Foresight and Future Pathways of Agricultural Research Through Youth in India

2nd March 2013, New Delhi

The country has about 7000 agricultural scientists in India’s public sector National Agricultural Research System (NARS); of which about 27% are below the age of 40 years. Considering the availability of this critical mass for a longer time to meet India’s agricultural R&D needs, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), in association with Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS), organized a national workshop on “Foresight and Future Pathways of Agricultural Research Through Involvement of Youth in India” during 1-2 March, 2013 at NASC Complex, New Delhi. About 300 participants from different ICAR institutes and agricultural universities, including farmer, student and private sector representatives; and senior mentors; attended the workshop. The workshop was organized under the chairmanship of Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary DARE & DG ICAR.

In the inaugural session, Dr Ayyappan made clear the objective of the workshop; mainly to know the long-term vision of the young agricultural professionals about agricultural research in India. Dr RS Paroda, Chairman TAAS, delivering the inaugural address, exhorted the young agricultural professionals to commit themselves to meaningful inter-institutional and interdisciplinary agricultural research; to make it more relevant to the needs of small and marginal farmers. Dr Thomas Lumpkin, Director General CIMMYT, emphasized that linkages with different national and international institutions, and partnership with the private sector, is the order of the day. Dr HS Gupta, Director Indian Agricultural Research Institute, stressed for cutting edge research and relevant novel technologies to address the needs of food and nutritional security. Earlier, Dr S Mauria, ADG (Intellectual Property & Technology Management), presented the welcome address.

The two days’ deliberations by young and senior agricultural professionals covered the wide range of disciplines and components of Indian agriculture viz., natural resource management, crop improvement and protection, horticulture, postharvest technology, livestock and fisheries sector, agriculture engineering and implements, and ICTs and socio-economics; the deliberations thus identified the research requirements across disciplines and regions. A special session on ‘Institutional Perspectives’ was chaired by Dr Gurbachan Singh, Chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board.

The plenary session had Prof RB Singh, President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) as the Chief Guest and Dr Ashok Gulati, Chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) as the Guest of Honour. Dr Ayyappan honored the youngest of the group Haripriya, from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, who was identified as the torch bearer from the group for the year 2050. Haripriya quickly created a poem in Tamil, and translated it in English, therein conveying a touching message for honesty, hard work and hope. Dr Yash Sehrawat, IARI played the pivotal role in organization and successful completion of the event

(Source:smauria [dot] icaratnic [dot] in)