The Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU) in Palampur on Thursday held its 12 convocation. Governor of Himachal Pradesh and chancellor of HPAU presided over the function, while chief minister Virbhadra Singh was the chief guest.
The governor and chief minister awarded masters' and doctoral degrees, certificates of honour and gold medals to 317 meritorious students present on the occasion out of the total 686 students.
In her presidential address, the governor urged the students to keep themselves updated with latest knowledge, besides upgrading their skills in order to tackle several challenges the agriculture sector faces.
“As professionals you should strive to develop a positive attitude towards society and become responsible citizens,” said Singh.
Maintaining that research was a vital component for the growth of agriculture sector, the governor said efforts should be made to strengthen this area and intensive research should be conducted for developing new varieties of crops suitable to different climatic conditions besides new techniques helpful for farmers.
She said there was a vast scope for crop diversification and off-season vegetables in the state and the university had significantly contributed towards strengthening the socio-economic standards of the farming community.
Felicitating all the degrees, the recipients on the occasion, Urmila Singh said youth were nation builders in real sense and they played an important role in building a strong and vibrant nation.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said there was a need to develop region specific vegetable varieties for optimum production with low input.
“Main focus should be on growing vegetable crops, which fetch high market price nationally and internationally,” said the chief minister, adding that his government had accorded top priority to the crop diversification.
Virbhadra said Himachal grew vegetable and horticultural crops above national average and production of food grains in the state was more than its requirement.
He advised the scientists to accelerate their efforts for crop improvement, natural resource management, crop production, crop protection, post-harvest technology, plant biotechnology and give impetus to strategic research with precision.
He also exhorted the teachers to carry out their responsibilities in a dignified manner and that the state government would soon come out with a legislation to debar teachers to participate any kind of political activities. Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated Solid Waste Management project at Surad near Palampur construct at a cost of Rs 86 lakh.
HPAU vice-chancellor KK Katoch briefed about the activities being undertaken by the university. He said the concepts of 'Earn while you learn” and “Experimental learning” and “Plant Clinics” had been introduced in the course curricula of the undergraduate programmes.
Speaker Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha BBL Butail, agriculture minister Sujan Singh Pathania and urban development minister were also present on the occasion.