Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: Nisha Khatik

26 Regeneration of Plantlets via Direct Somatic Embryogenesis from Different Explants of Murraya koenigii

Authors: Nisha Khatik, Ramesh Joshi


An in vitro plant regeneration system was developed via direct somatic embryogenesis from different seedling explants of an important medicinal plant Murraya koenigii (L) Spreng. Cotyledons (COT), Hypocotyle (HYP)(10 to 15 mm) and Root (RT) segments (10 to 20 mm) were excised from 60 days old seedlings as explants. The somatic embryos induction was achieved on MS basal medium augmented with different concentrations of BAP 1.33 to 8.40 µM and TDZ 1.08 to 9.82 µM. The globular embryos originated from cut ends and entire surface of the root, hypocotyle explants and margins of cotyledons within 30-40days. The percentage of somatic embryos induction per explant was significantly higher in HYP explants (94.21±5.77%) in the MS basal medium supplemented with 6.20 µM BAP and 8.64 µM TDZ. The highest rate of conversion of torpedo, heart and cotyledonary stages from globular stage was obtained in MS medium supplemented with 8.64 µM TDZ. The matured somatic embryos were transferred to the MS basal medium without PGRs. Highest 88% of the matured embryos were germinated on transfer to the PGR free medium where they grew for a further 3-4 weeks. Out of seventy six hardened plants seventy (92%) plantlets were found healthy under field conditions.

Keywords: Murraya koenigii, somatic embryogenesis, thidiazuron, regeneration, rutaceae

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25 Assesment of Genetic Fidelity of Micro-Clones of an Aromatic Medicinal Plant Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng

Authors: Ramesh Joshi, Nisha Khatik


Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng locally known as “Curry patta” or “Meetha neem” belonging to the family Rutaceae that grows wildly in Southern Asia. Its aromatic leaves are commonly used as the raw material for traditional medicinal formulations in India. The leaves contain essential oil and also used as a condiment. Several monomeric and binary carbazol alkaloids present in the various plant parts. These alkaloids have been reported to possess anti-microbial, mosquitocidal, topo-isomerase inhibition and antioxidant properties. Some of the alkaloids reported in this plant have showed anti carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. The conventional method of propagation of this tree is limited to seeds only, which retain their viability for only a short period. Hence, a biotechnological approach might have an advantage edging over traditional breeding as well as the genetic improvement of M. koenigii within a short period. The development of a reproducible regeneration protocol is the prerequisite for ex situ conservation and micropropagation. An efficient protocol for high frequency regeneration of in vitro plants of Murraya koenigii via different explants such as- nodal segments, intermodal segments, leaf, root segments, hypocotyle, cotyledons and cotyledonary node explants is described. In the present investigation, assessment of clonal fidelity in the micropropagated plantlets of Murraya koenigii was attempted using RAPD and ISSR markers at different pathways of plant tissue culture technique. About 20 ISSR and 40 RAPD primers were used for all the samples. Genomic DNA was extracted by CTAB method. ISSR primer were found to be more suitable as compared to RAPD for the analysis of clonal fidelity of M. koenigii. The amplifications however, were finally performed using RAPD, ISSR markers owing to their better performance in terms of generation of amplification products. In RAPD primer maximum 75% polymorphism was recorded in OPU-2 series which exhibited out of 04 scorable bands, three bands were polymorphic with a band range of size 600-1500 bp. In ISSR primers the UBC 857 showed 50% polymorphism with 02 band were polymorphic of band range size between 400-1000 bp.

Keywords: genetic fidelity, Murraya koenigii, aromatic plants, ISSR primers

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24 Indicator-Immobilized, Cellulose Based Optical Sensing Membrane for the Detection of Heavy Metal Ions

Authors: Nisha Dhariwal, Anupama Sharma


The synthesis of cellulose nanofibrils quaternized with 3‐chloro‐2‐hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC) in NaOH/urea aqueous solution has been reported. Xylenol Orange (XO) has been used as an indicator for selective detection of Sn (II) ions, by its immobilization on quaternized cellulose membrane. The effects of pH, reagent concentration and reaction time on the immobilization of XO have also been studied. The linear response, limit of detection, and interference of other metal ions have also been studied and no significant interference has been observed. The optical chemical sensor displayed good durability and short response time with negligible leaching of the reagent.

Keywords: cellulose, chemical sensor, heavy metal ions, indicator immobilization

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23 Stability Analysis of a Human-Mosquito Model of Malaria with Infective Immigrants

Authors: Nisha Budhwar, Sunita Daniel


In this paper, we analyse the stability of the SEIR model of malaria with infective immigrants which was recently formulated by the authors. The model consists of an SEIR model for the human population and SI Model for the mosquitoes. Susceptible humans become infected after they are bitten by infectious mosquitoes and move on to the Exposed, Infected and Recovered classes respectively. The susceptible mosquito becomes infected after biting an infected person and remains infected till death. We calculate the reproduction number R0 using the next generation method and then discuss about the stability of the equilibrium points. We use the Lyapunov function to show the global stability of the equilibrium points.

Keywords: equilibrium points, exposed, global stability, infective immigrants, Lyapunov function, recovered, reproduction number, susceptible

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22 Numerical Model to Study Calcium and Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Dynamics in a Myocyte Cell

Authors: Nisha Singh, Neeru Adlakha


Calcium signalling is one of the most important intracellular signalling mechanisms. A lot of approaches and investigators have been made in the study of calcium signalling in various cells to understand its mechanisms over recent decades. However, most of existing investigators have mainly focussed on the study of calcium signalling in various cells without paying attention to the dependence of calcium signalling on other chemical ions like inositol-1; 4; 5 triphosphate ions, etc. Some models for the independent study of calcium signalling and inositol-1; 4; 5 triphosphate signalling in various cells are present but very little attention has been paid by the researchers to study the interdependence of these two signalling processes in a cell. In this paper, we propose a coupled mathematical model to understand the interdependence of inositol-1; 4; 5 triphosphate dynamics and calcium dynamics in a myocyte cell. Such studies will provide the deeper understanding of various factors involved in calcium signalling in myocytes, which may be of great use to biomedical scientists for various medical applications.

Keywords: calcium signalling, coupling, finite difference method, inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate

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21 Personal Factors and Career Adaptability in a Call Centre Work Environment: The Mediating Effects of Professional Efficacy

Authors: Nisha Harry


The study discussed in this article sought to assess whether a sense of professional efficacy mediates the relationship between personal factors and career adaptability. A quantitative cross-sectional survey approach was followed. A non–probability sample of (N = 409) of which predominantly early career and permanently employed black females in call centres in Africa participated in this study. In order to assess personal factors, the participants completed sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence measures. Measures of professional efficacy and career adaptability were also completed. The results of the mediational analysis revealed that professional efficacy significantly mediates the meaningfulness (sense of coherence) and career adaptability relationship, but not the emotional intelligence–career adaptability relationship. Call centre agents with professional efficacy are likely to be more work engaged as a result of their sense of meaningfulness and emotional intelligence.

Keywords: call centre, professional efficacy, career adaptability, emotional intelligence

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20 Photoresponse of Epitaxial GaN Films Grown by Plasma-Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Authors: Nisha Prakash, Kritika Anand, Arun Barvat, Prabir Pal, Sonachand Adhikari, Suraj P. Khanna


Group-III nitride semiconductors (GaN, AlN, InN and their ternary and quaternary compounds) have attracted a great deal of attention for the development of high-performance Ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors. Any midgap defect states in the epitaxial grown film have a direct influence on the photodetectors responsivity. The proportion of the midgap defect states can be controlled by the growth parameters. To study this we have grown high quality epitaxial GaN films on MOCVD- grown GaN template using plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) with different growth parameters. Optical and electrical properties of the films were characterized by room temperature photoluminescence and photoconductivity measurements, respectively. The observed persistent photoconductivity behaviour is proportional to the yellow luminescence (YL) and the absolute responsivity has been found to decrease with decreasing YL. The results will be discussed in more detail later.

Keywords: gallium nitride, plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy, photoluminescence, photoconductivity, persistent photoconductivity, yellow luminescence

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19 Spectroscopic Study of Eu³⁺ Ions Doped Potassium Lead Alumino Borate Glasses for Photonic Device Application

Authors: Nisha Deopa, Allam Srinivasa Rao


Quaternary potassium lead alumino borate (KPbAlB) glasses doped with different concentration of Eu³⁺ ions have been synthesized by melt quench technique and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Photoluminescence (PL), Time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) and CIE-chromaticity co-ordinates to study their luminescence behavior. A broad hump was observed in XRD spectrum confirms glassy nature of as-prepared glasses. By using Judd-Ofelt (J-O) theory, various radiative parameters for the prominent fluorescent levels of Eu³⁺ have been investigated. The intense emission peak was observed at 613 nm (⁵D₀→⁷F₂) under 393 nm excitation, matches well with the excitation of n-UV LED chips. The decay profiles observed for ⁵D₀ level were exponential for lower Eu³⁺ ion concentration while non-exponential for higher concentration, which may be due to efficient energy transfer between Eu³⁺-Eu³⁺ through cross relaxation and subsequent quenching observed. From the emission cross-sections, branching ratios, quantum efficiency and CIE coordinates, it was concluded that 7 mol % of Eu³⁺ ion concentration (glass B) is optimum in KPbAlB glasses for photonic device application.

Keywords: energy transfer, glasses, J-O parameters, photoluminescence

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18 Spectroscopic Investigations of Nd³⁺ Doped Lithium Lead Alumino Borate Glasses for 1.06μM Laser Applications

Authors: Nisha Deopa, A. S. Rao


Neodymium doped lithium lead alumino borate glasses were synthesized with the molar composition 10Li₂O – 10PbO – (10-x) Al₂O₃ – 70B₂O₃ – xNd₂O₃ (where, x = 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mol %) via conventional melt quenching technique to understand their lasing potentiality. From the absorption spectra, Judd-Ofelt intensity parameters along with various spectroscopic parameters have been estimated. The emission spectra recorded for the as-prepared glasses under investigation exhibit two emission transitions, ⁴F₃/₂→⁴I₁₁/₂ (1063 nm) and ⁴F₃/₂→⁴I₉/₂ (1350 nm) for which radiative parameters have been evaluated. The emission intensity increases with increase in Nd³⁺ ion concentration up to 1 mol %, and beyond concentration quenching took place. The decay profile shows single exponential nature for lower Nd³⁺ ions concentration and non-exponential for higher concentration. To elucidate the nature of energy transfer process, non-exponential decay curves were well fitted to Inokuti-Hirayama model. The relatively high values of emission cross-section, branching ratio, lifetimes and quantum efficiency suggest that 1.0 mol% of Nd³⁺ in LiPbAlB glasses is aptly suitable to generate lasing action in NIR region at 1063 nm.

Keywords: energy transfer, glasses, J-O parameters, photoluminescence

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17 The Social Construction of the Family among the Survivors of Sex Trafficking

Authors: Nisha James, Shubha Ranganathan


Sex trafficking is a traumatic ongoing process which includes human rights violations against the victims. Majority of the trafficked individuals in India are from families with low socioeconomic status, from rural areas, unmarried or married off at a very young age. Many of the sex trafficked feel that it is necessary to make sacrifices, for the benefit of their families. The combination of these cultural family values with the stigma of rape and prostitution are manipulated and used as a tool in the abuse of power against the sex trafficked. The rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of these individuals are usually difficult due to the stigma and social exclusion that they face. In these circumstances, social support is very effective in social inclusion of these individuals. The present study was a qualitative one, using semi-structured interviews with 29 Indian survivors of sex trafficking and a few sex workers. Thematic analysis was done on the data derived from the semi-structured interviews. The major findings indicate that the family can be seen as both the ‘cause’ for being sex trafficked, and the factor in victim continuing to be sex trafficked. At the same time, it can also become a driver for getting rescued, rehabilitated and reintegrated. The study also explores the social construction about ‘family’ among the survivors of sex trafficking, reflecting on who they refer to as ‘family’, what they mean by the term ‘family’ and how these families emerge. Therefore the analytic concept of ‘family’ is a crucial element in sex trafficking and cannot be defined only in terms of its conventional definition of a basic unit of society.

Keywords: sex-trafficking, survivor, family, social construction

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16 ARCS Model for Enhancing Intrinsic Motivation in Learning Biodiversity Subjects: A Case Study of Tertiary Level Students in Malaysia

Authors: Nadia Nisha Musa, Nur Atirah Hasmi, Hasnun Nita Ismail, Zulfadli Mahfodz


In Malaysian Education System, subject related to biodiversity has started in the curriculum from Foundation Study until tertiary education. Biodiversity become the focus of attention due to awareness on global warming which potentially leads to a loss of biodiversity. A loss in biodiversity means a loss in medicinal discoveries and reduces food supply. It is of great important to ensure that young generations become aware of biodiversity conservation. The more interactive approaches are needed to build society with a high awareness for biodiversity conservation. To address this challenge, the goal of this study is to enhance intrinsic motivation of biological students via ARCS model of instruction. Self-access learning materials such as tutorial, module and fieldwork were designed with ARCS elements to a sample size of 70 university students from the beginning of the semester. Both paper and online surveys were used to collect data from the respondents. The results showed that elements of attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction have a positive impact on intrinsic motivation of students and their academic performance.

Keywords: intrinsic motivation, ARCS model of instruction, biodiversity, self-access learning

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15 Development of 3D Neck Muscle to Analyze the Effect of Active Muscle Contraction in Whiplash Injury

Authors: Nisha Nandlal Sharma, Julaluk Carmai, Saiprasit Koetniyom, Bernd Markert


Whiplash Injuries are mostly experienced in car accidents. Symptoms of whiplash are commonly reported in studies, neck pain and headaches are two most common symptoms observed. The whiplash Injury mechanism is poorly understood. In present study, hybrid neck muscle model were developed with a combination of solid tetrahedral elements and 1D beam elements. Solid tetrahedral elements represents passive part of the muscle whereas, 1D beam elements represents active part. To simulate the active behavior of the muscle, Hill-type muscle model was applied to beam elements. To simulate non-linear passive properties of muscle, solid elements were modeled with rubber/foam material model. Some important muscles were then inserted into THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety) THUMS was given a boundary conditions similar to experimental tests. The model was exposed to 4g and 7g rear impacts as these load impacts are close to low speed impacts causing whiplash. The effect of muscle activation level on occupant kinematics during whiplash was analyzed.

Keywords: finite element model, muscle activation, THUMS, whiplash injury mechanism

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14 Adsorption and Kinetic Studies on Removal of NH3-N from Wastewater onto 2 Different Nanoparticles Loaded Coconut Coir

Authors: Khushboo Bhavsar, Nisha K. Shah, Neha Parekh


The status of wastewater treatment needs a novel and quick method for treating the wastewater containing ammoniacal nitrogen. Adsorption behavior of ammoniacal nitrogen from wastewater using the nanoparticles loaded coconut coir was investigated in the present work. Manganese Oxide (MnO2) and Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were prepared and used for the further adsorption study. Manganese nanoparticles loaded coconut coir (MNLCC) and Zinc nanoparticles loaded coconut coir (ZNLCC) were prepared via a simple method and was fully characterized. The properties of both MNLCC and ZNLCC were characterized by Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Adsorption characteristics were studied using batch technique considering various parameters like pH, adsorbent dosage, time, temperature and agitation time. The NH3-N adsorption process for MNLCC and ZNLCC was thoroughly studied from both kinetic and equilibrium isotherm view-points. The results indicated that the adsorption efficiency of ZNLCC was better when compared to MNLCC. The adsorption kinetics at different experimental conditions showed that second order kinetic model best fits ensuring the monovalent binding sites existing in the present experimental system. The outcome of the entire study suggests that the ZNLCC can be a smart option for the treatment of the ammoniacal nitrogen containing wastewater.

Keywords: ammoniacal nitrogen, MnO2, Nanoparticles, ZnO

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13 A Comprehensive Review on Health Hazards and Challenges for Microbial Remediation of Persistent Organic Pollutants

Authors: Nisha Gaur, K.Narasimhulu, Pydi Setty Yelamarthy


Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have become a great concern due to their toxicity, transformation and bioaccumulation property. Therefore, this review highlights the types, sources, classification health hazards and mobility of organochlorine pesticides, industrial chemicals and their by-products. Moreover, with the signing of Aarhus and Stockholm convention on POPs there is an increased demand to identify and characterise such chemicals from industries and environment which are toxic in nature or to existing biota. Due to long life, persistent nature they enter into body through food and transfer to all tropic levels of ecological unit. In addition, POPs are lipophilic in nature and accumulate in lipid-containing tissues and organs which further indicates the adverse symptoms after the threshold limit. Though, several potential enzymes are reported from various categories of microorganism and their interaction with POPs may break down the complex compounds either through biodegradation, biostimulation or bioaugmentation process, however technological advancement and human activities have also indicated to explore the possibilities for the role of genetically modified organisms and metagenomics and metabolomics. Though many studies have been done to develop low cost, effective and reliable method for detection, determination and removal of ultra-trace concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) but due to insufficient knowledge and non-feasibility of technique, the safe management of POPs is still a global challenge.

Keywords: persistent organic pollutants, bioaccumulation, biostimulation, microbial remediation

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12 Evaluation of Ceres Wheat and Rice Model for Climatic Conditions in Haryana, India

Authors: Mamta Rana, K. K. Singh, Nisha Kumari


The simulation models with its soil-weather-plant atmosphere interacting system are important tools for assessing the crops in changing climate conditions. The CERES-Wheat & Rice vs. 4.6 DSSAT was calibrated and evaluated for one of the major producers of wheat and rice state- Haryana, India. The simulation runs were made under irrigated conditions and three fertilizer applications dose of N-P-K to estimate crop yield and other growth parameters along with the phenological development of the crop. The genetic coefficients derived by iteratively manipulating the relevant coefficients that characterize the phenological process of wheat and rice crop to the best fit match between the simulated and observed anthesis, physological maturity and final grain yield. The model validated by plotting the simulated and remote sensing derived LAI. LAI product from remote sensing provides the edge of spatial, timely and accurate assessment of crop. For validating the yield and yield components, the error percentage between the observed and simulated data was calculated. The analysis shows that the model can be used to simulate crop yield and yield components for wheat and rice cultivar under different management practices. During the validation, the error percentage was less than 10%, indicating the utility of the calibrated model for climate risk assessment in the selected region.

Keywords: simulation model, CERES-wheat and rice model, crop yield, genetic coefficient

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11 Nanoparticle Based Green Inhibitor for Corrosion Protection of Zinc in Acidic Medium

Authors: Neha Parekh, Divya Ladha, Poonam Wadhwani, Nisha Shah


Nano scaled materials have attracted tremendous interest as corrosion inhibitor due to their high surface area on the metal surfaces. It is well known that the zinc oxide nanoparticles have higher reactivity towards aqueous acidic solution. This work presents a new method to incorporate zinc oxide nanoparticles with white sesame seeds extract (nano-green inhibitor) for corrosion protection of zinc in acidic medium. The morphology of the zinc oxide nanoparticles was investigated by TEM and DLS. The corrosion inhibition efficiency of the green inhibitor and nano-green inhibitor was determined by Gravimetric and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) methods. Gravimetric measurements suggested that nano-green inhibitor is more effective than green inhibitor. Furthermore, with the increasing temperature, inhibition efficiency increases for both the inhibitors. In addition, it was established the Temkin adsorption isotherm fits well with the experimental data for both the inhibitors. The effect of temperature and Temkin adsorption isotherm revealed Chemisorption mechanism occurring in the system. The activation energy (Ea) and other thermodynamic parameters for inhibition process were calculated. The data of EIS showed that the charge transfer controls the corrosion process. The surface morphology of zinc metal (specimen) in absence and presence of green inhibitor and nano-green inhibitor were performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) techniques. The outcomes indicated a formation of a protective layer over zinc metal (specimen).

Keywords: corrosion, green inhibitor, nanoparticles, zinc

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10 Photoluminescence and Energy Transfer Studies of Dy3+ Ions Doped Lithium Lead Alumino Borate Glasses for W-LED and Laser Applications

Authors: Nisha Deopa, A. S. Rao


Lithium Lead Alumino Borate (LiPbAlB) glasses doped with different Dy3+ ions concentration were synthesized to investigate their viability in solid state lighting (SSL) technology by melt quenching techniques. From the absorption spectra, bonding parameters (ð) were investigated to study the nature of bonding between Dy3+ ions and its surrounding ligands. Judd-Ofelt (J-O) intensity parameters (Ω = 2, 4, 6), estimated from the experimental oscillator strengths (fex) of the absorption spectral features were used to evaluate the radiative parameters of different transition levels. From the decay curves, experimental lifetime (τex) were measured and coupled with the radiative lifetime to evaluate the quantum efficiency of the as-prepared glasses. As Dy3+ ions concentration increases, decay profile changes from exponential to non-exponential through energy transfer mechanism (ETM) in turn decreasing experimental lifetime. In order to investigate the nature of ETM, non-exponential decay curves were fitted to Inkuti–Hirayama (I-H) model which further confirms dipole-dipole interaction. Among all the emission transition, 4F9/2  6H15/2 transition (483 nm) is best suitable for lasing potentialities. By exciting titled glasses in n-UV to blue regions, CIE chromaticity coordinates and Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) were calculated to understand their capability in cool white light generation. From the evaluated radiative parameters, CIE co-ordinates, quantum efficiency and confocal images it was observed that glass B (0.5 mol%) is a potential candidate for developing w-LEDs and lasers.

Keywords: energy transfer, glasses, J-O parameters, photoluminescence

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9 Influence of Physicochemical Water Quality Parameters on Abundance of Aquatic Insects in Rivers of Perak, Malaysia

Authors: Nur Atirah Hasmi, Nadia Nisha Musa, Hasnun Nita Ismail, Zulfadli Mahfodz


The effect of water quality parameters on the abundance of aquatic insects has been studied in Batu Berangkai, Dipang, Kuala Woh and Lata Kinjang Rivers, Perak, northern peninsular Malaysia. The focuses are to compare the abundance of aquatic insects in each sampling areas and to investigate the physical and chemical factors (water temperature, depth of water, canopy, water velocity, pH value, and dissolved oxygen) on the abundance of aquatic insects. The samples and data were collected by using aquatic net and multi-probe parameter. Physical parameters; water velocity, water temperature, depth, canopy cover, and two chemical parameters; pH value and dissolved oxygen have been measured in situ and recorded. A total of 631 individuals classified into 6 orders and 18 families of aquatic insects were identified from four sampling sites. The largest percentage of samples collected is from order Plecoptera 35.8%, followed by Ephemeroptera 32.6%, Trichoptera 17.0%, Hemiptera 8.1%, Coleoptera 4.8%, and the least is Odonata 1.7%. The aquatic insects collected from Dipang River have the highest abundance of 273 individuals from 6 orders and 13 families and the least insects trapped at Lata Kinjang which only have 64 individuals from 5 orders and 6 families. There is significant association between different sampling areas and abundance of aquatic insects (p<0.05). High abundance of aquatic insects was found in higher water temperature, low water velocity, deeper water, low pH, high amount of dissolved oxygen, and the area that is not covered by canopy.

Keywords: aquatic insect, physicochemical parameter, river, water quality

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8 Film Review of 'Heroic Saviours and Survivors': The Representation of Sex Trafficking in Popular Films in India

Authors: Nisha James, Shubha Ranganathan


One of the most poignant forms of organized crime against women, which has rarely made it to the world of Indian cinema, is that of sex trafficking, i.e. the forcible involvement of women in the sex trade through fraud or coercion (Hughes, 2005). In the space of Indian cinema, much of the spotlight has been on the sensational drug trafficking and gang mafia of Bombay. During our research on sex trafficking, the rehabilitated women interviewed often expressed strong criticism about mass media’s naive portrayal of prostitutes as money-minting, happy and sexually driven women. They argued that this unrealistic portrayal ignored the fact that this was not a reality for the majority of trafficked women. Given the gravity of sex trafficking as a human rights issue, it is, therefore, refreshing to see three recent films on sex trafficking in Indian Languages – Naa Bangaaru Talli (2014, Telugu), Mardaani (2014, Hindi) and Lakshmi (2014, Hindi). This paper reviews these three films to explore the portrayal of the everyday reality of trafficking for women. Film analysis was used to understand the representation of psychological issues in the media. The strength of these movies starts with their inspirations which are of true stories and that they are all aimed at bringing awareness about the issue of sex trafficking, which is a rising social evil in Indian society though none of the three films move to portray the next phase of rehabilitation and reintegration of victims, which is a very complex and important process in the life of a survivor. According to findings, survivors of sex trafficking find the rehabilitation and reintegration into society to be a slow and tough part of their life as they continuously face stigma and social exclusion and have to strive to live against all odds of non-acceptance starting from their family.

Keywords: film review, Indian films, sex trafficking, survivors

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7 The Role of Chennai NGOs in Combatting Human Trafficking

Authors: Nisha James, Shubha Ranganathan


Sex trafficking is a type of human trafficking involving prostitution of individuals for sexual exploitation. The stigma and social isolation they face in the society often makes it difficult for them to become rehabilitated from trafficking, due to which many of them continue in prostitution for years after being sex trafficked. Victims are subjected to violations of their fundamental human rights, deprived of basic medical facilities and undergo long-term abuse. This paper focuses on the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of sex trafficking. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 survivors of sex trafficking, five sex workers and 14 non-community staff members of a project running NGO in the city of Chennai in South India. Chennai has a number of NGOs that are involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. In many cases, rehabilitation of sex trafficking victims is also a mandate of these NGOs. This particular NGO was also involved in development activities towards the eradication of HIV/AIDS. For instance, they were engaged in inculcating safe sex practices among high-risk groups such as sex workers or in fighting for sex worker rights. The study found that the NGO’s role in combatting sex trafficking is overrun by the way it approaches these issue related to HIV/AIDS. Further, their activities are dependent solely on funding. Given that gradually, international funding for HIV/AIDS has slowly been withdrawn, there have been problems such as reduction in the salary of the project staff, the outreach workers and peer educators, many of whom were survivors of sex trafficking who have been able to survive on their wages instead of continuing in prostitution. Therefore, till date, the project funding has helped in making them aware of the health and social consequences of continuing in prostitution, and in supporting them socioeconomically, but the lack of funding may also lead the NGO workers into a state of unemployment, poverty and eventually into being re-trafficked. The study concludes by pointing to the need for disengaging anti-trafficking efforts from the HIV/AIDS related programs.

Keywords: non-governmental organization role, non-governmental organization staff, sex trafficking survivors, sex workers

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6 Compensation of Bulk Charge Carriers in Bismuth Based Topological Insulators via Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation

Authors: Jyoti Yadav, Rini Singh, Anoop M.D, Nisha Yadav, N. Srinivasa Rao, Fouran Singh, Takayuki Ichikawa, Ankur Jain, Kamlendra Awasthi, Manoj Kumar


Nanocrystalline films exhibit defects and strain induced by its grain boundaries. Defects and strain affect the physical as well as topological insulating properties of the Bi2Te3 thin films by changing their electronic structure. In the present studies, the effect of Ni7+ ion irradiation on the physical and electrical properties of Bi2Te3 thin films was studied. The films were irradiated at five different fluences (5x1011, 1x1012, 3x1012, 5x1012, 1x1013 ions/cm2). Thin films synthesized using the e-beam technique possess a rhombohedral crystal structure with the R-3m space group. The average crystallite size, as determined by x-ray diffraction (XRD) peak broadening, was found to be 18.5 ± 5 (nm). It was also observed that irradiation increases the induced strain. Raman Spectra of the films demonstrate the splitting of A_1u^1 modes originating from the vibrations along the c-axis. This is by the variation in the lattice parameter ‘c,’ as observed through XRD. The atomic force microscopy study indicates the decrease in surface roughness up to the fluence of 3x1012 ions/cm2 and further increasing the fluence increases the roughness. The decrease in roughness may be due to the growth of smaller nano-crystallites on the surface of thin films due to irradiation-induced annealing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies reveal the composition to be in close agreement to the nominal values i.e. Bi2Te3. The resistivity v/s temperature measurements revealed an increase in resistivity up to the fluence 3x1012 ions/cm2 and a decrease on further increasing the fluence. The variation in electrical resistivity is corroborated with the change in the carrier concentration as studied through low-temperature Hall measurements. A crossover from the n-type to p-type carriers was achieved in the irradiated films. Interestingly, tuning of the Fermi level by compensating the bulk carriers using ion-irradiation could be achieved.

Keywords: Annealing, Irradiation, Fermi level, Tuning

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5 Effects of Active Muscle Contraction in a Car Occupant in Whiplash Injury

Authors: Nisha Nandlal Sharma, Julaluk Carmai, Saiprasit Koetniyom, Bernd Markert


Whiplash Injuries are usually associated with car accidents. The sudden forward or backward jerk to head causes neck strain, which is the result of damage to the muscle or tendons. Neck pain and headaches are the two most common symptoms of whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash are commonly reported in studies but the Injury mechanism is poorly understood. Neck muscles are the most important factor to study the neck Injury. This study focuses on the development of finite element (FE) model of human neck muscle to study the whiplash injury mechanism and effect of active muscle contraction on occupant kinematics. A detailed study of Injury mechanism will promote development and evaluation of new safety systems in cars, hence reducing the occurrence of severe injuries to the occupant. In present study, an active human finite element (FE) model with 3D neck muscle model is developed. Neck muscle was modeled with a combination of solid tetrahedral elements and 1D beam elements. Muscle active properties were represented by beam elements whereas, passive properties by solid tetrahedral elements. To generate muscular force according to inputted activation levels, Hill-type muscle model was applied to beam elements. To simulate non-linear passive properties of muscle, solid elements were modeled with rubber/foam material model. Material properties were assigned from published experimental tests. Some important muscles were then inserted into THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety) 50th percentile male pedestrian model. To reduce the simulation time required, THUMS lower body parts were not included. Posterior to muscle insertion, THUMS was given a boundary conditions similar to experimental tests. The model was exposed to 4g and 7g rear impacts as these load impacts are close to low speed impacts causing whiplash. The effect of muscle activation level on occupant kinematics during whiplash was analyzed.

Keywords: finite element model, muscle activation, neck muscle, whiplash injury prevention

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

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


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

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

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3 Towards Development of Superior Brassica juncea by Pyramiding of Genes of Diverse Pathways for Value Addition, Stress Alleviation and Human Health

Authors: Deepak Kumar, Ravi Rajwanshi, Mohd. Aslam Yusuf, Nisha Kant Pandey, Preeti Singh, Mukesh Saxena, Neera Bhalla Sarin


Global issues are leading to concerns over food security. These include climate change, urbanization, increase in population subsequently leading to greater energy and water demand. Futuristic approach for crop improvement involves gene pyramiding for agronomic traits that empower the plants to withstand multiple stresses. In an earlier study from the laboratory, the efficacy of overexpressing γ-tocopherol methyl transferase (γ-TMT) gene from the vitamin E biosynthetic pathway has been shown to result in six-fold increase of the most biologically active form, the α-tocopherol in Brassica juncea which resulted in alleviation of salt, heavy metal and osmoticum induced stress by the transgenic plants. The glyoxalase I (gly I) gene from the glyoxalase pathway has also been earlier shown by us to impart tolerance against multiple abioitc stresses by detoxification of the cytotoxic compound methylglyoxal in Brassica juncea. Recently, both the transgenes were pyramided in Brassica juncea lines through sexual crosses involving two stable Brassica juncea lines overexpressing γ-TMT and gly I genes respectively. The transgene integration was confirmed by PCR analysis and their mRNA expression was evident by RT-PCR analysis. Preliminary physiological investigations showed ~55% increased seed germination under 200 mM NaCl stress in the pyramided line and 81% higher seed germination under 200 mM mannitol stress as compared to the WT control plants. The pyramided lines also retained more chlorophyll content when the leaf discs were floated on NaCl (200, 400 and 600 mM) or mannitol (200, 400 and 600 mM) compared to the WT control plants. These plants had higher Relative Water Content and greater solute accumulation under stress compared to the parental plants having γ-TMT or the glyI gene respectively. The studies revealed the synergy of two components from different metabolic pathways in enhancing stress hardiness of the transgenic B. juncea plants. It was concluded that pyramiding of genes (γ-TMT and glyI) from diverse pathways can lead to enhanced tolerance to salt and mannitol stress (simulating drought conditions). This strategy can prove useful in enhancing the crop yields under various abiotic stresses.

Keywords: abiotic stress, brassica juncea, glyoxalase I, α-tocopherol

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2 Exploring Behavioural Biases among Indian Investors: A Qualitative Inquiry

Authors: Satish Kumar, Nisha Goyal


In the stock market, individual investors exhibit different kinds of behaviour. Traditional finance is built on the notion of 'homo economics', which states that humans always make perfectly rational choices to maximize their wealth and minimize risk. That is, traditional finance has concern for how investors should behave rather than how actual investors are behaving. Behavioural finance provides the explanation for this phenomenon. Although finance has been studied for thousands of years, behavioural finance is an emerging field that combines the behavioural or psychological aspects with conventional economic and financial theories to provide explanations on how emotions and cognitive factors influence investors’ behaviours. These emotions and cognitive factors are known as behavioural biases. Because of these biases, investors make irrational investment decisions. Besides, the emotional and cognitive factors, the social influence of media as well as friends, relatives and colleagues also affect investment decisions. Psychological factors influence individual investors’ investment decision making, but few studies have used qualitative methods to understand these factors. The aim of this study is to explore the behavioural factors or biases that affect individuals’ investment decision making. For the purpose of this exploratory study, an in-depth interview method was used because it provides much more exhaustive information and a relaxed atmosphere in which people feel more comfortable to provide information. Twenty investment advisors having a minimum 5 years’ experience in securities firms were interviewed. In this study, thematic content analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts. Thematic content analysis process involves analysis of transcripts, coding and identification of themes from data. Based on the analysis we categorized the statements of advisors into various themes. Past market returns and volatility; preference for safe returns; tendency to believe they are better than others; tendency to divide their money into different accounts/assets; tendency to hold on to loss-making assets; preference to invest in familiar securities; tendency to believe that past events were predictable; tendency to rely on the reference point; tendency to rely on other sources of information; tendency to have regret for making past decisions; tendency to have more sensitivity towards losses than gains; tendency to rely on own skills; tendency to buy rising stocks with the expectation that this rise will continue etc. are some of the major concerns showed by experts about investors. The findings of the study revealed 13 biases such as overconfidence bias, disposition effect, familiarity bias, framing effect, anchoring bias, availability bias, self-attribution bias, representativeness, mental accounting, hindsight bias, regret aversion, loss aversion and herding bias/media biases present in Indian investors. These biases have a negative connotation because they produce a distortion in the calculation of an outcome. These biases are classified under three categories such as cognitive errors, emotional biases and social interaction. The findings of this study may assist both financial service providers and researchers to understand the various psychological biases of individual investors in investment decision making. Additionally, individual investors will also be aware of the behavioural biases that will aid them to make sensible and efficient investment decisions.

Keywords: financial advisors, individual investors, investment decisions, psychological biases, qualitative thematic content analysis

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1 Photosynthesis Metabolism Affects Yield Potentials in Jatropha curcas L.: A Transcriptomic and Physiological Data Analysis

Authors: Nisha Govender, Siju Senan, Zeti-Azura Hussein, Wickneswari Ratnam


Jatropha curcas, a well-described bioenergy crop has been extensively accepted as future fuel need especially in tropical regions. Ideal planting material required for large-scale plantation is still lacking. Breeding programmes for improved J. curcas varieties are rendered difficult due to limitations in genetic diversity. Using a combined transcriptome and physiological data, we investigated the molecular and physiological differences in high and low yielding Jatropha curcas to address plausible heritable variations underpinning these differences, in regard to photosynthesis, a key metabolism affecting yield potentials. A total of 6 individual Jatropha plant from 4 accessions described as high and low yielding planting materials were selected from the Experimental Plot A, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi. The inflorescence and shoots were collected for transcriptome study. For the physiological study, each individual plant (n=10) from the high and low yielding populations were screened for agronomic traits, chlorophyll content and stomatal patterning. The J. curcas transcriptomes are available under BioProject PRJNA338924 and BioSample SAMN05827448-65, respectively Each transcriptome was subjected to functional annotation analysis of sequence datasets using the BLAST2Go suite; BLASTing, mapping, annotation, statistical analysis and visualization Large-scale phenotyping of the number of fruits per plant (NFPP) and fruits per inflorescence (FPI) classified the high yielding Jatropha accessions with average NFPP =60 and FPI > 10, whereas the low yielding accessions yielded an average NFPP=10 and FPI < 5. Next generation sequencing revealed genes with differential expressions in the high yielding Jatropha relative to the low yielding plants. Distinct differences were observed in transcript level associated to photosynthesis metabolism. DEGs collection in the low yielding population showed comparable CAM photosynthetic metabolism and photorespiration, evident as followings: phosphoenolpyruvate phosphate translocator chloroplastic like isoform with 2.5 fold change (FC) and malate dehydrogenase (2.03 FC). Green leaves have the most pronounced photosynthetic activity in a plant body due to significant accumulation of chloroplast. In most plants, the leaf is always the dominant photosynthesizing heart of the plant body. Large number of the DEGS in the high-yielding population were found attributable to chloroplast and chloroplast associated events; STAY-GREEN chloroplastic, Chlorophyllase-1-like (5.08 FC), beta-amylase (3.66 FC), chlorophyllase-chloroplastic-like (3.1 FC), thiamine thiazole chloroplastic like (2.8 FC), 1-4, alpha glucan branching enzyme chloroplastic amyliplastic (2.6FC), photosynthetic NDH subunit (2.1 FC) and protochlorophyllide chloroplastic (2 FC). The results were parallel to a significant increase in chlorophyll a content in the high yielding population. In addition to the chloroplast associated transcript abundance, the TOO MANY MOUTHS (TMM) at 2.9 FC, which code for distant stomatal distribution and patterning in the high-yielding population may explain high concentration of CO2. The results were in agreement with the role of TMM. Clustered stomata causes back diffusion in the presence of gaps localized closely to one another. We conclude that high yielding Jatropha population corresponds to a collective function of C3 metabolism with a low degree of CAM photosynthetic fixation. From the physiological descriptions, high chlorophyll a content and even distribution of stomata in the leaf contribute to better photosynthetic efficiency in the high yielding Jatropha compared to the low yielding population.

Keywords: chlorophyll, gene expression, genetic variation, stomata

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