HYDERABAD, India – V. Ravindra Babu, rice breeder and academic leader at the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR), has been appointed as the institute’s director effective 9 November 2015. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Babu was acting director since 1 September 2014.
Dr. Babu brings to IIRR more than 30 years of work experience that started from a research and teaching career with Andhra Pradesh Agriculture University (APAU) from 1983 to 1991. He then joined the agricultural research service under ICAR through the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI) in Karnal until 2004. In the same year, he became principal scientist and joined the former DRR, now IIRR.
Dr. Babu has contributed significantly to the development of high-zinc rice and various rice varieties for irrigated systems, some of which are registered with the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources and some in the pipeline for release.
He also leads the CGIAR research program on biofortification, with 35 network centers across the country.
Dr. Babu holds doctoral and masters degrees in agriculture from APAU. His expertise is in genetics and plant breeding, but he also has keen interest in salinity tolerance, quality, nutrition, and biofortification. He has authored 184 scientific publications on these topics.
Apart from his new role as director of the IIRR, he is project coordinator of the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP), leading the largest network on rice research: 78 centers across India.
With a passion for mentoring, Dr. Babu has supervised many doctoral students throughout his career.
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