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LED Grow lights, Laser Land Levelling, NDVI Sensor, Micro-Irrigation etc. can Revolutionize Agriculture: Scientists at International UHF Nauni Conference  

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UHF Nauni International Conference 2019

Solan-The focus on the development and adoption of emerging agricultural technology will go a long way in the success of agricultural activities in the country and contribute towards increasing farmers income. With these recommendations, the 2nd International Conference on ‘Recent Advances in Agricultural, Environmental and Applied Sciences for Global Development’ concluded on Sunday at Nauni.

The conference was organized by the Agro-Environmental Development Society (AEDS) in association with Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, Cairo University’s Plant Pathology Research Institute and Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Speaking at the valedictory session of the conference, Dr HR Gautam, co-chairman of the local committee said that interactions in this international conference helped to exchange innovative ideas among the participants. As more than 60 per cent of participants were young researchers, this conference will have great bearings in future research programmes of different research institutes of the country.

Eminent and young scientists from different State Agriculture Universities and ICAR institutes took part in the event and presented their research. Several topics under the major themes like recent advances in agriculture and allied fields, natural resource management and sustainable hill farming for livelihood security, emerging issues in environmental management, recent advances in biological and allied sciences, and recent trends in pharmaceutical and applied sciences for sustainable development were covered during the conference.

2nd International Conference on ‘Recent Advances in Agricultural, Environmental and Applied Sciences for Global Development

In his presentation, Dr DB Parekh, Former Principal Scientist, ICAR NBPGR, New Delhi shed light on the vast scope of LED grow lights, which he said can usher in a new revolution in plant sciences in the country. This food production technology consumes 40 per cent less power, 80 per cent less food wastage, 99 per cent less water usage than outdoor fields and leads to the reduction of carbon footprint. This technology, with a negligible infestation of diseases and pests, does not require any chemical pesticides and thereby helps to produce healthy foodstuff. As more and more people are shifting to urban areas and the cultivable land is shrinking, this technology through its implementation in vertical farming will reduce the pressure on land.

Dr RK Sharma, eminent scientist and Head, Resource Management programme, ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal gave a comprehensive account of emerging crop cultivation technologies for doubling farmers’ income. He said for achieving sustainable higher productivity as well as profitability, efforts must be focused on reversing the trend in natural resource degradation by adopting efficient resource conservation and input management technologies. Laser land levelling, use of NDVI sensor for need-based nitrogen application saves 15-20% nitrogen without any reduction in productivity of wheat as well as rice crops. Leaving crop residues at soil surface i.e. conservation agriculture can help save one irrigation which would be more than 15% water saving. The micro-irrigation practices (sprinkler and drip) can save more than 25-30% water compared to conventional flood irrigation practice.

Dr Rinku Sharma, Senior Scientist IVRI Regional Station Palampur, highlighted the increasing problem of Enzootic bovine haematuria (EBH), a disease in cattle, caused due to chronic ingestion of ferns. The disease is prevalent in some pockets of districts Kullu, Chamba, Mandi and Shimla at an altitude of 1800 meters above mean sea level. She shared that, experimental studies have shown that Dryopteris nigropalaceae fern, produced pre-neoplastic lesions on long-term feeding in animals in high hills. Dr Sharma suggested that farmers in EBH-endemic areas should not use ferns as a fodder or bedding material for the livestock and try not to send empty-stomach cattle for grazing.

Dr Rajinder Chaudhary, a research scholar from NDRI Karnal shared his engaging research on the development of an encapsulates of Omega 3, which has been derived from vegetarian sources. Because of the modern lifestyle, the lack of Omega 3 in foodstuff causes rheumatic arthritis, psoriasis, cardiovascular diseases. The encapsulate can be directly added to other foodstuffs.

The three-day event saw over 500 participants from 15 states of India and five countries take part. Dr JN Sharma, Director Research, Dr SK Sharma, Dr Anil Handa and other scientists of the university were also present on the occasion.

 

 

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Nauni Varsity COH&F to Prepare ‘Peoples Biodiversity Registers’

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HP Peoples diversity registers

Hamirpur-The College of Horticulture & Forestry (COH&F), Neri, Hamirpur, a constituent College of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is preparing Peoples Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) of Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur and Chamba districts and 15 blocks. The project has been funded by the HP State Biodiversity Board, Shimla for which the university has been sanctioned a budget of Rs 27.50 lakh, informed the Public Relation Officer of the varsity Suchet Attri.

He informed that these PBRs contain comprehensive information on biodiversity components such as plants, animals, microbes, insects and their possible use by the local communities in the BMC areas. Further, PBRs also include information on topographic and socio-economic parameters including human population, climate, topography, natural ecosystems, livestock resources, livelihood patterns, etc.

He said that in addition, these 32 types of formats including agricultural, fodder crops, fruits, medicinal, ornamental, timber plants, weeds, pests and insects of crops, microbial diversity, domesticated animals, fish diversity, the market for domesticated animals, market/fairs for domesticated animals, and other products, people-scape, landscape, waterscape, soil type, trees, shrubs, herbs, tubers, grasses, climbers, wild plant species of importance, wild plants of medicinal importance, wild relatives of crops, wild ornamental plants, wild fumigate/chewing plants, timber plants, other plants in the wild, wild animal species, wild aquatic biodiversity and wild aquatic species of importance are covered under the PBR.  

UHF Vice-Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal said,

 “Once these PBRs are prepared, the University, the Biodiversity Board and the concerned BMCs will have all information about the biological resources, their sustainable use, threatened species, etc. found in different blocks of these districts. This information will be helpful for any type of future planning and research on conservation and sustainable harnessing and judicious use of biological resources found in these districts”.  

Attri informed further informed that these PBRs are being prepared as per the Biological Diversity Act 2002, and in accordance with the standardized formats of the National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai. Dr Dushyant Sharma, Assistant Professor, COH&F Neri has been designated by the University as a Nodal Officer for the preparation of these PBRs. Dr Sanjeev Banyal, Dr Deepa Sharma, Dr Ravi Bhardwaj and Dr Richa Salwan will also be a part of the project. 

The Biological Diversity Act 2002 has been enacted by the Parliament of India for conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of the biological resources. Under this Act, committees named as Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been formed at all 3371 local body levels in the State.

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Jio TV Launches Three new Channels in Himachal for Elementary, Higher and Vocational Education

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jio tv education channels in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Jio TV has launched three new Elementary, Higher and vocational channels in Himachal Pradesh. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jio TV on 20th August, 2020 so that Education Department could reach the students. The government said that soon two more channels would also be started for students.

E-content of every subject for students of 1st to 12th classes would be made available on Jio TV. If any student is unable to view this e-content as per the subject schedule due to any reason, then the missed e-content will be available in catch up throughout the week. On converting this facility to video on demand, the overall education is going to be made available through Himachal Pradesh Jio TV soon, the government said.

In the view of COVID-19 pandemic, currently, the state government is running WhatsApp groups for pre-nursery to 12th standard. Other than that, Gyanshala programme is being run for class 10th and 12th through Doordarshan Shimla.

According to the state government, online content is being prepared by 200 teachers (State Resource Group) of the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that students of government schools have been facing a huge loss in terms of studies as WhatsApp groups haven’t proved effective enough to be termed as online education. As most children in government schools come from economically weak background and rural areas, procuring smartphones and Internet service is no less than a challenge for them. While private schools are using web applications like zoom and google hangout to conduct online classes, according to several teachers, government school students and their parents are not taking study through WhatsApp groups seriously.

The state government has yesterday decided to open schools for regular classes for students of 9th to 12th standard. The syllabus has been cut short but still teachers are likely to face tough time covering it.

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UHF Nauni Bags Rs.25 Crore Funding, Set for Major Overhaul

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UHF Nauni gets IDI funds

Solan: The learning and teaching environment at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni is set for a major overhaul under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) National Agricultural Higher Education Plan (NAHEP) funded by the World Bank, informed the Public Relation Officer, Suchet Attri. He said that under NAHEP, UHF has been awarded the prestigious Institutional Development Project  (IDP). The total outlay of the three-year project is Rs 25 crore with ICAR share of Rs 20 crore and Rs 5 crore funded by the state.

He said that this is one of the biggest projects in UHF’s history and a major achievement for the university. It will help to provide a holistic learning and teaching environment to the students and faculty as scientists and students will be exposed to foreign universities to learn and exchange researchable ideas and issues. The University Vice-Chancellor is the project leader while Dr KK Raina, Professor and Head, Department of Business Management is the coordinator and Principal Investigator of the overall project, he informed.  

The main objective of the project entitled ‘Quality Education in Horticulture and Forestry to generate Human Resource’ is to revamp the university’s UG education through innovative and modern pedagogy, skill development, improving placement opportunities and catalyzing entrepreneurship through global thinking and input. He further said that under IDP, the university will look to strengthen collaborations with leading academia and industry for student exchange and faculty development programmes. 

He informed that around 150 UG students and 50 faculty members will be selected through a competition, to visit top-flight foreign universities for a period of 3-6 months. Organization of webinars and seminars, workshops and capacity building, and engaging industry experts as adjunct faculty is also included in the project. In addition to the creation of several student amenities, the university will establish UG and language labs for improving soft skills, eight smart and two virtual classrooms. He said that the project will also push green initiatives like the use of solar energy for cooking, lighting, use of battery-operated vehicles, solid waste management and recycling, campus landscaping and development of nature parks.

He said that one of the highlights will be the development of Short-Term International Certificate course on temperate horticulture and forestry crops and the strengthening of Student Development and Career Development Cell by developing a proactive industrial interface to create job and internship opportunities. Remedial courses, special attention towards weak students, agri-incubation centres on hi-tech plant nursery, processed food and forest products for entrepreneurial and agribusiness skills will also be taken up during the course of the project.

He further informed that several works have already begun under the project, and initiatives like raising new plantations have been undertaken. The students are eagerly looking forward to this project and have been actively taking part in all activities. A review meeting of the core project team and the statutory officers under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor was held on Saturday. Director Extension Education Dr PK Mahajan, Deans Dr Bhupinder Gupta and Dr ML Bhardwaj also took part in the meeting. 

“This is a very proud moment for the university as we are among the national group that has got grants under this project. It will help us to improve the work culture and change the outlook of the students by providing a holistic learning environment. Besides, it will also help to enhance the quality of study and potential of the faculty will be fully utilized,”

said Dr Parvinder Kaushal, UHF Vice-Chancellor.

He said that only a select few agricultural universities have managed to bag the project through nation-wide competition.

The university will further focus on skill enhancement of students through study programmes with international collaborations and provide an inclusive and equitable quality education for the students through the faculty development programme. Dr Kaushal added that under the project, the university will ensure the sustainability of quality education and system effectiveness through the strengthening of the University Alumni network and industry interface. 

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