If the State Government does not provide separate funding for research, it is not possible for agriculture faculty to sustain research work on their salaries.

Based on this, the XII Five Year Plan has suggested that every researcher be provided with a competitive grant of Rs. 1 lakh for carrying out research, said Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University K. Ramasamy, here on Monday.

Speaking at the 43rd Foundation Day of the university, he said exacting demand-driven work from faculty was not possible if they were not provided well for their efforts.

The Central Government too had a role to play in providing this support.

“The present projects that the faculty of TNAU are working on are for institutes such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). Projects for the State can be taken up only if the State sponsored these. Central Government extends much support through the ICAR to other States, most of which have at least 15 ICAR institutes. But Tamil Nadu has only two and the support gained through them is minimal,” he said.

Shortage

Speaking on faculty shortage, Mr. Ramasamy said the university and its constituent colleges in the State had nearly 420 vacancies. As many as 177 posts were being filled by the State Government. The university was trying to fill another 170 to 200 posts through the National Agricultural Education Programme (NAEP) of the ICAR.

Swapan Kumar Datta, Deputy Director General (Crop Sciences), ICAR, said that science, institutions, knowledge and governance, would have to be integrated in their functioning to ensure food security and sustainability.