Chandigarh, Oct 4 (UNI) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has approved the proposal to set up a veterinary and animal sciences university with the state-of-art facility in the state.
The objective of the university is to raise the level of veterinary education to international standard, provide education at undergraduate and post-graduate levels in various fields of veterinary and animal sciences, animal biotechnology, dairy development and fishery sciences and undertake research in these areas.
The Chief Minister said this university aimed at undertaking specialised extension activities to enable transfer of knowledge to the needy. Experts would provide high quality animal health care and diagnostic services in addition to effectively undertake the large scale breed improvement programme.
The new university would make an enduring contribution for the betterment of animal owners who happen to be poor ruralities, he added. Research and development in livestock sector would get priority.
Realising the importance of animal husbandary sector in rural economy as well as the global requirements, the Chief Minister said that Haryana should not lag behind in this sector.
Seven states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnatka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have already established independent universities of veterinary sciences and allied fields.
Expressing concern over non development of animal husbandary sector, Mr Hooda said it was felt that livestock sector had been shadowed by crop development, inadequate research and extension activities as veterinary is considered part of agriculture where priority remains crop production. Also, veterinary education has not kept pace with the recent scientific development.
It is high time that the education in veterinary sciences and allied fields be given independent status by taking it away from the agricultural universities, he said.
At present, there is only one veterinary college in Haryana attached to CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, with 40 seats only. The independent university would ensure that about 1000 to 1500 veterinary graduates pass out every year from Haryana.
There is sufficient scope of placement of veterinary graduates within India and abroad. There are unlimited employment opportunities globally for veterinarians with suitable skills in these diverse fields.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics predictions, there would be 28,000 jobs in veterinary profession by 2012.
At present, there are 40 veterinary colleges in India producing less than 2,000 graduates annually with Haryana's share being 50 to 60 graduates. This number is grossly insufficient even to provide basic animal health care as per recommendations of the National Commission of Agriculture.
Fifteen of the colleges are already constituents of the seven newly established State Veterinary Universities. As against 1,900 veterinary graduates passing out per year in the country, 2,200 veterinarians retire from services every year.
The Knowledge Commission has recommended 1,500 more universities in the country by 2015, adding that small universities with specifically identified mandate and focus area would be more useful.
Haryana is well known for its world famous Murrah buffaloes and Hariana and Sahiwal cows. There is a need to further improve livestock productivity. Haryana has agrarian economy with 70 per cent of the population engaged in agricultural and animal husbandry activities.
Despite possessing only 2.5 per cent of the country's bovine population, the state produces 6.5 per cent of the total milk. This high production level amply testifies the superior quality of the livestock in the state. However, there has been a little research and development in respect of buffalo.
At the national level, there has been very low investment in the animal husbandary sector ranging from 0.4 per cent to 0.8 per cent under different Five Year Plans despite the fact that India is a dairy giant producing 100 million metric tonnes of milk per annum, the highest in the world.
Milk alone contributes more than Rs 1,00,000 crore to the national economy, which is higher than the contribution of wheat. By 2020, India is expected to lead the world in milk production.
Livestock constitute the largest productive resource in rural India. The value of livestock possessed by Indian household exceeds Rs 57 billion. During the last decade, animal husbandry sector has maintained a steady growth of five to six per cent against almost stagnant or marginal growth recorded for crop production.