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THERE are currently 59 universities in India dedicated to agriculture and allied sciences that comprise forestry, veterinary, dairy and fisheries studies. If we talk about this sector, and look at some of the key indicators, all seem to suggest that there is lot of potential. The country has over 50% land that is cultivable as against 11-12% in the world; all major climates of the World are here; of the 60-odd soil types, close to 80% exist in India; ample sunlight suit round-the-year cultivation of crops; the nation is at the centre for biodiversity accounting for sizeable resources of the world, and so on. Yet there are grave problems. And if there are problems, there are opportunities to sort them out. Universities have a crucial role to play here.
The space is heavily dominated by public universities including ‘Big Boys’ such as Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi and Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly which are now deemed universities. These two alone are far more productive both in terms of publication and patents than any other state public university or other deemed universities including National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal; Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai and FRI University at Dehradun. Productive agricultural universities in terms of publication are mostly from the North. Agricultural University, Imphal is the only central university in this domain while Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology & Science or the Allahabad Agriculture Institute are the lone players in the private arena but more or less have become conventional universities.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar
Ch. Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
FRI University (Forest Research Institute), Dehradun
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
GB Pant University of Agriculture & Tech, Pantnagar
National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal
Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai
Kumaun University, Nainital
University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat
Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia
Chaudhary Sawan Kr. Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur
University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad
Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal
Sciences University, Ludhiana
Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture
& Forestry, Nauni
Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology
Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani
Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad
Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri
Dr Wazir Singh Lakra
Director, Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai
“Fisheries education is facing a communication gap in India. People are not really aware of aquaculture domain as a prospective career. In an effort to overcome this, CIFE has decided to organise cultural fairs, student lectures, etc.”
Dr. H.S. Gupta
Research Institute, pusa
“In India about 52% people work for agriculture as opposed to US where only 2% contribute to the sector. Do we realise why the huge difference? It is because US is more efficient. As per NSS survey, given an option 46% farmers like to quit farming. At this juncture, IARI has to intervene and give them alternative technology-driven skill to come out of traditional mundane practices and make India more productive. Of late weather has become unpredictable giving way to global warming. If we do not produce good stuff, the deficiency of any micronutrient will not only affect the child but also affect three generations. This is where agriculture education plays a major role.
We have to think what will happen in 2100 and do anticipatory research. We are consuming the fruits of people who have done research 50 years back. We must do enough so that our future generations should be able to take good advantage. In agriculture, we must think of ways to use good quality fertiliser with less utilisation of water.”