Administrator Shiv Das Meena makes a concession of 5 per cent in attendance

As many as 1,605 students who joined the first year B.Sc. agriculture and horticulture courses in Annamalai University were given a warm reception by the members of the Faculty of Agriculture and senior students on the “Commencement Day” function held on the university premises on Monday.

A majority of them happens to be women, numbering over 950. Most of them are coming from the north western districts of Tamil Nadu, such as Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Namakkal, Erode and Coimbatore.

Addressing the fresh batch of students, University Administrator Shiv Das Meena said that they had made a wise decision in taking up the agriculture/horticulture courses in the university.

He said, “Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is quite keen on restoring the past glory of the university and giving chance to the meritorious students to pursue higher education in the university.”

On the orders of the Chief Minister entrance examinations were conducted for admission to the professional courses. For the agriculture/horticulture courses 6,800 students took the entrance examinations and of them 1,605 had been selected. For the remaining 120 seats in the faculty of agriculture, second round of counselling would be held on Tuesday.

Mr. Meena said that even in the age of high technology agriculture continued to be the backbone of Indian economy. Though agriculture was a vital sector it was facing many problems owing to floods, cyclone and drought which scorched the crop prospects.

Mr. Meena said that the agricultural graduates had many job avenues open to them in government departments, and, the banking and insurance sectors. “The recent trend is that the agricultural graduates prefer to take civil services examinations and make a mark at that.”

The hostels would facilitate a better interaction among the students hailing from various parts of the State and cutting across caste and creed.

Mr. Meena made a concession of 5 per cent in attendance to the agricultural students as they would have to put in 75 per cent of attendance as against 80 per cent attendance for other courses.

Rm. Kathiresan, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, said that it was for the first time in the 84-year history of the university that admissions to the professional courses were being made in a transparent manner.

Making an analogy to cultivation, Mr. Kathiresan said, “As good seeds are now being sown the faculty would reap a bountiful harvest.” The alumni of the faculty had come to occupy position of eminence all over the country and abroad.

He said that the faculty had made many innovations for which it had earned accolades from the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. The faculty had revised the syllabus only last year so as to keep it abreast of developments in the sphere of agriculture, Mr. Kathiresan said.

Registrar Incharge N. Panchanatham said that fully qualified faculty existed in the university. “Getting a degree is not a syllabus completion mela but thoroughly learning the theoretical and practical aspects of a subject,” he said.

District Revenue Officers Dinesh Ponraj Oliver and T. Christuraj, two officers assisting Mr. Meena in administration, also spoke.