G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar the recipient of ICAR Best Institution Award 2020, took the lead to establish the marble statue of Sage Parashara in the premises of the College of Agriculture in the University. It is to mention that the oldest treatise on agriculture and allied subjects, Krishi Parashara was written by Sage Parashara which contains 243 verses on different aspects of agriculture, livestock rearing, plant protection, nutrient management, irrigation management, agrometeorology, and other aligned aspects. This treatise is said to be written in 400 BC. Famous scientist Dr. Y.L. Nene, the International Rice Research Prize Winner of FAO worked intensively on the verses and recommendations mentioned in Krishi Parashara for years and also translated the treatise in many languages including Hindi, English, and Marathi. The marble statue was unveiled by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog in presence of Dr. Tej Partap, Vice-Chancellor and Dr. Shivendra Kashyap, Dean Agriculture on June 09, 2021.
The College of Agriculture of G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar took the lead in establishing a marble statue of Rishi Parashara at the forefront of the College so that his contribution made centuries back in the field of agriculture could be memorized and commemorated by the young generation. Dean Agriculture, Dr. Shivendra Kashyap speaking on the occasion said that the contributions and knowledge set of our sages and seers which are preserved in the precious literature remain hidden, and the young generation is unable to take pride in their illustrious ancestors and their immense contributions. This statue placed at the entry of the first College of the first agricultural university is a symbol of our respect to the knowledge set and the wisdom which prevailed into this country hundreds of years ago and supported the farming system of the country for ages. "We have also included a course in the first year of B.Sc. Agriculture viz. Cultural Heritage of India which elaborates on the efforts and contributions made by the scholarly sages and seers in ancient times which paved the way for modern agriculture with sensitivity towards nature. The hi-tech agriculture and improved knowledge sets need to emerge with the roots in the ancient wisdom which not only talked about productivity but also about sustainability and preserving of soil fertility, ecosystem health, plant health, water management, livestock health, preserving friendly insects as well as natural and organic farming practices”, remarked Dr. Kashyap.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Rajiv Kumar appreciated the maiden effort of Pantnagar University in recognizing the agricultural heritage and its importance for a sustainable future. "I wish Pantnagar University emerges as the hub of researches in natural and organic farming to upbring scientific protocols through scientific validation", said Dr. Kumar.
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Tej Partap appreciated the effort of the College of Agriculture in showing keen interest towards research in natural and organic farming and also for establishing the grand marble statue of Rishi Parashara to show respect towards the agricultural heritage of the country which mostly remains undermined due to ignorance. "Enough has been done on the chemistry aspect of agriculture and now it is important to conduct formal researches in physics of agriculture which will reveal many of those secrets which are hidden in the ancient literatures", reflected Dr. Partap.
The Coordinator of the Uttarakhand chapter of the Asian Agri History Foundation Dr. Sunita T. Pandey, Professor, Agronomy, College of Agriculture supported the college initiative by giving financial support in statue creation. The Asian Agri History Foundation was established by Dr. Y.L. Nene.
(The Author is the Dean of College of Agiculture, G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology)