Navigating Complexity by Common Sense: Some Personal Lessons - Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST

Citing examples from his own personal experience as a researcher and teacher at IIT-Kanpur for more than two decades, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma discusses the importance of common sense in science, role creativity can play in synthesis of new research areas and impacting society in a very positive manner and work from his laboratory. Prof. Sharma also empathizes how thinking beyond one's work and relating it to other areas of research can lead to interesting and meaningful findings.

Impact of Biotechnology on Science and Society: Dr Navin Khanna, ICGEB New Delhi

Here Dr Navin Khanna describes his journey in science starting from his days as a PhD student in AIIMS, New Delhi and shared valuable lessons that he learned through his training in Canada and USA as a postdoctoral fellow. He also talked about the most celebrated product out of his laboratory, "Dengue diagnosis kit" in addition to other projects that too were successfully launched in market in the form of diagnosis kit.

Question and Answer session with Dr Navin Khanna, ICGEB New Delhi

Here Dr Navin Khanna share his experience of working at ICGEB, with sudents He are gues lack of resources can be companeatsed by being intensenly disciplined, and with the excuecution of creafully planning experiemnt, well thought out , " Dr Khanna also addresses the question oftin raised by scenec community nad society alike : whys is that Indian reserach institutes are not able to priduce drug , vaccines, diagnostic kisrt etc at the pace required by the society with a very positive and realistic out look.

Challenges and future of innovating in India- Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT-D

In this talk Prof. Ramgopal Rao shared his journey of innovating various technological devices for Healthcare, Agriculture and defense from IIT-Bombay. Early in his career at Electrical Engineering department as a Professor, Dr Rao realized the importance of interdisciplinary research. He also discussed the challenges his group faced in taking innovation to prototype to market. Prof. Rao finished his talk with suggestions that Govt. can take to make the innovation easier for young researchers and also gave advises that scientists can follow to be successful.

Question & Answer session with Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT-Delhi

Students and faculty members from IIT and ICGEB, New Delhi present in the session asked Prof. Rao many questions on topics such as why is Indian Science not where it need to be; Why is that India does not have equivalent of West infrastructure for innovation in it's IITs and research institutes, or how is that in India we can have rigorous FDA equivalent testing machinery which can help innovators build credibility in the market. Prof. Rao very patiently and candidly answered all the questions raised by the audience.

Session on values, ethics and professionalism by Prof. Rajeev Sangal, director IIT-BHU

Prof. Rajeev Sangal felt there was a need for introduction of course on Human Values and Ethics in regular curricula after teaching B.Tech students for a very long time. To understand the area he along with Drs Gaur and Bagaria also wrote a book on the subject by the title " A foundation course in Human Values Ethics" and introduce the course at IIT-Hyderabad. In this session Prof. Sangal discusses the topics such values, focus, goal and purpose of life.

QnA with Pro. Rajeev Sangal - Part-1

Professor Sangal helps students understand how to find a goal in life ; how to enjoy PhD; what to do when the goal is not the right goal. He also advises that by understanding the situation without being blinded by emotions one can deal with almost any crisis in professional or personal life.

Prof. Rajeeb Sangal on how to manage PhD and career well (QnA- Part-2)

In this last part of interaction session Prof. Sangal strongly argues finding happiness in whatever you do as a profession is absolutely essential. It brings peace and creativity. Once we are peaceful, truthful creativity will be a natural outcome and will lead to original work or science.

Prof. M Balakrishnan, IIT-Delhi : SmartCane designing and making in India. (Part-1)

SmartCane a non-contact stick now used routinely by visually impaired in India was designed and developed by Prof M Balakrishnan and his group at IIT-Delhi. Here Prof. Balakrishnan discusses how his team started working on this idea and the challenges that they had faced along the way. He also shared the joy of working with and for the visually impaired.

Prof. M Balakrishnan: Development of On-Board and of Tactile books for visually impaired (Part-2)

Here Prof. Balakrishnan first discussed the specific challenges faced by visually impaired people in India while traveling independently and the need for Tactile books. Tactile books help visually impaired people imagine scenery and other objects. Prof Balakrishnan shares the success story of On-Board device that his team had developed and tested in Bombay on BEST buses for local independent traveling of Visually impaired.

Q&A-2 session with Professor M Balakrishnan, IIT-Delhi

Prof. Balakrishnan discussed the idea and need behind his development of tactile books and the On-Board device for the visually impaired people. Prof. Balakrishnan also answers questions on the importance of feedback from users and all associated parties.

SmartCane demonstration by Prof Balakrishnan (Part-3)

Students surprised Prof. Balakrishnan by asking him to demonstrate them the operation of the SmartCane. Prof. Balakrishnan in sporting spirit showed student how the SmartCane is used and also provided minor working details and few shortcoming of the device.

Prof. L S Shashidhara - Impact of Science on Society

In this series of special sessions Prof. LS Shashidhara discusses the positive impact of Science on Indian society post independence and how it translated into generating confidence among Indian scientists. He presented examples of success stories that transformed many areas and improved millions of lives across India. Prof. Shashidhara also argued that India could effectively apply Western world developed technologies to its advantage in Defense or Health Care because it had well trained people in Science & Technology that were product of Indian education system. Finally Prof. Shashidhara suggests with incremental improvement in Indian education and research system, India can become a major contributor in Science & Technology world wide.

QnA session with Professor L S Shashidhara, IISER Pune

In the second part of special sessions with Prof. Shashidhara, he addresses questions on, under performance of Indian Science when compared to smaller nations in Europe; quality education system in India; allocation of research funds on Basic vs applied science and generating confidence among students.

GMO plants, research system in India and value in interdisciplinary approach- Dr SK Sopory (Part-2)

In this part Dr Sopory discusses challenges faced by the researchers in India in bringing GMO plants to the framers and the important role proper regulations can play in making the process easier. Dr Sopory also talks about differences in Universities and Institute systems when it comes to research and also emphasized on the value of cross disciplinary collaborations in finding solutions to complicated problems.

Student Q&A session with Dr. S. K. Sopory

Living Science students surprised Dr Sopory by seeking his frank opinion general problems faced in research during PhD. Students also asked why is that in general in research more weight is given to the work experience than to teaching experience.

Green Homes for India : Enabling India get 50% of its Power from Solar by 2030

In this session of Living Science Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala describes the concept of Solar-DC, its advantages and why this technology is particularly better for powering India. He also gave specific examples where this technology with his ideas is already in use in rural parts of India in Rajasthan, Oridisa and Asam. Prof Jhujhunwala also discusses the challenges faced by this technology and what might take them to solve.

Lecture 8: Microfluidics (Part 1: T-sensor, H-Filter, and Droplet Microfluidics), Dr Supreet Singh Bahga, IIT-Delhi

The field of microfluidics deals with transport phenomena in miniaturized channels with dimensions of order 10-100 micrometers. In this part, we look at how fluid handling operations in chemistry and biology laboratories can be integrated on a small microfluidic chip. The flow physics at micro-scale differs significantly from that at macro-scale. Dr. Bahga discusses how interesting flow regimes at micro-scale can be used for performing controlled reactions, immunoassays, filtration, and highly parallel reactions in droplets.

Lecture 8: Microfluidics (Part 2: Electrokinetics, Electro osmotic Flow, Electrophoresis, Isotachophoresis ), Dr Supreet Singh Bahga, IIT-Delhi

Electrokinetic transport deals with motion of fluid and charged species under the effect of electric field. In this part, we look at how electric fields can be used in microfluidic devices to drive fluid flow and transport solute with minimal dispersion. Next, we discuss how electrophoresis techniques such as capillary zone electrophoresis and isotachophoresis can be integrated on a microfluidic chip. Dr. Bahga provides applications of electrokinetic transport in microfluidic chips for DNA separations, sample purification, and sequence-specific nucleic acid detection.

What is Science : Dr Kanury Rao, THSTI, Haryana

In this special session of Living Science the concept of what actually science is, is explored. What do we understand of science and what is our notion of science are discussed. The topic of "How is science different from practice of religion" is touched too. The idea of this session is to inspire to think deep and in abstract form.

What is Science: Dr Kanury VS Rao (Part-2)

In this part of the interaction session the group ventured into finding "If Traditional Knowledge is Science" and how is that it can be merged into main stream drug discovery practices.

Lecture 7: Basics of Microscopy- Part 3, by Dr Kedar Khare, IIT-Delhi

Super-resolution microscopy is an emerging microscopy technique that can beat the diffraction-limit and achieve imaging with nanometeric resolution. This can make a significant difference in imaging of smallest details of cell and its structures. Building on the previous parts on Basics of Microscopy Dr Khare discusses super-resolution microscopy techniques: such SIM, STED and STROM in very basic terms.

Prof. K VijayRaghavan – Institution building, science policies & research in India

In this informal interactive session Dr. Vijay Raghavan candidly discusses questions routinely raised among students concerning research areas; institutes; science policies; career prospects after PhD and general status of Indian research in the world. Dr. Raghavan provides students with very practical solutions to many long standing problems in Indian research.

Prof. K VijayRaghavan- Innovation in Biotechnology sector & QnA session with students (Part 2)

Dr. VijayRaghavan talks about prospects and challenges of bio-entrepreneurship in India. He also discusses how government is helping to encourage innovation and R&D in industry and what role individual scientists can play to take their discoveries to market and not get intimidated by the “Valley of Death”. He suggested if all steps to help young researches are taken carefully India has the potential to become the next center of future innovations. In the end Dr. Vijay Rghavan takes some questions directly from the students of Living Science.

Ambedkar and the Idea of Equality: Dr Soumyabrata Choudhury, JNU, New Delhi

This talk by Dr Choudhury is based on four ideas of equality: predicative, axiomatic, generic, and dispositional equality. All four ideas are to be found in the works of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Equality with reference to social, economic, religious and educational predicates concerned Ambedkar through his life’s work from the earliest Temple Entry movements in the 1920s. This is a part of special series initiated by Living Science team for science students to ponder deeply on something other than their research topic.

Physics Noble Prize 2014 explained by Dr Uday Khankhoje, IIT-Delhi

A light (pun intended) introduction to blue LEDs and the background story of the 2014 Physics Nobel prize. Dr Khankhoje also talk about how personal drive, years of hard work, and, dedication can lead to a Noble Prize worthy discovery in-spite of many challenges and technical hurdles.

Anomaly of Kabir: Dr Milind Wakankar, IIT-Delhi

To provide science students another avenue to recharge their creativity, Living Science has started a new series where philosophy, literature, art & music will be discussed by the experts of the area. This series is started with the awareness that all successful scientists have at least one serious hobby be it playing some musical instruments (Einstein played violin), listening to classical music or even participating in dramatics. The talk by Dr Milind Wakankar addresses a curious form of affiliation in Kabir. On the one hand there was probably a unique and irrepressible philosopher bearing that name who signed a small set of poems. On the other hand, for the past five hundred years legions of poets (belonging mostly to the very poor) have composed Kabir poems that are signed under his name, not their own.

Dr. Satyajit Rath - Academic Scholarship [Part 1]

Dr. Rath addresses some of the most important questions that a young researcher faces in relation to finding a mentor, selecting a research area, and communicating relevance of their work to the society.

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