Sukirti, a voracious reader of fiction, who also has an avidity to give her thoughts the shape of words, is a graduate in agriculture. Apart from being a devotee of words, she loves to express herself through dance. She enjoys writing about environmental issues such as climate change and sustainable agriculture.

Rakesh Joshi, a scientist at the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) was named the winner of the prestigious Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Young Scientist 2021 (Biological Sciences) award on Friday for his work on the overlooked metabolism of insects that infest standing crops. Joshi proposed that because India is predominantly an agrarian country, more devoted agricultural research should be performed by young scientists.

The Inspiration:

Three months ago, Rakesh Joshi was on oxygen support for two weeks due to Covid-19. He had a higher feeling of vigour as a scientist to emerge healthy, and it invoked a sense of delivering for society.

Source; DW
  • When he was at the hospital, he saw others around him fight for their lives and sometimes not being able to win the battle. The scientist in him felt a greater obligation towards society.
  • His mind would always be preoccupied with restarting research work and getting back with students while recovering with the aid of family and friends.

About The Award:

  • The award includes a citation, a plaque, and a monetary prize of Rs 50,000.
  • It is given out yearly by the CSIR to scientists under the age of 35 who work in the fields of biology, chemistry, earth, atmosphere, ocean, and planetary sciences.
  • There are seven honorees this year.

About His Work:

Joshi’s Bioinformatics and Biotechnology group at NCL has been studying the metabolism of insects that infest standing crops, which has previously been overlooked.

Source: The Indian Express
  • He intends to one day provide farmers with environmentally friendly solutions that would target and eliminate one of the most frequent insects wreaking havoc on Indian agriculture: the cotton ball worm.
  • Cotton ball worm is highly adaptable in nature, attacks young pods and consumes the sapling’s vegetative component. The insect mostly targets chickpea, cotton, lentils, maize, and as many as 65 different species of crops in India.
Source: Mississippi Crop Situation

Their goal is to develop bio-controlled technologies that solely target and fight cotton ball worms in an environmentally benign manner. Some controlled experiments are currently underway.


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