Parliament passes bill to include Nagaland under agri varsity

New Delhi : Parliament on Thursday passed the Central Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2016, that provides for bringing the northeastern state of Nagaland under the jurisdiction of Imphal-based Central Agriculture University in neighbouring Manipur.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Rajya Sabha passed the draft legislation on Thursday without a debate.

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The bill seeks to amend the Central Agricultural University Act, 1992, which was enacted for the establishment and incorporation of a university for the northeastern region.

The 1992 act provides for the establishment of a university in the northeastern region for the development of agriculture, and advancement of research in agriculture and allied sciences.

It also states that the university will be responsible for teaching and research in the field of agriculture for the northeastern state.

The premier institute in Manipur capital Imphal has been working towards promoting agro-economic development and research in agriculture and allied sectors.

After inclusion of Nagaland under the jurisdiction of Central Agricultural University, the College of Veterinary Sciences in Nagaland would generate the much-needed professional manpower in the fields of animal husbandry.

The new college would help familiarise the farmers with new techniques, thereby contributing to the production and productivity of domestic animals in Nagaland.

Even as the bill was passed, Congress members took a dig at the government and said the bill must be a money bill since the establishment of university in Nagaland will involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.

“I hope everyone realises there is expenditure involved in setting up university in Nagaland and by the definition of Leader of the House (Arun Jaitley), this is a money bill,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal went ahead to ask Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien about his opinion if it was a money bill.

Congress leader Anand Sharma then said a view needs to be taken on the issue as every bill involves a money component.

The Congress has blamed the government of converting bills into money bill to get past the Rajya Sabha, which does not have a role in passage of money bills. The ruling NDA does not have a majority in the upper house.