02 April 2021, Punjab: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has appointed Dr GS Mangat, a renowned rice breeder and Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics as Additional Director of Research (Crop Improvement) – cum – Director, Dr Gurdev Singh Khush Institute of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology. He has more than 25 years of experience in rice breeding and played a vital role in the development/release of 29 varieties of rice. Short duration, low biomass cultivars developed by his team are being cultivated on 70 percent of the non-basmati area in the Punjab state and are also popular in the adjoining states. These have contributed significantly to saving of groundwater and facilitating paddy straw management, besides having better milling quality and durable resistance via gene pyramiding. As a result, Punjab and Haryana have set new records in rice production and productivity. Dr Mangat has successfully completed 10 adhoc projects and presently handling four multi institutional projects, and guided four postgraduate students. He has published 44 research papers in the journals of international and national repute and 38 popular articles. Besides, he has attended six international and 36 national conferences/seminars/workshops. He has also visited USA, Australia, Philippines, China, Indonesia and Thailand. He is a recipient of Jawaharlal Nehru Award for doctoral research and ICAR Team Award for the development of rice variety ‘Basmati 386’.
Under his Headship, 49 varieties of different field crops were released, 10 new scientists were recruited and 30 students got admitted with fellowships in foreign universities. The intake into M.Sc. and Ph.D programmes was enhanced. He motivated the faculty to raise the level of publications. The linkage with other departments especially School of Agricultural Biotechnology was strengthened.
Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, while congratulating Dr Mangat, exhorted him to continue serving the farming community with dedication and wished him all success in his future endeavours.