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ICAR urges state universities to join its all-India entrance test

Also, suggest a 10% increase in seats/year for a few years; urges relaxing mandatory hostel staying norms.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has asked State Agriculture Universities (SAUs) to join the entrance test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in admission to agriculture science courses in their states instead of holding the separate examination. ICAR has also requested states to increase seats by 10 per cent per year from the next academic year.

“There has been a lot of interest among students to get into agriculture science in the past few years as the scope got widened,” said R C Agrawal, ICAR’s deputy directo- general (education). The number of applicants in ICAR’s entrance test has increased to 1.6 lakh from about 90,000 in 2015-16 for only 6,000 seats reserved in SAUs, Agrawal said.

ICAR in 2019 had entrusted the responsibility of conducting the all-India competitive examination for admission to UG, higher studies (PG/PhD) in SAUs where 15 per cent and 25 per cent seats are reserved for these students. The total number of seats in all SAUs is about 47,000, including 40,000 in undergraduate courses.

A few states have consented to join the all-India entrance, yet will set aside effort to cover all states since horticulture instruction is a State subject, said Agrawal.

Focusing on the need to build the seats in SAUs, he said 10% increment each year ought to be ruined a couple of years as recommended by ICAR. He likewise said that states have been approached to loosen up the standard of required inn remaining as understudies may likewise prefer to remain outside assuming they get affirmation. This will assist with facilitating the quick weight of building new foundation, he added

On private colleges
On private colleges offering agriculture courses, Agrawal said these institutions are not under the direct control of ICAR, and they are being persuaded to reserve seats for those who qualify for the all-India entrance. “Some 10 private colleges have been accredited and an equals number also was rejected as our parameters have to be followed,” he said, adding there are some 40 pending applications for accreditation.

Once a private college gets accredited by ICAR, successful students of the all-India entrance test will get to study there under a reservation formula and also their students become eligible to appear in this all-India entrance test.

ICAR’s World Bank assisted programme of sending students abroad for international exposure in foreign universities, started in January 2019, has been halted due to covid pandemic and is likely to resume as and when the situation becomes normal. More than 500 students, including those from under-graduate courses, have visited foreign universities in the US, Europe, Australia, Japan and many other countries under this programme, he said.

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