Swedish Research Council grants to
South Asia related projects 2006

Swedish Research Links 2006

Project grants for research within Humanities and Social Sciences 2006

Project grants for research within Medicine 2006

Swedish Research Links 2006

The fifth round of the so-called Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme) – grants by Sida and the Swedish Research Council – were decided upon in late October 2006. The following South Asia related project applications for Swedish Research Links (Asian–Swedish research partnership programme) were given grants for the three-years period 2007–09 (or part thereof).

ICT research institute:

• Karin Nygård-Skalman, Acreo FiberLab, Hudiksvall
Project partner in South Asia: Ashok Jhunjhunwala, The Telecommunication and Computer Networking Group
Project name: Pre-Study of Broadband Access Deployment in Rural Areas of Sweden and India. Planning Grant
Project Grant for 2007: SEK 75 000
Abstract: The aim of the pre-study is to address and study the deployment of broadband access in rural and suburban areas in India and Sweden with our research partners in India. Furthermore, we aim to investigate the possibilities to jointly develop end implement new innovative technologies, e-services and business models for the communities in the rural areas of Sweden and India. There exist differences in business models to rural areas in the two countries but still there are many similarities in providing same e-services over the network with different quality of service (QoS). We believe that this pre-study will show the benefits from a joint research collaboration between the two countries in terms of high technological exchange, cultural experiences and economical benefits. By merging the experience from Swedish National Broadband Testbed and the broadband wireless access technique corDECT developed by Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai will be the foundation for new innovative research in the areas of access technologies, E-services and business models in rural areas, both fiber and WiMAX technologies will be considered.

Göteborg University:

• Anna Godhe, Marine Botany, Department of Marine Ecology
Project partner in South Asia: Iddya Karunasagar, Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Science University, India
Project name: Inter-relation between bacteria and phytoplankton blooms along the south-west coast of India — applying advanced molecular techniques
Project Grant: SEK 602 000 SEK
Abstract: Species within the bacterial genus Vibrio are autochthonous in estuarine and seawater environments. The genus contains a great diversity of pathogenic species, including V. cholerae. In India 25% of all diarrhoeal diseases can be attributed to vibrio infections. Phytoplankton are vital for the marine ecosystem. When the environmental settings are suitable, algal blooms develop to high densities. About ten percent of all algal species are harmful, and there are solid evidences of a global increase. We, and others have found a strong correlation between dense algal biomass and high numbers of vibrios. Our aim in this collaboration is to develop quantitative molecular techniques for detection of vibrios and algae. We will study the development of phytoplankton- and subsequent bacterial blooms in the natural marine habitat. Thereafter we will investigate specific inter-relations between Vibrio spp and phytoplankton in meso- and microcosms. Fate of pathogens in the environment will without doubt reveal important and interesting results. Further, it is important to define the platform for this inter-relation, to make models for correct assumptions and risk analysis and thereby reduce unwanted impact on global health.

Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm:

Vindo Diwan• Vinod Diwan, Dept. of Public Health Sciences, Division of International health (IHCAR)
Project partner in South Asia: Ram Mohan Singh, National Center for Human Settlements and Environment, India
Project name: Information technology in Health: A geographic health management information system in Madhya Pradesh, India
Project Grant: SEK 600 000
Abstract: This project is a collaboration to use information technology for better health management in Madhya Pradesh, India. (Madhya Pradesh is a central Indian province with 60.4 million people. 73% are rural). It is a convergence of knowledge between Sweden which has experience with well functioning health management information systems, and India which has good local programming expertise in the field of information technology. Health information management is one of the weakest links in the implementation of effective health programs in low income countries. The health care environment is bursting with information, but the sector lacks the capacity to find, communicate or use it effectively The HMIS in Madhya Pradesh is a traditional centralised one. It is fragmented along the lines of vertical programs, based on manual reports that flow up the tiered health care system, largely in fulfilment of imposed reporting requirements. The Directorate of Health, in recognition of this, is developing a geographic based computerised comprehensive health management information system. The project aims to assist with this. The main objective of this project is to improve health care management in Madhya Pradesh India through better management of information, personnel, and program by implementing user friendly geographic information system based health information and management system in Madhya Pradesh, India.

• Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg , Dept. of Public Health Sciences, Division of International health (IHCAR)
Project partner in South Asia: Upendra Kumar Singh, R.D. Gardi Medical College
Project name: Antibiotics as environment pollutants and resistance in waters in rural India – relation to antibiotic management
Project Grant: SEK 600 000
(In Nov. 2006 Dr. Stålsby Lundborg also received a three-years project grant for the same project from the Swedish Reserach Council, see below)
Abstract: Antibiotic resistance is an emerging global public health threat. Morbidity and mortality are substantial especially for poor women and children. Little research has been done in relation to the public health problem of antibiotics in waters and its implications for resistance. No such study is published from India. Globally a growing interest is seen in the effects of antibiotics spread in the environment and its consequences for resistance. The overall purpose is to assess environmental aspects and public health consequences of antibiotic management in rural India. Long-term aim is to disseminate findings in collaboration with policymakers to improve antibiotic use and antibiotic waste management in order to contain resistance and maintain the possibility to treat infections in need of antibiotics. The specific objectives are to (i) determine antibiotic concentration in hospital waste water and drinking water over time and to test tracer bacteria from these waters for resistance, (ii) determine and analyse the antibacterial use patterns over time in hospital and out-patient care, (iii) estimate extent and type of nonprescribed human use and non-human use of antibiotics. Antibiotic concentration will be measured over time in influent and effluent hospital water, from drinking and wastewater and from local streams. Resistance is measured in the same waters. Developed and tested diagnosis specific (when possible) instruments and methods will be used to assess antibiotic use.

Sanjeevi Carani• Sanjeevi Carani, Molecular Immunogenetics Unit, Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM)
Project partner in South Asia: Alok Kanungo, Cuttack Diabetes Research Foundation, Orissa, India
Project name: Genetic and immunological aspects of diabetes development and the mechanism of protection in young-onset diabetes and malnutrition modulated diabetes in India
Project Grant: SEK 600 000
Abstract: Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem in India. It is classified by the WHO into Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Malnutrition Modulated diabetes mellitus (MMDM). Many of the young patients identified as T2DM initially, turn out to be T1DM after a period of time (slow onset T1DM), especially those patients who are lean but classified as T2DM. It is not clear whether the MMDM is a separate disease entity, distinct from T1DM and T2DM. The incidence of T1DM in Asian countries like India is very low (1 in 250,000) when compared to Sweden where it is very high (1 in 400). Since T1DM is an autoimmune disease, the Asian population apparently is endowed with a protective factor which is lacking in a population like Sweden. METHODOLOGY: The genotypings using PCR and radioimmunoassay for autoantibody measurements will be used. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH: 1.distinguish diabetes based on tiopathological mechanisms such as autoimmune and non-autoimmune diabetes.2.genetically and immunologically characterize MRDM and 3.study the polymorphism of NRAMP1 (natural resistance associated macrophage protein) gene or IDDM12/13 gene in controls and in T1DM and MMDM patients from India and compare with Swedish T1DM patients and controls. MODE OF COOPERATION: samples collection and disease characterization will be done in Cuttack, India. The studies will be performed by Indian post-docs at Karolinska Institute.

Kungl. Tekniska Högskolan, KTH, Stockholm:

• Prosun Bhattacharya, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering
Project partner in South Asia: Al Ramanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Project name: Targeting safe aquifers in regions with high arsenic in groundwaters of India and the options for sustainable drinking water supply
Project Grant: SEK 600 000
Abstract: Groundwater is the main source of potable water for the population in South Asia. In India, the presence of arsenic above the limits of safe drinking water (10 μg/L) detected in groundwater widely over the Bengal Delta Plain (BDP) aquifers in West Bengal. Since the last two years, Central Gangetic Plains in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and Brahmaputra valley in Assam and has posed to be a potential source of environmental health disaster. A population of nearly 100 million are estimated to be at the potential risk of arsenic exposure. The objective of this study is to develop a concept for local drillers to target arsenic (As)-safe aquifers in regions with high As groundwater of geogenic origin in India. This could be a sustainable option for safe drinking water in India like many other regions in the world where groundwater contain As exceeding the WHO permissible drinking water limit. The proposed location for the study is Ballia and Ghazipur districts in Uttar Pradesh, and Darrang district in Assam, India where the project group is presently working and arsenic contamination has been unroofed to be considered as two major worst affected regions of India. The mode of co-operation involves fieldtrips, seminars, jointly supervised Ph.D. and M.Sc. projects and publication of research articles.

Lund University:

Pernille Gooch• Pernille Gooch, Division of Human Ecology, Department of European Ethnology
Project partner in South Asia: Nehal Farooquee, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
Project name: Participatory Assessment of Sustainable Scenarios for Himalayan Pastoralism
Project Grant: SEK 450 000 SEK
Abstract: Pastoral grazing make substantial contributions to the economy of developing countries, both in terms of supporting their households and in supplying protein as well as other animal products. Realizing the importance this proposal has been developed to view them in the light of sustainability. For the study two pastoral communities have been selected, the Bhotias and the Van Gujjars of Uttaranchal. Both transact right from the foothills to alpine meadows thus covering entire altitudinal eco-zones of the Himalayas. The linkages with numerous other stakeholders of bio-resources in these altitudinal zones will be covered in the project. Under the joint research planning grant preliminary surveys of the study area were made and a workshop with the participation of the stakeholders from both the pastoral groups, researchers and NGOs was organized. The present proposal seeks to understand and quantify the potential of pastoralism through an empirical application of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. The project aims to: a) improve scientific understanding of participatory and transdisciplinary approaches to identify the issues related to sustainability of pastoralism b) integrate results within a broader theoretical understanding of the interrelations between society and nature, in order to bridge social and natural sciences c) provide reliable socioeconomic and environmental information on the pastoral systems in the region that has so far remained under-researched.

• Assadi Mohsen, Division of Thermal Power Engineering, Department of Energy Sciences, Lund Institute of Technology
Project partner in South Asia: Sudipta De, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
Project name: Development of Artificial Neural Network Simulation and Condition Monitoring Tools for Coal Based Power and Cogeneration Plants of India
Project Grant for 2007: SEK 75 000 SEK
Abstract: Simulation and condition monitoring tools are very useful for better performance and reduced emissions from power and CHP plants. Such tools using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and information technology (IT) are proved to be ‘high value, low cost’ options. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is one such option, which is already proved to be useful for gas turbine based systems. In this project development of simulation and condition monitoring tools for coal based power and CHP plants has been proposed. Models will be developed at component as well as system levels. The experience of simulation of coal based plants of the Indian investigator and real life plant data from India will be combined with the knowledge and experience of ANN applications for plant monitoring and environmental performance of the Swedish investigator for this purpose. This may help Indian power sectors with a better performance and reduced emissions contributing to an improved quality of life locally and reducing environmental degradation globally.

Nordic School of Public Health (NHV), Göteborg

• Bo Eriksson, NHV
Project partner in Asia: Nguyen Xuan Than, Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam
Project name: Fertility, sex ratio, mortality and socio-economy studied in two rural Demographic Surveillance Sites, India and Vietnam: Internal and external validity of information
Planning Grant: SEK 600 000

Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna :

• Sheila Kirkwood, Atmospheric Physics Research Programme
Project partner in South Asia: Thota Narayana Rao, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), India
Project name: Research Collaboration between NARL, India, and the Atmospheric Physics Programme of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna
Project Grant: SEK 600 000
Abstract: The purpose of the project is to perform basic scientific research in the field of atmospheric physics, primarily using atmospheric radar. Ongoing research at the two institutes will benefit from complementary experience, scientific competence, and observational facilities at the partner institute. The scientific questions to be addressed include a) the exchange of air between the stratosphere and troposphere, and its influence on ozone concentrations at the Earth´s surface and 2) the microphysics governing radar echoes from the middle atmosphere and consequences for the accuracy of radar wind measurements. The Swedish participation is led by two senior women physicists, which is very unusual in the field of radar meteorology, a field dominated by men in all countries. However there is a growing number of women scientists in the field in India, so an important priority within the project will be to broaden the possibilities for women scientists from both sides to establish an international contact-network.

Uppsala University :

• Lars Nordström, Condensed Matter Theory Group, Dept. of Physics
Project partner in South Asia: Dr. Indra Dasgupta, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India
Project name: A joint theoretical and experimental study of diluted magnetic semiconductors. More information. new
Project grant: SEK 600 000
Abstract: The field of spintronics has opened up a new dimension in information technology, not only enhancing established microelectronics concepts by introducing magnetic functionality, but also by providing exciting opportunities for completely new device ideas. In the modern technology, information is carried by charge currents, localized magnetic moments are used for storing data, and light beams are used for information transmission. But there is a growing recognition that devices exploiting spins of electrons can be used as information carriers, so-called spintronic devices, can exhibit performance superior to conventional electronic devices. The advantages of these new devices would be nonvolatility, increased data processing speed, decreased electric power consumption, and increased integration densities compared with conventional semiconductor devices. Diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) are essential ingredients for semiconductor spintronics, which combines the charge and spin degrees of freedom of electrons to manipulate the properties of the traditional charge-controlled semiconductor devices. Despite extensive experimental and theoretical research, the fundamental understanding of these systems is far from being complete. A microscopic understanding is necessary to characterize and manipulate the properties and to design new materials with novel characteristics. This proposal aims to build up a concerted theoretical and experimental activity on important materials, e.g., Co doped ZnO and other oxide DMS as well as transition metal doped Heusler and half-Heusler materials. The theoretical approach will be based on ab initio electronic structure calculations and the experimental research will include sample preparations, structural and magnetic characterizations using XRD, SQUID, XAS and XMCD measurements.

Swedish Research Council Project grants for Research within Humanities and Social Sciences 2006

Decisions by the Swedish Research Council on 10 October 2006

• Björn Asheim, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Lund University.
Project name: Emerging Trends in Asia: from cost-based producers to global suppliers of innovation. Implications for industry growth in developed and developing countries
Grant: 2 700 000 SEK (for the three years period 2007–09)

Project description: Alltfler case-studier av industrier och företag visar att vissa asiatiska regioner och sektorer börjar förflytta sig upp längs med värdekedjan, från att konkurrera med låga kostnader till att konkurrera med kunskap och innovation. Särskilt Kina och Indien verkar dra ifrån och även möjligtvis driva världsekonomin i en nära framtid. Emellertid har inga systematiska analyser gjorts av omfattningen av detta fenomen. Det huvudsakliga syftet med detta projekt är att förstå utbredningen och omfattningen av globaliseringen av innovativa aktiviteter och diskutera implikationerna för utvecklade länder och utvecklingsländer. Denna forskningsansökan avser att jämföra tre kluster i Kina och Indien: textilier, bilar och software. Dessa kluster representerar inte bara betydande industrier för dessa två länder utan vittnar även om en global omfördelning av innovativa aktiviteter.

Jürgen Offermanns , Division of Indic Religions, Department of History and Anthropology of Religion; Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University.
Project name: Buddhism – a Swedish Cultural Heritage
Grant: 1 746 000 SEK (for the three years period 2007–09)

Project description: Buddhism – ett svenskt kulturarv Buddhismen var från 1600-talet till 1900-talets början i Sverige först och främst en idé- eller föreställningsvärld. Buddhistiska idéströmningar i olika former inverkade på västerlandets tänkande, från den europeiska kolonisationen av Asien på 1500-talet över romantiken och teosofin fram till andra världskrigets utbrott. Därefter kom buddhismreceptionen att ändra karaktär från intellektuell konstruktion till praktiserad religion och spridas via våra dagars nyreligiösa rörelser och New Age, samt genom invandring och missionsverksamhet. Bakom de olika former för buddhism som existerar i dag i Sverige döljer sig därmed ett 400 år gammalt kulturarv, som dessutom är mindre fridfullt än vad dagens situation låter påskina. År 1622 plundrades jesuitbiblioteket i Riga och tillföll Uppsala universitetsbibliotek som krigsbyte, ett öde som många adels- och jesuitbibliotek drabbades av under 1600-talet. På så sätt hamnade inte bara ovärderliga teologiska och naturvetenskapliga skrifter i svensk ägo, utan även ett stort antal jesuitiska missionsrapporter, brevsamlingar och avhandlingar om Kina och Japan. Därmed fanns för första gången utförligare information om buddhismen tillgänglig i Sverige. Sedan dess har förhållandet till buddhismen i Sverige genomgått ett stort antal förändringar, från att betraktas som ett verk av Lucifer till en religion hyllad som ett alternativ till kristendomen. Dessa olika förhållningssätt avspeglar viktiga och genomgripande maktpolitiska, ekonomiska, religiösa och kulturella förändringar i Sverige. Tolkningen av buddhismen genomgick två huvudfaser. Den första omfattar 1600/1700-talet och präglades av den information om buddhismen i Kina, Japan, Thailand m.m. som förmedlades via jesuitiska missionsrapporter samt svensk och utländsk reselitteratur Hit hör också reseskildringar, tidningsartiklar och officiella dokument om det Svenska Ostindiska Kompaniets verksamhet i Asien. Den andra fasen omfattar perioden 1800-1930 och kännetecknas framförallt av den information som förmedlades av protestantiska missionärer i Japan och Kina samt av teologer och religionshistoriker vid svenska universitet från och med slutet av 1800-talet. Projektarbetet innefattar två huvudsakliga moment. Det första består i en kartläggning av informationskällor relaterade till buddhismtolkningens ovan nämnda två huvudfaser. Detta arbete skall genomföras vid universitetsbiblioteken i Lund, Stockholm och Uppsala samt vid det Svenska Ostindiska Kompaniets arkiv i Göteborg. Det andra momentet består i att analysera hur denna information tolkades och kom till uttryck i avhandlingar, lärda böcker och tidningsartiklar i Sverige under receptionens två huvudperioder. Beskrivningen och analysen av buddhismens gradvisa införlivande i Sverige från 1600-talet till 1900-talets början, mot bakgrund av politiska, kulturella och religiösa faktorer, skänker viktiga inblickar i svensk lärdoms- och kulturhistoria. Dessutom bidrar en dylik studie till en mer allsidig förståelse av det mångkulturella svenska samhället samt de mekanismer vilka styr hur en främmande religion omtolkas och integreras i ett nytt kulturellt sammanhang. Därmed lämnar föreliggande projekt även ett bidrag till debatten om Sveriges delaktighet i den västerländska orientalismdiskursen. Resultaten av föreliggande projekt ska publiceras i en monografi och därtillhörande artiklar, samt förmedlas via populärvetenskapliga framställningar och föredrag riktade till den intresserade allmänheten.

Swedish Research Council Project grants for Research within Medicine 2006 new

Decisions by the Swedish Research Council on 8 November 2006

• Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg, Dept. of Public Health Sciences, Division of International health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet Medical University, Stockholm
Project name: Antibiotics as environment pollutants and resistance in waters in rural India – relation to antibiotic management
Grant: 1 425 000 SEK (for the three years period 2007–09)

Project description: See description for the project

• Ann-Mari Svennerholm, Division of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biomedicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University
Project name: Development of vaccines against ETEC and Helicobacter pylori. More information.
Grant: 1 410 000 SEK (for the three years period 2007–09)

Project description: Den övergripande målsättningen med forskningsprogrammet är att utveckla effektiva vacciner mot några av de vanligaste mag-tarminfektionerna i världen. I första hand ska vi försöka ta fram ett förbättrat vaccin mot enterotoxinbildande Escherichia coli (ETEC), som orsakar ca 300miljoner diarré-episoder och ca 300.000 dödsfall årligen hos barn under 5 år i utvecklingsländerna och som också är den valigaste orsaken till diarré som drabbar resenärer till många länder i Afrika, Asien och Latinamerika. Vi ska också söka ta fram ett vaccin mot den bakterie, Helicobacter pylori, som orsakar magsår och de allra flesta fallen av cancer i magsäcken.

Back to Research

Search the SASNET Web Index

SASNET - Swedish South Asian Studies Network/Lund University
Address: Scheelevägen 15 D, SE-223 70 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 46 222 73 40
Webmaster: Lars Eklund
Last updated 2011-05-05