New Delhi, India

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education , Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi.The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 100 ICAR institutes and 70 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of foodgrains by 5 times, horticultural crops by 9.5 times, fish by 12.5 times, milk 7.8 times and eggs 39 times since 1951 to 2014, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.Union Minister of Agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh is President and Dr. S. Ayyappan is Director General of ICAR. Wikipedia.


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News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

BENGALURU, INDIA—India is home to a flourishing community of predatory journals: outlets that masquerade as legitimate scientific publications but publish papers with little or no peer review while charging authors hefty fees. Many observers assumed that such bottom feeders were mostly attracting papers of dubious scientific value, if not plagiarized or fraudulent reports, from institutions in academia’s outer orbits. But a new analysis has found that many of the weak papers in predatory journals are coming from top-flight Indian research institutions. The finding has turned the spotlight on an academic culture in India that tends to prize quantity of publications over quality when evaluating researchers. This is an especially big problem in the life sciences, and it will take time to fix, says K. Vijayraghavan, the secretary of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in New Delhi, which funded some of the research that ended up in predatory journals. “Biology, in general, has become ghastly, in that people are chasing the metrics,” he says. “If you chase these surrogate markers of success instead of science, we have a problem.” Recent revelations have pointed to a symbiotic relationship in India between questionable publishers and mediocre researchers. In 2013, a investigation traced the publishers and editors of scores of predatory journals to India. And last year, a team reported in that of a selection of 262 authors published in predatory journals, 35% were Indian. Delving deeper, Gopalkrishnan Saroja Seethapathy, a graduate student in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Oslo, and colleagues randomly chose 3300 papers by Indian first authors from 350 journals flagged as predatory by Jeffrey Beall, a library scientist at the University of Colorado in Denver. In an analysis in the 9 December issue of , they report that more than half the papers were by authors from government-run and private colleges: hotbeds of mediocre research. But about 11% of papers, they found, were from India’s premier government research bodies, including dozens of publications from institutions belonging to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Indian Institutes of Technology. “Funding agencies have to be careful about where papers are published,” says Subhash Chandra Lakhotia, a cytogeneticist at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, which is a source of some papers in predatory journals. “They have to take their jobs seriously and find time to read papers, instead of simply going by the number of papers published.” Some say that the root of the problem is, paradoxically, recent government attempts to improve Indian research output. India’s University Grants Commission (UGC), a body charged with setting educational standards, in 2010 made it mandatory for all faculty in higher educational institutions to publish papers in order to be evaluated favorably. Pushkar, the director of the International Centre Goa who goes by one name, says this move pushed teaching faculty with no expertise in research towards predatory journals. “The research component in the performance metrics for faculty in teaching-focused institutions is the reason why predatory journals attract so many submissions,” he told . When concerns were raised about the proliferation of papers published in poor-quality journals, UGC announced that it would change its performance metrics and compile a list of peer-reviewed journals in which researchers would need to publish. That’s not the best solution, Vijayraghavan argues. “The fundamental problem is an ecosystem that values where you publish and how many papers you publish rather than what you publish. That needs to be changed,” he says. To bring about change, DBT launched an open-access policy in 2014, which requires all published papers to be uploaded to a central repository, so that they can be evaluated according to their merit. The department also plans to launch a preprint repository, along the lines of arXiv, to encourage sharing of research prior to publication. The idea is to galvanize a culture of evaluating research by reading publications rather than focusing on numbers of papers published or impact factors. “This will pull the carpet from under the feet of predatory publishers,” Vijayraghavan says. Some scientists feel that the predatory publishing scourge is overblown. ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra argues that many publications classified as predatory could merely be little-known journals that charge publication fees. “There are many flaws with the paper,” he says. “We will internally analyze this issue, see if a real problem exists at ICAR, and come out with our own study.”


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Examining how land-use changes may affect water quality and fisheries resources in lakes and rivers will help natural resource agencies manage wildlife populations, according to Steven Chipps, leader of the U.S. Geological Survey, South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at South Dakota State University. The fisheries biologist and Muthiah Muruganandam, a Fulbright scholar from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, will use existing data to track changes in the characteristics and water quality of surface waters in northeastern South Dakota. As a senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Muruganandam has been doing research on natural resource management and fisheries and aquatic system management, in particular, for more than 20 years. The 18-month research project is supported by the Fulbright Scholar program. Recent changes in land use have been well documented in South Dakota, according to Chipps, an adjunct faculty member in South Dakota State University's Department of Natural Resource Management. Between 2006 and 2012, more than 1.4 million acres of grasslands were converted to cropland, with the largest change occurring in east central and northeastern South Dakota. Nested within this landscape are surface waters that include lakes and rivers, Chipps pointed out. "We don't know how changes in land use may affect surface water quality or to what extent lakes and streams in eastern South Dakota have been impacted." The researchers will access more than 20 years of data from federal and state agencies including the Department of Natural Resources, the East Dakota Water Management District, U.S. Geological Survey and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department. "We're doing a lot of data mining," Muruganandam said. They hope to use long-term data from water quality assessments to evaluate relationships between beneficial water uses and land use patterns. Those beneficial water uses include fish and wildlife propagation, recreation and stock watering sources, in addition to more specific uses such as domestic water supply. Accumulation of sediment and nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, adversely impacts water quality, according to Muruganandam. Increased vegetation, lower oxygen levels and decreased water clarity can adversely impact recreational fish, such as yellow perch, bass and crappies. However, Chipps explained, "A lot of things come into play, not just land use." Northeastern South Dakota typically goes through cycles of drought and flooding that affect water availability and aquatic production. "That dynamic has gone on for eons," he said. In terms of fish populations, Chipps noted, "A newly flooded lake is very productive. When the water level decreases or stays static, fish production declines over time. We end up with a stagnant system." The researchers hypothesize that current approaches for dealing with excess water, such as wetland draining and tiling, could stabilize water levels in small lakes and impoundments. This then interrupts the normal ebb and flow that is advantageous to fish populations. "If the data show that lake water levels are becoming more stable, this will change how we look at managing fish," Chipps noted. Environmental impacts on water resources can put pressure on aquatic ecosystems that, in the short term, can have a more dramatic effect than climate change.


News Article | September 6, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A farmer harvests cotton in his field at Rangpurda village in the western state of Gujarat, India, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian scientist whose team has developed a genetically modified (GM) mustard variety that is inching towards a possible commercial launch said he could soon hand to a state agency a GM cotton variety that can rival Monsanto's seeds. Deepak Pental and his colleagues at the Delhi University worked on GM mustard for around a decade, and a government committee said on Monday it found the seeds to be safe for "food/feed and environment". Reuters reported the technical clearance last month for what could be the country's first GM food crop. (http://bit.ly/2cnUOkZ) "The government has taken the right path and experts have looked at all the data," Pental told Reuters on Tuesday, acknowledging that public opposition to lab-altered food remains fierce. "Our scientists have the capability to do more, but you will have to strengthen research further, educate people." Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist government, keen to cut the country's heavy annual food import bill, will soon decide on the commercial launch of the high-yielding mustard and plans to indigenously develop other GM food to reduce reliance on multinationals such as Monsanto. The move has been opposed by activists and politicians amid fears GM food could compromise food safety and biodiversity. Some experts have also questioned claims that GM crops are more productive than normal varieties. St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto dominates India's GM cotton market, but is embroiled in a high-stakes battle with the government which wants the company to cut the royalty it charges for its technology, apart from a proposal that will make the seed giant share its technology with local firms. Monsanto has even threatened to pull out, prompting Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave to say that Indian scientists are capable of meeting the requirements of its farmers on their own. New Delhi-based Pental said he was willing to help the government with that goal and would approach the state-run Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to pass on a laboratory-tested GM cotton variety his team has developed over the past decade. The variety is similar to Monsanto's Bt cotton but can be more resistant to pests, Pental said, adding he handed another GM cotton variety to ICAR last year for further research. No field trial has yet been done on either cotton strands. This comes at a time when Monsanto has withdrawn an application to sell its next-generation cotton seeds protesting the Modi government's proposal to force it to share its technology with local seed companies, which has also worried other foreign firms such as Bayer, Dow, Dupont Pioneer and Syngenta. Experts warn that even if India did develop a home-grown GM cotton variety in the next few years, it would struggle to sustain a programme that needs to refresh seeds every decade or so.


Subhadra B.,University of New Mexico | Grinson-George,Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2011

Food and fuel production are intricately interconnected. In a carbon-smart society, it is imperative to produce both food and fuel sustainably. Integration of the emerging biorefinery concept with other industries can bring many environmental deliverables while mitigating several sustainability-related issues with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel usage, land use change for fuel production and future food insufficiency. A new biorefinery-based integrated industrial ecology encompasses the different value chain of products, coproducts, and services from the biorefinery industries. This paper discusses a framework to integrate the algal biofuel-based biorefinery, a booming biofuel sector, with other industries such as livestock, lignocellulosic and aquaculture. Using the USA as an example, this paper also illustrates the benefits associated with sustainable production of fuel and food. Policy and regulatory initiatives for synergistic development of the algal biofuel sector with other industries can bring many sustainable solutions for the future existence of mankind. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.


Ramesh S.V.,Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Molecular Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Of late non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs)-mediated gene silencing is an influential tool deliberately deployed to negatively regulate the expression of targeted genes. In addition to the widely employed small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated gene silencing approach, other variants like artificial miRNA (amiRNA), miRNA mimics, and artificial transacting siRNAs (tasiRNAs) are being explored and successfully deployed in developing non-coding RNA-based genetically modified plants. The ncRNA-based gene manipulations are typified with mobile nature of silencing signals, interference from viral genome-derived suppressor proteins, and an obligation for meticulous computational analysis to prevaricate any inadvertent effects. In a broad sense, risk assessment inquiries for genetically modified plants based on the expression of ncRNAs are competently addressed by the environmental risk assessment (ERA) models, currently in vogue, designed for the first generation transgenic plants which are based on the expression of heterologous proteins. Nevertheless, transgenic plants functioning on the foundation of ncRNAs warrant due attention with respect to their unique attributes like off-target or non-target gene silencing effects, small RNAs (sRNAs) persistence, food and feed safety assessments, problems in detection and tracking of sRNAs in food, impact of ncRNAs in plant protection measures, effect of mutations etc. The role of recent developments in sequencing techniques like next generation sequencing (NGS) and the ERA paradigm of the different countries in vogue are also discussed in the context of ncRNA-based gene manipulations. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Mitra B.C.,Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Defence Science Journal | Year: 2014

Biocomposites can supplement and eventually replace petroleum-based composite materials in several applications. Several critical issues related to bio-fiber surface treatments is to make it a more suitable matrix for composite application and promising techniques need to be solved to design biocomposite of interest. The main motivation for developing biocomposites has been and still is to create a new generation of fiber reinforced plastics material competitive with glass fiber reinforced ones which are environmentally compatible in terms of products, use and renewal. There is an immense opportunity in developing new biobased products, but the real challenge is to design suitable bio-based products through innovation ideas. Green materials are the wave of the future. Bionanocomposites have very strong future prospects, though the present low level of production, some deficiency in technology and high cost restrict them from a wide range of applications. © 2014, DESIDOC.


Ramasubramanian T.,Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2013

Persistence and dissipation kinetics of clothianidin were studied in sandy loam soil of sugarcane ecosystem by adopting a rapid and sensitive analytical method. This single-step analytical method was observed to be superior to multi-step conventional method reported to quantify the residues of clothianidin in soil, in terms of recovery, sensitivity and rapidity besides cost-effectiveness. The recoveries of clothianidin were in the range of 93.19 ± 3.07-95.43 ± 2.09 % at 0.01-0.1 μg/g level of fortification in soil. The limit of quantification of the method was 0.01 μg/g. Dissipation pattern of clothianidin followed first-order kinetics with a good fit (R 2 > 0.96). Half-life of clothianidin was 17.2 and 17.4 days at the single (50 g a.i./ha) and double doses (100 g a.i./ha), respectively. Clothianidin was observed to be more persistent than imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in the soil of tropical sugarcane ecosystem. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Patent
Indian Council of Agricultural Research | Date: 2013-03-28

The sensor chips, processes and devices enable ultra-sensitive detection/determination, evaluation and quantitative measurement of analytes and are useful for high throughput and miniaturized assays, which enable a user to perform multiple, accurate, experiments in parallel with minimum amount of reagents resulting in low waste generation. The method enables screening of fluid samples to meet regulatory standards. The device comprises a pitted chip having a silicon-based substrate, optionally provided with an integrated heating element, a biosensor and a receptor immobilized on a cross linking element fixed to an inert metal layer in the chip. The analyte is detected up to 5 parts per trillion of the fluid sample and quantitatively measured up to 10 parts per trillion of the fluid sample by the device of the present disclosure.


Patent
Indian Council of Agricultural Research | Date: 2011-06-29

This invention relates to novel non-composite and composite superabsorbents, wherein the dry superabsorbents are xerogels, more particularly the bio-xerogels or the composites, particularly the biocomposites, more particularly the bionanocomposites and the method(s) of obtaining the same characterized by simultaneous in situ grafting and cross linking of ethylinically unsaturated monomers on to a single biopolymer of plant or animal origin, or on combination of different biopolymers or biopolymer(s) or/and clay(s), in a homogeneous polar phase, in the presence of initiator and crosslinker of chemical or non-chemical origin, at a temperature of 40 to 90 C., achieved by conventional or microwave heating, reaction time varying from instantaneous to 48 hours, involving use of alkali, either in situ or post reaction at room or elevated temperatures for achieving superior absorbency, in an inert or ambient reaction environment, to yield a neutral or near neutral product.


Chairman & Managing Director of Excellence Group of Companies, Dr Naresh Bharde unveiled ‘Imandari’, his biography authored by Dr. Vijay Dhawale at the ‘BMM 2015 Convention’ that was held in Los Angeles recently.                                Dr. Dhawale, has authored 16 Marathi and 4 English novels and Dr. Bharde’s story inspired him to pen down his struggles. Through this book, he hopes to provide inspiration and direction to budding entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. Known to have an eye for detail, Dr. Dhawale captured Dr Naresh Bharde’s journey from a boy, barely able to attain primary education to the founder of a very successful conglomerate. Dr. Bharde, a Ph.D in Agriculture from Indian Agricultural Research Institute is a recipient of junior and senior research fellowship of Indian Council of Agricultural Research for his higher studies. The reason Dr Dhawale was inspired to write Dr Bharde’s biography was the humble beginning behind his extraordinary achievements.   Having completed the book in just 10 days, Dr Dhawale claims that ‘Imandari’ was the fastest writing experience he has ever had. ‘Imandari’ literally translated means honesty and therefore does justice as the title of the book.    Dr. Naresh Bharde, Chairman & Managing Director, Excellence Group says, “The launch of this biography is undoubtedly a defining moment in my life. The purpose of this biography is to encourage and motivate the youth to overcome obstacles, dream big and go after it! It has been an absolute honor to have Dr. Vijay Dhawale document my life through his beautiful writing. There couldn’t have been a better platform than the BMM 2015 to unveil this book. Having this book unveiled in the presence of Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis has been an absolute privilege!”   Photo Caption: Unveiling of 'Imandaari' (L-R)-Dr. Naresh Bharde, Chief Minister Devendr...

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