Dr Devaki Girija, Microbiology Professor, KAU, visits Vidya

On a special invitation from Dr Sudha Balagopalan, Dean – Academics, Dr Devaki Girija, Prof and Head, Dept of Microbiology, Kerala Agriculture University, visited Vidya on 7 November 2018. Dr Girija interacted with faculty and students of Vidya in two sessions.

Interactive session in the Board Room

The first session took place in the Board Room and started at about 10.45 am . It was attended by a small group of persons including Er G Mohanachandran, Executive Director, Dr SudhaBalagopalan, Dean Academics, Dr Saji C B, Principal, Dr Ramani Bai V, Head of CSE Dept, Ms Nitha K P, AP, CSE Dept, and Ms Aswathy P, AP, CE Dept.

Dr. Sudha Balagopalan welcomed the guest to the session.

There was a brief discussion about aerobic composting. Dr. Devaki Girija and team had developed two microbial cultures that could replace cow dung in aerobic composting for large scale management of solid waste. They had isolated Bacillus Subtilis (bacteria) and Gongronella butleri (fungi) which made an efficient inoculum for the degradation of biodegradable waste.

She offered her guidance for implementing aerobic composting units in Vidya’s campuses and also she invited Vidya’s faculty and students  to visit Kerala Agriculture University to see the various waste management techniques. Dr Girija was also requested and she offered step-by-step guidance for setting up a waste processing unit in Vidya’s campus or its neighbourhood. Dr Sudha Balagopalan asked her about the application of bioinformatics in various fields of engineering. She also requested for training or other assistance in this domain for Vidya’s V-CAIR.

Dr Ramani Bai, Head of CSE Dept, briefly explained the projects handled by her Dept. Some of the difficulties they were facing in the health care field were related to getting access to the data base. The idea was to develop a better prediction technique of the possible diseases with a simple question-answer procedure. The data set availability and visibility of these research to the common man is very low. Dr Girija Devaki suggested for a collaboration with the research institute of Amala Cancer Centre which had a lab doing research in this area. She offered her help to connect. Another challenge is identification of plants from leaves and identification of chemical components from the fruit. Dr Girija promised to arrange an external guide for this area.

Interactive session with students

After the interactive session the Board Room, Dr Girija had an interactive session with the first year B Tech students in the Auditorium. It was intended as an enrichment session in support of the Sustainable Engineering course in the first year B Tech curriculum.

During the session, the prizes for the winners of the Kerala Piravi online Quiz, organised jointly by the Minor Research and Projects Group (MRPG) and NSS units of Vidya on 6 November 2018, were presented.