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A day of discomfiture for hosts

india Updated: Aug 20, 2006 00:46 IST

IT WAS a day of embarrassment for the organisers of the 45th All-India Wheat and Barley Research Workers’ Meet here on Saturday. The four-day event, which began at 10 am as per the schedule, was moving well till the announcement for the address of the chief guest, Dr MV Rao, former special DG at ICAR, was made at around 12.10 pm.

Barely a few minutes after the announcement, came the routine power roistering. Knowing well about the power scenario in the city, the organisers kept a generator in place. But, the operator went missing at the very moment when the efforts were made to start the generator. Several attempts were made to trace the operator but in vain.

Chief guest Dr MV Rao, popularly known as the Father of the Wheat Revolution, decided to address the gathering of about 400 delegates without microphone. He even came down from the dais after a long wait and gestured the delegates to come near him so that everyone could listen to his speech. However, the situation became chaotic as not much was audible to those who were standing a little far from Dr Rao. To win peace at the auditorium, vice-chancellor Dr MM Agrawal guided Dr Rao to his chamber.  Later, talking to mediapersons, Dr Agrawal regretted the mismanagement and admitted that the generator operator was missing at the crucial moment.

However, earlier a similar situation arose when Prof Chandrika Prasad, DG UP Council for Agricultural Research, who was also the guest of the honour, addressed the gathering. Dr B Misra, project director of the Directorate of Wheat Research at Karnal protested certain remarks made by Prof Prasad.

Dr Prasad advocated higher price for wheat farmers and research meant for middle and lower class farmers. He was of the view that the research till date had been only beneficial to rich farmers only.  Dr Misra took control of the dais after Dr Prasad’s remarks and came down heavily on those who were making false allegations and even went on to say that such people didn’t have adequate knowledge and were not updated as far as wheat research was concerned.  Later, the V-C said there was no dispute between the two.