The first ever official ranking of agricultural universities released by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has drawn embarrassment for the four agricultural universities in the state.
Out of the total 57 universiti es rendering agriculture education in India, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri has been ranked at the 33rd position, while the other three universities from the state -Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola and Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University , Parbhani -feature at the fag end of the list.
The maiden ranking exerci se, according to a section of stakeholders, has brought to light the alleged sorry state of affairs at these state-run educational institutions that cater to thousands of students, while exposing the policy-makers and university authorities. Incidentally , the poor ranking has a year after the ICAR kept the accredition of the four agricultural universities in the state under consideration for serious lapses and shortcomings.
A senior scientist associated with one of the agricultural universities in the state said that the ICAR ranking showcases the drastic decline in the standard of the four state-run institutions.
“Why should citizens and far mers admit their children to study in agriculture universities when their standards are not at par with the such other institutions in the country. What will be the future of the students who graduate from such low-ranking universities,“ he questioned.
Maharashtra Council of Agriculture Education And Research (MCAER) vice-president Ram Kharche, said, “The recruitment and related process was paralysed for the past 15 years, resulting in almost 50% vacancy against sanctioned posts. Post the decision of ICAR to keep the accreditation of four universities under consideration, we have formed action plans to address the recruitment and other issues,“ he said.