Hari Om Ashram Trust Award for DRR Scientists
Dr.B.C.Viraktamath, Project Director, Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad and President, Karnataka Agri Professional Association (KAPA) along with his colleagues Dr. M.S. Ramesha (KAPA Member), Dr. R.M. Sundaram and Dr. A.S. Hariprasad has won the prestigious Hari Om Ashram Trust Award for 2010-12. The award was conferred on him at New Delhi on 16th July, 2013 on the occasion of the 85th Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) by the Union Ministers of Agriculture Shri Sharad Pawar and Shri Tariq Anwar. The team has been recognized for their significant contributions to the development and popularization of hybrid rice technology in the country. The team has developed the hybrids (DRRH-2 and DRRH-3), helped in the release of 39 hybrids through AICRIP, registered 4 CMS lines and 6 restorers, helped in human resource development and established public-private partnerships. The two hybrids developed by the team have been licensed to 23 seed companies, thus strengthening the hybrid rice seed sector. Concerted efforts of Dr. B.C.Viraktamath and his team along with the private sector have resulted in covering about 20 lakh hectares under hybrid rice during 2011.
Born in Gadag district of Karnataka, Dr. Viraktamath obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Agri ) degrees with Gold medals from College of Agriculture, Dharwad .After his post graduation, he joined The Central Plantation Crips Research Institute, Kasragod and worked on crops such as coconut, arecanut , cashewnut and cocoa. He rendered his service in various capacities under the Indian Council of Agricultural Reaserch at Andamans, Goa,Calicut,Kasaragod and Hyderabad. Dr. Viraktamath obtained his Ph.D for his work on Hybrid rice from prestigious Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. He has great passion on hybrid technology from his student days and he focused on this field in every crop that he handled. Dr. Viraktamath is widely travelled and visited many rice growing countries such as China, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Colombia, Srilanka etc and made 25 visits abroad on various missions. He served as FAO consultant to Indonesia, China and Philippines and served for two years at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines. Dr. Viraktamath is a reciepient of several awards notable amongthem are the ICAR team award for hybrid rice, Best researcher award etc.
Currently, Dr. Viraktamath is the Project Director of Hyderabad based Directorate of Rice Research and steering the rice research in the whole country. Besides, he is also coordinating the largest research network on rice comprising more than 100 research centres spread across the country. Hybrid rice technology is the passion of Dr. Viraktamath towards which he has made significant contributions. He has worked with the seed industry very closely and helped forging close partnerships between the public and private sector. He richly deserves the recognition in the form of this years Hari Om Ashram Trust Award which has been recently conferred on him and his team. Dr. Viraktamath is currently the president of the KAPA association.