The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi.
The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 101 ICAR institutes and 72 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of food grains by 5 times, horticultural crops by 9.5 times, fish by 12.5 times ,milk 7.8 times and eggs 39 times since 1951 to 2014, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.
The Agricultural Education Division, ICAR is involved in strengthening and streamlining of higher agricultural education system to enhance the quality of human resources in agri-supply chain to meet future challenges in agriculture sector in the country. This calls for regular planning, development, coordination and quality assurance in higher agricultural education in India. The division strives for maintaining and upgrading quality and relevance of higher agricultural education through partnership and efforts of the ICAR-Agricultural Universities (AUs) system comprising of State Agricultural Universities (64), Deemed to be universities (4), Central Agricultural Universities (3) and Central University (1) with Agriculture Faculty.
The division is headed by the Deputy Director General and three sections under the division, viz. Education Planning and Home Science (EP&HS), Human Resources Development (HRD) and Education Quality Assurance and Reforms (EQA&R) each headed by an Assistant Director General (ADG).
Three ICAR institutes viz, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad; Central Institute for Women In Agriculture (CIWA), Bhubaneswar and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NIAP), New Delhi are also under this division.
Agricultural Education Division through its three sections carries out a number of schemes to support and strengthen the Higher Agricultural Education in the country, which is enumerated here under.
National Agricultural Education Accreditation Board (NAEAB): Accreditation is done to ensure the quality of higher agricultural education in Agricultural Universities and its constituent colleges. The University/ institution/programme are critically evaluated by a group of experts as per approved guidelines of the Council. The National Agricultural Education Accreditation Board (NAEAB) undertakes the accreditation programme (i) to assist people, prospective students, educational institutions, professional societies, Government and other concerned agencies in identifying institutions and programmes which meet the minimum norms and standards as prescribed by the Council, (ii) to provide guidance for the improvement of existing agricultural education institutions/ programmes, and (iii) to develop new institutions/ programmes. Accreditation of Agricultural Universities is a continuous process, and since the constitution of the Board in 1996, 43 agricultural universities have been accredited. In order to infuse better accountability and intense monitoring for educational quality improvement in agricultural universities, The Government of India has taken a decision to link accreditation of agricultural universities by NAEAB with the Grant-in- Aid from ICAR, New Delhi.