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Education Plus

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Q & A

— File Photo

Specialisation area: A researcher at the Department of Nano-Science and Technology of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore.

Higher study options in agriculture

I am a Plus Two student in the science stream and would like to go for higher studies in agriculture or related fields. Kindly provide me with the details of the universities that offer degree and postgraduate degree courses in agriculture. What are the admission procedures?

REMYA, THALASSERY, KANNUR

Agriculture is a major contributor to the Indian economy. Around 60 per cent of the workforce in the country comes under the agriculture sector. Several agricultural universities in the country provide higher education and research facilities to students. Usually there are State-level domicile restrictions on admission to degree courses.

State-level agricultural universities, certain deemed universities, and Central universities in the country offer degree programmes in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries science.

B.Sc. agriculture is a professional course of four-year duration and is offered in all agriculture universities. Admission is open to meritorious Plus Two students who have studied science subjects including physics, chemistry, and biology. The selection is made through an entrance examination.

M.Sc. agriculture courses are offered to graduates in agriculture. The specialisation areas include agronomy, agricultural entomology, agricultural extension, plant breeding and genetics, plant pathology, soil science and agricultural chemistry, agricultural economics, agricultural meteorology, plant physiology, agricultural statistics, horticulture, and home science.

In Kerala

The College of Agriculture, Vellayani (PO), Thiruvananthapuram, and the College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara, KAU, Thrissur, offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree courses in agriculture.

Admission to B.Sc. degree courses in agriculture and forestry is given on the basis of the rank obtained in the State-level medical and agricultural entrance examination conducted by the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations.

The minimum eligibility prescribed for general category of students is a pass in Plus Two examination with at least 50 per cent marks in biology, and 50 per cent marks in physics, chemistry, and biology put together.

The admission to Master's degree programme in agriculture and forestry is on the basis of an entrance test (conducted by the Kerala Agricultural University) and academic merit. Graduates in agriculture/ forestry/ horticulture/ B.V.Sc. and AH with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission to M.Sc. degree course in forestry. Ph.D. programmes in agriculture are also available. Web site: www.kau.edu.

ICAR entrance test

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, conducts an All India level entrance examination for admission to its four-year degree and two-year Master's programme in agriculture and allied subjects every year.

Students who pass the test will be eligible for admission to 15 per cent seats in the four-year B.Sc. degree courses in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and fisheries. They are also eligible for admission to B.Tech. degree courses in agricultural engineering, dairy science and technology offered at various State-level and Central agricultural universities.

Students who have passed Plus Two examination with physics, chemistry, biology/mathematics/ agriculture and have secured at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate are eligible to appear for the entrance test. In Kerala, Kochi will be one of the test centres. Web site: www.icar.org.in.

ICAR postgraduate level entrance examination is conducted for admission to the Master's degree programmes in agriculture and allied sciences and for award of junior research fellowships. All the seats for the Master's degree courses in agriculture at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and 25 per cent seats in State Agricultural universities and Central agricultural universities are filled through the entrance examinations. Graduates in agriculture or allied subjects with at least 60 per cent marks are eligible to appear for the entrance test. Web site: www.icar.org.in.

The notification for the all India level degree and postgraduate entrance test conducted by ICAR can be expected during December/ January every year. The national talent scholarship will also be awarded to students who take admission outside the State domicile, based on the marks scored in the ICAR test.

The test will comprise objective-type questions from physics, chemistry, agricultural biology or mathematics.

The Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, offers B.Sc. degree course in agriculture. Students who have passed Plus Two examination with physics, chemistry, and biology/ mathematics, and have secured 50 per cent marks in aggregate are eligible for admission. Web site: www.bhu.ac.in.

Some of the agricultural universities that offer M.Sc. agriculture courses are the following:

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; Web site: www.tnau.edu.

Chowdhary Charan Singh Harayana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana.

Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab. Web site: www.pau.edu.

Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Raipur.

Seed science

  Some Agricultural universities in the country offer Master's degree course and Ph.D. in seed science and technology . Graduates in agriculture are eligible for admission.

The following agricultural universities offer this course:

Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana Web site: www.hau.nic.in.

Acharya NG Ranga  Agricultural University, Hyderabad; web site: www.angrau.net.

Chandrasekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Web site: www.csauk.ac.in.

Jawaharlal Nehru Krishivishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; web site: www.tnau.ac.in.

Agri biotechnology

       M.Sc. agri biotechnology courses are offered by some agricultural universities   including the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. The selection is based on the all India level combined biotechnology entrance test conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Web site: www.jnu.ac.in.

The College of Agriculture, Vellaynai, Thiruvananthapuram, under Kerala Agricultural University offers five-year integrated M.Sc. biotechnology course for Plus Two student in science subjects. The selection is based on an entrance test conducted by the Kerala Agriculture University.

Meteorology

Agricultural meteorology deals with the influences of weather on crop and animal husbandry. Master's degree and doctoral level professional programmes in agricultural meteorology are being offered by some agricultural universities.  Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar (UP) are few among them.

 Kerala Agricultural University offers five-year integrated M.Sc. climate change  adaptation course at its main campus, Thrissur, for Plus Two  science students. The programme provides, ample opportunity for students to understand the processes and activities that influence climate, analyze and interpret the risks and opportunities associated with climate and climate change.

The selection is based on entrance test conducted by the Kerala Agriculture University.

Agricultural meteorologists can find job opportunities in academic field, research and development organisations and so on.

Agri-business management

Another suitable higher study option for graduates in agriculture is MBA/ PG diploma level agri-business management. The Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) at Ahmedabad and Lucknow are among the few institutes which offer the two year PG programme in agri-business management. The programme is specially designed to transform young men and women into competent professional managers for agriculture; food and food processing; agribusiness, rural and allied sectors. The programme curriculum has a solid managerial foundation and focuses on the food and agricultural market. Professional degree holders and Master's degree holders in agriculture or related disciplines can apply.

The selection to the programme is on the basis of IIM- CAT Score.

Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, also conducts MBA programme in agribusiness management. Web site: www.kau.edu.

Job opportunities

Graduates and postgraduates in agriculture can find jobs in the field of agricultural research and development institutions, agri-business companies, agro industries, State-level agriculture departments. Master's and Ph.D. degree holders are eligible to seek teaching posts in the academic field too. Indian Agricultural Recruitment Board  provides excellent job opportunities for highly qualified hands in agriculture as agricultural scientists.

 GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

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