Palampur, November 3
The first meeting of the 6th Committee of Deans, formed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), was held today at CSK Agricultural University in Himachal Pradesh.
Dr Tej Partap, Vice-Chancellor of GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttarakhand, chaired the meeting, which was attended by Vice-Chancellors and Deans of the five agricultural universities of HP, J&K and Uttarakhand.
Dr Partap said fundamental changes had been proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP), but ICAR had left it up to agricultural universities to restructure the course and the curriculum. Efforts should be made to increase practical work in undergraduate programs. In addition, postgraduate courses would be restructured in stages. Agricultural universities should structure one-year certificate courses leading to a two-year diploma course, he said.
âCurrently, admissions do not match the needs and these are not able to meet the target because many students do not go into the agricultural sector. There is a need to set guidelines for entrepreneurship for students, âsaid Dr Pratap.
The president revealed that the other key changes recommended in the NEP indicated that the country would move towards multidisciplinary universities. There would no longer be a division of universities and by 2035, universities with multiple campuses would merge.
Professor HK Chaudhary, vice-chancellor of the host university, suggested broadening the horizon of agricultural education by allowing freedom to choose subjects, a multidisciplinary approach and by introducing agricultural education at the level school. CSK University had moved quickly to adopt and implement the key recommendations of the NEP by increasing the admission of various UG and PG programs, digitization, smart classrooms and the use of sophisticated new era technologies.
Dr JP Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SK University of Agricultural Science & Technology, Jammu, suggested tailor-made certificate and diploma courses based on students’ skills after completion of a three-year study program .
Dr JP Sharma, Research Director, Dr Bikram Singh and Dr MS Bhadwal, Deans of SKUAST, Jammu; Dr Anju Dhiman and Dr Kamal Sharma, both deans of the University of Horticulture and Forestry Dr YS Parmar, Solan; participated in the event.