SVU among 5 Indian Universities selected for European project

Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, has been selected by the European Commission for a prestigious project on 'Plant Virology in the New Era: Breeding For Resistance'. D.V.R. Sai Gopal, professor of virology at SVU, has been nominated as coordinator for BRAVE, the programme under which the project has been sanctioned. The EC has sanctioned 29,53,700 Euros for the programme which offers 100 scholarships. SVU is only one from the south among the five universities selected from India. The other four are Assam Agricultural University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rajendra Agricultural University, University of Delhi South Campus. Besides the Indian universities, six from other countries have also been selected for the project. They include Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), University of Helsinki (Finland), Martin Luther Universitat Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), Universidad Politocnica de Madrid (Spain), University of East Anglia (United Kingdom).

According to Sai Gopal, who has been invited by the EC to participate in the programme at Athens in Greece on December 10 and 11 to discuss the modalities of project implementation at the university level, it is one of the prestigious programmes which will be useful to undergraduates, postgraduates, research scholars and staff members in the fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, plant virology, crop sciences, etc to go to European countries to do research work.

The modalities will be announced after the kick-off meeting at Athens. "The programme will create a new generation of researchers for India and will offer high-quality academic environment focusing on research and the development of new knowledge in various advanced areas of research, taking advantage of the new technologies of next generation sequencing methodology. Such novel means have revolutionised research in a great number of biological research areas," he explained. The European part of the consortium provides a research environment very well structured to address basic and molecular research thus reassuring that education is provided at all levels. It should be noted that research in the area of plant epigenetic could also be performed as it consists of the most advanced areas of research in plant sciences.

The programme aims at bringing research closer to agricultural practices and at enhancing its impact not only on plant research but also on industry. Members of the programme could also serve as extension practitioners in Indian agriculture, dealing with everyday pathological problems enriching the applied plant pathology.
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