Need to increase seats in Fisheries to meet the rising demand

Need to increase seats in Fisheries to meet the rising demand

Foreseeing the huge scope for employment and to bridge the demand-supply gap, experts feel the need to have more seats in colleges offering programme in fisheries. Constituting about 7.73% of the global fish production and export earnings of Rs46,589 crore (2018-19), India has become the second-largest aquaculture and fourth-largest fish exporting nation in the world.

“The industry currently needs 25000 experts while our colleges collectively cannot produce more than 1000 graduates annually,” says SA Shanmugam, dean, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalithaa Fisheries University (TNJFU). Currently, India has close to 35 ICAR approved colleges offering various courses in fisheries.

RS Chauhan, dean, College of Fisheries, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, also feels the need to have more seats in colleges due to the increasing industry demands. Besides increasing the seats and streamlining the curriculum, there is a need to improve the existing infrastructure, so that quality of graduates is no compromised, says Chauhan.

“Employment is not a challenge for those opting for fisheries courses. Irrespective of their academic performance, not even a single student of our university has remained unemployed,” says Chauhan. He adds that authorities need to focus on lab, faculty strength and hostel facility to accommodate more students and ensure a better quality of education.

Admission process

TNFJU offers admission to the undergraduate course based on merit while GBPUAT shortlists candidates based on the performance in an entrance examination conducted by the university followed by counselling.

A total of 160 undergraduate seats are offered by three colleges of TNFJU while our fourth college offers BTech Fisheries Engineering. “We have been getting an overwhelming response from students as close to 5000 candidates apply for admission annually,” says Shanmugam.

Current growth status

According to government data, the fisheries sector has shown impressive growth in terms of fish production and export earnings during the past five years. The sector recorded an Average Annual Growth Rate of 10.88% during 2014-15 to 2018-19, 7.53% average annual growth in fish production and 9.71% average annual growth in export earnings, with 18% share in agricultural exports. The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the fisheries sector in the national economy during 2018-19 stood at Rs 2,12,915 crore which constituted 1.24% of the total National GVA and 7.28% share of Agricultural GVA.

Job prospects

Under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), the government aims to double export earnings to Rs1,00,000 crore and generate about 55 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in the fisheries sector over next five years. “Currently, students get employment opportunities with R&D, academia, fisheries export and import companies, aquaculture and sea production centres seafood processing units,” says Chauhan.

List of colleges

Central Marine Fisheries Institute; Kochi, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute; Barrackpore; West Bengal, Central Institute of Fisheries Education; Mumbai are among the list of other colleges from where candidates can pursue various undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes in this field.
Source From : Times Of India

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