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Among pulses, Chickpea has the longest history of research in India. It started as early as 1905 when Imperial Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa made a modest beginning by taking up breeding work on chickpea. Breeding programme to select high yielding types and its purification from the existing heterogeneous land races were initiated in other parts of the country also mainly at Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Lyalllpur (Now in Pakistan), Bombay (Maharashtra) and Central India (Madhya Pradesh).
Systematic research on Chickpea started with the establishment of the All India CoordinatedPulses Improvement Project (AICPIP) in 1967. The headquarter of the project was Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi under the command of Project Coordinator (Pulses). In the year 1978, the project was elevated to the status of Project Directorate (Pulses) and the Headquarter was shifted to the then IARI Regional Research Station, Kanpur. The Project Directorate (Pulses) was further strengthened with the inclusion of basic and strategic research in its mandate and elevated as Directorate of Pulses Research in 1984. It was also delinked from IARI and started functioning independently under ICAR.
During VI Plan, the AICPIP started functioning through its country wide net-work of 15 main centers, 13 sub-centers and three off-season nurseries. During VII Plan, two new centres viz., Faizabad in U.P. and Sriganganagar in Rajasthan were added to network of coordinated project and Rahuri& Ranchi centre were further strengthened by providing the additional manpower and facilities.
Initially, each AICRP centre used to handle many pulse crops and mainly undertook varietal testing. Hence during VIII Plan the AICPIP was trifurcated into three projects i.e. Chickpea, Pigeonpea and MULLaRP (MungbeanUrdbean, Lentil, Lathyrus, Rajmash& Pea). Realizing the importance of crop and providing focused attention on every aspect of Chickpea, a separate All India Coordinated Research Project on Chickpea was established in 1993 with 9 mandatory and 12 verifying centres. The post of Project Coordinator (Chickpea.) was created to provide independent leadership to AICRP on Chickpea. These centres were also allowed for varietal testing of one or two other pulse crops besides carrying out the intensive research on Chickpea which include generation of breeding material, development of location specific production and protection technologies.
During IX Plan, one new main centre viz., Durgapura in Rajasthan was added to this network. All verifications centres were converted to sub centres through redeployment of manpower from other projects. Two verifications centres viz., Coimbatore and Berhampore (Orrisa) were dropped and two new sub centres i.e. Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Sabour / Mokama (Bihar) were added. Additionally, 20-25 voluntary centres were also included in the network to test the location specific genotypes and production & protection technologies by providing the additional contingency grant.During X Plan, a new sub centre at Kota (Rajasthan) was added to cater the need of southern Rajasthan. Therefore, the project operated through 10 main centres, 13 sub-centres and 20-25 voluntary centres in different states.
During XI Plan more emphasis was laid on location specific focused research activities. The 3 main centres and 1 sub centre was converted to lead centres and provided sufficient infrastructure and manpower to conduct region specific strategic research. These included centres at Durgapura(drought and high temperature tolerance), Bangalore (pod borer tolerance in controlled condition), Jabalpur (wilt, root rot and collar rot) and Rahuri (wide hybridization and maintaining wild relatives of Cicer).The project operated through 4 lead centres, 5 main centres and 15 sub centres.
During XII plan, the major emphasis of AICRP on chickpea will be on collection, evaluation, characterization, and utilization of germplasm, varietal development and evolving appropriate production and protection technologies. Development of productive and sustainable cropping systems, on-farm testing and transfer of technology and production of nucleus and breeder seeds will also be taken up. As the area of chickpea is increasing in central and southern India, the research activities in these regions will be strengthened. New sub centres have been created in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamilnadu through redeployment of existing manpower. These centres are Indore (MP), Akola (Maharashtra), Dharwad (Karanataka), Banswara (Rajasthan) and Coimbatore (Tamilnadu). Two sub centres have been established at Kalyani (West Bengal) and Hiriyur (Karnataka) by shifting existing centres PORS, Berhampore and UAS, Bangalore, respectively. Besides, the existing sub centre at ZARS, Nandyal (AP) has been up-graded to main centre. Linkages will be established with national and international institutions to make use of new knowledge in frontier areas like biotechnology, information technology, GIS etc. Thus the project will operate through 11 main centres and 18 sub centres located along with need based voluntary centres in five different agro-ecological zones of country.
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Annual Group Meet of All India Coordinated Research Project on Chickpea

  • Date : 29-31 August 2016
  • Venue : ARS, Kalaburagi (Gulbarga)
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Dr. G.P. Dixit
Project Coordinator
Phone:- 0512-2580993 (O), 09936149224
EPBX No. :0512-2580994, 2580995, 2582580 Ext. 257
FAX : 091-0512-2580992
E-mail:- aicrpciipr@yahoo.co.in