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Senior College - Life Science

History of the Department

The Department of Life Sciences was established in 1992 under the able stewardship of Prof. N.W. Shivdasani. The department has teachers having varying specializations to meet the demands of the wide ranging topics which are included under its canopy. From the very outset we had 100% results, with a majority of the students being placed in the first class. The department came into its own in 2004 when it achieved independent status. Ever since it has been the endeavour of the members of the faculty to organise and host meets of academic enlightenment.

Life Sciences an interdisciplinary subject uses the principles of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, to help answer some important questions in biological sciences. Topics included are as diverse as Reproductive Biology, Biotechnology, Neurobiology, Forensic Science, Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Immunology, Biochemistry, Biostatistics, Human Physiology, Plant Science, Animal Science and Environmental Science. A graduate in Life Sciences can obtain a Masters in Life Science with specialization in: Biotechnology, Neurobiology, Applied Medicine, Reproductive biotechnology, Genetic engineering, Environmental science, Macromolecular biology, Immunology, Bioanalytical Science, D.M.L.T., Clinical Research, Bioinformatics, MBA in Pharmaceutical Management, or pursue M.Sc.by research


Information about the Department of Life Sciences:

The Department of Life Sciences is headed by Dr.Yasmina Dordi Avari. The other members include Ms. Niloufer K. Kotwal, Dr. K. Srilatha and Dr. Mayur Tamhane. The faculty members have different specializations so as to meet the demands of the subject which is interdisciplinary in nature.

The department members are actively involved in going beyond the common call of duty and have started an Innovative practice called “Golden Hour”. During this time (from 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm) on every day of the week the faculty members of the department make it a point to be present in the department to solve any queries, doubts or difficulties faced by the students – whether they are academic or personal in nature. This has helped many students to be more forthcoming and learn some good values in life which stand them in good stead in the years ahead. 

The Department conducts an annual seminar which during the month of November / December under the aegis of IRIS – the Departmental Society. The seminars are often organised in collaboration with the National Science Academies. These lecture sessions are attended by students and faculty of all Biological Sciences from all constituent colleges of Mumbai. About 250 – 300 participants normally register for the same.

The head of the department Dr. Yasmina Dordi Avari is also the convener for the IQAC and is responsible for the smooth conduct of the 3rd cycle of NAAC. She serves as a member of the subject expert panel for placements, as resource person for various specialized topics, is a Quality Examiner for the IMC – RBNQA,  She also serves as the Chairperson of the Women’s Development Cell, Convener of the Science Exhibition “Explore ….. the road less travelled” along with Dr. Vijay Dhar of the Physics Department; Heads the Time-table committee, is a member of the Ad – hoc board of the syllabus making committee of the subject, and also a recognized guided for both M.Sc and PhD Courses.

Ms. Niloufer K.  Kotwal also serves on many committees like the Social and Dramatic Union, Students’ Council, Ragging Prohibition Committee, Steering Committee of Teachers’ Academic Forum, member of the Admission Committee, is the Class teacher of FYBSc and is also responsible for many administrative responsibilities. She is also a member of the Ad – hoc board of the syllabus making committee of the subject, and also a recognized M.Sc teacher. She is presently pursing her Ph.D.

Dr. K. Srilatha also a member of the department also serves on many committees like the Women’s Development Cell. She has just completed her Doctorate. She has published and presented several scientific papers. She is also a member of the Ad – hoc board of the syllabus making committee of the subject, and also a recognized M.Sc teacher

The department conducts an annual excursion to sensitise the students to the Natural environment where the students study the rich biodiversity of the area and are made aware of the pressing need to conserve the bounty of Nature.


Activities of the Department:

(1) Seminars / Workshops:

In 2005, the Department of Life Sciences established its own Biological Society. After a lot of contemplation the society was named “IRIS” (INSIGHT, RESILIENT, INNOVATE, SUCCESS).
Every year one topic relevant to the current scenario and latest global trends is selected and students are enlightened regards the same. Eminent speakers and senior scientists who have excelled in their fields and have national and international repute are invited to share their expertise and knowledge with our young minds to keep them abreast of the new developments in various allied fields and pave the way for their future progress.




“Infertility Conquerable…….?” (Based on Reproductive Biology)


“Neuroscience & Forensic Science” (Based on Neurobiology and Genetic Engineering)


“On the Brink……….?” (Based on Environmental Science)


“i– Talk” (Based on Immunology)


“Planet – G” (National Interdisciplinary Seminar based on Genetics in collaboration with the National Science Academies)


Planet Earth.. Take Care... Take Charge


Bioinformatics: Know your sequence


Biostatistics: Enigma of Numbers


Evolution: Tree of Life


Stem Cells: Cellular Renaissance


Intelligent Intelligence (Forensic Science)

(2) Academic Excursion:


Excursion to

2004 – 05

Lakshwadeep Islands

2005 – 06

Nainital – Corbett National Park

2006 – 07


2007 – 08

Coimbatore – Ooty – Mysore – Mudumalai – Bandipur 

2008 – 09

Panchmarhi – Jabalpur – Kanha – Bandhavgarh

2009 – 10

Ranthambore – Bharatpur – Agra – Jaipur

2010 – 11

Jabalpur – Narara Island – Gir

2011 – 12

Coorg – Medikeri –  Nagarhole

2012 – 13


2013 – 14

Kerala –  Varakala –  Allepy –  Thekkady

2014 – 15

Nainital – Corbett National Park

2015 – 16

Chandigarh – Shimla – Manali – Amritsar

(3) Internships for students:

The department encourages the students to attend workshops and internships during summer vacation. We also organize internships for students whenever possible.

Academic year

Summer Internship at

2011 – 12

Bombay Hospital

2012 – 13

Jaslok Hospital and Bhatia Hospital

2013 – 14

10 day program on “Basic Stem Cell Research” & 10 day program on “Basics of Immunology and Blood Banking”

(4) Research:

Members of the department have completed the following BCUD Minor Research Projects:
(a) Aluminum toxicity induced Neurodegeneration” by Dr. Avari
(b) “Isolation of Polyethylene degraders by Niloufer K. Kotwal.
(c) “Chemical fingerprint profile of medicinal plant – Oroxylum indicum L(Vent)” by Dr. K. Srilatha.

Members of the department have applied for the following UGC Minor Research Projects in 2015:
(a) “To develop Zebra fish (danio rerio) as a model to study genes up-regulated during oogenesis and investigate gene expression varioation during oogenesis using it as a model” by Dr.Avari
(b) “Application of Bacterial Isolates in bioremediation of LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)” by Niloufer K. Kotwal.
(c) “Establishing the medicinal potential of Ervatamia hevneane (wall) T.cooke, An indigeneous plant through floe cytometry and chemical profiling techniques” by Dr. K. Srilatha.

The department encourages the students for research. Many of our students are actively involved in research and have been presenting their research work in various competitions and research conventions. Two of our students Ms. Vishaka Merude and Ms. Devyani Bhandari won first prize and a Gold Medal in ‘Avishkaar’ 2014, a state level research competition for students and teachers of Universities of Maharashtra.

(5) Student Achievements:

Our students excel in studies and pursue Post graduation in reputed institutes of our country. To name the latest, Mr. Furquan Khizar ranked 79th (all India rank) in Biological Sciences at JAM and is pursuing MSc integrated PhD at NCBS-TIFR Bangalore (2015 batch).

Our students often secure rank at the University of Mumbai:


Academic Year

Rank secured at University

Rhea Rajpal

2008 – 09

2nd in the subject of Life Sciences

Arnavaz Kollah

2009 – 10

2nd in the subject of Life Sciences

Urja Asher

2013 – 14

3rd in the subject of Life Sciences

(6) Other activities:

  1. Nature treks and clean-up drives to Borivli National Park and Lokhandwala Mangroves.
  2. Visits to institutes like TIFR, ACTREC.
  3. Hands on training in a one-day workshop on “Assisted Reproductive Techniques” conducted by Shivani Scientific.
  4. The members of the department are actively involved in research – 2 faculty members have registered for their Ph.D.


USP of the Department:

“A Unified Discipline in Biosciences” – Conceptualise now… Specialize later…
Rigid boundaries in Science are breaking down. Our discipline offers a child to learn and conceptualize the diverse branches of biological Sciences to make students better and broad-minded academicians and researchers.

Contact us at: lifesciences.jaihind@yahoo.com

Faculty of Department of Life Science

Name of faculty


Teaching experience


Head of the Department


Since 1994

Zoology (Endocrinology)
Zoology (Endocrinology - Toxicology)

Niloufer K. Kotwal

SET Qualified

Since 2003

Life Sciences

Dr. K. Srilatha


Since 2008

Botany (Cytogenetics) 

Dr. Mayur Tamhane



Since 2014