Post-graduate programmes for 2023-24 began in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and affiliated colleges for 320 candidates on Tuesday.
The scholarship scheme for PG students initiated by TNAU from 2022-23 has ensured tough competition for seats in the various programmes in the realms of Agriculture and Horticulture.
According to university sources, PG students undertake coursework for the first year and become eligible for monthly scholarship of ₹10,000 for completing the research component in the Masters degree in the final year.
There was a tough competition for admission into a few programmes including plant breeding, entomology, and pathology, said Senthil Natesan, Dean - Postgraduate studies, TNAU.
In all, the TNAU offers Masters degree in agri-business management, agricultural economics, agricultural extension education, agricultural meteorology, agronomy, bioinformatics, entomology, floriculture and landscaping, food and nutrition, forest biology and tree improvement, forest products and utilisation, fruit science, genetics and plant breeding, microbiology, molecular biology and biotechnology, nematology, plant pathology, plant physiology, plantation, spices and aromatic crops, postharvest management, processing and food engineering, remote sensing and geographical information system, seed science and technology, sericulture, silviculture and agroforestry, soil and water conservation engineering, soil science, and vegetable science.
Students, who had completed their Agri degrees in deemed-to-be universities, are at a disadvantage as the TNAU only admits candidates who complete their UG degrees accredited by ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research). Deemed-to-be universities, in general, do not offer PG programmes, as the requirement of teaching and research infrastructure is rather huge, according to TNAU sources.
Research scholars in TNAU are entitled to ₹20,000 a month for two years after one year of course work.
A total of 110 students have been admitted to pursue doctorate degree in TNAU for the academic year 2023-24, the sources added.