For enlightenment of farming community, 'Krushi
Mahotsav-2008', a doorstep extension-modus
operandi of State Government visionary programme,
was launched from 7.5.2008 to 5.6.2008 throughout
Its focus was mainly on the initiatives to promote
innovative technologies adhering to the principle of"More crop and income per hectare." The main themes
were Drip irrigation, Agricultural marketing system and Child health-care.
There were 227 Krushi Raths. Almost 1 lakh officials of 15 development departments
including 502 scientists of Anand Agricultural University were actively involved in the
During the Campaign, soil samples were collected and Soil Health Cards and Kisan
Credit Cards were distributed to the farmers, whereas agriculture, horticulture, animal
husbandry and shramyogi kits were distributed to the villagers below poverty line.
Water-conservation works like khet talavdi, bori bandhs, check dams, village ponds
etc. were undertaken in the villages with the participation of rural youth and farmers.
Special efforts for promotion of drip-irrigation system were made. The students of AAU
undertook mass animal vaccination. Different government schemes like Wadi Yojna,
Gokul Gram, Jyoti Gram, E-Gram, Tirth Gram etc. were executed during the
campaign. 'Khedut Margdarshika Bhag-4 Rajya Sarkar ni Sahay Yojna' was prepared
and distributed to all the villages.
The important activities carried out by AAU scientists during Krushi Mahotsav-2008
in middle Gujarat are as under:
|BIRSA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, RANCHI
Raise agricultural produce, exhorts Swaminathan
Renowned agricultural scientist, Dr M.S Swaminathan, said that the insurgency in thestate can be checked greatly by increasing the income of farmers and adoption of latest production technologies as well as through generation
of income in agriculture, horticulture, dairy, animal
husbandry and fisheries. Talking to media persons at
BAU on 19 December 2007, he said that Jharkhand has
great potential for agriculture and allied activities. There
is urgent need to tap that potential to improve the living
standards of farmers.
The state is gifted with sufficient rain water, which
varies form 1,200 to 1,400 mm annually. However, the
unchecked run-off was fast eroding the top soil, making fertile lands barren. Waterharvesting
techniques had to be used, and major emphasis has to be laid on
conserving waterto maintain sustainable growth of agriculture in the state.
Earlier, giving a special lecture on 'Indian Agriculture Today', DrSwaminathan said
that Indian agriculture is at the crossroads. In one sense we have been very successful
in increasing the production of basic staples like rice and wheat, on the other the
consumption capacity on the part of the economically underprivileged sections of the
society is not improving. He emphasized that self-help groups should be encouraged
to bolster cooperative farming in the country. He appealed to the younger generation,
saying, "Do not treat cultivation as inferior work. You should adopt it as a profession". He added that recent findings bring home the alarming fact that 40 per cent of
cultivators in the country would prefer to quit farming if they had an alternative
opportunity. "If that happens, what happens to food security?" He asked while warning"the nightmarish experience of famine and rising prices would bring the whole
Dr N.N. Singh, VC, welcomed Dr Swaminathan. Other eminent persons present
were Ms Mabel Rebello, Shri Saryu Rai, MLA, Swami Shashankamand, Shri Ashok
Kumar Singh, Member, Board of Revenue, Shri A.K. Sarkar, Principal Secretary,
Agriculture; and Dr Suman Sahai, Chairperson, Gene Campaign. Shri M.K. Mandal,
former Chief Secretary, Jharkhand proposed a vote of thanks.
32nd IAUAVCs" Conference
Inaugurating the 2-day 32nd Annual
Convention of Indian Agricultural Universities
Association at BAU on 20 December 2007,
Hon'ble Syed Sibtey Razi, Governor and
Chancellor of Universities of Jharkhand, said
that the slowdown in agricultural growth has
become a major cause of concern, although it
provides livelihood to more than 70% of the
rural people and remains vital for food
security. He said that food security and sustainability, which has been one of the major
goals to keep agriculture sector out of danger zone, seems to have been fulfilled.
However, this feel-good factor seems to be a myth, as we see new and bigger
challenges emerging in this most vulnerable sector. Share of agriculture in country's
GDP in fact declined from 48% in 1950 to 19% in 2007.
The Chancellor further said that the increase in economic integration of the Indian
economy with the global processes has brought considerable challenges at the door
of its agricultural sector. A number of major crops have witnessed a decline in
productivity growth, and side-by-side, the Indian agriculture is facing unfair
competition form cheap imports, which has posed a majorthreat to the livelihood of the
In his address, Prof. M.P Yadav, President of lAUAand VC, Sardar Vallabh Bhai
Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut, said that more than 50% posts
of scientists have been lying vacant in agricultural universities of the country, affecting
adversely the growth of this sector. He appealed the state governments to impose 1
per cent tax at all agricultural marketing yards to be used for teaching, research and
extension activities in these universities. He stressed the need to extend the retirement
age of the VC to 70 years; presently it varies from state to state. He said the processing
of agricultural produce deserves due attention, because the post-harvest loss in the
country has gone to Rs 80,000 crore per annum and only 2% produce in the country is
being processed. Dr N.N. Singh, VC, BAU, welcomed the guests. Besides, lAUAVCs,
the first lady of the state Mrs Chand Farhanaji and Principal Secretary to the Governor,
Shri Amit Khare, were also present on the occasion.
Farmer-led innovation for sustainable agriculture
Dr R.S. Paroda, former Director-General of ICAR, is of the firm view that agricultural
scientists need to engage themselves in researches where these actually matter-the
field of farmers. Addressing the inaugural session of the 2-day symposium on 'Farmerled
innovations for sustainable agriculture' at BAU during 1-4 December 2007, Dr
Paroda said the farmers have a long experience of farming practices, which need to be
properly documented for possible further improvement. He stressed that food
processing is the need of the hour. At the same time the role of intermediaries should
be minimized if not altogether eliminated. The agricultural scientists need to go to the
farmers, to learn about practices as well as crops grown by them. Dr Paroda also
inaugurated Centre for Agribusiness Management, where a 2-year full-time MBA
course has been launched.
Dr. S Nagarajan, Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority, said that most farmers were not
getting the reward for the innovations made by
them in their own fields. It is the agricultural
scientists instead who take the credit.
Researches made by the farmers need to be
recognized by the government and they
should also be rewarded for their innovative
feats. He appealed to develop and protect
medicinal plants in the tribal regions of the
Dr N.N. Singh, VC, too addressed the delegates present at the symposium.
G.B. PANT UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY,
North Zone VCs' meet
The meeting of North Zone Vice-
Chancellors was organized by Pantnagar
university from 3 to 5 September 2008. The
valedictory session was organized at College
of Agri-Business Management under the
Chairmanship of Dr VK. Suri, VC of Kanpur
University. On this occasion Dr Dayanand
Deogaonkar, Secretary General, Association
of Indian Universities and Dr Basant Ram, VC,
NDUAT, Faizabad were also present along with the host VC, Dr B.S. Bisht. This meet
was represented by the VCs or their nominees from 20 universities of the zone. The
major theme of discussion was Innovations in higher education. The meet was divided
into different sub-thematic areas, viz. quality assurance, experiential learning,
distance education, e-leaming and capacity building, which were discussed in different
technical sessions. The 3-day extensive deliberations by the VCs led to the following
- Acombination of traditional experiential learning approach need to be introduced in
higher education system. The teachers should act as facilitators in experiential
- End-to-end pilot plant projects run by the students under the guidance of the faculty
should be launched.
- Teachers' capacity building is necessary through training and development of skills,
including motivational skills, through participation.
- While deliberating on distance learning, and e-leaming, the conference recommended
that for monitoring the quality of programmes a mechanism should be in place.
- New programmes on distance education should be launched only after in-depth
planning and preparation.
- A minimum entry-level standard should also be adopted while enrolling the students
fordistance and e-leaming programmes.
- The institutions should identify gaps in their system and should structure their
- The institutions should provide an enabling environment as a pre-requisite to
- Selection and promotion of the teaching faculty and capacity-building record of the
candidates should also be considered along with research publications.
- Evaluation of HRD requirement and preparedness to meet them, and creation of
database of status and resource allocation to education in different Five-Year Plans
by the universities is needed for a vision document on higher education for the
- The syllabus should be revised every 3 to 5 years.
- The autonomy of the university and constitution of an autonomous education
commission consisting of academicians should be ensured.
JUNAGADH AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, JUNAGADH
AICTE accreditation for agricultural engineering education
The College of Agricultural Engineering and
Technology was established as one of the
constituent colleges of then Gujarat
Agricultural University at Junagadh. The
college was accredited by ICAR in 1997 and
the graduates produced by the college get
placement through campus interviews. There
has been 100% placement from the collage
during the last 7 years. The AICTE-NBA, New
Delhi has accredited B.Tech. (Agricultural
Engineering) programme of the university for 5 years and M.Tech. (Agricultural
Engineering) programme in farm machinery and power for 3 years with effect from 19
July 2008. So far, only 3 agricultural engineering colleges in our country have received
AlCTE-NBAaccreditation, and this university is the fourth.
KARNATAKA VETERINARY, ANIMAL AND FISHERIES SCIENCES
The following programmes were organized by the university as a part of transfer of
Training programme on "Aquaculture"
A training programme on "Culture of carps
and freshwater prawn" was organised by
Directorate of Extension at Livestock
Research and Information Centre, Deoni,
district Bidar during 16-18 July 2008. The
programme was inaugurated by Shri Revu
Naik Belamagi, Minister for Animal
Husbandry, Government of Kamataka. Dr S.
Mallikarjunappa, Acting VC, and DrH. Shivananda Murthy, Director of Extension, were
present. Total 45 farmers from Bidar and Gulbarga districts attended and benefited
from the programme.
Training programme on bakery products
A training programme on "Preparation of
bakery products and ragi products" for the
benefit of farm women on 11 July at 2008 was
organized at Dairy Science College, Hebbal,
Bangalore. The programme was inaugurated
by Prof. S. Mallikarjunappa, Acting VC Dr H.
Shivananda Murthy, Extension; Dr B.V.
Venkateshaiah, Dean, Dairy Science College,
Bangalore; Dr S. Yathiraj, Dean, Veterinary
College, Bangalore, and Dr Renuka Prasad,
Director, I AH & VB were also present. Total 50 farm women of Bangalore Rural and
Chikkaballapur districts were trained through practical demonstrations during the
Field day on Bio-village
A field day on the concept of Bio-village
depicting integrated farming systems such as
rearing of Deoni cows, turkey, emu, fish
culture, green-fodder production and other
related aspects were organised at Livestock
Research and Information Centre, Deoni, on
14 September 2008. Prof. Suresh S.
Honnappagol, VC; Dr H. Shivananda Murthy,
DrM. Devaraj, Registrar; and DrS.M. Usturge, Director of Instruction (PGS), attended
the programme. About 250 farmers participated and were benefited from the field day.
PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, LUDHIANA
Agricultural education policy
A 2-day Brain-storming session (8-9 March 2008) on Agricultural Education Policy
was held at PAU, Ludhiana. About 30 VCs and their representatives attended the
event, which was inaugurated by Dr Jai Rup Singh, VC, Guru Nanak Dev University,
Amritsar, and was presided by DrS.A. Patil, President, lAUAand Director, IARI, New
The following recommendations emerged from the eight sessions:
- There is absolute need to introduce agricultural education right from the school
level upward, culminating into vocational courses, with emphasis on deliverables
in each course.
- The states may be encouraged to set up Board of Higher Education in Agriculture
forimproving the quality of education.
- The SAUs should make efforts to improve the entry of students from rural areas in
agricultural programmes by reserving of seats for them in agricultural education
- Admission to agricultural programmes in all the private and public institutions
should be through common entrance test.
- There is need to monitor the teaching quality and evaluation, and to re-consider
internal evaluation as existed before shifting to external evaluation.
- The course curriculum should be made demand-driven to prepare the students to
face the newly emerging challenges and should lay due emphasis on practicals.
- The SAUs should have greater option in diverse range of relevant courses for the
students, viz Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Information and communication
technology, Space, IPR, WTO, Agri-business etc.
- For quality education, thrust should be given on Human Resource Development
in cutting- edge technology areas as it used to be in the 1970s. No post should be
- There is need to establish relation or collaboration with traditional universities,
NTs, IIScs., IIMsand industry for perfect, wide-range, updated education.
- There should also be a separate policy on fisheries, livestock and animal husbandry education, integrating education, research and extension.
- Accreditation process needs to be speeded up and extended to private
agricultural colleges. Simultaneously agricultural universities should be
equipped to handle the affiliation of private agricultural colleges to maintain the
- Evaluation system should be a combination of both external and internal
assessment with 50 % weightage to each. As this is recently recommended, it
may be reviewed after a gap of some period.
- There is a great need of open-door policy to encourage the students and teachers
from basic sciences to join agricultural universities and their admission to the
agricultural PG courses.
Employment opportunities for women
A research project entitled "An integrated
approach to provide employment
opportunities to women" worth Rs 54.96 lacs
has been sanctioned to College of Home
Science by Department of Biotechnology,
Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, to empower rural
women for large-scale propagation of tissue
culture of sugarcane, floriculture, cultivation
of button mushrooms and organic cultivation of seasonal vegetables.
Engineering students at Moscow universities
Two groups of students from College of
Agricultural Engineering attended 2-weeks
training programme in Russia. One group of
six students, viz. Aman Ahuja, Gagandeep
Singh, Gursharan Singh, Rohit Aggarwal,
Saket Goyal and Udit Narula, visited Moscow
State University of Environmental
Engineering, and the other group of five
students, viz. Gurpreet Singh, Rajat Gupta, Sugandha, Vandana Kochhar and Vikas
Tiwari, was at Moscow State Agroengineering
University (MSAU), Moscow,
during this summer. Dr M.S. Kang, VC, had
nominated the groups and advised the
students to learn maximum from such
training for their professional career
development. Er. Vishal Bector and Dr A.K.
Singh, who coordinated the training and
accompanied the two groups to MSUEE and
MSAU respectively, elaborated the contents of trainings. The training comprised
mainly of field visits, laboratory classes and on-site observations, practical exercises
in the area of agriculture and environmental engineering pertaining to conservation
of overall ecological system and agro-engineering industries. The students visited
and experienced the learning interactions with Russian engineers and professionals
at Russia's first pumping water plant, pump stations, agricultural processing
industries, irrigation facilities and technologies in Russia, Water-treatment plant,
green-houses, dairy industries, community centre of innovation for soybean and
various laboratory classes for their skill development Mr Dmitry V. Kozlov, Rector,
MSUEE, visited the PAU in March and met Dr M.S. Kang. They discussed the
possibility of having greater collaborative activities in the area of academic and
research excellence like faculty exchange, post-graduate research rojects, faculty
research projects, and distance learning programmes through virtual class-rooms
etc. at the two institutions. The details for more activities under the programme are
being worked out.
SARDAR VALLABH BHAI PATEL UNIVERSITY OF
AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY, MEERUT
Vallabh Urd 1
The variety Vallabh Urd 1 was developed
through mutation breeding of Pant Urd 19, a
popular variety in western Uttar Pradesh, by
using gamma irradiation. Pigmentation on
stem and branches can be used as a marker
for maintaining seed purity. It is of 50 cm
hieght, flowers in 50 days and matures in 84
days in rainy (kharif) season. The plant bears
110 pods and 6-7 seeds per pod. Seeds are bolder (4.1/g /100 seeds) than of the
prevailing varieties of the crop in the zone. The variety Vallabh Urd 1 expressed
moderate resistance to insects and pests. It was found resistant to all the common
diseases of the area, i.e. yellow mosaic virus, Cercospora leaf- spot, Macrophomina
blight, Anthracnose and bacterial leaf-spot. Therefore, Vallabh Urd 1 was identified
as a broad-based resistant variety in AICRP trials. The variety also expressed resistance to these diseases in Standard Varietal Trials conducted at RATDS centres
of Uttar Pradesh. Its average yield is 10,69 kg/ha, which is 16.29% higher than that of
the best check Uttara. It was identified for release in western Uttar Pradesh,
Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu &
Kashmir, at MULLARP Annual Group Meet held on 2-4 May 2008 at SDAU, Sardar
Vallabh Basmati -22 (MAUB-162)
The rice variety MAUB-162 (IET-19492)
has been developed at SVBPUAT, Meerut
from a cross of P 1121 xType 3 followed by
pedigree selection. The variety is suitable for
irrigated ecosystem (all under Agri-Export
Zone for basmati rice) in areas of orth
western India designated under geographical
indication for basmati rice. It is a
photosensitive genotype of evolved type MAUB-I62(IET 19492)
basmati rice. The variety is erect and of short stature a 90 cm high. It is a semi-dwarf
and lodging-resistant variety, flowering in 115 days. Unlike other basmati rice
varieties, it has compact panicle, which is completely exerted. It has small awns. It
can be easily distinguished with the help of pinkish apiculus at the time of maturity.
The average yield is 36.21 q/ ha, which is 27.87 % higher than of Tarori basmati.
Being dwarf, it utilizes fertilizers more efficiently, resulting into higher yields at low
cost. It also requires less water and performs well under aerobic conditions. The
variety expressed all the quality characters of scented rice accepted in the global
market; and therefore, it is suitable for export. Test weight is 21 g with kernel length
7.45 mm. Kernel breadth is 1.72 mm with length: /breadth ratio 4.33. Hulling and
milling recovery is 60% and 69.37% respectively. Head-rice recovery of the variety is
52.01%. The 100 g long cylinder kernels require 250 g water for cooking. Kernel
length after cooking is 14.8 mm, which is more than that of traditional-type Tarori
basmati. The variety expressed excellent quality characteristics during evaluation at
both the quality-testing laboratories located at DRR, Hyderabad, (A.P.) and CRRI,
Cuttack (Orissa). Also, in the panel test at both these laboratories it received
excellent acceptability ratings on account of its appearance, aroma, elongation and
flaky texture on cooking for all the 3 years required for evaluation under AICRP trials.
The rice cooks excellent and remains soft and flaky after cooking. The variety is
resistant to gall midge and moderately resistant to RTD, neck blast and bacterial leaf
blight (BLB), the common diseases of the zone. It was identified in the 43rd Annual
Rice Group Meeting held at IGKVV, Raipur during 12-14 April -2008, for release in
U.P. and Haryana for export.
Foreign visits of scientists
(i) Prof. S.K. Bhatnagar, Head (Cell Biology), College of
Biotechnology, convened the session on "Charales : from stoneworts to molecular tools" of 11th International
Conference on Applied Phycology held on 21-27 June
2008, at National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.
He presented the sessional keynote, emphasizing that
the members of order Charales are helpful in
bioremediation, contain anti-oxidative enzymes like land
plants and are the best tool for Nano-technological
(ii) Prof. Devi Singh, Dean, College of Biotechnology, participated in a series of mini
and major symposia in annual meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists
held on 27 June 2008 at Merida, Mexico. He presented a paper on 'Inter-SSR
and SSR-based molecular profiling of basmati and non-basmati indica rice' and
visited CI MM YT, Mexico also.