Prof. Dr. M. BHASKARAN, Ph.D.,
Vice – Chancellor
Tamil Nadu Open University
♦ To contribute towards placing Tamil Nadu at the top among Indian States in terms of literacy rate and employability among the youth.
♦ To increase the educational opportunities to the marginalized in the society.
♦ To provide globally competitive, employable off-campus by fostering collaboration with reputed National and International institutions of higher learning.
♦ To facilitate employability opportunities for the unemployed graduates by instituting a robust Skill Development Centre which will act as an effective interface between the academia and industries for developing specialized skills.
Hailing from a humble societal background at Rasipuram, Salem (Dt) of Tamil Nadu, India, Dr. Bhaskaran Muthusamy, 54, had his primary education at the Govt. High School, Thalaivasal, Attur, Salem and secondary education at the Sengunthar Mahajana Higher Secondary School, Gurusamipalayam, Rasipuram, Salem. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore. His Master’s in Agriculture and Doctoral Degree in Seed Science and Technology are also from the same University. He was awarded the ICAR Merit and Junior Research Fellowship for pursuing his UG (1981-84) and PG programmes (1984-86). Further, he was the recipient of the Best Ph.D Scholar award that was given in recognition of his outstanding research work during 1995.
He entered into the State Government Service during 1986 and, later, he joined the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University as an Assistant Professor (Seed Science and Technology) at the Agricultural Research Station, Bhavanisagar during January 1989 and continued his services in teaching and research at various other campuses of TNAU. During 1993-1998, when he was serving at the TNAU Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Lalgudi, he was closely involved as a domain knowledge expert in the designing of various farm machineries including post-harvest seed handling equipments. After registering more than 30 years of meritorious and impeccable service at various State and Central Government organizations, he assumed charge as the Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai, on 3rd March, 2016. While charting the University to the future, his current priority includes introduction of skill-oriented and innovative add-on Courses for the benefit of the learners.
During 2005, he was appointed by UPSC, New Delhi as the Founder Director of the National Seed Research and Training Centre (NSRTC), Government of India Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh – an apex institute responsible for formulating policies and procedures to regulate seed industry in the country. During his 6-year stint as Director at the NSRTC till 2011, he established all the required systems and infrastructures, and made the Centre operational. He was instrumental in organizing capacity building activities in Seed Certification on various aspects, viz., Seed Quality Control, Seed Law Enforcement, Seed Industry Management, etc. During his tenure at the NSRTC, he created linkages with several International Organizations such as International Seed Testing Association (ISTA), SAARC-Seed Project, Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), etc. He was also instrumental in setting up the National Seed Net Portal to link all agencies/institutes in seed-related issues. In recognition of his singular efforts and contributions, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN offered him the position of Senior Seed Policy Adviser. As a Director of the apex institution, he played a key role in the preparation of (1) New National Seed Bill, 2004 (2) Central Sector schemes on Seed Quality Control and Seed Guidelines, 2010 (3) Document on National Seed Mission, 2011 (4) ICAR Seed Platforms, 2012 and (5) OECD Seed Rules and Directions. His steadfastness facilitated India’s entry into International seed trading. Upon seeing his hard work and sincerity, the competent authority in Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, has ranked his performance as ‘Outstanding’ consecutively for six years (2005-2011).
On completing a successful tenure at the NSRTC, he returned to TNAU, Coimbatore, during June 2011 and took over the charge of Professor and Head, Department of Seed Science and Technology (SS&T). Later, he was elevated to the position of Special Officer to the Seed Centre of TNAU (Nov, 2011 – Dec, 2012 and April, 2013 – Feb, 2016) to plan and monitor seed production activities in the State by coordinating with the State Agriculture Department. As a Research Manager and Administrator, he paid most of his attention towards creating enabling environment to the scholars to carry out challenging research work. During this period, he established a state of the art Seed Testing Laboratory and DNA Finger Printing Laboratory at Seed Centre, TNAU and obtained notification of the Government. His intensive efforts and leadership have enabled the Dept. of Seed Science and Technology to obtain (1) Best DUS Centre Award from the Government of India during 2011 and (2) Best Seed Technology Research Centre from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, GOI, New Delhi during 2014. He was instrumental in the installation of an innovative low-cost seed delivery system, viz., Automated Seed Vending Machine (ASVM) at 11 different locations of Tamil Nadu. This is the first of its kind initiative in India for the 24/7 (i.e., any time) delivery of vegetable and flower seeds for establishing kitchen and roof gardens in the urban areas. By seeing its effectiveness and benefit, the Central Government Agencies sought his advice and role in establishing such ASVMs throughout India.
As a teacher, Dr. Bhaskaran Muthusamy was involved in teaching UG, PG and Ph.D. students for more than 15 yrs. He has guided 10 Post Graduate and 5 Ph.D. students, all of whom have been awarded their Degrees. Realizing the difficulties/weaknesses of students from rural areas in writing proposals for securing Fellowships/Scholarships, Dr. M. Bhaskaran has mentored them by providing them with innovative ideas and helped them in improving their writing skills. So far, he has facilitated more than 5 Ph.D. students in securing National level Fellowships from DST, DBT, UGC, etc. He was instrumental in instituting several Endowment Prizes in Seed Science with a view to motivating the meritorious students. For the benefit of students he has written 5 textbooks on various aspects of Seed Science and Technology. The Madras Agricultural Students Union of TNAU recognized his services in teaching and conferred him with Best Teacher Award and Best Text Book Writer Award during 2011.
Dr. Bhaskaran has his own fascination towards basic research. He always loves to initiate research on emerging areas of Seed Science and Technology. He initiated several research activities on seed encapsulation and seed quality enhancement and his research efforts led to optimization of encapsulation techniques for several major crops. As an active researcher, he has obtained nineteen research schemes worth of Rs.1626.90 lakhs as Principal Investigator from various national/international funding agencies viz., Ministry Of Agriculture / Environments and Forests, Coal & Mines, UGC, DST, ICAR and Private agencies. So far he has published more than 100 research articles in National/International Journals and five textbooks. He is part of a team in filing three patent applications on Seed taping and Seed Bio priming. He has also obtained two recognitions from the TNAU Management for attracting more funds through externally funded schemes.
Dr. Bhaskaran Muthusamy is a member of several national and international bodies related to Seed Science Research/Teaching and several other regulatory bodies. He has acted as a member in the following committees/bodies:
♦ National level Central Sub Committee on Variety Release and Notification.
♦ Selection committee of UPSC /ASRB during 2008 -11
♦ Research Advisory Council, Directorate of Seed Research, ICAR New Delhi.
♦ Convener, Monitoring team of ICAR (South Zone) in NSP (Crops)
♦ State Variety Release and Seed Sub Committee
♦ Organic Seed Certification & Notification Committee (State Govt)
♦ Academic Council of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
♦ Board of Studies for Seed Technology in Periyar University, Salem.
♦ SAARC – Seed Project (Technical Expert)
♦ OECD Seed Schemes
♦ International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)
Dr. Bhaskaran Muthusamy is exposed to several national and international academic and research environments. He has visited more than 13 countries for the purpose of attending meetings with the policy makers, conferences, workshops etc. He has visited Brazil, Italy, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and France as a member of Indian Delegate Team to take part in the meetings of OECD Seed Schemes and International Seed Testing Association. He has also visited SAARC countries Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal as an Indian Delegate and Technical Expert of Ministry of Agriculture for strengthening Seed Quality Regulation in SAARC countries and also to develop bilateral relations in seed related issues.
Tamil Nadu Open University
Saidapet, Chennai – 600 015
Salem, Tamil Nadu
Former Positions (Designation & Affiliation):
1. Director, National Seed Research and Training Institute (NSRTC), Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh) during October 2005- May 2011. (As a Founder Director, he operationalized the Centre and equipped it with state-of-the-art facilities and received outstanding performance report).
2. Professor and Head (Department of Seed Science and Technology), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during June 2011- March 2013.
3. Special Officer (Seeds), Seed Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore since November 2011 – December 2013 and April 2013 to 1st March 2016.
Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Open University, Chennai w.e.f 03.03.2016.
Awards & Recognitions:
1. Best Ph.D Scholar.
2. Best Teacher.
3. Best Book Writer.
4. Best Nodal Officer for DUS.
5. Best Seed Technology Research Centre for 2013.
Government of India Award: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, through Indian Institute of Seed Science, honoured him for his outstanding contribution made towards AICRP-NSP (Crops) as well as three decades of distinguished services to Seed Sector. The Honour was awarded by Dr. T. Mohapatra, Director General and Secretary – DARE, ICAR, New Delhi, in the XXXI Annual Group meeting of ICAR held on 19th April 2016 at Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur.
Two Recognitions: From Tamil Nadu Agriculture University Management for obtaining externally funded schemes during 2012.
Published > 100 research papers, as articles, chapters, technical bulletins etc., five text books various teaching and training manuals. Referee for reputed journals.
Patent: Three patents applied on Seed taping and Seed Bio priming under process.
13 Countries visited:
As an Indian Delegate in OECD Seed Schemes, International Seed Testing Association, Technical Expert on Seed Quality Regulation for MOA visited Brazil, Italy, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, France (4 times):during 2006 to 2011.
As an Indian delegate & technical expert of Ministry of Agriculture through SAARC project of Ministry of External Affairs for strengthening Seed Quality regulation & developing bilateral relations visited SAARC countries Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.