TEC-Funded MPhil/PhD Student Abstracts


A Geo-Statistical aand GIS Based Approach to study the Carbon Budget and Carbon Footprint for Mauritius (2012)

Student : SOOKUN Anand Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : Mphil - PT Year : 2012
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof (Dr.) R. Boojhawon; Prof. (DR.) S.D.D.V Rughooputh
Abstract : Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission is an inevitable phenomenon in many parts of the world and especially in fast developing economies. Many industrial processes involve burning of fossil fuels which causes huge amounts of pollutant emissions into the atmosphere. Very little studies have been carried out with carbon emissions, sequestrations and footprints all together treated at spatial scales. The case for Mauritius is being considered in this research to show how we can quantify GHG emissions and apply Geographical Information System (GIS) and Geo-Statistics to look at dispersion of GHG emissions and sequestration which can be mapped. The research is essentially divided into three parts comprising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, carbon budget where carbon emissions and sequestrations are covered, and carbon footprint where the impact of production and consumption of energy related items are studied in relation to GHG emissions and sequestrations according to agreed standard methodologies such as those from the GHG Protocol. Extrapolation methods such as krigging in geostatistics have been applied to generate contour maps of pollution levels. For the carbon budget we applied the probabilistic determination of regions that were net emitters or sources of CO2 and regions that were net sinks of CO2 where more CO2 were sequestered than emitted. For the carbon footprint part we used scope-wise footprint results by regions and areal analysis methods with spatial regressions to look at the footprint by municipal and village council areas.

A Novel topography based limited area model for Mauritius (2011)

Student : Virasami Renganaden Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : PhD - PT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Prof. Rughooputh S and Dr. Pathack Beenay
Abstract : The responsibility of any National Meteorological Centre is to provide information for a specific area of responsibility. This is usually done through analysis of local meteorological parameters and also interpretation of forecast products from global meteorological centres. A suitable tool, which with adequate computer power, can provide additional and more region specific information is a limited area model. In spite of very high level of sophistication of the existing global and hemispheric forecasting systems, more refined short range forecasts of the smaller synoptic scales and the associated processes such as frontal systems, meteorological variables distribution and effects of topography can be obtained with limited area models which is of higher resolution and with more careful design of the schemes for simulation of the important local phenomena. With topography-based modifications, the limited area model can be used for the simulations/studies of atmospheric phenomena and, in addition, the development and application of complex forecasting systems will stimulate scientific efforts on the national level. Moreover, one of the significant weather events that affects the regions are tropical cyclones but, as compared to the other ocean basins, research work in the field of high resolution numerical weather prediction for this weather system in the South West Indian Ocean is scarce. So with the help of model outputs statistics, high resolution numerical weather prediction model helps to improve the skills for forecasting of tropical cyclones for this part of the globe in terms of track, intensity, maximum gusts, precipitation and their predictability.

A Security Framework To Combat The Attacks On SIP-Based VoIP Networks, Case of Emergency Services (2011)

Student : Armoogum Sheeba Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius (Scholl of Innovative Technologies and Engineering)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Assoc. Professor (Dr) N. Mohamudally (UTM) & Assoc. Professor (Dr) Le Hai Vu (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
Abstract : Emergency services (like police, fire and rescue services and emergency medical services) are among the most important services provided by the traditional circuit switched telephone system that are now moving on IP networks. Emergency services being a critical service, immediate steps should be taken to avoid the different VoIP attacks or any other security threats to minimize the dangers faced by people and to reduce loss of people’s lives. Though there are architectures available to detect some threats for commercial call centres, there are no proper standards developed till date to counteract the threats. It can be also seen that more research work need to be focused on preventing attacks like Denial of Service (DoS), Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack on VoIP networks. SIP- based VoIP systems are exploited to vulnerabilities which compromise the dependability and trustworthiness. Despite that there are large numbers of research being carried out around the world to reduce the attacks on VoIP networks, there are still more work to be done to improve the mitigation process so as to further reduce the attacks and kill the attacks. The security framework to be developed will focus on detecting some of the VoIP attacks and classification of these attacks as real or automated scenarios by using the concepts of pattern recognition method. The framework will be further enhanced to stop or kill these attacks at the server side. Further research will be carried out to develop the technical security framework, to design the test-bed for the proof of concepts and to refine the framework and finally to apply and evaluate the framework in real-life scenario.

A study of differential gene and protein expression profiles in the reef-building coral Acropora muricata in Mauritian waters in an era of climate change (2013)

Student : Louis Yohan Didier Institution : UOM (Science)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Full Time Year : 2013
Supervisor : Dr Ranjeet Bhagooli, Dr Sabrina Dyall
Abstract : The world’s coral reefs are severely degraded through many anthropogenic activities and natural disturbances. Rising sea surface temperatures, occurring as a result of global warming associated with climate change, are causing more frequent mass bleaching events. The ecological extinction of the corals is predicted to occur within the next 20 to 50 years. However, studies on such predictions highlight the underestimation of the ability of corals to acclimate and/or adapt to the accelerated global warming. Understanding how acclimatization and/or adaptation to bleaching and subsequent survival occurs at the genetic and/or proteomic level in both the host and the symbiont is of tremendous importance in addressing conservation strategies and management issues of coral reefs. In Mauritus, variable bleaching responses have been reported in Acropora muricata, the most abundant branching coral of Mauritian waters. To date, few studies have been published on the differential expression of genes and proteins by host and/or symbiont following thermal stress. However, no such studies have targeted A. muricata which constitutes about 80% of the coral of Mauritius. Based on a multidisciplinary approach, this proposed investigation provides an original and novel approach, not only locally but also internationally, to attempt to decipher the genetics and proteomics of resilience to bleaching in the most abundant coral of the country and one of the faster growing widespread tropical corals. Data collected will provide valuable information in understanding why some colonies of A. muricata are more tolerant to thermal stress than others and the potential of such thermally tolerant colonies to be used as a source for climate-change associated damaged reef-rehabilitation efforts.

A study of student’s mathematical achievement at form II level in Mauritius (2010)

Student : Angateeah Khemduth Singh Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : PhD - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Dr K.S. Sukon and Dr P. Gonpot
Abstract : Every year, around 25% of candidates obtain grades 9 (fail), around 27% obtain grade 7 or 8 (pass), and only about 48% obtain at least a grade 6 (credit) in Mathematics (Syllabus 4029) ‘O’ Level (CSO, 2008). To have a better understanding of this trend, data collected in Mauritius through the Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA II) survey (2002) were analysed. A representative sample of 1890 Form II students, from 51 secondary schools, were involved. Two broad themes were addressed using the available data: first, to provide an understanding of Form II student’s difficulties in learning area; second, to have an overview of the influence of background factors such as school teacher, home and student variables on maths performance. Based on the findings, it was observed that “student’s difficulty to solve word problem” is one of the main components affecting Maths performance. Consequently, four different teaching strategies were implemented on a new sample of 501 students from 14 schools. Data were also collected on student’s learning style and their family background. The objectives are to test the following hypotheses: (i) will students from different ability (high, average or low) group performed better when taught using Creole as teaching medium and/or using manipulative as teaching aids than when solely using English as teaching medium; (ii) Is there any correlation between student’s learning style and their performance on word problem solving. It is also intended to (iii) inquire through qualitative analysis why students fail to solve word problem based on existing word problem solving frameworks, and finally (iv) to develop a model to assess the influence of affective variables on student’s word problem solving performance.

A Study of the Impact of Exchange Rate and Exchange Rate Volatility on Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries (2014)

Student : Moraghen Paul Georges Warren Institution : University of Mauritius (Law and Management)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Part Time Year : 2014
Supervisor : Dr Noor Sookia & Assoc. Prof (Dr) Boopen Seetanah
Abstract : Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has grown dramatically as a major form of international capital transfer over the past decades, and has been subject to various theoretical and empirical studies, both for developed and developing countries around the world. The global flow rose by 16% in 2011 to reach $1.5 trillion, surpassing the 2005-2007 pre-crisis level for the first time, despite the global financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009. Even though FDI inflow fell by 18% in 2012, 52% was directed towards developing economies, exceeding for the first time ever the flow of developed economies. The international investment implications of the macroeconomics variables exchange rate and exchange rate volatility are often stated in policy discussions as an attempt to explain the significant growth in FDI level. However, this relationship has not been subject to much empirical analysis, particularly for Sub-Saharan African Countries (SSA). Mauritius has adopted clear investment policies throughout the last decades to ensure the promotion of the country as a favourable platform for investors. However, empirical studies accessing the contribution of these policies in attracting FDI and focusing on exchange rate as being a determinant for FDI inflow for Mauritius, remain fairly limited. Furthermore the well established studies which assessed the impact of exchange rate on FDI flow were mainly based on developed countries, ignoring to a large extent the developing nations, in particular, developing SSA countries. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the impact of exchange rate and exchange rate volatility on FDI. This relationship will first be investigated by using a Meta analysis. This will synthesize the existing empirical studies and help to understand whether each result is consistent across a weighted mean or varies substantially from one study to the next. We then quantify this variation and consider the implications by applying a Meta regression analysis. A Vector Auto Regression (VAR) model will then be used to isolate the dynamics interrelationships between exchange rate, exchange rate volatility and FDI inflow in Mauritius, both at a national level and sector wise. The empirical analysis will then be extended to a cross sectional one for some selected SSA countries (including Mauritius) using a Panel VAR model. This will ensure both dynamics and endogenous interactions between the variables in the model. The Bilateral structure and the hypothesis link in the flow of FDI across SSA countries (including Mauritius) will also be explored using a Gravity model. Thus, the flow of investment between the different SSA countries, and the impact of their geographical distances will be captured, while simultaneously keeping the fundamental research objective about the relationship between exchange rate and FDI.

A study on the possible effects of selected medicinal plants on the inhibition of key carbohydrate and lipid hydrolyzing and metabolizing enzymes relevant to diabetes (2012)

Student : PICOT Marie Carene Nancy Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : Mphil - Full Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Dr F. Mahomoodally and Dr H.A Subratty
Abstract : Diabetes with its associated complications is turning out to be a major pandemic throughout the world and the intensity of this crisis is set to increase in the future decades. Tackling diabetes and its related consequences are rapidly becoming priority for scientists, health authorities as well as policy makers globally. Mauritius has one of the highest rates of prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) in the world; with at least 120,000 diabetics in the country. This condition is characterised by fasting elevation of blood glucose level. While the cause of elevated blood glucose may be associated with either too little or too much insulin, the complications of chronically high serum glucose are devastating to the individual. According to the latest survey done on adults above eighteen years old, the prevalence of non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) is nearly 20%. Interestingly, DM is perhaps the pathology against which medicinal plants are most extensively being used locally. Nutritional therapies are being used by local people and they include the use of alternative traditional medicinal plant systems and herbal functional food. Dietary measures which include plant preparations are increasingly forming the basis of the management of this disease even after the introduction of insulin. The beneficial multiple activities like manipulating carbohydrate metabolism by various mechanisms, preventing and restoring integrity and function of β-cells, insulin-releasing activity, improving glucose uptake and utilisation by medicinal plants and inhibition of digestive enzymes offer exciting opportunities to develop them into novel nutritional therapeutics. This research project therefore set out to investigate the possible inhibitory effect of selected medicinal plants of Mauritius on key enzymes relevant to diabetes. A plethora of in-vitro bio-assays will be employed in the study to evaluate the anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant potency of selected medicinal plants of Mauritius. Key words: medicinal plants, functional food, diabetes, antioxidant

A Technology Independent Framework for Partitioning and Retracting Applications in Pervasive Environments (2010)

Student : Jungum Nevin Vunka Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius (School of Innovative Technologies and Engineering)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Dr Nawaz Mohamudally ; Prof Nimal Nissanke
Abstract : Current mobile context-aware applications for pervasive environments have been designed to consume information from computational nodes or devices in their surroundings or environments. As the hardware industry continues making much smaller, compact and cheap hardware, the vision of having plenty of very small powerful digital networking nodes in, for e.g., the living room or bedroom, is not so far. Designing software that can make optimal use of all these computational nodes when needed is still challenging; since software will not only consume information from these nodes but parts of the software can be hosted on these different nodes. In this project, we propose an application partitioning and retraction framework for next generation applications that will have the capabilities to seamlessly partition and retract themselves on multiple computational nodes in a pervasive environment.

An Analysis of Students’ Commitment towards Employment in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector: A Case of Mauritius (2010)

Student : Chellen Harmon Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Law and Management)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof Dr Roubina Juwaheer Assoc. Prof Dr Elmarie Slabbert (North West University, South Africa)
Abstract : The tourism industry depends largely on human interaction. Tourism is a service orientated industry where humans play a pivotal role in delivering a product that will influence the overall experience of tourists. There is a common notion that the tourism and hospitality sector offers low pay, very little training and career prospects, limited scope for promotion, and unsociable working hours which have collectively formed a negative image of tourism as a career. As a result, the tourism industry is, to-day, facing more than ever greater challenges in attracting skilled and motivated staff than the emerging sectors in the economy. In view of these challenges, the purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of students’ commitment towards employment in the tourism and hospitality sector in Mauritius. The study is informed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) which remains largely utilized in social science research, including tourism, to study the behaviour of people. The present research attempts to develop and test a model of student commitment around the core constructs of TPB. The model proposes that student commitment (dependent variable) is influenced by their attitude towards employment in the tourism and hospitality sector, their subjective norms (SN) and their perceived behavioral control(PBC) (independent variables). In addition, the study further borrows from the tourism and hospitality literature on this topic and proposes that student commitment is also influenced by their perceived social status, promotion opportunities, and career prospect in the industry. The study will use data collected from students studying for tourism and hospitality courses in a number of academic and vocational institutions in Mauritius. The model of study will be tested using the structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. The study is expected to contribute theoretically and practically to the literature. Key Words: Tourism Employment, Students’ Commitment, Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).

An Analysis of the Need to Develop the Practice of Forensic Accounting in Small Island States with Specific Reference to Mauritius (2012)

Student : ETWAROO Ritesh Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius ()
Level : Mphil/PhD - Part Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Dr K Padachi and Dr P Chauhan
Abstract : Mauritius is a country that relies much on foreign direct investment and multinational investment for its development. With globalisation, many multinationals and foreign subsidiaries are being incorporated around the globe with different objectives. The intricate inflow and outflow of money in our economy represents a major risk and the source of these funds can sometimes be through illegal activities and fraud. This represents a major risk for the country as a financial hub for the region. Besides recent fraud scandals in Mauritius and alleged money laundering practices have raised awareness for the development of forensic accounting in the country and other small states in order to safeguard their image and maintain transparency and enhance investor and public confidence in the economy. This research aims to undertake an analysis of the current status of the forensic accounting practice in Mauritius and to assess whether the current legal procedures in the jurisdiction allow the use of expert evidence collected during a forensic audit. Further research would be undertaken to assess the main provisions in law in countries where the forensic accounting practice is well established and the critical success factors that have allowed the development of the latter with a view of transposing these factors taking into account the specificities of small island states. The activity/business clusters where forensic accounting may help to maintain transparency, confidence and accountability and ultimately public and investor confidence would also be analysed. A mixed methods research would be used for data collection with the target population being academics and practitioners from both government agencies and the private sector.

An Assessment of the Potential of Locally Available Substrate Materials for the Cultivation of Agaricus Mushroom (Button Mushroom) (2009)

Student : CHUKOWRY Nalini Devi Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of agriculture)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Dr. LALLJEE Bhanooduth, Dr. JEEWON Rajesh
Abstract : In Mauritius, button mushrooms (Agaricus spp.) remain most popular while small quantities of oyster mushroom, shiitake mushroom and wood ear mushrooms are also consumed. Majority of the mushrooms are imported in processed forms. Mushroom cultivation in Mauritius is restricted mostly to oyster mushroom and to a lesser extent to shiitake mushroom. Previous research on button mushroom was abandoned due the requirement of sophisticated technologies and large amount of capital. Cultivation of button mushroom has been abandoned due to the fact that the strains evaluated were temperate and the local tropical climate was not suitable for their growth and development. Since then, no further research on button mushroom has been conducted. A number of experiments have been designed to meet the aim of the study which is to provide a cultivation package of button mushroom to potential cultivators. The objectives of the study are to import suitable strains of Agaricus spp., evaluate mycelial growth on agar, determine optimal growth temperature for each strain and assess the mycelial growth on potential substrates.

Analysis of gene expression in plant defense during biotic stress (2011)

Student : Baichoo Aisha Bibi Zarine Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of agriculture)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Dr (Mrs) Y. Jaufeerally-Fakim
Abstract : Plants are often confronted by parasites including viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes and insects for which they represent a source of food and shelter. The outcome of this interaction can either be resistance or pathogenesis. Crop plant diseases are a major agricultural problem with losses sometimes reaching 90%. Chemical control of these diseases is not totally effective and it has the disadvantages of not being specific, safe for human health and environmentally friendly. Traditional breeding methods used to develop resistant cultivars are time consuming and there is also a lack of genetic resources for most of the crops. In the last 10 years, breeding possibilities have been broadened by genetic engineering and gene transfer technologies. The aim of this study is to define genes involved in defense in the two pathosystems: (1) Tomato-Ralstonia solanacearum and (2) Bean-Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli. R. solanacearum causes bacterial wilt of tomato while X. campestris pv. phaseoli is the causal agent of common bacterial blight in beans. These two diseases are considered to be widespread and to be economically important worldwide. Several varieties of tomato and bean plants will be tested with the corresponding pathogens to define differentials. Enzyme assays will be performed to demonstrate a defense response involving the antioxidant enzymes catalase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, peroxidase and pectate lyase. Moreover, bioinformatics tools will be used to find if homologs of genes involved in plant and insect immunity are present in tomato and bean genomes and in their EST databases. The expression of selected genes during infection of the plants by the corresponding pathogens will be quantified by Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). Genes identified as being important in response to the pathogens will be sequenced to obtain data on the nature of the protein products. It is expected that this study will provide information on the molecular basis of resistance in the plants under study. Such data are crucial to understand the process and the data obtained can be applied as markers for selection of parents in breeding programs. This will undoubtedly prove to be useful in disease management.

Biochemical characterization, Molecular actions and Clinical effects of Mauritian green tea in Diabetes and its Renal complications. (2010)

Student : Toolsee Naushad Ali Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof T. Bahorun, Prof O. Aruoma
Abstract : Phytochemicals as antioxidant prophylactic agents in functional beverages present an affordable alternative treatment for various diseases. Recent studies examining the cardio and renoprotective role of plant dietary factors have emphasized their suitability for the management of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. Strategies for its prevention require an understanding of the basic molecular action mechanism of dietary antioxidant factors. In vitro molecular and biochemical work pertaining to the role of a green tea infusate (Bois Chéri Ltd, Mauritius) as a dietary supplement will be conducted in collaboration with the Université de Saint Denis (Laboratoire de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, La Réunion) and Touro College of Pharmacy (New York, USA) on the human kidney cell line HEK293, which is an efficient cell model to study diabetic kidney disease. Mauritian green tea infusate more particularly its prophylactic ingredients will be analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively using established methodologies. A random controlled clinical trial will be performed at the Cardiac Centre, SSRNH Hospital, Pamplemousses to assess the bioefficacy of green tea infusate supplement on biomarkers of oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. At the outset, this project will aim at examining the role of green tea as a dietary supplement for the management of diabetes and its renal complications. Key words: Antioxidant, Functional beverages, Mauritian green tea, Oxidative stress, Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease.

BIOCHEMICAL EFFICIENCY OF EXTRACTS FROM SELECTED CULINARY HERBS AND SPICES AS INHIBITORS OF ADVANCED GLYCATION END PRODUCTS IN VITRO (2009)

Student : Ramkissoon Jugjeet Singh Institution : University of Mauritius (FOS)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Prof Anwar Hussein Subratty Dr Mohamad Fawzi Mahomoodally Dr Nessar Ahmed
Abstract : The accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGE) due to non-enzymatic glycation of proteins has been implicated in several pathophysiologies associated with ageing, cardiovascular diseases and chronic complications of diabetes. The formation of AGE is accelerated in hyperglycemic conditions, which alter the structure and function of long-lived proteins. Studies on the inhibition of AGE formation have received increasing recognition from both a nutritional and medical research standpoint. Inhibition of the formation of AGE is believed to play a role in the prevention of diabetic complications. This experimental investigation has been designed to investigate the potential for nutritional and pharmaceutical compounds with anti-glycation properties as future perspectives for prevention or intervention on AGEs. Any anti-glycation activity of food plants assessed might suggest a possible role in targeting aging and diabetic complications and will provide baseline data for further studies. Secondary metabolites from several plant species are known to inhibit non-enzymatic glycation and the formation of AGEs, including flavonoids found in the style (silk) of Zea mays (maize). Extracts of commercial culinary herbs and spices are being tested for the ability to reduce glucose-mediated protein (albumin) glycation. The effect of extracts in terms of their ability to prevent the accumulation of fluorescent AGEs in vitro is investigated. The degree of protein glycation in the absence and presence of dietary extracts is being assessed by fluorometry and protocol will be optimized accordingly. Samples will be grounded and extracted and/or fractions with ethanol will be evaluated. Aliquots will be incubated with glucose and albumin or placebo. Fluorescence at 370 nm/440 nm will be used as an index of albumin glycation. Potent condiments that will be tested include garlic, onion, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom and compared to known AGE inhibitor, aminoguanidine amongst others. Prevention of protein glycation is an example of the anti-diabetic potential for bioactive compounds in culinary herbs and spices. It is expected that findings from this study might indicate the potential of some dietary components to prevent and/or inhibit protein glycation. Thus these dietary agents may be able to be exploited for controlling AGE-mediated diabetic pathological conditions in vivo, and as possible natural protector of AGE formation. Consequently, the development of AGE inhibitors is considered to have therapeutic potential in patients with diabetes or age-related diseases.

Biological and Catalytic Evaluations of Derivatives of Diaryl Sulfides / Disulfides and their Metal Complexes (2010)

Student : Moosun- Hossenbux Salma Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc Prof S. Jhaumeer Laulloo, Assoc Prof M. G. Bhowon
Abstract : Aryl sulfides and their diversified applications have been a fascinating area of research for the last past decades. This increasing interest has led to the design of efficient and high yield methods for their common synthesis. Despite significant improvements, there are still limitations in the synthesis and application of aryl sulfides compounds due to poor solubility and consequently there is interest in further development. To overcome these problems, derivatives of diaryl sulfides with different substituents will be explored. Carbon-sulphur bonds are prevalent in numerous pharmaceutical and biologically active compounds. Complexes involving ligands in which sulphur is the donor atom are also of interest due to the nature of the metal-sulfur bonding interaction. Aryl sulfide ligands and ruthenium complexes of derivatives of bis phenyl disulfide will be screened for their different biological properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant and DNA-binding. Moreover these sulfide derivatives are known to be excellent stereochemical control as chiral auxiliaries in C-C bond forming reactions. The C-C bond forming reactions (Michael, Heck or Suzuki) require harsh conditions and other organometallic catalysts, which speed up given reactions by lowering the energy barrier without being consumed, need to be synthesised to improve yields, selectivity and ease of work. The efficiency of the catalysts (synthesised metal complexes of aryl sulphides/disulfides) in C-C bond formation will be studied.

Business Process Management Implementation: A Model for IT Outsourcing Companies in Mauritius ()

Student : Esmyot Marie Annick Joanne Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : Mphil - Part time Year :
Supervisor : Dr Fareeda Khodabocus
Abstract : While cost reduction is the most obvious benefit and driver for organizations to turn to IT outsourcing, one of the major downfalls remains the drop in quality of service provided in offshore locations. In Mauritius, the Information and Communication Technology industry has started to gain momentum about a decade ago only and yet is one of the fastest growing industries in the Mauritian economy. As opposed to their external counterparts, the problem faced by outsourcing companies in Mauritius, in addition to the common challenges of reducing costs while improving quality, is that they have a very short time frame for implementing their Quality Management Systems. The BPO sector is expanding so fast in Mauritius that these companies cannot afford the normal time frame for such implementations nor can they afford to wait the time it takes to reap the benefits of the traditional Quality Management Systems. Can Mauritius stand the competition against the world’s biggest outsourcing giants and deliver services of comparable quality? The purpose of this MPhil is to identify key success factors for achieving quality of service while remaining cost competitive for IT outsourcing in Mauritius and hence propose a model for implementing business process management system in IT outsourcing organisations.

Channel Dependent and Content Aware Multimedia Communication Strategies (2013)

Student : Indoonundon Deevya Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Part Time Year : 2013
Supervisor : Professor (Dr) KMS Soyjaudah and Dr TP Fowdur
Abstract : With the introduction of broadband internet and increasing popularity of multimedia devices, there has been a rapid growth of multimedia traffic. It is, in fact, a very challenging task to ensure a good Quality of Service (QoS) and a Quality of Experience (QoE) as multimedia traffic is very sensitive to channel errors. This research proposes two solutions to this problem. The first solution is to use channel dependent communication strategies which can efficiently adapt the transmission, reception and retransmission mechanisms of the communication system based on factors such as bandwidth and channel quality. In addition to channel dependent strategies, it is also possible to use content aware strategies. These strategies involve modifying the encoding of the multimedia data to be able to adaptively transmit the most important parts of the information first and provide greater protection to them. The aim of this research is to conduct an in depth study of channel dependent strategies and content aware strategies and carry out a detailed analysis of the problems and constraints associated with multimedia transmission. The implementation of new schemes are expected to further enhance multimedia transmission whereby ensuring good QoS and QoE.

Computer Modelling of the Thermo-Physiological Comfort of Single-Layer and Multi-Layer Woven Fabrics (2015)

Student : Abel Patricia Julie Institution : University of Mauritius (Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Full Time Year : 2015
Supervisor : Dr. Rosahn Unmar and Assoc. Prof. Satyadev Rosunee
Abstract : Owing to the growing importance of functional textiles worldwide, along with increasing consumer awareness about the need for economically and environmentally sustainable products, research and development and design in the field of textiles and clothing is rapidly evolving from conventional experience-based trial and error methodology towards software-based quick-response virtual prototyping and designing. In addition modern consumer demands are compelling the clothing industry to focus more and more on the comfort aspect. Comfort related and structure-dependent properties like fabric porosity, air permeability and light transparency among others, have recently become the focal point of wide and intensive research activity, because of the steadily growing interest on technical textiles and composites. The structure-property relationships of woven fabrics are highly non-linear and fairly complex due to the inherent randomness of fabric structure. Most of the existing fabric models are based on idealistic assumptions such as the uniform cylindrical yarn and regular rectangular inter-yarn pores. However in the real-world applications, problems in accuracy and conditions of application were found. The aim of this project is to develop a user-friendly and interactive software which will predict the thermo-physiological comfort of single-layer and multi-layer woven fabrics, with material properties and structural parameters as input, and allow the three-dimensional visualisation of related structural and geometrical results. Studies of the fibrous nature of the woven fabric, the geometrical irregularities such as deformations in the yarn-cross-section and the yarn path in the fabric and the irregular shapes and non-uniform distribution of inter-yarn pores will help in the development of realistic, high precision predictive models. The thermo-physiological comfort parameters, namely thermal resistance, air permeability, moisture transmission and thermal absorptivity depend mainly on the pore dimension and distribution. The fabric porosity is affected by the fibre, yarn and fabric properties. A three level fibre-yarn-fabric hierarchical structural modelling of woven fabrics is being developed. The model will then be implemented in a computer program for outputting the predicted parameters from specified inputs. The programme will be wrapped by an interactive interface for input and output on the computer screen. For the model validation, objective and subjective evaluations will be performed. Correlations between experimental and subjective evaluation of comfort will be established.

Density Functional Theory Study of the 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition of Pyridinium-3-olates, Pyrazinium-3-olates and Nitrile Oxides with Methyl Acrylate, Methyl Methacrylate and [60]Fullerene (2009)

Student : Rhyman Lydia Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : 1. Assoc. Prof. (Dr) Ponnadurai Ramasami - Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Mauritius 2. Assoc. Prof. (Dr) Sabina Jhaumeer-Laulloo - Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Mauritius 3.
Abstract : The 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (1,3-DC) reactions of substituted pyridinium-3-olates and substituted pyrazinium-3-olates with methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate are studied. Similarly, the 1,3-DCs of ethene and [60]fullerene with nitrile oxides, RCNO, have also been undertaken. These reactions have been carried out theoretically by means of the density functional theory by employing the B3LYP functional and the 6-31G(d) basis set. Thermodynamic parameters of the possible endo/exo stereoisomeric and 6-ester/7-ester regioisomeric pathways for the 1,3-DCs of pyridinium-3-olates and pyrazinium-3-olates have been determined.Solvent effect has also been taken into account, for these systems, by the polarizable continuum model so as to mimic the experimental environment.For the 1,3-DCs of substituted nitrile oxides, the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters have been determined in the gas phase so as to investigate the effect of electron-withdrawing and electron-releasing substituents attached to the nitrile oxides. Computation for the activation parameters along the 1,3-DCs and the analysis of the reactivity indices of the reactants allow the validation of the theoretical results obtained. Rate constants of these 1,3-DCs have also been calculated at room temperature using conventional transition state theory. These results are critically analyzed and compared with related systems. The findings of this research can be helpful to experimentalists in their future investigations of these compounds.

Derivative Pricing Under Stochastic Models for the Short Rate (2011)

Student : Thakoor Nawdha Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Agriculture)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Prof M Bhuruth Dr Y Tangman
Abstract : This research aims at developing numerical algorithms for pricing interest rate derivatives in the partial differential equations framework. Existing algorithms use tree methods which become computationally expensive for long maturity problems. Since PDE approaches for solving such problems have been few, the proposed work in this area will be very important for the financial engineering community as fast pricing algorithms are the key for optimal decision making. Many of the finite difference algorithms for equity derivatives use standard second order approximation schemes. We aim to use high-order compact schemes for pricing bond options with the American early exercise feature under jump extended short rate models and LIBOR market models. Since the LIBOR market model partial differential equation has high dimensionality, the extension of integration based techniques for pricing interest rate derivatives will be studied. Stability and efficiency issues with the proposed algorithms will be carried for producing oscillations-free accurate numerical solutions.

Design and testing of novel amphiphilic nanocarrier drug delivery systems based on block copolymer micelles. (2009)

Student : Jeetah Roubeena Devi Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Prof. Dhanjay Jhurry and Dr. Archana Bhaw-Luximon
Abstract : Nano drug-delivery and new its modes of action to improve the therapeutic index of known drugs and their bioavailability is a new emerging concept. Most of the drugs used to date are low-molar-mass compounds that exhibit a short half-life in the blood stream and a high clearance rate and therefore present many limitations. The primary objective of this project is to synthesize biocompatible polymeric micelles consisting of PEG as hydrophilic shell and poly(ester-ether)s as inner core. More specifically, the research involves synthesis of amphiphilic block copolymers and testing of their efficacy as nanocarriers for anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious drugs. A major part of the research focuses on factors affecting loading and release of drugs as well as their bioavailability.

Development of an Active Acoustic Noise Control System with improved performance (2012)

Student : Boodoo Sajaad Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Part Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Associate Professor Roshun Paurobally (Main Supervisor) Dr Y. Bissessur (Assoc Supervisor)
Abstract : Active acoustic noise control is a discipline whereby the aim is to reduce sound levels using active means. In this technique, ambient noise is picked up by a microphone, processed and emitted by a loudspeaker with opposite phase from the original. The output signal will result in the attenuation or cancellation of the primary noise. Active noise control has been the subject of research since a long time and with the advent of microprocessors and subsequently Digital Signal Processors, research in this area has been very extensive. The object of this ongoing research is to show how the size of the quiet zone formed by an array of microphones and loudspeakers can be improved. Also, in the presence of a reflective plane, the performance of an acoustic active noise control system is affected. The factors affecting that performance will be described. Experiments shall be set up with the development of algorithms and hardware, for testing and improvements of systems used.

Ear as a Biometric for Person Identification (2008)

Student : Boodoo- Jahangeer Nazmeen Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2008
Supervisor : Prof. R.K. Subramanian Assoc. Prof. S. Baichoo
Abstract : Ear recognition has received considerably less attention than many alternative biometrics, including face, fingerprint and iris recognition until the work of Iannarelli in 1989. Ear-based recognition is of particular interest because it is non-invasive, and it is not affected by environmental factors such as mood, health, and clothing. Also, the outer part of the ear is relatively unaffected by aging, making it better suited for long-term identification. This work provides a background study on biometrics, biometric technologies, emerging trends and multi-biometrics. The research then concentrates on ear biometric. A comparative study of the commonly-used algorithms in ear recognition is made on a common database, created for the purpose of this research. The algorithms, namely Principal Components Analysis (PCA), Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA), Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and Iterative Closest Point (ICP), yields recognition rate of 90.7 %, 92.0%, 95.0 % and 97.0 % respectively. Further, this research shows that ear can be used to improve existing biometric, such as the face in a multi-biometric system. Unimodal biometric results in recognition rate of 94.7 % for face recognition and 90.7 % for ear recognition. However, when using the multi-modal face and ear biometrics, the performance increases to 96.0 %. In addition, a review of the different methods for representing features in an image is made and evaluated. It was found that the use of chain codes and moments have not been explored sufficiently in the context of ear recognition. In this research, chain codes have been used to extract the features of the ear, giving a recognition rate of 72.0 %. Several experiments have been designed and implemented to test whether patterns derived from chain codes can be used as features for recognition. Similar experiments have been performed using moments as features. The experiments have been tested on a series of shapes. Results show that moments are more robust to transformations like translation, scaling and rotation, when compared to chain codes. Future works include normalisation of the chain codes in order to make it invariant to rotation, translation and scaling. Such improvements will make the system more robust. Also, other patterns that are sufficiently distinctive will be extracted from the chain codes, in order to make the features take less space and make matching process faster. The robustness of ear recognition will be investigated with head rotations. The use of moments, combined with chain codes, will be studied in the view to extract suitable features that ease the matching process and increase the overall performance of the system.

Elaboration of Controlled Drug Delivery Systems based on Synthetic and Natural Polysaccharides. (2010)

Student : Jugdawa Yeshma Institution : University of Mauritius (Facultry of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof. Dhanjay Jhurry and Dr. Archana Bhaw-Luximon
Abstract : The area of controlled drug delivery using nanoparticulate systems is gaining increasing consideration on the part of industry and researchers these days. Indeed, controlled drug delivery is essential in various therapies for enhanced efficiency and for eliminating the potential for both under- and overdosing, for maintenance of drug levels within a desired range, for fewer administrations, and for increased patient compliance. One disease that has received a great deal of attention because of the potential for therapies using controlled drug delivery is diabetes mellitus Type I & II, which is an acute problem for a large percentage of the Mauritian population. A sustainable insulin supply is required by patients suffering from diabetes to mimic a near-normal physiological pattern of insulin secretion to improve their quality of life. Insulin has a very short in vivo half-life and poor oral bioavailability. It requires single or multiple daily subcutaneous injections to achieve the desired therapeutic effect, which is inconvenient and painful and with poor patient compliance. The therapeutic efficiency of insulin can be increased by encapsulation in a sustained dosage form that is capable of releasing the drug continuously and at a controlled rate. In that regard, the systematic screening of biopolymers such as polysaccharides alone or in association with synthetic polymers in view of developing new systems at nanoscale level endowed with enhanced biological, chemical and physical properties is a challenge. This proposal aims at investigating the use of hydrogels derived from natural polysaccharides such as oligoagarose originating from the marine environment or other polysaccharides in the encapsulation of insulin for diabetes treatment.

Electrospinning of Poly(ester-ether)-based nanofibers and assessment of their performance as scaffolds in tissue engineering. (2010)

Student : Goonoo Nowsheen Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof D. Jhurry, Dr A. Bhaw-Luximon, Prof G. Bowlin
Abstract : In the development of new scaffolding for tissue regeneration, a primary requirement in addition to mechanical performance, surface morphology and porosity, is that the material must be biocompatible, support cell adhesion, growth and differentiation. The most investigated biomaterials, in particular polymers, include poly(esters) and poly(ester-ethers). The mechanical and degradation polymer properties are affected by the combined effects of the crystallinity, molecular weight, glass transition temperature and monomer hydrophobicity. The main objectives of this research are to: (i) prepare a range of poly(ester-ether)s and related copolymers (ii) produce fibers by electrospinning from those polymers and assess their mechanical performance, thermal properties and optimization of their diameter (iii) develop and assess the efficacy of micro- to nanofibrous scaffolds prepared from the fibers for vascular and bone tissue engineering applications.

Enhancing Digital Audio Transmission with Unequal Error Protection and Error Concealment Techniques (2013)

Student : RAGPOT Prateema Institution : UoM (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Part Time Year : 2013
Supervisor : Professor (Dr) KMS Soyjaudah and Dr TP Fowdur
Abstract : The aim of this research is to use Unequal Error Protection (UEP) and error concealment algorithms to mitigate the degradation of the audio quality in case of uncorrected errors and when retransmission is impossible. An in-depth study of audio compression techniques will be conducted and a thorough analysis of the problems and constraints associated with digital audio transmission will be carried out. Techniques for robust digital audio transmission such as UEP and error concealment will be studied and implemented. Comparative analysis of the performances of UEP and error concealment techniques through simulations will be carried out. Current UEP and error concealment schemes will be improved and/or new UEP and error concealment schemes will be developed to further enhance digital audio transmission. The Hybrid or novel UEP schemes are expected to outperform existing schemes for the transmission of audio files.

Evaluation of environmental impacts from the major anthropogenic activities of Mauritius using integrated Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (IO-LCA) (2011)

Student : Peerthy Gayen Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Prof. T. Ramjeawon
Abstract : In line with the implementation of the “Maurice Ile Durable” concept, efficient monitoring of environmental impacts in Mauritius can be considered as a primary requirement. Most research works in the field of environmental quality assessmenthave dealt with specific anthropogenic activities or specific types of pollution. However, due to the interdependency which exists between the different human activities (Multiple sources of pollution, problem shifting) as well as the complex interactions which exist between environmental processes(Pollutant reservoirs, migration of pollutants, degradation, bio-accumulation processes), doubt prevails on theeffectiveness of the results to act as a tool for decision-making. A reliable and efficient monitoring of environmental impacts implies a systemic approach from the emissions of multiple sources,through the impacted media to midpoint and end effects, while maintaining the traceabilityof the impact factors.This can only be achieved through the adoption of a life cycle perspective. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a standardized tool whichtraces impact through the entire upstream supply chain of a product or service. Over the last decades, it has been widely used, resulting in an abundant scientific literature and databases.Environmental input-output models additionally describe the inputs of natural resources andoutputs of emissions and wastes by each sector. In order to avoid significant errors caused by the definition of a finite boundary, practitioners have integratedEnvironmental Input-Output models in LCA.Input-output LCA can handle infinite supply chain systems and hence does not suffer from truncation errors. This PhD research work aims at providing a clear picture of pollution factors embedded in the major economic sectors of Mauritius through the development of an Integrated Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment Methodology specifically designed for the Mauritian context. The model will determine the cumulative environmental pressures associated with a given commodity demand. It uses an accounting system based on environmental input-output tables (EIOT), materialising physical flows to analyse drivers of environmental impacts with one single coherent data set in a life cycle perspective.Results will act as a major decision making tool for the implementation of a sustainable policy at the different levels of the Mauritian society. It will also provide a strong foundation for future problem-solving oriented, environmental research in Mauritius. EIOT could be suitable for three main applications depending on availability of data: i) Problem analysis (embodied pollution in chosen sectors)- static table based on yearly data -, ii) Monitoring – time series data iii) foresight or scenario analysis – based on estimates for a dynamic model.

Exploring the Ricardian Model: An Experimental Investigation (2010)

Student : Ramsohok Sonalisingh Institution : University of Mauritius (Fuculty of Social Studies and Humanities)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Dr B. Nowbutsing
Abstract : Theoretically, there has been major development in the field of international trade. This project concentrates on an experimental exploration of the Competitive Ricardian Model (CRM). The CRM attributes comparative advantage entirely to differences in labour requirements of production. With such a simple structure one might expect tests of the CRM to be fairly easy. However, several problems arise in testing the CRM. First, with free trade complete specialisation is implied in equilibrium. A good will be produced in more than one country if relative labour costs are the same. However, it is difficult to observe relative labour requirements, as imported goods will never be produced in the importing countries. Secondly, it is difficult to make international comparisons of labour requirement when there are many countries. Thirdly, Ricardian comparative advantage concept relates observables such as trade flows and specialisation to things that cannot be observed, i.e. autarkic prices. Ideally, one would observe and compare labour requirements in all countries of the world simultaneously. However, this poses practical difficulties. Leamer and Levinsohn (1996) view the model as too simple for serious empirical testing. Indeed, the empirical literature on CRM is such that leading international text books continue to cite old results from the study of MacDougall (1951), Stern (1962), and Balassa (1963). The survey by Leamer and Levinsohn (1996) states that: “We are unaware of any recent work testing or estimating the applicability of the Ricardian model.” However lately there have been some other attempts in testing the Ricardian model but with little success. For many decades economists have lamented the constraints on performing experiments in economics. However with the birth of experimental economics this perception has changed. This field has developed considerably over the years. Now results from experiments are taken seriously. The experimental literature evolved in three directions: market experiments, game experiments and individual-decision making experiments. Over the years however, experimental methodology has been applied to more complex environments investigating macroeconomic issues and international economics. The aim of the MPhil/PhD is to create laboratory environment that can be used for a variety of theoretical investigations in the field of international trade. The CRM occupies a major part of our study. The following two experiments are conducted namely 1. An Experimental Investigation of the 4 x 4 Competitive Ricardian Model 2. Tariffs and Quotas in the Competitive Ricardian Model: An Experimental Investigation. 3. The Welfare Effect of an Enlargement of a Customs Union: An Experimental Investigation.

Fundamental Theoretical Study of High Energy Density Materials ()

Student : BHAKHOA Hanusha Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Full Time Year :
Supervisor : Prof P Ramasami and Prof J M Dyke
Abstract : The search for potentially powerful yet “greener” high-energy-density materials (HEDMs) is undoubtedly one of the greatest endeavours of the global scientific community. Particularly, azides ions which also act as a precursor for polynitrogen clusters are potential “green” HEDMs yielding the benign N2 upon decomposition. In this context, inorganic azides have received considerable attention in the field of coordination chemistry. However, most of the metal azides are highly shock sensitive and macrocycles can be subsequently used to stabilize them. Thus, the coordination chemistry of selected metal azides with (a) azamacrocycles and (b) polydentate phosphine oxide ligands are studied with quantum chemical approaches such as couple cluster and density functional theory computations. The geometric and electronic structures as well as the reaction enthalpies are among some of the fundamental parameters that are studied. Additionally, since azamacrocycles are widely found in nature, this study opens an avenue to biomimic the coordination of metal azides with biologically modeled nitrogen containing macrocycles. The compounds considered herein are invariably difficult to handle experimentally because of their hazardous nature. The computations will be important to guide experimentalists with the synthesis and characterization of HEDMs.

Generation of Electricity using Wind Power in Mauritius (2010)

Student : Cunden T.S Modelly Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof. K.M.S Soyjaudah
Abstract : Mauritius has embarked itself on the “Maurice Ile Durable” (MID) project since 2005 and Renewable Energy Sources is one of the priority chapters in the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States. Wind Energy represents a very strong potential for Mauritius. It can help to bring about more than 195,000 tCO2/yr certified emission reductions (CER’s) for 100 MWh. The success of a reliable development in Wind Energy in Mauritius will depend on building resources so as to optimise the harnessing of Wind Energy. In this research it is proposed to make a wind resource assessment of Mauritius using the Mesoscale Model MM5 at a resolution of 1x1 km. This will be used to select potential sites which have enough wind resource for the setting up of wind farms. Then a microscale model will be used to optimise the siting of wind turbines within the farms and simulate the electrical power that can be derived from the wind.

Genetic characterization of Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of potato late blight disease, in Mauritius (2011)

Student : Ibrahim Bibi Adillah Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Dr Nawsheen Taleb-Hossenkhan Dr Salem Saumtally
Abstract : Phytophthora infestans is an oomycete pathogen which causes late blight diseases of potato and tomato. As to date, almost nothing is known about the extent of genetic variation and degree of genetic differentiation amongst the Phytophthora infestans populations of Mauritius. This study will investigates the genetic diversity of different strains of Phytophthora infestans in Mauritius, using both phenotypic markers like mating type as well as molecular markers such as isozyme, mtDNA restriction digest profiles, multilocus genotypes. An analysis of the genetic structure of local Phytophthora infestans strains is important, so that we know whether the same strains are causing infection every year and how the pathogen is mutating.

Geometrical, Energetic and Electronic parameters of MxSby (M = Al, Ga and In) and InxAsy (x + y = 3) and their anions (2010)

Student : Gohee Pravesh Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc Prof. Ponnadurai Ramasami Prof. Edet F. Archibong
Abstract : Guessed structures for geometry optimization of the named gallium, aluminium and indium clusters will be taken from previous investigations on isoelectronic gallium arsenide clusters investigated by S. Brownridge. GaussView will be used to construct the structures of the gallium, aluminium and indium clusters and the computations will be carried out using GAUSSIAN 03W. The levels of theory will be DFT, MP2 and CCSD(T). In the case of DFT, the gradient-corrected B3LYP functional (i.e Becke’s 3-parameter hybrid exchange functional [26] and Lee, Yang, and Parr correlation functional [27] would be employed. The proposed basis sets will range from 6-311+G(p) to 6-311+G(2df). Pseudopotentials for the heavy atoms will also be used to account partially for relativistic effects The adiabatic electron affinity (AEA), vertical electron detachment energy (VEDE) and adiabatic electron detachment energy (AEDE) will be computed as follows: AEA= E (neutral ground state)  E (anion ground state) VEDE = E (neutral at optimized anion geometry) – E (optimized anion) AEDE = E (optimized neutral geometry) – E (optimized anion)

Geostatistical Models for Estimating Rainfall over Mauritius (2011)

Student : Dhurmea Ram Kumar Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : PhD - PT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Prof. Rughooputh S.D Assoc. Prof. Boojhawon R
Abstract : Accurate estimates of the amount and spatial distribution of precipitation are critical inputs in a variety of fields such as ecology, agriculture, and particularly the broad field of hydrology for location of catchments areas and proper water management for domestic, industrial and commercial use. Nowadays most models including hydrological models are becoming increasingly linked to geographic information systems which require precipitation fields on grid systems in digital form. Rainfall is currently measured at about 240 locations over the island along with about 20 automatic weather stations . This provides the opportunity to develop an efficient and rigorous statistical model for estimating rainfall. Such a model can give accurate estimation with fewer rainfall stations since the density of gauges over the island is bound to decrease in the future. It can also enable relocation of rainfall gauges from region where a good model performance to regions which demands more sampling, particularly over mountainous regions. There are different traditional interpolation techniques for mapping rainfall namely the inverse distance and the Thiessen polygon technique. However, these two methods are inefficient for the island given that they do not cater for factors such as topography, which can affect the catch at a gauge. To overcome this deficiency, the isohyetal method was designed which is currently used at the Meteorological Station. One limitation is the need of an extensive gauge network o draw isohyets accurately. Geostatistics, which is based on the theory of regionalised variables and where variogram stand as the backbone and kriging is used as the interpolation method, has emerged and is one of the most preferred methods because it allows spatial correlation between neighbouring observations to predict attribute values at unsampled locations. Furthermore, using more complex form of kriging, known as cokriging, or along with regression techniques, other parameters such as elevation, wind direction and speed and humidity will be used as co-variables to estimate rainfall on regular grids. The aim of this study is to develop geostatistical models to estimate rainfall at different time scales over the island and also analyse daily rainfall data and develop templates for modelling different climate systems individually.

Globalisation, export-oriented employment and factory relocation: Implications for female garment workers in Mauritius (2010)

Student : Peedoly Aveeraj Sharma Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities)
Level : PhD - PT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof S. Bunwaree
Abstract : This study highlights the fragile and temporal nature of flows of capital associated with processes of economic globalisation in Export Processing Zones. It seeks to explore and understand the implications of the abrupt relocation of footloose MNEs on female workers and their households, thus fuelling the on-going debate about whether participation in the global economy promotes pro-poor growth or whether it is accompanied with risks of declining living standards. I use the example of the restructuring of the Mauritian garment industry and the outflow of capital associated among other things with the dismantling of the Multi-Fibre Agreement to argue that the benefits of participation in global chains of production are fragile and ephemeral and bring about risks of social exclusion. Key related questions which are addressed are whether there is any evidence of social exclusion as a result of retrenchment, what are the coping strategies employed by this social group. This study also seeks to question the extent to which the state does or can adequately protect workers and support laid-off workers. In addition, this study also seeks to investigate whether gender benefits which to a certain extent accrue to women as a result of paid employment in this sector are maintained or eroded as a result of retrenchment. Preliminary data from studying the life-histories of 18 retrenched female workers who have lost their jobs since 2004 reveals that the impact of job loss transcends income poverty and the ability to meet basic needs. Instead, compounded with factors such as their gender, difficulties of redeployment in other sectors given their relatively high age/low educational profile as well as loopholes in existing Governmental measures to support retrenched workers, those workers accumulate multiple disadvantages in economic, social and political spheres and are to a certain extent indicative of their social exclusion.

High-Order Central-Upwind Schemes for Conservative Option Pricing Problems (2015)

Student : Bhatoo Omishwary Institution : Univerisity of Technology, Mauritius (School of Innovative Technologies and Engineering)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2015
Supervisor : Professor Eitan Tadmor (University of Maryland, USA) & Dr Arshad Ahmud Iqbal Peer (University of Technology, Mauritius)
Abstract : Derivative markets are witness to dramatic growth in the styles of option traded. The latter arise mostly from differing exercising techniques, payoff profiles, expiration cycles, types of underlying security traded and others. Unlike European style options, American and Exotic options conform to no closed-form solution. Often varying problem specificities call for distinctive valuation methods to target efficiency and thus relate to high time consumption and heavy costs. Our research envisions the development of black-box numerical approaches to price diverse types of option. In complement, the class of high-order central-upwind numerical methods, basically designed for hyperbolic conservation laws, serves the purpose. These schemes flexibility features easy multi-dimensional generalizaions with or without diffusive term. Generally, non-oscillatory and high-resolution approximations are guaranteed. We propose adapted approaches to diffusion component present and time ODE introduced by the semi-discrete formulation. Through high-order methods coupled with new or modified reconstructions, we quest for excellent numerical approximations. Relying on the expected adaptability of our universal conceptualization, we endeavor to solve linear, non-linear, one- and two-dimensional option valuation convection-diffusion PDEs in the Black-Scholes framework.

Improving milk production by optimising the efficiency of utilisation of available forages for dairy cows (2010)

Student : Ravina Jean Mathieu Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Agriculture)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof F. Driver
Abstract : The impact of nitrogenous (N) fertiliser, seasons of the year and physiological maturity on stargrass (Cynodon plectostachyus) biomass (dry matter yield; DMY) and nutritive value was evaluated in a split plot design. Seasons of the year, N- fertiliser and regrowth maturity impacted significantly (p<0.01) on sward biomass and nutritive value. DMY was fourfold higher with N- fertiliser (60 Ton/ha/yr versus 16 Ton/ha/yr) irrespective of seasons and the DMY of winter sward was three times lower regardless fertiliser treatments. The leaf proportion of sward quadratically declined with physiological maturity while the opposite was recorded with the stem, senescent materials and fibre content (cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin) of sward. The crude protein (CP) content of fertilised sward was higher and declined from 20.45%± 2.89 and 34.68%± 0.34 to 4.52%± 0.30 and 7.10%± 0.57 in summer and winter respectively. Sward CP and fibre was highly related to sward phenology, and the latter could be used for indexing stargrass quality. The nutritive value of sward declined with sward maturity. The relapse in sward nutritive value was more rapid in summer; therefore, stargrass should be harvested at latest 6 weeks maturity in summer and up week- 10 in winter. Sward production was seasonal and to ensure year round supply of quality sward, about ¼ of the summer biomass should be conserved. Unfertilised sward was unsustainable since land is a limited resource. The stocking rate of fertilised stargrass was estimated to be 12 Livestock Unit, equivalent to 10.3 Dairy Unit. Depending on seasons, fertiliser treatments and animal physiological state, sward- based diet should be supplemented with crude protein, energy and minerals for optimum rumen condition and milk production. Key words: Stargrass, biomass, nutritive value, maturity, N- fertiliser and seasons

Improving the encoding and the decoding process of low-density parity-check codes for novel applications (2009)

Student : Bhurtah Insah Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Prof. K. M. S. Soyjaudah Dr C Catherine
Abstract : The essence of digital communication lies in the proper transfer of information from source to destination and is concerned with the physical transmission of data (represented by an electro-magnetic signal by a digital bit stream) over a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint medium. The need for reliable digital communications is constantly increasing with the high volumes of data processing and long-distance communications scaling even into outer space. There have been attempts to develop data communication systems, but with low data rates and high error probabilities. In 1948, Claude Shannon developed the information theory to compress, store and communicate data reliably. Emerging from information theory, coding theory most essentially channel coding deals with error-correction code for the protection and retrieval of data sent over noisy channels. Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes are error-correcting codes whose concept was developed by Robert G. Gallager in 1960. In recent years, advances in LDPC coding enabled better performance than turbo codes to be achieved. In 2003, an LDPC code beat six turbo codes to turn into the new DVB-S2 standard for the satellite transmission of digital television. LDPC codes are equipped with relatively fast encoding and decoding algorithms. The objective of this research is to improve LDPC codes such as Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs) and Interplanetary Networks (IPNs). In addition to this, applications such as compressed sensing and IEEE 802.16 WiMax Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access Standards are considered. LDPC codes can also be used for memory storage.

Integration of ex-detainees in the Work Life: The case of Mauritius (2010)

Student : Fhooblall Harish Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius (School of Business Management and Finance)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Associate Professor, Dr Hemant Birandranath CHITTOO (UTM) Dr Shobana NELASCO (Madurai, India)
Abstract : Each year, a large number of people are released from prison in Mauritius. The obstacles to successful re-insertion are numerous, starting with the challenge of finding stable work. Indeed, it is noted that a large proportion of released ex-detainees return to prison within a relatively short time. In recognition of the enormous human and financial cost of recidivism, it is interesting to examine closely ex-detainee re-entry initiatives, particularly those focused on employment. This ongoing study, will review present initiatives, will describe some planned or ongoing endeavours, and will propose some ideas for future efforts. There have been no or few rigorous studies of employment-focused re-entry models, and there is a pressing need for more definitive evidence of what works in order to prevent the gangrene of recidivism and degrading law and order to permeate our society. Many experts believe that the most promising reintegration models provide coordinated services both before and after inmates are released. It is clearly difficult to increase employment and earnings for apparently disadvantaged and prejudiced persons. However, such initiatives have to be undertaken on two main grounds, firstly from a Human Resources perspective, in sense of avoiding wastage of resources and secondly in order to avoid recidivism and the social, economic and financial costs associated with this phenomenon. However, a consensual view from literature seems to indicate that integrated services and support, both before and after release may make a positive impact and produce useful results in terms of ex-detainees integration in the work life of Mauritius and their acceptance in society as normal citizens. The study now under way will try to expand the knowledge base and make recommendations based on best practices and approaches to be adopted to deal with the reintegration of ex-detainees in the work life of Mauritius.

IT Governance to propagate Knowledge in Banking Organisations – A Mauritian Perspective (2010)

Student : Mauree- Narrainen Diroubinee Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius (Scool of Business Finance and Management)
Level : PhD - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Associate Professor Dr Hemant B.Chittoo Professor David Wastell
Abstract : Banks’ optimal operation depends much on the efficient use of their organisational resources. While Information Technology (IT) is regarded as banks’ hard assets and knowledge represents their soft asset, it has been observed that banks, by and large, fail on optimizing these two resources. The contribution and originality of this research work is based on the bringing of both IT governance and Knowledge Management (KM) together to enhance the efficiency of banking organizations. Assessments through the SWOT analysis approach have been carried out in banks in Mauritius to evaluate the state of banks’ IT governance and KM initiatives. Qualitative and quantitative analyses have shown that our Mauritian banks have already achieved some developed structured aspects of IT governance while their KM level is mostly unstructured and informal. In this perspective, a causal relationship has also been established between both fields. This study may contribute to the microeconomic efficiency of a country in relation to the banking sector. It may also result in an incentive for its replication in other industries where IT and knowledge have major roles in operational activities. The global IT outsourcing, organizational knowledge processes and efficiency metrics are among the constraints and not in the boundary of this investigation. Recommendations have been suggested towards more focus towards existing IT services, IT investments, KM initiatives and mechanisms, all converged and presented through a model and framework for improved efficiency in the banking organizations. The points raised are expected to be of interest to particularly the government, regulatory bodies in ICT and financial industries, banking executives, academics and researchers. Key Terms: Banking Organizations, IT Governance, Knowledge Management, IT Investments, KM Mechanisms

Macromolecular engineering of Poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-based amphiphilic copolymers for controlled drug delivery. (2010)

Student : Veeren Anisha Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof D.Jhurry, Dr A.Bhaw-Luximon
Abstract : Conventional drug delivery systems present several limitations such as nonspecific biodistribution and targeting, lack of water solubility, poor oral bioavailability, and low therapeutic indices. Nanotherapeutics that is nanoparticle-based drug delivery provides many advantages, such as enhancing drug-therapeutic efficiency and biodistribution, thus enabling a more controllable release of therapeutic compounds. PEG almost holds a monopoly situation in drug delivery formulations, however, in 1984 the existence of a naturally occurring anti-body against PEG has been reported and its occurrence determined to be 0.2% in the healthy population. Other hydrophilic and biocompatible polymers such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) have also been tested in controlled drug delivery systems by virtue of their ability to form complexes with proteins and peptides leading to an increase in their in vivo circulation time. Another possible alternative from the PVA family is polyvinylpyrolidone (PVP). This research aims at: (i) synthesis of PVP-based systems for controlled drug delivery applications (ii) drug loading and assessment of release kinetics/biodistribution from the prepared nanomicelles (iii) in-vivo studies on animal model in collaboration with CYROI, La Réunion, and (iv) comparison study with PEG based nanomicelles.

Meiofauna assemblage (including macrofauna and fish larvae) in different mangrove forests of Mauritius and their ecological importance. (2013)

Student : SUNKUR Reshma Institution : University of Mauritius (Science)
Level : Mphil/PhD - Full time Year : 2013
Supervisor : Dr Appadoo and Dr Muthumbi
Abstract : The research project is based on the importance of the mangrove forests of Mauritius at 5distinct sites and variations that these sites may present. Though there are only 2main species of mangrove trees in Mauritius, they play a key role in protecting the island from strong currents, preventing coastal erosion, acting as pollution sinks and as nursery sites for juvenile fishes. It is assumed that the level of pollution determines the abundance, distribution and biodiversity of the meiofauna in mangrove sediments and the study will aim at confirming this hypothesis which will be cheaper environmental monitors. Due to the lack of information on the mangrove faunal communities, an investigation is being made on the mangrove macrofauna and meiofauna and if the macrofauna structure the meiofauna assemblage. Samples are taken on a bimonthly basis in triplicates and 5 times randomly. The mangrove forests are generally surveyed, physical parameters (pH, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen) are recorded, meiofauna and macrofauna surveys are carried out, heavy metals are analysed in sediment and fish larvae identified. By the three year period of the project, the abundance, biodiversity and distribution of the meiofauna and macrofauna at the distinct sites in Mauritius, data on the relationship (if any) between the meiofauna and macrofauna at the 5 sites, preliminary data on the physical parameters, heavy metals, fish distribution and mangrove forest structures at the 5 sites, data on the relationship (if any) between meiofauna abundance, biodiversity and distribution and heavy metal present at the sites and data on the type of fish feeding near the mangrove areas will be obtained.

Modelling and predicting scenarios on energy demand and consumption in Mauritius. (2009)

Student : Badurally Adam Noure- Roukhaya Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. MZ Dauhoo. Assoc. Prof. MK Elahee.
Abstract : Energy is fundamental for the prosperity and economic development of any country. Energy demand is met by installing generation capacity. For electricity, this occurs in the form of power plants running on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas, biomass, hydro and, since recently, on renewable sources like wind and solar energy also to a significant extent. However, capacity installed may not be always required at all times during the day and at night. Much of the installed capacity in different countries is unused for most of the time except when the demand peaks. Managing the demand can help avoid investing in additional capacity. Optimal use of the latter is possible if demand is forecasted accurately. In that sense, forecasting and management of energy demand is a crucial issue to be addressed. Forecasting helps to identify and control parameters influencing the demand and hence improves the potential of demand-side management. For instance, it allows to assess the extent to which demand and economic growth are coupled, the impact of temperature on demand or still the effect of increasing population. If prediction is accurate, it will lead to more coherent and acceptable policies. Conversely, identification of the parameters affecting demand can lead to a dynamic control of the latter such that the installed capacity is fully optimized. In the future, such a technique can be useful in monitoring Smart-Grid systems. In this report, we survey some of the latest methodologies used to forecast the future energy consumption of various countries. These methods are generally based on Genetic Algorithm (GA), Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Multiple Regression, Time Series, Stochastic Processes and so on. We enumerate and discuss the factors influencing energy and peak electricity demand and their correlation to demand are investigated using parametric tests such as Simple Regression Analysis and the Pearson Method. The relevant factors are used to build various forms of mathematical expressions namely quadratic, exponential, logarithmic and stochastic, in order to forecast the energy demand. The Genetic algorithm searches for values of coefficients for which minimum root mean square error occurs. ANN is used to estimate each independent variable and the models are validated for the year 2009. Finally, we set up a system of four stochastic ordinary differential equations to forecast population, GDP, imports and energy consumption. Our numerical experiment shows that the system of stochastic differential equations model yields the minimum error compared to the above mentioned methods.

MOLECULAR AND CLINICAL EFFECTS OF A FERMENTED PAPAYA PREPARATION ON DIABETES AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES (2010)

Student : Somanah-Bhugowandeen Meera Jhoti Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof T. Bahorun, Prof O. Aruoma, Prof E.Pourton
Abstract : Strategies for the intervention and prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular dysfunctions, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases requires an understanding of the clinical effects and basic molecular mechanisms of dietary antioxidant factors from food plants and medicinal plants that may prevent or reverse the progression of diseases. Phytochemicals in functional foods present an affordable alternative treatment for debilitating hormonal diseases such as, diabetes mellitus. Recent clinical and cellular studies examining the molecular and neuroprotective role of plant dietary factors have emphasized their suitability for the management of oxidative stress on major organs in diseases of overt inflammation. The proposed study will encompass a randomized clinical trial performed at the Cardiac Centre, SSRNH Hospital, Pamplemousses. Data analyses at the University of Mauritius and Apollo Bramwell Hospital will assess the bioefficacy of a Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP®, Osato International, Japan) supplement on biomarkers of oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In-vitro molecular and biochemical works pertaining to the role of FPP® as a antioxidant will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Saint Denis (Laboratoire de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, LBGM, La Réunion). Further studies will examine the efficiency of FPP® in the prevention of common periodontal disease in-vitro. In whole, this project aims at examining the role of FPP® as a dietary supplement for the management of diabetes and wellness in a Mauritian population. Keywords: diabetes, antioxidant, oxidative stress, fermented papaya preparation

Neural Networks Intelligent Agents using Neuroevolution for emerging communication technologies (2010)

Student : Mohabeer Heman Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Prof. K.M.S Soyjaudah
Abstract : Neural networks (NNs) represent possibly one of the most recent advancement in the artificial intelligence (AI) area. Perhaps it may be poised to provide a solution to the greatest challenge in the world of computing i.e. enabling the computer to develop Artificial Intelligence. Neural network in itself is a very vast topic subjected to multiple developments with no restriction upon its area of application. While it may be used to predict stock exchange, neural network’s has also shown the aptitude to adapt to wider field, such as communication or more precisely as equalizers in communicating channels as well as adaptive antennae. The proposed research aims at getting a more profound understanding of neural network by comparing its principle of operation with that of a real neuron. The outcome of this research will yield a deeper understanding in the convergence and divergence of the neural network as compared to the human brain. Furthermore an in-depth methodology of the human neuron mapping especially in the neocortex region of the human brain will be made with expectation to bring improvement in the design of neural network at particular applications. Algorithms involving neural will be developed whereby improving applications such as classifiers and Neural Receiver Structures Based on Self-Organizing Maps in Nonlinear Multipath Channels among others. Construction of intelligent agents in sophisticated simulated worlds through biologically inspired computation methods is also envisaged. Despite successes in structured domains like board games and medical diagnosis, traditional artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are unlikely to lead to agents that can operate in the physical world around us. The real world is noisy, dynamic, high-dimensional, and only partially observable; very different from the structured worlds where logic and search have been so successful. However, recent increases in computing power provide a new opportunity, for two reasons. First, it is now possible to simulate the physical world in great detail, providing realistic challenges for AI in fully known and controllable environments. Second, biologically inspired computation techniques, such as neural networks, evolutionary computation, and reinforcement learning, have become practical in complex domains. Applying them to realistic simulations is a major step towards building intelligent agents for the real world. Neural networks are best distinguished from other intelligent techniques in that they are non rule-based and can additionally be made stochastic so that the same action does not necessarily take place each time for the same input. A stochastic behavior allows a neural network to explore its environment more fully and potentially to arrive at a better solution than linear methods might allow. An application of NN in the communication domain is bound to yield interesting results and thus it would be interesting to observe the behavior of NN in systems such as adaptive antennae.

Nutrition, Oral Health and Systemic Diseases (2012)

Student : NABEE Ziad Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : PhD - Full Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Dr Prity Pugo Gunsam
Abstract : Industrialization of agriculture has impacted food markets and led to increased availability of more processed, shelf-stable, calorie dense and easily digestible foods. Highly processed starch foods have been found to have high retention capacities on teeth. Processes like extrusion cooking, drum-drying, steam-flaking and baking modify the starch to different degrees, but they all increase the degree of starch gelatinization. This not only increases the availability of starch for bacterial fermentation processes, but also results in a product with a higher degree of stickiness. The food remnants can act as reservoirs of fermentable carbohydrates for oral microorganisms, resulting in prolonged acid production, and consequently a greater cariogenic challenge. The highly processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-depleted modern diet frequently leads to exaggerated post-prandial spikes in blood glucose and lipids and may be a key factor responsible for the rise in non-communicable chronic diseases (NCCDs) when combined with a sedentary lifestyle and abdominal obesity. The relative blood glucose raising ability of these high glycemic index foods alters appetite and energy partitioning in a way that is conducive to body fat gain and also induces proportionate oxidative stress which may acutely trigger inflammation and endothelial dysfunction and increased risk of future cardiovascular disease in both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. The interrelationship between nutrition, oral health and chronic diseases have been established and studied separately. Although the mechanisms that control these relationships are not fully understood, there is clearly a strong epidemiological association. The proposed study is in line with several existing strategies set up by the World Health Organization for the prevention and control of NCCDs and to meet the global goals for Oral Health in 2020.

OPTIMIZATION OF RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN ORTHOGONAL FREQUENCY DIVISION MULTIPLEXING USING EVOLUTIONARY ALGORITHMS (2005)

Student : Annauth Rajendrasingh Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : PhD - PT Year : 2005
Supervisor : Prof H.C.S Rughooputh
Abstract :

Pricing Financial Derivatives with Early Exercise Features ()

Student : TOUR Marie Laura Elodie Geraldine Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : Mphil/PhD - Full Time Year :
Supervisor : Dr D Y TANGMAN
Abstract : The research aims to develop new, fast and stable computational methods for pricing contingent claims with early exercise features such as American options, American bond options and American swaptions. Since most liquidly traded options are of American type, the development of new algorithms for pricing and hedging such securities is of high interest to practitioners in the field of financial engineering and also represents a topical field of research in finance. Existing algorithms include approaches based on the partial differential equations and Fourier transform methods which lend themselves very easily and naturally to option pricing with early exercise features. We aim to extend these existing methods to the pricing of fixed income products with path dependencies and the development of new higher order pricing techniques based on static hedging strategies will also be investigated for valuing American interest rate derivatives. Furthermore, with the development of a fast pricing technology for American options, the calibration of pricing models with market data can be performed much quicker such that trading and hedging strategies can be used to build optimal investment portfolios.

Promoting the ubiquitous usage of mobile services and applications for successful m- Government deployment in the Mauritian ecosystem (2012)

Student : RAMSURRUN Visham Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : Post-Doctoral - Full Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Prof. K.M.S. Soyjaudah
Abstract : The Mobile Revolution (M-revolution) is transforming how we live, work and play. The explosion of mobile applications and services (messaging, voice, internet, content), from multimedia messaging and camera-enabled phones to location-based services and mobile phone television, are now establishing themselves even further in the markets of Europe, the United States and the Asia-Pacific, particularly Japan, China and South Korea. Companies are now mobilising and bracing themselves against the impact of mobility in consumer and business markets, business operation models and strategy, and across all industries. The M-revolution has brought about marketing innovation through the developments in mobile technologies and is now bringing about a shift towards M-commerce. Governments around the world are also trying to keep pace with the changing business landscape by devising and providing m-Government services to their citizens, businesses and other government bodies. However, despite all the hype regarding mobile applications and services worldwide, Mauritius is lagging behind when it comes to the usage of mobile apps and services. The proposed research aims at uncovering the barriers to increased mobile apps usage, mobile content creation and m-commerce, and devising ways and means to boost their adoption by the Mauritian people, thereby creating better conditions for successful m-Government services deployment in Mauritius. The fundamental problem that this research will address is the very slow uptake of mobile applications and services in the Mauritian ecosystem. Compared to the vibrancy of global mobile applications and services markets, Mauritius is lagging behind when it comes to riding this new wave of technological innovation and social transformation. As a result, M-commerce in Mauritius is practically inexistent, and the country has also not been able to successfully embark on the deployment of m-Government services to its citizens, businesses and government bodies. Until and unless a boost is given to the development and usage of mobile apps and mobile content, the emergence and adoption of mobile services will continue to be delayed.

Regional Financial Integration: Case of SADC (2010)

Student : Gungaram Girash Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. BUNDOO Sunil Kumar
Abstract : Financial integration in the SADC area is an important issue to investigate since economic theory suggests that integration and development of financial markets are likely to contribute to economic growth by allocating capital in an efficient manner and hence alleviate poverty. Financial integration can be viewed as a necessary condition to deepen overall macroeconomic convergence in the SADC area. As SADC establishes a Free Trade Area and Customs Union, it will be necessary to take steps to deepen monetary cooperation and financial integration in the region that would lead to the establishment of a monetary union. This study aims at measuring the current level of financial integration in the different financial market segments namely; bond, credit/money and equity markets. This analysis will be measured using the approaches proposed by Adam et al. (2002) and Baele et al. (2004) notably, (i) the price-based indicators to identify the speed and degree of convergence, (ii) news-based indicators to measure the propagation of shocks and (iii) the quantity-based indicators to assess the degree of cross-border transactions. The first two categories of measures are based on the law-of-one price. In-depth analysis will measure the trend of integration or segmentation in these different markets, that is, whether integration is progressing, stable or regressing. This research will also provide an overview of the financial systems, take stock of the reform efforts and highlight the opportunities and challenges ahead, examines the prospects for financial integration in the SADC member countries and assess the extent to which regional financial integration can intensify the pace of overall regional integration.

Regionalism, Trade and Economic Growth Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Region. (2011)

Student : Luckho Takesh Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Dr. J. Khadaroo
Abstract : Regional integration has always been viewed as a major weapon in the arsenal of industrial policy that a country can use to sculpt the path of industrialisation of its economy so as to achieve higher growth and better social well-being for all its citizens. During the late 1990’s, the world has experienced a phenomenal expansion in the number of regional agreements being signed around the world, with some 421 Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) already notified at the WTO and hundreds more are still awaiting clearance at the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA). To avoid being marginalised on the international stage, Africa also became an adept of regional integration. The Abuja Treaty (1991) sets up a roadmap for the creation of five Regional Economic Communities (RECs), which will then culminate towards the creation of a single African Economic and Monetary Union. However, after the signature of the Abuja Treaty (AT), the protocols and reforms agreed in the document were rather in a dormant phase. The regional blocs in Africa launched their own integration agenda and followed their own roadmaps. The creation of a single African Community was a distant dream! However, since the beginning of the 21st century, there seems to be a renewed interest in the AT-integration process. At the EAC-SADC-COMESA tripartite summit held in Uganda on the 22nd October 2008, the central theme at the conference aimed for the creation of a single Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) market through deeper intra-bloc integration and at the same time become a building bloc towards achieving the African Economic Community as outlined by the Treaty of Abuja. The idea has been in the pipeline for quite some time now, but very few empirical works have tried to evaluate the rationale of the proposal. This thesis tries to assess the economic soundness of creating a single trading bloc in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. The ex-ante and ex-post effects of ESA integration is analysed, a new regional integration proxy is constructed and a firm-level analysis is done to identify the bottlenecks constraining local firms from exploiting all the benefit offered by such an agenda.

Reliability assessments and predictions over mobile and ubiquitous computing (2011)

Student : Galamali Mahammad Kaleem Institution : University of Technology, Mauritius (Scholl of Innovative Technologies and Engineering)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Dr Mohammudally.
Abstract : Mobile and Ubiquitous computing have opened up several new avenues for the whole world. Study about mobile and Ubiquitous computing is considered important in the new era of computing and is being introduced in lower levels of study like pre-university, undergraduate and post graduate courses. The number of applications of mobile networking and ubiquitous computing is growing significantly. These include mobile telephony, Short Message Service (SMS), Multi-Media Streaming (MMS), WAP, Mobile access to internet and television. These also include [Hoebeke et al.,2006] : Tactical Networks, Emergency Services, Commercial and Civilian environments, Home and Enterprise networking, Education, Entertainment, Sensor networks, Context Aware Services, Coverage extension. Pioneers in this field like Mark Weiser, M. Satyanarayanan, Steve Mann and others have mostly expressed their visions about Mobile and Ubiquitous computing and their applications in the real world. Research has mostly been carried out to create new functionalities and improving them. Much less is known about reliability in this field. Reliability knowledge is concerned with fields of maturity like Web Design, Operating Systems and Software Engineering. Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing is still in its infancy stages, though it has progressed a lot from its embryonic stages. The aim of this investigation is to study the factors which contribute to reliability in this field and how to work with them in order to assess and predict, improve the reliability features, what should be the desired levels of reliability metrics identified. The result of this study can also be used by researches and developers to know in which directions improvements should be brought in this field for a better sustainable development. Furthermore, the research aims at formulating models for reliability in pervasive computing as are very much present in Software Engineering. The behaviour of different metrics under different conditions will be recorded and analysed empirically and mathematically. Relationships between these metrics will be investigated. Following these investigations, guidelines for setting up optimal ubiquitous network provisioning will be devised without many real implementation testing (and mistakes), i.e. will give assistance towards accuracy, precision and reliability right from the design stages. This will be accompanied by relevant architectural provisions in such a system.

Retrospect and prospects of the Indian classical dances in Indian Diaspora: The case of Mauritius (2009)

Student : Pentiah Dayashree Institution : University of Mauritius (FSSH)
Level : MPhil - PT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Dr. Jeevendiren Chemen.
Abstract : Over the last two centuries, Indians have migrated to every nook and corner of the globe. Even today, in the best of times, the waves of migration are still prominent with people in search of greener pastures. As the migrants are dispersed from one societal milieu to another, they enter a cauldron of a new cultural entity. The migrants feel the need to hold on or even redefine their bonds with the homeland. Indian immigrants have judiciously carried with them their millennia old rich cultural heritage which they implanted with much fervor in their ‘recreated’ home. The age old traditions, culture and its practices are valued and nurtures and are representative of the diasporic identity. The maintenance of this identity allows them migrants to be cohesive. In Mauritius, language has been a distinct ethnic marker and an effective tool for communication for the immigrants for quite a number of years since their arrival. But in course of time, the 4th and 5th generation descendents, through 150 years of their stay and contact with the local dominant communities and culture has led to considerable loss of the language. However the distinctive cultural practices have been retained with great effort. One of the cultural practices preserved is dance. The dance, whether classical, folk, social became for the diaspora a means of retaining one’s Indianness and also an expression reinforcing and asserting one’s ethnic identity in a multi- cultural tradition. Indian classical dance forms are codified art forms rooted in the principles of Natya Sastra- the oldest surviving text on stagecraft. The Natya Sastra which is an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts encompasses theatre, dance, and music besides reflecting the deep Indian philosophy, aesthetics and spiritualism. Parents find it the most acceptable way of exposing their children to the culture and heritage of India. Preliminary literature review reveals that such a phenomenon is recurrent in most of the Diasporas across the globe including the Indian Diaspora. It is against this backdrop that this study is taken to understand how the various parameters of identity are changing and how the wave theory of immigration help us to quantify dance traditions, the pressures that cause dances to change and the new directions being taken.

Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing [Biometrics] (2014)

Student : Khodabacchus Muhammad Yaasir Institution : University of Mauritius (Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Full Time Year : 2014
Supervisor : Professor (Dr) K . M.S Soyjaudah, Dr G. Ramsawock
Abstract : Over the next few years the amount of biometric data being at the disposal of various agencies and authentication service providers is expected to grow significantly. Such quantities of data require not only enormous amounts of storage but unprecedented processing power as well. To be able to face this future challenges more and more people are looking towards cloud computing, which can address these challenges quite effectively with its seemingly unlimited storage capacity, rapid data distribution and parallel processing capabilities. However biometrics on cloud does cause concerns for its security and privacy. In fact, as cloud computing environment is based on interaction with all information systems via the Internet, this factor increases risk and security vulnerabilities. According to an IDC Asia/Pacific Cloud Survey in 2009, the major concern within the cloud environment is the issue of privacy and security. Although the majority of the cloud providers claim that their systems are secure and robust, it has been argued that all these strong security systems can be breached. As such the objective the objective that will be addressed in this work is to design a secure storage architecture for biometric data storage in the cloud. This architecture will focus on the security requirements including data confidentiality, integrity, availability, fairness, freshness. Furthermore it will allow the cloud customers to check where their stored biometric data is located, without relying on the word of the cloud provider. In addition work to have a good and reliable performance for biometric processing on cloud will be carried out.

STERILE INSECT TECHNIQUE FOR CHILO SACCHARIPHAGUS CONTROL: REARING DEVELOPMENT AND RADIATION BIOLOGY STUDIES (2010)

Student : Caphane Marie Jenny Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Agriculture)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Assoc Prof. S. Facknath, Dr S.Ganeshan, Prof D Conlong.
Abstract : Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is a biological control method which has been successfully applied to several insect pests since the past fifty years. However, this technique has not been investigated anywhere in the world for the management of Chilo sacchariphagus, and therefore represents an innovative pest management approach for this important insect pest of sugarcane. The success of the SIT approach rests on releasing large numbers of treated, but healthy and fully competitive, individuals. This necessitates developing an efficient breeding and rearing protocol, which involves optimization of the diet and environmental (temperature, relative humidity, photoperiod, etc) conditions, and establishing appropriate insect densities in the specialized rearing facility. This is then followed by determining the right dose of radiation for maximum sterilisation and minimum side effects. Visits were undertaken to South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) to study the successful breeding facility there and to two sugar estates in Mozambique to obtain an idea of the extent of C. sacchariphagus damage in sugarcane fields there. The knowledge gathered from these 2 visits is being used to set up rearing studies, with the objective of determining the most appropriate diet, the optimum environmental parameters, and the “best” means of optimising oviposition. Keywords:Sterile Insect Technique, biological control, Chilo sacchariphagus,rearing development, radiation

STOCK MARKET DEVELOPMENT: AN ASSESSMENT OF ITS DETERMINANTS AND ECONOMIC IMPACT FROM AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE. (2015)

Student : Matadeen Shashi Jeevita Institution : University of Mauritius (Law and Management)
Level : PhD - Full Time Year : 2015
Supervisor : Dr Seetanah
Abstract : The ever growing importance of stock markets around the world has strengthened the view that they play a key role in fueling a powerful and resilient economy. In the past few decades, the world stock markets have surged. Though they depended traditionally on the banking system, Mauritius, as well as other African countries were not spared: stock markets have rapidly sprouted in the region and gained a prominent role, while those countries which do not possess any are seriously considering launching one. Traditionally, the role of financial development on economic growth has been the focal point of economists, and as such, an overwhelming number of researches exist in the finance-growth nexus. However, given that the emphasis has only recently been veered towards the link between stock market development and economic development, the later has been the subject of relatively fewer empirical and theoretical studies. The debate is still difficult to solve and causality hard to pin down. Indeed, the exact direction of causality between stock market development and economic growth has turned out to be rather intricate and mixed results have been obtained. Taking into account the uniqueness of SIDS like Mauritius and African countries, this thesis shall strive to add on to the growing literature by investigating the link and exact direction of causality between equity market growth and economic development in Mauritius and other African countries through innovative econometrics techniques. Moreover, other than directly influencing economic growth, stock market development can have an impact on the later indirectly through channels like investment, foreign direct investment, private capital or other inputs in the growth function. This research will try to scrutinize and identify any such indirect effects which stock market development might have on economic growth. Moreover, the study will also assess the complementarity and substitutability element of bank and stock market development, a measure of banking development will be included in the model. Additionally, this thesis will also attempt to answer yet another question: if stock market development does indeed have an impact on economic growth, is it a continuously increasing effect, or, is there a point beyond which, any additional increase in stock market development will gradually start to hinder growth rather than promoting it. The answer to these questions will help to determine to what extent stock market development should be promoted in order to provide an optimal benefit for economic growth and thus form the base to important policy measures for the government. Innovative econometrics models will thus be used to delve into analyzing and identifying any such optimal impact. To better grasp what propels stock market development in Mauritius and other African countries, this thesis endeavors to bridge the gap in the literature by identifying the determinants of stock market development in the Sub-Saharan African region. Understanding the determinants of stock market development is important because, since stock market development is expected to promote economic growth, its determinants will also indirectly do so as well. The impact of both macroeconomic and institutional quality on stock market development will be looked at since both are believed to be closely linked to the latter.

Synthesis of surfactants derived from selected natural amino acids and Dipeptides and their biological and catalytic evaluation in pharmaceutical application. (2012)

Student : JOONDAN Nausheen Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - Full Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof Sabina Jhaumeer-Laulloo and Dr Prakashanand Caumul
Abstract : Cationic surfactants have attracted the attention of chemists due to their simple synthesis and wide application in several fields which includes the medicinal and environmental sector. Cationic surfactants are known to act as catalyst for organic C-C bond forming reactions.The use of surfactants in micellar medium offers the possibilities for reaction control by affecting the yield, regio and stereochemistry of the products. Furthermore, surfactants also offer the possibility for organic reactions to occur in aqueous media, and from the viewpoint of green chemistry, water is safer, harmless and environmentally benign. Apart from their application as catalysts, cationic surfactants are also found to be active against various disease-causing bacteria, tumors, and viruses. There is a growing demand for biodegradable and non-toxic cationic surfactants. Therefore, in this present work, surfactants derived from selected amino acids and dipeptides will be synthesised. These types of surfactants can mimic natural lipoamino acids given their natural and simple structure. The synthesised surfactants will then be tested as catalyst in C-C bond forming reactions (namely Diels-Alder and Aldol) which are used as key steps for making drug analogues. The synthesized surfactants will be screened for their anti-microbial activity.

The epidemiology of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) in Mauritian dairy cattle, beef cattle, rusa deer and pigs (2014)

Student : Thierry Sebastien Ian Lloyd Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Agriculture)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Full Time Year : 2014
Supervisor : Dr Sunita J Santchurn, Professor Yasmina Jaufeerally-Fakim and Professor James E Gannon
Abstract : Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) are important human pathogens. They are characterised by their ability to produce shiga toxins (stx1 and stx2). Clinical symptoms can vary from abdominal cramps and acute bloody diarrhea to more severe sequelae including hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombocytopenic purpura, which can lead to kidney failure and death. Dairy cattle, beef cattle, rusa deer and pigs are the main reservoirs of STEC. Humans become infected with STEC through direct contact with infected animals or by ingestion of contaminated water, raw and unpasteurized milk, meat products and/or plant-derived products. Cross-sectional studies investigating the prevalence of STEC in the above mentioned herds will be carried out all over Mauritius. Fecal and unprocessed samples will be collected and analysed using both microbiological and molecular techniques. This project also involves detection and characterization of STEC and other microorganisms directly from fecal matter and various sources in the absence of an enrichment step. Finally, a mathematical model will be developed for modelling on-farm STEC population dynamics in a dairy farm.

The Impact of Distributed Generation on the Mauritian Power Sector ()

Student : ESSACKJEE Ismaël Adam Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : MPhil/PhD - Part time Year :
Supervisor : Associate Professor R Ah King
Abstract : With growing awareness and concern towards lowering carbon emission, new renewable sources of generation are deliberately being integrated into the power system. Distributed Generation units have already started to graft to the existing Mauritian grid. Besides the environmental cachet, DG can apriori also contribute to voltage improvement, reduction in T&D losses as well as capacity release or deferment. However, the aging infrastructure has been primarily meant for one-way energy flow from large centralized, fully controllable, power plants to the customers at the other end of the network. This generality is very much likely to change and consequently the network must be adequately prepared and the impact properly assessed. Usually, the presence of only some small DG units, compared to bigger centralized power plants, will have negligible influence on the operation of the power network. Consequently, their impact is ignored. However, when increasing DG units start to connect to the network, the overall dynamics of the power system is substantially affected. In fact, the Government envisions making Mauritius a sustainable island “Maurice Ile Durable” by emphasizing the exploitation of renewable energy resources towards achieving sustainable development. Our long term Energy Policy has been steered in this direction with an aim of achieving about 35% of self sufficiency in terms of electricity supply from renewable sources of energy by 2025. Though being a laudable strategy, it is still to be ascertained that our current passive electrical infrastructure does not get degraded from the connections of these new DGs. This study shall review the different side effects that these DGs can have on the Mauritian electrical distribution system and what strategies can to be devised to ascertain the optimum penetration level so as to prevent collapse, insecurity and decrease in reliability of the electricity supply. The results may help both the Government in appraising the current electrical infrastructure to accommodate the increasing amount of DGs and will also allow the electric utility to assess the impact on voltage regulation, quality of supply, coordination of protective equipment, line losses and general system reliability. The findings may lead to planning and operational changes so that the infrastructure becomes ready to fully embrace the concept of “Maurice Ile Durable”.

The theme of insecurity in Mauritian Hindi Drama. (2009)

Student : Ramdharee Madhouree Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities)
Level : PhD - PT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Dr Rajrani Gobin Dr Abhimanyu Unnuth
Abstract : Mauritian Hindi Drama is a dynamicgenre in Mauritian Hindi writing and it plays a vital role in the Mauritian Hindi literature scenario. A common trait of Mauritian Hindi plays is the feeling of insecurity and various psychological, physical, cultural, moral, religious, social and political aspects linked with the feeling of insecurity are depicted in the Hindi plays. The main objective of the research is to define, discuss, explain, and explore the feeling of insecurity constantly present in man and to study the various kinds, conditions, causes and consequences of insecurity as highlighted in Mauritian Hindi Drama. The study is conducted through a comprehensive review of literature in the field and the qualitative method is used to explore the Mauritian setting from the point of view of the writers and thecharacters of the Hindi plays. Findings of the research will contribute to the scarce literature related to the history, trends and the theme of insecurity in Mauritian Hindi Drama and will enrich the Mauritian literary heritage.

Theoretical Insights into the Structures and Energetics of Novel Telluroformaldehydes, Silanetellurones and Germatellurones (2009)

Student : Jaufeerally Bibi Naziah Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. Ponnadurai Ramasami Prof. Henry F. Schaefer III
Abstract : Telluroformaldehydes, silanetellurones and germatellurones [X2M=Te and XYM=Te (X,Y=H, F, Cl, Br, I & CN and M=C, Si & Ge] are the di-substituted analogues of formaldehyde. These molecules, also known as heavy ketones, have recently aroused the interest of researchers. Such heavy ketones have proven to be convenient models for studying fundamental theoretical problems and also valuable intermediate products in the synthesis of organometallic analogues. Knowledge of the properties of these molecules is important for a better understanding of both the chalcogen and substituent effects. However the literature of the mentioned heavy ketones is limited both experimentally and theoretically. In view of these, this research aims at providing accurate theoretical predictions for the structures and energetics of the mentioned molecules.

Theoretical Investigation of the Cycloaddition Reactions of Phosphorinium-3-olates and 1,4-Diphosphorinium-3-olates with Substituted Alkenes (2013)

Student : Cassim Mohammad Wakhil Abdoolla Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : Mphil/PhD - FT Year : 2013
Supervisor : 1. Prof Ponnadurai Ramasami, Department of Chemistry, University of Mauritius, Mauritius 2. Prof Luis Domingo, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Universidad de Valencia, Spain
Abstract : 1,3-Dipolar cycloaddition (1,3-DC) reaction is the process by which a 1,3-dipole reacts with a dipolarophile to form a five-membered heterocyclic compound. 1,3-DC reactions of substituted phosphorinium-3-olates and 1,4-diphosphorinium-3-olates with methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate are investigated theoretically in the gas phase and in solvent using the density functional theory method with the B3LYP functional and the 6-31G(d) basis set. The solvent effects were taken into account with the polarizable continuum model in the framework of self-consistent reaction field. The energetic and thermodynamic parameters and the rate constant were calculated at 298.15 K for the possible endo/exo stereoisomeric and 6-ester/7-ester regioisomeric pathways of the 1,3-DC reactions of phosphorinium-3-olates and 1,4-diphosphorinium-3-olates. Intrinsic reaction coordinate computations starting at the saddle points are carried out to check the connections between the transition states and the reactants and cycloadducts using the second order González-Schlegel integration method. Natural bond orbital analysis is also accomplished on the electronic structures of the critical points. The data obtained are studied systematically and correlated to corresponding experimental observations and compared with nitrogen analogues of the 1,3-dipoles, thus this study can serve as stimuli to synthetic chemists to overcome the gap between nitrogen and phosphorous heterocycles.

Theoretical Study of Bimolecular Nucleophilic Substitution Reactions ()

Student : Laloo Jalal Zumar Ahmud Institution : University of Mauritius (Science)
Level : Mphil/PhD - Full Time Year :
Supervisor : Prof P. Ramasami
Abstract : Since long ago, the SN2 reaction has aroused immense interest as it plays an important role in many organic, inorganic and biological reactions. In order to understand these usually complex reactions, simple molecules are used for modelling. The archetypal reaction “Simple nucleophile, Nu(-) + CH3Cl  CH3Nu + Cl-, with Nu(-) = F-, OH-, NH2- and CH3-” is studied, theoretically, in the gas phase, THF as the solvent and with discrete DME molecule(s) for frontside and backside attack. The organometallic nucleophile, MNu (with M= Li, Na and Mg), is also considered for each reaction. The potential energy surface and activation strain energies are determined using “OLYP” functional and “6-31++G(d,p)” basis set. This study aims to (a) Provide structural parameters for the reactants, reactant complexes, transition states, intermediates, product complexes and products, (b) Understand trends in SN2 reactions along nucleophiles, from simple nucleophiles to their organometallic counterpart and from gas phase to solution. (c) Provides insights, which are, often, not achievable experimentally, for enriching the understanding, at molecular level, of SN2 reactions in complex systems.

Theoretical Study of Gallium Chalcogenides (2009)

Student : Seeburrun Neelum Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Science)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2009
Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. Ponnadurai Ramasami
Abstract : Clusters are of interesting research fields because they are often considered to be the bridges between isolated atoms or molecules and bulk material. The Group III family stimulates strong impetus for a series of fascinating experimental and theoretical studies. Among them, gallium chalcogenides clusters have been of considerable research interest due to their remarkably useful chemical and physical properties. The objectives of the research are to: (1) compute total energies, relative energy and harmonic vibrational frequencies of the stable clusters of neutral and anionic gallium chalcogens using the theoretical methods, (2) report the ground and low-lying geometries, (3) predict bond lengths and bond angles, (4) determine the electron detachment energies of the anions and (5) calculate electron affinities of neutral molecules. The findings of this work can be useful for future uses and applications of these clusters.

Towards a holistic and transformative approach to quality in education. Assessing the present mindset of stakeholders and developing a holistic quality model for transformation of secondary schools in Mauritius. (2010)

Student : Teeroovengadum Viraiyan Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Law and Management)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2010
Supervisor : Dr A.K Seebaluck Prof T.J Kamalanadhan
Abstract : Within the relevant literature, there is currently a strong call for the adoption of a transformative view of “quality” in education. Going one step further this study advocates that this need has much deeper roots. Indeed, for the past decades there has been a growing awareness for the adoption of a more Holistic and Transformative Approach to Education. However previous studies in various countries show that quality initiatives are still perceived to focus more on instrumental rather than transformational issues. This doctoral thesis aims at finding out critical factors to contribute substantially in the achievement of a “Quality Education” in its most profound sense for Mauritian Secondary Schools. The present perceptions and expectations of stakeholders are firstly assessed. The research then focuses on evaluating the readiness of secondary schools in Mauritius for transformation at institutional level. Finally, using the Self-Education Programme as the thrust, a model is proposed and tested empirically.

Validation of biological properties and phylogeny of Aloe species endemic to Mascarene Islands (2011)

Student : Lobine Devina Institution : University o Mauritius (Faculty of Agriculture)
Level : MPhil - FT Year : 2011
Supervisor : Dr (Mrs) Ranghoo Sanmukhiya Dr (Mrs) Govinden Soulange
Abstract : The aloe section Lomatophyllum, are succulent plants comprising 212 species, out of which 145 are from Madagascar, one from Pemba (Misali Island, Tanzania), Mayotte (Comoros archipelago), Aldabra (Seychelles archipelago), Réunion and Rodrigues (Mascarenes archipelago), and two from Mauritius. A. tormentorii and A. purpurea Lam are species endemic to Mauritius, while A. macra Haw. and A. lomatophylloides are endemic to Réunion and Rodrigues respectively. These Xerophytic plants which thrive in semi-shaded areas are edging to the brink of extinction, being ruthlessly invaded in their habitat by exotic flora. A. macra, A. purpurea and A. tormentorii, in spite of having morphological differences, are often confused among themselves or with other members of the Aloe genus, particularly with the introduced species Aloe vera, locally named as “Mazambron’. This project aims at evaluating how far the species in this genus are related with regards to their genetic material and metabolome. Moreover, it endeavors to identify and characterise the biologically active molecules of these species in view to arouse awareness on its potential pharmaceutical properties that can be harnessed in a time when alternative therapies to conventional medicine are gathering momentum.

Vermicomposting- Comparative assessment of nutrients and heavy metals content during the composting and vermicomposting of the organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) (2012)

Student : SOOBHANY Nuhaa Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : Mphil/PhD - Full Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Prof R Mohee and Associate Professor V.K Garg
Abstract : The aim of this study is to conduct a comparative assessment of nutrients and heavy metals bioaccumulation by earthworms (Eisenia fetida, Eudrilus eugeniae and Pheretimoid Spp) during the composting and vermicomposting of the organic fraction of MSW. The specific objectives are firstly to analyse the composting and vermicomposting processes in terms of temperature, moisture content, bulk density, volatile solids, pH, electrical conductivity and respiration rate. Secondly, to assess the quality of vermicompost produced with respect to nutrients content (N, P, K, Ca, Na, Mg), heavy metals content (Cd, Cr, Cu, Co, Fe, Mn, Pd and Zn) and other physico-chemical characteristics such as pH, EC, ash content, carbon content, porosity, water holding capacity, phytotoxicity bioassay, and particle size distribution. Thirdly, to assess the potential and identify which type of worms; either Eisenia fetida or Eudrilus eugeniae or Pheretimoid Spp bioaccumulate a larger amount of heavy metals and produce vermicastings which contain more nutrients in the vermicompost. Fourthly, to implement vermiculture technology that is to culture and study the cultivation of the three types of worms using the earthworm culture methods and finally, to assess the potential of vermicomposts and composts obtained as plant growth media.

“Assessing nutrients solubilisation during aerobic composting of Municipal Solid Wastes in view of improving compost quality for agricultural application in Mauritius” (2012)

Student : FÉLICITÉ Louis Eric Orlando Institution : University of Mauritius (Faculty of Engineering)
Level : PhD - Part Time Year : 2012
Supervisor : Professor Romeela Mohee
Abstract : Composting is a biological treatment in which microorganisms use organic matter as a substrate, the main products of this process being fully-mineralised materials (CO2, H2O, NH4+) and stabilized organic matter (mostly humic substances). Humic acids (HA), are the main and more stable component of the organic matter, and contribute to the essential functions of global soil fertility and health. Investigating HA generation and nitrogen content can help to optimize the formation of HA, reduce nitrogen (N) losses and increase the fertilizing capacity of municipal solid wastes (MSW) composts. The monitoring of N mineralization during a cycle of composting can be used as criterion of the compost maturity evaluation. Two composting experiments, 1 and 2 will be carried out to investigate on HA generation, N content and N losses and any relationship (correlation) between HA and N contents during the composting of sorted and unsorted MSW. For experiment I, MSW from three different sources will be composted using the open windrow and aerated static piles methods. Experiment 2 will be carried out using the in-vessel method and five different composts compose of different amount of MSW and poultry litter. The study will generate several sets of data which will provide a recipe for designing and controlling to reasonable extents the essential chemistry of composting on HA generation, nitrogen content and losses of sorted and unsorted MSW and poultry litter. Keywords: Composting, humic acid, nitrogen, municipal solid waste