Fifth anniversary of this site: We started with campaigning for a central university in KBK; Its time to campaign for a central agricultural university in KBK (especially Kalahandi)

November 29th, 2011

Our first posting in this site was on November 28th, 2006. It is at http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/7. It was about a central university in KBK. We succeeded in our mission and a central university in KBK was announced in March 2008, and it has now been established in Koraput district.

Earlier this year (On May 22nd 2011) I wrote to the planning commission to establish a central agricultural university in Odisha as part of the 12th plan. Following are excerpts of my mail.

I propose that the 12th plan staring from 2012 include several Central Agricultural Universities in backward district clusters of India that have potential for agriculture.

Sirs and and Madams: One of the biggest achievement of the 11th plan was that the new institutions (16 central universities, 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, proposed 20 new IIITs, proposed 14 innovation universities) were located across India, in states ruled by UPA, in states not ruled by UPA, and so on. It was an inclusive distribution and less driven by political connections.

I  request that similar distribution be made with respect to the institutions that are proposed for the 12th plan, starting with several central agricultural universities with various colleges (Agriculture, Horticulture, Veterinary, etc.).

The initial wave of creation of agricultural universities across India (in the 1960s) were an important factor in the initial Green revolution of India. However, as has been noted in the last two budgets (2010-11 and 2011-12) there is a need for another such revolution, especially taking into account factors such as (i) further mechanization (ii) urbanization (iii) looking east  and (iv) developing backward and tribal areas.

In the 2010-11 budget speech ( http://indiabudget.nic.in/ub2010-11/bs/speecha.htm ) the Finance Minister had said the following:

44.        The agriculture sector occupies centre-stage in our resolve to promote inclusive growth, enhance rural incomes and sustain food security. To spur the growth in this sector, the Government intends to follow a four-pronged strategy covering (a) agricultural production; (b) reduction in wastage of produce;
(c) credit support to farmers; and (d) a thrust to the food processing sector.

45.        The first element of the strategy is to extend the green revolution to the eastern region of the country comprising Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Eastern UP, West Bengal and Orissa,…

In the 2011-12 budget speech ( http://indiabudget.nic.in/bspeecha.asp ) he said the following:

Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern Region

52.    The Green Revolution in Eastern Region is waiting to happen. To realize the potential of the region, last year’s initiative will be continued in 2011-12 with a further allocation of `400 crore. The program would target the improvement in the rice based cropping system of Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Both speech say the green revolution needs to be extended to the eastern region.  The allocation of a total of 400 crores to 7 states is miniscule for the purpose and does very little.

Hence, I request that this aspect of extending the green revolution to the eastern region be taken seriously and in the 12th plan Central Agricultural Universities be established in appropriate locations in these states and some of the other states of the country.

Somewhat of a start in this direction has been made via the allocation of 30 crores for a Central Agricultural University in Bundelkhand in the 2011-12 budget.

It was reported by the press that Mr. Rahul Gandhi lobbied for this.

I would like to thank him for his vision and initiative and humbly request the  planning commission that they need to also think of the other backward areas of the country.

Taking all the above into account, it would be a win-win to include the establishment of several Central Agricultural Universities in the country located in backward districts with agriculture potential. The win-win aspects are:

(i) They will help higher education and GER, but will not stress the MHRD budget or its management. The majority of the funding could come from the Ministry of Agriculture with some required contributions from the state governments.

(ii) They will help bring in a new green revolution in some areas and extend the green revolution to the eastern region.

(iii) Since there have not been many new agricultural universities across the country, it will be comparatively easier to recruit faculty for these new institutions.

(iv) By locating them in the backward district clusters, they will bring Bharat and India closer.

I had sent copies of my mail to the MPs of Odisha as well as the Chief Minister’s officer. I talked to the secretary of agriculture Ranglal Jamunda by email at agrsec.or@nic.in  as well as by phone and urged him that the Odisha government must push for a central agricultural university in Odisha, especially in the KBK regions (in particular, Kalahandi, as Kalahandi is known to be one of the rice bowl of Odisha; and Kalahandi was skipped over when deciding on the location of the central university in Koraput).

My emails and phone calls has had no visible impact on Odisha government, Odisha officials or Odisha MPs as so far I have not read any news regarding Odisha pursuing a central agricultural university. However, the news of the West Bengal government  pursuing a central agricultural university came out after a few days of my writing to the planning commission. It is possible that may mail to the planning commission somehow got forwarded to the right people in West Bengal or it may just be a pure coincidence. Following is from a Telegraph article on 13th July 2011.

I think there is still time to pursue to get this included in the 12th plan. I request all readers to write to the Chief Minister’s office at cmo@ori.nic.in regarding this.

Sincerely,

Chitta Baral

Entry Filed under: (Proposed) Central Agricultual University,Appeal to readers,Bhawanipatna-Kesinga-Lanjigarh (8),New Universities

11 Writeup

  • 1. Abhisek  |  November 29th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Orissalinks has played a crucial role in all these years to highlight the issues of Human Development and Infrastructure deficits confronting the state. There has been confrontation, accusation,points and counter-points on issues but that is refreshing because the stagnation has at-least broken. Today we see healthy web-communities for regions and places like Rourkela, Berhampur, Kalahandi etc on similar lines and with similar development goals.
    Having said this, I would hope that it takes up many other issues keeping regional aspirations and local concerns in mind. Also instead of toeing the line of the state Govt. there is an urgent need to expose the inaction,because that will eventually benefit the state. For example, had the government wanted it could have easily ensured the inclusion of urban peripheral areas with the respective cities resulting bigger urban population numbers for the state capital besides places like Rourkela and Berhampur and that would have given us better bargaining abilities for central projects. Regrettably, we don’t have even one million plus city where as a state like Jharkhand has 3 of them. Why the state Govt. need to be told about it? It should have acted regardless.
    If in the next year if the demands for CAU at Kalahandi, Railway Division at Rourkela, IIIT at Berhampur and XIMB campus at Samabalpur and Balangir materialise than this forum would have served the state even better.

  • 2. Priya  |  November 29th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Many congrats!!!
    This site has been a ready reckoner for me …Thanks !! and all the best ….

  • 3. Chitta Baral  |  November 29th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    @Priya: I assume you are the Priya Abraham writing for Telegraph. I like and appreciate your work very much. You are doing a great job. More power to you. best wishes.

  • 4. syama  |  November 30th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I am silent reader of this site and almost visit everyday to get the update about orissa..Thanks

  • 5. Priya  |  November 30th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Right sir…. i am the one…Thanks …

  • 6. jitu sbp  |  November 30th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    sir,
    its a good idea to ask for a central agricultural university in kalahandi. as it missed central university. its also loosed the race for rail wagon factory. if central agricultural university will be established in kalahandi then both K of KBK will have an university of national importance. but what about B (balangir)?. still it didnt get a medical college. while kalahandi is going to have it. govt engg college also established in kalahandi.

  • 7. jitu sbp  |  November 30th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    since balangir is a drought prone area, the annual rainfall is very low there. Cotton is promoted as the alternative cash crop in the district and dubbed as ‘white gold’ in view of huge economic viability to farmers, cotton crop, which requires less water than paddy. the agriculture officials have set the target of cotton cultivations in 30,000 hectares this year.

    so my request to state govt is to push the center for establishing a Central Institute for Cotton Research in balangir as part of the 12th plan. Now a Central Institute for Cotton Research is in nagpur. and/or they can ask for a Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology(CIRCOT). which is now in mumbai.

    currently there are 6 Regional stations of CIRCOT in india. GTC CIRCOT, Nagpur,CIRCOT Reg. Stn. Guntur,CIRCOT Reg. Stn. Surat,CIRCOT Reg. Stn. Dharwad,CIRCOT Reg. Stn Coimbatore,CIRCOT Reg. Stn. Sirsa. but not in orissa.

    in my view odisha govt. should ask for a Central Institute for Cotton Research in balangir, and a Regional stations of CIRCOT in Padampur of bargarh dist. which will help the poor farmers to improve their financial condition, which can help to stop migration.

  • 8. Chitta Baral  |  December 1st, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Central Institute for Cotton Research in Balangir is a very good idea.

  • 9. jitu sbp  |  December 3rd, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/24477-varsities-asked-to-develop-centres-of-excellence.html

  • 10. PANIGRAHI SUKANTI  |  January 3rd, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I am silent reader of this site and almost visit everyday to get the update about orissa..Thanks

  • 11. PANIGRAHI SUKANTI  |  January 3rd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    i like this sight


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