Renowned rice breeder and recipient of World Food Prize Dr Gurdev Singh Khush was the chief guest at the convocation ceremony of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) held on Saturday. A total of 254 degrees including 52 PhD,160 MSc,9 MTech,20 MBA and 13 MBA Agri-business degrees were awarded to the students.
The Dr Avtar Singh Atwal Gold medal for 2005-06 and 2006-07 was awarded to Puneet K Randhawa and Harpreet Kaur,respectively. The Kartar Singh Kahlon Gold medal was presented to Ashwinder Kaur and Navreet Kaur while the Lala Sri Ram Ji medal was awarded to Kajal Gupta for the year 2007-08. The Sardar Bahadar Lal Singh medal for 2007-08 was awarded to Ajay Kumar Bankey while the Dr Gurbaksh Singh medal for 2007-08 was awarded to Maninder Kaur Walia.
The Dr K Kirpal Singh medal for 2006-07 was given to Reikha Chawla,the Bhai Bal Mukand medal for 2006-07 and 2007-08 was awarded to Rima Sekhri and Sukhjit Kaur and the Sardar Iqbal Singh Dhillon medal for 2007-08 went to Sudanshu Kulshreshtha.
The Dr Sardar Singh medal was won by Navreet Kaur Gatoria for 2006-07 while the Dr N S Randhawa medal for 2006-07 and 2007-08 went to Payel Mukherjee and Nirmai Senapati respectively.
The Dr B R Sharma medal for 2006-07 and 2007-08 was given to Hira Singh and Rupali Passi respectively while the Dr G S Sidhu medal for 2007-08 was awarded to Harpreet Kaur Oberoi.
The Puran Anand Adlakha medal for 2006-07 and 2007-08 went to Jeenie and Madhu Dhingra and the Dr M S Randhawa medal for 2007 was awarded to Rajwinder Kaur. Vyoma Aggarwal and Harmandeep Kaur were awarded the Dr P N Thapar gold medal for being the Best All-round Graduate for the year 2006 and 2007,respectively.
For excellence in academics,58 students of MSc,MTech and MBA were also awarded merit certificates.
The university also honoured nine faculty members for their outstanding contribution in the field of teaching,research and extension. Dr Prit Pal Singh Lubana got the meritorious teacher award for 2007-08 while Dr Ramesh Kumar was felicitated with the Shri Hans Raj Pahwa award for 2005.
Dr P S Aulakh and Dr D S Khurana were awarded with the Smt Harpal Kaur memorial award for 2007 and 2008,respectively. The award of plaque for 2007-08 was given to Dr Jeet Singh Sandhu (research) and Dr Satish Kumar Narula (extension). Dr Satwant Kaur memorial Best Extension Worker award for 2006 and 2007 was given to Dr Jagdev Singh Brar and Dr Didar Singh Bhatti,respectively.
In his convocation report,PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang gave an overview of the university activities. He identified biotechnology,genetic engineering and nanotechnology as the thrust areas in which research will be intensified to evolve cutting-edge technologies for increasing crop productivity. A renowned wheat scientist from USA,Dr Bikram Gill,Nobel Peace Prize laureate,Dr Jagtar Bhatti and the Chief Executive Officer of National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Dr J S Samra were the guests of honour on the occasion. Members of PAU Board of Management including Avtar Singh Dhindsa,Jang Bahadur Singh Sangha and Hardial Singh Gajnipur also attended the convocation.