Profile Details

Prof. (Dr.) Indra Mani

Hon. Vice-Chancellor

Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth Parbhani (Maharashtra State) INDIA

Prof. Indra Mani has been serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani (Maharashtra) since 25th July 2022. Prior to this, Prof. Mani served as the Joint Director (Research), Coordinator of the School of Natural Resource Management, Incharge of the Centre for Protected Cultivation Technology (CPCT) and Head Division of Agricultural Engineering at ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

During an illustrious career spanning over 30 years, he made exemplary contributions in the area of machinery development for agro-residue management, dry-land agriculture, vegetable mechanization, small farm mechanization and equipment for enhancing fertilizer use efficiency. The technologies developed and upscaled by him have reached more than 19 states in the country. He is also credited to have established Design Innovation Centre in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur for developing innovative solutions. He has been coordinator of IARI’s NEH in northeastern states (all seven states), TSP (MP) and MGMG (UP, Haryana, Delhi) programme for improving the livelihood of farmers.

As a faculty in agricultural engineering, he taught many courses and guided 30 Ph.D. and 12 M.Tech. students (both national & international), including CV Raman Post-Doc fellow and Netaji Subhash-ICAR International Fellow. He has published over 150 papers in peer-reviewed national and international journals. Under the guidance and leadership of Prof. Mani, the IARI Crop Residue Management team successfully conducted a record demonstration of the IARI developed Pusa decomposer over 10 lakh acres in the states of UP, Punjab and Haryana in collaboration with the industry.

Prof. Mani has served in various capacities for different professional societies. He served as the President of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) (2018-21) and has contributed for the development of a strong partnership and networking with the global agricultural engineering fraternity and is instrumental in exchange of MoUs between ISAE and NSAE (Nigeria), NSAE (Nepal), MSAE (Malaysia). Currently, he is a president of the Asian Society for Agricultural Engineering (AAAE). The AAAE is a prominent organization in the agricultural engineering profession in Asia, specializing in sustainable solutions for food, water, energy, environmental, and climate systems.

Prof. Mani has been at the forefront in advocating and developing different farmer centric mechanization strategies. He has been instrumental in the development of agricultural drone policy of India by serving as the convener and chairman of the committee for developing standard guidelines (SoP) for the use of drones in agriculture. Currently, he is the chairman of the drone committee responsible for developing SoP for drone-based applications of crop nutrient, including nano formulation. He was actively involved in mentoring of Incubates and Start-ups related farm technology under RKVY- RAFTAAR (MoA & FW, GoI) and ZTM&BPD (ICAR-IARI) and ARISE programme of ICAR-IARI. He was also actively involved in TIFAN (Technology Innovation Forum for Agricultural Nurturing), a platform to solve real mechanization challenges.

The outstanding contributions of Prof. Mani have earned him many prestigious awards, to name the few are: ICAR - Bharat Ratna C Subramaniam Outstanding Teacher Award, ASABE Presidential Citation Award, ICFA Apollo Tyres Award, MoWR Ground Water Augmentation Award, ICAR-Jawahar Lal Nehru Award, IARI Best Teacher Award, Institution of Engineers Gold Medal, ASPEE Award, ISAE Team Award and ISAE Outstanding Book Award. Prof.Mani has been Fellow of the International Academy of Agricultural & Biosystem Engineering (iAABE), Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE), and Institution of Engineers (India). Prof. Mani has a very wide international exposure and has been visiting faculty to different centers/institutes in USA, South East Asia, North America, Africa, Japan and Europe. He has made remarkable contributions in developing Industry - Institution – Farmers - Innovators linkage for effective delusion of technologies.

During his tenure of one and half years as a Vice-Chancellor of VNMKV, Parbhani, be keenly took interest in re-orientation of research programmes in all crops focusing in development of farmer’s friendly technologies and as per needs of processing industries. He has been able to attract Rs. 22.50 Cr CSR fund for the VNMKV, Parbhani. New four constituent colleges, and two research centres were recently sanctioned by the state government under VNMKV, Parbhani, owing to his continuous efforts. Under his dynamic leadership, the VNMKV bagged International Green University Award, three Best AICRP Research Centre Awards for Sunflower, Safflower and Pearl Millet and Jaivik India Awards to Organic Research & Training Centre. A total of 55 PG students and 25 faculty were trained abroad and more than 400 PG students in reputed institutes of India under NAHEP project during this period.

Under his leadership, several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed with various reputed national and international universities, research institutes, and private sector companies. His dynamic and innovative approach to develop “Public-Private Partnership (PPP)” policy in research, education, and extension. During this period, the university redeveloped over 2,000 acres of barren and denuded land, converting it into cultivable land, this transformation led to a doubling the breeder seed production of the university.