Jain University and INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS ASSOCIATION (ISCA), Bangalore chapter together hosted this three-day conference on Science and Technology for National Development on health, Environment and Agriculture, 5th-7th October, 2016. This all important national event was graced by many ISCA dignitaries. This conference commenced by invoking the Lord Ganesha. The Organizing secretary, Director and Head of the Department of Biotechnology Dr. K N Varalakshmi, welcomed the eminent gathering, the participants, the teachers and also students of the conference. Thereafter, the conference was inaugurated by luminaries including Dr. Ashok Kumar Saxena (Immediate Past General president, ISCA), Dr. Gangadhar (General Secretary, Membership Affairs, ISCA), Dr. Chenraj Roychand (President, Jain Group of Institutions), Dr. Vijayalakshmi saxena (Past General secretary, ISCA), Dr. P.P Mathur (General Secretary, scientific affairs, ISCA & VC of KIIT University Bhubaneshwar), Dr. RK Verma (Treasurer, ISCA & Pro-VC of Patna University), Dr. N Sundararajan (Vice Chancellor, Jain University). Dr. Ashok Kumar Saxena, in his inaugural speech, stressed the recent success of Mangalyaan. Dr. Chenraj Roychand, who presided over the function, gave an inspiring talk, urging the youth to take up inter-disciplinary research and take up rigorous scientific research for National development. Dr. Gangadhar talked about the achievements of ISCA organization. Dr. P. P Mathur advocated synergy between institutions. Dr. N. Sundarajan, Vice Chancellor, Jain University, spoke about the landmark achievements of Science and Technology in India. The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Ramakrishna S (Convenor, ISCA, Bangalore). There were around 240 participants with 34 oral presentations, 63 poster presentations, 95 participants and 21 spot registrations, apart from the judges, chairpersons (20 people), invited guests and speakers making the event a grand success.
The scientific sessions started with a keynote address by Prof P.P.Mathur, General Secretary, ISCA. Prof. Mathur introduced the achievements in Genomics and explained about rational drug design. This was followed by invited lectures by Dr. Sathees C Raghavan (Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore) and Dr. M J Vasudeva Rao (Co-founder, GRSV consulting services, Bengaluru). The lecture on DNA repair mechanism by Dr. Sathees Raghavan revealed exciting scientific achievements in using a molecule (SCR7) in cancer therapeutics. Dr. M J Vasudeva Rao spoke on the success story of Bt-Cotton and its impact in Indian Agriculture. The talks were followed by Oral and Poster presentations.
The 2nd day (6-10-2016) of the conference started with a lecture on Entrepreneurship and Start-ups in the Biotechnology sector in Karnataka by Dr. Jagadish Mittur (Head-Biotechnology facilitation cell, KBITS-department of IT, BT and Science and Technology, Govt of Karnataka). Dr. Mittur urged the youth to have individual motivation and spirit for entrepreneurship success. He also talked about the people involved in Biotechnology Industry who were “Game Changers’’ and also, the Indian Biotechnology success stories. The second speaker Prof V Siva Subramanian, Director of Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre, Chennai highlighted the importance of algal production in waste-water treatment. The 3rd invited lecture by Prof Dr. G Kumaramanickavel (Research Director, Narayana Nethralaya), was on Medical Genomics in Health and Disease. He highlighted the application of genomics in ophthalmic research. The sessions were followed by several oral and poster presentations. The scientific sessions were followed by cultural program by Post graduate students of Biotechnology department, Jain University and Research scholars of department of Music and Science, Jain University who enthralled the audience with their mesmerizing performance in Carnatic, Hindustani music and a dance program.
The 3rd day (7-10-2016) included three excellent invited lectures. Dr. Rathinam Raja (Research scientist, Food science, Medit-Bio laboratory, University of Algarve, Portugal) spoke about culturing of microalgae and its importance in producing biofuel. While highlighting the advantages of microalgae, he also explained about the design of photobioreactors in culturing these organisms. This was followed by oral presentations. Dr. Kshitish Acharya, Faculty, Institute of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Bengaluru) presented a lecture on studying gene expression regulation and their applications. His talk focused on integrating high-throughput data using microarray. He emphasized using these data; it is now possible to study molecular interactions at system biology level. Dr. Ramanjini Gowda (Professor and coordinator, Department of Plant Biotechnology, GKVK, Bengaluru) discussed the different applications of genetic modification in plants for different traits like drought resistance, resistance to cotton bollworm using Bacillus thuringiensis and also about Golden rice. Dr. Gowda also discussed his research on edible vaccines like Rabies and Hepatitis B vaccines.
The valedictory function started with the welcome address. The Chief Guest, Dr. Gangadhar (General Secretary, Membership affairs, ISCA) congratulated the organizers for the smooth conduct of the conference and mentioned that such scientific meetings improve awareness in the scientific community. Dr. Jayagopla Uchil (Director, Academics and Planning, Dean of Sciences, Jain University), the Guest of Honor for the valedictory function, mentioned that the conference would help in addressing scientific issues for National Development. This was followed by prize distribution for best prizes in both Oral and Poster prizes. The prizes were handed over by Dr. Gangadhar and Dr. Jayagopal Uchil. The first prize, second and the third prize with cash awards of INR 2000, INR 1500 and INR 1000 for Oral Presentations went to Miss Priyanka Sinha (Centre for Applied Genetics, Bangalore University), Vasudha DR (Botany Department, Bangalore University) and Rakshita Mouly (Indian Institute of Horticultural research who is a PhD student of Jain University). The first prize, second prize and the third prize with cash awards of INR 2000, INR 1500 and INR 1000 for Poster presentations were awarded to Ms. Radhika NS (Indian Institute of science, Bangalore), Mr. Mayur Bajaj (Dayanand Sagar University) and Mr. Sunil Gowda (Jain University, Biotechnology). The Valedictory session concluded with a presentation of conference proceedings and vote of thanks by Dr. K N Varalakshmi, Organizing secretary of this national conference. Dr. K N Varalakshmi thanked the participants, students and faculty for the smooth functioning of the conference. The conference was a grand success because of the active participation of delegates, scientists, faculty members, students and research scholars from various Institutions.