Over five decades ago, in 1960, first agriculture university of the nation, the G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, was established at Pantnagar on the pattern of Land Grant Agriculture Universities of the United States. This was done on the premise that systematic education, research and extension programmes in agriculture and allied subjects were necessary to develop human capital as well as knowledge and technologies needed for the growth and development of the country, largely agrarian at that time. Pantvarsity, one of the most comprehensive agriculture universities of the country, over the past five decades has grown to be a formidable centre for agriculture education, research and development, and in many ways ushered India’s renaissance in agriculture education. During all these years, the university has worked hard to fulfill the expectations of the visionaries of the country to transform the agricultural scenario in India. Bharat Ratna, Late Dr. C. Subramanyam, the then Union Agriculture Minister and pioneer of Green Revolution in India, and who was instrumental in the establishment of the university, while addressing the 3rd convocation of this university on April 7, 1966 has remarked that .... “I am confident that when history of agricultural education is written, this university will be remembered for having laid the foundation of a revolutionary era in agriculture education in India”…... . In this regard, it seems to me clear that the university has now produced almost 40,000 students who have flourished in India and elsewhere in the world, has earned the credibility as being ‘harbinger of green revolution’ in the country and truly justified the blue print that was written by Professor Hannah from University of Illinois for agriculture universities in India, the vision held by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru while dedicating the first agriculture university to the nation in 1960 and the hard work of Bharat Ratna, Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant in establishing the first agriculture university at Pantnagar. I greatly honour and appreciate the conscious efforts of all the visionaries, outstanding scientists, teachers and alumni for taking many new initiatives in education, research and extension that responded directly to the challenges and emerging needs of the nation. At the same time the hard work of farmers and unstinted support of ICAR and State Govt. is greatly valued.
As we all know, the future increase in agriculture production in wake of growing demand has to come through mainly productivity enhancements and that the threat of food security now needs to be addressed in entirety with nutritional security, environment sustainability and natural resource sustainability, technological innovations and applications are again required. Further, there are numerous emerging challenges that confront agriculture at the end of increasingly small and marginal farming community, particularly in the hill states. These challenges also confront the State of Uttarakhand. With practically no scope for expanding area under cultivation, the escalating threat of food and nutritional security has to be met from declining and degrading natural resources, primarily, water and soil. Though an input-use efficiency-mediated improvement in productivity is certainly the viable option to raise production, application of emerging technologies such as hybrid technology, genetic modification using biotechnology in field and horticultural crops, animals and fish, and supplying quality seed, planting material and strains/ breeds to diverse end-users, generating and disseminating resource conservation technologies resorting to precision farming, GIS/GPS and ICT applications, and adopting integrated nutrient and pest management to raise production in the new IPR regime would also be essential. Exploring secondary agriculture in providing value addition to agricultural products, creating facilities for primary processing and stress management in agriculture needs to be explored for making farming more remunerative. There is the need to develop technologies that are economically affordable and relevant to small and marginal farmers and at the same time efficient in both farm and non-farm business. Excellence in research by securing public and private funding and working in a collaborative mode is the time-tested way for addressing issues of common interest jointly with far reaching applications. All this would require high quality relevant agricultural education and technology savvy human resource capital at all levels. Thus, the priorities and responsibilities of GBPUAT are assessed and renewed continuously such that the role and contributions of the premiere agriculture university in bringing agricultural transformation in the country continue unabated. The university with eight faculties together with 14 research centers on campus that offer venues for technology generation besides eight off-campus research centers and nine Krishi Vigyan Kendras spread over nine districts has always been in a sound position to confront challenges and render commensurate solutions. Fortunately, the three pillars of the university, the students, the faculty and the officers & staff, stand committed to do a lot more to serve humanity in the state of Uttarkhand and across the country foreseeing bigger challenges ahead.
Prof. A. K. Misra graduated (BVSc & AH) from Mathura Veterinary College in 1979 and obtained MVSc and PhD degrees in Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics in 1981 and 1996 with academic distinctions. Prof. Misra was awarded ‘University Silver Medal’ in BVSc & AH and ‘Chancellor’s Gold Medal’ as a topper of MVSc. His PhD work on embryo biotechnology in buffalo was adjudged as the outstanding post-graduate research work, for which he received ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Award’ of the ICAR, New Delhi.
During his career, Prof. Misra worked in several capacities very successfully including Vice Chancellor, Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU), Nagpur; Director, Project Directorate on Cattle (now ICAR- Central Institute for Research in Cattle), Meerut; Professor, Animal Reproduction, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar; General Manager (CEO) of Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala (SAG), a unit managed by the National Dairy Development Board. Besides, working as the Additional General Manager, Project Manager, Manager (ET/SS/ONBS), following recruitment as Trainee Executive by the NDDB. Prof. Misra has the distinction of working with ‘excellence’ in the corporate body, state agricultural/ veterinary universities and an ICAR institute.
Besides management of completely mechanized ~ 1000 acre agriculture and exotic bulls and bull mothers farm, a bull progeny testing programme involving 4 districts of Gujarat and state-of-the-art largest frozen semen production station of the country, Prof. Misra has been involved in the development of embryo transfer and frozen semen technology in cattle and buffalo. He did pioneering work in the field of embryo biotechnology, particularly in buffalo and produced the first buffalo calf by successful freezing and thawing of embryos, non-surgical and surgical embryo transfer in India/Asia. He successfully implemented ONBS project for the first time in Asia and was also involved in the successful vitrification of immature buffalo oocytes. Under the mission mode National Science and Technology Project on Embryo Transfer of the DBT, NDDB being the lead implementing agency, he established a network of Main ET Lab at Bidaj, 4 Regional ET Labs at Nasik, Hessarghatta, Raibareli and Nekarikallu and 15 State ET Labs in different states of India and produced thousands of cattle calves and over 120 buffalo calves. Under this project he produced a record 11 calves following transfer of 15 embryos, in to 14 recipients (78.6% conception), which was widely acclaimed by the media and the Prime Minister. At Pantnagar University, Prof. Misra has taught UG , PG courses and guided many students for their Master/Doctoral research. He established OPU-IVF technology in buffalo and Sahiwal cows at Pantnagar, that produced the first buffalo calf through OPU-IVF in India. As Director PDC, he included indigenous cattle breeds Sahiwal, Gir and Kankrej for their development in India and established two more field progeny testing centre at Pantnagar and Gangtok. Also, Molecular Breeding and Spermatogonial Stem Cell Labs were established to do research in these frontier areas of science.
When Prof Misra joined MAFSU, [the largest Veterinary and Animal Sciences University of India with 10 constituent colleges (5 veterinary colleges, one each at Mumbai, Nagpur, Parbhani, Udgir and Shirval, one post graduate institute in veterinary and animal sciences at Akola; two Dairy Technology colleges at Warud and Udgir; two Fishery Science colleges at Nagpur and Udgir) and 100 affiliated Diploma Schools imparting two years diploma in Livestock Management and Dairy Production and two more veterinary colleges are being established at Jalgaon and Akola], in September 1012, it was going through turmoil. A large number of pension cases of retired employees and payment of other dues pending for various reasons for a period of 6 months to 5 years were paid. Probation of more than 500 employees pending since 2007-08 was cleared. Vacant positions of Deans, Directors, Associate Deans, Heads of the Departments and large number of Assistant Professors etc. were filled in a transparent manner and without any complaint. Prof. Misra took several new initiatives in the field of education, research, extension, general and financial administration and massive infrastructure development. Consequently, out of total 71 Agricultural/ Veterinary Universities (including 13 Veterinary Universities, 3 Central Agricultural Universities and 4 Deemed Universities) under ICAR, MAFSU is ranked overall 16th and 3rd amongst Veterinary Universities for the year 2016-17 by ICAR.
During this period MAFSU has taken several new initiatives such as Online Admission procedure for all courses, use of computerized Student Cycle Management System’ and generation of all information and certificates including degrees electronically, Online Accounting System, establishment of Ultra Modern Vety Hospitals at Nagpur, Shirval and Udgir, Ambulances for large animals for each hospital, AICRP on Pigs at COVAS Shirwal, ICMR and ICAR supported Centre of Zoonoses, establishment of Wildlife Research and Training Centre at Nagpur, Laparoscopy Training Centre for Veterinarians and Medical professionals, Genetic Investigation Laboratory for screening of breeding bulls, Stem Cell Research Laboratory, Rapid Disease Diagnostic Centre equipped with modern equipments viz. MALDI TOF; Poultry Training Centres at Nagpur and Akola etc, beside creation of massive infrastructure in terms of buildings at different colleges. Prof. Misra brought the MAFSU back on the path of progress and prosperity.
He has authored 7 books/book chapters, 6 manuals, many reports, 71 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals (International- 30, National- 41) and presentation of over 150 scientific papers/ lectures in conferences. He has been the Member of the Editorial Board of ‘Journal of Buffalo Science’ (international) and Indian Journal of Animal Science. He was identified as consultant/ resource person by the ICAR for the establishment of the Afghan University of Agriculture and Technology; International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna-Austria; Integrated Watershed Development Project Hills-II (Kandi), Solan (H.P.), a World Bank Project; NABARD, Mumbai; Uttaranchal Livestock Development Board, Dehradun.
He has visited many countries including USA, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada, France, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan as Visiting Professor/ Invited/Sponsored Speaker/Chairman of the Session or other professional work.
He has been honoured with ICAR - Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Award for the biennium 2005-06, NAAS - Dr. P. Bhattacharya Award for the biennium 2013-14; ICAR-Jawaharlal Nehru Award 1997; President, Indian Society for the Study of Animal Reproduction 2014-2016; Lokmat National Education Leadership Award- 2014; CR Sane Oration Award-2010; Prof. Nils Lagerlof Memorial Award 1993; CR Sane Oration Award-2015; CLFMA Achievement Award in Dairy Nutrition – 2016; Nakul Award – 2013; Hari Ohm Ashram Prerit Shri Bhaikaka Inter-University Smarak Trust Award 2006-07; Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Health Prize -1980; Jawahar Lal Nehru Fund Award-1980.
He has been the Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh; Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Goats, Mathura; Chairman, Central Monitoring Unit (CMU), of the Department of Animal husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF), Govt. of India; Chairman of the Committee for the ‘Accreditation of Embryo Transfer Laboratories in the Country for production of embryos’, of DAHDF, Govt. of India; Member, Veterinary Council of India; Member of the Governing Body of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Society, New Delhi; Member of the Research Advisory Committees of the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal; Member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes, Hisar; Member, “Task Force on Biotechnology Based Programmes for SC/ST Population” of Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India; Member of the Management Committee of National Meat and Poultry Processing Board of Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Govt. of India; Member of the Boards of Management of Indira Gandhi Agriculture University, Raipur, Chattisgarh Kamdhenu Univesity, Durg, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan, Mathura; Member of Steering and Monitoring Committee for the project “Maharashtra Gene Bank Programme in Maharashtra”, Govt. of Maharashtra; Member of the Editorial Board of the ‘Indian Journal of Animal Sciences’ (two terms of 3 years each).
He has been awarded with the Fellowships of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences – 2015, National Academy of Veterinary Sciences – 1999, Indian Society for the Study of Animal Reproduction-2009 and Indian Society for the Advancement of Canine Practice -2013
He has been the Chairman of the Search Committee for the Vice Chancellor of the Nana Ji Deshmukh Veterinary University, Jabalpur; Member of the Search Committees of the Vice Chancellors of Kamdhenu University, Durg, Chhattisgarh and Kerala Veterinary University, Pookode. Recently, ICAR has nominated him as the Member of the Search-cum-Selection Committee for the appointment of National Professors and National Fellows including B.P.Pal Chair in Plant Breeding and Norman Borlaug Chair in Biotechnology Scheme for a period of three years.
As a sportsman, he represented Cricket and Hockey teams of the CSA University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur (UP) and was Captain of the Hockey Team of the College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry Mathura.