Happy Republic day greetings to all of you.
Let us remember gratefully all the sacrifices our elders made to make our country, a free, democratic republic and to everyone who serve this great country in their own way and means.
Our Honourable Chief minister said that investment pledges at the recently concluded Global investors meet organized by the Tamil Nadu government exceeded Rs.2 lakh cores. TNJFU is the only university in our State to have mobilized investments worth Rs.100 cores from two companies in this regard.
The Chief Guest of the event Honourable Vice President of our country Thiru. Venkiah Naidu highlighted that Tamil Nadu ranks first in our country in having qualified professionals with good English language skills and strong education in the State contributed to this.
I should point out another salient feature of our country: India has the largest share of youthful workforce globally and this will continue to be so in future too. High literacy through education at all levels caused this achievement.
It is projected that India and China will be the only two countries globally to have largest number of graduates by 2025. This means they will have the most productive workforce with which these two countries will be the leading giants in the world in terms of GDP.
Hence, Universities have the most important role of producing graduates with required skill set to energize the economy and to generate income and employment opportunities. It is in this regard that I visualize the larger role for our University. We should plan and move forward to address not just our nations requirement but global needs too.
Thanks to Tamil Nadu government, we now have 8 colleges under our umbrella. The Tamil Nadu Government issued orders for the latest College of Fish Nutrition and Food Technology at Madhavaram, Chennai only recently but still we managed to admit 40 students for this programme last year. When I took over the realms of our University in 2017 we admitted hardly +100 students annually. Now we admit about 500 students every year which we plan to double in the next couple of years.
It is not just an issue of numbers. We mean quality too. Our students have been performing exceedingly well in the All India Junior Research Fellowship Exams conducted by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). Atleast 3-5 students of our university get into the top ten ranks. I have been laying importance on the quality of education and this continuous effort is bringing in desired results. The basic requirement for this achievement is a good student – teacher ratio. I take pride in informing you that our University has the best student-teacher ratio among all universities. That is for every 5 student we have a Teacher.
All these achievements were made possible with the generous support of our Government. Our university budget doubled to Rs.100 cores this year from Rs.50 cores last year.
Our performance last year was very good. We have extended education to informal sector too last year. We established 3 Para-professional colleges at Royapuram, Muttukkadu and Mandapam for imparting certificate and diploma courses in the areas of Deep Sea Fishing Technology, Industrial Aquaculture Technology and Fish Processing Technology.
Yesterday I distributed certificates to the fisherfolk youth who completed the 3 month course on Deep Sea Fishing Technology at the Fisheries College and Fisheries Research Institute, Thoothukudi. I should mention here that for the first time we are conducting a programme exclusively for the fisherfolk youth to diversify their fishing methods for their livelihood development.
This university is committed to the welfare our fisherfolk. Since education is the key to empowerment we are establishing a new fisheries college in Kanyakumari district for which about 11 acres of land has been identified in the district.
For the first time in the country ours is the only university in the country to have established an exclusive advanced laboratory for Feed analysis at Chennai. We have obtained the much needed accreditation from NABL for our Fish Quality Assurance Testing Laboratory at Thoothukudi recently.
As you all know loach, called Ayirai meen in Tamil, is a delicacy in the State, more so in areas around Madurai. University has sought recognition for the fish by declaring it as the Fish of the Tami Nadu State.
I acknowledge the great efforts of our staff and students in contributing to the cause of our nation and people.