9 Feb 2024

President Droupadi Murmu Graces 62nd Convocation of Indian Agricultural Research Institute at PUSA, New Delhi

The President Droupadi Murmu graced and addressed the 62nd Convocation of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at PUSA, New Delhi on Friday. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Arjun Munda was the Guest of Honour. Secretary DARE and Director General, ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director, ICAR-IARI, Dr. A. K. Singh and Dean & Joint Director (Education) Dr. Anupama Singh were also present on the occasion.

In her address, the President extended her congratulations to all postgraduate and doctoral degree recipients and acknowledged the faculty's excellence in research and academics. She applauded IARI's role in propelling India's agricultural prowess on the global stage through technological advancements, pioneering achievements in crop production, and development of highly skilled human resources for addressing emerging agricultural challenges. 

Murmu highlighted Indian Agricultural Research Institute's crucial role in significantly boosting agricultural export earnings while ensuring sustainable food security, nutrition, and livelihoods for the Indian populace. Furthermore, the institute is actively striving to achieve India's goal of self-reliance in oil seeds and pulses.

Droupadi Murmu said that it is heartening to learn of the institute's steadfast commitment to support the grassroots-level farmer through various extension programs such as Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, voluntary initiatives, and Pusa Samachar, coupled with direct technical assistance provided by the institute's scientists in farmers' fields. She said that “I am immensely pleased to note the institute's dedicated efforts toward evolving into a global university alongside its research endeavors.”

During the convocation ceremony, the President presented IARI merit medals to 6 M.Sc. students and 6 Ph.D. students. She also conferred the prestigious IARI Best Student Award 2023, NABARD-Professor VL Chopra Gold Medal-2023. Dr. H.K. Jain Memorial Young Scientist awards for the year 2023. A total of 543 students, hailing from India and various other countries, who pursued studies at IARI under international programs, were conferred with Post Graduate Studies during the convocation.

The different varieties of crops were also released. During the last year the institute had developed and released a total of 30 high yielding varieties consisting of 25 cultivars of field crops, and 5 of vegetable and fruit crops.

Dr. A. K. Singh, Director of IARI, provided comprehensive insights into the institute's advancements in wheat and Basmati rice varieties. Currently, IARI's wheat varieties cover approximately 9 million hectares, contributing about 40 million tons of wheat to the nation's granary. He has also highlighted that:

  • In 2023 alone, IARI introduced five new bread wheat varieties tailored for different wheat zones across India. 

  • Improved Basmati rice varieties, including Pusa Basmati 1847, Pusa Basmati 1885, and Pusa Basmati 1886, possessing inherent resistance to bacterial blight and blast diseases, are expected to further bolster export revenues while minimizing agrochemical usage.

  • As part of the 'International Year of Millets' 2023, IARI introduced a biofortified pearl millet hybrid, Pusa 1801, enriched with iron and zinc, aimed at addressing nutritional deficiencies nationwide.
  • A video-based extension model called "PusaSamachar" has been devised to provide agro-advisories to remote farmers.

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), renowned for its pivotal role in spearheading the Green Revolution, remains dedicated to driving advancements in agricultural production and productivity through its robust research, education, and extension programs.

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