A program titled “Science Setu” was launched by The National Institute of Immunology (NII) to build a bridge between research institutes and undergraduate colleges. The plan was formulated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Teachers’ Day address last year, had asked scientists to actively involve themselves in teaching school and college students. The NII has partnered with 10 colleges from Delhi University to provide teaching hours, guidance and resources to address the changing needs of teaching, learning and resource in biological sciences.
Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology delivered the keynote address on the topic “Why We Should Stop Studying and Have Fun Learning”. The aim is to identify bright students in the field of biology and nurture a talent pool that will eventually become future scientists. Under the program, every permanent faculty member of NII is expected to interact with students and teachers for at least 12 hours per year in the form of lectures, seminars, guided sessions or web seminars. The institute has also offered to allow selected students to uses its facilities as interns during vacations.
Prof. Raghavan said that students should stop picking a field of study on the basis of “scope” in the field and how “rich” it can make you. He advised students that a field that is “hot” today will not be tomorrow, and the only way to do well is to love doing what you do. He also told students to make a lot of friends from diverse fields so that later in life these friends provide insight, solve problems and help achieve success.
Adding to it, Director NII, Chandrima Shaha said the institute has been doing research for 25 years and that this event was an attempt to build bridges, not just with the 10 colleges they have signed the MoUs with but on a much larger scale through web seminars that will be bilingual so that they reach every part of the country. It is an opportunity to convince the brightest students who are not opting for science as a career to become scientists and solve problems.