Dr. Tirtha Kumar Datta
Dr. Tirtha Kumar Datta
|Dr. Tirtha Kumar Datta||Director||Animal Biotechnology||01662-281601||01662-275004|
The ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes is witnessing transition from naive to a mature institute with its impact being registered in the areas of animal science research, development as well as extension. The institute has come to be recognized as a centre of elite buffalo germplasm having superior germplasm of not only Murrah but also Nili-Ravi breed, both of which have great potential to be used as improver breeds in the non-descript and low producing buffalo populations. Availability of progeny tested semen is hallmark of the institute through its Network Project on Buffalo Improvement, which added three other breeds – Nili-Ravi, Surti and Pandharpuri, to its Progeny Tested semen stock during the year. Analysis of 12th set Murrah breeding bulls, increased availability of frozen semen stock from proven Murrah bulls to over 1,00,000 doses. Besides high genetic merit semen, the institute is also committed to produce quality frozen semen as well, for which the process for accreditation of semen freezing facilities is in progress. The much awaited genomic selection aspect has been taken up in collaboration with International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) so that a genomic tool becomes available for early selection of high genetic merit males and females.
The Murrah and Nili-Ravi germplasms maintained by the institute got a new stamp of merit with both the herds registering record peak yields of over 23 kg and standard lactation yields of 4000 kg plus with complete lactation recording. At the same time,average standard lactation milk yields approached 2500 kg in both the herds. A record number of 126,008 frozen semen doses were produced from elite Murrah bulls while the sale of superior quality semen earned record revenue for the Institute. The Institute also undertakes identification, authentication and improvement of superior germplasm in the field through its activities like annual Buffalo Mela and Championship, Monthly Milk Recording Competitions and Field Progeny Testing Projects. The dilemma of low success in the application of reproductive biotechnological tools in female buffalo like ETT and cloning is being investigated to be addressed in due course of time.
Scientific investigations of rumen microbial communities and development of feed additives for reducing methane (CH4) emission and improved feed utilization are aimed at addressing the focused objective of reduced feeding cost with minimal detriment to the environment. The highly promising results have the potential to be applied on large scale. The institute also lent its expertise to sister ICAR Institute IIMR for assessment of nutritional quality of various Sorghum cultivars. Making use of the modern infrastructure facilities created in the Institute, nutrition-reproduction interaction, bioinformatics, induced pluripotent stem cells, early embryonic development on synthetic endometrium, transgenic embryo production, inter-species somatic cells nuclear transfer and nano biotechnology in the discovery of bio-signatures for the development of diagnostics, are some of the new research ventures. The institute also realized the merit of convergence with similarly mandated organizations and after a one-day meet, embarked upon practical implementation of the recommendations on convergence. Further, realizing minuscule existence of the institute in contrast to enormous needs of a wide spectrum of stakeholders, the Institute undertook unique initiatives in ICT applications like Buffalopedia, E-bhains Gyan Kendra, CIRB Youtube Channel and CIRB Facebook Group, which have become hugely popular especially among young educated farmers. This has further given a world-wide projection to the Institute. International recognition for the Institute also came in the form of two international trainings organized by the institute for SAARC and ASEAN countries, benefiting 33 researchers, academicians and senior level delegates from these countries. The institute continued to generate revenue in excess of the Plan budget allocation for the fourth year in a row, which could perhaps be the solitary example in the ICAR. The increasing numbers and better quality of research publications are a reflection on our motivated scientists and well-equipped laboratory infrastructure. The contribution of graduate research students is indeed very significant besides providing a vibrant youthful ambiance. Banking upon the unstinted support of the technical, administrative and supporting staff, the institute is all geared-up to further eulogize the yeoman contribution of this ‘Black Beauty’ to the economy of this country, currently pegged around Rs. 500,000 crores annually.
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