World has become a global village, generating an urgent need for mutual
learning and joint action towards the ever pressing concern for—hunger, health and
home. Food and nutritional security is top-agenda globally as the next most
important issues of health and productivity is directly related to it. The share of
‘Animal protein’ in this context not only has been substantial but bears tremendous
potential. Livestock sector and allied operations are going to play an ever
increasing role in addressing such issues.
Livestock sector contributes more than 21.5 percent of gross value added
agriculture, forestry and fisheries contributes more than 3.92 percent to the GVA.
The share of livestock to agricultural GDP has been rising during the last 2½
decades (14 percent in 1980-81 to 22.75 percent in 2013-14) compared to plant
and crop sector, where the annual growth rate during the last one decade has been
negative (35 to 26 percent). Shrinking area under cultivation, stagnation in crop
productivity and market & policy driven crop selection patterns by farmers are likely
to come in the way for achieving a target of 4 percent growth for the agriculture
sector. The livestock sector over all these years has been able to record a steady
annual growth of over 4.8 to 6.6 percent. It is estimated that different areas of the
livestock sector have the potential to grow between 6 to 8 percent annually. In the
year 2013-14, income from livestock sector was Rs. 4,06,035 crore with an
expansion of 5.5 percent during the year.
Livestock development has been an important tool for poverty alleviation and
sustainable livestock security in terms of income generation for more than 600
million people in the country. In India 70 to 80 percent of the total livestock produce
is contributed by underprivileged families including small and marginal farmers and
livestock are central to their livelihoods and culture. Human recourse development
in veterinary and animal sciences thus becomes imperative.
Veterinary medicine is an ancient profession with a long and distinguished
record of service to animals and mankind. Established in 1960, the then College of
Veterinary Medicine with only 4 departments has come a long way to be coveted as
one of the best veterinary institutes of the nation. It was christened and
rechristened as the College of Veterinary Sciences (1976) and the College of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences (2003) and as of the day, encompasses 17
departments and several dedicated units viz.—veterinary clinics, animal
biotechnology, animal disease diagnostics, electron microscope facility, fodder
bank, vermi-compost, IDF, IPF etc. Need-based short term and customized
trainings to veterinary professionals, para veterinarians, farmers & animal owners,
unemployed youth/ students etc. is an ongoing in-built component.
Need based and applied research work has been undertaken in the area of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences over the years in the College. Illustrious
achievements have been made in areas like—Elite animal production through
embryo biotechnology, ova pickup technology, molecular and immunological
approaches to animal disease diagnosis, novel vaccines against bacterial and viral
diseases, innovative drug design and delivery, herbal based immunomodulation,
augmentation of growth and productivity, breed characterization and molecular
genetics, epidemiology and pathobiology of animal diseases, semen biology and
cryopreservation, reproductive endocrinology, developmental immunology,
environmental stress and electro-physiology, acupuncture and anesthesiology, and
rumen biotechnology etc.
The world of science & technology is growing very fast. The spectrum of
knowledge is growing at a dizzying pace and there is a pressing and continuous
need to fill the resulting knowledge gap between technology generation and its
transfer to the masses. Therefore it becomes important to consider future efforts.
Human capital is perceived to be the key driver for global competitiveness.
Hence, imparting quality education and training to produce competent veterinarians
would be the first priority. Research and extension cannot be viewed in isolation to
teaching and therefore relevant and need based approach would be an in built
The present veterinary education has to focus on continuous learning and
the use of participative teaching approach. The aspects of relevant refresher
courses need attention as it can help in updating the technical know-how of field/
working veterinarians and para-veterinarians. Relevant and contextual updating
and enrichment of the syllabus should be a regular exercise.
The component of business management should become a part of
veterinary education for instilling the concept of entrepreneurship and enhancing
competitiveness and skill orientation. In view of globalization of trade in livestock
and livestock products, sanitary and phyto-sanitary aspects in addition to WTO and
patent regulations must be incorporated in veterinary curriculum. The concept of
green livestock requires focus to save the environment. The areas like food
management, geographical information system and remote sensing and disease
management rather than disease treatment are to be strengthened.
With the ever-increasing cost of treatment, alternate system of medicine
needs to be explored. Not only its validation but documentation is also very
pertinent. With the concerted efforts of veterinary professionals, it has been
possible to make the country free of rinderpest as notified by OIE in May 2004.
However many diseases are still taking enormous toll and efforts should be directed
to tackle these diseases as well.
For resource generation, the industries are to be approached and instituteindustry-
farmer linkages should be recognized. The concept of team research with
the involvement of scientists of allied disciplines should be strengthened and work
on the problems of regional and local importance should be given priority in
addition of embarking upon the national problems.
Above all these—A positive attitude towards a sustainable and relevant
teaching, research and extension in veterinary sciences and animal husbandry has
to be imbibed and nurtured.
In the era of global internet communication, web-portals like this, play a
crucial role. Creating and updating this site is a conscious effort and I would like to
thank all those involved.