M’laya may lose Central Agri varsity

SHILLONG: Meghalaya may lose the Central Agriculture University proposed at Kyrdemkulai, Ri Bhoi if there is further delay on the party of the government to pursue the project.
The matter was earlier raised in the Assembly by UDP associate member and Mawphlang legislator SK Sunn, who on Tuesday, petitioned Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to take up the matter with the Centre.
The setting up of University is significant as this will benefit the students of Meghalaya since currently the only University in Imphal caters to all the students from the region.
Once the University is established in Meghalaya, this will result in bifurcation of the Central Agriculture University, Imphal.
Besides Meghalaya, the proposed University will cover Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
Sunn said the state should not miss the chance of having a Central Agricultural University of its own as stated earlier by the chief minister and the Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh in the Assembly last year. Sunn urged the chief minister to take up the matter with the concerned ministry to get the proposal, which appears to have been shelved in 2014, revived once again as the state has fulfilled the required criteria.
Quoting a media report, Sunn said the college of Agriculture at Kyrdemkulai, Ri Bhoi district which is under construction, is a constituent college of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal which suggests that there is no mention of any University for Meghalaya.
The foundation stone of the college was laid by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, on February 15, 2016.
“It appears that there has been serious communication gap that lead to the confusion as stated in Assembly by the state agriculture minister in April 2018 that the works for establishment of new Central Agriculture University, Meghalaya is in progress.
Earlier, Banteidor confirmed that the committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture Research and Education (DARE), in its final recommendation had selected the site between Umsning and Zero Point road as an ideal place and that the committee had requested the state government for commitment to provide complete transfer of land to DARE.
Subsequently, the state government had taken follow up action on the matter and as on April 2018, the work for establishment of Central Agricultural University for Meghalaya at Kyrdemkulai was under progress, according to Banteidor.
Nine years ago on February 3, 2010, the Centre had constituted a four-member committee headed by Dr. S.N. Puri, Vice-Chancellor, Central Agriculture University, Imphal for selection of site for establishment of new Central Agricultural University in Meghalaya. The committee in its final recommendation in May 2010 had zeroed-in on two sites as a package for establishment of the head quarters and expansion of existing college of post-graduate studies.
The committee recommended a group of two sites as a package for establishing the headquarters and expansion of existing college of post-graduate studies. The sites are the erstwhile Meghalaya State Electricity Board (MeSEB) land at Umiam adjacent to ICAR residential quarters with 40 acres of land opposite NESAC and 200 acres at another site located in Kyrdemkulai adjacent to the private owned Kharsati Nature Park.
Sunn said during the Assembly session, he had expressed doubt that the proposal for establishment of University for Meghalaya may have been withdrawn or shelved and that the ongoing works at Kyrdemkulai may be that of CAU, Imphal.
However, Banteidor confirmed that the works at Kyrdemkulai was for establishment of new University for Meghalaya.
Sunn reminded that as per his information, the college at Kyrdemkulai and post graduate college at Barapani are functioning under Central Agricultural University, Imphal and no one knows about the fate of Central Agriculture University in Meghalaya.

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