Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan today laid the foundation stone towards construction of the research and office space for Department of Data Science at IISER Pune. The department envisions a synthesis of the three foundations of data science: (i) statistics and probability, (ii) applied mathematics, and (iii) computer science. The department focuses on a three-tiered strategy of education, research, and innovation, for developing capacity in theoretical underpinnings, development of new methods, and a variety of applications.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan also inaugurated the National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease. The facility will play an important role in studying diseases and provide new knowledge that can inform health and medicine. The facility includes molecular biology labs and microinjection set-up to generate knock-out or knock-in mouse models. The technological expertise available at this facility includes sperm and embryo cryopreservation and in-vitro fertilisation, and stereo-taxic surgery. The facility will be used by over 10 research groups from IISER Pune and will provide services to other government organisations such as TIFR, Ministry of Ayush, Savitribai Phule Pune University, and the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.

The Minister also visited PARAM Brahma facility deployed by C-DAC at the institute through the Government of India’s National Supercomputing Mission. PARAM Brahma has a mix of CPU and GPU with aggregate computing power of 1.7 PF (Petaflops) along with high performance parallel file system based storage of 1 PB (Petabytes).  He also visited Smt. Indrani Balan Science Activity Centre which is engaged in developing low-cost interactive science toys that can be used to teach science in a participative and hands-on way. This was followed by a visit to Atomic physics and quantum optics laboratory and microscopic facility.

Shri Pradhan said that the Department of Data Science at IISER Pune will be a key towards ensuring a future-ready India, especially in frontier areas of healthcare and in improving patient outcomes through a repository of clinically-relevant, real-time medical knowledge. He also said that the National facility for Gene Function in Health and Diseases inaugurated today will build capacities in biological research & assist in reducing knowledge gap in understanding of pathogens. He expressed confidence that these new additions at IISER Pune will improve learning outcomes, further invigorate research and innovation at the campus and aid development of next-gen solutions in biology, chemistry, humanities earth & climate sciences among others.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan also witnessed a presentation on the academic and research activities being undertaken by  IISER Pune. He encouraged the institute authorities to make IISER Pune a more green and net-zero carbon campus with in-house waste recycling and waste-to-energy units.