The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been adjudged as an ‘Outstanding Institution’ and decorated with the prestigious ‘Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award 2017’ by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon received the award from Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Government of India, at New Delhi yesterday. It is a historic moment for the University as it has been decorated with the coveted award for the second time after 1995, when PAU got the ‘Best Institution Award’. It may be mentioned that the latter has been renamed ‘Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award’ by ICAR.
Congratulating the faculty and staff of PAU, Dr Dhillon applauded their dedication, devotion, and determination that enabled the university to emerge as the best institution of the country. The annual award is based on a five year evaluation of various parameters including academics, research, extension activities, awards and recognition won by faculty and students, overall impact, institutional development programmes and other major accomplishments.
After playing a pivotal role in green revolution, PAU is tirelessly working towards generating technologies for sustainable development of agriculture, enhancement of farm profit and nutritional security. During the last five years, PAU has released 153 varieties of field and horticultural crops, including 39 at the national level. Varieties of short duration paddy, rust resistant wheat, canola gobhi sarson, less seeded kinnow and wilt resistant hybrid chilli are very popular among farmers. BT cotton variety, zincated wheat, molecular marker- bred wheat, canola type Brassica juncea and mechanically harvestable determinate Brassica carinata represent technologies developed for the first time in the country.
PAU has also developed technologies for judicious use of natural resources and applied inputs. Water saving technologies like laser land leveler and early maturing paddy varieties have helped to arrest the rate of water table decline. Farm machines developed by the University, namely Super Straw Management System, Straw Cutter- cum- Spreader and Modified Happy Seeder are proving very helpful to meet the challenge of paddy straw management.
There has been massive decline in the inorganic fertilizer use in recent years due to adoption of integrated nutrient management including bio fertilizers. Integrated Pest Management and spray technologies developed by PAU have led to major reduction in pesticide residues in food commodities and its application for white fly management resulted in record cotton yield along with saving of pesticides during 2016-17.
The University has exceptionally strong linkages with farmers through KVKs, Farmers’ Advisory Service Centres, Skill Development Centre, farmers’ fairs and clubs. Technology dissemination through print, electronic and social media as well as live demonstrations ensure that PAU is well poised for sustaining the gains and meeting new challenges.