The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
has its Headquarters at New Delhi, located at latitude of
28° 35’ N, longitude of 70° 18’ E and an altitude
of 226 m above mean sea level. NBPGR functions under the
administrative control of the Crop Science Division of the ICAR.
The Bureau draws guidelines from the Crop Science Division of ICAR,
Bureau’s Management Committee, Research Advisory Committee
and Germplasm Advisory Committees.
The Bureau has four Divisions, two units, three cells and
an experimental farm at its Headquarters in New Delhi and
10 regional/ base stations located in
different phyto-geographical zones of India. Besides this, a National
Research Centre on DNA fingerprinting and an All India Coordinated
Research Project on Under-utilized Crops are also located at the
Bureau (Fig. 1).
Plant Exploration and Collection Division has the
objectives to plan, coordinate and conduct explorations
for collecting germplasm. Germplasm Evaluation Division
is entrusted with the prime responsibility of characterization and
evaluation of all the indigenous and exotic germplasm collections
for their field performance and other important traits like resistance
to biotic/ abiotic stresses and phytochemical attributes along with
maintenance and regeneration. This division has an experimental
farm located at Issapur about 45 km from the main campus covering
an area of 40 ha. Germplasm Conservation Division is vested with
the task of conservation of germplasm of various crop plants, and
to undertake basic research on various aspects of seed storage and
longevity. Plant Quarantine Division has the power vested by Plant
Protection Advisor to the Government of India, under the Plant Quarantine
(Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003 under the Destructive
Insects and Pests Act (1914), to carry out quarantine of the plant
germplasm imported for research purposes. It also undertakes the
quarantine of material under export and issues the phytosanitary
certificate. Germplasm Exchange Unit has the responsibility of introducing
genetic resources of diverse crop plants and their wild relatives
and distributing the same within the country, and also exports the
germplasm. There is also a Tissue Culture and Cryopreservation Unit,
with the main objective to conserve economic plants, for which conventional
methods of storage are unsuccessful or inadequate, through in vitro
and cryopreservation techniques. In addition, the Bureau has three
cells, namely PGR Policy, Agriculture Research Information System
and Technical Cell.
The NRCDF has facilities for molecular fingerprinting
of released varieties and genetic stocks of crop plants of India.
It has the objectives of standardization of molecular marker
systems for DNA profiling and their application in variety
identification. The NBPGR Headquarters, along with the network
of 11 regional /base/ satellite stations covering different
agro-climatic regions, and the linkages with 59 National Active
Germplasm Sites constitute the Indian Plant Genetic Resource Management
To act as nodal institute at national level for
acquisition and management of indigenous and exotic plant genetic
resources for food and agriculture, and to carry out related research
and human resource development, for sustainable growth of agriculture.
Objectives of NBPGR
- To plan, organize, conduct and coordinate exploration and collection
of indigenous and exotic plant genetic resources.
- To undertake introduction, exchange and quarantine of plant genetic
- To characterize, evaluate, document and conserve crop genetic
resources and promote their use, in collaboration with other national
- To develop information network on plant genetic resources.
- To conduct research, undertake teaching and training, develop
guidelines and create public awareness on plant genetic resources.
Indian Vavilov Dr. Harbhajan Singh
Dr. Harbhajan Singh was the most distinguished plant explorer,
renowned as the “Indian Vavilov”. He imparted a distinct
identity to the discipline Plant Genetic Resources in India. Dr.
Singh introduced large germplasm of wheat and rice that contributed
to the Green Revolution in India. He also introduced several new
species such as soybean, sunflower, low chilling and temperate fruits
(peaches, apples, West Indian cherry, Chinese gooseberry) and a
wide range of ornamentals. He also made outstanding contributions
in the field of vegetable breeding, Pusa Sawani cultivar of okra
being the crowning example.
Click here to view MAP NBPGR
Born at Pusa, Bihar he received early education at Kharar and Amritsar.
Dr. Singh post graduated in Botany from Agra University and then
completed Diploma course of associateship in Economic Botany from
Imperial Agricultural Research Institute (now Indian Agricultural
Research Institute). He later joined Division of Botany, IARI as
regular research staff. Later, he adorned the position of Head of
Plant Introduction Division of IARI with great distinction, taught
and guided many postgraduate students with an unusual blend of scientific
and human qualities.
His contributions to the field he loved most have been multifarious.
He organized a number of systematic explorations and evaluation
programmes in India and abroad. Dr. Harbhajan Singh published over
130 research papers, bulletins, monographs and popular articles.
He served as consultant to several organizations and represented
the country in international fora. The President of India conferred
on Dr. Singh the Padma Shri award in 1971. Punjab Agricultural University
decorated him with the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris causa).
Dr. Harbhajan Singh believed and worked relentlessly with the firm
conviction that example is better than percept. He was a human being
par excellence. We feel greatly honoured by dedicating this volume
to the memory of the person who was a pioneer in the field of plant
genetic resources and was an outstanding plant breeder.