The Chronicles of Success: Department of Physics and Astronomy
Jul 31, 2017 | Zakiya Ali
On a serene Friday evening, team MM caught up with the very lively Dr Pawan Kumar, HOD (Physics and Astronomy) to talk about the recent changes and developments that have taken place in the department.
Owing to the recent changes made in the academic curriculum this year, there has been significant reduction of credits of the Integrated MSc students, thereby giving them more time to pursue a subject of their interest and thus making the work environment more conducive for new ideas and innovations. The laboratories of the department have also undergone several changes. Condensed Matter physics lab, Semiconductor & Nanostructure labs were fused together thus reducing the space crunches faced by the students earlier.
Changes were also made to the names of various labs to denote the exact purpose of these labs. Low temperature physics lab was changed to Thin film and Low temperature physics lab. Likewise, Instrumentation lab was changed to Electronic and Instrumentation lab and Astrophysics lab was changed to Computational Astrophysics lab.
Unlike what the name suggests, the Astrophysics lab is basically used for data analysis purpose but a proposal has been made for the grant of funds for installation of modern telescopes and other equipment for improvising Astronomical research. Also Vibrating Sample Magnetometer with market price as high as one crore has been procured recently. Apart from that, the X-Ray Diffraction machine which was under repair is expected to be fixed within a month’s time.
The faculties of the Department have also been involved in research works, some of which are sponsored by DST and SERB. Dr P Mahanandia recently visited Bologna, Italy to attend the Third International Conference on Mechanics of Composites held from 4th to 7th of July this year, While Dr Amit Rai went to Singapore for the 90 Years of Quantum Mechanics Conference held from 23-26 January, 2017. The Deparment has welcomed a new faculty, Dr Ashok Bera to the team recently under DST Inspire. The professors recruited under this programme get salaries equivalent to those offered by IIT’s for 5 years.
The students of this department, being passionate about research generally prefer higher studies rather than taking up a job right away. Speaking about numbers, Out of the 16 final year students, three graduates namely V Akhilesh, Ankush Reddy and Debarghya Chakraborty got offers from foreign universities for completing their PhD. V Akhilesh got a full fellowship at Purdue University, United States of America with a stipend of 2500 U.S.D (around 17 lakhs rupees).
The highest CGPA recorded among the recent pass-outs was 8.95INR by Itesh Kumar Panda.
Even though the Department is facing shortage of funds, it proves its worth time and again. With the support of a dedicated team of faculties and students, the department has high aspirations for the future.