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First India-Bangladesh Structural Chemistry Conference

Kolkata, India, September 2015

The two neighbouring Asian countries India and Bangladesh share a long history and culture, but have hardly any scientific ties. With the intention to break this artificial barrier, the first India-Bangladesh structural chemistry conference was held at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, India during 18-19 September, 2015. The focus of the conference was to discuss and acknowledge recent advances in the field of crystal engineering happening in East Asia. This bilateral conference, co-organized by C. Malla Reddy (IISER Kolkata, India) and Altaf Hussain (Dhaka U., Bangladesh) as part of the extended celebrations of the International Year of Crystallography 2014, dealt with the topics related to crystal engineering of small molecules and macromolecular structural chemistry, covering synthesis, structure and dynamics, which indeed are the issues at the heart of this contemporary multidisciplinary science.

[Poster prize winners] Presentation of the IUCr prizes for the best student posters. Winners M. H. Mesbah Ahmed (Jagannath U., Dhaka, Bangladesh), Pritam Gosh (inset; CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur, India) and Rima Paul (Pandu College, Guwahati, India) are flanked by poster-prize judges A. Ramanan and Michele Zema on the left and convenor C. Malla Reddy and poster-prize judge M. Qumrul Hassan on the right.

The conference started with the inauguration by R. N. Mukherjee (Director of IISER Kolkata, India), followed by welcome addresses from Gautam R. Desiraju (IISc, India), C. Malla Reddy, Altaf Hussain, Michele Zema (IUCr) and Rajesh Parishwad [Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)] and then the Inaugural Lecture by Pinak Chakrabarti (President, AsCA; Bose Institute, India). Next came the first scientific lecture by Kumar Biradha (IIT Kharagpur, India) on 'Crystal Engineering of Coordination Polymers', which was followed by Md Manzurul Karim (Jahangirnagar U., Bangladesh) talking about metal-sulfur-nitrogen-bonded complexes of manganese and rhenium; Sakhawat Hussain (Dhaka U., Bangladesh) about the optimisation of multiquantum well structure for high-efficiency yellow-green emission; and Debajyoti Ghoshal (Jadavpur U., India) about metal-organic frameworks. Other speakers on the first day were Alok Mukherjee (Jadavpur U., India), Md Nizam Uddin (Shahjalal U. of Science & Technology, Bangladesh), Ashok K. Varma (ACTREC, India), Syed Rashel Kabir (Rajshahi U., Bangladesh) and Arun K. Shukla (IIT Kanpur, India), who enlightened the participants about many interesting topics related to structural chemistry.

On the second day, Parthasarathi Dastidar (IACS, India) outlined an interesting project on 'Exploiting Supramolecular Synthons in Designing Supramolecular Gelators for Drug Delivery'. This was followed by scientific lectures from Md Anamul Haque (Dhaka U., Bangladesh), Binoy K. Saha (Puducherry U., India), Md Aftab Ali Shaikh (Dhaka U., Bangladesh), Soumyajit Roy (IISER Kolkata, India), A. K. M. Atique Ullah (Atomic Energy Centre, Bangladesh), Tejender S. Thakur (CDR, India), Md Abu Hasan Howlader (Bangladesh U. of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh), Ranjit Thakuria (Gauhati U., India) and Linia Tashmim (Dhaka U., Bangladesh). Prizes for the best student posters were then presented by RSC and IUCr, and the day ended with a vote of thanks from C. Malla Reddy.

The gathering offered the opportunity for scientists and young researchers from India and Bangladesh to exchange their scientific ideas as well as to engage in cooperation and future collaborations.

C. Malla Reddy, Convenor