The Department of Chemistry, School of Sciences, Gujarat University was established in the year 1958 and has grown over the years into one of the most sought after department for post-graduate teaching and research in the state. The department has been recognized as a centre of Excellence in Supramolecules and Nanomaterials by Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Gandhinagar (2004-2008), covered under DST-FIST (Level–I completed successfully, 2006-2011), and UGC Special Assistance Programme DRS Level–III (2013-2018). The department has been very proactive in industrial interaction and placement of students through campus interviews.
Title of the Practice: Research based Teaching and Learning (2019-20)
Objectives: With a view to provide impetus to ongoing research activities, the major objectives include the following:
The Context: Teaching and Research play a pivotal role in achieving the quality and attributes of the post-graduates passing out from an institution both in national and international perspective. In an innovation-driven global society where research is the key to prosperity and social well-being, it becomes imperative that the Research activities be suitably nurtured and essential support is provided to the faculty members actively engaged in teaching students at postgraduate level. The constraints of time and facilities usually hamper the ability of teachers to stay focused in specialized areas, thereby, limits the interdisciplinary approach and thinking process. This necessitates the need for the measures for encouragement and promotion of research.
The Practice: Research is important in growth and development of a country and especially Gujarat University as per its Vision and Mission statement. The Department is committed to provide quality education to its students and has undertaken major initiatives to strengthen and promote ongoing research activities and its integration with the academics. For this purpose, various initiatives such as, an appropriate research policy, augmentation of research infrastructure, hiring and training of human resources, incentives at different levels, etc. have been undertaken. The main emphasis is on research-based understanding and learning, research-based/research-informed teaching to enable systematic delivery in the teaching-learning process.
Various steps in this direction have been introduced to encourage research activities and strengthen research culture in the University, some of which include the following:
a) Admissions to Ph.D. programmes on the basis of competitive entrance examination and engagement of faculties with post-doctoral fellows/research associates to promote extraordinary research
b) Providing research scholarships to students (SHODH from State Government)
c) Holding inter-disciplinary seminars, workshops, and symposia
d) Inviting national and international experts and eminent scientists on problem solving, critical thinking, etc. and to keep students abreast with the latest in chemical sciences
e) Provision of duty/academic/study leave and seed money to the teachers
f) Excellent infrastructural facilities for research and innovation with the assistance by intramural sources of finance and assistance by external funding agencies such as DRDO, DST-FIST, UGC, GUJCOST etc.
h) Subscription to large number of e-Journals.
i) Simplification of the system and procedure for execution of Research Projects.
j) Exhorting the faculty for publication of research articles in high impact journals, presentations at national and international scientific meetings and competing for national and international highly acclaimed awards
k) Development of research laboratories and advanced instrumentation facility, for strengthening our teaching, and promoting growth areas in research.
Evidence of Success:
The impact of integrating research and education is reflected in terms of:
- Published 230 books/books chapters/proceedings
- Published 4 National Patents
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
The time lag in release of funding granted for various research projects by various external agencies as the funds are not released in time is a major irritant thereby affecting timely execution of research projects. Since integrating research and education requires considerable resources, efforts are needed for resource generation from internal accruals. The reluctance of students to comprehend education and research in early learning experiences is also one of the impeding factors. Efforts have been made to convert this challenge into opportunity thereby prompting the students to excel. The faculty members involved in basic research are encouraged to undertake application-based research in line with industry expectations finally culminating into projects of similar nature.