New Delhi: Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Mr Radha Mohan Singh said that to bring prosperity in the field of agriculture measues are being taken to boost the production of the smallholdings, reduce production costs and maintain the productivity. The Minister was speaking at a seminar on Agriculture for Prosperity and Sustainable Development organised by Vidyarthi KalyanNyas, Bhopal and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Pusa, New Delhi.
The Minister said that agriculture education and agriculture research plays an important role in the growth of agriculture sector. In the last two years, Indian Agriculture Research Council (ICAR) has developed 441 improved species of food grains as well as horticulture crops and 13, 478 tones of genetic seeds of various crops. The institutes under ICAR have developed 53 agricultural equipment that will benefit farmers. ICAR has also registered nine new livestock and poultry species.
He said that the government has submitted a guideline for the establishment of Central Agriculture University to improve the quality of agriculture education. The Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University in Bihar has been elevated to the status of Central Agriculture University. Four new degree colleges have been established under Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University to promote farming in Bundelkhand region.
Mr Singh said that six new degree colleges have been set up under Central Agricultural University, Imphal in the Northeast region of the country. Financial aid has been given to the government of Andhra Pradesh to establish Agriculture University, while Telangana and Haryana state governments are given funds to set up horticulture universities. In the last two years government has sanctioned 40 percent extra funds for the agricultural universities in the states.
He said that on the recommendations of the 5th Dean’s Committee, the curriculums of agriculture courses have been improvised. Last year all agriculture based graduation courses were altered into the professional one. To motivate students for higher education in agriculture, junior/senior scholarships and National Talent Scholarships have been increased. At the graduate level, it has been increased to Rs.2000 from Rs.1000 per month. The government has started Netaji Subhas – ICAR International Fellowships for 30 students who will get a scholarship of $2000 per month.
READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) programme has been initiated. Under this, the scholarship of Rs.1000 per month is increased to Rs.3000 per month. All the initiatives have led to a 17 percent increase in the admission into the colleges under ICAR.
Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director IARI – KrishiJagran; Dr. A.K.Singh, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension); Dr. J. Kumar, Dean College of Agriculture, Pantnagar; N.C. Gautam Vice-Chancellor MGCGV, Chitrakoot; and Prof. K.M.L. Pathak, Vice Chancellor, DUVASU, Mathura were also present on the occasion.