NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

Department of Microbiology (B.Sc.)

Dr. Sudeshna Shyam Chowdhury M.Sc., Ph.D.
Head of the Department

B.Sc. Microbiology Department

The Department of Microbiology has initiated two year Microbiology M.Sc course on August, 2010. Two new faculty members Dr. Madhumita Maitra and Dr. Riddhi Majumder have joined the department on July, 2010. Dr. Surajit Basak from National institute of cholera and enteric diseases has joined the department as a guest faculty. Professor Sudeshna Shyam Choudhury submitted her Ph.D thesis. Dr. Arup Kumar Mitra wrote a comprehensive book on West Bengal board biology which is followed by students all over the state. Two industries M/s Chemico Industries Pvt. Ltd and M/s Calcutta Laminating Industries Pvt. Ltd are collaborating with our department in two ambitious projects titled alcohol production from Madhuka indica and extraction of xanthophyll from Marigold patals. A central Instrumentation Facility having a number of sophisticated instruments have been inaugurated in July 2010 and is operated under the microbiology department. Mr. Upal Das Ghosh registered for PhD degree under Dr. Mahashweta Mitra Ghosh. Dr. Kasturi Sarkar received a Fast Track project from DST, India. Dr. Arup Kr Mitra received a grant from Ahmedabad for Entrepreneurship development cell. Twenty research papers from our department have been accepted in the 98th Indian Science Congress in Chennai. The microbiology department conducted a two day seminar on Modern trends in Microbiology on 8-9th November, 2010 where the of 2nd year graduate students presented review papers. Two students from 2nd year visited University of Manitoba for 3 weeks and four students from there are coming to our college in December 2010. Two of our students have been selected for the summer research fellowship programme at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. The Department like other years is taking the lead in the publication of Aviskaar, The Xaverian Journal of Research, 2010


Thrust Areas:

Module based syllabus encompassing Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Instrumentation and Biostatistics.

Students are taught with audio visual aids in the field of modern Biology.

Active research in the different fields of Biology.

DST sponsored workshops and training programmes in molecular biology.

Seminar presentation by students.


Staff Members:

Actively participates in research and publication of Books.
Recognized as PhD Guides.
Exposed to foreign Universities in terms of research and training.
One major and two minor research projects running in the Department.
Served as consultants to industries.
Prepared a unique text book on Environmental Studies.
Students from other colleges have completed their M.Sc dissertation in Microbiology from the department.
Students from other technical colleges have completed their summer training from the department.
Students have completed M.Phil thesis under the guidance of departmental professors


Got five positions in the University including the first and second position and out of 29 students, 26 got admission in the different M.Sc. programme all over India.
Every year at least 2-3 students get the opportunity in summer fellowship or POBE programme of the JNCSR ((Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Scientific Research).
One student was admitted to M.Sc programme in TIFR.
Participates actively in National Seminar including the Indian Science Congress, where students present papers as posters or oral presentation.
One student got the prestigious KVPY SCHOLARSHIP From Government of India.

Results and student placement

Out of 38 students who passed out in June 2009, 29 received direct admission to M.Sc. programmes at various universities and research institutes, across the length and breadth of country namely:- TIFR, IIT, NCBS, IISC, JNU, BHU, NIV etc. Several students have secured admission at prestigious Universities overseas: Universities at U.K., Singapore University, to mention a few. About 12 of our students cracked the admission tests in Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Bio-physics and molecular biology and our outgoing student Prerana Agarwal topped in all the three disciplines. In the finals of Microbiology Honours, 36 students secured 1st class with the topper scoring overall 81 % marks.

Research Projects:

One major Project under Dr. Mahasweta Mitra Ghosh sponsored by CSIR worth Rs.14.5 lakhs.

One UGC minor Research project worth Rs 1 lakh under Prof Dipanjali Saha and Dr. A. K. Mitra

 Two minor project grant under EDC under Dr. A. K. Mitra sponsored by DST worth Rs.2 lakhs.

Research Activities

The Departments area of focus is student related research and accordingly the following activities were recorded:
A student completed her M.Phil thesis under Dr. A. K. Mitra from the Sikkim Manipal University. Dr. A. K. Mitra along with Prof. Dipanjali Saha received EDC Minor Research Project. Dr. Mahashweta Mitra Ghosh and Dr. Kasturi Sarkar were the recipients of Major Research Projects from CSIR and DST respectively. Mr. Upal Das Ghosh and Arijit Ghosh joined the Department as a CSIR research scholar under Dr. Mahashweta Mitra Ghosh.

Teachers and students of the departments submitted 13 papers in the fields of Plant Science, Medical Science, New Biology and Environmental Science at the 96th Session of the Indian National Science Congress, held at the University of NEHU, Shillong.

Dr. A. K. Mitra, Prof. Sudeshna Bhattacharya and Prof. Dipanjali Saha, along with students submitted papers at the International Conference at Allahabad University. The department published Aviskar- Journal of Research, St. Xaviers College, with papers from the Depts. of Microbiology, Chemistry, Economics and Statistics.

Dr. A.K.Mitra contributed an article on Ecofeminism in a book published by the ICFAI University Press.


Air conditioned Lab with different state of art instruments, some of which are detailed below:

Laminar Flow
Incubator Shaker
Cold Centrifuge
Deep Freeze 
UV Visible Spectrophotometer
Trinocular Microscope 
Air Sampler 
Gel Electrophoresis unit with transilluminator 
Blotting Apparatus 
Digital balance 
Table top microcentrifuge 
Multiple refrigerators 
Hot air oven 
PCR machine
Multiple autoclaves

Summer Training, Seminar and Collaboration

Two students were selected for Summer Fellowship at JNCSR and a third one was chosen for the same at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP). Four students received Summer Training at Dey's Medical. A (2+2) programme was initiated between SXC, Kolkata and the University of Manitoba, Canada, in the fields of Microbiology, Food Science, Plant Biotechnology and Agricultural Science. A student exchange programme was also initiated with the same University and accordingly four students from University of Manitoba, Canada came to visit us and four students from the Department visited Manitoba in a three weeks exchange programme.

Dr. A. K. Mitra joined as the Co-coordinator of EDC and successfully accomplished a project worth Rs. 5 lakhs that was sponsored by DST, Govt. of India. He also received a grant of Rs.52, 000/- from EDI, Ahmedabad.

The Department, in collaboration with ICFAI University, has undertaken the responsibility of publishing the two volumes of the National Symposium on Environmental Pollution, held in our college in 2008.

The annual seminar Modern Trends in Microbiology - The 6th Chapter was organized by the department. 22 papers were presented and lectures were delivered by eminent scientists from Bose Institute and University of Calcutta.


Our Dept. participated in the S.N.Bose Fair, held in Scottish Church College, Kolkata, and won the first prize. The projects were presented on: Carbon Sequestration, Beyond Antibiotics and Microwaves. Our student Joydeep De was the recipient of the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi National Talent Search Prize, 2009 in Research for his outstanding research activities in JNCSR, Bangalore.



  1. Microbiology Hons. (3 years undergraduate degree course)
  2. 2+2 programme (Microbiology and Plant Biotechnology) operating with the University of Manitoba, Canada and after two years of education in St. Xavier's, they will be going to complete their degree by studying for the remaining two years in Canada.