Heat stress negatively affects crop yield and its impact has increased over time. Researchers in India study this situation with utmost priority. Consequently, Dr Ghanshyam Kumar Pandey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at SRM University-AP has co-authored a paper with Pratap S Birthal and et. al titled “Benefits of irrigation against heat stress in agriculture: Evidence from wheat crop in India” in the journal Agricultural Water Management, Vol 255, having an Impact factor 4.02.

Applying the fixed effects regression technique to the highly spatially disaggregated district-level data from 1966–67 to 2011–12. This paper has assessed the impact of heat stress on wheat production in India and concurrently evaluated the role of irrigation in offsetting its harmful impact. The study has brought out three key highlights:

(i) Heat stress negatively impacts crop yield, and the impact has increased over time.
(ii) Irrigation, besides its contribution towards improving crop yield, also moderates the harmful impact of heat stress, but over time its effectiveness has declined.
(iii) The measure of heat stress built on multiple aspects of excess temperature (i.e., intensity, persistence, and frequency) explains variation in crop yield better than working on a single aspect of it.

Given the increasing scarcity of irrigation water and rising temperature, these findings suggest the need for exploring technological and policy options for improving irrigation water use, efficiency, and breeding of crops for heat tolerance and low water footprints.

This research paper is written in collaboration with ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, PUSA, New Delhi. Dr Ghanshyam’s future projects are focused on climate change and agriculture, and the effect of climate change on the livestock sector in India.

Read the full paper here:

Yoganand B, Parshal Chitrakar, Agniswar Paul, Abirami Ravishankar are four brilliant students from the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at SRM University-AP who have successfully completed an international internship with EION Wireless Inc, Canada. The students worked as engineering interns with this reputed wireless solutions firm in Canada for five and a half months (Jan 15- June 30) obtaining an internship salary of 500 CAD per student every month. Through this opportunity, the students could build a system that is able to send data to long distances.

Selection Process:
a. Internal selection: Based on the CV and projects undertaken, the ECE Faculty conducted interviews and shortlisted the students.
b. Personal Interview: The shortlisted students attended the interview with the company in which, the company scrutinised their project, skills, and whether they were relevant to the company’s requirements.
c. Techincal Interview: This round focused on analysing technical skills. A technical problem statement was given to members and was asked to come up with a solution in 10 minutes.
d. Coding test: In this round, coding questions were distributed and students had to submit documents of output and on how the code was processed.

For engineering graduates, technical skills and hands-on experience with industry is inevitable. SRM University-AP ensures that every student grabs opportunities to excel in their respective disciplines.

Student Testimonial- Parshal Chitrakar:

I would like to thank the faculty of the ECE Department at SRM AP for this great opportunity. Being a part of this internship programme by EION wireless has been one of my first and best experiences in the industry. Being a fresher, this opportunity gave me a chance to apply my knowledge and skills in developing real-time applications. This five and a half months internship taught me different ways to look at things, work with people from diverse backgrounds, and helped me develop my technical as well as soft skills. Before this, I was focused only on personal achievements, but when we work for a company it has to be focused on the public demand and common good. I think this is the main difference between academia and industry. There is no such difference between academic-based projects and industry-based projects; it is just how we think, showcase our abilities and how our work reaches the target stakeholders.

For Ajay Sugandh, securing admission to one of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) is a dream come true. Clearing the Common Admission Test (CAT) with a percentile of 90, he has bagged an admission offer at IIM, Ranchi. CAT is a national-level computer-based management entrance examination to reputed IIMs. More than 2 lakh candidates appear for the test and a few with a percentile of 90-99 secure a position on one of the IIM campuses.

IIM Ranchi is a reputed business school established in the year 2009 and is the ninth IIM in the country. It holds the 10th rank in the NIRF ranking. The eligibility of the candidates is evaluated through CAT, followed by the written eligibility test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI).

Ajay Sugandh is a CSE graduate hailing from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. After completing an MBA from IIM, Ranchi, he wishes to pursue a career in Marketing. Ajay is trained by the TIME coaching institute that helped him crack the difficult test. He had prepared for a year and worked on soft skills, aptitude etc. His hobbies include watching movies and reading books.

Speaking of the support received from SRM University-AP, Ajay acknowledged, “Firstly, I am grateful to the faculty members of the Department of CSE who have been a constant support in reaching my goals. Secondly, the tremendous support from all my peers and family has encouraged me to manage my course CAT preparation together”.

Ever since the breakthrough research on H2 photogeneration from water using TiO2 under UV-light irradiation, an enormous amount of research has been conducted on photochemical H2 evolution using different semiconductor-based photocatalysts. Consequently, a research paper titled “Controlled Loading of MoS2 on Hierarchical Porous TiO2 for Enhanced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution” has been published by Prof Ranjit Thapa, Professor of Physics, SRM University – AP, as a co-author, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, having an Impact Factor of 4.189.

In this work, Prof Thapa describes three important factors for helping in the generation of hydrogen using proposed MoS2/TiO2 catalyst, (i) TiO2 for effective charge transfer, (ii) MoS2 for plasmon induction (iii) large surface area and active sites. It was shown that hierarchical porous TiO2 can be interfaced successfully with marigold-flower-like MoS2 flakes with intriguing photophysical properties, viz., visible-light response, controlled electron−hole recombination, and sustainable H2 production over prolonged light irradiation due to the synergic effect of flowerlike MoS2 and the fibrous wormhole mesoporous channel of TiO2. Further, the researchers have used density functional theory (DFT) to identify the active sites and calculated the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔGH). “We have also studied the charge density difference to understand about electron transfer pathway. The change free energy of hydrogen adsorption (ΔGH*) is a good indicator to estimate the hydrogen evolution activity in the acidic medium. From the DFT study, it is clear that O sites of MPT heterostructure are more favourable for HER reactivity”, said Prof Ranjit Thappa.

Social implications of the research:
In the last few decades, with the decline in non-renewable resources and increasing environmental pollution, significant attention has been given to renewable and clean energy domains. Hydrogen is considered one of the most suitable energy carriers due to its higher energy density per unit mass in comparison to other chemical fuels. In recent times, photocatalytic fission (Photocatalysis is a process in which light energy is used to drive pairs of chemical reactions. Through the absorption of light, an excited electron/hole pair is produced) of water has been considered an attractive solution for solar to chemical H2 energy conversion. Also, the process of water splitting is highly endothermic. Therefore, the development of an excellent, stable, efficient, and economical photocatalyst for ultrahigh H2 production efficiency is paramount to researchers.

This work is done in collaboration with the Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad 500007, India.

Prof Ranjit Thapa is doing an investigation to find the possibility of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) on multiple borophene analogues (α, β12, χ3) on all unique sites. Understanding the role of the coordination number of the boron atoms in the borophene analogues with the HER efficiency, and studying the pathways Volmer-Tafel (V-T) on each site to understand the completed HER process on borophene analogues are his future research projects. His research group is also interested to identify the role of sigma and pi-electron occupancy on the V-T pathway.

Read the full paper here: