Agricultural Education – A Golden Time for Agri Scholars in India

0
948
Agriculture Research
Agriculture Research

Agricultural Education  

At present there are 73 Agricultural Universities (AUs) including 05 Deemed-to-be universities, 02 Central Agricultural Universities, 04 Central Universities with agriculture faculty.

The number of students who got graduation/post graduation in the said universities is as under:-

No. of graduate and post-graduate students passed out from different Agricultural universities
2012 2013 2014 2015
22739 23892 24326 24736

 

The number of students opting for agriculture is on the rise every year.  Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is conducting All India Entrance Examination every year for filling up of 15% and 25% seats respectively for undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes every year.  The number of students appeared for these exams in the last three years are indicated below:-

Number of students appeared
Year UG PG Ph.D Total
2013 96069 23785 1546 121400
2014 129116 26972 2109 158197
2015 122122 30035 4797 156954

 

The percentage of students opting for Agriculture and allied sciences for the last three years is indicated below :

Year UG PG
2013 58.31 51.17
2014 57.74 52.15
2015 57.00 53.00

 

Agriculture Education Division of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has initiated number of steps for quality assurance, i.e., accreditation of all Agricultural Universities, ranking of all Agricultural Universities as per standard of education, enhancing number of scholarships and fellowships for students and enhancing competency of faculty, etc.

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is implementing a Plan scheme, ‘Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India’ with an approved outlay of Rs.2900 crores during the XII plan.  The scheme strives to plan, undertake, aid, promote and coordinate agricultural education in the country with an aim to enhance the quality and relevance of higher agricultural education to address the emerging challenges in the agriculture sector.
  • To attract and sustain the interest of youth in agriculture education, the ICAR provides stipend and Fellowship/assistance under various programmes both at undergraduate (UG) and post graduate (PG) level viz. Rural Awareness Work Experience (RAWE) and National Talent Scholarships (NTS) for the UG students, Senior Research Fellowships (SRF) and Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) for PG and UG students respectively.  Experiential Learning modules for developing entrepreneurship skills and confidence among UG students and assistance in the form of fellowship for global exposure to the agriculture students.
  • ICAR has also revised syllabus of undergraduate education of Agriculture and its allied sub-sectors including Horticulture, Dairy Technology, Food Technology, Fisheries, Biotechnology, Agril. Engineering, Forestry, Home Science and Sericulture.  The new syllabus is a blend of education with entrepreneurship programme of one year (student READY and employment).
  • The Government of India has launched a Central Sector Scheme viz. Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centre (AC&ABC) in 2002 to attract education youth in agriculture sector for creation of self employment opportunities alongwith providing extension services to the farmers.  Since inception of the scheme 47955 candidates have been trained and 20934 agri-ventures have been established in the country till 30.06.2016.
  • Besides, realizing the importance of rural youth in agriculture development, Govt. of India has initiated a programme on ‘Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture’ (ARYA) during the XII plan.   The objectives of the ARYA project are (i) to attract and empower the youth in Rural areas to take up various Agriculture, allied and service sector enterprises for sustainable income and gainful employment in selected districts, (ii) to enable the Farm Youth to establish network groups to take up resource and capital intensive activities like processing, value addition and marketing; and (iii) to demonstrate functional linkage with different institutions and stakeholders for convergence of opportunities available under various schemes/programme for sustainable development of Youth.  ARYA project is being implemented in 25 States through KVKs, one district from each State with technical partners from ICAR institutes and Agricultural Universities.
  • For the upgradation of course curricula in UG and PG programmes, the fifth Deans Committee Report and Broad Subject Matter Area (BSMA) Report in various discipline respectively have been released to make agricultural education attractive, profitable and employment generating profession.
  • Various programmes like RAWE , NTS, SRF,  JRF, ARYA and AC&ABC are being implemented to make agriculture an attractive, profitable and employment generating profession.
  • One year course for articulating concept of entrepreneurship in the form of Student READY (Rural Enterpreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) has also been added in undergraduate education of Agriculture & its allied sub sectors. 

Brief on Central Sector Scheme, “Establishment of Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centre (ACABC)” 

A Central Sector Scheme, “Establishment of Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centre (ACABC)”has been under implementation since April, 2002 to supplement the efforts of public extension, support agricultural development and create gainful self –employment opportunities to unemployed youths with qualification in agriculture and allied sectors.

The scheme promotes involvement of agri-preneurs trained under the ACABC scheme in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers in agriculture and allied areas. The agri-preneurs trained under ACABC scheme are actively involved in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers on various technologies including soil, health, cropping practices, plant protection, post harvest technology etc.

The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) is the implementing agency for Training Component and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the implementing agency for Subsidy Component of ACABC scheme.

Under ACABC Scheme, the training is imparted to unemployed candidates who possess degree/diploma in agriculture and allied subjects, intermediate in agriculture and science graduates with PG in agri related courses through selected Nodal Training Institutes (NTIs) in various parts of the country. The NTIs also provide hand-holding to the trained candidates for establishment of agri-ventures in agriculture and allied areas and facilitates in providing loan assistance from banks and subsidy support from NABARD.

There is a provision of credit linked back-ended upfront composite subsidy on the bank loan availed by trained candidates under the Scheme. The subsidy is 44% in respect of women, SC/ST and all categories of candidates from North-Eastern and Hill States and 36% in respect of other categories. The subsidy is admissible for loans upto Rs. 20 lakh in case of individual and Rs. 100 lakh in case of Group Projects (for ventures set up by a group of 5 trained candidates).

Since inception of the scheme 47955 candidates have been trained and 20934 agri-ventures have been established in the country till 30.06.2016.

Details of the scheme may be seen at website www.agriclinics.net

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri S.S Ahluwalia today in Lok Sabha today.