‘Why India needs to strengthen its Quality-Infrastructure’
(September 25, 2019)
Resource person, Dr. D.K. Aswal, Director CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi
Organizer: School of Basic and Applied Sciences, GD Goenka University Gurugram
Brief profile of the speaker: Dr. D.K. Aswal is the Director of CSIR- National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi since 15th December 2015, maintaining lien with his position as “Outstanding Scientist” at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India, Mumbai. During 2012-2015, Dr. Aswal has also served as Secretary, Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES), Mumbai, which is an autonomous institution under DAE.
He is a condensed matter physicist of international repute and has made several outstanding contributions in the areas of molecular electronics, physics of organic films and their applications, thermoelectric power generators and gas sensors. He has edited many books, contributed 20 book chapters, published over 250 peer reviewed journal papers, filed patents and secured the trademark of Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravys – the Indian Certified Reference Materials.
Summary of the Distinguished Lecture Session:
Quality infrastructure ensures that both user quality expectations and regulatory requirements are achieved. When coherent and aligned with international requirements, quality infrastructure contributes to national competitiveness, economic growth, and the well-being of a country’s citizens. Today’s distinguished guest lecture was to highlight the need for India to strengthen its quality infrastructure.
Lamp lighting marked the initiation of the distinguished lecture session. President, GD Goenka University, Prof. (Dr.) Suku Bhaskaran and Dean, School of Basic & Applied Sciences, Prof. (Dr.) R.K. Thakur welcomed the guest and felicitated him with a memento.
Prof. (Dr.) R.K. Thakur, Dean, SoBAS delivered the welcome note. He thanked Dr. Aswal for accepting the invitation and presenting the talk. He mentioned that G.D. Goenka University was established in 2013 and since then, students have made significant contributions in all fields. He introduced the speaker, Dr. D.K. Aswal and mentioned that he is not only a mentor or a teacher but also a leader and an innovator. He advised the students to focus on talk.
Prof. (Dr.) Suku Bhaskaran, President, GD Goenka University delivered his address. He thanked the speaker for accepting the invitation. He mentioned that learning is an important aspect in our growth and that 80% of learning happens outside classroom. He mentioned that attending distinguished lecture is a step towards better knowledge and skill. He also mentioned that G.D. Goenka University has three primary drivers. They are improving teaching quality and providing students with intense teaching experience, intensifying research practice, and ensuring diverse student population. He spoke about the study abroad programme being run by the University which aims towards providing students with an opportunity to gain international experience.
This was followed by talk on ‘Why India needs to strengthen its Quality-Infrastructure’ by the distinguished guest, Dr. D.K. Aswal, Director CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi.
Dr. Aswal started his talk by asking the students their reasons for pursuing graduation/post-graduation. Many of the students replied that they were doing so in the pursuit of job. Dr. Aswal advised them to not be job-seekers but instead job-creators so that nation moves forward. He advised the students to not work alone but instead in a team which has a representation from all disciplines so as to find holistic and innovative solutions to problems.
He mentioned that NPL (National Physical Laboratory) was the first government lab which was born before independence. NPL is national measurement institute of India and is responsible for maintaining standards of S.I. units and calibrating national standards of weights and measures. Through examples, he made the audience aware of the need of quality measurements. During his talk, he stressed upon the importance India should give in both exporting and importing high quality products. He mentioned that for any industry to be successful, it is not only important that it is innovative but also that it maintains strict measurement policies.
For quality assurance, there needs to be accurate and precise measurements. It should demonstrate an unbroken traceability chain to national primary standards along with calculating a measurement uncertainty.
He spoke about the Government initiative ‘Make in India’. He mentioned that for India to be recognized as a global power, we need to work towards ‘Made in India’ and not ‘Make in India’. The young generation has a responsibility of finding creative and innovative solutions to the problems so that the country does not rely on borrowed ideas. The solutions will have to be based on the fundamentals and their strict measurement policies.
In a measurement infrastructure, academia is responsible for conceptualization, NPL along with academia is responsible for development and manufacturing and then finally, businesses for trading the commodity. He said that accurate measurements make science scientific, technology perfect, environment clean, energy sustainable, healthcare affordable, cybersecurity strong, international trade barrierless and policies which are nation-building.
He mentioned that the motto of NPL is ‘For all time, for all people, For all Universe’. He encouraged the students to be job creators instead of job seekers.
This was followed by Question & Answer session in which students and faculty members participated actively.
The distinguished lecture session ended with a vote of thanks by Prof. (Dr.) R.K. Thakur. He mentioned that it was a thought provoking talk and surely inspired the students to work towards ensuring quality measures in all spheres of their life.
Outcome of the Session:
Students and faculty members got introduced to the concept of quality infrastructure, and its significance and necessity in Indian as well as global context. They were made aware of the challenges that the nation will face in the coming years. He suggested that strategical planning with the available resources and infrastructure of country is the solution to the problem. He articulated a clear and logical theory of change for the audience, and suggested that all should work towards realistic, need-driven targets rather than donor-driven activities. Audience members realized the importance of measurement and standardization. At the same time, they also understood the importance of infrastructure on education. Concept of entrepreneurship was also nurtured in the students.
The faculty members were made aware about the various funding agencies and encouraged to submit projects in the various fields of cutting-edge research. Faculty members were given information regarding fetching funding from various government funding agencies such as DST, DBT, SERB etc. Dean was encouraged to discuss collaboration opportunities with NPL. Dean promised to work towards formulating exchange programs with NPL and other like government agencies, thus facilitating and providing research avenues for both students and faculty members.
Feedback forms were submitted by all audience members at the end of session. It was analyzed by the committee that the talk was highly motivational and inspiring. According to the analysis of the data, it was found that 98% of audience members found it intriguing and relevant. A lot of audience members commented that these kind of distinguished lectures should be organized. These talks help in improving quality education, expanding infrastructure, inspiring innovation, honing the entrepreneurial abilities and promoting overall growth of the university.
The target audience of the talk was students from SoBAS, SoE, SoMAS and SoAS. It was communicated to the deans of all schools to disseminate the information of session among faculty members and students. It was observed that students of SoBAS and few students of SoAS attended the talk.