The Government is making all efforts to link agriculture courses with employment and all courses upto agricultural graduate are being made profession oriented. The government also plans to implement the 5th Dean Report, which emphasises on employment and livelihood issues in the sector, in all the Agricultural Universities of the country and will be enforced from the next academic session.
The Agriculture Ministry recently organised annual Vice Chancellors and Directors meeting in New Delhi. Addressing the meet, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that all courses upto Agricultural Graduate are being linked with employment and are being made profession oriented. This will be a big help for the students in earning their livelihood, he added.
It is widely agreed that youth are the strength of this nation and it is imperative for the overall development of agriculture that these youth are attracted towards this sector. Hence, Agricultural Universities and Research Institutes play a very important role. The Government has taken several measure to strengthen agriculture education in the country. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) has launched “Student Ready” scheme in this direction. Under the scheme, from the year 2016-17, scholarship to the students has been increased from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000. Beside this, another scheme “ARYA” is also being implemented successfully. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Unnat Krishi Shiksha Scheme was launched in the year 2016 to promote agricultural education under which 100 centres are being opened with a fund of Rs.5.35 crore.
With the opening of new Universities and Colleges, many initiatives are being taken to promote agriculture education such as Rajendra Agricultural University, Pusa, Bihar has been upgraded to Rajendra Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Bihar and 4 new colleges have been opened under this University. One National Research Centre has been established on Integrated Agricultural System in Motihari, six new colleges have been opened in CAU, Imphal and with this, the number of colleges has been increased to 13. Four new colleges have been opened in Rani Laxmibai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi, Bundelkhand, out of which 2 are in Uttar Pradesh and 2 Colleges are in Madhya Pradesh.
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute-Jharkhand has been established and students of the state are studying in various courses. To promote agriculture education in the north-east states of the country, land for IARI has been identified in Assam. An amount of Rs. 122.5 crore each has been released for Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University in Andhra Pradesh and SKTLSHU in Telengana.
In the arena of International Co-operation, India’s relation with foreign governments, foreign universities, and international bodies have been strengthened. A MoU has been signed for establishing a BRICS Agriculture Platform (a Virtual Network). Agriculture Ministry of Afghanistan is providing assistance for establishing of Afghan National Science and Technology University (ANASTU) in Afghanistan. It is also providing assistance to establish Advance Centre for Agriculture Research and Education in Mayanmar. Similar cooperation is also being provided in the African Continent.
The Government is concerned about the enhancement of productivity, sustainability and profitability in the agriculture sector. It is widely agreed that to push the “Lab to Land Programme,” KVKs have a major role to play. To achieve the target of doubling the income of farmers, all the institutes of ICAR need to emphasise on developing economically feasible models. It is necessary for the institutes to work pro-actively in the area of digitization. All Vice Chancellors and Directors were urged by the Ministry to work in synergy for research and education and contribute fully in building a viable nation.