The land which once was home to the Peshwas for a very long time, today Pune is also known for its diverse culture and its wholehearted people (Punekars). Pune is a land of some of the most important historical places and academic institutions. Such an emerging institute can be found in the Mulshi district of Pune, called ‘Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences’. It was established in 2011 by Symbiosis International (Deemed University) under the Faculty of Health Sciences (formerly Faculty of Health and Biomedical Sciences). The driving force behind the establishment of this institution was to address the need for a school devoted to training, research, and development in the field of biomedical sciences and biotechnology, and forming an interface with the healthcare sector. Initially, in 2011 it started as “Symbiosis School of Biomedical Sciences” and further in 2017 was renamed as “Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences” reason being to accommodate other contemporary research areas in biological sciences.
The commencement of the School was the initiative of the Founder & Chancellor of SIU who incidentally turns out to have a doctoral degree in Microbiology. He tends to have a penchant for research in biological sciences. Within its mere existence of a decade, the institute has shown some promising strides towards success. SSBS has a very strong research foundation with an excellent publication profile and numerous research grants awarded by the public and private funding agencies. The Institute provides doctoral programs in Biotechnology alongside its master’s programs. SSBS has top-of-the-class infrastructure and laboratories empowering their research activities. The Institute sits at the pinnacle amongst all the departments and institutes of SIU in all their research-related activities.
Various Programs Offered by SSBS
SSBS currently offers a Master’s program in Biotechnology. Within this program the institute offers an attractive alternative stream, named ‘M.Sc. Biotechnology By Research’. On one hand, the regular program offers only one semester (fourth), which is dedicated to the research project. Whilst the ‘M.Sc. Biotechnology By Research’ provides the students with an entire year (semester 3 & 4) dedicated to their research projects. The benefit being more time scheduled for rigorous laboratory and research work. SSBS also offers Ph.D. Programs in Biotechnology under the banner of SIU, currently educating 18 full-time Ph.D. students and a great number of part-time students employed with leading industries and institutions across the country.
In the commencing academic year of 2022-23, SSBS has envisioned to commence a new program called ‘M.Sc. Biochemistry’ with a similar intention of emphasis on the laboratory courses. The near future of SSBS also seems to be very bright as SSBS has planned to further expand its scope by the inclusion of some relevant programs such as ‘M.Sc. in Bioinformatic’. Currently, the Institute is actively working on the anvil for some joint/dual degree programs (Masters and Ph.D.) in partnership with leading overseas universities.
SSBS On Importance of Industry Collaboration
SSBS believes that collaboration between Institutions and Industry is imperative and helps to form a bridge that benefits in translating the fundamental research into real-life applications. The Institute actively invites doyens of recognized industries for guest lectures to inspire young minds at SSBS. The interaction with industry is also in terms of fine-tuning the syllabus by understanding their expectations from the future employees. Furthermore, industries also offer funded research projects to the faculty at SSBS considering their vast research experience. All these activities form the foundation of collaborations.
A Brainchild of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) (SIU)
From the beginning of its foundation, SSBS has known the value of such collaborations and has been very active in forging tangible two-way relationships with elite industries. Some of the major tie-ups of the institute are Tata Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., Wissencraft Labs Pvt. Ltd., Advanced Bio-Agro Tech Ltd., Huvepharma SEA (Pune) Pvt. Ltd., Japfa Comfeed India Private Limited, Varsha Multi-Tech, Nutrient Bio Agro Tech, Precise Analytical and Innovation Services Pvt. Ltd. just to name a few. All the mentioned tie-ups are multi-layered having both the parties involved and working in harmony. Such an active and successful collaboration has gained SSBS many industry-sponsored & devoted laboratories.
All these research collaborations are not only outwards but also inwards & inter-institution. This is why SSBS is actively approached by its sister institutions like Symbiosis Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SCNN) and Symbiosis Centre for Waste Resource Management (SCWRM), which attracts joint funding and publications. Ultimately the students and institute have received benefits from these collaborations in numerous ways.
Career Paths chosen by our Students
Courses at SSBS being majorly research-oriented, most of SSBS’s students opt for further education like completing their Ph.D. from either India or some country outside India. SSBS has a record number of students pursuing their doctoral and postdoctoral studies abroad. Recently two of our students got shortlisted for higher education at the University of Chicago & the University of Slovakia. The remaining few students take up jobs in recognized private or government organizations. Renowned companies such as Springer Nature, Serum Institute of India, Venky’s R & D Research Center, Cellbiosis, Chegg India, Serotonin Labs, etc. have offered positions to our candidates in the past through the campus placements.
While the majority of students opt for further studies and few take up jobs in their respective fields, many of them prefer to carve out a doctoral study at SSBS itself. They take up positions in government/industry-funded projects or SIU Doctoral Fellowships. SSBS is also in negotiations with industries to incorporate custom training in our curriculum. There is no doubt that recruitment procedures in biological sciences are radically different as compared to any other discipline like management. SSBS believes that a student can never be 100% Industry Ready. There is always a gestationinduction phase when a student finds an industry opening.
Bio of Spokesperson
Dr. Vinay Rale
Director at SSBS
Dr. Vinay Rale is a passionate educationist and the director of Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences since November 2014. He has a versatile and rich experience in almost every aspect related to education and business. Dr. Rale’s career has seen 45 years of experience in teaching, research, administration, consultancy, marketing, and techno-entrepreneurship and an excellent interface with premier teaching and research institutes and diverse industries in India and abroad.
We at Higher Education World got a chance to interact with this amazing personality over a phonetic interview. We asked Dr. Rale a set of questions regarding his exceptional career and his role now as the director of SSBS. We asked him about his approach and his vision towards the success of his institute and this is what he had to say
We believe that there are no short cuts in research and innovation and we strictly promote practicing quality by design. We expect our students to raise the bar and set high expectations for themselves, thereby reinforcing the matriculation, retention, academic success, and graduation of multi-disciplinary students.
Now that we have communicated with Dr. Rale, we are absolutely sure that under his Stewardship, SSBS’s future is secure. We wish Prof. Vinay Rale and his entire team at SSBS a very successful journey ahead, we hope you keep on achieving further milestones in your years at SSBS.