Interview of NAU VC Dr. C. J. Dangaria

Interview of NAU VC Dr. C. J. Dangaria
Dr. C. J. Dangaria
Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat

Dr. C. J. Dangaria is the Vice – Chancellor of Navsari Agricultural University Navsari, Gujarat since 03-01-2015 and has 35 Years of professional experience in Research, Education, Extension Education and administration as Unit Heads.

He has also held coveted posts at various Universities and Institutes. He worked as Director of Research & Dean PG Studies from 01-06-10 to 02-01-2015 in Junagadh Agricultural University, Research Scientist (Pearl Millet) from 10-09-01 to 30-05-10 in Main Pearl Millet Research Station, Jamnagar; Associate Research Scientist (Plant Breeding) 01-10-98 to 09-09-01 Main Pearl Millet Research Station, Jamnagar.

He also worked as Associate Research Scientist in various subjects such as Plant Breeding, Castor-Mustard, Oilseed, Pulse Research, Castor Scheme etc.

He expressed his views to various questions asked by and to him.

1) Please provide us the brief history of NAU ?

The Navsari Zone of erstwhile GAU had attained the status of independent State Agricultural University (SAU) with the promulgation of Gujarat Agricultural Universities Act 2004 on May 1, 2004 heralding formation of Navsari Agricultural University (NAU) with Navsari as headquarters. NAUs jurisdiction covers seven districts of South Gujarat viz., Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Dangs and Valsad. The University has made remarkable growth in its tripartite activities i.e. Education, Research and Extension Education and simultaneously also made tremendous growth in infrastructure and Human Resource Development since its inception.

Navsari campus had its humble beginning in 1965 with a College of Agriculture. The college was affiliated to Gujarat University, Ahmedabad from 1965 to 1968 and from 1968 to 1972 to South Gujarat University, Surat. The N.M. College of Agriculture, Navsari along with 11 State Government research centres located at Surat, Bharuch, Achhalia, Waghai, Gandevi, Vyara, Paria, Tanchha, Hansot, Bardoli and Danti-Umbharat were transferred to GAU. Thereafter College of Horticulture and Forestry were established in the year 1988-89. After attaining the status of independent University w.e.f. May 01, 2004, the University established ASPEE Agri- business Management Institute during the year 2007 and Vanbandhu College of Veterinary Science and A.H. during the year 2008. In the year 2012, NAU has introduced three new Colleges viz, College of Agriculture at Bharuch and Waghai, and Gujarat Agricultural Biotechnology Institute at Surat. Besides, existing diploma schools were upgraded as polytechnics to provide middle level technician for working at grass root level. Polytechnic in Agriculture was started in 2009 at Dediyapada followed by Polytechnic in Horticulure at Nasvari, Polytechnic in Agriculture at Bharuch and Vyara and Polytechnic in Agriculture Marketing Co-operative and Banking at Waghai in the year 2010 (converted to Polytechnic in Agriculture in the year 2013). During the year 2012-13, the LITC was upgraded as Polytechnic in Animal Husbandry at Navsari and another Polytechnic in Horticulture at Paria has also been started. In the year 2013, University has started to impart Agricultural Engineering education by establishing a new College of Agricultural Engineering at Dediyapada, District Narmada. Recently, the Government of Gujarat has sanctioned a new College of Fisheries Science as a plan project which has started functioning from academic year 2015-16.

Besides, there are 8 Experiential Learning Units financed by ICAR, New Delhi for developing entrepreneurship skills and imparting “Hands on Training”. These facilities also provide an opportunity to “Earn while Learn” during undergraduate degree programmes. There are 3 ELUs in Horticulture faculty, 2 each in Agriculture and Veterinary faculty and 1 in Forestry faculty. In the main campus of the University, other facilities available are like University library, Auditorium, Sports Complex, outdoor sports facility, Central Examination Hall, 11 boy’s and 5 girl’s hostels, one international hostel with RO drinking water, solar heater, Wi-Fi connection and computers. Facilities like Guest House, Farmer's hostel, Bank, Post office, Primary Health Centre, Canteen and Shopping Centre are also available in the main campus.

2) What are the significant achievements of NAU in research and other student activities?

NAU has a strong research base to cater the needs of the farmers of south Gujarat. The primary goal of research in the university is to generate technologies for augmenting agricultural productivity and farm returns synchronizing with the states objectives, Socio-economic and cultural needs of the farming community on a sustainable basis. The university mainly undertakes research on the crops grown in south Gujarat viz., cotton, paddy, sugarcane, pulses, sorghum, hill millets, niger, soybean, castor and horticultural crops like, mango, banana, sapota, papaya, cashew nut and vegetable crops. Apart from this, University is also working on soil and water management, organic farming, bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides, post-harvest technology, value addition, Agroforestry, fisheries, animal husbandry, protected cultivation, climate change and agriculture, soil health, forage crops, food quality and food testing and nutritional security.

After attaining the status of an independent University in the year 2004, NAU has developed a total of 591 (425 for farmers and 166 for scientific communities) technologies for the benefit of farmers and scientific communities. Technologies have been developed in the field of crop improvement (48), natural resource management (211), horticulture and agro-forestry (109), plant protection (126), agriculture engineering (27), animal health (16), animal production and fisheries (36), basic sciences (12) and social sciences (6).

The NAU has released 45 high yielding good quality varieties of different crops viz. cotton (9) including 3 Bt hybrids, sugarcane (6), Rice (8), Pulses (6), Nagli (4), Vari (2), Sorghum (3), Turmeric (2), Vegetable (3), Castor (1) and Niger (1) during last 11 years.

The scientists of NAU have been working for evolving and optimizing technologies in relation to MIS with and without mulching, nutrient management based on soil health cards, schedule of nutrient supplement to enhance productivity of various crops grown in South Gujarat. Thus NAU has recommended as many as 176 packages of practices for soil, water and nutrient management. Other technologies for the benefit of farmers have been developed viz., Intercropping of banana and turmeric in oil palm, area based cropping sequences for round the year farming, planting time and schedule of nutrient management of various crops, green manuring, use of bio-fertilizers for seed and soil treatment, weed management, land configuration and utilization of banana pseudo stem sap for substitution of chemical fertilizers in various crops.

Scientists of NAU developed technologies for minimizing losses caused by various diseases and pest in various crops. Based on feedback of farmers specific IPM technologies have been developed and propagated for control of various crop diseases as well pest incidence to enhance productivity. NAU has recommended 87 technologies of IPM since 2004. Some important technologies like Methyl uginol and sex pheromone traps for control of fruit flies in mango, sapota and vegetable crops; black Tulsi extract baited trap for chicku bud borer, effective control of white fly in okra, brinjal and cotton; sucking pest and bollworm in cotton, leaf blight and stem borer in paddy, stem borer, other borers, red rot and wilt in sugarcane, Culture of Mulberry worm in castor crop have been developed for the benefit of farmers of South Gujarat.

Besides, 66 technologies for improvement in the field of vegetables, fruits, flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants, and forest and plantation trees have also been developed for the benefit 4 of farmers of South Gujarat. Technologies worth mentioning are high density planting in mango, precision farming of banana, papaya, and brinjal; organic farming of fruits, vegetables and tuber crops; paired row planting in banana, nutrient management of banana, papaya and other vegetables; early flowering of mango, canopy management in mango, de-sucking of banana, post shooting management of banana, pitcher method of irrigation in mango and rejuvenation of mango. Further, technologies of value addition for enhancing the income of farmers like value addition of banana pseudo stem, preservation of fresh mango pulp, value addition of fruits like banana, sapota, guava and flower crops and enhancement of shelf life of banana and mango have been developed.

Over and above various Agroforestry technologies have been developed for improving productivity and sustainability in Agriculture. University has standardized nutritional formulations for enhancing milk production of milch animals and improving work efficiency of farm animals. Successful attempts have been made to improve the work efficiencies of farm implements for better farming like development of banana pseudo stem cutter and six rows paddy transplanted for the farming community. Several other technologies for improvement of agriculture and allied sciences have also been developed. Along with the academic curriculum, the students are also trained in developing their skills and excellence in various sport activities and hence Inter-Collegiate Competitions for various games like Chess, Table-tennis, Badminton, Kabaddi, Volleyball, Basketball, Kho Kho, Cricket, Athletics, Cultural events, Debate, Essay, Elocution, Extempore and many more of these kinds are routinely organized under the direct guidance of Director of Students' Welfare. The selected students from Inter-Collegiate Competitions are nominated for Interuniversity participation. National Service Scheme (NSS) has been in operation in 14 Colleges/Polytechnics of the University. During the year under report, a total of 1400 students of various colleges registered as NSS volunteers and 700 volunteers attended Special Camp. NCC units are active in N. M. College of Agriculture, ASPEE College of Horticulture & Forestry and their cadets are taught Discipline, Patriotism, Brotherhood, Sportsmanship and Spirit of Adventure by organizing various camps in which students are enrolled. Total 80 Parades are conducted round the year in which students are taught weapon training, Map reading, Civil Defence, First Aid, Field Craft, Anti Dowry, Rally for Consumer Awareness and Tree Plantation. The University provides various Scholarships, Financial Assistance and Gold medal to the students on merit basis.

Presently, seven experiential learning units are in operation in the University for giving opportunities to ‘Earn while Learn’ and to provide hands on training to undergraduate students. These ELPs have been developed from financial support from ICAR, New Delhi.

In 2015 the students of NAU achieved success at national level competitive examinations like NET (34) and ICAR, JRF (46). Moreover, 11 Ph.D. scholars also received INSPIRE-SRF.

3) What is the recent placement trends at NAU?

The placement cell of University played a vital role in placement of 425 UG and PG students of various faculties in Government and Non-Government sectors and Banks during last three years (2012-13 to 2014-15). There are different 87 research institute and industries where NAU UG and PG students get job through placement cell. In addition to this NAU students also employed in Government as well as University.

4) India and Indian youth is changing rapidly in last 10 years. How NAU is trying to cope with new aspirations and skill sets?

There is an excellent interest of students to study in agriculture faculty but due to limited intake capacity lots of students unable to take admission in Agriculture. To mitigate this problem NAU start five new colleges of different faculty of agriculture and make the intake capacity double. We also change the study pattern as per current need. We also use new technology for teaching the students for easy understand. NAU start the placement cell and placement of 425 UG and PG students of various faculties in Government and Non-Government sectors and Banks during last three years (2012-13 to 2014-15). NAU is helping the students to establish their own Agribusiness and also planning for an agro business incubation centre at Navsari to provide hands on vocational trainings on agro business entrepreneurship start up students. Recently University has started a six-month duration certificate course on turf grass management programme. Under Mega Seed project, NAU produced 5915.07 quintals of Breeder, Foundation and Certified / Truthful seeds of mandate crops during 2014-15. Simultaneously, planting materials of sugarcane (5500 qt), saplings (8.13 lakh), Tissue culture plantlets of sugarcane (5.62 lakh) and Banana (25000) were also produced for farmers and practical exposure of students. Department of Plant Pathology has produced 1.0 lakh litters of bio-fertilizers of various strains of bacteria isolated from field of south Gujarat viz., PSB, Rhizobium, Azotobactor, Acetobactor and Azospirillium for students’ practical exposure.

5) Are you satisfied with current state of agriculture education? What are the shortcomings, Challenges and what can be achieved within the current constrains?

Yes. But we know Education never end, the vision of NAU for Generate competent and qualified human resources.

- Introduction of demand based courses in agricultural and allied faculties.

- Faculty upgradation through tie up with national and international organization/Institute.

- Modernization of teaching and learning process.

- Development of entrepreneurship skills through experiential learning projects

- Highly skilled manpower in the field of agriculture, forestry, horticulture, fisheries and veterinary sciences to meet the demand of agriculture, education, research and proliferating agribusiness at national and international level.

- Middle level technicians to fulfil the requirement of seed, fertilizer, pesticide, industry, banks, cooperatives and other agricultural commodity trading enterprises.

- Inculcate entrepreneurship skill in students for agribusiness/services.

- Develop professional, responsible and motivated personnel.

6) What are the career aspirations of NAU graduates, Post Graduates and Research candidates?

There are different 87 research institute and industries where NAU UG and PG students get job through placement cell. In addition to this NAU students also employed in Government as well as University.

13F Oil Palm Agrotech Pvt. Ltd. 45Abellon AgriSciences Ltd.
2Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) 46Agro Star
3Amidhara Drip Irrigation 47Astavinayak Processors – Food Division
4ATUL Ltd.48Balson Polyplast Pvt. Ltd.
5Bayer CropSciences Ltd. 49Big Bazaar (Pantaloon Retail Ltd.)
6Campson Bio Technologies Ltd. 50Captain Polyplast Ltd.
7Champion Agro Ltd. 51Cheminova India Ltd.
8Coromandel International Ltd. 52Crystal Crop Protection Pvt. Ltd.
9CU Inspections India Pvt. Ltd.53DCB Bank Ltd.
10Desai F & V Pvt. Ltd. 54Detox Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
11Dhanuka Agritech Ltd.55Dudhdhara Dairy
12Dudhsagar Dairy 56DuPont India Pvt. Ltd.
13Edelweiss Commodities Services Ltd. 57EPC Industries Ltd. - A Mahindra Group Company
14Esteem Agro & Foods Pvt. Ltd. 58Ethics Agro Pvt. Ltd.
15Export Trading Group – ETG 59Finolex Plasson Industries Pvt. Ltd. - FPIPL
16Flourish Pure Foods Pvt. Ltd. 60Glaze Trading India Pvt. Ltd.
17Global Green Agrinova GSFC Ltd. 61Greeco Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
18GSFC Ltd. 62Gujarat Green Revolution Co. Ltd.
19Gujarat Life Sciences (P) Ltd. 63HDFC Bank Ltd.
20ICICI Bank Ltd. 64IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd.
21Indian Overseas Bank Ltd. 65Indofil Industries Ltd.
22Infrastructure Services Corporation 66Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd.
23Kisaanonline Agrivision (India) Ltd. 67Kisan Call Center (KCC)
24Krishi Rasayan Exports Pvt. Ltd. 68Krishidhan Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
25LABH Group of Companies 69Louis Dreyfus Commodities India Pvt. Ltd.
26Maahi Milk Producer Co. Ltd. 70Microfiber Corp Pvt. Ltd.
27Monsanto India Ltd. 71Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chem. Ltd.
28Narmada Bio-Chem Pvt. Ltd. 72NEESA Agritech & Foods Ltd.
29Nisarg Organic 73Ocean Biotech
30Omishova Farmer Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.74Optimax Pest Management Services
31Origo Commodities Pvt. Ltd. 75Paragon Synthetics and Polymers Ltd.
32PARUL Arogya Seva Mandal Trust 76PHI Seeds Pvt. Ltd.
33Pioneer Fertilizers Ltd. 77Poorva Chemtech Pvt. Ltd.
34PRATHISTA Industries Ltd. 78Pratibha Eng. Services/T & A Tec. Services Pvt. Ltd.
35Ratnakar Bank Ltd. 79Reliance Industries Ltd.
36Reliance Retail Ltd. 80Saraf Foods Ltd.
37SGS India Pvt. Ltd. 81Shivshakti Bio Technologies Ltd.
38Shree Shubham Logistics Ltd. 82SSVB Business India Ltd.
39Sulphur Mills Ltd. 83 SUMITOMO Chemical India Pvt. Ltd.
40SUMUL Dairy 84Sundaram Finance Ltd.
41Super Agree Seeds Pvt. Ltd. 85Surya Herbal Krushi Udyog
42Swaminarayan Foods Pvt. Ltd. 86Vasudhara Dairy
43Vidhan Agro-Bio Sci. Pvt. Ltd. 87Vimax Cropscience Pvt. Ltd.
44Zydex Industries Pvt. Ltd. 7

7) How University is helping them fulfill it?

Through placement cell, practical exposure and training programme (FLP, RAWE) during UG and PG study.

8) How NAU is helping farmers in the catchment area of the university?

The Directorate of Extension Education is actively involved in transfer of latest technologies to the farmer’s field and giving its feed back to the research workers. The Directorate of Extension Education (DEE) has started functioning in 1972 during erstwhile Gujarat Agricultural University. The Directorate undertakes extension activities through 5 KVKs located at Navsari, Surat, Waghai, Vyara and Dediyapada, Training Units (Sardar Smruti Kendra & Training and Visit System) at head quarter, ATIC, Extension departments at different colleges along with the State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI), Gujarat assisting in extension reform programme with the help of experts/scientists engaged in research and education activities of the University.

Besides, there are various training centers available in the University for providing skill development trainings and also to provide advisory services to the needy farmers. NAU, Navsari also offers 16 short term Agro ITI courses for upliftment of rural youth by enhancing skills for scientific farming. The University has established an Agricultural Educatorium (Agricultural Museum) at Navsari for effective display of latest technologies related to agricultural and allied sciences. Kiosk facility is also available in the Museum with latest information in Gujarati language for easy access to the farmers.

NAU, Navsari has been actively participating in organizing mega functions like Krushi Mahotsav every year since 2005. During Krushi Mahotsav various extension activities are organized every year for disseminating latest agricultural technologies directly to the farmers.

1. Around 72.00 % farmers adopted the new recommended varieties of paddy (NAUR-1, GNR-2, GNR-3) because of higher yield as compared to old and hybrid varieties.

2. As an impact of soil and water management, 45.00 % farmers adopted the land configuration in Gram and Pigeon pea crops.

3. KVK, Navsari has introduced new crop-sweet corn in tribal area which increases 65 per cent more income.

4. 19.00 % farm women are preparing mango pulp, jam, and masalas at their home rather than buying it from market.

5. 26.00 % farmers adopted the IPDM technology from total sugarcane cultivated area.

6. 64.00 % farmers have started to use the healthy seed and seed treatment for reducing seed born disease problems.

7. 51.00 % Livestock owners have started to adopt scientific breeding, feeding and management practices.

8. Around 62.00 % of livestock owners are now feeding colostrum to their new born calves timely which resulted in healthy growth of calves and reduced calf mortality to less than 10.00 % from 16.00 %.

9. With the help of training and inputs distribution, fodder wastage has been reduced around 10.00 %.

10. Popularized yellow sticky ` in okra crop in Tapi District.

9) Is NAU coordinating with Industry for relevant program, skill building and employability of the graduates?

NAU coordinating different 87 research institute and industries where NAU UG and PG students get training, skill building and job through placement cell. In addition to this NAU students also employed in Government as well as Universities.

10) Is NAU attracting lot of good students and what is the trend in admissions?

Yes. During the year under report, 729 students were admitted in different UG and PG degree programmes offered by the NAU. This included 460 students in UG programmes, 269 in Masters and 51 in Ph.D. degree programmes of the University. During the year 2014-15, admissions to undergraduate degree programme was increased from 193 (2010-11) to 460, thus intake of UG degree programme was increased by 238.34 percent.

Thus overall admission to various degree programmes was increased from 391 (2010-11) to 729 (2014-15) students and increase was recorded as high as 186.0 percent.

11) Any guidance or thoughts which can help all agriculture graduates in India?

Advise to all agricultural graduates to work on following points to make agriculture and its allied sector more profitable.

- Genetic improvement for high yield quality and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and efficient use of inputs to mitigate the effect of changing environment.

- Develop demand driven high valued products in horticulture, dairy, livestock and fisheries with desired qualified and the cost effective post-harvest technology.

- Increase efficiency and profitability of different production system and technology.

- Research in the areas of enhancing input use efficiency, nanotechnology, environmental science, precision farming and by product utilization.

- Technology development and dissemination on watershed/ cluster basis.

- Research on organic farming.

- Initiate research on aquaculture for efficient resource utilization and augmenting farmers’ income.

- Enhancing production and productivity of marine, brackish water and fresh water fish.

- Breed improvement, feed formulation, health management, biodiversity, quarantine and processing of aquaculture.

- Management of inland open water fishery.

- Upgrading research and outreach in animal health, dairying, goatary and poultry.

- Conservation and improvement of native breed of cattle.

- Marker assisted selection of animals for developing disease resistant milch animals.

- Basic research on stem cell and cloning in milch animals for enhancing milk production.

- Mitigation strategies for reducing methanogenesis in livestock.

- Research on forage, feed and fodder for enhancing milk production.

Dear a lifetime learner, continue to update knowledge, skill and competence to meet the challenges of speedily changing technology lead agriculture growth of India as well as the World, to fulfil national and international demand of skill human resource in agriculture.

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