Science and Innovation with Biotechnology: BPSDP 2020
Kunal Singh | Jan 27, 2020
A two-day “Biotechnology Popularisation and Skill Development Programme (BPSDP 2020)” was organized by the Department of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering of NIT Rourkela, to motivate the school children to pursue a career in Biotechnology. It was sponsored by the Biotechnology Research Society of India (BRSI) and was supported by the Genesys club, Student Activity Centre (SAC) of NIT Rourkela. The program was inaugurated by Prof. S. K. Patel, Dean Academics, and Prof. Ritwik Sarkar, Dean Sponsored Research Industrial Consultancy and Continuing Education (SRICCE). The inaugural function was attended by all the faculties of the Department. Dr S. K. Patel enlightened the school kids to pursue research and development to fulfil the socio-economic needs of the country. The head of the Department of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering, Prof. A. Thirungnanam elaborated about the ongoing activities of the department. The welcome address comprising the essentiality of Biotechnology in the current era was given by the Convener Dr P. Balasubramanian and the co-convener Dr J. Sivaraman gave the vote of thanks.
The first-day program encompassed presentations by the faculties of BM covering various topics like cancer biology, tissue engineering, and bioprocess technologies. Emerging areas like the application of biomedical engineering in the arenas of health care were also elucidated. The theory was supplemented by the lab sessions where the students were demonstrated with the operation of electrocardiogram (ECG). The overall thematic areas of biotechnology were elaborated by Dr P. Balasubramanian. Microscopic view of cancer cell, preparation of hydrogel and the use of 3D imprinting was also presented. A brainstorming bio-quiz session was also organized by the Genesys club to think from different dimensions of science where the students received goodies.
The second day started with a talk on the emerging aspects of nano-biotechnology. The scope and opportunities in biotechnology in the state of Odisha and in India were also highlighted to motivate the students to pursue their careers in biotechnology. The school exhibition “Beyond the Box 3.0” was organized by the Genesys club in association with BPSDP 2020. The program was inaugurated by Prof. Snehashish Chakraborthy. About 20 models covering different themes of science like agri-bot, hi-tech greenhouse, water conservation, and smart irrigation system, plasma pyrolysis were exhibited. Honourable Director of NIT Rourkela, Dr Animesh Biswas also visited the exhibition and motivated the young and budding students. He also suggested organizing more such events in the future. Meritorious students from various schools came up with different innovative ideas and project models which was remarkable.
Two students of from DPS, when asked about their experience of the exhibition, said:
We have already been to 2-3 exhibitions before but those were in schools where we faced many problems related to space and facilities. At one exhibition, our model was even damaged. At NIT Rourkela, we really liked the hospitality and it's very spacious and comfortable for us to present our project. We haven’t faced a single problem regarding the management and people have helped us whenever we needed them. This was something that other exhibitions lacked and we are happy with the exhibition here at NIT Rourkela.
Students had an insight into the algal culture, hydroponics system and the use of algal biofertilizers during lab visits to the Smart Agriculture Laboratory. Biomechanics laboratory visits were also arranged where the students were demonstrated about GAIT analysis.
The convenor of the event, Dr P. Balasubramanian had the following to say:
The main motive to conduct such events and programs is to instill the curiosity and will to learn in young students to know more and explore more. Since Biotechnology is on its verge of emergence, there will be endless possibilities to grow and explore. We have conducted many talks and sessions by the professors of the department who introduced the upcoming and ongoing topics of research in the field of biotechnology. Along with the lecture, the lab visit provided to the student will help them to know the practical use of the lecture and generate a technical curiosity among the students. Both the lectures and exhibition will help us to deliver good practical knowledge about the scope of biotechnology and the great opportunities it has to offer in the near future.
This was followed by an exhibition of aero model flight simulation by the aeromodelling and robotics club of NIT Rourkela, UDAAN. The students interested in flight and aeromodelling were keen to know the various concept of aerodynamics and the working of flight models. The Members of the UDAAN club explained the working principles and flight analysis. They displayed their model to the students and told them about the assembling and principles used to build the model.
The valedictory function was presided by the Head of the Department Dr. A. Thirugnanam, where the certificates were distributed for the participants and to the winners of the science exhibition. Overall the two-day workshop was full of vibrant sessions where the students got an idea about a lot of new emerging techniques in the area of biotechnology and were motivated to join the area of research.
The HOD of biotechnology and medical Engineering, Prof. A. Thirungnanam had the following to say:
These students are the best of their school and our basic idea to organize this event is to popularise biotechnology and spread awareness about the scope and future opportunities in the field of biotechnology and how they can pursue a career in the field of biotechnology. We are also impressed by the projects that the students have displayed and we might even adopt a few models from his exhibition and implement them in NIT Rourkela.
The president of Genesys club, Praisy Satpal had the following to say about the event:
It was an amazing experience to be part of this event organized together by the Department of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering and Student Activity Centre. This is was a two days series of interactive sessions, lab visits, and a science exhibition. The aim of this program is the development of interest in students for the emerging fields of Biotechnology. The response we got from students is great. I thank my entire team and faculties for the cooperation and success of the event. Together we as a team, we did this gracefully.