Published: 27th July 2020
Here's why this LPU grad wants to come back to India and help farmers after winning a Rs 1.3 crore scholarship in Plant Sciences
The programme would commence in September 2020 at ANU and Sumant is ready to set sail soon. His travels plans got delayed by a few months because of the pandemic
Sumant Bindal chose to study an MSc in Agriculture because he felt that he could make a difference. And he is now a step closer to his dream after winning a fully-paid scholarship worth Rs. 1.3 Crore to pursue his PhD in Plant Sciences at the prestigious Australian National University (ANU).
Coming from a family that is intricately involved with farming, Sumant was drawn to it from childhood. "I was always around farming. My family, based out of Solan in Himachal Pradesh, is into the seeds business. So it was a natural choice for me. I want to work on disease-resistant strains of seeds and make life a little bit easier for the farmers," he said. “I am very excited to receive this scholarship. ANU is one of the leading research institutions in the world and a dream destination for me to pursue my PhD. But I want to come back to India eventually and work for my country," added Sumant who just completed his master's from Lovely Professional University.
The programme would commence in September 2020 at ANU and Sumant is ready to set sail soon. His travels plans got delayed by a few months because of the pandemic. Sumant’s topic of research would be ‘Identification of signalling pathways activated by resistant genes against Fusarium wilt in tomato’. His research would focus on how to make tomatoes completely resistant to Fusarium wilt, a plant fungus that infects tomatoes worldwide, and has reportedly caused up to 45 per cent yield loss to tomato crop in India in the past.
Founded in 1946, ANU is regarded as one of the world's leading research universities. It is ranked #1 in Australia and the whole of Oceania by the 2019 QS World University Rankings. ANU counts six Nobel laureates and 49 Rhodes scholars among its faculty and alumni. The university has educated two prime ministers, 30 current Australian ambassadors and more than a dozen current heads of government departments of Australia.
This is not the first time that Sumant has received international recognition. Last year, he had also got an opportunity to intern at the globally renowned World Vegetable Center in Taiwan which was fully funded by the Taiwan government. He was one of the 15 Masters’ students from across the world who were chosen for this fellowship.
“Sumant is one of the brightest students at LPU. It is a moment of great pride for all of us to see him get an opportunity to study at one of the world’s leading research universities. At LPU, our focus is on marrying classroom learning with on-ground application. The 1000 acres of farmland that we have, offers students plenty of opportunities to research and implement what they learn. We hope to see more students following Sumant’s footsteps in the future," said Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University