THRISSUR: As many as five more colleges under the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) are likely to lose ICAR accreditation following the failure of the state government to amend the KAU Act in tune with the ICAR Model Act. The ICAR recently cancelled the accreditation to the College of Cooperation & Banking of the KAU a few days ago.
In its latest reminder to the state government and the KAU, a copy of which is available with the ‘Express’, clearly says that the accreditation to the colleges under the KAU will be cancelled if the authorities fail to implement the suggestion of ICAR Model Act in six months, which will certainly affect career prospects of thousands of students and the research programmes of the farm Varsity.
According to sources, the ICAR director general and Union Government have been persistently putting pressure on the University and State gomassive yatri niwas,vernment from October 2009 to implement the model Act but political interests are prevailing over such moves, putting the future of the lone farm Varsity in a state of peril. KAU Vice-Chancellor P Rajendran told ‘Express’ that it is not the varsity but the state government that is legally bound to amend the Act in tune with the model Act of ICAR.
“I don’t understand why the state government is reluctant to revamp of the KAU Act in line with the ICAR model Act, at the time when other Universities like Kerala Veterinary University and Kerala Fisheries University have brought in necessary changes in their Acts”, he said.
May be political interests are preventing the government from taking steps in this regard because once the new Act is incorporated with the existing one, political parties and teachers unions cannot formalise their grip on power in various bodies in the Varsity. But whatever be the reasons, it cannot be agreed and failure to take steps to amend the Act will affect the career prospects of thousands of students under the farm varsity, he said. According to a reminder letter sent by the former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, dated 6th March 2014, it is pertinent to mention that the new National Agriculture Education Project (NAEP) with the support of World Bank is likely to be implemented in the country soon and one of the criteria for selecting Agriculture Universities is implementation of the Model Act.
According to Dr S Ayyapan, director general of ICAR, it is required that the provisions of the Model Act for agriculture universities in the country, developed by ICAR, should be appropriately incorporated with the respective Act of the Universities and effective measures should be taken by the state government in this regard at the earliest.
The latest letter indicates that further dillydallying will cause the withdrawal of the accreditation to Agricultural colleges at Vellayani, Vellanikkara and Padannakkad, Forestry college at Vellanikkara and Agricultural Engineering college at Thavanur as well, which will jeopardise the careers of many professional students. Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan told ‘Express’ that the issue came to the attention of the department and the department will take measures not to lose the accreditation of these institutions.
At present, all these government officials are included but there are a large number of other nominations which eventually serve to satisfy lower level political functionaries. Though the government machinery has taken few steps towards implementation of the ICAR Model Act by amending the existing Act, political forces are doing their bit to prevent it as long as possible so that their involvement and influence in varsity is protected. But the repercussions of not implementing the ICAR directive endorsed by the Union Government may be very serious and irreparable which may not be redressed by the interests of political functionaries, said sources.