UK promotes collaborative research with DBT, NIPGR

image credit- ICRISAT

Facilitate 30 Indian researchers to undertake research work at crop science universities

Around a hundred scientists from varied disciplines, who gathered to discuss an India-UK joint research program, called for more interdisciplinary research to make Indian agriculture sustainable in a changing world and to ensure food security.

The first General Assembly of TIGR2ESS (Transforming India’s Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies), a UK-India research program which began in 2018 and brought over 20 research institutions together, was held at ICRISAT during 20-24 January 2020. Crop scientists, sociologists, biologists, nutrition experts and archeologists, among others, are discussing the way ahead for the program.

“India is among the top producers in dairy, rice, wheat and pulses. It has seen around 2% productivity gains per year in crops like pearl millet owing to hybridization and the private sector. In Africa, the productivity is either stable or declining. Why are we lagging so far in Africa?” asked Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT, while emphasizing the need for transferring the learnings and successes from the program to sub-Saharan Africa.

To strengthen collaboration between India and the UK’s scientific institutions and to build research capacity, over 50 early career researchers, from both within and beyond TIGR2ESS, are receiving training in key research skills, from writing research grant applications to deep learning with artificial intelligence during the Assembly.

To further strengthen collaboration, specifically in agriculture research, Prof Griffiths, Principal Investigator for the TIGR2ESS program and the University of Cambridge’s advocate in Cambridge-India relations, announced that a fellowship program will soon be rolled out with India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR). The fellowship will facilitate 30 Indian researchers to undertake research work at crop science universities in the UK for two years.

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