B.Sc – Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture or B.Sc. in Agriculture is a 4-year undergraduate degree awarded by Indian Universities for 10+2 students preferably with Science stream. Like, BE/B.Tech or MBBS, B.Sc. in Agriculture is considered as a professional degree by Government of India. The course is not so popular among students but the demand of trained professionals in agriculture is very high.
Admission to the course is mostly entrance exam based. KEAM, EAMCET are a few entrance exams conducted for admission to the course. There are 42 State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), 1 Central Agricultural University (CAU), 5 Deemed Universities (DUs) and 4 general Central Universities with Agriculture faculty in India. These institutions provide admission at UG level in 11 disciplines and about 15,000 students get enrolled every year. There are large numbers of private colleges and general universities too which admit large number of students in B.Sc. Agriculture course few of which are:
B.Sc. Agriculture involves study of agriculture sciences and use of modern scientific equipment and techniques in agriculture, land surveying, soil science, water resource management, animal and poultry management, basics of biotechnology etc. The objective of the course is to use these concepts to train students to improve agricultural productivity.
B.Sc. Agriculture graduates can find jobs in both public and private sectors. The Gazetted post of Government of India like Agricultural Officer (Agronomist) is one of the most prestigious jobs in public sector after B.Sc. Agriculture. Agriculture officer, Assistant Plantation Manager, Agricultural Research Scientist, Agriculture Development Officers, Agriculture Technician, Agriculturists, Business Development Executive, Marketing Executive etc. are some of the job profiles associated with the course. The average annual salary offered to these professionals ranges between INR 2 to 4.5 lacs.
B.Sc. in Agriculture: What is it about?
BSc in Agriculture course equips students with all-round knowledge of sector and normally includes the following:
Agronomy: Basics of Agronomy, Kharif and Rabi Crop, Crop Protection, Weed Management, Irrigation Techniques, Water Resource Management, Organic Farming, Sustainable Agriculture.
Plant Genetics: Botany, Basics of Genetics, Plant Breeding, Seed Technology, Basics of Biotechnology.
Soil Science: Introduction to Soil Science, Soil Fertility, Soil Chemistry, Fertilizers, Agricultural Chemistry.
Entomology: Pest Management, Beneficial Insects, Grain Storage and Management.
Agricultural Economics: Market prices, Trade prices, Marketing, Finance, Agribusiness Management, Farm Management.
Agriculture Engineering: Agriculture Machinery, Power and Tools, Harvest Technology, Environment Science and Engineering, Renewable Energy.
Agricultural Meteorology: Climate patterns, Climatic hazards on Agriculture, Climatic Zones, Weather forecasting.
Plant Pathology: Crop Diseases, Nematology.
Horticulture: Fruit Crops, Medicinal Plants, Aromatic Plants, Flower Production, Spices, Plantation Crops.
Agricultural Extension: Dimensions of Agricultural Extension, Extension Methodologies, Entrepreneurship Development program.
In all the above areas of study, practical sessions related to theoretical knowledge are also built into the course. There are some elective courses, study tours, field trips, in some semesters. These vary from university to university.
Eligibility for B.Sc. in Agriculture
Interested aspirants for the course are required to fulfil the below-mentioned eligibility criteria.
Completion of Intermediate (12 years of school education) in Science stream
Physics, Chemistry, Biology and/or Mathematics as the subjects of study
Apart from this, candidates possessing Intermediate in Agriculture stream (limited states) are also eligible to apply. Depending on the university, the eligibility varies in terms of a combination of subjects. Eligibility criteria also varies for reserved categories as per the reservation guidelines of GOI.
B.Sc. in Agriculture: Admission Process
Admission in universities or institutes offering B.Sc. in Agriculture course is done basically in two modes. It is done either based on the marks obtained in the qualifying examination (Direct Admission) or written exam conducted by the university/institution that offers the degree.
The details on how to apply for B.Sc. degree in Agriculture can be collected from the authorized website of the institution along with the information on course details and available number of seats. The application forms can be obtained either through the college office or from the concerned web portal.
Some entrance exams conducted for admission to B.Sc. Agriculture course are as follows:
ICAR Entrance Exam (ICAR-AIEEA)– It is an agriculture entrance exam conducted by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for admission to 15% seats in Agriculture Universities in Bachelor Degree programs and 100% seats in ICAR Deemed to be Universities and NDRI, Karnal
EAMCET- Conducted for admissions in Agriculture colleges and universities in Andhra Pradesh
PAU Entrance Exam- Conducted by Punjab Agricultural University
KEAM- Conducted for agricultural colleges in Kerala
IGKV CET– Conducted by Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya
Some colleges offer B.Sc. Agriculture admission simply on the basis of marks obtained in qualifying exam.
B.Sc. in Agriculture: Syllabus and Course Description
Agricultural education is a broad term which includes disciplines of Agriculture (Agronomy), Veterinary Science, Forestry, Fisheries, Horticulture, Home Science etc.
The B.Sc. (Ag.) degree in India is typically a 4-year course under credit based semester system. The program also includes a compulsory 1 semester of internship (Rural Agricultural Work Experience). Most of the courses are infused with practical with emphasis on ‘hands on experience and learning by doing’.
The curriculum is very broad and inter-disciplinary consisting of courses in Agronomy, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Agricultural Economics, Extension education, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Soil Science, Food technology, Animal Husbandry apart from supporting courses in Basic Sciences, Humanities and Agricultural Engineering. It requires specialization like- majoring in animal science, plant protection, soil science or agricultural engineering.
Following are the subjects that are prescribed by most of the universities for B.Sc. Agriculture:
B.Sc. in Agriculture: Career Prospects
BSc in Agriculture is considered a professional degree. The graduates from this degree can find jobs in both public and private sectors. The importance of agriculture is growing rapidly and thereby is increasing the job prospects in the field of agriculture. Today Graduates with B.Sc. in Agriculture are readily accepted in the government projects. Agricultural departments, Extension services, Research organizations, Commercial farming etc. are some of sectors where graduates of this field can find job opportunities in.
Following are some government sectors which have job opportunities for B.Sc. Agriculture graduates:
Indian Agricultural Research Institute
National Seeds Corporation Limited
State Farms Corporation of India
Food Corporation of India
National Dairy Development Board
NABARD and other banks
Agricultural finance corporations
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
North Eastern Region Agricultural Marketing Corporation
Following are the private sectors which offer jobs to agriculture graduates:
Financial sector with focus on agriculture
Following are some job profiles that are offered to B.Sc. Agriculture graduates:
Assistant Plantation Manager
Agricultural Research Scientist
Agriculture Development Officers
Business Development Executive
Junior Agriculture Specialist
Junior Associate – Research
Average salary offered to a B.Sc. agriculture graduates depends on area or industry he is working for. Following are some salary breakdown based on multiple factors like- industry wise, profile wise etc. Following chart shows annual package offered to B.Sc. Agriculture graduates depending on their job profiles-
Some of the best agro based products’ companies that offer jobs to B.Sc. Agriculture graduates have been mentioned below.
Rallies India Limited
National Agro Industries
Phalada Agro Research Foundation Limited.
Basic salary after completion of course offered to these graduates ranges from 15K to 20K per month depending upon various factors like profile, industry etc. Following graph shows the growth in agriculture sector as one gets experience in the field.
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