Workshop III: Biotechnology to Nanotechnology for the improvement in Agriculture

The third workshop of DBT-AAU Centre was held in the Dept. of Agricultural Biotechnology, AAU, during February 6th - 9th’ 2013. The workshop entitled “Biotechnology to Nanotechnology for the improvement in Agriculture” was organised with an aim to bring some of the renowned nanotechnologist and biotechnologist of international and national stature, closer to the students, researchers and scientific community of the nation as well as the North eastern region, in particular, so they can be actively engaged more in Biotechnology initiatives and coming up with new solutions that, we, as a country, have never thought before. The workshop, was inaugurated by The Registrar, Assam Agricultural University, Mrs. Krishna Gohain, who accentuated on the twin concepts of Nanotechnology and Biotechnology that holds a primary importance in the improvement of Agriculture not only to the country, but also to the world at large’. Prof. B. K. Sarmah, Director of the Centre, strongly urged the need of the theme for the workshop stating that in order to provide food and nutritional security to the fast growing population of our country both nanotechnologist and biotechnologist have to join hands and supplement the conventional technologies to find solutions to the problems encountered by the agricultural and horticultural crops.

The first talk of the workshop “What do engineers know about about Nanobiotechnology? Should Agricultural Scientists even talk to engineers?” was delivered by Dr. Achintya Bezbaruah, North Dakota State University, USA where he emphasised on how engineering and agricultural sciences can complement each other in nanotechnology research. Distinguished Professor of civil engineering, NDSU; Kalpana Katti introduced nanomaterials and their characterization tech-niques. In her presentation, Dr. Katti discussed the history and future challenges for nanotechnology research.

Dr. N Lawo travelled from Syngenta, Switzerland presented her work on “Bt-transgenic crops: Interaction of sub-lethally effected caterpillars with biological control organisms” which was an important topic in the field for development of crop resistant towards insects. Dr. P Vikram travelled from IRRI; Philippines gave lecture on “Genomic assisted MAB for Abiotic stresses and MAB for drought tolerance in rice”.

Other international experts for the workshop included the Dr. Eakalak Khan, NDSU, USA; Dr. Dinesh Katti, NDSU, USA; Dr. Harjyoti Kalita, NDSU, USA; Dr. Donna Jacob, Dr. Jose Gonzalez, SDSU, USA who delivered lectures in the workshop through Video conferencing. More than 60 participants from academic and research organizations across the nation attended the Workshop.

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