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Historical Background

IVRI Foundation Stone
IVRI Foundation Stone

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Izatnagar was initially established as the Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory in 1889 for conducting research for the protection of Indian livestock wealth from the dreaded diseases. The foundation stone of the laboratory was laid by the Governor of Bombay on December 9, 1889 in about 2.2. ha of land presented by a philanthropist, Sir Dinshaw Monock ji Petit Bart adjoining the College of Science at Pune

Dr. Alfred Lingard, a distinguished medical bacteriologist was appointed in 1891 as incharge of the laboratory. Within a short period of two years the seriousness and danger of handling the micro-organisms of infectious diseases and pathological materials in the densely populated city of Pune was realised and consequently, the laboratory was shifted in 1893 to an isolated but beautiful site amidst the dense conifer forest of Mukteswar in Kumaon hills of the Himalayas situated at about 1500 m above the mean sea level in United Province. Lingard had studied bacteriology in Germany and was instrumental for the historical visit of three renowned bacteriologists, Drs. Robert Koch, Pfeiffer and Gaffky to Mukteswar in 1897 to advise on methods for the prevention and control of rinderpest. The work for production of the anti-rinderpest serum started in the same year and the first batch was produced in 1899. During the next five years from 1901 to 1906, the Institute started production of antisera against anthrax, haemorrhagic septicaemia and tetanus, a vaccine against black quarter and a diagnostic against equine glanders. A sub-centre was established at Kargaina near Bareilly for conducting some experiments in the plains. Sir Leonard Rogers, Assistant Bacteriologist , also a medical personnel at Mukteswar was closely associated with Dr. Lingard in research. He made noted contributions at the schools of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta and London and officiated as Director from 1898-1900 and later returned back to the Indian Medical Service.

IVRI Foundation Stone

Lt. Col. J.D.E. Holmes, Assistant Bacteriologist since 1904, took over the reins of the institute in 1907. The land available at Kargaina was inadequate for further expansion of the work. On his recommendations, a large size plot of about 306 ha was purchased by the Government of India at Izatnagar adjacent to Rohilkhand Kumaon Railway Headquarters. A post of Physiological Chemist was created during his tenure and Sir Percival Hartley was appointed in 1909, who worked on the fractionation of immune bodies in the rinderpest serum.

After the death of Lt. Col. Holmes, Mr. A.W. Shilston, Assistant Bacteriologist officiated for a short period of 19 months from 20th March, 1914. His classical contribution was the use of oxalate as anticoagulant for increasing the collection of serum. During the period a post of Pathologist was created and a medico Dr. G.H.K. MacAlister was appointed on 2nd October, 1914. Dr. R.V. Norris joined the post of Physiological Chemist. All the three officers joined the British Army. Dr. A.L. Sheather joined the post of Imperial Bacteriologist and the designation of the Head of the Institute was changed to Director. Mr.W. A. Pool and T.M. Timoney, joined the institute on 30th July, 1919 and 15th March, 1921, respectively as bacteriologists, Dr. Sheather contributed in the study of tuberculosis, Johne's Disaese, bovine lymphangitis and reported buffalo malaria for the first time.

IVRI Foundation Stone
IVRI Foundation Stone

Dr. A.L. Sheather was succeeded by Mr. W.A. Pool in the officiating capacity in 1920. During his tennure, work at Izatnagar was activated and small site at Kargaina was auctioned. On 19th November, 1921, Dr. J.T. Edwards took over as permanent Director. Dr. Edwards was harbinger of a new era of diversification in veterinary research. During his period, Dr.T.M. Doyle, Veterinary Officer, reported Ranikhet disease of poultry for the first time.

The name of Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory was changed to the Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research in 1925. Some of the contributions of Dr. Edwards and his associates include the fixation of rinderpest virus in rabbit in 1924 and in goat in 1927, studies on piroplasmosis and theileriasis and improvement in treatment methods of Surra. He energised field workers all over the country and at the institute he introduced the procedure of systematic recording of experimental data, thorough post-mortem examination of animals as a routine, preservation and cataloguing of representative pathological specimens of all kinds collected from different parts of the country, enrichment of library facility and indexing and regular circulation of important scientific articles from the current literature of the world. During his time the substation at Izatnagar was developed as a centre of research and for round the year mass production of biologicals. The posts of Assistant Research Officer for Protozoology, Helminthology and Biochemistry were created. Mr. H. Cooper, Pathologist, described details of Ranikhet disease of Poultry. The institute's Director was made independent of the control of Agricultural Advisor in 1929. Dr. Edwards resigned from services on 31st March, 1929 on personal grounds.

IVRI Foundation Stone
IVRI Foundation Stone

With the powers of a departmental head delegated by the Government of India, Sir Frank Ware was a worthy replacement of Dr. Edwards. His recommendations received support of Central and Provincial Government. He worked in close association with the state departments and the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and research activities at the institute were expanded through several schemes financed by ICAR. His creative vision strengthened by the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Agriculture led to the setting up of well integrated team of experts in different branches of Veterinary Sciences for carrying out basic and fundamental research essential for the development of livestock wealth. At this time a proposal was made by Sir Arthur Olver to start a Central Veterinary College at Izatnagar-Mukteswar which did not materialise.

In 1931, Ware organized research work at Mukteswar in three sections, viz. Pathology, Serology and Protozoology, each headed by a Veterinary Research Officer. On the basis of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, the establishment of the Sections of Animal Nutrition, Poultry Research and Animal Genetics was planned. A decision was taken to designate the new departments at Izatnagar as sections of the institute and their heads as Officers-in-charges. The Imperial Veterinary Serum Institute, Izatnagar thus became Biological Products Section. The mother institute then known as the Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research was renamed as Imperial Veterinary Research Institute in 1936. Major endeavour of Sir Ware was to develop a strong organization in the country to provide new technologies for all round development of livestock wealth and the divisions of Animal Nutrition and Poultry Research were created for carrying out research also on animal production. In 1938, Sir Frank Ware relinquished the office of the Director to take the responsibility of Animal Husbandry Commissioner with the Government of India.

During 1938-39, Mr. J.R. Haddow officiated as the Director of the institute but later on reverted to the post of Deputy Director of the institute after the joining of Dr. F.C. Minett as the Director from September, 1939 till 15th August, 1947, when he opted for Pakistan to take the charge of the Animal Husbandry Commissioner of the new country. His major contribution was the establishment of an enduring school of Animal Genetics in 1944 and poultry farming was further expanded by Mr. A.J. MacDonald. During the period of Dr. Minett, new courses of training and Associateship of IVRI by research were started. In the position of Chairman of the ICAR Education Committee, he prepared ground for the teaching of veterinary science in different indian universities.

IVRI at the dawn of independence and later

IVRI Foundation Stone
IVRI Foundation Stone

At the dawn of independence of the country on 15th August, 1947, the institute was renamed as Indian Veterinary Research Institute. Dr. G.D. Bhalerao, a renowned Parasitologist officiated as Director for a short span of few months. Dr. S. Datta took over as the first regular Indian Director.

Dr. Laxmi Sahai succeeded Dr. Datta on his retirement in February, 1954. During this period an intensive rinderpest eradication scheme through mass vaccination programme was launched by the Government of India in October, 1954. Dr. N.D. Kehar, Animal Nutritionist, worked in the capacity of Officiating Director from 1957 to 58. He was succeeded by Dr. P.G. Pande, Parasitologist as regular Director of the institute in 1958. During this period, Post Graduate College of Animal Science leading to the degree of Master of Veterinary Science (M.V.Sc.) was instituted. After the term of Dr. Pande, Dr. H.D. Srivastava worked as Officiating Director during 1961-63.

Dr. M.R. Dhanda, Microbiologist officiated as Director IVRI from 1963 to 1966. A full-fledged Division of Pathology was established at Izatnagar by merging the Pathology laboratories of Mukteswar and laboratory of Nutritional Pathology of Animal Nutrition Division. The Division at Mukteswar was named as the Division of Bacteriology and Virology.

Dr. C.M. Singh, Pathologist joined the post of the Director on 18th July, 1966. He was the youngest Director of the institute and served for 16 long years till he retired in 1982. During the period, the research activities of the institute were further diversified and vastly expanded from 7 to 22 Divisions covering almost all areas/disciplines of veterinary sciences. During his period, Hon'ble President of India Shri V.V. Giri laid the foundation stone of the capacious Modular Laboratory in 1972. A great visionary, Dr. Singh developed research, education, extension and created unique facilities in the areas of animal health, production and technology under one roof. Under his dynamic leadership, the institute was recognised as the National Institute of ICAR. A new campus of IVRI was created at Bangalore (1972), besides Regional Stations at Srinagar (1973), Kolkata (1970) and Palampur (1959).

IVRI Foundation Stone

Dr. B.S. Rajya, a Pathologist, officiated as Director during 1982-84. The institute was conferred the Deemed University status by University Grant Commission in 1983. Dr. P.N. Bhat, a Geneticist, joined as regular Director in May, 1984. The research and teaching activities were intensified during the regime of Dr. P.N. Bhat. The National Biotechnology Centre was established. Posts of Joint Director (Research), Joint Director (Extension) and Joint Director (Academic) were created for monitoring research, extension and education activities respectively. Dr. P.N. Bhat was shifted to ICAR Headquarters during 1990-91 and Dr. B.B. Mallick worked as Officiating Director during this period.

Dr. O.N. Kunzru officiated as the Director in 1991 for 5 months before Dr. P.N. Bhat rejoined the institute in August, 1991. He was succeeded by Dr. D.S. Balain in May, 1992. Dr. B.B. Mallick functioned as the Acting Director for few months. Dr. G.C. Mohanty, a renowned Pathologist officiated as the Director till his retirement in November, 1995. Dr. P.N. Khanna looked after the work of Director for a short period of 4 weeks, before Dr. Kiran Singh joined as regular Director of the institute in 1995. Dr. Kiran Singh was succeeded by Dr. O.S. Tomer in August, 1997. Dr. Nagendra Sharma took over as Acting Director in April, 1999 and continued up to May, 2000. Dr. M.P. Yadav, a Bacteriologist, took over as regular Director of the Institute on 17th May, 2000 and continued up to 28th March, 2006. During this period, Division of Temperate Animal Husbandry was created at Mukteswar Campus, P2 facility for FMD vaccine quality control was created at animal Experimental station, Yelhanka, Bangalore, Kisan Call Centre and NRL on Drugs and Chemical Residues were established at Izatnagar and University-cum-Administrative Block was completed. Dr. Nem Singh, Joint Director (Research) officiated as the Director from March 26, 2006 to 20th November, 2006.

Dr. S.P.S. Ahlawat joined as Director of the institute on 21st November, 2006 and relinqueshed on 17thFeb, 2009. Dr. R. S. Chauhan, Joint Director (CADRAD) took over the charge as Acting Director from Dr. Ahlawat and he was succeded in the capacity as Acting Director by Dr. Dharmeswar Das, Joint Director ((Academic) on 19th April, 2009.

Prof. M.C Sharma took over the reins as the Director on 14thSep, 2009