Director's desk

Director ICAR-IIVR

Dr. N. Rai, Director

Amidst the pandemic crisis due to Covid-19, nutrition can play a pivotal role in boosting the fragile immune system. We need to be more prepared than ever before and work towards protecting communities by eating nutritious balanced diets. When we think of healthy eating, the first food items that often come to our mind are vegetables which are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants; they are vital for the proper functioning of the human body. The vegetable sector contributes to increasing biodiversity, generating environmental sustainability and improving the livelihoods of farmers. Production of vegetables in India is making new records every year, thus, becoming most favoured agricultural commodity by the farmers. The production during 2019-20 was recorded as 191.77 million tonnes from 10.4 million hectare area, which was only 20 million tonnes at the time of independence. With the projected population of 1.5 billion by 2030, we need to produce 210 million tonnes of vegetables, as per dietitians’ recommendations, to meet the rising demand for more from less resources.
The targeted production needs to be achieved through utilising scientifically proven technologies and modern tools. To hasten the process and enhance breeding efficiency of development of futuristic varieties/hybrids resistant to diseases and insect pests, tolerant to abiotic stresses, nutrient use efficient, micronutrient rich, enhanced shelf life and industrial suitability, efforts would be stepped up on employing new breeding techniques. Good agricultural practices (GAP) for controlling insect pests and diseases, better water and nutrient use efficient methods, good soil management and conservation practices are necessary to enhance plant health and safe vegetable production. The technologies are needed to reduce postharvest losses and human drudgery, improve storage, transport and processing parameters in order to preserve nutrient content, flavour and taste.
Since inception of IIVR in 1992, this institute has played a significant role in developing improved varieties/hybrids, innovative production and protection technologies and their dissemination to end users. As a result, the institute’s varieties and other technologies have reached almost every nook and corner of the country benefitting farmers.
I hope, with the energetic scientific, administrative and field staff of the institute, we will further scale new heights.
With best regards,

Dr. N Rai

Prof. T. K. Behera, Director
Field of Specialisation: Vegetable Breeding (Cucurbits)
Email ID:
M.Sc: Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar
PhD: Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi
Post Doc (if any): University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Joining date in ICAR : 
1998-09-08 00:00:00

Publications (Top 10 Publications having NAAS rating above 6.0 with first or corresponding author only):
  1. Behera TK, Boopalakrishnan G, Jat GS , Munshi AD, Choudhary H , Ravindran A, Kumari S and Kumari R  (2022). Deriving stable tropical gynoecious inbred lines of slicing cucumber from American pickling cucumber using MABB. Horticulture, Environment, and Biotechnology,

  2. Boopalakrishnan G, Jayavel Sridhar, Behera TK, Munshi AD, Kumari Silpi and Kumar Sachin (2021). Deriving tropical gynoecious inbred backcross lines from exotic pickling cucumber using marker assisted backcross breeding. Scientia Horticulturae, 288: 110320

  3. Rathod V, Behera TK, Munshi AD, Gaikwad AB, Singh Saurabh, Vinay ND, Boopalakrishnan G and Jat GS (2021). Developing partial interspecific hybrids of Momordica charantia ×    Momordica balsamina and their advance generations. Scientia Horticulturae, 281: 109985 j.scienta.2021.109985

  4. Gangadhara Rao P, Behera TK, B Gaikwad Ambika, Munshi AD, Srivastava Arpita, Boopalakrishnan G and Vinod (2021). Genetic analysis and QTL mapping of yield and fruit traits in bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L. Scientific Reports, 11:4109

  5. Ahmad Alhariri, Behera TK, Jat GS, Devi MB, Boopalakrishnan G, Hemeda NF, Teleb AA, Ismail E and Elkordy A(2021). Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure in Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia L.) Using Morphological and SSR Markers. Plants, 10:1860.

  6. Boopalakrishnan G, Jayavel S, Behera TK, Munshi AD, Choudhary H, Singh Anupam and Pandey MK (2020). Mapping and linkage analysis of epistatic QTLs for gynoecious trait (F) in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 96: 344-355, DOI:10.1080/14620316.2020.1855084

  7. Gangadhara Rao P, Behera TK, Gaikwad Ambika B., Munshi AD, Jat GS and Boopala Krishnan P (2018). Mapping and QTL analysis of gynoecy and earliness in bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9: 1555

  8. Behera TK, Jack E Staub, Behera Snigdha, Delannay Isabelle and Chen Jin (2011). Marker-assisted backcross selection in an interspecific Cucumis population broadens the genetic base of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Euphytica 178:261-272

  9. Behera TK, Jack E Staub, Behera Snigdha and Mason Shanna (2010). Response to phenotypic and marker-assisted selection for yield and quality component traits in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Euphytica, 171:417-425

  10. Dey SS, Behera TK, Munshi AD and Pal Anand (2010). Gynoecious inbred with better combining ability improves yield and earliness in bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.). Euphytica 173:37-47

Patent / Technologies / Varieties / Methodologies / System etc. (Five only):
  1. Bitter gourd: (Pusa Hybrid 2, Pusa Hybrid 4, Pusa Hybrid 5, Pusa Aushadhi, Pusa Rasdar, Pusa Purvi) and Gynoecious lines (PVGy-201 & PDMGy-201)
  2. Cucumber: (Pusa Barkha, Pusa Parthenocarpy Cucumber 6, Pusa Gynoeciuos Cucumber Hybrid-18 and Pusa Long Green)
  3. Ash gourd (Pusa Ujwal, Pusa Urmi, Pusa Sabzipetha) Bottle gourd (Pusa Santushti) Snap melon (Pusa Shandar)
  4. Brinjal: (Pusa Hara Baigan 1, Pusa Safed Baigan 1, Pusa Vaibhav and Pusa Oishiki)
  5. Guided 11 Ph. D and 2 M.Sc. students
Awards / Recognitions / Fellowship (Five only):
  1. Hari Krishna Shastri Memorial Award and Hooker Award, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi
  2. Best Teacher Award in Higher Education, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi
  3. Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Indian Society of Plant Breeding Genetics, Indian Academy of Horticultural Sciences and Indian Society of Vegetable Science
  4. Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship-2014, USIEF, USA
  5. Dr Kirti Singh Gold medal, Indian Academy of Horticultural Science, New Delhi Dr Biswajit Choudhary Memorial Award and Dwarika Nath Medal, Indian society of Vegetable Science, Varanasi