Amarjit Singh Nanda (61) who is currently the vice-chancellor of Nanaji Deshmukh University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) will join as the new vice-chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) from February 16. Hindustan Times spoke to him on Saturday about his experience in this field and priorities for his next project. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
You have been associated with GADVASU in the past as well when you were the founder director of research at the university from 2006 to 2010. How was your experience then as you were the maiden director of research of the university?
I was offered this position at GADVASU in 2006, when it came up as an independent university after its separation from Punjab Agricultural University. Hence, it was a challenge as my team including myself had to be on our toes to establish ourselves as a dedicated varsity for veterinary sector. However, within a span of four years, we got many research projects, connected with many farmers, launched various training programmes and produced many great scientists.”
What are the core priorities as far as joining as the second vice-chancellor of GADVASU is concerned?
To begin with, am rather excited to come back to GADVASU and have a certain agenda in mind. But, making research realistic, modern and more erudite which can practically help the farmers holds highest vitality for me. In other words, it is good for a scientist if his or her research paper gets published in a reputed journal but making the research practicable and successful play a more vital role. Secondly, I will be accessible to all including students and employees. I may plan various interactive sessions to remain connected to all.
What are the major challenges currently in the veterinary sector?
I am elated that you used the word currently in this question as challenges, system, science and needs keep changing with the passage of time. However, the biggest challenge is to have a grassroot level understanding of the farmers and addressing the polluted environment and agriculture which also has a direct impact on the health of animals just like humans. This has further lead to the birth of many diseases in animals which affects their production levels in both quantity and quality. For instance, when dairy animals graze in agricultural fields which are usually sprayed with insecticides and pesticides, they get affected which can prove to be very harmful.
So, how have you planned to address these challenges?
I think there is need for extension department to play a very active and strenuous role to create awareness among the farmers who are associated with farming and allied activities. Efforts also have to be made to connect each and every farmer from various pockets of Punjab to these trainings in order to achieve this objective.
While you are yet to join, students are already ready with their demands including wireless internet, reading room in the library, hostel accommodation for all and lot more. What do you have to say about this?
The demands seem genuine but I am not in a position to make any promises or set plans on these demands before I finally join. During my first few weeks, there will be a lot of meetings with faculty members, students and employees on how various improvements and constructive changes can be made in various aspects. I will certainly look into the demands.
Lastly, as your joining is being eagerly awaited, What is your message to the students and faculty members?
If we all develop a positive mindset and are faithful to our duties and responsibilities as a student or a professor, our university can touch new heights.