The Indian Phytopathological Society (IPS) is a professional society for promoting the cause of science of Phytopathology. The Society focuses in the field of Mycology, Plant Pathology, Bacteriology, Virology, Phytoplasmology and Nematology. It provides a unique platform to the scientists working in the field of plant pathological related research to share their research achievements. It also keeps members informed the various activities related to the development of plant pathology and about the members of the society.
The Society was basically formed with the following objectives:
The Society was registered on 3-11-1949, under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with Registration No. S399 of 1949-50. A very significant step to make the Society stable was taken in the XI Annual General Meeting held in Delhi on 2nd January, 1959 when it was resolved that the Division of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi would be the permanent Headquarters of the Society.
It was the afternoon of 28th February, 1947, when about 20 mycologists and plant pathologists from various parts of the country assembled at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. A meeting was conveyed by Dr. B.B. Mundkur under the chairmanship of Prof. S.R. Bose to discuss the possibilities of forming a society to bring together all persons interested in the study of fungi, in view of the fact that plant pathology had begun to assume increasingly greater importance in universities and colleges as well as in State Agriculture Departments. The same day unanimous decision was taken and the Indian Phytopathological Society (IPS) was established. A small sub-committee, consisting of Prof. J.F. Dastur (chairman), Dr. S.R. Bose, Dr. B.N. Uppal, Dr. A. Sattar and Dr. R.S. Vasudeva as members and Dr. B.B. Mundkur as convener was formed to take steps for starting a journal, framing constitution and bylaws of society. Dr. Mundkur was requested to act as Secretary-Treasurer for 1947 or until new office-bearers were elected. With the zeal and enthusiasm, characteristic of Dr. Mundkur, he devoted his full energy for the given task and invited all persons interested in the study of plant pathology in India and abroad to become members of the society. He enrolled a large number of mycologists and plant pathologists working in India and abroad as members of the Society. He even enrolled persons who had some interest in Plant Pathology. It is said that once he was travelling in a train and while talking to fellow passengers impressed upon them and enrolled them as member of the society. In this way he increased the number of members and much needed finance. Later, industrial concerns interested in the subject, were also approached to become patrons of the Society to protect its financial status. Now, over 2,000 members of the society are spread in India and approximately 50 other countries. It is the third largest society of plant pathologists in the world. They comprise scientists, teachers, technicians, students, extension workers, company professionals, private consultants, administrators, agricultural field representatives and pest management personnel. Their professions vary, but they have single common goal – to promote knowledge on plant diseases.
Steps for framing a constitution and bye-laws of the Society were taken and the final draft of constitutions was ratified at the first annual general body meeting of the Society held on January 2, 1948 at Patna, wherein 156 members (charter members) participated. Drafting the constitution was largely done by Dr. Mundkur and the fact remains that very little change has been made in the bylaws even after nearly 7 decades of its establishment and working. This shows that with what thoroughness and foresight the job was done by Dr. Mundkur and his team. The Society was registered on 3rd November 1949, under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with Registration No. S399 of 1949-50, with its headquarter in the Division of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.Read MoreRead Less
The most important activity was to publish an official scientific journal of the society, which was started as “Indian Phytopathology” and the first issue was published during 1948. During those days, as Indian Science Congress was considered as an important event for the scientific community, it was laid down in the constitution that Annual General Body Meetings of the society would be held during the annual session of the Indian Science Congress Association. This practice continued for 20 years, except for one unavoidable lapse and another due to national emergency during 1964. At these meetings, the business of the society was transacted, the secretary and treasurer used to presents their reports, election results used to be announced and resolutions used to be passed. The outgoing presidents used to deliver their presidential addresses. It was later felt that during the ‘Science Congress Session’ there used to be several simultaneous meetings and crowded programme and hence, very little time was generally available for holding the society meetings and the attendance was usually thin. Later, the society used to arrange its meetings a few days before the commencement of the Indian Science Congress and this resulted in a bigger attendance and better scientific discussions. Now, in recent time the annual meeting of the society is totally delinked with Indian Science Congress and is held in a suitable place in any part of the country for which leaders of Plant Pathology offer their desire and executive committee approves it. The society organizes annually national conferences, symposia and seminars on major topics of Plant Pathology at different parts of the country, besides the zonal meetings/conferences/seminars etc. At frequent occasions society organizes international conferences. Till date, society has organized 6 international conferences which were generally very successful with good participation with national and international deligates.
A very significant step to make the Society stable was taken in the XI Annual General Body Meeting held in Delhi on 2ndJanuary 1959, when it was resolved that the Division of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi would be the permanent Headquarters of the Society.
After the sad demise of Dr. Mundkur and in recognition of his significant contributions for the society and for the cause of plant pathology, the society resolved to institute prestigious “Mundkur Memorial Lectures Award” to pay homage to the great visonary. It was resolved that every year a very senior and renowned plant pathologist will deliver the Mundkur Memorial Lectures for which the executive committee will finalize the name. The First lecture was delivered by Prof. J.F. Dastur in February 1963. Shri. M.J. Narasimhan and Dr. K.D. Bagchee and Professor R.K. Saksena have been the other initial speakers in the series and this is continued till date. These lectures are printed in the regular issues of Indian Phytopathology.
Subsequently, several other activities and awards were added time to time in the fold of Indian Phytopathological Society.
Indian agriculture registered a phenomenal growth in the recent past mainly due to development of varieties resistant to pathogen and adoption of latest plant protection measures. A lot more need to be done to sustain the momentum gained. In this context, the contribution of the Society in bringing to focus the area of research on diverse aspects of plant pathogen is invaluable. Advanced techniques for rapid, reliable and specific detection and characterization of pathogen is promoted. Identification of resistance genes and their source, development of molecular markers for resistance, environmental health by promoting bio-control agents and growth promoting bacteria and transgenic resistance as well as host-pathogen interaction are some of the issues, IPS through its various activities trying to crystallize the concepts and its implications in future. In the new millennium IPS will coordinate and will provide impetus to amalgamation of molecular plant pathology and the practical plant pathology to mitigate the disease losses. It is expected that in the foreseeable future, a knowledge-based economy will provide the platform to sustain a rapid rate of economic growth to achieve the objectives. IPS shall remain committed to its core competencies within chemical, biochemical and biotechnological crop disease management to coexist in the future.
The IPS is working for diverse global community of scientists that provides credible and beneficial information related to plant health; advocates and participates in the exchange of knowledge with public, policy makers, and the larger scientific community; and promotes and provides opportunities for scientific communication, career preparation and professional development for its members.