Ludhiana, June 29, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
An Indian woman scientist Dr (Mrs) Parveen Chhuneja, Director, School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana (India), has been conferred with “Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum (WIT) Mentor Award” for the year 2022 by Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) in recognition of her outstanding work mentoring the next generation of wheat experts, especially, young women scientists. Dr Chhuneja has carved a niche for herself by bagging this international award, which for the first time has been bagged by India. The WIT Mentor Award recognizes the efforts of men and women at the international level who have played a significant role in shaping the careers of women working in wheat and demonstrated a commitment to increasing gender parity in agriculture. Dr Chhuneja has mentored more than 30 young women researchers, a number of whom are working in national and international institutes. Two BGRI Early Career WIT awardees from India Dr Mitaly Bansal (2016) and Dr Sanu Arora (2019) during their Ph.D. were also mentored by Dr Chhuneja.
“Serving as Chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative has allowed me to cultivate and encourage the next generation of wheat researchers, and nothing embodies more than the Women in Triticum awards,” said Jeanie Borlaug Laube, daughter of Nobel Laureate Dr Norman E Borlaug. “These women are strong advocates for achieving my father’s goal of global food security,” she added. (https://bgri.cornell.edu/2022-women-in-triticum-award-winners/).
Ever since the institution of WIT awards in 2010, the BGRI has recognized 66 early career award winners and 12 mentors from 27 different countries. However, this is the first time that WIT Mentor Award has been bestowed upon an Indian Scientist.
Earlier, Dr (Mrs) Chhuneja has been decorated with Panjabrao Deshmukh Outstanding Woman Scientist Award by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Society for Advancement of Wheat and Barley Research, Dr Gurdev Singh Khush Distinguished Professor Award by the PAU, and International Gene Stewardship Team Award by the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to wheat research and development. Dr Chhuneja has also been awarded Fellowship of two prestigious national science academies of India, the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS).
Mr Sarvjeet Singh (IAS), Vice Chancellor, PAU; Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research; Dr Ashok Kumar, Directorate of Extension Education; Dr MIS Gill, Dean, College of Agriculture and Dr PK Chhuneja, Professor of Entomology, PAU, congratulated Dr (Mrs) Parveen Chhuneja for this highly prestigious international award and urged her to encourage and motivate the next generation of researchers in agricultural research.