NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

Department of Biotechnology (M.Sc.)

Prof. Sudipa Saha Msc., Ph.D.
Head of the Department

The Integrated M. Sc Course in Biotechnology was initiated in July 2006. The department has a total of ten full time faculty members - Prof. Dr. Chandana Barat, Prof. Dr. Uma Siddhanta, Prof. Dr. Sudipa Saha (HOD), Prof. Dr. Aniruddha Banerji, Prof. Dr. Jhimli Dasgupta, Prof. Dr. Dipankar Chakraborti, Prof. Dr. Aryadeep Roy Choudhury, Prof. Dr. Ronita Nag Chaudhuri, Prof. Dr. Priyanka De and Prof. Souvik Roy.

Under the integrated course in Biotechnology, topics are divided into core and ancillary. Core topics include various aspects of Biology, both classical and modern, and Biotechnology. Ancillary topics include Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science. As Biotechnology is a multidisciplinary subject, these enable students to get a firm grasp of various principles which they can then assimilate and utilize in their studies on research and technology. The interdisciplinary subjects and specialized topics are taught by the respective departments of the College as well as by a number of guest lecturers.

The course is delivered in the form of formal lectures, practical classes and discussions of recent scientific literature. The visual mode of instruction is liberally used, with powerpoint presentations being used to impart information. As in the study of any science, practicals are of utmost importance. Practical classes include Microbiology, Analytical Biochemistry, Immunology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Enzymology, Plant Biotechnology, Animal Biotechnology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Field trips are organized for providing students with exposure to the current biotechnological procedures. Laboratory visits are organized to Bose Institute and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics with the students of Semester VI and Semester VIII. Students of Semester IX attend a workshop at Calcutta University. An excursion for study of animal and plant biology is organized with the students of Semester IX. The students of the final semester (Semester X) are sent for a four month project in reputed universities/research institutes to gather hands-on training on advanced research techniques in various fields of modern biological science and to obtain a true feeling of research. The department, since its inception, emphasizes on both teaching and research. The University of Calcutta has approved the Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, (Ph.D) under St. Xavier's College (Autonomous) to be awarded for Biotechnology in 2015. Currently, a number of research projects are running in the department and a total of 14 research scholars are working under the supervision of various faculty members. The faculty members also publish a number of articles in international and national peer-reviewed journals every year and present their findings at national and international conferences.

The department attracts meritorious students who are extremely committed and intelligent. Not only are they excellent in academics, they are at the forefront in extracurricular activities as well, winning numerous laurels and representing the college in the field of sports and performing arts. Every year, many students qualify competitive examinations including CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET), DBT-NET and GATE. Students also attend and present papers at seminars and workshops at various institutes both in Kolkata and in other parts of India. The department also publishes an annual magazine "Chiasma" which includes articles written by the faculty, students and research scholars.


Mission and Vision:

The Post Graduate Integrated Programme in Biotechnology is for the duration of five years, at the end of which a certificate of Master's Degree in Biotechnology will be provided. It allows no lateral movement at any intermediate level during the course.

The course intends to:

  • generate adequate human resources trained in the multi-disciplinary field of Biotechnology to meet the requirement of trained personnel for the promotion of Biotechnology in India as well as abroad

  • equip students with theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary Biology and Biotechnology such that they can pursue research in frontier areas in Biotechnology.

The initial phase of the course provides an exposure to all relevant aspects of natural and physical sciences (physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and biology) with the simultaneous application of the above subjects for understanding more advanced concepts and methods in biology (both laboratory based and computational). This eventually provides the premise for the specialization in the different fields in Biotechnology.


Achievement of the Students:

Every year, many of our students qualify competitive examinations including CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET), DBT-NET and GATE

Batch Competitive Examinations (NET/ GATE) Qualified
2006-11 CSIR-NET: 11, UGC-NET: 5, LS-NET: 2, DBT-NET: 11, GATE: 16
2007-12 CSIR-NET: 9, UGC-NET: 5, LS-NET: 2
2008-13 CSIR-NET: 5, UGC-NET: 4, LS-NET: 7, DBT-NET: 2, ICMR-NET: 1, GATE: 7
2009-14 CSIR-NET: 5, UGC-NET: 2, LS-NET: 4, DBT-NET: 5, GATE: 8
2010-15 CSIR-NET: 6, UGC-NET: 4, LS-NET: 3
2011-16 CSIR-NET: 8, UGC-NET: 3, LS-NET: 1, DBT-NET: 5, GATE: 8
2012-17 CSIR-NET: 2, UGC-NET: 3

Note: many students qualified in multiple examinations.

The various institutes where our students are currently pursuing their research career include:

  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Kolkata & Pune)
  • National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore)
  • University of Calcutta (Kolkata)
  • National Institute of Immunology (New Delhi)
  • Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (Hyderabad)
  • National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (Kolkata)
  • National Institue of Technology (Rourkela)
  • Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore)
  • Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (Kolkata)
  • Bose Institute (Kolkata)
  • Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (Kolkata)
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (Bangalore)
  • IIT, Kharagpur
  • National Centre for Cell Sciences (Pune)

Some of our students are pursuing their research work in our department. Many of our students are also pursuing their research work in various reputed institutes abroad.

Our students attend and present papers at seminars and workshops at various institutes both in Kolkata and in other parts of India. Some of the seminars where they have presented papers/ posters (2014-16) include:

  • 3rd International Conference on Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Pune, 2016
  • 6th International Conference on Stem Cells & Cancer, Pune, 2015
  • 2nd International Conference on Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Pune, 2015
  • Modern Trends in Microbiology, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata, 2015
  • Analytica, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata, 2015
  • Sigma, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata, 2015
  • 5th International Conference on Stem Cells & Cancer, New Delhi, 2014
  • 4th International Conference on Ecotoxicology and Environmental Sciences, New Delhi, 2014
  • Modern Trends in Microbiology, St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata, 2014
  • Frontiers of Microbiology: Prospects and Challenges, Ramkrishna Mission Vidyamandir, 2014
  • PHYSICON-2014, Annual National Conference of The Physiological Society of India

Our students have been selected for various scholarships/ awards, some of which are listed below:

  • Khorana Program for Scholars
  • Summer Research Fellowships of Indian Academy of Sciences