Indian Council for Agricultural Research, full-form of ICAR, is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world. ICAR is a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
ICAR has been in the news recently, therefore, it holds relevance for the current affairs section of different competitive exams.
ICAR – Why in the news?
Indian Council for Agricultural Research celebrated its 93rd Foundation Day on July 16th 2021.
- Shri Tomar addressed the Virtual celebration of 93rd Foundation Day & Awards Ceremony of ICAR held at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.
- During the virtual celebration of ICAR foundation day, a digital Platform, KISAN Sarathi App was launched by the Minister of Agriculture.
In this article aspirants of IAS exam will get detailed information on Indian Council for Agriculture Research which forms an important part under the UPSC Mains GS Paper II and GS Paper III of the examination.
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Indian Council for Agricultural Research – Overview
- ICAR is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
- It was established on 16 July 1929.
- ICAR was Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research.
- Headquartered at New Delhi, ICAR has 101 institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country.
- Indian Council of Agriculture Research is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.
- Union Minister of Agriculture is the ex-officio President of the ICAR Society. Shri Narendra Singh Tomar is the President of ICAR.
- ‘ICAR Vision 2050’, provides the strategic framework for innovation-led inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the country.
Role Played By ICAR for Agriculture
- The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution.
- It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture.
- The research and technology development by ICAR has increased the production of foodgrains by 5.6 times, horticultural crops by 10.5 times, fish by 16.8 times, milk by 10.4 times and eggs by 52.9 times.
Mandate of Indian Council For Agriculture Research
- Plan, Undertake, Coordinate and Promote Research and Technology Development for Sustainable Agriculture.
- Aid, Impart and Coordinate Agricultural Education to enable Quality Human Resource Development.
- Frontline Extension for technology application, adoption, knowledge management and capacity development for agri-based rural development.
- Policy, Cooperation and consultancy in Agricultural Research, Education & Extension.
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Initiatives by ICAR
- Farmers Innovation Fund – ICAR is all set to start a system to scientifically validate, scale-up and propagate the innovations of progressive farmers. A centre for innovation will be established in New Delhi where the innovations will be scientifically validated and farmers will be allowed to pursue research work.The system intends to link farmers and farming with science and encourage farmers to continue their innovations.
- Nano fertilisers and Nano pesticides – ICAR is developing nano fertilizers and nano pesticides to promote organic farming and to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
- Technology in Agriculture – the council emphasises that agriculture is a science and application of principles of science helps in boosting agriculture. It has created a link between 105 startups and farmers to encourage the use of technology in the farm sector.
- Farmers’ Science Congress – It was inaugurated in 2020 for the first time in the 107 years of history of the Indian Science Congress highlighting the importance of farmer’s innovations and their scientific validity. The Theme of Indian Science Congress in 2020 was “Science & Technology: Rural Development”.
- Organic Farming – ICAR has validated 51 integrated farming systems to help increase farm income and has developed 45 different organic farming models suitable for different agro-climatic regions.
- Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (Arya) – A programme named Arya is also being implemented to improve rural bio-economy and attract youth to agriculture.
Milestones of ICAR
- 1957 – Initiation of the first All-India Coordinated Research Project on Maize
- 1958 – Status of Deemed University accorded to IARI – Indian Agriculture Research Institute.
- 1960 – Establishment of the first State Agricultural University on land grant pattern at Pantnagar.
- 1966 – Placement of different agricultural research institutes under the purview of ICAR.
- 1973 – Creation of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) in the Ministry of Agriculture
- 1974 – Opening of first Krishi Vigyan Kendra [KVK] at Puducherry (Pondicherry)
- 1975 – Establishment of Agricultural Research Service and Agricultural Scientists’ Recruitment Board.
- 1979 -Launching of Lab-to-Land Programme and the National Agricultural Research Project (NARP)
- 1995 – Initiation of Institution-Village Linkage Programme (IVLP)
- 1996 – Establishment of National Gene Bank at New Delhi
- 1989 – bestowed with the King Baudouin Award in 1989 for its valuable contribution in ushering in the Green Revolution.
- 1998 – Launching of National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP)
- 2004 – Again awarded King Baudouin Award for research and development efforts made under partnership in the Rice Wheat Consortium.
- 2005 – launching of National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP).
Way forward with ICAR
- Integrated farming along with organic and natural farming practices should be promoted.
- Creation of a new synergy between research and education to contribute wisely in the process of nation-building.
- Focus on research for the fisheries sector should be increased. Just like the Soil Health Cards – SHC, ICAR can develop a mechanism that helps fish farmers to know about the condition of fishing in particular ocean blocks.
- ICAR to develop a digital platform for the animal husbandry and fisheries sector on the model of ‘Kisan Saarathi’.
- Research on new technological interventions in the area of transportation of farmer’s crops from their farm gate to warehouses, markets and the places where they want to sell with minimum damage.
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