A professor in the department of biosciences and bioengineering, the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G), has been recognised among the top 75 Indian women in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Applied Arts and Mathematics).
Prof. Rakhi Chaturvedi, recognised by the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India and British High Commission, New Delhi, as one of the 75 women in STEAM, will be featured in 'She Is -75 Women in STEAM', which is the second edition of the book series, 'She Is'.
The aim of the 'She Is' book series is to showcase more women role models for youth, make visible the leadership of women and generate interest in STEAM and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Prof Chaturvedi has contributed immensely to research in plant cell tissue culture and agro-biotechnology.
Firstly, she has done commendable work on two complex tree species where she developed, for the first time, in vitro triploids (seedless) of Neem, and haploids and doubled-haploids (homozygous diploid (Pure) lines) of neem and tea, making them amenable for generating hybrid vigour (superior plants) in these tree species.
The genetic improvement of these plants is very challenging and mostly impossible using conventional methods. Her group has filed two patents - A method for in vitro production of haploids and doubled-haploids in Azadirachta indica A. Juss, (Neem) and a method for in vitro production of pure line doubled-haploids in Camellia ssp. (Tea).
She has developed a process for the production of commercial compounds of medicinal value by employing in vitro Plant Cell Culture Technology as an alternative and complementary tool to whole-plant extraction.
Although these compounds can also be isolated from naturally grown whole plants, the continued destruction of plants for the purpose may pose a major threat to plant species getting extinct, and moreover, some of the plants are endemic.
She has developed a process for the production of commercial compounds of medicinal value by employing in vitro Plant Cell Culture Technology as an alternative and complementary tool to whole-plant extractionThirdly, for creating sizeable cultivation of top quality banana, giloy and stevia plants (a natural sweetener), she has used in-vitro micropropagation methods.
The stevia plants with higher glycosides and disease-free banana plants are made available to the farmers, women and entrepreneurs as a source of earning by cultivating quality plantations.
Speaking about this recognition, Prof. Chaturvedi said that this honour would be a great motivation for her and her research group. She further said the recognition would encourage her and her students to carry out their research and development with more passion as research on plant tissue culture requires a lot of dedication, patience and perseverance to achieve breakthrough output that has societal impact.
Born in Prayagraj (earlier Allahabad), Chaturvedi received her B.Sc. degree from Ewing Christian College, Allahabad, and M.Sc. degree from the University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
She moved to Delhi and pursued her M.Phil. and PhD degree from the University of Delhi. She did her post-doctoral studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
After joining IIT Guwahati in 2004, Prof. Chaturvedi has been involved in a wide range of research and academic activities. Her high-impact research findings have been published in peer-reviewed prestigious national/international journals.