FDP-2021 at KIIT School of Biotechnology


Lectures on the niche topic of “Interdisciplinary Research & Pedagogy” were delivered by eminent resource persons on all the three days of the Faculty Development Program 2021 at KIIT School of Biotechnology held from 21st to 23rd June 2021.

The 1st  day of the FDP on 21st June, 2021  commenced with the first speaker  Prof. Mrutyunjay Suar, Director General, R&D, KIIT DU, delivering a talk on “Building the brand in R&D” touched on points related to the R&D verticals at KIIT in general and KIIT-TBI in particular. He discussed the building blocks of R&D, and the vision of setting up a Technology Transfer Office. Prof. Suar emphasized on Publishing, Consultancy projects, patenting and how to cope in the pandemic for sustaining research performance.

The second lecture of the first day revolved around “New dimensions in interdisciplinary research” by Prof. Gopal Kundu, Director R&D, KIIT DU. Dr Kundu started with an introductory note on combining his experiences from NCCS Pune to provide a better and wider platform for interdisciplinary research at KIIT DU. At the outset, he browsed through the existing curriculum at KSBT for the PG (MSc. and M. Tech) courses in detail and opined that it was highly structured and the existing good practice of upgrading the Syllabus in collaboration with Institutes and industries. Although the syllabus contents were good, it must also be commensurate through quality of teaching with a proper SOP, he urged. “The area where one needs to focus in upcoming years includes collaborations, entrepreneurship, publishing and increasing (University) branding”, added Prof. Kundu.

The second day of the FDP on 22nd June commenced with the first speaker Prof. Suman Dhar, Professor at Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi  delivering a talk on “Best practices in teaching learning”. Professor Dhar began his deliberation by emphasizing on the primary objective of teaching; a clear dissemination of knowledge to the students for their final employment and solving problems on a daily basis. Though it is challenging to  motivate a heterogeneous group of students during class room teaching, it can be achieved by using innovative teaching and learning methods such as group discussion, analysis of case studies, solving assignments based on real problems etc.

Professor Dhar further stressed upon continuous student evaluation to test their analytic ability, performance, progress and obtaining regular student feedback. The outcome of the Prof Dhar’s deliberation was,  “Teachers should offer a support system to students during their problems; Student feedback is the key to a successful teaching; A smiling face solves many issues; Teaching should provide a fun-filled learning experience to the students; and Application for real education begins when school or college learning finishes”.

Dr. Shampa Ghosh and Dr. Priti Sunder Mohanty also provided their valuable suggestions such as dividing larger classes into smaller groups with group leaders and initiating Q&A sessions with students in a personal chat box respectively. 

The second lecture of the day was on “Quality and ethics in research publication” delivered by Prof. Niyaz Ahmed A. S, Professor at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad.  Prof. Niyaz Ahmed commenced his talk by highlighting upon the current lacunae in health care related research such as inefficiencies in managing the current pandemic, failure to develop vaccines and eradicate prevalent infections. He mentioned that lack of access to state of the art research facilities has culminated in slow discovery. Besides, institutions with interdisciplinary research teams, utilisation of contemporary strategies adapting to changing global scenarios, funding support by the institutes for early career research scientists and promotion of translational research, highlighted his valuable thoughts on how to enhance the productivity of individual researchers.

In his talk, Prof. Niyaz Ahmed A. S, laid focus on theme based research, usefulness of scientific collaboration, evaluation of research impact beyond citation, promoting research and publication ethics. bonds and attracts good students to the labs, that eventually facilitates future research.

On the 3rd day of the FDP, delivering a talk on ‘Preparing your students for foreign universities’, Prof. Chandravanu Dash, Dept. Microbiology and Immunology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville TN, USA explained why students study in the USA and the number of Indian students admitted to US universities for higher education. Indian students face challenges in the areas of having a good letter of recommendation, resume, portfolio and interview, he stated, while suggesting ways to help students overcome these problems.

Prof. Dash also highlighted his educational and professional experience, and research areas, which include understanding the mechanism of HIV-1 replication and pathogens, viral infections and its complexes to identify novel targets for next generation antiretroviral therapy. Earlier, Dr. Rahul Modak started the session with a brief introduction of the resource person.

The second lecture on “Baby steps in AI/ML and its horizons” was delivered by Prof. Suresh Chandra Satapathy, Dean (Research), School of Computer Engg, KIIT. The main topic of his talk was machine learning, what it is and why it matters. He provided a clear explanation of machine learning. Prof. Satapathy highlighted some of his works on biomedical application, such as detection of COVID-19 from speech signal using bio-inspired based cepstral features and heart disease detection using deep learning methods from imbalanced ECG samples.

These works are a combined effect of machine learning and biomedical. He concluded his talk by giving a highlight on the future collaborative work which would be helpful for mankind. Prof. Satapathy is a well-known teacher and researcher at KIIT School of Computer Engineering.

A session on “Qualitative aspects of education” was taken by Dr. Shriram Raghavan, Senior Vice President & Member, Leadership Team, Jananom Pvt. Ltd. He explained why the industry needs 4 M’s in order to flourish. He highlighted the ancient Indian system which can be used as an integral approach. His way of explaining this system was more on the ancient materials techniques, such as Panchayagyams teach the integration of resourcing. Out of all these materials techniques, the interesting approach was on Money and its divide and rule approach.

Dr. Shriram Raghavan is presently a business advisor to technology parks – including Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women, Chennai; KIIT-Technology Business Incubator; Bhubaneshwar, and a BIRAC (Govt. of India) nominee on the Board of Centre for Agri Innovation (aIDEA-NAARM), Hyderabad.

The last session of the day was a group activity on “Creating USP in academics and Research” participated by all faculty members of KSBT and KSCT and moderated by Dr. Srinivas Patnaik. The main aim of this session was to establish the USP of the university. The important parameters which were discussed briefly were: Know your audience, know your university brand, offer proof, and, finally, promote your USP. The session concluded about the important elements that make up a strong USP.    

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