Cabinet approves 3 year action plan worth 2225 crore for agricultural education

The Action Plan also aims to ensure 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

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister, Mr 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 [Rs 2197.51 crore + Rs 27.95 crore (State share) as salary component for AICRP-HS] for strengthening and developing higher agricultural education in India.

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 Action Plan comprises of: Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India – Rs 2050.00 crore; 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 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 of green 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.

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 Action Plan also aims to ensure 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.

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.