The institute will offer B.Sc. four-year programme, having 120 seats and hostel facility
The Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone of PAU Agricultural College at Ballowal Saunkhri, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Spread over an area of 300 acres, PAU Agricultural College will offer B.Sc. four-year programme, having 120 seats, to boy and girls students with a hostel facility. A budget allocation of Rs 49.36 crore has been made for the establishment of this College.
In his address, Captain Singh said that this was the first PAU Agricultural College at Ballowal Saunkhri which would enable research on crops requiring minimum water and students to learn agriculture in the Kandi area. “In the entire country, there was a shortage of water,” he said while disclosing that there were 27 ft less water in Bhakra Dam as compared to last year. Rain deficit and inadequate snowfall were other reasons for the water crisis, he observed, while wishing for good rain for the rising water levels in Bhakra and other dams. The subsidy for the management of stray animals in the Kandi region has been enhanced to 90 per cent, he said. Earlier, the Punjab CM distributed cheques to the farm labourers.
Vijay Inder Singla, Cabinet Minister (Public Works and Education Departments), Punjab, lauded the state government for establishing the PAU Agricultural College and said the government has and would continue to serve the Punjabis dedicatedly in future also.
Manish Tiwari, Member of Parliament, Anandpur Sahib, suggested the state government develop horticultural estate, establish Wood Park and enhance subsidy for small farmers for the management of stray animals in the Kandi area.
Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary (Development), Punjab and Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said the PAU’s Regional Research Station at Ballowal Saunkhri was established in 1982 and has been instrumental in the varietal development of maize, wheat, oilseeds, pulses, fodder crops and fruits, such as amla, lemon, guava, peach, galgal, etc. for Kandi region, he informed. Special emphasis is being laid on apple cultivation research, in-situ and ex-situ water harvesting, promotion of medicinal plants cultivation and integrated farming model among farmers, he added. 60 students have already been admitted to the first batch of B.Sc. 4-year programme at PAU Agricultural College and next year the number of students will be increased to 120, he informed. The classes are all set to commence from October 1, 2021, he added.
Dr RS Sidhu, Registrar, PAU, proposed a vote of thanks. On the occasion, PAU VC Mr Tewari honoured the dignitaries with mementoes. Dr TS Riar, Additional Director Communication, PAU, conducted the programme.