Bowing to pressure from students of various agricultural universities who had resorted to protests and boycotted examinations demanding withdrawal

of private agricultural universities, the Legislative Assembly on Friday adopted a Bill to withdraw permission given to the Rai Technology University to offer agricultural courses. The university will continue to offer other non-agricultural courses.

Piloting the Rai Technology University, Bangalore (Amendment) Bill – 2018, Law Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said permission to the private university to offer agricultural courses was being withdrawn as the university had failed to follow the guidelines mandated by the norms, standards and regulations of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The Bill seeks to ban any fresh admission of students to agricultural courses of the private university. However, to protect the interests of the students who had already enrolled themselves, the Bill mandates the private university to ensure continuance of their education till the completion of their course.

Mr. Gowda said the university, which had got permission to operate in 2012, had failed to adhere to the norms prescribed by the national accreditation bodies.

Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy said the university had admitted 2,000 students in the last three years for agricultural courses as against the total students’ strength of just 1,500 in all the government agricultural universities.

While the government farm universities were bound to dedicate nearly 30 guntas of land for each student, the Rai Technology University had only about 20 acres of land for all its 2,000 students.

BJP member Arvind Limbavali wondered if the government was yielding to pressure from certain sections to oppose privatisation in agricultural education sector. Mr. Reddy made it clear that the decision to withdraw permission was related to violation of norms alone.

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