Karnataka plans to set up a dedicated university for fisheries at Mangaluru to enhance production in the state, academic officials said on Wednesday.
"A proposal to set up the Karnataka Fisheries Sciences University (KFSU) was submitted to state Fisheries Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary at a meeting here last week," the Mangaluru-based College of Fisheries Professor A.T. Ramachandra Naik told IANS.
"The full-fledged university will be set up under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in partnership with the state government," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, on September 10, unveiled the PMMSY scheme, under which the Centre proposes to invest Rs 20,050 crore over the next 5 years to enhance the country's fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2023-25 through marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture.
"As our college has 74 acres of land, the university will be set up in the sprawling campus to offer diploma, degree, post-graduate and research courses in fisheries.
"A dedicated university will enable us to open college of fisheries in each of the state's 30 districts to offer courses for diploma, bachelor's degree, master's degree and PhD in marine subjects," said Naik.
Though the state has a 320 km long coast, a dozen rivers, scores of tributaries, lakes, ponds, tanks and water bodies, there is only one dedicated college for fisheries since the last five decades. Many coastal states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, and even northeast states have dedicated universities for fisheries.
"Initially, we plan to open 3 colleges for bachelor's and master's courses, 5 polytechnics for diploma and 5 research and information centres across the state to attract students and faculty in fisheries," said Naik.
The 51-year-old College of Fisheries, affiliated to the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University at Bidar, has about 300 students pursuing the 4-year Bachelor of Fisheries Sciences degree, the 2-year Master of Fisheries Sciences degree and 3-year research for Ph.D.
According to its Dean Senthil Vel, the proposed university will also have a first of its kind data centre in the country as an information repository on fisheries.
Naik also said: "We plan to implement 22 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore to enhance fish output, varieties, seeds, hatcheries and marine units for harvesting sea food, including prawns, crabs and other species."
The Prime Minister's Fisheries Scheme envisages increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs 1 lakh crore by 2025, doubling incomes of fishermen, to reduce post-harvest losses and generate 55 lakh direct jobs in the sector and allied activities through marine, inland water and aquaculture.
( 443 Words)