August 18, 2015
In an endeavour to achieve the avowed objective of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to double agriculture production and treble farmer’s income, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has established an Innovative Fellowship in the name of “Amma Agricultural Innovation Chair” for the purpose of engaging one faculty member for innovation studies in Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai, State Agricultural Minister, R. Vaithilingam, announced today.
Announcing the institution of endowments at TNAU during its 36th Convocation, he said that towards achieving the goal of “doubling the yield and tripling the income” of Tamil Nadu farmers, the Government was supporting TNAU in all possible ways, under the able leadership of Jayalalithaa to maintain its growth and development and its uniqueness across the nation.
TNAU has established an award in the name of “Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Fellowship” for the purpose of promoting post doctoral fellowship programmes in Agriculture/ Engineering/Horticulture to fulfill his dream of making India a Knowledge Super Power, he said, giving a list of a few other endowments.
Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, said that research focus of the University had shifted from irrigated agriculture to dry land agriculture.
Despite 32 districts of the State being drought prone in 2011-12, the production of 103 lakh metric tonnes was achieved, followed by 112 lakh metric tonnes in 2012-13 and 128 lakh metric tonnes in 2013-14, which fetched Krishi Karman award, he said.
Tamil Nadu has achieved 5 per cent growth rate in agriculture and 19 per cent primary productivity in the sector which was first of its kind in the past 26 years, he said.
Honorary degrees of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) were conferred on Dr. Susan McCouch, Professor, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, USA, Dr. Pedro Medrano Rojas, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Senior Coordinator, New York, and Ashok Bakthavathsalam, Chairman & Managing Director, K.G.Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. here, at the convocation.
In her acceptance speech Susan McCouch, who also delivered the convocation address, said that her research was on genome mapping of rice and biotechnology.
“Empowerment was sharing what one has with others, and knowledge sharing was essential to foster development in agriculture,” she said and exhorted the students to take up innovative research to benefit farmers.
A total of 111 Ph.D. graduates, 199 post-graduate students, and 860 graduates were conferred degrees, while 33 students got gold medals for their achievements.