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Research

Research

Climate Change Mitigation in India and Challenges faced

Kristi Verma

As fires raged in Amazon over 15000 km away, Indians faced the wrath of nature from intense cyclones along the coasts to extreme droughts more this year than any other over the last decade. On May 16th this year, Amphan ripped through India’s eastern coast and Bangladesh, flattening the Sundarban delta costing damages exceeding 13 billion dollars to the state government. It is the first super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. (E. Sud & P. Rajaram, 2020) On June 1st, another cyclone Nisarga hit Mumbai with winds spinning up to 75 mph. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the state of Maharashtra since 1891, causing damage worth 665 million dollars. (Cyclone Nisarga, 2020) The most recent case is of northeast India reeling under worrying weather fluctuations. Assam experienced a second wave of floods caused by incessant rainfall on June 23rd, and the challenges keep coming over. The first wave came at the end of May.

As the novel coronavirus unfolds, the narrative for climate change has shifted to “nature is healing”. While the world deals and recovers from the health and economic effects of the pandemic, the government should not make climate change a less relevant issue.

Changing Notions of Human-Leopard Conflict around Jhalana Leopard Reserve, Jaipur

Joy Joseph Gardner, Sudarshan Sharma and Shambhavi Kumari

Jhalana Forest Reserve is a forested patch that stretches across the Aravali ranges which run adjacent to the concrete jungles of the Jaipur City in Rajasthan. Although deemed as a Reserved Forest in 1961, it was not until 2018 that the Rajasthan Forest Department declared Jhalana as a Project Leopard area and proposed plans to filter and control the movement of people and vehicles into the Reserve. The forest cover consists of deciduous vegetation that shelters a variety of life in harsh climatic conditions with temperatures that go from 5°C – 45°C in winters and summers respectively. The reserve is prominently famed for approximately 28 leopards living in close proximity to human settlement. This number may vary considering efficiency levels of leopard count outside the tourism zone. Unfortunately this has also orchestrated growing human-animal conflicts in the region along with shrinking habitat and big cat territories.

This adds to the complexity of managing these conflicts. Human wildlife conflicts put stress not only on conservation efforts but also on development. This has long given wildlife conflicts somewhat of an anthropocentric view. To give relief to disputes between leopards and residents neighbouring the reserve, an NGO based in Jaipur called, “Hope and Beyond‟ has been collectively working with the Forest Department of the state towards introducing mitigation techniques. In 2016 Hope and Beyond in collaboration with “Wildlife Trust of India” and “David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation” came out with “Project: Pardus Conservation” that aimed at addressing issues related to leopard human conflicts and proper management of this forest reserve.

 

Impact of ‘Holi’ on the environment: A scientific study

Joy Joseph Gardner and Deepanjali Lal

The festival of ‘Holi’ is proving to be an environmental risk due to the toxic colors used during the celebrations. Unlimited and uncontrolled use of such dyes can lead to grave consequences in terms of human health and ecological balance. These colors are highly structured polymers and are very difficult to decompose biologically. This study was taken up with an initiative to determine the extent of effects that the ‘Holi’ colors have on water and soil, respectively. The bacteria inhabiting these contaminated water and soil samples were isolated for biochemical analyses. Their ability to degrade these dyes was determined after optimization studies. Toxic trials were conducted on certain bacterial cultures and Triticum vulgare to check their impact on the other living flora and fauna in their surrounding environment. After carefully monitoring the dye degradation capacity of these bacteria, they were used for bioremediation purposes, giving promising results. The impact assessment and damage control led to safer methods of getting rid of the ‘Holi’ dyes, in order to save our environment.

Keywords: ‘Holi’, physico-chemical parameters, dye degradation, toxicity trials, bioremediation.

Production, characterization and purification of tannase from Aspergillus niger

Deepanjali Lal and Joy Joseph Gardner

Tannin acyl hydrolase (E.C.3.1.1.20) commonly referred to as tannase, is an industrially important enzyme that is mainly used in the food, chemical, beverage and pharmaceutical industry. In this study, tannase production was investigated sing Aspergillus niger isolated from bark of tannin rich Acacia nilotica. Optimization of culture conditions for maximum tannase production included studying the effects of incubation period, incubation temperature, pH, carbon and nitrogen sources, inducers and metal ions on A. niger and enzyme activity. The optimum culture conditions determined were tannic acid as inducer, 7 days (168hrs) incubation period, 30°C incubation temperature, pH 5.0, 1%(w/v) tannic acid as carbon source and 1%(w/v) sodium nitrate as nitrogen source for maximum tannase activity. Tannase was purified 7.17 fold with a specific activity of 101.428U/ml protein and a yield of 18.35%. Molecular characterization included the zymography and purification of tannase enzyme.

Key words: Tannin acyl hydrolase, Aspergillus niger, enzyme production, characterization, purification.

Effect of anthropogenic activities on Indian pilgrimage sites; A case study of Pushkar Lake

Dr. Rama Prasad, Joy Joseph Gardner and Deepanjali Lal

Water is the source of life for all living beings. About two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water. Among many water bodies, Lakes are the most fertile, diversified and productive of all the ecosystems in the world. A variety of environmental goods and services are bestowed upon us by Lakes which makes them vulnerable to human exploitation. The fresh water Pushkar Lake is situated in the gap of the Aravallis and was used as the area of research for the present study. History claims that in the 20th century, this Lake and its catchment area were a rich source of wildlife as well as a source of water for the railways for over 70 years, till 2004. The society’s demand for economic gains has resulted in the deterioration of its water quality. Two main reasons for this loss are – high rate of sedimentation due to sand-fall from the nearby sand dunes and anthropogenic practices followed in the periphery of the Lake. The water of the Lake is getting dried up because of reversal of hydraulic gradient from Lake to groundwater, leading to rapid decline in the groundwater level of the surrounding areas also. Eutrophication and various anthropogenic activities including holy rituals and tourism are the major contributing effects of water pollution. So the present study deals with a comparative analysis of the physic-chemical analysis of the Lake water before, during and after the annual Pushkar fair. Some of the remedial measures for water conservation are increasing the water level of the Lake, increasing the groundwater level, improving the water quality, checking soil erosion, desilting the banks of the Lake, establishing a water treatment plant nearby and creating public awareness to revive the aesthetic importance of the sacred Pushkar Lake.

Keywords:

Pushkar Lake, physico-chemical analysis, water pollution, siltation, water shed conservation

Conservation of Leopards in Jaipur Forest Area Through Scientific Mitigation Techniques

Joy Gardner, Debobroto Sircar and Deepanjali Lal

Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is considered as the wittiest of all big cats in nature. Indian leopard has maintained its position at the top of the food chain in several forest areas of India. In Rajasthan, Indian leopard is facing many threats due to the ill effects of climate change along with anthropogenic activities. In the Jaipur forest area which spans 948.68 sq km., the existence of the leopard is under constant threat due to ever increasing leopard population and ever decreasing habitat and space. Humans have carved roads through the forests and there is frequent thoroughfare including light and heavy traffic. There are temples inside forest areas that are regularly visited by people. The more humans encroach the serene beauty of wildlife, the more are the impacts on wild animal behaviour. Due to this disturbance in the forest, leopards have started moving out of their safe zones and into the areas of human settlements. Many villages located in the fringe zones have a constant encounter with leopards which come out of the forest area either in search of easy food or due to retaliation following habitat destruction by villagers. Many incidents of leopard attacks on cattle, small domestic mammals and even humans have alerted the public and government about the gravity of the situation. We tried many mitigation techniques and check their results for two years and analyzed the results of the situation before and after these techniques were carried out as well as compared the threat level to with and without these mitigation techniques. The data collected was very positive and we want to take it further. This paper deals with various mitigation techniques and safety measures with their outcomes followed by scientific management of human leopard conflict in the future.

Keywords

Panthera pardus fusca, habitat destruction, human leopard conflict, livestock depredation, scientific management, mitigation techniques.

Urban Forms and the effect of Pandemic A Case Study of Jaipur

Kristi Verma

The recent studies indicate that the cities in India have reached their maximum population limits. As a result of which they are moving towards urban sprawl. To guide this growth and development, the cities across the globe opt for a long-term planning document usually referred to as a Master Plan. The Indian master plans from the past few decades have taken modern concepts of satellite towns, which result in interminable travel distances. The result of an auto-dependent development that leads to the spreading of the city taking in more rural land is referred to as Urban Sprawl. In the non-metropolitan cities, on the contrary, most of the master plans of the current Indian cities are static or out of date. Despite this comprehensive planning tool, a major challenge that the cities are facing is the overlap through the 3 tiers of Indian government which eventually leads to diffused accountability across agencies and governments. Thus, the state government often cannot function effectively at the local level.

Keywords

Urban Planning, Compact City, Urban Sprawl, Coronavirus, Sustainable Development, Urban Development, Post-pandemic society

COMPARATIVE GC-MS ANALYSIS OF CYAMOPSIS TETRAGONOLOBA FRUIT EXTRACTS

Priya Kumari Jain & Dr. Shilpi Rijhwani

Cyamopsis tetragonoloba is widely used by people and is found to have multiple medicinal utilities. Four (chloroform, ethyl acetate, methanolic and aqueous) extracts of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba fruit were therefore, analysed by Gas Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry analysis to assess their phytochemical constituents. The chloroform extract of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba fruits showed the presence of thirty one phytochemical constituents of which the major phytochemical compounds were Tetracontane and Stigmasterol. The ethyl acetate extract of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba fruit showed the presence of fifty phytochemical constituents. The important phytochemical compounds were stigmasterol and 4-tert-butylcalix [4] arene. Thirty eight phytochemicals were reported in the methanolic extract. The most important ones in term of peak area and retention time were mome inositol and 7-tetradecenal (Z). Mome inositol and 10, 12- Hexadecadien-1-ol was the primary components in a total of 30 phytochemicals obtained from the aqueous extract.