Ludhiana, December 7, 2017: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has appointed Dr Gurjit Singh Mangat as the Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. He has 26 years of experience in research, extension and teaching. He joined PAU in 1991 as Assistant Plant Breeder, Regional Rice Research Station, Kapurthala. Afterwards, he was selected as Rice Breeder in 2000 and then rose to the position of Senior Rice Breeder in August 2008. His thrust area of research has been breeding of short duration rice/basmati rice varieties with higher yield, bacterial blight resistance and better grain quality. He has played a vital role in the development and release of 23 varieties of rice which include 13 of non-basmati rice and 10 of basmati/ aromatic rice. The notable varieties are PR 111, 113, 114, 118, 121, 122, 124, 126, PAU 201 of non-basmati rice and basmati 386, Punjab Basmati 3, Punjab Basmati 4 and Punjab Basmati 5 of basmati rice. He has completed nine research projects and is presently handling four research projects. He has published 38 research papers in journals of national and international repute; and two bulletins, 43 abstracts and 22 popular articles. He has also delivered 21 lectures during trainings/seminars and 10 radio/TV talks, and engaged regularly with the farmers, seed growers and extension education faculty for promotion/adoption of improved rice varieties. Besides, he has attended six international and 36 national conferences/seminars/workshops. He has visited USA, Australia, Philippines and Thailand.
Dr Mangat is a recipient of “Jawaharlal Nehru Award” of ICAR for outstanding research work done during Ph.D. in the year 2002 and “ICAR Team Award” for the development of rice variety ‘Basmati 386’ during the year 2009. Under his leadership, among the 47 funded centres in the country, PAU Rice Team was adjudged Overall Best during 2011-12.
Since 2013, Dr Mangat and rice research team has developed and released five varieties each of non-basmati and basmati rice for the state of Punjab. These are finding great favour of the farmers in Punjab and adjoining states, as a result of which Punjab and Haryana are setting new milestones every year in rice productivity, production and contribution to the central pool.