The academic year 2018-19 was the centennial for the geology department.  We continued to enjoy success stories from our students. Our T.Y. B.Sc student Mr. Abhishek Natrajan was among the top twenty ranked in the Joint Admission to Masters (JAM). Furthermore, along with batchmate Ms. Namrata Soreng, they have secured admission to the Earth Sciences programme at IIT Bombay, Mumbai. Three other graduating students: Ms. Riya Bidaye, Ms. Sharon Dbritto, and Mr. Palash Kumavat have joined the Bremen University, Germany to pursue a Masters in Marine Geosciences. 

Geology being an observation and skill-driven science, practices such as fieldwork and internships form an integral part of the study. Our students are trained in various aspects of field geology and geological mapping, as a part of their curriculum. Day-long field visits to places of geological interest around Mumbai were organized for first-year students. Amongst these, Utan-Dongri-Gorai, Elephanta Island, and Tungareshwar in Vasai, were chosen to help students understand concepts of local geology and geomorphology.The field visits for second-year students were conducted in Kachchh, Gujarat with a focus on understanding sedimentary rocks and their structures, along with basic concepts of stratigraphy. During this time, students observed and collected fossils that helped them relate to the paleontology taught to them in the class. The students were accompanied by Dr. Goutam Bandyopadyay, Dr. Bobby Mathew, and Dr. Shweta Patil. As for the final year undergraduate students, the annual geological field took place in Malvan, Maharashtra, where theywere trained rigorously for a period of ten days by Dr. Hrishikesh Samant and Dr. Ashwin Pundalik. This field training included geological mapping techniques, identifying and studying geological features and structures, as well as studying the region'spetrological characteristics. The first-year post-graduate students were accompanied by Dr. Ashwin Pundalik, and visited the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh to study the entire stratigraphic succession of the Narmada Basin. 

This year, our undergraduate and postgraduate students visited many reputed institutes and organizations for internships. Five T.Y.B.Sc students joined IIT Bombay for projects, two S.Y.B.Sc students interned with the Directorate of Geology and Mining, Dibrugarh, and one student underwent a month-long training with Fugro Geotech (India) Pvt. Ltd.  

The post-graduate students successfully completed internships at either various reputed institutes or well-respected organizations. Mr. Eshan Pansare and Mr. Sarvesh completed a summer course in palaeontology at the Agharkar Research Institute, Pune; Mr. Shantapriya Mukherjee completed an internship from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. As a contribution of science to society, Ms. Shiba Nikalje, a final year M.Sc. student, actively participated in the Narmada Bachao Andolan and studied the effects of the dam from water and soil samples collected downstream. Mr. Arnav Samant completed a nine-week internship at Environmental Resource Management Pvt. Ltd. (ERM).

On the 23rd of January, 2019, in an attempt to motivate students towards higher learning in geology and help them identify academic options overseas, a guest lecture, covering topics about the Swiss educational system, the University of Lausanne, and it's Earth Sciences department, as well as the Swiss Government scholarship system, was organized in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy. Professor Jean-Luc Epard of the University of Lausanne, and Professor Sandeep Singh of the Indian Institute of Technology- Roorkee informed students about opportunities in Switzerland, and also delivered a brief lecture on their areas of geological interest. 

To draw from the expertise of industry professionals, on the 27th of February 2019, the department invited Dr. Devesh Mishra (Ex-General Manager-ONGC) to talk about the “Elements of Hydrocarbon Exploration & Production". 

As a part of an outreach program aimed at updating knowledge, a national workshop on ‘Structural Geology and Tectonics’ was organized in collaboration with IIT Bombay and Springer(between the 1st and 6th July 2018). Prof.  Soumyajit Mukherjee from the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay, was the Co-coordinator of this workshop, which was attended by participants and resource personnel from various institutes all over India, and the department.

In order to promote studies in palaeontology - the fascinating subject dealing with fossils -  the Paleontological Society of India had set-upstudentchapters all over the country. The department volunteered to establish the western Pune-Mumbai student chapter and is now responsible for the chapter's Mumbai branch. Currently, Dr. Shweta Gurav-Patil is the convener for this Mumbai chapter.

Besides teaching, department faculty members have been active in the field of research and consultancy. 

Three research papers were published this year in international journals:

  1. Hrishikesh Samant et al., 2019

‘40Ar/39Ar dating of tholeiitic flows and dykes of Elephanta Island, Panvel flexure zone, western Deccan Traps: A five-million-year record of magmatism preceding India-Laxmi Ridge-Seychelles breakup’.  Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 379:12-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.05.004.

  1. Shweta S. Gurav & Kantimati G. Kulkarni, 2019

‘Formanifera-walled Schaubcylindrichnuscoronus Frey and Howard, 1981, from the Middle Eocene, Kachchh, Western India’. Ichnos, 26 (2), 134-140.DOI: 10.1080/10420940.2018.1532897 

  1. Shweta S. Gurav & Kantimati G. Kulkarni, 2018

'Natural casts of early Eocene Entobia from the Kachchh Basin, India'. Ichnos, 25 (4), 261-268. DOI:10.1080/10420940.2017.1308864


Dr. Ashwin Pundalik received the award in “छंदश्रीआंतरराष्ट्रीयदिवाळीअंकस्पर्धा” for his article published in the Marathi magazine "मौजदिवाळीअंक २०१८". 


Dr. Hrishikesh Samant and Dr. Bobby Mathew were sanctioned minor research grant from Mumbai University.Dr. Bobby Matthew’s research project dealt with morphometric analysis and hydrogeological investigation of a sub-watershed of Vaitarana, Riber Palgar District, Maharashtra. Whereas the project by Dr. Samant aimed at mapping and spatial analysis of Petroglyphs in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra.  A drone with a camera facility was added to the current infrastructure of the department from the grant received under this project. 


Our faculty members have also attended various conferences, workshops, and seminars:

Dr. Pravin Henriques participated in 'Fostering entrepreneurship', a national seminar conducted under the patronage of theRashtriyaUchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) on the 3rdof February, 2019. 

Dr. Ashwin Pundalik presented a paper at the National Conference and 35th Convention of the Indian Association of Sedimentologists between 3rd and 5th January 2019 at Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. 

Dr. Shweta Patil attended a full-time residential programme under the MHRD's Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT) Scheme for the inductionof college teachers atIndian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. This was held from 12th Nov – 8th Dec 2018 at IISER, Pune. 

Dr. Bobby P Mathew attended a UGC sponsored short term course on ‘Effective Teaching Strategies, held from 11-16th June 2018 at UGC-HRDC, University of Mumbai.  

Dr. Pravin J. Henriques and Dr. Bobby P. Mathew were invited to join the Board of Studies of the Department of Geology, K.J Somaiya College of Science & Commerce, Vidyavihar. 

Dr. Goutam Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Ahswin Pundalik and Mr. John D’Souza have been instrumental in generating revenue for the department and college through their consultancy in petrography. Our clients include L&T, DBM Geotechnics & Construction Pvt. Ltd., and S&R Geotech Pvt. Ltd. 

The department also offers a Diploma and Certificate course in Gemology with Dr. Pravin continuing as the consultant faculty and in-charge.   

Dr. Samant was invited to be a memberof the Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production & Curriculum Research, 'Balbharati' - Geology Board.

Mr. John D’Souza continues to be the assistant warden of the hostel.


This academic year also witnessed new faculty members joining and some proceeding for other venues. After a long and illustrious term, Dr. Goutam Bandyopadhyay superannuated in February 2019. Dr. Goutam had worked in the cement industry (Associated Cement Company) for over a decade before deciding that his true calling was teaching. He subsequently quit the industry and joined the department in 2001. While in the industry, he was, for the most part, exploring for minerals in India and Africa. He brought his experiences to the classroom through his teachings, peppering his lectures with anecdotes of his field adventures in India and Africa. He is known for his sweet tooth and merry demeanor. Mr. Vibhas Shevde and Mr. Suraj Vicchi, both alumni of the department, and Mr. Narayan Bose from IIT Bombay joined the department on a short-term teaching assignment. Mr. Vibhas Shevde later joined IISER, Pune, while Mr. Narayan Bose is currently pursuing his postdoctoral research at IIT Kharagpur.

Dr. Pravin J. Henriques

Head, Department of Geology

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