Fisheries expert to head ICAR

He was chosen by a panel headed by Y K Alag

Fisheries expert to head ICAR


Ayyappan was serving as deputy director general in charge of fisheries and animal sciences before he was selected for the coveted post. It was the ICAR that ushered in the Green Revolution in the 1970s and helped India achieve self sufficiency in food production.

The 54-year-old scientist was chosen by a panel headed by former Union science and technology minister Y K Alag. The members of the panel included C D Mayee, Chairman of the Agriculture Scientists’ Recruitment Board and T Nandakumar, former Union agriculture secretary.

Surprisingly, the panel had earlier rejected Ayyappan’s candidature on grounds that he was too young to be given the responsibility.
Almost eight months ago, the Alag panel had proposed veterinary scientist K M Bujarbaruah as successor to Rai, sources told Deccan Herald.
But the recommendation was turned down by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar who wanted a crop scientist to head the council. The minister said Bujarbaruah could not be given the task as he lacked adequate exposure to crop sciences.
Bujarbaruah is currently vice chancellor of Assam Agriculture University in Silchar.
Owing to the delay in the selection of the new director general, Rai was given a 10-month extension in June. The panel was also asked to resume the selection process. While the committee was earlier instructed not to select candidates below 54 years, the age-specific clause was abandoned this time.

Born on December 10, 1955, Ayyappan has just completed 54 years.
Ayyappan’s appointment is the first in the last 50 years as a scientist without background in crop sciences has been chosen for the post.
In 1955, M S Randhawa, a zoologist by training and an Indian Civil Service officer from Punjab was appointed vice president of the ICAR.
The curious appointment saga at the helm of affairs at the ICAR mirrors an almost equally puzzling appointment in the second rung of the farm research council, a year ago.
Swapan Datta, the existing deputy director general (crop sciences) of ICAR, was selected after his candidature for the post of director of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, was turned down. The CRRI comes under the ICAR.
DH News Service

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