Higher education in agricultural studies gets boost; more research opportunities for students, incentives for institutes

There will be more opportunities for students to peruse higher studies in agricultural studies in the coming years, as Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of the Three Year Action Plan (2017-2020) of the scheme for Agricultural Education Division and ICAR Institutes with an outlay of Rs.2225.46 crore as salary component for All India Coordinated Research Project on Home Science (AICRP-HS) for strengthening and developing higher education in agricultural studies in India.

The scheme is aimed to generate quality human resources from the institutions of higher agricultural education.It encompasses several new initiatives including, steps to attract talented students, reducing academic inbreeding and addressing faculty shortage.

It will also take care ofgreen initiatives, mitigating faculty shortage, international ranking, alumni involvement, promoting innovations, inspired teacher network, reducing inbreeding, academia interface, technology enabled learning, Post-doctoral Fellowships, Agriculture Education Portal, Scientific Social responsibility etc.

for quality assurance ranking of the agricultural universities has been linked to the financial support under the scheme along with accreditation. Support for strengthening and modernization of infrastructure related to student and faculty amenities and capacity building of both faculty and students in cutting edge areas through Niche Area of Excellence programme will improve teaching and encouraging holistic development of the students.

This will lead to generation of competitive and confident human resource. In addition, research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields, formulating gender-equitable agricultural, policies/programmes and gender-sensitive agricultural-sector responses will be undertaken by ICAR-CIWA and capacity building needs of the human resources and stakeholders of the entire National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES) will be catered leading to enhancing of competencies and capacities of the stakeholders including farmers, young scientists, students and agri-industry in NARES by ICAR-NAARM.

Fund allocation:
1. Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India: Rs. Rs.2050.00 crore
2. ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM): Rs. 24.25 crore and
ICAR, Central Institute of Women in Agriculture (CIWA) including All India Coordinated Research Project on Home Science (AICRP-HS): Rs.151.21 crore.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) undertakes planning, development, coordination and quality assurance in higher agricultural education through partnership with 75 Agricultural Universities (AUs) established across the country. The human resource developed by Agricultural Universities has played a pivotal role in transforming agricultural scenario to achieve self-sufficiency.

The approach is multipronged, addressing the issues of competence enhancement, attracting and retaining talented youth to agriculture education and to improve the overall infrastructure in terms of student and faculty amenities pertaining to teaching and learning.

The National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) has played a key role in enhancing the capacities of individuals and institutions of National Agricultural Research and Education System (NARES) in agricultural research, education and technology management.

The Central Institute for Women in Agriculture has been providing a leadership role in empowering farm women as in the changing agricultural scenario the roles and responsibilities of women in agriculture are indispensable.

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