24 February 2020

farmer indiashutterstock_1116673250.jpgWhether it be researching sophisticated surface engineering, investigating improved profitability and productivity outcomes for different farming methods, or discovering the better ways to ensure the absorption of important drugs to fight disease, University of South Australia research and educational engagement with India is delivering results.

Each year, expert in pharmaceutical and medical sciences and adjunct with one of India’s highest ranked Indian institutions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, UniSA Professor Sanjay Garg welcomes  research students from India – from Manipal, Nirma and Jamia Hamdard universities – to collaborate on vital research into unmet medical needs in cancer and infections that affect people in India and Australia.

Research outcomes include joint publications from the cross-disciplinary projects that will contribute to an improved quality of life for patients by minimising side effects from anti-cancer drugs.  The team is also exploring the development of novel compounds and delivery systems for superbugs, such as resistant infections.

And in the world of natural and built environments UniSA researcher, Dr Harpinder Sandhu is working on a holistic assessment of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in communities in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The new approach to farming is designed to use agroecological practices to reduce chemical use, and farmer debt at the same time as developing highly productive operations.

Dr Sandhu says the review project will employ the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework which considers produced capital, natural capital, human capital and social capital.

“ZBNF is an impressive example of taking agroecology to scale through government support and policy shifts and evaluation of the initiative could provide broader evidence for the uptake of this approach globally,” he says.

“We will be working to examine all externalities both positive and negative across the four pillars of the evaluation framework and then, to understand how small holder farmers are impacted by policy shifts.”

And for one of the hundreds of UniSA graduates from India, Mumbai-born, Apurva Patil landing a job in research at the University straight after completing his Master of Engineering degree has been an exciting bonus from his study at the University.

“UniSA has offered me some fantastic opportunities, the best being an internship at its Future Industries Institute because that blossomed into a great job as a research assistant, straight from graduation,” Patil says.

Four years on from graduation, Patil has expanded his field of expertise from telecommunications engineering, the area of focus for his Masters, to Industry 4.0 research in manufacturing technologies looking at the development of robust polycarbonate sheeting that can take the place of glass.

“I chose UniSA because it had a good ranking and modern facilities, but really it has so much more,” he says.

“The teaching staff are passionate about what they teach and how it can be applied in the real world and that is backed up for students by strong links between the university and industry – so while you are studying you get to apply what you learn through industry placements and internships.

“I know that if I return home, there will be a wealth of opportunities to use my skills in industry and to contribute to the high-tech companies based in India or to the kind of research that will build manufacturing capacity.”

News editors please note: The University of South Australia (UniSA) is part of the 31 member delegation of Australian Education representatives to India led by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham for the Australia-India Business Exchange 2020. The delegation is visiting New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 8 8302 0966

email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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