National Science Day (28 February) was celebrated at ICAR-NBPGR Experimental Farm, Issapur New Delhi on 29 February, 2020 to create awareness about conservation of biodiversity among school and college students of nearby rural areas. More than 400 students belonging to schools of nearby villages (Dhansa, Mundela, Jaffarpur, Badeli) and college/university (PDM university, Bahadurgarh and SGT University, Jhajhar) of Delhi and Haryana participated in the event. The girl students and the students of SC/ST communities participated with great zeal. A tribute to Sir CV Raman was given and his contribution in science was remembered by all. Dr. Kuldeep Singh, Director, NBPGR explained regarding the need for biodiversity conservation in his inaugural speech and motivated the students to choose a career in agriculture science to serve the nation. Dr. JC Rana, National Coordinator, UNEP-GEF, Bioversity International, urged students to be more curious for scientific innovations. Dr. SC Dubey, Head, Division of Plant Quarantine, NBPGR and Dr. Veena Gupta, Head, Division of Conservation, NBPGR spoke on issues and challenges related to plant quarantine and biodiversity conservation, respectively. Dr Ashok Kumar, Head, Division of Germplasm Evaluation, NBPGR told about the nature of variability in crop genetic resources are being grown at Issapur Farm. He also informed about the scholarship and fellowship of ICAR for pursuing studies in the field of agriculture. The senior staff members of NBPGR interacted with students and appraised about the PGR management activities. The women scientists of NBPGR participated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Students visited the field experiments to see the live variability in germplasm of various agri-horticultural crops such as wheat, barley, mustard, pea, lentil, fruit trees and medicinal and aromatic plants etc. The nature of germplasm, experiment details, layout etc. were explained by the concerned scientists. After field visit, demonstrations of various biochemical and physiological experiments were set by NBPGR staff for benefit of the students. Also exhibition stalls were organized by NBPGR to make the students understand role of National Gene Bank in conservation of biodiversity, displayed models showing variability in the seed shape, size and colour of different crops, while KVK, Ujwa showcased various nutritious products of millets, bajra etc., organic manures and vermi compost. Agriculture and biodiversity based quiz competitions were also organized for school and college students separately, wherein students participated with great zeal and enthusiasm. The program was coordinated by Dr. Vijay Singh Meena, Scientist & OIC, NBPGR Experimental Farm, Issapur, New Delhi.
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(Source: Dr. Ashok Kumar, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Germplasm Evaluation, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi)