November 18, 2016
Four students from the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) are among the 24 Indian winners who have received the prestigious Monsanto Beachell–Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP) research scholarships.
The MBBISP global programme encourages young scientists and university students to develop new plant breeding research for rice and wheat production. Bharathi Ramadoss’s research is focused on optimal glycaemic index in rice, which the TNAU student is working on in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Pilomin Juliana is determining the breeding value of CIMMYT International bread wheat nursery entries for multiple disease resistance. Ashish Rajurkar, who is pursuing his PhD in biotechnology, is doing research on breeding of drought resilient rice and Sumeet Prabhakar Mankar, TNAU master’s student, is now a research scholar at Seoul National University, and is working on the development, evaluation and validation of wild rice for improved agronomic traits and multi-environment stress tolerance, according to a Monsanto release.
Since the launch of the MBBISP in India in 2009 by eminent scientist MS Swaminathan, the country has achieved a milestone of producing 24 MBBISP scholars—the highest number of winners—out of a total of 89 awardees worldwide.
The winners from TNAU get financial support of approximately $342,287 (Rs 2.33 crore) through the programme.
MBBISP is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the US-based Texas A&M University System. The establishment of MBBISP is part of Monsanto’s three-point commitment to help increase global food production in the face of growing demand, limited natural resources and a changing climate. MBBISP aims to ignite the minds of researchers to innovate and help farmers produce more from the same amount of land.