To commemorate the First Convocation of the East Pakistan Agricultural University, Mymensingh being held on March 28, 1968, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a Postage Stamp of the denomination of 15 paisa on that day.
About 85 per cent of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas and most of this population is directly or indirectly depend-ent on agriculture for its livelihood. Development of agriculture is thus the sine qua non for the development of the country’s economy. An adequate supply of properly trained technical personnel is essential for the successful implementation of Agri-cultural development. The most important achievement, in this respect, is the establishment of two agricultural universities— one at Lyallpur and the other at Mymensingh.
The East Pakistan Agricultural University at Mymensingh came into being with effect from the session 1961-62 on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission on National Educa-tion and such other expert bodies. The location of the Univer-sity Campus is an ideal one with the river Brahmaputra running almost parallel to the University Campus on the east and rural areas on the western side. The Campus lies at a distance of about 3 miles from the district town Mymensingh and 72 miles from Dacca, the Provincial Capital. The land around the Campus offers commendable possibilities of experiment and research. The nearby rural areas can provide thc requisite sites for extension work. The Brahmaputra water washing the eastern boundary of the Campus serves as Nature’s laboratory for practical training in fisheries. This idyllic setting of the University enables it to carry the fruits of modern agricultural and allied technologies from the class-rooms and laboratories to the tillers of the soil.
The academic programme of the University may be outlined briefly as under
(i) Teaching-under-graduate and post-graduate;
(ii) Research-fundamental and developmental;
(iii) Pre-service and in-service training;
(iv) Refresher courses-for teachers in rural science and also for employees of non-teaching organisation; and
(v) Short-Courses--particularly for public servants of all levels.
By now the University has opened 6 Faculties, namely, the Faculty of Veterinary Science, the Faculty of Agriculture, the Faculty of Animal Husbandry, the Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology and the Faculty of Fisheries. Courses and degree are offered faculty-wise. Each faculty has a number of Departments manned by highly qualified teaching staff. Besides, there is a Committee for Basic Science and Language Departments to take care of Bengali and English languages, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Zoology. The East Pakistan Agricultural Institute, Tejgaon, Dacca, has been affiliated to this University.
At the Bachelor’s Degree level the University offers courses leading to B.Sc. (Ag.), B.Sc. (A.H.), B.Sc. (Ag. Econ.), B.Sc. (Ag. Eng.), D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and B.Sc. (Fisheries) Degrees. The University has instituted Master’s Degree Courses in a good number of subjects. Candidates admitted to the Master’s Degree Courses are full-time students at the University. Besides, selected in-service personnel working in relevant research institutes under well-reputed guides recognised by the University are also enrolled as Master’s Degree students. The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy has also been introduced in this University. Considerable research activities are going on in the University. Some of the research programmes are being financed by the University itself, while the expenditures for some other ones are being borne by outside agencies like the Agricultural Research Council of Pakistan. Besides, a large number of tea-chers of the University are engaged in their own personal research. A number of research programmes have been accomplished by the Master’s Degree Students in partial fulfilment of their Master’s Degree Courses under Senior Teachers of this University and also under Senior Researchers at the University approved Re-search Institutes.
There are four Halls of Residence with accommodation for over 1200 students where students are provided with necessary amenities and facilities for modern living. Two Halls of Residence with accommodation capacity of over 600 students are now under construction. There are two canteens attached to the Halls for supplying wholesome food to the students at a reasonable price. The University library, housed temporarily on the second floor of the University main building, is the treasure of knowledge particularly relating to rural sciences and allied disciplines. The pursuit of Knowledge being continuous, the library functions throughout the year and is open for long hours on alF days excepting Sundays and holidays. It has a good collection of books of selective nature and new books are being added every month to meet the growing needs of the University.
The students, after admission, must be prepared to do hard manual work in the University’s Agricultural and Horticultural Farms, Workshop, Dairy and Poultry Farms, Botanical Garden etc. They have facilities to earn money by doing field work during their leisure hours under the “Earn and Learn Programme” of this University. The University made its humble start in 1961 with 303 students and 30 teachers approximately. By now the number of students has risen to over 1200. The number of teachers and trainees on the staff at present is 161. Among them 9 are Professors, 18 Readers, 70 Senior Lecturers, 54 Lecturers and 10 Trainees. Out of them 13 teachers and trainees in various fields have been sent to different Foreign Universities for higher studies. It may be mentioned here that 101 teachers and trainees were so far sent abroad of whom 50 have already returned after successful completion of their training.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has decided to estab-lish an Agricultural Research Station in the Campus, and the University has agreed to spare 4 acres of land for building the research station. This work is expected to be taken up shortly and completed rapidly by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commis-sion. The construction of a new Power Station, Water Tower and Poultry Farm Building is being started soon. The University has made a considerable head-way in the physical side of construction. Besides the Halls of residence and Teacher -Student Centre, it has completed construction of two Faculty Buildings, large number of residential quarters, a Guest House, University Club building-cum-Bachelors Quarters and a five storey Administrative Building.
The University is now going to hold its First Convocation on March 28, 1968. Over five hundred graduates with Bache-lor’s and Master’s Degrees are expected to attend this Con-vocation.