First agriculture test via CET gets mixed response

The move to include agriculture and related courses under the Common Entrance Test (CET) umbrella has been a boon to many who have hitherto been writing multiple exams for admission to different varsities. Many students who took up the CET on May 1 and 2 have opted for agriculture-related courses. While the exact number of students who chose the subject is not known, top Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) officials expect the number to be around 15,000 (nearly 10 per cent of the total applicants). The practical exam for agriculture and related courses will be held on May 10.

The reasons for students to opt for agriculture are varied, but the relief that the test is now centralised is no surprise. Bhavyashree B.V., who comes from an agriculture background and hails from Tumkur, said, “I have always been keen on taking up agriculture, but writing one exam was a big advantage. And more importantly, the KEA has also set aside a quota for students from an agricultural background, so I am hoping that I get into a course and university of my choice.” She wishes to return to her farm and apply her education on the field. “We own a lot of farmland, so my education will be apt and very useful to my family,” she added.

Vedika, a student of Mount Carmel College, whose interest lies in horticulture and landscaping, hopes to make it to the University of Agriculture Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra. “This is a sector that will do well in the years to come. So, if one is interested in the subject, there is no better time to opt for it and the CET has only made things simpler for students like us,” she said. She is also keen on pursuing agriculture marketing as a specialisation.

Courses such as agriculture and forest science have always been a sure path for students who wish to join the civil services. Shwetha G. of Doddaballapur, a civil services aspirant who has also opted for agriculture, said, “My father has a piece of land that he has not been able to develop, so I am hoping my education helps him out.” She though is not very happy about the single CET for all agriculture-related courses. “Now my chances will be pretty low because there will be more people competing for all the institutes. If I could have given separate exams for admission to different colleges then my changes would have been better,” she explained.

For others, opting for agriculture has turned out to be an easy back-up option. Nandeesh, who is actually keen on engineering, has also opted for agriculture counselling through the CET. He says, “If I do not get through to a top college for engineering then I may go for agriculture. It gives me more choice.”

Students can seek admission to B.Sc agriculture, B.Sc Forestry, B.Sc Sericulture, B.Sc Agri-Biotechnology, B.Sc Horticulture, Bachelor of Home Science (BHSc), Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (BVSAH), B.Tech food technology, B.Tech dairy technology, Bachelor of Food Science (BFSc), B.Tech (food science and technology), B.Sc agricultural marketing, and B.Tech agriculture engineering though the CET.