Dr. Kavya Dashora, CRDT

Dr. Kavya had stitched her career goals early in life. She wanted to study agriculture to help farmers of Rajasthan, where she spent her childhood and harvest a better livelihood for them.

"I would see the farmers work assiduously. But their efforts did not reap fruits. I always wanted to do something that would help them overcome the technological barriers," she says.

After a bachelors in Botany from Jodhpur University she went on to do a Masters from Udaipur. This was when she started working on plant pathology. For her Ph.D from Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur she specifically chose pearl millet for research.

"The millet farmers in India are very poor. They do not even have enough money to buy pesticides. I wanted to develop some lost cost, farm based technologies that could help them in disease management."

Her role as a Research Associate in National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Delhi helped her study all the landraces, the indigenous medicinal plants of Western Ghats that are endangered and new techniques for seed conservation. And she also disseminated the knowledge that she accrued to the farmers in her home state.

Her near seven years stint at the Commonwealth Agriculture Bureau, Delhi helped her broaden her spectrum of research in Commonwealth countries. The key areas on which she worked included policy level intervention for food security and low cost technologies, environment and agricultural sustainability , enhancing soil quality , reduction of pesticide residues, , invasive alien species, climate change and plant protection in various countries through national and international projects, etc.

Dr. Kavya joined IIT Delhi in December 2016.

Ask her on why she forayed into teaching after so many years of research and she says “While I was researching, I realised that to evolve endlessly you need to have a vibrant human capital. Students have the maximum potential for a capital that a researcher can generate."

And what excites her besides plant pathology? “I love to travel and explore new areas. My travelling takes me to new cultural landscapes and I keep my travel tales alive through my photo albums."