Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal today inaugurated the first ever Kisan Call Centre at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Jammu(SKUAST-J) with toll free no 1800-180-7196. Prof JP Sharma, Vice Chancellor SKUAST-Jammu was present on the occasion.Talking about this ambitious plan of Govt of India, Rohit Kansal, in his address termed agriculture and allied sectors vital for Indian economy. He told that the sectors constitute 20 percent of India's GDP and employ half our population. He highlighted the role of agriculture universities in innovating novel methods of agriculture to mend the drawbacks of conventional agricultural practices. He also laid stress on value addition and post production processing to increase farmers income.Speaking on farmers welfare, the Principal Secretary said that there is a need to introduce innovation in farming methods while ensuring that all risks involved with it are covered. Universities and research institutes have a crucial role to play in this, he said.
The Principal Secretary called for increasing production volume of key products of Jammu & Kashmir like walnut, cherry and saffron. We would be in better position to influence markets if only our produce is significant, he underlined.The Vice Chancellor briefed about the importance of exclusive Kisan Call Centre of University to deliver effective extension services to the farming community in their local dialect. He stressed upon effective implementation of National Education Policy in farm Universities in collaboration with Higher Education Department. Discussing the need of value addition, post-harvest management and marketing, Vice Chancellor informed that the University is taking pre-emptive steps to enhance farmers’ income through formation of Farmer Producer Organisations. He also highlighted various new initiatives taken by the university including establishment of new faculties and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
Rohit Kansal also visited various constituent units of SKUAST-J including Sanjeevni Tapovan, CoE of Mushroom, School of Biotechnology, CoE Bee Keeping and interacted with faculty members and students.Earlier, Dr SK Gupta, Director Extension SKUAST-Jammu welcomed the guests and briefed about the newly established Kisan Call Centre facility. Dr Bikram Singh Dean FoA presented vote of thanks.Dr AK Sharma, University Librarian, Dr Rakesh Nanda, Director Education, Dr M.S. Bhadwal, Dean FVSc. & AH, Dr S.E.H. Rizvi, Dean FBSc., Dr Sushil Gupta Registrar, Dr Pardeep Wali Director Research, Dr. Rajesh Katoch, Dean Student Welfare, Sh. Rajesh Talwar, Comptroller, Sh. Dharam Paul, Estates Officer and heads of departments of Faculty of Agriculture were also present on the occasion. Dr Pawan Kumar Sharma carried out the proceedings of the inaugural function.