CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, celebrated its 39th Foundation Day on 2 July 2021 virtually. In the beginning, Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director of the institute welcomed and introduced the honoured guests Padma-Vibhushan Dr Raghunath A. Mashelkar and Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, CSIR & Secretary DSIR, Government of India.
On this occasion, Dr Raghunath A. Mashelkar, National Research Professor, Former Director General CSIR & Chairman, National Innovation Foundation delivered the foundation day lecture on the topic “Innovation Leadership: Learnings from a Personal Journey”. While congratulating the CSIR-IHBT family on the foundation day, he delineated on leadership quality and highlighted the significance of innovation. He stressed that scientific leadership calls for microscopic understanding with telescopic vision. He further said that leader must have purpose, perseverance and passion for leading an organisation. He emphasised on the importance of high aspiration along with creative thinking and risk-bearing ability. He appreciated the efforts of CSIR in serving the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic and converting adversaries to opportunities.
Dr Shekhar C. Mande expressed his gratitude to Dr Mashelkar for his motivational talk. In his presidential address, he appreciated the research and development work, scientific achievements and contribution of CSIR-IHBT to society. He expressed hope that the institute would be able to fulfil its scientific and social obligations by moving ahead at a faster pace in the coming times. He said that the cultivation of crops Asafoetida and Saffron would be a pioneering step in fulfilling the honourable Prime Minister's resolve of self-reliant India.
Earlier, Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director CSIR-IHBT presented the annual report of the Institute for the year 2020-21. He said that the institute is continuously striving towards the goal of discovery, innovation, development and dissemination of processes, products and technologies from Himalayan bio-resources for societal, environmental, industrial and academic benefits. The institute is providing end-to-end agrotechnology to the farmers for the cultivation of asafoetida and saffron in Himachal Pradesh. He informed the august gathering that the institute is playing a significant role in the cultivation of floral and aromatic crops, besides honey production. These crops are expected to play an important role in doubling the farmer’s income and make them self-reliant.
Dr Mashelkar inaugurated an incubation facility for the production of Vitamin D2 enriched shiitake mushroom, besides releasing the annual report of the institute and 'Manual on Saffron Cultivation in Non-traditional Areas'. Further, Dr Mande laid the foundation stone for a dispensary at CSIR-IHBT. The tree plantation was also done by the honoured guests through virtual mode during the programme.
On this occasion, nine Memorandum of Understanding and Technology Transfer agreements in different areas of crop cultivation and product development were signed.
The programme was attended by CSIR-IHBT staff, scholars as well as former employees, press and media persons and other dignitaries of the region.