Punjab: Bhagwant Mann set to review Channi’s decision to give extension to agri colleges

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann will review former CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s decision on giving extension to private colleges offering bachelors degree in agriculture without complying with the norms stated in Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education Act, 2017.

Channi had before elections allowed extension of another year to such colleges. However, before the file was down marked to agriculture department, code of conduct had come into place. The department never notified the extension allowed on the plea that this notification should not be done during the code of conduct.

Financial Commissioner (development) Sarvjit Singh on Friday held a meeting with the officials of agriculture department. A decision was taken in the meeting that the colleges that do not fulfill the norms should not be allowed to carry out admissions in the coming session as they were not able to produce competent graduates. The department has put up a file to the CM to review the decision of previous government led by Channi and not allow these colleges to offer agriculture courses.

It was found that of 89 private institutes offering BSC agriculture, only five had NOC.

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Earlier, there were 117 colleges, however, several colleges stopped offering agriculture degrees as they were not getting many takers, said an official of the government. Of these 89 colleges, only 54 have students.

Private colleges offering four-year BSc Agriculture courses did not meet the necessary standards. Some of these colleges just had two rooms in the name of infrastructure for agriculture. These do not have the required infrastructure to provide the students with practical knowledge in the field. Also, some do not even have enough staff, the government has been saying. It was in November 2019 that the council had asked the institutes to submit their status within 15 days, or face strict action.

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