Assam Don Bosco University: Uplifting the Biological Sciences with Momentous Strides

“Moulding young persons into intellectually competent, morally upright, socially committed and spiritually inspired citizens at the service of India and the world of today and tomorrow, by imparting holistic and personalized education”

Established in 2008, Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati is the first University in India of the worldwide Don Bosco Society, present across 132 countries serving 15 million young students. In October 2018, the University was awarded ‘University of the Year’ (among universities in India in existence for 1-10 years) by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry at the 14th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2018 held in New Delhi. There are 2533 students on campus, 4703 students under distance education, and over 8000 students pursuing free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Assam Don Bosco University has three campuses- Tapesia Campus, the state-of-the-art main campus of the university is being developed as an uplifting confluence of natural beauty and architectural excellence and the other two campuses are at Azara  and Kharguli. The campuses have well-furnished hostels, staff quarters, cafeteria, food courts, cooperative shopping and health centers, ambulance service, laundromat, and  other facilities for extracurricular events like sports, cultural events, and club activities. The University has a well-defined employee service manual that includes code of conduct and professional ethics.

A Visionary Leader

A visionary personality, Dr Stephen Mavely is the Founder Vice Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University. He plays a pivotal role in the University by continuously steering its development to create a niche for itself among national and international institutions of higher education.

He has spent over four decades in educating young minds with his outstanding talents in a variety of disciplines like education, literature, media, psychology, communication, theology, management, and pastoral work. He was appointed by the Government of India as a consultant and member of the expert committee for the North-East at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi. He has also served as a member of the executive board of the All India Don Bosco Educational Board since 1988 and has been the President of the All India Association for Christian Higher Education, an association that has over 400 colleges as its members.

In the year 2014, he was awarded the Education Evangelist of the Year Award by SkillTree Global Knowledge Consortium and in 2016, he received the award for the ‘100 Most Influential Vice-Chancellors’ in Asia-Pacific’ region by World Education Congress. In 2018, Stephen was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Confederation of Indian Universities on the occasion of 4th International Conference on Environment and Ecology held at Guwahati. Also in 2018, he was awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Education Award’.

Academic Programmes

The University currently offers 17 post-graduate, 16 graduate, and 23 doctoral programmes under five schools which include Technology, Fundamental and Applied Sciences, Life Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Management and Commerce. It offers Centre for Open and Distance Learning for Distance Education and Online Courses. The University offers specializations in the fields of Biotechnology, Microbiology, Zoology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Application, Mathematics, Psychology, Nanotechnology, Engineering Technology, Mass Communication, Management, Economics, Social Work, Education, English and many more. The courses are designed to provide multi-disciplinary learning experience to the students.

Distinct Offerings for Biological Research

The School of Life Sciences has the Departments of Life Science and Zoology offering Masters’ and PhD Programmes in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, and Zoology. To ignite innovative thinking, students are taken to premier national laboratories, institutions and industries on field visits and excursions. Faculty members are committed to training students in addressing some core challenges faced by the world today in their respective disciplines.

The Post Graduate students take up internship programmes in various institutions which include medical diagnostics, Government funded laboratories in Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). Students are trained on submitting proposals for funding to various research agencies, 14 proposals were submitted by students in the current academic year, besides ongoing externally funded projects by faculty. The School has at least fourteen 16s rRNA sequences with accession numbers appearing in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database which were yielded as part of the M.Sc. dissertation work.

The Department of Zoology is continuously involved in evaluation of biodiversity and study of biology of various animals in their natural settings. As the University is situated in a picturesque landscape of myriad flora and fauna, a checklist of species available in the campus has been prepared with record of endemic and IUCN list of threatened species. Further, a new country record of spider has been made from the campus. The research areas of students include arachnid, avian, amphibian, piscine, and plankton diversity.

The University also has a firm commitment to a Sustainability Programme which encourages its educators, staff and students to continue piloting sustainability solutions by applying cutting-edge research and innovation. The University’s Centre of Excellence in Nanotechnology has been commissioned by the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship for development of energy efficient functional products for benefit of rural populace. The research portfolio of the University includes diverse areas such as – Plasma Physics Research, Biological Research, Tea Research and Production, Traditional Medicine, Freshwater Fishery Research, Agarwood Industry, Teachers’ Training, Foreign Language Studies, and many more. A Centre for Development Studies and Initiative (CDSI) has been set up for participatory community led improvement initiatives in social outreach.

Upgrading with Suitable Technology

The University has state-of-the-art facilities which include 100 percent ICT enabled class rooms, Conference Halls, High Speed Internet, Free access to E-resources, Science Labs, Computer Labs, Video conferencing, Multimedia Studio, Language Lab, Space Technology, Intranet, and many more. The University has its own ERP system in place for all academic and administrative procedures including information sharing. All payment modes in the University are digitized. It is a recognized Test Centre for GMAT, NMAT, IBBI Valuation Test and on line certifications such as CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, MCSE, NPTEL and Spoken Tutorials.

Career Opportunities and Exposures

The University has a singular focus on the creation and sustenance of an ambience where Academic Excellence, Research, Innovation, and Social commitment are blended into a seamless way of life for every student. It brings forward a large network of 22 collaborative activities in research, 61 linkages with institutions/industries for internship, on-the-job training, project work, and sharing of research facilities. It also offers 38 MoUs with institutions of national, international importance and other universities, industries, corporate houses which have broaden the horizon for students in academics, research, and career opportunities. The University also provides offline and online regular aptitude test, competitive exam training, and other soft skills training for the students.

Major Awards and Accreditations

With its principled work ethical approach and committed faculty members, the university has successfully bagged prestigious awards on its name. It was awarded ‘University of the Year’ by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry at the 14th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2018. It was also awarded “Educational Leader Award” at the 26th Business School Affaire and Dewang Mehta National Education Awards.

The University is approved by UGC (2f) in 2009, UGC (12b) in 2017, Distance Education Council (DEC) in 2010, Distance Education Bureau (DEB) in 2018 and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2008. Accredited by NAAC in 2018, the University is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Commonwealth Association of Universities (ACU), International Association of Universities (IAU), and the Association of Don Bosco Institutions of Higher Education (IUS).

The Notable Alumni

The alumni of the University have carved a niche for themselves in the public and private sectors. Kasanchi Momin (2017) is a fellow Researcher who is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (GOI) at ICAR, Meghalaya. Regina Haokip and Kalpana Barman (2016) are Development Specialists in Indo-German Social Service Society, Germany and Plan International respectively. Llassiewdor Marwein (2017) is the District Mission Coordinator, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Meghalaya. Some of the leading organizations from the private and multinational sectors in which Assam Don Bosco University Alumni are placed include Amazon, Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Everest Industries, American Tower Corporation, Reliance Jio, and HDFC Bank.

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