ADDING FUEL to the ongoing war of letters, allegations and counter-allegations between Kamdhenu University (KU), Gandhinagar, and four agricultural varsities of the state over transfer of their veterinary and fisheries colleges to the former, the teachers’ association of one of the protesting universities and BJP city president of Junagadh have requested the state government to cease the process.
BJP Junagadh city president Shashikant Bhimani, in his letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani last month, cited the ongoing research work on Gir cows and Jaffrabadi buffaloes, which would be affected due to the transfer.
“By maintaining pure-bred herds of Gir cows and Jaffrabadi buffaloes and improving them through research programmes such as progeny testing since years, we have developed everything in Junagadh Agricultural University. And now we are being asked to transfer the veterinary and fisheries colleges and research centres to Kamdhenu University, which is in Gandhinagar. How will a farmer from Junagadh go to Gandhinagar for help,” Bhimani questioned, justifying his letter.
He added that KU was established by then chief minister Narendra Modi in 2009 by a special Act, which stated that the colleges in veterinary and allied sciences, started before 2009, would remain with their respective universities. “Thus, the centralisation of veterinary and fisheries colleges and research centres under Kamdhenu University will be contrary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision as a chief minister,” the letter stated.
On the other hand, Navsari Agricultural University’s teachers’ association argued that the transfer would “harm the faculty’s efficiency”, besides accusing KU Vice-Chancellor Prof M C Varshney of “personal gains and ambitions” behind the move.
It has written to the state government: “The V-C for his personal gains and ambitions is trying to get the four veterinary colleges transferred under KU. He is the one who had objected to the transfers as the VC of Anand Agricultural University.”
On these allegations, Prof Varshney said, “I have no interest in this. It is a state government’s policy decision. Now, when the V-Cs have realised that the state government is ready to take a policy decision in favour of KU despite their resentments, they are conspiring to protest against it with the help of teachers and political leaders. When the state government, in the latest cabinet reshuffle has divided the agricultural and veterinary ministries, why it has not segregated the colleges?”
The ongoing dispute is over the transfer of four veterinary colleges under Anand Agricultural University, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Junagadh Agricultural University and Navsari Agricultural University, besides two fisheries and two dairy science institutes under other universities.
The KU, which does not have a single veterinary or fisheries college under, for which it was exclusively set, under its affiliation, has been supporting its case citing letters from governing bodies, including Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Veterinary Council of India.
ICAR norms state that to get accreditation, a veterinary university should have at least one veterinary, dairy and fisheries college each, having five years of establishment.