Agriculture being one of the important sector in the Indian economy. Prof. (Dr.) Wazid Ali Khan, Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Aurangabad (MS) shares his views about the trend, task and scope of Agriculture Engineers in India.
1. What is the current market trend of engineering industry?
The current market trend of the industry is on the upswing, with a high growth rate especially in the areas of automation, automobiles, telecom and engineering industry. Talking about agricultural engineering industry growth is on the higher side in the Agro & Agro based industry. Mechanized Farming, Dairy Industry, Food and Food Processing Industry is developing at a very fast pace. Technological changes with respect of seed production, controlled environment crop production and storage leading to high yields in picking up at a rapid rate.
Banking sector need such type of Agriculture engineering/Food Engineer who are having skill at Dairy development, Farm mechanization, Food Processing Industry & knowledge about economic viability.
2. Kindly share the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your institute with special highlight on
• Selection procedure
Practical orientated knowledge sets
Good communication skills
High professional ethics
• Specific skill sets and proficiency you look in candidates
The programme run in this institute offers a six months compulsory industrial in-plant training in the fourth year of the B. Tech. course for the students as a part of course curriculum. This industry in-plant training is well interfaced with the industry. This helps student to
(1) Get Hands on work experience before they complete the course.
(2) Develop skills of applicability of theory knowledge into actual practice.
(3) Better qualified to provide suggestions/corrective action as the case may be.
We produce qualified engineers suitable for industry as well as global challenges
3. Please elaborate on the process of admission, fee structure and placement trend in the B.Tech. Industry at present.
The eligibility criteria for a candidate aspiring to do B.Tech in Agricultural Engineering is 10+2, with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and on the basis of joint entrance exam (JEE main)score.
The fee structure is given by the Govt. of Maharashtra, Shiksha Shulk Samiti (SSS) on year to year basis. The placement in the B.Tech industry is excellent with almost all the students being placed even before completion of the course.
4. What is the scope of Agriculture Engineering?
Agriculture is the most important sector in the Indian economy which contributes around 23% to the Gross Domestic Product and more than 70% of the total work force is employed in this sector. Almost all rural India is dependent on agriculture and allied activities like animal husbandry, dairy, poultry and fisheries. Being primarily an agricultural country the growth and development of Indian economy particularly depend upon steady growth of agriculture and other allied activities.
The task of an agricultural engineer is to improve agricultural production by means of better engineering methods, inventions, technology and equipment which also require a good intellect and a desire to make a difference to the future of farming. Improvement in agricultural farm machinery, farm structures, rural electrification, bio-gas, new technologies in the design and manufacture of agricultural products and also conservation of soil and water are some of the jobs handled by an agricultural engineer.
After completing UG programme students can opt for PG in various Branch of Agricultural Engineering or Food Technology such as Agricultural Process and Food Engineering, Food Technology, Food Processing Technology, Dairy Technology/Engineering, Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Irrigation Engineering, Agricultural Process Engineering, Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Farm Machine and Power, Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
For pursuing PG degree ICAR provides JRF to the student with monthly fellowship of Rs. 10,000/- per month
5. What are the various job profiles that a student can get after doing engineering in Agricultural Engineering?
Agricultural Engineers have bright career prospects. On graduating in Agriculture and allied sciences, the options and opportunities of a career are many. State Department of Agriculture recruits Agricultural Engineers as agricultural officers for the development of agriculture in a district. There are also private firms investing money in medicinal crops and plantation crops who recruit agricultural engineers.
Some agricultural engineers can look towards NGOs working in rural areas, Agricultural Officer at Government undertaking banks, design engineering at irrigation/processing industry, Argil Scientist in ICAR, SAU etc. teaching professional, consultancy engineering and self entrepreneur. Those interested in research activities can join IARI as junior fellow researcher and become agricultural scientists. Now banks giving advance credit and loans to agriculture and agri-based projects are also employing agriculture experts for evaluation of crops. Teaching agriculture and allied subjects is also an option available to these students. Moreover some down to earth agricultural engineer can also engage them in innovative farming.