The first chapter of Research Day was observed at SRM University, AP Campus on 31st January 2020. The novelty of its inception was honoured with the presence of Chief Guest- Dr. R. Chidambaram, DAE Homi Bhabha Chair Professor, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, and Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Guest of Honour, Prof. B Vengamma, Vice Chancellor and Director, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro Vice Chancellor, SRM University, AP, Dr. D. Gunasekaran, Registrar, SRM University, AP, Prof. Ranjit Thapa, Convener, Co-convenors- Dr. G.S. Vinod Kumar, and Dr. Karthik Rajendran, Deans, faculty members, students, and staff. The program was organized keeping in mind the necessity of developing a culture of research among the young students of the university, and to provide a platform to exchange and exhibit their innovative ideas.
Pro VC, Prof. Rao addressed the audience by speaking about the significance of scientific and technological research in substantially improving the socio-economic status of India. He says, “When our country became independent, India had a literacy rate of 12% and life expectancy of 32 years. In 70 years, India has reached the stature of being one of the top five economies of the world. This remarkable transformation is credited to science and technology. The advances in research gave birth to a whole generation of self-confident Indians who took up adventurous career path in India and abroad”. Further, he applauded India’s excellence in academics, space research, robotics, pharmaceuticals, bio medicine, manufacturing, and construction. Prof. Rao adds, “India is in dire need of regaining the pride and prestige associated with research, which would provide an inspiring environment for students to showcase and nurture their aptitude in research”.
Hon’ble Chief Guest, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Dr. R. Chidambaram is a nuclear scientist known for his integral role in developing India’s nuclear weapons. He worked with the team that conducted the first nuclear test (Smiling Buddha) as Pokhran Test Range in 1974. Further, he coordinated and led the team- Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) that conducted the second nuclear test Pokhran II in May 1998. His inspiring address themed at the significance of research in generating knowledge that can mitigate problems pertaining to science and society. He believes that science is a universal consciousness that spars geographical boundaries and religions. He suggests, “We should equip our researchers to innovate and utilize the knowledge”.
Directed basic research is necessary to meet the long term industrial and strategic needs of India. Dr. R. Chidambaram motivates the audience by demonstrating the current advancements in research, namely SRM’s collaborative project with Tanishq ‘hardening of 22 carat gold’ and hydrogen train. He also mentioned multi-disciplinary projects such as world class Tumor Knee Prosthetics, research in the domain of low carbon energy, improvement in military strength and security through nuclear programs, Indian National Knowledge Network, RuTAG, and many more. He believes that India is an anti-fragile nation as it has become self-reliant by combating adverse situations and crises. In his views, optimistic and firmly resolved young scientists can take the nation forward with their continued research.
Guest of Honour, Prof. B. Vengamma, MBBS, DM (neurology) is the Director cum Vice Chancellor and Professor of Neurology at Shri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati. Through her 30 years of clinical, academic and research experience along with 27 years of administrative experience, she observed that low doctor-patient ratio in India contributed to negligible research time. Lack of documentation of ample medical cases has minimized the opportunity to conduct extensive research. However, she believes that progress in science is possible by encouraging more research in bio medicine. Also, she says, “In the recent times, barriers between engineering and medicine and life-sciences has blurred. Exchange of knowledge has bridged the gap between experimental findings in the lab and its actual application in the field of medicine”.
As a part of the research day program, the students, Ph.D. scholars, and faculty were awarded with Gold Medal, Silver medal and certificates for their shortlisted research work that they had presented on 29th January, 2020. SRM University, AP published a book of combined abstracts submitted for the occasion on the Research Day. Hon’ble guests spent time with researchers, enquired about their research, and encouraged them to further proceed with their research work that can aid to ‘making lives better’.