India Region

Indian Agricultural Universities Witness Rise in Female Enrollment

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30 May 2024, New Delhi: A recent survey by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has revealed a significant shift in the enrollment of female students in agriculture-related courses across the country. The data shows that female enrollment has increased from 27% in 2017 to approximately 50% in 2023, a remarkable transformation in the gender dynamics of Indian agricultural education.

Leading the charge is the state of Kerala, with an impressive 74% female enrollment in its agricultural universities. Other states such as Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Manipur, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Nagaland, and Odisha have also seen a surge in the number of female students pursuing agricultural studies.

Promoting Female Participation

RC Agrawal, the Deputy Director General of ICAR, attributed this positive trend to the concerted efforts made over the past decade to attract more female students to agricultural universities. “Out of 245 hostels, 140 are reserved exclusively for girls, and under the ICAR-NAHEP project, 33.33% of seats are reserved for female students,” he explained. This dedicated approach has resulted in female participation increasing from 28% in 2019 to 44% in 2023.

Female students have shown a particular interest in courses such as Agricultural Engineering, Biotechnology, Food Technology, Veterinary Science, Horticulture, and Dairy Technology. This shift can be attributed to the growing awareness of gender equality and empowerment in the agricultural sector. Universities have also taken steps to ensure the safety and convenience of female students, providing facilities like CCTV, sanitary napkin vending machines, and grievance redressal portals.

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

To support the surge in female enrollment, various scholarship programs have been made available by ICAR, the University Grants Commission (UGC), and the Department of Science and Technology. Under the ICAR-NAHEP project, 44% of the 515,000 beneficiaries are women, and 42% of the 2,700 students who visited international educational institutes are female.

Also Read: Sharbati Wheat of Madhya Pradesh Still Fetching Highest Bid in Market

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