The Department of Chemistry kicked off its activities for the academic year 2018 - 2019 with a zestful talk by Prof. Mahesh K. Lakshman, a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and faculty member of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in City College of New York. The topic of his talk was: "The Many Faces of Organic Chemistry: From Methods to Mechanisms to Applications". Ensuing the talk, an adventurous trek to Nakhinda was organised by Dr. (Fr.) Roy Pereira - Head of the Department. Prof. Himanshu Gupta, Fr. Savio (faculty, Sociology Department), and Br. Vivian enthusiastically accompanied the students and Dr. (Fr.) Roy Pereira on the trek. 

On 18th September, 2018 a Career Guidance talk was organised in association with IES MCRC, Bandra. It was conducted by Prof. Ulhas Karkhanis, Associate Dean of Pharma and Health, along with Prof. Parag Mahulikar, Associate Dean of Academics and Marketing Specialist, Indian Education Society's Management College and Research Centre, Bandra. 

The Department, in association with Xavier’s Association of Chemistry (XAC), organised an Industrial Visit to Silvassa from 25th January to 27th January, 2019 under the leadership of Dr. Pralhad Rege and Prof. Himanshu Gupta. Some of the important industries visited were Nipra Packaging Pvt Ltd, Alok Industries and Parle Agro Pvt Ltd., Silvassa. In all, 42 T.Y.B.Sc. Students and 4 Chemistry faculty enhanced their knowledge in the field of Industrial Chemistry. 

Honours’ Programme of the Department, coordinated by Dr. Abhilasha Jain, dealt with a wide array of Research Projects from Food and Environmental Chemistry to Conserving Artefacts; from the use of Metal Oxide semiconductors as effective photo catalyst to Complex Chemistry. Two workshops were also conducted as a part of Honours’ Programme. One workshop involved the students acquiring skills in drawing ‘complex structures electronically’ through a programme called ‘Chem-Draw’, which is used widely in industries and the other workshop was conducted on ‘instrumentation’ in chemistry. With a total of 6 activities conducted by Dr. Geeta Kotian, Dr. Ashma Aggarwal, Prof. Saima Khan, Dr. Pralhad Rege & Dr. Sandip Kale and the participation of 40 students, the Honours’ Programme of the Department can be regarded as one of the most vibrant programme in St. Xavier’s college. 

Dr. Ashma Aggarwal and Dr. Sandip Kale participated in Teacher’s training camp in Chemistry held at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR from 16th August to 18th August, 2018.

Dr. Sandip Kale participated in a one day workshop on ‘Avishkar Research Convention 2018-19’, organised by the Department of Student’s Development and University of Mumbai at D.G. Ruparel College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mahim, Mumbai on 1st September 2018. 

Mr. Marazban Kotwal attended a workshop on National Portal for Technology Enhanced Learning, on 6th December, 2018 at SIES College, Sion. 

Dr. Nikhila Bhat attended a MHRD sponsored Induction program for UG College teachers from 1st May to 25th May, 2019. This program was organised by the Centre of Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education at IISER, Pune.

Dr. (Fr.) Roy Pereira was appointed as an External Expert on DBT board of Chowgule College, Margao, Goa since September 2018.  He was the main resource person for a workshop on “Ignatian Leadership with insights from Neuroscience” conducted to senior level academicians and administrators of the schools and colleges of Karnataka Jesuit Province from 23rd March to 31st March, 2019. 

Dr. Abhilasha Jain, in continuation with her fervour for academic writing authored a chapter on Anaerobic Digestion in a book titled ‘Sonochemistry: An Emerging Green Technology’, published by Apple Academic Press. 

The highlight of the academic year for the Department was a massive contribution to the organisation of an International Science Conference titled ‘From Health to Well-being: An Interdisciplinary approach from Fundamental Sciences to Translational Medicine’ that was organised in collaboration with Creighton University, a Jesuit University, from 9th January to 11th January, 2019. The collaboration was forged by Dr. (Fr.) Roy Pereira and he doubled up as the convener of the conference in spite of being extremely busy with the rectorship of the sesquicentennial celebrations of the college. Dr. (Fr.) Roy Pereira also presented a paper, “The Nocebo Effect: Life and Pharmaceutical Trials” at the Conference while Dr. Ashma Aggarwal and Mr. Marazban Kotwal served as the secretary of the conference and enthusiastically presented a poster at the conference. All the faculty members of the Chemistry Department contributed to the grand success of the conference and the entire XAC core committee under the chairpersonship of Ms. Premie Fernandes, a T.Y.B.Sc. Chemistry student, who actively participated in the organisation of International Science Conference.  


Marazban Kotwal 

Acting Head, Department of Chemistry 

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