Being a Student at RCB

It was deep into dusk that I was sipping my daily dose of caffeine and admiring what lay before my eyes – a glabrous driveway meandering through the infant ridge of the Aravallis.  Welcome to this city within a city, the new campus of Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) in Faridabad. The campus, home to the NCR Biotech Science Cluster which also includes the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI),presently occupies 40 acres of the 200 acre expanse of land in the lap of nature. However stature of RCB lies not in the mammoth area utilized but how we fulfill its mission of education, training and research.

RCB nurtures science transcending distinct laboratory demarcations. Troubleshooting an experiment often takes us to the neighboring lab without an iota of hesitance. Habitually we walk into each other’s lab and engage in intellectually rejuvenating discussions without any inhibition. Free flow of knowledge is of primal priority; therefore the pioneering students have ensured that seniority never stratifies the community. Thus, the visible boundaries do not deter the invisible confluence of different fields of research.

Students are but one of the crucial components of the trinity that holds a research institute together- faculty, researchers and administration.

The faculty is young, enthusiastic and approachable, thus creating scope for uninhibited dialogue to strengthen research and create an atmosphere of inquiry. They have, along with the administration, ensured from the days of infancy that the institute is well equipped with most scientifically modern tools for investigation. They have established collaborations not only with research groups in other leading institutions of India but also with renowned groups all over the globe. The dexterous effort put in by them in the foundation years is finally bearing fruit, as reflected by publications beginning to appear in journals of international repute. The faculty also organizes the Distinguished Lecture Series, which witnesses eminent scientists from across the globe grace RCB and share their knowledge and wisdom. A stiff poster presentation competition adjudged by invited scientists from other institutions is held annually, so that students also learn to become great communicators of science.

Student welfare is well taken care of by the institute. The on-campus hostel facility is on the verge of completion and will soon be ready to welcome its long-awaited residents. An infirmary housing a physician and a nurse has been set up to take care of minor ailments and provide first-aid. Tie-ups have been made with Fortis Hospital to manage any medical emergency. The cluster employees and students are entitled to avail corporate discounts there in the event of any consultation. Transportation services extend to residential areas, the temporary hostel facility in Faridabad and to important metro stations of the National Capital Region (NCR) as well. A fresh canteen service that serves palatable essentials and savoury delights throughout the day, commenced a few months back. A coffee and snack counter has opened up too, to indulge our taste transducing GPCRs. The circumambulating cafeteria around the translucent turquoise blue dome of the auditorium complex makes for a great place to enjoy evening snacks and tea-a-tete.  And if food and reading papers have got the better of you, rush off to the treadmill in the gymnasium.

It is clichéd but true that all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. RCB however never has a dull moment to offer. Events like the science quiz challenge our intellectual horizon and cultural events help shove off our nerd glasses. The days preceding these events see students making best use of hour long incubation periods. From the Fresher’s welcome party to Independence Day celebrations, the students hone their veiled talents and unleash multiple semblances as singer, dancer, actor, anchor, artist, photographer and several more. Sporting activities are an integral part of life at RCB. Winter keeps RCBians preoccupied with cricket matches, badminton tournaments and, cheering for the team of your choice. Sledging is strictly prohibited but vocal motivation is completely permitted. The campus sports facility is gradually spreading its wings, the latest addition being a volleyball court.

Rome was not built in a day. The permanent campus of RCB has come up within 5 years of its birth, an exemplary feat indeed. The journey from Gurgaon to Faridabad was fraught with several hurdles, yet it marks a phase of learning not to give in to impediments in life. However as complacency mars growth and seeking augments it ,RCBians seek to improve themselves each day and secure themselves and Indian bioscience a poignant position on the global platform.

The incubation period for my experiment is over and thus I withdraw to wield any further. It also seems, the incubation and teething-in period for RCB similarly concludes. Thus we look forward to the future with hope – to busy, exciting, invigorating and productive times ahead in our collective quest to make a mark.



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