Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today inaugurated College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence for Horticulture Research and Extension at Thunag in Mandi district today.Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister said that first batch of B.Sc (Hons) Horticulture has been started from this session and 69 students had been admitted in the College for this course. He said that this institution would go a long way in promoting research in horticulture sector in a big way and provide an opportunity to the horticulturists of the area in particular and of the State in general to adopt latest technologies to increase their produce.Jai Ram Thakur said that the area was very important from horticulture point of view as besides apple production it was also known for floriculture. He said that this college would go a long way in promoting Horticulture activities in the area. He said that it was heartening to know that Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University was ranked at 80th position out of the 900 University of the country. He said that this was the third college of Horticulture under the Horticulture University in the State.Chief Minister said that the State Government would provide all possible help to develop this college as a premier college of the State. He said that this college would also help in research work both in the field of Horticulture and Forestry. He said that possibility for starting course of forestry in this college would be explored. Chief Minister also interacted with the students of the College on the occasion.Vice Chancellor of Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University Dr. Parvinder Kaushal while welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion said that the College of Horticulture and Centre of Excellence for Horticulture Research and Extension would provide quality education to the students of the State. He said that students of almost all the districts of the State were studying in this college. He also urged the Chief Minister to provide liberal assistance for construction of a modern library in the College.Earlier the Chief Minister laid foundation stone of Lift Irrigation Scheme Pakhriar at Thunag to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.13 crore.Deputy Commissioner Mandi Rugved Thakur, Superintendent of Police Gurudev Sharma were present on the occasion among others.