The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University would start agriculture polytechnic colleges in all districts in the State once it got the government nod, K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, told a press meet here on Tuesday.

The Central government had approved the start of such polytechnics in the district as it was aimed at promoting skill development. The move was also part of the national skill development mission. Once the university obtained the State government’s nod, it would start the colleges either in the public-private partnership mode or run them with State funding.

The Central government had allocated Rs. 2,200 crore for the purpose under the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

In the existing affiliated institutions – private agriculture colleges – the university had posted its professors to ensure quality of education. Having seen what had happened in technical and arts and science education on the quality front, the university did not want to take chances, the Vice-Chancellor said.

If the affiliated colleges suffered from shortage of faculty, the university was ready to depute its faculty.

To further improve quality and bring about modernisation, the university planned to upgrade its syllabus. The focus of the new syllabus would also be on entrepreneurship.

There was an increased demand for science and technology courses offered by the university. But many students were not aware of the all-India agriculture entrance examination. Successful completion of the examination would help students to get a seat in any of the agricultural education institutions in the country, including the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Students pursuing agriculture courses were eligible for a number of scholarships. The students could get junior and senior research fellowships once they completed their postgraduate programmes. They could also find jobs as the openings for agriculture graduates were plenty, Mr. Ramasamy said and pointed out that in the next few years, at least 25,000 jobs in the banking industry would be available.

The university had also drawn up a plan to appoint postgraduate candidates as assistance professors.

In short, the employment opportunities for agriculture candidates were high as the challenge at present was to increase the yield, he said.