Private colleges in Punjab offering agriculture courses asked to follow norms
In a survey, the department has identified 112 private colleges, offering four-year BSc agriculture course after Class 12. Officials also found that students have no practical knowledge as there is no infrastructure in these colleges.Updated: Sep 23, 2019 10:16 IST
With the state agriculture department asking private colleges offering courses in agriculture to comply with rules mandated under Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education Act, 2017, by December 31 this year or face action, the management of these colleges has sought more time.
In a survey, the department has identified 112 private colleges, offering four-year BSc agriculture course after Class 12. Officials also found that students have no practical knowledge as there is no infrastructure in these colleges.
Norms that were found to be violated with impunity in some of the colleges include no lecture rooms; unqualified faculty and no arrangement for holding practicals.
The council’s norm of each agriculture college earmarking 50 acre for practical is also not implemented. These institutions are affiliated with Punjabi University, Punjab Agricultural University and Guru Nanak Dev University.
Expressing concern over the proliferation of such institutes that do not provide quality education, Punjab agriculture secretary KS Pannu said, “Keeping in view the situation, we have formulated rules under the Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education Act 2017. All private colleges running agriculture courses have been directed to comply with the norms by December 31 or stop running these courses. Otherwise, the government will take action.”
Pannu clarified that students enrolled, at present, will complete their course but no fresh admission would be allowed, if norms were not fulfilled.
“These institutions have mushroomed over the past three-four years, exploiting the huge demand for agriculture courses. Against 60 vacancies in BSc agriculture, thousands used to supply,” another official in the department claimed.
Private colleges says they want the government to give them two years to comply with norms.
RS Dhanoa, director, joint action committee of private agricultural colleges told HT, “As per the act that the government has passed, private colleges were to be given two years to submit a compliance report. Our contention is that we be given this much of time after the framing of rules, which were notified only in February this year.”
He added that they were also trying to press upon the government to give relaxation on the size of agriculture land with the college for practicals. “We have asked the council that we are not running MSc or higher course where land is needed for research. We need land only for demonstration purposes, for which smaller size would be helpful,” he added.
First Published: Sep 23, 2019 10:16 IST