Six decades old IITK gears up to revolutionize treatment

IIT Kanpur plans to march towards a new field with the Department of Biological Science and Bio engineering in its bid to revolutionize treatment of patients, writes GOPAL MISRA

It was on the 61st foundation day that the premier institute announced forays into a new field. The research focus of the proposed centre would on three main areas: (a) Regenerative Medicine, catering to Stem Cell Engineering., Scaffold Engineering, Growth Factor Engineering and Immuno-Engineering (b) Molecular Medicine, comprising Genome Engineering, Precision Medicine, Drug Discovery and Neuro-Engineering., and (c) Digital Medicine, for Software-as-a-therapy, Digital Diagnostics and Computational Drug Discovery. Each of these areas has been chosen by the Institute as they are expected to revolutionize the way medicine would be practiced in future.

The much-awaited first initiative in the country began on November 2, 2019, when the Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Rahul Mehta, a New York-based philanthropist and founder of the Mehta Family Foundation, laid the foundation stone and unveiled the model for the new research building ‘Mehta Family Center for Engineering in Medicine’. Also present on the occasion were Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director IITK; Sandeep Verma, Secretary Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, among other dignitaries. Rahul Mehta created the family foundation in 1998 with the objective of empowering people through philanthropic activities focused on education, children, and healthcare. The foundation has also funded the creation of the School of Biosciences at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.

The IITK has engaged a renowned architectural firm, Akshaya Jain and Associates, which has created many IIT buildings and campuses in the country and also a Buddhist temple in China. The architects comprising father Akshya and son Kshitij have a unique blending of energy with experience and are affiliated with Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

During the Foundation Day celebrations, the IITK honoured a galaxy of former sholars. Apart from Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy (Popularly known as Narayan Murthy), who founded the INFOSYS , the IITK honoured many others who excelled in their respective fields. The presence of Dr. Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the Union Government, reaffirmed the resolve of the present dispensation that the country needs technocrats to be on the driving seat of the apex of the administration.

Among the notables was Dr. Ram B. MIsra, a researcher and management teacher, who has served as Executive Director at the Bell Labs and Bell Communication Research founded by Founded by Alexander Graham Bell in the 1870s. The Bell Labs has nearly 33,000 patents to its credit. He is currently professor of management at the reputed Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA. Another recipient of this award is New York-based Rakesh, a 1978 pass out, has successfully brought many IITians under one umbrella and raised funds for promoting the concept of the philophy of the institute and its commitment to the welfare of people.

A police officer of Bihar cadre, Vikas Vaibhav too was honoured with Satyrendra K. Dubey Memorial Award, who is trying to improve the confidence level among the public about the much-tainted police force of Bihar. Satyendra Dubey was assassinated by the contractor mafia in Bihar.

Others honored on this occasion included Professor Rajesh Gopkumar, Professor Ajit Rastogi, Professor Nitash Balsara, Dinesh Kumar Jain, Ravindra Kumar Dhariwal, Ajeet Singh, Arun Seth and Manu Prakash. These luminaries excelled in entrepreneurship, research and civil services too. The foundation day will also be remembered for Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ who was being criticized for supporting studies in astrology promised full support to the IITK mission. Pokharial, on this occasion also welcomed and felicitated those who were present and made a name in various fields.