Agriculture university in B'luru lines up slew of reforms

Agriculture university in B'luru lines up slew of reforms

Syllabus revision, increasing manpower among priorities of new VC

The University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru (UAS-B), will soon introduce initiatives to strengthen relations with farmers.

Increasing manpower at grassroots level and focusing on extension activities will be among the top priorities of the new UAS-B vice chancellor. Prof H Shivanna, who was appointed vice chancellor on January 24, has over three decades of experience in agriculture, research, teaching, extension activities and administration.

He will hold the position for the next three years. According to regulations, the vice chancellor can hold the post for four years or until 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.

Speaking to Deccan Herald about his plans for the university over the next three years, Shivanna said, “Debates with farmers need to be increased. Also, the manpower involved in extension activities needs to be strengthened. There is a shortage of subject matter specialists at the district level. There is also a dearth of animal science expertise. All these areas need to be focused on.”

Syllabus revision

The vice chancellor also sees the need to revise the existing syllabus for agricultural sciences in universities.

Students need to be aware of the present-day challenges in the agriculture sector, especially pertaining to the development of variety in crops, water management, mechanisation of agriculture, value addition to crops and climate change. By 2050, the country would need 400 million tonnes of food grains.

A teaching framework needs to be developed in this direction, so that agriculture sciences graduates are equipped to deal with these challenges, he said.

Shivanna is one of the committee members for syllabus revision constituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The ICAR revises syllabus every five years and the members of this committee are currently compiling recommendations for the same. “The next meeting for the same is scheduled for February 11 and 13, in Delhi. The syllabus is likely to be revised for the next year,” he said.

Shivanna has over thirty-five years of experience in the field of agriculture. He has earlier served as the director of research, UAS Bengaluru. He was also the dean (Agriculture), College of Agriculture, Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra. He is the first dalit vice chancellor to be appointed to any agriculture university in the State.