The 56th Convocation of IARI (Pusa Institute) took place on 9th February, 2018. The Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji was the Chief Guest of the function. The whole week, starting from 5th February, hosted a series of academic activities including the presentation of students’ research achievements and other award lectures, culminate in the Convocation scheduled to be held on 9th February, 2018. The major glimpses of the occasion include distribution of merit medals, prestigious national awards, distribution of degrees to outgoing students, release of the Institute publications and newly developed varieties in addition to report of the PG school as well as institute report.
IARI as a Deemed University, since 1958, is the leader of higher education and forerunner of the agricultural universities in India. M.Sc., M.Tech. and Ph.D. degree programmes are organized in 26 agricultural and allied disciplines. The Post Graduate School of this Institute has awarded degrees to 8626 students (3892 M.Sc., 40 M.Tech. and 4694 Ph.D.) upto 2017, which include 379 international students from 38 foreign countries. This year about 250 students including foreign students will be awarded degrees. IARI also awards merit medals and best student of the year award apart from five prestigious awards namely, Shri Hari Krishna Shastri Memorial award, Rao Bahadur Dr. B. Viswanath Memorial award, Dr. B. P. Pal Memorial award, Hooker award and Best Teacher award. On this occasion 13 newly developed varieties of the crops, vegetables, fruits and flowers will be released.
Significant Achievements during 2017-18
IARI’s wonder wheat variety, HD 2967 has occupied nearly 10 million ha area during the current rabi season, which is likely to contribute nearly 50 million tons of wheat to the nation’s granary.
During 2017-18, a total of 13 varieties of different crops including three of wheat (HW 5207, HI 1612, HI 8777), one of rice (Pusa Basmati 1718), four of maize (Pusa Vivek QPM-9 Improved, Pusa HM 4 Improved, Pusa HM 8 Improved and Pusa HM 9 Improved), and one each of pearl millet (Pusa Hybrid 1201), chickpea (BGD 111-1), pigeonpea (Pusa Arhar 16), mung bean (Pusa 1431) and lentil (L4727), were released or identified.
IARI has developed a blast resistant paddy variety Pusa Basmati 1637, pro-vitamin-A rich maize hybrid namely ‘Pusa Vivek QPM-9 Improved’, and zinc and iron rich pearl millet lines. Also, chickpea lines with improved drought tolerance were identified.
New varieties of vegetables, flowers and fruits
A total of 14 vegetable varieties (onion-Pusa Riddhi, bunching onion-Pusa Soumya, broad bean-Pusa Udit, summer squash- Pusa Pasand, cucumber-Pusa Barkha, ridge gourd-Pusa Nutan, cauliflower- Pusa Snowball Hybrid-1, Pusa Kartiki, carrot-Pusa Rudhira &Pusa Asita, radish-Pusa Shweta, Pusa Jamuni & Pusa Gulabi, bitter gourd-Pusa Rasdar & Pusa Purvi) and carrot hybrid – Pusa Vasuda were notified and two new hybrids, viz., bitter gourd - Pusa Hybrid 4 and sponge gourd Pusa Shrestha and five new varieties viz., okra - Pusa Bhindi-5, bathua - Pusa Green, garden pea - Pusa Prabal, brinjal - Pusa Safed Baingan-1 and Pusa Hara Baingan-1 were released during the year.
One rose variety (Pusa Mahak), one gladiolus variety (Pusa Sinduri), two chrysanthemum varieties (Pusa Guldasta and Pusa Shwet) and two marigold varieties (Pusa Bahar and Pusa Deep) were released during 2017. The grape variety, Pusa Aditi has been released for commercial cultivation in NCR region.
Pest and disease management
Farmer’s friendly on-the-spot-diagnostic kits, eco-friendly pest & disease management technologies exploiting naturally available microbial antagonists, and climate model based agro-pest & disease-advisory services have been developed and popularized among the farming communities.
Recently, the Institute has published whole genome sequences of nationally important plant pathogen like Magnaporthe oryzae, Puccinia striiformis, Tilletia indica, Fusarium fujikuroi, Ralstonia solanacearum, and Meloidogyne graminicola as well as several plant viruses.
Natural Resource Management
For attaining the Govt’s target of ensuring soil health cards to farmers, IARI’s soil testing tool, Pusa Soil Test and Fertilizer Recommendation (STFR) Meter, has made a useful contribution. It has been improved further to analyze fourteen soil parameters.
The Integrated Farming System (IFS) model of IARI developed for small and marginal farmers which generated net returns of Rs. 3,40,787 with the generation of employment of 675 man-days.
Real time monitoring of rice residue burning in Punjab and Haryana is being done using satellite data and advisories are given to the farmers. Microbial consortium for rapid degradation of agri-residue and composting as in–stiu and ex-situ models are being validated. Ergonomic protocols and gadgets for reduced occupational health hazards and drudgery have been developed. 104 Weather-based Agro-advisory bulletins were prepared in Hindi and English and 53,051 SMS regarding agromet advisory were sent through the m-Kisan portal.
IARI secured 10 patents granted, while 26 varieties have been registered under PPVFRA. A dedicated website ‘IP Spectra’ has been launched to cater the IP awareness, sensitization and education of agripreneurs, professionals and academia. The institute has been awarded by National IP Award under the category of ‘Top R&D Institution/ Organization for Patents and Commercialization’ by Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
Wheat varieties HD 2967 and HD 3086 were licensed to 41 and 202 licensees, respectively; which led to dissemination of these varieties in 32.5 % wheat growing area of western UP, 82 % area of Haryana and 95 % area of Punjab, and served around 35lakhs of operational holdings.
‘Pusa Krishi’ mobile application has been upgraded now to bilingual mode by making the technologies ready for commercialization available in Hindi too. The new interactive website of ZTM&BPD Unit has also been launched during the year.
IARI Post Office Linkage Extension model has been upscaled with KVKs through identified Branch Post masters (BPMs) and quality seeds of improved varieties were disseminated in 46 districts of 12 states.
To promote the direct interface of scientists with the farmers to hasten the lab to land process, Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav is being implemented by IARI in 120 cluster comprising of 600 villages in NCR. Three-day Krishi Unnati Mela 2017 was organised during March 15-17, 2017 jointly by ICAR and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
Mail to me:sangeeta@krishijagran