Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Uttaran Bandyopadhyay

17 Moths of Indian Himalayas: Data Digging for Climate Change Monitoring

Authors: Angshuman Raha, Abesh Kumar Sanyal, Uttaran Bandyopadhyay, Kaushik Mallick, Kamalika Bhattacharyya, Subrata Gayen, Gaurab Nandi Das, Mohd. Ali, Kailash Chandra

Abstract:

Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), due to its sheer latitudinal and altitudinal expanse, acts as a mixing ground for different zoogeographic faunal elements. The innumerable unique and distributional restricted rare species of IHR are constantly being threatened with extinction by the ongoing climate change scenario. Many of which might have faced extinction without even being noticed or discovered. Monitoring the community dynamics of a suitable taxon is indispensable to assess the effect of this global perturbation at micro-habitat level. Lepidoptera, particularly moths are suitable for this purpose due to their huge diversity and strict herbivorous nature. The present study aimed to collate scattered historical records of moths from IHR and spatially disseminate the same in Geographic Information System (GIS) domain. The study also intended to identify moth species with significant altitudinal shifts which could be prioritised for monitoring programme to assess the effect of climate change on biodiversity. A robust database on moths recorded from IHR was prepared from voluminous secondary literature and museum collections. Historical sampling points were transformed into richness grids which were spatially overlaid on altitude, annual precipitation and vegetation layers separately to show moth richness patterns along major environmental gradients. Primary samplings were done by setting standard light traps at 11 Protected Areas representing five Indian Himalayan biogeographic provinces. To identify significant altitudinal shifts, past and present altitudinal records of the identified species from primary samplings were compared. A consolidated list of 4107 species belonging to 1726 genera of 62 families of moths was prepared from a total of 10,685 historical records from IHR. Family-wise assemblage revealed Erebidae to be the most speciose family with 913 species under 348 genera, followed by Geometridae with 879 species under 309 genera and Noctuidae with 525 species under 207 genera. Among biogeographic provinces, Central Himalaya represented maximum records with 2248 species, followed by Western and North-western Himalaya with 1799 and 877 species, respectively. Spatial analysis revealed species richness was more or less uniform (up to 150 species record per cell) across IHR. Throughout IHR, the middle elevation zones between 1000-2000m encompassed high species richness. Temperate coniferous forest associated with 1500-2000mm rainfall zone showed maximum species richness. Total 752 species of moths were identified representing 23 families from the present sampling. 13 genera were identified which were restricted to specialized habitats of alpine meadows over 3500m. Five historical localities with high richness of >150 species were selected which could be considered for repeat sampling to assess climate change influence on moth assemblage. Of the 7 species exhibiting significant altitudinal ascend of >2000m, Trachea auriplena, Diphtherocome fasciata (Noctuidae) and Actias winbrechlini (Saturniidae) showed maximum range shift of >2500m, indicating intensive monitoring of these species. Great Himalayan National Park harbours most diverse assemblage of high-altitude restricted species and should be a priority site for habitat conservation. Among the 13 range restricted genera, Arichanna, Opisthograptis, Photoscotosia (Geometridae), Phlogophora, Anaplectoides and Paraxestia (Noctuidae) were dominant and require rigorous monitoring, as they are most susceptible to climatic perturbations.

Keywords: altitudinal shifts, climate change, historical records, Indian Himalayan region, Lepidoptera

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16 Multiple Relaxation Times in the Gibbs Ensemble Monte Carlo Simulation of Phase Separation

Authors: Bina Kumari, Subir K. Sarkar, Pradipta Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

The autocorrelation function of the density fluctuation is studied in each of the two phases in a Gibbs Ensemble Monte Carlo (GEMC) simulation of the problem of phase separation for a square well potential with various values of its range. We find that the normalized autocorrelation function is described very well as a linear combination of an exponential function with a time scale τ₂ and a stretched exponential function with a time scale τ₁ and an exponent α. Dependence of (α, τ₁, τ₂) on the parameters of the GEMC algorithm and the range of the square well potential is investigated and interpreted. We also analyse the issue of how to choose the parameters of the GEMC simulation optimally.

Keywords: autocorrelation function, density fluctuation, GEMC, simulation

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15 Geospatial Network Analysis Using Particle Swarm Optimization

Authors: Varun Singh, Mainak Bandyopadhyay, Maharana Pratap Singh

Abstract:

The shortest path (SP) problem concerns with finding the shortest path from a specific origin to a specified destination in a given network while minimizing the total cost associated with the path. This problem has widespread applications. Important applications of the SP problem include vehicle routing in transportation systems particularly in the field of in-vehicle Route Guidance System (RGS) and traffic assignment problem (in transportation planning). Well known applications of evolutionary methods like Genetic Algorithms (GA), Ant Colony Optimization, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) have come up to solve complex optimization problems to overcome the shortcomings of existing shortest path analysis methods. It has been reported by various researchers that PSO performs better than other evolutionary optimization algorithms in terms of success rate and solution quality. Further Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have emerged as key information systems for geospatial data analysis and visualization. This research paper is focused towards the application of PSO for solving the shortest path problem between multiple points of interest (POI) based on spatial data of Allahabad City and traffic speed data collected using GPS. Geovisualization of results of analysis is carried out in GIS.

Keywords: particle swarm optimization, GIS, traffic data, outliers

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14 Understanding the Architecture of Hindu Temples: A Philosophical Interpretation

Authors: A. Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Vedic philosophy is one of the oldest existing philosophies of the world. Started around 6500 BC, in Western Indian subcontinent, the Indus valley Civilizations developed a theology which, gradually developed into a well-established philosophy of beliefs, popularly known as ‘Hindu religion’. In Vedic theology, the abstract concept of God was formulated mostly by close observation of the dynamicity and the recurrence of natural and universal phenomena. Through the ages, the philosophy of this theology went through various discursions, debates, and questionings and the abstract concept of God was, in time, formalized into more representational forms by the means of various signs and symbols. Often, these symbols were used in more subtle ways in the construction of “sacred” sculptures and structures. Apparently, two different philosophies were developed from the Vedic philosophy and these two philosophies are mostly seen in the northern part and southern part of the Indian subcontinent. This paper tries to summarize the complex philosophical treaties of Hinduism of northern and southern India and seeks to understand the meanings of the various signs and symbolisms that were incorporated in the architecture of Hindu temples, including the names given to various parts of the temples. The Hindu temples are not only places of worship or ‘houses of Gods’ like the Greek and Roman temples but are also structures that symbolize the dynamicity and also spiritual upliftment of human beings.

Keywords: Hindu, philosophy, temple, Vedic

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13 Application of Synthetic Monomers Grafted Xanthan Gum for Rhodamine B Removal in Aqueous Solution

Authors: T. Moremedi, L. Katata-Seru, S. Sardar, A. Bandyopadhyay, E. Makhado, M. Joseph Hato

Abstract:

The rapid industrialisation and population growth have led to a steady fall in freshwater supplies worldwide. As a result, water systems are affected by modern methods upon use due to secondary contamination. The application of novel adsorbents derived from natural polymer holds a great promise in addressing challenges in water treatment. In this study, the UV irradiation technique was used to prepare acrylamide (AAm) monomer, and acrylic acid (AA) monomer grafted xanthan gum (XG) copolymer. Furthermore, the factors affecting rhodamine B (RhB) adsorption from aqueous media, such as pH, dosage, concentration, and time were also investigated. The FTIR results confirmed the formation of graft copolymer by the strong vibrational bands at 1709 cm-1 and 1612 cm-1 for AA and AAm, respectively. Additionally, more irregular, porous and wrinkled surface observed from SEM of XG-g-AAm/AA indicated copolymerization interaction of monomers. The optimum conditions for removing RhB dye with a maximum adsorption capacity of 313 mg/g at 25 0C from aqueous solution were pH approximately 5, initial dye concentration = 200 ppm, adsorbent dose = 30 mg. Also, the detailed investigation of the isothermal and adsorption kinetics of RhB from aqueous solution showed that the adsorption of the dye followed a Freundlich model (R2 = 0.96333) and pseudo-second-order kinetics. The results further indicated that this absorbent based on XG had the universality to remove dye through the mechanism of chemical adsorption. The outstanding adsorption potential of the grafted copolymer could be used to remove cationic dyes from aqueous solution as a low-cost product.

Keywords: xanthan gum, adsorbents, rhodamine B, Freundlich

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12 Digital Manufacturing: Evolution and a Process Oriented Approach to Align with Business Strategy

Authors: Abhimanyu Pati, Prabir K. Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

The paper intends to highlight the significance of Digital Manufacturing (DM) strategy in support and achievement of business strategy and goals of any manufacturing organization. Towards this end, DM initiatives have been given a process perspective, while not undermining its technological significance, with a view to link its benefits directly with fulfilment of customer needs and expectations in a responsive and cost-effective manner. A digital process model has been proposed to categorize digitally enabled organizational processes with a view to create synergistic groups, which adopt and use digital tools having similar characteristics and functionalities. This will throw future opportunities for researchers and developers to create a unified technology environment for integration and orchestration of processes. Secondly, an effort has been made to apply “what” and “how” features of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) framework to establish the relationship between customers’ needs – both for external and internal customers, and the features of various digital processes, which support for the achievement of these customer expectations. The paper finally concludes that in the present highly competitive environment, business organizations cannot thrive to sustain unless they understand the significance of digital strategy and integrate it with their business strategy with a clearly defined implementation roadmap. A process-oriented approach to DM strategy will help business executives and leaders to appreciate its value propositions and its direct link to organization’s competitiveness.

Keywords: knowledge management, cloud computing, knowledge management approaches, cloud-based knowledge management

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11 Prostitution in Colonial Bengal: Autobiographical Articulations and Fictional Representations

Authors: Aparna Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

The proposed paper will examine how prostitution produced a vast corpus of literature in colonial Bengal. This corpus included autobiographical accounts by prostitutes themselves. While the authenticity of some of these has, at times, been doubted by contemporary observers, the sheer magnitude of such narrative prose demands critical attention. Many of these autobiographical narratives focused on the prostitute’s early life within respectable society and then proceeded to delineate the transgressions and the inescapable chain of circumstances that eventually rendered her a prostitute. Significantly, these serve to corroborate the findings of official investigations regarding the circumstances that led upper-caste Hindu women in Bengal to embrace prostitution in this period. The literary corpus that dwelt on prostitution also included a vast volume of fiction penned by celebrated writers. These foregrounded a prostitute as the central protagonist, telling the life-stories of prostitutes and the circumstances that made them what they were. Novels and short stories often represented the prostitute as an affective being – an individual capable of deep emotions despite her profession. She was seldom a person who had voluntarily embraced prostitution. She was always a figure of helplessness and suffering, a woman whose desire to love and be loved transcended the carnality of her livelihood. She was an outcast, but she experienced the entire repertoire of emotions experienced by her respectable counterparts. The proposed paper will examine the trends and characteristics of the available repertoire of prostitute-oriented literature in late colonial Bengal. It will begin by focusing on the existing perspectives on the origins of prostitution in late colonial Bengal. It will proceed to discuss the literary corpus supposedly penned by prostitutes themselves and then focus on the manner in which some of the stalwarts of high literature represented the prostitute in their literary creations.

Keywords: emotions, literature, prostitution, transgression

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10 Keratin Fiber Fabrication from Biowaste for Biomedical Application

Authors: Ashmita Mukherjee, Yogesh Harishchandra Kabutare, Suritra Bandyopadhyay, Paulomi Ghosh

Abstract:

Uncontrolled bleeding in the battlefield and the operation rooms can lead to serious injuries, trauma and even be lethal. Keratin was reported to be a haemostatic material which rapidly activates thrombin followed by activation of fibrinogen leading to the formation of insoluble fibrin. Also platelets, the main initiator of haemostasis are reported to adhere to keratin. However, the major limitation of pure keratin as a biomaterial is its poor physical property and corresponding low mechanical strength. To overcome this problem, keratin was cross-linked with alginate to increase its mechanical stability. In our study, Keratin extracted from feather waste showed yield of 80.5% and protein content of 8.05 ± 0.43 mg/mL (n=3). FTIR and CD spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the essential functional groups and preservation of the secondary structures of keratin. The keratin was then cross-linked with alginate to make a dope. The dope was used to draw fibers of desired diameters in a suitable coagulation bath using a customized wet spinning setup. The resultant morphology of keratin fibers was observed under a brightfield microscope. The FT-IR analysis implied that there was a presence of both keratin and alginate peaks in the fibers. The cross-linking was confirmed in the keratin alginate fibers by a shift of the amide A and amide B peaks towards the right and disappearance of the peak for N-H stretching (1534.68 cm-1). Blood was drawn in citrate vacutainers for whole blood clotting test and blood clotting kinetics, which showed that the keratin fibers could accelerate blood coagulation compared to that of alginate fibers and tissue culture plate. Additionally, cross-linked keratin-alginate fiber was found to have lower haemolytic potential compared to alginate fiber. Thus, keratin cross-linked fibers can have potential applications to combat unrestrained bleeding.

Keywords: biomaterial, biowaste, fiber, keratin

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9 Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Role of Long Non-Coding RNA NEAT1 in Dengue Patients

Authors: Abhaydeep Pandey, Shweta Shukla, Saptamita Goswami, Bhaswati Bandyopadhyay, Vishnampettai Ramachandran, Sudhanshu Vrati, Arup Banerjee

Abstract:

Background: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are the important regulators of gene expression and play important role in viral replication and disease progression. The role of lncRNA genes in the pathogenesis of Dengue virus-mediated pathogenesis is currently unknown. Methods: To gain additional insights, we utilized an unbiased RNA sequencing followed by in silico analysis approach to identify the differentially expressed lncRNA and genes that are associated with dengue disease progression. Further, we focused our study on lncRNAs NEAT1 (Nuclear Paraspeckle Assembly Transcript 1) as it was found to be differentially expressed in PBMC of dengue infected patients. Results: The expression of lncRNAs NEAT1, as compared to dengue infection (DI), was significantly down-regulated as the patients developed the complication. Moreover, pairwise analysis on follow up patients confirmed that suppression of NEAT1 expression was associated with rapid fall in platelet count in dengue infected patients. Severe dengue patients (DS) (n=18; platelet count < 20K) when recovered from infection showing high NEAT1 expression as it observed in healthy donors. By co-expression network analysis and subsequent validation, we revealed that coding gene; IFI27 expression was significantly up-regulated in severe dengue cases and negatively correlated with NEAT1 expression. To discriminate DI from dengue severe, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated. It revealed sensitivity and specificity of 100% (95%CI: 85.69 – 97.22) and area under the curve (AUC) = 0.97 for NEAT1. Conclusions: Altogether, our first observations demonstrate that monitoring NEAT1and IFI27 expression in dengue patients could be useful in understanding dengue virus-induced disease progression and may be involved in pathophysiological processes.

Keywords: dengue, lncRNA, NEAT1, transcriptome

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8 Adopting a Comparative Cultural Studies Approach to Teaching Writing in the Global Classroom

Authors: Madhura Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Teaching writing within multicultural and multiethnic communities poses many unique challenges not the least of which is that of intercultural communication. When the writing is in English, pedagogical imperatives often encounter the universalizing tendencies of standardization of both language use and structural parameters which are often at odds with maintaining local practices which preserve cultural pluralism. English often becomes the contact zone within which individual identities of students play out against the standardization imperatives of the larger world. Writing classes can serve as places which become instruments of assimilation of ethnic minorities to a larger globalizing or nationalistic agenda. Hence, for those outside of the standard practices of writing English, adaptability towards a mastery of those practices valued as standard become the focus of teaching taking away from diversity of local English use and other modes of critical thinking. In a very multicultural and multiethnic context such as the US or Singapore, these dynamics become very important. This paper will argue that multiethnic writing classrooms can greatly benefit from taking up a cultural studies approach whereby the students’ lived environments and experiences are analyzed as cultural texts to produce writing. Such an approach eliminates limitations of using both literary texts as foci of discussion as in traditional approaches to teaching writing and the current trend in teaching composition without using texts at all. By bringing in students’ lived experiences into the classroom and analyzing them as cultural compositions stressing the ability to communicate across cultures, cultural competency is valued rather than adaptability while privileging pluralistic experiences as valuable even as universal shared experience are found. Specifically, while teaching writing in English in a multicultural classroom, a cultural studies approach makes both teacher and student aware of the diversity of the English language as it exists in our global context in the students’ experience while making space for diversity in critical thinking, structure and organization of writing effective in an intercultural context.

Keywords: English, multicultural, teaching, writing

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7 Transcriptome Analysis for Insights into Disease Progression in Dengue Patients

Authors: Abhaydeep Pandey, Shweta Shukla, Saptamita Goswami, Bhaswati Bandyopadhyay, Vishnampettai Ramachandran, Sudhanshu Vrati, Arup Banerjee

Abstract:

Dengue virus infection is now considered as one of the most important mosquito-borne infection in human. The virus is known to promote vascular permeability, cerebral edema leading to Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or Dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Dengue infection has known to be endemic in India for over two centuries as a benign and self-limited disease. In the last couple of years, the disease symptoms have changed, manifesting severe secondary complication. So far, Delhi has experienced 12 outbreaks of dengue virus infection since 1997 with the last reported in 2014-15. Without specific antivirals, the case management of high-risk dengue patients entirely relies on supportive care, involving constant monitoring and timely fluid support to prevent hypovolemic shock. Nonetheless, the diverse clinical spectrum of dengue disease, as well as its initial similarity to other viral febrile illnesses, presents a challenge in the early identification of this high-risk group. WHO recommends the use of warning signs to identify high-risk patients, but warning signs generally appear during, or just one day before the development of severe illness, thus, providing only a narrow window for clinical intervention. The ability to predict which patient may develop DHF and DSS may improve the triage and treatment. With the recent discovery of high throughput RNA sequencing allows us to understand the disease progression at the genomic level. Here, we will collate the results of RNA-Sequencing data obtained recently from PBMC of different categories of dengue patients from India and will discuss the possible role of deregulated genes and long non-coding RNAs NEAT1 for development of disease progression.

Keywords: long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), dengue, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC), nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), dengue shock syndrome (DSS)

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6 Empirical Modeling and Optimization of Laser Welding of AISI 304 Stainless Steel

Authors: Nikhil Kumar, Asish Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Laser welding process is a capable technology for forming the automobile, microelectronics, marine and aerospace parts etc. In the present work, a mathematical and statistical approach is adopted to study the laser welding of AISI 304 stainless steel. A robotic control 500 W pulsed Nd:YAG laser source with 1064 nm wavelength has been used for welding purpose. Butt joints are made. The effects of welding parameters, namely; laser power, scanning speed and pulse width on the seam width and depth of penetration has been investigated using the empirical models developed by response surface methodology (RSM). Weld quality is directly correlated with the weld geometry. Twenty sets of experiments have been conducted as per central composite design (CCD) design matrix. The second order mathematical model has been developed for predicting the desired responses. The results of ANOVA indicate that the laser power has the most significant effect on responses. Microstructural analysis as well as hardness of the selected weld specimens has been carried out to understand the metallurgical and mechanical behaviour of the weld. Average micro-hardness of the weld is observed to be higher than the base metal. Higher hardness of the weld is the resultant of grain refinement and δ-ferrite formation in the weld structure. The result suggests that the lower line energy generally produce fine grain structure and improved mechanical properties than the high line energy. The combined effects of input parameters on responses have been analyzed with the help of developed 3-D response surface and contour plots. Finally, multi-objective optimization has been conducted for producing weld joint with complete penetration, minimum seam width and acceptable welding profile. Confirmatory tests have been conducted at optimum parametric conditions to validate the applied optimization technique.

Keywords: ANOVA, laser welding, modeling and optimization, response surface methodology

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5 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

Abstract:

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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4 Controlling the Release of Cyt C and L- Dopa from pNIPAM-AAc Nanogel Based Systems

Authors: Sulalit Bandyopadhyay, Muhammad Awais Ashfaq Alvi, Anuvansh Sharma, Wilhelm R. Glomm

Abstract:

Release of drugs from nanogels and nanogel-based systems can occur under the influence of external stimuli like temperature, pH, magnetic fields and so on. pNIPAm-AAc nanogels respond to the combined action of both temperature and pH, the former being mostly determined by hydrophilic-to-hydrophobic transitions above the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT), while the latter is controlled by the degree of protonation of the carboxylic acid groups. These nanogels based systems are promising candidates in the field of drug delivery. Combining nanogels with magneto-plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) introduce imaging and targeting modalities along with stimuli-response in one hybrid system, thereby incorporating multifunctionality. [email protected] core-shell NPs possess optical signature in the visible spectrum owing to localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of the Au shell, and superparamagnetic properties stemming from the Fe core. Although there exist several synthesis methods to control the size and physico-chemical properties of pNIPAm-AAc nanogels, yet, there is no comprehensive study that highlights the dependence of incorporation of one or more layers of NPs to these nanogels. In addition, effective determination of volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) of the nanogels is a challenge which complicates their uses in biological applications. Here, we have modified the swelling-collapse properties of pNIPAm-AAc nanogels, by combining with [email protected] NPs using different solution based methods. The hydrophilic-hydrophobic transition of the nanogels above the VPTT has been confirmed to be reversible. Further, an analytical method has been developed to deduce the average VPTT which is found to be 37.3°C for the nanogels and 39.3°C for nanogel coated [email protected] NPs. An opposite swelling –collapse behaviour is observed for the latter where the [email protected] NPs act as bridge molecules pulling together the gelling units. Thereafter, Cyt C, a model protein drug and L-Dopa, a drug used in the clinical treatment of Parkinson’s disease were loaded separately into the nanogels and nanogel coated [email protected] NPs, using a modified breathing-in mechanism. This gave high loading and encapsulation efficiencies (L Dopa: ~9% and 70µg/mg of nanogels, Cyt C: ~30% and 10µg/mg of nanogels respectively for both the drugs. The release kinetics of L-Dopa, monitored using UV-vis spectrophotometry was observed to be rather slow (over several hours) with highest release happening under a combination of high temperature (above VPTT) and acidic conditions. However, the release of L-Dopa from nanogel coated [email protected] NPs was the fastest, accounting for release of almost 87% of the initially loaded drug in ~30 hours. The chemical structure of the drug, drug incorporation method, location of the drug and presence of [email protected] NPs largely alter the drug release mechanism and the kinetics of these nanogels and [email protected]Au NPs coated with nanogels.

Keywords: controlled release, nanogels, volume phase transition temperature, l-dopa

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3 Assesment of Financial Performance: An Empirical Study of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Companies in India

Authors: Palash Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Background and significance of the study: Crude oil and natural gas is of crucial importance due to its increasing demand in India. The demand has been increased because of change of lifestyle overtime. Since India has poor utilization of oil production capacity, constantly the import of it has been increased progressively day by day. This ultimately hit the foreign exchange reserves of India, however it negatively affect the Indian economy as well. The financial performance of crude oil and natural gas companies in India has been trimmed down year after year because of underutilization of production capacity, enhancement of demand, change in life style, and change in import bill and outflows of foreign currencies. In this background, the current study seeks to measure the financial performance of crude oil and natural gas companies of India in the post liberalization period. Keeping in view of this, this study assesses the financial performance in terms of liquidity management, solvency, efficiency, financial stability, and profitability of the companies under study. Methodology: This research work is encircled on yearly ratio data collected from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) Prowess database for the periods between 1993-94 and 2012-13 with 20 observations using liquidity, solvency and efficiency indicators, profitability indicators and financial stability indicators of all the major crude oil and natural gas companies in India. In the course of analysis, descriptive statistics, correlation statistics, and linear regression test have been utilized. Major findings: Descriptive statistics indicate that liquidity position is satisfactory in case of three crude oil and natural gas companies (Oil and Natural Gas Companies Videsh Limited, Oil India Limited and Selan exploration and transportation Limited) out of selected companies under study but solvency position is satisfactory only for one company (Oil and Natural Gas Companies Videsh Limited). However, efficiency analysis points out that Oil and Natural Gas Companies Videsh Limited performs effectively the management of inventory, receivables, and payables, but the overall liquidity management is not well. Profitability position is very much satisfactory in case of all the companies except Tata Petrodyne Limited, but profitability management is not satisfactory for all the companies under study. Financial stability analysis shows that all the companies are more dependent on debt capital, which bears a financial risk. Correlation and regression test results illustrates that profitability is positively and negatively associated with liquidity, solvency, efficiency, and financial stability indicators. Concluding statement: Management of liquidity and profitability of crude oil and natural gas companies in India should have been improved through controlling unnecessary imports in spite of the heavy demand of crude oil and natural gas in India and proper utilization of domestic oil reserves. At the same time, Indian government has to concern about rupee depreciation and interest rates.

Keywords: financial performance, crude oil and natural gas companies, India, linear regression

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2 Gastro-Protective Actions of Melatonin and Murraya koenigii Leaf Extract Combination in Piroxicam Treated Male Wistar Rats

Authors: Syed Benazir Firdaus, Debosree Ghosh, Aindrila Chattyopadhyay, Kuladip Jana, Debasish Bandyopadhyay

Abstract:

Gastro-toxic effect of piroxicam, a classical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), has restricted its use in arthritis and similar diseases. The present study aims to find if a combination of melatonin and Murraya koenigii leaf extract therapy can protect against piroxicam induced ulcerative damage in rats. For this study, rats were divided into four groups namely control group where rats were orally administered distilled water, only combination treated group, piroxicam treated group and combination pre-administered piroxicam treated group. Each group of rats consisted of six animals. Melatonin at a dose of 20mg/kg body weight and antioxidant rich Murraya koenigii leaf extract at a dose of 50 mg /kg body weight were successively administered at 30 minutes interval one hour before oral administration of piroxicam at a dose of 30 mg/kg body weight to Wistar rats in the combination pre-administered piroxicam treated group. The rats of the animal group which was only combination treated were administered both the drugs respectively without piroxicam treatment whereas the piroxicam treated animal group was administered only piroxicam at 30mg/kg body weight without any pre-treatment with the combination. Macroscopic examination along with histo-pathological study of gastric tissue using haemotoxylin-eosin staining and alcian blue dye staining showed protection of the gastric mucosa in the combination pre-administered piroxicam treated group. Determination of adherent mucus content biochemically and collagen content through Image J analysis of picro-sirius stained sections of rat gastric tissue also revealed protective effects of the combination in piroxicam mediated toxicity. Gelatinolytic activity of piroxicam was significantly reduced by pre-administration of the drugs which was well exhibited by the gelatin zymography study of the rat gastric tissue. Mean ulcer index determined from macroscopic study of rat stomach reduced to a minimum (0±0.00; Mean ± Standard error of mean and number of animals in the group=6) indicating the absence of ulcer spots on pre-treatment of rats with the combination. Gastro-friendly prostaglandin (PGE2) which otherwise gets depleted on piroxicam treatment was also well protected when the combination was pre-administered in the rats prior to piroxicam treatment. The requirement of the individual drugs in low doses in this combinatorial therapeutic approach will possibly minimize the cost of therapy as well as it will eliminate the possibility of any pro-oxidant side effects on the use of high doses of antioxidants. Beneficial activity of this combination therapy in the rat model raises the possibility that similar protective actions might be also observed if it is adopted by patients consuming NSAIDs like piroxicam. However, the introduction of any such therapeutic approach is subject to future studies in human.

Keywords: gastro-protective action, melatonin, Murraya koenigii leaf extract, piroxicam

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1 Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Rural India through Developing Online Communities of Purpose Using Social Technologies

Authors: Jayanta Basak, Somprakash Bandyopadhyay, Parama Bhaumik, Siuli Roy

Abstract:

To solve the life and livelihood related problems of socially and economically backward rural women in India, several Women Self-Help Groups (WSHG) are formed in Indian villages. WSHGs are micro-communities (with 10-to 15 members) within a village community. WSHGs have been conceived not just to promote savings and provide credit, but also to act as a vehicle of change through the creation of women micro-entrepreneurs at the village level. However, in spite of huge investment and volume of people involved in the whole process, the success is still limited. Most of these entrepreneurial activities happen in small household workspaces where sales are limited to the inconsistent and unpredictable local markets. As a result, these entrepreneurs are perennially trapped in the vicious cycle of low risk taking ability, low investment capacity, low productivity, weak market linkages and low revenue. Market separation including customer-producer separation is one of the key problems in this domain. Researchers suggest that there are four types of market separation: (i) spatial, (ii) financial, (iii) temporal, and (iv) informational, which in turn impacts the nature of markets and marketing. In this context, a large group of intermediaries (the 'middleman') plays important role in effectively reducing the factors that separate markets by utilizing the resource of rural entrepreneurs, their products and thus, accelerate market development. The rural entrepreneurs are heavily dependent on these middlemen for marketing of their products and these middlemen exploit rural entrepreneurs by creating a huge informational separation between the rural producers and end-consumers in the market and thus hiding the profit margins. The objective of this study is to develop a transparent, online communities of purpose among rural and urban entrepreneurs using internet and web 2.0 technologies in order to decrease market separation and improve mutual awareness of available and potential products and market demands. Communities of purpose are groups of people who have an ability to influence, can share knowledge and learn from others, and be committed to achieving a common purpose. In this study, a cluster of SHG women located in a village 'Kandi' of West Bengal, India has been studied closely for six months. These women are primarily engaged in producing garments, soft toys, fabric painting on clothes, etc. These women were equipped with internet-enabled smart-phones where they can use chat applications in local language and common social networking websites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. A few handicraft experts and micro-entrepreneurs from the city (the 'seed') were included in their mobile messaging app group that enables the creation of a 'community of purpose' in order to share thoughts and ideas on product designs, market trends, and practices, and thus decrease the rural-urban market separation. After six months of regular group interaction in mobile messaging app among these rural-urban community members, it is observed that SHG women are empowered now to share their product images, design ideas, showcase, and promote their products in global marketplace using some common social networking websites through which they can also enhance and augment their community of purpose.

Keywords: communities of purpose, market separation, self-help group, social technologies

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