Science Forum Activities 2010-2011

The inaugural session of the Science Forum was held on 29th July 2010 in the college assembly hall by the hands of Honourable Vice Chancellor of Pune University, Dr. Raghunath Shevgoankar. The Vice Chancellor enlightened one and all giving a deep insight on the topic Radio Astronomy. The students were spellbound as they were taken into the light of galaxies, supernova remnants, quasars and pulsars. The enthralling talk was followed by question –answer session.

A talk by Dr. A. D. Shaligram Head Dept of Electronic Science-University of Pune was organized on 3rd September 2010. Mrs. Supriya Patil faculty-dept of Electronics took the initiative in arranging this lecture. He spoke on the topic E waste.

Dr. Subhash Walimbe gave us a thought provoking insight on Biological Anthropology and Understanding of Indian society. The talk was held on 30th Nov 2010.Gauri Haval faculty-dept of Zoolgy took interest in arranging the talk It was indeed enlightening to know the archaeological and anthropological aspects of our ancestral origins. It was also interesting to know how the study of bones can be used to trace the cause of death ,age of person, diet, habitat, nutritional deficiency and diseases.

A Science Quiz was arranged on 21st January 2011 in the A.V.Hall of the college. Madhura Damle ,Satinder Kaul and other committee members took immense efforts in successfully conducting the quiz competition. There were five teams. the winning team were given prizes on 28th February during the concluding session by Mr. Vivek Sawant.

Essay competitionwas organized for the science students. There were three groups. Group 1 was 11th 12th Science class and FYBSc. The last date of submission was 24th Jan 2011. A total of 15 topics were given for selection.

Quiz at IISER- mimamsa in January 2011.It is conducted by Science club, IISER,Pune. Three teams of four students participated in the competition. One team was selected for the final round.

Dr Vivek Sawant –Managing Director of MKCL(Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd) spoke on the topic 'Partnership between Human and Artificail Intelligence'. The talk was held on 28th February 2011.


The inaugural function of Science Forum 2010-2011 was at the hands of Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan Honourable Vice Chancellor Symbiosis Institute on 3rd August 2011. He spoke of Ethnopharmacology, Traditional medicine and its multifaceted uses in modern technology.

In September 2011 we conducted a Science Activity workshop. The organizer was Dr. Vidula Mhaiskar student of Dr. Arvind Gupta in charge of the Childrens Science Center at IUCAA. The workshop emphasized learning by doing. A number of models/toys were demonstrated including news paper caps, DC motors, straw flute, pumps, simple generators etc. They gave us a complementary CD of the same and also sold some to the interested students at subsidized rate.

Dr. Santosh Vyas Senior manager at Praj Matrix enlightened the audience on Industrial Biotechnology. Several conversion technologies from Hydrocarbons are already under commercialization. The lecture was held on 25th February 2012.

Students participated in the Mimamsa Quiz competition conducted by ISSER in January 2012 and were selected for the final round.

A talk by Dr. Gauri Kulkarni was on the role of Optical Tweezers in Biosensing in January 2012.She is Associate Professor in Physics and Director of School of Basic Medical Sciences at Pune University.

Report Activities of Science Forum 2012-2013

The inaugural lecture by Dr. Suresh Naik , former director of ISRO was organized on 31st July 2012 at 11a.m. in the Assembly Hall of the college. The topic of his talk was 'Agni 5 brings glory to India'. Science students from various classes and faculty attended the program. Post the key note address there was an overwhelming response from the students and teachers to the topics covered in the lecture. These made way for a very interesting question and answer session to round up the inaugural address. The speaker later talked informally about the recruitment procedures to ISRO and the related job opportunities and training programs conducted at ISRO for the young minds.

A talk had been organized on 4th September 2012.The speaker was Dr. Absar Ahmad , Principal Scientist, Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He enlightened the audience on 'Biotechnology of Endophytic Fungi: Nanomaterials and Drugs'. He stressed on the advantages of the biological production of nanomaterials and their immense potential in medicine and other fields. Students and staff appreciated his work and admired the number of patents and publications obtained by him in this field. The students and staff were very curious and came up with a number of questions which were rightly answered. Dr. Absar was delighted with the enthusiasm shown by the audience. He asked the students to contact him by Email for more queries and encouraged the students to opt for research as a career.

A solo English play 'Einstein' was held on 19th January 2013.The performance was by Mr. Jitendra Wankhede. The writer of the play is a Canadian - Gabriel Emanuel. The duration of the play was 72 minutes. The purpose was to make the students aware of the life of the great scientist. Besides his famous theory of relativity, all that he has endured politically, emotionally, psychologically , all obstacles that he was challenged with, and that in the end he has always endeavored to stop the forthcoming war.

Activities of Science Forum 2013-14.

Dr. Ajit Kembhavi Director IUCAA was invited to speak on 'Virtual Observatory' on 27th August 2013.He began his lecture by explaining the concept of virtual observatory (VO)-a collection of interoperating data archives and software tools which make use of the internet to conduct astronomical research. Its main goal is to allow distributed access to the data available world wide.Dr Kembhavi then explained what is meant by data mining: scientists discover, access, analyse and combine native and lab data in a user friendly manner. Next he dealt briefly with drivers of virtual observatory: data management, standardization, visualization, analysis. Data is collected through a network of registry like database, virtual observatory core resource, data access protocols, and then it is made available to the user.

He showed pictures of different telescopes: South African Large Telescope (SALT) consisting of segmented mirrors, thirty meter telescope(TMT) of Hawai. He also explained about the future plans like large synoptic sky survey Telescope comprising of 3000 discs, a joint venture by South Africa and Australia.

He concluded by explaining the latest projects on which IUCAA is currently working and the opportunities available for students at different levels.

Dr. K.N Ganesh Director IISER gave a talk on 'Making medicines from Nucleic acids' on 18th February 2014. He began his talk by giving an overview on the major milestones in the drug discovery process beginning with the synthesis of aspirin, sulpha drugs, penicillin, insulin etc. This was followed by a brief introduction of the various phases involved in the discovery of new drugs and the path from discovery to market. He also stressed on the importance of stereoselective synthesis of drugs. Understanding the disease at molecular level is essential for targeting the disease. The last part of the talk was focused on a new paradigm in drug discovery, that is- Genomic Medicine. The process of antisense drug development and the clinical hurdles in the process was detailed out with clarity. The talk ended with a brief information on the work going on in Dr. Ganesh's lab at IISER, Pune- Peptide- nucleic acid interactions and their potential as drugs.

Overall, the talk was informative and brought out very clearly the importance of having sound knowledge of diverse fields for achieving excellence.

Dr.Sulabha Karandikar
In Charge-Science Forum