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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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After CBSE, Himachal Postpones Board and UG Exams Till May 1st

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college and board exams in himachal pradesh postponed

Shimla-The ongoing examinations of the Himachal Pradesh Board of School Education and under graduate classes have been postponed, a spokesperson of the HP Government informed today. He said that the state government has taken the decision keeping in view the health concerns of the students and parents.

These exams included the ongoing board examinations for Class 10th and 12th and UG examinations starting on 17th April to 17th May, 2021.

The government said that the situation would be reviewed on 1st May, 2021, and further directions would be issued accordingly. In a separate notification, the HPBOSE said that the schools exams for the two board classes were postponed till May 17, 2021. The Board also relieved all the staff engaged in conducting examinations including Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents, Flying Squads, Invigilators and Peons except Chowkidards. 

The decision of the government came after the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) today decided to cancel the examinations for class 10 and postpone exams for Class 12 due to the ongoing surge in daily COVID-19 infections in the country. The Board said that there was a constant demand for postponing the exams from students, parents, and the state governments.

However, the state government in Himachal Pradesh had decided to go on with exams amid the peeking second wave of the pandemic.

“The pandemic situation in the country is seeing a resurgence of COVID 19 positive cases in many states, with a few states having been affected more than others. In this situation, schools have been shut down in 11 states. Unlike State Boards, CBSE has an all-India character, and therefore, it is essential to hold exams simultaneously throughout the country,” the Union Education Ministry today said.

Looking to the present situation of the pandemic and school closures, the Ministry decided that the Board Exams for Class XII to be held from May 4thto June, 14th, 2021 would be postponed. The situation will be reviewed on 1st June 2021 by the Board. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations.

 The Board Exams for Class X to be held from 4thMay to June 14th, 2021 were  cancelled.

“The results of Class Xth Board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board. Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams,” the Ministry said.

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Himachal’s Educational Institutions Closed Till April 4 Amid COVID-19 Case Surge, Pubic Holi Celebrations Prohibited, No Restriction on Tourism

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Himachal PRadesh closes Educationla institutes

Shimla– All the educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh, including Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutes and schools, would remain closed till April 4, 2021, as a precautionary measure keeping in view the spike in COVID-19 cases in the State, the government informed today. But schools would remain open for the classes having their examinations, it was informed.  

The decision was taken in a meeting held today that was presided by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Last year the spike in cases was gradual, but this year this surge is very rapid. In the last 20-25 days, the number of new cases has spiked from 220 to 2000, which is a matter of great concern for the state,” Chief Minister told media.

On being asked about tourist movement from neighboring Punjab – a state with massive surge in daily cases- the Chief Minister said that for now no restriction would be imposed on tourists given the peak tourist season starting from April.

Also Read: Himachal Reports Over 300 New COVID-19 Cases With 2 Deaths, Second Wave Could Peak in April & Last for 100 Days, says Report  

“Last year, the peak season was completely foiled. Therefore, it would not be favourable for the economy of the state and livelihood of the people to restrict tourist movement,” Jairam Thakur said.

“But if the surge continued and picked up more pace, then the government would review the situation again,” he told media. But the hotels and homestays would have to follow the SOPs while operating, he said. 

Chief Minister said that schools having residential facilities need not close their hostels, however, they would have to comply with all the SOPs to keep these residential areas cut off and appoint Compliance Officer to comply with all the orders. He said that teachers and other school/college staff would continue to attend the institutions.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no social and cultural events would be organized in the State by the Government and gatherings would be restricted to a maximum of 200 for indoor and 50 percent for outdoor events.

He said that nursing and medical institutions would continue to function as usual. He said that congregations and langers inside the temples would also be banned and other darshans would be allowed.

Chief Minister said that 3rd April would also be a holiday for all the offices in the State and there would be no public celebration of Holi.

He urged the people to celebrate Holi at their home with their family members only. He said that all the frontline workers would be sensitized to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest completing their second dose as per schedule.

It was also decided in the meeting that District Administration would take a judicious call on more restrictions keeping in view the positivity and fatality rate in their respective districts.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretaries R.D. Dhiman and J.C. Sharma, Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi, Mission Director NHRM Dr. Nipun Jindal and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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UHF Nauni Gets New Labs Equipped with Latest Technologies, Nature Park for Students  

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UHF Nauni Soil and leaf analysis lab

Solan- Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, today dedicated four projects to the students and farmers at the university campus. 

Among the project inaugurated by Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, was a state of the art Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory established with the financial assistance of Rs 4.55 crore (over seven years) from the World Bank-funded HP-Horticulture Development Project.

UHF Nauni Vice Chancellor

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF, Inaugurating Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with the latest equipment like Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, CHNS Analyzer, Microwave digestion system, UV-VIS Spectrophotometers. It is well equipped to analyze the different soil properties including different macro and micronutrients and as per the analysis values, the recommendations are also given to the farmers.

NEW UHF nauni lab building

Soil and Leaf Analysis laboratory

The samples received from different HP-HDP clusters of the state are being analyzed in the laboratory and ad-hoc recommendations for High-Density Planting on clonal rootstocks are given. A field laboratory of the Department of Plant Pathology constructed for Rs 14.17 lakh met out of the pesticide testing scheme was also inaugurated today.NEW Labs in UHF nauni

Two projects- Nature Park and a Commercial plantation model of wild pomegranate developed under the ICAR National Agricultural Higher Education Project were also unveiled today.

Lab facility uhf nauniv

The nature camp developed by the Department of Floriculture and Landscape Architecture has been developed as a recreation cum activity area for the students and showcases different landscaping methods. Under NAHEP,a commercial model of wild pomegranate developed by the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry was also dedicated to the students and farmers. 

UHF nauni nature park

Nature Park

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Parvinder Kaushal congratulated all the team members behind the completion of the projects. He said that both the laboratories will be immensely beneficial for conducting research. Speaking about the development of projects under the ICAR’s NAHEP, Dr. Kaushal said that the university is in process of developing more such plantation models which will not only be beneficial to the students but also help popularize new technologies among farmers. The statutory officers of the university, heads of all departments, coordinator and team members of NAHEP IDP, students and staff were present on the occasion. 

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