Welcome speech of Hon'ble Vice chancellor delivered at the first convocation.

Shri M C Varshneya
Hon. Vice Chancellor
Kamdhenu University

Hon'ble the Governor, Shri O.P. Kohliji, Hon. Chief Minister Shrimati Anandiben Patel, Shri Rajkumarji, Principal Secretary (Agriculture), Members of the Planning Board, Board of Management and Academic Council, invited guests and today's recipients of degree and diplomas.

It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all on this auspicious day of Vasant Panchami - the day for worshiping Goddess Saraswati, Goddess of learning, literature, culture and science. The First Convocation of our University is organised on this day and herein after every year on Vasant Panchami day. Nothing can be more auspicious than this day to have blessings of Mata Saraswati when students would get their degree/diploma certification.

I, whole heartedly, welcome Governorshri Kohliji, who kindly consented to preside over this convocation. His august presence is very much inspiring to us as throughout his youth he was a student activist and during his career as a teacher also he was the leader of teachers. We are therefore, fortunate to have him as our Chancellor, who knows very well the importance of a University, aspirations of its students and needs of its teachers.

I welcome our Hon'ble Chief Minister Anandiben. She is the first female Chief Minister and first school teacher to rise to this position. She is the symbol of courage, once she jumped into a lake to save the life of two girls from drowning. She has kept the wheels of development of Gujarat in motion with same enthusiasm, vigor and dedication that has been shown by our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendera Modi. It is my proud privilege to welcome you Madam.

Our Minister of Agriculture Shri Babubhai Bokhariya, who could not remain present because of urgencyof some other important work, but he is like a mother for us. Ever since I joined Kamdheu University he has been with us - be it the requirement of space for office premises, approval of provisional statutes of the University or acquiring the promised land for the University, he is always with us in hour of needs. Sir, I convey you my reverence from bottom of my heart on this occasion.

We have our Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Shri Rajkumarji, and Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Dr. Arunkumar Solanki, who are very much helpful and sympathetic for all our needs and requirements. I welcome both of them with great affection and respect.

I also welcome other dignitaries, fellow Vice Chancellors Dr. A.R. Pathak, Hon. Vice Chancellor, Junagadh Agricultural University, Dr. N.C. Patel, Hon. Vice Chancellor, Anand Agricultural Univiersity, Anand and Dr. C.J. Dangaria, Hon. Vice Chancellor, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari. I also welcome Dr.M.L.Madan, Chairman, Livestock Group of the Haryana Farmers Commission and Dr. N.P. Shah, Professor, Food Science and Dairy Technology, University of Hong Kong for their presence. Sir! I am overwhelmed with your presence in the First Convocation of Kamdhenu University.

Veterinary science i.e. treatment of animals existed as a cult in ancient India some 3000 to 4000 years ago. Veterinary medicine was taught in medical schools. During the rule of King Chandra Gupta Maurya and King Ashok animals were treated by vets in hospitals. Veterinarians were known as Salihotriya after Salihotra, the famous authority on the treatment of horses. After him Vets in ancient India were called as Salutri .

It is said that formal Veterinary education was started at the Army Veterinary School in Pune in 1862. First Veterinary Science College in Gujarat State was started in 1964 at Anand; after the Mumbai Province was bifurcated as Maharashtra and Gujarat State in 1960. The idea of Veterinary and Dairy Science University in Gujarat was mooted by Dr. Varghese Kurien in 1984 but it did not see the light of the day as he resigned as the Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Agricultural University. Thereafter an ordinance was promulgated in 1996-97, but it expired prematurely as the party in power was defeated in the Legislative Assembly. Again the issue of Veterinary University was raised at different levels at different time. Ultimately, the Kamdhenu University bill was promulgated in the Vidhan Sabha in 2009.

Kamdhenu University was born on 7th July, 2009, when the then Hon'ble Governor assented the Act of the formation of University. Like a child in incubator, University also needed the ambience and atmosphere for its nurturing. Hence, it remained at low key till 2014 until I joined here. At that time I had only a Deputy Registrar to man the University. No office, no staff, no PS, no vehicle. A college of Dairy Science at Amreli in 2010-11 and a Polytechnic at Himmatnagar in 2011-12 were started as constituent units by Government to be looked after by Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) and Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (SDAU), respectively. Mansinhbhai Institute of Dairy and Food Technology was provisionally affiliated in 2011-12. Two more Polytechnics in Animal Husbandry were provisionally affiliated in 2013-14. The JAU and SDAU took care of these Institutes, but the Alma Mater was needed for their growth and development.

I joined on 19th August, 2014 with a clear mandate that Kamdhenu University must be developed as an excellent, internationally acclaimed University. I had to start from the scratch so I started exploring possibility of office premises, land for institutes and a University Headquarter complex. Also the University needed Statutes and regulations to run its various activities. I drafted Provisional Statutes and submitted to the Government for approval. Meanwhile, the Government gave us permission to apply common Statutes of four State Agricultural Universities of Gujarat for smooth functioning of the existing institutes.

On my joining I was told that all the 98 sanctioned posts were kept either in abeyance or abolished. I pursued the Government and now the posts have been revived and advertised and the selection process is in progress.

Office space was requested from the State Government from amongst the available government buildings. A small space of 2500 sq. ft has now been allotted in Karmayogi Bhavan, Block-1, Wing B-1 on 4th Floor.

Land for construction of the main Campus of Kamdhenu University has been identified in Bavala Taluka of Ahmedabad District near Bagodara Chokadi. Hon'ble Chief Minister agreed to the proposal and procedures of allotment are in progress. Madam! I thank you very much for your generous gesture.

We have a great dream for Kamdhenu University. We wish to make Kamdhenu University a national leader in veterinary education and research and an internationally acclaimed Institute of Excellence. We, therefore, are going to start from next academic year in 2015-16 Post Graduate programmes in Dairy Microbiology and Dairy Chemistry under Dairy Faculty and M.V.Sc. in Animal Genetic and Breeding, Animal Nutrition, LPM and Gynecology under Veterinary Faculty.

We propose to establish Post Graduate Centers of Education and Research in the Dairy Science, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. New projects for construction of main building of the University, buildings for Post Graduate Centre of Veterinary Education and Research, Dairy Science College building and Animal Hospital have been submitted. We hope to commence the work from 2015.

Efforts are being made to formulate International Collaboration with the USA and Israel for Veterinary Faculty and with Sweden and Australia for Dairy Faculty. The Planning Board of the University has been constituted consisting of International experts in the allied fields who will explore all such possibilities and advise the University. Yesterday, we had a meeting of Planning Board, which was attended by all the International Experts except Dr. Baboo Nair from Sweden. International programmes were discussed thoroughly.

As per 19th All India Livestock Census we have 30 crore cattle in India and the number is still rising. I am very proud to say that growth rate of animal population is positive in Gujarat, while negative at national level. These animals are to be taken care of. We do not have scientists and veterinary doctors in required numbers for their health and productivity management and research. Similarly, trained staff is also required to assist a Veterinary doctor in handling the animals. There is no such supporting cadre. Also, technocrats are needed at 'Dudhmandali' level to ascertain the hygienic management of cattle in villages and quality control of milk. We have currently 55 Veterinary and Animal Husbandry colleges in India. A Veterinary College as per norms of Veterinary Council of India can produce on an average maximum 60 students - that is to say 3300 Vets per year. But not all students who are enrolled pass out. Thus, we expect on an average 2100 to 2200 B.V.Sc. & AH graduates. If 50 per cent of them prefer to go for their Master studies, we get hardly 1100 Vets per year for field work.

The general norm is that there should be one vet per 5000 animals. For 30 crore animals we needed at least 60,000 such doctors. If we talk of poultry, sheep, goats, camels and fisheries, the manpower needed will be perplexingly high. The situation demands immediate and serious attention of the Government, Public and Private Sector. There is a growing demand from private and public trusts in Gujarat for para-vet courses i.e. Diploma in Animal Husbandry. We have at present three Polytechnics for Diploma in Animal Husbandry. One constituent institute at Himmatnagar and two affiliated Polytechnics run by Charitable Trust at Himmatnagar and Khadsali in Savarkundla, Dist. Amreli. There are more than 40 applications pending for affiliation in diploma courses of Animal Husbandry. The diploma holders are not recognized by the Veterinary Council of India for treatment of animals. We shall have to make them capable with required skills for rendering service under supervision and direction of a Veterinary Doctor.

We still need specialists who will deal with cancer, mastitis and such other diseases of animals which hampers the economic activities of the farmers. We needed specialists who work for increasing productivity of animals with cutting edge technology and research. The Kamdhenu University is planning to impart such specialization in different fields. Our present strategy is to improve the productivity of indigenous breeds and conserve the germplasm.

Madam! I visualize animal husbandry or animal farming to be an independent profession. Land is limited. It cannot increase with population but animals can increase. They are not immovable like land; they can be moved and housed in a small space. Therefore, animal farming will go a long way than agricultural farming.

Today with its total production of 134 Mt of milk, India is no.1 in whole world, while Gujarat with its milk production of 10 Mt is 4th in national ranking.

I wish to improve the productivity of indigenous cattle and thus the milk production of Gujarat. To make my dream a reality, I propose to start short term training courses of 1 day, 3 days and 7 days duration for rural women who are the backbone of our milk production system. I want to give training on animal breeding to all Gaushalas of Gujarat, on animal nutrition to all rural youth and dropouts, on Livestock production and management to women, on maintenance of Gauchar to all Sarpanch and village youth and opportunity for children to play with animal kids and birds.

The day of graduation in the life of a student opens the new vistas, extends horizons and provides the opportunity to apply his skills and knowledge which he has acquired in the University.

The profession of Veterinary Science and allied disciplines requires patience, perseverance, dedication and love to animals who cannot speak or show expression of their pains. Therefore, I advise you to be compassionate doctors, show affection to the animals and treat them as you treat your fellow man.

Last but not the least, remember our motto inscribed in our logo 'सर्वभूतहिते रता:'

Ever since in your life, whatever you do and wherever you go, work for welfare of all living beings.

Dear children please remember the words of Swami Vivekananda - "Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached"

I congratulate you all for receiving your hard-earned degree and diploma and wish you success in your life.

JAI HIND – JAI KISAN – JAI – JAI GARVI GUJARAT