THE ACADEMIC council of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has cleared 20 names of prominent personalities, including scientists, alumni and former vice-chancellors (V-Cs)of the varsity, after whom buildings and research stations will be named.
The name of renowned Punjabi poet and writer Amrita Pritam also features in the list. The athletic track of the university will now be ‘Mrs Lata Mahajan Chinnan Pavilion’- named after an alumna of PAU. She was part of the Indian women’s team that represented India at the Women’s Hockey World Cup in 1974 in France.
The regional research station of PAU at Ballowal Saunkhri (Nawanshahr) in Kandi belt – has been named after Dr Dev Raj Bhumbla, who was born in Hoshiarpur and went on to become V-C of Haryana Agricultural University (Hisar) and was the first director of Central Soil Salinity Institute (Karnal) with his expertise in dryland farming and water management. The laboratories at bee/entomology research farm will be called ‘Dr AS Atwal Laboratories’- after the eminent entomologist who played a crucial role in introducing honeybee farming to farmers in Punjab.
The department of economics and sociology building will be ‘Dr SS Johl centre’- named after acclaimed agricultural economist Dr Sardara Singh Johl. Known for his extensive research work in muskmelons and tomatoes, Dr K S Nandpuri was also included in the list and the laboratories as the building of fruit and vegetable science will be named ‘Dr KS Nandpuri Laboratories’.
PAU registrar Dr R S Sidhu said, “We have tried to recognise the efforts and hard work of these eminent personalities through this decision. All names selected have brought glory for PAU in one way or the other. The name of Amrita Pritam has been included on the suggestion of former CEC and Rajya Sabha member Dr Manohar Singh Gill. We have used ‘Dr’ as because she received honorary degrees from several institutions.”
The hybrid variety of muskmelon developed by Dr KS Nandpuri is popular among farmers even today whereas Dr AS Atwal is credited for introducing Italian bees in Punjab.
The new girls’ hostel in the College of Home Sciences Complex will now be ‘Dr Amrita Pritam Girls Hostel’.
Other former PAU VCs on the list include: Dr AS Khehra (Open air theatre), Dr KS Aulakh (new examination centre), Dr MS Kang (new boys hostel) and Dr Khem Singh Gill (Farmers Service Centre).
Other scientists on the list are: Dr SS Goraya (biological science wing), Dr HS Garcha (mushroom labs), Dr SS Parihar (soil lecture complex), Dr Lal Singh (labs in cotton block PG building), Dr JC Bakshi (Regional research station Abohar), Dr DS Dev (old exam hall, College of Agriculture), Dr SR Verma (research hall, College of Agricultural Engineering), Dr SD Khepar (soil and water research farm labs), Dr KD Manan (labs at solar energy complex) and Dr Sukhwant Kaur Mann (new girls hostel opposite Kairon Kisan Ghar). Mann is known for her contribution to PAU’s home sciences department.
Recently, PAU also named its new auditorium after former Prime Minister and economist Dr Manmohan Singh. The varsity already has buildings dedicated to Dr PN Thapar (founding Vice-Chancellor) and other internationally renowned scientists- Dr DS Athwal, Dr Gurdev Khush, Dr GS Kalkat and Dr MS Randhawa (central library).