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Societal Programme for Rural Development
In rural areas for dissemination and use of biotechnological process and tools and for creation of new employment avenues training and demonstration projects were supported in various states. Few major projects were supported in an integrated manner utilising the bio-resources available as ‘Bio-village’ have been supported. Some of the highlights of these projects are as follows:

Biological Pest Control

A project on Biological Control of crop pests was implemented for the benefit of rural population in Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh. Field demonstrations were conducted and awareness generated about the usage of bio-pesticides instead of chemical pesticides among farmers, women, and backward population. Demonstrations on use of botanicals as bio-control agents to show their efficacy at field level as well as techniques of mass producing antagonists such as entomopathogenic fungi for pest control were also undertaken.


A project on farm training in silkworm rearing was implemented at Sher-E-Kashmir University of Agriculture and Technology, Jammu. Training programmes were conducted for farmers on latest techniques for rearing of silkworm. Pruning and training of mulberry, harvesting and preservation of mulberry leaf, disinfection methods and agents including formalin, bleaching powder etc., rearing techniques for chawki and late age worms, pre and post harvesting  care of cocoons, deflossing of cocoons and sorting and grading of cocoons were performed.


A project on induced seed production in Fish Hatchery and rearing was taken up as a livelihood option for rural youths and farmers in three blocks of Bhagalpur District in Bihar. Farmers were educated on use of new methods of carp culture by introducing concept of liming, poly-culture, knowledge of fish feeds, regular removal of unwanted weeds from the ponds for proper supply of O2 to the carps and maintenance of ponds in a proper condition for more production of fishes. They were also educated on application of bio-fertiliser, poly-culture concept, stocking density, spawning period, fry and fingerlings production and maintenance on pond conditions like dissolved oxygen and pH in water, rearing processes and knowledge about the breeding behavior of carps, effects of different abiotic factors on breeding cycle as well as growth etc.


A project was undertaken to create awareness about preventable causes of mental retardation, namely; congenital hypothyroidism, biotinidase deficiency and galactosemia and to establish the newborn screening program as a multi-institutional project by SGPGI, Lucknow. 11350 samples from newborns have been collected and all samples were tested for 3 disorders. Most of the families recalled are coming for retesting the baby indicating improved awareness. Ten babies were diagnosed to have congenital hypothyroidism. The diagnosis was confirmed by repeat testing. Nine of the babies are on treatment and are doing fine on follow up. After completion of 10000 cases a program was organised to update the collaborating centres about the results and utility of the program. SOPs for newborn screening prepared and put on the website. Information booklet in Hindi for prevention of birth defects for laypersons and pregnant women were prepared.  These pamphlets distributed to the parents of newborns are reaching wide and far and also helping to create awareness about newborn screening amongst general population and media. The efforts could help in creating awareness amongst lay persons and clinicians.

Fish Culture in Horticulture Ponds

A project on enhancement of rural farmers through fish culture in horticulture based polythene lined farm ponds was undertaken by College of Fishery Science, Nagpur. Farmers and unemployed youths were trained on polythene lined farm ponds for the use of with the use of stunted fingerlings of Jayanti Rohu and Catla.