Dr. D.K. Vatsa took over as the officiating Vice Chancellor of Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, Palampur on August 22, 2023.
Vice Chancellor’s Message
The Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya was established on November 01, 1978 through an Act enacted by the State Legislative Assembly with the objectives of making provision for imparting education in agriculture and other allied branches of learning, furthering the advancement of learning and prosecution of research and undertaking extension of such sciences to rural people of Himachal Pradesh. In June, 2001, this University was christened as the Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya. I feel blessed to lead this prestigious Hill Agriculture University at a time when agriculture has become a major focus of all government plans. The way agriculture sustained our economy during COVID-19 pandemic, it has made the policy makers bound to realize the significance of agriculture and allied sectors and to give it due cognizance while framing policies.
The University campus is spread across an area of around 400 hectares comprising of four constituent colleges for imparting quality education at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate level in the fields of Agriculture, Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Community Science and Basic Sciences. The Directorate of Research and Directorate of Extension Education take care of undertaking research and extension education programmes for the benefit of farming community through thirteen research stations and eight Krishi Vigyan Kendras situated across the State.
“Excellence with pace” is the only thought which comes to my kind when I think about our farmers and students. Agriculture being a chief occupation of the people of Himachal Pradesh, contributes substantially in the GDP and is backbone of the economy of the State. Therefore, the University has decided to make the farmers integral part of our planning and policies. Over the period, the University has released more than 170 varieties of different crops for cultivation by the farmers of different agro-climatic zones of the State. The quality manpower produced by the University is excelling in many fields thus glorifying the dignity of the University not only in the State but at national and international level. To encourage the farmers to use the varieties and adopt technologies developed by the University and honour those who have already taken advantage of these technologies, a Golden Jubilee Farmers’ Gallery has been set up in the educational museum of the University on the occasion of Golden Jubilee Year of Statehood of Himachal Pradesh by displaying the photographs of these progressive farmers with brief account of the area in which they are excelling. This is an indicator of our resolve to interweave their ageold wisdom with scientific knowledge for mutual benefit of scientists and farmers. These progressive farmers have been adored with the title of “Krishi Doot” our proud Ambassadors who will popularize the technologies developed under various research programmes of the University.
The University is endeavoring to reach each and every corner of the State to listen to and interact with our farmers about the challenges they come across in the field of agriculture and allied sectors so that we can formulate and chalk out niche based research and extension programmes.
The University has already started this venture by holding the major farmer related programmes in the farmers’ fields. We know there are many challenges before us such as climate change, depletion of natural resources like water, stagnating yields in crops especially in pulses and oilseeds, rebound of pests and disease, identification, conservation and preservation of indigenous crops and species especially of Himachal Pradesh, to name but a few.
Challenges are formidable and the constraints unceasing, yet I am confident that this University will meet the challenges of farming sector in the years to come. Precision agriculture, improved water use efficiency, biotic resistance in crops, molecular breeding, protected cultivation, climate resilient technologies for rain-fed farming, water saving irrigation system, mechanization for small farms, value addition of farm produce, market access to farmers, identification of indigenous crops and species of hill State for conservation and preservation are some of the key areas the University will endevour to address through its research programmes. We are committed to connect this leading mountain agricultural institution with the premier institutions across the globe. It will help widening the horizon of agricultural sciences and create unique opportunities for the faculty and students to move with higher precision cutting edge research. Adopting multi-disciplinary approach, as is also the objective of the National Education Policy-2020, students will be provided a bouquet of subjects to pursue profession with passion. The University is planning to introduce the certificate courses and e-Learning contents to engage and train the youths in agriculture and allied sectors. As the National Education Policy-2020 will transform the existing education system giving multiple choices to the students, the University has started taking steps to be ready to implement it. Establishment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cell is one of such initiatives which shall work in the direction of bringing the pace in the technology transfer and outreach by introducing the digital platforms. Setting up of Community Radio Station at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Mandi at Sundernagar will also be proved a milestone for popularizing our technologies and prompt dissemination of other advisories to the farmers.
The rich diversity in the State needs focused work to get geographical indicators so as to enable the farmers to take the benefit of value addition of their farm produce. The process in this direction is underway. The University is undertaking new innovative research work on high potential and indigenous crops and species of the State like Kalazeera, Garlic, Urd, Ginger, Rajmash, Kulthi, Chiggu goat, Churri, Poultry, conservation of Gaddi dog etc. with biotechnological interventions.
Accreditation of the University with ‘A’ grade by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has improved the prestige and recognition of this Hill Agriculture University and we are committed to improve it further with the collective efforts of our highly motivated, dedicated and sincere faculty and non-teaching staff.
I also express my gratitude to Hon’ble Governor of Himachal Pradesh and Chancellor of this University and the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh for reposing their faith in me. I am committed to serve my ‘mother institute’ and farming community with unflagging zest and am confident that this University will continue to strive hard for excellence in teaching, research and extension education activities to make this University an international institution in real sense.