Students asked to take up research to restore soil wealth

College students and members of the public forming a human chain on Anna Salai in Vellore in connection with the International Year of Chemistry-2011 celebrations organised by Auxilium College on Tuesday. — Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan  

The Principal of the K.M.G. College of Arts and Science, Gudiyatham, D. Gajapathy has called upon chemistry students to take up research to restore the wealth of the soil damaged by the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides over the years by farmers in the name of green revolution.

Speaking on the topic ‘Chemistry and Environment' at the International Year of Chemistry-2011 celebrations organised by the Postgraduate & Research Department of Chemistry of Auxilium College, Vellore, at the fort ground here on Tuesday, Dr. Gajapathy said chemistry students should create awareness among farmers about the deleterious effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the soil wealth.

In the light of the increasing environmental pollution caused by the increase in the emission of carbon dioxide into the air on account of the increase in vehicle population, he said that more trees should be planted to facilitate absorption of the carbon dioxide, and the felling of trees should be prevented.

S. Gunasekaran, Medical Biotechnology Division, School of Biosciences & Technology, VIT University, who spoke on ‘Chemistry and Health,' said that chemistry has contributed a lot to the field of medicine.

Oxygen, which is used for patients with respiratory distress, the discovery of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and ether which are used in anaesthesia, the use of silver nitrate in X-ray films, and the invention of phenol which is used for sterilisation of the hands by doctors, are some of the examples of the contributions made by chemistry to the medical field, he said.

P. Punniyakoti, Chief Educational Officer, Vellore who spoke on ‘Science and Youth' said that chemistry accounts for the largest number of beneficial discoveries made during the 20th century.

The discovery of the wonder drug penicillin by Alexander Fleming and the discovery of nuclear energy were some of the major discoveries of the 20th century, which were beneficial to human beings, he said. Sundaresan, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vellore urged the students to use chemistry for constructive purposes and prevent its misuse for destructive purposes.

Later, Vellore Collector S. Nagarajan inaugurated a human chain by college students and members of the public, organised by Auxilium College in front of the fort ground, in connection with the celebrations.

In pursuance to a United Nations Resolution, the International Year of Chemistry is celebrated every year to commemorate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to mankind.

The U.N. made the recognition for chemistry official in 2008.

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