Roshan Keshari is a Ph.D. Scholar under the DAAD In-Region Scholarships for Master and PhD studies at IIT Bombay. He shares his experience about the IIT Bombay, the DAAD and about the work in the testing times of the pandemic.
I, Roshan Keshari, hail from Nepal. I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Pharmaceutical science from India. I developed an interest in nanotechnology during my graduation. In the first year of bachelor’s degree, I was awarded the best poster presentation prize for my presentation on nanotechnology. I also published a review paper in the second year. In 2014, I learnt that IIT Bombay has one of the best nanoscience labs in India, which motivated me to get admission to Ph.D. program in IIT Bombay. In master’s I regularly attended all the events of DAAD, DWIH and German Embassy. In 2019 I came to know about DAAD In-Region Scholarships for Master and PhD studies at IIT Bombay from students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
It was a dream come true when I started to work in nanomedicine lab under the professor Rinti Banerjee at department of Biosciences and Bioengineering in IIT Bombay. Although the major topic of my PhD is to develop a topical formulation for the treatment of psoriasis, I have also been working on some other projects like developing a nutraceutical formulation for promoting pulmonary health, and a biodegradable coating for masks that inactivate SARS-CoV-2.
During the pandemic, it was challenging to work alone in lab with other scholars having gone off the campus. It would not have been possible without the guidance from my professor Rinti Banerjee, and teammate Dr. Kapil Punjabi to deal with the situation. The constant encouragement from the professor and team members, and my passionate interest in the subject helped me keep my morale high. Since the entire campus was empty, I sometimes felt low. To overcome this, I started doing exercise and the playing the guitar. This helped me regain my spirits and work hard as part of the team for the development of the antiviral coated masks. In mid-2020, our technology was licensed and brought by many companies in the market. The masks show high breathability, submicron filtration as well as antibacterial and antiviral effects. They are reusable on washing as the coating is wash resistant and gets crosslinked onto the fabric. This is one of our major achievements to make these masks accessible to the public not only in India but also in other countries.
Undoubtedly, DAAD is one of the finest, most prestigious funding organisations and the first choice for all research scholars in the world. The DAAD completely understands the needs of its scholars and fulfills their requirements. We, not only receive a good amount of scholarship, but are also rewarded time to time from DAAD. Another advantage is that the organisation provides some support even after the scholarship period is over. Thus, I would strongly recommend students from the region including Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka to apply for this scholarship.
Nanomedicine Lab, IIT Bombay