Ziraat Times News
Srinagar, Oct 10: The debate on the creation of separate veterinary university in Jammu & Kashmir is becoming is getting more intense.
While the scientific teaching community of the two agricultural universities of Kashmir and Jammu have resented this proposal, students of the Veterinary Faculty and Faculty of Fisheries are aghast about what they call “the attempts of putting spanners in the government’s plans of establishing a separate veterinary university in Jammu & Kashmir.”
The students of the college on Tuesday held a joint demonstration at the Shuhama campus demanding a separate veterinary university.
“The motive of our protest is to stand against the statement issued by Joint Scientists’ Association of SKUAST-K and SKUAST-J recently, saying that the state does not require a separate university for veterinary and fisheries science”, Amir Ahmad Bhat Student President of Faculty of Veterinary Science (FVSC) told Ziraat Times.
“The students maintain that considering that all major universities in the country have separate veterinary universitiies, why not J&K?”, Aquib Hameed, another student leader told Ziraat Times.
“There is little merit in having a separate university for a mere shifting of administrative control from the existing agriculture universities to the existing academic apparatus of vet faculties. It would also raise serious financial viability questions on the new and existing universities”, says a professor of SKUAST-K.
Meanwhile, hailing what they call the efforts of Dr Asgar Samoon, Principal Secretary Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, in being empathetic to their demands, veterinarian students have requested him to take this issue to a logical conclusion. The students also appreciate the efforts of the Veterinary Scientists’ Association of Srinagar and Jammu who have been pursuing the cause of a separate veterinary university in the state.
How important is livestock sector in J&K
As per the 19th Livestock Census conducted in year 2012 there was steady increase of livestock population in Jammu and Kashmir except in Ladakh region. At all-India level, Jammu and Kashmir is at fifth position in sheep population, first in yak population, second in horse/ponies/mule, sixth in donkey and 17th in poultry.
While the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a net exporter of live sheep, goat, desi poultry and desi ghee to the neighbouring state of Punjab in 1947, there is now huge gap of demand and supply in live sheep, goat, milk, egg, feed and fodder.
Significantly, agriculture & allied sector grew at 9.59% in the year 2016-17 as compared to negative growth rate (-) 6.24% in 2012-13, 7.87% in 2013-14, (-) 13.66% in 2014-15 and 21.57% in 2015-16.
Among sub sectors crops’ growth rate was 14.76% while as livestock 2.38%, which is significant, and forestry and logging 2.14% and fishing and aquaculture 0.89% in the year 2016-17.
The corresponding figures for these sub sectors for the year 2015-16 (advance est.) were 42.20%, 0.69% 0.42% and 3.05% respectively, meaning livestock sector grew much better than the previous years.