Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University: Enhancing Agricultural Educational Fraternity and Inciting Change
Agricultural Educational Fraternity | Dr. Rajendra Prasad

When people think of agriculture, they usually think about only farmers who tend the fields and look after crops or livestock however, it is not just about farming. The massive food and drink sector rests on the backbone of the farming sector hence, it means agriculture; there are jobs for everything in between the farm and the store.

Agriculture has an enormous range of career opportunities in crop cultivation to post harvest processing and then to make ready to eat food. Furthermore, there is a whole range of industries supporting the farming sector.  Seeing the potential in agriculture sector, many companies aligned towards agriculture and Reliance is an example of them. At present, Central and State Government are also emphasizing to “Doubling the farmers Income” which also created job opportunity for agricultural graduate. Tremendous opportunities also exist in entrepreneurship development where others can also be employed. The key point here is that there is a job awaiting one in the agricultural sector irrespective of their skills and agricultural background.

But, that is not all about this sector; the agricultural sector is very huge, there are problems yet to be solved, and exciting possibilities that are yet to be discovered.  And while the industry has already adapted to cutting-edge technologies, there is a huge need for skilled and competent experts to keep up with and advance science and engineering discoveries which will ultimately bring a paradigm shift in society and the global economy.

Having understood this possibility at the earliest, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University’s continuous endeavor has been to educate individuals into industry professionals. The institute sees the agricultural (global) history as a challenge; a legacy of innovation and possibilities and strives to equal every day while redefining the nature of agricultural education.

A Legacy of Excellence

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa owes legacy of India’s first-ever Agricultural Research Institute and college, which was established in 1905 at Pusa, Bihar with a vision of making it a nucleus of agricultural activities, research and education for the whole country and to attract the best of talents from India and abroad. The evolution of this University into a Central Agricultural University was accomplished in 2016 for generating and expanding knowledge in the field of agriculture and allied sciences with more vigor.

The University is producing exemplary human resources and providing dynamic leadership in Teaching, Research, and Extension related to agriculture and allied sciences. It is also strongly committed to serving the farming community of our country in general and Bihar state in particular.

The aforesaid institute’s legacy is not the only factor that sets it apart from other educational institutions. It continuously strives to advance professional competency for pursuing excellence in agriculture and allied education, research, and entrepreneurship while also enabling students to meet the regional, national, and global needs and offer specialized services to the farmers.

It achieves the same by:

  • Promoting a high-quality learning environment and the creation of an integrated approach that develops an appreciation and understanding of the environmental and socio-economicsignificance of soil-plant-animal- people interface.
  • Shaping agricultural stakeholders into self-sustaining mode through innovation-centriceducation, cutting edge research, entrepreneurship/ startup skill development, and dissemination of appropriate agricultural technology.
  • Nurturing national/ global needs of achieving sustainable food production and safety while mitigating pressure on agricultural land through advanced interventions of research and development.

Enabler of World-Class Education

The driving force behind this institute is Dr. R. C. Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor of the University, who has always been a believer in the propagation of rightful and value-based education.  He has conceptualized and guided various research projects, new technologies, and has kept the University abreast with state-of-the-art technologies and research. Along with Master’s and PhD degrees in Soil & Water Conservation Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, he has held several prestigious positions with esteemed institutions during his career spanning 43 + years.

He has won numerous international and national awards viz. Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Award, Vasant Rao Naik Award, Rajendra Prasad Puruskar. He is Fellow of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (FISAE), Fellow of Institution of Engineers (FIE), Fellow of Confederation of Horticulture Association of India (FCHAI), Fellow of Indian Association of Soil & Water Conservationists (FIASWC) along with many Lifetime Achievement Award for his scientific works and has penned 250+ research papers in diverse areas of water conservation, especially rainwater harvesting, groundwater management, and integrated farming system.

The University is witnessing its most enriching times and has been on the rise owing to his dynamic and exceptional leadership qualities.

An Environment Promoting Growth

Aiding the university in its vision of producing skillful professionals is its rigorous curriculum.  The university offers a range of courses for UG (6 disciplines) PG (24 disciplines) and Ph.D. (10 disciplines) program in agricultural and allied science in seven colleges to meet the rising demand of skilled professionals in agricultural industries.

It follows an Integrated System of Education comprising Teaching, Research, and Extension and advisory systems which is quite different from any other university.

Its Under-Graduation degrees are four years technical and professional courses as compared to three years degree at general Universities which includes STUDENT READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) program for one year in which students are attached to a particular village for identification of the farming problem; industry attachment; business proposal development along with experiential learning program (earning while learning) for serving any industry/entrepreneurship/start-up.

The PG program has a two-year duration which includes one year for course work and one year for initial exposure with research.

Additionally, the university conducts many activities to develop creative skills among students. Special lectures by experts, counseling of students for placement and soft skill development, debate and writing competition, seminars, sports meet, and many other extracurricular activities are organized regularly in the university

A Place to Belong

We have established how the University offers programs for individuals to help them expand their perspectives and lead at a higher level. However, The University understands that academics is not the only factor that enhances education but, education when integrated with growth-centric environment enhances holistic development. Hence, the university has cultivated environment excellence through advanced education where its student’s development is anchored on the core pillars; integrity, superiority, and compassion.

The University has a residential campus having excellent accommodation makes the congenial environment for the teaching-learning process. Its campus is an amalgamation of traditional pedagogy with digital technology to enhance the impact of teaching. It also has state-of-art laboratories to train the students to handle modern, sophisticated, and sensitive equipment during the academic program.

Furthermore, the University also has an active placement cell. Starting from grooming to placing students in good agro-based companies, the placement cell under the University helps its students at every step of their growth. Many students choose to go for higher studies and prepare for civil services, Bank, Agricultural Research Service, and other reputed jobs in the country and abroad.

A Promising Future

It is now evident that the university will continue to equip students through industry-specific training and development programs for entrepreneurship, start-up, and other agricultural services. And to achieve the aforesaid goal, the University continuously improves and advances its curriculum and other growth-centric initiatives.

The University is planning to add new undergraduate and postgraduate courses, design and implement new PG diploma courses to address the industry need as well as promote start-up/entrepreneurship in Climate Resilient Agriculture, Hi-tech Horticulture, waste management, Micro Irrigation, Warehousing, etc.

The University is also planning to introduce programs in emerging fields like Nanotechnology, Computational Biology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Data science along with 5-year Integrated Post-Graduate program in Bio-informatics.

Furthermore, the University has also planned to introduce various research programs that will ultimately result in the enhancement of farmer’s income and also to reduce the pressure on land resources. These proposed research activities include; inventory, conservation plans, biodiversity mapping and its utilization of pristine areas for application of research in agriculture and allied area, development & release of new varieties and technologies for the various agro-ecological situation for climate-smart agriculture, development of multi-species fodder bank as a climate-smart option for livestock nutrition, etc.

The university is also planning on establishing IT-based agricultural technology information services for quick dissemination of technology and establishment and building new infrastructure with many new canters in pipelines such as Centre for Excellence on Food Processing and Centre of Excellence for Mushroom Research.

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