A total of 344 students who passed out Ph.D, M.Sc, M.Tech, MCA, MBA and MJMC during 2017-18 received degrees during the Annual Convocation of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. In addition, 70 students were awarded Merit Certificates, 16 Gold Medals/Medals and one award. Fourteen scientists were conferred with awards as well as citations.The chief guest Sh VP Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab and Chancellor of PAU, congratulated the degree recipients, and winners of Merit Certificates, Gold Medals/Medals and awards. Addressing the students, he said, “Agriculture at the state as well as national level is facing many challenges, such as depletion of groundwater, climatic variability, increasing farmers’ income, etc.” The State has to play an enabling role, apart from designing and implementing favourable agricultural policies, in supporting technology development and dissemination, building institutions to cater to growth and creating public funded infrastructure such as storage, markets, power, etc., he added. Punjab agriculture has reached a stage where its profitability can be enhanced through reduction in the cost of production and better realization of output prices, he said. In addition to technology and agro-processing, aggregation of the fixed inputs and produce by a group of farmers will be helpful to achieve this goal, he observed. The PAU should facilitate in the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to achieve economies of scale in the use of farm machinery and sale of produce, he suggested. The Governor also made a call for zero-budget farming.
About PAU, he remarked, “I am highly impressed by the outreach of this University to a very large number of farmers.” The Governor exhorted the students to make farming a way of life that brings dignity and prosperity. “Demonstrate that you are capable of changing your as well as the destiny of rural communities of not only Punjab state or India but of the whole world,” he said to the students.Presenting the convocation report 2017-18, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, threw light on research, teaching and extension programmes as well as achievements of the University. To the degree holders, he said, “Your stint at the University will enable you to perform diverse tasks in the field of academics, agriculture and socio-economic milieu of the society successfully. In the present hi-tech age of high competition and big challenges, give your best and do your best. Hard labour in life never goes waste, it is always rewarded.” Later, Dr Dhillon honoured the Governor with a shawl and memento.On the occasion, students, namely Ms Shivani Nayyar (Dr Avtar Singh Atwal Gold Medal), Mr Gurwant Singh and Mr Gurbir Singh (Sardar Kartar Singh Kahlon Gold Medal), Ms Shivani Palial (Dr Gurmail Singh Dhaliwal Medal), Mr Ajaypal Singh Brar (Dr Gurbakhsh Singh Gill Medal), Mr Harmandeep Singh (Dr Sardar Singh Medal), Mr Sukhpreet Singh (Dr Narinder Singh Randhawa Medal), Ms Manjot Kaur (Sardar Bahadur Lal Singh Medal), Ms Neha Kharkwal (Dr K Kirpal Singh Medal), Ms Khushpreet Kaur (Dr GS Sidhu Medal), Ms Manpreet Kaur (Lala Sri Ram Ji Medal), Ms Aditi Sewak (Dr Jugraj Singh Dhillon Medal), Ms Jaspreet Kaur Grewal (Dr Bhupinder Singh Sekhon Medal), Ms Ishwinder Kamboj (Plant Pathology Alumni Medal), Ms Khushboo (Alumni Gold Medal) and Mr Dinesh Kumar Saini (Dr MS Randhawa Medal) were awarded Gold Medals/Medals.
In addition, Ms Ruchika was awarded Dr Sukhdev Singh Prize for best essay and oration.Apart from this, PAU scientists Dr RK Dhall, Olericulturist; Dr Thakar Singh, Senior Agronomist; Dr Manmohanjit Singh, Director, Regional Research Station, Ballowal Saunkhri; and Dr GS Kocher, Senior Microbiologist, were conferred with “Hans Raj Pahwa Memorial Award 2016-17,” “Dr Harcharan Singh Sandhu Memorial Award 2016-17,” “Best Outstation Scientist Award 2017-18” and “Award of Plaque and Merit Certificate 2017-18,” respectively. Dr Amarjit Kaur, Senior Milling Technologist, and Dr Poonam A. Sachdev, Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, were awarded cash award and citation for the development of blended fruit juices and bottling of sugarcane juice technology. Dr Manpreet Singh, Assistant Agricultural Engineer; Dr HS Sidhu, Senior Research Engineer; Dr Rajesh Goyal, Assistant Engineer; Dr GS Manes, Senior Research Engineer; Dr Manjeet Singh, Head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering; and Er Aseem Verma, Assistant Research Engineer, were awarded cash award and citation for the development of PAU Super Straw Management System (PAU Super SMS). Dr SK Jindal, Assistant Vegetable Breeder and Dr DS Cheema, Former Dean, College of Agriculture, were awarded cash award and citation for the development of chilli hybrid CH 27.At the convocation, Dr RS Sidhu, Registrar; Dr GK Sangha, Dean, Postgraduate Studies; deans, directors, faculty and members of the Board of Management, PAU, were also present. Dr Khem Singh Gill and Dr Manjit Singh Kang, former PAU Vice-Chancellors; and Dr AS Nanda, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, graced the occasion.