Ludhiana, December 29, 2017: The year 2017 of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) was full of magnificent achievements. The University was rewarded for its significant contributions to research, teaching and transfer of technology at the national level. Hard work and perseverance, put in by the faculty and students, bore fruit, thus, enabling PAU to emerge as one of the best agricultural universities of India. The year was historical also with Green Revolution and PAU Kisan Melas completing 50 years.

Awards and recognitions

The PAU was adjudged as the Best State Agricultural University by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

It was ranked as the Best University of Punjab and the Second Best Agricultural University of India by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework 2017.

It was honoured by the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding (ISG&PB) for having maximum number of landmark varieties to its credit.

The PAU was declared as one of the Icons of Modern India by the leading magazine, India Today in its special issue celebrating 70 years of Independence.

The College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, was awarded an “Outstanding Institute Award 2016-17” by the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The Maize Section received the “Best Centre Award” from the Indian Institute of Maize Research, ICAR.

The All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) Centre on Agro-forestry at PAU received the “Best Centre Award.”

The Indo-UK Nitrogen Virtual Joint Centres declared PAU-Leaf Colour Chart technology as the best nitrogen management practice to improve nitrogen use efficiency.

The University developed the first public sector Bt cotton variety ‘PAU Bt 1.’

After Mansuran village, PAU made Jonewal village of Ludhiana district the second gajarbooti free village of the state.

Crop varieties/hybrids released

The University developed/recommended several crop varieties/hybrids for general cultivation in Punjab. These include PR 126 of rice; CSR 30, Punjab Basmati 4 and Punjab Basmati 5 of basmati; Unnat PBW 343, Unnat PBW 550 and PBW 1 Zn of wheat; PAU Bt 1 of cotton; TMB 37 of spring/summer mungbean; CoPb 92, CoPb 93 and CoPb 94 of sugarcane; Superior Seedless of grapes; Kagzi of bael; PBH 5 of brinjal; Punjab Sona Cherry and Punjab Kesar Cherry of tomato; MH 51 of muskmelon; Punjab Bahar of bottle gourd; Punjab Jhaar Karela 1 of bitter gourd; Punjab Suhawani of okra; Giriraj of Indian mustard; BL 43 of berseem; OL 11 of oats; Punjab Sunaina and Punjab Neelma of pansy; and Punjab Gainda No. 1 of marigold.

Whitefly, yellow rust and straw management

Whitefly in cotton was managed successfully with the collective efforts of PAU scientists and State Department of Agriculture.

Intensive surveillance and monitoring of yellow rust in wheat, and timely advisory to farmers regarding its management resulted in the wheat productivity of 50.46 q/ha during 2016-17.

Campaigns by PAU on paddy straw management made five villages (one each in Amritsar, Bathinda, Patiala, Roopnagar and Sangrur districts) as zero burning villages. Dr C. Roul, Joint Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, lauded PAU for developing effective straw management technologies.

Eminent visitors

Dr T. Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, congratulated PAU during Annual Convocation (December 15, 2017) for being numero uno in India among agricultural universities.

Dr T. Haque, Head, Expert Group on Farm Loan Waiver, Punjab, visited PAU and discussed agricultural issues with the farmers and University scientists.

Mr Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman of Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, visited PAU to have an overview of the latest research developments and discuss extension services.

New appointments

The University appointed Dr R.S. Sidhu as Registrar; Dr Navtej Bains as Director of Research; Dr S.S. Kukal as Dean, College of Agriculture; Dr (Mrs) Jatinder Gulati as Dean, College of Home Science; Dr D.S. Bhatti as Additional Director of Extension Education; Dr K.S. Thind as Additional Director of Research (Crop Improvement); Dr P.S. Pannu as Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management); Dr G.S. Mangat as Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics; Dr H.S. Grewal as Head, Department of Floriculture and Landscaping; Dr O.P. Choudhary as Head, Department of Soil Science; Dr P.K. Chhuneja as Head, Department of Entomology; Dr Poonam Sachdev as Head, Department of Food Science and Technology; Dr Harminder Singh as Head, Department of Fruit Science; and Dr C.S. Aulakh as Director, School of Organic Farming.

Awards to faculty

Dr Beant Singh, Assistant Entomologist, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, completed post-doctoral fellowship at Rothamsted Research (RRES), Harpenden, United Kingdom.

Dr Kanchan Sandhu, working at PAU’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Jalandhar, bagged “Young Scientist Award” during the 8th National Congress on “Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture: Changing Role of Extension,” organized at Hyderabad.

Dr T.S. Thind, Adjunct Professor and former Additional Director of Research, was awarded Honorary Fellowship by the Punjab Academy of Sciences for his significant research contributions to agricultural sciences.

Dr M.S. Dhaliwal, Additional Director of Research (Horticulture and Food Science), was awarded “Dr Kirti Singh Gold Medal” by the Horticultural Society of India for his contributions to vegetable science.

Three PAU scientists, namely Dr Guriqbal Singh, Dr Ravinder Singh and Dr Gaurav Kumar Taggar were honoured by the Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development.

Awards to students

Ms Mehak Gupta, a Ph.D student of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, was awarded “Jawaharlal Nehru Award” by ICAR.

Ms Suruchi Jindal, Research Associate, received “Young Scientist Award” in agriculture during the 20th Punjab Science Congress, organized by the Punjab Academy of Sciences at IET Bhaddal.

Mr Sunny Kumar, a Ph.D student of the Department of Economics and Sociology, was selected for “Centrally Administered Doctoral Fellowship,” an award of Indian Council of Social Science Research, for his doctoral research.

Ms Shivali Pathania, a Ph.D. third year student of the School of Agricultural Biotechnology, bagged first prize in agriculture category at AIU North Zonal Student Research Convention, held at Chitkara University, Rajpura.

Biswajeet Singh, an M.Tech student of Mechanical Engineering, got second prize at AICTE sponsored National Seminar on “Clean Energy Technologies,” organized by the Department of Chemical Engineering, Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus, Ferozepur.

Visits of international delegations and commercialization of PAU technologies

Delegations from Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Myanmar, New Zealand, USA and United Kingdom visited PAU to deliberate on the scope of collaboration, have an overview of Punjab’s agriculture, and learn about University’s research, teaching and extension programmes.

The University inked MoUs with CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, to promote and accelerate programmes of academic and research cooperation in the areas of mutual concern; and Maharashtra State Seeds Corporation Limited, Akola, Maharashtra, to organize seed production programme on maize hybrid PMH-1. In addition, PAU signed memoranda of agreements with various firms for commercialization of hybrids like brinjal hybrid PBHR 42, two pumpkin hybrids PPH 1 and PPH 2, chilli hybrid CH 27 and technologies like PAU Cutter-cum-Spreader, Lucky Seed Drill etc.

Apart from this, PAU bagged several research projects. It also provided trainings to the farmers on various aspects of agriculture and allied enterprises. On a whole, the University touched great heights in 2017 under the stewardship of Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.

Dr Dhillon wishes faculty, staff and students of PAU a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Friday, December 29, 2017