Union Agriculture Minister addresses 60th Convocation of ICAR-IARI, New Delhi

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16 February 2022, New Delhi: Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today handed over awards and degrees to the 284 students, which includes 8 foreign students, of the Post Graduate School of ICAR-Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi. On the occasion, Shri Tomar also dedicated 6 varieties of fruits and vegetables to the nation viz., two varieties of mango Pusa Lalima, Pusa Shresth, brinjal variety Pusa Vaibhav, palak variety PusaVilayati palak, cucumber variety Pusa Gynoecious Cucumber Hybrid-18 and Pusa Alpana variety of rose. The bio-fertilizer ‘PUSA Sampoorn’ developed by the division of Microbiology was also released.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to all agriculture institutes to focus on producing good farmers. He said Institutes are producing very talented teachers and scientists which is commendable. Because of this knowledge and technology remain limited to the institutes only. If institutes produce farmers then they can bring this knowledge to the grassroots level. He also exhorted the students for entrepreneurship development and appealed for taking up farming as a profession.

Highlighting the government priorities in the field of agricultural research, Shri Tomar said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is placed among the top 10 Agri products exporting countries. “We aim to put India among the top 5 countries and I am sure that with the efforts and research of our agriculture institutes, India will achieve it very soon”, the Minister added.

Speaking on implementing the use of drone technology for the benefit of farmers and employment generation for various stakeholders, the Agriculture Minister said that the government is giving 100% as a grant for the purchase of drones to agriculture institutes so that the technology can be taught in the institutes. He also said that Agriculture graduates are also eligible to receive grant support for drone purchases.  The Minister advised the new graduates to see this as a huge opportunity in the field of drone technology.

The Agriculture Minister appreciated the significant contributions made by the institute for ensuring food and nutritional security through the development of superior varieties and technologies in the field of Agriculture. Shri Tomar congratulated all the awardees and appealed to them to contribute to the growth story of Aatmanirbhar Bharat by making Atmanirbhar Krishi. 

Earlier, the Director of the institute, Dr A.K. Singh presented the significant achievements of the institute and informed that wheat varieties developed by this institute contribute nearly 60 million tons of wheat to the nation’s granary worth Rs. 80,000 crores annually. Similarly, the Basmati varieties developed by the institute predominate basmati cultivation in India accounting for 90% of the total foreign exchange (Rs. 29524 crores) earned through the export of Basmati rice amounting to Rs. 32,804 crores. About 48% of the mustard grown area in the country is cultivated with IARI varieties. The total economic surplus generated from Pusa Mustard 25 is estimated at Rs 14323 crores (at 2018 prices) during the last 9 years.

On this occasion, NABARD-Professor VL Chopra Gold Medal & Best Student of the Year award for MSc and PhD were presented to Ms Debarati Mondal and Dr Siddharood Maragal, respectively. Prof. R.B.Singh; Former Director, IARI, New Delhi was conferred upon D.Sc honoris causa. VIth Dr A.B. Joshi Memorial award was presented to Dr D.K. Yadava, ADG (Seeds), ICAR, New Delhi. The 2nd Best Agricultural Extension Scientist Award was presented to Dr R.N. Padaria, Head & Professor, Division of Agricultural Extension, IARI, New Delhi. XXII Shri Hari Krishna Shastri Memorial Award was given to Dr A.D. Munshi, Principal Scientist, Division of Vegetable Science, IARI, New Delhi. XXII Sukumar Basu Memorial Award was presented to Dr Rajan Sharma, Principal Scientist, Dairy Chemistry Division, ICAR-NDRI, Karnal and IARI Best Teacher award was given to Dr C.M.Parihar, Division of Agronomy, IARI, New Delhi.

Sh. Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare was the guest of Honour during the event. Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary DARE and Director General, ICAR and Dr Rashmi Aggarwal, Dean and Joint Director (Education) also graced the occasion.

The event was also attended by the other dignitaries including Deputy Director Generals and Additional Director Generals of the Council, former Directors and Deans of the Institute, Project Director (WTC), Head of Divisions and Professors. A large number of Faculty members, Students and staff of the Institute watched the event through virtual mode.

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