Thursday, April 19, 2012

22nd University Council meeting of SKUAST Kashmir

Governor, CM for courses in 
tune with emerging job market requirements

Governor N. N. Vohra, and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, today decided that the team of scientists of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir, led by Dr. Riaz Ahmad Shah, which achieved a major breakthrough in cloning the world's first Pashmina Goat, named Noori, will be honoured and rewarded for their momentous scientific achievement.

This team of scientists will be honoured at a function to be held in Srinagar, after the reopening of Civil Secretariat and other move offices in the summer capital of the State. The Governor observed that this achievement could pave way for establishing a Centre of Excellence in University for undertaking similar initiatives in cloning other species of animals, like the Kashmir Hangul.

The Governor and the Chief Minister were addressing the 22nd University Council meeting of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Kashmir, at Raj Bhavan, here today.

The Governor and the Chief Minister, stressed the urgent need for taking all the required measures, including restructuring courses and bringing about required changes in the admission procedures, for filling up all available seats at the under-graduate and postgraduate levels in both the Agricultural Universities of the State. They said that doing so, besides ensuring optimum utilization of available infrastructure, would also go a long way in enhancing the employability of the youth of the State in the emerging job market.

Chairing the meeting, the Governor, who is Chancellor of the University, stressed the implementation of a time bound programme for production of quality seeds of different crops, in adequate quantities, for meeting the requirements of the farmers and enhancing the agri-productivity in the State. He said that while doing so a strict monitoring mechanism must be put in place at the block and district levels so that the quality of the seed is of approved standard.

He suggested that success stories about seed replacement and consequential increase in productivity should be disseminated by screening documentary films and through write-ups in the print media for enlarging awareness among the farmers about the usefulness of seed replacement and adoption of the best practices in farming. He also stressed the need for providing adequate marketing facilities to the growers of mushroom, strawberry and other crops for securing optimum returns for the produce.

While reviewing the status of the establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, the Governor said that wherever land is available these need to be established immediately, along side completing the process in other cases. He added that Krishi Vigyan Kendras have to function as nerve centres for carrying the latest agri-technology to the farmers.

The Chief Minister, who is the Pro-Chancellor of the University, said that on the pattern of the SKUAST (Kashmir) and the Kashmir University, the SKUAST (Jammu) and the University of Jammu should work together and identify such degrees and courses like MBA (Agri-Business) to enhance the employability of the youth. He said that, for this purpose, the various Universities functioning in J&K should sign MoUs for securing larger convergence for the benefit of the people of the State.

The Chief Minister stressed the need of regular monitoring of various projects of the varsity and those which will be developed under the Rs. 100 crore special grant provided to the University.

Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Forests, stressed the need for opening up of more seed centres for providing quality seed of maize, potato and other crops to the farmers nearer to their doorsteps.

Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for Horticulture and Floriculture, stressed for increasing the intake for imparting training to the youth in basic horticulture activities by the Farm Universities.

Aga Syed Ruhulla Mehdi, Minister for Animal and Sheep Husbandry, put forth several suggestions for the rapid growth of these sectors, having vast potential for generation of wealth and employment avenues.

Dr. Tej Partap, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Kashmir, made a comprehensive power point presentation, dwelling on the achievements of the University and the major initiatives under consideration.

The Council also approved the Two-Tier Career Advancement Scheme for Non-Teaching employees of the University.

The meeting was attended by Dr. A. R. Trag, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore, Prof. Ram Badan Singh, President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, M. I. Khandey, Principal Secretary, Finance, Shaleen Kabra, Commissioner/Secretary, Agriculture Production and Acting Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Jammu, Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor and Prof. Farooq A. Zaki, Registrar, SKUAST, Kashmir.

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