The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi.
The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 101 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of foodgrains by 5 times, horticultural crops by 9.5 times, fish by 12.5 times, milk 7.8 times and eggs 39 times since 1951 to 2014, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields
Role of ICAR
The mandate of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is:
- To plan, undertake, aid, promote and coordinate education, research and its application in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
- To act as a clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, home science and allied sciences, and fisheries through its publications and information system; and instituting and promoting transfer of technology programmes.
- To provide, undertake and promote consultancy services in the fields of education, research, training and dissemination of information in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
- To look into the problems relating to broader areas of rural development concerning agriculture, including postharvest technology by developing co-operative programmes with other organizations such as the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the universities.
- To do other things considered necessary to attain the objectives of the Society.
National bureau of Plant Genetic Resources
The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) has its Headquarters at New Delhi. The Bureau draws guidelines from the Crop Science Division of ICAR, Institute Management Committee, Research Advisory Committee, Institute Research Council and Germplasm Advisory Committees.
The Bureau has four Divisions, two units, four cells and an experimental farm at its Headquarters in New Delhi and 10 Regional Stations located in different phyto-geographical zones of the country. Besides, a National Research Centre on DNA Fingerprinting and an All India Coordinated Research Network Project on Under-utilized Crops are located in the Bureau. Plant Exploration and Germplasm Collection Division has the objective to plan, coordinate and conduct explorations for collecting germplasm.
Germplasm Evaluation Division is entrusted with the prime responsibility of characterization and evaluation of all the indigenous and exotic germplasm collections for their field performance and other important traits like resistance to biotic/abiotic stresses and phytochemical attributes along with maintenance and regeneration. Germplasm Conservation Division is vested with the task of conservation of germplasm of various crop plants, and to undertake basic research on various aspects of seed storage and longevity.
Plant Quarantine Division has the power vested by Plant Protection Advisor to the Government of India, under the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003, of the Destructive Insects and Pests Act (1914) to carry out quarantine of the plant germplasm including transgenics imported for research purposes.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world. The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
ICMR’s 26 National Institutes address themselves to research on specific health topics like tuberculosis, leprosy, cholera and diarrhoeal diseases, viral diseases including AIDS, malaria, kala-azar, vector control, nutrition, food & drug toxicology, reproduction, immuno-haematology, oncology, medical statistics, etc. Its 6 Regional Medical Research Centres address themselves to regional health problems, and also aim to strengthen or generate research capabilities in different geographic areas of the country.
The Council’s research priorities coincide with National health priorities such as control and management of communicable diseases, fertility control, maternal and child health, control of nutritional disorders, developing alternative strategies for health care delivery, containment within safety limits of environmental and occupational health problems; research on major non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blindness, diabetes and other metabolic and haematological disorders; mental health research and drug research (including traditional remedies). These efforts are undertaken with a view to reduce the total burden of disease and to promote health and well-being of the population.