Hyderabad: The Dr. V. Praveen Rao, Vice-Chancellor of the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University to be conferred the prestigious 7th Dr. M. S. Swaminathan Award. This biennial Award instituted by the Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) and Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL) recognizes and rewards the work of agricultural scientists and professionals who made great contribution towards the progression of agricultural sector in the country.
The Award selection committee, headed by Dr. R. S. Paroda, Former Director General, ICAR and other representatives selected Dr. Praveen Rao from among the 13 probable candidates from the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and veterinary sciences. The committee stated that the outstanding and innovative contributions of Dr. Praveen Rao in the areas of agricultural research, teaching, extension and administration clinched the award for him in a very closely contested selection.
Dr. Praveen Rao, the first Vice-Chancellor of Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, in office since 2016, has to his credit, outstanding contributions in the areas of micro irrigation and water management. The progressive academic reforms and visionary research prioritization under his leadership has catapulted the newly formed Agricultural University to the No.1 position in South India and 6th position among SAUs in the country. Dr. Rao has over 35 years of experience as a teacher and researcher starting his career at APAU in 1985. He has handled 13 research and 6 consultancy projects of micro-irrigation in India, Israel and South Africa. He was a technical advisor and was instrumental in formulation and commissioning world’s largest micro irrigation project covering an area of 0.9 million hectares; and this project is considered as a milestone in Indian agriculture. As an international microirrigation consultant he contributed to the digital knowledge material on drip irrigated agri horticultural crops. A dedicated academician, he has to his credit over 164 research papers in peer reviewed national & international Journals, several field irrigation practical manuals, books, crop growing manuals, project documents, DVD films, invited international and national presentations etc., covering different aspects of micro-irrigation and fertigation management. He is currently a member of Telangana State Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry.
His professional commitment has won him several accolades – Leader with strategic vision bestowed by Agribusiness Summit and Agri Awards 2019, Best Vice Chancellor 2018 by AIASA and IAUA, Life time Achievement (RythuNestam) Award (2018), Education Leadership Award (2018), Net Award, Israel (2006) & Leadership Award (2005), to name a few for promotion of microirrigation in India, Africa and SE Asia.He is an active member of several international professional bodies viz., ASA, SSSA, CSSA, ASABE. He also served as Member, Governing Board and AGM of the ICAR and is on several technical and policy making think tanks related to agriculture and rural development in ICAR and Telangana State.