Chandigarh : June 18 : Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has approved a Centre of Excellence for pearl millet (bajra) for CCS Haryana Agricultural University (HAU). Besides a sum of Rs. one crore has also been sanctioned to this centre, disclosed Vice-Chancellor, Dr. K.S. Khokhar here today.
Dr. Khokhar told that a meeting in this regard was held recently at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi. He said that considering the proposal putforth by HAU Director of Research, Dr. R.P. Narwal and Professor of Foods & Nutrition, Dr. Salil Sehgal, the Union Agriculture Ministry under its Initiative for Nutrition Security through Intensive Millet Production (INSIMP) has approved this Centre of Excellence alongwith allocation of Rs. one core for the year 2011-12.He said that the Centre would focus on development of biofortified white grain pearl millet hybrids/populations and refinement of already developed techniques of processing and value addition of pearl millet. Apart from this trainings for capacity building of farmers, entrepreneurs and extension specialists would be organized and initiatives taken to develop market linkages between processors and producers.
He said the Centre would be located in the Department of Foods & Nutrition of the university.
Director of Research, Dr. R.P. Narwal while describing it a big achievement said that this could happen because of excellent research work on pearl millet done by Dr. Salil Sehgal and Dr. Asha Kawatra, both Professors of Foods & Nutrition, and PG students since last 15 years.
He said that both Dr. Sehgal and Dr. Kawatra have been nominated as Principal Investigators of this project. Besides, Dr. H.P. Yadav, Head, Bajra Section, Dr. V.S. Malik (Bajra Section), Dr. Sangeeta Chahal Sindhu (Foods & Nutrition) and Dr. D.K. Sharma (Agri. Processing and Energy) would also be associated with this project, he added.