Alivia Mukherjee|Dec 5, 2023
PAU’s honey bee facility gets Best Research Centre award of ICAR
PAU's honey bees and pollinators centre was awarded for its contribution during the annual meeting of the ICAR-AICRP at UAS, Bengaluru.
NEW DELHI: The All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) for honey bees and pollinators at the Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana Centre has been awarded with the ‘Best Research Centre’award by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi.
The PAU centre was adjudged the best from 26 research centres across the country. The university said it was felicitated with award for its contribution during the annual group meeting of the ICAR-AICRP that was held at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru from September 4 to 6.
The PAU has been a assisted Punjab farmers to adopt apiculture and as a result 18,500 metric tonne honey was produced in the state during 2021-22 season.
Congratulating the PAU’s department of entomology, Vice-Chancellor (V-C) Satbir Singh Gosal said, “It is the third time that the centre has won the award. This indicates the pivotal role that AICRP (HB&P) is playing in advancing apicultural research.”
Ajmer Singh Dhatt, PAU’s director of research, also commended the apiculture scientists for their outstanding achievement in receiving the coveted award.
DK Sharma, head, department of entomology, said Pardeep Kumar Chhuneja, dean, postgraduate studies; Jaspal Singh, principal entomologist; and Amit Choudhary, scientist, played important roles at the ICAR’s annual review programme. “Chhuneja leads the apiculture unit, while Jaspal Singh is the principal investigator of the project. Amit Choudhary serves as the Co-PI, and Bharathi Mohindru is a scientist associated with the project,” he added.
Chhuneja said Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera) was introduced in India between 1962 and 1964. “This groundbreaking endeavour was followed by its multiplication and subsequent release to farmers in 1976. PAU’s nationwide dissemination and outreach programmes in apiculture have played a central role in catalysing the commercialization and industrialization of apiculture at a national scale,” he added.
The University has received several recognitions from ICAR such as the ‘Team of Excellence in Apiculture’ award in 1998 and the National Bee Board's ‘Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre’ award in 2017. In 2017, the department of posts paid homage to Punjab Agricultural Unicersity’s outstanding contributions to apiculture research and development at the national level by releasing a special postal cover.
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