ISCMA annual awards to ICT students, best researcher, support and non-teaching staff

Excerpt: Merit Cum Means Scholarships and Certificates, sponsored by ISCMA since 2012, are awarded to students in all branches of chemical technology, pharmacy and chemical engineering

Steve Jobs said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to be passionate about it." Merit Cum Means Scholarships and Certificates, sponsored by ISCMA since 2012, are awarded to students in all branches of chemical technology, pharmacy and chemical engineering and a best research professor besides non-teaching and support staff class 3 and class 4. The award function held on 11th December 2018 at K.Venkataraman Auditorium was attended by past presidents, members and students.

Mr.Vinay Patil, President, ISCMA spoke about collaboration of ISCMA with ICT and its activities. Prof M.M.Sharma had rechristened Textile Auxiliary Manufacturers' Association founded in 1952 to Indian Specialty Chemical Manufacturers' Association in 1985 and more than 50% members are alumni of ICT, he remarked.

Prof G.D.Yadav, Vice Chancellor said ICT is number one in ranking and recognized for sectorial excellence. With addition of the campuses at Jalna, Marathwada and Bhubaneswar, it envisaged increase in productivity and establish connectivity with industry. Students will study chemical process economics besides law, sustainability (CO2, Water and Material Foot Prints), environment, water and risk (process safety and hazard) management related issues. They have introduced courses in artificial intelligence in process industries, machine learning so that with blending, student can go to industry and learn to do anything. ICT is growing and works for societal causes and government is asking them to develop concurrent industry and technology and solve problems of masses by innovative education, he said. Prof Yadav appreciated the gesture of awards and suggested enhancing the value to Rs.15,000 from Rs.5,000 since about 50% students come from poor rural families. They offer scholarships to about 360 undergraduate students ranging from Rs.10,000 to one lakh. Further, he requested financial assistance from Members' Trusts, Endowments and CSR to non-teaching staff, support staff and students. He appealed for generous stipends, placement of students and if there is any sick industry, they will give advice by consultation in collaborative manner to come out of red and become green. He said that Mr.Somaiya had donated an endowment for green chemistry.

Introducing Chief Guest Mr. Samir Somaiya, CMD, Godavari Biorefineries Ltd, Mr.Vinit Patel said they manufacture sugar, ethanol, renewable energy, chemicals, biogas and composite and work for 20,000 small farmers in 200 villages to help their productivity and standard of living. Mr.Somaiya, Chairman of K.G.Somaiya Trust; Medical Trust, Institute of Applied Agricultural Research, is a Chemical Engineer, Visiting Instructor at School of Chemical Engineering, Cornell University. Happy visiting an educational institution and his association with ICT, Mr.Somaiya congratulated ISCMA for promoting talent. He returned to his business at the age of 26 years as Chemical Engineer in January 1993. With license to make 20 tons of chemical per day, their job was to ensure same yield with the same feedstock and were penalized should they produce more or less. India had very little foreign exchange reserves then to pay for import bills. The country was given some money by IMF who imposed some conditions. Control of production was associated with benefits like import duty @ 250% and low prices of raw materials like molasses and within two weeks, the world changed price of Rs.144 to Rs.2,500 per kg. Duty of finished goods was brought down to 50% within 3-4 years and now 5% thereby margin became loss suddenly. The challenge was emulating imports and competition. Research and Development was Quality Control then and Intellectual Property was not protected. He had contacted Prof S.B.Chandalia at that time for advice on processes and collaboration with Dr.V.C.Malshe and Dr.V.G.Gaikar. Prof M.M.Sharma continues to guide them in their journey. He advocated belief in oneself and to build a routine. Choose a team with best people for the job and leave out prejudices and discrimination. Through perseverance, they created some products quickly and believed in value addition. Visits to BASF, Germany were in vain to sell specialty chemicals in 1996 and 1997 and they realized to sustain a competitive advantage, you need knowledge-based chemistry. BASF was buying specialty chemicals from Europe, USA, Japan and South Africa. By persistence, they have been supplying those products and some others. One must fight injustice such as treatment meted out in buying by a chemical company overseas with a policy that they would not buy certain products from outside the developed world. Business not obtained on merit is tolerable but not prejudice. Subsequently, that company changed its policy in a constructive manner. They are sugar producers besides ethanol used in biofuels, perfumery, cosmetics and beverage industry and make commodity and specialty chemicals derived from this. In their business of 80% sugar, it is now 40% and the rest chemicals. One must have an open mind. In their agricultural center, he observed a farmer not using fertilizers and pesticides and his raw materials were mainly sun and water. A well-planned scientific approach using agro ecological principles outdone integrated neural management. In the world of sugar, there were Australia and South Africa and today India, Brazil. In the field of biorefinery, his company is making 25 products from sugarcane of which sugar is only 2. In cancer biology and drug discovery, a couple of products are doing well at the research and hope to enter clinical stage in a year. Mind moves like a wind and it is possible to control only through practice and discussion. Mr.Somaiya concluded stating 4 principles, taught by his 91 year old grandfather to live by: Do something not done earlier, Speak truth, Keep your word, Don't lose mind, and Do not bring shame to your mother doing things you shouldn't be doing.

Presentation of Awards

Prof A.B.Pandit spoke about criteria of selection for 4 awards which warranted careful consideration. Best Researcher, Non-teaching staff in category 3 and Class 1-4 for support staff. Whereas Class 4 category was awarded hitherto, now Class 3 was also awarded due to demand. About selection, absenteeism or attendance in the year (Jan to Dec 2017) besides their age and recognition, impressions of Heads of Department were taken into consideration. Selection of faculty, the criteria was number of publications and citations in a calendar year besides subsequent calendar year and weightages with appropriate impact factors. Mr.Somaiya, Prof Yadav, Mr.L.N.Gandhi Dr.K.M.Shah and Mr.Vinay Patil bestowed the awards on the winners.

Best Researcher

Dr.Parag Gogate, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering for outstanding contribution in 2017-2018. His interests are Cavitation phenomenon, Wastewater treatment, Design of multiphase reactors, Separation processes and Process intensification. Besides research publications of 250, he had also contributed 25 chapters in books and has numerous citations. He is consultant to industry and recipient of many awards. Proposing Vote of Thanks, Mr.Vinay Patil thanked Mr.Samir Somaiya, Prof G.D.Yadav and the participants for making the function a success.

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