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The prestigious Dr Gurdev Singh Khush Foundation for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences once again celebrated excellence in agricultural innovation at its Annual Awards Ceremony held at PAU’s PAL Auditorium. Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, renowned as the granddaddy of paddy and a Padma Shri recipient, led the event by honoring outstanding scientists and students from PAU and GADVASU with awards, scholarships, and travel grants.

In his presidential remarks, Dr Khush applauded the winners and acknowledged the faculty’s role in nurturing deserving students. He thanked PAU’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, for hosting the foundation and praised the organizing and selection committees for their dedication. Dr Khush encouraged the awardees to continue their efforts for the betterment of the community.

Dr. Gosal, in turn, commended Dr. Khush and the foundation for their significant contributions to global agricultural sciences. Reflecting on Dr. Khush’s legendary career, Dr. Gosal highlighted his transformative impact on agriculture, including the development of the IR8 paddy variety, which revolutionized production in the 1970s. He urged the students to draw inspiration from Dr. Khush’s legendary life.

The ceremony also featured remarks from Dr Kahan Singh Pannu, IAS, who celebrated Dr Khush’s poetic and scientific achievements. Dr Pannu drew attention to pressing societal concerns, emphasizing the urgent need to address depleting water resources and the crisis in quality education. Dr. Pannu’s insightful remarks resonated, particularly as he noted the significant representation of female awardees, highlighting the importance of equitable opportunities in education and employment.

The event saw numerous awards and recognitions, including scholarships, travel grants, and the prestigious Dr Darshan Singh Brar Award in Agriculture conferred upon Dr Praveen Chhuneja, who generously donated the award money of Rs 3 lakhs to PAU to initiate a scholarship for a deserving PhD student. Dr Manpreet Singh was honored with the Dr Darshan Singh Brar Young Scientist Award for his contributions to paddy stubble management technology. Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Dr Faqir Chand Shukla for his distinguished service in Food Science and Technology. The ceremony recognized a total of 61 students, with 47 from PAU and 14 from GADVASU, who received merit scholarships. Additionally, 31 faculty members and students were awarded travel grants, and financial support was provided to 5 students. A PAU Model High School, Kauni, the student was also awarded a merit scholarship.

Earlier, Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research, PAU, extended a warm welcome to the dignitaries on the dais. Dr Charanjit Singh Aulakh, Dean of the College of Agriculture, delivered the vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all participants for their invaluable contributions to the event’s success. Dr Jagdeep Sandhu, Professor, School of Biotechnology, skillfully coordinated the proceedings.

The ceremony concluded with a group photo of the winners alongside Dr Gurdev Singh Khush and other esteemed guests, marking another successful year of recognizing excellence in agricultural sciences and honoring Dr Khush’s enduring legacy of innovation and philanthropy.

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