An International Level Webinar on “Insights on Covid-19: Immunopathology and Diagnosis” was organized by the Department of Biotechnology on Thursday 28th May, 2020 on Zoom online platform in association with BIAP. The Webinar began with the inauguration speech by Mrs. Suparna Deepak, program co-ordinator. She said that the Corona pandemic has unveiled the true importance of the Biotechnologists and now is the time for all Biotechnologists to rise and shine, live up to the expectations of common people, and help in making the world a better place to live again together.
The webinar was an attempt to give a snapshot of what has been achieved in such a short time and to discuss the two strategies to combat Covid 19 pandemic including developing diagnostic test and tools and defining the immunopathological changes in patients with COVID-19 which could provide potential targets for drug discovery and is important for clinical management
The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Gajanan Wader, Principal of Pillai college of Arts, Commerce & Science. He welcomed the two speakers for the webinar and gave an introduction about the college and the department.
The first speaker was Dr. Usha Padmanabhan, Senior scientist and HOD Biochemistry, Haffkine Institute of Training, Research and Testing, Parel. She spoke about the symptoms and transmission of Covid 19. She gave an overview of different types of diagnostic tests carried out for COVID 19 and their exact procedures. She shared her first-hand experiences with us regarding the difficulties faced by the healthcare workers.
Dr. Ankit Saxena, Scientist, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, US was the second speaker for the webinar. He gave the overview how our immune system responds towards the coronavirus. He spoke about the importance of herd immunity and ways to achieve it.
Mrs. Deepika Sharma, Vice-Principal, Pillai college of Arts, Commerce & Science to proposed the vote of thanks. She was immensely satisfied by both the lectures as it gave a scientific view of the disease and the strategies imposed by the Government to combat it. She concluded the webinar by thanking the speakers, management, audience and the organizers.
The webinar received excellent feedback from the attendees from various colleges from various states in India and also from abroad. There were 204 participants including students and academicians. At the end, E-certificates were provided to all the participants
Biotechnology Association of Pillai College of Arts, Science and Commerce conducted a singing competition on Friday, 27th September, 2019 in the Auditorium. About 12 participants took part in the competition where 9 were solo participants and 3 were in group. The Judge for the event was Mrs. Pushbam Shivkumar who is trained in carnatic music and also performs in stages shows.
The event began at 10:30 with a welcome address followed by an introduction of the competition by Mrs. Meenakshi Johri, In-charge of Biotechnology Association. Participants were given 5 mins and were allowed to sing in any language. Participants sang various songs of different genre ranging from classical to rock and made the whole atmosphere melodious. The audeinece were enthralled by each of the performance.
After all performance, even the teachers showed their hidden talents and amazed the kids. There were two solo prizes which was won by Sharanya Nair, MSc-1 student and Chrismon Shaji, FY.Bsc student. The group prize was won by Faiza and Group from S. Y. B.Sc.
The event ended with vote of thanks given by Mrs. Suparna Deepak, coordinator of BSc. People enjoyed and left for the day with amazing memories.
Pillai College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Marathi Vangamaya Mandal had organized “MY MARATHI Competition” on 14th September, 2019. The purpose of this competition was to increase their knowledge of Marathi language and inculcate the habit of using Marathi language in their day to day conversation. There were three rounds in the competition namely English to Marathi, Question Answer round, Tongue Twister. Total 16 students participated in the same event. Certificates were awarded to the winners & runners-up participants. The event was successfully conducted. Students found it very interesting and helpful.
The Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Association of Pillai College of Arts, Commerce and Science (PCACS), New Panvel, organized a National Level Seminar on “Recent trends in Biotechnology” on 8th September, 2018 (Saturday). One hundred and ninety six participants comprising students & faculty members from different colleges including PCACS participated in the seminar.
Dr. Aparna Chaudhari explaining about the current molecular approaches
Guests listening to the presentation
The distinguished guests formally inaugurated the event at 9.30 a.m. by lighting the lamp. Ms. Deepika Sharma, Vice Principal, PCACS welcomed the gathering. Opening remarks were given by Prof. Meenakshi Johri, Convener of the Seminar.
Dr. Ambak Kumar Rai, Assistant professor, Department of Biotechnology at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad delivered the Key note address on “Horizon of host-pathogen interactions: An off beat approach of Leishmania in modulating the host response and favoring its own survival. He spoke about the disease Visceral Leishmaniasis, which is tropical disease caused by sand flies. The life cycle of the parasite Leishmania donovani was explained by him. He also spoke about the symptoms seen in the patients. The approach towards getting the host immune system to function normally along with drugs was also told by him. After his talk the students interacted with him. His lecture was very interesting and informative.
The first technical session was started by Dr. Aparna Choudhari who is the Principal Scientist & Head in Fish Genetics and Biotechnology division at ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries education, Versova, Mumbai. Her talk was on “Current molecular approaches for disease prevention and control”. She began her talk with the concept of vaccines and the different types of vaccines available. She also spoke about why vaccines are important for fishes just like humans. The approaches of different vaccines designed for fishes till now was explained by her. The methods used for vaccinating the fishes and the results obtained was also told by her. Apart from that she advised the students to take proper care while disposing different chemicals and solutions as they affect the marine life. The session was then open for interaction where students and teachers interacted with her.
The next speaker in the first technical session was Dr. Prasenjit Bhaumik, Associate Professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay. His talk was about “Molecular insights into the catalytic mechanism and allosteric co-operativity of an enzyme”. He began his talk by explaining what is an enzyme and about enzyme-substrate reaction. He then spoke about a specific enzyme Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). The structure of the enzyme was explained by him with a 3D structure diagram. He explained in detail the conformation of the enzyme when bound to the substrate, inhibitor, co-enzyme and reaction intermediates based on his study.
The second technical session began at 2.00 p.m. following lunch. The session commenced with the lecture of Mr. Prasanna Rao, Cheif operating officer, Sampurn(e)arth Environment solutions Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai. He spoke about “Waste Management Solutions by Biotechnology”. He began his session by explaining the concept of waste and how is it generated. He told the audience about why nothing on the planet is waste including plastic. He showed an AV about how can we return what we take from the nature with the help of an example of biogas production. He also told everyone how they can contribute in helping reduce the waste generated by separating the waste as dry waste and wet waste. The dry waste goes for recycling whereas the wet waste can go for biogas production and the remaining waste from this production can be used as compost.
The Valedictory session was held at 3.30 p.m. where, Dr. C. K. Prashant, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, PCACS gave the concluding remarks. The seminar ended with distribution of certificates by Mr. Prasanna Rao, followed by Vote of thanks by the Convener, Prof. Meenakshi Johri.
The students and faculty members were very interactive throughout the lectures. The seminar received a good feedback form the audience. Overall the seminar was very encouraging and was well appreciated by the guests, students and faculty members.
The Department of Biotechnology had organized a ‘Fresher’s Party’ to welcome the students in the new academic year. It was held on 11th August, 2018 for the students of M.Sc. I batch 2018-19 in the Auditorium. It was organized by the seniors; the students of M.Sc. II actively participated to make the event a grand one. The event began at 11:30 a.m. The event started off with the prayer song and the lighting of the lamp by the faculty. The seniors performed a welcome dance. To keep the students entertained, fun activities and games were hosted. The highlight of the event was the Mr and Ms Fresher’s. The fresher’s introduced themselves in the introduction round. The winner was declared on the basis of their overall performance. The event was winded up with the distribution of refreshments for the freshers and a photo session with the faculty. The event was enjoyed by the freshers as well as the seniors. The freshers thanked their seniors and staff for hosting a wonderful event which they will cherish forever.
Dance performance at the Fresher’s Day Party
Students and the teachers of the Biotechnology Department
The first and the very most stupendous event “Folk Dance” held by the Biotechnology Association of Pillai College of Arts, Commerce and Science stood as the kick-start for the academic year 2018-19. The event was organized on 27th July, 2018 from 11:30 onwards in the Auditorium of Pillai College of Arts, Commerce and Science. With the arrival of neoteric – fresher’s, Biotechnology department had a very rejuvenating day full of thrill and enthusiasm.
Students performing Rajasthani Folk Dance
Biotechnology students performing the vibrant Bhangra Dance
Maharashtra’s Koli Dance bags the 1st Prize in the Folk Dance Competition
Group photo of all the participants and the teachers
Inauguration of the event was done in the presence of all the respected teachers and coordinators of the Biotechnology Department by lightening the eternal diya. The Teacher In-charge of Biotechnology Association, Ms. Meenakshi Johri conveyed the purpose of the Association to the fresher’s and request them to participate in the forthcoming events with enthusiasm. She also introduced the student In-charges from all the classes who would be handling the events of the Biotechnology Association. The guest of honour and the judge for the event was Ms. Ramya S. Kumar, who has mastered folk dance. The other judge for the event was the alumni and the staff of the department Miss. Ashwathy Gangadharan, who is a classical dancer with 16 years of experience. Being hosted by T.Y.B.Sc. student Miss. Kanimalar and S.Y.B.Sc. student Pristo Paul, the show got its perfect catalyst to increase the crowd’s avidity. Variant types of folk dances such as Rajasthani, Koli, Bhangra, Lavani and Garba were performed by the students of S.Y.B.Sc., T.Y.B.Sc. and M.Sc.Biotechnology. Each region has its own uniqueness and style which was amazingly depicted by all the participants.
Within the short span of time, students gave their all to make this event look vibrant and alluring. Maharashtra’s Koli dance bagged first prize followed by the Punjab’s Bhangra, which won as the runner-up for the event. The show came to an end with the promising vibe of keeping the energy constant for the rest of the year and concluded with a group photo of all the participants and the teachers.
Vistas in Biotechnology a poster competition was held at Pillai’s College of Arts, Commerce and Science (PCACS) by the Department of Biotechnology and the Biotech Association on 21st December, 2017.
The topics for this competition were wide open under the roof of Biotechnology and participants put up posters based Nanotechnology, Immunology and Virology etc.
The judges for this competition were Dr. Rishikesh Patilan Inspire faculty at ACTREC, Kharghar and Dr. C. K. Prashanth faculty member of Department of Biotechnology at PCACS. The judges were not only enthralled but amazed by the posters put up by the participants.
Vistas was inaugurated by Dr. Rishikesh Patil and the competition began at 10:00 a.m.
Students from colleges like IOS, Tilak, MGM and Jhunjhunwala participated for this competition making it a major success.
Looking forward for even more wonderful competition in the coming years.
A One Day State Level Seminar on “Role of Biotechnology in Sustainable Development” was organized by the Department of Biotechnology in association with, Biotechnology Association and Environment Analysis and Conservation team at Pillai College of Arts, Commerce and Science (PCACS), New Panvel, on 20th February, 2017 (Monday). Two hundred participants comprising students and faculty members from different colleges including PCACS participated in the seminar.
The distinguished guests formally inaugurated the event at 9.30 a.m. by lighting the lamp. Dr. R.I.K. Moorthy, Principal of Pillai College of Engineering welcomed the gathering. Opening remarks were given by Prof. Gopakumar Pillai, Convener of the Seminar. Chief Guest, Dr. Siddhivinayak Barve, Director – Scientific Research Centre, KET’S V.G. Vaze College, Mulund delivered the keynote address on “Sustainable Development Biotechnology”. In his converse, the explained the current environmental issues that the world is facing and how Biotechnology can help solving these issues directing the nation towards Sustainable Development’. His lecture was very interesting, informative and motivating. The technical session on sustainable energy and agriculture started at 11.15 a.m. by Dr. Sandeep Joshi, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, PCE, New Panvel. He delivered the lecture on “Biofuel – Alternate Engine fuel”. He described the potential of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel as an alternative fuel which can address issues of greenhouse gases, emissions and help in climate change mitigation. The second speaker of the session Dr. Seema Mishra, Director – SIES Indian Institute of Environment Management, Nerul gave the lecture on “Biotechnology in Sustainable Agriculture”. In her talk, she discussed on the development of various biofertilizers and soil fertility improvement strategies to develop effective agriculture. The technical session on Bioenergy and Biodiversity began at 2.15 p.m. following lunch. The session commenced with the lecture of Dr. Shubhalaxmi Vaylure, Founder and CEO, Ladybird Environmental Consultancy LLP, Kharghar. She gave a lecture on “Mobile Applications for recording Urban Biodiversity”. The lecture covered the issues related to usage of the iNaturewatch Mobile apps for climate change studies, engaging students outdoors for environmental studies, and the potential of students as citizen scientists in urban settings. The second speaker for session on Bioenergy was Dr. Annamma Anil Odaneth, Assistant Professor of biochemistry form DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences, ICT, Matunga. Her lecture was on “Bioenergy production on sustainable development”. She discussed on biomass resources for bioenergy generation and the technologies used for the same, logistics of biomass collection and storage, its impact on biomass resources, economic development and overall dynamics.
The Valedictory session was held at 4.30 p.m. where, Dr. P. S. Goyal, Dean – R & D, PCE gave the concluding remarks emphasizing on the potential of Biotechnology in developing an effective healthcare. The seminar ended with distribution of certificates by Dr. Annamma and Dr. P. S. Goyal followed by Vote of thanks by the Convener, Prof. Gopakumar Pillai.
The students and faculty members were very interactive throughout the lectures. The seminar received a good feedback form the audience. Overall, the seminar was very encouraging and was well appreciated by the guests, students and faculty members.
A hands on training on ‘Advances in Microscopy’ was organised by the Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT), Matunga from 16th to 18th January, 2017. Three students of M.Sc. Biotechnology part I were send for the training (Ms. Shweta Vijaykumar Kartha, Ms. Vaishnavi Uday Samant and Ms. Tanishka Suhas Bagwe). The opportunity was provided to the students through Prof. Gopakumar Pillai who was in communication with Dr. Vigneshwaran, Senior Scientist and Course Coordinator, CIRCOT. The training was of three days and covered types of light microscopy, Scanning electron microscopy and Atomic force microscopy. The principle, operation, sample preparation, methods and applications of various microscopy techniques were detailed and hands on practice were provided. The resource persons of various sessions were reputed professionals in the field of Microscopy. They provided the students in depth knowledge, hands on practice over microscopes and study materials. Refreshments were also provided for three days. Students were provided certificates on completion of the training. The students have been well benefitted with this training and have provided them advanced knowledge and skills in microscopy. One of the highlights of the program was that all the participants excluding the three students were Scientists, Academicians and Industry professionals. This gave a chance for the students to even interact with various specialists in the field. The students were very much motivated with the program. The initiative taken by Prof. Gopakumar Pillai was well appreciated by the Program Coordinator of CIRCOT and the Research Institute has extended their support to have customized programs for the students of our college. The department looks forward to strengthen this bond with CIRCOT and provide quality industrial training to students to help them have a bright career in Biotechnology.