Monday, June 09, 2008

Call for national varsity status for RAU Pusa , Bihar

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has sought national university status for the Rajendra Agricultural University (RAU) at Pusa in north Bihar from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The chief minister's request follows a Prime Minister-sponsored "special task force report" on Bihar, led by S.C. Jha, that recommends central university status to the state's agricultural university.

In his letter faxed to the Prime Minister today Nitish Kumar said: "S.C. Jha's report under the heading 'Bihar's agriculture development: Opportunities and challenges' has recommended national university status for RAU to strengthen the agriculture sector in the state and the country.

"…It has estimated a financial outlay of Rs 3,150 crore for the modernisation of its infrastructure and research."

Bihar, under the Nitish Kumar government, is the first state in the country to prepare a roadmap for the accelerated agricultural development during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. The roadmap aims at holistic development of crop, horticulture, husbandry, dairy, fisheries and agriculture co-operatives.

Bihar, to focus attention on the implementation of the roadmap, has declared 2008-09 as the "agriculture year".

"The map's successful implementation would require research and extension support. The state government has already taken initiatives to strengthen research and education infrastructure in the state. It is setting up a new horticulture college at Nalanda and an agriculture college at Saharsa. The process is on to set up another institution in Shahabad," the letter has informed the Prime Minister.

Pusa, the headquarters of the present agriculture university, is a heritage school, the letter points out, adding that the institute began research work in 1905 when the Imperial Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) was started by the British government.

The institute was shifted to New Delhi in 1936, but a portion of the school, the regional station of IARI, functions through RAU. In 1971, the Rajendra Agriculture University was started.

"I am reassured that the subject will have your personal attention in the interest of the state's farmers and also in the interest of the whole country," the letter stated.

Ranjan Rituraj Sinh , NOIDA