Rajya Sabha approves a Bill to state 2 food tech institutes as national ones
On Monday, the Rajya Sabha approved a Bill that declares two food technology institutes at Kundli in Haryana and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu as National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management.
The Bill makes the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Kundli, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Thanjavur, national institutes. Many members of Parliament such as Vishambhar Prasad Nishad celebrated the decision and requested that more such institutions be established.
Addressing the members' doubts regarding the implementation of the reservation policy in these institutions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said it will be relevant to these institutions.
He also certain that people working in food technology will have representation in these institutes.
“This Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in February 2019. Thereafter it was referred to the Standing Committee. There were certain amendments there that were approved by the Cabinet. Now it again came for discussion in the House," he said.
Tomar also added that most members have submitted proposals and expressed their satisfaction with the Bill. He said India is facing absurd challenges in food storage, cold chain and processing. Therefore, it is important to introduce a technology to avoid wastage of farm produce.
The law will also compose jobs and turn farmers into entrepreneurs. So far, 444 lakh jobs have been created under the Kisan SAMPADA Yojana, and 147 lakh farmers have benefited from this scheme, he said.
He said such institutes should also be given the freedom to make decisions and team up with other world-class institutions which will make them at par with the IIMs and IITs.
MP L Hanumanthaiah (Congress) said that food worth USD 14 billion is wasted in India, even though every third child in India is suffering from malnutrition. Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) said more such institutions should be established.
Bhaskar Rao Nekkanti (BJD) called for possibilities for skill improvement and training for the food processing industry.
Ashok Bajpai (BJP) said it will help in boosting the rural economy while creating more jobs.
Banda Prakash (TRS) stressed the non-availability of enough skilled labour to fill the requirement of 1.6 lakh labourers in the food sector.
The Board of Governors of these institutions should have farmers' representatives, said RCP Singh (JDU). The idea was seconded by RJD's Manoj Jha, who also demanded that such a food technology institute be established in Bihar. Whereas SK Gupta from AAP appealed that such institutes are established in every corner of the country.
He also talked about the issue of farmers' protests against the three new farm laws. He said that the government is not considering farmers sitting on the borders of the national capital. He also highlighted the requirement for boosting the agro-processing industry to improve farmers' income.
KR Kumar (TDP) said the main complaint is that enough representation is not given to farmers on the Board of Governors.
Fauzia Khan (NCP) requested the government to strengthen Krishi Vigyan Centres which could make farmers entrepreneurs.
Ramji Gautam (BSP) appealed the government to provide free education to tribal and under-privileged people in these institutions.