Scope of Agricultural Education in India

Agriculture has been the mainstay of Indian economy since ages. The science and art of agriculture has many references in the Vedic literature and the ancient history of the mankind. The agriculture sector in India provides livelihood to about 52% of the population of the country and contributes about 15% to the Gross Domestic Product. Trained human resource has been the key factor behind the Green Revolution, White Revolution, Yellow Revolution, that has led India to become self reliant in food and becoming a fast developing economy. Knowledge based, input-use efficient, eco-friendly, and high tech precision agriculture has been the next stage for which efforts have been directed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Agricultural Universities (AUs) in planning, designing and executing the national agricultural educational programmes. Considering the importance of Agricultural Education, University Education Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, recommended the establishment of independent Rural Universities in the country in the year 1948. As a result of this recommendation, first State Agricultural University (SAU) was established in 1960 at Pantnagar (Nainital) on the pattern of the Land Grant Colleges of the United States. The University Grants Commission accorded the status of Deemed-to-be-University (DU) to Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 1958 which became the first ICAR Institute as Deemed University conducting postgraduate teaching and research. Today, the country has a large ICAR-AU system with a total of 65 Agricultural Universities (AUs) comprising of 55 State Agricultural, Veterinary, Horticulture, and Fisheries Universities, 1 Central Agricultural University, Imphal, 4 ICAR-DUs (IARI, IVRI, NDRI and CIFE), 4 Central Universities having agricultural faculty (BHU, AMU, Viswa Bharati and Nagaland University) and 1 Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad (formerly Allahabad Agricultural Institute) awarding various kinds of degrees in different disciplines of agricultural, veterinary and allied sciences. Agricultural education is also imparted in some traditional universities of the country. Agricultural education system is producing invaluable human resource and every year about 15,000 graduates, 11,000 Masters and 2,500 Ph.D.s are admitted. The Under Graduate degree in 11 subjects of agriculture and allied sciences and Master’s degree in about 93 subjects, awarded by the Universities associated with the ICAR are well recognized and accepted for higher education globally. Some of the graduates also start their own business units including the Agri. Clinics and Agro Service Centres. Following are some of the sectors providing placement to the agricultural graduates:-

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