B.Chem. Engg., M.Chem. Engg., Ph.D. (Tech)
Director and Professor of Chemical Engineering
In last several decades, the world has seen many epidemics and few pandemics. In December 2019, the world started witnessing the onslaught of one of the most dreaded virus emerging from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province of China. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that has changed the lives of billions on this blue planet and in every sense it is the “Matter of Life and Death” for several millions of them.
COVID19, the coronavirus, has symptom-free incubation period and it disguises perfectly through its unique nature of camouflaging and concealment. The virus has been incessantly attacking the people at large since the beginning of this year. Particularly, those who have co-morbidity are at high risk of mortality. Several pharmaceutical companies across the globe are in the forefront of finding suitable remedies and antidote against it. Come October 2020, the vaccine is still at least 6 to 10 months away from getting into action. The efficacy of Vaccine or for that matter any new drug usually takes several stages of clinical trials. Once proven, the world will face even bigger challenges of mass scale manufacturing and supply chain management & logistics. The last mile delivery is still a bigger challenge. India, being the capital of generic drugs will once again be in the limelight as it has all wherewithal of manufacturing vaccines for world consumption. ICT-IOC too was in forefront through some of activities carried out at Bhubaneswar campus that included taking part in designing and manufacturing of contact-free disposal bin (Dr. S.C. Patankar) and Developing the co-crystals of Anti-viral drugs such as Favipravir and analogues (Dr. Rambabu). As an Institute In-charge, the Govt of Odisha appointed me on a 10 members’ advisory committee on COVID19. Through UDCT Alumni network, we could garner support for the development and manufacturing of around 100 sampling cabins, where a specialized rubber gloves are used. ICT-IOC also took part in preparing several Kilo- litres of disinfectants (IPA and EtOH based).
The 14th World Forum on Crystallization, February 21-22, 2020, an annual event took place at ICT, Matunga attended by over 120 delegates from across 50 companies. The undersigned is a Founder of WFCFD, having conducted 25+ International Workshops and Conferences, in last 14 years. The event was inaugurated by Professor Manmohan Sharma and brought to the fore the historical perspectives to the art and science of manufacturing crystals. The other noted speakers included Professor Joachim Ulrich, Professor A. B. Pandit, Dr. Severine Dette, Dr. Erik Temmel, Dr. Carmen Guguta and Dr. Satyanarayana Thirunahari (Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories). Professor Ulrich took the responsibility of orchestrating the entire event as the following undersigned could then rush to Bhubaneswar and focus on the urgent matter of land allotment, summoned by Hon’ble Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan.
I had the privilege of attending the Odisha state’s one of the prestigious award ceremonies as a ‘Guest of Honour’, initiated by Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation (BIPF) 7 years ago. “Shambhavi Puraskar 2020” was bestowed upon Shri. Hiradhar Sahu for his path breaking work in conservation of Forest in Deogarh district of Odisha. His efforts paved the way for the reclamation 16 acres of forest land, which eventually helped 6000 tribal families for their rightful livelihood.
From April onwards, a new trend of conducting classes, seminars and conferences started and the webinar series became a part of our virtual academic life. We swiftly moved from physical classes to e-learning classes through Microsoft TEAM software. The first major webinar by ICT-IOC was conducted within a couple month on 11.06.2020 focussing on the current topic of “Post COVID Supply Chain Management and Logistics”. Several top institutes of learning participated in the deliberations and these included NITIE (Mumbai), IIT (KGP), University of Pennsylvania, IOCL, SOA University, TATA
Logistics and BSMA (California). The detailed report on this program can be found in running pages of this issue. The virtual event was attended by over 300 delegates.
The Faculty and students of ICT-IOC was delighted when Shri. P.C. Choubey, Head of South-Eastern Region of Pipelines Division (SERPD) of IOCL gave an overview of “Science and Geography of Project Management”. The country relies on the network of seamless connections and building the necessary infrastructure for oil and gas pipelines across length and breadth of India is no mean task. Project management was a learning lessons to all the students of ICT-IOC
As a part of member, global Indian diaspora “Garjemarathi”, the following undersigned also took part in the Garjemarathi’s interactive session with two of India’s leading personalities, namely, Hon’ble Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Shipping and the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Hon’ble Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
In meantime, ICT-IOC signed four important MOU’s, one with OB & CC, Odisha and the second with CSIR-IMMT to foster collaboration between Scientists and Faculty, the third MOU was an addon MOU between ICT-IOC and CET, Govt of Odisha for creating and running the high end instrumentation laboratory. SERPL also signed an MOU with ICT-IOC for a long term commitment in the development of the Institute including students’ internship.
I am happy to present to you all and for the posterity this special issue which is a combined issue II and II, Volume 2. The activities between January to April Trimester and the subsequent trimester from May until August has been summarized here. The two Quarters, together of 8 months was really a challenging task for all the stakeholders of ICT-IOC such as Teachers, support staff and the students. We made every effort to channelize our energy in the most fruitful manner and we are keeping fingers crossed for the Vaccine to emerge at the earliest and make our life safe and better.
I am thankful to all my colleagues who have worked and several of them have published good amount of research and review papers during this pandemic period. I am also happy to present you the list of articles published during this period. In all ICT-IOC published over 65 SCI cited research articles and 17 review papers under preparation. Congratulations to all!