Millets are small-seeded grains rich in nutrients, bioactive molecules, and various health-benefiting factors. Also, millets are climate-resilient as they are cultivated in harsh environments. They can withstand heat, drought, pathogen and pest infection, and poor soil nutrition; at the same time, they are less dependent on synthetic fertilizers, systemic irrigation and pest/weed control. Thus, millets can aptly be called ‘food for the future’ as they can address multiple securities, including food, nutrition, energy, and environment. Given the importance of millets, the year 2023 has been declared the ‘International Year of Millets’ by the United Nations. To commemorate this, the Ministry of Education has directed the University of Hyderabad to plan and organize a series of activities related to millets.
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. Also, the Department of Plant Sciences will be planning for a national-level conference to (i) bring together the millet research community to exchange and share their knowledge; (ii) provide an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, industry entrepreneurs and educators to present, discuss and collaborate; and (iii) recognize the talented young researchers working on millets for their remarkable contributions.
UoH-IYoM 2023 will kick-start its activities with a logo designing competition this month, and the organizers welcome suggestions, ideas, and collaborations for making the UoH-IYoM 2023 a grand success!