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Agricultural varsity staff oppose order to share assets

Special Correspondent
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90 acres transferred to veterinary sciences varsity

Disputed:The land near the Agricultural Research Station at Mannuthy in Thrissur.
Disputed:The land near the Agricultural Research Station at Mannuthy in Thrissur.

Teachers and non-teaching staff of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) on Thursday wore black badges to work in protest against the alleged irregularities in sharing of assets between the university and the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU).

The KVASU was formed in December 2010 by bifurcating KAU.

The KVASU includes the Colleges of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Mannuthy and Pookode; College of Dairy Science and Technology at Mannuthy; veterinary research stations, veterinary hospitals and farms in different parts of the State. The College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, was established in 1955.

Land transferred

Under Section 55 of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University Act 2010, 20 institutions specified in the schedule (page 57 and 58 of the Act) were transferred to KVASU. Of the 20 institutions, 12 on 300 acres are located on the Mannuthy campus.

In an order (Rt. No. 2091/12/AD) dated October 19,2012, the government stated that 10 acres of rice fields near the Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Mannuthy, and research buildings will remain with the KAU and the remaining 90 acres may be transferred to KVASU.

The order said that Kerala Agricultural University Printing Press, Agricultural Technology Information Centre and the existing experimental and conservation planting done by KAU outside the 10 acres will be in KVASU-owned land.

The KAU-ARS staff would have access to this area till the germplasm/conservation projects being done there at the time were over, stated the order.

The order was issued after the Chief Secretary convened a meeting on October 5 to discuss certain aspects of the sharing of assets.

The Vice-Chancellor of KVASU had sought details about the extent and location of Entry No. 1 (College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Mannuthy) and Entry No. 4 (College of Dairy Science and Technology, Mannuthy). The Vice-Chancellors of KAU and KVASU, Agricultural Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry Department attended the meeting.

“The latest government order badly affects KAU’s interests. It also violates the spirit of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University Act 2010. The transfer of horticulture plantations, coconut farms and mango germplasm centre and jackfruit gene bank to KVASU cannot be justified. The KVASU will find it difficult to maintain them. The transfer of the Agricultural Technical Information Centre and the printing press too cannot be justified as the fund-starved KAU may not find it easy to set up similar facilities,” said U. Jayakumaran, professor and head, Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy.

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