Biomass based biofuel generation future in India

Out of some of the hottest trends that have been on the top lists for quite a while are choosing an entrepreneur as the primary occupation and doing an eco-friendly business.

The need of renewable energy is increasing in the world due to rapidly growing human population, urbanization and huge consumption of fossil fuels. Fossil fuel reserve is very limited, and the reserve is getting depleted day by day. The primary sources of energy that can be used as the alternative of fossil fuels are wind, water, solar and biomass-based energy.

Currently biomass as a feedstock for biofuel production is gaining importance. Biomass energy is supplying about 10-15% of total energy demand of the present world. Biomass feedstocks include organic material such as wood, wood-based energy crops, grass, lignucellulosic materials like wheat straw, rice straw, sugarcane baggase, corn, microalgae, agricultural residues, municipal wastes, forest product wastes, paper, cardboard and food waste. Biomass can be converted into biofuels by thermochemical and biochemical conversion. Based on the types of feedstocks or biomass the biofuels derived are divided into different groups i.e. 1st generation, 2nd generation, 3rd generation. 1st generation biofuels mainly extracted from the food crop-based feedstocks like wheat, barley, sugar and used for biodiesel and by fermentation to produce bioethanol. But first-generation biofuels face the “fuel vs food” debate and also the net energy gain is negative.  1st generation biofuels production systems also have some economic and environmental limitations. To overcome the drawbacks of 1st generation biofuels 2nd generation biofuels have been generated from the non-food crops-based feedstocks like organic wastes, lignocellulosic biomass etc. For biofuel production from these sources rigorous pretreatments are required to make the feedstocks suitable for biodiesel production. This is the major drawback of 2nd generation biofuel production. Then the attention of the world has been shifted towards 3rd generation biofuel production entails “algae-to biofuels”. Microalgae is easy to cultivate, has higher photosynthetic rate and growth rate than other plants and there is no food vs. feed dilemma present of using microalgae as feedstock for biofuel production. Presently the attention is also given towards fourth generation biofuel. The former concept of third generation of biofuel deals with the conversion process itself from the microalgae to biofuel. The fourth generation of biofuel concept deals with development of microalgal biotechnology via metabolic engineering to maximize biofuel yield. Fourth generation biofuel uses genetically modified (GM) algae to enhance biofuel production. In comparison with third generation in which the principal focus is in fact processing an algae biomass to produce biofuel, the main superior properties of the fourth are introducing modified photosynthetic microorganisms which in turn are the consequence of directed metabolic engineering, through which it is possible to continuously produce biofuel in various types of special bioreactors, such as photobioreactors.

Biomass has the highest potential for small scale business development and mass employment. Characterized by low-cost technologies and freely available raw materials, it is still one of the leading sources of primary energy for most countries. With better technology transfer and adaptation to local needs, biomass is not only environmentally benign, but also an economically sound choice. Bio-based energy can be expected to grow at a faster pace in the years to come. 

On the Biomass Energy sector, the India government committed to increasing the share of non-fossils fuel in total capacity to 40% by 2030. India produces about 450-500 million tonnes of biomass per year. Biomass provides 32% of all the primary energy use in the country at present. A total capacity of 10145 MW has been installed in the Biomass Power and Cogeneration Sector. The Installed Capacity of Biomass IPP is 1826 MW together with the Installed Capacity of Bagasse Cogeneration is 7547 MW and the Installed Capacity of Non-Bagasse Cogeneration is 772 MW. 

The eco-friendly business has lots of benefits, by going green with your business you’re promoting the Earth’s safety from potential environmental catastrophe, you support innovation and concomitantly producing green energy.

The Government of India has been constantly bound on increasing the use of clean energy sources. This does increase a better future and at the same time creates employment opportunities too. According to The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India’s total installed capacity of renewable energy is 90 GW excluding hydropower. Also, it states that 27.41 GW will be added. Renewable Energy in India is a great asset to Energy Contribution, yet India still needs to work a lot in Renewable Energy Sectors.

A LEGAL STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COPYRIGHT LAW IN INDIA

The history of copyright is the tale of how the law has adapted to technical advancements. There have been significant technological advancements since the Rome Convention in 1961 and the final amendment to the Berne Convention in 1971. The introduction of digital technology has repeatedly put a major strain on the copyright regime. The WIPO had established two committees of experts [Committee of Experts on a Possible Protocol to the Berne Convention in September 1991 and the Committee of Experts on a Possible Instrument for Protection of the Rights of Performers and Producers of Phonograms in September 1992] to examine the effects of new technologies on copyright and neighbouring rights. These Committees, after exhaustive discussions, in which India was an active participant, drafted basic proposals for three new treaties, that is-

  1. Treaty for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works;
  2. Treaty for Protection of the Rights of Performers and Producers of Phonograms; and
  3. Treaty on sui-generis protection for Databases.

The Conference adopted two treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The database treaty was deferred for further study.

Being a WIPO member and a party to the WCT (World Copyright Treaty) and WPPT, India has repeatedly revised its domestic legislation to be in line with international copyright standards. The Copyright (Amendment) Act of 1994 and the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012 serve as excellent examples of the sufficient degrees of advancement in Indian copyright laws that have been repeatedly seen.

The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012’s recognition of the performers’ rights under Section 38-A and the recognition of the performers’ moral rights under Section 38-B speak volumes about Indian jurisprudential thought and intellectual development in relation to the related rights in the area of copyrights.

The 50-year protection period offered by Indian law to phonogram performers and producers is in line with worldwide norms; the duration of the protection is not just adequate but also satisfactory. It is also a nice development that the period of protection for broadcasting reproduction rights has been increased from 20 to 25 years in the case of broadcasting organizations.

Since the passage of the Copyright (Amendment) Act in 1994 and the Copyright (Amendment) Act in 2012, India’s Broadcasting Reproduction Rights and Performers’ Rights have advanced significantly. In addition to the general-statutory and other economic rights, India has made a significant advance by focusing on and incorporating the idea of moral rights—that is, rights related to paternity and integrity—into its legal framework.

India is quickly catching up to its necessary credit, as in some countries, performers, phonogram producers, and broadcasters of copyrighted works are protected by copyright alongside authors, while in others, they are protected by neighbouring or related rights because of their role in distributing copyrighted works to the public as consumer goods.

What India is still to realize

  1. New media and technology give right holders new avenues for the distribution and exploitation of their works, especially online works, potentially opening up more chances for direct licensing. Systematic management of digital rights are intended to allow a greater range of terms and conditions for the use of those works while better distributing and protecting the right holder’s investment [however, India awoke to this realization and adopted Sections 65-A and 65-B by virtue of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012]. Increased market adoption of these systems is anticipated to expand consumer choice and availability of copyright works, such as digital software and entertainment products, and to permit price points that reflect the consumer’s actual use rather than an assumption that the consumer will use the product in a variety of formats. All of this must further copyrights as well as copyright-related rights, such as the rights to privacy and publicity.
  2. In the digital networked environment, creators and performers want assurances that their moral rights will be upheld, especially by third parties, and that their creations and performances won’t be unfairly influenced.
  3. Since the WIPO Internet Treaties negotiations began, audio visual performers have been calling for an upgrade to their legal status on a global scale. As a result, India should proactive begin pursuing this goal on a national level. India cannot afford to lose sight of the Rome Convention, which is now incorporated on a global level and seeks to update broadcasters’ rights in response to market changes and technical advancements.

Overall, India appears to be well-equipped to provide the allied-right-holders, such as performers, phonogram producers, and broadcasters, with the necessary protection. It is hoped that India will continue to advance and meet the challenges presented by the wave of digitalized, networked environments ‘head-on’.

Career Prospects in Visual Arts in 21st Century Era

Visual art is relies on visual experience. A degree in Visual Arts can lead us to a many-sided career and life as an artist. Throughout this study, we will be exposed in art history, theory and criticism alongside intensive studio practices and experiences in drawing, painting, sculpture, print media, photography and multimedia art. We can exhibit our art work in group or solo exhibitions in galleries as professional artists. Visual arts include painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, crafts, films etc. It also includes applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, interior design, fashion design etc.

Visual Arts can lead to many career options like Freelance Artist, Art Teacher, Art Historian, Art Consultant, Architect, Archivist, Art Editor, Art Gallery Director, Art Critic, Art Curator, Cartoonist, Cinematographer, Engraver, Exhibition Designer, Fashion Designer, Gallery Director, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Interior Designer, Jewelry Designer, Museum Director, Product Designer, Set Designer etc. Today visual effect is a creative professional field for visual artists with many bright prospects. At present day most of the movies are overwhelmingly reliant on visual effects that mean VFX. Big budget franchises depend on highly creative and realistic effects.

Very simply, artists create works of art. Artists employ a variety of methods and materials to communicate a message, thought or feeling, including painting, sculpture, and illustration using oils, acrylics, watercolors, pencils, pastels, clay computers etc. Craft artists make hand-made objects, such as candles, tapestries, quilts, and potteries to be sold or shown. Multimedia artists create images for film, video and other forms of electronic media. Apart from these, artists also can find work with museums, galleries, schools, advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers, and movie studios.

In Graphic Design one artist can work as an Advertising Director, Logo / Branding Designer, Advertisement Designer, Sign Writer, Magazine Layout Designer, Packing Designer, Calendar / Stationary / Wallpaper Designer, Typographer etc. In Museums, one artist can work as a Curator with good knowledge of art and good communication skills. One can get job as Artist Representative with the knowledge of art, business experience (marketing and sales), organizational skills, self-motivation, and sensitivity to working with artists

There is another bright career in Art Gallery to work as a Gallery Director or Curator. Good business and marketing skills, communication and writing skills, fundraising skills, flexibility, diplomacy, ability to motivate others, sensitivity to artists’ needs, experience in exhibition design, curatorial work, sales, and art education can all be useful here.

Art Teacher as a career in Education

With the degree in Fine Arts, one can find his or her career as an art teacher in Education. Art teachers are generally required to have a Bachelor and Master degree in Fine Arts with the following art spheres: ceramics, painting, sculpture, media arts, drawing, photography, printmaking and graphic design.

Art offers us the space to express ourselves. Art education entails teaching students how to express their feelings and thoughts about their world. Art Teachers guide their students to develop their visual communication skills by producing various art forms. Art students may be in public and private schools, museums, summer programs, and other places where visual communication is learned.

Art Education arouses language in visual images. Art Teachers nurture students’ artistic skills at their school level. They also teach after school and summer programs to children, or in an adult education program such as ‘Teachers Training Program’. They can also work in Art museums as education coordinators. Along with being creative and passionate about art, Art Teachers should be able to motivate students to think about the subject critically and to understand students’ educational and emotional needs.

Artist Picasso once said that painting is just another way of keeping a diary. Art Teachers should go beyond painting and guide students to keep their diaries in various art forms. They should spur students to unlock their creativity while expressing their thoughts, feelings and opinions at the same time.

Future of Brand Communication and Management

Branding have been evolved hundreds of years, may be more than this. The meaning and prospect of this brand came into use over a decade. The meaning and narratives of brand communication has been progressed and it is not limited to a particular products and services but the horizon of branding widens its spectrum in a larger array. Here, will reconnoitres the concept of branding which have been advanced to a new paradigm, and would venture on what’s coming next.

 

The word Brand is etymologically derived from the word “Brandr”, a term from Ancient Norse meaning “to burn”. Around 950 A.D. the term “brand” denotes to a burning piece of wood. By 1300s this word was used to mean a torch, a factor which burns a piece of wood. This term brand further adds to denote to scorch the cattle of ownership by the year 1500s. The ownership status quo been conferred if their cattle got misplaced, ranched or lost. So, the development of using some similar trait of identifying their respective cattle were used. They had very simple, familiar identification and quick remembrance which lead and pave the way for ‘logo’ which is indispensable for brand identity and image.

Brand communicates to inform, persuade, guide, teach, evoke, enlighten, remind and gives a new insight about a product, service, company, organization to its stakeholders and persuades to pursue the positive perception of the products, service and companies’ strength and core values.

For the drive of easier comprehension, let us put some of those changes in the form of pointers:

  1. The Preponderance of Digital Media: with the advent of digital media, the traditional form of paid media push marketing strategy is no longer valid and lost its conventional power to hold and influence consumers.
  2. Personal Branding: the role of Influencer’s which is in the rise of social media platforms has changed the phenomenon of the conventional definition of personal branding. Social media and branding also the future of branding in a positive room which enables every company and organization to maintain and update their social media pages of triggering and disseminating useful information (Facebook. Instagram and Twitter).
  3. Brand Extension: it creates credibility and consumers gets varied scope of opportunity if the brand positively follows up for further extension.
  4. Brand Association: the top of the mind awareness (recall) and aided awareness (recognition) seems credible in digital age with the help of niche marketing strategy and native advertising.
  5. Co-Branding: this creates the blurred boundaries between global market products and services. So, no matter what, there is a prospect avenue for business collaborations both nationally and internationally. With the rapid changes in the pattern of brand communication, definitely this also need to be focussed international + local products collaboration (because generally the known businesses allies with the established brands).
  6. Brand Equity: Simply, the brand awareness, positioning and loyalty leads to brand equity and paved the way for understanding these three factors in a more diligent manner (recognition/recall/ aided awareness/ TOMA etc).
  7. Naming of the Brand: this gone beyond the graphics but the interactive media content spuriously based on the art, aesthetics, idea and creativity proves to be right in contemporary times. It more emphasizes the ideation blended with virtual reality and augmented reality.
  8. Viral Marketing: this strategy is a new norm to reach out to potential consumers through snowballing and e word of mouth.
  9. SEO: it enhances the website traffic to update the page of the website and searches through hashtags and keywords. It aims to unpaid traffic rather than paid traffic.
  10. Outsourced Delivery: there are few companies and creative bunch of groups who takes this up on behalf of reputed and established brands. The young professionals who is proficiency of digital media marketing, search engine optimization and algorithms related to augmented reality and virtual reality can be put forth for positive brand image.

The rise of the usage and availability of internet across geographic boundaries with economic viability, enhances the platforms of social media which is a driving factor for the next stage of the progression of branding. Point to be noted that the definition of conventional consumer or customers have changed drastically, there is a bent towards the coexistence and participatory. They do not want to consume the products or content anymore, rather tries to participate and so as the future of brand communication not to communicate anymore but to act, feel and intermittence. The power of influencers of social media brands like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook frequently depend on their users to aid and to create their value and how they should be perceived by the public. It further gives them their identity and positive image and enhances the brand durability. Various content sites like Buzzfeed, Amazon, The Huffington post and Yelp be contingent on reviewers to deliver their utmost convincing content. In this regard, many web-based companies and organizations handles their respective brand image and gets loyalty and revenue through active consumers which is unmatched and some thing interesting in these recent times. On the other hand, viral marketing, search engine optimization, and outsourced delivery permits their companies and organizations to have expansion visibility which reduces the cost of products delivery and saves millions of bucks and investment on advertising and infrastructure.

Basically, to conclude, if there is a brand admiration established by the consumers and they would like to see the advancement of prospect category of a specific product, then they must go ahead. This improvement on positive branding and effective brand communication may bring various advantages to one’s business, for example, good growth, profit and a prospect to meet their clients’ who might need to know the advancement of companies’ brand image. If an excellent inkling or creativity for new product is there to experiment that certainly the consumers/customers may accept or like, then probably yes, the companies must give it a try!

THE NANO SCIENCE AND ITS CONTRIBUTION IN TREATING CANCER

Nanoscience involves the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. This molecular level investigation is at a range usually below 100 nm. In simple terms, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter and the properties of materials at this atomic or subatomic level differ significantly from properties of the same materials at larger sizes. Although, the initial properties of nano materials studied were for its physical, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, chemical and biological applications, recently, attention has been geared towards its pharmaceutical application, especially in the area of drug delivery. According to the definition from NNI (National Nanotechnology Initiative), nanoparticles are structures of sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nm in at least one dimension. However, the prefix “nano” is commonly used for particles that are up to several hundred nanometers in size. Nanocarriers with optimized physicochemical and biological properties are taken up by cells more easily than larger molecules, so they can be successfully used as delivery tools for currently available bioactive compounds.

Cell-specific targeting can be achieved by attaching drugs to individually designed carriers. Recent developments in nanotechnology have shown that nanoparticles (structures smaller than 100 nm in at least one dimension) have a great potential as drug carriers. Due to their small sizes, the nanostructures exhibit unique physicochemical and biological properties (e.g., an enhanced reactive area as well as an ability to cross cell and tissue barriers) that make them a favorable material for biomedical applications. It is difficult to use large size materials in drug delivery because of their poor bioavailability, in vivo solubility, stability, intestinal absorption, sustained and targeted delivery, plasma fluctuations, therapeutic effectiveness etc. To overcome these challenges nanodrug delivery have been designed through the development and fabrication of nanostructures. Nanoparticles have the ability to penetrate tissues, and are easily taken up by cells, which allows efficient delivery of drugs to target site of action. Uptake of nanostructures has been reported to be 15–250 times greater than that of microparticles in the 1–10 um range. Nanoparticles can mimic or alter biological processes (e.g., infection, tissue engineering, de novo synthesis, etc. These devices include, but not limited to, functionalized carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, self-assembling polymeric nano constructs, nanomembranes, and nano-sized silicon chips for drug, protein, nucleic acid, or peptide delivery and release, and biosensors and laboratory diagnostics. Various polymers have been used in the design of drug delivery system as they can effectively deliver the drug to a target site and thus increase the therapeutic benefit, while minimizing side effects. The controlled release (CR) of pharmacologically active agents to the specific site of action at the therapeutically optimal rateand dose regimen has been a major goal in designing such devices. The drug is dissolved, entrapped, encapsulated or attached to a NP matrix and depending upon the method of preparation, nanoparticles, nanospheres or nanocapsules can be obtained. Nanocapsules are vesicular systems in which the drug is confined to a cavity surrounded by a unique polymer membrane, while nanospheres are matrix systems in which the drug is physically and uniformly dispersed. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles have attracted considerable attention as potential drug delivery devices in view of their applications in the controlled release of drugs, their ability to target particular organs/tissues, as carriers of DNA in gene therapy, and in their ability to deliver proteins, peptides and genes through a per oral route of administration. Recent advances in the application of nanotechnology in medicine, often referred to as nanomedicine, may revolutionize our approach to healthcare. Cancer nanotechnology is a relatively novel interdisciplinary area of comprehensive research that combines the basic sciences, like biology and chemistry, with engineering and medicine. Nanotechnology involves creating and utilizing the constructs of variable chemistry and architecture with dimensions at the nanoscale level comparable to those of biomolecules or biological vesicles in the human body. Operating with sub-molecular interactions, it offers the potential for unique and novel approaches with a broad spectrum of applications in cancer treatment including areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics, and prognostics.

Nanotechnology also opens pathways to developing new and efficient therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment that can overcome numerous barriers posed by the human body compared to conventional approaches. Improvement in chemotherapeutic delivery through enhanced solubility and prolonged retention time has been the focus of research in nanomedicine. The submicroscopic size and flexibility of nanoparticles offer the promise of selective tumor access. Formulated from a variety of substances, nanoparticles are configured to transport myriad substances in a controlled and targeted fashion to malignant cells while minimizing the damage to normal cells. They are designed and developed to take advantage of the morphology and characteristics of a malignant tumor, such as leaky tumor vasculature, specific cell surface antigen expression, and rapid proliferation.

Nanotechnology offers a revolutionary role in both diagnostics (imaging, immune-detection) and treatment (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, thermotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and anti-angiogenesis). Moreover, nanoparticles may be designed to offer a multifunctional approach operating simultaneously as an effective and efficient anticancer drug as well as an imaging material to evaluate the efficacy of the drug for treatment follow-up. In recent years, nanomedicine has exhibited strong promise and progress in radically changing the approach to cancer detection and treatment.

Crisis Communication in the Post Digitalization Era

Crisis Communication at large has undergone a massive change in the last few decades especially after the introduction of new media and digital technologies. Earlier Corporate India used to have a Public Relations (PR) department which was mainly dedicated to maintaining the image of the organization. This was done using a series of steps including maintaining healthy relationships with people both at the internal level as well as with the audience or the customers at large. This department was also responsible for looking after the crisis communication in case of crisis situations. Now, in the post digitalization era, crisis may arise from Tweets, YouTube Videos or even a song, which has the power to tarnish the reputation of an organization.

There has been a notable instance in the year 2009 where a Canadian singer named Dave Carroll who had posted a song on YouTube based on “United Breaks Guitar” after his guitar was broken while flying through United Airlines. Initially the organization claimed that it was the negligence of the passenger and tried to shrug off the blame but through this song the Carroll made it a point to explain the entire incident. This musical video became popular in no time and gained massive attention of the audience which further influenced them from taking United Airlines flights for a while. The organization had to take many efforts to counter this narrative and thereby deal with this crisis situation to get back their customers, including offering a brand new Taylor guitar to Dave.

Now, this is not just one case rather with the growing popularity of online contents we get to see many such protests coming up almost every week. This is where the major challenge lies in dealing with a crisis scenario which has the potential of getting viral and thereby causing harm to the reputation of the organization.  Here, the key lies in targeting the same medium to build up a counter narrative and reach out to similar audience for managing the crisis situation.  For example, if a false narrative is spreading against an organization through twitter then the organization will have to take up initiatives to ensure that a counter narrative is spread from their end through twitter as well. So, it is not just important to target the crisis through communication but it is also important to use the same channel of communication though which the crisis has been spread.

Earlier organizations used to have draft Press Release ready for situations like any mishap during working hour or financial crisis which the organization may face in future. This used to help them to ensure that this Press Release can be readily spread if there are any such scenarios coming up in the near future. These days the definition of crisis has gone way beyond and all thanks to new media where anyone can literally post anything against an organization. Be it grievances from a customer or any counter narrative strategy used by competitive organization, crisis can come up in any form which was not even predicted before. In this case preparing a Press Release from beforehand will not be possible for any organization due to the vast diversity of crisis situations which may arise in the digital age. Hence, this is where using the same medium of communication can actually help any organization to target the same audience who has perhaps come across the information causing crisis in real time.

Strategic Communication management is playing a key role where dynamic crisis management is actually possible according to the book “How to Communicate Strategically in Corporate World”. The book states that communication has become an integral part of the strategies designed by an organization where a Chief Communications Officer often presides over the developments taking place in crisis management and other related strategic communication. Factors like personal touch and empathy are the key players in crisis communication where it is not just restricted to Press Release rather the organizations use strategies for communicating with people.

Sometimes, incidents like a flight crash can also come up as a crisis where communication becomes the major factor using which it can be managed. In one such incident during a flight crash of Air Asia, the organization had a strong hold of the situation and handled it so well that it had further lead to a positive publicity of the organization. This was possible due to the use of personal touch and empathy from the end of the organization during crisis communication. In this case the Tweets done by the spokes person Tony Fernandez who had profusely apologized for the plane crash and expressed that the organization takes over all the charges of the accident. This acted as a turning point where the audience could understand that the organization had genuine emotions towards the family members of the injured and deceased person. It became an eye opener for many other organizations that later came up with similar strategies to deal with crisis. Having empathy in communication helps to ensure that it is not the organization v/s the customers or the audience rather there is a blend between the organization and the audience. It further helps to persuade the audience ensuring that the organization is with them and not against them, making this one of the best practices in crisis communication.

Crisis communication has undergone a huge change over the course of time and now the use of only Press Release is not sufficient for crisis communication. The preference for medium of communication among the audience has changed, the lifestyle of the audience has changed and so do the nature of strategic communication but what has still remained same is the emotion. Hence, it is through personal touch and empathy that a crisis situation can be better handled and it should be reflected through crisis communication.

Nanofibers: A potent drug delivery system

Successful delivery of drug occurs only if the proper drug carrier has been chosen. Nanofibers act as a good drug delivery system and they are biodegradable, biocompatible. They can be prepared either by using a single polymer solution or a blend of different polymeric solutions. Due to the large surface area and high aspect ratio nanofibers are widely used for different biomedical purposes. Nanofibers act as a suitable drug delivery system for low solubility and low permeability drugs. Nanofibers act as a controlled release drug delivery system by delivering drugs over a fixed period with minimum side effects. Electrospinning is a voltage-dependent process in which nanofibers are prepared either from a single polymeric solution or from a blend of different polymeric solutions. The basic setup for this process is a syringe with a needle containing a polymeric solution which acts as a reservoir, a pump, a high voltage power source and a collector. When electrostatic repulsion becomes higher than the surface tension of the loaded polymer solution then it results in the formation of Taylor Cone, which elongates and is ultimately deposited on the collector as nanofibers mat.

Nanofibers are small lightweight fibers whose diameter is in the nanometer range. Nanofibers have some excellent properties such as a high surface area to volume ratio, small, better porosity. Nanofibers find their use in the chemical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical industries. Due to several functions of nanofibers, they have achieved immense interest in the sectors of power storage as well as power production, pharmaceutical field, fabrics, numerous biological devices, treatment of water as well as in maintaining ecological balance. The extremely conventional technique to form the nanofiber mat is done by electrospinning. Electrospinning is a voltage-dependent process where nanofibers are made from a polymer solution or a mixture of polymer solutions when placed in an electric field which results in the elongation of the solution into a jet-like structure and ultimately forms Taylor Cone. When electrostatic repulsion becomes higher than the surface tension of the liquid then a conical-shaped structure is formed at the tip of the needle which is called the Taylor cone. Nanofibers can be prepared using polymers or a mixture of various polymeric solutions. PVA is not a natural polymer but it is miscible with water. PVA is colorless, odorless, non-toxic. PVA is biodegradable and biocompatible. PVA is utilized for various purposes which comprise the making of membranes, films, also in biomedical fields, as a carrier for the delivery of drugs as well as polymer composites. PVA also finds its use in paper cutting, coating of fabrics, gums, preparation of fibers. HPMC falls into the class of cellulose ethers. HPMC is a hydrophilic, recyclable and biocompatible type of polymer which have numerous functions in cases of delivery of drug, colors, cosmetics, gums, coating agent, in agricultural fields as well as in textile industries. Chitosan which is a linear polysaccharide is made up of linking between D-glucosamine and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Chitosan is made up by treating chitin shells with alkaline substances. Chitosan provides many functions which in turn makes it appropriate for different uses like in the pharmaceutical field, biomedical purposes, as a carrier for delivery of drugs, foodstuffs, in treatment of water.

Nanotechnology has therefore emerged as an important field in medicine that has significant therapeutic benefits. There is also a need to control the delivery of the drug with respect to the site of action as well as dose to lower adverse effects. There are a large number of nano-drug delivery systems (NDDS) that act as potential drug carriers to treat cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular defects. Nanocarriers or nano vehicles act as effective drug delivery systems providing many advantages. Nanofibers possess a greater surface area to volume ratio. Therefore, nanofibers can be used where a large surface area is required. They can be formed using a wide variety of polymers. Polymeric nanofibers can be used in bone tissue engineering, cartilage tissue engineering, ligament, tendon tissue engineering. Nanofibers can also be used in lithium-air batteries, transistors, diodes, capacitors, composite for aerospace structures, optical sensors, air filtration. Nanofibers are also good carriers for effective gene delivery and expression.

Nanofibers are very small which provides them unique physical and chemical properties and allows them to be used in very small places. Nanofibers have a huge surface area compared to their volume. They possess the adaptability to change themselves to a broad variety of shapes as well as sizes respectively. Nanofibers are small, lightweight fibers whose diameter is in the nanometer range. Nanofibers are prepared by using a polymer or blend of different polymers. The diameter of the nanofibers relies upon the category, nature of the polymer used in the process of formation of nanofibers. Different methods which include drawing, electrospinning, self-assembly, template synthesis are used to prepare nanofibers while electrospinning is the most commonly used method. Nanofibers have attained extreme interest due to their utilization in various biomedical purposes over the last few decades due to their distinctive functional properties like greater surface area and high aspect ratio, which ultimately have a crucial role in cellular and molecular activities, maintaining their structure similar to the local cellular microenvironment. Instead of their numerous advantages, few biomedical purposes require the use of nanofiber composites due to their perfect, superior structural and tunable functional properties compared to single-phase nanofibers. Nanofiber composites are a relatively modern, distinctive, special, versatile group of nanomaterials. The nanofiber composite approach has remarkably increased the cell attachment and cellular role with respect to the single-phase nanofiber approach. Nanofibers have attained extreme interest due to their extensive usage in the storage and production of energy, chemical and biological detectors, pharmaceutical industries as well as textile industries, purification of water, and preventing environmental damage. Even though much work has been done for the fabrication of transition metal oxide nanofibers, but still their incorporation at definite positions into nano-matric requires nanofibers to be synthesized with fine reproducibility, suitable-controlled orientation, tunable size, and great aspect ratio. The big-scale production of nanofibers with such features is still a challenging work as the mostly used electrospinning methods have some disadvantages which are namely less yield, great operating voltage, and problems in acquiring in situ deposition of nanofibers on various substrates. The formation of nanofibers can be enlarged using the electrospinning setup with numerous needles or by utilizing needleless electrospinning. Nanofibers are fibers of the nanometer scale. Nowadays there are a large number of techniques for the generation of nanofibers which include self-assembly, electrospinning, template synthesis, and phase separation methods. Besides, nanofibers can be prepared using different types of polymers which include keratin, collagen, silk fibroin, cellulose, gelatin, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), polylactic acid (PLA), polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), polyethylene-co-vinyl acetate (PEVA) and polysaccharides like alginate and chitosan respectively. Nanofibers are regarded as essential, significant by many researchers because of the benefits they offer, such as being lightweight and having less diameter, possessing greater surface-to-volume ratios, manageable pore structures.

What is Biochemistry- more of Biology or more of Chemistry

After your 10+2 examination, it is the time to choose your carrier path and you need to decide on a subject for your under graduation study. You need to choose a subject wisely, which you can fall in love with, has a good job perspective, a versatile curriculum and you can have a carrier that is fulfilling to your intellectual and curious mind and most importantly serves society in a way that no other profession can substitute it. Here I am going to suggest to you the subject Biochemistry.

Now before you sought ‘Eureka’ and jump into this Biochemical soup; let us understand what Biochemistry really is and what the carrier opportunities are for a student studying Biochemistry. First, let us understand if Biochemistry is more of chemistry or Biology or if both of them in equivalent. The subject Chemistry mostly deals with atoms and molecules, which are the constituents of our whole universe. Chemistry describes the different properties of every individual element in the periodic table, also describes how the atomic-level structure of those elements is responsible for these special characteristics. By doing so, it opens up new possibilities to design new materials and molecules with novel functions that have never existed in our universe or some improved version of the existing materials. Therefore, chemistry discovers the basic theories or rules of chemical science to invent new materials and molecules. These rules are followed by every element and chemical reaction in nature including all the living entities. The subject Biochemistry uses those rules to explain all the reactions and phenomena of the biological world.  Consider us, Humans, the way our eyes see light follows the basic rules of photochemistry, the way we breadth it follows basic chemical rules of diffusion and osmosis. All the metabolic reaction that generates energy, produces biomolecules, polymerization of DNA, RNA and proteins follow basic rules of chemical reactions. So, you may ask, is there anything special in Biochemistry or it is just that old chemistry in a new wrapper? Biochemistry deals with the structure and functions of bio-macromolecules, which are more complex than simple elementary chemistry. Biological reactions are remarkably accurate, specific (Stereospecific/regiospecific), and high yield. Moreover, all the reactions occur at 37 degrees centigrade with no scope of heating or cooling. Therefore, although the biochemical reactions are following basic elementary chemical principles, it uses sophisticated biological machinery (like ribosome to synthesize proteins, motor proteins for cellular transport and different enzymes for biochemical synthesis, etc) to make the reactions more efficient. The subject Biochemistry deals with these machinery to explain how it works and how malfunction of it can cause a deadly disease. The scope of biochemistry extends even further to identify or invent molecules that have medicinal properties to cure the disease.  So, therefore, the subject biochemistry has the equivalent amount of Biology and Chemistry and also includes small parts of Physics too. However, the curriculum for B. Sc Biochemistry includes associated subjects like Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular biology, Recombinant DNA technology, Immunology, Human Physiology, Genetics, etc. So, as a whole, the course Biochemistry has little more Biology than Chemistry.

You might be wondering after you finished your B. Sc in Biochemistry, what are the jobs that are available to you.  Now a day, Indian bio-industries are growing like never before and everyone knows these names like Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, and Biocon. These big bio-industries which produces vaccine, enzymes, antibody-based immunotherapy for cancer (Biologics), etc recruits Biochemistry undergraduates. All medicine companies like Dr. reddy’s laboratories, Cipla, Aurobindo Pharma, Lupin limited, etc recruit Biochemistry undergraduates as laboratory associates as well as medical representatives. Different food processing, breweries and bioprocess companies recruit Biochemistry undergraduates as quality control experts. Other than industry, you can appear for all those government jobs that require a bachelor’s degree.

However, the most interesting and intense carrier opportunity a Biochemistry undergraduate can have is pursuing higher study and research. There are different competitive examinations like National eligibility test (NET) and Graduate aptitude test for engineers (GATE) after you complete your M. Sc in Biochemistry to join a research lab as a PhD student in India. Alternatively, you can appear in Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/ Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and choose to go abroad (USA, Germany, Canada, UK, Singapore, etc) to pursue your PhD. The focus of research in Biochemistry lab all over the world are mainly to understand the molecular basis of life. The area like protein Biochemistry identifies and understands proteins and enzymes and characterizes the function and their role in a biochemical reaction. Structural Biology is the area to understand the three-dimensional structures of bio-machineries at atomic level resolution using sophisticated techniques like X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and NMR. Researchers are also working on cell biology, cancer biology, synthetic biology/bio-printing, antibiotic resistance, drug discovery, Bioinformatics/computational biology, immunology/antibody engineering, Virology/vaccine development, Bioelectronics/Biosensor and many more interesting topics.      

Although we know a lot about basic chemistry that explains some of the most complex phenomena in the universe but unfortunately, we still do not know everything about ourselves and the biological systems around us. We need thousands of trained biochemists (like you would be) to solve the most challenging problems in biological science. Right now burning problems are antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria, the development of therapeutics for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, resolving unknowns about the human brain and its functions, etc.  We need biochemists to contribute to our current development of gene therapy techniques to cure diseases associated with congenital genetic disorders like Haemophilia, Muscular dystrophy, Thalassemia, and many more. You can also contribute to human sustainability in the era of environmental crisis by implementing genetic engineering to improve food production, recycling water using microorganisms, developing new ways to control heavy metal and plastic pollution, development of biofuel/Hydrogen/microbial fuel cells as an alternative to overcome fast depletion of natural fuel resources, etc.  Please keep in mind that the path of biological research is not smooth at all; you have to be prepared for continuous failure, unsuccessful experiments and plans, sleepless nights, irregular lunch and diners and many more. However, the role you are going to serve as a Biochemist for the benefit of humankind is unique and invaluable for the well-being of all of us.

biochemistry
Figure: The mechanism of inhibition of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from SARS-CoV-2 by remdesivir have been discovered using cryo-electron microscopy technique which is associated with structural biology and students with a degree in Biochemistry can participate similar kind of research.

Career Prospects Post Pandemic – What prerequisites to know around Advertising Research?

What is Advertising Research?

As it has been known to all this advertising research falls under the gamut of marketing communication as paid form and sponsored ideas intrigues with this.

The moment we say that it falls under marketing communication, the potentials for knowing the market and its underlying category (customer/consumer/clients/audience); all is needed is research. The best meaning can be got through is ‘Research’; which helps the need of the consumer as well as to get the pulse of the competitors in and around.

There are few synonymous for this term such as Market research, marketing research, Brand Communication research.

Background and History of Advertising Research- The history of advertising research states us moderately a jiffy about its contemporary position. Although approximately advertising agencies have had research departments from the beginning, the actual affluent days came between the 1930s and the 1970s.

During this period, advertising agencies espoused research departments for two basic Reasons:

(1) The propagation of advertising research in the culture during this period suggested its necessity, and

(2) Other advertising agencies had research departments.

Various dimensions of Advertising Research-

Types of Advertising Research

Advertising research should be intended to tell you how operative your advertising plan is at reaching and coaxing customers.

This research is beneficial no matter what form of advertising you use, including print, television, radio, and digital. Advertising research can focus on different areas of the advertising process, including:

Target Market

It is all about doing research to know the habits and preferences of your target customers to ensure the advertising campaign. This eventually helps to identify and know who customers are, what difficulties they have, what assistances they are look for, and what type of messaging will reverberate with them.

Researching your target market can be cooperative if:

  • To attract new customers.
  • To retain potential consumers.
  • You are escalating your business market.
  • Your advertising is not reverberating with your set target market.

Another important aspects of advertising research is ‘Brands’ which are not defined just by their products or services.  A brand is made up of much more; it has its own personality (contributed to by its employees), its own mission statement, its own goals, its own ethos, even its own humour (see Innocent drinks for an example).  However, a brand’s perception is not owned by the brand itself, rather it is owned by the customer, based on how they see and feel it.

Response to Ads

Understanding how tangible customer/consumer in your aim demographic respond to ads can help you create a strong and effective advertising campaign. In this type of research, customers are shown different ads and are asked what they think about the products that are featured, whether they would consider purchasing them, and how well they understand the product after seeing the ad.

Outcomes and Success

Generally, research is done to measure the success of each advertising campaign. Understanding the effect advertising has on sales, customer perception, and lead generation, along with reoccurrence on venture also need to be taken into consideration, it further helps in saving time and resources. You can further go for comparative analysis of advertising across diverse media or markets. This can help your business comprehend whether it needs to revise its advertising strategy.

A clear benchmarking needs to be done for successful campaign for any ads to track customer response, such as exclusive assembling codes, coupons, or web links.

Well-articulated advertising research won’t just influence your advertising strategy. As with any constituent of your marketing mix, the eventual goal is to upsurge sales and grow your business.

The question or thoughts get provoked in following points

What is advertising analysis? 

What’s the difference between a ad audit and ad analysis?

What is a ad association, attribute or perception?

What’s more important, understanding the tangible or intangible elements of an ad?

Importance of Advertising Research-

Questions such as- “Why netizens follow every trend of advertisements on a serious note?” “Who is a consumer?” “Why digital ads become viral?” “Why people believe whatever they see ads online?” can be answered only through advertising research. Advertising Research helps in- understanding the vehicles of media better, recognizing and empathetic negative effects of ad messages, and developing advertising literacy content. Ad research has the potential to bring another phenomenon to create ‘Acts’ instead of Ads. And so, there is a calamitous need to investigate the nature of advertising along with studying the audience in depth in order to understand its impact and reach. Now just think and feel how you perceive and feel about doing or be a part of this advertising research? Is it essential? Research is an continuous determination that requires lots of human power (knowledge to pulse of the audience) and hence “the supplementary, the additional”. I urge all the aspire students who have inclination towards advertising should know more about research to join this interesting and very much relevant field. To conclude I would like to end with a quote – ‘advertising is a story unfolding across all customers touch points!!!”.

Lean Management – An Advanced Management Practice in Construction Industry

1.0 Preamble

The lean thinking is a scientific approach in managing time and cost of the construction project which emphasize waste minimization and customer satisfaction. It originated from Toyota and adopted all over the world for managing the manufacturing process to enhance the quality, productivity and safety. The focus point of lean management is to design a customer centric approach by minimizing cost and time by reducing all kind of wastes in the production.

2.0 Lean Management in Construction

The construction is an uncertain sector where the target business remains as it is but priorities changes frequently. Here supportive and non-value addition works are more comparing than manufacturing sector, adopting lean principle is a challenge. Here to increase the operational efficiency, one need to control the inventory even though the unpredictable weather, market, vendors, inventory requirements and especially the labours both skilled and unskilled.  These variations cannot be eliminated by one go with lean principles but it can improve the controllable and uncertainties will be addressed confidently. Lean management helps the team to schedule the resource requirements such as men, machine and materials more effectively which provides the expected outcome within the estimated time and budget. This encourages the construction firms to adopt lean management as tool for continual improvement in product and services through effectively managing process and practices.

The six basic lean principles followed in construction management are discussed below for common understanding and implementation.

  1. Identifying Value

The construction industry mainly has focused on the needs of the customer to provide value to the product/service demanded.  Realizing the customer requirement and perspective during the planning stage and shape their idea in to reality with an efficient team of engineers, suppliers and labours will provide great faith on the firm.

  1. Map the Value Stream

Generate a value stream such a way that the process and procedures are well defined and precisely mapped with action plan and resources requirements to give the confidence to the customer that it will be delivered in time.

  1. Eliminating Waste

The main aim of lean practice is to eliminate waste where every possible and following are the major areas to be considered

  • Transportation –  Avoid waste during transportation of men, machine, materials and equipment when moved from one site to other. Provide precise information about the transfer of goods, date, time, location and quantity to avoid excessive waiting, movement and overproduction.
  • Inventory –  Provide exact inventory requirements by proper estimation and avoid surplus materials which will be idle in the site and shoots-up the cost and space.
  • Movement –  Avoid moving materials, equipment and manpower multiple time across the site and create unnecessary motion.
  • Wait Time –  Do proper scheduling to avoid unengaged manpower, material and machines. This makes either manpower or equipment kept idle for unavailability of one over other because of improper planning.
  • Utilisation of Resources – Allocate right person for the right job to avoid expertise or knowledge go waste on the other hand quality output will not be there right in time. Maximum utilization of available resources is very much important.
  • Excess Processing –  Reduce the unwanted task which doesn’t make any value to the project which lead over processing.
  • Over Production –  It happens when one process completed earlier than the expected time.
  1. Create Continuous Workflow

The purpose of lean practice is to achieve systematic, reliable and time bounded result in the construction project. In the lean management, every stage is to predetermined and need to be performed sequentially. There should not be any bottlenecks and to achieve this proper communication and collaboration required among team at every stage. Need to divide the construction activity and ensure time and resources to complete the work within the project schedule.

  1. Create Pull System

Creating stable workflow is a healthy sign to your organization that it will deliver the work task faster and effortless. This can be achieved by pull system or scheduling appropriately to make the collaborative work to understand the sequential nature of the work to complete with in the target time.

  1. Continuous Improvement

The continuous improvement is an essential life line of lean construction. Always identify the scope for improvement and act accordingly, for this close monitoring is required, similarly at any time uncertainties may occur for that you should be vigilant enough to control and manage the project with in the time frame and budget. This makes the construction project economical and profitable to the company.

3.0 Benefits of Lean Management in Construction Industry

  1. Lean Management minimize the cost of production and maximize the profit
  2. It values the customer feedback and improves the customer interaction and value. This enhances the product and services of the organization.
  3. Establishment of Pull and Push system prevents over production and carrying cost.
  4. The focused monitoring in to detail minimize the defects and increases the quality of the product.
  5. Lean Management provides a systematic, well defined work frame which reduces uncertainties and increases the safety of the employees.
  6. Introducing Lean Management will encourage work force for daily improvement that create a healthy atmosphere within the organization
  7. In the lean process, managers are frequently in interaction with employees about the work process, this makes them feel aligned and creates great bonding.

4.0 Concluding Note

The implementation of lean management is the need of the hour to all the construction industry to practice sustainable technology by eliminating the waste, increasing the efficiency, productivity and quality of the construction. This customer focused approach will promote inclusive culture within the organization lifts not only productivity and also employee satisfaction.