Sangrur – Dr. Gurbachan Singh, Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India has been selected as Chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), New Delhi for a period of seven years or till he attains the age of 65 years or until further orders, whichever will be earlier.
Dr. Singh has assumed the charge of his new assignment on 13th October, 2011. It is worthwhile to mention that during his tenure as Union Agriculture Commissioner, the country achieved the highest food grain production of 241.6 million tons including 18.1 million tons of pulses during 2010-11. As per first advance estimate of DAC, the Kharif 2011 food grain production of 123.9 million tons will also expected to be a new record.
Dr. Gurbachan Singh was born in village Bhaini Maraj, district Sangrur, Punjab on 16th September, 1954. He completed his B.Sc (Agriculture), M.Sc (Agronomy) and Ph.D (Agronomy) degrees from PAU, Ludhiana in 1975, 1978 and 1988, respectively with merit scholarship and distinctions. After qualifying the ARS examination in 1978, Dr. Singh joined as scientist S-I (Agronomy) at CSSRI, Karnal, where he served as an active researcher for about 20 years. Other professional assignments Dr. Singh handled included Principal Scientist (Forestry/Agroforestry), National Research Centre for Agroforestry, Jhansi, 1998-2000; Head, Division of Crop Production, Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi; 2000-2001; Assistant Director General (Agronomy), ICAR, New Delhi, 2001-2005; Director, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, 2005 to 2010; Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India, New Delhi, 2010 to date. Dr. Singh was also selected as DDG (Research) in the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun and later on as Technical Expert
(in the pay scale of Additional Secretary to the Government of India) in the National Rainfed Area Authority, New Delhi by duly constituted Search and Selection Committees, but he did not join those positions and continued to serve as Director of CSSRI, Karnal where he started his scientific career as Scientist-I in 1978.
Dr. Singh’s scientific contributions have focused on developing alternate approaches to sustainable use of soil resources whose productive capacity has been diminished due to accumulation of salts in root zone. His research on bio-amelioration of sodic soils by trees and grasses has been acknowledged in journal “SCIENCE”. He published more than 270 articles, including 25 research papers in high impact factor international journals. He is reviewing referee for several peer reviewed international journals including Agroforestry Systems, Land Degradation and Development, Biology and Fertility of Soils, Plant and Soil, Experimental Agriculture, Journal of Professional Association of Cactus Development (JPACD), USA, Acta Horticulture, Geoderma, etc.
Dr. Singh is recipient of several national level awards, including Hari OM Ashram Trust Award of ICAR, 1989; CAZRI Dr. K.A. Shankarnarayan Award, 1993-94; IARI Tenth Sukumar Basu Memorial Award, 1995-96; Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award, 1996-98; Recognition Award of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2005-06; Chaudhary Charan Singh National Award, 2007; Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award, 2009 and Ground Water Augmentation Award of Ministry of Water Resources, 2010. He is Honorary Member of the Editorial Board of “Experimental Agriculture” published from UK; Honorary Member, Advisory Board of Indian Journal of Dryland Agricultural Research and Development; 2003-2005; Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Indian Society of Agronomy and Indian Society of Soil Salinity and Water Quality. Dr. Singh is chairman/member of several national level committees such as: Director, Board of Directors, National Seed Corporation, New Delhi; Member, Board of Management, IARI, New Delhi; Chairman, Registration Committee for Insecticides, Pesticides and Weedicides; Chairman, Technical Committee of Central Seed Certification Board; Chairman, Central Fertilizer Committee, Member, Management Committee of National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, Hyderabad; Member, Management Committee of NOVOD Board,New Delhi; Member, Standing Committee of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority of India and also served as member, Institute Management and Research Advisory Committees of CAZRI, Jodhpur; CRIDA, Hyderabad; NRC on Weed Science, Jabalpur and PDCSR, Modipuram, 2001-2005. He is Founder President of the Indian Society of Soil Salinity and Water Quality.
Dr. Singh visited several foreign countries, including USA, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Australia, China, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Hungary, Nepal, Italy and Iran etc. in connection with participation and presentation of key-note invited research papers, chairman of technical sessions in international Conferences and as head or member of Indian delegation. He is Scientific Advisor to International Foundation for Science, Sweden; FAO CACTUSNET Regional Coordinator for West Asia and Member of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) Working Group on Drainage.
ASRB undertook in discharge of its mandate of talent search, assessment and input for policy formulation. It was established on 1 November 1973 as an independent recruitment agency for recruitment to posts in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and to such other posts and services. (http://asrb.org.in)