Niche areas of Excellence

For building excellence and global competitiveness in specific strategic areas in teaching, research and capacity building in the field of agriculture and allied areas. It was envisaged to support programmes under Niche Area of Excellence component. This is one of the prestigious programme of the ICAR and the university concerned. The programmes are supported in specific cutting edge areas and the proposals must be responsive to regional, national, social and economic needs. The basic elements of Niche Area of Excellence are quality of human resource available; adequate infrastructure; access to latest information; attitude and commitment of faculty, staff and students; recognition & interaction with best of peer groups in India and abroad; shared vision and well developed educational technology system. The benefit of programme is open to all Agricultural Universities under National Agriculture Research System that includes State Agricultural Universities, Deemed Universities, Central Agricultural University, and Central Universities having agriculture faculty engaged in Agricultural Research, Education, Human Resource Development and Extension. The project proposals can be submitted in specific strategic areas in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. Multidisciplinary proposals with focus on monitorable inputs and outcomes are preferred. Till date 44 research papers have been published in refereed journals and 22 capacity building programmes have been conducted by these centres resulting in the capacity building of 1506 Faculty Members and 165 other stakeholders. 68 Students have either completed or are pursuing higher education in frontier areas at MVSc../MSc./Ph.D. level. Many national and international partnerships have been developed by the centres under this programme.

 Ongoing Programmes under NAE (Objectives & Achievements)


Name of University/Instt.




Horticultural Sciences


BSKVV, Dapoli

2015- 2020)

Crop regulation for increasing productivity of Alphonso Mango under climatic condition in Konkan Region

To study the phenology of mango under agro climatic conditions of Konkan region.

To induce vegetative flush in summer in mango in relation to the induction of flowering in mango.

To suppress post monsoon new vegetative flush in mango in relation to induction of flowering in mango.

To hasten maturity of post monsoon vegetative flush in mango in relation to induction of flowering.

To improve sex ratio, pollination and fruit set in mango.

To regulate crop load and to reduce spongy tissue in mango for production of export quality fruits.

Potassium nitrate 1% recorded maximum induction of vegetative flush in summer.

Eight different combinations of plant growth regulators used GA 100ppm induced maximum induction of vegetative flush in summer.

CCC 2500 ppm recorded maximum suppression of post monsoon vegetative flush.

PBZ (1000 ppm) recorded earliest and maximum flowering.

Treatment with Tricontinol- 15 ppm recorded maximum hermaphrodite flowers, fruit set and fruit retention.

Spraying of jaggary led to maximum hermaphrodite flowers, fruit set and fruit retention.

150 L water at pea, marble & egg stage) reduced minimum occurrence of spongy tissue.

Spraying of KNO3 1% at pea, marble & egg recorded minimum occurrence of spongy tissue.



PAU, Ludhiana (2016- 2020)

Genetic improvement of Kinnow mandarin for fruit quality biotic and abiotic stress tolerance

To produce seedless/ low seeded hybrids in Kinnow mandarin with easy to peel trait through interploidy crossing and interspecific hybridization approaches.

To genetically improve the rootstock for resistance to Phytophthora and tolerance to soil salinity using molecular breeding approach.

To authenticate and multiply already available low seeded Kinnow mutant.

Based on survival and sprouting data, the colchicine @ 0.5% for 12 hrs duration was optimum for the treatment of axillary buds, but, no tetraploid was produced with this dose and duration.

106 true hybrids were identified between Kinnow and Mukaku Kishu, 4 SSR markers (TTA 15 CMS04 Ci06A056 and CiBB1500).

Among the budding/ grafting methods, the patch budded scion propagules came into fruiting 2 years after budding.

X639 and Volkamer lemon x Cleopatra mandarin and developed rootstocks resistant to Phytophthora and soil salinity.

In the Jatti Khatti x Sour orange cross, 15 true hybrids have been identified.

The Phytophthora has been isolated and is being multiplied for screening of hybrid rootstocks in sick plots.

with SSR markers: CiBE3298, CiBE3397, CiBE3936, CCSM156 and AG14.




Animal Sciences


NDPCVV, Jabalpur (2013-2018)

Wildlife Forensic and Health

diagnosis and health monitoring of wild animals

To develop facilities for advanced research for wild animal species identification by biological samples i.e. skin, meat, hair, bone, milk etc. by DNA based technologies

To develop tools and provide technical assistance and consultancy services for scientific Wildlife Health Management in Central India.

To develop trained human resources from veterinary educational institutes, state veterinary and forest departments for wildlife forensic, health monitoring techniques and immobilization of wild animals.

Sequenced and submitted whole genome of domestic Pig using NGS to the NCBI database.

Techniques developed for species identification from biological samples such as dried blood stained materials like clothes and weapons used for poaching.

Validated Bio-technological tools and detected EEHV in Asiatic elephants.

Screening done of wild carnivores and feral dogs around Panna Tiger Reserve using already published primers for diagnosis of Leptospirosis, Canine distemper, Infectious canine hepatitis and Canine Parvo viral infections.


IVRI, Izatnagar (2014-2019)

Nutrition and Gut Health: Probiotics, Prebiotics and phytogenics as Functional- Augment Gut Health of Dogs

To elucidate the role of selected canine-origin probiotics, phytogenic-prebiotics and their combination (synbiotics) in improving nutrient metabolism, splanchnic tissue architecture, immune response and gut health using model laboratory animals

To explore the possible role of inherent /exogenous dietary polyphenols in modulating the hind gut microbial ecology and gut health

To ascertain the potential interaction of food matrix (diet composition) in the response to probiotic-prebiotic supplementation with special emphasis on dietary polyphenols

To establish the therapeutic efficacy of proven probiotic / prebiotics / synbiotics in alleviating gastrointestinal disorders of companion animals including inflammatory bowel disease and chemotherapy-induced mucositis

Isolated, characterized and validated the potential use of a probiotic bacteria of canine-origin, Lactobacillus johnsonii CPN23 (GenBank Accession No. KP065494) through a series of in vitro and in vivo trials.

Successful development of procedure for laboratory-scale extraction of purified inulin from Jerusalem artichoke and its characterization as a prebiotic.

Successful evaluation of gut health promoting potential of the above probiotic (Lactobacillus johnsonii CPN23) and prebiotic (Jerusalem artichoke-derived inulin) in combination with polyphenolic extracts sourced from pomegranate peel and Jerusalem artichoke tuber in a series of experiments using healthy and colitis-affected rat model followed by healthy dogs.

having proven potential for augmenting gut health of dogs in terms of improvements in hindgut microbial metabolites, antioxidant status, immune response and expression of antioxidant- and mucin-genes.



MAFSU, Nagpur


Centre for Zoonoses

To strengthen surveillance on prevalence of zoonoses.

To provide a roadmap for improving the understanding about the ecology of zoonotic infections / pathogens through application of advanced approaches in molecular surveillance, pathobiology, genomics, and metagenomics.

To estimate the magnitude of reverse zoonoses.

To study pathogen–host–environment dynamics, and pathogen evolution

To develop analytical system based on sub-typing, finger printing, sequencing and proteomics to evaluate epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of the zoonotic pathogens

Capacity building of the scientists, researchers, health professionals, wild life experts, environmental scientists and academicians.

To promote “One-Health” approach that links human, animal and wildlife health for prevention and control of zoonotic infections and its drivers through holistic and interdisciplinary approaches.

A duplex PCR has been standardized for simultaneous detection of Brucellosis and tuberculosis in animals. The technique is under validation with collaborators.

Cases of reverse zoonoses with respect to tuberculosis in animals and human detected in collaboration with medical collaborator; Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS), Nagpur.

Proteins for rapid, sensitive and simple serological assay (on-field) for diagnosis of tuberculosis in animals identified.

New vectors for propagation of Listeria monocytogenes identified.

In house listeriolysin -O (LLO) based ELISA have been developed for sero diagnosis of listeriosis.

(tropical rat mite) detected with potential to transmit Orientia tsutsugamushi ; an etiological agent for Scrub typhus in the region.




SKAUST, Srinagar (2015-2020)

Study of Clostridium Perfringens and Dichelobacteo Nodosus (Anaerobic Bacteriology)

To identify and characterize Clostridium perfringens, Fusobacterium necrophorum and update the information on Dichelobacter nodosus affecting sheep.

To identify commonly prevalent C.  perfringens, F. necrophorum  and D. nodosus strains as ideal vaccine candidates.

To identify major immunogenic protein/s for development of recombinant diagnostics/vaccines.

To construct and characterize the gene deletion mutant strain.

To build repository of pathogenic C.  perfringens, F. necrophorum and D. nodosus bacterial strains.

To analyse whole genome sequence of a few selected C. perfringens, F. necrophorum and D. nodosus strains

A C.  perfringens isolated from 171 samples from adult sheep.

A total of 187 faecal samples from poultry (Broiler) were tested and 49 isolates of C. perfringens were obtained.

The samples from raw meat, from meat products, from milk samples and  from portable water showed presence of C. perfringens.

Epsilon toxin of C. Perfringens has also been cloned for exploitation as vaccine candidate.


Agricultural Education


NAARM, Hyderabad (2014-2018)

Technical Enhanced Learning in Agriculture Education

To Develop appropriate methodology to create, edit and publish the educational (for students, teachers)/ information (farmers/rural youth) models for offline and web-based modes

To Develop capacity building strategies to construct technology enhanced content in the appropriate format

To Developed a sustainable, ever-evolving and growing knowledge model for extending the TEL activity in NARES


TEL methodology developed to conduct video classes for MOOC, offer Distance education courses and online classes through live streaming

Video formats standardized for integration into E-learning portal for purposes like MOOC and distance education

Existing e-learning portal upgraded with added features

Competency Enhancement for Effective Teaching”

Training course on “Teaching Excellence Through Distance Education”

A unique E-learning portal established considering the latest stable open source technologies which integrates all kinds of educational interactions courses viz., distance education, MOOCs, vocational, open access, regular courses for effective course management


NDRI, Karnal (2014-2018)

Spore based sensor for monitoring pesticide residues in milk

Screening of marker enzymes in B. megaterium during spore germination

Screening of marker enzymes for pesticides inhibition and development of spore sensor based on germination principle

Development of spore enzyme sensor and its miniaturization on paper strip / biochip

Imparting knowledge  to different stake holders working at various stages of dairy supply chain in specialized field of food safety, quality assurance and advanced techniques on biosensors

The LODs of 30 pesticides determined after spiking in reconstituted milk with spore enzyme based sensor. The data obtained indicated the high sensitivity / selectivity of marker enzymes selected in assay development with all group of pesticides.

No impact of 0.5-7% fat content on extraction protocol and working performance of the assay, and assay could be applied successfully to all variants of milk, milk powders and other dairy products.

The repeatability and reproducibility of developed assay was assessed.

paper strip based assay was carried out at NABL accredited SGS laboratory, Gurgaon. The limit of detection (LODs) was reproducible during validation work.

.A non-exclusive license with an amount of Rs. 5, 75,000.00 was granted for ten years without royalty.


BCKV, Mohanpur

2017- 2019)

New Programme sanctioned