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PANDEMIC TO NORMALCY: A JOURNEY

Mankind is currently capsized in the midst of an "unprecedented" lifestorm - a predicament that has swept through the life of every man, woman and child on the planet. A disease, a pandemic sickness that obeys no boundaries of either caste, creed or religion, social status or international borders, rages through the world, picking up lives with it's cold icy fingers, spreading breathlessness, death and massacre through every street it trundles through. In most countries at the moment, there is a complete or partial lockdown in most states, financial and GDP growth has frozen and fallen below sea level, and life in general, has been compromised massively. Unemployment is on the rise by the minute, the poor are starved and dying from hunger; there is no credit support to national reserve banks and the stock markets have fallen desperately. The healthcare systems of the Third World Nations are in a desolate state; unable to cope with the amount of the cases being reported d…

Juncture of hope and optimism

"This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper"; T S Eliot said this long back and the present situation that is making the earth writhe with pain is a burning testimony to the statement. Humans have always been the superior creature of God and with great knowledge comes great power: the power to undermine the inferior inhabitants and destroy the balance. But then, who would know that a tiny microbe can demolish the walls of superiority and would rewrite the history. Yes, corona virus it is. Ever since it saw light on earth, it has spread faster than wildfire and leaving tragic traces on every place and every country it has visited. It has effaced out nearly 2 lakhs people from the earth, and from India, more than 800 as of current figures. As rightly pointed out by poet, “Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon, but to our ignorance and complacency coming to an end.” And the present situation is apt to justify this. While corona is taking lives and …

Impact of COVID-19 on school education

We have seen that in the past 3 months a news has made its way from a corner on 3rd or 4th page to conquering each and every page on the newspaper . At present total number of  corona virus infectants around the globe is approx. 20 lacs with a death toll of approx. 2 lacs while in India total number of active cases is approx. 25 thousand with a death toll of approx. 1.2 thousand. These figures just tell us about the direct impact i.e. health impact of corona virus but apart from this it has also indirectly affected many lives and many sectors in world as well as India. Amongst many other sector like Real estate sector , Automobile sector etc. Education sector in India has also suffered on of the hardest hit by COVID 19 . Corona Virus transmits through air. An infectant of Corona virus can unknowinglytransmit it to thousand others just by roaming on the streets . Keeping this in consideration Indian Govt. has imposed a nationwide lockdown to minimize the transmission .All school and co…

IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON SCHOOL EDUCATION

Covid-19 has moved like wildfire — at first seemingly far away, then unnervingly close — as it has ripped across the world in a few months, leaving tens of thousands dead, economies flattened, and the futures of hundreds of millions of people in limbo. As many of us shelter in place with no end in sight, it’s only human for us to imagine how life will resume, even if the unfamiliar and unpredictable behavior of the virus has made it difficult to know with any certainty. For many, the doldrums of quarantine are now giving way to post-isolation fantasies, as people pledge to spend more time with family and friends, or finally book that bucket-list trip. But even the smallest and sweetest of goals — getting a haircut, giving a hug, or going to school — could feel like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro when we’re free.But just so we have clarity in judging how much Covid-19 has and will impact school education, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered …

Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on school education

The Covid-19 pandemic, basically a health related crisis has in its wrath and fury shattered not only the global health care system but has also caused havoc to the entire global economy and wrecked the educational system out and out.  
As a student, my primary concern apart from health, well being and safety lies in how to pursue my education to prosper in my career, as the educational system has received the rudest jolt. The worldwide closure of all the educational institutions have grossly affected over 90% of the student population hampering the continuity of learning and its paraphernalia there by throwing their prospective careers at stake.   UNESCO is supporting countries in their valiant effort to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for the more vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to facilitate the continuity of education through remote learning.   The severe short term disruption due to lockdown is being acutely felt by innumerable families around…

Solid Waste Management

The common man’s perception about solid waste management suffer “not in my backyard” syndrome and leave waste to be taken care by other people only. The active participation of the common people in India is essential to manage the difficulties of source segregation, storage, collection, relocation, carry-age, processing and reutilization of burgeoning solid waste. It is urgent need to promote, awareness towards safe disposal of waste, public-private partnership, and selection of appropriate technology according to waste characteristics for resource recovery as well as energy generation in near future. Planning Commission Report (2014) reveals that 377 million people residing in urban area generate 62 million tons of municipal solid waste per annum currently and it is projected that by 2031 these urban centers will generate 165 million tons of waste annually and by 2050 it could reach 436 million tons. To accommodate this amount of waste generated by 2031, about 23.5 × 107 cubic meter …

White Biotechnology

It is inquisitive how new terms in science get coined: some terms appeal to the imagination of a large set of people and then a new area starts. The last few years the increasing use of the word “white biotechnology” has observed in the literature. Recently, three terms (red biotechnology, green biotechnology and white biotechnology) related to biotechnology are frequently used to harmonize concepts of scientists and environmentalists for improving sustainable synthesis. It highlights the application of modern biotechnology for the sustainable and eco-efficient industrial production of chemical, materials and energy. Red biotechnology carry out with the production of high value products (e.g., pharmaceutical proteins), green biotechnology covers the use of plants in biotechnology, whilst white biotechnology, approaches the use of biotechnology in the production of bulk and fine chemicals such as amino acids, vitamins, antibiotics, enzymes, drugs, organic acids and polymers. White biot…

A basic comparison between CAT and GATE

CAT is a test conducted for admission to the management programs of IIMs. Many other institutions are also using CAT score for admission to their MBA programs in India. Aspirants having a graduate degree or going to complete a graduate degree (three, four or five year program)are eligible to write the test. Question paper is common and cuts across all disciplines(science arts commerce engineering etc.).Qualifying CAT does not ensure a fellowship or lead to a job.
GATE is graduate aptitude test in engineering and persons who have completed or going to complete a minimum of four year graduation program after class twelve in science or engineering are eligible to write GATE examination. Unlike CAT question paper is different for different  discipline of science and engineering. GATE score is used by different centrally funded technical institutes(IIT,NIT etc)for admission to their M Tech/M E programs in science and engineering. Many state and private universities are fully or partly doing…

Green Solvents

Green Solvents Nowadays, chemical reactions using green solvents are the challenging goals of green chemistry. A lot of acids, catalyst, toxic solvents (acetone, benzene, chlorinated organic solvents, etc) are used by various industries and laboratories to complete a single reaction. When we are writing this column the amount of hazardous waste were exceeded 130 million tons and many more tons are producing every second worldwide. Safety goggles, hand gloves are used by every individuals but a few number is concern about these perilous chemicals. Improper handling of the waste solvents leads to dangerous land filling and poising our eco systems. Hence, world chemist community are searching alternatives of these hazardous solvents coined as “green solvents” is part of rapidly emerging field of green chemistry. The primary goal of the chemist to reduce the amount of volatile organic chemicals (VOC), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), toxic and flammable solvents to improve the reaction pro…

Genetic Engineering in Plants to Combat Acid Soil Toxicity

Genetic engineering enables us to displace genes among species. The newly incorporated foreign gene(s) in the host genome can create new trait(s) by regulating the expression of different genes and transcription factors.Recent advances in plant molecular biology provided superior genotypes are useful for enhanced production of food and other plant based valuable materials.Aluminumstress tolerant transgenic plants are also developed by overexpressing different genes. In particular, the malate synthase and citrate synthase genes displayed enhanced Aluminum tolerance by activating malate and citrate excretion. Notably, the transgenic plants modified for the expression of enzymes involved in malate and citrate synthesis showed increased organic anion concentration in tissues and Al3+ resistance.Molecular characterization of acid soil stress tolerance mechanism is critical to develop efficient breeding materials to make high yielding varieties under stress environments.  Number of genes an…

Molecular dynamics simulation: A tool to view a system at the atomic level

Computer simulation mimics the behaviour of a real system. Simulation can verify a theoretical model which cannot be solved analytically. Simulations can also complement experiments to get a detailed view of a system. In some cases, experiments are impossible to perform, modeling and simulation is the only choice. The first and crucial step towards simulations is to develop a model for the system. The more accurate the model, the closer the simulation to a real system. It is essential to validate a model by comparing simulation results with the experimental results. The comparisons between experimental, simulation and theoretical results help build a better model. Once we have a good model of a system, we can explore a wide range of properties and characteristics of the system.
Molecular dynamics (MD) technique, which is based on the principle of classical mechanics is used to simulate a wide variety of systems, from a single crystal to a macromolecule such as DNA, RNA. For an ergodi…

Nano Technology, Today and Tomorrow

Nanotechnology, as we know, is an umbrella term used to define technologies working on nanoscales for utilization in this transformed world. Nanoparticles (NPs), the basic parts of nanotechnology, are atomic or molecular aggregates with sizes varying from 1nm to 100nm. In Nanoscience, we manipulate matters at their atomic or molecular level and discover a whole new material with properties totally different from the mother matter or more powerful than it. The world is facing significant changes in day to day life, be it with the environment, medical sector, automobile sector or any other field and to cope with these, Nanoscience or Nanotechnology is the need of the hour. In today's world, thinking of any innovation sans Nanotechnology is impossible. Nanoparticles can be synthesized either chemically or biologically, naturally or artificially. In this particular technology, we repair control, construct and monitor at the molecular level of any systems. Nanoparticles are of differen…

Storage of Seeds

Storage of Seeds: A Standard Protocol It’s really important and essential to maintain the seed in good physical and psychological conditions from the time it has been harvested until the time they are being planted. Also, storage of seed is necessary to protect them from pest, disease and to converse them until they germinate for subsequent crop production.  Before storing a seed, the variety of seeds should be well understood. Seeds are generally categorized into the following types:  Orthodox: Seeds that can be dried without damage maintaining low moisture contents and it should be much lower than those they would normally achieve in nature. Their longevity increases with reductions in both moisture content and temperature over a wide range of storage environments.  Recalcitrant: Seeds that do not survive drying to any large degree, and are thus not amenable for long term storage. Intermediate: Seeds that are more tolerant of desiccation than recalcitrant, though that tolerance is much m…

Is Quantum Computing the Ultimate of Artificial Intelligence?

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Artificial Intelligence now-a-days plays a significant role in modern computer science and engineering, as the ultimate objective of the computer science research community is to develop a humanoid that can act perfectly as a human with human like intelligence. The problem undoubtedly, is many fold complex of the present state-of-the art status and needs serious thought. The task is mammoth and needs collective work.
It is very difficult to define Human intelligence. However, the power of decision making and problem solving is the back bone of human intelligence, and artificial intelligence is practically the same power possessed by a machine. For artificial intelligence, a machine should be fully capable of generating solutions of a problem or should be capable generating decisions under a certain situation. This generation must be unambiguous, unique and fast. Such generations should be based on online learning. As the designed humanoid is preferred to act as a human, we must kep in …

What is the importance of microbiology?

Importance of Microbiology Microbiology can be considered as both basic and applied science. It deals with the very details of microscopic organisms that surrounds us. Be it physiological, chemical or biochemical, Microbiology is a discipline that always gives us the whole understanding of the universe of the minute organisms.  On the other hand, as an applied science, it has an essential role in the development of various industries in the fields of biotechnology, medicine and agriculture. Microbiology as a subject of high relevance and scope, students can choose industrial, academic or research career. If 19th and 20th century was the era of chemistry, the 21st century undoubtedly is the era of biology, and no field of biology is complete without the understanding of microorganisms. Being one of the best universities in India, Techno India University, West Bengal, understands the prime importance of studying Microbiology in post Covid-19 era.Our moto is to cultivate the scientists hidden…

Vaccine designers are here to insert death nails into Coronavirus’s coffin

The coronavirus has put the world on tenterhooks and crippled the medical service across the globe. But the time has finally come to bring a sigh of relief; the vaccine designers are here to fire the final fatal shots against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Deriving its name from its crown like appearance, Covid-19 belong to the same group of virus as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (beta Cov lineage B) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (beta Cov Lineage C). SARS which had its outbreak in China, caused pandemic in 2002 and MERS showed its emergence almost a decade laterwreaked havoc in the Middle-East in 2012. While the first Covid-19 case was detected in China’s Wuhan province around December in 2019, it is presumed that the virus had spread from Wuhan’s sea food market.
Covid-19 and SARS-CoV shares same binding affinity for the host cell receptor- angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) and share similar pathogenesis fo…

How does one cover the educational gap for class 12 and final year students due to the pandemic disruption?

The COVID 19 pandemic is going to change the dynamics of how education is imparted through the schooling system. In the present scenario, the conventional process of teaching students through classroom teaching is no longer feasible, since, under no condition, a nation can afford to jeopardize the lives of its youth, a nation’s most valued resource, by allowing congregation in such system of classroom teaching. On the brighter side, this situation has paved way to revamp the educational set-up that has been long over-due. A radical reconstruction of the educational system should now entail conceptual exercises that don’t require rote memorization and lay more stress on pragmatic understanding, exercises and easy translation for developing life-skills. It is also high time that norm-referenced paper-pencil tests make way for non-judicious memory-based answering system. 

Class 12 and final year students can be evaluated online, and on that basis, they can start with module courses of the…

What are the direct impacts of Covid19 for the future of engineering?

The pandemic is in some sense a blessing in disguise. It has exposed the systemic weaknesses of nations in handling disasters of scale in real time. The developed nations, despite their financial power and strengths of technology have taken a bigger hit as compared to the lesser privileged ones. The lessons for India are in the recognition of the combined failure of our systems, including political, administration, health care services, supply chain management, identification of hotspots, prediction in the spread and reach of the pandemic and in damage control. The need for massive technical efforts in reliable data collection and live updation, data processing and mining for inferencing, capability for rapid manufacturing of support devices such as protective gears, personal hygiene products, ventilators, supply chain logistics of essential services and many more.The primary strengths of India are in its human resources, numerical strength of qualified professionals, capacity for R &…

What are the major issues and impediments to engineering education and engineering profession in India?

The major impediments to engineering in India are a) highly empowered regulatory bodies who are not in sync with ground reality, b) misplaced priority for managers instead of resource creators, c) concern for quantity against quality, d) aversion to R & D and innovation, e) lack of transparency and accountability, f) problem solving mostly in reactive mode, g) decision making based on populist notions in place of scientific evaluation, h) belief in myths against reality, and rampant corruption in the system. Centralized control has a negative correlation for creativity and innovation in all fields of life, be it music, sports, fine arts, science, engineering or others. The same applies to education in general and engineering in particular. The effectiveness and impact of national bodies engaged in education and R &D, such as UGC, AICTE, DST, DBT, CSIR and others are questionable. The poor status of the universities and research laboratories which had excellent reputation …

Can Indian engineers innovate and create new technology at par with their contemporaries elsewhere?

The competence of our scientists and engineers at the world level is another fact that cannot be taken lightly. All the big international players, be it in software, hardware or applications, such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Amazon and others, whose leadership position in business depends on sustained innovation, have a large presence of Indians  in their front-line research groups. Most of them have been trained in India at least up to their undergraduate level and may have acquired graduate degree subsequently from abroad. Tens of thousands of these Indians, many with doctoral qualifications, have been a major contributor in innovation of technology in their respective organizations. This excludes   chief executives like Satya Nadela or Sundar Pichai who also head their respective organizations. The success of ISRO in their space missions is a proof that a small group of dedicated professionals, scientists and engineers, despite their meagre financial support and minimal res…