Interview with Ravi Kant

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Ravi Kant

Senior Research Fellow

Apart from academic research, I have a keen interest in entrepreneurship, scientific writing, science communication and also working on the grass root level to provide educational resources to underprivileged children so as to educate them. I am working with an NGO which is working extensively to uplift the children with a keen urge to study by providing them with free education and relevant material.     

Tell us about yourself

Born and brought up in the Haryana state of India, I have experienced the rich culture of education since my childhood being in the family of teachers. I have gained my elementary school education from my hometown in Jind city of Haryana state. Moving towards an educational career with the strong inspiration of my parents I have moved to University to pursue my undergrad degree. Armed with a bachelor degree in Biotechnology, I have started my voyage of research with a keen interest in correlating the concepts of computing with Biology and therefore emerged as a young researcher while pursuing my Master’s degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in a highly research-oriented environment.

After earning my degree in 2010 from Haryana Agriculture University from the state of Haryana in India, I have decided to move towards academics with having firm family roots in education and academics. I have started my career as a Lecturer in a Community College affiliated with Kurukshetra University in 2010, where I have been involved in teaching various subjects of Life Sciences at the undergraduate level to college students.

While working at the grassroots level, my main interest was to transform the educational trends in a traditional society and started preparing students with an emphasis on developing quality education with a keen orientation towards generating innovative and young entrepreneurs for the society. Moving ahead further in my career I have joined a research lab in the University of Delhi South Campus with a promising and dynamic mentor who has been working on exploring novel ideas from the vast sea of Proteins. Joining hands with my supervisor I have worked to evolve constantly with the vision support from my mentor in another campus of Delhi University who has been working extensively to streamline the system and was working on several aspects of developing higher education parallel to innovation and entrepreneurship to come up with young minds. With a perfect blend of qualities and vision from both the mentors, I have started exploring opportunities overseas with promising research ideas and research outcomes presented in several conferences of international repute. I have been encouraged by International Societies who conferred me with Young Scientist Award and Young Investigator Award from India & Southeast Asia. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been a generous support to give wings to my dreams of developing a research-based education system which can help to bring changes to the lives of children with a lack of resources.

My main focus of research is working on Infectious Disease especially the pathogenic Neisseria species of bacteria: Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis. I am mainly working on novel insights into the genetic make-up of these bacterial pathogens. These expected outcomes of research may lead to novel treatment options, finding vaccine targets, and better understanding of the pathogens and how they cause their respective diseases.

How does having a PhD help you in your current position?

Being a PhD research fellow, I experience different energy levels at different times. When you are in a phase of  PhD, you learn how to tackle the problems with a logical and static solution. Your vision towards any kind of problems other than research as well, changes and you start analyzing other related factors as well.

Currently, I am working as a Senior Research Fellow in a research laboratory at University of Delhi, New Delhi, India. Being in a healthy mental and emotional state helps you to complete your daily assignments and tasks much faster. When you work upon yourself, you start generating resources for your peers and others parallely.

PhD helps me to understand the things better and to come to a decision with a vision. Entering into a PhD life is not an easy job, infact one has to travel a long journey before this. The grilling process prepares you eventually for the most refined career one can have.   

How does the research you do in your current position differ from an academic position?

Academics is slightly different from a research-based career. I am fortunate enough to experience both the academic life when I was teaching in a community college affiliated to Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra for almost 5 years to the undergrad students. Now I am pursuing a full-time research-oriented job domain.

While academics sets you free to interact with different kind of students from vast backgrounds and you find yourself working among the noisy group of students, engaging them in different academic activities like projects, assignments, course work and also extracurricular activities. Whereas in research you find yourself working with yourself and major research objectives, sometimes the community-based research issues which you are trying to answer. Sometimes you feel monotonous but this is required actually to focus more on your work since the output matters in research. The exposure you get here in research is of a different kind than of academics. You attend seminars, workshops and conferences and also present your data to meet and interact with people from similar backgrounds and with the common interest.

What would you do differently if you had your time over?

If I had my time over, I would be running around in the society for the social outreach to make resources available for those who want to get educated but couldn’t perhaps due to the lack of resources. I would rather try to be a bridge between the government funding agencies and to the grant seekers who are doing well for the potential areas of society. The experience I have gained till date is of use when I use it for uplift myself and people around me. When you implement your ideas and share the ideas with your group no doubt you can work on new innovations to light up many lives.  

Find out more about Ravi:

Website: Ravi Kantindia

Facebook: @rksharmaindia LinkedIn @ravikantindia Twitter @ravikantindia

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