University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur
Demand for an exclusive University for Agricultural Sciences for Hyderabad-Karnataka (H-K) region was felt almost a decade back (Annexure I) owing to inimitable climatic conditions and farming activities. The H-K region comprising Bidar, Kalaburgi, Raichur, Bellary, Koppal and Yadgir districts (Map), an agrarian area with an irrigation potentiality of 12 lakh hectares through Tungabhadra, Krishna, Karanja, Mullamari, Hirehalla, Bennethore and other irrigation projects, spanning a total geographical area of 44.96 lakh hectares accounting 33.60 per cent of the geographical area of the state, of which nearly 68 per cent is under cultivation and has a unique combination of medium (32.42%) and large farmers (36.69% bestowed with rich natural resources especially for agricultural development. The initiation for new Agricultural University at Raichur began through a letter by Government of Karnataka (No. AHD:165:UAS:99 dated 17-12-1999) directing University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad to submit a feasibility report on the proposal. An expert committee was constituted (No.AO/Est-V/LC/4778-B/99-00; dated 5-1-2000) which not only realized the need for new Agricultural University but also recommended the proposal. The cabinet approved the proposal for establishment of Agricultural University at Raichur, with an allocation of rupees five crore during 2008-09 academic year on 26-9-2008.
Raichur is privileged of being an oldest establishment for agricultural research in 1932 an Agricultural Research Station was established by the then Nizam’s Government of Hyderabad with a mandate to carryout research on dry land farming. After the reorganization of states in the country, Raichur was identified as the main research station for oilseeds. With the establishment of State Agricultural University in Karnataka in 1964 at Bangalore, it was elevated to Regional Research Station with a jurisdiction of five districts of Northern Karnataka. Agricultural Engineering Institute (AEI) was added to Raichur campus in 1969 to offer diploma course in Agri-Engineering which, in 1987, was upgraded to the status of College of Agricultural Engineering with up-gradation of Diploma to B.Tech degree. In 1984 and 2000, Colleges of Agriculture were started functioning, one at Raichur and the other at Bheemarayanagudi (Shahapur Taluk of Kalaburgi District) respectively, with an intake capacity of 30 students. However, with establishment of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad during 1986, Raichur became the component campus under UAS, Dharwad. Intriguingly, Raichur continued its privilege of being the second largest campus and a major hub of education under UAS, Dharwad. The Post-graduate degree program leading to Master’s degree in eight departments was started in 1995 with an intake capacity of five students for each department every year. In 1994, Krishi Vigyana Kendra (KVK), a component of UAS, Dharwad but funded and monitored by ICAR, started functioning in the campus and received the best Krishi Vigyan Kendra National Award for the year 2007-08, thus completing all the necessities of Teaching, Research and Extension. During 2008-09 and 2009-10, PG program began in other departments, thus making a total of 13 departments offering Post Graduate program at the campus level. The Raichur campus has registered significant growth in last decade reaching newer heights in education, research and extension.