Monday, September 15, 2014

Kalahandi, Koraput in Race for Second Agriculture Varsity

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Sept 15, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture has recommended establishment of the proposed second agriculture university at Semiliguda in Koraput district, Citizens’ Forum, Kalahandi demand the institute at Bhawanipatna.
The Committee, headed by BJD legislator Pramila Mallick, said an agriculture university plays a vital role in education, research and extension in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. There is a need for another such varsity to meet the State’s demands.
“Steps should be taken to establish a second agriculture university preferably at Semiliguda in Koraput district,” the report submitted to the Assembly said.
The site recommended by the Committee assumes significance against the backdrop of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy’s announcement that the State Government has decided to set up a second agriculture university in KBK region.
Meanwhile, the Kalahandi Citizens’ Forum has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to establish the proposed university at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi.
In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the forum said adequate Government land and other ancillary facilities are available near the Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna. The land available with Arkabahli agriculture farm located near the existing agriculture college and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra could be readily utilised for demonstration farming.
At least 500-600 acres of land would be required for the proposed agriculture university which will house a College of Agriculture and Agriculture Engineering, College of Fisheries and College of Animal Sciences.
Meanwhile, the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) has submitted a list of facilities available on agriculture and allied subjects in KBK districts to the State Government for taking a decision on the proposed university.
Sources in OUAT said both Semiliguda and Bhawanipatna are suitable locations. It is upto the Government to take a decision as to which site is better suited for the proposed university.
Several Congress leaders of Balangir district have also demanded establishment of the proposed university in their district.
The State Government recently wrote to Collectors of six districts to identify a suitable location in their districts for the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The six districts are Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam, Koraput, Sambalpur and Sundargarh.

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