IARI New Delhi developing diploma, online agriculture courses: Dean

IARI New Delhi, the top agricultural university, has launched BSc Agriculture programmes. It’s now designing certificate, diploma online courses.

IARI is preparing to admit a third batch of UG students for the 2024-25 session through the CUET-UG. (Image: IARI official website)IARI is preparing to admit a third batch of UG students for the 2024-25 session through the CUET-UG. (Image: IARI official website)

Sanjay | February 15, 2024 | 10:15 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Admission in undergraduate (UG) agriculture courses through the Common University Entrance Test - Undergraduate (CUET-UG) has led to an increase in diversity of students at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, said Anupama Singh, joint director (education) and dean of IARI.

Popularly known as Pusa Institute, IARI launched its BSc Agriculture programme in the 2022-23 academic year. It also secured the top spot in the country in the National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking 2023 under agriculture and allied sectors.

The institute celebrated its 62nd convocation week from February 4 to 9, 2024. During an interview with Careers360, Singh spoke about IARI’s admission policies, innovations and new courses. Edited excerpts below.

Q. How has been your experience of teaching agriculture students admitted through CUET-UG ?

A. IARI has always been the centre of excellence in postgraduate agricultural education. From Academic session 2022-23, IARI began a new chapter in its history by starting UG programmes in four streams of agriculture. Accordingly, the academic council of IARI rechristened the postgraduate school as The Graduate School of IARI. Two batches of UG students have already been admitted at IARI New Delhi and its regional academic centres.

The experience of admitting and teaching UG students has been wonderful, overwhelming and satisfying, to say the least.

These students have secured seats in IARI after going through cut-throat competition – one student admitted per 110 students who appeared for the exam.

The quality of students admitted at IARI through CUET-UG has really been extraordinary. It is really heartening to share that the top most students, who qualified in the entrance examination, opted IARI for their under-graduation programme. The faculty of IARI is leaving no stone unturned to mentor these brilliant students so that they can achieve newer heights in their career and serve the farming community and country in the best possible manner.

Admission through CUET-UG is helping us to have much-needed diversity in the classroom. The students admitted so far represent 19 states of the country and nearly 40% of them are female. It would be our endeavor in the coming years to bring the ratio of male-female students to 1:1.

Now, we are preparing to admit a third batch of UG students for the 2024-25 session through the CUET-UG with new vigour and ideas.

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Q. Is there any plan to admit students for the master’s-level courses through the CUET-PG?

A. Masters and PhD research programmes in agriculture and allied courses are being offered at IARI in 26 disciplines. On behalf of the education division of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the National Testing Agency (NTA) separately conducts All India Entrance Examination in Agriculture-Postgraduate (AIEEA-PG) and AICE – JRF/SRF (PhD) exams for granting admission to PG and PhD. programmes. At present, we do not have information regarding CUET-PG.

Q. How is IARI developing new technologies to help farmers ?

A. The IARI has always been at the forefront as far as cutting edge translation science and development of new technologies for the welfare of the farming community and other stakeholders are concerned. We take pride in the fact that the laboratories and fields of IARI have been the childbed of technologies, which brought food-sufficiency and security in the country. PG and PhD students theses research programmes are in complete alignment with the research projects of the institute.

The institute is striving hard to develop innovative and disruptive technologies for food, environment and nutritional security. Another major emphasis of the students’ research is to come up with smart interventions for minimizing the post-harvest losses in food crops and valorization of agricultural waste.

Q. How is the placement scenario at IARI New Delhi?

A. The placement of IARI students is almost 100%.

Majority of the IARI students are selected for the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) positions across the country. Many of them also take up positions of assistant professors in state agriculture universities and also opt to work in national banks and civil services.

It is very encouraging that our alumni are selected for higher education outside Indian universities as well. More and more students are showing their inclination towards entrepreneurial ventures.

Q. Do you have any new courses in the pipeline ?

A. We follow the guidelines of the education division, ICAR. As per the changing demands and needs of our stakeholders, farmers, and agripreneurs, we are constantly expanding scope of agricultural education at ICAR-IARI through introduction of new streams at UG level and cutting-edge courses at PG level.

Soon we will be initiating job-oriented, skill-enhancing certificate and diploma courses at ICAR-IARI in sync with the recommendations of the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020).

Also, as per the requirements of NEP-2020 massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are being developed to promote blended learning and to expand the width and breadth of ICAR-IARI for bolstering Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in the field agricultural education.

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