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Dr. Suseelendra Desai
Dean , School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology 

Dr. Suseelendra Desai is M.Sc (Ag) in Plant Pathology (Gold Medallist)  from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad  and Doctorate from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University. He has more than 3 decades of experience in the field of Agriculture Sciences, Crop Sciences, Plant Pathology and outreach to stakeholders.

Dr. Desai was associated with ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture as Head of Crop Sciences Division. Dr. Desai has been actively involved in research & academics as Principal Scientist, Senior Scientist & Scientist, at ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture and Directorate of Groundnut Research. He was also a Visiting Scientist at International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics. He has also gained knowledge with regards to Agricultural finance as Agricultural Finance Officer with Bank of India.

At Directorate of Groundnut Research, he developed integrated management of foliar diseases of groundnut and HACCP-based integrated aflatoxin contamination management packages in groundnut and demonstrated in participatory mode in 3 states of India. He identified promising strains of Trichoderma, formulated and field-tested for management of stem rot and aflatoxin contamination in groundnut.

During 2004 to 2021, at ICAR-CRIDA, he harnessed microbial diversity for microbe-mediated crop health management. He identified "Multi-nutrient tasking microbes" possessing biocontrol ability as well and commercialized them through Integrated Bioresources Centre, ICAR-CRIDA. He identified abiotic stress tolerant bioinoculants and characterized molecular basis of tolerance. He studied in detail the climate change impacts on plant pathogens and biocontrol agents.

As a DAAD post-doctoral fellow during 1991-1994 at Justus Liebig University, Germany, he developed efficient biocontrol strain coupled with rhizosphere-competence Trichoderma through protoplast fusion. During DAAD Re-invitation fellowship in 2007, 2011 and 2015, he evaluated chitinolytic properties of PGPMs to produce chitooligosachharides for plant disease management.

He has handled several externally funded projects on basic and applied aspects in agriculture and conferred with several distinctions. He has guided 4 doctoral students 3 Masters students; and more than 40 student interns. He has authored 77 research papers; >30 book chapters; delivered >100 keynote/lead/invited lectures in national and international seminars and symposia; 12 technical bulletins; 10 popular articles; and edited 5 books.

He has number of accolades and rewards to his credit in the field of Agricultural Sciences. He is a Member of Scientific Panels "Microbial Hazards of Food" and "Contaminants in Food Chain" of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India since 2009. He is a Fellow of Indian Phytopathological Society, Plant Protection Association of India and Telangana Academy of Sciences. Agriculture Today has conferred on him "Life Time Achievement Award for Eco-agriculture 2021".

After completing 34 years of successful career in Indian Council of Agricultural Research, he had a brief Industry stint in Varsha Biosciences and Technology India Private Limited as Vice President (Research & Business Development). In October 2021, he joined NMIMS as Dean, School of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Shirpur. 


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