Realising the tremendous potential of biotechnology in increasing agricultural productivity,improving human and animal health and providing safe and clean environment,Punjab Agricultural University has established a School of agricultural biotechnology under the College of Agriculture.
The school will cover rPAU esearch; teaching and extension activities and its goal would be to innovate processes and products through research and development,said Dr SS Gosal,director of the school,adding that the primary emphasis of the school would be the application of agro-biotechnology for providing solutions to the agricultural problems of the state.
For example,use of cell and tissue culture techniques for mass multiplication of high quality,disease-free planting material of field and horticultural crops,molecular methods for breeding new and improved germplasm resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses,particularly soil salinity and drought.
The applied research would be supported by basic research on genomics,proteomics,gene cloning and genetic engineering. Well trained manpower in multi-disciplinary and rapidly advancing area of biotechnology is a pre-requisite for meaningful R&D and commercial production. Since,there will be a huge demand for the trained manpower in specific areas; there is an urgent need to create a talent pool.
Keeping all this in view, this school has developed two new teaching programmes viz. B.Sc. Biotechnology (Hons.) 4-years and M.Sc. Biotechnology that primarily will be based on agricultural biotechnology involving plants,animals and microorganisms with greater emphasis on the development of practical skills and entrepreneurship.
The admissions to both these programmes will be made through PAU entrance examination every year during the months of May/June. Besides,School of Agricultural Biotechnology will also be conducting one-month summer training courses every year on various aspects of plant biotechnology for prospective entrepreneurs,teachers and students from other colleges/ universities/institutes in India. The foundation stone laying ceremony of this school will held on January 16.
Dr Gurdev S Khush,a world renowned Rice Breeder and recipient of World Food Prize,will be the chief guest while Dr Bikram S Gill ,Director of Wheat Genetics Resource Centre,Kansas State University,USA,will be the guest of honour.