Welcoming students and faculty to the celebrations, Dr. Bipin Nair, ASBT Dean, introduced the distinguished guests on the dais.
Dr. Arun Balakrishnan, VP, Piramal Life Sciences and Dr. Tobias Preckel, Manager, Life Sciences Centre, Agilent Technologies were joined by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, President, Managing Board of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Dr. Venkat Rangan, our Vice Chancellor.
“Let us look at the areas where biotechnology has delivered,” remarked Dr. Arun Balakrishnan, in his address.
“It has given a lot of benefits in the agricultural area. The general enhancement of agricultural products was enabled through plant biotechnology. Health care is another big area where contributions have been made.”
Other speakers noted significant Amrita contributions in the field of biotechnology, especially the now-patented indigenously designed insulin pump.
Of the three new research labs inaugurated, one was setup in partnership with Agilent Technologies. Dr. Tobias Preckel from Agilent had traveled to Amrita to participate in the day’s proceedings.
“We are honored to be working with a distinguished organization such as yours,” he told the assembled faculty members and students. “We are developing applications and methods for new tests and applications. I think the collaboration with Amrita is going to be very productive for us.”
Dr. Tobias may have been referring to the academic excellence Amrita is now becoming known for.
“Last year the Ministry of Human Resources Development conducted a very thorough review of all deemed universities in India including the Indian Institute of Sciences,” elaborated Dr. Venkat Rangan. “The Ministry placed Amrita in the top A category. Ours was the youngest educational institution to have achieved this remarkable distinction. Moreover, there were no other universities in the A category from Tamil Nadu or Kerala.”
Or Dr. Tobias could have been referring to the mysterious factor of grace that seems to accompany every selfless venture undertaken in Amrita, seeing it to completion.
“All inventions and discoveries reveal mysteries that are hidden and to tap into that realm you need grace,” stated Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, enlightening the gathering with his wise words.
Emphasizing that grace is that factor that brings everything together in the right proportion and at the right time, he also highlighted the role of effort.
Speaking to the students, he said, “Remember, you are neither children, nor old men and women. As youth, this is the best time for you to cultivate the right perspective. Now is the best time to focus on things that you really want to accomplish.”
Students had the opportunity to mull on Swamiji’s words as they spent the rest of the day amidst delightful moments, applause and laughter. The campus came to life with the vivid colors of dance, music and mime shows. A wonderful quiz program organized by the students was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the day’s celebrations.
“We will never forget these beautiful moments,” the students shared later.
“The day was truly a celebration – of culture, creativity, science and innovation. We feel deeply inspired to continue giving our very best in every moment of our lives.”
New Research Labs at ASBT
Treating the Epidemic
September 15, 2011
School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri