SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 23: Governor N.N Vohra, Chancellor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST-K), chaired the 32nd Council meeting of SKUAST-K, here at the Raj Bhavan today. Chief Minister Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Pro Chancellor of the University, Sh. Lal Singh, Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment; Sh. Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari, Minister for Horticulture and Sh. Abdul Ghani Kohli, Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries participated in the meeting.
Chancellor released two research based publications brought out by the University: High altitude water conservation technology in cold arid desert of Ladakh and Fishery sector in J&K (Analysis of structural changes, public investment & institutional support).
Chancellor and Pro Chancellor urged Minister for Horticulture the importance of time bound action being taken to develop Controlled Atmosphere Stores and Cold Storage units within and outside the State to enable fruit growers and farmers to get better returns on their produce. Pro Chancellor informed that the Railways Ministry has assured help in providing better transport facilities for timely movement of the apple crop produced in the Valley.
Governor emphasized the vital need for the State Government to establish a marketing strategy for all items produced in the State, to incentivize higher production. He also stressed the need for strengthening the fisheries, animal husbandry, poultry farming, silk worm rearing, saffron and other sectors through effective marketing interventions.
Chancellor also stressed the need for early formulation of a well considered Horticulture Policy, effective pesticide control measures, and adoption of best managerial practices for agriculture and its allied fields. In this context he pointed to the need for strengthening the Faculty of Horticulture of SKUAST-K and advised against any hurried decision to set up a University of Horticulture.
Chancellor advised the Principal Secretary Planning to urgently constitute a Committee for identifying the reasons for the poor level of lifting of the seed produced by the University consequent to the indent laced on it by the Agriculture Production Department. He also cautioned that the farmers must be provided seeds timely.
Referring to the rapid pace at which good agricultural land was being converted to other uses, Chancellor advised the urgent formulation of a law for regulating the conversion of agricultural land for any other use.
Minister for Forest, Ecology & Environment suggested introduction of procurement of produce by the State Government for safeguarding interests of the farmers and suggested that the Universities should bring out new varieties which enhance quality of the farm products besides merely increasing their production.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor Dr. Nazeer Ahmed made a detailed presentation on the various activities of his Universityand informed that a case study had been done on the impact of climatic change on land use and land cover of Pir Panchal region covering district Budgam and part of district Srinagar, and said that the findings were cause for serious concern for agriculture.
Vice Chancellor informed the Council that the University has developed the following: (i) technological interventions in the Tribal Sub Plan programmes carried out at Leh, Nyoma, Zanskar, Kargil and Gurez and its resultant impact on socio economic condition of tribal people; (ii) introduction of new crops and varieties viz. pigeon pea, olive, nectarine fodder and high value exotic vegetables in Kashmir valley and Ladakh region; (iii) new Fodder oat-5 variety developed for national release having better nutritional quality, high seed yield and resistant to leaf blight and powdery mildew; (iv) Drought tolerant Maize and Rajmash genotypes identified showing superior performance; (v) single cross hybrids in maize and potato identified having superior yield and quality; (vi) High Density Apple Plantation – a success story recording fruit yield ranging from 37-62 t/ha; (vii) improved cattle (Jersey, H.F), goat (Bakerwal, Pashmina Boer), sheep (corriedale, polled Dorset) breeds and supplied to Livestock Development Board and progressive farmers.
Vice Chancellor informed that under new initiatives taken by the University, a Regional cum Facilitation Centre has been sanctioned by Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India which is among the 5 Centers sanctioned across the country to standardize the cultivation practices of medicinal plants. Further the University has implemented student READY (Rural and Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana) programme; initiated Masters in Horti Business Management (MHBM); Partnered in National Aroma Mission with IIIM, Jammu, for promotion of aromatic plants in Kashmir and Ladakh region; undertaken Collaborative Research Programme with LAWDA on Dal & Nigeen lake Conservation.
Informing the meeting about the academic accomplishments of the University, Vice Chancellor said that theFaculty of Forestry, Benihama, has been accreditated by ICFRE, Dehradun,admissions to UG and PG courses through University Entrance Test successfully completed and 808 students got admitted; 201 SKUAST-K students were placed with different organizations.
The Council approved various agenda items of the University including: (i) Two tier Career Advancement Scheme for Non-teaching employees of the University; (ii) adoption of upper age limit i.e. 48 years in respect of ex-servicemen for direct recruitment for the posts of Security Officer and Security Guard of the University as prescribed by the State Government; (iii) change of nomenclature of Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex to Division of Veterinary Clinical Complex, as per VCI Guidelines of 2016; (iv) adoption of UGC/ICAR notification regarding exemption of NET essentiality for direct recruitment by selection to the post of Assistant Professor and equivalent for the candidates registered for Ph.D prior to 11th July, 2009; (v) adoption of 5th Deans Committee Recommendations regarding Creation of 5 Divisions in Temperate Sericulture Research Institute and Restructuring of Division of Agricultural Engineering as College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology & formation of six new divisions.
Among those who attended the meeting were Prof. C.D. Mayee, President South Asia Biotechnology Centre, New Delhi; Mr. Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Mr. Navin Kumar Choudhary, Principal Secretary Finance; Mr. Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary Planning; Dr. Pradeep Kumar Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu; Sh. Baseer Ahmad Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Sh. Showket Ahmad Beigh, Secretary Agriculture; and Prof. M.H. Wani, Registrar, SKUAST- Kashmir.