News & Events

3rd December Venue - New Delhi

SOAS Students Went on an Exposure Visit to IARI on Agricultural Education Day

An exposure visit was organized by the School of Agricultural Sciences for the students of B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture I, II, and III year students (detailed list enclosed at the end). Every year since 2016, 3rd December is celebrated as the “Agricultural Education Day” to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the First President and Union Agriculture Minister of India. Therefore, to inculcate a sense of pride and motivation among the students, the trip destination selected was IARI. It was organized to provide the students with a great quality of practical knowledge, provide them ample exposure to various new technological advancements in agriculture, and make them more aware of the research work going on currently in various fields of agriculture and its scope.

IARI played a critical role in the Indian Green Revolution. The institute was established in 1905 in Pusa (Bihar) with a generous grant of 30,000 pounds from an American philanthropist, Mr. Henry Phipps. The institute was then known as the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI), and it had five departments: agriculture, cattle breeding, chemistry, economic botany, and mycology. The Bacteriology unit was added in 1907. In 1911, the name of the ARI was changed to Imperial Institute of Agricultural Research, and in 1919, it was renamed Imperial Agricultural Research Institute. Following a devastating earthquake on January 15, 1934, the institute was relocated to Delhi on July 29, 1936. Post-independence, the institute was renamed Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

The University bus with Dr. S.S. Sharma, Dr. Sourabh, and 31 students, left KRMU for IARI, New Delhi at 09:30 am and reached there by 11:30 am. The trip started with a visit to the Division of Entomology, IARI. Dr. S.S. Sharma is an alumnus of this division. All were welcomed by Dr (Mrs) Debjani Dey, Prof, and Head, Division of Entomology. Students were briefed about the division by Dr. Dey. The entomology division at IARI currently hosts about 1.3 million individual insects in their care, later which were shown to students. Beneficial insects, crop-specific harmful insects, and newly discovered insects were carefully preserved. Mr. Varun Saini, Research Scholar guided the students throughout the division and carefully cleared every curiosity of the students.

Next, students were taken to the Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology, an epitome of hi-tech agriculture in India. Dr. Sourabh has already discussed the visit with Dr. Naved Sabir, Principal Scientist. Dr. Sabir welcomed all and briefed them about the center. The Centre was commissioned as an Indo-Israel project in January 2000 as a project undertaken jointly by the government of India, through the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) & ICAR and the Government of the State of Israel, through the Centre of International Cooperation (MASHAV) & CINADCO. The center was established to act as a nodal center of R&D work, training, and transfer of technology on the above aspects. It was established to demonstrate peri-urban, high technology methods of growing flowers, vegetables and fruits. Over the years, the centre has progressed considerably and diversified into various kinds of protected structures and production technologies of several crops including high tech nursery management have been standardized. Mr. Anil Kumar, Technical Officer took the students for a detailed tour of the centre. Students were introduced to climate-controlled & naturally ventilated greenhouses for vegetables and flower crops, net houses, nursery facilities, open fields, drip irrigation systems, and fertigation systems. Students were excited to see the drip irrigation automation system, the same which has been installed at KRMU. Students were shown IoT-based farming and automation systems used in Precision farming. Students were also familiarised with various vegetable crops, fruit varieties and cereals.

Everyone was thrilled with the visit. As we left the Institute, there was this gleam of motivation in every student’s eyes, the zest to do something which would connect us to the lore of IARI, the lore of agriculture across the nation. Here the plantations with modern technologies are being used to ensure maximum crop production. Something which if implemented across the nation would solve all problems of hunger not in the country but in the world itself.

SOAS would like to thank the University administration and Management for making this trip a possibility. We also extend our thanks to bus driver and staff.