Monday, January 21, 2013



The Ph.D student (Agronomy) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Pardeep Kumar, has been conferred with the "International Plant Nutrition Scholar Award 2012" for his excellence in academics, co-curricular activities and international relevance of Ph.D research. He was presented the award, carrying a cash prize of US $ 2000 and a Certificate of Excellence, during the programme on "International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Award and Activities for Promotion of Research in Plant Nutrition," organized by the PAU Science Club in the University campus.

The Chief Guest, Dr D.R. Bhumbla, former Commissioner of Agriculture, Government of India; and former Vice-Chancellor, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar; alongwith Dr Adrian Johnston, Vice-President, International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), USA; Dr Kaushik Majumdar, South Asia Programme Director, IPNI; and Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, PAU-cum- President of the Club, presented the award to the PAU student.

Delivering his key talk on the topic "A New Approach to Site-Specific Fertilizer Recommendations: Nutrient Expert Decision Support System," at PAU, Dr Johnston said that the plant nutrient availability of agricultural soils varies spatially. The temporal and spatial management of soil nutrients optimizes soil fertility and leads to improved productivity. Pointing out that the soil testing facility is often inaccessible to the small farmers, he divulged that in India, there are nearly 720 soil testing laboratories and 120,822,000 number of agricultural holdings. Dr Johnston emphasized that the fertilizer application must match the physiological demand such as meeting the crop nutrient demand. He added that the farmers make nutrient management decisions on the basis of resource availability, access to nutrients and market, product price and production orientation. Dr Johnston observed that internet and mobile phones are the two complementary options for acquiring needed agriculture information and transmitting recommendations to the farmers.

In his remarks, Dr Bhumbla emphasized on judicious use of fertilizers and other agro-chemicals. He shared his experiences with the participants and lauded the achievement of the PAU student.

Dr Gursharan Singh said that in the era of globalization, mobility of students is essential. Education is the backbone of the growth and development of the society, he remarked, while highlighting the international collaborations of the PAU. He congratulated Pardeep Kumar for bringing laurels to the PAU.

Dr Allah Rang, Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics and Member of the Club, gave a brief introduction of the dignitaries and the activities of the Club. Earlier, Dr (Mrs) Varinder Randhawa, Executive Member of the Club, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. The senior officials, heads of various departments, members of the faculty and students of the PAU also attended the programme.

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