“Expanding the Horizons of Microbiology”

Microbiologist’s Society India and St Xavier’s College, Goa organised a National Seminar cum MBSI meet on the theme “Expanding the Horizons of Microbiology” in association with Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Khandola, Goa., P.E.S’s R.S.N college, Farmagudi, Goa and St Joseph Vaz College, Cortalim, Goa on 6th and 7th October 2023 at St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa, Goa.

The purpose of the National Level Seminar cum MBSI Meet “Expanding the Horizons of Microbiology” was to provide a robust platform for microbiologists to come together and discuss various aspects of microbiology. The seminar was designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of microbiology by sharing research findings, deliberation on emerging trends and exploring entrepreneurship avenues in the field. There were around 150 participants from various states of India including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, etc.

The participants comprised of students, researchers, faculties and education professionals as well as eminent scientists and industry experts and officials from Encube ethicals and Himedia Laboratories, Ltd.

The first day of the seminar commenced with a splendid inaugural programme. The inaugural session which was compered by Dr. Trelita DeSouza, started with an Invocation prayer. The dignitaries on the dais included the Chief Guest of the Inaugural function, Dr. N.Ramaiah; MBSI President Dr. Arvind Deshmukh; Rev. Dr. Ramiro Luis, representative of the institution’s management; Guest of Honour Ms. Marina Monteiro, Ex HOD, Dept. of Microbiology, St. Xavier’s College; MBSI President for Goa and Maharashtra state and the Convenor of the seminar Dr. Dilecta D’Costa and The Coordinator of the seminar Ms. Ursula Baretto, Vice principal and HOD, Dept. of Microbiology, St Xaviers college. The dignitaries lighted the lamp to commemorate this auspicious beginning. This was followed by rendition of the College Anthem.

Fr. Ramiro Luis, then delivered a warm welcome address, expressing gratitude to all the dignitaries, speakers, participants, and attendees for being a part of the event. He emphasized the institution’s dedication to provide a conducive learning environment that supported intellectual pursuits. The dignitaries were introduced to the audience by the organising committee members and welcomed by presenting potted plants.

Following the introductions, Ms. Ursula Baretto, the Vice principal and HOD, Dept. of Microbiology of the host institute, addressed the audience giving them an overview of the Department of Microbiology at St. Xavier’s college. Her address also emphasized on the significance of the event as an addition to the ruby jubilee festivities of the institution. She also spoke about the importance of seminars like these in promoting academic collaboration and knowledge sharing and thanked the Chief guest and other dignitaries for gracing the occasion.


The Departmental Newsletter cum Ruby Jubilee Souvenir was released at the hands of the Guest of honour, Ms. Marina Monteiro. Thereafter, the MBSI State President for Goa and Maharashtra and Convenor of the seminar, Dr. Dilecta addressed the audience and spoke on the importance of the seminar. Dr. Trelita DeSouza delivered the opening remarks about the seminar.

The book of Abstracts was released at the hands of the Chief Guest, Dr. N Ramaiah. In his address, the Chief Guest highlighted the role of such a seminar in fostering the study of the microbial world and emphasized on the revolution in the varied areas of study in Microbiology and the developments in the field. He also appreciated Dr. Arvind Deshmukh for his dedicated work and extraordinary contributions in connecting microbiologists across the country. 

Following which, Dr. A. Deshmukh was felicitated at the hands of the Chief Guest. Dr. N Ramaiah. Dr. Deshmukh expressed his gratitude and addressed the audience motivating them to take action in their own spheres of influence to promote microbiological research. He also highlighted the potential of this seminar as one with transformative power and shed light on the concept of Biomake in India. As a token of appreciation, the organizing committee presented mementos to the dignitaries. Renowned Mycologist, Dr. D. J. Bhat was also one of the eminent personalities who witnessed this event. The inaugural ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Aureen Gomes, Assistant Professor in Microbiology from St. Joseph College and singing of the National Anthem.

The Chief Guest’s inspiring key note address was a vivid potrayal representation of the subject, Microbiology as a million-dollar industry. He added a valuable dimension to the event by showcasing the latest advancements and denoting the contributions of eminent scientists in microbiological and biotechnological research.

With the Chief Guest’s address concluded, the participants then dispersed to attend the poster competitions which involved a display of non-scientific, artistic posters leaving them mesmerized by the creativity of the students belonging to the all 4 organizing colleges as well as a presentation of Scientific Posters. The artistic poster competition was judged by Dr. Bharathi Prakash and Dr. Narendrakumar Suryavanshi. The scientific poster competition was judged by Dr. Datta Joshi and Ms. Jocelyn Fernandes.

Following sessions proceeded with a series of presentations by renowned speakers from both academia and Industry. The first technical session of the day was engaged by our esteemed resource person, Prof. Savita Kerkar from Goa Univeristy. Her talk was a deep dive into the fascinating world of unlimited marine horizons, the associated microbiota and their biotechnological importance. Overall, her expertise and passion for the subject of marine microbiology left a lasting impact on attendees, setting the tone for future research focused on novel compounds from the marvellous marine microbial life.

The second session was delivered by Ms. Heena Momin, Assistant General Manager Quality Control, HOD Microbiology Section at Encube ethicals Ltd. Ms. Heena Momin presented before us a detailed visual of the advanced state-of-the-art technologies by taking us on a virtual drive to Encube Ethicals Ltd.  Her talk focused on ‘Identifying and understanding the gap between Industry and Academia’.

 In the third session, Capt. Dr. Mahindra K. Ranjekar consultant and Rtd. Professor in Biology, delivered a captivating speech on Entrepreneurship opportunities with emphasis on biofertilizers. With his thought-provoking insights, he urged the students to prioritize involvement into Start-ups and innovative thinking. The sessions were chaired by Dr. Aparna Pathade and Dr. Snehal Masurkar.

The speakers were presented a token of appreciation by the organizing committee. The culminating event of Day 1 was a splendid cultural programme comprising glimpses of Goa’s rich culture in the form of folk song, dance and a thematic fashion show on extremophiles curated by the students from all four organizing college leaving the audience spellbound. Lastly, Dr. Arvind Deshmukh addressed the audience and expressed his gratitude for the successful organization of the Seminar.

The second day of the seminar was compered by Dr. Dilecta D’Costa.  Two parallel sessions of oral presentations were conducted. The judges for the same were Prof. Dr. Devarajan Thangadurai, Dr. Aureen Gomes, Dr. Datta Joshi and Dr. Sunita Borkar. A total of 16 Oral presentations were presented following very active and lively discussions. This was followed by the MBSI meeting compered by Dr. Arvind Deshmukh in the presence of invited dignitaries Dr. Prashant Wakte and Dr. Girish Patade, both engaging into fruitful discussions.Thereafter the two day National seminar culminated with the valedictory function compered by Dr. Michelle Fernandes. The chief guest for the valedictory session was Mr.Sandip Jacques, IAS.