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‘Father of Wheat Revolution’ Agriculture Scientist Dilbagh Singh Athwal Passes Away

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US, May 15, 2017: Often called the ‘Father of Wheat Revolution’, agriculture scientist Dilbagh Singh Athwal has passed away in the US, a Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) official said on Monday. He was 89.

Vice-chancellor BS Dhillon, officers and scientists of the university paid tributes to Athwal, who died on Sunday, at a condolence meeting held at the PAU campus here.

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Dhillon said the outstanding contributions made by Athwal in the field of agriculture “remain unsurpassable till date”. “Dr Athwal was one of the stalwarts who played a pivotal role in initiating Green Revolution in the country. He was a well-known geneticist, plant breeder and agricultural scientist of international repute,” Dhillon said.

“Athwal developed world’s first grain pearl millet hybrid ‘Hybrid Bajra 1’ in 1965 that heralded a new era in cultivation of this important crop,” he said.

Athwal was instrumental in developing ‘PV 18’ in 1966 and the most popular amber-grained wheat variety ‘Kalyansona’ in 1967, named after the village ‘Kalyanpur’ in Punjab where Athwal was born in 1928.

Punjab had heralded India’s campaign to ensure foodgrain security for the country in the 1960s.

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Athwal served as founder head of department of plant breeding in PAU, and made contributions to the genetics and breeding of pearl millet, wheat, gram and tobacco.

A large number of genetic stocks developed by him made a significant contribution to future research on bajra breeding and genetics.

In 1967, he joined the management of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and eventually served as the institute’s first deputy director general. At IRRI, he introduced many innovations in rice breeding.

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The University of Sydney bestowed the degree of doctor of philosophy on him in 1955.

In 1964, he was conferred with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is the highest Indian award in the science category.

He was also decorated with Padma Bhushan in 1975 by the government for his contributions to biological science. After his retirement, he settled in New Jersey, US, where he breathed his last.

The university has named its new guest house after his name as ‘Dr DS Athwal International Guest House’.

As a mark of respect to Athwal, the PAU remained closed for half a day. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)