Fourier holography

A paper titled “Sparse reconstruction for integral Fourier holography using Dictionary Learning method” has been published by Dr Inbarasan Muniraj, Dr Karthikeyan Elumalai and Dr Sunil Chinnadurai – Assistant Professors of Electronics and Communications Engineering at SRM University-AP, along with PhD students Lakshmi Kuruguntla and Vineela Chandra Dodda.

The paper proposes reconstructing holograms from fewer data, thereby reducing the need for processing the complete hologram data, which is otherwise computationally expensive.

Abstract: A simplified method was demonstrated to generate a hologram from multiple two-dimensional (2D) images. Sparse reconstruction was shown using the Sequential Generalised K-means (SGK) algorithm. It is shown that the proposed sparse reconstruction method provides a good hologram quality, in terms of peak signal-to-noise ratio, even under ~90% sparsity.

The paper is written in collaboration with Professor John T Sheridan, Vice-Principal for Research & Innovation – College of Engineering & Architecture, Head of School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin, Ireland.

Holography has been shown useful for biomedical imaging, cryptography, data storage, and entertainment. The future plans of the research group include extending this approach to other holographic systems such as digital holography and holographic microscopy.

kinetic model interactions

Dr Soumyajyoti Biswas, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, had two lucky breaks as he got his article “Kinetic Exchange Models of Societies and Economies” featured in the prestigious journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, the theme issue co-edited by Dr Biswas himself, along with Dr Guiseppe Toscani from the University of Pavia, and Dr Parongama Sen from the University of Calcutta. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society has the prestige of being the world’s longest-running science journal launched in 1665. Publishing high-quality theme issues on topics of current importance and general interest within the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences, the journal continues its history of influential scientific publishing.

A kinetic model of binary interaction, with conserving or non-conserving exchange, has been an elegant and powerful tool to explain collective phenomena in myriad human interaction-based problems, where an energy consideration for dynamics is generally inaccessible. Nonetheless, in this age of Big Data, seeking empirical regularities emerging out of collective responses is a prominent and essential approach, much like the empirical thermodynamic principles preceding quantitative foundations of statistical mechanics.

Through this theme issue, the authors intend to bring together the current progress in the applications of kinetic exchange models in various applications of societies (opinion formations, rating, social networks, fake news, etc.) and economies (inequality measures, taxation, trade models, behavioral economics, etc.) using numerical simulations, machine learning techniques, analytical methods, and data analysis, reported by physicists, social scientists, mathematicians and economists through some of the original and reviewed articles.

In human interactions, such as a trade (exchange of money) or, discussions or debates (exchange of opinions), following simple dynamical rules, a collection of agents (a society) shows emergent properties that are widely seen in real data (distributions of wealth, formation of consensus, etc.). Without knowing the complexities that are involved at the individual levels, it is, therefore, possible to understand the average properties of the society as a whole. This is reminiscent of simple elastic collisions of ideal gas molecules that give average thermodynamic properties, such as temperature, pressure, etc. without knowing the complexities of the individual atoms. This has been a widely followed route to formulate statistical physical models of societies and economies.

The kinetic exchange models have been a very successful set of tools to understand the socio-economic emergent properties from simple models. Among other things, these models helped understand the growth of economic inequalities, the effects of taxes as well as the spread of opinions. A close quantitative resemblance with real data from various countries of the world demonstrates its usefulness.

The future prospects of the kinetic exchange models for societies and economies include possible predictions of extreme fluctuations in average measurable quantities by looking at the inequality of time series data. The models can help us in identifying the features of the real data that can mirror the underlying extreme fluctuations.

workplace well-being

Employee wellbeing and productivity of the organisation are closely interlinked concepts mutually impacting each other in the long run. The idea of workspace wellness and health promotion has been making rounds in recent times, and the outset of the coronavirus pandemic has given added importance to the topic. Having conducted intense study in this regard, Prof AVS Kamesh and his PhD scholar Ms Ashrafunnisa Mohammed from the Department of Management have authored a chapter titled ‘’Evaluating the Role of Workplace Well-Being in Enhancing Employee Productivity in the 21st Century’’, in book Transforming Lives through Mindfulness published by IIM Bodh Gaya AND Excel India Publishers.

Their study tries to evaluate the unique role of workplace well-being in enhancing employee productivity in the 21st century. The contemporary business world is characterised by organisations competing against each other. In a dynamic and complex business environment, the main aim of modern corporate organisations is to retain talented employees by ensuring mindfulness and workplace well-being because these employees are the main sources of competitive advantage from a strategic point of view. Thus, an enhanced level of workplace wellbeing is an effort to create happy and productive workers so that they work optimally and happily. Work is a key social determinant of population health and well-being.

Workplace well-being in India is often focused on changing individual health behaviours through employer wellness programs. The Covid-19 health crisis brought into focus, some of the limitations of present approaches revealing structural conditions that intensify the physical and psychosocial problems of employees and their family members. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic augured the new dimension of workplace well-being by converting home into a happy place to work. This perspective leads management experts and human resource managers to think about a combined model of work and home as a place of well-being.

This chapter is significant in the times of Post Covid-19 with new perspectives evolving to discuss work-life balance and well-being at workplace which are significantly related to the productivity of the employees. The article mainly targets management educators, corporate managers and personnel managers from public sector companies in India, calling for a comprehensive renovation in the workplace environment.

‘Energy Conversion & Management’ is a journal that belongs to the top 2% of the “Renewable Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment” subject category. Publishing a paper with an impact factor of 9.7 in such a journal is a considerable achievement. Assistant Professors Dr Sabyasachi Chakrabortty and Dr Mahesh Kumar Ravva and their PhD scholar Ms Mounika Sai Ambati from the Department of Chemistry have accomplished this by publishing a paper titled Photovoltaic/Photo-Electrocatalysis Integration for Green Hydrogen: A review in this Q1 journal.

Abstract of the research

Photovoltaic/Photo-ElectrocatalysisSolar light-driven hydrogen generation via water splitting is essential to combat global warming and CO2 emission. The production of hydrogen from fossil fuels produces massive amounts of CO2. Developing a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to hydrogen production is the need of the hour. Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a clean way to produce hydrogen by using water. The hydrogen generated through water splitting is referred to as Green Hydrogen. Photoelectrochemical water splitting uses metal oxides as photocathode/anode. The challenges that occur here are stability, low efficiency, and large-scale development (reusable electrodes are essential). Hence, the primary goal is to demonstrate photoelectrodes using different metal oxides by in-situ doping of different metals to detect the challenges.

dst serb grant

Dr Divya Chaturvedi from the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering has been awarded the SERB-POWER research grant that amounts to a total of 29 lakhs for a period of three years. The grant was sanctioned for her research titled “Development of Breast Cancer Detecting System Based on Microwave Antenna-Array-Sensors and its Implementation to Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)”.

SERB- POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)  research grants is a scheme initiated by the Government of India with an aim to encourage emerging and eminent women researchers for individual-centric and competitive mode of research funding to undertake R&D activities in frontier areas of science and engineering.

Her study on developing a breast cancer detection system has gained immense attention due to the global increase of the malady in recent decades. It has become the most common cancer diagnosed in women across all age groups. Despite the different tests such as Mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI available to diagnose the disease, there has been little considerable improvement in bringing down the caseload.

Dr Divya’s research intends to develop an advanced detection technique based on Antenna-Array-Sensors and she is attempting to put it into implementation through the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Connecting the medical devices to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks will allow the easier and quicker detection of the defect. This may go down as a milestone achievement in the medical domain.

The research grant will help in building better- equipped research lab with the most modern amenities and hiring more manpower to fulfil the project objectives. In the words of Dr Divya, “Better research facilities will aid the faculty in performing various experiments. They will save their travelling time to other universities for accessing research infrastructure. The students can also avail the advantage to intensify their research initiatives”. Through the project she envisions to establish a collaborative dedicated research group that will help in fulfilling the various objectives of the project.

The structure of human society is always profoundly affected by the developments happening in the domain of communication. Data security and privacy have always been a concern in the ongoing communication revolution. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is glad to inform you that the paper, “An Efficient Spatial Transformation-based Entropy Retained Reversible Data Hiding Scheme in Encrypted Images,” has been published by Dr V M Manikandan, Assistant Professor, and his PhD student Mr Shaiju Panchikkil in “Optical Journal” with an impact factor of 2.443.

Abstract of the research

A critical issue with the current communication revolution is data security and privacy, which is an inevitable part of trustworthiness in the communication system. Hence, the applicability of the Reversible Data Hiding schemes (RDH) in this scenario is encouraging and critical, like medical image communication, satellite image transmission, etc. Earlier, we explored Arnold transform in one of our previous works to hide the secret data that uses the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model to design a complete RDH scheme. The proposed scheme follows a statistical approach to support recovering the cover image and the embedded information. This approach proves advantageous over the previous work following its computational capability. The scheme designed can retain the entropy of the encrypted images even after embedding the additional information, complementing the security of the encryption algorithm.

Explanation of the research

data securityThe research focuses on hiding information in an encrypted image and transmitting it to the receiver. Earlier, the researchers used the Arnold transform-based image scrambling algorithm to facilitate the data hiding. But at the receiver end, they have used a convolutional neural network model, which acts as a binary classifier to recover the image properly after extracting the hidden information. The researchers had a few overheads over there, like training the model and then sharing the same with the receiver to recover the original image efficiently. To overcome these overheads, they analysed the correlation of neighboring pixels and introduced a statistical measure at the receiver end to recover the exact image.

Social implications of the research

One of the various social implications of the research is an application concerning patient treatment. In a general scenario, during the covid 19 pandemic, people make an online consultation with the doctor by uploading their medical images. If the doctor wants to take a specialist’s opinion, he should send this image and the diagnosis report via a communication medium. The research team’s approach is meaningful in this aspect. The original image is initially encrypted, which makes it unreadable. The diagnosis report information is hidden over the encrypted image. Hence the doctor needs to send only a single file to the specialist. It is also difficult for an external agent or an unauthorized party to decode the report and the image as it is encrypted. Now it is essential to regain the original quality of the recovered image, as any degradation in the quality of the recovered image can lead to a wrong diagnosis. Hence, they have designed the recovery module carefully to extract all the hidden information and recover the original image without compromising its quality.

The researchers are in constant collaboration with Professor Yu-Dong Zhang from the University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK, to introduce new strategies to elevate the embedding capacity from the current level without negotiating the quality of the recovered image.

health expenditure

Middle East countries are characterized by a growing burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases in recent times. These are health conditions that require regular access to care in order to lower their morbidity and mortality burden. Hence, healthcare-focused research and development spending has the potential to uncover new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of different health conditions, lower their cost of care, along with reducing morbidity and mortality burden in the population.

Having conducted comprehensive research in this regard, an article titled “Predicting Key Drivers for Health Care Expenditure Growth in the Middle East Region: A Grossman-PLS Modeling Approach” has been published by Dr Shailender Singh and his PhD scholar Mr Muhammad Muazu Bala from the Department of Commerce. It was published in the Journal, ‘Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research’ having an Impact Factor of 2.31. The research was led in collaboration with Dr Nishant Kumar from Amity University, Noida.

The results obtained from the study show that the supply side of care (HSCI) has contributed more than the demand side (SDI) in determining the overall level of health care expenditure of the Middle East countries. This implied that massive investment targeted at achieving high-quality healthcare systems is more noticeable in determining the overall level of health care expenditure. Though progress towards a high-quality health system is a desirable health care goal, particularly for LMICs (Low- and middle-income countries), available evidence shows that expenditure on research and development is quite low.

The study recommends an expansion of health insurance coverage to induce greater utilization of health care services particularly among the aging cohort of the population. The promoters of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank have emphasized that obtaining health insurance coverage will induce greater access to health services without facing financial hardships. In line with the findings of this study, since real wage is statistically significant, mandatory employment-based health insurance may induce greater utilization of health services and provide financial risk protection for formal sector employees.

However, this alone will not suffice to achieve greater improvement in health outcomes, especially for LMICs characterized by the largest share of informal sector employment. Thus, other forms of health insurance such as community–based health insurance may help to cover the informal sector and the vast segment of the population that lives in rural areas. Moreover, other pro-poor publicly financed health care payment mechanisms could be a promising path for promoting access to health services and guaranteeing financial risk protection for the poor.

health expenditure

The research infers that health system stakeholders in the Middle East should prioritize exploiting the available resources for strengthening the capacity of their health systems. Also, available data shows that expenditure on research and development is quite low and thus should be considerably increased so that new inventions, innovations, and discoveries could be unleashed for better understanding, treatment, and diagnosis of different health conditions for improving health outcomes.


Abstract of the Research

Initially, this study provides empirical evidence to the Grossman theoretical model using macro-level panel data for 15 countries of the Middle East region from 2000 through 2016. During the second phase, contradistinction analysis is executed and a parallel model of the demand for care as a function of health system capacity indicators is estimated. Lastly, for robustness checks, a new predictive model is developed carrying forward the outcome from Grossman and the parallel models. A variance-based partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is applied to analyse the interaction between health expenditure and the latent construct: socio-demographic factor and health system capacity. Results elucidate that the relative wage rate and the ageing variables are the only indicators that are statistically significant with theoretically consistent signs as postulated by Grossman’s theoretical model. The exact opposite is true with schooling and the proxy of the medical care relative prices. However, in the parallel model, all the four drivers of the demand for care are statistically significant with robust standard errors. Therefore, the Middle East’s data has comparatively a better fit in the parallel model than it does in the Grossman model. Also, the integrated estimation model supports the results of the separate models.

nava kerala fellowship

The Government of Kerala has chosen Dr Anu Kuriakose from the Department of English for the prestigious Chief Minister’s Nava Kerala Research Fellowship in the stream of Political Science, Historical Studies, Humanities & Liberal Arts. The award has been designed by Kerala Government to further the state’s development plans by promoting research across various disciplines. Dr Anu obtained the grant for her intriguing study in the domain of gender studies. She intends to look at the digital turn in the genderqueer movements in Kerala with a cross-cultural perspective from any specific locale in Europe.

There have been many research studies involving the examination of queer and trans representation in media. With the turn of the century, we witnessed a remarkable shift in the digital representation of the queer community.

Through her research “Dissenting Heteronormativity and Mainstreaming Identity: A Critical Assessment of the Digital Turn in GenderQueer Movements in Kerala”, Dr Anu is fixated on uncovering the digital collectives in which Malayali genderqueer people are also a part of and the digital turn in the genderqueer movement in Kerala, of late.

She expressed her delight over receiving this opportunity that could help her make substantial contributions to the state’s progress. “I feel proud and humbled for getting this title; my project aims to map the genderqueer movements, the digitally networked associations of which Malayali gender non-conforming people are part, and the nuances of their digital turn at present”, she said.

The Department of English, University of Calicut, has agreed to be a hosting centre for the research project. The GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Karlstad University Sweden, has also agreed to collaborate. She also wishes to make SRM University-AP a stakeholder in the same.

“I am hugely motivated by the weight SRM University-AP gives to research. From making collaborations to publishing papers in reputed journals and receiving grants from external bodies, the university has anchored as an encouraging platform to stimulate the research pursuits of its faculty and students”, she maintained. “I am truly indebted to my peers and everyone here for providing a conducive environment to fructify my research interests”, remarked Dr Anu.

Dr Karthik Rajendran, Assistant Professor from the Department of Environmental Science, has added another paper to his list of publications. His paper titled Towards green whiskey production: anaerobic digestion of distillery by-products and the effects of pretreatment has been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production (Q1 category) with an impact factor of 9.2.

Abstract of the research

Green whiskey productionUsing renewable biogas from anaerobic digestion of distillery by-products as a low carbon heat source can decarbonise the distillery process and support the distillery industry for a transition to a more sustainable production process. The study investigated the anaerobic digestion performance of different types of whiskey by-products and the effects of acid pre-treatment on the digestion of solid by-products. Results of biomethane potential assays showed that the methane yield from the unprocessed by-products was 330 mL/g volatile solids (VS) from draff, 495 mL/g VS from thin stillage, and 503 mL/g VS from thick stillage. For the processed by-products, the specific methane yield was 370 mL/g VS from cake maize, 382 mL/g VS from wet distillers’ grains with solubles (WDGS), and 545 mL/g VS from syrup. Acid pre-treatment (1% H2SO4 at 135 ◦C for 15 min) did not significantly improve the methane yield from solid by-products (such as draff and WDGS) but reduced the digestion time by 54.5% for cake maize. The microbial community analysis revealed that methane production from the untreated and acid-pre-treated solid by-products (draff and WDGS) was mainly through the hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis pathway. The gross thermal energy in the form of methane produced from 100 tonnes of mixed unprocessed by-products (draff, thin stillage, and thick stillage) was calculated as 24.4 MWthh equivalents to 60.6% of the thermal energy consumed in whiskey production, which affected the same percentage of CO2 emissions reduction.

Explanation of the research

Many industries meet their energy demand based on the fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which increases carbon dioxide emissions. Alcohol production is one of the heavy fossil fuel using industries, especially in distillation. The waste after alcohol production can be used to produce methane, which can be used as energy in distillation, reducing the need for energy consumption. By consuming the waste and producing energy, up to 60% of thermal energy could be reduced. This also reduces the CO2 emission by 60%. Alcohol industries can use their waste to decarbonise the energy demand, thus meeting the net-zero. India is expected to reach net-zero by 2070, which will be a bigger addition as a part of it.

In this research, Dr Karthik Rajendran has collaborated with Professor Jerry Murphy, UCC, Ireland, and Dr Richen Lin, UCC, Ireland. Applying the similar concept in the Indian context is his future plan for this research.


SIRE 2022-23

SERB International Research Experience (SIRE) is a coveted opportunity for passionate researchers to collaborate with leading institutions across the globe for high-end research training in frontier areas of Science and Technology. Dr Raviteja from the Department of Civil Engineering has earned this opportunity through his resourceful project titled “Sustainable Ash based Geosynthetic Clay Liners for MSW Landfills”. The work proposes a sustainable design of solid waste landfill liners using industrial by-products like fly ash.

Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills need to be lined at the bottom to avoid contaminant transport. The conveyance of noxious pollutants from the landfill to the natural ground can be restricted using natural or synthetic barriers. In general, natural materials like clays/bentonites in combination with geomembranes (GMB) are used in liners. However, to increase the strength properties and reduce the compressibility characteristics, bentonites are often mixed with sand. With the increased cost and scarcity of sand, there is a renewed interest among the researchers to identify an alternative material to replace sand proportion in compacted GCLs in MSW landfills. Among several materials, fly ash is proved to be a potential substitute for sand in landfill liners.

This experience will serve as an excellent opportunity to work at one of the world-renowned, state-of-the-art geoenvironmental laboratories at the University of Illinois Chicago. “I feel fortunate to collaborate with Prof. Krishna Reddy, one of the eminent researchers in the geoenvironmental research fraternity. My research at UIC would be on developing sustainable ash-based geosynthetic clay liners for MSW landfills. I also wish to pursue recent advances in this area and identify a framework for my future research”, said Dr Raviteja. The project will help him establish strong research collaborations with experts in the geotechnical labs at other US universities. He can also make field visits to identify the practical problems and direct his research toward the real-field applicability.

With an enriching research exposure at UIC, he will be able to formulate innovative and advanced research problems to enhance the visibility and applicability of his project. Presenting this work at various conferences and seminars will also attract various potential collaborations and MoU with other universities abroad. According to him, “this is a less explored domain that will immensely benefit research scholars and undergraduate students to invent new possibilities and scopes in the future”.