Friday, June 26, 2015

Agri Versity Uncertain, June 26, 2015
Bhubaneswar : 25/June/2015 
With Government not initiating any move even one year after Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathay made the lofty announcement during his Agriculture Budget Speech in 2014, chances of second University of Agriculture in the State seems uncertain.
Mr.Maharathy had stated that the State will set up second Agriculture University in the poverty stricken KBK (Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput) region of the State. 
Notably, the State Government has already made budgetary allocation for the purpose making it explicit that it is positive about this project.
The second Agriculture University was planned by the State taking into account the need of the students, admits a senior professor in OUAT, adding that this was planned as a State University to be funded entirely from the State Budget.
Meanwhile, OUAT has made some of the preliminary work for setting up of the second University of Agriculture and a detailed report has also been prepared with a cost of Rs.600 Core, the professor said.
Annual Recurring Expenditure was expected at Rs.200 Core. And recurring expenditure would have been required at least for the initial five years till the University could have availed support from UGC and other institutions, he said.
It was proposed to have four colleges of Agriculture, Horticulture, Agriculture Engineering and Veterinary Science.
Al these colleges were planned to be established in various places of KBK Zone where agriculture productivity is very low and use of technology is also dismally slow.
The new University would have served the purpose of research and development in a big way, he said.

OUAT established on August 24, 1962 is the second oldest Agriculture University in the country.
OUAT could accommodate only 1,808 students in an academic year, officials say and the second University could have taken at least 200 students in the first years, said the professor.
Though the proposed University was planned to be set up in KBK Zone, finalizing the location of its headquarters and finding places for the constituent colleges has turned out to be a herculean task, said sources familiar with the matter.
Years after its formation, the headquarters of Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) even as it was set up to sharpen focus on development of Western Odisha, its headquarters continues to be at Bhubaneswar.
As none is in a position to take a decision where to set up WODC headquarters either at Sambalpur, Balangir or Kalahandi, it continues to run from the capital city of the State, said a former Minister, who was instrumental in setting up of this important institution.
The State Government has to take a call on the issue to steer clear uncertainty over setting up of the second University of Agriculture in KBK Zone, said he.


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