BHUBANESWAR: Girls yet again outnumbered boys in winning gold medals at the 35th convocation of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) held here on Wednesday. Of the 110 gold medals that were distributed by the university for academic excellence in 2014-15, over 90 were bagged by girls.
Students Rashmi Singh and Sweta Sikha Mahapatra received eight and seven gold medals respectively. While Rashmi scored highest marks in Bachelors in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry stream, Sweta secured the first position in final BSc (Agriculture) examination.
Governor and Chancellor of Universities SC Jamir conferred Honoris Causa (Doctorate in Science) on former professor and head of Plant Breeding and Genetics, OUAT Dr Asutosh Ray and former dean of College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry Dr BN Mohanty.
The VC said there are 5,045 students on the rolls of which, 2,441 (48 per cent) are girls. Encouraged by job-oriented courses, more girls are now taking admission in various colleges of OUAT. He said in the ongoing academic year, the university had developed three varieties of paddy - Ashutosh, Govinda and Hasanta - and one variety of Linseed (Arpita), Ragi (Kalua), hybrid variety of Arhar (Parbati) and Black Gram (Sasi).
Governor Jamir asked the university faculty members to look into dissemination of technology and information to farmers. “Lab to lab programmes should be effectively taken up by Krishi Vigyan Kendras in State,” he said.
Chancellor of Rani Lakhsmi Bai Central Agricultural University Prof Panjab Singh said it is good to see that OUAT is undertaking extensive research on agriculture in all the 10 agro-climatic zones of the State. He, however, lamented that despite several social protections, the income gap between farmers and non-farmers is about 1:4. “It is shocking to note that almost 50 per cent of marginal and sub-marginal farmers owning less than one hectare land and who feed us are the poorest and the hungriest,” he said.