Monday, March 21, 2011



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today signed international agreement with Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, USA, to facilitate sending in-service faculty of PAU to WSU for completing their Ph.D in various disciplines of agricultural sciences. Based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between these two prominent universities in July, 2010, the agreement aims at facilitating and enhancing the academic and research cooperation between PAU and WSU. The agreement was signed by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice Chancellor, PAU and Dr Warwick Bayly, Executive Vice-President of WSU and Provost. The visiting delegation from WSU comprised of Dr Prema Arasu, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice President of International programs, Dr Kulvinder Gill, Professor and the Vogel Endowed Chair in Wheat Breeding and Genetics, Dr Shoulin Chen, Professor, Bio-processing and Bio-product Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biological System Engineering, Dr David Sprott, Associate Dean, Grad Progs BusMarketing and Dr Maheash Bule, Post doc with Dr Chen.

Speaking on this occasion, Dr Kang said that the agreement provides a great opportunity to expand collaboration with the foreign scientists in other areas. Dr Kang acquainting the delegation with the research, extension and transfer of technology programs of PAU, said that inking of this agreement is like repeating the history since such an agreement was also signed about half a century ago with Ohio State University (OSU) and some other universities in USA which helped more than 40 faculty members of PAU to obtain their doctorate from USA. Upon their return, they applied the acquired knowledge in pursuing issue-based research which culminated into the green revolution transforming the food-deficit India into food-sufficient nation. Referring to Dr Norman Borlaug, Dr Kang stated that the father of Green Revolution played a significant role in wiping out food deficiency and India was the beneficiary of the Green Revolution in which PAU made immense contribution by pooling to the nation's food buffer, thereby making the country food-surplus. As there is need for the second green revolution, the signed agreement will provide a good prospect to bring about positive results in the field of agriculture, added he. He appreciated Dr Gill, the main architect of this agreement and WSU for waiving the entire fee of the PhD students from PAU. A book entitled 'Water and Agricultural Sustainability Strategies' edited by Dr Kang was presented to the delegation. The delegation members were presented with mementoes, shawls and dockets of information about PAU.

Dr Bayly, lauding the contribution of the university in ushering in green revolution, called PAU as one of the productive universities of the country. The need of the hour is to address the future problems of agriculture. Elaborating, he said that the objective of WSU is the exchange programme between the two varsities in terms of students and faculty. Under the signed agreement, Dr Bayly added that WSU academic units that enroll PAU Ph.D students shall cover their research expenses and will provide laboratory and office space, computer access and basic research support dependent on the field of study. Besides providing personnel, equipment and materials, a student in the first year of their Ph.D program has the option to rotate labs.

Earlier, Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Post Graduate Studies, PAU, welcoming the delegation, said that with signing of this MoU, the university has succeeded in breaking the inbreeding barrier and now the scientists of PAU will return to its alma mater to serve it with updated skills and expertise acquired during their training abroad. As more than 50 MoUs have been signed during four years tenure of this Vice-Chancellor, Dr Singh added that the present agreement will also help the country to usher in to yet another green revolution to ensure food security to its ever bulging population. He informed that the agreement will take effect from the date it is signed by the representatives of the two institutions and shall remain valid fro five years. After the initial five years, the agreement may be renewed after review and agreement by both the parties.

Dr S.S.Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, proposing the vote of thanks, said that the scientific collaboration will be fruitful in the conduct of meaningful research. Highlighting that recently PAU has bagged 'Best Farm Varsity 2011' award, he added that the MoU will be beneficial to the students in their agricultural research and academic activities.

Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additonal Director of Communication, PAU, conducting the proceedings of the programme, welcomed the WSU delegates, PAU registrar, deans, directors, coordinators of research, heads and faculty of various departments of the university.

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