Ludhiana, December 6, 2012: Amandeep Kaur from Ludhiana, Punjab is among the four young Indian agriculture scholars who have been awarded the prestigious Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Programme (MBBISP) Research Fellowshipsfor 2012 encouraging new plant breeding research for rice and wheat production among young scientists.
Amandeep Kaur’srice research is focused on stabilising rice bran oil to avoid rancidity of oil at PAU in collaboration with the University of Maine, USA. The three other winners are Navdeep Jamval, whosewheat research is focused on improving drought tolerance and rust resistance in wheat at CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University in collaboration with the University of Leicester, UK; Bharathi R. Ramadoss, whose rice research is focused on optimal glycemic index in rice at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Bharath Reddy whose wheat research is focused on enhancing yield potential of hard red winter wheat at Texas A&M University, USA in collaboration with CIMMYT, Mexico and Turkey.
It may be mentioned here that MBBISP allows the scholar to develop advanced breeding techniques, conduct atleast one season of field work in a developing country, includes afull package of support, i.e. a generous stipend, tuition and fees, research fees, health insurance, travel and funds for the collaborating institution,and advising professor. With a grant of Rs. 50 cr. ($ 10 million) from Monsanto, the MBBISP is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the US-based Texas A&M University System. Applications for 2013are open until February 1, 2013. Students interested in applying to the programmecan find more details at www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars.
On receiving the award, Amandeep Kaur said, “Receiving the MBBISP grant is a turning point of my life. The grant will enable me to continue my research in agriculture. I hope that I can contribute to my nation in improving the quality of rice and ensuring that we are equipped to meet the ever growing food demand.”
“We are very proud of Amandeep Kaur. At Monsanto, we believe that improving agriculture improves lives. Meeting the growing food demand can be achieved through science and innovation, which is possible only through opportunity and education. The Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Programme is aimed at developing highly trained rice and wheat breeders who show dedication and promise as future leaders in the field of agriculture. India has a wide pool of scientific talent and it is a matter of pride that four young, dynamic scientists are researching for the future of agriculture”saidChristopher Samuel, Director - Public Affairs, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Monsanto India.
MBBISP is part of Monsanto's Sustainable Agriculture commitment to help increase global food production in the face of growing demand, limited natural resources and a changing climate. It was launched in 2009 in India by eminent scientist, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. The programme recognises the importance of rice and wheat as key staple crops in addressing global hunger, providing necessary calories to feed billions of people every day. It honors the accomplishments of Henry Beachell, Ph.D. and Norman Borlaug, Ph.D., who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively, by providing funding support to develop the next generation of scientific leaders. Rice and wheat are considered to be the most important staple crops in developing countries.