Dr Daljit Singh Virk, a Senior Research Fellow at Bangor University, made the Sikhs proud all over the world after he received the prestigious Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Prince Charles for his contribution towards science and education.
Prince Charles pinned the medal onto Dr Daljit Singh Virk in a glittering ceremony held inside Buckingham Palace on April 4, 2019.
The OBE is an award granted by the government of the UK and awarded, typically in person, by the current king or queen of the nation to individuals who have performed excellent work in arts, sciences, public services and charitable efforts.
Dr Daljit Singh Virk completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1964 from Khalsa College, Amritsar. He later, worked as a professor in Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. He then completed his PhD and DSc from Birmingham University.
Dr Daljit Singh Virk, a globally renowned geneticist and plant breeder, used innovative and novel techniques to improve the efficiency of plant breeding methods and to develop new varieties of crop plants, e.g. pearl millet, rice, maize, wheat.
“In India, he developed half a dozen rice varieties of which two Ashoka varieties of upland rice varieties had reached 2.8 million households by 2008. Later, thousands of tonnes of seed was produced and distributed to many more farmers,” according to a report in Bangor University website.
Besides, he is credited with establishing a Sikh faith Akaal Primary School, in Derby in 2015. The free school was established under the Academies Act and is situated at Grange Avenue in Sunnyhill.
Dr Virk’s contributions in advancing scientific knowledge in biometrical genetics and plant breeding are well recognised internationally. He has bagged several honours from renowned scientific academies such as Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and National Academy of Sciences India among others.