10th May, 2019, New Delhi
Padma Shri, Prof. B.S. Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana delivered 3rd Dr. A.B. Joshi Memorial Lecture on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Nutritional Security - 2019 at ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Pusa Campus, New Delhi today. Lecture was organized by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources.
Prof. Dhillon stated that the Plant Genetic Resources are the Plant genetic materials which are of value for the present and the future generations of human being (IPGRI, 1993). He said that about 3,00,000 flowering plant species have been documented till date out of this 3% are edible. He also stated that 30 species provide around 90% of the calories to the human beings.
Prof. Dhillon stated that the among the 12 mega-diversity centres, India has attained the position of the 10th Mega-diversity country in the world. With this, the country has the second largest Gene Bank after the USAD. He opined that besides all the achievements in the different fields of plat genetic resources, maintaining the nutritional security in the country is must.
Highlighting the major achievements made in Punjab, Prof. Dhillon mentioned that Punjab Jhaar Karela-1, the first variety of Momordica balsamina (locally known as Jhaar/Varh Karela) has been released in the Year - 2017 in the world. The variety is resistant to root knot nematode disease and can be used as the root stock for the Bitter Gourd.
Prof. Dhillon highlighted on the remarkable instances of commercial deployment of the genes from the distant germplasm that are available in several crops. He said that a single accession of wild rice Oryza nivara, which is identified after screening of more than 6,000 genebank accessions, has provided the protection against the grassy stunt virus disease in almost all the tropical rice varieties in Asia for the last half a century.
Earlier, in his inaugural address, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR) accounted the major achievements made by Dr. Joshi in the designated field. The Director General offered his gratitude for Dr. Joshi to provide his excellence in the field and helping the future researchers and scientists by providing his excellent researches. Dr. Mohapatra also stated that the global agenda is already set to make more laurels in the field of plant genetic resources and accolade the country to be the best in the world.
Dr. R.S. Paroda, Former Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR) stated that the country is much ahead in terms of various technologies related to agricultural fields. Although, the country has rich genetic resources; but giving an immediate attention towards the increasing problems of climate change is the need of the hour.
The Lecture was followed by the ISPGR Awards Function - 2019. During the function, Dr. Rishi Kumar Tyagi was conferred with 11th Dr. H.B. Singh Memorial Award (2017-2018); Dr. Elangovan Maruthamuthu was honored with 2nd Dr. B.R. Barwale Award for Application /Excellence in PGR (2018); Dr. Amit Kumar Singh was bestowed with 9th Dr. R.S. Paroda Young Scientist Award (2018) for the significant contributions in the field of Plant genetic Resources; Dr. Sukhjeet Kaur, Dr. S.S. Kang, Dr. Abhishek Sharma, Dr. Salesh Kumar Jindal and Dr. M.S. Dhaliwal were conferred with Dr. R.K. Arora Best Paper Award (2018); Mr. Laxmisha K.M. was bestowed with Dr. K.L. Mehra Memorial Award (2019) and Dr. B.C. Patra got elected as the Fellow (2018) for his contributions in the field of Plant Genetic Resources.
(Source: Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, New Delhi)