BSc agri students of pvt varsities in a fix

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 24 Jan: Students who have completed BSc agriculture degree course from various private universities, including the Arunachal University of Studies (AUS) in Namsai, are finding it difficult to get admission for master’s degree at Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), Doimukh, the sole central university of the state.

The matter came to light when the Tirap, Changlang, Longding and Namsai Students’ Union, Rajiv Gandhi University (TCLNSURGU) alleged that the degrees offered in BSc agriculture by the AUS are not being accepted for admission by RGU because the AUS is not accredited to 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 claimed that, like him, several other students have been refused admission at RGU for similar reasons. Further, he claimed that when he was pursuing BSc agriculture at the AUS, the students had raised concern over 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 official of RGU, who did not wish to be named, said that RGU is only following the rules framed by the ICAR.

“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.

But he clarified that such a degree is invalid only for admission to a master’s degree course and it can be used in a legitimate way for other purposes.

RGU’s faculty of agricultural sciences offers master’s degrees in agronomy, agricultural economics and agricultural entomology.

TCLNSURGU president Shahlai Wangsu appealed to the state government to immediately intervene and help the students. “As it is a matter of the future of many students, the state government should immediately step in,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AUS claimed that accreditation from the ICAR is not mandatory.

“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.