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SRM University-AP relaunched the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences as the Easwari School of Liberal Arts, establishing a new era of transformative learning and research to address the complexities of human society. The school was inaugurated in the august presence of Pro-Chancellor Dr P Sathyanarayanan; Vice Chancellor Prof. Manoj K Arora; Members of the Governing Body – Prof. Pradeep Khosla, Chancellor, University of California, San Diego, Prof. Nicholas B Dirks, Emeritus Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Prasant Mohapatra, Vice Chancellor for Research and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of South Florida, and Prof. Andrew D Hamilton, President, New York University; Dean – Easwari School of Liberal Arts, Prof. Vishnupad; Deans and Directors of various departments and faculty, staff and students of the university. Prof. Gopal Guru, Former Professor, Center for Political Studies, JNU; Prof. Janaki Bakhle, Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and Prof. Chandan Gowda, Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor, Institute of Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, graced the momentous occasion as Guests of Honour.

The rechristened Easwari School of Liberal Arts aims to propel students’ intellectual, emotional and ethical growth, equipping them to become future knowledge creators. “The launch of Easwari School of Liberal Arts is a testament to the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning and research. Through a sound liberal arts education, we aim to cultivate diversified skills among our students,” remarked Vice Chancellor Prof. Manoj K Arora in his address. Prof. Vishnupad, Dean – Easwari School of Liberal Arts, further expounded on the symbolic renaming of the school and its established imperative to foster a three-fold growth in students – emotional, ethical and intellectual.

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Pro-Chancellor, Dr P Sathyanarayanan commented that Easwari School of Liberal Arts opens the doorway to a brave new world of learning that will forge visionary thinkers. The School advocates breaking the academic silos of disciplines and offering students a more comprehensive integrated learning experience. In his address, Prof. Nicholas Dirks, Honourary Pro-Chancellor and a Governing Body member of SRM AP, stated, “Liberal Arts is a constitutive element of comprehensive education. SRM University-AP, with the launch of a dedicated School of Liberal Arts, is on its path to develop into an excellent comprehensive institute of higher education.”

The grand launch also witnessed a keynote speech by Guest of Honour, Prof. Gopal Guru, on the significance of liberal arts education in comprehending, analysing and solving the complexities of postmodern society. Insightful and inspiring book discussions on the books “Savarkar and the Making of Hindutva”, authored by Prof. Janaki Bakhle and “Another India: Events, Memories, People”, by Prof. Chandan Gowda, offering critical insights into the raw sentimentality of Indian society were highlights of the event.

The Easwari School of Liberal Arts harbours a robust, socially relevant, innovative curriculum, a distinguished and committed faculty, and imaginative and engaged teaching and learning methods to cultivate a class of motivated student ambassadors of tomorrow. In addition to offering traditional programmes such as B.A/B.Sc.(Hons.) in English, Economics, History, Psychology and B.Com in International Accounting; the School has also launched three pioneering programmes, namely, B.A. (Hons.) in Politics, Media Studies and Sociology and Anthropology, to equip students on how to address the socio-political, cultural and economic outlook of today’s society. With a novel pedagogy, these innovative programmes nurture logical reasoning, dynamic perspectives, rigour in thought and ideas, and critical reflection among students.

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Dr Debajyoti Kundu and Dr Deblina Dutta, Assistant Professors, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, have conducted seminal research on Ionic Liquids (ILs) in their paper “Advances in ionic liquids: Synthesis, environmental remediation and reusability” published in the Q1 journal, Journal of Molecular Liquids with an impact factor of 6. In the research article, the faculty duo have delved into the unique properties of ionic liquids, focusing on their role in environmental cleanup and showcasing their ability to combat pollutants. Various methods to recycle and reuse ILs, develop eco-friendly ILs, and scale up their application for effective environmental remediation have also been extensively explored.

Abstract

Ionic liquids (ILs) are next-generation solvents synthesised by organic salts, possessing negligible vapour pressure and low flammability. They possess high thermal and electrochemical stability, can be reused for multiple cycles, and their properties can be tuned according to the components used in their synthesis. Hence, ILs are considered to be potential alternatives for conventional organic solvents for numerous applications such as environmental remediation, nanoparticle synthesis, catalysts in various chemical reactions, solvents for the extraction of biomolecules from recalcitrant lignocellulosic biomass, etc. In this review article, the holistic approach of ILs, starting from various techniques adopted for their synthesis along with its critical review, is discussed, followed by a detailed discussion of the mechanism involved in the remediation of environmental pollutants using ILs. Further, in-depth documentation of various environmental pollutants remediated using ILs has been done to date. One of the major drawbacks of solvent application is the reusability factor, and hence, in this review article, techniques adopted to recycle/reuse ILs have been discussed. Further, the adverse effects of using ILs for environmental remediation have been comprehensively discussed to present a holistic view. Future studies should focus on synthesising environment-friendly ILs and their field-scale applications for environmental remediation.

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Practical implementation/social implications of the research

Their research on Ionic Liquids (ILs) presents a transformative approach to environmental challenges. By applying ILs on a larger scale for cleaning polluted air and water, promoting recycling and reusability, and developing eco-friendly ILs, the work has direct implications for industries and communities. The adoption of IL-based technologies contributes to efficient environmental cleanup and aligns with the growing societal demand for sustainable practices. Successful field-scale applications and public awareness initiatives can lead to a cleaner and healthier environment, demonstrating the tangible benefits of incorporating ILs into real-world solutions and fostering a more responsible and eco-conscious society.

Collaborations:-

  • National Institute of Technology Rourkela
  • ICAR-National Research Centre on Litchi
  • National Institute of Technology Durgapur
  • CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
  • Nguyen Tat Thanh University

Dr Kundu and Dr Dutta remarks that their future research in the realm of Ionic Liquids (ILs) will prioritise the development of environmentally sustainable synthesis methods, rigorous assessments of biodegradability and toxicity, and integrating ILs into industrial processes. Scaling up studies to evaluate their effectiveness in large-scale environmental remediation, investigating public perceptions, and fostering multidisciplinary collaborations with experts from diverse fields will be crucial for the responsible adoption of IL-based technologies. Additionally, focusing on life cycle assessments, exploration of novel applications, policy recommendations, and educational outreach can collectively contribute to advancing the understanding and practical implementation of ILs, ensuring a holistic and impactful approach to their environmental applications.

Click to read the article!

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SRM University-AP celebrates the 75th Republic Day with a grand amalgamation of pleasure, pride and patriotism. Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Manoj K Arora unfurled the national flag commemorating India’s journey as a secular, social, republic and democratic nation. The celebration was also joined by the Panchayat secretaries of the neighbouring 5 villages – Neerukonda, Kanteru, Nidamaru, Kuragallu and Pedaparupudi who were felicitated by the Vice Chancellor and Dr Vinayak Kalluri, Dean – Academic Affairs. These villages have been adopted by the university to develop into smart villages through student projects and ventures.

On this momentous day, let us remember the golden heritage of our nation and pay homage to the architect of our constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar. Let us strive towards achieving Viksit Bharat@2047 by channelling the energy and intellect of our youth into developing our nation and society and shaping students into global citizens“, said Prof. Arora as he addressed the campus community that had gathered to celebrate the auspicious day. The Vice Chancellor also emphasised the pivotal role of an educational institution in enlightening the students on constitutional rights and moulding them into reasonable and responsible citizens of the country. He also delivered a comprehensive report on the progress and growth of the university in one academic year highlighting the numerous achievements and recognitions secured by the students, scholars and faculty in academic, research, entrepreneurship and other frontiers.

The Republic Day celebrations commenced with an awarding ceremony where staff who had completed 5 years of service at the university were bestowed with a token of appreciation and gratitude. Students were awarded accolades for victories at various competitions at South Zone championships and Bravery awards were presented to security personnel and staff who rendered their service during calamities. A parade by the university security personnel paying tribute to the country and various cultural programmes by students resonating with patriotic fervour were highlights of the event.

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The 1st Alumni Day of SRM University-AP, organised by the Directorate of Alumni Relations, was held in grand splendour on January 12, 2024. Alumni from near and far gathered at the campus with many attending the event virtually from all corners of the world. Vice Chancellor Prof. Manoj K Arora launched the auspicious day by lighting the lamp in the presence of Registrar Dr R Premkumar, Advisor Prof. V S Rao, Head of Alumni Relations Dr Srabani Basu and the participating alumni. The Student Alumni Relations Committee (SARC) was also launched on this day, further aiming to strengthen alumni association and engagement.

“You are the founding batches that have sowed the seeds for our institute to grow and develop into a premier university. You, our alumni, are significant stakeholders of our institution and with your intellect and expertise, the varsity can grow exponentially”, stated Prof. Manoj K Arora while addressing the alumni. He also presented an extensive report on the stellar growth of the university since its inception on academic, research, and entrepreneurial frontiers, emphasising the rise of SRM University-AP, as a world-class university. Deans and associate deans of all schools also led a brief presentation on the school/s accomplishments, development and proposed plan of action for the next five years.

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Pro-Chancellor, Dr P Sathyanarayanan, in his virtual address to the alumni gathered to celebrate the splendid day, commented, “A campus is the embodiment of the present students’ aspirations and the cherished memories of its alumni. The alumni are true reflections of what we aim to do as a new-age university”. Numerous alumni also exhibited their deepest appreciation and gratitude towards their alma mater that has shaped their future and moulded them into the leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers and executives they are today.

The Alumni Day successfully concluded with cultural programmes, games and activities catered for the alumni to relive their campus experience, cherish past memories and create new ones. The event is a testament to the university’s advancements in fostering a symbiotic relationship with its alumni that would help the institute reach the pinnacle of growth and excellence.

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With the advent of the climate crisis, the use of the latest scientific technologies to develop methods for sustainable energy usage is pivotal. Dr Karthik Rajendran, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, his PhD scholar Mr Prabakaran G & UG Student Mr Nalluri Rishi Chaitanya Sri Prasad have filed and published a patent titled “A System and a Method for Building a Forecasting Model for Biogas Production” with Application No.: 202341074196, on their radical invention of predicting future biogas production using advanced Machine Learning techniques.

Abstract

The anaerobic digestion (AD) process poses challenges in maintaining process stability and time series-based prediction and forecasting due to the intricate nature of the system. Process instability is a consequence of the unpredictability in the raw material received at the facility, as well as temperature fluctuations and pH changes resulting from microbiological processes. Consequently, it is necessary to implement constant monitoring and control measures for higher biogas production. The challenges associated with anaerobic digestion (AD) systems can be effectively addressed through the integration of advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms and industry 4.0 systems within biogas facilities. This integration holds the potential to enhance system efficiency and enable on-site control capabilities. Machine learning (ML) based solutions have the potential to enhance process performance in AD facilities, leading to improved system operation and maintenance. The present study focuses on advanced ML techniques, specifically time series algorithms (ARIMA and SARIMAX), which have been employed to forecast daily biogas production. These algorithms are trained to discern critical process parameters and forecast daily biogas production rates, measured in Liters. For forecasting, 117 days of experimental data were used and ARIMA was identified as the best algorithm to forecast the daily production. This algorithm excelled not only in predicting biogas production but also in forecasting yield, resulting in a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 3.26. Furthermore, a comparison between the forecasted values of both ARIMA and SARIMAX was conducted. The predictive ARIMA model underwent statistical validation with unknown data, resulting in a P-value is >0.05.

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Explanation of the Research in Layperson’s Terms

This paper focuses on predicting future biogas production using advanced mathematical methods. The researchers used data collected over 117 days of biogas experiments, divided into three periods. They kept track of important factors like methane production, consumed volatile solids, methane percentage in biogas, and initial and final pH levels. To make the predictions more accurate, the researchers addressed missing data and fine-tuned certain parameters using a process called hyperparameter tuning. They wanted to find the best settings for the mathematical models they used, which are called ARIMA and SARIMAX. These models consider patterns and relationships in the data to make predictions. The researchers checked their models’ using measures like AIC and BIC values and examined certain plots to ensure they were getting good results. After applying the models to the data, they were able to predict future biogas production. The accuracy of their predictions was assessed using a metric called RMSE, and they found values of 3.26 for ARIMA and 24.02 for SARIMAX. In simpler terms, these values help us understand how close their predictions were to the actual values. The researchers also did some statistical analysis, and the results showed that both methods (ARIMA and SARIMAX) were equally good at predicting biogas production. Therefore, they concluded that these mathematical models are reliable tools for forecasting biogas production in the future.

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Practical Implementation/ Social Implications of the Research

The integration of advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms and Industry 4.0 systems within anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities holds significant promise in addressing the challenges associated with process instability and unpredictability in biogas production. The utilization of ML techniques, particularly time series algorithms like ARIMA (AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average) and SARIMAX (Seasonal AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average with eXogenous factors), to forecast daily biogas production presents a practical solution to enhance system efficiency and control.

  • Real-time Decision Making
  • Reduced Operational Costs

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The rate of inflation has been termed to be directly proportionate to economic activity, with the increase in economic activity leading to higher levels of inflation. Central Banks have used this relationship to formulate interest rates and understand the inflation–unemployment dynamics in many countries. Dr Adviti Devaguptapu, Assistant Professor from the Department of Economics, has published an interesting study in her paper titled “Phillips Curve in Canada: A Tale of Import Tariff and Global Value Chain”, where she examines the relationship between inflation-economic activity in Canada to better understand the correlation between inflation and unemployment rates.

Abstract

The paper examines the Phillips curve for Canada from June 1976 to October 2022 in a time-varying manner. The findings reveal that the impulse response of inflation to the changes in the unemployment rate gap has reduced over time till 2010 and strengthened thereafter. The response of inflation to the changes in the unemployment rate gap has increased in short and medium horizons after 2010. On further examination, it is found that the changes in both average import tariff and forward participation in the global value chain have reduced the inflation response to the changes in the unemployment rate gap.

Social Implications of the Research

Inflation-targeting central banks should have to put more (less) effort into achieving price stability in the medium run when the change in the level of inflation to the changes in the unemployment rate gap is more (less).

Dr Adviti’s research works towards developing quality-adjusted inflation in India – the need for it and the challenges in recording it.

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Link to the article

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Schools and universities must join hands for the future of our students”, commented Prof. Manoj K Arora, Vice Chancellor, SRM University-AP, in his session on the Future Trends in Education at the National Educator’s Leadership Summit 2024 organised by the varsity on January 06-07, 2024. The two-day Educational Conclave, under the aegis of the Directorate of Admissions, hosted 45 school principals from across 26+ cities in India who participated in addressing the future of national education and the need for emphasising holistic development, skill enhancement and learner-centric approach to empower students and nurture the skills and knowledge essential for their professional growth.

Prof. Y Siva Sankar, Director – Admissions, SRM University-AP remarked that the Summit facilitated a dynamic platform to exchange ideas, share practices and collectively chart strategies to implement reforms that will shape the education system of our nation.

Insightful sessions, panel discussions, and interactive lectures were the highlights of the summit. The first day of the conclave featured informative sessions on Empowering Student Leadership, Raising Awareness of Emotional Intelligence in Students, Enhancing Student Entrepreneurship, Effective Classroom Management Techniques and Challenges in Indian Education by the deans and academic leaders of the university. “Students learn by themselves; Creating ideas and building innovations through digital literacy. It is time we adopt an experiential learning approach to disseminate them with skills for the global world”, commented Surajit Sen, Principal – Jharkhand Public School during an exchange of views on present Indian education.

Discourses on Future Trends in Education and Insights from Directors of SRM University-AP in promoting Entrepreneurship, Higher Studies and International Collaborations on the final day provided valuable insights to principals encouraging them to implement transformative initiatives in their curriculum to foster holistic development in students.

The National Educator’s Leadership Summit successfully concluded with Dr R Premkumar, Registrar; Prof. Y Siva Sankar, Director- Admissions; and Prof. Vishnupad, Dean – Easwari School of Liberal Arts honouring the participating principals with a memento as a token of gratitude for their dynamic participation in the conclave striving towards the collective cause of transforming the future of Indian education.

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Dr Karthik Rajendran, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science & Engineering has been conferred with the Young Scientist Award from the Biotechnology Society of India. The award was received by Dr Karthik Rajendran from Padmashree Prof. GD Yadav (ICT Mumbai).

This prestigious award is given to scientists less than 35 years old for their work carried out in India. This is a testament to the work he has been doing at SRM University-AP for the last 4.5 years. The Jury of the award committee consisted of twenty-three experts across India and the Globe.

In the last 20 years of its inception, only once before such an award was given to any private institution.

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MSc Students from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering had a delightful opportunity to participate in the Workshop on “Sustainable Wastewater Management: The Role of Advanced Treatment and Sensing Technologies” organised by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati on December 01 and 02, 2023. The students got to learn about novel technologies available for wastewater treatment and also visited three wastewater treatment plants at IIT Tirupati that showcased wastewater recycling technologies. Fruitful discussions with both academicians and industrial experts on current challenges in wastewater management and innovations and opportunities in the water sector were the highlights of the workshop.

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The Centre for Consumer Research in India (CCRI) has secured its first industry-funded project. Afterthought Feedback Services, a leading and eminent Marketing Research (MR) company in Hyderabad, funded a project titled “Awareness of Unhealthy Food Consumed by Indian Consumers: An Empirical Analysis” to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakhs. The project will be executed by Prof. Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran, Dr Mohd Danish Kirmani and Dr Vimal Babu. More than ten students from the BBA and MBA programmes would help in doing the project as well. The project would study the extent to which employees consume unhealthy food and suggest ways of making employees eat healthy food. Mr Rahul Pulupudi, CEO of Afterthought Feedback Services, handed over the cheque to Prof. Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran, Dean-Paari School of Business. CCRI thanks Afterthought Feedback Services for its kind gesture!

The project would be of help to the Paari School of Business in general and its students in particular; and also be of help to society at large.