IBAB's Foundation Day is more than what it would ordinarily seem – it seeks to celebrate not only the establishment of our institution, but also all those that continually contribute to its success. On May 31, 2022, we celebrated 20 years of our illustrious institution, which has slowly but steadily achieved national and international repute for not only the training and education it imparts to all its students, but also for the groundbreaking research it publishes every year.
The day was even more significant owing to the fact that the events were conducted in hybrid mode, with participants joining us in person and over Zoom to commemorate the occasion. There were two parts to the Foundation Day celebrations this year, which we fondly call BL and AL: before lunch and after lunch :) BL consisted of a formal first half that saw conversations ignited about institutional development and personnel contribution, while AL consisted of cultural programs and awards for extra-curricular achievements of IBABians.
The highlight of BL were engaging and provocative talks delivered by our esteemed Chief Guest, Prof. L S Shashidhara of Ashoka University, and Guest of Honour, Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan of IIM-Bangalore, about research and innovation in India. Prof. Shashidhara spoke about how important it is for research to be collaborative rather than individualistic. He mentioned how "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" – about the ability to change, adapt to unforeseen circumstances and then collaborate. IBAB has been able to achieve this in many ways – be it conducting online classes, publishing research or celebrating this year's Foundation Day in hybrid mode. India has managed to rise to the task and evolve in accordance with the circumstances as well, a fact that was highlighted by Prof. Krishnan too, who spoke about the continued need for innovation and effective support within the biotech sector in India to foster true genius and make groundbreaking discoveries.
Our director, Prof. H S Subramanya, then proceeded to talk about how IBAB has been rising steadily to become a recognised centre for bioinformatics in the country, and is in the process of achieving autonomy – a matter of great honour! We also saw several members of the faculty, staff and student body get awarded for their exceptional service to the institute and for academic excellence, with several students of the current Masters’ batches getting scholarships to aid their education.
Post a delicious lunch hosted by the one-and-only IBAB mess, came the informal second half of the celebrations dubbed AL, spearheaded by the IBAB student body. IBAB MSc and PGB students put on colourful and energetic dance performances, melodious and soulful musical medleys, and got awarded for all the work they've put in towards winning the rolling Sports Cup for their house, Ice or Fire. The photography competition organised by IBAB's Social Media Team for the year 2022 also saw its winners get awarded on stage alongside the winners for Sports Month 2022, which included participants from badminton, table tennis, carrom, chess, cricket, football, volleyball, and multiple track and field events. The turnout for the sports events was overwhelming this year, with more than 60% of the student population participating. We hope the spirit of sportsmanship runs strong for the years to come!
While the pandemic may have prevented us from celebrating Foundation Day in 2020 and 2021, the energy and enthusiasm of everyone who participated in this year’s Foundation Day are testament to how the coronavirus has not dented our spirits. The involvement of the faculty members, administrative staff and student body made sure that this day would be one remembered very fondly, and for a long time to come.
And last but not the least, all hail the winners of Sports Month 2022, team ICE!