The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India (NAAS) celebrated its silver jubilee (2-5 June, 2015) at the National Agricultural Science Centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
The Celebration of the first Academy of India dedicated to Agricultural Sciences founded by leaders like Dr. M. S. Swaminathan in 1990, on having completed 25 years of effective service to academia and research systems of India was spread over four days.
The first day dedicated to the future scientists of the country, the post-graduate research students of National Agricultural Research And Education System. The students from 31 different Universities participated debating the issue of future of agriculture in India targeting 2040 as the year. In addition, a national essay competition was organized to coincide with the elocution on the topic of Agriculture as a profession. Both items gave a great hope as the almost all the young minds gave positive ideas and believed that India will soon be a global trade leader in agriculture and farmer the lead businessman of the country.
The subsequent days were aimed towards seeking the impressions nurtured by the Associate Fellowship who are going to be around for at least next two decades, with reference to their own disciplines. Representing brighter side of the coin which invariably tended to have a darker uncertain side, the young group was enthusiastic in taking the science to its logical and applied products for better the agricultural situation despite the expected climate change impacts. Apart from the business session of the Annual General Body meetings, the Academy also summarised the recommendations from nation-wide Silver-Jubilee symposia held in different places in the country filtering information and recommendations which were discussed by an eminent panel.
The highlights of the celebration were Special Silver Jubilee lectures delivered by the Founder President of NAAS, Professor M. S. Swaminathan; Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. D. Bergvinson and Director of University of Western Australia Institute of Agriculture, Professor KadambotSiddique. Professor Swaminathan gave a brilliantly painted a motivating picture of the adventurous side of Indian agricultural scientists who delivered technologies to farmers despite constraints and uncertainties.
The Final day was marked by an exceptionally well organised and inspiring Foundation Day lecture on June 5, 2015 by Professor Y.K. Alagh on the structure of Indian agriculture wherein with the policy supports the possibility of achieving the 4% growth rate was put forward.
More than 250 Fellows participated on all the days which also saw recognition of three farmers and an agri-industrialist who have made India proud to face up to international challenges despite all the uncertainties accentuated by climate change.
Prof M. S. Swaminathan inspires agri-scientists to continue their adventure in finding scientific solutions to agricultural problems
Professor M. S. Swaminathan, the Founder President of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India delivered a Special Silver Jubilee Lecture during the 25th Year celebration of the Academy at New Delhi. More than 300 Fellowship and full house listened to the doyen of Indian Agricultural Sciences of India who, as brilliantly as ever, took the agricultural scientists through a journey over the last six decades of adventurous foray into research to solve the agrarian problems in worsening ecological and environmental situations in India. Delving into the innovative and yet strategically applicable research priorities set up by the Agricultural Research Communities led ably by Indian Agricultural Research Institute in the early decades of the last century and the reconstituted Indian Council of Agricultural Research into which IARI and other national agri-research institutes were pooled together in direct working links with the upcoming Agricultural Universities in the different States of India. Professor Swaminathan was critical about the ecological dangers the production oriented agriculture as well as uncontrolled markets leaving farmers to face uncertainties almost all the time. The adventure therefore lay in developing technologies led by varieties with value addition and resource management options which enable the farmers to continue to keep the production levels up. He also exhorted the younger group to adopt the exceptionally practical scientific tools from biotechnology, nano-sciences, bio-resource conservation, etc., to quickly deliver with high predictable effects. Each of these options was explained with appropriate examples and case-studies. The audience gave Professor Swaminathan a standing ovation for the energising and technically highly informative lecture. The current President of the Society and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director General of ICAR, along with several research leaders and past presidents was among the audience.
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(Source: NAAS, New Delhi)