Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi recently announced the appointment of a former Plant protection adviser (PPA) for the Government of India Dr. S N Sushil as a new Director of ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru, which is a key institution in the insect science its prime mandate is to act as a nodal agency for collection, characterization, documentation, conservation, exchange, research and utilization of agriculturally important insect resources (including mites, spiders and related arthropods) and insect-derived resources for sustainable agriculture.
Dr. SN Sushil obtained MSc (Agril. Entomology) and Ph.D. (Agril. Entomology) from GBPUAT Pantnagar. He then joined as ARS Scientist at NAARM Hyderabad in 1993. After the training, he briefly served at ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bengaluru. Then he joined to Indian Institute of Lac Research, Ranchi. Then he joined VPKAS Almora as a senior scientist. After that, he joined the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow. In 2013 he joined as a Plant Protection Advisor to the government of India. After serving 3 years as PPA he joined back to IISR. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Principal Scientist and Principal Investigator for the All India Coordinated Research Project on Sugarcane at ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow.
Dr. Sushil has contributed to the development of six varieties of rice viz., VL Dhan 207, VL Dhan 208, VL Dhan 209, VL Dhan 65, VL Dhan 85, VL Dhan 86 at ICAR-VPKAS, Almora. He also developed and patented a low-cost, lightweight, user-friendly, efficient light trap for mass trapping and management of beetles of white grubs. He has also developed and commercialized a talc-based formulation of Bacillus cereus strain WGPSB-2 against white grubs. He also developed IPM Technology for tomato and garden pea for Hill and Mountain Agro Ecosystem. Dr. Sushil also designed and developed an IISR-combo insect trap for monitoring and mass trapping of white grub beetles and moths of lepidopteran pests in sugarcane and insect pests of other crops. A new trivoltine species of lac insect, Kerria sharda sp. nov. thriving on kusum trees was discovered and cultivation started. Biological control of lac insect predators using certain egg parasitoids was established for the first time and promoted in large areas in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Dr. Sushil handled ten externally funded projects and 20 in-house projects during his service. Dr Sushil has developed 15 technologies out of which 5 technologies are commercialized and two patents are granted. He is a prolific writer who published 92 research papers, 11 books, 11 book chapters, 113 technical bulletins and also delivered 42 invited lectures at various national and international conferences and symposia, he has also delivered 38 TV and Radio talks on various aspects of agricultural science and entomology in particular.
Dr SN Sushil served as chairman and member of important committees at the national and international level, some of them including Chairman, FAD 01 committee on Pesticides, Bureau of Indian Standards, Govt. of India (Ex-officio Chairman as Plant Protection Advisor to Govt. of India)-(2013-2016). Member, Registration Committee for Pesticides, Govt. of India (Ex-officio Member as PPA to Govt. of India)-(2013-2016). Member, Central Insecticide Board, Govt. of India (Ex-officio Member as PPA to Govt. of India)-(2013-2016). Member, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), Govt. of India (Ex-officio Member as PPA to Govt. of India)-(2013-2016). Chairman, Expert Group on “Harmonization of data of bio-pesticides of already registered strains” constituted by Registration Committee of Pesticides, Govt. of India-(2014-2015). Chairman, Expert Group for review of various guidelines of registration of insecticides by the Registration Committee, Govt. of India-(2014). Member, Institute Management Committee of ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow-(2012-2013). Member, Institute Management Committee of ICAR-Central Research Institute of Jute & Allied Fibres, Barrackpore-(2013-2016) Chairman, Committee constituted by the Government of India for assessment of whitefly problem in Punjab in 2016. Member, Quinquennial Review Team (QRT) of ICAR-National Research Centre for Integrated Pest Management (NCIPM) for the period 2014-2019
Dr SN Sushil also led the Indian delegation and participated in various international forums. Some of them include, member of the Indian delegation attended 28th session of APPPC from 22nd to 29th September 2013 held at Jejua Island, Korea. As a member of the Indian delegation, attended the India-Australia joint working group on cooperation in Agriculture and plant technical meetings from 20th to 27th November, 2013 held at Melbourne and Canberra, Australia. As a member of the Indian delegation, attended the 9th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures from 31st March to 4th April, 2014 held at the FAO, Rome, Italy. As the leader of the Indian delegation attended the 10th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures on March 16-20, 2015 held at FAO, Rome, Italy. As the leader of the Indian delegation attended the 11th Session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures on April 4-8, 2016 held at FAO, Rome, Italy. As the leader of the Indian delegation, attended SATNET Asia Inter-regional visit and workshop on Agricultural Trade Facilitation during September 23-26, 2014 held in Bangkok, Thailand. As a member of the Indian delegation, attended the India-South Africa joint working group on cooperation in Agriculture from June 1-3, 2015 held in Pretoria, South Africa.
Dr. SN Sushil received many awards and recognitions namely the WIPO Gold Medal-2008 by World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva (United Nations Organization) on “Eco-friendly management of white grubs”- as a Team Leader. Societal Innovation Award-2008 by National Research Development Corporation, New Delhi, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India on “Eco-friendly Novel Technology for Managing White Grubs in North-West Himalayas.” ICAR Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Team Research in Agriculture and Allied Sciences for the Biennium 2005-06. by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Govt. of India, New Delhi, 2008. Outstanding Scientist Award-2009 by Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Certificate of Appreciation awarded in 2014 for excellent contribution to Plant Quarantine by ICAR-National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects and Society for Biocontrol Advancement, Bangalore. Certificate of Appreciation awarded in 2016 for distinguished contribution to the farmers’ welfare by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).outstanding agricultural Scientist Award -2020 by Dr. B.V. David Foundation, Chennai. Certificate of Appreciation awarded in 2022 by USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service for delivering successful phytosanitary training to the officers of plant quarantine, Govt. of Bangladesh and other stakeholders supported by USDA-FAS and USAID. He is a fellow of four professional societies.
Dr. SN Sushil said "ICAR- NBAIR, Bengaluru is a unique institute in entire Asia which is exclusively working on insects. This national bureau is a nodal agency for the collection, characterization, documentation, conservation, exchange, research and utilization of agriculturally important insect resources. In the future, I hope that this bureau will act as a nodal point for serving the needs of all of South-East Asia in terms of identification services and managing invasive insect species, in addition to meeting the biosecurity and insect pest management needs of India.”.
The appointment of Dr. SN Sushil will accelerate insect science research at national and international levels.
Dr. Gundappa working as a Senior Scientist at Division of Germplasm Conservation and Utilisation, ICAR- NBAIR, Bengaluru. Also the Associate Editor of Indian Entomologist.