6 - Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi
University School of
GGSIPU is not
only imparting the best education at the undergraduate level
which is evident by the achievements of its students but the university
also promotes research-driven academic atmosphere.
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) was established in
1998 and is recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under
section 12B of UGC Act. In March 2007, it received A-Grade
accreditation from National Assessment and Accreditation Council
(NAAC). The University School of Biotechnology (USBT) is situated in
the sprawling university campus at Kashmere Gate, Delhi, and spreads
over 16 acres.
Founded in 1999, USBT began with a five-and-a-half year integrated
BTech/ MTech course in biotechnology with 11 semesters and PhD program.
From 2004-05, the MTech program was delinked from BTech program and
both are now offered under dual degree program. This has seen an
increase in the number of students applying for the program.
Admission to the programs is done strictly on the basis of
merit adjudged through an all India common entrance test. The ratio of
students applying and those taken was 130:1 for the year 2007-08. The
school also has a research program leading to a PhD degree in
biotechnology. Eleven students are pursuing research in the school
under the guidance of the faculty members.
The school boasts of faculty members with expertise in diverse areas of
modern biology and biotechnology including molecular biology,
agricultural biotechnology, biomedical research, pharmaceutical
biotechnology, environmental biotechnology and industrial biotechnology
to name a few. The faculties also have links/collaborations with
scientists in India and abroad, and as a result the school has a
publication record of over 80 research papers in the last six years.
The laboratories are equipped with the latest equipments costing over
Rs 4 crore. The school has Rs 3 crore as extramural
funds with projects running in collaboration with DBT, DST, DRDO, AICTE
and UGC. Every student is given a research topic during their final
semester for doing inhouse research. The state-of-the-art 60-acre
campus in Dwarka is in the pipeline where it is envisaged that new GLP
compliant labs will be built up to attract industrial funding.
The school also plans to actively pursue projects and collaborative
programs in plant/animal/microbial functional genomics, stem cell
biology and industrial biotechnology in the future.
The alumnus of the biotech department have carved a place for
themselves in prestigious institutes in India and abroad including
University of Illinois, Ohio State University, Tufts University,
Pennsylvania State University, North Carolina State University,
University of Cambridge, IIT Chennai and IIT Mumbai.
train our students to take on the world”
—Prof. PC Sharma,
dean, University School of Biotechnology (USBT), GGSIPU
According to you what
is the USP of USBT?
We are very careful in selecting our faculty members. Every faculty
member holds a PhD. Usually, apart from the IITs, most of the faculties
in biotechnology institutes are teaching oriented, rather
than research-oriented. Since ours is a government university, our
endeavor is to make it a center of excellence in both teaching as well
as in research, that is the emphasis at government universities. It is
a challenge to create research facilities as it requires motivated,
experienced faculties who can do independent research and also be able
to attract funding to work on their projects. We have been actively
working towards achieving that.
What are the
challenges facing biotech education in India?
Biotechnology was touted as the next big thing after IT, but as far as
education is concerned, we need to match the enthusiasm with
upgradation of infrastructure and laboratory facilities and a greater
awareness amongst students. Running costs are very low in IT, but in
biotechnology, practical training is very important to make the
students employable in the industry. Biotechnology is an
infrastructure-based discipline, wherein a lot of investment is
required in terms of laboratory equipment. Also there has to be a
one-to-one interaction between the students and teachers to encourage
students to do independent research. Today, many institutes are taking
students in hordes while compromising on the quality of education,
wherein, the students have no access to good laboratory facilities.
Worse is that they charge heavily for the same unlike government
institutes which have reasonable fees.
What is your opinion
on the talent crunch in terms of what is taught in the universities not
being what the industry needs or is looking for?
Industry needs to tell the institutes what they are looking for. We are
ready to revise our syllabus to meet industry demands. Today, most of
the biotech students are going for higher studies because they want to
become scientists not technicians. Public-private partnership is the
way forward wherein industry needs to forge greater partnership with
the topmost universities to nurture talent.
What have been some
of the achievements at USBT?
We train our students to take on the world. Our students have gone to
prestigious research institutes such as NCBS, CCMB and IITs. Most of
them have got fellowships in prestigious universities in the US with a
fee waiver. We can proudly say, ours is the best government institute
providing the best undergraduate study in biotechnology. The
achievements of our students are a testament to that. We had a student
qualify for Rhodes scholarship three years back. GATE 07 saw four out
of the top 10 ranks from our department. Out of the 22 students who
applied, 21 qualified GATE 07. Students also consistently perform well
in GRE and NET exams.