NBPGR organizes DBT-sponsored Training Programme on “Genetically Engineered Plants: Biosafety Considerations, Policies, Challenges and Detection Strategies” during 19-25 July 2022

NBPGR organized a Training on “Genetically Engineered Plants: Biosafety Considerations, Policies, Challenges and Detection Strategies” during 19-25 July 2022 in hybrid mode. The training was supported under the DBT-sponsored National Programme for Quarantine and GM Diagnostics of Genetically Engineered (GE) Plant Material (Component 2). The objective of the training was to develop critical mass of human resources in the area of detection of GE plants [including both genetically modified (GM) as well as genome-edited plants] and biosafety considerations related to GE plants.

The training was inaugurated by Dr. P. L. Gautam, Former Chairperson NBA and PPV&FRA and Former Director, ICAR-NBPGR in the presence of Dr. Ashok Kumar, Director, ICAR-NBPGR and Dr. Sanjay Kalia, Scientist F from DBT. The training manual was released by Dr. K. C. Bansal, Former Director, ICAR-NBPGR and Secretary, NAAS. The training was organized by Dr. Gurinderjit Randhawa (Course Director) and Dr Monika Singh and Dr Vandana Tyagi (Course Conveners). A total of 46 researchers (nine in person and 37 in virtual mode) from ICAR institutions, State Agricultural Universities, other universities, National Referral GM detection laboratories including Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali, Export Inspection Agency, Kochi, private GM testing laboratories benefited from the training.

The course comprised of 17 invited lectures under six themes: Introductory Concepts of GE Plants, National Regulatory Framework for GE Plants, Genetically Engineered Crops: Technologies, Applications and Biosafety, Understanding the IPR landscape of GE Plants, Plant Genetic Resources, Molecular Detection of GE Plants: Current and Emerging Technologies along with four sessions on hands-on-training on GE Detection using PCR, Real-time PCR, lateral flow strip assay, Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification and two virtual Practical sessions in parallel. A total of 17 resource persons including external experts: Dr. Marie-Alice Fraiture from Sciensano, Brussels (Belgium), Dr. Sangeeta Agarwal, Chief Scientific Officer, DBT, Dr. K. C. Bansal, Dr. C. Viswanathan, Head, Division of Plant Physiology IARI, Dr. Malathi Lakshmi Kumaran, Practice Head, Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan Attorneys, New Delhi, Dr. Vibha Ahuja, Chief General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), Dr. Naveen Arora, Emeritus Scientist, CSIR- Institute of Genomics And Integrative Biology (IGIB), Dr. Siddharth Tiwari, Scientist E, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Dr. Bhagirath Choudhary, Founder Director, South Asia Biotechnology Centre (SABC), Dr. Akshay Talukdar, Principal Scientist, Division of Genetics. ICAR-IARI, and experts from ICAR-NBPGR: Dr. Ashok Kumar, Dr. Gurinderjit Randhawa, Dr. Pratibha Brahmi, Dr. V. Celia Challam, Dr. Vandana Tyagi, Dr. Sunil Archak and Dr. Monika Singh, have delivered lectures in the area of expertise. The participants also visited the National Genebank facilitated by Dr. Veena Gupta and Dr. Anjali Kak, National Phytotron Facility facilitated by Dr. Akshay Talukdar and ICAR-Center for Protected Cultivation Technology facilitated by one of the participants, Dr. P. K. Singh. During the Interactive Session, presentations by participants, Dr. Vinay Tomar, Assistant Director, EIA, Kochi and Ms Harmeet, Junior Scientific Officer, PBTI, Mohali were made on the GM detection activities being carried out at respective Referral Laboratories.

The valedictory session was graced by the presence of honorable Dr. D.K. Yadava, ADG (Seeds), ICAR and Dr. S. K. Sharma, CSIR-Emeritus Scientist, IHBT and Former Director, ICAR-NBPGR. Participants gave feedback on the overall course content and management of the training. The programme concluded with the distribution of certificates.

(Source Dr Gurinderjit Randhawa and Dr Monika Singh, New Delhi)

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