Education Division undertakes planning, development, coordination and quality assurance in higher agricultural education in the country and, thus, strives for maintaining and upgrading quality and relevance of higher agricultural education through partnership and efforts of the components of the ICAR-Agricultural Universities (AUs) System comprising State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), Deemed to be universities (DUs), Central Agricultural University (CAU) and Central Universities (CUs) with Agriculture Faculty. The Division has a National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) at Hyderabad for facilitating capacity building of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in research and education policy, planning and management and a National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.
Located at the ICAR headquarters, the division is headed by the Deputy Director General (Education) and has three sections, namely, (i) Human Resource Development, (ii) Education Planning and Development and (iii) Educational Quality Assurance and Reforms, each headed by an Assistant Director General (ADG).
- Quality assurance in higher agricultural education in the country through policy support, accreditation, academic regulation, personnel policies, review of course curricula and delivery systems, development support for creating/strengthening infrastructure and facilities, improvement of faculty competence and admission of students through All India competitions.
- Enhancing performance and visibility of AUs by augmenting their strategic strength in a specific niche area of research and education, facilitating experiential learning towards imparting an appropriate blend of knowledge, skill and attitude to the students, and fostering need-based partnership and linkages.
- Promoting excellence and expertise in education and research at national level by creating chairs/positions through National Professor, National Fellow and Emeritus Scientist schemes, and by providing incentives and rewards through scholarships and fellowships to students and best teacher awards.
- Facilitating capacity building of NARS including that through NAARM, and fostering national and international linkages for capacity building.
- Established Accreditation Board and accredited 22 agricultural universities for quality assurance in agricultural education.
- 28 ‘Niche Areas of Excellence' sanctioned to augment strategic strength of AUs in specific areas including those in new and emerging cutting-edge technologies.
- About 200 units for Experiential Learning established in all the universities for providing skill oriented hands-on training to the students at undergraduate level.
- Regular financial and professional support provided to SAUs, CUs and DUs for modernization and strengthening of academic facilities, infrastructure and faculty improvement.
- Revised Course Curricula and Syllabi approved for implementation by the AUs for under graduate education with emphasis on hands-on training, experiential learning for skill development, as recommended by the IV Deans Committee constituted by the Council.
- Financial support extended to SAUs for construction of girls' hostels to promote gender mainstreaming. At least one girl's hostel in each university has been provided.
- Supported construction of 12 International Hostels for facilitating education of foreign students in the SAUs.
- Rural Awareness Work Experience at the under graduation level, encouraged through providing financial support.
- Conducted regularly the examination for admission of students to the tune of 15% of total seats in UG programmes and 25% seats in PG programmes for quality up-gradation and reduction of inbreeding in education. Every year about 1350 meritorious candidates are admitted in UG programmes and 1600 in PG programmes.
- About 2400 scientists trained in emerging areas through 90 Summer/Winter Schools organized in cutting edge areas every year.
- About 1000 National Talent Scholarships for undergraduate studies, 475 Junior Research Fellowships for post-graduate studies and 200 Senior Research Fellowships for Ph.D provided every year towards the Human Resource Development, national integration and reducing inbreeding.
- Faculty competence improvement undertaken through 31 Centres of Advanced Studies.
- Promoted Indian higher agricultural education among developing countries by providing opportunities to overseas students.
- Modernization of AU libraries undertaken including networking for online access to literature.
- Promoted excellence at national level through ICAR National Professor and National Fellow Schemes.
- 100 outstanding superannuated scientists awarded ICAR Emeritus Scientist Award for research in the specific areas during X Plan.
- Recognition of outstanding teachers at University and National level through institution of Best Teacher Awards.
- Facilitated publishing of University Level Textbooks by involving the competent faculty; also encouraged e-textbooks and e-content development.
- NAARM brought about need-based capacity building of NARS through a variety of programmes which include foundation courses, refresher courses, workshops and seminars, and international programmes. Also, it provided policy support for enhancement of performance of NARS and review of ICAR programmes.
- Under the four identified priority areas of cooperation under AKI viz., (i) Human Resources and Institutional Capacity Building, (ii) Agri-Processing and Marketing, (iii) Emerging Technologies, and (iv) Natural Resource Management, collaborative research projects have been initiated, Norman Borlaug Fellowships and Cochran Fellowships for training in USA have been awarded, and joint workshops in India and USA have been organized on themes of topical interest.