Palampur: Veteran politician Shanta Kumar said that financial management must keep in mind the needs of the nation for proper planning and effective implementation.

Pointing at the economic disparity, the Member Parliament speaking at ‘Interactive meet of comptrollers of state agricultural universities, deemed universities, central universities and central agricultural universities’ at CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, said that economy of India was growing at a faster rate but still 26 crore people were living below poverty line and most of the hungry people live here.

Shanta Kumar also raised concern over the alarming number of farmers’ suicides and asked participants to deliberate on the issues, and work towards to resolve it by the collective efforts.

Dr. NS Rathore, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), informed that a large number of reforms have been implemented in ICAR and farm institutions should implement these at the earliest for the benefit of students and farmers. He told that there were only seventy thousand students studying agriculture in 75 farm universities and institutions. India has made great strides in total agricultural production.

Since accreditation and ranking of agricultural institutions have been initiated so the future grants will be based on performance by such institutions. He congratulated Vice-Chancellor Prof A.K Sarial for attaining first position in the country by the students of his university in Junior and Senior Research fellowship examinations by the ICAR.
S.K Singh, Additional Secretary-cum Financial Advisor, ICAR, said that the comptrollers were key functionaries to implement ICAR schemes in the farm universities and institutions. He said that national agricultural research system was a dynamic system supporting state agricultural universities through All India Coordinated Research Projects, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, infrastructure support, etc and citizens have right to know about the functioning of such institutions. He said that time has come to maximize internal resources by the autonomous institutions and spend more money on core research issues.

Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor, said that his university was a leading farm university among all hill and mountainous region farm varsities in the country. He also informed about various achievements in the areas of academics, research and extension education. He told that 182 students have cleared various national level prestigious examinations this year. He thanked ICAR and Govt. of Himachal Pradesh for the financial support .He assured that his university will continue to improve its working in the mandated areas for the benefit of farmers and students. The Vice-Chancellor said that declaration of agriculture as a professional subject is a major reform by the ICAR which will benefit the students.

Dr.M.B Chetti and Dr.P.S.Pandey, both Assistant Director Generals, ICAR told that the purpose of the meet was to devise a mechanism for funding and monitoring of financial support extended by ICAR to these institutions under the scheme “Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India”. The participants will be deliberating on several issues pertaining to proper and timely submission of demand for grants, project proposals, student details, annual reports of various components, audit utilization certificates, etc. They told that through-out the country, there was craze among students for farm education as rate of employability was excellent.