The fifth convocation of the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University(PJTSAU) was held in a festive mood through virtual mode on 17.04.2021 at the University Auditorium, Rajendranagar. Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governer of Telangana State and Lt. Governor of Puducherry & Chancellor of PJTSAU had presided the Convocation proceedings. Governor has participated virtually from Puducherry. Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, Govrnment of India has attended as the Chief Guest for Fifth convocation and delivered the convocation address. Dr Ramesh was presented the doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in this Convocation. Dr V Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, PJTSAU had presented the report of the university activities, for the period from 1st August 2019 to 31st July 2020. He explained about the new initiatives of university in Teaching, Research and Extension activities as well as special measures taken up during COVID -19. He also told about the awards and accomplishments received during the fifth convocation period. Dr Rao told university has developed and released 7 high yielding varieties in various crops.
Owing due to COVID Pandemic, for the first time in the country Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University is made to deliver the Degree Certificates online during the convocation for 21 Ph.D, 148 M.Sc., 1 M.Tech and 517 UG students. In this convocation 29 Gold medals presented to the Under Graduate and Post Graduate students for their extraordinary performance in academics. Ms.P. Manasa of B.Tech agricultural Engineering graduate had bagged 7 gold medals for having secured highest overall grade point average, highest grade point average in the subject of soil science & water conservation engineering and having secured highest grade point average in the subject processing & food engineering, and also secured highest grade point average in farm machinery & power Engineering. K Padma Sree B.Tech Food Science & Technology, Rudrur bagged the PJTSAU outstanding student Gold Medal for the performance in academics, extra and co-curricular activities across all the faculties of the university.
While speaking at the fifth convocation Dr Tamili Sai Soundararajan, Governer of TS and Chancellor of PJTSAU had appreciated the efforts of the state government for several welfare schemes for farmers in last six years ensuring of annapoorna for entire country Providing quality seeds, Rythu Bandhu-financial assistance of Rs. 10,000/- per acre for two crops, Rythu Bima along with services like uninterrupted power supply coupled with irrigation facilities had resulted in making the State “Annapurna” the Rice Bowl of the country said Dr Tamilisai Soudararajan.
Honorable Governer speech as follows…
Six years after its formation in 2014, the Telangana State has emerged as a torchbearer of the country in terms of ushering reforms in all the sectors and implementing a variety of welfare schemes. Despite economic setback in 2019-20 due to the COVID pandemic, as per the economic survey report 2020-2021 presented to the Parliament, the economy of Telangana State was among the few states which recovered at a fast pace.
The Central Government led by visionary Prime Minister Shri NarendraModiji is giving top priority in transforming agriculture and making it sustainable and doubling the farmers’ income. Empowerment of the farmers and ensuring agriculture sustainable and profitable to the farmers are the goals, while judicious use of resources and maintaining the food surplus nation objective are the key components of the strategy.
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi ji always emphasizes on the seamless integration of modern technology with our rich traditional knowledge to make our agriculture vibrant and sustainable.
Similarly, Telangana State Government was very proactive and brought out many schemes which were tailor-made for the benefit of farmers during the COVID period when the other service industries had grounded to a halt. Providing quality seeds, Rythu Bandhu-financial assistance of Rs. 10,000/- per acre for two crops, Rythu Bima along with services like uninterrupted power supply coupled with irrigation facilities had resulted in making the State “Annapurna” the Rice Bowl of the country. Telangana showed a turnaround in other major sectors like power and irrigation as well. Telangana is now a power surplus State. Schemes like Mission Bhagiratha had put an end to the drinking water problems and addressed the fluoride problem that was a major health concern. Introduction of the Dharanii, an integrated Land Records Management System which enables digital survey of lands was a revolutionary reform that would have far reaching effects on the implementation of various welfare schemes. The portal combines land registration and administration services, acting as a single source for land parcels and discharges land related functions in an effective and efficient manner.
These measures taken up by the Government have put the state in third position in the sustainable development goals India Index declared by the UNO.The agricultural University has also been performing well following a multi-model approach despite the prevailing situation . In spite of COVID-19 pandemic, the State registered record productions of food grains, oilseeds, pulses, cotton, sugarcane and forage crops. The measures followed by the University to bring about resilience in the prevailing new normal COVID situation are appreciable.
It is now very important for all institutions to step up and engage all stakeholders to take forward the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister ShriNarendraModiji of a rejuvenated, ambitious and self-reliant Bharat.
I am pleased to not that the University has put up a proposal to NABARD for establishing a “Center of Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship” in a unique Hub and Spoke model with the main campus at Rajendranagar being the hub and the campuses at Tier 2&3 cities being the spokes.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increased demand for nutritious and chemical-free foods that boost immunity have re-emphasized the need to promote organic farming and home gardening.
While ensuring healthy food to all, the bottom line is to ensure that the farmers is also assured of a healthy price. Another area, I feel the University should turn its attention on is the use of non-conventional energy use such as solar energy and bio-conversion of food waste.
Dear students, while leaving the portals of this University for attaining new goals, either higher degrees or employment, you must take pride in the values imbibed in this great institution.
The world is changing at a very fast pace. Hence, we need a fresh perspective and attitudinal change. A degree is no longer a passage to certain employment.
Innovation and creativity are the key words of the present times. For this, you need to equip yourself and develop your own capacities to the full. Remember that you are a valuable link, between the alma mater and the community, as the profession you have chosen is in the service of the noble agriculturists.
On this auspicious accasion of the convocation day, let us all pleadge and resolve to build a strong and self reliant India and ensure hunger free world thorough our effors in the field of agriculture and allied areas.
Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member of NITI Aayog while delivering his Fifth Convocation address he lauded the telangana state government for huge investments and efforts to improve the irrigation coverage and availability of water for agriculture. He said that, during the last 10years (2008 to 2017) 47 percent blocks in the state show decline in water table. Adoption of water saving and improved irrigation practices and technology to increase water use efficiency is imminent in the state of Telangana. The state is making massive investments in irrigation. The Potential created must be optimally used. At present cropping intensity in irrigated area is only 158 per cent. The University needs to develop crop sequences and package of technology to raise this to above 180 per cent said Prof Ramesh chand.
Prof Ramesh Chand’s speech as follows…
Some pockets in Telangana have made remarkable progress through diversification and new enterprises like seed production. Fruits and vegetables in the state are cultivated on less than 5 percent of gross cultivated area. This needs special attention, as diversification towards high value crops and sustainable intensification are the promising pathways for future of agriculture in the state.
Despite several initiatives and direct intervention in nutrition, overall level of nutrition remains poor and health outcomes show mixed results across States. India is shown in poor light by the International agencies in child mortality, wastage, stunting and nutrition and health status of women despite the fact that the country has large surplus of staple foods. In some quarters it is mentioned as “Indian Enigma” or “Paradox of hunger amidst plenty”. Many experts blame this on imbalance in diet and imbalance in food production. Special emphasis is placed on increasing intake of millets, pulses and leafy vegetables. Biofortification of crops is suggested as another route to improve nutrition. Researchers at PJTSAU should address these dimensions to attract farmers to raise area under nutri-cereals, vegetables, and biofortified varieties of food crops.
No doubt, you have done very well in the past, the challenge in future is more daunting. We are all aware of climate change, rising stress on water sources, prevalence of under nutrition and malnutrition and food safety issues. India is producing 10% more rice than what is needed in the country. On the other hand, we are meeting more than 60% of our domestic demand for edible oil from import. We are also suffering from chronic deficiency in pulses. It is in the interest of the country to reduce these imbalances, particularly, on the ground of sustainability of natural resources. This cannot happen without significant breakthrough in productivity of oilseeds and pulses and strong policy support for them. This will require shift in focus of research towards oilseeds, pulses and millets.
Now I turn back to the graduating students. The agriculture scene has undergone sea change since I graduated from a Agricultural University 44 years back. At that time, jobs were available for asking. Various departments related to agriculture, banks and farm input industry used to have regular intake of agriculture graduates matching with the supply. The situation of agriculture and job market has changed dramatically since then. Still these organizations employ agricultural graduates but bulk jobs are not available in any organization. Now the demand lies in diversified areas. Therefore, you need to plan for your professional career differently.
Many emerging areas like IT, digital agriculture, e-commerce, value chain, precision farming require hardcore agriculture skill for their application in agriculture. The new farm laws formulated by the Central Government also offer tremendous opportunities for private investments, agribusiness in pre and post harvest agriculture an Some of you can even think of becoming entrepreneurs in different areas of agriculture. Your knowledge of agriculture should give you an edge over others in tapping the new opportunities opened by liberalized policy environment like contract farming, supply of quality inputs, running a farm service centre, plant clinics, running a supply chain between group of producers and consumers, organizing attribute based supply and demand, and providing consultancy services. I strongly feel that agriculture graduates should take cue from engineering graduates. Only small fraction of engineering graduates get technical jobs and a large number go for managerial jobs after obtaining diploma and degrees in management courses.
This State has lot of diversity and some pockets have shown high success through diversification towards high value crops. There is scope for further promotion of high value enterprises in small pockets at many places in the state but they require knowledge, skill, technology and market access. Some of you can try organizing farmers in a FPO like organization to grow high value crops under your managerial and technical advice. Anew concept of paid farms service (tractors, threshers, sprayers, other farm machinery) to small holders is now emerging, like UBER and OLA.
I will suggest to PJTSAU to develop strong collaboration with private sector. Experts from private sector should be involved in prioritizing research, teaching and commercialization of technology. As the public extension and public employment are shrinking, we need to explore ways and means to attract private sector to play a strong role in all aspects of agriculture. This will be best done if SAUs partner with private sector for technical backstopping and supply of technical manpower suitable for private sector employment. I feel PJTSAU s better placed than many other agricultural universities to create a new trend of a public sector university taking private sector for taking new technologies and practices to the farmers of the state.
Whatever you do, whether in private sector, government, or self employment, this degree from PJTSAU will pay you lifelong dividend. In return, you are expected to contribute positively towards the reputation of this Institution through your conduct. I have no doubt that you will look back on your days spent in this institution with nostalgia and fond memories of your academic and non-academic activities. I wish you all happiness and a sense of fulfilment in life.
Dr S Sudheer kumar, Registrar PJTSAU and Members of Board of Management, Deans and Directors of PJTSAU, students who have bagged gold medals were participated convocation event held at University Auditorium.