TODAY -

Prof N Irabanta Singh in the galaxy of Indian Aerobiologists

Prof ST Tilak *



The writer visited Manipur University, Canchipur thrice during 1997 to 2009 as resource person. As such he knew Prof NI Singh, Former Professor (HAG), Centre of Advanced Study in Life Sciences, Manipur University Canchipur very closely. In this article, the writer reproduces the contributions of Prof NI Singh in the Indian Aerobiology which was included in the book entitled "Genesis of Indian Aerobiology, 2007" edited by the present writer.

Prof N Irabanta Singh (01-03-1950) has acquired the academic degree of BSc Botany (Hons) (1969); MSc (1971) and Ph D (1982) in Botany (Aerobiology) from the Gauhati University, Guwahati - 14 (Assam).

He has 43 years of teaching experience at various levels at different institutes (Lecturer in Botany, St Edmund's College, Shillong; Asstt Prof of Microbiology, Manipur Agricultural University, Iroishemba; Associate Professor of Life Sciences, Manipur University; Professor of Life Sciences, Manipur University and Professor (Higher Academic Grade)/Life Sciences, Manipur University).

He also has 31 years of Post Ph D research experience at the Manipur University. Active Aerobiological work was undertaken by Prof NI Singh (Feb 1974 to July 1981) and published a series of papers while working as a lecturer in Botany, St Edmund's College, Shillong (Sept 1972 to July 1981).

Later on, he shifted from the St Edmund's College, Shillong to Manipur Agricultural College, Iroishemba as Asstt Prof (Microbiology) and served there from 1stAug, 1981 to July 21, 1984.

During this period no active aerobiological research was undertaken except attending the first National Conference on Aerobiology (1981) held at Marathwada University, Aurangabad where he presented and published 2 (two) papers:-
(i) Aeropalynology of Shillong and its relation to Allergic human diseases - I Botanical Aspects pp 151- 157;
(ii) Microbiology of air inside the cinema hall,pp 199 - 206 - both edited by Prof ST Tilak.

The research work in the field of Aerobiology in the Indo-Myanmar border state (Manipur) was initiated by Prof NI Singh as soon as he joined the Manipur University on 21st July, 1984 as Associate Professor and in charge Plant Pathology section, Life Sciences Department. Since then, various constituents of the airspora have been the subject of intensive investigations.

Prof NI Singh and his students published 143 research papers (128 National and 15 international) in peer reviewed Journals. He summarises "Three decades of Aerobiology Research in North East India" dealing with aerobiology and diseases of field crops; aerobiology and diseases of plantation crops; aerobiology and mycotic diseases in cattle; aerobiology and allergic human diseases; extramural aerobiology and intramural aerobiology (Irabanta Singh, 1991).

On the occasion of "A decade of aerobiology teaching, research and extension at the Manipur University" reflection on past, present and future was projected against P.G. instruction programmes, research undertaken and publications in different aspects of aerobiological investigations (Irabanta Singh, 1994). He also reviewed "Fifty years of Aerobiological research in North East India".

Fellow, Indian Mycological Society, Kolkata (2009); President, Indian Aerobiological Society (2007-2010); Felicitated with Life time achievement award for his contribution to Indian Aerobiology in North East India during the 16th National Conference on Aerobiology (Nov, 16-21, 2010) held at Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Devangere, Karnataka; Fellow, Society of Biology, London (2011); Chartered Biologist UK (2011); Chartered Scientist, UK (2012); awarded 11th Sir EJ Butler Memorial Lectureship (2012) of Indian Mycological Society, Kolkata.

Prof NI Singh organized 15th National Conference on Aerobiology at the Manipur University, Canchipur (2009). He edited a book entitled "Endemic Bioresources of India - Conservation and Sustainable Development with Special Reference to North East India" (2007) published by M/S Bishen SinghMahendrapal Singh, Dehradun in the field of Ecology which has been assessed as an "Excellent Book" by the eminent Scientist, Prof MS Swaminathan, FRS.

He also edited another book entitled "Microbial resources of Indo-Myanmar (Burma) Hot spot region - Conservation and Sustainable Development with Special Reference to North East India" published by the same publisher which will be released in the early part of 2017. Prof NI Singh's attachment with the subject Aerobiology is deeply connected with his two sons which bears names (1) Aeroshil (Aerobiology of Shillong) and (2) Aerex (Aerobiology experiment) clearly indicating family link.


* Prof ST Tilak wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Ex-Prof & Head/Botany Deptt, Dr BA Marathwada University, Aurangabad and Ex-Professor Emeritus, Barathi Vidyapeeth, Pune
This article was posted on January 12, 2017.


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