Punjab Agricultural University

Ludhiana, India

The Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, Punjab is one of the State Agricultural Universities in India. It was established in 1962 and is the nation's oldest agricultural university, after Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar. It has an international reputation for excellence in agriculture . It pioneered the Green Revolution in India in the 1960s and is considered as one of the best agricultural universities in India.It was bifurcated in 2005 with the formation of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal science University. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Each year, fires rage across northern India, as farmers burn off their unwanted straw. The impact is enormous. From October into November, massive clouds of smoke streak across Punjab and neighbouring states, blown by the prevailing winds in the direction of Delhi. Every year, ministers demand action – in 2016, they were joined by India’s supreme court. And every year, NASA publishes new satellite photos showing the extent of the burning. People die on the roads as the smoke limits visibility, while heart and lung problems are exacerbated. The fertile fields of Punjab produce about 20% of India’s rice and 40% of its wheat. Rice is grown from May to October, followed in the same fields by wheat from November to March. The turnaround between rice harvest and wheat planting must be quick, as any delay badly affects wheat yields. The 11m tonnes of rice grown in Punjab leaves behind about 21m tonnes of straw – the inedible part of the plant. Farmers typically have just 20 days to clear it away before the wheat season begins. The straw is usually burned openly in the same fields where it was grown, in spite of regulations and knowledge of environmental and human damages. This has been part of Punjabi culture for decades (neighbouring Haryana and Western Uttar-Pradesh follow the same crop cycle in comparable quantities). India is not unique – the state of California burnt residue as recently as the 1980s and straw burning continues in many parts of Southeast Asia and Africa today. Burning is doubly wasteful as the straw is lost to the flames. Each year, the soil loses more carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients. Every acre of paddy yields approximately 2.5 tonnes of straw. Burning that straw sends approximately a tonne of organic carbon into the atmosphere (in the form of gases such as CO , CO and others) along with other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. There are lots of alternatives to burning, but all have their problems. Paddy straw isn’t nutritious enough to make good animal fodder, and its high concentrations of silica can damage traditional farming equipment. As rice is typically grown in small fields, it also isn’t always possible (or affordable) to use the high-powered machinery necessary to till the straw deep into the soil prior to planting wheat. Other solutions like using straw for biomass power or to make paper all require lots of new infrastructure. Straw is already collected and baled today in a few of Punjab’s large farms, and other areas near biomass power plants. But baled straw is difficult to handle, and bulky to transport and store. Expensive power plants often sit idle for weeks, surrounded by fields of damp straw that cannot be used until dry. Straw burning is illegal but, as the alternatives are either impractical or expensive, most farmers still do it. They’re making a rational decision. Therefore, irrespective of government policy and wider environmental considerations, any solution must give farmers themselves a good incentive not to burn. To resolve some of these problems, we have developed EnergyHarvest. First, paddy straw is compressed into small pellets using technology normally used to produce animal feed. An oxygen-free heating process known as pyrolysis then converts these pellets into energy outputs: heat and “bio-char”, a form of charcoal. These pellets transform paddy straw into something useful. Each pellet contains lots of energy for its size and weight. They’re easy to handle and store, and less expensive to transport than big bales of straw. The bio-char that the pellets are turned into after pyrolysis captures most of the carbon and nutrients present in the original straw. When returned to the ground it makes the soil healthier and retain more water. Meanwhile the heat given off during pyrolysis can be captured and used to produce hot water, or mechanical or electrical energy. It could also be converted into refrigeration for food at half the price of conventional electric cooling. It’s important that these pellets can be used in lots of different ways because different farming areas will present unique requirements and opportunities. We’ve set up a demonstration of the EnergyHarvest technology at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and a series of three-year randomised field trials are underway. The cooling is integrated with the cold-storage demonstration systems at PAU’s food science department. Our work on converting straw into pellets, and processing these pellets into useful products, won’t solve open field burning – or Delhi’s air pollution – overnight. But it does mean that small-scale farmers, the majority of farmers in Punjab, can now do something useful with their leftovers. M.S. Mavi and O.P. Choudhary from the Department of Soil Science at Punjab Agricultural University also contributed to this article. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. EnergyHarvest is supported by grants from the Oglesby Charitable Trust and by Aston University. The demonstration work at PAU is also supported by Coromandel.

Khokhar Y.,Punjab Agricultural University
Indian Journal of Ecology | Year: 2016

To identify the critical stages of irrigation water requirement of bearing Kinnow Mandarin through drip irrigation system a field experiment was conducted on 6 years old bearing Kinnow Mandarin based on evaporation replenishment (ER) irrigation scheduling during 2013-15. The irrigation water quantity given per day per plant under different treatments in various months varied from 30.2-168.2 liters per plant and 23.5-152.5 liters per plant different months during 2013-15. The highest quantity of water was applied under the irrigation scheduled at 80 % evaporation replenishment (ER) treatment and it varied from 54.1-168.2 liters per plant in 2013-15. The only canopy volume was found significant among the various scheduling treatments. The fruit yield and quality was significantly affected under various evaporation replenishment (ER) based drip irrigation scheduling treatments. The highest TSS, juice per centage and lower acidity was observed under irrigation at 80 % ER in stages l-IV during the study period.

Loomba L.,Punjab Agricultural University | Scarabelli T.,Wayne State University
Therapeutic Delivery | Year: 2013

Metallic miniaturization techniques have taken metals to nanoscale size where they can display fascinating properties and their potential applications in medicine. In recent years, metal nanoparticles such as aluminium, silicon, iron, cadmium, selenium, indium and calcium, which find their presence in aluminosilicates, nanobiomagnets, quantum dots (Q-dots) and cochleates, have caught attention of medical industries. The increasing impact of metallic nanoparticles in life sciences has significantly advanced the production techniques for these nanoparticles. In this Review, the various methods for the synthesis of nanoparticles are outlined, followed by their physicochemical properties, some recent applications in wound healing, diagnostic imaging, biosensing, assay labeling, antimicrobial activity, cancer therapy and drug delivery are listed, and finally their toxicological impacts are revised. The first half of this article describes the medicinal uses of two noble nanoparticles - gold and silver. This Review provides further information on the ability of aluminum, silicon, iron, selenium, indium, calcium and zinc to be used as nanoparticles in biomedical sciences. Aluminosilicates find their utility in wound healing and antibacterial growth. Iron-oxide nanoparticles enhance the properties of MRI contrast agents and are also used as biomagnets. Cadmium, selenium, tellurium and indium form the core nanostructures of tiny Q-dots used in cellular assay labeling, high-resolution cell imaging and biosensing. Cochleates have the bivalent nano ions calcium, magnesium or zinc imbedded in their structures and are considered to be highly effective agents for drug and gene delivery. The aluminosilicates, nanobiomagnets, Q-dots and cochleates are discussed in the light of their properties, synthesis and utility. © 2013 Future Science Ltd.

Singh A.,Punjab Agricultural University | Sharma S.,Punjab Agricultural University
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2017

Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibers, and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. A wide range of these compounds is affected by germination. While some compounds, such as β-glucans are degraded, others, like antioxidants and total phenolics are increased by means of biological activation of grains. The water and oil absorption capacity as well as emulsion and foaming capacity of biologically activated grains are also improved. Application of biological activation of grains is of emerging interest, which may significantly enhance the nutritional, functional, and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability of grain foods in a natural way. Therefore, biological activation of cereals can be a way to produce food grains enriched with health-promoting compounds and enhanced functional attributes. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Pasricha N.S.,Punjab Agricultural University
Advances in Agronomy | Year: 2017

Anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases is fast affecting climate change and global warming. This will increase soil organic matter decomposition and soil water deficits in future. Greater frequency of high intensity rainfall events, runoff, and flooding in future would cause high soil erosion losses unless offsetting conservation measures are taken. Mitigation strategy of diverting CO2 from atmosphere to soil as SOC by adopting conservation agricultural practices of reduced or no-tillage, crop residue retention, and diverse cropping system is now a recognized such method which has the potential of offsetting a significant portion of the future atmospheric increase in CO2 concentration. Cropping intensification combined with no-tillage or reduced tillage systems and optimum fertilizer management targeted to production level of the system affects favorably the SOC and N stocking. Such a stocking is more pronounced in the surface soil layer which fosters productivity and regulates terrestrial water flow, high infiltration rate, and higher amount of water storage in soil profile. Increased soil profile stored water, by facilitating increased cropping intensity, helps in overcoming the problem from keeping the soil fallow, a management system which is responsible for rapid loss of SOC and N and soil erosion in dry land and rain fed conditions. Conservation tillage practice also reduces the relative quantity of residual soil NO3-N available for leaching and/or denitrification even under situations of higher fertilizer N applications, thus preventing their possible leakage to the environment. Some residual NO3 may be denitrified to N2O gas especially in SOC-rich heavy soils prone to excessive wetness after several years of no-till practice. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-2-07 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2009

The project first assesses the state of the art of SRF as a biofuel source in CDM and JI countries (wp1) focuses on CDM countries (wp2) and links the project to current European and non-European R&D-activities in the area (wp3). Main outputs: 1) SRF guidelines and standards for land use management (wp4) for farmers and European JI/CDM project developers as well as stakeholders from the energy and biomass sector (electric utilities, pulp & paper, fibreboard etc.) 2) a SRF R&D agenda (wp5) for researchers and industry (boiler, oven, chipper, press producers etc.)

Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleryrodidae), is a serious pest of black gram, (Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper), an important legume pulse crop grown in north India. This research investigated the potential role of selected plant oxidative enzymes in resistance/susceptibility to whitefly in nine black gram genotypes. Oxidative enzyme activity was estimated spectrophotometrically from leaf samples collected at 30 and 50 d after sowing (DAS) from whitefly infested and uninfested plants. The enzymes showed different activity levels at different times after the infestation. The results indicated that in general, whitefly infestation increased the activities of peroxidase and decreased the catalase activity. Resistant genotypes NDU 5-7 and KU 99-20 recorded higher peroxidase and catalase activities at 30 and 50 DAS under whitefly-stress conditions as compared with non-stressed plants. The results suggest that the enhanced activities of the enzymes may contribute to bioprotection of black gram plants against B. tabaci infestation. The potential mechanisms to explain the correlation of resistance to whitefly in black gram genotypes with higher activities of oxidative enzymes are also discussed.

Mukhopadhyay S.S.,Punjab Agricultural University
Nanotechnology, Science and Applications | Year: 2014

Attempts to apply nanotechnology in agriculture began with the growing realization that conventional farming technologies would neither be able to increase productivity any further nor restore ecosystems damaged by existing technologies back to their pristine state; in particular because the long-term effects of farming with "miracle seeds", in conjunction with irrigation, fertilizers, and pesticides, have been questioned both at the scientific and policy levels, and must be gradually phased out. Nanotechnology in agriculture has gained momentum in the last decade with an abundance of public funding, but the pace of development is modest, even though many disciplines come under the umbrella of agriculture. This could be attributed to: a unique nature of farm production, which functions as an open system whereby energy and matter are exchanged freely; the scale of demand of input materials always being gigantic in contrast with industrial nanoproducts; an absence of control over the input nanomaterials in contrast with industrial nanoproducts (eg, the cell phone) and because their fate has to be conceived on the geosphere (pedosphere)-biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere continuum; the time lag of emerging technologies reaching the farmers' field, especially given that many emerging economies are unwilling to spend on innovation; and the lack of foresight resulting from agricultural education not having attracted a sufficient number of brilliant minds the world over, while personnel from kindred disciplines might lack an understanding of agricultural production systems. If these issues are taken care of, nanotechnologic intervention in farming has bright prospects for improving the efficiency of nutrient use through nanoformulations of fertilizers, breaking yield barriers through bionanotechnology, surveillance and control of pests and diseases, understanding mechanisms of host-parasite interactions at the molecular level, development of new-generation pesticides and their carriers, preservation and packaging of food and food additives, strengthening of natural fibers, removal of contaminants from soil and water, improving the shelf-life of vegetables and flowers, clay-based nanoresources for precision water management, reclamation of salt-affected soils, and stabilization of erosionprone surfaces, to name a few. © 2014 Mukhopadhyay.

Sandhya,Punjab Agricultural University
LWT - Food Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Fresh produce is more susceptible to disease organisms because of increase in the respiration rate after harvesting. The respiration of fresh fruits and vegetables can be reduced by many preservation techniques. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology is largely used for minimally processed fruits and vegetables including fresh, "ready-to-use" vegetables. Extensive research has been done in this research area for many decades. Oxygen, CO2, and N2, are most often used in MAP. The recommended percentage of O2 in a modified atmosphere for fruits and vegetables for both safety and quality falls between 1 and 5%. Although other gases such as nitrous and nitric oxides, sulphur dioxide, ethylene, chlorine, as well as ozone and propylene oxide have also been investigated, they have not been applied commercially due to safety, regulatory, and cost considerations. Successful control of both product respiration and ethylene production and perception by MAP can result in a fruit or vegetable product of high organoleptic quality; however, control of these processes is dependent on temperature control. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dhall R.K.,Punjab Agricultural University
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2013

Edible coatings are an environmentally friendly technology that is applied on many products to control moisture transfer, gas exchange or oxidation processes. Edible coatings can provide an additional protective coating to produce and can also give the same effect as modified atmosphere storage in modifying internal gas composition. One major advantage of using edible films and coatings is that several active ingredients can be incorporated into the polymer matrix and consumed with the food, thus enhancing safety or even nutritional and sensory attributes. But, in some cases, edible coatings were not successful. The success of edible coatings for fresh products totally depends on the control of internal gas composition. Quality criteria for fruits and vegetables coated with edible films must be determined carefully and the quality parameters must be monitored throughout the storage period. Color change, firmness loss, ethanol fermentation, decay ratio and weight loss of edible film coated fruits need to be monitored. This review discusses the use of different edible coatings (polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and composite) as carriers of functional ingredients on fresh fruits and vegetables to maximize their quality and shelf life. This also includes the recent advances in the incorporation of antimicrobials, texture enhancers and nutraceuticals to improve quality and functionality of fresh-cut fruits. Sensory implications, regulatory status and future trends are also reviewed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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