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Warming to hit wheat production in Punjab
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
For each degree rise in the temperature in the region, Punjab will lose 750 kg per hectare of wheat. This startling revelation emerged at the 13th Punjab Science Congress organised by Panjab University in collaboration with the Punjab Academy of Sciences to thrash out issues related to climate change.

Governor of Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra inaugurated the congress on ‘Climate change: Concerns and solutions’ at the university auditorium here today.

Talking to The Tribune, Prof PC Kesavan, fellow of the MS Swaminathan Foundation, Chennai, revealed that the environmental degradation in Haryana and Punjab was a major cause of worry not only for the farmers, but also for the entire region.

“Punjab farmers had changed the face of the Indian agriculture in the past, but the environmental degradation is a cause of worry for the state. Wheat is very sensitive to the temperature, even more than rice and even half a degree rise can bring down the output,” said Kesavan.

An alumnus of the university, Vohra struck a note of caution in his inaugural address, while taking cognisance of the theme of the congress, he called upon a gathering to hit the ‘pause and think’ button for a greener and healthier tomorrow.

“This science congress must come up with recommendations specific to Punjab, Haryana and the neighbouring states, so that results can be shown at a local level first to find out a solution at the national and global levels,” said Vohra.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Academy of Sciences conferred ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ upon Prof RP Bambah, former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University and a mathematician of international repute, on the occasion. Besides, the ‘Man for Science and Technology Award’ was conferred upon VM Trehan, chairperson of the Mekaster Group.

Honorary fellowships were awarded to Guru Nanak Dev University Vice-Chancellor Prof AS Brar, for his contribution to the field of chemical sciences. Prof Deepak Pental, Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University, and Prof HR Pajni, a renowned zoologist, were conferred the biosciences fellowship. Prof IP Singh was also honoured with the academy fellowship in his field.

Prof Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, was felicitated for his contribution to the development and promotion of science. The fellowship in the field of medical sciences was conferred upon Dr NS Dhalla for his expertise in experimental cardiology. Prof Roshan Lal Aggarwal was honoured for his contribution to the field of physical sciences. The Bhagwan Das Memorial Oration Award was conferred upon Dr Vimal Sikri, President, Punjab Dental Council and Principal, Government Dental College, Amritsar. 



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