Rocking and Storming Ahead
Sep 05, 2016 | Arghya Mazumdar
Establishing a new department is by no means a cake walk, but the Earth and Atmospheric Department of NITR has done a commendable job in it. This year the number of students having taken admission in MSc (2yr) courses has increased to 27 in Applied Geology and to 11 in Atmospheric Science. This number has risen from 20 and 3 respectively in the previous year.
The students having come from various corners of the country are a part of a department offering an Atmospheric Science Course not offered in any other NIT's. An example of the innovations they are involved in would include the project on studying the climatic and physiological conditions of MARS which the Department plans to undertake this year. Prof. Md. Equeenuddin, HOD said that Rourkela 's diversified climate provides ample exposure to the students to test their practical knowledge of the subject.
"People think mining has all the answers but it isn't so. Predicting whether the mine has gold, copper or some other minerals is the work of geologists. Sometimes the precipitate formation has to be done by inserting bacteria. Thus other fields such as microbiology also play an important role."
Hence, students from other related backgrounds can also take up the course, if they are made aware of its scope and opportunities.
The department featured three summer projects this year. Even though the laboratory facilities can be improved, in order to give students better opportunities and practical experience – the department is waiting for funds to be allocated for it, and biding their time in the meanwhile.
The current infrastructure however still includes all the necessary equipment such as Tangential Flow Filtration system, Flame Photometer, Spectrophotometer, UV-Visible Spectrophotometer, Microwave Digestion System, Optical Microscope Laboratory, Petrological Microscope, Resistivity Meter, etc.
One of the major concerns of the year, this time, is the role of the Training and Placement Centre in taking up active measures to ensure that students of the department are eligible to sit for recruitment in mining companies, unlike last year.
The faculty count of the department is 9 and they are highly experienced and dedicated, having numerous research articles and publications. The zealous students are also excited in exploring mines and recording the climatic conditions in the Weather Station Lab. The department is succeeding in providing a platform for those students who want to pursue higher studies abroad as well as for those who want to start their careers in organizations such as ISRO.