Amaravati, 7th August 2019: At the University Research Council meeting held on campus, and presided by Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan, Founder and President of the board, a renewed commitment was made to research of national significance such as energy conservation and sustainability.

An illustrious, distinguished and accomplished group of academicians and scientists provided direction and mentorship to the faculty members and research scholars. The council comprises Prof K. Satyanarayana – Director, IIT Tirupati, Prof. U.B. Desai – Director, IIT Hyderabad, Prof. P. Appa Rao – Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, Prof. Gautam R. Desiraju – IISc, Bangalore, Dr. S.R. Rao – former Senior Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Prof. B.S. Murthy – IIT Madras, Chennai, Dr. Padmanabham – Director, ARCI, Hyderabad, Prof. B.V.R. Chowdari – Senior Executive Director, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Prof. D. Narayana Rao – Pro-Vice Chancellor, SRM University – AP, Amaravati.

The meeting commenced with an opening presentation by Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice Chancellor, SRM AP, Amaravati highlighting the areas of research currently undertaken and proposed to carry out by the University’s 107-member faculty. The Chairman of the Research Council, Dr. V. K. Saraswat – Member of NITI Aayog, addressed all the members through a video call and advised them on the need and development of research activities. Dr. Saraswat also highlighted the importance of aligning research programs with the national agenda.

Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jamshed Bharucha emphasised SRM AP Amaravati’s focus on societal impact through original research in an interdisciplinary environment. The new research lab building and the X-Labs will facilitate these initiatives.  Faculty Members made presentations on the current as well as proposed research activities

The council commended the quantum and quality of work already done by SRM AP Amaravati in just two years of inception.  Members pointed out that the kind of MOUs and collaborations effected with different organisations are crucial for the faculty to be able to sustain research. Specific appreciation was about Hydrogen Powered Train (Jal-Janak Rail) being developed in collaboration with Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of the Ministry of Railways, SRM-Amara Raja Center for Energy Storage Devices. Special mention was made to the sports science centre as it is often an overlooked area.

Prof. P. Appa Rao offered that the experimental facilities of University of Hyderabad can be accessed by the faculty members of SRM University-AP, Amaravati.  Dr. Padmanabham invited the faculty members of SRM University-AP, Amaravati to establish collaborations with ARCI, Hyderabad and make use of the state-of-the art experimental facilities available at ARCI.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Kasthurirangan Gopalakrishnan, Associate Dean – Research said, “The inputs provided by the council have not only been encouraging but have also been extremely insightful. They have provided diligent inputs and guidance. Our faculty found this experience extremely motivating.”

3rd August, 2019, Madras School of Economics, Chennai:  The Chennai International Centre (an organization providing a platform for intellectuals and luminaries to share transformational ideas) invited an expert panel to talk on Indian Healthcare Services. The panel members comprising Dr. Shailender Swaminathan (Health Economist, Researcher, Associate Dean – SLABS, SRMU – AP, Amaravati), Dr. Keshav Desiraju (Former Health Secretary, Government of India), Dr. Soumya Swaminathan (Chief Scientist, WHO) discussed the significance of a holistic approach in the healthcare sector with moderator Dr. Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH – Resource Group of Education and Advocacy for Community Health.  Panelists addressed the inaccessibility of medical facilities in India stemming primarily from a lack of government funding, high cost of drugs and the low literacy rate.  The panel also recognized how this inaccessibility leads to poor utilization of technology and low insurance penetration.

“How India is able to fund healthcare five years from now is of significance,” opined Dr. Shailender Swaminathan, citing the US healthcare system, “The U.S. aimed at funding healthcare services of people over 65 years through the contribution of younger citizen and taxpayers. This previously successful U.S. model is on the verge of failure as the cost of drugs increased at a higher pace exhausting the funds.”

Pointing out that policies must be directed towards reducing the poverty rate in India to suffice for increasing healthcare expenses, Dr. Swaminathan added that “High expenditure on healthcare services leaves no funds for purchasing basic consumption goods, further pushing citizens below the poverty line. “

He explained that insurance policies in India cover only hospitalization bills whereas outpatients (patients who do not require hospitalization) are unable to pay the daily medical expenses. This lack of outpatient insurance drives up insurance costs, as minor health issues are not treated, leading to eventual hospitalization of the patient.

According to Dr. Swaminathan an integrated approach towards healthcare would prompt the government to provide free diagnostic and treatment services of high quality to outpatients.  The panel concluded that the government must focus on primary healthcare services, prevention of diseases, insurance inclusivity and healthcare promotion.

Healthcare panel in discussion:

“Aamby Valley City, August 15th: Vice Chancellor Dr. Jamshed Bharucha with IIMUN Founder & President – Rishabh Shah, Nadir Godrej and Chair Shashi Tharoor at IIMUN’s (India’s International Movement to Unite Nations) Championship Conference attended by over 1,000 students from around the world.”

IIMUN brings together students from around the world to address current global issues.

IIMUN’s advisory board includes VC Jamshed Bharucha, Nadir Godrej, Shashi Ruia, Deepak Parekh, Niranjan Hiranandani, Subhash Ghai and several notable luminaries from a cross section of industry. Present in the photograph in the centre from left to right are: Prakash Shah, Former Indian Diplomat, Shashi Tharoor, Nadir Godrej and Jamshed Bharucha among the students. Sitting right in the front is Rishabh Shah, Founder & President, IIMUN

At the 2019 Championship Conference held at Aamby Valley City, VC Jamshed Bharucha addressed the students on issues in higher education.

Commenting at the state of Higher Education in India, Dr. Jamshed Bharucha, Vice Chancellor, SRM University AP-Amaravati, said, “Indian Higher Education is in need of radical reform. India has tremendous talent in its youth, but most are not being well served by colleges and universities. At the undergraduate level, we must change what we teach and how we teach. We are also woefully under-invested in research: 0.7% of GDP compared to China’s 2%.”

Initiatives of IIMUN include Leadership School, Experiential Learning and Social Impact.

Becomes first ever University to receive this stature in just two years of business operations

25th July 2019: The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India has considered SRM University, AP – Amaravati under Public Funded Research Institutions / Universities and granted a Certificate of Registration dated 5th July 2019.  This prestigious certification entails exemptions in customs duty while importing research equipment as well as in GST when procuring materials from within the country. SRM University, AP – Amaravati is now eligible to pay only 9% on customs duty and 5% GST on national equipment as against the stipulated 30-40% and 18% respectively.