‘Edu hub needs more attention’

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday took a dig at State Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat for the tardiness in implementing the necessary infrastructure projects at the College of Agriculture in Shivajinagar.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published:February 22, 2009 12:54 am

At the inauguration of hostel for international students,Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar hints at relaxing restriction on wheat export

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday took a dig at State Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat for the tardiness in implementing the necessary infrastructure projects at the College of Agriculture in Shivajinagar.

“Four years ago,when I took up the reins of the central agriculture ministry,you approached me with the projects that were to be carried out at the College of Agriculture here. Now,even after the Central Government’s special grant of Rs 100 crore to the college,the complaints about lack of facilities are still rife. Things are still the same as they were four years back,” he said.

Turning to Thorat,a Congress minister who shared the dais,Pawar laughingly went on adding in Marathi,“Bara navha he vagna.”(This is not good).

Pawar said,“Pune is an educational hub,therefore all necessary facilities should be provided to students.”

Pawar was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a hostel for international students and laying the foundation stone of girls’ hostel at the college. On the current agriculture scenario,Pawar said,“Sixty years ago,when India got Independence,our foodgrain production was five crore tonnes which has now gone up to 23 crore tonnes. Till a few years ago,the foodgrain situation was worrying and we had to import wheat from other countries. That was a red variety of wheat. But last year,there was a record production of wheat in the country. The stockpile of wheat in India is surplus,and therefore the Central Government is thinking of relaxing the restriction on exporting wheat.”

Pawar called for research-oriented approach to bring about a change in the agricultural practices and to bring solutions. “Sufficient production of foodgrain is vital. Therefore,we need to focus on the research. Nowadays,our farmers are also delving into that area and innovating some new agricultural species,which is a positive sign for agriculture.” Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar also pointed out to Thorat what the college needs to have in terms of development.

Pawar junior cold shoulders Kalmadi

During the function,Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi also shared the dais with the Pawars. While Pawar senior acknowledged Kalmadi’s presence during his speech,Ajit mentioned names of all the dignitaries on the dais except Kalmadi. Kalmadi did not get an opportunity to speak.

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