The Indian Central Cotton Committee, set up in 1921, used to sponsor cotton research schemes on an ad-hoc basis till the work of the Committee was taken over by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The ICAR launched the All India Coordinated Cotton Improvement Project (AICCIP) in the year 1967 with its Headquarters at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) to give new thrust and direction in terms of multidisciplinary and multi-centre approaches with the active involvement of State Agricultural Universities. Currently, the AICCIP Project is in operation with its headquarters at Coimbatore and spread over 21 participating Centres involving 15 State Agricultural Universities. The ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, Nagpur and its Regional Stations at Coimbatore and Sirsa provide basic research support and also take part in some of the research and evaluation activities of the AICRP on Cotton. The Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT, ICAR), Mumbai and its Regional units located at Sirsa, Surat , Nagpur , Dharwad, Guntur and Coimbatore are closely associated with AICCIP in assessing the fibre quality parameters of cotton besides ensuring appropriate value addition to cotton.
The Office of the Project is situated at ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research, Regional Station, Coimbatore and is headed by the Project Coordinator (Cotton Improvement), who gets needful directives and technical advice from the Director, ICAR-CICR, Nagpur and Asst. Director General (Commercial Crops), ICAR, New Delhi for effective and smooth functioning of the Project. The Project Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the research programmes being conducted through different centres. The Project Coordinator ensures concurrent testing of cotton varieties and hybrids under strict coding and development of location specific Cotton production and Cotton plant protection technologies. The Project has to tackle the problems encountered in sustainability of cotton production, productivity and value addition besides ensuring transfer of appropriate cotton crop technologies to farmers for a vibrant cotton scenario. Besides, maintenance and production of nucleus and breeder seeds, screening of cotton genotypes for resistance to major pests, diseases, salinity and drought tolerance are also done systematically on a regular basis.
The entire research activity of the Project is implemented with the active supervision and cooperation of four Principal Investigators from Crop Improvement, Agronomy, Entomology and Pathology disciplines under the overall supervision of the Project Coordinator. The conduct of the Annual Group Meeting, review of progress and finalization of the Technical Programme are other time bound activities under the Project. The Varietal Identification Committee is constituted every year by the ICAR during the Annual Group Meeting and as a Member Secretary, the Project Coordinator is responsible for organizing the meeting and helps the Council in identifying suitable genotypes for submission to the Government for release and notification. It is the responsibility of the Project Coordinator to periodically review the HRD activities of the Centres and keep a close watch on the postings of the Scientists and other Staff under the Project.