CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT), Palampur (HP) celebrated the National Technology Day on 11 May 2021 in the virtual mode. This year the theme of the National Technology Day was “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.
Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT welcomed the guests and reiterated the importance of the National Technology Day. He briefed about the different research and developmental activities of the institute that have led to various technological breakthroughs and contributed significantly to catalyzing the Himalayan Bioresources based bio-economy. He asserted that CSIR-IHBT has signed 117 MoU/agreements and developed seven clusters for technology diffusion through MSME under the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI). In these clusters, more than 1500 entrepreneurs were supported in the area of shiitake mushroom cultivation, enriched compost formulation and cut-flower production. He also highlighted the contribution of Team CSIR-IHBT in developing testing facility and scientifically validated products such as hand sanitisers and immunity-boosting tea formulation for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Institute also developed technology for Vitamin D enriched Shittake mushroom. CSIR-IHBT is also leading the CSIR Floriculture Mission in the region and promoting high-value floriculture crop cultivation to enhance farmer’s income and develop entrepreneurship. The Institute is also supporting a large number of farmers by training in the cultivation of aromatic crop and honey production. Besides this, he stated that CSIR-IHBT has also significantly contributed by introducing the cultivation of Heeng in Lahaul & Spiti, and Saffron in Chamba, Kullu and Mandi districts of the state and distributed planting material for their cultivation. Considering the challenges faced by people residing in the cold hilly regions, a technology for night soil and organic waste degradation has also been developed and deployed by CSIR-IHBT in the high altitude regions.
On this occasion, the chief guest Prof. Kuldeep Singh, Director, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi delivered the National Technology Day Lecture on “Conservation of Agrobiodiversity for Ensuring Food and Nutritional Security in India”. He emphasised on the role of NBPGR in the management and conservation of national agrobiodiversity and summarized the activities of the bureau. He highlighted the significance of crop diversity for sustainable development, diverse food intake, India’s commitment to protecting diversity, gene banks for germplasm conservation and suggested the potential crops that can be prioritized for research in India. He further cautioned on the challenges of nutritional security owing to the loss of biodiversity the world over.
The programme proceeded with the presidential address of Prof. Shyam Kumar Sharma, Former VC, CSK HPKV Agricultural University and Former Director, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi. He applauded the contribution made during the current COVID-19 pandemic, nutraceuticals & nutritionals and farmer-centric technologies developed to boost bioeconomy by CSIR-IHBT. He further emphasised on national commitments to various sustainable development goals, especially dealing with conservation and sustainable production activities of natural bioresources. He stressed upon concerted efforts for conservation of the natural biodiversity as a whole, especially concerning nutritional security and sustainable growth of the society.
The programme was attended by CSIR-IHBT staff, scholars as well as former employees, press and media persons and other dignitaries of the region.