Dr. Renini AP, Senior Research Associate in the Molecular
Reproduction Division was awarded the Founder President
Dr. T. C. Anand Kumar Young Scientist Award on her work
entitled "Coordinated signaling by estrogen via ER
dependent and independent mechanisms contributes to
successful embryo implantation and pregnancy" in ISSRF
2021 (Virtual conference) .
The second campus of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for
Biotechnology (RGCB) is ready for dedication to the nation,
Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan
announced here on Friday. "I am happy to announce that this
research facility will be named Shri Guruji Madhav Sadashiv
Golwalkar National Centre for Complex Disease in Cancer and
Viral Infection," he said, while addressing a curtain-raiser
session of the sixth edition of India International Science
RGCB's foundation stone was laid on November 18, 1995 by the
then Prime Minister Shri P. V. Narashima Rao. To commemorate
this RGCB celebrates November 18 as its Foundation Day,
every year. This year happens to be the Silver Jubilee Year
and it is our privilege to invite all of you for this year's
Foundation Day Lecture by Professor P Balaram, Former
Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on November
25, 2020 at 11.00 A.M.
The Central government has appointed Professor Chandrabhas
Narayana, currently Dean (Research and Development) at the
Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
(JNCASR), Bengaluru, as Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre
for Biotechnology (RGCB). An accomplished scientist and
interdisciplinary research leader, Professor Narayana
succeeds Professor M. Radhakishna Pillai who retired as RGCB
Director in August after a stint of over 15 years. The
appointment is for a period of five years. Professor
Narayana, who specialises in Raman Spectroscopy, has served
as Professor of Chemistry and Physics of Materials Unit and
Dean, Fellowships and Extension Programmes, JNCASR. He holds
three international patents, a couple of which are on the
verge of commercialisation.
Dr. E.V Soniya, Scientist G has been selected by
Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for the National
Woman Senior Bioscientist Award. The award is in
recognition for her lifetime research contributions and
their application to society. The award carries a cash prize
of Rupees 5 lakhs together with citation and a gold medal.
Dr. Soniya has made significant contributions to
understanding genomics of susceptibility of pepper to
disease and also leads the DNA fingerprinting services. It
was under her leadership that RGCB identified all victims of
the Ochi cyclone and the Puttingal firework tragedy in
Dr. E.V Soniya receiving the DBT Woman Senior Scientist
Award for life time research contributions from Honorable
Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences,
Health and Family Welfare in Delhi on February 26, 2020.
Dr. Rakesh Laishram, Scientist E-II & Wellcome Trust-India
Alliance Intermediate Fellow has been awarded the
prestigious Swarna Jayanthi Fellowship by the
Department of Science & Technology. Under this scheme a
selected number of young scientists, with proven track
record, are provided special assistance and support to
enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of
science and technology.
Dr. K R Mahendran, DBT Ramalingaswamy Faculty Fellow has got
the Merck Young Scientist Award in Biological
Science.The award carries a cash prize of Rupees 2 lakhs
together with travel grant of Rupees 1.5 Lakhs.
Professor M. Radhakrishna Pillai, Director of Rajiv
Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) has been selected for
Sun Pharma Research Award 2019 in Medical Sciences.
The Sun Pharma Research Awards are for excellence in
original research work in Medical and Pharmaceutical
Sciences by Indian Scientists working in India and abroad.
The award carries a Trophy, Citation and a Cash Prize of
Rs.250000/- (Rupees two lakh fifty thousand).
Why bother with a master's degree? Across India, the
post-graduate course has earned a slightly odd reputation.
It's the scholar's stepping stone to a doctorate. It's
lucrative in a handful of streams like business and
development studies. But for much else it's seen as dated and
out of touch with the job market.
Now, niche, post-graduate courses are fighting back. They
offer interdisciplinary studies and specialisations in new
domains that might help you get hired or get ahead. Industry
professionals are included as faculty, and the curriculum is
geared to provide hands-on experience. These are making a
master's in law, arts, data analytics, data science and
information technology (IT) especially productive.
The Sciences get a Boost
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) recently
launched its first masters programme with a specialisation in
disease biology. The institute's director M Radhakrishna
Pillai says most pharma, bio-pharma and biotech industries are
typically unwilling to hire masters' level students. "The
companies have to invest at least two years to get them
job-ready," he says.
At the institute, most master's students "come from colleges
and institutes that teach in an old fashioned way, with no
access to modern technology," he says. They're not prepared
for the research-oriented programme and the chance to work
with India's top scientists.
So at RGCB, students actually work in the labs for their MSc
programme. There's a large diagnostics facility for infectious
diseases and a DNA fingerprinting facility. The institute's
business-development incubator, BioNest, in Kochi, has 26
start-up companies and students intern with them. "There is
high demand especially in the health industry, for trained
people to work in advanced clinical diagnostics labs in the
hospitals. And that is exactly what we are providing," he
J Irene Infancy, a first year student specialising in
molecular diagnostics and DNA profiling says the facilities
are a boon. "Not many institutes in India offer specialisation
courses in biotechnology. It's one of the main reasons I chose
to study here," she says. "The MSc biotechnology course has
increased my scientific temperament and critical thinking."
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) is all set to
offer a new Masters programme in Biotechnology that is said to
be the sole postgraduate programme in the country that allows
students the opportunity to choose among three specialisations
- disease biology, molecular plant sciences, and molecular
diagnostics and DNA profiling. It was the only
standalone Masters programme offered by the Regional Centre
for Biotechnology (RCB), Faridabad, through (RGCB), Sudhanshu
Vrati, executive director of the RCB said. Forty-one students
have been enrolled for the first batch of the programme from
over 700 applicants from across the country. Launching
the programme here on Saturday, Renu Swarup, Secretary,
Department of Biotechnology, said the country currently
focussed on working with global partnerships in emerging
technologies in the biotechnology sector. Besides developing a
conducive ecosystem for biotech start-ups, the department was
supporting human resource development programmes such as the
Star College scheme to support colleges and universities in
improving science education across the country. Around 180
colleges had been brought under the ambit of the programme.
Similar schemes were in place at levels including in
postgraduation and research. Dr. Swarup added that the
department was well ahead on its path to turn the
biotechnology sector into a $100-billion industry by 2025 in
line with the National Biotechnology Development Strategy
2015-20. B. Anand, Additional Secretary, Department of
Biotechnology; RGCB Director M. Radhakrishna Pillai; and RGCB
MSc programme course coordinator Debasree Dutta also spoke on
The current global resurgence in measles is having its
resonance in Kerala too, which has been witnessing a serious
surge in the disease since January. Across the globe, huge
local outbreaks have been caused by travel as well as the
increase in unvaccinated populations. In Kerala, however,
majority of the cases are reported from Thiruvananthapuram,
which has good vaccination coverage and amongst people who are
well-nourished and have received at least one dose of vaccine
in their lifetime.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate India's
largest innovation hub, Integrated Startup Complex, at
Kalamassery in Kochi, on January 13, which promises to provide
top-quality infrastructure for incubation and acceleration.
DNA profiling may be a contentious issue among humans, but
for Kerala's captive elephants, it's a done deal. In a first
for India, every one of Kerala's captive elephants now has a
unique DNA-based genetic ID. M. Radhakrishna Pillai, Director,
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), which was given
the task of DNA fingerprinting the elephants, handed over the
DNA database, prototypes of Unique Identification Cards, and a
study report to the Forest Department's Chief Wildlife Warden
P.C. Kesavan on Tuesday.