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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

making good money by

It gives me immense pleasure to introduce the issue of April months NEQuest to you. In this issue, Dr. H. N. Singh of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune discusses about water management in India. He has provided the distributions of climatic moisture regions of entire India, interestingly only 12% falls under humid regions of Indian land mass. Dr. Bhaskar Thakuria


industrialization up to certain extent, we are pushing our atmosphere into an uncertain and dark future. Power, Politics and Pollution level are therefore moving hand in hand. Because of these polluted

gas, anthropogenic suspended particles, wasted materials, airs that we breathe and water that we drink, food we eat are getting worsen day by day. To add to the woes, the cloud properties are also getting affected by these aerosols. The distribution of rainfall is therefore bound to get affected; hence one can expect a change sociological and economical aspect of a country in near future. Question arises

contributed a science fiction to this issue. Those who do deal with microchips or do programming may sometime realize, as if machine has its own intelligence or emotions? Genetic engineering we all know has advanced a long way, Dr. Amimesh Sharma has written a short review on this subject. Cloud is an integral part of our life. Dr. Subrata Das discusses about the cirrus cloud which is a high altitude cloud. Importance of such clouds is being realized in recent decades due to its effect on earths net radiation budget. The entire life system on earth depends on the sun, water and air. The Sun controls the weather. With the

what kind of earth we will leave for our future generation? As a responsible citizen and above all, as a human being it is our primary duty to keep the earth clean. At last, I thank Dr. Arindam Adhikari for offering me the opportunity to serve as an editor for this months NE Quest. I wish that such efforts will get stronger and stronger.

competitive industrial revolution among different countries large amount of

Dr. Mahen Konwar, IITM, Pune, India

anthropogenic aerosols are being pumped into the earths atmosphere. Though we
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011 3

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Page Number

1. The Forum 2. Science News 3. Members in News/Award/Fellowship 4. Article Section

(A) Water Resources and its Management in India

5 11 16


H.N. Singh and Nityanand Singh

(B) A High Altitude Clouds: Cirrus by Subrata Kumar Das

26 31 34 41 44 46 47

(C) Brave new world of Biotech by Animesh Sharma (D) Fantasia (Science Fiction) by Bhaskar Thakuria 5. Interview 6. Readers page 7. Photography 8. Fellowship/Advertisement/Opportunity

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The Forum

North East India Research Forum was created on 13 November 2004. 1. How we are growing. Every forum has to pass through difficult phases at the time of birth. NE India Research Forum is also no exception. At the very beginning, it was a march hardly with few members (from chemistry only) and today the forum comprised of a force of 380 elite members. Now we are in a position such that people voluntarily come and join the group irrespective of disciplines. 2. Bad leadership = 40% 3. Lack of work culture = 36% 4. Corruption = 18% 5. Apathy from Central Govt. = 4%

Let us introspect.

3. Poll conducted and results North East India is lacking behind the rest of the country due to1. Geographical constrain = 0%

Which area of science is going to dominate by creating a great impact on society in next decade? 1. Nanoscience & nanotechnology = 22% 2. Biotechnology = 11%

No of Members




0 0 20 40 60 80


3. Nanobiotechnology = 38% 4. Chemical Engineering = 0% 5. Medicine = 11% 6. Others = 16% 7. None = 0%

Graph of no of members w.r.t. months 2. Discussions held in the forum Necessity of directory of all the members of the forum. Possibility of organising conference in the N. E. India. Taking initiation on setting up of South East Asian Scientific Institute. On selection of Best paper award.

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Kindly let us know your view regarding the following topic. What activities of this group you like most? 1. Research articles = 33% 2.Information about vacancy/positions

4. Editors of Previous NE-Quest Issues 1. Vol 1 Issue 1 April, 2007 Editor: Dr. Arindam Adhikari 2. Vol 1 Issue 2 July 2007 Editor: Dr. Tankeswar Nath 3. Vol 1 Issue 3 October 2007 Editor: Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur

available = 10% 3. Way to have a contact with all members = 29% 4. Scientific discussions = 14%

4. Vol 1 Issue 4 January 2008 5. Others = 2% Editor: Dr. Pranjal Saikia 5. Vol 2 Issue 1 April 2008 Selection of name for Newsletter Editor: Dr. Sasanka Deka 6. Vol 2 Issue 2 July 2008 Editor: Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi 7. Vol 2 Issue 3 October 2008 Editor: Dr. Prodeep Phukan How often should we publish our 8. Vol 2 Issue 4 January 2009 Editor: Dr. Manab Sharma 9. Vol 3 Issue 1 April 2009 Editor: Dr. Debananda Ningthoujam 10. Vol 3 Issue 2 July 2009 Editor: Dr. Robert Singh Thangjam newsletter '' N. E. Quest? 1. Every 3 months = 61% 2. Every 6 months = 38% 3. Once a year = 0% There were total 36 proposals submitted by members of the forum for the Newsletter. The name proposed by Mr. Abhishek Choudhury, N. E. QUEST received the maximum number of votes and hence it is accepted as the name of the Newsletter.

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

11. Vol 3 Issue 3 October 2009 Editor: Dr. Pankaj Bharali 12. Vol 3 Issue 4 January 2010

in our future activities. Those are mentioned here,

Editor: Dr. Abdul Wahab 13. Vol 4 Issue 1 April 2010 Editor: Dr. Utpal Bora 14. Vol 4 Issue 2 July 2010 Editor: Dr. Babita Baruwati 15. Vol 4 Issue 3 October July 2010 Editor: Dr. Shanta Laishram 16. Vol 4 Issue 4 January 2011 Editor: Dr. Saitanya K Bharadwaj 17. Vol 4 Issue 5 April 2011 Editor: Dr. Mahen Konwar 5. A domain in the name of www.

Preparing complete online database of N.E. researchers with details. Organising conference in the N.E. regionproposed by Dr. Utpal Bora. Research members. Motivate student to opt for science education. Help masters students in doing projects in different organisation-proposed by Dr. Khirud Gogoi. Supporting schools in rural areas by different ways. Best paper awards. Compilation of book on Education system of different countries. Initiative for this project is taken by Dr. Mantu Bhuyan, NEIST, Jorhat, Assam collaboration among forum is booked. 6. Future activities Proper planning and consequent

7. New activity Guidelines for the members are being formulated by the moderators of the NE India Research Forum. These guidelines are placed in the forum for discussion. HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd is willing to sponsor some future activities of the forum and have asked for space to advertise for their products in

implementation always play an important role in every aspect. Some of the topics / activities / suggestions which were being discussed, time to time in the forum will get top priorities


NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

N..E.Quest. Starting this issue (July 2009) N.E.Quest is providing one page for the advertisement. Details about this deal will be informed soon once finalised. Thanks to Dr. Robert Thangjam for his initiative in this matter. North East India Research Forum cell has been started in the following colleges, Dibrugarh University Contact: Dr. Jitu Ranjan Chetia Dept. of Chemistry Email: Tezpur University Contact: Dr. Ashim J. Thakur Dept. of Chemistry Email: Phone: 03712 267008/9/10 (5059) Manipur University Contact: Dr. Debananda S. Ningthoujam Coordinator, Microbial Biotech Lab Reader & Head, Dept of Biochemistry, Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal, India Email: Mizoram University Contact: Dr. Thangjam Robert Singh Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Mizoram University, Aizawl, India

Email: Phone: 0389-2330861/2330859 (O) Govt. Science College, Jorhat (Jorhat Institute of Technology) Contact: Mr. Prasanta Kumar Bordoloi, Senior Lecturer Email: Mobile: 09957036339 Arya Vidyapeth College, Guwahati Contact: Mr. Pabitra Kalita, Senior Lecturer Mobile No: 09613133859 & Dr. Pradip Bhattacharyya, Senior Lecturer Email: Mobile No: 09864087494 Pandu College, Pandu Contact: Mr. Sanchay Jyoti Bora Lecturer, Department of Chemistry E-mail: Mobile: 09854078814 Bajali college, Pathsala Contact: Mr. Arindam Talukdar, Lecturer, Environ. and Tourism Dept. Email: & Mr. Satyendra Nath Kalita, Lecturer, Dept. of Zoology Email:

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

B. Borooah College, Guwahati Contact: Dr. Diganta K. Sarma, Lecturer, Dept of Physics. Email:

4. One should not write any massage to the forum addressing some particular

members. It should always start with Dear all / Dear esteemed members etc. 5. If one has to write a mail to a particular member she/he should write personal mail. 6. Everyone has the freedom to speak but that doesnt mean that one should attack personally. Of course we do have

To run the forum smoothly, to make it more organised and to speed up activities, formation of a committee/team is essential. The combined discussion of the moderators and senior members make the forum feel the importance of Advisors, co-ordinator,

differences. There can be debate or discussion, but it should always be a healthy one. Ones personal comment should be written in such a way that it reflects his/her view only. It should not touch other's sentiments/emotions. 7. Whenever we are in a forum, society, home, members should be sensitive / caring enough to their comments so that it does not hurt sentiment of any second members. 8. Members should not post greetings

volunteer, webmasters etc. Of course it needs more discussion and will be approved by poll. 8. Guidelines for the forum The moderators formulated some guidelines for the forum which are as follow. These guidelines were kept open for discussion in the forum. With time and need the guidelines will be changed. 1. Anybody in the forum can start a meaningful and constructive discussion after discussion with moderators. 2. Comments from the individual members do not necessarily reflect the view of the forum. 3. No single moderator can take a crucial decision. All decision would be taken by the moderators unanimously or together with the group as majority.

messages (Bihu wish, New Year wish etc) to the forum. 9. Members should post authentic news only. The source of the news should be authentic. No controversial news or

comment should be posted to the forum. 10. Our main aim is to discuss science to generate science consciousness, scientific temperament, sensitivity, awareness and

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

research for the benefit of the mankind in general and North East India in particular. 11. In severe cases, moderators can take a hard decision unanimously or majority wise (may be through poll). (This point needs to be accepted by all the members). While sending request or while fulfilling request for articles please follow the following points. The forum has been formed to help each other. When a member requests

becomes an irritation also for many members. It is also the duty of the person who requests article to acknowledge the person who helped him/her. This can be done by writing ' Request fulfilled by......' in the subject area while composing the mail and write a thanking message in the main message board. Once this is done, then if some other members want to send the article will know about the status of the request. This will also help members in keeping mailbox clean. For example Moreover sending articles (copyright

articles/literature to forum, members of the forum are always happy to help the person by supplying the articles. But at this stage we have to keep in mind that the article should be sent to the person who requested it, not to the whole forum as it creates lots of unnecessary mails in the message box of the forum. Moreover if it continues, it

protected articles) to the open forum violates copyright act. So please send the article to the person who requests not to everybody through this open forum. -------0-------

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton)
Kevin Harris @

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Science News

Stay Happy!!
According to a story from Men's Health, there are ways in which one can prolong youth and "halt" ageing. There few tips that can make us healthy and happy: Follow up: Brushing and flossing remove Have a look and see what you think! Live Higher Up bacteria, but many people floss incorrectly. Floss right: Wrap the floss so it forms a C around the front of one tooth and a C around the back of the adjacent one. Move the floss up and down. Breath good air People who live with relatively good air quality live a few months to a year longer than average, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Follow up: No matter where you live, you can trade sidewalk jogs for trail runs. Jog possibly in the evening when the sun sets. Accept Your Age Feel happy with their age lived an average of 2 years longer than people who were bothered

hospitalization from heart disease than those who brushed three times or more, according to a 2010 U.K. study.

A study of people in Switzerland suggests that those living at high altitudes had a 22 percent lower risk of dying of coronary heart disease. Follow up: Most people can be benefitted from taking in 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily. It is suggested to eat more D-rich foods, such as seafood (Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are good bets or take vitamin D3 supplement. Make Relationships Last: Adults with strong friendships and/or community involvement lived an average of 3.7 years longer than the normal U.S. life expectancy, according to a 2010 review by researchers at Brigham Young University. Brush Your Teeth

by it. Follow up: As people age, they tend to compare themselves with their younger selves,

People who brushed less than twice a day had a 70 percent higher risk of death or
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

which leads to some disappointment. (Source

The book said that the patient was suffering from a severe headache and repeatedly knocked his head on hard objects to ease the




pain. When Tsogyel saw the surgeon trying to

evidence of ancient brain surgery

Brain surgery was practiced by doctors at least 2,900 years ago, a specialist on Tibetan culture and literature said four decades of research on the Tibetan Tripitaka, an ancient encyclopedia. "The 2,900-year-old Tibetan Tripitaka states clearly why and how brain surgery was carried out," said Karma Trinley, an associate professor from the Tibetan language and literature department of Tibet University in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Karma Trinley, an avid researcher and reader of classic Tibetan literature, Buddhism and calligraphy, began studying the Tripitaka in 1970. "It describes in detail how a young Indian doctor watched brain surgery being performed by a veteran surgeon," he said. The young Indian doctor, whose name was similar in pronunciation to the Tibetan name Tsogyel, was not allowed to join the surgery, but merely stood by with the patient's permission, according to the Tripitaka. The Tripitaka is the earliest collection of Buddhist writings. The information contained in the writings was originally passed down orally, and was finally written down in the third century B.C. The Tibetan Tripitaka was translated from Sanskrit language of ancient India. It contains two parts, the Gangyur and the Dangyur. He said Tsogyel's advice on sterilization helped raise the success rate of surgery at the time. Tsogyel later became a skilled surgeon himself. "Tsogyel was a well-reputed doctor and was good at all medical practice except brain surgery," said Karma Trinley. "But the surgeon followed his advice and the surgery later proved successful." operate on the patient's brain with a pair of tweezers, he shouted that the tweezers had to be heated first.

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The Gangyur is a collection of teachings of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, adopted by his disciples after his death. The Dangyur is a collection of notes and interpretations on the Gangyur, provided by Indian and Tibetan Buddhist masters, scholars and translators. It covers philosophy, logics, literature, medicine, calculation. "The Tibetan Tripitaka contains Sakyamuni's classifications of 440 ailments that were believed to be associated with wind, bile and phlegm, and were categorized accordingly," said Karma Trinley. He added that many of the medical theories in the book are still used by Tibetan doctors today. Evidence of ancient brain surgery was first found in 1998, when archeologists unearthed human skulls with mended cracks on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. These cracks indicated that craniotomies were probably performed by the Chinese over 5,000 years ago. Before the Tibetan Tripitaka's description of brain surgery was discovered, researchers used to disagree on the purpose of ancient craniotomies, said Karma Trinley.
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"Some believed it was a religious ritual to dispell evils or bring happiness, while others held that it was a therapy used by witches and wizards," he said. (Source: Xinhuanet )

Melting icebergs fertilize ocean

linguistics, architecture

art, and

astronomy, calendar

Efforts to remove climate-warming carbon dioxide from Earths atmosphere appear to be getting a helping hand from a surprising source: the iron in meltwater from Antarctic icebergs. Icebergs calving off of Antarctica are

shedding substantial iron the equivalent of a growth-boosting vitamin into waters starved of the mineral, a new set of studies demonstrates. This iron is fertilizing the growth of microscopic plants and algae, transforming the waters adjacent to ice floes into teeming communities of everything from tiny shrimplike krill to fish, birds and sometimes mammals. To grow, these plants and animals use carbon drawn into the water from carbon dioxide in

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

the atmosphere. Some share of this carbon will eventually be excreted as wastes that fall to the ocean floor, essentially removing it as a near-term climate risk. Icebergs should be considered by climate modelers, because the more icebergs that develop [from the breakup of glaciers], the more carbon dioxide youll draw out of the atmosphere, says Ken Smith of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif. Smith and colleagues first fingered icebergs as hotspots of biological and chemical activity in a 2007 study published in Science. New data from Antarctic cruises in 2008 and 2009 by Smith and other scientists from nine research institutions now appear as 20 papers in the June Deep Sea Research Part II. Researchers refer to icebergs carbon removal as an export. And the amount of carbon being exported near icebergs is twice as high as in areas away from them, Smith says. Counterbalancing icebergs carbon removal: No one views the sea-level rise accompanying massive ice melting as a good thing. The rate of iceberg calving and ice loss in recent years has increased there, as elsewhere, in response to warming of Earths atmosphere.

Prior to the new studies, we didnt know the nature of the biological communities

associated with icebergs and we certainly didnt know their direct relationship to carbon exports, says chemist Timothy Shaw of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, who coauthored several of the new reports. One surprise: The proliferation of

phytoplankton tiny plants at the base of the marine food chain that were witnessed in the waters around ice floes could only account for about half of the increased carbon export we measured, Shaw says. His team now attributes the other half to changes in the chemistry of iron and carbon use by phytoplankton living next to and under the icebergs. Benjamin Twining of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in West Boothbay Harbor, Maine, points to another big surprise:

Icebergs iron enrichment of southern waters could vary by a factor of 100 from one iceberg to another, or even along walls of a given berg. This patchy enrichment reflects

differences in chemical reactions triggered by various organisms and to the unexpectedly complicated turbulence associated with water melting from the floes. (Source:

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

activity began to look more normal. These

No pain, healthier brain

Wiping out chronic pain in the lower back doesnt just dull the agony. It allows the brain to recover, too. Six months after peoples backaches were eased, their brains showed fewer signs of the abnormalities that

brain changes depended on the level of pain relief: The less pain a person reported after treatment the greater the improvement, the team reports in the May 18 Journal of Neuroscience. We know that pain causes brain changes, and now we know that taking pain away reverses those changes, Stone says.

accompany chronic pain, a new study shows. This brain recovery is a concrete message that certainly brings hope and relief to those suffering from this condition, says UCLA neuroscientist Dante Chialvo. In the study, neuroscientist Laura Stone of McGill University in Montreal and colleagues scanned the brains of people who had experienced back pain for at least a year. Compared to healthy controls, chronic pain sufferers had thinning in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain region thats been linked to pain modulation. This region also showed abnormal activity when people with chronic back pain took a simple cognitive test while in a brain scanner, the team found. But six months after treatment with either spine surgery or pain-relieving injections, scans revealed that the pain sufferers brains bounced back. Their thin dorsolateral

Its too soon to know exactly how pain reduction influences the brain, or vice versa, Stone says. But if it turns out that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex controls pain, she says, clinicians might one day be able to reduce suffering by targeting the region with noninvasive techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation or exercise.

prefrontal regions grew larger, and their brain

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Members in News /Awards /Fellowship

Miss Sumi Handique has joined Tezpur University Department of Environmental

Dr. Pranjal Saikia has joined recently as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Assam. Sciences, Gauhati University,

Science as assistant professor in October 2010.

Birth of an idea
Developing the Radio started in 600 B.C. more than 2,500 years ago. A Greek

philosopher, Thales of Miletus found that by rubbing amber he produced a force that would pick up straws. Sir William Gilbert two thousand two hundred years later did experiments with the idea and called the phenomenon as electricity. Sixty years later, Otto von Guericke, a German, She is pursuing her PhD degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi after obtaining M.Sc. degree in Environmental Science from the same university in 2008. Her research topic is Geochemistry of built a machine to generate static electricity. One hundred years later, Benjamin Franklin identified positive and negative

lightning and electricity were the same thing. In 1820, Oersted proved that electricity would produce magnetism and about the same time, Franklin did some experiment and discovered the principle of electric motor. After Faraday came Morseand Bell, who used the idea as a means of communication - the telegraph and the telephone. Edison made the idea glow and lit up the world. Marconi and deForest went Morse and Bell one better and laid the foundation for radio. (

Brahmaputra river and its tributaries. She was shortlisted for SPM (Shyama Prasad Mukherjee) fellowship screening test in July 2008. She has successfully supervised of




Environmental Science, Tezpur University for her project work entitled Grain size and

geochemical analysis of the sediments of the Brahmaputra river and six of its tributaries.

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Article Section

Water Resources and its Management in India

H.N. Singh* and Nityanand Singh Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology * E-mail:

Background Understanding the degree of criticality of water in terms of the plays a major role of its own in modulating the whole system. Supply of freshwater will be a critical issue in the years to come.

interrelated/interlinked between the freshwater and waste water as well as its proper management has been emerged largely in the last few decades all over the globe. Rainfall spatial-temporal variability over India, which is the main source for water, is quite complex; during the same year contrasting conditions, increasing/decreasing, expansion/contraction, droughts/floods, can be seen in different parts, even in the same part. The paradox of rainwater potential and its proper management in India lies over the regions where orography
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Information, assessment and monitoring of sustainable global water resources will be a priority and major challenges in near future, particularly in the developing countries like India where agriculture-based economy plays a vital role in its development. Real-time monitoring of the parameters of the wet and dry spells can provide vital information in this endeavor.


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Introduction Water is one of the most important renewable natural resources available

boundary for the natural flow of surface water as well as the underground water. Thus the problem of increasing water stress cannot be dealt with in isolation. Sustainable water resources management is a very complicated and inter-dependant process among various sectors involving interstate venture or

abundantly with us. Though 75% of the earth's total surface covers by water, only 0.5% of the total water on the earth's surface can be utilized by us as 97% of it is in the oceans. The water resource of a country is one of its vital assets as water is a basic need of the human being. It plays a major role in agriculture, hydropower generation, livestock production, industrial activities, forestry,

international venture. It encounters a variety of socio-economic problems particularly

where much of the land is either semiarid or arid regions. With unclear laws pertaining to the water related issues, the water supply crunch particularly in the urban areas is a real problem. monitoring Information, of assessment global and water

fisheries, navigation, recreational activities, etc. With rapid growing population and its migration to urban areas for search of its livelihood, the pressure on our water resources is increasing and heading towards serious water crisis in the years to come. The situations of the water related sectors in India needs serious reckoning as the per capita availability of water resources is reducing day by day. Per capita availability of utilizable water reduced to 1250 cubic meters in 1999 from 3450 cubic meter in 1951 (Singh V.K., 2009). It is further expected to 662 cubic meters per person in 2050. Many long standing water related disputes still remain unsolved, and the increasing demands of the global fresh water requirement is expected to pull to a new height of the risk in the water related future conflicts. There is no political
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resources will be a priority and major challenges of the future to face the water crisis, particularly in the developing countries like India where agriculture-based economy plays a vital role in its development. A few pertinent water legislations, strict water conservation practices, judicious & efficient use of water and recycling can offer viable options however it should be well defined, well coordinated as well as well addressed in the interests of all the citizens of the country. The availability and demands of water resources in India as well as the various issues and strategies for developing a holistic approach for sustainable development and management of the water resources of the

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

country should be very clear and addressed for a better future. So far, the availability and demands of water resources in India,

the country, rainfall occurrences exhibit large spatial variability (Ranade et al. 2007, Sontakke et al. 2008). The intensity and variability of the monsoon rain depends upon several parameters of atmospheric circulation, which interlinked with the impact of global climate change as well as on extreme rain events across the country. Rainfall spatialtemporal variability over India, which is the main source for water, is quite complex; during the same year contrasting conditions, increasing/decreasing, expansion/contraction, droughts/floods, can be seen in different parts, even in the same part. The paradox of rainwater potential and its proper management in India lies over the regions where orography plays a major role of its own in modulating the whole system. The best known example of it is Mousinram near Cherrapunji, which

processing, storage and dissemination have not been received adequate attention compare to other developed countries. The efforts initiated under the Hydrology Project Phase-I and the development of the Decision Support System proposed under Hydrology Project Phase-II under the initiative of the Ministry of water Resources, Govt. of India are expected to bridge some of the gaps between the developed advanced technologies of water resources planning, designing and

management and their field applications (Rakesh Kumar et al. 2005). While occurrences of water bodies (rivers and canals; reservoirs, tanks and ponds; beels, oxbow lakes and derelict water; and brackish water) across the country depend upon physiographic settings and rainfall conditions, the recharging of the water bodies depends mostly on rainfall which is a highly variable parameter (Sontakke et al. 2008) in terms of space and time. Due to large variation in intensity and frequency of rain-inducing disturbances thunderstorms, (western disturbances, monsoon/cyclonic

receives the highest rainfall in the world, also suffers from an acute shortage of drinking water during the non-rainy season, almost every year due to the lack of proper management of the available rainwater. Hence, there is a great need for proper planning, development and management water which is considered to be the greatest of the available assets of the country to

storms/depressions, monsoon troughs etc.) as well as the summer monsoon and post monsoon circulations over different parts of
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combat/resolve the twin problem of floods and droughts that directly affects the decisionmaking support system in water-related

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

sectors such as agriculture, hydrology, water resources and terrestrial and freshwater

increasing/decreasing, expansion/contraction, droughts/floods, can be seen in different parts, even in the same part. The spatio-temporal variability of annual, seasonal and monthly rainfall over India is studied by examining expansion and contraction of the moisture regions and that of seasonal and monthly rainfall from expansion and contraction of dry and wet zones of the respective period using highly quality-controlled data from 316 widely distributed locations for the period 18712006. Rainfall data up to 1900 were obtained from Eliot (1902) and for the period 19012006 from the records of the India

aquatic ecosystems. Earliest possible action may be initiated to store the available surplus rainfall to the maximum possible extent in order to have stable food grain production and to meet drinking water supply and

hydroelectric power generation. Real-time monitoring of the parameters of the wet and dry spells can provide vital information in this endeavour. Features of large-scale rainfall spatiotemporal variability The hydrological cycle is being

Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune. A digitized map of India on 1:6 million scale with the projection system of Albers Equal Area Projection with Two Standard Parallels, 15N and 30N was utilized in a GIS environment (GeoMedia Professional 5.1) for the spatial analysis of the rainfall data. To understand spatial variation of annual rainfall, expansion/contraction of different moisture regions, viz. arid (rainfall 560 mm), semiarid (5611040 mm), dry subhumid (1041 1420 mm), moist subhumid (14211630 mm), humid (16312450 mm) and perhumid ( 2450 mm), are examined. This climatic classification of the different moisture regions is based on the average annual precipitation as the climatic conditions of any place in the

affected quantitatively and qualitatively either by complexity of the earth-atmosphere climate system or man-made development activities such as construction of dams and reservoirs, land use change, irrigation, etc. Understanding climatic and hydroclimatic features of wet and dry spell is essential for effective agricultural and hydrological operations. This problem assumed to be of greater importance in the wake of global climate change scenario and thus attempts have been made in recent decades world-wide to understand the problem on regional/local scales. Rainfall spatial-temporal variability over India is quite complex; during the same year contrasting conditions,

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Fig. 1 Map of the country showing climatic moisture regions. Dots indicate the location of 316 rain-gauge stations used.

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country can be assessed with the average annual precipitation over it (Singh, 1984). Thematic maps of the country showing the normal (19012000) position of the moisture regions (Fig. 1) as well as their yearly positions (figures not shown) have been prepared using the GeoMedia GIS. The different moisture regions of the country show large variations from one year to another. On the normal annual isohyetal map the arid region occupies 383,584.6 km2 (15.32%); semi-arid 1,103,091.5 km2 (33.79%); dry subhumid 793285.7 km2 (24.30%); moist subhumid 289,239.2 km2 (8.86%); humid 404,151.3 km2

very dry and one-fourth with highest rainfall as very wet. The remaining area between these two extremes is divided into two equal halves and designated as dry and wet zones. Dry/wet zones of January, February, March, April, July, August, September and October months showed increase/decrease during 1965-2006 compared to 1931-1964. While opposite condition is true for the other four months (May, June, November and December). Water resources management in India Being an agriculture-based economy, development of irrigation system and its proper management in India to increase agricultural production for making the country self-sustained and for poverty alleviation has been of crucial importance for the planners. More than 50% of the water resources of India are located in various basins of the major rivers and their tributaries (Lal, 2001) and rest are groundwater component. Due to rapid increase in the population of the country, the demand for water for the use of various purposes increases drastically though region specific. To cope up the increasing demands of water for meeting the requirements of the rapidly growing population of the country as well as the problems that are likely to arise in near future with our existing water resources,




174,327.0 km (5.34%) of the country. The different moisture regions display intrinsically large spatial variability

(expansion/contraction) from one year to another albeit in an organized manner. Though the spatio-temporal variability of wet and dry spells is quite large, occurrence of rainfall gives rise to a pattern of wet and dry spells in the time domain. Overall climatic condition of the country shows drier tendency in the recent years/decades (Singh et al., 2009). The sequence of dry and wet periods in the fluctuations of the moisture regions is also given in Table 1. On the mean isohyetal chart of particular month, one-fourth area of the country with lowest rainfall is identified as
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Table 1 Dry and wet periods in the fluctuations of the six moisture regions over India.

Moisture regions Arid Semi-arid Dry subhumid Moist subhumid Humid

Dry periods 18961925, 193442, 196574, 198487, 19992004 190012, 195057, 19642004 191417, 194883 187183, 195289, 19992004 18991913, 194953, 196489, 19982004

Wet periods 187195, 192633, 194364, 197583, 198898 187199, 191349, 195863 18711913, 191847, 19842006 18841951, 199098 187198, 191448, 195463, 199097 187197, 191134, 194359, 198894


18981910, 193542, 196087, 19952006

a holistic, well planned long-term strategy for sustainable water resources India is asked for. A few pertinent water legislations, strict water conservation practices, judicious & efficient use of water and recycling of waste water can offer viable options however it should be well defined, well coordinated as well as well addressed in the interests of the general public. It should also be made mandatory for the peoples participation in the forward move. The participation of the local people in the watershed management will be more effective in accordance with the use of their traditional knowledge to capture and store rainwater for its efficient utilization and
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conservation to control its runoff, evaporation and seepage because the mode of rainwater harvesting adopted depends on the

geographical and meteorological conditions of the particular region. It will also help in formulating an efficient mechanism for the spatio-temporal availability of water to meet the demands among themselves. The water resources management practices are to be more focused on data monitoring, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination so as to help in planning and design of the water resources structures in the country. New concept of decision support systems

introduced to the water resources management


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provides the necessary inputs to the decision makers for better water resources

may be initiated to store the available surplus rainfall to the maximum possible extent in order to have stable food grain production and to meet drinking water supply and

management. Some important aspects of water resources management are flood & drought management, groundwater management,

hydroelectric power generation. Real-time monitoring of the parameters of the wet and dry spells can provide vital information in this endeavour. Acknowledgements The authors are extremely grateful to Prof. B.N. Goswami, Director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune for necessary facilities to pursue this study. The rainfall data used in this study were provided by the India Meteorological Department, Pune, is

watershed management, rainwater harvesting, recycle and reuse of water, inter-basin water transfer, data monitoring & information system, applications of decision support system in water resources and water pricing. Most importantly, knowledge sharing through various modes among the citizen regarding the preciousness of water, common peoples participation in the local level water resource management, mass communication and

capacity building for the nation-wide publicity are essential for effective water resources management. End note In spite of the fact, there has been large-scale decline in rainfall in recent period, the survival of the system reasonably well suggests better management practices of the water bodies adopted by the people to combat/resolve the twin problem of floods and droughts that directly affects the decisionmaking support system in water-related sectors such as agriculture, hydrology, water resources and terrestrial and freshwater

thankfully acknowledged. Reference Elliot J. 1902: Monthly and annual rainfall of 457 stations in India to the end of 1900. India Meteorological Department Memoirs, Vol. XIV, 709 pp. India Meteorological Department (IMD), 1961: Monthly and Annual Normals of Rainfall and of Rainy Days (based on records from 1901-1950) . India Meteorological Department, New Delhi, 204 pp.

aquatic ecosystems. Earliest possible action

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Ranade, Ashwini A.,

Singh, Nityanand., (2007):

Implications for Indias water resources. J. India Water Res. Soc., 2001, 21, pp.101119. Singh H.N., Singh N., and Sontakke, N.A. (2009): Monitoring Large-scale rainfall

Singh, H.N. and Sontakke, N.A.

Characteristics of Hydrological Wet Season over Different River Basins of India, IITM Research Report No. 119, 155 pp. Picture courtesy: Mr. R.K. Diamond, Loktak Lake of Imphal, Manipur.

variations across India, Hydroinformatics in Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Water

Resources Edited by Ian D. Cluckie, Yangbo Chen, Vladan Babovic, Lenny Konikow, Arthur Mynett, Siegfried Demuth & Dragan A. Savic, IAHS Publ.(Red Book) 331, 2009, Pp. 514-522. Singh, N., 1984: Fluctuations of different moisture regimes in India, Arch. Met. Geophys. Biocl., B35, pp. 239-256 Authors biography: Dr. Huidrom Narendra Singh V.K. (2009): Water Crisis and Rain Harvesting, Geography and You, Jul-Aug 2009, pp. 52-53. Sontakke, N.A., Singh, H.N. and Singh ,Nityanand (2008) : Chief Features of Singh is presently working as a scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. His research Variability emphasis Resources interest and on & is on Hydroclimatic with special Water

Prediction Indian


Physiographic Rainfall Variations across India during Instrumental Period (1813-2006), IITM Research Report No. 121, 128 pp. Rakesh Kumar, R. D. Singh and K. D. Sharma (2005): Water resources of India, Current Science, Vol. 89, No. 5, 10 September 2005 pp. 794-811.



Applications of RS-GIS in Hydroclimatic Variabilities. He has good number of papers in national and international scientific journals to his credit. Email:

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A High Altitude Clouds: Cirrus

By Subrata Kumar Das

Clouds are considered as an aggregate of tiny

particles of water vapour or ice, or both, suspended in the atmosphere [Houze, 1993]. The Earth is roofed with nearly 60 % of the clouds. They are identified as an important regulator in the global climate and narrow bands that etches across the sky. The name cirrus is a Latin word means wisp of hair.
Table 1. Clouds classification w.r.t. their occurrence height.(Courtesy: Houze 1993]) Cloud group Type of Cloud Stratus Stratocumulus Nimbostratus Cumulus Cumulonimbus Altostratus Altocumulus Cirrus Base Altitude (km) Tropics Mid latitude Polar

hydrological cycle. The cloud also affects the Earths energy balance by reflecting,

absorbing and transmitting the solar radiation. Clouds are formed when water vapour rises in the atmosphere from the surface, cools and condenses onto particles. At any level of the atmosphere, clouds can be formed, provided humid air cools enough for water vapour to condense into droplets or ice crystals. First attempt (1801) of cloud classification was made by French naturalist, Jean Lamarck. The classification of clouds presented in Table 1 is taken from Houze [1993] and Lynch [2002]. Cirrus clouds are formed at high altitude, which develops either in the form of white, delicate filaments or
High Clouds Middle Clouds Low Clouds

Below 2 km

Below 2 km

Below 2 km

2-8 km

2-7 km 5-13 km

2-4 km 3-8 Km

Cirrostratus Cirrocumulus

6-18 km

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Cirrus clouds occupy nearly 20% of the Earths atmosphere out of which 50% in the tropical region. These clouds have the high frequency of occurrence over the summer hemisphere, which moves with the seasonal movement of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. The continental effects of cirrus clouds are also reported i.e., maximum occurrence of cirrus clouds are over the landmasses as compared to the oceans. These clouds can spread over the large horizontal areas and can persist for several hours or days. Cirrus clouds can take a variety of forms or shapes and

generally contain ice crystals. Some of the common shapes of ice crystals in cirrus are shown in Fig. 1. The shapes of ice particles that compose cirrus clouds are diverse and irregular. The different shapes of ice crystals have varied scattering properties and thus identified as one of the most complicated components to model in the radiative transfer simulations. Cirrus particle sizes are often expressed as the maximum dimension of the particle, which varies in the range from 5 m to a few mm. Jensen et al. [1996] proposed two formation mechanism for the tropical cirrus: (i) convective transport of water vapour to the upper part of the troposphere by

cumulonimbus clouds (i.e., anvil cirrus), and (ii) in situ formation of ice crystals by slow, synoptic scale uplift of a humid layer (i.e., in situ cirrus). A schematic sketch of the two formation mechanisms is shown in Fig. 2a and 2b, respectively. Cirrus clouds can also be formed artificially behind the aircrafts exhaust, known as contrail cirrus. The water droplets are deposited on the soot and sulphuric acid, which are emitted by the aircraft. If the ambient temperature is cold enough, these
Figure 1 Examples of various ice particle shapes.(Courtesy:

water droplets freezes and turn into ice particles.

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investigation of cirrus cloud properties, which depends upon the concentration, phase, size, and shape of the ice crystals, etc., are complex and thus limited. Therefore, the cirrus clouds parameterization in the climate system is considered as one of the challenging tasks. Hence, the parameterization of cirrus clouds still remains one of the major sources of uncertainty in the climate model forecast for a future climate change. There are various methods for

investigating the physical properties of cirrus clouds such as lidar, cloud radar, microwave and sub-mm radiometers, balloon borne frostpoint hygrometers, dual theodolite, aircraft
Fig. 2. A schematic diagram of the formation of (a) anvil cirrus and (b) in situ Cirrus. (Courtesy: Veerabuthiran [2004])





[Dowling and Radke, 1990]. Among the mentioned measurement techniques, the lidar

Cirrus clouds have raised a particular interest for their role in the atmospheres greenhouse and the albedo effect. Past studies have reported that the cirrus clouds are also one of the influencing factors for the variation of tropical precipitation, upper tropospheric humidity, and sea surface temperature and thus influence the climate change [Heymsfield and McFarquhar, 2002 and references







appropriate. LIDAR is an acronym for LIght Detection And Ranging, which is an active remote sensing device, also referred to as a laser radar. Lidar is based on the principle that when a pulse of laser light is transmitted to a target, a portion of pulse light is backscattered through either reflection or scattering or both and collected using a telescope, providing information about the target. Lidar offered the capability for sensing scattering by both air molecules and the floated particulate matter in the atmosphere. The lidar has a better spatial

therein]. It is not clear at the present time whether the net effect of cirrus clouds is to warm or cool the Earths atmosphere. Because of the height altitude appearance, the

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and temporal resolution with diurnal sampling and thus capable of explaining the dynamics of the cirrus clouds in terms of their chemical and physical composition. The schematic diagram of a typical lidar system is shown in Fig. 3.

at the tropopause height. The cirrus clouds in the vicinity of tropopause affect the

stratospheric radiative balance and have an

Fig. 4. Height-time intensity plot of backscattering ratio (BR) observed at Chung-Li, Taiwan from 20:00-22:00 LT (LT=GMT+08 hrs) on July 9, 2009.

impact on dehydration of the air [Hartmann et Figure 3: A schematic diagram of lidar system Now with the lidar technique, the characterization of cirrus cloud is possible from the ground (ground-based lidar), from the aircraft (air-borne lidar) and also from the space (space-borne lidar). A typical height time intensity plot of the cirrus clouds measured with a ground based lidar at ChungLi (24.5 oN, 121.1oE), Taiwan is shown in Fig. 4. The increased in backscattering intensity clearly reveals the distribution of cirrus clouds in the height between 17 and 18 km, which is
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al., 2001]. Cirrus clouds properties have large spatio-temporal variations. To divulge the important aspects of cirrus clouds and associated dynamics in the different regions of the globe, several experimental, observational, and campaign measurements are being

conducted using lidar and other techniques. The outcomes of those investigations will be helpful in understanding the radiative impact of cirrus clouds on the Earths radiation budget, atmospheric cycle, thermodynamics, and atmospheric


circulations, etc. These studies could be vital


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in the parameterization of cirrus clouds properties in the regional and global scale models, which endeavour to predict the Earths weather system. Cloud photograph taken from a cloud physics aircraft by Mahen Konwar References Dowling, D. R., and L. F. Radke (1990), Appl. Meteorol., 29, 970 978. Hartmann, D. L., J. R. Holton, and Q. Fu (2001),
Geophys. Res. Lett., 28(10),

J. Authors Biography: Dr. Subrata K. Das received his PhD in Physics from the National Central University, Taiwan. He is currently working as a scientist in the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India.

19691972. Heymsfield, A. J., and G. M. McFarquhar (2002), Cirrus, Oxford Univ. Press, New York. Houze, R. A. Jr. (1993), Cloud Dynamics, Academic Press, Inc. California, USA. Lynch, D. K. (2002), Cirrus, Oxford Univ. Press, New York. Jensen, E. J., O. B. Toon, H. B. Selkirk, J. D. Spinhirne, and M. A. Schoeberl (1996), J. Geophys. Res., 101(D16), 21361 21375.


Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman is often linked to the birth of nanotechnology. Fifty years ago, Feynman gave an imaginative talk outlining a nano vision, where atoms can be arranged one by one.

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Brave new world of Biotech

Dr. Animesh Sharma Imagine that a person with some childhood birth defect meets a doctor, the doctor engineers and transplants the defective organ, literally guiding a life of disability to a normality... wait, you dont need to imagine this! Meet surgeon Atala,director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, transplanting Luke with a bladder created out of Lukes own bladder cells. Now he is pushing this to generate the fully perfused solid organs like liver [1]. We have indeed come far from blaming natural forces for our defects to actually confronting it and trying to control and improve. Engineered organs are a reality and soon we will be printing out functional organs of desired constituents directly into the patients. So where did it all begin? We have been wondering about nature since time immemorial but til 19th century we had no clue whether life we see around is engineered or not. This was answered beautifully byDarwin who outlined his theory of understanding of this process had to wait till Watson and Crick elucidated the DNA structure, the self replicating, stable structure, which could preserve information through generations and yet able to change to suit the environment. The cells in our body contains DNA carrying the genetic information. It is more or less true for all the life forms. This understanding of genetics at the molecular level enabled us to tinker with the very fabric of life. We are no longer mere passive product of natural selection and evolution, rather we are actively engineering it now. Locks getting treated for his birth disorder, X-linked SCID, severe combined immunodeficiency making person vulnerable to all sorts of diseases, through gene therapy is another example of this incredible power and cloning of the Dolly has brought this progress to its natural conclusion. Moreover, this is not just

restricted to stem cells or organs or to cloning a whole being, rather, it is progressing towards creating artificial life itself. Synthetic biology has come a long way from introducing and expressing desired genes using restriction enzymes to actually creating synthetic life. American biologist, Craig Venter unveiled

evolution, natural selection operating on population leading to immense diversity in life. Still, the very basis of this phenomena was not understood till Mendel came up with theory of genetics. However the real

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Schematic of Genetic Engineering

this last year where his team wrote out, letter by letter, the whole genetic information (genome) of an organism on the computer, introduced it into a nucleated cell, soon to see the cell dancing to the tunes of this new genome until all of its machinery was replaced with artificially synthesised chemicals. This cell was alive and throbbing, yet completely devoid of any of its original parents

of exponential growth in computing power, Kryder's Law for hard disk storage cost per unit of information and breakthrough in algorithms has opened up horizons

unimaginable few years ago. Now we can actually imagine to simulate a cell. This opens up a possibility for exploring biological interventions which were earlier unthinkable due to various concerns. However these mind boggling

component. This God like abilities led his team to proclaim Lower synthesis costs combined with automation will enable broad applications for synthetic genomics [2] from mere taking control of a cell to actually create cells performing specific tasks so far unseen in the natural world. Yes indeed, things are

developments brings up a serious concern, wont like money, this will create another social divide of people who will have capability to utilize such powers and those who dont? Like the way nuclear weapon has created national divide, wont such biological power, lead to further divide? Probably yes, but this might be a much powerful deterrent to social conflicts. Nonetheless we can surely envision that at local level, there might be

getting cheaper day by day, on an exponential scale. Next generation high throughput

technologies are able to generate, in a day, as much, if not more, biological data which use to take years. This coupled with Moores law
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apartheid issues between genetically enhanced biology and normal biology. At individual level, a gene chip analysis, assigning individual probability scores such as 0.7 percent chance of suffering Diabetes at 40, will surely make the person less employable bringing out the concern for the accessibility of the results. Who would really own the data? Such scenarios make these developments look scary, but come to think of it, at least we will be able to save more of Lukes and Locks. So lets embrace this brave new world of biotech. References: [1] Hepatology, 53: 604617. DOI: Informatics ( and Computational Biology Unit at, University of Bergen, Norway. Dr. Animesh Sharma is working as teaching assistant and research fellow at Department of

10.1002/hep.24067 [2] Science, Vol. 329 no. 5987 pp. 52-56DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719


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Science Fiction

Bhaskar Thakuria Nibid-296 and Nirob-348 were trying to bring back that almost extinct piece of robot to a working state and the exercise had already taken a good amount of time. It is not usual for them to devote so much time as the common practice to repair such robots is to reboot the firmware or to format all its memory and to install appropriate software. And if that fails then the simple solution is to change the mother microchip. Or just dump it to the electronic incinerator and replace the customer with a new one. But Miss Niharbalas will make this a robot a special case. It was instructed very clearly in the will that no one should touch the mother chip, memory chip and the special executive circuits of platinum (the name of the robot as Miss Niharbala christened it!). And with all the restrictions imposed it was a formidable task to repair the robot without changing those vital parts. But some old people were so fussy about their emotional attachment to their machines. Names like Nirob-296, Natasa-4600, Nibid-348 were given under the global identification number at their about them; right from their parents names to the dishes they like; and anyone can trace them if interested. But those Miss Niharbalas, Mr. Timothys and Miss Belucis! From those names, you cant differentiate them from a place or a genetically modified fruit. Like their names they too were unsystematized. Miss Niharbala had some electronic formulas patented under her name and royalties of those made her a wealthy person. She died at the ripe age of hundred twenty three. She divided her wealth into two halves and donated one half to planetary welfare society and the other half for the maintenance of platinum, this robot. She insured the maintenance work of this robot to consumer federation and their company was made responsible for the maintenance work. If any untoward incident happens with this robot the company would have to pay some big bucks to consumer federation and that would not be less than few millions of global currency. For long thirteen years Miss Niharbala stayed in a limousine flat of The Lex skyscrapers and the robot was her company. She was practically forgotten by everybody in the neighbourhood. Nor they had any interest

christening ceremony and a quick search in the meganet would bring out all information
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in her. Let alone that residence, there was probably no one in the world who knew her or had any remembrance of her. Global

batteries are history. All the robots electronic parts were made of dehydrated metal and the body was composed of polyvinyl cotton fibres. Nirob-296 was having an irresistible urge to kick platinum directly to the giant electronic incinerator. However, the reality was--he had to do everything possible to make the robot useful again to save his company from losing money. The company asked help from a robo-psychology farm. Nibid-348 was the robo-psychology expert sent for the work. Nirob-296 did not like these experts as they had little knowledge about the robotic engineering, but walks off with a heavy purse

identification holders get news of their first degree relatives through world wide family network service. If some of the relatives die, they can pay homage to the deceased through the net. Funeral service agencies take care of the dead body and do a fine job of disposing the body as wished by the deceased. But Miss Niharbala did not go for any such deal. So, Platinum had to arrange for her last rituals and all decisions were taken by him. As per the will, after Miss Niharbalas death, Platinum was restored to an old house and there it developed the problems. Its data processing became remarkably slow. The monitor went blank. The solar panels seemed to be working in an inefficient manner. His sentinel circuits reported all these to the company and immediately it was transported to the main workshop by their emergency jet bus. There, Nirob-296 examined all its main circuits and failed to discover any flaw in them. The robot could process commands. Only the monitor was blank and some clear liquid was discharging through the mother chip outlet. That was a big question. Where from was the liquid coming out? Discharging
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after giving some jargon filled reports. However, in this special case he really hoped that Nibid-348 had some answer. Then onwards, both were working together with platinum, the ailing robot. As the monitor was totally blank, it was not possible to get any feedback from it. So, Nibid-348 was trying to recover the robots log book. Probably the log book had some recordings to help them. They could have some circuits. They attached the individual circuits to their mainframe through auxiliary output sockets and were recording everything. They clue about platinums whimsical


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also collected that mysterious liquid pouring out from the micro chip and sent for analysis. Why Miss Niharbala gave it such a fancy name? Platinum! Wasnt she hundred and thirty years old? In her hay-days platinum jewelleries were

flaws in decision making. There was no complex neural networks calculation, no CN (Computational Neuroethology) process codes, not those fuzzy logic numbers, not even simple logical arithmetic calculation. It

resembled the diary of a moronic individual. The first entry read My first day with Miss Niharbala. She has scheduled her

fashionable and expensive stuff. Then it was not possible to do atomic reconstruction of aluminium to platinum. One had to extract platinum from the ores! Oh! Now I get it. Thats why one of my aunts used to call her boyfriend sweet platinum. Sweet platinum! Both burst out laughing. After some effort they were able to extract a portion of robots log book. But astonished; they were to find that the log book was written in an unusual style. There was no mention of the hardware commands that the robot followed. Nirob-296 got upset with those log book entries as there was nothing of his use. But the robo-psychology expert Nibid-348 got curious and began to analyze. The log book was neither complete nor its entries were technical. Those entries made them to decide that the platinum was an extremely slow data processor and had serious
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medication, diet list and the time to ready her bath water. My job is this much. She says after I learn this much, she would allow me to other things. Another entry was Miss Niharbala has asked me for a complex task. I have to make her understand the meanings of the

advertisements aired in the television. One advertisement is this a teenaged girl is on the road. She walks past a handsome guy. But the guy appears least interested in her. Then the name of the company comes up which manufactures synthetic retina. What that commercial tried to convey? Changing to a synthetic retina would help? But, whom and how... I watched todays episode of the tele-opera criminal diary. Daniel -88 shot Selsi-22. Selsi-22 died in the hospital. The doctor treating Selsi-22 was apprehended by the police for his negligence. That was better. It


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would be pathetic had Daniel been detained. The doctor should be punished! Nibid-348 had difficulty putting his mind on those. It was childish. But he went on. I went to the zoo with Miss Niharbala. I enjoyed the ride. The four-footed small animal yelling meow was wonderful. Miss Niharbala told me it is a cat and in her childhood days those were pets. How soon that species has become rare! We had some fish meat for him, the animal was delighted in that.. The next few texts of the robo log book gave Nibid-348 an impression of the strong bond shared between platinum and its master. Today is Miss Niharbalas birthday. We ordered a medium sized cake. We had with us the cat and a bird called parrot brought from the zoo. We enjoyed a lot. Miss Niharbala and I shared some steps too. It was a dance, Miss Niharbala told me. It was much fun. . I did not quite like that. A young fellow around seventy came to meet Miss Niharbala. He was not very interested in her. More he was busy with the new intergalactic game downloaded from the game library. In this game all you have to do is to target a certain planet and send commands to it. Depending upon the response type, you score. These games are really destroying the earth. Half of
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the population is glued to the monitors in some amateur computer game club. A faint smile flickered on Nibid-348s lips. The robots logs were like an editorial of the philosophy pages of a news feeder. How the self-thinking software got installed to this? Who could do that? Even its writings were not in the characteristic artificial robotic language, more it resembles a human written document. Infected by human simulator virus? There was no chance. Any virus infection was already ruled out. What could have happened? It was a challenging task for any budding robo-psychology expert like Nibid-348. He had collected some data processed by the platinum and was trying to analyze even in his free time. He consulted the robo-psychology forums in the network and none could offer any help. Nirob-296 was trying to do it all over again. May be something were there that they had ignored. He decided to examine every processing pipeline of platinums mother chip. He began sending photon commands to each pipeline and measured the output. And everything was just perfect but slow. Nibid-348 continued with another recovered log of platinums electronic memory.


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Miss Niharbalas hand was torn following a fall from the tread mill. I repaired that by the stapler. Her hearts accessory electronic

her face appears paler. She is not making any sound. Eyes had sunk in. Her urine collection bag is empty for last few hours. Is she going to talk ever? If not how long she will go on like this... What is there next? The worst that happens. Is Miss Niharbala heading towards that? After that no more log entries could be recovered. Nibid-348 and Nirob-296 tried all they knew. But platinum had no more records. The pouring of liquid from his mother chip outlet increased. Did Miss Niharbala take revenge on the company by installing some malware to the robot? After all, she was an accomplished electronic engineer in her youth. But that seemed unlikely. Miss Niharbala had nothing against their company nor did she have the necessary expertise advanced robot circuit. Can this be a case of robo-autocide? Nirob296 asked. Sometimes some robots destroy its own circuits by putting extra load of processing despite having commands to prevent such a thing. It remained a mystery how that happens. Nonetheless such cases

conduction system is in a poor state. Probably the batteries need to be changed. I have to communicate with the central information system of her insurance

company. Luckily her artificial kidneys are working perfectly. Just then another log was transferred to the main computer from platinum. It was entered on the eve of the day of Miss Niharbalas death. Both Nibid-348 and Nirob-296 got interested as that was the last day that the robot functioned properly. .. Miss Niharbala is not able to lift herself since yesterday. She said it was paining all over. She was too weak to sit up. She was speaking in gasps. I sent emergency report to the insurance company. Their virtual doctor checked her and gave me some commands. But it did not help her. Towards evening a team of doctors came and fitted her with lot of gadgets. Now they can monitor her directly from the global therapeutic agencys central help line. They are sending me commands after commands and I am executing them. Her automatic intra-venous lines are pumping her with medicines. But she shows no sign of improvement. In stead
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existed. Nibid-348 had a few such roboautocide and most had some serious logical fault in their circuitry. However, a large number of such robo-autocide cases remain unsolved. But at least they had some answer to suggest in all of those. But with platinum it was not fitting well. He explained to Nirob296, I admit such cases are increasing these days. But there is nothing to suggest such an event here. Such robots become totally invalid and dont even power on. This one has only become slow and its monitor has gone blank as if it does not want to communicate anymore.

would not keep any loophole in preparation of the report. They were confident that a robo-autopsy expert would be fooled too. Just at the moment the report buzzer beeped and informed them the arrival of a new report. They turned their attention to the report. It was the chemical analysis report of the mysterious fluid coming out of

platinums mother chip. It read The chemical analysis of the fluid sent for examination reveals that the composition of the liquid is identical to TEAR. There was a long list of the substances

Both were at their wits end. A huge amount of global currency was at stack. They can add some command at a previous date and can make the robot invalid proving it to be a case of robo-autocide. This could save them the currency without any legal problems. Last year they had to do such a thing. They looked at each other. Silent nods were exchanged. They decided to do the same. They had to look after their and the companys sake. But that needed absolute secrecy. A trickle of the news to the paparazzi software would bring doom to their careers and to the company. However, both of them were competent enough to

extracted. Both Nirob-296 & Nibid-348 were not interested in the composition as they were just oblivious about those chemicals. They concentrated on the interpretation. TEAR? What is that? Some abbreviation? Nibid-348 silently invoked his virtual

palmtop. Opened the encyclopaedia entry page and in its search field he entered TEAR. Translation: Dr. Uddip Talukdar *The original story in Assamese was published in the Puza edition of Assamese weekly Sadin, 2004 and is a part of the recently published creative fiction Jatra by the author.

accomplish that absolutely believably. They

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Authors Biography:

1729 (number)
1729 is known as the HardyRamanujan number after a famous anecdote of the British mathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a hospital visit to the great Indian In

mathematician Hardy's words: Dr. Bhaskar Thakuria was born in Guwhati in 1976 and brought up in Assam. He has obtained MBBS degree from Guwahati Medical College, Guwahati MD Microbiology in 1999 and



I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney, I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." The two different ways are these: 1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103

form Assam Medical

College, Dibrugarh in 2006. Presently he is working as an Assistant Professor at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences. He has a Jatra(The journey) to his credit, a collection of creative fiction. Playwright and director of three full length plays staged under the banner of aarohi named Pratyush (The Dawn): A play exploring the volatile youth mentality. Email:

http:// /

"In the fields of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared Louis Pasteur
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011 40

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Q. Please let us know about your research area.

Meet the Scientist Professor Jnos Mink (Interview by Dr. Saitanya K Bharadwaj)

I am basically a spectroscopist, we are working on Molecular both We try Vibrational and the

spectroscopy, theoretical.

experimental to understand

Vibrational behavior of almost all molecules, complexes even biological system. Q. What made you interested in this field? I started my research career in late 60s. I was one of the younger scientists in the Central Professor Jnos Mink is the Head of Department of Molecular Spectroscopy Physical Institute, Hungary

Academic of Science. That time they brought a new IR machine and I was in-charge of that, then I started recording spectra and tried to educate myself to understand the

Chemical Research Center of the HAS, Budapest, Chemistry, Hungary; Faculty And of Professor of


Vibrational behavior of molecules. Q. Vibrational Spectroscopy is very old technique to characterized molecule. Do you think it need

Technology, Research Institute of Chemical And Process Engineering, University of Pannonia, Vesprm, Hungery. Dear Esteemed Northeast India Research forum members. I had a privilege to meet Professor Jnos Mink from Hungary. I was attending some of his lectures on Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy. I am motivated with his research on fundamental chemistry. Then I take an appointment with him and inform about our forum and newsletter, NEQUEST. Here is some of conversation and message from Prof. Mink.
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011 41

more research effort? Although it is old technique, the

instrumentation was not so developed as today. In last 50 years lots of development has been done on IR instrumentation. FT was a great addition to the spectroscopy.

Sophistication of instrument made it possible to solve very fine problems today. For example, In 80s it was reported by an

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Americans that Emission IR spectroscopy has limitation to certain molecules, however we have showed that Emission IR spectroscopy can be use to characterize with correct method. We worked on the most popular Zeises Salt and by changing the counter ion we were able to make it soluble in organic solvent and studied the properties of the complex, also able to record the polarized Raman Spectra. Vibrational Spectroscopy is like Working Horse. You can use it to characterize even nanomaterial, polymer, biomolecules etc. Q. In this regard, I would like to know how IR is helpful to characterize the big molecule such as polymer, DNA etc. because they will have thousands of modes of vibration as we know from 3N-6 rule. Yes you are right, but polymer are just repeating unit of monomer, hence we have to consider just vibrations of monomer. In case of biological molecule, we will have fine spectrum for each functional group. With fine tuning and high resolution and high S/N ratio we could identify the tiny change in the system. Q. What do you expect from Ph.D student







experimental and theoretical. Ofcourse, one cannot be perfect in both; however one should know what the theory behind his experiment is or the chemistry. Theoretical explanation or idea help to get better result experimentally. I always ask my student to interpret the spectra, Spectrum without interpretation is nothing other than a toilet paper. I always suggest my students to feel the flavor of spectroscopy, also ask a computer chemist to make KBr palate, and ask to share/discuss their experience among themselves. Q. How long you are going to continue your research ? I am enjoying my work, so I have not thought about it. I am lucky to have good health. As long as I have good health I will continue. After all, health is everything. One more thing I believe If you keep busy yourself, you are slowing down your ageing. Q. Who are the scientists influence you most? Prof. Pentyne, Prof Gritho, Dr. Goggein, Prof. Hermann, Prof. Brightinger, Prof. Sanstrm are some of the important persons. Q. Have you been in INDIA? Yahh, several times!!! I have been invited continuously for the Conference


NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Vibrational Spectroscopy from few years. However sometime I could not attend the same due to hectic schedule. I also gave lectures on 28 February in IISc Bangalore several times on Raman Spectroscopy. Q. What is your plan for the

Doctor of Science in 1980 from Hungerian academy of Science, he moved to University of Bristol as postdoctoral fellow. He was also a visiting professor in Erlangen-Nrnberg University (82-83); University of Windsor (88, 94); McGill University (89, 94); Marie Curie University (90); Technical University Munich (90-91, 95, 96); Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (93, 97); University of Lule (99, 2000); Stockholm University 01, 04, 06, 07). He is an author of more than 235 scitific papers in high ranking journals. He has been a member of editorial boards of Croatica Chemica Acta (89 onwards), Asian Journal of Spectroscopy (93 onwards), Applied Spectroscopy Review ( 96 onwards), Journal of Raman Spectroscopy ( 2000 onwards), Specrochimica Acta (82-98). He is also member of several national and

International Year of Chemistry 2011? We are planning to install IR technique in the hospital; coming!!! Q. Please give some suggestion to the N.E Indian Scholars/Students? Whatever you do, do with maximum effort/input, in that way you can compete, Give questions yourself and find the answers. Be honest to Science, be objective. You may have 1% possibility in one day, but 99% can come in other day, so donot give up!!! You are working in poor laboratory does not mean that you can not learn anything, distillation also a learning technique. Try to confine your research into your availability, try to extract maximum from it. All the best to you all!!! Short Biography The Hugerian Spectroscopist born in 13





international scientific committees. His main research area is Application of Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy in Analytical

Chemistry, Surface Science, Catalysis, Self assembling Molecular Systems etc. He also works in Theory of molecular structure, structural study of organometallic complexes and solvated systems. Recent advances from his laboratory are the Medical diagnostic and biological applications of FTIR and Raman Spectroscopy and Microscopy.

April, 1938 at Mohcs, Hungery. He started his scientific career at Central Research Institute of Physics in 1962. After receiving
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Readers Page
north India speaks in Hindi dialect but not necessarily those are standard Hindi. Different languages such as Bhojpuri, Sadhukari,

Dear Editor, (N.E.Quest Vol. 4, Iss. 4, Jan 2011) First of all congratulation for your effort in bringing out the recent edition of N. E. Quest. However, I would like to clarify a point that came to my notice and feel that it will be better to discuss on it. Regarding the Indian National language there has been a misconception that Hindi is our national language. Even in some of the school books also the same thing has been depicted and taught which is not correct. Hindi is our Official Language or in other words we can say our Raj Bhasha. The principal official language of the Republic of India is Standard Hindi, while English is the secondary official language. The constitution of India states that "The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. "Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a national language, a position supported by a High Court ruling. However, languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian constitution are sometimes referred to, without legal standing, as the national languages of India. Although, it has been thought that in the long run Hindi can be adopted as our national language on the ground Hindi does not belong to any particular state of India nor belongs to any particular race and which has born and emerged in India with amalgamation of different languages. Although a large belt of
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Maitheli etc. are called variants of Hindi and people consider themselves Hindi speaking but these languages are prevalent prior to the emergement of Hindi. So Hindi does not belong to any particular individual or community but to everyone of India. But being that also, still there are strong resentments and disputes to give national language status to Hindi. On the eve of 62nd Independence Day Celebration there was a long debate on this issue over media and among thinkers, politician and bureaucrats but still remain undecided. Unfortunately, India does not have a National Language of its own till now hence it won't be appropriate to write about Hindi as our National language. That may be one of the reasons we do not have slogan written in Hindi in IYC 2011 poster. The Bengali language depicted there definitely representing Bangladesh only because this is a country which was formed and separated from Pakistan on the basis of

language revolution and commemorating that 21st February was adopted by UN as International Mother Tongue Day and has been celebrated all over the world as respect towards the respective Mother Tongue of every individual that belongs to them.


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Only appreciation goes to Hindi Film Industry which has contributed remarkably in promoting and spreading Hindi worldwide. So, let us hope that in future we may have a language, hopefully Hindi that can be recognized as our National Language like we have a universal Rupee Symbol now and represent the Unity among Diversity of India through a common language to the entire World. Regards, Biswajit Roy

freedom fighters had a language for their communications across the country was none other than Hindi which has gone deep to the heart of people of India and formed a strong belief that Hindi is our National Language. In fact, the bond of love is more stronger than the bond of rules and regulation. Hence, Hindi became the National Language due to large acceptability and attachment of the people. Hindi is our Official Language. The language of official work in the Central Govt. Offices of India for which guidelines are available in articles (343-351) of constitution of India. Now more than 6 decades have already passed still we could not implement these provisions in Central Govt. machinery. A lot of efforts are being made to propagate Hindi in Central Govt. Offices but we the people who work in the Central Govt. Offices are in a mood

Some thought on Hindi (Invited) India is a country of multiple cast, religion and cultures. We need to have a language which can bring unity in diversity and express all the elements of composite culture of India. Though, the Hindi as National

of easy going and would never take any pressure to do something new. Therefore, the English which was supposed to be subsidiary language is still holding the place of Hindi. We should be grateful to the people of country who accepted and adopted Hindi as a National Language even though it has not been reflected in the constitution. Dr. O. N. Shukla, Hindi Officer, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

Language of India has not been mentioned in the constitution but we are fortunate enough that the Hindi has been adopted and as National Language in all parts of the country. It reflects that the people of the country are proud of our country and its all symbols, languages, cultures. Although it has been mentioned that Hindi as a National Language has not been mentioned in the constitution. We may recall pre-independence India where Hindi was a language which has united whole of the nation from North to South and East to west. All the
NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


Photographs by Ms. Smritimala Sarmah, Tezpur University

Photograph by Dr. Diganta K. Sarma, B. Borooah College

Photograph by Dr. Mahen Konwar, IITM, Pune

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Fellowship/ Advertisement/Opportunity

National Conference on Chemistry, Chemical Technology and Society

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Conference on Advances in Polymer Science and Nanotechnology: Design and Structure, Baroda

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

How to join Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

For detail please visit

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


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APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR POST-DOCTORAL ASSOCIATE POSITION, IIT Bombay Project details: The project is supported by the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR/CEFIPRA). This is a collaborative work between LEOSPHERE company, two French research laboratories and the Indian institute of Technology, Bombay. The position is for 2 years duration and the candidate will be located at IIT Bombay. There will be an opportunity for participating in a field visit in France. Position details and requirements: Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems have been proven to be essential tools for atmospheric pollution monitoring, as they provide information on particles in situ concentrations and pollutants dilution in the atmospheric boundary layer. The precise quantification of PM based on the LIDAR signal still remains a challenging issue with practical interest for air quality agencies. The overall objective is to develop a new methodology for the quantification of PM mass using the LIDAR system developed by LEOSPHERE (French SME based in Orsay, France). LEOPSHERE is specialized in LIDAR atmospheric observation and commercialized Rayleigh-Mie LIDARs for real time remote measurements of aerosols. Specific tasks are as follows: o Understand and assist with LIDAR operation and data reduction techniques. o Organise and assist with field experiment in India. o Identify emissions sources affecting the measurement site using positive matrix factorisation techniques. o Explore factor analytic techniques to isolate factors containing a combination of chemical, optical and lidar signal. o Evaluate the potential to link lidar signal to aerosol emissions with specific chemical and optical signals. Qualifications and experience: The successful candidate will have preferably a PhD in atmospheric science, environmental science/engineering, civil engineering. She/he will have a good background in remote sensing, meteorology and aerosol science, and be proficient in programming and data analysis. Excellent communication skills are mandatory. This job opportunity is only open to persons of Indian nationality. Contact: Prof. C. Venkataraman at IITB, Dr. B. Guinot at LEOSPHERE, Dr. J.-F. Lon at Laboratoire dArologie,
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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 till date: 387 Moderators 1) Dr. Arindam Adhikari, 2) Dr. Utpal Bora, 3) Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur, 4) Dr. Khirod Gogoi Editorial Team of N.E. Quest

1) Dr. Debananda Ningthoujam, HOD, Dept. of Biochemistry, Manipur University, Imphal, India.

2) Dr. Tankeswar Nath, Tezpur University, Tezpur, India,


3) Dr. Manab Sharma, Australia,


4) Dr. Babita Baruwati, Bangalore, India,


5) Dr. Pranjal Saikia, Dept. of Chemical Sciences, Institute of Science and Technology, Gauhati
University, Assam, India Email:

6) Dr. Abdul Wahab, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague


7) Dr. Pankaj Bharali, Dept. of Chemical Science, Tezpur University, Assam, India

8) Dr. Thangjam Robert Singh, Dept. of Biotechnology, Mizoram University, Aizawl, India.Email:

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011


Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

9) Dr. Sasanka Deka, Dept. of Chemistry, (Nanoscience & Nanotechnology), University of Delhi,
Delhi-110 007, India Email:

10) Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam, India.

11) Dr. Utpal Bora, Dibrugargh University, Assam, India.


12) Dr. Arindam Adhikari, Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, India

13) Dr. Khirud Gogoi, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA.
Email: Cover Page designed by: Anirban Adhikari

NE Quest | VOL. 5 Issue 1 | April 2011