Aims and Objectives of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon: Further Steps in the Year 2022 and beyond.
It is indeed a great pleasure to issue this message to the Web site of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon at a time when we have commenced several programs for the benefit of the professional chemists and chemical industry and to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. During the past, it has been possible to do much work towards most of the aims and objectives of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon as laid down in its Act of Incorporation. However, some of them are yet to be achieved or they are in different stages of progress. I wish to address a few more of them during this year onwards with the cooperation of the State sector and the private sector as well as the relevant national and international organizations.
Initiative for enhancing status of the profession of Chemist
On the important requirement of enhancing the status of the profession of Chemistry in Sri Lanka, we have not yet been able to take necessary steps to make the registration of Chemists and the Accreditation of Chemical laboratories mandatory, although several activities in this direction were in progress during the past. We are aware that, Malaysia is one of the countries in which such legislation has been already enacted. It is necessary to increase awareness on this matter amongst the policy makers so that, we can make a distinct and positive contribution to enhance the professional status of our Chemists and the profession of Chemistry in Sri Lanka. As a novel approach toward this objective, I have taken action in June 2022, to establish a National Secretariat under the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon. The Secretariat thus formed will be responsible for the Professional Practice of Chemistry which covers the performance of a service related to public interest, public safety, and legal or regulatory matters.
As a further step towards enhancing the status of profession of Chemistry in Sri Lanka,
relationship with the industrial sector will be developed through effective communication systems with the industry, assisting to solve their subject related problems and encouraging the industry for research and development with the involvement of the College of Chemical Sciences (CCS) and the Institute while organizing a suitable platform to discuss industrial issues and find solutions.
Advancements in the Educational Arm
In addition to the already existing globally recognized and most demanded professional Graduateship in Chemistry (GIC) program of the Institute, and with a view to promoting education in Chemistry at all levels and to promote encourage and foster original research in Chemistry, the BSc (Hons) Degree program in Chemical Science was introduced in 2020. This BSc (Hons.) program is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC), and the Institute now operates its second year. The program has shown a growing demand already, having 37 students in the initial year of 2020, and more than 200 in the subsequent year (2021).
In regard to the objective of academic and professional development of the enrolling students, action will be taken for continuous follow-up on academic achievement/drawbacks, periodic review, strengthening student counseling, attending to student welfare issues, and improving academic/professional quality of CCS graduates. To ensure the maintenance of high standards in the professional activities and the general conduct of its members, action will be taken to provide internship and research opportunities for the graduate chemists who seek to become Chartered Chemists. In addition, a Master of Chemical Analysis and Measurement program has been developed for the practicing Chemists in the industry.
Under the program for infrastructure development, the Institute has already initiated action to expand its physical facilities by developing an Educational Complex at Malabe. In addition, the land donated by Clodagh Nethsinghe to the Institute which is 30 perches in extent, and located in Dehiwala will be used to establish a Chemical Laboratory and Training Center. The major functions of the proposed laboratory would be providing Analytical Services to cater to the needs of the Chemical Industry, providing consultancy services on all disciplines in chemistry and chemical industry (e.g. paint sector, agriculture sector, food sector, green chemistry, etc.), training/internship for newly passed out Graduates/GIC /DLTC students to obtain hands-on experience, innovations in Chemical Sciences, chemical analysis of imported or exported chemicals and issuing of Certificates and conducting CPD programs.
Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
The Institute will launch suitable programs towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Being a member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), our Institute has a great responsibility to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030 and to launch our programs towards achieving sustainable development in the country.
Celebrating the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development
The UN has declared the year 2022 as the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD 2022) at its 76th session of the General Assembly. The Institute has developed a number of programs to actively participate in the IYBSSD 2022 which include a grand Virtual IYBSSD 2022 Exhibition and Trade Fair, seminars and workshops, news releases and publication of articles and supplements, publication of IYBSSD 2022 special issue: ‘Chemistry in Sri Lanka’, public awareness programs, chemical magic shows, inter-university debates, cultural programs, webinars: seminars/discussions (University/Industry/IChemC), interschool chemistry quiz programs, ‘Education for All’- highlighting Graduateship in Chemistry, BSc, and Diploma in Laboratory Technology course, etc., strengthening the evaluation of the quality of programs to achieve SDGs, feeding information to the Website /U tube/Facebook, publication of an IYBSSDC 2011 Souvenir with all the events included, and special programs to achieve 12 Sustainable Development Goals of Chemistry.
Interaction with Global Institutions
I hope to work closely with the UNESCO, WHO, OPCW, UN, and FAO and Government ministries, departments and statutory bodies, professional organizations, and the chemical industry, in order to achieve the above objectives. As students, academic and non-academic staff, and professional chemists, members of the Institute, let us work together and achieve the above objectives for the benefit of our Institute, the profession of chemistry, the chemical industry, and for the betterment of the whole country.
Mr. N. M. S. Hettigedara
Chartered Chemist, Grad.Chem., MSC (Food Science and Nutrition), D.Pharm., B.Pharm. (Hons), Ph.D. (Reading), CChem, F.I.Chem.C. (SL), FRSH (UK), R. Nutri., RD, RPh, RDN FDIASL,