The faculties of the Department of Plant Sciences have a track record of receiving awards and honours conferred by national and international organizations. In continuation, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Former VC and Senior Professor of the Department of Plant Sciences, has received the INSA Distinguished Lecture Award (2023) from the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi. Similarly, Dr. M. Muthamilarasan, Assistant Professor of the Department, has been selected as INSA Associate Fellow (2023).
Prof. Podile was recognized with a Lecture Award in ‘Molecular and Cellular Biology’ for his pioneering work on the use of pathogen-derived molecules like harpin and chitooligosaccharides (COS) to induce plant immunity and to reduce the use of synthetic agrochemicals in agriculture. He worked extensively on chitinolytic plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) targeting the cell wall of fungal pathogens, besides promoting the growth and yield of PGPR. The Lecture Fellowship carries a citation and honorarium, which will be presented at the Anniversary General Meeting of the Academy.

Prof. Appa Rao Podile

Prof. Appa Rao is a Senior Professor and DST-JC Bose Fellow in the Department of Plant Sciences at UoH.  He is known for his contributions in the area of molecular plant-microbe interactions in general and plant disease control using modern molecular approaches in particular. He has been a recipient of “Tata Innovation Fellowship” by the Department of Biotechnology and BSR mid-career One Time Grant by the University Grants Commission. Prof. Appa Rao is Chairman of DST-PURSE Committee and is a member of the DST-FIST Life Sciences committee besides being member in other committees of DST and DBT.  Prof. Appa Rao has guided 27 students for Ph.D. and more than a dozen post docs.  He has handled more than 30 national and international research projects including a major ongoing research project from DST. He has over 110 peer reviewed high impact publications and has two 2 patents awarded and a couple of others filed. His work has been cited more than 5400 times with an h-index of 41.


Dr. Muthamilarasan has been conferred the INSA Associate Fellowship for his contributions to millet genomics with a major focus on foxtail millet. For this crop, he has developed genomic resources such as microsatellite markers, single nucleotide polymorphism markers, etc., as well as open-access databases for the use of these markers by the wider scientific community. Furthermore, he has conducted functional genomics analyses to delineate the role of various stress-responsive gene families in the adaptation of foxtail millet to abiotic stress. The INSA Associate Fellow will receive a fellowship of Rs.10000/- per month for one year (w.e.f. 1st January of the ensuing year), and INSA also provides a one-time travel grant for attending international conferences.

Dr. M. Muthamilarasan

Dr. M. Muthamilarasan, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, is designated as the Convenor for the ‘Year-long celebration of International Year of Millets (IYoM 2023),’ and the Institute of Eminence will be funding the activities of UoH-IYoM 2023. The University will commence the events to engage the University fraternity in IYoM celebrations, including logo designing competition, poster preparation, guest lectures, recipe formulation, quiz competition, industrial visits, rangoli and slogan writing competition, microprojects, and interaction with millet entrepreneurs.  He has been selected for the prestigious ‘Har Gobind Khorana-Innovative Young Biotechnologist Fellowship’ awarded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.


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