Recently, I joined SAGE University, Bhopal, as a Professor in the School of Sciences. Although it's been a few days, through this blog, I would like to share some of my experiences of SAGE University obtained in a short span of time and also let young students know about our division. The university is situated in a calm and quiet location of Bhopal with a beautiful campus. It is committed to bringing world-class education by inculcating research along with regular teaching. Even though I have joined from a research background, I found the staff quite cordial and supportive, including the Head of School of Sciences. In the past few days, I had interacted with almost all departments, including higher authorities, and received similar support from all. The support is also visible towards the students studying in the university, with each faculty working to solve the problem of students.
I think the infrastructure is excellent (international standards) complemented with good educational values for students pursuing an undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral thesis in microbiology and biotechnology. Apart from excellent classrooms, there are small pockets of sitting places that are congenial for discussions among students and faculty. It is a vibrant campus filled with multi-faceted activity areas, discussion areas that help in pursuing education in a relaxed manner. An amalgamation of young and experienced faculties provides direction to students' careers by improving their knowledge.
In the School of Sciences, the SAGE University offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including in subjects of microbiology and biotechnology. Apart from general subject course teaching, we focus on the three kinds of developments of a candidate: entrepreneurship, industrial job requirement, and research aptitude among students. Over the complete tenure of the course, we shall work on and enhance the capabilities of a student based on the above three parameters through lectures, project work, and interactive sessions with experts in the field. Thus, we shall help the student to understand all the three aspects of a career and help choose one or two amongst them and build his/ her knowledge accordingly.
The student will be made aware, trained in such a way to get knowledge of how a start-up works, finding solutions for the day to day problems or developing thinking ability for start-up ideas, facilities available across the country for start-ups, interaction with start-ups in the field of environment and microbiology, how a concept is converted to a start-up, etc. Our faculty collaborates with start-ups and conducts consultancy with various industries in waste management, mushroom cultivation, biofertilizer manufacturing, etc., like Bharat Eco Solutions and Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Octraine Organics Pvt. Ltd. They will be explained about various funding available for entrepreneurs like BIRAC, BIG grant, etc.
After completing their undergraduate or postgraduate course, students are not prepared for industrial jobs. Hence, we have designed our curriculum, practices, and projects so that they are ready for industrial jobs in terms of knowledge and practical hand. Most industries complain of inadequate practical expertise or lack of skilled microbiologists and biotechnologists, which we shall overcome through our courses. We shall teach them about SOP's, IOP's, follow lab protocols, standard microbiological practices, do's and don'ts in the laboratory, safety norms to be followed in industrial labs, etc., required in industries. Due to the recent pandemic, there is a massive demand for skilled or trained microbiologists and biotechnologists in the vaccine and pharmaceutical sector. Hence, it's the right time to carry out the course in microbiology and biotechnology. Due to climate change, there is enormous demand for microbiologists and biotechnologists in environmental-related industries like Biocon, Praj Industries, etc. Online editorial jobs are an important sector for jobs for undergraduates and postgraduates. However, lack of proper training and insight in manuscript writing and editing makes students not eligible. We shall also improve their ability to read and write research articles, understand good and bad research and prepare for online jobs like an editorial manager. Companies like Springer or Cactus regularly look for eligible candidates for such jobs. Learning bioinformatics tools such as R and Python would also prepare students for a career in data science, an emerging area for jobs. Learning scriptwriting for such software will help the students prepare themselves for jobs in data science.
Some students have a keen research interest. Here we try to develop research aptitude among the students through giving research-oriented project works. The research work that we intend to initiate within the department will also help to enhance their practical skills and thinking ability required in the research field. We shall assign dissertation projects based on their interests. An essential aspect of research is experiment designing, recording observation, and interpretation of the results. For students interested in building a career in research, we shall take special lectures and workshops to make students learn about writing manuscripts, understanding research methodologies so that once the student completes the desired course, he/ she shall be ready to work with any international and national laboratory. We shall also conduct special workshops to make aware of career opportunities at the international level like master and doctoral courses in the US, Europe, and East Asia from time to time. Our faculty has national and international collaborations and conducts high-end research, including microbial genomics (genome sequencing and metagenomics).
The faculty at SoS are associated with various start-ups, industries, and research institutes, which also helps the students to have expert guidance. We also plan to have regular online lecture series with national and international experts in the field of microbiology and biotechnology. It will help students to get an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and interact with subject experts. The School of Sciences also plans to regularly conduct one-day workshop series on "How to write exams," "Interaction with Entrepreneur, Industrialist and Researcher," and "Career Opportunities." These experts will share their professional experience; thus, helping students will help students.
I invite students from all parts of our country to our campus and interact with our faculties to get a better idea and understand more about us, our courses, and our facilities.
(Dr. Rohit Sharma is a Professor at the School of Sciences, SAGE University, Bhopal. Earlier, he was working at National Centre for Microbial Resources (NCCS-NCMR, Pune) as Scientist C. He has more than 12 years of research experience in microbiology and biotechnology. He is a consultant to various industries and works on basic and applied research, including environmental-friendly microbial technologies. For admissions-related queries, please call 18001007031/ 9522578382 or email: [email protected] or visit our website: https://sageuniversity.in/).