PAU VC focuses on strengthening research, agriculture diversification

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 11

In an online interaction Dr BS Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, today shared his experiences in shaping the university’s research, extension, teaching and administration, with heads of other institutes in the country. Dr Dhillon, in the talk titled “Initiatives in research, teaching, extension and administration: The struggle and ground covered since 2011” described hard work coupled with team work and appreciation of new ideas as the foundation stone for organisational success. “Reprioritisation and keeping pace with emerging challenges by creating new programmes such as food industry business incubation centers at Ludhiana and Bathinda, technology centre, school of climate change, organic farming, focus on diversification, fruit and potato breeding etc have always been of critical importance in today’s challenging agricultural scenario,” he remarked.

He also stressed on the usefulness of strengthening research in priority areas and shifting research teams to appropriate ecologies, exemplifying through cotton teams in Bathinda, sugarcane in Kapurthala and citrus fruits in Abohar.

Dr Dhillon shared the importance of creating four posts of Additional Director of Research (ADR) for planning and monitoring research across colleges/disciplines.

He further dwelt on how his focus on exploring, identifying and exploiting resources led to obtaining of Bt genetic stock from Delhi University for the development of Bt cotton varieties besides hybrids, Genetic stock carrying Tma12 gene from Tectaria macrodonta, Maize haploid inducer from CIMMYT, Mexico etc. While discussing the need for strengthening inter- institutional linkages, Dr Dhillon explained how strong coordination between PAU and agriculture department led to successful management of white fly and a bumper cotton yield.

On the teaching front, he emphasised on the importance of exchange programmes for students as well as teachers. Dr Dhillon added that thrust was given to the booming ICT tools. We have started the digital weekly newspaper – Kheti Sandesh reaching about 9.5 lakh farmers, introduction of the online farmers’ portal, mobile-based apps to connect farmers and PAU seed sale centres, WhatsApp groups and introduction of 10 mobile vans equipped with audio-visual aids.”

Live Facebook session for farmers

To strengthen its extension activities amid the ongoing pandemic, Punjab Agricultural University’s weekly live Facebook session for farmers has generated huge enthusiasm among the agricultural community in Punjab and neighbouring states.

The live session, telecasted online every Wednesday, marks an interactive session between farmers and agricultural experts. This week’s session, which was attended by over 8,000 farmers, was marked by farmers’ queries on sowing of direct seeded rice. Dr Makhan Singh Bhullar, senior scientist, PAU, answered farmers’ queries on pest control in paddy and urged them to check weather advisory before starting direct seeding of rice.

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