Incorporating Life Into Scientific Research: Department Of Life Sciences
Saurav Sahoo | Jun 10, 2019
National Institute of Technology, Rourkela in the recent academic year has overcome all the hurdles of so-called ‘technical race’, subduing its efficient rivals. It stands out with pride in its long-run conquest as one of the premier ‘all-rounders’ imparting quality higher education to the worthy undergraduates. Though it adopts ‘technology’ as its weapon of primary importance, it also harbours an array of golden opportunities to the research-oriented people out there providing them with diversified scopes in the field of General Science. Currently, the institute provides integrated M.Sc. and M.Sc courses in five major disciplines of basic sciences i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Life Sciences and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
One of the major aspects of basic sciences that NITR boasts to encompass is Life Sciences. Life Sciences is one of the fastest emerging domains with the rampant explosion in knowledge and breakthrough discoveries. It is one of the budding branches of study with widespread scopes in R&D alongside the advancement of sophisticated technologies. Life Sciences comprise of the scientific study of living organisms including microorganisms, plants, animals, and human beings. Life Sciences, broadly construed, is today a vast, lavishly supported, scientific enterprise that attracts the interest of a larger and more heterogeneous group of scientists than any other branch of Science.
Although its inception dates a decade back(2009), but it has left no stone unturned in becoming one of the fastest emerging departments of NITR with an astronomical rise in reputation and eminence of the department. Initially, this novice department commenced its functioning by introducing only M.Sc and PhD as its academic program but later in 2013, it started offering Integrated M.Sc (5 years) course as one of its sub-disciplines which could be pursued directly after 12th. Currently, the department fosters a handful of students with 15 faculty members and students pursuing PhD.
The new desired freshmen are allotted this program at NIT Rourkela through the generalised counselling conducted by Joint Seat Allocation Authority(JoSAA) with the opening rank starting at around 35000 and closing at a rank of around 60000 for general category students. The department was established with a mission of ascertaining and broadcasting knowledge in Life Sciences through research and creative analysis, innovative teaching and learning and also to address the problems affecting human health and world challenging environmental issues. It also aims to provide a platform for the various interdisciplinary,research-oriented advanced higher education in Life Sciences for translating the standards of personal and societal living. The department harbours a team of dedicated, sincere, committed and hardworking faculty members accompanied by wise and intelligent scholars. The comprehensive curriculum is enriched with an array of diversified sub-topics of biology like Micro-biology, Botany, Zoology, Bioinformatics, etc. The department focuses on enhancing the skills of its scholars by bestowing them with pragmatic approaches to carry forward their rigorous researches. Considering this, the dept. sustains state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. The Life Science Dept. embraces a wide array of notable researches done under topics like cancer biology, Epigenetics, Biotechnology, Genomics, etc. The researches related to carcinogenic causes have been conducted under various sub-divisions, namely;
“Epigenetic regulation of centrosome biogenesis and genomic instability in Cancer” under Prof.Samir Ku.Patra.
“Protective autophagy by secretory clusterin associated with cell survival and chemoresistance in oral cancer” under the watchful guidance of Prof.Sujit Kumar Bhutia.
There have also been extensive researches about non-coding RNAs and Human Genetics. People pursuing their career in basic sciences generally opt for higher studies rather being recruited in any of the company, although various healthcare companies and companies from R&D industries of Biotechnology sector do visit the institute in search of young talents who can prove to be great assets to the companies. The students and faculties have left no stone unturned in winning accolades and bringing laurels to their own dept. and NITR as well. Two of the students from the dept. belonging to pre-final year bagged foreign internships through Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program, Canada. The department also welcomed two new faculties proficient in various fields of Life Sciences owing to which they are being funded by the Department of Science and Technology(DST) and the Science & Engineering Research Board(SERB). Dr R.Jayabalan, a prominent scholar in the field of Life Sciences has got several of his work published in highly acclaimed journals and has always been a subject of applause and appreciation. The Pathfinder, the Head of the department, Dr Bibekanand Mallik has been a worthy recipient of the Bharat Shiksha Ratan Award by GSHEG(Global Society for Health & Educational Growth), New Delhi.
The Dept. of Life Sciences strives to transform the field of Life Sciences by altering the perspective of the people about its significance in the advancement of the societal biological cycle. A proposal for the establishment of an animal house has also been accepted and will be functional very soon.
If you desire to join NITR with biological sciences as the backbone of your career, Life Sciences indeed serve as the perfect alternative to choose from; eliminating all of your perplexions at one go. The department stands out at the facade of the citadel to usher in great innovative minds in the upcoming years, nurture them amidst the bunch of committed and diligent faculties and transform them(students) into the finest life scientists that the country has ever produced.
Team MM wishes luck to all the prospective students in their future endeavours.