Punjab Agricultural University pesticide residue analysis laboratory recognised at national level

Ludhiana , 8 July, 2010

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has a state of the art laboratory in the Department of Entomology having all sophisticated equipment and modern instruments required for pesticide analysis and toxicological studies.  The laboratory has modern instruments such as GLC, GC-MS, HPLC, HPTLC, LCMS/MS apart from other equipments used in pesticide residue analysis. The laboratory has been approved for accreditation by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL), Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi. With this recognition, the laboratory’s status has further enhanced

The laboratory has the distinction of being associated with various research projects funded by International and National agencies like UNDP, FAO, WHO, ICAR, ICMR, DGHS and State Govt.  Recently, the Punjab Govt. granted a sum of Rs. 5.0 crores to the laboratory to establish as a “Centre of Excellence in Pesticide Residue Analysis”. 

According to Dr. T.P. Rajendran, Assistant Director General (PP), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the final NABL assessment of PAU was conducted by NABL during 3-4 July and that the NABL audit team has recommended the lab for its accreditation. He said that the NABL will send the accreditation certificate to the laboratory shortly.  He has congratulated Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice Chancellor PAU, for this recognition.
Dr. Kang expressed that the Pesticide Residue Lab has been a land mark facility at PAU that is now recognized as the "Referral Lab" for agrochemical residue analyses at the national level.  He congratulated the scientists involved in the laboratory for this achievement and highlighted that the lab would be further strengthened. 

Giving details, the laboratory Incharge, Dr. Balwinder Singh stated that the mandate of the laboratory is to study pesticide residues in food, feed and environmental samples, metabolism of pesticides in plants, insects and soil and mechanism of insecticide resistance to insecticides. The laboratory is acting as a leader in standardization of analytical methodology for newer pesticides; he said adding that it provides analysis facilities to faculty members who are to present their research proposals for approval from the Research Evaluation Committee (REC) of PAU for recommendation to the farming community.

The Head, Department of Entomology, Dr. A.K.Dhawan elaborated that at present two mega research projects are in operation in this laboratory. Of these, a project, ‘All India Network Project on Pesticide Residues’ funded by ICAR is in operation since 1984. Under this project, supervised field trials are carried out to study the persistence of pesticides on different crops. Based on the data obtained, waiting periods are worked out for the safety of consumers. The data of these trials are also useful for the national regulatory authorities to take appropriate decisions regarding safe use of pesticides in the country, said Dr. Dhawan.

The second project, ‘Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level’ is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperate, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India. The main aim of the project is to assess the frequency and magnitude of pesticide residues in food commodities being sold in the market. The major objective of the project is to determine the source of contamination of the commodity with harmful pesticides in case the residue in higher magnitude is encountered.  This helps to initiate efforts to minimize this source of contamination. The laboratory is acting as a core laboratory under this project, said Dr. Dhawan.  Dr. K. K. Sharma, Network Coordinator, All India Network Project on Pesticide Residues said that the laboratory is playing a useful role at the national level.

(Source : PAU, Ludhiana)