Growth Spi­ral


India Today - - EDUCATION - By Tithi Sarkar

Acen­tre for nan­otech­nol­ogy. Four­teen pa­tents se­cured in 2011. In­no­va­tion is now an East- side story.

The white colo­nial- era build­ings on its Col­lege Street cam­pus sug­gest an in­sti­tu­tion caught in a time warp but looks are de­cep­tive. The Univer­sity of Cal­cutta, ranked in the top five year af­ter year in the IN­DIA TODAYNielsen best uni­ver­si­ties sur­vey, has moved up a notch to third place. The univer­sity scores on its in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary and in­no­va­tive re­search, some­thing its Vice- Chan­cel­lor Su­ran­jan Das, 58, pro­fes­sor of his­tory and an alum­nus of the Univer­sity of Cal­cutta, em­pha­sises: “The bal­ance be­tween con­ven­tional sub­jects and emerg­ing ar­eas like bi­o­log­i­cal, so­cial and ap­plied sci­ences has con­trib­uted to the univer­sity’s growth curve.” The key is not just quan­ti­ta­tive growth in terms of ex­pan­sion in the num­ber of cour­ses, de­part­ments or stu­dents but qual­i­ta­tive im­prove­ment in aca­demic stan­dards, adds Das, who has been at the helm of univer­sity af­fairs since 2008.

A se­ries of in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­grammes has pro­pelled the univer­sity’s grad­ual shift to­wards a more global and mod­ern in­sti­tu­tion from the erst­while go- to place for tra­di­tional fields of study. The Cen­tre for Re­search in Nanoscience and Nan­otech­nol­ogy now of­fers a range of short- term train­ing cour­ses in ba­sic and ad­vanced cy­tom­e­try— the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and mea­sure­ment of cells and cel­lu­lar con­stituents— and hosts work­shops on ap­pli­ca­tions of cell sort­ing and imag­ing in bi­o­log­i­cal re­search. The cen­tre built a mod­ern fa­cil­ity for cell cul­ture and has 54 on­go­ing re­search projects in­volv­ing 58 fac­ulty mem­bers and 51 project fel­lows.

The in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­gramme of life sci­ences at Dr B. C. Guha Cen­tre


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