IIAB Ranchi hosts exposure visit to girl students from Gumla

ICAR – Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (ICAR-IIAB), Garhkhatanga, Ranchi hosted 57 girl students of class nine and class eleven of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Masaria Dam, Gumla and their three teachers on March 13, 2023. The exposure visit was organized by the Institute as knowledge partner under Vigyan Jyoti programme promoted by Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. The programme aims to bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Dr. Soumen Naskar and Dr. Sujit Kumar Bishi of ICAR-IIAB coordinated the visit. Dr. Sujay Rakshit, Director, ICAR-IIAB invited the students to be inquisitive on everything around them and cultivate the habit of questioning any phenomenon to find the answer behind these. He mentioned that a person should be a lifelong learner to become successful in any sphere of life, more so to become a successful scientist. He highlighted the need to spread knowledge to the society to make science socially inclusive and environmentally responsive. Dr. Naskar introduced different programmes and schemes of the Govt. of India for promotion of science and technology in general and girls’ education, in specific. Dr. Bishi oriented the students about the status and scope of biotechnology education and research with focus on agriculture and allied sectors. The students were shown the institute laboratories for molecular biology and tissue culture, and demonstrated modern scientific equipment commonly used in the study of agricultural biotechnology. The students enthusiastically interacted with the faculties and research scholars of the Institute. Khushi Kumari (Class XI – Science), Nutan Kumari (Class IX), along with other students were jubilant with the opportunity to interact with the scientists and visit the biotechnology labs. In their words, “we saw a living and moving animal cell for first time” on seeing a spermatozoa of cattle under microscope, or “we have heard about this instrument a lot during COVID time, but we are seeing here it working” on demonstration of a real-time PCR. Mr. Pramod Nagesia and Ms. Farzana Tabbasum, Post-Graduate Teachers (PGTs) of JNV Gumla on behalf of the visiting team expressed their happiness to the visit and opined that such visits should be made more frequent so that the more and more girl students become interested in STEM and decide to pursue a career in it.