College of Agriculture

College of Agriculture
The College of Agriculture (CA), Jorhat had its origin in the erstwhile Assam Agricultural College. The foundation of the college was laid at Borbheta, 5 km towards south of  Jorhat town on August 16, 1948 by the then Governor of Assam, Late Akbar Hyderi to impart education in agriculture and allied branches of learning. The College started its academic programme in an abandoned military camp. Late Rev. B. M. Pugh was appointed as the first Principal of the college. Thirty students were enrolled in the first batch for a four-year degree programme leading to B.Sc. (Agri) degree. Dr. M. C. Das took over as the Principal in 1949 and served the institution for long 17 years until 1966. It was during this period that the institution gained momentum to become a full-fledged Agricultural College. The development of infrastructures in the college started during the second Five- year plan period with construction of students’ hostels and residential buildings for staff members, which was completed in 1954. During the first five years of its existence, the College was affiliated to the Gauhati University (GU). With the establishment of Dibrugarh University (DU), the affiliation was shifted to it, till the establishment of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in 1969.

Historical background
Effort for institutionalization of the agricultural education in the state was made as early as in 1935 with the establishment of a vocational agriculture training center at Jorhat which was named as Basic Agricultural School. Simultaneously there was also a move for establishment of an Agricultural College in the state and late L.K. Handique, then Director of Agriculture, Assam took the initiative for the same. He approached some of the tea companies of the region for financial assistance, but by that time the Second World War broke out and shattered all such endeavours.
There was a sincere and vigorous effort for all round development in the state after attainment of independence by the country. Agricultural sector was a prominent one attracting attention of the government as well as public. As a result, a few prominent citizens of Jorhat town thought of establishing an agricultural college in the state and even conceived the idea of establishment of such a college on private venture in the light of Allahabad Agricultural Institute. However, the Government of Assam decided to establish an agricultural college as a government college with affiliation to Gauhati University; and Jorhat was unanimously selected as the suitable site considering the existing infrastructure in the area. The Sugarcane Experimental Station that had been established by the Assam State Department of Agriculture (ASDA) in 1906 at Borbheta,  Jorhat served as the nucleus of these infrastructures. 
Establishment of this Assam Agricultural College (AAC) in 1948 could be considered as the initiation of the process of hatching of Assam Agricultural University, because the AAC had built the foundation for establishment of the University, in addition to the pivotal role played by the students of the college during 1966-67 to mobilize a strong public opinion in favour of AAU.

Growth of institution
During the first five years of its existence, the college was affiliated to the Gauhati University. With the establishment of Dibrugarh University, the affiliation was shifted to it, till the establishment of the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in 1969. The College followed traditional system of teaching and evaluation under Gauhati and Dibrugarh Universities but after establishment of the AAU, trimester system of teaching and evaluation was followed in the pattern of Land Grant Colleges of the U.S.A. However, in 1977, the semester system of teaching and evaluation was introduced which still continues.
The Post-Graduate (PG) degree programme was started first in the Department of Agronomy in 1960 and later extended to the disciplines of Botany & Plant Pathology, Entomology and Agricultural Chemistry including Soil Science in 1966. Subsequently, Master’s degree programme was introduced in all the major disciplines, and at present, fifteen departments offer PG programme. A unique Department of Tea Husbandry & Technology was instituted in 1968 under the joint sponsorship of the Government of Assam and the Tea Board of India. The Ph.D. Degree programme in the faculty was introduced in eight disciplines from 1986 onward under course credit system. Agricultural Biotechnology, Sericulture and Agricultural Business Management are some of the new additions in the College.
The course syllabi of both post graduate and under graduate programme have been regularly revised and updated as per report of various Deans’ Committee formed time to time and ICAR norms. The course contents are prepared on the basis of national requirements in mind integrating regional needs.
Presently, the college has
-    18 departments, 5 instructional cum research farms and a central library
-    13 hostels - 5 for boys,  8 for girls
-    153 faculty members in teaching
-    A multipurpose sports complex, gymnasium, auditorium and a medical unit
-    An ARIS (Agricultural Research Information System) Cell to provide the teachers and the students an easy access to information through 24-hr high-speed internet connectivity
•    The intake capacity of the college:
-    B.Sc. (Agri)    :  215 per batch
-    M.Sc.(Agri)    :  In 18 Departments :  5  - 15  per department
-    Ph.D.             :  In 14 Departments :  5  - 15 per department
All the departments have required infrastructure facilities like well equipped laboratories, spacious class rooms with adequate sitting arrangements, audiovisual aids, computer and internet facility, magnetic black board, necessary chemicals and glass wares for conducting the laboratory practical and adequate sitting arrangements for employees and teachers.  Under Graduate field practical and Post Graduate field research works are conducted in Instructional cum Research (ICR) farm, experimental garden for plantation crops and tea processing unit and horticultural orchard.  Under Graduate theory classes for all the years are centrally conducted in well ventilated, spacious class rooms under one roof of a separate building with state of the art modern teaching aids. Post Graduate classes are conducted in respective departments. There are sufficient qualified teachers for conducting the undergraduate and post graduate classes in majority of the department. Most of the faculties had earned their degrees from more than one University/Institute.
All the UG and PG hostels are equipped with basic needs of the students such as spacious living rooms, bath room, toilet, dinning hall, water and electricity supply, common room, television and games facility. The Directorate of Students Welfare looks after the extra curricular activities of the students for their all round development. The college play ground is ideal for foot ball and cricket. There is an indoor stadium and Gymnasium hall for students’ use. There are proposals for development of Volley Ball and Basket Ball Courts. The college canteen is spacious, airy and provides wholesome food. To cater to the needs of the students there is an “Internet Café” in the library where seven terminals are used by the students.
There has been some active collaboration of the PG students and teachers of  the college with other institutions of the state like Tea Research Association, Jorhat; North East Institute of Science & Technology, Jorhat, Central Muga Research Institute, Jorhat and Tea Board of India in formulating research strategies in respect of PG research and various outside-funded research projects of some departments like Tea Husbandry and Technology, Agricultural Biochemistry , Agricultural Biotechnology, Entomology and Plant Pathology. There is a strong linkage between the Agricultural department of Govt. of Assam and the college to disseminate the research findings through extension machinery for the benefit of the farmers. The teachers regularly take part in Farmers Fair, Farmers day etc and interact with the Agricultural Officers and farmers on different issues . Recently, the university has a link with Cornell University, USA for promoting academic and research activities of the university.