Foundation stone of School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SABT) laid at PAU
The foundation stone of School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SABT) was laid at Punjab Agricultural University on Friday by Dr Gurdev Singh Khush,Adjunct Professor,University of California,Davis,USA who was the Chief Guest of the event.
In his remarks,Dr. Khush congratulated the University for having established the SABT to give an impetus to biotechnology research and education. He said that PAU enjoys a great reputation within the country and abroad for bringing green revolution and many other technologies for promoting agricultural production but hastened to add that it was not sufficient. New programmes had to take shape as status quo is not sufficient. Citing the examples of golden rice and pharmaceuticals,he said that biotechnology offered realm of enormous possibilities in various areas. The doubts of public about safety and benefits of GM crops needed to be cleared through education and creating awareness through media,said Dr Khush.
He said that trained students could be the future in the new area of biotechnology. He said that the SABT established at PAU would be made world-class with state-of-the-art facilities. He said that he would personally visit PAU every year to monitor its progress.
In his presidential remarks,Dr Manjit Singh Kang,Vice-Chancellor,PAU said that biotechnology held great potential in addressing the farm problems and bringing another green revolution with a focus on sustainable agriculture,addressing natural issues of environment and food and nutritional security. He said that strengthening of biotechnology research is on PAU agenda. He thanked Dr Khush for his philanthropic act of donating to PAU for research,a sum of Rs 3.5 crore,the money he received as cash prize from several international awards.
Dr Bikram Gill,an accomplished wheat scientist called the occasion a historical event. He said that India was participating in the mega project on genomic research adding that PAU would be the first genome centre of wheat in the country. He suggested the formation of international advisory committee for the school.
Avtar Singh Dhindsa,Member,PAU Board of Management,in his remarks said that biotechnology needed to be further strengthened. He thanked Dr Khush for his goodwill gesture in supporting the research through donating a huge sum out of his award money and said PAU would remain indebted to him.
Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh,Dean,College of Agriculture,while introducing about Dr Khush said that he had helped in upgrading PAU faculty by nominating young scientists for research/training abroad.
Dr SK Mann,Dean,Postgraduate Studies,said that SABT was the need of the hour and highlighted that trained manpower in this area would help support the cause of second green revolution. She said that horizontal distribution of knowledge through human resource development was needed.
Dr PS Minhas,Director of Research said that biotechnology had a potential in agriculture as information and technology in corporate world. He said that area under transgenic crops was increasing the world over. He complimented the PAU biotechnology group for generating maximum funding for research and mentioned that biotechnology trained faculty was sought after for foreign collaboration.
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