UAS, Dharwad, to offer B.Tech programme with intake of 30 students

Following the growing demand for the courses in agricultural sciences, the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, has launched an innovative undergraduate engineering course — Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) in food technology — from this academic year.

Vice-Chancellor R.R. Hanchinal told The Hindu that it is a self-financed course. The varsity has developed all the required facilities including teaching and learning infrastructure utilising funds released under the Rs. 50 crore special grants by the Union Government. The university will also invest over Rs. 10 crore for launching this course.

The total intake will be 30 and the university will consider enhancing it based on the response from the students. Also, there are plans to launch a M. Tech in food technology in the coming days. The course fee will be on par with the fee of other courses offered by the government engineering colleges and it may be around Rs. 40,000 per annum, he said.

Prof. Hanchinal said at present courses in food technology were being offered at the University Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, and the Mysore-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI). But in CFTRI all States have a quota and only two seats are available for students of Karnataka. Even in UAS, Bangalore, not all students could get admission. Moreover, the students from north Karnataka have to travel all the way to Bangalore to pursue this course. UAS, Dharwad, is the first institute to launch this course in the north Karnataka region.

The course coordinator, Nirmala Yenagi, said the growing food technology sector and the food processing industry had created demand for trained graduates in this field.

Apart from offering bright career opportunities, this course also helps the graduates to go for self-employment by setting up food processing units and enterprises.

The food technology courses have become more popular in the neighbouring Maharashtra and many graduates have emerged as thriving entrepreneurs there, Ms. Yenagi said.

Prof. Hanchinal said many foreign universities and research institutes have shown interest to collaborate with UAS, Dharwad, in different fields including teaching and research and development. Hence, the varsity was also contemplating introducing the dual degree programmes in the agricultural engineering and agricultural science courses. Here the students would get an opportunity to pursue education both at their university as well as at the foreign university with which the UAS, Dharwad, enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).