THRISSUR: A brainstorming session convened by Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan on sorting out the issues related to amending the KAU Act in tune with ICAR Model Act in the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) held at the KAU headquarters here on Friday remained inconclusive, as a section of people representatives and service organisations at the KAU failed to arrive at a consensus on this issue.
General Council members, leaders of students and service organisations as well as senior officers of the university who participated in the discussions were divided over implementing the ICAR Model Act recommended by the ICAR director general. When cutting across political barriers, General Council members expressed apprehension about the provisions of ICAR model Act which do not guarantee proper representation for all stake holders, the representatives of the service organisations in the varsity vehemently opposed the Model Act.
Similarly, when a section of academicians favoured a modified version of the Model Act ensuring representation of all stakeholders and incorporating democratic principles, M P Vincent MLA said that the existing KAU Act is a much more a model than ICAR Model Act and there is no need to amend the existing Act and what is required at this point of time are efforts to make KAU a model institution.
P A Madhavan MLA who took part in the discussion also favoured retention of provisions in the existing Act, ensuring better representation of various sections of society.
Later, Agricultural Minister K P Mohanan said that he would take up the issue with Chief Minister and Union Minister concerned and director general of ICAR. A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister will discuss issues pertaining to adoption of the ICAR Model Act in the farm varsity and he would discuss the issue of accreditation to five KAU colleges with ICAR director general on September 15 at Delhi, he said.
The Minister also said that the state government will only favour a democratic set up.
“Neither the government nor the Minister concerned support undemocratic moves. The apprehensions expressed about centralisation of power in Model Act as well as concerns of student community about non-accreditation of courses will be addressed. I am also going to Delhi on September 14 and will meet Union Minister for Agriculture and ICAR director general to discuss the pertinent issues,” he said.
The Minister also stressed that universities should first be student-friendly and Agricultural University should also be farmer-friendly.