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சனி, பிப்ரவரி 05, 2011

A peep into marine life at Porto Novo


School students getting an exposure to marine life in the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, at Porto Novo on Wednesday


CUDDALORE: 

        School students in Cuddalore district are virtually making a beeline for the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology of Annamalai University, located at Porto Novo, to have a peep into marine life and sciences.

          They file through the museum exhibiting the rare specimens collected over a period of 40 years and peer through the glass cases to get a glance of the kaleidoscopic presence of fish species, including clown and pipe fishes, in the aquarium. The instrumentation section gives them an inkling of measuring the dissolved materials and the DNA. They go around the mangroves raised by the centre in nearby backwaters to get to know about their usefulness in safeguarding ecology and protecting human lives as a bio-shield during natural disasters.

           “The sea does not mean just waves and fishing vessels but is pulsating with rich marine life. It is only through exposure and exploration that the sea will reveal its hidden treasure,” according to T.Balasubramanian, Director of the centre. The Director told The Hindu that climate implications and the strategic planning the sea had come to acquire great significance. However, there was a dearth of technical manpower to deal with the emerging situation.

          Mr. Balasubramanian underscored the point that the peninsular India had to strengthen its presence in physical and geological oceanography and marine pharmacology. After the tsunami struck the peninsula in 2004, awareness about the sea had gone up several notches. The prospects of extracting medicines from marine organisms for many chronic ailments too were getting brighter now. The Director further said that though in the information technology sector the country had made rapid strides, in the marine science it was yet to leave its imprint, while countries such as China, Korea and Japan were way ahead of us. Therefore, there was a felt need to create interest among the students about the basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology and botany and this would take care of marine sciences too.

            Mr Balasubramanian said that with a view to provide a direction in this regard his centre had thrown its doors open to the school students and as a result bus loads of students used to throng its premises. “After their visit to the centre the students invariably develop an interest in marine sciences, a good augury for the promotion of basic sciences,” he said.
The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, had launched the ‘Inspire' programme to boost basic sciences by offering monetary assistance from the school to the post-doctoral level, besides arranging for placements too. The students could seize the opportunity and prove their mettle, Mr Balasubramanian added.

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