Symposium originally referred to a drinking party (the Greek verb sympotein means "to drink together") but has since come to refer to any academic conference, or a style of university class characterized by an openly discursive format, rather than a lecture and questionâ€“answer format. We at Acharya Narendra Dev College strongly believe that class room teaching should be supplemented with hands on training and seminars & symposiums. Keeping this trend alive we had organized National level Symosiumsin 2003 and 2010.
1. Biotechnology: Expanding Horizons
(17-18 October, 2003 at Indian National Science Academy)
Despite accomplishments, there are challenges to be met and possibilities to be explored. It is biotechnology that shall continue to show us the way to reach our ultimate goal of the world with total food sufficiency, world whose people do not suffer from scourge of infectious and genetic diseases and a healthy environment, clean and green! Biotechnology is the new revolution around the corner. Keeping in view its importance, The College organized a two days national symposium. The primary objective was to provide a forum to teachers of undergraduate courses of various universities to interact with the distinguished scientists working in the area of biotechnology. The structure of the symposia was so designed so as to give a comprehensive overview of this multifaceted discipline.
The symposium was inaugurated by the then Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, Professor Deepak Nayar. Key note address was delivered by Dr. (Mrs.) Manju Sharma, the then secretary of Department of Biotechnology. In her address she laid emphasis on the benefits and risks of biotechnology in our daily life.
Biotechnology has found its uses in all spheres of life the most prominently in Medical, Industry, Agriculture and Environment. Keeping this in mind various sessions were designe in such a manner so that all these spheres are covered. Professor Rakesh Bhatnagar (JNU) and Dr. Balaji Prakash (IIT Kanpur) talked on medical biotechnology, whereas Dr. Rama Mukherjee from Dabur Research Institute and Dr. M.K. Sahib of Wokhardt talked on uses of biotechnology in Industry. The applications of biotechnology in agriculture was discussed by Professor Deepak Pental (University of Delhi) and Dr. Shiva Reddy from ICGEB. Concerns about Environmental Biotechnology were addressed by Professor Pardha Sardhi from University of Delhi and Dr. Raj Bhatnagar from ICGEB.
Bioinformatics is the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge to form a single discipline. The ultimate goal of the field is to enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology can be discerned. One complete session was devoted to the bioinformatics. The speakers of the session were Dr. Alok Bhattacharya (JNU) and Dr. C.B. Rao (IGIB).
In WTO regime, competition has become more intense than ever before. Indian industry is already facing the challenge of globalization. The most important way to face this challenge is through economic efficiency and technology up gradation. The most important source of technology lies in patents, which is an important component of intellectual Property on which all governments give monopoly rights to encourage scientific and technological inventions. This was echoed by of Dr. Malti Lakshmikumaran (TERI).
In the panel discussion, â€˜Biotechnology and Society: Ethics of it Allâ€™, Professor R.N.K. Bameezai (JNU), Dr. A.K. Bansal (IARI) , Dr. Subhash Chand (IIT, Delhi), Dr. M.K.Sahib (Wokhardt) and Ms. Sandhya Tewari (CII) expressed their thoughts on uses of biotechnology.
2. Chemistry in Biology: The Future of Life Sciences
(12-13 February, 2010 at India International Centre)
Chemical biology has become the new buzz word in the field of organic chemistry and life sciences, describing a new era in the progressive integration and the interplay between the two disciplines. To understand any biological phenomenon it is imperative to know the chemical molecules and their reactions. Further, chemistry may provide the basis for the understanding of many unexplained biological phenomena in the nature..
Keeping this in view, it becomes important that undergraduate students, who are our future researchers, understand biology and chemistry as integrated subjects, even though they are taught as distinct disciplines.
This symposium was focused on the application of chemistry for addressing present day problems of biology. It featured interesting deliberations and interactive sessions by eminent scientists in diverse fields such as Structural Biology and Drug Discovery, Nano Medicines and Nano devices, Green Chemistry and Clean technology followed by panel discussion on teaching science.
The primary objective of the symposium is to provide exposure and opportunities to teachers, Undergraduate & Post graduate students and Researchers across the country to interactwith some the best scientists in the field and to give a comprehensiveviw of the multiple facets of these disciplines.
Special Invited talks by Professor B. Jayaram (IIT Delhi), Dr. Amit Sharma (ICGEB), Dr. Amulya Panda (NII), Dr. K. C. Gupta (IITR, Lucknow),Professor Hans-Uwe Dahms (South Korea), Dr. Rita Kumar and Dr. V. C. Kalia (both IGIB) and Professor R.K. Saxena ( University of Delhi, South Campus) were inspirational and led to very good interactive question and answer sessions.
There was also a Panel Discussion on â€˜Teaching of Scienceâ€™ â€“ Dr Vasudha Kamat (NCERT) and Dr. R Sreedher (CEMCA) emphasized the importance of integration of ICT tools in education. The other panelists Professor Amitabha Mukherjee, Professor K. Muralidhar and Dr. Savithri Singh discussed various aspects of classroom teaching of Science in the University and schools.
The symposium was unique in that there were two sessions exclusively for student presentations â€“ both oral and poster presentations. These sessions provided space to students for good interactions with eminent scientists. The best oral and two best poster presentations were given â€˜Young Chemical Biologist â€˜awards. The symposium had over 158 participants including 70 students. Initiative such as this is sure to provide a significant boost to creating interest amongst students to choose science as a viable career option and also open-up vistas for them to work with scientists in national laboratories.