Department Of Microbiology

Popularly known as "AGC – Micro"; is one of the pioneering departments of Microbiology, in the Savitribai Phule Pune University (established in 1971). The department is home to a community of dedicated teachers and enthusiastic students; both involved in creating an innovative approach in the teaching-learning process and research in life sciences. The faculty has immense and diverse interests, ranging from Environmental Microbiology, Pollution Control Technology, Biochemistry and Enzymology, Immunology, Ethnopharmacology, Bioprospecting, Taxonomy, Molecular Biology, Food Microbiology, Prebiotics and Probiotics.......the list is un-ending!

The department is dedicated to education through two principle subjects at the undergraduate level (Microbiology and Industrial Microbiology) and a postgraduate course in Microbiology, providing opportunities for students to further join postgraduate and higher studies in practically all branches of life sciences. Research is also actively promoted through its Ph.D. program and research projects funded by the Savitribai Phule Pune University, UGC, ICMR, DBT and ISRO.
Students' achievements
  • Students of the department have participated in and won prizes at State and local level competitions.
  • Three students of T. Y. B.Sc. Microbiology won the GOLD MEDAL at the 18th State Level Microbi Olympiad organized by the R. C. Patel Arts, Commerce and Science College, Shirpur, 27-January, 2019.
  • Students of the Department have won prizes since 2013 in State Level Microbi Olympiad.
  • Several students of F. Y. B.Sc. Microbiology worked as 'Facilitators' at the National Science Olympiad held at Balewadi, Pune.
  • Two students, one from T. Y. B.Sc. and one from M. Sc. were felicitated at the Annual Academic Awards Function of the College.
  • Students organized the annual MICROFEST which included an intercollegiate Poster Competition, Sports, Social Outreach Program and Guest Lectures.
  • Participated actively in AVISHKAR, a State level project competition for students, organized by the Savitribai Phule Pune University
Photo Name Qualification Experiance CV
Dr. Rajan A. Walhe (Head) M.Sc. SET Ph.D. 13 year,6 month View
Mrs. Seema Rodge M. Sc., NET 11 years View
Dr. Niranjan P. Patil Ph.D. 6 year,3 month View
Vishal R. Landge M.Sc., DMLT 4 year,0 month View
Dr. Prafulla N. Shede Ph.D 4 year,11 month View
Dr Bankar Ashok Vanaji M. Sc., Ph.D. , NET View
Mrs. Shital Nitin Shevate MSc(Microbiology) , BSc (Microbiology), SET (Life Sciences) View
Ms Nupura Joshi M.Sc, NET View
Dr. Medha L. Upasani M. Sc., Ph.D., NET View
TEJASWINI A PACHPOR PhD (Microbiology), M. Sc. (Zoology), B. Sc. (Microbiology), NET, SET View
The Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has sanctioned a Research Project under the Private-Public-Partnership scheme. The department will be collaborating with a biotechnology industry, Hi Tech Biosciences India Ltd. This project is the first of its kind in the college.

The undergraduate and postgraduate students of the department regularly visit as part of curricular and co-curricular activities different laboratories, industries and institutions; to enrich their academic experience. Over years, this has developed into a stable, fruitful relationship.

  • Blood Banks (Janakalyan and Red Cross Blood Banks) to see the various methods and equipment used in diagnostic tests for blood transfusion / collection.
  • The Katraj Milk Dairy, to study the processing and quality management of milk and the effluent treatment plant
  • Polchem Industries (Biotechnological – Manufacturers of poultry disinfectants and several feed additives as well as biocontrol agents required in agriculture).
  • HiTech Bio Laboratories – a contract research organization
  • State Public Health Laboratories – to know the functioning of the regulatory State Government bodies
  • Serum Institute of India – a bacterial and viral vaccines and immune sera manufacturing company, and have a potential to employ microbiologists.
  • APT Foundation's National Toxicology Center – to obtain first hand information in toxicology professional services, experience the animal handling and inoculation techniques and its role in drug development.
  • Leading research institutes e.g. National Chemical Laboratories, National Institute of Virology, National Center for Cell Sciences, Agharkar Research Institutes, etc.; to interact with scientist and get first hand information on front-line academic and applied research.
Past students of the department are well-placed in research institutes, industries and various colleges. Few pasts students are entrepreneurs and have set up their own industrial units. All these alumni have established a good academic interaction with the department. Summer trainings, projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students and sometimes jobs are arranged by these alumni. Some staff members and the alumni work jointly for projects of mutual interest. The examples where these collaborations have been worked out in the past are:

(Institute / Industry – alumni involved):

  • National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS, Pune) – Dr. M. S. Patole, Dr. Yogesh Shouche (Microbial Culture Collection, Pune), Dr. Sharmila Bapat
  • National Chemical Laboratory (NCL, Pune) – Dr. Mukund Deshpande, Dr. Jayant Khire, Dr. Asmita Prabhune
  • Agharkar Research Institute (ARI, Pune) – Dr. Dilip Ranade, Dr. Prashant Dhakephalkar, Dr. Kishor Paknikar, Dr. Jyutika Rajwade
  • Polchem Industries – Mr. Milind Limaye, Mr. Sadanand Deshpande
  • Hi Tech Bio Laboratories – Mr. Raghvendra Gaikaiwari, Mr. Mahendra Savdikar, Dr. Shilpa Wagh
  • Evolvus Biotech – Mr. Aniket Ausekar
  • Serum Institute of India - Dr. Rajeev Dhere; Mr. Vivek Vaidya
  • Sana Rica Foods - Mr. Nitin Agnihotri
  • Swasti Agro Pvt. Ltd. - Dr. Abhay Shendye

Students’ Achievements:

  • Miss Arti Saptarshi , Miss Prachi Pawar, Miss Gurpreet Kaur, Miss Nishigandha Tibe (students of M.Sc. Part I) presented a poster at International Conference on Vedic Sciences held at Haribhai V. Desai College, Pune (18 &19 January 2017). They were guided by Mrs. Seema Rodge. The poster received the Best Poster award.
  • Miss Ayushi  Dhakate and Miss Praniti Ghatmale (MSc Part II students)presented a poster at AVISHKAR -2016,  under the guidance of Mrs . Seema Rodge . They were selected for the Zonal Level Avishkar   competitions and presented their work at University level.

Activities for Students:

The office of the Pune Unit of the Association of Microbiologists of India (AMI) is housed in the Department, where meetings are held to organize and to review the activities of the association. Dr. P. N. Shede (Assistant Professor, Microbiology) is the Secretary while with Prof. V. G. Kshirsagar is the Treasurer of the AMI Pune Unit. Some members of the staff are members of the Executive Council of the AMI Unit. The Unit was awarded the Best Unit Award (2014) at the Annual Conference of the Association of Microbiologists of India, held at Coimbatore in November 2014.

Organizing Exhibitions and workshops: The Department organizes a Microbiology Exhibition each year as a part of the MICROFEST, to acquaint the college and school students with different activities and projects carried out by the students of the department. It has helped to popularize pure science subjects and spread the message that studying Microbiology can lead to a lucrative career.

Sunil Newaskar and Jaydeep Naik Memorial Oration:

The 'Sunil Newaskar & Jaydeep Naik Memorial Oration' is organized by the Department of Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College and Sunil Newaskar & Jaydeep Naik Memorial Oration Committee This activity is organized in the memory of Late Mr. Sunil Newaskar and Late Mr. Jaydeep Naik who were the past students of this department. Mr. Sunil Newaskar did his M.Sc. in 1982 and while doing Ph. D in Canada met with an accident. Close friends of Sunil started this activity. Jaydeep completed his M. Sc in 1994 and was working in Mumbai. He succumbed to Leukemia and passed away in 1995. Since 1995 a joint committee and the department conducts this activity in the department. A fund is raised by the members of the committee and Jaydeep's parents. The committee and the department organize a lecture by some eminent personality from the field of Science. Students from various Microbiology departments all over Maharashtra and scientists from various research institutes are invited for this lecture
Following speakers delivered lectures on various topics.
Year Speaker Institute/ Organization Topic
1998 Dr. A. D. Agate Agharkar Research Institute, Pune Geomicrobiology
1999 Dr. Amitabh Joshi Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific research, Bangalore Evolution: an experimental Science.
2000 Dr. Aditi Pant Division of Biochemical Sciences, NCL, Pune Biochemical Ecology of a Mangrove fungus
2001 Dr. J. Gowrishankar Centre for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hydrabad. Understanding life …through its mutants.
2002 Dr. Umesh Varshney Dept. Of Microbiology & Cell Biology, IISc, Bangalore Mechanism of Protein synthesis: Applications to Biotechnology.
2003 Dr. William Halvorson Society for Ecological restoration (International), USA Role of a Biologist in Management of National Parks.
2004 Dr. Indira Ghosh University of Pune Why Bioinformatics?
2005 Dr. Saroj Ghaskadbi University of Pune Oxidative Stress & Diabetes Mellitus
2006 Dr. Yogesh Shouche NCCS, Pune Life in outer space – Microbiologists' view
2008 Dr. Vidya Gupta NCL Pune Sheep Phylogenetic Studies
2010 Dr. David W. Sverson Dept. of Biological Science, University of Notre Dame Aedes egyptii: Dengue and Global Health
2012 Dr. Shekhar Mande Director, National Centre for Cell Sciences, Pune Interdisciplinary Sciences in Modern Biology
2013 Dr. Asmita Prabhune Senior Scientist Biochemical Sciences Division National Chemical Laboratory Pune (INDIA) Fluorescent sophorolipid molecular assembly and its magnetic nanoparticle loading: A pulsed laser process
2018 Dr. R V Gadre Retired Chief Scientist Biochemical Sciences Division NCL, Pune Fermenters and Fermentations
2019 Dr Yogesh Shouche Scientist NCMR, Pune Gut Microbiome

The committee also gives three prizes to undergraduate and post graduate students. 'Sunil Newaskar Memorial prize' of Rs. 500/- is given to a student from M. Sc (Microbiology) who secures first rank in the merit list of M. Sc students of this department. Jaydeep Naik Memorial 'Talent of the Year Award' is given to a student from final year B. Sc who secures first class in first and second year of B. Sc and is also involved in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. The prize comprises of cash award of Rs. 1001 and a certificate. Another prize entitled ' Jaydeep Naik Memorial Award' of Rs. 1001 given to a student of M. Sc who clears CSIR or GATE or NET exam in the first attempt.

Parent-Teacher Meetings: Meetings are organized every two years to bring together the parents of students of First Year and Second Year students. At these meetings, the departmental activities are presented to the parents. These meetings also serve as an interface to understand and address mutual situations.

Mentoring Program: A student mentoring program has been initiated in 2012 year for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This program facilitates better student-teacher academic interactions. Feedback from the program has been encouraging.

Undergraduate Studies (B. Sc.)

The Department of Microbiology offers undergraduate students a choice of two principle subjects:
  • Microbiology
  • Industrial Microbiology (Vocational)
Students enjoy learning more about molecular biology, gene cloning, immunology, emerging diseases, biochemistry and the various applications of microbiology in industry, through these undergraduate courses. About B.Sc. Industrial Microbiology Since 1998, the department conducts the University Grants Commission (UGC) prescribed Vocational course in Industrial Microbiology. The vocational program in Industrial Microbiology offers a little more adventure, with the student having more participative effort in the teaching-learning process – through summer training, laboratory experience in biotechnological aspects such as Engineering Drawing, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Plant and Animal Tissue Culture, Entrepreneurship Development and Marketing, etc. Both undergraduate programs help the student join postgraduate programs in Life Sciences (Microbiology, Zoology, Health Science, Environmental Science, Biochemistry, Food Technology, Forensic Sciences and Biotechnology) besides being eligible to appear for and join courses such as MBA, MCA, Science Journalism; in India and abroad. Admission for undergraduate course in Microbiology: Students are selected on the basis merit at the HSC / 12th Standard or equivalent examination (Marks of Physics, Chemistry and Biology are considered for merit admissions) < (MCVC students are not eligible for this course)

Postgraduate Studies (M. Sc.)

The Department conducts a postgraduate program in Microbiology (non-Credit system, affiliated to the Savitribai Phule Pune University). Our Postgraduate Centre is the most sought after course by students graduating from colleges, not only from University of Pune but also from other parts of the State and Country, as well as students from abroad Students with an undergraduate degree, with Microbiology as their Principle subject, are eligible to apply for the postgraduate course in Microbiology. Admission to Masters in Microbiology is on the basis of an entrance examination. The major goal of the program is to provide both a challenging academic environment and increase the proficiency of the student to enter a career in particular research as well as industry. Training at the department is rigorous and multifarious, thus preparing the student for any career environment. Approximately eighty percent of our past graduates have gone on for doctoral studies at major institutions in India and abroad, especially the USA. Of the remainder, some have taken up jobs in industries in and around Pune and teaching positions at colleges. A few of our past students are successful entrepreneurs in diverse biotechnological areas and have established manufacturing, chemi-informatics and contract research industries; providing job opportunities for science graduates.

Doctoral Studies

The Department is a University approved research center and the faculty Dr Niranjan Patil and Dr Prafulla Shede are approved research guides for doctoral degree. Admissions to Ph. D. are carried out as per the norms and guidelines of University of Pune.
    List of candidates who have received PhD degrees from the department-
  • Physiological adaptations in Escherichia coli under oligotrophic conditions ( 2013) - Uttara Lele- Guide - Dr Milind Watve
  • Exploration into the ecological and applied aspects of predatory activity in Actinomycetes ( 2013)- Charushila Kumbhar- Guide - Dr Milind Watve
  • Mechanisms of cell division asymmetry in Escherichia coliand the short term and long term effects of nutrient density on it (2014)- Ulfat Baig- Guide -Dr Milind Watve
  • Studies on degradation of triphenyl methane and azo textile dyes by halophilic and alkaliphilic bacteria (2017)- Uttara Oak- Guide- Dr Bhalchandra Bhole
  • Probiotic and Prebiotic characterization of selected isolates from traditionally fermented indian foods (2017)- Rajan Walhe- Guide- Dr Sham Diwaney and Dr Milind Patole
  • Studies on molecular mechanisms in Candida albicans host invasion (2017) - Ashwini Atre- Guide- Dr Sham Diwaney and Dr Milind Patole
  • Isolation, Identification and Characterisation of active principle for the antimicrobial activity of Cymbopogan citratus against oral microflora associated with dental plaque (2018) - Sonia Ambade - Guide - Dr Neelima Deshpande
  • Studies of microbial diversity of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils and bioremediation with special reference to plant growth promotion (2019)-Asim Auti - Guide - Dr Neelima Deshpande

AMI Symposium

Department photos

Dr Kasthuri Visit

Freshers Party

Parent Teacher Meet

Sunil Newaskar Memorial Oration

The Department is housed on two floors in the New Educational Building. The department has 4 laboratories and two classrooms(well equiped with DLP) , in which undergraduate and postgraduate programs are conducted. There is one well-equipped research laboratory.

The department has the requisite equipment and also contributes and uses the Central facility for Molecular Biology and Animal Tissue Culture.

Several state-of-the-art equipment include:

  • Gas Chromatography,
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction machine
  • Laminar flow cabinets
  • Phase Contrast and Research microscopes
  • Table-top Fermenter
  • Centrifuges
  • Shaker Incubators
  • Lyophilizer
  • Environmental shaker
  • Ample number of routine laboratory equipments (colorimeters, pH meters, microscopes, autoclaves, hot-air-ovens, etc.) is also available for routine use in the department.
  • Plants- Bacterial interactions. PGPR
  • Microbial Enzymes
  • Microbial Biofilm
  • Bio-nanotechnology
  • Prebiotics
  • Bacterial Biomolecules
  • Applied microbiology
COVID-19 Pandemic Departmental Activities done
  1. Microbiology Department students of M.Sc- I performed awareness video display on social media ( Whatsapp and face book).
  2. R.A. Walhe Wrote articles on COVID-19 in Marathi News papers (Sakal 29 March 2020, Maharashtra Times- 7 April, Lokmat 17 April 2020,) for public awareness and as extension.
E-Content of the Department of Microbiology