Ludhiana, March 2, 2017: Veteran agricultural scientists from across India and abroad gathered at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to attend the 54th Annual Meet of Alumni Association of the College of Agriculture, PAU. Alumni from Australia, Canada, Mexico and USA attended the meet. The inaugural session of the meet was chaired by the oldest alumni, Dr D.R. Bhumbla, former Vice-Chancellor, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. Besides, agricultural stalwarts namely Dr G.S. Kalkat, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission; Dr S.S. Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda; Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU; and Dr A.S. Nanda, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), graced the occasion with their presence. Dr A.S. Khehra and Dr M.S. Kang, former PAU Vice-Chancellors, also attended the meet.

Dr Bhumbla, while sharing his reminiscences, said that along with fertilizer and irrigation, thresher equally played a vital role during Green Revolution. He said that alumni meet provided a platform to recollect lively moments.

Sharing his own experience, Dr Kalkat said that PAU has played an important role in technology development, and agricultural education and training. “Along with technology development, government must take steps for the adoption of technology by the farmers,” he added. Dr Kalkat also lauded Dr Bhumbla’s significant contribution to agriculture in Punjab and India.

Dr Johl called the gathering of scientists as ‘cream of intellectuals’ and exhorted them to come out and speak. He also recited the poetry, sent via e-mail by PAU alumnus, Hafiz Abdul Qayyum from Pakistan.

Dr Dhillon said the alumni meet refreshes past memories and familiarizes the old people with the development of alma-mater and well-being of each other. Apprising the gathering of PAU achievements, Dr Dhillon disclosed, “As per recent e-mail received from Dr A.H. Prakash, Project Coordinator (Cotton), three Bt entries namely, PAU 1, F1861 and RS 2013 have been approved by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) during 2016-17.” He said the University has been successful in developing early maturing paddy varieties, managing whitefly in cotton and managing paddy straw in Punjab.

Dr Nanda said, “GADVASU is a part of PAU. It has made immense contribution to the animal sciences at the national level.”

Earlier, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture, welcomed the dignitaries and the alumni. He said that PAU has produced 48 Vice-Chancellors of various universities, 73 NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences) Fellows, and six National Professors.

Dr P.K. Chhuneja, Secretary of Alumni Association, conducted the programme.

Mr R.S. Athwal, an NRI from USA, gave presentation on the outstanding contribution of a renowned scientist, Dr D.S. Athwal and other agricultural scientists in heralding of Green Revolution and in making the country self-sufficient in food grains.

S. Sukhdev Singh, PAU alumnus from Canada, said that agriculture profession should be looked at with dignity for it serves and feeds the nation.

On the occasion, PAU alumni were honoured for working and retiring from prestigious positions. These include Brigadier T.S. Sandhu; former Brigadier Jagjit Singh; and Yurinder Singh Hayer, DIG, Bathinda. Another PAU alumnus, Mr M.A. Matthew, Rubber Board, Kerala, was also honoured.

Besides, Dr Balwinder Singh, former Director of Research, PAU; Dr W.S. Dhillon, former Director of Punjab Horticultural Post-Harvest Technology Centre; Dr P.K. Mehta, former Dean, College of Agriculture, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology; and Dr Ashwini Kumar, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, were honoured. In addition, Dr J.S. Dhiman, former Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), PAU; Dr S.S. Kukal, Present Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), PAU; Dr T.S. Dhillon, Director (Seeds), PAU; and Dr Gursharan Singh, former Dean, Postgraduate Studies, were felicitated.

During the meet, Dr M.S. Aulakh, former Vice-Chancellor, Manyawar Kanshiramji University of Agriculture and Technology, Banda, Uttar Pradesh; Dr T.S. Thind, former Additional Director of Research, PAU; Dr Ranjit Singh, former Additional Director Communication, PAU; and Dr Parminder Singh from GADVASU, were also honoured. Dr G.S. Makkar and Dr Surichi Jindal, PAU scientists, were felicitated for winning Young Scientists Awards.

Apart from this, PAU scientists working under All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) on weed management, honey bee and agro-meteorology were felicitated for bagging awards at the national level. Two teams of PAU scientists, who were conferred with G.S. Khush Award recently, were also honoured for excellence in transfer of technology.

On the occasion, retirees from PAU, GADVASU and line departments; and NRIs from were honoured with mementos. The students PAU were also felicitated for excellence in academics, NCC (National Cadet Corps) and NSS (National Service Scheme).

Thursday, March 2, 2017