“I was just about to start my PhD work in the laboratory when the lockdown started and I had to return home. Soon after, the Assam floods took place and my house got flooded with knee-deep water. Fortunately, my family got through that difficult phase. But the internet was down for a long time and it was a hindrance to my academics.
Doing a PhD wasn’t my initial choice. I was preparing for government exams after my Master’s but with the rising corruption in every sector, I was extremely frustrated with the system and hence decided to opt for academia instead. I want to achieve the highest of the academic degree possible and then would like to change this system.
As a volunteer at the 83rd annual meet of the Indian National Academy of Sciences, I had met several eminent scientists across India and that made me enthusiastic about research. I had also done an internship in IISER Mohali and had a fair idea of how a research environment looked like. But the main motivation to pursue a PhD came after I realized how deeply rooted corruption is in India and the extent of its damage to us.
After enrolling myself, I had thought that I would work on the translational part of the research, where I would build something that could be marketed. I had ideas but the entire structure of hows and whys weren’t clear to me. So when my supervisor asked me questions, I found it difficult to articulate my concepts smoothly. It is one of the first things that I am trying to learn as I go forward on this journey.
Moreover, in IIT, we all have to do certain administrative work. Unlike many others, I don’t see it as a waste of time, instead, I feel it is important that we are aware of how the system really works.
With the current lockdown, everything has gone on hold. I am trying to attend webinars and virtual conferences at the moment but progress has been quite slow because my work is majorly experimental. I am desperately looking forward to going back to the campus and resuming work.”
-Imran Hussain, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati