Celebrations in Mumbai, India

A one day National Conference on “Know your Pulses - 2016” was organized by the ‘Science Association’ of Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce on 31st August 2016, to celebrate the “International Year of Pulses” (IYoP) declared by the United Nations.

A presenter at Mumbai's 'Know Your Pulses-2016' One Day National Conference stands at the podium, the audience is seen listening

Rationale: As per the directions given by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the implementation of IYoP 2016 can be done by organizing seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. To focus on these objectives, we the members of Science Association of Guru Nanak College (Mumbai, India) decided to organize one day conference on this theme.

It was a unique attempt in which broad range of topics were covered.

The sub-themes of the Conference covered interdisciplinary areas like

  • Medicinal and Nutritional aspect,
  • Chemistry of Pulses,
  • Contribution of Pulses to the National Economy,
  • Recipe and products (Moghal to Google)
  • Politics behind the rise in the prices of pulses.

The conference was inaugurated by Ms. Rujuta Diwekar, Mumbai-based well-known Nutritionist. In her talk she had emphasized top four reasons for having pulses in our diet -

  1. Pulses are generous - they nourish and enrich the soil they grow in and in turn, sustain the entire ecosystem of the region - flowers, fruits, bees.
  2. Nutrient rich - so can effectively address the double burden of malnourishment. Pulses can help prevent stunting in the poor and metabolic syndrome in the rich due to its ability to regulate blood sugar.
  3. The ancient Indian Ayurvedic secret to prevent kidney stones was the consumption of pulses, which is also beneficial for gall-stones and for all cardio metabolic diseases.
  4. If you like being on a diet, pulses qualify as the latest trend.
The five presenters at the One Day National Conference on 'Know Your Pulses-2016' lined up behind the podium at the event, each holding an Internation Year of Pulses 2016 brochure

The conference included keynote address and invited talks by following speakers

  • Keynote address - “Know Your Pulses - Indian Perspective” by Mr. Guruswamy Chandrashekhar, Global Agribusiness Specialist and promoter of IYP in India;
  • Invited talk on “Understanding the Pulse of Indian Market” by Dr. Satish Deodhar, Professor, Indian Institution of Management, Ahmedabad
  • Invited talk on “Medicinal uses of Pulses - Ayurvedic Perspective” by Dr. D.B. Mujumdar, Director, Panchkarma Ayurveda Center, Virar
  • Invited talk on “The Unusual Pulse Ode - Dawat -E-Pod” by Dr. Sagarika Damle, Head, Department of Life Sciences, K.C. College, Mumbai

About Participants: The subthemes of the conference helped reach to maximum participants from varied strata of the disciplines like Botany, Life-sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medicine, Nutrition, Economics, and Politics. Participants in the Conference totaled 83 from all over Maharashtra, including delegates, teachers from different disciplines, research scholars from Botany and Ayurvedic colleges and undergraduate and post graduate students. Additionally, 16 teachers and research scholars made oral presentation on different aspects such as nutritional, medicinal, agricultural and economical significance of pulses. 34 undergraduate and post graduate students presented posters on various aspects of pulses. We had organized poster and ‘collage making’ competitions for our students as a part of National Conference, for which we had given the same themes. The posters and ‘collage’ prepared by college students were exhibited at the venue of poster competition.


The oral as well as poster presentations were judged by external judges. To encourage the participants, the first and second prizes were given for best presentations from oral and poster session.

The papers presented in the conference were published in the form of the Proceeding with ISBN number. The Proceeding was released by Chief Guest Ms Rujuta Diwekar and Keynote speaker Mr. G. Chandrashekhar.

Printing of brochure and other material and proceeding was financially supported by NABARD.

The deliberations on various topics created awareness about different aspects of pulses. Such Conference was unique as it had provided a platform for exchange of recent as well as ancient information among scientists, teaching faculty and research students from various institutes.

About College:

Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce, was established in 1989. Guided by the principles of purity, truth, charity and peace, the Sikh management Guru Nanak Vidyak Society had established the college. It is among the premier, highly acclaimed colleges of central Mumbai. The college plays a unique role of catering to the educational needs of the people in the vicinity. During this tenure of imparting education, the college has achieved a good reputation and has academic toppers at the university level.

The college has been sanctioned as Community College by UGC. A number of National and International Conferences have been organized by the College.

Dr. Charuta Vaidya, Convener, Science Association and ‘KYP 2016’