Bathinda, February 10: Under the dynamic leadership of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Raghavendra Prasad Tiwari and with the initiative of the DST-FIST supported Dept. of Botany, the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Deemed to be University, Dehradun, to promote new academic partnerships for combating desertification.
The objective of this MoU is to accelerate the progress of research and training in various disciplines of forestry research through a collaborative approach. Shri Arun Singh Rawat, IFS (1986 batch), Director General, ICFRE graced this programme as chief guest.
During the signing ceremony held virtually, Shri Kanwal Pal Singh Mundra, Registrar, CUPB and Shri Arun Singh Rawat, IFS (1986 batch) and Director General, ICFRE, signed the pact in the august presence of Prof. R.P. Tiwari, Vice Chancellor, CUPB.
At the start of the programme, Prof. Felix Bast, HoD, Dept. of Botany, CUPB, shed light on the facilities of the DST-FIST supported Dept. of Botany, such as the Herbarium, high-end instrumentation, etc. He shared that this MoU would provide access to both institutions to utilize each other’s research facilities and expertise for conducting collaborative research for environmental protection.
Shri Arun Singh, Director General, ICFRE, mentioned that the Forest Research Institute, under the Indian Council of Forest Research and Education (ICFRE), is an internationally recognized research institute to carry out research, education, and training on Forestry, Environment Management, Wood Science & Technology and Cellulose & Paper Technology. Shri Arun Kumar shared various research achievements of FRI, Dehradun and highlighted that with its 17 research centres, the Deemed to be University has developed genetically modified disease-resistant species of 69 plants, including Sheesham (Indian rosewood), the state tree of Punjab. He hoped that this Memorandum of Understanding would allow scientists and research scholars from both institutions to collaborate on joint research projects and develop new age solutions for biodiversity conservation.
In his presidential address, Vice Chancellor Prof. R.P. Tiwari stated that the objective of this MoU is to develop innovative solutions for combating desertification and climate change. He asserted that the university on its 500-acre campus has earmarked large spaces for tree plantations and experimental research. He encouraged scientists of both institutions to work together to develop disease-resistant species of indigenous plants such as Moringa (Sohanjna) and discover their value-added benefits to society.
On this occasion, Prof. Anjana Munshi (Dean Research), Prof. Monisha Dhiman (Director, IQAC), Prof. Raj Kumar (Dean, School of Health Sciences), and the faculty members of CUPB Botany Dept. Prof. Sanjeev Kumar, Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Dr. Vinay Kumar, Dr. Vinay Kumar, Dr. Nirmal Renuka and Dr. Prashant Swapnil were present. From FRI, Dehradun, Dr. Tara Chand (Group Coordinator Research), Dr. Ajay Thakur (Head, Division of Genetics and Tree Improvement), along with their team members, also attended the ceremony.