Pushp Raj Gajri obtained his BSc (1969), MSc (1968) and PhD (1981) degrees from Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab. He served the Department of Soils, Punjab Agricultural University as Asstt. Soil Physicist (1973-84), Soil Physicist (1985-92) and Senior Soil Physicist (1993-2008).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Gajri’s early work was on irrigation scheduling to crop employing the concepts of pan evaporation and permissible water depletions, timing of small irrigation amounts, and later the use of water balance simulation techniques. These were the pioneering efforts in managing on-farm irrigation water. Dr Gajri conducted in-depth field studies for evaluating root growth responses to carefully chosen practices, viz., irrigation, tillage, mulching, and fertilization. These root growth manipulations have management implications for enhancing water and fertilizer use efficiency. Extensive field investigations by Dr Gajri on deep tillage responses of field crops convincingly showed that tillage benefits are governed by the interplay of supply (water retentivity) and demand for water (evaporativity), and modified by other management practices. Dr Gajri synthesized an acrylic-based soil conditioner from industrial wastes and field-tested its performance in crust and erosion management. All these research activities of Dr Gajri were geared towards achieving the twin objective of conservation of production resources and increasing the agricultural productivity.
Awards and Honours : Dr Gajri received ICAR Award for Team Research in Agriculture (1985-86), KIBHCO Dryland Agriculture Award (1987) and USDA Certificate of Appreciation for Co-op. Research (1996). He was the Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1996), New Delhi.