Harmit Singh Thind,head, department of soil science, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been selected as fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), New Delhi for his contribution towards enhancement of nutrient and water use efficiency in rice-wheat and cotton-wheat cropping systems.
According to sources from Centre of Communication and International Linkages (CCIL), Thind has been instrumental in developing 18 new crop production technologies, which have been included in the package of practices, published by PAU. These recommendations on different aspects of soil and water management have been widely adopted by stakeholders.His leading role in large scale multiplication of quality seed of field crops and vegetables helped in faster popularisation of new varieties.
He was programme incharge of Niche Area of Excellence Project (2007-12) and is presently working as the theme- incharge (NRM) of prestigious PURSE Project. He successfully handled 11 research projects, funded by national and international organizations. He has published 60 research papers in refereed national and international journals in addition to two books, 10 book chapters and eight bulletins.
The university conferred Thind with the “PAU Plaque and Merit Certificate 2012-13” for his outstanding work in research, teaching and extension. Earlier, in 1988, he was awarded Commonwealth Scholarship by UK government to pursue Ph. D. at The University of Reading, Reading (UK). Besides, he has received advanced training in Philippines (IRRI) and attended international conferences in UK, Japan, Austria, Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal, Belgium and Netherlands.
Talking about his education, he said, “Interestingly, I completed my bachelors of science in agriculture and then masters in soil science in 1977 and 1980 from PAU itself and did my Phd from UK.”
In a message to farmers, he said, “We need to push ourselves towards diversification. Most of the farmers cultivate mainly wheat and rice and there is a need to introduce other crops as well especially legumes as they release nitrogen in the soil which makes the soil rich. It should not be ignored that water table is also declining and water is very precious. After harvest of wheat and rice, we go on burn stubble which is spoiling the soil health and the environment. If we do not curb such activities, it will be hard to move towards sustainable agriculture.
The vice-chancellor of PAU, Baldev Singh Dhillon, congratulated Thind for this achievement and exhorted him to continue serving the farming community sincerely in future as well.