National Consultation on Higher Agricultural Education and Vice Chancellors’ Conference Inaugurated

Agricultural Education  has to evolve in tune with fast changing national and international scenario: Harish Rawat

February 21, 2011, New Delhi

Shri Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries emphasized the need to evolve agriculture education in tune with fast changing national and international scenario. Agriculture education has to develop strategy to promote development and delivery of educational programme that would enhance the employment potential and build up an easy accessible and cost-effective knowledge intensive information system, he said. Shri Rawat was inaugurating the two-day National Consultation on Higher Agricultural Education and Vice Chancellors’ Conference organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research here today .

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While referring major challenges of Indian agriculture, he highlighted the need to fill the knowledge deficit which is one of the main constrains in future food security. Globalization and demand led market call for a relook at the content and delivery of curricula and curriculum delivery such that the graduates coming out not only meet the expectations of different stake holders but also be propeller of agricultural growth, he stated.  We should focus on promoting excellence and institutional building by increasing the career opportunity in agriculture sector for younger generation. 

Earlier, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR highlighted the contribution of ICAR in development of human resources in agriculture. ICAR is making efforts to attract youth and talent towards agriculture through innovative programmes along with enhancement in quality of education. Council is providing professional and financial support to Sate Agriculture Universities through quality assurance via accreditation, modernization of course curricula, improvement of faculty competence, modernization of farms, IT support and up-gradation of infrastructure and facilities including libraries.  He also slated issues for debate in the ongoing National Consultation.

Dr. Panjab Singh, Ex- Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR and Chairman, National Agricultural Education Project Committee flagged various issues which require intense deliberations in the National   consultation which included strategic planning for development of future agriculture leaders, integration across disciplines, faculty development and enhanced participation of various stakeholders.

Dr. Aravind Kumar, Deputy Director General (Agriculture Education), ICAR outlined the objectives of the National Consultation and highlighted the important role of ICAR in enhancement of quality agriculture education in the country. He raised various concerns and issues which require immediate attention.

The National Consultation is planned to have the benefit of suggestions of distinguished experts from academia and governance, Vice Chancellors of SAUs, senior officials of ICAR and others. It is intended to have suggestions on how to make agricultural education attractive, rewarding and globally competitive, and precisely, what should be the action plan. Three technical sessions are planned for discussion. 

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)