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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Esteemed Members,

A hearty welcome to all the members of North East India Research Forum!
NE Quest is the platform for all the members of North East India Research
Forum where they can express their scientific thoughts, ideas; exchange scientific
Knowledges and convey important scientific findings. This issue of NE Quest is a
special one, i.e. Women’s Special Issue where we have tried to enter into the scientific
world of women. Today if we look at the global scienario of women in science we find
that women are equally participating and contributing to science and technology as
men. From Marie Curie to Sunita Williams, from Prof. Ashima Chatterjee to Dr.
Malinee have proved that women are capable of excercising science. Marie curie was
the first to beg Nobel Prize twice in the history of science. Every woman is the source
of vast amount of energy. She has the capacity to be a wife, a mother, a teacher, a
sister, a child, a pathfinder etc etc at different stages of her life. To be a complete
woman, every woman should be well educated and healthy. Then only she can
contribute to the society in an effective way. She can become the best teacher of her
children and society as well. She should be aware and conscious enough of what is
happending in her sorroundings. She will be able to run her family as well as the
society when proper education and scientific knowledge will be provided to her.
Hence, it is said that “Educating a Man is Educating an Individual but Educating A
Woman means Educating a Society.”
This modern era is providing lots of opportunities for all in modern science
and technology irrespective of gender. So every woman should avail this opportunity
and should take all the challenges of life in a positive way. She should learn to feel the
enormous amount of energy within her. For all these every women should get
education and proper training.

Needless to mention that Indian women too are proving their capability with
flying colours since olden days. Leelavati was the famous mathematician of the past.
Gargi and Maitrei were two famous ancient philosophers of India. Dr. Kalpana
Chawla was the first Indian woman to go into space. Dr. Chandra is the first physically
challenged Indian woman to earn a doctorate degree in Microbiology and a reciepient
o of Golden Card from President. Dr. Indira Nath, Dr. Padma Mandopadhaya, Dr. Veera
H Hingorani and many other Indian women are contributing to their respective fields. N
orth Eastern Indian women are also showing their talents staying around the globe.
I am extremly happy that I have got the opportunity to write the editorial of
this Women’s special NE Quest. I am greatful to all the members of NE Research
Forum particularly Dr. Arindam Adhikari and the whole editorial team for giving me
this opportunity. Thanks to the whole editorial team for their timely help and valuable
a advice. I am also feeling great to convey that this time the guest article is written by
Dr. Malinee, a women scientist of international repute from North East India who is
the source of inspiration for the whole North East Indian Women scientists.

Thanking you all again,

(Rashmi Rekha Devi)

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 2

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum








7. INSTRUMENT OF THE ISSUE – ATR Spectrophotometer 14

Dr. Khirod Gogoi

a) Invited Article
We can develop wasteland through application of bioformulation 17
Dr. Malinee
b) The leading lady 19
Dr. Utpal Bora
c) Green Chemistry: A Perspective 21
Parasha Hazarika
d) Do They Contribute? 25
Dhiraj Dutta
e) India’s Missile woman-thumbs up to Dr. Tessy Thomas 27
Ashim J Thakur
f) The History of Women in Science 28
Editor’s Collection
g) First Indian Women………. 29
Editor’s Collection

Ms. Hijam Eskoni Devi







N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 3

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

• Kindly let us know your view regarding

North East India Research Forum was
the following topic. What activities of
created on 13th November 2004. this group you like most?
1. Research articles = 33%
1. How we are growing. 2. Information about vacancy/positions
available = 10%
Every forum has to pass through difficult 3. Way to have a contact with all
phases at the time of birth. NE India members = 29%
Research Forum is also no exception. At the 4. Scientific discussions = 14%
very beginning, it was a march hardly with 5. Others = 2%
few members (from chemistry only) and
today the forum comprised of a force of more
• Selection of name for Newsletter
than 235 elite members. Now we are in a
position such that people voluntarily come
There were total 36 proposals submitted
and join the group irrespective of disciplines.
by members of the forum for the
Newsletter. The name proposed by Mr.
2. Discussions held in the forum Abhishek Choudhury, N.E. QUEST
received the maximum number of votes
• Necessity of directory of all the members and hence it is accepted as the name of
of the forum. the Newsletter.
• Possibility of organising conference in
the N. E. India. • How often should we publish our
• Taking initiation on setting up of South newsletter '' N. E. Quest’’?
East Asian Scientific Institute. 1. Every 3 months = 61%
• On selection of Best paper award. 2. Every 6 months = 38%
3. Once a year = 0%
3. Poll conducted and results
4. Editors of Previous NE-Quest Issues
• North East India is lacking behind the
rest of the country due to- 1. Vol 1 Issue 1 April, 2007
1. Geographical constrain = 0% Editor: Dr. Arindam Adhikari
2. Bad leadership = 40% 2. Vol 1 Issue 2 July 2007
3. Lack of work culture = 36% Editor: Dr. Tankeswar Nath
4. Corruption = 18% 3. Vol 1 Issue 3 Nov 2007
5. Apathy from Central Govt. = 4% Editor: Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur
4. Vol 1 Issue 4 January 2008
• Which area of science is going to Editor: Mr. Pranjal Saikia
dominate by creating a great impact on 5. Vol 2 Issue 1 April 2008
society in next decade? Editor: Dr. Sasanka Deka
1. Nanoscience & nanotechnology = 6. Vol 2 Issue 2 July 2008 (This issue)
22% Editor: Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi
2. Biotechnology = 11%
3. Nanobiotechnology = 38%
4. Chemical Engineering = 0% 5. Future activities
5. Medicine = 11%
6. Others = 16% Proper planning and consequent
7. None = 0% implementation always play an important

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 4

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

role in every aspect. Some of the topics /

activities / suggestions which were being
discussed, time to time in the forum will get
top priorities in our future activities. Those
are mentioned here,
• Preparing complete online database of
N.E. researchers with details. ¾ "We still live in a world in which a
• Organising conference in the N.E. significant fraction of people, including
region-proposed by Dr. Utpal Bora. women, believe that a woman belongs
• Research collaboration among forum and wants to belong exclusively in the
members. home."
• Motivate student to opt for science -Rosalyn Sussman
education. (Nobel Prize-winning medical physicist)
• Help master’s students in doing projects
in different organisation-proposed by Mr. ¾ "As a woman I have no country. As a
Khirud Gogoi. woman my country is the whole world."
• Supporting schools in rural areas by -Virginia Woolf
different ways.
¾ "For what is done or learned by one class
• Best paper awards.
of women becomes, by virtue of their
common womanhood, the property of all
5. New activity
-Elizabeth Blackwell
• A new domain in the name of www.
(The first woman in the U.S. to become a is opened.
• An important and very interesting
discussion has been going on the theme
¾ "The day will come when men will
“Let us retrospect”. Several members
recognize woman as his peer, not only at
have pointed out few vital points about
the fireside, but in councils of the nation.
our current education system and its
Then, and not until then, will there be the
impact on society.
perfect comradeship, the ideal union
• Guidelines for the members are being between the sexes that shall result in the
formulated by the moderators of the NE highest development of the race."
India Research Forum. These guidelines -Susan B. Anthony
are placed in the forum for discussion.
¾ "I think the key is for women not to set
To run the forum smoothly, to make it more any limits."
organised and to speed up activities, -Martina Navratilova
formation of a committee/team is essential.
The combined discussion of the moderators ¾ "There never will be complete equality
and senior members make the forum feel the until women themselves help to make
importance of Advisors, co-ordinator, laws and elect lawmakers."
volunteer, webmasters etc. Of course it needs -Susan B. Anthony
more discussion and will be approved by
poll. ¾ "I declare to you that woman must not
depend upon the protection of man, but
must be taught to protect herself, and
there I take my stand."
-Susan B. Anthony

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 5

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

all authentic and it all happened due to my

guide's continuous encouragement. It was she
who said that all my experience has to come
on paper and be shared with the next
generation and that's how it all happened. So,
age was never a bar for me because what was
in my mind and my experience just came out
in black and white," Dravid, who works as a
™ A Ph.D. under her belt, at 81 consultant with Thermax, Pune said. Dravid
(26 Jun 2008, TNN) has also worked as a social worker with the
Sassoon Hospital, Pune after taking a degree
Any woman in her 80s would prefer to spend in Masters in Social Work. She was also the
time at home with her grandchildren or, may first trained social worker of the hospital
be, go for walks in the mornings and when she joined in 1961. Dravid started from
evenings. But 81-year-old Mandakini Dravid scratch but her progress curve only traveled
is certainly not one of that kind. She achieved upwards after that even as she worked with
an extraordinary feat on Tuesday when she various institutions and hospitals in the city
got a PhD degree from the University of like the Yerawada Mental hospital, Pune the
Pune. Muktangan Deaddiction Centre, Seva Sadan
among others. And in 1971, Dravid
"It's a battle won," Dravid said, speaking to established a small orphanage called
TOI. It wasn't a very easy road to success 'Shrivatsa'. She has also worked among the
though for Dravid. She lost her only son prisoners in the Yerawada jail. After her
while she was busy preparing her thesis. And retirement, Dravid worked in various non-
it was an endless wait for the declaration of governmental organisations and till today,
result from the University, after the viva. she makes sure she contributes in some way
"I submitted my thesis in 2006 and my viva and whenever and wherever necessary.
was conducted on April 8, 2008. However, I Dravid feels her experience while she worked
did not receive even a single response from for the rehabilitation of Panshet flood-
the University even after two months. So, I affected in 1961 needs to be shared with
wrote a letter to the director of the Board of people. "The experience was overwhelming
College and University Development by the and I was pretty young and energetic during
end of June. Later, it was discovered that the that time," she says. "It was a learning
concerned clerk did not care to get the experience all together, be it working with
examiner's report. The director, after reading the rehabs or even the mentally and
my letter, immediately looked into the matter physically handicapped children or even
and got things rectified. Had I not written the dealing with the suicide attempt cases," she
letter, the matter would still have been says about her days with the Sassoon
pending," Dravid said. Dravid has written a Hospital. Dravid's guide, Sunanda Kaushik
thesis on 'Medical and Psychiatric Social said, "It's a stupendous performance from her
Practitioners Process Analysis' under the and especially at this age. It is highly
guidance of Sunanda Kaushik. Her complete commendable. I pressed her to do it because
thesis is based on her personal experience her knowledge and experience is so vast. I
and not a single para in the thesis is taken wanted her to leave it all behind for posterity.
from any reference. It's amazing how an 81-year-old can do it and
she's an inspiration for everyone. There have
"It is the 40 years of experience that makes been several ups and downs in her life and
the thesis complete. Whatever work I did was it's amazing how she can diagnose a person

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 6

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at the drop of a hat and give advice". Dravid, ™ India’s permanent base near
however, expressed disappointment over the North Pole
lackadaisical attitude shown by the clerk at
the University of Pune. "It is very sad how Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal
senior citizens are treated here. At 81, if I am recently inaugurated a permanent base near
expected to run around people and constantly the North Pole to enable scientists to carry
remind them of their job, then the future is out research, especially on climate change.
under real threat. I haven't even done this
thesis for my own benefit. Where am I going The research base named 'Himadri' is
to get any promotions by showing this thesis equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and is
anywhere? I'm however lucky to have situated on the west coast of Spitsbergen, the
received the degree when I'm alive". largest island in the Svalbard archipelago of
Norway. Himadri will be managed by the
Source: National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), an autonomous institute
w/ 3166319.cms under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. With
the opening of 'Himadri', India has become
™ Google India announces
the 10th country to have established its full-
engineering awards for women fledged research station in the region. Other
countries that have already set up their
New Delhi, March 3 (IANS): To encourage stations include Norway, Germany, Britain,
women in computing and technology, France, Japan, South Korea and China.
Google India Monday announced awards for
women studying computer science and Ocean algae could be rich source of
related subjects. Based on the candidates’ bio-fuels- study
academic background and demonstrated
leadership, 16 women were chosen for the Two Kansas State University (US) scientists
award from a pool of undergraduate, (Zhijian Pei and Wenqiao Yuan) are taking
graduate and doctoral students. Each was the initiative to cultivate oil-rich algae in
awarded a cash prize of Rs.75, 000. Students oceans for bio-fuel. Certain species of algae
of various Indian Institutes of Technology high in oil content could be converted into
(IIT) dominated the panel of winners with 11 such fuels as bio-diesel. Algae also have
out of the 16 coming from the IITs in several eco-friendly advantages over corn or
Mumbai, Delhi, Roorkee, Chennai or other plants used for bio-fuels, including
Kanpur. requiring no oil or water to grow. The duo
plans to identify attributes of algae and
The others were from the Indian Institute of properties of materials that enable growth of
Science at Bangalore, Indian Statistical certain algae species on solid carriers. Solid
Institute in Kolkata, Veermata Jijabai carriers float on the water surface for algae to
Technological Institute at Mumbai and Anna attach to and grow on. "Not all materials are
University in Chennai. The aim of this equally suitable to make these carriers,"
award, the first of its kind given by Google Yuan said. "Some materials are better for
India, part of search engine giant Google Inc, algal attachment and growth than others, and
was to inspire women to become active we will be identifying what those 'good'
participants and leaders in creating materials are."
The project could help with the design of
Source: major equipment for manufacturing algae bio-fuels from the ocean, including solid
ss/google-india-announces-engineering- carriers, in-the-ocean algae harvesting
awards-for-women_10023558.html equipment and oil extraction machines, Pei

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 7

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Maria Mitchell (Astronomer)

"This research aims to develop a cost- 1818 - 1889
effective process for growing algae on solid
carriers in the ocean for bio-fuel
manufacturing," he said. "If successful, it
will greatly benefit the energy security of
USA, as well as society in general."


™ Agni-III test-fired successfully

BALASORE, May 8 – on May 8th India “For women, there are undoubtedly great
successfully test-fired its 3000-km range difficulties in the path, but so much the more
surface-to-surface nuclear-capable Agni-III to overcome. First, no woman should say, ‘I
missile for the second time giving the am but a woman.’ But a woman! What more
country a capability to hit targets as far as can you ask to be? Born a woman, born with
deep inside China. The all-solid-fuel missile the average brain of humidity, born with
took off from Wheelers Island off Orissa more than the average heart, if you are
coast at 09:56 hrs and achieved its full range mortal what higher destiny could you have?
and accuracy by reaching its pre-designated No matter neither where you are nor what
target in 800 seconds. “The missile is now you are, you are a power. Your influence is
ready for induction,” jubilant DRDO incalculable”
scientists told reporters after the missile
achieved its target in a copy-book style.
With this second successful test-firing, India
now joins a select group of nations having
intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs)
with ranges upto 3000 kms. The missile will
give the nation the capability to target cities
in China like Beijing and Shanghai. It was a
sort of golden jubilee gift of the DRDO to the
nation as the organisation is about to launch
from Monday celebrations to commemorate
50 years of its existence. The success of
Agni-III paves the way for India to build its
truly intercontinental range missiles Agni-IV
with a range of 5000 kms in the near future.
A miniaturised submarine-launched version
of the Agni-III called Agni-III SL is also Anandi Gopal Joshi (or Anandibai) (March
being developed and could be test-fired 31, 1865 - February 26, 1887) was the first
shortly. Indian woman to obtain a medical degree.
She was the first Indian woman to be trained
Source: in Western system of medicine (the first Indian woman physician per se)

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 8

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1. Dr. Ritu Kataky lecturer in Lady Irwin College, New Delhi

before going abroad for higher study and
research. She did research in synthetic
organic chemistry on orthomercapto azo
compounds in the University of Manchester,
U.K. from 1953 to 1957 and obtained Ph.D
under supervision of Professor H. N. Raidon
of chemistry department. After returning
from England, she was appointed as a
lecturer in Cotton College, Guwahati in the
department of chemistry.

Later she joined as a lecturer in the

department of chemistry, Gauhati University.
Dr. Ritu Kataky, had her early education at Dr (Mrs) Choudhuri took initiative to guide
Shillong’s Loreto Convent. She did her research in basic chemistry on organic
M.Sc. at the IIT Delhi, followed by a couple sulphur compounds continuing her research
of years lecturing at St. Mary’s College in the field of orthomercapto azo compounds.
Shillong. After her marriage to Bipul Kataky She supervised seven Ph.D. students on
in 1981, she moved to UK where she did her organic sulphur compounds.
Ph.D. at the University of Newcastle-upon-
Tyne. During her Ph.D. she had two children. Dr. (Mrs.) Choudhuri wrote two popular
Following this she joined the University of science books one on Biochemical Evolution
Durham, at first, as a postdoctorate and then and Origin of Life (in Assamese Jaiba
as a Research Fellow. She is now a reader at Rasayanik Bikash aru Jibar Utpatti) and
the same university and also a member at the Heredity and its Chemistry (Bangsagati aru
Centre for bioactive chemistry. year rasayan). She is a devotee of Assamese
literature. She translated halil Gibran's
Her research interests are in the field of 'Prophet' and Bibhutibhusan's Chander Pahar
bioactive electrochemistry and electrochemi- to Assamese and was published.
cal sensors. She has over 60 publications, is a
fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and 3. Dr. Deepshikha Choudhury
a trustee of the Analytical Division. She has
been to several countries on lecture tours.

2. Dr. (Mrs.) Arunmoni Choudhuri

Arunmoni Choudhuri was born on 27
August 1928 in Guwahati, Assam. She is the
grand daughter of great Assamese poet
(Bihagi Kabi, Poet of Nature) late Raghunath
Choudhuri. She did her XII th and graduation
in science (Chemistry) from Cotton College,
Guwahati, Assam in 1947. Then she did
M.Sc. from Benares Hindu University in the Deepskikha is the daughter of Ajit Kumar
year 1950. After M.Sc she joined as a Choudhury of Dispur. She received a B.Sc

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 9

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

(Hons. in Physics) from Cotton College,

Guwahati, India in 1995 and a M.Sc.
(Physics) from Indian Institute of
Technology, Delhi, India in 1997. Thereafter,
she joined Ohio University, Athens, in 2001
for a doctoral degree in Physics, which she
completed in 2006. At Ohio University,
under the guidance of Prof. Daniel R.
Phillips, she focused on using Compton
scattering on light nuclei in order to devise
roadmaps that would enable the experimental
extraction of neutron electromagnetic DST's Women Scientist Scheme awarded
polarizabilities. As a graduate student she to 16 women scientists of NE
won the 2004 Ohio University Student
Enhancement Award that provides individual Imphal, May 10: Project sanction orders
research grants to graduate students. were awarded to sixteen women scientists of
northeastern states under Department of
Deepshikha’s dissertation developed a new Science & Technology (DST),Govt.
theory to allow measurement of important of India's Women Scientist Scheme-A
(WOS-A) during a solemn function held at
properties of the neutron, a basic building
Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable
block of matter. Neutron properties are
Development (IBSD), Imphal. The award
difficult to determine experimentally, mainly
distribution ceremony was held under the
because a neutron is only stable when paired
guidance of DST, Govt of India (GoI) in
with at least one proton.
collaboration with IBSD, Imphal.
Deepshikha Choudhury, a newly minted
The function was attended by Dr. H.B.
Ph.D. at Ohio University, Miami, Ohio, won
Singh, Scientist of DST who is also Officer-
the best dissertation award in her field for
in-Charge of WOS-A, Prof. Ruhinikumar
2008. The prestigious award is given by the
Singh, Director, IBSD, Imphal, Akbar
American Physical Society.
Mazid, Senior Administrative Officer, IBSD
and scientists of IBSD, Imphal. Dr. H.B.
Arguably, Deepshikha is the first from North Singh distributed the project sanction orders
East India to have ever received such to the women scientists who are selected for
recognition in nuclear physics by any taking up different projects under WOS-A.
American society. The award is given Out of the sixteen women scientists, thirteen
annually by the APS division of nuclear women were from Manipur while two
physics in recognition of recent outstanding women were from Assam and one woman
doctoral research in nuclear physics. from Arunachal Pradesh. The selected
women scientists will undertake research
She joined the Department of Physics at the works in different institutes like Manipur
George Washington University at University, D.M. College of Science, IBSD,
Washington, DC as a post-doctoral Imphal, Assam Agricultural University and
researcher in Nov. 2006. Here, together with Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Jorhat
Prof. Harald W. Griesshammer, she is as per their project proposals submitted to
currently working on Effective Field Theory DST, GoI.
techniques in the study of various physical
processes involving few-nucleon systems. During the three years' project each scientist
will enjoy Rs. 20, 000 per month as stipend
besides purchasing equipments and other
requirements. Dr. O.N. Tiwari, Scientist-B,
IBSD, Imphal who is also Coordinator of

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 10

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

WOS-A for north eastern states said that the New Institute of Ayurveda and
main objective of WOS-A is to give a chance Homeopathy
of research works by giving financial support
to the unemployed women of the country An institute for ayurveda and homoeopathy,
who have completed M.Sc. or Ph.D. The North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and
Today's award distribution ceremony was in Homeopathy will be set up in Meghalaya
continuation of sensitization workshop on capital Shillong. This will be an autonomous
DST's WOS-A held on November 5 and organisation under the department of
November 6, 2007 at IBSD, Imphal, he said. Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani,
During the said 40 aspiring women scientists Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). It will
presented their project proposal before a be built at a cost of Rs. 675 million.
multifaceted expert committee members of
DST, GoI, he added. Out of the 40 project Out of a total of 225 ayurveda colleges and
proposal, 26 proposals were recommended 181 homeopathy centres in the country, the
by the expert committee for submission in northeast has only four. Despite considerable
DST, GoI. Finally DST selected 16 project demand for ayurveda and homeopathy in the
proposals and sanction orders were northeast, there are no teaching institutes for
distributed to the women scientists in the these subjects in the other states of the
award distribution ceremony held at IBSD, region. The establishment of the institute is
Imphal today. also expected to improve research and
development of bio-resources in the
Source: northeast.
Herb with Anti cancer property
A team of scientists from the Institute of itute_3895/
Bioresources and Sustainable Development
(IBSD) are currently working on locally-
AAU scientists develop high-yielding
grown herb in a Manipur village that is
believed to have cancer-curing properties.

GUWAHATI, May 4 – In a development that

The herb, locally known as 'zanlung damdei'
augurs well for the State’s agriculture sector,
was first spotted by an 82-year-old villager,
scientists of the Regional Agricultural
Chawlien Hmar at Saikot village in
Research Station, Shillongani, Nagaon, under
Churachandpur district.
the Assam Agricultural University (AAU),
have developed two high-yielding Boro rice
Hmar then made a medicine from the herb, varieties that are disease-resistant and cold-
samples of which were sent to the Chawlien tolerant. Both the varieties – called NBR-2
Cancer Medicine Research (CCMR) at and NBR-3 – mature early, and are suitable
Saikot last week, IBSD sources said. for multiple cropping. Significantly, during a
recent all-India coordinated trial, both the
The IBSD team led by Project Coordinator varieties came out with flying colours, with
Mohindro Singh Khaidem and Natural NBR-3 securing the second position
Product Scientist Ch Brajakishore would registering an average yield of 55.4 quintal
ascertain the medicinal value of the herb and per hectare and NBR-2 getting the seventh
its reported curative properties. position with an average yield of 52.7 quintal
per hectare. “The yield of NBR-2 and NBR-3
Source: would be some 25 per cent more than the existing Boro rice varieties. That apart, the
iscover_cancer_curing_herb_in_Manipur_vil new varieties are resistant against the ‘blast’

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 11

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disease and cold-tolerant,” Dr. Bhubaneswar The limelight, the excitement, the constant
Barman, chief scientist of the Regional pouring of offers - the definite outcome when
Agricultural Research Station, told The an individual wins an award. However, this
Assam Tribune. natural result that has come in his life out of
winning the third position in the NASA held
Dr. Barman said that the shorter crop Space Settlement Design Contest, has not
duration of the new varieties, which is 160- taken the wits out of Surajit or shaken his
165 days, would facilitate multiple cropping. objective of contributing towards the society.
“This is a significant achievement in the field A HS final examinee from Cotton College
of varietal development of Boro rice by the and son of S.K. Das, Surajit has been
AAU,” he said. Terming the development as receiving numerous offers from reputed
the fruits of a seven-year research, Dr. universities of USA to pursue aerospace
Barman said that apart from the all-India engineering after the results of the NASA
testing, successful trial of both the varieties contest were out. Though he has not made
had also been done in 14 districts of the any decision yet regarding which university
State. to join, Surajit has already decided one thing
-to impart whatever knowledge he gains over
“All the tests and trials have effectively met the years to the younger generation by
the norms set by the Indian Council of introducing an aerospace programme in the
Agricultural Research (ICAR),” he said. country. “I have a dream of introducing the
Dr Barman said that scientists of the centre young people of the country to the marvels of
had also developed a new high-yielding jute space through my programme,” he voiced his
variety, known as AAUOJ-1 Tarun. “The plans. Surajit’s design titled ‘Shristi’
new variety can generate a yield of 30 quintal showcases how space could be used for
per hectare, which is way above the national human settlement in the coming 50 years. It
average yield,” he said. needs to be mentioned here that submissions
for the contest numbered around 156 from
The new jute variety has already been 840 students sponsored by 74 teachers. The
notified and released by the Central Variety contest received entries from countries across
Release Committee for cultivation in the the globe including Bulgaria, Canada, China,
entire country. Meanwhile, an official of the India, Iran and Japan.
Agriculture department said that the new
varieties of Boro rice would lead to a On an earlier occasion, Surajit could make it
perceptible increase in production. “In to the list of 23 selected Asians in the Asian
accordance with the department’s thrust on Space Settlement Design Competition held
seed production, massive programmes have by NASA and Atlantic Research Centre.
been undertaken including creation of seeds “The coming decades will see aerospace
villages,” the official said. dominating every other sector, and I am
confident that India will emerge the leader,”
(Source: The Assam Tribune) said Surajit.

State boy shines at NASA design Surajit is extremely grateful to his parents
contest and guide Dr. Madhurya Prasad Bora of
Gauhati University. He feels fortunate to be a
GUWAHATI, April 26 – He has set his goal student of Cotton College and said he would
unlike others of his age who waver between not have accomplished the feat without the
decision making and taking the right step. support of the teachers of Cotton College.
With his eyes already fixed on the future,
young Surajit Das of Guwahati does not get Source: The Assam Tribune
carried away even after winning international

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research in the Université du Maine, Le

Mans, France and in the Department of
Chemical Engineering, Inha University,
Incheon, South Korea.
7. Dr. Bharat Baruah will be joining
Kennesaw State University, Georgia as a
tenure-track Assistant Professor in the
Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry on August 1st, 2008. He
has been working as postdoctoral
researcher at Colorado State University
Chemistry Department since October
2003. He did his Ph.D. from Indian
1. Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa is joining Institut Association for the Cultivation of
de Science et Ingenierie Science (IACS), Kolkata.
Supramoléculaires, Strasbourg, France 8. Mr. Ankur Bordoloi attended Green
for doing his second post doc from Chemistry Conference held at Delft
August 2008. Right now he is doing his University of Technology, Delft,
first post doc at Konstanz University, Netherland. He has recently submitted
Germany. thesis entitled ‘Hybrid inorganic-organic
2. Dr. Abdul Wahab joined as a post doc materials and nanocomposites; synthesis,
fellow with Prof. Josef Michl, Dept. of characterizations and catalytic
Chemistry and Biochemistry, University applications in organic transformations’
of Colorado, Colorado. His work place is from Catalysis Division, NCL, Pune.
J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical 9. Mr. Rahul Kar is going to attend Eighth
Chemistry, Prague, Czech Republic. He Triennial Congress of World Association
did his first post doc at IPC Dept. IISc, of Theoretical and Computational
Bangalore for two and half year. He did Chemists -2008, to be held from 14-19
his PhD from RRL Jorhat in 2005. His September in Sydney, Australia. He also
research interests are Ion solvation, received best poster award in the
Electrochemistry, Nonlinear optical Physical and Material Science category
spectroscopy, Quantum chemical in the poster presentation held on Science
calculations and Carborane chemistry. Day at NCL.
3. Dr. Utpal Bora has recently joined 10. Mr. Rubul Mout is visiting Bindley
Biocon, Bangalore. He did his PhD from Bioscience Center, Purdue University,
RRL Jorhat and then went for post US from May 2008 to August 2008. He
doctoral study in Gifu University Japan is carrying out research on ‘Comparative
as JSPS fellow. and Functional Proteomics’. He is doing
4. Mr. Mahen Konwar has joined IITM his Ph.D. at Dept of Biological Sciences,
(Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology) TIFR, Mumbai.
Pune as Scientist 'B' on 7th July 2008. He 11. Dr. Manash Sarmah has joined Jubilant
has submitted his Ph.D. thesis recently. Chemsys Ltd, New Delhi as a Senior
5. Mr. Lakshi Saikia has joined NEIST Scientist. Before joining the present job
(RRL), Jorhat as Sc. ‘B’ He has recently he was working in the ChemBioteck,
submitted his Ph.D. thesis entitled Pune. He did his Ph.D. from NCL, Pune
'Synthesis and catalytic activity studies of and then he moved to Technion Haifa for
functionalized mesoporous silica doing post doctoral research.
materials' from Catalysis Division, NCL, 12. Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi has joined as
Pune. Sc. ‘C’ at DRDO, Kanpur under ROSSA
6. Dr. Prakash J. Saikia has recently (Registration of Students with Scholastic
joined NEIST, Jorhat as Sc ‘B’. Before Aptitude) 2007 scheme of DRDO.
joining NEIST he did his post doctoral

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windows e.g. NaCl, KBr, CaF2, which is then

placed in the spectrometer for analysis by
transmission. Potassium bromide (KBr) is
probably the most widely used matrix
material. Between 1 and 3 mg of ground
ATTENUATED TOTAL REFLECTION material needs to be mixed thoroughly with
SPECTROPHOTOMETER about 350 mg of ground KBr. The mixture is
now transferred to a die that has a barrel
Dr. Khirod Gogoi diameter of 13 mm. This is then placed in a
suitable press and Pressed (evacuation is
Introduction optional) at around 12,000 psi for one to two
minutes. Re-crystallization of the KBr results
Mid-Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is an in a clear glassy disk about 1 mm thick. This
extremely reliable and well recognized disk is now ready to be analyzed by
fingerprinting method. Many substances can transmission.
be characterized, identified and also
quantified. One of the strengths of IR Liquids are traditionally analyzed as thin
spectroscopy is its ability as an analytical films in cells; a cell consists of two IR
technique to obtain spectra from a very wide transparent windows. A Teflon® spacer is
range of solids, liquids and gases. However, generally used to produce a film of the
in many cases some form of sample desired thickness or pathlength. A constant
preparation is required in order to obtain a pathlength is highly desirable when
good quality spectrum. Traditionally IR performing quantitative analyses. Overall,
spectrometers have been used to analyze sample preparation is easier for liquid
solids, liquids and gases by means of transmission studies when compared to solid
transmitting the infrared radiation directly transmission sampling but both suffer from
through the sample. Where the sample is in a inevitable reproducibility issues given the
liquid or solid form the intensity of the complexity of the sample preparation
spectral features is determined by the methods. In addition, preparation can be very
thickness of the sample and typically this messy and time consuming and is further
sample thickness cannot be more than a few complicated by difficulties in getting sample
tens of microns. The technique of Attenuated to matrix ratios correct and homogenous
Total Reflectance (ATR) has in recent years throughout the sample. The materials
revolutionized solid and liquid sample involved are fragile and hydroscopic and the
analyses because it combats the most quality of measurements can be adversely
challenging aspects of infrared analyses, affected if handled or stored incorrectly. The
namely sample preparation and spectral technique of Attenuated Total Reflectance
reproducibility. addresses these issues.

Issues surrounding traditional transmission Principles of ATR

sample preparation
An attenuated total reflection accessory
The two most common forms of sample operates by measuring the changes that occur
preparation for solids both involve grinding in a totally internally reflected infrared beam
the material to a fine powder and dispersing when the beam comes into contact with a
it in a matrix. The ground material can be sample (indicated in Figure below). An
dispersed in a liquid to form a mull. The infrared beam is directed onto an optically
most commonly used liquid is mineral oil dense crystal with a high refractive index at a
(nujol). Typically no more than 20 mg of certain angle. This internal reflectance
solid is ground and then one or two drops of creates an evanescent wave that extends
nujol are used to create a paste which is then beyond the surface of the crystal into the
spread between two Mid-Infrared transparent sample held in contact with the crystal. It can

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be easier to think of this evanescent wave as of the crystal has been now been replaced by
a bubble of infrared that sits on the surface of a horizontal design. In horizontal ATR
the crystal. This evanescent wave protrudes (HATR) units, the crystal is a parallel- sided
only a few microns (0.5 µ - 5 µ) beyond the plate, typically about 5 cm by 1 cm, with the
crystal surface and into the sample. upper surface exposed. The number of
reflections at each surface of the crystal is
Consequently, there must be good contact usually between five and ten, depending on
between the sample and the crystal surface. the length and thickness of the crystal and the
In regions of the infrared spectrum where the angle of incidence.

sample absorbs energy, the evanescent wave When measuring solids by ATR, it is
will be attenuated or altered. The attenuated essential to ensure good optical contact
energy from each evanescent wave is passed between the sample and the crystal. The
back to the IR beam, which then exits the accessories have devices that clamp the
opposite end of the crystal and is passed to sample to the crystal surface and apply
the detector in the IR spectrometer. The pressure. This works well with elastomers
system then generates an infrared spectrum. and other deformable materials, and also with
fine powders but many solids give very weak
For the technique to be successful, the spectra because the contact is confined to
following two requirements must be met: small areas. The effects of poor contact are
• The sample must be in direct contact with greatest at shorter wavelengths where the
the ATR crystal, because the evanescent depth of penetration is lowest. The issue of
wave or bubble only extends beyond the solid sample/crystal contact has been
crystal 0.5 µ - 5 µ. overcome to a great extent by the
• The refractive index of the crystal must be introduction of ATR accessories with very
significantly greater than that of the sample small crystals, typically about 2 mm across.
or else internal reflectance will not occur – The most frequently used small crystal ATR
the light will be transmitted rather than material is diamond because it has the best
internally reflected in the crystal. Typically, durability and chemical inertness. These
ATR crystals have refractive index values small area ATR crystal top-plates generally
between 2.38 and 4.01 at 2000 cm-1. It is safe provide only a single reflection but this is
to assume that the majority of solids and sufficient, given the very low noise levels of
liquids have much lower refractive indices. PerkinElmer’s modern FT-IR spectrometers.
Much higher pressure with limited force can
ATR accessories now be generated onto these small areas. A
much smaller area of contact is now required
The traditional ATR design in which a thin in comparison to the HATR units. As a
sample was clamped against the vertical face

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result, spectra can be obtained from a wide Analyzing liquids

variety of solid materials including minerals.
After the crystal has been cleaned and an
Crystal materials and cleaning infrared background has been collected, the
liquid is simply poured onto the crystal. The
There are a number of crystal materials whole crystal must be covered if performing
available for ATR. Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) and a quantitative or qualitative analysis. The
Germanium are by far the most common crystal is recessed into the metal plate to
used for HATR sampling. ZnSe is a retain the sample. Pastes and other semi-solid
relatively low cost ATR crystal material and samples are readily measured by spreading
is ideal for analyzing liquids and non- them on the crystal. Horizontal ATR units
abrasive pastes and gels but it is not are often used for quantitative work in
particularly robust with a working pH range preference to transmission cells because they
of 5-9. ZnSe scratches quite easily and so are easier to clean and maintain. Analyzing
care must be taken when cleaning the crystal. solids Solids are generally best analyzed on
It is recommended that lint free tissue is the single reflection ATR accessories;
used. diamond being the preferred choice for most
applications because of its robustness and
Germanium has a much better working pH durability. After the crystal area has been
range and can be used to analyze weak acids cleaned and the background collected, the
and alkalis. Germanium has by far the solid material is placed onto the small crystal
highest refractive index of all the ATR area.
materials available which means that the
effective depth of penetration is Experience has shown that ideal results from
approximately 1 micron. For most samples powder samples have been achieved by
this will result in a weak spectrum being placing just enough samples to cover the
produced, however, this is an advantage crystal area. The sample height should not be
when analyzing highly absorbing materials; more than a few millimeters. Once the solid
carbon black filled rubbers are typically has been placed on the crystal area, the
analyzed using Germanium ATR accessories. pressure arm should be positioned over the
Diamond is by far the best ATR crystal crystal/sample area. When using the
material because of its robustness and Spectrum 100 Series’ Universal ATR
durability. The original purchase cost is accessory, the pressure arm locks into a
obviously higher than that of other crystal precise position above the diamond crystal.
materials available, but over the instrument’s Force is applied to the sample, pushing it
lifetime replacement costs should be onto the diamond surface.
minimal. The same cannot be said of ZnSe or
Germanium, both of which can scratch and PerkinElmer’s revolutionary Spectrum™ FT-
break with improper use. IR software utilizes a ‘Preview Mode’ which
allows the quality of the spectrum to be
As with all FT-IR measurements, an infrared monitored in real-time while fine tuning the
background is collected, in this case, from exerted force. It is good practice to apply
the clean ATR crystal. The crystals are pressure until the strongest spectral bands
usually cleaned by using a solvent soaked have an intensity which extends beyond 70%
piece of tissue. Typically water, methanol or T, namely from a baseline at 100% T down
isopropanol are used to clean ATR crystals. to 70% T. Good sample/crystal interface
The ATR crystal must be checked for contact has been achieved once this rule has
contamination and carry over before sample been satisfied. This is very easy to achieve
presentation, this is true for all liquids and with soft samples and fine powders, this is
solids. shown in Figure 8. The strongest bands here
extend beyond 20% T with relatively little
force applied; the force gauge is registering

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80 N. A lot more pressure would need to be

applied when analyzing high density
polymers and coatings on metal surfaces.
Once the user is satisfied with the spectrum
shown in this ‘Preview Mode’, the data is
then collected in the normal manner. The
force should not be adjusted when co-adding
the final spectrum. Unlike transmission
measurements, ATR sampling does not
produce totally absorbing spectral bands
Invited Article
because the effective path-length is
controlled by the crystal properties thereby WE CAN DEVELOP
minimizing sample re-preparation time.
After the spectrum has been collected, which
should typically take no more than 32 THROUGH
seconds, the user must return to the ‘Preview
Mode’. This mode is now used to check that APPLICATION OF
the crystal area is clean before placing the
next sample on the crystal. A 100% T line
with no spectral features should be seen if the
crystal is clean, if spectral features are seen, Dr. Malinee
the crystal should be cleaned again using a In North-Eastern region of our country after
solvent soaked tissue. The next sample can many years of independence, science and
be placed on the crystal area once the 100% technology is getting importance as one of
T line has been displayed and the sampling the subject for development of the nation.
steps are repeated. Even India and other developed countries
like USA and UK, women were not given
Conclusion importance as a scientist, technocrat,
administration, policy and decision making.
ATR is an IR sampling technique that Royal Society of London (RSL) was founded
provides excellent quality data in conjunction in 1662 but no women were allowed to
with the best possible reproducibility of any become the society member. RSL elected its
IR sampling technique. It has revolutionized first female member in 1945 only. The first
IR solid and liquid sampling through: international forum, Third World
• Faster sampling Organization for Women in Science
• Improving sample-to-sample (TWOWS) was founded in the year 1993.
reproducibility The main objective of this organization is to
• Minimizing user to user spectral unite all the eminent women in science to
develop scientific temper, to strengthen their
Variation process, technology and leadership in
science. With same objective Indian Women
Most importantly, the improved spectral Scientists Association (IWSA) was
acquisition and reproducibility associated established in 1973. Once upon a time
with this technique leads to better quality although women are suppressed in male
database building for more precise material dominated societies, now that time is over.
verification and identification. ATR is clearly Women have overcome all the traditional
an extremely robust and reliable technique barrier and showing their expertise in
for quantitative studies involving liquids. medical science, space science, ocean
science, engineering, administration, politics,
Source: business, teaching, etc.

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North-Eastern women scientists have a key contain high amount of hydrocarbons and
role to play in the development of the region several trace metals. Trace metals above the
by creating a scientific temper in the society. permissible level is adversely affect the soil
NE region is bestowed with natural and all the living objects. Even the essential
resources. Therefore, womens’ contributing elements, if they are above the tolerance level
in protecting the environment, developing are toxic.
wasteland to cultivable land, conserving the
biodiversity and ensuring its sustainable
utilization etc is crucial.
Here, I would like to give an example how
we can reclaim wasteland due to crude oil
spillage to cultivable soil.
North-East India, particularly Assam rich in
crude oil. In oil fields during normal
operations, leakages and spillage of crude oil
or other materials are very common. In oil
fields, during drilling, gathering, transporting
or in other operations some quantity of the
crude oil is spilled out from drilling and
operating sites. This spilled crude oil changes
the biochemical nature of the soil. They
cause serious threat to the flora and fauna of
drill sites. Moreover, certain portions of
crude oil gets leached out or percolate down
to the rhizosphere region of the soil causing
further damage to the soil health. As a result
no vegetation takes place in such affected
sites for long time.
Once contaminated, the soil takes years Area before treatment
together to have the natural plant succession.
In such a situation, introduction of vegetation Here at NEIST, Jorhat, Assam an approach
induced by innovative means may be a was made to reclaim such areas for
solution to reclaim. development of vegetation. Our study
showed that soil is highly alkaline (pH 11.5-
Crude oil is of organic origin and is an 12.0) and oil content was recorded 16%.
extremely complex structure of Essential elements including heavy metals
hydrocarbons. Besides carbon (C), hydrogen (0.04-10.63 ppm) were detected in that area.
(H), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S) and oxygen O) Moreover Soil beneficial microbes like
many other elements like vanadium (V), nitrogen fixers, phosphate solubilizers,
nickel (Ni), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), sulphur oxidizers and cellulase degraders and
manganese (Mn), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), their activities are recorded less in such
potassium (K), chromium (Cr), arsenic (As), contaminated site.
antimony (Sb), copper (Cu), magnesium
(Mg), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), etc. are present in As per the bio-chemical nature of soil, the
the crude oil. Depending upon the origin and area was treated with microbial
depositional environment from which crude bioformulation which is an important tool for
oil is formed; the types of the trace metals in bioremediation. Bioformulation is a culture
crude oil may vary from oil field to oil field. of three types of bacteria isolated from soils
The water associated with crude oil also of Assam, India. After the treatment soil
contains a number of dissolved organic and characteristic was recorded every three
inorganic materials. Therefore, drill sites area months interval.

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Chambers of Commerce, Kolkota, India in

As the drill sites areas are contaminated with
the year 2004.
numerous elements and plant absorbs all
dissolved elements and ions whether it is She is a popular writer of stories, articles,
toxic or not therefore, fast growing, non- science fictions, etc. She has offered a
edible economically important and drill sites remarkable contribution to the literature
feasible plants were selected for this study. particularly in popularization of science
Elements recorded in the soil were detected among children.
in various parts of the plants grown in that
She is a regular writer of many news papers
area after reclamation. Our study showed
and magazines of Assam. She was a noted
hyper accumulation of metal content in root
columnist for the Assamese News Paper
parts than the shoot and leaves in one year
“Saptahik Janambhumi”.
old plants.
Dr Malinee has bagged two national awards
for her books “Science in the form of
stories” and “Adarshar Bowari” in the year
1999 and 2001 respectively.

The leading lady

Compiled by Dr. Utpal Bora

Among the many persons whom Bangalore

Area after treatment can proudly call its own dear ones, biotech
entrepreneur and CMD of Biocon India
For this work B.P. Poddar Memorial Award Group, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is definitely
for Environment Protection and one. Forward looking, driven, enterprising
Improvement was awarded to me during the and definitely outspoken, Kiran is everything
by Bharat Chambers of Commerce Kolkata. that one would look to in a woman of her
stature. Her pioneering efforts in
biotechnology have drawn global recognition
both for Indian Industry and Biocon. Her
Dr. Malinee is a unique vision has steered Biocon's transition
scientist at North to Integrated biopharmaceutical company.
East Institute of Just to indicate her background, she had her
Science and schooling at Bishop Cotton Girls School and
Technology (NEIST) Mount Carmel College at Bangalore. After
(formerly Regional completing her B.Sc. in Zoology from
Research Laboratory Bangalore University in 1973, she went to
(RRL), Jorhat. She Ballarat Institute of Advanced Education
has expertise in (now University of Ballarat), Australia to
utilisation of soil study brewing and qualified as a master
microorganisms in agriculture, brewer in 1974. She started her professional
environmental pollution control, bio-control career as trainee brewer in Carlton & United
of insect, fungus and weed. Because of her Beverages in 1974. In 1978, she joined as
bioremediation work on crude oil Trainee Manager with Biocon Biochemicals
contaminated soil she has been awarded B. Limited in Ireland. So how did Biocon India
P. Poddar Memorial award for environment happen? She can explain better "A chance
protection and improvement by Bharat meeting with the founder of BIOCON
International, Leslie Auchincloss marked the

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start of Biocon India. I had dreamt of doing campaigned and raised her voice for things,
many things but never of starting a company which she felt were need - civic amenities,
of my own,'' she has admitted. In the same roads, cleanliness etc. But her commitment is
year collaborating with the same Irish firm, solid nevertheless. She was among the first to
she founded Biocon India with a capital of hail the Bangalore Agenda Task Force
Rs 10,000/- in her garage. The initial (BATF) initiative and added her mite to it by
operation was to extract an enzyme from contributing Rupees One Crore. Her
papaya. But it was never smooth going. donations went towards starting the
Banks and financial institutions had never Swachcha Bangalore program of door-to-
heard of biotechnology back then and shied door collection of garbage.
away from her proposals. An added reason
was also that she was a woman. This was She is also an art collector. She has authored
also the problem when she started recruiting, 'Ale and Arty,' a Coffee table book about
because people were wary of working for a brewing beer illustrated by paintings of some
woman. But it did not take long for Kiran to of India's renowned artists. Famous brewing
dispel those myths. Ask her today whether families and beer firms are the subject of the
things have changed, and she will probably book. Being a lover of art and arty things, her
reel out statistics of the number of people office is adorned with artifacts and paintings
working for her and remark with a twinkle in by Yusuf Arakkal and various other artistes
her luminous eyes, ''Ask my colleagues!'' reflect her feelings. She has been a trustee of
Over the years, the company grew under her the Karnataka Chitra Kala Parishat as well.
stewardship and is today the biggest
biopharmaceutical firm in India. In 2004, A successful technocrat of global standing,
Biocon went for an IPO and the issue was Ms. Shaw is highly respected in the corporate
over-subscribed by over 30 times. Post-IPO, world. She is the recipient of several
Shaw held close to 40% of the stock of the prestigious awards including the ET
company and was regarded as India’s richest Businesswoman of the Year, Best Woman
woman with an estimated worth of Rs. 2,100 Entrepreneur, Model Employer, Ernst &
crore (~US $ 480 million). Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for
Life, Sciences & Healthcare, Leading
But there is another face of Kiran, which Exporter, Outstanding Citizen, Technology
many Bangaloreans are familiar with, though Pioneer, etc. Her most cherished awards are
it has been less visible of late. She is a civic however, the PADMASHRI (1989) and
activist, especially with respect to municipal PADMA BHUSHAN (2005) presented to her
administration in Bangalore. In an interview by the President of India, for her pioneering
with the Deccan Herald dated September 9th, efforts in Industrial Biotechnology.
2003, Ms. Shaw revealed pride in Bangalore,
the city where she was born and brought up She is married to John Shaw, a Scotsman
and her disappointment about the changing who headed a leading textiles MNC, Madura
beauty of old Bangalore she knows. She felt Coats from 1991-1998 as Chairman and
that Bangalore has a unique culture of its Managing Director. John Shaw has since
own and the infrastructure had not kept pace joined Biocon as Director, International
with development and hence led to decay in Business and is the Vice Chairman of the
the beauty of the city. She felt that Bangalore Board.
culture includes its own theatres, food,
music, academics, and architecture. "There So where does she go from here. "My vision
are very few cities in India where is to grow into a global bio-therapeutics
academicians and scientists are glorified the company with very innovative and
way they are in Bangalore", she said. In her proprietary products and technologies. Two
effort to preserve the character of Bangalore, years is a very short time to predict drug
she has been proactively involved in various discovery but we hope to discover a few new
city improvement plans. She has actively

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drug molecules in three-four years through a GREEN CHEMISTRY: A

new in –house initiative.

Parasha Hazarika

Green is a strong colour. Green is the

colour of chlorophyll. Being green has
long been a battle of cry of environmental
activities, and being green has become an
important marketing tool for business.
And for chemists, it is becoming
increasingly important to be green by
applying the principles of green chemistry
to all facets of chemical sciences: basic
and applied research, production and
education. Green Chemistry, also known
as sustainable chemistry, is an umbrella
concept that has grown substantially since
it fully emerged in recent years. By
definition, Green Chemistry is, a chemical
philosophy encouraging the design of
products and processes that reduce or
eliminate the use and generation of
Utpal Bora hazardous substances to prevent
received his problems in future.
Master’s degree
(Chemistry) in
1999 from Green Chemistry, a contribution to
Gauhati Sustainable Development:
University, Sustainable development, the keystone of
Assam, India. technological progress in this new century,
He then joined challenges chemical sciences to play a
Dr. R.. C. primary role in converting old technologies
Boruah’s into new clean processes and in designing
research group in the Medicinal new products and new eco-compatible
Chemistry Division at the North East processes. Green chemistry essentially refers
Institute of Science & Technology to the new sustainability priorities in
(NEIST), Jorhat-785006, Assam, India to technological and scientific innovation, on
pursue his Ph.D degree. Soon after the basis of general rules stressing the need
to abandon harmful products and processes.
Ph.D., he went to Gifu Pharmaceutical
Some strategies which can be adopted are:
University, Japan to carry out
postdoctoral study (JSPS fellow). Right
1. Optimization of balance of global
now, he is serving as a Associate mass in order to minimize waste.
Scientific Manager at BIOCON, 2. Minimization of energy
Bangalore. consumption, e.g. designing
processes at ambient temperature and

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3. Use of raw materials taken from enable unique catalytic selective trans-
renewable sources. formations as well as functional materials to
4. Whenever possible, replacement of be designed beyond the current state of the
old compounds with others which art. Biotechnology has already proved to be a
maintain their functional efficiency successful tool for the efficient production of
while minimizing their toxic impact bulk chemicals, specialties and pharma-
on the environment and human ceutical active ingredients. However, there is
health. still room for innovations. Conversely, the
application of green chemistry design
Green chemistry is increasingly seen as a principles may benefit both nanotechnology
powerful tool that researchers must use to and biotechnology by providing, for
evaluate the environmental impact of example, less toxic and efficient
nanotechnology. As nanomaterials are nanomaterials as well as environmentally
developed, the environmental and human benign reaction conditions and purification
health impacts of both the products methods for bio-based synthesis. This will
themselves and the processes to make them make it possible for the research
must be considered to ensure their long-term achievements in these fields to become
economic viability. commercial realities in the short term.

Ambitious Goals of Green Chemistry: The Challenge of Green Chemistry:

Green chemistry aims to introduce radical For chemists, it is increasingly becoming

new technologies that will transform the important to be green by applying the
nature of chemical use and manufacture. principles of sustainable chemistry to basic
Green chemistry and engineering is and applied research, production, and
vigorously changing the way we invent, education. Meeting the criteria of green
manufacture and use chemical substances. chemistry within a short time frame presents
Outstanding environmentally benign a major scientific challenge. Broadly, green
synthetic methods, reaction conditions, and chemical process research can be divided into
safer chemicals have been developed since three categories: alternative feedstocks,
the Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry alternative solvents, and alternative synthetic
were formulated in the early 1990s. Today, pathways, many of which involve novel
the growing number of green chemical catalysis.
methods delivered by academic and
industrial researchers enables companies to Alternative feed stocks.
build strategies for green chemistry industrial
One proven approach, already widely
implemented in industry, is to use the waste
from one process as a feedstock or reagent in
Bioengineering is also seen as a promising the next. The utilization of benign, renewable
technique for achieving green chemistry feedstocks is needed for addressing the
goals. A number of important process global depletion of resources. Bio-based
chemicals can be synthesized in engineered products hold great promise for achieving the
organisms, such as shikimate, a Tamiflue goals of sustainable development and
precursor which is fermented by Roche in implementing the principles of industrial
bacteria. ecological and green chemistry. A more
radical approach is to move from hazardous,
Cross-fertilization between green chemistry, resource-depleting materials such as
nanotechnology, and biotechnology is petroleum to those from renewable or
expected to bring benefits to each individual biologically derived sources. For example,
scientific branch. By controlling matter at the bio-derived lactic acid is now being used as a
nanoscale level, new nanostructures will

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feedstock for large-scale industrial polymer Some Current Key Green Chemistry
production. Research Areas:

Alternative solvents: 1. Green Chemistry for fuel Synthesis and

Processing: Syntheses, processing and
Solvents define a major part of the consumption of fuels represent many local
environmental performance of processes in and global environmental and safety
chemical industry and also impact on cost, challenges. The major issues in green
safety and health issues. The idea of ‘‘green’’ chemistry for fuel synthesis and processing
solvents expresses the goal to minimize the include eliminating waste from the
environmental impact resulting from the use production and consumption of fuels,
of solvents in chemical production. Recently, utilizing alternative feedstocks to the
four directions towards green solvents have depleting petroleum-based feedstocks or
been developed: (i) substitution of hazardous other fossil based feedstocks, developing
solvents with ones that show better EHS novel catalysts and processes, using clean
(environmental, health and safety) properties, fuels, improving energy efficiency, and
such as increased biodegradability or reduced identifying renewable energy resources for
ozone depletion potential (ii) use of ‘‘bio- future applications. Green chemistry for fuel
solvents” (iii) substitution of organic solvents synthesis and processing will remain a great
either with supercritical fluids that are challenge and also a tremendous opportunity
environmentally harmless (iv) with ionic to chemists and engineers worldwide.
liquids that show low vapour pressure, and
thus less emission to air. A very broad range 2. Green Chemistry and Biorefinery
of chemical reactions from alkylation and
polymerization to biocatalysis of chemical Research into renewable bioresources at
reactions from alkylation and polymerization York and elsewhere is demonstrating that by
to biocatalysis and electroplating have applying green chemical technologies to the
already been carried out in these solvents. transformation of typically low value and
widely available biomass feedstocks,
Alternative synthetic pathways: including wastes, we can build up new
environmentally compatible and sustainable
Most new pathways that lead to cleaner chemicals and materials industries for the
chemistry involve catalysts. The design of 21st century. Current research includes the
selective catalysts is crucial to the future of benign extraction of valuable secondary
green chemistry because improved catalysis metabolites from agricultural co-products and
can reduce the number of stages in a given other low value biomass, the conversion of
process and hence reduce its environmental nature's primary metabolites into specialty
impact. The design of safer chemicals will materials and into bioplatform molecules, as
necessarily change the detailed synthesis that well as the green chemical transformations of
is needed for a particular product. those platform molecules.
Nevertheless, there is still a major need for
concerted research to improve the selectivity 3. Green Chemistry prospectives of Methane
and performance of catalysts. For example, a conversion via oxidative methylation
novel catalytic step has almost halved the of aromatics over Zeolites catalysts:
number of stages needed to manufacture the
analagesic ibuprofen and has also eliminated Methane gas is known to be the most
the toxic solvent CCl4 from the process. destructive greenhouse gas. The current
Similarly, Pfizer has introduced a new world reserves of natural gas, which contains
process, designed on green chemistry mainly methane, are also still underutilized
principles, that greatly reduces waste in due to high transportation costs. Thus,
manufacturing sertraline, the active considerable interest is presently shown in
ingredient in the antidepressive drug Zoloft. conversion of methane to transportable liquid
fuels and chemicals of importance to the

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petrochemical industry. The catalytic manufacturing strategies available through

methylation of aromatics is one possible new nanoscience. The ultimate potential for green
route for converting methane to more chemistry and nanoscience is an integrated
valuable higher hydrocarbons. The reaction, approach, the development of green
which has been termed oxidative nanoscience, where the powerful tools of
methylation , was thus postulated to involve nanoscience and the rational designs of green
a two-step mechanism involving intermediate chemistry lead to greener products,
methanol formation by methane partial processes, and applications. High purity
oxidation, followed by benzene methylation Carbon Nano Tubes (CNTs), which is
with methanol in the second step. However, supposed to be a key component of
strongly acidic zeolites can cause cracking of nanotechnology have been produced by
benzene to yield methylated products in the chemical vapour deposition of camphor, an
absence of oxygen. The participation of environment-friendly hydrocarbon.
methane and oxygen, and the effective use of
zeolite catalysts in this methylation reaction The revolution of green chemistry provides
definitely have some positive green an enormous number of opportunities to
chemistry implications. discover and apply new synthetic approaches
using alternative feed stocks, ecofriendly
4. Green chemistry in the manufacture of reaction conditions, energy minimizations
oligonucleotide drugs: and design of less toxic and inherently safer
chemicals. The origin and basis of green
Synthetic oligonucleotides are an emerging chemistry for achieving environmental and
class of drug molecules with a broad economic prosperity is inherent in a
spectrum of therapeutic application. Safe and sustainable world. We need the relevant
cost-effective methods are needed for the scientific, engineering, educational and other
manufacture of these drugs at commercial communities to work hand in hand for
scales. To that end, multiple modifications sustainable future through Green Chemistry.
have been made by applying principles of Let the Green World be remained Green
green chemistry for large-scale oligo- forever.
nucleotide manufacturing processes. These
methods include replacement of fish-derived References
nucleosides with synthetic nucleosides, use 1. C. Estevez, Green Chemistry Letters and
of pyridinium trifluoroacetate as a safer Reviews, Vol. 1, March 2007, 5.
activator than 1H-tetrazole, use of water 2. M. Poliakoff, Science, 2002, 297,
instead of organic solvent for 807.
chromatography etc. Green synthesis 3. U. Fisher, Green Chemistry, 2007,
protocols for oligonucleotide manufacture 9, 927.
yield less costly drug products when all 4. Editorial, Green Chemistry, 2007, 9, 525.
direct and indirect costs are accounted. 5. J.H. Clark, Green Chemistry, 2006,
8, 853.
5. Green Nanotechnology:
Miss Parasha
Green chemistry has enormous potential in Hazarika, born in
steering the responsible development of a small town
nanotechnology through the design of Dergaon, Assam is
greener nanoscale materials and the a graduate in
discovery of green nanomanufacturing Chemistry from
methods. The unique properties of nanoscale D.K.D. College,
materials provide benefits in remediation, Dergaon in 1999
pollution prevention, and efficient use of and post-graduate
resources; however, the greatest contribution in Physical
to green chemistry is likely to be the new Chemistry from

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 24

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Gauhati University in 2002, presently same burdens of scholarship as the men did,
working as a Senior Research Fellow (CSIR- and they accomplished just as much. These
NET) for her Doctorate degree in the field of women left a remarkable legacy. They were
Green Chemistry in the North-East Institute as resourceful and passionate about their
of Science & Technology, Jorhat, Assam. work as any scientist today, and certainly as
creative. Their stories are a clear light to the
future. But the path of future has its root in
past. As we obsereve the list of female Nobel
Do They Prize laureates, Marie Curie is one of the four
people and the only woman to have been
Contribute? awarded two Nobel Prizes. Female Nobel
Prize laureates accounted for thirty four out
of a total of 731 prizes awarded as of 2006.
Dhiraj Dutta

Actually, how long have people been active Irène Joliot-Curie (1935) and Dorothy
in science? The answer is the same for both Crowfoot Hodgkin (964) are the other femal
women and men… long as we have been Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. Maria
human. One of the defining marks of Goeppert Mayer (1963) is the physics Nobel
humanity is our ability to affect and predict laurates along Marie Curie (1903). Femal
our environment. Science - the creation of workers have wone 3 out of total awarded
structure for our world - technology - the use 149 Nobel prizes in chemistry, 2 out of 178
of structure in our world - and mathematics - in Physics, 7 out of 185 in Physics
the common language of structure - all have Physiology/Medicine and 22 out of 119 in
been part of our human progress, through Literature and Peace.
every step of our path to the present. Women
and men together have researched and solved But the game of numbers has some hidden
each emerging need. secrets. The famous chemist and physicist
“Maria Skłodowska-Curie” or better known
The very first technical name was male - as "Madame Curie" shows the world that the
Imhotep - the architect of the first pyramid. results of science have no gender.
The second technical name was female - En
Hedu'Anna (2354 BC). Certainly women She was a pioneer in the field of
were questioners and thinkers long before radioactivity, the first and only person
that. Most myths and religions place the honored with Nobel Prizes in two different
beginnings of agriculture, of laws, of sciences, and the first female professor at the
civilization, of mathematics, of calendars, University of Paris.
time keeping and medicine into the hands of
women (Shakti, Gyaan & Dhan). She was born in Warsaw, Vistulan Country,
Russian Empire, and lived there until she was
Dr. Gerda Lermer said in her address as the 24. In 1891 she followed her elder sister
new president of the Organization of Bronisława to study in Paris, where she
American Historians.1 obtained her higher degrees and conducted
"If the bringing of women - half the human her scientific work. She founded the Curie
race - into the center of historical inquiry Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. She was the
poses a formidable challenge to historical wife of fellow-Nobel-laureate Pierre Curie
scholarship, it also offers sustaining energy and the mother of a third Nobel laureate,
and a source of strength." Irène Joliot-Curie.

Women contributed. They contributed in all While an actively loyal French citizen, she
the ways there are to the technical never lost her sense of Polish identity.
advancement of humanity. They held the Madame Curie named the first new chemical
element that she discovered (1898)

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"polonium" for her native country, and in succeed by using only one view, by using
1932 she founded Radium Institute (now the only one tool, by using only one person's
Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of thoughts, by looking at something only one
Oncology) in her home town, Warsaw, way. Female scientists have generated the
headed by her physician-sister Bronisława. unique ways of solving the problems by the
This shows the female spirit of loyalty, other angle of thought. We need to celebrate
which can easily take care of their birth place these women and raise them to be heros.
and work place, which can be in some sense Understanding of science and technology
can be related to home and office. will only strengthen our life, our work and
our world. Solutions to problems come from
In 1903, the Royal Swedish Academy of research, thought and technology. By the end
Sciences awarded Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, of the 20th century we have women by the
and Henri Becquerel the Nobel Prize in thousands achieving advanced degrees in all
Physics, "in recognition of the extraordinary the technical fields. Perhaps it is time to put
services they have rendered by their joint our women of the past into our stories of the
researches on the radiation phenomena present and our hope for the future.
discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
[N.B. Facts and data have been collected
Curie was the first woman to be awarded a from various webpages.]
Nobel Prize. Eight years later, she received
the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "in References
recognition of her services to the
advancement of chemistry by the discovery 1. Gerder Lerner, 1982, Journal of
of the elements radium and polonium, by the American History, 69, 1, 7-20.
isolation of radium and the study of the
nature and compounds of this remarkable

In an unusual decision, Skłodowska-Curie

intentionally refrained from patenting the
radium-isolation process so that the scientific
community could do research unhindered.
Inherent social responsibilities makes female
scientists to think in different ways. Only
invention is not required but reacerh should
contribute positively to the society.

Irène Joliot-Curie the daughter of Marie

Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie and the
wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her Mr. Dhiraj Dutta is presently working as
husband, Irène was awarded the Nobel Prize Scientist ‘B’ in Defense Materials Stores
for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of Research and Development Establishment
artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies (DMSRDE), Kanpur. An Honours degree
the family with most Nobel laureates to date. holder from Darrang College, Tezpur, he
Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Hélène did his M.Sc. in Polymer Science from
and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists. A Tezpur University, Napaam, Assam in
whole generation of scientists and scientific 2005. His research interest is in the area of
contributions. That’s the way female scintists chiral polymers.
contribute the science and the society.

When we, as scientists, wear blinders, about

anything, we fail. I have never seen science

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India’s Missile woman- Dr. APJ Kalam and have worked under
seniors who always encourage me”.
thumbs up to Dr. Tessy
Compiled by Ashim J Thakur

Rather unusual, but true. Indian woman has

shown it again breaking the barrier of home
and career. 45 years old, Dr. Tessy Thomas
of Defense Research and Development
Laboratory, Hyderabad has been appointed as
the project director of the upgraded version
of the 2000 km intermediate range nuclear
capable ballistic surface- to- surface missile,
AGNI-II. In addition, Dr. Thomas is also
associated with the 3,000 km range AGNI-III
missile project as associate project director. At that time, there were about four to five
women in DRDO, but now there are about
Dubbed as India’s Missile Woman, she is the 20-30 women in a lab of 250 scientists, a
first woman scientist to head such a crucial prestigious figure as remembered by Dr.
missile project-reason to celebrate! Her Thomas.
primary area of responsibility is to design
complex guidance system. Keeping a successful balance between home
and career, she posts a fantastic message to
Married to Saroj Patel, an Orissa born the world community that women can in
armament engineer working with the Indian deed contribute equally as man do.
Navy at Visakhapatnam, they have a son.
More interestingly, her son is named as the
India’s Light Combat fighter jet, Thejas.

‘Here, I am considered as a scientist and not

a woman’-says confidently Dr. Thomas
about the position of woman in DRDO.

An expert on all solid propellants systems,

Dr. Thomas acquired a B.Tech degree
(Electrical Engineering) from Thrissur
Engineering College, Calicut and an M.Tech
from Institute of Armament Technology,
Pune. Later she became a member of its
faculty. Dr. Thakur is a faculty member associated
with the Department of Chemical Sciences,
Hailing from Alappuzha, Kerela, she started Tezpur University, Napaam 784 028, Assam.
her journey into the DRDO (1985) under His present research areas of interest are
India’s Missile man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s Bioactive molecules, synthetic methodologies
leadership and guidance. In this context, she and Molecular Container chemistry. An
feels very fortunate, “It was the advocate of green chemistry programme, he
determination of my mother that keep me is also interested in chemical education.
going. My M.Tech degree in guided Missiles
gave me an upper hand. Also, I joined under

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The History of Women in Science Hypatia was a Roman woman who, unlike
most women during her time, received a
Hildegard of Bingen good education. Hypatia studied
mathematics, astronomy and natural science,
First woman scientist whose writings still exist
and was appointed as the head of the
University of Alexandria. She taught
mathematics and philosophy. Hypatia wrote
many books about math, and even invented
several scientific instruments. Because of
her teachings, a new ruler became angry
with Hypatia and she was murdered. Her
writings were destroyed, but she is one of
the most well known women scientists in

Link: Biography of Hypatia -

Hildegard was born into a wealthy
German family, and received an
education in a convent. Convents or
abbeys were some of the only places List of female Nobel laureates
women could receive formal
education during the Dark Ages. Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Hildegard studied Latin, religion, and
music. She became the abbess • 1911: Marie Curie
(leader) of her abbey. Hildegard • 1935: Irène Joliot-Curie
wrote natural history books as well • 1964: Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
as medical books, and was the first
person to write about the need to boil
drinking water for sanitation.
Nobel Prize in Physics
Hildegard also taught religion and
medicine, and she emphasized the • 1903: Marie Curie
importance of exercise and diet. She • 1963: Maria Goeppert Mayer
is the first woman whose scientific
writings still exist today. Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine

http://www.women-scientists-in- • 1947: Gerty Cori • 1977: Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
• 1983: Barbara McClintock
Hypatia- Mathematician, • 1986: Rita Levi-Montalcini
• 1988: Gertrude Elion
Astronomer (370-415) • 1995: Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
• 2004: Linda B. Buck

* Madam Curie won Nobel Prize twice-

1903 (Physics) and 1911 (Chemistry)

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The first woman Air Vice Marshal of

India: Dr. Padma Bandopadhyay

The first Indian woman who received Santi

Swarup Bhatnagar Award: Prof. Asima
Chatterjee (1961, Chemical Sciences)
Dr Kalpana Chawla
The first Indian woman to win Annie American Mission Specialist Astronaut. Born
Meckanzei Prize for best student in 1 July 1961. Died 1 February 2003.
Amerrican College of Obstetrics and Engineer. Perished in Columbia shuttle
Gynaecology: Dr. Veera Hingorani disintegration during re-entry.

The first Indian woman to participate in the

cruise to the icy continent Antarctica: Dr.
Aditi Pant

The first Indian woman president of the UN

general Assembly: Dr. Vijaylakshmi Pandit

The first Indian woman to go into space: Dr.

Kalpana Chawla

The first Indian woman founder head of the

department of biotechnology at the All India
Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Delhi:
Dr. Indira Nath

The first Indian woman physically

challenged to earn a doctorate degree in
microbiology: Dr. Chandra
Marie Sklodowska Curie
The first Indian woman to serve as the Physicist (1867-1934)
secretary, Department of Biotechnology:
“You cannot hope to build a better world
Prof. Manju Sharma
without improving the individuals.
To that end, each of us must work for our
The first Indian woman to Head the Indian
own improvement and, at the same
Science congress: Dr. Asima Chatterjee
time, share a general responsibility for all
humanity, our particular duty being
The first Indian woman to scale the Everest:
to aid those to whom we think we can be
Bachendri Pal (1984)
most useful.”
Collected by the editor (

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is carried out. Policies and programmes

related to informal sector are also analysed.
Case studies of traditional market from differ
part of India are studied carefully and
conclusions are drawn. The cases includes
Traditional Market and “Women vegetable vendors of Kohima,
Nagaland”, “HAT weekly market in tribal
Urban Planning: A Case area of santrampur taluka of Panchmahal
dist,Gujarat” and “Amar bazaar- Assam”.
Study of Khwairamband Some conclusions are:

Keithel, Imphal The traditional Institution is by local people

perfected over centuries and according to the
need of the people. With growing need of
Ms. Hijam Eskoni Devi people’s participation in planning the first
initiative is to understand the functional
The paper focuses on certain aspects of the
mechanism of the traditional institution and
“Khwairamband Nupi Keithel” or the
incorporate those ideas conducive for the
“Women’s Market”, a 426 years old market,
well being and discard the outdated ones.
where 4000 women do brisk business
Market place in the traditional Indian society
everyday selling vegetables, fish, other food
forms an integral part of daily social life and
items, garments, handloom products,
due to its important role there is a need to
handicrafts and many other commodities.
incorporate the traditional market with the
planning process. With the change of time
there is a need of enhancing these institutions
for the better performance. Due to lack of
attention this traditional market is dying out.

Chapter 3: Overview of Manipur and

Nupi Keithel

This chapter describes the hostory of the

market and its importance to the society. The
geographical location plays an important role
in the development. It has a peculiar feature
where we can see the active role played by
the women in trade and commerce which in
turn gives them certain status in the family
and control over household decision making.
Chapter 1: Introduction
This trend can also be seen in the South East
Asian countries. The Nupi Keithel in
This chapter describes the need of the study, Manipur could be a possibility of influence
issues, aims, objectives, scope and limitation from these countries although the reason for
and methodology followed in the study. the origin of such market run by women is
completely different. Also can be noted is the
Chapter 2: Traditional Market in India: influence of the Chinese in different spears
A Review of Literature like introduction of sericulture and use of
bricks in construction. A very interesting
In this chapter, detailed study of traditional thing is the existence of certain institution
markets which covers the definition and which compelled the women to take up such
concept, market as an institution and its roles.
relation to planning and the market hierarchy

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We can thus see that the Khwairamband

Keithel caters to a large population and it has
been occupying a very important place in the
city as well as in the heart of the Manipuris.

Chapter 5: Organizational Set-up,

Participatory Process and Linkages
with Other Institutions

There exists a proper organization system

although it is of recent origin. The institution
is linked with the state government
institutions and also with institution in the
neighbour state. Within the state it is linked
with other social groups and NGOs. The
organizations are also backed by different
parties which include political mainstream as
well as undergrounds. Inspite of their active
participation and contribution in the socio
economic matter, they do not have a status in
the direct politics.
Chapter 4: Khwairamband Keithel- The infrastructure facility is very poor. With
Regional Context the proposal of the new market the whole
morphology of the place will be changed and
This chapter deals with the evolutionary this is aggravated by the upcoming flyover
growth of the Keithel and the change in the on the BT road. Development is required but
system of exchange. it should address the need of the vendors and
The location of the market has been changed also consider the heritage importance of the
over time. The market in context of the place.
surrounding area is very significant. The
market is a very integral part of the food Chapter 6: Socio- Economic Profile of
the Vendors
security link for entire populations and also a
means of preserving the local traditional food This chapter presents the socio economic
habit of the place. Some of the local products profile of the vendors on how the level of
are dying out due to the unavailability of raw literacy is related to the profit one makes. It
materials. also covers the family size variation of
different vendors and its relation to the
Hierarchy of the Keithel income and expenditure. It deals with the
relation of the variation of age of vendor and
the activities they are in and also the
seasonality of the sale of produce and

Chapter 7: Findings and Strategies:

The findings of the study is explained in
detail in this chapter and strtegies are given
as to how we can preserve the trational

The significance of the market as the mirror

of the society is well established. Maybe it is

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 31

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the sign of the changing times that the ƒ CORE (2006), “Manufacturing
condition of the market is deteriorating. The Poverty: A Case of the Women's
shades are dilapidated, there is over- Market in Manipur”, E-Pao: June 30th
crowding, there is a lack of hygiene. It has to
ƒ Dena, Lal (Ed) (1991), “History of
be rescued. The market too has to keep up
Modern Manipur (1826-1949)”,
with the changing times. It has to be restored.
ƒ E.W. Dun (1975), “Gazetteer of
How does one restore a piece of history? Manipur”, Delhi Reprint.
One cannot. What one can do is to try to ƒ Hariharan, S.V. and Benjamin, R. E.
placate the present perils facing the market (1991), “Informal sector”,
and allow for the future prevention of similar
problems. What one can do is improve on the ƒ India (1975),”Manipur Town and
facilities available to make working Country Planning Act, 1975”,
conditions better safer and healthier. Government printer, Manipur [Laws]
ƒ Johnstone, James (1971), “Manipur
What one can do is to retain the essence and and Naga Hills”
character of the place without compromising
with the amenities that modern technology ƒ Shija, Nalini (2006), “Women
provides. What one can do is to create a entrepreneurship in North East Region
design solution which keeps up with the of India: problems and prospects” 1st
changing times; changing character of the edition, Vista International Publishing
cityscape and the changing needs of the House, New Delhi.

Most importantly what one needs to do is to

see how this market has survived the perils of
time and still stands out despite all the

In the name of development one has

forgotten to see what lies beneath. For a short
term gain one is sacrificing the long-lived
heritage of the place. Development is
necessary but not at such a huge cost. It is
time we look back and learn from our
Ms. Hijam Eskoni Devi hold a B. Arch degree
ancestors before it will be too late. from Bengal Engineering and Science
Bibliography University, Howrah, West Bengal and an
M.Tech degree in Urban and Regional
ƒ Akoijam, A. Bimol (2006), “Imphal Planning from Faculty of Planning and Public
City: Traffic Congestion and the Policy, CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
Wrong Solution”, Kangla Online: 3rd Currently employed as Senior Research
Nov. Associate in the Center for Urban Governance
ƒ Barua, Indira and Devi, Anita (2006), in Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI),
Hyderabad. She received the stipendship award
“Women Market Of Manipur: An
from Sarai-CSDS for her work on “Traditional
AnthropoHistorical Perspective”,
Market and Urban Planning: A case of
Manipur Online: May 15 Khwairamband Nupi Keithel”. Her interests
ƒ Bhowmik, Sharit K. (2000), “Hawkers have been in government reforms, basic
on the urban informal sector: a study of infrastructure services, public private
street vending in seven cities” Report partnership, decentralization, participatory
by National Alliance of Street Vendors planning and gender in planning process.
of India (NASVI)

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 32

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


besides presenting papers in many national

and international conferences. One of her
research papers received the Researcher
Award in ICOS 2004 International
Conference on O-CHA (tea) Culture and
Science, held at Sizuoka, JAPAN. She was
also awarded the Dr. D. N. Goyle Award for
the best speaker below 40 years during the
International Symposium on “Integrated
Management of Fungal Diseases (IMF):
Technology Development and Application”
organized by the International Society for
Conservation of Natural Resources (ISCON),
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. After
completing her doctoral thesis, she was
Swarnalee Dutta engaged in a project at Tocklai Experimental
Station, Tea Research Association, Jorhat,
Assam for a year and a half. Presently she is
Dr. Swarnalee Dutta, a native of Rupai working as a Post Doctoral Fellow in the
Siding, Tinsukia, Assam, completed her Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life
Ph.D. in Life Sciences in December, 2007 Sciences, University of Hyderabad,
from the North East Institute of Science Hyderabad.
and Technology (NEIST), Jorhat, Assam
under the supervision of Dr. Dileep Kumar We wish good luck in her future endeavor!
B.S. She was registered in Dibrugarh
University, Dibrugarh, Assam for her Ph.D.
thesis entitled “Interaction of plant
growth promoting rhizobacteria and
rhizobia affecting crop production and
induction of systemic resistance against
fusarial wilt in pigeon pea”. She did her
M.Sc. in Botany from Cotton College
(Gauhati University), Guwahati in the year
2001 securing first class 2nd position,
thereafter, joining the Biotechnology
Division of NEIST in 2002. During her
period of Ph.D. she was awarded the Prof.
M. J. Narasimhan Merit Academic
Award for the year 2005 on a part of her
Nibedita Kapil
research work by the Indian
Phytopathological Society, New Delhi
during the 58th Annual Meeting held at Ms. Nibedita Kapil did her B.Sc. in
North Bengal University, Siliguri. She has chemistry from Handique Girls’ College,
published her work in reputed journals Guwahati, Assam in 2000. Then she
joined Chemistry department of Gauhati

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University for her masters study and she using MCM-41 based catalysts. She has
completed her M.Sc. with specialization in prepared MCM41 mesoporous material and
Physical Chemistry in the year 2002. Later loaded the same with various transition
she joined with Prof. K.G. Bhattacharyya, metals through both direct hydrothermal
Chemistry department of Gauhati synthesis and impregnation techniques. She
University as a research student. She is is engaged in studying the preparation,
involved in studying the water quality of characterization and catalytic reaction with
the Deepor Beel Wetland (Assam) system MCM41 incorporated with transition
sponsored by the North East Space metals, carried out wet oxidation of
Application Centre – a wing of the Indian phenolic compounds, all of which
Space Research Organization (ISRO). She persistent and toxic pollutants appearing
has already completed her experimental mainly in industrial effluents. She has
work and submitting her PhD thesis on the already completed her experimental work
same topic in this month. and will be submitting her thesis for PhD
shortly. She has already published her work
We wish good luck in her future endeavor! in several well reputed journals.

We wish good luck in her future endeavor!

Mathematics began to seem too much like

puzzle solving. Physics is puzzle solving,
too, but of puzzles created by nature, not
by the mind of man.
Maria Goeppert-Mayer
(Mathematician and physicist)

Suranjana Chaliha

Ms. Suranjana Chaliha, originally from

Namti Chariali, Sivasagar, Assam presently
residing in Guwahati, Assam. She
completed her B.Sc. (major in Chemistry)
from B. Borooah College, Guwahati in the
year 2000 and obtained M.Sc. degree
(specialization: Physical Chemistry) from
the Department of Chemistry, Gauhati
University in the year 2002. After
completion of M.Sc., she joined as full
time JRF under the supervision of Prof. K
G Bhattacharyya for her Ph.D. work in
Chemistry Department, Gauhati University.
Her field of work is catalytic wet oxidation
of persistent organic compounds in water

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 34

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Women Scientists Programs

DST's Scholarship Scheme for Women Scientists and Technologists

Women constitute an important section of the workforce. However, the present situation of a
large number of well-qualified women scientists who due to various circumstances have been left
out of the S&T activities needs to be addressed. The problems faced are several but, significantly,
most often the "break in their careers" arises out of motherhood and family responsibilities. The
option for revival of their profession is presently unavailable due to restrictions in age and
qualification and no system at present addresses these issues.

The "Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)" has been evolved in this context, by the Department of
Science and Technology (DST) for providing opportunities to women scientists and technologists
between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as
bench-level scientists. Through this endeavour of the Department, a concerted effort would be
made to give women a strong foothold into the scientific profession, help them re-enter into the
mainstream and provide a launch pad for further forays into the field of science and technology,
both from the point of view of pure science and its application to societal development. Under
this scheme, women scientists are being encouraged to pursue research in frontier areas of science
and engineering, on problems of societal relevance and to take up S&T-based internship followed
by self-employment.

Category of Scholarships

Three categories of scholarships, with research grants, are available for Indian citizen.
Scholarships are envisaged in both institutional and non-institutional modes. Under the
institutional mode, national and state-level organizations, recognized universities, educations and
R&D laboratories would be considered for grant by the Department. S&T - based Non-
Government, Voluntary and Non-Profit organisation, working on societal issues and having the
legal status of a registered society would be considered under the non-institutional mode,

The various categories of Scholarship available are indicated below:

• Scholarship for Research in Basic/Applied Science (WOS-A)

• Scholarship for Research in S&T - based Societal Programs (WOS-B)
• Internship for the Self-Employment (WOS-C)

The scheme is meant to encourage women candidates, preferably those having a break in career
and not having regular employment.


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National Women Bioscientist Award

The Department has instituted National Women Bioscientist award to encourage and recognize
significant research contributions of Women Bioscientists. Senior Women Bioscientist award is
given to a senior woman scientist for lifetime contribution, excellent research and application for
the benefit of the society. The award carries Rs. 1 lakh along with citation and a gold medal. Two
Young Women Scientists below the age of 45 years are awarded young women bioscientist award
for pursuing a brilliant research career in biology. The awards carry a cash amount of Rs.
50,000/- along with a citation and gold medal.

Every year 3 to 5 National Women Bioscientist Awards have been given w.e.f 1999-2000.

UNESCO-L’ORÉAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships for Young Women in Life

Sciences – 2009

Within the framework of the UNESCO Co-Sponsored Fellowships Scheme, a joint programme has
been launched with L’ORÉAL with a view to promoting the contribution of young women from all
over the world – in research developments in the field of life sciences. L’ORÉAL has renewed its
generous offer of 15 fellowships for deserving young women originating from UNESCO’s
Member States, who, through their enthusiasm and innovative research are making valuable
contributions to further the development of life sciences. The UNESCO-L’ORÉAL fellowships
scheme focuses on UNESCO’s premise that people are the world’s greatest resource and that
innovation and excellence, especially among the young women community, deserve to be
supported and encouraged through the concerted efforts of the international community. The award
of the fellowships constitutes a key strategy through which impetus is being given to the
enhancement of the role of women in devising scientific solutions to problems confronting
humankind in the twenty-first century.
The programme is designed to identify and reward fifteen deserving, committed and talented
young women scientists, from all over the world, active in the field of life sciences. With a view to
ensuring that a balanced geographical representation is made, a maximum of three young women,
from each of the five geo-cultural regions of the world, will be awarded fellowships.
Candidates must already be engaged in pursuing research at the doctoral or post-doctoral level in
one or allied fields of life sciences including biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, agriculture,
medicine, pharmacy and physiology. Projects involving animal models (i.e. experimentation
using vertebrate laboratory animals) are rejected, and proposals in the area of cosmetics research
are NOT encouraged; preference is given to non cosmetic researches. Special attention will be
given to candidatures from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Applicants (maximum four from each applying National Commission) must meet the following
general criteria: 1- The National Commission must endorse all applications. UNESCO cannot

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entertain applications from individuals.2- Candidates must be no more than 35 years old. Thus,
applicants born before1 January 1974 will not be considered under this programme.3- Preference
will be given to candidates already possessing at the time of application a Ph.D. degree (or
equivalent) in the field of the life sciences. However, candidatures from students pursuing
studies/research leading to a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) will also be entertained. 4- Only
candidates with the necessary qualifications, who demonstrate outstanding intellectual promise
and personal qualities, will be considered under this programme. 5- Candidates must be proficient
in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study. 6- Applicants
must be in good health, both physically and mentally. 7- Candidates may not be in receipt of
another fellowship/grant for the project or for the period covered by the fellowship application. If
the candidate receives another award, scholarship or fellowship for the proposed research, she
should inform UNESCO immediately and her application will be reviewed and may be


1. Field of study: Life Sciences
2. Closing date for receipt of applications: 30 June 2008
3. Duration of proposed study/research: 12 months
With possibility of extension for additional: 12 months
4. Duration of stay in the host country/laboratory: At least half of the period of the fellowship
must be undertaken abroad, for a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum duration of 12
months. If an extension is granted then duration abroad is minimum 12 months and maximum 22
months. In the latter case, the applicant is requested to complete the studies in her own country for
a minimum of two months.
5. Possible date of commencing the project: Any time between 1 March 2009 &1 March 2010
6. Requirements for application for an extension of the fellowship: The following documents
should be submitted 3 months before the ending date of the fellowship:
i . Three letters of recommendation issued by
(a) the host institution,
(b) the research supervisors at the host institution, and
(c) the academic institution/laboratory in the fellow’s home country;
ii. A research report on progress to date on the project and a proposal justifying the need for an
extension with details of the work to be done
iii. A budget estimate specifying how the second grant will be utilised.
Applications for extension may only be made for the project for which the original fellowship was
7. Upon termination of the fellowship, the beneficiary must agree to return to her country so that
the knowledge acquired may be put to good use in local research and training programmes.

All applications must be submitted with the required documentation on the prescribed and
enclosed application forms. Each Member State may nominate upto a maximum of four
candidatures. It is the National Commission’s responsibility to select candidates that it wishes to
submit to UNESCO. The National Commission is also invited to seek the cooperation of the
local scientific community to ensure high standard candidatures that will then have more
chances of being selected. The application(s) should reach the Fellowships Programme Section
(ERC/RPO/FEL), UNESCO (7, Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07P) before 30 June 2008. An
electronic copy of this letter and the application form is available on the following site:
An advance copy may be sent by fax on the following number: or by e-mail on the following addresses:
and as a Word or PDF document exclusively.

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1. The application must have the following attachments:

a) The UNESCO Fellowship application form duly completed, in English or in French, in
duplicate. Two recent photographs should be included with the form.
b) An e-mail address regularly used by the candidate.
c) Certified copies of degree or diplomas (including transcript of grades) in duplicate. Proof either
of having obtained a Ph.D. degree or of being in the process of studying for a Ph.D. degree must
be included.
d) A list of publications, if any.
e) A letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the candidate’s work.
f) A host institute’s letter of acceptance (i.e. the institute that has accepted the candidate for work
should she be selected for a fellowship). This letter of acceptance must indicate the name of the
academic supervisor, the date and duration, and the host institute’s willingness to provide the
relevant training facilities required by the candidate in the chosen field of specialization.
g) The certificate of language proficiency (on UNESCO form) duly completed in duplicate for the
language of the country of study (should this be different from the candidate’s mother tongue) and
signed by the competent authority.
h) A detailed description, one to two page(s) (maximum), in either English or French, of the
research work for which the candidature is being put forward. The research proposal should cover
the following points:
• Why? The concrete nature of the proposed project’s contribution to the life sciences; its
innovative, original aspects; and the scope and purpose of the research project. The candidate
should demonstrate that the reasons of the theoretical and practical knowledge or training acquired
at the host laboratory would be beneficial to her on-going research project.
• What? The expected results or impact of the research project being undertaken.
• How? Describe the proposed arrangements for conducting the research.
• Where? The proposed country, where research will be undertaken and the name and address of
the host institute/laboratory.
• When? The time-framework explicitly stating the proposed starting date and the suggested duration
of research which should be of twelve months maximum. Because the possibility for extension exists,
it would be useful also to give an indication of further development of the project beyond the 1-year
time frame.
• How much? A detailed budget estimate indicating the resources
required for the candidate to undertake the proposed research. The amount should not exceed
USD20,000. All figures must be shown in US dollars and must be stated on a separate page. The
total amount indicated should cover, exclusively, the international or domestic travel costs for the
proposed itinerary and tuition fees, if any, including personal subsistence abroad, etc. Applicants
should be realistic in compiling their estimated budgets, and consider that an average of USD1500
per month for accommodation and meals (including local transportation and incidentals) should
not be exceeded. Applications where funds requested are judged to be excessive in relation to the
objectives and importance of the project are likely to be considered for a smaller grant. The
following costs are not eligible: computer or equipment purchases; publication costs; attendance at
conferences, unless a case can be made that such attendance is an integral part of the research and
would make a direct and significant contribution to the outcome of the development of life
2. UNESCO and L’ORÉAL allocate the greatest importance to originality and quality.
Consideration will be given only to well-structured projects that demonstrate innovation, creativity
and relevance, and which are likely to contribute to enhance knowledge in life sciences.
3. Files which are incomplete or which are received after the deadline for application, as well as
candidatures that do not meet the requirements mentioned above will not be taken into
4. Additional information on the results of the past years’ programme can be obtained by
consulting the following website:

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


The awards financed by L’ORÉAL, and managed and administered by UNESCO will consist of
the following:
- A financial contribution, not to exceed USD20,000 per year for each selected beneficiary to
support her on-going research proposal, with the possibility of an extension for a second year.
- Round-trip travel for the selected beneficiaries from their country of residence to Paris, France,
(date not yet determined) to attend an awards ceremony (sine qua non condition for the award of
the fellowship).
- Lodging and pocket money during the stay in Paris for the awards ceremony.
- A certificate attesting to the special award.
A special Selection Committee made up of representatives of UNESCO, L’ORÉAL, and Life
Sciences research community or institutions will make the selection of the candidates. The
International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) will be also consulted during the selection process.
A member of the IBSP may take part in the selection.
Only selected candidates will be contacted by UNESCO. Candidates who have not been
informed of their selection by end of September 2008 should consider that their applications
have not been approved in the selection process.

Association of Women Soil Scientists Announces its Travel

Scholarship Program

The Association of Women Soil Scientists is happy to announce its travel

award for attendance at the 2008 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings in
Houston. This program will award up to $500 to an undergraduate or
graduate woman to travel to the Soil Science Society of America to present
the results of her research. Grants may be used only for defraying the cost
of registration, travel, and accommodations associated with the meeting.
The application deadline is 15 August for the 2008 meeting.

Eligibility and Selection:

All applicants must be members of the Association for Women in Soil Science (may apply
after award notice) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

Deadlines (materials must be post-marked by deadline):

15 th August 2008
Please submit all application materials to:

Dr. Sabine Goldberg, Award Committee Chair

USDA-ARS, U.S. Salinity Laboratory
450 W. Big Springs Road
Riverside, CA 92507

Awardees will be notified via electronic mail (or other if indicated by applicant) no later than 15
September 2008.

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 39

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In order to apply for the award, please submit the following:

1. A resume or CV that includes major and cumulative GPA (limit 2 pages)
2. A completed application form (see below)
3. An abstract of the work to be presented, including all authors and presentation format
4. A letter describing your reasons for applying to this program (scientific, financial, and
professional) and whether you have made a previous presentation at a national meeting
(any society) (limit 2 pages)
5. A letter from your advisor confirming your participation in the meeting for which you are
applying for funds. Your advisor should comment on your technical ability and potential,
and list any other travel support that may be available from the department or research
Award selection criteria (in order of importance):
• Awards will be given with preference to those giving their first presentation at a
national meeting (either poster or oral session)
• Strength of abstract and recommendation
• Accomplishments and career goals
• Special circumstances (examples: non-traditional student, single-parent, illness)
• Financial need


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N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 41

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I want to grow…….. We friends looking same……..

Don’t frame me in the lenses, no no… Hey I am now full grown……

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 42

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

International Conference on Managing

Next Generation Software Applications
5 to 6 December 2008
Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India
The Next Generation Software Applications is a new thrust to
support multidisciplinary software research. The overall focus
of the next generation software applications will be research
and development for new software technologies.

Organized by: Department of Computer Applications - Karunya


International Conference on Web Sciences

10 to 11 January 2009
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
The International Conference on Web Sciences shall bring together
Industry, Academia, Scientists, Socialogists, Enterpreneurs and
Decision Makers from around the world.

Organized by: Computer Society of India Division - II on Software, Koneru

Chapter & Koneru Lakshmaiah College of Engineering
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 2 September 2008

International Society of BioTechnology First

Conference ISBT 2008
28 Dec 2008 → 30 Dec 2008; Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Organizer: Research Journal of BioTechnology, International Society of
BioTechnology and Sikkim Manipal University


December 2-6, 2008

Pre-registration & Submission of papers: August 14, 2008

Acceptance of papers: September 15, 2008
Payment of registration fees: September 30, 2008

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 43

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The editor is highly TO ….



Special TO …..

SITASREE BHAR, Adept Software,

Kolkata for the beautiful paintings on the
cover page.
final lay out in the cover page.

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 44

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Details about the Northeast India Research Forum

Date of creation of the forum: 13th November 2004
Area: Science and Technology
Total number of members: 238 as on 28-07-2008
1. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D. 2. Jadab Sharma, Ph.D.
Institute of Surface Chemistry, Royal Email:
Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 4. Ashim J. Thakur, Ph.D.
Sweden Email:
3. Utpal Borah, Ph.D. 5. Khirud Gogoi, Ph.D.
Biocon Pharmaceuticals, Bangalore

Editorial Board of NE Quest

1. Dhanapati Deka, Ph.D. 2. Tankeswar Nath, Ph.D.

Reader, Scientist, R&D, Biotechnology,
School of Energy, Environment and Jubilant Organosys Ltd. Gajraula, UP,
Natural Resources, Email:
Tezpur University, Assam

3. Manab Sharma, Ph.D. 4. Rashmi Rekha Devi, Ph.D

Dept of Chemistry, Scientist, Defense Material & Stores
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Research & Dev. Establishment, DMSRDE
Israel. Kanpur.
Email: Email:
(Volunteer editor of this issue)
5. Joshodeep Boruwa, Ph.D. 6. Pankaj Bharali,
Fachbereich Chemie, L-940 Indian Institute of Chemical Technology,
Universitat Konstanz Hyderabad, India.
D-78457, Konstanz, Germany Email:

7. Pranjal Saikia 8. Áshim J Thakur, Ph.D.

I & PC Division
IICT, Hyderabad, India 9. Utpal Borah, Ph.D.
Email: 10. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D.
Logo designed by:

Manab Sharma, Ph.D., Email:

Cover page designed by:

Anirban, Pune

N. E. QUEST; VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, JULY 2008, 45

Related Interests