India may have managed to develop one of the world\'s largest agricultural education network, but it is surely not among the best any more. The quality of the education has deteriorated over the years, leading to the failure of this basic sector to cater to the changing needs of science-led growth in the field. Starting with a handful of colleges offering agricultural education at the time of Independence, the country today has nearly 47 universities or deemed universities with over 210 constituent colleges devoted exclusively to farm education. Besides, nearly 100 private colleges affiliated to different universities are also offering agricultural education.
ICAR\'s new challenge
by Surinder Sud, The Business Standard, 04 July, 2006
With the new global norms on intellectual property rights in place, it will no longer be possible for private industry to have free or unconditional access to the agricultural technology being generated by public sector research bodies. Gone are, therefore, the days when the new seeds or technology developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) or the agricultural universities were readily available to public agencies or private companies for further multiplication and sale for commercial gains without making suitable investments on research. However, since the technology ultimately needs to reach the end-users for whom it is meant (mostly farmers) and the research institutes cannot, for obvious reasons, do so entirely on their own, involvement of other public or private agencies is a must for this purpose. This is now sought to be facilitated by the ICAR by evolving a new intellectual property management regime that will allow smooth transfer and commercialisation of its technology with provisions for benefit sharing.
DARE to be different
by Surinder Sud, The Business Standard, 06 June, 2006