Ludhiana, July 30, 2012: A delegation of Agricultural Panel of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today for identifying mutual areas of interest for a collaboration between the two stakeholders.
They held an interactive meet with the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Director of Research, Dr S.S. Gosal, member of PAU Board of Management, Jang Bahadur S. Sangha, University deans, directors and heads of various departments.
The delegation members comprised Mr. Mahesh Munjal, Managing Director, Majestic Auto Limited, Mr. Sanjeev Nagpal, Director, Nasa Agro Industries, Mr. Sumanpreet Singh, Head, Punjab State, CII, Mr. Aditya Lele and Mr. Vinay Sharma of CII.
In his remarks, Dr Dhillon said that there is a great scope for cooperative venture between the PAU and the CII and that many activities can be undertaken together. He evinced interest in the participation of PAU in national convention at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, agro-tech- Kisan Ghosthis and agro-tech exposition with thrust on showcasing farm innovations by institutes, farmers and students. He said that the joint conference at Kisan Mela in September 2012, representation of PAU in CII Punjab Agri and Water Panel, CII representation on PAU Advisory Board/Council, institutionalizing joint awards, industrial speakers at PAU conferences and seminars and internship/scholarships will be some of the other focus areas. Dr Dhillon stated that the prime emphasis of the PAU is on technology transfer and food processing. The PAU has got an excellent processing technology and collaboration between the university and the industry would be of immense benefit, which can also attract the farmer towards the agro-industry, he added.
The delegation member, Munjal said that, “We are proud of the PAU to be based in the industrial hub of Ludhiana. The research and development, farm technologies and extension education at PAU can be useful if the two enter into joint venture. Agro-industry is fast emerging and there is a need for storage capacity, he emphasized, while suggesting extension services in industry for future growth. He also suggested PAU for organization of a fair for the industry.
Sangha referred to various activities to develop a long term relationship between the two stakeholders. He said that the participation of PAU in agro-tech exposition, national convention and the students in agro-job fair will act as a morale booster and give jump in the learning of the youths.
Nagpal stressed that PAU and industry can play a vital role in terms of innovative research projects and entrepreneurship. He highlighted that Canada has got a good food processing sector and the same can be set up in India also. The PAU, with its technology for various crop commodities, can help in establishment of Food Processing Centre, he said.
The Dean of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr PPS Lubana said that the participation of CII in the job fair will provide a platform to the students to brush their intellectual and career skills and will mark a good beginning for them.
Earlier, the Dean of College of Home Science, Dr Neelam Grewal, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. Apprising the delegation of academic programmes, she suggested internship partnership between the PAU and the CII.
The Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal said, “Farmers in lakhs participate in the Kisan Melas. We want more participation from industry as well as entrepreneurs. He remarked that if the industry comes forward with research projects, the involvement of the students can be encouraged.
The Head of Business Management, Dr Sandeep Kapur said that PAU is fit to become knowledge partner and laid emphasis on institutionalizing the mechanism. Stating that there is a wide gap in value chain in food and processing industry, he disclosed that the university is making efforts to establish Food Processing Centre.
Dr K.S. Minhas, Head of Food Science and Technology and Dr Ashok Kumar, Head of Processing and Food Engineering and Dr Ramandeep Jassal, Deputy Director (Public Relations), PAU also attended the meet.