For the second edition of the ‘Science for Society’ series, PIC hosted Prof. Ajit Kembhavi, Professor Emeritus, IUCAA, Pune, and Prof. Sanjeev Galande, Dean of Research and Development, IISER, Pune for a discussion on “Covid-19, Pune Knowledge Cluster and Atmanirbhar Bharat” on 10th March. The event was chaired by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, President, PIC and moderated by Dr. Arvind Chinchure, Founder & CEO, QLeap Academy. Prof. Galande provided a brief background of the biology of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, outlining the importance of scientific solutions that would see us through to the end of this pandemic. Prof. Galande also shared information on some of the innovations and research carried out by his team and colleagues at IISER during the lockdown and throughout the battle against Covid-19.

Prof. Kembhavi began by explaining how the Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC) was established just as the pandemic was declared. He highlighted that the PKC was a collection of individuals and institutions from varied backgrounds and sectors coming together to find multidisciplinary solutions and innovations to tackle a variety of issues. He detailed how the main task of PKC during this pandemic had been aggregation and analysis of data to provide projections of resources required, targeting to be conducted and other helpful parameters. These data-based projections, dashboard and other tools have been crucial in the battle against Covid-19.