Anil K SureshDr Anil K Suresh’s innovative research has been brought into the limelight by the revered weekly magazine Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), published by the American Chemical Society. Dr Anil K Suresh, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, and his team from SRM University-AP recently developed a see-through transparent (with 85% above transmittance) biotemplate which they derived from the fish scale wastes to substitute the extensive usage of eco-unfriendly disposal plastic cuvettes for UV-Visible Spectroscopy measurements in the spectrum of 350-900 nm.

UV-Vis spectroscopy is a versatile analytical tool used to examine the nature of various synthetic, biological and clinical molecules for pharmaceutical and environmental applications. The team members demonstrated the practical on-biotemplate analysis of diverse analytes such as DNA, proteins, nanoparticles, organic dyes, bacteria, BSA assay and dye-degradations. Dr Anil K Suresh owns the copyrights for this pathbreaking invention by being granted an Indian patent. This work was published in the prestigious Journal “Green Chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Read the full paper here.

Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), which is widely known to feature articles of the best professional and technical innovative research work and analysis in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering, has acknowledged Dr Anil’s research by allowing it little room in their magazine in Volume 99, Issue 36 (Read the news here). C&EN includes information on recent news and research in chemistry and chemical engineering along with career and employment information, business and industry news, government and policy news, funding in these fields, and special reports.

“The magazine is very celebrated among researchers across the world. It is a great honour for my team and me to be featured in the magazine. This news magazine usually picks only top nature cell science publications among thousands, and My team and I are feeling great to be one of them,” said Dr Anil. Dr Anil further said that it would not be possible to carry out such prominent research work in a newly built establishment without the constant support from the management of SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh. He has profoundly thanked Dr P Sathyanarayanan, President; Prof V S Rao, Vice-Chancellor; Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, for their kind help and cooperation.

The University Management congratulated Dr Anil K Suresh on his achievement. Dr Sathyanarayanan said, “It is indeed a proud moment for the university to be featured on C&EN. I compliment Dr Anil and his team on their tireless work.” “Dr Anil and his team have executed an extraordinary work towards a green environment which should be emphasised in international journals. The Team’s dedication towards their research is commendable,” said Prof V S Rao. Prof D Narayana Rao opined that Dr Anil K Suresh is one of the most talented young biologists in the nation. “I have personally known him for some time being and working with him for a few years. Dr Anil is devoted biologist and pride of the university,” asserted Prof D Narayana Rao.

Dr Sumit Kumar, Assistant Professor from the Department of Management has recently published two papers in highly reputed Scopus indexed journals. The paper titled “Managing employees’ turnover: findings from AHP model” is published in the International Journal of Economics & Business Research and “Economic Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability: Role of Infrastructure Development” in the Indian Journal of Ecology.

Managing employees’ turnover: findings from AHP model is an attempt to compare and evaluate the relative significance of myriad HR issues leading to better management of the employee turnover problem. The research questions explored and examined in this study provided deeper insights and a better understanding of the problem of retaining and nurturing human capital and have relevant implications for scholars, policymakers, and retail organisations. An important theoretical contribution of the study is in enriching the literature on employee retention in the organised retail sector. The practical implications of this study mainly emanate from the results of this study and are related to practices of managing people at work. The findings of the study can be effectively used to design a robust retention policy.
Read the full paper here

The second paper titled Economic Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability: Role of Infrastructure Development is co-authored by A. Mishra, M. Sharma, and et. al. This pragmatic investigation strives to divulge the relationship between infrastructure expansion and environmental defilement in the Indian outlook by realistically exerting panel data of 10 Indian states, which contributes 70 per cent of the total national population. The precise outcome of the investigation demonstrates that some proxies of infrastructure improvement such as electric capacity, railways network, road network and telecommunication have linkage with the air quality index in India.

Dr Sumit Kumar is an Assistant Professor in the School of Entrepreneurship and Management Studies, SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh, India. He has done his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad in Marketing Management. He has eight years of rich experience in the industry, research, and academia. His research, interests focus on the areas of marketing and consumer behaviour, green products, private label brands (PLB), virtual retail environment and online retail. He has also presented papers at premier national and international conferences. He authored and co-authored several research articles in reputed international and national journals.

Yuvaraj Tankala and Joseph K Paul, 5th-semester B Tech Computer Science and Engineering students of SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, India has worked with Dr Manikandan V M, Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering Department on a research project and their research paper “A Content-based Image Retrieval Scheme with Object Detection and Quantized Color Histogram” got accepted for publication in the International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering.

Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is an active area of research due to its wide applications. Most of the existing CBIR schemes are concentrated to do the searching of the images based on the texture, colour, or shape features extracted from the query image. In this manuscript, we propose an object detection based CBIR scheme with quantized colour histograms. In the proposed scheme, the meaningful objects will be identified from the query image by using you only look once (YOLO) object detection techniques and the quantized histograms of each of the object categories. The object lists, their count, and the area covered by the objects along with quantized colour histograms will be used during feature matching to retrieve the related images from the large image pool. The experimental of the proposed scheme is carried on the Corel 1K and Caltech image dataset. We have observed an average precision of 0.96 during the experimental study which is quite high while comparing the precision from the well-known existing schemes.

To retrieve relevant images from a large image pool, we use content-based image retrieval (CBIR) schemes. In a CBIR scheme, the properties of the query image will be matched with the properties of the images in the image pool. The images which are very close to the given query image will be returned by the CBIR scheme. Most of the existing CBIR schemes use colour, shape and texture properties for image comparison. In the proposed scheme, we use an object detection-based approach with quantized colour histograms to retrieve the relevant images from the image pool.

The real-life applications of the proposed scheme are listed below:
● In the fashion designing and textile industry, CBIR systems can be used to find the existing designs.
● The CBIR systems are useful in crime prevention by retrieving similar crime scenes or the images of criminal persons based on the query image.
● Professional web designers or poster designers want to retrieve relevant images depends on the specific context that they are working.
● To retrieve similar medical images with the relevant treatment details in a computer-assisted diagnosis system.

The team currently continue their research work in the same domain to come up with a content-based image retrieval system that will return the relevant images by understanding the relationships among the objects in the image. The classes of the objects in the scene and their properties also will be considered along with the relationship between the objects in the scene.

SRMAP UDL 12The 12th edition of the widely popular University Distinguished Lecture Series delved into the pertinent relationship between Science, Engineering and Technology. During the distinguished lecture, “Science-Engineering-Technology Synergy for Sustainable Growth”, Prof Indranil Manna well explained the correlation between the streams and how scientists, engineers and industry experts should work together for maximum societal benefits. Prof Indranil Manna, a JC Bose fellow of DST, is currently the Vice-Chancellor of BIT Mesra. The event took place on September 24, 2021, in virtual mode.

In his address, Prof Indranil Manna asserted that India is no longer a poor country but a mighty economic power with a 3 trillion dollar economy. “We are considered as one of the strongest nations of the world today, not because of the population or because of the youth living in the country, but we are the ones who could send mission to mars at the cheapest cost, and also successfully identified the existence of water on the surface of the moon. Further, we are one of the very few nuclear harnessing nations of the world,” said Prof Manna.

Science began its journey in order to find out the truths of nature. “Why?”- this question is the driving force behind Science. Though Science unravels nature and truth primarily through curiosity or need inspired acts, and the occasional outcome is significant earth-breaking discoveries, sometimes it needs technology to prove it. On the other hand, Engineering deals with “How?” and for Technology, the question is “What?”. Engineering produces certain products and devices by specific designs and inventions. However, what is absolutely essential for the society is Technology, knowledge through the path of knowing ‘why’ and ‘how’ to know ‘what’ sells. Thus, Prof Manna prescribes SET, a conjugation of Science+Engineering+Technology, as the way forward for maximum societal benefits.

Prof Manna explained that innovation means new ideas, creative thoughts, new imaginations in the form of a device or method. It is incremental, cross-disciplinary, directed and translational. Innovation matures itself via Engineering or Technological interventions. Further, sustainability is a composite concept that means the ability to maintain the desired rate or level, avoiding depletion of resources, energy or disturbing the related ecosystem.

Engineering and Technology are the key factors to sustainability. Engineers are not technicians meant only for routine production, maintenance or testing. Instead, Engineering applies the principles of science and logic to develop viable solutions to societal aspirations and challenges. The core of engineering lies in the translation, fundamental concepts to design, develop, fabricate, exploit, analyse, model, stimulate and predict,” Prof Manna elaborated.

Government of India’s Technology Vision-2035 focuses on developing the quality of life of each Indian. Science is pursuing the truth relentlessly regardless of its necessity or immediate scope of application. It provides clues, if not answers and extends as far as imagination goes. Engineering is all about enabling and providing solutions borrowing from the fundamentals of science. Technology is the last mile for societal benefit, based on scientific discovery and engineering inventions and innovations.

India is a great innovator and showcasing continuous gradual progress in it. In the Global Innovation Index (GII), India ranks 48 (2020), making it into the top 50 for the first time. Prof Manna believes that India has enough talent and potential to make it into the top 10. “Let us ensure that Science-Engineering-Technology in India complement each other and flourish together so that our society soon achieves the desired culture, growth and prosperity,” Prof Manna Concluded.

In his welcome address, Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, SRM University-AP, said that the development and use of Science & Technology are critical for the achievement and sustenance of various sectors. The importance of Science and Technology to modern society and the role of the technologically educated population in promoting social and environmental developments have long been recognised. Science and technology are considered the most effective means to enhance the growth and socio-economic developments of nations. Moreover, the universalism of science and the globalisation of technological production and trade offer unprecedented opportunities for focused cooperation for scientists, engineers and the institutions that employ them to further progress in sustainable development. Even, National Education Policy-2020 advocated multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research for sustainable development.

In his concluding remarks, Prof V S Rao, Vice-chancellor, SRM University-AP, congratulated Prof Indranil Manna on delivering such a motivating lecture. He further honoured him by presenting a memento.

Dr Anil K Suresh, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, and his team from SRM University-AP recently developed a see-through transparent (with 85% above transmittance) biotemplate which they derived from the fish scale wastes to substitute the extensive usage of eco-unfriendly disposal plastic cuvettes for UV-Visible Spectroscopy measurements in the spectrum of 350-900 nm. UV-Vis spectroscopy is a versatile analytical tool used to examine the nature of various synthetic, biological and clinical molecules for pharmaceutical and environmental applications. The team members demonstrated the practical on-biotemplate analysis of diverse analytes such as DNA, proteins, nanoparticles, organic dyes, bacteria, BSA assay and dye-degradations.

Dr Anil claims that the large-scale development of the biotemplate can resolve several issues in performing sustainable research; for instance, generates huge demand for fish scales as a resource stratagem otherwise causative of foul smell and disease propagation when discarded. Second, the use of non-biodegradable plastic cuvettes can be minimized for routine analytics and third, unlike plastic cuvettes that demand 500-fold analyte our biotemplate allows the analysis at a very low 10 microlitre volumes, making it feasible to analyse expensive, rare, and high-risk analytes. Dr Anil K Suresh owns the copyrights for this pathbreaking invention by being granted an Indian patent. This work is accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of “Green Chemistry” by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Read the full paper here.

Adding to the mechanistic, Dr Anil said, “naturally acquired droplet retaining ability for over 30 minutes against gravity while vertically positioning the biotemplate supported such ultra-low volume measurements and monitoring of chemical reactions in-situ”. Interestingly, the same ability allows the retrieval of the analytes after completion of the analysis, crucial for precious analytes. Dr Anil says the best part is that the transparent biotemplate can be discarded back into the environment post-usage without any hesitation as the biotemplate is completely biodegradable.

Further, the research group demonstrated ease in large-scale production by generating ~3000 bio templates at an affordable price. Dr Anil emphasised that this low-cost, plastic-free, use-and-throw biodegradable transparent biotemplate stemmed from food waste as a bioresource stratagem has huge potential in routine scientific and pharma UV-Vis analytics and he will very soon bring this product to the scientific community as a sustainable science solution.

Dr Anil Suresh concluded that this breakthrough conception would not have been possible without the rigorous efforts of his team and the continuous support from the university management, who are also encouraging and willing to support Dr Anil to establish his own start-up within the University. Dr Anil Suresh thanked his group members Ms Divya Parimi, Mr Chandra Bhatt, Mr Tharun Bollu and Ms Madhura, his collaborators Dr Malli and Mr Jacob. Dr Anil’s team especially thanked the management of SRM University-AP; the President Dr P. Sathyanarayanan for his generous support, Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for his constant untiring encouragement, motivation and support in all his scientific endeavours, and the Vice-Chancellor Prof V S Rao for his kind support.

Swikriti Khadke, Pragya Gupta, and Shanmukh Rachakunta from third-year Computer Science Engineering have published a research paper titled “Efficient Plastic Recycling and Remold Circular Economy using the Technology of Trust – Blockchain” along with their mentors from SRM University-AP Dr Jatindra Kumar Dash, Dr Goutam Kumar Dalapati and Dr Sabyasachi Chakrabortty in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability.

Global plastic waste is increasing rapidly. The strategic management of plastic waste and recycling can preserve environmental species and associated costs. The utilization of plastic can be done by introducing Blockchain during plastic waste recycling. Automation for the segregation and collection of plastic waste can effectively establish a globally recognizable tool using Blockchain-based applications. Collection and sorting of plastic recycling are feasible by keeping track of plastic with unique codes or digital badges throughout the supply chain. Efficient recycling technology is essential to reduce plastic pollution. Many technologies have been employed to enhance plastic recycling. Among them, blockchain is promising for plastic recycling and circular economy (CE). Blockchain, a distributed ledger, consists of some ordered blocks which are unchangeable. This can be considered an exemplary way to push the transactions of their customers under the same blockchain technology. The research group used machine learning techniques to predict plastic generation globally so that they could see the impact it will make in the coming future. The students have used ARIMA – Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average for the study.

The potential idea is to utilize an approach wherein recyclers can keep track of generated waste as it moves through the various chains. A platform that works by tracking recycling activities across a local recycling supply chain on the Blockchain. When this will be publicly available, consumers can also use the ledger info to make more informed purchasing decisions. The Blockchain can be utilized to track individual items through the recycling supply chain by creating physical markers like QR codes.

The suggested Blockchain-based platform can be implemented in various nations with an autonomous waste collector and storage system. This process can be expanded to individual collectors and storage systems. The novel process will be created by incorporating a reward-based Blockchain scheme with the collaboration of global businesses and local waste collectors. The proposed model further allows the effective sharing of databases among various supply chains to create a CE.

Talking about the social implications of the research, the students firmly believe that the study will result in the introduction of new technology in the recycling industry and promote awareness about technology in rural areas. Developing a platform and implementing blockchain and other facilities will be the focus of these young innovative brains of SRM University-AP in the forthcoming days.

Read the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169142

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student of the Department of Biological Sciences at SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, Faraz Azeem, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, Philippines. The scholarship will enable Faraz to carry out a part of his PhD research under the supervision of Dr Jauhar Ali, Senior Scientist-II, Head – Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC), Leader – Hybrid Rice Breeding Cluster, Rice Breeding Platform, International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines, for a period of one year and four months.

Faraz joined SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, in January 2021 and is working on “Understanding the genetics and molecular biology of nitrogen-use efficiency in rice” under the guidance of Prof Jayaseelan Murugaiyan, HoD, Department of Biological Sciences, SRM University-AP. Dr P Sathyanarayanan, President; Prof V S Rao, Vice-Chancellor; Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of SRM University-AP congratulated Faraz for this accomplishment.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is a global agricultural research and training organisation with offices in seventeen countries and headquarters in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. IRRI is well-known for its role in producing rice varieties that contributed to the 1960s Green Revolution, which helped Asia avoid famine. The CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, a global alliance of institutions involved in food security research, includes 15 agricultural research centres worldwide. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is one of the Asia’s largest non-profit agricultural research facility.

SRM University-AP provides a wide array of opportunities and benefits along with its PhD Programmes. The nascent university has more than 150 PhD students to date in various departments of Engineering, Science, Liberal Arts, Business Administration and Social Sciences. SRM University-AP university has a vibrant research environment with state-of-the-art facilities along with attractive fellowship and complimentary food and accommodation at the university campus. The faculty advisers have paramount knowledge and experience in research along with international exposure. The university also provides support for journal publications, patent filing, and attending national and international conferences.

SRM University-AP further has MoUs with reputed universities abroad for Student Exchange Programme. In addition, the university is conducting research projects funded by prominent organisations, industries and the Government of India. Research projects sponsored by DST, DST-NSM, DBT, DBT-Wellcome Trust, UGC-DAE, ARBL, Titan industries etc are a few of the current ongoing projects.

Dr Nimai Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, along with his research group comprising of students pursuing PhD under him, Ms V.G.Vasavi Dutt and Mr Syed Akhil has published a research article titled Cesium Lead Bromide Perovskite Nanocrystals as a Simple and Portable Spectrochemical Probe for Rapid Detection of Chlorides in the Journal ChemistrySelect (Publisher: Wiley-VCH on behalf of Chemistry Europe, Impact Factor-2.2).

Chloride anions are widely abundant in water and when they combine with calcium, potassium, and magnesium, they form chloride salts. However, the higher concentrations badly affect the environment by causing severe dehydration and even plant death. High concentrations of sodium chloride exhibit the potential of corrosive damage thereby releasing toxic metals from plumbing fixtures. Hence, there is a need to monitor the concentration levels of chloride salts in water. Several techniques like titration, spectrophotometry, ion chromatography, electrochemistry, etc have been reported to date. Despite the high accuracy and precision of these techniques, they involve expensive instrumentation and is out of reach from on-site detection. Hence, it is necessary to look for simple, portable, and cost-effective strategies for the detection of chlorides in the water.

In this article, Dr Mishra’s research group demonstrated that the wide spectral tunability of CsPbBr3 perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) via instantaneous and facile anion exchange, make them a suitable candidate for chloride detection. Rapid anion-exchange processes between CsPbBr3 perovskite NCs and different chloride solutions were carried out in ambient conditions. The resultant anion-exchanged CsPbCl3-xBrx NCs preserved the structural properties and exhibited a remarkable blue shift in photoluminescence spectra. This forms a basis for the detection of chloride ions in water. This has been applied with the limit of detection up to 100 µM. The detection strategies were not only limited to the direct addition of chloride solutions to NCs, but they also showed a visual colour change under UV light when the chloride solution is drop-casted on CsPbBr3 films that are deposited on glass substrates. Furthermore, the detection strategy is established by drop-casting CsPbBr3 NCs onto paper strips that are pre-soaked in chloride solutions. A considerable blue shift in fluorimetry proves them to be an excellent sensing medium as practical spectrochemical probes for on-site detection of chlorides. Based on this, a colour chart and selectivity chart to access the presence of chlorides and their concentration is also demonstrated.

Read the full paper here

An interactive session between Prof U Ramamurty, President Chair Professor, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, and the faculty members of SRM University – AP, Andhra-Pradesh was held on Monday.

During the discussion, Prof Ramamurty emphasized the importance of research collaboration between faculty members from different research areas and about utilizing expertise to achieve significant scientific output.

Dr Pardhasaradhi Maram from the Department of Chemistry, Dr Sabyasachi Mukhopadhyay from the Department of Physics, and Prof G S Vinod Kumar from the Department of Mechanical Engineering presented their detailed research areas that focus on storage devices, catalysts for value-added products, energy and sensing devices, novel metallic materials, additive manufacturing of metals and Bio-implants, and industry collaborative research work.

Prof Ramamurty said that he is glad to see that productive science is being done at SRM University-AP. “Given that the University has started only 4 years ago and been functioning amidst a pandemic for more than one and a half years, the progress in research is significant and very impressive. Interdisciplinary efforts between various departments in the University will give effective results”, he added.

Prof D Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, SRM University – AP expressed his interest in establishing NTU – SRM joint Centre for Advanced Research in functional and structural materials at SRM University campus to Prof Ramamurty. The centre that Prof Rao envisions will provide an opportunity to synergize the expertise and resources of NTU, Singapore, and SRM University – AP to carry out front-line research in the areas of novel materials, self-healing materials and also additive manufacturing (3D Printing of metals and bio-implants).

A research paper titled “Nitrogen doping derived bridging of Graphene and Carbon Nanotube composite for oxygen electroreduction” has been published by Prof Ranjit Thapa, Professor of Physics, SRM University – AP, as a co-author, in International Journal of Energy Research, having Impact Factor of 5.164.

In this work, the research group investigated the origin of high catalytic activity of oxidic-N configuration in nitrogen-doped CNT and graphene heterostructure using density functional theory (DFT). We have plotted the free energy profile of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) to estimate the thermodynamic overpotential and catalytic performance of the respective active sites. The overpotential is related to the quantifying parameter ∆GOH (with R2 = 0.98) and the π electron density at the Fermi level, defined as an electronic descriptor, which is highly correlated with the ∆GOH with R2 value 0.96. For various N doped configurations, we correlated the ∆GOH values with π electron density at the Fermi level and found that the carbon site adjacent to the oxide-N configuration is a more prominent site for ORR. Further, we show that the oxidic-N configuration in the heterostructure of graphene and CNT is the ideal configuration, which gives a lower overpotential of 0.54 eV for ORR on adjacent carbon sites. Therefore, the charge transfer occurs from underneath CNT to graphene and increases the value of π electron density at the Fermi level which leads to the higher catalytic performance of the active site.

In the early 20th century, fuel cells were invented and their global impact has not reached up to its regular commercialization when compared with battery technology. The fuel cell device could be a powerful technique to generate electricity for large energy demand without greenhouse gas emissions. However, other major hurdles in the commercialization of fuel cell devices are the cost of platinum (as a catalyst), its poisoning and stability. Recently, carbon-based materials such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and activated carbon have been evolved as metal-free low-cost catalysts due to their (i) high abundance/yield (ii) reactivity towards oxygen just by introducing impurities like heteroatoms or other metals. However, identifying an efficient design principle to search optimal doping configurations in various carbon systems is a grand challenge for researchers.

This work is done in collaboration with Research Institute, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, Kattankulathur-603203, Chennai (India).

In future, the study aims to propose the effective design principle for various doped carbon systems as a catalyst to identify the optimal active sites and configurations for ORR. The role of π orbital in carbon systems such as graphene, graphene nanoribbons, carbon nanotube, etc is very important and can be a general electronic descriptor to define catalytic activity. Also, π electron descriptors and machine learning algorithms based combined approach can boost the search for ideal carbon catalyst for ORR with low DFT cost.

Read the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.1002/er.7179