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The Deccan Herald, Bangalore, 11 Feb 2009
Farm universities to have new PG syllabi

Keeping in tune with modern agricultural trends, post graduate curricula and syllabi for agricultural universities are all set for a major overhaul.

To be implemented in 46 farm universities, including four in Karnataka, from 2009 academic session, the new syllabi and its implementation plan will be discussed threadbare at a meeting of the agricultural university vice chancellors on February 16 and 17.

“New areas of specialisations like the World Trade Organisation-related issues, climate change and biotechnology have been introduced,” S P Tiwari, deputy director general (education) at the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) told Deccan Herald.

The new syllabi on 83 PG courses, to come into effect in July,  is based on a 20-month long exercise involving 1000 farm scientists.

A 2500-page report spelling out the details was submitted to  Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. “Agricultural universities were provided with additional financial support to efficiently roll out the new curricula,” he said.

Around Rs 2200 crore have been sanctioned for farm universities in the 11th plan, a large part of which will be utilised in implementing the new programme for which faculty training and new facilities will be required.

“The recommendations made by the national core group on higher education at ICAR, includes common academic regulations for masters and doctoral education and ways to build one or two niche centres of excellence in each university,” said J C Katyal, vice chancellor, CCS Agricultural University in Hisar and chairman of the national core group.

The proposed curricula includes courses on bioinformatics, microbial biotechnology, genomics, food technology, computer applications, eco-friendly agro-chemicals, climate change, agro-met development, post-harvest technology, commercial entomology, fish health management, aquatic environment management, fish business management, fisheries engineering, veterinary clinical epidemiology, veterinary forensic medicine and bio-security.

“Though there were some bits and pieces change in the PG curricula in the past, this is the first comprehensive revamping of curricula and syllabi since independence,” Tiwari said.
Changes in the under-graduate course had already been made.

The proposed changes include a uniform grade point average in each subject for MSc and PhD programmes.

Different universities had different grade points in the past. Uniformity has also been brought in on credit requirements for students.


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