British officials visit PAU to facilitate links with UK varsities

The British deputy high commissioners (Chandigarh) to India -- David Lelliot and Dipankar Chakraborty -- along with Swati Saxena -- senior advisor from the UK Science and Innovation Network -- visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for facilitating collaboration with various universities in the United Kingdom. PAU vice-chancellor Dr BS Dhillon, while interacting with the officers, outlined the priority areas for collaboration with foreign universities -- conservation of natural resources, input use efficiency, nano-technology, increase in crop productivity, food processing, and farm machinery. Discussions were also held on the feasibility of dual degree programmes, as well as farmers, students and faculty exchange programmes.

Lelliot invited the participation of PAU scientists at the forthcoming Commonwealth Science Conference, organized by The Royal Society in Singapore. He also expressed the desire to hold a one-day workshop on Climate Change at PAU in the autumn of 2017. The meeting was followed by a visit to the Department of Soil Science, where the working of the rice pelletizer was showcased for the visitors. The delegation also visited Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (Gadvasu) on Tuesday, along with other dignitaries. Gadvasu vice-chancellor Dr Amarjit Singh Nanda apprised the delegates about the university set-up and its major activities of teaching, research, and extension. During the meeting, several issues like anti-microbial resistance, pesticide residues in food products of animal origin, functional food products, and exchange of students were discussed.

Lelliot expressed concern over the effect of climate change on animal health and production, which was endorsed by Dr Nanda, who informed the house that recently, the state government had granted a project to different agencies to address the concerns about climate change, in which Gadvasu plays a major part. Swati Saxena urged the house to have a collaboration in the area of animal zoonosis. Dr Nanda informed the delegates that Gadvasu was already collaborating with the University of Saskatoon in Canada, and running a project on Brucellosis (a bacterial disease affecting cattle) in collaboration with Royal Veterinary College in London. Chakraborty stated other areas like dual degree programme, supply of pig semen, and vaccine production, in which collaboration can be made effectively with Gadvasu and the state government.

Source: India Time