OBE for Derby professor

Professor Daljit Singh Virk established city free school

Professor Daljit Singh Virk of Bangor University has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Honour of OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire).

HRH Prince Charles pinned the medal onto Dr Virk in an investiture in Buckingham Palace on Thursday,April 4.

The award recognises the impact of Dr Virk’s scientific contributions as geneticist and plant breeder as well as his leading role in establishing the Sikh faith Akaal Primary School, in Derby in 2015. The free school was established under the Academies Act and is housed at Grange Avenue in Sunnyhill...

...As a result of the new varieties, farmers harvested more grain, which was of a better quality. Earlier harvests also provided them with more food in the ‘hungry season’. These two upland rice varieties have improved the food security and livelihoods of millions of poor farmers. He also developed varieties of maize and chickpea for the poor farmers in India.

Similarly, in Ethiopia he identified a number of varieties of wheat, maize and teff (a local grain) for the poor Ethiopian smallholder farmers. Two of his wheat varieties released in the Tigray region have benefitted 100s of thousands of farmers with more food grains and helped in alleviating poverty.

The award also recognises Dr Virk’s work to create more primary school spaces and provide excellent values-based education in Derby. The all-inclusive Akaal Primary School provides values-based education combining Sikh Virtues and British values. Dr Virk is the founder Chair of Governors of Akaal Primary School, and led the team to plead with DFE for a new build in the centre of targeted poor area of Derby

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