ICAR-NRCB successfully conducted the International Training programme under IAFS-III on Cutting edge molecular diagnostics techniques for the viruses affecting banana and Plantain during 15th March to 29th March 2018.
Under India-Africa Forum Summit -III, one short term training programme on Cutting edge molecular diagnostics techniques for the viruses affecting banana and Plantain was sanctioned by the Ministry of external affairs, Govt. of India to conduct at the ICAR-NRC Banana, Tiruchirapalli from 15th to 29th March 2018. Under this training, nine trainees representing Kenya, Comoros, Sudan, Ethiopia and Malawi have participated. The inaugural function was held on 15th of March. Dr R.Thangavelu welcomed the chief guest and trainees. Dr.S.Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB was the chief guest and she asked the trainees to use the expertise of NRCB to know in depth on the virus diagnostics as these techniques will not only be useful for banana viruses but it could be applied for any plant viruses. She informed about the IAFS-I, IAFS-II and the recent IAFS-III wherein the Delhi declarations was released for cooperation between the India and 54 Nations of African Union to offer various programmes in different fields of agriculture and education. Dr R.Selvarajan, the Course Coordinator, briefed the genesis of the training programme and also the importance of it. He mentioned that the techniques are being used at NRCB for the certification of tissue culture raised banana plants for the entire country. Totally 18 lectures on various aspects of diagnostic techniques were delivered by resource persons from the centre as well as experts from outside. Hands on training was imparted on different detection techniques developed at our accredited test laboratory for four banana viruses. Starting from ELISA test using indigenously produced antiserum, PCR, IC-PCR, NASH and real time PCR were taught as hands on mode. The on-site detection using dipstick was also demonstrated to the participants. The participants were taken on a study tour to Theni district and Tanjore district to learn about the field level diagnostics, banana cultivation for local as well as export market and they were taken to an export banana unit wherein all the processes were demonstrated from harvesting to refrigerated container for shipment. The trainees were highly satisfied with the exposure that they had at the centre on diagnostics. They also interacted with all the Scientists of the Centre to know about the recent advances on every field of banana in India. At the end a valedictory function was held at the centre and Dr S.UMA, the Director, NRCB was the chief guest, she released the training manual compiled and edited by Dr R.Selvarajan and V.Balasubramanian. She distributed the certificates to the trainees and she asked all the trainees to use the techniques that they had learnt during last 15 days. She appreciated a quantum jump on the knowledge of participants on diagnostics as they scored 25% at the start which increased to 75 % at the end of the training. Dr R.Selvarajan briefed about the training programme and the performance of the trainees before the start of the training and after the training. He thanked the Director, NRCB, all the resource persons for delivering the lectures, Scientists, staffs of NRCB, Ministry of External Affairs, DARE and ICAR and the Virology team for assisting smooth conduct of the training and trainees for their patience and love to learn attitude.


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