Agricultural Research Grant Awardee 2023

Development of ASSURRED (affordable, sensitive, specific, user friendly, robust, reusable, equipment-free, deliverable) Biosensor for the detection and management of major apple viruses.

Dr. Sunny Dhir,

Maharishi Markandeshwar, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana

Losses in apple crops is an upsetting reality that continues to affect farmers worldwide. The significant agricultural setback due to viral diseases not only impacts the livelihood of farmers but also disrupts the supply chain leading to rising food prices for consumers. The viral management strategies are not successful, hence, their early diagnosis becomes important to minimize crop losses. The available diagnosis tools does not offer any advantage of a sensitive, affordable, and in field detection. Our study aims to develop highly sensitive and cost effective biosensor-based plant virus diagnostics that allows in field detection with results obtained on an android-based mobile app.

The device will offer several benefits to farmers, tissue culture industries and nurseries. The major challenge faced by apple farmers is loss of crop productivity over the years. They face challenges like limited access to resources because of remote locations, and lack of awareness regarding viral disease management. A practical solution will be addressed through this project for better disease identification and its management strategy that would help small farmers to contribute to food security.

Overall, the biosensors-based diagnostics will help farmers for self-farm analysis and effective disease management at an early stage. This will also contribute to the Govt. of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat clean planting program.


Dr Ankur Kaushal

Maharishi Markandeshwar, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana

Dr Yashika Walia Dhir

Maharishi Markandeshwar, Mullana, Ambala, Haryana

India is rapidly transforming into a dynamic hub of intellectual innovation and discovery. To support the science and technology ecosystem in the country, the Sree Padmavathi Venkateswara Foundation has created peer- reviewed funding programs that recognize exceptional researchers with the potential to achieve ground-breaking results in areas of critical national
importance. Our foundation provides these researchers with generous funding and empowering mentorship to generate knowledge and develop sustainable solutions of the highest quality, particularly in the fields of biomedical and agricultural research. We also work on projects to deploy advanced knowledge and improve the income of small and marginal farmers. We believe that by working together, we can create sustainable solutions that will benefit not only India but also the world.

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