Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to review former CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s decision to grant extension to private colleges offering bachelor’s degree in agriculture without complying with standards set out in Council of Agriculture Act 2017 Punjab State for Agricultural Education.

Before the elections, Channi had authorized the extension of one more year to these colleges. However, before the case was assigned to the Department of Agriculture, a code of conduct had been put in place. The ministry never notified the authorized extension on the grounds that such notification should not be made during the code of conduct.

Finance (Development) Commissioner Sarvjit Singh held a meeting with officials of the agriculture department on Friday. A decision was made at the meeting that colleges that do not meet the standards should not be allowed to make admissions in the next session as they were unable to produce competent graduates. The ministry has filed a case with the CM to review the decision of the previous Channi-led government not to allow these colleges to offer agricultural courses.

It was found that out of 89 private institutes offering BSC agriculture, only five had CNP.

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Previously, there were 117 colleges, however, several colleges have stopped offering agriculture degrees as they were not getting many applicants, a government official said. Of these 89 colleges, only 54 have students.

Private colleges offering four-year BSc in Agriculture courses did not meet the necessary standards. Some of these colleges only had two halls in the name of infrastructure for agriculture. These lack the necessary infrastructure to provide students with practical knowledge in the field. Moreover, some do not even have enough staff, the government said. It was in November 2019 that the council had asked the institutes to submit their status within 15 days, under penalty of strict measures.