Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at JCRE Global College. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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Friday, 08 January 2021 18:17

Wonders of Nanotechnology

The word Nano Science refers to the study, manipulation and engineering of matters, particles and structures on the nanometer scale (10 -9 m). Important properties of material such as the electrical, optical, thermal and mechanical properties are determined by the way molecules and atoms assemble on the Nano scale into larger structures. Moreover in nanometer size structures these properties often different then on macro scale because quantum mechanical effect becomes important. Nanotechnology on the other hand is the application of Nano science leading to the use of new nanomaterial’s and Nano size components in useful products. Nanotechnology will eventually provide us with ability to design custom-made materials and products with new enhanced properties , new Nano electronic components, new types of smart medical sensors and even interface between electronic and biological systems. These new born scientific disciplines are situated at the interface between physics, chemistry, material science, biochemistry and biotechnology. Control of these disciplines therefore requires an academic and multidisciplinary scientific education. The concept that seeded nanotechnology was first discussed in 1959 by renowned physicist RICHARD FEYNMAN in his talk “There is plenty of Room at the Bottom” in which he described the possibility of synthesis via direct manipulation of atoms. In 1960, Egyptian engineer Mohammad Atalla and Korean engineer Dawon kahng at Bell Labs fabricated the first MOSFET (metal-oxide- semiconductor field effect transistor) with a gate oxide thickness of 100nm along a gate length of 20. In 1962, Atalla and Kahng fabricated a Nano layer-base-metal semiconductor junction (M-S junction) transistor that used gold (Au) thin films with a thickness of 10nm. The term “Nanotechnology “was first used by “Norio Taniguchi” in 1974, though it was not widely known. Inspired by Feynman’s concepts, K. Eric Drexter used the term “Nanotechnology” in his 1986 book “Engines of Creation”. The coming Era of Nanotechnology, which proposed the idea of a Nano scale ‘assembler” which would be able to build a copy of itself and of other items of arbitrary complexity with atomic control. Also in 1986, Drexter co-founded “The Foresight Institute” to help increase public awareness and understanding of nanotechnology concept and implications. The emergence of Nanotechnology as a field in the 1980s occurred through convergence of Dexter’s theoretical and public work, which developed and popularized a conceptual framework for nanotechnology and high-visibility experimental advances that drew additional wide-scale attention to the prospects of atomic control matter. Since the popularity spike in the 1980s, most of the nanotechnology has involved investigation of several approaches to making mechanical devices out of small number of atoms. Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. This covers both current work and concepts that are more advanced. In its original sense, nanotechnology refers to the projects ability to construct items from the bottom up, using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete high performance products. One nanometre (nm) is one billionth or 10 -9 of a meter. By comparison, typical Carbon-Carbon bond lengths or the spacing between these atoms in a molecule are in the range of 0. 12- 0.15 nm and a DNA double helix has a diameter around 2nm. On the other hand, the smallest cellular life-forms, the bacteria of genus Mycoplasma are around 200nm in length. By convention, nanotechnology is taken as the scale of 1 to 100nm following the definition used by National Nanotechnology Initiative in U.S. The lower limit is set by the size of atoms (hydrogen has the smallest atoms, which are approximately a quarter of an nm kinetic diameter), since nanotechnology must build its devices from atoms and molecules. The upper limit is more or less arbitrary but is around the size below which phenomena not observed in larger structures start to become apparent and can be made use of in the Nano device. These new phenomena make nanotechnology distinct from devices which are merely miniaturized versions of an equivalent macroscopic device; such devices are on a larger scale and come under the dissipation micro technology. Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology. In the “bottom up” approach materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principle of molecular recognition. In the “top down” approach, Nano objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic level control. Areas of physics, such as Nano electronics, Nano mechanics, Nano photonic and nanoionics have evolved during the last few decades to provide basic scientific foundation of Nanotechnology. Most applications of nanotechnology are limited to the use of first generation passive nanomaterial’s which include titanium dioxide in sunscreen, cosmetics, surface coating and some food products. Carbon allotropes used to produce gecko tape; silver in food packaging, clothing, disinfectants and household appliances; zinc oxide in sunscreen and cosmetics; paints and outdoor furniture’s varnishes and Cerium oxides as a fuel catalyst. Further application allows tennis balls to last longer; golf balls to fly straighter and even bowling balls to become more durable and have a harder surface. Trousers and socks havebeen infused with nanomaterial so that they will last longer and keep people cool in the summer. Bandages are being infused with silver nanoparticles to heal cuts faster. Video game consoles and personal computers may become cheaper, faster and contain more memory, thanks to nanotechnology. Also to build structures for on chip computing with light, for example on chip optical quantum information processing and picosecond transmission of information. Nanotechnology may have the ability to make existing medical applications cheaper and easier to use in places like the general practitioners official and at home. Cars are being manufactured with nanomaterial so they may need fewer metals and less fuel to operate in the future. Scientists are now turning to nanotechnology in an attempt to develop diesel engines with cleaner exhaust fumes. Nanotechnology also has a prominent role in the fast developing field of Tissue engineering. Researchers have successfully used DNA origami- based nanobots capable of carrying out logic functions to achieve targeted drug delivery in cockroaches.
It is said that the computational power of these nanobots can be scaled up to that of a commodore 64. Although limitless wonders of Nanotechnology have been seen, it has also negative impact on health & environment too. Inhaling airborne nanoparticles and nanofibres may lead to a number of pulmonary diseases e.g. fibrosis. Researchers have found that rats breathed in nano particles, particles settled in the brain and lungs which led to significant increase in biomarkers for inflammation and stress response and those nano particles induce skin ageing through oxidative stress in hairless mice. It is also reported that lab mice consuming nano-titanium dioxides showed DNA and chromosome damage to a degree linked to all big killers of man namely cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and aging. So, safe use of Nano materials through nanotechnology is a must.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020 17:46

NEP-2020 :A new Landscape in Education

Education is fundamental for achieving full human potential, developing an equitable and just society and promoting national development. Providing universal access to quality education is the key to India’s continued ascent and leadership on the global stage in terms of economic growth, social justice and equality, scientific advancement, national integration and cultural preservation. Universal high-quality education is the best way forward for developing and maximizing our rich talents and resources for the good of the individual, in society, the country and the World. The world is undergoing rapid changes in the knowledge landscape with various dramatic scientific and technological advances such as the rise of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, many unskilled jobs worldwide may be taken over by machine, while the need for a skilled workforce, particularly involving mathematics, computer science and data science in conjunction with multidisciplinary abilities across the sciences, social sciences and humanities will be increasingly in great demand. With climate change, increasing pollution and depleting natural resources, there will be a sizeable shift in how we meet the world’s energy, water, food and sanitation needs, again resulting in the need for new skilled labor particularly in biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, climate science and social science. The growing emergence of epidemics and pandemics will also call for collaborative research in infectious disease management and the development of vaccine and resultant social issues heighten the need for multidisciplinary learning.
The New Education Policy 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our country. The policy proposes the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure including its regulation and governance to create a new system that is aligned with aspirational goals of 21st-century education, including SDG4(Sustainable Development Goal-4),while building upon India’s traditional value system. The National Education Policy lays particular emphasis on the development of the creative potential of each individual. It is based on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive capacity-both the fundamental capacities of literacy and numeracy and higher-order cognitive capacities such as critical thinking and problem solving-but also social- ethical and emotional capacities and disposition. In today’s age of the knowledge-led economy, developing human capital to drive India’s next wave of socio-economic growth is critical. For the first time, there is an unequivocal admission by the policymakers that the existing system is obsolete. Key objectives of the NEP-2020 around reforms curriculum, universalization of early childhood education, national mission for fundamental literacy, accreditation to shift focus from inputs to outcomes and change in governance structure to ensure that the operator, the regulator and adjudicator are not the same are all laudable and potentially disruptive.
How can this new policy be implemented successfully? Yes, here are few tips for this.  EXAMINATION: Examinations in our country seem to be the be-all and end-all of the education process. Until institutions of higher education migrate to more holistic criteria for admission, we won’t see a significant shift in the obsession with examinations. It’s time we dropped the percentage system and arrived at results that provide just the grade or broad range of performance, so someone who scores 95% is not seen as lesser than someone who scores 98%. We need to adept a system of admission where kindness is valued as much as achievement. TEACHER: NEP-2020 acknowledges that no reform will work unless the teachers are brought center stage. So the teachers must be at the center of the fundamental reforms in the education system. The new education policy must help re-establish teachers, at all levels, as the most respected and essential members of society, because they truly shape our next generation of citizens. We need to rightfully glorify and make teaching, one of the noblest and aspired profession for the best and the brightest. Building on the medical residency model, we must attach all teachers’ education colleges to the top schools in the country. Theory and practice must go hand in hand using every good classroom and every good teacher to make more teachers.INVESTMENT: We’ll have to put our money where our mouth is. As per UNDP estimates, the total financial requirement for India to reach SDG4 by 2030 averages to $173 billion per year, far exceeding the current government budget of $76.4 billion a year for education. Government schools spend about Rs.24, 000- Rs..30, 000 per child per annum, while in private schools, 91% of students pay lower than Rs24, 000 per annum. However public expenditure on education in India has not come close to the recommended level of 6% of GDP as envisaged by the 1969 policy reiterated in the policy of 1986. The current public expenditure on education in India has been around 4.43% of GDP. OPENING THE SECTOR: It’s obvious that the government won’t be able to shore up investment to the required levels and would need significant private participation with the current regulatory structure and obsession with keeping it ostensibly clean through not for profit mechanism. We’re ensuring our students are deprived of quality education. If we need investment, we need to incentivize investors. Numerous politicians and bureaucrats have expressed that the whole not for profit agenda is a charade. “How can we expect institutions to invest Rs.100 crore in skilling up schools and not expect a return on their capital? Not liberalizing means keeping the sector unorganized, where all kinds of businessmen with no background interest or skills in education get into the field and run sub-standard institutions. If the sector opens up, we will see big chains coming in from within India and across the globe that might have business interests but will ensure that there is a certain level of professionalism, efficient use of technology, and scale to invest in research and development to deliver more for lesser costs. A good educational institution is one in which every student feels welcomed and cared for , where a safe and stimulating learning environment exists, where a wide range of learning experiences are offered, and where good physical infrastructure and appropriate resources conducive to learning are available to all students..NEP A MISSION: The purpose of the education system is to develop good human beings capable of rational thought and action, possessing compassion and empathy, courage and resilience, scientific temper and creative imagination with sound ethical moorings and values. It aims at producing engaged, productive and contributing citizens for building an equitable, inclusive and plural society as envisaged by our Constitution. Millions of parents and educators around the country have deep-rooted and extremely outdated mental models of what education should be. Assumptions like –rote learning works, examinations and competition are a must even at a young age, we should follow one book, examination results equal intellects, we all did fine with this kind of education- are all barriers to change. So, NEP-2020 is a Mission with a vision to eradicate age-old obsolete system of education in India.
 This national Education Policy envisions an education system rooted to Indian ethos that contributes directly to transforming India, sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society by providing high-quality education to all and thereby making India a global knowledge superpower. The government needs to run strong campaigns to emphasize the need for change and to invest in curriculum, structures and practices that re-humanize and re-build our ailing education system.

The great SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN took birth on 22nd December 1887 in ERODE town in Tamil Nadu. He read Mathematics voraciously and started developing his own research in isolation in the beginning. Srinivasan was an autodidact; he was a self-taught person and never had any formal training in mathematics. He first solved the formal and regular mathematics when he was 10 years old. When he was at the school, he received several merit certificates and academic awards. Ramanujan has greatly contributed towards Mathematical analysis, Number Theory, infinite series and continued fractions. His aids and contribution gave an entirely new meaning to Mathematics. In the year 1913 he came in contact with European mathematician for further developing his knowledge and interest towards mathematics. He was also elected to various Societies organized for debate and discussion on Mathematics. He started exchanging letters with World famous mathematician G.H Hardy and ultimately moved to England in the year 1914.He spent around 5 years at Cambridge and issued a number of papers during his stay there. When he was only 15 years old, he found a copy of Synopsis of Elementary result in pure and applied mathematics written by George Shoobridge Carr in 1886. This book was significant as it was the main source of information for the self-taught and legendary mathematician SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN. I is also said that the book played a huge role and a key factor in arousing the brilliance and intelligence of Ramanujan. He reportedly studied and followed in detail each and every content of the book.
After verifying the result and description in CARR’s book, he went beyond and developed his own ideas and theorems. In 1903, he won a scholarship to the University of Madras but lost it in the following year as he ignored al other studies related to Mathematics. This did not discourage him and he continued his research work without any employment. He lived in the poorest conditions and was determined towards his research work. He got married in1909 and started searching for everlasting employment; this led him to meet one of the Government officials Mr Ramachanra Rao. Mr Rao was highly impressed by the Mathematical knowledge and prowess of Ramanujan. Mr Rao even agreed to support his research for a certain time. But Ramanujan was not willing to continue with any work on charity and ultimately he obtained a clerical position with Port Trust of Madras.
In the year 1911, Ramanujan got his first paper issued in the Journal confined to the Society of Indian Mathematics. His outstanding ability and intelligence gradually started gaining popularity and in the year 1913, he started communicating with Godfray H. Hardy, the famous British mathematician. This interaction helped him in gaining a special scholarship from Madras University and a funding from Trinity College in Cambridge. Ramanujan overcame his religious protest and travelled to England in 1914 to meet Hardy. He enhanced his knowledge further and Hardy taught him several formulas, theorems etc. related to Mathematics. Hardy even did some research in association with Ramanujan during his stay in England. Ramanujan worked out majority of the Mathematics formulas himself and his knowledge was amazing. Even though, he was nearly unacquainted of the modern development which were taking place in Mathematics, his expertise over continued fractions was incomparable with any Mathematician that lived during that time. He worked upon the Elliptic Integrals, the functional and practical equations of Zeta functions, the Riemann series, the hyper geometric series and his own theory of various series.
Ramanujan made complimentary advances during his stay in England. He especially improved his knowledge and wrote several papers describing partitions of numbers. His papers got issued in English and other European journals, He even got elected to the Royal Society of London in1918, unfortunately in1917 he got contracted with tuberculosis .He returned to India in1919 after significant improvement of his health but he passed away on 26th April 1920. The bundle contained unpublished results of Mathematics that were continued to be studied and verified by different mathematicians for a long time even after his death. India has produced various scholars in different field. One of such legendries is SRINIVAS RAMANUJAN who made an astonishing contribution to the mathematical analysis, infinite series and number theory. He also introduced several equations and formulas. Ramanujan’s theta and Ramanujan’s prime discovered by him has been inspiring various researchers and development of the subject. In respect to this great legendary mathematician, the 22nd December, the birth day of this great man was declared as NATIONAL MATHEMATICS DAY by Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India during the inaugural ceremony of the celebration to mark the 125th birth anniversary of this great man at Madras University on 26th February 2012 and 2012 was celebrated as National Mathematics year. Thus by celebrating NATIONAL MATHEMATICS DAY on the birth anniversary of this great man, we would pay tribute to this great legend and would also be sustaining in the mathematical culture of India.
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Wednesday, 16 December 2020 16:30

Yongchak: The Dying Stink Bean in Manipur

PARIKA TIMORIANA(the bitter bean, twisted cluster bean or stink bean) and commonly known asYONGCHAK in Manipur is a plant of the genus Parkia in the family of Fabacea and another species is ParkiaSpeciosa we call it Thai yongchak is also commonly consumed variety. It bears long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds, the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell similar to but stronger than that of the shiitake mushroom, due to sulphur containing compound, also found in shiitake, treeffles and cabbage. It is also known as petai or pete in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The petai tree can grow to about 30 meter. It bears flowers in a light bulb shaped mass at the end of long stalk. The flower secretes nectar that attracts bats and other pollinators. The fruit emerge as long twisted, translucent pods in a cluster of seven or eight pods. When those pods are mature, within them will reside the petal beans or seeds.P-Timorianaor Yongchak in Manipuri has earned its nickname “Stink bean “because of its strong smell is very pervasive. It lingers in the mouth and body. Like other beans their complex carbohydrates can also cause strong smelling rectal gas. The great pungent smell of yongchak like asparagus tells the presence of Thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, a cyclic Sulfur containing Amino acid, that give a strong smell to one’s urine, an effect that can be noticed up to two days after consumption. The Sulfur compound in P-Timoriana is Thioproline. Biologists and observers reported that content of biochemical and nutritional values in the tender pods were superior to other stages. The tree bean serves as the basic needs of protein and fat to meet the ever increasing requirements. The elements and minerals present in the Yongchak or petaiare: 42.50% Fe, 36.33% C, 20.00% protein, 15.38% Vitamin B2, 13.00% carbohydrates. Its calorific value is 124 Kcal/cup calories. The health benefits of Yongchak or Petai are: ease of depression, PMS ( Premenstrual Syndrome), Anemia ;Blood pressure; constipation, hangover, heartburn, Morning sickness, mosquito bite, nerves overweight, ulcer, temperature control, smoking stress, strokes, warts, healthy eye, improve brain power and concentration, improving digestion and seasonal affective disorder. The seed as well as tender pods are known to cure stomach disorder and regulate liver function. Pods pounded in water are used in cleaning the face and head. The soil extracts of the plant possesses insecticidal properties. The wood can be used as a source of paper pulp.
In marketplace, depending on the country of origin, parkia species may be labeled Wakerec, Petai, Yongchak, in ThadouJonglha. They are best when combined with other strongly flavored foods such as garlic, chili peppers, dried shrimp or shrimp paste as in sambalpetai. When young, the pods are flat because the seeds have not yet developed and they hang like a bunch of slightly twisted ribbons, pale green, almost translucent. At this stage they may be eaten raw, fried or pickled. Young tender pods with underdeveloped beans can be used whole in stir-fried dishes. The seeds are also dried and seasoned for later consumption. When dried, the seeds turned black. Petai beans or seeds look like broad beans. Like mature broad bean, they may have to be peeled before cooking. InIndonesia;Petai (yongchak) is very popular in highland of Java and Sumatra, especially among Sudanese, Minangkabaue and many other people in different culture of the Island. In Sudanese cuisine, petai might be eaten raw with sambal as part of lalab, fried or grilled. It can also be stir fried and mixed with oncom. In Java and Sumatra, it also might be added to sayurlodeh or sambalgorengatipetai(fried chicken liver in sambal&petai). Nasi goring kambingpetai is popular variant of nasi goring (fried rice) with goat meat and petai. In Minangkabaue cuisine, it usually become part of lado( Minangsambal) for ayam pop (padang style fried chicken). In Manipur, it is grown mainly on all the hilly districts especially Kuki inhabited areas, who called it Janglha, Hamar tribes called it Zawngta. It is grown in the hill districts and some part of Manipur valley too. Varieties found here are somewhat harder than the counterpart of Thailand or Malaysia. The wild varieties from the hills are more commonly sold in market. Some species of parkia are grown in small scale by farmers in north-east India. In mainland India, it is grown as an ornamental plant, shade and border tree.
This bean has become an important ingredient in many food items in Tripura too. In Manipur, the seeds or the bean as a whole are eaten by preparing a local delicacy like Hmarchadeng, Eromba or YongchakSingju (Salad). Eromba is very common cuisine in Manipur made with boiled potato, fermented fish, chili and other vegetables. Yongchaksingju is another favorable side dish made with parkia cut into small pieces and then mixed with red hot chili paste. Parkia is also used for making various other dishes with fish and vegetables. The Kuki Tribes, a tribe from North-East India called it Janglha and relished it with almost like a special vegetable. Rongmei Tribe of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam called it Kampai, which is cooked with meat or prepared as salad and sometimes seeds are eaten with chettni made of dry fish. The Hmar tribes of Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur called it Zawngta and mainly prepared it with chili, sodium bicarbonate, little amount of salt and special fermented pork called saum and called it Zawngta-rawt. In Mizoram, the Mizo people are also very fond of it and called it zawnglah and they use to prepare it with chili and fermented pork called saum which is same as sathu of Manipur.
There is a vast decline of yongchak population in the valley of Manipur and no reason has left for the cause of becoming a vulnerable species. No report has yet to be reported. Many believe to be the wave of mobile phone and mobile tower; other reported the change in environmental factor while remaining fixed on plant pollinated animals. In short, all the three parameters are related with the yongchak issue. It is reported that electromagnetic wave/ radiation from mobile phone and tower affects the birds, animals and plant environment. The fact is, Biologists and researchers believe the loss of yongchak is due to the verticillium wilt disease spread all over the valley of Manipur, the symptom is quite similar with the radiation caused by mobile tower. It is also reported that the electromagnetic wave also distracts the flying foxes (bats) to reach its final destination for food, shelter and to pollinate. Flying foxes represent a major role in the principal pollination pattern and seed dispersal of the tree bean. Climatic condition is also another factor. The dry up of yongchak in the valley of Manipur may be due to rise in temperature or precipitation asyongchak needs warm climatic condition. A detailed study is required to evaluate the population status of parkia in Manipur.

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