In a first for agriculture education in India, Sumant Bindal, an M.Sc. Agriculture (Genetics & Plant Breeding) student of Lovely Professional University, has bagged a fully-paid scholarship worth Rs. 1.3 Crores to pursue his PhD in Plant Sciences at the prestigious Australian National University (ANU). This is perhaps the biggest scholarship ever bagged by an agriculture student from India.
The programme would commence in September 2020 at ANU. Sumant’s topic of research would be ‘Identification of signalling pathways activated by resistant genes against Fusarium wilt in tomato’. His research would focus on how to make tomatoes completely resistant to Fusarium wilt, a plant fungus that infects tomatoes worldwide, and has reportedly caused up to 45% yield loss to tomato crop in India in the past.
This is not the first time that Sumant has received international recognition. Last year, he had also got an opportunity to intern at the globally renowned World Vegetable Center in Taiwan which was fully funded by the Taiwan government. He was one of the 15 Masters’ students from across the world who were chosen for this fellowship.
Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, LPU said, “Sumant is one of the brightest students at LPU. It is a moment of great pride for all of us to see him get an opportunity to study at one of the world’s leading research universities. At LPU, our focus is on marrying classroom learning with on-ground application. The 1000 acres of farmland that we have, offers students plenty of opportunities to research and implement what they learn. We hope to see more students following Sumant’s footsteps in the future”.