Govt plans 3 schools to synergise food with technology

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Varanasi, Sep 27 (UNI) In an attempt to boost entrepreneurship in food processing and beverage industry, the union government has envisaged synergising food production and cutting edge science technology with establishment of three schools of Food Science and Technology at Varanasi, Kharagpur and Tamil Nadu.

''Three schools of Food Science and Technology are proposed to be set up under the auspices of Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu,'' informed Dr Alok Jha, programme coordinator of the new school, which is likely to become operational at BHU from the next academic session.

The unqiue initiative is part of the government resolve to not only enhance production of fruit, vegetables and dairy products to boost seven to 15 per cent growth in food and beverage industry over the next 10 years, but also produce entreprenuers, who can scientifically manage such production.

''The three places, including BHU, have flourishing centres of Agriculture Science and Engineering Education. The entire idea behind setting up of the schools is to synergise food and technology to create a forward and backward linkage between all stakeholders, including producers (farmers), entreprenuers and also big retail and corporate giants, who are foraying into the food processing and beverage industry,'' Prof Jha maintained.

The Centre which will offer MSc and PhD in Food Science and Technology targets annually producing 50 food entrepreneurs, specialising in scientific production and management of vegetable, fruits and dairy products. It will also pave the passage of Varanasi becoming a major marketing hub of fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products by bringing closer corporate giants of food processing industry and farmers through the new age Food Entreprenuers, Prof Jha said.

The establishment of the School at BHU has been already approved by the Institute of Agricultural Sciences and a DBT team headed by the Department's advisor Rajesh Kapur will visit the BHU campus on October 19 and 20 next to accelerate the process of setting up the School.

The DBT is expected to sanction an annual grant of Rs 20 crore for the next five years to the proposed School. Cornell University of USA has also evinced interest in collaborating with BHU for the successful running of the School of Food Science and Technology which is likely to get the go ahead from the BHU Academic Council soon, Prof Jha said.


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