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Reclamation of degrading land crucial, says ISRO chairman

Jemi Joseph receives her 13 gold medals from ISROChairman A.S. Kiran Kumar at the annual convocationof the University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad on Saturday.Special Arrangement  

Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) A.S. Kiran Kumar has said that the future of Indian agriculture depends on the reclamation of the 147 million hectares of land that was degrading owing to various factors.

He was delivering the convocation address at the 30th annual convocation of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad in which 36 candidates from undergraduate, postgraduate and research fields received 82 gold medals and cash certificates and over 1,000 students received various degrees.

Referring to the success by ISRO in launching satellites, Mr. Kiran Kumar said that satellites will provide accurate information on weather thus helping the farming community to develop their activities further.

He said that there was huge scope for progress in the field of agriculture and technology adaptation would further boost the growth. Additional Secretary of Union Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmers Welfare Department and an alumnus of UAS Dharwad, Ashok Dalwai, who was honoured with an honorary doctoral degree, said with the intervention of technology in agriculture, there was a plethora of opportunities for young farm graduates.

“Hydroponics is a new technology which will help farmers in facing harsh weather conditions. UAS has set up a laboratory on hydroponics and students should make use of such facilities to increase the food productivity,” he said.

As both the Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellor were absent, UAS Vice-Chancellor D.P. Biradar presided over the convocation, administered oath to the students and later handed over the degrees.

Of the 1,000 candidates conferred degrees at the convocation, 802 received it in person and 198 in absentia. Forty four candidates received doctoral degrees, while 265 candidates received post-graduate degrees.

With 13 gold medals, Jemi Joseph of College of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad emerged the golden girl. Fatima Jehla P. bagged five gold medals in B.Sc Home Science.

Ms. Joseph, a native of Ernakulam in Kerala, said that she will focus on research and development in her attempt to find solutions to the agrarian problems in Kerala.