Campus capsule

Best presentation

A team of students from Bangalore’s Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology made the “Best Presentation” at the prestigious International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Competition, held on November 2 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At iGEM, undergraduate teams from around the world compete to build innovative genetic devices in living cells, applying synthetic biology to solve problems in areas such as environment, energy, health, and foundational research.

Srishti’s team included Akash Hirosh, Avni Sethi, Dhruv Nawani, Gautam Vishwanath, Krupakar Dhinakaran, Neha Bhat, Nikhil Patil, Sandeep Mathew, Sanya Rai Gupta, and Upasana Simha. They were mentored by Yashas Shetty, an artist-in-residence at the Centre for Experimental Media Arts (CEMA), Mukund Thattai of NCBS/TIFR, and Navneet Rai, an NCBS Ph.D. student.

Over 100 teams from 25 countries participated in iGEM 2009. Describing themselves as “outsiders” in a competition dominated by engineers and scientists, the team members said the project was a unique experiment in art-science collaboration: to construct bacteria which would synthesise geosmin, the substance responsible for the emotive smell of freshly ploughed earth, or of the first monsoon rains. Mr. Mukund Thattai, who has been leading Indian teams at iGEM since 2006, said: “This is the third year in a row that India has picked up an iGEM prize. But what I am most excited about is, for the first time there are multiple teams representing India at iGEM. We must build on this momentum.”

Indo-German pact

Germanys Federal Ministry of Education and Research has announced the launch of a project under its two-year research campaign with India. The project — “pmIndia-Linking High Potentials” aims at interlinking the scientific-technological cooperation between Germany and India in the field of print and media technology. The project is a cooperation between the Institute of Print and Media Technology, Germany and Manipal Institute of Technology, India. These institutes are affiliated to Chemnitz University of Technology and Manipal University respectively. In addition to guest lectures, student and scientist exchange programmes and an Indo-German student workshop, the major highlight of this cooperation is the development and introduction of a joint double degree Master’s programme in printing and media technology.

Admissions open

Admissions to India’s first and only MBA in Media and Entertainment (ME) and MBA in Advertising & Marketing Communications (AMC) are now open for the January 2010 batch at Manipal University. The MBA (ME) is being offered in association with Whistling Woods International. This first year of the programme will be conducted at MU Bangalore campus, covering all General Management subjects and Media Case Studies. The second year will consists of one year of internship/industrial training on the WWIL premises located at Film City, a press release from the institute said.

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Bela Zutshi, Reader, Department of Zoology, Bangalore University, has been conferred with the distinguished Scientist of the Year Award ’09 by the National Environmental Sciences Academy, New Delhi. Union Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, presented the award at a function in Delhi recently.

Specialising in Aquatic Biology, Fish Toxicology and Environmental Science, Bela has been the recipient of the Young Scientist Award, 1998, Environmentalist of the Year Award, 2003, and had also won the Academic Excellence Award in 2007. She chaired sessions in the 5th World Fisheries Congress, Yokohama, Japan, 2008, and presented lectures in Boston University, Kusatsu, Japan and Manchester, U.K. She is currently working on the molecular aspects of fish toxicology.


Ankit Deshpande and Aswath Desai, students of M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore have been selected for a debate competition to be held at the Oxford University in England from November 12 to 14. Both hail from Belgaum.

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