Maiden Press Conference of New Vice-Chancellor

Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial assures to bring excellence in various university programees to serve the farmers effectively

"Providing an encouraging environment where all staff members work in cohesion to their optimum capacity for the benefit of farming community of Himachal Pradesh will be my priority", stated Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor, CSK H.P. Agriculture University in his maiden press conference on 6 September.

The Vice-Chancellor, who joined the University on 11 August, said that serving the farming community to raise their socio-economic status by bringing excellence in the given mandate of teaching, research and extension education will form part of his all endeavors. Elaborating, he told that concerted efforts will be made for dissemination of entrepreneurial technologies like protected cultivation, mushroom cultivation, apiculture, floriculture, dairy, value addition, etc in an integrated mode in the villages to achieve success in "Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav" programme of the government all over the State. He also advocated encouraging the villagers for forming self-help groups and cooperatives to enhance their participation in economic activities. Prof Sarial said that as the fertilizer and chemical use in the state was quite low as compared to plains so Himachal Pradesh was by default an organic State and the university will make serious efforts to encourage organic farming, zero budget farming, preservation of indigenous crop varieties, and establishment of hill cattle development centre. "Such research projects will be brought which are need based, location specific and problem oriented to increase crop yields and enhance animal production", he added. He said that there was need to enhance productivity and production of hill crops matching with all India average under irrigated and rainfed production systems. There was need of value addition or Biofortification of rainfed crops. The university will also work on diversification for high value cash crops and climate smart agriculture. At present not all faculty members have adhoc projects and he will ensure that they have research projects by strengthening linkages through Memorandum of Understating with the National and International Institutes for collaborative research, exchange of faculty and students. The Vice-Chancellor said that to promote competitive excellence, teaching will be complemented with extra training and coaching for all India competitions. He said that he will strengthen Student-Advisory system and provide individual care of talents to groom the students for competition at National & International level for fellowship and placement progammes. There was need to provide wide academic exposure by encouraging the under-graduate students to pursue master's degree in other universities through Junior Research Fellowship and Ph. D through Senior Research Fellowship. Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial announced that he will make a serious effort to minimize the multiplicity of litigation and will do in-house review of court cases for mutual settlement to save time and money of the University and its employees. He also announced to shed the practice of having personal security officer for Vice-Chancellor from the State police department.

He said that all out efforts will be made to enhance the domestic income by strengthening revolving fund schemes and creation of new revolving funds. He told that after his joining the University has received an additionality of around Rs. 20 crore from the State government, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and sanctioning of research projects. Eighteen reporters from various newspapers and news channels asked various questions from the Vice-Chancellor about his personal achievements in teaching, research and about the University. Dr Hirday Paul Singh, Jt.Director (Information & Public Relations) welcomed and introduced local media persons to the Vice-Chancellor and Dr Ashok Kumar, OSD to VC thanked the reporters. Yesterday, the Vice-Chancellor also addressed the University staff and sought their cooperation in bringing excellence in various programmes of the University. Shri Manoj Kumar, Registrar, welcomed the Vice-Chancellor and Dr.Ashok Kumar, OSD to VC, thanked the Vice-Chancellor after the address of Vice-Chancellor.