Innovation For The Greater Good

Innovation For The Greater Good

Swetaparna Sarangi | Jan 30, 2017

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It was yet another reason to rejoice for PhD scholar Suraj Kumar Nayak from the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering when his paper was awarded the “Best Paper” in INDICON 2016.

INDICON conference is organised annually by IEEE. INDICON is a highly anticipated event among emerging research enthusiasts where they contribute their original research paper for presenting in the conference. Popular for its technical sessions and networking opportunities, the 13th edition of the same was organised by the IEEE Bangalore Section in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore from 16th to 18th December 2016. With a total of 8 tracks or fields and over 11,000+ submissions, Suraj’s paper on “Effect of Cannabis Consumption on ANS and Conduction Pathway of Heart of Indian Paddy Field Workers”, managed to snag the best paper award in the Signal and Image Processing track and among all the submissions from NITs all over India, NITR was the sole NIT to win an award.

When asked the idea behind the start of this project he explained,

Government provides various forewarnings for cigarettes, alcohol, and tobacco. We see them on TV, before the start of a movie and even in the packaging of these substances! On the contrary, we are hardly aware of the negative effects of cannabis. Its effect on human health has not been much studied and hence, not well publicized in the day-to–day life. Hence, through this research, we wished to pave the way for future active research opportunities and an increase in the awareness about the effect of cannabis on human health, especially the heart. This work would not have been successful without the research facilities provided by the Institute and the dedicated guidance, encouragement and cajoling of my supervisor Dr. Kunal Pal. The support provided by the Institute for attending specialized training programs like GIAN Course, other short-term courses and conferences helped me to understand the currently employed state-of-the-art signal processing techniques which were highly useful for this research work. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our HOD Dr. Mukesh K Gupta and Deputy Registrar Sri B. Acharya for their kind support and suggestions from time to time during the study.


This research was conducted under Dr. Kunal Pal, Assistant professor at Department of Biotechnology & Medical Engineering, and was a preliminary research where-in the ECG scans of the paddy field workers in the district of Sambalpur were collected. This sample consisted of both cannabis users and non-users. Further, these scans were processed and certain characteristics were deduced indicating a more activated nervous system in case of the cannabis users. These deductions were a sign of higher chances of contracting heart and related diseases. Talking about the future Suraj said,

For further research in the same, we will incorporate ever more health parameters keeping in mind the number of males and females and we will also require more manpower for data collection. However, since this is a start we are hopeful of assistance from the institute for a greater good.


The achievement is definitely an inspiration to the scholars at the department and will pave way for future milestones. Team MM congratulates Suraj and wishes him luck for his future!

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