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White Papers

Our white papers are based on the recent or emerging areas of national / global interests, thoroughly researched and published in peer reviewed journals.  

The framework of nanopesticides: A paradigm in biodiversity

Shashank Shekhar; Shreya Sharma; Amit Kumar; Anjali Taneja; Bhasha Sharma

Nanotechnology has imparted excellent substitutes in the area of agriculture for the management of insect pests without deteriorating the surrounding biota and thereby allows a more verdant environment. Particular idiosyncrasies have arisen in innovative nanoagrochemicals due to the viable applications of nanotechnology in a myriad of agricultural settings. Concerns have been raised about the need for novel products, therefore they have been predicted to have considerable potential to underpin the obligatory increase in worldwide food production in a sustainable manner. Conventional strategies like assimilated pest management employed in agriculture are inadequate and the application of chemical pesticides has pernicious impacts on the environment and mankind. There is a dire need to develop a repository of safe and propitious formulations to implement a regulatory paradigm for nanopesticides. Nanopesticides are well known in agriculture to reduce costs, improve the outcomes of agricultural products and enhance shelf life and nutrition. Much research has presented the innovation in a range of industrial domains that allows the improvement in the effective use of nanopesticides in water, nanocapsules for the delivery of biocides, nanosensors for the detection of pests, etc. Furthermore, the current consumption pattern of nanopesticides and their health repercussions has been elucidated. This much needed discussion will address the gap between the need for adequate control, environmental efficacy, associated benefits and the detrimental impacts of nanoagrochemicals.

Material Advances (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2 (19), 2021.

Building sustainable societies through purpose-driven universities: A case study from Ashoka University

Anirban Chakraborty; Sumit Kumar; L.S.Shashidhara; Anjali Taneja

Sustainable Development (SD) is the universal essentiality of present times, and universities have a critical role in implementing this initiative through their functioning, policies and practices. To integrate SD goals, universities should have a global outlook that is still locally rooted in its strategies. In the last decade, various theories and recommendations have been proposed and adopted globally for integrating sustainability in higher education systems. In India, environmental education has been mandated at all formal levels in the education system. Still, there is a strong argument that it is not simply a matter of overhauling syllabi and curricula. Instead, universities should be incorporating SD goals into their research and their own operations. Our study aims to investigate the sustainability model of Ashoka University (India) that approaches its commitment through sustainability-focused courses, research, and operations. This study involves an in-depth literature review and uses an established framework to assess the condition of the university towards sustainability issues. Our case study employed observations, data collections, document reviews, and interactions with different stakeholders. The study concludes that the university is mostly in adherence with the framework at this stage. Critical areas of future development within the framework are proposed considering the global context. This research serves as an entry point for evaluating sustainability issues of the Indian higher education system, and hopes to motivate higher education communities to do further research to improve their sustainability performance and their role as agents of change

Sustainability13 (13), 2021.

Enabling a $5 trillion Indian economy: A policy framework to catalyse AI-centric technology ecosystem

Anjali Taneja; Ravi Kothari

The classical approach in establishing a system based on first principles (or rules) has been eclipsed by a newer paradigm in which a system is constructed based on examples. This newer paradigm, the basis of contemporary Artificial Intelligence (AI), allows the creation of complex systems that were impossible to create a few years ago. Not surprisingly, this newer paradigm has rapidly been adopted in diverse disciplines for discovering, modelling, and inferring from data. Besides the growing excitement associated with its potential to catalyze discoveries, it also has the potential to have profound business and economic impact. With India aspiring to become a US$ 5 trillion economy in the coming years, it is essential to evaluate the role that AI can play in helping achieve that goal. This Paper examines the potential of AI in promoting economic growth and policies that may amplify the efficacy of AI in helping India achieve its growth aspirations.

White Paper

Rare diseases in India: Time for cure-driven policy initiatives and action 

Anjali Taneja; L.S.Shashidhara; Alok Bhattacharya 

India is estimated to have a large number of patients suffering from rare diseases (RDs). More than 95% of such diseases are incurable. In many cases, the available treatments are expensive and often have to be provided lifelong to the patients. As a result, the direct and indirect costs of these diseases are significantly high, adding to the country’s socio-economic burden. It is time for India to implement healthcare policies that are focused on encouraging domestic production of drugs against RDs and finding innovative cures for them. This article delineates the existing social, economic and policy scenario governing RDs in India. It also examines some of the global policy approaches in this field. Taking a cue from such international practices, this article advocates the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework for RDs in India with the ultimate goal of ensuring ‘cure for all patients’.

Current Science, 118 (10), 2020.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka