National Science Day is celebrated as “Open Day” – A new initiative by ICAR-NRCB on 28.02.2023
ICAR – National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli celebrated the ‘National Science Day’ on 28th February 2023 under the theme ‘Global Science for Global Well-being’. On this auspicious occasion, the institute organized an ‘Open Day’. Almost 3000 students from different schools and colleges located in and around Tiruchirappalli and more than 1000 farmers and the general public attended the event and got benefitted. The event was organized with the objective to create awareness among young students about the recent development in science, especially on banana.
The mega event was organized by the staff of ICAR-NRCB under the chairmanship of Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director, ICAR-NRCB. During the inaugural function Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director, ICAR-NRCB underlined that the theme of the National Science Day “Global Science for Global well-being” is correctly conceptualized and the event was organized in such a way so as to promote a scientific attitude in the young minds. Dr. C. Vanniarajan, Dean, Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute (TNAU), Tiruchirappalli graced as Chief Guest and Dr. P. Paramaguru, Dean Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women (TNAU), Tiruchirappalli and Professor S. Jayasankar, University of Guelph, Canada were the Guests of Honor and inaugurated the National Science Day and Exhibition respectively during the occasion. While delivering a Science Day lecture on “Hexanal – a possible remedy for unsolved physiological issues” Professor S. Jayasankar explained the recent developments in extending the shelf life of fruits using nanotechnology.
Dr. C. Karpagam, Principal Scientist (Extension) & convener of the programme underlined that this outreach programme will certainly strengthen the linkage among the different stakeholders in the banana production system as well as it will supplement the effort towards the “Lab to Land” Concept. Around 40 scientific concepts were exhibited for the benefit of the visitors. ICAR-NRCB Scientists and technical staff explained the recent scientific advancements like genome editing, precision farming, AI, IoT in banana farming by showcasing samples, specimens, equipments etc. The video films about banana-related technologies were also screened. As part of the celebration of National Science Day as Open Day, the International Year of Millets 2023 was celebrated by displaying 28 millets and millets-based processed products developed by ICAR-IIMR, Hyderabad. The visiting school and college students and the public were sensitized about the importance of millet and its nutrition.
The success stories of farmers and other stakeholders were exhibited in the event for upscaling banana cultivation. Varietal diversity including the ICAR-NRCB developed cultivars, popular cultivars, landraces, and wild germplasm lines were displayed. The visitors were also taken to the ICAR-NRCB farm where the Common Incubation Centre (CIC) has five production lines of value-added products established under the PMFME scheme. With 370 germplasm accessions collected from India and abroad, ICAR-NRCB maintains ‘Asia’s largest field gene bank for banana’. The visitors have explained the diversity of banana germplasm and the importance of the field gene bank in banana breeding program. Banana-based value-added products, millet-based products, and stalls displaying various agriculture inputs were also part of the exhibition arranged during the event.