivery

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6 Metaphysics of the Unified Field of the Universe

Authors: Santosh Kaware, Dnyandeo Patil, Moninder Modgil, Hemant Bhoir, Debendra Behera

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The Unified Field Theory has been an area of intensive research since many decades. This paper focuses on philosophy and metaphysics of unified field theory at Planck scale - and its relationship with super string theory and Quantum Vacuum Dynamic Physics. We examined the epistemology of questions such as - (1) what is the Unified Field of universe? (2) can it actually - (a) permeate the complete universe - or (b) be localized in bound regions of the universe - or, (c) extend into the extra dimensions? - -or (d) live only in extra dimensions? (3) What should be the emergent ontological properties of Unified field? (4) How the universe is manifesting through its Quantum Vacuum energies? (5) How is the space time metric coupled to the Unified field? We present a number of ansatz - which we outline below. It is proposed that the unified field possesses consciousness as well as a memory - a recording of past history - analogous to ‘Consistent Histories’ interpretation of quantum mechanics. We proposed Planck scale geometry of Unified Field with circle like topology and having 32 energy points on its periphery which are the connected to each other by 10 dimensional meta-strings which are sources for manifestation of different fundamentals forces and particles of universe through its Quantum Vacuum energies. It is also proposed that the sub energy levels of ‘Conscious Unified Field’ are used for the process of creation, preservation and rejuvenation of the universe over a period of time by means of negentropy. These epochs can be for the complete universe, or for localized regions such as galaxies or cluster of galaxies. It is proposed that Unified field operates through geometric patterns of its Quantum Vacuum energies - manifesting as various elementary particles by giving spins to zero point energy elements. Epistemological relationship between unified field theory and super-string theories is examined. Properties of ‘consciousness’ and 'memory' cascades from universe, into macroscopic objects - and further onto the elementary particles - via a fractal pattern. Other properties of fundamental particles - such as mass, charge, spin, iso-spin also spill out of such a cascade. The manifestations of the unified field can reach into the parallel universes or the ‘multi-verse’ and essentially have an existence independent of the space-time. It is proposed that mass, length, time scales of the unified theory are less than even the Planck scale - and can be called at a level which we call that of 'Super Quantum Gravity (SQG)'.

Keywords: super string theory, Planck scale geometry, negentropy, super quantum gravity

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5 Perception, Knowledge and Practices on Balanced Diet among Adolescents, Their Parents and Frontline Functionaries in Rural Sites of Banda, Varanasi and Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh,India

Authors: Gunjan Razdan, Priyanka Sreenath, Jagannath Behera, S. K. Mishra, Sunil Mehra

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Uttar Pradesh is one of the poor performing states with high Malnutrition and Anaemia among adolescent girls resulting in high MMR, IMR and low birth weight rate. The rate of anaemia among adolescent girls has doubled in the past decade. Adolescents gain around 15-20% of their optimum height, 25-50% of the ideal adult weight and 45% of the skeletal mass by the age of 19. Poor intake of energy, protein and other nutrients is one of the factors for malnutrition and anaemia. METHODS: The cross-sectional survey using a mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) was adopted in this study. The respondents (adolescents, parents and frontline health workers) were selected randomly from 30 villages and surveyed through a semi-structured questionnaire for qualitative information and FGDs and IDIs for qualitative information. A 24 hours dietary recall method was adopted to estimate their dietary practices. A total of 1069 adolescent girls, 1067 boys, 1774 parents and 69 frontline functionaries were covered under the study. Percentages and mean were calculated for quantitative variable, and content analysis was carried out for qualitative data. RESULTS: Over 80 % of parents provided assertions that they understood the term balanced diet and strongly felt that their children were having balanced diet. However, only negligible 1.5 % of parents could correctly recount essential eight food groups and 22% could tell about four groups which was the minimum response expected to say respondents had fair knowledge on a balanced diet. Only 10 percent of parents could tell that balanced diet helps in physical and mental growth and only 2% said it has a protective role. Besides, qualitative data shows that the perception regarding balanced diet is having costly food items like nuts and fruits. The dietary intake of adolescents is very low despite the increased iron needs associated with physical growth and puberty.The consumption of green leafy vegetables (less than 35 %) and citrus fruits (less than 50%) was found to be low. CONCLUSIONS: The assertions on an understanding of term balanced diet are contradictory to the actual knowledge and practices. Knowledge on essential food groups and nutrients is crucial to inculcate healthy eating practices among adolescents. This calls for comprehensive communication efforts to improve the knowledge and dietary practices among adolescents.

Keywords: anemia, knowledge, malnutrition, perceptions

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4 Effects of Polydispersity on the Glass Transition Dynamics of Aqueous Suspensions of Soft Spherical Colloidal Particles

Authors: Sanjay K. Behera, Debasish Saha, Paramesh Gadige, Ranjini Bandyopadhyay

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The zero shear viscosity (η₀) of a suspension of hard sphere colloids characterized by a significant polydispersity (≈10%) increases with increase in volume fraction (ϕ) and shows a dramatic increase at ϕ=ϕg with the system entering a colloidal glassy state. Fragility which is the measure of the rapidity of approach of these suspensions towards the glassy state is sensitive to its size polydispersity and stiffness of the particles. Soft poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) particles deform in the presence of neighboring particles at volume fraction above the random close packing volume fraction of undeformed monodisperse spheres. Softness, therefore, enhances the packing efficiency of these particles. In this study PNIPAM particles of a nearly constant swelling ratio and with polydispersities varying over a wide range (7.4%-48.9%) are synthesized to study the effects of polydispersity on the dynamics of suspensions of soft PNIPAM colloidal particles. The size and polydispersity of these particles are characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As these particles are deformable, their packing in aqueous suspensions is quantified in terms of effective volume fraction (ϕeff). The zero shear viscosity (η₀) data of these colloidal suspensions, estimated from rheometric experiments as a function of the effective volume fraction ϕeff of the suspensions, increases with increase in ϕeff and shows a dramatic increase at ϕeff = ϕ₀. The data for η₀ as a function of ϕeff fits well to the Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann equation. It is observed that increasing polydispersity results in increasingly fragile supercooled liquid-like behavior, with the parameter ϕ₀, extracted from the fits to the VFT equation shifting towards higher ϕeff. The observed increase in fragility is attributed to the prevalence of dynamical heterogeneities (DHs) in these polydisperse suspensions, while the simultaneous shift in ϕ₀ is ascribed to the decoupling of the dynamics of the smallest and largest particles. Finally, it is observed that the intrinsic nonlinearity of these suspensions, estimated at the third harmonic near ϕ₀ in Fourier transform oscillatory rheological experiments, increases with increase in polydispersity. These results are in agreement with theoretical predictions and simulation results for polydisperse hard sphere colloidal glasses and clearly demonstrate that jammed suspensions of polydisperse colloidal particles can be effectively fluidized with increasing polydispersity. Suspensions of these particles are therefore excellent candidates for detailed experimental studies of the effects of polydispersity on the dynamics of glass formation.

Keywords: dynamical heterogeneity, effective volume fraction, fragility, intrinsic nonlinearity

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3 Evidence-Based Health System Strengthening in Urban India: Drawing Insights from Rapid Assessment Study

Authors: Anisur Rahman, Sabyasachi Behera, Pawan Pathak, Benazir Patil, Rajesh Khanna

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Background: Nearly half of India’s population is expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. The extent to which India's health system can provide for this large and growing city-based population will determine the country's success in achieving universal health coverage and improved national health indices. National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) strive for improving access to primary health care in urban areas. Implementation of NUHM solicits sensitive, effective and sustainable strategies to strengthen the service delivery mechanisms. The Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities (TCIHC) is working with the Government of India and three provincial states to develop effective service delivery mechanisms for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) through a health systems approach for the urban poor. Method: A rapid assessment study was conceptualized and executed to generate evidence in order to address the challenges impeding in functioning of urban health facilities to deliver effective, efficient and equitable health care services in 7 cities spread across two project States viz. Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. Results: The findings of the assessment reflect: 1. The overall ecosystem pertaining to planning and management of public health interventions is not conducive. 2. The challenges regarding population dynamics like migration keeps on influencing the demand-supply-enabling environment triangle for both public and private service providers. 3. Lack of norms for planning and benchmark for service delivery further impedes urban health system as a whole. 4. Operationalization of primary level services have enough potential to meet the demand of slum dwellers at large. 5. Lack of policy driven strategies on how to integrate the NUHM with other thematic areas of Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (MNCH) and Family Planning (FP). 5. The inappropriate capacity building and acute shortage of Human Resources has huge implication on service provisioning and adherence to the service delivery protocols. Conclusion: The findings from rapid assessment are aimed to inform pertinent stakeholders to develop a multiyear city health action plan to strengthen the health systems in order to improve the efficacy of service delivery mechanism in urban settings.

Keywords: city health plan, health system, rapid assessment, urban mission

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2 Co₂Fe LDH on Aromatic Acid Functionalized N Doped Graphene: Hybrid Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Evolution Reaction

Authors: Biswaranjan D. Mohapatra, Ipsha Hota, Swarna P. Mantry, Nibedita Behera, Kumar S. K. Varadwaj

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Designing highly active and low-cost oxygen evolution (2H₂O → 4H⁺ + 4e⁻ + O₂) electrocatalyst is one of the most active areas of advanced energy research. Some precious metal-based electrocatalysts, such as IrO₂ and RuO₂, have shown excellent performance for oxygen evolution reaction (OER); however, they suffer from high-cost and low abundance which limits their applications. Recently, layered double hydroxides (LDHs), composed of layers of divalent and trivalent transition metal cations coordinated to hydroxide anions, have gathered attention as an alternative OER catalyst. However, LDHs are insulators and coupled with carbon materials for the electrocatalytic applications. Graphene covalently doped with nitrogen has been demonstrated to be an excellent electrocatalyst for energy conversion technologies such as; oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER) & hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, they operate at high overpotentials, significantly above the thermodynamic standard potentials. Recently, we reported remarkably enhanced catalytic activity of benzoate or 1-pyrenebutyrate functionalized N-doped graphene towards the ORR in alkaline medium. The molecular and heteroatom co-doping on graphene is expected to tune the electronic structure of graphene. Therefore, an innovative catalyst architecture, in which LDHs are anchored on aromatic acid functionalized ‘N’ doped graphene may presumably boost the OER activity to a new benchmark. Herein, we report fabrication of Co₂Fe-LDH on aromatic acid (AA) functionalized ‘N’ doped reduced graphene oxide (NG) and studied their OER activities in alkaline medium. In the first step, a novel polyol method is applied for synthesis of AA functionalized NG, which is well dispersed in aqueous medium. In the second step, Co₂Fe LDH were grown on AA functionalized NG by co-precipitation method. The hybrid samples are abbreviated as Co₂Fe LDH/AA-NG, where AA is either Benzoic acid or 1, 3-Benzene dicarboxylic acid (BDA) or 1, 3, 5 Benzene tricarboxylic acid (BTA). The crystal structure and morphology of the samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). These studies confirmed the growth of layered single phase LDH. The electrocatalytic OER activity of these hybrid materials was investigated by rotating disc electrode (RDE) technique on a glassy carbon electrode. The linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) on these catalyst samples were taken at 1600rpm. We observed significant OER performance enhancement in terms of onset potential and current density on Co₂Fe LDH/BTA-NG hybrid, indicating the synergic effect. This exploration of molecular functionalization effect in doped graphene and LDH system may provide an excellent platform for innovative design of OER catalysts.

Keywords: π-π functionalization, layered double hydroxide, oxygen evolution reaction, reduced graphene oxide

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1 Nature of Forest Fragmentation Owing to Human Population along Elevation Gradient in Different Countries in Hindu Kush Himalaya Mountains

Authors: Pulakesh Das, Mukunda Dev Behera, Manchiraju Sri Ramachandra Murthy

Abstract:

Large numbers of people living in and around the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, depends on this diverse mountainous region for ecosystem services. Following the global trend, this region also experiencing rapid population growth, and demand for timber and agriculture land. The eight countries sharing the HKH region have different forest resources utilization and conservation policies that exert varying forces in the forest ecosystem. This created a variable spatial as well altitudinal gradient in rate of deforestation and corresponding forest patch fragmentation. The quantitative relationship between fragmentation and demography has not been established before for HKH vis-à-vis along elevation gradient. This current study was carried out to attribute the overall and different nature in landscape fragmentations along the altitudinal gradient with the demography of each sharing countries. We have used the tree canopy cover data derived from Landsat data to analyze the deforestation and afforestation rate, and corresponding landscape fragmentation observed during 2000 – 2010. Area-weighted mean radius of gyration (AMN radius of gyration) was computed owing to its advantage as spatial indicator of fragmentation over non-spatial fragmentation indices. Using the subtraction method, the change in fragmentation was computed during 2000 – 2010. Using the tree canopy cover data as a surrogate of forest cover, highest forest loss was observed in Myanmar followed by China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. However, the sequence of fragmentation was different after the maximum fragmentation observed in Myanmar followed by India, China, Bangladesh, and Bhutan; whereas increase in fragmentation was seen following the sequence of as Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Using SRTM-derived DEM, we observed higher rate of fragmentation up to 2400m that corroborated with high human population for the year 2000 and 2010. To derive the nature of fragmentation along the altitudinal gradients, the Statistica software was used, where the user defined function was utilized for regression applying the Gauss-Newton estimation method with 50 iterations. We observed overall logarithmic decrease in fragmentation change (area-weighted mean radius of gyration), forest cover loss and population growth during 2000-2010 along the elevation gradient with very high R2 values (i.e., 0.889, 0.895, 0.944 respectively). The observed negative logarithmic function with the major contribution in the initial elevation gradients suggest to gap filling afforestation in the lower altitudes to enhance the forest patch connectivity. Our finding on the pattern of forest fragmentation and human population across the elevation gradient in HKH region will have policy level implication for different nations and would help in characterizing hotspots of change. Availability of free satellite derived data products on forest cover and DEM, grid-data on demography, and utility of geospatial tools helped in quick evaluation of the forest fragmentation vis-a-vis human impact pattern along the elevation gradient in HKH.

Keywords: area-weighted mean radius of gyration, fragmentation, human impact, tree canopy cover

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