Born on 29th June 1955 and hailing from ‘Kadukkarai’, a non-descript village in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, Dr.N.Kumar has an excellent academic and professional track record. He began his career as an Assistant Professor in Horticulture during 1979 at TNAU and by consistent and meritorious performance, he rose to occupy the position of Dean of Horticultural college and Research Institute, TNAU, Coimbatore during 2009-2013 before becoming the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the renowned Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. He was a recipient of two fellowships, five gold medals and nine medals in his career spanning over a period of 35 years. His career path has been defined by his admirable scholastic aptitude in teaching and sterling contributions in research, practical approach in extension in the field of Horticulture along with keen administrative enthusiasm and capabilities to manage multitude of administrative portfolios.
Endowed with passion for writing, he has contributed an array of publications including 8 text books, chapters in 14 edited books, 52 internationally acclaimed research papers, 83 research papers in Indian journals, 42 popular articles, 8 teaching and extension manual and 14 technical bulletins. The textbooks written by him are popular amongst the students and also serve most often as sources of reference by Civil Service aspirants and graduates and post graduates appearing for competitive examinations in Agricultural research or extension services at state and national level. Professor Dr.N.Kumar is an inspiring teacher and mentor of research and has guided 21 PG Students and 13 Ph.D. scholars so far. Many of his students achieved professional positions of eminence and many of the contributions so emanated from his guidance fetched several professional accolades including reputed ICAR Jawaharlal Nehru Awards.
He has secured spearheaded 20 externally funded projects including five International Projects. Moreover, he played an active role in the development of 10 improved crop varieties and many improved production technologies in Horticulture. Specifically, the standardized technologies of fertigation and high-density planting systems in banana, papaya and mango are of his specific achievements which have become popular amongst the farming community. His research contributions in drip fertigation technologies formed the basis for launching of Precision Farming Scheme by the Government of Tamil Nadu though its stupendous performance. He has also organized 17 National and 3 International seminars and symposia. His professional visits include 15 overseas countries viz., Israel, Thailand, Germany, Brazil, UK, Malaysia, China, South Africa, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, USA, Turkey and Ethiopia. He was also involved in signing of MoUs with two foreign Universities ; Savannah University, Georgia, USA and Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany for collaborative programs with TNAU. He is an active member in several professional bodies and academic societies in Horticultural stream and was honored as Fellow of Horticultural Society of India, New Delhi.
Often drawn for various high level assignments by the Government of India, he has served as Expert Member in several panels such as the Quinquennial Review Team for ICAR Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner and ICAR-AICRP on Arid zone Fruit Crops, ICAR, New Delhi, in the evaluation team for accreditation and rating of nurseries, National Horticulture Board, Gurgaon, Haryana, in the Research Advisory Committees of ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu and ICAR – Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragod, Kerala. He has also served as Horticultural Consultant for the Afforestation and Greenbelt Project, Coastal Energen Power Plant, Tuticorin.