RGU organizes int’l webinar on plant science research

RONO HILLS, 24 Jan: More than 450 participants from all parts of the world attended a two-day international webinar on ‘Plant science research post Covid-19’, jointly organized by the botany department of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) here and the Tennessee State University, USA, from January 22-23.

RGU Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha, who inaugurated the webinar, encouraged the participants to “orient their research on innovative ideas.” He also stressed on collaborative research between RGU and other universities in India and abroad.

RGU Registrar (in-charge) Prof Otem Padung spoke on the natural resources of Arunachal and the need to channelize their usage in a sustainable way, while Life Sciences Faculty Dean Prof Rajiv Kumar Singh spoke on the importance of biodiversity and emphasized on its conservation.

In the first technical session, Prof Rupam Kapoor from the University of Delhi highlighted the role of “arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in improving the secondary metabolites of high commercial value.” She emphasized on how the application of these fungi in plants can provide sustainable solutions to diseases like malaria and diabetes.

Later, Anand Kumar from the Tennessee State University spoke on the opportunities and challenges of industrial hemp production. He emphasized that hemp production has enormous potential to generate employment in India, particularly Arunachal.

During the second technical session, RGU Adjunct Professor AP Das spoke on biodiversity conservation and stressed that “development should go hand-in-hand with biodiversity conservation to sustain future generations.”

Dr Felipe Pinheiro from Brazil spoke on “agroecological approach allowing the discovery of semi-arid farmers’ innovations for climate change adaptation and mitigation.” He discussed how silvipastoral restoration improved farmers’ profitability and economic stability by increasing soil coverage, plant biodiversity and productivity in degraded semi-arid Caatinga region of Brazil.

There was active exchange of ideas between the speakers and participants in the technical sessions.

Attending the valedictory session, RGU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Amitava Mitra commended the initiative taken by the botany department of RGU “for coming up with the joint venture and creating a platform where plant scientists could discuss vital yet critical and crucial issues.”

RGU Joint Registrar Dr David Pertin in his address said “the university is playing its positive role in endeavoring through conducting online FDPs, e-short term courses, orientation courses, e-workshops, e-symposiums, national and international webinars, training programmes and talks during the pandemic period, and conducted 45 such programmes in the last nine months.”

Among others, Associate Professor Dr Hui Tag and Assistant Professors Dr Heikham Evelin, Dr Tenya Rina and Dr Tonlong Wangpan, all from RGU’s botany department, also spoke.