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Published On:18 July 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

PEOPLE: Dr. Amjad Masood Husaini -- A Scientist of International repute

By IMO Correspondent

Anthropogenically induced changes in climate leading to adverse alterations in temperature, precipitation and sea level pose a mega threat to the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere in our planet. At the G8 Summit held in July 2009, Italy, an agreement was reached that all nations should reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent by the year 2020, so that rise in mean temperature can be limited to 2°C. Every calamity presents an opportunity for new innovations too. Designing crops for a warming earth is an anticipatory research programme of vital importance. Recently an exhaustive research account describing the strategy for modifying strawberry for better adaptability to climate change was published in the premier research journal of the country, Current Science 25th June issue. The author of the paper Dr. Amjad Masood Husaini is a Scientist of International repute who has published quality research papers on different aspects of agricultural biotechnology in leading national and international journals. His was the first report where he described that shoot regeneration in strawberry could be achieved simultaneously through both somatic embryogenesis and shoot bud formation, with minor modification in growth regulators. He is one of the first to report development of transgenic strawberry plants tolerant to abiotic stresses. He conducted successful transformation of strawberry with a reporter (gus) gene, using a genetically engineered soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA 4404 containing pBI 121 as a binary vector and later successfully developed abiotic stress tolerant transgenic strawberry overexpressing osmotin gene of tobacco.

Dr. Amjad M. Husaini is currently working as Assistant Professor (Senior Scale) in Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir (India). He holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and PG Diploma in Bioinformatics (Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi), besides certificates in Intellectual Property Rights (Indian Law Institute, New Delhi) and Remote Sensing Applications in Agriculture (Indian Agricultural Research Institute-Indian Space Research Organization). With an illustrious academic career Dr. Husaini has excelled in NET (Life Sciences) of CSIR and NET (Agricultural Biotechnology) of ICAR, being among the top position holders, and won Gold and Silver for his presentations in several seminars/ conferences. Recipient of Young Scientist Award-2009 in Agriculture (Jammu & Kashmir State Council for Science & Technology, Government of J&K), Jawahar Lal Nehru Award for Agricultural Research-2008 (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), Junior Scientist of the Year Award-2007 (National Environmental Sciences Academy, New Delhi), his biography has been included in 27th edition of Marquis Who’s Who in the World, in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of Environmental and Agricultural sciences. He is also listed at serial number 170 among the Indian Muslim Legends.

Dr. Husaini, along with Dr. G. A. Parray and other fellow colleagues at Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops (erstwhile Rice Research & Regional Station), SKUAST of Kashmir has been working industriously in research, development and popularization of high yielding rice varieties suitable for Kashmir zone. Though his field of specialization is Biotechnology, yet he has contributed significantly in research and development of two cold tolerant temperate cms (cytoplasmic male sterile) lines SKAU-7A & SKAU-11A, and two blast resistant high yielding cold tolerant rice varieties Shalimar Rice 2 (SKAU-341) & Shalimar Rice3 (SKAU-382). He has characterized more than 550 rice germplasm accessions and maintained these in the germplasm bank at MRCFC, Khudwani. Besides he has significantly contributed in the initiation and conduct of programmes for quality rice development, purification of indigenous scented landraces like ‘Mushk budgi’ & ‘Kamad’, evaluation of local red rice types ‘Zag’, popularization of basmati introductions like Pusa Sugandh-3, and research and development of early maturing basmati type rice suitable for cultivation in Kashmir valley. He is involved in hybrid rice development (between indica and japonica types), and in generation, evaluation of elite breeding material with cold tolerance, blast resistance, early maturity and improved yield through extensive inter-varietal crossing. He is also involved in the field testing of rice trials constituted at National level by Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad under AICRIP (All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project), and observational nurseries supplied by International Rice Research Institute, Phillipines (IRRI) under INGER (International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice) programme. 

Dr. Amjad has delivered some TV talks, and conducted / participated in awareness programmes (like Kisan melas, Kisan ghoshtis, T&V) organized from time to time for the Government of India), benefit of farming community by SKUAST-K (Directorates of Research, Directorate of Extension Education), Department of Agriculture Production, Government of J&K, etc.

Recently he delivered a talk entitled “Biotech crops: Imperative for accomplishment of MDGs and Agricultural Sustainability in 21st Century” in the plenary session “Moving forward with agricultural biotechnology in India: scientific regulatory and societal challenges” in the 99th Indian Science Congress, Bubneshwar, Orissa (3-7th Jan 2012), which was highly appreciated by the audience. 

Dr. Amjad has done a commendable job in bringing out some excellent edited volumes on Scientific topics of National importance viz “Medicinal Plants of the Himalayas” (ISBN: 978-4-903313-65-8), “Saffron” (ISBN: 978-4-903313-67-2), “Biotechnology of Strawberry” (ISBN: 978-4-903313-81-8), and policy papers like “Saffron cultivation in Kashmir: Practices and problems”, “Sustainable Saffron Production: Technological and Policy Interventions for Kashmir”, etc. He serves as member of Editorial Boards of “International Journal for Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Research”, “Journal of Developmental Biology and Tissue Engineering”, and “International Research Journal of Biotechnology” (International Research Journals); and as reviewer/referee of many journals of international repute. We wish that he continues to bring laurels to the Nation and contributes in the upliftment of the socially underprivileged communities.

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on July 18, 2012. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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