Inducing eagerness in science and inculcating scientific temper in young minds is a desirable activity for a scientific research institution. In this regard, the ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana organized a one day workshop with Arabi to Banana: Potential and fruit research to the research faculty and scholars and college students. The chief resource person was Dr. Albert Premkumar, a visiting chief scientist, Istanbul University, Turkey. The motto of the workshop-cum-training was to familiarize the plant Arabidopsis as surrogate model plant for research among the researchers and students. The workshop provided a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise of Dr. Premkumar with college students.
The scientists and research fellows of the NRCB and more than 100 undergraduate and postgraduate botany biotechnology students from colleges of Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Perambalur participated. In the inaugural address, Dr. S. Uma, the Director of NRCB explained the availabilities of various avenues to the students in agriculture and banana research and counseled the students to understand basics of biological science and study. The scientists of NRCB, S. Backiyarani, M. Mayil Vaganan and I. Ravi initially presented their advance research programmes like method of embryogenic cell suspension, biofortification for micronutrients and salt and drought tolerance carried out on banana at the NRCB.
Dr. Premkumar gave a hands-on training using biotechnology and bioinformatics softwares to the college students. As part of the workshop, a quiz competition was conducted for the UG and PG college students. A. Prabakaran and H. Omprakash of Madurai Kamaraj University won first and second prize. The winners were given away certificates of merits and offered free project works at NRCB waiving the project fee of Rs. 15,000/-.