Friday, October 19, 2012



The Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon has been conferred with 'Dr Harbhajan Singh Memorial Award' in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the management of Plant Genetic Resources.

The award was recently bestowed upon him by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources (ISPGR) in the memory of Dr Harbhajan Singh, an eminent geneticist and plant breeder. Dr R S Paroda, Chairman of Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences and former Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research presented the award, during the award giving ceremony at National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi.

During his tenure as Director of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Dr Dhillon made key contributions to the Indian plant genetic resources management programme. He led the activities on plant collection, exchange and quarantine with new impetus, resulting in the enhancement of germplasm accessions from 0.196 to 0.303 million during 2005-07, in the national gene bank, which is the third largest gene bank in the world. Under his stewardship, a large number of plant explorations and germplasm collection missions were undertaken. His major contribution was in streamlining germplasm evaluation and characterization, especially, multiplication, molecular and biochemical evaluation of indigenous crops. Dr Dhillon played a vital role in the creation of plant genetic resource databases, especially of the introductions and indigenous collections and the digitization of data, including electronic crop categories. He wa instrumental in developing guidelines for germplasm exchange, keeping in view, the provisions of the emerging national and international legislations and treatises relevant to plant genetic resources.

Dr Dhillon is earlier recipient of several prestigious national awards, such as Om Parkash Bhasin Award for Science and Technology, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Memorial Prize, Recognition by National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, etc. After joining as Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University in July 2011, Dr Dhillon is trying his best to make the University serve the nation with distinction.

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