February 13, 2009 1:22:10 am
A national core group comprising twelve agricultural scientists under the chairmanship of Haryana Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Dr J.C. Katyal has proposed uniform syllabi for all agricultural universities across India. The NCG consulted with professionals,farmers,NGO representatives,and agro-based industries in a series of workshops before recommending the implementation of a new curriculum.
Dr Katyal told The Indian Express that national-level post-graduate curricula and agricultural and allied sciences have been restructured in an effort to establish and regulate a formal national course curriculum and encourage common academic standards. Though the nations agricultural sector is secure and satisfactory,said the Vice-Chancellor,the shifting global agricultural landscape and advancements in agro-technology have led the NCG to suggest several reforms. Under the new system,he said,courses on bioinformatics,statistics,fisheries,farm forestry and food technology will take priority,while existing classes will be revamped.
In its report,the NCG has suggested opening multi-faculty centres in for biotechnology,climate change and food technology. Courses are to include post-harvest technology,commercial entomology crop,animal-health management,aquatic-environment management,bio-security and bio-safety. Non-credit compulsory courses in library and information services,technical writing,communication skills,and intellectual property rights have also been recommended. There is new emphasis on human resources,professional services,and research and specialist facilities to meet an expected shortage of trained experts. The group also calls for a Rs 100 crore grant per year per SAUs.
The report was submitted to Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar on February 5,with ICAR director general Dr Mangla Rai also in attendance.
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