The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of the Three Year Action Plan (2017-2020) for Agricultural Education Division and ICAR institutes with an outlay of Rs. 2225.46 crore for strengthening and developing higher agricultural research and education in India.
For this, the Centre will provide Rs. 2197.51 crore while states will fund Rs. 27.95 crore as salary component for AICRP-HS.
The scheme is aimed at generating quality human resources from the institutions of higher agricultural education. It encompasses several new initiatives including, steps to attract talented students, reducing academic inbreeding and addressing faculty shortage. It will also take care of green initiatives, mitigating faculty shortage, international ranking, alumni involvement, promoting innovations, inspired teacher network, reducing inbreeding, academia interface, technology enabled learning, post-doctoral fellowships, agriculture education portal, scientific social responsibility among various other initiatives. Quality assurance ranking of the agricultural universities has been linked to the financial support under the scheme along with accreditation.
Support for strengthening and modernisation of infrastructure related to student and faculty amenities and capacity building of both faculty and students in cutting edge areas through ‘Niche Area of Excellence’ programme will improve teaching and encouraging holistic development of the students.
This will lead to generation of competitive and confident human resource. In addition, research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields, formulating gender-equitable agricultural, policies/programmes and gender-sensitive agriculture sector responses will be undertaken by ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA). Capacity building needs of the human resources and stakeholders of the entire National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES) will be catered leading to enhancing of competencies and capacities of the stakeholders including farmers, young scientists, students and agri-industry in NARES by ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (ICAR-NAARM).
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) undertakes planning, development, coordination and quality assurance in higher agricultural education through partnership with 75 agricultural universities (AUs) established across the country. The human resource developed by agricultural universities has played a pivotal role in transforming agricultural scenario to achieve self-sufficiency.
The approach is multipronged, addressing the issues of competence enhancement, attracting and retaining talented youth to agriculture education and to improve the overall infrastructure in terms of student and faculty amenities pertaining to teaching and learning.
ICAR-NAARM has played a key role in enhancing the capacities of individuals and institutions of National Agricultural Research and Education System in agricultural research, education and technology management.
The Central Institute for Women in Agriculture has been providing a leadership role in empowering farm women as in the changing agricultural scenario the roles and responsibilities of women in agriculture are indispensable.