For twelve years of travel as full-fledge Agricultural University, the University has been developing several infrastructural facilities like additional Students’ Hostels, College Buildings for Horticulture and Technology, Farmers’ Training Hostel, Farm Infrastructure, Agriculture Technology Information Centre, Central Instrumentation Centre etc. for ICAR and State grant. Although several infrastructural and organizational requirements are wanting as compare to other agricultural university. The pace of development in organized research system was not satisfactory during the period, however, effort has been initiated through augmentation of infrastructure relating to RRS laboratories and farm as well through opening of instructional programmes at outreach research stations for revitalization of research system of the University.
MISSION AND GOAL:
The mission of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari is to strive ahead and provide leadership in teaching, research and extension services related to agriculture and allied sciences. The University attempts to work in new frontier areas of sciences and contemporary development related with farming community and technology. In this context, the UBKV is strongly committed in absorbing newer paradigms and using them to develop excellent human resource, innovative technologies and their dissemination so as to serve the farming community of the state and the country.
The University has identified the major goals and specific objectives in teaching, research and extension activities with a view to realize the mission statements. The rapid dynamic changes in agriculture need to ensure equally dynamic continuous growth and development of the University to meet the challenges as witnessed due to structural changes in Indian agriculture. In order to fulfill the goal and mission as delineated in mission statement the University makes provision to redefine the specific short time objectives and review them in appropriate authorities; identify the key sector time to time; keeping parity with constantly dynamic system of agriculture knowledge base in technology, teaching-research methods and also administrative functioning to equipped with updated knowledge considering meager faculty strength and other resources in the University.
ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNANCE:
The Executive Council is the highest policy making body of the University where the Vice-Chancellor is the Chairman and Registrar as Member Secretary. Secretary Department of Agriculture and Department of Finance of the State Government and all Deans and Directors are the ex-officio members to the Council. Five nominated members representating Scientists, Progressive farmers, Agro-industrialist, Women Social Worker and ICAR are also the members of the Council. It also comprises five elected members one each from the students and non-teaching employees and three from teaching community of the University. Council controls the property of the University, finance and appoint employees of all categories of the University. The council is advised on academic and administrative matters by the Academic Council, Faculty Council, Research Council, Extension Council and Finance Committee.
The Academic Council consists of key functionaries of the University and including the Vice-Chancellor as Chairman and Registrar as the Member Secretary. All Deans, Directors, Head of the Departments and representative from teachers and one students’ representative are the member of Academic Council. The Faculty Council deals with all the academic affairs of the concerned Faculty (College). The Extension and Research Councils are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and empowered to recommend all matters pertaining to extension education and research respectively.
The participatory system in governance facilitates the smooth and efficient running of the University. Representation of concerned section in different authorities and delegation of responsibility at all levels has facilitated quick decision making and prompt execution of the decision adopted in the authorities, and clear accountability makes a vibrant and growing organization.
ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES AND CURRICULA:
The University has the mandate of regulating higher agricultural education among the students. Necessary support has been provided for developing and strengthening higher agricultural education. University has put in motion a number of initiatives and reforms which includes Departmental Committee, Faculty Council for improvement through teaching, library strengthening, institution of scholarships and fellowships, measures for reducing inbreeding to have quality assurance in agricultural education. For revision of course curriculum, the Faculty Council played important steps for quality improvement. The Council has developed norms and standards with respect to department, faculty positions and minimum infrastructure for different faculties at UG level as well as PG level. The examination system has been reformed in accordance with the recommendation of 4th Deans Committee. UG programmes has been restructured providing impetus on practical orientation and practice centers like experiential learning programme, courses on entrepreneurship development, communication skills, computer knowledge, agri-business, environment science, bio-technology etc. Practical content increased substantially upto 50-60% of the total course load. Initiative has been taken for improving quality of research work at PG level.
A part of development of agriculture technologist from the University the experiential learning programme in the curriculum favour to build up highly skill of professionals to create their own enterprises. Library has been strengthened by network and online access to journals by providing 2 mbps connectivity. In all faculties professional skill development programme is included. Endeavour of the University to produce world class professionals, who are equipped to met demands of global competitiveness, help farmers to newer global outfit, have analytic abilities and entrepreneurship for taking carrier of self employment and as contribution to livelihood security.
FACULTY AND OTHER HUMAN RESOURCES:
The Faculty of the University performs three fold of activities as per mandate through teaching, research and extension. Although all the three activities have speciality of their own and equally important but relatively more number of faculties are associated with teaching departments followed by research system and extension education programme. However, all the faculties at headquarter, Pundibari constituting 84% of the total are associated with teaching, research and extension activities. The faculties posted at out reached Research Stations perform research and extension services. The ratio among teaching, research and extension faculties comprises 2.7:1.7:1 respectively. However, the recruitment of faculty in recent years has declined and the University is working with 48%, 45% and 80% of the sanctioned strength of teaching, research and extension respectively. Out of total 714 employees serving the University 21.47%, 7.04%, 16.90% and 51.11% are faculties, technical, administrative and supporting staff respectively. The University has already taken initiative to fill up the vacant positions for sustained growth and development.
The faculty is recruited/selected for all the three posts, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor on a competitive basis and promotion as based on merit. Recruitment for faculty is on the basis of open competition. The Selection Committee is constituted by the Vice-Chancellor, following the selection procedure, prepares merit list of candidates found suitable for each post. For appointment, an approval of the merit list from the Executive Council is compulsory. Reservation for SC/ST and Other statutory reservations as prescribed by the State Government are strictly adhere to.
The faculty undergo refresher course and attend seminars and workships both within and outside the country. There is no instant of “in-breeding” in faculty of the University rather the candidates from different states and universities are appointed as faculties. The University has adopted several measures that sustain a high level of motivation among the faculty. Career advancement for the faculty follows as time-tested mechanism including the recommendation of UGC and State Government. UGC pay scales have been implemented for the faculty, while the non-teaching employees are paid salaries as per the State Government norms.
The faculty of the University has a good track record in teaching, research and extension activities. They have been able to attract research grants on a competitive basis and have been invited to national and international seminars to present papers or as resource person.
The student intake has been increased from 34 to 50 numbers over the years of which a sizable proportion from SC/ST community. The proportion of girls students (27.5%) has also been increasing over the years.
Considering the nature of course-curricula, almost all the students except a few reside in the hostel. The hostels are provided with all modern facilities of filtered drinking water supply, iron and germ free water for bathroom, uninterrupted electricity supply. Students avail medical facilities from the health centre, headed by one Resident Medical Officer. The Health Centre is provided with free medicine supply to the student and an ambulance for day and night service. The day-scholars use university buses to commute at a nominal fee. Internet facilities are also been extended to the hostels for students’ use. The University maintains modest infrastructure in form of playground for football, volleyball, cricket and also indoor games like chess, carom, table tennis. A gymnasium is under construction nearby the hostel.
In addition to regular curricular activities, the students have been encouraged to develop their skills in several cultural and sports activities. The Central Students’ Union in the University is a statutory body constituted through election by the students and work for the students. The union receives budgetary support from the University for organizing cultural programmes, games and various co-curricular activities. The Students’ Union also publish magazines, bulletins as well as wall magazines which encourage literal activities among them. This has enabled many students to develop leadership and managerial skill.
The Dean, Students’ Welfare look after the interest of the students. Students are given opportunity to redress their grievances at hostel and college through various arrangements. The Dean, Students’ Welfare arranges coaching classes for competitive examinations and campus recruitment in support with Deans of the college and faculties.
LIBRARY AND OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES:
The Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya Central Library has given key prominence to the development of the library facility at the head quarter (Pundibari) as well as the two out reached Regional Research Stations. Books, periodicals, thesis and CD-ROM relevant to the mandate areas have be stocked in the Central Library.
The University has been also subscribing four databases in the form of CD-ROM i.e. CABI-CD, AGRIS, AGRICOLA and also subscribed a database named J-GATE. The University Central Library is going to be a member of CERA (Consortium for e-Resource in Agriculture) which is launched under the auspices of NAIP at the IARI. Keeping in space with the development in the area of information technology and other computer related services, the University has established a Central Computer Laboratory with accessory facilities such as Internet browsing and e-mail.
The University Central Library has adopted open access system with card catalogues (our author) and follow Anglo American cataloging Rules (2nd) and Dewey Decimal classification scheme catalogue of books, journals and thesis covering the period from its inception to upto date. Likewise it is planned to extend computerization to other activities in the library very shortly. Digital/Computer cataloging of all Central Library holdings have been completed with the aid of the UNESCO, CDS/ISIS software. The generation of bar coding is also started.
However, inadequacy in Electronic system of literature search, poor space of the library results lack of accommodation for journal display or reading room for journal and reference/text books.
PHYSICAL FACILITIES :
The learning in the University has been facilitated with the help of erudite teachers, scientists, extension specialists and enriched physical facilities. The enriched physical facility is the key to help learning in a better way. The University has only one teaching campus, three regional research stations and their sub-stations and five Krishi Vigyan Kendras located at different agro-climatic zones. Three constituent colleges have been provided with adequate physical infrastructure facilities along with the land resources for field experiments. The Central administrative office is located at Pundibari, Coochbehar which is about 14 kms away from Cooch Behar district headquarter. The building for Regional Research Station, Terai Zone, has been used temporarily as administrative building. The UBKV has presently three academic buildings one each for three colleges. The largest academic building is housed by the College of Agriculture and also extended to house temporarily for the College of Horticulture and Central Library. Another newly constructed academic building has housed the College of Technology. The college of Horticulture will be shifted to its newly constructed building shortly. The Degree programmes offered in this university is mostly residential in nature. All the students admitted are housed in four hostels; three for boys and one for girls. Hostels are equipped with adequate living facilities for the student. The university has a small but well equipped medical unit with one ambulance for 24 hours services. Adequate number of staff quarters are available for accommodation of different categories of employees. This University has an ATIC building for dissemination of technology with a single window system. University is having one Central Farmer’s Hostel fully backup with modern facilities of living and training. Besides a small guest house with modest facilities is situated in the main campus. A double story building accommodates the office of the Director of Farms. A Seed Testing Laboratory was established from the fund of Mega Seed Project. Besides above the University has the facilities of instructional and research farms for colleges, KVK farm and RRS/RRSS equipped with different units. The university has well equipped specialized laboratory/ research units with sophisticated equipments to carry out both fundamental and applied research in the area of agricultural sciences. The University has a common central instrumentation room which is accessible to both faculty and post-graduate students. Each department has adequate equipments, instruments to carry out research in the respective discipline. Although the infrastructures are not adequate as compared to larger agricultural universities in the country but still the strong administration, technically sound faculty members, scientists and extension personnel and co-operative supporting employees have been utilizing the same at the fullest extent of successful implementation of education, research and extension programmes to achieve the qualitative goals of the university.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES :
Budget proposals are made based upon the needs of the on-going continued programmes and the new programmes within the anticipated resources. The comptroller develops the budget which is examined by the Finance Committee and then the budget is finally approved by the Executive Council. For financial management of the Univesity, the auditors under Comptroller’s Department carries out internal audit and Government auditors conduct post audit.
The University receives grant from State Govt. and ICAR on annual basis. The State Govt. provides the maintenance grant towards salaries, and contingencies as well as for development. ICAR support the fund under plant head. The financial support is not commesurate with inflation and increasing cost of maintaining teaching and research activities. However, efforts of the faculties to mobilize resources through obtaining competitive grant from several national and international funding agencies for teaching, research and extension programme.
The expenditure is of the order of 49.77% on research, 30.42% on teaching, 9.94% on infrastructure, 6.20% on extension and 3.67% on general administration. The expenditure on central administration is appreciably low. Similarly, expenditure of 9.94% towards infrastructural development might be considered low for a developing University.
Having all its weakness, computerized, modern accounting through “Accrual System”, regular Government audit and increasing rate of internal resource generation have been favoured towards all round journey to a maintainable development of the University.
The Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, although a new university but carries a long experience of further twenty years in the area of research before established as a full-fledged university which became helpful to develop a strong research base to cater the needs for development towards farming community.
The University has a broad based research programme executed by the three Regional Research Stations and three sub-station spreaded over three agro-climatic zones namely hill, terai and alluvial zone where the scientists of various disciplines striving together to meet the research mandate.
The Research Council is the apex body in the university, responsible to formulate the research policy and guidelines. The Council has the responsibility of identifying thrust areas of research, revise research policy and guidelines. Comprehensive mandate and thrust areas of research have been drawn by each of these zonal research stations following the guidelines of the Research Council with the help of ZREAC, Directorate of Research and the concerned zonal research faculty. The Associate Directors of Research (ADR) in Zonal level are responsible to supervise all the research activities in their respective zones.
The Director of Research is responsible for coordinating, monitoring, evaluation and guidance of all the research activities of the university including All India Co-ordinated Research Projects (AICRP), Ad-hoc projects and other external funded projects.
The research accomplishment of the University has been most satisfactory in the area of crop production and crop protection. Major impetus has been given towards rapid increase in productivity within shortest possible time considering poor productivity of all principle grain crops due to inherent soil-climate-pest disease problems in North Bengal predominated by small marginal farmers (87%) with higher concentration of SC/ST population (40%). Contribution in varietal improvement has been found less visible which has been mainly directed towards evolving tolerant resistance varieties, particularly, against biotic and abiotics stressess. For last five years, two short duration, disease resistant, slender grain, out-yielding varieties of paddy; a good number of wheat varieties tolerant to terminal heat, late sown, boron deficiency, folier bright of wheat in collaboration with CIMMYT have been selected through concerted research. One disease tolerant, high yielding, high curcumin content turmeric variety has also been released by the University.
During the period under consideration, the University has developed and standardized several crop production technologies in the area of cultivation practices, intercropping/paira cropping, liming for acid soil, micronutrient application methodology, composting, introduction of new crops for diversification, retting technology for quality fiber in jute, integrated nutrient management, structural cultivation of different vegetables and refined the package of practices for the use by farmers. Research outcome from multistory cropping, post-harvest technology of pineapple, carbon sequestration through agro-forestry resulted utilization of vast marginal upland under rainfed situation. Outstanding achievement has been made on resource conservation technology in rice-wheat cropping system. Large scale acceptance of these technologies has been experienced in recent years.
Remarkable achievement in research has come from the field of horticulture. In the area of floriculture and aromatic plants growth media for rapid multiplication of terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, their nutrient and growth regulators as well as vase life; rapid large scale nuclear seedling production of Darjeeling mandarin orange, conservation of high value, endangered spp. of medicinal plants and standardization of their propagation and cultivation practices and biotechnical intervention there to; INM of ginger and turmeric a good volume of work have been performed leading into generation of adaptable technologies. The crop production practices developed by the University have helped to increase productivity of the crops and reduce the cost of production. In recent years the crop production technology has been updated and refined to meet the criteria of sustainability.
In the last five years, pest-disease management programmes have been developed for several crops in the areas. IPM modules for rice, brinjal, jute and IDM protocol for rice, foliar blight of wheat, bacterial wilt of solanaceous crops, turmeric, ginger and jute have been formulated for large scale adoption. Induced resistance mechanisms have been developed through production of bioprimed seedling, solid matrix bio-priming for vegetable seedling and standardization of mass production technology of Trichoderma.
The growth of agriculture in North Bengal is reflected in steady increase in productivity of all crops growing in the area. This is an indirect measure of contribution made by the University through development of agricultural technology. In view to meet the changing needs of agriculture in the area and also the development in technology several thrust areas have been prioritised for attention during the coming decades through strengthening the regional research system of the University.
EXTENSION EDUCATION :
The Directorate of Extension Education, governed by the University with an aim to undertake extension activities of the location specific research findings generated from the research end of the University in the Northern districts of West Bengal. To achieve the goal the Directorate had been constituted with Farm Advisary service centre at Main campus, ATIC at main campus and five KVKs at Kaimpong, Pundibari, Majhian, Chopra and Ratua in the districts of Darjeeling, Coochbehar, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur and Malda respectively. The main ATIC building at main campus is housed the office of the Director of Extension Education, the Cooch behar KVK office because the new KVK office building is under construction, Soil testing lab, Auditorium and a museum. All the KVKs is equipped with a office cum administrative building, staff quarters and a farmers hostel. The different farm service equipments are in the administrative building along with the soil testing lab for providing farm advisory service through out the day. The Directorates and KVKs are also associated with the publication of different extension farm booklets. The KVKs all together had imparted 397 no. of training programmes for the extension personnel, organised vocational training courses for 6537 no. of rural youth, imparted training on field crop and horticultural crop production and management for 35949 no of farmers, organised front line demonstrations on vermicomposting, pulse and oilseeds, horticulture, phosphocomposting for 6344 no. of farmers, provided agricultural diagnostic services to 8000 farmers, produced and distributed 150 MT cereals, 9MT oilseeds, 5 MT pulses , 20 MT spices and 45 MT other crops to the beneficiaries of North Bengal, organised Krishi Mela, Field days in each and every year. The different success stories had been observed and documented in the jurisdiction areas of the University on the technologies like scientific floriculture, scientific pig rearing, vermicomposting, energy rich low cost weaning food, scientic technology for tea leaf plucking, scientific hybrid Magur production, beekeeping etc which can reflect the achievement of the University extension system. It is worthwhile to mention that the prime movers of the technologies like vermicomposting, scientific beekeeping, pig rearing, floriculture, hybrid magur production with the help of the production and marketing had become the successful entrepreneurs in the region and found the other alternatives to their livelihoods in such a disadvantaged area.
The University Farms, apart from regular committed activities towards teaching, research and extension, its vast areas in 11 units (together by 295 ha) distributed over North Bengal have been utilized purposefully for farmers’ service through production of quality seeds and arranging training under the supervision of scientists and technologists with the objective to take part in the process of transformation of agriculture in the area.
UNIVERSITY FARM :
The Director of Farms administrates the activities of the farms and functions in close collaboration with Director of Research, Director of Extension Education and Deans of the colleges for smooth conduction of field oriented research, extension and instructional programmes.
In last five years, the farms under the University have been developed through fruitful utilization of ICAR sponsored Mega Seed Project and modernization programme along with assistance from State Government. Simulatiniously with infrastructural development programme the farms produced 20.71 q. of breeders seed, 510.62 q. of foundation seeds, 4458.88 q. of certified seed and 1705.0 from participatory seed production programme from farmers field. The farms als produced quality planting materials of horticultural crops also. Besides, a good number of training programmes have been organized for the farmers on seed production.
For full utilization of potentiality the farms need strengthening of manpower, authorization for seed certification and inspection for seed production at commercial scale and development of marketing network.
In order t fulfill the mandate the University has been developing a strong communication with the stakeholders and public. For the purpose of communication the University publishes reports, newsletter, and extension bulletin on local languages. For educational programme the University publishes prospectus, course calendar, various rules and regulations.
The University has an established Local Area Networking (LAN) with more than 300 terminals at all of its establishment which are also provided with Internet facility through 2 mbps leased line from BSNL. Using the basic facility of LAN, programmes have been launched for automation and digitization of library services. Similarly, the University has a website based information dissemination system for general notification.