Skilled human resources in agriculture must become the basis of agricultural advancement and in view of this, the Modi government has given special emphasis on the upliftment of agricultural education. This was stated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh while addressing inaugural function of the fourth Convention of 2-day "Agrivision-2019" organized by Vidyarthi Kalyan Nyas in Pusa, New Delhi.
The Minister said that in order to make agriculture education useful, the recommendations of the 5th Dean Committee have been implemented in all the Agricultural Universities under which amendment of agricultural degree courses has been done to include biotechnology, information technology, bio-informatics, remote sensing, organic farming, agriculture business management etc. Emphasis has been given on experiential learning, skill and entrepreneurship development. Along with this, four new programs, B.Tech (Biotechnology), B.Sc. Community Science, B.Sc. Food Nutrition and Dietetics and B.Sc. Sericulture have also been included.
Shri Singh informed that the ICAR has recently launched Rs 1100 crore ambitious National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country. This project will be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis. In addition, a four year degree in Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Forestry has been declared a professional degree.
He said that Rajendra Agriculture University has been upgraded as Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University to strengthen the government’s effort to bring green revolution in Eastern India including North East. At the same time, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has been set up in Barhi, Jharkhand on the lines of IARI, Pusa New Delhi, and another IARI is being set up in Assam.
In order to promote the participation of students in agricultural business, Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) scheme is being run, under which practical experience of agriculture and entrepreneurship is provided to undergraduate students.
A MoU has been signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to promote skill development in the field of agriculture. Under this, skill development training programs are being organized regularly in KVKs across the country. These training programs are based on agriculture and related topics.