National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), formerly National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII) is located in Bangalore, Hebbal in the same premises at which The Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control (CIBC), Indian Station was established in 1957. The advent of CIBC marked the beginning of organized and systematic biological control research in India. During this period, our knowledge of natural enemies of crop pests and weeds increased manifold. CIBC Indian station was closed during 1987 and All India Coordinated Research Project on Biological Control of Crop Pests and Weeds (AICRP-BC&W), which was launched in 1977 under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research was shifted to the same campus in 1988. The centre was named as Biological Control Centre and the entire programme functioned under the administrative/financial control of the National Centre for Integrated Pest Management (ICAR). In the eighth five-year plan, the project was elevated to an independent Project Directorate of Biological Control, with its headquarters in Bangalore during 1993. PDBC was the nodal agency in the country that organizes biological control research at the national level with 16 centres spread across the country. The Directorate at Bangalore carried out basic research on the biosystematics of important groups of insect bioagents. The reference collection maintained at PDBC was catalogued in the form of a technical bulletin on and also available in a retrievable, electronic format. Besides, work on strain development, molecular characterization, mass production technologies, semiochemicals, biopesticides work for insect and disease management was intensified. During XIth plan, PDBC was upgraded as National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII) to act as a nodal agency for collection, characterization, documentation, conservation, exchange and utilization of agriculturally important insect resources (including mites and spiders) for sustainable agriculture. In the twelfth five year plan the Bureau is now re-named as National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR) and the bureau's activities are divided in three divisions.
Division of Germplasm collection and Characterisation
- Augmentation of collections and maintenance of a national repository.
- Biosystematic studies on insects, spiders and mites using traditional and molecular approaches and DNA barcoding.
- Generation of checklists, catalogues, illustrated field identification guides and digitization of collections, networking of institutions and individuals working on biosystematics and identification services.
- Classical biological control, biosecurity, threat perception with action-plan for alien pests.
Division of Genomic Resources
- Whole genome sequencing of some important insects and entomopathogenic nematodes.
- Gene and allele mining for the selection of genes of specific interest and their utilization.
- RNAi technology for IPM.
- Genome sequence repository for useful genes.
- Endosymbionts and determination of their functional role.
- Use of bioinformatics tools and development of genomic databases.
Division of Germplasm, Conservation and Utilisation
- Utilization of agriculturally important arthropods for the management of insect pests.
- Development of protocols and designs for the establishment of state of art mass production units for beneficial.
- Introduction of beneficial quarantine and post-release monitoring.
- Effect of climate change.
- Role of pollinators in crop productivity.
- Role of semio-chemicals for insect pest management.
- Studies on virus-vector dynamics.