The German House for Research and Innovation (DWIH), New Delhi, organised the third and final station of its “Excellence on Tour!” (EoT) program from 22nd – 28th March 2014 in Kolkata at Science City. The EoT provided a platform for all interested students and scientists from Kolkata and neighboring regions to interact with representatives and scientists from various German higher-education institutes, universities and research-organizations. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG) along with the other consortium members of DWIH, New Delhi participated in EoT, Kolkata with great enthusiasm. The EoT pavilion was visited by more than 10,000 visitors and the event as a whole was well received by the public, press and media.
Prof. Dr. Laurent Gizon, Director, Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany was invited to deliver one of the key-note speeches along with other dignitaries during the inauguration ceremony on 22nd of March 2014. MPG put up a stall at the EoT pavilion and distributed flyers and brochures to highlight the research opportunities available at the 82 MPIs. An MPG info-session was held at SN Bose hall, Science City, on 23rd of March 2014 where Dr. Claudia Hillinger gave an overview of internationalization of research by MPG and talked about its various programs with India. Max Planck alumni - Prof. Dr. Tanusri Saha Dasgupta (S.N. Bose National Center for Basic Sciences, Kolkata; MPG India Head of Partner Group, 2005-2009) and Dr. Koushik Dutta (Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata; MPG India-Mobility grant holder since 2013) gave scientific lectures on their current body of research. A panel discussion was moderated by MPG’s liaison officer for India office, Dr. Proteeti Bhattacharjee, to educate and inform the audience about living and working in Germany taking MPIs as a model. The info-session ended with a DWIH public lecture – ‘Sunquakes’ by Prof. Dr. Laurent Gizon. Prof. Gizon explained the new methods used in helioseismology - the science of interpreting surface oscillations of the sun to decipher what goes on deep in the interior of the sun. Just like measuring an earthquake gives information about interior of the earth; similarly studying ‘sunquakes’ or surface oscillations including sunspots, coronal loops, flares of the sun gives an overview of its interior dynamics that maintains the magnetic field of the sun.
The MPG info-session provided an excellent opportunity for masters, PhD students and post-docs to attend lectures and interact with scientists who have previously carried out their research at a Max Planck Institute (MPI) and hear about how MPG facilitates close interactions of the scientists now based in India with their former labs in MPIs. The audience consisted of students and young scientists from universities and research institutes in and near Kolkata including Jadavpur University, Calcutta University, S.N. Bose National Center for Basic sciences, Presidency University, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, West Bengal University of Technology, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences, Burdwan University, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research and IIT-Kharagpur.
To further promote the higher education and research landscape of Germany, MPG organized a visit of several DWIH consortium members including- Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, BayInd, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Göttingen and University of Heidelberg, to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata on 24th March 2014 fully supported by DWIH, New Delhi. This initiative was planned as a networking opportunity for interested students and faculty of IISER, Kolkata with the consortium members of DWIH.