Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Gwalior organised Popular Lecture Series on Biotechnology sponsored by DBT, New Delhi. First lecture was delivered on 23.09.2014 by Dr. Manoj Prasad, Senior Scientist, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi.  He delivered his talk on “Biotechnological Applications for Agricultural Development and Food Security in India”. Students of different schools actively participated in the lecture.           Dr. Prasad discussed the recent findings of his research on foxtail millet. This crop was regarded initially as neglected crop as a model system with rich genetic and genomic resources. He emphasized on the development of genomic resources at large-scale and providing unrestricted access to the research community. This would certainly accelerate molecular breeding for crop improvement. During his lecture, he discussed the crop’s potential abiotic stress tolerance and encouraged the audience to explore the respective molecular mechanism which would enable the generation of crops with improved stress tolerance. This can lead to ensure food security in the scenario of global climate change. During the interaction with students, he emphasized on morphology, structural and functional genomics of plant. He discussed the nutritional and medicinal properties of foxtail millet and mentioned presence of the higher seed protein, crude fat and minerals content. Further, he discussed the medicinal properties of germinated seeds for curing dyspepsia, celiac disease, weak digestion and abdominal food stagnancy.

             Second lecture of the series was delivered by Prof. (Dr.) Rajesh Singh Tomar, Head Amity Institute of Biotechnology & Dean (Academics), Amity University, Gwalior on 30.9.2014. He delivered his lecture on “Biotechnological Applications for Biodiversity conservation”. Students of different schools actively participated in the lecture. In his lecture Dr. Tomar discussed about the biodiversity, its importance to mankind and the causes of its destruction. He emphasized on the impacts of loss of biodiversity on nature and discusses about various ex-situ and in-situ strategies for its conservation. During his lecture, he discussed about the various national parks, botanical gardens and biosphere reserves of India. He also provided the information about the cryopreservation strategies for conserving the genetic diversity taking an example of Frozen Zoo. His lecture encouraged the audience to work in the field of conservation of biodiversity by controlling the causes of its destruction and by implementing the various conservation strategies. He discussed about the various biotechnological strategies of genetic improvements like breeding across sexual barriers for obtaining new improved plant and animal varieties like Flavr-Savr Tomato, Bt Cotton etc. Further, he emphasized on the participation of human being in developing nature a secured and safe home for all forms of life. His lecture was followed by an open discussion, in which he interacted with students and discussed about the basic techniques of biotechnology like plant and animal tissue culture and their application in strain improvement and species conservation. Students gained useful information and quality moral values from his lecture.

Third and last lecture of the series was delivered by Prof. (Dr.) S.M. Paul Khurana, Ex-VC, RD University, Jabalpur and presently Director of Biotechnology department, Amity University Haryana on 01.10.2014. The lecture was focused on the “Role of Biotechnology & Nanobiotechnology for cleaner environment”. Students of different schools actively participated in the lecture. Dr. Khurana discussed the importance of Biotechnology and Nanobiotechnology for maintenance of a healthy environment for all forms of life. He discussed about the various human activities like deforestation, industrialization and day to day activities that leads to the environmental pollution and also their negative effects on the biodiversity. He discussed about various biotechnological approaches for crop improvement, waste water treatment etc. for solving the increasing issues of environmental problems. He also discussed about the importance of water to all forms of life, its management and conservation strategies. During his lecture, he focused on nanotechnology and its application in solving the environmental issues like waste water treatment via bioleaching etc. He encouraged the audience to contribute in cleaning the environment not only by implementing these strategies but by reducing the causes of environmental pollution also. He emphasized audience to save water for the well being of themselves and the coming generations. In his entire lecture, he emphasized on ‘Save the Earth, Save the Water, Save the Trees and Save the Environment’ concept. This would certainly makes the environment a happy home for all forms of flora and fauna on earth and the mother earth a true green earth. His lecture was followed by an open discussion with the audience in which students curiously asked questions and gained useful information.

            The lecture series was ended with the concluding remarks by Prof. (Dr.) Rajesh Singh Tomar, Head Amity Institute of Biotechnology & Dean (Academics), Amity University, Gwalior. In his concluding remarks he emphasized on the importance of Biotechnology and Nanobiotechnology for solving the environmental issues and also encouraged the audience to be an active participant of this green revolution.
           All the talks were very informative and thought provoking in the minds of audience specially school children of various schools of Gwalior like Scindia Kanya Vidyalay, Gwalior Glory, Army Public School to name few.

            Amity University Gwalior is thankful to DBT, New Delhi for their financial support to organize such an event in a series of 03 lectures which really helped a lot to young minds in making them think differently and out of box with respect to various problems of human society like food, clean environment and also conservation of biodiversity for the sake of sustainable development.

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