A walk down ICAR-CTCRI’s memory lane

The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI) is the only Institution solely dedicated to research on tropical tubers. The importance of tuber crops for the country grew at the same time as the ICAR-CTCRI developed, making its contributions significant and vital to the nation. The success story of this Institution was scripted by stalwarts who headed the Institution and acted upon by eminent researchers in the different sciences which interact under the umbrella of Agriculture. The milestones on the path traversed by ICAR-CTCRI are chronicled and the future they helped to carve out is also sketched here.

The Beginnings

The history of ICAR-CTCRI begins from 1963 in a small rented building in Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram city, with eleven staff members and was established under the control of the Government of India. Prior to this, research on tuber crops especially cytogenetics was carried out by the erstwhile Travancore University since 1953.As the staff number increased, the laboratory – cum- office was first shifted to another rented building in Sasthamangalam and later on moved again to two adjacent buildings in Vazhuthacaud in 1964. On Ist April,1966 the administrative control of the Institute was transferred from Government of India to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The Government of Kerala sanctioned 21.5 hectares of land at Sreekariyam for the research farm of the Institute. In 1972 the Institute moved to its new building at Sreekariyam This area has now increased to 48.19 hectares on which imposing buildings have come up to house the laboratories , offices and other facilities of ICAR-CTCRI, including a Bank, Staff Co-operative Stores, Recreation Club, etc

Leaders All
Sl.No. Name From To
1 Sri. M.J. Deshmukh 01.07.1963 23.04.1964
2 Dr. M.L. Magoon 24.04.1964 06.04.1971
3 Sri. M.J. Deshmukh 01.07.1963 23.04.1964
3 Dr. R.C. Mandal i/c 07.04.1971 16.04.1972
4 Dr. N. Hrishi 17.04.1972 19.09.1980
5 Shri. P.K. Thomas i/c 20.09.1980 18.02.1982
6 Dr. N.M. Nayar 19.02.1982 23.01.1983
7 Dr. S.P. Ghosh 24.01.1983 03.10.1987
8 Dr. T.K. Pal i/c 04.10.1987 02.05.1988
9 Dr. G.G. Nayar 03.05.1988 31.07.1991
10 Dr. G.T. Kurup 01.08.1991 01.12.1992
11 Dr. N.M. Nayar 02.12.1992 31.05.1993
12 Dr. G.T. Kurup 01.06.1993 31.05.1993
13 Dr. S. Edison 31.07.1997 30.11.2008
14 Dr. M. S. Palaniswami A/D 01.12.2008 21.12.2008
15 Dr. S. K. Naskar 22.12.2008 31.01.2012
13 Dr. (Smt). G. Padmaja A/D 01.02.2012 01.04.2012
13 Dr. S. K. Chakrabarti 02.04.2012 26.01.2016
13 Dr. James George i/c 27.01.2016 -
Under Its Wings

The Institute has a Regional Centre in Bhubaneswar, Orissa since 1976,initially as a centre of an ICAR/ IDRC programme and later graduated as a Regional Centre. ICAR-CTCRI is also the headquarters of All India Co-ordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Tuber Crops since 1968 which oversees its thirteen centres across the country, functioning in the various State Agricultural Universities and The Indian Society for Root Crops (ISRC)established in 1971. The ISRC publishes the prestigious quarterly Journal of Root Crops since 1973. The Agro-ecosystem Directorate (Coastal) was functioning under the aegis of ICAR-CTCRI under which it coordinated the National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) from 2003 – 2005

Under Its Wings
July 1963 Research Station for tuber crops established at Trivandrum by Government of India.
August 1964 Research Station upgraded as ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute
April 1966 Control of ICAR-CTCRI transferred to ICAR, an autonomous body under Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India
April 1968 AICRP on Tuber Crops( other than Potato) started
April 1971 The Cassava varieties H97,H165 and H 226 released.
April 1970 National Demonstration Programme implemented
April 1976 Operational Research Project sponsored by IDRC, launched
June 1976 The new building complex at Sreekariyam inaugurated
September 1976 Regional station started in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
September 1979 Lab to land programme implemented by ICAR
September 1986 The new laboratory inaugurated
July 1988 ICAR-CTCRI celebrated its Silver Jubilee
August 1995 Institution Village Linkage programme (IVLP) started
March 1996 ARIS Computer Cell established
April 1997 New Engineering Workshop started functioning
April 1998 Regional Station released two sweet potato varieties viz. Sankar and Gouri
December 1998 Project UPTECH Consultancy project for SBI started
April 1999 National Agricultiure Technology project (NATP) at Institute initiated
January 2000 International Symposium (ISOTUC) Organized.
March 2001 Library-Museum-Conference Hall (LMC) complex inaugurated
January 2003 Directorate of Agro-eco system (Coastal) under NATP started functioning
May 2003 New Canteen and Staff Amenities Complex (CASAC) building inaugurated
November 2004 Micro Propogation Laboratory for production of disease free planting material inaugurated
April 2005 Food extension Laboratory inaugurated
June 2005 New Plant Physiology Laboratory started functioning
July 2005 Annexe Laboratory block inaugurated
May 2006 Transgenic Laboratory inaugurated
June 2006 ICAR-CTCRI- Bank of India collaborative project- Reaching to Empower launched
November 2006 Glass house for Transgenic cassava inaugurated
November 2006 14th Triennial Symposium of ISRTC organized