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Head of Amity Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Dr. Alpana Goel speaks with Nuclear Asia about education in the field of nuclear engineering and why nuclear power is one of the best sustainable alternative to traditional energy.

What do you think on Indian government plan to develop nuclear power?

Nuclear energy as a source of electrical power is touted as one of the best sustainable alternative to traditional means of energy. In a country as diverse as India where the potential to harness the nuclear capacity is still at a nascent stage, preparing the next generation at an academic level is one of the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed.

In the wake of traditional fields of engineering and technology what is the response of the student community to a subject like, ”nuclear engineering?” In other words what is the impact of nuclear engineering as an academic subject to the overall industry?

At the outset it is difficult for students to accept the stream like nuclear science and nuclear engineering as such since the direct placement options were scarcely available. But for the past few years we have been able to successfully place our students directly in industry which should clear many misconceptions and doubts regarding the industry acceptance of the field. Also our students are widely accepted at various national and international research units. This will clear many doubts and will attract many more aspirants.Many new opportunities are coming up. Last year Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) included nuclear science/nuclear engineering as an eligibility in training program.

What are the future plans of your institute? Highlight on foreign collaboration and programmes in the coming months.

We already have international tie ups with reputed universities like University of Saskatchewan, Kings College London, Texas A&M University. We are member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria. We also conduct programmes on various aspects of nuclear science for both students and faculty in collaboration with these universities and hope to conduct many more program in future. Our students regularly participate in international activites organised by the IAEA. First time from India our students won WM awards for undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate) PG level. Amity University is playing leading role in nuclear program of India.