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.

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.

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.

Technological spin-offs from High Energy Physics research

The Large hadron Collider at the CERN (Image courtesy: CERN)
The Large hadron Collider at the CERN (Image courtesy: CERN)

There is some good news waiting for the air travellers. They’ll soon be able to walk through airport security without having to separate liquids and gels in their hand baggage. Thanks to the new upgraded computerised tomography (CT) scanners that can detect explosives without going through a separate screening for the liquids and gels.

This discovery was widely publicised and lauded as a lifesaver for both travellers and security staff. But what was less frequently noted in those reports is that this advancement was made feasible due to the insights gained from the development of particle accelerator physics.

The bright and novel concepts and technology of particle physics have penetrated the mainstream of society to revolutionise our lives, from the first days of high energy physics to the recent times.

A broad and rising list of useful practical applications with contributions from particle physics can be seen in medicine, homeland security, industry, computers, science, workforce development etc. Noted below are a few such examples.

 

Medicine:

  • MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a basic medical diagnostic technique that employs superconducting magnet technology, which was developed by scientists to accelerate protons to the maximum energy possible. Based on nuclear magnetic resonance principles, MRI creates high-quality images of the inside of the human body. Powerful magnets composed of superconducting wire and cable are at the heart of MRI technology. This technique was first created to build Fermilab’s Tevatron, the world’s first superconducting synchrotron, by a team of professionals in superconductivity, physics, engineering, material science, and manufacturing.

 

  • Cancer Therapy: Particle physics technology has resulted in significant advancements in cancer treatment. Accelerators that produce x-rays, protons, neutrons, or heavy ions are used at every major medical centre for illness diagnosis and treatment. Proton therapy, in comparison to x-rays, has significant therapeutic benefits, particularly for young patients. In the 1950s, medical linear accelerators for cancer therapy were developed at Stanford and in the United Kingdom using techniques developed for high-energy physics research. This innovation leads to a new industry and countless lives were saved. According to estimates over 7,000 functioning medical linear accelerators have treated over 30,000,000 people around the world.

Computing: 

  • The World Wide Web: The World Wide Web was created by particle physicists to allow them to connect rapidly and effectively with peers all around the world. Tim Berners-Lee, a CERN scientist, created the World Wide Web to allow particle physicists to interact seamlessly with colleagues at universities and laboratories all around the world. This breakthrough has a massive impact on the global economy and societal ties that few other innovations can equal.

 

  • The Grid Computing: Particle physics experiments generate massive volumes of data, which necessitates the use of cutting-edge computing equipment. The Grid is a revolutionary particle physics computing platform that combines the power of hundreds of thousands of separate computing farms to allow physicists to manage and process unprecedented volumes of data around the globe. Medicine and finance are two examples of industries that create vast volumes of data and can benefit from improved computing technologies. To process this large volume of data, particle physicists took advantage of the computers located all around the world and build a virtual supercomputer – making it the latest computing machine for the particle physicists

Industry:

  • Biomedicine and drug development: The role of protein in biological processes is paramount. Thus, to find the root cause of diseases we need to identify the responsible protein and understand its structure. This process is the prerequisite for any drug development. The technologies used for particle physics experiments are proving to be of great help in this endeavour of analyzing the protein structure.

 

  • Power Transmission: With the advancement of accelerator technology, significant progress has been made in the area of superconducting materials. Now, these innovations are being applied in the sector of power transmission. The advantage of using superconducting materials over the conventional wire results in transmitting more electricity while keeping the power losses at a minimum.

To summarize, we can say particle accelerator research and development has fuelled innovation for over a century. As a result, applications with huge societal benefits have emerged. A brighter future is on the horizon.

References:

Post COVID Career Prospects of M.Sc. Tech (Statistics and Data Science)

In this current scenario i.e. post COVID period data science becomes a new era. Data science has played a vital role in making the policies or decision making in real life world. It is one of the trendiest jobs across the globe in terms of future scope and career stability. Data science is an interdisciplinary subject that includes the use of statistics, big data analytics, machine learning and related aspects in order to understand the problem or phenomena with respect to a set of real-world data. The thrust areas of data science are fraud and risk detection, healthcare, internet search, targeted advertising, advanced image recognition, speech recognition, airline route planning etc. Under health care sector it is having different applications such as medical image analysis, genetics & genomics, drug development, virtual assistance for patients and customer support. Thus, data science has major demand in many organization around the globe. In today’s career-oriented world, students are confused on choosing the right subject after completing graduation that will help them to get a good placement in the job enterprise. After graduation, numerous options like master degree in the general subjects, or in various professional courses confuse the students to take the right decision. Today, both students and their parents are seeking for job-centric programs, though general study programs are mostly preferred as their first choice. A good choice can be a program that is a combination of both general and professional courses. It is always better to choose a program that is a natural progression of the existing skills and qualifications along with some professional development skills.

The Role of Statistics and Data Science in Today’s World:
The pursuit of a career in Statistics is in high demand today. With a degree in Statistics, career opportunities are boundless. Statisticians have been known as Economists, Scientists, Mathematicians, Field Investigator or Qualitative Researcher. The ‘data-hungry’ modern world now calls them data analyst, business analysts, data scientists, quality and risk analysts. Data Science has become an integral contributor to success in career opportunities. Data Scientists and Data Analytics are in high demand in today’s job world. Data Science based enterprises are the largest companies in the entire world. The famous websites like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, use data science to create algorithms that improve customer satisfaction, which in turn maximizes the profit. Thus, with a degree in Data Science, one can work with high-tech companies like Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, banking and financial companies like ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, or research firms like McKenzie, Deloitte.

So, according to the trend of the modern job world, the best option is to choose a program in Statistics or Data Science. But, can one pursue both Statistics and Data Science at the same time? Yes, the Department of Mathematics, Adamas University is offering such a program which is a combination of both Statistics and Data Science. The program name is ‘M.Sc. (Tech.) in Statistics and Data Science’. This program is also a combination of both general and professional courses, Statistics, being a general subject and Data Science, a professional course.

M.Sc. Tech (Statistics and Data Science) program is a two years (four semesters) post-graduate degree course which combines Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science with applications to Data Science and Data Analysis to meet the demand of today’s job world. From Probability Theory and Statistics to Statistical Inference, from Applied Statistics to Statistical Modeling, from Problem Solving to Number Theory, from Computer Programming to Data Mining, the program is also offering a number of optional papers, a few of which are Big Data Analytics, Cryptography and Network Security, and Artificial Intelligence. Besides these, the program also offers summer internship and Project/Dissertation. In summer internship, a student may choose to visit relevant institute or industry according to the availability. The project/Dissertation helps the students to explore and strengthen the understanding of fundamentals through practical application of theoretical concepts.
On completion of the program, a student will
• Be acquainted with the various Statistical tools useful for Data Analysis
• Develop programming skills
• Acquire knowledge on Data Analytics and Data Mining
• Learn the concepts of Data Structures
• Develop a conceptual understanding on Network Security
Eligibility Criteria for the Program:
Graduate student having Statistics/Mathematics/Economics/Physics as compulsory subject, or graduate students in Data Science, or students having a B.Tech. degree in IT/CSE/ECE or BCA or other relevant stream with at least 50% marks are eligible to apply for this course.

Career Prospects:
From careers in IT sector to technological companies, Data Science professionals can choose their career in a numerous field including business, industry, agriculture, government and private sectors, computer science, and software development.
A few job roles available for a student after completion of the program are:
(i) Data Scientist: Data scientists also called analytical experts utilize their skills in both social science and technology to manage all kinds of data. A data scientist involves in arranging and analyzing disorganized and unstructured data, from numerous sources like smart devices, social media feeds, emails, industry, health science, environmental data.
(ii) Data Analyst: The role of a Data Analyst is to figure out a market trend. The data analyst serves as a caretaker for an organization’s data and as such shareholders are able to understand data and use it to make tactical business decisions.
(iii) Statistician: A Statistician deals with gathering, analyzing and interpreting to aid in many businesses and decision-making process. The Statisticians apply statistical models and methods to real-world problems. They analyse, gather and interpret data to help draw valid conclusions.
(iv) Forecasting Analyst: The task of a Forecasting Analyst includes tracking, analyzing, and evaluating operations in order to provide accurate forecasts. Forecasting analysts use current data of the company to predict future level production and sales. By examining inventory levels, demand for products or services, and speed of production, they ascertain a company’s optimal production levels and possible future sales.
(v) Data Manager: Data Manager are involved in making and implementing policies for effective data management, framing management techniques for quality data collection to confirm adequacy, accuracy and validity of data. They are also involved in planning and executing efficient and secure procedures for data management and data analysis with attention to all procedural aspects

Conclusion:
From above discussion we can see that a student with master degree in Statistics and Data Science has numerous career opportunities and so this program is recommended to graduate students seeking for a good career opportunity in the present scenario of the job world.