‘Indians avoid agriculture studies due to lack of awareness’

Bengaluru (IANS)┬áMany Indian students are not taking up agricultural studies due to lack of awareness, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) official said on Monday at the first-ever Farmers’ Science Congress held at the ongoing 107th Indian Science Congress.

“There are a lot of opportunities in agricultural education in India. Perhaps it is the lack of knowledge about opportunities on agricultural studies that many students gravitate towards engineering and medical education,” said ICAR’s Deputy Director General for Education, R. C. Agrawal.

In an effort to popularise agricultural education among students, ICAR will organise 48 workshops in February, he said.

“We will meet school teachers, principals and science teachers to explain the available agricultural education opportunities,” said Agrawal.

The ICAR has teamed up with the World Bank to create the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP), with a budget of Rs 1,100 crore, each contributing 50 per cent.

ICAR has already sent 300 students and 18 faculty members to study in international universities through NAHEP in the last one year.

It has a target of sending 2,000 students and 300 faculty members, to expose the students to best practices and return with many fresh ideas.

“NAHEP is aimed at ensuring food security, sufficient resources and solving farmers’ problems,” said Agrawal hoping that the students will become job creators and not job seekers.

The 107th edition of the Indian Science Congress scheduled from January 3-7 is currently underway at the University of Agricultural Sciences here.

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