Arunachal: BSc Agriculture students of private universities in a fix


Students who have finished a BSc agriculture degree programme at several private institutions, notably the Arunachal University of Studies (AUS) in Namsai, are finding it difficult to gain admission to the state’s lone central university, Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), Doimukh.

The issue arose when the Tirap, Changlang, Longding, and Namsai Students’ Union, Rajiv Gandhi University (TCLNSURGU) claimed that the AUS’s BSc agriculture degrees were not accepted for admission by RGU because the AUS was not accredited by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), New Delhi.

This reporter spoke to some of the students of the AUS who have failed to get admission at RGU. They said that they are facing uncertainty because of the situation.

“I got selected through merit for admission into agronomy in the faculty of agricultural sciences, RGU. But at the time of viva voce, the interviewer made it clear to me that I will not get admission as the AUS has not been accredited by the ICAR. Because of it, I am not able to pursue further studies,” said a student of the AUS.

He also stated that numerous other students, like him, had been denied admission to RGU for identical reasons.
Furthermore, he mentioned that when he was studying BSc agriculture at the AUS, the students were concerned about it.

“The AUS authorities assured us that accreditation would be done. But as the year passed, it never materialized. Now many students are suffering for no fault of theirs,” he added.

An RGU official, who did not want to be identified, stated that RGU is simply according to the ICAR’s standards.

“ICAR rule says that only students belonging to ICAR accredited private universities will get admission in central university for master degree. Not only AUS, but we have also refused admission in masters for students of other private universities too for failing to get accreditation from ICAR. However, these criteria do not apply for government-funded institutions,” the official said.

However, he noted that such a degree is only ineligible for entrance to a master’s degree programme and can be used legitimately for other purposes. The agricultural sciences faculty at RGU provides master’s degrees in agronomy, agricultural economics, and agricultural entomology.

TCLNSURGU president Shahlai Wangsu urged the state government to intervene promptly and assist the students. “Because it is a matter of many students’ futures,” he said, “the state government should immediately step in.” Meanwhile, the AUS maintained that ICAR accreditation is not required.

“Six university level institutions (including government and private sector) are offering BSc agriculture or BSc horticulture programme in Arunachal Pradesh. None of them are affiliated/accredited to the ICAR to date, as it is not mandatory,” AUS joint registrar Himanshu Pachal said in an email response.

He claimed that the AUS is the only NAAC accredited university in Arunachal. The counterclaim over the ‘accreditation’ status is further creating confusion among the students, who are already facing anxious times after failing to get admission at RGU.

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