Campus Calling: Pune’s IISER get access to world-class undergraduate chemistry lab facilities
Pune Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and Cipla Foundation have come together to build a state-of-the-art chemistry research laboratory, for their undergraduate students and researchers. The project, said to be one of the most advanced chemistry facilities in India, is expected to be completed within 15 months, the IISER officials said.
IISER programme coordinator Arvind A Natu said that plans of building a circular experiment hall in the fashion of an amphitheatre is also underway under the lab plan. “The idea is to reach out the information to each and every student at the same time. The hall will hold the capacity to accommodate almost 150 students, with the instructor at centre demonstrating the experiment. For the same, we have taken utmost care to ensure safety at every corner,” he said.
A total of 30,000 sq ft area has been proposed for the laboratory which is built to provide high-end facilities to students and teachers. The laboratory is being said to further improve levels of experiments, with more number of laboratories allotted for conducting smaller research projects along with industrial research training. The facility, further, will provide space for several outreach activities involving teacher and student training and serve as a platform for developing industry-academia interactions, an IISER spokesperson said.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Natu explained, “The labs will be in three sections, first one would be to promote an unconventional outlook towards chemistry, whereby students would virtually conduct the experiments which can then be translated in the real labs. Through this they would be prepared for all conditions. The next section is a student activity centre under the outreach programme for hands-on experience for students coming from different schools and colleges, and also for underprivileged children.” He said that the third section aims to bridge the gap between the industry and the academia, and will be open for use to top industry professionals for research as well.
This step was taken, after the Cipla Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IISER Pune, this year, committing to contribute to their Endowment Fund and build the laboratory for undergraduate students. The foundation ceremony of stone-laying of the laboratory was conducted on August 14.
Dr YK Hamied, non-executive chairman – Cipla Ltd, on the foundation ceremony, said, “If we focus on technology for the present, we will soon be obsolete. We need to focus on research and build technology for the future.”
About the partnership and the shared vision of IISER with CIPLA Foundation, IISER Pune director KN Ganesh said, “IISER shares Cipla Foundation’s vision that science has the responsibility of building sustainable solutions to address the needs of the community. With this infrastructure support, IISER aims to provide global education standards in India and nurture specialists in the country”.